[linux-elitists] Help request -- terminology for Caldera FUD tactics
Karsten M. Self
Mon Jun 30 08:34:12 PDT 2003
on Mon, Jun 30, 2003 at 08:18:36AM -0600, Willy (email@example.com) wrote:
> > I'm trying to find a good word/phrase to describe what Caldera/SCO and
> > its press organs are doing currently regarding GNU/Linux and allegations
> > of copyright infringement.
> > First it was "favor currying publicity stunts"
> > http://twiki.iwethey.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/SCOvsIBMResources#Favor_currying_Publicity_Stunts
> > Now it's argument by repetition of "What if SCO is right?". My favorite
> > response (not sure if it was Slashdot, LinuxToday, LWN, or Newsforge)
> > was "What if SCO is right about _what_?", given that the story has
> > changed, and been vague, from day one.
> > So: something to capture this whole tarring the GNU/Linux community by
> > SCO in a topic?
> > Peace.
> How about "SCO and commentators continue pleonastic litany of
> FUDmentation also could be used, although the sense might be less
> Droning might be an alternative to pleonastic, although slightly
> different in sense.
Still isn't what I was thinking of.
It's more along the lines of:
- Ad hominmen arguments -- attack free software and its supporters.
- Argument ad nauseum -- repetition. The "what if SCO's right" story
has been repeated at least three times, and each of those played i
in several places.
- Shifting burden of truth -- from "what is Caldera/SCO's evidence" to
"what if Caldera/SCO is right".
- Straw man -- several commentators (Rob Enderle comes to mind) have
criticised the FLOSS community based on its most extreme and/or
inflammetory supporters (who may themselves be plants).
Conveniently ignoring any meaningful, intelligent critics.
- Argument by question, begging the question.
- Argument by half truth.
- Argument by selective observation, generalization.
- Error of fact, Lies, Hypothesis contrary to fact.
- Ambiguous assertion.
- Affirming the consequent (Cooper's "unauthorized incorporation of
I think the best characterization of this is "Question Dodging" or
"Issue Dodging". Caldera/SCO are repeatedly trying to dodge the issue
- What their claim is -- "all rights to Unix", "intellectual
property", "keystroke-by-keystroke copies". The first is
demonstrably false (e.g.: trademark), the second vague, the third
meaningless without provenance information, and likely based on
unsupported claims to propriety in the work of IBM and others.
- What their evidence is.
- The character of their own (and their supporters) actions.
OK, I'm getting a handle on this, I think.
Karsten M. Self <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
Unless you are very rich and very eccentric, you will not enjoy the
luxury of having a computer in your own home.
-- Ed Yourdon, _Techniques of Program Structure and Design_, 1975
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