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Re: discouraging discussion styles - any cure?

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

On the first part of your question --- assuming bad faith --- I think
little can be done to avoid that. It's something quite personal: some
are more prone to assume bad faith while other are more prone to assume
good faith. What we need to encourage on that front is a culture that
allow to change your mind once people discover their initial assumptions
were wrong and to publicly say so. There is nothing wrong in being
wrong. And there is a lot to gain from a community where people state
publicly "sorry, I was wrong" and other people do not think bad of them
because of that.

About actively working against those who work on improving
communication, I think it is simply unacceptable. There is no "right to
be an asshole", because that individual right gets in the way of our
ability to attract new people to our community. I've routinely
commented, both in private and in public, against such behavior and I'm
far from being the only one. Doing so, making clear that being assholes
is not welcome in Debian is needed and I think it's been working and
steadily improving in the past, say, 5 years.

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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