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Linus Torvalds For Nobel Peace Prize?

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the nice-step-towards-world-domination dept.

Linux 541

An anonymous reader writes "I'm as much of a Linux fanboy as anyone else, but I've never thought of anything in computing as being worth a Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently, there are those who take global collaboration seriously, though..." The suggestion has been bouncing around the Portland Linux community, where Torvalds lives. Is it worthy of wider attention and discussion?

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541 comments

He deserves it (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172504)

I come from 2051, in a timeline where Linux didn't exist. You don't want to hear about the Microsoft vs Apple netwar.

Re:He deserves it (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172964)

I come from 2051, in a timeline where Linux didn't exist. You don't want to hear about the Microsoft vs Apple netwar.

Yes, it was terrible, all those Windows machines loaded with malware, all trying and failing to attack anything non-Microsoft, until Apple ended it by buying what was left of Microsoft in 2018 in an all-stock deal of 100 Microsoft shares for 1 Apple share, plus the lint in Steve Jobs' bellybutton.

Now people's Windows machines work perfectly. Microsoft Windows - a product of Apple, Inc.

Why not? (5, Funny)

Xebikr (591462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172518)

I'm sure that at some point in his tenure as King of Linux he will do things worthy of the Nobel Peace prize. Let's just give it to him now to get it out of the way.

Re:Why not? (1, Funny)

middlemen (765373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172692)

Well then we should nominate Theo de Raadt for it instead.

Re:Why not? (1, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172846)

I'm confused, why would we nominate Theo instead? I knew almost nothing about the guy (as I'm more for linux and just never bother with bsd) but his wikipedia entry is pretty brutal.

List his peace initiatives... (2, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172532)

Perhaps we could better decide if we saw a list of Linus' global peace initiatives...

Gregor

Re:List his peace initiatives... (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172578)

Lets see Obama's as well...

Re:List his peace initiatives... (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172762)

He created a multinational project of cooperation between tons of people all over the globe and made a project that has helped change the computer industry and lower costs, making computing more affordable for everyone. Sounds good to me.

That's a lot better than saying you'll do things but not having done them yet.

He'll never win. The prize is very political, and I doubt they would give it to someone who isn't in their group of admired people. As a PR tool, it could be much more valuable to give it to someone else.

Are there better candidates? I'd certainly expect so. But look at the list of winners [nobelprizes.com] . While some are obviously good (Doctors Without Borders, The Dalai Llama) others are much more questionable.

Re:List his peace initiatives... (3, Insightful)

sixoh1 (996418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173130)

Nobel laureate would certainly be a good way to reward a man who has done something far more extraordinary than anything BillG or the Steve's ever did - without the benefit of a corporation (note MS needed IBM to be where it is) or a formal product (the Steve's SOLD hardware) and created a world-class operating system.

Not only that, he is still there, still writing code, corralling the cats and making progress in developing, instead of just cashing in.

This is in my not so humble opinion the ultimate leadership by example - and it can and has been applied to thousands of other projects. Richard Stallman may have "invented" open source - Linus made it real for everyone, from greedy businessman to naive undergraduate CS student.

Re:List his peace initiatives... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173142)

He created a multinational project of cooperation between tons of people all over the globe and made a project that has helped change the computer industry and lower costs, making computing more affordable for everyone. Sounds good to me.

So did Bill Gates.

Re:List his peace initiatives... (5, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172820)

Since Obama got one for not being George W. Bush, Linus should get one for not being Theo de Raadt.

Re:List his peace initiatives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172920)

Since Obama got one for not being George W. Bush, Linus should get one for not being Theo de Raadt.

Also, Linus Trovalds hasn't been accused of raping and killing a girl in 1990.

Re:List his peace initiatives... (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173058)

Since Obama got one for not being George W. Bush, Linus should get one for not being Theo de Raadt.

And we could give one to Hans Reiser for not being O.J. Simpson. Oh, wait a sec ...

How about giving it to both RMS and Linus?

Or for the lulz, Stallman and Palin. Can you imagine the two of them in the same room? The improbability is SO high that the universe might finally have to hork up a Higgs Bosun.

Linux Peace Prize? (3, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172544)

There are real people making real change on this planet. While I like Linux as much as the next guy, this is not going to happen.

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172738)

Actually, Linux has brought about real change, but not really in the let's-promote-peace-and-human-rights kind of way. It seems a stretch to even consider him. He has been extraordinarily influential, but as far as the Peace Prize, I don't think it's appropriate. (I don't dislike Obama but I didn't think he deserved it either).

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172850)

Maybe not the Peace Prize, but I can see him getting the Economic Prize for Linux's economic impact on the business world & Internet.

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172808)

There are real people making real change on this planet.

And the Peace Prize goes to none of them. Linus is just as deserving as any other winner (read: none of them were)

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172922)

Why not? I mean, sure Torvalds isn't exactly a Ghandi (who ironically never got one, IIRC)...

...but then again, look who else got one: Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Barack Obama - not as if these three gents had really done too much to earn it (okay, Carter brokered the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement back in the 1970's which later fell apart, and did a lot of post-presidential negotiation work, but really... not much done by any of 'em - esp. compared to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, FFS...)

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (2, Insightful)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172930)

I think it's not going to happen either, but it's interesting to think that if somebody managed to pull off a successful large scale OLPC-type venture involving Linux, it would be him or her to be considered for the prize. The truth is, the world is a lot better with Linux, even though the people who could really do with using it generally aren't. Apart from the fact that it allows so much to be kept from the corporate stranglehold, Linux is really the driving force behind the open source movement, which is a very real and significant thing. Who would have thought ten years ago that CodePlex was to come?

There should be more recognition for the people that are "behind the scenes" - the people without whom we couldn't have the big, headline-catching, landmark events that showmen get all the credit for. I think that's what is the desire in the article for someone who's not a politician getting the prize, although the argument wasn't terribly well formed.

One reason that so many of us are initially (or permanently) dismissive of the notion is that it's so hard to gauge what Linus has done for the world. How can we really know what the world would be like without Linux? Would *BSD or HURD get the development attention to bring them to Linux's standard (apologies to fans of these OS's)? Personally, I believe that Linux is quite strongly responsible for the quality of these and Haiku and all the rest of the OS OS's in use now. Linux has been a strong driving force because of the philosophy, and vitally, because of Linus Torvalds.

Don't use past recipients' unworthiness as reason to give it to him: Linus is worthy regardless.

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (2, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172938)

Maybe you haven't lived long enough to realize the significance of Linux as a world-wide collaborative project on a scale capable of producing something as complex as an operating system kernel. Less than 2 decades ago, a project like Linux was unheard of and essentially considered impossible. Anything non-trivial required the resources of a government or a corporation and that was that. What you now consider commonplace was a huge revelation when it began. Linux is one of the first projects that showed the world what the internet makes possible. Just about everything you now know as the FLOSS community happened because Linux set the example for what was possible. That *is* real change. Now, Linus was just in the right place at the right time and had the right personality to pull it off. But releasing the kernel under the GPL to encourage participation was also a big factor, so I agree with the poster below that a co-nomination with Richard Stallman would be more appropriate. I'll go so far as to suggest that Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, Tim O'Reilly, Brian Behlendorf, Paul Vixie and Mitch Kapor belong in that group too. Maybe even Eben Moglen. In fact, considering the collaborative nature of free software, anything other than a group of key contributors would be incorrect and missing the point. I seriously think the people mentioned above (and a bunch of contributors who quietly gave of their time) changed the world in a significant way, for the better.

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172970)

Science and technology has driven more social change than any other factor in human history.

Politicians and military leaders sure talk a lot and get the most attention, but its scientists and engineers that really make the world a better place and are most worthy of any kind of piece prize.

Re:Linux Peace Prize? (2, Informative)

ZeroPly (881915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173004)

More importantly, the Peace Prize is not given just for creating positive change. It is given specifically for improving relations between nations, reducing standing armies, and promoting peace congresses. While that is interpreted loosely - especially in recent years, giving it to a software developer would be a huge jump. In a sense, it would be like giving the Peace Prize to the manufacturer of the hammer that was first used on the Berlin Wall.

Well he's at least done more than Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172548)

Given that Obama got a nobel prize for doing NOTHING I don't see why not.

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172644)

Given that Obama got a nobel prize for doing NOTHING I don't see why not.

Not starting a nuclear war with Iran is technically doing nothing, but I still think it's a very, very good idea.

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172676)

Linus didn't start a nuclear war with Iran either.

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172838)

Linus didn't start a nuclear war with Iran either

...yet.

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172700)

Not starting a nuclear war with Iran is technically doing nothing, but I still think it's a very, very good idea.

I didn't start a nuclear war with Iran either. Where's my Nobel Peace Prize?

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172876)

Obama COULD start a nuclear war, whereas you cannot. Don't get me wrong, he didn't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. While he may very well end up doing something to deserve it, he shouldn't have been awarded it until he actually did something first.

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173034)

Given that Obama got a nobel prize for doing NOTHING I don't see why not.

Not starting a nuclear war with Iran is technically doing nothing, but I still think it's a very, very good idea.

George W. Bush didn't start a nuclear war with Iran and he didn't get a Nobel Peace Prize.
Also, keep in mind that Obama has a few more years in which he could start a nuclear war with Iran.

Re:Well he's at least done more than Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173036)

If Obama accomplishes NOTHING else, getting that fucktard gwbush out of office and preventing McCain (aka GWBush II) from taking us deeper into the hole makes him deserve the nobel peace prize, the olympic gold in mens figure skating, the oscar for best actor, the booker prize, and any other awards anyone anywhere cares to give. Yes gwbush and the republicrats *are* that bad. They make the incompetence and corruption of the democrats look meagre in comparison.

That's GNU/Linux, you insensitive clod! (1)

nycguy (892403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172556)

Richard Stallman is bristling with righteous indignation that this proposal was not for a co-nomination!

Re:That's GNU/Linux, you insensitive clod! (5, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172824)

...he would refuse it anyway, on the grounds that it wasn't called the "GNU/Nobel Peace Prize".

Re:That's GNU/Linux, you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172924)

I hear he's working on an alternative called 'GNU/BELL Recursive Abstracted Mandatory Passivity Award'.

Well... (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172562)

I can't say he is less worthy than Obama. Obama's biggest claim to fame is that he is not George Bush. Linus isn't George Bush either, so I guess his qualifications are in order.

Re:Well... (4, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172868)

Linus has though, fueled many thousands of flame-wars with his product.

Obama just fuels just one Afgan war.

In a word... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172564)

"Is it worthy of wider attention and discussion?"

No.

Giving to everybody now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172568)

Why not just hand one to everyone? Sheesh.

Re:Giving to everybody now? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173108)

Why not just hand one to everyone? Sheesh.

1. It's not like the tax-payer-funded bailouts.
2. You're not a too-big-to-fail corporate dick-head.

Linus v. Obama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172580)

In general I'd say no, of course not, don't be silly. An ACM prize sure, but not a Nobel Peace Prize.

But if Obama can get one for doing nothing, surely Linus can get one for doing something.

(And I'm an Obama supporter, by the way.)

We would be an excellent candidate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172590)

He has done a lot more than Obama.

Farcical (3, Informative)

UbuntuniX (1126607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172594)

Linus has certainly done more to deserve it than Obama.

Re:Farcical (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173120)

Linus has certainly done more to deserve it than Obama.

I'm sure you trying to be funny, but the peace prize is more often awarded as encouragement.
See this from, Nobel Peace Prize Myths, Explained [cbsnews.com] :

- Myth: The prize is awarded to recognize efforts for peace, human rights and democracy only after they have proven successful.

More often, the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.

Not a Campaigned Award (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172600)

Is it worthy of wider attention and discussion?

Why do you talk about it? Find someone in this list:

University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes;

Willing to Submit him for it [nobelprize.org] and go back to coding. Don't go campaigning for some person to win the Nobel peace prize, call up your contacts at Washington University and discuss it with them. If you can't convince them to nominate him, it's probably not going to work.

This is not an elected award so I wouldn't waste my time trying to impose outside influence on a committee for a Nobel prize. The committee decides, not the community. I'm sure every profession has their savior/icon that they think deserves this award for revolutionizing something and altering humanity for the better. You're free to talk all you want but it's not going to change anything. Discussing it online is nothing but a waste of time unless your intentions are to embarrass Linus.

You must be old here. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172870)

Wow, an informative comment with a useful link that allows the reader to verify your statements independently!

Are you sure you aren't really a time traveler from, say, 2001 or thereabouts?

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172604)

Oh god, please no.
I'd prefer my Linus not being in the same company with all the crooks who received it for bullshit.

Richard M. Stallman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172608)

Well, then a far better case can be argued for a Nobel Prize to be extended to the father of free software, Richard M. Stallman.

Re:Richard M. Stallman (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172810)

He's way to pushy and intolerant of differing ideals. Linus used what Stallman started, but Linus is more of the 'get it done with the right tools' type, than the intolerant idealism type. Linus' proper use of the tools, IMO is a much better method.

Richard M. Stallman is doing the real work (3, Insightful)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172918)

Stallman's working for social justice, freedom and equality. He gets chosen less often as a posterboy, but he's the one doing the really important work.

Linus is only popular because his style is convenient for IBM and the other megacorps. He goes with the flow, let's those with power do what they want.

Re:Richard M. Stallman is doing the real work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173140)

Yes, but Stallman stinks

Hey, if Obama got it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172618)

If Obama got it for doing essentially nothing after being in office for less than a year (and nominated after only a few months?) then I'm sure Linus has already earned it just by waking up this morning and drinking his coffee.

Sure, why not? (2, Funny)

Fished (574624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172632)

After all, he's not George Bush either. Or perhaps it's that he's not Bill Gates. *snark*

Re:Sure, why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172860)

If anything Bill Gates deserves it more than Linus because of the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

[nerdquotient]Before you bash me for liking "teh Windoze," I duel boot Ubuntu and Snow Leopard on my Mac Pro. [/nerdquotient]

Re:Sure, why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173148)

If anything Bill Gates deserves it more than Linus because of the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

Bill Gates deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for indirectly killing people? His foundation is nothing to do with peace.

All his foundation does is promote US intellectual property rights by giving away a few free drugs to countries that
stop using black market sourced medication. Those countries then have to pay 5-10 times as much for the same drugs.

Why doubt? (1)

Karasuni (1682846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172646)

If President Obama can recieve a Nobel prize for things he promised to do, within a year of when he started, then Linus Turvalds, who helped built the crucial basis for technology that will last as long as computers exist, should've gotten a prize almost twenty years ago.

Re:Why doubt? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172694)

Linus Turvalds, who helped built the crucial basis for technology that will last as long as computers exist, should've gotten a prize almost twenty years ago.

Yes, but not the fucking Nobel *Peace* Prize.

Re:Why doubt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172892)

They gave one to Arafat.

Yes! (2, Insightful)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172666)

Absolutely. Peace isn't merely politicians negotiating treaties, public-spirited volunteers planting trees, religious leaders preaching tolerance, or organisations raising money to save endangered species. Peace is an instrument towards achieving open-minded and open-hearted coöperation amongst people from a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities and countries working towards creating solutions for the common welfare. If anyone deserves the Peace prize, Linus Torvalds probably does. Or perhaps the open-source movement, as a whole. Software may not be as visible as loud activists and marching protesters, but it has achieved the kind of collaboration amongst interested private individuals and companies that the environmental movement or any of various well-meaning political groups can only envy.

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172878)

Peace is an instrument towards achieving open-minded and open-hearted coöperation amongst people from a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities and countries working towards creating solutions for the common welfare.

And here all along I thought Peace was when no one was killing each other, and frankly that's hard enough to accomplish let alone the BS socialism you're spouting.

Briefly, no. (1)

pz (113803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172682)

Nobel prizes are not decided by popular vote. They are not decided by wider discussion and consideration. There is no forum for public nomination. There are no public announcements of the candidates under consideration, even after the fact. Despite what kdawson might hope, he, and the rest of the people around Portland get no say in deciding Nobel prizes.

RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172688)

Honestly, RMS probably deserves the Nobel Peace Prize more than Linus. He gets wide credit for starting the entire GNU/ free software initiative.

"Stuff that Matters" (0, Troll)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172698)

Does this suggest that Bill Gates and Paul Allen should also get the Nobel Peace Prize?
Or, does it suggest that they should get the War Prize?
What about the guy who invented Minix? Should he get the prize too?

I know I'm responding to a troll article, but I can't help it.

Re:"Stuff that Matters" (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172764)

Does this suggest that Bill Gates and Paul Allen should also get the Nobel Peace Prize?

Their philanthropic efforts (while not making them deserve the prize) give them slightly more claim to one than Torvalds.

Re:"Stuff that Matters" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173150)

One thing I've noticed that Gates and Torvalds have in common (besides the obvious association with developing an OS) is that they are known for critiquing ideas as "stupid", as in "the stupidest thing I've ever heard", even if it's their third time using that expression in one day.

I don't know if that's a militaristic or peace-loving trait.

You know...why not? (5, Insightful)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172714)

I've always been interested in seeing how computers get used in the far-flung parts of the world, and between OLPC and websites showing off pics of tribemen using Linux on laptops to check prices, weather info, etc., it would seem that Linux has made a difference both in the "developed" world as well as the places where computers may not be as prevalent.

Certainly it stands to reason that not everyone needs access to email, say, but everyone would like to know whether it's going to rain tomorrow, and there may not be a local radio or tv station to provide that info, but a computer with some sort of internet access could. So if I'm only going to use a computer once in a blue moon, or if I'm one who provides computers to folks who only need an extremely limited data set, why not be Linux? It's totally dependable and, most importantly, it's free. This is critical when the local economy may rely more on bartering and the exchange of physical goods for services; I can't imagine Microsoft would be willing to sell Windows for a few dozen eggs.

So yes, I'd be behind such an honor; the whole point of the Nobel Peace prize is to award people who have made other lives better, and providing the platform on which anyone, anywhere can build upon to provide anything, at the most local level, I can't see how this *doesn't* qualify.

Re:You know...why not? (1)

cdfh (1323079) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172960)

but everyone would like to know whether it's going to rain tomorrow

I live in my parents' basement. Why would I want to know whether it's going to rain tomorrow?

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? (2, Funny)

rishistar (662278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172724)

It strikes me that a lot of good is being done by this body. Plus there's more to come. So it strikes me that Bill might be in line first, or maybe a shared one with Bill, Linus and Tim Berners-Lee or something.

Re:Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172972)

Oh yee of much (intentional?) ignorance...(or perhaps an MS troll...)

Start reading here:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-na-gatesx7jan07-sg,0,2046572.storygallery [latimes.com]

(Or just type latimes.com/gates into a browser)

And continue researching on the internet to find other evil(s) done by B. Gates and MS, etc.
He's probably done more HARM to getting computers and, dare I say, non-working, non-functional, BSOD computers into the public eye than anyone else.
Why are so many computer-illiterate? Thank B.Gates and MS for scaring people off computers due to their junk systems...
Microsoft Windows...the MacDonalds of the computer world...definitely NOT Nobel material.

Hmmm, (1)

HazMat 79 (1481233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172728)

peace prize no. There are prizes for science fields also, maybe they could figure out if he deserves one of them.

Why Insult him with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172804)

Would you want the same award given to Arafat and George Ryan?

Seriously, if you want to honor him, make is something meaningful.

Re:Why Insult him with that? (3, Insightful)

Erbo (384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172956)

My thought exactly. I don't want to presume to speak for Linus, but I'd hope he'd be insulted by the thought of being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, since the track record of its awardees (not just Obama, he's merely the most recent example) shows that the prize itself is meaningless at best.

Maybe Not Ridiculous (1)

steve_thatguy (690298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172832)

I know it seems a little far-fetched, but the globalization possible due to technology has caused a lot of conflict and strife in terms of politics, business practices, etc. The open source movement, which became prominent mostly through projects like Apache, Firefox, and especially Linux, is one of the best examples we have so far for the potential good of globalization--where people are coming together across the world irrespective of race, religion, or nationality and working toward a common goal for the greater good of the entire world (or at least the part of the world who benefits from their software). It's a model for the potential of global peace and cooperation.

Not saying Linus is by any means a shoe-in for it, but I don't think it's an absurd idea.

Torvalds ... peaceful? (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172854)

"Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of Minix."
"An infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program."
"Your problem has nothing to do with git, and everything to do with emacs. And then you have the _gall_ to talk about "unix design" and not gumming programs together, when you yourself use the most gummed-up piece of absolute sh*t there is!"
"When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say 'Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*'."
"My personal opinion of Mach is not very high. Frankly, it's a piece of crap. It contains all the design mistakes you can make, and even managed to make up a few of its own."
"In short: just say NO TO DRUGS, and maybe you won't end up like the Hurd people."
"Personally, I'm _not_ interested in making device drivers look like user-level. They aren't, they shouldn't be, and microkernels are just stupid."

And I didn't even get that far down the page [wikiquote.org] .

Then again, if it was between him and de Raadt ...

Proof that Linux does NOT promote peace... (4, Funny)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172858)

Everyone knows KDE is better than Gnome. And really, Ubuntu isn't even a real distro. It's just Debian gimped and preconfigured.

run away! run away!

Can we stop with the Obama comparisons? (0)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172906)

The Obama peace prize meme is really annoying. I don't think it was a great idea to give the prize to him but it the idea that we don't give nobel peace prizes to people to encourage/support/recognize potential work is just wrong. For example, the 1935 prize went to Carl von Ossietsky for his journalism and peace activism against the Nazis. He had at that point done very little to stop the Nazis. And we all know how well he actually succeeded. Not at all. But that prize was completely reasonable. There's a long history of giving the prizes to people who promise future work.

Moreover, Obama's win was a real accomplishment as the first black US President. Also as a matter of international peace having a US President who doesn't think that bombing everything is a solution and doesn't go to war due to Biblical verses, yeah that's a good thing. So even if accomplishments were necessary Obama had them.

Finally, Torvalds has real accomplishments. The success of Linux has helped poorer countries who would have trouble affording closed source projects (not as much as we'd like but it has certainly helped). Moreover, his work has helped inspire the open source movement in general in ways that have really helped a lot. If not for his work, Lessig would likely never have been inspired to make the Creative Commons for example. I could reasonably see a joint peace prize for Torvalds, Lessig and Stallman.

Re:Can we stop with the Obama comparisons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173032)

Care to cite that we are at war because of a writing in the Bible?

Re:Can we stop with the Obama comparisons? (1)

alinuxguruofyore (1117973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173122)

Carl von Ossietsky received his award for publishing details about Treaty of Versailles violations in 1931. He gets an A for effort even if his effort was fruitless. Obama's "real accomplishment as the first black US President" does not constitute effort at all. Obama won because of the cult of personality, and not based on any historical activity.

If Al Gore can get it (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172912)

then why not Linus. At least Linus did not write a book and omit a few inconvenient truths.

Yes: Intellectual monopoly is war-like (1)

jurgen (14843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172926)

Yes, Linus is worth of consideration, not only for his own achievements but also for what he symbolizes in the fight against Intellectual Monopoly. This is one of the great fights of our times... and the wealth-grab of widening intellectual monopoly is part of what makes the rich (nations) richer and the poor poorer. Nominating Linus for the Nobel Peace Price would draw needed attention to this fight.

Linux is an equalizer for the poor. I am involved in a project in Brazil where we take old (and usually broken) donated machines show local kids how to rebuild them and put linux on them. Dozens of kids who would not otherwise have been able to afford a computer or learn about technology have benefited from this. And there are thousands of such projects around the world, having made a huge difference at the grass-roots in many communities.

I heartily support Linus's nomination!

Maybe he does.... (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172998)

He did quite a bit of work, then gave it away because he thought it was best for his work and thought others would like to play with it. He puts the technology first above everything. He's not going to become insanely rich, but we as a global society should reward him in some way. Not sure peace price is right, but it's not wholly wrong either. Maybe not just him, but RMS for the creation of the GPL. I'm sure there are others. We should reward people who put progress/technology/people/freedom before themselves and wealth. If we don't, what does that say about us? Isn't that how we want people to behave?

He deserves it more than Obama did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173002)

Linus deserves the Nobel Peace Prize more than Obama did. Linus has actually accomplished something, and has been uniting global communities for years.

I absolutely support this . . . (2, Interesting)

darth_borehd (644166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173054)

He created a project that fostered international cooperation and was essential to the expansion of the internet. It made thousands of embedded devices possible and freed computers from the shackles of proprietary operating systems. It made computing possible for millions of people around the world who otherwise would not be able to afford computers. The non-profit, collaborative model opened doors to connect computer professionals from all around the globe. He would definitely be one of the best candidates in 20 years.

Forget the open source bigshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30173094)

When it comes to computer science, I think men like Edsger Dijkstra, Alan Turing or Donald Knuth deserve this title more. Even for those men, Nobel price for PEACE is the wrong category.

Bill Gates (4, Interesting)

Peregr1n (904456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173114)

I know this is contentious, but I quite like being the devil's advocate. Isn't Bill Gates more suited to the Nobel Peace Prize?
His philanthropy is unparalleled (by monetory value alone, anyway). His influence on the world of computing is undisputed. I'm not saying his influence has been good or bad... just that he's had influence. The world wouldn't be the same without Windows. Regardless of which operating system you favour (for me, it's a tie between OSX and Ubuntu), you cannot deny that Windows has been an important component in the spread of information and education across the world, and enabled all kinds of communication.
A lot of this stuff would have happened anyway, without Windows... but then I could argue that the US civil rights movement would have happened at some point without Martin Luther King (a previous Nobel Peace Prize winner).

Well, why not? (1)

Slipped_Disk (532132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30173116)

He's managed to foster a global community (fractious and contentious though the wars between distributions may be) and I don't think that anyone can argue that a typical open-source developer conference looks a bit like the UN with all the disparate countries and cultures coming together to work on a common project.

Linux and the GNU bits have been picked up as THE standard for computing in low-income countries and regions - How many systems targeted at getting the poor, underdeveloped, etc. on the net are running Linux distributions under the hood?

I say give it to him -- seems like the above is worthy of recognition IMHO.
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