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Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] feeling intimidated for endorsing the GNU social c

From: Alexandre François Garreau
Subject: Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] feeling intimidated for endorsing the GNU social contract
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2020 17:57:22 +0100

Le jeudi 27 février 2020, 16:27:57 CET Ruben Safir a écrit :
> Frankly, this entire email is a lie.

No you can’t say that.  

> It is very subtle,

Yes it is.  For that subtle fact: this mail doesn’t contain anything 
factually false.  So it’s not a lie, and doesn’t even necessarily contains 
lies.  The only things I could doubt on are motivations (or rather: their 
evolution), which are both: a) unprovable and b) not to be speculated on.  
However even here, whatever my doubt, I can’t possibly imagine there’s not 
at least a part of truth in it.  Because it is hard to have friends, or at 
least colleagues, cosupporters of same views, etc. being hurt and not 
having an issue with that.

> but it an
> example as to why you receive such a strong push back.  You are NOT
> honest and your motivations [further speculation]

Since it is subtle, you’d better analyse it further and comment it in a 
less easy-to-withdraw manner.  And when it’s too difficult… well don’t.  If 
something is “too subtle” it likely doesn’t have *yet* the easy 
consequences you’d like to criticize.  So wait for them to appear, and 
keep privately, and kindly, your reservations.  Stay on a “I can’t explain 
why, but reading XXX, I don’t trust him…”, never more.  And preferably say 
that when it’s appropriated to say (when a friend of yours asks you, or 
when there’s a public consultation, and only *once* without repetition).

If you had to get angry, do that in front of someone that would understand 
and stand it.

> > I am very sorry for this. And I apologize because I was one of the
> > people who suggested people discuss things on this list.
> The use of the term "things" here is a lie and newspeak.

No, it is a general term.  People can be lazy.  They also can be lazy to 
purport theirs opponent’s views, but there’s no way using the word “thing” 
for anything is exagerated.  It is only imprecise, but then precize 
yourself.  People are allowed to be lazy, if they’re not sure what they’re 
talking about (make suggestions, instead of accusations).

> What you suggested is that since you have two supporters moderating this
> list,

They don’t have anymore, they regret that actually.  So you,re wrong.

> [same accusations as always] are the "things" you decided to do.

This was obvious.  Nobody is stupid.  You can use different terms as them 
for what, because of differing viewpoints, yet everybody understand them to 
refer the same thing.

> > In hindsight suggesting this list was a terrible recommendation
> > and I realize now that I put some people, who just wanted to discuss
> > what they love about being GNU, through a lot of pain.

> It was never your intention to discuss what you "love about being GNU".

I think it could.

> What there has been a discussion about has been the creation of a domain
> that claims it represents GNU

That was likely *after* they decided the list wasn’t as fit as it was 

> At no time has there been any discussion of what we love about GNU,

They were distracted, likely.  By opposition.  Not necessarily yours.  But 
maybe without non-GNU people they would have more talked about GNU.

> > I am very sorry
> > for that.
> Save me the crocodile tears.  Your efforts made RMS homeless for a
> period of time.

No they weren’t there at that time.  It was the consequences of MIT 
people.  These people aren’t MIT people.  Don’t conflate accusations like 
the people you hate did with rms.  I’m sure he wouldn’t like that as well.  
Also because he’s more reasonable.

> > I am certainly not recommending people make themselves a
> > target by publicly posting to this list anymore.
> Your hostile effort to take over GNU will be resisted by people of fine
> moral character and real concern for the freedoms it strives to protect
> no matter where you attempt to destroy GNU.

Harassment, insults, etc. aren’t “resistance”.  And behaving by repetition 
demonstrate the opposite of “concern”.

> > I have heard from various people they felt intimidated both by
> > reactions on the list, some by fellow GNU participants and from
> > outsiders sending them some of the most offensive email they ever
> > received.
> Since you have a pattern of lying, I chose not to believe that without
> proof.

Do you know Okham’s razor?  Hanlon’s razor?  First postulate incapacity, 
before to postulate malevolence.  You’re not the only violent party.  And 
you could as well consider people are more affected by what you write than 
you think.  And yet, because they believe to be right, they could keep 
doing it yet being affected and even hurt by you.  Because it is noway 

> Granted
> though, I grew up in the deep ghetto of East New York, Brooklyn and not
> some lillywhite ivy league town, so my sensibilities aren't yours.  When
> I was a teen-ager, people were shot dead on the street for an argument
> over a nickle bag.

Does it still nowadays?  With time, and economical development, violence 
decreases (sometimes from good, sometimes from bad reasons, but the result 
is still good)… you don’t need to keep it staying there.  We can resolve 
conflicts without this.  Especially as it doesn’t help.  RMS and GNU don’t 
need you for that.  Especially, they don’t need you to follow their own 
ideas and what they believe in, which includes being kind even with 
opponents, which includes not banning dissension, .

> > Some contain direct personal threats, extremely racist or
> > sexist language and even antisemitic views (luckily most of the worst
> > ones aren't posted to the list, but there have certainly also been
> > implicitly/implied threats and racist or sexist views posted on this
> > list).
> > I am certainly not recommending people make themselves a
> > target by publicly posting to this list anymore.

> I think this is yet another lie.
> Please post them to the list.  Your accusing unknown posters of racists
> and sexist views being posted.  I think you are a liar.

I was surprised, but I hope they’re not such blatant liars.  I guess the 
racism (including antisemitic) attacks would likely be from MikeeUSA (aka 
nipponmail, aka gameonlinux), who’s known for this behavior, and, given 
his participation (I used to be cc to many attacks but understandably 
wouldn’t be anymore), that was likely more than one month ago.  But then I 
keep finding it strange, as I don’t see how he built up any argument with 

Also, most of participants were (unfortunately) men, so I’m unsure who the 
sexists attacks were directed to… I think the most likely possibility, 
that you might not think about, were about sexist *discourse* which is not 
private personal threats, attacks, etc. that have happened in the last 
weeks (the ones from you).  In fact, even publicly, I just recall, 
MikeeUSA has repetedly supported pretty masculinists views, sexist views, 
etc.  They’re likely talking about him then, not you.  As he was a very 
notoriously known troll, and sent way more offensive as you (in comparison, 
you almost seemed legit to me, at the time you were both writing).

> > The FSF keeps ignoring our calls for a neutral discussion space. And I
> > think it is unacceptable that people are afraid to publicly discuss
> > why
> > they participate in GNU because they feel intimidated and fear to get
> > personal threats or have to endure racist or sexist language.
> People should not have an uncensored mailing list to through about
> libelous charges at individuals without it being accountable.

Yet they are accountable, and *you* argued against censorship.  You 
shouldn’t complain against censorship when you broke rules (ones by rms) 
and moderators advises (indirectly given by rms), while arguing for 
censorship for people who, however dishonestly, simply expressed diverging 
opinions, and *implied* (never restating them, and not all of them) unkind 
accusations against people.

> There is NO MAILING LIST BY GNU that is not safe for people to post of
> all genders, creeds and races.

Wellll… if we choose not to consider any spam-filtering software, the very 
concept of mailing-list and open protocol over a federated network (like 
mail) is actually unsafe.  Any really violent troll (such as MikeeUSA) 
could just get the emails (thanks to federation and publicness) of people 
whose discourse they don’t like, and harass them (through that same open 
and decentralized protocol).

To fix that requires to discuss privately (what they suggested, done 
(through their mailing-list) but initially didn’t want to), to 
centralize things (so you can’t message someone without passing through a 
moderator), or some mix of both (for instance you could simply publish 
moderated archives, without emails).

Or to add some free-software and federated way of moderating.  Mastodon 
has recently popularized the idea of giving sysadmins and hosters the 
ability to moderate anything.  But there could be others, and thanks to 
the concept of federations, all of these could freely compete.

> Your repeated accusation otherwise is a
> fraud and a lie.  The ONLY racist email sent was an obvious anti-Semitic
> troll, which nobody would give a damn about.  It is just interesting to
> me, though, that as usually, only the Jews get targeted.

If MikeeUSA at some point, privately, backed up his masculinist view about 
women dominating the world/etc. by antisemitism (actually he’s the troll), 
that wouldn’t be directed at a specific Jew, yet be racist, right?

> > IMHO the
> > FSF really has a responsibility to the GNU volunteers to be able to
> > work and communicate with each other without having to feel harassed
> > all the time.
> That is another lie.  I've reviewed these mailing lists and been a
> member of a number of them and NOBODY has been harassed other than a
> few maintainers harassing Richard and falsely accusing him of racist
> views and actions.

When you restate your opinion again and again, especially when it has 
blatant insults added, it is harassment.  And if you use mailing-list to 
get emails of people you harass (which is to be expected, as you, as you 
said, participated to them), you use them to harass people.  Even if the 
moderators were always there and doing an incritiquable job, if you used 
the lists to get email and mail privately, you used mailing lists to 
harass people, so it becomes possible to say “GNU mailing-lists are used 
to harass people”… in great part because of you.  As before this didn’t 
happen a lot (never, to my knowledge), and only you and MikeeUSA did that.  
So, even though it was possible before (as with any mailing-list) you made 
it aknowledgable.

If you never participated to those mailing-list, and only harassed people 
privately, and never shown to have got these mail by mailing-lists 
(typically by not doing that as answers to their mails there), say by 
harvesting mails on the web, on projects’ web page, etc. based on stuff 
such as anti-rms statement, social contract support, etc. one no longer 
could say “GNU mailing-lists are used to harass people” (yet they could 
say “GNU project current governance is supported by agressors, sexists, 
racists and harassors” (which is the dishonest way of saying “2 harassors 
(whose one sexist and racist threatening troll) support the current 
governance of GNU” (which is actually still half-false as I’m unsure 
MikeeUSA supported rms at all, he was only trying to conflates rms’ views 
and interests with his own, blaming at the same time his not-agressive-
enough behavior as his fault, possibly for racist and sexist reasons as 

> > We are working on providing a better discussion space for GNU
> > volunteers,
> You can do whatever you want, but this is not what you have tried to do
> until now

So now you state they do?

> and you are NOT ALLOWED to do is to claim that your represent
> the GNU project.

They could, however, as they’re currently trying to do, claim they set up 
tool for represent the set of people chosed by rms to maintain the GNU 
project.  They only happen to resume “we bring together rms’ chosen 
maintainers ourselves” as “we represent the GNU project”.  Which is simply 
a way to ignore everything else that constitutes GNU’s structure.

> What you have tried to do is oust GNU leadership by
> falsely accusing them of left-wing social justice thought crimes and
> dragging their reputations through the mud.

He’s notably himself a self proclaimed “social justice” left-wing guy you 

> > but that is taking some time. I hope we can soon though, so
> > people who do want to publicly discuss why and how they want to
> > participate in GNU can do that in a more safe space.
> I am sure it will be highly censored and full of libel and false
> accusations.  Good riddance.
> For the record, GNU and the FSF never discriminates in its hiring or
> appointments according to race, religion, gender,or sexual identity.
> Furthermore, Richard Stallman has been a vocal proponent of Feminism,
> and women's rights for his entire life and a vigilant support of civil
> rights for all walks of human life.

Maybe, as they may try to be, except rms has less consensual views as 
them.  Which is what typically happens when you attempt at the same time 
to have public views on everything, and to be consistent, like he does.

Also, as a more famous character, his life details are more publicly known 
and criticizable as theirs, who are a lot less personalized and famous.  
You talk about crowns and stuff, but I’m doubting they’d wish to be in rms’ 
shoes.  They’d likely prefer governance to be less personalized, possibly 
more opaque, but not something that could get them in the same troubles.
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