has no intention of stepping down from the . Good news.

"I continue to be the Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project.
I do not intend to stop any time soon."

to for that update, which was added to the bottom of his excellent summary of what happened to Stallman and why it's so disturbing to anyone who cares about natural justice and due process:

Show thread

@strypey Yes, RMS has made an outstanding positive contribution to the world. He has also made a series of negative ones.

That article is selective in how it reports "the incident", including reductively defining the whole thing as "an incident" in the first place. Other people are characterising it as the final straw, where no-one expects that "the straw" in and of itself was significant, but that the accumulation of straws over time has become intolerable.

There don't seem to be many people who are discussing the whole issue without bias, which is to me a much more disturbing trend. Once again we have only "two sides" to a situation, with all the implied hostility that brings. There are many many more than two sides to anything.


@yojimbo @strypey if you haven't seen it, this (from, ironically, an ex-Fox News guy) is the most even handed treatment I've seen: youtube.com/watch?v=7UbQ1kc1vQ

@lightweight @strypey Not a bad video presentation, he'll be worth keeping an eye on to report well on a lot of topics.

However both he and the WaPo failed to mention the long-term dissatisfaction with RMS's non-Free behaviour. I don't think the Gnome Foundation's ED asked FSF to drop him because of this incident alone (or more specifically, not because of the inaccurate press surrounding the incident).

I agree with @strypey on what I think his position is (assuming it's "this incident is not serious enough for the outcome"), but I suspect that the outcome is probably justified when looking back at the long list of "offences".

Partly I guess the dropping by MIT was more related to them having put themselves in an untenable position over the years. But the FSF presidency seems like a reasonable change.

@yojimbo @strypey I've cringed at some things he's said over they years, but I've never deemed them threatening as such. Insensitive, perhaps, but that's quite different. I do think he's consistently mis-interpreted due to most people both finding him "difficult" (and therefore taking a natural contrarian view) and uncompromising... which has also been his biggest strength. I think the story's far murkier than we think. And I think RMS has been dealt a deep injustice.

@lightweight @strypey I liked mjg59's comment twitter.com/mjg59/status/11787

"... the blame is on those of us (including me) who knew about his behaviour and didn't do enough to stop it, not those who pointed out that his behaviour was incompatible with his role"

@yojimbo @strypey yes, I agree. I've seen places where RMS has said "yes, I said things, but have since been convinced that was the wrong position and have changed my view."... This could all have happened with far more grace and empathy.

> I suspect that the outcome is probably justified when looking back at the long list of "offences".

This seems relevant:

"There is an underlying current of fear in my activist communities, and it is separate from the daily fear of police brutality, eviction, discrimination, and street harassment. It is the fear of appearing impure. Social death follows when being labeled a “bad” activist or simply “problematic” enough times."

@lightweight @mike

@strypey @yojimbo @mike That's very interesting and heartening, in a way. Thanks for that.

@strypey @yojimbo @mike and discouraging, too, given the anxiety she feels from within her own community. I can understand that and I also find it bizarre and mighty counterproductive.

@lightweight this, from the comment thread under Lee's piece, rings true for me:

"One of the things that bothers me most about this trend of dogmatism is that the most “radical” are usually under 30 and are actively attacking older activists and marginalized people who aren’t saying the right things or keeping up with the constantly moving goalposts of correct terminology. We’re losing out on the input of good people with valuable lived experience, and dehumanizing them in the process."

@lightweight this, also from the comment thread, hits the nail right on the head for me:

"I am a little bit in shock. I have spent years thinking that I was the only one who felt this way… Thank you for writing this."

@yojimbo and fron the same piece:
"And yet, grace and forgiveness are hard to come by in these circles. At times, I have found myself performing activism more than doing activism. I’m exhausted, and I’m not even doing the real work I am committed to do. It is a terrible thing to be afraid of my own community members, and know they’re probably just as afraid of me. Ultimately, the quest for political purity is a treacherous distraction for well-intentioned activists."

@lightweight @mike

@yojimbo also this:
"But when dictates aren’t followed, a common procedure of punishment ensues. Punishments for saying/doing/believing the wrong thing include shaming, scolding, calling out, isolating, or eviscerating someone’s social standing. Discipline and punishment has been used for all of history to control and destroy people. Why is it being used in movements meant to liberate all of us?"

It's an insightful piece, and worth reading in full.

@lightweight @mike

@strypey @lightweight @mike I think much of this is just the human condition, we are permanently imperfect.

Generally, I quietly try to improve myself rather than pushing my positions on to other people. I may suggest alternatives, but I (try to) withhold public judgement.

If everyone followed my path, we would have too much tolerance and would suffer for it. We also need the energy of the young, the converts, the ones who are sure that they are right and that theirs is the only way. They will sometimes succeed, and sometimes that success is not what we needed. It's a price to pay.

@yojimbo @strypey @mike I agree with that assessment... it's also our duty to do our best to correct injustice when it occurs, whether at the hands of real misanthropes or simply well-meaning overzealous ideologues...

@lightweight of couse it would be supremely ironic if we set out to police other activists for the crime of policing other activists ;) Naming and shaming people for being puritanical just leads to puritanical anti-puritanism. Frances has a (follow-up?) piece about how we need to focus on love, compassion, patience, and communicating to build consensus, not assert control.
@yojimbo @mike

@strypey @yojimbo @lightweight @mike
Crazy article, I did not know that when someone founded an organisation he should not step down from it at some point... Does this mean when someone founds an organisation he is bound to be the president of it for life, I guess I have to learn about democracy.

"Notice the tactics. X has made a remark/ has behaved in a particular way – these remarks/ this behaviour might be construed as transphobic/ sexist etc. So far, OK. But it’s the next move which is the kicker. X then becomes defined as a transphobe/ sexist etc. Their whole identity becomes defined by one ill-judged remark or behavioural slip."
- the late

I do not think this is about tactics, but about lousy community management. FsF should have applied basic democratic organisation since a long time, they did not despite feminist around asking them to do so . Its very sad that the passation of power did not happen in better conditions and before, but I guess the white males who had the power to make this happen did not do their job at the right time. Rms being called a sexist is nothing new, rms supporting minor's rape is nothing new.



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@natacha BDFL is meant to be an ironic usage. Because of the freedom to fork, leaders of free code projects can't really be dictators at all, let alone for life. A BDFL is just someone who holds a leadership position because most of the developers think they do a good job, rather than through a formal election or selection process.
@grainloom @epicmorphism

@strypey @grainloom @epicmorphism
What exactly do you mean by Ironic, I am afraid I do not catch the joke.
Also, how do you evaluate the majority, how do you take in account those who do not want to join and those who leave because they feel repulsed by the governance model for example.

> FsF should have applied basic democratic organisation since a long time

I assumed that the FSF held elections where its members elect its governing officers. Is this not the case? If not, then I agree with you that they ought to. But this is unrelated to the witch hunt against Stallman.

Yes, fsf complies to legal requirements, but, here is info about members benefits: fsf.org/associate/benefits
Its rather funny, but pretty useless.
Associate FsF members do not have any voting right, no consulting right and there is no governance process explained anywhere. If there had been, maybe things would have been different and Stallman might not have stayed that long in place, and ... as a logical consequence, he would not have been into the midsts of public attack.


BTW witch hunt was held against women in the 15th century not sure it has anything to do with Stallman.

@strypey @natacha

When they'll have pushed out RMS, their will be no one to fight for freedom and linux will be another microsoft buried under patents and spywares.

you'd better learn to compile kernel by yourself and read patch.

But the ones moaning about democracy are probability the same using windows on an daily basis (gnagna i must for office, TINA).

Funny that no one ask for democracy in the kernel management. funny democracy is only reserved to push push out those fighting.

@strypey @natacha This would be a devastating critique were it not for the fact that RMS has been doing this for 30 years.

One should not be judged a misogynist from a single ill-judged remark.

But if your response to people asking you not to ask conference attendees whether they'll date you is to have business cards saying words to the effect of “would you like me to fuck you?” in florid language and handing them out instead… maybe that's not a single ill-judged remark?

@RAOF @strypey @natacha But then he should be criticized for that, not accused of things he didn't say.

@grainloom @strypey @natacha
1) He was criticized for that over and over, and
2) I don't think he was accused of things he didn't say. Although some nuance was lost, what he said was: “The most plausible scenario is that [the 17-year-old sex-trafficing-victim] appeared entirely willing [to have sex with the 73-year old Minsky after having been flown with him on a private jet to a private island]”.

@grainloom @strypey @natacha I find the idea that Minsky just couldn't possibly find anything sufficiently unusual in this to raise his suspicions that the girl in question wasn't enthusiastically consenting to be entirely implausible.

This is a supportable (and, I think, most plausible) reading of the Medium article.

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@RAOF @strypey @natacha
That's true, but that's not what people said. There is a difference between claiming that Minsky didn't rape someone and protecting pedophilia or claiming that rape is OK.

He was wrong but he didn't claim the latter two things.

@RAOF @strypey @natacha He did use the word "could" a lot, though.
He didn't say it was a certainty.

@grainloom @RAOF @strypey @natacha yes okay


he's defending his dead friend and mentor, founder of the AI lab on an MIT list of said lab, to kids, some of who are the age of the girl his dead friend is accused of having had (non-consensual) sex with, because one of those kids is trying to organise a protest against the director of the MIT, who knew, and who took money from the guy helping Minsky with his alleged endeavours.

@hirojin @RAOF @strypey @natacha
Hmmmm. Yep, that's where he fucked up big time.
I'm not sure he considered those factors, but it's true that he should have.

@hirojin @RAOF @strypey @natacha
But the intent still matters to me. If he acted irrationally because his friend was being (in his eyes) unjustly accused, that differs from being a rape apologist.

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