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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 09:40:35AM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>       Dear DPL candidates,
>  it happens every now and then, people assume bad faith in mails from
> others and call their action silly and active tries to sabotage,

Well, for starters, I think it's fairly hard to read emotions in
text-only messages. I've had to learn the hard way that your own
emotions play a big role in that: if you're, say, unhappy, a bit tired,
or simply opposed to the idea being discussed (or all of the above),
it's much easier to read an aggressive or attacking emotion in a mail
that wasn't meant as such.

Personally, when I read a mail that makes me a bit angry or defensive, I
tend to read it again, just to be sure that the person involved did
really mean it that way. If I'm still not convinced it could be read
positively, I'll try to contact them out of band to confirm what they
meant and how they meant it, or leave the mail for another day to reply.
I find that helps me a lot in avoiding flames.

> and there are also people who fight for their right to behave like
> assholes and belittle scathingly against people that wish for a better
> communication style.

This, I agree, should not be acceptable behaviour. I hope you're not
categorizing me as someone who would do that ;-)

>  Besides that I would expect from a DPL candidate to lead by example
> (hope we can agree on that part),


> what else do you think you could do to discorage such behavior and
> encourage people, in cases of doubt, to rather simply ask how
> something might have been meant than assume bad faith in the others?

First, what I wrote above. I also intend to privately talk to people who
I think exhibit excessive aggressivity, asking them to stop doing so.

In addition, one of the things I've been considering is to lead a
discussion on an overhaul of our code of conduct. I think our current
CoC isn't really working, since it's outdated in parts, irrelevant in
others, and ignored by many people in the parts that actually matter.
Such an overhaul would of course require input from the project as a
whole, but it would include things like "assume good faith", "keep
things civilized", "remember that we're all trying to work for a common
goal", etc. That probably doesn't need me to be DPL, but it could help.

It's unlikely that we could fix everything; in fact, it's impossible to
completely eradicate bad behaviour. We all do things we regret later
sometimes, mainly because nobody among us is perfect.

The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a

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