We can't seem to get through a week without comment uA controversy involving Richard Stallman, although this time it is not his fault. It all started with an article in which he is mentioned in passing as an "open source pioneer." And, as we know, it is an inaccuracy that RMS does not pass up.
It all started with an article by Dave Roos, a freelance journalist specializing in economics, business and personal finance. He decided to leave those three questions to criticize the granting of honorary degrees.
Roos maintains that today awarding unearned titles by taking examinations is a way to reward wealthy donors or gain promotion by having famous artists participate in college ceremonies.
You may be wondering why I am wasting your time with this. That doesn't seem to have anything to do with free software. Patience that we have already arrived.
Is it Dr. Richard Stallman?
After making a list of universities that clearly state that an Honorary Doctorate does not entitle you to use the degree, the journalist names three people who do. Two are dead; Benjamin Franklin and Maya Angelou. The third is Richard Stallman.
Open source software (sic) pioneer Richard Stallman, who received 16 honorary doctorates, is also in the habit of signing his emails as “Dr Stallman. But maybe he's just doing it to mess with us
The answer of the doctor? Stallman
RMS, who received his 15 honorary doctorates (deals with making the difference between honorary and honorary) at universities abroad, notes that it was always about solemn ceremonies and that all the participants had impressive achievementsExcept for the question of being called a "pioneer of open source software" which I will deal with below, it does not doubt that it is something confined to the American academic environment.
But my experience is totally different. I'm not an artist, except for a few minutes when I put on the robe and halo of Saint IGNUCIUS, and that's a comic relief for a long, serious talk. I never donated money to the universities that gave me PhDs, nor could they expect them to. What's more, I never saw those people receive titles with me. The other recipients, when there were others, were also being honored for their work, not as a quid pro quo.
Regarding the use of the title, Stallman maintained that they are not the same as those with a traditional doctorate.
Of course I do (use the title) in formal situations, in connection with talks, interviews and posts, not in ordinary conversation. Although from time to time I tell people that they don't need to call me Dr, Dr, Dr, Dr, Dr, Dr, Dr.
He also takes care to make it clear that it is not about vanity.
Why do I do that? The personal reason is that these PhDs recognize decades of work for an important cause, and I am proud of them.
The reason that is beyond the personal is so that people who know little or nothing about my career can decide, based on the title of "Doctor", to pay a little attention to that work and that cause, which is the movement. free software. That can help us defeat the totalitarian control that today's digital technology is designed to impose.
Maybe that's why he didn't like "open source software pioneer"
With a classic item made his position clear:
The terms "free software" and "open source" refer to roughly the same set of programs. However, based on different values, what they say about these programs is very different. The free software movement defends the freedom of computer users, it is a movement for freedom and justice. The open source idea, on the other hand, primarily values practical advantages and does not espouse principles. This is the reason why we disagree with the open source campaign and do not use that expression.