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Re: Censorship in Debian

On 1/10/19 3:02 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:

On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 07:20:41PM -0500, Miles Fidelman wrote:
On 1/9/19 5:39 PM, Josh Triplett wrote:

Anthony Towns wrote:
On Fri, Jan 04, 2019 at 10:47:05AM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
People seem to feel they're unreasonably put-upon by having to think about
what they're saying *at all*, but this is absurd.  Everyone else in the
world is doing this all the time.
There are times when you don't have to think about what you're saying
before you say it; that situation is often called being "among friends",
or "in a safe space", or "able to let your guard down".
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.

Debian is not a locker room.

On the other hand, when did people get so thin skinned, and offended by

I came across this in a FreeBSD community discussion of similar issues: https://notablelife.com/our-generation-needs-to-stop-being-offended-by-everything-and-learn-how-to-take-a-joke/
- a good read.

One paragraph, that nails it: "The thing is, people are often offended by
things that are so minimal compared to the actual problems in the world to
which they turn a blind eye. You don’t tend to see many people being
‘offended’ by the fact that there are starving children in third world
countries, or making rambling Facebook posts about how access to clean water
offends their sensibilities. Yet the second a joke or an ad is slightly
offside in their eyes, they lash out like they’ve been a victim of the
greatest injustice known to humankind."
That's because the vast, vast majority of people have the residual decency
to not open their fat mouths and argue in public that people don't *deserve*
to have access to food and clean water, whereas there is a quite high number
of assholes who feel no shame at treating someone as less-than on the basis
of irrelevant intrinsic characteristics.

Well, no.  In other settings (a neighborhood list I host), I've seen perfectly reasonable, if a little heated, discussions on immigration policy - in this case on whether our city should pass a sanctuary city ordinance - get completely derailed over someone's use of the term "illegal alien," which now seems to be politically incorrect terminology (and certainly more legally accurate than "undocumented alien" - which seems to be the currently popular term.  Discussion of a rather serious issue, got completely derailed over outrage over terminology, along with calls for moderation of a particular person's posts.  Given that I'm a firm believer in free speech, particularly when it comes to political discussion - no censorship was imposed.

So, you know, take some personal responsibility for things you say that are
offensive, and everything'll be ok.

At the risk of repeating myself:  I'm a firm believer in applying Postel's law to email discussions - "be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others."  Personally, I try to observe both parts of it, but I see more and more people doing just the opposite, and, if anything, leaning toward taking so much offense, at so much, as to be offensive for that.

And, of course, those who seem to be always outraged are the least aware of how uncivil and offensive their behavior is (or least least willing to acknowledge it).  You know - kind of like grammar nazis.


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

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