"Join us now" indeed.

You stay classy, RMS.
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65 Responses:

  1. lilmissnever says:

    I tried reading the comments. This was a terrible mistake. Most of them are busy trying to shout this guy down for "publishing private emails."

  2. ctakahara says:

    Good Lord, did anyone ever comment besides people yelling about publishing RMS's responses? I got to about #10 and my brain shut down.

    • boldra says:

      Oh, you stopped before a commenter revealed the complainant as a male academic?

      • Are you suggesting this weakens his claim in some way?

        • boldra says:

          Would that be advocating the idiocy in the comments?

          • Perhaps I was too brief. I was asking whether you thought drawing notice to the fact that the writer of the blog post was an academic reduced the validity of his complaint about Richard Stallman's behaviour. I'm not sure exactly which idiocy in the comments you're referring to, because there's quite a lot.

        • 0ntological says:

          I wonder how many of these guys have ever even heard of the term "ally". I'm guessing NONE.

          • I don't think empathy is really high on their list of attributes in general, except for other people just like themselves.

            • 0ntological says:

              I agree with that. I guess I also find it hilarious that they are both saying "that's not sexist" and "hey, if it IS sexist, then it's ALSO sexist for a man to point it out, and you should let them take care of themselves."

              that's like saying "I wasn't speeding, but if I was then it's just because I was in a hurry!"

              I think David Schlesinger is doing a pretty good job of being an ally though. That's refreshing!

          • spendocrat says:

            Does this involve treaties in some way?

  3. asim says:

    The comments were worth it for this bit alone:

    if Dr. Stallman would like to assert his copyright over his emails, he's entirely welcome to send me a "cease and desist" letter.

    But yes, way too many of these comments are from the cesspool of humanity.

    • 0ntological says:

      Comments= vomit inducing.

      This kind of crap is why I broke up with the one progammer I ever dated. He just couldn't understand why the ONE woman he worked with was "so darn defensive". I know not all of you are like that, and in fact tons of you are awesome. However, I love how these douchebags just totally ignore the socio-cultural aspect of the "jokes" this guy was making. They make the stereotypical response of "gee, no sense of humor!"....GRRRR. Anyway, I could ramble on and on about this, but I won't. Totally moot point, and I'm preaching to the choir (I think).

      Also "whine, whine, whine private emails whine, whine, whine."

      • adaptively says:

        This kind of crap is what killed my aspirations of programming free software for a living. I have a short fuse for sexism, ignorance-born or no.

        (Somehow, there are lots more women and less sexism in network security, at least in my experience. Who'd have thunk it?)

        • lindseykuper says:

          I wonder if maybe there's less sexism in the security world because security naturally attracts people who put a high value on Not Making Assumptions.

        • mjg59 says:

          I'll accept that it's not actually a representative sample, but everything I've heard about Defcon doesn't do wonders for convincing me that network security is a wonderland of gender tolerance. Some amount of the difference probably comes from the different proportions of professionals who are in any sort of sensible corporate structure - if your sample set disproportionately covers teenagers working on your own then you'll end up with a skewed view of what the true situation is.

          That's not to defend free software. Given that the demographics here do tend to support teenagers working on their own, there is a severe problem with basic lack of any ability whatsoever to understand why pissing off approximately 50% of the population is a bad idea. The main thing that keeps me going is that it does seem better than 3 years ago, even if it's a slow process.

          • adaptively says:

            It may well be a local pocket - I'm in New England and have noticed a lot more women (especially high-ranking women) in the field here, and haven't experienced sexism beyond a handful of lackey teenage boys. The conferences I've attended have no booth babes and the gender ratio appears more balanced. There are even women in our local 2600 group.

            Chances are high that my point is based off of personal bias - "this is what I see, so it must be true," so do take your grain of salt. :)

  4. artkiver says:

    I throw salt in their open sores!

  5. rane500 says:

    This is a beautiful illustration of why RMS annoys me - he is apparently incapable of even acknowledging the remote possibility that he may not be 100% right every moment of every day.

    Definitely bookmarking that entry. Minus the comments. That's the most concentrated stupid I've seen in a long time.

  6. funjon says:

    Someone warm up keyboard cat...

  7. malokai says:

    I've often wondered if I should follow up fake posts with fake comments, but I realize the internet at large will provide me with all the bullshit idiotic if I post something entertaining enough.

    Oh wait...

    • lionsphil says:

      There is some kind of game, IIRC, where you try to see if you can make an online comment so absolutely pants-on-head-retarded that nobody takes it seriously.

      Not only is it impossible to win this game, you will find yourself being outdone by the genuine idiots every single time.

  8. lindseykuper says:

    So, Richard Stallman, if women who have never used Emacs are "virgins", and I've been indiscriminately and noncommitally switching between flavors of Emacs for many years -- exactly what word do you have for me?

  9. dr_memory says:

    If you think RMS is bad when "joking" about entirely hypothetical women, you should see him when he pulls the "St. Ignucious" act in front of actual females.

    The phrase "would you like a grape", uttered in something close to the correct asbergerian mumble, is usually enough to clear the immediate 5-meter radius of all women at any science fiction convention on the eastern seaboard.

    A class act, indeed.

  10. jope says:

    Is this better or worse than ESR's womanizing? (answer may depend upon whether his breath is taken into consideration)

    • illyich says:

      I think "womanizing" implies the occasional success.

      • jope says:

        I'm going to assume he didn't get all of his "Sex Tips for Geeks" out of a book or what he heard on the playground. Does "occasional" imply "recent" though?

        • lionsphil says:

          Since when have people needed to know what they're talking about to write it up on the Internet?

          • jope says:

            To write? Never. To write coherently? It usually shows when the author is full of crap.

            • taffer says:

              As a professional technical writer, I can assure you that we're world-class fakers.

              But yeah, first-hand experience is generally better than pure research.

        • ekesobriquet says:

          The "Kama Sutra" was written by a celibate man.

          • jope says:

            ...and then promptly published on the Internets? Yeah, good contemporary counter-example.

            Regardless, I concede the point. ESR may indeed be a 50yo virgin.

        • I'm sure he has the occasional success. I'm pretty sure he hits on every woman he meets; call that K women per day. Everyone has a fetish, so some fraction of women are going to find him attractive; that's Pf. Some are going to want the nerd-starfucker bragging rights; Pn. Some are going to be desperate for affection; Pd. So he encounters K * (Pf + Pn + Pd) potential partners a day.

          Oh, okay, if those three categories overlap it might be more like K * max(Pf,Pn,Pd).

  11. mjg59 says:

    The only vaguely reassuring part of the entire thing is that people are increasingly willing to call people on this kind of thing. I ended up missing the talk because I'd rather stay in bed than see RMS again, but the general reactions from the audience afterwards were mostly hostile rather than defensive and I've spent the week seeing multiple people berated for grossly inappropriate behaviour. There's some kind of hope for humanity.

  12. djquack says:

    199 comments? Oh, Jesus.

  13. quercus says:

    I've smelled RMS.

    Smart guy, not big on the feelings of others. I got that much from just one sense (and geolocation).

    Olfactory tolerance is like religious tolerance. Freedom to smell however you choose is one thing, but freedom to enforce the effects of your choice on others quite another. We permit that too because it's too awkward to constrain one without the other, but it still doesn't mean you're not a jerk for extending your private right over others in a public arena.

    • pikuorguk says:

      RMS - doing more damage to the OSS movement than Microsoft ever did. Has anyone bothered to tell him it's not 1970 any more?

      • lionsphil says:

        Bear in mind that the guy hasn't caught up with the '90s yet---IIRC he deals with webpages by /sending an e-mail/ to a daemon somewhere which wgets the page and e-mails back the results. (I think he talked about it in the BSD-trolling "real men don't attack straw men" thread.)

        If he can't keep up with tech, he doesn't stand a chance with culture.

    • anktastic says:

      Look at this:


      Now, zoom near the belly area. Can you see the grease spots?

      Now that's an emacs virgin!!

  14. cattycritic says:

    When we (meaning anyone) say things about ourselves, we know what we mean. When all groups are proportionally represented in the sociopolitical power structure, THEN the jokes can go both ways and most people in those groups won't be offended. Otherwise it hits too close to home and stinks of oppression. It's not fair, but the way I see it it's just reality. When the minority the speaker is ridiculing is way outnumbered at a gathering and there is no possibility of their having a chance to respond, it's bullying. I've been in situations like this, where I was the only female and a man in a position of relative power made sexist comments. Ironically, it felt exactly like when I was being picked on in grade school for being a nerd. My feeling is, if you want to make those jokes anyway, you don't get to piss and moan when people get mad at you.

    Regardless of that though, I don't know why anyone takes anything that comes out of RMS's mouth seriously unless it has to do with writing code. He has terrible social skills, and expecting him to be gracious and diplomatic is sure to result in disappointment at best. IMO, the best response to his speech would have been for the organizers to follow him with a short comment saying "we don't agree with such comments" and not to invite him back. But therein lies the problem. If he really has been making the same speech every time, then clearly the organizers of such events care more about having RMS on the lineup than the sensibilities of the audience. So it's up to attendees to say something, or boycott the events. If not enough people care to boycott or speak up, well there's the real issue. In short, I don't give a fuck what drivel RMS spouts about women - any asshole can stand up and talk shit; it's the people who let them who create problems. So, I'm encouraged by apparently widespread negative response to him.

    In response to some of the other comments below that post - and I'm saying this because I think it's important to get it out there - I am a feminist who rejects with extreme prejudice the snarky assertion that men who defend women's rights imply that we are fragile and can't defend ourselves. I personally very much appreciate having as many people speaking up female equality as possible, including and especially men. I want bigots to be outnumbered, and the last thing I want is to alienate the men who get it. I want those men to speak up when I'm not around to hear, because sexist men may speak their true minds only around other men, just as racist whites have made racist remarks to me because I'm white and they assume I'm in agreement (an assumption quickly corrected). They should chide other men when they're being pigs. Of course I can defend myself. That doesn't mean I don't want help or expressions of support. Someone who speaks out against bigotry deserves praise, period.