03.30.21

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Why the Fate of an RMS-Led Free Software Foundation Matters to You Even If You’re Not So Technical

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freedom Software = Freedom in Society

Stallman and Assange in focus

Summary: Richard Stallman (RMS) is under malicious attacks which intentionally misrepresent his views; these attacks are collective attacks on society and its ability to control computing (rather than be controlled by computing behemoths)

AT this moment the corporate media (IBM- and Microsoft-funded) is trying to tell you that RMS eats babies or something… a lot of the accusations are phony, outright false. Be sure to check if you’re being misled into thinking that RMS said or believed something. Critical skills (scepticism) help here; track down the source, e.g. supposed 'support' of Epstein or some sign on his door.

“This means better alignment with its original mission and goals. Earlier this week RMS told me that the FSF does not rely heavily on corporate patrons and many people online have expressed support for the FSF; some donated to it especially because RMS is back.”Truly sincere Free software supporters (not concern-trolling experts looking to bury the FSF) have reasonably mature or well-developed critical skills; this is why so many people have signed a letter in support of an RMS-led FSF (we expect him to become President soon; this was the plan all along, even before the vote). Almost 4,500 people (not proprietary software companies) have signed this petition of support and people who opposed RMS leave the FSF (some knives have come out). This means better alignment with its original mission and goals. Earlier this week RMS told me that the FSF does not rely heavily on corporate patrons and many people online have expressed support for the FSF; some donated to it especially because RMS is back. My wife and I are among them.

Assange on privacyI’ve decided to write a concise (one-paragraph) and un-technical explanation of why this matters to every person, even the ordinary person who is not a programmer. With nontechnical language as priority:

Free software liberates society, collectively, from shackles of companies that dominate software and exercise unjust control over the population using that software. Abuses of power range from censorship to surveillance. Nations’ sovereignty depends on these nations’ ability to control their destiny; it is sometimes referred to as self-determination. Attacks on the software’s “freedom” aren’t new; in the 1980s there was ridicule (infeasibility), later there were infiltration (or brain-drain) attempts, then patent aggression and even acquisition of projects through platforms (e.g. GitHub). The thirst for corporate power, backed financially by the world’s biggest armies, isn’t about emancipating or servicing computer users. It’s about controlling them — by means of unparalleled coercion that only increases over time. RMS represents concepts and messages that cause great discomfort (moral and financial) to those who have long enjoyed power over billions of people all around the world. They hope that by eliminating the person they can someone discredit his belief and in turn intimidate anybody else who thinks alike on technical issues.

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