Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

New 'No Military Use' GPL For GPU 1109

Posted by Zonk
from the damn-the-man dept.
Tina Gasperson writes "GPU is a Gnutella client that creates ad-hoc supercomputers by allowing individual PCs on the network to share CPU resources with each other. That's intriguing enough, but the really interesting thing about GPU is the license its developers have given it. They call it a 'no military use' modified version of the GNU General Public License (GPL). The developers told Newsforge why they did it, with commentary from OSI and FSF." Newsforge is also owned by OSTG, Slashdot's parent company.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New 'No Military Use' GPL For GPU

Comments Filter:
  • Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <[Satanicpuppy] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:43PM (#15905659) Journal
    I don't want to scream "WANKING!" but I find I can't help it. Pure pacifism pisses me off...It's like Veganism [wikipedia.org]...Sounds good on paper, but is unworkable in reality.

    Conflict is a fact of existence. Not even human existence. Just being alive, you're in competition for limited resources, whether it's two elephants fighting over a waterhole, or two countries fighting over an oil field. That's the way it's always been, and that's the way it'll always be, until we find a magic way of creating unlimited resources.

    Being a Vegan is nice and sweet, but if it came down to starvation for you and your child vs eating Bambi, Bambi'd be on a stick. Same with pacifism. If you want to die, or be a slave, by all means, refuse to fight. That's Darwin at his finest. We're an agressive species. We evolved to where we are by being agressive. You think you're just going to decide it's time for everyone to be all nice and happy?

    Fine. But don't act all surprised when someone disagrees.
  • by Harry Balls (799916) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:46PM (#15905690)
    ...and Iran would abide by this "No Military Use" restriction.
  • by mark0 (750639) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:49PM (#15905716)
    The government will happily agree... and include a signing statement that says they may not obey/enforce the law if they see fit not to. Then classify the use of the software so you don't find out. Then tap the phones of those who disagree..

    Seriously, what teeth does this have considering recent history?
  • oookie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:49PM (#15905719)
    I wonder if they realize that most militaries not only attack, but they also defend.
  • wankery indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuzak (959558) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:49PM (#15905728) Journal
    Both developers do agree about one aspect of their license clause. It is based on the first of science fiction writer Isaac Asimov's Three Law of Robotics

    Have any of them actually read I, Robot? I swear to god, am I in some tiny minority who doesn't believe that this book was all about promulgating the infallible virtue of these three laws, but was instead a series of parables about the failings that result from codifying morality into inflexible dogma?

    Is it really bad form to suggest such interpretations as a question? Can you hear me now? Where's the bee*whump*. Sorry.

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:51PM (#15905740)
    Politically charging you code license is just a bad and stupid idea.

    First my making open source closed to some groups because you happen to dislike them breaks the concept of open, It is open just as long as I like you idea.

    Second your making opponents where you don't have to. Your trying to get the government to use Open Source for it normal use but you get a huge blocking because the military (part of the government) is opposing this move because they cannot access the software.

    Third it won't change anything except you will have to pay more taxes. Stopping your code for a group of people will only cause more money to go to the military because they need it to code their own version.

    Forth by blocking evil use you are also blocking good use. Example all this extra features could be used to calculate the safest way to deploy food to 3rd world countries, increasing distribution and reducing risk to troops.

    Fifth you just look bad and hypocritical, you are all up for Openness freedom of speech except for when it says something you don't like.

    It is a dangerious direction, so I can make code free to use for anyone except for people who are going to use it for making Fast Food, because we all know Fast Food is bad. Making programs as a political statement is just dangerous and will lead to a class based society, where there will be one group who can have some thing, and other who can't just because of their beliefs.
  • Counter-productive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doctor Faustus (127273) <Slashdot&WilliamCleveland,Org> on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:52PM (#15905748) Homepage
    If restriction this has any effect whatsoever, it's going to be to kill people. War has gotten steadily less destructive as technology has advanced, because fewer people are needed to fight. Lately, this has accelerated as more accurate weapons have cut down on civilian casualties.

    This sort of restriction may get you out of being a indirect participant, but it's never going to prevent any combat from occurring.
  • by TheBogie (941620) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:53PM (#15905764) Journal
    Don't forget china please.

    I'm sure they will be using these Gnutella supercomputers in some way to oppress their own people.

    Our military may not be able to use this technology, but you know damn well there will be some chinese dissidents with car batteries attached to their nuts thanks to these folks.

  • Asimov's laws (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wileyAU (889251) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:53PM (#15905766) Homepage
    "the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."
    One of the constant threads that ran through Asimov's robot stories were how the first law of robotics (of which this is a derivative) can still be up to interpretation. The military could simply come back with a "zeroth" law, that they're working for the good of humanity, not just humans.
  • Nice Wording (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:55PM (#15905786) Homepage
    Because they used the law straight from Asimov's mouth they shot themselves in the foot.
    The Program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed. This is Asimov's first law of Robotics.
    Let us focus on the second half of the sentence and you will see my point. "nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed." So in otherwords, this CAN be used by the military if the military is using it for something like the Missile Defense Agency [mda.mil].
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:56PM (#15905794) Journal
    If I own stock in a drug company, and that stock tanks because a rival drug company used Gnutella to build a distributed computer that found a competing drug formulation, then I've been financially harmed, right? Will Gnutella's developers sue the other drug company at that point for me?

  • by joe 155 (937621) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:56PM (#15905795) Journal
    "Seriously, good for them"

    I might be a bit more of an evangelist than most but I don't think good ever comes out of restricting anyones right to free software. What if I started an open source company and put a licence which said "no blacks can use this"... surely that would be wrong? Its the same thing. It is never good.
  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:56PM (#15905796)
    ...are software licenses/"EULAs" enforceable, not enforceable, or what?

    Also, the inclusion of a "no military use" provision presumes that ALL military activity activity, of any type, for any reason, is always negative or undesirable.

    I'd hope most sane people are level-headed enough to realize the foolishness of that implied presumption.

    And if we want to get into the "ethics" of miltary action, what if the killing of, say, 15,000 can be argued, very convincingly, to have most likely saved hundreds of thousands, or millions, more? How do you measure the benefits of something that has not occurred because it has been prevented? Is there ever any time when a proactive or premptive step can be accepted to have resulted in more overall good than harm, if the only thing that matters is human calculus and bodycounts?

    Over what timeframes do you measure? Is there only moral relativism, in that since anyone holding any philosophy can always be argued to be doing what they themselves believe is the "right thing", no one has any moral authority to make a decision that may end lives to save more? Do nation-states and alliances have any value in the global political system? Can free Western nations decide to initiate defensive or offensive military actions to protect their interests, from which presumably the happiness, well-being, and continued existence of many hundreds or millions of people is created? Is any system of government worth protecting? These are very real questions that seem to be ignored. The cynics among us who believe that some particular nation's government is literally already a 1984-style police state in action, bent on ensuring its own power continues to grow at all costs[1], will not be able to answer any of these questions in a reasoned fashion.

    Try not to read anything into what I'm saying or assume that I'm talking about a particular event. Just try to imagine a scenario where deadly force may need to be used to prevent more harm, i.e., there is a distinctly net positive effect.

    It's all well and good to talk about doing no harm. Just keep in mind that it's sometimes necessary to "do harm" to prevent more of the same.

    That's not a warmongering view, an American view, nor a Republican view. That's just a very simple fact of reality that would be discovered by an application of common sense. Anyone who might fall back on the refrain of "but we don't know what really would have happened otherwise, do we?" when presented with an example event is quite frankly choosing to delude themselves, and has chosen the path of willful ignorance under a very thin veil of righteousness.

    [1] Completely off-topic aside: it is stunning to me how many well-educated, supposedly intelligent people have let their own political feelings cloud their view to the point of literally believing that 9/11 was a plot hatched out of the US government itself. So many of the claims are simply outrageous:

    - The planes that hit the trade center towers were military aircraft made to look like commercial jetliners, but the trade center towers were also actually rigged with explosives; the planes hitting them was merely a diversion. It is apparently not plausible that commercial jetliners could cause the buildings to come down; steel doesn't need to get to its melting point to begin losing an incredibly significant amount of its integrity.

    - WTC 7 was also rigged with explosives: it must have been, because the damage to it was only superficial. This ignores the fact that two over-100 story buildings collapsed within ridiculously close proximity, making the entire building structurally unsound. Also, why did WTC 7 need to be destroyed? If the whole idea was to rig buildings with explosives and then fly planes into them as a "diversion", making people incorrectly think that it was planes that brought them down, why would WTC 7 be a part of that conspiracy?

    - Even though planes, either unmanned or perhaps the actual jetliners piloted by pa
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bunions (970377) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:56PM (#15905798)
    "Conflict is a fact of existence"

    well, sure, with that attitude.

    For serious though. Simply because humans are predisposed to violence (which is still under debate by our brainy science dudes) does not imply that we should not strive for a world without war.
  • Stupid. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halivar (535827) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {reglefb}> on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:57PM (#15905800) Homepage
    "the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."

    That second part means that, if you don't use it, you're not allowed to use it. Such non-usage is to be considered strictly unauthorized non-usage. Dumb.
  • by gentlemen_loser (817960) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:57PM (#15905802) Homepage
    Rather naive, to believe that the United States (or ANY other nation) would abide by this "No Military Use" restriction. If it is a black program, the very existence of which is denyed, do you REALLY think they would lose sleep over that restriction? The authors included it to make a "good" statement - that's all.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Monday August 14, 2006 @04:58PM (#15905810)
    > Being a Vegan is nice and sweet, but if it came down to starvation for you and your child vs eating
    > Bambi, Bambi'd be on a stick.

    What has starvation got to do with veganism? That's possibly the worst example of a strawman I've ever seen on the net.

  • by Stumbles (602007) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:00PM (#15905840)
    So basically, this is pure masturbation. Yeah your exactly right.

    Seems to me it dishonors the spirit of the GPL.

    In any event. So what now? Someone gets a hard on against "pick your religon" or "pick your style of government" or "I don't like x political party" and and inserts a similar clause? This whole idea is asinine. So I have to ask these guys if they're so against violating human rights and war certainly does that, why did they not add China to their "ban list"?

  • by Reverberant (303566) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:01PM (#15905841) Homepage

    A lot of the time the purpose of the military is to "implement policy" (i.e. "kill people and break things"), but some military branches (at least in the U.S.) do good [army.mil] works [uiuc.edu], and try to save lives [army.mil].

    As written, the "no military use" GPL extension doesn't specifically forbid this type of use, but I'm sure the military isn't going to want to keep track of licenses/usage across its fixed and mobile facilities, so stuff created under this license won't get used at all. Is that a good thing?

  • I can understand your points, though I don't necessarily completely agree with them ("flamebait" mods should lay off). Personally, I know if the authors of GPU were going for "pure pacifism" or not. They just don't want their product to be used to kill other people, especially if the fighting is being done for a reason they don't agree with. But that is beside the main point of my post...

    Just out of curiosity, how would you feel if a product you produced was being used to kill others? This is of course assuming that the primary purpose of your product is not Military use, like GPU (which appears to be a distributed computing product). What if it was being used in a war you don't agree with?

    I'm just assuming you to be a reasonable human being that doesn't actually want to kill or harm others and will only do so at the last resort...

    Personally, I would not want anything I made to be used to harm others, and if I found out that this was happening, I would probably feel like the character Chris Knight in "Real Genius" when he realized what the laser was for.

    I am curious about your views of this.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:03PM (#15905869) Journal
    What has starvation got to do with veganism?

    I believe his point was that veganism, like preference for non-violence, must yield to the practical:

    -It's great to avoid violence, but not at the cost of your own death.

    -It's great to avoid eating meat, but if that's your only alternative, you shouldn't let yourself or your kid die to support such an idea.

    If you allow exceptions to veganism for necessity, you should allow the same exceptions to whatever "pacifism" you want to simultaneously endorse.

    (on a side note, most "pacifists" in the sense of "no violence at all" aren't. That would imply they can make no defense action except to run away even if someone tries to take all food they are about to eat.)
  • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:05PM (#15905884) Homepage
    Pacifism only works when there are non-pacifists to protect the pacifists.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gentlemen_loser (817960) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:05PM (#15905885) Homepage
    Ya know, its percisely this kinda of bone headed "beat them with a stick" mentality that gives credence to the theory stating that the primary reason we have not run across other intelligent life yet is that it usually self destructs somewhere in the neighborhood of our level of development.

    That's Darwin at his finest. We're an agressive species. We evolved to where we are by being agressive.

    This statement is categorically untrue. While we have all varying levels of agression in our species as a whole, we evolved to where we are by uniquely (mostly) being self aware and having the capacity to reason. If we do not exercise our ability to reason, we will ultimately end up self destructing or fighting it out on this rock until we collapse the environment or any number of other planet-wide catastrophic events take place. Use that thing between your shoulders for something other than holding up your glasses and THINK.

    The authors of the software have EVERY right to demand that their work NOT be used to kill other people ESPECIALLY given our capcity for reasoning to determine other solutions.
  • by Distinguished Hero (618385) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:05PM (#15905887) Homepage
    Because nothing says "free" (liber, not gratis) like imposing seemingly arbitrary limits upon what one can do with the "free" software in question.

    As for pacifism, I defer to Mr. George Orwell's thoughts on the matter: "Pacifism. Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that 'according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be "objectively pro-British".' But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious 'freedom' station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U." from Pacifism and the War [orwell.ru] by George Orwell, 1942.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:06PM (#15905900)
    I think most pacifists are like myself. They find that very few wars actually serve a useful purpose, so they therefore are pointless. That's not to say there aren't extremist pacifists that wouldn't fight against a Nazi trying to take away their life, but it is to say that there's plenty of people like myself that wouldn't pick up a gun to shoot an Iraqi/Afghan/Lebanese/Iranian/Vietnamese/Korean/Cu ban/Russian/Chinese/whatever-today's-stupid-war-is .

    Unless you pose an immediate and direct threat to myself (and that's MYSELF, not my government) that is likely to result in my death / slavery, yeah, I will not pick up a gun.

    So I say I'm a pacifist. Because, at least in my lifetime, there's not been a single war a government on my continent has fought that I'd participate in.

    And, pacifism *has* been proven to work (Ghandi et al). So it's not like it's some sort of foreign/unproven concept people should be scared of.
  • hey, why not? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:07PM (#15905910) Journal
    This reeks of moral hypocrisy.

    Hey, you know, it's your project - you can restrict it however you want. However, then don't act all sanctimonious when someone comes out with the nnPL - the "no negro Public License", because they could use the same (specious) justification for their own twisted morality:

    "We are software developers who dedicate part of our free time to open source development. The fact is that open source is used by negroes. Open source operating systems can be used by rap artists, gangbangers, and all sorts of unsavory types who are frequently brown-colored people, or somewhat dark anyway. [This] patch should make clear to users of the software that use by those people is definitely not allowed by the licenser."

    Soon to be followed by the nGPL (no-Gay Public License), the nPPL (no-Pagan Public License) and the NCPL (No Chicks Public License).

    These guys should be ok with that, then - right?
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nomroMnimrotSeht)> on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:07PM (#15905911) Homepage Journal
    I agree, though for slightly different reasons.

    Whenever I hear about some kind of "do no harm" attitude I always want to ask "does it pass the WW2 test?" What I mean is, would you really have preferred to have sat by and watched the Holocaust happen rather than fight? If so, then I consider the concept morally bankrupt.

    Some things and some people make sense to "do no harm". Doctors, in general, are supposed to do no harm. And I appreciate that in their capacity as doctors they never should. Still, if a doctor was at home and someone broke into their house to try and rape their daughter, I'd hope the doctor would have no moral compunctions against shooting the intruder first (in their capacity as father) and then offering CPR as appropriate second (in their capacity as doctor).

    The point is that pacifism can lead to just as much evil as violence. People who don't see that annoy me to no end. I don't like people doing bad things, and I don't like people who let other people do bad things.

    'The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.' - Edmund Burke

    -stormin
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:08PM (#15905918)
    Sixth, you are all big up on your idea for having a distributed computing network, but you restrict the very people who CREATED THE INTERNET from using it? That's quite selfish if you ask me. The least you could do is contribute to the amazing invention rather than try to spit back in their face.

    Remember, the military is the one who gave you the right to freely choose what goes in your license, have a little decency and include those entities as well.

    Or, maybe you'd rather be speaking German right now, I don't know.
  • by proxima (165692) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:10PM (#15905942)
    I feel the Free software/open source community should vigorously discourage any restrictions on usage, rather than distribution, of the software. The authors of GPU, according to the article, admit their restriction "contradicts the original intention of the GPL". Indeed it does.

    Open source software is bound to be used in ways that the authors find unappealing to some extent. Still, there are a variety of reasons why any restriction on usage are inappropriate. First, the licenses and restrictions of open source software ought to be as clear as possible. This allows people to reasonably abide by the licenses and probably (IANAL) helps in their legal enforceability. Second, if the community begins to accept these usage restrictions, it may be a "slippery slope". Criminal usage might be prohibited, but in what jurisdiction? Then, behavior various authors find objectionable (pornography, as an example) might be prohibited. Then perhaps you'll have development tools (IDEs, etc) with restrictions that they may only be used to create open source software.

    One of the greatest benefits of open source software for end users is that you only need to be familiar with the terms of a few licenses and they are nearly impossible to violate if all you're doing is running the software. Restrictions on usage destroy this freedom for users. Thus, I believe advocates of OSS should reject any such restrictions and continue their focus on the abilities to modify and redistribute the source code.
  • by Geekenstein (199041) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:16PM (#15905986)
    "nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."

    Wow, that basically excludes everyone on the planet. I'd say we're all guilty of this is one way or another. Didn't send all your money to Feed The Children? Your inaction allowed those children to be harmed.

    Didn't drive to New Orleans during Katrina and pull people out of the water? Your inaction allowed people to be harmed.

    Frankly, this is a lousy license. An attempt to be cutesy created an overly broad clause that excludes all use.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by intnsred (199771) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:16PM (#15905994) Homepage
    Pure pacifism pisses me off...

    Lots of Americans feel that way.

    And many claim to be Christians and go to church to worship a person who advocated pacifism and told people that when you are attacked you should turn the other cheek.

    Meanwhile, the US claims to be a "Christian" country, spends roughly the same amount of money on so-called defense[sic] as the rest of the world combined, and is fighting a war on Iraq that everyone from the UN Secretary General, to the late Pope, to the Dali Lama has bluntly called illegal.

    As someone who is "pissed off" about pacifism, you're simply reflecting the attitude of the US, the country which has launched more interventions and wars of aggression in the past century than any other country by far.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <[Satanicpuppy] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:18PM (#15906010) Journal
    Oh really? You don't think choosing to ignore a whole class of high calorie food is a luxury? This is the typical problem with Veganism. It assumes you'll never be in a situation (like starvation) where you won't be able to come up with a nice big chunk of Tofu. It happens that, in some countrys, the society is rich enough to make this an option.

    But don't for an instant, believe that, without that wealth, it would be an option.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Have Blue (616) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:20PM (#15906019) Homepage
    You can strive for it, sure, but it's unrealistic to expect that you'll ever get there.
  • Taking that one step further, what if one researcher uses a program with this license to produce a breakthrough, and another scientist then uses this new knowledge to construct the world's most powerful bomb?

    On a second note, many of Isamov's books that included his three laws dealt with showing their major flaws...
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bunions (970377) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:22PM (#15906039)
    yeah, ok, sure. So?

    You can say that about every ideal. I strive every day to make bug-free code, but I realize it's unrealistic to expect I'll ever get there. It doesn't make the ideal any less important or valuable.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@icebalmL ... m minus math_god> on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:22PM (#15906043)
    I don't believe he said war, I believe he said conflict. That being said:

    Simply because humans are predisposed to violence (which is still under debate by our brainy science dudes) does not imply that we should not strive for a world without war.

    If you believe for an instant that millions of years of predatory survival competition with other species, during which evolution has allowed the strongest genetics to survive, hasn't coded violence into our species then I have a bridge in New York for sale.

    I believe it is a fallacy to try and strive for a world without war, however we should control it better to prevent unnecessary loss of life and resources.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:23PM (#15906051)
    Do you really believe there's any rational people out there who WANT war?

    The problem is that sometimes peace first requires war, whether you want it or not. I know a lot of poeple have misgivings about premptive policies and interventionalist practices, but there are plenty of examples of when war is not just justified (like in Afghanistan or the first Gulf war), but required (like WWI and WWII).

    Now, these people use Asimov's laws for robots, which include not allowing someone to be hurt through inaction. The problem is I can make a machine gun and sell it to the government. They might go off and invade another country. But they might also use it to actually protect my country and fellow countrymen. If I make the best available, and refuse to sell it to my government and we're attacked, then through inaction I may cause the deaths of my fellow countrymen.

    So these guys are free to do whatever they want, but I hope they don't experience first hand when war IS necessary.

    Now, take it out of the context of the current ongoing conflicts. By banning military use, you also ban the use by forces that are more often a force of good in the world than bad. In that context, U.N. peacekeepers, for example, would not be able to use this. What if an entire military force doesn't use it because they can't all work together, including the parts of the military that rebuild and bring humanitarian aid?

    It's one of those things, IMO, you've got to take the good with the bad. You start down this road, and then you get people saying "not for use by the [rebublican|democrat] party." "Not for use by people who eat meat." "Not for use by people who own handguns."

    I can see their point, it's just a bad application of their ideals. That's my opinion, they have theirs, and it's their program, so they can do what they want, but I'd be apt to not support it at all with an attitude like that. Same way I support smokers rights (I don't smoke) and gun ownership (I don't own a gun), I'd never support these guys (not that I would, but I HAVE paid for free software before... or I should say I have donated to free software projects).

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:23PM (#15906053) Homepage Journal
    And do they think that it would stop China, North Korea, Iran, or Syria from using it?
    Frankly the only governments that I can think it would stop is the US, the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Canada.
    Not only but think of the humanitarian operations that military units are used for, the Indonesian Tsunami and Katrenia New Orleans relief efforts.
    Navy and Air Force meteorological research?
    Navy Oceanography?
    And of course since the CIA, NSA, and FBI are all civilian agencies they are exempt.

    Frankly for any really important military use the US wouldn't use a P2P application anyway. If they did use it would be for unclassified research you know things like gee I don't know computer networking.

    So this isn't stupid and useless but could potentially cause harm.

    Got to love it.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:27PM (#15906077)
    Simply because humans are predisposed to violence (which is still under debate by our brainy science dudes) does not imply that we should not strive for a world without war.

    Which, as history has shown, is best accomplished when the two largest tribes create the biggest, baddest, most honkin' armaments their weaponsmiths can conceive of and point them, point blank, at each other. All the smaller tribes choose up sides, and if you do it right you get a really neat space-race as a dividend.

    A world without war is not possible in a world without weapons.
  • Not so much. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 2short (466733) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:27PM (#15906081)

    Is the military force in question doing stuff inside their own territory or that of their allies? If so, they may be defending. If not, they're attacking. Feel free to argue they are justified in attacking, but if you're unwilling admit that's what your arguing, and must erroneously call it "defending", it implies you've got a weak case.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:28PM (#15906093) Homepage
    "so in a sense they still live on"

    No. In no meaningful sense do they "live on". They are dead. You may not value your life, but I certainly value mine, and I will absolutely fight to protect it.

    Evolution says I win.
  • by wsanders (114993) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:29PM (#15906101) Homepage
    And that is a bunch of amateurs writing SW licenses.

    "The Program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm a
    ny human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."

    Doesn't even say anything about any "Military". What if one reads "RIAA" for "Military"?

    Pretty half-assed legalese if you ask me.
  • by CherniyVolk (513591) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:33PM (#15906145)

    What's funny, is that I wish most of the MIL-STD specs were freely available and open to the public. While some aren't *classified*, many are under export control. Anything other than a MIL-STD describing how soda stored in a ships magazine should be entered into a database is pretty much classified or under export control. You know, operational protocols... yes, there is a MIL-STD for everything, even the types of screws that can be used for assembling certain parts; which, for all the technology that might exist in launching an F18 off the flight deck of a carrier, to Air Force radar data streams...

    I think it would be most optimal, and a great benefit for any military, if much of these protocols, specifications were public. I would *love* to develop OPEN SOURCE applications for military and aviation/aerospace applications. While there is a great deal of a myriad application in the field running on top of Open Source software such as Linux, or working with Open Source Software; it is all proprietary either developed "in-house" from within the branch of the military or agency, or directly contracted out to a private enterprise defense contractor.

    I think, the only detrimental part of infrastructure that is widely known and specs available to the public is the phone system. Much of all other technologies, are kept hush hush as for specifications and standards; air traffic control, power-grid, nuclear reactors, etc.

    While I WISH I could write applications in the Open Source realm FOR the military, FOR the government, FOR the state, FOR the city... we have others that wish their applications were NOT available for military/government etc.

    The Ironic part is... apparently, either "their" ego has inflated to ridiculous height, width and depth, or they are truelly stupid as for how MUCH of technology that we enjoy and take for granted was directly FUNDED or RESEARCHED by the military. Computers were initially designed for the sole purpose of simulating nuclear explosions; or so we say, but one thing is for certain, it was military interest that is to thank for all the peaces making up this "Internet".

    Perhaps military application, inherently holds such a repulsive connotation, that we tend to forget the driving force and clout that enabled tons of money to be "wasted" on the R&D required for such projects. Who has the money for such large scale projects? Yes, the Government. What is the most useful application? Sadly, military applications... not pet shampoo or a more efficient espresso machine.

    Becuase of this. I feel, that any person wishing to lock the government/military out of technology is only really biting the hand that fed them. Kinda like turning their back on their own parents in regards to their interests. It's not the best recognition to give, nor is it a decent "Thank You". I also think that becuase of how much research and development the military and government does for new technologies... locking them out will only increase the odds to say your idea will not have longevity whenever the government makes public a new technology to capitalize and market with.

    Just my thoughts... but, to each his own.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:33PM (#15906146) Homepage Journal
    You're very good at setting up strawman arguments.

    You're telling me that veganism is 'unworkable in reality'? What reality do you inhabit? You're ignoring the millions of vegans in the Indian subconinent, who have lived that way for thousands of years. Now don't start on about how they are all malnurished -- if you do, you are ignoring the fact that you were wrong in that veganism can't exist, and that there are plenty of meat eaters around the world who are starving.

    Sure, when it comes down to it, almost everyone will kill Bambi and the family will have a feast. However, especially in this day and age, it never comes down to it. You can go through your whole life and raise a whole family on nothing but veggies. It's been happening for thousands of years. And if you were lost in the woods and starving, you will definately have more success gathering edible plants than you will tracking down, killing, butchering, and safely cooking an animal.

    It is also true that conflict is a fact of existence. People will get mad at each other, and respond in a number of ways, from ignoring each other, acting passive-aggressive, sitting down and talking, arguing, yelling, fighting, perhaps murder and gang/tribal fueds, but warfare as an absolute necessity? You're telling me that Ghandi's non-violent resistance didn't successfully overthrow the British Empire in India?
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:34PM (#15906149) Journal
    We evolved to where we are by being agressive
    Pray tell me, what does the prehistory of the human race have to do with ethics? Are we all supposed to behave differently because Darwin discovered we have non-human ancestors? When I'm trying to decide how to treat my neighbor, or who to vote for, the antics of a bunch of apes living a few million years ago are far from my mind.

    "Oh, look at this old skull I just dug up in Africa, this showed humans used rocks to beat each other over the head, I think I'd better go and kick my neighbor's head in now."

    Or to put it another way, your views on ethics are a shade below moronic.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:35PM (#15906162)
    there's a diff between saying "i don't want my work to further violence" and "violence is never, ever justified". i think the intent is the former, not the latter.

    i guess they should have come up with the "my work shall not be used to further violence except if it's some really bad shit like hitler or something" clause in their licensing.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bunions (970377) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:36PM (#15906172)
    "Do you really believe there's any rational people out there who WANT war?"

    Yes. Lots of people make lots of money in wars. Others are simply foolish and do not fully comprehend what war is.

    I'll also ask you to reread my post and find where I advanced the idea that war is never justified. I'm not an idiot. Simply because I think that striving for a world without war is worthwhile does not mean I'm blind to current realities.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@icebalmL ... m minus math_god> on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:43PM (#15906234)
    Those sabre tooth tigers are always going to be eating us so its time we just face facts.

    Straw man.

    Striving for a world where humans aren't aggressive is like striving for a world where people have three eyes. Even the most pacifist, calm, level headed individual will still fight for what he believes.

    The simple act of striving for world peace is hypocritical. You're essentially fighting to end fighting.

    When you stop striving is when you stop evolving.

    Agreed. Evolution is the epitome of conflict and therefore you cannot evolve without it. It makes more sense to accept the things you cannot change and put effort in to those you can.
  • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Monday August 14, 2006 @05:44PM (#15906239) Homepage
    "Pacifism only works when there are non-pacifists to protect the pacifists."

    Pacifism only fails when there are non-pacifists to attack the pacifists.


    Sow it fails 100% of the time, your point?
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:07PM (#15906454)
    There is a lot of money to be made in times of war, as is happening right now with the current conflicts.

    Never mind defending yourself when the other guy is trying to kill you... No, it has to be about money. The pacifist movement in America is not about ending violence, it is about ending capitalism. Like a lot of the other fringe left-wing movements we see today, it's little more than a communist front. These groups all rally for different cause, and they all have one thing in common: America, put down your arms, shut down your factories and refineries, put down your books, and go back to the 18th Century -- you ought to be nothing more than poor, uneducated farmers. Kruschev warned that he would take down America without firing a shot, and it's apparent his plan is still grinding away, little by little, eroding the republic.

    and no I'm not trolling, just read what some of these groups have to say.

  • Re:Not so much. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 2short (466733) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:15PM (#15906516)
    If you feel you need to go into someone elses territory to destroy weapons they may use against you, then you feel defending will be insufficient, and you feel you need to attack them before they attack you.

    You may even be right.

    If you want to convince me you are right, you'll do better saying "We need to attack first because..." If you start by calling it "defensive", when it's clearly "offensive", then I'm going to be predisposed to assume the rest of your arguments are BS too.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nomroMnimrotSeht)> on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:18PM (#15906540) Homepage Journal
    The difference is that embracing pacifism not only won't get you a violence-free world, it's guaranteed to fail. If no one opposes the violent, the violent win. Period.

    Pacifism may seem anti-violent in the short-run, but in the long run it's guaranteed to permit violence to thrive.

    -stormin
  • by Guuge (719028) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:19PM (#15906546)

    No, no, no. Pacifism in this sense is not simple opposition to a nation's strategic interests. Was Martin Luther King pro-USSR for being a pacifist in America during the Cold War? Was Gandhi pro-Germany for being a pacifist in India during WWII? By misappropriating Orwell, you seem to think that both of these people support totalitarianism.

    Nothing in the modified GPL says that nations should not engage in war. It says that this software should not be used for that purpose. If you don't want your book to be used in a cartoon, does that make you opposed to cartoons?

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bunions (970377) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:23PM (#15906572)
    Depends. If, for instance, Norway was a very poor country, they would be primarily carnivorous, because in Norway, there's not a lot of vegetables that grow. If you need a demonstration of this, look at what the Inuit ate.
  • by AJWM (19027) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:25PM (#15906589) Homepage
    Define "military use". Okay, they sort of did with their paraphrasing of Asimov's First Law of Robotics:

    "the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."

    What about cases where those conditions are contradictory? For example, a case where the program could be used to protect humans from harm (in which case it must be run to avoid the "through inaction" part), but doing so might cause some other group of humans to be harmed?

    To take a clearly non-military case, suppose the software is used in a weather-forecasting system that determines an area must be evacuated -- and people are injured in the evacuation process? (Recall the bus fire during the evacuation ahead of Katrina).

    I could go on, but ultimately the clause is so vague and self-contradictory as to be unenforceable. Asimov made a nice living writing stories based on the inherent contradictions of his three laws, what makes anyone think that lawyers won't?
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:35PM (#15906653)
    Talk about revisionist history!

    It amazes me how people warp Christ's words. Capitalists make all sorts of excuses revising Christ's repeated slams against the rich. My favorite is that Christ's saying the "camel through the eye of a needle" line really did not mean that the rich will not go to heaven -- which is exactly what Christ meant and is supported by other scripture.

    Now we have Christ not being a pacifist and the "turn the other cheek" does not mean what it says. Sorry, I don't buy it.

    Neo-nazis obviously do not have a monopoly on warping and revising history.
  • by Morphine007 (207082) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:40PM (#15906689)

    ... and by claiming that this is not the same as WWII, you seem to be suggesting that the current state of the world has no parallels and absolutely no bearing on the reasons for the software authors' actions.

    Though I'm not an American, I do live on the same continent as "Y'all" and I distinctly remember seeing something on the news about a group of people who wanted to blow up a lot of your civilians. Your President also claims that you're at war with them... which is good... since they certainly seem to believe that they are at war with you. Unfortunately you seem to be living in a fantasy world believing that if you somehow convinced your president to pull each and every single troopie back from overseas, that all these people trying to destroy your National Interests would simply get bored of the notion..... If you ever succeed in convincing him of this, let me know in advance so I can get as far away as fucking possible from this continent.... You think things are bad now? Turn the US into a toothless tiger and see how long it takes before a couple of armies start working their respective ways over to your front door...

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:42PM (#15906701)
    They're controlled forms of conflict. Codified warfare where males go out and prove their fitness to breed to females. The resulting wealth, cars, planes, yachts are all simply peacock feathers shouting look at what I've got, my progeny will be successfull.

    (Yeah and btw, that's also why females are extremely unlikely to ever have full equality in the workplace. Sorry gals, you're not really competing for what you think you're competing for).

     
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dan828 (753380) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:48PM (#15906747)
    Those sabre tooth tigers are always going to be eating us so its time we just face facts.

    Well, those sabre tooth tigers didn't quit eating us because some people decided that it would be better if we got along with them, and decided to make nice nice with the good kittys. Somehow, I expect some nice sharp spears had something to do with the outcome of that conflict....
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:50PM (#15906765) Journal
    The problem is that sometimes peace first requires war, whether you want it or not. I know a lot of poeple have misgivings about premptive policies and interventionalist practices, but there are plenty of examples of when war is not just justified (like in Afghanistan or the first Gulf war), but required (like WWI and WWII).

    By banning military use, you also ban the use by forces that are more often a force of good in the world than bad. In that context, U.N. peacekeepers, for example, would not be able to use this. What if an entire military force doesn't use it because they can't all work together, including the parts of the military that rebuild and bring humanitarian aid?


    I don't know whether the programmers are total pacifists or not - it's possible though that they entirely agree with you here. The problem is, is it feasible to say "You can use it, but only in wars that satisfy such-and-such criterion"? It's difficult to lay down in strict legal terminology what a "just war" is.

    It would have been nice if they made an exception of UN peacekeepers ... but given the wars the US gets itself into, it doesn't surprise me that they rule out military use, even if they believe that war is sometimes necessary (hell, if WW3 breaks out, they can always change their licence). It's not as simple as "our army is Good, their army is Bad".
  • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Monday August 14, 2006 @06:59PM (#15906829) Homepage
    Pacifism does NOT equate to doing NOTHING in the face of a violent threat. It only rules out a VIOLENT response.

    All manner of creative, non-violent responses are possible. Civil disobedience, monkeywrenching, culture jamming, etc.

    While you may want to debate the efficacy of a pacifist response to violence, you at least need to understand that pacifism is not equivalent to surrender. Lots of thought-provoking info at:

    http://www.nonviolence.org/ [nonviolence.org]
  • Luke 22:36 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Red Warrior (637634) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:00PM (#15906834) Homepage Journal
    And many claim to be Christians and go to church to worship a person who advocated pacifism and told people that when you are attacked you should turn the other cheek.

    Maybe you should actually read the words of the individual in question...

    Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    That's from the last supper,btw (KJV). Maybe he wasn't such an absolute pacifist as you presume. Just a thought.

    P.S. See the AC commentary on the turn the other cheek quote.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paulyche (970668) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:04PM (#15906859)
    And if we refuse to go to war in the next few years, we'll all be speaking Arabic.
    No we won't.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentai (165906) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:06PM (#15906875) Homepage Journal
    The above comment, troll or not, is spot on. Violence is a very, very powerful tool, and trying to solve situations without it puts you at a disadvantage against those without such compunctions. Intelligently applied violence and coercion will always breed out stupidity (no matter how violent) and pacifism (no matter how intelligent).
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nomroMnimrotSeht)> on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:12PM (#15906920) Homepage Journal
    You think the only reason people kill is because they don't like each other? That's naive. A lot of the time the not-liking but comes AFTER the decision to kill. That's what dehumanization tactics are all about.

    The decision to kill itself can be for a variety of reasons, from resource competition to power struggles. But in any case, killing is not always about not liking people or being angry with people. Being nice and weak can easily lead to more violence then being harsh but strong. (Not saying "harsh and strong" is always a better strategy either.) You think Japan invaded China (1930s) because they didn't like the Chinese? They didn't care about the Chinese - they wanted oil. You think Brutus killed Ceaser 'cause he didn't like him (just to bring fiction in for variety)? Need I go on? Your understanding of conflict is infantile if it boils down to "people go to war because they don't like each other". Liking people has nothing to do with war except that it's easier to kill people you don't like, so you might as well hate the person you've decided to kill.

    -stormin
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by demachina (71715) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:17PM (#15906958)
    "Do you really believe there's any rational people out there who WANT war?"

    I think you just proved yourself pretty naive with that whopper, or cynical for trying to get /. to believe it.

    Though I guess it depends on how you define "rational", I guess you could say anyone who likes war is not rational, but you would end up with a large percentage of the worlds political leaders in that category.

    War profiteers LOVE war and have throughout history, the Rothschild [wikipedia.org] family were famous for war profiteering on the Napoleonic wars and made their fortune there. If you are providing everything from weapons to beans you can make a lot of money off war, and there are plenty of people in the world who are glad to make a buck off people getting killed. There was a huge line of war profiteers lining up at the Republican trough to cash in the war in Iraq, before, during and after including Bechtel(construction), Halliburton(oil services), KBR(Halliburton subsidiary and DOD's contractor for nearly everything), Blackwater(Mercenaries). Yes the U.S. now has large companies who basically rent out mercenaries to conflict zone, the more conflicts the better. Soldiers of fortune used to be borderline illegal, now it is profitable business. Blackwater and a few other big mercenary companies make a lot of money off conflict so yes they do WANT war. Of course Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop, General Dynamics, etc make a lot more money when there is war and danger than when their is peace. When there is no conflict defense budgets get cut and it cuts in to their bottomline as it did in the 90's. 9/11 was a godsend for a lot of war profiteers. Peace was breaking out in the 90's and defense spending was crashing. We now spend more on defense than we did during the cold war, and its mostly on weapons of no value against shadowy extremists or insurgencies.

    Then there are chicken hawks. These are people who managed to avoid military service themselves and never experienced the horrors of war. They then rise to powerful positions and they view war as a means for obtaining power, money and resources. They feign concern for the mostly poor and uneducated people they kill both in their own military and the civilians in their war zones but they really don't care. You will note that their children almost never serve in the military or fight in the wars they make, almost no sons or daughters of our congress or executive branch serve in the military, John McCain being a rare exception. Chicken hawks just weigh the dead and wounded in a calculus of power, and as long as it doesn't cost them their power and money, they don't really care about the carnage. Condi Rice called the devastation of Lebanon by Israel as an "opportunity".

    The people in the Bush administration and its neocon camp followers(or is that camp leaders) obviously did WANT war in Iraq, they wrote about it, they lobbied for it since the end of the first gulf war, and finally exploited 9/11 and lied to finally get it. You have to really want a war to go to the lengths they went to. Now I would agree they are not rational people, but they are in charge of the worlds biggest military so if they are irrational the world is in a lot of trouble. They didn't really want it to be as bloody and expensive as it has been but when you start wars you can't usually pre-plan how much carnage their will be.

    They are far along on lining up some form of war with Iran, with the war in Lebanon being the opening act, This takes balls considering how disastrous their war in Iraq has been and how bogged down they are there and indicates they really, really like war.

    "I know a lot of poeple have misgivings about premptive policies and interventionalist"

    I wonder why when the wars in Vietnam and Iraq have devastated the U.S. economically and politically and physically devastated the target countries to no good end. It is all well and good to have a strong defensi
  • by J Story (30227) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:19PM (#15906967) Homepage
    All manner of creative, non-violent responses are possible. Civil disobedience, monkeywrenching, culture jamming, etc.


    This is true, but it seems to me that these responses require a civil society. Israel, for example, is surrounded by groups that would cheerfully slaughter everyone down to the last new-born baby. The savage truth is that for them holy writ condones this slaughter. In this environment, civil disobedience is a meaningless gesture.

  • Do you think "creative, non-violent responses" would have been sufficient to end the Holocaust faster than the Holocaust ended all Jews? That's really all this boils down to.

    I'm not saying that non-violent alternatives shouldn't be considered. They should. And they should be considered first. But if the other party is intent on violence and has the means to carry out that threat than no amount of creative non-violent response will stop them from carrying out their objective. Case in point: two men with shotguns break into your house to kill you and rape your wife. Short of Hollywood fantasy if they really aim to do those things, no non-violent response is going to have a genuine chance of saving your lives.

    I'm NOT saying this is likely to happen to you ever. But violent acts are perpetrated every day, and they can not all be stopped through non-violent resistance. Within a framework of civil decency, non-violent protests work. But if the British had really wanted to use violence Ghandi would have been dead with all his followers. His non-violent protests worked in large part because it appealed to the better nature of his fellow and Indians and also the the British. Civil disobedience and other forms of non-violent resistance require framework and leverage that simply does not always exist, and in the end they put you in the mercy of the person you're trying to resist. If that person really wants you dead, then these tactics will fail miserably.

    If you want to risk your life appealing to the men who've broken into your house to try and reach their better nature, I have genuine respect for you. If you really do have a wife and kids my respect goes down, however, since you've got an obligation to defend them. In any case, just don't try to prevent me from defending my life and my family's if it ever came to that. That's all I'm saying. If you don't want to personally use violence yourself, you don't have the right to get in the way of those who would use it to defend themselves or the innocent. The same holds true on a macro level. Sometimes the only two alternatives are to repond to violence with violence, or to be eradicated.

    -stormin
  • by susano_otter (123650) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:28PM (#15907019) Homepage
    All manner of creative, non-violent responses are possible. Civil disobedience, monkeywrenching, culture jamming, etc. While you may want to debate the efficacy of a pacifist response to violence, you at least need to understand that pacifism is not equivalent to surrender.


    So if I catch you disobeying my civics, jamming my culture, or wrenching my monkeys (whatever that means), can I safely assume that you consider me an enemy, and have declared war on me?

    And if that's the case, would you agree that, since we're at war, I'm totally justified in disobeying your civics, jamming your culture, and wrenching your monkeys?

    More than that, would you agree that I'm in fact limited in my choice of weapons and tactics to use against you, only by whatever limitations my own moral code place on me, just as you are limited only by your own moral code?

    Because frankly, if you think we're at war, then I think that defeating you is a pretty good idea.

    What do you say?
  • by icebike (68054) * on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:41PM (#15907098)
    The license patch actually says


    "the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."


    That obligates the program (by some unknown mechanisim) to jump to the defense of all people everywhere and anytime. To do else would be an inaction permitting humans to be harmed.


    Since no one has managed to encode Superman, or [insert favorite action hero], this essentially says that the software can't be used at all, and I hereby call upon the authors to scrap the entire project and erase all source code.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:43PM (#15907111) Homepage
    Dunno anything about that Ghandi guy, but Gandhi was successful because he was dealing with a group (the British imperial government) that didn't have any particular desire to hurt him or the members of his movement. They only wanted the people's voluntary cooperation with their onerous rule. In the face of opposition, they were forced to simply pull out because violence was the only option left. Had it been the Dutch in the 18th century rather than the Brits in the 20th, you better better believe Gandhi and his followers would've been been shot and dragged off immediately. The example of Gandhi is actually an example of how non-violence only works if your foe is sufficiently civilized, and that had more to do with the fact that it was the 1940's than anything else. What do you think would've happened if Gandhi had tried that in 1840? You really think the brits would've said "oh, well sorry, old chap; we'll just run along then"?
  • by mrraven (129238) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:57PM (#15907170)
    Violence isn't "a tool" it's a choice of an action to take (i.e. a verb not noun), and often a bad action to take. For example Bush's attack on Iraq has produced nothing but 30,000+ dead civilians in Iraq, 2500+ dead Americans, 400 billion U.S. dollars down the drain for the war alone, and a civil war. It may make you feel pumped to endorse a course of action of violence, but often a more nuanced course of action has a better outcome. Really we couldn't have done much worse than Bush has done has done using the sledgehammer in lieu of the pen.

    For example, for the price of ONE year of the U.S. military budget + the war on terror + Homeland Security I bet we could BUY the west bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights from Israel and GIVE it to the Palestinians and have everyone come out ahead. I'd also hope the U.K., Iran, and Syria would kick in a few billion too, so it might only be say 400 billion out of pocket for the U.S.

    With a 500 billion dollar settlement Israel could go back to the 1967 Green line with honor and a sense of just compensation, and billions to build desalinization plants and a big wall at the Green line. Israel would finally be in compliance with the 60+ U.N resolutions against with a Cheshire cat smile with half a trillion it it's pockets. The Muslim world would SUDDENLY go from hating us to loving us for making a big sacrifice to bring the Palestinian state into being, and we here in the U.S. could have give Israel it's LAST payment, and we could reduce our military budget by 50% with no war on terror, and no cold war, which means after 2 years we are saving money that could go for anything from tax cuts, to high speed trains, to health care for all.

    Perhaps it would be less satisfying for dunderheaded assholes than watching re-runs of Rambo and chanting USA, USA, violence is like cool maaaan, but hey if you are a muscle head I'm not listening to you for foreign policy advice anyway, right?
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Frightening (976489) on Monday August 14, 2006 @07:58PM (#15907174) Homepage
    Same as the other reply... you strive to make better code in an effort that improves your work at least a little bit (I hope).

    With pacifism and veganism and every other philosophically flawed nonsense, your efforts are of negative utility. If you want to allow yourself to get murdered for an illusionary moral principle, then like the good man said:

    Darwin at his finest (and no offense of course).
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBraynard (653724) on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:07PM (#15907226) Journal
    Correct - we'd be speaking Mandarin.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bahwi (43111) <incoming@josephguhli[ ]om ['n.c' in gap]> on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:10PM (#15907238) Homepage
    Wait, I don't get the vegan reference. Yeah, most vegans would eat meat instead of die of starvation(Where in the world does that happen currently ?!?!?!). But there's no conflict, if you eat meat you didn't score a victory of an animal anywhere, even if you went hunting, there's no conflict, no victory. Conflict has risk, hunting does not(I've been hunting for over 10 years, by the way).

    It really sounds like a cheap way to make a stike at veganism, which is about animals suffering, and has nothing to do with conflict. In fact, veganism brings in conflict, small minded people who just don't get it, challenging the way people have been thinking for a long time(meat == healthy and you need it for protein, the first mostly false, the second completely false).

    And pure veganism is unworkable, so is pacificism, but does that mean the opposite is true? Not at all. Being purely conflict based would really damage you, if everything had to be a conflict, "Are you going to eat?" "NEVER AGAIN NOW! MWA-HA-HA!" you'd say. How does that work? Pure anything doesn't work, ever. You're just taking an extreme, making it extreme to the point it can't work, and going from there.

    But yeah, in this day and age, you can get really close to pure veganism, when was the last time it was eat or die for you? Last week? Last year? Ever? It's way over a week before you die.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nomroMnimrotSeht)> on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:20PM (#15907281) Homepage Journal
    Thank you. You are dead on.

    For further reading: In the English-speaking world, the term "concentration camp" was first used to describe camps operated by the British in South Africa during the 1899-1902 Second Boer War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_camp [wikipedia.org] The Brits had had enough blood by the time Gandhi came around. That's why it worked.

    -stormin
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by paeanblack (191171) on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:30PM (#15907322)
    In a nutshell:
    Those who are unwilling to employ violence will always be at the mercy of those who are.

    Move Gandhi from 1940s India to 1940s France and see how well he fares.
  • by Arker (91948) on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:37PM (#15907351) Homepage Journal

    Do you think "creative, non-violent responses" would have been sufficient to end the Holocaust faster than the Holocaust ended all Jews? That's really all this boils down to.

    There can be no question of this, for the simple reason that Jews were (and still are) spread throughout the entire world, and Hitler never controlled, nor had any realistic prospect of controlling, more than a small corner of the world.

    He was a mass murderer, and I certainly wouldn't want to minimise that - but he never had any chance of destroying all Jews.

    I'm not saying that non-violent alternatives shouldn't be considered. They should. And they should be considered first. But if the other party is intent on violence and has the means to carry out that threat than no amount of creative non-violent response will stop them from carrying out their objective. Case in point: two men with shotguns break into your house to kill you and rape your wife. Short of Hollywood fantasy if they really aim to do those things, no non-violent response is going to have a genuine chance of saving your lives.

    I agree completely. And so I am not a pacifist. But there's a huge difference between violence in self-defense, and war. Those who seek war, for whatever reason, habitually try to paint the latter as if it were the former, but there's a world of difference between shooting the guy that's about to shoot you, and the game of mass murder we call war.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @08:42PM (#15907377)
    Nice try, but it's not just the Jews and the Torah, but the Muslims and the Koran and even those damn Christians and their wacky Bible. Monotheistic religions breed intolerance... VIOLENT intolerance.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:03PM (#15907477)
    no we wouldn't
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nomroMnimrotSeht)> on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:05PM (#15907484) Homepage Journal
    And China would be ruled by Japan...Look, I said it would be violence-free, not better.

    So... China would have been ruled by Japan without violence? The Rape of Nanking doesn't count? The Japanese took it without violence? And there's no Chinese resistance? And the Japanese took China and then just stopped? They didn't take Korea? Or they did? How about the Phillipines? You think they wouldn't have expanded into Malaysia? Then maybe India? Perhaps Australia? At the very least, why not take New Zealand?

    Yes, the Treaty of Versailles (right treaty, ended WWI) gave Hitler some coin with the Germans. They felt wronged, and they were ready to listen to him. But there's no reason to say they wouldn't have been ready anyway. But what are you suggesting as an alternative? A "nice" Treaty of Versailles? That did what? Give the Sudetenland back to Germany? Oops - guess now the Germans aren't as pissed, but I bet the Czechs aren't too pleased. How about giving the Germans Poland as well, since they felt that was their due? Rats, now the Germans are less and less likely to listen to Hitler, but we seem to have made the Poles and the Czechs a bit irate in the process.

    It comes to this: pacifists have this entirely unrealistic and silly idea that war and violence are not the default value for humanity. Despite the fact that there's probably never been a time in the hsitory of the human race where there hasn't been armed conflict somewhere, we still think that the default is peace. This is silly result of people growing up in 1st world nations where they are not in danger for most of their lives. They think that because life as they know it is generally safe and comfortable that the world is by default a save and comfortable place. Violence, especially to most Americans, is a rare intrusion into an otherwise complacent life. So we see violence as unnatural. As though peace just happens, but violence needs a motivating cause. This is wrong.

    The fact is that just as the society we take for granted that affords us our lives of relative comfort and ease is both a historic anomoly and the result of great labor and toil of those who went before, our lives of peace are also anomolous and built on top of lives that were anything but peaceful. You can't get to America as it is now, fat, lazy and relatively content, without going through 1776, the Civil War and WW2 - at the very least.

    The actual fact of the matter is that when you have 6 billion people alive - all of whom have some rason to feel robbed at some point - conflict is not evitable. Your own alternate history completely failed to account for 1/2 the conflict of WW2, and didn't really account for the other 1/2 either. No matter how you slice it, violence will always be an option. As long as violence is an option for those who would do evil, it must remain an option for those who would oppose them or evil will have the opportunity to grow unchecked. I'm not saying that there must always be actual violence in progress. I'm saying that people who believe in peace have to be willing to fight for it or they will inevitably loose either their peace, their freedoms, or both.

    -stormin
  • There can be no question of this, for the simple reason that Jews were (and still are) spread throughout the entire world, and Hitler never controlled, nor had any realistic prospect of controlling, more than a small corner of the world.

    This is a statement of such historical ignorance it is utterly astonishing. If pacifists had had their way, Hitler would have had a damn site more than "a small corner of the world". British fighting spirit was not enough alone to keep the Nazi's out of UK. It took American armnaments - a steady stream of them starting well before the US entered the war. I hardly think that it's any more pacifist to send boatloads of tanks and ammunition to Britaian than it is to send an armored division, do you? So if pacifism had ruled the day, there would have been no arms to Britain and the island would have fallen.

    With Britain out of the picture and America still pacifist there's no Western front. The Soviet army managed to stop the German onslaught by a whisker. Given the complete attention of the Germany army, not to mention the finest German commanders like Rommel who would no longer be dueling the Brist in North Africa, the USSR would have fallen.

    Is this your idea of a "small corner of the world"? At this point Germany would have contolled everything form the UK to China to S. Africa. And then why stop there? Why not invade S. America next? It's full of resources, isn't it? What's to stop them? The only thing to stop them would have been Japan, also seeking to expand it's empire. And guess what - that means more violence.

    Your historical naivete is outstanding. If pacifism had been in charge of US policy, the only safe place for Jews would have been the US. So I guess you're right - technically Hitler would probably not have killed them all. Is this what it looks like when a pacifist wins a debate?

    The fact of the matter is that without US non-pacifist opposition there would have been no one left in the world to mount any opposition to German power, pacifist or otherwise. How can you be so blind as to not see that?

    But there's a huge difference between violence in self-defense, and war. Those who seek war, for whatever reason, habitually try to paint the latter as if it were the former, but there's a world of difference between shooting the guy that's about to shoot you, and the game of mass murder we call war.

    So you think war is never justified. You make me sick. It's like you're spitting on the graves of our WW2 vets. I don't know how else to put it. You sit, smug and comfortable, precisely because young American boys went and killed young German boys. It's easy for you to call it a game, but nations aren't individuals. They don't turn on a dime. You can't reason with a nation. When a despot like Hitler gets in power, innocent people will die. The choice is not "go to war or have peace" it's "win the war or lose the war". Not ALL wars are justified. Most aren't. But some are. All it takes is one side to start a war.

    Your failure to appreciate that is stunning.

    -stormin
  • In defense of War (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:41PM (#15907641)
    > at least they are doing something to curb war and destruction you war mongering fucknuckles.

    You say that like violence and war are bad things. All things being equal I think we can all agree that a peaceful solution to a problem is better than a violent one. But all things are not equal and all problems do not have peaceful solutions. And for the fucktard who said "Violence doesn't solve anything." I have just one question:

    Name me one time violence DIDN'T solve a problem. You might not like the solution, but violence does solve problems. Just look at American history and count how many times violence solved the problem of the day. Start with the colonies dispute with the King of England.

    We talked and pleaded our case until we were blue in the face. In the end though, we stopped talking and started shooting and the problem was solved. Then about eighty years later we had a big dispute about federal vs states' rights with abolition vs slavery all muddled in the middle. Again the problem festered for years until violence resolved the problem. (Personally I think it was resolved the wrong way but again in that they destroyed the principles the Republic was based upon in the effort to preserve it, but opinions are like assholes in that everybody has one.) They solved the problem though and it hasn't recurred in over a century so I think we can all agree it is pretty much solved.

    Nazi problem? Solved with lots of ultra violence, on both sides of the argument.

    Imperial Japan? Solved with even more ultra violence, culminating is a really big spasm of overkill. But it solved the problem.

    The only major foreign policy dispute of the 20th century solved with little (if you can discount the dozens of 'brush wars' like Vietnam) violence was the Cold War, it was solved by the speaking of but a single sentence. Of course the struggle to get the right person in the right place to speak it was a major undertaking. Which proves words aren't totally useless.

    And actually, I firmly believe the current GWOT could be solved in a similar fashion. But it probably won't, instead culminating in another few years in a global spasm of violence that will make WWII and the mass graves of Communism pale in comparison. And since the War will begin at a time and place of the barbarian's choice our only hope is that they miscalculate and believe they can win a little too early.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:43PM (#15907651) Homepage Journal

    Do you really believe there's any rational people out there who WANT war?

    To the degree that sociopaths can be considered rational, absolutely. Every war makes some people dead, some people poorer, but also some people greatly more powerful and more wealthy. That last group of people tend to be the ones that actually get to make the decisions, and as long as they value their own wealth and power over the life, liberty, and property of the rest, war is a rational choice for them.

    The problem is that sometimes peace first requires war, whether you want it or not. I know a lot of poeple have misgivings about premptive policies and interventionalist practices, but there are plenty of examples of when war is not just justified (like in Afghanistan or the first Gulf war), but required (like WWI and WWII).

    In fact your examples work against you.

    I'm not a pacifist, and I'm not going to argue that violence is never necessary, but certainly in your cases, from a US-centric viewpoint, war was neither justified nor necessary in any of those cases. Afghanistan? Come on. A stupid move, stepping up and hitting the same tarbaby we used against the Soviets not so long ago, completely unecessary, accomplishing nothing whatsoever. There were some legitimate goals that were used to justify it (notably, arresting OBL) but note that OBL was never captured? Note further that there were much cheaper (in terms of money and blood) options to pursue him, which all evidence suggests would have been more effective, and at any rate could certainly not have been less effective, as he's still out there podcasting today.

    WWI and WWII were closer, but look at them closely and you'll see that, at least for most of the participants, they were unecessary unjustified and avoidable. WWI was sparked by the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, you'll recall. Austria declared war on Serbia. Unjustified, unnecessary, and monstrously immoral - a handful of criminals killed a man, and the response is to attack an entire nation in retaliation. Lest we feel too smug in our moral superiority over those nasty Austrians, though, recall that this is very similar to the current conflict, however - a violent, criminal act answered by more violent, criminal acts, against entire nations, and not even the nations the attackers came from, in the current version!

    At any rate, Austria could have chosen not to go to war in WWI. And, in fact, they didn't immediately go to war - first they delivered an Ultimatum. It was one any sovereign nation would have difficulty accepting, but given the vast superiority of the Austrian armed forces, Serbia had to consider it. And they probably would have accepted it, and avoided war, but for the 'great game.' The Russians, always looking for a chance to best their Austrian rivals in the game, encouraged the Serbs to reject it, promising protection. Thus encouraged, the Serbs refused, and Austria declared war.

    Now at that point, the Serbs, of course, had to defend themselves. But no one else had to be involved. But the Russian government wanted in. They mobilised their troops. The German government, also, wante in. They called up their troops, and sent the Russians an ultimatum to stand down. The Russians continued mobilising. The Germans declared war. The Germans, of course, were allied with Austria. The Russians were allied with France. These alliances were not necessary - they were chosen by the governments involved. They were part of that same game. Any of these added participants could have avoided the great war, by avoiding that game. The people of these countries would certainly, in the main, have been vastly better off had they done so - but small, influential groups of people saw vast riches and enourmous power to be gained from playing the game, and those people made the decisions.

    The Germans, anticipating that France would strike in support of Russia and Serbia, decided to take the initiative and hi

  • by Igmuth (146229) on Monday August 14, 2006 @09:47PM (#15907666)
    Not only does it collied with the definition of Open Source, it also violates the terms of use of the GPL itself.

    (from:http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#M odifyGPL [gnu.org])
    Can I modify the GPL and make a modified license?
    You can use the GPL terms (possibly modified) in another license provided that you call your license by another name and do not include the GPL preamble, and provided you modify the instructions-for-use at the end enough to make it clearly different in wording and not mention GNU (though the actual procedure you describe may be similar).


    In short, if you are going to change it, you can't mention the GPL in the license. The authors may think they are making a moral stand, but they are violating copyright (of the GPL) by doing so.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Liam Slider (908600) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:47PM (#15907942)
    Oh so we were not only not supposed to fight back when they attacked us, we were supposed to keep trading with them beforehand as well while they were raping and pillaging and mass murdering their way across Asia....
  • by CustomDesigned (250089) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:04PM (#15907987) Homepage Journal
    A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    The legitimate purpose of a military is to protect citizens from harm. While military force can be perverted to cause harm (other than collateral damage), pacifism results in standing by while the innocent are slaughtered. "Preemptive" strikes are a sticky wicket, however.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:37PM (#15908087) Homepage
    You obviously don't know the history of the British occupation of India very well, because many of Gandhi's followeres were massacred. More than once. But the survivors didn't let the threat of being killed stop them.
    Oh, indeed. I never meant to imply that there was no violence. Only that the British Raj was loath to institute an official policy of violence. There's an important distiction between reactionary violence at the bottom, and an order to keep shooting until the opposition is all dead.
  • by carpeweb (949895) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:38AM (#15908256) Journal
    The notion that peace would be achieved if Israel just gave up the West Bank and Gaza is absurd. Too many Islamofascists need Israel as an object of hate to keep the average Akbar (or whatever "average Joe" translates to in Arabic) in a constant state of repression. Without Israel, the Islamofascist leaders would have to explain why they haven't done anything since the end of European colonialism to improve their countries.

    If you need to be naive, why not at least be naive in the hope that, if it weren't for their awful leaders, the majority of Arab citizens would gladly coexist peacefully with Israel if only they had jobs and hope for a better life. Yes, that does sound naive, I know. But your world ain't never gonna happen, mrron.
  • by Hosiah (849792) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:45AM (#15908273)
    This variation of the GPL is bad. NOT BECAUSE PACIFISM IS BAD as earlier numbskulls in this thread claimed. But because if you're going to celebrate freedom, you have to extend freedom to EVERYBODY, incluing those who shoot bombs, drugs, dogs, etc. with whom you disagree. I don't like it that this exception shit is going around. Either we're all free or we're not. The GPL is being liquified until everybody gets to make it whatever they want. Then what is the point of having a GPL at all?
  • by dynamo (6127) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:34AM (#15908379) Journal
    > Name me one time violence DIDN'T solve a problem.

    Iraq.

    > (if you can discount the dozens of 'brush wars' like Vietnam)

    Well, sorry, you can't. Vietnam was another huge fucking mistake made by people such as yourself who believe that enough violence thrown at a problem will solve anything. Not the case. No amount of violence or death was able to turn that mistake into a correct move. Same with our current events.

    Oh, and the so-called "Global War On Terror" is not a war, it's an advertising slogan that you bought hook, line, and sinker.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tom's a-cold (253195) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:46AM (#15908404) Homepage
    Dunno anything about that Ghandi guy, but Gandhi was successful because he was dealing with a group (the British imperial government) that didn't have any particular desire to hurt him or the members of his movement. They only wanted the people's voluntary cooperation with their onerous rule.
    That's a self-serving myth promulgated by the British after the fact. A more plausible explanation is that they were war-weary, their resources were depleted after WW2, and they weren't willing to suffer casualties in a colonial war. So they didn't have the will or the means to fight. Far different than the assertion that they were in some way paralyzed by a moral repugnance towards Empire.

    And although Gandhi practised nonviolence, Subhash Chandra Bose and others in the Indian independence movement were quite willing to fight. A good argument could be made that the Brits preferred to deal with Gandhi than with a popular armed insurgency. They had committed atrocities in India for generations, as did most colonial powers in their respective colonies, and there is no reason to assume that by some magic coincidence they had suddenly acquired morality and human decency immediately before Gandhi arrived on the scene.

    My conclusion as an anti-militarist but not quite a pacifist, is that there are conditions under which nonviolent means of resistance can succeed, but that an assessment of military readiness (will to fight and the means to fight) is a better predictor pf the success of such an effort than fundamentally racist (and probably unfalsifiable) assertions about abstractions such as the decency of everyday Englishmen.

    And back to the long-lost topic of a non-military-use variant of the GPL: seems like a good idea. I doubt that the military will honor the license, but non-cooperation is a good start, and I can understand why a principled person would withhold consent from the military machine. Especially since imperialist wars are sadly not a thing of the past, as Iraq shows.

    But if the PP is really on the right track after all, I wonder: is the US in its present state "sufficiently civilized" that nonviolent means will effect change?

  • by orzetto (545509) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:18AM (#15908611)
    Do you think "creative, non-violent responses" would have been sufficient to end the Holocaust faster than the Holocaust ended all Jews? That's really all this boils down to.

    Of course they would. Nazism rose to power because there was no democratic response, other than a few trade unionists, socialists/communists (who were however more intent in fighting each other), a few intellectuals.

    Pacifism does not work like a magic wand. If maintained as an attitude for a sufficiently long time, it will avoid getting enemies. Do you think that Nazism came out of nothing, or because Germans are evil? A pacifist attitude in international politics would have prevented it by a long way. Nazism rose to power because Germany had been defeated in World War I (which itself would have been prevented by pacifism), and the world blamed Germany for causing it (an idiotic statement: the reason was "too many cocks in the chickenhouse", everyone was equally culpable). Then uncle Adolf comes along in a demoralised country, and says "it's not your fault, it's the Jews, plutocrats, English, French, communists, gays, gypsies that betrayed the country". This is a very powerful message as that is what people want to hear (well, except those in the named minorities), and obviously he enjoyed an enormous success. If the winning countries had not punished Germany so harshly in the first World War, there would not have been all that frustration that led to Nazism.

    To get back to Israel and terrorism, sure they had a bad time fitting in and they don't exacly have the best neighbours. But they have not been nice either, and the amount of hatred generated by episodes like Sabra and Chatila, the Palestinians refugee camps for millions of people displaced from their homes and never allowed to return, "suffocating" Palestinian villages with a network of Israeli-only roads, forcing the population through endless checkpoints that take most of the work day to get through. Bombing civilians in Beirut did not exactly win fans among Arabs (or world opinion for that sake).

    But if the British had really wanted to use violence Ghandi would have been dead with all his followers.

    If the British did that, they would have had a full-scale revolution. There is no way the colonial army of a 50-million country can suffocate a revolution of half a billion people; neither was it politically viable to assassinate such a charismatic figure as Ghandi after WWII.

    Sometimes the only two alternatives are to repond to violence with violence, or to be eradicated.

    Let's get rid of a sticky issue: there are no inherently evil people (except psychopaths maybe), just people that found that a way that looks evil for you works for them. Robbers usually come from a social background that gave them few choices (few Harvard graduates turn into street criminals); they calculate that breaking the rules of society is more advantageous for them than respecting them. Whether they are right or wrong in this calculation is of no importance: that's what they think and what they think determines how they act. If social money had been spent on giving them a fair chance in life, with better public schools, unemployement subsidies, welfare state, they would have probably calculated otherwise. And guess what, countries with extensive welfare state do have less crime rate than those with a smaller one.

    To get back to the point, unless you are being attacked by sharks/polar bears/anthropofagous bunnies, but people, chances are that life-threatening situation may had been prevented if some more problem-solving-oriented attitude had been taken beforehand. Not that it is (necessarily) your fault, as the war in Lebanon was not the fault of those bombed by Hezbollah rockets, but had Israel avoided escalating the conflict rockets would not have been fired, and the whole thing would still be an issue of prisoner exchange.

  • by jesterpilot (906386) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @04:48AM (#15908831) Homepage
    You've got a quite creepy definition of 'solution' and an even more scary definition of 'problem'. Especially when it comes to american history. Problem: people live over there, but we want the country and don't like to share it. Solution: kill 'm all.

    Not to mention the cases where the people on the wrong side of the solution, tend to remember and keep on looking for a new 'solution', one in which they are the winners. So the problem persists, because violence breeds violence.

    When it comes to European history: the problem of endless wars in Europe was solved because the countries learned their lesson, and started to open their boundaries. WW2 was not the solution: it was what finally teached european leaders that war is NOT the solution.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @08:10AM (#15909314) Journal
    You can't require 'the GPL AND the "antimilitary patch"' since the GPL explicitly states no extra conditions not imposed by the GPL. You can create a new license that is a derived work of the GPL by removing that condition and adding the patch, but then you are trampling on the FSF's copyrights.
  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:19PM (#15911805) Homepage Journal

    But most certainly the aggressors had to be stopped

    Which aggressors?

    The Serbian aggressors, or the Austrian? The Russians, or the Germans? The British and the French?

    This is the entire point. All the major powers were aggressors here! Even some of the minors. The Serbs (their government, that is) really was involved in the murder plot, after all. Or in WWII, again, which aggressors? The Germans or the Soviets? You see, taking this 'stop the aggressors' imperative seriously would have meant declaring war on BOTH alliances, in both wars!

    That's hardly practical, it's ludicrous. Better to let the aggressors exhaust their resources on each other. There is no moral imperative to be the worlds policemen, or the worlds daddy. Better to do as Washington said, and behave like a Republic, minding her own business, always ready to trade, always ready to defend herself - but never wandering abroad in search of dragons to slay.

  • Re:Psssh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:30PM (#15911894) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure they told themselves that when they were raping women in Korea... and then in Manchuko... and then in Indonesia... and then in the Phillipines

    Of course they did. Just like the US did in the Phillipines, talking about 'Benevolent Assimilation' and praising 'heroes' for the slaughter of entire tribes.

    You throw around bullshit phrases like: "that's so hypocritical; Europeans were doing it, why couldn't the Japanese?" as if that somehow reflects anything but your own idiocy.

    By definition, since it's true, it's not bullshit.

    It doesn't excuse anything, but it does point one to a realistic understanding of the situation, rather than a propogandistic one. Who was it that said "let he who is without sin throw the first stone?"

    It was wrong when the Europeans did it, and it was wrong when the Japanese did it.

    Very good! You're starting to get it, perhaps. That was the point.

    Now go back and read your history books again, with that realisation in mind, and you might start to understand what I've been saying.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman

Working...