I hate the French! Give back our weirdo hillbilly television, you goddamn Frogs!
-- Tjames Madison
GNUisance: Pigdog Journal Interviews Richard Stallman
MB: Right. Got it. So, uh, how do you,
how do you spend your time now? You probably spend a lot of time
RS: Basically talking with people about
what work needs to be done. And asking people to do things.
MB: What do you -- what kind of projects
are you working on? Like, when you sit down and actually start
RS: For programming, it's Emacs.
MB: Yeah. Like, I mean, what are you
programming? You actually program Emacs?
RS: Emacs. That's what I work on.
MB: All the time?
RS: When I'm programming, I'm
programming on Emacs. [I still don't know if he got what I was saying.
I meant, what the hell were you WRITING?]
ES: You don't use vi when you're writing
Emacs, do you?
RS: I've never learned vi.
ES: Umm... How do you keep from getting burned
out? You've been doing this for a loooong time.
ES: Idealism. OK.
RS: It's my refusal to _quit_.
ES: We were speculating that you still hacked
on, like, Lisp machines or something.
RS: No. No, I stopped doing that. I
stopped writing for Lisp machines when I started the GNU project, and
I stopped using Lisp machines once I had GNU Emacs to edit with.
Before that, I used to do my editing on a Lisp machine. Cause,
that way I had Emacs. I wasn't going to learn vi or ed to do my
MB: So, uh, so you spend a lot of time
evangelizing like this. Like, about a third of the year your actually
RS: Of course, I do my ordinary work
when I'm traveling. I can't let up on it because it would pile
ES: Do you always stay with guys like Nick and
Richard Stallman, Dance
RS: Well, sure, yeah. I try to avoid
staying in hotels because they're no fun and they cost money.
MB: So you're kind of like, almost, like
an itinerant preacher, you know, moving through the --
MB: -- going from house to house of the
faithful and kind of spreadin' the word.
RS: Yeah. It's a strange faith for an
MB: So, what do you do when you're not
hackin', or spreading the word?
RS: I read. I eat. Occasionally I
dance, although I have an injury from doing the kind of dancing I
MB: Which is...?
RS: International folk dancing. Mostly
MB: Crazy! Wow.
RS: I really love Bulgarian dancing.
MB: How'd you pick that up?
RS: [Ignoring me] Why I don't do it now
is it hurts.
MB: Why Bulgarian dancing? Where'd that
RS: I started doing it and I loved it.
It's very exciting. Have you ever seen any?
Stallman invades my
MB: Uhh... My family's Greek, actually.
So I've seen a lot of --
RS: I like Greek dancing, but not quite
MB: Yeah? How are they different?
RS: I don't know how to describe it in
words. But I could show you some of each.
MB: Cool! Yes! Sure! Um, could we
take a picture?
RS: Maybe. I can't show you much of
either of them, though, especially the ones that involve the vigorous
jumping that I like.
MB: Yeah, that's kinda tough.
ES: ...kicking your heels in the air...
RS: Well, it's gonna _hurt_, is the
MB: Well, OK, but don't hurt
RS: I can do a tiny bit of that, you
know, carefully chosen.
MB: OK. Could we do it? Could we, could
we snap it? Is that OK?
RS: Doing it in here might be hard.
MB: OK, All right. Well maybe later
NM: Maybe in the other room. [CoffeeNet's
front room, with lots of tables and hapless victims.]
RS: There's no room in there, and too
[Garbled debate about where in CoffeeNet to do violent, acrobatic
Bulgarian folk dancing. I can't follow it, really.]
MB: OK, maybe we can save that til the
More Stallman antics
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