On holy wars, and a plea for peace

I just posted the following to the Linux kernel mailing list.

Most of you know that I have spent more than a quarter century analyzing the folkways of the hacker culture as a historian, ethnographer, and game theorist. That analysis has had large consequences, including a degree of business and mainstream acceptance of the open source way that was difficult to even imagine when I first presented “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” back in 1997.

I’m writing now, from all of that experience and with all that perspective, about the recent flap over the new CoC and the attempt to organize a mass withdrawal of creator permissions from the kernel.

I’m going to try to keep my personal feelings about this dispute off the table, not because I don’t have any but because I think I serve us all better by speaking as neutrally as I can.

First, let me confirm that this threat has teeth. I researched the relevant law when I was founding the Open Source Initiative. In the U.S. there is case law confirming that reputational losses relating to conversion of the rights of a contributor to a GPLed project are judicable in law. I do not know the case law outside the U.S., but in countries observing the Berne Convention without the U.S.’s opt-out of the “moral rights” clause, that clause probably gives the objectors an even stronger case.

I urge that we all step back from the edge of this cliff, and I weant to suggest a basis of principle on which settlement can be negotiated.

Before I go further, let me say that I unequivocally support Linus’s decision to step aside and work on cleaning up his part of the process. If for no other reason than that the man has earned a rest.

But this leaves us with a governance crisis on top of a conflict of principles. That is a difficult combination. Fortunately, there is lots of precedent about how to solve such problems in human history. We can look back on both tragic failures and epic successes and take lessons from them that apply here.

To explain those lessons, I’m going to invite everybody to think like a game theorist for a bit.

Every group of humans trying to sustain cooperation develops an ethos, set of norms. It may be written down. More usually it is a web of agreements that one has to learn by observing the behavior of others. The norms may not even be conscious; there’s a famous result from experimental psychology that young children can play cooperative games without being able to articulate what their rules are…

Every group of cooperating humans has a telos, a mutually understood purpose towards which they are working (or playing). Again, this purpose may be unwritten and is not necessarily even conscious. But one thing is always true: the ethos derives from the telos, not the other way around. The goal precedes the instrument.

It is normal for the group ethos to evolve. It will get pulled in one direction or another as the goals of individuals and coalitions inside the group shift. In a well-functioning group the ethos tends to evolve to reward behaviors that achieve the telos more efficiently, and punish behaviors that retard progess towards it.

It is not normal for the group’s telos – which holds the whole cooperation together and underpins the ethos – to change in a significant way. Attempts to change the telos tend to be profoundly disruptive to the group, often terminally so.

Now I want you to imagine that the group can adopt any of a set of ethoi ranked by normativeness – how much behavior they require and prohibit. If the normativeness slider is set low, the group as a whole will tolerate behavior that some people in it will consider negative and offensive. If the normativeness level is set high, many effects are less visible; contributors who chafe under restriction will defect (usually quietly) and potential contributors will be deterred from joining.

If the normativeness slider starts low and is pushed high, the consequences are much more visible; you can get internal revolt against the change from people who consider the ethos to no longer serve their interests. This is especially likely if, bundled with a change in rules of procedure, there seems to be an attempt to change the telos of the group.

What can we say about where to set the slider? In general, the most successful – most inclusive – cooperations have a minimal ethos. That is, they are just as normative as they must be to achieve the telos, *and no more so*. It’s easy to see why this is. Pushing the slider too high risks internal factional strife over value conflicts. This is worse than having it set too low, where consensus is easier to maintain but you get too little control of conflict between *individuals*.

None of this is breaking news. We cooperate best when we live and let live, respecting that others may make different choices and invoking the group against bad behavior only when it disrupts cooperative success. Inclusiveness demands tolerance.

Strict ethoi are typically functional glue only for small groups at the margins of society; minority regious groups are the best-studied case. The larger and more varied your group is, the more penalty there is for trying to be too normative.

What we have now is a situation in which a subgroup within the Linux kernel’s subculture threatens destructive revolt because not only do they think the slider been pushed too high in a normative direction, but because they think the CoC is an attempt to change the group’s telos.

The first important thing to get is that this revolt is not really about any of the surface issues the CoC was written to address. It would be maximally unhelpful to accuse the anti-CoC people of being pro-sexism, or anti-minority, or whatever. Doing that can only inflame their sense that the group telos is being hijacked. They make it clear; they signed on to participate in a meritocracy with reputation rewards, and they think that is being taken way from them.

One way to process this complaint is to assert that the CoC’s new concerns are so important that the anti-CoC faction can be and should be fought to the point where they withdraw or surrender. The trouble with this way of responding is that it *is* in fact a hijacking of the group’s telos – an assertion that we ought to have new terminal values replacing old ones that the objectors think they’re defending.

So a really major question here is: what is the telos of this subculture? Does the new CoC express it? Have the objectors expressed it?

The question *not* to get hung up on is what any individual’s choice in this matter says about their attitude towards, say, historically underepresented minorities. It is perfectly consistent to be pro-tolerance and pro-inclusion while believing *this* subculture ought to be all about producing good code without regard to who is offended by the process. Not every kind of good work has to be done everywhere. Nobody demands that social-justice causes demonstrate their ability to write C.

That last paragraph may sound like I have strayed from neutrality into making a value claim, but not really. It’s just another way of saying that different groups have different teloi, and different ethoi proceeding from them. Generally speaking (that is, unless it commits actual crimes) you can only judge a group by how it fulfills its own telos, not those of others.

So we come back to two questions:

1. What is our telos?

2. Given our telos, do we have the most inclusive (least normative) ethos possible to achieve it?

When you have an answer to that question, you will know what we need to do about the CoC and the “killswitch” revolt.

Email archive thread at: https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/9/23/212

535 thoughts on “On holy wars, and a plea for peace

  1. How serious is the killswitch effort?

    And it will be interesting to follow this on the LKML. Got a pointer to the message there so we can read the replies?

    • >How serious is the killswitch effort?

      You know everything I do about it.

      >And it will be interesting to follow this on the LKML. Got a pointer to the message there so we can read the replies?

      I’ve attached the thread URL to the post.

    • Or it’ll just fork.

      Or people will move to OBSD or something.

      (Can you imagine Theo de Raadt in this sort of position?)

      • I couldn’t imagine Linus in this position either. I saw him as a major barrier to this kind of nonsense.

        I feel much less certain of anything these days.

        • Theo isn’t now the target Linus has been, the latter and his former former project the Linux kernel has been the number one target of the SJWs for years.

          But, yes, there is concern. E.g. Theo’s allergy to US cryptographic shenanigans has him and OpenBSD based in Canada, which doesn’t have freedom of speech or many other features that have been a part of FOSS health based in the US. But Canada certainly has its share of SJWs, including those willing to use the courts, or the parallel set of “Human Rights” tribunals.

          Imagine Theo being forbidden to use the Internet for 3 years while facing criminal harassment charges that could put him in jail for 6 months…. This in fact happened to one Gregory Alan Elliott over a tiff he had with a couple of female feminists he was trying to help (initially). That sounds like an easy OpenBSD killshot.

          • That’s just the OpenBSD leader. FreeBSD is much more pozzed than Linux, by Randy “FreeBSDGirl” Harper’s white knights, with a worse CoC. Don’t know about NetBSD or Dragonfly (it the latter ready for production??).

            • I thought Randy the pozzed Harpee had finally been removed from the FreeBSD community due to her own outrageous misbehavior…

              • She got so toxic the brand damage she was causing became intolerable. Not that she was any kind of member of the community by then, or for a long time, but they sent the appropriate legal threat to get her to stop using FreeBSDGirl.

                But they didn’t purge her white knights inside the project, heck, this might be their revenge for the above.

        • Sorry – by “people” I meant “users”, not contributors.

          If Linux becomes toxic and starts to suck, people will fork a Linux that doesn’t, or move to other Free Unix.

          Until someone figures out how to stop forking despite the licenses, or destroys source archives for history, there’s no way to permanently ruin any of them,

  2. SJWs are about changing the telos from whatever wonderful creative endeavor it is to being “inclusive”.

    Vox has some takes:

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/09/linux-converged.html

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/09/code-of-conduct-working-as-designed.html

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-most-pyrrhic-victory-in-history.html

    https://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/09/killswitch-linux-code-of-conduct.html

    The Coraline Cancer Code of Conduct and the Gaystapo enforcement will be a problem as it has been for nearly every other project. Some SJW will scan through the last few decades of any public media and insist on guilotining the Nazi.

    They are even NOW going after Ted Ts’o over some alleged rape support something.

    I don’t see how this is solved without a hard fork where those with the original Telos move to, leaving whatever “Linux” is to the SJW Maenad pyroclastic frenzy.

    • “SJWs are about changing the telos from whatever wonderful creative endeavor it is to being “inclusive”.”

      Even if it means excluding everybody who produces anything of value

    • Yep. Sometimes a hard fork is inevitable.

      I for one, if given the choice would never use or support a distro that continued to use the SJW version of Linux.

    • The “post-meritocracy” stuff from C. A. Ehmke is even _more_ damning than the CoC per se. We _know_ what “post-meritocracy” looks like in the real world – remember the `leftpad` fiasco? Some folks are ideologically possessed to the point that they will happily break the Internet – and the bulk of modern technology along with it – in pursuit of their goals.

      • If I ever run into one of those “meritocracy is bad for diversity” people, I’ll ask them how they’re going to restructure NBA rosters to better align with population averages. Of a 12-player active/3-player reserve NBA roster, the 13.4% black population should account for exactly two spots, .Hispanics get nearly three, and Asians get nearly one. So the other nine should be white, Native American, or other outliers.

        If an NBA roster looked like that today, the owner would be stripped of his franchise for racism faster than you can say “Donald Sterling”.

        • Reminds me of Red Auerbach when he fielded the first all black starting five in the NBA back in 1964. People complained. His reply

          “All we were trying to do here, all the time, is play the guys that, in our opinion, whether I’m coaching or someone else is coaching, is going to win the ballgame. That’s all.”

    • > They are even NOW going after Ted Ts’o over some alleged rape support something.

      Conditional on him having actually supported rape, that seems a valid cause for going after someone. The qualifier is necessary – guilt cannot be taken as granted based solely on a SJW panic, and I know nothing about the case otherwise – but if they’re right(and they are sometimes), this sounds legit.

      • The legal definition of crimes changes. If you supported a previous definition, which did not cover behavior criminalized by a subsequent definition, you are in a sense “supporting rape”. An SJW will conflate that support for the previous definition with advocating behavior that has always been criminalized under that term.

        Classic Motte-and-Bailey.

        Therefore, it’s easier to just say that whatever Ted may or may not have supported is orthogonal to whether he should be a kernel developer. Even if he does support behavior being legal that you think should be criminalized, that’s a policy disagreement. His support for that policy position does not represent a threat of harm to anyone involved in kernel development.

      • Having read Ted’s post, I would say it suffers from a couple problems. First, that Ted “buried the lede.” In this case the lede was that Ted felt that the “1-in-4 women have been raped” statistic was likely to cause women unnecessary fear. This doesn’t show up until the last paragraph, while it’s really the main thesis of the piece. (There’s a reason your English teacher told you to put the thesis in the first paragraph.)

        The second is that Ted’s phrasing was a little insensitive.

        Essentially, Ted was saying that given the actual numbers in the studies involved, a woman’s chance of rape was more like 1-in-14, and that a woman was approximately twice as likely to be raped by someone she knows than by a stranger, which would make the chances of being “raped by a stranger” more like 1-in-42. PLEASE NOTE that I’m neither endorsing or attacking Ted’s accuracy here; I’m merely noting what happens if you do math with the numbers he provided.

        The third problem here is that when Ted was challenged on this he engaged in a couple thought experiments that were, frankly… I’ll simply say that I’d be embarrassed to make them.

        Part of the problem is that the person who put together the 1-in-4 number with regard to rape included people who were drinking when they had sex, and assumed rape even if the person who filled out the questionnaire indicated that they had not been raped. Since Ted questioned the methodology, he was clearly suspect, and the other failures in his writing; burying the lede and some general insensitivity gave people the ammunition they needed to go after him.

        I suspect that his heart was in the right place, but he did a very poor job of repeating and supporting his thesis and explaining to women why (in his opinion) there was less cause for fear than previously reported. Rape is definitely a subject where if you intend to challenge the conventional wisdom you need both good facts and very, very good chops as a writer, and Ted unfortunately didn’t make the grade.

        I should note, by the way, that my main intent here is to do some decent reporting on what the Ted Tso controversy was all about because it does play into the subject at hand, but I think it would be a major dis-service to what Eric is trying to do if responses to my reporting ended up hijacking the thread, so I may or may not reply to anything someone has to say about this reporting.

        You can read Ted’s communications on the subject here:

        http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Rape_apology_on_LCA_mailing_list

        http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Rape_apology_on_LCA_mailing_list/Email_1

        http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Rape_apology_on_LCA_mailing_list/Email_2

        • This is complete bullshit. If the accusation is “Ted Ts’o is a rape apologist” and the punishment is “Ted Ts’o must be exiled from the Linux community” then the evidence cannot be “Ted Ts’o wrote an insensitive takedown of a dubious statistic about the frequency of rapes.” The evidence needs to be “Ted Ts’o said that rape was a good thing and defended rape as a positive act” because that it was it means to be an apologist for something.

          This motte and bailey debate bullshit is exactly why normal people are hostile to SJW’s CoCs. The CoC is sold as a tool to ban exceptional offenders who are clearly a detriment to the project. Then it is used to ban people who communicate in normal ways about things that SJWs don’t like.

          • Exactly. The assumption is that anyone who argues with _________’s number is against us, which is not always the case.

        • Like I said to Jeff, if Ted is guilty of “insensitivity”, then the standard of sensitivity is beyond what most any mortal (on the autistic spectrum or not) is going to be able to achieve. Of course, the standard is even higher than that because even the extreme self-flagellation of Scott Aaronson [0][1] was not enough to shield him copious amounts of hate.

          Now I recognize that our different backgrounds are going to lead us to interpret Ted’s words in different ways – down to the level of what we count as “signal” vs. “noise”. But even after seeing the supposed “problematic” elements of his words pointed out to me, I really don’t think there was anything wrong with his presentation. (Was it perfect? No, but it far and away cleared any reasonable standard for civil discourse).

          The practical consequence of this extremely one-sided tone policing is that all but the most bloody-minded contrarian voices are going to be drummed off the field under a slew of penalty cards (or aren’t even going to step on the field)

          If you truly want Eric’s effort to succeed, you ought to be sticking up for civil contrarians, and helping to ease the concern of those inclined to read evil motives into any dissenting opinion. I appreciate the respect you’ve shown to myself, Eric, and others in this debate, but I think your treatment here of Ted fails in this regard.

          [0] https://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=2091#comment-326664
          [1] https://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=3766

          • > then the standard of sensitivity is beyond what most any
            > mortal (on the autistic spectrum or not) is going to be
            > able to achieve.

            Of course it is. Has to be to work.

          • As I said, I think Ted’s heart is in the right place, (and that’s really all I need to know about someone.) Ted’s failure was a social failure – he did a poor job of making and selling his point – not a failure as a human being.

            I’m not sure I’m willing to back him – his second email sucked balls* – but I certainly won’t support attacking him; no reasonable interpretation of his first post supports seeing him as a rape apologist.

            * At that point he was probably upset and certainly out of his depth.

            • One of my biggest problems with laying into Ted over this is that it’s treating what’s essentially the social equivalent of a misdemeanor as the social equivalent of a felony. (And from past patterns, some of the people doing it would like it to be treated as an actual felony; thankfully nobody seems to have actually gone quite that far off the deep end as to actually make that possible. Yet.)

              If mild insensitivity gets you castigated just as severely as being an outright flaming-cross-wielding hooded KKK fuckwit, I would predict you’ll see a lot more outright flaming fuckwits around. After all, why stay under their rocks? They won’t catch any worse hell than you’d catch for something less serious than farting in a lift, after all. And, as ESR has pointed out more than once, we most emphatically *do not* want that kind of reaction.

              • This is an excellent point. As I’ve said repeatedly, Ted’s heart was in the right place, but he phrased his concerns very poorly.

                • Moderately poorly, at worst, in my opinion. But, fair enough there. You at least seem to get why letting him have it with both barrels is counterproductive – thank you for your moderation.

                  That said, cases like the unmitigated bollocking that Scott Aaronson got worry me more than a little. I don’t think it’s really possible to apologize more thoroughly than he did, short of giving away all your assets to the charity of your accuser’s choice (and he offered to do damn nearly that!), branding yourself on the face with an iron, severing all social ties and beetling off to go die of thirst under a rock on livestream.

                  Granted, I exaggerate, but I suspect if someone literally did that, it would be considered insufficient penance. Ok, ok, I’m being a bit cynical, but still. Suffice it to say that disproportionate retribution for minor faults is somewhere between a sore spot and a phobia for me.

                • A lot less poorly than your are phrasing your concerns about him. So if you really believe that’s a reason not to state concerns, you should lead by example and disengage from this whole thread.

        • I should note that I realized while driving home this afternoon that I had misinterpreted one of the numbers Ted gave, so the 1-in-42 figure is not accurate and should probably be lower. I don’t have time to go back and read the paper and do computations which Ted himself didn’t do, so I’m going to make a wild-ass-guess and state that a proper understanding of Ted’s numbers would give us something more like 1-in-20 to 1-in-30. Once again, I’m not endorsing or attacking Ted’s numbers, just reporting what they look like to me.

          • Isn’t it a sad day and age when I am afraid to speak my mind for fear of future repercussions? Thats the place I am in today. I disagree with the Code of Conduct but I am not going to give ammo for someone else to judge me.

      • IRRELEVANT
        Toast-ted.
        I have never met any sociopath, but SJWs will take the most innocent, much less some statistically analytical thing and blow it up so the target is some kind of bigot.

      • YHWH has no problem with the rape of young girls (Devarim chapter 22, verse 28 (na’ar, tahphas)).

        The man keeps his new child bride and pays the father 50 silver.

        White men have a major problem with such: since they reject YHWH and instead worship women.

        Ted said nothing wrong.
        Nor did Reiser.

        • Reiser clearly was guilty of developing a file system that works so much better than the Microsoft ClusterFuck™ (at that time it was the most fitting name) that it was embarrassing for them and dangerous to their purses.
          And possibly being oblivious enough to marry a secret squirrel.
          The rest is proof by kafkatrap and absence of evidence.

      • “Conditional on him having actually supported rape, that seems a valid cause for going after someone. The qualifier is necessary”

        From whose point of view are you speaking?

        No SJW really cares whether Ted is guilty or innocent, but from the SJW point of view, it’s actually better if Ted didn’t support rape. Because destroying an innocent man is a greater expression of one’s power, and a greater warning to others, than destroying a guilty man. Therefore, SJWs derive more pleasure and glee from destroying an innocent man.

        Remember, SJWs never articulate their real motivations, which are power and the destruction of the Good. SJWs aren’t actually opposed to rape–they’ll call you racist if you oppose the Rotherham rapes. They care only about power, and the joy they derive by exercising power against people.

        • The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

    • The quicker that we hard fork and rebuild the quicker that everyone can put this unnecessary pain behind us. Otherwise the CoC will be weaponized and used against the innocent. Shame on those that are trying to force the new CoC on everyone.

      The only question remaining is how do we prevent it from happening again in the future??

      • Here’s what I think is happening, which also contains the recipe for making sure it doesn’t happen again. Take away the SJW’s concerns about race/gender/etc and imagine the system running happily without these concerns. I believe that everyone is THEORETICALLY happy with the idea that they’re going to start working on a less-important project, gain some chops, move to a more important project, and gain some more chops, and eventually become involved with a really important project like the Linux kernel.

        However, this formulation doesn’t take into consideration that some people are assholes. Some people are specifically assholes about race, religion, and/or gender, (and this might not break along a left/right divide.) Others are assholes because they lack a specific set of social skills and can’t, for example, reject a piece of poor code without cussing out the person who presented it. Once these two forms of assholism, along with related problems of trolling, doxxing, etc., start to happen on a single project, or on enough projects that discussion of the problem is widespread, this essentially presents a security vulnerability because it is an entry point for sociopaths (or true-believers, who may be worse than sociopaths) who claim they can solve the problem.

        Long-story-short, I think a lot of projects are vulnerable to social engineering. (And it would help a great deal if people would stop bringing their pet political theories into this and see the problem as fixing a security problem which involves social engineering.)

        Note that this is a two-level security problem. The security vulnerability specific to YOUR project goes away if all project communications are polite and people who are assholes about race/religion/gender get dealt with fairly and quickly. The security vulnerability to Open Source goes away if the general level of assholism falls far enough that SJWs are unable to gain any traction.

        • > Here’s what I think is happening, which also contains the recipe for making sure it doesn’t happen again. Take away the SJW’s concerns about race/gender/etc and imagine the system running happily without these concerns.

          Except those concerns aren’t legitimate and giving in to illegitimate demands only shows your weakness and leads to even more ridiculous demands.

          > I believe that everyone is THEORETICALLY happy with the idea that they’re going to start working on a less-important project, gain some chops, move to a more important project, and gain some more chops, and eventually become involved with a really important project like the Linux kernel.

          Except some people are never going to be able to get those kind of chops, and some people just want the prestige of being Linux contributors without the hard work.

          • Except some people are never going to be able to get those kind of chops, and some people just want the prestige of being Linux contributors without the hard work.

            They can go f**k themselves.

    • They are even NOW going after Ted Ts’o over some alleged rape support something.

      No one is “going after” Ted Ts’o. Sage Sharp called into question whether he’s fit to have the authority to enforce the CoC. She did not call for him to be evicted from the project.

  3. Bravo, Eric!

    My personal position is derived from efforts to create a friendly, accepting culture for computer nerds, who are not exactly the mainstream. It took a while to create groups that were nerd-friendly, even in a largish city (Toronto). We now have several.

    I was surprised to see how hard it is to extend that to nerds who are non-mainstream in additional ways. It’s hard to be odd in two ways: about one is all you can get away with before the villagers show up with pitchforks and torches (;-))

    I’m pleased to say that most of our nerd groups are friendly: the major one has happily gay and trans members, even though we’re predominantly white and male. They’re gay and trans and female and undecided _nerds_, and their nerdiness is the dominant consideration.

    I welcome Linus’s reconsideration of conflict as a way to resolve problems: I consider conflict something that the courts do. Not me. I trained for the Green Line (Cyprus), and for some odd reason dislike conflict (;-))

    • > I consider conflict something that the courts do. Not me.

      What outcome do you expect when one side is willing to fight and the other isn’t?

    • One of the things I’ve noticed about tech is that trans people, relatively speaking, thrive in it. They are probably going to get the shit end of things no matter what they do in life, but I’ve seen greater densities of transfolk in tech than any other field. (Activism, entertainment, and sex work may be the major exceptions.)

      And here’s the thing — the most technically demanding companies I’ve worked at had higher densities of transfolk. Which is a natural consequence if you assume that nerds look at other nerds and see being female or gay or trans or black as one of the least weird things about their fellows. And since we’re all united on the basis of our greater weirdnesses, it’s not worth it to let such small differences stop us from working shoulder to shoulder. All of which makes Coraline Ada Ehmke’s leaning on her transgender status to bolster her arguments against meritocracy seem a little disingenuous. Even if it were true that merit in practice is more commonly a function of privilege, meritocracy itself remains as an ideal we can aspire to, much like democracy.

      Something’s changed since the 90s, though: several tech bubbles have attracted money, and therefore mainstream attention, to the field, and the less demanding tech shops have become less nerdy. The rise of the brogrammers has led to concomitant changes in the make-up of the tech community itself, and now we’ve seen bigotry, bullying, and toxic masculinity become part of the tech scene in ways that would’ve been unfathomable not that long ago. So inasmuch as that core assumption about nerds was true back then, it’s much less true now. This is why we can’t have good things, and this is why we need activism, codes of conduct, and explicit ground rules.

      However, I still feel that Coraline Ada Ehmke couldn’t make it as a developer, and so sought a rise to leadership in OSS by other means. A coworker of mine from several jobs ago (who also happens to be black and female) once opined that those who could cut it in engineering became engineers, while those who couldn’t cut it in engineering became Six Sigma consultants. Diversity consulting provides an even easier path for the can’t-cut-its.

      • Exactly.

        The first full-time programming position I had out of undergrad, there was a person who would – not entirely successfully – sneak articles of women’s clothes into his daily wardrobe. Although we chuckled, we also protected him from outsiders attentions. That was early ’80’s.

        • I did much the same thing, pre-transition. I routinely wore ladies’ polo tunic tops and Oxford shoes (not to mention undergarments and hosiery), as part of a process I thought of as “gradual feminization.”

          • Why are you giving us that information? Why do you think I’m (and many others) in the least interested in that? We are talking about computer systems, and you are talking about putting on dresses, that’s perfectly fine, but it’s a bit off the subject. For all I care is, you are Amy Bowersox, so my natural inclination would be to think you are a women, that’s what you seem to want, so what’s up with all the superfluous information?

        • Today’s SJWs would burn you at the stake for chuckling, ignoring the fact that you protected your colleague.

      • > Something’s changed since the 90s, though: several tech bubbles have attracted money, and therefore mainstream attention, to the field, and the less demanding tech shops have become less nerdy. The rise of the brogrammers has led to concomitant changes in the make-up of the tech community itself

        This is ahistorical nonsense. Tech nerd were always considered rude by mainstream standards. What changed was that progressive/SJW attitudes changed from “courtesy and decency are tools of racist patriarchal oppression” to “complying with our speech codes is just common courtesy and basic decency”.

        • There’s a difference between “they don’t say hello, and they say my code is crap” and “they call me an asshole and a brain-dead moron”.

          The former is the kind of “nerds were always rude” that is both true and still acceptable under the Code of Conduct (and, indeed, pretty much anywhere I’ve worked and partied).

          The latter is gratuitous; it’s at best unwelcoming to people who could usefuly contribute, but really, it’s insulting personally and directly (“you”, not “your code”). That’s behaviour by people I don’t want to work with, much less spend my free time and energy with.

          And the latter category includes me when I was 17, and it even includes me when I was 23. But I got better, and am now surrounded by people who are as competent, or frequently more, than what the people from back then believed and claimed of themselves. That especially includes people who would (justifiedly) not have bothered spending their time with/on/near me.

          • > There’s a difference between “they don’t say hello, and they say my code is crap” and “they call me an asshole and a brain-dead moron”.

            Well hackers have never distinguished between “your code is crap” and “you’re a brain-dead moron”. As for “asshole”, the only people throwing around that word are the ones pushing the CoCs.

            • I’ve used the term routinely.

              As in “He’s an asshole, but he’s a highly competent asshole, so we deal with it”.

              Petulant little asshole is an entirely different category, and competence is irrelevant there.

      • Where are these “brogrammers”? Because in my experience they seem to only exist in the feverish dreams of the fainting couch San Franciscans… an assessment I base on having travelled the world and met geeks all over.

        So this has given me a few hypotheses:

        1) It’s a misnomer. It’s not the “bro-grammers” they are concerned about, but the “bro-preneurs”, “bro-nagement consultants”, “finance bros”, and so on. Given that Silicon Valley is now the epicenter of massive amounts of money, coupled with a savior complex about the utility of their asinine app-based economy, this seem plausible. The fact that the salt-of-the-earth tier employees are thrown under the bus in order to pressure the moneyed tier, in the name of fighting oppression, is then supremely ironic and telling.

        2) It’s a misrepresentation. What is actually ordinary masculine behavior, namely bonding over banter, making the odd raunchy joke (remember DongleGate?), is presented as unimaginable sexism, and the persecutors are little more than puritans. They fear sexuality of all kinds, and they themselves treat women as too fragile to be able to handle it. It would be little more than the sour grapes of the lonely spinster, who has decided to swear off the opposite sex.

        3) It’s a fever dream, concocted in the minds of those who stand to benefit from it (remember Shanley Kane?). Fueled by the archived hysteria of Geek Feminism Wiki, they’ve gaslit themselves into thinking there is a massive problem, even though they’re the ones who have been carefully colonizing our community unopposed.

        One thing is clear to me though: my generation has been completely miseducated on gender. Nonsense such as “gender is a social construct” is passed along as if it were unobjectionable truth, and those who point out counter-examples are quickly and efficiently discredited with terms-of-art such as “toxic masculinity”.

        My answer to that is simple. Let’s presume it exists. In that case, they are acknowledging there are uniquely gendered behaviors that seem innately attached to the male gender, sabotaging their own view of social constructivism, because I’ve yet to see a woman accused of it. But fine. Then so there be must “toxic femininity”… which can be generally summarized as social warfare which wields control of information, reputational damage and the recruitment of authority figures to fight dirty.

        Boy do those last three describe what’s been going on in our community to a tee.

        Meritocracy is one ideal we can aspire to, but it must be supported by the pillars of truth, objectivity and self-awareness. Coraline Ehmke seems to lack all 3. And it’s high time we stop pretending this is about masculinity. Men and women built open source and have made it work for decades, using the masculine style of resolving our differences. It wasn’t until certain women came along and started colonizing it, that that suddenly became a problem.

        • The word ‘gender’ is overloaded for SJWs. It is simultaneously:
          a) a social construct
          b) innate, but distinct from ‘sex’
          c) innate and interchangeable with ‘sex’

          They will switch between these 3 without hesitation, or even noticing, depending on how the argument is going. What was initially a useful concept in feminist theory has been debased to worthlessness. Given the outspoken loathing of SJWs for the TERFs who invented ‘gender as a social construct’, this is unsurprising and (I have little doubt) deliberate.

          • Mutliple definitions for the same term is a feature, not a bug, for SJWs. It allows them to play Motte-and-Bailey tactics. If you disagree with them, they pretend you disagree with the most conservative interpretation of the term, but when you agree, even passively by not strongly voicing disagreement, they push forward with the broadest interpretation.

        • Then so there be must “toxic femininity”… which can be generally summarized as social warfare which wields control of information, reputational damage and the recruitment of authority figures to fight dirty.

          Boy do those last three describe what’s been going on in our community to a tee.

          Vox Day’s rhetorical summation of this is “Women ruin everything.”

          Jim of Jim’s Blog notes that today, female sexual misbehavior goes unpunished. This is relevant to the extent this “toxic femininity” is an extension of that.

          I can personally attest to “toxic femininity” ending one of the best jobs I ever had, also ending the company since I was the architect and lead programmer, the only one who understood every part of it, and the other who did only back end work left because he saw the handwriting on the wall. Exactly those items you mention were used, “control of information” allowed her to not tell me about vital meetings with potential customers, “reputational damage” was invoked by creating the impression I wasn’t doing much when I was heads down coding, and for “recruitment of authority figures to fight dirty”, she convinced the CEO to purge me for these crimes.

          Bad times, a turning point in my life. Smaller scale examples of this also happened in my career, and one could make a case this killed Lucent, except the necessary for the company’s survival project was doomed in so many other ways (a media gateway, complimenting a media gateway controller like their very successful Softswitch, the two making the modern replacement for something like a 5ESS. Very impressive 5ESS people in Cincinnati were an important part of the project, some people don’t cheat on 5 9s).

          • Women once said they wanted an equal shot to participate in the workplace, just like men. Now whey demand they be treated differently from men in every aspect other than compensation for the work.

            When men treat women the way we treat each other, it’s “misogyny”. I don’t think there’s even a word for a man treating women the way women treat other women they dislike. If you’ve ever seen it happen, you know it’s a level of viciousness that violates our norms.

          • one could make a case this killed Lucent,

            On a related note, one could make a case that Yahoo and HP were wrecked by the reluctance of their respective boards of directors to admit that they’d picked the wrong CEO, because they were afraid of backlash when they fired a woman.

            Once that brain-dead twat Carlie Fiorina was extracted from HP, they showed no hesitation to can Mark Hurd when he was caught boinking some co-worker, did they?

            • Strangely enough, or not, Carly Fiorina had a large hand in setting up Lucent for failure before moving to HP. Wikipedia accurately explains the strategy that killed the Lucent:

              Lucent added 22,000 jobs and revenues grew from US$19 billion to US$38 billion and the company’s market share increased in every region for every product. According to Fortune magazine, Lucent increased sales by lending money to their own customers, writing that “In a neat bit of accounting magic, money from the loans began to appear on Lucent’s income statement as new revenue while the dicey debt got stashed on its balance sheet as an allegedly solid asset”. Lucent’s stock price grew 10-fold

              That eventually Fake Revenue, plus some terrible and terribly handled stumbles in fast long haul fiber optics equipment, and just general horribly bad management following Fiorina’s. Actually talked to one of their Top Women who was visiting about the essential product I mentioned, she was clueless.

              Higher management at perhaps her level made a point of laying off the single most productive engineer on the project to explicitly demonstrate one was safe (they honestly pointed that out!), and the project in general, which was under resourced to the point it was barely possible, was subject to company wide downsizing (in 2001, they went from 106,000 people to a planned although maybe not quite fully executed 35,000).

              Not valid tactics when failure of the project means the end of the company, I read the market research behind the project, it really was that vital, companies were quickly ending their monolithic switch purchases like the 5ESS in favor of soft switches, which Lucent was doing a good business in, and this sort of media gateway which provided the other half.

              because they were afraid of backlash when they fired a woman.

              See Jim’s Blog for more on why hiring women at that top level without a man to keep them in line routinely, almost automatically damages and kills companies. Drama and shit testing work particularly badly at the CEO level. And such a situation also equals being afraid of firing them.

        • > Where are these “brogrammers”?

          IME, working for Comcast and/or doing Java/SQL/.NET type stuff.

          • I work with Javastuff for a large (multiple billions of dollars) corporation, and there’s not brogramming here. Just relatively normal people with families and nerdy tendencies.

          • Funny, I live in .NET with a SQL background, and I’ve never seen a “brogrammer”.

            The implication that some software platforms attract them vs. other software platforms is … bizarre.

            (Because the idea of “brogrammer” is not that “they’re less competent and can’t hack Deep Kernel Fu”*, but “they have a different social culture”, right?

            * Not that there’s enough need for Deep C Wizards and the like for there to be enough of ’em anyway, in comparison. In the total pool of programming jobs, there’s just gonna be a lot more Web Crap than Black Magic Unix Sorcery.)

            • It may very well be that I have a different notion of what a “brogrammer” is than others, but when I’ve seen the term it calls to mind someone who is…less interested in the intellectual side of things, for whom programming is a *job*, not something central to who they are. It also brings to mind the notion of “bro-hood”–having a pop-culture masculine outlook, following sports teams, and generally having a more lowbrow cultural outlook.

              I have found these people in larger corporations doing things like implementing business logic in Java etc.

              It’s not that Java (or any other platform) attracts them, it’s that they are attracted to the sort of jobs and companies where that stuff is most likely going to be used.

              • “Bro-grammers” are almost entirely a social issue and have almost nothing to do with code commits, listserve behavior, or anything of the like.

                If you live or work in the Bay Area in the tech industry, you’ve probably met a brogrammer. Think “douchebag, but works for a tech startup and thinks he’s the shit, and probably could pass an audition for the next season of Jersey Shore”. Also: Has gone to Stanford and won’t shut up about it.

                The tech industry elsewhere has jerks, of course, but the Bay Area (and to some extent Seattle, and to a lesser extent Denver and Austin) is their hub.

                Calling Linus a “bro-grammer” is a sign that some in the tech industry:
                a) spends too much time in or caring about Silicon Valley, and
                b) has absolutely zero context about the history of OSS/Free Software.

                Ignore them.

                • I’m in the Bay Area, I’ve worked with plenty of Stanford grads, and I have yet to meet one that fits this description.

        • In all my years of programming I’ve yet to meet a woman that can code worth a damn. Maybe half ass but not up to snuff compared to the brogrammers.

          Same goes for the EOE hires too.

          My CoC – just get the damn job done and screw your feelings. Jeez – the world is a hard place – get used to it.

          So screw the SJWs – they are all about feelings and not getting shit done and done right. Anybody else notice how software is getting crappier all the time?

          • >In all my years of programming I’ve yet to meet a woman that can code worth a damn.

            Over four decades I’ve known maybe a dozen who were pretty good, and am still in touch with three of them. This used to be less rare than it is today; I think the extent to which working conditions in the field drives really capable women away from it has steadily increased despite (or perhaps because of) the diversity-mongers. It’s possible for women to have the right talents, but the ones who do have a pretty clear idea how rare they are.

            >Same goes for the EOE hires too.

            None of the capable women I’m thinking of have a history of being EOE hires (as far as I know, anyway); they were engineers and they were gonna engineer no matter what anyone had to say about it. Not shrinking violets…the ones I’ve asked about it could blister paint with their disgust at the EOE/AA system.

            But no, you’re talking about blacks. Different case. White female IQ distribution is not much different from white male distribution – the greater centrality predicts fewer women at the high end of any field, but what’s keeping women in general from occupying the vast middle of the programming field is not general intelligence. On the other hand, the average black American has an IQ about 85 and that is pretty much a disqualifier right there. Only the cohort of their bell curve above 3 STDs from median has much hope of matching the capability of the average white programmer.

            However…if you sort everyone into tranches by IQ, you shouldn’t expect the women or blacks in each tranche to be any less capable than the white males. I have enough observational evidence to be sure of this about women, and I’m fairly sure it’s true of blacks as well – there’s no evidence as far as I know of any non-g talent critical to programming ability that is differentially missing in blacks.

            I’m making this point in detail because you talk like you think there’s some essentialist reason women and blacks should never be able to code worth a damn. There isn’t. I’ve studied the matter in depth and it all seems to come down to frequencies predicted well by IQ distribution, with a side order of most bright women plain not wanting to work where they’ll be surrounded by autists.

            This is an issue on which the racists and the PC diversity-mongers are equally and oppositely wrong.

            • I wouldn’t be surprised if the steadily decreasing percentage of women in I.T. is directly related to the steadily louder proclamations of how sexist I.T is from the SJWs. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Impressionable teenagers wonder who would want to work with such awful men?

              Indian and Asian women, that’s who. I find it really interesting that they don’t seem to be affected by the message and enter STEM in large numbers. As usual, when presented with a counterexample the SJWs simply ignore it. They never explicitly state they’re thinking only of white women when they complain about under-representation in STEM but it’s pretty obvious. Many of their opponents are just as bad in this regard.

      • I am a trans woman, and I am a technologist. And I disapprove of Ms. Ehmke’s attempts to abolish meritocracy.

        (And I am an actual contributor to the Linux kernel; my former name is still in one of the source files. Is she?)

        My own watchword is, “If I am to be judged, let it be on my own merits!” Not as a member of any “group” that I happen to be a member of, such as trans women, Java developers, Quorans, charity drag performers, fans of Babylon 5, or anything else.

        And my own idea of a “Project Code of Conduct” is more along these lines. (Yes, it needs updating with names and so forth. I’ve been busy.)

        Strict meritocracy is the only way to achieve the high level of code quality that the kernel demands, from a diffuse, worldwide group of developers that all engage in kernel development for different reasons. And it’s really the only way that’s fair. “Thou shalt judge by the code alone,” as Our Host might put it.

        Yes, Linus may have rubbed a few people the wrong way with his messages. But, as others have pointed out, he has never gotten personal, only railed against particularly stupid code. (And you can’t deny it made for some entertaining reading on LKML. “Perkeleen vittupää” is now one of my favorite curse phrases.)

        As I’ve said before (under my old name), the SJWs don’t want to leave any “lines of retreat.” They want a fight to the death. Sooner or later, some Jean-Luc Picard among us has to stand up and say, “The line must be drawn HERE! This far, NO farther!”

        • > Sooner or later, some Jean-Luc Picard among us has to stand up and say, “The line must be drawn HERE! This far, NO farther!”

          Watching the split on the Left over the issue of social justice, identity politics, etc. has been pretty interesting. Lot’s of the Left who are disaffected over this stuff have tried to rally around the banner of “classical liberal”, but it hasn’t been a spectacular PR victory.

          Personally, I describe them as “Star Trek liberals”. TNG seems to be a great origin myth, not of what we were, but what we once believed we could be.

          • > TNG seems to be a great origin myth, not of what we were, but what we once believed we could be.

            Which is kind of hilarious since TNG-era’s world-building began with “we have achieved post-scarcity due to impossible magic replicators” then spent 21 seasons worth of episodes constantly having to worm its way out of that damn-fool hole. (Though, to be fair the replicator tech ultimately traces back to the technical limitations that spawned the transporter in TOS.)

            TNG as drama was often very good, occasionally one of the best. Beyond that it was propaganda. DS9 was better in that regard but had to force-jettison much of TNG to make it work, and B5 was still the better show (fight me, nerd!).

            Having your cultural mythos built on top of an impossibility and never truly grappling with the ramifications of it is, well… not great.

            Now, you wanna talk TOS as the classical liberal SF myth, then you’re onto something! A Taste of Armageddon remains IMO one of the greatest episodes of TV SF ever made, and Kirk’s solution and speech at the end is THE reason I rank him over Picard or Sisko.

        • And my own idea of a “Project Code of Conduct” is more along these lines.

          I think it is good. Without really studying it, I feel that it could probably be shorter. When you get right down to it, number 1 is all you need…

          1. I, Erbo, own this project. Not you. My decisions about any aspect of the project are final.

          … or, in other words, “This is my project and I am BDFL.” It has worked so well for decades.

          • Part of the reason for having so many points in the Erbosoft CoC is to head off the kind of people who think a project needs a detailed CoC. I can point to that and say, “Well, we’ve already got one!”

            The original Linux Code of Conflict was also short and sweet. That made it vulnerable.

        • I am a woman from an ethnic minority.

          Meritocracy is how I got to where I am now.

          I earned the scholarships that paid for my education and earned each of my promotions at work. Because of the quality of my work – both in school and at work.

          I did not come from a “privileged” family.

          The only “privilege” I might have had is being born smart.

          If meritocracy is bad because it assumes even distribution of privilege, then is Coraline saying that being born smart is bad?

          • > If meritocracy is bad because it assumes even distribution of privilege, then is Coraline saying that being born smart is bad?

            Of course, what are you ableist or something?

          • Coraline hates you because you give the lie to the SJW worldview. By earning your place in the industry, you demonstrate that it’s not necessary to compromise our standards.

            Good for you.

        • > Jean-Luc Picard among us has to stand up and say, “The line
          > must be drawn HERE! This far, NO farther!”

          Eric is trying to head that off, because if he doesn’t that person will get sent to the Guillotine.

      • I’ve had two different experiences with trans developers in user groups.

        One was a professional, kind person that helped the group grow they helped start grow without conflict. Is also world class C and assembly programmer that helped build a large company.

        The other split another user group up and destroyed it by SJW behavior.

        • I hope I’m more like the former than the latter, and I think I’m trying to be. I’m certainly trying not to be the latter!

          • The point of a sane CoC is that “Amy” is treated exactly as “Andy” (or whatever) was. The moment you ask to be treated differently based on your current or former gender, or the fact that they are not the same, you have crossed the line into SJWism.

            If I ran an online software project, I’d be inclined to assign display names to contributors as sort of “Code Names” for use in online discussions. There would be no way to know a white-cis-hetero-male from a black-trans-bi-female or whatever (unless you talked about it, which would be off-limits; irrelevant personal attributes have no place in discussing the code). Your code and comments are all we know about you, and they’re all that matter.

            • That leads me to this idea: FOSS has e.g. been described as running as a gift economy, and building reputation is very much a part of both.

              Or was, for FOSS, it’s now rapidly transitioning into a reputation shredding ecosystem.

              Which is going to have knock on effects in people joining it. They can go to work for a company and make propitiatory software, not very subject to the machinations of SJWs outside it, or, paid for doing it or not by a company, they can do FOSS and put themselves out there for the SJW inquisition, drastically increasing the risks to their jobs and careers.

              This is infinitely more so for those would be leaders, if Ted Ts’o had stayed out of governance and focused only on the code, he wouldn’t be scrambling to keep his job and career right now. Guess he shouldn’t have listened to his college, which makes a very big deal about STEM graduates becoming leaders.

            • I’ve heard certain academics making a point of signing papers as “F. Lastname” rather than “Firstname Lastname” because the former makes it harder for readers to guess their genders and they think authors’ genders should not be taken into account when judging works.

              (This doesn’t work well for certain East Asian ethnicities, though — I’m in a collaboration which includes two different “J.H. Kim”s, and it’s not like most people could guess either one’s gender if they spelt out their first names, anyway.)

  4. Good stuff here, thanks.

    Applying this, it seems that the core of much systemd angst can be expressed as “systemd is serving neither the ethos nor telos of GNU/Linux, but is instead serving those held by Lennart Poettering and his hypothetical masters.” All the evocation of TAoUP et cetera in convincing people to avoid systemd is a flailing attempt at expressing and explaining this.

    This would explain why systemd’s nearly universal adoption has almost driven some of us to the abandonment of Linux as a platform: they cranked the Lennart-ethos normativeness knob to 11. I’m also probably making errors by confusing ethoi and teloi and should step back about a hundred paces and consider things.

    • I find systemd an abortion designed to replace something which was becoming suboptimal. And without proper vetting. Here – this ugly blob called systemd will be lower quality but replace the SYSV init ugliness!

      Can systemd be cleaned up and made something better? I think so but not the way it was imposed on the linux distros.

      Patience is one of the carndinal virtues, but hackers tend to lack it. Make the case, provide golden code implementing it, and watch everyone agree and adopt it. NO! WE NEED TO DO THE CRAP CHANGE NOW AND HOPE IT IS EVENTUALLY CLEANED UP!

      And that is the problem especialy when the corporate masters want something like it.

      • “Imposed on the linux distros”?

        How does someone force all the distribs to use systemd?

        (As far as I can tell with a quick look, Gentoo doesn’t use it by default, and naturally neither does Android, which is probably the most widely used linux in the world, and probably the most widely used Unix.

        I’m a bsd-init guy, myself, in principle.

        I’ve also got better things to do than play sysadmin for a living, so I don’t run linux anymore at home.)

        • > How does someone force all the distribs to use systemd?

          The same way Microsoft “forced” the PC manufacturers to bundle their PCs with Windows. In this case, get the largest distributions to adopt it and use the network effect. And no android doesn’t count since the kind of software you write of it is very different from the kind of software you write for desktop or serve Linuxes.

        • > How does someone force all the distribs to use systemd?

          By convincing the KDE and GNOME/Unity/Whatever-it-is-now devs to adopt it as a required build dependency. Bam, there’s maybe 90% of distros in one swoop. Network effects barely have to spend any cycles to complete the coup.

          • So … convince people that it’s a good idea?

            I think maybe the issue here is a bit that the desires and eases of the KDE/GNOME/etc. people aren’t the desires and eases of the “Linux As Primary Server Platform” people.

            (I remain convinced that “Linux on the Desktop” was both always never going to work, and was actively a bad idea.

            This is just additional evidence for that, then.)

            • > So … convince people that it’s a good idea?

              More like strategically convince specific well-placed people who hold considerable up-stream power due to having an large existing installation base to adopt it exclusively and as a requirement for use because it has the appearance of furthering their teloi.

              The problem is not the systemd support, the problem is the required, exclusive dependency on it. Pure collusion, and I blame everyone involved.

              > the desires and eases of the “Linux As Primary Server Platform” people.

              You’re stuck in old thinking. It’s not about desktop vs. server anymore, it’s about whole-system ownership and control, and who has it. In the extremes it’s about desktop appliance vs. general purpose computing. Thanks to the likes of Apple and others who have followed them, general purpose computing has been losing ground year after year.

              systemd is a sideshow conflict in the greater war, but the whole-system approach leading to a centralization of userspace control by the systemd devs working arm-in-arm with the big DE folks and others reeks of opposition to a fundamental part of the GNU/Linux telos: that the end user has the final say. Whether the end user is running a workstation or a server is entirely irrelevant, because they are being strong-armed into accepting dodgy software either way.

      • Guys, you’re terrible. We’re trying to have a conversation about culture wars and you have to derail it with your technical talk. It’s not like ESR’s blog has anything to do with technical stuff!

        /s
        ;)

    • Funny you should mention systemd, which has already pushed me to abandon Linux if OpenBSD which I’m working on moving to proves satisfactory.

      Sage (formerly Sarah) Sharp, best known for ragequiting the kernel project blaming Linus, has a little (abandoned) foss-heatbeat project:

      Open source communities are made of people, who contribute in many different ways. What makes a person more likely to continue participating in a project and move into roles of greater responsibility?

      [Identifying contributors section, on the various types.]

      This project uses contributor participation data (currently from GitHub) to categorize users into these seven roles.

      Answering key contribution questions

      Performing data analysis on this participation data seeks to answer questions about what factors attract and retain those types of contributors.

      While there are many different questions you could ask once you categorize contributors and examine their contributions, the first major goal of this project is to answer the question:

      What impact does positive or negative language have on contributor participation?

      foss-heartbeat seeks to answer that question by applying sentiment analysis on the comments community members make on others’ contributions.

      To absolutely no one’s surprise, systemd makes many appearances in them’s training file.

    • As I watched systemd unfold I was reminded very strongly of the R6RS kerfuffle. R6RS was a proposed standard for the Scheme programming language that effectively divided the Scheme community — which was long noted for its consensus. In previous RnRS standards, no feature made it into the core language unless the standards body unanimously agreed it should be there. R6RS, by contrast, was largely drawn up by a few Scheme implementors, and the process for approval changed from unanimity to (as I recall it) a simple majority.

      R6RS represented a fundamental change in telos too. It went from “Scheme should be a small core language which is good for pedagogy, theory, and for building larger programming languages” to “Scheme should be a comprehensive, widely adopted language good for building real-world applications in”. Even though most of us liked the idea of building applications in Scheme (I’ve done it myself, and at few times in my career as a programmer have I been more efficient or productive), many of us got on board with Scheme because it was small and easy to comprehend, not because it took a Python-like, batteries-included approach.

      Even though R6RS ended up being approved, the Scheme community was factionalized, which would be partially remedied with R7RS adopting two specifications: R7RS-Small would be the core language and about the size of R5RS, and R7RS-Large would have a much more comprehensive standard library. (Compare the “hosted” and “freestanding” profiles of the C standard library, for instance.)

      Systemd was much the same: a small group wanted to fundamentally change Linux by changing its telos to something a lot of old Unix-heads were not comfortable with — perhaps in the hopes of Linux being more widely adopted. You kind of see the same with Wayland — except I think Wayland’s telos is pretty much “raze X11 to the ground, and salt the earth where it once stood”, nothing more or less.

      • > You kind of see the same with Wayland — except I think Wayland’s telos is pretty much “raze X11 to the ground, and salt the earth where it once stood”, nothing more or less.

        In contrast to my hard-line fuck-systemd-and-everything-it-stands-for position, I’m much more amenable to Wayland. X11 is an ancient, crufty mess with so many just-make-it-work hacks it’s a miracle it’s actually functional, and there’s a good case to be made that it is not in fact functional. Old styles of init simply do not have the same problem set X11 does.

        Also, last I checked, which was a year or two ago, Wayland’s devs have become more willing to listen to those of us still yammering about network transparency. It is my #1 favorite thing about X11, and I use it _all the time._ It’s not just a convenience feature for me, it’s a critical usability feature. So long as its on their radar and they plan on addressing it in some way – even if it’s just to provide very basic API hooks that the window manager has to deal with explicitly – I see nothing especially offensive about Wayland (perfectly willing to hear arguments, tho!), and the goal is laudable. The fact that they actually listen to their users goes a long way towards gaining trust.

        • Plus there’s the tiny bit where Wayland is an ordinary userspace application and doesn’t try to infect every bloody package on the system literally down to breaking kernel APIs.

        • First of all, you’re conflating X11, the protocol, with Xorg, the server. A server based on a much better code base than the ancient legacy X code base would be welcome indeed; and even a new protocol inspired by X, that improves the things X is good at, and addresses the painpoints where X fails, would be most welcome.

          But that’s not Wayland.

          * Network transparency? Wayland says no, implement it yourself.

          * Separate window managers for a customizable experience? Wayland says no, everything — from the protocol to window management to actually drawing things on the display, has to be handled by a single compositor process — for “security reasons” (more on that later).

          * A useful set of drawing primitives? Wayland says no, your only primitive is requesting a frame buffer. You have to do all rendering yourself.

          Hell, it took time and community pressure to get Wayland to accept that maybe a user input event model was a thing that a display server needed.

          So Wayland is not merely an attempt to redress the issues with Xorg’s implementation, or even the X specification. It is a repudiation of the abstract concepts underlying X11. Again, raze it to the ground, and salt the earth where it once stood, so that even the memory of X doesn’t persist for future generations to look at and draw inspiration from.

          If you look at what the X11 project achieved — okay, the Unix philosophy is “do one thing and do it well”. But in order to enable that, a Unix kernel must do many things (some of them poorly!). The Unix kernel is the substrate which enables the universe of composable programs we know and love. X11 did the same for GUIs. The X server may be ancient and crufty, but it enabled GUI experiences built from composable parts: window managers, screensavers, screenshot takers, application docks, menu generators, programs that respond to global hotkeys, etc. etc.

          In the Wayland world, all clients are entirely unprivileged, and the only thing that has direct control over the entire desktop experience is the compositor. Which means that in order to implement some common functionality like taking a motherfucking screenshot — you have to draw up an IPC protocol for your functionality, submit it to the major compositor upstreams, and get them all to agree on it.

          In X, this was a matter of ‘apt-get install scrot’.

          The reasons cited for this are security. And yes, Xorg as written has security issues. But remember, X11 is just a protocol, and the server can actually gateway how much the clients actually see. So it’d be possible to write an X server that has two modes for clients: an untrusted mode in which clients can see neither the pixels of nor the events on any drawable except those created and controlled by the client; and a trusted mode in which clients can see everything. (No, the SECURITY extension does not go far enough.) So it’s possible to run X11 in such a way that random malware can’t log all your keystrokes, while still allowing you to run your favorite window manager, Guake, etc. You just have to instruct the X server to trust those programs. And this would also be possible in any true successor to X as well (which Wayland is not).

          The other excuse I hear from Wayland devs is in relation to having a network-transparent model based on drawing primitives rather than “here’s a framebuffer, if you want drawing primitives you know where to find libcairo”. Wayland devs say “well, modern graphics hardware just doesn’t work that way anymore”, to which I say “yes, it does”. In fact, the way we interact with GPUs is more X-like than the bad old days of “accelerated VGA”. If you read the OpenGL spec, you will see that it talks explicitly in client-server terms. The client requests the creation of vertex buffers, textures, and shaders, and sends the server data; and the server creates and populates these objects. Then at draw time, the client sends draw commands and the server renders to the screen. (AFAIK Vulkan operates similarly, it just offers more fine-grained control through the SPIR-V shader bytecode and direct manipulation over command buffers.) This could easily be wrapped in a network protocol, allowing client programs access to nearly the full power of the GPU through a socket. But of course, Wayland decided not to do this.

          The Wayland model appears to be based on a systemd-like development strategy of “we’ll code for what we consider to be the common use case, and fuck your use case if it isn’t common”. And the “common use case” is one of the large desktop environments, GNOME or KDE, both of which have the resources and developer pull to do all the hard work of supplying the pieces Wayland is missing. That’s not to say that Wayland won’t admit, say, an i3-like environment — and one such exists, sway, the author of which has actually done quite a lot to modularize the Wayland ecosystem to make compositor writing a bit easier — but it’s still an uphill battle compared to X.

          And this is not surprising, given that the strategy of “raze it to the ground and start from scratch instead of preserving and improving the good bits” is a hallmark of GNOME development. I’m kind of resigned to the fact that this is how shit gets done in open source.

          • Holy Crow, you’ve actually posted something I find I largely agree with, haha!

            > First of all, you’re conflating X11, the protocol, with Xorg, the server.

            True, I am speaking to the implementation not the spec. The spec isn’t exactly clean itself, though, as you say.

            > Network transparency? Wayland says no, implement it yourself.

            I swear I read on their project page that they are open to discussing it, but as I said this was a year or two ago and just because they say it doesn’t mean they actually will.

            > Separate window managers for a customizable experience? Wayland says no

            Yeah, I get that point. I’ve heard their side, which seemed to boil down to “that’s not what Wayland is about, we’re trying to standardize the tacked-on bits of X11 that anything with a compositor uses now and that actually does little of X11.” It’s a point I grant them ONLY so far as the higher-level parts of the display are eventually handled in some sane way. A modern X core might potentially sit on top of Wayland, for instance. I’m not sold either way, though.

            > A useful set of drawing primitives? Wayland says no, your only primitive is requesting a frame buffer. You have to do all rendering yourself.

            Same point as above.

            > It is a repudiation of the abstract concepts underlying X11.

            They would say they are trying to separate functionality in an attempt to disentangle the mess that is Xorg. But I don’t disagree with you and once held exactly your position; I’m certainly still on the wait-and-see side.

            > The Wayland model appears to be based on a systemd-like development strategy of “we’ll code for what we consider to be the common use case, and fuck your use case if it isn’t common”.

            With a small point that they haven’t yet started the get-everything-to-make-it-a-build-dep march systemd did. If that’s changed, well… bleh.

            > If you read the OpenGL spec, […] AFAIK Vulkan operates similarly,

            I pretty well grok OpenGL and have spent a tremendous amount of time in it, and you’re correct. Vulkan is deeply exciting; it’s going to allow us to bind object buffers to local pointers, so we can use memcpy etc. to stream data to and from the GPU. Sparse voxel oct-trees and similar fancy techniques for global illumination are going to become mad simple compared to the way we’ve had to do them thus far, with all the tricky logic in shaders. Plus Steam has been an early adopter, which is boss. Down with DirectX!

            Anyway, I agree a modern reimplementation of X would be tops, but at least Wayland *as they argue for it* doesn’t make my left eye start its twitching thing. That could change for any and all of the reasons you list, if the promise turns out to be hollow. systemd has much less standing in that regard, which really is my point.

            • With a small point that they haven’t yet started the get-everything-to-make-it-a-build-dep march systemd did. If that’s changed, well… bleh.

              I think the idea is to maintain both X and Wayland backends in the major toolkits (Qt and GTK) which has already come to pass. And then, once Wayland has enough market and mind share, deprecate and remove the X backends. Other toolkits must then either embrace Wayland or be SOL (Xwayland will be there but for “legacy applications” only; it will not be well maintained.)

              Think it won’t happen? BlueZ has removed ALSA support entirely, and Firefox has removed it from its binary builds. You now need PulseAudio to run BlueZ or Firefox.

              • I’ll switch to Wayland when I can use TeamViewer to log into it, and not one moment before.

                Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to se X die. But Wayland is going about it wrong.

          • And this is not surprising, given that the strategy of “raze it to the ground and start from scratch instead of preserving and improving the good bits” is a hallmark of GNOME development. I’m kind of resigned to the fact that this is how shit gets done in open source.

            Jamie Zawinski aptly referred to it as the Cascade of Attention-Deficit Teenagers model, specifically referring to GNOME. But I would think they’d have an easier time with Wayland, seeing as how the UI in the not too distant future of GNOME will consist of just one big button labeled NO, and nothing will happen when you press it.

            Another reason to not mourn the end of Linux if it comes to pass.

      • Quite a bit more to the R6RS debacle, in that it wasn’t just the telos you cite … oh, look at the beginning of my long winded rationale required for my No vote. A -Small and -Large approach was ridiculously obvious as a mechanism to create the “programming in the large” version many of us also wanted in addition to the core jewel.

        But as I and many others note, there were grave flaws in the specification as well, including maybe officially outlawing an interpreter/REPL (really). And governance, it was a majority vote of anyone who wanted to participate, but if you voted no you had to explain why. Note also on which side almost every Top Man in Scheme came down on.

        And as far as I know it had a shattering effect on the community. Very few full R6RS implementations were made or attempted, and I’m not sure if more than Chez are still quasi-active and semi-healthy … and it’s a small miracle anyone has access to it, let alone it now being FOSS. Many existing implementations outright rejected it, many adopted only some of it, which further split the community and the prospects for code portability. And at night the Clojure weasels came.

        • I also voted no on R6RS, and cited many of the problems you had with the proposed standard: as a minimalist standard it was terrible, and as a pragmatic standard it wasn’t all that great either because of implementation issues like the REPL thing as well as some of the APIs just sucking, even when compared to SRFIs that proposed much the same thing. In light of this, in my rationale I suggested that the ratification of R6RS was merely a symbolic gesture intended to affirm the change in telos by the Scheme community, something which the entire Scheme community was not on board with.

          It’s been twelve years, though, and I had forgotten some of the details.

  5. The bug is visible in the statement:

    “What is OUR telos”.

    To extend above, there are two different teli. Like between a host and a parasite, or a cell and a virus.

    I know what Linus’ telos was from before 0.99 – starting with “have fun” as part of it but became meritocratic excellence (and I have accepted and reversed patches from way back!).

    I also know what Coraline’s telos is. Excellence is irrelevant, you need to make the project into a safe space where no one is triggered by microaggressions (that is the reality).

    The two are completely incompatible. There is no “Our Telos”. It is now a choice between Linus’ original telos and Coraline’s SJW telos.

    Choose wisely – but you must choose.

    • >Choose wisely – but you must choose.

      “What is our telos?” was intended of less confrontational way to bring that choice to the foreground.

      • The problem is SJWs will appear to accept the telos, but then say “but don’t you really want to be inclusive?”, then add the CoC, then add the inquisitors and guestapo which will entirely ignore the Telos in their purges.

        You are trying to be non-confrontational to someone who is coming at you with a knife who will stab you in the heart. Ask your Sensi and some of the people at the gun range.

        I wish it were not so, but do read the Coraline tweets if you think you can accomplish anything nonconfrontationally.

        Cancers need to be removed surgically or burned away with chemo or radiation. Laetrile won’t work.

        • >You are trying to be non-confrontational to someone who is coming at you with a knife

          You fail to understand my strategy. You’ll probably figure it out if you think for a bit.

          • No, I understand it.
            But I’ve read SJWAL and SJWADD.
            It neither rallies the mice nor discourages the owls.
            I’ve also read the 4GW warfare handbook.

            Or even earlier. Chamberlain also called for peace, “in our time”.

            • My own take…..

              Fighting goes better for the side that’s been blindsided by evil (I’m not joking) if someone cuts through the confusion by clearly laying out WHY it is important to fight.

              THEN you pass the ammunition.

          • Hypothesis (I only read this far down so far): Eric’s strategy isn’t to speak to the SJWs, confrontationally or otherwise.

            • This is precisely the tactic I use when debating dunderheads online. If the person is indeed a dunderhead, then I am not debating for his benefit because it’s a lost cause. I’m debating for the benefit of the lurkers, and based on the PMs I get in these situations, it’s worth the effort.

              I think Eric is well aware that you can’t negotiate with a SJW any more than you can negotiate with the plague.

      • Reminds me of a perennial quote:

        If you are unwilling to defend your right to your own lives,
        then you are merely like mice trying to argue with owls.
        You think their ways are wrong.
        They think you are dinner. 
        ? Terry Goodkind, Naked Empire

        Try to have a discussion with Coraline – @CoralineAda on Twitter and tell me how it goes.

        Coraline is fighting a holy war. You are trying to argue with reason and evidence. Prove me wrong (I wish I was wrong) – but don’t accept seduction.

        • “Coraline is fighting a holy war.”

          I’m not even sure about that…I think a many of our current social woes (this stuff, fake news, extreme partsianship, etc) can be laid at the feet of two modern trends: (i) the best way to push an agenda in an “attention economy” is to turn everything up to 11; and (ii) the rise of the ‘professional activist’ class has created a large group with principal/agent duties to push an agenda. Put more simply, it’s not a holy war. It’s all just business.

          • I can’t make you read or understand what Coraline herself has written seeking to destroy everything you value.

            When it burns down I will have no sympathy.

            • OC wasn’t saying that Coraline wasn’t seeking to destroy everything, that I can see.

              He was speaking to motivation.

              It’s isomorphic to effects, though it has some effects on how one best pushes back, perhaps.

          • Yes, I see Eric’s post as trying to give the kernel developers the language and framing that would allow them to say, “Go ye and fork, be fruitful in thine endeavors” with neither irony nor twinge of conscience.

            For that to happen, it would require that the maintainers be both (A) aware of what “social justice advocates” such as Coraline Ehmke or Sage Sharp have written about their vision for the future community organization, and (B) actively consider if the teloi of those visions are incompatible with the telos specifically of the kernel, and not the open source movement in general.

            Ultimately, I suspect there will be a severe community fork within the next year or so (magic 8-ball currently says: ~20% chance next 2 months; ~50% chance 4 months; ~85% chance 9 months) among kernel developers. What will matter most then is not going to be who aligns with which camp…

            • Ultimately, I suspect there will be a severe community fork within the next year or so … among kernel developers. What will matter most then is not going to be who aligns with which camp…

              Don’t most of them work for companies, and organizations like the Linux Foundation? Who will have more than a little to say about what happens.

              • Which is why I phrased it as a community fork, not a code fork. Since the Linux kernel is explicitly licensed under the GPL v2 (and no other!), even with a “mandate” from their employer that core developers contribute their patches to some official repository, they will also be able to incorporate them into the second code base. [Even were that forbidden, “unofficial” change tracking patches could be easily generated.]

                So in theory at least, with two “mainline” Linux branches, the competion would be to attract the independent hobbyists that currently the SJ advocates claim are excluded through differing telos or management styles—and where the paid, professional developers lie could be mostly irrelevant.

                • Since the two branches will presumably both be GPL and thus able to incorporate each other’s code, the first split will inevitably be over some technical incompatibility. This will create a very messy fight as the technical issues get mixed up with the culture war ones.

                  • I would expect that the SJW branch would not accept code from the “rogue” branch because that would be accepting code from “those deemed unworthy”.

                    That could lead to other legal ugliness – such as fighting over whether similar code was only coincidentally similar or was stolen and “cleaned”.

                    Side note: “Rogue OS” has already been claimed by another project.

                    • You imply that the “SJ” branch would become the official branch. If you actually grokked @esr’s strategy, you’d know that one of his (not specifically stated, but nevertheless implied) goals is to make sure that never happens.

                    • I had a marvelous proof as to why such an event would not be as ugly as you expect, which does not appear to fit within the margins allowed by the spam filter. [Perhaps using HTML entities to generate visible fake tags marks something as “super naughty, do not allow”?]

                    • Every bugfix or real-feature they refuse to merge in makes their fork less useful and valuable.

                      So there’s that.

    • “safe space where no one is triggered by microaggressions (that is the reality).”

      Always respond to such accusations by agreeing and amplifying.

      “Well, for my microagression, please accept my most sincere micro-aplogy”

      If they continue, swat them away, with “I gave you a micro-apology, now what do you want for something which you, yourself is only 1 one-millionth of an actual aggression.”

    • “I also know what Coraline’s telos is. Excellence is irrelevant, you need to make the project into a safe space where no one is triggered by microaggressions (that is the reality).”
      Wrong, IMO. The point is control over the software. No one cares about the nominal issues, the microaggressions and theory-fluff, except perhaps for deluded legionaries on Twitter. The actual objective is being able to draw up a Richelieu Six for anyone and then use it to force them to modify the software or deny its use to others, or to just push them out entirely.

      • Ehmke is a satanist priest.
        This is all about destruction, and nothing else.
        Becuase that’s what satanists DO.

  6. Nice rational way to look at it… sadly, Vox is right: SJW always double down.

    Have you considered that maybe “hijacking of the group’s telos” is the whole point of the CoC? If that were so, do you really think that appealing to reason is going to work?

    FD

    • I know of no example where appealing to reason has ever worked with a group of SJWs. Such is not in their telos or ethos.

      If such an example exists, I’d like to hear of it.

      • This feels like it could be no-true-Scotsman-ish. I have SJW-inclined friends, and have argued them down from time to time. But they’re not hard cases, and so I don’t know how well their membership in the “SJW” label would stand up if we start talking about the times they were sane.

        • > I have SJW-inclined friends, and have argued them down from time to time

          If you were able to argue them down, they were progressives. SJW describes a behavior as much or more than a set of held beliefs. To borrow from my favorite line in As Good as it Gets: To describe an SJW, start with a Progressive then take away reason and accountability.

          • > If you were able to argue them down, they were progressives.

            I’m not sure about that. From what I heard, if you take an SJW and put him in an environment away from other SJWs it’s possible to talk him down. A lot of what’s driving the SJW is that you signal your loyalty by being crazier than the SJWs around you.

          • Like I said, it’s a question of definitions. If you define “SJW” that narrowly, they’re an extremely small group without a particularly large power base. If you define “SJW” as the larger group of progressives with a power base strong enough to start collecting scalps en masse, then they’re mostly not immovable zealots.

            You can choose either one, but equivocating between the two is a good way to make them much scarier than they actually are.

            • “SJW” refers to people who believe they are fighting for “Social Justice”. To the extent that broader group will execute the fatwas issued by the immovable zealots, their “movability” is irrelevant.

              As Jordan Peterson says, one can apologize to a person, but not to a mob. There is no negotiating with a mob. You may well persuade one of your rank-and-file SJW friends to tone things down, just as you can get a Muslim to agree that killing Joos just for being Joos isn’t a good idea. But so long as the “moderate Muslim” gives cover to the extremist, and the “reasonable SJW” signs petitions to defenestrate CrimeThinkers, it doesn’t matter.

              This is sort of a variation on Motte-and-Bailey. We may well recognize that only a small fraction of self-identified SJWs are the zealots, but that small fraction wields power based on the size of the group that includes the “reasonable” folks.

              • Such is true of every mob. And yet, they’re all composed entirely of individual people. You should still try to talk down as many as you can, whenever it’s practical, because that’ll help reduce the size and cohesion of the enemy mob. When they’re actually waving pitchforks it’s not practical, but there’s work you can do in quieter moments.

    • >Have you considered that maybe “hijacking of the group’s telos” is the whole point of the CoC?

      Of course it is.

      >If that were so, do you really think that appealing to reason is going to work?

      To the hardcore SJWs? No. It won’t. They’re essentially Trotsyite/Maoist about this; what they can’t subvert they’ll cheerfully destroy, counting it as a win that they’ve eliminated a nucleus of resistance. I’m not writing to them.

      • So the question then is, what do you want the people you are talking to to do with the SJWs?

        Because anything that doesn’t deal with them doesn’t solve anything.

        • Obvious: Recognize there’s a serious threat to the project. It’s not just “Well, they just want us to be nice and what’s so wrong about that?”, it’s “They want to unilaterally rewrite the nature of this project, be de facto put in charge of who stays and who goes by wielding the stick of literally evicting people from their careers if they cross them, and will only interpret any attempt to give them an inch as permission to evict you with said stick.”

          If the Left defines speech they don’t like as violence, then they are literally trying to violently take over the Linux kernel project by destroying careers, way worse than some speech.

          I’m not trying to convince anyone of these points here, just spell out the strategy. People who think they can be innocent bystanders need to understand the stakes and just who they are going to passively allow to rule over them.

          I literally sat here and mulled over the pros and cons of posting this with my real, identifiable name, and I chickened out, because these people scare me. The only way these people will stop scaring me is if more people get scared It really isn’t hard to stop them. It doesn’t take much. They aren’t really that strong. It’s just, they’ve got a killer memeset that convinces other people they shouldn’t even fight, and by the time you realize that was the wrong move it’s too late.

          • It really isn’t hard to stop them. It doesn’t take much. They aren’t really that strong.

            If you’ve got a stratagem that doesn’t involve RWDS or the like, we’re all ears. Rather conspicuously, no one has been able to put one into effect, as they continue their long march through what were formerly our geek institutions.

            I mean, they destroyed the Star Wars franchise, hard to top that, although in its own way the decline and fall, or sudden Death Star killshot of the Linux kernel would be on a par.

            • It involves getting people to realize there is a threat. That’s the big key. People still attribute good intentions to the people trying to do this. That needs to stop. The intentions are not good. They are power-hungry totalitarians who are demanding the power to unilaterally destroy you, and they offer… nothing. Less than nothing. Threats and violence.

              If everybody realized that, there would be no threat. But it requires people to be informed, and think, and realize.

              • If everybody realized that, there would be no threat.

                I can’t think of any examples where this worked outside of the sorts of people who are willing and able to donate free helicopter rides to the cause.

                Let’s suppose everyone from Ted Ts’o to
                Sundar Pichai realizes this. Won’t do them much good if standing by Ted gets them fired and unemployable at anything like their current jobs. Ditto the people in the Linux Foundation who have the power to remove Ted from the TAB. Or remove the TAB from its role of adjudicating claimed violations of the new CoC.

                We’ve had since July 1789 to come up with non-counterrevolutionary responses, so we’re all ears if you’ve cracked this nut.

                • I’m not really following it much, but from what I’ve heard, there’s been some success in the ComicsGate front.

                  • Not as such, in that the already converged companies like Marvel and DC are not changing their policies or output, which they can get away with due to being owned by big movie companies, which is where the really big money currently is. Lower tier traditional companies like #5 per Wikipedia IDW Publishing are really suffering, in part because the rights holders to many of their properties are not happy with what’s being done to them, e.g. G.I. Joe.

                    Meanwhile, traditional comic book stores are closing right and left, unless they successfully diversify. It doesn’t help that Marvel’s distribution stunt resulted in a Diamond monopoly that’s extracting monopoly rents of ~30% of the game.

                    ComicsGate is largely an end run around the existing system, which I don’t think anyone in ComicsGate thinks they can save. Vox Day’s publishing house is also focusing on logistics, due to the above problems with Diamond and the steadily declining number of retail outlets.

                    Comparing to the Linux kernel, this would be letting it die, along with the rest of its ecosystem except for things akin to the movies, say AWS and Google’s use of it, and building a new one and ecosystem from scratch. Fortunately we have the option move to and work on the BSDs, or other smaller ones like the BeOS and Win32 clones.

              • That’s the clever thing about them. You can’t make them look like a threat because you can’t explain why “protect women” (the most basic and least brave of mammalian sentiments, see Heinlein) would be a threat.
                Only when you notice, hey, all these people seem to know each other, right, and they all went to the same schools, okay, and they’re all from the same cities, sure, and they all talk the same, and whatever the object content of their demands, the meta-demand seems always to be “give us power”… only then do you get clued to what’s happening, i.e. you are prey and it’s night on the Savannah. But it’s hard to package that understanding of higher-level dynamics in any actionable form.

                • Viewing this through the lens of r/K theory as applied to humans, they’re “rabbits” who in these r selected times of plenty are applying the competitive strategy with the highest payoff, in-group/out-group games. Every “wolf” like Linus or Ted Ts’o they remove from the ecosystem frees up a slot for one of them.

          • > Obvious: Recognize there’s a serious threat to the project.

            It’s not a threat to the *project*.

            It’s a threat to the *infrastructure*.

            It’s not just Linux–as already noted FreeBSD has adopted something similar, as have dozens of other projects.

            FreeBSD and Linux are a SERIOUS part of the internet infrastructure. Microsoft is already on the SJW bandwagon, but they’ve got enough budget and are closed enough that they can the most competent of the SJW crowd and then put them on projects that look high status but aren’t really important (which would explain some things about “Skype For Business”…)

            So no, not the project, the *internet* as we currently know it.

      • Sounds exactly right.

        It might also be worth thinking about longer term ways to push back against this stuff.

        Because that whole playing defense, ‘we have to win every time, they only have to win once’ stuff is for the birds. If nothing else it’s exhausting and demoralizing to the only side that has something to lose, if you follow my meaning.

        Making this shit *hurt* is the only way it will ever stop.

        • This is the reason I suggest that people reach out to underserved people on their own terms – because reaching out on your own terms is a form of offense.

          • I lean this way as well. Watching conservative politicians here in Canada start winning the immigrant vote – not by compromising on policy, merely by showing up, being friendly, and putting the lie to leftist claims that we’re all racists – has been very enlightening for me. You don’t need to go full SJW. You just need to steal the parts of their mission statement that aren’t evil, and run with them.

            • My personal contribution to this – assuming I can get moving again – is a very, very simple programming book, written for Ruby, about how to build a Rogue-like game.

      • Troskist man, it is called “Troskist”. Let me explain it to you:

        1. Marxism/Leninism, Stalinism: socialism in one country (pure URSS, whole republic of nations, Trosky was OK for this until it got messy)
        2. Trosky: international, permanent revolution, entrism.
        3. Mao: Direct actions (terror); he said “power comes from the guns”. Most of 70′ terrorism band in europe were maoist (red book).

        We’re dealing here with troskists using entrism in other platforms (that’s how workers unions were constructed in EU after 2WW: troskists entrying socialist workers unions, then taking power by a coup).

        Do not discard a nation-state actors as well trying to gain influence in this chaos by infiltrating new long-term covert developers.

        • Slogans are just slogans, they don’t entail commitment or have deep philosophical roots. “Permanent revolution” means simply “I am not on the very top yet, thus we need more commotion”.
          As to “entryism”, yeah, starting with Trotsky himself, his followers seem to love infiltration takeovers more than anyone else. Often hijack other socialist organizations that don’t purge them (see British Labour and “Operation Icepick”).

  7. > It is perfectly consistent to be pro-tolerance and pro-inclusion while believing
    > *this* subculture ought to be all about producing good code without regard to
    > who is offended by the process.

    Tolerance, acceptance and approval all mean different things.

    And it’s not us that wants war.

    • You can be tolerant in the same sense you can be an animal lover and not want bears or mountain lions in your house.

    • This manifesto seems to be saying, “Merit is too subjective, so we should measure people by more objective things, even if they are completely irrelevant to the goal of the group.”

      • > This manifesto seems to be saying, “Merit is too subjective,

        No no, it’s far, FAR worse than that. It’s playing a post-modernist game, claiming that hierarchies are false because value assignments are arbitrary (a post-modern axiom about truth assignment), and merit is a value (which means it has no truthiness), therefore meritocracies are false and must (!) be abandoned.

        The fact that the manifesto uses a totally bullshit definition of merit just makes the game obvious.

        The manifesto is actually demanding that everyone accept the author’s value assignments because value assignments are arbitrary! It is 100% authoritarian reasoning! Kill it with fire!

        • You’re right. I wasn’t thinking hard enough about this. This whole situation is really scary, because reasonable people will succumb to it without realizing what they are doing. I agree that nuking this kind of mentality from orbit is the only way to be sure.

          Reading what is happening to Linux right now gives me the same feeling I got when I read “1984” in high school.

        • Jordan Peterson absolutely nails it when he calls the post-modernists ideology MURDEROUS.

          They are truly horrible people.

          • Also when he notes that when people work together to do anything of value, people will sort themselves into a hierarchy. Hopefully, it’s a competence hierarchy rather than a tyrannical hierarchy.

            Ironically, the SJWs, by denying that a competence hierarchy can even exist, propose to solve the problem of one tyrannical hierarchy with another (with them at the top, natch).

            • > Also when he notes that when people work together to do anything of value, people will sort themselves into a hierarchy.

              True, but it’s actually more fundamental than that. You cannot assign value to things without an attendant comparator function, or else the very idea of something having value becomes useless. Imagine attempting to compare two OOP objects against each other without a comparator method; it either fails or falls back on a lower-level representation like a pointer or reference value.

              Post-modernists would say that since the comparator function itself requires a value assignment, it cannot be axiomatic (which is true but meaningless), and (this is where they jump the rails and sneak in all kinds of nastiness) therefore even choosing a comparator function has no a priori basis beyond the whims of the chooser, and there is no reason to accept one person’s whims over another’s.

              Which is all just a long-winded way for me to say that hierarchy is an inherent property of value as such. It’s deeper than a human behavior thing, except insofar as we are (sort of) the only consciousnesses we’re aware of able to assign value this way and we have evolved specialty wetware to cope with it

              On a completely tangential note, this is part of what Peterson was trying to nail Harris on in the Pangburn talks. Harris’s truth formulation is missing the necessary comparator function (telos) that would enable a person to generate useful methods (ethos) out of the truth/untruth sets. Harris kept insisting first that a telos isn’t necessary, then when pressed that it could be manufactured arbitrarily, and the talk went recursive from there. Peterson tried to get him to admit that his telos isn’t arbitrary, that it isn’t turtles all the way down, it’s a product of human evolutionary biology. Harris’s anti-theist blindness prevented him from seeing it behind Peterson’s Judeo-Christian flavored language.

              • If there’s no reason to accept one person’s whims over another’s, then we don’t have to accept theirs.

                I think you’ve summed up Harris’ problem quite well. He’s so afraid of Stealth Jesus that he blows a mental circuit breaker any time anything resembling religion is involved. He seems unable to grasp that Peterson is talking about ways to save the good done by Judeo-Christian teaching while allowing further reformation to avoid the sorts of things our esteemed host finds distasteful about historical practice.

                As non-Catholic, I share the concerns over the historical practice of blending church and state, which I think is clearly in contravention to “Render unto Caesar” and “My Kingdom is not of this world”, and therefore to be avoided. This is, of course, in sharp contrast to the Islamic idea that the Caliphate combines religion and state.

              • Keeping this at the same reply nest level to avoid horizontal nest-crunch.

                @The Monster > If there’s no reason to accept one person’s whims over another’s, then we don’t have to accept theirs.

                That’s where they pull off the sucker-punch. They implicitly make this case, dismissing with the possibility of a rationally-determined value system, then leverage the hidden, biology-encoded teloi – manipulating emotion – to sell their own personally-determined value system.

                It’s hard as hell to fight, because if you try a frontal attack you’re implicitly accepting their priors – that your values have no axiomatic/teleological basis – putting you on the defensive even when attempting to strike.

                They use emotional animus as both sword and shield. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to approach this problem. It’s rather literally attempting to reason with a wild, clever ape.

                • > They use emotional animus as both sword and shield. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to approach this problem.
                  Indeed. See also: “The Psychopath Code”.
                  > It’s rather literally attempting to reason with a wild, clever ape.
                  That’s futile, since if someone is that manipulative and on the course to get you, it’s either:
                  A. Critter who wants to eat you. Which is not interested in arguing in good faith. It only looks for easy prey. Or
                  B. Trained minion, “pack dog”. Which is not an independent entity but goes through whichever motions are required by its master, for pats and “good doggy”.
                  Neither of these is someone you could reason with.

    • MUCH MUCH MUCH THANKS.
      SJWs usually plainly explain, but I didn’t think Coraline had her end of civilization as we know it plans publicized.

      • Where do you think the SJW’s learned it from? They may not be willing to murder people by the millions (yet), but everything they do is right from the playbook of Marxist totalitarians, whether they realize it or not.

      • I don’t know what kind of stupid about Communism is taught in Western schools, but this SJW shit doesn’t have anything in common with it.

        Communism promoted better man and equality in opportunity to reach own’s personal limits by providing relevant education and then relevant work for each one. Also it promoted equality of careers – in a sense that every life choice is equally respected. Not this “let us all kneel before oversensitive good-for-nothing infantile kidult, because we’re somehow owe every man to make him feel good” atrocity. Go check out “boards of fame” that you can find in many cities of Russia even today – praising a top list of people of different professions. Numerous monuments dedicated to HARD WORK. Now go and tell me that this is not a meritocracy.

        Also go watch old USSR movies. You’ll find dozens of them praising “success stories” in all venues of life and hardly one that would preach any SJW message.

        Please just don’t write about things you don’t have personal experience with.

        • > Now go and tell me that this is not a meritocracy.

          Ok, it’s not a meritocracy. Adherence to the party line was more valued than competence; the appearance of adherence was more valued than competence; the ability to accuse others of not adhering was more valued than competence.

          Sounds like SJWs to me, fool.

        • Communism promoted better man and equality in opportunity to reach own’s personal limits by providing relevant education and then relevant work for each one

          Actually-existing-Communism did none of that, did it?

          Theory-Communism is irrelevant, since if never exists.

          (You’re right about it not being the same lunacy as modern “SJW” lunacy, but … “life choices” being respected?

          It didn’t allow for life choices much, did it?

          “I don’t want to work on the collective farm” was not met with “oh, Comrade, that’s fine, let’s find you work you want”, eh?)

          • In practice people had little choice in what they did in life. I was told by someone who grew up in Soviet Union that you just couldn’t understand the reality if you never experienced it.

        • It seems like the SJW movement is built off the sort of things that Communists wanted Americans to believe, but not the stuff they actually believed themselves. They pushed a lot of these ideas to first-world socialist groups back in the day, and some of them took root.

          There’s some similarities between the two – both are profoundly collectivist, for example, and value a person’s demographic groups(class, race, gender, whatever) over the person. But there’s important differences. SJWs aren’t usually very concerned with collectivizing industry, for example, and communist regimes were far too impoverished and regressive to put up with most forms of SJW snowflakery.

          • I believe the Jeopardy question you are looking for is, “What is Cultural Marxism?” But if you want to find out more, don’t go looking in Wikipedia, where mention of it was exiled to a footnote in the Frankfurt School article as a conspiracy theory.

            It’s something that’s a lot more effective in societies that aren’t so governed by scarcity, the world has changed a great deal since the mid-19th Century. The Soviets even ran an op to implant it in the US, which was successful by the time Stalin’s purges caught up with its agents in the late 1930s.

        • Or we could consider that slogans are but words written on the wall in big letters or ceaselessly babbled off a tribune, and don’t assign great significance to them. Empty words are cheap.

  8. It alws bears repeating and repeating since this sort of thing is being done over and over with increasing frequency…

    “David Burge writes that the basic method always, BUT ALWAYS, is…
    ?
    1. Target a respected institution
    2. Kill & clean it
    3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect”

  9. As tgo “2. Given our telos, do we have the most inclusive (least normative) ethos possible to achieve it?”

    No.

    But we will have when the SJW insects are super-glued to particle board and made to perfrom fellatio on a flamethrower to demonstrate their sincerity. (<-Excellent pay per view fodder.)

  10. What sort of “killswitch” are we talking about?

    If the creators (or some of them) simply want to withdraw permission for their code to be used in future versions of Linux published under the CoC, I think they are quite justified and would do the same in their shoes. I hope that this will lead to one or more new forks under the Code of Merit.

    But if they think they can withdraw the rights to use their code from end-users who already have it, I don’t believe they do, or ought to, have that power.

    And I’m with Gerard on this one. Peace with the likes of Coraline is death, only worse.

    • Gratuitous licenses are revocable at the will of the grantor in the USA.
      (Read: the “GPL” can be “taken back” at any time by the copyright holder)

      “””If the creators (or some of them) simply want to withdraw permission for their code to be used in future versions of Linux published under the CoC, I think they are quite justified and would do the same in their shoes. I hope that this will lead to one or more new forks under the Code of Merit.”””

      Indeed, they can certainly do this. And they should do it. There is no reason to reason with a sworn enemy. Especially a newly minted interloper (see: entryism)

      “””But if they think they can withdraw the rights to use their code from end-users who already have it, I don’t believe they do, or ought to, have that power.”””

      They have this right as well, however in the case of current licensees who are mere users (consumers), some consumer protection statutes in the USA may apply. They will not apply to prospective licensees however once the grant is revoked.

  11. In trying to understand what this is all about, I came across this thread with this interesting quote:

    https://kiwifarms.net/threads/coraline-ada-ehmke-corey-dale-ehmke.31003/page-12

    One clue might be that Linus’ daughter (Patricia Torvalds) has signed Ehmke’s manifesto: https://archive.fo/mocLU#selection-2695.1-2695.19

    An interview with Patricia Torvalds
    https://archive.fo/fPvDo

    Personally, I’m very focused on intersectional feminism, which is feminism as it applies to other aspects of oppression like racism and classism. The Facebook page Guerrilla Feminism is a great example of an intersectional feminism and has done so much to educate me. I currently run the Portland branch.

    Feminism is also important to me in terms of diversity in tech, although as an upper-class white woman with strong connections in the tech world, the problems here affect me much less than they do other people. The same goes for my involvement in intersectional feminism. Publications like Model View Culture are very inspiring to me, and I admire Shanley Kane so much for what she does.

    I suspect this is a big clue to what is going on.

    • I saw somewhere that Torvalds’ wife is a big feminist/SJW also.

      If so, not much likelihood of him coming to his senses against all that estrogen.

    • One clue might be that Linus’ daughter (Patricia Torvalds) has signed Ehmke’s manifesto

      Just to be clear, this is The Post-Meritocracy Manifesto. The second paragraph begins…

      But meritocracy has consistently shown itself to mainly benefit those with privilege…

      • That statement is ridiculously illogical. Meritocracy has frequently been used as an excuse to abuse others, but the problem is not Meritocracy. The problem is that someone who wants to abuse other is using meritocracy as an excuse.

    • Linus may be one of the greatest coders to ever live, but I have one thing over him. I can raise daughters that aren’t brain damaged social justice warriors…

      • I don’t know that you can raise daughter that aren’t brain damaged. Our culture produces this. Colleges and the media endorse it. We’re racist, sexist, supremacist wrong thinkers for disagreeing with it.

        Against the massive weight of zeitgeist, I’m not so sure you can force your progeny not to go down the road of the damned.

        • It takes a lot of teaching and explaining libertarian beliefs outside of the crap that gets foisted on them at school.

      • I have four kids. It’s harder than it looks, and I would be very leery of placing the blame on Linus (or people like him) when his kid turns out to be an SJW. This is a culture war that is two steps from becoming hot, and it plays for keeps.

        If your kids have turned out good, then you deserve some credit, because the array of enemies they face is pervasive. Mine are fundamentally good people, but they are definitely works in progress, and my wife and I feel like it’s us against the world.

        • Someone recently said something to the effect of “What do you expect when you willingly hand over your children to your ideological enemies on a daily basis to be indoctrinated?”

      • Eh, I don’t think he’s magically The Best Programmer.

        He organized a useful thing at the right time in a useful way, and wrote a lot of good code doing so.

        But that’s a different thing than “one of the greatest codes to ever live”; I don’t even know how we’d try yo figure out what that even means.

        (Is it “lack of defects”? Well, Don Knuth does really well there, but he also, necessarily writes less code and under stricter limits than other people.

        “Popularity of end product”? Great thing, but strictly unrelated to quality of code itself outside of minimum “can’t utterly suck or nobody’d use it” metrics.

        Elegance? Style? Utility?

        We don’t even know what we’re measuring!)

        • I was being very gracious about his coding skills, which are formidable, because I was disparaging of his parenting skills…

    • Most SJW’s are probably well intentioned, simply dupes (“Useful Idiots” in communist parlance). Behind them are the Gramscians, who know full well what they are up to. I have no idea whether there are any witting Gramscians in the open source movement.

      This sort of ideology appeals to those who want to feel virtuous by helping the “oppressed.” That appeal has been used for a very long time, and the Soviets were masters at it, back in the day.

        • But when trying to deal with them, motivation matters.

          Dupes you can possibly un-dupe or convince.

          The wicked are another matter.

          “All that matters is the effects” is useful only when one is only concerned with effects, not the people causing them, and why, and how to most usefully deal with them.

          • Once they’ve decided that you are wicked, it doesn’t matter if they are or not. You won’t be able to un-dupe them.

        • My father taught me that the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The Left asserts that it has good intentions, while their opponents “want” bad outcomes. No, we don’t want those outcomes, but we’ll get them if the Left’s supposedly-well-meaning policies are enacted.

        • Judging them is a bad idea.
          1. This doesn’t necessarily help to deal with the problem — do you need to judge a plague rat or cancerous tumor to understand it’s something very bad for health?
          2. This requires you to take a head-on uphill battle for Moral High Ground where Cultural Marxists are well entrenched. When often it’s easier to just carpet-bomb them right there.
          3. This can easily make you look like a drop-out of the holiness spiral who only wants to take SJWs’ position on the Moral High Ground and replace them as Holier Than Thou. Especially since too many already took every opportunity to loudly demonstrate that it’s exactly what they are. How do you think this would affect your allies’ eagerness to stick their necks out for you in particular, and cooperation in the already ragtag camp in general?

      • >Soviets were masters at it, back in the day
        17 September 1939 – WW2 – “Reds Invade Poland” to “Protect Minorities” – Chicago Tribune
        https:/twitter.com/RBMStudio1/status/831948399230406656

      • I’m sure Mrs. O’Leary’s cow didn’t intend to burn down Chicago, but the city burned nonetheless.

  12. While I don’t know if the code recission is feasible, if we can convince Linus that things are going bad, he still retains one nuclear warhead in the fight – he *personally* owns the trademark on Linux. That gives him some serious firepower, assuming someone like his daughter doesn’t convince him to turn it over to some committee. Of course, the *really* dark thought is or she doesn’t kill him for control of it. I cite Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia and Patty Hearst to those who say that’s impossible.

    • Eh, what’s the Linux trademark actually worth, today?

      (It’s not like people can’t rename their distribs and insta-fork to any-other-name-suggesting-unix.

      The people who care about linux will know it’s still the same software.

      The people who don’t, well, don’t care.)

      • There is a large class of not-very-technical people who “know” that Linux is good and Windows sucks because they’ve heard the technical people saying it for decades but couldn’t explain why that is. In fact I suspect that class out numbers the actual technical people.

        • I invite them to run Linux on their computers and rethink that, then.

          (Eh, I know it’s sort of unfair, but I will never not make fun of Next Year Being The Year Of Linux On The Desktop, Eternally.

          I agree completely that Linux [or *BSD] is a superior server platform in the majority of cases!

          But I’m not sure how important the class of “not very technical people who also don’t ask their technical people when choosing platforms” is…)

          • > I invite them to run Linux on their computers and rethink that, then.

            You do realize a lot of people run Windows on their computers.

            > But I’m not sure how important the class of “not very technical people who also don’t ask their technical people when choosing platforms” is…)

            Haven’t worked at big institutions have you? The technical people are lucky if they can get a word in edgewise with the decision makers.

  13. I don’t suppose you have the relevant case law somewhere handy? It would be useful to the discussion at hand if everyone could see examples of reputational losses being successfully adjudicated.

  14. Eric, I wish you could reason with Jon Corbet. LWN could be a powerful ally in this war, but he doesn’t understand (or is unwilling to face) what is going on. He seems to want to be reasonable and let things “calm down.” I fear that, by the time he understands, it will be too late. Of course, he’s already left-leaning, but he seems to have a rational streak and a modicum of journalistic integrity and objectivity.

    On a related note, it’s disappointing, but not surprising, to see Bradley Kuhn enthusiastically self-flagellating on the LWN comments (“my ancestors were at least complicit in the slave trade around Baltimore”).

    *Are* there any leaders in the Linux community who understand what’s going on? I suspect Ted T’so does, especially since Sarah Sharp has already attacked him using the new CoC as justification, but I doubt Ted wants to be a figurehead (or a martyr).

    • >Eric, I wish you could reason with Jon Corbet.

      Yes? Say, what sort of person did you think “On holy wars and a plea for peace” was actually aimed at?

      I’m really surprised you guys haven’t figured out what I’m doing yet. Does the phrase “Peel away the moderates” give you enough of a clue? That’s not all of it; there’s another layer.

      • Yes, I understand you’re going for those who are undecided or as-yet unmotivated, perhaps by not realizing what’s really going on. Maybe Jon will get something out of your article. I meant that I wish you could reason with him personally.

      • Probably it is confusing because you seem to be addressing the killswitchers first (stepping back from the cliff), and it seems you are hinting at neither the CoC nor flipping the killswitch are acceptable. The CoC is far too normative for the telos (and normative for a different telos to boot), while flipping the killswitch would very much directly violate the very telos itself.

  15. I’m somewhat baffled by the legal arguments posted in the open letter, and on Vox Day’s blog, linked above.

    Beginning with the open letter (posted by unconditionedwitness):

    >The GPL version 2 lacks a no-rescission clause […]
    >When the defendants ignore the rescission and continue using the
    >plaintiff’s code, the plaintiff can sue under the copyright statute.

    What? The GPL can’t be revoked. That’s the whole point of the license. Imagine if that were really true: Intel could revoke rights to all of their code, and charge everyone who uses Linux $10 unless they remove Intel’s code.

    >Damages could be recovered under: breach of contract, quazi-contract,
    >libel, false-light. (services rendered for the contractual claims,
    >future lost income for the libel claims)

    How are these claims applicable? Take libel. Let’s say Alice get banned from contributing to Linux because she refuses to agree to the CoC. People say, accurately, that Alice refused to agree to the CoC. Some people think Alice did the right thing, and others don’t.

    What false fact has been spread about Alice?

    Vox quotes the above open letter, and comments:

    >Most of the legal babble is the usual ignorant nonsense,

    I agree!

    >but the license rescinding threat is both real and significant.

    This, though, is horsepucky.

    Vox doesn’t go into detail about this (boy is he fond of culture-war stuff) but here’s someone from /pol/ who lays this argument out:

    >[…]

    >The GPL Ver 3 has a clause that Ver 2 lacks which dictates though that you may not rescind your license over your code. In a court, a lawyer would make the argument that since the Free Software Foundation(the license’s publisher) saw the need to add the clause, that the Ver 2 allows for rescinding of the GPL license.

    >The autist that came up with this plan is pretty smart but there is no guarantee that a judge might rule that is the case since the whole point of the GPL regardless of version has been about requiring that the software it is attached to must remain free and modifiable. The GPL has stood up in court before on several major cases so it’s a toss up, I think they should try anyways.

    Here’s the problem with this argument: the FSF could’ve added the clause because they felt it was unclear. In other words, they wanted to express that the license was forever free, through more than just the omission of a termination clause.

    >First, let me confirm that this threat has teeth. I researched the relevant law when I was founding the Open Source Initiative. In the U.S. there is case law confirming that reputational losses relating to conversion of the rights of a contributor to a GPLed project are judicable in law.

    Mind posting the case name/number? I’ll look it up if I have free time.

    • >Mind posting the case name/number? I’ll look it up if I have free time.

      I’ll have to re-find it myself. What I remember is that it happened in the early Nineties, it involved model train software and specifically the GPL, and Java was in there somehow. It was the case of first impression on whether reputational rights in open source were juducable, and a lot of people were surprised when the judge took them seriously.

    • Yeah, I don’t understand what these people are thinking. The only way a licensee to GPLv2 code can lose his license is by violating the license.

      Imagine the recursive chaos if kernel developers began rescinding licensees’ licenses. It would put the entire software industry into utter chaos, the SCO trial would seem like a playground quarrel, and Microsoft, et al would be proven right about FOSS, driving everyone back into the arms of proprietary vendors, who will happily indemnify their customers against such claims.

      There are no takebacks in FOSS, especially in the GPL, only “you broke the rules, now you must destroy your copies.”

      • “driving everyone back into the arms of proprietary vendors”

        Which, according to some posts I’ve seen (e.g. over at Hardforum) is exactly what was intended. Whether this is coincidental or the CoC is a deliberate stalking horse remains to be seen. I’m cynical enough to go with the latter, especially when it’s spearheaded by someone dishonest enough to claim that false applications of ‘merit’ thereby prove the concept of merit is false. How do we find out who’s bankrolling Coraline et al?

      • This was my first thought when I heard about this. It’s almost certainly a power play from such an angle.

    • Equitable estoppel would be another huge issue for the potential plaintiff, at least in common law countries. This would be an almost textbook example of what it’s meant to stop.

  16. Just brainstorming: One option might be to suggest a better code of conduct. Something as simple as “Contributors should strive to be polite to one another” might satisfy the moderates and be less susceptible to SJW abuse, because most SJW enforcement actions are impolite in themselves. That way the argument gets moved to what “politeness” means, instead of “inclusiveness” or some other SJW term that’s pre-biased in their direction. But I admit that any CoC might be abused.

      • It may be what the code said, but it wasn’t what what Linus actually *did*. As someone else comments:

        Inappropriate use of kindly tone populates a space with useless people who should have been driven out. Inappropriate use of a harsh tone not only drives out potentially useful resources, it leads to a backlash that ends up restricting the tool itself.

        A good sergeant isn’t a good sergeant *because* he screams at soldiers, but because he knows exactly when to do so.

        It looks like Linus has been convinced by people he trusts that his aggressive attitude is making the project less likely to achieve its technical goals, which are the only goals he cares about.

        I hope some of those people can explain to him that this doesn’t require giving in to people who say “First comes justice, then comes equality”, and whose idea of “justice” is posting a (probably illegal) job advert saying they would prefer to hire someone of a particular race and sex.

        • It looks like Linus has been convinced by people he trusts that his aggressive attitude is making the project less likely to achieve its technical goals, which are the only goals he cares about.

          Looks like to me he’s either been PIPed by Linux Foundation fear of the New Yorker article, or was successfully snared in a sexual assault accusation, likely by his eldest daughter.

          If he really cared about the technical goals, and had freedom of action, he wouldn’t have allowed Coraline’s cancerous CoC to replace the old “Code of Conflict”. Or let’s put it this way, what do you think are the odds that Ted Ts’o feels personally betrayed by Linus right now?

          • > was successfully snared in a sexual assault accusation, likely by his eldest daughter.

            That would be my guess, yeah.

            As we’re seeing with Kavanaugh, it makes no difference today whether such an allegation is false, preposterously false, or even “violates the laws of physics” false.

        • There are four or five quotes from Linus going rounds. In 25 years of managing this project. Ten thousand emails? Closer to fifty? What is considered inappropriate or overuse in such a context? Did anyone even look at if the people he told off were being dicks in the first place? How often does it happen in a corporate environment that people who do not have good social skills are not hired to begin with, and people who behaved impossibly are threatened to get fired and losing their nice income? In a project where generally these two filters/tools are nonexistent, how many people behave how often impossible? Maybe they need to be cussed out more often than 4-5 times in 25 years. It may turn out to be the case that Linus was not generating widespread rude behavior by being a bad example, but holding it back precisely via going perkele on the people who were rude to others.

        • It may be what the code said, but it wasn’t what what Linus actually *did*.

          I’m not sure I agree. Every time I saw Linus flaming (which was only as an outsider looking in, not a kernel developer, so I’m sure I’m missing a lot of context), it was for a good reason: a senior kernel developer had done something that they already should have known not to do because Linus had already said not to do it, politely, numerous times (for example, breaking userspace). So when the politeness didn’t work, he stopped being polite. That’s not yelling for the sake of yelling: it’s yelling when it’s necessary for the good of the code.

          • >I’m not sure I agree. Every time I saw Linus flaming (which was only as an outsider looking in, not a kernel developer, so I’m sure I’m missing a lot of context), it was for a good reason:

            Furthermore, when Linus did screw up, he owned it. He apologized to me once.

    • The main problem with all these CoCs is that the correctness/incorrectness of my behavior is determined by how someone else feels about it. No objective standard. No standard that isn’t subject to change at one party’s whim.

      Only a petty tyrant of the worst sort would attempt enforcement actions based on such. But, of course, SJWs love it.

      The other problem is vagueness. What constitutes “polite” is culturally dependent and highly variant. It changes with many factors. Do males and females have an identical view of what constitutes “politeness”?. In every situation?

      • The other problem is vagueness. What constitutes “polite” is culturally dependent and highly variant. It changes with many factors.

        It’s said this was a factor in the first Node.js purge, where the target was a Dutch? non-native English speaker.

      • The problem isn’t vagueness.* The problem is unwillingness to enforce. The first time Steve makes a sexist remark about the women he works with, make an example of him, even if he’s in charge of the foobaric subsystem – and note that projects which get rid of their assholes tend to work better as a result, because less time is taken managing toxicity.

        Steve will bitch and moan a little, then find another project, where hopefully he’ll be in better control of his impulses.

        * Too much specificity undermines the whole point of being an adult, and I think it’s a big part of what goes into both making an SJW, and what makes SJWs effective. I really should post my “what makes an SJW” thinking below.

        • >”The problem isn’t vagueness.”

          >”Steve makes a sexist remark….”

          Nothing vague about the definition of “sexist remarks,” am I right?

        • What if someone decides that using the phrase “bitch and moan” constitutes a “sexist remark”?

          • Or when people like me say “Frankly, I’d get a man to do that” for tasks requiring some physical strength? (Yes, I do. Those gas-powered monitor arms can be right bastards to shift sometimes.)

            I do find it entertaining that the ever so woke troutwaxer used ‘bitch’ like that.

          • I think that’s a perfect place to draw the line when you document the project rules:

            “If someone calls you a bitch, please contact the project manager and that person will be put into our disciplinary process, which can end in termination from the project. If someone says, “bitch and moan,” or “son of a bitch,” you are not being attacked, so please don’t contact the project manager and complain. Likewise, if you are Black and some White person insists that you should call them “Master,” (or calls you “slave”) please contact the project manager and rest assured that the problem will be handled. If someone uses “master and slave” in the technical sense, i.e. “master and slave drive,” you are not being attacked and you may rest assured that nobody on the project is endorsing slavery.

            Please generalize from these rules so I can spend as little time as possible disciplining people and as much time as possible writing code.

            • Cool. Do you have a complete list of every verboten word, phrasing, and tone in every dialect, language, and pidgin, for every context, that will result in someone being disciplined if someone else reads or hears it and becomes offended? Do you have a method of pre-determining when a neologism should result in discipline?

              Do you have any way to implement this such that enforcement will not be based on the arbitrary whims of the enforcer? Do you have a way to prevent cooption of enforcement by accusers?

              Can you read people’s minds?

              If not, you’re handing a giant stick over to totalitarians who will use it to destroy people purely for the sake of destroying them.

              Think I’m wrong? Try using the word “nigger” in an academic sense basically anywhere and see what happens; innocence is no defense. Look what happened at Papa John’s. Take the behavior you observe, and apply it arbitrarily to my above list, and remember that you cannot, literally can not, create a complete list of Verboten Communication.

              Attempts to do so will result in totalitarian horror as bad people use the cracks to wield power over you.

              I kid you not, I got dinged by upper management once when I described to another employee that I had “hacked that code together.” They heard the word “hack” and I nearly got PIPed. Fortunately I had two levels of management above me come to my defense, but even THEY still told me to watch my language.

              For a fucking term of art. If that happens in Linux kernel development, we’re doomed.

              • I mentioned once that I needed to “play” with some code to get it working. I was chided that this was WORK and they’re was no playing here. It was complete BS from a non-technical incompetent leader.

            • You are making the standard claim made by every advocate of communism in history.

              In your mind, the people adjudicating code violations will be wise solons whose goals are to bring every situation to a peaceful and rational close.

              In reality, the people who wind up adjudicating code violations are True Believer fanatics like Coraline Ada and Shanley Kane.

              Expect Bernie Sanders, get Stalin. It works that way every time, dude.

      • Good point. We used to have such a thing as rules of etiquette. Which meant two things. It told to X: “do this, or Y will take offense”. But it also told Y: “if X does this, you are not supposed to take offense”. Which meant a lot of deliberate insults were wrapped in the flowery garb of etiquette. And people just had to deal with it, or return in kind, or just basically decide to never talk to that scroundel anymore. On the whole, despite not being flawless, it was a good thing.

        The meta level lesson is that clear and objective rules work as conflict-resolution, while this feelings-based thing is pretty much about winning conflicts, not resolving them.

        To be fair, sometimes they are actually doing something like developing a new etiquette. “Ask and use people’s preferred pronouns.” In that case we are hitting another problem: this is pretty much a foreign culture. It is pretty much like going to India or to a goth club. Flexible people often do it and adapt to it, less flexible people just stay in their own comfortable circumstances and don’t. But what happens when essentially a foreign culture comes to you and tries to force its different etiquette on the job you were doing for decades maybe?

        • > To be fair, sometimes they are actually doing something like developing a new etiquette. “Ask and use people’s preferred pronouns.” In that case we are hitting another problem: this is pretty much a foreign culture.

          An additional and more fundamental problem: what if you believe this new etiquette is requiring you to claim things you believe to be false?

          A person’s name is merely a pointer, but a pronoun implies certain attributes about the person. If you don’t believe the requested pronoun matches the person, then it would be essentially a lie to use them.

          Is there a resolution that allows one to be both honest and polite at the same time?

            • Nor can you speak only correct English and comply, if the code demands you use a tranny’s made-up pronoun.

          • That is definitely another issue. I somehow don’t see the moderate trans folks offering compromises. Interestingly it works in every other “minority” field, so perhaps it comes from the whole nature of the trans thing.

            I mean. Identity of any kind is supposed to be a message for other people, of what trades one offer or what kind of social role one is willing and able to fill. Even for national identities, if people strongly identify with their citizenship or ethnicity, it implies loyalty and a willingness to support the interests of the group. If they are more cosmopolitan, they likely likely don’t identify with their nation and say that is just my passport. The messaging model works even for the gay and lesbian identity, it sends messages to others about ones sexual compatibility with them. But it suddenly stops at the trans ones – being trans says nearly nothing about what one is offering to others and it is a demand to be treated in a certain way. Maybe I am seeing it wrong, I don’t know, this is how it comes across. I just don’t see Corina being a “she” means offering to do typical women things or fulfilling typically female social roles. Of course emphasizing that would mean trouble with feminists, but still. The whole thing sounds like “it is about me, me, me” but no offer for trade or no prediction of social roles to fulfill.

            • For the most part, being “trans” is not relevant to much of anything. I am a trans woman, and that means I am a woman. “Trans” is just a modifier to the base noun “woman” here, the same as “blonde woman” or “Japanese woman.”

              All I generally ask of anyone is that they treat me like they would any other woman. And, if you just met me and didn’t know me prior to my transition, you’d probably do that anyway, just based on my overall appearance and behavior. And I hope you would do this out of common courtesy and politeness; I’m not asking anything “special” in that regard.

              As for doing “typical women things” or “fulfilling typically female social roles”…what are those anyway, these days? The only thing I really can’t do is bear children.

              • What is the message for others in you being a woman, that is, the offer of trades or promise of social roles to fulfill, and how much does it overlap with that of nontrans women?

                I simply don’t understand why would any person *be* anything for their own sake. It is a bit philosophical, yes, mostly a critique of existentialism. I think we exist-as-something (something with an identity) purely for others, not altruistically of course, but as trade-offerers and social role fulfillers for which we can get stuff like respect, status or money. But for myself I don’t exist as a man, as a white, as a straight, as anything, but mostly just as a pure subject who enjoys things like respect, status and money earned via fulfilling these roles.

                This is why I don’t understand this thing. Are there any other kinds of identities that are purely for oneself and not these trades and roles? For example, I am one of those guys who had to work on becoming more masculine, like lifting weights and suchlike. I used to be timid and low-T. But this was not obviously for me to feel more like a man. It was obviously for others so that they praise or respect me for being a manly man or feel sexually attracted to it and so on. I absolutely understand the need to feel good about oneself, to feel proud, but I could not just look into a mirror and feel I am handsome and be happy about that, it is based on the feedback of others.

                But this feedback of others is earned, not asked. I can’t just go and ask people to find me handsome, I must earn it – even if via genetic luck and not really earning, not really merit – via actually having a face that women find attractive and even men find kind of confidence-inviting.

                The only parallel I can find to this trans stuff, and I find that similarly weird, is fat acceptance. I see people, mostly women, telling themselves they are beautiful. Isn’t this just weirdly solipsistic and narcissistic? Especially if they ask – actually usually demand – others to treat them as if they were sexy? This isn’t how it works. A person is sexy if other people are genuinely attracted to her or him. The correct thing for a fat person –
                who does not want to lose it – to feel confident is to go into a subculture of fat fetishists, where the positive feedback is honest, they really do find her sexy, they really do consider that type of body the sexiest, it is genuine.

                So in this context, the fat person offers a trade (the usual trade of sexually compatible people) or a social role (of being for a given group of people pleasant to look at, arousing and if not in a relationship open for approaches). But when the fat person just demands to be treated as sexy there is no trade and no role.

                My view is it is narcississm or solipsism, but I can be convinced otherwise.

                Perhaps another thing I would add is that big difference is not between people who were born into a sex and those who weren’t. I don’t consider soyboys properly male or short haired riot grrrls properly female. To fulfill a social gender role often requires effort and learning, except for the lucky few who were born with it. Few people become automatically male or female. So I guess from this angle you could argue you perform a female role better than a short haired riot grrrl and someone of the opposite, MtF type could argue they perform a male role better than the soyboy. If I go “someone come help me with carrying this heavy couch, and then do some somewhat scary dangerous stuff that needs to be done” and the MtF volunteers faster than the soyboy, that earns some man points in my eyes. I suppose the opposite can be said about being a woman. But if one thinks these roles (or trades) do not even matter anymore, nor that it is a penis or vagina that makes a woman, what the sweet heck it even means then to be a man or a woman?

                • It’s difficult to explain in some respects. I can tell you that I am happier when I view myself as a woman, and that I seem to “fit in” better when in a woman’s role. I am more free to express emotion, for instance, and act in a nurturing or sympathetic role towards others.

                  Also, when I was being ostensibly-male, I never considered myself to be particularly good-looking, about average, I would say. (I described myself as “Generic Geek #42.”) I had hoped to be passable as a woman…but I am not only passable, I am beautiful. (That’s my real photo attached to this post. Judge for yourself.) To suddenly be beautiful after having felt you were average for so long is a very powerful thing.

                  And I achieved these things while still keeping the most important parts of my ostensibly-male self: my intelligence, experience, and memories. It really feels like this is the best version of myself. I put it poetically thus: I finally heard the true song of my heart…and it was sung in a woman’s voice.

                  This is only my subjective experience, but other trans women would probably recognize a lot of it in themselves.

        • “decide to never talk to that scroundel anymore”

          I figured this out back in high school but it’s not dramatic enough for SJWs. It’s not enough to be right: they must be seen to be right.

    • Disagree.

      “Don’t be a dick” is enough. I don’t have to be *polite* to you. I just have to be not deliberately rude.

      IME working with a Russian or a German who learned English, but only from other Germans or Russians, they often come across as rude, but it’s just the way they translate from their milk language into English, especially given that some folks seem to think they’re paying per-byte to write, so they keep it short.

      • There are definitely cultural differences in bluntness, it is not just a translation issue. But it is precisely the blunter cultures who separate professional and personal talk – to avoid giving offense in professional circumstances.

        A good example is that in many European cultures it is okay to tell your friend they have put on weight. But at work we don’t talk about such personal matters. This can be compared with the more polite (subsets of: urban, female) US culture where generally you don’t say such a thing to your friends. On the other hand, in such polite cultures the personal/professional difference is less emphasized, people ask their coworkers or I hear sometimes random women on the street if they are pregnant, and it is embarrassing when it turns out they are just fat.

        These are two distinct and both well working strategies. At some point American culture adopted informality in business settings, everybody on first name terms, even the big boss etc. the friend/coworker difference is not strongly emphasized, people are supposed to invite coworkers to their wedding, hence people have to use a cautious language in all circumstances but the closest friends. On the other hand, other cultures are very blunt with friends but make it clear that coworkers aren’t friends, sometimes you really call the boss Herr Direktor, albeit it is going out, but definitely not inviting coworkers to weddings, despite imitating the American first name basis, still there is a distance. What Russians do is that as long as people are called on a first name + patronym basis, Vladimir Sergeyevich, the relationship is formal and professional, first name or nickname basis (Volodya) means close friendship and you can be blunt.

  17. My personal take on what has happened is less about Ethos and more about Money. Money being spent by Corporate Donors and the perceived value (or lack of value) they are receiving.

    I don’t have exact numbers, but I did read that Corporate Sponsors of the Linux Foundation spent approx $55 Million USD last year. The foundation reportedly paid Linux 1.6 Million USD as either an employee or contractor.

    The majority of these companies are Publicly Traded and have Code of Conduct rules on their books. In fact, many employees of same companies were / are being salaries to contribute to the Linux Kernel. It is also well know that some of those employees no longer choose to contribute / have resigned to pursue other interests due to the Ethos / Culture of Kernel Management.

    I certainly agree Linus deserves whatever break he wants / needs – he’s put in a lot of time on this project he famously said “It will never be anything professional like GNU” (please correct the quote if I didn’t remember it right).

    But in the end, I suspect those who paid / pay to financially support the Linux Foundation got tired of being complained to about how the project was run and said something. And since their money is more valuable than Ethos, we have arrived now at the CoC.

    Money is the first (or second?) most powerful influence in the world and Compound Interest remains the first (possibly) second most powerful force known. I suspect that is why OpenBSD runs itself differently and by its example, doesn’t have the widespread market share / influence amongst public traded multi-national corporations.

    Perhaps OpenBSD should.

    • Indeed.

      Anyone who thinks the new Linux CoC is particularly onerous has never spent much time in a corporate environment. Even if Linus is not technically speaking a corporate employee in his role as kernel maintainer, it’s detrimental to him to piss off the ones signing the checks, which he may well have done with his attitude.

      And Linus’s hiatus can be taken as the kernel community’s equivalent of a Performance Improvement Plan, which means he’s already lost his job.

      I’d say that Linus is permanently out as kernel maintainer.

      • I quit working at Google over the hostile work environment created by their illiberal ways.

        I’m not sure what the long-term solutions to issues like this are, but I’m pretty certain that they won’t be *nice*.

      • I don’t know. Winter will probably argue, but European corporate environments are nearly painfully conventional. No t-shirts, the boss is not called on first name terms, people don’t chat about their kids and don’t barbecue together. Exceptions exist, but this formal and somewhat cold environment prevents the whole set of problems. You cannot bully someone for being gay because you don’t know who is gay because talking about sexual habits would be a too personal thing that is not acceptable in a professional, read, impersonal environment. You are wearing an accountant or marketing manager mask, and that mask has no sexual orientation, sex or race, it is not human, it is an an impersonal machine.

        While I know that many US businesses went down the people should be happy at work, wear whatever they like, behave like friends, talk informally, have fun route, I am prett sure the New York investment capital who is financing these things in Frisco did not really do it yet. They tend to be conventional people in expensive suits and of exclusive clubs where the etiquette is as old as the wine.

        • “I don’t know. Winter will probably argue, but European corporate environments are nearly painfully conventional.”

          Depends on where you are. France is reportedly extremely hierachic, but the Netherlands are not. Harassment happens everywhere.

      • That’s a bad move on the Linux Foundation’s part. The only thing standing between Linus and a fork of the kernel, is the US$1.6M salary. Take that away and he has no reason not to take his ball and go somewhere else. Don’t they know that Oracle or Microsoft would easily double that salary to have control of the “real” kernel?

  18. “Holy Wars” is correct. The reason for these Codes of Conduct is that they hide the requirement for the expulsion of anyone who has ever criticized Islam.

    Look at who Facebook, Google, et al are partnered with…

    https://www.turboimagehost.com/p/39363308/isd_partnerships.jpg.html

    There is a Social Justice crisis in comics. Look who is a VP at Marvel…

    http://www.superversivesf.com/2018/09/17/marvels-ties-with-the-clintons-and-islam/

    Microsoft went big on Social Justice. Guess who was their Public Affairs director at the time…

    https://archive.is/NXtZV https://archive.is/S3nC9

    Speaking of Microsoft, two of their heads of Open Source strategy worked for a company called Apigee whose head of developer relations went to school in Qatar and was named Shanley Kane. One of those two people is on the board of the Linux Foundation. Isn’t it amazing how these people all know each other?

    So back to the point, with a CoC in place you are not allowed to disparage a religion, which will only be enforced when one specific religion is disparaged because nobody is going to defend Jews or Christians or offbeat cultists, and they will count things you said off list seven years ago.

    The definition of “disparaging” Islam includes disagreeing with the terrorists, even if you are a Muslim yourself.

    https://8ch.net/gamergatehq/res/327591.html#327791

    • “Speaking of Microsoft, two of their heads of Open Source strategy worked for a company called Apigee whose head of developer relations went to school in Qatar and was named Shanley Kane”

      Uh, let’s maybe not play that game without more details?

      What position did these unnamed persons hold at Apigee, and what interactions did they ever have with Kane (whose position seems to be aimed at developers using Apigee’s product, not internal users)?

      Oh, and how many other “heads of Open Source strategy” did/does MS have*?

      If one starts letting “worked at the same company as” be “obviously is basically the same as”, or other “is vaguely connected to!!!!!” logic be Obviously Valid, one rapidly ends up wearing a foil hat and accusing everyone on Earth of being In On The Plot.

      Concrete connections with specific concrete actions, please?

      * Linux Foundation says MS doesn’t even have an official strategy, just an Open Source Programs Office. What job titles are you actually referring to? Who are these people?

      (Bonus points for turboimagehost, though – not only is a screenshot sketchy, but it demanded I whitelist it, popped up malware ads, and wouldn’t let me SEE the image.)

  19. Hi guys from EU.

    I’m kind of amazing of this controversy. I think I have a good argument anti-CoC that you can thrown to the SJW and its true as the sun raises everyday:

    *** Please keep your political drama LOCAL TO YOUR FUCKING NATION OR AT LEAST TO YOUR FUCKING CONTINENT. The code commited to all open source projects reach other nations in where politics run different (others very different indeed). ***

    Last not not least, you guys should realize that all from East Europe to China you’re been seen as pussy, low self-steem computer geeks with weak social skills and easy to manipulate through social interactions. Also the development teams are being considered easy to long term infiltration using regular troskist tactics from the 70′ (at leat that’s how we used to do it ;-D)

    I should highlight that as a consecuence last recent attacks on the kernel as well llvm, freebsd, etc. are being classified by some state actors as “event of interest” due the likelihood of foreign being involved.

    Gentlemen, please do keep you eyes wide open,

  20. Very well done, Eric. I’m very much in your corner on this one. We have a lot of disagreements over the utility of reaching out to Black/Female/Gay/Etc people, but ultimately the computers that run the New York Stock exchange (or my home router) should be running software built on meritocratic principles.

    I’d love to see more Rational Justice Work kind of outreach, but I think that’s a long-term strategy and this needs a short-term approach. When things calm down, however, I’d love to see a thread about how to reach out to the same people the SJWs claim to represent.

      • The problem is that I might judge Mary by her code alone. And I might judge Jamal by his code alone. But if Mary is a racist and I have to judge her unpleasant interactions with Jamal, then I’ve got a problem that doesn’t really relate to code.

        I’ve been trying to come up with a one-line phrase that’s as powerful and helpful as “you shall judge by the code alone.” So far the best I’ve managed is “and make sure everyone on your project behaves professionally,” which isn’t terribly inspiring. But I’m working on it. IMHO the KISS principle should rule things here.

          • Google has proved that it’s way to easy to lose the first third of that commandment.

            Sings: “You say James Damore, I say Surveillance…”

        • if Mary is a racist and I have to judge her unpleasant interactions with Jamal, then I’ve got a problem that doesn’t really relate to code.

          No, you don’t. You only have a problem if Mary’s unpleasant interactions with Jamal affect the code that either of them writes. And if that happens, then you tell them their code is not meeting standards and they need to fix it. And if their code does meet standards, then their interaction with each other is their problem, not yours.

            • So what? Doesn’t change anything I said. At most I would add that, since the project mailing list is for discussion about the project, not people’s personal problems with each other, you might have to do some moderation to keep discussions on topic. But you have to do that with any discussion that you don’t want to degenerate into spam, flaming, and trolling.

          • But, see, technically on open source projects Mary and Jamal do not have to interact at all, as long as they go through a third party (some kind of project manager for instance), and the code could be merged without them interacting.

            • In other words, any interactions they happen to have should not affect the code. And as long as the code is not affected, whatever interactions they happen to have are irrelevant. Great, we’re in agreement on that.

              Now what about the case where whatever interactions they happen to have (obviously outside the scope of actually submitting their code and having it merged, since you’ve stipulated that they don’t have to interact to have that done) *do* affect their code? My point is simply that even in that case, whatever interactions they are having are not your problem; the only problem you have is that their code is affected and you need to tell them to fix it.

        • The problem is that I might judge Mary by her code alone. And I might judge Jamal by his code alone. But if Mary is a racist and I have to judge her unpleasant interactions with Jamal, then I’ve got a problem that doesn’t really relate to code.

          That’s not your problem. If Mary has doesn’t want to work with Jamal because of his race, or Jamal doesn’t want to work with Mary because she’s a racist, then they will either work it out among themselves, or one of them will leave. Problem solved.

          Sure, the project might suffer from the loss of a good coder. But it would suffer if one of them got hit by a bus, too. Route around it, and get on with the code. If it’s an interesting project, someone else will step in and fill the void.

        • Actually, the phrase as it stands does cover that case. If Mary is being prejudiced against Jamal, then she’s not judging by his code alone, but rather by exterior factors, and therefore is in violation of the policy of judging by the code alone.

          • “You shall judge by the code alone; this obligation is binding on all project members. Failure to live up to this obligation will result in your being released from the project.”

            Hows that for a COC?

  21. When an organization goes social justice, it focuses on giving awards and honors for race, sex, and political correctness – in this case focuses on generating stem credentials for people who do not look or act much like the people you find in stem.

    Conversely, it tends to stop focusing on whatever the original purpose of the organization was.

    • Yeah, Linux kernels in not the near future, but the mid term future are likely going to start having a lot more stability/security issues pop up because that’s what you get in code when quality doesn’t mean shit.

  22. > They make it clear; they signed on to participate in a meritocracy with reputation rewards, and they think that is being taken way from them.

    Observed social justice warrior behavior is that they do in fact hijack reputational rewards. Observe the comics and science fiction writing dispute over art.

    Observed society is that white males created almost everything, except, of course, that white women created white males. Social Justice Warriors feel this is unfair, and must be declared false by fiat.

    Since the rewards of free software are primarily social and reputational, and turn into money only through connections and reputation, this is apt to manifest as direct hijacking. Anyone who has reputation will be accused of bad conduct in order to take away his reputation.

    With science fiction, the Social Justice Warriors got all the awards and publication contracts, but failed to get the customers from the existing (mostly white and male) science fiction writers. With free software, the attack is apt to be more central and vicious because existing science fiction writers were not threatened. Calling an existing successful science fiction writer a sexist racist misogynist is unlikely to lose him customers, and if it loses him a publisher, no big deal, for if he has customers, will find a new publisher. Kicking an existing free software contributor off is likely to lose him clients.

    Redistributing reputation to women, gays and minorities is likely to manifest as unreasonable and unjust attacks on contributors with substantial reputation.

  23. But one thing is always true: the ethos derives from the telos, not the other way around. The goal precedes the instrument.

    There’s an interesting case this doesn’t really work for, and touches on what is possibly the most widely-spread and longest-surviving category of groups of cooperating humans. Organised religion is centred around scriptures serving as the expression of the ethos held by its adherents, and a significant if not dominant element of the telos of much religion is simply to promote that ethos. A believer may ascribe the genesis of the ethos as codified in scripture to the word of God, while a nonbeliever may ascribe it to ulterior motives – or hidden telos – of its original human author centuries or millennia ago. But in a practical sense, the relationship between telos and ethos has ceased to be linear and instead resembles a chicken-or-the-egg cycle: if believers cooperate to teach what they hold to be the laws of God (i.e. ethos), and those who are taught and come to believe are in turn bound by these laws to further teach, to the extent that it may be considered the fundamental goal of their cooperation (telos), then the ethos and telos are interdependent in a mutually recursive way.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this self-propagating relationship appears in religions that have survived for centuries or millennia, while many minor cults do not outlive the death of the originating prophet-figure whose followers observe an ethos engineered simply to further his personal telos. Just as biological procreation is necessary to the long-term survival of a species, an ideology must have a mechanism for memetic reproduction if it is to endure. It’s not enough to state, as the open-source movement does, that certain practices are competitively beneficial and should be continued. Nor is it sufficient to preach, as its free-software counterparts do, that these same practices are morally superior and should be valued. Both lack a core tenet of those who introduced the new Code of Conduct: it is imperative to install one’s ethos in the decision-making apparatus of any cooperating group one encounters. It is a strategy that allows non-adherents to be publicly identified as violators of community norms, placing them at a competitive disadvantage relative to the believers in the reputation-centric hacker economy. This in turn results in the believers being preferred for decision-making roles on other projects where they have the opportunity to install the ethos again, and the cycle repeats itself.

    • Interesting. I’m not sure I agree with your formulation re: religion, but since you’re using it illustratively I won’t dig into it too deep.

      I think what you might be aiming at here is that ethoi and teloi require a low-level reproductive/propagation method that does not rely exclusively on memes (for an example of a purely memetic ethos, consider the KISS principle in engineering, which is regularly ignored). The religions that have endured for hundreds or thousands of years have done so not just because their memes are codified in written scriptures, but because there is a fundamental connect between human psychology and the ethos/telos enshrined in those memes.

      Which brings me to my disagreement with your religion statement: the hidden teloi that drive the creation of lasting religions’ ethoi are encoded in the human subconscious at a biological level, set in place by millions of years of self-selected evolutionary pressure. The chicken/egg paradox thus collapses and the egg resolves to our evolutionary environment (which includes other humans).

      Part of what makes these CoC attacks so damn effective is that they are abusing low level hooks in the human empathy function as their means of propagation. That empathy function is incredibly powerful and easy to manipulate, to such a degree that attempting to debate with those who have had it hijacked by a malignant animus is almost guaranteed to end in failure. (aka Progressivism is Cancer)

      You have to go lateral, attacking other low-level hooks to dislodge the malignancy; I suspect this is specifically Eric’s goal with this post. For the kind of hacker-lords who have the most real clout in these things, hitting them in the axioms like this could potentially be an effective fish-slap.

      • >Which brings me to my disagreement with your religion statement: the hidden teloi that drive the creation of lasting religions’ ethoi are encoded in the human subconscious at a biological level, set in place by millions of years of self-selected evolutionary pressure. The chicken/egg paradox thus collapses and the egg resolves to our evolutionary environment (which includes other humans).

        That is exactly right.

        >You have to go lateral, attacking other low-level hooks to dislodge the malignancy; I suspect this is specifically Eric’s goal with this post.

        One of them. Efficient cultural engineering invokes as many mutually-reinforcing mechanisms as possible.

    • Religion is a mechanism for forming fictional kinships. It is its telos, to form trust and cooperation beyond the extended family or clan. As a large-scale cooperation device, it is basically programming the subconscious for the purpose of making civilization happen. It hijacks the kin selection mechanism, it is noticable that very often kinship terminology like “brothers” is being used, even in the modern derivates of religion, political ideology, lots of political clubs called themselves brotherhoods.

      For this telos, it forms a group identity around symbols and around statements that are neither right nor wrong but unfalsifiable, so safe from criticism and from being proven wrong, unfalsifiable statements are ideal for being rallying banners and not much else. All the practical ethos tends to change based on whichever challenges the group faces. Sometimes it preaches war, sometimes peace etc.

      So I cannot agree. Perhaps you have noticed that the ethos changes, and you think with a fixed telos the ethos could not really change. But when the telos is fostering cooperation inside an ingroup larger than a tribe, the ethos can change based on what problems they are actually facing. Also of course it cannot admit openly that the true telos is ingroup cooperation, so there will be some kind of a fake telos, and this fake telos, just like the ethos, can change with the challenges du jour.

    • @d5xtgr:

      There’s an interesting case this doesn’t really work for, and touches on what is possibly the most widely-spread and longest-surviving category of groups of cooperating humans. Organised religion is centred around scriptures serving as the expression of the ethos held by its adherents, and a significant if not dominant element of the telos of much religion is simply to promote that ethos. A believer may ascribe the genesis of the ethos as codified in scripture to the word of God, while a nonbeliever may ascribe it to ulterior motives – or hidden telos – of its original human author centuries or millennia ago.

      This is not really a good description of Christianity or of Judaism. The Bible, Old and New Testament alike, is full of criticism for those who follow the ethos laid out in the Bible without understanding the underlying telos, and the telos is neither hidden, or as dominated by promoting the ethos as you describe. Indeed, pushing the ethos at all costs is resoundingly condemned:

      “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”(Matthew 23:15, ESV)

  24. My view of the manifesto and the need for CoC’s:

    ‘Equality and justice require all non-subscribers to be excluded and all rights revoked. Please agree and join us or face the consequences.’

    The strategy of ‘political correctness’ is nothing more than a power grab, using techniques that isolate and eventually exclude or subordinate nonmembers and those in opposition. Cultivate followers by creating an enemy and appealing to emotions while obfuscating the ultimate goal. These tactics have been successfully employed throughout history. This is not just a form Communism/Marxism or Stalinism. Fascism, Feudalism, National Socialism, religious fanaticism and any other group that believes their superior beliefs and morality entitle them to impose behavioral directives on others (often exempting themselves and their supporters) and dominate society based on their perceived correct values, have and will continue to employ these tactics to seize power.

  25. SJWs are drunk with self-righteousness and have no capacity for introspection or restraint, they approach all dissent with supreme arrogance and contempt. This post will ultimately be useless and likely get you branded with a scarlet letter for trying to be neutral, they view neutrality as tacit support for an oppressive status quo and thus as an extension of the enemy. You don’t realize that burning everything down is an acceptable outcome for both sides.

  26. I don’t see any replies on LKML to the post yet.
    This other thread is on point
    https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/9/19/234

    When you have an answer to that question, you will know what
    we need to do about the CoC and the “killswitch” revolt.

    Luther and Calvin found it easier to fork Christianity than to actually reform it.

    • Wound up being a rather hard fork, though, in all senses of the word “hard”.. 10 million or so dead.

        • That number seems really wrong to me, so I hit a few sources online and you seem to be off by approximately an order of magnitude.

          60 million exceeds the number of casualties of the First World War (military and civilian) by a factor of 3.

        • The follow on effects were pretty bad, too.

          Led to an awful period of France being the dominant continental power, which contributed to several global scale wars.

          Then when Germany finally fully recovered, that led to two more global wars big enough to be called ‘World’.

          I hope this doesn’t get that bad.

        • Wikipedia says “it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague”, which seems more plausible.

          The population of Europe in 1600 was about 80 million.

    • Indeed. Looks like the contributors just got back to important shit like submitting patches to the kernel.

      Besides, if Ted Ts’o is right, the kernel community doesn’t actually have an enforcement structure to kick people off the kernel. The subsystem maintainers will accept the patches they like, and Linus (if he returns to his role as kernel maintainer) will accept the patches he likes out of those. So the Code of Conduct is a nice gesture, but actually toothless in terms of how it changes the makeup of the kernel community.

      This may change, of course, with sufficient badgering from tge outside and/or diktats from the LF. But it’s the status quo for now. Put your Linux boycott plans to rest for the time being.

      • Having an SJW mob blast your employer and harass and doxx you IS the enforcement structure – defacto. See infra about Ted Ts’o being attacked over some rape comment and the demands he be purged.

        • I looked it up. He dared question the “1/4 college women are raped” hysteria. (And yes, I deliberately chose the word “hysteria” there.) Because he distinguished between people getting drunk and having sex they later regretted vs. forcible sexual assault, despite him explicitly saying that he’s not excusing “date rape”, he got branded a “rape apologist”. It’s eerily similar to the Damore memo being accused of saying what it explicitly does not say.

  27. Pingback: “Diversity” as the way to doom – Haoxi's Blog

  28. It seems to me that the Killswitch folks are proposing protect the telos by sabotaging the telos even harder.

  29. Since the goal (telos) of the CoC was to kill Linux it was done in a way that is guaranteed to succeed. If the CoC remains then Linux will die a slow painful death because devs will be purged, or it will die quickly and spectacularly by means of the kill-switch. Either way Linux is done.

    So my take is: ESR explained that in his own way to those who would not otherwise see that, and without explicitly telling them that “The only winning move is not to play the game.”(TM)

    • > Since the goal (telos) of the CoC was to kill Linux

      No, the goal of the CoC is for the people pushing it to be able to wear it’s skin while demanding respect.

  30. EDIT: This blog’s comment system appears to automatically reformat quote characters; (HTML “pre” tags didn’t work). Check the original email.

    [puts tinfoil hat on]

    Anyone else wonder what’s going on with the mixture of ASCII and Unicode quote characters?

    https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/9/16/167

    ASCII only, until this line, which has an ASCII and a Unicode quote:

    It’s one thing when you can ignore these issues. Usually it’s just
    something I didn’t want to deal with.

    Then, back to ASCII quotes:

    This is my reality. I am not an emotionally empathetic kind of person
    and that probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to anybody. Least of
    all me. The fact that I then misread people and don’t realize (for
    years) how badly I’ve judged a situation and contributed to an
    unprofessional environment is not good.

    Then back to Unicode:

    I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to
    understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.

    Then Unicode double quotes:

    I know when I really look “myself in the mirror” it will be clear it’s
    not the only change that has to happen, but hey… You can send me
    suggestions in email.

    I’m probably reading too much into this, but it just struck me as kind of weird.

    • > Anyone else wonder what’s going on with the mixture of ASCII and Unicode quote characters?

      Perhaps someone who uses a WYSIWYG editor prepared part of his statement.

  31. Pingback: New top story on Hacker News: [Eric Raymond] on holy wars, and a plea for peace – News about world

  32. Thank you for this post – it lays out very precisely what I’ve been trying to communicate for quite some time, even well before the current controversy w/r/t the Linux kernel.

  33. For what it’s worth, Wiktionary has “ethoi” as a hypercorrect plural of “ethos”

    It gives ηθεα (ethea), or its contracted form ηθη(ethe) as the correct plural forms.

  34. REAL techies, developers, hackers, engineers, etc. self-organize around the people who know how to get things done. The actual hierarchy of the organization is just a technicality. In some orgs it’s a nuisance. But we ALWAYS self-organize around the most competent members of our tribe. We do this because it WORKS.

    C. Ehmke is not a real engineer. Ehmke is a professional troublemaker, a saboteur, an uninvited guest who arrives at a party and immediately takes a crap in the punchbowl.

  35. Killswitch is a wet dream. The killswitch post was made by a random anon with a kernel contribution estimated at around zero. ESR’s legal analysis about GPL2 being revocable doesn’t appear to hold up.

    Meanwhile, mjg reports that now that Linux has a CoC, more people are becoming interested in kernel development:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/mjg59/status/1044282839401824256

    And has promised to mentor one new kernel dev for every dev that leaves:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/mjg59/status/1044025307303272448

    Conclusion: the CoC is a net positive for Linux, the only people negatively impacted are butthurt anons.

    • “OooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooh! I want some of that sweet, sweet status! Can I have some?!”

      Quantity != Quality, you know.

      • Correct, we may very well end up with a situation where the number of contributors to Linux greatly increases even as the quality of the code base plummets and all the actually competent people leave or are pushed out.

          • By exactly which metric…?

            (“This 12k of monitor and BASIC is super high quality!”

            Well, yeah.

            I bet it’s a substantially “higher quality” OS than any unix in the world, in fact, because it’s not so hard to test 12k of ASM.

            It also doesn’t do anything useful in comparison.

            The implication that the Darwin kernel is Especially Low Quality is less obviously justifiable, though.)

    • > Meanwhile, mjg reports that now that Linux has a CoC, more people are becoming interested in kernel development:

      I’m sure that has nothing to do with the widespread news about this event leading people to see kernel development as even being a thing to be interested in. Correlation/causation, but you know this.

      > And has promised to mentor one new kernel dev for every dev that leaves:

      So there’s a net loss in productivity as someone who would have spent time coding is now having to deal with mentoring someone new up to adequate levels to replace those who leave. Broken window fallacy much? Assuming, of course, that the metaphorical broken window in this case was a good window to begin with.

      • Yes, in the short term there will be a net loss in productivity, but you’re not thinking over the long haul — the long term effects of making lkml more inclusive and welcoming.

        • I’d believe your “inclusive and welcoming” Bullshit IF SJWs didn’t ALWAYS destroy anyone who does not completely agree with them.

          SJWs, use inclusion and diversity as weapons to destroy.

          If you can’t see that, you’re one of their useful idiots.

        • “Inclusive and welcoming” is secret leftist code talk for “political cleansing”. Welcome to the affirmative action kernel, where the number of victim groups to which you belong carries more weight than the quality of your code.

          • I think a big part of the problem is that this is becoming political. I think every sensible person, on both the left and right in this discussion, wants a meritocratic approach (I certainly do, and I’m very much on the left.)

            The problem is essentially one of “social engineering:” What is happening to make meritocratic practices vulnerable to non-meritocratic approaches? I don’t see careful enforcement of politeness and non-racism/sexism/etc as a leftist approach. I see it as fixing a security vulnerability which makes meritocratic projects vulnerable to social engineering by people who don’t have a meritocratic focus. You’re not “giving into commies” so much as “fixing a buffer overflow.”

            BTW, I love the little picture of Brak. He was always one of my favorites.

            • > I think a big part of the problem is that this is becoming political. I think every sensible person, on both the left and right in this discussion, wants a meritocratic approach

              Except the current approach is meritocratic. The problem is a lot of the SJW’s are smearing it as non-meritocratic to argue that meritocracy is impossible. You claim to disagree with their opposition to meritocracy, but you believe their smears. Thus in any particular situation you will act the same way as someone opposed to meritocracy.

              > The problem is essentially one of “social engineering:” What is happening to make meritocratic practices vulnerable to non-meritocratic approaches?

              The fact that people aren’t willing to publicly admit that talent is unevenly distributed. Thus they take inequality of outcomes as ipso facto evidence of lack of meritocracy.

              • >> What is happening to make meritocratic practices vulnerable to non-meritocratic approaches?

                As has been said before: any organization or structure that is not explicitly right wing will eventually be taken over by the left wing.

            • A big part of the problem is that *everything* is becoming political. Politics have become so toxic that they are infiltrating every part of our lives. Technology was once a pretty good escape because it was all run by nerds who don’t care what’s going on in the outside world as long as we get to create our cool toys. Now it’s been infiltrated by the political class, and because Silicon Valley lies firmly behind enemy lines, the SJW hitlers are making their moves to take it over.

        • > you’re not thinking over the long haul

          O rly? How’s this for a “long haul” scenario:

          In the New Meritocracy, merit has been redefined to value arbitrarily-enforced vaguely-defined non-offensiveness (hereafter called “niceness”) in communication as higher than quality in submitted code – quality in this case meaning adherence to project telos and the subordinate ethoi adjudicated by project leaders, in addition to measurable qualities like bug quantity.

          The niceness, in contrast to code quality, is enforced extramuros via wider social consequences in addition to project-internal adjudication, which itself is subject to the side-channel extramuros demands.

          Yes, code quality faces these same pressure vectors, but generally after the fact and within the bounds of how well the project adheres to its own advertised telos – bad code results in bad software that no one uses. Niceness applies at the other end – bad niceness nullifies code before it gets submitted to the project.

          Now that niceness is valued over code quality and by extension developer ability (a scarce resource), and has more and stronger methods of enforcement, we will see an increase in developers who exhibit higher niceness than ability. This initially results in more developers overall since niceness is less scarce, but the median ability will remain static or decrease. The decrease will accelerate as good developers are expelled for not passing the arbitrarily-enforced niceness razor.

          Eventually, even project adjudicators who value code quality (a scarce resource) over niceness will be replaced by adjudicators who meet the New Meritocracy’s telos, which values niceness over code quality. Code submissions will begin being accepted/rejected based on niceness in submitter’s communications instead of on the quality of the code itself, and the median code quality decreases.

          Developers with poor niceness who avoid communication in order to get code submitted will be unable to affect project direction, and so project direction will be dominated by niceness-optimizers, further diverting the project from its original telos.

          Long term, the project becomes corrupted, serving primarily – and poorly – as a social hierarchy and only secondarily – and also poorly – as a useful repository of quality code.

          In the interest of inclusivity the project becomes a shambling corpse of its former self, more resembling a hive of high school-level social maneuvering, dominated by the same kind of people who dominate such things.

          I figure you would do exceedingly well in such an environment, so it does not surprise me that you support the change to the New Meritocracy.

        • Doubtful. Its introduced social risks to maintainers that were not salient beforehand.

          My guess is that corporate culture will take over. I don’t see the Culture Warmongers lasting forever due to their constant internal strife and extreme conflict between many of their stated goals and their actions.

    • Assumes Matthew Garrett is being truthful on Twitter. While I don’t know him, your endorsement and his support for the GoodThink CoC makes me think he’s a leftist. Add his use of twitter to this and I am skeptical for two reasons:

      1.) Leftists aren’t always publicly forthcoming in public statements (to be fair, neither are the far right, but that’s a different story). Case in point, there were no famines in soviet U.S.S.R. My Ukrainian neighbor tells a different story.
      2.) Using his tweets as a source of truth about the number of people entering and leaving the group is even worse than using Wikipedia as a cite-able source. Case in point, @realDonaldTrump

      • @realDonaldTrump is the model example of setting aside politically correct CoC crap and just getting s**t done the right way. We need a leader with the technical chops of Torvalds and the leadership skills of Trump. Until recently, that *was* Torvalds.

        • I will concede that Trump is dismissive of PC foolishness.
          I will also concede that he does things. (Though I disagree on them being the *right* things)

          That wasn’t my point, however. My point was that accepting his or any other Twitter posts as if they were an accurate report of facts is worthy of ridicule. People post opinions to Twitter. Facts are found elsewhere. Trump’s grasp of objective reality is tenuous, at best.

          (And please be careful about what you wish for with leaders like Trump. The trains didn’t really run on time: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/loco-motive/ )

          • “We cannot spare this man. He fights.”

            For too long, Republicans meekly rolled over whenever the Left fought dirty. No more. He’s governing in a conservative manner. His judicial appointments are about interpreting the law as it’s written, not making law – invariably leftist – from the bench. His regulatory approach is a needed wind blowing away thousands of job-killing regulations. His foreign policy puts America first, exactly as our foreign policy should be directed.

            Yeah, the guy’s an asshole who shoots from the lip far too often. But there is only one Ronaldus Magnus. I’ll settle for Trump.

            • Yeah, the guy’s an asshole who shoots from the lip far too often.

              Says everyone who doesn’t understand that that’s part of how he fights, how he has to fight.

              “Ronaldus Magnus” had in many ways a harder hand to play, against different existential threats, and only a nominally Republican Senate for the first 6 years. The economy was in many ways in worse shape, and fixing that required a lot more cooperation from the Congress (reducing the insane top marginal income tax rates, 50% on “earned” income, 75% on “unearned”). The other major part was just staying the course in the Fed that Carter had belatedly started. Ah, terminating the PATCO union with extreme prejudice also had a major moral effect.

              Externally, the Soviet Union was on a rampage, with way too much of the Congress and our ruling class on their side. He realized their vulnerabilities, attacked them despite the obstruction of the Deep State, but with, oh, the support of organized labor for Poland, and we got a near bloodless end to the Evil Empire, a detail which pretty much nobody had predicted.

              Trump has a Republican Congress which had no problem working with him to slash reams of regulations through a process pretty much never used before (so much so that many old ones were vulnerable because the agencies had neglected to send notice to the Congress that started the 60? day clock running). And the only thing all agreed upon was a pretty good tax bill, critically dropping our corporate rate from highest in the industrialized world to competitive, and including an incentive to repatriate earnings in the first year. Amazingly, it punishes those in Blue states by limiting their tax credit for state and local taxes (SALT) to $10K (can’t remember the last time the Republicans were this vicious, going back to Nixon). Doesn’t hurt that the average family of 4 now has $100/month more to spend, not “crumbs” for them.

              Simply getting Obama’s boot off the neck of US businesses and to a degree consumers (Obamacare has been ameliorated, if not killed) has brought fantastic results.

              Externally, the entire establishment has been successfully fighting Trump’s attempts to limit illegal immigration, plus visa abuse (but he’s been able to stem the flood of legal “refugees”) Which we should note the 2nd most important part of this history record breaking invasion came from Ronaldus Magnus’ insane amnesty.

            • I didn’t express myself well. Let me be more specific:

              Mr. Read using Mr. Garrett’s twitter posts stating that members were streaming in as proof that the CoC was a good thing for membership is suspect, because I belive Mr. Garrett is biased..

              —- Second, unrelated, topic —-

              Full Disclosure: I came —| |— this close to voting for Trump. So please don’t take me for a eyes-shut, monkey screaming, Trump Hater.

              Truth from the mouth of a dog is still truth, so I judge him only on his policy records. I don’t disagree with some of his *premises* (e.g. Illegal immigration is illegal), but I don’t think his solutions are feasible.

              That’s as far as my interest in this topic goes. I don’t want to fork this conversation. Too important. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it.

    • > Meanwhile, mjg reports that now that Linux has a CoC, more people are becoming interested in kernel development:

      Yes, amazing how many people want the status of being a Linux contributor now that they don’t have to worry about being yelled at if their contributions suck.

      > And has promised to mentor one new kernel dev for every dev that leaves:

      Yeah, how many of those are going to be more productive than the people they replace? How many of them are even going to be positively productive?

      • Yes, amazing how many people want the status of being a Linux contributor now that they don’t have to worry about being yelled at if their contributions suck.

        That was, you know, the whole point of adopting a CoC in the first place!

        • You missed Eugine’s point. They want the status of being a Linux contributor without having to earn it by being good enough to get their stuff accepted on its own merits.

          • And that’s not O.K.

            The point of a COC should be that the people who are producing good code and happen to be Black/Female/Queer/Etc can be part of the project without having to put up with hateful bullshit. It should never allow a poor coder to contribute code (except possibly in cases where there’s an apprenticeship or internship system, but that’s a completely different issue, where presumably the code is being scrutinized and corrected.)

            • > And that’s not O.K.

              Then why do you keep advocating an approach that would have that as the end result.

            • Did Linus EVER harsh someone’s mellow for being a pole smoker with a permatan?

              Or is that more distraction?

            • And the problem here is that those you cite are being hypersensitized to offense by the grievance industry. In the world you’re trying to say lies at the end fo the CoC road, a reasonable person test would be applied.

              It ain’t gonna happen. Any CoC will be weaponized by the SJWs to require any “marginalized” person’s code must be accepted lest they be unfairly discriminated against and made to feel unsafe in the project. In essence, telling them no is “hateful bullshit”, according to them.

              No. Just no. Fuck that noise.

            • How do you know whether they are Black,Female, Queer? It was my understanding that personal details don’t have to be diverged when working on open-source projects. Correct me if I’m wrong,

    • > And has promised to mentor one new kernel dev for every dev that leaves:

      I don’t care how much “mentoring” is involved. You’re not going to start with a bunch of Shanley Kanes and wind up with Linuses or Ted Ts’os. Not for 30 years, anyway, even if the Shanleys had the chops to be kernel devs in the first place. Which they don’t.

      But sure, stick with your dream of the New Soviet Man…er…Person of Indeterminate Gender. I hope you have several Five Year Plans ready to go. You’re going to need them.

      • Uh?

        Shanley Kane was product manager at Basho in her mid 20s. Matthew Garrett is a high-ranking kernel hacker. So was Sage Sharp. So was Valerie Aurora. Before they left due to the toxicity that is.

        Like it or not, these are your new Linuses and Ted Ts’os.

          • Sharp was hired by Intel to write and maintain the driver for Intel’s USB 3 controller (XHCI), and did so, with lots of actual code. (See the history (“log”) of the xhci* files.)

            Somebody who did manage to wrestle Intel’s USB hardware into submission definitely deserved to be ranked as a kernel hacker.

            • Sharp was hired by Intel to write and maintain the driver for Intel’s USB 3 controller (XHCI), and did so, with lots of actual code.

              And after Sharp left, Intel had someone else doing the same job. I see no indication that the code suffered from Sharp leaving.

  36. Does anyone here have a list/walkthrough of all the things (and sources) needed to compile Linux from source for various platforms? I’m pretty sure it’s not just the core kernel code, right? You need drivers, base-OS software, etc.

    Now might be a good time to start backing things up, in case it vanishes from the internet in some political book-burning.

    • The drivers are all in the kernel.

      All the rest of it — libc, system utilities, compilers — are part of the GNU Project. Calm down — RMS may be a Chavista, but he’s also a dirty old man who likes to tell inappropriate sex jokes and is opposed to “restrictive” CoCs. That stuff’s not going anywhere.

      • I’m serious though: Does anyone here know where to start wrt. the process of rebuilding a functional linux distro from the source up? I don’t imagine it’s simple or easy, but I might like to start reading up on it.

        • You probably want to look at Linux From Scratch if you want to get your hands absolutely filthy or Gentoo if you want source-built but are happy to have a package manager handle the builds.

      • RMS is known to be a leftist, so it’s surprising to hear that he’s not on the social justice bandwagon. That having been said, if the FSF is officially anti-CoC, Linus should fork the kernel and officially join up with the GNU project to build the official GNU kernel.

        As a side effect of this, we’d finally be rid of all the pesky “GNU/Linux” crap because it would be just “GNU”. The kernel would presumably have a new name because of trademark issues. Maybe they could call it “GNU Freax” :)

        • GNU maintains a Linux fork called linux-libre which is basically mainline Linux with the nonfree bits stripped out. It’s the default kernel for Trisquel and I believe Guix as well.

        • As a side effect of this, we’d finally be rid of all the pesky “GNU/Linux” crap because it would be just “GNU”.

          Surely you jest. It’ll become PotteringOS/GNU, instead of its current fate of PotteringOS/Coralinux.

          • Based on my close personal observations of RMS in the 1980s (e.g. was a roommate when he started the Gnu Project), if he became a dictator like Hitler or Stalin, he’d be far worse than Hitler (who is trivially beaten by every (in)famous genocidal Communist dictator/regime), although the upper limit probably wouldn’t break Pol Pot’s.

    • I’ve never really thought about the problem before. I had always assumed some distro and its associated package servers would always be “out there”,

      I was fortunate to have the binaries of the last functional versions of truecrypt for linux when that vanished off the internet (and every supposed alternative and substitute left dangling was loaded with spyware and backdoors.)

    • You can just … download a copy of any Linux distribution and its source archive, too.

      There are basically infinite copies of all of those, thanks to bittorrent being the New Default for that (as I understand it, it’s been a while).

  37. I just came across a marvelous analogy while reading John S.D. Eisenhower’s 1969 The Bitter Woods: The Battle of the Bulge, a great compliment to Charles “Company Commander” Macdonald’s A Time for Trumpets. In the chapter on how our intelligence missed it, starting with our picture of German morale, there’s this gem on page 164 of the Da Capo Press paperback edition:

    On December 10 VIII Corps dubbed this one “All Things in Moderation”: “Scorpion West, morale-building news propaganda sheet of the German Army, enlightened its readers a few days ago with this statement: ‘Troops are authorized to liquidate commanders who order them to retreat. However, this privilege must not be abused.'”

    Those claiming anything good will come from CoCs are insisting in the face of every bit of evidence that this privilege of liquidating open source commanders will not be abused. I’m sure Ted Ts’o would like a word with them right now, if he wasn’t fighting to keep his job and career. That goes a thousand times more for obscure contributors who don’t have reputations like Torvalds’ and Ts’o’s.

    • I haven’t seen any evidence that Ts’o is, in fact, fighting for his career.

      And, looking into it further, I haven’t seen any real evidence that CoCs are being used in political purges of the type that we’re supposed to be scared of. Even in Opalgate, Coraline Ehmke’s detractors were far more toxic than she herself was. See: https://where.coraline.codes/blog/on-opalgate/

      Again, the Contributor Covenant is the standard for a code of conduct, adopted by major open source projects including Node, Go, Rust, Eclipse, Linux, and OpenGL/Vulkan. Show me data suggesting that code quality dropped after adopting the Contributor Covenant. Show me data suggesting that the makeup of the core team changed after adopting the Contributor Covenant.

      It doesn’t count if you manage to produce only one example. It doesn’t count if someone leaves out of paranoid fear of SJWs hiding in their closet. I’m looking for a consistent pattern of forced ousters.

      Till I see that, this all just looks like an unsubstantiated red scare.

      • I haven’t seen any evidence that Ts’o is, in fact, fighting for his career.

        Is there the slightest possibility you would at the moment, prior to his being liquidated from his TSB position or Goolag job?

        Till I see that, this all just looks like an unsubstantiated red scare.

        Given that you end your paean to only having the highest of standards for accepting this is damaging FOSS with a vicious lie … well, we can see where your sympathies and morals lie, you have seen the future and it works.

        You are a prime example of what’s behind the already mentioned Robert Conquest’s 2nd Law of Politics, “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

  38. http://lkml.org/lkml/2018/9/20/444

    Subject Re: A Plea to Unfuck our Codes of Conduct

    Regarding those who are ejected from the Linux Kernel Community after
    this CoC:

    Contributors can, at any time, rescind the license grant regarding their
    property via written notice to those whom they are rescinding the grant
    from (regarding their property (code)) .

    The GPL version 2 lacks a no-rescission clause (the GPL version 3 has
    such a clause: to attempt furnish defendants with an estoppel defense,
    the Linux Kernel is licensed under version 2, however, as are the past
    contributions).

    When the defendants ignore the rescission and continue using the
    plaintiff’s code, the plaintiff can sue under the copyright statute.

    Banned contributors _should_ do this (note: plaintiff is to register
    their copyright prior to filing suit, the copyright does not have to be
    registered at the time of the violation however)

    Additionally when said banned contributors joined the Linux team, they
    were under the impression that it was a meritocracy: in-fact this belief
    was stated or ratified by those within the governing body regarding
    Linux when the contributors began their work (whatever that body was at
    that time, it could have been simply Linus, or Linus and a few
    associates).

    The remuneration for the work was implied to be, or perhaps stated, to
    be fame as-well as a potential increase in the contributors stature, in
    addition to membership in the Linux Kernel club or association, or
    whatever it is that the Linux Kernel Community actually is (which a
    court may determine… it is something, suffice to say).

    Thusly for work, consideration was promised by (Linus? Others? There are
    years of mailing list archives with which to determine).

    And now that consideration has been clawed-back and the contributors
    image has been tarnished.

    Thus the worker did work, however the other side of the implied, or
    perhaps written (email memorandums), understanding has been violated
    (once the contributor has been banned under the new non-meritocratic
    “CoC”).

    Damages could be recovered under: breach of contract, quazi-contract,
    libel, false-light. (services rendered for the contractual claims,
    future lost income for the libel claims)

    In addition to copyright claims. (statutory damages, profits)

    For greatest effect, all rescission should be done at once in a bloc.
    (With other banned contributors).

    Contributors: You were promised something, you laboured for that
    promise, and now the promise has become a lie. You have remedies
    available to you now, as-well as in the close future .

    Additionally, regarding those who promoted the Code of Conduct to be
    used against the linux kernel contributors, knowing full well the effect
    it would have and desiring those effects; recovery for the ejected
    contributors via a tortious interference claim may be possible.

    • I wish the guy posting this stuff to LKML would shut up. Standing to the side of an argument reminding people they have a Big Red Button and implying that maybe they should push it is not helping.

      • It doesn’t help those throwing the old-timers out of the project.

        It does inform the contributors of their rights.

        Remeber: Anyone anti-feminist, not-pro-woman enough, not hateful of religions that allow child marriage enough, (ie: anyone that is pro Sunni-Islam or pro Old Testament law that allows men to have female children as brides), anyone that likes Hans Reiser and agrees with his act of self-help in the face of adultery… is being kicked out of the opensouce hobby by anglo-americans who oppose such views.

        Anglo-americans (“whites”) worship women.

        They do not worship YHWH. They are enemies of men globally.
        They destroy any and every pro-man culture and reduce men to the ever-warring dogs that have inhabited their own culture from the beginning.

        • Ugh, someone needs to get laid.

          On second thought, don’t. Because I’m afraid you might touch a kid, and if you do that you deserve to be torn apart by wild dogs.

          Y’know, I started wondering, briefly, if Mr. Killswitch were a double agent.

          If I were a chaotic evil social justice warlock and I were angry that I couldn’t get my way with Linux, I’d set fire to the whole thing as revenge — but do it in a way that affords me plausible deniability.

          Planting the killswitch idea in developers’ heads as an anon is one way I might consider. If so much as one developer butthurt about the CoC attempts to rescind their code, it’s over for Linux. That kind of shit — suddenly losing rights to or incurring liability for software their entire enterprise depends on — is a nightmare for corporate types, and they will run happily into the arms of a proprietary vendor who offers them indemnification. And Linux gets bumped right back to “hobby project for college kids’ dorm PCs” status, at best. And when that happens I get to gloat on Twitter that the anti-CoC side destroyed Linux, thus getting my revenge and further discrediting my enemies in one fell swoop.

          With posts like this, I’d get to say that they’re all woman-haters and paedophiles to boot.

          • “There is little evidence to justify the widespread assumption that willing participation in pedophilia hurts children.

            Granted, children may not dare say no to an older relative, or may not realize they could say no; in that case, even if they do not overtly object, the relationship may still feel imposed to them. That’s not willing participation, it’s imposed participation, a different issue. ”

            -Richard M. Stallman

            http://stallman.org/archives/2012-nov-feb.html#04_January_2013_%28Pedophilia%29

          • With respect, though, religions are not equal.

            Christianity, especially post-Enlightenment, is mostly about being a good person, living by example, and recognizing that God is the ultimate authority in the universe that you will have to answer to. Non-believers have the chance to repent and be forgiven and murdering them is strictly forbidden.

            It’s quite different from, say, Islam, that tells you to murder non-believers and go to extreme lengths to do so.

            I am not religious, but I am happy that Christianity was the model the United States drew inspiration from.

      • OTOH, I would say that [only because nobody should actually want to press the Big Red Button], quickly, explicitly, and publicly stating a “raze the city, salt the earth, then nuke the salt” option is more likely to keep tempers even.

        Level one: this is a public statement of a Mutually Assured Destruction ethos. “At least one of us is willing to blow everything up.” If this were the whole of the story, I would agree that the statement would be extremely worrying.

        Level two: by stating the most extreme case early, the post has generated a “price anchor” effect, making it so that whenever either side considers escalating this conflict, the first “enemy” response they will envision will be somebody triggering MAD. In theory, this directly creates (additional) psychological reluctance to escalate conflict… and thus could be beneficial.

        Level three: by making such an extreme claim, the post has ensured that the entire world is watching this conflict unfold. This increased scrutiny (again, in theory) in the public eye will also act as a dampener to any extreme behavior, MAD-linked, escalation, or otherwise, and will help to moderate any conflicts overall. Again, this makes the initial threat potentially long-term beneficial.

        I absolutely agree that if anyone does hammer the Big Red Button, the results would be nuclear catastrophe in the open source/free software community as a whole (and not just the Linux kernel); however, I cannot exclude the possibility that anon is playing at being a Henry Kissinger and aiming to actually keep the peace through threat of total war.

        • Ordinarily, I’d agree. But one of the sides in this conflict is comprised of SJWs–who are unhinged and usually don’t back down unless attacked directly. The mere threat of nuclear war ain’t enough for them. I fear that Vox Day is right–that it will actually come down to pressing the Big Red Button–and that the SJWs will not stop until the Button is pressed. For our sakes, I hope you are right.

          Tangentially, I’m now wondering if this really is all a Xanatos Gambit on the part of the proprietary software vendors…

          • The mere threat of nuclear war ain’t enough for them. I fear that Vox Day is right–that it will actually come down to pressing the Big Red Button–and that the SJWs will not stop until the Button is pressed. For our sakes, I hope you are right.

            Actually, Vox’s own stated belief about social justice activists would give the game-theory backing for this additional weight—specifically, that SJAs project their own flaws onto their opposition.

            I analyse the Hugo award “Sad Puppies” lists (and Vox’s “Rabid” modification) as the situation being [mostly] reversed: an attempt to infiltrate and claim an institution from social justice activists, rather than those activists doing the infiltration. And in that case, we know what the outcome was: there was a full willingness on the SJA side to press the button, and kill the awards. [Well, at least in the short term: “No Award” sweeping the board, even across several years, doesn’t really carry the same institution-ending power that a GPL revocation does.] So even if Vox doesn’t take this threat seriously he should believe the SJAs will, simply because their past behavior [when projected onto their opposition] indicates an easy willingness to tap dance on that button with glee.

            • > there was a full willingness on the SJA side to press the button, and kill the awards.

              Ugh, thanks for that reminder. They didn’t just nuke it, they applauded the nuking of it. They were so blinded about people they disagreed with winning something, they considered no one winning as a victory. Complete ethical and moral bankruptcy, top to bottom.

  39. The LKML archive website sucks, so I have to ask to be sure: is it really true that there hasn’t been a single response to ESR’s post?

        • Maybe my vocabulary sucks, but I found the use of the words “telos” and “ethos” confusing.

          In the second question near the end…

          Given our telos, do we have the most inclusive (least normative) ethos possible to achieve it?

          The word “inclusive” used this way seems particularly odd.

          It is impossible to quote the questions – they can’t be understood without the context of the whole piece.

      • It still tops the list of “hottest messages”, even the 1-hour list. That seems odd if no one is responding. Not sure what gives.

        • I suspect that many kernel devs simply don’t realize what the twats are up to. It will take time and some twatishness for this to change.

          You move when the time is right – now is not the time to push hard for a new CoC or a fork.

          We sorta gotta wait.

            • Maybe only days. We need another attack or two on senior devs because of something questionable they said years ago.

          • > You move when the time is right

            It’s called salami tactics, there will never be a single “right time”.

            • They slice off a couple more devs, and many of the rest will begin to wise up.

              Then it will be time for something more drastic.

          • Sorry to reply to myself like this, but my comment above, about moving when the time is right, should not have been a reply to the comment above it. I should have added my comment to the end of the comments.

            It was not about why there are no responses to ESR’s email. It certainly wasn’t a criticism of that email.

            Sorry.

            • Brian Marshall: Imagine if someone responded: it would be pure hubristic insolence.

              When ESR speaks, others listen and become worried, hushed tones are heard in the marble halls.

              The only greater priest is RMS .

              Linus doesn’t even get a three-letter name: he’s merely on the level of Putin and Stalin: a lower tier.

              • >Linus doesn’t even get a three-letter name: he’s merely on the level of Putin and Stalin: a lower tier.

                Don’t be silly. Triletterization or lack of it is a trivium compared to Linus’s achievements, and he probably would have gotten it if he had used “lbt” as a login.

                • Those who inspire the minds of the people, effect more change than any one individual engaging in the physicality of the thing.

                  Your book caused an avalanche.

        • Within the realm of US copyright jurisprudence: If you make it known to an adversary that you are going to take an action that will affect their rights, they can sue in federal court for a declaratory judgement regarding their rights.

          So if you send a Cease and Desist, they can go to federal court and see if it’s valid.
          This costs you in attorneys fees and can shorten timelines, so you need to be ready to follow up if you openly declare you are going to act on a copyright matter.

          Perhaps they are searching for the like-minded to act in concert rather than alone?

          Also one is silent out of reverence.
          What the hell can these… these coders…. SAY vs Eric S Raymond?
          Wouldn’t any utterance by them be insolence?

  40. Before Coraline Cancer CoC, we would eject someone actually disruptive that interfered with things. After, being disruptive in removing key developers was part of what the Coc was intended for.

  41. I am an interested outside observer of hacker culture who reads LWN.net and this blog almost daily, but does not follow the Linux kernel mailing list regularly. I have two questions about the relevant history of this week’s escalation.

    (1) How much public discussion, if any, has the Linux kernel mailing list received about any alleged shortcomings of the old Code of Conflict or any alleged benefits of replacing it with Coraline Ada Ehmke’s Contributor Covenant? Because to this casual observer, it looks as if the switch came out of left field and completely blindsided the developer community. What, if anything, am I missing about any prior discussions?

    (2) Assuming that I didn’t miss much, and bearing in mind that both the old code of conflict and the new contributor’s covenant are political documents setting the ground rules of acceptable behavior within the kernel community: This overnight change seems rather as if Congress swapped out the United-States constitution to adopt the Canadian constitution without so much as a hearing in Congress, let alone ratification by the States or the people.

    Now, I know the Linux project is run as a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy, but I still have to ask: How much precedent, if any, is there in the open-source world for nullifying and replacing a project’s ground rules so abruptly and with so little community involvement?

    • The discussion took place three years ago. If you want to call into question Linus’s decisions without community involvement, call into question his being a stubborn ass and adopting the weaksauce “Code of Conflict” three years ago, not his decision recently to give in to community pressure and adopt the standard code of conduct for the open source community — the Contributor Covenant.

      • Standards are wonderful things. There are so many to choose from.

        Forcing Ehmke’s Covenant on the hacker community as the One True CoC is as evil as forcing Windows on it as the One True OS.

      • Jeff Read > […] call into question his being a stubborn ass and adopting the weaksauce “Code of Conflict” three years ago, not his decision recently to give in to community pressure and adopt the standard code of conduct […]

        Not mutually exclusive — I’m an equal-opportunity, all-embracing into-question-caller. But I have to start somewhere, and these are the two questions I’m happening to start with. So, would you mind answering them?

    • Now, I know the Linux project is run as a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy, but I still have to ask: How much precedent, if any, is there in the open-source world for nullifying and replacing a project’s ground rules so abruptly and with so little community involvement?

      I’d say dictatorships are only benevolent when they at least agree with a community consensus. Revolts happen otherwise (they have happened in various other projects, such as Emacs and GCC).

  42. There is one aspect that hasn’t been discussed yet. ESR wrote that hackerdom is inherently non-local, can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. This also means it is fairly multicultural. If I can infer from generic trends in IT, I would say while it is West-heavy, East Asia, India and Eastern Europe / Russia play an important role. Did anyone ever give a thought about trying to push them to behave like someone from San Francisco? Because this CoC is really the bluest of US blue-state culture.

    On a more meta level, the way to check if a liberal is sane or not is whether he admits there is a basic incompatibility between having feminist/pro-LGBTQ values and multicultural values, because many cultures are even less interested in feminism and LGBTQ than white conservatives. In this sense many cultures can be defined as ultra-conservative.

    Jon Haidt for example admits this, he says he became a centrist when he saw his hosts in India really had no idea of gender equality, women would serve dinner and then not eat with the men, and yet it looked like a loving and functional family. So either push feminism on them which means disrespecting their culture and effectively saying white culture is better, or deal with the riddle why only brown people are allowed to be backwards on matters on gender but whites not. Eventually this made him move into the center.

    Others, like Freddy DeBoer at least hint at noticing this problem exists.

    It is impossible to make the same space “safe” (read: emotionally safe, that means: comfortable) for women and LGBTQ and for all cultures. Something has to give. You either have to demand that every contributor, no matter their culture, behave like a white liberal from San Fran and pretty much unironically declare your cultural superiority, or feminists and LGBTQ people will face remarks they won’t like. Or you use a double standard, of course that is always possible, really that would be worst of both worlds.

    • “You either have to demand that every contributor, no matter their culture, behave like a white liberal from San Fran and pretty much unironically declare your cultural superiority…”

      Or you say “Hey, this is a professional environment, leave your personal stuff at home and don’t discuss anything but the code.”

    • TheDividualist> If I can infer from generic trends in IT, I would say while it is West-heavy, East Asia, India and Eastern Europe / Russia play an important role. Did anyone ever give a thought about trying to push them to behave like someone from San Francisco?

      Having been born and raised in Germany (though not quite Eastern Europe), the code-of-conduct business strikes me as part of an entire cult around mission statements, corporate declarations of ‘core values’, and the like. Me and most of my colleagues regard this cult as (1) utter bullshit and (2) distinctively American bullshit. (It’s dissipating into our culture through multinational corporation who import it from America, and now local corporations are following suit because “it’s what the multinationals do”.)

      So yeah, if you wanted to make a case that the code-of-conduct stuff is American cultural imperialism, we’d probably agree with you. But we tend to find the bullshit part more offensive than the American-cultural-imperialism part. (“We” being physicists and engineers, the people I studied and work with.)

          • America does not allow /other countries/ to allow their men to marry young girls.

            It just bombs everyone that does, or attempts economic coercion against them, spreading it’s own civil religion across the globe (indistinguishable from the British actions in the 19th century).

            Some years ago it was even arm-twisting Japan over cartoons, threatening economic consequences a ban wasn’t put forth.

        • Z> What is your germanic opinion on America not letting you marry little girls?

          That unlike the cult of ritualistic corporate value-proclamations, (1) such a prohibition isn’t bullshit, and (2) America hardly invented the idea of protecting children against getting married off by their parents — as Eugenie Nier rightly points out.

        • You didn’t ask me, but I am also Euro. No idea who wants to marry little girls, except Muslims of whom I think shouldn’t even be here, mostly. My politics is peacefully bribing them to move home. As a first step. The next steps would be less peaceful. I don’t care what they do in their own countries, though.

          If you want something interesting, ask me about guns.

      • Having been born and raised in Germany (though not quite Eastern Europe), the code-of-conduct business strikes me as part of an entire cult around mission statements, corporate declarations of ‘core values’, and the like.

        I agree completely. The believe that just adding a text somewhere will solve problems is not shared widely in the world.

        I see parallel with contract law. US contracts run for pages and pages trying to cover every eventuality. Not so in Germany or many other European countries. Somehow, these shorter contracts make people feel much more secure than the long ones in the US.

        The same for CoC. Writing down you do not condone sexual harassment makes the reader wonder what kind of people she is getting involved with if they have to be told that. If they really need to read this in a Code of Conduct, they are in need of much more involved counseling.

        This reminds me of the moronic questionnaires visitors of the USA have to fill out about not planning terrorist attacks or other criminal activities. As the say, “Only in America”.

        • This is literally the first time we are on the same page. Yes. This is how it is here.

          Sometimes I use consulting companies for stuff I don’t know well enough, who just quote me an hourly fee per e-mail, I reply “OK” and they start working, often in a testing database which is a copy of live data 2 months ago, and our lawyerish guys will sort out the paperwork, like contracts and NDA sometime later on. They start working without any liability put on paper. And in some extreme cases this even happened on live systems – there is a fire, someone needs to put it out.

          Or at least we used to, before the new data protection stuff, the GDPR. Now if the database contains personal names and addresses of customers… I don’t want to talk about this now, because I would be tempted to write a long rant, all I can say is that if you work in the EU, with databases, and you are not pissed off to high heavens by all the uncertainity of the GDPR, you probably don’t know all the potential legal risks it means.

          • I don’t want to talk about this now, because I would be tempted to write a long rant, all I can say is that if you work in the EU, with databases, and you are not pissed off to high heavens by all the uncertainity of the GDPR, you probably don’t know all the potential legal risks it means.

            If you are pissed off by the GDPR, it probably means you’ve been playing fast and loose with customers’ PII, in a way that you shouldn’t have been, only now getting away with it won’t be so easy.

            In the USA we don’t have a GDPR, but we do have HIPAA, which affords similar personal-data protections for health-related companies only. HIPAA compliance is taken very seriously, but ultimately it boils down to: don’t leak personal info, accidentally or on purpose, and take special care to safeguard data at rest and in transit against being leaked in the event of a breach.

            Given that Facebook was recently caught with its pants down, security-wise, to the point of potentially leaking 50 million accounts’ worth of user info, I say the sooner a GDPR equivalent becomes law throughout the OECD, the better.

        • I am still weirded out that you and I are on the same page about something, so maybe some political background.

          You are basically like Bernie Sanders. Bernie was the candidate who wanted something like Euroleftism. Trump is in fact similar to my homies, Salvini, Wilders, Strache, Orban, and back when it seemed it is Bernie and Trump who are in play many observers remarked that US politics is looking surprising European in this case.

          Bernie lost because he was too much Euroleftist-like. Class above all, economic egalitarianism above all.

          Hillary won the nomination because she actually represented current_year US blue-state culture closer:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/02/13/clinton-in-nevada-not-everything-is-about-an-economic-theory/

          “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow — and I will, if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will — would that end racism?”

          “No!” shouted her audience.

          “Would that end sexism?”

          “No!”

          That is the difference. You, Bernie, and other Euro-style leftists, I would also mention Jeff Read here, are primarily economic leftists, and the culture war for you is secondary.

          Hillary, with her excellent Wall Street connections, represented “woke capitalism”. Or to not confuse the libertarians here, “woke corporatism”. An attitude that is entirely in line with the major corporations interests, but waging the culture war. Which major corporations like Nike actually accept and wage with her.

          This CoC is “woke corporatism”. This comes from that kind of blue-state culture that has no problem with corporate capitalism as such but wants it to bow to their cultural demands.

          You, Winter, are Bernie. The CoC is Hillary. Bernie’s leftism was kinda European, because mostly economic. Hillary represents how the main US universities work, how people in SF think, how the mainstream of US liberalism works. It is different.

          • You nailed it.

            In order to be properly and effectively enforced, the CoC requires a governance structure that resembles a corporation, with a specially appointed ombudsman or board who functions much like the HR department of a company and determines who gets to stay and who gets “fired” — which most corporate-originated open source projects such as Node or Kubernetes can be assumed to have.

            One of the things that Ted Tso brought up — twice — is that the Linux kernel development workflow is not set up this way, that Linus and his sub-maintainers basically merge patches according to their own discretion alone. And that while the Technical Advisory Board is listed as the point of contact for CoC complaints, their only capacity is to advise. They’re not Linux’s HR department. They don’t have the authority to fire or to sanction contributors. It is my belief that the kernel community was deliberately kept this way — explicitly non-corporate — to avoid the much more imminent threat of entryism from hostile corporations (e.g., Microsoft) and government entities (e.g., the NSA). Adopting the CoC did not magically change this, which is a big part of why I feel its negative effect on kernel development will be small to none.

            Of course, what you’re seeing now is demands from the dangerhairs to fundamentally alter Linux governance to fit their needs, so that sufficient screeching can get a kernel contributor, maintainer, or even Linus himself, fired for not being woke enough. Their latest trick is putting out a call to disgruntled former Linux Foundation employees to produce dirt on their former employer. If they cannot collect scalps, leverage with which to twist arms will suffice.

            It will, in the end, be very difficult to fire Linus, however. Hint: To whom is the trademark “Linux” registered? Whoever that is, has ultimate authority on what can be called “Linux”.

            I think people like that prefer corporatism because corporations are themselves mini-dictatorships (and often not benevolent, even when they adopt mantras like “Don’t be evil”), which create opportunities to exert absolute power. Having power when you are used to being powerless can be an intoxicating drug. Thankfully, most of the people working on Linux are still content to exert power over computers and machines, and leave people alone.

            • > It will, in the end, be very difficult to fire Linus,

              They don’t need to. Putting him on an indefinite hiatus or kicking him upstairs to a position with no actual power will suffice. Look what they did to Jimbo Wales at Wikipedia.

        • I see parallel with contract law. US contracts run for pages and pages trying to cover every eventuality. Not so in Germany or many other European countries. Somehow, these shorter contracts make people feel much more secure than the long ones in the US.

          This much I will agree on being a problem in the USA. It has triggered an extensive train of thought for me, that I’m too lazy to enunciate properly. There’s a reason why Shakespeare’s “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” line is so famous, and so misunderstood. There’s a tension between what’s true in that line as popularly misunderstood, and what’s true in value of the Rule of Law, as illustrated in a more correct interpretation of that line, or Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, or any of the many essays on the topic of the Rule of Law that are so fundamental to American politics. But I think this fetishization of the Rule of Law is a significant part of what’s led to this problem in the USA.

          This reminds me of the moronic questionnaires visitors of the USA have to fill out about not planning terrorist attacks or other criminal activities. As the say, “Only in America”.

          Which reminds me in turn of opening of G. K. Chesterton’s What I saw in America:

          When I went to the American consulate to regularise my passports, … They put in my hands a form to be filled up, to all appearance like other forms I had filled up in other passport offices. But in reality it was very different from any form I had ever filled up in my life. … One of the questions on the paper was, ‘Are you an anarchist?’ To which a detached philosopher would naturally feel inclined to answer, ‘What the devil has that to do with you? Are you an atheist?’ along with some playful efforts to cross-examine the official about what constitutes an ???? [Greek: archê]. Then there was the question, ‘Are you in favour of subverting the government of the United States by force?’ Against this I should write, ‘I prefer to answer that question at the end of my tour and not the beginning.’ The inquisitor, in his more than morbid curiosity, had then written down, ‘Are you a polygamist?’ The answer to this is, ‘No such luck’ or ‘Not such a fool,’ according to our experience of the other sex. But perhaps a better answer would be that given to W. T. Stead when he circulated the rhetorical question, ‘Shall I slay my brother Boer?’—the answer that ran, ‘Never interfere in family matters.’ But among many things that amused me almost to the point of treating the form thus disrespectfully, the most amusing was the thought of the ruthless outlaw who should feel compelled to treat it respectfully. I like to think of the foreign desperado, seeking to slip into America with official papers under official protection, and sitting down to write with a beautiful gravity, ‘I am an anarchist. I hate you all and wish to destroy you.’ Or, ‘I intend to subvert by force the government of the United States as soon as possible, sticking the long sheath-knife in my left trouser-pocket into Mr. Harding at the earliest opportunity.’ Or again, ‘Yes, I am a polygamist all right, and my forty-seven wives are accompanying me on the voyage disguised as secretaries.’ There seems to be a certain simplicity of mind about these answers; and it is reassuring to know that anarchists and polygamists are so pure and good that the police have only to ask them questions and they are certain to tell no lies.

          It continues at some length on this topic, and IMO is well worth reading.

  43. Pingback: Linux vulnerável: Desenvolvedores ameaçam a plataforma

  44. lkml is so horribly designed it hurts my eyes. I know it’s a unofficial archive, but jeez, using tables in the sourcecode for layout and those color choices and everything. Someone should update this ugly mess.

    • I eagerly await the modern, React-enabled version. My personal machine has eight cores, some of which are thirsty for work…

  45. ???? Replace the Beams with Rotten Timbers: Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training.

    • (thirty six strategems, sucessfully used against 40,000 opensource projects)
      (since programmers are unread, they know nothing of them)
      (opensource is effectively finished in the west)

  46. The free software conservancy has tendered its response:
    http://sfconservancy.org/news/2018/sep/26/GPLv2-irrevocability/
    http://copyleft.org/guide/comprehensive-gpl-guidech8.html#x11-540007.4

    “”
    “The GPLv2 have several provisions that, when taken together, can be construed as an irrevocable license from each contributor. ”
    “”

    It cites:

    ” That license granted to downstream is irrevocable, again provided that the downstream user complies with the license terms: “[P]arties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance” (GPLv2§4). ”

    However this is disingenuous

    The full text of section 4 is as follows:

    “”
    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
    except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt
    otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
    void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
    However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
    this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
    parties remain in full compliance.
    “”

    The “You” in section 4 is speaking of the licensee regarding sub-licensees, it is not speaking to the licensor/copyright-holder.

    IE: if the licensee loses his license, through operation of the automatic-revocation provisions, the sub-licensees do not also lose their licenses.

    IE: The language is disclaiming a chain topography for license distribution, and instead substituting a hub-and-spoke topography (all licenses originating from the copyright holder, not the previous-in-line)

    GPLv3 added a no-rescission clause for a reason: the reason being to attempt (_attempt_) to create an estoppel defense for the licensees against the licensor. You will notice that Eben Moglen never speaks on these issues. He knows the weaknesses vis a vis the US copyright regime.

    Section 6 further clarifies the hub-and-spoke model:
    “”
    6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
    Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
    original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
    these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further
    restrictions on the recipients’ exercise of the rights granted herein.
    You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
    this License.
    “”

    The memorandum posted then goes on to a discussion of estoppel, detrimental reliance, etc; noting that users may have relied on the software and their licenses may be estopped from being revoked from said users since doing so might cause them unanticipated loss. This is speaking of already published, existent, versions of the program used by end users.

    The memorandum seems to ignore what happens to “upstream” once said project receives a revocation notice. Thought it may be possible that users of a published piece of software may have defenses to license revocation, the same is not true regarding the rescinded property vis-a-vis future prospective versions of the software nor of future prospective licensees of said software.

    That is: once the grant to use the code in question is rescinded, future versions of the software may not use that code. Current users of the software may be-able to raise an estoppel or detrimental reliance defense regarding the current published software, however the programmers working on the next version of said software cannot continue to use the property in future versions of the software (such would be a copyright violation once the gratuitous license is rescinded by the grantor).

    Additionally, prospective-licensees, once the grant was rescinded and such was published, would have no same-such estoppel defense (not being user-licensees at the time of revocation).

    (Ignoring this eventuality in the published memorandum, is, of-course, by design.
    (Now, to note: the free-software movement is focused on the freedom of the user, not the progenitors of the software, so one could certainly say that ignoring some developer-focused analysis is consistent with their prerogative…)

    • > That is: once the grant to use the code in question is rescinded, future versions of the software may not use that code.

      I thought this was the obvious case from my own understanding of GPLv2. If contributor rescinds copyright to contributed code from Linux, no future release of the Linux kernel may include that copyrighted code – previous distributions are safe from this removal. What constitutes a “release” gets tricky, of course. Does it have to be pulled from all “official” git repositories at the commit level, or does it just have to be a single git commit excising the code in question? Do previously-archived upstream tarballs of the source need to have it removed? I imagine not. I suppose the key bit is what entity is actually considered the responsible party.

      DVCS adds a huge wrinkle here, I think.

    • “the free-software movement is focused on the freedom of the user, not the progenitors of the software”

      RMS basically does not believe programmers should benefit economically from selling their programs. Of course the FSF is going to ignore the developer in any further analysis. That’s why programmers who adhere to the Stallmanite line are basically cutting their own throats.

      • Is that an over-simplification of his positions? I’m only really up on them circa 1983 to ~1986, but at that time he felt the government should be funding all programmers (seriously), and it’s a corollary of what it takes to make copyleft, “free” software that programmers can’t make money from the direct selling of software. But he was perfectly OK with charging money for consulting. Don’t know if Gnu paper manuals were sold at cost….

        And now, lots of programmers get paid by companies to do copyleft, FSF blessed or thereabouts software. Which further restricts the freedoms of programmers, but as you begin with, for him it’s all about user freedom, everything else including software quality is subordinate to that. Which is where I primarily part company with him, caring very much about quality.

        • I had a reply that appears to have been eaten so I’ll try to reconstruct it from memory.

          > But he was perfectly OK with charging money for consulting. Don’t know if Gnu paper manuals were sold at cost….

          This creates a perverse incentive for contributors to open source to make the code and user interface as convoluted as possible. After all, if it’s easy to use, you don’t need consultants.

          > And now, lots of programmers get paid by companies to do copyleft, FSF blessed or thereabouts software.

          The main way to make money from paying programmers to work on copyleft projects is to commoditize one’s complement. Thus we tend to end up with monopolies elsewhere in the stack.

          • Eric, any particular reason your software memoryholes any comments that directly link to or even mention the site I indirectly linked to above?

            • >Eric, any particular reason your software memoryholes any comments that directly link to or even mention the site I indirectly linked to above?

              Probably Akismet, the big collective Bayesian spam filter WordPpress offers, thinks the link is a strong spam sign.

              • Yeah, it’s seriously complicated and opaque. Most of my ones with embedded links go through, but they’re often links to Wikipedia. The one I most cared about (“All Things in Moderation”) had links to two books on Amazon, but the barest ones, e.g. no chance they could earn me money as an affiliate. And something about that message as I was composing it forced it into moderation, even when I removed the links and/or the stronger language, or reset my IP address and cleared all this blog’s cookies.

          • But he was perfectly OK with charging money for consulting….

            This creates a perverse incentive for contributors to open source to make the code and user interface as convoluted as possible. After all, if it’s easy to use, you don’t need consultants.

            Well, RMS infamously doesn’t care about software product quality, but user freedom as he defines it. Our host and I strongly disagree with him on this point, one of the reasons we’re much more OSS rather than FSS.

            • I’m not sure RMS sees a real difference between “users” and “programmers.” I think in his mind all users are potential programmers.

              • Ah, of course, as a Leftist, he’s a blank slater. I wonder how many newbies he’s tried to teach programming?

    • It says:
      “Parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.”

      Which means that the License cannot be terminated by an act of the contributor, only by acts of the user.

      One right granted in the license is the right to License the work to other parties under the same conditions. So, if the contributor does not allow new users to use his contribution, anyone else who has the works can do so.

      The whole point of the GPLv2 was to prevent contributors from ever retracting the work from its users. If that is shown to be possible, the GPLv2 has failed miserably.

      • The licence from Linux to the world is GPL 2.0. It cannot be revoked as long as it is complied with.

        But the software that forms Linux is composed of many pieces that are owned by their authors, it even says in the top of the files (for example) ‘Copyright Intel 2008’.

        So what is the relationship between a contributor and Linux? What says a contributor cannot demand that Linux stop distributing their code, at least in future revisions? Be interesting to know. I hope it never comes to anything, but there’s definitely a bad smell.

        It’s not uncommon for people who own software to release it both under GPL and under other licences, Oracle with Java for instance. Which does imply they could cease the GPL distribution. For example. Anyway nothing to do with Linux as a whole being distributed under the GPL

      • Gnu GPL version 2, section 0:
        “Each licensee is addressed as “you”. ”

        The “you” is not referring to the licensor (copyright owner). It is referring to the licensees and then future sub-licensees/additional-licensees receiving the work from said previous licensee.

        It is independently clear from the context of the clauses if you read them in full.

        …and then section 0 comes around and makes it _explicit_ that “you” refers to the licensee. (if you had any doubt)

        Additionally, you should know that the copyright owner is not bound by the gratuitous license he proffers to potential licensees regarding his property. The licensees are bound to his terms: he is the owner. They take at his benefaction.

        GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
        TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

        0. This License applies to any program or other work which contains
        a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed
        under the terms of this General Public License. The “Program”, below,
        refers to any such program or work, and a “work based on the Program”
        means either the Program or any derivative work under copyright law:
        that is to say, a work containing the Program or a portion of it,
        either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated into another
        language. (Hereinafter, translation is included without limitation in
        the term “modification”.) Each licensee is addressed as “you”.

  47. Hi Eric,
    Thanks for your article.

    Based on the ideas here, I tried a hacky attempt at writing a “Code of Conduct” that incorporates in full BOTH the Code of Conflict and the Contributor Covenant. So to be fair it is actually a combination of 3 documents, this article being the third.

    Would you mind giving it a lookover? As well as the code itself, the rationale for the changes and the FAQ. I hope it isn’t too much to ask.

    https://github.com/madumlao/code-of-conducting-conflict/

    I believe a code like this (that incorporates all the good stuff) has a greater chance of success at replacing the Contributor Covenant than just demanding it get taken down. I mean from a purely technical standpoint… I just added features to both.

    • Any contributor covenant is looking the gift horse in the mouth.
      It is to say “Oh you want to be ALLOWED to give freely, You must submit (and by submit we do not mean your patch)”

      It is completely insulting to any man, no matter what is contained in it.

        • > Essentially replacing one form of “inequitably distributed privilege” with another.

          No. Read what you’re commenting about before you run your mouth.

          This is a passage from the Contributor Covenant that suspiciously picks and chooses which protected classes to privilege:

          > In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

          It is problematic because it uses language that is politically associated with liberals/democrats, selects which classes to protect against (political affiliation, nationality, alliances are conspicously not present), and requires any new discovered classes have to vie for political power to be included.

          This is the equivalent passage in the Code of Conducting Conflict:
          > In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, FULL STOP.

          • “requires any new discovered classes have to vie for political power to be included”

            Excellent point. Expresses what I was getting at much better.

              • I think it’s a good first draft. You’ve obviously put some thought into it which shows particularly in the FAQ and Changes pages. I like the omission of a laundry list of protected classes: as you correctly identify in comments here, such lists end up implying anyone not on the list is fair game. I heartily approve of the demands that de-escalation be the first response and that the complained-against be able to defend themselves.

                Is the intention that any group that adopts the code provide their own glossary? it would still be possible to game this code via differing definitions of such words as ‘civil’ and ‘professional’.

      • > Any contributor covenant is looking the gift horse in the mouth.
        It is to say “Oh you want to be ALLOWED to give freely, You must submit (and by submit we do not mean your patch)”

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is already enshrined in the Code of Conflict and the informal kernel practice. If your upstream doesn’t like your patch, tough luck, no matter how good it is.

        The real mitigating factor preventing abuse is trust. Not enforced trust, but genuine trust, born of a mutual understanding of the history of the person with the project. We didn’t “elect” the upstream maintainers, they “became” the upstream maintainers because of the fact that they were contributing better than everyone else. This is essentially why it’s known as a meritocracy.

        > It is completely insulting to any man, no matter what is contained in it.

        This is not the same as the contributor covenant. I’ve taken _very_ great pains to disarm its fangs. I urge you to have a look.

        https://github.com/madumlao/code-of-conducting-conflict/blob/master/changes.md

        It disarms the fangs of the Code of Conduct by including:
        – statement of telos
        – emphasis on human treatment instead of rules
        – removal of protected (political) classes
        – emphasis on de-escalation (enforcement as a last resort)
        – encourage ownership of contributions
        – discourage deletory actions
        – limitation of Code of Conduct scope
        – major emphasis on due process / rights of the accused

        and a bunch of other subtleties. I urge you to give it a chance.

        • “Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is already enshrined in the Code of Conflict and the informal kernel practice. If your upstream doesn’t like your patch, tough luck, no matter how good it is.”

          The “Code of Conflict” is a very new thing, I remember it being proffered seemingly only yesterday.

          If you want a man’s gratis contribution, you do not burden him with social diktats – no matter what they are. In the past men would kill each-other over such slights (they had alot more testosterone and will-power back then: since they actively moved rather than sat in stasis all the live long day). It is a social power move of dominance.

          • > The “Code of Conflict” is a very new thing, I remember it being proffered seemingly only yesterday.

            You are mis-remembering the Code of Conflict for the Contributor Covenant (please do not refer to the Contributor Covenant as THE Code of Conduct).

            https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=ddbd2b7ad99a418c60397901a0f3c997d030c65e

            The Code of Conflict is only an informal writing of the conflict resolution part of longstanding kernel practice. It was commited into the kernel in 2015. The reason why it is identified with the kernel process is precisely because it was “a basic guide” that assumed that the kernel process already existed as-is.

            The Contributor Covenant is a political tool promoted in more recent times and has had a different, troubled history.

            My code captures IN ITS ENTIRETY the Code of Conflict.

            > If you want a man’s gratis contribution, you do not burden him with social diktats – no matter what they are.

            You have a fantasy-land conception of what has been going on in the kernel the past couple decades. It has ALWAYS been a social process with implicit rules. You don’t just push code and it magically appears in the kernel and everyone grovels at your feet for the joy of having had you participate. You have to get past a maintainer who’ll get past a lieutenant, who’ll get past Linus, each of whom had roughly escalating standards and potentiality to get you to fix your shit.

            If you don’t understand this dynamic you are not qualified to have this discussion.

  48. Let’s not mistake ‘couched in neutral language’ for ‘not trying to convince people’. Your essay pretends these assumptions are true, and the only relevant assumptions:

    * that a group’s shared rules (ethoses) come exclusively from a group’s shared purpose (telos)
    * that successful groups have only the minimum of rules needed to achieve the shared purpose
    * that you can only judge a group by its success in its shared purpose

    Notice the implication, which is wrong: that group rules do not come from shared values, or from balancing the group’s purpose with the needs of its members.

    You then invite us to ask ourselves which shared rules do and don’t flow from these assumptions. You already know the answer to that. You do not openly state your desired outcome, but you push for it via ‘framing’: introducing assumptions that lead there, and hoping we don’t question the assumptions you introduced.

    Your argumentation entirely fails to address the actual questions at hand:

    * what are the benefits and drawbacks, to the shared purpose and to group members, of adding the proposed code of conduct to our shared rules?
    * what are the benefits and drawbacks, to the shared purpose and to group members, of the current situation?

    • What you’re calling “assumptions” aren’t, really. They’re historically observed regularities in the behavior of successful groups,

      >Your argumentation entirely fails to address the actual questions at hand:

      Deliberately so. Before you can answer those questions, you have to have firm grip on what the group’s telos is. I want readers to consider that question.

  49. Not going to get any help or mercy from Linus, per excerpts from an email he sent to the BBC, he’s virtue signaling hard:

    Because I may have my reservations about excessive political correctness, but honestly, I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum on the internet that think it’s OK to be a white nationalist Nazi, and have some truly nasty misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic behaviour. And those people were complaining about too much political correctness too, and in the process just making my public stance look bad.

    • He also said “technically wrong is still technically wrong” and that he will continue to evaluate patches by technical criteria only.

      The Linux kernel process is designed to be somewhat entryism-resistant. This is doubtless because the developers have had to deal with the threat of entryism from far more malicious entities with far more resources than General Aurora, Commander Sharp, and the Hashtag Army could ever muster. Think Microsoft or the NSA.

      (I mean, Aurora couldn’t even keep the Ada Initiative together.)

      My advice to you is settle down, suck it up, and see what happens. There may come a time when Linus reaches his Captain Picard moment, but that is not today.

      • He also said “technically wrong is still technically wrong” and that he will continue to evaluate patches by technical criteria only.

        Except for, you know, the whole point that he’s not doing this right now, and won’t in theory return to it prior to reeducation. A lot can happen in that time, there’s every possibility he’ll never return to major level of influence over the development of the kernel.

        The Linux kernel process is designed to be somewhat entryism-resistant.

        Which just blatantly, utterly failed, there’s every chance that within the next few years the warp core will go boom. And you can keep your “triumph of hope over experience” advice to yourself, me, I’m about to install and smoke test the motherboard that just got delivered for my OpenBSD testbed.

        • I synced up my NetBSD tree recently on the off chance that motherboard-frying patches find their way into Linux solely on the strength of their authors being transfeminine Xhosa little people. But mainly because I like NetBSD, and hacking NetBSD is way easier and more fun than hacking Linux.

          We’re still a long ways off from the warp core blowing up, though, as Ted Ts’o pointed out a couple of times on lkml. And I don’t thing Greg Kroah-Hartman has any lower technical standards than Linus.

          By the way, NetBSD has an official git mirror now, and as I understand it that’s largely due to the efforts of Eric S. Raymond (following Joerg Sonnenberger’s partial repo conversion). I disagree with you strongly on many things, and I know I piss you off sometimes, but for whatever it’s worth… Eric, you have my thanks.

    • Linus cannot be this stupid. This increasingly sounds like a beaten man having his pen-holding hand be guided by those of his interrogators.

      To piggy-back off Mr. Read’s comment immediately above, this is Picard agreeing with the Cardassian about the number of lights.

      • Guess you know him and his character or lack thereof better than me, which would not be difficult. To me, it rings true, we’ve seen too many Leftists do this without the level of coercion you’re positing. Leftism is a hell of a drug.

        • > To me, it rings true, we’ve seen too many Leftists do this without the level of coercion you’re positing.

          Coercion wears many masks, and I am being literary not literal.
          Social sanction wields a heavy club.

          • “Write this or no more 1.6 million a year: and you’ll need it if you want to stay out of jail after the divorce: your wife is accustomed to a certain level of comfort don-cha-know”

      • The Dictator cannot draw a salary from the state.
        He must garnish his benefit from the existence of the state itself.

        Once he is rewarded monetary remuneration from the state,
        the clerics of the state enter into a position of control against the dictator:
        having both propaganda leverage against him, in addition to control of his comforts.

        The Dictator is no-longer the state: only a beneficiary thereof.

  50. As has been stated in easily accessible terms elsewhere:
    “Most courts hold that simple, non-exclusive licenses with unspecified durations that are silent on revocability are revocable at will. This means that the licensor may terminate the license at any time, with or without cause.” +

    Version 2 of the GPL specifies no duration, nor does it declare that it is non-revocable by the grantor.

    (Also note: A perpetual license may violate the rule against perpetuities in various jurisdictions where it is applied not only to real property but additionally to personal property (and the like), which is why the GPL-3’s term of duration is set as the duration of copyright on the program (and not “forever”))

    +[https://www.sidley.com/en/insights/newsupdates/2013/02/the-terms-revocable-and-irrevocable-in-license-agreements-tips-and-pitfalls]

  51. > Every group of cooperating humans has a telos, a mutually understood purpose towards which they are working (or playing).

    > … it *is* in fact a hijacking of the group’s telos …

    > 1. What is our telos?

    How about a third question:

    3. What is their telos? 1 and 3 are not compatible.

    • > How about a third question:
      3. What is their telos? 1 and 3 are not compatible.

      You’ve picked up on a clever trap in the OP, which is that #3 is implicit in #1. #1 is daring people to actually articulate their teloi. Even if they don’t specifically respond, their brains are now processing your proposed #3 by considering #1. It does this without explicitly presupposing multiple opposing sides. Anyone who is operating with the destructive teloi, and who are reasonably honest with themselves, will then be faced with grappling with that fact.

      • >You’ve picked up on a clever trap in the OP, which is that #3 is implicit in #1. #1 is daring people to actually articulate their teloi. Even if they don’t specifically respond, their brains are now processing your proposed #3 by considering #1. It does this without explicitly presupposing multiple opposing sides. Anyone who is operating with the destructive teloi, and who are reasonably honest with themselves, will then be faced with grappling with that fact.

        Correct. And nicely summarized.

  52. in esr’s usual pompous manner, he invokes telos and ethos. I, am not as pompous in his devious manner. If you see any Code Of Conduct, withdraw, lawsuit.
    If you think you’ll just hunker down and let pol take its course, remember, the world is what we make of it.
    #linuxgate

    btw, did rms spoke about this? he, too cowardly n out of touch. his job today is just to prevent tech progress of gnu emacs.

    • btw, did rms spoke about this? he, too cowardly n out of touch. his job today is just to prevent tech progress of gnu emacs.

      And tightly tied to this, tech progress of GCC.

  53. CoCo is, of course, a blatant takeover attempt from the usual screeching socialist crowd.
    Because that’s what it was from the start.
    And because introduction of behind-the-curtain inquisition (which every contributor must unfailingly appease both on- and off- project as their peon) cannot possibly be anything else.
    And should Linux belong to Trigglypuffs and Coralinas, well… it’s the same crowd which prioritizes demonstrations of loyalty over competence, promotes censorship and witch hunts, routinely indulges in false-flagging, and so on (not even starting on the goals they admit), anything that they control cannot be sanely considered safe or secure, ever. Or have future outside a stinking junkyard (see also: “get woke, go broke”, “geekergates”).
    As simple as this.

    I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum on the internet that think it’s OK to be a white nationalist Nazi, and have some truly nasty misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic behaviour.
    So in the end, my ‘I really don’t want to be too PC’ stance simply became untenable. Partly because you definitely can find some emails from me that were simply completely unacceptable, and I need to fix that going forward. But to a large degree also because I don’t want to be associated with a lot of the people who complain about excessive political correctness.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45664640

    If these words are indeed his (it’s the same BBC that promoted gloamy warbling and fake sarin attacks, after all), Torvalds have surrendered unconditionally (most likely to blackmail) and tries to save face by pretending that he surrendered partially to the horrible threat of flinging poo at his effigy, and that he is merely hides his head in the sand rather than bends over.
    Again, simple.

    • Remember that Linus is a left-winger himself. So when he talks about “low-life scum on the internet that think it’s OK to be a white nationalist Nazi,” he’s referring to anyone who has ever voted Republican. Anyone who’s listened to leftist claptrap for more than ten seconds knows that they really *do* think the people who aren’t in their own tribe are all neo-nazis.

      Linus isn’t qualified to get himself out of this trap.

      • >he’s referring to anyone who has ever voted Republican

        Nah. I know him a little; unless I’ve misread him completely he doesn’t think that way. His family was left-wing, but he seems to have acquired a pretty hard-boiled cynicism about political claims somewhere along the way.

  54. Dear hackers,

    I’ve studied a lot about postmodernism and the sjg stuff (sj = social justice; g = gang). Here’s tip to combat it.

    If you are ever being targeted, accused, or accusation hinted by the social justice lot, here’s what to do:

    • Be absolute confident. (think about the worst bad seed you know in your life. Now, consider the accuser twice as worse.)

    • Never apologize. The moment you waver, you fall into a self defeating trap setup by postmodernist. Making people feel guilty, defensive, via moral channel, is exactly the tactic of postmodernists. It exploit human moral psyche.

    • If the accusation is legally valid (e.g. Did you forgot to pay the rent? or did you forgot to pay your employee?), let the dispute resolve by normal process, sans any moral/psychological aspect. E.g. Talk, settle, or in court. Imagine you have a dispute with neighbor or co-workwer or boss or employee. Resolve the dispute in the normal way.

    • If the accuser is aggressive, defend yourself accordingly. Don’t start a fight, but win the fight if someone is dogging you. For example, counter accuse. Remember, the sjg have no moral conscience.

    • If the accuser uses group tactic, e.g. A gang, again, react in the usual manner as if a street gang is approaching you or corporate cutthroat is abusing you. E.g. Call the cops, raise the issue to higher authority, counter sue, band together with conservative party or sjg’s enemies, etc.

    • Remember, stand tall, never fear, never yield to second thoughts about yourself. Defend yourself vigilantly. This is the same principle in fighting bullies. Even if you are weaker, not bowing down will result less damage to you.

    • Do not go nutty. Do not let emotion get in. Be kind, and, possibly forgive, but never forget.

    • Do not try to reason. The principle of postmodernism do not believe in reason or debate. They only seek to win.

    If the sjg is attacking someone else, e.g. Your friend, coworker, boss, employee, or even stranger. Speak up. This is not a choice anyone is willing to make. But consider it, just as if you see someone beating someone else on the street.

    ————————

    As for sj’s Code Of Conduct, its effect, is to concentrate power, typically, to the sj whitemen (or women), and give these fkhds way to do whatever they like. If you can, never, contribute to project with COC.

    ————————

    right now, the sj are corrupting all white nations. And, i do not doubt some nations (e.g. enemies of USA) are help flaming, overtly or covertly. I am chinese by blood, US American by citizenship. If you don’t fight the sj, usa will disintegrate.

    Be smart, be persistant, fight it.

  55. Pingback: The Nerds/Geeks Brought It On Themselves | Hipster Racist

  56. The natural next question is, what is the telos of the SJWs?

    I mean their REAL telos, not their stated telos. SJWs’ stated goals are NEVER the real ones. Is there still anyone dumb enough to think they really favor “inclusion”?

    After years of trying to understand the contradictions of the far left, I had it all snap into focus one day when someone told me: the telos of today’s left is the destruction of the Good. The destruction of Truth, Beauty, and Virtue.

    Once you take that as their bedrock goal, it suddenly makes perfect sense why the beliefs and taboos of the far left are ever-shifting, often contradicting what they said ten years ago. Why they vacillate between promiscuity and puritanism, how they can be pro-equality and anti-white, what makes them #MeToo but #NotThoseRotherhamBitchesToo. They derive satisfaction from cutting down something beautiful and replacing it with something ugly. They love violating God’s laws and lecturing you about their moral superiority. Most of all they love to lie, and they love lying best when you know it’s a lie but they get away with it anyway.

    So yeah, telos explains so much.

    • >The natural next question is, what is the telos of the SJWs?

      To destroy the cultural foundations of resistance to totalitarianism.

      They’re running a memetic virus designed by Stalin’s KGB and passed down to them through Communist agents of influence. The surface features of the virus mutate; the core does not. Destroy and discredit the Main Enemy (the U.S.). Attack individualism and non-political merit. Exalt collectivism. Accustom people to the installation of commissars with a mandate to punish wrongthink. Enter any institution that might serve as a focus of anti-totalitarian resistance; corrupt it if you can, destroy it if you cannot.

      • They’re running a memetic virus designed by Stalin’s KGB and passed down to them through Communist agents of influence.

        Willing Accomplices: How KGB Covert Influence Agents Created Political Correctness and Destroyed America covers this in superb detail. The operation didn’t survive the late 1930’s purges of its operatives, but thy then the virus had been transmitted. (Note to pedants, both our host and the author use “KGB” as the name for the general organization, it underwent generally minor changes in duty and all sorts of name changes, like the NKVD for an important period of time, but it wasn’t e.g. the GRU).

      • To which end, Stalin had to invent holiness spirals, found Frankfurt School, personally conceive Marie Stopes and… did he start American Prohibition, too, by sending KGB agents back in time?
        What a busy man.

        • >To which end, Stalin had to invent holiness spirals,…

          Not Stalin, but people working for him and their successors. This is all quite well documented, actually; some of the architects of strategic dezinformatsiya survived the fall of the USSR and will tell this story to anyone who will listen. They find it difficult to get a hearing because the infected so dominate academia and the media. It’s like reminding people that John F. Kennedy was shot by a known Communist agent and the Nazis were socialists – these things are true, but dezoinformatsiya myths are so entrenched that they tend to be met by blank stares.

          • “Bit Stalin”???

            Per Willing Accomplices: How KGB Covert Influence Agents Created Political Correctness and Destroyed America, I don’t remember any survivors of note of the first campaign, they were purged in the late 1930s. But of course the cause was resumed in due course.

            This happened in a lot of fields, e.g. Deep Battle died with its proponents, and had to be relearned in the stress of the Great Patriotic War. Serious rocket work was interrupted for a long time when the Top Men like Sergei Korolev were sent to the GULAG for year, 6 for him. Lysenko got his scientific opponents executed or GULAGed,

          • How the Prohibition, Women’s KKK, British and American eugenicists, and so on weren’t part of the same rot? But whatever moved them was much closer to home than Stalin (or Martians).
            Socialism is old, and Stalin curbed it somewhat, if anything.
            And later Soviet socialists… they mucked about anywhere they could reach, sure. But that’s mostly did anything when supporting existing local thugs or malcontents.
            They couldn’t run effective propaganda even in the one country they somewhat knew, and were mocked to the point that there were popular jokes about being imprisoned for jokes. Realistically, if these clowns had any success anywhere else, it’s not as much their achievement as supply for existing demand.
            Especially seeing as “Cultural Marxism” is closer to Fabian strain than any other, the one on which International and National socialists alike looked down all this time.
            So it’s all same old cancer from Puritans, ever evolving toward more rapidly mutating and malignant forms. Speaking of whom, the episode with that psychopathic damsel in England as narrated in “Three Musketeers” looks strangely modern.

            • >How the Prohibition, Women’s KKK, British and American eugenicists, and so on weren’t part of the same rot?

              I didn’t claim they were. Not everything was a Soviet psyop.

              • But then Occam’s Razor does the rest.
                Because if we know a patient already had cancer, yet another tumor closely resembling the first is more likely to be metastasized from it, rather than independently caused by alien death rays.
                And yes, after going through the first hundred or two of Brezhnev era jokes the idea of a “Soviet psyop” that actually achieves anything sounds about as likely as alien death rays.

  57. > the telos of today’s left is the destruction of the Good. The destruction of Truth, Beauty, and Virtue.

    Postmodernism.

  58. http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/187078170/#187093805
    > Anonymous ID:sqkjzTNz Thu 27 Sep 2018 00:23:36 No.187093805 ViewReport
    > Working with a group of 5 other devs thus far to rescind our code. Some of whom have been major contributers.
    >Was hard to find a decent attorney with tech based experience due to the fact that a lot of heavy weighters are going to be extremely upset. Drafting legal docs to make it as impactful as possible.
    >
    >All that work and you fuck us over, Linus. Now we fuck you back.

    ——

    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/187078170/#q187094037
    > leiqdbSauceNAO Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 8.24.1 (…).png, 136KiB, 458×928
    > Anonymous ID:zDdj02sY Thu 27 Sep 2018 00:25:31 No.187094037 Report
    > Quoted By: >>187094386 >>187094624 >>187099544
    >Stop fucking commenting as if this would ground the internet to a halt overnight. Revoking code means it can’t be in the next version, it doesn’t invalidate prior versions. 80% of the code submitted to the Linux project is from Redhat or some other major company like Intel or AMD. That other 20% is minor shit except for the few people who have been around forever. This fucking threat is hollow because no company is going to pull their code because of a few trannies. This CoC thing will be ignored because big money rests on the project being successful. The moment this fucking dipshit starts becoming a liability the big money will smite him full force.

    ——

    http://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/187078170/#q187094386
    > Anonymous ID:sqkjzTNz Thu 27 Sep 2018 00:28:48 No.187094386 Report
    > Quoted By: >>187104619
    > >>187094037
    > >except for the few people who have been around forever.
    >
    >Ding ding.

    ——————

    https://lulz.com/linux-devs-threaten-killswitch-coc-controversy-1252/
    >thejynxed
    >
    >My company is already considering the full withdrawal of all contributed code to the kernel project and related embedded kernel projects. You literally can\u2019t run embedded Linux on industrial controls or handheld scanners without this code.
    >September 22, 2018 Reply

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