Repetition

“I know the best reason why we should call it GNU/Linux… so that Richard Stallman can get on with his life.”

Sarah had a pearl of wisdom the other day about the Linux vs. GNU/Linux naming controversy: “I know the best reason why we should call it GNU/Linux… so that Richard Stallman can get on with his life.” And Sarah is right… in one e-mail exchange with RMS, I was trying to make a point, but I accidentally said “Linux” instead of “GNU/Linux”, and he focused on telling me what I already knew, which is that “GNU/Linux” is ideologically superior, rather than responding in more depth to my point. It’s a waste of RMS’s time for a smart, creative, influential man like him to go around repeatedly telling people the same thing over and over again. In the words of ESR, “Hackers (and creative people in general) should never… have to drudge at stupid repetitive work, because when this happens it means they aren’t doing what only they can do — solve new problems.”

I realized recently that this somewhat applies to me as well, even though I’m not much of a hacker and I’m certainly not as useful as Richard Stallman (yet). I tell a lot of the same stories over and over again. This is good, insofar as through practicing I become good at telling these stories, and it’s also more interesting for people to hear about, say, the Diebold case from my own mouth. But there is one particular story which I am tired of telling, because it makes me angry every time I tell it, and I want to put it in the past. I’m going to write it down once on my blog, and then in the future whenever it looks like I’m going to have to tell the story of how I was defeated in a student government election through sabotage and sleaziness, I will simply point people to that post, and carry on with my life.

That will be the subject of my next entry: The Rise and Fall of the Action Party.

UPDATE: OK, maybe not the next entry, but it’s coming soon and I’ll link to it from here.

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