[Fsfe-ie] Groklaw on patents in Europe.

Ian Clarke ian at locut.us
Mon Aug 23 12:36:36 CEST 2004

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On 23 Aug 2004, at 11:20, adam beecher wrote:
> Ian,
> Sorry to lecture, but this bugs the living doodoo out of me...
>> This is a terrible idea...
> When you want someone to listen to your opinion, telling them they have
> "terrible idea(s)" usually isn't a good way to start.

That is why I didn't, I said *this* is a terrible idea, not that he has 
terrible ideas in general.

>  How would you respond
> to someone that started a conversation with you like that?

Depends on whether what they were saying made sense or not.  If I think 
something is a terrible idea then I will say so.  I was criticising his 
idea, not him.  If he is too thin-skinned to understand the difference, 
then he should probably refrain from expressing his opinions in public 

In this case I assume that he can give as good as he gets, he certainly 
doesn't hold back in his criticism of John Gray.

>  This kind of
> offensive (as in "going on the") communication is a massive issue for 
> the
> Free Software and Open Source movements, in my opinion. Wouldn't 
> something
> like "I don't think this is a good idea" have been a much nicer way of
> kicking your feedback off? Or is "nice" passé now, cos Richard 
> Stallman and
> Eric Raymond don't do it?

I tailor my response to what I am responding to.  If I thought "I don't 
think this is a good idea" adequately conveyed my strength of feeling 
on this issue then that is what I would have said.  In this case he is 
advocating an idea which IMHO seriously hurts the anti-patent cause, 
and I do not apologise for criticising it in the strongest terms.

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