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NewsForge: Osama bin Laden, Open Source software, and the United States

Oct 16, 2001, 15:30 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin 'Roblimo' Miller)
"...We export the Jerry Springer Show, you know. And people in some countries do not know that Springer represents us at our worst, not at our best.

Similarly, the Open Source and Free Software advocates who get the most press are often the most outrageous, not those who are best at presenting the many benefits of Open Source and Free Software in a logical manner that will appeal to the unconverted, and I'm sure we've all cringed now and then at some of the insults spat by Linuxite Fundamentalists at those who dare question their articles of faith in any way.

But who will shut down the noisiest members of the Open Source rabble? In a dictatorship or closed-source company, it would be no problem. They would be ordered to zip their lips and turn all press or public inquiries over to a public relations professional who would issue quotes as pithy as those we see below dictator murals in repressive countries. In an Open society, anyone who wants to have a say has it. You may not like what some say, and I might not either, but tolerating speech we don't like is one of the prices we pay for freedom."

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