Richard Stallman Does Not and Cannot Speak for the Free Software Movement

35 réponses [Dernière contribution]
t3g
t3g
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/15/2011
calher

I am a member!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 06/19/2015

This in-fighting scares me very much.

davidpgil
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 08/26/2015

Its a micro of all the infighting happening right now in the world. good news is free software will always exists as long as ppl can give things away for free.

Narcis Garcia
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/15/2019

The "Nobody lasts forever" thread already was off-topic.
Please, stop this subject to not deploy unuseful discussion.

El 17/9/19 a les 18:28, name at domain ha escrit:
> https://sfconservancy.org/news/2019/sep/16/rms-does-not-speak-for-us/

calher

I am a member!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 06/19/2015

On 09/17/2019 12:04 PM, Narcis Garcia wrote:
> The "Nobody lasts forever" thread already was off-topic.

Speaking of that, whatever happened to freedom-misc?

--
Caleb Herbert
KE0VVT
816-892-9669
https://bluehome.net/csh

Ignacio Agulló
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/30/2019

On 17/09/19 18:28, wrote:
> https://sfconservancy.org/news/2019/sep/16/rms-does-not-speak-for-us/

First time ever I hear from these people.

--
Ignacio Agulló · name at domain

andyprough
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2015

Without Stallman there would be no free software movement. In the 80s people were suing each other into oblivion over shareware. As a result of the lawsuits, Stallman came up with the idea of copy left and created the GPL. But left to their own devices and without Stallman's vision and leadership, the free software folks of the day were a pathetic group who were never going to create anything lasting.

commodore256
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 01/10/2013

Everybody in the free software movement speaks for free software as individuals.

Narcis Garcia
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/15/2019

Then, please use this mailing list for its scope.
Join to an "individuals debate" list to talk about the good and the bad
of somebody that is not subscribed here. (and invite him)

El 17/9/19 a les 19:45, name at domain ha escrit:
> Everybody in the free software movement speaks for free software as
> individuals.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 06/09/2014

name at domain wrote:
> https://sfconservancy.org/news/2019/sep/16/rms-does-not-speak-for-us/

From that page:
> When considered with other reprehensible comments he has published over
> the years, these incidents form a pattern of behavior that is
> incompatible with the goals of the free software movement.

That text from the SFC doesn't link to anything or come with quotes to back
their point. As a result I don't know what they're talking about.

I've asked name at domain what these comments are, since they wrote
that post to their own blog, but I'd like to know if anyone here has any
idea what they're referring to?

andyprough
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2015

> I'd like to know if anyone here has any idea what they're referring to?

Hard to say, but he has said a lot of really wild stuff in his life. But, he's always been a provocateur, who views part of his purpose as challenging people on the words they use and on the way those word choices affect laws, politics, religion, marriage relationships, etc. It's no surprise whatsoever that someone who is trying to be outraged could find something to be outraged about by Stallman's speeches or writings about sex or other controversial topics. He never ever shied away from talking about the "taboo" subjects or being labeled politically incorrect, not that I've ever seen.

At the same time, the SFC is basically a Google-funded mouthpiece for promoting their favorite "open source" projects, and promoting "open source" work as being equivalent to "libre" counterparts. Little wonder that Google, who took huge hits from Stallman over the years, would bankroll a hit job on him.

kopolee11
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 06/05/2013

>> As a result I don't know what they're talking about... I've asked name at domain what these comments are, since they wrote that post to their own blog, but I'd like to know if anyone here has any idea what they're referring to?

Richard Stallman comments regarding pedophilia:

"Dubya has nominated another caveman for a federal appeals court. Refreshingly, the Democratic Party is organizing opposition.
[Reference updated on 2018-05-10 because the old link was broken.]

The nominee is quoted as saying that if the choice of a sexual partner were protected by the Constitution, "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia" also would be. He is probably mistaken, legally--but that is unfortunate. All of these acts should be legal as long as no one is coerced. They are illegal only because of prejudice and narrowmindedness.

Some rules might be called for when these acts directly affect other people's interests. For incest, contraception could be mandatory to avoid risk of inbreeding. For prostitution, a license should be required to ensure prostitutes get regular medical check-ups, and they should have training and support in insisting on use of condoms. This will be an advance in public health, compared with the situation today.

For necrophilia, it might be necessary to ask the next of kin for permission if the decedent's will did not authorize it. Necrophilia would be my second choice for what should be done with my corpse, the first being scientific or medical use. Once my dead body is no longer of any use to me, it may as well be of some use to someone. Besides, I often enjoy rhinophytonecrophilia (nasal sex with dead plants)." - RMS - https://stallman.org/archives/2003-mar-jun.html

"Dutch pedophiles have formed a political party to campaign for legalization.
[Reference updated on 2018-04-25 because the old link was broken.]

I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing." - RMS - https://stallman.org/archives/2006-mar-jun.html#05%20June%202006%20(Dutch%20paedophiles%20form%20political%20party

"There is little evidence to justify the widespread assumption that willing participation in pedophilia hurts children.

Granted, children may not dare say no to an older relative, or may not realize they could say no; in that case, even if they do not overtly object, the relationship may still feel imposed to them. That's not willing participation, it's imposed participation, a different issue." - RMS - https://stallman.org/archives/2013-jan-apr.html#04_January_2013_(Pedophilia

And for completeness sake.

"Many years ago I posted that I could not see anything wrong about sex between an adult and a child, if the child accepted it.

Through personal conversations in recent years, I've learned to understand how sex with a child can harm per psychologically. This changed my mind about the matter: I think adults should not do that. I am grateful for the conversations that enabled me to understand why." - RMS - https://stallman.org/archives/2019-jul-oct.html#14_September_2019_(Sex_between_an_adult_and_a_child_is_wrong)

Ignacio Agulló
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/30/2019

On 18/09/19 13:15, wrote:
>
> Richard Stallman comments regarding pedophilia:

Stallman says, and you can check it out on his own website, that he
no longer thinks that way. What you are doing is to dig out Stallman's
most controversial statements from his past and presenting them as if
they were still actual. That is hate propaganda.

--
Ignacio Agulló · name at domain

kopolee11
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 06/05/2013

> That is hate propaganda.

No, I was merely answering J.B. Nicholson-Owens question namely: "but I'd like to know if anyone here has any idea what they're referring to?"

I merely gave a verbatim list of Stallman's statements on pedophilia, not misquoting him or taking it out of context. I even included Stallman's most recent statement, which importantly only came four days ago, a day after the Vice and Daily Dot stories were originally published.

Facts and quotes in proper context aren't propaganda.

Ignacio Agulló
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/30/2019

On 18/09/19 15:22, wrote:
> I even included Stallman's most recent statement, which importantly
> only came four days ago, a day after the Vice and Daily Dot stories
> were originally published.

I reckon you did. But for the most of people don't bother to read
to the end of such a long text (including me), this won't be evident.

I take back what I said of hate propaganda. You were just
recollecting RMS's messages up to the most recent one.

--
Ignacio Agulló · name at domain

kopolee11
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 06/05/2013

> I take back what I said of hate propaganda. You were just
recollecting RMS's messages up to the most recent one.

Thank you for retracting your statement. I regret that the message is so long, but I purposely wanted to be as comprehensive and fair as I could in answering the question.

jxself
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/13/2010

Fortunately his latest one there shows he is growing as a person: "I am grateful for the conversations that enabled me to understand why."

Narcis Garcia
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/15/2019

El 18/9/19 a les 15:22, name at domain ha escrit:
>>  That is hate propaganda.
>
> No, I was merely answering J.B. Nicholson-Owens question namely: "but
> I'd like to know if anyone here has any idea what they're referring to?"
>
> I merely gave a verbatim list of Stallman's statements on pedophilia,
> not misquoting him or taking it out of context. I even included
> Stallman's most recent statement, which importantly only came four days
> ago, a day after the Vice and Daily Dot stories were originally published.
>
> Facts and quotes in proper context aren't propaganda.

Please, use a new "RMS trisquel" mailing list to continue this
"full-of-sense" thread in current context.
There you will have very interested people to chat about RMS, antarctic
penguins and many other matters you want to develop.

jxself
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/13/2010

The reports contain distortions and falsehoods. I urge people to read what he actually wrote (the full unedited thing and not just quotes from places in order to see the things in their full context) and think about it.

Jabjabs
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/05/2014

This a thousand times over! The apparent crime he did was to even question the structure of the legal system. That is still taboo it appears.

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

Our local Tech site mikrobitti.fi published an article headlining "RMS in trouble defends Epstein – the girls were all willing.

They "fixed" the text after receiving critical negative feedback about misrepresentation but the falsehoods are still in the headline.

##EDIT##
They changed the text again, presumably after I wrote them an email (at least the changes are similar to what I suggested). Now, it's Minsky he "defended" (Epstein removed). But the headline stays put.

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strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

It boggles my mind that people can't see the subtle but indisputable difference between saying "girls were all willing" and saying one particular girl may have been coerced (by Epstein) to *pretend* to be willing. The Encyclopedia Britannica has now published a complete mistruth, based on failing to understand this distinction.

> "In September 2019 Stallman attracted controversy after attempting to discredit an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender. Later that month Stallman resigned from MIT and the Free Software Foundation."
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-Stallman

This is a libel and Stallman really ought to threaten anyone publishing lies like this with legal action unless they correct them, or he is implicitly saying that the lies are true.

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

I had no idea that RMS "invented Wikipedia" – or started it, albeit indirectly. They seem to imply that in the Britannica article.

GNUpedia-->Nupedia-->Wikipedia

Minsky's article, however, has no mention of "assault" or controversy. Anything to do with minors is strictly science: "developmental child psychology" (applied in artificial intelligence research).

De mortuis nihil nisi bene.

RMS article has been updated recently (Last Updated: Sep 25, 2019), while Minsky's entry has not been updated after the controversy arose (Last Updated: Aug 5, 2019).

One could argue that RMS is deliberately discredited here (by Britannica staff), while Minsky's involvement and connection to Epstein is too insignificant to substantiate. In Stallman's affair, the "significance" seems to emerge from the fact that the "controversy" (in reality Stallman's support for Minsky) had consequences.

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andyprough
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/12/2015

Here's RMS's December 2000 announcement of GNUpedia (or GNE, for "GNE is not an encyclopedia"): https://www.gnu.org/encyclopedia/anencyc.txt

A month later, Jimmy Wales had changed his licensing to GNU Free Documentation license after consulting with Stallman and launched Wikipedia. But you can see all the ideas behind Wikipedia in this Stallman announcement.

strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

andyprough:
> But you can see all the ideas behind Wikipedia in this Stallman announcement.

No just Wikipedia, but also Wikiversity, WikiEducator (not a WikiMedia project but OER Foundation) and MIT OpenCourseware, which I'm guessing Stallman had a hand in too?

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

The Britannica article on RMS should read something like this.

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strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

I don't think that the email available to us gives evidence of having "tried to redefine sexual assault". It would be more accurate to say he "raised questions about whether Marvin Minsky was a willing accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein, or whether he was manipulated into having sex with a young woman under the age of consent without his knowledge".

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

We know what RMS said: "Minsky did not assault anybody." That is understood.

The problem is that nowadays any sexual encounter with a minor is technically "assault" no matter whether violence or coercion was at play or not.

So they took that word assault and made RMS a paedophiliac apologist, which is completely out of place.

Then there's age of consent that was not received gladly. In Finland, sex with a young woman aged 17 is not against the law. The age of consent is 16.

So they took that dispute about the age and geographic location, and made RMS an apologist splitting hairs.

strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

Even this is an incorrect summary of what Stallman said, or you've read emails from Stallman that I haven't. Please quote the exact words from Stallman's emails where he says that Minsky didn't assault anybody.

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

He never used those exact words. It's my interpretation, based on the PDF containing the email correspondence.

Stallman wrote (this is verbatim but not necessarily in chronological order; I spliced them together from several emails):

"Let's presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).
The word "assaulting" presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex. We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates. I've concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it is absolutely wrong to use the term "sexual assault" in an accusation. Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism."

----------------

There's a pretty good summary of events here.

https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/09/14/2033212/richard-stallman-challenges-misleading-coverage-of-his-comments-on-marvin-minsky

On MIT's internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listserv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was "accused of assaulting" one of Epstein's victims. Stallman argued that "the most plausible scenario" is that "she presented herself to him as entirely willing" -- even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so -- whereas the phrase "assaulting" implies the use of force or violence, facilitating what he calls "accusation inflation... Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism."

An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then "started emailing reporters -- local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations" -- and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled "Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech." And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.

-----------------

Another decent article:

https://itsfoss.com/richard-stallman-controversy/

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin Minsky:

The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault” is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X.

The accusation quoted is a clear example of inflation. The reference reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem.

----------------

RMS added this on his own website:

The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements. Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've called him a "serial rapist", and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him -- and other inaccurate claims -- and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

I'm sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding.

--------------

My summary:

–Epstein had an escort service, a "harem" including underage girls catering to his business associates or people he wanted to influence
–the girl presented by Epstein to Minsky was probably forced to act "willing"
–Minsky never used violence; "assault" is not an accurate description
–age of consent varies from place to place
–RMS never defended Epstein
–RMS attempted to correct an "injustice" done to Minsky foolishly thinking that defining "assault" would change the outcome
–RMS has since renewed his thinking (changed his mind) on sexual relations between adults and minors

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loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016
Dmitry Alexandrov
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 03/07/2019

name at domain wrote:
> In defense of RMS
>
> https://geoff.greer.fm/2019/09/30/in-defense-of-richard-stallman/

| In a sane world ‹…› Maybe a few people would chastise the person who leaked the emails, and that would be the end of it.
|
| But we don’t live in a sane world. We live in a bizarro world where someone can leak private communications, blatantly lie about what was said, and cause a selfless man’s life to be ruined.

Thank you. Finally I am reading something in English that clearly brings up the point that this Selamie Gano is a snooper.

jaerki
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 03/27/2019

Here in Estonia (EU country) age of consent is 14. All these talks about RMS being guilty in something, look like a witch-hunt, from this side of the world.

strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

Can someone please post the full text of the Medium blog piece that kicked off the hate campaign against Stallman here, or on a pastebin or something? I can't read Medium from China ATM because the VPNs are under heavy attack (presumably due to it being National Day holidays).

loldier
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/17/2016

Here is the PDF. And the Medium article as a txt file. And the appendix.

Fichier attachéTaille
09132019142056-0001.pdf 353.41 Ko
medium.txt 11.97 Ko
medium_appendix.txt 14.56 Ko
strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

Thanks for that loldier. My conclusion after reading these texts, as I said on the fediverse, is that the whole situation is just very sad. The author has clearly experienced a lot of bigotry and bullying and is quite rightly angry about that. That shit shouldn't happen. But the person who became the target of that deep well of outrage was not one of the people who had mistreated her. He was just a random someone who happened to come to her attention. Wong place, wrong time. The truly sad thing is that when she emptied her discursive gun into his reputation, she didn't even know who he was.