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Culture

Richard Stallman's not-so-finest hour

Richard Stallman demonstrates a lack of judgment in seeing out Bill Gates.

I cringed when I read Richard Stallman's comments against the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It's fine for him to write for the BBC that:

Gates may be gone, but the walls and bars of proprietary software he helped create remain, for now. Dismantling them is up to us.

Three cheers for freedom!

However, it's not so fine to then start picking apart the intentions behind Gates' philanthropy:

Gates' philanthropy for health care for poor countries has won some people's good opinion. The LA Times reported that his foundation spends five to 10% of its money annually and invests the rest, sometimes in companies it suggests cause environmental degradation and illness in the same poor countries.

He may be right. He's probably wrong. Regardless, it just demonstrates poor judgment and bad taste to try to kick Gates on his way out, especially for the charitable work that Gates and his wife do.