Subject: Re: Essay RFC delayed.
From: "Eric S. Raymond" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 16:57:01 -0400

Ean R . Schuessler <>:
> You know, I think that this is where I must totally disagree with you.
> Your contention that corporations have no notion of civic duty is both
> a simple minded stereotype and fundamentally untrue. The notion of shared
> public infrastructures is neither new nor unappetizing to large
> organizations.

If you're so smart, why aren't *you* the person the Wall Street Journal calls?

I know that sounds pretty snotty.  I'm almost past caring that it does, because
I'm fed up with the inability of supposedly intelligent people to see past
their idealism and their prejudices.

Your alternative fails the reality test.  The shared-public-infrastructure
argument has been tried; hell, I used to try it myself when I was as naive as
you are.  It doesn't work.  Never mind whether it's "right" or not.  That's not
the issue here, and this consistent confusion between good ethics and good
tactics is exactly your problem (and RMS's).

Wake up, man.  The percentage of people who can be reached by
arguments that aren't founded in selfishness is *tiny*.  You and I
both happen to be among them -- but I know I'm in a minority, and you
apparently don't.  

Among corporate CEOs the percentage drops further because it's their
*job* to be selfish;  it's their *job* to maximize shareholder value
at the expense of anything else.

I never lie.  But sometimes a partial truth is more effective than the
whole deal -- and that's exactly how it is with "free software".
		<a href="Eric">">Eric S. Raymond</a>

No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound
to enforce it.  
	-- 16 Am. Jur. Sec. 177 late 2d, Sec 256