Windows and Ubuntu Might Become the Same Thing?

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davidpgil
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Joined: 08/26/2015

Greetings all, is it just me or should we be concerned that Windows and Ubuntu might become the same thing?

http://fossbytes.com/windows-microsoft-ubuntu-linux-canonical-friends-mark-shuttleworth/

How could this have an effect on Trisquel since its derived from Ubuntu?

Should we be looking at Deriving Trisquel from Debian instead? I definitely feel threatened by this. I hope this doesn't seem like I'm trolling.

/david

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

A Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in software.

davidpgil
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Joined: 08/26/2015

Yes. I agree... Microsoft is attacking free software right now...

http://www.polygon.com/2016/4/20/11474418/vlc-media-player-xbox-one-uwp

This "UWP" platform that Microsoft is pushing sounds like the "Snaps" system on Ubuntu 16.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

This is just talking about Windows getting a compatibility layer to use Ubuntu software. There's no problem.

There was already a whole embarrassing thread on here where a couple people were spreading crazy conspiracy theories about this. Please, let's not repeat that again.

davidpgil
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OK lets do it right then. I think there is definitely potential for problems. I left Ubuntu because I want to keep the free and open software, free and open. I just wonder if the Trisquel team has any words to share about this.

onpon4
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> I think there is definitely potential for problems.

By what mechanism? Again, this is nothing more than a compatibility layer for Windows so that Windows users can run Ubuntu software. It doesn't mark any change in Ubuntu.

davidpgil
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I see Ubuntu and Microsoft seem to be sharing similar goals. If you have ever installed Windows 10 or have heard how invasive it is and how much it mistreats its users, much more than Windows 8 or even 7, it just seems like Ubuntu will eventually go down that road. I'm guessing perhaps ubuntu will keep including more and more blobs that it might make Ubuntu difficult to base a distro from? I'm not expert in these things, but my intuition is on alert, and am wondering if teh Trisquel team has a plan in case Ubuntu goes farther and farther away from Freedom.

onpon4
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> I'm guessing perhaps ubuntu will keep including more and more blobs that it might make Ubuntu difficult to base a distro from?

Why would you expect this? Ubuntu includes proprietary software for particular reasons like hardware support. Canonical hasn't given any indication that they intend to make Ubuntu dependent on any proprietary program. Why would they? It wouldn't be in their interest.

This is also a concern that has absolutely nothing to do with Canonical's cooperation with Microsoft. Ubuntu isn't changing. It's Windows that is changing.

davidpgil
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I believe that if Canonical and Microsoft are cooperating there is a mutual benefit. I see both of them changing. Like I've stated, this is a feeling as I am a very intuitive person. I particularly find "Snaps" suspicious. Could this be used to "blobify" free apps? I just don't know.

onpon4
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If you don't know, then please don't spread half-baked conspiracy theories. It doesn't do anyone any good.

Snaps is another package system of some kind. It can be used to introduce new libre programs, and it can be used to introduce new proprietary programs. Just like Deb. I don't know what its technical merits are, but there is no reason to automatically find supporting another packaging system "suspicious" and start speculating wildly about it.

davidpgil
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Sorry, but I just disagree with you. I meant no harm and am voicing my own genuine concern that in my view is perfectly valid and I have justified. I have been asking questions. I think its helpful to make others aware of potential issues.

knacky
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And you are right to be concerned. A kernel contributor already demonstrated this by creating a "snaps" package that can steal data from X11 sessions...

http://news.softpedia.com/news/developer-claims-that-canonical-s-new-snap-format-isn-t-secure-on-ubuntu-desktop-503287.shtml

"According to Matthew Garrett, a renowned CoreOS security developer and Linux kernel contributor, Canonical's new snap package format is not secure at all when it is used under X.Org Server (X Window System), which, for now, is still the default display server of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system."

Magic Banana

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This has absolutely nothing to do with free software running on Windows. And it has nothing to do with Canonical doing evil. It is a security bug (and the solution is a switch to Wayland).

Magic Banana

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You wrote yourself that your concern are the result of your intuition. How is that a "justification"?

davidpgil
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Its not my sole reason for bringing this up, there are others of course. I say "justification" in the sense that I have a right to voice a concern because I noticed something that I beleive I am noticing that is quite subtle and want to bring it up for discussion. I believe all concerns are worthy and justified to mention/bring up as long as they don't destroy the very platform that allows one to do so.

Magic Banana

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Its not my sole reason for bringing this up, there are others of course.

What reasons then?

onpon4
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Just because you have a right to say something doesn't mean you should say it. People voicing unsubstantiated concerns about things they know nothing about is how conspiracy theories spread, and they cause real harm. For one, some neutral person coming across the Trisquel forum only to find a bunch of nutters spreading conspiracy theories discredits our community and even the entire libre software movement. For another, conspiracy theories sometimes cause real harm to society; see the anti-vaccination movement, for example, which has enabled diseases that we could easily have eradicated years ago to resurge recently.

Magic Banana

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Indeed. In the free software world, we recently had the conspiracy about Red Hat somehow destroying GNU/Linux with systemd. Several long-time Debian developers have stopped contributing because they were tired of being personally attacked on the mailing list. By users who do not know the first thing about init systems but had the "intuition" that systemd was bad.

All major distributions have now adopted systemd. Nothing terrible happened. On the contrary, sysadmins look happy with the new features systemd brought. Those who predicted a great "exodus" (their word) and tried to "fork debian" have, one year after Debian 8 Jessie was released (the first Debian stable with systemd by default), only produced alpha versions: https://devuan.org

strypey
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I take the point you are making about the potential dangers of spreading uninformed speculation as fact. However, I think it's worth pointing out that the OP isn't making erroneous claims of fact based on ignorance. He is posing open questions, to start a discussion about medium-to-long-term software freedom strategy. I think this is valuable, and it's sad to see people shouting him down for his initiative. The clarifications offered by various people about the relationship between Microsoft and Canonical, between Windows and Ubuntu, and between Ubuntu and Trisquel, have been much more helpful.

(off-topic)

There are lots of important things each of us don't know very much about (yet), and bringing them up for discussion in a community of shared values is one of the better ways of becoming more informed. For example, I would have made the same assumptions as Onpon4 about vaccinations had I not read the chapter on them in the anti-vivisection book 'Animal Research Takes Lives – Humans and Animals Both Suffer' by Bette Overell:
http://web.archive.org/web/20130709043025/http://www.health.org.nz/chapter5.html

As a result of reading this, my daughter was not vaccinated during the first two years of her life. More recently I decided to look into the issue in more depth, and map out both sides of the issue here (note this is a work in progress and help is welcome):
http://www.coactivate.org/projects/drillingfortruth/vaccinations

One of the things I have discovered is there are whole organisations of medical professionals who do not support vaccination, such as the International Council on Vaccination:
http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/about/

When we consider that science is, at its core, the constant modification of theories in response to new evidence and reconsideration of existing evidence, the claim that any criticism of vaccination is a sign of ignorance or mental illness is fundamentally anti-scientific propaganda. The claim that the scientific evidence on vaccination is as clear-cut as the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is also propaganda. As an radical environmentalist since childhood, I acknowledge my bias towards believing in climate change, so like any honest scientist, I set out to prove the null hypothesis of the climate "skeptics". When I carefully examined a number of the "skeptic" arguments and the evidence for them, with an open mind, they inevitably collapsed when I read just the abstract of the papers cited as evidence. Vaccination is a different kettle of fish, with both sides presenting plausible arguments backed by peer-reviewed evidence, suggesting that some vaccinations may be safe and beneficial, while others may be harmful or ineffective, and that a healthy scepticism towards vaccinations is an informed and rational approach.

(/off-topic)

onpon4
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> He is posing open questions, to start a discussion about medium-to-long-term software freedom strategy. I think this is valuable, and it's sad to see people shouting him down for his initiative.

We have a term for the kinds of things he is saying. That term is "FUD". And no, this is not "valuable"!

He is not asking specific questions. What he is doing is suggesting vaguely that something ominous is happening because he has an "intuition" that this is so. The effect of this is to spread conspiracy theories, not to "start a discussion" that is valuable.

> For example, I would have made the same assumptions as Onpon4 about vaccinations had I not read the chapter on them in the anti-vivisection book

I didn't make assumptions about vaccinations. I'm quite familiar with the issue. There is no evidence for any long-term adverse effects from vaccinations recommended by your physician.

What there is evidence for is the massive amount of death caused by diseases that can be prevented by vaccines, such as measles. To be perfectly frank, considering the scientific evidence, it is immoral to withhold any vaccination recommended by a physician from a child. If you prevent your child from being vaccinated for measles, and your child dies from measles, you killed her. Furthermore, if you prevent your child from being vaccinated for measles, and that causes someone else's child to be infected with measles and die from it, you killed that child. To not vaccinate is to commit mass manslaughter of children. There is no getting around it.

I have no intention of debating this topic. I'll just close by leaving a couple of links to videos which will explain why it is in fact counterproductive to debate anti-vaccers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzxr9FeZf1g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_zqBPuPx8w

davidpgil
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Joined: 08/26/2015

My intent was not to spread conspiracy theories. I was simply wondering of others had information to confirm my intuitive concerns. There is no proof on both sides that guarantee than nothing ill will happen. Noone here was likely present in the conversation that Microsoft had with Canonical for example. This is just a fact. I would have been fine with just a "no, i havent heard of any proof of what you are suggesting". Instead I come here just asking a question and instead get advised on how I should behave without even requesting this advice. I don't take this personally and I don't think anyone here should. I do have a right to express whatever my own god-given free will allows me to. Thanks for the input though, although I didn't need the drama.

ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

Hello, according to Dunning on his documentary Here be Dragons: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, which is legally shareable (I think it is under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0), and which I happen to find a torrent magnet link[1][2] just now:

There is no real proof that vaccination is bad for people. It is either resulting from pseudoscience, a red herring, correlation (which is different from causation) or from a theory that favors "ancient knowledge", all of which try to make unknown things known by giving them names and justifications.

REFERENCES

[1] magnet:?xt=urn:btih:cda373a799f29220461f4610e8b53f3bedbf6bbb&dn=Brian%20Dunning%20-%20Here%20Be%20Dragons%20_HD_

[2] Note about the torrent: I'll probably not seed this torrent unless it is under a codec used mainly by free software. If it isn't, I'll probably convert it, make another torrent (more specifically: a trackerless torrent) and share it with everyone by putting it in my public folder at OpenMailBox's OwnCloud instance.

strypey
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Thanks for this. I've added it to the list of pro-vaccination source on my research page, and I'll have a watch soon. It can also be watched in full on YouTube and downloaded directly from the homepage:
http://herebedragonsmovie.com/

I've also noted Gorski's blog post shared by Root Vegetable. When I get some time, I'll go through them both, read the abstracts of any peer-reviewed papers or other credible source documents they refer to, and add links to these to the appropriate claims and counterclaims in my table.

BTW I'm only giving the pro and anti *claims* equal weight, because a sceptical approach treats all claims as equal. What is not equal is the scientific evidence for or against such claims, but this cannot be established by just believing and repeating the propaganda of one side or the other. In the case of climate change, for example, it's easy to see by reading the abstracts of the papers cited by both sides of the debate, that the vast weight of the evidence is in favour of anthropogenic climate change. This does not appear to be the case with every other controversial issue.

loldier
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There's no "middle path" in science.

There either is a consensus or there's not. That's pseudo-science you're talking about. Layman's thoughts. What you're propagating or hiding behind is called "false balance".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_balance

onpon4
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> a sceptical approach treats all claims as equal

No, it doesn't. A skeptical approach treats the null hypothesis as true until sufficient evidence proves otherwise. It has nothing to do with "sides" or "equal weight".

loldier
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"Propaganda" used to be a valid word for disseminating information. Now, it's a slur and an all too easy way to dismiss valid science. I'm beginning to think that we should blow up the internet. It brings all kinds of creepy things out from underneath their rocks.

Science denialism should be punishable by law like holocaust denialism is in some parts of the world. Take climate change for instance. There's a consensus on that. People who jump to conclusions by speculating on their sofas are no match for a scientist no matter what they claim while throwing mud at everyone's eyes.

onpon4
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> Science denialism should be punishable by law like holocaust denialism is in some parts of the world.

I can't say I agree with this. No view, no matter how disgusting, is as disgusting as censorship. Where holocaust denial is illegal, that is an injustice. Where showing a swastika is illegal, that is an injustice. Freedom of speech is essential.

I don't even think it's immoral to reject science; this is just a belief, after all. What is immoral is doing something which the scientific evidence suggests is harmful to others. For example, refusing any vaccination recommended by your doctor (for yourself or your child, as refusing it for yourself reduces herd immunity, potentially putting the life of someone else who couldn't get vaccinated at risk).

A good historical example of someone refusing to accept science and causing harm to others because of this was Typhoid Mary. She was told multiple times that she was infecting people with typhoid fever, and that this was because she was a typhoid carrier and was preparing food without washing her hands. But she rejected the science and continued to make food for people without washing her hands, resulting in more illness and death. This action from her was immoral, and she was effectively guilty of manslaughter in my opinion. But it wouldn't have been immoral for her to simply disbelieve the science if she had followed the advice of her doctors anyway (either stop making food for others, or properly wash her hands before doing so), and it wasn't immoral for her to express her disbelief in the science.

loldier
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Censorship is not what I'm after. They can yell all they want but claiming to be part of the scientific community while at the same time refusing to accept any authorities is damaging. I'd like to know who's behind this astroturfing. Is it a libertarian thing, small government and all that babble?

You can't draw parallels with proper, peer-reviewed science and scientology or climate denialism. There just isn't anything that stands the light of day. "Pro-vaccination sources" is laughable. You join the scientific community, present your papers and try to get them peer-reviewed. If there's something new and reproducible to them, they get accepted -- otherwise they get thrown away.

It's not a popularity contest.

onpon4
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I can't imagine how you could possibly regulate this. The scientific community is not a single entity, and it doesn't have a single central authority. Specific scientific peer-reviewed journals are a sort of authority, and tricking someone into thinking that a paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal when it wasn't is probably a trademark violation, but there's nothing stopping you from creating your own journal and claiming that it's "scientific" because it's about natural phenomena and "peer-reviewed" because your brother looks over it for spelling mistakes. Not unless you're suggesting mandating that no new scientific journals ever be allowed to be created.

loldier
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I fail to see that it is Galileo Galilei vs. the Catholic Church. Become a scientist, do the steps and present your findings. It's pretty easy. It's only because their papers have been trashed so many times they are trying to find a backdoor.

It's more like 'The Church of Believers' against Galileo.

Magic Banana

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Some existing journals already are complete bullshit. The situation has been getting even worse since the Sokal affair: even computer-generated articles have been accepted! Homeopathists have journals too...

loldier
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Unsatisfied with science? Don't worry, you can fork your own. Up for votes and see who emerges as the winner. Popularity contest. Who yells louder than the rest?

I think this is the way Christianity crept into the ancient Roman mainstream.

onpon4
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Christianity probably became the official religion of Rome for political reasons. I don't think it had anything to do with science. Also, note that it's not like a secular nation suddenly became religious; it's just that the official religion of Rome changed.

loldier
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Science denialism is all about politics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt

onpon4
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Indeed. Sad, but we just have go go by the reputation of specific journals and publishers. If someone doesn't have a reputation, we just have to assume that they are not credible until they prove themselves, and debunk anyone who tries to use the papers they publish as evidence.

pragmatist

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Sometimes it only takes a 4th grade science project to debunk a pseudo-science:

" Emily Rosa, at 9 years of age, conceived and executed a study on therapeutic touch. With the help of Stephen Barrett from Quackwatch, and with the assistance of her mother, Linda Rosa, RN, Emily became the youngest research team member to have a paper accepted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for her part in a study of therapeutic touch, which debunked the claims of therapeutic touch practitioners."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutic_touch#Scientific_investigations

P.S. I know I said I was only making the one post in this thread. The key word was THIS thread--i.e. remotely resembling the topic of the OP: The Canonical/MS project. This has gone so far away from the original topic, it has become a thread unto itself. A thread that really belongs in "The Troll Hole" IMHO. Don't get me wrong, I like a good discussion of scientific epistemology as much as the next person. Normally, however, this forum is saved for helping people with technical problems. If some of the veterans here are concerned with how this will all look to newcomers, and I think they are right to give that some consideration, then relegating this to the Troll Hole is really the appropriate way to go.

strypey
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loldier:
>> Science denialism should be punishable by law like holocaust denialism is in some parts of the world. <<

This has gone *way* off-topic, and I won't be posting further here. However, I'm genuinely interested in a (respectful) discussion about the philosophy of science, and the boundaries of academic freedom. With people making comments like the above, and actually defending them as serious suggestions, it's clearly a discussion we need to have.

I find very few of the people that resort to such appeal-to-authority ridden arguments have actually studied science beyond high school level, and even fewer have studied the philosophy of science at a tertiary level. As it happens I have (although I'll admit upfront I've yet to complete my undergraduate degree), and I'm happy to share what I've learned, and learn from others. I've opened a table in the Troll Hole for such a discussion here:
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/science-denialism-academic-freedom-and-philosophy-science

danieru
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> Science denialism should be punishable by law like holocaust denialism is in some parts of the world. Take climate change for instance. There's a consensus on that.

Would you like me to tell you to just shut the fuck up? Would you?
Maybe you will like it better if I just tell you to shut the fuck up, then kick you and throw you to jail?
No? Then that's why no one should ever make illegal to deny something, nor science, nor the holocaust, nor religion.

JadedCtrl
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> I am a very intuitive person
Snaps is nothing more than Canonical trying to make it easier to distribute software for Ubuntu and, so it seems, with more security when used with Mir. If there's anything remotely close to malice, it's that Snaps'll push for the usage of Mir, but that's not even really malicious-- that's just because X11 doesn't support the necessary security features Mir does.

Canonical isn't trying to make Ubuntu more and more non-free, they're just trying to make Ubuntu more and more popular. What this means is that they need to keep including software that will be convenient and useful to their users while also maintaining a friendly relationship with their "open" community. That nice balance, right now, is offering non-free software and including some driver & fw blobs. What you suggest could be occuring isn't in their best interest, so it probably isn't happening.

pragmatist

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I will only make one post in this thread:

If I recall correctly, the argument was that this benefits MS Developers. How does it benefit Ubuntu?

I don't have an answer for that, and I'd love to hear yours.

Magic Banana

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Working with more and more free software on Windows, maybe discovering the philosophy of our movement through this software, the Windows user will hopefully end up migrating to GNU/Linux. In fact, she may already plan a migration and starts with this software to get used to it before the bigger step of installing GNU/Linux.

But I agree with onpon4: let's not repeat https://trisquel.info/fr/forum/ubuntu-userspace-windows-developers-project-canonical-and-microsoft-what-your-idea

davidpgil
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Money - Bet Canonical doesn't make as much as Microsoft. Microsoft I'm sure is paying Canonical to get in on their stuff. Maybe one day just take it over. Also, I know that may sound unthinkable but Ian Murdock died mysteriously (supposedly from suicide) a few months back. I know nobody knows the answer to this, but I see it as potentially connected. Not saying anything definitive obviously, and yes I'm very sane.

loldier
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Shuttleworth must be thinking Microsoft will buy him out and acquire the Canonical Ubuntu brand. There never was a successful partnership with MS unless it means "to part with your brainchild". It already looks like they deserve each other.

For MS, it might be a sane decision to get a GNU/Linux distribution of their own that works on phones, too.

davidpgil
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Thanks all for the info. This blew way out of proportion and I had no intend of ruffling anyones feathers. I was simpling looking to confirm some speculations I had. I love that I can ask questions freely and get a response, thats the best thing about freedom, especially not needing to care about what I should be doing as part of a group of individuals who care about some similar things.

0d54770d

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I've read through this thread, and I wanted to make a point. This forum was designed to discuss ideas related to free software. I understand that people have opinions on a variety of other issues, whether they be right or wrong, but I don't see this as the most appropriate place for such topics; it detracts from our fundamental goal here, which is to help spread the message of free software.

For what Trisquel is trying to accomplish, it doesn't really matter what one's position on vaccines is, or the holocaust, or any of those things, and I think that focusing on degrading people for things unrelated to free software is unproductive and childish. If you wish to have conversations about these issues, that is fine; just make sure that it's in a place designed for such discussions.

pragmatist

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A new thread was created in the troll hole for this. I encourage you to resume the discussion there:

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/science-denialism-academic-freedom-and-philosophy-science#comment-94661

ewlabonte

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If your problem is with philosophy, Trisquel's philosophy has been different from Ubuntu's right from the start. That hasn't changed Trisquel's ability to use Ubuntu's free software architecture and make a truly free project. This "alliance" with Windows doesn't do anything to change Ubuntu. Trisquel will not compile Ubuntu's bad attitudes into it's system, so there's no problem.