FSFE in Outreachy?

Carmen Bianca Bakker carmenbianca at fsfe.org
Mon Sep 4 19:14:50 UTC 2017

Hi Natacha,

On Monday, 4 September 2017 10:17:16 CEST natacha wrote:
> This is my first post on this list that I have been lurking for some

Welcome to the mailing list :-)

> > I don't know if it's okay if I add my five cents (adjusted for
> > inflation), but I'm reasonably well-read on this and adjacent
> > topics, as well as included in the list of minorities that would be
> > sponsored under the Outreachy program.
> Carmen, the fact that you are a women does not make your voice any
> more important in pulling down a fight that others have led for years
> in order to change as little as they could current worlds order.

I agree that my voice is no more important than anybody else's.  Which
is why I did not claim that.  I am not pulling down any fight, however.
You will find me advocating for freedom and equality for all.  I merely
disagree with this measure.

> > But I am unequivocally against such programs, on the simple grounds
> > that it tries to combat discrimination _through_ discrimination,
> > which is about as silly to me as trying to achieve world peace
> > through war.
> I do not see any relation between building programs to encourage
> diversity and war could you please expand.

It's a metaphor.  Consider also: Drying something by pouring water over
it.  You can't achieve something by doing its opposite.

> I do not think the people who are victims of centuries of paternalist
> government and colonialism should feel responsible of what the white
> governing people fell. I really do not care about what they feel
> actually, I am more interested on what the persons who are victim of
> segregation feel.

Well this is where we depart.  You are saying that some people deserve
your sympathy and support, and other people do not deserve your sympathy
and support, by mere virtue of how they were born.  I care for
_everybody's_ equality and freedom.  Surely, I hope, that's a good

> > because they might only be hired/accepted because of
> > their status as minority, rather than excelling in their skillset.
> I do not see why people would hire anyone for anything else then their
> skills. Also women and/or black people are not a minority women
> compose more then 50% of the world population and white people in
> general only compose 1/8 of worlds population, it is white men that
> are a minority in this world, but it is also them who run it.

Please replace every instance where I said "minority" with "women and
ethnical minorities in the United States".  I'd like a better word, but
"minority" works reasonably well because, to put it bluntly, the named
groups are minority groups in information technology.  Unfortunately I
have not found a better word, but I'd like suggestions if you have any.
Because, to be fair, "women and ethnical minorities in the United
States" is a mouthful.

> Also what you say implies that non white male might have less skills
> then white male, could you please state references for what you are
> saying here.

You will find that I said the exact opposite.  I said that if a member
of a minority group is given an internship under these discriminatory
guidelines, they may not be sure whether this is owed to their status as
minority (i.e., cheating the system), or because of their high skill
level.  This is a phenomenom well known as imposter syndrome, which is
reasonably common among software engineers.  God knows I sometimes feel
like I'm cheating the system and just winging it rather than having any
substantial merit.  How could I not, when every day I encounter some
software thing I know absolutely nothing about?

> > I don't know if there is any evidence to suggest this.  Where there
> > are humans, things sometimes go awry.  Having a more
> > ethnically/sexually diverse cast of humans doesn't change that.
> Could you please reference what you say because I happen to think the
> exact contrary,

Take Switzerland or Belgium, two countries that are diverse in native
ethnicities.  Ask any one person whether they have once had
disagreements in spite of living in such a diverse country, and you will
find that they answer yes.  It is in our nature to sometimes squabble
and disagree, as I suppose we do now.  Diversity does not prevent this.

What you probably mean, is that squabbles occur less often in diverse
environments.  That is an interesting point of view, but I cannot vouch
one way or the other.  I do not know.  I imagine the opposite, because
this increases the surface area of things that people do not have in
common and may thus fight over, but that's just a silly hypothesis.

But the lot of that aside: I have said my piece, which is that I abhor
discrimination of any kind over something so arbitrary and superficial
as gender or ethnicity.  People of all ethnicities and genders are
equals, and I will treat them as equals without any prejudice.  If that
is not enough, I do not know what is.

Having said that, I will not change your mind or anybody else's.  Never
in my time on the internet have I ever encountered someone's mind being
changed on this issue in an internet debate.  I would be more than happy
to speak to you in person over VOIP, but I have no will to carry on this
debate on a mailing list when I know its outcome: Exactly nothing.

I hope you considered some of the debate fruitful.  And I hope you'll
agree with me, to agree to disagree.  To do anything else seems a folly.

Mi vin bone deziras, malsamideano, kaj bonan belan versperon al vi.

Yours sincerely,

Carmen Bianca Bakker
Technical Intern
Free Software Foundation Europe e.V.
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