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

On Wed, Sep 03, 2014 at 09:00:04PM +0200, Alberto Garcia wrote:
Then there was the "bigoted people" part, which was certainly
unnecessary, but that he corrected immediately.

Ian Jackson wrote:
Linus described the FSF as `bigots'.  That is clearly beyond the pale.

Note that "bigoted" is a word that's changed a bit over time, gaining a much more negative connotation recently. M-W has his current definition:

"a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)"

and google tosses out as synonyms, "chauvinist, partisan, sectarian;
racist, sexist, homophobe, dogmatist, jingoist"

But the old Webster (1913) says:

"     2. A person who regards his own faith and views in matters of
          religion as unquestionably right, and any belief or
          opinion opposed to or differing from them as unreasonable
          or wicked. In an extended sense, a person who is
          intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in
          politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to
          his own church, party, belief, or opinion."

I wonder if people are reacting to the former definition, while Linus was intending more of the latter. I think it's possible to find examples of FSF being fairly unwilling to tolerate diversity of opinions on the definition of free software, for example. And it's certainly different (and reasonable) for Linus to describe them, in his opinion, as overly dogmatic in discussions with him as to how freedom should apply to his code--as opposed to describing them as racist homophobes (or whatever). Certainly it's suboptimal word choice given contemporary connotations, but it's not necessarily an attack of the sort envisioned by the CoC.

Mike Stone

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