Ultima ratio regum (The final argument of kings)

Anthony Vickers anthonyvickers at gmail.com
Sat Aug 11 03:53:19 UTC 2007

I was kicked from #ubuntu-offtopic today for the first and last time.
I won't be back and, it has to be said, I won't be missed by some.
I've kicked up a stink with you ops before. Maybe it's the rebel in me
and I'll admit I do have a problem with authority. Not so much
conforming, well, maybe a little bit but I do have a problem with by
being told what to do, how to do it and how the world works, oh yes,
and so rudely! I've been on this longer than some of you and, I think,
I'm doing well to keep up with the changes. I never got on with
academia, have very few and poor qualifications to my name but I've
read a bit and been around long enough and lived enough to know a
thing or two. I'm a good and conscientious, respectful and usually
polite  person. Now, all of you, listen up.

I don't often question ops decisions, I mostly agree with them. Just
occasionally though. Ops are out of line. I invited my kick tonight. I
fully expected it. The whole heat of the discussion and the manner of
the ops with their @'s on screamed at me, "push this and you'll be
kicked" but I went ahead and did it anyway. How, why? I pointed out,
twice, where I thought the ops were bullying. I called no-one names. I
did express an opinion on their current behaviour though. Explicitly,
I told them each, in turn, that they were bullying.

I can well understand when ops have a situation to deal with that much
of the time it's difficult and it's just as important, I think, to
understand the rules of engagement as much as the rules of the channel
when exercising good judgement. I'll start with the latter. Let's take
the use of the word Nazi. This word has become taboo, I'm sure, not
through its contextual use but from its use as a slur. Using the word
in context of a video game, especially one featuring Nazis, should be
at at least tolerable and, in my opinion, only when used as a slur
should invite chastisement and kicks or even bans for repeated
offenders. The premise that "Rules is rules" especially when they're
not written anywhere is quite obtuse and some blurring and
understanding of grey areas is important if an Op wants or needs to
lay down the law without revolt. Though some, unfortunately, love
revolt and especially dealing with it. All that emotional upsurge and
in the end, you win. I think, some of you really do invite the trouble
you get and actually relish in it. This, despite your displays of
displeasure and anger.

So, on to rules of engagement. These are quite neatly laid out in the
freenode guidelines. It discusses a lot about heat in the channel, how
to and how not to deal with heated situations and still keep your
cool. It's all a fairly good metaphor as I recall. Well worth a read.

Politeness costs nothing at the end of the day and impoliteness along
with throwing one's weight around will only earn the disregard of
others. Though it seems evident that the only regard of concern to
many ops is that of other ops. You share the buzz. Such is the status
quo of a two tier hierarchy. On IRC at least, it seems to do little in
lending itself to the ubuntu philosophy.

It's with a heavy heart I do this. I love to come in to
#ubuntu-offtopic and have a fun time playing with the other kids until
someone bigger enters the playground and starts pushing the other kids
around. Ruins my day. The Ops that ruined my day today were Elkbuntu
and Mneptok.

So long and thanks for all the fish.


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