Stallman pretty much embodies the worst stereotypes about software developers, engineers and "computer guys" in general (black-and-white attitude, lack of social skills, bluntness, even hygiene issues). It's really baffling, considering that his role right now is in a pretty much PR and evangelism.
I still feel bad for him, I honestly believe he is a well meaning person with issues that aren't his fault. But the community as a whole really needs to move past him, I think, and project a wildly different image.
This is not rhetorical! sorry i know it sounds it, but i'm genuinely curios because all of the information appears so muddied to me having discovered this via HN.
This is my first exposure to any so called comment from RMS so you can imagine my skepticism:
Which I interpret in the context of some of his previous comments
His comments are painful to me, and I feel they were spoken with an air of zero accountability in regards to his leadership role. I don't think he "should" be forced to resign his leadership role, I'm here only to comment that it gives me hope that leadership and accountability are trending toward not away from each other.
There is, in my book, nothing to hold him accountable for.
> I think it is morally absurd to define rape in a way that depends on minor details such as what country it was in or whether the victim is 17 or 18 years old.
[from https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6405929-091320191420... and I hope people will agree that this isn't misleading without context]
Whatever your position on statutory rape ethically, it is nonetheless a crime in most countries with (as many laws have) an arbitrary cut off point. Which side of the road you drive on is an arbitrary choice, but I don't think most of us would defend someone who got into an accident because they forgot they were in the UK and drove on the left.
While I think it's a bit a matter of context the statement could as well be interpreted as:
Rape is morally wrong! It doesn't matter the cultural context or the age of the victim (alas, it's certainly a valid argument that it's especially vile when minors are victims).
I think the "morally" is really key here and while I can understand that you take offense with the statement I really feel it's a matter of interpretation.
You can argue that as a leader he should have been more careful how he phrases such a statement. But it's a tall ask to engage in permanent self-censorship when you're even a slightly exposed public person.
This is the definition of cancel culture, drag up some old shit out of context and then get fake offended.
Sad to see so many people on hacker news is brainwashed. Hacker culture used to be anti authority, free markets etc.