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[flagged] Richard Stallman's Personal Homepage (stallman.org)
54 points by crazypython 2 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments





https://stallman.org/articles/dont-watch-covid-tv.html

"Don't watch TV coverage of Covid-19! (Or "social media"; the details are different.) Watching repetitive coverage of something frightening can interfere with clear thinking, even traumatize people. ...

In addition, it will make you more and more anxious. Someone I knew in 2001, who lived in California. spent all day on Sep 11 and following days watching the TV coverage. Afterward perse was afraid to go outside, watching for terrorist airplanes. TV made it possible for per to be traumatized by events 3000 miles away."

Spot. Fucking. On. Social media in my lefty social circle in a nutshell.


I think its important to stay informed, but to an extent for the information received to be actionable. For example, if I want to know if I should wear a raincoat, I check the weather. I don't worry about every storm around the globe. Periodically, I'll check for storms in the winter. If a large system / blizzard is coming, I'll make provisions.

I would apply the same to Covid-19, but there is a catch. Policymakers are making decisions in real time to respond to a crisis. Its apparent they are being swayed by interest groups that want to protect their businesses and rationalize the impact to public health. I am torn by this, because I don't want to be glued to the news, however it is necessary to hold politicians accountable for the factions they are currying favor for.

This however, doesn't require 24/7 coverage. I can at least research the news on a weekly basis and do what I can with that. Stay informed for the next election, sign letters, etc.


Not sure why you had to make this political and include “lefty” in that. Right leaning social media is just as alarmist.

At the height of the BLM protests you would have thought Seattle and Portland were anarchist war zones based on coverage by conservative news outlets. That wasn’t the case at all.


I live in a lefty bubble. I can (literally) only imagine how terrible right leaning social media is, but I don't personally experience it. I don't mean it politically so much as culturally: I am of the left, and I'm so tired of and saddened by watching people I care about celebrate traumatizing themselves as a moral imperative.

I understand. It's tough. On the one hand I don't want to stick my head in the sand and disconnect from what's happening in the world, but I also need to consider my mental health. I really hope we can ratchet back the insanity some after the election.

It's not sticking the head in the sand. As mentioned above the info has to be actionable to be useful.

Endless discussing in circles with persons of different opinion in your peer group is a waste of energy. Either they come to similar, or at least less controversial opinions as time passes, because of their own experience(es), or they don't. If they, or in reverse you in their position just agree to be left alone, nothing is won.


If you took out the person behind it all and just presented this at face value I do often wonder how differently these views would be perceived.

I love RMS, his steadfast dogged persistence in the face of overwhelming adversity that is stronger every year is actually quite inspiring.

Really hope the next generation standing on the shoulders of giants can properly articulate these issues far better though. For regular everyday people it's hard to impart and make anyone understand why software freedom is so incredibly important in functioning modern societies.

Maybe I'm an over-optimist but I think we'll get there one day.


> What’s bad about: Airbnb | Amazon | Amtrack | ... | Facebook | ... | Intel | ... | Paid toilets | ... | Wendy’s | ... |

This has always been RMS’s problem: He’s obviously an intelligent guy and has lots of interesting thoughts, but the way he presents them makes him come across as a deranged fool.

He’s a legend in the FOSS community and his words hold (or at least used to hold) a lot of weight with regards to personal freedoms online. He has an amazing platform to talk about these issues, which he does, but only if you’re willing to slog through the hundreds of other societal injustices he happens to care about. It’s such a shame and makes me wonder what the world would look like if he showed more leadership.


How many times does it take for him to be proven right until fools stop perceiving him as a fool?

It doesn’t matter. “Weird CS professor was right about Facebook” holds no weight, people don’t care and aren’t going to listen to anything else he might have to say. Unfortunately.

By the way, you can help rms by volunteering to maintain this website, if you wish too. It's basically about publishing his political notes, which means formatting them, uploading them and occasionally finding old references and link to them.

It's a bit hidden in the content of the home page, but you can search for "volunteer" to see the reference about it.


From the post:

>perse was afraid to go outside

>TV made it possible for per

I'm not a native speaker, so genuine question: is this a common thing or a Stallman thing?



I love his sense of humor:

"In response to this article, someone lectured me for believing that languages don't change. Perse did not trouble first to inquire whether that's what I believed."


It gets better...

Which reminds me, I once joined a few acquaintances for a ride on the pleasure boat one of them owned. He pointed at another boat and told us it was a yawl. I waved and said, "Hi, yawl!"


It's explained here: https://stallman.org/articles/genderless-pronouns.html

tl;dr - "perse" is his preferred gender-neutral pronoun


My gender-neutral pronoun is to clap three times and spin around in a circle. It is written in one of three symbols, “he”, “she” or “it” - which are haphazardly selected and unpronounceable.



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