Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Nov 2009 17:11 UTC
Linux Now this is one to ponder. This year, the Nobel Peace Prize went to Barack Obama, president of the United States. The prize has been given to both politicians and non-politicians alike, and Keith Lofstrom thinks its time to hand over the Peace Prize to a non-politician once more: Linus Torvalds.
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Richard Stallman
by 3rdalbum on Sat 21st Nov 2009 10:54 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Yes, Richard Stallman has his oddities. He does take a more purist, extreme point of view than most people.

But he was the person who most actively opposed the restriction of software. When developers stopped sharing their source code, RMS was there opposing it (and doing something about it by writing GNU). When Tivo started abusing the GPL's spirit, RMS made everyone aware of the issue and did what he could. When Microsoft started talking about what they wanted to achieve with TPMs, Richard Stallman warned us of what could be done with this stuff. When DRM rears its ugly head, RMS is willing to don the hazmat suit to raise awareness of the issue.

RMS has a genuine passion for freedom and the use of technology to improve the opportunities given to us. He's totally uncompromising on his views - he never sells out and I don't believe he would compromise his position for love or money. Even though it makes him unpopular in some circles.

And it *is* a GNU/Linux system that we use. He could be less vocal in insisting that it be called that... but he's right.

I often see people posting to various forums saying "Richard Stallman spoke at my school/university today, and it really made me realise how important it is to have Free Software and freedom in computing".

RMS deserves the Nobel Peace Prize because he has raised awareness of the restrictions we face in our modern lives, that other people tell us to think nothing of. And he will keep raising awareness of computing freedom until the day he dies. He's raised a small generation of people who ask themselves "What would RMS do?" and act at least partly on that.

Linus? Linus just programs for and maintains the kernel. There's nothing wrong with that (it's better than what I do), but it's not Nobel Peace Prize material.

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