Friday, April 3, 2020

Re: Code of Conduct and Fedora Planet

On 03/04/2020 18:23, Matthew Miller wrote:
> Hi Daniel. I want to talk about the outcome I'd like to see, and see if
> we can get to a common ground.
> First, I recognize that your contributions in Fedora go way back. I see
> that you're working on technical things in a constructive way. And I
> like your points on investing in leadership skills. I can see that you
> have a lot of positive things to bring to any community project.
> At the same time, Fedora is not the place for attacks on other
> communities or individuals, via mailing lists or public blog posts.

I'm in complete agreement

> Bluntly, I don't see a way for these things to coexist. I'd like to see
> a future where this contradiction doesn't come up. The approach you are
> taking is not effective. It may stir things up, but it does not bring
> reasonable people to your side.
> Fedora is a place for people collaborating together to build free and
> open source operating system solutions. Fedora is not a place to pursue
> personal attacks which are disruptive in other communities. I'd love
> for you to be able to be a constructive part of the Project, but you
> really do have to choose one or the other.

I feel this statement doesn't adequately consider the broader context,
which includes the circulation of abusive messages in private over
almost three years now since the FSFE Fellowship voted for me as their
community representative. Voters knew what to expect from me, not least
of all because of my blogs, which have been distributed through Planet
Fedora and other sites.

I don't feel that asking about a conflict of interest is a personal
attack. It is about good governance.

Any basic course on writing or speaking encourages[1] us to use ethos,
pathos & logos together. Communication is based on these principles and
communication is a foundation of leadership. Tone policing and the
over-reactions to metaphors diminish that: tone police exclude ethos and
pathos, only permitting logos. The implication, logos alone, is that
volunteers are to work like robots.

It is hard to find mediocre metaphors and mediocre analogies for the
situations we have in some organizations today. Some examples may seem
extreme but in too many ways, the facts align. That said, in the
interests of diversity, I'll try to find a wider pool of metaphors.

I've contributed to a lot of voluntary organizations over my entire
life. I've never seen any of them behave the way free software
organizations are behaving today. Even in the swamp of student
politics, and I never heard of any other student union that was so
corrupt[2] as my own, I never saw an organization use their resources
(debian-private) to distribute a venomous email denouncing a
long-standing volunteer on Christmas Eve. Rogue elements of Debian did
that though. It is not the Third Reich but it is far from normal.

In such circumstances, do you feel the comparison of Debian's demotions
experiment[3] to Scientology's demotions[4] and smearing is accurate?
The recent attacks by Sam Hartman only make the comparison more compelling.

Why should somebody subjected to such emotional abuse be prevented from
choosing a metaphor to explain the harm being done?

Please consider communications about such things in context. A response
to such an attack is not a spontaneous personal attack. If Fedora
starts denouncing people on Christmas Eve then please don't be surprised
if some responses test the Code of Conduct. After all, a leader
attacking a volunteer during a holiday period or on a Sunday night makes
a mockery of the Code of Conduct. But in normal times, I don't feel
there is a problem.

I find it disturbing that responses like what you wrote today tend to
put the focus on a particular person or interaction and exclude a lot of
context. That itself is not respectful. For example, if I told you
that France was locking people in their homes, without explaining
Coronavirus, you might form a bad impression of France. There are a lot
of countries locking people in their homes right now and there are a lot
of volunteers who would be a lot more robust in their response if an
organization tried to systematically attack their projects, their
relationships and their career.

Please kindly put my blog back on Planet Fedora.



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