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thoughts on rms and gnu -- wingolog
I can hear you saying it. RMS started GNU so RMS decides what it is and what it can be. But I don't accept that. GNU is about practical software freedom, not about RMS. GNU has long outgrown any individual contributor. I don't think RMS has the legitimacy to tell this group of largely volunteers what we should build or how we should organize ourselves. Or rather, he can say what he thinks, but he has no dominion over GNU; he does not have majority sweat equity in the project. If RMS actually wants the project to outlive him -- something that by his actions is not clear -- the best thing that he could do for GNU is to stop pretending to run things, to instead declare victory and retire to an emeritus role.

Note, however, that my personal perspective here is not a consensus position of the GNU project. There are many (most?) GNU developers that still consider RMS to be GNU's rightful leader. I think they are mistaken, but I do not repudiate them for this reason; we can work together while differing on this and other matters. I simply state that I, personally, do not serve RMS.
rms  gnu  leadership  open-source  foss  free-software  organisations  emeritus 
5 days ago by jm
A reflection on the departure of RMS - Thomas Bushnell, BSG - Medium
Oped that is most similar to my views with some exceptions.

Richard Stallman has always been a creep.
It's deeply unfortunate that he was protected and abetted rather than helped to be a better, less toxic person.
And who knows?
It's quite likely that many people tried to socialize him.
But ultimately "don't be a jerk" continues to be an insufficient measure of conduct.

Unfortunately Stallman's own hubris goes unmentioned.
Bushnell even speculates that Stallman considers himself a failure.
While this suggests a sympathetic figure, this is both irrelevant and misleading; anyone who has ever crossed words with Stallman knows that he can be profoundly strident, arrogant, and condescending.
This has often alienated as many, if not more, than he has persuaded.
It has crippled projects that could have flourished.
His intransigence, once thought a gift, is shown to be a profound curse.

To many he will remain a hero.
And quite a few now understand him to be a villain.
If there is a real tragedy here, it isn't that he has been brought low by his own hand.
It is that he still really doesn't understand what he's done wrong.
And without that understanding there will never be contrition.
A lack of penitence will forever keep forgiveness of those whom he has wronged out of his reach.
And those who he has harmed will forever mistrust the institutions, the culture, and the technology that protected such a creep.
This is a tremendous price the free software community continues to pay.

Most of Stallman's defenders, even now, don't understand this.
And among those that do understand this, his remaining enablers, they are more keen than ever to take advantage of him.
The fact that he does not comprehend the sheer amount of damage he has done to the community he professes to love and desires to protect, that is indeed tragic.
rms  fsf  failure  mit  opensores  gnu  politics  academia  stallman  hubris 
5 days ago by po
thoughts on rms and gnu -- wingolog
«One could describe GNU as a set of software packages that have been designated by RMS as forming part, in some way, of GNU. But this artifact-centered description does not capture movement: software does not, by itself, change the world; it lacks agency. It is the people that maintain, grow, adapt, and build the software that are the heart of the GNU project -- the maintainers of and contributors to the GNU packages. They are the GNU of whom I speak and of whom I form a part.»
gnu  rms  fsf  free-software  free-culture  2019 
7 days ago by brennen

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