@sir Well put. I like the FSF and what they do, but their pedantry severely hinders the whole idea.


>Turn that hacker knack for linguistic hacking towards this goal, of thinking over how your phrasing and language makes different listeners feel.

But that requires being able to model how someone else (most of the time a non-hacker) will react in a certain situation. I'm pretty bad at that, and I'm sure so are many other hackers.

@Wolf480pl can get good at anything given deliberate and repeated practice

@sir never did that, most of the things in my life were non-deliberate practice, as in
> oh, this is so cool...
> *some time later*
> wow I suddenly understand it

@Wolf480pl a period of time for ideas to settle in is part of disciplined practice

@sir no, I mean, during that time in the middle I was still playing around with the thing. It's just that I didn't need to force myself to keep practicing it, because it just was the most interesting thing at the time anyway. It was incidental practice.

@sir I used to say that free software and open source are two sides of the same coin. People would yell at me. I guess people care about phrasings, because they're easy to nitpick. Ideas, now those require actual thinking. And thinking is scary.

@claude @sir
I think it's more that hackers tend to think in more precise and less fuzzy terms than most people.

So when 2 things seem to be the same idea to you, to a hacker they're two similar but separate ideas which deserve separate words.

On a related note, I think non-hackers often use certain words as a decorators whereas hackers use the same words as modifiers of meaning.

Eg. (btw. sorry for lack of a better example) when you say "in general, in middle ages people didn't use $X"
Someone may object "you said nobody in middle ages used $X but there's one example someone did use $X in middle ages, so you're wrong" because they didn't understand that the phrase "in general" means "outside of some special circumstances".

And the hackers' precise style of communication lends itself better to science and engineering, especially for programming where the compiler expects you to be very precise and will nitpick the shit out of you if you make a mistake.

@sir well said. And while the FSF and co are off in the weeds arguing semantics, the free software movement seems to be gathering less popular mindshare, and not more. (Or I'm just old and bitter)

@sir Sloppy language can drive people away, undermine communication, and muddle the direction of organizations. In all my life, I can never remember ever feeling insulted or hurt by someone drawing a line between open source and free software. I think the FSF has made the right choice. Activists who can't constructively handle nuances don't sound very helpful.
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