What a disappointment

As I mentioned a few days ago a talk by Richard Stallman was held on campus and I decided to go. The talk was along the lines of the four freedoms (kind of Stallman's version of Asimov's three laws of robotics). But almost at the end of the talk and before the questions he invited to another unannounced speaker who had some rants about the university.

Everyone is entitled to her own opinion but this was not the reason why I was there so I left. I cannot comment on that other speaker merits but it felt like a commercial in the middle of the talk (and keeping you there from leaving if you wanted to listen the question).

Should that individual have announce his speech people might have decided whether they wanted to attend or not, but the way it was done it felt like a trap. What it may be relevant here is that the university was providing a conference hall for free based on the idea Stallman's speech was of interest for our student and faculty.

As expectation was building up the event was moved to a larger hall, that was not free to have but our school assumed the cost based on the fact that one of our professors was named as the contact person on campus.

I felt someone was not playing nice here. Whether Richard Stallman was deceived or felt he had to step forward to defend someone's speech rights, I do not know.

Bottom line is that I left the conference hall with a bitter sensation. If Stallman's speech is all about ethics he should remember that action speaks louder than voice.


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