An NPR Intern wrote a post on the fact that she ripped or otherwise acquired for free most of her music. Richard Stallman weighed in on her post at the link below, speaking in his usual idealistic fashion. Stallman is brilliant and I agree with his concept of an ideal society, though I disagree that it’s possible to attain it.
I consider Stallman’s ideal of a perfectly free software and hardware ecosystem to be a beautiful idea, worthy of working hard to make real. Unfortunately, I also think that this perfectly free ecosystem may be impossible to attain for the same reason communism is impossible to attain. These are both perfect ideas, suitable for perfected human beings, but there are very few perfected human beings walking the earth right now.
I posted this on Google Plus and a commenter noted that he finds Stallman repellent as a human being due to his lack of empathy. I agree with him that Stallman is brilliant but would not make a good friend.
Stallman reminds me a bit of Immanuel Kant, who shared both his brilliance and his lack of empathy and disdain for fellow humans who don’t agree with him. Reading their work, it becomes obvious why neither of them have ever married. Marriage, at least in the modern sense of a voluntary sharing of power between two people, is inherently a compromise and for those utterly unwilling to compromise, it’s an impossible goal. Writing this, Schopenhauer also comes to mind as a perfect example of this state (though Schopenhauer also had issues with women in general).