And I agree that it would be helpful to have a moderate voice in Free Software. I use a Mac - sorry, it's really nice to use and I code a lot. I like my Kindle - sorry, it's better than the others and I read a lot. I live and work with proprietary software, but I believe in Free Software too. WebKit is popular because of Apple and Google. OS X is the most popular BSD, and the most popular consumer Unix. Non-free and free can and have worked together to mutual benefit. Is there anyone out there who can help me walk that line? If Larry is proposing to make that organisation, I would welcome it with open arms.
But what of this Jobs nonsense? Are we so timid and flammable that we can't handle a complex opinion that we don't agree with? Can you not accept that Jobs was a great leader who didn't deserve to die, but that he left a scary, proprietary footprint all over the mobile and tablet space? "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone." is an opinion I don't agree with, but I don't think it's ludicrous, tactless and heartless.
Not everyone has to respect the things I respect, and feelings don't suddenly trump debate because of death. Jobs is one of the hacker community's sacred cows, and we wouldn't accept this level of sanctification on any other topic. I'm sure when Bill Gates or the Dalai Lama dies, there will be posts saying "let's not forget that Windows Vista was awful and religion is the other opiate of Tibet" Will they cause the same outcry?
"My heart goes out to Steve Jobs' family in their time of grief. And my heart also goes to the millions of people who looked up to him as an icon and inspiration. But we need to not get so carried away honoring the dead that we forget the damage that Jobs' work had on the Free Software movement.
His pioneered the software walled garden, which destroys freedom and choice. And he targeted it at people who would not understand what they were sacrificing by giving up their freedoms.
We can only hope that his successors make Apple a more free company, or failing that, are not as effective at spreading it as he was."
Wasn't that better? And it communicated substantively the same thing, but without all the name calling and the seeming glee over the death of another human.
Disclaimer: I typed this on my Macbook Air.
Edit: One more thing to add. Saying "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone" is tripe. Being gone is a euphemism for being dead. The reason we mourn when a loved one dies is precisely because that means they are gone.
Maybe RMS sees a subtle distinction between death and gone-ness in his head. But I promise you that people in grief see absolutely no distinction between the death and the loss of the person they mourn.
It is not legitimate for the mass of HN to be "in grief" because of Steve Jobs's death. You may be sad, but certainly no grieving period should be necessary for strangers.
Stallman was not overtly disrespectful imo, and there's a solid distinction between "gone" and "dead". "Gone" can mean retired just as well as it could mean dead -- the point is that that person is no longer influential in the circles they were affecting.
When was this decided? And by who? Did I miss a memo?
I've never owned an Apple product in my life, but the computers I have used, the smartphone I own, the tablet I will eventually get, the world I will live in 20 years from now, probably would not exist if it wasn't for Steve Jobs.
The world has lost an exceptional human being, and along with him, we have lost a chunk of the future he would have created if he'd lived longer.
So who's deciding how we are to legitimately feel about that?
This is such an overstatement. What makes you so sure that Jobs had a positive influence on the world? You can't tell if in his absence something better would evolve. Not all his ideas were originall nor all the inventions were his own. And more importantly, neither was a better world his goal.
I see him more as a vanity figure and his contribution way overestimated. Sorry, if you had an image o Jobs running in a green forest along side with unicorns and rainbows, my opinion differs.
The Average Person has no concept of How Things Could Be Better. They just take what's available, get the job done, take their paycheck and live their lives. iPad seems to be the first time that Average Jane is saying things like "it'd be really nice if more of what I need to do could happen on my iPad." Maybe it's not to the point of consumers actually driving demand -- such as demanding text books in digital form -- but it's a start (and a welcome change from people just accepting the status quo.)
The reasons from iPad's success and other tablets' failures are irrelevant to my point. Would the rest of the industry have eventually figured out how to make tablets marketable to all of humanity? Perhaps eventually, but the world we live in today, the one where tablets (specifically iPads) are in demand now is the one in which we live.
"...probably would not exist if it wasn't for Steve Jobs." Exactly. And also if not for Steve Wozniak. And if not for Bill Gates. And a handful of other people in the industry that worked with and competed against each other early on in their careers.
Consider that for most of these 15 years, the hardware wasn't good enough for mass appeal. The combination of a CPU powerful enough to render video and to support custom apps written in a high-level language, the RAM, the screen technology and the battery able to sustain all these for many hours didn't exist until probably 2006 or so.
But this Jobs fanboying surely indicates that world is not yet educated enough.
Even hacker's new crowd belives in Jobs magic and reality distortion.
What is pretty telling is that although the first versions of apple's products are inferior in comparison with contemporary alternatives, and more expensive, people still rush to buy them because Jobs' face is in their advertisement. That was his charisma.
It's no secret that Jobs was a terrible boss, treating inhumanly his employees. He did exploit his friendships (duh). He used patents extremely to not let any room for other innovators of his time to have a chance on creating something better or more competitive. And he certainly knew that his products were made from children working all day in Chinese factories, but of-course that didn't matter much to him.
Vanity was clearly his drive. His goal was not to change the world or provide a better user experience, whatever happened there was just a side effect from his desire to be the "I win everything suckerz" guy.
And despite all this, you start a rant because Stallman expressed his opinion for Jobs sincerely and not in a politically correct way. Whatever criticism you have for FSF, it is a truly positive force on this planet. For what was the true influence of Jobs, that is very debatable.
Anyway, you may very well disagree. I was just trying to explain why some people who think differently might be more than a little sad about it. And that just because he was a stranger doesn't limit the amount of sadness people may legitimately feel.
Steve Jobs has said many times that if he and Apple had not done the things they did, some other person or company -- within a short time period, would have done them.*
If you respect what he's done, then presumably you would respect his beliefs about how important he or Apple actually were.
Yes, someone probably would "do them". Probably not as well. Probably without the attention to detail. Had the Lisa and Macintosh come out, Microsoft or someone else probably would have still shipped a really crappy GUI. Maybe we'd still be using Windows 1.0.
You need a memo to tell you others don't have to feel the same way you do?
> So who's deciding how we are to legitimately feel about that?
You, but keep it to yourself or risk other people sharing their feelings with you.
I too see Jobs like Bill Gates. He went out of his way to sue competitors out of business and hated the idea of anyone's success he couldn't charge rent for. The world is a far poorer place because of would-be monopolists like him.
As for the future he'd have created, it's on schedule. He's a product manager, not a materials scientist, graphics artist, programmer, etc. The same quality of work is being done by the same workers today as is was last week.
As the leader of an consumer protection organization, seeing how Jobs sought to ultimately undermine personal control of a user's computer through DRM and lawsuits, Stallman's response seems quite reasonable.
Wow. What utter, irredeemable hypocrisy. "It's not legitimate for HN to grieve" is met by indignation at being told how we should feel, and then you have the unmitigated gall to declare in opposition that others don't have to feel the same way we do?! That was the point!
You seem to have missed a critical piece of the message.
That said, I do agree that walled gardens are bad but there are more effective ways of delivering that message, to use someones death and name recognition to further your agenda is not in good taste.
Keep in mind that grieving is not a binary thing. The grief one feels at the loss of one's children is different than losing one's parents, or a close friend, or a neighbor, or a coworker, or someone in the community, or someone you've never heard of living halfway around the world. Or a visionary business leader.
Disclaimer: Actively avoids Apple products
Open source software won't take over by being 1.86x faster and using a totally sweet heap sort algorithm. I'm a geek and I find that kind of thing interesting at an intellectual level, but it doesn't make me want to spend an entire Saturday trying to get Linux to recognize my sound card. "Normal" people absolutely don't care and won't put up with the hassle.
With Steve gone, there's a taste-shaped hole in the entire technology world that I can't see anyone stepping in and taking over. Until the open source world gets its own Steve Jobs -- someone out there who starts focusing relentlessly on the users (how to make software "just work" and look/feel great at the same time), it's never going to unseat the dominant players (as much as I might want it to).
Stuff like that is FUD though, linux sound support is pretty good these days and the amount and variety of devices supported dwarfs the best the commercial world has to offer. In general, Linux support of legacy devices is amazing.
Newly minted hardware without a factory supported driver is a different kettle of fish but you can't really blame the Linux driver writers for that, they need information to work with and if manufacturers are not going to supply that info it needs to be painstakingly recovered, which is not always possible and almost always incomplete to some extent.
Who cares? It doesn't work. When I buy an Apple laptop I know all the hardware works. That's it. There is no blame to Linux devs (I've counted as one at times). This is the real world -- I'm not giving out consolation prizes to software that almost works.
The vast majority of people are like that; my use of the first person singular was not an accident, I count myself among them. It's not a matter of assigning blame, it's a matter of recognizing reality.
For Linux to take over the consumer desktop market, it doesn't just need to be as easy to install and maintain as Windows or OSX; it needs to be significantly easier. That is the hole a "Steve Jobs of free software" could fill.
And for fucks sake, don't say "it's FUD". I had a hard time installing drivers for an NVidia graphic card this month in Ubuntu's latest stable version, running in Dell workstation. I could even put out some videos.
I'm tired of people who had difficulties with Linux being called liars and getting down votes here.
Linux is great, but it's not finished yet. There's room for improvement. (Same with Windows. Same with OS X).
EDIT: But that wasn't the point. The point is that those kinds of problems still happen with Linux, but only sometimes, with specific distros in specific gear, but when they don't happen (such as with Ubuntu 99% of the time) Linux gets praise and adoption from non-techies.
Someone who installs an OS has immediately gone beyond mere "user". A fairer comparison must include pre-installed machines.
How? By writing drivers for undocumented hardware?
> it doesn't just need to be as easy to install and maintain as Windows
Have you tried to install Windows recently? Fat-finger one prompt and you need to return it to the store to get it back. Make one little mistake in your backup and you need to buy install disks, etc. Don't buy anti-virus software and kiss it goodbye.
It's only easy because nobody does it - they all just pay the $100 install tax and have the store do it for them.
If you actually had to install a system and run a non-trivial program Mac would win, followed by Ubuntu, and then the rest would trickle in at the unusable-by-the-masses level.
Windows 7 install (recently) from disk is dead simple, please give an example of something you could destroy through fat-fingering. Anti-virus is pointless for most users who don't pirate software and who use a modern browser (along with some common sense... Like say, not installing viruses). Kiss it all goodbye is ridiculous, when was the last time you heard of a virus doing anything other than installing spyware or a botnet?
Most people pay your so-called tax because there is no viable alternative, these aren't the kind of people who will buy the parts and put it together themselves.
Finally, I found ubuntu to be more difficult to install than windows. Think "proprietary" drivers... And there are a bunch of fat fingering opportunities in the ncurses version of the install.
Destroy as in magic smoke? No. But have to take back to the store to have it reset. Yes.
This initial language prompt the computer booted to didn't have a back button once you'd chosen. If you get that wrong, good luck changing it if you're a casual user.
> Anti-virus is pointless for most users who don't pirate software and who use a modern browser (along with some common sense... Like say, not installing viruses).
That's fine for you and me. I've only ever found one virus despite scanning what I download.
But it was a malware posing as an archiving tool not warez, and malware is everywhere and does everything to look legit. Legitimate users get burned by this all the time.
As for a modern browser, sure - up to date IE is much better than before but Flash hardly is, so IE hardly is, so Windows hardly is... A single security layer simply isn't sufficient. A browser that's so plugin-happy needs to be better sandboxed.
Which is why for a computing environment where your browser is running as the primary user, you need a virus scanner.
> Most people pay your so-called tax because there is no viable alternative, these aren't the kind of people who will buy the parts and put it together themselves.
That's exactly what I mean. There's just enough hard about the install to make it not easy and thus it's hard by most people's reckoning.
Only the Mac is really good and that's because they supply the hardware so they know the drivers, the configuration, etc.
> Finally, I found ubuntu to be more difficult to install than windows. Think "proprietary" drivers...
"Here's a machine that won't run Ubuntu - see what a tough install Ubuntu is!"
> And there are a bunch of fat fingering opportunities in the ncurses version of the install.
Sure. But even still, less of a "there's no back button" kind of thing and more just complexity because of difficulty. Windows by default uses the entire drive, Ubuntu could but that'd make it harder in other ways. But judging it on that sort of thing misses their simplicity in areas that can be simple. As much as can work, just does. No EULAs, no trapdoor options, no hurried backups onto DVDs you forgot to buy and had to go back to get because it doesn't come with a $.30 install disk, etc...
You're making my point. I (someone who works in the software industry) had a problem with a piece of open source software. If the open source world is going to go mainstream, the reaction can't be "That's FUD." It has to be "That's unacceptable, we need to fix this immediately."
Don't do it for me. If I decide the tradeoff of effort vs. benefit is worthwhile, I can eventually resolve the problem myself. Do it for my mom, who just wants the printer to work so she can print handouts for her students. Do it for your grandparents who just want to check their email and look at their grandkid's pictures. Or just tell me I'm an anti-open source propagandist and dismiss me.
I've made my decision. Computers are made for people, not people for computers.
But thanks for proving his point by calling him a liar.
Counterpoint to your story: I bought a notebook with a 3G card in it, couldn't for the life of me get the thing to work under windows vista (which it came installed with). It got so bad that I suspected that the hardware must be broken.
For kicks I booted the machine using ubuntu NBR, not only did it detect and configure all the other peripherals properly but it also auto-detected the 3G card and it made it work instantly without further configuration, other than clicking the 'connect' entry in the menu and entering the PIN code (four times '0').
Just because there is the occasional glitch I'm not going to say 'windows vista doesn't support lots of hardware'.
If you say your soundcard/wireless/etc doesn't work under a major distribution then that's really unfortunate, but that does not make your story representative of the vast majority of Linux users. Personally I haven't seen any configuration issues in Linux for over a decade unless it was because I was using some very rare and either very new or totally obscure hardware, and even in those cases I could always get it to work by using google for a bit.
Except for that one time with the 3G card under windows. But that's not proof of anything other than that there was at least one instance where someone had a hardware issue with a windows machine.
Now please do not say you can write a driver yourself.
But that sorta proves his point. Linux isn't good to normal people today just because it's full of geeky magic dust. It is good today because it "Just Works™".
How about freedom? Is freedom from, for example, capitalist overlords more important than life?
People give their lives for freedom all the time.
>A great man has died, and all RMS can think about is what this means for the Free Software movement? //
Meh. I don't see the problem with someone who didn't know Steve Jobs personally simply addressing how a change in leadership of Apple Computers affects him and his causes.
Mountains out of mole hills if you ask me.
Steve Jobs wasn't the enemy of freedom RMS paints him as. That he personally wrote letters against DRM on media-stores and against the closed-platform called Flash asking everyone to favor HTML5 made much much difference in those two specific areas than most things Stallman did lately.
(Funny, reminds me that that FOSS advocates here on NH are okay with Android prolonging Flash's life and using closed-source software only as a means to gain market share)
Granted, he never open sourced the whole operating system, but why would he? To see Apple collapse again while Dell/HP and others strive? What's the point? Then we start all over again? We'll have open-source chips manufactured by 2 or 3 companies? What's the fucking point?
Seriously, I'm tired of Stallman's half-assed socialism. It's an offense to me. You don't destroy capitalism by destroying companies, or people. You destroy capitalism by destroying the core of it...
Note that the FSF even produces and distributes builds for Windows. Here's an example: http://www.gnu.org/s/mit-scheme . Most FSF projects that don't produce Windows builds directly provide information on where they can be found.
Stallman may not want people raising the profile of proprietary software, but he certainly doesn't advocate cathedral-style control of a users' computing platform.
Yeah, it's ridiculous. The "player" makes the choices, they get the blame.
Every time I see someone talking about how they just do what they have to do to feed their kids someone else steps up to say that they feed their kids without hurting others.
> Steve Jobs wasn't the enemy of freedom RMS paints him as. That he personally wrote letters against DRM on media-stores and against the closed-platform called Flash asking everyone to favor HTML5
Sure, against some DRM. But the iPhone and iPad are locked down.
Really, he was just against the other guy's walled garden while trying to steal bricks from it for his own.
> Funny, reminds me that that FOSS advocates here on NH are okay with Android prolonging Flash's life [...]
I wasn't aware I had to complain against all problems in every post. The love-in for Steve prompted these complaints. If there was a love-in for Android you'd see the anti-Android opinions coming out.
> Seriously, I'm tired of Stallman's half-assed socialism. It's an offense to me.
I don't think you know what the word means. I believe you're pretty offended though.
> You don't destroy capitalism by destroying companies, or people. You destroy capitalism by destroying the core of it...
Oh, do tell, our fully-assed socialist leader.
And so are you, it seems... ;)
EDIT: Since you cherry-picked my points and completely ignored what I tried to say in order to attack me, I'll just repeat what I wrote, since it's what I would reply anyway.
Trying to put all the blame on Steve Jobs' shoulder, right after his death, is horrendous.
...made much much difference in those two specific areas than most things Stallman did lately.
Granted, he never open sourced the whole operating system, but why would he? To see Apple collapse again while Dell/HP and others strive? What's the point? Then we start all over again? We'll have open-source chips manufactured by 2 or 3 companies? What's the fucking point?
The change in leadership at Apple occurred in mid-August when Jobs officially stepped down. You could even argue it happened back in January when Jobs took his final medical leave and turned day-to-day operations over to Tim Cook.
Where was RMS's sigh of relief then, when Jobs effectively relinquished his role? No, he chose to post this right after Jobs died. I find his post tactless and highly offensive. I've never been a fan of RMS, but this takes the cake.
Of course, RMS is not speaking for the FSF here, but there in recent years there is a history of missteps (Emacs virgins) and childish campaigns (Windows 7 sinds, Bad Vista, etc.) associated with the FSF.
It seems that RMS and the FSF (through zealotry) have become disconnect to most of society. Take the Apple Genius Bar DDoSing action of the FSF a few years ago. To the FSF it will probably seem heroic, but to the general public it's just annoying. You needed some help with your iPod, and then there is a bunch of annoying geeks blocking the Genius Bar, making you wait hours rather than minutes, just when you had to pick up your child from school. The next time that person reads about 'free software' or a 'free software operating system' he/she will think back about that bad experience and probably dismiss it.
Where is the humanity?
For reference, this is the RMS posting I'm reading:
It's rms. He's the biggest nerd in the world. Nerds are expected to be horrendously, gratuitously crass, offensive and insensitive of people's emotions.
This is like being mad that the sky is blue. Pointless outrage.
See also RMS's disappointment at the developer busy with a new child - start here (http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel/36137)
His inability to understand people is distracting from the aims of FSF.
>It doesn't take special talents to reproduce--even plants can do it.
On the other hand, contributing to a program like Emacs takes real
For sure, Asperger's or Autism explains it, but doesn't make it much easier to deal with.
If you're saying it's organizationally foolish to let Stallman be the face of the FSF due to his insensitivity... I can see a good argument there.
If you're saying we need to stop "tolerating" nerd insensitivity by condemning them on blogs and refusing to use their software and stuff like that, then I just think that is childish and pointless.
Speaking as one of millions of pleasant, sensitive nerds, I find this offensive.
There are socially sensitive nerds, but "pleasant" usually describes their SELF-image, not the view that others have of them.
Usually nerds like you describe are socially anxious and attempt to "take care" of everyone around them by conforming to their expectations and desires. Normal people actually find it exhausting to hang out with socially anxious "nice guy" nerds.
Also, almost all "nice guys" have a lot of repressed anger and rage from trauma in the past. The "nice guys" have repressed it and so are not aware of it, but others see the anger, usually manifesting as cynicism, sarcasm, or passivity.
Anyway true pleasant, sensitive people are rarely also described as nerds. They'd be described as socially comfortable, pleasant, emotionally sensitive, and intelligent.
"Nerd" would not enter the description unless there is some amount of social anxiety, awkwardness, or intense need for external validation.
Yet somehow he still continues to be just that.
People with laser-like obsessions tend to have poor social skills, whether they are programmers or otakus.
>The reason we mourn when a loved one dies is precisely because that means they are gone.
Not true! If I knew my close friend or family member was moving to a remote location such that I'd never see or hear from them again, I'd be sad but it would be a lot less sad than if they died. When someone dies, we don't just mourn the loss of their interactions we us (wouldn't that be a bit selfish?), we mourn the fact that they are aren't experiencing life anymore.
By completely failing to acknowledge what Jobs did that was positive (even within his own value system) Stallman shows just how clueless he is. To put it another way, Stallman is fine with people being imprisoned in the walled garden of a computer priesthood, so long as the software they don't know how to use is "free".
This is a very bold generalization grounded on nothing. Once we had rational discussions here.
Wasn't that better? And it communicated
substantively the same thing
No, that isn't better and it does not communicate the same thing.
This is probably true but when they become an embarrassment and a liability it's better to distance yourself from them as much as possible. His latest comments are particularly insensitive but it goes a lot deeper than that. Most of the stuff he writes leaves me with a more negative view of free software. He basically wants people to reject most modern software/technology/services and devote their lives to being as spiritually pure as himself. Never-mind. I'll just use the closed software instead because that's not a commitment I'm willing to make. If everyone in his organization feels that way then it's doomed. He's now an intensely negative force.
No. If he wants anything from the average person, instead of for them, it's that they pay attention to the value of their freedom (to keep using your software when the key server goes offline, for instance) now instead of later when it's too late.
> Most of the stuff he writes leaves me with a more negative view of free software.
Of course. You resent what you see as his spiritual purity in rejecting Trojan horse DRMed products that lock you in because you know you aren't capable of going without something you want now for greater gain in the future.
You realize that going with the locked-down answer is as smart as selling your house for the short-term gain, but unlike Stallman, are unable to control your urges. Thus you hate him, and those who can.
Now, we both could be reading more into it than there is, but this is how your over-the-top hatred of a free software programmer comes across.
> This is probably true but when they become an embarrassment and a liability it's better to distance yourself from them as much as possible.
I'm sure you don't put 1/100th of the effort into actually attacking real evil people as you do in knocking down the other teams' supposedly sacred cows.
Or are you on the streets/otherwise fighting for freedom in Bahrain, Egypt, etc, freeing Bradley Manning, stopping censorship, women/children/men/the elderly's rights and all the other good fights, and this is just what's left for Stallman?
How is it that someone on such a high horse lacks perspective?
> You realize that going with the locked-down answer is as smart as selling your house for the short-term gain, but unlike Stallman, are unable to control your urges. Thus you hate him, and those who can.
I am reminded of this quote:
"Each one of us, in his timidity, has a limit beyond which he is outraged. It is inevitable that he who by concentrated application has extended this limit for himself, should arouse the resentment of those who have accepted conventions which, since accepted by all, require no initiative of application." - Man Ray
There are perhaps exceptions in those who are essentially disgraces to the human race, but in general... Death is the one thing that binds us all. We all share the same destination. Have a little class. Even Gates had something nice to say, and I'm sure if Gates passed first, Jobs would have had something as well.
Death is not a time for bitterness.
n 1: a worthless lazy fellow
EDIT: Well, I should note that you're correct about the definition. I don't know about the etymology.
The bird does, notably, have better hygiene than RMS.
I've felt this way a long time about RMS; his comment about Steve Jobs's death was uncalled for--but it really was well-within character. Just like Phelps and Westboro are expected to show up at soldier's funerals to protest, we've come to expect this type of shit from RMS--and I agree with the OP that it's time to stop just accepting it.
[Edit] I want to state that RMS, like everyone, is fully entitled to his opinion and that opinion carries no more or less weight than my own. Moreover, you're completely entitled to agree with him. What I do have a problem with is what the OP described: he doesn't belong at the head of a major organization, nor does he belong at the apex of the free software movement. Beyond my earlier described "inner circle," in the past several years, he's done more to tarnish the image of the free software community than to help it.
I don't think the same of Fred Phelps. I long ago reached the conclusion that he tries to say the most inflammatory thing possible wether he really believes it or not. I have no idea why, but I believe he has some other agenda than just the condemnation of homosexuality.
I've even almost seriously entertained the idea that he is a closet extreme atheist out to discredit theists.
It's hard to understand the internal reality that either is basing their actions on anymore, but it doesn't change the fact that they both see the world through their own singular vision which they're no longer able to coherently share with others and convince others of - they've taken their premises as axioms and just go around preaching hate to a shrinking choir and offending the rest of us with their actions
If Larry Ellison had just died after his company purposely screwed up MySQL, OpenOffice, Java, Hudson, OpenSolaris ... RMSs comment would still be tasteless and inappropriate
Looks like it equates to fairly decent take-home pay given that he probably works far less than the 2080 full time hours a year for it.
And remember, it's a church, so it's all tax free.
I'm sick of the conspiracy theories that he must be some kind of secret agent. Bigotry and hatred is typical in religion, especially for homosexuals. Theists need to call him an atheist or a con man to make them feel better about being theists and following the philosophy of 1st century madmen.
Certainly there are many people of all cultures and religions who are tolerant, loving and generous. But mostly to those of their own culture/religion.
As for living in bubbles, that is _precisely_ the purpose of culture/religion - to enclose the individual with a selected group, keep him/her under control and prevent him/her from interacting with outside groups. Take food taboos as an example - it's difficult to be friends with someone if you can't eat with them.
And while there may be hatred and bigotry outside of religion, it pales compared to what religion has given the world. Of course I consider most "-ism"s to be religions too.
The 20th century is evidence enough that man is capable of resorting to the worst possible barbarism without invoking deities as justification, plenty of other excuses are readily available. Going by death count, political purges in officially atheist communist nations took the cake... by far. Ethnicity was a distant second behind politics, and religion a distant third.
> Of course I consider most "-ism"s to be religions too.
Communism, solipsism, humanism, socialism, nihilism? If the majority of philosophical and political beliefs, even those with a stated opposition to religion, are now redefined to be religion, then "religious belief" is no longer a subset of "belief", and you've expanded the categorical definition of that word to be useless at anything other than proving yourself correct.
Be careful how you phrase this - these purges were not done in the name of atheism. They do not compare 'death from atheism' to 'death from religion'. It's an important distinction that needs to be made.
However, Phelps "ministry" seems to exist, simply to shock. He's like the one dimensional villain who is evil for the sake of being evil.
Since his public persona seems like a fictional character, I assume he is one.
trigger warning/tl;dr: Phelps family is every bit as horrifically abusive as you'd imagine.
That's how I see the Pope or your typical small town preacher, yet I believe their sincerity. I'm not sure why you get to sit there and decide who is sincere and insincere without any proof. They are Christians, they follow scripture, they have opinions and audience. They're not con men, they are simply misguided and in IMHO evil because its impossible to have a non-evil religion. At the end of the day, believing woo that justifies your biases is evil.
Phelps is just a Christian. Accept it. Move on.
I don't think he's an atheist, though. I know plenty of Christians who are almost as crazy and definitely not acting. I think he's just a fundamentalist who's smart enough to take advantage of adding a little on the top; a sort of larger-than-life "media personality."
EDIT: With that being said, RMS and Phelps are nothing at all alike. RMS truly believes what he says and that his beliefs are right. Phelps is just an ass trying to elicit violent responses to get money out of people already dealing with horrible tragedies.
I think (granted to a lesser extent) we gotta hand it to RMS
I'm honestly curious because from my outsider's perspective (being affiliated with neither Apple nor FSF), RMS is vastly more admirable than CEO of a for-profit company.
The ability to cater to customers and sell them expensive products is precious and certainly good for the shareholders. And, to a lesser degree, even for the customers I guess... but why this worship and e-drama? How can turning huge profits be comparable to FSF's mission -- lofty even if you don't identify with it -- and why are non-shareholders so ecstatic about it? (leaving Job's death aside now, R.I.P. man)
You posted my exact feelings in a more intelligent way than I ever could have.
RMS and people like him in the free software community is why I have never 100% committed to a free software way of doing things. I do a lot of development in Linux but I do just as much in Windows. Even though I contribute to the open source world in my own small way and see the importance of it, I find myself caring less and less about the philosophy behind it, At least when it comes to the zealots that are involved.
We all know that both Apple and Microsoft have pulled asshole moves before. But I can't help thinking that zealots like RMS would do the same thing if the FSF was in control.
Choice would be to educate someone about the benefits of open source technology and then let them make the decision on what philosophy they would like to follow. Not, "your company choose to make your product closed source so you are now going down an evil path". I'm exaggerating a bit so I can illustrate my point. You can think that your philosophy is the right path without necessarily thinking that the other path is "evil".
Your level of support is not that great, then.
I use and contribute to open source because I believe a lot of the best technology comes from it. I do not use it because I believe closed source is inherently evil.
RMS is a dick and I can accept that. What bothers me is the pass that he gets when he is a dick and the percentage of others who are like him in the free software community.
I did read: "Even though I contribute to the open source world in my own small way and see the importance of it, I find myself caring less and less about the philosophy behind it".
Please enlighten us, what level of support would you deem acceptable? Anything less than complete and exclusive acceptance of the goals of the FSF?
I'm sure a middle road exists.
Trouble is, RMS is the guy who defined free software in the first place. If you want to do something else than what he intends, it's probably better to pick a different term.
You have to remember that Stallman was around before Jobs' day -- he was performing real work at MIT when Apple was initially conceptualized. Stallman therefore is apparently less vulnerable to the reality distortion field and does not unduly offer oblations to a guy who was obsessed with shininess at the expense of hacker culture. Jobs went to lengths on many products to prevent tinkering in an age when computing was still very open and very academic, because Jobs didn't want any little peons messing up his perfect devices. Hence Stallman's quip that Jobs made computers as a jail cool.
If you think about this statement from Stallman's perspective it really makes a lot of sense, and I think it is ridiculous that the Steve Jobs hero worship pervades so deeply as to not recognize that Jobs was a control freak even after Apple products were sold and in the possession of customers, and that some people, particular contemporaries of Stallman's stripe, may not have been fond of that. I doubt that the release of the iPhone really did much to persuade that set of people.
That's the mark of a self-inflated ass.
People totally go overboard wrt Steve Jobs, as they do his company, Apple. RMS comes from a time when computers were generally open for tinkering, and Apple strove to make its products impenetrable lest Jobs' pain-stakingly "perfected" designs be gaudied up by consumers. From the original Mac which didn't have expansion slots to today's iDevices that don't allow the consumer to do so much as change the battery, Apple has a long history of tight lock down.
Do you not see how an old-school hacker could be disgruntled by that philosophy? The beliefs and experience of that group runs deep enough that they are not hoodwinked into deifying Steve Jobs because the iMac is the sleekest desktop computer around.
In the end, they will win. Either RMS will tone down to focus on the "real" stuff, or he won't, and his influence will wane in favor of more widely-acceptable voices. In this as in many other parts of life, watered-down moderates will be the only ones able to maintain relevance, and uncompromising advocates will be marginalized.
It's just how humans are.
My point is that someone's relevance depends on much more than if a majority of people find their views acceptable. Steve Jobs oversaw products that people loved by uncompromisingly advocating improvements on the status quo in design, while RMS uncompromisingly advocates something that, for many people in the world's present state, is impractical.
Which is clearly not the case. Stallman specifically says that Jobs did not deserve to die and he's not glad that Jobs died.
The OP could have just said that Stallman is not the right person to be the leader FSF because he's often politically incorrect. That's debatable, but understandable.
This hypocrite Job Mania is making me sick and your opinions expresses pretty well parts of my resentment..
Will you travel the world tirelessly promoting free software, speaking at universities and other events for very little money?
Will you maintain a job board, mailing list, hardware database, software directory, year after year?
Will you find lawyers to donate hundreds of hours to write and revise licenses?
Will you hire lobbyists to fight software patents?
Will you tirelessly fight the RIAA, day after day?
When you've done all these things, sign me up.
The sinister anti-Stallman/GNU sentiment on HN is reaching incredibly high levels. Luckily it's mostly nobodies like this big mouth bozo.
Calling someone a "nobody" and a "big mouth bozo" is uncalled for.
> I’m really tired of having to make excuses for Stallman
> when he goes off half-cocked like this, which is why I’m
> no longer a FSF member.
He was a member, and while his member number (5030) isn't low enough to argue that he helped found the movement, he did explain that he has advocated on behalf of the FSF for quite some time. I too think his post was a step too far in the wrong direction, but saying that regular supporters of the FSF, long time contributors and everyday members don't "help in any meaningful way" to the FSF is a tad bit disingenuous.
It's not the mission, it's the man we have a problem with. Yes, he's done a lot for Free Software and software in general, most of it good. He has taught us a lot and probably learned a few things.
The next thing he needs to learn is when to keep some of his thoughts to himself. His statement, in no way, advances the cause of Free Software.
He didn't post to aggregators or tweet to ask for upvotes (technically it was posted on his Identi.ca account which is linked to his political notes feed, but it got no special treatment).
If some major sites hadn't picked up on it and provided the publicity, most readers would never know. So RMS wrote a politically incorrect opinion on his personal page. Can we move on now?
That’s not how communication works. Sorry.
I thought that was sort of implied by my comment, no need to explicitly say it, because it’s so damn obvious. But I’m sorry if you though that my comment was nothing but an attack.
You've been commenting that Stallman should have deported himself better, and yet you break out with a comment like that yourself.
And since you understood me perfectly well there doesn’t seem to be a problem in this specific case.
Edit: changed 'moral' to 'credible' to avoid semantic bickering about the loaded word.
The reason people say Microsoft had no taste is that they never said no, they bolted any old thing onto the side of Windows, there never really has been a sense that Windows is this and this but not that.
Stallman has an extremel sharp sense of what free software is and isn't, I'd call that taste with a capital T. Now, if someone were to say it isn't GOOD taste, well, that's a worthwhile conversation to entertain.
Windows, on the other hand... No idea how it is today, but up to XT it absolutely lacked any sense of taste, it wasn't even bad taste, it simply was stuff higgledy piggledy, some things for experts who use the command line, some chrome for newbies, all next together, but never as powerful and flexible as Unix nor as easy as Macintosh, but not even designed for the middle of the road user.
In other words, no taste.
I was mixed up by the comparison to Bill Gates, who I don’t see as being tasteless in speech but whose company I used to view as being tasteless in design.
But you are absolutely using the word appropriately, whether I agree or disagree with the proposition that Mr. Stallman’s commentary on Steve Jobs was tasteless.
(I'm not saying that there isn't a ton of FOSS out there in lots of hands -- but RMS isn't responsible for its being there in the same way Jobs is responsible. Jobs is responsible for the iPhone. RMS isn't responsible for Android.)
You do realize that Apple has been dependent on GCC to build its products for most of Jobs' second tenure, don't you? Some of that is code that RMS personally wrote.
The GPL license that, again, RMS personally wrote covers the kernel of the Android system. "Great software" that's in "more hands" than Jobs' devices.
Jobs was a slick businessman like Gates. RMS wrote fucking GCC.
Guess who's contribution I value more.
Jobs is responsible for Apple's success. For repeatedly creating devices that have disrupted industries. RMS deserves credit for his contributions, but it is not all-thanks-to-him that we have FOSS.
Yes Apple's software has been closed. But has this been at the expense of FOSS, as RMS claims?
Has Apple actively tried to subvert the GPL by lobbying governments to avoid FOSS? Has Jobs publicly whined about the GPL? Has he engaged in OOXML-esque bad-faith efforts to keep data formats proprietary?
 RMS: "we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing"
It's not just against the development of Stallman's brand of Free Software.
It's an attack on all software developers.
> It's an attack on all software developers.
Did you submit it to the review process?
Was it approved or rejected?
Jobs leveraged the popularity of the iPod with iTunes (which, by the way, is not allowed to talk to any other program under normal circumstances) to make Apple a ton of money. As was the case with iPhone, Apple was big enough to force the hand of the industry-controlling posse into accepting things on its own terms. While they eventually rolled out DRM free, this should be a basic expectation and does not qualify Apple for bonus points. For years they sold exclusively DRM'd content while there were others attempting to make it on DRM-free platforms.
And by the way, afaik (not an iTunes user), television and movie content is still provided exclusively in DRM'd formats.
Yeah, but they also had no music. Apple used their near monopoly of online music to force the majors into selling DRM free music online. That deserves praise.
"Launched in public beta on September 25, 2007, in January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four major music labels (EMI, Universal, Warner Music, and Sony BMG), as well as many independents."
"On January 6, 2009, Apple announced that DRM had been removed from 80% of the entire music catalog in the U.S."
Actually this isn't the case. Back in Apple II times, they provided the most hacker-friendly, fully documented hardware and software, together with the built-in rom assembly listing. But this was Woz' creation (über-hacker par excellence), not Jobs'.
RMS's gripe with Jobs seems to be that he played a very active role in transforming computing from an open, academic activity based on information sharing to a completely proprietary profit center.
In the early 80s, some openness was expected. Releasing a computer without expansion slots then is like releasing a phone where you can't even replace your own battery now.
[edit of first sentence for clarity]
Therefore, as somebody making locked-down everything and locked-down everything cool Jobs was a nemesis figure. It makes perfect sense for Stallman to be glad he retired from current affairs, that Jobs had to retire due to death does not really enter in his thinking because as far as he's concerned it's a completely separate issue.
Those demonizing him for his comments are just idiots.
If Stallman had to make a statement emphasizing his dislike of Jobs' influence, he could still have done so respectfully. Consider this; "I didn't share Steve Jobs' vision of computing, and I wish he'd chosen to embrace free software. I'm very sorry that he's gone and we've lost the opportunity to have that conversation. My sympathies are with his family at this time." There's no need to pretend that Stallman liked Jobs, but his post is contemptible.
As can be seen from the Update to that linked article, I think a big part of the problem is that these Web 2.0 "journalists" don't read, so in a game of telephone it's been turned into "FSF head Richard Stallman issues press release saying Jobs sux". If we're going to do that, you could manufacture about 300 scandals from his blog; "FSF head Richard Stallman equates U.S. President to Saddam Hussein!", etc.
Maybe it's still contemptible as it stands, but I think people are either missing or deliberately ignoring the context when evaluating it. I take his "politics" ticker as closer to an IRC chat than a place for carefully thought out statements (that's what his Essays are for). I like that in geek culture we don't have this weird demand for people to be 24/7 ensconced in a professional PR-oriented persona, like a CEO or politician, but allow people like RMS, ESR, and Theo de Raadt to have crazy personal opinions. (Heck, Jobs had some pretty offensive and harmful opinions about science and alternative medicine, and we allowed that.)
Honestly I'm more offended by this level of shameless profiteering with Steve-Jobs-death linkbait. Huffington Post, for example, shat out 188 separate Steve-Jobs-death posts within 24 hours: http://exploreto.tumblr.com/post/11114571981/huffingtonpost-...
I like that in geek culture we don't have this weird demand for people to be 24/7 ensconced in a professional PR-oriented persona, like a CEO or politician...
If people are pulling things out of a personal blog and broadcasting it across the web in sensational terms, I blame the yellow journalists more than him. I might still disagree with him, but I don't blame him out of context of his blog, as some kind of always-on spokesperson.
Plus, it's not like he hasn't telegraphed, for almost 30 years, that he doesn't plan to be that kind of PR-oriented spokesperson, so one can hardly be shocked about it in 2011.
> he could still have done so respectfully
and the rest of bloggers respectfully chace self-promotion and ad revenue by reposting stuff that has already been said. well, RMS gave them the occasion to continue this nonsense, but at least his view is original.
But he was also basically respectful.
Wow! Easily the best Steve Jobs article I've read this week!
For me, this paragraph captures it all:
I spoke with a man whose right hand was permanently curled into a claw from being smashed in a metal press at Foxconn, where he worked assembling Apple laptops and iPads. I showed him my iPad, and he gasped because he’d never seen one turned on. He stroked the screen and marveled at the icons sliding back and forth, the Apple attention to detail in every pixel. He told my translator, “It’s a kind of magic.”
Now, I don't think Stallman's lines were gratuitously offensive. He was merely clear and concise. He spent no word on niceness, but he spent no word on rudeness either. And by the way, he is factually correct: Jobs was "the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed [among other things] to sever fools from their freedom" (or, if not the pioneer, at least the most effective apologist).
Now should he have just shut up? Probably not. Every one now is praising Jobs, and that may trigger even more sales for the iPhone and the iPad. Praise Jobs, and soon you will praise Apple's most locked down products. At least a word of caution is needed.
Now I do understand that Stallman knows next to nothing about how not to trigger bad feelings. I do understand that he should work on that. But please, don't be offended by something that most probably wasn't intended to be offensive.
They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who do!
RMS has done some admirable things, but he's in dire need of some mental help. Seriously.
1) I don't like when people die.
2) But this happened to Steve Jobs, unfortunately.
3) However from my point of view he was doing so much damage to the world of software that this is a good thing. Not the fact he died but the fact that we no longer have his influence.
Note: I don't agree. But I don't think it should be a problem to say the above.
It is like if you are the leader of a movement against the practice of killing whales, and there is one guy that kills 100,000 whales every year. If he dies you can legitimately say: "I'm sorry he died, but this is a good thing for whales".
He used the wrong words, the wrong time, and so forth, but the concept is nothing of extraordinary from his point of view. It is important to have the freedom of saying what we want.
I can't see how mentioning human life and software licensing in the same sentence is ever a good idea if there is a chance that interested non-nerds are reading up on your ideals.
Off the top of my head: Apache Software Foundation, OSI, GNOME Foundation, Linux Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Python Software Foundation, Open Knowledge Foundation, Software Freedom Law Center, Software in the Public Interest, Wikimedia Foundation.
If you feel like you want to throw money, power or sexual favours to the open source community, there are plenty of ways to do it that don't involve RMS or the FSF. Or you could just find some free/open source script or app or library you use and like and chuck the creator $20 and a nice email saying "I really like your code, go buy yourself a pizza and a beer on me".
RMS is a fanatic about free software, like ultra religious people are to their religion.
For instance, for me, being free, means, at first and above all, being free to choose. Being able to install proprietary nVidia driver which does not crash my linux box every half a day, and have this driver built and available for me in my linux distro repository.
Years ago, RMS was a guest of honor in IBM Tel Aviv. These were the days, Linux was something left-field, obscure, that no one wanted to know or hear about it. There were hundreds of developers in the hall who came to hear about the "Gnu/Linux thing" from the Freedom Guru.
All of a sudden, in the middle of his lecture, out of any imaginable context, RMS took of his left shoe, and then the sack, and start rubbing his toes with his fingers while preaching about free software.
Yes, imagine that, a man is playing with his barefoot on a stage, would you remember anything he said? Would you listen to anything he has to say? Or would your brain being busy understanding and categorizing the extraordinary show you are in?
(Those were not the days of youtube and smartphone, I bet if that would have been happening these days, this was the most viewed video on youtube amongst hackers.)
It is sad, but successful open source project does not seemed to get along with RMS at all, see Ubuntu/Canonical as a good example.
To those saying you agree with what RMS wrote: that’s fine, but irrelevant. As a spokesman for FSF he shouldn’t be pandering to his already devout followers, he should be trying to convince others that the ideals of the FSF are worth pursuing, and he’s been doing an absolutely TERRIBLE job of that lately.
Silly campaigns of immature puns, lashing out at people who don’t say “GNU/Linux”, insulting a recently deceased man who much of the world admires, and making otherwise inappropriate remarks on a regular basis is an excellent way to alienate the people you’re trying to win over.
How have these tactics been working out for FSF? I don’t have stats, but anecdotally most new open source projects I come across have rejected the GPL licenses for BSD, MIT, Apache, etc.
Now imagine what FSF could accomplish if they had a spokesman with the skills of Steve Jobs
"I'm glad he's gone" is only a complaint towards Jobs' influence on personal computing. You may disagree with RMS (I certainly do), and it is certainly an inappropriate comment to make at this time, but this is nothing to make a drama of RMS' comment... Geez people!
Unless OP is a close friend of Steve Jobs and knew him well on a personal level, this is completely baseless speculation based on OP's general good feelings for Apple and the assumption that because Apple products make him feel good, Steve Jobs would never say something rude after a colleague died.
None of these people know Jobs and yet they assume he's some super great dude. Making such assumptions about the CEO's personal character based on your affinity for the products of that CEO's company is very juvenile, yet it's irritatingly common.
Software is at a point where its basically impossible to make anything useful without opensource software. Proprietary code is a minority in my stack both as a developer and as a user. Proprietary software is often good before opensource software is good, but consistently opensource implementations eventually outpace their proprietary counterparts. We saw this trend first with UNIX -> Linux. Today, just reading this webpage I'm using Chrome (Chromium + WebKit) which communicates via POSIX to the BSD network stack in my kernel (Darwin). The browser has been compiled with either GCC or LLVM. Hackernews is probably hosted on nginx / apache behind varnish or something, running on linux.
In short, I feel like the opensource movement has already won. Aside from RMS's crusade against software patents, how is the FSF still relevant?
We have a really long way to go, still.
The most popular computer platforms in the world are iOS and Android, and their users don't have the practical ability or, in some countries, the legal right to modify the software on them.
Many people communicate with their friends and colleagues through Facebook and Gmail — proprietary software applications that send copies of their most private data to advertising-funded companies in foreign countries. (Unless they live in the US.) Their right to continue communicating with their friends through these media is subject to arbitrary revocation at any moment.
Every day, I run into web sites that don't work unless I install Flash.
And my friend David tells me his startup has just received a patent lawsuit from Lodsys.
I understand that you're happy with this situation (except the patent part), but I'm not.
I want to live in a world where people's communication with their friends, family, and colleagues, and the public, is subject to approval from nobody except the communicating parties.
I want to live in a world where Apple can't surreptitiously log everywhere I go on my own phone, and where I'm not committing a crime if I reprogram the phone to stop anyone who is.
I want to live in a world where I can buy any random piece of hardware at the computer store and plug it in with happy anticipation that it will work with Linux, not dread that I'll have to search all over the web for half-assed reverse-engineered drivers.
I want to never read another fucking EULA, and to never again have to click through without reading it and wonder what rights I've just signed away.
We've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
The idea should be to encourage people to use open licenses, and to promote the good of open licenses, not declare war on everything and become some bitter asshole neckbeard when you see guys like Jobs doing well with a slightly different approach.
The FSF doesn't do much. They're little more than negative campaigners "Windows 7 Sins" etc. I'm not sure what its purpose or real world effect is other than to scare middle management from FOSS as much as possible. Stick vs Carrot. FSF is all stick and people have noticed.
The "freedom" you're describing involves government-granted monopolies enforced by pervasive surveillance, unannounced office raids to audit licenses, serial numbers to ensure trackability of all CD-R media, and prosecution of people for disabling malicious software running on their own computers. Certainly it's a kind of freedom; but can't we do better?
Stallman had a slightly different viewpoint about that "freedom":
The "freedom to choose a license" which denies others essential
freedoms is not really a freedom. It is a form of power, of
domination over others. Your description makes it sound like a
matter of individual freedom by obscuring the presence of the
others in the situation.
The GPL is designed to protect the essential freedoms for everyone,
by denying anyone the power to take them away.
(He wrote that in 1999, but I imagine he still feels the same way.)
That's a debatable point since a sizable portion of the world's population does not think that capitalism is a good system. It's mind boggling that the task of convincing people to work together and share even exists, considering how social humans are.
>They're little more than negative campaigners "Windows 7 Sins" etc.
Here you have groups of people working towards the primary goal of taking money from you and the secondary goal of locking you into their brand so that you must continue to pay them and yet you vehemently defend them. These people are not your friends in a very active and direct way! Would we have solved other social issues such as equal rights without a stick or did they improve precisely because the powers that be begun to feel threatened? Are you aware of the fact that your local government is an organization which has a monopoly on sticks (which it is very ready to use against you)? Why do you not speak out about that if you are principally against sticks? Surely (I can't stop calling you that) those sticks hit a little closer to home? Incidentally, the very companies you are defending use their sticks the most.
Besides, since when did it become so politically incorrect to point out unethical behavior?
I think you're right; if open source hasn't won, it's doing pretty well. But as far as the FSF is concerned that's doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. The FSF isn't going to declare victory until they bring everybody around to their moral point of view.
> In short, I feel like the opensource movement has already
> won. Aside from RMS's crusade against software patents,
> how is the FSF still relevant?
RMS would say that you booted your machine with an evil closed EFI / BIOS; that there's a bunch of evil non-free drivers; that there's a bunch of evil non-free gui stuff, etc etc.
Chrome was not, to RMS, a valid solution. Note his approach to "browsing the www" - (http://lwn.net/Articles/262570/)
>To look at page I send mail to a demon which runs wget and mails the page back to me.
RMS would say that there is still plenty of work to do to work toward 'free' software. (Mobile phones is something he's keen to open up.)
If they haven't upgraded, FreeBSD 7.1 (not sure on the particulars of RELEASE version).
news.arc does not need Apache or NGiNX, but I'm not sure whether HN uses varnish cache.
"Well, we just beat the tuberculosis into remission, so now all we have to deal with is this metastasising cancer."
Frankly, software patents have the potential to be a lot scarier than copyright ever could be. Anyone working to end them is doing good work.
That seems oddly similar to my tl;dr from the article: "Although I agree with his concern overall, Stallman didn't use a great deal of tact in his statement".