[License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sat May 25 18:45:01 UTC 2019

On Sat, May 25, 2019 at 1:35 PM James <purpleidea at gmail.com> wrote:

> Because the moderation process is opaque, and the accused aren't
> allowed to know about or confront their accusers, so this allows some
> people to get "easily offended" and create unnecessary drama.

I take it this is a reference to the Fidonet code of conduct?  "Thou shalt
not offend; thou shalt not be easily offended."  The Languagehat blog (
http://languagehat.com) has been engaging in widespread and often lengthy
discussion since 2002, during which time all of five people have been
banned (two might be sockpuppets of each other), always for a combination
of invincible ignorance and insufferable rudeness.  (There is of course
spam control, some of it a little hyperactive, but that doesn't really
count as moderation.)

In one case the host actually recused himself from making the decision
(because he found the commenter so annoying he wasn't sure he could be
objective enough) and delegated it to me.  I finally exercised my Strange
Powers[1] and lowered the _ban-hamor_ (Old English for 'bone hammer', but
widely mistranslated on the Internet) on the hapless malefactor.

[1] The Lord Redlady leaped to the middle of his own floor.  He was no
prancing Earthman putting on a show.  He was the old Instrumentality itself,
surviving with raw weapons and raw brains.  In his hand he held a
*something* which none of them could see clearly.

"Murder," he said, "will be done this moment if anybody moves.  I will
commit it.  I will, people.  Move, and try me.  And if I do commit murder,
I will arrest myself, hold a trial, and acquit myself.  I have strange
powers, people.  Don't make me use them.  Don't even make me show them."
The shimmering thing in his hand disappeared.

Cordwainer Smith, _Norstrilia_
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