Civility in the Marketplace of Ideas [was: Public Domain Python]

Steve Holden sholden at
Thu Sep 21 23:52:42 CEST 2000

Pat McCann wrote:
> cbbrowne at (Christopher Browne) writes:
> > RMS doesn't always say particularly agreeable things; he's pretty
> > honest when he _doesn't agree_.
> > ...
> > But "uncivil" does not seem to be a civil comment.
> I guess the key word above is "pretty".  Please read the following post
> for clear evidence of uncivility.  If you cannot find it there, I probably
> won't be able to convince you of it, but I have no doubt that most
> people who read it carefully will understand it as a call for an action
> justified by a claim of an expected good end result to be brought about
> by the deception.  It's uncivil in my book.
This is, to paraphrase your email address, bogus.

Or perhaps you'd prefer to think I haven't read it carefully enough.
Stallman is commenting on whether it's apropriate to apply the GPL to
IDLE interface descriptions.  I don't believe he advocates any action,
and specifically states at the end "So the real question is, what
result to you want?".  What worl are we occupying here?

> > I rather think that many of
> > those that consider him uncivil have more than a little bit of a chip
> > on their shoulders themselves.
> Quite right.  It's similar to the chips put on their shoulders by Bill
> Gates or Bill Clinton.  It's a form of jealousy in which people get
> emotionally upset when other people have great success

arguably true

>							 by engaging in
> unfair (and uncivil) tactics while other people who've not used those
> tactics and may be pushing a better "product" are not nearly so
> successful.

Why only in this way?  Jealousy of this nature appears to be usually
uncritically applied to those achieving success by whatever means.
"Unfair"?  Where did this come from?

>		  It's similar to the chip RMS has had on his shoulder for
> twenty years.  It's not always a bad thing if it has a beneficial
> influence on other people's ideas.  (But I'll admit there are better
> ways to do so than than responding to chip flippers on Internet forums.)

Well, you're right.  So I'll stop.  Thanks for the troll.
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