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Old 09-17-2019, 05:11 AM   #1
Lysander666
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Richard Stallman's resignation


Quote:
16 September 2019 (Resignation)
To the MIT community,

I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.

Richard Stallman
https://stallman.org/archives/2019-j..._(Resignation)

More info here. Slashdot gives a nice rundown of what happened:

Quote:
Richard Stallman posted a new update today on his personal site. "I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky's association with Jeffrey Epstein. The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements. Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've called him a "serial rapist", and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him -- and other inaccurate claims -- and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said.

I'm sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding."

On MIT's internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was "accused of assaulting" one of Epstein's victims. Stallman argued that "the most plausible scenario" is that "she presented herself to him as entirely willing" -- even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so -- whereas the phrase "assaulting" implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls "accusation inflation... Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism."

An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then "started emailing reporters -- local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations" -- and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled "Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech." And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.
https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/0...-marvin-minsky

What are peoples' thoughts on this here? It's a thorny issue, but I feel that this is another example of a journalist misunderstanding the facts of a story, getting too emotional [she said she was "too angry to work" on other stuff so wrote the story and leaked the emails] and then getting some 'news' out there to further her own cause. And now Stallman has been forced to resign.

Is this good or bad for the free software movement? And what else could be the ramifications of this outside of software?

Last edited by Lysander666; 09-17-2019 at 05:20 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 05:23 AM   #2
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
What are peoples' thoughts on this here? It's a thorny issue, but I feel that this is another example of a journalist misunderstanding the facts of a story [by her own admission], getting too emotional [she said she was "too angry to work" on other stuff so wrote the story and leaked the emails] and then getting some 'news' out there to further her own cause. And now Stallman has been forced to resign.
Yes, there is a lot of intentional misrepresentation of some of RMS' very questionable statements. The "journalist" who set off the lynch mob should resign, too, at the very least.

RMS was not defending Epstein, whom he has repeatedly referred to as a serial rapist. However, that has not stopped misrepresentations (flat out lies?) from gaining lives of their own and being used to raise a lynch mob.

With both Linus and Richard gone, the Free Software movement is wounded. If M$ is able to further instigate infighting in regards to succession, then it will hurt more. That is especially true with all the false material where M$ claims to be helping FOSS.

This all distracts from two burning questions: How did RMS end up at Microsoft Research the othr day? And ... What are the details on Bill Gates involvement with Epstein and MIT? It is known so far that he was deeply involved but now time is bought for his PR firms to deal with the issue and or people capable of investigating.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 05:38 AM   #3
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
The "journalist" who set off the lynch mob should resign, too, at the very least.
Quite the opposite, I fear. She will be extolled as a championess of the modern feminism movement. This has made her bigger than she anticipated. She has two choices: say she was wrong and apologise, or ride the wave of modern feminism to ever greater heights. Of course she will choose the latter. She assists the implication that he had a mattress in his office in order to have sex with students on it. Of course a lot of people aren't buying it, as this one user comment shows:

Quote:
Richard Stallman had a mattress on the floor of his office… Because he lived and slept there.

One could think that your first piece was written out of genuine concern. But this is plainly a hit piece. A joke about Richard Stallman disliking vim taken out of context, another “anecdote” that not even a five-year-old would believe…

You are desperately trying to get attention for whatever causes you are trying to support with lies and a character assasination.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
This all distracts from two burning questions: How did RMS end up at Microsoft Research the othr day?
I think it's also worrying that Lunduke didn't smell a rat. Matt Hartley did.

Last edited by Lysander666; 09-17-2019 at 05:08 PM.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 06:29 AM   #4
cynwulf
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I'm no fan of Stallman, but this is an MIT problem and an embarrassment for MIT (i.e. apparently taking donations from Epstein, whilst knowing he was a convicted sex offender).

Stallman makes a good scapegoat to pin it all on, until the whole thing blows over (this is not the first time Stallman has been targeted by outrage from feminists and in that case the latter were forced to retract and apologise). As ever useful idiots are playing their parts - in the firm belief they are doing good work.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 06:46 AM   #5
wpeckham
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If you actually read his words, Stallman was not defending ANYONE as much as he was advising on clarity of language. There was no factual reason for requesting his resignation, nor was there any real reason for him to resign. I do hope that he will be asked back once sanity prevails, should that ever happen.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 08:47 AM   #6
RickDeckard
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Honestly, I find his comments to be utterly sickening. Parsing the definition of assault, and to that degree to boot, is not something he should be doing.
Sexual assault doesn't have to depend on the exertion of physical force. Legally speaking if you're using a powerful position to intimidate someone, even that of your advanced age, it's still rape.

I'm definitely not a SJW who has "believe the woman" as his default setting, as my own family could attest during the last high-profile assault case, but Stallman screwed up big time.

Now do I believe he or the school should have been pressured into anything, on the other hand? No. Morality should not be a prerequisite for doing anything of note in this country.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 09:31 AM   #7
Contrapak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
The "journalist" who set off the lynch mob should resign, too, at the very least.
The girl who wrote the medium post is not a journalist. She is an MIT student.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 09:33 AM   #8
Contrapak
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Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
I do hope that he will be asked back once sanity prevails, should that ever happen.
This is unlikely. I knew Stallman was dead as soon as I read the girl's post and the subsequent Twitter outrage. The public will flame MIT and the FSF if they attempt to reinstate him. Stallman is finished.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 11:21 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
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I hadn't realised that Stallman has such a track record of dubious statements.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/richar...pstein-resigns
Obviously no-one wants him after the last one. Saying that you aren't guilty of a sexual assault if you haven't used violence does not count as advocating "clarity of language" — just as bad law and bad morals.

Congratulations to Rick for the one decent post in this thread. I note that the student who is being attacked here is referred to as "the girl". Had it been a male student, would Contrapak have referred to him as "the boy"? I doubt it.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
cynwulf
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It's typical RMS and it had to happen. He made a comment, which some of us might find a bit clumsy or in poor taste - there is no evidence that he sexually assaulted anyone or condoned such behaviour. MIT took money from a sex offender, eventually "apologised" and RMS is getting the bullet for it.

Epstein is conveniently deceased, the other perpetrators are still walking about...

Last edited by cynwulf; 09-17-2019 at 11:22 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 11:30 AM   #11
m.a.l.'s pa
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^ I think cynwulf nailed it.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 03:23 PM   #12
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... and thoughtcrime is a thing.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 04:18 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear about RMS, a sad situation all around.

I think he will be missed by many, he may have been the one person left in FSF trying to hold back what I call the "Corporatizion of Linux".
 
Old 09-17-2019, 04:28 PM   #14
ChuangTzu
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I am reminded of Jordan Petersons warnings regarding Free Speech and The Right to Offend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44pERGAaKHw

Stallman did not commit a crime, no reason for him to step down. However, the student did commit the crime of slander and libel. It will become a very cruel world if we continue to allow the thought police to regulate our speech and thoughts. Actions are crimes not thoughts. Do we really want to live in that type of dystopia?
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/slander
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/libel
 
Old 09-17-2019, 04:36 PM   #15
ChuangTzu
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He also resigned from the FSF: https://www.fsf.org/news/richard-m-stallman-resigns
 
  


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