Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Take what you want and leave the rest

Wikipedia entry on ESR (check the history for the specific version I was reading)

As much as I've always advocated Eric Raymond's pragmatist view of open source software (like it or not, you can't always get what you want), I've always thought Raymond's political views were a bit out there. He's a self-proclaimed gun nut in a climate where people around the world criticize the US's weirdly manic stance on guns, and he's a radical libertarian in a world where regulation has proven itself necessary time and again.

But now he's apparently turned the Jargon File into his own personal political mouthpiece, not to mention openly espousing "The Bell Curve" when virtually no one without a racial ax to grind accepts it (the article references a blog post from '03, which is just a measure of how much time I've spent away from the hacker world), neo-conservatism and its associated rhetoric, and generally trying to make the hacker world more political than it has to be.

It's time for ESR to hand the baton off to someone a little less fringey. While I think his fundamental attitude towards Open Source is sound, it's time to find a spokesperson with fewer embarrassing other-subject opinions.


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