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me gurpreet007 at
Sun Jul 25 18:45:21 UTC 2010

...and thus the Godwin's law holds!'s_law

On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 10:55 PM, Chad Perrin <perrin at> wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 11:54:37AM -0400, Alejandro Imass wrote:
> >
> > Suppose for a moment that BSD would have forked to FBSD first in the
> > East, say by a group of Indian Buddhist computer science students, and
> > their choice of logo was a funny cartoon of a smiling Buddha holding a
> > Swastika above it's head. The intention here would matter little to
> > the common Jew, as he would probably feel immediately uncomfortable
> > regardless if he knew what the Buddha was, or that the Swastika is a
> > sacred Buddhist symbol. He would just see a semi-naked fat Nazi. Even
> > if he knew all these things it would still make him somewhat
> > uncomfortable of using this great technology.
> Here's the thing . . .
> The "jesus fish" (or "holy mackerel" or "Ichthys" or whatever you want to
> call it) has no variance of meaning across cultures, when it contains the
> Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ -- because it really only exists within one extended
> cultural family.  Its meaning is clear.  I'm not aware of any other
> meaning for the mere intersecting-arcs fish symbol itself, without the
> Greek letters, either -- but I wouldn't necessarily jump to any
> conclusions about it without trying to look it up and, failing that,
> asking about it (with clear reference to the fact that I tried and failed
> to look up any meanings aside from the obvious).
> Meanwhile, swastikas have many meanings, in many cultures.  They have
> different meanings from the Nazi usage in parts of Asia, North America,
> and even in Germany itself.  The Nazis got it *somewhere* you know; they
> didn't invent it.  Context matters.
> I'd think a devout Christian would have much more reason to complain
> about a Flying Spaghetti Monster (whose only purpose is to mock mystical
> belief systems) than a Daemon, and that an Orthodox Jew would have much
> more reason to complain about SS lightning bolts than a non-diagonal
> swastika held aloft by a smiling Buddha.  Considering we now have the
> Internet at our disposal, I'm not terribly inclined to give a lot of
> leeway to people who ask for symbols like a Buddhist swastika to be
> changed without having gone to the minimal trouble to look it up on
> Wikipedia.
> In truth, even the Hakenkreuz (the swastika variant the Nazis use) is not
> strictly negative in meaning; it was a Germanic folk symbol before it was
> misappropriated by the Nazis, and it has not *lost* that previous meaning
> just because it has gained strong negative associations to those who do
> not know its full history.  Place it in a white circle on a red field,
> though, and as far as I'm concerned you have every right to be disturbed
> to see it associated with something you might otherwise like -- because
> that is quite clearly a Nazi-specific context.  The same goes for the
> Nazi Party's parteiadler, depicting a stylized eagle atop a wreathed
> hakenkreuz.
> >
> > Again, my intention to butt in here was just to point out that many
> > times we find things hilarious, a simple analogy can help us better
> > understand that it may very serious to others, such is life though,
> > and the 'others' should also make an effort to understand us. Sadly,
> > our judgements almost always get in the way of seeing beyond each
> > other's myopic viewpoint.
> The fact that someone misunderstands something that can be double-checked
> with trivial effort (far less effort than complaining on this mailing
> list), and uses that misunderstanding to justify complaints and trying to
> convince someone to change a mascot with years of history, seems in no
> way justified to me.  For me, the key difference is not anyone's biases,
> per se -- it's willful ignorance, which I am never inclined to justify or
> excuse, in principle.
> >
> > Back to the issue at hand (and actually on-topic), I personally don't
> > like the circle with cones and don't think that FBSD should move away
> > from the little red Devil or Daemon or whatever you wanna call it
> > (does he have a name?). In _my_ judgment, for example, the circle with
> > cones looks like some sort of sexual fetish, but then again we're all
> > free to interpret it as we like, and who am I, as a relative newcomer
> > to FBSD to form an opinion anyway :)
> The mascot's name is Beastie (roughly homonymous with BSD).  Of course,
> Beastie is *not* actually a FreeBSD symbol, per se: he's a BSD Unix
> symbol in general.  The first sentence of the Wikipedia page for "Beastie
> (Mascot)" says "The BSD daemon, nicknamed Beastie, is the generic mascot
> of BSD operating systems."[1]  The sex toy logo doesn't do anything for
> me, but it is at least a FreeBSD-specific symbol, and I guess I'm willing
> to suffer the indignity of having a kind of dumb, largely meaningless
> symbol, if it means FreeBSD actually gets a symbol at all.
> My biggest complaint with the sex toy symbol is that it doesn't lend
> itself easily to simplification a logo really should.  Basically, if it
> isn't easily well-represented in a 16px monochrome presentation, it
> should be rethought, in my opinion.  It has been made official, though,
> and I'm not sure the problems I've identified are sufficient to overturn
> the apple cart at this point.  I'll live with it.
> ---
> [1]:
> --
> Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

Life is not fair. Get used to it. .... Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll
end up working for one.

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