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Re: Debian, lists and discrimination

On Sun, Aug 08, 2004 at 09:35:25AM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> > 	On the flip side, how about contributions from people who may
> >  not participate if the culture turned too touchy feely and
> >  sickeningly sweet? 
> Yep, I think it behoves us to consider that as well.  As I said in a
> previous message
> (http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2004/08/msg00053.html), we should
> examine what changes to the project's culture need to take place, and
> whether those would be net-beneficial.

> It might turn out that the
> rough-and-tumble, highly competitive and confrontational nature of the
> project is what creates the excellence we have,

I have in the past sketched out my analysis of Debian's
socio-political structure in various forums - and this is essentially
my conclusion, stated differently. More formally, we self-select for a
certain kind of people by being the sort of place which other kinds of
people do not wish to be. That kind of person is particularly good at
working on a project like Debian.

This is not a social club. Attracting people is *not the
point*. Trying to turn it into one is a stupid waste of time. Do
something useful instead.

Fortunately Debian is fairly inevitable - this is what we will always
build given no constraints - and will reappear under another name and
in the same structure if this one gets broken by well-meaning
fools. But that's not a good reason to do it.

However, characterising it as "competitive" or "confrontational" is
highly inaccurate. That's the interpretation of the people who don't
belong here (they tend to be vocal until they go away); people who go
looking for confrontations will always find them, while people who
don't generally won't. It's blindingly obvious (if you read the lists
carefully) that 99% of hostility in Debian is in the eye of the
beholder - that's about normal for humans, really.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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