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Re: Pledge To Killfile a person

On Thu, Aug 11, 2005 at 09:50:12AM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> Sigh.  I wasn't aware that common courtesy was so rare as to require
> explanation at length.

When you start making accusations, you are obliged to back them up
with explanations. Otherwise you are merely denying any right to
respond, and what was that about common courtesy?

Besides which, none of this appears to have anything to do with
courtesy. Most of it is you misrepresenting my statements.

> >> http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/06/msg01598.html
> >
> > Looks like a perfectly justified response to me. I don't see how that
> > could be classified as 'provocation' or 'troll', because in no sense
> > did it encourage more discussion - it was quite clearly a statement
> > that he was being ignored because he was just trying to start an
> > argument. I suppose you could claim it was a 'put-down', but I claim
> > it is a factually accurate description of the parent mail and I
> > challenge anybody to prove otherwise.
> This is an example of one of the significant limitations (perhaps
> good, perhaps not) in Debian's current culture: A lot of people think
> rudeness is excused -- and not just excusable -- when it saves them
> future effort.

Then I don't think you've got any grounds to accuse me of it
specifically, and not any of the others. Regardless of whether or not
it happens to be my belief (it isn't).

> The parent mail is not clearly a troll to me, and I
> think it is preposterous to assume something is a troll until proven
> otherwise.

The parent mail is an instance of argumentum ad hominem and a claim to
authority, combined with a straw man, on a subject which is tangential
to the one under discussion, which is written in a clearly
antagonistic manner and adds no new information or valid arguments. If
that's not a troll, then what is? And why are you attacking me

> >> http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2004/06/msg00166.html
> >
> > I can see nothing in this mail that could be even remotely like
> > that. Explain your claim.
> It was counterproductive in that it did not advance any discussion.

Interesting definition. I have not encoutered this one before.

> It was hypocritical in that it accused unspecified people of being
> trolls, while complaining that *they* were resisting efforts to build
> consensus.

It provided a simple mechanism by which people could judge for
themselves, which was the whole point. I find that far more honourable
than listing names and accusations. I do not see how it is hypocritical.

> Insults never build consensus: even when they drive away
> individuals who disagree, they also splinter the consensus.

This statement appears disconnected from the rest of the paragraph; if
it was meant to be a point, please restate it.

> >> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/05/msg00036.html
> >
> > And again.
> It's an appeal to accept your authority on whether someone is a troll.
> In the absense of supporting evidence, it's a put-down and simple
> provocation.

It is none of the above. It was a reply to somebody who had just
experienced everything I stated. I did not think they would need
evidence. It is quite clearly not an appeal, but a statement of
information that the parent poster might find useful, as evidenced by
the opening words.

I could have sent this mail privately, but I don't do that without
good reason, as I consider it ill-befitting Debian to discuss things
in non-public forums when this is not necessary.

> >> http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2005/04/msg00248.html
> >
> > A restatement of what other people had previously said, and I still
> > see no way you can classify this as "little more than provocations,
> > put-downs, and trolls".
> An explanation of *why* telling users that GFDL docs moved to non-free
> is not "particularly important" would be useful

Did you ask for one? If not, you are assumed not to want one. People
routinely ask for and receive explanations of such things from me
(both on lists and in private), but not so many that it's worth
writing them out in detail every time.

> since your message is
> otherwise an out-of-hand dismissal of the idea.

It is no such thing. It is a statement that there is no immediately
apparent reason why we should do this. The obvious implication is that
anybody who disagrees is going to have to explain why, which would
therefore be the point here.

> Likewise, insulting
> the survey without even one example is again put-down and provocation.
> Perhaps "constructive criticism" is an American peculiarity.

The survey had already been criticised in detail when it was first
proposed. Duplicating the text in this mail would have been a waste of
everybody's time, both mine and the people reading stuff they'd
already read once.

> >> perhaps http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2005/03/msg00378.html
> >> (which I would call devoid of useful information but heavy in insults)
> >
> > Insults? WTF? Precise quoting and explanations please, I see none here.
> One insult is the reference to "a small group running around
> advocating knowingly putting non-free stuff into main", which is a
> serious charge.

I am hardly the first person to observe this. I can't remember who
coined the term "anti-freedom advocate" but it wasn't me. And thinking
that it's an insult to say there exist people whose goals are opposed
to your own is a rather prejudiced attitude. I certainly hold no such
opinion of people who disagree with me, and I think you'd have a hard
time arguing that this notion is the norm.

> Another implied insult is the distinction between the frequent posters
> to debian-legal: You are there because you send lots of short email,
> and others who are there are in your killfile.  The only reason I see
> to mention that is to sugggest that they are not worth counting.

The only way I can see that you could possibly have got this idea is
if you were deliberately twisting my words to look as bad as you
could. It is completely and utterly backwards. And I don't know what
this "worth counting" stuff is about.

The parent poster was asking if the four top-10 posters to
debian-legal that aren't developers were professional trouble-makers
(and yet oddly I don't see you throwing accusations at him). I
responded by indicating that the list was confusing, since it doesn't
accurately represent the amount of time being spent on -legal (or
whatever activity metric you prefer), and that I expected there to be
others appearing excessively high for the same reasons as me.

But then I noted that I killfiled a couple of them, indicating that
maybe some of them are professional trouble-makers. Since obviously
I'd deliberately avoided saying who, the implication is that the
reader should make up their own mind.

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

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