[Rant] Stallman, Code of Conducts and HR Culture

Let me preface this by saying that I get that people want to foster an environment where everyone can be comfortable. I absolutely get it, no one wants to be part of a community, that excludes and hates on some people for no reason.

But I think we have gone way too far. A few years ago some people started implementing code of conducts. Detailing in painful legal-sounding language, what should be obvious and handled informally: don’t be an asshole. Then Linus Torvalds was forced on leave because of some colorful language. And now Stallman is caught in a smear campaign perpetuated by a vile mob that tries to scare his supporters into not speaking up, because of some controversial opinions mixed with poor social skills.

Somewhere along the way we forgot that language is not clean, and that the most powerful and inclusive messages are sometimes vulgar, even offensive. That nuance and context and informality exists. That someone who eats from his foot and argues over the semantics of pronouns can lead the most influential software movement of the 21 century, precisely because of his idiosyncratic way of thinking.

And you know what this reminds me of? HR culture and office politics. The compliant, alienating way people are forced to communicate in big bureaucratic companies. And I think this is exactly where these sort of attacks come from, big companies that want open source but not the messy informal social commentary and punk aspect that comes with it.

What people are cheering for is the sterilization of Free Culture, people are cheering with fucking Red Hat and Microsoft. Is your end game really to bring HR culture to FOSS development? Should every online Community be as professional and soulless as your workplace? Is being forced to navigate a web of social taboos really better than an off color remark here and there? Should we never let our guard down, for fear of loosing our job over having supported Stallman, or over having written something insulting in a commit message?

How far will we take this?

Thank you for coming to my ted talk.


Calm down, calm down. The world will keep spinning without abortion jokes.

Both sides have good points IMO, excluding the aggressive comments. But this is indeed going the route of cancel culture: pointlessly wanting to see the world burn.


deleted by creator

What is libre culture?

Libre culture is all about empowering people. While the general philosophy stems greatly from the free software movement, libre culture is much broader and encompasses other aspects of culture such as music, movies, food, technology, etc.

Some beliefs include but aren’t limited to:

  • That copyright should expire after a certain period of time.
  • That knowledge should be available to people, not locked away.
  • That no entity should have unjust control or possession of others.
  • That mass surveillance is about mass control, not justice.
  • That we can all band together to help liberate each other.

Check out this link for more.


I’ve looked into the ways other forums handle rules, and I’ve distilled their policies down into two simple ideas.

  • Please show common courtesy: Let’s make this community one that people want to be a part of.

  • Please keep posts generally on topic

  • No NSFW content

  • When sharing a Libre project, please include the name of its license in the title. For example: “Project name and summary (GPL-3.0)”

Libre culture is a very very broad topic, and while it’s perfectly okay for a conversation to stray, I do ask that we keep things generally on topic.

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