Intend and goal behind GNOME has always been the same, provide great software available to all. See http://www.gnome.org/. This has been the same goal for a very very long time. That GNOME 3 is not for you, really unfortunate, but fail to see the relation of you disliking GNOME 3 with "stated intent and goals". Think you agree with the goal, just not how it is executed.
It also does not matter if "Linus is going to turn around and throw it all away". What does that matter? It is free software, he can throw away / delete his copy. Pretty sure he does that every so often, if only in a benchmark.