improving the tone of discussion in FSFE

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at
Tue Sep 11 09:04:57 UTC 2018

Hi Daniel,

Am Montag 10 September 2018 20:08:23 schrieb Daniel Pocock:
> One of the worst things about leadership mistakes is 
> that people emulate them.  
> most recently Bernhard, putting my name into the subject line of an email[2]
> reply.  Everything spiralled downwards from there 

from my perspective it is fine to put a name in an email subject.
I did change the subject towards your influence on the style of discussion 
because I felt you brought up some topics several times, thought they have 
been answered multiple times. And I believe the large majority does not want 
to read about it again here. Please respect if others do not share your view 
on the importance of some of these topics, like if a name on a motion is 
formatted or spelled correctly.

> It is essential to show respect for volunteers when something goes wrong 
> in their life and they have to miss an event.

I agree about this.
What we disgree about seems to be 
if respect has been shown, I think it was and is shown.
This is why I am writing this email, I'm taking some time to give you my 
perspective and feelings.

> Reminding people about such things in such an ugly way is a guaranteed 
> way to poison relationships. 

There is a direct relation to your criticim of the structures of FSFE.
People explained to you how you could have made your voice heard and how to 
exercise your power in the e.V. . At some occasions you have not done it. If 
you afterwards in public criticise the people in FSFE for not honoring your 
input, I believe you leave others no choice than to point out where you have 
not used some opportunities (that have been there even if you were unable to 
attend some meetings). This does not speculate about why you were not able to 
do so. It is not unrespectful in my eyes. Instead it shows what others cannot 
understand the difference between the missed opportunities and your public 

> 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.

From my observation it was you who brought up these things in public.
While it is at your deliberation to do so, you will also force others to 
defend their behaviour in public, even if they'd prefered not to.

No matter how it came to be though, it seems that the relationship is now in a 
state where it does not make sense to continue working together. It is not 
for us to demand that you change your style of working, but we can declare us 
incompatible with it (and spare the public the details).

Best Regards,

FSFE -- Founding Member     Support our work for Free Software: | contribute
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