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Re: List posting rules

From: Dora Scilipoti
Subject: Re: List posting rules
Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2019 14:01:49 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

On 11/01/2019 09:25 AM, Carlos O'Donell wrote:

> Sandra Loosemore posted her opinions for the first time. She didn't
> repeat herself.

You, Carlos O'Donell, and your fellow censor Mark Wielaard, should NOT
be the moderators of this list.  You are both signers of a public
document that calls for the removal of Richard Stallman as the leader of
GNU, namely the "Joint Statement." Therefore, your natural bias is to
accept messages that work towards your goal while rejecting those that
oppose it.

For example, given that the declared purpose of this is list is to talk
about governance, Sandra Loosemore's messages were in violation of the
following rule, and yet they were approved:
Tue, 29 Oct 2019 10:31:37 +0100, Mark Wielaard wrote:
And for governance discussions, they should stay on topic and be about
governance. Discussions about individuals and their capabilities are
off topic.

While another message, carefully drafted to refute her considerations in
the clearest possible way, was rejected:

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: Women and GNU and RMS (was Re: something else)
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2019 13:31:48 +0700
From: Marcel <>
To: Sandra Loosemore <>,
CC: Richard Stallman <>, Dora Scilipoti <>, Jean
Louis <>

[Yesterday most of my messages to this group were censored, including a
new thread I tried to start to discuss the censorship, and two responses
to Sandra's post. Here is version 3.]

> I haven't seen anything resembling a "power grab", so by definition
> I'm not on the list as participating in one.

The way I read detractors is as follows:

- We are volunteers at GNU. We are unhappy with RMS's leadership because
he does not represent us and harms the project. We want the project to
become a "bottom-up organization".

Which I can simplify further to:

- RMS is at the top, we are at the bottom. Remove RMS and put us at the top.

Is this not the very definition of a power grab?

> It has bothered me for a long time that there are so few women
> participating in the GNU community.

Identity politics can quickly subsume important common struggles and
become a divide and rule strategy (sometimes it's the original intention
even). In this particular case, it detracts from the main goal of GNU
and the Free Software Movement (which is Free Software, by the way).

If the phenomena of under-representation of women in tech was exclusive
to GNU (or even more tellingly, to projects led by RMS), I would be
willing to concede that this is a GNU (or RMS) problem, but it is not.
If it is a problem, it is a problem in tech or more likely, a wider
problem in society.

> OTOH, it's clear to me that some women have indeed felt
> threatened by RMS's behavior, been put off from participating by
> offensive sexual comments and "jokes" from others in the free software
> community, or felt that they were being belittled or ignored because
> of their gender.

The only thing that could be clear to you from the above—and given that
you mention you did not feel threatened by RMS personally—is whatever
anyone _CLAIMS_ happened.

So far, I have not seen any evidence nor have I seen any alleged
"victims" seek recourse in a court of law. What I have seen is a lynch
mob phenomenon. I will oppose this kind of lynch mob, whether it
pertains to "witches" being burned at the stake or RMS being libeled and
defamed by a group of people trying to ruin his life.

> And then there were RMS's disgusting public comments...

(I will not re-post your slander)

If you are complaining about the "public image" disaster for GNU, why do
you seek to bring it up again repeating the mischaracterizations ?

These were a series of mischaracterizations and slanders of comments
made by RMS in is personal capacity.

> IMO, to regain control of our public image, I think we have to take
> some explicit and public steps to disassociate the GNU project from
> RMS's comments.  If the CEO of a corporation made such controversial
> and offensive statements, the board would likely demand his immediate
> resignation as part of damage control.

Not everyone may share your opinion of throwing RMS under the bus as
damage control; I certainly do not.

The GNU project is by default disassociated from what RMS or anyone else
in the GNU project says in their personal capacity.

> I think the FSF and GNU maintainers collectively have a similar
> responsibility as custodians of the GNU project,

I think that the FSF and GNU maintainers should have similar
responsibilities as other volunteers in the project: in your example
maintainers should have the responsibility to maintain software
packages; in the case of translators, to translate text; etc.

The word "custodian" brings nightmarish religious war imagery to mind.

> and I do think RMS needs to resign for the good of the project.

Let me rephrase that "...and I do think RMS needs to resign for the good
of the project's custodians".

Nothing to see here, move along folks, there is absolutely no power grab
attempt taking place!

> I appreciate his past technical contributions and his
> promotion of the concept of "free software" to begin with,

"To begin with"? You make it sound as if RMS had participated in some
mythical birthing and then disappeared. He has been the leader of this
project for the past 36 years.

> but he is not a good public ambassador for the GNU community and has
> not seemed to do much actual leadership of the project (either
> technical or management) for many years now.

May I know who you are comparing him to? Please show me your measuring

> My perspective is that the GNU project's mission is to produce
> high-quality software that is free for everyone to use

You are defining freeware, not Free Software.

For further clarification, I suggest you start with the first
hyperlinked menu item, aptly entitled "What is Free Software?" and read
through the four essential freedoms:

Dora Scilipoti
GNU Education Team

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