everything wrong with free software
"free as in speech"
*originally posted:* oct 2022
ive said before that roy is a monopolist. he doesnt really want competition, and he tries to co-opt any competition or anyone who overlaps with his interests in a very microsoft-like way. first he downplays things, then he appropriates them, then he owns them. i call this the scooby-doo maneuver. ive watched him do it with suggestions to promote the support stallman website. ive watched him do it with my own research.
this is the primary mechanism of roys monopolistic tendencies: soft control, appropriation and exploitation, soft control, appropriation and exploitation... he basically creates rules on a graded scale where no one else can do x, y, z-- then he goes and does exactly those things himself.
as ive said before, roy hates conspiracy theorists. he feels very strongly they make him look bad. roy plays host to various nazis, and while he does act critical of those, he is more ready to defend people who present nazi ideology than he is to tolerate conspiracy theorists. i think thats a fascinating double standard for someone who trumpets about the importance of "free speech".
why are conspiracy theorists a bigger threat than nazis? because theyre closer to home. no one has accused roy of being a fascist, and no one has a legitimate reason to do so, and that makes cozying up to them a non-threat to his image... or his self-image, at least. as a textbook narcissist, roys self-image is the king of his world.
in the real world, the nazis around roy are probably much worse for his image than a few internet conspiracy theorists. but roy has an easier time compartmentalising the nazis than a group of people roy already gets lumped in with.
why do people compare roy to alex jones and others like him, but for tech? in my opinion its because he demonstrates the same charlatan-like practices. the first thing you do is find all the weird tidbits you can find anywhere you can look-- roy does this with his rss feed. then you construct a narrative based on those things you find. roy does this with techrights. then you start taking more and more credit as if its all stuff you did. roy does this with his website, chat and occasionally email.
roy says "we" like he doesnt know how to say "i". but he also pushes away anyone who really challenges him, regardless of how much theyve given him to work with or how much right or reason they have to ask. the complete lack of accountability about facts and consistency is a red flag when dealing with a charlatan. yes, people make mistakes. yes, opinions change. and no one can be perfectly organised. but when you see how scattered and inconsistent roys message is, after studying it for a while (which most people wont do, which is why charlatans find ground with those who are very open-minded and not always sceptical enough) you realise there is no message-- its just noise.
this is a binary interpretation and indeed, you CAN find a pattern in the noise if you want to, the human mind is great at doing that. its why the front of a car (or the moon itself) looks sort of like a human face-- we find that pattern wherever we can. but its clear when you try to find the exact pattern roy intends to convey, that he cant-- its too self-contradictory. roy is simply piling stories on top of each other and gluing them together with other stories like the gaps in dna in jurassic park.
its not intended to have a real pattern because it only needs to simulate an actual narrative enough to pull in readers. this makes roy feel like a journalist and from what ive seen of david icke, the same pattern is at work.
one of the few things that drew me to techrights was that it does contain some really interesting stuff. its NOT rocket science to go through a kilometre-long rss feed and pick out the juiciest things to talk about-- hacker news sort of does the same with voting, the biggest difference between that and techrights is only roys vote counts. hacker news (which im not really a fan of, they have their own bias) notices this and flags techrights for it. roy counters with hacker news is a censorship engine. both points have some merit.
i mean, its not really that hard to be partly right about something.
and techrights has to get interesting facts to build on, but then it spins everything for the benefit of roys narrative, which is a 15, 16-years running treadmill of whims and reactions based on whatever roy personally likes and dislikes. as for things that are simply untrue, when you make yourself the sole arbiter of whats going on, and you give YOURSELF credit for everything you repeat, youre going to start making shit up eventually and conflating it with the facts you borrowed-- often without any solid understanding of them.
icke claims that people are (literally) targeted by their dna, for example. he treats this as a personal revelation. in fact, ickes book is a laundry list of tropes found in everything from ufo-ology to quantum reality to (possibly) native american mythology to the protocols of the elders of zion. the latter is obviously what gets him labeled as anti-semitic, though its unclear (so far-- so many endless pages, not unlike techrights) whether he really believes "jews" control everything or if its just interdimensional beings.
"i should have said reptiles, not jews!" hitler might think in retrospect. i dont know, its not that im interested in proving that icke is an anti-semite-- thats not an ambition of mine. but if i wanted to defend him, he makes it extremely difficult by drawing from the protocols. the sad thing is, with his "appropriate all the theories!" approach, its hard to guess whether he even knew he was taking something from the most anti-semitic book ever written. im not giving him the benefit of the doubt, but hes sloppy enough to do that. and so is roy.
its not like no one presses him to elaborate-- people do, and his reply is to attend a long seminar. this is the mark of a charlatan. when roy is pressed to elaborate, he sometimes gives ben-shapiro-esque non-sources that do nothing to support his claims. he loves holding other people to impossible standards and waving away other arguments, but when people question him he only says theyre wrong or questions their motives for asking.
but for the sake of my point, and only for the sake of my point, lets take one moment to give icke the benefit of the doubt-- only for a moment, and then we can go back to throwing stones, if you like. ive tried to make clear that this isnt to defend him. its rhetorical.
i cant give the benefit of the doubt to roy, ive watched him try to assassinate me out of spite, then pretend i set out to do it first, which i know i did not. that was the thanks i get for helping him for 2 years. but if you help microsoft theyre a monopolist who own everything, and so is roy. there is no gratitude, no principle, no mercy. only appropriation, manipulation and spite.
but lets pretend that icke is different. he doesnt seem to be spiteful. he seems gentle and polite. roy goes far out of his way to present this image himself. i dont know if icke is faking it or not.
what i mean is, lets say for the sake of argument that icke is completely sincere.
if he is completely sincere, it doesnt make sense that he fails so utterly to synthesise information, that he introduces too many scientific NON-FACTS (i think i already caught one about dna and biology was never a strong suit of mine) while trashing "mainstream science" for being dishonest-- for someone who is so sincere he has a different (lower) set of standards for himself, while acting like hes a bastion of truth in a world of lies.
i agree that society is dishonest, that its setup in a way that is nonsensical and unreasonable. what i have trouble doing is seeing icke as someone who is doing anything differently than what i already know roy does.
and while perhaps some miracle will demonstrate the sincerity and good intentions (even good faith) of ickes prolific writing, i think he is inconsistent, sloppy and ultimately unaccountable, just like roy is.
its not prejudice, but overwhelming evidence, i think-- that gets roy and conspiracy theorists tarred with the same brush.
even so, im not so stuck up about about these theories. first there was #metoo, then there was pizzagate, then there was epstein. pizzagate was a ridiculous conspiracy theory. epstein really did run an underage brothel for elites. and #metoo was about real overlaps with these themes.
what i mean is, the world really is corrupt and a pretty strange place.
im not going to pick on icke for recycling hindu and native american mythology, i think hindu and native american mythology are very interesting. if you want to be unscientific about quantum theory and conflate it with religious mysticism, thats usually done in a very self-serving or intellectually careless fashion and thats a bit of trope too, but at least its fun. like pizzagate, it may ultimately find things in common with themes that are happening in reality, too.
what i dislike is the way that charlatans use this as a way to simply sell tickets, or sell themselves, so that people have respect for them that is... not always deserved.
icke gets money for this. roy gets to manipulate people. both are getting paid here, just not in the same way.
im less ruthless towards icke in part because im almost completely unfamiliar with his work, but ive been looking into it lately.
charlatans and cults follow distinct patterns in how they do things. i happen to be familiar with those patterns. like with psychology, a dismissive label or a few behaviours dont always prove anything at all. over time and observation, distinct patterns emerge.
we can fool ourselves about those patterns, or we can be honest with ourselves about what they most likely mean. im sure icke, IF he is sincere, can appreciate that. i know that roy absolutely cannot, because im far more intimately familiar with his process.
why does roy hate conspiracy theorists? because he is fundamentally and extraordinarily, an olympic level hypocrite. distancing himself from the same people he exploits is part of his process of monopolisation. microsoft does precisely the same with "linux", just as ibm has done dramatically with gnu and particularly with gcc. roy hates conspiracy theorists, the same way that some of the most homophobic people on earth are later found with other men in public restrooms. its such a convincing cover... at least, it is to some.
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