OPEN-SOURCE LEGEND Richard Stallman has announced his resignation from MIT, as well as his presidency of the Free Software Foundation, the group he formed that hailed the start of the open-source revolution.
The decision comes after comments by Stallman about fellow luminary and AI pioneer Marvin Minsky, related to the Jeffery Epstein case. These were distributed in an email chain to the mailing list of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and later published by Motherboard.
In it, Stallman claims that an accusation of sexual assault by Mr Minsky, in relation to a victim of Epstein, was an exaggeration and that it was "most likely" that she "offered herself" to Minsky "entirely willingly".
Stallman goes on to say that the difference between a victim of aged 17 and aged 18 was a "minor detail" despite the age of consent in the US being 18.
MIT is in the midst of a face-saving operation right now, after it emerged that Epstein had donated the better part of a million quid over the years, and some of those donations had been deliberately anonymised by the university.
In a new post, Stallman said simply: "To the MIT community, I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations."
MIT posted its own, equally perfunctory response: "On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.
"The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately."
All in all, the lack of warm wishes and tributes is a sign of just how totes awks this has become.
Stallman who has described Ubuntu as spyware and Windows Linux as a conspiracy is best known as the creator of GNU and is something of a legend, so his departure shows just how serious MIT is about preserving its reputation in the current climate. µ
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