EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.10.19

The Linux Foundation Brought as Keynote Speakers People Vastly Worse Than Those Whom It Now ‘Cancels’ for Purely Political Reasons

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 1:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Selective outrage, especially when that suits one’s political agenda

SJVN on Dan Lyons

Summary: A lot of people are very upset about the Linux Foundation’s alleged ‘witch-hunt’ and even press coverage has caught up with the outrage; but our position is that it distracts from vastly bigger Linux Foundation scandals

THE Jim Zemlin-led PAC has been under heavy fire for about four days. People didn’t seem to mind all the very major scandals of 'Jim the Great' (at selling out); but suddenly they found an ‘epic’ scandal (far less of a scandal than things we’ve covered throughout the year).

“This whole “Cancel Culture” thing has been mentioned a lot in relation to Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. It’s a mixture of sanctions and public shaming.”I’ve had to think twice or thrice before writing about this for two main reasons: 1) any attempt to criticise the Linux Foundation (in this particular context) can be spun as ‘supporting’ Donald Trump and 2) we don’t know the full story/facts because it’s lost in a trail of ‘social control media’ noise and apparent witch-hunts, maybe bi-directional (accusations of racism have flown in both directions). Let’s be clear about something: This post is not political. My views on Donald Trump and those stupid “MAGA” hats are well documented online (a matter of public record). I’ve sort of decided to patiently wait until a journalist (or several) sorts out the chronology and underlying facts that can be derived from this ‘social control media’ mess (we try not to rely on "tweets" as "sources" as they often turn out to be false or 'semi-truths' due to concision or one-person bias emitted emotionally, in a hurry).

We think that this new article (published a few hours ago) highlights the key points, unless the author is intentionally dishonest and we have no reasons to doubt her motivations. Included in the article are key photos and screenshots as well. Here’s some context (who’s who):

If you were asked to name two things that make Linux different from any closed-source, proprietary solution out in the world today, those two surely would have to be: for one, Linux has won – as the internet’s and therefore, the world’s tech infrastructure, used by operating systems based on this free and open-source kernel.

And, two – however carefully the custodians of the Linux kernel, the Linux Foundation – that has some of the biggest tech companies among its platinum sponsors, anything from Google, Microsoft, Huawei, to Cisco and IMB – might work to “moderate” the Linux development space – it’s still a system by and large developed by free people expressing their thoughts and opinions freely.

There are, from time to time, controversies and soul-searching issues, but thankfully, they always take place not in some obscure conference room or secret internal communication channel. Free and open source is not only used, but also developed, and discussed, out in the open, for anyone to see.

However, should that hold true even when real-world politics wade in, and when the issue concerns the organization’s own code of conduct? That’s an exceedingly interesting dilemma for anyone invested in the Linux ecosystem, and one now posed by programmer Robert Martin, one of the Agile Manifesto authors, who published a letter on his blog addressed to Linux Foundation’s figurehead Jim Zemlin, and other high-ranking representatives of the organization.

In it, Martin asks why the Foundation decided to act on a tweet denouncing KubeCon – a conference dedicated to a leading open-source containers system – for allowing programmer Charles Max Wood (@cmaxw) to participate. The complaint had not to do with Wood’s professional history, but with his political persuasion.

[...]

Could this possibly be enough to exclude a software engineer from an industry event? According to the Linux Foundation, the answer is yes. A tweet confirming this mentions such things as “code of conduct” and “safe spaces.”

This whole “Cancel Culture” thing has been mentioned a lot in relation to Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. It’s a mixture of sanctions and public shaming. The Foundation did both because it tweeted about it. Was that tweet necessary? Is the Foundation a ‘speech tribunal’ now? Who made the judgment? Do appeal rights exist? That mere tweet took a minute to type, but it’s not so innocent or harmless. It can be very ruinous. A lot of people are upset about this. But the Foundation is rogue for a lot of reasons more important than the above. It’s a shame that media does not explore those reasons as much as we have.

There’s another lesser-explored issue with the above incident. Jim Zemlin/Foundation invited anti-Linux provocateurs like Dan Lyons, who supported SCO‘s libel against Linux. It invited him to give a keynote speech. Understandably, at the time, this caused some controversy if not uproar. Why would the Foundation reward anti-Linux people if this foundation uses “Linux” as its name? SJVN was among the ‘targets’ of Lyons; He told me (as I recall it) that Zemlin had apologised to him, but only when it was too late (Lyons giving his talk, distorting his record; here’s a piece from Linux.com, akin to “Microsoft loves Linux”).

“Thought-policing is a dangerous concept for a lot of reasons. It’s often not necessary either.”There were non-political reasons — possibly even technical — to shun Lyons.

There’s another profound issue with what the Foundation did. Neutrality is likely more important unless someone’s physical (not emotional) wellbeing is at risk. Thought-policing is a dangerous concept for a lot of reasons. It’s often not necessary either. The Foundation’s staff did not have to get involve in any of this feud; they could let accusations and public shaming (consequences for one’s speech) go on in the ‘noise machine’ which is ‘social control media’ without having to get involved or be ‘blackmailed’ into getting involved. And if they honestly cared about “safe spaces”, they wouldn’t have become a Microsoft 'proxy' (considering what Microsoft does with ICE, Pentagon and so on). To some people a “safe space” means literally a safe space, e.g. hospital where you don’t get bombed.

“Dear Linux Foundation,” I wrote to them some hours ago, “what other ‘wrong’ political opinions would the Foundation ban people for? Views on Kashmir? Palestine? Crimea? China? Hong Kong? Taiwan? What next? Who decides? A slippery slope. Will the Linux Foundation ban people for wearing a MODI hat like it does MAGA hats?”

“People who are upset at the Foundation for what it did some days ago ought to explore the much bigger scandals. There’s no lack of them.”Kashmir politics are also very divisive after all. Remember that Microsoft propagandists wanted Stallman 'cancelled' for not liking Netanyahu/Likkud policies in Israel. Do they want to forbid political speech altogether? Even if such speech or such views are expressed well outside the context or platforms of technical projects?

This “Cancel Culture” scandal (Stallman used this term) is just the edge of a much, much bigger iceberg. People who are upset at the Foundation for what it did some days ago ought to explore the much bigger scandals. There’s no lack of them. By the way, the Foundation continues to violate the terms of service of Twitter; it's selling "tweets".

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Backup: KIRO Report About Arrest of Rick Allen Jones

    We're making a mirror of this report as the media never touches the topic anymore



  2. Promoting False Perspectives and Narratives About GNU/Linux to Let Microsoft Dominate/Control Everything (Sometimes Quite Cynically in the Name of 'Security' or 'Responsibility')

    Microsoft's "perception management" games are progressing and are finding their way into official blogs of supposed 'competitors' like Canonical and SUSE



  3. Links 13/8/2020: New LibreOffice 6.4.x, Linspire 9.0, Endless OS 3.8.5

    Links for the day



  4. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Identified Some of the Children in the Pornographic 'Stash' of Bill Gates' Engineer

    Today we carefully and responsibly disclose just 9 pages (out of about 2700 pages) with slightly redacted samples and a handful of exemptions to show what Bill Gates' engineer was amassing, including identified kids (known to NCMEC)



  5. A Red Hat Response to Factual Information About Red Hat

    So far we've seen only Red Hat employees blasting our articles about Red Hat/IBM and the responses lack any substance, just name-calling (so we must be on the right track; there's no refutation so far)



  6. Always Look for Stories the Media is Suppressing and Hiding

    Based upon closer scrutiny of the Jones case (engineer of Bill Gates arrested for pedophilia at the Gates mansion), the sentence he received is incredibly negligible or close to nothing (for possession and sharing/dissemination of massive troves of child pornography, typically leading to many years in prison), so we’re closely examining if he’s still working and whether he still works for Bill and Melinda (more FOIA requests may be necessary)



  7. On Web Servers, Microsoft's Collapse Continues More Rapidly Under COVID (a Million Domains Lost in the Past Month)

    Even though the Microsoft-sponsored media repeatedly refuses (or strangely enough just 'fails') to report on it, the days of Microsoft's IIS are likely numbered; it won't be long before less than a million computers run it



  8. Canonical is Boosting Microsoft's Proprietary Software With Extensive Surveillance

    Canonical’s commitment to Free software barely exists; with so-called “Apps” and “Snaps” and “Stores” we’re seeing a gradual transition to — and acceptance of — blobs and DRM, including Microsoft lock-in inside Ubuntu



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, August 12, 2020



  10. Harfbuzz Joins LibFFI, Zlib1g in Dragging GNOME, All Free Software Towards Microsoft

    "...I don’t want to help them help Microsoft control my computing by proxy — by controlling the development platform itself"



  11. Links 12/8/2020: Go 1.15, LibreOffice 7.0 Downloaded About Half a Million Times, LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.4

    Links for the day



  12. Mega Setup, Mini Budget

    For a sum total of under £800 (eight hundred British pounds are about USD/$1043) one can piece together a versatile working environment (my latest additions, as of 5 days ago, are the 4 plastic plants)



  13. Twitter Appears to Have Taken Vendor/Platform Lock-in up Another Notch, Having Become Almost as Malicious as Facebook

    Twitter jumped the shark



  14. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, August 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, August 11, 2020



  15. Infographic by Marcia Wilbur: Where's My Refund?!

    Tweet by Marcia Wilbur:



  16. Links 12/8/2020: New GNU Emacs, GXml-0.20, WordPress 5.5, and Mozilla is Laying off 250 Staff

    Links for the day



  17. You Just Know Somebody is in a State of Retreat When the Strategy Becomes to Discredit One's Critics (or Collectively Paint Them All as Wrong/Crazy)

    A goulash of bullcrap from Bill Gates doesn't add up; it seems like his media strategy has warped (or fallen back) onto discrediting his critics as though they don't exist, don't know anything, or are simply jealous



  18. United States v IBM Archives/Resources

    As the massive case against IBM monopoly (United States v IBM; 104,400 pages of trial transcripts and 17,000 exhibits) predates the World Wide Web it's difficult to find comprehensive literature about it any longer (Wikipedia and more modern sites are instruments of revisionism and reputation laundering)



  19. History Goes in Cycles

    Just like antiwar activism was 'quelled' or 'pacified' half a century ago nowadays we're led to think that software freedom is just fine and there's nothing left to argue about (except words and other petty nonsense)



  20. Looking Back at the Real Story of Microsoft

    Let's take a moment to examine what Microsoft was all along (since its formation in 1975)



  21. Europe Deserves Better Than Today's EPO

    Overly restrictive society with countless monopolies (even on seeds!) will neither serve people nor will it breed general acceptance



  22. European Patent Office Management Swims With Sharks and Liars

    It has become increasingly if not abundantly evident that European Patent Office President Campinos is no better than Battistelli as he’s still a ‘darling’ of patent litigation trolls and their front groups/lawyers



  23. Linked In to Pedophilia

    As the above articles show (one published a couple of days ago), the 'Web of Lies' and the incredible deceit/cover-up run deep and we still lack answers from those who enabled what Salon has just said involved "trafficking five or six girls a day."



  24. Whistleblower Aid Already Showed Cover-up of Bill Gates 'Contributions' to MIT

    The Goodwin Procter report which failed to actually investigate whether Gates and Epstein jointly directed payments to MIT (the latter was already dead) can be understood differently in light of the above leak, which was published earlier this year



  25. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, August 10, 2020



  26. Proof (Archived Original Letter): Bill Gates Lied to the New Yorker, BBC and Others About Connection of MIT Money to Mr. Jeffrey Epstein and Their Close Relationship

    As the article (“The anatomy of Bill Gates’ Jeffrey Epstein-facilitated MIT donations”) put it at the time (just 2 days before Dr. Stallman received all the heat at MIT), “Secrecy in the funding of academic programs is highly problematic, as University of Virginia professor Siva Vaidhyanathan explains in a long Twitter thread. “Companies and the billionaires who run them are always bending research agendas (and sometimes even results) to their interests,” he writes. “Anonymity would prevent any examination or accountability.”” But there are more high-level Microsoft links to Mr. Epstein; “Hoffman invited both former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and Epstein to an August 2015 dinner in Palo Alto with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel. He tells Axios that he invited Epstein at Ito’s behest, and only because Ito vouched for the convicted criminal, saying that he had successfully cleared MIT’s vetting process.” In 2016 the article “Bill Gates talked to Reid Hoffman about being on Microsoft’s board of directors” was published. “Furthermore,” it notes, “Gates and Hoffman have a lot in common: They both hold board seats and advisory roles, and no other formal status or day-to-day obligations, at the tech companies they founded.”



  27. All This Happened While Bill Gates' Engineer Was on Trial for Amassing Child Pornography

    While MIT relies on the word of someone who repeatedly lied about his relationship with Mr. Epstein (refuted even by MIT itself), the record shows what happened just when Bill Gates’ own engineer faced conviction for pedophilia (the media diverted attention to Dr. Stallman just days after the above E-mails came to light)



  28. Links 10/8/2020: Popcorn Computers Pocket PC, Finnix 121, GhostBSD 20.08.04, EasyOS 2.3.8

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 09, 2020



  30. Release: Bill Gates' Engineer Busted for More Child Pornography Than Reported in the Media

    Based on our analysis, which was repeated carefully twice, the sum of recognised hashes turns out to be about 7,500 (7,430 objects), which is more than was reported in the media after the arrest of Rick Allen Jones at Bill Gates' mansion


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts