The RMS resignation was inevitable and right, but at the same time very sad.

Things can be right and sad at the same time. We can feel empathy while knowing this was necessary.

For people celebrating, we understand why. For those feeling sad about it, it's okay to feel sad too, but we all knew it had to happen.

@emacsen I'm having a bit of difficulty understanding the part around sadness. This is like 20 years of (only 5 I've observed) people railing for this to happen. I'm a proponent of restorative justice (I actually do want him to begin going to therapy to work on his empathy skills) but he willingly did a lot

@jalcine RMS's work, ethic and philosphy changed my life. If not for RMS, there is a significant chance I would be dead.

It was partly the Free Software ethics, but the work itself. He didn't just ask for a better world, he created it. For me as a teenager, that was a revolutionary idea- that I could personally change the world in that way. I didn't need permission from some company or government. I didn't need to protest, I could simply do it!

(...)

@emacsen isn't that borderline idolatry to a point? Like I understand that's what he did but it's the work, not HIM, that seemed to have an impact on you.

Not being able to disassociate those two also demerits all of the other people who supported and contributed to the mission during those days as well.

@jalcine @emacsen Speaking as someone who graduated college into Linux I would say that Linux and Free Software became my religion even moreso than being Lutheran. My wife joked that my religion was Getting Things Done and Linux and she wasn't far off. They both taught me a different way of thinking about the world that profoundly changed how I interacted with the world.

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@craigmaloney @jalcine The same. I'm Jewish, proudly so. It's intrinsically a part of who and what I am.

To me, Free Software is even more important than my Judaism.

RMS codified much of those ethics into a comprehensive whole.

I wish he had been able to see that he was harming others these ways. It's purely speculative on my part but I think if he had been younger, he might have.

He didn't, and he hurt people. He's harmed people. Its so awful :(

@emacsen @craigmaloney @jalcine I have been repeatedly thinking our community is going to be wrestling with this, in much of the same way a church has to wrestle with a once loved priest/pastor/rabbi who had to be made to leave.

Were definitely going to be stronger for it, but lots of soul searching; tentative steps ; and strange mixes of emotion ahead. Some people's faith may be shaken a bit.

@emacsen @craigmaloney @jalcine For those of us who thought of free software as an ethical or political position close to our hearts; a tectonic plate just shifted.

@emacsen @craigmaloney @jalcine There probably HONESTLY was some idolatry of Stallman; or some form of it.

Easy to do, when your pseudo political-ethical movement is built on idealism; and has a founder who has committed their life more or less to it.

That might be a mistake to be learned from. There certainly has been some chatter about free software sans rockstars/leaders in recent days.

@trashheap @emacsen @craigmaloney I will say that with regards to activism, the easiest way to kill it to make it central to a singular person (or a set of them). The ideals have to live PAST the person. Otherwise, it's a pseudo-religion.

This is something I've seen and observed in other forms of activism.

@jalcine @emacsen @craigmaloney Very much agreed. If free software can't move beyond stallman, then it was never what many of us wanted in the first place.

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