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From Benoit Chesneau <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Code of conduct - edit of the point 2
Date Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:04:41 GMT
On Sun, Jul 27, 2014 at 5:44 PM, Joan Touzet <> wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Benoit Chesneau" <>
> On Sun, Jul 27, 2014 at 11:06 AM, Dave Cottlehuber <>
> wrote:
> > > On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM, Jan Lehnardt wrote:
> > >
> > > > Empathy is the capacity to recognise emotions of others.
> > >
> > > This is not a capacity. Just a feeling that you are able to. A
> > behaviorist assumption by the way.
> It is not behaviourist. Go read up on mirror neurons. There is
> plenty of physiological evidence supporting. Empathy is innate to the
> human physiology. Further, validation through discussion is the core of
> this point: trying to understand their emotional states and using
> that to intelligently inform your discourse on the mailing list is
> crucial to supportive discussion.
> The project is asking the same of you (and all other participants),
> and making it clear in this clause that tone-deaf responses that
> intentionally ignore others' emotional state are not appropriate.
> > In the few language I know (i admit to only know 4)
> Using my empathy I read this as passive-aggressive disagreement. I
> am going to ask you to please assume good faith on the part of those
> you are discussing this with. It is clear you are both frustrated and
> angry in this discussion to me (again, empathy) and I am doing my
> best to respond in a matter that will not further antagonize you.
> > And it is definitely a psychological term.
> Our project is littered with jargon that is terribly intimidating to
> those not of a computer science or engineering background. We are just
> about to pass bylaws that encourage those without that background to
> contribute in the ways that they can: on design, translation,
> documentation, project management and many other topics. To these people,
> and to many engineers & computer scientists, this term is a lot more
> familiar than Brewer's Therorem or Shannon's Theorem - or even Occam's
> Razor.
> > Why you have to use the term "empathy" and why it has to be there. Why a
> > description of what the expected behavior from the member of the
> community
> > isn't enough?
> The description has been laid out in that same paragraph quite clearly.
>    "Be empathetic, welcoming, friendly, and patient: We work together to
> resolve conflict, assume good intentions, and do our best to act in an
> empathetic fashion. We may all experience some frustration from time to
> time, but we do not allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. A
> community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive
> one. We should be respectful when dealing with other community members as
> well as with people outside our community."
> But this description alone is insufficient without making it clear that
> awareness and recognition of the emotional state of others is a critical
> capacity that we require within this community.
> > Also you and other keeps forgetting to answer how a conflict based on
> "lack
> > of empathy" will solved.  Who will be the more empathetic?
> We are talking about empathy for the other people engaged in collaboration,
> not third parties here. This is not about, for example, showing deep
> empathy
> for the homeless or poverty-stricken. This is about me, Joan, showing
> empathy
> for you, Benoit, and understanding that your emotional state is potentially
> affecting how you are participating in this discussion. Claiming that you
> "only know 4 languages" to me triggered a mental recognition of your
> response
> as possibly passive-aggressive, to which I'm attempting to respond as
> delicately
> as possible.
> > I strongly suggest to have a neutral code of conduct. Not something that
> > looks like a political agenda trying  to impose the usage of some
> > conflicting terms.
> Narrowly looking at this single sentence, I hope you have misunderstood the
> intent of this clause to mean "empathy for underprivileged third parties."
> The point is empathy for other contributors and their emotional state. I am
> showing restraint, not resorting to personal attacks, and doing my best to
> make you feel comfortable within this discussion and to not feel threatened
> by my words or actions.
> I'll provide another example. Last week, Noah reverted a number of my edits
> to the proposed bylaws. These were primarily syntax and grammar edits, but
> just the same it angered me greatly. Noah and I had a short discussion on
> IRC during which I tried to explain to him how angry I was. Noah had a lack
> of empathy in that he thought I was joking. When I explained I was really
> angry he and I both agreed to take a pause for an hour or so. By the time I
> came back, we came to a satisfactory resolution. Further, Noah personally
> apologized for upsetting me, which helped me feel better about contributing
> to the project in the future.
> This is really all we're asking of people with this clause. It is neither
> codification of a social justice agenda, nor tantamount to enforcing you
> to make every CouchDB commit an act of selfless love for the
> underprivileged
> of this world. We must be a friendly, supportive community where one's
> emotional state is not something of which to be ashamed, neglected, or
> willingly trodden upon by other members - especially those who hold status
> through being recognized committers or PMC members. In other words, no role
> gives you the permission to walk on others' feelings. They must be taken
> into consideration with every action.
> -Joan

This where your empathy fails. I was just factual, answering to this
language knowledge argument that was advanced. Some simple links:


Of course you will have to trust me about that....  Also I will just kindly
remember you that i am not an engineer neither one of this techies you seem
to assume I am. I have a plain background that shows it. It also shows you
don't really know me, which is quite normal ;)

I won't answer in detail for the rest. I agree with some points and
disagree completely with some other. But that not the point of this thread.

Let's be more clear, I propose to remove the word empathy and find a
sentence/paragraph that express what others expect from the others. I would
vote a text like this. I will be extremely uncomfortable with any text that
contains the word empathy.

- benoit.

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