[Linux-aus] Linux Australia Code of Conduct - revised draft

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Fri Dec 2 16:52:38 EST 2011

On Fri, 2 Dec 2011, Arjen Lentz <arjen at lentz.com.au> wrote:
> Hi Russell

As there are multiple Russells on this list could you please use a full name 
or email address when attributing quoted text.

> There's a psychological aspect to this which cannot be captured in absolute
> terms. I'll give you an analogy from my own experience in a related realm:
> My daughter's school has a clearly stated policy on bullying, and has
> shown to do what they say they would - if I'd had that at my school long
> ago, I would've been a happier (and safer) person back then. Obviously it
> does not necessarily prevent bullying - but the policy clearly outlines
> what is regarded as bullying, that it's not tolerated, and what the
> consequences are. Then, should something happen, action needs to follow.
> But you need that baseline of expectations first. Indeed, some incidents
> will happen, and they can be handled under the policy. If it's handled
> well, it'll add towards creating clarity and trust which works through
> into feeling safe.

To continue that analogy, if the school community had ongoing debates about 
whether bullying existed, whether the consequences of bullying were unfair, 
and whether the discussion of bullying overwhelmed the focus on education then 
there would be a lot less clarity, trust, and safety.

I wonder how much these discussions are really about the stated intent.  
Everyone's position was known well before the last discussion ended.  No-one 
is going to be directly convinced by any evidence.  I think this is largely 
about signalling, the outcome of a discussion like this sends a signal to 
members of the minority groups in question as to what the general community 
response will be if they complain.

If this discussion ends with people saying that it's a distraction, not 
important, etc then the signal is that any complaints that may be made under 
the terms of the CoC are also distractions and not important.

> The non-inclusiveness has already happened, over a long period: it's been
> the rest of us not providing a welcoming and safe environment for women
> (and others) to partake in. So some have gone away disappointed, and
> others have set up initiatives to rectify the situation. The absolute
> first thing from "our end" to rectify the situation is the CoC. That's our
> indication of goodwill and intent.

The non-inclusiveness continues when every email discussion of such things 
gets a large input from people who dismiss all concerns.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

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