Bonum Certa Men Certa

Passive-Aggressive Hypocrisy Defined: CommitChange Seemingly Committed to Corporate Takeover in the Name of Tolerance (Not of Everyone)

Language warning: Some of the views quoted herein contain strong language, albeit partly justified

CommitChange logoSummary: The same people who tried to destabilise the FSF and oust its leader are doing the same thing to the OSI, which is rapidly turning into an advocacy group of proprietary software and monopolies (with openwashing)

THE other day I spoke to someone who challenged the idea ESR (Eric S. Raymond) was targeted for his political views. A reader rejected the idea that OSI "banned him for the views he expressed, and mentioned the CoC only as a phony excuse." (Or something to that effect)

We never said they did that. But some people do think so. They try to justify OSI banning its own co-founder by pointing to ESR's blog, which has strong views on a number of things, including weapons, sex and politics.

"We ought to understand where at least part (not all) of the 'cancel culture' comes from; we see hypocrisy and hostility towards software freedom.""Maybe he [ESR] is the one who seemed to make that complaint," the reader asserted. But I'm not sure of it, either. There's a widespread belief that partisan politics are nowadays being used to gag or marginalise people in spite of (or because of) their technical contributions, sometimes even leading roles. People with clout are being ousted, 'cancelled' (newspeak of sorts), humiliated and shamed.

As readers can probably recall, there was a provocative post entitled "Is LibrePlanet Safe?" (Loaded question, a provocation of sorts)

That's from the same people who led to the banning of ESR. Note of importance: interrupting someone's talk to make a correction isn't violence and is definitely not a matter of "safety". It's more about convenience and perhaps manners.

But either way, we think there are some similarities in the modus operandi sense that we can see across various groups. Trouble is caused, then those who resist or stand in the way (obstructing the troublemakers) have their expulsion engineered over time. All they need is some 'trigger' event to set off a campaign of libel. 1.5 years ago we wrote a number of articles about how LibrePlanet's new and rather controversial rules, drawn up based upon a false sense of supposed need, were likely a pretext for further entrenchment. Months later RMS was in effect ousted, first from MIT, then the FSF (which he had founded). Those same people then tried to remove him from GNU (which he had also founded).

Who are those people? What do they want?

That's the subject of today's article.

"The ESR ban was hasty and likely unnecessary."Some Techrights associates spent a lot time researching this and have sent around many E-mails this past week. We've decided to prepare a very long article about this matter (the perceived source of this provocation). We ought to understand where at least part (not all) of the 'cancel culture' comes from; we see hypocrisy and hostility towards software freedom. It's all about power to these people...

"I've said several times that I think ESR is a scumbag," one associate noted (language warning noted; we said this at the start), "though I've also said many times that I don't think he should have been banned from OSI. It's an absurdity. As to what he did to get banned, I wholeheartedly agree with the things he said (the ones stated in the recent article.) I would have said the same."

We heard this from a number of people. The ESR ban was hasty and likely unnecessary. It could be easily prevented.

"As to the people who said his comments didn't add anything, I don't agree," this associate added. "They added outrage. Outrage was called for. People who believe outrage has no place in society are either doormats, or (just as often) people who treat OTHER people as doormats. Fuck them. (AND, as ESR said, the horse they rode in on.) Because you can be a scumbag and still be right sometimes."

We wrote something related to this 3 days ago when we said and quoted:

But not everybody agreed. “They do not assume bad faith,” said the next comment. “They define ‘liberty and nondiscrimination’ in a particular way that the other person, Eric Schulz, objectively opposes.

"YOU'VE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME," the associate responded.

And also:

The last comment said this: “They don’t assume bad faith, they are accurate depictions of what Schultz wanted to do.

The associate responded: "Eric Schultz? The same guy from the FSF coup? Seriously? Eric Shultz worked/works at CommitChange with Wendy Bolm (COO), who is also on the LibrePlanet petition against rms." The "About Us" section of the CommitChange site is rather revealing. "Their about page lists three executives," the associate said, "two of which are on the LibrePlanet petition (Shultz is the one who hosts the petition)..."

This is how they describe themselves: "CommitChange was founded in Olympia, Washington by Jay Bolton and Roderick Campbell with help from Justin Laing and Ivan Stanojevic, the founders of MerchantOS (acquired by Lightspeed). After being accepted into the prestigious Boost VC startup accelerator program in Silicon Valley, CommitChange went on to raise venture capital from several of the most prominent investors in America. The company now supports hundreds of fundraising teams throughout the United States and Europe."

"MerchantOS had a terrible reputation, as I recall," said one reader of ours. He discussed the matter privately. We won't name him.

The same person noted and quoted: "At our core, CommitChange is a collection of talented people who care about nonprofits, social movements, and open source culture."

"WTF is "open source culture"?" he asked. "Maybe they want to obfuscate the notion of "Free Culture"?"

He continued: "I think CommitChange must be an arm of corporate interests. And the executives are on the payroll. Interesting that they are active in the FSF and promote "open source". (And have this channel to corporate money) I think it [is] more general than "Stallman, Epstein, Gates, etc.". Schlutz is working for "open source" which is working for corporate (primarily Microsoft) interests."

Executive leadership is listed as follows:

Roderick Campbell Chief Executive Officer

Wendy Bolm Chief Operations Officer

Eric Schultz Chief Engineer

They work "throughout the United States and Europe," an associate noted. "Maybe this had something to do with FSF/SFC/FSFE?"

"The three executive employees might actually be the only people," the associate found, citing ("How many employees does CommitChange have? CommitChange has 3 employees").

The CommitChange Web site says "we empower people to achieve their goals."

"Obviously Richard Stallman is not one of their clients," the associate joked, paraphrasing or rephrasing: "we empower people to achieve their goals, AND work to end the careers of lifelong activists."

On the hypocrisy of the whole thing, the associate noted:

Josh Simmons (ClearlyDefined) has a page on GitHub where he complains about GitHub's tie to ICE, despite working for a company himself Salesforce) that has ties to ICE.

Eric Schultz (CommitChange) has his nose in both the Stallman/FSF cancellation and the ESR/OSI cancellation -- and it is also regarding ties to ICE.

So Salesforce people (maybe or not due to company ties) attacked rms, CommitChange people (at least 2 of them) attacked rms, all of these people are working on more than one common theme (Allegedly anti-ICE -- I think ICE is an abomination as well, but that's nothing to attack Stallman/ESR/Free Software for -- Stallman attacked due to Epstein who is tied to Gates, not Stallman, etc. And ICE ties criticised by someone who works for a companies tied to ICE!) When is the story coming on the Salesforce/ClearlyDefined/CommitChange triumvirate? I mean obviously they're working on the same things with no idea what they have in common...

And more on the hypocrisy, taking stock of John Gruber's attacks on RMS:

Joining in the stoning of rms, John Gruber seems to think that he is a terrible person if he doesn't shower enough or if he eats his own skin.

These complaints are related to people who have a problem with the term "crazy" because it's ableist, but they have a problem with both hippies and with people who are autistic -- these are not traits unique to rms but can be found in some people who are autistic and/or have OCD, which is frequently co-morbid. These protests are opportunistic and hypocritical.

What's more, by the same logic Gandhi was a terrible person. He did not always shower and he drank his own urine. It didn't stop him from getting his picture on the money in India, or from getting his face on postage stamps in the United States. Roughly 1 in 7 people (about a billion) worship a guy who spent most of his time hanging around a dozen guys that probably didn't shower often. In fact, this "terrible" habit is common to most human beings for nearly all of history in the entire world, until fairly recently.

I met a girl years ago who did bathe, though she hadn't washed her hair in more than a year. Her hair was fine, it felt fine, it smelled nice -- kind of sweet, but not like she used a lot of perfume. Other people sweat constantly and some smell bad even if they shower thrice a day. It could be a gland problem, though let's say they're terrible people just because it's convenient.

There are actually similar complaints about several A-list actors who don't shower enough (some who don't even believe in it) and one who gets by mostly on baby wipes, though none of them are being called "terrible people" for it, just smelly. And they're sex icons. None of this means that I prefer being around smelly people, most of us don't. But I had a friend who didn't believe in showering, and he was also autistic, and his hormones being out of kilter were probably a factor in how strong his scent was. So if I said he was a terrible person for this, not only would I be discriminating against his autism, it would also be transphobic -- because the HRT was almost certainly a factor.

This is what happens when people are full of shit. They find flimsy excuses to attack good people, and then it doesn't take long before you find just how selective and self-serving their arguments really are. RMS is not transphobic nor is he horrible, though ANYBODY can be if you lack the integrity to care about truth at all.

So we're left with a bunch of people who claim to be all about tolerance but are in practice exercise massive intolerance towards people whom their paymasters deem inconvenient. Oops, can we say "paymasters"? That's a lot more offensive a word than bombing.

To be continued.

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