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From Benoit Chesneau <>
Subject Re: [REQUES] Review proposed bylaws (Was: Re: [DISCUSS] Project bylaws)
Date Thu, 05 Jun 2014 11:22:14 GMT
On Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 12:23 PM, Joan Touzet <> wrote:

> 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.
Who will be the more empathic in these discussions. The first one that
denounce a lack of empathy? Or the other one that disagree with the other?
Will it be because most active participant will declare it? See using a
vague concept of emotional awareness won't prevent the discussion of this
awareness Of who is the more aware. Where respect, trust of the other,
honesty, beeing polite make sure that people exchange in confidence. In
short thinking that the other discuss only for the good Which also imply
that you have to understand that the other may not be aware you're in a bad
mood and doesn't have too. I am not speaking about being logical or beeing
a robot but to respect the other and know he can disagree. Which imply to
let him his chance, trusting him, that he is thinking the good for the
project. People don't have to be your friends to speak about the project.
Especially over a mail or a chat.

Anyway no need to discuss more. I wanted to point the danger of introducing
this vague concept of empathy. I see why it's introduced, but i am worried
it endanger more the community than anything in near future.

I already proposed some additions to the text which can be
reviewed/discussed before i add anything but I will provide a diff
reflecting my thinking until monday.

- benoit.

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