[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Thanks and Decision making working group (was Re: General Resolution: Statement regarding Richard Stallman's readmission to the FSF board result)

Hi Eduard,

On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 08:49:56PM +0200, Eduard Bloch wrote:

> > Make no mistake, the quest to have "apolitical" free software is deeply
> > political in itself: the process that decides which group can establish

> Sorry, by your definition there is no way to escape from political
> discussions.

You can't escape your work being tangled up in politics. Whether you
actively take part is your choice, of course.

> No way for Debian to be just a hobby, just a tech oriented
> project, because EVERYBODY (yes, even you uncle Joe) must be dragged
> into political activities and go the whole nine yards, GOT IT???

At the individual level, if you have the necessary privilege, nothing stops
you from ignoring the politics, but you can't really stop the other
individuals (and corporations).

Debian as an entity absolutely cannot ignore politics, because it keeps
intruding on our work.

We used to have separate infrastructure outside the United States because
the political situation at that time forbade us from exporting crypto-
graphic software from the US, and Debian spent a lot of effort to get this

The technical work is only a tiny part of what we do as an organization,
and I'd even argue that most of the technical work happens outside our
organizational structures. Pulling a technical matter before the TC is seen
as a heavy-handed approach.

Instead, what Debian does as an organization is *enable* the technical
work, by taking care of political aspects so individual developers don't
have to. Stopping Debian from doing that will not make your tech oriented
hobby less political, because it removes a shield and directly exposes you
to the politics of what we are doing here.

Apart from the "openly" political work, Debian also does community
building, and this, too, enables technical work as it pulls in new
contributors. Handling conflicts within the community is part of that work,
and how we handle conflicts decides who will be future contributors.

Taking a hands-off approach here means leaving contributors to deal with
conflicts themselves, selecting potential contributors for people who
accept that working for Debian includes interpersonal conflict that
distracts from tech work. This, again, runs counter to your intention that
people should (be able to) focus on tech work.


Reply to: