Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:09 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, Richard M. Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (and the Superfluous Introduction Award goes to...) gave a keynote speech. Said keynote speech raised a few eyebrows in the Free software community because of a number of questionable remarks regarding women in technology. David "Lefty" Schlesinger, member of the GNOME Advisory Board and active in the mobile open source community, took issue with RMS' remarks and decided to call him out on it. The response he got was... Less than satisfying.
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What an utter non-issue
by Vanders on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:19 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

Lets cover some really obvious points here.

o If RMS had defined the group as "_men_ who had never used EMACS" no one would have batted an eyelid.

o Some people have an irritating habit of using the female pronoun when refering to third parties, even when the third party may be any gender. This particularly seems to be common in US English, whereas British & International English tends to use the non-gender specific "they", "them" & "their".

o I'm quite happy being an "EMACS Virgin" and if anyone ever tries to take that virginity from me I shall strike them down with fury and vengeance.

This whole thing is just steeped in false outrage because RMS happened to refer to a female in a particularly stupid piece of his speech, which would have been equally stupid if he had referred to a male, so the use of the word "women" is utterly inconsequential.

Reply Score: 27

RE: What an utter non-issue
by sultanqasim on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:33 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

I fully agree. Feminism is getting really politically correct and annoying. Stallman was just cracking a joke to lighten a rather dull and serious conference - why are people taking these jokes so seriously?

Also, to those who claim that his remarks suggest the negative stereotype that women need technical assistance more than men, well this negative stereotype is a fact. The bulk of people who ask me for technical assistance are female and female computer geeks are rather rare, but you can find them by the boatloads among men.

Reply Score: 17

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by xDisruptor on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
xDisruptor Member since:
2006-01-04

Finally a guy that courageously speaks the truth.

God damn it with most of the rest people in this world. If Stallman is to be flamed for his jokes then what should we do with cases like George Carlin. These dudes are just trying to make some points without sounding dull. Yeah sure Stallman might not be the funniest and most eloquent speakers around but give me a brake guys with your `oh-we-are-so-offended' bullshit. f--king retards. Get a life and a get spine.

Reply Score: 7

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Stallman and Carlin are not remotely in the same league. I can't think of a single Carlin commentary that was gender specific. Stallman has a big brain for technology but is not comparable to the satirical artistry of Carlin. Neither in terms of content or delivery. It's more like Stallman having a Andrew Dice Clay moment; poor delivery and poor choice of content.

If it's no big deal for Stallman, why can't he go "my bad.. bad joke.. sorry for that" and move on? Jokes fail but a good speaker will accept that for what it is, not get evasive and defensive.

Put simply, self deprecating jokes are one thing but when it involves any third party, a joke will be constructive not actively or passively hostile.

Reply Score: 7

FreddyAV Member since:
2009-07-09


If it's no big deal for Stallman, why can't he go "my bad.. bad joke.. sorry for that" and move on? Jokes fail but a good speaker will accept that for what it is, not get evasive and defensive.


100% with you on that one. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

If it's no big deal for Stallman, why can't he go "my bad.. bad joke.. sorry for that" and move on? Jokes fail but a good speaker will accept that for what it is, not get evasive and defensive.


You don't understand what Stallman means when he says " Its no big deal" He means that other people shouldn't be offended. He does think its a valid, funny joke. And thus, he's not going to apologize.

My own opinion is that they are both wrong. Stallman isn't very funny. The whole bit is a long running inside joke, and thus not funny to the people who didn't create it. And viewed from the outside, with out an understanding of Stallman and the joke, it could be mildly offensive to people. But, if those same people were to spend a little time familiarizing themselves with the joke, they should understand that it was not meant to be offensive.

Its like a much less funny version of the "Spring Time for Hitler" sketch from "The Producers". Not meant to be offensive, but could really be offensive.

Reply Score: 8

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'd agree that both are responsible. Stallman's "no big deal" feels more like a dismissive brushoff. On the other hand, there is pointing out where offense may have been given though not intended and there's going overboard. We'll see how long this cycles around the discussions I guess.

In terms of the joke itself, even as an inside joke it's not wise to share in such a public forum. It's like a guy wearing a "virginity can be cured" shirt when it seems funny in high school then finding it in his shirt drawer once grown up with his own children. That type of joke has a very limited life span.

I know much of the comedy that sustained me before University is not remotely funny now and that's having known the joke's history and intent in deep detail. My previously mention of Dice Clay.. I used to be able to recite word for word and see the humor while remaining detached enough to not take personal offense. Now.. it's just simply not funny. The jokes have outlived there humor and just feel sad when repeated now.

Anyhow.. not worth going overboard with on either topic.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by lawlernet on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
lawlernet Member since:
2005-08-22

Also, to those who claim that his remarks suggest the negative stereotype that women need technical assistance more than men, well this negative stereotype is a fact. The bulk of people who ask me for technical assistance are female and female computer geeks are rather rare, but you can find them by the boatloads among men.


I live in a community where a lot of African-Americans live. The vast majority of the people that ask me for technical assistance are black. By that logic, black people are bad with technology. Do you see a problem here? Your anecdotal evidence is not even close to being considered statistical fact, the likelihood of you and your individual situation being accurately reflective of the entire population is slim, so that's why these jokes are stupid and likely offensive.

Even if women are more likely to ask you for information regarding technology it's still not morally right to treat every woman like a technology tard.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by gadget00 on Fri 10th Jul 2009 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
gadget00 Member since:
2007-02-16

Yeah, a fact. Like you did a real counting with all your fingers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by boldingd on Mon 13th Jul 2009 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Indeed.

I went to a liberal-arts college where women outnumbered men 4 to 1. Guess how many men where in the C.S. program? I can think of at least 6 (it wasn't a big program). Guess how many women? One. She was every bit as intelligent as her male peers -- maybe more so -- but she was still the only women on the C.S. major track at a school where women outnumbered men four-to-one. I had a Physics minor, too, and that was about as bad: in physics courses, there where probably two men for every woman.

Let me underscored that I'm not trying to denigrate women here. The women who I do encounter in sci-tech-type fields are neither more nor less competent than their male counterparts; they are simply rare.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What an utter non-issue
by kragil on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:10 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Yeah, I don't get it either.

So his talk wasn't well received. Conclusion: Don't hire him again.

AND:

By publishing private conversations you loose integrity.

And integrity is a tricky beast.
If you don't have it people won't tell you. Better be careful.

Edited 2009-07-09 13:10 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by polaris20 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, I don't get it either.

So his talk wasn't well received. Conclusion: Don't hire him again.

AND:

By publishing private conversations you loose integrity.

And integrity is a tricky beast.
If you don't have it people won't tell you. Better be careful.


What is "loose integrity"? Is that integrity that used to be tight?

I would have dismissed it as a typo, had you not posted the same thing on Lefty's blog.

Posts lose integrity when the grammar is incorrect.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What an utter non-issue
by sbergman27 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:24 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

o Some people have an irritating habit of using the female pronoun when refering to third parties, even when the third party may be any gender.

Or randomly switch around on pronouns. And then there was an OS security article I was reading some time back. The author would do that. But as I read on, I began to realize that every time there was a poor, honest, overworked sysadmin who just wanted to protect his users and systems... that was always a 'he'. And whenever there was a viscious, dishonest, unscrupulous cracker trying to break in to steal credit card numbers... that was always a 'she'. :-P

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by dylansmrjones on Thu 9th Jul 2009 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, there is a third option.

You could always add (or she) everytime you say he.

It would go like this: Whenever the user wants to launch a program, he (or she) simply double-clicks the icon, and he (or she) will see the program launch.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What an utter non-issue
by sbergman27 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What an utter non-issue"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

You could always add (or she) everytime you say he.

Yeah. But what we really need is a new gender neutral pronoun which is not genderless. If it weren't for that last requirement, we could just use "it". ;)

The tough part is that to have a chance of being used, the new term has to come into common use *first* and then be picked up by dictionaries and other references. It's not the sort of thing that can be pushed down from the top.

A natural candidate would be some portmantaeu of "he" and "she". But nothing obvious enough to be catchy comes to mind. It's a problem remeniscient of the conundrum we have with the word "Free" in describing OSS software. In every direction in which one turns, there is something blocking the way to any simple and obvious solution.

Edited 2009-07-09 16:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Hmm... Man used to mean "human being" but at some point turned into a gender-specific term.

In old days werman meant "male human" and wyfman (or wífman or similar spellings) meant "female human) ('woman' which is a worn down form of wyfman).

Just reintroduce werman for male humans and man will suddenly be gender-neutral again.

That said, if you start using "it" in relation to women, you're your own. I'll sit and eat pizza and drink a beer while the women abuse you :p

EDIT: You completely forgot the parallel to Life of Brian... *sigh* Svenskere har bare ingen kultur ;)

---dylansmrjones

*** Besides that, patents should be abolished ***

Edited 2009-07-09 16:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: What an utter non-issue
by Moredhas on Thu 9th Jul 2009 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What an utter non-issue"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

I'm a human not a huperson. "Mankind" is a set that includes women, and if there were women in the army back then, the grand old Duke of York would still have and ten thousand men. I find "man" to be gender neutral enough in most circumstances, and the male pronoun "he" should do for a neutral one. Obviously wouldn't say "he" when you're specifically talking about a woman, but it's good enough for talking about some hypothetical person.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: What an utter non-issue
by MamiyaOtaru on Sat 11th Jul 2009 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What an utter non-issue"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Agreed, but you'll get people saying that by using "he" to mean "he or she" you are perpetuating male domination through language patterns or something.

A gender neutral singular pronoun would not go amiss*. But please not, as the OP accused the Brits of using, "they". FFS.

*german has one. Ironically, it is "man". This is not the same word as "Mann" though ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: What an utter non-issue
by dylansmrjones on Sun 12th Jul 2009 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What an utter non-issue"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

In Denmark (and other Germanic-Scandinavian countries) we also have "man" which is different from "mand" (though they really have the same root).

I don´t know about German, but in Danish "man" cannot always replace he (or she). Or at least it isn't "proper" Danish.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What an utter non-issue
by Vanders on Sun 12th Jul 2009 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What an utter non-issue"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

A gender neutral singular pronoun would not go amiss*. But please not, as the OP accused the Brits of using, "they". FFS.


Er, I am British. We do use "they" as a gender neutral pronoun. I guess it sounds odd to you as you're not British...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What an utter non-issue
by Soulbender on Tue 14th Jul 2009 04:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What an utter non-issue"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"One".

Reply Score: 2

v RE: What an utter non-issue
by concept09 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:24 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by Ventajou on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

without the implication that women aren't good with technology, there is no joke.


It's not a joke, it's a fact... I'm not going to try to figure out what the reasons are, but I've had quite a few tech jobs both in Europe and the US, and I can only remember a few women in tech (IT, development) positions.

Then again, the same can be said of other sectors. How many of you had a woman service your car?

It doesn't mean women are incapable, just that more of them are doing something else.

Now as far as RMS comment goes: if he's correct that no woman ever used emacs; I guess it just means that women are smarter than men.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: What an utter non-issue
by phoenix on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What an utter non-issue"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"without the implication that women aren't good with technology, there is no joke.


It's not a joke, it's a fact... I'm not going to try to figure out what the reasons are, but I've had quite a few tech jobs both in Europe and the US, and I can only remember a few women in tech (IT, development) positions.
"

It is *not* a _fact_.

Just because you don't see many women in technology jobs doesn't mean that they are bad with technology.

I know several women who know a hell of a lot more about technology than I do, and that can do things with electronics that make my head spin. Yet none of them are in tech positions.

It's a _fact_ that there are fewer women in tech positions ... not that they are bad with tech.

Then again, the same can be said of other sectors. How many of you had a woman service your car?


Most of the _really_ good mechanics I know are women. Most of the _hack_ mechanics I know are men. What's your point?

It doesn't mean women are incapable, just that more of them are doing something else.


And yet, your very first line above says the exact opposite.

Now as far as RMS comment goes: if he's correct that no woman ever used emacs; I guess it just means that women are smarter than men.


:) See, now _that's_ a funny joke. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What an utter non-issue
by Ventajou on Thu 9th Jul 2009 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What an utter non-issue"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31


Just because you don't see many women in technology jobs doesn't mean that they are bad with technology.


Working in the technology field (or any other field) will, in general, build up experience for the individual over the years. I agree that "bad" is not the correct term, but the bottom line is that only women who stay in the field long enough will stay good at it. And since there are less women in the field, less of them are good at it. Unless there are millions of women who fix or program computers as a hidden hobby.


I know several women who know a hell of a lot more about technology than I do, and that can do things with electronics that make my head spin. Yet none of them are in tech positions.

That's hardly enough to generalize. I'm sure many women know more than me about programming, but I'm also convinced that a great many more men know more than me.


It's a _fact_ that there are fewer women in tech positions ... not that they are bad with tech.

I'm sure that most of the women that have a tech position are good at it. But that still makes less women than men, therefore *overall* men are more technologically inclined.


Most of the _really_ good mechanics I know are women. Most of the _hack_ mechanics I know are men. What's your point?

How many mechanics do you know?


And yet, your very first line above says the exact opposite.

Not really. There are plenty of very intelligent women, it just seems that most of them have better things to do that to master emacs or spend the weekend playing with an obscure OS.

:) See, now _that's_ a funny joke. ;)

Well thanks

Reply Score: 4

RE: What an utter non-issue
by kaiwai on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:28 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it funny that the one who make a racus about it was a male - goodness gracious me, there is nothing stopping a female from standing up and bowling back a googly in response. I've been in situations where guys and girls have gotten on life a house in fire - why? because people pulled the 6 foot cactus out of their ass, relaxed and stopped taking life so seriously.

I swear it is as though there is a small clicky group of people who see it as their duty to make life as bloody miserable as possible for the rest of us by whining about anything that pops into their head. What I find even more funny is when females ask to be 'treated as equals' and when we (the males) treat them as equals, like one our mates - we're apparently out of touch and sexist! Jesus Christ, you can't win either way. I wonder if all us males should find a corner and die quietly away so we're not annoying the feminists so much.

Edited 2009-07-09 14:29 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by helf on Thu 9th Jul 2009 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

THANK YOU!

This shit drives me insane. Then /men/ that get all up in arms over it need their balls removed.

I'm sick of people getting offended over everything I say ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: What an utter non-issue
by phoenix on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What an utter non-issue"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I'm sick of people getting offended over everything I say ;)


;) Perhaps you should stop saying offensive things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What an utter non-issue
by helf on Thu 9th Jul 2009 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What an utter non-issue"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

That goes against my nature ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: What an utter non-issue
by echo.ranger on Thu 9th Jul 2009 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What an utter non-issue"
echo.ranger Member since:
2007-01-17

If you're not offending somebody, you're not doing it right.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What an utter non-issue
by nachokb on Mon 13th Jul 2009 04:23 UTC in reply to "RE: What an utter non-issue"
nachokb Member since:
2009-07-13

I swear it is as though there is a small clicky group of people who see it as their duty to make life as bloody miserable as possible for the rest of us by whining about anything that pops into their head.


I just registered just to say this: AMEN. Stop whining about every stupid thing. His joke was not sexist.

If someone did see the commentary as sexist, it's only because of two reasons together: (1) they didn't understand it, and (2) what he was making fun of is sexist in the first place.

BTW, I don't think the author read that xkcd comic (unless this is really a joke). It totally proves him wrong.

nachokb

Reply Score: 1

RE: What an utter non-issue
by GeorgesBraque on Thu 9th Jul 2009 16:59 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
GeorgesBraque Member since:
2005-07-07

i'd like to offer some counterpoint . . .

the fact that no one would have "batted an eyelid" if RMS referred to "_men_ who had never used EMACS" is perhaps related more to the fact that the english language has an incomplete approach to gender/sex (e.g. gendered pronouns with no gendered adjectival agreement) - at least in comparison to romance languages.

i think that we have to look at a larger picture:

despite whatever intentions RMS had/has, as a public figure (one who has done many things i admire) he must be responsible for the interpretations of his public statements. it would be ignorant to refuse the connotations forced on language by the history of institutional sexism.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What an utter non-issue
by steogede2 on Fri 10th Jul 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "What an utter non-issue"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17


o If RMS had defined the group as "_men_ who had never used EMACS" no one would have batted an eyelid.


If they are offended by the notion that duty of males to relieve females of their (EMACS) virginity. They would surely be even more offended by the suggestion that it was the duty of females to relieve males of their (EMACS) viginity.


This whole thing is just steeped in false outrage because RMS happened to refer to a female in a particularly stupid piece of his speech, which would have been equally stupid if he had referred to a male, so the use of the word "women" is utterly inconsequential.


That was exactly the impression I got from the emails. It didn't appear that "Lefty" had actually been directly offended himself, rather he was offended that someone else may have been offended. I don't really think anyone has much of a right to be offended on behalf of someone else, who likely isn't actually offended - it is the greatest flaw of political correctness.

"Lefty" kept on going on about how a "technical conference" wasn't the place such politically incorrect behaviour - which ofcourse is the next biggest failing of political correctness, its proponent like to apply to many situations where it is not relevant. In essence being politically correct all the time, is like writing in legalese all the time, there's a time and a place. Conference talks, especially keynotes, should (imho) first and foremost be entertaining. They should be though provoking and informative. Conferences should (imho) only be politically correct if it is a political or social work conference.

Reply Score: 3

One more reason to dislike RMS
by WereCatf on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:22 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I've never liked RMS. He seems to only regard his own opinions as worth of believing in, he can be pretty arrogant, and he has this very black-and-white view of the whole world. But to add such sexist "jokes" in his speech just makes him look even worse. Yes, I am an "EMACS virgin" in a sense that I've never used it, nor do I plan to, but it does not mean I need help learning it if I so wish nor does it give him any right to criticize me or any of my female friends who them either haven't used EMACS.

Agh, I'm so annoyed right now >_<

Reply Score: 7

RE: One more reason to dislike RMS
by samad on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:29 UTC in reply to "One more reason to dislike RMS"
samad Member since:
2006-03-31

If you think RMS thinks of the world in black in white too much, you obviously haven't heard of ESR. He believes in things far crazier than RMS, like:
- The world climate problems are vastly overstated and are, in fact, irrelevant
- Trade unions = fascism
- Intelligence can be quantified
- Africans are biologically predisposed to be stupider than Caucasians

The open source world needs less crazies.

Reply Score: 6

Maki Member since:
2009-06-28

ESR ?

(Edit) it's Eric S Raymond

Edited 2009-07-09 12:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

Not saying I agree with RMS on those things you call 'crazy', but...

I happen to think all of those positions could be argued rationally and a few of them are closer to the truth than the opposing beliefs. I *highly doubt* RMS is just ignorant on those issues.

I don't want to go into each of those crazy beliefs, as they're highly inflammatory and not worth diverting this thread.

Suffice to say, diversity includes diversity of ideas.

However, RMS does need to lose his virginity to that little voice in his head. He used unneeded inflammatory comments. His EMACS point could have easily been made without the conflict. I myself am an EMACS virgin. As a matter of fact, I'd say that EMACS has molested me in the ass. (did I offend the victim of sexual assault or gays there... totally unneeded to make my point.. which is the point ;) )

Whenever you give a presentation, you have to listen to that voice in your head that tells you what point an I trying to make... is this kind of language needed? Just as you don't say You Mother F**King POS whenever you're frustrated at some manager, you can also shield yourself from politically inflammatory language ;)

I'm as guilty as anyone of pushing the enveloper and poking fun while trying to make a point... suffice to say... I outgrew my teens.

Edited 2009-07-09 13:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

samad Member since:
2006-03-31

It's not RMS who believes those things, it's ESR.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Perhaps you should read what he says instead of spouting off nonsense like all the other haters. Others will read what you write, some of them will think you're right, and start repeating the same bullshit. Just like you.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Yes, I am an "EMACS virgin" in a sense that I've never used it

Well, honey, I guess that makes me an EMACS Virgin Queen. Of course, I have tried it a couple of times and just didn't like it. So maybe I don't really count.

Please pardon my temporary lapse of decorum. :-)

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Your response is a prime example of someone not understanding the Joke. Which is very dangerous for comedians and would be comedians. Its not that you don't think its funny ( I certainly think its pretty lame), but you really, really don't understand the style of the joke.

I once made a joke to someone in response to what I thought was a joke directed at me. Turns out, he wasn't joking, he *was* trying to insult me and thought my return joke *was* trying to insult him. He almost killed me. I've learned that I cannot have people in my life that do not understand my humor, as they are more likely to kill me than laugh at me.

So, I don't think we could ever be friends WereCatf. And I'll try to refrain from making jokes in your presence, but its a part of who I am and have little voluntary control over it. I apologize in advance if anything I say offends you.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I dont like EMACS at all. Does that make me Visexual?

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

That's all.

Reply Score: 6

gadget00 Member since:
2007-02-16

Looks like someone needs to put more emphasis on respect, rather than humor.

Reply Score: 0

Divorce the movement from the man
by bralkein on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:22 UTC
bralkein
Member since:
2006-12-20

Of course the whole FOSS world owes Stallman and GNU an awful lot, and we would do well to remember that, but for pity's sake, can you believe this guy!? He's got to be one of the most alienating figures in the Free Software world, and we're not exactly short on choice, here.

Here's what we've got to do - write all his good ideas down, then pretend we don't know the guy and never invite him to speak at anything ever again.

Reply Score: 2

It certainly is an issue...
by SReilly on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:29 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

and something I'm glad you have taken the time and published here, Thom. In the twelve years I have worked in the IT industry, I have only ever worked with two female engineers. Judging by the comments of some (I hesitate to say most) am my colleagues during those two separate periods, it was two too many.

It's an attitude that I'm sure has lead to many technically minded and adept females considering other career choices. Sure, social stereotypes are a main culprit but such attitudes surely don't help.

I've always been glad to be counted among those who advocate free software but I find it hard to keep up such enthusiasm when I hear one of our main proponents not only come out with such blatantly sexist comments, but not even have the courage, not to mention manners, to apologies once they have been pointed out.

Yes, people are entitled to speak their minds but as you quite rightly pointed out, there is a time and a place. Public figures especially should be aware of this.

Reply Score: 8

RE: It certainly is an issue...
by Vanders on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:43 UTC in reply to "It certainly is an issue..."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Sexism in IT is a problem. This wasn't an example of sexism in IT though: people are simply seeing the word "women" through their red mist, and aren't bothering to look at the context or think about what he actually said.

If it helps, what he said was equally stupid no matter which sex or gender you replace the word "women" with.

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

people are simply seeing the word "women" through their red mist, and aren't bothering to look at the context or think about what he actually said.

You could very well be right, Vanders, but I disagree. How on earth could you know what RMS was thinking when he made his stupid joke without him clarifying? It's exactly that potential for misunderstanding or not that is often at the heart of other stupid idiots belittling sexism as females not being able to take a joke.

The guy is a public speaker and well known in the FLOSS movement. At the end of the day, unless he wants to cause offence, he should apologies for any off-colour remakes he makes. For all means give us an explanation but whatever he does, he still owes people an apology without trying to make himself out to be the victim.

Reply Score: 3

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

How on earth could you know what RMS was thinking when he made his stupid joke without him clarifying?


I agree, and your point works either way. We can't assume he was being sexist, either!

Edited 2009-07-09 15:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I agree, and your point works either way. We can't assume he was being sexist, either!

But I'm not assuming he is being sexist, at least not any more. After all he did come out and say as much. My issue is more with RMS trying to make himself out to be some kind of victim. The guy made a public statement which very easily could be construed as a sexist remark. If he was truly not being sexist, he should apologies for it and hopefully amend his future scripts, end of story.

As a public speaker, these kinds of misunderstandings happen all the time, that's the bane of public speaking. If RMS doesn't want to be considered a rank amateur, he should take a leaf out of pretty much any other modern public speakers book.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Sexism is a problem, not just in IT, but in all vocations.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It certainly is an issue...
by kaiwai on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:41 UTC in reply to "It certainly is an issue..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't want to turn this into a political rant but:

1) Maybe the majority of engineers are male because the majority of males have an interest in how things work - and only a very small number of females have that same attribute? it seems to be rather silly to equate less females in a given occupation as some sort of built in discrimination. One might as well conclude that females in teaching, nursing and other female dominated professions are discriminating males because of the click, catty, back stabbing mentality that exists.

2) Wanting to be treated as an equal means being equals without special excuses - and that means hanging out with the boys, taking the piss out of each other, then so be it. There are things that I loath but you know what? I suck it up and take it as part of my job. I've been in jobs when I've had to hear guys go on and on and on and on about their car as if it were something they had sex with each night - but guess what? I suck up my bottom lip, listen, nod my head in agreement and do my work; because I'm sure there are things I talk about that irritate the crap out of people.

3) You think females have it bad in the IT world; put yourself in my shoes being a gay male - I might as well be a oddity in a freak show or some sort of creature with Sir Richard Attenborough giving a running commentary. Atleast straight guys and girls have something in common to talk about - I'm sitting out on the fringes having to hear about guys conquests on the weekend in detail.

Reply Score: 2

Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

You're such a sexist...

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

You're such a sexist...


In all due respects, do us all a favour and lose your vi virginity.

Reply Score: 2

Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

Been there done that, vi is just not my type...

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I don't think that you can equate being offended by, but silent of, sexist remarks with biting your lip because you don't like what the person next to you is talking about and frankly, I can't see how you could possibly equate the two. One is deeply hurtful and alienating while the other is showing maturity.

As for there being a social stereotype when it comes to engineering, that is a fact. Nothing you say here is going to change that.

I can see how being homosexual in the IT industry could be hard, I've no doubt of that but at least being gay is not written all over you like, say, being female.

I have several gay colleagues, both male and female, though the female colleagues don't work in either of the IT departments.

Anyway, if you choose not to speak of your sexual orientation and what conquest you made at the weekend then that, my friend, is your problem . I for one have no problem discussing the "fitness" of certain colleagues with my gay work mates.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think that you can equate being offended by, but silent of, sexist remarks with biting your lip because you don't like what the person next to you is talking about and frankly, I can't see how you could possibly equate the two. One is deeply hurtful and alienating while the other is showing maturity.


Excuse me but the onus is on YOU to prove that the primary motivation of the person making the remark is of an offensive nature. When I hear gay jokes at work I certainly don't recoil into my shell and start complaining - because guess what? I know that the joke isn't done in spite or hurt but just simply something that is funny.

It is up to you to prove whether the source of the joke was meant to be hurtful - unless you can some how prove that it was his motivation, quite frankly, what it appears is a very bitter person trying to destroy what little fun there is left in the work place.

Yes, there are some things that are said of an explicit nature which leaves no ambiguity as to the nature of how their views are of females but at the same time one has to remember that before you cry wolf that you find out what was the motivator behind it.

As for there being a social stereotype when it comes to engineering, that is a fact. Nothing you say here is going to change that.


What proof do you have? all you have is that there are less females than males and thus you jump to the conclusion that it means there is discrimination. You've provided no evidence to prove your conclusion - I assume you're another one of those people who believe that you can be anything you want with enough study.

Some people have a natural inclination towards a certain field, others don't - and shock horror, males and females are different, just as individuals, we are all different. If it makes me sexist because god forbid I recognise the difference between the sexes than grade me 'sexist pig number one' of which you seem to be more than happy to do.

I can see how being homosexual in the IT industry could be hard, I've no doubt of that but at least being gay is not written all over you like, say, being female.


I don't know about you - but I tend not to lock myself in my office all day; I have to work with colleagues, small talk arises, people talking about their weekends, what they did with their partner or family; so yes, it does come out eventually. Some of us are more obvious than others, so it is as 'obvious' as being a female.

I have several gay colleagues, both male and female, though the female colleagues don't work in either of the IT departments.

Anyway, if you choose not to speak of your sexual orientation and what conquest you made at the weekend then that, my friend, is your problem . I for one have no problem discussing the "fitness" of certain colleagues with my gay work mates.


I never complained about colleagues talking about it - just demonstrating that there are things one doesn't like being talked about but we're adults, we can tune our brains out if one isn't interested.

Edited 2009-07-09 15:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Excuse me but the onus is on YOU to prove that the primary motivation of the person making the remark is of an offensive nature.

Not when s/he is a public speaker.

It is up to you to prove whether the source of the joke was meant to be hurtful - unless you can some how prove that it was his motivation, quite frankly, what it appears is a very bitter person trying to destroy what little fun there is left in the work place.

Again, see above. Also, WTF does public speaking have to do with the workplace?

...one has to remember that before you cry wolf that you find out what was the motivator behind it.

If a public speaker's statements offend me, for whatever reason, but are of an ambiguous nature, i.e. could be interpreted in a different way, then yes, I would await a reply before I cried wolf. On the other hand, the statements made by RMS leave very little to the imagination and frankly, to "jump" to the conclusion that he is being sexist is not an unreasonable conclusion. That is the bane of public speaking. RMS has stated that he did not mean his comments to be sexist, which is a great thing to hear, but my and other people's issue with this statement is RMS's inability to say sorry without making himself out to be some kind of victim.

What proof do you have? all you have is that there are less females than males and thus you jump to the conclusion that it means there is discrimination. You've provided no evidence to prove your conclusion - I assume you're another one of those people who believe that you can be anything you want with enough study.

Don't be a fool. This popped up after the first search for computer science gender stereotype: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2009/06/08/gender_gap_in_...

If you want to argue, I suggest you read up on what you are arguing about. Arguing for arguments sake just make you look like an idiot.

Some people have a natural inclination towards a certain field, others don't - and shock horror, males and females are different, just as individuals, we are all different. If it makes me sexist because god forbid I recognise the difference between the sexes than grade me 'sexist pig number one' of which you seem to be more than happy to do.

I too realize there are differences between the sexes, of that there is no doubt but that does not negate the social and gender stereotypes I was talking about. Plus, I never either called or implied you where a sexist so either stop putting words in my mouth or go rant somewhere else. Frankly, those kind of tactics are retarded and if you can't have a decent argument without resorting to BS like the above, you need to keep that chip on your shoulder in check.

I don't know about you - but I tend not to lock myself in my office all day; I have to work with colleagues, small talk arises, people talking about their weekends, what they did with their partner or family; so yes, it does come out eventually. Some of us are more obvious than others, so it is as 'obvious' as being a female.

No it's not. I can't tell if someone is gay by just looking at them. I can if they are female.

I never complained about colleagues talking about it - just demonstrating that there are things one doesn't like being talked about but we're adults, we can tune our brains out if one isn't interested.


And I pointed out that being alienated is not the same as tuning out. Frankly, I'm apolled by your hostile tone and your juvenile tactics. Now I know why people automatically vote your comments down. If you can't see it, you need to get your head out of your a**.

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Again, see above. Also, WTF does public speaking have to do with the workplace?


I see no difference between a public speaker trying to throw some humour into the speech any differently than a male or female attempting to lighten the mood in the workplace with some humour. Guess what, not all peoples humour is the same - what might be a great laugh for one person could be greatly offensive to another and vice versa. Like I said, we're all adults here and as long as the joke isn't an direct attack on a person or a given group of people which as malicious intent - let the water roll off your back.

If a public speaker's statements offend me, for whatever reason, but are of an ambiguous nature, i.e. could be interpreted in a different way, then yes, I would await a reply before I cried wolf. On the other hand, the statements made by RMS leave very little to the imagination and frankly, to "jump" to the conclusion that he is being sexist is not an unreasonable conclusion. That is the bane of public speaking. RMS has stated that he did not mean his comments to be sexist, which is a great thing to hear, but my and other people's issue with this statement is RMS's inability to say sorry without making himself out to be some kind of victim.


Do you know anything about RMS? I'm certainly not a person who defends RMS on a regular basis but at the same time do you have any evidence to show that malicious intent was the underlying motivator? do you even understand the context in which it was said? how many of these females you speak of (since you've nominated yourself as the spokes person) were offended and of which percentage was the first time they've ever seen or spoken to RMS? Have you talked to RMS long standing female friends who know him on a one to one basis and asked them for their take on what he said?

Don't be a fool. This popped up after the first search for computer science gender stereotype: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2009/06/08/gender_gap_in_...


And the link proves nothing - where is your evidence that females are being stopped from entering the computer field? you've made a bold statement and when I look at the evidence all I see is a fizzle. Want to know the most common remark I hear from females about computers, "oh, its far too nerdy", "oh, only geeks do that", "Oh, only ugly girls do that" etc. How is it the fault of males if females talk themselves out of a career in a given occupation?

I ask again, using your same arguments, should we say there is rampant descrimination in nursing and teaching against males due to the low number who are entering the profession?

If you want to argue, I suggest you read up on what you are arguing about. Arguing for arguments sake just make you look like an idiot.


And calling someone an idiot without establishing an argument makes you look like an even bigger fool.

I too realize there are differences between the sexes, of that there is no doubt but that does not negate the social and gender stereotypes I was talking about. Plus, I never either called or implied you where a sexist so either stop putting words in my mouth or go rant somewhere else. Frankly, those kind of tactics are retarded and if you can't have a decent argument without resorting to BS like the above, you need to keep that chip on your shoulder in check.


And yes what, Simon Baron-Cohen (Baron-Cohen, S (2003) The essential difference: men, women and the extreme male brain. Penguin/Basic Books) demonstrated that gender stereotypes exist be in it a partially formed state even in the very early stages of a child development.

What you sound like is a Radical Materialist Constructionist who has this fixation in your head that everything is setup to screw over females, that the system is 'rigged' for the patriarchy on the basis that it does not conform to some sort of androgynous societal construct.

And I pointed out that being alienated is not the same as tuning out. Frankly, I'm apolled by your hostile tone and your juvenile tactics. Now I know why people automatically vote your comments down. If you can't see it, you need to get your head out of your a**.


Nice to see that rudeness has no bounds on this site - especially when debating with pimply faced 15 year olds.

Edited 2009-07-10 00:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You have taken just about everything I have pointed out, failed to understand what I was talking about and then went ahead and either propped up my point, contradicted yourself of labelled me as some kind of raving anti-sexist with absolutely no evidence what so ever.

You truly are an idiot.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It certainly is an issue...
by JohnFlux on Fri 10th Jul 2009 00:37 UTC in reply to "It certainly is an issue..."
JohnFlux Member since:
2007-01-04

Hehe. You said 'period'.

Reply Score: 0

Health
by samad on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:31 UTC
samad
Member since:
2006-03-31

It greatly shows the healthy state of open source software where people openly criticize its leaders. When such is the case, we have a very open and democratic medium.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Health
by strcpy on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:10 UTC in reply to "Health"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

If we only had also an open and democratic organization to represent those ideals...

... like FSF.

Oh. Bummer.

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:36 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Your mothers and sisters need to be deflored ala RMS style?

What a sexist moron.

Reply Score: 0

Another Reason
by panzi on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:43 UTC
panzi
Member since:
2006-01-22

There is another reason why a man should stand up to this sexist remarks: Just to show that this is not the opinion of the whole male community. Just to show that he does not approve of this.

Reply Score: 8

Hypocrisy
by ralph on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:49 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

Thom, do you really think it is a good idea to call someone an asshole and "a person like that" when criticizing inappropriate behavior?

Do you really think that when writing a summery of what happened, leaving out the reasons Stallman gave about why he doesn't think his remarks were sexist, is good journalism?

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hypocrisy
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:01 UTC in reply to "Hypocrisy "
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, do you really think it is a good idea to call someone an asshole and "a person like that" when criticizing inappropriate behavior?


When the shoe fits.

Do you really think that when writing a summery of what happened, leaving out the reasons Stallman gave about why he doesn't think his remarks were sexist, is good journalism?


His reasoning is in there, and his emails are the main story link.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hypocrisy
by ralph on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Hypocrisy "
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10


When the shoe fits.

Wow, you're acting like an asshole.
Hope you don't mind, but you know what they say, when the shoe fits...


His reasoning is in there, and his emails are the main story link.

No, it isn't.

"The Cult of the Virgin of Emacs, like the rest of the Church of Emacs, is meant to poke fun at religion and at myself."
...
"The cult of the Virgin of Emacs is simply intended as a joke about the cult of the Virgin Mary. I assure anyone who perceived derogatory meanings in it that I did not intend them."

So again, it really speaks of a high journalistic ethos to leave this out of your summery.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Hypocrisy
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hypocrisy "
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Wow, you're acting like an asshole.
Hope you don't mind, but you know what they say, when the shoe fits...


If you think I'm an asshole - that's fine with me. I can definitely see how the shoe would fit me. I know myself well enough to know that I'm not always particularly likeable.

No, it isn't.


Then I suggest you go back, and read again, because Stallman's reasoning is DEFINITELY in there. You may not like the way I put it, but it's definitely in there.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Hypocrisy
by ralph on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hypocrisy "
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Then I suggest you go back, and read again, because Stallman's reasoning is DEFINITELY in there. You may not like the way I put it, but it's definitely in there.

Thom, it definitely is not.
Stallman explains twice what he meant with his jokes.
Do you point this out in your summery? No, you don't.

Stallman assures everyone that his remarks were in no was intended as derogatory jokes.
Do you point this out in your summery? No, you don't.

So it's not just that you might be an asshole, something we can seem to agree on, but that you are an incredible failure when it comes to being someone who even remotely resembles a journalist.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Hypocrisy
by Jokel on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hypocrisy "
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

I fully agree with you here...

To pull this thing out of context is childish to say the least. And leaving out the explanation of what really happened is "not appropriate" - to use a decent description.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hypocrisy +1
by timon37 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hypocrisy "
timon37 Member since:
2009-03-16

" Then I suggest you go back, and read again, because Stallman's reasoning is DEFINITELY in there. You may not like the way I put it, but it's definitely in there.

Thom, it definitely is not.
Stallman explains twice what he meant with his jokes.
Do you point this out in your summery? No, you don't.

Stallman assures everyone that his remarks were in no was intended as derogatory jokes.
Do you point this out in your summery? No, you don't.

So it's not just that you might be an asshole, something we can seem to agree on, but that you are an incredible failure when it comes to being someone who even remotely resembles a journalist.
"
Just want to say I agree with ralph.

Also I'd like to point out that you had quite a problem understanding a very simple comment about Mono by RMS. Which was explained to you by a few people in the comments (which you asked for) and you didn't even make an update to the post apologizing for not understanding it and posting FUD.

Reply Score: 2

Tasteless, but not evil
by Hypnos on Thu 9th Jul 2009 12:50 UTC
Hypnos
Member since:
2008-11-19

Imagine, a (GN)nix nerd who doesn't shower often or use a web browser thinks that people who don't use Emacs are unmanly and thinks religious people are stupid.

Just part of the growing pains of FOSS ...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Tasteless, but not evil
by google_ninja on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:21 UTC in reply to "Tasteless, but not evil"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

he's the guy who invented free software

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Tasteless, but not evil
by Hypnos on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Tasteless, but not evil"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

And ...?

As an organization/institution/movement grows, leadership needs change.

Reply Score: 1

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

The original comment was implying he was just some random guy

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Tasteless, but not evil
by Hypnos on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tasteless, but not evil"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

How does it do that?

Reply Score: 1

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Imagine, a (GN)nix nerd who doesn't shower often or use a web browser thinks that people who don't use Emacs are unmanly and thinks religious people are stupid.


He isn't just some random unwashed, abrasive nerd. He is the founder of a fairly influential movement in the software industry.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Tasteless, but not evil
by Hypnos on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Tasteless, but not evil"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

Why can't he be both?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tasteless, but not evil
by BluenoseJake on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Tasteless, but not evil"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Free software was around long before RMS

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I meant as in the movement. Sorry for not being more clear.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tasteless, but not evil
by codex on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Tasteless, but not evil"
codex Member since:
2008-04-21

NO! That is wrong, please stop treating RMS like a GOD!
Free software was available in the form of "public domain" software long before he even touched computers. GNU started at 1983, but researchers and computer geeks shared software long before that. They just did not care about licensing issues back then. Please do some reading first, here's a starter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_free_software

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Yeah... I treat RMS as pretty much the opposite of a God, I find man is a self-righteous prick. I wasn't referring to software that is in the public domain, I was referring to the free software movement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tasteless, but not evil
by Almafeta on Thu 9th Jul 2009 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Tasteless, but not evil"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

he's the guy who invented free software


*cough*

"Hello. The fifty-year-old tradition of public domain software calling. They'd like a word with you."

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

No one defined it in that way before the FSF in the early 80s. I was referring to the free-as-in-liberty movement, not software that is in the public domain.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Tasteless, but not evil
by Almafeta on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tasteless, but not evil"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

No one defined it in that way before the FSF in the early 80s. I was referring to the free-as-in-liberty movement, not software that is in the public domain.


If you meant copyleft, not free software, then yeah, you were right -- that was his invention. My mistake.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tasteless, but not evil
by phoenix on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Tasteless, but not evil"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

he's the guy who invented free software


No, he's the guy who started the Free Software Movement.

Free software, code sharing, open source, etc were all around long before Stallman got fed up with a printer manufacturer and lost his final hold on sanity. ;)

Reply Score: 3

People, get a life
by Flavio on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:16 UTC
Flavio
Member since:
2007-08-26

What kind of world is this, he was making a joke, this "politically correct" thing is a PITA. ;)

Reply Score: 4

???
by righard on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:17 UTC
righard
Member since:
2007-12-26

Can anybody seriously get offended or hurt by RSM childish remark. If you become in "great dismay" after hearing such a lame comment, you probably live is some fantasy world where you haven't been desensitised by ordinary day-to-day life.

Spending time on this, calling is sexist, (commenting on article about it ;) ) etc. is giving him way to much credit for such a lame insignificant remark.

(by the way, does the GNU-logo purposefully resemble RSM?)

Edited 2009-07-09 13:20 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Stupid Americans
by foldingstock on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:31 UTC
foldingstock
Member since:
2008-10-30

So Burger King can air an ad titled "Whopper Virgins" in which they take an Eskimo "woman" (ie: female) and "take her whopper virginity" by making her try both a BigMac and a Whopper...and this is perfectly acceptable advertising. I never heard anyone complain of this ad being sexist, rude, or even a little wrong.

RMS does the exact same gig replacing "Whopper" with "EMACS" and everyone gets their feathers ruffled.

I agree that RMS can be very crude and hard to take, but come on people. If you did not complain about the BK ad, why are you now complaining about RMS's remark?

People take the wrong things too seriously.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Stupid Americans
by Novan_Leon on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:41 UTC in reply to "Stupid Americans"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

I agree with your point but calling Americans "stupid" isn't called for, and just plain wrong to boot.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Stupid Americans
by panzi on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:43 UTC in reply to "Stupid Americans"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

It's Inuit!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Stupid Americans
by dylansmrjones on Thu 9th Jul 2009 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Stupid Americans"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Nope. Inuit is one of several eskimo people. Not all eskimos are Inuits. The eskimos of Greenland are for an instance Inuits. There are two other main groups of eskimos: Yupik and Aleut.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stupid Americans
by BluenoseJake on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:22 UTC in reply to "Stupid Americans"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

So Burger King can air an ad titled "Whopper Virgins" in which they take an Eskimo "woman" (ie: female) and "take her whopper virginity" by making her try both a BigMac and a Whopper...and this is perfectly acceptable advertising. I never heard anyone complain of this ad being sexist, rude, or even a little wrong.


I've never seen this ad, but I can guarantee, if I had seen it, I would have found it offensive, and so would my GF.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Stupid Americans
by righard on Thu 9th Jul 2009 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Stupid Americans"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Even if your girlfriend is a virgin Eskimo, I fail to see why you or your girlfriend should feel offended by silly commercial.
Also the word virgin does have to have any sexual context, your adding that your self.

Reply Score: 1

now come on
by l3v1 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 13:41 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your remarks gave the distinct impression that you view women as being in particular need of technical assistance (presumably by men, since there's apparently no such thing as a _male_ "EMACS virgin"); additionally, women are quite capable of making their own decisions


Sexist?

Much fuss about - almost - nothing.

"Being one of only a handful of women in an audience at a male-dominated talk amplifies the awkwardness


So what? At least they get to know how someone feels when (s)he belongs to a minority (in whatever issue) or to a group which is "left out of" whatever positive discrimination. We could go on with this, but for what purpose?

a serious technological conference is not one of them


Oh yes it is. I wish at least 1% of conference speakers I ever heard would be just a bit like RMS, oh the joy it would bring to boring performances.

Reply Score: 3

Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Wow!

So the whole quality of an OS depends on how some minority of people remotely associated with actual development are acting in public. You trying to tell me this?

Let's see - I think Balmer did a stupid thing with his "monkey-dance", so -using your logic- all Microsoft products has to be completely and utterly rotten, an cannot be advised to use - right?

Seems logical to me then...

Reply Score: 2

pcunite Member since:
2008-08-26

Wow! So the whole quality of an OS depends on how some minority of people remotely associated with actual development are acting in public. You trying to tell me this? Let's see - I think Balmer did a stupid thing with his "monkey-dance", so -using your logic- all Microsoft products has to be completely and utterly rotten, an cannot be advised to use - right? Seems logical to me then...


Stallman is not a minority, he is a leader. Balmer may do things silly but is not insulting users of his sytems. Balmer does not keep people from user his software by insulting them. No I am not a MS fanboy. I use linux servers every day.

Reply Score: 1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Car machanics are a group that tends to treat women like they don't know a thing about cars, and talk down to them, try to rip them off (more than men, anyway, they generally try to rip everybody off), so I guess the analogy works

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Richard Stallman is a large reason why I no longer push Linux. The Linux community is some type of club where you have to do a weird handshake to get in.

Computers are like automobiles... they serve a purpose. We are automotive mechanics folks, not gods with everyone else being silly women.


Unfortunately I've found this not only in the 'Linux community' but the IT world in general - this alpha male, chest beating approach to computing where anyone who knows less than them are open to ridicule. Its the reason why I didn't continue my career in IT and instead treat it as a hobby rather than something I would do full time. Microsoft is a prime example of this dog eat dog mentality - where people instead of working together and encourage ideas to flourish, they're instead basically put into a situation where it is like a dog fight. Little wonder that products from Microsoft aren't the best ideas but instead ideas pushed by the biggest alpha male (and tending to be the dumbest one at the same time).

Maybe I'm not in the 'mainstream' of thinking, but I don't like competing with my coworkers when it comes to accomplishing a task; I would sooner work together constructively and get everyone's feedback - where as what I find is an attitude by some where their primary concern is climbing the greasy pole instead of working, getting paid and the satisfaction not necessarily through 'promotions' but knowing that you achieved something as a group where everyone played their part.

Edited 2009-07-09 14:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Damn I can't stand Richad Stallman, don't like pretencious Steve Jobs, and have an aversion against Steve Ballmer,

I'm afraid I'll have to start using FreeDOS.

Reply Score: 2

arooaroo
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm no fan of Stallman for starters. I tend to ignore him even when he's not being controversial. But from my understanding his comments were taken from a context of a religious parody: the Church of Emacs.

I'm also no religious scholar, but I've read quite a bit of each of the holy texts of the three Abrahamic religions, and in case you haven't noticed, there's a slight obsession about virgin women. I dare say Stallman was trying to satirize this.

I do think that it's risky to alienate the female audience. If you are someone who chooses to believe in ancient literature and live your life according to its (extremely bold) assertions, then you are not exempt from critique or satire. It's a belief, a matter of opinion, a personal conviction, and you are on weak ground to state offence if others not only disagree, but contest those view. If, however, a characteristic which is out of your control, e.g., your gender, is the target of criticism, then people are rightfully outraged.

However, it's not black or white, and many of us draw significant light-relief from making gender generalisations: my partner and her friends will make "typical male" observations, whilst me and my friends will poke fun at typical female behaviour. It's done with tongue-firmly-in-cheek, of course: friendly banter.

Was he attacking women's intelligence? I can't conclude that he was. Was he saying that women - in his opinion - steer clear of emacs? Yes. Should we force them to use something they are keen to avoid (assuming his observations are true)? Of course not. The conclusion Stallman should realise is that the female of the species are smart enough to realise an overly complex utility when they see one and move on to something more intuitive. Actually, my conclusion is who gives a toss about who uses emacs?

I think Stallman was the victim of some misjudged words, albeit intended as some comic relief. Let's just go back to ignoring him.

Reply Score: 4

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

I'm no fan of Stallman for starters. I tend to ignore him even when he's not being controversial. But from my understanding his comments were taken from a context of a religious parody: the Church of Emacs.

I'm also no religious scholar, but I've read quite a bit of each of the holy texts of the three Abrahamic religions, and in case you haven't noticed, there's a slight obsession about virgin women. I dare say Stallman was trying to satirize this.

He even says so himself in the email-exchange:

The cult of the Virgin of Emacs is simply intended as a joke about the cult of the Virgin Mary. I assure anyone who perceived derogatory meanings in it that I did not intend them.

Not that you would know it from Thom's summary of course...

Reply Score: 4

Much Ado About Nothing
by abraxas on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:20 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

If anyone is seriously offended by what RMS said then I think they need to grow thicker skin. I wonder how some people go through life without being constantly offended. If you took offense to what RMS said then listen up and get ready to be offended once more...GROW A PAIR!

Reply Score: 3

Had he talked...
by ichi on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:21 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

...about male EMACS virgins the article wouldn't be about a "sexist remark" but about whether Stallman was gay or not.

The irony of political correctness.

Reply Score: 5

This piece stumbled on own logic it seems
by FreddyAV on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:28 UTC
FreddyAV
Member since:
2009-07-09

I always find it funny/sad when people say/write things like:

This discussion is not about whether or not it's wrong to offend with jokes and humour - trust me, I am all for that. It keeps people sharp. I dislike the political correctness nonsense that's been travelling around the world these past few yeas. Still, there are times and places for such humour, and a serious technological conference is not one of them.

Basically: "I'm all for freedom of speech (in this case freedom of making fun of things), but not just in this setting/way (that I myself get to define/specify)."

Hmm... I wonder if that sentence could be repeated by the most sadistic and evil dictator one could dream up with out modification??? ;)

You are either for "such humour" being allowed or you are against it, you can't be 70% for it!! It just seems obvious to me but maybe I'm wrong?

---------------------

A totally different question is wheter one should be prepared to say one is sorry if some one gets hurt by ones comments and irrespective of if one feels one did something wrong or not. I'm just saying, it is possible to say one is sorry that someone got hurt with out admitting one was wrong. Or do you disagree?

----------------------

Third note: After having read the e-mail correspondence, the preceeding blog entry and this piece on OSnews I feel that this might well be the most biased thing I have ever read on OSnews in the two years I've come here more or less regularly. Calling someone asshole, come on! Maybe it is time for some self-reflection??


Oh yeah, I'm not really an Emacs virgin, I just really dislike it. ;)

Edited 2009-07-09 14:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

sexism
by t-47 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:35 UTC
t-47
Member since:
2009-07-09

Ok - RMS told a stupid joke - I can understand what the fuss is about. I wonder why nobody reacts when articles like "Ubuntu is so easy that even my girlfriend can use it" top on the digg. Sexism among so called nerds is quite common.

Reply Score: 2

RE: sexism
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:37 UTC in reply to "sexism"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, but RMS is not your everyday nerd.

Imagine if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates made a similar speech. The world would be aflame.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: sexism
by dylansmrjones on Thu 9th Jul 2009 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE: sexism"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

No it wouldn't.

In case of Steve Jobs, the RDF would take care of it. And in case of Bill Gates, "analysts" would hail him as being the new Master of the Universe, and would write long content-less articles about how the next version of Windows would take care of female IT-virgins and liberate them from the patriarchal society which keeps oppressing them - or something similar and just as stupid.

-dylansmrjones

*** Besides that, patents should be abolished ***

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sexism
by righard on Thu 9th Jul 2009 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE: sexism"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Your right, the world would be aflame after Bill Gates proclaims that he likes to take away girls' emac-virginity.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: sexism
by dylansmrjones on Thu 9th Jul 2009 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: sexism"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

HAHAHAH ;)

Thx for making me laugh ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: sexism
by xDisruptor on Fri 10th Jul 2009 07:25 UTC in reply to "RE: sexism"
xDisruptor Member since:
2006-01-04

Steve jobs is steve jobs and bill bates is bill bates. Like when _should_ anyone behave like anyone. And even if Steve Jobs `Stallmaned' the crowd with something like this the civilized world would keep going as usual. Stop beating ppl over the head with the nerfbat of political correctness only to malform even more wannabe intellectual snobs who think that sunlight comes out of their arses. These people distract attention from the real issues by encouraging societies to keeping aiming at shadows over made-up non-issues.

This is what political correctness is doing and we dont buy into such b*****t anymore. It's over.

Reply Score: 2

RE: sexism
by PrimalDK on Sat 11th Jul 2009 10:22 UTC in reply to "sexism"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Ok - RMS told a stupid joke - I can understand what the fuss is about. I wonder why nobody reacts when articles like "Ubuntu is so easy that even my girlfriend can use it" top on the digg. Sexism among so called nerds is quite common.


Actually, "nerds" say things like that because it's true. All my ex-girlfriends and the woman I'm married to have generally been less competent using computers than I have, by far. No wonder - I've been at the keys since I was 8 and wrote my first program at 9.

The point is, when a nerd says "even my girlfriend can use it" it means precisely that: The girlfriends of computer nerds will ALWAYS be inferior users of computers and their software than the nerds, unless they themselves are computer nerds.

I find the term "nerd" ridiculous, btw, because it's so commonly confused with the term "geek". How about telling it like it is?

We take things seriously which the general population, because of their lack of interest, find boring and have a hard time relating to. That is, until recently...

Now, after The Matrix, suddenly the geek is cool. Turns out it's easy to find a store and a stylist, a lot harder to acquire the expertise someone has from 15+ years of hard work "playing" with HIS toys (sorry Eugenia).

The term "loser" is thrown around like it actually means something, but what I find is that the people who use that term tend to be the people who 5 years later are packing my groceries at the local supermarket (no offense to the nice people working at grocery stores).

I have a hard time understanding why so many of you so desperately crave a world where everybody looks and speaks what you consider "appropriate". If the world wasn't a multi-colored, multi-ethnic, multi-facetted place, where would you go when you'd left your caves?

The things that you take for granted, the luxuries that you enjoy, were invented by dorks/nerds/geeks like me, not by people who's main occupation was categorizing people as "in" or "out". This is fact, not something I care to discuss (so please don't argue).

If you need to watch some "nerds" working their magic, go to Ted.com (http://ted.com) and run through a few lectures.

You might learn something, though part of me doubts it. The mouth has always been bigger than the brain...

Reply Score: 1

hey, this is not a gossip site!
by vjanicek on Thu 9th Jul 2009 14:54 UTC
vjanicek
Member since:
2009-07-09

WTF! what do I care about RMS thinks? all I care is what he has done to the community. People can't understand that this is a crazy guy and everytime he says something, everybody starts to cry and complain. This is a technical site, not a gossip site ok? Please do not publish this kind of articles again

Reply Score: 2

RE: hey, this is not a gossip site!
by Jokel on Thu 9th Jul 2009 19:12 UTC in reply to "hey, this is not a gossip site!"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Agree!

I am more interested what is done an said on this summit on a technical level.

Unfortunately this "technical" site is more interested in gossip than in the actually things that where discussed there.

I know there is a lot of talking done about the next KDE 4 version, Gnome and Qt etc., etc. An where are we looking at? Some lousy rant about what RMS should have said, nothing technical or informative. Nil.. Nada...

Really a shame....

Reply Score: 2

jason_moorpark
Member since:
2007-10-22

Why is it that the more prominent open source figures are just arrogant?

Like RMS...

and Theo de Raadt (total loser)

ESR totally seems down to reality...

They are all very opinionated, only what they say matters. If they are called out on a remark they are like "so..". RMS at least doesn't tell you to just "F* Off" like Theo. Has anyone read any of his temper tantrums? Why is a guy like that so well respected when he is terrible to human beings? Just because he codes and supports open source? A lot of us do that....

Edited 2009-07-09 15:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

People support Theo in spite of his lack of tact because him, unlike Stallman, is more often right than not.

He doesn't even flame people much anymore and those that have been flamed lately deserved that and more.

In the end, this whole mess is Stallman's fault. Call your license copy-left and soon you have gathered thousands of weirdos like that David guy who have to be very stupid to:
- Not notice that it is a reference to a part of Emacs sub-culture(retarded as it might be).
- Feel offended when no female was.
- Publish private messages of a third party without authorization.

Reply Score: 3

PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Why is it that the more prominent open source figures are just arrogant?

Like RMS...

and Theo de Raadt (total loser)


Theo de Raadt is a "total loser"???

Quick scan of the Wikipedia article:

* founder of openbsd, which is FREE
* creator of openssh, which you're using if you use ssh
* came up with "NetBSD"
* co-ported NetBSD to sparc
* "talented" hacker
* security "guru"
* vocal advocate of free software
* strong proponent of free speech
* lobies for free drivers to the people

How about: "In particular, de Raadt has worked to convince wireless hardware vendors to allow the firmware images of their products to be freely redistributed. These efforts have been largely successful..."

"For this de Raadt was awarded the Free Software Foundation's 2004 Award for the Advancement of Free Software."

So, a software security expert, an extremely proficient coder, and a guy who isn't afraid to speak his mind.

Just like RMS and Linus.

And you call them "losers"...

Now, let's hear what you've done for the world, Jason.

Geez...you guys...

N.B. If you're not using ssh, why are you talking about software and the people writing it at all?

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

...intend for his joke to be received that way.

From RMS's reply (notice: I've put the important part in bold)

----

The cult of the Virgin of Emacs is simply intended as a joke about the cult of the Virgin Mary. I assure anyone who perceived derogatory meanings in it that I did not intend them.

----

RMS has already given a reasonable answer and an implied apology. It is related to RMS being highly critical of religions. Unfortunately somebody didn´t understand the context and they attacked (and keep attacking) from their non-understanding position.

Now. We need an implied apology from "Lefty" and Thom (Holwerda), both having grossly misrepresented the position of RMS.

Thom -> your "journalism" is quite lacking, I'm afraid.

To all -> I can easily see why people are offended, and I agree the joke was tasteless. But come on, grow a spine!

--Kristian Poul Herkild

*** Besides that, I believe patents should be abolished ***

Reply Score: 5

ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Well said.

Reply Score: 2

my opinion
by travieso000 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 16:21 UTC
travieso000
Member since:
2009-07-09

I am Mexican Catholic (USA catholics have a cactus up their bum ) ;) We are taught to respect women gays and anyone who deserves to be respected. To me it sounds more like a mock of the christian religion and its supposed importance on virginity till marriage, pokin fun at that not women, not even close to racism or anything else. Does that affend me, no. I believe what i believe in my religion and others have the right to their own religious beliefs. Am i defending him, no. I am just taking it out of that supposed ofense towards women which it was clearly not!!!

I myself am an EMACS virgin. As a matter of fact, I'd say that EMACS has molested me in the ass. (did I offend the victim of sexual assault or gays there... totally unneeded to make my point.. which is the point ;) )


jajajaja i liked that very much funny comment.


So Burger King can air an ad titled "Whopper Virgins" in which they take an Eskimo "woman" (ie: female) and "take her whopper virginity" by making her try both a BigMac and a Whopper...and this is perfectly acceptable advertising. I never heard anyone complain of this ad being sexist, rude, or even a little wrong.


I've never seen this ad, but I can guarantee, if I had seen it, I would have found it offensive, and so would my GF.


bluenosejake, first off i respect women and believe in equality of sexes, but i also like to think for myself. forgive me but with that comment it sounds like you are whipped, look at mommy to see what i can say next, you want me to jump mommy ok i will. she needs to respect you as well and let you speak for yourself.

may God bless you all (whatever god that you may believe in)

Edited 2009-07-09 16:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Freedom of speech is dead
by hurdboy on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:29 UTC
hurdboy
Member since:
2005-09-02

...when people believe there's an overriding right to go through life never being offended.

Unfortunately, this attitude is pervasive in many places (a special hello to academia) these days.

Were RMS's remarks unfunny and juvenile? Of course they were. There's lots of nerds who can't tell a joke to save their lives.

But the comments here are largely spot on. Didn't like his attitude? Don't buy him another plane ticket.

Back in college, most of the women coders I knew were hardcore EMACS users. Many of the guys were using vi/vim. I found it sort of odd, but personal preference, I guess. (I much prefer EMACS, and only use vi when there is no other real editor on the system. I can remember one time using sed, just because doing what I needed to do in vi was such a PITA).

A final thought -- at least he didn't sing them the Free Software Song. I think I'd rather be waterboarded.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Freedom of speech is dead
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:37 UTC in reply to "Freedom of speech is dead"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

...when people believe there's an overriding right to go through life never being offended.


As much as "freedom" isn't about being able to do whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want, "freedom of speech" isn't about being able to say whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want.

A simple concept so few seem to be able to grasp. According to your freedom of speech, I should be able to walk up to your mother and call her a whore. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion you're not going to like that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Freedom of speech is dead
by hurdboy on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Freedom of speech is dead"
hurdboy Member since:
2005-09-02

Google "fighting words." At the same time, knowing there's the possibility that physical harm will befall you if you say something that incredibly stupid functions as a very effective form of prior restraint.

But, yes, I defend your right to say things that may even incite violence. "Fire!" in a crowded theater is a different matter.

Reply Score: 1

JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

"...when people believe there's an overriding right to go through life never being offended.


As much as "freedom" isn't about being able to do whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want, "freedom of speech" isn't about being able to say whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want.

A simple concept so few seem to be able to grasp. According to your freedom of speech, I should be able to walk up to your mother and call her a whore. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion you're not going to like that.
"

It's funny you should bring that up, because what you've done is exactly illustrate that you feel you have that right to do the same to RMS, by calling him an asshole on the internet for all the world to read (as opposed to something a lot less publicized by doing it in their face and in person), for all the world to read, and, what's more, by not putting full context around his remarks.

Beyond being a pathetic excuse for a "journalist" and people calling you an asshole, you're also a flaming hypocrite with this comment, made all the more stark by the context.

Edited for this last bit:

Within reason, we absolutely do have a right to such speech: as long as it is truthful, or opinion that's not meant to be harmful; however, the right to say such unpleasant (or pleasant, perhaps) things about/to someone also gives everyone else the right to make you suffer the appropriate consequences of exercising "free speech" because no matter what, everything in this universe is not truly "free" as everything has a price that must be paid.

Edited 2009-07-09 20:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You're not getting why I called him an "asshole". I called him such because I think that the combination of his speech, his emails, and his behaviour warrants such a designation. Like you said - "as long as it is truthful".

My example of walking up the OP's mom was an unwarranted, untruthful example. Still, in the world of free speech that many seem to aspire to, I would be perfectly legit in saying so. Free speech for everyone at all times everywhere, right?

No. If you call someone something, you better have the evidence to back it up. I have no evidence to back the mom=whore claim, but I do have the evidence to back up the claim that RMS has been acting like an asshole. Of course, I was actually looking for a better word, but I just don't know of any.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Free speech again, huh?

Interesting to see RMS agreeing with Flemming Rose on religion and free speech, and be made fun of.

You cannot go through life without being offended. And yes, we have the freedom to say whatever we want to whenever we want to (or at least, so we have in Denmark). But of course people may not like it, but that is their problem. They are free to say they are offended, but it really should take extreme forms before doing so. It would be nicer to be polite, but again politeness shouldn't take extreme forms (like political correctness, which any decent man (or woman) should fight with all peaceful means)

Don't be overly sensitive.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Freedom of speech is dead
by Soulbender on Tue 14th Jul 2009 05:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Freedom of speech is dead"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I should be able to walk up to your mother and call her a whore.


And you can, it is not against the law to do so. I may not like it and I'll probably kick your ass but you have every right to say it. Just like I would have every right to scream at you and call you an motherfscking asshole.
Neither of us would be very tactful but freedom of speech is not about tact.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Freedom of speech is dead
by lawlernet on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:45 UTC in reply to "Freedom of speech is dead"
lawlernet Member since:
2005-08-22

...when people believe there's an overriding right to go through life never being offended.

Unfortunately, this attitude is pervasive in many places (a special hello to academia) these days.


Who said that he shouldn't have the right to say what he said? There's a difference between "He said something that pissed me off," and "What he said should be outlawed," you know. I'm tired of the argument that it's morally okay to say whatever you want because we have freedom of speech on our side. That's deflecting the issue, he said something offensive, he should own up to it. Legally he had every right to say it, morally, that's an entirely different issue.

Reply Score: 3

deja vu
by binarymutant on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:45 UTC
binarymutant
Member since:
2008-11-11

This is like those PG-13 pictures on the infamous database slideshow.

Reply Score: 1

Stallman is out of touch
by bousozoku on Thu 9th Jul 2009 19:14 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Come on now, you know that a lot of these people are so fanatical about promoting their agenda that they're not in touch with reality.

How many times has Linus Torvalds made a comment that enraged half the developers on the planet? Steve Ballmer is another. There are plenty of opinionated people out there who push buttons without even knowing it.

He thought that he was being clever and he can't see that he wasn't and no amount of explanation will change his thinking. He should leave out such things in the future and concentrate on what he knows.

Reply Score: 2

What's wrong with sexism?
by PrimalDK on Thu 9th Jul 2009 19:32 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

This might be a somewhat controversial question to ask, but for those who haven't already reached for their flamethrowers...

By using the term "sexist", you're assuming that there is *really* no difference between men and women, an assumption which (more or less) any statistical evidence, collected within any context, at any point in time or within any period of time, will contradict.

For those who disagree, I challenge you to come up with evidence to the contrary.

So, assuming the above (no pun intended), why can RMS not crack jokes about a specific gender and tech, when

1. women can be virgins
2. you seldom hear, e.g., "Virgin John"
3. making sexual and sexist remarks is funny
4. women are under-represented in tech

Now, you may disagree with the above, but please note that it's *entirely* politically correct to joke about the male gender, at all times, in all contexts, as the mentioned George Carlin has done on numerous occasions.

It's as if women - and the men that have succumbed to the simplistic and dogmatic views of the feminists - refuse to acknowledge the fact that the rules of their dogma tend to be self-contradictory in nature:

1. women should be treated equally to men
2. you CANNOT make jokes about women and virginity
3. you CAN make jokes about men and virginity
4. you CANNOT make jokes about women and intelligence
5. you CAN make jokes about men and intelligence
6. etc. ad nausseum...

Get a grip, women of either gender. If you want equality, learn self-irony and let go of your self-importance.

Accept - as do the gays and handicapped - that joking about any subset of the human race is supposed to make you laugh, not enrage you.

Oh, and if you find someone or something offensive, get a mirror before you exercise your moral judgement.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What's wrong with sexism?
by dylansmrjones on Thu 9th Jul 2009 20:35 UTC in reply to "What's wrong with sexism?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Great post! +1 (except I can't)

Reply Score: 2

RE: What's wrong with sexism?
by google_ninja on Thu 9th Jul 2009 20:47 UTC in reply to "What's wrong with sexism?"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Sexism, a term coined in the mid-20th century,[1] refers to the belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to, less competent, or less valuable than the other. It can also refer to hatred of, or prejudice towards, either sex as a whole (see misogyny and misandry), or the application of stereotypes of masculinity in relation to men, or of femininity in relation to women.[2] It is also called male and female chauvinism. Historically and across many cultures, sexism has resulted in the subjugation of women to men. Many men and women espousing feminism, masculism and other ideologies have worked toward dispelling sexist beliefs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexism

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What's wrong with sexism?
by PrimalDK on Thu 9th Jul 2009 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE: What's wrong with sexism?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Yeah...that's exactly the point, ninja:

"...one sex or gender..."

So, *either* gender can be the subject of jokes. And prejudice is certainly a wonderful tool in comedy - look up "Faulty Towers" if you need proof.

I also refuse to believe that sexism is the culprit. People have a need to categorize, and the categories they invent will sometimes be anything but isomophic to the way mother nature orders things - and so what?

We are still in the process of mapping out the universe, and the fact that people tend towards all kinds of prejudice is statistically backed up by so much evidence that it's ridiculous to suggest we're not - and so what?

People have their needs for safety, and prejudice is most probably a side-effect of evolution (what else?), something we'll have to work our intellect to get over, that is, *when* appropriate.

Want to restrict freedom of speech? No? Then accept that *some* things someone *will* say *will* offend you and move on.

Your self-established high moral ground is a multi-facetted and shaky form of prejudice, at best.

Reply Score: 1

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

So, *either* gender can be the subject of jokes. And prejudice is certainly a wonderful tool in comedy - look up "Faulty Towers" if you need proof.


It is also quite efficient to use black people as slaves, look at the old south if you need proof.

People have their needs for safety, and prejudice is most probably a side-effect of evolution (what else?), something we'll have to work our intellect to get over, that is, *when* appropriate.


...which will never happen if we just ignore it.

Want to restrict freedom of speech? No? Then accept that *some* things someone *will* say *will* offend you and move on.


If we are talking about this specific thing (which wasn't a huge deal), I agree with you. But we aren't, we are talking about prejudice in general, and sexism in specific. Women should be able to go through life and not get treated as inferior based on the fact that they are women.

Your self-established high moral ground is a multi-facetted and shaky form of prejudice, at best.


I am talking as someone who thinks it is really sad that there are so few female developers, especially since the few I have worked with over my career have been universally phenomenal. I don't think its even a moral highground, it is more a moral baseline. Judging or hating people based on arbitrary arbitrary differences is wrong, plain and simple, and that is what sexism is, by definition. By defending sexism, that is what you are defending.

Reply Score: 2

PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

google ninja,

Ah...so you want to outlaw using prejudice in jokes on the grounds of *some* people during *some* period having used prejudice to suppress a people?

Want to outlaw hammers too because you once saw Tom getting knocked silly by Jerry using one?

Well, I'm sure the blacks would disagree with you that all it takes to suppress them is a belief. Weapons work so much more effectively.

And please don't quote "the pen is mightier than the sword" - that only holds true as long as both sides of an issue actually *have* swords.

We are hardly "ignoring it"...this is now my 6th posting and the number of comments have reached 127.

Who said "inferior"? RMS did? He thinks of "Windows(r)" and "proprietary" as inferior, that's for sure, and he might disagree with your choice of editor, but women?

Should you actually be able to produce just one quote where he states or implies something even close to that, I'll be surprised.

Dear friend, and I say this as a complement to a fellow developer, your moral baseline doesn't help you get more women interested in software development. All it does is speak of your own integrity. I too have worked with women in my field, but they are the exception - albeit a nice one, not the norm.

The fact that women take little interest in this field says *something*. What it says I won't be the judge of, but the fact of their limited presence is, again, hard to argue, neither does it help ensuring "equality", especially considering software is pervasive, including in voting machines.

The fact that most women I've met, no matter their education, rhetorical aptitude, or SAT scores, take little interest in highly abstract, mathematical and often technical subjects, unless they can be somehow connected to their own lives, speaks volumes to me. That *some* do only serves to underline the fact.

You may disagree, as I'm sure a lot of people will, but I'm also sure it's their (the people's) cultural background - the touted anti-oppression modality of the 70s - that sets the agenda, not their personal experience.

I am still waiting for someone to show me the Google Tech screencast where half the audience is women.

It's not.
It's obvious.
It's a pitty.
It's a fact.

It also says nothing of their intelligence or potential, only their choices.

And the differences are precisely *anything* but arbitrary. Say that to your wife next time she complains about the pains of giving birth or the hormone shifts it induces. And tell it to your 2-year old child as well and watch the question mark appear.

We have been scared into believing what is certainly *not* true: that men and women are equal.

What *is* true is that they should have equal rights, and in some countries, mine for instance, it's even true that they have (almost) equal opportunities (in some cases better).

Lastly, the issue here is not sexism in *any* context, but sexism in humor. You might disagree with Tom getting chopped up or having his teeth smashed by Jerry, but it's still funny, and it *is* because it's in the context of *humor*.

If you disagree, there's an "off" button on your remote, just as there's an "exit" sign above the doors of most lecture halls.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What's wrong with sexism?
by dagw on Thu 9th Jul 2009 20:58 UTC in reply to "What's wrong with sexism?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

why can RMS not crack jokes about a specific gender and tech

It's all about context and timing, the specific nature of the joke is really quite irrelevant. Some thing which are fine to say in some situations is inappropriate in others. He made an obviously inappropriate joke in an inappropriate situation. Anybody with any sort of social awareness should be fully aware that saying certain things in certain settings is likely to get a certain response. That doesn't mean you cannot say it, but you cannot act all indignant when you get the expected reaction and people judge you on your actions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What's wrong with sexism?
by PrimalDK on Thu 9th Jul 2009 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE: What's wrong with sexism?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

dagw:

You say "it's all about timing", and I ask: "Who's timing"? Yours? What is "inappropriate"? Who told you so? Did you make that decision on your own? Did your parents teach you? What makes it right/true? What is true? What is right?

I am not preaching relativism, but "anybody with any social awareness" only holds water locally, that is, it's specific to social contexts like culture.

I actually find RMS's indignation refreshing; he finds the hysteria out of proportion, as do I, and wonders - probably - to himself why people will try to restrict others' freedom of speech at every opportunity, but immediately thereafter exercise their own.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

You say "it's all about timing", and I ask: "Who's timing"? Yours?

No. That of the expected audience. Both present and possibly reading transcripts, watching any recorded video, or listening to any recorded audio.

What is "inappropriate"?

That which could reasonably be expected to offend the audience, as specified above.

Who told you so?

In retrospect... I believe we can say: The Audience.

Did you make that decision on your own? Did your parents teach you?

No. The audience has.

What makes it right/true?

Not the point. The point is that he, as an FS leader, advocate, and as close a thing to an official representative as one can imagine, has exercised damned poor judgement and then denied responsibility. Metaphorically speaking, this is something like simply disappearing into the night after the "deflowering", leaving others to face the consequences.

Edited 2009-07-09 21:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

"Exercised poor judgement"?

The audience is a meassure of what is poor judgement?

I think you are preaching the masses being right *because* they are the masses. RMS seems to me to be just the character to revolt against that notion, with which I - like him - disagree.

I like my freedom of speech, which is why I'll joke about subjects that are "inappropriate" like, say, religion, no matter who might take offense. The people who do can then exercise their freedom of speech and joke about something else. The key is to *not make it personal*, and "women" is not a personal pronoun.

RMS works *for* the masses, which will just as soon judge him for cracking "the wrong joke" as hail him for the relentless work he's put into securing their freedom.

History repeats itself.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"Exercised poor judgement"?

The audience is a meassure of what is poor judgement?

Michael, it's the first rule of persuasion: Don't offend or insult your audience.

Once you've done that, you may as well just give up. You can see the effect quite clearly in the relevant threads here on OSNews. Unless you want to argue that Richard and the FSF don't care about being persuasive, you pretty much have to admit that his "joke" was a poor move.

Edited 2009-07-09 21:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Steve,

As much as it may be "the first rule" it may not be true. RMS has always stood for something beyond persuasion. If he had been interested in persuading his audience only, why would he have the roster of offending all walks of life?

A poor move it was, if all RMS was interested in was appeasing his audience(s). If this was the case he'd be wearing "appropriate" clothes, have an "appropriate" haircut, and not appear the 70s relic without a clue about the "appropriate" future of software.

Looks may deceive, as they say.

I'll take a person who will bring up things that *Rock My Boat* and provoke debate anytime over a person who will forfeit mentioning obvious tendencies in a joke for the sake of appearing "appropriate".

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'll take a person who will bring up things that *Rock My Boat* and provoke debate anytime over a person who will forfeit mentioning obvious tendencies in a joke for the sake of appearing "appropriate".

I take it, then, that you feel that Richard has served some "greater purpose" in this instance, which transcends even the value of his Free Software cause. That's cool. So... what is it?

Sometimes a rose is just a rose. And sometimes a gaffe is just a gaffe. And sometimes denying responsibility and playing the victim is just denying responsibility and playing the victim.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What's wrong with sexism?
by dagw on Thu 9th Jul 2009 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What's wrong with sexism?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I'll take a person who will bring up things that *Rock My Boat* and provoke debate anytime over a person who will forfeit mentioning obvious tendencies in a joke for the sake of appearing "appropriate"

You say it as if it's impossible to do both.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What's wrong with sexism?
by dagw on Thu 9th Jul 2009 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What's wrong with sexism?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I like my freedom of speech,

As do I. I'm huge proponent of freedom of speech. However this really has nothing to do with freedom of speech. No on is saying that saying what RMS said should be illegal or censored.

which is why I'll joke about subjects that are "inappropriate" like, say, religion, no matter who might take offense.

And that is fair enough. You have every right to do so. But do so at the "wrong" time and place don't be surprised if people form a poor opinion of you and refuse to listen to your message. If you're cool with that, more power to you, but don't bitch about the consequences afterward.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What's wrong with sexism?
by dagw on Fri 10th Jul 2009 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What's wrong with sexism?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

You say "it's all about timing", and I ask: "Who's timing"? Yours? What is "inappropriate"? Who told you so? Did you make that decision on your own? Did your parents teach you? What makes it right/true? What is true? What is right?

It's all very simple. It has nothing to do with right/wrong, true/false or any sort of absolute terms. It's all about reactions from your audience. Did you get the reaction you wanted from your audience? Did the audience get the message your where trying to convey? Has the audiences opinion of you changed in the way you wanted?

I am not preaching relativism, but "anybody with any social awareness" only holds water locally, that is, it's specific to social contexts like culture.

Which is why you change your behavior to fit the culture and local context in which you are. A big part of social awareness is to be aware of the local context you are in and adjusting your behavior on the fly. The same message delivered the same way will get you vastly different responses depending on where you are. This should be obvious to most people. It takes only a little bit more awareness to predict that response.

I behave differently when I'm at a pub with close friends than if I'd be discussing business with possible future clients at a nice restaurant. Jokes that I'd happily tell in one setting I wouldn't tell in the other, due to the different cultural and social context.

himself why people will try to restrict others' freedom of speech at every opportunity

Nobody is trying to restrict anybodies free speech. It's not about what you are allowed to say. Just because I criticize your message and how you delivered it does not mean I'm criticizing your right to free speech.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: What's wrong with sexism?
by PrimalDK on Fri 10th Jul 2009 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What's wrong with sexism?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

It's all very simple. It has nothing to do with right/wrong, true/false or any sort of absolute terms. It's all about reactions from your audience. Did you get the reaction you wanted from your audience? Did the audience get the message your where trying to convey? Has the audiences opinion of you changed in the way you wanted?


The above strikes me as an attempt to market the methodology that we see most apparently displayed in totalitarian regimes and the FUD of certain marketing departments of huge corporations: Manipulation.

I'm sure people will keep enjoying being manipulated in the next century as well, but it strikes me as belittling their intelligence on grounds of a feeling of knowing what's best for them.

And that, my friend, is what being a hippie in sandals and matching beard is all about: Nobody will believe you because of your nice exterior.

So when they watch you dance, it'll be to get the story, not the coreography. That is, when they're not busy telling you what jokes you can crack.

Which is why you change your behavior to fit the culture and local context in which you are.


Sure. Sam Harris doesn't, and neither does Richard Dawkins. Neither did George Russell or Albert Einstein, or Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Liszt, Mahler [continue ad lib].

That's why they're looked upon as misbehaved youngsters while still alive, only to be hailed as geniuses when they've been comfortably put to rest in their graves, unable to cause further disturbance.

Alan Turing was gay. He (probably) killed himself after being prosecuted for his socially inappropriate behavior. He also invented the Turing Machine, the Turing Test, cracked Enigma, and other stuff irrelevant to the Free World (as we love to call ourselves) and the IT world in particular.

Nobody is trying to restrict anybodies free speech. It's not about what you are allowed to say. Just because I criticize your message and how you delivered it does not mean I'm criticizing your right to free speech.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was only the delivery (a joke) of the message, not the message itself, that was on debate here. And the delivery of a message, that is, the way something is voiced, is speech, my friend. Trying to restrict the form of delivery is, thus, restricting freedom of speech.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The above strikes me as an attempt to market the methodology that we see most apparently displayed in totalitarian regimes and the FUD of certain marketing departments of huge corporations

Would Mr. Mike Godwin, please pick up the blue house phone. Careful...

and neither does Richard Dawkins.

FWIW, I agree with Richard Dawkins' views on religion pretty much whole-heartedly. But I think his strategy is poor.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What's wrong with sexism?
by PrimalDK on Fri 10th Jul 2009 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What's wrong with sexism?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

"The above strikes me as an attempt to market the methodology that we see most apparently displayed in totalitarian regimes and the FUD of certain marketing departments of huge corporations

Would Mr. Mike Godwin, please pick up the blue house phone. Careful...
"

Nice :-)

"and neither does Richard Dawkins.

FWIW, I agree with Richard Dawkins' views on religion pretty much whole-heartedly. But I think his strategy is poor.
"

Of course you do. Doesn't quite come as a surprise, given the nature of our bullet exchange below. ;-)

But, I'm thrilled to see yet another individual with the capacity to rid himself of the horrid fairy tales that have shaped most of human history.

Although...by saying that, I fear I will have Rocked Even More Boats...

Thumbs up!

Reply Score: 1

It's really hard to tell
by Denbish on Thu 9th Jul 2009 19:38 UTC
Denbish
Member since:
2009-03-25

It's really hard to tell if what he said was all that offensive without hearing EXACTLY what he said. The way it was described was not clear enough for me to make that judgment.

A few points:

1. He is one of the original old-school hackers, and the ethic there very much is, if you are offended that is your problem.
2. He does in fact have diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome, doesn't he? I believe his unofficial biography notes that.
3. At any rate, his biography pretty much makes it clear that he's frequently (by the standards of society at large) rude and inconsiderate, and on a few occasions in the book, has had downright childish fits. Whomever invited him got what they paid for.

In my opinion, when it comes to inviting speakers you are inviting the person because of who they are, so if you didn't like it then you shouldn't have invited him. He's been doing these same jokes for years. If the conference you went to invited him and you were offended, complain to the conference, but Stallman's just being Stallman.

Reply Score: 2

Condescension
by pimpernel on Thu 9th Jul 2009 20:51 UTC
pimpernel
Member since:
2009-04-25

Couldn't OS News get a woman to write this story?

Reply Score: 1

Poor judgement
by sbergman27 on Thu 9th Jul 2009 21:03 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I think that the core issue, here, is really that of "judgement". The specifics of sexism, etc. tend to distract from that. Clearly, Richard has exercised poor judgement in this instance. And when called on it, instead of exercising good judgement and offering an apology for having offended anyone, however unintentionally, he exercises further bad judgement and claims he has nothing to apologize for. Which is, in my opinion, more disturbing than was the original gaffe.

It is the exercise of such poor judgement by an FS "leader", compounded by further, and less easily excusable, poor judgement which I find most distressing.

His first reaction: to play the victim... is also somewhat bemusing. Is he so used to employing that technique that it has simply become his tool of first choice?

This behavior would not reflect well upon anyone ostensibly acting as an FS community leader.

Edited 2009-07-09 21:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

There are no women!
by gredsen on Thu 9th Jul 2009 21:43 UTC
gredsen
Member since:
2009-07-09

"I find this a nonsensical train of thought; how are women going to stand up for themselves in this case when there are no women to begin with?"

Is this a joke? Maybe the author should ask his friend Eugenia where all the FOSS women are, and why they don't stand up for themselves.

Reply Score: 1

Nerds just don't get
by jimmtyop on Thu 9th Jul 2009 22:51 UTC
jimmtyop
Member since:
2009-07-09

As an engineer I have been to many predominately male conferences. They SUCK. I hate looking next door at the Pharmaceutical rep conference and seeing all the hot girls but having to be instead with my dork counterparts.
Linux, yes you dorks, needs more women. Women are fun to be around. And they're smart and have great ideas. Why not do what you can to bring them in, instead of treating them like crap?
I swear you people are so short sighted. Duh, hello, keep going to your speeches and sit between dilbert and elmer. If that's what you like.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nerds just don't get
by PrimalDK on Thu 9th Jul 2009 22:59 UTC in reply to "Nerds just don't get"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, jimmtyop,

I am sure the "hot women" will be debating sexism among dorks. If you think we're dorks, maybe they'll think you are too? Or maybe you're that one "hot" male the pharmacist babes are gasping for?

Of course, they have always been into pills. ;-)

Perhaps they can make you an anti-dork one?

(just joking)

Reply Score: 1

free as in freedom of speech as well
by bullethead on Thu 9th Jul 2009 23:01 UTC
bullethead
Member since:
2005-07-10

nuff said.

Reply Score: 1

PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

I can't vote you up, bullethead, but I would if I could.

Nuff said, indeed.

Reply Score: 1

RMS is overrated
by John.Gustafsson on Thu 9th Jul 2009 23:33 UTC
John.Gustafsson
Member since:
2005-08-08

I find that RMS contribution to computing is quite overrated and that there are many others that are as large or larger contributers to computing as we know it today. I don't see him contributing with anything for a very long time even, and he more than counters anything that he has contributed with his arrogance and tenacious closemindedness.

I don't like his world view where he is some sort of infallible god who is the only one that knows what is right for humanity and likes to use the word "evil" about anyone not sharing his point of view. Doing that as a public figure, which he is, will stop me from respecting whoever acts that way. This joke and his lack of communication skills is kind of the tip of an iceberg really. Plus making jokes about emacs in 2009? Wishing it was still 1979 anyone?

Reply Score: 1

RE: RMS is overrated
by PrimalDK on Fri 10th Jul 2009 00:12 UTC in reply to "RMS is overrated"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

John,

Maybe he should join a marketing department in one of the companies you buy your software from? He certainly got you to respond, and his joke about the relic editor he wrote seems to, most effectively, have woken up the Women's Rights movement.

Contributions...hmm...let's see:

emacs : 7,880,000 hits.
gcc : 20,300,000 hits.
gdb : 16,100,000 hits.

Of course, that's not indicative - there are certainly other things named "gcc" and "gdb", and those two pieces of old tech certainly haven't contributed *that* much to the software demography in the past 20 years. Say, compile Linux and Mac OS X, and - until recently, all the other BSDs as well.

Nothing like the Windows(r) compiler, say - what's its name again? Oh, right: Visual Studio(r).

Let's try "gpl": only 59,600,000 hits...

Nah...it's all just politics:

Linux, MySQL, Yahoo, Apple, Google, and 128,539 pieces of software on SourceForge must be wrong.

Stallman just doesn't cut it.

Reply Score: 2

Stallman, politics and OSNews
by ebasconp on Fri 10th Jul 2009 01:47 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Why talkin' here about the things Stallman say?

Did he release a new version of the Hurd?
Did he implemented a fix for, say, GNU/Linux?

What is the open source project he leads?

I respect what Stallman did but now he just seems an arrogant "i-just-talk-but-do-not-produce-anything-more" guy and IMHO, OSNews is about software, not about politics!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stallman, politics and OSNews
by PrimalDK on Fri 10th Jul 2009 02:10 UTC in reply to "Stallman, politics and OSNews"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Why talkin' here about the things Stallman say?

Did he release a new version of the Hurd?
Did he implemented a fix for, say, GNU/Linux?

What is the open source project he leads?

I respect what Stallman did but now he just seems an arrogant "i-just-talk-but-do-not-produce-anything-more" guy and IMHO, OSNews is about software, not about politics!


Let me quote the title of a recent OSNews article:

"Richard Stallman's Possibly Sexist Remarks at GCDS"

If that smells more of "software" than "politics" to you, I guess I'm not reading enough news headings...

Reply Score: 1

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

If that smells more of "software" than "politics" to you, I guess I'm not reading enough news headings...


Exactly, that's my point!

I read OSNews to find about software, not about politics; this article does not make sense here.

Reply Score: 2

Free as in speech.
by robcj on Fri 10th Jul 2009 01:53 UTC
robcj
Member since:
2007-10-11

I chuckled when I read that he gets paid to make these speeches. I'm going to check his website for a copy of his speech and start charging to make the same speech myself. Of course, if I make any changes, such as removing any unnecessary sexist remarks, I'll be sure to post a copy of my version on my website.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Free as in speech.
by PrimalDK on Fri 10th Jul 2009 02:14 UTC in reply to "Free as in speech."
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

I chuckled when I read that he gets paid to make these speeches. I'm going to check his website for a copy of his speech and start charging to make the same speech myself. Of course, if I make any changes, such as removing any unnecessary sexist remarks, I'll be sure to post a copy of my version on my website.


He's hired to make speeches because people want to hear him speak. He's paid because that's a common way of balancing efforts. You can hardly accuse the man of being your average financial vampire, can you?

I'll assume if I ask you to come give a speech here at my company, you'll be happy to do so for free, no expenses paid?

Reply Score: 1

Number of the Beast
by chemical_scum on Fri 10th Jul 2009 02:12 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

I am not an EMACS virgin, I used to be an adherent of the Church of EMACS. But I have fallen and now worship before the Beast whose number is VI VI VI.

Because of this I realizes that RMS is making a joke about Christianity. Not women but Christians and the history of Christianity are the butt of the joke. He like everyone else needs the right to parody and take the piss out of religion.

Hang on while I fire up vim to write more ...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Number of the Beast
by chemical_scum on Fri 10th Jul 2009 02:14 UTC in reply to "Number of the Beast"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Well at least it will load faster than EMACS.

Reply Score: 2

I'm getting tired of this...
by PrimalDK on Fri 10th Jul 2009 02:27 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

Go to

http://stallman.org/

Read.

* defending gay rights
* defending the right to a prosecution before conviction
* defending the climate
* defending privacy rights
* offending cigarette manufacturers
* offending bottled water manufacturers
* offending the homeopaths

The list goes on and on.

Yeah...he sure is an ignorant, isn't he...

In fact, he's NOT busy defending women's rights because he thinks them ENTIRELY capable of defending themselves, as ANY person with a belief in gender equality would.

And he is NOT busy NOT making sexist jokes because BOTH women and men FIND THEM FUNNY.

It's just dorks like me in forums like this, with too little to do, who make such jokes an issue.

Off to work, I am. Miss you, I will.

Reply Score: 1

Don't be an ass, Thom
by da_Chicken on Fri 10th Jul 2009 13:12 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

Thom Holwerda wrote:


"I find this a rather interesting discussion, mostly because RMS is kind of the primary figurehead of the Free software movement. I think most of us can agree that we'd like Free software to improve and proliferate, but if your main advocate is a figure like RMS, aren't you just limiting yourself? How can you take someone like that seriously? His contributions to the Free software movement are huge, but does that excuse him for being an asshole? (excuse my choice of words)."


Stop being an ass, Thom. David "Lefty" Schlesinger (intentionally?) fails to mention the fact that RMS only talks about "Emacs virgins" in the humorous sketch part at the end of his speeches. This sketch about the "Church of Emacs" is obviously a light-hearted spoof of the Catholic Church, where virgins are worshipped, women are patronized, and pre-marital sex is strongly discouraged. (RMS is an atheist.) It should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that this sketch was never meant to be taken seriously in the first place.

Thom Holwerda wrote:

"RMS actually gets invited to talks like this at conferences - and he gets paid for it too. But do you really want to invite someone who then just goes around acting like a weirdo, offending your community? And then, when he gets called out for it, starts playing the victim instead of just apologising? People do not come to a technology conference to be insulted and offended - it's not a comedy club.


RMS doesn't change his repertoire that often, and people who invite him to give speeches should damn well know what they're about to hear. If the audience feels frightened or offended because RMS is a bit of an eccentric, they are always free to walk away and come back only after Stallman has finished his speech. But it seems that quite a lot of people are actually interested to hear what this eccentric Free Software guru has to say.

Thom Holwerda wrote:

"Some argue that by standing up for women, people like Lefty are actually affirming the idea that women need help and protection. I find this a nonsensical train of thought; how are women going to stand up for themselves in this case when there are no women to begin with? But even if there were women - I see no problem with standing up for minorities you're not part of. I call that common decency."


Yeah, David "Lefty" Schlesinger sounds quite patronizing towards women, and Thom Holwerda seems eager to join the chorus. Typical sexist males. ;)

Thom Holwerda wrote:

"This discussion is not about whether or not it's wrong to offend with jokes and humour - trust me, I am all for that. It keeps people sharp. I dislike the political correctness nonsense that's been travelling around the world these past few yeas. Still, there are times and places for such humour, and a serious technological conference is not one of them."


Let me reiterate: The major part of Stallman's speeches always consists of very serious bla bla bla about software freedom and licenses, and the dangers of software patents and DRM, and so on. So there is always a "serious technological" part in his speeches. But RMS usually likes to end his speech on a lighter note, and he has prepared a little sketch about the imaginary "Church of Emacs" for that very purpose.

This sketch is also self-ironic because a lot of people seem to regard Stallman's moralistic attitude as some kind of holier-than-thou posing. So his audiences usually appreciate this open display of self-irony. Except perhaps people like David "Lefty" Schlesinger, who seem to have a "politically correct" monkey on their back.

Reply Score: 7

sudo apt-get install sense-of-humor
by czayas on Fri 10th Jul 2009 18:46 UTC
czayas
Member since:
2009-04-09

I don't think RMS's "Saint IGNUcius" comedy routine is more rude than, as another poster pointed out, South Park for example.

RMS's act is world wide well known. Didn't they knew what they were going to get? It's the same act that RMS presented back in October 2008 here in my country (Paraguay, South America), complete with the "EMACS virgins" stuff, and received a stand-up applause.

Paraguay is a 98% catholic country (I was raised in a catholic home, went to a catholic school). There were around 600 people present, many women (my wife was present, a great feminist) and none of them have felt offended.

The cassock, the hard disk platter as halo, the laptop as a table of the Ten Commandments, aren't clues that this is a comedy act that seeks to ironize prejudices?

Reply Score: 2

The problem is religion itself
by divide_by_zero on Sat 11th Jul 2009 21:37 UTC
divide_by_zero
Member since:
2009-07-11

Religion can be a pretty thing. But truth is religion has been historically linked to sexism and all sorts of discrimination itself. If you make a pastiche of religion, you are fated to bring along its own original sexism, and the whole endless discussion of whether this discrimination had a bit of truth or not, not to mention the nature / nurture thing.

Edited 2009-07-11 21:47 UTC

Reply Score: 1

SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

Which problem is that? Don't confuse politics with religion. The problem with religions is that they engage in politics.

If they would stick to what was written in their holy books and enforce only that, then there wouldn't be nearly as much blending of religion and politics.

Also, the religion called "political correctness" (which is actually no religion at all because it is not well documented in terms of its belief system) is running rampant in this country among others.

Political correctness must be stopped before any other "establishment of religion" as defined in the time period of the founding fathers of the USA. According to the first amendment, an "establishment of religion" cannot be endorsed or restricted by congress. That's right, there's a "free exercise" clause in the first amendment right along side of the requirement that congress doesn't endorse one state religion over another.

Now that I've stood on my political soapbox, perhaps you would prefer that I demonstrate something that can be justified according to the scriptures in its original context and in conjunction with other scriptures so that you can note the difference between the two.

Reply Score: 2

ROFLMAO
by Wowbagger on Mon 13th Jul 2009 02:55 UTC
Wowbagger
Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh my god, are you Americans uptight, it's as if the Brits and you have nowadays changed places and you're the ones with a stick up their asses.

Still, there are times and places for such humour, and a serious technological conference is not one of them.

So serious that St. Ignucius is punning the shit out of religion and everyone except, probably Americans would have gotten the pun about the VIRGIN Mary.

Maybe we should be happy that none of those religious fundamendalists of yours has started to call the Spanish Inquisition.

Edited 2009-07-13 02:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: ROFLMAO
by SamuraiCrow on Mon 13th Jul 2009 17:06 UTC in reply to "ROFLMAO"
SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

If the prophecies are correct, the Lord's second coming will make the Spanish Inquisition look like PeeWee's Playhouse.

:-P

Reply Score: 2

RE: ROFLMAO
by fretinator on Mon 13th Jul 2009 17:29 UTC in reply to "ROFLMAO"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Read On For Lame Material (Also Off-topic)

[Edit: spelings eror]

Edited 2009-07-13 17:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by jido
by jido on Mon 13th Jul 2009 16:31 UTC
jido
Member since:
2006-03-06

The more significant problem was your comments regarding "EMAC virgins", which you defined as being specifically "_women_ who had never used EMACS", and for whom being "relieved" of this "virginity" was a "holy duty".
Is that supposed to be a parody of the Church of Mary? Sorry but I did not understand the reference, probably because I don't know much about catholicism.

The second part about the holy duty sounds strongly sexist but it is difficult to judge with just one example. I do believe that, with an assembly that is mostly male with only a few women, this kind of joke is a bad idea. It is ostracism.

Ah, and sultanqasim is a sexist idiot. Go play with your tech toys since they are obviously meant for men only.

Reply Score: 1

What we really want to know is
by Soulbender on Tue 14th Jul 2009 05:44 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

What does Eugenia think?

Reply Score: 2