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If I was better at remembering names, I would have connected earlier that the guy spamming the FOSDEM mailing list with his political peeves is none other than the last FSFE Fellowship winnier.

FSFE seems to have held the last election in 2017, before it was yearly. I'm not up-to-date on my FOSS drama, but I seem to recall that after the election, there was some kerfuffle about the results? Or I'm imagining that..

Sadly, this confirms my recent opinion about FSF(E). I wish it weren't so.

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I grew up with the Free/Libre vs Open Source split, and have generally sided - except for practicalities - on the Free/Libre side of things. But growing up with this, I've also noticed how smart voices on such topics have also often had some questionable other opinions.

I think that actually comes down to a fairly reasonable mechanism, but that's a quick side topic I'll skip for now.

The point is, a lot of FOSS drama is unfortunately not about the topics, but the personalities involved.

Of course, personalities shape what an organization pursues as worthy topics and vice versa. It's not like this division is clean.

However, right now, it seems as if almost every organization that did something outstanding for FOSS in the past has proceeded to shit the bed.

I'm not even going to bother naming names or incidents. You guys know them better than me, in many cases.

It's just really hard to throw support one way or another when everything seems terrible.

Ironically, as much as I support Free/Libre software from a licensing point of view, it seems that right now the healthiest community and organization is actually the decidedly Open Source ASF. Of the large ones, at least.

I mean, I'm one degree removed from them. I tend to get more inside views on ASF drama than I get from anywhere else, and I still have that view.

Some days I wish ASF would just quietly switch over to GPL, and we could move on.

Not gonna happen, I know, but I can dream.

Side topic: I've been an activist on a variety of topics. You don't need to be an activist for mainstream ideas. The entire point of activism is to mainstream outlier ideas (TL;DR).

That means the most vocal proponents of outlier ideas are extremists - literally. That doesn't need to make them violent or whatever, just far outside the norm.

Holding one extremist view surely helps pave the road for others.

The trouble is, some views are extremely good, others extremely bad. 🤷‍♂️

The corollary to this first part is that social equity is an extremist view.

@jens Evaluate ideas on their merrits, and not on the basis of how normative they are.

At the beginning of one of Darwin's book is a quote which goes something like "the commonly held belief is not neccessarily the correct one". At the time the normative belief was in scalum naturi and that the ecosystem was immutably defined by God.

@bob Agreed.

But merits are also personal. As an animal rights activist, I approve of more vegan foods in supermarkets. I also approve of meat-producing companies selling vegan foods. I know a bunch of vegans who would never buy them, because the money flows back in the slaughter machine.

Now, it's not that they're wrong. But are they right?

It depends on whether the goal is to increase the ratio of non-meat consumption, or to punish animal killers. Both contributes to animal rights, though.

@jens it’s to support a cause you believe in, not just something that is a minority or outlier.

@jordan31 Of course.

But something that is already ubiquitous doesn't need a cause. It doesn't need belief. It's already there.

You're right that not all minority or outlier ideas are support-worthy causes. But by definition, all support-worthy causes are minority views (some more than others).

@jens In their partial defense, that person was elected before the whole FSF + Debian mess¹, when most of the people I know in the foss community respected him as a legitimate member.

After the mess happened I know that Debian has been considering legal action², and that usually means being strongly restricted in what one can say in public, I don't know if that's the case also for the FSFE.

I agree that there are plenty of other cases where what you say is sadly very much true, however.

¹ lwn.net/Articles/814508/
² www.debian.org/News/2021/20211…

@valhalla I really should have been better at remembering names. I'm not sure if that context you give is a partial defense, or more evidence that the guy is a troll.

@jens I meant partial defense of the FSFE and the people who voted in their last election, definitely not of that person.
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