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

02.26.20

Alexandre Oliva: Courage is Contagious

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 3:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original blog post by the FSF's interim co-president

Previously:

Those who have been reading the daily inStallmants of the FSF Odyssey may be wondering why I’m doing all this.

Having a proposal rejected at a conference is nothing unusual, but the surrounding circumstances and the conflicting versions are. Overcoming the ongoing communication difficulties is far more important than a conference speech.

As for any imaginary concerns about secrets I might (but had no plans to) expose at LibrePlanet, given an opportunity to address the public or not, I figured that by publishing facts that I experienced not under the board’s confidentiality policy, I could alleviate any such concerns, while complying with my obligations and duties.

Now, if I write “I’m told X”, the fact is that I was told so; it might turn out that X is false, another symptom of our communication difficulties. I acknowledge some of the facts seem quite damning. I believe that makes it more, not less important to bring them to light: actual science is built through public debate, not obscurity. Free Software supporters understand that.

I’ve also been moved by loyalty to my friend. He had to leave one of his children under someone else’s care. He entrusted me with that responsibility, and I don’t intend to fail him. Besides, the FSF needs his support: many have joined or renewed FSF membership because he asked them, despite their suspicions on the FSF. That’s how much he’s trusted and supported. If he withdraws his support, it won’t take long for the FSF to find itself in dire straits. Betraying RMS is a losing strategy for the FSF.

Caring deeply about Free Software and software freedom for all, I wish the FSF to remain loyal also to these goals, and I think it has largely done so, despite the slips on the free speech building block. Should the organization ever find itself in dire straits due to lack of community support, it would likely turn to corporate donors, or others who do not share its values. An FSF hostage of this kind of investment would not be one that could bring about the very social changes it was built for.

The FSF must therefore remain both loyal to and trusted by RMS and by the community that has always supported him and the values we share. Even if “it’s not a coup”, the FSF’s cautious silence and decisions influenced by fear are undermining that trust and limiting our potential to advance our mission.

I have long believed and insisted that the fear was exaggerated, that we had to conquer it because ceding the ground for fear has been self-defeating. RMS and the FSF are not expendable, though, so we couldn’t risk testing my theory with them; I, on the other hand, am expendable, despite being told I’m perceived as a voice of the FSF.

I could thus confirm, to myself and to the FSF, that my speaking in favor of Richard would not bring about any reaction much different from anything we’ve faced and overcome before, and that is to be expected of our long-time opponents. My duties to Richard, to the movement and to the organization compelled me to take that chance.

For days, I have been very outspoken in favor of Richard, and there has not been any of the feared instant nightmarish reaction. Given internal reactions, it’s not believable that outsiders wouldn’t have known about it. The silence was predictable: who’d promote the exposure of their own secret plot?

Then I showed an earlier draft of this post, to reassure concerned insiders (Honest! I’m not that smart and cunning; I rather tend to trust too much!). In it, I explained how the lack of response thus far “proved” the fears were unfounded, and how this very post (as in that draft) would trigger a certain reaction. Boom! It didn’t take long for my internal sharing to precipitate the predicted public reaction, from within the very cluster that jointly moved most quickly to oust Richard, with the same tired tactics of twisting facts into outrageous lies known to spread like fire without any checking. Predictable much?

Since I’m expendable, if my plan fails, the FSF can just get rid of me and move on without consequence; even if it works, we might choose to do so, though probably not so soon as to, erhm, dispell the notion that it’s not a coup.

Meanwhile, voice of the FSF or not, if I can stand for Richard as I have, especially over the past few days, with reactions that match my predictions, the FSF might as well learn to take my advice, and break free along with everyone else who was previously scared into silence. Courage is contagious, I’m (not) afraid.

So blong…


Copyright 2007-2020 Alexandre Oliva

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document’s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

The following licensing terms also apply to all documents and postings in this blog that don’t contain a copyright notice of their own, or that contain a notice equivalent to the one above, and whose copyright can be reasonably assumed to be held by Alexandre Oliva.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License BY-SA (Attribution ShareAlike) 3.0 Unported. To see a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  2. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  3. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  4. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  6. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  8. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  9. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  10. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  11. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  12. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  13. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  15. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  17. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  18. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  19. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"



  20. Links 25/3/2020: LLVM 10.0.0 and UCS 4.4-4 Released, WordPress 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  21. 'Team UPC' Last Week

    The looks on Team UPC's faces 5 days ago (before and after the 9:30AM announcement)



  22. The Fall of the UPC - Part VII: Lies and Revisionism About the Reasons for the UPC's Ultimate Demise (to Leave the Door Open for More Failed Attempts)

    The media was lying in a hurry, in a coordinated effort to distort the meaning of the FCC's decision or belittle the impact of this decision; Techrights will carefully watch and respond to these lies



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 24, 2020



  24. Linux Foundation Became Anti-Linux, Run by Microsoft People to Serve Microsoft's Agenda

    Microsoft is taking over the bodies of healthy projects, infecting the hosts in order for them to become slaves of the proprietary parasite; there's still no (known) cure, but we're familiar with the symptoms



  25. Microsoft Continues to Attack and Steal From the Open Source/Free Software Communities

    Microsoft cannot be trusted and there's no "new Microsoft," as another fairly new story serves to show



  26. Targeted Attack Leveraging FSF Servers

    Targeted by a determined and persist perpetrator, I've received over 20,000 E-mails. And the weapon of choice was the FSF's infrastructure, remotely misused against yours truly.



  27. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    "In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."



  28. The Fall of the UPC - Part VI: Drowning in Material

    We're starting to see few good reports on the subject of UPC being rejected by the constitutional court of Germany; we also have a rapidly-growing 'buffer' of rather blatant examples of disinformation (which we'll tackle as best we can)



  29. FFII: EU Software Patent Court Stopped by Constitutional Court, Patent Industry Will Try Again

    The third attempt to validate software patents in Europe via a central patent court (UPC) has been stopped by the German Constitutional Court. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) would have given the keys of the kingdoms to the patent industry, and the last word over software patentability. FFII predict that the patent industry will continue to push for an UPC v2.0.



  30. Links 24/3/2020: Alpine 3.11.5, MythTV 31.0 and Tails 4.4.1

    Links for the day


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