[pp.int.general] Correct word usage for PP.

NingúnOtro ningunotro at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 10 13:35:06 CEST 2011

El dom, 10-04-2011 a las 01:57 -0400, Richard Stallman escribió:
> One small nitpick, people can think in economic terms while looking at
>     human rights by using utility functions and utility theory.
>     Essentially, you should aim to maximise your own utility, whether your
>     utility is defined by maximal wealth or by some other less tangible
>     value.
> This presumes all values can be represented in one linear scale.  (I
> don't think that is true for most people.)  It presumes one has an
> answer to the question, "How much money is your freedom worth?"

I'll take this issue as an opportunity to outline some basic facts so
maybe Richard and others may get closer to understanding what I consider
a sound strategy.

At first, lets say that as we love freedom, responsibility, logic and
ethic, while we may have certain more or less sound ideas about how
things should be, or might have been if everything had been done right
throughout our past, fact is that many things have gone wrong and even
more wrongs have accumulated on top of previous ones.

As a result, we live in a very strange world indeed. Some of us are
aware of the fact that many things have quirks on them that go far
beyond normal, but most of the citizens with less intellectual depth
regard whatever is most present around them as the normality, and the
exception, no matter how logically and ethically sound it may
instinctively appear to be, as the intruding strangeness. Intruding and
unwelcome because most people develop their survival strategies around
resisting with the lowest possible drain on their meager resources, and
any call to action, whether it is based on an increased effort to
respect true underlying ethic and logic or not... always demands an
increased expenditure of effort that can only be justified if the goal
it pursues is attainable AND permanently changes to the better the stage
on which the next actions can build.

Richards strategy can be seen as building a clean core with a sound
logic and ethic, and then do all that is needed to preserve its
integrity by avoiding it being contaminated by the wrong concepts and
ideas. Even basically right people with nevertheless some unhealthy
compromises must be kept out of the core so the rot does not get in
inadvertently. The result is a reduced core of clean activists, mostly
signed on members of the Free Software Foundation, lets call them the
White Magicians ;) , a very big nomansland going from very light gray to
very dark gray in the middle, and the awfully black Dark Knights on the
very opposite side (a bright image of Darth Vader tempting the Jedies
with the powers of the dark side comes to mind).

Richard obviously tries to recruit those that are nearly white into the
inner circle of complete sanctity, and has trouble defending his
coherent thoughts in front of people that ignore so much of the inner
cohesion of his views that they repeatedly ask trivially superficial
questions and prefer to have lulz while organizing perfectly futile
public demonstrations they believe suit them best as possible actions.
As his strategy more or less demands anyone to become monks and accept
reclusion in a monastery to avoid contamination, and refrain from mixing
with those that prefer the lulz for all the wrong reasons, his core
ideas are being rejected as too much demanding by almost everyone, while
at the same time those that reject them nevertheless greatly appreciate
the benefits the "sacrifice" of the White Magicians offer them: a no
strings attached access to free software that allows them to avoid
spending on that one post of their meager budget and thus better balance
the rest. That is where I think Boris comes into the picture saying
"Thank you for the free screwdriver, it is very useful ;) , but do not
expect me to become a monk to be able to use it".

Having the tools available and being free (in the sense of without
incurring in costs) to use them is irresistible, and can not be
forbidden (not that Richard would want to do that, he knows better), but
it is not easy for anyone living in the world of material constraints
and having adapted his core views around one specific tone of gray to
switch to perfect white or even a significantly clearer tone of gray,
because most of the time there is a lack of budget to pay for the delta
in the cost of the material constraints applicable to what should be
this new position.

While Richard tries to win for the cause those that are most close to
white already, my approach, while based on the same core values of
freedom, and logical and ethical integrity that neither I do accept to
corrupt, is different in that I choose to influence to the fullest
extent possible those closest to become fall for the call of the dark
forces. Thus I choose to expose the inconsistencies of the logic and the
ethic (if one can call them such) used by the dark forces. To be able to
do this in the proper context and with any expectation of succes, one
can not tell almost black people how nice being white is, because there
will never be enough budget available to adopt such a big change by
anyone no matter how good you are at convincing them. You can not ask
from people in a wilderness ful of lions that they throw away their bows
and spears and become vegetarian pacifists, not unless you have a magic
stick to simultaneously turn the lions into vegetarians also. What you
can do is teach them better ways to defend against the lions, if
possible avoiding the need to kill them. Another option is to spread
accurate knowledge about the driving force behind the actions of the
lions so that resources to oppose them where necessary can be applied
optimally. Something like increasing the flair of the antilopes: they
better run as fast as they can when they spot an hungry lion, but there
is no need to exhaust ones resources when one spots a lion with a full
belly where nothing more would fit anyway.

So, while I will not accept to corrupt my own values, I will do whatever
is within my reach to influence anybody into moving towards any lighter
shade of gray his logical and ethical framework may accept and his
material situation in his own context may enable him to cope with.
Asking anything more is overstretching realistic possibilities and
insisting on achieving impossible things that only can lead to failure.

While the decision on whether one gets convinced to adopt a lighter
shade of gray is a personal one, the evaluation of the feasibility of
such a decision depends heavily on the socio-economic context within
which ones existence is embedded. It does not demand an effort of the
same magnitude to switch from 35% gray to 30% gray in a general context
that is 25% gray, than it does if the general context was 50% gray.
Neither is it the same to switch from 75% gray to 70% gray in an
environment that is 60% gray or one that is 85% gray.

The general tendency in mass movements is difficult to influence,
because it has to be done aggregating the results of many much
individual decisions. It is easier done convincing many people to change
only 1% in the right direction at a time than asking a few martyrs to
man the barricades with an 85% delta trying desperately to row the canoe
upstream and against the cascades. While I do not abandon rowing
upstream all I can, I try to flatten the landscape bringing down as much
as can be done the lies those Black Knights build their condominium wall
with. Walls that normal but misleaded people help to build and maintain
as long as they wrongly stay convinced that it is also in their best

It only takes words with as much logical and ethical coherence as they
can accept without collapsing under the required delta to implement the
change to spread enough, and a social, political and economic framework
where these small changes can consolidate their effects.

The Pirate Party might be the political platform for this, if it
succeeds in maintaining the inclusiveness through broad humanist values
that accept the entry of people from the whole broad gray scale of the
classical political spectrum, what we call not caring for the right -
left value scale, as long as they show the right attitude needed to
progressively move towards lighter shades of gray as soon as bearable.
The most important is not being totally white... the most important is
the stated will to move towards white.

The broad humanist values will enable us individually to autonomously
decide to collaborate with anyone perceived to be doing his best to move
towards whiter, and refuse collaboration to the fullest extent possible
with those that are perceived as moving towards the darker shades.

Other than a political haven that can act as a light beacon for those
wanting to move within their possibilities in the right direction...

... we can build a new media framework that enables us to spread the
word more efficiently (not only online BUT ALSO OFFLINE)

... and we can build a social and economical framework (based on swarm
principles if necessary) that enables us to efficiently distribute
resources among us in such a way that they are applied there where their
effect is the most positive possible, and in such a way that those among
us that dedicate all of their time to the cause can extract at least a
basic income that enables them not to need to sell part of their time
and talent to the very ones we need to fight to advance our goals.

I've got plenty of ideas for that, but I need to make sure that at least
the proper cause will be able to benefit from them.

I can't do it all on my own (not would it be worth the effort if I had
to be the only one to benefit from it), and it would be useless anyway
if those that are to benefit have no desire to collaborate and do their
part of the job.

I'd love to be free, and I can not get there as long as there is someone
left in chains, because then there is a logical and ethical priority I
can not waive between me and my freedom.
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