In Support of Richard Stallman

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Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

 

In the wake of the events of September 2019 that led to the resignation of Richard Stallman from MIT and the FSF, a large part of the community felt hurt by what they saw as an injustice to Stallman that caused damage not only to him, but to the entire free software movement as well.

After Stallman announced his return to the FSF Board of Directors on March 21, 2021, a tsunami of virulent attacks to him and the FSF reached unprecedented proportions risking to destroy the very roots of the free software movement.

We are reproducing here, either verbatim or remixed, some of the articles in defense of Richard Stallman that people wrote, addressing the events of either September 2019 or March 2021. Other articles are linked to their original websites.

See also:   Testimonies of Support   Comments of Support  

Articles of Support in this Website #local-articles

Must Read #must-read

  • The Practice of Ritual Defamation. By Laird Wilcox. Written in 1990, this short essay is pertinent today and specially applicable to the defamation of Richard Stallman. The modus operandi described by Wilcox matches seamlessly the procedure adopted by Stallman's attackers. A 5 minutes read worth one or two whole books on the subject. #wilcox

External Articles of Support #external-articles

Most of these are articles are by people who wrote about the events of September 2019 to explain what happened and ask for justice.

  • Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman ( Archived) By Jorge P. de Morais Neto. The point of view of a married, orthodox, staunch Catholic who supports chastity and Christian morality—within a coherent and reasonably tolerant worldview inspired by the phenomenal Pope Francis. I oppose several of Stallman’s views on sex and related subjects. Objective, accurate, clearly written, concise and to the point. Highly recommended. #jorge
  • Low grade “journalists” and internet mob attack RMS with lies (Archived) By sterling-archermedes. In-depth review. Exposes the lies spread by journalists and initiates a petition asking them to apologize to Stallman. The author compares excerpts of the blog post by Ms. Selam Jie Gano[1] and shows how journalists based their reports on Gano's personal interpretation of the emails rather than the sources. Worth reading, keeping in mind that it contains some inaccuracies:
    • The word “allegedly” when mentioning Epstein' crimes is incorrect since Epstein was actually convicted in 2008.
    • The author admits he doesn't understand why the newspaper mentions Joi Ito. The reason is that Joi Ito was involved in the MIT candal. #sterling
  • How the cancel culture was leveraged against RMS (Archived) By Loïc Dachary. The content and the tone of Selam G.’s article is archetypal of the cancel culture and she was joined by people sharing the same faith to demand the resignation of Richard Stallman. A dispassionate, rational view that invites reflection. #loic
  • Why I stand up for Stallman (Archived) By Dave Winer. How neurodiverse individuals are treated badly by the community. Presented from the point of view of the author's personal experience and contact with Richard Stallman. Written in 2011, still relevant today. #winer
  • Another article by Dave Winer, this time written more recently, in April 2021. Pleading for Stallman (Archived) I think Stallman is actually a naive innocent, almost child-like harmless person. #winer2
  • The New Puritans – Mob Justice Is Trampling Democratic Discourse (Archived) By Anne Applebaum on The Atlantic. Unfair punishment by the mobs today is not much different from Hester Prynne's fate in The Scarlet Letter. Right here in America, right now, it is possible to meet people who have lost everything—jobs, money, friends, colleagues—after violating no laws, and sometimes no workplace rules either. Instead, they have broken (or are accused of having broken) social codes [...] #new-puritans
  • It Is Obscene: A True Reflection In Three Parts (Archived) By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The practice of shunning people on antisocial media has reached a point that violates the most basic human decency. Resorting to falsehood and slander to achieve the defamer's own goals has become the norm. Renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls it “obscene.” We add, perverse. Telling us her own painful experience, Chimamanda writes: In this age of social media, where a story travels the world in minutes, silence sometimes means that other people can hijack your story and soon, their false version becomes the defining story about you. #chimamanda
  • Natalie Wynn on Cancellation (local copy) Transwoman and YouTube star Natalie Wynn has been canceled, shunned and bullied more than once by members of her own community. In this audio interview she talks about her experience and points to the methods used by cancelers:
    * Presumption of Guilt
    * Abstraction
    * Essentialism
    * Pseudo-Moralism or Pseudo-Intellectualism
    * No Forgiveness
    * The Transitive Property of Cancellation
    * Dualism

    Wynn has a master degree in philosophy. A 17 minutes recording that deserves attention. #natalie

  • The heretics of the web and the cancel culture (Archived) By Arturo Di Corinto. The thoughts of a well-known Italian journalist on cancel culture, with a gallery of its victims. #corinto
  • Am I Doctor Stallman? (Archived) Richard Stallman explains why he uses the title “Dr.” #doctor-rms
  • On Non-Judicical Punishment of Individuals (Archived) By Bruce Perens. An interesting consideration of shunning as a form of punishment in the absence of a judicial process. Recommended, keeping in mind these two points:
    • We tend to think that the description of Richard Stallman as “extremely obnoxious” is based on interactions between the two in the past in the context of disagreements about the philosophical grounds of the movement. The two are not enemies and are in talking terms. Most importantly, we have evidence that after hard work along the years, Stallman has upgraded his behavior from “obnoxious” to just “annoying.”
    • Stallman was never an employee of the FSF but a volunteer. He never received a penny from the FSF. Therefore, ADA would not apply. But even if for some reason it did apply, it's unlikely that Stallman would ever sue the FSF. #perens
  • Beating Back Cancel Culture: A Case Study from the Field of Artificial Intelligence (Archived) By Pedro Domingos. The mob leader even wrote lengthy Twitter threads listing off the names of anyone who’d liked or retweeted my critiques of her position, suggesting they were all bigots. On how cancel culture works, and how to deal with it. #cancel-culture

References and Notes

  1. https://selamjie.medium.com/remove-richard-stallman-fec6ec210794