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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.
In the Boston area: Vote to re-elect Ayanna Pressley for Congress.
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.
The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.
Civil Liberties Minute:
[ No upcoming talks. ]
US citizens: phone your senators (each one) and call on them to explicitly enact the authority for the EPA to regulate total emissions of any greenhouse gas.
The Capitol Switchboard number is +1-202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!
Here's the text I gave as my personal message.
Please vote to enact the recommendations of the Special Commission on Facial Recognition Technology. Those recommended rules will limit the use of facial recognition by and for state government agencies so that it does not become oppressive — presuming that the rules apply to all jurisdictions that are part of the state. (I can't see an explicit statement about that.)
However, this will certainly not be enough to protect us from the repressive potential of facial recognition. Private companies can also use facial recognition in ways that repress people. Imagine that Amazon Ring joins forces with Clearview AI: it could track almost everyone almost everywhere. It could report every person from Texas that visits an abortion clinic in Massachusetts, for possible prosecution in Texas. There are many other unjust possibilities. Other methods of tracking, for instance through cellular phones, can have the same effects.
To prevent tracking technology from threatening many human rights, we need to legislate that it not be used in Massachusetts.
Thus, I urge you to follow the adoption of the commission's recommendations about governmental use of facial recognition with strict limits on private use of tracking technology.
US citizens: call on the Senate to suspend the filibuster and protect abortion rights.
At the same time, the Senate should legislate the right to use birth control and the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, since those are the next targets of the Court of Chaos.
How to do this so that the same court can't invalidate it may be a tricky problem. It may require expanding the court to cancel the religious extremists.
US citizens: call on these companies to stop funding attacks on abortion rights: Amazon, Google, AT&T, Citi, Coca-Cola, CVS, Walmart, Verizon, GM, Comcast, Walgreens, and T-Mobile.
US citizens: call on Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn to apologize and resign from leadership Posts, for supporting anti-abortion Democrat Cuellar against a progressive candidate.
US citizens: call on Congress to regulate PFAs.
Boycott Chevron, in the name of Steven Donziger.
The extreme of this is represented by the Amazon warehouse, where a worker's every move is controlled by the computer system. This is one of many reasons to refuse to buy from Amazon.
Unfortunately, surveillance of workers is not limited to Amazon. I think states should pass laws to limit surveillance of workers. It should cover independent contractors as well as employees.
The law should completely forbid demanding that workers run any specific software on their own computers (keep in mind that portable phones are computers); the employer who wants that must furnish the computer at no charge.
Now it can cause you to be arrested randomly for walking down the street.
If stores use face recognition inside the store, they should not be allowed to use photos for matching against people in the store except for photos they have taken in that store, and photos of people convicted of theft and fraud.
This is a corrupt practice. I think we need to limit the president's power to pardon so that presidents cannot do this in the future.
Here are some quotations that I particularly like.
See the current pol-notes page for more.
(You may need to scroll down for more text if there is blank space in this column.)
The four factors of the apocalypse:
global heating, global hating,
global eating, global mating.
Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of 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.
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.
Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.
Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.
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.
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 order copies of my book, Free Software, Free Society, 3rd edition', signed or not signed.
"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."
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.
Richard Stallman's bio and publicity photos, and other things of interest to the press, have been moved to a separate page.
A song parody, Colors of the Lisp, by Jefferson Carpenter.
On doxing, and how to spell it.
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 Puns in German (New 02/2016)
Linguistic Swifties (Now with: Wintu, Penutian, Cochiti, Taos, and Towa.)
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…"
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.
ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.
No Kludges in Cluj (June 2014)
A science fiction story: Jinnetic Engineering (in Portuguese, Farsi, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, French, and Italian).
My book of essays about the philosophy of Software Freedom, is available from the GNU Press.
Avec des chapeaux French song parody.
My radio program of Music from Georgia, originally broadcast on WUOG in Athens, Georgia on Oct 13, 2014.
A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.
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".
Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor
I would like to thank:
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