transparency and succession

Christopher Waid chris at thinkpenguin.com
Mon Sep 30 22:03:00 BST 2019


On 2019-09-30 04:42 PM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 30/09/2019 22:20, Brendan Kidwell wrote:
>> On Mon, Sep 30, 2019, at 16:08, Daniel Pocock wrote:
>>> On 30/09/2019 21:53, Brendan Kidwell wrote:
>>> 
>>>> To be clear: I have no personal conflict with you right now over 
>>>> politics and I have no ongoing protocol issues relating to MY email 
>>>> addresses, but please understand that breaking protocol in email or 
>>>> anywhere else is not a good way to win friends.
>>> 
>>> Last Monday, John Sullivan, the FSF Executive Director posted a nasty
>>> put-down on the libreplanet-discuss list, maliciously misquoting[1] 
>>> what
>>> I wrote and minimizing my concerns.  Has anybody seen other examples 
>>> of
>>> misquoting recently?
>>> 
>>> When I attempted to reply, he censored me from posting any further
>>> replies on the libreplanet-discuss list.  How many other people are
>>> censored there too?
>> 
>> Ultimately, libreplanet-discuss is a channel that is the property of 
>> FSF. Some staff member or committee at FSF sets the rules and makes 
>> final judgment on what is or isn't allowed on this email list.
> 
> FSF explicitly uses the phrase "free as in speech" to explain[1] their
> philosophy.  People who donate time or money to FSF may be curious to
> find that "free as in speech" is not so free.  Censorship effectively
> deceives people by creating a distorted perception of what other
> community members have to say.
> 
> Different people also have different perspectives on the term
> "property".  After all, if we all contribute, either directly or
> indirectly then many people would feel no guilt about using those
> channels or communicating with people they met through those channels.
> 
> When you write "property", you conjure up images of tangible property.
> If somebody steals Mr Sullivan's mouse, it will be harder for him to 
> use
> his computer.  But if volunteers work around censorship, they are not
> preventing other people from doing something.

You can't steal something intangible, you can only duplicate or copy it. 
It's not theft because nobody has been deprived of anything. Copyright 
and similar artificial creations of that nature are not really analogous 
to actual property. There are some circumstances where knowledge may 
enable you to control information such as where there is a private key 
such as with cryptocurrencies. That might be one of the atypical 
examples where the analogy sort of works a little bit better. The FSF 
controls its mailing list servers (and physical property), but it 
doesn't control what others do with the information (email addresses) 
after that.

> 
>> 
>> I don't respond well to misleading email headers unless I'm in a 
>> curious mood or some other good mood.
>> 
>> How many people detected email header shenanigans and privately 
>> blacklisted every domain you use?
>> 
> 
> We know that hundreds of people simply quit FSFE after being shunted
> into the Supporter program without consent.  Some people will be
> quitting FSF after the RMS lynching too.

Yes- and if you listen to Free Talk Live Ian Freeman announced he would 
be doing just that with his FSF associate membership live on air to 200+ 
radio stations and god only knows how many listeners.

I don't think the answer to the problem is to discontinue your 
membership, but I do like the idea of a competing organization that is 
more in tune with the ideologies expressed and beyond. The FSF has been 
co-opted by people on the left to do things it shouldn't be doing. RMS 
has always ensured it was a fairly neutral organization specific to 
software freedom where all were welcome. The software freedom 
conservancy and select other people in the community have been working 
to change that. I'm friendly with people on the left, but I'm not 
forgiving of there efforts to co-opt the organization for unrelated 
social agendas of the left.

It is one thing for Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler to go in that 
direction with there own organizations if that is what they want to do, 
but it's wrong for those that have attempted to co-opt an organization 
founded by another.

> The people who blacklist a domain are mostly people who ignored that
> exodus and pretend everything is OK in a bubble that is getting smaller
> and smaller.
> 
>> Maybe you should use other channels that are less centrally 
>> controlled, to call out censorship. It's a lot of work, but it's the 
>> clean way to do it.
> 
> There are cleaner solutions in the pipeline.
> 
> In the meantime, if something is critical, I personally welcome a BCC
> from anybody who has no other way to share it.

Same here.

> 
> Regards,
> 
> Daniel
> 
> 
> 1. https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html
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