12.28.19

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What If Richard Stallman Spoke Like Linus Torvalds Does?

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 9:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

🗺 domination. But whose?

I'm Richard. I repudiate corporations for their illegal acts
He founded GNU in the early eighties at MIT

I'm Richard. I repudiate corporations for their illegal acts
He released Linux in the early nineties in Finland, became a US national, and decided to take it commercial with the corporate Linux Foundation

Summary: Double standards can be seen in the way corporate media treats ‘cool’ insults and ‘rude’ criticisms (the former being Torvalds’ and the latter Stallman’s)

THE BIRTHDAY of Linus Torvalds is today. He’s a grown up man. He’s 50 now. Stallman is nearly 70 (or getting there) and he’ll soon be giving talks in the UK. His ‘cancellation’ has apparently not worked (not fully; he’s still in charge of GNU).

For a number of years (nearly a decade) I’ve publicly complained about the way Stallman is treated in/by the media, especially corporate/mainstream media. Stallman is rarely rude (to the extent the average software developer is) and I’ve spoken to him several times this month. As noted here earlier this month, his ‘cancellation’ did not work and arguably ‘backfired’ in the sense that it served to demonstrate the unfair treatment if not mistreatment. As we shall show some time next month, it was Bill Gates who deserved ‘cancellation’. But he has more ‘media muscle’ (bribes to publishers worldwide) than Stallman. It’s just that Stallman neither pays the publishers nor does his message suit the owners of large publishers.

“…no ‘boss’ is perfect and almost nobody likes his/her boss. Stallman is, in relative terms, not bad and we’ve witnessed the FSF suffering somewhat without his presence.”Stallman is still doing reasonably well. His critics in the GNU projects have toned down the letters and now pursue improved transparency instead of removal of Stallman from GNU. No defacement of his Web site, no smears. They just want to better understand the GNU-FSF relationship.

Now, going back to Torvalds, compare the attitudinal concerns expressed about him and about Stallman. Consider what the petitioners from GNU have said about Stallman. Did they complain that he was rude? Intimidating? No.

“We maintain our position that if Stallman cannot retake his old position at the FSF he should at least be invited back to the Board.”As we said months ago, no ‘boss’ is perfect and almost nobody likes his/her boss. Stallman is, in relative terms, not bad and we’ve witnessed the FSF suffering somewhat without his presence. Since he stepped down two members of the Board have left. We heard from people who canceled their membership specifically because Stallman had left.

We maintain our position that if Stallman cannot retake his old position at the FSF he should at least be invited back to the Board. That would certainly address some of the above-mentioned concerns (from the letter signed by Ludovic Courtès, Andy Wingo, Carlos O’Donell, Andreas Enge and Mark Wielaard).

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A Single Comment

  1. Canta said,

    December 28, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Gravatar

    Not exactly this post, but regarding several others (and all of them in sum): yes, they’re treated different by media and people, but yet it feels like you’re throwing punches at Torvalds for the sole reason of not being Stallman.

    IDK if that’s ok. The guy isn’t also any De Icaza, or even a Poettering. He has his history with the FSF, but he always strongly protected legacy compatibility and userspace isolation on Linux: two blessings for us users without which GNU/Linux would have never be what it is today. I mean… most likely, without Torvalds principles (and, as he also said, without the GPL, which he once changed), Linux would have all of its blood sucked by corporations a decade ago. He has his problems, but he doesn’t seem to me either some media clown, nor a sellout, nor some guy in power who doesn’t give a damn about people using the software. He does what he does, and I’m thankful for that: I don’t ask him to do everything right, in the same sense I don’t ask Stallman for that.

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