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I didn't think it was an attack, and I think it mostly comes down to your initial impression of whether the author agrees with RMS.

I personally read it as a socially awkward gray beard wandering through, imparting wisdom that will inevitably fall on deaf ears - they're going to have to learn it the hard way.

In this context, the comments serve as a contrast against his wisdom. Despite his disheveled appearance, RMS happened to be the smartest person in the room at that particular moment.

But many people seem to be reading it in a context of "weird old guy walks in and says something silly", which could fit the text too.

Personally I think RMS is so right about this issue that I didn't even consider it the other way at first.

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