'"But we wouldn't have X without [horribly toxic person]"
True, but you cannot even FATHOM all the ideas/products/processes/community leadership you've lost out on from the people you've driven out.
You're focusing on a couple constellations at the expense of the Milky Way
@petrichor @platypus Back in 2019 I lacked two key pieces of info: what Epstein actually was (thought he was just a rich pimp, not a child trafficker the rich knowingly frequented), and the actual past of RMS. All my interaction was on Emacs mailing lists, on the rare occasion that I submitted a patch. It was obvious that he's obnoxious but how heinous and disgusting he was I didn't know. So I defended him for a brief few hours until the internet told me off and taught me a valuabel lesson.
Back then tho a lot of people outside FSF circles didn't really know much about him. His stories at MIT and elsewhere, his misogyny, homophobia, ableism, etc. were stuff a lot of people first encountered back then, me included. Before that, to many he looked like a Diogenes of Sinope sorts of guy, annoying but useful.
Now AFAICT his defenders aren't really about him but the usual right wing stuff. You encounter the vocabulary you expect, the perspectives you expect...
@platypus there's also this idea that inventions tend to come simultaneously from different people when the time is right, as civilization progressed to some level. So basically, if Stallman wouldn't write GCC, someone else would almost certainly write something very comparable in value.
Lone benevolent geniuses are actually rare accidents.
In our field we can point to Alan Turing. We wouldn't be so convinced of the concept of "turing completeness" if it wasn't independantly discovered by Alonzo Church. The two read their papers after the fact leading them both to write appendices arguing their ideas are equivalent.
Mathematicians of the time were very curious about the question they independantly answered.
There is precedence since BSD was basically an extension pack for Unix, and there is no reason to think BSD wouldn’t have grown into something like the BSD OSs we know today taking the place of the GNU project.
@platypus We wouldn't have *this specific* X, but who's to say nobody else could've come up with it?
@platypus "But we wouldn't have X without [horribly toxic person]"
Yes, and we will continue to have X without them. They do not need to be here for X to continue to exist.
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