02.22.21

On the Terms Master, Main and Abuse

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:04 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

Free and open source software communities recently spent a lot of time and effort on renaming the master branches in Git repositories to main, or some other name, due to the association of the word master with the horror of slavery.

I plan to tackle the slavery issue in a separate blog. In this blog, my target is the misappropriation of the word abuse.

If we are sincere about abandoning the word master, we also need to stop using the word abuse, except in those situations where it is legitimate to use that word.

Abuse has a clear meaning. In the last week, we’ve seen women speak up about rape in Australia’s parliament and misogyny on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

These are incredibly serious accusations.

The Buffy accusations are remarkably similar to the accusations against Matthias Kirschner, President of FSFE. The free software community elected me as a community representative in that organization. In 2018, after observing the culture of threats and blackmail, I resigned in disgust. Each new revelation about FSFE only confirms that I made the right decision to distance myself from those people.

Yet the accusations from the Australian parliament are even more disturbing. Having visited there on multiple occasions, I couldn’t help contemplating the possibility that I may have visited the same office where this crime took place.

In the photo below, there may even be an unintended hint of male entitlement: I’m wandering around Australia’s capitol in a t-shirt. It may simply be a reflection of how we live in Australia, the minimum dress code for visiting parliament doesn’t set a very high bar. That particular t-shirt isn’t easy to come by. The woman on the left is Senator Stott-Despoja, Australia’s youngest woman in parliament and subsequently Australia’s ambassador for women and girls. How shocking would it be if the crime took place in the same room where we took this photo?

The Debian Project is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions. In the 27 years of its existence, so-called leaders have never published a consolidated financial report. When people asked about the Google $300,000 obfuscated by $300,000 from the Handshake Foundation, leaders classified all questions as abuse. When oligarchs behave like this and use the word abuse to deflect questions about accountability, they are trivializing real victims of abuse.

The people who hid that money from the rest of us simply have no right to use the word abuse. Ever.

The situation in Australia’s parliament has followed the same path as Debian: rather than resolving the most substantial issue, the employee was terminated on a minor technicality. A most serious act of abuse trivialized by equating it with a bureaucratic misdemeanor.

Natasha Stott-Despoja, Daniel Pocock, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Lad culture: when I found a rat in Australia’s parliament

Visiting Canberra, I would usually carry my SLR. You never know who (or what) you might meet. After hearing about the bravery of the women speaking up this week and the discussions about the culture problems there, I felt now is the right time to share these images from the billiard hall.

There is nothing political about this blog or the photos. It simply leaves me feeling ashamed to be a man.

Australian Parliament House, Canberra, Billiard Room, Dead Rat

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/02/22/master-main-and-abuse/

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. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  2. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  3. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  4. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  6. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now



  7. Virtual Injustice -- Part 10: Vapid and Superficial Coverage in the 'IP' Blogosphere

    The media has come under attack by Benoît Battistelli; during the term of António Campinos most of the media critical of the EPO has mostly vanished already; so one needs to look carefully at comments and social control media



  8. Links 18/6/2021: RasPad 3 and Pushing Rust Into the Linux Kernel

    Links for the day



  9. Heli Pihlajamaa Promoting Software Patents to Patent Maximalists

    "Ms Pyjamas" from the EPO is promoting illegal software patents to a bunch of patent zealots (CIPA)



  10. The Lying by Team UPC, Led Again by Kevin Mooney

    Team UPC, or specifically Mr. Mooney, lies to the public about the prospects of the UPC; similarly, EPO and EU officials keep bringing up false claims about the UPC, so while the UPC itself has likely died for good the lies have not



  11. Links 17/6/2021: Cutelyst 3 and Lenovo Move Towards ThinkPad BIOS Configuration From Within Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Too Much Noise and/or Distraction and General Loss of Focus (on the Real and Urgent Issues, Such as the Ongoing Anti-FSF 'Coup')

    The media is full of Microsoft fluff and technical blog posts still focus on the Freenode fiasco, among other things that don't matter all that much; but we certainly need to talk about steps undertaken to undermine the FSF's power because long-term ramifications may be huge



  13. [Meme] The Enlarged Bored People With Presidential Decrees

    The laughable state of the EPO‘s EBA (or EBoA) is rarely commented on anymore, not even in so-called ‘IP’ blogs; maybe they’re just so eager to see patents on everything, even European software patents, so tyrants who destroy the courts (with UPC lobbying and removal of EBA independence) don’t bother them so much anymore



  14. Response to Misinformation From EPO Officials

    Opponents of European software patents are clearly being mischaracterised by EPO officials, who also use meaningless buzzwords to promote such patents; as an aside or footnote that relates to our ongoing series we’re making this quick video, which is days late



  15. [Meme] Tilting the Scales for Software Patents

    Shovelling up lots of patents, even worthless patents such as software patents, dooms the EPO (EPC violations, lawlessness), dooms European professionals, but the wrong people have been put in charge and courts are being intimidated by them



  16. Virtual Injustice -- Part 9: Heli, the EPO's Nordic Ice-Queen

    Team Campinos is full of people who instead of grasping and working to promote innovation are boosting the agenda of litigation (scientists are not being employed)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 16, 2021



  18. Links 17/6/2021: elementary OS 6 Beta 2 and JingPad Linux Tablet Crowdfunding

    Links for the day



  19. Techrights Statement on IRC

    Freenode needs to explain what the hell happened this week and why communities that make up the network weren't informed or consulted



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 15, 2021



  21. Virtual Injustice -- Part 8: A Well-Connected 'IP' Maximalist

    The EPO‘s lobbying for European software patents goes all the way to the top, including António Campinos and his circle



  22. Links 16/6/2021: Alpine 3.14.0 and DXVK 1.9

    Links for the day



  23. Links 15/6/2021: Debian Installer Bullseye RC 2 and Zink Updates

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 14, 2021



  25. Virtual Injustice -- Part 7: Musical Chairs and Revolving Doors

    Cross pollination in Alicante and Munich serves to show that people aren't picked for their skills and experience; it's like a private club or a clique



  26. Hardly Shocking and Not At All Surprising That Thugs Who Run the EPO Hired External Thugs to Help Them Oppress Aggrieved Staff

    With the EPO's management flooding the bank accounts of aggressive law firms (at our expense) we need to ask serious questions about how such a "Mafia" (what EPO staff calls the management) managed to metastasise inside Europe's second-largest institution and how to remove this "Mafia" as soon as possible (some arrests too are well overdue)



  27. [Meme] There Are No Elections in Mafia-Type Regimes; It's About Family and Friends...

    With no real concept or notion of "elections" (the so-called 'mafia' members choose their successors and colleagues) the EPO's patent examiners clearly need outside intervention, e.g. inquest by the EU authorities (the EPC died and maybe the EPO too; it's unregulated and it grants false patents that harm Europe because the courts don't function, either)



  28. Today's Linux Standing for the Opposite of What Linux Users Stand for

    The so-called 'Linux' Foundation or the "Corporate Linux Foundation" is alienating many of the original users of GNU/Linux and it still insults their intelligence; it's rewriting history, it still distorts the objectives, and before we know Linux will perish and lose momentum because all the excitement associated with the brand will fizzle away



  29. Links 14/6/2021: Kdenlive 21.04.2 and Raspberry Pi 400 Support in Linux

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] EPO 'Lawfulness' as Crude Budget Wars

    A war of attrition against EPO staff won’t ensure justice is done; it’ll only increase the number of casualties and accomplish nothing good


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