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

From: IngeGNUe
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest, Vol 79, Issue 9
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2016 22:12:59 -0400

On 09/08/2016 03:41 PM, N.Thomas wrote:
> 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.
>> -- Georgia Young Program Manager Free Software Foundation
> 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.

Hi N, and Georgia,

Ad hominems are fallacious arguments. PayEnemy is a zing, an attempt at
humor, and a means of avoiding promoting a nonfree service on a Free
software mailing list. As for whether zings do not advance Free
software, that depends on the eye of the beholder. I am a lover of such
jokes as the iBad sticker the FSF freely distributes.

The thought crossed my mind: "Perhaps if I write the real name, someone
would have complained that I'm promoting nonfree payment services. Also,
for that reason, I am ashamed to admit that I still use these services.
In reality, though, the shame should be on PayPal, who do not respect
their users' rights. I know: let us have a giggle at how frustrating
they are."

Sometimes people use humor and wit to hurt feelings, but I do not
believe that the PayPal effigy is particularly hurt about it, nor do I
care. It's worth mentioning that people have been inspired to tell this
joke for almost 10 years (if a certain microblogging platform is any
measure). Consumers are all too happy to be brutal with their feedback,
especially towards the giant corporations that they have an uneasy
relationship with. I wouldn't be surprised if the company gets hate
mail! We might assume it's happened as long as the company has been
around, yet all the negative feedback has never knocked them down.

Since no one has yet shown themselves to be offended by "PayEnemy", I do
not see a need to be proactive about protecting from alleged harm.

In seriousness, if someone does not understand, they can ask. They did,
and people were happy to clarify. No one is shamed for not
understanding. Part of the joke is that it's a initially a puzzle. And
now that the meaning has been revealed, we can all share this little
joke with our friends, family and coworkers.

That's my opinion, anyway.


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