Weekly Roundup: The Passion Of Saint iGNUcius Edition

I was there, outside the Chinese restaurant, when Richard Stallman screamed and began to run from the raindrops.

It was early in 2001 and I was at MIT to meet and work with the nice people from Spindletop, a nascent computer hardware designer/reseller with a tiny office in the basement of a Cambridge strip-mall building, right beneath a fitness center. (Seems like a curious detail to include, doesn’t it? Will it be relevant later?) I was running a webhosting co-op at the time. The idea was that Spindletop would provide the hardware while I would provide what we now call “cloud space” for their various websites and downloads. The software that ran the computers would be Debian GNU/Linux, an operating system based on the idea of near-absolute freedom.

Dealing with GNU/Linux meant dealing with Richard Stallman, the eccentric genius who had guided the creation of pretty much everything but the Linux kernel itself. I say “eccentric”, but what I’m really saying is that Stallman is mentally ill. I don’t know the correct words to describe that illness, but it manifests itself in dozens of different ways, from extreme hydrophobia (fear of water!) to various disturbing habits of phraseology, communication, and physical behavior. Nobody who knows Stallman thinks he is sane. By the same token, nobody would doubt his intelligence. He’s the only person I have ever met in person who struck me as being measurably smarter than I am, which sounds horrifyingly egotistical but is probably more a reflection of my choice in fellow-travelers.

Stallman agreed to eat dinner with me on the condition that he be permitted to order my meal and that I eat the whole thing without complaint. I wouldn’t have dinner with a resurrected John Coltrane under those conditions but there were plenty of great jazz musicians and there is only one Richard Stallman. The meal was an utter nightmare, of course. Everything he picked had the texture, and taste, of Jell-O made from dog vomit. I told myself that if G. Gordon Liddy could burn his own finger down to the tendon that I could finish a five-course “authentic” Chinese meal. Having done so, I managed to extract some absolutely brilliant ideas from him about software design and programming principles. “Come back to my office,” he suggested, and we headed out to walk over towards the MIT Media Lab. About ninety seconds into our walk, it started to rain. Just a light sprinkling, not build-the-ark stuff. Stallman screamed like a teenage girl, pulled his dashiki (yes!) over his head, and ran in waddling fashion towards MIT.

Twenty minutes later, I arrived at the Media Lab to find him huddling on the other side of the door, shaking. “Why did you not run?” he asked, in a whining monotone. “Is it because you are heavy?” (I was 195 pounds at the time; lighter than Stallman, half a foot taller.)

“Yes,” I replied, “my weight prevents rapid locomotion.” Stallman nodded in satisfied fashion. Two hours later, in the middle of demonstrating some bizarre Bulgarian folk dance, he looked over his shoulder at me and said, “I would be happier if you were not in the office.” He did not stop dancing. I took this as my cue to leave.

I mention all of this so you know precisely the sort of person who is in the middle of being crucified for “defending Epstein’s rape island” by his institutional rivals.

“Wait,” some of you are saying, “that’s right! Jeffrey Epstein had a rape island! I’d forgotten all about it, what with Epstein’s convenient suicide and some remarkably media-friendly mass shootings occurring right as justice was about to be quote-unquote handed out!” Funny how that works. Perhaps it’s because Mr. Epstein had a full list of powerful and notable friends. One of those friends, apparently, was MIT artifical-intelligence savant Marvin Minsky, who is alleged to have had sex with a 17-year-old girl on the island.

When asked to give his thoughts on the matter, Stallman responded like any 110-octane autism-spectrum genius would: by questioning the terminology involved. He suggested that the correct word for Minsky’s alleged statutory rape was not “sexual assault”, noting that

a) Minsky had no way to know the girl was 17, not 18 ;
b) she had been coerced by Epstein out of Minsky’s presence and might well have appeared to be entirely willing.

In true Stallman fashion, this was

a) absolutely correct from a logical perspective;
b) mind-blowingly stupid from a perspective of The Current Year.

It’s no different from the thousands of logical but emotionally uncomfortable things he has said and written over the past forty years. Stallman has no way to understand how people feel about something; he doesn’t feel that way. The community of actual computer scientists and clued-in tech people has long accepted this because — and I cannot emphasize this enough — Richard Stallman is responsible for computing as we know it.

In a world where Richard Stallman did not exist, neither would Apple, or the Android phone, or “cloud computing”, or Amazon.com. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The world without Stallman would be a world where you still used a Windows 95 computer, where you paid real money for every single piece of software on it. Internet Explorer would be the browser. Computing would be limited to the upper-middle-class, the way it was in 1985. No matter how you are reading this website, both you and I are using systems which incorporate GNU software. Even if you’re using Windows, which nowadays runs on a very GNU-like operating system beneath the covers.

The idea of truly free software given to the world for humanitarian purposes would not exist without Stallman. He was the only person who ever had the thought. Which means it is more radical than calculus, heavier-than-air flight, the theory of relativity, or the atomic bomb. It took someone with Stallman’s particular blend of Promethean IQ and mentally handicapped social skills to push it all the way to reality. You live in Richard Stallman’s world, whether you like it or not. He has had more influence on how we communicate in 2019 than any other single human being currently living. Any sane society would consider him a national treasure of greater importance than Fort Knox, to be cherished and protected accordingly.

Naturally, our society has decided to crucify him. A young woman with an axe to grind has instigated a lynch mob through an astoundingly ill-conceived and illogical bit of emotionally dependent rhetoric:

There are so many things wrong with what Richard Stallman said I hardly know where to begin…

She totally can’t even!

There is nothing I have seen a man in tech do that a woman could not. What’s more, the woman would probably be less egotistical and more team-oriented about it.

This is how you know the author is a mental child. Any of us “could do” many things. I could have written any song, novel, or movie screenplay that has appeared between 1982 and now. Except I didn’t. The Egyptians could have invented the airplane and the laser and the K-cup coffee maker, but they didn’t. Only children deal in potential. Adults deal in reality.

Also, I hate to tell her this, and its embarrassing that I should be the one to lecture an MIT graduate on this, but teams are for normies, for neurotypicals, for trash people who can’t retain multiple levels of variable dereferencing in their heads while coding. Teams do not accomplish, and have never accomplished, anything of genuine intellectual value. The history of scientific progress is a history of individuals. Yes, you need a “team” to actually assemble the atomic bomb or the Intel Itanium or a commercial software product. You don’t need a team to conceive it and do the mental heavy lifting. The effective IQ of a team is the same as the lowest IQ in the team; the productivity of the team is a minor percentage of the productivity you could get from its smartest member working alone. Every once in a while you will see one brilliant person be inspired by another brilliant person in the near vicinity. This happens once for every hundred million times a “team” crushes the abilities of its members. Science, even computer science, is not football. Anyway. Back to this person…

This behavior cannot go unchecked, simply because someone is seen as a “genius”. Remove men like Richard Stallman and, I’m sure, the many others that are now hiding. #MeToo showed us that they are not safe, not as isolated as we thought in their towers of power and prestige. Remove everyone, if we must, and let something much better be built from the ashes.

Built by whom, exactly? Haven’t we seen this movie already? Didn’t this mad dash to “remove” everyone already occur in Cambodia, in Zimbabwe, in Venezuela? How are all of those countries doing? Here’s the resume of the woman calling to “remove” Richard Stallman. She is entirely and completely unaccomplished. She’s never done a thing by herself. Every “accomplishment” she cites boils down to her “involvement” with other people who did something. It’s all about the “teams” she joined. She’s probably 25 years old and she has yet to design, develop, or deliver a single thing of consequence on her own.

At her age, Stallman had already written the EMACS text editor from scratch and designed much of the GNU operating system. Can you see the difference in value here? You could reverse the genders, if you like; Grace Hopper did a lot more for computing than the rando who showed up late for all the morning scrums at Uber’s iPhone software division. This is tantamount to me calling for Paul McCartney to be “removed” from music because I was in a band once and I don’t like the Beatles.

Ms. Selam Jie Gano, the author in question, is part of the most pernicious, and reprehensible, movement in technology, namely: the cabal of people who want to reduce the American (and Western) programming and technological development base of expertise to a kindergarten political commissariat which investigates its own belly button for thoughtcrime while rent-seeking the American economy to its knees and producing absolutely nothing of value in return. This cabal is actively aided and abetted by the one-percent Silicon Valley Illuminati who are murderously intent on pulling up the ladder behind them so that the existing tech (and financial) structure in NorCal is etched forever in stone. Both of these groups have identified native-born American coders and tech experts as the only thing keeping them from turning tech into a plantation system where the San Jose crowd pursues ever-more-specific meanings of “diversity”, “race”, and “problematic” while the actual work of coding, designing, developing, and manufacturing is done overseas by lowest-bidder sweatshops where the concerns of the commissars are taken with precisely the seriousness they deserve — which is to say none.

These people secretly believe that all the major necessary technological innovation has already been achieved, which is why they are so intent on crippling any further possible achievement with insane systems like Agile and pair-programming and Russian-doll containerization. Their current fetishes, NoSQL databases and headless content, are directly reflective of their moral, spiritual, and intellectual poverty. They yearn for cash-cow garbage projects like the Obamacare website, which cost two billion dollars but which likely contained more of Richard Stallman’s code than the government’s.

Haven’t you noticed how much worse computing has gotten in the past ten years? How much slower your phone is to do something than the desktop computer of 2002, which had a fraction of your phone’s power? How every bit of software in your possession requires near-constant updating to eliminate previous bugs and introduce new ones? This are the bitter fruits of modern tech-industry stupidity. Nota bene that China has very little difficulty of this nature; their WeChat software combines the functions of Facebook, Paypal, iMessage, and a half-dozen other apps in one lightweight, fast-running platform that works effortlessly on a twenty-dollar phone. That’s the kind of efficiency, and progress, we sacrificed when we decided that Selam Jie Gano’s vision of the future is more valuable than Richard Stallman’s. The eventual reckoning implied in that comparison will not be long in coming. Oh, wait: it’s already here. While we were busy making sure that every programming team at Google looked exactly like a Benetton ad, the Chinese were putting microchips between the layers of motherboards to give the CCCP ultimate control of the world’s networks.

Perhaps the final indignity here is that Stallman should be protected by the very guidelines of Diversity And Inclusion which are being used to crucify him. Were Stallman in a wheelchair, MIT would make sure he had a near-effortless path to work. Were he blind, he would have the appropriate hardware and software to enable his genius to proceed uninterrupted. But because he is mentally challenged in social interactions — an area where the Illuminati respect, and permit, nothing besides complete and total compliance — he is going to be drummed out of the world that he single-handedly created.

Mark my words: if we continue like this, the airplanes will start falling out of the sky. Oh, wait. It’s already happening.

Which reminds me: Whatever happened to my friends under the fitness studio? Oh, it’s simple. When “some people did something” on 9/11, everyone ran out of the showers in said fitness center and left the water running because a loud noise of some type in the area was mistaken for another explosion. The water overflowed the drains and soaked the wooden floor beneath the very heavy LifeCycles and whatnot, which crashed through said soaked floor into the Spindletop offices, destroying their prototypes and pretty much every asset they owned in a hard rain of fitness equipment and “grey water” sewage. So much for the glory of Rome.

* * *

This week I wrote about Teslas and also Teslas.

69 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: The Passion Of Saint iGNUcius Edition”

  1. Avatarpaul pellico

    Jack, I am on my knees before you begging you to forgive me for my shortcomings in the head department. And thanking you for allowing me into the classroom and sit in the back as long as I keep silent.
    As Judy Holiday said in Born Yesterday, “It was the most beautiful thing I ever read. I didn’t understand any of it.”
    Thank you

  2. AvatarJohn C.

    This is a nice defense of a giant in an industry being faced with a mob of foreign nothings and their drugged out feminine American enablers. How do you equate being part of this defense. When a similar mob came for car industry giants like Bill Mitchel, Lee Iacocca, Donald Stokes, and Ed Cole, you however were part of the mob of remarkably similar nothings. Even today, your brother, yourself, and your former boss are debating playing a few cords of the tired old deathwatch tune aimed at the carcass of Buick.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m not sure I agree with you. I was buying Chrysler products after Iacocca retired. Today’s Buick has nothing to do with any industry giants. It is a taxpayer-funded operation to import Chinese and Korean vehicles.

      • AvatarJohn C.

        And the GM Deathwatch? And retreading Bedard and Brock Yates at the old site to play the old anti big three hits to people who resemble the lady who can’t even begin perhaps more than they realize.

        • AvatarCJinSD

          Blaming critics for the downfall of GM is like blaming beat cops for drug overdoses. They observed an industry that self-destructed. They didn’t destroy it.

    • AvatarIdaneck

      John, you embody everything that was wrong with GM. And you bring up a point that is completely irrelevant to Jack’s post.

      Those nothings you mention, came from the inside. Except they weren’t nothings, they were overpaid execs sitting on their ass at the top. Completely isolated and insulated from workers and consumers.

      Come on John, get woke.

      • AvatarJohn C.

        Very relevant, a nothing brings down a tech giant and Jack is righteously outraged not even thinking about how he was a junior partner in the same mob of effminates backing foriegnors that brought down the big three. That employed how many people at their peak? Also had CEOs who made what 1/100 of the average moneychanger hedge fund guy? Hope he enjoyed the death watch, I know you did.

  3. AvatarShortest Circuit

    The young lady would probably get an aneurysm listening to John H. Conway. The few of the interviews he did, and are on the net publicly accessible present this 110% condition perfectly. What I can gather from listening to people “on the spectrum” is, that they can’t be arsed to give a fuck about other people’s feelings. They just tell it how it is.
    I can agree to the team argument as well. C was developed by a single person as we know it. I still use it. Many device drivers in modern OSes are still written in C, or god forbid C++. People in teams like to take credit for things they didn’t invent. “The Soul of A New Machine” comes to mind:
    Quietly, Rasala said, “West created that design.”
    “What did you say that West created?”
    “Eagle,” said Rasala.
    “You mean West created the excitement.”
    “No,” said Rasala, in a flat voice. “The machine.”
    “The opportunity,” offered Holberger.
    “The machine,” said Rasala. Then there was a moment during which everyone avoided everyone else’seyes, and the conversation resumed on another subject.

  4. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    I’d like to humbly encourage anyone wishing to comment first read the lynch-mob instigator’s own words through the links provided… not because you’ll find anything that contradicts Jack’s conclusions, but because you’ll discover she’s MUCH worse than a mental child… she’s a mental child who possesses powerful weapons of identity politics and has made clear her intentions to [direct quote] “burn it to the ground”.

    Important to note: Since publicly calling for Stallman’s removal, she has apparently now discovered just exactly who he is. In classic “this is 2019”, she admits ignorance and rashness but still arrives at the “double-down”. She leaked Stallman’s emails to Vice, and says she’s also proud she did so.

    Interestingly enough, she also admits her own experience at MIT has actually been less than woke-provoking, saying she was “surrounded mostly by nice, well-meaning men who have taught me a lot about engineering”. She admits the entire source of her outrage comes from things she’s [direct quote] “heard about” happening to classmates and other women.

    She then publishes “Appendix A” where she triples-down and we finally get to the core of it, that she’s a minority female and thus a victim [but sort-of admits she was accepted into MIT through affirmative action?]. She’s out for justice, won’t you join her and let’s burn it down together?

    That this is happening, not at a liberal arts college, but at one of the world’s most prestigious engineering schools should be a significant “canary in the coal mine” to know just how bad “progressivism” has gotten, and how much worse things are going to get… that, Jack more than adequately conveys.

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      The Gramscians are using the field of “engineering education” to undermine actual engineering and make it politically correct. Engineering Education is to engineering as Ed schools are to actual college level academic work: Lots of faddish and political nonsense with little intellectual rigor.

      I’m beginning to think that we could jettison about 75% of what passes for “higher education” these days without actually impairing true intellectual progress.

      All this academic decline was predicted and warned about almost 30 years ago with Martin Anderson’s Imposters In The Temple: The Decline of the American University.

      • AvatarRyan

        This was happening in Engineering colleges at least 10 years ago. While Wayne State is not MIT, it definitely signaled what was coming. I cannot recall anything of academic value I gained during two years there. Most of the program was centered around “teamwork,” which is the antithesis of how true engineering breakthroughs are made.

        The intellectual stimulation that I sought in Engineering ended up residing in InfoSec. Here, it seems to be one of the last areas of tech that has been able to maintain its “purity” in an academic sense; nothing matters other than the quality of your work. This field also tends to attract the autists and conspiracy theorists, which is probably why it’s loathed by so many yet understood by few.

        • Avatarstingray65

          The problem for higher education is that you can’t teach genius IQ, and almost all advances in every human endeavor are derived from the minds of those who possess genius IQ. Unfortunately for the social justice crowd, the genius IQ contributors to societal progress and better living have also been disproportionally white and male, and since we haven’t found the secret sauce of genius to give to those who don’t possess it due to genes and culture, higher education must focus on teamwork, diversity, and inclusiveness to provide some free-rider credit for those who couldn’t otherwise contribute.

    • Avatarsgeffe

      Sort of like the folks who decide to “keep looking anyway” even after having found no chargeable evidence of a high crime committed.

      Or even a misdemeanor! 😁

  5. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    Nobody who knows Stallman thinks he is sane. By the same token, nobody would doubt his intelligence.

    Sounds like someone my friends know.

  6. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    Are the greatest cars the products of teams or individuals? Despite what Nuncio Bertone thinks, the Miura will forever be associated with Marcello Gandini.

    Every once in a while you will see one brilliant person be inspired by another brilliant person in the near vicinity

    Jobs and Wozniak. Hewlett and Packard. Lennon and McCartney. Rogers & Hammerstein. Clapton and Allman. Sloan and Kettering.

    When it does happen, it’s like two great musicians playing together. You start seeing ideas bounce back and forth and get honed.

    Seth Lover interviewed by Seymour Duncan: https://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/the-tone-garage/seymour-w-duncans-interview-with-seth-lover

    Psychologist Jordan Petersen and Psychiatrist Ian McGilchrist discuss the roles of the cerebral hemispheres:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtf4FDlpPZ8

  7. Avatarpaul pellico

    well, those were great couples or groups.
    but jack is talking about individual genius. lucy in the sky with diamonds was brilliant before paul added the change.
    like my brother once told me…the real genius is the guy who spots the clues and ties them together. maybe he didn’t come up with the individual clues, but he catches the “what if…” and puts forth the creation.
    besides, the real point here is the movement afoot that is attempting to bring back medieval times without those really knowing they are doing so or even caring so.

  8. Avatarpanatomic-x

    very interesting article. these people are jacobins. eventually, a napoleon will arise and sweep them away.

    as a parent of a bright teenager, i have observed this teamism infecting the nyc public school system. most people from outside nyc, probably think our schools suck based on how they have been portrayed on the media. what isn’t reported is that the best high schools in the system have routinely produced graduates who outperform their peers from the top private high schools.

    i had a freshman from staten island tech enthusiastically explain to me the design of their record holding solar powered race car they built as an after-school project. that was teamwork but that’s not how they’re graded. they are are graded on individual performance.

    on the high school tours, i noticed that the second tier schools have started switching to group evaluations. that’s right, grades are now determined by your team’s work the shy introverts do all the heavy lifting and the verbal extroverts take all the credit.

    i made it clear to my daughter that she wasn’t going to one of the “team project” evaluation schools. fortunately, she agreed. so, she goes to a school that bases it’s admissions on test scores and evaluates students based on their individual performance.

    of course, mayor deblasio has waged war on the testing regime but so far, we’ve neen able to stop him. eventually, his type will die off just like the jacobins.

  9. Avatarsilentsod

    Software being sluggish and buggy seems to me to be a problem with more than one root cause.

    These causes include but are not limited to:
    * Too many abstractions
    ** Usually a problem needs to be directly addressed and usually we do need bespoke and non-pluggable code to do it
    ** Weird buy in to modelling the real world instead of using the freedom of code to problem solve in novel ways (OOP, I think you’re 90% a waste of my time)

    * Not enough emphasis on the part where our programs run in the real world
    ** Real hardware? Who cares, I wrote this beautiful to read bit of code that is 10x slower than something ugly

    * Lowest common denominator programming
    ** If we add enough abstractions and take enough required thinking away from our programmers we can hire anyone and they’ll be interchangeable and able to churn out equal quality code!
    ** Patterns for patterns sake – it doesn’t provide value, adds boiler plate, and makes it harder to create a program that does what you want and is tuned

    * General laziness (I am guilty of this)
    ** This ORM will definitely produce a SQL statement that executes well! Oh, it’s 1200 lines long, inscrutable to a human and executes slower by an order of magnitude than if I had taken five minutes to write it myself or didn’t understand the DB I’m talking to doesn’t support X operation and now I need to spend five hours working around it because my bosses don’t want me writing direct SQL. Yay
    ** The compiler will fix it (the compiler is a stupid machine and it doesn’t know what it doesn’t know)

    • AvatarDaniel J

      The problem is ugly code might be fast but completely unmaintainable. Need to fix that? Add a feature to that? Good luck unwrapping that spaghetti ball. Runs great, but good luck fixing a bug or adding a feature.

      I’ve worked in Linux device drivers. Written C on processors not running an OS. C++ running on an RTOS. And even C# middleware.

      What I’ve learned is that there are extremes to both overly abstracted highly compiler optimized code that is slow but very maintainable and easy to read to highly efficient C code that works 99 percent of the time but God forbid theres a bug because no one will find a fix. There really is a way to have both.

  10. Avatarsilentsod

    Software is also massively bloated – I would love for someone to explain to me why, for instance, Firefox must be 20+ million lines of code.

    • Avatarsgeffe

      ^ This!

      I’m not lazy—far from it! I’m still going to write for speed and efficiency, even if it’s not fashionable.

      The OS is part of the problem, especially when the end-users are the testers, and changes are shoved out the door with no way to stop it! (Windows.)

    • Avatartz

      For the same reason when gasoline was $0.05/gallon that all cars were gas guzzlers, as well as trucks and belched pollutants.

      The bloatware does its job, and we until recently kept doubling the CPU speed and RAM and disk space. The price per clock and price per byte dropped.

      Worse than firefox itself is most of the web pages it loads. Have you done “view source” recently, and noted how it also loads 10x in external javascript, iframes, analytics, and ads?

    • AvatarNewbie Jeff

      “That didn’t take long…”

      …it never does, these days. I also made the mistake of clicking your provided link and reading what people had to say. Nothing like a stroll through the tweet forest to confirm that an utter lack of faith in humanity and overt pessimism is completely justified. Social media is the most regressive “innovation”, ever.

      • Avatarhank chinaski

        Lightning in a bottle. The world was lucky to have him and his work in an environment where he could thrive for the time it did. Imagine if he had been slaving for years under layers of management at an ‘Initech’.

      • Avatarpanatomic-x

        i also made the mistake of reading the twitter thread. really sad to see the treatment stallman gets there. i gave up facebook a long time ago. i have a no-posting policy on twitter but lately i’ve been thinking it’s not even worth keeping my account there just for reading.

  11. Avatarwbbeal

    Individuals who were the true innovators in the tech industry are a lot like Stallman. They’re incredibly talented, visionaries who can also architect and reduce their vision to practice in near real time. They peg the social dysfunction meter due to a broken user interface, and if it up to them, will only engage with folks they consider clueful or, at the very least, useful.

    Stallman and his lot, tend to be brutally honest about their perceptions and practice meritocracy to a degree that will melt blizzards of snowflakes. Their historical tech colleagues were MVP contributors in their own right that shed insults;since real players stand on their own merit. The game is now filled with the participation trophy mob who will manufacture the outrage to drive the lynching and try to behead them all.

    Jacobians, indeed, .panatomic-x – a perfect characterization

    So Jack – Did Richard consider you clueful, useful or …?

    Oh, And was the Chinese Restaurant Mary Chung’s?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I have no idea what Stallman thought of me — I spent 95% of my time with the fellow listening instead of speaking. The questions I asked were non-annoying enough to keep him talking for five hours, but it didn’t take much to get him talking.

      As part of that venture I spent a fair amount of time discussing abstract concepts with other MIT people — I walked away from the whole thing believing that I probably should have gone to MIT, because I liked a lot of the people and I didn’t hear much that was over my head.

      Don’t remember the name of the restaurant but it was a short walk from the Media Lab in 2001.

  12. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    Mein Gott, I missed your writing.

    I think you humanize and personalize mental illness wonderfully here; and identify the issues with trying to apply societal rules to someone ‘on the spectrum’. It is even worse in the case where those rules are constantly rewritten by SJWs.

    I think we are rapidly approaching the realization of a bureaucracy entrenched around the STEM community. Our ‘betters’ have identified it as a place where merit and accomplishment define someone’s standing, and they cannot have that. I think Conquest’s Third Law of Politics is already beginning to have an effect on technology, and it will only get worse.

  13. AvatarCompaq Deskpro

    I’m guessing Silicon valley hates him because everyone runs the same open source web server that works pretty good rather than each of them dividing and conquering the market with proprietary solutions.

  14. AvatarEric L.

    I’ve been waiting to hear your thoughts on this. You’ve uniquely pointed out the left’s tendency to remove protections on children, especially when it comes to child sex exploitation (or, at least unique to the things I read). So when Stallman defends his dead friend/guardian’s honor and rambles on about child sex laws and then got fired for those thoughts, I was deeply confused. The left doesn’t care about kids, so why is it pretending to now..?

    Your writing cleared it up. It’s more about RMS’s status as white, male, and ruthlessly anti-Amazon, anti-FAANG, and anti-all the things the left, and people in power, are for. (https://stallman.org/amazon.html is still a great read) So this was a pretty good event to use to remove him from office, so to speak, even if it’s not an issue the left would typically give two figs about.

    I sent this to a deeply-woke friend, who met Stallman at a talk he gave in San Diego in the late 90s. He said he couldn’t make it past your description of RMS as “crucified,” so I guess I’ll need other education resources. Sigh.

    PS: DON’T SHAME AGILE. You think emacs and the Linux kernel were written in a waterfall methodology!? Heck no, they wrote software, saw how the world received it, and continually tweaked it as feedback came in.

    (Written from Firefox 69 on Fedora 30, most of which is Stallman-approved software.)

  15. AvatarPanzer

    While I agree with the arguments here, specifically that our society fetishizes equality to the point where we actively value mediocrity, devil’s advocate for a moment –
    Wouldn’t a team made of the very best in a particular field, made of members who have proven themselves in an actual meritocracy produce the best outcomes? Or would they somehow groupthink themselves to an inferior solution?

    • Avatarsgeffe

      ^ This!

      My boss, an “anti-Millennial Millennial,” with a bit of hipster-geek mixed in with majority jock (including a couple tatts), but who, along with his year-younger wife, has no patience whatsoever for “snowflakes”, or any of the other stereotypes of his generation, along with an indefatigable work ethic, had something interesting happen with his younger brother, the youngest of four. All four brothers are extremely competitive, which led to a lot of interesting situations while they were growing up! Family is Caucasian and Catholic-educated.

      His brother was on the list as a recruit for a medium-sized city’s police academy about a year ago. When he arrived to the physical fitness examination, for example, he was in the throes of the flu, yet still managed to score the best of all the candidates by a fair margin. He also scored towards the top in intelligence and psychological testing.

      Yet, in this Demo-run city, which has an office of “Diversity and Inclusion,” he was not on the list of people asked to join the class at the beginning.

      After a few days of training, one or two candidates dropped out, and my boss’ brother was asked to join the class. Short story boring, he finished at the top of his recruiting class in March, and is now a rookie police officer in this city.

      Without giving any other identifying information, it should be said that a handful of minority recruits in both police and fire classes within the past couple of years have not succeeded in graduating from the respective academies (with one, maybe two, I don’t recall, getting the heave-ho hours before graduation), and have of course played the “race card”; they bitched to the local birdcage liner..oops..NEWSPAPER, filed grievances with the local EEOC, etc.! And yet, after aforementioned newspaper did the FOIA process, in most of the cases, there was indeed documentation on-file that these recruits either didn’t follow the rules, or didn’t meet qualifications, as the class went on!

      The whole affirmative-action/inclusion/“diversity” shibboleth is just BULLSHIT from the word “go!” Whatever the job, you want the BEST POSSIBLE CANDIDATE(S)! Period! Male, female, straight, gay, black, brown, white, polka-dot, Republican, Democrat, coffee, tea, paper, plastic, automatic, stick—IT DOESN’T MATTER! Bruce Hornsby sings about the “law [they passed] in ‘64/to give those who ain’t got a little more….” There’s already protection in the law!

      How many other examples of this garbage are there?! How many 27-year-old white college-educated males who actually WANT to work in their field are slinging crappuccinos at Starbucks because at every job for which they try to apply, the position always goes to some H1-B holder who speaks barely passable English through an accent heavy enough to require a translator alongside their boss in order for communication to take place? And who then shows that their coding skills suck!

      This is only going to get worse, I fear, over time, with devastating results to this country’s future, between “PC” run completely amok and “takers” overtaking the “makers,” both in society AND the voting booth.

  16. AvatarThor

    Thank you for the interesting read. Your writing style is precise and strong, and I love it. Good to see people standing up and saying the things that “aren’t okay” to say anymore.

  17. AvatarKaren

    If Stallman is as damaged as you say he is, he needs to be the subject of a guardianship and be institutionalized. The hospital can provide him with a computer. If he is not actually mentally ill, then he is nothing more than an asshole who has never been expected to behave decently. Assholes need to be stepped on and kicked until they learn how to act in public.

    Let me pose another example: what if instead of being rude or harassing his female subordinates, he needed to kill a child every so often? If his genius is essential to modern life, then it should be fine with you to provide him with this. It shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange; after all, we have plenty of toddlers in cages on the border that won’t be missed. So, how many kids can he kill?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Are we really going to put Aspies in mental hospitals because they are uncomfortable to deal with?

      Stallman has never had any female subordinates. His position has been ceremonial for two decades or longer.

      • AvatarKaren

        If Aspies are so damaged that they can’t be expected to avoid offending everyone they work with, then the only option is to keep them away from all workplaces. If the condition isn’t that debilitating — and it is NOT — then they can be expected to learn how to adapt and avoid being such offensive jerks. This isn’t like Tourette’s, where the people who have it make meaningless noises occasionally; Aspies think about what they’re about to say and form sentences.

        Seriously, this article is premised on the idea that Stallman is a unique genius, with a mind far above all the rest of us, but also a mind that somehow can’t make his mouth stop from saying that it’s okey dokey to make sex slaves of teenaged girls. If genius means anything, it means that the genius mind encompasses all of the skills of less brilliant minds, including good manners. We don’t allow ‘geniuses’ who refuse to bathe or who yell at their bosses to run parts of companies. Steve Wozniak was the technical genius behind Apple and also a man who found bathing inconvenient; Jobs was a preacher with a good aesthetic sense. Please recall which one got all the press and which one was retired forcibly with a nice stock package and never sees the public. Wozniak was offensive to people who matter so, while he isn’t going to miss any meals, he isn’t an object of veneration either.

        Stallman, by contrast, picks his targets quite well. Society considers women all disposable and blames women for anything men think about us. Epstein sold young women for sex; society assumes men need a steady supply of disposable human sex toys, so no one cares much about what happens to the used up sex toys Epstein provided. Stallman thinks destroying the lives of young women isn’t a problem and he’s a Genius so he gets defended.

        Again, if Stallman thought he needed to drink 8 pints of blood from a 10 year old girl — enough to kill her — once a year, would his genius justify that? If not, why does his genius justify sex slavery?

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I think you’re arguing with Stallman’s position as represented by other people, as opposed to what he is actually saying.

        • AvatarR7 Rocket


          You women were silent about Rotherham and Cologne.

          Your fake outrage about “sexual harassment” is completely phony.

    • AvatarGryunt Yulinto, 7th Level Bard

      He didn’t do anything near child murder. I mean, it’s not like he got an abortion or anything, so your so-called “point” is a egregiously lame cheap shot, and an excellent illustration of what an emotionally incontinent weepy child you are.

    • AvatarThePhilosopherAnonymous

      Assholes need to be stepped on and kicked until they learn how to act in public.

      “But I’m not an asshole, and anyone who steps on me and kicks me is a super-misogynist.”

  18. Avatartz

    I have absolutely ZERO sympathy.
    Stallman has said worse things in the past but apparently hasn’t acted (at least nonconsensually if at all) on any of them.
    What happened with James Damore.
    But how many projects have been infected with the Coraline Cancer Code of Conduct?
    Now even Linux. They get harassed and hectored until they adopt it, then they go through all your tweets to find something, then get you kicked off the project. Like that you don’t think Trump should be impeached. Half the members who have not contributed anything but SJW criticism will demand their expulsion and use the CCCoC as the reason.
    How many people have been Disinvited like Representative Will Hurd, who is black but a Republican?
    We used to have true tolerance and diversity, now it is all SJW thought police. And everyone was silent and most still are. Unless you score very high in intersectional victimhood you have to walk on eggshells not to offend anyone lest the SJW mob comes for you.

    They came for Mencius Moldbug…
    Then they came for James Damore…
    Then they came for Richard Stallman…

    They will come for you next. Maybe they already have.

  19. Avatarscott

    >In a world where Richard Stallman did not exist, neither would Apple, or the Android phone, or “cloud computing”, or Amazon.com

    Impressive, but… think “top ten evils of the 21st century.”

  20. AvatarRTB

    Get used to the long slow slide into a new dark age.

    The ProgLeft needs to be eliminated, without mercy and without restraint, and safeguards put in place to identify the thought patterns early in life and mitigate. Won’t happen, though, because everyone else is a vast squad of faggots, and the Progs know that, so they’re coming for you all eventually.

  21. AvatarJay Stang

    GM got fat, lazy, happy, and sclerotic. Whoever is whining that some criticism brought down the big 3 in general is insane. You remind me of someone I know who whined that someone noticed there was a lack of a quality management system at a company, instead of whining about the lack of quality itself.

  22. AvatarRC Silk

    Opinions are typically “true” statements within the mind of the one who has such. The current —unthinking— culture of judging those who judge (or merely render an opinion) may help to reinforce the lesson Jesus taught: “Judge NOT lest ye be judged as well.”

  23. AvatarDonald

    Since this keeps happening, isn’t retaliation overdue? How many geniuses and super smart allies need to see or experience what is going on before they bend their energies toward really destroying the enemy for the sake of the good and the true.

  24. AvatarPBD

    I enjoyed reading this, I liked very much the term “kindergarten political commissariat”.

    I agree with everything except the WeChat example. I ran it on a phone that I use to make experimentations with trash and WeChat was very heavy on resources. I don’t think that Chinese make efficient softwares, they all have to be approved by the government and be compatible with the national malware API.

  25. AvatarFelis Concolor

    He’s wearing a Sperry removable hard drive disk in that photograph, which only serves to remind me I lost out on gaining possession of a single BCC-500 drive platter (out of a stack of 10) 30 years ago. That would have made a unique coffee table.

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  27. AvatarThePhilosopherAnonymous

    As one who is not 100% neurotypical, what I personally find offensive about our society is that it enables people like the poster Karen. While she would undoubtedly have you believe she’s just a nice and awesome person who doesn’t tolerate bad people, I could probably double my net worth by betting my life savings that that is not at all the case.

    Aspies are annoying. Even I find them to be annoying at times, but that’s irrelevant. I particularly enjoyed this little self-righteous tirade that I didn’t fully give its due:

    then he is nothing more than an asshole who has never been expected to behave decently. Assholes need to be stepped on and kicked until they learn how to act in public.

    How about we then step on and kick all passive aggressive people? I think our society would certainly be equally well off if brutalized them. To me, and many others, they are the worst kind of asshole because they are like a snake in the grass waiting to strike you as you walk by instead of the loud and proud asshole that you can spot coming a mile away.

    Now, combine the fact that passive aggressive people are a snake in the grass with a mental deficiency that makes it hard for you to pick up on social cues. It’s like telling someone who is deaf to “listen for the rattle” as they walk through the woods, and even a bit like telling someone in a wheel chair to just take the stairs if they have a problem.

    Progressivism, wokism, all of that bullshit boils down to creating a cutesy Marxism for the middle class. It allows overgrown girls like Karen to feel oppressed when they’ve probably already gotten theirs compared to the real proletariat and to fancy themselves revolutionaries by tattling on people.

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  30. AvatarJim Smith

    Karen said: “Assholes need to be stepped on and kicked until they learn how to act in public.”

    You’re right, Karen. But get this: You are the asshole that needs to be stepped on and kicked until you learn how to act. Tell us what you’ve ever done, witch. And then tell us how well off the computing world would be without Stallman and his genius over the past several decades.

  31. Avatarinformatimago

    The resume is not available anymore 🙂 :
    selamgano.wordpress.com is no longer available.
    The authors have deleted this site.

  32. AvatarTheDividualist

    100% agree. Fritz Zwicky was the kind of asshole who issued death threats to his best friend, you just couldn’t work with him because if you disagreed, he’d promise to beat you up and being an avid body-builder, that was a serious threat. And other scientists not only tolerated but even required his presence, simply because he was brilliant.

    You see, nearly everybody agrees that the world used to be more conservative in the past. (That does not make it true. But then again that is sort of what conservative means.) What is getting missed is the idea that conservative does not mean that back then blaspheming against Jesus was considered immoral, while today saying something sexist or racist is considered immoral. Rather it rested on a pessimistic account of human nature. That people are very often immoral, this is just our nature, original sin and all that. So they were more willing to tolerate and forgive breaking the moral rules of the era. While current-year morality rests on the idea that it is an easy set of moral rules, any human being should easily be able to uphold them because you just need a bit of empathy brah. Therefore, breaking them is unforgivable, you just became a monster.

  33. AvatarJim Smith

    Here are some of the people in graveyards “filled with indispensible people”: Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein, Jesus, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Mohammed, Michaelangelo, Buddha, Newton, Darwin, Godel, Crick, Watson, Shakespeare, Turing, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Bohr…oh, we can go on for days like this. All dead white males, and all really “dispensible”. Why? Because some sensitive, easily-offended female would have eventually come up with the same discoveries of course! Right Karen?


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