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Re: GNU Kind Communication Guidelines versus "social contract" or Codes

From: Federico Leva (Nemo)
Subject: Re: GNU Kind Communication Guidelines versus "social contract" or Codes of Conduct
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:42:37 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.1.1

Andreas Enge, 06/11/19 11:33:
If you start by equating two unrelated concepts, nothing useful can come
out of a discussion.

I don't know about equating, but there is a clear connection. When you establish some rules with some sanctions, and a process to enforce them, this process needs to be depend on somebody or something. If this something is not held accountable to the same values and methods that the project normally operates on, it's easy to have a conflict.

A common example is a self-appointed enforcer attached to an entity accountable only to itself (as many USA foundations are). If you add it on top of a project whose community is a do-ocracy or democracy, based on some values, there is no way to make sure the enforcer respects the community's values.

(Forgive the following analogy.) Many software projects have a "constitution" but said constitution has no teeth. If you add a "criminal law" and there is no way to hold the respective executive/judicial power in check, whatever values the "constitution" proclaims are no longer worth the paper they're printed on.

The traditional GNU structure at least is coherent because there is a single source of legitimacy. In Debian, as far as I understand, everything is under the project leader, who is however elected. In Wikimedia there's a self-appointed legal entity with its own bureaucracy (Wikimedia Foundation) and a separate community with its own values and processes. These things are not easy to get right.


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