Bonum Certa Men Certa

There Cannot be Software Freedom Without Free Speech (Which is Nowadays Being Wrongly and Creatively Conflated With Racism)

Thin-skinned or patently dishonest corporations and people (unable to endure the slightest of criticism) will doom a fundamental cornerstone in order to muzzle dissenting voices that are both honest and sincere

Star Trek City Edith Keeler: Poor boy, his feelings are hurt. He's not a boy, he's a grown-up.



Summary: The time to speak out in favour of free speech is now; because the next phase typically involves removal (to be sold as "voluntary") of people whose political views are seen as professionally inadequate (recall what they did to Richard Stallman last September)

THE Free Software Movement (FSM) is inherently political. How is that so?



OK, let's start with the simple observation that its core values conflict with or contradict pretty much all the largest companies, which also control the political system (by means of bribery, euphemised as "campaign contributions" and other non-starters).

"Recently we've heard a lot discussions about how Free software is racist, sexist and all sorts of other irrational bigotries."As a longtime reader of ours from Argentina puts it, the moment you speak of software freedom the discussion becomes political, not just technical. It's almost inevitable.

Recently we've heard a lot discussions about how Free software is racist, sexist and all sorts of other irrational bigotries. Of course the code of proprietary software is equally 'rude', but it's being hidden away from us. Microsoft even put the string "BIG BOOBS" inside the Linux kernel (in a driver for its proprietary software, which contains who-the-hell-knows-what inside its secret code...)

"As for FUD, watch how IBM and Red Hat try to present themselves as a "professional" and "tolerant" GNU/Linux vendor; as if to choose Debian instead of RHEL is to rely on a bunch of reckless misogynists who eat babies... that's just classic IBM FUD."There's a coordinated and profound attack on the image of Free software. It's not a new attack. It goes a very long way back. As for FUD, watch how IBM and Red Hat try to present themselves as a "professional" and "tolerant" GNU/Linux vendor; as if to choose Debian instead of RHEL is to rely on a bunch of reckless misogynists who eat babies... that's just classic IBM FUD. It's IBM that led to the invention of FUD as a concept (a former IBM employee was its victim).

At the moment we're getting close to the point where particular words aren't just banned from kernel code; they'll soon be banned from mailing lists too (depending on context). Code, comments, and documentation watered down first because "slave" is a bad word; then they add all sorts of other seemingly innocuous words (mission creep). The same people who push this into the kernel itself also control the Linux Foundation's Linux Kernel Code of Conduct (CoC). Yes, Intel (same employer, which has just been blasted by Torvalds on purely technical grounds).

Moments ago in IRC Ryan told us, "I called Nvidia a bunch of jerks and got CoC blocked." He was referring to the Fedora (i.e. Red Hat) discussions. He's a Fedora user and longtime GNU/Linux proponent, not a troll. Maybe 'doing a Torvalds' isn't OK for everybody, even with omission of the "F word" (the word "jerk" isn't forbidden too, is it?).

We've occasionally written here in Techrights about Intel's serious crimes (including an attack on African children's education). Can one bring those up in mailing lists without risk of being reprimanded? Nobody wants to receive bollocking for merely stating a fact. It's unfair. Months ago at work I used the slang "bollocking" and was told off for it at my job; is the world moving into some sort of post-English era?

"At the moment we're getting close to the point where particular words aren't just banned from kernel code; they'll soon be banned from mailing lists too (depending on context)."Cowardice isn't our ally here; if people lack the courage to speak out about free speech (and no, bringing up the subject does not make one a racist), then little by little we'll lose 'permissible' words and the ability to express ourselves, even if we merely speak about ethical considerations, factually. If you're a Linux kernel developer and you cannot safely and openly speak about Microsoft's crimes and Microsoft's attacks against Linux (still an ongoing problem), then there's something very wrong. Remember that Linus Torvalds is already bossed by several high-level Microsoft employees; can he too (in spite of his high profile in the project, being its founder) get a sense of fear, self-censorship or subconscious restraint? Hey, it's not like he was temporarily 'ousted' (seemingly 'voluntarily') before, right? Oh wait, he was.

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