improving the tone of discussion in FSFE

Daniel Pocock daniel at
Mon Sep 10 18:08:23 UTC 2018

Hi all,

I've been in discussion with a few people trying to troubleshoot the
root cause of problems in recent discussions.

>From my perspective, there are a couple of things that have really
undermined my confidence in the community and keep things at a frosty level.

The way that Matthias has used my first name in the minutes[1] of the
previous GA meeting.  Normally the full name of the person proposing a
motion is presented in a regular font and placed under the motion, but I
feel that putting my first name in the titles is intended to attract
vilification.  The minutes look unprofessional and bring the
organization into disrepute.  I'd kindly request that Matthias corrects
the minutes.  For example, the motions should look like this:

   Title of motion

   Text of motion.
   Proposed by: D. Pocock

One of the worst things about leadership mistakes is that people emulate
them.  Subsequent to the way the president has prepared the minutes,
other members of the community have emulated this behaviour, most
recently Bernhard, putting my name into the subject line of an email[2]
reply.  Everything spiralled downwards from there with somebody else
changing the subject to "Bernhard lectures".  All those emails can be
traced directly back to the way the minutes were prepared and I feel
that Matthias needs to apologize.

There have been frequent, almost always disparaging references to
missing the 2017 meeting.  This has usually happened in private but came
up again in Reinhard's post[3] just last week.  It is essential to show
respect for volunteers when something goes wrong in their life and they
have to miss an event.  Reminding people about such things in such an
ugly way is a guaranteed way to poison relationships.  Furthermore, no
volunteer should feel pressure to disclose the reason they had to miss a
meeting or change their plans.  I'd request that Matthias clarify where
these comments originate from, for example, did the chair of the meeting
say something disparaging or fail to stop disparaging discussions about
the absence?  Why does the chair not intervene to maintain respect for
volunteers in such instances?

Notice that these things also happen in private discussions and I feel
that some of what is now appearing in public is a reflection of that.

I sincerely hope that the president will clear these things up on behalf
of the organization.




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