[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Summary of the debian-devel BoF at Debconf9

On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 03:25:30PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > And really, if some logical conclusion is so broken that this brokeness
> > has its own name, then everybody should be able to see it.

>         This is a nice theory, but in reality one does see people arging
>  against the person, or their perceived personality, or their
>  traits, or ascribing motives to them all the time.

Except that this is *not* the definition of the ad hominem fallacy.  The ad
hominem fallacy is claiming that a person is bad, *and therefore their
arguments are wrong*.

Pointing out that someone is being a jerk on the mailing list is *not* an ad
hominem fallacy.

>         These attacks on people, as opposed to discussion of what they
>  said, is one of the major reasons discussion threads devolve into
>  unproductive chaos. We should be managing to police discussion better,
>  and the first step is identifying that such a post has been made. 

Given the sorts of things you've objected to as "ad hominem attacks" in the
past, I definitely don't agree.  A number of these have been legitimate
complaints about behaviors that distract from or derail technical

Sometimes heated complaints -  but no less legitimate for all that.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

Reply to: