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Re: Code of Conduct complaint about Linus's comments at DC14 :: Respect

Michael Stone <mstone@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> What if someone felt that your stance requires overmuch scrupulosity in
> making sure not to offend, and that such an environment is also
> destructive and demoralizing?

Then they're free to express that opinion and try to get consensus to
exclude me from that community.  Realistically, I would simply leave such
a community rather than participate in it if the community was that
devoted to enabling hostile and aggressive behavior towards contributors.

> For myself, this is some of the unease I feel toward these code of
> conduct discussions: what is seen by some as a mandate for people to
> tone down the flaming on the mailing lists is seen as others as a much
> more sweeping mandate for a declaration of fundamental human rights (or
> something; I don't really want to mischaracterize anyone's position so
> much as illustrate the impression I take from it).

I am advocating for a change in Debian's culture (that I believe has been
in progress for some time) in which certain behaviors that were previously
acceptable become no longer acceptable.  That is going to make people
uncomfortable for a host of reasons, including some very good reasons that
I even agree with.  I think the benefit exceeds the harm.

As I mentioned in a similar discussion about this back at the NYC DebConf,
I fully expect at least some people to leave Debian because they're not
willing to follow those standards or because they don't want to support a
project that has those standards.  I *still* think the benefit exceeds the

> I think it's an astonishingly bold statement to declare that using a
> word according to a common definition is invalid or not useful. I think
> the most that you can state is that it isn't what *you* intend or that
> *you* give the word a particular connotation. Debian is a large
> community, but you seem to be treating it as synonymous with a much
> smaller community that has come to a consensus on ethics and jargon
> which the larger community simply has not.


This general concern is called the "paradox of tolerance" and is one of
the five most common discussions to have in this area (if not the most
common).  All I'm trying to say here is that most people who follows this
discussion for a while, myself included, quickly get sick of it and run
out of willingness to have this conversation.  If you're curious about the
standard analysis, there is a wealth of information on-line under those
Google search terms.  "Karl Popper" is a good set of additional terms to

Russ Allbery (rra@xxxxxxxxxx)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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