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See also: last week's Letters page.
Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Note that we got very few letters this week, with results than can be seen below. Time to start writing in, folks, or who knows what we'll have to print next week?
April 25, 2002
From: email@example.com (David N. Welton) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Tcl @ O'Reilly Open Source Conference Date: 18 Apr 2002 12:24:07 +0200 I agree that it's important to meet other developers and users of free software face to face. In fact, the Tcl comunity will be having its own conference, from September 16-20 in Vancouver, British Columbia. More information is available at: http://www.tcl.tk/community/tcl2002/ The Tcl gathering was previously a part of the O'Reilly convention, but they have chosen not to invite us back this year. -- David N. Welton Consulting: http://www.dedasys.com/ Personal: http://www.dedasys.com/davidw/ Free Software: http://www.dedasys.com/freesoftware/ Apache Tcl: http://tcl.apache.org/
From: (Omitted to protect the guilty) To: email@example.com Subject: I just wanted to point out a few things about the 'Jesux' Linux distribution. Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 21:21:14 -0700 Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Note: Although I could have filled this letter with verses (or references to verse numbers) to show you in the Bible why your website is bad, I refrained from doing so because I knew you would probably never look them up or you would want to argue about the verses' meaning, and also because I believe that many people engage in 'Bible-beating' (as this flurry of verse quoting is referred to in the South) to avoid a LOGICAL argument because they know that they cannot win a true debate with their opponent. Any repartee to this letter that is full of Bible quotes will be delivered directly to /dev/null. Also, so that you know, I am not affiliated to 'the media', Slashdot, or anyoen To quote your website: ------------------------------------- Also, we are seriously considering changing some fundamental OS features. The idea would be that function calls and features suggesting evil and otherwise pagan ideas would be changed. * abort(3) * kill(1) * references to "daemon" --------------------------------------- Can you not see the fundamentally wrong things going on in just this section of text? You make several statements that you may not even realize: I. The words abort, kill, and daemon are fundamentally evil, so much so that we want to go to the trouble of rewriting *NIX core code to take these words out. I'd like that the word abort does not specifically refer to human abortions. It is used by NASA, the US Military, and many other unarguably beneficial groups to mean 'stop'. 'Abort' is much harder to confuse via radio communication, that is why 'start' and 'stop' are not used. Killing is not always an evil act - haven't any of you ever had a dog put to sleep because it was incurable? Or have any of you ever hunted? That too is killing. 'Daemon' is actually a word that has roots that mean 'servant' or ''worker' - it was twisted into religious meaning by zealots like yourself. Complying to the POSIX standard requires that you have these functions, and that they work as the POSIX standard requires. Changing them will make you LOSE users - or at least people who believe in mutually agreed-upon industry standards. II. In the sentence fragment "function calls and features suggesting evil and otherwise pagan ideas" you suggest that pagan is a synonym for evil, or that all pagan things are evil. This is an example of extreme closemindedness that is (to me) strongly reminicent of the Pharisees and Saducees. Paganism is an easier way of saying non-Christianism. NOT ANTI-Christianism, just not Christian. By the true definition, Islamic people are pagans - even though Christians and Jews worship the same God they do, Jews are pagans - even though Jesus WAS a Jew, and Messianic Jews - who believe in Christ as the Redeemer and Messiah but do NOT consider themselves Christians (just Jews who follow Christ) are pagans. In all three examples I have given just now, I hope I have shown you how inaccurate and wrong your statements are. I have not even mentioned the fact that there is a modern pagan movement that you are misaligning very badly with that statement as well. III. You have a large amount of statements on your website that are NOT things a Christian should say. Exemplia Gratia: " We rightfully criticized slashdot.org previously, but we did not do so with a loving spirit. For that, we apologize. We still will not bow to the media, we do not need the media, and we will succeed in providing a distribution for you. If God is for us, who can be against us?" In this statement, you indicate that: A - You have the right to judge anyone. I could indicate several parts of the new and old testament that tell the story of how someone was punished because they thought they knew God's will better than He Himself did. B - Is it possible to criticize someone with a loving spirit? I believe this is a contradiction. When you criticized Slashdot.org, you certainly (in my humble opinion) did not intend it for their edification. You were 'trolling' as some people on the Net refer to it. I', sure you object to the term troll as well, claiming that it has demonic origins. You have a plank in your eye, and you are trying to remove a mote from the eye of GNU/Linux. You need to work on getting the plank out of your own eye first. If I had not banned myself from 'Bible-bashing', I would have included some words from Paul defining exactly what Love is and is not. What you are doing is not love, or joyously spreading the Gospel. With the simple announcement of your intent, you have malaligned and vilified a broad swath of the world's population. This is not God's Work. C - You indicate that the 'media' wants you to bow to them and need them. You say this in the same paragraph that you mention your 'criticism' of Slashdot. You are indicating that Slashdot.org is 'the media' and the popular connotation of 'the media' suggests that there is a large syndicate of the news/information industry that want you to bow to them and need them and who wants to control you. By printing what you thought was a unique and rebellious statement, you are technically guilty of Libel, which is better known as slander. If Slashdot was able to prove that you caused them fiscal damages by your statement, you could be taken to court for that. I'm not suggesting that Slashdot would do anything like that, but rather that you should think about what you are saying before you say it. Slandering Slashdot - and trying to use that action as an example of how Christian you are - is a bad example and reflects badly on all Christians. Yes, that includes me. If you are truly trying to make a linux distribution to spread the gospel, why are you getting involved in the politics of software? You stated that someone could only get SAINT from your distribution if they earned it. Don't you know they can download it from the author of the program? Don't you know that SAINT and SATAN are just silly acronyms? I'm out of patience. Your site, http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/Node/4081/ badly needs to be rewritten without all of the hate and narrow-minded opinions. Instead of writing a linux distribution about your religion, you should go learn what being a Christian is really supposed to be. P.S. Encryption isn't about having anything to hide, it's about privacy and your right to keep the government and other people out of your own email.
From: Jesux Developers <email@example.com> To: (omitted) Subject: Re: I just wanted to point out a few things about the 'Jesux' Linux distribution. Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 01:11:02 -0400 Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org At 21:21 -0700 2002.04.23, somebody wrote: > I. The words abort, kill, and daemon are fundamentally evil, so much so >that we want to go to the trouble of rewriting *NIX core code to take these >words out. No, that was never said or hinted. What was said is that those words *suggest* evil ideas. The very next line spells it out: "NOTE: we do not believe words are inherently bad." So, you are incorrect. >A - You have the right to judge anyone. I could indicate several parts of >the new and old testament that tell the story of how someone was punished >because they thought they knew God's will better than He Himself did. Of course we have the right to judge. The Bible doesn't say don't judge, it says judge not, lest ye be judged. The popular interpretation of that, that we should not judge, is false. It means that we should judge in humility, knowing that we will be judged by the same standards. And we have that standard by which to judge: the Bible. >B - Is it possible to criticize someone with a loving spirit? Of course. You obviously don't know what "criticize" means. Or maybe you don't know what love is. When I am being a jerk and my wife tells me to lighten up, she is criticizing me, in love. >If I had not banned >myself from 'Bible-bashing', I would have included some words from Paul >defining exactly what Love is and is not. Paul criticized many people in love. He would tell churches that they were acting horribly. Christ called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "brood of vipers." Or perhaps Christ wasn't be loving? >When you criticized Slashdot.org, you certainly (in my >humble opinion) did not intend it for their edification. Your opinion, humble or not, is incorrect. >I', sure you object to the term troll >as well, claiming that it has demonic origins. You're surely mistaken. However, go with the troll thing, you might be on to something. >By printing what you thought was a unique and >rebellious statement, you are technically guilty of Libel, which is better >known as slander. This is entirely false. First, slander and libel are not the same thing. Both are forms of defamation; slander being the lesser form, usually verbal, and libel being the big one, primarily written. >If Slashdot was able to prove that you caused them fiscal >damages by your statement, you could be taken to court for that. No. They would have to prove that what we said was false, that people believed it, *and* that it damaged their reputation. Fiscal damages are not relevant to the case itself, though would be a basis for the court award should the plaintiff win. But frankly, the comments posted on Slashdot itself every day are far worse than anything we wrote, and proving the last bit would be completely impossible. Of course, we never wrote anything remotely defamatory anyway; I can't see why you think we did. Claiming Slashdot is part of "the media" and that they want us to submit ourselves to them isn't remotely defamatory. >I'm out of patience. Well, good. You are also out of a lot of other things, like, perhaps, the ability to really do your research (if you ever had it to begin with). Here's a hint: click on some of the links on the Jesux site. -- Jesux Developers