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Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
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Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
Poked at mail, a set of concerns from
It seems my brief
critique of the vagueness of 'offense' as a yardstick
for harassment is itself sufficiently offensive that (sadly) it makes some
feel that people like me don't belong here. That is emphatically
not my intention, but remarkably similar to my feelings when reading the
policy I was discussing. Sigh, that's why I think we could have a clearer
and better (longer) policy that makes everyone feel safe and at home. For
what it's worth the short and medium versions of the suggested policy
seem fine to me:
So in conclusion, I still believe there is a serious risk in creating
this sort of semi-legal enforcement structure in an unclear area of great
complexity - which is also land-mined by many tragic and emotive experiences of
rejection by family and worse. I'd like to clarify, and proscribe in a more
case-based way what is unacceptable and acceptable, preferably in a pleasant
atmosphere. I'm not eager for a right to persecute, far from it ! I hope instead
for an expectation of open, interactive, sensitive, deep discussion on any
topic: including private discussions that can be overheard if sought out.
Certainly it is easy to critique the policy
(which has raised these issues and gone a long way towards helpfully stating
the obvious), but to be constructive I should try to write such a set of
pattern and anti-pattern pairs - oh for the time to do so.
Interestingly, it seems we share quite a lot of common ground.
There is a concern about harassment on both sides. Even more
encouraging, there is some exemplary casuistic presentation.
Who can deny that an extended, un-solicited harangue
as from a bus driver ranting at someone about going to Hell is
harassment whose equivalent has no place at a conference ? Personally,
I think that that is an unloving, profoundly counter-productive and hostile
presentation that could easily be codified as a good case of what is
unacceptable, in a form that all can enthusiastically agree with.
Counterbalancing that I enjoy being part of a community of
intellectuals - delighted by and interested in diverse ideas. Accidentally
forbidding the full exploration of these in dialog seems like it benefits
no-one, yet that is how the verbal offense policy reads to me. Mandating a
'politically correct' monoculture, where no differing views are
expressed seems both extraordinary and to require adjudication to
tax Solomon to work out what is 'correct'.
I think that Daniele captures what I'd proscribe rather well
with: "You can willingly consent to discuss your religion, but you
don't have to accept being verbally abused because of it." -
I totally agree. If the harassment policy read: "includes verbal
abuse" - or somesuch, to cover the pernicious, unsolicited aspect.
However I still think a case-based approach with clear examples of
unacceptable and acceptable behaviour is much more likely to
provide a useful guide for the poor organisers who get to adjudicate,
and more likely to get common support from participants than a
precise / language-lawyer approach.
As an example, I agree that sexually explicit imagery and
discussion in presentations is completely inappropriate -
hopefully that's something that's easy to preclude.
Yet, on the other hand - I occasionally show a sample
of my wife & I on our wedding day in my presentations, sometimes I make
a tame related comment on the obvious aphrodisiac qualities of hacking
on XYZ project in relation to it. No doubt, if you seek it, there is plenty
of potential offense to be found - yet I fear a bland world where
celebrating one's beloved wife in public gets forbidden in the name of
I'm certain that just being me also offends plenty of people;
perhaps also common ground. What I don't expect is for people to
advocate attempts to censor others (like Gerv) who carefully
express their political views - even if they happen to disagree with
Dropped the car off for servicing in Cambridge. Plugged away at
various compilation, dependency size, and rebasing issues.
Dave & Emily over for dinner, had a fun time with them.
My content in this blog and associated images / data under
data/ directories are (usually)
created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under
the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0
license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for
themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes /
improvements / corrections by private mail.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Collabora, SUSE,
Novell, The Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International),
or anyone else.
It's also important to realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences
Michael Meeks (email@example.com)