Who should be the next president of the United States?

Who should be the next president of the United States?


Sun, 2007-02-11 22:22 -- admin
Linus Torvalds
23% (41 votes)
Bill Gates
8% (14 votes)
Steve Jobs
9% (16 votes)
Richard Stallman
59% (104 votes)
Total votes: 175

Comments

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

A little bit of fun this fortnight to raise our spirits. If the candidates for the upcoming US election were miraculously swapped with some noted IT celebrities, which one would you vote for and why? You can also let us know who you think would be most likely to win and why too.

Bob van der Poel's picture

One really has to wonder if it matters at all? Mind you, that probably isn't politically correct either (or exactly on topic).

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

It's all a bit of fun. Go away if you can't be bothered.

Jerson Michael Perpetua's picture

Though we'll all be libartarians by then... ;P

P.S.: I ain't american, so why should I care? ;) I'm assuming this is synonymous with "world leader", though I don't agree with the idea that a US president is a "world leader".

Linus Torvalds - Would you like a world so immersed with the bazaar development model? Hmm... Kinda. But without emphasis on freedom that would be fruitless.
Bill Gates - Would you like a world monopolized by Microsoft? Never ever, period!
Richard Stallman - You heard me. XP

Jerson Michael Perpetua's picture

Who's Steve Jobs? Ah, the Apple guy? Well, the world will be full of eye-candies then... Heheh... But seriously (as if), I wouldn't want him for the same reason I wouldn't want Bill Gates. Monopolies are a no-no. More Free Software. Bring back more power and control to the masses!

(Now I sound like a crazy purist bastard. -_-)

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I'M NOT AMERICAN EITHER - BILL GATES IS THE RICHEST GUY IN THE WORLD I THINK BILL GATES SHE RUN U.S.A!!!

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Can I write in Eric Raymond?

rwbarat's picture
Submitted by rwbarat on

Eric S. Raymond is a racist gun-nut, so I would certainly fear having him as US president (but then again, that sounds an awful lot like our current President)

Terry Hancock's picture

A more accurate description is that he supports the US 2nd amendment right for individual citizens to bear arms and that he opposes the institutionalizing of policies such as "affirmative action" which make race a criterion for hiring practices (policies which are therefore themselves "racist" in the abstract, whether you believe that to be their net effect or not).

While I can't say I necessarily agree with his choices, his position is principled, consistent, and humanitarian—if not necessarily politically pragmatic and morally enlightened.

The argument for affirmative action is not that it's a good idea to hire people based on their race, but rather that, given a long history of doing just that, the only way to restore the jobs marketplace to a reasonably fair status is to apply pressure in the opposite direction. In other words, it's a policy of "fighting racism with racism".

As such, it is of course, subject to the same criticisms that apply to all uses of institutionalized violence: what makes us better than the people we're fighting?

To someone from a sheltered background who does not understand the insidious nature of the still-pervasive racist hiring practices that exist in the US and an ideological faith in the power of the market to fix all ills, the need for affirmative action must surely seem questionable. To someone who grew up on the other side of the tracks, however, there's reason to believe it remains necessary.

In the end, I support affirmative action, but the position is strategic, not principled. Calling Raymond a racist because he disagrees with me, is highly overstating the case.

Likewise, I acknowledge that there must be some limit to the ability of citizens to carry arms in a culture that knows how to make nuclear weapons—which could, in principle, allow one person to destroy millions. However, that said, I also believe that the 2nd amendment is a statement about the balance of true power in society, and that a government that insists on making its citizens powerless is not to be trusted. For me, the serious problem is that the 2nd amendment does not make clear where the line should be drawn (nukes should be controlled, clubs certainly shouldn't be—but where is the line between them? Handguns? Assault rifles? Automatic weapons?).

So far, I wouldn't trust any one of these people in the White House (including Raymond). But I voted Torvalds, because a) he seems the most level headed of these four (which unfortunately isn't saying much—they all have famously short fuses), and b) because, not being a natural-born US citizen he will be disqualified, allowing us to hold a re-election for someone who is qualified.

Mind you, I wouldn't vote for me, either, if I were on the ballot, nor would I like the job. Everybody sees the glory, but President is a hard job—especially if you take it seriously. Bush seems to enjoy it, but that's mostly because he has no interest in fulfilling the job description. I think it's mostly about the Presidential Seal cowboy boots for him.

rwbarat's picture
Submitted by rwbarat on

I agree completely with what you had to say about Affirmative Acton and the 2nd amendment,d but my point was not that he is racist because he does not support affirmative action, but rather because he stated "In the U.S., blacks are 12% of the population but commit 50% of violent crimes; can anyone honestly think this is unconnected to the fact that they average 15 points of IQ lower than the general population? That stupid people are more violent is a fact independent of skin color". This is according to esr.ibiblio.org/%3Fp%3D129&IP=10.252.2.188&CAT=WEBLOG&USER=IPGROUP .I should have made my sources clearer, and I'm sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I think only "true" Americans can run for president. People debated the issue as Schwarzenegger became governor, so I believe Linus has no chance...

Maybe it would be good if an European would rule this weird place called the United States.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Schwarzenegger cannot be US president (neither can Linus Torvalds) because he is a naturalized citizen, not a US citizen by birth. I think the law should be changed to allow naturalized people to run for President, but because it is the right thing to do in a country that was formed by immigrants. I don't think the law should be changed just to favor one man, in this case, Mr Schwarzenegger.

If Mr Schwarzenegger were a Democrat, I don't think the idea of changing the law would have even come up, but it seems Republicans (except for Bush) are popular these days.

guydjohnston's picture

I agree. I voted for RMS because I want more free (as in freedom obviously) software. Some does get written as a byproduct of Torvalds' 'open source' methodology, but that could change in the future.

--
GNU - free as in freedom

darthsabbath's picture

Y'know, I like everybody on here... yes, even Gates. I admire his tenacity and business sense.

Bill Gates - I'm a fan of capitalism, and the fact that Gates is quite the philanthropist, but for some reason I can't see Bill playing the political game.

Steve Jobs - Steve Jobs is a very intelligent guy, and would probably be my second choice behind Torvalds. He's an idealist who knows how to maneuver himself into power.

RMS - Bless him, but no. I love RMS and the whole idea of Free Software but he's the last person I would want running the country. He's TOO uncompromising, and I'm afraid we'd see private industry and what not consolidated under the state for the "public good."

Linus Torvalds - Lastly, we come to my selection. I picked him because he's a pragmatist who seems to know when to compromise and when to hold his ground. It seems like Linus would fit nicely with the whole "live and let live" ideals of libertarianism... of course, I could be wrong. I don't know the guy.

guydjohnston's picture

That is a good point that RMS is very uncompromising. However, I don't think that "we'd see private industry and what not consolidated under the state for the "public good."" He doesn't support communism, and he isn't against capitalism. He actually says that free software fits in better with the free market than proprietary software, and sometimes makes comparisons between the Soviet Union and the restrictions on copying imposed by proprietary software developers. However, he doesn't believe that a piece of software should have an owner, because unlike money and physical property, it can be copied an infinite amount of times without destroying the original copy of it.

--
GNU - free as in freedom

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

You can copy money without destroying original copy of it! It's the same as with software.

guydjohnston's picture

Another reason for not voting for Bill Gates as a politician, other than my dislike for proprietary software, is that he's a renowned liar. One that I find extremely annoying is the one at http://news.com.com/Gates+on+Vista,+Linux+and+more+-+page+3/2008-1012_3-6136350-3.html, where he says about Richard Stallman "In V3 (version three of the General Public License) he's going to really make it clear that there's the world of "can never be (commercialized)"--nobody can ever make money on it, you know, build Web services or things." Maybe I could believe he'd honestly confused 'free as in speech' with 'free as in beer', if he wasn't the world's most famous software developer, and if he hadn't heard of the GPL and the upcoming version 3, rather than fabricating a blatant lie about it to capitalise on that confusion. His monopolistic behaviour and testimony of "I don't recall" in the antitrust trial have been pretty dodgy as well.

--
GNU - free as in freedom

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

My vote is for R. Stallman, because he is a rare kind of human, capable of giving without asking for immediate reward. Therefore, his reward should be more than money. He had the choice to become a wealthy and famous scientist, creator of extraordinary industrial products, instead he wisely decided to give back to humanity for the gift of life. How many humans nowadays have the courage to forgive the predators and tyrants and make one's product free as air? It would be a welcome change to the current warmongering, unforgiving, petty, administration. Linus Torvalds is a second choice, because he is also generous, and has been able to change the world, posing and obstacle to Bill Gates and his imature world domination ideas. His gift of Linux was made possible by R. Stallman's GNU software and the Manifest.
Steve Jobs is very intelligent, but unwise.

gbz's picture
Submitted by gbz on

The other night I was reflecting on how Al Gore invented the Internet (Web 1.0?) and almost became President.

Surely the inventor of Web 2.0, a much more significant event, deserves to win the Presidency.

I vote for Tim O'Reilly!

PedroB's picture
Submitted by PedroB on

I'm not american, but i see this more like who do you like the most...
Stallman of course. An obvious answer. We live a bit of his dream, not Linus's. And i agree, i don't see comunism anywhere. He talks about software, not hardware, nor anything else. Give me a link that would tell me otherwise. Until then, no he's not a comunist. An idealist about software, yes, but one that makes things happen.

Bill Gates was very important untill a certain point. Wintel, period.
Now he seems to be in the way of improvement, and freedom (good luck controling your own pc with Vista... really, good luck). Not him, maybe, but surely Microsoft.

Note, i'm not against proprietary software, but i'm totally against being forced to use some things (DRM, ipod- do you follow me...), and lack of control over MY OWN COMPUTER. STAY OUT

guydjohnston's picture

You say that you're "not against proprietary software", but you're "totally against...lack of control of MY OWN COMPUTER". However, all proprietary software takes away your control of your own computer, as you can't change it to suit your needs, as you haven't got access to the source code. You can't even tell exactly what it's doing, and if the developers have put in any malicious features. DRM does take away even more control though.

--
GNU - free as in freedom

Matthew Sharp's picture

You can always disassemble, change/read stuff, reassemble. Proprietary software is hard to understand and modify, but it is not a black box.

Having said all that, I am against it, we just shouldn't resort to lies/exaggeration to convince other people.

guydjohnston's picture

Sorry, I wasn't trying to lie or exaggerate. I don't really know anything about how easy it is to modify software without the source code from my own experience. Maybe I should have said "proprietary software makes it harder for you to control your own computer".

--
GNU - free as in freedom

PedroB's picture
Submitted by PedroB on

No, my point is, I install it if i want to. If i have confidence in the company, they're the best at that, etc. i install it and uninstall it when i want. That's control. It's not total, but hey, the programs are there and running because i say so. Free software is what we want, but there are companys that make superior programs. Sure, lets compete with free software, but in the mean time, if i need this to work... i install it if I want to.

This is what i'm saying. DRM will be there unless you break the law, i guess. That's totally different.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

You have no precompiler code and you have computer generated variable names. Loops may be unrolled and it's very difficult to understand data structures and the logic. Decompiled code is horrible and requires a massive amount of effort to understand. Most people are better off reverse engineering the software rather than trying to understand decompiled code. That's just the technical side of things. The licence for software that lacks the code often disallows users to disassemble or change the software.

One point of free software is that people are free to tinker with the code - human readable code. Proprietary software restricts users of this right and it should be rejected from a security point of view - it is very very difficult to try and understand decompiled code.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I couldn't agree more with you in the matter. But I won't tell who I am or what I do. But I think that it is all about who should get rich and who should become even poorer.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I think it's interesting that so many people admire RMS, but they hate President George W Bush for the same reasons. GW Bush is one president in the US history that made a promise when entering office, and no amount of pressure is going to make him back down on his promise. The US elected Bush for what he said he was going to do, and he's sticking to his guns and doing it. People now hate him for it saying that he's too stubborn.

Now, we have a poll where people want an activist such as RMS. Why is his activism admired while someone else fulfilling their promise is evil? Voting is a very powerful privilege. I don't think it should be taken lightly. I may get lynched for saying this, but I don't think that people that can handle the responsibility of educating themselves on issues and voting wisely should be allowed to vote. I know this poll is just for fun, and I'm not speaking against this harmless poll. I'm just pointing out that people usually don't think before voting.

naina9's picture
Submitted by naina9 on

May be you are right may be you are not. You can never be sure if people really take these polls seriously??

How do you know if they did not voted seriously? I am not disputing your thoughts, I am just trying to set another perspective; maybe you think people are not thinking before polling, but they really are.

Secondly regarding comparison between RMS and George Bush, I would like to say just this -

RMS is a purist, he is unquestionably a genius and you would be in agreement with me over this. He could have made hell lot of many and who knows another organisation like Microsoft. But he did not, just think what he is getting dedicating all his life to the ideas of freedom not only limited to software, but even to other areas like human rights. All this because he is a selfless guy who has a mission in life and that is not evil.

On the other hand Mr. G W Bush is an opportunitst just like GW Bush Senior, who does not holds any such credentials. And if you read all the literature related to killing of JFK, Gulf War, Elections against AlGore, Iraq, 9/11 and several others, you will certainly feel something of a hush-hush. So when a person like GW Bush is presented as a crusader in war against terrorism, you certainly become skeptical about the whole thing and begin smelling some plot rather than an honest crusade, based on idealism and value which is why RMS is regarded even by people who do not necessarily agree with him.

Cheers

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Linus Torvalds = not a natural citizen; he is out of the running.

Bill Gates = would screw the average person and cater to the fortune 100; continuing to build his empire = would screw the average person and cater to the fortune 100; continuing to build his empire. Your tax return would be mandate to be done in *.xls; you would go through a WGA check before you could file; followed up with a BSA audit.

Steve Jobs = he would wrap himself in his own world and cater to only a few.

Richard Stallman = He doesn't bend to B.S. The problem is that all politicians bend to B.S. There needs to be some compromise but with out the whole screw job associated to our current politicians.

The list is a combination of either coders or business people; unfortunately I don't believe that anyone would be suited for the role of President. It isn't a bad thing that these people are either in business or coding; the just don't have the same skill set. But then again; I don't think anyone has been suitable to be a President; from what I have seen in my life time.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Ark Linux is reporting that Bill Gates will run for president in 2008.

I hope it's a hoax...

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I think that Hillary Clinton should become the next president of the United States of America.
If Great Britain has a queen than we should have a female president for at least four years.