[NBLUG/talk] Q/A with RMS

Troy Arnold troy at zenux.net
Sat Jul 31 22:21:50 PDT 2010

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 09:17:35AM -0700, Scott Doty wrote:
> But I did see an awesome quote from RMS re: human government:

I like that one too.  Here are a couple more highlights:

Q: How can we apply the concepts of free software development to the
upcoming biological revolution of synthetic and hybrid organisms?

rms: [ ... ] Today's genetically engineered organisms were made by the
equivalent of using `sed' to patch an executable which was mostly a black

We can understand and change programs because they were designed.
Good designers know how to make a design understandable so others can
change it later. Natural organisms are a mess; any designer, seeing
the myriad kludges, each one different, recognizes these systems were
never designed.

Natural organisms never had anything like source code. The genetic
code of an organism is more comparable to a binary (in fact,
quaternary) executable. Imagine a C compiler made by patching the
binary of hello.c a billion times in a genetic algorithm and you'll
see how hard this is to understand.


For your freedom's sake, you should reject any product designed to
attack your freedom, unless you personally possess the means to defeat
the attack (for instance, to break the DRM). And please join
DefectiveByDesign.org and join our campaign against DRM. Don't take
for granted we will succeed in defending your freedom without your


Q: do you have any pets?

rms: No. I spend most of my time travelling, so I could not have any pets.
If it were possible, I would like to have a friendly parrot.

More information about the talk mailing list