Elise Thomas Has a Straw Man Argument (and FUD Against Software Freedom, Conflating It With Violent Extremism)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 007489baa0c80015a7a63400b13f9c66

Summary: Old FUD tactics use fringe groups to demonise the whole (e.g. using about a hundred Web sites to badmouth or generalise to tens of millions of Web sites). That’s like ZDNet looking to blame Go Language (golang) for malware just because few malicious people write their malicious code in it.

THE article discussed above reaffirms our stance that the "ethical" source provocateurs are a threat to Software Freedom. It’s not that they look for a different slant; they just sabotage or vandalise more than free software — to the point of looking to restrict the right to run and distribute copies of programs.

“In fact, what powers the Web — not just server software (transmission etc.) — is predominantly Free software these days.”ESR foresaw this kind of FUD, e.g. Microsoft insinuating that Free software (he says “Open Source”) was some sort of terrorism enabler. OSI banned him from the mailing list a couple of years ago, despite him being the co-founder of OSI. Corporations which now dominate the OSI never cared for free speech anyway; all they want is control and they wish to muzzle critics of theirs (the CoC helps with that) when those critics condemn them for bombing people or for naked racism.

As noted in the video, as well as in our Daily Links from yesterday, Free software is what powers the Web, so singling it out for “extremists” is a pretty extreme viewpoint. As a matter of fact, yesterday’s “Web Server Survey” from Netcraft still chronicles Microsoft’s collapse in the Web servers space (it became irrelevant), noting that in the past month “Microsoft lost both in absolute numbers and market share.” Almost all the rest are Free software. In fact, what powers the Web — not just server software (transmission etc.) — is predominantly Free software these days.

“This seems not so much like concern-trolling but something even worse.”This appalling FUD piece is signed by “Elise Thomas is an OSINT Analyst at ISD. She has previously worked for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and has written for Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Wired and others.”

We don’t comment much on ‘pure’ politics, but those sites are known for their support of US exceptionalism, imperialism, and corporatism. And the logic suggested by the article stands on no feet at all. The concluding part says: “The goal of this analysis is not to prescribe how open source communities ought to respond, but rather shed some light on the issue and spark a conversation [read: TROLL] within open source communities. Ultimately, it rests in the hands of those creators to decide whether the use of their tools to promote extreme and hateful ideologies is a problem they want to tackle – and if it is, what they are prepared to do about it.”

“As for solutions, in the video I’ve noted repeatedly that hosts or “platforms” are the more suitable channel.”This seems not so much like concern-trolling but something even worse. It’s a bit like saying, Nazis go to eat at some restaurants sometimes, so cooks are helping Nazis and we should hold them accountable or call them “Nazi enablers”…

What the nonsensical piece suggests is almost an impossibility unless we modify/misuse the software or add remote controls to the software (in order to subjugate/muzzle the user/s). And if it’s still Free software, then anybody can modify it to remove those antifeatures, then distribute copies of the same.

As for solutions, in the video I’ve noted repeatedly that hosts or “platforms” are the more suitable channel. As one person put it a couple of years ago, it doesn’t take complex mathematics to arrive at the conclusion that the more such pages get served, the more violence will follow.

Let’s hope that ISD holds a fringe viewpoint, just like the Web sites it wants us to think are a significant chunk of the Web (they’re not; they’re a fringe). Radical suggestions that break the Web and destory Free software can be just as “extreme” as the extremism ISD is looking to tackle. Free software and free speech can help expose corruption and prevent violence. ISD ignores that.


The Media Tells Us That ‘Linux’ is the Danger While Many Patients Die From Microsoft Windows

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 062bffc6feba5db9031fc34e87192ab9

Summary: Reading the media so far this week, one might be left with the impression that Linux (which turns 30 as a proprietary kernel) is somehow the least secure thing on the planet; but that seems to mostly distract from the latest epic disaster of Microsoft

Last year we published a very long story or a series of 16 detailed posts about Windows incidents in hospitals, berating the media for participating in cover-up and a misdirection instead of actual investigation, journalism, demand for answers (which can beget accountability for the culprits who put Windows inside hospitals).

Here we are one year later and Microsoft has massive security incidents every couple of months — ones which impact millions of businesses and billions of people, costing them billion if not trillions in damages in the long run. Then we see articles which incredibly enough present Microsoft as some security leader while it lectures GNU/Linux users and claims to be some ransomware expert. They’re mostly back doors experts; they have lots of experience putting back doors in things

In the video above I go through very recent stories about “Linux” being a security issue/risk/threat (by gross misrepresentation of the brand) and today’s links about hospitals becoming disaster zones because of their use of Windows.

As we put it several times last year, how many people need to die before Windows is ripped out of health-related systems and replaced by vastly more reliable and secure Free software? Windows has already killed far more people than COVID-19 and its variants killed. They’re just not being counted as such.

Microsoft’s mediocre and insecure-by-design computing has taken its toll in many other domains, not just health, but rarely does that generate any headlines. We just hear about how “Linux” is going to space. And there’s a reason for that…

If Windows is not good enough for space missions, why should it ever be put on (or near) medical devices? Unmanned space missions put budget — not lives — at risk. About a decade ago IIS dumped Windows and moved to GNU/Linux after the space station got overwhelmingly infected with and overrun by Windows viruses. Out of this world

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive


Microsoft ‘Loves’ Linux So Much That It’s Spreading FUD About It All Over the Media for 3 Days in a Row (So Far)

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Patents, Security at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 9970fa71cb2d3e14bd46feb717c52919

Summary: The stubborn cult at Microsoft likes telling us all — especially officials and decision-makers — a bunch lies like, “we invest [some amount of money] in security” and “security is our goal”, but in reality the money is sunk into hiring (‘buying’) firms with “security” in their name, bribing publishers for mindless PR/platitudes that cast critics of Microsoft insecurity/ies as “fanatics”, “bashers”, “jealous”, “irrational” et cetera; finally, actual money goes into collaborations with the NSA on back doors, i.e. the exact opposite of security. The video above is a follow-up or sequel for something we meme-ified two days ago; we’ve since then included more examples (with editorial comments added to the links) in our News Roundups/Daily Links; Western media follows the same script we saw in Indian Web sites on Sunday and the objective is to paint Linux as “equally insecure” if not less secure than Windows. As already noted on Sunday, in a much longer video, the ‘Linux’ malware (it has nothing to do with Linux itself!) needs user intervention, neglect, or even sabotage to even get on the compromised systems in the first place. One can guess what situation or which incidents Microsoft is ever so eager to distract/deflect from…


Is Microsoft a National Security Threat?

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Security at 5:09 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis

Ransom infection vector

Despite entire industries and trade disciplines existing solely to manage Microsoft architecture and mitigate attacks against it, including a partner network consisting of 17 million+ IT professionals, 99% of all ransomware attacks still occur on Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft architecture, including its cloud services, maintains a monopoly on botnet, brute-force, malware, phishing, virus, and zero-day attacks just the same. From individuals and small businesses to enterprises and government entities with unlimited IT budgets, everyone standardized on seemingly unsecurable Microsoft architecture are being phished, breached, exploited, and ransomed daily with no end to this in sight. Not even Microsoft is safe from this digital blitzkrieg, hence why they tell us to “assume breach”.

This isn’t to say that Linux OSs and macOS don’t see these attacks on their platforms though; they have and will again. Long-term savings and productivity advantages aside, they just don’t garner the same level of attack that Windows does, nor are they as likely to get exploited at the same rate as Windows when they are attacked. Put simply, Mac and Linux have a smaller attack surface and get to treat Windows like an umbrella against attacks due to its prominence in the OS space. Both of which are the two primary reasons why I maintain that the best thing that organizations can do to mitigate these attacks, for now at least, is to migrate away to macOS or a Linux-based operating system such as RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu, etc.

With the above in mind though and when also accepting that there is no aspect of cyber, economic, environmental, homeland, human, and political security along with the security of our infrastructure and natural resources, national security if you will, that isn’t intricately dependent on Microsoft architecture, this reality alone is more than enough to warrant a discussion on whether or not Microsoft architecture is a consequent threat to national security. So, is Microsoft a threat to national security?

In order to answer this question, we first have to address why Windows and other Microsoft services are being breached so often in the first place. We have to see if they can be faulted for this present state, if there is another causal problem that’s beyond their control, or if anyone with their market share is destined to be a victim of their own success and dominance. And to be fair, not everyone will agree with my assessment above or below.


For one and in response to a previous article where I suggested migrating to macOS and Linux to mitigate these aforementioned attacks, Michael Gillespie, and Marcus Hutchins (MalwareTech) seem to think that Microsoft architecture is exploited most frequently simply because it is the most prominent architecture and that migrating wouldn’t render you any less vulnerable. Put simply, they seem to think that differing attack surfaces are irrelevant to rates of exploitation and that macOS would be exploited at the same rate as Windows if the tables were turned with respect to market share.

Meanwhile, I’m not denying that that prominence is a factor, at all, I’m just saying that attack surface is on the same footing as prominence and that other solutions with smaller attack surfaces will be attacked and exploited at a lesser rate with the same market share which they disagreed with. However, it is also my stance that Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices aimed at obtaining and maintaining their dominant market share with low-quality products has further exacerbated this issue into what we have before us today; more on this later.

Why this matters to the question of whether or not Microsoft is a national security threat is simple. By suggesting that Microsoft is merely a victim of its own success and that anyone with their market share would see the same rate of exploitation, they’re also absolving Microsoft of responsibility for the present state of threat. But by suggesting that Microsoft’s galactic attack surface is equally responsible with their dominance for their security woes and that Microsoft wouldn’t be in the position they are in now if they had quality products that didn’t have to rely on anti-competitive practices to maintain market share, I’m naturally shouldering Microsoft with their share of the blame in the threat posed to America’s IT infrastructure at present.

One immediate problem with the prominence argument though is that those relying on it seem to resort to it in response to the suggestion of migrating to macOS or RedHat in an effort to mitigate attacks. If you really think about it though, this is irrational and shouldn’t discourage anyone from making the switch. Based on their own logic, Mac and RedHat users would still be much better off than Windows users so long as Windows remains dominant and continues to take all of the flak and function as an attack umbrella.

That said, I’m failing to see how this argument is relevant to their stance, how it invalidates my suggestion, or how it could discourage anyone from migrating to Mac or Linux so long as Windows maintains a dominant market share. If anything, those leveraging this argument seem to be unwittingly reinforcing my suggestion of treating Windows like an umbrella; all of which I’m totally fine with.

Another odd aspect of the prominence argument is that I have yet to see an actual post-mortem or a root cause analysis faulting the dominant market share of Windows as a causal reason for <insert any breach/exploit/ransomware attack here>. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even take the prominence stance. Instead, their root cause analyses focus on the attack surface, mistakes/oversights, mitigation steps, etc. The anatomy of a breach is never reduced to “They hate us because they ain’t us.” by people who are actually paid to do RCAs for a living as Hutchins and Gillespie suggest; if only it were that simple.

Another major flaw in the prominence fallacy is that those invoking it are unwittingly implying that attack surface has no bearing on rates of exploitation or that the attack surface of each of these platforms is equal; which is bold to say the least. For one and given that attack surface is a function of the overall complexity of their infrastructure, no differently than ownership costs and instability, they might as well be suggesting that all platforms are equally stable with no variance in ownership costs; none of which could be further from the truth.

IBM chart

With Windows generating 3x+ the TCO that MacOS/Linux does, analysts can and do infer this is a reflection of disparity in relative complexity, attack surfaces, and stability because they all come hand in hand. Put simply, if one architecture generates significantly more ownership costs more to maintain over its lifespan than another, it’s rational to assume this is due to it being poorly engineered, consequently overly complex, and unstable; attack surface or otherwise. This is what software engineers refer to as software entropy.

And if they’re going to imply that attack surface doesn’t influence rates of exploitation then the onus is on them to support this stance with data and research. Just as complexity driving cost, instability, and attack surface is fundamental to engineers, so is a ballooning attack surface driving rates of exploitation. This is why engineers treat simplicity like their North Star. That said, great claims that run contrary to fundamentals and conventional wisdom tend to require great amounts of evidence; none of which has been furnished.

On top of lacking a fundamental precedent, yet another oddity of the prominence fallacy is that it lacks historical precedent. It’s important to remember that we’ve only lived in an Information Age with Microsoft at the top. We’ve never lived in a connected world with another OS dominating the market, it’s always been Windows. As such, to say that this would be the case for anyone at the top is a conjecture on its best day.

It’s almost scraping the barrel at this point, but yet another problem with the prominence fallacy is that it ignores how Microsoft obtained its dominant share of the market and why they had to resort to these tactics in the first place. Not only is it Microsoft’s modus operandi to rely on anti-competitive tactics to obtain and maintain a dominant market share, a monopoly if you will, they only have to rely on said tactics because their products couldn’t garner this market share on merit alone.

Natural selection applies to free markets in that the fittest products will naturally dominate a free market. That said, the best architecture would dominate a market naturally and wouldn’t need to resort to anti-competitive practices. And if Microsoft were the best in class, then they wouldn’t need to be optimizing their architecture for lock-in while bullying or buying out their competition at every avenue as they are today. They wouldn’t need to implore their partners to “create stickiness” by entrenching their products to further inflate switching costs.

All said, it’s safe to say that Microsoft is by no means a victim of their own success here so much as they’re a karmatic victim of their own anti-competitive practices and low-rent approach to software engineering; a digital Icarus complex if you will. There is much that Microsoft can do but doesn’t to simplify their products, shrink their attack surface, reduce ownership costs, reduce their rate of infection, and reduce the consequent threat that they present to America and the world. And to say that they aren’t complicit in the security threat that their architecture poses to America borders on the insane. But does the current level of threat that Microsoft poses constitute them as being a national security threat?

Although I’m not an expert in this regard, those that are have a few qualifying questions in order to really answer this question. IE, in order to classify Microsoft as a threat to national security, threat analysts would have to ask if Microsoft’s undue vulnerability and inorganic prominence mentioned above is a critical threat to our cyber, economic, environmental, homeland, human, and political security along with our infrastructure and natural resources.

Even Microsoft would claim that their architecture is detrimental to all of the aforementioned aspects of national security though. And given the extent of Microsoft architecture throughout personal, industrial, and governmental sectors and its rate of exploitation, it’s hard to see how Microsoft doesn’t expose all of these aforementioned categories to undue risk; a threat if you will.

Further, there is nothing to suggest that a platform with a smaller attack surface won’t have a lower rate of exploitation with the same market share while fundamentals and conventional wisdom suggest smaller attack surfaces lead to lower rates of exploitation. And as a consequence of this, it’s probably safe to say that Microsoft and its architecture is indeed a national security threat in comparison to less prominent Linux and Mac alternatives.

And given that ransomware and anti-trust has already been deemed a threat to national security, it’s not much of a stretch, at least in my opinion, to extend this classification to Microsoft when considering their history with anti-trust and monopoly on exploitation. Nor is it a stretch to suggest migrating onto modern platforms rather than crying about it to the competition exploiting weaknesses; no differently than we do with other critical infrastructure. This is why we rely on nuclear subs now instead of wooden ships.

It’s not a coincidence that the same countries exploiting the US as a whole, China and Russia, are the same countries moving to Linux as I’m typing this. It’s not just about cost-savings and productivity for justifying this move though. And mitigating the risk that Microsoft architecture poses to their national security also happens to be a primary motivating force behind their migrations. Maybe they understand something about Microsoft architecture that America is still slow to realize?

I digress, but even if my assessment above is wrong, prominence is all that matters, and Microsoft isn’t a national security threat, individuals and organizations alike are still better off abandoning the Microsoft ecosystem on any scale in favor of more modern alternatives for the foreseeable future. Although Microsoft gets a lot of criticism for the low quality of their products, hence the persistent updates (552 in 2021 thus far) and a revolving door of CVEs, few seem to see the genius behind them. Microsoft doesn’t need to maximize quality or even compete on that field of play when they can render entire organizations dependent on products of less quality.

Because of this, organizations relying on Windows will have a hell of a time migrating away from Windows and the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem which means that they’re naturally going to drag their toes in doing so; the bigger they are, the slower any attempt at a migration will go. In turn, this means that there is plenty of time for those that can easily migrate away from the madness and insecurity of the Microsoft ecosystem as a means of sheltering themselves from a barrage of attacks safely in the shadow of Microsoft for the time being.


[Meme] The FUD Tactics Have Remained the Same

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista will be most secure OS ever... I'm totally not paid to tell you that

Oh, it's 11 now? They didn't mean 11PM

Linux is just hard to use. But i never even tried it...

Summary: In an effort to prevent people exploring other operating systems Microsoft has hijacked media worldwide, in effect flooding it with vapourware


The Media is Trolling Linus Torvalds Again… But Torvalds Responds

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Linux kernel 5.13 is now officially released, but hostile media is trying to brew unnecessary panic or scandals, spicing up with drama an otherwise banal and mundane situation

ALTHOUGH we have been critical of him for a number of years if not decades, Mr. Linus Torvalds is nowhere as problematic as the Linux Foundation, which is abusing his trademark and handing over control to corporations which dislike the GPL, don’t really care about Linux, and basically view that kernel of his as a zero-cost commodity to be exploited.

“Official messages about the release of Linux 5.13 are totally innocuous, technical, and one might say not interesting.”The way the media treats “Linux” remains very frustrating, aside from the lack of attribution to GNU. It seems to be thinking that Microsoft (e.g. GitHub/NPM) sending malware to GNU/Linux servers is in fault of “Linux”, it pretends that Microsoft loves Linux, and it misuses the term “Linux” to promote Vista 10, WSL, and Vista 11. It’s grotesque. But the video above deals with another kind of negative slant.

Last night, just before midnight, Torvalds released Linux 5.13, as expected. We kept track of media coverage in [1, 2] — pages we’ll keep updated as more media coverage arrives.

The release of Linux 5.13 was very calm and normal, but once again, just like years ago, a certain writer from 'El Reg' (whom I confronted over his sensationalist coverage of kernel releases just a few years ago), decided to publish a provocative headline. It’s also worth noting that around the time of the release, maybe just minutes apart, an anti-Torvalds article was republished (yes, just minutes apart, yet again). It’s obviously timed to cause damage to Torvalds, who was likely ‘entrapped’ by a hostile interviewer, a journalist who slants a technical project as some sort of political endeavour where gender diversity is more important than technical excellence (gender diversity in Linux kernel development is actually a lot better already… compared to the average Free software project).

All those straw man arguments and personal attacks need to be pointed out if they’re ever to stop. In my personal take, the video focuses on the ITwire article. Sam doesn’t write there so much anymore (not this month anyway), but this article is appreciated. It’s very much needed. Last night’s 81-minute video response to the a new article about Mr. Torvalds and about Linux isn’t related to the latest from a British tech ‘tabloid’, but in days to come we might see loose connections. These people have long been trying to cause instability and maybe weaken the leadership of Linux (making ways for corporations to fill up a vacuum of ‘cancel culture’ and/or fatigue).

Official messages about the release of Linux 5.13 are totally innocuous, technical, and one might say not interesting. What’s a lot more interesting is how a certain large publisher has published with the headline “Profile of Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux Operating System” an actual ATTACK on Linus Torvalds. Then they REPUBLISHED it, only minutes apart from the Linux release (to coincide with the Linux 5.13 release! No way the timing was a coincidence; it’s a Sunday and a holiday!). As noted or alluded to in the video, the same person who is attacking Torvalds right about now (behind paywall; maybe the intention is to sell subscriptions) also boosts the illusion of Microsoft Azure ‘success’ (even amid Azure layoffs that Microsoft is trying hard to hide). With promotional Microsoft tweets and headlines such as “Microsoft is closing the gap with Amazon’s cloud” (basing it on “a survey of 750 professionals,” which isn’t scientific at all!) one might as well assume that Rosalie Chan’s objective is sinister. She waited until the day of the Linux release (this happens only once in 2-3 months), and then hours beforehand she published the ‘hit piece’ (and again minutes after the actual release!). They pushed out a misleading headline, “Profile of Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux Operating System” though it is not a profile at all but an ATTACK on the guy, starting with a list of vulgarities from Torvalds (to cast him in a negative light on a Sunday and a holiday).

The corporate media (whose real owners are known; it’s in the public record) won’t be happy until Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman (RMS) are dead or at least retired, leaving their projects at the hands of corporations like Microsoft and Google (that's what happened to Python). Torvalds is only 51. By the time he’s flirting with retirement (a decade and a half from now) the age threshold for pensions might be 70. RMS is already in his retirement age and he still works tirelessly. But Chan has decided to write Torvalds off as a dead or dying horse! At 51. How very nice and polite…

Young Linus Torvalds


Testimonies, Letters, Writings, and More About Richard Stallman

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD at 11:02 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Published on April 27, 2021. Reproduced with permission.

As we keep working on this website, we are getting feedback from readers who send us their own writings and testimonies, or point us to writings by other people. We are grateful to all of them for their contributions. We can’t publish all of the materials, but here are some.

Professional Interaction with Richard Stallman #professional

by Andy Farnell – March 2021

Attackers of Prof. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and GNU project, accuse him of “unprofessionalism.” My experience has been different. I recently had reason to speak with Richard Stallman while researching a new book, as I needed to interview an authority on the subject of “Software Freedom.” Of course, this is my personal experience over a short time. Some people say that he is difficult to get along with, but here’s why I feel any labelling of Stallman as “unprofessional” is undeserved.

As I hit send on an email to Richard Stallman, a person famed for “being weird,” I sighed with resignation at the fact it would likely go unanswered. Five seconds later a reply appeared. Obviously it was an automated response, including some boilerplate addressed to any NSA agents enjoying our conversation. Weird, yes! Check one! But in good humour. Were I an NSA worker it would cause no offence and make me smile. His email was polite, concise, informative and sensible. It explained Richard’s workflow for processing mail and when I might expect a reply.

Now, some might say that a “professional” would delegate their public interface. Having dealt with many prominent people I know it sometimes takes weeks and many attempts just to get through to an agent or handler, let alone win a personal audience. Often when trying to interview other writers or public figures one encounters a fortress of aloof discouragement—just go away, I am way too busy for you. Those who have a great deal to say, often take such pains to hide themselves and make sure nobody gets to speak back. As I see it, Stallman shares with the legendary Noam Chomsky, in being approachable by anyone, whether a professional reporter, student, blogger, or critic.

So, within a few days I received a thoughtful and detailed reply from Richard himself, who suggested we talk, and some choices of technology for a meeting. We found a mutually agreeable solution, being Jit.si, over which Richard devoted hours to helping me with my questions. I had expected a great fuss about encryption, and to find myself awake past midnight recompiling a kernel or fighting with encryption keys in order to talk to Stallman who would be nit-picky, weird and patronising about my weak security practices. That didn’t happen. It’s a character strength of Stallman I have heard others praise, that while ideologically rigid, he is absolutely pragmatic.

Before we were scheduled to talk, Stallman took the initiative to reach out and remind me we had a meeting, pre-emptively suggesting we test the link, and that I should record the meeting on my side as a reference, thus saving me the awkwardness of asking permission. Professional? Certainly well organised and mindful of the needs of others.

Then came the actual meeting. I get to talk to a lot of smart people, but rarely do they engage like Richard Stallman. He listens. Being into communication theory I pay attention to styles of interaction. In several hours of online connection Richard Stallman never once spoke over me, showing extraordinarily adept use of timing and tone for voice communication with latency while clearly thinking about each question. He ended each session by asking if I needed a follow up session and whether the recording had been successful.

At this point, Richard had no idea who I “really was.” He remarked that he was helping a student publish an article on software freedom in higher education—but he had no time to devote to editing the students prose. I took this as a subtle invitation to quid pro quo, and so I offered to edit the article. That lead to a long, productive and very interesting interaction that inspired an article for the Times Higher Education.

My experience of Stallman seemed the very model of consummate professionalism—exemplary use of technology and language, far, far better manners than I expect from many corporate encounters. Contrary to commentators who paint him as socially clumsy, I found his rather charming way of advancing agendas and connecting people for mutual benefit quite skilful.

The word “unprofessional” has been co-opted as an accusation in modern witch-hunts. It is very hurtful to call another person unprofessional, partly because the concept is so poorly defined, and gets conflated with “bad character.” Often the accusation is levelled at someone who is indeed acting at the absolute height of professionalism, following
the true spirit of their profession, but standing against the status quo. Whistle-blowers or those advocating for organisational change toward better ethics come to mind as obvious victims. We must stop abusing the word “unprofessional” as a vague smear against anyone whose opinions we dislike.

A Letter to the FSF #letter1-fsf

Date: Apr 6, 2021, 14:12
From: [Email address redacted]
To: info@fsf.org
Subject: In support of RMS

Dear FSF,

I support Richard’s return to the FSF, and hope that he will continue providing momentum to the Free Software Movement in all ways possible, especially through the FSF and GNU.

I am a doctoral student of condensed matter physics at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India, and a regular user of free software for almost a decade now. I would like to express my gratitude to Richard’s initiative for software freedom, which has directly and indirectly enabled my research in more ways than one.

Pradeep Thakur
Pune, India.


Misnaming the GNU Operating System

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux at 10:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FUD is not uniform (so-called ‘GNU Assembly’)

Summary: Hijacking the name “GNU” and calling it “Linux” (or pretending it soon turns 30, not 38) is a problem; this is what Richard Stallman told me 7 years ago

Direct download as Ogg

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