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I think it’s wrong to absolve Minsky of responsibility, though. He would have had to be pretty clueless to not at least wonder why all of these teenaged girls were hanging around Epstein’s place. Whether he knew doesn’t mean he did not still have sex with an underage girl. Claiming that he didn’t know she was underage seems shaky to me. At the very least he was taking advantage of a woman in the employ of Epstein who seduced/tried to seduce him. At the very least Minsky was involved in indirect, coerced sexual assault as the one having sex with her (if ended up doing so), even if Epstein is the mastermind. I think Minsky was smart enough to know what was happening. So that is why I disagree with RMS. I think calling it sexual assault done, perhaps unknowingly, by Minsky is an accurate description.



> I think it’s wrong to absolve Minsky of responsibility, though.

Stallman was not saying that Minsky should not be absolved of responsibility. He was just saying that the term "sexual assault" is inaccurate in that it implies violence.

> I think Minsky was smart enough to know what was happening.

That's a fairly large assumption. Minsky's name shows up twice in hundreds of pages of deposition. Once is in a statement by the victim when she is asked to name names:

> They instructed me to go to George Mitchell, Jean Luc Brunel, Bill Richardson, another prince that I don't know his name. A guy that owns a hotel, a really large hotel chain, I can't remember which hotel it was. Marvin Minsky.

And the only other reference (that I am aware of) is in reference to being on a private flight with a bunch of other people.

How are you able to infer so much from so litte information?


> He was just saying that the term "sexual assault" is inaccurate in that it implies violence.

Which is also incorrect. Sexual assault encompasses coercion without physical violence.

It is accurate to say that the girl was sexually assaulted; whether or not Minsky sexually assaulted her is up for debate.

I agree with the parent that it seems sketchy that Minsky (and the others present) didn't have at least some idea what was going on. At best, these girls could be prostitutes, but just assuming everything about the situation was completely legit is in my mind morally questionable.

Then there wass also a person present at the gathering who says Minsky turned the girl down. If she says that she had sex with him, I would tend to believe her, though.


> Which is also incorrect. Sexual assault encompasses coercion without physical violence.

I was actually reading Stallman's site last night, after seeing the article about him leaving CSAIL. I noticed he had a "glossary" section where he basically rejected the use of many common words and phrases, because their literal meaning did not match the colloquial or modern use (for example, he rejected the word homophobia, being pedantic about the phobia part). I'd bet this whole thing about "sexual assault" is along the same line.


It probably is. Stallman is a pedant in the worst possible way: he rejects reality in favor of textbook perfection.


Where the "reality" of language is a result of brutal culture wars that have given us very unnatural categories ("X means Y+Z except in very specific circumstances K where it means Y+W")?

In that case think its important for thinking clearly to develop your own definitions that group things together into categories where all members share important traits.


Not even! He rejects common language where he has redefined the words, and he rejects specific jargon where it runs contrary to common language.

When he uses the tools of pedantry, he does so to try and change the goalposts of the conversation, not to provide greater clarity.


> It is accurate to say that the girl was sexually assaulted; whether or not Minsky sexually assaulted her is up for debate.

“whether or not Minsky sexually assaulted her” is precisely the thing that Stallman was debating, and got into trouble for.


Indeed. The "best case" assumption that Minsky could have made was that Epstein was a procurer and a pimp.


Great you might be right but are you sorry people got to hear your opinion AND Stallman's? Would it be a better world if only your thoughts were heard or would you not even be sharing them if not for his thoughts being shared?


Did anyone silence, or threaten to silence, Stallman?




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