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Re: Social Committee proposal

Before I express my humble opinion regarding this interesting topic,
I want to point out that i am no Debian Developer.
And I am no highly skilled programmer nor a hacker.

But I am fascinated about Linux, GNU and Debian,
and I care about the project, although some people deface me, and call me a troll.
I am not a troll at all, although some people might dislike my opinion.

Especially Josip Rodin and Manoj Srivastava mention a lot of interesting aspects,
which alone deserve some well thought comments, which will require me some more days.

But for the moment, I would like to focus on one aspect that was mentioned,
why a Social Commitee will be beneficial to the project and the community.
"cultural differences can lead to problems".
And my own observations are, that people from countries like India, Africa, Japan or China cause the least problems in a large variety of Open Source projects, although their culture differs the most from those people's culture, who live in USA, Canada and Europe. And that amazing enough, most problems appear to be between people who share the same culture, even the same country.
And if you boil most problems down to one simple cause, it is not culture, it is personality and social abilities, or lack thereof.

That any Social Committee could help with that is doubtful. Because the key to solutions can only come from the inside of all involved people, not from the outside by a committee. It requires all highly skilled developers and members to develop social skills and abilities. Only then it is possible to find agreements between political issues, private conflicts and personal believes, where the common goal is in the main focus and not own personality.

Two examples:

- a lot of developers, hackers and enthusiasts ride the wave that they only respect somebody with equal or higher skills.

- a lot of developers, hackers and enthusiasts say, that respect has to be earned. and as long as no respect is earned, you have all right to treat the person bad, deface the person, block work of the person, etc.

And both of these conducts are fundamentally wrong.
That does not only create a dangerous climate for individuals, it also takes energy from involved people and reduces potential success of the entire project.

With a bit of a change of every participants attitude, and the development of a social conciousness based on fundamental respect for others, the Debian project could benefit a lot. And a lot more of its potential could be used. And then - but only then - a Social Committee would make sense.

Patrick Frank,   a GNU/Debian user who cares

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