Creative punishment

Richard explains the world:

Quote

“Don’t programmers deserve a reward for their creativity?”

If anything deserves a reward, it is social contribution. Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as society is free to use the results. If programmers deserve to be rewarded for creating innovative programs, by the same token they deserve to be punished if they restrict the use of these programs.

From the GNU manifesto.

Now, I’ve dissected Stallman’s writings many times here, but this quote takes the cake. What is “free”? And what is a “reward”? From the wording it’s evident that asking for money is effectively an restriction too.

Especially if you take another quote into account:

Quote
I could answer that nobody is forced to be a programmer. Most of us cannot manage to get any money for standing on the street and making faces. But we are not, as a result, condemned to spend our lives standing on the street making faces, and starving. We do something else.

Now we know that programmers should work at McDonalds and write software in their spare time, preferably somewhere between 3 and 5 AM, after they wake up of their alcohol induced comas. So nothing new here. But this time Richard goes even further and extends his policy to all creative arts. If taking the quote seriously, writers, actors and directors (and many more people) should not be paid. Worse, if they “restrict” their works, they need to be punished.

Of course, maybe he meant something else, but:

Quote
Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as society is free to use the results

If a director makes a film and demands that people pay money to see it, then society cannot “freely use” the result of the work of the director. So Stallman must mean money, too.

And it shows what a hypocrite Stallman is:

Quote
I could answer that nobody is forced to be a programmer

And I can say that nobody is forced to watch a movie or use a specific software (don’t come with the “MS tax” here, it’s easily circumvented [legally] if you really want to). The nightmarish part is of course the “punishment”:

Quote
by the same token they deserve to be punished if they restrict the use of these programs

Now he refers strictly to programs, but as I have showed, his full quotation can extend to any creative arts. So, effectively writers should be punished if they don’t give their work away. Programmers and film directors, too, of course. This is sick. Creative people should be forced to work for free and punished (how by the way?) if they don’t.

That the man who wrote such lines is seen as a freedom fighter speaks volumes.

And by the way, I know that Stallman has a text on his page titled “Selling Free Software is OK!”, but he doesn’t really mean it. It’s full of contradictions:

https://penguinday.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/more-stupidity-
from-stallman/

In the end, his GNU manifesto shows how he really feels about the issue.

And if you have still doubts:

“The question, “How can we pay programmers?”, becomes an easier question when we realize that it’s not a matter of paying them a fortune. A mere living is easier to raise.”

“The real reason programmers will not starve is that it will still be possible for them to get paid for programming; just not paid as much as now.”

“Pay for programmers will not disappear, only become less. So the right question is, will anyone program with a reduced monetary incentive? My experience shows that they will.”

“People with new ideas could distribute programs as freeware, asking for donations from satisfied users, or selling hand-holding services.”

“What the facts show is that people will program for reasons other than riches; but if given a chance to make a lot of money as well, they will come to expect and demand it. Low-paying organizations do poorly in competition with high-paying ones, but they do not have to do badly if the high-paying ones are banned.”

“Probably programming will not be as lucrative on the new basis as it is now”

All quotes are from Stallman’s writings. Stallman is often accused to be a communist, well..

There is a rumour that Stallman once said OUTRIGHT that programmers should work at McDonalds:

Quote
Stallman once wanted the programmers work in McDonalds. It looks like his dream might come true

source: http://www.softpanor…lds/index.shtml

Can’t verify that now, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Which communist would want that people should work their asses off AND work at the same time at McDonalds? And which communist advocates so eager salary cuts for employees? He even wants to ban organizations that pay well. He isn’t so much concerned about the salary of the big bosses, just the salary of the employees.

As I wrote already there:

https://penguinday.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/only-starving-programmers-
are-good-programmers/

Stallman isn’t so much a communist (though, he seems to be very left wing on many issues), he just wants to see commercial programmers treated as worst as possible.
If Microsoft would produce only FOSS software, but would treat their employees worse than shit, I am sure he would be absolutely fine with that.

It all stems from his trauma at MIT.

His hard line on all other “creative people” is probably just a collateral damage . Because how proprietary software works is very similar with music and films, he included a general statement to not to look like a total hypocrite.

His main beef is the well paid commercial programmer. And I am sure, if he had to chose between an actor and a programmer for “punishment”, he would punish the programmer.

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3 responses to “Creative punishment

  1. Carsten Hardt

    I suggest you use one more quote from the manifesto re. How much should programmers get ?
    “Probably programming will not be as lucrative on the new basis as it is now. But that is not an argument against the change. It is not considered an injustice that sales clerks make the salaries that they now do. If programmers made the same, that would not be an injustice either. (In practice they would still make considerably more than that.)”
    Given this context, the last sentence in that quote sounds a bit like “Too bad we can’t do a thing about that.”
    Greetings from another Heise forent.

  2. Hi! Good to a see another heise-veteran.

    I think the the article is more to the point as it is now. But maybe I will use the quote in some later post.

  3. Really I would love to see how you come up with all this junk.

    Linux foundation works to place programmers in full time pay. Stallman over the years have also assisted programers get jobs with companies.

    “There is a rumour that Stallman once said OUTRIGHT that programmers should work at McDonalds:”
    This is false he never said it. It fact a Microsoft Troll was the one that said it to try to under mind Stallman. It started with if Stallman got his way.

    There is a reason why Stallman hates lot of commerical programmers lot of there pay does not line up with real work done.

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