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Re: All GPL'ed programs have to go to non-free

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005, Adrian Bunk wrote:

>Therefore, all GPL'd programs will have to go to non-free.
>Is this a correct interpretation of what will happen after the release 
>of sarge or is there any mistake in my proof?

The problem you have identified is not new, or unique to free software 
There is a type of apparently unanswerable question of the form:
"Does the barber shave every man in town who doesn't shave himself?", or more 
generally, "Does the set of all sets which do not contain themselves, contain 
itself?". This is sometimes known as Russell's Paradox (Gödel's 
Incompleteness Theorem is its most general expression); in this case it is 
"Is the requirement of freedom a restriction?". 
Wittgenstein claimed to have solved the paradox in Tractatus Logico 
Philosophicus; I read the proof but didn't get it - maybe you will be able to 
- but I think he took it back later. 
In short, we must accept that any system can only be justified from outside 
itself. In order to move our arms, they must be attached at the shoulder; in 
order to walk, we must stand on one leg, lean forward, and trust that we 
won't fall over.
Meanwhile, keep on philosophizing and, especially, keep that beautiful Debian 
system growing.

John O'Hagan 

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