Richard Stallman resigns from MIT

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Pierre de Lacaze

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Sep 18, 2019, 1:30:50 PM9/18/19
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Alisa Leshchenko

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Sep 18, 2019, 4:33:27 PM9/18/19
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I'm just going to drop the original email here to allow everyone to form an opinion for themselves.

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin
Minsky:

“deceased AI ‘pioneer’ Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting
one of Epstein’s victims [2])”

The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault”
is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation:
taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as
Y, which is much worse than X.

The accusation quoted is a clear example of inflation. The reference
reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem.
(See https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/9/20798900/marvin-minsky-jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-island-court-records-unsealed.)
Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).
The word “assaulting” presumes that he applied force or violence, in
some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing.
Only that they had sex.

We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that
she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was
being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her
to conceal that from most of his associates.

I’ve concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it
is absolutely wrong to use the term “sexual assault” in an accusation.

Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a
specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the
criticism.
 (emphasis mine)

In addition, the woman who leaked the email thread never met Richard, and wouldn't have known that he insists on semantic clarity first and foremost. Personally, I believe we're burning witches here.

Alisa

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Dan Cross

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Sep 18, 2019, 5:31:55 PM9/18/19
to Alisa Leshchenko, Pierre de Lacaze, Lisp NYC, LispNYC-...@meetup.com
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