Subject: Re: Essay RFC delayed.
From: "Eric S. Raymond" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 02:18:26 -0400

Richard Stallman <>:
> You're making simplistic statements about human behavior,
> which cannot possibly be true.

Richard, you don't understand "human behavior" worth a damn. If you
did, you would have done the job of persuading the non-hacker world
competently fifteen years ago.

Furthermore, you don't *want* to understand human behavior worth a
damn.  You told me long ago that you thought the effort would take up
too much of your think time and attention, and I see nothing in your
behavior to suggest you've changed your mind since.

So don't tell me I'm oversimplifying.  Not only don't you have the
knowledge base from which to criticize, you made a conscious value
choice not to acquire that knowledge.  You decided to concentrate
exclusively on software wizardry instead.

Well, you got what you wished for -- in both respects.  You're one of
the dozen or so most brilliant programmers ever to live, and you're
incompetent to the point of ludicrousness at understanding the thought
processes, drives, and motivations of the 99% of the population that
is not wired almost exactly like you.

Unlike most people, I don't consider the above observation to be an insult.
If you were less monomaniacal, we might not have Emacs and a large number
of other good things.  Arguably you made the correct choice -- and in fact
I have so argued to people who complain (for example) about your personal
hygiene.  Can't stand RMS?  Fine.  Don't deal with him.  Trying to change
him in any fundamental way is a waste of time, and probably not a good idea
if you could manage it.

Want to pose your own "non-simplistic" model of human behavior?  Fine
-- but don't expect me to take it (or your claim that I'm being
"simplistic") seriously until I see some operational evidence that
you've bothered to teach yourself a clue.
		<a href="Eric">">Eric S. Raymond</a>

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.
	-- Mohandas Gandhi