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GNU is Not Unix

RMS to work in "Gates Building"? 127

robin sent us a link to an article that says that Richard Stallman might soon be working in the Gates building at MIT. Bill is donating $20e6 to the CS Labs, and the new building is expected to be named after him. The FSF started in the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, and RMS still works there. "
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RMS to work in "Gates Building"?

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  • by Pug ( 21 )
    True. However, last time I checked, a lot of his "donations" were donations to schools to buy Wintel machines. Kind of like Apple's stratigy all those years ago, but he's calling it a "donation", and MS has the popularity to make the brainwashing be somewhat effective. So, a good bit of that $5 billion could probably be considered an investment.
  • I'm just adding my voice to this correction. I was over at MIT 2 weeks ago, visitng the Linguistics and Philosophy Department, and I was told exactly that.

    BTW, this building is not only computer science. They're gonna have at least Philosophy, Linguistics and Psychology there, too.

    ---

  • More like $100. Let's figure that BG makes about $10 billion a year (probably a slight underestimate), whereas the average non-student slashdotter (since according to a poll we're 20% sysadmins, 20% programmers, 10% engineers) makes about $50K.

    $10G / $50K = 200K. And $20M / 200K = $100. So that's about like one of us giving $100 to some charitable cause, dollar for dollar.

    Of course, if you factor in diminishing marginal utility, it's more like one of us dropping a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket.

    If I had BG's money, I'd be buying up the last remaining old-growth forests in North America, and donating them to the Nature Conservancy.

    Cheap bastard!
    --
  • >Ha! You forgot to mention that he ended apartheid in South Africa and parted the Red Sea.

    What have you done?

    >What has Stallman done to put MIT on the map? Did emacs really have any brilliantly pioneering ideas that weren't stolen from TECO, QED, em, TSO EDIT, EVE, EDT, WPS, or any of the many editors that IBM put out?

    Would anyone have known that MIT is a place where free and open develeopment and research had taken place had RMS not worked so hard to re-popularize the idea? I daresay many would not have cared. I'm not saying that such free and open development wasn't going on at the height of the proprietary idea's time; I'm saying that RMS gave some direction and focus for alot of folks. This is my understanding.

    I'm not saying that emacs itself was any more brilliant than any of the other tools available - what I'm saying is that it is free and open.
  • Thank you Mr. T! :)

    The free and open development DOES have alot to do with software engineering. When person or group A makes a breakthrough or ingenious design... person or group B can use said breakthrough or ingenious design to produce another breakthrough or ingenious design that is then shared with others - the benefits could and sometimes do takie on a geometrical progression in evolution of product.

    This is the free and open development fostered by Richard M. Stallman AND, in the same basic light, Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, OSI, SPI, FSF etc... etc... ad infinitum.

    Since we have gotten seriously off-topic... I'll reiterate my original point: Microsoft made an investment that they'll reap by stripping MIT of it's talent in favor of Microsoft Research.
  • >Did much? Certainly, but let's not forget the many others who were involved in incubating the "hacker culture" there.

    That's why I said, "did much" and not "did it all".

    The group at MIT did much to expand the boundaries of Computer Science. Most of them left for profitable jobs in proprietary shops (doesn't mean they ceased to contribute) while RMS wanted to foster the philosophy that had developed at MIT to the world at large. The MIT group was a microcosm of what eventually became the Free Software/OpenSource/UNIX/etc Community. RMS was a very important player in promoting the idea of non-proprietary development and research - some would say the principal player.

    >There first? _Definitely_ not. Try to keep your hero-worship within the bounds we call "reality".

    Who drew the boundaries? RMS was part of the so-called "hacker culture", at MIT, that you mention and as such was there and active before Gates ever made his mark on MIT. I would consider RMS a hero - yes. I respect him for his philosophy, hard work and dedication over the years.

    Please... don't read more into my words than is actually there.
  • ...compared to Milton Hershey, who gave away his entire fortune. No strings were attached, the orphans were not required to buy Hershey's chocolate or name any building or wing after the guy. When BillG sells all his MS stock and builds some sort of mega-orphanage or something, let me know. Until then, he's just a cheep self-servin' bastid.

    I'll have a minus-one, please!

    Thanks! :)

    --

  • Wasn't Rockefeller closer to 100 years ago? Anyway, people still know who he is just like people still know who Ford was.

    Yeah, but other than the fact that he owned standard oil and owned one of the biggest monopolies out there, what else? I don't know many people (i imagine) that could point out anything else he might have done or any possible accomplishments..

    Although I imagine if you were a history or economics major you would be more educated about him, but the common folk could care less, just like all the other filthy rich capitalists. No different than a good 1/2 of our presidents, most people can't even remember their names much less what they did.

    -Erik-
  • Who drew the boundaries? RMS was part of the so-called "hacker culture", at MIT, that you mention and as such was there and active before Gates ever made his mark on MIT. I would consider RMS a hero - yes. I respect him for his philosophy, hard work and dedication over the years.

    My apologies for posting this twice. For some reason the comment didn't get formatted properly and I was an idiot and didn't hit "preview" :)

    I think the point that most of you are missing, that despite RMS's accomplishments and hard work, no matter how that is measured, the only thing that matters to most colleges is green paper, $$$, money.

    The more green paper they have, the more academic programs they can sponsor, which inspires more people to go to their school, which brings them more money. Get with it folks.

    Call me a skeptic, but investigate your school's practices. I left Oregon State University because they decided that they'd cut millions of dollars from their engineering program, and build a brand new football stadium with it.

    Now, if you are going to be an engineer%Ò2C and don't want to transfer/can't transfer out of state, if you can graduate from Oregon State you have a pretty credible deee in a lot of engineer farms in the northwest (and elsewhere). HP is right down the street from em and they get a LOT of money from Intel and other places.

    But, because of the fraternity presence and their lacking football team there, not to mention OSU's overwhelming pride in "tradition", we get a new football stadium while a good half of the EE professors walk off the job.

    Sounds like an educational experience to me. I transferred out (to a CC nonetheless because of late reg problems) last term. Just keep that little anecdote in mind next time you think of college as an institution and not a business. You're dead wrong.

    -Erik-
  • Who drew the boundaries? RMS was part of the so-called "hacker culture", at MIT, that you mention and as such was there and active before Gates ever made his mark on MIT. I would consider RMS a hero - yes. I respect him for his philosophy, hard work and dedication over the years. I think the point that most of you are missing, that despite RMS's accomplishments and hard work, no matter how that is measured, the only thing that matters to most colleges is green paper, $$$, money. The more green paper they have, the more academic programs they can sponsor, which inspires more people to go to their school, which brings them more money. Get with it folks. Call me a skeptic, but investigate your school's practices. I left Oregon State University because they decided that they'd cut millions of dollars from their engineering program, and build a brand new football stadium with it. Now, if you are going to be an engineer, and don't want to transfer/can't transfer out of state, if you can graduate from Oregon State you have a pretty credible degree in a lot of engineer farms in the northwest (and elsewhere). HP is right down the street from em and they get a LOT of money from Intel and other places. But, because of the fraternity presence and their lacking football team there, not to mention OSU's overwhelming pride in "tradition", we get a new football stadium while a good half of the EE professors walk off the job. Sounds like an educational experience to me. I transferred out (to a CC nonetheless because of late reg problems) last term. Just keep that little anecdote in mind next time you think of college as an institution and not a business. You're dead wrong. -Erik-
  • They're different languages, but with a
    lot of similarities. I think the same
    happens with the scandinavian languages.

    Tipically a portuguese can read spanish and
    a spaniard could read portuguese, if really
    motivated.

    Almost all the words are different, but
    we normally can guess the meaning, because
    they look/sound similar.

  • I belong to a team that runs a portuguese language slashdot clone. I'm amazed that now we can noto only copy waht appears here, but actually before it appears here! Those who read portuguese, check out here" [uminho.pt].
  • I belong to a team that runs a portuguese language slashdot clone. I'm amazed that now we can not only copy what appears here, but actually before it appears here! Those who read portuguese, check out here" [uminho.pt].
  • $20M is generous and all, but it's equivalent to me donating about $6.50.

    Gates is a cheap bastard.
  • by V. ( 1057 )
    Sure RMS probably doesn't like it, but "MS is a
    symptom of a larger problem." Or roughly
    thereabout. He probably wouldn't like it if the
    building was named after Ellison or Jobs either.
  • About the only buildings that anyone ever referred to by name at the 'tute were Tech Square (NE43, although there's another numbered building there), the Student Center (W20), the athletic buildings (don't know the numbers), the chapel (ditto), the dorms (generally ditto), the Green Building (54), and the Media Lab (officially the Wiesner Building or E15, sometimes referred to as the bathroom because of the tile on the outside). So no, nobody's ever going to refer to it by name.

    Amazing that I've been out of there for 12 years now and I'm still working practically within funnelator range...

    Given where it is, it will probably be numbered in the low 40's or so. Heaven help us if it's numbered 42.
  • [...]
    "The Ray & Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences" [...]

    Or, for short, `The RMS Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences'....


    --
    W.A.S.T.E.


  • Don't worry, RMS will just insist that everyone in the press refer to it as the GNU/Gates building.

  • Wrigley Field was one of the first to have a
    corporate name, if you think about it..but if
    they did do something like that, Harry Carry,
    Jack Brickhouse, and all of the old time Cubbies
    would be spinning in their graves..and Cubs fans
    would be beating the doors of WGN down..(that might
    also happen if they dare consider tearing it down..)
  • RMS still works in the MIT AI Lab, not the Lab for Computer Science. These two are separate, from what was heard..

    I don't know if the same building houses both, though.
  • I don't know of anyone who even knows the _current_ name of the LCS building, or almost any other MIT Building, except the Green Building. They all are named after _someone_, but the only people who know their names are the people who they're named after. We've got a Guggenheim Building and a Dorrance Building, but noone knows where they are, besides Guggenheim and Dorrance themselves. :)

    Now, LCS is housed in NE43... in a couple of years, it will be housed in Building 32 (or something). Maybe it'll be named the Stata Complex,or the Gates building, or whatever, but Gates and Stata will be the only people who will remember that. :)

    Me? I'm in building E15... I think it's the Wiesner Center or something...

    -Dean
  • Don't worry, everyone. MIT buildings are always referred to by number, no matter what they're named. No self-respecting nerd (at a school that has even trademarked the term "Nerd Pride") is going to refer the building as anything other than "building 75" (or whatever the right number is). "Gates Wing" or "Stata Center" will probably never be mentioned after the day the building opens.
  • $20M is nothing for Gates; he could almost pay it from petty cash. Certainly he could afford to indulge a $20M whim. And this is the man who has a room in Redmond lined with pictures of enemies (McNealy, Ellison and such); who's to say he wouldn't pull something like this just to rile RMS?
  • by gas ( 2801 )
    > The FSF started in the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, and RMS still works there.

    Didn't he quit when he started the GNU project and made a living by selling emacs? (before FSF started to get that money) When did he go back there then?
  • A big reset button to reboot? A reboot is being done every semester for those who cannot afford the "semester upgrade fee."
  • They've put up a big LCS banner kiosk thingy directly between my office window and the Vietnamese food truck. Now how am I supposed to know how the long the line is, huh?

    Hmmm, I'm getting hungry...


  • Yes, Melinda Gates went to school here (BS in CS, MBA). But they have actually given the school relatively little money- a single lump sum gift of about $5 million, IIRC, given to a specific scholarship program.

    Considering that Duke's endowment is about 1/10 of Harvard's, and significantly smaller than many other schools with similar academic ambitions (i.e., it is smaller than any of the Ivies) the school is investing serious time and effort in kissing Bill and Melissa's butts. She's even been named a "young trustee" in recognition of her "accomplishments in the technology field." So far, though, no payoff.
    ~tieguy
  • mine shows up (sorta) on my profile, but not here...
  • I doubt this is on topic (isn't that just moderator bait? :) ), but just how different are portuguese and spanish? I'm about half fluent in spanish, and its about as difficult to read as a british writer, or something from the mid 1800's...any stats/numbers/etc on just how close they are?
  • Don Knuth (of TeX, MetaFont and Art of Computer Programming fame), already works in a Gates Building -- the one at Stanford. Oh well, -- in fifty years nobody will remember who Gates was -- it'll be just a name like Rockefeller
  • No, the Statas get a complex, where Gates gets a building _within_ the complex. In my opinion, the Statas are the ones getting screwed, because the new LCS will be called either "Gates Hall" or "Building 69," but there is no chance of it being called "The Stata Complex."
    --
    Kyle R. Rose, MIT LCS
  • heheheeeh, I wonder how long it'll take before the MIT kids paint it blue, or put a big reset button on it? "The Gates CS Center has to be rebooted at least once a week, sources said"

    .mazeone
  • The William Gates Memorial Center.

    Well, he'll die *eventually*. Why wait until the last minute?
  • Actually, the intelligence I've heard is that it will be Building 32. Which is consistent; then you can walk through 33, 35, 37, 39, 38, 34, 36, 32, in that order. Apparently Building 20 is having its number retired.
  • It's kind of too bad that the ZDNet article didn't say more about some of the cooler features of the Open Source bake sale:
    • Pies cost 95 cents, with a 3 cent mandatory upgrade, for a total of 98 cents.
    • Source for the pies (in Scheme) was freely available; when the booth was in Lobby 10, there were stacks of printed source code under each of the pies.
    • The pie source was GPL'd.
    • All proceeds went to the FSF.
    Even more amusing was that, when I showed up to my 11:00 Urban Studies class with a slice of Open Source apple pie, the instructor even had something of a clue about Open Source and Linux. Cool. :-)
  • They should take Bill's money and name the building "The Linus Torvalds Computer Science Center." I would say that would be the funniest thing that could possibly happen.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • I remember reading an article in Salon (I think) about RMS. The author traveled to Stanford (I think) with RMS, and they went to the Bill Gates building so RMS could check his email. The author relates how RMS stuck his middle finger at the building before entering.
  • Yeah, but Rich Stallman might have interpreted it as a double slap-in-the-face:

    "First you put my new office in the Gates building, THEN you support the FSF with an 'OPEN SOURCE' bake sale?! You people are sick!"

  • At any U.S. school you'll find a Gates/Rockefeller/Carnegie Hall etc.

    You're either in one dead captialists' mausoleum or anothers.
  • Yeah, that is cheap, but why is he giving it to a _private_ school? They're certainly not running low on money! He should find some other decent (public) school to give it to, they need the money more. And a lot more of it! Oh well, gripe mode off.

    PS - /.'s really slow today.
  • I did a similar calculation, but based on BG's total worth, wich was near $70billion (and I don't think that is total either). But based on total worth and $20million donation, this is the equivalent of me donating $20 (if I inflate my total worth considerably). FWIW: I do donate more than that per week, so I feel proud.

    Just wish I could name a building now.
    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • at University of Colorado. And I have yet to touch the stuff.
    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • slashdot isn't accepting my input. Cut and paste (sorry)
    http://www.varsity.cam.ac.uk/VarsityOnline/Online2 /Content/News/Stories/080598_msoft.html

  • Ted Turner (Owner of Turner Network Television) does just that, except that he organizes the conservation efforts himself. He is *THE* largest land holder in the US. Incidentally, he has publicly sneered at BG's puny (on a relative scale) donations to things in the past.

    It was rather strange/amusing to drive by a ranch in the south west US and see the TNT symbol over the entrance gate.
  • I don't think RMS works directly at MIT anymore at least from his speatches one would infer that because when he refers to MIT it is allways in the past tence. However he probably has an office at MIT as he probably has other offices around the globe at various institutes and Labs...

    Michael
  • The AntiChrist is putting his mark on Mit. Soon Linus will join.
    --
  • If they follow standard building-dedication procedures, they'll be sure to put up a nice, big 'ol 4'x5' oil-pastel portrait of him in the lobby. Everyone who works in that building is going to see his ugly mug whenever they walk in.

    But hey, OTOH, it could become the greatest hack magnet ever since the Great Dome }:-)
  • I agree with you completely, but consider this further irony: if it weren't for MS's crappy bloated products and marketing muscle, computers would be in a considerably more primitive state. The demand for ever-more-powerful hardware that MS has generated gave rise to market pressures and economies of scale that make our dirt-cheap linux boxes possible. If the majority of machines were "good enough" from year to year, new ones would be as much of a luxury item as new cars, and probably as expensive.

    So in a perverse way, Mr. Bill deserves some credit for today's computer *industry*. But he deserves none for the state of computer *science*.
    Mostly he deserves to be flogged.
  • That doesn't make it worthless. $20 Million isn't too shabby compared to what can be done with it. There's no reason to kill a fly with a cannonball. WG donates to other organizations as well, it's not like this is it.

  • I bet his grandfather is already dead, so it would be an appropriate name.

  • YOu gotta wonder, with Free Software threatening to kick Microsoft's butt back to the Atomic Age, if this is a calculated plot to get RMS to quit rather than work in a building bearing Bill's name.

    It should be interesting to see what RMS does (if in fact the building is renamed Gates Center for Computer Science or something similar). I'm pretty sure his work with the FSF doesn't depend on him having an office at MIT, though whatever else he does might.

    Finally, if prep.ai.mit.edu goes down, or tsx-11.mit.edu switches to an NT server and dumps its Linux collection, you know what happened ;-(

  • is everything BG does a sinister plan to discredit Linux or in this case 'brainwash' defenseless MIT graduates into working for Microsoft? You know, I heard that (spread the word) tomorrow (April 15) BG is going to give a WHOLE bunch of money to (just like we thought) the GOVERNMENT! I guess he's at it again!

    For gosh sakes, he donating money to a SCHOOL!
    Are you expecting a college graduate to be swayed by a name on a building? And to those saying $20M is a drop in the bucket to BG...sheesh; I guess you people will never be happy with ANYTHING the guy does...why not $40M, why not $1B? Why not letting the guy decide where his money goes and how much of it goes there? If I donated twenty-freaking-million dollars somewhere and heard complaints, I can guarantee they won't be getting any more!

  • http://www.vmware.com [vmware.com]
    --
    Michael Dillon - E-mail: michael@memra.com
  • Found this on a news site this morning...

    Wednesday April 14 9:08 AM CT

    Gates National University to open in Illinois

    By STEVE SILVERBERG MS Press Writer

    Springfield, IL (MSP) - Mayor Brad Ballmer announced today that construction will commence next month on a new university complex to be called Gates National University (GNU). The privately run institution will initially be funded by a donation of $700 million donation from Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: MSFT [yahoo.com]) and will benefit from a trust fund established by Mr. Gates known as the Open Source for Education. Microsoft will announce appointments to the GNU Board of Governors later this week in a press conference to be held at Microsoft's Silicon Valley headquarters.


    --
    Michael Dillon - E-mail: michael@memra.com

  • Why give $1,000,000,000 to a well-off private school? Because Melinda Gates' went to school there..

  • If you check out the history of some of the names of buildings and universities in the US (ever read an objective biography on Mr. Duke?), you will find that many of those people are not necessarily the best role models (please note: *sarcasm*).

    I hope our offspring in a couple of hundred years will keep these names as nice practical jokes and have a good laugh.
  • If I were RMS and ended up running my operations out of a building donated-by/named-for BG, I'd LMAO. Poetic justice and all that.
  • Just to clarify. All the hype about this being the "William H. Gates" building is only almost right. The building is actually called the Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences. The whole thing will be designed by Gehry, and one section of it will officially be the Gates building. I'll be damned if anyone calls it that after about the first week of it's existence. It may be true that LCS will be housed in Gate's portion of the building, but it will still be the Stata Center. Stata gave $25 million and it's a MUCH larger donation relatively speaking than Gate's $20 million was for him.
  • Free and open develpment has everything to do with software engineering.
  • Accually sense this calculation is based upon what the suppositive amount of "hurt" it puts on Bill Gates you really should calculate out cost of living. For example for the person making $50K their bills and expenses probably run around $35K or more and the other $15K is left to spend on luxery items. While in Bills case he makes $10G and I'll be very gratious and assume his living expenses are $500M (probably an over estimate but I really have no idea)
    so that is 9.5G/15K = ~633K
    20M/633K =~ $31.00 though like I said thats an over estimate
  • by "there first" I think be meant he was there before Gates. Noone would argue that RMS was there before anyone else, cause thats just plain dumb
  • It's funny that Gates should comment that large
    software projects can't be undertaken in "university-type" environs...

    At USC, MS Research "donated" machines for grad
    student rooms... the rider being that nothing
    but NT crash on them: we can't even partition them! And MIT and Stanford of course....

    And the lucre. :-( one of USC-LUG office bearers is interning at microsoft this summer... ostensibly "ONLY for the cash". hmmm.

    amit
  • Put up a webcam!

    Geez, I mean wasn't the coke machine on the net invented at MIT?
  • the new Stata building will consist of two towers, one to house the MIT AI Lab and the other to house LCS. the LCS tower will be named after Gates.

    it's not a huge problem; everyone here calls buildings by their numbers anyway. now LCS and the AI Lab will just be in 32 and not NE43. putting your name on a building here is a waste of money. :)

    -krog
  • I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!! I'll pay for some paint!!!
  • According to InfoWorld (http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl? 990413.eegatesmit.htm), this is the list of greatest CS advancements to be placed in time capsule in the building's lobby:

    "The capsule, an over-sized, 150-pound lead sculpture of a paper bag, was designed by architect Frank Gehry. The LCS honor roll includes Daniel Bricklin and Robert Frankston, for their spreadsheet project in 1979, Tim Berners-Lee for his 1989 creation of the World Wide Web, Robert Metcalfe for his 1973 invention of Ethernet, Robert Scheifler and James Gettys for their development of the X-Windows system in 1983, and more than 50 others -- including Gates for his 1975 authoring of Altair Basic."
  • I don't know that RMS could work *anywhere* he wanted for any amount. There's a considerable portion of the industry where he *wouldn't* work because it would be against his principles. There's another subset who wouldn't employ him because of his somewhat rigid stances and possible inflexibility. There's another subset who are MS/Novell/whatever-based where he doesn't have the skills. Not everyone regards him as a guru.
    I make no comments vis-a-vis my attitude to him, by the way, just an observation.
  • Most of the building is funded by the Strata's anyways; only one tower is called "The Gates Building," although that won't last long around here.

    That seems what a lot of people will do: call it by its former (or another) name.

  • This is just another MS tactic to make us GNU and Linux (I dare not say GNU/Linux! It could be taken differently :) users feel bad. GNU is not um..Gates. Perhaps it's time to find a new home...

    TeslaCoil
  • If those two servers go down, it means Gates is finally getting is college degree, and is hacking them from the dorm :)
  • >However, he was there first and did much to put MIT on the map for Software Engineering.

    Did much? Certainly, but let's not forget the many others who were involved in incubating the "hacker culture" there.

    There first? _Definitely_ not. Try to keep your hero-worship within the bounds we call "reality".
  • so I missed a few things...

    I was just pointing out that we should be thanking Mr. Gates for contributing to a center for knowledge quite unlike his investment in Microsoft Corporation instead of assuming that he will be forcing more MS crap down the throats of academia.

    After all, who do you think knows more than we do just how bad off Microsoft is? Steve Jobs? Larry Ellison? Scott McNealy? Steve Case?

    Would you trust *your* company to an OS containing enough code for any five other OS's? If you would, you're a fool (and I mean that in the nicest sense of the word).

    ;) -m


  • Allow me to be the first to congratulate you, Mr. Gates, on the excellent decision to *finally* do something useful with your money.

    We proponents of freedom of computing need not worry for our future when we have such generous benefactors such as yourself.
  • Speeking of Carnigie, what about an aternative?

    At some risk I would like to know the thoughts of the readership on that other computer school CMU. An alternative program(scholarships not buildings) at an alternative school might be positive.

    As a disclosure, yes I am an alumus of C-MU
  • Even better would be to put up a big Bill Gates Personal Wealth Clock [webho.com] in the cafeteria...

  • I always thought that in the US the buildings at universities are named for the person that had achieved something significant or had contributed a lot of intellectuall property to the school. For example the Derring Hall at Virginia Polytechnic Institute if I'm not mistaking is named for the person who was the first blind man to graduate the University. I was told that he could walk around Blacksburg - the town where school is situated - all by himself. But buying buildings doesn't give me the feeling of credibility in the payer.

  • The donation does two things for Microsoft that I can see:
    It gives them a tax write-off and it is an investment in a school that will probably be stripped of it's talent in favor of Microsoft Research.

    Money well spent from B. Gates' point of view I'd say.

    As for RMS... who knows? I've been told by the man himself that he doesn't like his name associated with things that are diametrically opposed to his philosophy. However, he was there first and did much to put MIT on the map for Software Engineering. At any rate, RMS can write his own ticket and work just about anywhere he wants and for whatever price he may choose. Cygnus?
  • According to a rumour I heard around at Cambridge University, UK, Bill Gates is supposed to have attempted exactly the same thing over here. A new computer science department building would be funded and/or furnished by Microsoft (or Bill Gates). One of the snags was that it was to be called "The Gates Building".

    The academics in this department declined stating they were not going to name any building the "Gates Building" because they did not want to encourage/endorse that particular approach to programming around here. Microsoft are attempting to build offices over here in future, (to try to recruit a few clever graduates) but the consensus over here is that MS isn't that popular, especially as a career. (especially as the main nightclub in town might be closed to allow for the the new MS-Cambridge extension). (See this link [cam.ac.uk] for related news)
  • I think the MIT Department of Computer Science naming a building after Bill Gates is ironic if not downright disgusting.

    MIT is considered one of the top engineering and computer science schools in the world. It is supposed to stand for technological innovation and engineering brilliance. The culture is that of valuing technology on its own merits; may the best technology win.

    Bill Gates is about the triumph of marketing over superiority; of deception over honest competition; of forcing success by leveraging might & muscle rather than innovation and ingenuity. In essence, Bill Gates represents everything that the MIT LCS is not about, and indeed he runs directly contrary to what it stands for.

    As an MIT alumn, I am very saddened to think that MIT has allowed this to happen. I guess I can understand how difficult it must be to turn down $20 million, but the vast irony of the source of the funds contrasted to what the LCS represents cannot be underestimated.
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  • The name of the new building will be the Stata Complex...the Stata family is donating much more than Mr. Gates, and the way I understand it, there will be a WING named after Billy. Not a building.

    From yesterday's copy of The Tech (MIT's main newspaper):

    "...At the event, LCS directory Michael L. Dertouzos announced a major gift by Gates towards the Stata complex, the future house of LCS

    "

    MIT has known about Gates's intention to donate for over a year, and the name is still the Stata Complex. Gates donated $20 million. The Statas donated $25 million. Billy gets a wing, the Statas get a building. Hehe. I love it. Yay MIT.

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.

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