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09.16.19

As Richard Stallman Resigns Let’s Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media mob. A year after they made Torvalds ‘take a break’ Stallman steps down (coinciding with lots of negative media coverage).

Danger

Summary: Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom

SO it’s official. The FSF has broken the news that “Richard M. Stallman resigns” and it seems like it was done in a hurry judging by the brevity of the statement:

On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.

I’ve decided to wake up early and do a rebuttal to all that “remove Stallman” movement. He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place. As explained yesterday, Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things. As for Stallman? Some media exaggerated or distorted what he said; see later comments in this thread. The damage has been done.

“He can be tactless, sure, and I often disagree with what he says in some areas like sexuality, but removing him would make the world a much worse place.”As Stallman himself has just put it in his site, “I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

Stallman previously responded in his blog with “Statements about Epstein”. To quote:

I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements.

Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve called him a “serial rapist”, and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him — and other inaccurate claims — and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

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

Slashdot mentioned this and there’s this article entitled “Stallman defends himself over Epstein comments”, lost in the noise of misleading headlines claiming that Stallman was defending Epstein (he wasn’t).

To make matters worse, yesterday the Software Freedom Conservancy issued a statement to say: “We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.”

Wait, your movement?

“…Microsoft people should call to “remove Gates”; Gates has done vastly worse things.”Stallman started it. You just piggybacked it. Some of you were kids when he started it.

“Move along, Stallman, let us steal your movement…”

This is part of the “remove Stallman” and “post-RMS” nonsense (among others; the FSF mistakenly gave an award to that person).

Sorry to say this, but the Software Freedom Conservancy would not even exist if it weren’t for Stallman’s software and licence, which they enforce for a living (they’re quasi-lawyers suing and threatening to sue). We’d rather see Kuhn stepping down (than Stallman stepping down). The Software Freedom Conservancy is not essential and it has competition anyway (it’s not like GPL enforcers are missing in action).

In the above statement the Software Freedom Conservancy cites (without actually citing) old remarks from Stallman, but why did it wait until now to make a big fuss over it? Is it opportunism? Maybe the impact of Outreachy inside the Software Freedom Conservancy? Agenda for 'professionalism'?

We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down. Had Torvalds still had ‘teeth’ in the project (he was lashed last year as a a warning), he would likely reject exFAT like he did all sorts of case-insensitive file systems in the past. He doesn’t want Linux – strategically – to chase Microsoft with specifications and patents (for an inferior implementation).

“We can’t help recalling what happened a year ago to Torvalds. He temporarily stepped down.”Why was he pushed out? You would struggle to find evidence of Torvalds being racist or sexist.

Even remotely.

If he sees bad code, he calls it out.

He’s a technical person, a geek.

We need geeks, not suits and marketing liars like Linux Foundation managers.

Calling bad code “bad” is not intolerance and it is very much essential. Look how many strides Microsoft has made inside Linux since Torvalds got ‘spooked’ by the media.

Is there an effort to ‘decapitate’ (as in decapitation strategies) GNU/Linux? The media wants us to think Torvalds is a disgusting person and Stallman now speaks of pressure on MIT.

“When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?”Torvalds isn’t a bad person (I spoke to him in the past and he was polite), but yesterday I saw some people repeating this smear about Torvalds. Some videos in YouTube want him and Stallman to step down (no more identity to Linux and GNU). Who would benefit?

Those who wanted Stallman to step down or be removed got their way. Now, who the heck do they think can replace him? Nobody can. We wrote about this in our recent series about "FSF Titanic". Stallman made GNU when I was a baby (literally), then he came up with the GPL etc.

He’s tactless, but he remains instrumental. If the Conservancy wished to distance itself from Stallman, fine. But they actually called for his resignation and sacking.

We need someone in the top of Free software who speaks about politics (like Stallman does) because companies like Microsoft are inherently political, politically-connected and extremely subversive, you can’t face them on technical terms alone.

Why doesn’t Smith resign over crimes against humanity? Here are some new tweets:

When Bill Gates was done with the Lolita Express they figured out how to steal kids from their parents for a profit (child separation). But it’s Stallman who ends up being the evil one?

Free speech and political speech come at a cost; you’re guaranteed to piss off just about everyone, based on selective subsets of things you say over the years. Having no opinions is ‘safe’; if you want to be attacked while smiling politely.

At the moment Micosoft is trying to take control of both GNU and Linux using EEE tools such as Azure and WSL. Failing to guard GNU and Linux at a higher level may hand fast defeat to us and triumph to Microsoft.

“With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.”Some Linux bloggers have sadly decided to also cover Microsoft Vista 10 news because there’s “Linux” in the name. Now, with Stallman out, such an agenda would face less resistance. From yesterday: “Microsoft announced something Linux users would have never dreamed of, the first Microsoft Linux Conference for their WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) implementation. [...] WSL 2, the latest version of Windows Subsystem for Linux, was announced by Microsoft earlier this summer and it introduces major new features like an entirely new architecture that uses a real, in-house built Linux kernel, as well as full system call compatibility to run more Linux apps.”

With the removal of Stallman we already see some “Extinguish”.

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A Single Comment

  1. Canta said,

    September 17, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Remember Eich’s issue? When I showed it to my left-wing non-tech friends, they mostly smiled. They didn’t valued the role of Mozilla in the IT world (as they know little about both), and focused on Eich’s stain: “his bad, he should’ve know what he was doing”.

    I could write a lot of things, but I will not. Partly because I’m frankly depressed by the whole thing, and so I lack the energies. But there’s one thing I’d like to take out of my chest right now: It’s a terrible day, and I’m so, SO afraid by this.

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