FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

Chad Perrin perrin at
Tue Jan 3 18:14:24 UTC 2012

On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 01:12:11PM +0100, Walter Alejandro Iglesias wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 04:41:10PM +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> > New users are nearly always dismayed at the apparent difficulty of 
> > things, and should be warned that they will need to do some work "under 
> > the hood" in order to get what they want. The honesty can start 
> > immediately, it doesn't necessarily have to be a goal.
> When people think in freedom, think in rights.  And rights are
> something that some "authority" give or steal.
> Multinationals think in what is good to sell.  People like
> "comfort" over all.  The taste of people is fantastically
> represented in the Wall-E movie; to "arise and walk" is not
> considered a right.  Futurist?, my father, thirty years ago, to
> go to the corner to buy cigarettes, took the car; today he has
> half body paralyzed by an hemiplegia, and perhaps one day to
> arise and walk will not be a right for him.

You're confusing "capability" with "right".  These words are not the same
because their meanings are not the same.

I have a right to speak my mind, but if cancer requires the removal of my
jaw so that I can no longer speak, I no longer have the capability of
speaking at all.  These are different things; a capability can be taken
away, but a right cannot.

This is what is meant by "rights" in the context of ethics.  The law has
its own jargon with its own definitions.  The way you use "right" here is
very much nonstandard for any context of which I'm aware, which means
that before you can have a meaningful discussion with someone that
involves such use of the term "right" you need to get them to buy into
your definition of their own free will and agreement.  Otherwise, the
discussion will be nothing but disagreement and/or misunderstanding.

So . . . please start with the denotative meanings of words, consider
your audience, and use words accordingly.  If you wish to use a term
differently than how it is understood, make sure you clarify that fact up
front.  If others refuse to go along with it, find a different term to
use that can better convey the meaning you wish to convey.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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