The Great Man theory of social progress or art or anything is inherently colonialist and supports kyrarchy. It's a persistent idea in western culture and apparently nothing in a typical CS education ever challenges this. Computers are either invented by a series of great men or they exist in some sort of end-of-history eternal present. RMS is a great man. Therefore any toxicity in his actions is overlookable and toxicity in his defenders is at worst just over exuberance or at best necessary and therefore good.

I'm picking on CS here, but its hardly unique. I've been teaching a course this year that specifically invokes this model of history in the official design documents.

@celesteh
I sometimes feel that education specialises too soon. Being Scottish we could have up to 7 different subjects per year that got us our highers, 1 year courses. If we wanted to progress further (in theory to catch up to A levels) we had a 6th year studies cert. It meant we could study a breadth of subjects. You could study history, a science, language, and mix and match others. Whereas I gather in England and Wales at the time due to the 2 year lengths you could only study a couple.

@celesteh
I've rambled a bit, apologies, I do wonder if more of us got to study in a system that covered more than maths, computing à d covered history, and the "softer" subjects if we would have more critical thinking in how to judge these situations. Look at the big pictures of not just achievements but how actions ripple out and stifle community. I don't think alot of folks have to think about these dynamics often and it shows. It's actually easier for them to feel its a Corp conspiracy.

@celesteh
Than people who left the FSF and ended up in adjacent roles. They have no sympathy for those of us who sadly have had similar abusive situations (in workplace behaviour) and know a toxic environment when they see one. It's not a bandwagon, it's one of those situations where you know the moment you signed you knew it was going to hurt some people you know but doing nothing will hurt alot more people and stifle growth.

@celesteh
But those who support RMS, I think there's a huge mental investment In the movement and their own identity. So at the moment I don't think it's possible for them to see it as people asking for the FSF not to enable RMS to use the power he has over other people being on the board of the FSF. They see it as us wanting to get rid of the old man in a form of damato memoraie. Which it's not,

Follow

@celesteh
I'm just saying that after years of people trying to get him to adjust his behaviour to his staff, the people he has stayed with, and his less than respectful approach to women, he has shown he is unwilling to change. Unlike Linus who took a break and worked to change. We want leaders who can change with the times and think about the needs of the world.

@celesteh
To have solidarity with things like the right to repair. Not worry about BIOS. Yes it's a concern, but microfocus on specifics while the world changes for the worse. Imagine a world where people hadn't had to work around RMS. We can't really, but we can acknowledge his work, but also we can choose not to work with RMS. The movement is split at the moment and RMS and FSF widened the split further. We are weakened.

@celesteh
Perhaps we will come together again, but it will be a while, folks are feeling betrayed on both sides. Which is another reason why I really was annoyed by the announcement. They knew if was divisive, they just wanted RMS back up front again. This isn't an organisation that should be running an advocacy organisation. You can be steadfast in your beliefs. But sometimes you catch flies with honey, you don't build communities with agression.

@celesteh
Or if you do, they are toxic to outsiders and will eventually be left behind. I'm all for stating truth. But RMS isn't doing that, it's his way or the highway. Those of us who grew up learning to compromise are tired of compromising on this. So here we are.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
chaos.social

chaos.social – a Fediverse instance for & by the Chaos community