Freedom and Data (was Gender, Representativeness and Reputation in StackOverflow)

rusi rustompmody at
Tue Jul 24 07:26:29 CEST 2012

On Jul 24, 9:28 am, Chris Angelico <ros... at> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM, rusi <rustompm... at> wrote:
> > "How many of you use Linux?" I ask.
> The awkwardness is in the definition of the question. Many of the
> products that I buy will have, at some point, been carried by a truck,
> but I would answer "No" if someone asked me if I use a truck. Would
> you say that you "use", say, Windows 2000? Do you even *know* if any
> of the web sites you use are built on it? What about Cisco Router,
> Model <insert product identifier>? I personally have no idea what
> networking hardware my ISPs use, nor should I care.
> When I do a Google search, I don't "use" their Linux; I use only the
> TCP/IP socket connection. If they were to rip out Linux tomorrow and
> put in a perfect replacement that they wrote in-house, I wouldn't know
> and, to be honest, wouldn't care. In the same way, they don't care if
> I write my own web server; they'll crawl the documents just the same.
> Doesn't mean they "use" my custom web server, and certainly doesn't
> mean that everyone who does a search that's affected by my content has
> "used" that server.
> > Their true platform is the Internet.
> Indeed it is. Operating system means nothing; IP transmissions mean
> everything. Your platform is a TCP socket (or, less commonly, a stream
> of UDP or other packets).
> ChrisA

You make it sound very clear cut.
I see more mess (maybe I am messy?)

People use cars.
That simple car-use implies the use of petrol and the atmosphere.
Multiply that by the billions that use cars and we have a global-
warming problem.

Likewise google.
Google uses the freely developed
- linux
- the gnu ecosystem
- html/http-web
- TCP/IP stack

Would google be where it is without these?
Sure google is also giving back. How much is genuine and how much is

No intention to ask rhetorical questions.  Each one of us at each
point needs to ask:
Shall I stick my neck out or just get on with my business?

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