Eric Raymond is not my voice

Sunday, 7 Mar 2004

I’m as tired of hearing Eric S. Raymond trying to speak for the whole of the open source “community” as anyone else. The latest offense is his recent rant about CUPS, which may have some good points but could have been said in half as many words with half as much anger and twice as much persuasion. This is far from the first time I’ve felt that way, just the most drastic. Honestly, ever since I read him bald-facedly claiming that you [as a hacker] are one of the “cognitive elite” I’ve been of the opinion that he’s full of himself.

It’s worth noting how he touts his position on guns despite the fact that more than a few of these “we” consider his very own views questionable at best. (Of course, since “rapists love anti gun laws,” you’re obviously blind not to agree with him. Isn’t that the same tactic the G. W. Bush gov’t has been employing with regards to terrorism?) Now, I don’t at all care about (or for, for that matter) his views on guns. That is not what I’m here to argue about.

What pisses me off is his constant use of “we” and how he speaks of these “we” as if hackers (whichever group of them he is referring to) were some kind of Saintly Society; as if they were somehow less susceptible to moral faults than anyone else.

I don’t want to be spoken for by someone with such glaringly lacking modesty and ability of self reflection.