Subject: OT: Giving Richard His Due
From: "Federico Lucifredi" <flucifredi@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 05:30:33 -0500

From: "Tony Stanco" <Tony@FreeDevelopers.net>
> Still, I would suggest that there is a no lose Pascal's [?] wager with the
> GPL (and therefore siding with Richard), even if you don't believe in it
or
> him. For if GPL software development replaces the proprietary paradigm (as
I
> think it will in the next couple years), it will be Richard who history
will
> rightfully remember. He wrote the GPL. He fought for it for almost 20
years.
> He dedicated his life to it. Anyone who too strongly opposes Richard runs
> the risk of being condemned by history, if the GPL wins. If the GPL
fizzles,
> history will not remember those that opposed it, since the world was not
> changed and no one will care. Therefore, there is nothing to gain in
> opposing the GPL/Richard. It is a only a losing bet in both end states.

Hm. And you have decided to be remembered, I guess ;-)

I think you fail to understand that we all here have a great respect for
what Richard has done and does. That does not mean we are ready to accept
all his views.  As a student, I always had a poster with a picture and a
quote of Einstein close to my desk, I really admired the guy. Even so, I did
not think that he had not taken  some huge blunders such as the cosmological
constant....

Richard deserves respect for the strenght of his convictions. Believing that
we should all agree with him because of that is arguable. Believing that he
(like anybody alse) is never mistaken is even more questionable - should I
explain why we dare to dissent ?

(I do not have a poster of RMS in my room now, in case you all wondered ;-)

> Finally, I would say, the world has always rewarded those who took ethical
> stands over those who compromised for expediency's sake. Maybe that is the
> ultimate difference.

I do not know how did you manage to convince yourself of that. Indeed I wish
you were right (if the ethical stands include tolerance of those who
dissent), but sadly you are not.

> * -- look at his attributes -- 1. argues principles, not personal
interest;
> 2. spends his life wandering the world explaining his worldview; 3. his
> disinterest in worldly goods and appearances; 4. for Pete's sake, he often
> doesn't even take money for his teachings, living off of the kindness of
> strangers, which no one has done since Socrates and Jesus. But the most
> telling characteristic of all is that most people viscerally hate him for
> what he stands for in his own lifetime.

I do not think people hate him - they just feel that his strong views are,
well, strong. As with anyone with strong beliefs that change things, you
will have zealots, followers, sympathizers, people who are annoyed, people
who oppose more or less strongly.

As for the Stallman == Jesus thought, I recommend you start the RMS fan club
=) come on, I mean... "take money for his teachings?" Are you ripping the
bible here ?!

-F