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Re: Diversity statement for the Debian Project

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> For distinguishing the respect for opinion versus respect for the people
> who hold them, perhaps this:

>     We value healthy discussion and debate of all opinions, no matter
>     who holds them. Ideas are always a valid target of criticism, and we
>     welcome anyone who wants to respectfully join the discussion.

I have to admit that doesn't particularly fill me with joy.  I think one
of the things that makes Debian off-putting and unwelcoming is that we're
a little *too* obsessed with criticizing everyone's ideas, and what some
people see as "healthy discussion" other people see as "hurtful flamewars
over bike shed colors."  I'd kind of like to avoid saying something that
could be interpreted as "yes, please, argue with us!"  I know what you
mean, and I agree with it, but I think it also has some failure modes that
we've suffered from in the past.

Hm.  I guess I'd tend to instead say something about disagreeing
respectfully and constructive debate rather than using the word
"criticism" (which I realize has a dictionary definition much along the
lines of constructive debate, when applied to, say, literary criticism,
but that's not the connotation most people will take from it).

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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