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This is the personal web site of Richard Stallman.
The views expressed here are my personal views, not those of the Free Software Foundation or the GNU Project.
For the sake of separation, this site has always been hosted elsewhere and managed separately.
If you want to send me GPG-encrypted mail, do not trust key servers! Some of them have phony keys under my name and email address, made by someone else as a trick. See gpg.html for my real key.
The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.
A progressive candidate would like a volunteer to make per web site work fully in the Free World. If you are experienced in web development and want to help, please email rms.
However, there are reports that in the airport they cover this up.
Would someone flying on Delta out of Atlanta please record the announcements about face recognition for checkin and boarding? And what the checkin agent says to you about rejecting the face recognition. Also please take photos of any signs that talk about the matter. Then please send me email about what you saw/heard.
Civil Liberties Minute:
US citizens: call on BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to stop donating towards military weapons for the New York Thug Department.
If you call, please spread the word!
The staff of a Chicago medical organization are suing because it identified them with fingerprints for each shift.
I think it is bad that the employer has their fingerprints at all. Is it possible to authenticate people with a biometric that is normally hidden?
10% of the workers in Britain have been captured by the piecework sweatshop dis-services.
We must extend all the rights and benefits of employees to cover these forms of work.
Thousands of Americans — perhaps hundreds of thousands — have been killed because judges sealed evidence of deadly defects in products and kept the defects secret for years as more people died. The dangerous flaws of OxyContin, which spread opioid addiction, were concealed for 12 years.
Trade secrecy is always bad for the public. Occasionally it is deadly, but usually merely harmful. We should change the law so that no significant problem can be concealed in this way.
Busineses should not be allowed to enforce an NDA to conceal mistreatment of workers, customers, or the public.
Agreeing to nondisclosure of generally useful technical information, such as software, is betrayal of society as a whole. I refuse on principle to do this.
A woman in Alabama has been charged with manslaughter for getting shot while pregnant. The state treats the fetus as a person.
This is the natural conclusion of the twisted premises of those who treat fetuses as sacred.
But the problem may be broader than that. Suppose she had been shot while carrying a three-year-old child in her arms? Suppose someone else had shot at her and killed the child.
I don't think people should be prosecuted for the effects of being shot at.
Facebook treats the video moderators like shit. And that's in addition to the depression they feel from watching the videos.
The article gives no evidence that Utley's death was caused by his job, but the way the managers treated it is despicable even if they did not cause it.
Naturally, these workers are subcontracted, so that Facebook can deny responsibility for how they are treated. But Facebook is in fact responsible: it demands contractors offer a low price, which they achieve by treating the workers like shit. We need laws to hold companies like Facebook responsible for the treatment of indirect workers, and give them employee rights such as sick leave.
It should be a felony for employees of a company to ask a worker to sign a nondisclosure agreement covering any aspect of the working conditions, benefits, or pay.
Senate Democrats have introduced a data privacy bill which begins, though just barely, to limit collection of some data.
But it has obvious loopholes. It won't require companies to reveal the conclusions they have deduced from the personal data they have access to — because they argue that those are not "the client's data." It won't, as far as I can see, limit the targeted ads that are the basis for surveillance capitalism.
And it won't even try to make it possible to buy something over the internet anonymously. We have the technology for this.
The most sensitive personal data about you are where you go during the day, what you do there, who you talk with, and what what you and they say. It should be illegal to set up or operate a system which systematically collects any of those data, except when authorized by a court order targeted at specific people.
I propose a law requiring stores to offer the service of bringing an item to the store for you to buy later, in exchange for an ordering fee paid in advance.
Tenants in Atlantic Plaza Towers campaigned against installing face recognition cameras and got the landlord to back down.
It should be illegal to install face recognition cameras in a residential building, except for cameras installed inside an apartment by the residents of that apartment.
*Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018.* Precisely how Amazon achieves this is a secret.
How about requiring all corporations operating in the US (or whichever counry it may be) to publish their full international accounts?
*Calls grow for laws requiring firms to reveal links to deforestation.*
I am generally skeptical about systems which expect company A to make sure supplier B doesn't engage in practice C. The problem is, A has every incentive not to try very hard to stop B from doing C and covering it up.
I wonder if it might be more effective to impose on all possibly deforestation-related products an import tariff whose rate is based the fraction of deforestation in the country of production since a given base year. The tariff function could be 1/R - 1, where R is the fraction of the forest in the year 2000 which still survives. After 90% deforestation, the tariff would be 8 times the exporter's selling price.
Here are some quotations that I particularly like.
See the current pol-notes page for more.
(You may need to scroll down for more text if there is blank space in this column.)
The four factors of the apocalypse:
global heating, global hating,
global eating, global mating.
Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of Facebook.
Facebook's face recognition demonstrates a threat to everyone's privacy. I therefore ask people not to put photos of me on Facebook; you can do likewise.
I'd like to make a list of countries that do not require a national identity card, and have no plans to adopt one. If you live in or have confirmed knowledge of such a country, please send email to rms at gnu.org.
Here's my list of countries with no national ID cards and no plans for one: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK. Australia's previous government tried to institute national ID cards, but the Labor government dropped the plan.
India has mostly finished imposing a national biometric ID number in a grand act of oppression.
Switzerland has national ID cards which are optional, but they or some other government ID card are needed for some purposes.
Iceland doesn't have ID cards as such, but they have ID numbers that citizens are forced to use frequently. For example, the national ID number is often required to rent a video or use a gym.
Denmark issues non-photo ID cards with a "person number", and many services use this card to identify people.
Norway will impose a national biometric ID card.
Ireland - national ID card by stealth.
ACLU: the five dangers of national ID cards.
Wikipedia has a list of identity card policies by country.
Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.
Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.
People often ask how I manage to continue devoting myself to progressive activism (such as the free software movement) for years without burning out. The best way I can answer is by recommending a book, The Lifelong Activist by Hillary Rettig.
I disagree with the book on one theoretical point in the last part of the book: we shouldn't think of political activism as being marketing and sales, because those terms refer to business, and politics is something much more important than mere business. However, this doesn't diminish the value of the book's practical advice about borrowing techniques from marketing and sales.
Disclosure: I am friends with the author.
These are my political articles that are not related to the GNU operating system or free software. For GNU-related articles, see the GNU philosophy directory. You can also order copies of my book, Free Software, Free Society, 3rd edition', signed or not signed.
"Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
See this page for information on efforts to maintain links in the political notes.
Political notes about the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy are being archived on their own page.
Richard Stallman's bio and publicity photos, and other things of interest to the press, have been moved to a separate page.
On doxing, and how to spell it.
Here I am wearing my "power tie".
Here I am struggling to open a bottle of water.
My application to an join Marian Henley's Ex Boyfriends List
New song (06/2016) - Si la face ay pale.
My Puns in German (New 02/2016)
Linguistic Swifties (Now with: Wintu, Penutian, Cochiti, Taos, and Towa.)
There are no godfathers in the Church of Emacs, since there are no gods, but you can be someone's editorfather.
Stallman Does Dallas: "I have to warn you that Texans have been known to have an adverse reaction to my personality . . . "
I found A funny song about the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act (officially the Sonny Bono Copyright Act) which extended copyright retroactively by 20 years on works made as early as the 1920s.
If you are a geek and read Spanish, you will love Raulito el Friki, who said "Hello, world!" immediately after he was born. Here's an archive of this now-defunct comic strip.
Sleeping with Stallman at MIT.
ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.
No Kludges in Cluj (June 2014)
My book of essays about the philosophy of Software Freedom, is available from the GNU Press.
Avec des chapeaux French song parody.
My radio program of Music from Georgia, originally broadcast on WUOG in Athens, Georgia on Oct 13, 2014.
A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.
On Hacking: In June 2000, while visiting Korea, I did a fun hack that clearly illustrates the original and true meaning of the word "hacker".
Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor
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