Aw: Re: improving the tone of discussion in FSFE
paul at boddie.org.uk
Wed Sep 12 16:47:30 UTC 2018
On Wednesday 12. September 2018 12.30.55 Daniel Albert wrote:
> Your chart is funny. Why is zero missing in it?
The axes are properly labelled and, in any case, I see far worse on major news
Web sites every day. What we see is a decline in the Fellowship of just over
100 people from 1650 or so in a period of about six months, reversing the
growth of the preceding period.
> And what about the long-term development? You violate the basic rules of
Please try and be constructive and civil.
What might be interesting is to see whether this kind of fluctuation is
seasonal: that members swell in the second half of any given year and then
recede in the first half of the following year. That might confirm your
suspicion that the chart shows nothing unusual or worrying.
However, given that membership is something lasting over a longer term than a
day, week or month, I would really be surprised to see fluctuations
manifesting themselves regularly in the way depicted. Maybe someone should
model this and tell us what to expect.
> You also say that people joined because you became a GA member. That's not
> in the numbers.
True. That is like trying to explain how people voted in an election based on
the results. Figuring out why people voted in the way they did is therefore
very valuable strategic information. (Of course, the Fellowship election did
involve preference voting, which is better than many elections in the wider
world, but even then we cannot connect the events of joining and voting in any
> My best friend has stopped giving to FSFE because he hates all the fights
> you start. Maybe the reasons you give for the small change of supporters are
> not the real reasons.
It is too bad that people do not like the confrontational culture that has
developed. However, such a culture does not emerge out of nowhere. And it
should be noted that some people prefer matters of criticism or weakness to be
discussed privately, not in public, perceiving open dissent as argumentative,
hostile, and so on.
Keeping disagreements private might make some people more comfortable, but it
risks dissent building up to the point where "fights" become the only outlet
for those who feel that criticism or weaknesses in an organisation are not
> Hundreds of people just quit without saying anything.
> According to your data this is not true.
If we have exit interviews or something similar that indicate why people
stopped supporting the Fellowship then it obviously isn't true. But otherwise
it is closer to the truth than any other reasonable explanation.
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