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Re: sigh

From: Eric S. Raymond <esr_at_thyrsus.com>
Date: 2001-04-03 05:17:31 CEST

Larry McVoy <lm@bitmover.com>:
> Eric, show some grace for a change. You're pissing all over someone who
> was trying to be friendly.

You stopped being friendly the moment you accused me of "fabricating"
for reporting words that you said and ought to have the guts to own up
to. That's not forgivable behavior. You make enemies that way.
You've now made one out of me.

And that was stupid. Because what you said wasn't so bad that it
would have made enemies out of anybody. But no, clever Larry had to
play games again. You really are your own worst enemy.

> Anyone who knows me understands that I learned in grad school that while
> it might be OK to say "that's a stupid idea", it is *never* OK to say
> "you are a stupid and worthless person". That distinction is key.

> Anyway, I absolutely stand by my statement. I did not say what you
> implied, and you aren't going to find any "witnesses" who say otherwise.

Observe Larry's fancy footwork, people. What he's been trying to do
is to confuse the issue between (a) "Eric says that Larry said the
Subversion people are idiots" and (b) "Eric says that Larry said the
Subversion people are doing a stupid thing". Clever Larry probably
figures that if he can persuade everybody I was reporting (a), he
makes me look like a liar and gets off the hook for actually saying (b).

Clever Larry begins by dragging the "I've learned to attack ideas, not
people" red herring across the trail. A careless reader could easily
be gulled into thinking I was accusing him of attacking people rather
than ideas -- something I have not done, because Larry didn't do that.
Not this time, at least not until he called me a liar.

The keystone of his sophistry is the word "implied". It's sneaky and
clever and very like something I might have pulled when I was 23 or so
-- by not claiming outright that he didn't use the words I reported,
he can technically avoid telling a lie while leaving the reader with
the impression that *my* report was a lie.

Well, I'm not implying a damn thing; I am stating, straight out, that
Larry called the decision to use a binary DB format a stupid thing
*without* implying the Subversion guys are idiots. I agreed with him
on both counts -- it was a bad call by people who seem generally to be
impressively competent. And he referred to cheering and celebration
at Bitkeeper twice in my hearing.

And I *can* get witnesses. But I don't think I need to bother. Because,
Larry, if it comes down to your word against mine, you are not in good
shape. You have made false-to-fact statements attacking me once before on
this list and had to retract them when one of your own engineers
called you on them.

For a genius, you are an utter idiot sometimes. This was all completely
unnecessary, and is not going to end well for you.

		Eric S. Raymond
Never could an increase of comfort or security be a sufficient good to be
bought at the price of liberty.
	-- Hillaire Belloc
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:27 2006

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