back to article Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Celebrity programmer Eric S. Raymond has aired a theory that feminist activists are trying to find a way to lay false sexual assault claims against male leaders of the open source community. Raymond is best known for his seminal tract The Cathedral and the Bazaar, and remains active in the world of open source, which he has …

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Trollface

You wish.

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Anonymous Coward

"do not be alone with any female, ever, at a technical conference"

Presumably he could just leave the webcam running as insurance. If he can find a Linux driver that actually works...

"an industry in which skilled workers are nearly always in demand"

Quite so - these tech conferences always have a high demand for lap dancers, booth babes, cocktail waitresses, etc. I really don't understand what they are moaning about...

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I have a logitech C170 on my computer. Plugged it in, all worked instantly, even with the complete and utter shitefest that is Skype for Linux.

I don't know why people make such patently false claims like this when they know they're going to be proven wrong. I guess some people can't help themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not that far fetched. There is a reason why CEOs of medium to large companies work in fishbowls (offices with glass for walls), have surveillance cameras in their offices, and go to conferences surrounded by staff (witnesses).

In Silicon Valley in the 1990's, false sexual accusations were rampant, all from girls looking for a payout. I watched one hyper-sexy young woman screw her way through all the VP's of a major Silicon Valley company, then claim she was sexually assaulted (settled out of court)

Just because someone doesn't have an office doesn't mean they aren't targets. If they have money and/or popularity, you are a target. It's vicious out there.

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Anonymous Coward

You say that as if it's not possible for those to things to possibly be mutually exclusive. Or are you just insinuating that her previous behavior meant that her claims shouldn't have been taken seriously, which is equally ignorant?

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Anonymous Coward

"Torvalds defence has always been that his ire is directed at bad code"

No point swearing at code, it can't hear you (fortunately it has no feelings either).

Has he considered calling his outbursts 'banter'?

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"No point swearing at code, it can't hear you (fortunately it has no feelings either)."

If we ever get to the point when code can hear you and does have feelings, we're doomed. Doomed I tell yee, doomed.

Unless Lotus Notes is particularly thick skinned, I'd get sued to bits by it.

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Actually his rants, while often caused by bad code, have also included suggestions that people kill themselves so I'd call that personal.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually his rants, while often caused by bad code, have also included suggestions that people kill themselves so I'd call that personal.

While Linus' rants have certainly not ceased, I believe that this particular aspect has indeed been toned down or eliminated since Sarah Sharp's initial complaint on the subject.

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Anonymous Coward

Worse for women?

I just like the fact that, while trying to combat sexism, there is still the excuse that Linus' attitude is worse for women in some way.

The fact is that Linus, at the very least, is consistent. While some have issues with the way he addresses code and coders, he does at least treat everyone the same. As far as equal rights go, everyone is entitled to a little rant from Linus, just submit sucky code :)

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Joke

Old Vulcan Proverb

Only Linus could say "Fuck You!" to Nvidia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Worse for women?

They're not claiming it's worse for women because Linus is worse toward women.

They're claiming it's worse for women because women are too fragile to cope with such a stern talking to, and Linus needs to be nicer to women.

They're also claiming that to be nicer to women is "benevolent sexism" and that being nicer to women is misogyny.

And woe betide the coder who can't decode their academic pretzel-think.

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Re: Worse for women?

Actually their academic pretzel-think is very simple; once you strip away the political game-playing, weaselling and manipulative bullshit, it really all just boils down to, "If you're male, you're wrong and deserve to be punished because you're to blame for every nasty thing men have ever done to women."

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Re: Worse for women?

Isn't it axiomatic that you aren't a real Linux coder if Linus has ranted at you at least once?

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"Unless Lotus Notes is particularly thick skinned"

I thought it had a six foot skin of soil years ago now. People still use Notes?!

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Holmes

"Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

That he's essentially circulating a wild conspiracy theory makes it even harder.

Drop the "wild", and reformulate "conspiracy theory" to "warning about trivial exploits" and we are getting there.

We are talking US, here. This is the country that has discovered a "college rape" epidemy recently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

"This is the country that has discovered a "college rape" epidemy recently."

Not all that recent. A quarter century ago one definition of "rape" at Macalester College was the woman regretting her decision after the fact to engage in consensual sexual congress with a male.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

A quarter century ago one definition of "rape" at Macalester College was the woman regretting her decision after the fact to engage in consensual sexual congress with a male.

The other typical definition of rape is where you've said "No thanks" to a female, and they decide on payback. Unfortunately very common. :(

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Re: "Your conspiracy theory only makes my penis harder!"

Not just the US. While we have it bad, I think it's actually worse in most European countries. In fact I pretty much put Assange's whole consulate episode down to just that issue, no NSA/CIA required.

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Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

As we live in a world where countless people crave their 15 minutes of social media fame and are happy to claim to be victims of some ...ism or ...phobia a cautious approach is the only sane response.

Recent events have shown that it doesn't take much for a reputation to be destroyed. The fact that in today's world you are not allowed to question motivation or veracity of allegations doesn't help.

Be paranoid.

Have witnesses and record interactions.

Even with these precautions you need to be prepared for well intended people to leap to the defence of shit stirrers without bothering to investigate facts.

It doesn't just effect Nobel prize winning scientists, there was a recent case in the UK where a minimum wage security guard in a store was accused of assaulting a breast feeding mum, the accuser leaping for social media to attack the store and the guard. It was only video evidence that showed the whole thing was made up and led to her prosecution. People will do this shit without any rational motivation beyond fame so give them a real reason and there are no limits.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

Amen!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

No! No! No!

Anyone with a half decent amount of money/property/assets is fair game for some women who see it as their ticket to a better life. viz, get pregnant and life the life of riley on the damages/maintenance payments.

Never reveal your $$$/££££ worth to anyone lest you become a target. If the above don't get you then the online scammers will certainly have a go. Even someone on a modest IT Income is a lot better off than a life on a sink estate and benefits.

Anon for obvious reasons and I grew up on such an estate.

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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

As the article points out, though, it isn't just the rich, powerful or famous that are subject to these types of accusations. Nor is it just women who make them, either. I've heard several stories of children who taunt teachers by saying "I'll tell my parents you touched me".

In the current climate, everyone has to be careful about being alone with someone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

" I've heard several stories of children who taunt teachers by saying "I'll tell my parents you touched me"."

Even 15 years ago there were concerns in the teaching profession about the increasing number of false allegations against teachers by pupils.

The "J'accuse" tactic has always been a good way to sow doubt about those you do not like. The more paranoid the culture - the more effective it can be.

IIRC - a government minister the other day said that the nature of checks on people who might come into contact with children need to be reconsidered. It has finally been recognised that the current poisonous atmosphere has seriously affected people's willingness to do any volunteer work near children.

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@A/C Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

It has finally been recognised that the current poisonous atmosphere has seriously affected people's willingness to do any volunteer work near children.

I've heard the same story from different backgrounds (Teachers, sport & club volunteers, etc): There are so few men willing to go into these areas because of the fear of being accused of being a paedo. Children are growing up with no real male role models - just the vacuous crap that is put out by the media.

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Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

"I've heard the same story from different backgrounds (Teachers, sport & club volunteers, etc): There are so few men willing to go into these areas because of the fear of being accused of being a paedo"

I was studying to be a primary school teacher in the mid-nineties (I did not complete the degree). I recall the first time we went out on school placements - the few males in our cohort were told not to help any children if we saw them hurt in the playground and to leave them where they were and go get a female teacher.

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Teacher accusations

About 1 in 5 teachers at schools and colleges in the UK have been the subject of a false allegation by a student, 1 in 7 have had false allegations levelled at them by a student's immediate family or family friend. Figures are taken from an ATL poll conducted amongst its members and reported in March 2015. The advent of social media has just made the situation worse with more avenues and sources for accusations to be thrown. With this and all the other crap that is thrown at teachers is it any wonder that UK has to be constantly on the search for new blood?

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Re: Teacher accusations

This is the world that we created. Aint we proud

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Re: Teacher accusations

My pal is a male teacher, top bloke and family guy, and he never leaves the classroom door closed and always has a teaching assistant present for one-to-ones with pupils. Sad, but I think necessary given how many utterly sick men seek out these roles. But not just sick men though, that's the catch.

On a lighter note, another pal, a total smart arse, used this to great effect in the '80s. He'd dragged me in to get tested by Scientologists (I hadn't heard of them back then) and we sat their test. He was just mocking them and me, but they obviously freaked even him so he said to make a run for it. A scientologist chased us out onto the street, weirdo, so my pal shouted at the top of his voice, "IF YOU EVER TOUCH HIM THERE AGAIN I'LL CALL THE POLICE". The entire street full of people stopped and stared, and I was almost as embarrassed as the scientologist, who fled and locked the door behind him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

> The "J'accuse" tactic

Sorry but I had to downvote your comment for your misinformed and inappropriate reference to Zola's pamphlet--an example of courage, decency, and selflessness if there ever was one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

> I recall the first time we went out on school placements - the few males in our cohort were told not to help any children if we saw them hurt in the playground and to leave them where they were and go get a female teacher.

Which is exactly how I ended up assisting a lone kid standing in a pool of vomit in the middle of one of Heathrow's busiests concourses while everyone (and I mean everyone) steered clear of him like he was a fucking leper or something. Eventually the teacher, with all the other kids in tow, showed up with some lass.

Regardless, I would much rather risk going to court under a false accusation than failing to assist someone in need. Not doing so is called cowardice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Teacher accusations

> About 1 in 5 teachers at schools and colleges in the UK have been the subject of a false allegation by a student,

So 4 out of 5 allegations were true?

[ Sorry, my sense of humour is not working very well today. :-/ ]

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Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

My son used to take a taxi to school. One day we forgot to apply sun cream, so we asked the school if they could pop some on his arms and neck.

They first refused to do it, stating that we had to travel to the school to do it, means me taking the day off work to do so... They finally conceded to apply sunscreen, and we got forms signed with 3 witness's that our child was not touched inappropriately !!!! A little extreme I think !!!

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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

As far as I know, Richard Jewel never got a public apology from Leno or Letterman for the things they said on the air.

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Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

Worse than the fact that few men are willing to go into these areas because of potential accusations of being a paedo, is that a real paedo, intent on grooming children and for possible future abuse, is not likely to be deterred by this potential accusation. Innocent & good men are taken out of the loop (so children lose good role models) but paedos are left in the loop (endangering children).

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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

I've not only seen it with coaches, I've seen it with PARENTS.

About three years ago, the male coach of a girl's volleyball team stated that he wouldn't return after the season. He demurred giving a reason, but when pressed, it was because one of the girls on the team had cornered him and demanded more time on the court, and if she didn't get it, she'd accuse him of molesting her, and his career and life would be over.

Of course, it was denied, at which point he showed the video taken by his laptop (the encounter had occurred in his office), showing exactly what he claimed. At which point, the SJW types promptly piled on, accusing him of having the camera on for some illicit purpose which was never quite clear.

The actual facts of the matter - that a girl on the team had clearly tried to blackmail the coach - didn't seem to matter; he was an adult, white male, and she was a teenage minority female, and therefore, he had to be guilty. Of something. It didn't really matter what.

I've also seen two cases where children have threated their parents, telling them some variation of "if you don't do what I want, I'll tell my teachers you touched me there, and they'll take me away". Fortunately, both parents were wise enough to give the "well, we hope you like your new family" response, and called their bluff.

esr's claims may or may not be right, but his recommendations are just common sense. I know many managers at companies that have a policy that they WILL NOT meet with a female colleague in a closed office without a third person present.

In an age where the flimsiest of accusations are treated as fact, and every man is considered a potential rapist, men are going to avoid putting themselves "he said/she said" situations.

Or, as one comedian put it, "why don't any of these potential rapists want to be alone in a room with me?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

"[...] and inappropriate reference to Zola's pamphlet- [...]"

My reference point was a story by probably one of the Sci-Fi authors. An oppressed society painted "JC" on walls - and rumours spread of a character Jacque Cuse who was responsible for many rebellious pamphlets and acts. The strategy was to generate suspicions to make members of the ruling elite turn on each other - much like the totalitarian regimes of Germany and Russia in the 1930/40s.

IIRC that story introduced me to the word "brindled" to describe one of the leading rebel characters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @A/C Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

"I was studying to be a primary school teacher in the mid-nineties (I did not complete the degree). I recall the first time we went out on school placements - the few males in our cohort were told not to help any children if we saw them hurt in the playground and to leave them where they were and go get a female teacher."

My aunt was a primary school teacher, in the latter years even women weren't supposed to make any sort of "excessive" contact. This was universally ignored, kid scraped their knee and was bawling their eyes out, of course they bloody well got a hug and a square of chocolate.

My brother had the luck to sit as jury on a case where a female nurse was accused of inappropriately touching a female patient. You try turning an overweight, bed-bound patient without putting your hands in all sorts of places to get them rolled over! Apparently the sum total of the case amounted to something like 3 hours, much of which was the prosecution abusing the defendant in the dock, and the jury came to a not-guilty verdict in about 10 minutes. And we've paid for that out of our taxes - the judge, lawyers, Police time to make the arrest and interview the suspect.

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Childcatcher

Re: Teacher accusations

So 4 out of 5 allegations were true?

[ Sorry, my sense of humour is not working very well today. :-/ ]

Well, if not written at least sarcastically, I have to say that your statistics ability is offline as well. A more complete statement might be that for every 3,000,000 teachers, on average 600,000 are falsely accused of inappropriate acts by a student, while around 2,500 are justifiably accused and an indeterminate but significant number are not accused at all even though they should be.

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Pint

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

Note to Assange, stay away from hores in the future.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

> In an age where the flimsiest of accusations are treated as fact,

In defence of the truth, I must say this observation of yours needs qualifying. Investigators and prosecutors will, in general, not treat "the flimsiest of accusations" as fact.

I do concede, on the other hand, that public opinion does do exactly as you describe. In my mind, a press that takes their responsibilities lightly has a lot to answer for.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Teacher accusations

> Well, if not written at least sarcastically

Yes it was written, partly, sarcastically. Got off on the wrong foot today, as it were.

In any event, I was half-arsedly attempting to make fun of the ambiguity in the original statement, in which the population (in the statistical sense) was not specified.

I should stick to Irishman jokes¹, I do those rather well.

¹ I also tried German jokes, but they turned out to be no laughing matter.

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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

> I do concede, on the other hand, that public opinion does do exactly as you describe. In my mind, a press that takes their responsibilities lightly has a lot to answer for.

It's not just the press though, all it takes is the "victim" to post on Facebook or Tweet and the poor sod who did something or other to piss her off starts getting abuse. Same goes in the local community, unless she's known for making false allegations.

If an accusation is made to the police, they will investigate it (at least going as far as a quick chat with the accused). That in itself is often seen as proof of guilt.

Both parties should have anonymity from the second an accusation is made, with the accused's anonymity only being dropped on conviction.

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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

>>In defence of the truth, I must say this observation of yours needs qualifying. Investigators and prosecutors will, in general, not treat "the flimsiest of accusations" as fact.

You've never sat on a jury before have you? Just going by my personal experience, I think the "in general" part of your statement is way wrong.

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JLV
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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

"do not be alone with any female, ever, at a technical conference"

I think this may be somewhat overstating the case. Call me gullible, but I prefer to give my fellow wpman the benefit of the doubt and do not wish to become that paranoid.

I'd be the first one to suggest that persons spreading malicious rumors about sexual assault and rape, if proven to be made up (rather than just unproven), should be held criminally liable. The nature of rape and assault makes it both very serious and often hard to disprove because it is one person's word against another. There should be serious legal consequences, not just an optional libel case, if someone is then found to be making things up on purpose.

But blanket paranoia and general distrust towards the female half of the population? Not my thing, sorry. Bit of common sense like not going up to your hotel room with a random person unless you know what you are doing? Leaving doors open? Not being alone with kids? Sure, that makes a lot of sense. But that's not what the the above is saying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

Note to Assange, stay away from hores in the future.

Wouldn't he have been much better off if he'd visited whores instead?

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Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

"People will do this shit without any rational motivation beyond fame so give them a real reason and there are no limits."

This. Times 1000.

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Facepalm

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

True, but the investigation and the stress incurred just might kill you. Once you get to the other side , you'll never have peace, you'll never see women in the same light again.

They will all be suspect, your spouse , your children , your sister, your mother, let alone coworkers and strangers . . . lurking psychopaths.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

> You've never sat on a jury before have you?

No. On the other hand, I'm an expert witness.

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