Yeah, it's frustrating and annoying. But at the same time, he does make connections between things that are at least worth thinking about and exploring. It kinda looks like he credits the actors he's describing with making those same connections consciously, rather than having their own independent reasons for what they do.
The outsider doesn't really care about Linus's motivations (which Shirky seems to get wrong at every step of the way), but may be interested in the results of his decisions. That outsider may then consider making similar sorts of decisions.