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Re: Disputes between developers - content, draft #4

Manoj Srivastava writes ("Re: Disputes between developers - content, draft #4"):
> Ian Jackson <ian@davenant.greenend.org.uk> writes:
> > My experience is that sensible conversations about eg bug
> > reports can easily become derailed by categorical statements
> > like that by the maintainer.  The results are often that the
> > submitter just gets angry, and things go downhill from there.
> 	Yes. But I contend that there are still situations where a
>  categorical statement _is_ the only correct response -- and I do
>  think that there are scenrarios where being up front an honest rather
>  then equivocating in order not to ``hurt'' feeling is better. I am
>  not advocating one needs be abrasive and in your face. 

Even if you are currently categorically opposed, it will often be
better not to say so straight away, as you'll be more likely to be
able to convince your opponent (which is really the best outcome) if
you haven't annoyed them by seeming closed-minded.

After all, if you've made a categorical statement, what point is there
anyone trying to have a constructive discussion with you ?  Discussion
and argument have to be a two-way street, and saying that nothing will
convince you makes it one-sided.  The only thing your opponent can do
at that point is to give up or escalate.

> 	Can we just tone down the paragraph, and state instead that in
>  most cases, one should examine the issue with care before making
>  categorical statements, since often categorical statements made in
>  the heat of debate may lock one in an untenable position when tempers
>  cool? 

I only say that one should `try to avoid them'.  Do you think that's
too strong ?

> 	I agree that develoeprs may come from different cultures and
>  contexts -- but humans have been herd animals ancestors since pre
>  Homo Afarensis, and the ability to interact in a social group is a
>  common trait amongst human tribes.

Social conventions vary very widely across cultures.  But anyway, I'm
not sure that an argument about anthropology is going to be very
interesting and relevant.


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