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LinuxPlanet: .comment: Of Freedom

Sep 12, 2001, 12:54 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)
"It is not especially easy to write just now. I'm writing this Tuesday night. About 50 miles from here, in an enormous pile of rubble, there are people, alive, who have no idea what happened. They are in some cases pinned, buried alive, in the dark, dust and smoke in what little air there is to breathe, enduring pain and fear I do not know and do not know I could myself endure.

Near them are thousands -- tens of thousands, barring a true miracle -- of people for whom the possibility of rescue disappeared entirely sometime today. Then there are the hundreds more who thought they were boarding airplanes to California this morning.

And when there are thoughts like that demanding one's mind, commentary on the nature and state of a computer operating system seems almost disrespectful. What's more, it would be difficult to devote my full attention to it, anyway.

This afternoon, though, a friend brought into focus something very much worth saying, I think, and it's a way in which Linux, of all things, ought to be a beacon to a troubled world.

The friend is Uwe Thiem, a KDE developer. He lives in Namibia. He and I have never met. I do not know his race, ancestry, religion, or general views on most subjects. Our communication over time has been solely by email. He does not know my race, religion, or ancestry (it's impossible to escape my views on anything). Yet, as I say, I think of him as a friend, and I suspect he thinks of me as a friend, even if he might provide an entirely appropriate adjective or two."

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