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Re: Code of Conduct: picking up

On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 06:07:58PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Debian is not a meritocracy.  Real meritocracies are vanishingly rare,
> and certainly no technical organization that is as lacking in
> diversity as Debian is should claim to be a meritocracy. Simple
> demographics show that it's not.

I'm not sure I follow this argument. It all depends on which public
you're trying to verify whether there exists a meritocracy or not. If
you use Debian contributors as a public, you can certainly verify
whether they do advance toward powers in a meritocratic way. And if you
do so, the starting lack of diversity doesn't get in the way of being a
meritocracy --- the lack of diversity is certainly a problem, given
Debian ambitious goals, but it's not a hindrance to be a meritocracy.

> The people who have social power in Debian largely have that power
> based on their ability to express themselves convincingly in writing:

On the other hand, I agree that this does get in the way of being a
meritocracy. Or, put it differently, it means that part of the "merit"
that is recognized in the Debian project is the ability to express
themselves convincingly. That might be good or not, but it's hardly
something that any Internet-based community can get along without.

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Former Debian Project Leader  . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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