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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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

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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Freedom of speech is dead
by lawlernet on Thu 9th Jul 2009 17:45 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 Parent Score: 3