"At least Richard Stallman is not accused of raping anyone. But is that our highest standard? The standard that this prestigious institution holds itself to? If this is what MIT wants to defend; if this is what MIT wants to stand for, then, yes, burn it to the ground."

Let me get this straight; because Stallman did *not* rape anyone, we must utterly destroy the university that employs him. Yes?

What Stallman said:
> the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing.

How it was interpreted:
> he says that an enslaved child could, somehow, be "entirely willing".

The whole sorry mess seems to come down to a university student who couldn't understand that "presented herself to him as" means '*pretended* to be willing', not '*was* willing'.

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Then, having realized her mistake, instead of admitting it and apologized, she doubled down. Claiming that it didn't matter that her key claim was false, because of other things she thinks are bad about Stallman, like:

> Richard Stallman has problematic opinions.


Because there are correct opinions about everything, and we all know what they are, and anyone who deviates from them deserves to be purged?

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"Problematic opinions" is a charge people in power level against dissenters. Colonizers think indigenous people have "problematic opinions". The fossil fuel industry thinks climate change and peak oil activists have "problematic opinions". White supremacists think MLK and Malcolm X had "problematic opinions". Parliamentarians thought the Suffragettes had "problematic opinions". The corporate tech industry thinks the software freedom movement have "problematic opinions".

Zionists think supporters of Palestinian human rights have "problematic opinions". Authors have literary awards stripped for publicly supporting the movement.

"What is the meaning of a literary award that undermines the right to advocate for human rights, the principles of freedom of conscience and expression, and the freedom to criticise? Without these, art and culture become meaningless luxuries."

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@strypey Many things are going on here.

- Social media & surveillance capitalism modifying our behavior for engagement. Outrage gets attention.

- Changing nature of American universities and new generation of students. See: thecoddling.com.

- RMS isn't guilty of what he's accused of in this particular instance. But he has been rude to people, and it didn't help. I can't speak for women.

(I was at Kuhn's LibrePlanet talk when RMS made a fuss. Also see: web.archive.org/web/2007050712)

@strypey My own introduction to free software movement is from Stallman's talks and writings. He gave a talk in my college in India back in 2001. I got excited and did a project on Hurd. He's been traveling around the world, giving talks, recruiting.

It is sad and ironic that surveillance capitalism and dirty yellow journalism got RMS at a time when the ideas of libre is more important than ever, and people who should know better joined the fray. 😞

Seen this?


@sajith I can't read Medium from behind the Great Firewall. Is there a copy on the fediverse, or anywhere else that isn't a US datafarm?

@strypey It is written by Thomas Bushnell, BSG, a long-time collaborator of rms on GNU Hurd project. I too wish that Bushnell had chosen a less questionable website than medium dot com to share his thoughts.

How about an archive.org link?


@strypey Also, why would they block Medium? 🤔

You're probably better off without Medium, in my opinion. I suspect people who choose to write there are (1) people that are okay with walled gardens, overtly bloated websites, and other silicon valley style bullshit; (2) people who are tainted by the lure of "metrics" provided by Medium. Writing for metrics is basically writing for A Herd.

Obviously I do not like Medium as a medium. 🙂

@strypey Also Hollywood thinks the software freedom movement have "problematic opinions" due to their distaste for DRM, despite they fact the reason why they're centered in California is to avoid Edison's insistance on them using a "rent don't buy" model (amongst other things).

@alcinnz true! I think I first learned about this thanks to 'The Pirate's Dilemma' by , although Lessig may also have written about it.

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