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

Sure. He recanted those comments two days ago (after espousing them on his website at least between 2006 and 2013), and after his comments on the Epstein case started getting attention, which makes it look more like damage control than a genuine change in opinion.


I'd say recent statements more accurately reflect somebody's current beliefs than old statements. Considering how badly he's been recently slandered by media outlets leaving out context and mischaracterizing his remarks, I am disturbed by your willingness to exclude that context from your previous comment.

They were up on his website last I checked which was a week or two ago. I think that's considered recent.

Failure to delete old blog entries that he has nevertheless disavowed negates that disavowal? I don't agree.

As a general rule, I tend to give more credit to consistent and freely offered opinions espoused over years than a sudden conversion immediately after a PR crisis. There's a famous saying: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

How do you reconcile

(a) your implication that Stallman is flip-flopping due to public pressure


(b) Stallman's lifetime as a Diogenean polemic who has been shown to stand by his beliefs, no matter how unpopular?

He's not in jail, he can continue on twitter all he wants.

If that's supposed to somehow make sense as a reply to what I wrote, you're going to have to explain it.

There's a difference between "unpopular but everyone knows I'm quirky" and "this might be an existential threat to my ability to keep running the FSF etc.".

Two things:

1. Stallman already has a lifetime of of examples of somewhat poor leadership within the GNU project, resulting in decisions that have compromised GNU and FSF's trajectory (compared to their potential), so once again, these are not new circumstances

2. How is Stallman doing FSF under threat here?

> How is Stallman doing FSF under threat here?

He resigned from the FSF presidency and board yesterday a few hours after my comment, which should answer that question.

So you believe Stallman's statements indicate he's a pedophile, not merely somebody with a long and established history of being tactless? Because I'd say there is a hell of a lot more evidence that he's tactless due to being neuroatypical. Maybe that makes him a bad leader, but it surely doesn't make him evil.

> So you believe Stallman's statements indicate he's a pedophile...

I think you're mixing me up with another commenter.

You're right, I apologize.

i believe stallman's statements indicate he thinks sex with a consenting child is okay. why does he have to have committed a crime to condemn that view?

"Many years ago I posted that I could not see anything wrong about sex between an adult and a child, if the child accepted it.

Through personal conversations in recent years, I've learned to understand how sex with a child can harm per psychologically. This changed my mind about the matter: I think adults should not do that. I am grateful for the conversations that enabled me to understand why."

- Richard M. Stallman, 14 September 2019


His statements aren't merely socially unappropriated, they are grossly logically incorrect.

I assume that if he was a pedophile we all would knew it yet. If there was anything remotely naughty in the computer stolen from him in Argentina the thief would have reassured that even Santa Claus will hear about that, for a reasonable sum of money.

Absence of of evidence is not evidence of absence, but philosophizing about murder does not make you a murderer

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