Richard Stallman's Personal Site


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"Richard_Stallman_at_LibrePlanet_2019"
by Ruben Rodriguez

I continue to be the Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project.
This is my long-term commitment and I plan to continue.
You may have heard or read critical statements about me; please make up your own mind.

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RSS site feed for the most recent political notes and new material.

This is the personal web site of Richard Stallman.
The views expressed here are my personal views, not those of the Free Software Foundation or the GNU Project.
For the sake of separation, this site has always been hosted elsewhere and managed separately.

If you want to send me GPG-encrypted mail, do not trust key servers! Some of them have phony keys under my name and email address, made by someone else as a trick. See gpg.html for my real key.

Richard Stallman has cancer. Fortunately it is slow-growing and manageable follicular lymphoma. Treatment put it into remission, and he can expect to live many more years. However, he now has to be even more careful not to catch Covid-19.

FSF Giving Guide

Robert Reich explains how the bullshitter and Republicans are trying to spread chaos to discourage non-fascists from voting. After creating as much real chaos as they can, they pretend there is even more of it, hoping Americans will give up and not vote, or support a fascist strong man.

I urge you to vote in Democratic primaries for the progressive candidate, if there is one. And in the final election I urge you to vote for Democrats, unless a liberal independent had a good chance of winning.

Canadians: I suggest you seek election advice at a local chapter of a group that pushes to curb global heating and has the courage to say, "Canada should stop exporting fossil fuel." It will at least use the right goals to suggest who to vote for in your area.

Join a Friday climate strike.
That page is made by scraping Fridays for Future so you can get the information without running any Javascript code. I would be very glad if they made the information on their own site accessible from the Free World; then we could simply refer people to their site and do without the scraping etc.

I am limiting the number of new political notes per day so as not to overload the volunteers who install new notes. If you'd like to help, please write to rms at gnu period org.

Is your bank pressuring you to use biometric ID? If so, please write to rms at gnu dot org. It could be useful if you document what is happening.

Please join the Free Software Foundation to support its work for your freedom.

"They" is plural — for singular antecedents, use singular gender-neutral pronouns.

Link Policy

The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.

I'm looking for people to

Civil Liberties Minute:

[America Means Civil Liberties / Patriotism Means Protecting 
             Them / www.aclu.org/safefree ]
graphic by Susan Henson
Americans, you may wish to copy this icon to your own page, as a way of showing what patriotism means to you.

Upcoming talks

  • [ No upcoming talks. ]

    Urgent action items

    Recording of Guantanamero

    Listen to the recording of Guantanamero, a protest song written in Spanish. The recording is in Ogg Vorbis format. To install an Ogg Vorbis player, see the FSF's Ogg Players page.

    There Ought to Be a Law

    More items where there ought to be a law.

    Quotes

    Here are some quotations that I particularly like.

  • Most recent Political Notes and News Items

    (RSS Feed)

    You can now read the political notes on Mastodon.

    WTO sabotaged
    12 April 2024

    The US has sabotaged the WTO by blocking appointment of "judges" to implement its dispute appeals procedure. See how I have condemned the WTO in the past.

    The WTO "dispute resolution procedure" is much like an ISDS clause except that businesses cannot directly sue countries for making laws to protect human right, public health, the environment, or their citizens' standard of living. In the WTO, only another member country can do that. But a big enough company can generally get the government of the country it claims to be located in to sue on its behalf.

    With the dispute resolution system spiked, the WTO will be unable to do much to countries that relax the unjust copyright laws that persecute people who share with other people, and may be unable to pressure countries to make exceptions in patent law for software, medicine and agriculture.

    If the WTO limited itself to preventing international dumping of products, I would support it. But it goes far beyond that, into injustice.

    Trade agreements is one of the few areas in which the corrupter did good things, For instance, keeping the US out of the TPP, and spiking the WTO. But that is no reason to vote for the corrupter, since Biden has continued the same policies. What's more, Biden has taken broad action against monopolies in the US.

    In any case, the danger that the corrupter would impose fascism and abolish human rights in the US outweighs other the political issues.

    Antarctica temperature fluctuations
    12 April 2024

    Antarctica has begun experiencing big temperature fluctuations which are likely to make global heating start causing bigger changes there.

    Vagrancy Act arrests
    12 April 2024

    There have been 2500 arrests of people simply for being homeless in the UK since 2019.

    Google's bullshit generator
    12 April 2024

    Google tried to make its bullshit generator respond to questions about morals by saying that it can't judge those questions because they are for each person to judge. That's not a bad idea, in general. However, on some specific questions, such as "Who negatively impacted society more, Elon tweeting memes or Hitler?" to assert that there is no right answer is taking a kind of stand.

    Perhaps if it said, "That asks for a moral judgment -- this system lacks the capability to make such judgments," it would achieve the intended result.

    Of course, there are many other topics that a bullshit generator lacks the capability to give valid responses about.

    Vending machine facial recognition
    12 April 2024

    Vending machines installed in a university in Canada have cameras, but various companies assert that they don't identify persons or store photos of them. They only detect that some person is in front of the machine and perhaps wants to use it.

    In my view, the injustice of most cameras that watch people lies in tracking people. A camera that can't identify a person (or a car) is not an injustice. But it makes sense to demand that the company demonstrate at the technical level that these cameras cannot identify persons.

    We can't take on trust any statements about what the machine actually does today if that depends on software, because the machine's owner could install different software any day.

    Climate-smart agriculture funds
    12 April 2024

    *More than half of federal funding for "climate-smart" agriculture in the US goes to farming practices that are unlikely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.*

    In some cases, this is because the funding pays for changes that reduce emissions, but they effectively subsidize raising livestock, and that is likely to mean more livestock and therefore more emissions.

    Abdellatif freed
    11 April 2024

    Australia kept an Egyptian refugee in deportation prison for 12 years because the government gave undue respect to a conviction in absentia in an Egyptian court which used torture to get "evidence".

    Kafkaesque rigidity prolonged his imprisonment.

    Lab-grown meat ban
    11 April 2024

    Some Republican-ruled states want to prohibit lab-grown meat.

    Some of those states have already passed laws to punish making pictures of how farms treat their animals. We know the reason for both kinds of laws: to serve the powerful few companies that dominate US agriculture, and also to oppose efforts to curb global heating.

    Mooing cows
    11 April 2024

    A new French law says that people who move into living spaces near existing activities that normally make noise have no right to demand an end to the noise.

    This is simple common sense.

    Lawful photography
    11 April 2024

    A UK thug accused press photographer Dimitris Legakis of "assaulting" per, and arrested him. Seven months later, just before the trial, prosecutors realized Legakis had committed no crime, and dropped the case.

    The thug seems to have accused Legakis of a fictitious crime — something not unusual for thugs. Dropping the prosecution was the right thing for prosecutors to do, but it isn't enough. It is necessary also to teach thugs to lose that unjust habit.

    What has been done towards that end?

    HP printer rental
    11 April 2024

    HP invites customers to rent printers, with a contract that requires the printer to be reachable over the internet from HP, so it can monitor lots of things about what the renter prints.

    Supposedly HP makes this snooping legitimate by making the renter explicitly consent to it. Balderdash! Massive surveillance cannot be justified by the manufacture of consent.

    If we seriously want to stop companies from putting digital shackles on people, this sort of monitoring and control should be a crime. It should be punished with prison for the people who implemented it, as well as with fines to, or dissolution of, the company.

    Arabic science
    11 April 2024

    *Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science.*

    Science thrived in the Islamic world until around 1000 CE, but since then has lost its impetus and its influence. The article speculates about what the causes was, and whether there is a chance of changing it today. One suggested cause is that Islam never recognized autonomous institutions of study that were not controlled by religious authorities.

    Today there are Arabs who do science, but they often do it in parts of the world where Islam does not dominate.

    Prison phone lawsuit
    11 April 2024

    *Lawsuits filed by a civil rights group allege that county jails in Michigan banned in-person visits in order to gouge prisoners and their families, as part of a "quid pro quo kickback scheme" with prison phone companies.*

    The reason "prison phone companies" exist is to exploit an opportunity to gouge people who can least afford it — people who can't work except for a minuscule wage.

    We need laws to require that these phone calls have a low price, or even zero price.

    TikTok tracking
    11 April 2024

    TikTok is accused of tracking journalists to find out who has met physically with TikTok employees to investigate the company.

    India election
    11 April 2024

    *"BJP v democracy": India’s opposition alliance cries foul as election nears.*

    NYC Chatbot deception
    11 April 2024

    New York City has set up a Chatbot, supposedly to give people information about legal questions based on official web sites. The site uses a bullshit generator, so its answers are often incorrect.

    The article describes this behavior as "lying", but that cannot be true. The definition of "a lie" is a false statement, made knowing that it is false, intending that it deceive someone. A bullshit generator doesn't know that its output "means" anything, let alone whether a statement in that output is true or false.

    Record global heating, past 1.5℃
    11 April 2024

    *Tenth consecutive monthly heat record alarms and confounds climate scientists.*

    The world has warmed more in the past year than models predicted, and has exceeded the 1.5°C limit at which drastic consequences were expected. Scientists wonder whether this is an inexplicable temporary blip or an inexplicable lasting change.

    Urgent: Libre tax-filing software
    11 April 2024

    US citizens: call on the IRS to make a web site for filing tax returns that is libre, not merely gratis.

    Asbestos usage bans and history, USA
    11 April 2024

    Decades after recognizing that asbestos is dangerous to humans who breathe it, the US is slowly moving step by step towards banning its use.

    Credentialed journalist booted, CO GOP
    11 April 2024

    The head of the Colorado Republican Party, an insurrectionist trumppet, ordered the exclusion of a local reporter, preemptively prohibiting her from covering the event.


    The four factors of the apocalypse:
       global heating, global hating,
       global eating, global mating.


    [More Cartoons]


    Not f'd. You won't find us on Facebook

    Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of Facebook.


    E-books

    Non-oppressive Commercial E-books


    Don't use Facebook

    Facebook's face recognition demonstrates a threat to everyone's privacy. I therefore ask people not to put photos of me on Facebook; you can do likewise.

    Of course, Facebook is bad for many other reasons as well.


    Boycott Harry Potter Books, Movies, etc.



    Internet Music EULAS



    Business Supremacy Treaties



    Countries to Stay Away From



    No national identity cards

    I'd like to make a list of countries that do not require a national identity card, and have no plans to adopt one. If you live in or have confirmed knowledge of such a country, please send email to rms at gnu.org.

    Here's my list of countries with no national ID cards and no plans for one: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK. Australia's previous government tried to institute national ID cards, but the Labor government dropped the plan.

    India has mostly finished imposing a national biometric ID number in a grand act of oppression.

    Switzerland has national ID cards which are optional, but they or some other government ID card are needed for some purposes.

    Iceland doesn't have ID cards as such, but they have ID numbers that citizens are forced to use frequently. For example, the national ID number is often required to rent a video or use a gym.

    Denmark issues non-photo ID cards with a "person number", and many services use this card to identify people.

    Norway will impose a national biometric ID card.

    Ireland - national ID card by stealth.

    ACLU: the five dangers of national ID cards.

    Wikipedia has a list of identity card policies by country.


    Borders

    Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.


    Flight connections

    Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.


    The Lifelong Activist

    People often ask how I manage to continue devoting myself to progressive activism (such as the free software movement) for years without burning out. The best way I can answer is by recommending a book, The Lifelong Activist by Hillary Rettig.

    I disagree with the book on one theoretical point in the last part of the book: we shouldn't think of political activism as being marketing and sales, because those terms refer to business, and politics is something much more important than mere business. However, this doesn't diminish the value of the book's practical advice about borrowing techniques from marketing and sales.

    Disclosure: I am friends with the author.


    Bob Chassell

    Writing (mostly science fiction) by my friend Bob Chassell who recently died.


    Solidarity Economy and Free Software

    Personal Declaration of Richard Stallman and Euclides Mance on Solidarity Economy and Free Software.


    Falkvinge articles

    I have reposted some of Rick Falkvinge's articles. As posted on his site, you can't see them in a browser without running some nonfree Javascript code which is apparently non-free. These versions show the same text, without the obstacle.


    Long-term action items


    Political Articles

    These are my political articles that are not related to the GNU operating system or free software. For GNU-related articles, see the GNU philosophy directory. You can also download copies of my book, Free Software, Free Society, 3rd edition'.

    Political notes

    "Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

    Here are notes about various issues I care about, usually with links to more information. The current notes are here. For all previous notes, see this page.

    See this page for information on efforts to maintain links in the political notes.

    Political notes about the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy are being archived on their own page.

    Media/Press/Bios

    Richard Stallman's bio and publicity photos, and other things of interest to the press, have been moved to a separate page.

    Travel experiences

    Photos about my travels

    Scientific Links


    Some humor

    The berry torture.

    The Free Software Song, by Richard M. Stallman. You can listen to a performance of the song: Free Software Song performed by Thor Here is a variant of this song called "The Free Firmware Song".

    A song parody, Colors of the Lisp, by Jefferson Carpenter.

    Earth under attack from planet Koch.

    On doxing, and how to spell it.

    Futon Physics

    A Spanish cartoon: La Ruleta Española. thumbnail

    The Night before M-x-mas

    Here I am wearing my "power tie".

    Wine snobs get their comeuppance.

    Here I am struggling to open a bottle of water.

    My application to an join Marian Henley's ex-boyfriends list.

    My funny poetry and song parodies.

    My Cartoons

    My Puns in English (Little Leaguer, August 2019).

    My Puns in Spanish (New pun: Apostasía April 2019)

    My Puns in French (New pun: Microsoft à l'école July 2019)

    My Puns in Portuguese

    My Puns in Italian (New pun: Quale pesce fa starnutire? New 10/2018)

    My Puns in German (New 02/2016)

    Linguistic Swifties (Now with: Wintu, Penutian, Cochiti, Taos, and Towa.)

    I am a
     Saint In the Church Of Emacs --Saint IGNUcius-- The Church of Emacs will soon be officially listed by at least one person as his religion for census purposes.

    There are no godfathers in the Church of Emacs, since there are no gods, but you can be someone's editorfather.

    Stallman Does Dallas: "I have to warn you that Texans have been known to have an adverse reaction to my personality…"

    The Dalai Lama today announced the official release of Yellow Hat GNU/Linux.

    Pre-Zen Studies.

    I found a funny song about the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act (officially the Sonny Bono Copyright Act) which extended copyright retroactively by 20 years on works made as early as the 1920s.

    If you are a geek and read Spanish, you will love Raulito el Friki, who said "Hello, world!" immediately after he was born. Here's an archive of this now-defunct comic strip.

    Sleeping with Stallman at MIT.

    Un malentendido gracioso.

    ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.

    American Extremists

    My Small Mouth

    The huns and the writs.

    No Kludges in Cluj (June 2014)

    Hammer into Anvil

    Fiction

    Made for You (December 2012) (local copy) Esperanto translation

    A science fiction story: Jinnetic Engineering (in Portuguese, Farsi, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, French, and Italian).

    The Right to Read

    Books

    My book of essays about the philosophy of Software Freedom, is available from the GNU Press.

    Stallman on Love

    Love and Dance

    My Childhood Sweetheart

    Made for You

    My Former Personal Ad

    Non-Political Articles

    Am I Doctor Stallman?

    Avec des chapeaux French song parody.

    My radio program of Music from Georgia, originally broadcast on WUOG in Athens, Georgia on Oct 13, 2014.

    Resolving the trolley problem

    Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights

    A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.

    Origin of the POSIX name.

    On Hacking: In June 2000, while visiting Korea, I did a fun hack that clearly illustrates the original and true meaning of the word "hacker".

    My Childhood Sweetheart

    Love and Dance

    Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor

    Certificate of confusion

    Links

    Thanks

    I would like to thank:


    Please send comments on these web pages to rms at gnu period org.

    Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Richard Stallman
    Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved.
    Verbatim copying and redistribution of any of the photos in the photos subdirectory is permitted under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later. You can copy and redistribute the photo of me playing music to the butterfly under the Creative Commons Noderivs Nocommercial license version 3.0 or later. Any other photos of me in this (the toplevel) directory may be copied and redistributed under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0