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SubjectRe: [OFFTOPIC] RMS and reactions to him
On Tue, Jan 14, 2003 at 03:19:38PM -0500, Olivier Galibert wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 14, 2003 at 12:02:02PM -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > If I calmly, rationally, and clearly state things which are not true,
> > are self serving, and are not relevant to a forum, what should I expect
> > in response?
> Silence, of course. People here are supposed to know better than to
> answer to trolls.

RMS does not fall into the category of troll. RMS is on a mission. His
posts take the form of proselytization. He has a vision of full
cooperation between people. No patents, no copyrights, no property.
He fancies himself as the one true uncompromised individual that can
be trusted with executing this vision. In many ways, his vision takes
the form of a religion or cult. His posts are 'calm, rational, and
clearly stated' because he truly believes that every word he speaks is
the absolute truth, and that his paragraphs should be used on a tract.

Trolls seek attention and discord. RMS seeks disciples. Silence will
not stop RMS. Nor, likely will passionate outrage stop RMS. RMS believes
that if he stops, his vision will fail. Only he can bring his vision to

In actual fact, I don't want RMS to stop. I believe that his religious
attachment to his ideals has allowed a sort of 'grand unification' of
compatible beliefs. RMS didn't invent freedom. But he, and his
organization, do an excellent job of representing freedom (even if they
try to [re]define it to suit their agenda...).

I do think that sometimes his beliefs are inconvenient, and at other
times, they are unrealistic, given that the world we live in does not
allow for his sort of idealism, except when secured via means that are
not compatible with his belief system. (For example, the average person
who contributes to open source, has a non open source job that allows
them and their family to eat, while contributing on the side)

I think that he regularly fails to respect this truth. He also fails
to recognize that, at least currently, his model is based upon
pride. People contribute to open source, because they are proud to do
their part, and they especially like to be recognized for the work
that they do, that otherwise does *not* directly benefit them in any
way. He removes this pride by making such claims as "the system that
is now often called Linux is the system that I came up with in 1984."

Maybe Linus is a big enough man that he doesn't care that RMS is
trying to steal his thunder. In fact, Linus has not lowered himself to
particating in this thread, as far as I can recall.

But, he shouldn't have to be. In the linux-devel newsgroups, the
opinion that Linus was a pawn in RMS's master plan needs to be
squashed. Not only is it completely false, but it is disrespectful to
every contributor of Linux up unto this point. RMS's master plan takes
it for granted that a large number of skilled people have
compatible-enough beliefs. He assumes that this means that they *are*
his people, and not that they are willing to collaborate with his

Some of us don't mind getting a little mud on ourselves to stand up
for what we believe in. Passionate outbursts? Damn right. :-) It means
we have a heart beating inside our chests.


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One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them...

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