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Re: [rain1 at airmail dot cc] Delete abortion joke
- From: William Pitcock <nenolod at dereferenced dot org>
- To: rms at gnu dot org
- Cc: GNU C Library <libc-alpha at sourceware dot org>, Alexandre Oliva <aoliva at redhat dot com>
- Date: Mon, 7 May 2018 16:32:29 -0500
- Subject: Re: [rain1 at airmail dot cc] Delete abortion joke
- References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <E1fDLZU-00076y-KO@fencepost.gnu.org>
On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 10:03 PM, Richard Stallman <email@example.com> wrote:
> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
> The point of this joke is even more important now than it was when I
> first wrote it. Please do not remove it.
> GNU is not a purely technical project, so the fact that this is
> not strictly and grimly technical is not a reason to remove this.
When I was much younger, I used to be an avid supporter of everything
the FSF and GNU project stood for. In most cases, I like to believe I
still am. But this joke is as stale as the St. Ignutius routine you
do, and to be clear, I do not support that either.
When you do things like this, you push people away from contributing
to GNU projects. When you then later declare unilateral control of
the GNU project to keep a joke that is, frankly, not funny at all, and
trivially interpreted in a way that is offensive to those we care
about, all it does is motivate me to create new free software
replacements to GNU software, with a governance model that guarantees
that there is no dictator at the top. I am not the only person
motivated that way: many GNU software have been replaced with
technically superior libre replacements. Right now, I am considering
a coreutils replacement in much the same way as I replaced pkg-config,
because I cannot continue to support software that would be
dictatorially controlled against the wishes of those doing the actual
By taking a dictatorial approach here, you move the FSF and GNU
project one step further towards irrelevance. Is preserving the joke
worth moving in the direction of losing, arguably, the most important
legacy of software freedom?
I could care less about the joke, but I care a lot about the
usurpation of the actual glibc maintainers and the belief that they
can just be replaced if they disagree with you. I care about the
unilateral defense of a joke that ultimately will not prevent the
policy you discuss from moving forward, real activism is needed there,
Finally, this way of thinking leads to the end (through increased
irrelevance) of the FSF and GNU projects.