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View Full Version : whoa: linus calls rms 'stupid'; his thinking 'naive'



earthpigg
November 3rd, 2008, 04:04 PM
yes, that was a sensationalist thread title.

but i thought this was pretty sensational, so there. :)

in his blog, this post (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4999557720148026925&postID=1488216705797314023&pli=1). he is professional and nice in his origional post, but he sounds pretty frustrated later on when he responds to people.

link here: (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4999557720148026925&postID=1488216705797314023&pli=1)


it's the whole black-and-white thing. Stallman literally sees free software as a fight between "good and evil". And quite frankly, that is simply stupid.

and


Almost no real-life issue is that way, and people who see things in those kinds of absolute terms are na´ve. And we certainly don't need another president like that.

(please read his entire post and the subsequent discussion before jumping to any conclusions)

he endorses Obama for the presidency, as well... it doesn't suprise me that he's an Obama supporter, but i didn't expect him to formally and publicly endorse him.

the biggest suprise, however, is that the disagreement between these two living legends was so great.... and its awesome that they both still support each other via their actual day-to-day actions.

is this potentially the start of a legendary flame war, or has linus tossed words like that towards rms before?

is linus stirring up controversy to get more readers?

MaxIBoy
November 3rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
These kinds of comments are nothing new. I agree with Linus on this one, to a limited extent-- I actively want to see more Linux installs on public computers so I'll have something usable at the library whenever I don't happen to have a laptop; I actively want my parents to switch so I'll be able to help them fix problems with their computers. For the most part, it's a practical matter for me.


Proprietary software was outmoded before it was invented. Companies that refuse to release their source code are shooting themselves in their own feet. Therefore, we have an absolute duty to point and laugh when they go bankrupt.


I agree with RMS that OEM installations of proprietary, very expensive software are bad for the customer. Do OEMs have a right to do it? Yes. Do we have a right to take our business elsewhere? Yes. I'll definitely agree with RMS that cloud computing is worse than stupidity. Does Microsoft have the right to market its Azure crap? Yes. Do we have a right to take our business elsewhere? Yes.


Honestly, no crusade is really justified.

chucky chuckaluck
November 3rd, 2008, 04:43 PM
"living legends"? who besides linux users have ever heard of either one of them? i agree with torvalds that seeing it as a "struggle between good and evil" is naive. it reminds me of a friend of mine describing her ex-husband as being worse than hitler (he might be more annoying than hitler, but that's about it). to cut a little slack, though, it's very easy when one is at the center of a storm, no matter how minor, to slip into an ivory tower mode of thinking.

billgoldberg
November 3rd, 2008, 04:48 PM
Torvalds has a point.

I must agree with him.

RMS ideas are noble and it would be great if they were usable in todays world, but they aren't.

That being said, RMS and organizations like the FSF must continue to do their thing so we can all benefit from it.

forrestcupp
November 3rd, 2008, 04:56 PM
This is definitely not the first time Linux has been violent in his criticism. And whether or not Linus really supports RMS in his day to day activities is a matter of opinion. He was pretty outspoken about opposing GPL version 3.

But I agree with Linus here. FOSS is a great model and it is very efficient when used properly, but it's not a battle between good and evil. People who write proprietary software are not evil because of that.

Bloch
November 3rd, 2008, 05:02 PM
it doesn't suprise me that he's an Obama supporter, but i didn't expect him to formally and publicly endorse him.

Torvald's is an ordinary private person and not the representative of any organisation. I can understand his political views might be of interest to some, but the words "formal" don't apply here.

His views are strongly expressed here, but hey, he doesn't have a speech editor combing his texts for libellous material, nor does RMS.

I doubt either wake up in the morning and think of themselves as "legends" and pause to consider that every word they write is being recorded for posterity ...

Dragonbite
November 3rd, 2008, 05:06 PM
On the one side Linus is right in that it isn't "Black and White" or "Us Against Them".

On the other hand, the best place to be is usually in-the-middle and that requires SOMEBODY to be on the extremes. RMS is just filling in the obligation of being extreme on the Open Source side opposite (somewhat) of the Proprietary-Only side.

Just like most things, competition brings out the best (and worst) of people/organizations/countries/things. So if corporations and foss are fighting we, as consumers, reap the benefits.

forrestcupp
November 3rd, 2008, 08:49 PM
On the other hand, the best place to be is usually in-the-middle and that requires SOMEBODY to be on the extremes. RMS is just filling in the obligation of being extreme on the Open Source side opposite (somewhat) of the Proprietary-Only side.
It's kind of like how I used to pay my cousin money to do really stupid things. He was the extreme guy making himself look like a complete idiot for a couple of bucks, and I was the laughing guy in the middle benefiting from the entertainment. :)

Where would we be without them?

ice60
November 3rd, 2008, 09:59 PM
rms is stupid and naive, it's a fact.

Dharmachakra
November 3rd, 2008, 10:55 PM
He didn't call RMS stupid. He said seeing free software in black and white is stupid.

But then again, I don't really care what either of them says.

insane_alien
November 3rd, 2008, 10:59 PM
linus is a self described git. and he even admits he's a git to pretty much everyone.

i also agree that saying almost anything is a black and white situation is very naive. its usually shades of grey with the occasional touch of red.

situation normal, move along.

mfarquhar
November 4th, 2008, 07:36 AM
as far as political endorsements go, i suppose if I had ever considered it, that Linus would be an Obama leaning guy, but in my mind Software Politcs and Regular Politics were always sepperate. and i never really attach folks in the GNU/Linux/FOSS/etc. arena to a particular party line unless of course they specify it themselves publicly over and over again.

I kinda like it that way, its so easy for me to get riled up over regular politics, while software politics I can relax and just go with it. Its kinda fun to argue from both sides of the software wars with myself, analyzing the different positions to see what I agree with. wheras the other kind of headache inducing politics are just plain stressful to even think about at times. I'm tempted to say this is becuase the stakes aren't as high (though im sure RMS would disagree with me there) but I think thats where I come from.

barbedsaber
November 4th, 2008, 07:54 AM
after all, linux did call digg users wanking walruses, and bsd users masturbating monkeys.
Why all the hate linus?

phrostbyte
November 4th, 2008, 08:16 AM
Um, RMS went to Harvard, graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.9+ GPA) with a degree with Physics, and wrote operating systems in a time when no one knew what an operating system was. Oh and this was before he got a perfect score on the SAT.

RMS is not stupid. RMS is arguably one of the most intelligent people alive today. RMS is not naive either. He knows he is unpopular. But sometimes having principals is more important then popularity, a concept lost on 99.999% of people today.

earthpigg
November 4th, 2008, 08:17 AM
Um, RMS went to Harvard, graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.9+ GPA) with a degree with Physics, and wrote operating systems in a time when no one knew what an operating system was. Oh and this was before he got a perfect score on the SAT.

RMS is not stupid. RMS is arguably one of the most intelligent people alive today. RMS is not naive either. He knows he is unpopular. But sometimes having principals is more important then popularity, a concept lost on 99.999% of people today.

i think deep down his intent is to be unpopular and extremist. being on the fringe gives credibility to the more 'mainstream' free software advocates.

he created the concept, he got it going, and by his own example he defined the 'extreme' which helps define the 'mainstream' which helps define you and me.

graabein
November 4th, 2008, 12:50 PM
I tend to agree with RMS. If you give "them" an inch they will swallow the whole thing and it won't be free anymore. "We" have to stay strong. I think the market will adjust when there's money to be made. It won't happen over night and it has not either, but we're making progress. More and more people are using free and open source software.

Microsoft is a natural target since they're the biggest software firm today, and they're on the other side of open source vs proprietary software. Don't forget their dirty past so fast...

Dharmachakra
November 4th, 2008, 11:33 PM
Um, RMS went to Harvard, graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.9+ GPA) with a degree with Physics, and wrote operating systems in a time when no one knew what an operating system was. Oh and this was before he got a perfect score on the SAT.


That is a very narrow view of intelligence. Completely off topic I know, but I hate it when people dictate what intelligence is.

Paqman
November 4th, 2008, 11:39 PM
Saying someone is behaving stupidly and saying they actually are stupid is not the same thing.

samjh
November 5th, 2008, 12:41 AM
Part of RMS's success is his notoriety. If he wasn't so outspoken about software "freedom", then FOSS would not be where it is today. His view is extreme, but you need extreme people.

Linus, on the other hand, achieved his fame through technical genius via the creation of the Linux kernel. Without Linus, RMS would still be struggling for any credibility as there would not be a major FOSS operating system platform today.

K.Mandla
November 5th, 2008, 01:24 AM
It takes all kinds. We need the idealists to give us goals, and we need realists to remind us that they're just goals. Everbody else is usually somewhere in between.

Dragonbite
November 5th, 2008, 02:35 PM
it takes all kinds. We need the idealists to give us goals, and we need realists to remind us that they're just goals. Everbody else is usually somewhere in between.

+1

t0p
November 5th, 2008, 02:52 PM
So it's "stupid" and "naive" to completely and utterly oppose something you consider to be evil?

Whether you agree with rms or not, it is a fact that he considers the proprietary software model to be socially divisive and evil. When you encounter evil, surely it's correct to want to end it?

Or should we complacently allow evil to flourish because some people don't oppose it?

bp1509
November 5th, 2008, 04:22 PM
d

Tom Mann
November 5th, 2008, 04:27 PM
I like to think the extremes (such as RMS) help us to gain a working middle-ground for the rest of us. :)

1cewolf
November 5th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Whole lot o' stuff

Wow...that was epic. I think you really hit the nail on the head. It's good to be an advocate of FOSS, but it's equally important to be realistic about it.