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Yet another case of mass madness:

Basically, people want Richard Stallman to be removed from FSF because of ... some buzz?
I tried to find why exactly people went against him, but I could only find a bit of careless words about sexual abuse.

In fact, the letter which suggests removing Stallman does not even describe why.
It just says "He has shown himself to be misogynist, ableist, and transphobic, among other serious accusations of impropriety. These sorts of beliefs have no place in the free software, digital rights, and tech communities." without any proof.

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Sadly many open source projects and organisations, just like the Silicon Valley corporations, have been captured by the religion of woke and are busy purging anyone who expresses Wrongthink or questions the favoured ideology. They don't need proof or evidence, because it's all about their own feelings and "lived experience", which (just like medieval accusations of witchcraft based on the contents of dreams) is required to be automatically believed.

20 hours ago, chakkman said:

There are more important things in the world. ;)

There are more important things than Richard Stallman and the FSF, yes.

But outrage mobs using language that could be copied and pasted from Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution ("RMS ... has been a dangerous force in the free software community for a long time." ... "There has been enough tolerance of RMS’s repugnant ideas and behavior. Our communities have no space for people like Richard M. Stallman ... his hurtful and dangerous ideology.") to try to get people fired or cast out of society simply for blaspheming against what is effectively a new religion — this is a very important issue in my opinion.

One day that mob will come for you, or me. And there won't be anyone to speak up for us, because everybody has either cheered it on or just looked awkwardly at their feet while it happens all around them.

20 hours ago, datiswous said:

It thought he stepped down under such pressure years ago. I guess I was wrong.

According to the letter, it looks like he was reinstated:

Quote

With his recent reinstatement to the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation, we call for the entire Board of the FSF to step down and for RMS to be removed from all leadership positions.

 

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Just in case anyone is unsure that these people are batshit crazy, this is the text written by RMS that they themselves are claiming is "still transphobic":

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Honoring people's preferences about gender identity includes not referring to them in ways that conflict with that identity. For instance, not to use pronouns for them that conflict with it. There are several ways to avoid that; one way is to use gender-neutral pronouns, since they don't conflict with any possible gender identity. One choice is singular use of “they,” “them” and “their.” Another choice uses the gender-neutral singular pronouns, “person,” “per” and “pers,” which are used in Information for Maintainers of GNU Software. Other gender-neutral pronouns have also been used in English.

He's literally telling people not to misgender someone and to use gender-neutral pronouns to avoid inadvertently offending them. But presumably this isn't precise or enthusiastic enough for the True Believer. That's the thing about religious extremists — even if you agree with then 98%, you are still a dangerous heretic who needs to be punished.

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It's especially dangerous when "repugnant ideas" and "hurtful and dangerous ideology" can mean almost anything, like making an off-colour joke, referring to a virus by its country of origin, or advocating for female-only spaces.   Or even just sharing a tweet from someone who did one of those things.

 

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2 hours ago, Springheel said:

It's especially dangerous when "repugnant ideas" and "hurtful and dangerous ideology" can mean almost anything, like making an off-colour joke, referring to a virus by its country of origin, or advocating for female-only spaces.   Or even just sharing a tweet from someone who did one of those things.

 

Or just questioning whether people should be punished for doing any of those things (while not advocating or doing them yourself). It's a full-on "six degrees of separation" thing: not only must you be innocent of wrongthink yourself, but you must also not defend people who are guilty of wrongthink, or defend people who defend people who are guilty of wrongthink, or question whether you should be allowed to defend people who defend people who are guilty of wrongthink, ad infinitum.

56 minutes ago, stgatilov said:

Basically, he wrote that it is wrong to call something "sexual assault" if there was no physical force or violence applied to the victim.

It seems he also suggested that women should abort pregnancies if the fetus is discovered to have Down's Syndrome (presumably the origin of the "ableism" accusation), and expressed the view that possession of child pornography should not be a crime (but production of it should be). Views that many people would profoundly disagree with, of course, but in a free and democratic society it should be possible to discuss complex and controversial topics without being punished or silenced for doing so.

There are already many differences between legal jurisdictions in how they define rape or sexual assault, how they treat possession vs production of illegal images, and under what circumstances abortion is allowed or recommended. It is ludicrous to claim that there is some Obvious Right Answer which nobody must ever be allowed to question under penalty of losing their job or being kicked out of their own foundation, but this seems to be the world these campaigners want to live in.

It's actually interesting to note how histrionic the complaint is from that Medium article:

Quote

I was shocked. I continued talking to my friend, a female graduate student in CSAIL, about everything, trying to get the full email thread (I wasn’t on the mailing list). I even started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. During my 45-minute drive home, when I normally listen to podcasts or music, I just sat in complete silence.

It's not "this guy is ignorant and wrong for the following well-argued reasons which I will present." It's "ZOMG THIS PERSON SAID SOME STUFF I DON'T LIKE HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY HAPPEN MY LIFE IS RUINED I NEED TO BE ON CNN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE MY FEELINGS!!!!!!1111111!!!".

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5 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

There are more important things than Richard Stallman and the FSF, yes.

But outrage mobs using language that could be copied and pasted from Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution ("RMS ... has been a dangerous force in the free software community for a long time." ... "There has been enough tolerance of RMS’s repugnant ideas and behavior. Our communities have no space for people like Richard M. Stallman ... his hurtful and dangerous ideology.") to try to get people fired or cast out of society simply for blaspheming against what is effectively a new religion — this is a very important issue in my opinion.

One day that mob will come for you, or me. And there won't be anyone to speak up for us, because everybody has either cheered it on or just looked awkwardly at their feet while it happens all around them.

It's already happening, everywhere. Not much you can do about it. Obviously, it's what some extremists wants, and the center doesn't really want to do anything about it.

TBH, I still don't quite see the importance in this case though. FOSS is niche, the guys so religiously involved in it are the niche of the niche.

In Germany we say that a sack of rice just fell over in China. *shrugs* Who cares about some far-left people without much influence or say in anything. All I hope for is that people will see what a big part of the Linux and Open Source scene is like. I know some won't be happy to hear that. But, there's a lot of the spirit you described going on there.

Edited by chakkman
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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

some far-left people

I rather have it that people don't constantly push people in leftwing or rightwing groups instead of people with this or that opinion.

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Most of them are far left though. I wouldn't know how to put it any other way.

I wouldn't know why we wouldn't be allowed to say that either. Or is it already offensive to call far left people far left?

Edited by chakkman
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The intelligence agencies have been trying to take Stallman down for years.

 

They finally sorta entrapped Stallman via his tendency to fiddle with "uncomfortable devil's advocate arguments"

to smoke out potential dangers to civil liberties.

 

Still, he got off easy.

Assange, Snowden, McAfee, etc all got it worse.

They killed Aaron Schwartz.

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15 hours ago, chakkman said:

TBH, I still don't quite see the importance in this case though. FOSS is niche, the guys so religiously involved in it are the niche of the niche.

Isn't that the point, though? FOSS is indeed a niche, typically caricatured as a bunch of basement-dwelling male autists with limited social skills, and even they are not safe from the relentless march of self-serving diversity hustlers, cultural revolution cancel-mobs and the fake female victimhood agenda. Apparently having almost total control over the media, the education system and even the criminal justice system isn't enough for these people. They've already taken over Stack Overflow, infested the Linux kernel community and forced Linus Torvalds to apologise for hurting people's feelings on the mailing list, and are now trying to get their claws into the FSF.

And let's be clear: very few of these campaigners actually give a damn about software development. Most of them have probably never written a line of code in their life, or even used a single GNU program. The organisations they take over are just convenient platforms to allow them to promote themselves and their ideology. Like coronavirus, they don't care if the host dies as long as it allows them to reproduce first.

15 hours ago, chakkman said:

Who cares about some far-left people without much influence or say in anything.

I'm afraid you have a much more optimistic view of the situation than I do. In Canada they just sent a man to jail for refusing to use his teenage daughter's chosen gender pronouns and trying to prevent her from having life-destroying hormone treatment. It seems to be that these people have a hell of a lot of influence, up to and including the ability to use the power of the state to compel us to regurgitate their lies and ideological platitudes.

15 hours ago, chakkman said:

All I hope for is that people will see what a big part of the Linux and Open Source scene is like. I know some won't be happy to hear that. But, there's a lot of the spirit you described going on there.

I agree, there is a lot of autism and crankery in FOSS. In fact I would say RMS is arguably a crank himself — he seems to think it is immoral and should possibly be illegal for anyone, anywhere to write proprietary software. At one point he even refused to use a web browser (and maybe still does) because he thinks secret organisations are spying on him, and prefers to read web pages by having them downloaded and emailed to him via a dedicated machine. But until now, the pissing contests and holy wars in the FOSS community have at least been relevant to the subject matter, rather than attacks from outside by mainstream political ideologies with the full power of the captured establishment behind them.

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50 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

I'm afraid you have a much more optimistic view of the situation than I do. In Canada they just sent a man to jail for refusing to use his teenage daughter's chosen gender pronouns and trying to prevent her from having life-destroying hormone treatment. It seems to be that these people have a hell of a lot of influence, up to and including the ability to use the power of the state to compel us to regurgitate their lies and ideological platitudes.

I think it must be said though that the mother does agree to the medical procedures. This whole article you link to is very much centered around one thought.

12 hours ago, chakkman said:

Most of them are far left though. I wouldn't know how to put it any other way.

Define far-left. It's also entirelly unnecessary to call people that. Better to describe people's specific opinions than put everyone under 2 umbrella's.

I like to see people as indifiduals instead of groups. Sure there are groups of people with different opinions, but the grouping should be somewhat more specific than just right and left.

12 hours ago, chakkman said:

I wouldn't know why we wouldn't be allowed to say that either. Or is it already offensive to call far left people far left?

I never said it's offensive. I just stated my opinion.

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6 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

I'm afraid you have a much more optimistic view of the situation than I do. In Canada they just sent a man to jail for refusing to use his teenage daughter's chosen gender pronouns and trying to prevent her from having life-destroying hormone treatment. It seems to be that these people have a hell of a lot of influence, up to and including the ability to use the power of the state to compel us to regurgitate their lies and ideological platitudes.

It's not quite like that yet in Germany (fortunately...), but, we're on a good way.

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Ah yes, "they", "these people", "the far left", "the far right", ... Such a great way to do political discourse, when you can always blame all your misgivings on some completely unspecified mysterious entity or group of people. Possibly working in the background to bring humanity down. And who are "they" exactly? Who gave "them" "power"?

Honestly, this entire thread is as vague and empty as you claim the original topic to be.

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I don't care about "the left" or "the right".

 

Obama voted to renew the Patriot Act and the Democrats became neo-liberal kleptocrats after the 2008 stock market crash.

Both parties are corporate owned. The Democrats pretend to care about progressive ideals and the Republicans try to sell

the idea that "progressive ideals are bad". At least the latter has the veneer of truth (some of them actually believe their own propaganda).

 

Both parties are conspiring to keep Assange in a torture chamber and find a way to extradite and arrest Snowden.
McAfee was one of the people had proof that the US developed the Stuxnet worm, now he is locked up in Spain.

 

( Guess which tech company is the darling of the politically correct?

"Crowdstrike", who badly fabricated "proof" that the US did not create Stuxnet. )

 

Stallman is dangerous because his work enables all this subversion.

 

Until both parties admit that the NSA has all the information and that the stupid "lost" Hillary emails or mysterious "missing" Trump taxes etc are all easily

revealed by a simple NSA data dump, our political landscape will remain a rancorous partisan mess.

 

We are all being snowed by a gang of liars who are playing a game of "blackmail chicken" with each other.

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1 hour ago, cabalistic said:

Ah yes, "they", "these people", "the far left", "the far right", ... Such a great way to do political discourse, when you can always blame all your misgivings on some completely unspecified mysterious entity or group of people. Possibly working in the background to bring humanity down. And who are "they" exactly? Who gave "them" "power"?

Honestly, this entire thread is as vague and empty as you claim the original topic to be.

Maybe some words from you would give it more focus. So far, it only seems to me that you want to criticize others for what they say, instead of making your own point. Which says a lot too.

Do we really have to argue that the FOSS thing to large degree is a political, and a Leftie thing? No, seriously, do we have to? Really?

Ok, I might have forgotten that the Lefties don't refert to themselves as Lefties anymore. They're "progressive" now. Because everyone else isn't as progressed. I get it.

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1 hour ago, chakkman said:

Maybe some words from you would give it more focus. So far, it only seems to me that you want to criticize others for what they say, instead of making your own point. Which says a lot too.

My point was specifically that you did not make a point. But sure.

1 hour ago, chakkman said:

Do we really have to argue that the FOSS thing to large degree is a political, and a Leftie thing? No, seriously, do we have to? Really?

Let me ask you a hypothetical (and yes, it's a loaded question, obviously): if an elementary school teacher were to publically sympathize with pedophilia, do you think he would be suitable in his current job? Or would you call the outraged parents demanding his resignation a political ploy? If so, by which side? Because I was always under the impression that conservatives care deeply about this kind of thing, too. I mean, if you don't, that's fine. I just hope you are consistent and did not join the public outcry when the German Green party expressed similar views in the past.

Stallman is not an elementary school teacher. His views on pedophilia are definitely ... interesting, though. Long before the Epstein controversy, even. And you don't have to take my word or some fake news article for it, you can go directly to the source: for example, here and here (search for "pedophilia" and "voluntarily", respectively). He's very big on that "voluntary" thing and does not seem to think that the natural power imbalance is an inherent problem. Which is how he defended his colleague in the Epstein incident.

Do I find his opinions questionable? Yes, absolutely. But for me, the core of the problem is his disregard for the power imbalance while simultaneously holding a position of power - at MIT over his students, as a chairman over his employees. And yes, I do think it is legitimate to ask the question whether his views make him suitable for such a position of power.

To be clear, I don't have a definitive answer to that question. I also don't have a definitive answer as to how this topic should have been approached. I do not condone any sort of lynch justice in any form, and that is a problem in its own right. And all of that, imho, is worth discussing.

But if you want to discredit the entire thing from the get go as instigated by the "cultural revolution cancel-mobs and the fake female victimhood agenda", then honestly that's also just a cheap political ploy to suppress undesired opinions. It serves no purpose but to feed your own bubble in which the "woke left" is out to get you.

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5 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

We are all being snowed by a gang of liars who are playing a game of "blackmail chicken" with each other.

Fundamentally it's what people want. Blend in with the social landscape, avoid stress and effort, say yes and survive another day.

 

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7 hours ago, cabalistic said:

Stallman is not an elementary school teacher. His views on pedophilia are definitely ... interesting, though. Long before the Epstein controversy, even. And you don't have to take my word or some fake news article for it, you can go directly to the source: for example, here and here (search for "pedophilia" and "voluntarily", respectively). He's very big on that "voluntary" thing and does not seem to think that the natural power imbalance is an inherent problem. Which is how he defended his colleague in the Epstein incident.

I think power imbalance is an entirely different element, not necessarily tied to age.
Abusing power imbalance is a problem regardless of age.

The main reason why sex with underage person is forbidden is that he/she is deemed not mature enough (mentally and psychologically) to decide whether he/she wants it or not, and understand the consequences. For that reason there is no such concept as "voluntary" from the point of law.
 

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6 hours ago, stgatilov said:

The main reason why sex with underage person is forbidden is that he/she is deemed not mature enough (mentally and psychologically) to decide whether he/she wants it or not, and understand the consequences. For that reason there is no such concept as "voluntary" from the point of law.

In parts, sure. But sex between a 16 and 18 year old will raise few heads, whereas 16 and 40 will raise a lot, and the difference is certainly not due to the 16 year old's maturity.

In any case, Freeman or anyone else is, of course, free to criticize the existing laws in that respect. They are - in the best of cases - an expression of a society's majority moral compass at some point in time, which can change. That's his right under free speech, as long as that's all he does. Doing so as a public figurehead will draw some flak, though, especially when he chooses a poor context to do so - and that's also a form of free speech. There's just no conspiracy here.

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