Call for a meeting (IRC/Hangout)

Xen list2 at
Sun Aug 2 12:40:17 UTC 2015

Quoting Paul Smith <paul at>:

> On Sat, 2015-08-01 at 14:52 +0100, Charlie Moss wrote:
>> I simply suggest Slack is a better system that IRC.
> That may be, however luckily we don't need to argue about it: it's
> simply a non-starter to use a closed-source/non-free (free as in
> freedom, not price) product as the primary communications medium for an
> open source platform like GNOME, no matter how much better it is.

I think you are right, if my opinion is worth anything. It is not
about freedom as much as it is also about power, control. A community
(humanity) thing is in control of the community (humanity). It means
you have an ability to direct its course, and it can not just
disappear on you. So with the power and the control comes
independence. Open source is mostly also about independence.

I for one detest having to use Adobe tools. I think GIMP is still a
very bad product from a user interface perspective -- well, perhaps
you know me a little by now. I once placed video's on Instagram and I
could only accomplish it using some Adobe Media Encoder or the like. I
detested it. It was for one an illegal version I used, and even If I
paid for it, it still wouldn't register as being "mine", since they
only offer "cloud services" now -- you pay for rent for the software.
This whole cloud and software-as-a-service move to me is a loss of
control, of power, of ownership, of dependability. So here I am: I am
able to do fun social media stuff but at the cost of not knowing
exactly how it is done, why it works, and with the thought of being in
an illegal or unlawful position since I "steal" the software.

And if they ever ripped it away from me, I'd be without. Something
that can never happen (hopefully, although we see issues like
OpenOffice/LibreOffice, which is like a slap in the face of open
source) with free, or community/humanity controlled projects like Open
Source usually is.

Still, I would use Slack. I would use Slack to develop an alternative
to Slack :P :P.

> I do think people have overreacted to this suggestion, and been
> unnecessarily rude.  I see no justification for accusations of trolling,
> etc.  This kind of reaction seems to happen more often than I'd expect
> for a list like this.

I have been called a troll many times and I believe I was just called
one a moment a go on this list.

Troll-calling happens everywhere on the internet and it is usually
meaningless and useless. The one who is called troll is usually not
trolling at all. In the sense of consciously and willfully being a
bastard. I always think the ones who call "troll" are the ones who
troll themselves, or have done so in the past. The whole idea of
trolling is that people don't notice it and "bite" what you offer
them. From this springs a reaction to quickly identify any troll and
thereby defuse it/him. But it usually hits the wrong board (slaat the
plank mis).

> Perhaps everyone could just take a step back from their keyboard and
> wait a few hours before firing off accusatory messages.  I often write
> strident emails, because it makes me feel better to express myself...
> but then I delete them without sending them and either don't reply at
> all if I ended up having nothing constructive to add, or else send
> something simple and concrete.  Nothing is lost by waiting until
> tomorrow to send that email, and no one ever wins the Internet.  IMHO
> this list would be more pleasant if people were more willing to give
> each other the benefit of the doubt.

IMO there should also some allowance for being strident. We are like
animals who never express their gripes. So when they do get triggered,
they often get out nasty, particularly from the ones who feel

There is this sort of slick and meaningless attitude on the web and
elsewhere in real life that to be "raw" is to be uncivilized and we
should always be polite and all that stuff. But in the name of decency
and civilized manners, many uncivilized and indecent things are
portrayed. You can perfectly insult a person with subtle means. You
can turn the tide against him without ever being rash. You can hurt
and damage people while being "below the radar". You can nullify
progress, stifle disagreement, object to demands for clarity, and all
of that stuff.

In recent times there was the disagreement and I believe still is
between the Kubuntu Council and the Ubuntu Council. From my
perspective, their disagreement was framed by the UCC as being all
about morals, while it was really about politics. Conceptual and
factual (intellectual, meaningful) disagreement was posed as violating
the Code of Conduct. This happens all the time everywhere.

One of the rules is "you can disagree, but do so in a polite manner".
However, the effect of that is that if someone is not happy with your
disagreement, they can frame it as being impolite, and hence you are
in violation of human decency norms. Then, what is actually a real
meaningful disagreement about content matter, is being stifled in the
name (supposedly) of morals but it is actually not hard to see, if I
am wishing to be so bold (and daring) -- that there are political or
business-wise motives behind it.

I will keep it short from here. I encounter violent opposition from
(even, open source) moderators and people in power all the time. Many
people in positions of power, such as forum moderators, have ulterior
motives, they have interests in mind, that are not expressed, are not
supposed to be spoken-out, or known. Disagreements in content matter
are framed as you being in violation of human norms. Factual
disagreement is always framed as moral indecency by those who do not
wish to hear your opinions, or see them expressed in public where it
can hurt their interests.

Sometimes those interests are nothing more than their own power
position (disagreeing with a moderator as to his own behaviour or
conduct) -- on many forums disagreeing with a moderator about anything
is a violation in itself. They are absolute dictators, in the literal
sense of the word.

People who work for open source also often or always have certain
interests. The main interest is not being wrong ;-).

Open source is an ideology. With fervent adherents. With being
ingrained by a certain mode of doing things due to long experience (in
that mode of doing things).

I once learned about a novice cook who was trained by his superior to
do a certain thing in a certain way. I believe it was about making a
roux. The process that the teacher taught was very arduous and risked
burning the thing. The student quickly thought of a better way to do
it. He suggested it to his superior. He was burned for it. The teacher
was not going to hear from a novice on how to do things. In anime
(manga) this would be expressed by a muscle in the forehead tensing ;-).

Often if you mention anything "negative" about Linux or the open
source methodology or whatever, you get quickly attacked.

In anime that student would be running for his life ;-).

Regards, Bart.

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