Richard Stallman will anonymously leggo your eggo

Technologist Richard Stallman is one helluva eccentric speaker, just don’t talk about breakfast or breakfast-related foods with him.

The president of the Free Software Foundation (est. 1985) and eternal advocate for everyone to please just refer to Linux as GNU Linux (said like “grew” but all nasally) had his interview and speaking “rider” posted on a public list recently by Andrew Wood an arms trade activist turned privacy warrior in Oxford, England. It is a fascinating read, clocking it at over fifty-one thousand words.

Stallman has a few select words about government surveillance abuse. Like the bit on bus and train tickets where he is an advocate of anonymous travel, “If you buy bus or train tickets for me, do not give my name! Big Brother has no right to know where I travel, or where you travel, or where anyone travels. If they arbitrarily demand a name, give a name that does not belong to any person you know of. If they will check my ID before I board the bus or train, then let’s look for another way for me to travel. (In the US I never use long-distance trains because of their ID policy.)”

He also wants his travel transactions off the books too, as any techno-terrorist surveillance wary traveler would, “Don’t give them your name either: please pay for the ticket in cash.”

As for hotel accommodations, he wants the air-conditioning to be functioning like a champ at 72°F when he checks in as Anonymous, “Many countries have a law that hotels must report all guests to the police. In most cases, this orwellian policy applies not only to foreigners like me, but to citizens as well! The citizens should be outraged by this, but often they are not.”

He goes on “Please call the hotel and ask whether they will demand to see my passport, and whether they report all their guests to the police. If it has this policy, please join me in striking a blow against Big Brother, by looking for a place I can stay in that doesn’t demand to see my passport, or report my visit to anyone. If the police want information about free software, they are welcome to come to my speech.”

One question in my mind: If he’s so worried about big brother in technology, why give them a list of things that could potentially be used annoy him by a secret police agent? In theory, he could be made to snap, and maybe even pull out his katana in a flash of rage if you dared to offer him nothing but breakfast food items, “I do not eat breakfast. Please do not ask me any questions about what I will do breakfast. Please just do not bring it up.”

I like him though, us paranoid technologists gotta stick together in these trying times.

But don’t mention breakfast, ever… check.

Free Software Foundation – fsf.org
DEVELOPERS MAILING LIST Richard Stallman speaker visit – mysociety.org
ANDREW WOOD: The man who beat Big Brother Britain – dailymail.co.uk
photo credit: XKCD – blog.xkcd.com

9 Comments
  1. Well, he sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina
    He’s a clicky-keyboard coder from Berlin down to BelizeHe’ll teach you emacs on a slow boat to China Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?He’ll go from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to ZimbabweChicago, to Czechoslovakia and back!Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry “GNU” From the Red Sea to Greenland, they’ll be singing RMS bluesWell they never Arkansas him carry a Mobile wherever he flewTell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?Botswana to Thailand, Milan via AmsterdamMali, to Bali, Ohio, Oahu!Well he flies around the globe, and he’ll open source every nationHe’s a copyleft contortionist with a taste for GCCHis itinerary’s loaded up with secret destinations. Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman? (x 6)Privacy is back!

  2. Well, he sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina
    He’s a clicky-keyboard coder from Berlin down to BelizeHe’ll teach you emacs on a slow boat to China
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    He’ll go from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe
    Chicago, to Czechoslovakia and back!

    Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry “GNU”
    From the Red Sea to Greenland, they’ll be singing RMS blues
    Well they never Arkansas him carry a Mobile wherever he flew
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam
    Mali, to Bali, Ohio, Oahu!

    Well he flies around the globe, and he’ll open source every nation
    He’s a copyleft contortionist with a taste for GCC
    His itinerary’s loaded up with secret destinations.
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman? (x 6)

    Privacy is back!

  3. Well, he sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina
    He’s a clicky-keyboard coder from Berlin down to BelizeHe’ll teach you emacs on a slow boat to ChinaTell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?He’ll go from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to ZimbabweChicago, to Czechoslovakia and back!Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry “GNU”From the Red Sea to Greenland, they’ll be singing RMS bluesWell they never Arkansas him carry a Mobile wherever he flewTell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?Botswana to Thailand, Milan via AmsterdamMali, to Bali, Ohio, Oahu!Well he flies around the globe, and he’ll open source every nationHe’s a copyleft contortionist with a taste for GCCHis itinerary’s loaded up with secret destinations.Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman? (x 6)Privacy is back!

  4. Well, he sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina
    He’s a clicky-keyboard coder from Berlin down to Belize
    He’ll teach you emacs on a slow boat to China
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    He’ll go from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe
    Chicago, to Czechoslovakia and back!

    Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry “GNU”
    From the Red Sea to Greenland, they’ll be singing RMS blues
    Well they never Arkansas him carry a Mobile wherever he flew
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam
    Mali, to Bali, Ohio, Oahu!

    Well he flies around the globe, and he’ll open source every nation
    He’s a copyleft contortionist with a taste for GCC
    His itinerary’s loaded up with secret destinations.
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman? (x 6)

    Privacy is back!

  5. Well, he sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina
    He’s a clicky-keyboard coder from Berlin down to Belize
    He’ll teach you emacs on a slow boat to China
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    He’ll go from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe
    Chicago, to Czechoslovakia and back!

    Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry “GNU”
    From the Red Sea to Greenland, they’ll be singing RMS blues
    Well they never Arkansas him carry a Mobile wherever he flew
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam
    Mali, to Bali, Ohio, Oahu!

    Well he flies around the globe, and he’ll open source every nation
    He’s a copyleft contortionist with a knack for GCC frustration
    His itinerary’s loaded up with secret destinations.
    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman?

    Tell me, where in the world is Richard Matthew Stallman? (x 6)

    Privacy is back!

  6. This is just strange… but his comments about sex and children are out and out repulsive.

    The man is not worthy of being the face of anything – no less something as important as open source software.

      1. Worse than that: http://trw.gallopinginsanity.com/2011/09/01/sex-scandals

        Pretty much, he wants *everything* to be allowed on the Internet.  Thankfully he agrees that raping children should be illegal (unless they agree with it!) but of they are raped, even by his grotesque standards, he wants the right to download those videos.  And he wants those videos made available in schools and deemed “educational material”… any form of censorship is harmful in his view.

        Just insane.  In short: he supports a form of child sexual abuse, not just in allowing it things even he sees as wrong / illegal to be available to adults but by allowing such in schools and dishonestly calling it “educational”.

        Just beyond grotesque.  I truly do not have the words to describe how repulsive his ideas are.