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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest, Vol 79, Issue 9

From: N.Thomas
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest, Vol 79, Issue 9
Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2016 19:41:37 +0000

On September 8, 2016 8:16:12 AM GMT-05:00, Georgia Young <> wrote:
Hi everyone - I'm Georgia, the program manager for the FSF. I oversee
LibrePlanet (the conference) and also read this list.

On 09/08/2016 01:53 AM, wrote:
Sarcasm and humour don't translate well in a mailing list. And on an
international list like LibrePlanet cultural differences and language
differences make sly digs potentially offensive, never mind that it
completely defeats good communication.

I agree with Bob on this point.

It would set a good example to treat proprietary software companies
with the same respect we expect to get for upholding ethics and
freedom for users. That means not perverting their names in an attempt
at humour, and not attributing malice where none exists.
I agree that cultural differences might make it difficult, but I find
it really hard to see how perverting a proprietary software company's
name could offend anybody.

It can. For example, I know of a proprietary company's name that some
have changed into a word that contained an expletive - that is offensive
to some. I won't be repeating that name here :)

I totally disagree that we should treat proprietary companies with any
respect. They disrespect their users all the time, so why should they
expect good treatment? By perverting the name, you are not giving it any
advertisement, all while making it memorable for anybody that asks the
original meaning.

That is one argument. I actually find twisting a company's name makes it
*more* memorable. After all, PayPal is a pretty bland name.

I am so sick of this new society quirk of trying not to offend anybody
and I certainly don't want to see it in a mailing list.
It doesn't make communication any more clear, it censors the people
participating in it by limiting their speech to "unoffensive" comments
only, if anything. "Offensiveness" is a very subjective topic. Perhaps
saying that the ocean is blue is offensive to people who think
otherwise or have color blindness or something.

Serge, you've explained your reasons for saying "PayEnemy" - thank you.
However, the aim of clear communication is to create community, not to
avoid offending anyone. This conversation started because someone *was*
confused by the term you used.

The LibrePlanet mailing list, as Bob pointed out, is a community list
used by free software enthusiasts around the world. In order to be as
welcoming as possible to all (even those who aren't yet convinced that
they need free software), we need to agree to some standards for our
discourse. These are simple: be decent, use honest and direct
communication, and always respect each other. If a pun is confusing to
some, even if you like it, you might choose to stop using it, in the
interest of clear communication.

Thanks, everybody.

Great points Georgia. Ad hominem attacks will not advance Free Software.

That being said, as a Facebook objector and Shunner of Apple/Microsoft software, services and hardware, I often mock these companies. Its a way to cope with my fear and frustration of what they have done to human advancement.

That does help me communicate in a higher register when I proselytize Free Software. I also helps me stay sane in a world of anti-freedom.

In short I think nicknaming can be useful, in the correct context. Especially if it can be used skillfully to "market" FOSS and overcome legacy concepts of Intellectual Property.
-- Where your technology finds liberty.
TEFL certified English Teacher
Registered GNU/Linux User #491032
Registered Ubuntu User #27631
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