one thing I find frustrating is that there *have* been things he was called on, after which he did modify his schtick

just not lately

@ptvirgo @ehashman

@deejoe @gid @ehashman

I "violently" agree that
RMS makes too many mistakes to last forever.

But I think his weakness is a lack of empathy. I want his replacement to have a *lot* of empathy.

Enough empathy to say "let's be nice to the old guard as they retire."

Someone who says "it's not about pushing him out," while still pushing him out, seems likely to develop more of the same problems.

We need people who care enough to care about the effects of their actions, regardless of their justification.


@ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I strongly agree with Matthew Garrett in that I don't want to see RMS replaced; we need to remove the necessity of having a single figurehead leader in the free software community: mjg59.dreamwidth.org/52587.htm

@ehashman @deejoe @gid

That's a great article, and I really like that idea.

For the purposes of wanting to be understood, I didn't mean "replaced" as in swapped out. (Rarely would I want that for a fellow human being.) Just that we need a change.

I like seeing that the article describes exactly the kind of solution I wish I'd thought of, thanks for filling me in.

@ehashman @deejoe @gid ... and I just read the bit about RMS failing to understand the basic concept of sexual assault.


I hadn't seen that part.

Consider me a new supporter of the "no-new-a-holes" plan, but when I said "assuming RMS hasn't harassed anyone..." I hadn't realized he'd already crossed exactly the kind of line I was talking about.

@ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid

Is this the figurehead we need?

I've been a system administrator on the net since ARPANET.

NIC Handle HEH

RMS has never been my leader.

@ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I think the problem here is not "RMS should be replaced" but that somebody should just do it.

Last time I heard RMS talking he seemed to be kind of angry and tired and he explicitly asked others to carry this thing on instead of him.

I don't think he insists to be the only one, he just happens to be a prominent figure of the free software movement

re: RMS and the replacement thereof 

@saper @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid There are at least two things to consider:

- Should RMS hold a position of authority within the FSF?

- Should RMS continue to be a figurehead of the free software movement?

The first one needs to be addressed by the FSF. The second is in *our* hands. And I don't see anyone stepping up to take that role of "free software extremist" that helps hold the Overton window open. (They're probably there! I just don't see them.)

re: RMS and the replacement thereof 


again, I point you to libreplanet primarily, but other conferences and projects, for people who are taking this on. if you're particularly behind copyleft, look for people working on that. they're there to find

@saper @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid

@saper @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I've heard him call for others to spread the message years ago in some of his talks.

It seems people don't feel the need to while he's still up there. But more people would cover more ground.

@alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I think the problem is something else: with all shortcomings RMS lives the way he preaches. I will be much less convinced by somebody giving their Free Software, Free Society presentation with slides coming out of their MacBook. I feel guilty typing this on an iPad myself.

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid yup, for all his faults, he lived his principles. That's why he's been the leader for so long. Others would likely dilute that. But I hope a worthy new leader will come forward. (Microsoft certainly doesn't want that, though!)

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid that should be "he lives his principles..." He's still doing it. That's what made him compelling - he is uncompromising.

@lightweight @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid

RMS's commitment to Free Software principles is outstanding. He lives the life he promotes. Never take that away.

@yojimbo @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid yes, he's the real deal. He's planted the flag so far in the "pure Free Software principle" territory, the rest of us all look moderate by comparison. That's a huge thing. And a big sacrifice for his principles on his part. I don't agree with him (or anyone) on everything he thinks, but my admiration for what he's achieved is unaffected.

@lightweight @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid

But - the respect he gets for this commitment to Free Software has overwhelmed his social capacity - he has been behaving as if everything he does is good and right and proper, and the society around him has not pushed back on that effectively. I think he genuinely doesn't understand that he isn't 'right' on everything, just because he is so right on the Free Software topics.

His non Free Software comments and actions have been hurting the community for years, turning people away. It isn't all his direct fault (i.e. Peter Principle etc), but these are his actions.

I fear that there are similarities with the end of Benny Hill's career ...

@yojimbo @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I think the main problem is that he's neuro-diverse and has never explained that. Anyone who's spent time with him knows it. He's not socially aware. At all. People expect him to be a diplomat... he's definitely not that. He's the one able to focus on a rational argument long after everyone else. He shouldn't be the only spokes person, but he should be making FOSS policy because no one else is more credible than he on that topic.

@yojimbo @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid the irony is, of course, it's his non-typical nature that's made him uniquely suited to his role... and the champions of diversiying FOSS communities and diversity in general were the ones who climbed into him most ferociously. Many of those people also aren't particularly well known for adhering to FOSS principles...

@lightweight @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid

Many other neuro-diverse people are socially aware, or at least make an effort to behave that way - often very successfully.

It isn't an excuse for bad behaviour. It can be an underlying reason.

@yojimbo @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid indeed, however it is also a very useful lens through which to see this, and people might take a different tone in expressing their concern if they understood it. But they don't.

@lightweight @saper @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid All I can say is that if I'm ever given the chance to give a presentation, you won't have that issue with me.

I love elementary OS! And I'm hoping to replace my iPhone with a Librem 5 soon.

@alcinnz @lightweight @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid many of us try to switch... and we either don't have a platform to switch to or we can't give up using the gadget. I don't think Librem will have a free software radio interface (baseband). RMS simply refuses to use a mobile phone. "Easy".

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid the thing RMS has done is to a) show us it can be done (and understand the trade-offs) and b) gives us an ideal of consistency to strive for. We all have different priorities. I still have a few minor niggling proprietary dependencies, but *very* few compared to anyone else I know... it's all relative.

@lightweight @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid that's fine but this is not what Stallman was saying. I frankly do not think it will be a good thing to replace one person with few people delivering watered-down message.

Funny, I never considered myself a true hard core stallmanist

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid don't worry, I'm a strong supporter of Stallman's commitment to Free Software and I am disgusted by the "guilt by accusation" mob approach his detractors took.

@lightweight @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid agreed. I was surprised having met him in person that he is a kind of different person we think of him. I was also surprised that many people outside of the hardcore free software movement were starting to think differently having attended his lecture, with a kind of "actually he is right" attitude. I wish his followers could trigger the same feeling.


It's too bad people have to continually conflate support for free software with support for him.

Some of us support his free software work while recognizing and acknowledging his weaknesses.

So, when you refer to his "detractors" do you mean anyone who might criticize him about anything? Do you mean for him to be accepted and rejected in all-or-nothing fashion?

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid

@deejoe @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid Correct me if I am wrong - I understand that @lightweight has an issue with "guilt by association" concept, not about all-or-nothing acceptance.


His statement lumps anyone with any criticism into a category: Detractors.

That doesn't even get into the specifics of the criticism, not all of which is "guilt by association".

@alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid @lightweight

@deejoe @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid @lightweight I am not a native English speaker, that is how I understood this.

The association fraud is here:

" because they are filled to the brim with so, so many shitty men.

Jeffrey Epstein. Marvin Minsky.

Richard Stallman."

It's so easy to get added to that list.


Leaving aside how shitty they are, or not, I will note I said

"not all of which"

That is to say, there may be guilt by association here, but there's more to it than that. Enough to matter.

@alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid @lightweight

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid @lightweight

Also, not sure about you, but I find it quite easy to avoid flying to private islands to party with women >40 years younger than I am. I avoid that *all* the time.

@deejoe @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid @lightweight as far as I know Stallman didn't go there. Maybe that will be revealed in the next part on, ahem, Medium.com?

@deejoe @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid @lightweight But Stallman is added to the list as if he were there. This is guilt by association.

Show more

@saper @deejoe @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid my main issue is the "guilt by accusation" - I reject the collapse "natural justice" where the accused is innocent until proven guilty and has "right of response".

@deejoe @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid no. I have often cringed at his lack of EQ, but I've spent time with him, so I get it. I mean he was subjected to a witch hunt by people joined a righteous mob who just jumped on a band wagon most knew very little about...

@deejoe @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid detractors wasn't the best word choice - people who condemned him (falsely) based on a very superficial reading of hearsay from others. He unwisely says things that involve a highly charged topic that are easily misconstrued. But there's no indication he participated in any crimes.


if you think him not guilty of crimes you might want to avoid bringing words like 'guilt' and 'crimes' into the discussion

one can be wrong, and unfit for a role, without it being a crime

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid

@deejoe @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid indeed - however, the coverage of this entire debacle has been very fluid in its innuendo. It's crucial to clarify the place of those concepts in all this.

@deejoe @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid ideally, I would've wanted people close to him to encourage him to step down from his organisational leadership and promotional roles a while ago, while maintaining his #FOSS thought leadership (in which he is peerless). The way this went down is an indictment on social media and the way it enables mob rule.

@deejoe @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid the leaders of that mob were very mean spirited, and I think will eventually be mortified by how they're celebrated by the proprietary corporations whose dirty work they did for them. They eliminated the main barrier to GAFAM's full co-option (EEE) of #FOSS. (which they only ever refer to as #OSS - they never mention Freedom, because they're working hard to kill it)

@deejoe @saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid freedom isn't optimally profitable. They want a population of good little proprietary hostages locked in like dairy cows, waiting to be milked.

@lightweight @deejoe @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @gid I managed to got to the bottom of few past accusations of Stallman and I had to conclude that he got at least misunderstood or got willfully misinterpreted. This time a Medium story tries to equate the deeds of three men based on fragile association. I don't want RMS to be put on a pedestal or protected because "free software is dear to us", but I insist that he has to be treated fairly. But that's not going to stop the mob. I'm out of this.

@lightweight @saper @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid Same here.

I *might* have some proprietary drivers and then there's my phone. But otherwise I'm happily free of proprietary software in my life.

And I do strongly agree with the Four Freedoms, even if I disagree they necessarily mean software needs to be published online for anyone to use.

@saper @alcinnz @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid mostly what we have to do is show businesses and gov'ts with proprietary software dependencies how ridiculous it is to have your data held hostage by a (usually) foreign corporation or have your data in a foreign jurisdiction under corporate control... and that it's no longer acceptable. Illustration: davelane.nz/mshostage

@saper @alcinnz @lightweight @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I don't really wanna get dragged into this argument but this simply isn't true. RMS is happy to borrow your proprietary cellphone to make a call. He's happy to access content on Google docs so long as someone else runs the proprietary software for him. To claim some sort of moral superiority when he just has other people run proprietary software for him so he doesn't have to get his hands dirty is preposterous. I don't think it's particularly principled to brush the externalities under the rug here. twitter.com/christi3k/status/1 twitter.com/christi3k/status/1

@ehashman @saper @lightweight @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I've seen a Software Freedom Conservancy talk discussing this issue...

And for what it's worth I do disagree with RMS's stance here, having someone else use proprietary software on your behalf does not help our movement. It's better to run that software yourself and resolve to having a free software replacement made.

@lightweight @saper @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid I've finished listening to that (again), and I don't see how that interview contradicts or even addresses the habit @ehashman was objecting to.

@alcinnz @saper @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid @ehashman unless I'm mis-remembering (listened to it yesterday again), he specifically talks about the conditions under which he'll use proprietary software (grudgingly)...

@alcinnz @saper @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid @ehashman and the distinction he makes between proprietary software vs. surveillance of mobile devices.

Right - dropping out now as I need to work on #FOSS for my day job... :)

@saper @alcinnz @lightweight @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid
The baseband is not free, but that's not RMS problem. It will still be RYF. He doesn't want to use it bc of position tracking when baseband is on, which is not a software problem. Src: theregister.co.uk/2019/09/17/r
But Purism envisions being able to e.g. use WiFi+VPN+Matrix, replacing classic calls completely.

@danielst @alcinnz @lightweight @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid The problem is getting IP connectivity when being mobile in a non-privacy infringing way... (when WiFi is not available). Most people expect their phone to work when not connected to wifi :( This won't be solved even by the open baseband, so I think we can't get better than this.

@saper @alcinnz @lightweight @ehashman @ptvirgo @deejoe @gid
Indeed. Pragmatically, I'd consider the baseband a part of the untrusted network, so how free its sw is, is mostly philosophical. Due to regulations it seems impossible to have it really free.

Agreed, you'll not always find "privacy wifi". But even if you need to register, it's likely less centralized than now (also: multiple accounts, change MAC?). Besides, if there are a few (home, work, friends, bars) that's already a good start.

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