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Hitler Quote Controversy In the BSD Community 500

New submitter Seven Spirals writes: Recently, the FreeBSD folks have removed Fortune with a fairly predictable far right 4chan condemnation. Then last weekend saw a lively debate on NetBSD's current-users mailing list about the inclusion of Hitler quotes in the Fortune database with dozens of posts falling on the left and right. The quotes themselves are fairly tame material probably intended as cautionary. However, the controversy and the reaction of BSD users has been real and very diverse. So far, the result has been to pull Fortune out of FreeBSD and to relocate the quotes into the "offensive" database in NetBSD's case.
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Hitler Quote Controversy In the BSD Community

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  • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:06PM (#55596399)

    ...briefly what fortune is in this context (as in, the Unix program, not the magazine, town, or band):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortune_(Unix)

    • ...briefly what fortune is in this context (as in, the Unix program, not the magazine, town, or band):

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortune_(Unix)

      For once I actually knew exactly what it was in reference to. I'm used to most Slashdot articles being like this - "FartKnocker, a new OO programming language that everybody is using, just got a new release" or talking about new tools that do things that other tools already did but somebody didn't think the older tools were cool enough so they wrote completely new ones that don't add any new functionality but work in more complex ways and are much harder to use than the older tools and they just pretend t

    • Has been in Emacs for a long time (among many other things of course)
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:09PM (#55596431)
    Some people enjoy getting trolled, but I refuse to care about something so nonsensical as fortune. Is it stable? Can it be used to run exploits or escalate privileges? If not, then I don't care. For people who care, fork it or overload with -nohitler parameter.
    • by eneville ( 745111 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:21PM (#55596585) Homepage

      This. Fortune is just a database of strings. It is as much a library as a public library, there seems to be gentrification in the community, IMO, if it offends get over it. Don't go and try to memory hole history, it happened, the west is the way it is now due to the battles, but you have to remember at the time Hitler did have a following, no matter how right or wrong, it is worth remembering what he did so that it can be avoided in the future. If we ignore it fully then how can we be wise to stop a repeat?

      • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

        I wonder what kind of hilarious moron thinks Fortune plays any kind of role, Hitler quotes or not, in society at large remembering or forgetting the terrible things that Hitler did? *reads eneville's post* Oh look, I found one. Christ what a sanctimoniously stupid argument.

      • The hitler quotes that were posted above and are the subject of this debate are not intelligent at all. The only reason they are in the database and something you said is not in the DB is because of how well known hitler was. Not because of the brilliant content of the quotes.

        If my system greeted me with a hitler quote, or some racist quote, well yeah i would be offended. Someone thought it was a good idea to program that in there, and therefor saw value in it. Since it wasnt removed by the maintainer, it t

        • bullshit.

          It is important to remind ourselves of the evil philosophies and methods used by tyrants and oppressors to manipulate the masses. The chosen Hitler quotes were excellent for that. It is indefensible that we kowtow to puny minded politically correct snowflakes.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Not saying I necessarily agree, but the argument is that quoting Hitler along side other respected people gives him an air of credibility and normality that he doesn't deserve.

        Personally I think some of them just demonstrate what a monster he was, and act as a warning. Those might be worth keeping.

    • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:46PM (#55596883)

      Some people enjoy getting trolled, but I refuse to care about something so nonsensical as fortune. Is it stable? Can it be used to run exploits or escalate privileges? If not, then I don't care. For people who care, fork it or overload with -nohitler parameter.

      The rise of the intolerant easily offended sort and social media lynch mobs backing them should concern all of us. The phenomena is detrimental to free societies the world over.

      • Due to the internet, we are becoming a world community. Someone somewhere will always be offended by something, followed closely by someone somewhere driven to help that someone that was offended.

        This will result in either everyone becoming least common denominator politically correct such that no one dare says a word, or chaos will break out when people have had enough of being told how to think and large groups break off to create their own walled gardens for internet communication.

  • They have to muck with politically insensitive shit that's been around for decades.
  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:38PM (#55596779)

    /g/ isn't """alt-right"", and to assume anyone who is annoyed with the trend of ignoring or removing history is """alt-right""" is foolish.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The thread is titled "FreeBSD confirmed cucks". Calling people cucks is pretty much the alt-right's signature move. They are the only ones who see the world that way.

  • FORTRAN? The syntactically incorrect statement "DO 10 I = 1.10" will parse and
    generate code creating a variable, DO10I, as follows: "DO10I = 1.10" If that
    doesn't terrify you, it should.

    In other words, the fortune database contains a fair bit of wisdom, a lot that is very funny (it is SUPPOSED to be funny/ironic/satirical/wiseass), and a certain amount that is shocking just because.

    What it is not supposed to be is boring. Or, for that matter, a fortune. I no longer generate a fortune on login or logout t

    • Yes, that will compile. It won't pass the most facile test, so I hardly see the problem. You can do equivalently stupid stuff in any language. Or use "Implicit none" like most civilized people.

  • by scourfish ( 573542 ) <scourfish@yah o o . com> on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:41PM (#55596823)
    They are still available to install if someone feels like being edgy, and there was already a defined repository for other offensive material. This is a non issue in my opinion.
  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    Mao quotes to be deleted when?

  • The actual quotes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @01:54PM (#55596953)

    https://svnweb.freebsd.org/bas... [freebsd.org]

    I think it's not exactly sincere Hitler supporters that are the only ones that could think the change a bad idea. I would think pretending those things were never said because we are hurt they were ever said is harmful for the future. Lest we have public figures repeat many of those patterns without recognizing the problem because we bury our heads in the sand at the past when it offends us.

    • "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

      I happen to think it's not a bad idea to read Mein Kampf. haven't done it personally, but it's not a bad idea.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @02:04PM (#55597025) Homepage Journal

    % fortune -m 'Joseph Stalin'
    %% (fortunes)
    A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
                                    -- Joseph Stalin
    %%
    Even God cannot change the past.
                                    -- Joseph Stalin
    %%
    Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union.
                                    -- Joseph Stalin
    %%
    In the future, there will be fewer but better Russians.
                                    -- Joseph Stalin

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a blatant lie. The Stalin quotes were removed 1 day after the Hitler quotes:

      https://svnweb.freebsd.org/changeset/base/325828

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
    I think that's been defended enough. What should worry people is when Hitler quotes are dropped in other context. There was an Antifa rally awhile back. One of the prominent members was giving a fairly lengthy speech. And the many Antifa members who were there could not contain themselves over these great word being spoken that embodied all that they are. There was a problem. Every last bit of the speech was directly, word for word, quoted from Hitler speeches. When you are so busy looking for monsters that
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @03:31PM (#55597791) Homepage Journal

    He tells you *exactly* how he intends to operate:

    *The great masses of people more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one.

    *How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.

    *The leader of genius must have the ability to make many opponents appear as if they belong to one category.

    *Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.

    *I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.

    Hitler and the Nazis were stridently anti-intellectual, for the very good reason that people who think critically are very difficult to manipulate. They were very big on feelings: from mawkishly sentimental art to the deliciously transgressive license of a good riot. In fact the rioters only feel liberated; they're actually doing their masters' bidding.

    • Hitler and the Nazis were stridently anti-intellectual, for the very good reason that people who think critically are very difficult to manipulate.

      No, they were anti-degeneracy and anti-communism, for the very good reason that they didn't want to happen in Germany what had happened in Russia 20 years earlier. The Frankfurt School and other communists [wikipedia.org] worked tirelessly to make those terms nearly synonymous.

      See also Critical Theory [wikipedia.org] and compare it to the first sentence in the "Intellectual" page.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        for the very good reason that they didn't want to happen in Germany what had happened in Russia 20 years earlier.

        Which is why they made a peace treaty with communist Russia and invaded capitalist Czechoslovakia and Poland.

        • Let me guess... you learned history in an American public school and called it "good enough"?

          Poland and Czechoslovakia both had large German populations, the mistreatment of whom formed the justification for reunification. Hell, General Guderian had the German tank drivers decorate their tanks with garlands before "invading" the Sudetenland and everyone had a big party!

          Hitler and Stalin were both convinced, pretty much correctly as far as I can tell, that the other was itching to invade. In 1939, they bo

  • Yo mama jokes and such that would make those little daemon worshipers heads explode.

"And remember: Evil will always prevail, because Good is dumb." -- Spaceballs

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