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NewsForge: The Futility of Arguing with Paid Advocates

Sep 09, 2004, 03:15 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"I once stood in a hotel lobby in Amman, Jordan, listening quietly as a passionate GNU/Linux advocate tried to get Microsoft employees to agree that free software would be better for the Muslim world than proprietary software. His opponents were getting paid to boost Microsoft and proprietary software and couldn't change their beliefs--at least in public--without losing their jobs, so there was no way the Linux advocate could 'win' this argument. I've witnessed similar scenes all over the world, and cringed at every one. Linux boosters shouldn't waste their (our) energy trying to convince unconvicable people. There are better uses for that passion.

"A month or so ago TheLinuxShow had notorious anti-GPL fudster Ken Brown of AdTI as a guest. The show regulars and guest Eric S. Raymond were arguing with him. Sure, the points they made were valid, and Brown's rebuttals were poor, but Eric and the others displayed a major amount of anger toward Brown, even though when you came right down to Ken was just a working stiff doing his job..."

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