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Re: [rain1 at airmail dot cc] Delete abortion joke
- From: Zack Weinberg <zackw at panix dot com>
- To: rms at gnu dot org
- Cc: GNU C Library <libc-alpha at sourceware dot org>
- Date: Wed, 2 May 2018 15:03:19 -0400
- Subject: Re: [rain1 at airmail dot cc] Delete abortion joke
- References: <email@example.com> <E1fDLZU-00076y-KO@fencepost.gnu.org> <CAKCAbMjJtOUKXAmQBz=ZF4Gy_4KLsg7dG00=365ZXP6uF06Lbw@mail.gmail.com> <E1fDiAj-000439-Jg@fencepost.gnu.org>
On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:11 PM, Richard Stallman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
> > However, the GNU C Library Manual is an actively
> > inappropriate place to discuss it,
> A serious discussion of an unrelated political issue would be a
> strange digression. The joke is appropriate precisely because it is a
> joke, and very short.
Let me be absolutely clear: in my opinion, ANY discussion of abortion
in the sense of termination of pregnancy is inappropriate for the GNU
C Library Manual. That includes both the original joke and all of the
The fundamental problem I have here is that no matter how cleverly you
word your joke, it winds up being at the expense of the person reading
the manual. You're reading about a function whose name happens to be
'abort' and suddenly the manual starts talking (however coyly) about
US government policies related to abortion -- that inherently draws a
comparison between the termination of a pregnancy and the termination
of a computer process, and thus trivializes the former. So it winds
up sounding like you are mocking the reader's actual beliefs about
abortion, whatever they happen to be.
I'm sure that was not your intent, but this is not something that can
be fixed with good intentions; it can only be fixed by dropping the
> Since you understand it wasn't right to delete this without my
> approval, would you please undo that mistake?
As I already said, I will not undo the change. And I formally object
to the inclusion of any alternative material.