Reconciling Stallman's philosophies with him being A Pretty Gross Person to others

Submitted by onevest in just_post

So, I only knew Stallman as a guy who Believed A Lot Of Things That I Also Believe In, until it turned out he was Pretty Gross Privately.

I have no problems being pro-privacy and pro-FOSS, but he has totally turned off a lot of people from these things and I imagine it will be harder. Like, it's kinda hard to say "Oh, check out r/StallmanWasRight for a bunch of good examples of this stuff" now.

I still hold these beliefs and want to evangelize like an annoying piece of shit, but it seems like it'll be difficult-er. Is there a more precise word for this problem, and how others deal with it?

(Note: I know he isn't the only person who has believed these things but he's definitely a figure that'll come up if anybody spends 5 minutes looking into it...)


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missingno wrote

There's one good take on all this I read on the bad site that I'll share here:

The silver lining in all of this is that we are watching Free Software work in real time. I happen to be in the “fuck this guy” side of the discussion for a variety of reasons, but you’ll notice that nobody on either side has expressed any anxiety about losing access to the work, what the future might hold for the GPL, etc.

A trite thought experiment: imagine that Elon Musk or some other industrialist were embroiled in such a controversy. You can bet your ass there would be Elon-stans out here reminding us that if he goes down so goes Tesla, SpaceX, etc. and that this would net bad for society. The conclusion is dubious, but some of you have probably heard similar arguments.

In this case we get to observe one of the great features of FOSS: dissolving a cult of personality never has to threaten the overall health of the ecosystem. Basically everything good the man ever did is GPL’ed and in the public domain. Forever. By his own design, RMS has no real power over anybody beyond their admiration of his legacy.


musou wrote

i always thought of rms as the singular exception that proves the rule that horseshoe theory is bullshit