Wish It Away

What do Republicans and anti-Free Software zealots have in common?

Reading Planet Debian before bed and the top two posts happen to have a relation in my mind (and my mind only?):

Adam Rosi-Kessel wrote about an experiment in cognitive dissonance where certain groups were given information and then more information which refuted; the result was that they believed the first information even more strongly.  To wit:

Thirty-four percent […] told only about the […] claims thought […] had […], but 64 percent […] who heard both claim and refutation thought […]. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

And then under that (though, before temporally), Jeff Licquia wrote about the Ubuntu-Firefox-EULA issue.  Again:

[…] a situation where you always have to ask permission […], and have to be constantly reminded of the rules, you don’t feel comfortable.

That’s the connection I’m seeing between them: the people who are afraid or skeptical or dismissive of free software are of the same mindset as the group from the aforementioned study.  They hear about free software from those who are against it foremost, and so they are already skeptical.  Then the good folks as FSF or other orgs refute the FUD and yet… backfires.  The skeptics are somehow reinforced by the refutation.


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