Richard Stallman is failing…

Richard Stallman is the founder and President of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the GNU project, the force behind the GPL licenses. He’s also affiliated to MIT, having worked there in the past as an unpaid visiting scientist.

Stallman is also known to avoid anything that could be used to follow his actions. He considers mobile phones to be “tracking devices” so he refuses to own one. He also avoids browsing the Internet directly and uses an email-based proxy instead to read content from various websites. And he uses the Tor network in recent years, just to stay anonymous. And more importantly, he’s very active in making software freely available for everyone at no costs, fighting against copyrights, patents and more.

So, Stallman is a pretty important force in the ICT World. He has a lot of followers, a lot of admirers. Especially many students are happy with him as he made it possible for them to get software for free. How? Because Stallman promotes open source with the preference for the GPL license. And the GPL license is a license system that could forcibly be used to make other projects open source also, if those other projects use any GPL’d code…

And while open source has been popular before Stallman started the GNU project, it did become very popular after GNU. Especially after Linux became a thing and the world suddenly started to get new, free operating systems that could be ported to many different systems. And while there are many other open source licenses, the GNU license became popular as it is an open source license that adds restrictions on how you can use any of it. Some consider the GPL to be contagious as the use of GPL code in your project will force your project to be part GPL, thus forcing you to publish some of your own code as open source. Which was disliked by many companies. But the end users love it…

But recently, Stallman made a huge mistake. He wrote an email defending Jeffrey Epstein… Epstein was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and has been convicted in the past for child molestation and prostitution. Serious charges but Epstein’s apparent suicide a month after his arrest put an end to the case, although a lot of people still doubt Epstein killed himself. It’s all too suspicious. And by defending Epstein, Stallman will now become part of any future conspiracy theories.

Which is bad, as Stallman is single, never married, never had children and we don’t even know if he has any sexual preference. He could be asexual, bisexual, hetero, gay, pansexual. Not that it matters, but people will start wondering about this now. After all, why would Stallman get involved in this whole affair.

So, what did Stallman say in his email? Well, from a source, I got this anonymized version:

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin Minsky: “deceased AI ‘pioneer’ Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims)” The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault” is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X. The accusation quoted is a clear example of inflation. The reference reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem. (See Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it). The word “assaulting” presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex. We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates. I’ve concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it is absolutely wrong to use the term “sexual assault” in an accusation. Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.

I’ve underlined “Epstein’s harem” as Stallman refers to Epstein’s underage victims here in a very unflattering way. It’s a bad remark, and it’s costing him dearly. He clearly misunderstands the concept of “Consent” and ignored the age of consent, which is 18 in the US Virgin Islands. There, Marvin Minsky was accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old girl. A girl who was apparently provided to him by Epstein.

And Minsky was a scientist working for MIT on artificial intelligence just like Stallman. Shortly after his death, he was accused by one of Epstein’s underage victims but as he was dead, there would not be any case anymore. After all, Minsky can’t defend himself, nor could he be a witness in this case.

So there’s a connection between Stallman and Epstein through MIT and Minsky. And there’s reason to believe that Epstein was part of a huge sex trafficking operation involving minors in the USA and possibly all over the World. An operation that would have to involve a lot of other high-placed people. This is bad when you consider the suspicious way in which Epstein died and the link to some very smart ICT people at MIT, who are working on artificial intelligence. There’s no evidence but there’s ‘smoke’. And smoke tends to mean something is on fire…

Stallman now quit his affiliation with MIT as his single email will damage his reputation and any of his affiliations. To protect MIT, he needed to quit immediately, even though MIT will still be in deep trouble because the rumors will become bigger after this. Because of Epstein and Minsky were related to MIT (Epstein donated a lot of money) there’s a good chance that people will start investigating things that are happening at MIT. After all, this is a place with a lot of young students, many minors, who might be involved in “improper extracurricular activities”. Especially the poorer students might be tempted if they get paid enough. It could be that there are many victims at MIT who don’t want to talk about it because they now have families and well-paying jobs. This will mostly be rumors and it’s not likely that we’ll discover i these rumors are true or not. But Stallman had to go to avoid any future rumors.

Stallman also quit as President of the FSF. And for the same reasons. The FSF will get hurt once Stallman’s reputation gets dragged through the dirt. And with the FSF, the GNU project and the GPL will also become damaged goods. This is because in the near future there will be a lot of attention to Stallman and questions if he harassed or even sexually abused any women. So he needs to distance himself from the FSF to protect it.

Stallman made one single mistake by writing that email. It has ended up in this Vice article, which is basically very damaging already. Reporters are trying to find out more about the connection between Epstein, Minsky, MIT and now Stallman. And maybe even the FSF. A post on Medium makes it even worse.

So, Stallman is falling after one huge mistake. One simple email that draws a shitstorm all over him now. And it is bad! And people will wonder about it. Many will continue to defend Stallman, as they should. He just posted his opinion, even though it’s a very bad opinion. He should not have said it, but he did. And now he pays the price and will need to stay quiet and out of the public eye for a while. As he’s 66 years old now, I would suggest that he’d just retire and will just have public speeches once in a while once the worst part of this all is over.

As for MIT, they will continue to have problems but not because of Stallman. Minsky, Epstein and a few other suspects have already caused enough damage. But as Minsky and Epstein are both dead, it’s very likely that they can get out of these problems as long as no new names pop up. Well, Stallman just popped up, but he’s clean, right? Right? Well, let’s hope so. Innocent until proven otherwise.

And the FSF will need to get a new President. And this president will likely have a different opinion on open source. It will change the FSF and their future. But it’s impossible to tell how they will change.

Still, there’s one more thing Stallman said in the past that will be used against him. On his website, he says something about Dutch paedophiles who created their own political party that would legalize sex with minors, under specific conditions. He said: I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing.

That won’t make him very popular and will make people more sceptical about his motives. His argument is basically that voluntary sex should be just fine. But no one questions that, hopefully. But people will question if minors can actually volunteer to have sex, assss in most cases they are pressured and forced into having sex. Sometimes by peer pressure, or by adults bringing presents and money. Because it’s so hard to tell if someone really volunteered, we will have to assume the worst when children have sexual relations as their safety comes first.

So, the Epstein affair now caught Stallman and there will be a lot of conspiracy theories in the future. Some will be complete crazy stories and it’s very likely that Stallman isn’t involved in aaaaanaughty business. It’s very likely that he just said something stupid and now regrets it. But he’s falling now and people who try to stop his fall might end up falling with him…

Which is sad, as Stallman was a positive force in the computer world. This whole thing will only create more victims and won’t resolve anything.

Dear Stallman, Retire in Peace.

Donald Trump is NOT my President!

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That’s because I’m Dutch and still rolling on the floor over this past election result from the USA, showing the utter madness that a Democracy can be, sometimes. Then again, the people in the USA didn’t have much to choose from, did they?

Many people were actually surprised that Trump got elected, which is strange as both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are both about equally popular. The USA is basically a binary system, as there aren’t many alternative choices. Well, not voting is a choice, albeit a very bad one as you won’t get anything to say afterwards. But judging by the huge amounts of protests from the US population and all the bad things being said about Trump, it still is a bit of a surprise.

But again, binary system! The population of the USA is roughly divided into just two groups and many of these voters are unlikely to switch sides. There are, of course, many swing voters who can go either way but in general, both parties have their own loyal supporters. With no alternative choice than basically two bad candidates, many voters didn’t have any reason to switch sides, although Hillary Clinton did have a past history as First Lady and some Democrats might have wanted to keep her husband out of the White House.

So, today, Donald Trump will be crowned as the New President of the USA. So, utter chaos next?

No, I don’t think so. The Republican Party has been in power many times before and even had some very good Presidents in the past. Lincoln was a Republican. So was Eisenhower and Reagan. Reagan was an important factor in the end of the Cold War, even! Sure, he used to be an actor but in the 1984 elections, he pulverized his Democratic opponent Walter Mondale.

But this election was very close again. Clinton won the Popular Vote but in the USA that isn’t important. Trump just won the most electoral votes.

Then again, many people are also ignoring the fact that Faith Spotted Eagle also won one electoral vote during this election, thus becoming the first Native American to receive one such vote. Well, thanks to a faithless elector in Washington who was supposed to vote for Clinton…

Several other faithless electors decided not to vote for Clinton, which clearly tells me that she wasn’t a favorite among her own party. And that also explains why Trump got elected. Hillary Clinton just wasn’t the best candidate to pick for the Democrats.

First of all, Hillary Clinton would have been the first female POTUS if she was elected. But as the USA business world is still strongly male-oriented, I think her gender was already costing her some votes. She is also known as a former FLOTUS while her husband Bill was in office. And Bill Clinton had smoked a bad cigar while in office so it is understandable that some people would not like to see him return to the White House. Then there were some scandals about emails and an embassy in Libya and something involving the sexual abuse of minors and more fake news that put her in a bad spotlight, but that also happened to Donald Trump. Fact is, this election saw so much fake news that most people stopped believing all of it. They just relied on things they knew from the past.

I think Bernie Sanders would have been a much better choice anyway. Still, the Democrats choose Clinton and they’re allowed to make such mistakes. Considering that Hillary won the Popular Vote, it still wasn’t that bad.

So, what will happen next? Trump is a businessman and as such, he’s known to try and make companies more profitable. Sure, some of his companies went broke but overall, he has been reasonably successful with his businesses. Maybe with the bit of fraudulent support but still, he has collected quite a bit of wealth in his lifetime. Lost a lot too, though.

First of all, his tax plans don’t seem to be that bad. It seems that low-income Americans won’t even have to pay any taxes. And as he wants to reduce the number of brackets from 7 to 3, income tax should become a bit simpler for everyone.

He does want to repeal the Obamacare tax, though. Also called the Affordable Care Act, the Obamacare is considered extremely valuable for many Americans as it means that each and every one of them will at least have some minimum health care so people can get sick without going broke. But repealing the tax doesn’t repeal the act itself. In fact, Trump might find some other solution to fund this care, maybe change a thing or two, have it renamed to Trumpcare and POOF! Obamacare is gone! Yet the system would have barely changed and all Americans would still have basic health care.

Immigration is also a hot topic and Trump wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the USA. And probably have Mexican companies doing most of the building of this wall as the Mexican government might want to subsidize the extra employment for their own population. A more strict policy on illegal immigrants might be useful as it could actually increase the wages of the legal immigrants! So, we’ll just have to wait and see what will happen…

Of course, Donald Trump has his site full with interesting plans that all sound quite nice. He’s a Master Merchant at this, knowing how to sell his ideas to the public, as he has done all his life with all his businesses. Trump is a Master at Selling and we can only hope that he will keep to his promises. But in the end, it isn’t Trump who is in Power. It is the Republican Party that is in Power and Trump is just their main spokesperson. He can’t do much that his party won’t approve, as they would just vote against him and probably even force him to step down, if need be. Barack Obama had similar problems as he had Great Plans, but could not get all of them executed as his own party and the Republican Party shot most plans down again. Donald Trump will have the same problem as the Democratic Party will try to resist any of his plans. So he needs the support of all the Republicans, else they just tip the balance against him.

The USA is just a binary system which makes it difficult to rule and have a lot of changes. Not many Presidents have managed to make a lot of changes to the whole system. Trump does have the advantage that the Senate is mostly Republican also so for a while, he will be able to execute some of his better plans. But in 2018 we will see the next Senate Election and as the Democrats won 3 seats in the past election, chances are that the Democrats will soon be in control over the Senate and thus stop whatever Trump has planned.

So Trump will have less than 2 years to prove his success as the next POTUS. And while many people hope he will fail, I realise that Trump failing as President will just bring more Chaos in the USA. So I’m expecting a few errors from Trump and a few successes and in 4 years, there will be new elections and by then, the Democrats will likely pick a better candidate.

Would be nice if Faith Spotted Eagle became the next POTUS, though. A Native American Female President! How cool would that be?