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

Re: Amendment to RMS/FSF GR: Option 4, assert the need to learn and grow from recent events

On Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 08:13:59PM -0500, Richard Laager wrote:
> On 3/30/21 5:28 PM, Jonathan Wiltshire wrote:
> > We urge Richard Stallman and the remaining members of the board which
> > reinstated him, to consider their positions.
> Can you elaborate on the intended meaning here? Is "position" their position
> to reinstate RMS, or their position as a member of the board?
> Is this intentionally "consider" as opposed to "reconsider"? If so, is that
> intended to be a weaker form of reconsider?

No, and no. "To consider one's position" in business and politics is a
(probably rather English) euphemism; being invited to consider your
position is a clear indication that you ought to be resigning over some
matter. I've chosen this form of words for that recognition. The difference
between consdidering, reconsidering and continually considering is, I think
largely academic. What we really want is genuine reflection by individuals
on how their actions have been perceived.

> Looking at the text as a whole, while there is talk of accountability, it's
> unclear to me what you actually want to happen. In contrast, I am able to
> understand the other choices: Choice 1 says RMS and the FSF board all need
> to go. Choice A/2 says we are taking no position as a project. Choice B/3
> says RMS needs to go, and FSF needs to fix whatever allowed him to come
> back.
> Is the general sense here that you would find it acceptable that RMS stays
> on the board, as long as he/they acknowledge past
> ("mistakes"|"impropriety"), "learn from them[,] and change behavior"?

This is a position statement by an entire body of developers, by majority,
some options of which could be seen as dictating the actions of another
organisation. A number of people have already expressed discomfort at that

I'm suggesting that the developers as a whole take a broader position,
callling for reformative action at the top of the FSF and by extension the
whole free software community without dictating what it should be - but the
expectation being that some people got it wrong and ought to resign.

The statement calls for results, not how to get there and that is in part
to avoid it beoming dated too quickly. It leaves doors open in the future
only if certain expectations are genuinely and transparently met. Equally,
I do not seek to tie the hands of individuals who *do* wish to express a
desire for more specific actions and who are free to sign the original
petition or any other.

I'd acknowledge that it is a compromise. I'm looking for a text the whole
project can get behind without alienating more moderate voices
within our community.

Jonathan Wiltshire                                      jmw@debian.org
Debian Developer                         http://people.debian.org/~jmw

4096R: 0xD3524C51 / 0A55 B7C5 1223 3942 86EC  74C3 5394 479D D352 4C51

Reply to: