09.28.20

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The Concept of Martyrdom in Free Software and the Threat of Demonisation in the Media

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF at 8:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK street sign

Summary: Leaders or figureheads of public interest advocacy are being dismissed as crazy and rude whilst corporations that maim and kill millions of people are spun as “professional” and even "altruistic"; don’t fall for it

WE do not share every single opinion and view of Richard Stallman (RMS), but we certainly relate to what he says and we sympathise with him, seeing what was done to him by people whom he wrongly considered to be allies.

“Martyr” is a strong word and often has a negative connotation (especially when one speaks of rebels and violent terrorism), but originally the word wasn’t intended to be used or misused as such.

MLK dreamIn Free software we must learn to identify those who work for largely hostile corporations (in a closeted fashion typically) and those who work for the public interest. It’s possible to distinguish, albeit it’s not always easy (may require access to IRS files, followed by careful scrutiny and objective assessment).

Yesterday Dr. Stallman responded to me almost a week after I had written to him. Two people told me that he can take a long time to reply these days; one said 2-3 days, another said 5. Stallman asked me for another 2 weeks (a whole fortnight), so we know he’s snowed in, as the idiom or saying goes. He did an interview with RT earlier this month.

“Stallman asked me for another 2 weeks (a whole fortnight), so we know he’s snowed in, as the idiom or saying goes.”In our IRC channel the potential faux pas from this interview was brought up; at one point in the interview he responded to the Caucasian (literally Caucasian) interviewer with “what do you mean “we”, white woman?” (As noted here for example)

Well, some hours ago we received an explanation of what Stallman meant when he said that (basically, it was a joke, and it was a pop culture reference).

Here’s the explanation:

As per IRC, in the RT interview with RMS:

RMS forgot to name to name specific Free Software examples foe telecommuting.

More interestingly he gave the interviewer a little shock with his paraphrase Mad Magazine from the 1960s, back when it was funny. That joke is a generational thing and specific to the US so those either born recently or outside the US might miss.

Here is some background:

“It has become very popular in recent years as a rhetorical device for essay writers who wish to write about situations where someone takes for granted that someone is his/her ally. “

Further context is that the joke was about “The Lone Ranger”, a show which has not been on radio or even television for decades. It was a major cultural force for several generations.

The phrase has continued on long past the radio or television series’ end and even the end of the magazine.

Probably the interviewer would not have time for either link but it would clear up the confusion.

PS. Yes, explaining jokes makes them unfunny. :/

One year ago many took out of context things that Stallman had said like a decade or more earlier; some even twisted a prank (trolling Stallman by vandalism) as a serious act by Stallman himself and SJVN, who only hours ago promoted the “Windows is Linux” nonsense in a ZDNet ‘article’, had defamed Stallman by deliberately misrepresenting his position on Epstein. Slander the person, libel a whole movement which this person represents.

“Slander the person, libel a whole movement which this person represents.”Stallman has a big target painted on him. We more or less know why. And if we give up on him and participate in the attacks on him, we’re essentially harming ourselves. But that’s not what corporate media will tell us… to them, Bill Gates (an actual closeted defender of Epstein) is a hero and Stallman is a villain. Guess who among the two paid nearly a billion dollars to publishers (in effect bribing the media).

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