Richard Stallman graced us with his presence at Idlelo this week. He spoke eloquently about freedom and free software; he lectured us painfully on the semantics of the terms 'intellectual property', 'free' and 'open source' software; he admonished the people who failed to subscribe to the philosophy of his precise terms as 'lacking in intellectual capacity' and spent most of his time rapping about how the GNU license needed to be given credit because it was due. The fact that he lectured us for almost an hour and a half, with 10 minutes for questions that he cut off before they were finished being asked, on the danger of software patents when he hadn't even found out the basic fact of whether they were in force in South Africa, seemed not to have occurred to him.
And now I am tired. Tired mostly of the crock-pots who come here telling us over and over again how, by talking about the free and open source movement, we have to subscribe to their ideology and give them the credit that they're due. I'm not saying that I don't agree, and I'm not saying that all are crock-pots, but I think that we have a right to develop our own ideas about what conditions are required for the freedom promised by the FOSS movement to take place in Africa.
So I've decided that Richard Stallman should stay in his books and stop coming to us in the guise of a saint, to yawn at the podium and shout us down when we're talking. Strange to realise how little he knows about being part of a community when he has made such incredible insights into community values.