Respulsiveness [was: Re: Call for a meeting (IRC/Hangout)]

Xen list3 at
Sun Aug 2 18:18:37 UTC 2015

Quoting Tim <darkxst at>:

> Bart, do you really have nothing better than to send out blubber      
> essays to our email lists? I called you out on a personal attack,     
>  nothing
> more.. I'll add a few more comments below, but do consider any      
> project needs leaders, decisions need to be made, and not every      
> single suggestion
> can be implemented.

Hey, I'm locked up somewhere. I have no future and no past, what do
you expect me to do ;-).

By the way, do you *really* have to call my words "blubber"? That
seems the sort of negative villifying that (at least) the Ubuntu
derivatives like to speak of. But I'm sure it's just cultural.

>> 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.

> The whole point of the code of conduct is to avoid this stuff, I can  
>     assure you no one our teams has any intentions of doing that.

But it happens all the time. By the way, I was not directing my words
at you specifically, and I was also not responding to the latest batch
of messages in the former thread. I even avoided reading those thus
far (they were about 3). So I was not speaking to or about your teams,
directly, or specifically. I was more speaking of a certain phenomenon
in general, so you can learn (or discern) that certain modes of being
(expressing yourself) may in general be beneficial to the whole group.

I find in your response to this message I wrote you take my words to
have been a personal attack on you? I was not thinking of you
specifically. So the question is, if that is welcome or essential, why
do you feel attacked when none was intended or even directed? :).

> Don't comment on things you don't have the facts for, it goes a bit   
>    deeper than than the final shit-fall that was published   
> publically,    I'm not going to comment on that though

I think I have the perfect right to include some recent event in my
explanation or treatise on how I see things. It was just meant as
illustration and I also don't see why I should be disallowed to do a
certain thing just because you say so...

It is pretty clear from /reading/ the CoC though, that it is meant to
stifle disagreement. That is without knowing anything else. But let's
not get into that. I'm just saying that the CoC doesn't prevent
"hidden attacks", it caters for them by disallowing "visible attacks"
that are actually well-intended (expressions of dismay at being
treated unfairly, for instance). And My Post here was only meant for
one thing:

To chime in on Paul Smith's words by adding that "being strident" is
not a bad thing. (You just said you called me out on a personal
attack, I haven't read that yet. But you just attacked me personally
by calling my text "blubber" (there are many other words, like
'vitriol', 'rant', etc.). Whenever someone tries to make a point that
people disagree with, the words (that have acute observation in them)
are quickly termed "blubber" or "vitriol" or "rant" or whatever else
that serves their purpose.). You might say "You're being overly rash".
Or "We've heard you, now please let us be." Or "I think you're right,
but it will take a bit of time to sink in" or any number of "decent"


But Tim, this was not a personal attack:

"On Tue, Jul 28, 2015, at 12:20 AM, Xen wrote:
> You know, it starts to feel like
> /the new fragrance by ..../.
> ;-).
> Patrik Bubak is going to be famous.
Personal Attacks (or any other behaviour that breaches the Ubuntu Code
of Conduct) will not be tolerated on this list. Xen I suggest you go an
read [1], since I won't hesitate to ban you if you step out of line


Hahaha. I was just having a bit of fun. And Patrik showed himself on
his ugliest side possible. Well going.

>> 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.

> You are completely missing the point here, we want to hear your      
> ideas, and incorporate what we can, but at the end of the day if we   
>    did
> everything that everyone ever asked we would just end up with a      
> cluster fuck of a project. It has to be about pleasing the majority   
>    and not just
> every single user. You need to respect that and not start attacking   
>    our team members etc...

I was not speaking of you directly. I don't see why you are taking it
as a personal criticism to that extent.

I will note however that in general (also on these lists) whenever
ideas are presented (to you, perhaps also) they are quickly turned
down or shooed. Sometimes an idea takes a little longer to express.
But I will just say this:


You just insulted and scared off that Charlie Moss.

Consequently the next message is about attracting new users.

So first you are hateful to newcomers who want to contribute.
Then you complain about there not being any new contributors, or not enough.

First you run off the new swat of people, then you try to get the new
batch in.

You are like the hotel owner who says to his guests "Well, if you want
towels, you'll have to get them yourself." ???

I'm just saying that your attitude is not helpful.

I'm saying that you do not recognise your friends.

Any newcomer will have a difference of opinion, will not see things as
you do, and this is a BENEFIT.

But you disrupt attempts by newcomers to "bring in some new life". You
quickly turn hostile against them when they disagree with what you do,
calling them trolls.

Your are not being appreciative and perceptive, welcoming and restful.
You claim you want new people but you do not have time to listen to
anyone. My own messages, your biggest complaint is that it takes a lot
of time that you need for your projects.

Usually the best meetings happen when there is a little time off. The
personel manager that comes to see you and have a chat.

Time spent in ease and without pressure clears up misunderstandings.
But you need the space. You need to offer the space. Any newcomer will
need space. You are in the habit of closing down that space constantly
because you have so much work to do, apparently.

But time spent in a bad way is time ill-spent, or ineffectively spent.
Sometimes you have to stop and watch what you're doing.

> It is kind of amazing how some open source users have a false sense   
>    of entitlement, like they can demand the direction of the  
> project,     that mostly have never even contributed to said project.

You do not recognise their efforts as a contribution. You also do not
recognise that you are turning down their attempts at contributing
from the get go. They offer ideas and you quickly turn them down. So
they feel unappreciated.

In general an idea is a valuable thing, in itself. So when a user
offers an idea, it is not necessarily "to have an influence" - it is
to offer something valuable. A gem, as you will.

All that user wants is for the gift to be accepted. But you usually
turn down such gifts very rapidly. You quickly say why it's a bad
idea. I think I can find numerous examples if I dig in the lists.
Charlie Moss, would perhaps of course be just one example, If I may be
so bold to include him here, seeing as that he has already left.

When you say immediately "No, we can't do that, because ..." or
"That's nice in principe, but unworkable because..." or "Believe me,
we've been there, done that" then you are not welcoming the
contribution but rather turning it away, trying to get rid of it.
Mostly because you feel you don't have the time to deal with it.

Then when the contributor gets angry and says "Hey, you pricks, maybe
it would not be so bad to listen to my ideas first in the first place
and just properly evaluate or appreciate it before turning it down
like that?" you quickly wave the CoC in his face and cry "personal
attack" when you have been attacking that user and his ideas from the
get go.

And that is the unwelcoming part and you do not see what you're doing.

And then you wonder how to do better promotion, but you're messing up
or even fucking up the actual welcoming of new people, Like Mr. Moss

And some would even consider these words of mine to be "bad promotion"
or whatever. Word. They used. But PEOPLE SEE THE TRUTH ANYWAY.

And eventually, or very much directly, your own attitude is what
attracts or scares off people, not their knowing full on what is going

And if you can't even apologize to that Charlie Moss (or to me, even),
mr. Moss who has not shed a bad word in all his communications,
apparently. Unlike me of course ;-) then it is pretty clear to anyone
reading these lists that there are certain Demands placed on new users
(contributors) and there is a fair amount of Cynicism and there are
big Expectations. And you better watch your mouth or you get vilified.

I mean, I'm fighting my own battle, of course. Patrik Bubak is
probably right. My life is worthless. I have nothing and no one,
except my father at this point apparently.

I risk losing this laptop again when they are to use it against me. My
father is trying to get... well, whatever. Finances, living space, all
that stuff.

I have even stopped eating as per today. I might have.

Well, see ya.

Or not. I guess it is up to you as well.

> Again no, we have a very friendly team here, no one would attack      
> you, but for the fact you came across way to hard, and wouldn't give  
>     up, when
> we said that isnt possible. That is not how you contribute to open    
>   source, start small, build up trust and respect and then you can    
>   move onto
> the bigger ideas!

Alright I didn't see this when I read the email, my apologies, I had
already concluded. I guess.

But thank you for this piece. That is very helpful. I am correct in
saying that you have a friendly team? :P. That might me seen as
mocking again. Haha, but I do believe you. When you say you are, you

It's just that this "law" of open source does not coincide very well
with human nature, if I may be so bold or rash to express it like that.

You will find that people who are not used to, or do not agree
entirely with, this open source "rule of law", will be offended by it.
I could write books about it, but only if (and because) I had the
experience of dealing with you people directly, like I have now ;-).
Hey, just imagine that I will live another few years and I might
contribute something nice. Who knows. Could happen.

You are pretty much saying "accept things as they are, work with it,
do not try to go against it, and you may get somewhere". But that's
the sort of thing you say to a new employee that you really want to
exploit. That's the sort of thing a crime boss might say to a new guy,
or some employer might say to an employee or newcomer he/she wants to
work to the max and ensure .....

But what is the benefit here? Status? Wealth? Power? All these things
are meaningless anyway if you find at the end of the process that you
still can't do what you want.

People often express... I saw a law enforcement veteran. From the
States. Who expressed his dismay at how things were being run but he
had had the hope that once he attained a higher rank, he would be able
to change or affect things. The reality was different.

People are used to doing their own stuff. Or they should be, in any
case. Why succumb to the rules of a system? People generally do that
because they think it is the only way to survive or be successful,
which is mostly the same thing.

I am not willing to become some sort of puppet or trainee who accepts
that he needs to stay quiet and observe, work hard, and then finally
be rewarded as people start to listen to you etc. I do not need to
earn the right to contribute in better ways by first sacrificing
myself, offering myself and my services with no input from my personal
views, just so that after a few years *maybe* a few people will start
listening to me but *only* if I speak nicely and respect my
'superiors'. No, thank you.

Perhaps that was traditionally done in many societies. But this is
different. I do not need to go there, and I do not wish to.

And I can tell you these demands placed on new users (contributors)
scares people off because they can also be doing their own projects in
their free time.

I have no intent at all to become some slave to the system. The open
source structure is not pretty at this point. I have many ideas and I
can seek to effectuate them on my own just as well. I have a million
projects, that I could work on (given the health, the time and the
freedom) and even though it all seems worthless and pointless at this
point, I'd still rather do that than join some alien team or project
that does things in a very disagreeable manner (to me) just with the
prospect to finally "have a Voice".

I'd rather die than do things someone else's way, which I am doing, at
this point, I guess. I mean dying.

So I don't think you have a good reading on my intentions or those of
any other newcomers.

People always offer ideas first. Work comes later. That is the process
of creation. First idea, then work.

First concept, then design, then implementation. There are actually
five stages to creation. Idea. Act. Feedback. Expand. Recognise.
Feedback is what we call "community". Expansion is what we call
"getting involved" or "contribute". First you sell new users to the
idea, then to what it does, then to the community you get from it,
then you sell involvement, and finally you sell the entire foundation,
what came before, the whole linux or open source world.

Anybody who seeks to contribute will come with an idea. Then when the
idea is accepted, he/she will seek to work on that idea. You can't
expect people to abandon their own ideas, and reverse the entire thing.

People want to first get their idea accepted. Then they want to work
on getting it realised to some extent. Then as the process goes they
want to become a part of the community they are entering. Then they
will seek to expand that community or enterprise, or expand their own
involvement, ideas, etc. Then they will want to learn about the bigger
ecosystem. It goes in stages.

But what you are now wishing for, expecting, hoping or demanding that
users do, is to reverse that process. You want them to first accept
like Ubuntu Gnome as their group. You want them to recognise the
community and what they've done and what they're doing. Then once they
are "in the group" you want them to perform duties for the group. Then
finally you want them to have ideas.

BUT IT DOESN'T WORK like that.

Anyone but the most ardent followers of fashion will get dissuaded by this.

And the authoritative nature of some of the groups here (I have only
witnessed the design team) doesn't help either.

People have ideas from the get go. Any newcomer that wants to do
anything, will have. You surely can't expect them to bury their ideas,
become a part of what you are, do your work, work up the ladder, earn
"respect" (it was never given to them) and then finally obtain the
'privilege' to have a say in their own work??????....

Why should anyone do work they don't want to do? Just so that YOU will
finally accept them? As part of the whole, the borg, the group?

Always this "work first, talk later". You are misinterpreting and
misreading people's intentions. They don't want to steer your project,
but they want to offer ideas that can get them involved. Then when you
reject the ideas without good reason or rationale they get upset and
you think they are then demanding an influence.

The influence that you have.

And won't let go.

The influence that you gained by "putting in the work" without being
respected at the first stage. The influence that is like a power
position because you are apparently the worker who has done all the
work, or who has been able to attain the position where the work is
possible and is recognised.

An often unassailable position, I mean just look at the whole drama
about SystemD.

The term "BDFL" or "SABDFL" often comes about ;-).

They are just pyramidal hierarchies. Well, let's leave it at this.

Principally, the more space you offer to a newcomer, the more the
newcomer will offer in return. But don't take this to mean you have to
accept everything. All that is required is to be respectful and
appreciative. Make sure the person is getting HEARD.

Most people just want to be heard. They get angry when they're not.

They want to be understood, which is the same thing.

BTW: You (or someone) put me on the moderation list for this group. I
was so bold as to just subscribe with a new email. I may be on
moderation once more. That is really the filthy,
not-speaking-about-publicly thing that I so detest, the thing I was
mentioning earlier.

People who supposedly value transparency and openness and then
silently put you on a moderation or black-list without anyone else
knowing. So their true nature comes out, so to speak.

That is the dictatorship I was mentioning. People don't like your
words, huppa you are on a moderation list. It happened here, it
happened elsewhere. You can blame me for it, but you can also blame
culture. You can blame special interests. You can blame wanting to
uphold an image that is all nice and shiney. You can blame politics.
Well, so be it.

And indeed, it happened once more. You just moderate someone you  
disagree with. Abuse of power position, anyone? Filth. Really. Not  
mention it to anyone either. So you can get away with it. Really.

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