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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Learning deescalation
Date Wed, 07 Jul 2004 10:10:42 GMT

In the thread "Web site ready - give it a try", there has been an 
unneeded escalation of tension because an innocent question has turned 
into a bikeshed argument. [1]

Keep in mind that others *will* ask questions like these the more the 
project becomes known, and the project has to learn how to handle them 
without making a fuzz out of them each time.

The suggestions I proposed may as well be wrong: the important thing is 
not what the project decides but how it handles pressure. I hope that 
it's now clear that learning to de-escalate a storm in a teacup is 

I'd suggest that everyone rereads the whole thread, and tries to see 
where things started escalating and why. In particular take notice of 
how different people react and which reactions escalate.

As a general guide, the best way not to escalate tension is through 
silence. [2] For example, if at one point I was said "we have already 
decided for this", but I still kept on bugging, simply not responding 
would have made me desist.

Finally, as Noel said, voting should not be used to deescalate, as in 
fact it does the opposite, and should generally be used only to ratify 
important decisions of which there is already consensus, or when the 
discussion has been long enough to warrant a stop on it. In this case 
the decision was already taken and nobody challenged it (remember, I was 
just asking), so it was not needed. If I wanted to start a vote, simply 
not voting would have made the issue drop automatically.

[2] Consensus Gauging through Silence

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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