Re: comment wrt. ESR's talk in Vienna

Autor: Denis HAVLIK (
Datum: Mon Jul 15 2002 - 10:17:53 CEST

On Sun, 14 Jul 2002, Eric S. Raymond wrote:

+ Karin Kosina <>:
+ > Yes, you may call such people idealists -- for me "idealist" is not an
+ > insult. But to say that they are all lying to themselves is one.
+ I wouldn't say that, actually. Some idealists lie to themselves. Most
+ simply accept the cultural categories about "selfishness" and "altruism"
+ that they are handed and never examine their own behavior carefully enough
+ to realize how unreal the distinction is. I used to be like that myselfx.

In the end...

There isn't a big difference between folks who act (or say they do so) out
of "altruistic" or "positively selfish" reasons: everyone is free to
explain his (or hers) deeds in whatever way suits him/her.

The only reason why I prefer the "selfish" variant of explaining what
people do is of a somewhat personal nature:

I have several people in my family who are extremly eager at showing how
they sacrifise themselves for the good of others, and demand to be treated
with great respect (to put it mildly) in a very pushy way for this. The
problem is - they do stuff I couldn't care less about (or even stuff I
consider wrong), and they wan't let you even politely ignore them,
which often ends up in open conflicts...

As a consequence, I tend to distrust the folks who claim to do something
for the greater good without any hidden motives. .-)

Your mileage may differ.

have fun!

Dr. Denis Havlik     
Mandrakesoft           |||     e-mail:
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Our housekeeper doesn't do Windows and neither do WE! (L.P. Santuro)
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