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

Anthony Towns <aj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> In this thread, you've described Linus's behaviour/actions/comments as
> "really nasty" (above), "poisonous", "destructive",  "disappointing",
> "unhealthy", "aggressive[ly] contempt[uous]", "aggressively nasty",
> "hostile", "destructive to the community", "unacceptable treatment of
> human beings", and "globally unacceptable anywhere".

> At some point, doesn't that fall afoul of Debian's code of conduct?

I don't believe so, and will refer you to the previous reference to the
paradox of tolerance.  I don't have anything further to say on the topic
that isn't already said many times over on the Internet under that search

> As I understand it, we've established that Linus didn't do anything at
> DebConf we found unacceptable; and more particularly, didn't do
> anything at DebConf that you found unacceptable.


> I'm not sure what my point here is -- I guess your mails kind of come
> across as "I really want Debian to sanction Linus, because dammit he
> deserves it, this just isn't a good enough excuse".

I'm sorry that I've given this impression, since that was not my
intention, nor is it my belief.  It's clear that I wrote some of my
messages with the wrong emotional tone and gave an incorrect impression of
what I was advocating.

I don't think Debian sanctioning Linus would accomplish anything, either
here or in most future situations where I can imagine it would come up.  I
think that's a dead end for us for multiple reasons.  It's not like Linus
would ever apply to be a member of our community; as he said at the Q&A,
he broadly isn't interested in the work that Debian does at all.  Given
that, I think it would do Debian about as much good to sanction Linus as
it would to sanction, say, Barack Obama, or the government of China, or
Putin, or <pick your external political leader here>.  At best (worst) it
would just draw a bunch of attention that isn't productive or useful, and
it's highly unlikely to result in any actual change in the world.

Linus is, from the Debian perspective, an external force outside of our
community that we cooperate with or contend with depending on the
situation.  He occasionally provides us with an opportunity to clarify our
values by drawing a contrast with Linus's expressed values, which I think
we did reasonably well during the Q&A session.  But, really, we should
just focus on living those values, without regard to what any other
person, group, or community thinks about them except to the degree that we
can learn from them.  That's the most useful thing the project can be
doing here.

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

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