02.22.20

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Alexandre Oliva’s Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 8:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original blog post by the FSF's interim co-president

Alexandre Oliva

Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.

Occasionally, however, an opportunity to make fun of such a sad and frustrating situation arises, and then trolling the oppressors becomes irresistible.

When my friend got canceled and asked me to take his place in our organization, I and my colleagues there got a copy of Orwell’s 1984 from an anonymous donor (thanks!, mine was falling apart).

The organization has just announced the schedule for a conference it organizes. I submitted a speech proposal, but I didn’t even get a response. I’m told by people in the know that my speech was selected, but that there was concern I might speak in favor of the canceled person instead of the proposed topic, a freedom-compatible revamp of the portable telescreens nearly everyone else carries in their pockets or purses, so I got preemptively canceled as well. So much for an organization that fights for freedoms and human rights.

Anyway, when announcing on social media the schedule in which I was disappeared, the organization published a picture of last year’s conference, at a keynote that took place on 2019-03-25. There was I, very big guy at the front plane, sitting on the second row in a very discrete, barely noticeable (not) chromakey-green T-shirt I got from the Tor Project (thanks!), like a big green canvas in the audience just waiting to be replaced in the picture.

I couldn’t help the thought that this was indeed what’d happened to me in the conference schedule, and so the orders to Winston Smith’s job at Minitrue, in Orwell’s book’s NewSpeak, came to mind.

So I posted a response in NewSpeak:

lptimes 25.3.19 misprint 2nd row tuxfree malchromakey duckspeakful unperson rectify

In the language currently spoken in Oceania and elsewhere, that translates to:

A misprint in the Mar 25, 2019 issue of lptimes shows a canceled person of unorthodox opinions on the second row, not wearing a tux, poorly and incompletely edited into a chromakey background color. Undo the poor attempt to add to the picture a person who could not possibly have been there, since canceled people never existed, reprint the issue with the restored original version of the picture, and throw the remaining copy of the picture into the memory hole.

If you were hopeful that “tuxfree” could mean something else, allow me to remind you that Linux-libre’s “Free as in Freedo” slogan does not make sense in NewSpeak: in the process of eliminating the possibility of subversive thoughts, NewSpeak stripped from the word “Free” the meaning of political freedom, leaving only that of of absence or lack of something. A Freedom-free language for a Freedom-free society.

See you where there is no darkness. Or not. If you get this, you are the brotherhood (or is it the resistance?) (see slides 9
and 10). Otherwise, maybe Big Brother is ”patching” you.

So blong…


Copyright 2007-2020 Alexandre Oliva

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document’s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

The following licensing terms also apply to all documents and postings in this blog that don’t contain a copyright notice of their own, or that contain a notice equivalent to the one above, and whose copyright can be reasonably assumed to be held by Alexandre Oliva.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License BY-SA (Attribution ShareAlike) 3.0 Unported. To see a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

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