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Re: Support RMS

From: Aaron Wolf
Subject: Re: Support RMS
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 18:12:48 -0700

On 2021-04-15 5:54 p.m., wrote:
> Aaron Wolf <> writes:
>> Ali,
>> I agree with your concerns here, and I have seen many unfair accusations.
> No you don't.  You are not even addressing his concerns.

I don't need to address his concerns because I don't disagree with them.
There's nothing to discuss about it. My whole reply was about
recognizing the nuance of things that are *different* than the concerns
he has. When it comes to concerns about false and exaggerated
accusations, I wasn't disagreeing with anything.

>> However, we must be sure not to dismiss other concerns. In Deb's recent
>> reply, she didn't repeat any of the unfair exaggerated accusations. We
>> can grapple with the more subtle nuanced issues without assuming all
>> critics are the most extreme ones. Even people who signed the Open
>> Letter (which I saw as grossly unreasonable in some regards) are not all
>> people who would have written the language exactly that way (which is
>> one of the problems with open letters, people feel pressured to sign to
>> signal general agreement and there's not much room to express nuance or
>> a mix of agreement and disagreement).
> She is repeating the same blablabla in other words.  Diplomacy does not
> cover for the harassment.  It is better that she'd rude but sincere than
> diplomatic and false.

This form of pretending to know other people's minds is toxic and
harmful. Even if she were much *worse* than you believe, it would be a
problem. If you make mistakes in understanding your worst enemies, it
leaves you in a weaker position. You don't know Deb, and you are reading
plain text communication on the internet. For you to accuse Deb of being
insincere, of being diplomatic and false — you are falling to the level
of the people you criticize. You are levying accusations without
adequate knowledge or evidence.
> If she feels bad here, it is wise to become part of another group, not
> to try to take over this group or to sabotage the cause of freedom by
> dividing people here.  We know how she feels.  She knows how we feel.
> No consensus, no work together.  That's it!

Deb is not trying to take over this group or sabotage anything. And one
of the core problems with "cancel culture" and so on is the dynamic of
drawing simplistic with-us-or-against-us lines. You are demonstrating
exactly how to divide and sabotage in every aspect of your "That's it!"
attitude which implies you know all you need to know, there's nothing to
be curious about, nothing to learn, and people are either good or evil.

Now, that's the *impression* I get from your email. If I were to just
*conclude* that you were forever hopeless and dogmatic and write you
off, I'd be doing the same mistake myself. I don't actually know you,
and I'm only guessing about what's behind your text. And the story in my
mind is that you are upset about the unfair attacks on RMS and are in a
reactive and defensive state which is why you are so dismissive of Deb's
concerns. To be fair, she and others have been reactive as well and
sometimes added to the drama.

Keep in mind the Fundamental Attribution Error. Generally, people fall
into this mindset where when *we* are reactive and angry, we see it as
just how we are in that circumstance, not how we always are. But when we
see OTHERS being reactive and angry, we presume that this is a
fundamental part of who they are, that they just ARE reactive people who
want to be controlling etc.

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