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From Niclas Hedhman <>
Subject Re: Personal attacks and respect
Date Thu, 08 Jul 2004 17:26:06 GMT
Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:

> Along with conflict deescalation come other traits of how participating 
> at Apache is meant to be: avoiding personal attacks and peer respect.

Sorry to somewhat disagree with your purified solution to a complex 
issue. (And this statement in itself can be construed as an example of 
personal attacks and flame warring.)

1. If Person A brings up Issue1, and Person B doesn't agree on Issue1, 
there are three outcomes;
   a. Keep silent out of respect of Person A, and let PersonA have it 
his/her way.
   b. Raise a voice and argue why Issue1 (as it stands) is perhaps not 
such a good idea, which in turn leads to;
      i.  PersonA continue the argument over Issue1, perhaps with some 
      ii.  PersonA calls PersonB for being intolerant and for personal 

To that you can add a mix of other possibilities;
   * PersonC says PersonA or PersonB is getting their way by 
voluminous arguments, tiring the opposition to defeat.
   * PersonD, PersonE and PersonF jumps into the scene, calling the 
'combatants' to cool it, and in the process increase the temperature 
instead of decreasing.

What I am trying to get at is; It is very difficult to formulate a 
'counter-argument' to Issue1 without the potential risk of the 
'Initiator' taking it as an 'Personal Attack', and it is almost 
impossible for anyone else to make a remark after the initial post, 
without that having the potential of being taken as a 'Personal 
Attack' (potentially on both sides) or just adding to the overall heat.

I.e. Silence doesn't cure, just a massive doze of pain-killers.

To avoid the wound, I think there are better advice than silence, and 
this is more on the reading side than writing;

1. When reading, don't take it personally.
2. If you feel it is a personal attack, assume that it was not the 
intention of the author, and if necessary ask for an apology.
3. If your post was taken personally, and someone raised that or you 
realized it afterwards, apologize and clarify.

Why should I be afraid of voicing my concern about the issues 
surrounding a project or a proposal?


P.S. I have one more good argument why 'silence' doesn't work, but 
I'll keep it until later.

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