What if RMS Really WAS President?

13 respostas [Última entrada]
cochranizer
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Joined: 12/03/2017

This is a question I'd been really looking forward to asking the Trisquel community, because (in my opinion) if he was president, all software would be Libre, and Microsoft and Apple would be out of business...unless they comply with the Free System guidelines.

But enough on my opinion, what about you guys?

Magic Banana

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As far as I understand, RMS is against prohibiting proprietary software for a simple reason: prohibition does not work. See what happened with the war on drugs. He would certainly pass a law that would make the whole public sector (schools, the army, the government, etc.) only use free software after a transition period. And probably another one that would finally prohibit tying hardware with software (typically the operating system). And he would end software patents. And he would legalize noncommercial sharing. And he would shorten copyright to ten years after the publication.

SuperTramp83

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>What if RMS Really WAS President?

fuck_yeah_muh_president.jpg
onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

RMS has a lot of political opinions unrelated to libre software. I happen to think that some of them are a bit crazy or out-of-touch. The particular example I can think of is that he expects that GMOs should be either specially labeled or require testing (I don't remember which, it might even be both), but just in general, RMS seems to be very far on the left and a very strong environmentalist.

But just being President doesn't mean everything you want happens. You have to have the support of your party and a majority in both the House and the Senate, so it's generally the party's agenda that gets forwarded the most, not the President's agenda. So if RMS was elected president with a "free software party", then yeah, it would be very possible that the reforms Magic Banana suggested could happen. But if he was running for the Green Party, for instance, it would just be a bunch of environmentalist stuff with possibly one or two things RMS wanted to do related to libre software.

SuperTramp83

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>I happen to think that some of them are a bit crazy or out-of-touch. The particular example I can think of is that he expects that GMOs should be either specially labeled or require testing

And how is that crazy exactly?

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

There is no evidence for nor reason to suspect any increased risk coming about from genetic engineering. People have been mucking about with genes for thousands of years through selective breeding; genetic modifications are just a more targeted, much more efficient way of doing so. It also happens to be something that has already saved countless lives by making crops more efficient so that more people can be fed with the same amount of land.

If any GM crop has to be tested or specially labeled, then the message you are communicating is that uncontrolled changes are preferable over controlled changes, i.e. the naturalistic fallacy. More to the point, if you punish people for genetic engineering, you instead encourage them to waste energy and other resources doing the exact same thing by selective breeding, or by bombarding their crops with ionizing radiation (which is an "organic" technique that has been used in the past to produce new varieties).

The only way to be consistent, given the evidence, is to either require testing or special labeling for all genetic differences - which quickly becomes absurd given that any new member of a species is inevitably slightly different from its parents - or not require testing at all unless there is a good reason to expect it to be necessary.

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

If RMS was in charge, universal healthcare for all would be a reality (in the US, that is).

GNUser
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Joined: 07/17/2013

Well, we could have him as President of the World :)

Personally I wouldn't want it because I disagree with him in many things, but I would like to have him as a Person In Charge of software affairs and such.

Btw, I think this thread is fun but should be in the Troll Lounge.

traxter
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Joined: 03/23/2018

The NSA would be allowed to use free software only :D

nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

If RMS were the president, he would be no better than any real president, inevitably corrupted by money and power.

SuperTramp83

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Joined: 10/31/2014

>If RMS were the president, he would be no better than any real president, inevitably corrupted by money and power.

I could have made money this way, and perhaps amused myself writing code. But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place.

nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

As long as US is still a capitalist country, every president is just as bad as Clinton or Trump.

marioxcc
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Joined: 08/13/2014

>if [Stallman] was president, all software would be Libre, and Microsoft and Apple would be out of business...unless they comply with the Free System guidelines.

Proprietary software is a global problem. Presidents have power in their country and it limited by the existing laws. To change the law usually requires approval from the chambers of law. Software companies and users (recall that most users _crave_ to use proprietary software) would for the most part oppose changes to the status quo and he could not do much, even for his country, let alone for the rest of the world.

onpon: If you want to talk about GMOs, open a thread about GMOs in the troll lounge, please do not derail this thread.

andyprough
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Joined: 02/12/2015

>Presidents have power in their country and it limited by the existing laws. To change the law usually requires approval from the chambers of law. Software companies and users (recall that most users _crave_ to use proprietary software) would for the most part oppose changes to the status quo and he could not do much, even for his country, let alone for the rest of the world.

Not to mention that we would not like to have a chief executive of a country with the power to destroy a whole class of software with the stroke of his or her executive pen.

That would amount to a tyranny of free software over proprietary. And at some point in the future the other side would gain ascendancy, and they would use the same executive power to outlaw free software.