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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

By Richard M. Stallman on August 21, 2007 (6:00:00 PM)

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More than 500 people were killed when Peru was hit with by an enormous earthquake last week. When we learned that Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and author of the GPL under which the GNU/Linux operating system is licensed, was in Peru during the quake, we asked if he would share his experiences with us. Here's his report.

On the evening of August 15 I was answering email in the offices of COSOLIG, the free software organization of the Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega in Lima. I was just about to do a batch mail transfer when the earthquake began. It was strong enough to shake my body in an interesting way, but insufficient to damage a concrete building, or even to make a bookshelf fall over.

Other people in the office urged me to go outside with them, and I did so, figuring they knew better than me. Some of them were quite frightened, but the shaking did not get stronger and we could plainly see that no damage was being done. I was surprised by the long duration of the shaking, which lasted more than a minute. Nothing was damaged at the university, and not much in Lima at all. For me, it was an exhilarating experience.

When the shaking stopped, I went back into the building and tried to do the mail transfer, but the entire Peruvian Internet had crashed, so it was impossible. Instead I answered questions for a pending interview. The Internet came back up around an hour later.

About 20 minutes after the quake, people reported having heard a news report that the epicenter had been in the jungle, inland. I thought it was good news, because I figured there would not be much damage or casualties there. It was only the next day that I learned that southern coastal cities had had substantial casualties and damage.

Several people I know wrote that they were worried I had been hurt. Since the casualties were few, rationally they should have presumed I was OK. Someone even started a rumor that I was "missing." He could not have had any basis for that statement.

I was supposed to take a bus to Chimbote that night. We thought for a while that the bus would be cancelled, because communications were out and the line could not tell that the roads were safe. That would have meant missing my speech the next day. However, the bus departed on schedule and I gave the speech as planned.

I read that a church collapsed on worshipers during mass; later I heard that the priest had been rescued. Believers surely attributed the rescue to the good will of a benevolent deity. They probably did not attribute the collapse to the ill will of an evil deity, but it would be equally logical. In the 18th century, an earthquake destroyed a cathedral in Lisbon, killing thousands of believers. Many in Europe began to doubt religion as a result.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 35.9.55.67] on August 21, 2007 07:03 PM
This is about the most unfeeling unsympathetic account of an earthquake
that killed 500 people I've ever seen. I am happy for RMS that he is able to
take a clear rational and logical attitude towards this event. For me,
my heart and sympathies go out to those who were injured, lost loved ones,
suffered deprivation, loss of homes and property.
Truly this must have been a frightening event for those who were closer
to the epicenter and interested in more important issues than whether or not
they would be able to get their e-mail out on time.

>sigh<

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.29.95.156] on August 21, 2007 10:53 PM
People who are frightened or otherwise emotionally upset often resort to rationalizations in order to calm themselves down. Like, sometimes close relatives don't cry or show any signs of being upset in funerals, even though they feel very upset inside. I think it comes down to personality -- some people are just wired the kind of way that they don't show much emotions to the outside world. Actually, I think quite a lot of people who are interested in computers are that kind of people. What I'm trying to say is that you can't really judge if a person is upset or not by reading his account of something that happened.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 90.227.191.252] on August 22, 2007 09:39 AM
"we asked if he would share his experiences with us"


And so he did.



And you complain.

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Experiences

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.243.120.104] on August 23, 2007 01:45 PM
Stallman is like an idiot savant. He's brilliant in a few ways, certainly passionate about his beliefs... but there are many aspects of what the rest of us would call normal human behavior that he does not understand, sees no value in and therefore refuses to even attempt. Emotion, empathy, pretty much any agenda outside of his myopic goals for free software. Listen to him on licensing, on Emacs (*shudder*) if you like... but if this article taught anyone anything, you should realize that his "experiences" on any "real life event" are going to disappoint you, and vaguely call to mind the Borg.

(little more food for thought: http://edward.oconnor.cx/2005/04/rms )

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.214.3.233] on August 21, 2007 07:15 PM
I praise God that RMS survived, and for all the other survivors. I also pray for the families and friend of those lost in the quake. Pray for the people there who will be sorting many things out for some time to come. Catastrophe reminds people of their need for a Savior, it does not drive them away as some people might think. So pray also for those who would rather curse a god, then understand their own humanity. Evil's intent it to keep people away from God and their need for a Savior. Pray that many would come to the Lord through this time of need. And pray for those who love the Lord to reach out to the people of Peru.


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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 172.206.200.41] on August 21, 2007 07:45 PM
My prayers, too are with them.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.186.229.30] on August 22, 2007 06:14 AM
Amen to that.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.200.235.231] on August 22, 2007 09:21 PM
Catastrophe reminds people of their need for good Engineers.
Those people lost in the earthquake must have offended Poseidon.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.41.157.192] on August 23, 2007 07:02 PM
Not that Mr. Stallman shares any of that sentiment, since he *is* an avowed atheist.

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Re(1): Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.110.77.222] on August 27, 2007 01:26 AM
Stallman is an unabashed idiot. His beliefs are foolish at best (both religious and social) and he will only use this tragedy as another excuse not to shower or get a haircut or shave. I am SO over seeing his name or hearing anything about him. He IS NOT RELEVANT to ANY technology. His pathetic movement is staffed by a bunch of people that can't get a job because they can't dress properly or groom themselves, and then complain when nobody hires them for looking like circus side-show freaks.
Can we PLEASE stop wasting our time giving a rip about a moron who should have dropped out of the public eye LONG ago.

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Re(2): Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 157.98.72.20] on August 27, 2007 03:10 PM
Kudos to your internal consistency: if you don't give a rip about the "moron", why are you wasting time reading this and posting??? Stop right now and instead go get an extra haircut and buy some expensive clothes. No doubt that will turn you into a more competent professional and a more intelligent human being.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 157.98.72.20] on August 23, 2007 08:32 PM
You know it might be better if you were to pray to god (in his omnipotence) to reverse time and prevent the earthquake altogether. Kind of like Superman. That's more of a "savior". Those people are still dead, you know, despite all the prayers. If there's a point praying to god to help the survivors because he has the power to help them, did he also had the power to cause the earthquake or prevent it? Did he let the earthquake happen? Do you think "He" was trying to make a point?

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 209.217.100.82] on August 21, 2007 08:13 PM
Said Stallman: "I approved of this because the Quake engine is licensed under the GPL."
[Modified by: Anonymous on October 20, 2007 09:59 PM]

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Hypothetical situation

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.126.176.174] on August 21, 2007 08:14 PM
If Stallman were to die, who would take his place?

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Re: Hypothetical situation

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.20.235.124] on August 21, 2007 08:55 PM
I hope that it wouldn't be ESR :)

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Re(1): Hypothetical situation

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 190.78.26.123] on August 22, 2007 12:55 AM
in another Hypothetical situation bill gates will be the new Free Software leader.

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Re(1): Hypothetical situation

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.251.108.100] on August 22, 2007 03:14 AM
I met ESR once, some years ago in Tokyo. He joined our LUG for an evening's entertainment. I was shocked to learn that he doesn't drink. Explains a lot, though.

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Re: Hypothetical situation

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.175.216.77] on August 22, 2007 02:21 AM
Bill Gates! Who else?

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Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 198.245.206.6] on August 21, 2007 08:33 PM
Richard Stallman's insensitive account of the earthquake and insulting comments about religion only go to show how his own overblown ego is causing division in the Open Source community. Richard, you don't need to believe in an all-powerful God, just realize that YOU aren't God. That's all we ask. Stop being so arrogant. Think of a greater good that doesn't require praising you. If you really want people to say GNU-Linux, then don't be such an @$$. There is a reason why Linus has a much bigger following then you do... People like him.

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Re: Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.29.95.156] on August 21, 2007 11:13 PM
You're wrong, Linus doesn't have any following because he's a pompous @$$. Linus likes to flame people and he acts like a real @$$hole when he responds to emails. Really, I think Linus could learn a lesson or two by observing how politely Richard Stallman treats people, even those who disagree with him. Firm but polite is Richard's attitude. Linus, on the other hand, calls anyone who disagrees with him a moron...

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Re(1): Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.251.108.100] on August 22, 2007 03:11 AM
I fail to see how you can call RMS polite, at least if you read that interview. He's a hippie prick, trapped in a sixties timewarp. I believe in the principles of the FSF, but I loathe RMS.

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Re(2): Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.152.170.254] on August 22, 2007 05:01 AM
Hypothesis based on preliminary observation: from the point of view of the general public, most Free Software / Open Source gurus are socially insensitive, emotionally numb hermits. Especially when they open their mouth on subjects other than software and infotech. Case in point: Linus, Stallman, ESR. Theo de Raadt too, come to think of it.

This sounds like the beginning of a delicious topic for psychology geeks looking for a Ph.D....

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Re: Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.208.65.12] on August 22, 2007 11:21 AM
Oh please, it's well known that RMS is an atheist and so it isn't all that surprising he would make observations about these things. I'm an athest too, and personally I would find it very curious that people would attribute an earthquake to an "act of god" when it would be even more logical to blame say, the devil? Also, what exactly was it that you found insulting? He didn't say god doesn't exist, he just shared an observation accompanied by a historical anectode. Nothing wrong with that.

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Re(1): Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.40.60.78] on August 22, 2007 04:21 PM
Tell me have you ever used a mailing list or newsgroup? Have you ever seen things like OT ... What does the religion comment have anything to do with his experience with the earthquake? Surely that was quite Off Topic. Most people would call that trolling. I would.

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Re(2): Is it any wonder Stallman has trouble getting a consensus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 157.98.72.20] on August 23, 2007 08:41 PM
Can't the guy write about whatever he sees fit? If you don't like it it's not like you are being forced to read it. You can say that it was off topic and that might be fair (although one could argue that after witnessing an earthquake it might be a natural reaction to wonder about the existence of god), but he might have started talking about Microsoft instead and you wouldn't find that insulting... would you?

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Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.96.155.215] on August 21, 2007 09:06 PM
wtf is with that last paragraph? The article focuses on his experience during and after the earthquake then out of no where it closes with an attack on religion. This crap is why people find it hard to take the "openness" of the FOSS community seriously.

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Re: Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.251.108.100] on August 22, 2007 03:05 AM
The best part is that he says "believes surely attributed..." meaning he has no actual knowledge that they did any such thing. It's pure conjecture on his part, and even makes him out to be a hypocrite, considering his comments regarding the person who started a rumor that he was missing.

I majored in linguistics in college, and one of the most (deservedly) famous linguists in the world is Noam Chomsky. I have tremendous respect for professor Chomsky's achievements in linguistics, but as I cam to know more about him, I realized that he's a complete tool on any subject other than linguistics and no thinking person should give him the time of day. Sadly, people who are very feeling but not at all thinking do so because of his renown as a linguist.

Similarly, I have great respect for RMS's achievements and accomplishments in Free software; without him, Free software and open-source software as we know it today would probably not exist. However, just as with Chomsky, RMS makes a fool of himself when he speaks on any topic other than software. He would be doing himself and everyone else a favor if he would just keep his mouth shut. As the saying goes, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."

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Re(1): Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.1.167.242] on August 22, 2007 08:13 PM
What is your problem exactly? Can't someone express his view on a topic while his narration led him there? (even if it is indeed irrelevant to the topic) If you ask me the comment is right on target (on the religion matter).

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Re(2): Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 13.8.137.11] on August 22, 2007 10:36 PM
The problem is his completely off-the-wall attack on all people who have a belief in God or religion, based on a unrelated event. The point of the post was to say that he wasn't injured or missing (as stated in one rumor). I don't know why he had to add the slam against the people who were killed in the church collapse.

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Re(3): Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 157.98.72.20] on August 23, 2007 08:47 PM
He is not attacking "people that believe in god". At most he is attacking their beliefs (which is legitimate) or maybe he is attacking the fact that faith might lead to certain people to reach illogical conclusions . Why do you feel attacked? Because he doesn't share your beliefs?

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Re(1): Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 13.8.137.11] on August 22, 2007 10:47 PM
I think your analysis is pretty spot-on. Respect RMS for his contribution to Free Software, but ignore comments on other matters. It's a little like the situation with ESR, who has made huge contributions to Open Source software (think: "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"), but who is also a gun-freak. You may or may not agree with his beliefs on carrying guns, but you don't have to agree with him only because you think he's done a lot for Open Source.

(Of course, ask RMS, and he'll tell you that ESR is Spawn of the Devil, but that's another story.....)

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Re(2): Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.80.241.14] on August 24, 2007 12:02 AM
Why did he bother mentioning it at all? Was he trying to stir the pot, or what? It's not as though those words are going to be particularly helpful or all that well received by those in Peru who were affected by the quake. Personally, I reckon he couldn't have been a bigger insensitive lamer by making such a comment.

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Re(1): Last paragraph?...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.52.244.93] on August 24, 2007 01:08 AM
"Religion is the Opium of the People". Sounds familiar? For governments to exist, which are embodiments of the elites, the filthy rich, they need people to have a religion, so they can manipulate them and exploit their work more easily. It's such an obvious fact. In this regard, Chomsky's opinions as a linguist, or his opinion about any other matter, are totally eclipsed by his pursuit of social justice throughout the world. The same could be said about Stallman: there is a correlation between being free of any ties to "intellectual property" in software and being free of any ties to an ancient and idiotic superstition. A man has to be consistent in all aspects of his life. Hypocrisy is doing otherwise.

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Stallman doesn't follow most social conventions: he borrows money and does not return it

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.3.174] on August 21, 2007 10:01 PM
I've met RMS in Peru a couple of times. This is the third time he has visited the country that I am aware of. By reading this piece of his now I realize why he is sometimes happy to borrow money for lunch and stuff like that. I witnessed how once in Cuzco how RMS borrowed some S/. 50 (around US$ 15) for paying his dinner and then simply forgot it. Looks like he does it with some regularity.

My whole point is he has a strong tendency to disregard other people's social conventions. By pure logical reasoning the might very well conclude that he's done so much good for humanity by consolidating the free software movement that it's perfectly OK to borrow some money to have lunch or dinner. That might make sense in abstract terms but why if the person he's borrowed the money from really needs it? He would say, well, if you need it don't lend the money at all but that's not the issue, because you can be supportive, prove helpful and lend money even if you need it because you believe the person in need will pay return it. My conclusion is he's long-time ago decided to just shit on other people's social conventions and live his own way.

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Re: Stallman doesn't follow most social conventions: he borrows money and does not return it

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.113.48.11] on August 22, 2007 04:39 PM
Sounds to me like you got pwned!

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Re: Stallman doesn't follow most social conventions: he borrows money and does not return it

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.70.108.32] on August 22, 2007 07:01 PM
I've got a couple of other possible explanations:
- You're making stuff up.
- RMS is forgetful.

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OMG!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.247.219.18] on August 21, 2007 10:19 PM
I'm so happy that RMS didn't catch any scratch!! Where would we be without him?! We'd all be headless unethical chickens, producing proprietary software, if he wasn't around educating us!
However, a premature death would have helped in more instant glorification, and provide an easy way to shut down those evil "open source" people. (You know, those who don't understand or ridicule the importance of the four essential freedoms.)

Oh, and please, let's already forget about those 500 shitfaces. Only RMS' condition is important and newsworthy. Right on.

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Re: OMG!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.175.216.77] on August 22, 2007 02:22 AM
"Where would we be without him?!"

The world would be one less basement dwelling angry hippie.

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Re: OMG!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 139.139.67.70] on August 22, 2007 09:07 AM
Well.. the article was a specific request for RMS's experiences during and after the earthquake, so lambasting him for focusing on his experience seems rather silly of you.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 122.162.171.133] on August 22, 2007 02:24 AM
RMS and ESR strike me as having some very disturbing beliefs where religion and spirituality are concerned.
But its even more disturbing when these beliefs (RMS's in this case) are touted instead of stating something about the 500 souls who lost their lives in the very same event. RMS's job was to create the GNU / Open Source licenses and culture. That done, now go away and stop making the rest of the open source / foss culture look so bad...How strange and freaky can you get...

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Did he blame Microsoft for the quake?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.224.20.110] on August 22, 2007 02:33 AM
I'm surprised he didn't say it was Bill Gates' fault.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.188.137.121] on August 22, 2007 04:39 AM
Wow, all these comments display is how much people are just waiting to dump on RMS. He wrote about his experiences - he doesn't HAVE to talk about the 500 dead. You guys talk about all the people that die everyday in the Iraq war? Our country caused all those deaths! C'mon talk about it, why don't you? Idiots. And the bleating on about religion. Give me a break. Go write some code.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.152.170.254] on August 22, 2007 07:13 AM
Spoken like a true follower of the Church of Emacs. Hear, Hear!

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.40.60.78] on August 22, 2007 04:27 PM
There is something to be said about being relevant. Anytime you make a job or put some personal commentary into some sort of "experience" like this, it makes you look stupid.

As for the death's in Iraq and whatnot, why would you use "our country"? Are you so stupid to think everyone lives in "your country" whatever that maybe? As that issue is quite important there is a time and place to discuss. Linux.com is NOT the place to talk about it.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.42.21.153] on August 22, 2007 08:04 AM
almost all these comments are written by retards ... get a life yall ,,, or if your life aint fun right now go install windoze vista

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.143.165.15] on August 22, 2007 09:35 AM
I thought the one with the quake-engine was quite funny


# WE ARE ANONYMOUS, WE ARE LEGION!
# ALSO, WE ARE ON STEROIDS (Thanks, Fox-News)!

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.120.149.149] on August 22, 2007 04:21 PM
The quake engine joke was water-spewingly funny. However, the quake was indeed pretty scary. I was on the 5th floor of my hotel in Lima when it happened. I didn't realize RMS was in Lima too, I'd have gone and said hi!

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.195.122.137] on August 22, 2007 04:49 PM
I once overheard someone call him an "ass burger". I don't know what that is, but I think it's a load of crap.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.195.122.137] on August 22, 2007 05:02 PM
I think RMS literally rocks!

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.40.167.39] on August 22, 2007 05:19 PM
This reads like the writings of an autistic person which may explain it's robotic detachment. It is likely a medical consequence and so he shouldn't be blamed directly.

That being said, it also reads like the writings of an emotionless sociopath. Until Richard has spent a single day in the squalid poverty of Peru and seen the force of good that can come from the community efforts inspired by the church in the Third World he should just consign himself back to writing machine code which he arguably does better than almost any other living human. (the American colloquial "STFU" comes to mind here!)

His brutal and selfish analysis of the church collapse betrays a surprising lack of empathy and a heart containing only cold rationality. For someone so familiar with the dependencies present in machine code, he shows a stunning lack of understanding of how a cold and callous analysis by a person of renown like this could only but inspire anger and hurt in those below him (social dependencies, if you will!)

Shame on you Richard, for missing that insight, and thanks for revealing to the rest of us that perhaps indeed you're someone best consigned to writing machine code than to personally performing acts of personal kindness. If the extent of your contribution to the human catastrophe that befell the poor in Peru was this bitter letter, you are today a slightly lesser human for it.

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Re: Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 205.208.132.205] on August 23, 2007 04:06 AM
The Pope would like to thank you for not mentioning the Church's support for slavery and genocide in South America. Your check is in the mail.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.103.204.210] on August 22, 2007 06:38 PM
Alienating religious people is unnecessary and counter productive to the FSF's goals, especially when it is completely without cause (eg when the best you've got is that you assume people "surely attributed the rescue to the good will of a benevolent deity").

Not that I don't agree with RMS's assessment of religiousity, I actually do, but I also wish he'd stfu about it ESPECIALLY in contexts like this when 500 people have just died.

(The atheist internet trolling styleguide clearly says you're supposed to take the number of people who died from a disaster, divide by 192, and wait at least that many days before ridiculing the surviving victims for their religion. It's just a matter of tact.)

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.5.22.76] on August 22, 2007 07:23 PM
That's what we were waiting for: a report of a human tradegy by Richard Stallman and the conclusion that many people in Europe began to doubt in religion after a cathedral had been destroyed by an earthquake in Lisbon. Good work, Richard, I couldn't live without your first-class report and your metafisical thoughts.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.40.167.39] on August 22, 2007 09:02 PM
I'm still puzzled though, which was more exhilirating? The shaking feeling RMS felt or the terror those poor people felt when tons of concrete roof came crashing down on them? RMS=0, poor people=1

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Stallman can take his miniscule compassion and over inflated ego and shove it up his...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 172.18.10.38] on August 22, 2007 09:27 PM
Let's just say that after having friends who have had the misfortune to deal with this pig-headed egocentric jerk who refuses to listen to reason, even though what you are saying is essentially the same thing as he is saying, just without his ego tacked on, perhaps being buried in the debris of a collapsed church would have given him a bit of perspective on the terrible fate of the hundreds dead and thousands who now have no shelter or basic needs like food and water. May what ever diety who does choose to acknowledge soundly smack him up side the head with a big fat dose of karmic justice.

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[offtopic] there's no such thing as karma

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.193.101.212] on August 23, 2007 12:35 PM
that is, the concept doesn't work in practice. At least if you don't consider the world as we know it being a result of some chain of pure statistical consequences and not directed will.

The transition is not exactly trivial but for someone with basic logical abilities it's far from impossible, too. Wonder why "karma"'s overly popular among developers though.

--
Michael Shigorin,
M.Sc. and an Orthodox Christian

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.230.112.249] on August 22, 2007 10:38 PM
No no no you're getting RMS all wrong. When he bashes religious peolpe or even people having babies he does it totally ON PURPOSE. He must be thinking he's doing some sort of good, preventing people from falling under the influence of religious leaders or preventing the earth from overcrowding. He seems to be so "rational" that he would certainly STFU if his logic would suggest him to do exactly that but no, looks like his reasoning leads him to talk. He must be very aware of being an influence and some soft of opinion leader to at least some group of people.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 32.135.162.216] on August 23, 2007 04:32 AM
God this guy is a douche

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.40.19.249] on August 23, 2007 09:36 AM

In these comments, people seem to be getting upset for no good reason (other that what is happening inside their own heads):



1. Stallman was asked to report on his own experiences and he did. Everything he wrote about described his own personal experience of the quake -- including his reflections about the church collapse. Are blogs not meant to be personal reflections? Should he restrict his refllections only to those that some subset of his readers might deem to be "acceptable" or "politically correct"? If everyone did that, what kind of discussion would ensue -- about anything?



2. Why are people who claim to have religious faith getting so upset when someone questions the logic of that faith? If you could prove religious beliefs to be correct using logic, then faith would be unnecessary. Is their faith so weak that they can't stand to ever see it questioned?



3. Stallman's observation is quite logical -- why a benevolent deity would permit human pain and suffering is a perfectly valid question, one that theologians wrestle with. A cynic might suggest that maybe such a deity permitted the disaster to occur in order to demonstrate benevolence in saving the life of a priest. That is not my view, but that's immaterial. The pont is that NOBODY knows the answer. So it's a legitimate topic for debate, by theologians, or anyone else. Do the people getting upset about Stallman's comments think they are the only ones who are entitled to hold opinions about this unfathomable religious dilemma?

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[offtopic] from a pure logical standpoint...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.193.101.212] on August 23, 2007 12:30 PM
...many of us, if not all since it's quite personal, still have a lot to learn about life.

I've been in earthquake, and I've been way more atheistic than Stallman currently seems to be.

Re western churches, historically these have been broken forks -- don't judge them on that, what happens around judges them, be it earthquakes or inquisition.

--
Michael Shigorin

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Material Bless RMS!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.145.142.36] on August 23, 2007 01:27 PM
Yeah.. no god or is god. done well. dumb ass. you write code. you write license. dumb ass.
There was a quake. you shivered. you mailed. dumb ass.
Now you making pun dumbass?
shut the fkup dumbass.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.48.8.5] on August 24, 2007 01:19 AM
I've listened to a lot of his speeches, even donated to the FSF. Not any more... Anyone who is so callous about death and destruction, describing it as exhilarating, has just lost my attention. You can't change the world without caring about people.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.172.52.196] on August 24, 2007 01:37 AM
Media tends to blow things up out of proportion because that is how they get people to watch/read/consume more of their content and how they make money. Natural disasters which cause such casualties are no exception. Isn't it reasonable to conclude that everyone's emotions are further overblown by this than they really naturally should be? The media is *using* your our emotion for their own gain.

And so Stallman, who is obviously quite immune to the mainstream media and trends (I mean, just look at his life style) comes by and says something out of his own nature and logic and everyone jumps on him as being cold hearted. If he is so cold hearted then why the heck did he attribute his whole life to a cause which is based on exactly being good to other people, socially responsible and caring. What kind of response did you people want? Maybe he should have played like a politician, stressing how incredibly sad he is and how his heart is broken and whatnot - using the event to gain sympathy for himself? Is that what you want? A yet another crook up there in your petty government pretending to care?

RMS so far proved that he does *really* care about things other than his mere well being. I believe that he could be living much more comfortably with the fame and influence he acquired, yet he doesn't. Think about that before judging him off as an emotionless egocentric prick.

So perhaps we could try to escape the collective conditioning that is being imposed on everything we are for a moment and take things for what they are. And what this is is an account of a personal experience of the earthquake. I often feel maddened at religiosity when I see disasters like this as well. I can absolutely understand why would someone feel like making remarks, exactly like the one RMS makes here, about religion after a disaster like this.

In fact, exactly that remark may reveal the emotion that he really feels about this whole disaster: anger, as in "why does this have to happen" and "what god would allow for this to happen". Ever thought of that?

Most of the commentators who knee jerked to his post could have just thinked about what he said and why he said it instead of just immediately instinctively reacting to it with nothing but pure headless emotion.

You can't live your life on emotion alone. There has to be a reason/logic in the balance.

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Waste of bandwidth, lack of charity and the problem of evil.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.166.60.194] on August 29, 2007 08:40 AM
The last paragraph constitutes a waste of bandwidth, and a lack of charity as well. Of course those who have the gift of a living faith in the (Christian) God will possibly attribute something good to God, because if they know the Faith, and appreciate the nature of God through their living faith, they would already _know_ that God is not an "evil deity", but rather the author of that which _is_ authentically good. They would also then know that evil in this world is merely an absence of good that God so permits in this lifetime, alongside free will, only such that a greater good may come from it in the "big picture".

The so-called "problem of evil" is never a logical and reasonable justification for proving the non-existence of God, or that God is not good, as much as RMS would seemingly like it to be so. Its a pity that RMS chooses pride over logical and intellectual integrity here. All he does demonstrate, if unfortunate souls begin to lose faith after a tragedy such as he describes, is that those unfortunate and traumatized souls probably never spent enough time considering the nature and problem of evil, something that St. Thomas Aquinas discusses very eloquently. They also probably had a guy like RMS whispering to them too frequently, replete w/ lack of clear thought pertaining to philosophy and theology.

Worst is that at that at a time when so many grieve over a genuine tragedy, he seems to prefer wasting bandwidth revealing in his own intellectual pride, making a pathetic jab at God and religion, and demonstratiing what would unfortunately appear to be a lack of real charity for those whether _in_ the church referred to, or anywhere else for that matter. Maybe he should actually go to church and learn about humility, charity, God, and when to keep his mouth shut. Richard: please stick to stuff like GNU and EMACS and don't waste my bandwidth.

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Stallman survives Peruvian quake

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.106.228.38] on December 20, 2007 11:37 AM

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