12.12.19

Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

Posted in GNU/Linux at 11:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Work pad

Summary: “I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software’s worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!”

THE FSF is NOT what it used to be.

And it’s not infallible. If Free software was working, we wouldn’t need a fifth freedom. The fifth freedom was implicit in all we did, it was everywhere we needed it:

The freedom to NOT run the software, to be free to avoid vendor lock-in through appropriate modularization/encapsulation and minimized dependencies; meaning any Free software can be replaced with a user’s preferred alternatives (freedom 4).

Thank you, Peter Boughton.

If you think this freedom isn’t needed to bolster the freedom to change, tell me how it is that freedom 3 keeps getting eroded year after year? This fifth freedom was supporting freedom 3 all the time, only it has been abandoned. Without it, Free software is lost (and has lost the fight.)

And as the FSF throws the fight, and lies to its supporters, we all need to know that the FSF can make mistakes. The biggest lie of the FSF is that they always know what they’re talking about, and that lie needs to end right now.

“I want them so badly to prove me wrong. Don’t show me your financials, FSF. We already have access to those. Show me results!”The FSF had a plan to end Tivoisation, and that plan was called GPL3. I’m not knocking the plan itself, I support GPL3. And it was a good plan.

Where the plan failed was that the FSF underestimated the multi-prong attack of lobbying against their new license. GPL2 had a lockout vulnerability, and Tivoisation was the exploit. GPL3 was the patched version. The patch works!

The mistake was thinking a patched version was enough — a front group (Roy knows which one, for the moment it’s not important) lobbied Torvalds to reject the patch, thus the Linux kernel remains vulnerable to this day. Do you think people who exploit the GPL care about your patch if the software they want to exploit doesn’t use it? They don’t care how they win, only that they win.

They won.

I’m not saying GPL3 wasn’t worth creating — where it is used, it is doing its job. But where it was needed most, it is not used. And that is a very valuable lesson: the FSF can overestimate its solutions and ignore other real problems that are very clearly related.

You would like to think that if the FSF screws up, someone can hold them accountable and push them to improve. I dispute this — nobody can! I don’t like Joshua Gay, I think he’s a sellout. But one thing I can’t disagree with him on, is that Your Comments won’t change what the FSF does. They never have, they most likely never will.

THE FSF THINKS THEY ARE LISTENING.

The FSF is wrong!

If they are listening, they still won’t change. They don’t change, not per their supporters. You don’t matter. And when they say you matter, they only mean your money. They say this is because they’re “conservative.” I say it’s because someone is on the take, maybe the organisation itself. Don’t look at me like that never happens in the non-profit sector, it does all the time. We expect the FSF to be different. I do as well.

I want them so badly to prove me wrong. Don’t show me your financials, FSF. We already have access to those. Show me results!

“Bruce Perens mentions on Twitter, a plan that ESR and O’Reilly had to cancel Stallman years earlier. Perens never approved.”Show me change, show me progress. You can’t, because for half a decade there really isn’t any. For five years, you’ve slipped backwards. Steadily, and increasingly.

I don’t want the FSF to dissolve — I don’t think they will, either. There is enough the FSF has in “stock” that is worth supporting, per se. But the fact that their fundraising is more than a little bit bullshit does matter. They’re lying to you, and that’s a problem. They DO NOT stand for your freedom, that’s a huge lie. They are letting your freedom get siphoned off and sold off. And the evidence of that continues mounting. That’s a problem, and how is it fixable?

My plan regarding the FSF was for users to get their attention with a boycott. That plan was in late 2018 and involved Stallman stepping down if necessary. It involved asking him to. That plan went nowhere, but Stallman now has stepped down, and I figure it’s time I point out in detail what was supposed to happen:

1. Stallman and the FSF were ignoring too many problems endemic to Free software, and did not listen to supporters.

They deny this of course. I think the proof is simple enough, show where supporters have called out the FSF on a mistake in a way that resulted in the mistake getting corrected.

NO, STALLMAN’S RESIGNATION DOESN’T COUNT. He was never supposed to resign over a set of lies and exaggerations.

2. People were supposed to grab Stallman’s attention by telling him to step down. This wasn’t a fakeout, any more than a vote of no confidence is. But he was supposed to be given a real chance.

If they got his attention, he was supposed to be given a real opportunity to listen and act. He never got that opportunity. Instead he was attacked by the tech press, nearly a year later. The tech press works pretty exclusively for Open Source, and that’s one of the main reasons they do so well as a method of co-opting Free software for corporations.

The things I consider wrong with Stallman’s leadership and the problems those people have with his leadership, are entirely different things.

The things I wanted him to step down over were real — but they weren’t as serious as what he resigned over. They were shortcomings, not things that would destroy his reputation, not lies and exaggerations and over-the-top misquotes of things he didn’t say.

3. Boycotting was an option. I knew pretty well that it would never reach this stage, because I don’t think there are enough people who would give the FSF money in the first place, who would join this boycott. In that regard, it was largely rhetorical. And I think the actual threats that the FSF encountered leading to his resignation were rhetorical as well — people who didn’t care in the first place, pretending they would stop caring, unless…

“And we probably need to know what took place, to understand what is happening to the FSF now.”4. HE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO LEAVE THE BOARD!

This is the biggest tragedy. The entire board is in shambles. That was definitely not part of the plan.

5. This was supposed to be managed by people who actually care about the future of the FSF. Not by corporations. Not these Open Source fakes who have attacked the FSF literally since last century.

Bruce Perens mentions on Twitter, a plan that ESR and O’Reilly had to cancel Stallman years earlier. Perens never approved.

6. Stallman was not supposed to be “cancelled” at all. The only thing that was supposed to change, at most, was his position as president. Nothing else.

Under the plan I had (which I believed — quite correctly I might add, would never actually enter into action) Stallman would no longer rule the FSF with the same authority, but he would still be on the board, where he could at least find a protégé to take over the organisation. Where he still had serious (and official) influence.

At least he is still part of GNU, but the coup that happened there EVEN AFTER he had already resigned as president was bullshit as well. I’m squarely on the side of the people calling out Andy.

The FSF never had a (good) plan for replacing Stallman, and all this was (ideally) supposed to trigger a new generation of Free software where Stallman was not removed, but where he shared his position with someone trustworthy who could grow into the role under his tutelage.

It was mostly hypothetical, and mostly kind of stupid, but it’s still a plan that didn’t work.

What it is still good for is for comparing it to what actually happened. And the reason I’m willing to look stupid making this comparison is that I don’t think people are being honest about what actually took place, and this highlights it what I don’t think they’re being honest about.

And we probably need to know what took place, to understand what is happening to the FSF now.

The official narrative bites it — I don’t even believe it at this point, and f—, I’ve tried to.

I’ve tried to believe in the people responsible, I’ve tried to believe in the future, I’ve tried to hope until I’m practically constipated with good wishes and cramped with crossed fingers.

“I have found a LOT of organisations the FSF doesn’t say much about.”But there’s just so much bullshit and the more and more I look into this, and try to get a straight answer, the more I uncover about the past couple years of the FSF and its sister organisations, particularly its First sister org, the FSFE.

People keep leaving, and the real story keeps getting worse. The official story doesn’t add up. And some of these stories are kind of juicy. I mean a bit of political intrigue and conflicts of interest, not inane Daily-Mail-type sex scandals.

Techrights will help you find the real story, just don’t think this stuff makes any of us happy. We won’t lie to you and tell you everything is okay.

Everything is NOT okay. But unlike the FSF, when things aren’t okay, we will try to find the good in them.

This isn’t a P.R. firm. We will also try to find the truth — and unlike the FSF, we will share both the good and the not-so-good with you. All the FSF has done since the Stallman tragedy is pucker.

Meanwhile, I am deeply disappointed that Stallman is fighting quietly. Either he feels obligated to or he has a better idea and his own reasons. There’s no question that he’s a brilliant man and the true founder of this movement. Accept no imitations, especially corporate ones.

I am not disappointed in Stallman himself, as most of the things that have happened are completely unfair to him. If I’m happy about anything at all, it’s that Techrights says he’s “doing well.” I don’t know what’s going on with him, Techrights seems to. I’m content with that.

I have found a LOT of organisations the FSF doesn’t say much about. Techrights now lists 16 Free software organisations — that includes SFC and FSFE, because technically, those are Free software organisations too. They could start helping at any time, though I’m seriously unimpressed with SFC. Someone there should be sacked immediately, I wish I knew exactly whom.

“Stand up, do whatever you can, speak loud, and when it is time to salvage these older organisations, be ready to take on as much as you can.”But Listen to the Free Software Fellowship for more intriguing tales of what the heck has happened to the FSFE, FSF’s first sister org. I consider the FSFE to be a glimpse of FSF’s dark future — hey, FSF, I know I’m calling (some of) you sellouts but I’d LOVE you to prove me wrong, guys.

Don’t let a corrupt leadership tell you that I’m blaming the supporters. That’s another lie — the supporters are not guilty, they’re just trying to stand up for Stallman (good) and for Free software (good.)

But (some of) the leadership looks very corrupt from here. And that’s a problem.

If FSFE were not swirling around the bowl right now, I would think such negativity about the FSF would be far-fetched.

I am still looking for good news (not a press release, people — results! Real progress… Some of us are not so cynical that we can’t tell the difference!)

I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software’s worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!

I call on Free Software Force to STAY active — keep the air alive. You’re getting too quiet, friends.

I call on the Free Software Fellowship to not give up. You’re doing good work.

Free Software Community of India has had their website and repos up for days, and I’m happy to say that whatever brought the FSF India website down for more or less a week, it was back online today. You should learn more about its founders, Free software history should inform the present (and some founders are still in leadership roles.)

Though I am boycotting most of Europe, still, I particularly call on every European Free software supporter to stand up and keep asking to be heard. We are all waiting to hear from you, even though the EU and the UN are clearly more driven by “Open Source,” not Free software.

There are other orgs, but if you ask me — waiting around for the traditional bastions of software freedom to do their job is a waste. Stand up, do whatever you can, speak loud, and when it is time to salvage these older organisations, be ready to take on as much as you can.

The time is now, because it won’t be easier later.

“They’ll say I’m blaming you, they’ll try to turn you against each other, but the real corruption is aimed right at you. Don’t fall for their crap.”I realise some of this may sound a bit like some of the other major political tragedies that are going on in the world.

I don’t think that’s a coincidence. This is what a politically corrupt, somewhat ethically bankrupt world looks like.

They’ll say I’m blaming you, they’ll try to turn you against each other, but the real corruption is aimed right at you. Don’t fall for their crap.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

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5 Comments

  1. Canta said,

    December 13, 2019 at 12:07 pm

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    “GPLv3 is a patch”. Fine. And the fifth freedom is not?
    How would you implement the fifth freedom, if not bay a new GPL version, nor any other not-the-gplv2 tool added to the equation?
    So… What’s their crime here again there? It’s not clear if you’re claiming political responsibility from the FSF, or their inability to understand some technical issue, or bad faith/praxis, or a mix of it all.

    Also, please be specific about at least SOME (or ANY) lie from the FSF. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to take this seriously. I’ll tell you why: every party on every conflict on every place in the entire human history has someone saying that their opposition are all liars. It’s so much like that, that today “they’re wrong” may be a much more strong concept than “they’re liars”.

    That said, yeah, we need a million more Free Software organizations, and stop relying on Papa Stallman as some kind of good intentions encarnation in the software field: ethics is much more than just about “being good people”, but also about how to make things sustainable in the long run.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Reply from this article’s author (not me) follows:

    “GPLv3 is a patch”. Fine. And the fifth freedom is not?

    nothing wrong with gpl3 being a patch. its a good patch.

    “How would you implement the fifth freedom, if not bay a new GPL version, nor any other not-the-gplv2 tool added to the equation?”

    not sure the licenses need tweaking on behalf of the fifth freedom. it supports and clarifies the fourth freedom, the only tweak would be if the four freedoms were officially updated (this is not expected to ever happen) that the next version of the gpl might list all five. since this will probably never be made official by the fsf, the gpl doesnt need to change.

    so it becomes as much of a principle as a freedom. if you read the article “four more freedoms” about four pillars to support the four freedoms, youd know that im okay with that.

    “So# What’s their crime here again there?”

    i believe they are misleading their supporters, to degree that is worth calling out.

    “Also, please be specific about at least SOME (or ANY) lie from the FSF. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to take this seriously.”

    im not concerned about sceptics taking this seriously. its going to take far more than an article or a comment to convince people, it would be as impossible as writing the above article in a single paragraph. also i mentioned one or two things that ought to count as a reply to your question, but those didnt impress you, so i doubt a third try would either.

    “I’ll tell you why: every party on every conflict on every place in the entire human history has someone saying that their opposition are all liars.”

    the fsf is not the opposition. they are intended to be on the same side. they are historically on the same side. they are allegedly fighting the same fight. this much ought to be clear from the article.

    “It’s so much like that, that today “they’re wrong” may be a much more strong concept than “they’re liars”.”

    unless they are being incredibly dishonest and misleading people, yes. but i wrote the article to make a point, not to convince people that it is indisputable. something of this nature will generally take a series of articles to accomplish. and as the article here already says– techrights will help people find the truth. that implies that it will take more articles. i think it will too.

    asking a prediction to come with proof is odd anyway. this article essentially makes a prediction– if it came with proof, it would probably be a review or report.

    “That said, yeah, we need a million more Free Software organizations, and stop relying on Papa Stallman as some kind of good intentions encarnation in the software field”

    it would be better if more people filled that role, not just one person, considering how vulnerable just one person has proven to be.

  2. Canta said,

    December 14, 2019 at 11:23 am

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    Thanks for the answer. I’m satisfied by it, as it clarifies several things I was doubtful about how to understand.

    > not sure the licenses need tweaking on behalf of the fifth freedom. it supports and clarifies the fourth freedom, the only tweak would be if the four freedoms were officially updated (this is not expected to ever happen) that the next version of the gpl might list all five. since this will probably never be made official by the fsf, the gpl doesnt need to change.
    >
    > so it becomes as much of a principle as a freedom. if you read the article “four more freedoms” about four pillars to support the four freedoms, youd know that im okay with that.

    I’ve followed your comment and read that other article as well. And with all this, and the new article from Jagadees, I believe the right way to answer my observations is by another whole article, as I have many things to say. I’ll do that later. However, I yet feel the need to also clarify on my previous reading. TL;DR: “ok, but please be careful on what you’re doing, as this smells like gasoline and there’s a lot of heat lately everywhere.”

    > i believe they are misleading their supporters, to degree that is worth calling out.
    > (…)
    > im not concerned about sceptics taking this seriously. its going to take far more than an article or a comment to convince people, it would be as impossible as writing the above article in a single paragraph. also i mentioned one or two things that ought to count as a reply to your question, but those didnt impress you, so i doubt a third try would either.
    > (…)
    > the fsf is not the opposition. they are intended to be on the same side. they are historically on the same side. they are allegedly fighting the same fight. this much ought to be clear from the article.

    But you mostly say “they’re not the same as before” while also criticize they “alledged” conservatism as some kind of elaborate lie. In “four freedoms” you also cite some kind of stagnation, not just in the FSF but in non-profits in general. It’s kinda contradictory, as there’s a much simpler explanation: they’re just being conservatives. They’re “not as before” because there was a time when they were a vanguard: but one that did the same things they keep on doing from decades, and thus, eventually, not a vanguard anymore. “Constant revolution” is NOT their motto. They do what they do, and that’s it. Times change, the enemy adapts, and so the FSF walks towards obsolescence. They may actually don’t know what to do anymore. And so they change (its polarity, its value, its centrality, or whatever you wanna call it) by just doing always the same thing.

    And in that case, all the rest of your points stand strong, but without calling them liars.

    For the record: I myself have asked publicly and face to face to Stallman last time he came to Argentina, about some thing I’ve found problematic about the FSF. I didn’t liked they waited for Firefox OS and Ubuntu Phone to die before they put “we need a free softare OS for mobile devices” on their top ten list of priorities. I wanted an explanation on why they took so long, and why they said nothing about those initiatives (or any other) as if it wasn’t their issue. I don’t want an android fork, but a GNU one, or even something entirely different. And I’ve found his response to be lacking at best: he told me, tired and frustrated, that we should use Replicant, and that if we can we should not use mobile phones at all. In the same convention, he was happy to say that he do use mobile phones, but from his friends, as then the powers that be can’t know it’s him using the phone. But that’s not being anonymous, but using his friend’s identity to do stuff, which is deeply troubling and not funny at all. And all that was told to me in a discourse that pretended to preach software ethics from a software ethics leader: I expected much more. Yet, it’s a long way from pointing out problems in his logic to call him a liar, which I don’t believe he is. There was, however, people calling him a liar.

    You also say (to the FSF) that the way to prove you wrong is “show me results!”. But when I asked you for a concrete way to implement a fifth freedom (as a directly related example of your whole point) other than by changing GPL (again, as a direct example of something the FSF actually did about it), your answer was much more vague than “results”. I’m not trying to say that you have the same responsabilities than the FSF: that would be totally unfair to you, and actually kinda bananas. But there IS a point there, that you seem to conveniently omit with your “show me results”, and is this: “come on dude, it’s just not that simple”. The FSF had LOTS of results over its history. And lots of fails too.

    You call for some evidence: people leaving, and an official narrative that is hard to believe. I recongnize those are no minor issues at all, but also hardly worthy of a “liars!” accusation.

    So it feels dishonest to call them liars on that. Not dishonest as in “I’m trying to steal something by using lies”, but more like “I know this I’m saying is biased, but I don’t give a damn, screw this people if they don’t wanna move their asses the way I want them to do it”. And “screw this people” is the very beginning of any opposition.

    I vindicate both bias and opposition, as I believe they’re legit human traits. I’m not trying to call for some moral here. What I’m trying to point out, from a political view, is something like this: “be careful on who you’re trying to wage war with”. And I say that because on the other side there’s corporate power, and they rarely fragmentate themselves when fighting against someone. They win almost every fight they fight, and if not now then in the long run. And for us is very difficult to build power. So I doubt the “liars” tone is the right tool for the task at hand, and I believe Stallman also feels this way: I believe he preferred a quick resignation rather than hurt the institutions he was part of with an internal war, even if he had supporters and legit claims and whatsoever.

    Perhaps your (our) role as non-Stallmans may very well be to apply pressure on institutions like the FSF for them to adequate to the changing times. That’s cool. But I have my doubts about the how, and frankly I know very well I don’t want another internal war in this times of crisis.

    > it would be better if more people filled that role, not just one person, considering how vulnerable just one person has proven to be.

    I believe that what we’re looking at is the entrance of software to the main political arena, as happened before with race, enviroment, or gender. Those spaces also had, and still have, their huge internal struggles. But eventually they managed to grow, despite their internal differences, to become a first citizen in wordwide politics. I believe we should learn from those experiences, and I wonder how to incentivate and articulate an heterogeneous grow of very different organizations which, at the end of the day, is able to act as a front. I believe we should embrace difference. And I believe that is NOT possible under the umbrella of a single organization, such as the FSF. Yet, I also believe we should not try to hurt the FSF, even when we may need to take distance from them.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    figosdev sent the reply:

    i think your points are very reasonable. i still have to disagree somewhat, because i dont think conservatism can explain quite everything the fsf has done or failed to do at this point.

    letting stallman go wasnt conservative, it was a huge mistake– especially letting him leave the board. if he insists, they have no way to force him, though in light of all other things im not satisifed with the official narrative. ill get back to that theme.

    the reason it is necessary to address the honesty of the fsf is that they continue to dismiss problems, not just fail to recognise them. they continue to brand things as acceptable which most certainly or not. thats a use of their authority, and if the legitimacy of that use can be called into question, it becomes very important– not just “business as usual.”

    the biggest example (not the only one i can think of) is that you have a 2 billion dollar company that has created unprecedented havoc for free software for 5 years– half a decade of regression, which is loudly protested by multiple groups of people who struggle all the time to fix it.

    you have groups like debian, which the fsf has long relied on (what distro is on those bootable fsf cards they still sell? as a former member, i used to own one) which are becoming less community-based (the trappings of community input still exist) but there is no question that they continue to cede increasingly to corporate input.

    youve got github taking over far too much of the ecosystem, and the “old” fsf would have already said thats a problem– yet now that its a full-on crisis they wont talk about it.

    if the fsf were just regressing, and not simply being as conservative as usual, that would be one thing. but i think theyre actually becoming more conservative, not like the “old” fsf. you imply this is perception, i wouldnt be too sure.

    throw in the fact that the 2 billion dollar company is now owned by ibm, the company that invented the tactics microsoft has spent 20 years using to attack free software.

    throw in the fact that after stallman resigned, red hat threw in their 2c about what sort of person ought to replace stallman, within a week or two.

    throw in the fact that right before the stallman thing happened, someone from ibm (someone we all should feel like we can trust because of his contributions, someone i no longer trust– someone i actually recommended for the same position years earlier in a book addressed to the free software movement!) which is not only a major sponsor with a direct line about who should replace stallman, but are also the owners of the software that i think is designed to destroy posix.

    ok, blah blah blah, weve heard all this before, right?

    throw in the large anonymous donation the fsf got, and the comments people from the fsf made about how they didnt “have to worry” for a while, because that donation was at least one or two years of donations worth of money. (as i recall, at least.)

    that was right before the largely dishonest scandal with rms, which the fsf very conservatively decided to say nothing about. i know they were advised, but the result is very plainly an fsf that is far more conservative than ever.

    so i dont agree theyre just being conservative– theyre becoming increasingly so.

    its not isolated, as this is happening almost everywhere in the free software ecosystem that counts.

    there are large anonymous donations invovled, whether they ever prove relevant or not.

    and there are some very significant scandals going on at the fsfe, which are so bad that the fsf wont defend their first sister organisation.

    the leader is gone, half the board is gone, theres money we cant trace to its source (thats fine, if the whole organisation doesnt turn upside down afterwards) and things are getting worse, not merely stagnating– and on top of that, people in authoritative positions there are saying things to me directly that i consider inherently dishonest, not only dismissive.

    now, what im saying to people as a result is “dont be so quick to trust the fsf.” and i suppose if i were the only one, that would be one thing. if i didnt know other people who were saying the same, people i trust, including former members like myself– people who seriously recommended i join the fsf board (yeah, no, but thats very flattering of course) a few weeks or couple months ago, when i was being FAR more charitable to the fsf… a bit like you are being now.

    i suppose that would be one thing.

    but it isnt one thing. its two things, its three things, its four things, eventually it becomes a long list of special pleading that gets the fsf off the hook no matter what.

    and i think its time to stop doing that, and start demanding real answers instead.

    so not long ago, i was where you seem to be now with this. i can hardly fault you.

    but when you look at all of the different problems and all of the interesting details, it actually becomes increasingly suspicious.

    its too early to ask for proof– we are still looking for it. but i cant offer you proof of why people should stop having so much faith and start helping us look for clues, its too early for that.

    its really not too early to talk about trust though. maybe five years ago was too early, but its getting ridiculous.

    thats what i feel my article seems to fail to get across to you, but youre obviously going to some trouble to be fair and obviously paying attention, and you have my gratitude for that.

    for me, its gone a little bit past the point you describe as a reflection on the present.

    and i think the fsf is falling a bit behind as well. for us to walk away and move forward, we need to be able to say that the fsf is too dismissive, because they have stopped ignoring us and started to accuse us of imagining things.

    theres a lot of reasons to take a second look at the fsf right now, that dont require a very vivid imagination– but if i were acting as their p.r. firm, i would tell them to play that one up.
    “these silly kids, they dont know what theyre talking about.”

    i used to give money to these people, and stuff like this is why i no longer do. we didnt turn on them– what im saying is no less than this: the fsf turned on us.

    im angry, and done playing the ever-faithful diddled choir boy in this cathedral.

    as for rms, if i didnt make it perfectly clear that i dont put the blame on him for this, i did assume at one point that it might help if he gained a successor in a timely manner (wouldnt it anyway?)

    this isnt about him, this is more about who did what to rms. but its about a lot of other things– the list is growing, and with it, i grow increasingly suspicious. i appreciate if youll need at least more time or bigger reasons to feel as i do, but i cant help wonder what it would take.

    “more proof” is a reasonable answer. but what im really telling people to do is start paying more attention. thats what i recommend at least.

  3. Canta said,

    December 15, 2019 at 12:21 pm

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    Well… after reading this, I can no longer be so contemplative with the FSF. The things you say are so very deeply troubling that I’m frankly scared and disoriented about what to think or do now. Gonna take some days to clear my mind and put it to words. But I feel as sad now as the day I read about the RMS resignation.

    However, about your article, please know this: I didn’t had all the details you mention here. You kinda wrote it as if it were all common knowledge. We’re all Techrights readers here, and so we share some degree of common sense: but we read just so much, and just when we find the time for it. We just don’t have all the data.

    I read all Free Software articles with the same lenses as any other local or international political article in any newspaper or selected media; I rarely take them as technical (as in “software”, or “programming”, or “computing”) issues. And so I compare all Free Software situations with my understanding of current and historical political dynamics, as they’re the same things from my point of view. What I’ve put in question in my previous comments were more related to politics in general than the FSF in particular. And, in my activist experience, and looking at the current state of Latin America affairs, I know for a fact that internal struggle is devastating, so I put some effort in trying to diminish it: is my way of “doing something about it” with what I have.

    So, I believe I should thank you, as I also hate playing devil’s advocate in order to stop an internal fight. Yet, I REALLY wish there were a better alternative than bashing the FSF, or any other former Free Software champion for that matter. Shit is just so depressing…

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

    In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves



  2. We Take Away Your Freedom for Your Own Safety...

    People are herded like cattle and protest/dissent will be demonised as part of the new norm; what will be the cost of the pandemic and will resistance to the status quo ever be permitted to resume?



  3. EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

    The EPO's "news" section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO's internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents



  4. The Free Software Foundation Warns Against Using Twitter

    Richard Stallman said Twitter was OK because it was possible to use it without proprietary software; that's no longer the case, so the Free Software Foundation (FSF) speaks out against it. It speaks about it more than 3 months after the problem became a known one and also an irreversible one (maybe Twitter would have reversed the decision if the media or the FSF actually spoke about it early enough).



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 25, 2021



  6. Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

    A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)



  7. Links 26/2/2021: Istio 1.7.8 Announced, Blender 2.92, Firebird 3.0 Language Reference, FSF Against Twitter

    Links for the day



  8. Special Thanks to Mogz

    Credit where it's due to Mogz



  9. Modifying WordPress to Include Gemini Links in All Articles (Assuming a Canonical URL Form)

    In order to promote the departure from the World Wide Web (where possible and suitable; sites with text don't typically need Web-like features) one can promote the analogous pages in one's Gemini capsule; we suggest a way of doing so in WordPress (the most widely used CMS)



  10. Links 25/2/2021: RHEL for Open-Source Infrastructure, GNOME 40 Beta, LXPanel 0.10.1

    Links for the day



  11. IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge

    IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge



  12. Techrights Gemini Capsule, Now With Over 35,000 Pages and Files

    Blog posts combined with static (plain text) files are now 36,000+ in number, just for Gemini protocol alone; that number keeps growing as our conversion proceeds and evolves (our software will be released under terms of the AGPLv3)



  13. Eventually, or Hopefully, Many People Will Come Back to What the Web Used to Be (Or Web Alternatives More Like the 'Old' Web)

    With RSS feeds making a comeback and a resurgence of personal blogs we can take back the Web from a cabal of tech/Internet giants and social control media, censored, curated and spied on by oligarchy



  14. If Wikipedia is Controlled by Corporations and Mobs, It Needs to Be 'Cancelled'

    Facts have never truly mattered in social control media sites; it certainly seems as though Wikipedia now suffers the very same issue/deficit, allowing oligarchs and their companies to define what goes on in the world and which people Wikipedia should regard as persona non grata



  15. GNU/Linux Reaffirms Its Status as the Universal and Inter-planetary Operating System

    The operating system made for and by scientists (not business sharks and marketing cults) is winning the battle, and not only in this planet



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 24, 2021



  17. Links 25/2/2021: Kali Linux 2021.1, Wine Launcher 1.4.46, and Google's Security Posing

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/2/2021: MariaDB 10.5.9, Krita 4.4.3 Beta, and Debuginfod Server for Debian

    Links for the day



  19. Self-Host Your Videos, Take Full Advantage of HTML5 and Video Attributes

    For self-hosting of videos over the World Wide Web (Gemini too can handle videos; its clients/browsers can, for example, link video files/URLs to external media players) it's worth reviewing the full set of features made available by the standards because a lot can be accomplished without JavaScript and without unnecessary bloat/complexity



  20. Trying Out NoiseTorch to Reduce Background Sound/Noise in GNU/Linux

    An introduction to noisetorch (or NoiseTorch), an application that helps create virtual microphones/devices with reduced background noise



  21. How the Big Banks and OIN Can Whitewash Software Patents and Do Nothing Concrete About Patent Trolls

    Response to the puff piece entitled "How the Big Banks and OIN Can Lock Out Patent Trolls with Enabled Publications"



  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 23, 2021



  23. How to Set Up a Gemini Server of Your Own, Even on a Simple Single-Board Computer

    Using Agate to start one's own Gemini capsule (self-hosted) is a lot simpler than one might be inclined to believe; this is a detailed HOWTO, hoping to encourage more people to join Gemini space, which is fast-growing and free of garbage



  24. Links 23/2/2021: Tails 4.16, Libinput 1.17, Fwupd 1.5.7, Firefox 86, NeoChat 1.1

    Links for the day



  25. The Word Master is Not Problematic in Most Contexts and Its Origin Hasn't a Connection to Slavery

    Slavery is to the word "master" mostly disconnected; it might, however, be closely connected in the minds of racists or the agenda of highly racist corporations (profiting from racism) that look for ways to distract from their racism



  26. On Misapplication, Misuse, Overuse and Abuse of Words (to Suit False Narratives)

    It is looking like the word "abuse" has been extended to basically mean all sorts of things including the act of actually exposing real abuse



  27. The Administrative Council Needs to Fix the EPO While It's Still Possible

    EPO staff and former staff (pensioners) aren't happy and the it's the responsibility of the Administrative Council to do something before it's too late (the reputation of the Office is already severely harmed and it's unable/unwilling to recruit suitable and qualified people, both as examiners and managers, respectively)



  28. 'These Questions Remain Unanswered': Campinos Became Battistelli Just Halfway Through His Term

    The Central Staff Committee of the EPO highlights the grim situation or the deadlock reached after totally dysfunctional Office management somehow managed to kill off channels of communication, in effect going back to where things were back in 2018 under Battistelli



  29. 'The One Percent': Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) Supported Only by 1% of EPO Staff

    Out of 2,237 EPO workers who expressed their position on the SAP, which in essence lowers their salary, only 31 expressed support for it (that's 1.385%)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, February 22, 2021


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