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The RMS Tour Rider 373

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-question-unanswered dept.
larry bagina writes "It's no secret that rock stars have riders — provisions on their contractual appearances that require a bowl of brown-free M&Ms or specify the exact brand of bottled water, cocaine purity, etc. Well, Richard Stallman has his own quirky list of provisions." Some of the best stuff is at the end, including: "I do not eat breakfast. Please do not ask me any questions about what I will do [for] breakfast. Please just do not bring it up," and "One situation where I do not need help, let alone supervision, is in crossing streets. I grew up in the middle of the world's biggest city, full of cars, and I have crossed streets without assistance even in the chaotic traffic of Bangalore and Delhi. Please just leave me alone when I cross streets."
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The RMS Tour Rider

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  • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday October 28, 2011 @11:35AM (#37869392)

    RMS gets a lot of mockery for this, but for all the eccentricity, it reveals him as a man who thinks really hard about what he does, and making sure it fits his moral code. How many of us would avoid long-distance trains, or ask conference organisers to use pseudonyms for hotel rooms, because we were so stubbornly committed to the idea of privacy? I'm too much of a pragmatist to put up with that sort of nonsense but I admire the integrity on display.

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Friday October 28, 2011 @11:47AM (#37869556) Homepage

    What about the Pepsi which he may or may not like to be offered depending on if he's sleepy or not? What I took away from this is that he wants to be a spokesman for Free Software, but not if it inconveniences him in any way or requires him to leave his comfort zone. The whole thing with refusing to speak if there are sponsorship banners, or refusing to interviews if the interviewer isn't willing to "properly" refer to GNU/Linux or conflates Free and Open Source Software... Arguably such people are the ones who might most benefit from his message. Appearing on stage next to a banner might produce the opportunity to talk about why he disagrees with such things... talking to a reporter who conflates "Free" and "Open Source" might provide an opportunity to talk about the difference. Both could be done in a non-confrontational way that none the less shows what he believes and why.

    Most of this stuff says "I don't want to talk to you if you don't already agree with me almost entirely". What's the point? It's more mutual masturbation at that point than advocacy.

  • by Stone Rhino (532581) <mparke@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 28, 2011 @11:52AM (#37869610) Homepage Journal

    He goes into a level of needless detail that makes it obvious how he can be obsessive and self-absorbed. He uses paragraphs to say what a sentence could. He focuses on little distractions and loses sight of how people actually work. It reflects a lot of problems with the FSF's approach and RMS's shortcomings as a public face.

    This is a man who eats things off of his foot while giving a speech. He's shockingly out of touch with the world and sometimes all you can do is laugh.

  • by Trolan (42526) on Friday October 28, 2011 @11:53AM (#37869618) Homepage

    Alas, it's also suitable to modify his moral code when it's convenient.

    Big Brother has no right to know where I travel, or where you travel, or where anyone travels. If they arbitrarily demand a name, give a name that does not belong to any person you know of. If they will check my ID before I board the bus or train, then let's look for another way for me to travel. (In the US I never use long-distance trains because of their ID policy.)

    And yet he's fine with planes...

  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday October 28, 2011 @12:14PM (#37869944)

    But there's nothing in his tour rider that deserves derision

    Yeah, there is. RMS doesn't like beer. WTF? First computer geek on the planet who doesn't drink beer.

    Maybe that explains his constantly surly attitude.

  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Friday October 28, 2011 @01:07PM (#37870714) Homepage

    RMS gets a lot of mockery for this, but for all the eccentricity, it reveals him as a man who thinks really hard about what he does, and making sure it fits his moral code. How many of us would avoid long-distance trains, or ask conference organisers to use pseudonyms for hotel rooms, because we were so stubbornly committed to the idea of privacy? I'm too much of a pragmatist to put up with that sort of nonsense but I admire the integrity on display.

    Not quite. It shows that he expects other people to go to extreme lengths to provide him with very trivial wants (not needs), things that he should be able to deal with like anyone else in society. People in power get there because they enjoy power, and they enjoy watching other people jump through flaming hoops for them. It's how they show their superiority. Compare this to Woz, who hangs out in line at the Apple store for the new phone just because he prefers to live a normal life, as opposed to pulling strings and having people cater to him.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <`moc.nosduh-arab ... `nosduh.arabrab'> on Friday October 28, 2011 @01:09PM (#37870740) Journal

    However you can't argue with his consistency.

    Sure you can. He has made many speeches where he says that pirating copyright software is the right thing to do [fsfe.org], because you're sticking it to the evil people who write such software, while he demands that his own copyright license (the GPL) be respected.

    He's also a whack-job. His latest "campaign" is brain-dead [windows7sins.org] Who in their right mind would think that writing a letter to, for example, IBM, offering to help them with open source, is anything but an insult and a waste of time? Or mailing it to Best Buy after the lawsuits? What a dope!

    The fact is that he hasn't been able to write code in decades (the current gnu emacs is actually an import of the xemacs code, ditto for gcc being an import of egcs, because he totally screwed up both). So of course, he now makes his money bashing those who can.

    His Steve Jobs remarks put him on the same level as Fred Phelps (perhaps even lower - I don't think even Phelps is going to eat his boogers and foot cheese in front of people because it's "finger-licking good", or tell women to "remove their spawn").

    He's the guy putting "Open Sores" in open source.

  • by hitmark (640295) on Friday October 28, 2011 @01:16PM (#37870834) Journal

    Real life is a downer if one take a good hard look at it.

  • by Forbman (794277) on Friday October 28, 2011 @01:39PM (#37871122)

    Maybe not so bad for the poor sap (e.g., someone's kid), who promptly ate them as they picked them out.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <`moc.nosduh-arab ... `nosduh.arabrab'> on Friday October 28, 2011 @03:09PM (#37872324) Journal

    For a prime example of hypocrisy, look at the home page of the fsf. The GPL does not conform to a single one of the four freedoms outlined there. The GPL has many more restrictions than the BSD or MIT licenses, imposes restrictions on sharing and copying, as well as on adapting (ex: linkage restrictions), and on your freedom to work with others (ex: non-copyleft licenses, linking, etc).

    The guy is a hypocritical lying freeloader. That, his misogyny, his antipathy to children, his foul personal habits - yes, he's been consistent on all that. That's not a "good thing." Its the sign of someone too stupid to learn from either their mistakes or the mistakes of others.

    If you want to get your message out, you don't go around grossing people out and acting like the hobo version of Fred Phelps - because then YOU displace the message.

    His ego is more important than the message. The whole childish "GNU/Linux" thing is an excellent example - it's no more "GNU/Linux" than it is "Firestone/Ford" ... and we don't really need the GNU toolchain any more.

  • by Brannon (221550) on Friday October 28, 2011 @03:10PM (#37872338)

    The unfaltering adolation of the smug technorati has destroyed any sense of shame or social awareness Stallman ever had; what's left is a barely functional self-absorbed idealogue.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday October 28, 2011 @03:23PM (#37872474)

    It reads like a list of his negative experiences. Especially the bit about parrots.

    The document shows an unbelievably narcissistic man-child with grandiosity problems who is a technological dinosaur, has no social skills, and fails to recognize that he is an ambassador, not a king.

    It's long since been time that the FSF found a new ambassador - someone who doesn't, for example, consider themselves to be hassled by having dinner with 'more than four people'.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <`moc.nosduh-arab ... `nosduh.arabrab'> on Friday October 28, 2011 @04:29PM (#37873382) Journal
    His definition is counter to reality. In other words, he's a nutjob. Paranoid sociopaths can be very consistent - it doesn't mean that their ideas are worth anything. The proof is in the pudding - the average user will never use, and doesn't want, a"GNU/Linux" desktop computer, because:
    1. They're garbage. Too many forks, each with brittle customizations. You can depend on something critical breaking on every update (sure, I use it as my default OS, but after almost 15 years, I'm fed up - I'm switching back to BSD);
    2. They come with too many restrictions on what you can and can't do, so they'll never attract the critical mass of user programs (and the "free" replacements are only free if you don't count the cost of your time);
    3. Freaks and liars like RMS and Bruce Perens have given open source a bad name. The Steve Jobs attack by Stallman the day after he died was the last straw for me. You're known by the company you keep, and F/LOSS needs to clean house, and disavow these counter-productive leeches, because they're making us all look like idiots (and if we don't speak out against them, then we really ARE deserving of the title).

    There really is no excuse. He has repeatedly done the indefensible, the unacceptable, and is motivated by a conceit that he is "special". The cure for that is a 55-gallon barrel of Gold Bond Foot Powder and a muzzle.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <`moc.nosduh-arab ... `nosduh.arabrab'> on Friday October 28, 2011 @08:08PM (#37875562) Journal
    He doesn't have Aspergers. He lets people think he does, because it lets him get away with all sorts of crap. What he has is a form of narcissism. (Hint: see his attack on Jobs - he is VERY much aware of social conventions, and purposefully flouts them to gain attention because he believe that how HE feels about something is more important than anyone else).

    As for lies - just look at his attack on linux 2 months ago via the FSF, claiming that it was too risky to use because it was "only" GPL version 2, and urging people to put pressure to get the devs to change to GPLv3, supposedly because the GPLv3 would be better for Android, knowing that any such change would cause the manufacturers to immediately drop linux and swap in bsd as the underlying OS.

    "Manipulative bastard" is actually too weak a term for such lies. He's actively undermining F/LOSS for his own ego. That's what narcissists do - after all, its all about them, not reality.

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