FreeBSD logo...

Gary W. Swearingen swear at
Tue Apr 15 13:48:18 PDT 2003

Bill Moran <wmoran at> writes:

> Luciano Evaristo Guerche wrote:
> > I have heard FreeBSD is quite comparable to Linux and that is a very good free
>  > OS. I would not use / adhere to it just because the logo it adopts. How can a
>  > christian install an OS whose logo is a demon in his/her computer?

How?  By believing that the worst effect of supporting such an OS is to
slightly offend a few more people than would otherwise be offended, and
that that is not bad enough to reject an OS.  The choice isn't going to
drive anyone away from Christianity; more likely, it would trivially
help perpetuate the belief in supernatural spirits upon which
Christianity depends.  But many Christians believe that the displays of
crucifixes and Mary statutes are unacceptable forms of idolatry, so I'm
not suprised if some won't be associated with the use of images of
horned demons.

> To shorten the history: the
> term "daemon" means "something that is always there" in the archiac sense.
> Similarly, the mainstream movie/telivision industry was giving the term "demon"
> (and it's image) a bad name by portraying it as evil and/or an emissary of satan.
> The modern view of what a daemon is (in addition to the confusion between the
> two terms: daemon and demon) was probably created mostly by the film industry.

So you're going to hold people to the archiac view?  Bad plan.

My large American Heritage dictionary says that "daemon" means "demon".
(Actually, it says it's a variant of "demon", and that's all it says).

For "demon", the fourth sense is "An attendant spirit; a genius." and
the fifth sense is "One who is extremely zealous, skillful, or engrossed
in a given activity."

But it also says it's derived from "Late Latin 'Daemon', evil spirit."
and the first sense is "A devil or evil being;...".

So it's not a good idea to make assumptions about what people might
think either term might mean, outside of good context.  In the case of
BSD, the context is good enough for me and for most, but of course it
will not be enough for others who have stonger feelings about religious
imagery.  It's a shame they can't be accommodated in this trivial matter.

> Look up the history of the "thumbs up" gesture, to get an idea of how this sort
> of thing happens ... or the history of the work "hacker" which is misunderstood
> by 99% of the US population due to the mass media's terror tactics.

You might also look up the history of the swastica and the star of
david; neither had their current associations before the 19th century.
I doubt that any OS producer would use those in their logo, despite any
desire to avoid their modern associations.  The case is much less strong
for a demon image, but I sure wish the BSD logo people would be more
accommodating of the feelings of others.  I have no doubt that thier
choice has reduced the support of BSD OSes significantly; it is a
frivolous and foolish choice made for mostly prideful reasons.

> If you find him offensive, please do not compromise your religious beliefs just
> to use FreeBSD.  You'll be much better off using Windows.  A company that lies,
> cheats, and steals may sit much better with your religious beliefs than a
> community-oriented organization that happens to use a daemon as a logo.

That's a good example of the spirit behind much support of the continued
use of the logo: to spite and humiliate the religious among us.  It's an
attitude that might make this athiest switch to Windows, if I thought
such ugly religious intolerance was any less common amoung Windows users.

> I don't know of any OS that uses a demon as a logo.

But other people with other definitions than yours do know of such OSes;
namely, FreeBSD and NetBSD.  I'm not sure about OpenBSD; they seem to
have switched the logo on their CD (many releases ago) from the
demon/daemon to some kind of fish (which looks nothing like the
Christian fish logo, but I wonder...).

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