FSFE General Assembly Fellowship Representative Election

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Thu Apr 13 07:00:51 UTC 2017

On 12/04/17 19:28, Jonas Oberg wrote:
> Hi Daniel, Stefan, Paul,
>>> If somebody cleaned their home every day to the same standard as a
>>> hospital, most people would consider it extreme.  But in the context of
>>> the hospital it would be desirable behavior.
>> On the other hand  if you cleaned your home in the way a hospital is
>> cleaned are you not at increased risk of infection, as you're not
>> exposed to dirt, bacteria which is essential for your body to build up
>> natural defenses.
> I think any analogy will be flawed in some way :-)  I also believe the

Analogies are only used to help people understand a point.  I don't feel
it is helpful to dwell on the details of an analogy though as that is
where the discussion can quickly go off topic.

> perception of what is extreme depends on ones own position along the
> continuum which I believe we can agree exists.  It's not a matter of
> black or white but many shades in between.

Well, in computer science it is 0 or 1 rather than black or white.

In some cases, I would agree there are different ways to look at things
(e.g. some people like the GPL and some don't) but in other cases, such
as whether or not a license would be accepted for a Debian package, the
answer usually is black or white.

Even in those cases though we still need to be able to communicate
politely with people.  For example, sometimes developers will agree to
change a license when they see the value of being part of the free
software community.

> We can see the same in other debates: we tend to argue from positions we
> interpret as being black or white, where in reality we're talking about
> nuances. At the same time, it's somewhere along these continuums the
> fault lines of the free softare community exist and it is what sometimes
> causes fractures and splits in our community.
> The debates we have, including this, are not meant to widen the fault
> lines, but to build bridges: to help understand the positions people in
> our community have. I do wish we would do more of it!

One thing to bear in mind with my own writing is that I always set high
standards for things.  Even if these standards are difficult to achieve,
if we don't have them as objectives, it is much easier to get lost along
the way.



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