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Re: Support RMS

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: Re: Support RMS
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 04:51:53 -0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.2 (gnu/linux)

Hi, Deb,

On Apr 14, 2021, Deb Nicholson <> wrote:

> As for a hostile environment, I have witnessed repeated hostility
> (bullying, ad hominem attacks, dog-piling, etc.) on the GNU mailing lists.

That's undeniable, though people very often dismiss hostility they agree
with, or perceive as justified.  Attacking, and then denouncing the
defense as hostile, is unfortunately quite common, and I don't think it
can be assigned to malice.  It takes real effort to perceive that in
one's own actions.  It's much easier to feel the hurt when someone steps
on your toes than when you step on someone else's.

> Those are hostile acts. You may say they are
> justified, but they are undeniably hostile.

As is an open letter mislabeling someone sexist,
paedophile, eugenist and transphobe.

It is an extremely hostile act.
You may say it is justified, but it is undeniably hostile.

What's more, a lot of people,
even ones who have interacted closely with RMS for a long time,
who disagree that it is justified.

But people who purport it as justified
come across to me as
loving the movement he founded so much
that they'd rather destroy it
than allow him to participate in it.

> I'm not "coming here." I've always been here.

But you realize who started building this "here" you've "always" been
in, right?  You realize he started it from scratch, right?  Why should
you and those who share your positions be entitled to tell him to move
over so you can take it from here, while most people who took a public
stand are saying the opposite?

If you were to prevail, what makes you think we'd stick with you,
instead of moving over along with the founding leader?

Are you familiar with concept of filter bubbles, that boosts people's
power to select and bias opinions they are exposed to, leading to
self-reinforcement of distorted perceptions, extremism, and disbelief in
accurate information that challenges the perceptions derived from
opinions within one's self-selected bubble?

> break the trust that donors and volunteers have place[d] in the
> organization and they have a right to speak up about it.

And speak up they did.  Despite loud complaints, a supermajority (over
2/3) has supported the leadership that has been in place for over 35
years.  Though feedback is always welcome, it would break the trust of
most past donors if some loud individuals were to overthrow it and
install a hostile one over mostly false and shocking accusations
disguising some real discomfort and intolerance.

Alexandre Oliva, happy hacker
   Free Software Activist         GNU Toolchain Engineer
        Vim, Vi, Voltei pro Emacs -- GNUlius Caesar

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