Subject: Re: ok, FSBs created schwag; now bet the farm on something better
From: "Brian J. Fox" <bfox@ua.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 10:54:37 -0700


   Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 09:58:05 -0400
   From: Peter Wayner <pcw2@flyzone.com>
   Cc: <fsb@crynwr.com>

   >  Stallman is *still* using MIT resources (but his academic background
   >is from Harvard), and Torvalds was an undergraduate for a long time --
   >during a recession, it's easier to stay in school and hack (in
   >Scandinavian countries - a somewhat important cultural difference.)
   >I'll grant your point that these don't come out of funded university
   >research programs - but you may want to tune your examples a bit more
   >carefully :-)

   You've have a point. There is some connection, although I don't know 
   if the bond between Stallman and MIT is that strong.  On one hand, 
   he's had drastic arguments with them about security. (He used to 
   publicize the fact that his password was "rms" in case people needed 
   a machine to use.) On the other hand, I think many people there 
   support the project. He's listed as a research associate, but I don't 
   know if he gets any money from them. It's hard to pin down, but it 
   would be an interesting relationship to explore.

Richard's office is paid for and maintained by the AI lab.  When the
offices were being redone, Richard explained that he slept in his
office a great deal, so could they place a wall in his office space,
creating two rooms?  They did.

Next to RMS' office are two double-sized office spaces which are
utilized by the FSF as space for hackers to work in.  That's 5 office
spaces, and a corner in the machine room.

If the AI lab didn't manage this space, phone, printer and network
connectivity for Richard, he (and other hackers) would be forced to
work at the "distribution office" which would require a substantial
change in outgo for the FSF overall (relative to their annual income).

At the same time, MIT refused to acknowledge a relationship publically
between Richard, the FSF, and the University.  This is a political
game, and gives them the leverage they need to "flush" him if he does
something "damaging" to the University's external reputation.

Brian
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