I also agree that the media has over stepped here (as has Stallman).
Stallman approaches things with an uncompromising view of moral integrity. He was wrong in this case, but IMO it’s the equivalent of me telling my non-tech friends about how we should lock down our phones. They don’t get it or care. Stallman likewise didn’t seem to care too much here, and now he’s paying the price.
All that being said, his belief system guides the FSF. I’m concerned that the FSF will degrade with him being gone.
Still head priest at the church of GNU though.
It may also improve. Often things just keep going once the person thought to be indispensable leaves. It’s a good test for the organization if they have people who can step up. I wonder how Linux will do once Linus retires.
That's an earnest question. I would sleep better tonight knowing the FSF will be in safe and effective hands.
I don't think anyone will be able to top rms in charisma, in the sense of having that feeling that Free Software is their calling in life, above anything and everything else.
That said, I think a movement only needs a charismatic founder to keep going for centuries with more regular leaders. I think there are a few worthy candidates, like Eben Moglen, Karen Sandler and Mishi Choudhary, and I'm sure a few more can be found in the FSF ranks themselves, now that obfuscating spotlight is gone.
"We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates."
The following quote posted on righteousruminations blog does not appear in the PDF file posted by vice. Here is the quote from the blog -> "it might not be so terrible if a 73 year old * an underage girl if he didn't know she was underage and being coerced." (I removed the curse word so this post doesn't get blocked)
I assume the quote by the righteousruminations blog to be an opinion and not an actual quote from RMS.
On page 7 of the same email list documents released by vice. RMS wrote the following:
"I think it is moraily absurd to define "rape" in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17."
RMS also wrote the following on his blog in 2006:
"I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing."
I'm also a little fascinated, just generally, by the tendency for very smart people to make "good points for bad reasons" - strenuously quibbling with some premise that would make no relevant impact to the lemmas and conclusions constructed atop them. It's like an inability to grasp larger points.
Little picture: Stallman is basically reasonable in his email thread, all the headlines are outright lies which wholly discredit their newspapers/sites
Big picture: he is still a huge creep and should have been gone from leadership positions decades ago
To me it's when I see something wrong being said/done, I want to correct or resist it, even if overall it doesn't matter. Like people who lie about things Trump has said -- which is ridiculous, why not just take one of the many dumb things Trump did say -- I'll have the urge to spring to the his defense and point out how some criticism is irrational or misconstrued. Even though it's Trump. I also found myself correcting misinformation about Louis C K during his shit the other year, though I didn't die on any hills or anything.
Although, I can see a good reason for it in a case like Trump, if it's from the point of view of someone that is trying to muster resistance against him - from that perspective, true arguments against him are clearly better than false arguments, as the latter can be counterproductive. So I totally get that.
.... However, I did not know about his quote on this page (https://stallman.org/archives/2003-mar-jun.html#28%20June%20...) starting with "The nominee is quoted as saying". I honestly cannot tell if that was an attempt at a bad joke or dead serious.
He's an eccentric character, and I'm sad that he's stepping down, but I also think it's for the best. He's contributed what he can, and I think it'll be good for someone else to carry the torch; sometimes a change of leadership is what an organization needs to refresh the vision and increase reach.
I grew up with RMS as one of my heroes, even if a lesser hero and one that I tended to shy away from for his dogmatism. I no longer have any respect for him. His work was good for the FSF but them's the breaks. No more respect.