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Re: post-moderating this list

From: Stephen Montgomery-Smith
Subject: Re: post-moderating this list
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 13:00:57 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Thunderbird/17.0

On 12/21/2012 11:49 AM, Sergei Steshenko wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Stephen Montgomery-Smith <address@hidden>
>> To: address@hidden
>> Cc: 
>> Sent: Friday, December 21, 2012 7:03 PM
>> Subject: Re: post-moderating this list
>> On 12/21/12 09:46, Sergei Steshenko wrote:
>>>  ----- Original Message -----
>>>>  From: Francesco Potortì <address@hidden>
>>>>  To: Octave users list <address@hidden>
>>>>  Cc:
>>>>  Sent: Friday, December 21, 2012 3:13 PM
>>>>  Subject: post-moderating this list
>>>>  I'll try to make this a more structured proposal.
>>>>  In the last years, traffic on this least has increased, which is a good
>>>>  sign.  However, discussions who used to be focused on Octave with very
>>>>  rare off-topic threads are now often becoming tit-for-tats, annoying to
>>>>  most of us and time-consuming for the developers.
>>>>  I propose to introduce post-moderation.
>>>>  For example, this can be implemented by having three post-moderators.
>>>>  If two of three agree and the third one does not veto, a poster who 
>> goes
>>>>  off-track or who indulges in Octave or free software bashing will be
>>>>  gently and privately invited to stop after few offending posts.  If the
>>>>  poster's behaviour does not change after the second warning, the
>>>>  moderators will propose a one-month ban of the poster to the list
>>>>  owners.
>>>>  I volunteer to be one of the three moderators, or even a moderator for
>>>>  some variation of the above proposal.
>>>>  --
>>>>  Francesco Potortì (ricercatore)        Voice:  +39.050.315.3058 
>> (op.2111)
>>>>  ISTI - Area della ricerca CNR          Mobile: +39.348.8283.107
>>>>  via G. Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa         Skype:  wnlabisti
>>>>  (entrance 20, 1st floor, room C71)     Web:
>>>  Your proposal is _very_ consistent with authoritarian guru-controlled 
>> structures behavior. From the link I recently posted:
>> :
>>>  "
>>>  In a development eerily reminiscent of the organized hatred directed
>>>  against the arch-heretic Emanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984, Rand cultists 
>> were required to sign a loyalty oath to Rand; essential to the loyalty oath 
>> was 
>> a declaration that the signer would henceforthnever read any future works of 
>> the 
>> apostate and arch-heretic Branden [Rand's number 2]. After the split, any 
>> Rand cultist seen carrying a
>>>  book or writing by Branden was promptly excommunicated.
>>>  "
>>>  - the "excommunicated" is/means banned.
>>>  And from :
>>>  "
>>>  People whose power is based on the surrender of others
>>>  develop a repertoire of techniques for deflecting and undermining
>>>  anything that questions or challenges their status, behavior,
>>>  or beliefs. They ridicule or try to confuse people who ask challenging
>>>  questions.” (p.66)
>>>  "
>>>  - yes, the status and _behavior_ (e.g. a burst of GPL propaganda instead 
>>> of 
>> addressing the real problems) _is_ challenged, and you _react_ to this 
>> challenge.
>>>  I have a much more general and far going proposal.
>>>  I suggest to intensify work on GPL4, and the very first freedom granted by 
>> the license should be the obligation of GPL4 SW users to send to FSF and GNU 
>> a 
>> notary signed pledge of allegiance in support of FSF/GNU/GPL cause.
>>>  GPL4 should also grant unlimited discretionary irrevocable freedom to list 
>> owners to decide who violates the pledge of allegiance.
>>>  Regards,
>>>     Sergei.
>> Hi Sergei,
>> This is the octave-help mailing list.  It should be a place where people 
>> ask technical questions about how to get octave to work properly in 
>> their environment.  It should be a friendly place, something like the 
>> front desk of a car mechanics shop.  You should feel greeted by friendly 
>> people, with good people skills.  The grumpy mechanics, who might 
>> otherwise be very talented, should be relegated to the back room.  We 
>> should recognize that while they may be very important, and in some 
>> cases do much of the real work, nevertheless they should not be in the 
>> front office greeting customers.
>> Sergei - I do find a lot of your posts actually quite interesting.  But 
>> let me suggest that octave-help is not the place to make your opinions 
>> known.  Or rather, it is OK to make your opinions known, but maybe one 
>> or two times is enough.
>> There are forums where people can argue about things like the legitimacy 
>> of GPL licenses, and whether it is really free or not.  And your 
>> comments about the inadequacies of the American education system have a 
>> lot of merit.
>> But, please, let the octave-help people go.  If nothing else, just as a 
>> matter of courtesy.  Just so that they can give and receive friendly and 
>> helpful advice without a huge amount of noise in the background.
>> If this mailing list decides to ban people from the list for repetitive 
>> obnoxious behavior, I have no problem with that.  If this were an 
>> opinion group I would feel very differently, and I would defend your 
>> right to state your points, even if I greatly disagreed with you.  But 
>> this is not an opinion forum.  It is a help forum.
>> Best regards,
>> Stephen
>> _______________________________________________
>> Help-octave mailing list
>> address@hidden
> It is the Octave developers - _not_ me, who "great" users with GPL propaganda 
>  and not friendly suggestions.
> So, whom are you preaching to ?
> And I am seriously thinking of exposing what the "leading" Octave developer 
> is saying "behind the closed doors" - to show "friendliness" and real 
> subversion of the very principles of FOSS movement.
> So, if the propaganda stops, opposition to it will stop too.

No, I think you have it slightly wrong.  Let me explain it this way.

I am a college professor, and as such I am surrounded by liberals.  But
I am a Republican.  Similarly, a friend of mine works as a secretary in
a church where the majority of the membership and leadership is
Republican, but she is a Democrat.

Both of us are constantly bombarded by viewpoints that we disagree with.
 But this is not people propagandizing me.  It is just people being
themselves.  I could challenge everyone who says something that exposes
a liberal bias.  But in the end it would ruin the work environment.  So
what I do is tell people, once in a while, where my political values
are.  But I make sure that I don't try to push my views in times and
places where it would create undue friction.

Octave, as best I can tell, is a GPL environment.  A bunch of people,
most of whom like the values espoused by Richard Stallman, got together
and developed a software project called Octave.  You similarly have the
right to work with another group of friends and develop similar software
using a WTFYW license.

What you are doing is kind of like going into their living room, where
they are discussing (a) the technicalities of their project, and (b) how
much they like their view of what free software licenses should be, and
interrupting them every-time they make a statement that reveals their
pro-GPL bias.

Is it wrong for you to do this?  That is debatable.  If the living room
is their private property, one could argue you don't have the right to
do this.  So perhaps in the same way, the owner of this mailing list has
the right to ban you.

But is it rude for you to do this?  Most definitely.  It's their living

Look, I don't have a horse in the race.  I don't know who you are
referring to as the "leading developer", but I can tell you that I am
not a leading developer of octave.  I'm not even a trailing developer of
octave.  I am an occasional user of octave, who has been on this mailing
list for about a month.  I am so lacking in knowledge in octave, that
when I wrote above that this is a GPL club, I am not even sure if I am
being accurate.  Years ago I did submit a tiny bug fix to octave, and I
do try to maintain the octave-forge packages for FreeBSD.  But that is
about it.

Please try to ignore the GPL propaganda.  Please try to show respect for
the cultural values in this mailing list.  I am not asking you to agree
with these values.  And I am not asking you to cease arguing your case
in other forums.


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