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A Free Digital Society: An Evening with Richard Stallman

  • Feb 20, 2014 · 7:00 PM
  • The Great Hall, Cooper Union

This event will be streamed LIVE at: www.HuffingtonPost.com/code


UPDATE: Given all the interest in Dr. Stallman's talk, we've opened up extra seating and set up a simulcast just across the street. Please try to arrive early: all unclaimed seats will be opened to the public when the event begins.


The NY Tech Meetup, HuffPost Code, and Cooper Union are delighted to present a talk by Dr. Richard Stallmanthe founder of the GNU project (a free software, mass collaboration project) and president of the Free Software Foundation.



"A Free Digital Society"

Dr. Stallman will address the many threats to freedom in our digital society. He'll focus on issues of digital surveillance that undermine the foundations of democracy, including massive surveillance, censorship, digital handcuffs, non-free software that controls users, and the ‘War on Sharing’. 

The event will be held at The Great Hall in Cooper Union's Foundation Building on East Seventh Street between Third and Fourth Avenues.



About Dr. Stallman:

Dr. Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system (see www.gnu.org) in 1984.  GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, with or without changes.

The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today. 

Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, and the the Takeda Award for
Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several doctorates honoris causa, and has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

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  • Victor

    Hello friends... Please help me get votes :) http://goo.gl/dAnN4s

    October 2, 2014

  • Willie D.

    Excellent meetup all around.
    What was the music synth app the guy was playing before the lecture started?

    February 22, 2014

    • Willie D.

      Cool. Just installed on ipad. I noticed that it is available on Windows phone. I wonder if that will scale appropriately to my windows 8 13 inch touchscreen,

      February 22, 2014

    • Mike R.

      I didn't get to go to this meetup but I'm glad I read this because grantophone is kind of awesome

      February 24, 2014

  • Larry S.

    I went to the event firstly for networking purposes because I am looking for a job. Secondly to hear a technical speech about digital society. What I got was an anti American communist rant. Stallman was rude, chased half the crowd away. He spent half the time bashing President Bush. This was a tech meetup, not supposed to be political. Somehow I stayed to the end, to try to talk to people which I did a bit. Also he is just an honorary doctor, he never completed his doctorate.

    2 · February 21, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      I really appreciate your comment, Vinney. This was a hugely challenging event for Katelyn and I to organize -- with more twists and turns than we could have ever expected. All the same, it was absolutely worth it. RMS is a polarizing, controversial, and complex figure who has done an incredible amount for -- and sometimes, against -- our industry. Whether or not you agree with him (and despite how shockingly unkind he can be), I feel deeply fortunate to have been able to expose the NY Tech community to a man who, for better or worse, has had a substantial impact on the way we use and build software today. If nothing else, the conversation happening here and elsewhere is an important one and, I think, helpful as we continue to grow NYC as a center for innovation.

      6 · February 21, 2014

    • Peter K.

      Brandon, thanks for your work organizing this event. Through most of Stallman's years he has been discounted as a crackpot. The Snowden revelations have done more to legitimize the Free Software movement than anything that Stallman could have said at the Grand Hall.

      February 22, 2014

  • Baba

    It is always great to hear RMS speak, and a great venue.

    February 22, 2014

  • Tim B.

    NYTM: goes to an RMS speech.

    Complains that they received an RMS speech.

    What were you expecting?

    Did anyone prohibit you from talking about jobs?

    3 · February 21, 2014

  • Peter W.

    It was interesting to hear him talk, albeit a little painful. I imagine he purposely stakes out very radical territory to set the boundary of discussion very far left leaving ample room for others to fill in the spectrum. However, he’d be far more effective if he didn’t act like a boor. I’d personally like to see more focus on protecting our private data rather than worrying about being able to read every line of source code.

    1 · February 21, 2014

  • Ryan V.

    I saw exactly what I expected. The experience of watching Stallman speak was a little like hearing out a swami master speak for hours on end about enlightenment (though, as Stallman would say, this comparison is irrelevant because he's not a swami master and programming is not enlightenment). In a culture of overtly positive and inspirational talks, Stallman's perspective was refreshingly absent of bravado and brought an extremely relevant and timely perspective on our rights in a digital society. And he told like 8 off-the-cuff jokes!

    7 · February 21, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      This is extremely well said. Thanks for sharing this!

      February 21, 2014

    • Engin E.

      Very well said indeed. I greatly enjoyed Stallman's purist view and unfiltered style. I appreciate Brandon and team for making it possible and hope to see even more diversity in content, style, and perspectives in this meetup.

      3 · February 21, 2014

  • Rich G.

    Will this be available upon demand for later viewing?

    1 · February 21, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      Yup! We're working on the video now. Hopefully it'll be up by next week.

      February 21, 2014

    • Rich G.

      Thanks, I'll be on the lookout for it.

      February 21, 2014

  • aleksandar p.

    great content

    February 21, 2014

  • Faycal B.

    Stallman was very inspiring. His views and ways to express them might not be to everyone's taste but he had the balls to talk about real issues of freedom we are facing as society in the digital age.

    4 · February 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome. Fun. informative.

    1 · February 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Mr. Stallman was rude to attendees, and although I agree strongly with some of his goals, we was a poor public speaker besides the way he treated people with questions.

    Cooper Union was pretty great unless you were sitting behind a column, which was a large fraction of the space. Otherwise, nice space.

    2 · February 20, 2014

    • Edward P.

      A piece of code written by RMS is probably running every computer device somewhere. From your phone to your laptop to your door bell. He is a mad genius, it's RMS. 14 PhD's?

      1 · February 21, 2014

    • Edward P.

      Wait to Jaron Lanier speaks next, OMG. ;-)

      February 21, 2014

  • Luke M.

    Well, it was certainly a thought-provoking, unusual experience. Thanks to the organizers.

    1 · February 21, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      Thanks for coming, Luke!

      February 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I know that RMS is difficult to host. He was fighting a cold. But from the unnecessary confusion about tickets, to the very weak pitching for product, the projection screens being randomly changed mid-performance and having the speaker wait 10 minutes for water... this was one of the most poorly organized events I've attended in NYC.

    1 · February 20, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      I'm sorry you felt that way. We tried our best to keep the event organized (especially given the unconventional way RMS talks usually go) and had to find a way to meet Richard's requirements while honoring RSVPs. Please feel free to email me with any more feedback - we appreciate your thoughts: [masked]

      1 · February 21, 2014

  • Stephen W.

    Wished I had picked an aisle seat so I could have escaped sooner.

    1 · February 20, 2014

  • Keith C.

    totaly agree with Richard's take on A free Digital Society -- Experience Free Trade at Instatrade.me , Now available in the Apple App store at instatrade.me/getapp

    February 20, 2014

    • Greg L.

      Oy, there's always one in every bunch. If you really agree with him why is your app available in the evil proprietary Apple App Store?

      2 · February 20, 2014

  • Ilana

    Livestream is now available here:
    www.huffingtonpost.com/code

    February 20, 2014

  • Vinessa

    Unable to see stream as well. Will recording be available later on?
    =

    1 · February 20, 2014

  • Peter W.

    I saw the stream working an hour ago, but totally dead now for me also.

    February 20, 2014

  • Rich G.

    Any reason why the stream will not work with ANY browser??

    February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't get my ticket to print. I click on "print ticket" and it takes me to a page about the event. No ticket to print. HELP!

    February 20, 2014

    • Zoh R.

      AFAIK that *is* the ticket. It's got no identifying information on it, but non-RSVP-holders can't see the link (so it's somewhat of an honor system tonight).

      1 · February 20, 2014

    • Susan G.

      Mark - that's what I saved as a PDF and I'm emailing back to myself so I can just open it on my phone at the door and be done with it.

      February 20, 2014

  • Purnima

    Just found out I have to work later than expected last minute and likely will be unable to make it. Will we be able to access the video of the stream after the actual event?

    February 20, 2014

  • Carlos de S.

    Exites for this

    February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't find the link for a ticket. Please add link in comments. Thanks

    February 20, 2014

  • Susan G.

    I've been signed up for days here. How do I "show a ticket" per Brandon's latest email?

    1 · February 20, 2014

    • Katelyn B.

      There's a small link on the meetup event page for Stallman's talk -- right beneath the big, bold event name -- that says "Ticket".

      Clicking that link will take you to a printable page. You can bring a hard copy or simply show us on your phone (or even just show anything that indicates that you RSVPd to the event).

      February 20, 2014

  • Sergio A.

    I'm sic so I cannot attend & I have updated my RSVP. Will I still be able to stream via Huffington Post link?

    February 20, 2014

    • Katelyn B.

      yes! Please visit: huffingtonpost.com/code

      February 20, 2014

  • Christina B.

    The result of the "Print ticket" link doesn't have any identifying info on it. Will they be checking names at the door? I ask because my +1 and I will be arriving separately and I was hoping to print us each a ticket. Thanks for any info!

    February 20, 2014

    • Katelyn B.

      If you can't print it, simply email a copy of the ticket to your friend. As long as it's visible on your phones, you'll be fine. If your friend has any issues, just have them explain the situation to the check-in desk

      February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am releasing my spot for another person. Due to conflict with schedule at work I am passing this opportunity.

    February 20, 2014

  • Bill

    I just got an email saying I'm expected to bring some form of ticket. How, pray tell, am I to get one?

    February 20, 2014

  • Zack F.

    I'll be the gentleman with Glass.

    February 7, 2014

    • Robert C.

      You won't be the only one.

      1 · February 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      ^

      February 20, 2014

  • Kalman B.

    Will there be a live stream?

    February 20, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      This event will be streamed LIVE at: www.HuffingtonPost.com/c­ode

      February 20, 2014

    • Kalman B.

      Okay thank you. Then I will cancel do to a scheduling conflict.

      February 20, 2014

  • Paul R.

    RS will be controversial and fascinating as usual. His presentation at John Jay College last year was shocking, to say the least. Can't wait to hear his take on 2014 and beyond. Just leave your iDevices at home; he abhors their manufacturer.

    2 · February 11, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      For those who don't know RMS... please read the above comment ;)

      February 20, 2014

  • Roland

    Am I missing something obvious: the size of the waitlist...? just want to know if there is any hope.

    February 14, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      There is absolutely hope! Since this is a free event, we're expecting that there'll be a bunch of open seats. Feel free to stop by.

      February 14, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      This event will be streamed LIVE at: www.HuffingtonPost.com/c­ode

      February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can we get a choir to sing the Free Software Song as a warm-up act?

    February 14, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      This would be amazing. If you know anyone who might want to sing... please, please email me.

      February 20, 2014

  • Joly M.

    It can be awkward setting up a livestream of RMS, as he insists that it only be done using non-proprietary software and codecs. Not impossible, but many a naive event planner has come a cropper. If I were running that simulcast I'd be doing some double checking. :)

    February 15, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      After quite a bit of hacking, we were able to put together a completely free-as-in-freedom streaming rig. That said... we'll see if it works tonight ;) -- fingers crossed!

      February 20, 2014

  • Greg R.

    Will there be a live stream that we can watch from home?

    4 · February 5, 2014

    • Anne M.

      They said there will be a livestream, but I hope it will be saved off to time-shift!

      February 16, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      This event will be streamed LIVE at: www.HuffingtonPost.com/c­ode

      February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just cancelled to open up a new spot for someone. Is there a livestream?

    February 20, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      Yup! www.HuffingtonPost.com/c­ode

      February 20, 2014

  • Joe S.

    Also just canceled, and same question! Live stream pls!

    February 20, 2014

    • Brandon D.

      This event will be streamed LIVE at: www.HuffingtonPost.com/c­ode

      February 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just cancelled as I may have to stay late at work, so there's a spot open. Will try and catch the livestream.

    February 20, 2014

  • Edward P.

    So cool that this is the same podium where Abraham Lincoln introduced himself to the "Eastern Establishment", before that, no one really knew who the heck he was. Well, the rest is history. (there was no twitter back then, just to clear up that rumor) :-)

    February 20, 2014

  • Zack F.

    I'll be the gentleman with Glass.

    February 7, 2014

  • Eric S.

    I can't wait to see this!!!

    1 · February 20, 2014

  • Sung C.

    plz

    February 19, 2014

  • Faycal B.

    looking forward to hear his take on surveillance...

    February 18, 2014

  • Stephen W.

    Yes, please cancel if you cannot attend. I would very much like to go and am also on the waitinglist

    February 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi y'all I made reservation for this event and YES !!! I'm attending.

    February 17, 2014

  • Bhuvan K.

    This will be my second NYCTM.. Can't wait to meet more people and listen to Richard Stallman..

    February 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    looking forward to learning a few things

    February 6, 2014

  • Neal G.

    Will the talk be recorded? I'm unlikely to be available to attend, but I would love to watch it.

    February 5, 2014

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