Personally, I would much rather someone be brutally honest with me, rather than beating around the bush or talking in innuendos hoping that I will figure it out. PG is an expert in his field, and there is no point for him to waste either parties time participating in this charade. Being blunt likely accelerates the learning curve by gutting the conversation of red tape. Getting to the meat and potatoes of the conversation.
I genuinely do not understand why every discussion about this has people presenting the same two extremes - "Fuck off you idiot" on one end and an inability to give any useful information on the other.
In between those two extremes are a wide range of responses that can express anger at having your time wasted, through gratitude for something but inability to use it because of $REASON, through all sort of other stuff.
No one's defending the "fuck off you idiot" extreme, I don't believe. Linus, PG, no one successful gives that kind of criticism very often. It's usually, "fuck off for reasons x, y, and z. You're acting like an idiot."
Going through life being brutally honest would be a hell of a way to live. There obviously needs to be balance and there is a time and a place for everything. I just think that being brutally honest is the time and place when you are asking an expert for their opinion, like seeing a Dr. about a medical issue, he is not mean, but will tell you directly the facts, and his professional opinion on how to help your situation.
I guess brutally honest is open to interpretation too. I do mean, honest, professional, constructive feedback, but don't blow smoke up my ass when I need your help, because that is not what I'm there for.
I've worked in companies where it ends up a trainwreck, and one big reason is that everyone gets excited over some project, and keeps pivoting and not concentrating on bringing a project to an actual product for positive growth.
I respect PG, and the simple fact his time is limited, and his terse replies are usually to the point and justified.