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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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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 4