It's even worse than it appears.
Friday April 2, 2021; 10:55 AM EDT
  • I feel so sad about what's happening to Stallman.#
  • He's 68. I know what that's like, I'm 65. #
  • He has fixed his whole existence on a single idea that software should be free. Not free of charge, but free to use and to adapt. It's not that far from the kind of openness I believe in, that I believe is an ethical responsiblity for developers. #
  • It's useful to have a person like Stallman around, consistently marking an extreme view. It's like knowing there's a North Star, you may not be going to it, exactly, but knowing where it is makes it possible to go other places. And some people agree with Stallman in total, and to them he's their leader.#
  • Now, if you step back and look at what's being said about him, basically people don't like things he says or the questions he asks. I read these things completely factoring out the non-factual stuff, where they tell you what his questions mean in some pure sense, when what they're really saying is what these questions mean to them. To a reasonable person imho they're just questions. Some people don't argue with questions, they just ask them. For the people who attack him, it's the opposite, their questions are accusations. #
  • I think Stallman is actually a naive innocent, almost child-like harmless person. That's based on years of observing him, being connected through communities. Maybe he did terrible things I don't know about. But maybe you have too. Is this how we're going to coexist? All of us worrying about who's going to make a credible case for destroying each others' lives? This isn't about Stallman, it's about your sense of justice and how far it extends, and how unfair that is for the rest of us who fear being judged by you. #
  • PS: A quote from a 1994 blog post: "I try not to get offended on principle." I was quoting someone else, but I've remembered that. Just because I should be offended, doesn't mean, if I'm not actually offended, that I have to pretend I was. #
  • PPS: If you still think Stallman should be destroyed, go see Lives of Others, a wonderful film about intellectuals in East Germany during the Cold War. #

© copyright 1994-2021 Dave Winer.

Last update: Friday April 2, 2021; 2:09 PM EDT.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)