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GNU means GNU's Not U: Stallman insists he's still Chief GNUisance while 18 maintainers want him out as leader

DuncanLarge Silver badge

He has never alienated me, in fact his message and determination to stick to it even in a challenging way has inspired me.

Although I dont agree on many of his other points of view about other issues, when it comes to defending freedom I almost follow his every word.

I have long believed that lazyness and incremental changes "to make things better" lead to doors opening wider and wider without many caring to notice leaving a large opening for a complete change in direction. Stallman like myself seems pretty sensitive to that which is why he can be so stubborn on an issue. Its because any change, even a small one is the potential start of a slippery slope, so any such changes must be challenged and accepted only if they survive long enough.

I've seen this happen with things the UK government has done/tries to do. "Lets have ID cards, wont that be neat?", "Lets modify the law, just a little, to allow for more CCTV cameras", "Hey we have LOADS of CCTV cameras, wont it be great if they can talk to each other somehow", "Hey this old system of talking CCTV cameras is old and finnikey and expensive to run. Why dont we get some kind of A.I to monitor it al rather than those bunch of expensive humans".

Of course some of those examples dont exist yet but most people I know wouldn't care to even consider what is currently possible, what they wish to achieve even for benign reasons and how that could be abused by governments of the future and why that should factor in against such improvements.

Thus when Stallman does go, either forced out this way or natural retirement, I can see this creeping into the GNU project "to make things better" "to appeal to more people". Eventually I suspect that it all will end up being another Open Source movement (which was the first attempt to make Free Software more palatable) and then get abused while its core principles get fragmented and ignored as and when is convenient (like today).

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