From the article:
“Movement to a few minutes of terse explanations, including what the acronym GNU stands for: GNU is Not Unix.
“The G part stands for GNU?” Alsup asked in disbelief.
“Yes,” said Schwartz on the stand.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” said the 71-year-old Clinton appointee.”
Of course it makes sense. GNU is just an arbitrary label being used to distinguish one system from another by counting. It’s a recursive acronym / algorithm. It’s an intellectual joke playing on nested sets and Russell’s set theory paradox. Can GNU include itself or not?
It’s basically like saying
PARSE_GNU = "GNU is Not Unix"
GNU = 0 ; NU = 1
GNU = GNU+NU
if PAST_GNU less than GNU print PARSE_GNU
Another way of saying it would be “GNU is Not Unix Ever Forever No Exceptions [GNUEFNE],” except that’s not a very elegant formula, when you can explain the same thing iteratively.
But when you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny anymore, right? It’s like peeling away the layers of an onion and expecting to find an onion under the last peel. Unless cluelessness about geek humor is also part of the inside joke. I would have asked the judge if he understood the old Abbott and Costello baseball sketch, since that seems to be more his speed. Sheesh.