02.27.20

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A Month After One OSI Co-Founder Resigns in the Mailing Lists Over OSI’s Attacks on Software Freedom the Other OSI Co-Founder Gets Kicked Out for Speaking About It

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, OSI at 9:46 pm by Guest Editorial Team

OSI changed. They also think it’s OK for Microsoft to take over the Linux Foundation (because they do the same at the OSI these days).

OSI and Linux Foundation

Summary: The ‘cancel culture’ seems to be canceling people who speak about software freedom, under the guise of the real motivation being manners (when one lashes out at those who attack Free software and free speech)

IT SEEMS LIKE the trend. It seems like the norm rather than the exception. It’s happening in Debian (latest in [1]) and now in OSI (latest from ESR in [2]).

“The FSF’s mailing lists are meanwhile censoring messages supportive of Stallman, who ‘only’ founded the FSF. What is going on?”We’re told about ‘rude’ Torvalds lashing out at bad code and ‘disgusting’ Stallman, who dares to have an opinion on political issues (in a very political kind of project and organisation). We continue to wonder why Guido van Rossum (Dutch programmer aged around 63 at the time) suddenly left Python’s leadership. It happened around the time a controversy was brewing about the master/slave terminology in the context of programming/message-passing (topology).

The FSF’s mailing lists are meanwhile censoring messages supportive of Stallman, who ‘only’ founded the FSF. What is going on? Alex Oliva knows a thing or two [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

In Microsoft's own words, “[y]ou want to infiltrate those. Again, there’s two categories. There’s those that are controlled by vendors [...] that third parties control, like the WinTech Journal, you want to infiltrate.”

Being super polite and wearing gloves won’t work against coup efforts, which include bribing people in key positions, or paying them large salaries to defect.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. What is a safe space?

    When foreign people come along with a different, but no less valid, Code of Conduct, zealots start screaming out for the comfort of their safe space. That is how we get the hysteria that precipitated the Hanau shooting and the lynching of Polish workers in the UK in the name of Brexit.

    The Third Reich may have been the ultimate example of the search for a safe space: a safe space for the white Aryan race. Nazis really believed they were creating a safe space. Germans allowed the Nazis to rule, in the belief that they were supporting a safe space.

    The golden rule of a safe space is that it is only safe for some. As George Orwell puts it, All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    Tolerance and safe spaces are mutually exclusive.

  2. The right to be rude

    The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.”

    Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I was kicked off their lists for being too rhetorically forceful in opposing certain recent attempts to subvert OSD clauses 5 and 6. This despite the fact that I had vocal support from multiple list members who thanked me for being willing to speak out.

    It shouldn’t be news to anyone that there is an effort afoot to change – I would say corrupt – the fundamental premises of the open souce culture. Instead of meritocracy and “show me the code”, we are now urged to behave so that no-one will ever feel uncomfortable.

    The effect – the intended effect, I should say, is to diminish the prestige and autonomy of people who do the work – write the code – in favor of self-appointed tone-policers. In the process, the freedom to speak necessary truths even when the manner in which they are expressed is unpleasant is being gradually strangled.

    And that is bad for us. Very bad. Both directly – it damages our self-correction process – and in its second-order effects. The habit of institutional tone policing, even when well-intentioned, too easily slides into the active censorship of disfavored views.

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