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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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 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

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 Parent 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 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