I feel sorry for Richard Stallman. I'm also fairly confident he'd assure me that wasn't necessary.
Having listened to his speeches and read/watched his interviews, I can honestly say I admire the crazy bastard for his firm, unwavering dorm room politics. He believes what he believes and he'll carry those beliefs for the rest of his days. It's rare you see that in a person.
I remember being (almost) just like him--at least in the way he takes his beliefs to an insane extreme (not owning a cell phone, not using social media, and of basically limiting himself to command line technology that was dated in the late 90's). I've never surrendered those things per se, but there was a time when I refused to watch the evil, corporate-owned movies that Hollywood spat out. A time when I wouldn't even sip a Coca Cola lest that putrid commercialism somehow infect me. After a few years of living my life that way, though, I realized I wasn't living my life at all. As a human being who eats, sleeps, shits, and is going to inevitably die someday, I realized I had to chill the fuck out. So what if I wanted to watch a dumb movie and sip a Coke?
Which gets me back to RMS. There's a lot of really cool technology out there these days, even if it is made by those greedy bastards. Just the other day I was visiting my dear sweet mum. She heard me ask my Nexus 6 something via "OK Google," and her mind was blown. I had thought nothing of it at first, but ya know what? It really is pretty cool what we can do these days. Smartphones, streaming services, wi fi everywhere, cloud storage. All these things have dangers and we must be careful, but to banish them outright is such a shame. Mr. Stallman is keeping himself in a virtual cave, waiting for a day when like-minded individuals organize themselves to create HIS perfect vision of how software should be. I admire his determination, and if he's willing to make these sacrifices under the belief that he's protecting freedoms or actually making a difference, good for him. It's a good cause, but it's going to be a very, very long wait.
And, whether he thinks I should or not, I still feel sorry for him.