The right to be rude

The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.”

Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I – OSI’s co-founder and its president for its first six years – was kicked off their lists for being too rhetorically forceful in opposing certain recent attempts to subvert OSD clauses 5 and 6. This despite the fact that I had vocal support from multiple list members who thanked me for being willing to speak out.

It shouldn’t be news to anyone that there is an effort afoot to change – I would say corrupt – the fundamental premises of the open-source culture. Instead of meritocracy and “show me the code”, we are now urged to behave so that no-one will ever feel uncomfortable.

The effect – the intended effect – is to diminish the prestige and autonomy of people who do the work – write the code – in favor of self-appointed tone-policers. In the process, the freedom to speak necessary truths even when the manner in which they are expressed is unpleasant is being gradually strangled.

And that is bad for us. Very bad. Both directly – it damages our self-correction process – and in its second-order effects. The habit of institutional tone policing, even when well-intentioned, too easily slides into the active censorship of disfavored views.

The cost of a culture in which avoiding offense trumps the liberty to speak is that crybullies control the discourse. To our great shame, people who should know better – such as the OSI list moderators and BOD – have internalized anticipatory surrender to crybullying. They no longer even wait for the soi-disant victims to complain before wielding the ban-hammer.

We are being social-hacked from being a culture in which freedom is the highest value to one in which it is trumped by the suppression of wrongthink and wrongspeak. Our enemies – people like Coraline Ada-Ehmke – do not even really bother to hide this objective.

Our culture is not fatally damaged yet, but the trend is not good. OSI has been suborned and is betraying its founding commitment to freedom. “Codes of Conduct” that purport to regulate even off-project speech have become all too common.

Wake up and speak out. Embrace the right to be rude – not because “rude” in itself is a good thing, but because the degenerative slide into suppression of disfavored opinions has to be stopped right where it starts, at the tone policing.

The OSI membership page is here.

777 thoughts on “The right to be rude

    • I’m not convinced that the article from The Markup is necessarily correct in its implication that political emails ending up in the promotions or spam tabs is due to active malice on Google’s part. There’s a simpler and IMO, more plausible explanation.

      I have read that Gmail is using machine learning to classify incoming mail. If that is indeed so, then given the similarity of some political emails to the constant promotional emails one gets because one signed up for that one site to buy something that one time, it shouldn’t be surprising that the ML engine considers political emails to be the same thing. And every time you or I anyone else flags some political email from some candidate who doesn’t even represent your district as a promotion or spam, that further trains the ML algorithm that political emails are promotions or spam.

      No malice or shenanigans required, just naive attempts to improve things without necessarily thinking through all the implications or consequences thereof.

      • it shouldn’t be surprising that the ML engine considers political emails to be the same thing

        The point is that political emails are clearly not being considered “the same thing”: some are treated much better than others, by huge margins. Sure, some of that difference may be due to differences in ML training, or the competence of their respective email marketeers, but this also looks like it could be more of Google’s proven penchant for SJW bias.

      • On their own terms, Google rejects that argument when their AIs produce socially unacceptable results regarding race or gender.

        You may use that defense. Google may not. They have surrendered it willingly and they should be held to all the implications thereto.

      • After the “Friday meeting” videos leaked, Google is in the position of having to prove their innocence. Which isn’t really practical, even if it was true.

        When you’re caught fiddling the results once, the default assumption is always going to be that you’re doing it again.

      • I know people who work for google. It’s intentional. They’re all hard core leftists and hate Trump and anything on the right with a passion. They LIVE for doing stuff like this. The only thing restraining them is the fear that if they go too far, they might (might) get in trouble.

      • With the Woke, one should never attribute to incompetence that which can be more simply explained by malice. I take your point that political canvassing can resemble spam, but apparently Google’s machine learning algorithms are heavily biased towards flagging and delaying political messages from one side – the one they memorably categorize as being on the same “moral arc of history” as Hitler and Mussolini.

  1. I am resigned to the fact that the leftists will not halt their efforts to make us comply, and also that we will not comply.

    There will be another US Civil War in my lifetime. Because if we don’t fight back, this will end in another “great leap forward”.

        • Q is a disinfo campaign from the very people it purports to oppose. It’s just an endless rabbit hole of pointless, unactionable, plan-trusting nonsense.

    • The bear will be continually poked until it stands up, roars and swings its mighty paws only to find that there is no enemy to crush.
      The howler monkey crybully victicrats will be nowhere to be seen.
      People need the courage and endurance required to ignore and shun such people.

      • In my experience, when people say “I need to A” or “I should A“, that probably means “I won’t A“. This also applies to “people need to A“: they probably won’t A.

        The likelier scenario here is that the Overton window will continue to shift until people like you, me, esr, and most of the A&D peanut gallery are shoved over the right side into the fringe. I don’t particularly relish sharing space in the public mind with neo-Nazis, but that’s where we’re headed. We’re starting out at a disadvantage because Cthulhu swims left and we’re the ones who refuse to swim with him, so don’t expect that you’ll drag it back by winning hearts and minds. I also submit that where your enemies are going to fight tooth-and-nailest is right where you’re trying to take the fight, i.e., they will do their utmost to prevent your recapture of your own institution.

        Somebody below mentioned Conquest’s Second Law. There’s probably a useful takeaway from that, stated in contrapositive form:

        Any organization that does not wish to end up left-wing must become explicitly and constitutionally right-wing.

        Maybe a good generalization to take away from this is:

        Any organization that does not wish to end up corrupted by ideological malcontents must explicitly codify and aggressively enforce its ideals.

        So a better choice of A here is to clearly think out your ideals, then explicitly spell them out and fuzz-test that spelling-out, because the attack vector will be exploiting loopholes in your values statement. Then, cultivate parallel institutions that follow that values statement. Fill the leadership with people you know to be 100% on board with not only the values statement but the plan to aggressively enforce it, especially the bit where you don’t let the leadership augment or replace themselves with people who are likely to slack on that enforcement.

        The next part is the hardest, and where this plan will most likely run aground: attract high-quality, highly-visible people and projects to your institutions. We saw what happened to Gab: it’s a cesspool and an echo chamber. Nothing useful is happening there because nothing useful wants to happen there. The question on my mind is: are there enough high-quality people who also aren’t afraid to sign on to something like that to make a difference? I’m not optimistic: we won’t A here either.

        Please prove me wrong.

        • Scrolling down and checking out some of the other ~400 comments here, looks like a lot of you have the same idea. Hope you all have some good projects. The thing needs leadership; me, I’m a fart in the air conditioning — nobody would rally around me. But you, Eric, if this is something you’d be willing to spearhead, then I’d sign on publicly. We’ll let the code show whether or not I’m “high-quality people and projects”, as God intended.

    • It’s the SJWs, not the leftists. While it’s, sadly, true that a great number of those are found in the leftists’ camps, the reverse is not true.

      I don’t consider myself politically completely “on the spectrum”, but I’m definitely not a Nazi, and slightly lean towards ideas expressed by my country’s leftmost party in most areas. I’m also strongly opposed to the whole arms thing of you Americans (although, as I wrote ESR in an eMail, I’ll not oppose his right to have his diverging opinion). But I’m definitely not an SJW, rather the contrary.
      I’ve seen catastrophes happen when CoCs were “decided”, some in Debian; I personally left StackOverflow/StackExchange completely due to them. I don’t gender, I write as I learnt to write, and the very idea of the “thought police” that, when I use only a male or only a female form of a word, I exclude anyone (whether binary or not) is ridiculous.

      I think the whole situation is ridiculous, and my first reaction to seeing ESR’s mail full-quoted by someone else (after wondering why it had not arrived yet?—?pretty clear by now) was to write back (off-list, as this was getting off-topic) and thanking him.

      People ought to read that MIT study about people with an input filter vs. people with an output filter more; it explains so much and can be applied in many more situations.

      Honestly, if you think some people can’t stand the communication style, but you yourself can, then, by all means, feel free to translate.

      In the meantime, I’m going back to building, not a safe space for snowflakes, but some Open Source works (software, documentation, artwork, Free Sheet Music, _really_ Open Educational Ressources) under ? Copyfree terms.

      See my messages on the licence-discuss mailing list for some more thoughts on this (and I held back greatly), for example:
      http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/2020-February/021354.html
      http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/2020-February/021370.html

      Yes, this opinion may not be PC. So what.

      • Don’t you ever enter another man’s house to tell him that he’s the one with a “differing opinion” ever again.

      • I’m definitely not a Nazi, and slightly lean towards ideas expressed by my country’s leftmost party

        Low church Progressive caught by a four-stroke narrative. Thinks the National Socialists were right wing.

        Both lefty parties and righty parties accept that left==good and right==evil. In government, the opposite is true. Further, the entire Overton window for the past 100 years at least has fit in the leftmost eighth of the left-right spectrum. Y’all are frothing radicals.

  2. > Our culture is not fatally damaged yet

    Yes it is. Organizations like Linux Foundation and pretty much every tech conference and organization is fully converged by SJW. Github is a cesspool. Code of conduct everywhere. “Do-no-harm” open source licenses are coming soon.

    I’m not sure what can be done. Fork the culture? Self-segregation? Secret handshakes?

    • Either the US separates into many countries and mass resorting into those spaces or Civil War.

      Two opposing tribes with one showing complete animosity to the mere continued existence of the other cannot live together in harmony.

      • The Left Coasts forget where their food and fuel comes from.

        Conversely, we Flyover Deplorables can do without pretty much everything they offer.

        • Except the government funds we send you year after year after year. New York taxpayers subsidize Missisippi citizens. But I consider this a good thing: as Dr. Johnson said to Boswell (from memory) “You should not talk of We and They, sir, for now there is an Union.”

          • “Except the government funds we send you year after year after year.”

            Deplorables aren’t black people.

          • Take out the military bases and government installations that you weenies are considering “subsidies” and that is less than the welfare benefits NY gets.

          • > Except the government funds we send you year after year after year.

            If push came to shove, I suspect that food, water, and energy would be rather more valuable than tweets and comic book movies, even if the latter currently have a higher value when denominated in dollars.

            Not to mention the old adage that gold won’t get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can always get you gold.

    • “Do no harm, and WE decide what’s harm at our whim at any time”.

      How Could Anyone Dislike Such A License?

      • This bit of linguistic legerdemain where the crybully set has managed to equate uncomfortable (or even downright ill-intentioned) words with physical assault is one of the greatest tricks ol’ Mephistopheles ever pulled.

        • Our free speech is “violence”, so their actual violence (AntiFA*) is “self defense” against it.


          * I use the capitalization pattern “AntiFA” because they’re Anti-First Amendment, and I won’t use the longer name “antifascist”, because their behavior is indistinguishable from that of Sturmabteilung thugs, save for the color of shirts worn.

    • The culture is not fatally damaged, but many of the organizations built around the culture have the cancer (https://www.amazon.com/Corporate-Cancer-Miracles-Millions-Company-ebook/dp/B081D58P1X).

      What can be done? Leave the organization and start your own. The infected organization will die after a while (because the Lefties are incompetent – which is why they hate the idea of meritocracy with a passion) and your new organization will be the only one. The hard part is to be on your guard for Lefties and block them from gaining any traction in your new organization.

      Remember: Lefties destroy everything they touch. That’s all they know how to do.

      • Leave the organization and start your own.

        Eric did. It’s currently being stolen out from under him.

        • That sounds like “moderate” Muslims vs “radical” Muslims rhetoric to me. Those two camps feed off each other, and they both use the other camp to justify their own position.

      • If you want to keep your open source community you have to adapt.

        Explicitly racist and exclusionary open source.

        Anyone can commit code but must sign a pledge to back all forms of racism and bigotry.

        • Otherwise known as the “4chan filter”. They constantly throw offensive language and images into the mix to keep out the weak-kneed. It’s brilliant and effective.

        • I prefer to be specific about my forms of racism. Mostly because certain (((races))) have worked tirelessly to deserve it.

    • The radical SJWs who would consider using such a license don’t produce useful software anyway. I won’t lose sleep over a few Node.js modules being re-licensed.

  3. Your point is? I’m surprised that you lasted this long and haven’t been banned everywhere for transphobia. The OSI? Coop Coraline Convergence Cancer.

    I’ve been watching this, Vox Day documented it in SJWs Always Lie, SJWs Always Double Down, and now Corporate Cancer.

    SJW Convergence kills. The Koraline Konduct Kode will have a SJW mob at your door and burn a Hash symbol on your front lawn. And of anyone who will defend you.

    The solution is a fork. I’ve been considering for a while how to counter hack and have some ideas. But it will require a fork. Leave the heretics who believe in SJW behind and create a new place that is safe for merit, including telling me that my code belongs on a San Fran sidewalk.

    You can try to deconverge, but given the state of big tech, they will crash and burn first.

    • I was gonna say that. I’ll amplify: fork everything. Fork the code, fork the developers, fork the culture. Let a thousand depositories bloom. I know it means chaos. It’s the lesser evil.

      And let’s take the opportunity to redesign some APIs.

      • *I know it means chaos. It’s the lesser evil.*

        This reminds me of something I read – I think something linked from the “Lizard People” post a bit earlier – about people with a hypertrophied (cancerous?) sense of order, and in a sense, that’s what’s driving the SJW set.
        So yes, let there be chaos, to counterbalance the too-much-order cancer.

    • sorry, i downvoted by mistake and cannot correct this.

      the above poster is correct.

      Vox Day has had a few thoughts about these poisonous code of conducts and the converging of these organizations.

      i’m surprised ESR hasn’t been bitten by these blood sucking vampires before.

      • i’m surprised ESR hasn’t been bitten by these blood sucking vampires before.

        They seek out weakness.

      • i’m surprised ESR hasn’t been bitten by these blood sucking vampires before.

        Oh, they’ve tried. A few have even shown up on this blog recently.

      • Sure. But they’re sitting down, wallowing in their own shit, throwing endless tantrums and the whole place stinks.
        Leave them to rot and walk away.

        • What Dan said. Sitting and demanding they move wastes resources on fighting. A fork only costs the resources to rebuild the lists and repos and communication lines. That’s digital capital, and ought to be easier than physical capital. If it isn’t easier – well, have a better defense against entryism the next time.

          Plus, it preserves moral high ground.

          • Plus, forking is something you have the power to do.

            Demanding other people do something *isn’t* (you can only use carrot or stick on others).

            The beauty of forking is that, unlike anything physical, copies are nearly trivial. The human effort to effect a fork, of course, isn’t, but that also creates a barrier to entry of forking to preserve the value of the fork.

            Just beware of contributing to a project that isn’t actually *open* (meaning there’s some reason you can’t fork it.)

            • > Just beware of contributing to a project that isn’t actually *open* (meaning there’s some reason you can’t fork it.)

              I’m pretty sure that the license change proposals are intended to block that exit.

    • I’m personally more particular to the ? Copyfree model anyway, as a BSD person.

      It’s a strict subset¹ of OSI-approved/OSD, basically without the copyleft and anti-DRM clauses.

      ? Notwithstanding that apotheon refuses to remove “Unlicense” from his list, which isn’t a copyright licence at all, and not valid internationally, despite me having pointed this out to him (this came, incidentally, from an aside of a discussion on the OSI mailing list).

    • Avoiding forking every time there is a political disagreement was the point of the non-discriminatory core of the Free Software and Open Source software movements.

      Forking is admitting failure, and admitting that this core isn’t going to survive.

      It is those who disagree with that core that should be forking and fading away, and not essentially ripping off all the reputation and community building that went into creating the movement over the decades (I joined in 1992).

      • Yeah they should, but that doesn’t always happen. Besides, it seems pretty restrictive to me to consider forking to be an admission of failure. Failing to submit to intolerable demands is not something to be ashamed of. After all, the USA was founded by a bunch of dissidents forking away from their mother country.

      • Forking is a tangible way for a group of people to register a difference of opinion with the direction of the project. As long as the fork is properly publicized, it allows people to “vote with their feet” (virtually).

      • It’s not an admission of failure to back up when you’ve made a wrong turn to take a different fork in the road. It’s only an admission that you’re headed in the wrong direction.

        Never follow crazy people. Better to give up on them than to give up on yourself.

  4. They no longer even wait for the soi-disant victims to complain before wielding the ban-hammer.

    Those who don’t are often found legally liable. Often enough that the fear of this outcome spreads wider than the de jure impact.

    Hey remember I was talking about Exit earlier? OSI is done. Make OSI 2. Broken tools ought be discarded. You can try to repair OSI 1 if you like but it will only be an opportunity for me to say [told you so].

    • Examples of someone being found legally liable because someone else wasn’t banned from a mailing list for wrongthink or Making Them Sad?

      (In the US, that is; nobody else even pretends to legally protect free speech.)

      • It’s called “creating a hostile work environment” and has being going on in the corporate world for decades.

        • And never mind that enforced Political Correctness has made the work environment hostile to us. Somehow, when we’re offended by something, that doesn’t matter because we’re White Heterosexual Anglophone Cisgender Males (WHACM, pronounced “whack-em”, because they have free license to whack us whenever they wish) or at least enough of those things to be classified as Oppressor for the purposes of choosing which Kafkatrap to employ.

    • But Mr. Anderson, what good is an OSI replacement if it is unable to organize?

      It only takes a whois lookup and a couple of phone calls or emails to the OSI replacement’s domain registrar and ISP. “Hi, this is Coraline Ada Ehmke of the Open Source Initiative Board of Directors. I’m calling/writing to inform you that the True Free Software Advocacy Group is complicit in human rights abuses in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the imprisonment of women and children and the oppression of LGBTQ individuals and people of color, by allowing and encouraging software to be written on behalf of ICE and other oppressive organizations; and to request that you take immediate action or the OSI will list your business as also being complicit in human rights violations.”

      Done. Destroyed.

      The only alternative to assimilation is revolution.

  5. To rub salt into the wound, the politeness norms to which the wowsers demand we submit are always those of their own parochial, prissy, middle class, descended-from-puritans background. Many of them seem completely unaware that other countries, even other backgrounds within their own country, have different ideas about what suitable discourse is and that there’s nothing universal about their preferred norms.
    However, it’s not the narrow-minded nitwits that bother me so much as those who kowtow to them, often reflexively.

    • >However, it’s not the narrow-minded nitwits that bother me so much as those who kowtow to them, often reflexively.

      Yeah. OSI has become an organization in which kowtowers rule.

      Unless they can be shamed into developing spines.

      • > Unless they can be shamed into developing spines.

        We’re entering a period where something as intellectually-bankrupts as socialism is becoming popular. I don’t think shame can work, because they haven’t any.

    • Indeed, the SJWs seem to all come from an anglo-puritan context (almost all I know are American or one very vocal Australian). To my European senses, their “obviously, everyone agrees that…” are d?i?s?g?u?s?t?i?n?g?.

      • Modern Anti-fa has been active in Germany for years before the average American ever heard of them…

      • anglo-puritan? Well, there is a religious aspect to some of it. White privilege as a substitute for original sin, etc. However, the bulk of the intellectuals pushing identity politics, postmodernism and the like were Jews. Derrida, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Gramsci, etc. That’s not ‘Anglo’ at all, since the bulk of them worked in other languages in addition to being non-Anglo-Saxon in descent.

        Jurgen Habermas is a non-Jewish intellectual with significant influence in the modern identity-politics obsessed left. Also not Anglo.

  6. For those who don’t want to search:

    5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

    The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

    6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

    The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

    Basically the OSI wants to enable bigotry in licenses. But these are the most critical given the four freedoms GNU has mentioned.

    Yet it is likely to backfire – can I add an anti-socialist or anti-SJW clause?

    • >Basically the OSI wants to enable bigotry in licenses.

      I don’t think OSI wants that. But OSI’s move to ban me shows that present staff and BOD has abandoned the principled commitment to freedom that would make them effective at resisting such a move.

      • Quite simple: if the OSD is corrupted by SJW convergence, then the OSD stops getting used, stops being effective, and something else takes its place. Projects run by sensible people are already posting “Code of conduct (tl;dr: we don’t have one) … SJW’s are not welcome here” on their project sites.

        “Free software” was a public relations failure specifically because Richard M. Stallman is a communist socialist authoritarian, masquerading as a freedom fighter by re-branding the word “free”. If the people who control the phrase “Open Source” think they can do the same, then the rest of us will move on, likely following whatever leader embraces *true* liberty instead of just pretending to be technologically populist … in other words, the software equivalent of Donald Trump (PBUH).

        • I’d like to see a central list of such anti-convergence sites and projects, for the benefit of we who prefer to patronize liberty.

        • You’d get an upvote, but then you had to praise US-American politics, hence a downvote.

          Please keep these separate. It’s hard enough to fight the imported SJW concept in Europe already.

        • Github has been encouraging codes of conduct pretty strongly, so I’ve started using the following:

          Contributor Code of Conduct for [project]

          Standards
          The [team name] team requests the following from all contributors:
          – Write good code

          Enforcement
          If you fail to meet our standards outlined above, your pull request will be rejected.

          Simple and no-nonsense. Should tell the SJW’s how much I care about their agendas.

          • Your code of conduct is perfect. I will use it if I have occasion to set up any open-source project in the future.

          • This COC will lose in the long run.

            Step 1: get an SJW who can code to contribute.
            Step 2: use influence to push for the acceptance of allies on the team by subtly redefining “good code”
            Step 3: bide time until enough allies in the project exist to replace the old CoC and push out opponents.

            You need to have an additional standard:

            “Any positive mention of the value of diversity disqualifies your code from use. Any mention of personal sexual deviance as a reason to value your code disqualifies you from contributing code to this project forever.” Etc.

            You need to explicitly bar entry or you will be undermined by entryists.

            • That would be stooping to their level, by caring about something other than the code they contribute. I refuse in principle.

              If the most obnoxious straw-man of an SJW type contributes quality working code, I’ll take it. I don’t care if they are my political enemy. That’s not why I write software.

              If the maintainer of the project isn’t on board, there’s literally nothing you can do from keeping anyone from shitting up a project. The code of conduct, by itself, does nothing but communicate that the normal bullshit that goes in codes of conduct isn’t welcome here.

              • That would be stooping to their level, by caring about something other than the code they contribute. I refuse in principle.

                Yet another cuck who’d rather loose “with principles” than win.

              • But that’s just it. Like the rest of the culture war, this is an iterated Prisoners’ Dilemma where one side consistently cooperates and the other side–the SJWs–consistently defects. This is why until recently, the SJWs kept winning. The only way to get them to stop is to punish them, and the only way to do that is to “stoop to their level” and defect ourselves.

                • >The only way to get them to stop is to punish them, and the only way to do that is to “stoop to their level” and defect ourselves.

                  I have been pursuing another way for years. That is to broadcast a general understanding that these SJWs are the shock troops of a totalitarian memetic invasion. This is the most recent phase of an old, old war – one that began with the NKVD’s “Trust” operation in the 1920s. The weapons they launched became self-replicating decades ago and still plague us even though though their Evil Empire is dead.

                  • I have been pursuing another way for years.

                    In case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t been working.

                    • Hey now. It’s important to raise awareness. How else will people know that there are defectors lurking in their midst?

                    • Which is why — just to name one case — the term “Kafkatrap” is completely unheard of and no one has any idea how to deal with one.

                      ProTip: it is easier to play the Man of Wisdom if you can show some inkling of backing it up.

                    • @Ian Bruene

                      Yeh, it’s working so well that Eric is about to get kicked out of his own organization.

                  • At what point will you do an assessment of whether or not your strategy is a successful one?

                    Of course, this presumes that the criteria for success is “actually keeps out entryists” but since you keep pursuing your strategy even though it’s failed spectacularly one can only conclude that you have some other criteria under which your strategy is evaluated as a success.

                  • >> “I have been pursuing another way for years.”

                    I don’t think this qualifies as a third option. No matter how much you spread awareness you’re still going to have SJWs doing what they do and you’re still going to have some projects taken over by them. At which point you still have to decide what to do about it.

                    Spreading awareness may reduce the frequency at which you need to go through that, so I’m not saying it has no value. But it’s not a substitute for being willing to walk away when the SJWs win one.

                • The problem is not that we “stoop to their level”. The problem is: do we become them in order to fight them?

                  If your primary principle is “shut up and show them the code”, and we create an external purity test in order to accept code, we have become yet another SJW — we just attach a different utility function to the “J” part.

                  People focus so much on the prisoner’s dilemma that they often see only one solution to the multi-iteration game. There is another: don’t rob the bank with that person.

              • That would be stooping to their level, by caring about something other than the code they contribute.

                Maybe an analogy would help you.

                You have a communal kitchen which produces meals for your camp of whatever – let’s say loggers on a new continent where you haven’t set up private dwellings yet. You are in charge of this kitchen and your goal is to have the kitchen produce good food. In the camp is a group of people who are members of a secret society dedicated to poisoning everyone and who explicitly believe that if they get to prepare meals in the kitchen it is their moral duty to poison as many people as possible. Some of these people are also extremely skilled chefs – maybe not the most skilled, but skilled enough.

                Any set of rules that doesn’t exclude those people from doing the cooking for your settlement does not result in “good food” – it results in poison.

                • The OP begins with Conquest’s Third Law. Let me interject his Second:

                  Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will eventually become left-wing.

                  As noble as the goal of leaving politics out of the code is, we now know that’s just not possible. We have to explicitly condemn the leftist “Mao-Maoing” tactics, or our failure to do so will allow them to be used against us.

          • Some people take “has a code of conduct” as a signal that a project has already submitted to the SJWs and won’t waste time reading the code of conduct or getting involved with the project.
            So using a pseudo-CoC like that may turn away some people you want.

          • Or, if you want something with more specifics, more inclusion of possible subversion tactics, and more profanity, you can use something like the Erbosoft Project Code of Conduct. Example here.

            • Great Code of Conduct!

              I am thinking that if OSI (and the FSF etc.) had an “owner”, and followed a COC like the “Erbosoft Project Code of Conduct” (link in comment above), we would not have the current problems.

              The BDFL model is important. Committees end up composed of people people that like committees – people that are talented at getting their way on committees.

              • Of course as Nick Szabo always says.”trusted third parties are security holes”, and that applies even to BDFLs. Indeed BDFLs being human, have human weaknesses that can be exploited as we saw with Linus and rms.

        • …of Donald Trump (PBUH)

          Please don’t do that. Regardless of what you think of the man and/or his political accomplishments, The Emperor of Mankind or the second coming of Christ he is not.

          • > Please don’t do that.

            No.

            Please, continue telling us what not to do. It’s fun having justification for doing something we wouldn’t otherwise give a damn about. Hail God Emperor Donald Trump (PBUH, POEE, LDD). Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!

    • It is troubling that they can write an item like #5 and then “enforce” it purely by discriminating against certain persons and groups. In their internal monologue for that rule they always add “but of course we mean everyone BUT those vile conservatives”.

      • It’s predicable. Control the committees, get every decision made by committee is the old leftist playbook going back to communism classic.

        • David Burge (@iowahawkblog) on November 10, 2015:

          1. Identify a respected institution.
          2. kill it.
          3. gut it.
          4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
          #lefties

          • That the outcome / goal.

            The process is

            Have an ethic that says ‘all decisions must be made by committee’
            Always appoint comrades to committees
            Stall all committee decisions until your faction wins
            The only final decisions are the ones made by controlled committees – specifically have an ethic that does not allow reconsidering your side’s decisions but considers all others as illegitimate and against the arc of history

            That’s the guts of “manipulating procedural outcomes”.

          • That’s the formula for pretty much all power mongering — left or right.

            Anytime anyone centralizes power, those who wish to use the power attempt to take over the central control.

            The only way to reject it is to keep power decentralized. The Internet originally did that well, but no longer does.

      • (Responding to ‘J’, whoever that is.)

        It’s possible you somehow missed that OSD #5 (No Discrimination against Persons or Groups) requires that OSD-compliant software licence wording not discriminate among persons and groups, granting reserved software rights to some and not others.

        OSD #5 does not purport to ban OSI’s mailing list administrators from (hypothetically) sanctioning some subscribers for misbehaviour and not others — because it’s not about that at all.

        Now, seriously, were you not capable of understanding huge differences of context, or are you just pretending? I get really tired of lazy-ass slurs, regardless of whether cast against me personally (as ‘ethical open source’ guy Eric Schultz recently tried on license-discuss, before slinking away) or against others I am critical of. Either way, it’s a cheap and meaningless digression from anything real.

        How about doing better?

        • We can see from many examples that the executors of these rules will Always grant leniency to their side and absolute destruction to the other.

          Rule five is like all socialist rules because some animals are better than others…

          It is not a digression from the real at all.

          They really use these rules to abuse individuals and groups….

    • Yet it is likely to backfire – can I add an anti-socialist or anti-SJW clause?

      I know you are making a joke, but a serious reply anyway: No, absolutely not. This is a litmus test. To preserve freedom for all, we cannot ban socialists, communists, nazis, fascists, SJWs, or any other “undesirable” group, at least not for their own political beliefs. Certainly, if someone starts posting porn or insulting everybody, that’s ban-worthy, but such insanity can be found regardless of background.

      • I know you are making a joke, but a serious reply anyway: No, absolutely not. This is a litmus test. To preserve freedom for all, we cannot ban socialists, communists, nazis, fascists, SJWs, or any other “undesirable” group, at least not for their own political beliefs.

        So how is that working out for you?

        • Fantastically, thank you. It’s liberating to not be enveloped in a sea of hate concerned about what thoughts might go on in any individual’s head, ready to punish at the smallest of thoughtcrimes.

          … In other words: Not being in any of those listed groups.

          • FWIW – see the tyranny of the minority, and reciprocity.

            Sure, “no litmus tests” sounds great, until you have a group of people that only preach that until THEY are in power, and then ignore it because it was never really a principle, only power was.

            At some point, those who do not feel bound by our standards exlude themselves from being treated by those same standards, and we have to deal with them, or our standards mean nothing.

            • “until you have a group of people that only preach that until THEY are in power, and then ignore it because it was never really a principle, only power was.”

              As opposed to whom? Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You or I would be no better.

              • Some people and ideologies are more corruptible than others. Some are already pre-corrupted. Some make no bones in private, and these days, in public, that power is all they want, and count on you forgetting that the moment they two-facedly start talking about freedom, etc.

                If you have adherents to an ideology that expressly states it wants totalitarian control, or in practice absolutely requires it and has chronically done so in the past, then yes, you tell them to pack sand if you give a crap about liberty

            • There is a large difference between banning those stirring up trouble within a project, and banning those that have the “wrong” opinions on Twitter.

              • Right, one is fighting cancer before it has metastasized, the other is fighting cancer after it’s spread throughout the body.

                One is effective, one is not.

            • Sure, “no litmus tests” sounds great, until you have a group of people that only preach that until THEY are in power, and then ignore it because it was never really a principle, only power was.

              This is a fundamental vulnerability of all free-speech-committed platforms. You *must* let even “them” pour their toxin into the lake or you become what you have sworn to destroy, as Obi-wan would say…
              The only solutions I can see are a) a dictatorship of someone who will *never* allow the standards of the platform to be eroded or, b) an anarchy, where nobody has the power to erode these standards, ie a platform where no individual or cabal is able to “moderate” others.

              • Keep the platform small enough to be owned and dictatored over by one man, and make it easy to fork it if others are unhappy with it. Software or information, due to its copyability hence forkability, is ideal for Exitocracy.

                Exitocracy works by explicit threats of forking, while trying to avoid actual forking. Every year or so, a procedure is held that begins similar to an election, project manager candidatates step up and tell people what would they do differently than the current leadership. Then every project member makes an open choice that if the project was forked by the candidates, which project would they join.

                Then the candidates are expected to negotiate until all potential forks are eliminated and the project stays united – if possible. Their negotiating position depends on not only how many people would fork with them, but also, crucially, the importance / quality of their supporters. It is an inherent meritocracy, because every leader candidate can see who exactly is supporting the other candidates, and can decide if they really want those people, because they are the 3 really best project members, or does to really want them because they are just really occasional contributors. If the original leader or one of the candidates is too pig-headed, then an actual fork can happen, but it is expected that the negotiation will end with only one project left. During the negotiation or really at an time, the members are allowed to switch allegiances. Ideally, not even much negotiation will happen, as if the 3 really core project members flock to a new candidate, everybody else will flock to them as only that team has any chance to keep the project working, and thus the current project manager can either give in and resign, or keep his old project, now an empty shell devoid of core developers, while the fork flourishes.

                Yes, this is similar to voting, but it gives higher quality members more “votes”, without having to assign an artificial number of votes to them. It is simply that their known quality increases the negotiating position of their chosen candidate. Instead of a democratic voting that has a disadvantage of choosing for everybody else, in this system people only choose for themselves, they simply choose which candidates potential forked project would they join.

                The kind of SJWs who have very little technical skills would not have much negotiating power as their threat of forking is something nobody takes seriously. If an SJW is also highly skilled (khm khm Joel Spolsky), he will typically find the unskilled SJWs on one side and the highly skilled people on the other side and would have to decide which project he will join or lead.

                • This won’t work for the kind of large projects that have developers funded by SJW-converged corporations working on them.

                  • Correct, which is why smaller and/or decentralized alternatives to large projects. The two biggest points of failure right now being the Linux kernel and Chromium.

                    While they have alternatives, none of the alternatives don’t also have similar problems.

    • tz> Basically the OSI wants to enable bigotry in licenses

      Has the OSI put a specific proposal on the table? If it has, would you mind posting a link to it? I’d like to read it the proposal before I decide whether I agree with your interpretation of it.

      • No, they haven’t. They ejected one person from their mailing lists after giving warnings. I don’t know if Eric was also sent private warnings, but the published ones named nobody.

        • >I don’t know if Eric was also sent private warnings, but the published ones named nobody.

          Answer: I was sent one notice that one of my messages had been rejected. I had to ask to find out which one, and even then I was given only a vague and incomplete explanation.

          • >According to the relevant person at OSI, private warnings were sent.

            If I published every piece of email I was sent, you’d see how uselessly vague the one “warning” I got was. Clearly not designed to support me in correcting my behavior to their standards, but only to record a gesture that would justify censoring me.

            John, you should know better than to expect constructive guidance or even basic honesty from the censorious-minded. Their minds don’t work that way. It’s all about the control.

            • “Why should a corporation have a conscience, when it has neither a soul to be damned nor a body to be kicked?” What it does have, however, is the right to be sued: no corporation will say more to anyone about anything than it absolutely has to.

              However, what a corporation does not have, unless it is a legal(ized) monopoly (and thus effectively a branch of the state) is the ability to censor anyone. Censors make it against the law to publish a work, backed by threats of fine, imprisonment, or worse. OSI simply doesn’t count.

      • Someone hasn’t been paying attention to how the SJW’s operate at every other institution they’ve taken over.

        • Just trying to figure out the facts of the case before I take a position. Partaking in collective outrage over a broad class of people is a recipe for poor judgement, which I am seeking to avoid.

    • And I thought I was just kidding in http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/2020-February/021320.html

      On the other hand?—?the OSI doesn’t currently want this. But certain empowered elements want the discussion about this scheme to continue on the OSI lists a?n?d? ?t?h?e?n? went as far to kick a dissenter out. That is worrying.

      http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/2020-February/021266.html calling it “a wonderful thought experiment” (from the second-to-last Debian Project Leader) is even more worrying. (The DFSG, Debian Free Software Guidelines, have shared history with the OSD, OSI’s Open Source Definition.)

      And no, you’re not going to be allowed to add an anti-* clause ?

    • Yes. You make a negative statement of right.

      “Contribution to code under this license, or use of the same code, shall not be limited by or to anyone.”

      Note: nothing in that about community. Just the code. The GPL is not about protecting any community, it is about protecting code as free speech. Easy peasy.

  7. Related question: Should “or any later version” clauses in open source license be considered a potential, uh, security hole? (“Social vulnerability”?)

    It seems like the options are:

    – Trust the organization that created the license and include the “or any later clause”

    – Trust the BDFL (or similar) and require contributors to grant them re-licensing rights.

    – Accept that future re-licensing attempts will require unanimous sign-off from contributors (or that those who do not sign off will have to have their contributors removed/rewritten)

    – Trust that the original license is good enough for future purposes

    For MIT/BSD permissively licensed projects, the last option seems like it’s fine. For GPL/EPL, it seems like the relevant laws get kind of complicated? Or is this a non-issue in practice?

    • Should “or any later version” clauses in open source license be considered a potential, uh, security hole?

      This is exactly why Linux is GPLv2-only and without an upgrade option.

    • I, and more importantly Larry Rosen, who is an IP attorney specializing in open source, believe that the requirement for unanimity is a myth. A work is a joint work if contributors’ patches are meant to be, and actually are, merged into a single work rather than being independent and separate works in themselves. The classic case is a songwriter and lyricist who intend their words and notes to form a single song. So here are the legal principles of joint authorship (per findlaw.com, but there are other sources; this is case law, not the letter of the statute):

      1) Each co-author will own an equal ownership share in the work. This will occur even if one of the co-authors has contributed a greater quantity of the work than the other co-authors.

      2) Each co-author will own an “undivided” interest in the entire work. This means that if the publishing project consists of illustrations and text that the artist and the writer will each own fifty percent of the entire work, i.e., the art and the text.

      3) Any co-author, without the permission of their fellow co-authors, may grant non-exclusive rights to the work to third parties. However, a co-author may only grant exclusive rights to the work to third parties if the co-author obtains the prior consent of the other co-authors.

      4) Each co-author has a duty to account to the other co-authors for any profits obtained from the exploitation of the work.

      (I omit point 5, as it is about transferring or inheriting rights.)

      It seems clear to me that the first half of point 3 says that any co-author can change the license on the *whole* work unilaterally, provided they conform to point 4. Such a move may be bad politics, but I think it is good law. And of course most open-source projects make no profit at all, and so conform to point 4 automatically.

      I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but it is not the unauthorized practice of law either.)

    • > Should “or any later version” clauses in open source license be considered a potential, uh, security hole? (“Social vulnerability”?)

      Of course they should. I can’t fathom how anyone could write a blank check like that.

          • Lots of folk are, shall we say, different but know better than to talk about it with strangers. Those that do are, 99% of the time, trying to look normal and failing, xor using it as a deliberate attempt to dominate. “Put up with my BS, or else.”

            If it were really about nondiscrimination we would not know about Ehmke’s sexual proclivities or religious peccadilloes, because they are not relevant to a programming mailing list. You also don’t mention your street address because code complies regardless of where it’s from.

            The trap goes thus: talking about such things genuinely is a big red flag. However, censoring Ehmke for talking about them can be portrayed as being about what’s said, rather than the fact of saying them.
            Because talking about them can be portrayed that way, they are an even bigger red flag. Occasionally strict liability applies and this is one of those times. Even innocent slips must be treated as political attacks.

          • The wonderful thing about “show me the code” is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a trans practictioner of Egyptian ritual magick, or if you’re a dedicated Stalinist, or if you have seven arms and two heads–what matters is producing good work. People can be (and often are) weird/eccentric/nuts in other parts of their lives while producing good work and making beautiful things. We need to be able to accept their work and make a place for them without letting them take over and demand that everyone take part in their weirdness/eccentricity/craziness.

            • From experience, that’s also a problem in the big silicon valley companies. One cannot just bury their head and concentrate on work, there is a constant push to join in on ‘diversity and inclusion’ initiatives.

      • >a long-time practitioner of “Egyptian Ritual Magick”

        Yes, Ehmke is a toxic looneytoon. No, being a practitioner of “Egyptian Ritual Magick” is not itself evidence that she’s a toxic loonytoon. Several regulars on this list, including me, have gone deep into various occult systems as means of self-knowledge.

        On the other hand, if you weren’t wrapped too tight to begin with, occult practices can and will make you crazier. I wouldn’t bet against Ehmke being in the “more crazy” category.

        Also ignore the stuff about “Satanism”, that’s just McCain being the kind of dumbshit Christian zealot who sees Satanists under every bed. First, what McCain is labeling “Satanism” (the worship of the Christian anti-God) is what someone who actually understands Western occultism would call “diabolism”; and second, Crowleyan ritual magic goes some weird and unpleasant places that I do not care to explore, but diabolism it is not.

        • that’s just McCain being the kind of dumbshit Christian zealot who sees Satanists under every bed.

          If you had listened to the warnings of the “dumbshit Christians” back when you were designing the open source culture, rather than assuming that anyone who laughed at the same jokes as you was a “hacker” and therefore a “good guy”, the resulting culture might have been more resistant to infiltration.

            • I figure it was the Council of Nicaea. Constantine got a bunch of politicians in a room and made a political document, not a theological one. Though certainly later developments made it worse.

              Nevertheless Eugene is correct. For all their sins Christians have SJWs well-pegged. Almost like they’ve dealt with Christian heretics before.

              • >We should not presume to know who Eric believes to be his true enemies.

                What? Have I been even the least bit unclear about this?

                • The inverse you might say of your revealed preference is pretty clearly Christians, whatever you may claim on the surface.

                  • >The inverse you might say of your revealed preference is pretty clearly Christians, whatever you may claim on the surface.

                    What precious stupidity that notion is. I am no less hostile to Islam and Marxism.

        • By linking to the McCain piece I am not endorsing McCain’s p.o.v. in general. I was just interested in the information in the article.

          I am also not saying that being trans or into magick necessarily makes anyone a toxic looneytoon. I just see a number of traits that, taken together, seem to raise the odds of being a toxic looneytoon radical activist. Drinking lots of beer doesn’t necessarily make you overweight or an alcoholic, but it raises the odds.

          Clearly present in this case are emotional disturbances, sexual confusion, higher IQ, and some elaborate fringe beliefs. I don’t know this person, but based on that cluster I’d also guess: more than light drug use, food issues, and a troubled relationship with Dad (if there was one). Just some amateur psychology from me, but I’d bet I’m right on at least two of those three.

          I’d agree with any real shrink that none of those traits, on their own, is necessarily bad, wrong, or shameful. (Heck, I’ve got a few of them myself!) However, I think it’s important to understand the personal and psychic drivers of any ideology. When political positions look crazy, it’s often because their proponents really are crazy.

          • Probably for the same reason you wish to be addressed as “Rich S.” on this site. It’s polite to call people what they wish to be called.

        • Sorry, but Crowley was a wackjob. ‘Do as thou wilt’ has an awfully strong correlation with child molestation, and anyone delving too much into the occult is probably doing it to justify baser desires. Four pages of Aristotle contains more intellectual content than all the Freemasonic, Crowleyian, Lucius Trust (etc) literature that you could find on planet earth.

          It’s like scientology. Membership indicates that you ain’t normal.

          • I’m no Crowley fan, but even I remember that full quote:

            An it harm no one, ‘do as thou wilt’ shall be the whole of the law.

            I think you overlooked that “harm no one” part.

  8. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:

    First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

    Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

    The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

  9. There must be some black members of OSI. If you could find a couple with a sense of humor who are prepared to talk like dey in da hood and toss a few f- and n- bombs into the mix, it would be fun to see if the moderators still stick to their rules…

    • >I’m sold, but I have no affiliation with OSI, what can I do to help?

      Join OSI Read the platforms for the Board nominees in this round. Vote for someone who does not have the intent to screw with the nondiscrimination clauses.

      • Frankly, I don’t see much reason to join an organization that’s already maggoty with SJWs.

        I would suggest that if you create something like the Open Source Initiative in the future, you should trademark the name and keep it as your own personal property so that if it goes off the rails, you can create a replacement and deny the SJWs the use of whatever reputation has accrued before they fucked it up.

        • As I understand, the whole point of setting up the OSI was to ensure the movement and ideas would move beyond being just “ESR’s thing”, and thus, survive him. Your suggestion would run counter to that goal.

          • I’ve come to think that ANY name/platform/project/whatever will get corrupted eventually. Perhaps it’s better to focus to focus on the freedom to create new ones and jump ship to whichever ones are getting it right at the moment than on hoping any particular one will remain pure forever.

          • Perhaps a BDFL with a groomed successor is a better model for that than opening up governance to the “community”. “Community” tends not to scale past Dunbar’s number.

          • The original approach has succeeded in the moving beyond “being just ESR’s thing”, but probably not in the way he intended. It’s at the expense of the “movement and ideas”, so perhaps a different approach is called for on the second go-around.

  10. Who called it?

    After Stallman went down, I thought “They’re going to go after Bruce Perens next, and try to shanghai the OSI.” And now here we are. Mere days after Eric told me nothing to worry about fam, ethical source won’t get anywhere with the OSI because corporate lawyers are terrified of it, CAE announces her candidacy for an OSI board seat. This could go two ways:

    1) She wins the board seat (likely). She already has a few sympathizers among OSI leadership, including Pamela Chestek and Josh Simmons, so Ethical Source becomes part of the new definition of Open Source.

    2) She loses the board seat and proceeds to go on a Twitter rampage during which she accuses the OSI of being transphobic, or of “not doing enough” to support PoC and LGBTQ+ in technology. She is soon joined by the rest of the Usual Suspects[0]. Clickbait tech rags put up thinkpieces examining whether we really need the OSI, as it is clearly an organization with outdated and outmoded values. The board eventually capitulates. However much of a case you may build that Coraline is a “toxic loonytoon”, she is also a cunning strategist who has learned volumes from her early mistakes. She knows how to position herself to come out smelling like a rose, PR-wise, and her opponents come out looking like paranoid jerks.

    The upshot is, there is no way you come out of this not looking like the asshole. At best, you will be seen as Reverend Jack from the Ren and Stimpy episode of the same name, throwing rocks at the institution you helped establish because it no longer comports with your value system from a time when women and LGBTQ+ people were still not seen as full people. Hacker values have shifted with hacker demographics; there’s been a large influx of millennial and younger hackers who don’t really remember the 90s in our culture and think they invented a comprehensive and expanded view of human rights. The best reaction you can get from an appeal to 90s technolibertarianism is “OK boomer”.

    At $JOB we have a rule: Every code review comment must be addressed. Either correct the issue brought up by the comment, or provide a suitable explanation for why it shouldn’t be corrected, invoking the relevant team norms regarding code quality. Ethical Source is now an issue that Must Be Addressed. The hacker community at large sees the problem thus: the Trump administration is using open source to imprison children for the crime of being brown; capitalist institutions like Google and Palantir are using open source to create conditions of total surveillance that Ingsoc would only dream of; the work of good hardworking engineers is being used for evil. What do we do about this? “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer. We must either correct the problem or explain, using community norms, why it needn’t be corrected.

    Oh, and those corporate lawyers? Bet you they fear being seen as complicit in human-rights abuses much more than they fear running afoul of an ambiguous license. Coraline knows this. It’s a key card in her deck.

    [0] The Usual Suspects include, but are not limited to: Aurynn Shaw, Valerie Aurora, Sage Sharp, Matthew J. Garrett (who has already begun writing thinkpieces on acceptable ethical clauses in licenses), and of course Coraline herself.

    • Eric, Jeff may be a vile SJW-sympathizer, but he does have some points:

      1) Your appeal to abstract principals in the title is not going to convince anyone.
      Your supporters already agree with you. The SJW’s don’t care and can’t be reasoned with. And more importantly, the people in the middle are motivated by fear, and the title just sounds like begging for mercy.

      2) Corporations, and merchants more generally, tend to be institutionally spineless since a messy drawn out fight tends to cost more money than even an unfair settlement. As a result they tend to quickly fold to whoever is the loudest/most powerful, be it the open source community in the 90s, or the SJWs and Chinese Communist Party today.

      • I should also mention that Jeff’s central claim is B.S.

        To the SJWs “they’re using open source for evil” is merely an excuse to seize power, your supporters know it is B.S., and to the people in the middle agreeing to their framing would simple make you look weak.

        • I disagree that ‘“they’re using open source for evil” is merely an excuse to seize power’.

          Surely there are some for which this is true, but of the people I have personally communicated with, many, perhaps most, have adequately convinced me that this is a genuine motivation.

          Where we differ is in the “what to do about it”. Most people who want to do something to redress what they see as Evil believe it’s possible to do this without creating greater evil. I disagree with that position, too.

          Assuming there is always a hidden agenda is as great a way to go wrong as assuming there is never one.

          If you’re going to call me naive for believing them, I invite you to consider the concept of “kafkatrap”, and please cite evidence as vitriolic rhetoric may be useful to create social pressure but does very little to advance knowledge.

          • A person can have a genuine, heartfelt position on something without ever inspecting the core principles underpinning that position. Lenin called them “useful idiots.”

            The Progressive Left is driven by surface level compassion, but when you break down their goals and intents to axiomatic bedrock, the real unexamined horrors become manifest. Note: The Prog Left is not unique in this.

            A useful yardstick, I find, is to test their principles against the core idea of individual divinity (if you’ll forgive the theological language). If implementing their principles requires sacrificing the principle that every individual is infinitely valuable, you’ve got the groundwork for genocide.

            • When I studied philosophy we discussed this, all too briefly. Identifying and stating the hidden premises underpinning arguments (sometimes called ‘unpacking’) can be a powerful tool.

      • You know, you *could* have just said “Jeff has a point on this”….
        While I rarely agree with him on various issues, “vile” is a bit harsh.

        Unless you were using sarcasm, and I just missed it. In that case, disregard.

        • While I rarely agree with him on various issues, “vile” is a bit harsh.

          This is precisely the kind self-tone policing in an attempt to be nice that permits entryists to thrive.

          • I’m not trying to be nice. I am trying to follow the one established rule ESR has made on the forum: No personal attacks. Many, if not most, of Jeff’s ideas make my teeth itch, and I have no issue with you calling his ideas out as shit, provided you can back your statement with something. But calling the person himself “vile” when he is actually taking the time to thoughtfully contribute is the kind of monkey screaming, shit flinging behavior we call out the lefties for. How often have we rolled our eyes at “Oh, you disagree with my political opinion? You must be a vile racist homophobe!”

            Ah, this is stupid. I don’t even like the guy, and I’m defending him. Say what you want, and I’ll stay out of it.

            • Ah, this is stupid. I don’t even like the guy, and I’m defending him. Say what you want, and I’ll stay out of it.

              I think that’s a shame. Your attitude here is exactly what I think this grander debate is about.

              People have a lot of disagreements about a lot of things. In the context of software, the consensus being promoted is that, whatever your other opinions might be, you hold open software above them. OSI is supposed to be a place where people are willing to sacrifice their prior beliefs about how software ought to be used, in exchange for the right to use that software at all. The catch to having the power to reject some people from contributing software is that that power may someday be used against one of us.

              Blazoned across the top of the Ehmke2020 page is a bald rejection of that consensus. While it’s valid to reject that tradeoff in a broader context, I don’t think that’s in keeping with OSI, or with any initiative in securing rights to the marketplace of ideas.

          • “This is precisely the kind self-tone policing in an attempt to be nice that permits entryists to thrive.”

            Then let me rephrase it:

            Ad hominem arguments are invalid logic and lead to inefficient processes or incorrect results. A habit of ad hominem thinking is a habit of sloppy thinking.

    • High sophism skill. Almost got me, in fact. I would also categorize Coraline as a performative toxic looneytune rather than a true believing crazy. Either that or she’s firmly under the thumb of someone whose head is on straight. Evil, but on straight. Do remember that catspaws are a thing in court politics.

      Here are the lies:

      She knows how to position herself to come out smelling like a rose, PR-wise, and her opponents come out looking like paranoid jerks.

      Bet you they fear being seen as complicit in human-rights abuses much more than they fear running afoul of an ambiguous license.

      The truth of the first is having journalist friends. The Official Press only leans one way, as everyone already knows, and grassroots public opinion is a myth. There’s also an element of trying to pre-empt the appearance of victory. Sophists love to promote false consciousness.

      The second is whitewashing. Is the job of the lawyer not to be scared of things that aren’t illegal. It’s not illegal to be complicit with the government – not even with Outer Party officials. Even if it were, it would be retroactively legalized. As always with Sophist distortion, this is an admission that there’s something to hide. In this case the lawyers are scared of Jeff Read or whoever he’s a catspaw of. (Volunteer catspaw?)

    • > The hacker community at large sees the problem thus: the Trump administration is using open source to imprison children for the crime of being brown;

      Then perhaps the hacker community needs a dose of reality. Or to grow up, because that argument follows the same “but I was only just” argument my kids try to float, but in the opposite direction against orangeManBad.

      • More likely, Jeff is describing his own positions and preoccupations and attributing them to ‘the hacker community’, in order to wear their skin and demand respect. Ho hum.

    • [Ehmke] loses the board seat and proceeds to go on a Twitter rampage during which she accuses the OSI of being transphobic, or of “not doing enough” to support PoC and LGBTQ+ in technology … The upshot is, there is no way you come out of this not looking like the asshole.

      Question. If I were to stockpile stories like this one with the intent of asking questions to Ehmke or similar ilk about whose behavior / response in that circumstance should be supported, and whose classified as inappropriate — would you define such questioning as “looking like the asshole” even with explicit statement that I am seeking to ensure tech spaces are more supporting of LGBTQIA+ or other marginalized persons? What about taking similarly transgres expressive actions as those in the same article?

      How about the statement, “Once not very long ago, if you stood in the quad of any college campus and shouted ‘there is no God’ it would have been considered an offensive to morality” — do you think that might be defined as being an asshole?

    • > because it no longer comports with your value system from a time when women and LGBTQ+ people were still not seen as full people.

      What a pompous little SJW we have here… completely missing the point BUT BEATING THAT IDEOLOGICAL DRUM Y’ALL! WON’T ANYONE NOTICE XIR SUPPORT OF THE CAUSE AND AWARD SOME MUCH NEEDED ATTENTION?

      Fuck off with that bullshit…

      • I’m deliberately adopting a certain perspective for rhetorical purposes. It’s not a perspective I agree with, but it’s a perspective sincerely (if naïvely) held by many hackers and thought-leaders within the hacker community, especially if they are younger than about fifty or so.

        • > I’m deliberately adopting a certain perspective for rhetorical purposes.

          Note to regulars: This something Jeff does A Lot, if you haven’t already twigged. He’s terrible at signaling when he is doing this, so any time you see him write something that makes you go “what the hell is he talking about?” do a check for emulated-bullshit vs. actual-bullshit to see if you’re just missing the point through reasonable but erroneous expectation.

    • There is already an Ethical Software Definition. No need for OSI to do anything or have anything to do with it. It can only weaken OSI’s brand. All discussion related to the ESD should be referred to its authors.

      • This is an excellent point. The OSI should confine itself to promoting Open Source, and let people who want to brand themselves as “Ethical Software” do so via the ESD, not the OSD.

    • > The hacker community at large sees the problem thus: the
      > Trump administration is using open source to imprison children
      > for the crime of being brown;

      That’s dumber than drinking your own bathwater. Anyone saying that out loud (or in writing) ought to be told “hush, the adults are trying to have a conversation”.

      No one that stupid should be allowed near a compiler.

    • Putting “ethical clauses” in doesn’t make the license any less ambiguous. As for corporations caring about copyright anyways in state contracts, that’s laughable. If you don’t have a massive team of lawyers that can get past the “classified”, “can niether confirm nor deny” BS, you still have to get over the fact that copyright can be waived or abridged “in the national interest”. At best you’d bet some monetary compensation that barely covers court costs and would be appealed to the bitter end.

      And all these potentially hundreds of ethical clause are going to be incompatible with each other in unforeseen ways, and hurt “us” a lot more than it ever hurts “them”.

      Sure, open code enables corporations, but it enables the common person to a much greater degree. Corps can do a clean implementation of what they need, or buy a proprietary *NIX. You and I? – Not so much.

  11. Pingback:

    Vote -1 Vote +1#esr message to #osi — the one that got him banned — I cannot fin… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (??)

    • ‘The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies’ is a pretty common Conquest quote. Where is it called fake?

      • You appear to not understand that the burden is on you to show that it is real. People have asked before, and no written version of this has been produced. Feel free to do better.

          • A Random Xoogler once wrote: “I don’t care about citing sources accurately, and I leap into discussions to say that. I think attributing bogus quotations to people is just fine.
            Somehow, though, I think people should take me seriously.”

  12. @ESR “…so that no-one will ever feel uncomfortable.”

    Eric, I’m certain you know this. But the above is a pretty severe misdiagnosis.

    They couldn’t care less about making anyone uncomfortable. (At best, it is only a question of who gets made uncomfortable.) What they are after is raw political power. They will gladly throw minorities, immigrants, women, trans, the poor, LGB or any of their other treated-as-pets identity groups under the bus if it serves their one aim: the accumulation of political power. And everyone and everything is expendable in pursuit of that aim.

    They lie about this. Just like they lie about everything.

    There isn’t so much as a shred of good intention among them. I’m speaking of the prime movers, not the useful tools who cower in the corner too afraid to speak truth, or other various parts of the spectrum who find it easier to just throw in with whatever direction the group-think is headed.

    They seek to rule, and as they gain levers of power, they will show no restraint in making a large number of people very uncomfortable. It’s what they always do.

    • Oh, “as long as those made uncomfortable are so because they don’t conform to newthink, they’re making themselves uncomfortable, so it’s okay, we’re inclusive after all, it’s you that’s excluding yourself” thus?

      • Hm, “if this makes you uncomfortable you’re part of the problem” is something I heard during a Debian debate.

        This kind of logic, it’s hard to find objective arguments against this weird way of thinking that is so illogical it just makes me splutter (as if they have the right to consider all dissenters problematic, as if there were no middle ground). Especially since it’s about *feeling* uncomfortable; persons on the “spectrum” are not used to discuss, or even analyse, their feelings.

        The whole “argumenting” with SJWs is biased against non-neurotypical and non-English people.

    • Hard agree. Best not to buy into the narrative. At the very least make them prove their good intentions.

      Codes of Conduct are for seizing power. If they already had power, the code would already be the de facto rule. The fact they’re hiding the power grab behind something means there’s something to hide. Typically they’re envious of the current administrators and will design the CoC specifically to attack their functional and normal behaviour. This is particularly egregious in meritocratic-enough contexts such as programming, since it admits they have no merit.

      CoCs exist to fuck you.

    • There’s a 1960’s quote that puts it well and concisely:

      “The issue is never the issue, the issue is always the revolution.”

      And have no doubt about it, bloody revolution is precisely their intent.

  13. Wake up and speak out. Embrace the right to be rude – not because “rude” in itself is a good thing, but because the degenerative slide into suppression of disfavored opinions has to be stopped right where it starts, at the tone policing.

    I notice a distinct lack of rudeness in this post. You didn’t even reproduce the e-mail that they wanted to censor, much less name and shame any of the people responsible besides Ehmke. And even there you made little attempt to shame Ehmke much less insult him.

    The reason people privately support you while publicly keeping quite is because people are afraid of SJWs but not afraid of you. You should be channeling your inner Trump, point out Ehmke’s complete lack of technical ability. Name his accomplices, point out their flaws technical and otherwise, come up with catch insulting nicknames for them. Lining up with the SJWs against you should carry personal costs, right now it doesn’t.

    • A point of order. Ehmke is quite technically proficient. I speak from personal experience. That’s what makes him/her/it so dangerous. Don’t let your contempt blind you to your enemies’ strengths.

  14. Here’s my take on the events. ESR attacked a specific person (also named “Eric”, which is confusing) and not merely what they were proposing (and “proposing” would itself be tendentious: no specific proposal was ever made) in a space belonging to OSI, a California corporation.

    There is no “right to be rude” on what amounts to private property. Be rude to me in my own house and I’ll firmly and politely ask you to stop. If you won’t stop, then I’ll tell you to leave. So far that has worked pretty well; a few times I have escalated to yelling. But in principle I could push you out and slam the door behind you. That’s what happened to ESR. (Note: OSI says its mailing lists are public fora, but that is a legal term relevant only to government action or inaction.)

    I don’t know what, if any, private warnings ESR received. The three or four public warnings did not name him and were apparently aimed at all of the list members.

    In any case, ESR chose to make this be about the right to be rude. However, there is also the question of whether he was in fact rude. Looking over his 17 postings, most of them are civil and innocuous in my eyes (though again I am not an OSI member or director); however, I believe that his February 25 posting and his February 26 posting are personal attacks. I quote the relevant parts:

    “Because that way he [the other Eric] couldn’t use our prestige to advance his goals. He couldn’t use OSI to pretend to be pro-freedom while actually being against freedom.”

    “You are mounting an ideological attack on our core principles of liberty and nondiscrimination.”

    These are of course statements of opinion, but an expressed opinion that someone is contemptible is still an attack, however worded.

    The entire discussion can be found on the February 2020 messages-by-thread page.

    As for my view, I think “ethical open source” is a bad idea because it becomes a hit-list of people and organizations that quickly grows out of date: as I posted, “My concern with it is that license texts are potentially immortal. Suppose the preamble says ‘John Cowan is a bad, nasty guy and we hate him; please avoid him.’ Well, in ten years the licensor’s opinion of me may change, and then what? And in 100 years, who’ll know or care who John Cowan was?”

    • Here’s my take on the events. ESR attacked a specific person (also named “Eric”, which is confusing) and not merely what they were proposing (and “proposing” would itself be tendentious: no specific proposal was ever made) in a space belonging to OSI, a California corporation.

      A corporation that Eric founded, he has the right to be as rude in his house as he likes. In fact had he been ruder to the SJW entryists and their suporters earlier, things might not have degraded to the point that he could be kicked out.

      • ESR co-founded OSI in 1998 and resigned in 2005. He began by saying, “After twenty years of staying off this list, I have joined it.”

        Since the OSI, per its bylaws, has no members but only directors, it is not his house any more. He’s in the same position as the founders of Etsy, Groupon, Jet Blue, or Yahoo.

        (In short: Vas you dere, Sharlie?)

          • > So what is this page all about??

            Sorry if I sounded snarky here, but I am truly puzzled. What do I get if I spend my $40 annually for “Individual Membership” in the OSI? If I am not a member after I pay that fee, am I a director? A bystander? Someone who gets to vote for a director, and hope she or he will move the organization in the directions I desire?

            • Key thing is you get to vote for members of the board. Per the OSI’s published rules on elections[1], only persons who were members before the start of elections may vote. Also per that same page, voting begins March 2nd. You have the rest of today, and tomorrow to join if you want to vote in the upcoming board election. Which you probably should if you have an opinion about the qualifications of any of the current nominees[2].

              Set aside the current incident that motivated the OP. Really, if you have an opinion as OSI as an organization, and where they are going and what they are doing, then membership gives you a slice of agency in that.

              1. https://opensource.org/elections
              2. https://wiki.opensource.org/bin/Main/OSI+Board+of+Directors/Board+Member+Elections/2020+Individual+and+Affiliate+Elections/

              • So the OSI will let anyone who shows up with forty bucks vote for their board no questions asked. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long for it to get taken over by entryists.

    • “These are of course statements of opinion, but an expressed opinion that someone is contemptible is still an attack, however worded.”

      I believe you are agreeing with ESR and others that suggest that “Persona non grata” licenses are themselves an attack, and thus excusing such attacks (whether in a license, license preamble, or in a forum discussing licenses) should not be tolerated by the Open Source community.

    • (I acknowledge and thank John Cowan for various edifying comments, here and elsewhere.)

      In one of my own brief postings to the cited license-discuss thread, I made a further comments above and beyond ‘hit-list of people and organisations that quickly grows out of date’: The notion, explicit in Mr. Eric Schultz’s Persona non Grata Preamble ‘idea’, that a single management speaks prospectively for a codebase, is utterly clueless about the most central, foundational concept of open source / free software: the right to fork.

      As I pointed out, a declaration in a codebase licence’s PNG Preamble that person X is henceforth declared persona non grata, and therefore pull requests / code contributions shall never be accepted by central authority Organisation A, is going to look comically foolish a few years later when/if Org A disintegrates and its codebase persists and thrives in forks managed by other groups entirely. Which happens, oh, rather a lot.

      Imagine if the licence covering X.org’s graphical display code continued to bear a prominent notice in 2020 that ‘The XFree86 Project, Inc. shall steadfastly refuse to cooperate with coder Keith Packard and refuses to accept his patches because he’s a Bad Person’. (For those vague on X Window System history, XFree86 Project faded quickly to insignificance and disbanded in 2004, after backing adoption of a problematic additional licence term and suffering consequent mindshare and developer loss. X.org is now the predominant surviving fork and sponsoring group.) Mr. Schultz’s proposal was to create and perpetuate just such notices — under the remarkably unperceptive mistaken impression that codebase management is fixed.

      I found that blind spot extremely curious — i.e., being unaware of obvious implications stemming from the right to fork — in a prominent public spokesman for a free software organisation (LibrePlanet) like Mr. Schultz. For his part, Mr. Schultz then ignored my (above) critique, and instead (as John Cowan saw, and condemned) responded with a non-sequitur and gratuitous slur against my personal morals, attributing to me some disreputable personal views I have nowhere articulated or implied, and do not hold.

      Schultz soon thereafter (apparently) flounced off.

      — Rick Moen
      rick@linuxmafia.com

      • The problem with that approach is it relies on the existence of an open source hacker culture that values good code. It’s not clear to what extent such a culture still exists.

        In the old days hackers worked on open source to scratch their own itch and because they loved hacking. Now people mostly work on open source because potential employers look at their github contributions.

        • Eugine_Nier, I’m actually puzzled at your assertion that what I said ‘relies on existence of an open source culture that values good code’. As far as I can tell, nothing I said in my specific critique of Mr. Schulz’s Persona non Grata Preamble ‘idea’ relies on that cultural value, in any way. What I said is either objectively true or objectively not, without any reference to said cultural value, it seems to me.

          I’m sorry, am I missing something? If you’re talking past me, not connecting with what I said, and just doing a drive-by, fine: I ceased being offended by total-non-sequitur rhetorical flourishes on the Internet quite a few decades ago.

          — Rick Moen
          rick@linuxmafia.com

        • It’s not clear to what extent such a culture still exists.

          Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.

        • > that values good code

          That twigged me onto something I’ve long seen and didn’t have good words for until now. The OSS folks value good code, but they sure as hell don’t value good *products*. And productionizing something is where the other 90% of the work is.

    • Thank you for this summary, John, and especially for the link to the original exchange on the OSI mailing list. Now everybody can read it for themselves and form their own opinions.

      • Now that I have read the exchange, the notion that Eric (Raymond)’s attacks were ban-worthy strikes me as ludicrous. Eric Raymond did not write that Eric Schultz’s father was a hamster and his mother smelled of elderberries. Eric Raymond expressed a negative opinion of Eric Schultz’s political agenda. That was not an attack on Eric Schultz’s person.

        And what’s more, this exchange does not even begin to raise the question whether people have a basic right to be rude. With the benefit of having read most of the thread over at OSI, I’m surprised Eric Raymond framed the issue in those terms here.

        • But Eric did write that Coraline Ada Ehmke was a “toxic loonytoon”, and that all ethical source licenses were part of a conspiracy orchestrated by her and others to undermine open source and ensure that it was policed by SJW commissars.

          From a factual standpoint, he is mostly if not completely correct.

          But if you haven’t been paying close attention, Coraline Ada Ehmke looks like nothing more than a prominent open source developer, anti-harassment/anti-hate activist, and candidate in good standing for an OSI board seat. Eric’s email sounds like the paranoid ranting of, say, MikeeUSA or Marc Lépine. And when you put that in the greater context of Eric’s views on race and IQ, the optics get really, really bad. Coraline isn’t the one who comes off looking like a toxic loonytoon. And in a corporation, whether it be a regular business or a nonprofit foundation like the OSI, optics matter more than almost anything else.

          • It only sounds paranoid because people haven’t read enough history. For the most part I don’t agree with Eric’s politics, but in this case he is very properly correct. The idea that you can weaponize a group’s policies and guarantee that it will never be aimed at you (or people you like) has been proven wrong over and over again, with a record going back for millennia. From the second you say “a license can exclude X” the policy is Chekov’s gun, and you can’t make any guarantees about which actor is going to reach for it.

            And of course the idea that you shouldn’t weaponize your organization’s rules has applications that go well-beyond licensing.

          • all ethical source licenses

            Special pleading and assuming victory again. Yes, we know you think they’re ethical, but you have yet to demonstrate to anyone else they’re anything other than siege weapons. ESR in fact said nothing about ‘ethical’ licenses.

            What he in fact said is that certain elements have attempted to subvert certain clauses, and he thinks that will lead to the cessation of code creation. (And that’s bad.) You can infer some ethics but none were in fact raised.

            Coraline isn’t the one who comes off looking like a toxic loonytoon.

            You can tell by how ESR’s comment section doesn’t have anyone speaking in favour.

            This despite the fact that I had vocal support from multiple list members who thanked me for being willing to speak out.

            Hmm…

            There’s an attempt to hide something. Means Jeff has something to hide.

            optics matter more than almost anything else

            Reworded: “Just surrender already, prole. Your betters have made their opinions known.”

            Leftists, man. It would be one thing if they could speak in straight lines, like a normal person. However, it seems all but the very stupidest feel the need to lie about critical points. (And the dumbest tell the truth because don’t know any better.)

          • Jeff Read> But Eric did write that Coraline Ada Ehmke was a “toxic loonytoon”,

            That’s what he wrote here, in his own blog. But over at OSI’s license-discuss mailing list, as best I can tell, Ehmke was neither a participant in the discussion nor a topic of it.

            and that all ethical source licenses were part of a conspiracy orchestrated by her and others

            Which is not a personal attack. It’s a fairly straightforward statement of fact. (Except for the word “conspiracy”– which Eric didn’t use over at OSI, anyway. The faction of activists he is arguing against is perfectly open about its intentions.)

            So unless there’s a really terrible stinker of an email that didn’t make it into the OSI’s mailing list archive, the thread over there raises the issue of incompetent mailing-list administration. It does not raise the issue of rudeness and the right to engage in it — in my ever so humble opinion.

            • me> as best I can tell, Ehmke was neither a participant in the discussion nor a topic of it.

              On further reading, it turns out that the latter part of this statement is false. I stand corrected.

            • Thomas:

              You will find in another of my postings here a bit of text Eric R. attempted to post to license-discuss that, I gather, was intercepted and rejected by the OSI listadmins, but then was responded to and quoted in full by subscriber Gil Yehuda. Therefore, Eric’s extremely pointed comments about Ehmke did transit out to the subscribers (e.g., I got a copy of Eric’s comments as quoted by Gil), but then I infer that at least the quoted text if not Gil’s entire posting were then retroactively removed (manually) from the Pipermail archive.

              The way this can happen is like this: Eric R., whose subscription still bore the moderated flag because that is set for new subscribers and cleared after a few postings, replied to Gil on-list but also CCd him (or included him on the To: line), like this:

              From: Eric S. Raymond
              To: license-discuss@lists.opensource.org, Gil Yehuda

              This was held in the listadmin queue because of the moderated flag, but Gil received the direct copy, and then responded (quoting Eric’s full text in non-interleaved, corporate fashion):

              From: Gil Yehuda
              To: license-discuss@lists.opensource.org, Eric S. Raymond

              Because Gil (unlike Eric) is a longtime subscriber and hasn’t had restrictions put on his posting ability for perceived misbehaviour, his subscription bears no moderated flag, and his post went straight through.

              OSI management made on-list reference to a rejected post having gone out anyway as quoted text from someone else, and about that rejected text having been retroactively excised, if I recall correctly.

              I happen to be a veteran GNU Mailman site admin and listadmin, and I’m pretty confident in the above reconstruction. And because of that, I’m sympathetic, within limits, towards OSI’s listadmins’ problems in grappling with their sometimes fractious fora.

              As it happens, about twelve years ago, I got an even bigger listadmin headache dropped into my lap: Owing to missteps by the previous officer regime at Silicon Valley Linux User Group, under autocratic and alcoholic President Paul Reiber, the main mailing list had become a continuous brawl of trolling, mutual attacks, and sundry other noise. Incoming President Andrew Fife asked me to take over the abandoned site admin / listadmin duties in addition to other sysadmin duties. I accepted, having a few plans to psych out the problem children in ways they didn’t expect.

              With Fife’s approval, I trimmed a lot of nonsense from the posted mailing list rules, maximising brevity and clarity of what remained. Then, when there were violations, I politely asked the guilty parties on-list to cease (always explicitly saying I was speaking with the listadmin ‘hat’, to be clear this wasn’t just a personal request). As expected, this was ignored and prompted escalated misbehaviour, which lead me to step 2:

              I posted direct mail to the miscreant, CC’d to the publicly archived but low-membership Volunteers mailing list, an organisational list for active SVLUG volunteers, quoting the full text of the offending posting for the record, and saying that the person’s subscription would bear the moderated flag for two weeks to get his attention and provide adult supervision. And I promised to send a similar note at the end of two weeks saying the training wheels were now off (and made sure I did so). Meantime, I posted to the main mailing list as well (with explicit listadmin ‘hat’), saying an administrative sanction had been applied to misbehaviour and full details including the entire offending posting were available at [direct Volunteers HTML archive link]. Rarely, I would purge the noxious posting from the main mailing list archive, and would say so if I had done it. (Doing this properly is quite a bit of work.)

              What was a huge win about this improvisation is that every action I took, and what prompted it, was fully on the record every time, and people could vet that I wasn’t inventing rules out of /dev/ass or overreacting or playing favourites. Meanwhile, the half-dozen people accustomed to generating entertainment by public verbal fighting tried a few times to get me to overreact, were foiled by my being consistently mellow, and pretty soon gave up.

              I’ve grown to really like the model of listadmin enforcement being 100% publicly documented in this fashion. The people sanctioned can neither claim ‘censorship’ (since the subscribers did receive their tantrum mail, and exactly what they said remained available in the Volunteers archive) nor could they lie or misrepresent the nature of their (deliberately minimal) sanctioning.

              Before the half-dozen problem children gave up and went away, they attempted the tactic of cross-posting inflammatory mails to both SVLUG’s main mailing list and to other well-populated LUG mailing lists in my area (Silicon Valley). On first occurrence, I made a polite listadmin request that this not occur. When, predictably, this prompted attempts to anger me (for the lulz) and escalate the behaviour, I deployed Mailman’s regex filtering feature to automatically block and reject any further such crosspost attempts. This was the ideal sort of solution: self-enforcing prevention of jerkwater conduct.

              • >I happen to be a veteran GNU Mailman site admin and listadmin, and I’m pretty confident in the above reconstruction.

                Rick, your reconstruction matches my incomplete knowledge of the events.

                >And because of that, I’m sympathetic, within limits, towards OSI’s listadmins’ problems in grappling with their sometimes fractious fora.

                I would be, too, under many circumstances. These are not among them, since “play nice” has been subverted into a tool for a power grab by our enemies.

                In case it’s not clear, “our enemies” are those who aim to replace the values of rude meritocracy with one in which speech is routinely suppressed. They aim, as Ian Bruene has observed, to wear OSI like a skinsuit.

                • As I said, I am sympathetic with their dilemma within limits, and nowhere does that state or imply endorsement of particular actions taken.

                  I’m sure you’re aware that I’m characteristically wary of overbroad claims and of personal editorialising without a realistic and worthwhile objective, so I’ve carefully steered clear of doing so, for reasons including not wishing to muddy substantive factual points and logic critiques that I actually seek to get across.

                • Eric wrote:

                  They aim, as Ian Bruene has observed, to wear OSI like a skinsuit.

                  Funny thing, after Mr. Eric Schultz had a go at OSI’s license-discuss and quickly flounced out, the mailing list had a visit for three days from the previously absent Ms. Ehmke (over March 6-9).

                  Her positions, plus the specifics of her Ethical Software Definition and her self-declared qualifications for the OSI Board of Directors drew some polite but quite pointed criticism from several regulars, including me. I was not surprised to see that she engaged only with people who had accepted the ideological framing she’d proposed, and she completely ignored the several critics (including me) who disregarded that framing, and instead went much lower on the General Semantics abstraction ladder. This strikes me as a calculated tactic on Ms. Ehmke’s part: She has no answer to critics who post strong critiques closely based on verifiable observed fact, but is practised at disarming or deflecting those others.

                  Forgive the immodesty, but I still think my (unanswered) two critiques ([1], [2]) were particularly effective.

                  Mom the Fortune 50 corporation-tamer always taught me to choose my battleground wherever feasible. It’s funny how many bright people never learn that lesson, and permit the other ‘side’ to frame the issue according to their preferences.

    • an expressed opinion that someone is contemptible is still an attack, however worded.

      Thus it is your opinion that it should be a breach of bylaws to state that a contemptible person is contemptible?

    • >There is no “right to be rude” on what amounts to private property.

      No. but if OSI no longer upholds the liberty to speak freely even when doing so gives offense, it has turned its back on the intentions and principles on which it was founded.

      That, if nothing else, is a point on which my authority is irrefutable.

      • ESR>if OSI no longer upholds the liberty to speak freely . . .

        Eric I assume you subscribe to the principle of not attributing malice to behavior that can be explained by mere incompetence. So how does mere incompetence not sufficiently explain what happened in that thread over at the OSI?

        For example, I imagine that the OSI, like most other organizations on the Web, has a shortage of volunteers for administering its mailing lists. And when an under-staffed and overworked team of volunteer administrators deals with a heated discussion where people are starting to flame, it gets too trigger-happy about banning people. This is undesirable, but pretty common and usually an innocent mistake.

        What makes you think this is more than such an innocent mistake, that it reflects a deliberate anti-liberty bias among the people running the OSI today?

          • Ian Bruene> Because we have seen this rodeo about 10,000 times already.

            Fair enough. For the benefit of those of us who haven’t, though, would you mind describing the pattern of “this rodeo”?

            • 1. There exists a community / forum / company / fanbase / etc.

              2. People enter and start demanding CoC-type mechanisms. This may be immediately upon entering, or after they have wormed their way up to positions of power.

              3. Someone who is a long standing member of the community, and has always been gruff or otherwise not-perfect gets thrown out. Objections are dismissed because the person was excessively rude and we really need to be inclusive. Why do you object to politeness if you don’t hate women and minorities?

              4. Loop: tightening of rules, with the rules becoming ever more explicitly political and destructive continues, with more and more of the original community getting pushed out in various ways.

              5. There exists a community which wears a skinsuit of being about X. But X is never talked about, only cultural marxist bullshit. The original purpose is dead.

              • Thank you for your explanation, Ian.

                Ha! To me as a German, that sounds exactly like the strategy we knew, back in the 1970s and early 80s, as “the long march through the institutions”.

                The term was coined by Rudi Dutschke, a Marxist student activist in the late 1960s. He puzzled together he substance behind the term from bits and pieces by Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School of Social Research — especially Herbert Marcuse. Or as you put it, “cultural-Marxist bullshit”.

                Who would have thought that America, of all places, would make the Long March Through The Institutions fashionable again! What else is new in America, tie-dyed shirts? Has this Corraline Ada Ehmke person staged a bra-burning yet?

                • Our Long March has been working through the institutions for decades. Clown World is because we are at the end state and are pushing back, to their horror.

                • >Who would have thought that America, of all places, would make the Long March Through The Institutions fashionable again!

                  You know, one of Moldbug’s most shocking ideas is that leftist memes tend to travel from the US to Europe. Literally everybody else, both leftists and rightist, in both the US and Europe tend to think the opposite.

                  So I go reading about Dutschke on wiki and I find he

                  1) had an American wife

                  2) early focus was on protesting the Vietnam War, a strange goal for a German since he has no chance of influencing it

                  3) joined the Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund which not only had the same abbreviation as the SDS in the US but also “quite similar in its goals”.

                  Too many coincidences. It looks likely that Dutschke found the student movement in the US cool and wanted to imitate it.

                  • I think, rather, that it’s that the Puritan–Unitarian power center almost entirely transferred to New England.

                    • Same thing. Dutschke’s American wife was a theologian and Dutschke’s version of socialism had a Christian bent, calling Jesus the greatest revolutionary of all times etc. etc.

        • me> What makes you think this is more than such an innocent mistake, that it reflects a deliberate anti-liberty bias among the people running the OSI today?

          Okay, this statement from Pamela Cestek, the chair of the OSI’s license-review comittee, proves with abundant clarity that this was a deliberate action by the OSI’s board to enforce the OSI’s mailing-list code of conduct. It was not a mistake. And to me, it strongly supports Eric’s earlier claim that ” OSI has become an organization in which kowtowers rule.” How sad!

          I think my question to Eric just answered itself.

          • >I think my question to Eric just answered itsel

            I’ll add a note that most of OSI’s staff and BOD probably don’t understand how they’ve been hacked yet – it’s no that they have a “deliberate anti-liberty bias”, they’re just infected with a set of “diversity” premises that destroys their ability to recognize or resist the intentional totalitarians.

            • I keep thinking about this idea of Ayn Rand’s–she talked about people being philosophically disarmed.

              That is, you’ve absorbed a bunch of premises (maybe without thinking about them) that removed your ability to fight back when someone’s doing something you are pretty sure is wrong. There is a set of ideas relating to social justice that, once accepted, disarm you against certain lines of attack–you no longer are confident enough in your own rightness to refuse to allow (say) occasionally-rude community members to be pushed out of the community, or to oppose some apparently high-minded set of rules that seem like they might allow for some nasty abuses of power, because you don’t want to oppose diversity or you don’t want to silence women or whatever.

              Rand got plenty wrong, but that one, I think she hit out of the park.

              • She also got right the idea that people will hit you with “lack of empathy” as a weapon. After a while, I’ve decided to respond rudely as well.
                Her authorship is terrible, but her philosophical work was quite good. The best summary is The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Dr. Leonard Peikoff. The first few chapters are a slog, but it hangs together surprisingly well.

        • And when an under-staffed and overworked team of volunteer administrators deals with a heated discussion where people are starting to flame, it gets too trigger-happy about banning people.

          Yes because banning the founder of the organization is the kind of thing an overworked administrator will randomly do.

    • ESR> I am not fooled. You are mounting an ideological attack on our core principles of liberty and nondiscrimination. You will not succeed
      while I retain any ability to oppose this.

      Well, that’s pretty straightforward. The only rational response from the other side is to deprive him of that ability by not letting him post.

  15. It’s not enough to say “we’ll start our own.” The institution, the infrastructure, and the reputation capital are all *hugely* valuable, and will take much more time and effort to recreate than it took to create the first time, because the captured organization will be fighting you the whole time.

    Either recapture the institution, or find a way to collapse it entirely.

  16. Whenever a kerfluffle on the internet happens, I get very curious of the original incident and it’s context. Often enough, when I can compare the original posts, tweet, video clips, etc, I find what was said to be said, and what was actually said to be different things, and sometimes in important ways.

    A scan of the tweets on this give me the impression that the posts which the OSI are using as grounds to ban you are being withheld. If that’s true, that’s some bullshit.

    I can go to the public archives and read the recent posts. However, I don’t know if that’s been edited at all, if posts of yours or others were removed. Comparing your inbox/outbox to the publicly available archive, are there posts of yours or others that are missing from that archive? If there are, would you be willing to share them?

    • I’m guessing that one of OSI’s justifications for removal from license-discuss and license-review was an Eric R. post to the former that was (I gather) held for listadmin scrutiny and not approved, but was then quoted in a subsequent post by subscriber Gil Yehuda at ‘Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:41:54 -0500’, per SMTP timestamp. Its message body text as posted by Mr. Yehuda follows. (Disclaimer: I have zero visibility into OSI mailing list administrative practices and have at no point ever had insider status at OSI. In very general terms, I’m sympathetic with the task the listadmins face, but make no comment on specific administrative actions taken. Also, for clarification, ‘ESD’, mentioned below, appears to be ‘Ethical Software Definition.’)

      Gil had apparently written (upthread):

      Personally I’m confused about the details of the ESD, but that’s OK, if I wanted to, I’d join the working group and learn more about it.

      Eric Raymond then replied (in a posting to mailing list license-discuss that was, I gather, rejected by OSI listadmins, but then propagated out as quoted text in a second-level reply by Mr. Yehuda):

      Here is everything you need to know about the ESD:

      * Its originator is a toxic loonytoon who believes “show me the code” meritocracy is at best outmoded and in general a sinister supremacist plot by straight white cisgender males.

      * The actual goal of the movement behind the ESD is to install political officers on every open-source project, passing on what constitutes “ethical” and banishing contributors for wrongthink. Even off-project wrongthink.

      * They have already had an alarming degree of success at this through the institution of “Codes of Conduct” on many projects. This *has* led to the expulsion of productive contributors for un-PCness; it’s not just a problem in theory.

      * The “Persona Non Grata” clause is best understood as an attempt to paralyze
      resistance to such political ratfucking by subverting the freedom-centered
      principles of OSI. It is very unlikely to be the last such attempt.

      Make no mistake; we are under attack. If we do not recognize the nature of the attack and reject it, we risk watching the best features of the open-source subculture be smothered by identity politics and vulgar Marxism.

      (End Eric R. quotation.)

      Personally, it strikes me that there are more obvious and striking failures of Ms. Ehmke’s ‘definition’, starting with its full embrace within its plain language of proprietary software, thus showing either disregard for fundaments of open source / free software or incomprehension of those fundamentals.

      — Rick Moen
      rick@linuxmafia.com

      • Personally, it strikes me that there are more obvious and striking failures of Ms. Ehmke’s ‘definition’, starting with its full embrace within its plain language of proprietary software, thus showing either disregard for fundaments of open source / free software or incomprehension of those fundamentals.

        That’s the thing I’ve noticed about SJWs — they wear leftism as a skinsuit. Deep down they’re corporate as fuck. They love corporations, because once they infest one it provides them with a nice little niche where their power goes unchallenged. (A big clue was listening to Aurynn Shaw talk about how federated protocols are considered harmful because they cause “lock-in”. Her alternative? Everybody should just use Slack. Shill much?)

        What they can’t stand is people having fun without their official sanction. And that’s why all geekdom — science fiction, comic books, gaming, open source — has to either converge or die.

        Again, this is cool-kid wannabes finding out they can’t cut it at the cool kids’ lunch table, and so they invade and dominate the nerds’ table so they have someone, however low status, to rule over.

        • >Deep down they’re corporate as fuck

          Misdiagnosis. They’re collectivist as fuck. They look corporatist only when the most powerful groups available to skinsuit are corporations.

          • They use whatever suits their purpose. They use socialist collectivism as well as “corporatist collectivism” aka fascism (in the form of AntiFA Sturmabteilung thugs to strike fear into opponents, who either must take the property damage and beatings passively, or if they dare try to defend themselves, get arrested for “political violence”).

        • I would say large corporations are more inherently leftist than rightist. While ultimately they are responsible to their customers, in the short term there are many pockets of irresponsibility. It’s common enough to hop from one sinking ship to another, making a career of stealing the bailing buckets along the way. Scavengers make the economy more efficient, but unfortunately it would seem at least an even half of these are themselves puncturing the hull as a way of unlocking the bucket cabinets.

          Similarly there are many corporations that have escaped the market entirely via adoption by government, surviving off bureaucrats spending other people’s money.

          • One of my more promising half-baked ideas is that the issue is that the free market exists between corporations, not inside corporations. If every market actor is an independent contractor, market signals work 100%. But when a market incentive signal hits a corporation, the corporation has to perform a kind of signal transformation, turning it into many smaller incentive signals to its employees. And this transformation is lossy. This is why corporations do a lot of bullshit-bingo and buzzword-compatible technology and require 3+ years of experience in a technology 2 years old. All this is lossy signal transformation.

            So corporation employees and corporation managers are to a large extent shielded from market incentive signals and / or receive a poorly transformed version of them until the whole thing goes bankrupt. As long as it does not, the job is somewhere between a government job and being an entrepreneur on the market, and closer to the former.

            Then market signals catch up with them when the corporation goes bankrupt. Your point that it is possible to hop from one collapsing corporation to another, might be true, but I doubt it. Not only signal transformation gets lossier as a corporation grows, but also the fossils of all former poorly transformed signals accumulate as organizational culture. A new corporation, even if rapidly getting big, lacks these fossils and thus can keep its eyes on the ball: delivering customer value. Google back when they were great was an example of it. They wouldn’t have hired the buzzword-compatible managers from the failing corporations. Only a corporation that is already in an advanced state of cancer would hire them. But why would they hire anyone at all? Their market share is always receding as the new corporations are eating their lunch.

            • >One of my more promising half-baked ideas is that the issue is that the free market exists between corporations, not inside corporations.

              Correct. Ronald Coase’s theory of the firm, dating back to the 1930s.

            • https://hbr.org/2018/11/the-end-of-bureaucracy

              Old firms become stale due to a management quality ratchet. Most promotion happens due to a flashy success, rather than due to good execution. Luck. A good manager can see beyond the surface, but sometimes they make mistakes. Are rushed at the wrong time and so on. A bad manager is essentially guaranteed to hire only other bad managers.

        • Why is this a surprise, though? Labour unions are corporate entities, as are municipalities and co-operative associations. Left wingers love to hang out in all of those, particularly labour unions. They typically have a great deal of experience with all of machinations involved in board management, bylaw interpretation, grievance procedures, etc. They found a way to worm into for-profit corporations and adapted to a slightly different set of rules, but rules nonetheless.

          • As an old lefty whose parents were old lefties and union members throughout their lives, I have a twofold view of unions, as of democracy: where lacking, they are desperately needed; where present, they are generally corrupt. See Lord Acton quotation above.

            (There’s no union I would fit into, structurally speaking, with the exception of the Wobblies.)

  17. I don’t normally comment on blogs like this but, I just wanted to say thank you. I quite literally grew up reading your stuff, and these past four years have. Not been kind to me, as far as childhood heroes remaining sane goes. It’s really good to see that there’s at least one still fighting for the freedom to hack.

  18. The following statement falls right in with the mission of the former NKVD. I think Stalin would be proud.

    “Ultimately, any code of conduct is only as effective as its enforcement. Ehmke is now working on a tool for open source maintainers to help them gather and investigate reported violations, including documenting complaints, and communicating with people found to have violated the code.” Klint Finley – 09.26.2018 11:27 AM – WIRED

    (h)ttps://www.wired.com/story/woman-bringing-civility-to-open-source-projects/

    Aparently the next phase is being implemented.

    • Well, we are at the point where having and enforcing a code of conduct is table stakes for any serious open source project — so streamlining the enforcement bit has been going on for some time. Sage Sharp, dba Otter Technology, helpfully offers workshops and counseling sessions to help you enforce your CoC and respond to complaints appropriately. Yes, apparently that’s their new racket now that their attempts to seize power over the Linux kernel have (mostly) failed.

      • I’m still not sure those attempts have failed. Maybe ‘lying low while they wait for the heat to fade’, but as soon as they think our eye is off the ball, they’ll slice the next salami.
        Eternal vigilance.

        • Oh, I’ve no doubt they (plural they) will have another go. But as long as Linus is actually, functionally in charge of the kernel they can only do chip damage. They’re looking for another in, perhaps a way to force Linus to resign in order to save face. Doubtless Matthew Garrett will step up, producing more thinkpieces and a proposal for rules on who may contribute and how they must comport themselves in order to have access (so as to avoid “the fash” having any stake at all in kernel development), which will be readily accepted by new maintainer-in-chief Greg Kroah-Hartman.

          (I think Greg is actually a nice guy, just all too willing to capitulate to the villains.)

          And then, the Forkening will begin…

  19. Pingback:

    Vote -1 Vote +1iophk: “the word “rude” is just their current excuse, they would ha… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (??)

  20. The trouble is that your mind is under enemy occupation, that you think and speak in memes and terms created by people who hate you and seek to destroy you, that you accept the ideas of your enemies, you use words that are lies, the lies of your, and my, enemies.

    Free software is, in practice all white and all male, as near to all of us as makes no difference.

    There are people who look at the world that was created by white males, and are angry, and want to destroy that world and us, they want to destroy us, what we have built, and destroy our past.

    And you cannot reply to them, you have no defense against their accusations, unless you acknowledge that we built this world and they did not, and argue that makes us good, and them wicked and inferior.

  21. As a layman, I don’t know the ins and outs of running an open source organization, but as for licenses, why not use a non-copyright license:
    “This license is intended to work as if there were no copyright / immaterial property laws:
    You’re free to use this code in any way, including for profit. The one thing you can’t do is use copyright / IP laws to stop others from using it.”
    That’s open source. Are the laws really so complex that a straight-forward license like this wouldn’t work?

    • In a nutshell: You cannot magick away copyright and its problems by emitting a cloud of wording claiming it shouldn’t apply and shouldn’t matter. Treaties and the national laws implementing them create a worldwide copyright regime, and that is a fact that must be dealt with. (Also, if the author of that licence claims that ‘this license is intended to work as if there were no copyright / immaterial property laws’, then the author has purported to deny him/herself the only feasible legal basis for granting non-default access to the covered work.)

      Also, there is a very long history of software coders attempting to do this and committing inadvertent comedy because of ignorance about the law, and I would plead with readers here to not join that parade of bad examples.

      If you want some specific examples, please see my analyses of WTFPL and Unlicense.

      • The analysis of Unlicense reads as accurate as far as I understand it, but I can’t really grasp the point being lobbed against the WTFPL. There is an assertion that the writing is incompetent and prevents it from functioning at all, but you are lacking with concrete evidence for this claim, only building off the assertion when dissecting a fork of it.

        I’ve usually understood legal texts as being ways to convey the spirit of an idea. Besides using a “naughty” word, WTFPL seems to convey its spirit well enough in my view.

        Bias: I’ve used WTFPL on a few things myself. Usually on repositories that I don’t care about being all that serious or professional about. The OpenBSD license is my go-to for professional-looking projects. Basically identical in spirit, but without naughty words.

        • Umm… the point about WTFPL v.2 (the version pretty much everyone uses, out of the small group who do so) is that its language fails to grant permission for redistribution, modification, etc. of a covered work, only permission for redistribution, modification, etc. of WTFPL itself. It literally fails abjectly at the very most basic task of a software licence, i.e., addressing permissions applicable to software.

          Please don’t take my word for that. Read the licence text. It’s really short, clear, and totally misses its probable aim.

          In the larger scheme of things, a software licence, in order to be any good in the long term, must function as a legal instrument (a legally valid permissions grant). It must be well formed so that judges will end up (in the event of litigation) applying the author’s (and the licensor’s) intent. ‘Conveying a spirit’ isn’t nearly good enough: This isn’t a place for a sloppy manifesto with unfortunate and unintended consequences because of bad drafting. It needs to work. And this is why WTFPL and other ‘crayon licences’ should be carefully avoided.

          Ignoring that advice as a licensor may not create blowback for you personally, but eventually it’s likely to do so for someone relying on your terms, perhaps for a derivative work, who gets drawn into a legal dispute and finds out the hard way that the permissions grant he/she was relying on is legally broken.

          People already found this out the hard way about Larry Wall’s crayon licence, Artistic License 1.0, where the plaintiffs in Jacobsen v. Katzer (2008) found to their regret that they could not collect damages because of drafting errors in AL 1.0. (I was one of many people who’d been trying to warn against use of that badly drafted licence.)

          • Licensing is like crypto: if you’re going to do it yourself, you’d better damn well be a subject-matter expert (i.e., a top-tier lawyer/mathematician), and even then your work will have to be tested (in court/by cryptanalysts attempting to break your algorithm).

            Otherwise it’s best to use the work others have done.

          • the point about WTFPL v.2 (the version pretty much everyone uses, out of the small group who do so) is that its language fails to grant permission for redistribution, modification, etc. of a covered work, only permission for redistribution, modification, etc. of WTFPL itself. [..] Please don’t take my word for that. Read the licence text. It’s really short, clear, and totally misses its probable aim.

            Considering I said I have used it a few times, yes of course I’ve read it. I can’t even wrap my head around how it can be interpreted to not apply to the project as a whole.

            Considering the license was neither intended for software (it was made for WordPress themes in the first place; also why it lacks the usual warranty disclaimer), nor for very serious works, I doubt trouble will actually arise with its use.

            • For my part, I’m having a difficult time making sense of your not being able to parse the plain language. Let’s just quote it, shall we?

              DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE

              Version 2, December 2004

              Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar

              Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long as the name is changed.

              DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE

              TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

              0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

              It’s right there, man: It grants permission to copy or distribute copies of the licence document, with or without modification, and does absolutely nothing else. That’s a total fail.

              And this fallback excuse of ‘Well, it’s not for very serious works’ is telling, as it amounts to ‘Gosh, we don’t need to be competent because nobody is ever going to enter litigation over these works or any derivatives.’ And, the thing is, the people likely to suffer from this sort of careless ineptitude are not the licensors but rather uninvolved people remixing into derivative works, and I really don’t think it right to create that lurking menace for others.

              And the pity of it is, well-drafted, pithy permissive licences are thick on the ground, e.g., the one you cited, among several obvious alternatives.

              • It’s right there, man: It grants permission to copy or distribute copies of the licence document, with or without modification, and does absolutely nothing else. That’s a total fail.

                You are focused on the preamble rather than the actual license part. Per the FAQ you link in the sibling post, you are talking about part 2, not part 3.

                Part 3 says “Do what the fuck you want to” — ergo, everything and anything at all.

                • You’re (again) missing the point: The licence grants the right to ‘do what the fuck you want to’ concerning what or whom? It literally doesn’t say, and the only rights grant is in the paragraph you’re referring to as the preamble, granting rights to ‘this license document’.

                  Go ahead and use a licence parody as if it were a licence, if you wish, but competently drafted licences, which start with ‘George Tirebiter (C) 2020’ line to tie the text to the covered work, and then is clear and serious about granting rights to that work (and doesn’t incompetently ignore warranty issues, etc.) abound as alternatives.

                  I wouldn’t use a parody licence for my copyright-eligible works any more than I’d hire the services a parody mechanic for servicing an automobile.

    • Yeah, except no. They tried that in the 70s. Software was distributed with notices like “share and enjoy”, and the right to freely redistribute was implied in gentlemen’s agreements among hackers. There was, it was thought, no need for licenses; such legalese was an artifact of the evil proprietary-software industry and had nothing to do with hackers.

      Then Gosling sold his version of Emacs to Unipress, and the redistributability of the code (which had found its way into the hands of the likes of Stallman) was up in question. And it turned out we needed licenses after all.

      If you live in a regime where there are copyright laws (which is just about every decent place to live), you need to attach a license to your work in order to explicitly grant permission to redistribute and create derived works. Otherwise the default is “all rights reserved”. And not every regime with copyright has the concept of a “public domain” either; in particular the authors’ rights in European countries are somewhat stronger than American or British copyright, and contain rights that cannot be waived. There, it is even more important to grant explicit permission to copy, redistribute, and modify.

      • >Yeah, except no. They tried that in the 70s

        You have your history somewhat wrong. I was there.

        We didn’t try anything in the 1970s because at that time there was no controlling authority for software being copyrightable at all, thus no anchor for either licensing or anti-licensing. The statutory definition of copyrightable works was not extended to software until 1980, and that fact wasn’t much on anybody’s mind until Apple vs. Franklin in 1983. The Unix sources didn’t sprout copyrights until 1984.

        You’re back-projecting later defensive responses onto times when IP law wan’t on anyone’s radar.

    • cc0 fits the bill. More amusingly it is not approved by the OSI but is an open source license…according to the FSF and CC anyway.

      It explicitly doesn’t provide patents but most folks down own software patents so…

      • When it was proposed for OSI Certified approval, I was among the many on OSI’s license-discuss mailing list saying CC0 was self-evidently an OSD-compliant licence, if only on account of its fallback permissive licence wording. At the time, there was a lot of expressed unhappiness on the mailing list about the licence’s specific wording denying even implied patent licence grants, and a number of people were hoping Creative Commons would remove that wording in a small revision.

        Unfortunately, in the middle of that discussion, the person from Creative Commons who’d submitted it for approval withdrew the application. Otherwise, I’m confident it would have been approved by overwhelming vote, with or without redaction of its unfortunate patent-licence-denial clause.

        However, there are much better simple permissive licences, particularly for software. (CC0 is designed for artistic works, not software.) For example, Zero-Clause BSD, MIT, ISC, and Fair License are all short, clear, non-peculiar, and legally sound. And there are a number of others.

  22. “It is not the critic who counts, not the
    man who points out how the strong man
    stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could
    have done better. The credit belongs to the
    man who is actually in the arena…”

  23. Free software is produced by white males, as near to all of it as makes no difference.

    So if it is a meritocracy, whites are more meritorious than non whites, and men more meritorious than women.

    If whites are no more meritorious than nonwhites, and men no more meritorious than women, then free software must be a racist and sexist conspiracy.

    So, Eric, tell us which it is.

    The social justice warriors are asking you, demanding one answer, and I am asking you,, demanding the other answer.

      • Calling a contradiction a “false dichotomy” doesn’t make it go away. And it doesn’t stop the SJW’s from pushing it in the other direction.

        • It’s not even a contradiction; it’s a hodgepodge spaghetti of equivocations and blind assertions built on biased presumption. It is false in its very core and essence, as is so often the case when any identitarian collectivist attempts to reason from their twisted principles.

          • So what’s your answer to the question of why open source contributors are overwhelmingly white (and occasionally East Asian) males?

            • They are a group with the ability mentally model and manipulate large complex logical constructs. Much the same reason most engineers are male even now.

              Differences in ability and/or interest more than answers the question without appealing to racism/sexism.

              Nobody cares that East Africans dominate long distance running.

              • Precisely, different groups differ in their abilities, i.e., their merits in the sense of meritocracy.

                Nobody cares that East Africans dominate long distance running.

                That’s because nobody’s advocating a “speedocracy”. However, nearly everybody around here argues that software should be a meritocracy. Where by “merit” they mean coding ability.

                • No, coding ability is secondary to SJWs and that is the whole point.

                  ‘Merit’ is how many and what rank boxes the individual can check on their Intersectionality Oppression Bingo card (as of this second since it changes over time). White hetero males get no boxes and so have no merit.

                • However, nearly everybody around here argues that software should be a meritocracy. Where by “merit” they mean coding ability.

                  I’m not going to pretend I speak for anyone but myself, but I view “merit” as something of a derived measurement. There are two factors [at least — for this discussion I’m sticking to the most relevant two] which go into calculating if some action has merit.

                  First, how rare is the action in question? This can sometimes be a proxy for skill / training or the difficulty of the task in question, but it can also be affected by mere inclination — any user can write bug reports, but relatively few actually do.

                  Secondly, how valuable is that action to the organization performing this calculus in its purpose? So if a software project has shoddy or outdated documentation, then updating that should earn someone more merit than the coders who submit changes which are only tangential [at best] to the software’s core use, or which contribute to the documentation problem.

                  Now to be absolutely fair to the point you were making — both of these factors lean into “coding ability” conveying the most merit, but that is not the sole exclusive means by which contributions to an open source project should grant merit. This is a subtle but critical distinction — and it changes greatly the nature of anti-meritocracy complaints. [In other words: why is the argument not about increasing the merit granted to actions less reliant on coding, such as the maintenance of user documentation or curating bug reports? Why does the argument so often seem to include factors unrelated to the project, such as personal politics? Answer those questions, and it becomes obvious that the argument is not really about “merit” at all.]

                  • Thinking about it your basically correct.

                    On the other hand all the skills you listed are heavily g-loaded. So the demographic issues still apply.

            • So what’s your answer to the question

              THE question? Forty-two. /joke

              of why open source contributors

              Define “open source contributors.” This is not sophistry, I am hinting you towards an error.

              are overwhelmingly white (and occasionally East Asian) males?

              A.) I object to the framing altogether. It does not matter.

              B.) Citation needed.

              C.) I don’t need an explanation, I need only demonstrate that your (and/or Jim’s) exclusivity hypothesis is invalid.

              That said, assuming your premise, it seems to me that it can be as easily explained by the West’s technological head start due to historical positioning in the aftermath of empires and the devastation of world wars, coupled with underlying cultural differences.

              I’m sure there are other hypotheses one could posit with a little time and a modicum of effort.

              If there is more of one phenotype than another in the “open source contributor” population, you need to eliminate all other potential reasons for this before simply pointing at the phenotype you observe and screaming like a tribalistic chimp.

              What are your null hypotheses?

              Jim’s error, and yours, is to blindly assert that your hypothesis is true both in substance and in exclusivity, and then reason from that assertion while happily ignoring that there are other viable hypotheses.

              You can’t go directly from 1.) observing that the largest subset in a population has arbitrary phenotype X to 2.) stating that arbitrary phenotype X exclusively indicates fitness.

              I bet the vast majority of the “open source community” population has brown eyes, but claiming that any potential member with brown eyes necessarily has greater fitness is fucking stupid.

              You have to implicitly accept this kind of reasoning before you can even start to grapple with Jim’s dumbfuck dichotomy.

              Collectivists make my head hurt.

              • >If there is more of one phenotype than another in the “open source contributor” population, you need to eliminate all other potential reasons for this before simply pointing at the phenotype you observe and screaming like a tribalistic chimp

                Well put. Also, in order to not know a much more sound answer than racialist tribalism, they have to have ignored several occasions on which I have set it out quite explicitly on this blog. The relevant facts are not complicated.

                >Collectivists make my head hurt.

                Indeed. These racialists hate SJWs without realizing how similar to SJWism their own errors are.

              • >>THE question? Forty-two. /joke

                Ironically, the answer is right in hitchhikers guide. Of course we have a gender imbalance, and it is not restricted to the freedom respecting software community, but affects IT in general. That has more to to with marketing than anything else, you know, those people they shipped off to another planet in hichhikers guide. From the youngest ages, we are taught things like pink is for girls and blue is for boys, but that has nothing to do with the inherent nature of pink and blue, it is all cultural.

              • This sounds like willfully misunderstanding Jim’s claim, which is not that everybody with brown eyes has greater fitness than people with black eyes, but that they have a subset that has greater fitness and a better proven track record than nearly anyone with black eyes. Thus, when SJWs attack people with brown eyes, they attack the people who make technological progress happen.

                This isn’t collectivism. This is just pointing out that when white men are attacked collectively, this collective has individuals / has a subset that made all this happen.

      • Jim exaggerates as is his wont, but he also has a valid point underneath the bombast that you should not be so quick to dismiss. Let me try to elaborate…

        If free software were hypothetically formalized as a US operation or collection thereof, it would be illegal. It would fall foul of all sorts of disparate impact regulations, racial quotas, leveller laws, mandatory discrimination “antidiscrimination” acts, toxic workplace environment rules, et cetera.

        (Yes, the law is an ass. But talk is cheap; law still shapes culture, and that culture is coming for you.)

        Whites and men are overrepresented in free software relative to share of population at large (progressives like to round this off to just “overrepresented” as a sleight of mind from statistics to morals), blacks and women are underrepresented relative to share of population at large.

        The progressives say there’s an immorality here which needs rectifying. The Jimians say this is the result of races and sexes being different, for example, whites and men being better on average at writing free software.

        On strictly philosophical grounds, this is a false dichotomy. But in practice, these seem to be the alternatives on offer, because I have the distinct impression that every other position either grows implausible on the evidence or hard to defend on the morals.
        – Example of the former: “Historic path dependency favored whites, it’ll even out now that blacks have equal opportunity.” Following the Fourteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act #2, the Civil Rights Acts #3, #4, #5, affirmative action, diversity initiatives, ad nauseam, it’s not evened out.
        – Example of the latter: “Some subcultures just happen to be male-aligned or female-aligned, neither is better, just different, and free software happens to be a male-aligned one.” Vulnerable to progressives demanding that a female-aligned free software culture be created, or the existing one changed to not be male-aligned, or both.

        There may be more than two roads from the current point, but the destinations available strike me as quite plausibly a true dichotomy in the end: Jim, or SJW?

        • >Jim, or SJW?

          Jim, like all racists, mistakes accident for essence. Only it’s not that benign, because it’s not the kind of mistake you get from rationality hindered by bad evidence or minor error. It’s a full-throated emotional need for accident to be essence, all tangled up with the ugliest kind of tribalism.

          Here’s an essential fact: when a population with a 100 average IQ and a population with an 85 IQ are both producing programmers at comparable rates, the high end of the ability distribution is going to be utterly dominated by the population with the higher IQ. The racial mix of either population is irrelevant to this fact.

          Here’s another essential fact: when two populations with nigh-indistinguishable IQ means but different IQ deviations are producing programmers at comparable rates, the high end of the ability distribution will be dominated by the population with weaker centrality. The male/female mix of these populations is irrelevant to this fact.

          Here are three accidental facts: American whites have an average IQ of about 100. American blacks have an average IQ of about 85. White males have a slightly wider dispersion of IQ than white females.

          Assembling all five of these facts in a way that accounts for observed outcomes without being a crazed bigot is a trivial exercise. Jim is unable to complete it. Racists in general are unable to complete it, which is conclusive evidence that they are broken and stupid.

          • Here are three accidental facts: American whites have an average IQ of about 100. American blacks have an average IQ of about 85. White males have a slightly wider dispersion of IQ than white females.

            The problem is that these are “hate facts”. An employee of a company stating these facts, can and has been used as evidence in anti-discrimination cases against the company of a “hostile work environment”. Thus, companies are leery of hiring anyone who ever stated them.

            • >The problem is that these are “hate facts”.

              True, but when the topic is “What facts are racists unable to process without revealing that they are deeply broken and crazy” also irrelevant.

          • “Oh, the fact that blacks have an average IQ of 85 and so don’t produce top level programmers in any significant numbers is merely an accidental fact, therefore I’m not a racist – a racist believes this is an essential fact”

            Wut?

            No one cares about your imagined distinction between “accidental” and “essential” – the empirical fact is that it’s true and the consequence is that there are fewer top level black programmers than there would be if they were drawn at random from the American population. The legal system recognizes only “discrimination” as an explanation for this. When you disagree and say “ah, but groups (by accident) aren’t equal in ability” absolutely no one on the planet except you sees a difference between that and saying that “blacks, as a group, are (on average) less meritorious”.

            Do you imagine that someone like Jim denies that if the last 10k years of evolution played out differently then different groups would have different average levels of ability than they do now? Where is the imagined disagreement that makes you a wonderful person and him a stupid racist – because you sure aren’t making it clear to anyone but yourself.

            • > “Oh, the fact that blacks have an average IQ of 85 and so don’t produce top level programmers in any significant numbers is merely an accidental fact, therefore I’m not a racist – a racist believes this is an essential fact”

              > Wut?

              Your attempt at reductive rephrasing is certainly creative.

              You managed to transform:

              Axioms A, B, C, D, and E are true. There are ways to produce theorems from them that are not racist, but crazed bigots are incapable of doing so because they confuse C, D, and E with presupposed theorems produced from same.

              into:

              Theorem DP, produced by combining Axiom D and new Axiom P, has Characteristic Y. Y is not racist. !Y is racist.

              Fascinating. Have you been getting into the Great Old Ones’ correspondence again? I really can’t recommend it. Makes the mind go all woobly. Iä! Iä!

              • >Fascinating. Have you been getting into the Great Old Ones’ correspondence again? I really can’t recommend it. Makes the mind go all woobly. Iä! Iä!

                I wish to put on record the fact that I am amused.

              • You managed to transform:

                Merely attempting to Steelman what Eric wrote into a semi-coherent position.

                For example, consider your rephrasing:

                Axioms A, B, C, D, and E are true. There are ways to produce theorems from them that are not racist, but crazed bigots are incapable of doing so because they confuse C, D, and E with presupposed theorems produced from same.

                Thus implying that some of the theorems one can produce from A, B, C, D, and E are “racist”, even though you admit that Axioms A, B, C, D, and E are true.

            • >Where is the imagined disagreement that makes you a wonderful person and him a stupid racist – because you sure aren’t making it clear to anyone but yourself.

              “Jim, like all racists, mistakes accident for essence. Only it’s not that benign, because it’s not the kind of mistake you get from rationality hindered by bad evidence or minor error. It’s a full-throated emotional need for accident to be essence, all tangled up with the ugliest kind of tribalism.”

              Same posting you quoted.

              This is a ban warning. I think you are pretending not to understand a point that was made perfectly clear, and you’re doing it as a form of disruptive trolling. Stop that now.

              I don’t ban people for being racist. I do ban people for persistent disruptive trolling. You have a bad record on this.

              You now have two options. In option 1, you can demonstrate that you understand the distinction I just made and apologize to me for implying that I am a racist. In option 2, you can refuse to do so and be banned.

              Arguing that other people have a shit-poor grasp of what racism is and will tag me as racist based on presented facts is irrelevant, and will be processed as refusal. Their incompetence and dishonesty is not relevant to whether I choose to ban you, only yours is.

              • I have no clue what the distinction you are trying to make between “accidental” and “essential” is – it seems to be “one of these facts is grounded in a priori logic, the other is the result of the way evolutionary history played out” – which is a distinction without a difference because the only reality we inhabit has one natural history. I don’t recognize your distinction as meaningful – or even coherent and banning me makes it no more coherent.

                • The only distinction I can imagine is that if the genes for high melanin content somehow cause the 85 average IQ, and a Y chromosome causes higher IQ SD, they’re “essential”, but if they don’t, they’re “accidental” facts.

                  • Of course the genes for melanin are a small subset of the genetic difference between races and even a small subset of the difference in appearance. If you want evidence of that google image search for black albinos – you’ll have zero trouble identifying their ancestry even though the skin color difference is entirely gone.

                    As measured by fst, genetically white people and black people are approximately as similar / dissimilar as coyotes / wolves. Is there an “essential” difference between coyotes and wolves or mere “accidental” difference?

                    • Attempting to Steelman Eric’s position again, I notice that his distinction between “essential” and “accidental” lines up with the distinction between purely abstract statements about statistics and statements about the physical world. This is indeed a valid distinction, but it does raise questions about why he thinks anyone believes these distinctions are “essential”.

                      Also, maybe we should lay of off Eric. As a major public figure, he has to maintain at least a plausible claim to not being “racist”, even if he knows the argument is BS. I don’t think it’s really in the movement’s interest to place him into an impossible position by calling him on it.

                    • Also, maybe we should lay of off Eric. As a major public figure, he has to maintain at least a plausible claim to not being “racist”, even if he knows the argument is BS. I don’t think it’s really in the movement’s interest to place him into an impossible position by calling him on it.

                      This is a good point. I don’t think Jim seeks to put esr in a bad position. Jim is saying that esr is digging his own hole. It’s meant to be helpful.

                • >I have no clue what the distinction you are trying to make between “accidental” and “essential” is – it seems to be “one of these facts is grounded in a priori logic, the other is the result of the way evolutionary history played out”

                  Close. Paul Brinkley got it about right. An “essential” fact is one that is true in all possible worlds in which the terms of the claim make any sense at all, except possibly in a subset of measure zero so that it is vanishingly improbable you’d ever find one. See also: Kripke interpretation of modal logic.

                  This is different from “a priori logic” because “a priori logic” can’t really describe any observable world at all, just the behavior of formal systems which – in a fruitful but risky move – you may analogize to observables. Reasoning about all possible worlds we might observe is a use of logic and analogy, but it’s not “a priori” (like a mathematical proof) because it’s not composed entirely of moves inside the formal system.

                  An “accidental” fact is observably true in our world but could be false in other possible worlds.

                  There isn’t a possible world in which, given two populations with indistinguishable mean IQs but different deviations, the population with the smaller deviation will supply most of the geniuses. The are many possible worlds in which white females have a larger deviation of IQ than white males and therefore supply most of the geniuses.

                  Racists confuse accidental facts with essential ones. Furthermore, they display an emotionally-fixated need to continue doing this even when they are repeatedly confronted with counter-evidence. Are you ready to apologize for implying that I am a racist yet?

                  • Racists confuse accidental facts with essential ones.

                    Except as Steve pointed out neither Jim nor Steve not myself “[deny] that if the last 10k years of evolution played out differently then different groups would have different average levels of ability than they do now.”

                    Thus neither are “racist” by your definition. Are you willing to apologize to Jim and Steve for calling (not merely implying) them racists?

                    Note: none of us expect you to we’d much rather you realize that as the word is actually used “racism” is an anti-concept, just pointing out that by your logic and your definition of “racism” you should be.

                    • >Except as Steve pointed out neither Jim nor Steve not myself “[deny] that if the last 10k years of evolution played out differently then different groups would have different average levels of ability than they do now.”

                      I might believe that of you, because I think you are less broken than Steve Johnson is. Jim is much more broken. You all display varying degrees of irrational fixation on racist beliefs – it leaks through in the language you use about them.

                    • First in the comment I linked to Steve stated the same position as me. Are you claiming he’s lying about his beliefs?

                      Second, frankly I’m rather dubious that anyone who’s thought about the topic seriously enough in evolutionary terms to formulate that question would deny it.

                    • The distinction I suspect you’re trying for (and stating rather badly I might add) is whether the relevance of race is screened of by IQ, conscientiousness, time preferences, and whatever other trait is relevant.

                      This is related to two reasons to care about race that are frequently conflated:

                      1) race as correlate to the traits listed above.

                      2) race as Schelling point in tribal conflicts (which I don’t necessarily like but identity politics is forcing on us anyway).

                      For the analogous situation with sex there is also the issue that we probably want high IQ women spending their time raising their (high IQ) children to avoid dysgenic effects.

                    • I might believe that of you, because I think you are less broken than Steve Johnson is. Jim is much more broken. You all display varying degrees of irrational fixation on racist beliefs – it leaks through in the language you use about them.

                      This is some real “looks into the heart of men over the internet” stuff.

                      I don’t hold the anathematized position you describe as racist – that in all possible worlds evolution will have the same results. I merely hold that in this world as it exists, evolution did have the observable results that it did. As far as I know neither does jim – he’s certainly never expressed such an opinion – yet you still are convinced that this is an opinion he holds and that this opinion makes him a bad person. Bizarre.

                    • >This is some real “looks into the heart of men over the internet” stuff.

                      Last call. I’m not seeing an apology yet, just a lot of arm-waving.

                    • Eugene:

                      2) race as Schelling point in tribal conflicts (which I don’t necessarily like but identity politics is forcing on us anyway).

                      This factor is negligible in this case except in so far as the other side uses bioleninist coalition building tactics but very few of their forces in this are anything other than white men who rely on ideology / progressive religion as a cohesion point.

                    • This factor is negligible in this case except in so far as the other side uses bioleninist coalition building tactics but very few of their forces in this are anything other than white men who rely on ideology / progressive religion as a cohesion point.

                      Street and prison gangs are organized along racial lines. If law and order continues to decay, we will likely see more of this.

                    • Last call. I’m not seeing an apology yet, just a lot of arm-waving.

                      Apology for what?

                      You apparently hold the same factual beliefs as I do but you claim to hold some other belief that you looked into my heart and didn’t see that makes me a bad person for holding the same factual beliefs as you but that absolves you of the hideous sin of “racism”.

                      You are the one who owes me an apology for claiming that I am a “racist” by your definition when my position is indistinguishable from yours.

                    • >Apology for what?

                      Banned.

                      Idiot. You could have apologized and continued to argue the definitional point. But noooo, you had to wave your dick at me.

                    • Idiot. You could have apologized and continued to argue the definitional point. But noooo, you had to wave your dick at me.

                      So in order for Steve to stay and argue his position he would have had to apologize for being wrong. Classic kafkatrap there.

                    • > So in order for Steve to stay and argue his position he would have had to apologize for being wrong. Classic kafkatrap there.

                      You should reread ESR’s post. He didn’t say Steve had to apologize for being wrong; he said Steve had to apologize for saying that Eric is a racist.

                    • You should reread ESR’s post. He didn’t say Steve had to apologize for being wrong; he said Steve had to apologize for saying that Eric is a racist.

                      No he had to apologize for implying Eric was a “racist”. Whether he did or not is exactly the point under discussion. That’s precisely what makes this a kafkatrap.

                    • >That’s precisely what makes this a kafkatrap.

                      Now I think you’re just trolling. Please stop; I’d like to not have to ban anyone else this week.

                    • As far as I can tell, ESR’s accusation is that Jim does not believe blacks are less intelligent because

                      -they have fewer intelligence genes
                      -they have a smaller cranial capacity relative to their body size
                      -they have less neotony

                      Instead ESR is claiming Jim believes blacks are less intelligent because they are black.

                      Am I missing something?

                    • “Racism” is a fake word invented by a Communist.

                      But unfortunately, our tyrannical and illegitimate legal system demands that this phony word be taken seriously. And so ESR, who posts with his real name, must pretend that this fake word is real because the legal system’s armed men would compel him and others to do so.

                    • For decades I’ve defended you against people who’s claim, when you get to the essence you might say, it that there was something terribly off about you.

                      I see I was wrong, you are definitionally, not clinically insane. Expanding beyond the shit you flung in this subthread, you hate those who you could be your allies, while trying to curry favor with people who literally want you dead.

                      This … sophistry is one reason your career in open source software is coming to a squalid end, in its on way worse than the grave disappointment of Don Hopkins, who liked to stalk any mention of you on Hacker News to point out you believed in HBD.

          • Jim:

            > Free software is produced by white males, as near to all of it as makes no difference. So if it is a meritocracy, whites are more meritorious than non whites

            ESR:

            > when a population with a 100 average IQ and a population with an 85 IQ are both producing programmers at comparable rates, the high end of the ability distribution is going to be utterly dominated by the population with the higher IQ. American whites have an average IQ of about 100. American blacks have an average IQ of about 85.

            I notice I am confused.

            The difference between these excerpted positions appears to be one of tediously spelled out caveats and technical terms compared to brief generalizations, not a difference of substance.

            ESR attempts to explain the substance by accusing Jim of being a racial essentialist. I have a hard time believing that this accusation applies when Jim writes on his own blog (where he would presumably have less reason to restrain his alleged essentialism for fear of getting banned) things such as the following:

            > La Griffe du Lion finds that though the average criminality of blacks is substantially higher than that of whites, the variance is substantially lower. This predicts that under a firm and effective law enforcement environment, in which only the most criminally inclined misbehaved, a black majority area would be safer than a white majority area.

            I really am not seeing “full-throated emotional need for accident to be essence, all tangled up with the ugliest kind of tribalism” here.
            If Jim were subject to such a thing, I do not think he would have written the above, he would instead have written something more like “La Griffe du Lion is engaged in negrolatrous fantasies, when we all know a black majority area would never be safer than a white majority area, and anyone saying otherwise hates you and wants you to get murdered by blacks.”

            But that’s not what he wrote. Jim evidently understands enough accident-and-essence reasoning to discuss possible alternate worlds, in which his alleged tribe is not always painted in the best light. Also statistical distributions.

            On what else does the accusation of essentialism stand?

            I can see a possible ground in reading Jim’s generalizations for absolutes, as though (for example) the quote at the top of this comment were to be read globally “whites are more meritorious than non whites [at everything forever]” and not contextually “whites are more meritorious than non whites [at making free software]”. But I think the latter is the more sensible reading.

            • >ESR attempts to explain the substance by accusing Jim of being a racial essentialist.

              That’s because I’ve spent years listening to him talk like one in my blog comment section, and constantly having to fight the temptation to ban him because of that.

              I am gathering that you haven’t spent enough time around serious racists – the kind that used to run Stormfont before it was shut down – to recognize their rhetorical tropes. Jim is full of those.

              • Color me confused too. What I see in racists is a strong emotional need for the differences between races to be large and clear-cut, to the point where they gleefully seize on evidence of racial differences, spin those differences to seem larger, and outright lie about those differences. So where the SJWs conclude that the rarity of black programmers MUST be due to evil insidious racism, the racists conclude that the existence of any black programmers MUST be due to insidious affirmative-action fraud.

                But I don’t see how racial essentialism is either necessary or sufficient to produce this racism.

                Or is it your view that racists are racial collectivists, and that overestimating racial differences is not by itself enough to make one a racist? In that case, I still don’t see the racial-collectivist racists as being racial essentialists, but only incoherent.

                • >Or is it your view that racists are racial collectivists, and that overestimating racial differences is not by itself enough to make one a racist?

                  That’s right. I’ve written about this before; racism is a consequence of a cognitive error that confuses the statistical mass with the individual. But that error itself has a deeper cause in motivated reasoning.

                  In principle it would be possible that someone overestimates racial differences in an honest way. For example, hypothetically, it could be the case that someone could unearth a confounder in the sampling for IQ tests, redo testing, and discover that the mean gaps are smaller than we now think. At which point everybody discussing the consequence of these differences, including me, would turn out to have been wrong or at least need to account for how our predictions should change. But we would not retrospectively have become racists because of the overestimate.

                  Racist thinking is not honest. It proceeds from an emotional fixation on racial hierarchy, then expresses that fixation through confusion of statistical mass with individual. When confronted with counter-evidence, the racist seeks to preserve his premise of racial hierarchy above all. Whatever theory he surrounds that with is rationalization, not reason.

                  To sum up, racism is not just beliefs that are contingently wrong; like faith-centric religion, it is a deep derangement of the mechanisms of belief maintenance – a derangement that tries to hide itself behind rationalizing theory but does a poor job. The derangement leaks out in the language that racists use.

                  • To me, racism means the belief that people
                    have different rights depending on race.
                    For instance the right not to be enslaved or
                    the right not to be murdered by police. I
                    consider IQ scores to be as utterly
                    irrelevant as skill at video games or skill
                    at basketball. I do very well at IQ-type
                    tests (and very badly at basketball), but
                    that hasn’t made me especially successful at
                    business, at accumulating positive
                    credentials and avoiding negative ones, in
                    making lots of money, in persuading others
                    of my ideas, or in the Darwinian sense.
                    Also, it doesn’t matter whether IQ scores
                    correlate with coding ability, since coding
                    ability can be tested for directly.

                    Even if the races do differ on average in IQ
                    score, coding ability, or, most importantly,
                    on how honest and reliable they are, that’s
                    no reason not to rate people as individuals
                    and ignore their race.
                    Similarly with gender, though I can
                    understand men not wanting to work alongside
                    women, since in this #MeToo era the only
                    reason any man is not in prison for sex
                    crimes is because no woman has yet bothered
                    to falsely accuse him.

                    I’d also abolish forms of credentialism that
                    mostly measure wealth rather than ability.
                    Everyone should be allowed to walk in off
                    the street and take tests on everything, not
                    just people who have spent vast amounts of
                    money to sit in a room and be lectured at
                    for several years.

                    • It doesn’t provide any glue to hold a country together which means it is impossible to scale up.

                    • “in this #MeToo era the only reason any man is not in prison for sex
                      crimes is because no woman has yet bothered
                      to falsely accuse him.”

                      Bollocks. Do, pray, give us a list of names of men who have been sent to prison in the last few years based on accusations from female co-workers.

                  • Normal human behavior is to care about hierarchies and ones place in them. You can easily see this by the fact there are/were more racists in places where there are multiple races. It is just regular status competition. It might not be pretty, but it is in no sense deranged.

                    • (This is a reply to “photondancer.” For
                      some reason there isn’t a “reply” tag on his
                      message.)
                      “Bollocks. Do, pray, give us a list of
                      names of men who have been sent to prison in
                      the last few years based on accusations from
                      female co-workers.”

                      Bill Cosby, Jeffrey Epstein, and Harvey
                      Weinstein immediately come to mind, mainly
                      because they’re famous. Of course for every
                      rich and famous person, there are tens of
                      thousands accused who aren’t rich or famous.
                      And people who aren’t wealthy don’t get
                      trials; they get plea bargains.

                      Weinstein’s case shows that just because the
                      accusations are full of inconsistencies no
                      longer matters, but are explained away as
                      the effects of trauma. If so, I’d like to
                      know what defense against false accusations
                      is still possible. If all it takes is an
                      accusation, why even bother with a trial?
                      (I don’t know whether Weinstein is guilty.
                      You don’t know either. Nobody knows unless
                      they were there. His guilt certainly wasn’t
                      proven beyond reasonable doubt.)
                      Then there’s the programmer, fan, filker,
                      and con chair Bill Wells. ESR and I have
                      both known him for decades. I am certain of
                      his innocence, having read all 40 pounds of
                      his legal papers, which I had custody of for
                      a while. His accuser wasn’t a coworker.
                      Her testimony was full of contradictions.
                      He spent more than a decade in prison.

                  • From a purely abstract, philosophical or mathematical perspective, I agree with Eric’s point that for example if there’s a selectable outcome causally correlated with I.Q. then we should discriminate based on said objective metric and not conflate with other correlates (e.g. race) which are have significantly more variance than the tightly coupled causality. Why make the portion of the distribution of a population which has a high enough IQ suffer unnecessary discrimination?

                    Steve Johnson appears to not even understand that regardless of what I will write below.

                    If that’s all there is to the matter, then the racists seem to be tyrants and incapable of coherent reasoning. I figured that out at a very young age.

                    It seems that Jim’s followers reach for the racist Schelling point because they’ve observed what democracy and fairness has wrought.

                    So what can we offer that actually works? And for those who think what we have going now in the democratic West works, check back in about a decade from now and try to make that case then.

                    I don’t like the racist outcome nor the path we’re on. I don’t have a solution.

                    • >If that’s all there is to the matter, then the racists seem to be tyrants and incapable of coherent reasoning. I figured that out at a very young age.

                      So did I. I’ve observed over and over again on this blog that racism isn’t merely a problem of false beliefs, it’s a derangement of the process of belief formation – a defect in reasoning capacity. For which, of course, I get attacked by people exhibiting exactly that derangement.

                    • “Why make the portion of the distribution of a population which has a
                      high enough IQ suffer unnecessary discrimination?”

                      So it’s okay for people with low IQ to suffer unnecessary
                      discrimination? What’s so important about IQ, anyway? Is it somehow
                      more moral to discriminate based on IQ than based on race, sex, age,
                      religion, or formal credentials?

                      I, like everyone else, am good at some tasks and not so good at
                      others. One of the less useful tasks I’m good at is taking IQ tests,
                      SAT tests, and the like. Whether I should be hired for a task should
                      depend only on how good I am at that task (and, of course, on whether
                      I’m honest, reliable, and get along well with coworkers). It should
                      not depend on my IQ score unless the job consists of taking IQ tests,
                      a job which I don’t think exists.

                    • @Keith
                      IQ is correlated with job performance so in the absence of other metrics it is used.

                      Unfortunately most other metrics are now illegal or difficult which means people talk disproportionately about IQ.

                    • You are missing the crucial point that most people in all races (although somewhat fewer people in the white race) are massive collectivists who always think in tribal terms, and while tribalism can revolve around anything (e.g. religion), how people look like is a massive Schelling point to be tribal about.

                      In your worldview, and also in ESR’s, everybody can somehow learn to think like an individualist. But it is not gonna happen. Even if all whites would somehow become individualists, still most people of the other races stay collectivist and stay hostile or envious of whites as whites. And in reality most whites will not become individualists either, thus if when attack collectively, will retaliate against the other collective and not the individual perps. Leading to an escalation of retaliation and counter-retaliation.

                      There is only one known solution for this: build a fence between the feuding tribes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_lines whether this is an actual country border, or some form of separation, segregation, apartheid is a detail. Discrimination is not a good term to describe it, because that is something directed at individuals e.g. during a hiring process, while such a separation is meant to prevent violence between collective-minded tribal groups.

                      This is the “racist” position and not that it is a good idea to discriminate between individuals based on accidental as opposed to essential features which is indeed dumb. Rather it is about the fact that the world is full of tribal idiots, white tribal idiots, black tribal idiots, Catholic tribal idiots, Protestant tribal idiots, Muslim tribal idiots, Serb tribal idiots and Croatian tribal idiots and the only known solution to minimize violence is to separate them from each other with walls.

                      To make it a bit more palatable: it might also be possible to form city-states made up entirely of individualists who don’t do this tribal stuff and really do treat each other as individuals based on their own individual merits and not group membership. But those will be small and will also need to wall themselves off from everybody else.

                    • @TheDividualist, your retort is roughly the genre of caveat I had in mind where I wrote:

                      If that’s all there is to the matter […]

                      As far as I can tell, Steve Johnson was not articulating the distinction and (thus) was equating Eric’s position with that of the racists — which is unfair to Eric. I posted to try to help clarify Eric’s point and to note that the point may only be applicable in the lofty abstract or philosophical domain and not the practice on the ground in the sordid, real world.

                      Fiefdoms of individualists lack economies-of-scale and will be disintermediated by entropy. For example, for farm insurance to work in face of a Maunder Minimum global cooling wherein the plagues of locusts return because the cool weather triggers serotonin, the risk needs to be spread over a large portion of the earth’s land mass. Ditto maintaining sovereignty (self-defense) against the politics of the masses which encircle your fiefdom. And then they pass laws to take your guns away, tax you unconstitutionally[1], eliminate cash so they can control all financial transactions, etc..

                      [1] Some research indicates the 16th amendment was never constitutionally ratified. It was pitched as a tax only on corporations.

                    • @Keith Lynch wrote:

                      What’s so important about IQ, anyway? Is it somehow
                      more moral to discriminate based on IQ than based on race, sex, age, religion, or formal credentials?

                      My point is select for the most closely, causally correlated metric over the distribution, if any, for the selectable outcome. If for example IQ isn’t very causally correlated to some outcome, then maybe don’t select for it.

                      I’m sure you agree and understand that restricting our decisions to only 100%, perfectly causally correlated metrics would make it impossible to make many decisions. Fuzzy logic is often required.

                      For example I recall someone noted earlier that there are more specific tests for computer programming ability than IQ tests.

                      Ryan Hansen claims an IQ in excess of 220 and he thinks IQ doesn’t completely measure intelligence. His creativity appears to be off-the-charts. But his communications to me are nearly incomprehensible because he’s ostensibly so far outside my communication range. He has to invent new vocabulary to convey the description of what he’s thinking. He has to slow down and connect some dots for me.

                    • >If for example IQ isn’t very causally correlated to some outcome, then maybe don’t select for it.

                      According to one of the authors of The Bell Curve, the only cognitive skill psychometricians have found to be completely uncoupled from IQ is the ability to sense musical rhythm. So there isn’t much that you’d naively expect it to predict that it doesn’t.

                  • FYI

                    This is tragicomical. SJ is not a “nonracist” who wants to insult ESR by calling him “racist”, he is a “racist” who wants to make ESR understand “racist” is an epistemologically null and void category. It has always been a leftie category to describe The Other, and if you are a race realist (I think ESR on statistical distribution differences do make him a race realist) you will be called by the lefties a racist.

                    That is, the idea is that outside of these leftie categories there is no such thing as a racist. Sure there are maybe three dozen people somewhere who think everbody who is white is cool and everybody who is brown is not but they are not important.

                    Literally every intelligent person who comes across as a “racist” is usually just nothing more than a statistical race realist plus the “peace lines” argument I had above.

                    Jim does not have the obsession ESR thinks he has. All he has is statistics and the peace lines logic.

                    • I upvoted because indeed that epistemological taxonomy excuse is the ploy of racists. I hope you didn’t presume I was unaware that SJ was employing that argument.

                      SJ is a racist who insulted Eric by equating Eric’s stance to that of racists. Yet SJ doesn’t admit he’s insulting Eric, because SJ can’t comprehend that his taxonomy is invalid.

                      For example you can observe where such delusional racism leads, in Jim’s loony proscriptions of a return to nation-state monarchy (won’t be any less corrupted than democracy) and forming inkblot analyses of everything always framed in terms of oppression of patriarchy and whites. Soon everything looks like a nail for the same class/gender/tribe/race warfare/authoritarianism option. It’s a religion of hate and inkblot analyses. It lacks sophistication, nuance, nor objectively data-driven. Instead is confirmation-bias cherry picking. Lacks searching for outcomes that provide better outcomes than past failures of humanity. It lacks hope. It’s all reactionary scorched earth hell.

                      During hard times as the West is entering now, the false prophets proliferate to take advantage of the frustrations of people and turn them back towards their preferred, idiotic, regressive tribal tendencies.

                      I’m the antithesis of a progressive or liberal. But I don’t hate on people or want people to suffer because of some idiotic reactionary mania. And I find communion with all races. (I appreciate the diversity of nature and genuinely love people, even if some blacks are violent)

                      I am not segregating myself. I can rarely see a “white” European around where I am S.Texas. And everyone has been very polite and law abiding around here as well. Maybe there’s hope after all…

                      “Race realist” doesn’t have to mean as much as the racist thinks it means. They put too much emphasis on that as a scapegoat for problems that are caused by whites all by themselves. Jim’s nirvana proscriptions will end up as just another form of hell that people will then have to find more scapegoats to blame.

                      It’s like frustration directed at inkblots.

                    • It’s not that Jim doesn’t write truths sometimes. It’s how he cherry picks and weaves these into a narrative that feeds narrow-mindedness and desperate, panicked “salvation” in a scapegoating nirvana that will be nothing more than a worse hell after all. Sometimes I learn from or agree with some points in Jim’s blogs, but I don’t fall hoodwinked into the wood-chipper of his Jim Jones cult indoctrination psyops.

                      In short, Jim is preying on the fears and psychosis of mentally and/or emotionally handicapped men who think they’re intellectual.

                    • It’s not that Jim doesn’t write truths sometimes.

                      It’s that you’d rather ignore those truths so you can stay within the Overton window of polite discourse.

                      In short, Jim is preying on the fears and psychosis of mentally and/or emotionally handicapped men who think they’re intellectual.

                      I see you’ve adopted the leftist habit of classifying your opponents as insane when you can’t refute their ideas.

                      Notice how both you and are perfectly willing to sling SJW-style insults at Jim, Steve, myself and anyone to your right. But when Steve rights something that Eric hallucinates to be an insult Eric goes all SJW snowflake and starts kafkatrapping him. You might what to consider what that says about his and your psychology.

                    • so you can stay within the Overton window of polite discourse

                      you’ve adopted the leftist habit of classifying your opponents as insane when you can’t refute their ideas.

                      and starts kafkatrapping him

                      Your response was analyzed and anticipated before you wrote it by the content at link from ‘psychosis’ in my prior comment.

                      Is that impolite enough?

                      Jim, Steve, myself and anyone to your right

                      I’m far right of y’all. You’re all collectivists (e.g. you want to enforce widescale collective edicts, taxation, standing armies, nation building, State religion, etc) which means at the generative essence there’s no practical, relevant distinction from Marxists in the final analysis and outcome.

                      The plans of mice and men…

                    • But when Steve rights something that Eric hallucinates to be an insult Eric goes all SJW snowflake and starts kafkatrapping him.

                      This didn’t happen. It was explained to you multiple times before. You’ve failed to address the explanations.

                      It is high time for you to take a break from opining on the psychoses of others and reflect upon your own reflexive closedmindedness.

                    • Your response was analyzed and anticipated before you wrote it by the content at link from ‘psychosis’ in my prior comment.

                      Ah, yes let’s take a look at what it says at your link shall we:

                      Instead of identifying proper groups through qualities or properties of the objects in question, the psychotic merely instantiates groups on the basis of its representational needsi, and thus regularily and predictably produces ideal instantiations of very little intellectual merit, such as “the nation of africa”, “scientists”, “the earth”, “everyone”

                      So the implication is that the group “scientists”, for example, don’t have anything in common. Do I have to explain to you how ridiculous this is? Well, if we take that position seriously that means “science” as such cannon exist. In any case scientists have even more in common these days, e.g., the type of institutions they work for, how they’re funded.

                      His other examples have the same problem.

                    • As an example in support of my prior comments above about Jim’s dishonesty, he censored my comment:

                      https://blog.jim.com/uncategorized/the-cathedral-and-the-holiness-spiral/

                      Warrior rule doesn’t scale without “religion” because collectivism-at-scale is itself an extractable resource bearing an implicit power vacuum of extraction.

                      A warrior can’t plug the power vacuum without *maximizing* the extraction which spawns innumerable enemies. [Those who don’t maximize the extraction-by-destruction are destroyed by those who do. It’s a tragedy of the commons]

                      Thus the priesthood necessarily extracts by obfuscation and religious consensus — a form of collectivized madness [embodied in any tragedy of the commons].

                      Any improvement to this plight of humankind must hypothetically reduce the extractability of the collective resource itself [not referring to extraction by the collective of resources, don’t conflate]. Bitcoin is an example of a[n imperfect] technological innovation on that front. We need more of those.

                      I oft cite Eric’s related blog Some Iron Laws of Political Economics:

                      http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=984

                • “the racists conclude that the existence of any black programmers MUST be due to insidious affirmative-action fraud.”

                  This is a testable belief. Are there countries without affirmative action that have black programmers?

                  • Except I used “affirmative action” here in a broad sense that includes voluntary policies and programs, and not just legally-required ones. Or what used to be called “tokenism” where a single token member of a minority was hired for the sake of what is now called “virtue signaling.”

                    • That can also be controlled for.

                      The University of Lagos Nigeria has a department of computer science. You can look at them or their graduates and figure out if any of them know how to program.

            • >Jim:

              > Free software is produced by white males, as near to all of it as makes no difference. So if it is a meritocracy, whites are more meritorious than non whites

              Why does this seem to claim that whites who don’t write software have more merit, because many whites do?

              Do non-whites who write software have merit? More than whites who don’t?

              What bothers me about this is it’s collectivist. You somehow are defined as just a slice of a collective composed of those who share some trait with you.

              Both averages and distributions exist and you have to account for them.

              >ESR:

              > when a population with a 100 average IQ and a population with an 85 IQ are both producing programmers at comparable rates, the high end of the ability distribution is going to be utterly dominated by the population with the higher IQ. American whites have an average IQ of about 100. American blacks have an average IQ of about 85.

              You might say there’s a lot of hemming and hawing here, but to me it’s just providing an explanation for outcomes in a way that allows you to make other additional predictions that aren’t batshit. (As in, sanity sometimes requires more work.)

              >I can see a possible ground in reading Jim’s generalizations for absolutes, as though (for example) the quote at the top of this comment were to be read globally “whites are more meritorious than non whites [at everything forever]” and not contextually “whites are more meritorious than non whites [at making free software]”. But I think the latter is the more sensible reading.

              What I see as REALLY telling is persistently leaving out the “on average” from any formulation. I see this as a refusal of the need to think contingently- as in, you may know average traits of a group and can form working theories of how to handle members of a group based on knowledge of average traits of the group, but you have to accept those theories are contingent based on the actual traits of the given member of the group you’re dealing with. Who may be well off the average.

              They want the science to be settled, I guess.

              • @Greg:

                > Why does this seem to claim that whites who don’t write software have more merit, because many whites do?

                Because you insist on reading globally what I think should be read locally.

                Compare “Nobody wants that” vs “Literally nobody wants that”. The first is a broad generalization, not a global absolute. It is contrasted to the second, which is a global absolute, taking an explicit marker for that.

                (And even “literally” is being coöpted for generalizations, because human language tends strongly towards the general rule of thumb rather than the technical absolute.)

                > What I see as REALLY telling is persistently leaving out the “on average” from any formulation. I see this as a refusal of the need to think contingently-

                That’s a problem with your vision. Jim also persistently leaves out “Literally every” which would be REALLY telling in the opposite direction. In the absence of explicit markers either way, I contend that generalizations are a more reasonable reading than absolutes.

                More to the point, in the very post you are replying to, I quoted Jim setting out the circumstances under which he expects that “…a black majority area would be safer than a white majority area.”
                What is that, if not thinking contingently?

                > You might say there’s a lot of hemming and hawing here, but to me it’s just providing an explanation for outcomes in a way that allows you to make other additional predictions that aren’t batshit. (As in, sanity sometimes requires more work.)

                “…This predicts that under a firm and effective law enforcement environment, in which only the most criminally inclined misbehaved, a black majority area would be safer than a white majority area.”
                That kind of other additional prediction, for instance?

      • Wrong answer.

        Free software is a meritocracy for a very particular definition of merit. In Free Software, merit is some combination of coding skill and altruism (or motivation by reputation more than by money), and possibly other traits.

        Within that particularly narrow definition of merit, men *are* more meritorious than women, and whites, with a bias towards northwest europeans, *are* more meritorious than non-whites, at least on the evidence available.

        But that particular narrow definition of merit is not of much relevance outside discussions of free software. Members of the U.S. Army who’ve been awarded medals for valor are on average much poorer coders than free software contributors, but that doesn’t mean they lack merit. It would allow you to predict that there aren’t many decorated military veterans in the Free Software world, though.

    • Are you serious? This has been answered many times over. First of all, there are well-known personality differences between men and women that lead to more men than women seeking STEM careers. Where are all the women programmers? They preferred high-paying careers as attorneys or doctors or veterinarians instead. James Damore discussed this in his much-maligned essay (which, contrary to the flat-out lies of most media reports, never claimed that women were in any way less capable than men).

      The other piece you’re missing is that, although the distributions of male and female IQs have the same average, the variance is larger for males. Because of this, the ranks of both morons and geniuses are dominated by males, and both the lowest and highest rungs of society are largely male. But low-status males are socially invisible; everyone sees only the highly successful, high-status males.

      • Well, firstly you’ve moved the goal posts by talking about STEM when the above thread was about free software developers. It’s possible for a small subset to be quite different to the larger set.

        When I did my computing degree in the mid 1980s the percentage of women in my year was about 37%. As I recall, there had been a small but steady increase in women studying computing for several years and everyone assumed it was on track to reach parity, more or less. Instead the percentage began to go down again during the 1990s or maybe the early 2000s. Now it may be true that young women decided en masse that they were much better off studying medicine/vet science/law as you say. Frankly, I think that may well be a sensible assessment of today’s IT prospects but I am not so sure it was true back in the 1990s when IT jobs had pretty good salaries and a much lower entry point than medicine etc. I say ‘IT” because I don’t know much about the free software scene at that time.

        Also it seems to me that the women who have been entering IT for the last 15 years or so are heavily drawn from Indian, Asian or eastern European backgrounds as opposed to ‘northern european’. Your argument would suggest they do not care about money and thus are happy to eschew high paying careers as attorneys etc. Perhaps it’s not so much that women aren’t doing IT as that a certain group of women aren’t doing it, and this has knock-on effects for their representation in subgroups within IT such as open source. Or that most of the women entering IT these days want a certain kind of job in the field, and it’s not open source developer (this is based on my own observations; I’d love to see proper figures for the issue).

        Are we meant to conclude that women from India, Asia and eastern Europe have a different IQ distribution to other ‘women’ ? Or, for those using the SJW argument, that women from India, Asia and eastern Europe are not subject to ‘sexist’ upbringing and ‘harassment from bros’ ?

        I also note there seems to be a bit of conflation between ‘open source developer’ and ‘genius’ going on in the appeal to IQ variation argument above.

  24. We seem to have – I hope we have – a “silent majority” problem. There must be a lot of real open source developers that are opposed to all the shit Ehmke is promoting.

    Would any sort of web-based petition, or something similar, be a practical way to show how large that group is? Two potential problems…
    – reluctant individual devs fearing retribution
    – spam and gaming the thing

    • >We seem to have – I hope we have – a “silent majority” problem. There must be a lot of real open source developers that are opposed to all the shit Ehmke is promoting.

      They should join OSI and vote for a Board candidate who won’t try to screw with the OSD. Platform information can be found here

      Having read them, it looks to me like there are several candidates I would consider pretty safe that way. For example, the first candidate on the list: Mario Behling. Anyone who says “Values like freedom, sharing and openness inspired me to participate in the FOSS community throughout my life” is unlikely to be an ally of the totalitarians – he put “freedom” first. And I don’t see any SJW codewords in his platform – he speaks of “national diversity” but doesn’t seem to mean the cod-Marxist identitarian kind.

      So check out all the candidates who have posted platforms. I see that Luis Villa has asked them all a list of questions; I think the answers to question 6 are particularly interesting.

      While it is not certain that anybody who makes a huge deal about “diversity and inclusion” is out to excise or neuter OSD clauses 5 and 6, I don’t think such people are safe votes. I won’t vote for anyone wielding that kind of rhetoric, and I don’t think anyone who cares about freedom should.

      • So having everyone read and scrutinize platforms for secret hints that someone is *not* on the team that wants to infiltrate your organization then vote for those people and hope they weren’t hiding their team affiliations while the other side coordinates to take over your organization, that’s your plan?

        YOU ARE A SYSTEMS ENGINEER! Does this sound like a well engineered system? If you saw code that by design had such amazingly, blindingly obvious security holes would you accept it?

        • Steve Johnson: in other situations that might be a risk. But I don’t think anyone’s trying to hide their affiliation here. The leaders of the “team” are using the “codewords” deliberately to appeal to the “useful idiots“. And the useful idiots are using them unconsciously because they’ve been indoctrinated. So it’s a reliable indicator in both cases.

          • in other situations that might be a risk

            You mean it’s a giant design flaw that can be exploited but currently isn’t being exploited? Oh, well that’s better then.

            Think about this the way you think about software systems.

            Think about the structure of your project as a system for outputting good code. Your structure has failed to do that; it produces bad code.

            • Well, as I pointed out in another thread, there is an even bigger flaw. The only requirement to vote for the board is having forty bucks.

              Someone should take a look at how many vote it would cost to sway the election multiply it by 40 and compare it to how much control of the OSI given its influence could be worth.

              • I briefly considered it but decided I didn’t really care.

                I think you have a decent shot at controlling the member board slots for around $20K-$40K. It’s been a while since I looked and don’t remember the numbers and maybe they’ll tell you how many voting members they have.

                That’ll work once and they’ll change the rules to keep you from doing it again unless you are patient and quietly keep stacking the board a few election cycles till you mostly control the membership elected positions.

                Even then you need to co-opt a few of the project board slots to really have a lock.

                Too much work for too little gain.

      • Looking at the profiles… Several of them specify their own pronouns, which I understand to be a practice whose purpose is basically to make everyone awkward so that people who want to be called a “they” or similar, or people who want to switch to the other gender but don’t yet look like it but want people to call them that anyway, don’t look as awkward by comparison. So it’s a helpful self-provided indicator of wokeness. A few people also helpfully link to their Twitters, often presenting more wokeness.

        Among the individual member seat candidates, Tredennick impresses me. “If an Ethical Software Initiative sprung up tomorrow, what should OSI’s relationship to it be?” He (or at least an “Anonymous” account claiming to be him) says: “I am not a fan of these attempts to control behavior. Sure, many of the goals are good but I don’t believe you can reasonably legislate worldwide activities through software licenses and I see this as a distraction. Global warming? Gun control? Protecting labor rights? All are good causes but I would have to be convinced that these initiatives should be part of the OSI agenda. The problem comes when you start down the slope. It’s not easy to stop.” I certainly don’t agree with him on gun control and neither would Eric, but his principled stance on licenses is more important—to Tredennick and to us—and I think is exactly what we need.

        Among the affiliate member candidates, all the ones who have pages seem fine after a quick look. Vignoli in particular says “the “ethical software initiative”, which is clearly trying to disrupt the OSD … In the case of the “ethical software initiative”, I think that OSI should reaffirm the values of the OSD”. Colannino on the one hand says some worrying things about Outreachy, but on the other hand his answer to question 6 contains: “That said, to the extent this was a question about whether I think OSD should be amended to include “ethical” licenses, I don’t for two reasons. […] Second, I believe freedom is the only way to advance freedom. Free speech means that you need to tolerate the right to hate speech and then speak out against it. Free and open source software is the same – to have real freedom and autonomy in your technical life you need to refrain from exerting control over others’.”

        • Anyone who is for gun control, who makes a point of bringing it up, is a self-declared enemy of freedom (the real kind, not RMS’s adverse possession variety). Maybe that’s “principled”, but I doubt it’s of the variety that’s needed here.

      • There’s one diligent individual that is asking candidates a bunch of useful questions in the comments of each candidate’s wiki page.

        I would be wary of candidates who answer those questions but decline to answer #6 (about interfacing with a hypothetical Ethical Source Initiative)

        Pronouns-in-bio is primarily a political signal, and should be read as such.

        Currently I’m looking at Vignoli for the affiliate seat, and Behling and Tredennick for the board member seats. Tredennick’s remark about gun control may be concerning to some readers here, but he seems to be intellectually disciplined enough to recognise that even a “good cause” in his mind doesn’t justify trying to mess with licenses. Remember that the perfect is the enemy of the good. If I’ve overlooked a better choice, I’d be keen to be pointed at him or her.

        • >Tredennick’s remark about gun control may be concerning to some readers here, but he seems to be intellectually disciplined enough to recognise that even a “good cause” in his mind doesn’t justify trying to mess with licenses

          I concur in this case. I read that remark and its context carefully.

        • Pronouns-in-bio is primarily a political signal, and should be read as such.

          Note that there are several candidates who don’t have this in their election statement, but do have it in their Twitter bio.

        • Currently I’m looking at […] Behling and Tredennick for the board member seats.

          I would also recommend voting for Smith and Wolf, who as far as I can see, are the only two individual seat candidates other than Tredennick to clearly state that the OSD does not accept “ethical” licenses and they’d like it to stay that way.

          (Wolf gives a diplomatic answer to the question in the comments, but her attitude is made clear by the first paragraph of her statement. And that’s not surprising, as she’s an employee of a large company which might be at risk of being put on the naughty list itself.)

          Since this is an approval voting system, you can and should vote for as many candidates as you like. For example, imagine there was one seat available, and you think Alice is an excellent candidate, Bob is adequate, and Charlie is very bad. You should vote for both both Alice and Bob, because the risk that your vote for Bob causes him to get the seat over Alice is outweighed by the risk that failing to vote for Bob could allow Charlie to win.

          • (Wolf gives a diplomatic answer to the question in the comments, but her attitude is made clear by the first paragraph of her statement. And that’s not surprising, as she’s an employee of a large company which might be at risk of being put on the naughty list itself.)

            Of course, the same pressure could affect her actions once she’s on the board.

  25. When ever there isn’t a _sole_ owner of something the eventual result is the tragedy of the commons. Every Time.

    This is why the future will be either in grass huts or with “kings”.

    Committees are inherently marxist and evil, but I repeat myself. The diffusion of responsibility and gaming of rules for personal gain are always the end result.

    Join projects where you can support the leader. It is that leader’s responsibility to delegate, but not abdicate, authority. It is that leader’s responsibility to name a successor. If you can’t support that leader’s direction, leave.

    There is no other way that doesn’t lead to infection by evil people.

    • There is always a sole owner. If two people dispute the disposition of some property, one must win.
      The only effect of attempting non-sole ownership is allowing the sole owner to change easily. In other words, making it easy to steal. It’s best when the owner themselves isn’t sure if they own it or not until they attempt to make it do something, as they’re discouraged from even trying to block a theft.

      Caveat: occasionally the owner isn’t a person.

      • > Caveat: occasionally the owner isn’t a person.

        Then there isn’t a _sole_ owner.

        Welcome to the collective.

      • Nah, ownership is order; lack of ownership is entropy. You can always have decay to the point where an asset doesn’t have an owner but has a coalition powerful enough to block anyone else from acting as an owner.

        That’s why the future is grass huts or kings – entropy and minimal survival or order with hierarchy.

  26. I am curious about how you see this and similar matters intersecting with libertarian philosophy and solutions. The libertarian solution to this, especially with open source software where you can literally go fork yourself, is to simply start a new organization that doesn’t have these stupid things in place. Let the two forks compete and see which is more productive. And of all people you have the gravitas to pull it off (not that I am suggesting your do — I know it is a gigantic work commitment. But you could presumably lend your name to such an effort.)

    And I see it too with deeply troubling developments like the hegemony of Google, and their dominance from your email to your phone. Plainly there are alternative search engines, email providers, video clip sources, and I suppose even you could run a non google version of Android. But these things have a very limited market penetration.

    And the troubling thing is that the network effect is supposed to be undermined by the Internet — for example, it seems fairly straightforward to create a tool that manages your youtube channel in such a way as it manages a parallel channel on six other providers — mp4 is mp4 no mater who serves it up. Or use Gmail’s open api to easily migrate your email over and monitor it for emails from people who don’t know your new email address. And with the fact, or at least the perception that YT is extremely ideological in their ban practices, there seems to be a very strong motivation to do so.

    A while ago I started getting emails from Google giving me a map of everywhere I had been for the last week, like some creepy stalker weirdo guy. Apparently you can turn this off. So I did, but it turns out I was just turning off the email, not the tracking. So if you go deeper you can turn off the tracking too. However, as soon as you do major features on your phone stop working (for example, if you use voice dialing “call Eric Raymond” instead of dialing it instead begs you to turn back on creepy stalker mode.)

    I wonder if you have an opinion why there isn’t an emerging set of alternatives? It seems to me that there is a huge economic incentive to do so, and the cost isn’t really crazy since most of the software that these organizations use is to some degree open source.

    I feel like the normal market incentives are not happening here, and I don’t really understand why.

    I remember the old days of the Internet when it was a hotbed of libertarianism, the Crucible of Capitalism as Robert Freitas once wrote. Where the internet saw censorship and regulation as damage and routed around it. What the hell happened? When did google’s philosophy go from “don’t be evil” to “get as close to the ‘creepy’ line as possible without crossing it”.

    • >I wonder if you have an opinion why there isn’t an emerging set of alternatives?

      I haven’t analyzed that particular problem yet. You are right to point out that it is an interesting one.

      >What the hell happened?

      I know part of what happened. I’m not sure I know all of it. The short version of what I think I know is that around 2006 the KGB mind-virus mutated into a form that could infect many more techies. I think I know where that happened as well as when. Topic for a future blog pot.

      • Looking forward to it. My hypothesis was that techies are by nature sensitive and inclusive, and the SJWs pounced on that vulnerability and exploited the hell out of it.

        • Mine is that at a certain point Silicon Valley became “cool”. And cool has multiple meanings. Cool as in high-status, even the Married With Children show had an episode where the unattractive high school nerd became an Internet millionaire and at a reunion the girls were looking totally different at him (the show is known to get sexual dynamics entirely wrong but the point is now only on the “cool”). The second meaning of cool is that when a subculture becomes high status through productivity / merit, beyond a certain point an increasing amount of hype will be generated that focuses merely on the appearance and impression of coolness and not productivity, largely through attracting shallow, not very productive, extroverted people who are very good at making a good impression and generating hype. These people are always attracted to high status things. What I mean is that aspect of Silicon Valley culture that it is not a boring office where you sit in cubicles, it is a place where you sit on beanbags with a laptop and play foosball with your teammates in the office and so on, these “cool” stuff. This has clearly started at Google.

          So, Jeff, at some point the Silicon Valley turned into Hollywood. And the rest follows from that.

      • I think part of the problem is that techies still tend to be trained at universities and the rot there started spreading from the humanities departments into STEM.

        Another important thing that happened during Obama’s second term is that the Justice Department started going after tech companies for lack of diversity. To get it of their back, they agreed to hire “diversity specialists”.

        • And because competence in STEM highly correlates to an IQ in the upper 120s or higher (approaching 2σ above mean), white and East Asian males are over-represented compared to the population as a whole, which can’t be “remediated” except by lowering the standards for females and non-East-Asian ethnic minorities. When the marginal people are admitted, most of them fail spectacularly.

          Worse, it doesn’t just affect those at the low end of STEM competence. Imagine three applicants with 130 IQ applying to elite tech schools like MIT and Caltech. Wally is white, Ben is black, and Gillian is female. Ben gets into MIT, Gillian matriculates at Caltech, but Wally has to settle for the School of Engineering at Kansas State.

          Ben and Gillian crash and burn at their elite schools, and have crippling student loan debt. Wally gets his degree and has a productive career as an engineer. Ben and Gillian could have done just as well as Wally, but they were pushed into a league where they couldn’t compete.

          Now, what did we accomplish by trying to achieve diversity? We hurt the very people we pretended to help.

          • But the advocates get to FEEL good about helping the ‘helpless oppressed minority’.

            Results are meaningless for them, only Good Intentions matter.

      • FWIW, one piece of data that is worth considering here is this: traditional economics talks a lot about “economies of scale” where non recurring costs can be diluted over large production sets meaning that larger companies with more capital have a significant advantage.

        However, what is much less rarely discussed is the dis-economies of scale, namely the exponentially growing communication and transaction costs as a company grows, so that any decision becomes more and more expensive to make and decision makers grow further and further distant from the consequences of their decision. That is why large companies tend to buy innovation or farm them off to skunkworks.

        However, with modern data driven companies like Google, this is much less the case. Because they have MASSIVE amounts of high quality detailed data, and massive computer power to analyze it, plus massive bleeding edge capabilities for AI they have the power to reduce this gap.

        Now the executives don’t have to depend on an army of middle managers to supply them with the data with which to make decisions, each manager massaging the data to his personal advantage. They have data direct from the source. Plus since they are delivering SaaS, they can quickly and easily change the software, segment the users, and experiment. This massively reduces the bloated middle management class, and ties decisions tightly to consequences in a manner where iteration is easy and A-B testing straightforward.

        So the natural limitation on huge companies is greatly reduced by this kind of data analysis.

        • the exponentially growing communication and transaction costs as a company grows, so that any decision becomes more and more expensive to make and decision makers grow further and further distant from the consequences of their decision

          I see you’ve been eavesdropping on the meetings with my latest client.

          • >I see you’ve been eavesdropping on the meetings with my latest client.

            Or he knows about the Discordian SNAFU Principle.

        • > they have MASSIVE amounts of high quality detailed data, and massive computer power to analyze it, plus massive bleeding edge capabilities for AI they have the power to reduce this gap

          I worked there. There may be a mountain of data, but there’s rarely a practical way to process it into useful information in a way which is economically useful. People *vastly* overestimate the value of any particular bit of data available on them is, other than to themselves.

          Google isn’t magic. AI isn’t magic.

          • It may be hard to make all that data “economically useful”, but I’m sure the NKVD would have felt like they won the lottery if they got their hands on such a trove. The US deep state is just as ambitious as any communist regime ever was, they’re just somewhat more inhibited in what they can get away with.

          • @Garrett I would defer to your expertise on this matter were it not for my personal experience. The ability of google ads (and amazon) to predict things I might want to buy and things I might be interesting is, in my view, not all that far short of magic. It is spooky and creepy to the point that it feels like that they can almost read my mind.
            Of course it is just data and data mining, but you know what they say about any sufficiently advanced technology.

      • I think it predates 2006 by a decade. I have books from the early to mid 90s by people such as Sokal and Christina Hoff Sommers which clearly document how strong the madness already was within the humanities and it may have spread to STEM from there, as Eugene notes.

        • Yes, the ’90s saw the first wave of political correctness, but there was some sort of inflection point in the Obama years. Perhaps, as Douglas Murray posits in his excellent book The Madness of Crowds, the gay rights successes of those years caused the activists to become more radical.

          • VDH explained this one for me. Sadly lost the exact timestamp. May even be in a related video.

            Obama specifically sold himself on being a more pious Progressive and better organizing the racial/economically envious against the productive. He started with the black vote, as you would expect. There was no good reason to stop with merely the legacies of slavery, so he didn’t.

            After all, American Bantu are dimly realizing they’re being cynically used as shock troop pawns by WASPs and other acting-white types, and are getting distinctly…unenthusiastic. “Where’s my obamaphone.” And she’s going home the instant she gets that phone.

            Ironically it was Obama himself who sunk Hillary’s chances of ever becoming president. Black vote don’t need no cracka schoolmarm.

    • A while ago I started getting emails from Google giving me a map of everywhere I had been for the last week, like some creepy stalker weirdo guy. Apparently you can turn this off. So I did, but it turns out I was just turning off the email, not the tracking. So if you go deeper you can turn off the tracking too. However, as soon as you do major features on your phone stop working (for example, if you use voice dialing “call Eric Raymond” instead of dialing it instead begs you to turn back on creepy stalker mode.)

      Ah, yes. The dark side of “information wants to be free”.

      And the troubling thing is that the network effect is supposed to be undermined by the Internet — for example, it seems fairly straightforward to create a tool that manages your youtube channel in such a way as it manages a parallel channel on six other providers — mp4 is mp4 no mater who serves it up.

      Youtube’s most important feature isn’t it’s hosting service, it’s the search engine, letting users find videos likely to interest them. Nobody seems to have any idea how to create a decentralized search engine.

      • Youtube’s most important feature isn’t it’s hosting service, it’s the search engine, letting users find videos likely to interest them. Nobody seems to have any idea how to create a decentralized search engine.

        Duckduckgo has a perfectly serviceable search engine, which does a fine job of searching youtube and other video providers.

        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=eric+raymond&t=h_&iar=videos&iax=videos&ia=videos

        (FWIW, I now use Duckduckgo for image search all the time, not because it is better but becaue google image search is a PITA because of all the copyright stuff they deal with — you can’t just click on the image you want, you have to go to the page and find it. Duckduckgo does image search the way google used to, and it is much better.)

        • Duckduckgo’s video search appears to have completely restricted to youtube until about a month ago. Now it’s only heavily biased towards it. Ironically Google’s own video search is less biased towards youtube then Duckduckgo’s.

        • Yandex’ image search will return vast quantities of images ignored by Google, DDG, or Bing, but it’s such a tracker-infested sinkhole you’d be smart to only run it in a VM.

    • I feel like the normal market incentives are not happening here, and I don’t really understand why.

      Normal market incentives *are* happening. The problem is that we, the users, are not market participants in the market in which the incentives are happening. We don’t pay Google for search or YouTube and we don’t pay Google for Android. So we have no way of exerting any market power to affect Google’s incentives with respect to those things.

      There is also an additional factor at work: the ability to connect to the network in the first place (the Internet for search, the mobile phone network for smartphones) is controlled by governments and is subject to a huge amount of regulatory capture. ISPs have monopoly power in most places. The process that produces the baseband hardware and software your phone uses to communicate with the mobile network is most certainly *not* open. So there are critical barriers to entry that are not subject to free market pressures.

      • I don’t agree, we do have a role as customers in the market, we don’t pay with money we pay with attention which is the currency that that market trades on.
        As to regulatory capture, I mean sure, but I think the open nature of the net has largely blunted that. Exactly how does that impact which search engine you use, except maybe the defaults you have?
        The only place where I see something there is in the control over which operating systems are installed on people’s phones.

        • we do have a role as customers in the market, we don’t pay with money we pay with attention which is the currency that that market trades on

          If you want to view that as a market, that’s fine, but then it’s a different market than the one I was talking about, and normal market incentives are happening in this market as well.

          As to regulatory capture, I mean sure, but I think the open nature of the net has largely blunted that. Exactly how does that impact which search engine you use, except maybe the defaults you have?

          It doesn’t impact which search engine you use, it impacts how you get on the Internet in the first place. I mentioned ISPs having monopolies in the US, but the situation in the US could get a lot worse than that–look at China to see an example of where the US could go if one of the periodic attempts to impose much stronger filtering of Internet content manages to pass.

          the control over which operating systems are installed on people’s phones.

          If by “operating systems” you mean iOS vs. Android, that’s not what i was talking about. I was talking about the baseband hardware and software your phone needs to connect with the mobile network. That hardware and software is not open and is subject to strict regulation.

  27. >>
    I remember the old days of the Internet when it was a hotbed of libertarianism, the Crucible of Capitalism as Robert Freitas once wrote. Where the internet saw censorship and regulation as damage and routed around it. What the hell happened?
    <<

    Facebook.

    • The actual answer is contained in this blog post (very much worth the whole read):

      https://spandrell.com/2015/07/27/trade-and-peace/

      “Trade is mutually beneficial but some things are more beneficial”

      SJWs play as a team to take your stuff and they win; they shrink the pie but they get the whole pie and depriving others of pie is a benefit to them.

      Libertarianism is a philosophy for how a ruler should rule but it’s not a guide on how to have a libertarian society.

      • It is a common mistake to think that libertarians are pacifists, or are incapable of banding together to protect themselves. They are not.

        • The ideas that are called libertarian are the very essence of civilization itself. Like how the essence of cake is sugar. The problem with libertarian purism is serving people a cup of sugar and calling it a cake. It requires mixing with other stuff. I mean, I am not even saying that if there would be enough libertarians to form an independent nation it could not operate with a minimal or nonexistent government, it could, due to the heavy selection effect in who would move into such a free state. They could get along, sure.

          But if libertarians would ever get into power in a normal nation without such a selection effect, i.e. in a place where most people are not libertarians, they would quickly learn why it does not work for most people. First they would try no government, and then crime would get out of hand, criminals would turn into warlords, warlords into effectively forming their de facto kingdoms, and then libertarians would painfully learn that liberty needs to be defended in an organized way. So they would try forming a strong, efficient but minimal government. That really only suppresses violence and does not do anything else. The next thing they would learn is that violence is the outcome of a process. If don’t nip the process in the bud when it is not yet very violent, if you wait until it escalates into full-blown violence, you have either still have a lot of violence or a really harsh police state to repress it. Learning what kinds of things initiate processes that lead to violence would imply relearning those old, forgotten, pre-Enlightenment ideas that are commonly called reactionary.

      • Obviously notnormies should think about forming their own city-state, and not trying to change how normies think given that 1) normie thinking is deeply rooted, not easily changed 2) notnormies would suck at ruling normies precisely because they are not interested in ruling to begin with.

  28. Bug report: Typing two consecutive less-than-signs (AKA left-angle-bracket) into the comment field causes the browser tab to freeze up and become completely unresponsive. I imagine it’s due to corrupting the preview renderer. Now to reconstruct the comment I was writing when I made that mistake…

      • Confirmed with Konqueror 5.0.97 on Debian 10 running WebEngine. Switching to KHTML and trying it crashes all running instances of the program, not just the one in the foreground. Yet another KDE fail…

    • I confirm this. In fact, the two less-than signs need not be typed consecutively. They can have an intervening character that is later deleted, such as in “<X<“; at the moment the “X” is deleted, and the two less-than signs become adjacent to one another, the tab freezes.

      However, once a comment is posted, during the Edit window, it can be edited to have those consecutive < signs.

  29. [popped out for indent]

    The inverse you might say of [Eric’s] revealed preference is pretty clearly Christians, whatever [he] may claim on the surface.

    This wouldn’t explain all the posts he’s made describing his irritation with people on the left.

    As I write this, Eric’s Wikipedia article describes his political views as Libertarian, and most of the internet randos I hear referring to Eric (e.g. on Slashdot) imply he’s alt-right, perhaps of the Bannoneer variety. I’m not saying this is accurate; I’m saying this is (my sense of) people’s sense of him.

    Given that, I think more people would claim that the inverse of his revealed preference is progressives, not Christians. It would take a longer period of reading this blog to form the impression that it’s closer to being both.

    • > inverse of his revealed preference is progressives, not Christians

      There’s also a different between “most opposite” and “most concerning”.

      The religious might be viewed by Eric as “more wrong”. They have terrible metaphysics and epistemology and tend to unironically deal with questions like “how many angles can dance on the head of a pin?” While at least the progressives are talking about people and conditions which actually exist, for the most part.

      The flip side is that, for an independent adult, the average-level threat is … an annoying but well-meaning person knocking on your door at an inconsiderate time offering you a free magazine. Not exactly earth-shattering. At the same time, the progressives are currently working to destroy the economy, render everybody poor, and ensure that anybody who disagrees is fired and hopefully “unpersoned”.

      • >Eric just threatened to ban a right-wing commentor for being too right wing.

        You just lied through your teeth about a fact that can be easily checked. Are you asking to be banned as well?

        • Ok, technically it’s not for “being to right wing” its for failing to telepathically understand Eric’s flimsy rationalization for why his position is different from Jim’s. Is that better?

          Eric, serious question have you ever banned a left-wing commentor?
          If you bad right-wingers but not left-wingers eventually you’ll find yourself surrounded by people to your left. At which point there will be no one to defend you when you get cancelled.

          • >Eric, serious question have you ever banned a left-wing commentor?

            On at least two occasions I can think of, and probably others I’ve forgotten.

        • Eric,

          You still do have too much mainstream sensibilities, namely that you think “racist” is an insulting term, thus, claims like “you accept group differences, hence you are one of us: a racist” you take as an insult (because demanding an apology implies a perceived insult).

          “racist” is an insulting term because of social status / group dynamics, not because it is an actually a useful concept carving reality at the joints, and of course you are a highly visible public figure who has to take this into account. (all insulting terms are insulting because of status / group dynamics, not because they map to reality well)

          But in reality “racist” is simply an anticoncept, that is, it is entirely useless and nonpredictive to classify people as racists and nonracists. https://blog.jim.com/politics/racism-and-deskism/

          The idea of a “racist” who thinks literally every member of one group is superior in some sense to literally every member of another group is a straw man, a caricature, hardly anyone ever thinks that. Everybody gets partially overlapping Bell curves.

          OTOH the “racist” thinks still it might be necessary to segregate every member of one group from every member of another NOT because of the above reason but just to avoid mutual tribalist violence.

          I think you might be confusing these two.

  30. This is very sad.
    I joined the OSI a few days ago, after getting a message from Coraline through codetriage, which is apparently supportive of her. Nevermind, never figured out what value that service was supposed to add, anyway.
    There have got to be others like me.
    At every turn of this downward spiral let us remain hopeful.

  31. [popping out for indent]

    I have no clue what the distinction you are trying to make between “accidental” and “essential” is – it seems to be “one of these facts is grounded in a priori logic, the other is the result of the way evolutionary history played out” – which is a distinction without a difference because the only reality we inhabit has one natural history.

    Readers, I suspect this one is genuine. Rejoice, for we may be looking upon one of today’s lucky 10000.

    Monster replies:

    The only distinction I can imagine is that if the genes for high melanin content somehow cause the 85 average IQ, and a Y chromosome causes higher IQ