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From Joan Touzet <>
Subject Re: [REQUES] Review proposed bylaws (Was: Re: [DISCUSS] Project bylaws)
Date Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:23:32 GMT
On Thu, Jun 05, 2014 at 10:49:49AM +0200, Benoit Chesneau wrote:
> This question always raised the question about who is right on naming
> thing. Who has more empathy than the others. If you really think that by
> laws will solve that you're wrong.

CoC aren't about stopping people. They are for outlining what is
acceptable and uancceptable behaviour. They are a ruler against which,
when conflict occurs, human action can be compared. Just because thye
exist will not stop people from acting badly, but that does not mean the
exercise of writing them or enforcing them is pointless.

> However only politeness and respect of
> the other will make it possible to discuss between each other. Even though
> who disagree with. And this is why it's important to have the respect of
> the other made as a rule, a conduct. 

There is the concept of respect already in the text. If people feel
strongly they want to add politeness, fine, but it should not be the
*only* word used.

> Empathy is too emotionally charged and

But humans are emotional. We need text in the CoC that addresses what to
do when people get emotional. Respect is often limited to a logical
approach to a situation and does not begin to cover emotional awareness
and understanding. As a result we need to go farther than just
politeness or respect and include the concept of empathy.

> It is also creating a new way to control people and reject the
> differences by applying a varnish on it, saying that diversity is about
> having people at the same level.

I'm not sure I follow here. Emotional awareness is not control, it is a
reminder to people in the community that emotion is a part of human
interaction, and that it must be taken into consideration when making
public statements. Working positively necessarily requires understanding
of the emotional state of those you're talking to; we cannot presume to
have interaction devoid of normal (or abnormal!) human behaviour.

> There is a lot of literature about it. First by reading "brave new world"
> from Huxkley.I

I have indeed read Huxley. I am not suggesting that everyone be happy
all the time, or that we avoid conflict, or that we intentionally drug
people into positive mental attitude or browbeat people into acceptance
of everything. I am stating that recognition of emotional state is
critical to supportive discussion.

This paper also summarise it:

>From that same article:

"That’s not a call for a world without empathy. The problem with those
who are devoid of empathy is that, although they may recognize what’s
right, they have no motivation to act upon it. Some spark of
fellow-feeling is needed to convert intelligence into action."

"Where empathy really does matter is in our personal relationships.
Nobody wants to live like Thomas Gradgrind—Charles Dickens’s caricature
utilitarian, who treats all interactions, including those with his
children, in explicitly economic terms. Empathy is what makes us human;
it’s what makes us both subjects and objects of moral concern. Empathy
betrays us only when we take it as a moral guide."

Again I am not suggesting that list members *only* use empathy to guide
their moral compass. I am stating that we cannot operate without empathy
lest callous attitudes defined on purely logical approaches trample
valid concerns that are, at their foundation, emotional and not logical.
Just because it's software doesn't mean that everything about it, in
code, documentation, design and usage, is also just 1s and 0s. We are
not robots, nor are we Star Trek's Mr. Spock. We should not aspire to
interact on this mailing list as if we were purely emotionless beings.
If that is true, then awareness of others' emotional state, and use of
that to be open, welcoming, friendly, patient, collaborative, concise,
careful in how we speak and yes, respectful is critical.
> A quick note about that but all the discussion in communities about having
> by-laws and rules have finished by agreeing in a short version of them.

I am -0 on that but -1 on reducing it to a single sentence. If you feel
strongly about having a shorter version of the bylaws or of the CoC,
please propose some text.

Joan Touzet | | wohali everywhere else

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