You see, I make software for most of my living. And I talked with Stallman (in email) before the show, about how I would love to get any ideas he has on how a developer, of proprietary software, can move that software to a Free and Open license… while still keeping food on the table for his family. From a practical standpoint.
This is a topic that has come up time and again. And I really wanted to get Stallman’s thoughts on the matter.
So, near the beginning of the interview, I ask him about that. How does someone like me make the move to working on only Free Software and still support his family?
The end result was that he feels that all developers and businesses of proprietary software should fail. And that it is more important for there to not be proprietary software… than it is to be able to feed your children.
I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not putting words in his mouth. I even asked him, point blank, to verify his stance.
He did not say that having Free Software is more important than kids having food to eat. I repeat: He said that it was more important that non-free software be gone… than for you to be able to feed your kids. That’s how evil he thinks non-free software is. Evil enough to justify causing significant harm to your family to do away with a small amount of it. (Of course this isn’t the first time Stallman has been anti-children.)
He also talked about how nobody should have children, and all software developers working on proprietary software are unethical and should quit their jobs and “go work in factories”. Seriously.
Good at making software that helps people and brings joy to others? Don’t do it. Go work “in a factory” even if you are going to do a terrible job at “working in a factory” and couldn’t support your family that way.
This whole interview really blew me away. (I know, I know… perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.)
Yes. I expected to disagree with him on many things. But here’s what I expected to happen (roughly):
Me: What are some ideas you have on how we can all move our software to a good Free license and still pay the bills?
Stallman: Here’s a few ideas I have. [Insert ideas here]
Me: I disagree with those ideas and here’s why.
Then, my plan was to take those ideas and run with them for at least one of the pieces of software I work on. Kick the tires and see how his ideas work, you know? Make a good case-study for how Stallman’s ideas could play out. You know: Practical application of Free Software ideas and concepts.
Instead he attacked me and all other developers that have ever made non-free software (even if we use that fund Free Software development). Then he attacked our children.
I want to say this: I do appreciate his viewpoints and want to thank him for taking the time to talk his ideas over with us. But… wow.
Before you label me as being biased or of putting words in his mouth… before you declare me anti-freedom… watch the interview. (I was being a good boy… I didn’t even make a joke about eating toe stuff or anything. Though I really wanted to make a “you really put your foot in your mouth there, Richard!” joke near the end. Will power!)
(Maybe I’ll take the time to pull out a few key quotes later on today just to have them here for reference.)