Richard Stallman has been in Edinburgh yesterday, for a talk at the Informatics Colloquium. I had the honour to interview him. Reading the review on Ireland Indymedia about Richard Stallman’s talk in Dublin, I have the impression that it seemed to work out quite well in Edinburgh in general.
Pictures are up now on Indymedia Scotland. Alongside with an article, which has by now 73 comments (more to be expected)… Not bad for a website which has just started about a month ago.
The interview unfortunately is only 15 minutes long, as RMS was late for the interview. So couldn’t ask all the questions. Anyway, he first was quite grumpy, but he brightened up later. My god I was very nervous, my hands were shaking! It did not help much that he was putting another guy down because “he doesn’t want to talk about anything unimportant”. Or similar. I should have asked about his definition of insignificance.
It seems that politeness is also regarded as waste of time in many cases by him. Anyway, I can’t remember the exact words. I am sure RMS can, because he seems to be very focused and concentrated and exact, and able to keep this focus up for a very long time, also in his selection of words, and he seems to expect it from other people, too. As a foreign language speaker, I was particularly frightened of not phrasing the questions precisely and formulating them well enough and getting told off if I didn’t. Anyway, luckily enough I had some questions prepared and some more forwarded from different people, so, I had some paper to keep hold onto.
Once Stallman got talking though, it was much better, and his mood seemed to brighten up when talking.
Well, I am glad I did this interview because I learnt a lot. And that was the main aim for me. He even seemed to have been a little bit inspired by the questions, because some of the answers were repeated in the talk afterwards.
Unfortunately, I did not get around to ask the more political questions about WTO and domination of corporations, as time ran out.
Richard Stallman is not an anti-capitalist, as he states, and so I would have been interested in his perception on reformism and how to achieve his aims of limiting/decreasing the power of multinational corporations.
Also, I couldn’t ask the more personal questions, but he seemed to want to avoid these anyway.