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You would eat fish right? Open Source Software

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Mar. 19th, 2007 | 04:17 pm

Waiter: "We have our vegetarian Pad Thai on the menu."

Me: "Can you ask the chef if he puts fish sauce in it?"

Waiter goes off and comes back.

Waiter: "Yes there is fish sauce in the Pad Thai."

Me: "Do you have anything which is vegetarian?"

Waiter: "Well I know people who say they are vegetarian who eat fish..."

Me: "Dude, your friends are not vegetarians."

The argument can go down hill from here. Its simple, if you eat meat, even only sometimes, you aren't a vegetarian.

Its popular in some circles to call yourself a vegetarian. Some people just want to cut down on their meat and find that its an easy way to not eat meat for a night. Some people believe it creates an aura around them.

They aren't vegetarians though.

Open Source software is similar. Weeks ago I saw Chris's comments on his take on how others want to use the label, but don't actually want to release their software under an open source license.

Their software isn't open source. It may be great software, but its not open source. The software may run on, make use of, or refer to open source software, but unless the source is under an open source license (and personally I raise my eyebrow to anything that is not Mozilla, BSD or GPL licensed, the major licenses).

Business software? Time bomb software? Shared source? There are all sorts of gadgets that people have come up with in the attempts to be evasive.

The MySQL database had a funny license like this early on. Thankfully it is long gone. Monty and David learned that to be counted as open source they needed to put the database under an open source license.

They did, and it worked out fine.

If you eat meat, you aren't a vegetarian. If your software isn't published under an open source license, its not open source.

And what happens when you find someone who is twisting the words around? It means that what they are doing isn't open source and they are looking for a justification to use the label. Or they are trying to get you to pay for something you probably can get for free.

The more you hear the dance in their voice, the more you know something is up.

And on that note, I hear a garden burger calling my name...

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Comments {11}

Jamz

(no subject)

from: woggie
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)
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There needs to be a list somewhere of companies and software which attempts to use the wording Open Source but aren't actually.

Do you know of such a thing?

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC)
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No, but I've thought about creating a blog to call out this sort of behavior :)

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Plum

(no subject)

from: nabaztag_kitten
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
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With Open Source, there is an actual license that a person can have or not have which would indicate the validity of the claim. I would argue that "vegetarian" is different, and rightly so. There is no standard definition of the word which dicttes the amount of meat one can eat and still claim the label. Merriam-Webster calls it a diet that "excludes all or most animal products". But really, there's a wide range of dietary choices contained in that phrase. Or you could definie it literally and say that a vegetarian diet includes only vegetables, but of course thats not really a sustainable diet, so I doubt many folks would be able to cliam that one. So this is one of those somewhat annoying cases where one word can be used to define a variety of situations. So who has the authority to claim that they know the "one true" definition? Is it you?

It's certainly one of those words where it pays to find out early on in your interactions whether or not someone has the same definition you do, so that you can agree on a common diet if necessary. Other important words with varying levels of definition: consentual, implied nudity, adult, hiking, cheap, date, formal dress, dinner, relationship... How many can you think of?

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
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Sorry, but this is the type of comment that pisses vegetarians off.

Its really easy, you are a vegetarian if you don't eat fish, pork, cow... etc. If you eat fish you aren't a vegetarian. If you go back and forth on a nearly night/weekly/monthly basis you are not a vegetarian.

These types of arguments are how we end up with people wanting to teach creationism in school alongside evolution.

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inanna

(no subject)

from: inanna
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary - Cite This Source

Main Entry: veg·e·tar·i·an·ism
Pronunciation: -E-&-"niz-&m
Function: noun
: the theory or practice of living on a diet made up of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes animal products (as milk and cheese)


The definition includes a specific remark as to what types of animal products may be included... which (in this case) are milk and cheese. That does not imply by any stretch of the imagination that they include consuming the flesh of dead animals.

....

Vegetarians don't eat dead animal bits. Period. If you eat dead animals in any form, you are an omnivore, not a vegetarian. And, while it isn't a lifestyle i choose, i won't tell you that you shouldn't eat meat. But, if you choose to do so, then don't try to use the term Vegetarian to describe your diet.

You could say, "I eat vegetarian meals a few times a week/month/year." Or "I am moving away from eating as much meat as I used to." But if you eat meat, you eat meat.

And, if you are confused as to what meat is... meat comes from animals... it is their muscles, organs, and (sometimes) skin. If you are confused as to whether or not a fish or a chicken counts as meat, go take a look at a grade 3 science book... they have very simple pictures to help you understand what is a mineral, what is a plant, and what is an animal. If it is in the "animal" section... it is meat.

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(Deleted comment)

inanna

Re: non-confrontational vegan

from: inanna
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
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i think it is because people like to claim the "cool" title of the moment, be it "vegetarian," "vegan," "goth," etc., that terms lose their meanings. And that is the sad part.

Words have meanings. And that gives them power. When people use words indiscriminately then they they lose their meaning and their power.

It would be like me telling my boyfriend that i am pregnant when i am not. Well, i want to be pregnant. i used to be pregnant. i plan to get pregnant sometime. Those are all different. Either you are carrying a fertilized egg in your body or you are not. Cut and dried. Either you eat dead animals or you don't... also pretty clear cut.

That being said... i am not a rabid vegetarian who lectures strangers on the street. And i do question waiters and ask them to look on packages or talk to the cooks - because i don't assume that 1) they know what vegetarian means and 2) that they really care if they give out accurate information if it'll get them done faster with the table. Because, to me, it does matter. To those that don't really care, that is OK to... that is their choice. But again, if you don't really care, then why use the term... just say you eat what you eat and be proud of that fact. :)

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Plum

(no subject)

from: nabaztag_kitten
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
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These are exactly the kinds of comments that piss off sociologists and linguists.

Grade 3 science books are, indeed, very clearly delineated. They do this so that third graders can grasp the actually quite complex topics presented. For those who would like a more realistic understanding of the difference between plants and animals, you might try a college-level biology book, where they will discuss the often very fuzzy line between the Animalia, Plantae, and Fungi kingdoms. For instance, sea cucumber.

The lines are further blurred when you add in the kingdoms of Protista and Monera, but since those are primarily one-celled creatures it mostly doesn't apply to the conversation about what you eat. Unless, of course, you live in a place where you drink well water, in which case you are ingesting hundreds and thousands of very very small live(!) animals every time you drink a glass of water. If you live in the city, then they've already killed them before they get to your tap, so I'm not sure how that fits in with vegetarianism. Is it better or worse to kill them without eating them?

I actually don't claim to be a vegetarian, but I do claim the right to self-identify in whatever context I choose. You don't have the right to define the words that I use to apply to myself. You only have the right to define the words as they apply to you.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
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Sociologists and linguists don't necessarily get dead flesh shoved under their noses. I once watched an anthropologist get chewed out for using the word "witch" and offending a collection of her students who happened to be Wiccan (which I might add was hilarious).

People can claim to be whatever they want. I can claim to be the King of England but I am not. Around here no one would care, drop into an English pub and try to have someone take you seriously and you might get a pint dumped over your head.

If you are eating meat, you aren't a vegetarian. You can claim to be, but it just pisses off vegetarians who then have to deal with the lying aftermath that is created by people who use the word because of its trendy fashion.

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storm princess

(no subject)

from: storm_princess
date: Mar. 22nd, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
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"If you are eating meat, you aren't a vegetarian. You can claim to be, but it just pisses off vegetarians who then have to deal with the lying aftermath that is created by people who use the word because of its trendy fashion."

a) Do you not consider eggs to be meat?

b) Why would you assume that people use the word "vegetarian" to be trendy?

and...

"Sorry, but this is the type of comment that pisses vegetarians off."

Since I wasn't pissed off by the above comments, I guess that makes me an unvegetarian. Aside from the fact that I do indeed eat fish. *gasp!* I shall now slink to the corner and hang my head in vegetarian shame. I am not worthy!

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inanna

(no subject)

from: inanna
date: Mar. 20th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
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These are exactly the kinds of comments that piss off sociologists and linguists.

You are so right. i am so wrong to even suggest that words have meanings. Even assuming that words could mean things is unrealistic and juvenile.

Which, of course, makes interpersonal communications impossible because whatever term one might use is strictly bound by what that person believes that word to mean at that moment in time... there is no standard for lanugage.

Which, by definition (if i dare to use that word) makes this discussion moot.

'Twas brillig....

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(no subject)

from: xcaseylynnnn
date: Dec. 13th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
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I don't know who any of you people are, but I want to congradulate "krow" for posting this and successfully striking up a healthy debate. I typed a quote I was looking for into google and your page came up. I saw the topic and it sparked my interest so I decided to look. Honestly, I'm a lover of controversy and think everyone needs a sensical argument every so often. And for the sake of this post, I agree with you. You either are vegetarian, taking all of its meaning and restrictions, or you are not. End of story.

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