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Re: Revoking non-free less violently

On Fri, Jan 09, 2004 at 11:52:23AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 08, 2004 at 05:27:30PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > It is the process of voting which will enable us to measure what we want
> > to do.  How we *act* upon that measurement is the "cutting".
> Yes, and making a resolution is the process of acting. Changing our social
> contract is acting. Removing non-free is acting.

Yup -- and none of those three *necessarily* causes the other actions to
be taken.  It still takes human effort to make each of them happen.

> > Passing a GR, in and of itself, does nothing tangible, 
> Tell me you're seriously claiming that passing a GR that resolves to
> remove non-free and amend the social contract will result in no tangible
> changes.

I do not claim is necessarily won't.  I claim it might not.  There is
always the possibility of rebellion through inaction of those whose
responsibility it would be to carry out the GR.  As the Constitution
puts it, "[n]othing in this constitution imposes an obligation on anyone
to do work for the Project. A person who does not want to do a task
which has been delegated or assigned to them does not need to do it.
However, they must not actively work against these rules and decisions
properly made under them."

This tellingly leaves open the possibilty of people *passively* working
against rules and decision properly made under constitutional

Which is to say that merely passing a GR isn't enough.  Depending on the
nature of the resolution, one may have to have buy-in from certain
quarters within the Project to see a resolution carried out in practice.

It would be careless to assume that such buy-in has taken place.

[1] At this point I expect a dramatically-worded (but carelessly-typed)
    and strenous objection from a certain participant on this list, who
    is likely to accuse me of a failure of personal integrity for even
    claiming that such a possibility exists, despite the implication of
    same in our Constitution.  Indeed, the failure to adhere to the
    mythology that everyone acts in perfect harmony and perfect
    understanding of shared goals shared is tantamount to mortal sin,
    and if I persist in my frank observations regarding the dynamics of
    volunteer projects, I will surely be turned into a pillar of

[2] Ah, I begin to see how Ayn Rand fits into the picture at last.
    Remeber the (near-)end of _Atlas Shrugged_, when Dagny is commanded
    to block out objective reality by deliberately refusing to perceive
    the lights of New York City going out, as the enterprise of the
    "looters" reaches its grim climax?  I, for one, hope that the Debian
    Project does not resemble the Objectivist Movement[3] in with
    respect its social dynamics, and that we can eschew the practice of
    assailing our compatriots with accusations of corrupt moral
    character for uttering "badthink".  A quick survey of certain
    responses to most of my contributions to this discussion, however,
    will reveal how far we have yet to go.

[3] http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

G. Branden Robinson                |    There is no housing shortage in
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    Lincoln today -- just a rumor that
branden@debian.org                 |    is put about by people who have
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    nowhere to live.    -- G. L. Murfin

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