04.29.21

Defending Concepts, Defending Free Speech, Defending Society From Oppression

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even when they tell us that they protect us from predators and terrorists (usually whenever they pass new laws for the super-rich, notably advanced means of social control and suppression of dissent)

Oust your founder and nobody will be shot

Summary: The war on expression of perfectly lawful opinions is assured to lead to a regretful endgame; cui bono?

I WAS BORN 39 years ago to a family not wealthy. My parents were not so highly educated. My mother managed to graduate in the area of history — a career she never fulfilled (or even pursued) as a hard-working young mother. When I was very young my gym teacher told her I was “non-conformist” (his words) and she told me that as a toddler I was inquisitive and kept asking questions she could not quite answer. She found that baffling as she was — and still is — very conformist and wasn’t accustomed to even friends of hers asking such questions. She said it was a bunch of questions about how things worked and why they worked that way. I had no mental disability or challenges, I was just curious by nature. This isn’t exactly a skill that came in handy at schools, where pupils were graded mostly based on their ability to memorise and parrot what they had been told (or read). The same was true when I studied Computer Science (specialising in Software Engineering) at University. Mostly garbage in (or Babbage in), garbage out. When I started my Ph.D. at the age of 21 I was finally able to investigate things on my own and 18 years later I still do the same. I don’t always expect people to condone or accept my thoughts and I’m fine with it. Techrights turns 15 later this year, it’s being read more than ever before (in spite of the collapse of journalism, partly due to social control media consolidation), so I assume many people do agree with me on at least some of the things published here. I republish what I don’t agree with sometimes, though we tend to republish things we do agree with (and can verify for accuracy, or in other words fact-check).

“What happened to Richard Stallman just over a month ago was also exemplary and part of a trend…”I regret to say that earlier this year Twitter suspended me for expressing a view on factual information (regarding patents). Two weeks later it completely banned my account without even an explanation. At the moment a prominent lecturer who specialises in patents is looking into appealing or raising the issue at a governmental level; he deems it utterly wrong and disturbing that Twitter would spurn users for ‘wrongthink’ about patents (nothing to do with racism, sexism or some other form of intolerance). This is work in progress… and a matter of principle.

#Cancel Stallman  #Love MoneyWhat happened to Richard Stallman just over a month ago was also exemplary and part of a trend; corporate-led or corporations-funded online mob (led by their front groups, which coordinate the mobbing) seek to eradicate the ‘epidemic’ of free thought. We’re supposed to only repeat falsehoods and euphemisms like “intellectual property”, apparently…

Over the past month we’ve republished a bunch of old interviews I conducted with Dr. Stallman. We’ve also reproduced many articles. Now it’s my turn to express my personal views, moreover in a form that’s a tad longer than usual (and takes more time to write). Let’s roll back a little and consider how we got here.

I became involved in Free software more than 20 years ago. At the time, despite me not knowing, Dr. Stallman had already been canceled. Several times in fact. I’d say, based on my readings (about the time I was still a young child), “Linux” was the first notable ‘go at it’ — still ongoing I might add because they pretend the operating system turns 30 this year (actually it turns 38). The media started calling everything “Linux” back in the 90s and in 1998 it was rebranding everything as “Open Source” (even in reference to Free software like the GNU Project). All these attempts to marginalise the GNU Project, the FSF, and the founder of both became known to me much later. It takes some research to properly understand that because the corporate (or “tech”) media isn’t helping. It’s actually engaging in revisionism, inducing confusion by misinformation or deliberate omissions.

He said 'assault' means physical. That's also what the dictionary says.About a decade later, in 2009, Richard Stallman said “emacs virgins” and the ritual/cancel mob went berserk. We wrote about a dozen articles about it back then. Basically, virgin can be either a guy or a girl (although only the latter has a hymen) but the word itself does not even refer to anything sexual. Stallman was referring to people who just never used GNU emacs before (or any other kind of emacs), possibly because they’re accustomed to other editors and may be using ‘rich-text’ word processors instead. In any event, it was all along a phony scandal and back then the mob was rallied mostly by the GNOME Foundation. Here in the UK the term “virgin” is used a lot in relation to business (we have Virgin Mobile, Virgin Trains etc.), so the term isn’t even remotely offensive.

Fast-forward another decade and find some ‘leaked’ (not really) E-mails from Dr. Stallman at MIT — E-mails that he disseminated to many colleagues and alumni regardless. He was defending a dead friend of his by arguing over semantics.

Did Dr. Stallman commit a crime? No. Many would argue that he said nothing wrong either (as in factually wrong), albeit he made a wrong decision to interject as it would offend many victims, who would rightly or wrongly misinterpret his words, perceiving them as a form of blame-shifting.

My initial reaction was that I don’t want to be seen as endorsing his messages/views on this, but nevertheless it wasn’t the big scandal MIT sought to make of it, partly because of unfavourable press coverage that was also dishonest (distorting what Dr. Stallman had actually said). Before the whole cancel mob went ballistic I told Dr. Stallman in confidence that the timing was interesting, as well as the publication that chose to distort his words. Many people no longer remember this, but Bill Gates was embroiled in a very major MIT scandal because he was directly connected to Epstein’s payments to MIT (the administrators at MIT unequivocally admitted this but wanted to hide that fact).

Is Minsky a pervert?In any event, a scapegoat was found at MIT and they decided to cancel everybody except Gates and his facilitators at MIT. It would not surprise us if MIT continued taking bribes from Gates after 2019. MIT still covers up for Gates (last year).

But this post isn’t about Gates, who pays the media to create a ritualistic cult that worships him based on deliberate falsehoods and straw men arguments.

The unfortunate thing is, from now on people would be reluctant to defend old or dead (posthumously) friends who cannot defend themselves, even when they’re innocent. Can demented people be assumed guilty? How about dead people? Are we so immature as a society that we cannot handle public discourse anymore? Or a society that stones people (or lynches them online) for not going along with the masses or a perceive consensus, sometimes reinforced only by corporations and their front groups/think tanks/media?

I think, therefore I'm guiltyIt would be nice to think that people are mature enough to be able to discuss or debate things, rather than resort to infantile name-calling, exaggerations, and maliciously fabricated false accusations.

In the case of the EPO, which I’ve covered very closely since 2014, both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos ‘canceled’ Techrights by preventing employees from even accessing the site. And for what? For objectively exposing corruption, oftentimes by presenting leaked evidence? Or for opposing European software patents, which are objectively illegal?

We’re currently at risk of muzzling the very same people who expose the oppressors instead of removing the oppressors.

Cancel RMS

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/04/29/controversial-views-not-a-crime/

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