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07.19.09

The Ukraine’s GNU/Linux Ambitions and Microsoft’s MOU Response

Posted in Asia, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A look at how Microsoft responds to the Ukraine’s desire for autonomy with Free software

MANY months ago we wrote about Microsoft signing a contract of exclusivity (MOU) with the Ukrainian government. Such contracts are specifically designed to block competitors such as GNU/Linux, shutting them out of the government sector altogether. We saw it happening once again in May when Steve Ballmer visited the Ukraine. The timing is interesting because of information we have just received about GNU/Linux in the Ukraine (and Microsoft’s response to it). That too is based on a report from May 2009. This report is one among 2 articles, for which we received interpretation from an informant who is familiar with the situation.

“Both articles are published by well-known and trusted sources,” says our informant. “I wish there were more information about this. The Russian press is less transparent than the Ukrainian, and corruption level is very high in both countries.”

Here is the informant’s explanation of the situation in the Ukrainian government:


I have just discovered some FUD that Microsoft spreads in the Ukraine. Basically, the Ukrainian government wants to switch to open source. Here is an announcement (Google’s automated translation to English). To quote from the translation: “May 12, 2009 – in the State Committee of Informatization of Ukraine held a public discussion of the concept of state program implementation in the public administration software with open source, where officials reported on the decision to switch to open source until 2012 and the establishment of the Ukrainian distribution based OS Linux.

“The General Director of Microsoft Ukraine follows this up with an interview, where he lies about Open Source licensing schemes.”The General Director of Microsoft Ukraine follows this up with an interview, where he lies about Open Source licensing schemes. He said that if someone contributed code, that someone would eventually want compensation for this. Here is his interview (Google’s automated translation to English). He also claims that there is no single country where open source adoption in the government was successful. The first claim is in the first paragraph. The second — in the fifth. He also tells nice things about how “we need to teach kids the most popular OS/office packages, not something that a local government wanted to stick to.” (this was in the 8th paragraph)

They cite IBM, Microsoft and Adobe as world leaders in software development and the guy from Microsoft, for the record, is called Dmitry Shimkiv.

The Ukrainian government is easy to bribe, so I doubt Microsoft is afraid of bad publicity in the Ukraine. Moreover, until ’00 years, 100% of Ukrainians used counterfeited Microsoft software at home and at work, which made them “addicted” to it. This is why Microsoft is hardly afraid of losing this market. There is information about counterfeiting levels in the Ukraine and this is widely available from the BSA, which lists the Ukraine in the top 20 for 2008 (I believe it was in the top 5 in 2000). There is a grassroots movement to support Linux, though. It even made it into a government programme.


There are a couple points to be added to the above. First, government migrations to Free software and GNU/Linux are very often derailed by Microsoft's EDGI. Microsoft uses this anti-competitive programme to pretend that GNU/Linux fails in governments or that it gets rejected. The Gartner Group analysts, whom Microsoft is paying large sums of money [1, 2, 3], participate with Microsoft in this attack on GNU/Linux in governments. There are success stories nonetheless, e.g. in France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Secondly, on the face of it, in the report above Microsoft also pretends to be “open source” (making Microsoft indistinguishable from rivals). This is an old, dishonest strategy.

The story from the Russian government may be similar, and it is one that we last covered some days ago following initial observations and consultation with people who are close to the scene. Russia has ongoing antitrust scrutiny against Microsoft, so all these tidbits need to be properly documented. This latest story won’t do Microsoft any good with government affairs. It does not look like professional conduct; it is predatory and inherently anti-competitive.

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

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95 Comments

  1. Nemesis said,

    July 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Gravatar

    ROY
    “He also claims that there is no single country where open source adoption in the government was successful.”

    “There is no example of even one state where he was introduced to exclusively open source. ”

    What you said is not quite true is it Roy, what he said was EXCLUSIVELY open source. So tell us Roy what “state” has gone EXCLUSEVELY open source. The answer is none. So he was quite correct in his claim. No FUD.

    Roy:
    “They cite IBM, Microsoft and Adobe as world leaders in software development and the guy from Microsoft, for the record, is called Dmitry Shimkiv.”

    Roy you make that statement I assume to make people think it was Dmitry who made that comment, when you full well know it was the deputy ukranian information minister who made that comment.

    Disregarding the fact that IBM sell’s hardware (servers/mainframes) and uses Linux, and Adobe is not really know for great software development.

    you say 100% ukraian software was pirated, but the minister stated that it was down to around 52% from 72% due to licensing of MS OS and apps. Proprietary code reducted pirating.

    What proof do you have that anyone has been bribed, the article from the ukranian minister seems he was quite happy with a balanced mix of open and proprietary code.

    Also the MS intervies touched on some very important points rarly addressed in the FOSS community.

    But if your going to accuse governments and industry of bribes it would probably be wise to have some for of proof before reporting such things as fact.

    Lefty Reply:

    Oh, Roy’s not bothered by little things like “proof” for his accusations. He’s libeled me, and when I finally forced him to post a full retraction, an unreserved apology, and a promise to be more responsible in the future, he went back to libeling me–in exactly the same way!–within the space of a day.

    More recently, he’s claimed criminal activities on the part of my employer (WHO I AM NOT REPRESENTING HERE, ROY) and the LiMo Foundation (WHO I AM NOT REPRESENTING HERE, ROY), on the basis that I’ve been posting to his site more inconveniently for him than he would prefer.

    I’m going to be obligated to bring these claims to the attention of the relevant legal departments in the morning. I’m also planning to haul Roy into court for defaming me, if he continues to refuse to come to terms with me.

    Roy seems unaware that, under UK Defamation Law (which you really might want to read sometime, Roy, it’s quite interesting), the burden of proof in such cases in entirely on the defendant!

    This means that Roy is going to have to prove that every single solitary defamatory statement he’s ever put on this site about me (and about anyone else I can pull into this who Roy’s defamed, and there are a good number of those) is 100% factually correct.

    I don’t give him very good odds.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    You keep making the same incorrect claims. It is you who libeled me (before the whole thing began). I never admitted libel. My later post with a retraction (which you asked for) was about wrongly remembering something that had happened weeks earlier.

    The fact remains that your employer is not dissociated from this because the topic discussed here is not politics, for example. If a person promotes his employer’s agenda outside work (addressing the very same subject as in work), then he or she does this for financial gain. Look up “Rick Frankel”.

    Since you persist with intimidation, according to the policy, I will have to close your account. Moreover, you have been extremely impolite to everyone in this site and you have cursed. You leave us no choice.

    Ijika Reply:

    Sorry, that’s inaccurate, Roy. Actually, it’s (another) outright lie.

    Here’s the retraction you posted:

    “I made statements that Mr. Schlesinger was attacking Richard Stalman over disagreements about Mono, rather than over Mr. Stallman’s sexist remarks at the Gran Canaria Desktop SUmmit, as well as suggesting that he used false names. This was wrong of me. I retract these statements unreservedly and offer Mr. Schlesinger a full apology for having made them. I will endeavor to avoid making such irresponsible statements in the future.”

    And I didn’t “ask for” that retraction, Roy: I demanded it. It wasn’t until you decided I was serious about taking you to court that you made up your mind to post it.

    As everyone can see, it’s got nothing to do with “wrongly remembering something that had happened weeks earlier”; that was a different lie, the one you told on IRC about my “telling” you to contact Mark Fink.

    It looks like you tell so many lies, Roy, you can’t even keep track of them anymore.

    I think your reasons for banning me are completely bogus. You’ve defamed me, I have every right to seek redress, that’s not “intimidation”, that’s justice.

    I don’t believe I have “cursed” on a single occasion, and I’d like to see some proof of your claim, but I suspect it’s more of the same as your claim regarding the retraction: a bald-faced lie.

    I’ve have been much more polite to people here than they have been to me, Roy, and I’m quite polite to others who are polite.

    I’m not polite to you: you’ve lied to me too many times.

    I’m not polite to the Chimp: he lied about reading “lots of pro-Mono stuff” on my web site and then posted my company’s contact details, “hoping that someone else would make the call”, in a cheap and cowardly attempt at personal intimidation over my comments regarding Stallman’s keynote at GCDS.

    I’m not polite to Jose: he dithered and waffled for a week over what Stallman’s remarks might possibly mean, in their “non-literal interpretation” (which he couldn’t provide), and then, when presented with a video and a transcript, still couldn’t figure out and suggested that we take a poll.

    I’m not polite to Willy: he’s never been polite to anyone and curses the most of anyone here, if that’s what you’re looking to correct.

    The fact is, there’s no reason I should be polite to you. You all got your “respect” cards pulled for the reasons I’ve detailed.

    Ijika Reply:

    I never admitted libel.

    Yeah, you did.

    Here let me help you: “This was wrong of me. I retract these statements unreservedly and offer Mr. Schlesinger a full apology for having made them. I will endeavor to avoid making such irresponsible statements in the future.”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The quote “This was wrong of me. I retract these statements unreservedly and offer Mr. Schlesinger a full apology for having made them. I will endeavor to avoid making such irresponsible statements in the future” came from you because you asked me to add it to the post. The post was about me misremembering what you had asked weeks earlier.

    Your intent and aggravation afterward showed that SLAPP was your goal all along. You cursed people (provocation) to make excuses for more accusations and complaints.

    zatoichi Reply:

    That’s correct. It came from me because I demanded a retraction of your libels, after efforts that were much like pulling teeth got you to agree to one, after which point you posted an article in which you took absolutely no responsibility for the lies you posted about me.

    I complained about that, and since you were unable to come up with an appropriate retraction and apology on your own, I provided you with one.

    For a lawsuit to qualify as a SLAPP suit, it has to be an attempt to stifle a constitutionally protected activity. Neither libeling people nor attempting to pass of fabrications as news (“Microsoft CEO Admits That Vista 7 is Vapourware”) are constitutionally protected.

    Your repeatedly deleting my user IDs, on the pretext that I’ve been “impolite” and I “cursed” are very transparent. The truth is that I keep pointing out your lies to people, and it seems that the one thing you can’t stand in the least is being made to look bad.

    There’s a pattern to your lies, Roy. You told the hyenas on IRC I’d “told you” to contact Fink–trying to make it look as if I were framing you or something. That was a lie.

    You told me–as part of an effort to persuade me to give you my phone number, and based on your trollettes doing things like posting the contact information for my employer, why would I trust you with that?–that you and Jeff Waugh had spoken on the phone and worked out your differences. I got an email within a day from Jeff, telling that that was a lie.

    I’m still waiting, patiently, for you to demonstrate a single instance in which I “cursed” anyone. “twitter” uses foul language regularly, is twice as rude as I’ve ever been and for less reason. He doesn’t seem to be getting stifled, for some reason.

    The fact seems to be that, for all your talk about valuing “freedom”, you don’t value “freedom of speech”, unless it’s your tortuous interpretation of it as “the freedom to tells lies and libel people in the guise of journalism”.

    So, cut the nonsense, Roy. I’m not making you tell lies, I’m just pointing it out when you do. It may be inconvenient for you, but it’s certainly constitutionally protected, unlike your repeated libels.

    You want “healthy debate”, let’s have some. Shutting down the opposition isn’t healthy, it’s the act of a desperate man.

    zatoichi Reply:

    The discussion between us regarding your libel, and subsequent retraction and apology can be found in the comments to this entry.

    zatoichi Reply:

    And of course, your complete misrepresentation of the nature of the retraction is yet another attempt at a face-saving lie on Roy’s part.

    Look, Roy, I’m more than willing to have a polite and reasoned debate, but both sides have to play by the same rules. You folks be polite, and I’ll be polite. If I tell a lie, you point it out and prove it. If you tell a lie, I’ll do the same.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That’s correct. It came from me because I demanded a retraction of your libels,

    Misremembering, not libel. I wrote something off the top of my head in an IRC channel. I thought I was right about it at the time, but after your disputing of this I looked back at our conversation and posted a polite correction in the front page of the blog. I personally think it’s commendable. I took the extra mile to appease.

    after efforts that were much like pulling teeth got you to agree to one, after which point you posted an article in which you took absolutely no responsibility for the lies you posted about me.

    I complained about that, and since you were unable to come up with an appropriate retraction and apology on your own, I provided you with one.

    In that post, I corrected myself (after an accidental error made in an IRC channel) and retracted the statement I had made in IRC, not intentionally. Are you going to classify as “libel” every accidentally-erroneous claim ever made in IRC channels? Let’s be realistic here.

    For a lawsuit to qualify as a SLAPP suit, it has to be an attempt to stifle a constitutionally protected activity. Neither libeling people nor attempting to pass of fabrications as news (”Microsoft CEO Admits That Vista 7 is Vapourware”) are constitutionally protected.

    I have already defended the claims that I made in that blog post. You do not agree. That’s fine. Our opinions differ.

    Your repeatedly deleting my user IDs, on the pretext that I’ve been “impolite” and I “cursed” are very transparent.

    You did curse and I can show it to you.

    There’s a pattern to your lies, Roy. You told the hyenas on IRC I’d “told you” to contact Fink–trying to make it look as if I were framing you or something. That was a lie.

    That was a case of not remembering correctly. And speaking of libel, you started it all by libeling me, saying that I had something to do with a mere reader who harassed you. I can’t control readers of this site just as any blog cannot be held responsible for actions of mere readers (who rarely even show presence). In fact, I don’t want readers to associate their views with mine; I am me. What I write is my own interpretation. If someone cites me, that’s their interpretation (whatever accompanies some link or whatever).

    You told me–as part of an effort to persuade me to give you my phone number, and based on your trollettes doing things like posting the contact information for my employer, why would I trust you with that?–that you and Jeff Waugh had spoken on the phone and worked out your differences. I got an email within a day from Jeff, telling that that was a lie.

    No. We had a phone debate after which Jeff and I no longer argued. I was left with the impression that our differences were no longer worthy of discussion. If Jeff feels differently, then that’s a shame. I feel no resentment/dislike towards him. That was 2 years ago.

    I’m still waiting, patiently, for you to demonstrate a single instance in which I “cursed” anyone. “twitter” uses foul language regularly, is twice as rude as I’ve ever been and for less reason. He doesn’t seem to be getting stifled, for some reason.

    I am not responsible for the language of other people. You also intentionally provoke people by calling them “chimp” and mocking them endlessly.

    The fact seems to be that, for all your talk about valuing “freedom”, you don’t value “freedom of speech”

    Actually, I do. But your intimidation has crossed the line.

    You want “healthy debate”, let’s have some. Shutting down the opposition isn’t healthy, it’s the act of a desperate man.

    I never deleted any of your comments. I only ask that you debate politely, David.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    And of course, your complete misrepresentation of the nature of the retraction is yet another attempt at a face-saving lie on Roy’s part.

    The retraction was that of a mistake I had made in IRC. I did not remember something correctly and thus I retracted it. I am sure that many people occasionally make factually-incorrect claims in IRC channels. It’s like a phone conversation.

    zatoichi Reply:

    The retraction was that of a mistake I had made in IRC. I did not remember something correctly and thus I retracted it. I am sure that many people occasionally make factually-incorrect claims in IRC channels. It’s like a phone conversation.

    Roy, the original libel–that I was criticizing Stallman because of his opinions on Mono rather than becuase of his sexist jokes, as well as the claim that I was using multiple names–originated in IRC, but were then repeated–prefaced by an outright claim, written by you, that the above were in fact the case–in a comment, along with a lengthy extract from the IRC log.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “misremembered something”: you and “twitter” made those specific claims in IRC and then you made them again, in an essentially identical form, in your comment.

    So what exactly is it that you’re telling me you “misremembered”?

    I can dig up the comment in question if you insist, Roy. It will, as always, show that my description is the accurate one.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I was left with the impression that our differences were no longer worthy of discussion.

    But that isn’t what you told me, Roy. You explicitly told me that you and Jeff had worked out your disagreements. Jeff says you didn’t even discuss them, much less work them out. You even complimented Jeff on being “nicer” than I was for this working-out-of-things which never actually happened.

    You did curse and I can show it to you.

    Well, I’ve been asking you to, repeatedly. You could have shown it to me right there. So?

    I only ask that you debate politely, David.

    I’m certainly capable of doing that, Roy. However, if I undertake to do so, I expect the same rules to be equally applied to all participants. It “twitter” or “Chips_B_Malroy” are impolite, I would expect to see their IDs summarily removed as mine was.

    Can we agree that anyone who posts personal information about another participant, as “Chips_B_Malroy” did, should be summarily banned from the site, permanently?

    zatoichi Reply:

    I have already defended the claims that I made in that blog post. You do not agree. That’s fine. Our opinions differ.

    I’m talking about the headline, Roy. It’s clearly false, it’s in flagrant disregard of the actual truth, it’s clearly damaging to Microsoft, and all of these facts have been brought to your attention. Journalists have a responsibility to correct errors in a timely fashion, and in spite of the fact that it’s been pointed out to you that this headline is grossly in error, it’s still there.

    If it said either “SJVN Claims That Chrome OS is Vapourware” or “Roy Schestowitz Claims the Vista 7 is Vapourware”, those would be accurate headlines. Of course, they have neither the sensationalism value, nor the alignment with your claims, that the current headline does.

    Do you feel a headline like that is responsible reporting?

    zatoichi Reply:

    (I want to note, at this juncture, that if one side in the polite debate we’re having were to totally ignore a direct, if perhaps difficult-to-adequately-respond-to, question from the other side, and go on to instead post other comments in other discussions, then that wouldn’t really represent much of a “debate”, to my way of thinking, anyway.)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Replying to this is easy, but it goes on forever and it is totally off topic.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I find this reply quite confusing, Roy. If “replying to this is easy”, why didn’t you simply reply to it here?

    That aside, if discussing it here is “totally off-topic”, maybe you can suggest where it would be on-topic, in order to allow you the opportunity to easily reply to it there.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I thought I was right about it at the time, but after your disputing of this I looked back at our conversation and posted a polite correction in the front page of the blog. I personally think it’s commendable. I took the extra mile to appease.

    Regrettably, I don’t think we’ve reached a mutual understanding of these events. The comments show the following sequence of events:

    Your article lamented the way in which some people were attempting to make associations between this site and a “Mark Fink”, whom you’ve asserted you don’t know.

    Digitally signed emails from you to Mr. “Fink”, numerous references by you in comments on this very site referring to Mr. “Fink”, comments on this site which you exchanged with Mr. “Fink”, offers you made to allow Mr. Fink to edit a page on this site, all notwithstanding, that’s your position, and you’ve stuck by it.

    I don’t personally subscribe to this position, but that’s a difference of opinion between gentlemen, assertions by you that I had somehow libeled you by having somebody other than myself post a pointer to my blog regarding my view of the matter on Digg aside.

    Now, as the discussion evolved from Mr. Fink to my criticisms of Mr. Stallman, you suggested that I had “demonized” Stallman. I inquired how. You replied, “From what I can gather, you’re trying to set up and trip up people whom you don’t like (such as RMS) and you might be using fake names to pretext.” This was accompanied (still is, actually, take a look) by a lengthy extract from the IRC log, in which you and Mr. Mills (where is Willy? Did you ban him for cursing…? Please give him another chance.) took turns cooking up variations on these themes, including the suggestion that I was (if I follow things, it’s never entirely clear) some sort of deep-cover Microsoft double-agent within the open source community, an allegation which you (commendably, I’d say) did not repeat.

    However, you did repeat the others. I took exception to them. I took quite strong exception to them, since they were clearly false (how would I “set up” Stallman? Did I go to him before the keynote and get him to promise to tell the “EMACS virgins” joke?), clearly damaging to my reputation, and (so I thought at the done) done maliciously. I mean, the IRC log certainly sounds malicious, but online communication can, of course, be deceptive.

    Some of the things which made me feel as though it was malicious was an apparent ongoing “background investigation” of sorts, on the part of Mr. Mills: “Lefty works for a company called ACCESS right now. Does he still use a Mac?I put as much as I could find in here last night.” My assumption is that Mr. Mills meant “personal information about Lefty” by “as much as I could find” and the IRC channel by “in here” but I suppose I might be mistaken. He could have been suddenly talking about jelly beans and a Mason jar, perhaps.

    There’s plenty more stuff that seemed malicious to me, but it might well be too impolite to reproduce under Roy’s New Rules. Anyone who’s interested (and can bear a good deal of bad language from Mr. Mills) should take a look at the log, you’ll see what I mean.

    (And there are many interesting asked-but-unanswered questions to Roy about things like that digitally signed email, but let’s not dwell on that. Readers can peruse it all at their leisure and satisfy themselves that my rendition might more accurately reflect the actual facts than does Roy’s.)

    At any rate, clearly false, clearly damaging, apparently malicious. The definition of “libel” is certainly satisfied here, so I did what polite gentlemen do when they’re libeled. They seek redress.

    The very first comment on your charges was, in fact, from Shane Coyle who said that you were (and I apologize, it’s Shane’s impoliteness and not mine, I’m just quoting) “nuts”. Shane made a point to apologize to me for the suggestions that you had made, even though he had nothing to do with them. I thought that was commendable.

    At any rate, I gave you some information about the defamation laws in the UK, information I suspected you might not be cognizant, and requested a full retraction, and a full apology. I remember this discussion quite well, as I carried it on in a succession of airports as I made my way back from Gran Canaria.

    At some great length, I was able to finally able to persuade you (people can read how, I would prefer not to hear shouting about SLAPP which is irrelevant to this situation, libel is not constitutionally protected anywhere) to retract you claim and apologize.

    Somewhere in there, I pointed out your claim that I had “told you” to contact “Mark Fink”, when I had done no such thing. You initially made a response that seemed completely unrelated to that issue, asking “How else could I do anything to help?”, which of course wasn’t the issue. I pointed out that I hadn’t asked for your “help”, I’d specifically not asked for it, and asked you to check the comments and verify that my version was the correct one, which you ultimately did, finding that I was in fact correct.

    This seemed to puncture your confidence a bit, although that’s just a surmise on my part. You said, “Let me know what in the post you think is incorrect and I will happily post a correction. For the comments I have less time for fact-checking.”

    Now, since the libel to which I was objecting were in the comments (for which you have “less time” for fact-checking…why? They were your comments, right?) this offer to fix “the post” did not please me.

    I reiterated, in fairly strong terms what I wanted corrected. Some discussion ensued in which I explained the basics of how the legal system around defamation works, and you offered some videos on the Spanish Inquisition for me to watch. The relevance of these is still, frankly, unclear to me.

    At this point, someone commented on Jeff Waugh’s past plans to also provide some instruction for you on the mechanics of libel cases. At this point, you commented that Jeff could “resolve disputes without resorting to legal means. We spoke on the phone.” It turned out that the view you had of this matter seems to be completely and irrevocably at odds with Jeff’s version, but let’s leave that aside.

    At this point you announced that you would post a “retraction/clarification”. You left a pointer and asked me to let you know if it was satisfactory.

    I replied, “No, Roy, it’s not satisfactory, since you neither retract the statements I objected to, nor do you apologize, nor do you even take any responsibility for any of this, attempting to foist the blame off on “some readers”.” (Perhaps this was impolite; again, I’m quoting.)

    I then was kind enough to dictate a proper retraction and apology for you so as to enable you to take responsibilty for what you had finally admitted was false, damaging and (to all appearances) malicious. I also provided you with a promise to not repeat such irresponsible statements in the future.

    You posted these as an update to the “correction” which I had found inadequate. I was satisfied at that point. I became less so when I found the article rapidly pushed off the front page, but maybe there just happened to be a great deal of news that you found exciting immediately subsequent to posting the update. Who knows?

    Then, in less than a day, you posted an article which linked to an article on mono-nono, repeating exactly the same libels as you had apologized for, with several links to my blog, for good measure.

    I took this as an indication that your retraction, apology and promise might have been somehow less than completely sincere. I viewed it as more libel, false, damaging and malicious. Maybe I was wrong in this. Maybe you were wrong in this.

    It seems we’re unable to figure it out, left to ourselves. Happily, there are ways to resolve these things.

    So, again, when you say this was about you misremembering something, you’d seem to be misremembering something, Roy. Hopefully I’ve been able to refresh your memory.

    And while I wouldn’t go so far as to call your initial response “commendable”, I think I could summon up the enthusaism to call it “barely adequate”. I while I have my own opinions on your “going the extra mile” to appease, I can say with complete confidence that I felt as though you’d gone the extra mile to antagonize me all over again when you linked to the mono-nono article in what seemed to me (I could be mistaken; again, we can have this figured out for us) a flagrant breach of the promise you had made to me only hours before.

    So, that’s how I see it, Roy.

    This “politeness” stuff is terrific. I’m looking forward to your gentlemanly response.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Replying to this is easy, but it goes on forever and it is totally off topic.

    Perhaps a more on-topic topic might be the actual location of all this cursing I used to be doing before I Found Politeness.

    Are you having any luck with that, Roy?

    Also, when can I expect that the full IRC logs from yesterday will be posted. I think the statements of Mr. Desu, Mr. Goblin, Mr. Tacone and Mr. Splosion support a point or two of my general contention that there’s a climate of sexism around which can only be encouraged and emboldened by “harmless little jokes” such as the one Dr. Stallman made.

    I could produce it from my local copy, but of course, it’s so much easier to believe when you post it, Roy. I mean it’s pretty unbelievable (to me, anyway), but people won’t accuse me of forging it or making it up if you post it.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Since Roy’s apparently too busy to post a mention of the IRC logs from Sunday being posted, I wanted to mention that folks can find there here.

    The real fun starts around 19:00. Some fun extracts:

    desu_: “though i agree, women are retarded when it comes to computing, considering what i’ve seen in my colleagues ¬_¬”
    Lefty: “I can only assume that you’ve never actually _met_ a woman.”
    desu_: “i have… i’ve met too many to know that for a fact women are retarded when it comes to computers”

    desu_: “Lefty: can you name ONE well know women hacker?”
    _Goblin: “Im a woman and so is my wife.”
    desu_: ” Are you aware that representation of woman in FLOSS is 2%? <— yes, and the reason for that is pretty visible"
    desu_: "D: "
    Lefty: "Sure, Danese Cooper, for starts."

    _Hicham_: "go to debian womens page, you will see a lot of hot women Muttley"

    desu_: "lol, like, FOUR gals at debian?"
    Lefty: "sigh."
    Lefty: "see?"
    desu_: "compared to what? over nine thousand other guys?"

    desu_: "Lefty: you're just trying to be a bitch, trying to show that you support feminists."
    desu_: "Lefty: so, you want more women in FOSS? they'll still not go out with you, though…"

    splosion: "Hey Lefty, women don't belong in FOSS. They belong in the kitchen."

    splosion: ""'[19:52] your idiot statements on women were something, desu.’ — Lefty on desu’s positive attitudes towards feminism”
    desu_: “only one in a hundred of them can actually program.”

    roadelland Reply:

    Lefty, from a comment I’ve read of yours on this news site, you had to give Roy a chance to rectify the situation after he defamed you the first time. Since he again resorted to defamation after the “apology”, I understand that you don’t have to give him a chance anymore.

    From reading numerous comments here, I can tell that it would be a mistake to even try to get another “apology” & “retraction” from him, because he’ll continue to defame you any chance he gets.

    He believes himself to be always right, never wrong. He believes himself to be untouchable. Any person that doesn’t agree with him is subject to his defamation because he cannot understand or will not accept the fact that not everyone agrees with him.

    The new comment system is just a way for him to circle the wagons to protect his fantasy land a little longer.

    Ijika Reply:

    Um, Roy, to qualify as a SLAPP suit, the activity against which the suit is directed has to be constitutionally protected. Libel is not constitutionally protected anywhere.

  2. Lefty said,

    July 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Another thing: Microsoft tries to drive its critics into a state of desperation. It’s not so funny when you see victims of this and you see this more vividly in Microsoft’s leaks (the Slog). This is a similar strategy, based on what I am told, to what the government tried to do to those resisting unnecessary wars. Ruining their name, driving them insane or driving them to suicide. I sense that what Reiser did relates to this.

    Did you really say this, Roy? You claim that it’s Microsoft’s fault that Hans Reiser murdered his wife?

    Holy cats. You’re not just a pathological liar, Roy, I’m starting to think you may be clinically insane.

  3. The Mad Hatter said,

    July 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Also the MS intervies touched on some very important points rarly addressed in the FOSS community.

    Really? What were they? Why don’t you post them in full, in both languages, along with a link to the source.

  4. Jose_X said,

    July 20, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Gravatar

    >> I’m not polite to Jose: he dithered and waffled for a week over what Stallman’s remarks might possibly mean, in their “non-literal interpretation” (which he couldn’t provide), and then, when presented with a video and a transcript, still couldn’t figure out and suggested that we take a poll.

    Dithered and waffled for a week? When you are dishonest and disrespectful, you turn people off. You probably would like me to be as presumptious as you are.

    Lefty, I figured when you have video of a room full of people that react positively to this very scene, you would have slowed down and thought for second that maybe, as Stallman told you, you misinterpreted his joke.

    I’ll spell out for you one interpretation that I think is much closer to what Stallman likely had in mind. It’s not that difficult to see the parallels. Rather than insult your intelligence, lack of imagination, lack of self control, etc as you probably would do were you in my shoes, I’ll point to the obvious that you have been hitting the posting too hard for too long and probably need to take a deep breath so you can think and reply a little more reasonably.

    The Virgin Mary is a female. The Cult of the Virgin of Emacs is a spoof. Rather than value the virginity of the Virgin Mary, they aim to remove the virginity of the Virgin of Emacs.

    It wasn’t that complicated, and if you want you can look for other parallels that run deeper. You don’t have to like the spoof, the message, Stallman, etc, to see why the joke is the way it is.

    I have been hinting at this sort of analogy for a while, but I wanted to see video before saying something more definitive. The thing is that you are quite cultured and little doubt know what this was about. But if you insist on having the basic parallels spelled out after all of this time, sure. I should be the one that is angry because despite all your ravings (and impoliteness), the video clearly shows your postings were of a narrow interpretation that missed some obvious satire.

    I think many people would be offended by Stallman’s approach, but probably more on a level of religion. And as you saw in the video, plenty of people were likely not offended.

    Given how little problem this has presented for Stallman in the past, I think he was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted. Or perhaps people did start talking and then more joined in. The talk he gave ahead of this, I believe was received badly. In any case, statistically it’s very unlikely you would find so many more negative reactions all of a sudden unless this was being flamed (in other words, these weren’t independent observations) or the crowd was *very* different than those Stallman had repeatedly “entertained” in the past. [To go from very few complaints if any per performance to "hundreds" of comments of people you spoke with certainly requires something out of the usual.]

    I do wonder, Lefty, if had you been a little more polite and patient, more people would have listened to you more carefully or even read more of what you have been writing instead of ignoring so much of it (as some have stated, as probably many others have done, and as it was suggested to me in private I do). Did you honestly think I was ignoring your comments of the posting of the video as you suggested in various places?

    When you post so much, the fact that others aren’t spending as much time here as you is a little difficult to bear. I think if you took a break, it would help

    In any case, it’s very possible you would have been removed from many forums by now for breaking terms of usage (rights responsibilities etc) repeatedly. Not everyone here is going to answer all your comments when you appear to be boiling hot.

    Anyway, it’s good if you can manage to stay on here without getting kicked off to the extent it might give people here an opportunity to answer your questions.

    Some would say you are posting like a lunatic and being sloppy and rude. There is a better way to participate. Don’t be like these SLIME: http://web.archive.org/web/20070912130345/www.pjprimer.com/slime.html . It might only be extremely coincidental that you have fulfilled so many of these characteristics in your short visit at boycottnovell.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Dithered and waffled for a week?

    Yes, Jose, that’s what you did. You insisted that pretty much the entire audience had mistakenly taken a “literal” interpretation of the “joke”. You insisted that you couldn’t possibly determine what Stallman really meant without a transcript and a video. When you were provided with these, you completely ignored them for a day or two, to the point where I had to follow you around the site, asking when you were going to share the “non-literal interpretation” that the entire audience was somehow too dumb to grasp and then rather than try to grapple with that, your response was, “Now that we have a video we can show it to people and take a poll!”

    That’s an effort to avoid the evidence that’s right in front of your nose, Jose. It’s a deliberate effort to waste my time as well.

    Now, your thesis seems to be that, because a sexually-loaded “joke” aimed solely and squarely at the (few) women in the audience was told while Stallman was wearing a cassock and a hard disk platter on his head, that the “religious parody” somehow changes a joke that is deeply sexist and offensive on its face into something that’s somehow neither sexist nor offensive.

    When I pushed your nose squarely into the statement Chani made, you admitted that a “joke” like Stallman’s, in a context like that, might legitimately cause some real unhappiness and concern on her part. Do you think that your “explanation” would make her feel better? I don’t.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> When I pushed your nose squarely into the statement Chani made, you admitted that a “joke” like Stallman’s, in a context like that, might legitimately cause some real unhappiness and concern on her part. Do you think that your “explanation” would make her feel better? I don’t.

    >> Yes, Jose, that’s what you did. You insisted that pretty much the entire audience had mistakenly taken a “literal” interpretation of the “joke”. …that the entire audience was somehow too dumb to grasp

    IIRC, I have always suggested the possibility that some might be interpreting the parody unlike how Stallman intended and unlike how potentially many others in the past have interpreted it. [I have expressed doubts over how large of a number might have shared your views.. only today did I catch (or re-remembered) that you mentioned over a "hundred" on your website/emails]. When you asked the person who made the joke, he stated this much, that your interpretation is not what was intended and that no offense was meant.

    Miscommunication happens all the time and, barring willful intentions to confuse, does not mean the fault lies with the audience or perhaps with anyone.

    Bad joke for the given audience.

    In terms of what might make her feel better, I do hope that seeing the joke for satire and hearing the explanation does help her realized that very likely (and I don’t know what is in Stallman’s head or subconsciousness) she was not targeted directly or indirectly. The Catholic Church’s views (and the views of those who share it) were apparently the only intended target. There is only one Virgin Mary in the context of a parody on the Catholic Church. She stands out very clearly to Roman Catholics (and is unique among woman). Stallman and others have made explicit and implicit references to the Cult of the Virgin Mary.

    If you missed some of this, and that’s very possible, I can certainly understand you would be upset. I was raised Catholic, btw, so these themes are nothing new to me, and, still, because of being introduced to this through the context you provided, I was not clear right away that this was a parody that matched many elements of the Catholic Church; however, the various parts are there.

    You aren’t a chimp if you missed this, but I hope you take time out to relax.

    >> Now, your thesis seems to be that, because a sexually-loaded “joke” aimed solely and squarely at the (few) women in the audience …that the “religious parody” somehow changes a joke that is deeply sexist and offensive on its face into something that’s somehow neither sexist nor offensive.

    Re-read what I just finish writing in this reply if it will help. The intended target, based on what I saw in the video and taking Stallman’s cue, was religion, not any individual, and the parody was against sexual components of the Church.

    Just a drop later in the performance, after the losing virginity comment, Stallman “insults” males (priests — who in the Catholic Church are all males).

    The Virgin Mary was (or is, as many believe) a prominent female, unique individual, and significant component of the Roman Catholic Church. Neither she nor saints nor celibate male priests, I don’t think, form a substantial part of many other Christian denominations.

    >> You insisted that you couldn’t possibly determine what Stallman really meant without a transcript and a video. When you were provided with these, you completely ignored them for a day or two, to the point where I had to follow you around the site,

    Seeing the video made it clear your interpretation was not the only one by far and that Stallman’s insistence of parody was very legitimate.

    I already addressed the “following me around” bit in my last reply, but I’ll be clearer here. The minute I read you had a link, I got excited and wanted to view it. That you thought I was avoiding you because I was not reading your 10 comments per hour so as to have replied immediately to the relevant ones is likely a result of you being very involved in this topic and not realizing other people aren’t reading everything you say or necessarily exactly when you say it.

    I was correct. Me seeing the video made a material difference to me. In fact, I did the best I could before seeing the video in trying to show that you might have been interpreting things not as intended by the author. After seeing the video, I was able to get more precise and assertive with my comments. In all cases, I was trying to address the main points you brought as directly as I could given what I knew at the time. [I still don't know what Stallman actually thinks or the details of any specific event beyond what I saw in the video and a few other second hand (read biased) accounts of various other cases.]

    If you want to make a judgment on Stallman or a commentary on his possible untouchability and/or the negative potential of his over-sized influence, we would have to look at more beyond this performance. That’s one reason I went to his website, to get some clues.

    If you want to make a statement about how women are underrepresented in the community in various ways or how some jokes are not proper for some venues, or, specifically, that this particular joke has a real potential to insult, then this is fair and likely very important, and it is independent of Stallman. I agree it is not a good idea to make that presentation in front of more mainstream audiences [ http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/17/nessus-mono-analogies/comment-page-1/#comment-70871 ].

    Since a lot of harsh words have been used here and since I think both you and I have been on the defensive or emotional to some extent at various points, I have no problem accepting the ugliness and uncomfort that resulted. Hopefully we can move on at some point soon and end most of this discussion.

    >> That’s an effort to avoid the evidence that’s right in front of your nose, Jose.

    Hope you start reading a little more carefully what I am writing. In case you didn’t, I wrote this during a break I had Saturday: http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/17/nessus-mono-analogies/comment-page-1/#comment-70837 plus two continuation comments that followed it and then one more on Sunday.

    >> It’s a deliberate effort to waste my time as well.

    If you ever think I am so clearly wrong and you have made your point, just ignore me or provide links to past replies as your replies.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I want people to pay special attention to the level of politeness in this reply.

    First, Jose, I do not want to talk about what number of people in the past might have had whatever sort of a reaction and whether they might or might not have expressed that reaction either directly to Mr. Stallman, or to the public at large. Any statements around that can only be conjecture; neither you nor I can interview any of those people, or know the contents of their minds, either retroactively or subsequently.

    Nor are we privy to any possible communications such people might have made to Mr. Stallman expressing any offense they might possibly have taken, or any dismay or discomfort that they felt. We can safely assume, I think, on the basis of the available evidence, that had they done so, they would have probably received a reply similar to the one which my polite first email to Mr. Stallman received: an unwillingness to perceive any problem, an unwillingness to contemplate change, and, possibly, some personal offense on Mr. Stallman’s part accompanied by expressions that he was being victimized.

    Of course, we cannot know whether or not any such thing happened. If we were to hypothesize that it had, however, we might ask ourselves whether such a response from Mr. Stallman might not cause the person who had made the communication to doubt their own feelings, at least a bit. After all, he is the founder of the FSF. Perhaps they might, with a slight pang that they don’t really understand, decide to drop the matter and say no more.

    So, really, the past is irrelevant. Stallman might have offended whole audiences, many of which left thinking he was a person who expressed some very sexist tendencies, but said nothing; many of which left offended at what they saw as an unnecessary snipe at religion, but said nothing; and some few of whom complained, only to receive a dismissive response. We can’t know.

    (I would note that, to one concerned about an unpleasant climate of sexism in the community–one which I saw in a very ugly form on the IRC channel on this very site–the argument that “he’s been doing this for ten years and no one’s said anything” is not likely to persuade one that there, in fact, is no such problem at all.)
    What we can know is the reaction in Gran Canaria. The majority of people took the joke on its face, that it was about someone (Mr. Stallman? The men in the audience? It’s unclear…) having a “holy duty” to “relieve” the women–at least those who had never used EMACS–of their “virginity”.

    (I’m not going to deal here with the aspect of the joke which singled out women as being in need of technical assistance from men, but I hope you’ll see the issue, at least from the point of view of the few women there, most of whom could programs rings around most of the guys there, because–for some reason–they seem to have to work a lot harder to get the same level of “street cred” in a project.)

    Whether as a part of a religious parody, or standing on its own, people seemed not to think too much of this idea. As with any large group, the range of just how bad an idea that they though it was varied. I think I can safely say that the women–and they were perhaps 30 or 40 of them at a 1000 person conference, something I take as evidence of a problem–universally thought it was a pretty terrible idea. Not a single one of them seemed to “get” the religiously parodic aspects.

    Of the men, there were of course some who thought it was fine for the variety of reasons we’ve seen uncovered in the comments in my blog: “It’s a joke”, “It’s a joke about religion“, “It’s stupid, but he’s been doing it for ten years”, “Anyone who complains is oversensitive”, “Women really don’t know how to program”, etc. These were very much in the minority.

    The majority of the men seemed to feel the joke was indeed sexist, but it wasn’t their ox that was being gored.

    A good portion, however, and I number (in no particular order) Matthew Garrett, Sandy Armstrong, Dave Neary, Paul Cutler, Matt Zimmerman, Andre Klapper, and a good number of others felt the joke was indeed sexist, and felt further that it contributed to this climate of sexism which we feel results in things like having only 30 to 40 women attending 1000 person conference.

    We thought that the fact that he’s been telling this joke for ten years meant that someone should have said something a long time ago. We didn’t see the religious parody as reducing the offensiveness of the joke in any way. We didn’t believe that Mr. Stallman enjoyed any special status that insulated him from being criticized for this joke, indeed given his position relative to the community, we felt it was even more important that something be said. It seemed to have been brushed under the rug for ten years already; brushing it under again was not going to help with the problem we perceive,

    So we said something.

    I want to point out that the fact that Stallman might have told an equally sexist joke aimed at men (he did not at Gran Canaria) would make no difference here. There’s no “law of conservation of being offensive”. The fact that you might offend men doesn’t mean that the women are suddenly no longer offended.

    Again, I’ve pointed out several times that–with a simple, gracious acknowledgement and apology from Mr. Stallman–this could have had an entirely different ending. I didn’t get to write his emails, but if I had, he’d have been altogether better off (although perhaps not for long if he didn’t go on to change the behavior that upset people).

    So, do you want to perhaps revise your thinking in light of all that, Jose?

    zatoichi Reply:

    I still don’t know what Stallman actually thinks…

    On the contrary, Jose, we can know what Stallman actually thinks, or at least what he actually expressed.

    In spite of the fact that my main concern was clearly about women, Mr. Stallman replied (emphasis mine), “There is no reason for religious people to take offense at that. I have presented St IGNUcius with Catholic priests in the audience, and it did not offend them.” Not women, but “religious people”. And we’re meant to reassured that Catholic priests were not offended (although, as I’ve noted elsewhere, this might or might not be the case; Mr. Stallman means here “No Catholic priests said they were offended”, perhaps.)

    I would note at this point that there is absolutely no reference whatsoever to women (other than the Virgin Mary) in the entirety of Mr. Stallman’s response.

    Mr. Stallman goes on to say, “I did not insult or attack them, but it is clear some people are attacking me. I think I am being criticized unjustly criticized, and I feel I have been wronged.” Mr. Stallman feels that a sincerely expressed criticism is an “attack”, that he has been “wronged”.

    To my thinking, this shows an unwillingness to consider the point of view of the other person in an objective way, something which might also lead one to do things like tell a sexually-loaded joke, aimed at women, during the keynote of a major technical conference at which the women in attendance are grossly in the minority. Of course, that’s a speculation on my part, but it doesn’t strike me as an unreasonable one.

    In his briefer, second email, Mr. Stallman asserts that he’s already dealt with my concerns, “just more briefly”, and in spite of the fact that there seems to be no actual mention of anything I can relate to my concerns. Mr. Stallman goes on to dismiss the existence of my concern: “I think your criticism of my response is inaccurate.”

    In spite of the lukewarm sop to “anyone who perceived derogatory meanings” in the final paragraph, none of this seems terribly comforting. It suggests that the problem that we saw would not change, it would not improve, that the ongoing repetition of this “harmless little joke” would continue, as we felt it had for ten years (too long) already, to contribute to that climate which results in an attendance of no more than 40 women at a 1000 person conference.

    I would note at this point that there is not a single mention of women in the second email, either. This fills me with a sense that Mr. Stallman is able to stretch his imagination sufficiently, not even to see the problem we perceive, but even to see my mention of it in my emails.

    The more I read them, the stranger this seems to me. Despite my repeated efforts to focus the problem on women, it seems as if that subject is something that, for some reason I cannot imagine, Richard is very resistant to.

    In spite of the fact that the body of my first email clearly was concerned with the sexist aspects, Richard’s reply only addresses religion. And after a second attempt to bring the focus specifically on the concern about women, Richard’s second response still even fails to acknowledge that I’ve raised such an issue at all.

    Me, I see problems with all this. Given the concern that I laid out–a real and ongoing problem with a sexist climate in a lot of the community that actively discourages women from participating in what’s supposed to be “free”–I see some serious problems.

    Please explain to me how I’m entirely mistaken about this, Jose.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Let me call one additional point out for Jose to explain to me.

    Mr. Stallman asserts that he “did not insult or attack” the people he feels are attacking him by criticizing his joke, or perhaps, by simply being offended by it (he doesn’t make it clear which he means).

    He seems quite certain of this. He did not ask the audience whether anyone felt attacked (as some of the women felt they had been) or insulted (as all of the women felt they had been). Presumably he feels he didn’t actually offend anyone, either. After all, none of those Catholic priests were offended, right?

    Where this certitude comes from is entirely unclear to me, since, whatever his other talents may be (and I do not list “comedian” among these), I’m reasonably confident that he is not a mindreader.

    (This “politeness” thing works fine for me, but if you hold people to it, I think the only ones posting here any more will be me and Jose. Which is fine with me.)

    zatoichi Reply:

    You aren’t a chimp if you missed this, but I hope you take time out to relax.

    Jose, this is extremely impolite, and I take exception to it. If Roy is consistent in the application of his rules, he’ll delete you ID and require you to create a new one. Several times.

    Now, I have never called you a “chimp”, not once. I have addressed Mr. “Malroy” in these terms, but I have–as you can clearly see–mended my ways.

    Mr. “Malroy”‘s claims that he had “read a lot of pro-Mono stuff” on my web site turned out, on extremely short inspection, to be false. The falsity of this claim incensed me.

    Mr. “Malroy”‘s sensitivity to this sort of ridicule led him to some rather intemperate actions, in particular the posting of contact information for my employer, in what seemed could only be taken as an effort to intimidate or punish me for expressing my views on Mr. Stallman–what Mr. “Malroy” termed an “attack”. My unhappiness with this–which has no relation to the likely results of carrying out such an effort at punishment or intimidation, which would certainly have been a lot more disconcerting for the punisher or intimidator than for me–was compounded by Mr. “Malroy”‘s admission that he did not apparently feel his expressed convictions so deply that he was willing to actually pick up the phone and attempt to contact my employer himself, that his hope was that “somebody else would make the call”.

    This is not to excuse, but to explain, my referring to Mr. “Malroy” as “Chimp”, “Chump”, “Shemp”, “Champ”, “Natty Chump-o”, “Chimpster”, “Bluto” and probably a few other things.

    This was wrong of me and I will endeavor not to repeat such irresponsible behavior in the future.

    zatoichi Reply:

    By the way, I’m very much hoping that some of the gentlemen from the IRC channel could join us here–I’m thinking in particular of Mr. Goblin and Mr. Desu–so as to share their thinking on this with us, and to especially share their views that women really should stay in the kitchen and really don’t know anything about technology.

    I think that would add an interesting dimension to this conversation, don’t you, Jose.

    Failing that, maybe Roy could reproduce the entire final section (unedited, please) of the discussion which was ongoing on the IRC channel where Mr. Goblin, Mr. Desu, Mr. Tacone, Mr. Splosion and others were expressing their rather interesting views on women in technology. That was right before Roy threw me off, the first time, not the second through fourteenth times.

    Could you please help with this, Roy?

    zatoichi Reply:

    Since Roy’s apparently too busy to post a mention of the IRC logs from Sunday being posted, I wanted to mention that folks can find there here.

    The real fun starts around 19:00. Some fun extracts:

    desu_: “though i agree, women are retarded when it comes to computing, considering what i’ve seen in my colleagues ¬_¬”
    Lefty: “I can only assume that you’ve never actually _met_ a woman.”
    desu_: “i have… i’ve met too many to know that for a fact women are retarded when it comes to computers”

    desu_: “Lefty: can you name ONE well know women hacker?”
    _Goblin: “Im a woman and so is my wife.”
    desu_: ” Are you aware that representation of woman in FLOSS is 2%? <— yes, and the reason for that is pretty visible"
    desu_: "D: "
    Lefty: "Sure, Danese Cooper, for starts."

    _Hicham_: "go to debian womens page, you will see a lot of hot women Muttley"

    desu_: "lol, like, FOUR gals at debian?"
    Lefty: "sigh."
    Lefty: "see?"
    desu_: "compared to what? over nine thousand other guys?"

    desu_: "Lefty: you're just trying to be a bitch, trying to show that you support feminists."
    desu_: "Lefty: so, you want more women in FOSS? they'll still not go out with you, though…"

    splosion: "Hey Lefty, women don't belong in FOSS. They belong in the kitchen."

    splosion: ""'[19:52] your idiot statements on women were something, desu.’ — Lefty on desu’s positive attitudes towards feminism”
    desu_: “only one in a hundred of them can actually program.”

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> We can safely assume, I think, on the basis of the available evidence ..Of course, we cannot know whether or not any such thing happened.

    If we cannot know, then the assumption is not that safe.

    You want to assume some things, and that is fine if you qualify it, but we shouldn’t pretend these would be safe assumption, especially with so many things not being known.

    Reading over some of your comments, you seem to want to prove online that Stallman had this or that problem, but I think you are wasting time. There is very little that can be said for certainty. You have even pointed out to some of the reasons why yourself. There are many variables here that are not known and could not be known.

    This doesn’t mean I reject your discussion outright. I think one thing that divides us is that you want to prove bad intent or something similar on Stallman’s part, whereas I’m just showing that we know too little.

    In court, you do what you have to do, and still many innocent go to the slammer or guilty get away. However, laws are laws and society deals with the hand dealt through that point in time.

    We aren’t running a trial here. At least I am not. There is too much that is not known if you want to “prove” ill will. There are too many tools we don’t have accessible. And I did not sign up to run a trial on people.

    Now, if you felt offended, that’s fine. That happened. There is hardly a need to discuss it further, especially since we saw a past video that had elements that many might agree could be offensive to a non trivial number of people.

    I’m willing to look at your overall claims, but keep in mind that I don’t think you are proving anything. And I may even agree that some of these opinions you believe are reasonable.

    And I used the word “prove” because it almost seems as if you are attempting to convince people so as to leave almost no doubt.

    >> If we were to hypothesize that it had, however, we might ask ourselves whether such a response from Mr. Stallman might not cause the person who had made the communication to doubt their own feelings, at least a bit. After all, he is the founder of the FSF.

    Yes, but I must add..

    We all have doubts over many things. All humans and human interactions are imperfect. When it concerns something that might be of benefit to the person (FOSS), people usually allow themselves to entertain the idea in various different contexts at various different times.

    >> I would note that, to one concerned about an unpleasant climate of sexism in the community–one which I saw in a very ugly form on the IRC channel on this very site

    I don’t know what was said; however, generally…

    It’s alright for people to express opinions and outbursts. It’s important for there to be balance and for these outbursts to be contained. It’s a matter of degree (eg, of repetition and of nastiness and of an attempt (or not) to explain and to listen to criticism).

    No one is able to say things that would not offend anyone else. It’s preferable to allow imperfect discussions than to pretend people can be near perfect. Even people with bad judgment and biases in one area can contribute. The question then becomes on performing the balancing act properly. Unfortunately, there are many gray areas.

    People can defend themselves (or others) when attacked. It’s a matter of degree. Just as a fool can say something. Others can reply. Sometimes people have reasons for why they say things. Discussions done with care of the audience are very useful to neutralizing some problems.

    As you can see, I am not judging the particular IRC discussion you mention because I don’t know at this moment what was said, but I want to make sure we aren’t going to start censoring people for stray attacks.

    >> What we can know is the reaction in Gran Canaria.

    Alright, I already said that I won’t look at all points of your comments, but I did want to point out that many of us were not there and we don’t have a video of the presentation or interviews, etc, much as you have stated already.

    >> having a “holy duty” to “relieve” the women–at least those who had never used EMACS–of their “virginity”.

    In the video I saw, he did single out “any woman who….” I did not like the overall feel to that part of the presentation; however, I did point out that Mary was a female so female was not an arbitrary decision to have taken.

    And we are talking about the “Emacs virginity”. A virgin paper is a piece of paper that has not been written on or used. Virginity is used frequently and appropriately in many contexts to signify being completely new to something or completely void of (eg) “soil” or the negative effects of something. It’s clear that literally “Emacs virginity” does not refer to sex at all; however, it is insinuated that we could be talking about sex (if we read between the lines). But we know that this is not a presentation about sex.

    An inside joke that would be much more likely to appeal to males over women? Yes, I think so. And that is not a good decision to have taken without something to balance that joke sufficiently. I would suggest the joke be redone (counterbalanced) or dropped. Maybe someone could try to communicate this subtlety to Stallman in a friendly way. I think you can preserve interesting relationships and word play while avoiding offense if you balance the perhaps likely offensive portion afterwards by offending yourself or the other group in a similar way. [Note, I'm not saying I know how to fix this precisely.]

    “Holy duty” is one of the phrases that suggests we might be looking at a parody of some sort.

    “Relieve” does imply that control would be exerted/maintained by a third party against the target.

    >> I’m not going to deal here with the aspect of the joke which singled out women as being in need of technical assistance from men

    That is an important observation, but I see it as less of a problem. If you are a virgin, it can be argued (in humorous style) that you need to be changed. However, not balancing this does mean that a further suggestion might be that the external fixing (“relieve”) was necessary only because the virgins were females.

    I won’t argue with you, David, that I would likely not make such a presentation without making changes. [Actually, at this point in time, I think I would avoid performing it primarily for its religious presentation.] I would also make sure people would recognize the satire by addressing this directly (an online FAQ/explanation would help as well).

    One thing to keep in mind is that many people like some of Stallman’s message (and even co-opt the message without invoking RMS). The messages they don’t like, they avoid generally.

    Should people not depend on Stallman to represent them or FOSS beyond his safe and popular points? I would say yes. I’m sure most people that don’t like the presentation don’t link to it. In fact, I hardly invoke Stallman except when it comes up in conversations. I’m not a “hero this hero that leader this leader that” person.

    If people really think the presentation could be tweaked to become appealing to mainstream then suggesting how and why to Stallman might give the FSF another strong “weapon”.

    >> I think I can safely say that the women .. universally thought it was a pretty terrible idea.

    I’m not sure if they looked carefully at the elements of the parody. We all know that how you present the context is very important. To use an analogy, “were they answering the right question?”; however, it is important to point out that women were possibly much more likely than men to have found some sort of problem with those jokes.

    >> and felt further that it contributed to this climate of sexism which we feel results in things like having only 30 to 40 women attending 1000 person conference.

    Knowing about this presentation of his, I am not sure how that snuck in. Did those that asked Stallman to speak not ask for restrictions (what was the topic of his talk)?

    >> We didn’t see the religious parody as reducing the offensiveness of the joke in any way.

    [I expect you didn't intended to speak for all the people there that found a problem with the parody.]

    I disagree with this view. I think the parody elements soften the damage. That’s not to say the presentation was adequate. When people are not in the mood for jokes, jokes appear boring, stupid, offensive, etc (I already mentioned that you stated that the Csharp discussion prior to this presentation was apparently not well-received).

    The same people do not think the same way towards the same jokes under a different context. Context matters.

    >> We didn’t believe that Mr. Stallman enjoyed any special status that insulated him from being criticized for this joke, indeed given his position relative to the community, we felt it was even more important that something be said. It seemed to have been brushed under the rug for ten years already; brushing it under again was not going to help with the problem we perceive

    Stallman is respected in various ways and not in others. A lesson was learned hopefully about the value of being clear that such a performance would not be desired on that forum, at least not without cleaning some bits up.

    A Modest Proposal was offensive to many I am sure. It still has its place when the context and audience are in sync.

    In any case, one doesn’t judge one book by another book. One shouldn’t judge one message by another message. We live in a world of competing messages. Messages should generally stand and fall on their own merits. [People take short-cuts and not listen to the entirety of messages, of course. And some messengers develop a bad reputation, meaning their messages will be distrusted ahead of time to account for the fact we all can be tricked or manipulated/have imperfect information and understanding/etc.]

    What is more, expertise in one area does not imply expertise in another.

    >> I want to point out that the fact that Stallman might have told an equally sexist joke aimed at men (he did not at Gran Canaria) would make no difference here. There’s no “law of conservation of being offensive”.

    I disagree about the counterbalancing. It makes no sense to say that the problem was because women were singled out, yet think that not singling out women would preserve the problem.

    >> Again, I’ve pointed out several times that–with a simple, gracious acknowledgement and apology from Mr. Stallman–this could have had an entirely different ending.

    And I’ve pointed out that if you had changed your approach to recognize the experiences and intentions Stallman presented, you might have had more luck.

    If you misunderstand me, for example, that doesn’t imply I owe you an apology. Truly, I don’t think you have convinced Stallman he was wrong (if he was) or in what way.

    To put it differently, some of your criticisms have had logical problems in themselves and have been on the destructive side not on the constructive side. Your tone has been adversarial frequently, ignoring or simply ignorant of a number of perspectives.

    This is why I don’t expect that you would have had as much success as someone taking a different approach would have had.

    David, this wraps up just a single reply of mine to a single reply of yours. I took the time, but this is very time consuming for me.

    We are each off topic and will likely not agree on some points.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> > I still don’t know what Stallman actually thinks…
    >> On the contrary, Jose, we can know what Stallman actually thinks, or at least what he actually expressed.

    So you are in fact agree with me and not disagreeing?

    >> To my thinking, this shows an unwillingness to consider the point of view of the other person in an objective way

    We all fail or “[show] and unwillingness to consider the point of view of the other person in an objective way” when the person appears to attack us. It’s a human condition, I think. This may have saved us from the dinosaurs.

    Your attack was in assuming he owed an apology and that you had not misinterpreted what he intended to convey.

    I think he did address you, but just as you apparently stopped writing to him, he stopped writing to you. I think neither of you really realized through those 4 emails what the other was saying.

    >> In his briefer, second email, Mr. Stallman asserts that he’s already dealt with my concerns, “just more briefly”, and in spite of the fact that there seems to be no actual mention of anything I can relate to my concerns.

    He did not *focus* on that at all, but he did address it partly. He did refer to the Cult of the Virgin Mary, which specifically covers the only part of the entire presentation that would have applied to your concerns. [I say more about this below.]

    I think, as you suggest is a possibility, that he failed to see precisely what you were talking about.

    In my last comment http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-71042 , I try to explain what I think was the problem with the joke. Look for the section on “Emacs virginity”.

    >> Mr. Stallman goes on to dismiss the existence of my concern: “I think your criticism of my response is inaccurate.”

    Well, he appears to me to be saying that he thinks your reply to him is inaccurate.

    I don’t think that implies he is dismissing the existence of your concern.

    >> It suggests that the problem that we saw would not change, it would not improve, that the ongoing repetition of this “harmless little joke” would continue, as we felt it had for ten years (too long) already, to contribute to that climate which results in an attendance of no more than 40 women at a 1000 person conference.

    Yes, the exchange of those few emails, by itself, is not likely to lead to a change on Stallman’s part (we agree he may not even see the problem).

    I do question your immediate and unhesitant focus on an individual without knowing how much of a male chauvinist may or may not be.

    I question the focus on such a small part of a presentation when clearly there are numerous parallels to the target of the parody, and when knowledge of those parallels would imply the offensive nature is reduced.

    Aren’t there better examples and targets to use as a rallying cry?

    On the other hand, if your aim is to reduce the likelihood of Stallman insulting people (or more specifically leading to offended/intimidated women who would not already be insulted by the religious commentary), then I say go for it. I would suggest you approach Stallman again without being judgmental from the start. I would suggest if that experience fails to produce fruits that you speak with those that put conferences together and say you don’t want that presentation to be done.

    Anyway, I think it would help for everyone to be more aware of this problem and prejudice that exist.

    Have you considered getting Pamela Jone’s opinion or the opinion of other notable female FOSS supporters that have made a name for themselves and gained the respect of many?

    I’m guessing some level of censorship/comment moderation might be involved in helping to create forums with hospitable environments.

    >> In spite of the fact that the body of my first email clearly was concerned with the sexist aspects, Richard’s reply only addresses religion

    Let me emphasize again that he might not see the few moments of the whole presentation as insulting. [Above and my prior comment above this one already suggest why this might be the case.] The presentation was about religion and he apparently feels that if there was a problem, it would likely be for the religious views.

    You may have appeared to him to be someone that had no clue about the Cult of the Virgin Mary. “Why pick on females and virginity?” he might think you were thinking. Or at least he may have wanted to cover that possibility. Those few seconds of the performance that were bothering you were thus addressed by him very briefly by referencing “Cult of the Virgin Mary.”

    >> And after a second attempt to bring the focus specifically on the concern about women, Richard’s second response still even fails to acknowledge that I’ve raised such an issue at all.

    He addressed the issue, but may not have realized just what was bothering you.

    Your reply suggests you did not understand his Cult of the Virgin Mary answer. You didn’t address it in your reply, and you say he did not address your joke. Remember that the joke that was taken to be offensive formed a small part of the whole performance and was about the Virgin Mary.

    Notice how you appeared to have given Stallman two strikes and you are out, whereas, you and I have gone back and forth on this very same topic for many many replies and still don’t see eye to eye on various key points.

    For reference, I’ll quote the 4 emails here:

    **********
    My initial email:

    Dear Dr. Stallman:

    I was in the audience during your keynote at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, and I was perplexed and distressed by a few things.

    The lesser of these was your tendency to shout over questioners while they were in mid-question, and to dismiss their questions as “silly”. However, this is not what I’m mainly concerned about.

    The more significant problem was your comments regarding “EMAC virgins”, which you defined as being specifically “_women_ who had never used EMACS”, and for whom being “relieved” of this “virginity” was a “holy duty”. My reaction, and the reaction of a large number of members of the audience with whom I’ve spoken was one of great dismay.

    Your remarks gave the distinct impression that you view women as being in particular need of technical assistance (presumably by men, since there’s apparently no such thing as a _male_ “EMACS virgin”); additionally, women are quite capable of making their own decisions about who might relieve them of whatever sort of “virginity”. I (and many others) viewed these remarks as denigrating and demeaning to women, as well as completely out of place at what is, in essence, a technical conference.

    As a member of the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board, I engage in regular discussions about the relatively small number of women involved in open source. I feel that it is thoughtless comments like your remarks on “EMACS virgins” which contribute, quite heavily, to this situation. Given your position with respect to the free software community, I feel you did your audience a great disservice. If those remarks were intended as a joke, the joke was, frankly, not at all a funny one. I’d strongly encourage you to refrain from such comments in the future.

    I also think you may find it worth considering that there are active and important members of the free software community who consider themselves Christians—I’d cite Michael Meeks as just one example. While no one insists that you agree with or subscribe to a particular religion, people are every bit as entitled to their own beliefs as you are to your lack of them, and I thought it likewise inappropriate to take keynote time to create a situation in which you marginalize members of the community by mocking Christianity. Again, this is a technical conference.

    I personally feel as though you owe your audience, and in particular the women attending the conference, an apology. The remarks came across as thoughtless, inconsiderate and sexist–again, this is not simply my own opinion, but one which I’ve heard echoed, over and over, in my discussions with others who were present at the time. I would imagine that this was not your intention, but it was indeed the reaction of many members of the audience.

    I hope you will take this letter in the spirit in which it’s intended. I’ll look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,

    David “Lefty” Schlesinger

    Dr. Stallman’s reply:

    The Cult of the Virgin of Emacs, like the rest of the Church of Emacs, is meant to poke fun at religion and at myself. I think that you and some others have misunderstood it.

    >While no one insists that you agree with or subscribe to
    > a particular religion, people are every bit as entitled to
    > their own beliefs as you are to your lack of them,

    Yes, they are. Are you accusing me of wishing to deny them these rights? If so, you do me wrong. I defend religious freedom as strongly as anyone.

    However, freedom of religion the freedom to criticize religious views. No human views are off limits to criticism, or joking. People have a right to criticize religion directly, or to ridicule it harshly.

    However, St IGNUcius does neither of those; at most it makes gentle fun of religion, tangentially. There is no reason for religious people to take offense at that. I have presented St IGNUcius with Catholic priests in the audience, and it did not offend them.

    >I personally feel as though you owe your audience,
    >and in particular the women attending the conference,
    >an apology. The remarks came across as thoughtless,
    >inconsiderate and sexist–again, this is not simply my
    >own opinion, but one which I’ve heard echoed, over and
    >over, in my discussions with others who were present at the time.

    I do not believe I owe anyone an apology. I did not insult or attack them, but it is clear some people are attacking me. I think I am being criticized unjustly criticized, and I feel I have been wronged.

    I am concerned about this reported hostile reaction. But I am not sure what to make of it, since it goes against nearly all the rest of my experience. I have had very few negative reactions to St IGNUcius in the past; the only one I can remember was from someone who was hostile to begin with. So this seems like an anomalous case. I don’t understand why it happened.

    You said that you “heard it echoed, over and over”, but how many people actually had this reaction? Maybe it was a few people who started a lot of conversations.

    My second email:

    Dear Dr. Stallman:

    I’m honestly a little surprised–amazed, really–that you managed to completely ignore the three central paragraphs which I identified as being the core of my concerns, choosing instead to focus on the side issue of the anti-religious bent of your “St. IGNUcius” routine.

    Let me reiterate, without the distractions:

    > The more significant problem was your comments
    > regarding “EMAC virgins”, which you defined as being
    > specifically “_women_ who had never used EMACS”,
    > and for whom being “relieved” of this “virginity” was a “holy
    > duty”. My reaction, and the reaction of a large number of
    > members of the audience with whom I’ve spoken was
    > one of great dismay.
    >
    > Your remarks gave the distinct impression that you view
    > women as being in particular need of technical assistance
    > (presumably by men, since there’s apparently no such
    > thing as a _male_ “EMACS virgin”); additionally, women
    > are quite capable of making their own decisions about
    > who might relieve them of whatever sort of “virginity”. I
    > (and many others) viewed these remarks as denigrating
    > and demeaning to women, as well as completely out
    > of place at what is, in essence, a technical conference.
    >
    > As a member of the GNOME Foundation Advisory
    > Board, I engage in regular discussions about the relatively
    > small number of women involved in open source. I feel
    > that it is thoughtless comments like your remarks on
    > “EMACS virgins” which contribute, quite heavily, to this
    > situation. Given your position with respect to the free
    > software community, I feel you did your audience a great
    > disservice. If those remarks were intended as a joke, the
    > joke was, frankly, not at all a funny one. I’d strongly
    > encourage you to refrain from such comments in the future.

    Perhaps you can respond to _these_ concerns rather than the more tangential ones.

    > I am concerned about this reported hostile reaction.

    I would hope so.

    > But I am not sure what to make of it, since it goes
    > against nearly all the rest of my experience. I have
    > had very few negative reactions to St IGNUcius
    > in the past; the only one I can remember was from
    > someone who was hostile to begin with. So this seems
    > like an anomalous case. I don’t understand why it
    > happened.

    I understand exactly why it “happened”: as I said, your remarks were sexist, thoughtless, dismissive and denigrating.

    > You said that you “heard it echoed, over and over”,
    > but how many people actually had this reaction?
    > Maybe it was a few people who started a lot of
    > conversations.

    I would estimate that I’ve spoken to well in excess of a hundred people at the conference about this; most of them initiated the conversation with me, rather than the other way around. The virtually universal reaction has been exactly what I described to you: dismay, unhappiness and concern over the view of women which your idea of “gentle fun” implied.

    Again, you did your audience a serious disservice with these remarks. I stand by my statement that you owe all of us an apology.

    Sincerely,

    David “Lefty” Schlesinger

    Dr. Stallman’s reply:

    > I’m honestly a little surprised–amazed, really–that
    > you managed to completely ignore the three central
    > paragraphs which I identified as being the core of my
    > concerns, choosing instead to focus on the side issue of
    > the anti-religious bent of your “St. IGNUcius” routine.

    I did respond to the other points, just more briefly.

    >> The remarks came across as thoughtless, inconsiderate
    >> and sexist–again, this is not simply my own opinion, but
    >> one which I’ve heard echoed…
    >
    > I do not believe I owe anyone an apology. I did not insult or
    > attack them, but it is clear some people are attacking me….

    Thus, I think your criticism of my response is inaccurate. However, my response naturally reflected my own priorities.

    > Your remarks gave the distinct impression that you
    > view women as being in particular need of technical
    > assistance (presumably by men, since there’s
    > apparently no such thing as a _male_ “EMACS virgin”);
    > additionally, women are quite capable of making their
    > own decisions about who might relieve them of whatever
    > sort of “virginity”. I (and many others) viewed these
    > remarks as denigrating and demeaning to women,

    The cult of the Virgin of Emacs is simply intended as a joke about the cult of the Virgin Mary. I assure anyone who perceived derogatory meanings in it that I did not intend them.
    **********

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Where this certitude comes from is entirely unclear to me, since, whatever his other talents may be (and I do not list “comedian” among these), I’m reasonably confident that he is not a mindreader.

    I completely agree with you that he can’t know for sure and have stated or suggested this much or similar in earlier comments.

    This may not be necessary, but let me clarify then to be safe. He apparently felt priests in the audience were not offended. He stated that they were not offended. He can’t know that. But we do have reason to believe that Stallman may have thought they weren’t (he may have had conversations with them afterwards or had them comment etc). Then again, Stallman may have taken special care to make sure they knew what was going on. [??]

    >> > You aren’t a chimp if you missed this, but I hope you take time out to relax.

    >> Jose, this is extremely impolite

    Don’t try to pull that one here. You have been referring to a certain individual as “Chimp” and other similar names almost consistently after he made some assumptions about you and wrongly stated he had seen information on your website that you were pro-mono. My intention, if you didn’t know, was to let you know that that was uncalled for. Not because he didn’t make a mistake, but because you kept at it repeatedly. Usually, when someone doesn’t reply with evidence (and Roy even asked for evidence because he didn’t know of any) it means they made a mistake or went too far. Yet, you did not stop best I was able to tell. OK, so I am not condemning you. I might even say you have a sense of humor, but I find it difficult to see my comment above, in light of the past replies you have produced, as impolite. Maybe I didn’t go the extra mile, but….

    Anyway, you gave your explanation. That helps people understand why you took certain actions.

    >> Since Roy’s apparently too busy to post a mention of the IRC logs from Sunday being posted, I wanted to mention that folks can find there

    OK, I could say this response is impolite since this sounds like a sarcastic comment suggesting you don’t think Roy is busy but is instead stalling in order to avoid showing something that he does not want to show.

    Let’s not be so picky.. for our own healths.

    I don’t think Roy mentions that the logs are posted. He simply posts them some time after the day closes.

    [I have found myself waiting for the day's log for over a day I think. I might not be remembering correctly though or just didn't check back frequently enough in the interim.]

    I looked at the logs you linked and found the following comment by _Goblin right before the “kitchen” comment you quoted:

    >> [_Goblin:] lefty: I am surprised that someone of your awesome intelligence has not realized that everyone here is simply making fun of you…

    and a few lines later

    >> [splosion:] Lefty: make sure to snip that bit of the conversation where you failed to grok sarcasm

    These might be important lines you left out or not. In any case…

    It’s difficult to (a) know much about these characters or if they are even the same people all the time, and (b) know much about them if you only look at a few things they have said.

    A thought that comes up, and I don’t think has been mentioned, is that people avoid environments not only for the reason that they might be unwelcoming but because people tend to have different likes. I think the majority of males in the sciences, engineering, etc appreciate having females around (and I don’t mean to rub their backs). That’s not to say there is no sexism, but we have to be careful about matching cause and effect properly and not overly generalizing.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Don’t try to pull that one here. You have been referring to a certain individual as “Chimp” and other similar names almost consistently after he made some assumptions about you and wrongly stated he had seen information on your website that you were pro-mono. My intention, if you didn’t know, was to let you know that that was uncalled for.

    Okay, now, this is going entirely too far, Jose.

    Since Roy enacted the “polite debate” rule, I’ve stuck quite studiously to that rule. I even went so far as to offer an explanation for my previous behavior, as well as an admission of wrong, an apology and a promise (which I can be reasonably expected to keep, which is not to suggest that anyone else in particular might not keep such a promise) to not repeat my error again. I think that was, to use Roy’s phrase, “commendable of me.”

    But do I get commendation? Not in the slightest. Having rudely done this once, which I complained about, subsequent to my gracious apology (and had only Mr. Stallman been as gracious, we wouldn’t be doing this, now, would we?) you’re attempting to take me to task with it a second time.

    This is intolerable, Jose. If you can see a gracious and sincere apology, and make a determination to let the matter lie until you’ve had a chance to see whether it’s sincere, that really goes outside the bounds of what any reasonably well-bred person would consider to be “polite”, I’m sorry to say.

    I think I need to lodge some sort of formal complaint about this. What’s the point of having rules if no one follows them? (Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for Roy to demonstrate where I was doing all of this cursing he’s been talking about. I mean, from the sound of things, it seemed like I must’ve been cursing my fool head, off, but I can’t remember it. And no, Mr. “Malroy”, I don’t drink, and to suggest otherwise would certainly be impolite.)

    In any case, Jose, I thought you’d already left, abandoning the field as being (somehow) off-topic suddenly, yet here you are again. Are you confused or am I…? Did you think better of it…?

    zatoichi Reply:

    Jose: first you declared that you were done responding (this is called “conceding the debate”, by the way. I meant to thank you, but…)

    Next, you were impolite to me in a complete uncalled-for fashion.

    After declaring the whole thing “off-topic”, you want to now change your mind and declare it “on-topic” again? Sorry, no.

    This is “polite debate”. When you debate, if you declare yourself “finished”, with outstanding arguments on the table, those are effectively judged against you since you’ve been unable to respond. This isn’t some sort of “argument clinic” where you get a “do-over”, I’m afraid. You might want to brush up on your forensics.

    I’m done responding to you on this topic in this place. You said you were going, weren’t you?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> you’re attempting to take me to task with it a second time.

    David, you called my little comment impolite. This suggests to me you didn’t understand why I stated it.

    Do you prefer I keep quiet and let your misjudgment and labeling of impoliteness stick?

    >> In any case, Jose, I thought you’d already left, abandoning the field as being (somehow) off-topic suddenly, yet here you are again.

    That’s right, I called you on that. You claimed that for me to ask you about patents would be off-topic. You did this while completely off-topic yourself.

    Do you prefer I keep quiet and let your obvious oversight (or double standard some might say) go unanswered?

    >> first you declared that you were done responding

    If you want me to explain, you will have to quote because I can’t find the precise comment you must be talking about.

    >> Next, you were impolite to me in a complete uncalled-for fashion.

    Sorry, without quoting this might be simply another one of those misjudgments/misunderstandings/oversights/etc that you tend to produce frequently. Why go on faith, right? Quote me.

    >> After declaring the whole thing “off-topic”, you want to now change your mind and declare it “on-topic” again? Sorry, no.

    See if you quote, that would force you to carefully read what I am writing. Then you might realize you tend to get confused here and there.

    >> This is “polite debate”. When you debate, if you declare yourself “finished”, with outstanding arguments on the table, those are effectively judged against you since you’ve been unable to respond. This isn’t some sort of “argument clinic” where you get a “do-over”, I’m afraid. You might want to brush up on your forensics.

    Listen, if you decide to leave this debate, I think that might be a good move on your part. The horse has been beat, and you keep bringing up things that don’t make that much sense.

    >> I’m done responding to you on this topic in this place. You said you were going, weren’t you?

    I repeat, this might be a good move for you.

    When you find a new place, if you are still itchy about this Stallman thing, I can point to the comments which you never addressed.

    Do try to find a location here where you feel comfortable discussing software patents since I am very interested in that topic, and I feel we might have things to talk about.

    It can be so difficult for me to ignore replies that have certain types of inaccuracies. I do want to drop these discussions myself, but I worry you still want to keep putting up such replies.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    After looking at the actual video, I beg to differ. Stallman may be a bad stand-up comedian, but his satire, if anything, was a joke about religion. He made fun of people who are sexist. His delivery was tactless.

    If other people interpret this appearance differently, I respect their opinion.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Roy, telling a sexually loaded joke aimed directly at the few women in the audience in the course of a religious parody does not magically transform the sexually loaded joke aimed directly at the few women in the audience into something other than it is.

    You’re grasping at straws to excuse Stallman’s “harmless little joke”.

    One more time: suppose Stallman had responded to my email by writing the following:

    “Gee, it never occurred to me that anyone might take it that way, but now that it’s been pointed out to me, I can see what you mean. I’ll definitely consider removing that part of the routine or altering it in the future. It was never my intention to offend anyone, I fully support and strongly encourage the equal participation of women in Free Software, and if my sense of humor’s having run away with me made that unclear, that’s something I certainly want to correct. Please convey my most sincere apologies to anyone who felt upset or offended by what I now see was an arguably insensitive attempt at humor. I’ll post a copy of this statement on my web site as well, so that my feelings on this are clear. Thanks for pointing this out to me!”

    It would be a very different story today, wouldn’t it?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> telling a sexually loaded joke aimed directly at the few women in the audience in the course of a religious parody does not magically transform the sexually loaded joke aimed directly at the few women in the audience into something other than it is.

    >> You’re grasping at straws to excuse Stallman’s “harmless little joke”.

    The parallels are right there. Try rereading the comment http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-70928 , and read this one as well http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-70967

    As for what Stallman could have said, he tried to explain. It’s clear there is some miscommunication between you two. See eg http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/17/nessus-mono-analogies/comment-page-1/#comment-70837 and two other comments I wrote on that thread below that one.

    If Lefty had said, “I had not known some of these points you just wrote to me about in your earlier reply to my concerns, in particular, the fact that you have performed this so many times to different audiences and been well received.. blah blah..” then maybe RMS would have reacted closer to what you wanted. You didn’t. He didn’t.

    Life stinks.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Jose fails to distinguish between two situations which are non-comparable. I’m not the one who was giving keynotes and I’m not the one who has the reputation of being the “leader of the Free Software movement”. Moreover, I was clear in pointing out that these were not my feeling alone, but the feelings shared by many others. If Mr. Stallman were inclined to be concerned under any circumstances, one would think this would lead him to be concerned.

    My thesis is that he either is unable to even see (and I mean that literally–viz. the lack of even a single mention of “women” in either response) the problem, or that he doesn’t care.

    My phrasing might have affected Mr. Stallman’s reply, but that’s merely speculation; if the thought is that somehow Mr. Stallman’s estimation of me might be somehow different, I’d suggest that’s immaterial.

    The evidence suggests to me that there’s no circumstance under which I’d have received a substantially different response.

    If you’d like to demonstrate otherwise, you’re entirely welcome to write to Mr. Stallman, detail the same issues I did in any terms you like, request that he do something about it, and then enrage people without names all over the Internet by posting Mr. Stallman’s unedited response here.

    This ought to be interesting.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Jose fails to distinguish between two situations which are non-comparable. I’m not the one who was giving keynotes and I’m not the one who has the reputation of being the “leader of the Free Software movement”.

    The analogy wasn’t perfect. It was intending to show (other things and) that people here have felt insulted by you.

    You have mentioned your credentials, many good friends, and speaking arrangements, so I thought this much also allowed the analogy to make sense.

    >> Moreover, I was clear in pointing out that these were not my feeling alone, but the feelings shared by many others.

    This succeeds in the analogy. Many here have said (in different words) they found various of your comments to be offensive.

    Please don’t take this reply as an attack. I want to explain the analogy since you say it makes little sense (“non-comparable”).

    >> My thesis is that he either is unable to even see.. the problem, or that he doesn’t care.

    [Heads up and minor apology:] My earlier replies accounted for this already since I read your comments out of order before replying to a single one.

    >> If you’d like to demonstrate otherwise, you’re entirely welcome to write to Mr. Stallman, detail the same issues I did in any terms you like, request that he do something about it,

    Someone might want to write him asking for a lengthier explanation about what he meant and to see if he has intentions to address the concerns of what might be many that have likely taken some level of offense, specifically, to the jokes singling out females.

    zatoichi Reply:

    He made fun of people who are sexist.

    Perhaps my sense of humor is less refined than Roy’s, but I’m not seeing this. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no “holy duty” in Catholicism to “relieve” women of their “virginity” other than on their wedding night, and in that case, only by their husbands.

    I’m unfamiliar with any such “duty” directed toward random women (based on their use of a particular text editor or otherwise) on the part of random male members of the Catholic Church. Where I come from–and as far as I know, even among Catholics–this is called “rape”.

    I note also that, in the “Cult of the Virgin Mary” she is distinguished for have retained her virginity; I suspect that a suggestion that there was a “holy duty” to relieve her of it (metaphysical absurdities aside, for the moment) would probably not be something one could locate in the catechism.

    So, I don’t see how the joke “makes fun of people who are sexist”.

    Why don’t you walk me through your reasoning here, Roy. Maybe there’s something about Catholicism that you know and I don’t.

    (Perhaps that was the problem. If we’d known that we’d need to have studied up on Catholic history and dogma before Mr. Stallman’s keynote, we might’n’t have interpreted it in the way that pretty much everyone did.)

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Perhaps my sense of humor is less refined than Roy’s, but I’m not seeing this. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no “holy duty” in Catholicism to “relieve” women of their “virginity” other than on their wedding night, and in that case, only by their husbands.

    Well, if everything mapped identically there wouldn’t be much of a parody.

    I’ve already mentioned that there are numerous parallels and probably an inside joke that would tend to be offensive to women if not balanced.

    BTW, I already argued that balance was important, but here is an example.

    “David sucks!”

    Now consider:

    “David sucks!

    Jose sucks!

    … sucks!”

    There is a difference when we balance.

    >> I’m unfamiliar with any such “duty” directed toward random women (based on their use of a particular text editor or otherwise) on the part of random male members of the Catholic Church. Where I come from–and as far as I know, even among Catholics–this is called “rape”.

    Well, it does appear you missed what lies behind satire.

    Consider reading the Cliffnotes or the wikipedia page for A Modest Proposal.

    Again, I’m not saying St. IGNUcious is A Modest Proposal, but you seem to be missing a lot.. if you are being serious that is.

    >> I note also that, in the “Cult of the Virgin Mary” she is distinguished for have retained her virginity; I suspect that a suggestion that there was a “holy duty” to relieve her of it (metaphysical absurdities aside, for the moment) would probably not be something one could locate in the catechism.

    You are scaring me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire
    ***
    In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.[1]

    Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.

    A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, however, is that “in satire, irony is militant”.[2] This “militant irony” (or sarcasm) often professes to approve (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
    ***

    >> So, I don’t see how the joke “makes fun of people who are sexist”.

    >> Why don’t you walk me through your reasoning here, Roy. Maybe there’s something about Catholicism that you know and I don’t.

    Are you playing with us?

    zatoichi Reply:

    Given how little problem this has presented for Stallman in the past, I think he was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted.

    One of the things I was told over the weekend at Community Leadership Summit was that people close to Richard, in particular folks from SFLC, have been pointing out to Richard for years now that he should change this joke or avoid it entirely. Evidently he enjoys it so much that he’s ignored those suggestions.

    Did you think that, perhaps, people were offended but didn’t say anything in the past? It’s hard to criticize someone who’s widely viewed as an “authority figure”, even when you feel they’re clearly wrong. Or perhaps that they wrote to Richard as I did, got a similar response and just gave up?

    For Richard to be “targeted”, he’d have to be “targeted” by someone or someones in particular. Who’s behind this “targetting”, in your thinking, Jose?

    Mono partisans? That can’t be right. I’m not one, as Roy has explicitly admitted. Matthew Garret’s not one–he doesn’t use Mono, yet wrote an entry about the same time as mine raising the same complaints–and Chani’s not one either.

    Software patent advocates? I’m the only person who’s a member of LiMo (and I’m not a “software patent advocate”), so–again–what about the other folks who complained at the same time I did, Matthew, Dave Neary, Paul Cutler, Andre Klapper, Sandy Armstrong, Celeste Lyn Paul and many others?

    Who’s supposed to be responsible for this “targeting”, Jose? In whose hands am I only an unwitting pawn?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> One of the things I was told over the weekend at Community Leadership Summit was that people close to Richard, in particular folks from SFLC, have been pointing out to Richard for years now that he should change this joke or avoid it entirely. Evidently he enjoys it so much that he’s ignored those suggestions.

    Yes, that joke is not intended for wide audiences. This also suggests perhaps that enough people already exposed to it are not seeing his interpretation or for whatever reason are not liking the joke(s).

    Besides what I mentioned above about the parallels to Roman Catholicism, the virginity aspect applies to introduction to software, thus, the joke goes along with the theme and is not gratuitous at all. Notice that an “attack” on females is balanced by “insults” to males, in each case paralleling very notable and symbolic aspects of Roman Catholicism.

    I’m glad we are having a more relaxed conversation now.

    I think this performance will be insulting to some degree to a number of people that recognize the religious parallels (or who don’t).

    Yes, we all know that a lack of past complaints falling on Stallmans’ ears is not necessarily due to everyone liking the joke.

    >> Who’s supposed to be responsible for this “targeting”, Jose? In whose hands am I only an unwitting pawn?

    If you haven’t been instigating anything and have a clean conscience, there is no need to take offense then.

    I know there are numerous possibilities, and I don’t mind expressing my doubts. Communication in good faith and with sincerity helps resolve problems quicker.

    Roy, a posting to make amends of some sort might be in order at some point to neutralize some past postings. David has taken the time to express his dissatisfaction with certain insinuations or accusations [and we might be seeing some light ..], but how you resolve conflicts between you and him is not my business. I have my own related set of problems I’m trying to resolve.

    >> Did you think that, perhaps, people were offended but didn’t say anything in the past? It’s hard to criticize someone who’s widely viewed as an “authority figure”, even when you feel they’re clearly wrong. Or perhaps that they wrote to Richard as I did, got a similar response and just gave up?

    Yes, that is most certainly a possibility. I haven’t discounted it.

    >> (and I’m not a “software patent advocate”)

    Well, the good news just keeps rolling in, today. I got a whiff of a thread about your LIMO and ACCESS(?) relationships, and, seeing you not state otherwise, I did take this to mean you were in favor of software patents. Of course, many people don’t wholly lean one way or the other. Not “advocating” for software patents doesn’t necessarily mean you dislike them. In any case, I will no longer assume I know your position on software patents.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Yes, that joke is not intended for wide audiences.

    Given the length of time that the SFLC has been raising the issue, I think they may feel that it wasn’t intended for any audiences. As I say, Mr. Stallman evidently feels differently.

    This also suggests perhaps that enough people already exposed to it are not seeing his interpretation or for whatever reason are not liking the joke(s).

    Given the lack of an on-stage interpreter to explain Mr. Stallman to the audience as he worked through his routine, and–again based on the evidence before us, rather than conjecture or speculation–the apparently extremely high likelihood that this joke was going to be misinterpreted, and taking into consideration as well the evidently-completely-ignored efforts of those around him to coax Mr. Stallman into making some changes, one seems led to the inescapable comclusion that Mr. Stallman simply doesn’t care about what the audience thinks.

    I can also only wonder in passing–given that, at least according to Mr. Stallman, no one in front of whom this routine has been done at any time in the past decade has ever complained–exactly why the folks around him might be proffering this advice to Mr. Stallman, evidently in vain, over what sounds like a rather lengthy period.

    Any theories, Jose?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Given the lack of an on-stage interpreter to explain Mr. Stallman to the audience as he worked through his routine, and–again based on the evidence before us, rather than conjecture or speculation–the apparently extremely high likelihood that this joke was going to be misinterpreted, and taking into consideration as well the evidently-completely-ignored efforts of those around him to coax Mr. Stallman into making some changes, one seems led to the inescapable comclusion that Mr. Stallman simply doesn’t care about what the audience thinks.

    This is my view:

    Even if an audience member does not understand on the spot, people that like/respect/etc someone tend to give the benefit of the doubt. Some might research afterwards or even ask him about it later in a polite manner wanting to see things resolved positively if possible.

    Those not understanding and not really viewing Stallman well tend not to give the benefit of the doubt. They will be less patient in trying to get the issue resolved in their minds.

    As long as those that don’t like him weren’t being vocal, he did not have much reason to feel the presentation would not work. Generally, those that don’t like him or don’t sympathize with his pov would not be attending his speeches/performances in the first place.

    >> I can also only wonder in passing–given that, at least according to Mr. Stallman, no one in front of whom this routine has been done at any time in the past decade has ever complained–exactly why the folks around him might be proffering this advice to Mr. Stallman, evidently in vain, over what sounds like a rather lengthy period.

    You can believe Stallman is lying to you or to himself.

    Another real possibility is that his jokes do work (or at least appear to work) among atheist type and that appreciate attending his speeches. Some likely did see sexism and dismissed it or agreed with it. And, as stated above, others give the benefit of the doubt; they are willing to research or ask discretely on their own time and in an amicable fashion. These groups likely have formed the majority of his past experiences.

    As Stallman (and you, etc) said, no one is beyond reproach. People should be willing to pay attention to those words (you, etc) and hence be willing to question or criticize him.

    Jose_X Reply:

    [I just realized before submitting the comment that I had already replied, but this reply is different so I'll submit it.]

    >> Given the length of time that the SFLC has been raising the issue, I think they may feel that it wasn’t intended for any audiences.

    Well, from what you stated about the SFLC trying to convince Stallman, I would say that they don’t consider this an offense of first rank not suitable for any adversary.

    In other words, the fact complaints and advice to change haven’t been more forceful in the last 10(?) years suggests the issue is not that grave.

    Do take a look at this reply if you have to pick a small number of things to read http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-71048

    I’ll quote
    ***
    In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.[1]

    Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.

    A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, however, is that “in satire, irony is militant”.[2] This “militant irony” (or sarcasm) often professes to approve (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
    ***

    Please read that carefully.

    >> the apparently extremely high likelihood that this joke was going to be misinterpreted

    History and comments I have seen suggest the joke was not going to be misinterpreted to a high likelihood to the point of being offensive.

    >> one seems led to the inescapable comclusion that Mr. Stallman simply doesn’t care about what the audience thinks.

    And merely being misinterpreted to a high likelihood (but not to the point of being offensive) does not suggest Stallman simply doesn’t care about what the audience thinks.

    And being misinterpreted to a high likelihood is a comment about the whole work and all aspects of it, so even if that were true to a high degree, it might be true only to a low degree that each and every facet of the work/joke would be misunderstood.

    As stated at the top, if this was that likely to be offensive, perhaps the SFLC would have pushed a little harder.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I’m not sure for whose benefit you feel you’re typing this, but I feel, in all frankness, that you’re somewhat placing me in the position of the host who feels perhaps obliged to look at his watch every minute or so, and perhaps even tap his foot, or clear his throat, with slight impatience.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Well, the good news just keeps rolling in, today.

    Jose, this is sarcastic, uncalled-for, and impolite. In spite of my studious and concerted–I might even call them excruciating–efforts to treat accoring to Roy’s New Rules, you seem to be unable to reciprocate. If I were the sort of person that suspected malice behind day-to-day inconsistencies, I might wonder whether these New Rules were perhaps being unequally applied–but I am not that sort of a person.

    In any case, I will no longer assume I know your position on software patents.

    I wouldn’t be too concerned if I were you, Jose. I’m confident, given the history of past discussions, that between you, Roy, Mr. “Malroy” and Mr. Mills, you can arrive at any number of new assumptions you can make about me.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Jose, this is sarcastic

    You are 100% wrong.

    Try reading over what I wrote with that in mind.

    zatoichi Reply:

    You are 100% wrong.

    Try reading over what I wrote with that in mind.

    Jose, I must respectfully disagree. The tone of the comment seems clearly sarcastic to me, and couple with loaded terms like getting “a whiff” of my relationships with two organizations I’m quite happy to be associated with, followed by a complete leap into assumptions about my views on software patents. Views which, I would like to remind you, you have never asked me about in an on-topic context (and I must insist that this is not an “on-topic context” and I won’t discuss them here; we’re talking about Mr. Stallman, you and I). You then proceed to speculate, again without ever having actually heard my views (which we will not get into here), about whether I “like” patents or not, and then seem to lament having to abandon the set of “assumptions” you’d made around these things, in a complete vacuum.

    So, I maintain that your comment was sarcastic, impolite in its presumptions–not to mention effectively prejudicial to me, my views are extremely nuanced, I’ll do my best to help you along when we discuss them (but not here)–and in complete defiance of Roy’s New Rules. I hope I have done so in a sufficiently polite fashion. If I have failed in my etiquette at any point, please advise me, and I will do my best to make amends.

    In the meantime, and with all due respect, I believe that Roy should remove your ID and force you to create several new ones before he allows you back on the site.

    It’s done wonders for me, I think.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> > You are 100% wrong.

    >> > Try reading over what I wrote with that in mind.

    >> Jose, I must respectfully disagree. The tone of the comment seems clearly sarcastic to me

    I’ll try to make this reply brief.

    I know what I intended much better than you “know” what I intended.

    Notice that I agreed in that reply with a number of points you had made. I was reaching out.

    Notice what I said at one point in that comment:
    “I’m glad we are having a more relaxed conversation now.”

    I was not only being honest, but friendly.

    I said this because Roy had started to enforce some degree of behavioral requirements among the postings, and you had started to make numerous references to attempts at being polite (or reprimanding if you thought people were not being polite).

    This peace was welcomed.

    OK, so you thought it was sarcastic. Whatever.

    .. but I tell you it wasn’t. Now you still think I am lying apparently or still being sarcastic (and not sure what clues you are looking at).

    Will you, after this message, continue to think I am being sarcastic?

    Do you know what sarcasm is? I don’t know if you know what satire is if I judge by your past comment above, so perhaps you might not know what is sarcasm. See http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-71048

    No, I was not being sarcastic and am not being sarcastic, but if you refuse to see that, I can’t make you believe me. Seriously, what fraction of my explanations or clarifications in the past (as far as you can tell) have involved sarcasm?

    And what part of what I said suggested to you the tone was one of sarcasm?

    >> Views which, I would like to remind you, you have never asked me about in an on-topic context (and I must insist that this is not an “on-topic context” and I won’t discuss them here; we’re talking about Mr. Stallman, you and I).

    I have indirectly asked you about your views on patents. I did so very early on in our conversations of these past few days.

    It hadn’t crossed my mind to ask again, but now I am once again curious. Could you please overview your views on software patents?

    I think you discussing your views some might lead to interesting conversations and insights. I already gave you links that cover many parts of my views. See, for example, one of my earliest replies to you last week: http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/13/mono-vs-richard-stallman-tactic/comment-page-1/#comment-69711 in which I link to 8 other postings where I discuss software patents.

    And I think it’s too late to worry about being off-topic. Have you even commented at all on the Ukraine’s GNU/Linux ambitions or on Microsoft’s MOU response?

    Anyway, consider this patent inquiry as a way for us to get back to an early topic of conversation between us that unfortunately got side-tracked because of other concerns.

    >> In the meantime, and with all due respect, I believe that Roy should remove your ID and force you to create several new ones before he allows you back on the site.

    How much sarcasm is here, I wonder.

    zatoichi Reply:

    This quoting of me doesn’t even suggest that I think you would be involved.

    I went further and considered everything I remember thinking or writing about you.

    The conclusion was as I stated, and I worded it that way to try and be succinct yet accurate.

    Jose, I’m sorry, but I don’t accept this. First of all, “everything you said about me”–without even attempting to fathom the depths of your thinking, which, of course, I cannot know–I think this is not only inaccurate, but–dare I say it?–intellectually dishonest.

    You focus on the single quote here (and for a “context” guy such as yourself, I find this initially surprising, and then perhaps a bit revealing.) Let’s talk about context.

    Since it was revealed that I criticized Mr. Stallman here, there has been a fairly non-stop chorus of outrage. I’ve been accused of “character assassination”–by you. (And please don’t point out any surrounding “weasel words”–and this is a standard term for phraseology used to impart an air of deniability to an assertion, I am not calling you a “weasel” here–since that’s simply a transparent rhetorical device to allow one to make an assertion without the hard and occasionally painful work of having to support it when challenged.)

    I’ve been accused by you of being under the influence of drugs. I’ve been accused by various folks, including you, from time to time, of leading this witch hunt because of Mono, because of software patents, at the behest of my employer or of the LiMo Foundation (neither of whom I represent here), and by Mr. Malroy, of doing it over some slight he imagines I conceived against Mr. Stallman in the late 70s. This place has been an unending series of conspiracy theories. The one theory I haven’t heard much of is that I’m doing it for the simple reasons I say I am. This, for some reason I don’t grasp, seems totally incredible to contributors here.

    Now, you’ve been part of that chorus, Jose, at least when you’re not conceding the debate as “off-topic” and leaving for sunnier climes. Please don’t make me drag out quotes, you should know what you’ve been saying–in your more, shall we say, churlish moments, in particularly (and I use that word descriptively toward your actions, I am not call you a “churl”.)

    Now, given that context, and given your statement, it seems that you are expressing the view that someone is targeting Mr. Stallman, and the context as described makes it clear that you consider me to be one of the ones involved, in the “attacking” at least, if not the act of “targeting” itself.

    Well, that is how I interpreted “but it is clear some people are attacking me” given the context suggested by the emails.

    Oh, that’s an interpretation. An extrapolation. An amplification. i see. Mr. Stallman never makes this claim, Jose, you do.

    “Targeting” is not “attacking”, as anyone who’s ever used a firearm can tell you. “Targeting” is the advance selection of something to “attack”. By bringing up “targeting” (which Mr. Stallman did not) you’re suggesting that there was a plan, in advance or Mr. Stallman’s remarks, to attack him over something, a charge which Roy made as well, directed specifically at me. This is what I considered libelous, if you’ll recall. Roy suggested that I was “going after people I didn’t like” (presumably he refers to himself and Mr. Stallman here, I don’t beieve there’s anyone else I could be characterized as “going after”.)

    And you, by using that word, are repeating that charge here, in a slightly less directed way. Since I’m clearly involved in the “attack” or “witch hunt”, and since you think there was “targeting” (and again, don’t fall back on your equivocation), either I must have been responsible for this “targeting” which you think occurred or someone else was.

    So, one more time: which is it?

    zatoichi Reply:

    ANd while we’re on the subject of “everything you said”, Jose, I would like to point out–as a fan of police procedure–that to play “good cop, bad cop”, you actually need two different cops.

    When you try to do it all by yourself, the nice cop part simply seems, oh, insincere, and the bad cop part lacks credibility. Ask a policeman if you don’t believe me.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I’m glad we are having a more relaxed conversation now.

    That’s nice. I suppose one could only speculate on how long this happy state might last, but let’s try to enjoy it while it does, hm?

    I think one should never mistake politeness for something like “a willingness to put up with less than direct answers for direct questions”, or “an inability to identify and call out the flaws in a line of reasoning”, that would probably be an error.

    David has taken the time to express his dissatisfaction with certain insinuations or accusations…

    Please don’t forget certain misstatements, mischaracterizations, misrepresentations, and outright falsehoods. I took the time to express my dissatisfaction with those, too.

    Thanks!

    I haven’t discounted it.

    In all fairness, you haven’t dealt with it, either.

    zatoichi Reply:

    If you haven’t been instigating anything and have a clean conscience, there is no need to take offense then.

    I’m afraid this is unresponsive, Jose. You made the assertion that Mr. Stallman had been “targeted”, To be targeted, someone must be doing the targeting. I asserted from the outset that I was doing this for the reasons I said was doing it, and that has been regularly disputed, without any supporting evidence (unless “wild conjecture” counts).

    By stating “I think he was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted”, you make the same claim (albeit in what seems to be an equivocal sort of way, perhaps to enable an easy escape later on.) So, either he was “targeted”, and either I’m the ringleader, or somehow a pawn, in that “targeting”, or there was no such targeting, and your suggestion otherwise is without merit.

    We’re not talking about my conscience here, we’re talking about your claim.

    Now, I’d like to hear which it is: did I “target” Mr. Stallman as he evidently feels, a view which you seemed to be endorsing, or was there no targeting at all?

    When one makes a claim in a nice, polite, reasoned debate like were having here, Jose, and one makes a claim, one either supports it or one retracts it. Take your pick.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> By stating “I think he was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted”, you make the same claim (albeit in what seems to be an equivocal sort of way, perhaps to enable an easy escape later on.) So, either he was “targeted”, and either I’m the ringleader, or somehow a pawn, in that “targeting”, or there was no such targeting, and your suggestion otherwise is without merit.

    I think you are incorrect if you think there is no other option.

    I was not implicating you. For the record I’ll ask and you can answer formally if you want:

    David, did you participate in a conspiracy to target RMS?

    OK, I asked.. now…

    I said I had doubts at one point; however, my reply clearly left room for:

    (a) a group to be targeting RMS, and
    (b) you not being a member of that group.

    Why did you not include this possibility in your earlier reply? Was it that difficult to see?

    I am seeing a pattern of you misunderstanding my intentions (and very possibly also those of RMS and many others). That happens, though. Trying to clear things up is one reason why we are having a discussion.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Why did you not include this possibility in your earlier reply? Was it that difficult to see?

    I think it was perhaps might have been your repeated use of the terms “attack”, and “character assassination” with regard to my criticism of Mr. Stallman. If I recall correctly, the phrase “witch hunt” came up.

    For someone who’s pushing the point that I erred in writing a straightforward and polite piece of criticism, and should instead have perhaps been “more diplomatic” or groveled or cowtowed or stroked Mr. Stallman’s ego in order to achieve a happier result, you don’t seem to have been taking your own advice terribly well, Jose.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Why did you not include this possibility in your earlier reply? Was it that difficult to see?

    I think it perhaps might have been your repeated use of the terms “attack”, and “character assassination” with regard to my criticism of Mr. Stallman. If I recall correctly, the phrase “witch hunt” came up.

    For someone who’s pushing the point that I erred in writing a straightforward and polite piece of criticism, and should instead have perhaps been “more diplomatic” or groveled or cowtowed or stroked Mr. Stallman’s ego in order to achieve a happier result, you don’t seem to have been taking your own advice terribly well, Jose.

    Jose_X Reply:

    David, I don’t want to argue if I can avoid it. It’s tiring. It’s time that I can’t spend doing something else.

    I also think you have put valuable pressures on people to be more careful.

    It’s unfortunate there is such a gulf between the opposing sides on some of these issues.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> I think it perhaps might have been your repeated use of the terms “attack”, and “character assassination” with regard to my criticism of Mr. Stallman. If I recall correctly, the phrase “witch hunt” came up.

    You have to look specifically at what was said.

    But, yes, I understand that all that talk (and fears of sarcasm, indirection, etc) could make it likely that you assume I would have included you in such a targeting if I thought such a targeting might exist [and note I admitted having significant doubt at one point (past tense)]. I can even believe you might have thought I was sarcastic about some things when I wasn’t.

    You have been arguing with everyone and then some almost nonstop. People have commented on other forums on how unbelievable it almost is that you can post so frequently.

    A little R&R?

    zatoichi Reply:

    David, I don’t want to argue if I can avoid it.

    Well, I can suggest at least one way you can avoid it: stop making claims like, ““I think [Mr. Stallman] was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted.”, and then trying to back out of them when you’re called on having made them.

    One more time, let’s deconstruct this for Jose and the rest of the gang, so they can clearly understand what I’m saying here. Let’s not forget that this statement was made in a context where I have been repeatedly attacked (and Jose has done this as well) for “leading a witch hunt” or a campaign of “character assassination” against Mr. Stallman.

    There is a core claim in here: “Mr. Stallman said he was being targeted”. Right off the bat, this claim is erroneous, Mr. Stallman never said any such thing. He said other things, but not that he was being “targeted”.

    (While Mr. Stallman has not, as I said, Roy has made this claim: “From what I can gather, you’re trying to set up and trip up people whom you don’t like (such as RMS) and you might be using fake names to pretext.” Setting someone up would involve directed activity before the event for which they were being set up, i.e. “targeting”. This is what the word means, Jose.)

    That aside, the next level is “Mr Stallman was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted.” You express at least conditional concurrence with the view that Mr. Stallman was being targeted. You go on to assert (redundantly) that this is what you think.

    Presumably Jose knows what he thinks, even if he’s mistaken about the facts which underlie what he thinks.

    In other words, this seems to parse out as “Jose asserts that there is a probability of 51% or greater that Mr. Stallman was correct in saying that he was targeted” (notwithstanding the contrafactual nature of the core assertion).

    Again, the obvious question is “targeted by who”? According to Roy, targeted by me.

    When backed right up to the wall, Jose admits that there’s absolutely no evidence to support this assertion, or at least that, if he had any, he’d present it.

    So, why would I be wrong in taking that statement of Jose’s as an effort to support Roy’s and Mr. Hill’s point of view (a point of view which Roy has explicitly and specifically retracted and apologized for, well in advance of Jose making this statement)?

    zatoichi Reply:

    If you haven’t been instigating anything and have a clean conscience, there is no need to take offense then.

    I’m afraid this is unresponsive, Jose. You made the assertion that Mr. Stallman had been “targeted”, To be targeted, someone must be doing the targeting. I asserted from the outset that I was doing this for the reasons I said was doing it, and that has been regularly disputed, without any supporting evidence (unless “wild conjecture” counts).

    By stating “I think he was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted”, you make the same claim (albeit in what seems to be an equivocal sort of way, perhaps to enable an easy escape later on.) So, either he was “targeted”, and either I’m the ringleader, or somehow a pawn, in that “targeting”, or there was no such targeting, and your suggestion otherwise is without merit.

    We’re not talking about my conscience here, we’re talking about your claim.

    Now, I’d like to hear which it is: did I “target” Mr. Stallman as he evidently feels, a view which you seemed to be endorsing, or was there no targeting at all?

    When one makes a claim in a nice, polite, reasoned debate like were having here, Jose, one either supports it or one retracts it. Take your pick.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I have no idea why this is posted twice.

    roadelland Reply:

    Because Roy doesn’t know how to code a site.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Now, I’d like to hear which it is: did I “target” Mr. Stallman as he evidently feels, a view which you seemed to be endorsing, or was there no targeting at all?

    >> When one makes a claim in a nice, polite, reasoned debate like were having here, Jose, one either supports it or one retracts it. Take your pick.

    Neither Stallman (iirc) nor I (iirc) ever accused you of participating definitively in any sort of conspiracy.

    Read over your argument carefully. You are the one that is definitively putting yourself in as the ringleader or as a pawn.

    I support and don’t retract that I have had doubts about your motives.

    I prefer to deal with the message and not the messenger. I’m not out looking to sue you, for example.

    It’s more than simply possible that people with biases or wanting to analyze/find/attack the faults of “the other side” have started getting vocal in aggregate fashion more or less during this period rather than say years ago or individually and independently over the years.

    There is room for many possibilities. I don’t know what is going on. I can only speak for myself. I can be suspicious about everyone else. Since I am not threatening or accusing you, I think you have nothing to worry about from me.

    If we remain civil as a matter of course, I certainly will try not to be suspicious about you. I’d rather have peace and discussions aimed at making issues transparent.

    Yes, I can’t speak for anyone else. I can certainly see how your (our) interactions with third parties can affect the civility of any discussions I have with you. That’s life. I’ll hope for the best and will deal with whatever happens.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Neither Stallman (iirc) nor I (iirc) ever accused you of participating definitively in any sort of conspiracy.

    Read over your argument carefully. You are the one that is definitively putting yourself in as the ringleader or as a pawn.

    I support and don’t retract that I have had doubts about your motives.

    Jose, I think I’ve mentioned that, unlike Roy, all of your assertions have a very equivocal sort of air to them. In fact, if recollections serves, I’ve commented on it on numerous occasions. This is another such one.

    You didn’t “definitively” say that I was “targeting” Mr. Stallman. You said, “I think [Mr. Stallman] was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted.” In other words, Mr. Stallman said he was “targeted” (or so you’re saying, I’m not sure I saw this anywhere); in addition, you “possibly” believe that he was right, or at least you think you do.

    Jose, to be frank, I possibly believe in the Big Rock Candy Mountain, but I don’t think I do; do you see my point? I hope so. It’s a philosophical point, I admit, but we can possibly believe all kinds of things, people certainly have in the past, and doubtless continue to do so. But only we can know the contents of our own minds. Either we believe something is so, or we don’t. We may wonder whether a thing is true, we may hope that a thing is true, but when it comes to believing, that is, knowing the truth of a thing, either we door we don’t.

    Now, you assert that Mr. Stallman felt he was “targeted” (again, I’ve not seen this, I don’t think; Mr. Stallman felt offended and victimized, but I didn’t see “targeted”).

    Now, Jose, do you believe Mr. Stallman was “targeted”? Or do you hope Mr. Stallman was targeted? Your statement seems closer to the former.

    Now if I brought myself up as either a ringleader or a pawn, that’s because there would seem to be only those two roles in the sort of “targeting” you’re talking about. Either one is targeting someone else deliberately (i.e. a ringleader) or unwittingly (i.e. a pawn). Since you seemed to be asserting “targeting” once we cut through the layers of what I might be mistaking for “plausible deniability” but which could be something else, although I don’t know what, and since I seem to be the whipping boy for the situation around Mr. Stallman, I was curious as to which of these roles you cast me in. Keyser Soze? Dean Keaton? (I hope it’s Soze, I really like the idea of that character. It’s the evil genius thing. But I digress…)

    I support and don’t retract that I have had doubts about your motives.

    I feel as though I see more equivocation here, Jose, and I say this with all due respect. Do you have doubts? Or did you have doubts? I want to know your current state of mind on this, not so much the history of your various opinions on the matter.

    I prefer to deal with the message and not the messenger. I’m not out looking to sue you, for example.

    Of course. Message about drug effects notwithstanding. As far as lawsuits go, to be fair, I haven’t repeatedly libeled you, Jose, nor have you ever claimed that I have, so your suing me would be frivolous.

    There is room for many possibilities.

    This is why we gentlemen, when politely debating in this fashion use evidence, Jose. We don’t use surmise, we don’t use conjecture, we don’t use fabrication, certainly. We look at the evidence and we weigh the arguments. We make assertions, such as the one you did: with the equivocation stripped away, it was “Stallman was correct when he said that he was being targeted”.

    So, again, I ask you: either support that claim, if you believe it to be true, by producing some evidence, or retract it and admit that there’s no evidence in favor of it. If you say that Stallman is being targeted, then who’s doing the targeting? Me? Someone else?

    zatoichi Reply:

    It’s more than simply possible that people with biases or wanting to analyze/find/attack the faults of “the other side” have started getting vocal in aggregate fashion more or less during this period rather than say years ago or individually and independently over the years.

    Of course, it is, Jose, as we’ve said, any number of things are more than simply possible.

    But it’s also more than simply possible that a group with a rather single-minded agenda has proven to be willing to spend a lot of energy in pressing that agenda, not in the appropriate places (e.g. running for a seat on the Ubuntu Technical Board), but in things like writing misleading “analyses” (if I mention “Microsoft CEO Admits That Vista 7 is Vapourware”, it purely by way of convenient example, no one in particular should feel singled out by this), instigating flame wars on development lists, defaming people who disagree with them, meddling in people’s real lives over differences of opinion (if I mention Mr. Mills apparent efforts to assemble a dossier on me or Mr. “Malroy”‘s posting the contact details for my work, it’s only by way of convenient example, no one in particular should feel singled out by this), and other activities at which I feel, I confess, I must look rather askance.

    It is further simply possible that this group holds Mr. Stallman in a sort of unreasonable and uncritical awe and views any criticism of him as somehow representing an attack on them.

    And it is simply possible that, having become so single-mindedly devoted to their agenda (and if I mention speculation on this site that Microsoft’s release of the Hyper-V drivers under the GPL v2 and their submission to the kernel tree–something noted by Greg K-H with clear approval and appreciation, if a bit of surprise–simply has to be some sort of a plot, I only do so by way of convenient example, no one in particular should feel singled out by this) that this group immediately became convinced that a criticism of Mr. Stallman (an “attack” on him and on them in their eyes) must of course be yet another manifestation of the multitentacled monster at the center of all their fears, hence the frantic effort to convince the world, mostly through anonymous comments in a variety of blogs–to the point where pretty much anyone who’s said anything about it has been obliged to both stop anonymous comments and institute moderation–that I am a “crypto Mono advocate”. If I criticized Mr. Stallman, it must have something to do with Microsoft. Because really, in the eyes of this group, everything does.

    It is further simply possible that the reason this group favors anonymous commenting is that it creates the false appearance that the agenda of what is essentially an extremely small and extremely fringe group of extremists with no real connections at all to the actual FLOSS community is actually a widely-held opinion.

    This is what I was talking about when I tlked about zealots, please tell “Pete”. And this is, in fact, the prevalent view of things amongst the members of the actual FLOSS community, the ones that no one in this group I mention has ever met, interacted with or (from all available evidence) ever even heard of.

    The sad fact is that the actual FLOSS community isn’t deceived by any of furious and mostly nameless activity. People know I’m not a strong supporter of Mono. I’m not even a lukewarm supporter of Mono. It could be repeated a thousand times, and get a laugh each time.

    We’re highly skeptical of anonymous comments, and we know our own rules and we (mostly) play by them. This group isn’t part of our community and isn’t playing by our rules. They are just lowering the signal-to-noise ratio and annoying people.

    We view them as a nuisance and a distraction, at best, and a pretty loathsome bunch of folks who will actively make efforts to disrupt the real lives of people who disagree with them, at worst.

    Again, I’m speaking hypothetically here, as were you, Jose, but I must again say clearly, this is the hypothesis that the vast majority of people at, for example, the Desktop Summit subscribe to.

    And as you say, Jose, we can’t really know. But unlike you, I don’t give up at that point. I grew up in a family of attorneys, so not being able to “know” things doesn’t bother me. This is because I understand that there’s no such thing as facts, there’s only evidence.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Some further examples:

    instigating flame wars on development lists

    I would cite the case of Mr. Fink here,multiple times, on the ubuntu-devel list (“shameful censorship” in Ubuntu) and the desktop-devel list (writing a replacement for Tomboy, in spite of knowing nothing about coding), to name only two instances. Roy, in spite of having commented many times with third parties regarding Mr. Fink, in spite of having exchanged comments directly with Mr. Fink, in spite of having offered Mr. Fink a web page to edit independently, does not know Mr. Fink. This is his claim, and he’s continued to maintain it.

    …defaming people who disagree with them…

    Modesty forbids me, but I’d suggest one doesn’t have to look too far on this site. Say, any entry I posted comments in before Roy’s Rules of Order and we all got polite.

    If you were to broaden this out to plain old falsehoods about people who disagree with them, we can include things like Mr. “Malroy”‘s report of all the pro-Mono stuff he’d read on my web site (this in spite of its not actually being there).

    …meddling in people’s real lives over differences of opinion…

    I’ve already mentioned Mr. Mills apparent efforts’ to put together some sort of a dossier on me (I’ve always wanted to be on an “enemies list”), and Mr. “Malroy”‘s interesting approach to “getting answers” and making sure my boss knew I had criticized Richard Stallman (a fact of which I had apprised him as soon as I got back).

    zatoichi Reply:

    I’m going to deal with the core point that you keep coming back to.

    Even if an audience member does not understand on the spot, people that like/respect/etc someone tend to give the benefit of the doubt. Some might research afterwards or even ask him about it later in a polite manner wanting to see things resolved positively if possible.

    Jose, you can’t argue with the expressed reactions of the audience in Gran Canaria, which I’ve described to you, in detail. You keep saying “if an audience member doesn’t understand”, but people understood quite well. Chani understood it perfectly.

    They may not have understood it as Mr Stallman might have intended it (although even that is unclear, given that complete lack of correspondences between the Cult of the VIrgin Mary and “EMACS virgins”, other than they both involve one or more virgins).

    Would you be willing to go to Chani and explain that she was mistaken to feel upset and angry and a little scared? A careful explanation of the Cult of the Virgin Mary would not have helped, I suspect. Chani was raised an atheist, I think.

    “See, it’s not about deflowering virgins, it’s about the Cult of the Virgin Mary.”

    “He said it was a holy duty to relieve virgins of their virginity. What’s some cult got to do with anything?”

    “Well, it’s making fun of Catholicism, and the Virgin Mary is supposed to have both given birth to Jesus and still remained a Virgin.”

    “She stayed a virgin.”

    “That’s right.”

    “So, no one relieved her of her virginity.”

    “Well…no, but it’s a parody, see?”

    “A parody? Of what?”

    “The Cult of the Virgin Mary.”

    “We’ve just been through that. She didn’t get relieved of her virginity. So where is this ‘holy duty’ supposed to come from?”

    “Well…it’s a parody.

    “Sigh. How about this? Anybody who think they have a holy duty to relieve me of anything gets hurts.”

    zatoichi Reply:

    “Frankly, it’s starting to sound like an excuse to try to get into women’s pants.”

    zatoichi Reply:

    This is, by the way, a conversation being held roughly contemporaneously with an actual woman.

    “Well, it’s not really sexist.”

    “How’s that work?”

    “Well, the Catholic Church is sexist, see?”

    “So we’re telling a sexist joke? About relieving virgins? Holy duty?”

    “Yes, exactly.”

    “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. What’s supposed to make it non-sexist?”

    “Well, it’s mocking the Catholic Church.”

    “…”

    “It’s not sexist.”

    “Say that again.”

    I don’t think she’s buying this line of reasoning.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> You didn’t “definitively” say that I was “targeting” Mr. Stallman. You said, “I think [Mr. Stallman] was possibly correct when he said that he was being targeted.”

    This quoting of me doesn’t even suggest that I think you would be involved.

    I went further and considered everything I remember thinking or writing about you.

    The conclusion was as I stated, and I worded it that way to try and be succinct yet accurate.

    >> again, I’ve not seen this, I don’t think; Mr. Stallman felt offended and victimized, but I didn’t see “targeted”

    Well, that is how I interpreted “but it is clear some people are attacking me” given the context suggested by the emails.

    A significant number of people attacking someone within a short period of time and defying past expectations and statistics does suggest targeting of the “victim” might be going on.

    Anyway, this is a minor point and we all know I can’t know what Stallman actually meant or felt — that’s why I said “I think”.

    >> Now if I brought myself up as either a ringleader or a pawn, that’s because there would seem to be only those two roles in the sort of “targeting” you’re talking about.

    I already covered this. Read http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-71058

    Notice I said:
    “You are the one that is definitively putting yourself in as the ringleader or as a pawn.”

    Anyway, the reply just linked explains this well enough I think.

    >> Do you have doubts? Or did you have doubts?

    I think I was saying that I want to give you the benefit of the doubt moving forward.

    I try to have at least a little itty bitty amount of doubt about everything. I think this is a healthy attitude to take.

    I think there are too many reasonable alternative possibilities to you targeting RMS as a ring leader or as a pawn.

    And why wonder? You said you weren’t targeting him, right? So, let’s move forward.

    I mean, if I have a tiny bit of doubt about who my family is and who I am, then surely I am not going to remove all doubts I have about practically any other question.

    >> Message about drug effects notwithstanding.

    That was me trying to be lighthearted and blame an external agent for the hyperactivity and rudeness that was coming through in more than just a few of your replies.

    Come to think of it (judging by some comments I just finished addressing), perhaps you also took that remark from a while ago as an insult instead of as a peace offering.

    >> We make assertions, such as the one you did: with the equivocation stripped away, it was “Stallman was correct when he said that he was being targeted”.

    No, I don’t know this. If I did, I would come out and present the evidence.

    This is another example of you not believing what I state. The worst part of this is that the examples you are choosing aren’t things where the evidence points against what I said. Rather, it’s apparently your gut that dislikes what I said.

    Is it possible to have a healthy conversation with someone if that person does not want to have one with you? I’m not sure, and I am getting the feeling you don’t want to have a healthy conversation with me.

    >> So, again, I ask you: either support that claim, if you believe it to be true, by producing some evidence, or retract it and admit that there’s no evidence in favor of it. If you say that Stallman is being targeted, then who’s doing the targeting? Me? Someone else?

    Hope you review your logic (maybe after you get some R&R). You are clearly missing things here.

    Again, the targeting could be done by any group. Not everyone that has sent an email to RMS need be a part of such “targeting” (if such targeting is real). In fact, targeting is too general a term that technically applies almost trivially (if I send you an email, I have targeted you), this is why I invoked the C word (conspiracy). But use “targeting”. That’s fine with me.

    So, do you still think that I have to have evidence of a targeting in order to have had significant doubts that such targeting did exist? Do you still think that if a targeting exists that you have to be a part of it?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Would you be willing to go to Chani and explain that she was mistaken to feel upset and angry and a little scared? A careful explanation of the Cult of the Virgin Mary would not have helped, I suspect. Chani was raised an atheist, I think.

    I do think that an explanation of the satire would help many people that had been offended (I can’t speak for Chani specifically of course).

    But then do you know what is satire: http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/19/ms-vs-ukraine-linux-foss/comment-page-1/#comment-71048

    >> “Sigh. How about this? Anybody who think they have a holy duty to relieve me of anything gets hurts.”

    I think you are failing to understand the presentation if you think Stallman is suggesting that people MUST succeed in removing anyone’s Emacs virginity.

    However, the presentation (and his writings, character, etc, or so I have gotten the impression) does suggest he likes Emacs and he considers it a neat thing if people would use it. In fact, he then talks about rival VI in a way that makes it clearer that he was being humorous and that no one in real life is expected to make all efforts (or even much more than minimal if any effort) to get others to use Emacs.

    David, between this comment and the one linked above, I think it’s clearer that you don’t see some aspects of the satire. Do you understand that exaggerations suggest satire and mock the thing being exaggerated?

    Now, I know St. IGNUcious is not a masterpiece, but it’s not that broken either.

    ***
    In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.[1]

    Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.

    A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, however, is that “in satire, irony is militant”.[2] This “militant irony” (or sarcasm) often professes to approve (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
    ***

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> “Frankly, it’s starting to sound like an excuse to try to get into women’s pants.”

    This single-lined comment by you may or may not be satire, but it sure is funny.

    And I don’t think it’s much of a sexist comment. [It does play up the stereotype that all guys have few goals in life greater than to get into a girl's pants.]

    Were you mocking yourself, and at the same time everyone else here?

    zatoichi Reply:

    This single-lined comment by you may or may not be satire, but it sure is funny.

    I’m a funny guy, Jose. I have a terrific sense of humor. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me. People in the FLOSS community, say. (I would recommend that you ask a random assortment of people on this site. I suspect that Roy, Mr. Hill, Mr. Malroy and others don’t appreciate my sense of humor in the slightest.

    People reading this site, having heard what’s going on here the past few days, certainly do. Judging from email, anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I think, in this particular instance, however, you can’t place this to my credit. As I explained, and as you unaccountably seem to have missed, this was a direct quote, from an actual attempt to explain the line of reasoning you espouse to an intelligent, non-religious female person from California. I’ve informed her that you think she’s quite funny.

    She advises me, I’m sorry to have to say, that she doesn’t find you “funny at all”. “That wasn’t a joke,” she says.

    I have to confess a certain sympathy for her point of view.

    zatoichi Reply:

    This single-lined comment by you may or may not be satire, but it sure is funny.

    I’m a funny guy, Jose. I have a terrific sense of humor. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me. People in the FLOSS community, say. (I would not recommend that you ask a random assortment of people on this site. I suspect that Roy, Mr. Hill, Mr. Malroy and others don’t appreciate my sense of humor in the slightest. I suspect they may lack a certain objectivity about this.)

    People reading this site, having heard what’s going on here the past few days, certainly do. Judging from email, anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I think, in this particular instance, however, you can’t place this to my credit. As I explained, and as you unaccountably seem to have missed, this was a direct quote, from an actual attempt to explain the line of reasoning you espouse to an intelligent, non-religious female person from California. I’ve informed her that you think she’s quite funny.

    She advises me, I’m sorry to have to say, that she doesn’t find you “funny at all”. “That wasn’t a joke,” she says.

    I have to confess a certain sympathy for her point of view.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I note that a number of my responses appear twice. It seems your upgrade might have broken the site in some way, Roy. I haven’t been hitting the button twice; in fact, given the site’s unresponsiveness compared to its behavior before the upgrade, I push the button and go do something else for several minutes. The duplicate posting only seem to show up at some random, later time, despite identical content and time stamps.

  5. zatoichi said,

    July 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Gravatar

    I do wonder, Lefty, if had you been a little more polite and patient, more people would have listened to you more carefully or even read more of what you have been writing instead of ignoring so much of it

    My personal theory on this could be summarized as “less likely than my suddenly growing great gossamer wings and flying to Jupiter”, but I believe the discussion here might reveal whether I’m mistaken in that belief.

    We’ll see.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I have to say that, based on the first day out, at least, people seem to be ignoring me more.

    Either that, or they haven’t got the foggiest idea how to argue politely. I personally suspect the latter, although I can’t help but wonder whether the local Vikings are huddled nervously in the dark cave of the IRC channel, while I stalk the bright halls of Heorot, Grendel-like.

    But politely so.

  6. zatoichi said,

    July 20, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m beginning to get the feeling that I might be the only one here who actually knows how to do polite…

    Oh, wait: there’s Jonathan.

  7. zatoichi said,

    July 21, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, this is intriguing. I try to post an extract from the IRC log, and nothing shows up.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Hm. That worked. How odd.

    Since Roy’s apparently too busy to post a mention of the IRC logs from Sunday being posted, I wanted to mention that folks can find there here.

    The real fun starts around 19:00. Some fun extracts:

    desu: “women are retarded when it comes to computing, considering what i’ve seen in my colleagues”

    Lefty: “I can only assume that you’ve never actually _met_ a woman.”
    desu_: “i have… i’ve met too many to know that for a fact women are retarded when it comes to computers”

    desu_: “Lefty: can you name ONE well know women hacker?”
    desu_: “<Lefty> Are you aware that representation of woman in FLOSS is 2%? &lt— yes, and the reason for that is pretty visible”
    desu_: “D: ”
    Lefty: “Sure, Danese Cooper, for starts.”

    _Hicham_: “go to debian womens page, you will see a lot of hot women Muttley”

    desu_: “lol, like, FOUR gals at debian?”
    Lefty: “sigh.”
    Lefty: “see?”
    desu_: “compared to what? over nine thousand other guys?”

    desu_: “Lefty: you’re just trying to be a bitch, trying to show that you support feminists.”
    desu_: “Lefty: so, you want more women in FOSS? they’ll still not go out with you, though…”

    splosion: “Hey Lefty, women don’t belong in FOSS. They belong in the kitchen.”

    splosion: “”‘<Lefty> your idiot statements on women were something, desu.’ — Lefty on desu’s positive attitudes towards feminism”
    desu_: “only one in a hundred of them can actually program.”

    zatoichi Reply:

    Better.

    sabayon.user Reply:

    Ha, ha. Repeat that in a high, whiny voice.

    I take it oiaohm must be a bright, likable fellow if twitter doesn’t like him.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Well, that would certainly be my starting assumption. I guess Mr. Mills is a reasonable litmus test, if you don’t forget to flip his bit.

    Oh, here’s an interesting thing: I hit the nail on the head, it seems from the IRC log that Mr. Mills can’t work out how to get himself set up under Roy’s Rules of Order.

    ugh, infuriating. Wong manages to post comments, but I can’t.

    The Microsoft guy outsmarts the Linux–sorry, GNU/Linux–guy again! Roy, those…persons whose parent were never married to one another….have found a loophole in the system.

    Okay, time out. Roy, when you say cursing, what arew we talking about? Can I get a list of disallowed words? I assume that if I were to talk, for example, of sticking pins into a poppet named “Mr. Mills” (and if I mention him by way of convenient example, no one in particular should feel offended by this) that would be right out.

    Okay, back. That’s a shame, is he anywhere near Santa Cruz? I could drop by and give him a hand. Or two.

    Okay, that very last bit was wrong of me. I sincerely apologize and I’ll endeavor not to make such irresponsible statements in the future.

    In all sincerity, I honestly hope that Mr. Mills will be able to join us all in this extremely civil and polite debate we’re all having in here.

    I think Roy and Jose still have a few outstanding issues to deal with as far as I’m concerned. Roy in particular. I’m still waiting for him to help me understand more fully how his representation of the events leading up to his issuing a full retraction of, and a complete apology for, his statements about me gibes with my version of things.

    Because, in all frankness, I’m not quite seeing it yet.

    sabayon.user Reply:

    Mills? That’s not the last name. If you were to run a search like this one for example, you’d clear that confusion up.

    I hope I didn’t just out anyone or anything… that would be Google :)

    zatoichi Reply:

    Ooh, that’s bad on me.

    I wish at this time to sincerely apologize for misremembering Mr. Hill’s name. It was wrong of me to do so, and I will endeavor not to repeat such irresponsible acts in the future.

    (Roy’ll understand: he has problems with his memory from time to time, too…)

  8. zatoichi said,

    July 22, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Gravatar

    I’d also be interested in seeing all those who have expressed their umbrage over my posting of “private emails” address Jose’s use (without permission, as he admits) of someone else’s copyrighted words.

    For extra credit, please take into consideration statements which Mr. Stallman has made in the past indicating that he views all email exchanges as being “public record”.

  9. zatoichi said,

    July 22, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    No, I don’t know this. If I did, I would come out and present the evidence.

    Jose, this is–and I’m very sorry to have to say it–becoming a bit inane. If you don’t know that he was targeted, and you don’t know that he wasn’t targeted, why bring up the suggestion at all?

    Mr. Stallman never said it. Roy, however, has certainly claimed something very much like that, and laid it directly on my doorstep, repeatedly.

    (You may remember something about a retraction and apology in connection with precisely this, as I’ve described. Roy seems to be having a bit of a problem recalling this, which is why I helpfully laid out the annotated sequence of events for him. An effort to which, I cannot help but notice, he has completely failed to respond.)

    Your even bothering to bring it up suggests (strongly) that your sharing Roy’s view here, to my reading. You say otherwise, but again, the question remains: why bother bringing it up at all, in that case?

    I mean, I could (hypothetically) say, “I think that I might possibly believe the folks I spoke to at GCDS who say that Roy himself is in the pay of Microsoft because he mostly seems to be intent on spreading ill-fame and disrepute on the free software movement with his inaccurate reporting.” Is that a fair statement, or one which is subject to debate? It seems no different than yours, other than in the direction it’s aimed.

    (I do not happen to believe this, personally, and I point this out just to be completely clear. As you can see, Jose, it is possible to take a specific stand on such things.)

  10. zatoichi said,

    July 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Gravatar

    A fun chat from the July 18th IRC log:

    fewa: anyone got slashdot mod points? Jul 18 10:59
    Diablo-D3: maybe
    fewa http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=130702&cid=28739491
    Diablo-D3: I guess I dont
    Diablo-D3: I thought I did
    fewa: somebody needs to vote it up
    fewa : cause its the truth

    Wasn’t Roy accusing folks here of “gaming” the ratings? How’s this different than what’s going on here? Hypocrisy much?

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