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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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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent Score: 2