Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

A guy telling you that he's a struggling small-time app developer is not going to be receptive to an argument that says it's immoral for him to support himself by selling his software. The choice Stallman offered, between being a good human being and eating, was an exceptionally tone-deaf and counterproductive response to his question.

Alinsky's ideas --- which are extremely relevant to marketing --- mostly involve adapting your message to the realities of your audience. That means listening to them, understanding their problems, and being prepared to spell out how their lives would work out after you've changed them.

Here Stallman stipulates that it's self-evident that unfree software is bad, and that your personal well-being is less important that the principle of freedom. It's not even a 'wrong' point; it's an overtly hostile and stupid one. Free software has answers to that problem ("design your application differently, run your business differently"), but Stallman's idealism keeps him from understanding those answers, and so all he can do is bloviate.

Rules for Radicals isn't just a good book, it's also a fun one. As the Tea Party people are showing, it's also not inherently left- or right-. It's short and cheap, and if any part of your life involves wanting people to change anything they're doing (from how they vote to what flavor of ice cream they buy), you should get it.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact