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

Re: Censorship in Debian

Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org> writes:

> If you have to have your "guard up" to avoid hurting people, you have a
> more fundamental problem.

> It really *isn't* that hard to just think about the effect of your words
> on others *all the time*. As Russ said, that's a fundamental skill.

Eh... I do think that goes a little far.  It *is* a fundamental life
skill, but there are a lot of fundamental life skills that come harder for
some people than others.

For example, the absolute fastest way to make me miserable is to put me in
a situation where I need to make verbal small-talk with strangers.  In
writing, absolutely, I can do that all day.  In person, I run out of
social energy *really fast*.  I also consider this a fundamental life
skill, and I've gotten better at it, but I am in no way good at it, and am
usually still feeling awkward about mistakes I made in some conversation
five years ago.

My point in those messages was poorly expressed, particularly at first.
It's not to argue that this is *easy* for everyone, just that this is
something we do all have to do.  For some people it's harder than it is
for others, and if someone is trying and working on it and apologizing
when they don't do it well, I'll extend them the benefit of the doubt all
day long.  Where I start drawing boundaries is when that transitions into
not even making an attempt, or arguing that one should get to say whatever
pops into one's head because free speech and the responsibility for
filtering is entirely on the listener.  That just doesn't fly in any human
community I want to be part of.

In other words, intention matters a lot to me.  If someone is trying but
it doesn't come naturally, that's one thing; if someone is being
intentionally provocative and sniping at people because they think it's
enjoyable or funny (and I grew up on-line on Usenet; I've met a *lot* of
those people), well, surprise, people don't put up with that shit nearly
as long as they used to, and that's a *good* thing.

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

Reply to: