Re[2]: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Matt Gingell (
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 02:26:35 MDT

Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> And we all dispute your automatic and unproven assumption that there is
> no real competition. Your assertion that the market is the i86 market,
> as I have previously said, is also disengenuous, and typical of the big
> brother mindset of trying to control the debate by defining the terms
> beforehand. The market is the desktop personal computer market.

Big Brother mind set?

> Considering that the big three automakers are all changing over to
> linux, and windows is not certified for secure use in classified
> projects, most defense contractors that deal with such programs are also
> moving over to linux systems, and that most college users use Mac, as
> well as most all of the entire publishing industry, the claim that
> windows is a monopoly that stifles competition in the personal computer
> market is laughable.

Ha ha.

>> Now, obviously I think monopolization is a bad thing - so you can
>> insert all those standard arguments here. What it really comes down
>> to, I think, is that control of the PC platform is too important to
>> trust to a single corporation: there's too much potential for abuse
>> and we loose the advantages of distributed economic optimization. This
>> is an abstract compliant, not one specific to Microsoft. Perhaps you
>> don't object to monopolization as strongly as I do, either because you
>> think it's unstable or because it's a lesser evil than government
>> interference.
> Treating an operating system like a utility, where having a standard
> system provides for maximum benefit for all, according to the typical
> big brother/big government apologist, then an operating system monopoly
> should be to the best benefit of all. And hell, you trust your
> electricity to be provided by one company, your water and sewer are
> provided by one corporation. Your police services are provided by one
> corporation. A government is a corporation, and a monopoly one at that.

You know, I actually like living in a civilization. Honestly, this
Mad-Max, me-and-my-gun libertarian stuff doesn't really appeal. What I
don't understand is why you're so much more afraid of big government
than big capital. What's the basis of this business good / government
bad thing? It's all just power. If it weren't the US government, it
would be someone else. It seems to me if you randomly switch
"Gnomes of Zurich" and "BATF", the ultra-leftist/ultra-rightist paranoias
become indistinguishable. The fixation is the same - only the label on
the obsession changes.

> Saying that about linux just shows you have no idea what you are talking
> about. Because of the nature of how linux is managed in the world, it is
> virtually impossible for any one corporation to become a monopoly using
> linux. Because Linus put his OS under a public license, anyone who
> offers their own version must make all source code available to everyone
> else.

Give me some credit. 'no idea' is unnecessarily ad hominim. Surely I
have some idea what I'm talking about or I wouldn't have provoked all
this incredible vitriol. Linus still holds the copyright on Linux. It
isn't in the public domain. The GPL only protects derivative works
based on existing versions - he could release a new version under any
license he likes. There's also a very grey area about what happens
when vendors start shipping proprietary components in their
distributions. Witness all the fuss a while back about QT and KDE. All
these concerns are pretty far from practical reality, I readily admit,
but the point I was trying to make was I don't bare any particular
animus towards MS - rather I object to monopolization in general. But
then, you know that.

> This is also a really really dumb thing to do. Different parts of the
> government have different computing needs, and whether or not those
> needs are met by open or non open standards is irrelevant. If you want
> Windows to become open, fine, have your big brother government buy the
> operating system rights from Microsoft. Try and seize the rights by
> forcing MS to make it open is as blatantly an unpaid taking violation as
> one can imagine.

I haven't suggest taking away anyone's rights anywhere in this thread.

>> I'd like to see a market where I don't buy an 'operating system,' I
>> buy a memory manager, a tasking subsystem, a file system, a desktop
>> environment, etc, from independent vendors - and they all work
>> together because they all conform to open standards; in the same way I
>> can purchase a nut and a bolt from two different manufactures because
>> they come in standard sizes. I go down a check list getting the pieces
>> that best suit my needs and my budget, or I just buy the whole thing
>> from a system integrater. Now, I don't really think that this is
>> possible in practice, at least in a pure form, but it's the sort of
>> thing I'd like to see us strive towards.
> You really don't know anything about programming, do you? Its 'possible'
> but this sort of thing puts such an incredible drain on innovation,
> because every new thing has to go through a standards body and get voted
> up or down by many different people, who all have competing interests,
> many of which are against yours.

Quite. This is why nothing productive was been done in C since the
ANSI standard. What do those freaking commies think the preprocessor is
for anyway?

> Is there any reason why HTML hasn't
> advanced for jack in the last few years? Too many freaking cooks in the
> pantry.

Yeah - nothing since <blink>. Man, those were the good old days - when
men were real men and HTML was whatever the fuck we said it was.

> Bunch a socialist BS.

I want to ban guns too.

nothing personal,

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:11 MDT