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Thoughts On Stallman Drama

I find it’s often the case that behind instances of mass-stupidity there is great “intelligence” at work.

For example, why would a mob call Stallman (of all people) “racist”, “sexist”, “transphobic” and a “pedophile”? I could be wrong, but AFAICT he is none of those things, and the mob provided no supporting evidence.

I’m not denying the claims that Stallman might have clumsily attempted to date younger women, or that once he absent-mindedly ate something off of his foot during a lecture, or that people claim he pointed and shouted (in jest) "A GIRL!" during a male-dominated conference. You've probably done odd things too if you've lived long enough. None of those past behaviors seem to warrant (to me) the massive outcry and demand for his ostracization and ouster from the board of the FSF. And it's been categorically debunked by multiple people that he ever, in any way, defended Jeffrey Epstein. He very clearly called for him to be punished and imprisoned.

It’s interesting to note how Mozilla and EFF threw the FSF under the bus. Why do they want to get rid of RMS? Could it be because he is an outspoken critic of one of their major donors? Could this be part of a larger strategy to remove RMS and allies from the FSF, compromising its integrity and thereby the integrity of the AGPL/GPL?

Stallman seems to think so, as it has been his fear that the “open source people” (his words) would try to take over his organization.

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]

[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]

[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

I hear you’re stepping back into the saddle.

I am on the board of directors -- I am not "in charge".

I too am concerned about how to keep the FSF on the right track after I am gone. I have always worried that open source people might get in. Nowadays I am also worried that the movement that opposes deciding ethical issues based on the rights of them, and objects to freedom of speech, might get inside.

As anyone who's remotely followed Stallman's work and activism over the years knows, he is an outspoken critic of basically all of the major tech companies that seek to dominate and control your life. He regularly points out their abuses of power on his website, while running an organization that produces legal tools that undermine their ability to profit off of free/libre software. Stallman's organization forces them to compete with software that is both “free as in freedom”, and “free as in beer”. For organizations that have difficulty attracting volunteer labor, this can be a problem.

In this sense, Stallman is like Gandalf, standing in a chasm, staring down a monster and shouting, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

It's possible therefore that these rumors and false accusations were levied against him by those seeking to undermine everything he and his organization represent. Or, maybe there is no conspiracy and these people simply have a lower threshold than I for what constitutes a serious crime, and the rest misunderstood. Or maybe both could be true.

I think it is representative of a sick society when people are so eager to "cancel" others without knowing them well, especially someone like RMS, an activist/engineer whose labor we have to thank for much of modern computing, and the software licenses that protect what little freedom they have left.

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