Richard Stallman – forging language

Clarity, dedication, inspiration from RMS, as usual. His concern about language is often criticised by even those who support him, but I think he is right. “Piracy” for example is a propaganda word and we should never use it apart from its legal definition – raiding ships at sea, a serious crime.

In “Can You Trust Your Computer?” he tackles the propaganda use of the word “trusted” and distinguishes it from “treacherous”. It is a notion which we need to take on board. “We” of course are not “them” i.e. they who rule. They cant trust our computers, it is an issue that defines which side you are on. I hope this article becomes a classic and that people will adopt his usage.

Who should your computer take its orders from? Most people think their computers should obey them, not obey someone else. With a plan they call “trusted computing,” large media corporations (including the movie companies and record companies), together with computer companies such as Microsoft and Intel, are planning to make your computer obey them instead of you. Proprietary programs have included malicious features before, but this plan would make it universal.

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