[License-discuss] Ethical open source licensing - Persona non Grata Preamble

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Feb 23 16:17:44 UTC 2020

On Sun, Feb 23, 2020 at 10:30 AM Eric Schultz <eric at wwahammy.com> wrote:

I know most of you think Rick is out of line because I know you are good,
> thoughtful people.  It's not remotely enough to ignore this sidelining in
> defense of a predator and hope it goes away. Take some community leadership
> here and speak up at the very least and illustrate what is out of line.

I will indeed.

 In this paragraph you are employing one of the classic techniques of
propaganda: the bandwagon.  "Join the crowd, we are the silent majority,
our victory is inevitable!"  I won't mention all the historical and present
individuals and groups that use(d) this technique, because I don't want to
suggest an equivalence between their views and yours.  Nevertheless, when I
see a blatant attempt to propagandize like this one, I become sharply less
trustful of the speaker, and I am a pretty unsuspicious person in general.

Anyone coming into a community and saying something unusual is subject to
having their motives doubted.  Here's the usual personal (and therefore
political) anecdote: When I said on these lists that two Microsoft licenses
were open source and that OSI should certify them, I was attacked
elsewhere, first for being a paid shill for Microsoft, then for being an
*unconscious* shill.  Not knowing how to refute the second charge, I
remained calm, pointed to evidence of my character and views, spelled out
the facts underlying my opinion, and waited it out.  You could have done
the same.

You are also, by the way, employing innuendo and assuming facts not yet
demonstrated.  Three fallacies in two sentences is pretty impressive if you
like that sort of thing.  I don't myself, but tastes differ.

If I was a survivor of RMS' harassment or a survivor of sexual assault or
> from a marginalized group, I'm pretty sure I'd have left by now. That's not
> acceptable.

There are plenty of members of marginalized groups on this list, including
the largest such group.  I have not noticed any departures-in-a-huff, or a
minute and a huff either, because Rick Moen (who does not suffer fools
lightly, as I often do) has said something.  But by all means don't let the
door hit you on the way out.

I have done my best to illustrate what is out of line.

~~ plonk ~~

(Note: the .sig below was chosen in the usual way, randomly from my list.
The random numbers have been, I think, particularly felicitous today.)

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
He that would foil me must use such weapons as I do, for I have not
fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble.
                        --Thomas Vaughan (1650)
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