Subject: Re: Fear of Forking
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 23 Nov 1999 03:15:26 -0500

   Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 23:37:31 -0500
   From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>

   It was not my intention to insult either of you personally, and I
   apologize for doing so.  But, darn it, there has to be some way to say
   "I am not convinced by the position you are advancing" without
   dragging the speaker's integrity into it.  Science disbelieves results
   all the time without personally attacking the researchers.  What is
   the right way to state this?

Well, in my case, you expressed doubt that I was telling the truth
when I described my personal experiences.  It's pretty tough to doubt
that with dragging in my integrity.  (I'll be happy to send you the
messages if you've forgotten.)

   But I also believe the financial incentives work out as I described,
   and someday, somewhere, a less upright company will take advantage of
   it.  We should learn how to patch this important security hole in this
   important business model.  While I am personally very optimistic about
   free software, I try to be pessimistic when I think about security.

Financial incentives do indeed invite chicanery.  This is not a
security hole.  It means you should check a reasonable amount before
you spend money.  The amount of checking which is reasonable depends
upon how important the amount of money in question is to you.

Many people have a financial incentive to lie to you.  This does not
mean that they are actually doing so.  Farmers can get better money by
labelling their output as organic.  They can use some of the proceeds
to bribe the inspectors.  Why would you ever trust that the vegetables
at the store are organic?

   Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 00:22:28 -0500
   From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>

   I don't know what the fiduciary duty/noncompete/nondisclosure
   situations are for people on this list, and I never will know.  I can
   easily imagine many situations where what someone is legally obligated
   to say convincingly in public is vastly different from what they
   personally believe and work for, and that they were positioned in this
   unhappy conflict through no fault of their own.  So when I say "I'm
   not convinced", it means only that.  It emphatically doesn't mean "I
   think you are a liar", or "I think you have no integrity".

Brian, some people lie.  Most people either tell the truth or don't
say anything at all.  Your willingness to believe that people are
lying to you says something about you, and I don't think it's good.

I have no fiduciary duty/or noncompete situation with any FSB, beyond
being a stockholder.  I am marginally bound by Cygnus nondisclosure
agreements, but as I left there over a year ago I doubt I know
anything secret.

I make plenty of mistakes, and I often overstate my case, and I often
keep quiet rather than speaking out, but I don't intentionally
deceive.  When you tell me that my stories of my own direct experience
did not happen, you are telling me that I am a liar.  Telling me that
you can imagine that I am lying because of some sort of fiduciary duty
doesn't mean that you aren't questioning my integrity.

Ian