X-IMail-SPAM-Connection Re: X-IMail-SPAM-Connection Re: merchandise

Seth Williamson orthodox at ntelos.net
Fri Nov 19 12:49:09 UTC 2004

Shango Oluwa wrote:

> David Williamson,

> I will address you one more time to say this:

> _You_ seem to be the one who is offended and I cannot apologise for 
> that. It may be that the developers of UbuntuLinux made a "mistake" (as 
> you maintain) to incorporate the African notion of 'ubuntu' in this 
> distribution of GNU/Linux, but in fact it would seem that it is _you_ 
> who made the mistake by subscribing to a distribution that incorporates 
> this philosophy in its terms of use.

I have seen the word defined on this list as "humanity to others."  If 
that is correct, then it's no more African than it is Chinese or 
Brazilian.  It's a universal human concept that belongs to all cultures.

> As long as an explicit link exists between my culture and a public 
> operating system, I will be advancing its cause according to my cultural 
> values. You correctly identify this as "politics on your desktop" and 
> this is your fault not mine or any proponent of African cultural values 
> - be it Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela or El Hajj Malik Shabazz. Your 
> effort to silence me is a reflection of your grasp of what it means to 
> be "in Christ".

Perhaps because of the illegitimate equation of an unobjectionable 
concept like "humanity to others" with a particular political 
agenda--that of the political left.  Nobody can object to showing love 
and humanity to other human beings.  Plenty of sane individuals can and 
do object to leftist political nostrums, which strike many objective 
observers as incoherent, socially retrograde, inhuman and massively 
homicidal.  Admire Desmond Tutu if you want.  Just remember that, to 
many other thoughtful individuals, he appears to be a political hack and 
a massive personal hypocrite.  There's no need to confuse people like 
him and his politics with the cause of open-source software, and there's 
no need to argue about people like him on the list.  Admire him if you 
want.  Or not.  He has nothing to do with the excellence of open-source 

The best thing the makers of Ubuntu can do to advance the cause of 
humanity is to make the best open-source software they can.  Don't mix 
up that job with politics.  They are two different worlds.  Show 
humanity to others by your own actions in your own life.  Professionals 
and users should create and promote open-source software because it is 
an excellent tool.  It requires no further justification.

Seth Williamson
Franklin County, VA

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