Richard Stallman

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On 2019.09.17 Stallman (a known bigmouth) made the high crime of saying that the most likely scenario that hurt his friend (Marvin Minsky) was that Minsky thought he was having consensual sex with a 17 year old, in a country where that was legal. (And that the age of consent varies by culture/region, and if she consented, it wasn't rape/assault). For that he was fired (forced to resign from MIT and FSF). Cancel-Culture going way overboard, again.

Stallman has always been a "character" lacking a brain-mouth (or brain keyboard) filter. (We've had exchanges in the past). And I'm not necessarily a fan of mixing software and religion, and his extreme version of it. But who cares?

He's a known entity... if you read his comments, and just give him the slightest benefit of the doubt, you know what he's trying to say... and it's not THAT bad. (That the age of consent, and social standards vary by culture).

Certainly, I think it's fine and righteous that we don't allow adults to exploit early teens... but other cultures don't consider 17 year olds having sex willingly the same as rape. And his comments seemed to be around the distinction between the nuance of a willing 17 year old versus a willing 18 year old. It seems culturally narcissistic to not recognize that while the former is criminal in the U.S., not all other countries (or individuals) agree. This isn't NAMBLA or one of the pedophelia groups that the ACLU and others have defended, it's not anywhere near as bad as Roman Polanski which Hollywood celebrated and gave awards to, despite far worse. This was an infamous character sloppily defending someone I assume he saw as a friend. (But he sloppily and over-vigorously defends every issue in his life). Cut him some slack.

Conclusion

There's a lot of reasons to think Stallman shouldn't be your voice/representative, but this is like 50th on the list of most valid reasons.

To me, this is another example of Cancel-Culture going way overboard with their, "You have the right to free speech... but only as long as I agree with it". Richard looks like Richard, and MIT looks like a bunch of bureaucratic asshats.

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📚 References

Written 2019.09.17