Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Richard Stallman Resigns

There have been topics that I've wanted to write about but have been hesitant to do so. For example, I found the Epstein phenomenon to be fascinating (though awful), from his motivations to his operations to his (apparent) suicide. However, it was moderately clear that writing even one word about the subject that could possibly be interpreted by anybody as not being politically correct could be devastating to me.

I met Richard Stallman, a MacArthur Fellowship Award (Genius Grant) recipient and quintessential MIT nerd a few times when I was at MIT, both at CSAIL and at parties. He was, in my opinion, quite opinionated and could be very abrasive, but he was also very smart, very talented, extremely productive and seemed to overall have a good heart as far as I could tell.

He was recently forced to resign from various positions:
In 2019, Stallman was reported by colleagues to have made statements by email in defense of Marvin Minsky, then deceased, against allegations of sexual abuse in connection with Jeffrey Epstein's alleged child sex trafficking operation.[114] In the resulting furor, Stallman resigned from both MIT[115][116] and the Free Software Foundation.[117]
I'm not totally sure, but my recollection is that Minsky was at least somewhat of a mentor to Stallman, so it's not surprising that Stallman might be inclined to try and defend his dead mentor and given that he's the quintessential MIT nerd also not surprising that he'd lack the filters to realize it would be a really bad idea to do so.

Anyway, if I needed confirmation that Epstein was yet another topic I should stay way away from, this was it.

My question is: what can I write about that won't get me in trouble? I guess more science and math stuff so that's what I'll focus on.

No comments: