Your description of RMS is quite off by my view (and I've heard him speak multiple times, had several conversations personally and read all his work).
RMS doesn't have the absurd idea that software-freedom should be *exclusive* to programmers or that all people *must* be programmers, but he absolutely wants everyone to have the capacity to use those freedoms if they wish or to find friends or hire programmers etc.
RMS wants freedom for engineers and not all? No, that's plain wrong.
I'm sorry if I came out excessively harsh.
I don't think RMS is an elitist that want to sell as freedom the power for programmers.
He is simply the son of his country and epoch.
But the point is that what you and RMS (in total good faith!) consider "absurd", I see as inevitable.
Pascal, HTML, Python were explorations of this idea that computing should be simple enough to be a method of expression..
...early explorations that were abandoned too early.
Projects like Scratch, IMHO, are somewhat off this goal: they seem more a pursuit for cheap labor than tools to distribute a deep understanding of Informatics (but I might be wrong on this, it's just my impression as a father of a user).
But if you care about #freedom today you wouldn't say that "not everybody should be able to write because nt everyone has a talent for it".
(to paraphrase RMS).
Yet 5000 years ago, mass alphabetization would have been considered "absurd" by Egyptians given the effort required to learn how to write.
Fortunately we can all write today, and if I told you: "don't teach your kids to write, they will find someone they trust to write and read for them" you would find THAT absurd.
So to me, #RMS is plain wrong on this.
@Shamar Clarification: RMS and I do not hold the same views (I *only* referred earlier to his views). But I believe we share your view that programming *should* be taught far and wide. Free software enables anyone because tweaking an existing program is much more trivial than writing a whole new one.
Check out video at https://www.gnu.org/education/ — that is not a perspective of someone who thinks programming is only for some people.
RMS promotes general code literacy; you're attacking a straw RMS.
I'm not attacking him, and I'm happy if he agree with me on this!
But those words were from an interview he gave (and I saw similar arguments before, and I used to agree until I realised the implications): https://newleftreview.org/II/113/richard-stallman-talking-to-the-mailman
(Search for "talent" in that page)
OTOH, you are not the first to qualify as "absurd" the idea that everyone should be able to write software.
Again, I'm not attacking you in any way: I simply don't agree.
#FreeSoftware enable those who know.
Which is great!
"Everyone should be able to write software" — not absurd
"Free Software only applies to those able to write software" — wrong
What's absurd is any suggestion that most people be more than novice programmers. A basic functional literacy might make sense. Just like everyone should know how to draw or to sing or to do basic scientific-style critical thinking… but we're still going to have most important programming (and most drawing and most science etc) done by a portion of people.
I live in a zone of Piedmont (Italy) which has been declared as a patrimony of humanity from UNESCO.
Each hill provides an unique perspective and moving a couple of meters can really change your whole perspective.
From where I look, I see things differently.
We will always have great programmers that everyone want to read and execute on their own hardware, but the difference from an average programmer will be similar to that between a novelist and a secretary: not much.
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