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Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT

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Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation has resigned and he's also left his position in CSAIL at MIT.

Why is this significant? Stallman and the FSF were responsible for the creation of the GNU Project, widely used GNU licenses like the GPL, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and more that were used in the creation of Linux.

Posted on the FSF website last night was this notice:

 On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors. The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on fsf.org.

Stallman also noted on stallman.org how he's stepped away from MIT as well, with the below statement:

I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.

The question is—why? Well, an article on Vice picked up on comments Stallman made around convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Unsurprisingly, this caused quite a lot of outrage inside and outside the Linux community.

Not long after Neil McGovern, the GNOME Executive Director, made a blog post about it where they said they asked the FSF to cancel their membership. McGovern also noted that other people who they "greatly respect are doing the same" and that GNOME would sever their "historical ties between GNOME, GNU and the FSF" if Stallman did not step down.

McGovern of GNOME wasn't the only one to speak out about it, as the Software Freedom Conservancy also put out a post calling for Stallman to step down and no doubt there's others I'm not aware of.

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130 comments
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Phlebiac 18 September 2019 at 7:19 am UTC
johndoeCurrently I don't see anything, that MS or Apple did to enrich the FOSS ecosystem

I'm no big fan of either, but: Apple funds development of projects like CUPS, LLVM, and Webkit (not that Webkit is terribly relevant any more). Microsoft has become a big contributor to Git, and funds the guys who made Mono.
Geppeto35 18 September 2019 at 7:24 am UTC
Patola
rustybroomhandle
PatolaAnother victim of cancel culture...

Nobody who uses the phrase "cancel culture" with a straight face can be taken seriously. Off to the kids table with you.
QED. This is a hallmark of cancel culture, there is no discussion, simply personal attacks, sometimes quite vicious ones. Some subjects cannot be discussed. Some opinions cannot be uttered. This is the new, more radical form of making something taboo. It has grave personal consequences.

That's the difference between justice and morality. We are clearly in front of a police action of thought and expression.
RMS has to resign because of morality, not because of justice and law. Morality and security before justice are two well-known ways to stop the march of humanity progress. Should we ask the skin of the lawyers who will defend the guilties in a next future, considering on the same principle acting here?

The fact:
1/ the guy seems not a consensual guy, his intransigence and unusual political view seem to bother many people
2/ He said in a restricted correspondence what he consider at time t as his number-one hypothesis. Parenthesis: He did not say that to the offended people, so even moraly he did not try to hurt to anyone.

Principle: One can be allowed to discuss and doubt about anything, even if it offends most of people. If they is wrong, anyone can rationally or legally argue against. Without such principle, we will be still living in a world where telling that our planet is round will result to be burned or in a world where journalists could not have told (then demonstrated) that US government allegations about massive death weapons in Irak to entry war were false.
Decreeing that some subjects can't be discussed due to morality is anti-freedom and Enlightenment.
We are clearly in front of the Two Minutes of Hate (1984, Orwell).

Whatever we may think about RMS, THIS IS CLEARLY A SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNT by the edge. All people involved in that will make themselves despicable and ashamed for participating in such a baseness. When their turns will come (and it will if they will get some responsibilities or public voice), if nobody helps, they may only blame themselves.
Cyba.Cowboy 18 September 2019 at 7:30 am UTC
Meanwhile, everyone conveniently "forgets" that Donald Trump, "Prince" Philip and Stephen Hawking (among others) have all been accused of associating with Jeffrey Epstein to some degree... Most of them on a close, regular basis and some of them - notably "Prince" Philip and Donald Trump - have repeatedly had accusations of sexual misconduct made against them, often in the company of or courtesy of an arrangement by Jeffrey Epstein.

I haven't read Stallman's latest comments personally, but my understanding is that one of the comments which got him in hot water was a comment that suggested some of these chicks went into these situations of their own free will... Which is a perfectly valid - and very likely accurate - point (like it or not, most 12+ year old children of both sexes have a much better understanding of sex than they should, at least these days!).

And why is no one asking where the parents were, when these "vulnerable" chicks were flying around the world screwing rich and powerful people / "royalty"? If my daughter was that age and was flying around with a "prince" ad some wealthy dude in a private jet, I'd expect people to be asking some awfully big questions!

Let's not mince words here - screwing girls that are considerably younger than you is frowned upon; if they're under the age of consent (which varies from country-to-country), it's even illegal... And irrespective of he law, below a certain age - such as the "11-14 year olds" that Jeffrey Epstein was supposedly seen hanging around - I think you need to take a pretty long, hard look at yourself.

Stallman is a scapegoat who foolishly made some comments on a controversial topic, because no one wants to go after the rich and powerful that are guilty the same crimes as Jeffrey Epstein...

And no, I am not a Stallman fan - I just think it is hypocritical to persecute the man over some stupid comments, when others are getting away with everything because they are rich and / or powerful.
cprn 18 September 2019 at 8:10 am UTC
LOL, IDK, maybe it's not the right place for this kind of bullshit but I value opinion of people I can relate to, like other Linux users who like games, more than some random internet pulp, so I wish we could make polls here:

I'd love everyone who read the actual mailing thread all this fuss is about to choose one in each of the following polls (@Liam, please make it happen for the sake of thought experiment if nothing else - I don't want to host polls on 3rd party questionable policy services that no one will visit anyway):

Do you agree with what Richard Stallman said?
  • I agree with RMS and I don't mind the way he said it
  • I agree with RMS but don't agree with the way he said it
  • I don't care and I don't mind the way he said it
  • I don't care but I don't like the way he said it
  • I disagree with RMS but I don't mind the way he said it
  • I disagree with RMS and I don't like the way he said it


Do you think he should be forced to resign?
  • Yes
  • No



Last edited by cprn at 18 September 2019 at 8:20 am UTC
appetrosyan 18 September 2019 at 10:32 am UTC
Ok. A newbie pitching in on the discussion.

My opinion: if you're a proffessor, you haven't asked for written consent before having sex with someone, and you haven't asked for ID, you're a moron. Nothing to defend here. If there was no sex act, the slander lawsuit will follow, if there was... not even Kardashian can save you.

His opinion: Stallman has radical views on sex outside of the scandal (he's fine with zoophilia, videos of zoophilia, consensual paedophilia etc., just look at his wikipedia page).

He's not stupid: He errs on the side of freedom and caution, e.g. a parrot has had sex with his hand without him knowing, so should he be imprisoned for keeping a photo?

The situation: He might have had to resign not because of one thing that he said, but because of all the things that he said previously. He's a bad mascot.

The problem here isn't that he was defending a rapist (he wasn't) rather that he voiced a void in the legislation and proposed a fix. People naturally misunderstood him (as usual) and mischaracterised what he said (also nothing new).

On a side note: F?CK GNOME . They owe their entire existence to the distinction between copyleft and opensource. I'm alright with them not defending him; the guy has some antics, and defending everything he does is... well.... impossible. But attacking him so actively is something else entirely, it's like if I started railing on my parents and saying that they should move out of the house they built and I grew up in, because of something that my dad said, when he was drunk.


Last edited by appetrosyan at 18 September 2019 at 10:36 am UTC
Cyba.Cowboy 18 September 2019 at 10:45 am UTC
appetrosyanOn a side note: F?CK GNOME . They owe their entire existence to the distinction between copyleft and opensource. I'm alright with them not defending him; the guy has some antics, and defending everything he does is... well.... impossible. But attacking him so actively is something else entirely, it's like if I started railing on my parents and saying that they should move out of the house they built and I grew up in, because of something that my dad said, when he was drunk.

lol

Love the enthusiasm of multiple people attacking GNOME here.

I don't like them (GNOME) and consider them to be a horrible organization, for a laundry list of reasons... Glad to see I'm not alone.
LungDrago 18 September 2019 at 10:46 am UTC
We truly live in a f*cked up world. Just like in the Orwell game. Destroy someone by publicizing a statement out of context. So easy!

2 + 2 = 5


Last edited by LungDrago at 18 September 2019 at 10:47 am UTC
EverLinux 18 September 2019 at 11:56 am UTC
Most seems to have been said on this topic but I'm still so surprised how "an angrier-today 23Y old Selam Jie Gano pseudo-me-too" can triggers the leave of Richard. I fully agree with Patola & others regarding those SJW (that are lurking even right there checking for every little miss steps in our posts).
Long quote from Patola

The GNOME's stand to take benefit of the situation is unacceptable. The tools/techs should remain neutral & that one will never reachs any of my future distros.

Thank you so much Richard for all you hard work and your life's fight to make Linux(Amongst other things) what it is today.

Thank you so much Liam for your every day's Linux dedication & for courageously publishing this article while keeping the comments opens knowing the amount of work moderation requires.

g000h 18 September 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
dubigrasu
Purple Library Guy
dubigrasuHow can I filter out these kind of not (really) gaming related topics?
I filter out topics I'm not interested in by reading the article's title. Works pretty well.
Yeah sure, but I'm asking specifically about the control panel settings.

I think if Liam added a NON-GAMING tag, and added it to articles like this one, then it would solve Dubigrasi's issue (Not wishing to view non-gaming articles.)
Creak 18 September 2019 at 12:46 pm UTC
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I don't know if this blog post have been posted here, but here it comes: https://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/2019-09-17-rms.html

It's a bit difficult to read (aesthetically), but I think it is worth it, at least the conclusion if you don't have the time to read everything.

And, as he says: "it is possible (but unlikely) that RMS is not a harmless sort but a scheming criminal mastermind. Still, one can only work with the evidence as it is presented at the time."
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