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kottke.org posts about Richard Stallman

How Richard Stallman does his computing

posted by Jason Kottke   May 18, 2015

Richard Stallman, the free software activist and author of some of the world’s most used and useful software, probably uses his computer and the Internet a lot differently than you do. For starters, ethics and privacy concerns trump his need for convenience.

I am careful in how I use the Internet.

I generally do not connect to web sites from my own machine, aside from a few sites I have some special relationship with. I usually fetch web pages from other sites by sending mail to a program (see git://git.gnu.org/womb/hacks.git) that fetches them, much like wget, and then mails them back to me. Then I look at them using a web browser, unless it is easy to see the text in the HTML page directly. I usually try lynx first, then a graphical browser if the page needs it (using konqueror, which won’t fetch from other sites in such a situation).

I occasionally also browse using IceCat via Tor. I think that is enough to prevent my browsing from being connected with me, since I don’t identify myself to the sites I visit.

I never pay for anything on the Web. Anything on the net that requires payment, I don’t do. (I made an exception for the fees for the stallman.org domain, since that is connected with me anyway.)

I would not mind paying for a copy of an e-book or music recording on the Internet if I could do so anonymously, and it were ethical in other ways (no DRM or EULA). But that option almost never exists. I keep looking for ways to make it happen.

We Work Remotely

Richard Stallman: don’t use Uber

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 30, 2014

Software developer and free software advocate Richard Stallman lists several reasons why using Uber is not a good idea. Stallman is definitely a hardliner1, but I agree with several of his points here. (via hacker news)

  1. Indeed, all iOS and Android apps run afoul of some of Stallman’s points, particularly those that use location services or store user data.

Richard Stallman’s rider

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 26, 2011

The “info packet” that Richard Stallman sends out in advance of his talks is crazy and amazing. It’s cramazing! And long. And really specific.

If you can find a host for me that has a friendly parrot, I will be very very glad. If you can find someone who has a friendly parrot I can visit with, that will be nice too.

DON’T buy a parrot figuring that it will be a fun surprise for me. To acquire a parrot is a major decision: it is likely to outlive you. If you don’t know how to treat the parrot, it could be emotionally scarred and spend many decades feeling frightened and unhappy. If you buy a captured wild parrot, you will promote a cruel and devastating practice, and the parrot will be emotionally scarred before you get it. Meeting that sad animal is not an agreeable surprise.

That’s right up there with Van Halen’s brown-free bowl of M&Ms and Lady Gaga’s Cockney-speaking staff. (via ★precipice)