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Re: [OT] aggressiveness on our mailing lists.

MJ Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop> writes:

> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> wrote:
> >         Calling a daft idea silly is being rude now?
> Not necessarily (it depends how one phrases it), but being rude is one
> way of being "not overly genteel" (as the earlier message advocated).
> I feel one shouldn't discourage politeness here.

Agreed, politeness toward people is IMO too infrequent on our lists and
is to be actively encouraged. However, I don't think it's necessarily
impolite to attack an idea; even to attack it harshly or ridicule it.

Care must be taken, by all parties in these conversations, including
those who receive the messages, not to inject personal attacks where
unwarranted. Strive to craft messages without personal attacks, and to
interpret them that way.

If what remains is an attack upon an *idea*, so be it; ideas don't have
feelings and are not automatically deserving of respect or politeness.
“This is a silly idea” attacks no-one and is impolite to no-one. Let
those who support the idea come to its defense as they choose; if an
idea has no able defenders, let it fall under the attack to clear the
way for better ideas.

 \         “All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals.” |
  `\                                            —Homer, _The Simpsons_ |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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