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Re: gag rule joke
Richard Stallman wrote:
> [After spending an hour to write this, I saw a proposal for
> an 11-week cooling off period. That might be a good idea.
> However, I think this message is important and shouldn't wait 11 weeks.]
In the spirit of that cooling off period, I won't respond to the
substance of your email. But:
> I think you are saying that all of you were taken aback that I did not
> recognize your complete authority, which you considered indisputable.
> Some of you were incensed that I didn't accept that.
> I think I can understand what that felt like, because I felt something
> along the same lines. I was taken aback that you claimed total
> authority over GNU libc, since I never agreed to that. I was not
> incensed, but I was shocked and alarmed.
> The specific joke was the immediate practical disagreement that made
> us aware of the deeper disagreement. But that joke was not terribly
> important in itself. At least, not to me.
Thanks much for this context. Providing context for one's reactions,
after reflecting on them, is a powerful tool for deescalating a
conflict. I hope others on this list can learn from this experience
and keep the example in mind the next time they're in an argument
where the other side doesn't seem to be listening.
> To advocate a ban on jokes is to oppose a principle I hold dear. I
> hesitate to delete any joke, if that would be appear to be an advance
> for a campaign to delete all jokes.
> However, if is clear that the matter at hand is only one specific
> joke, arguments based on the specifics of the joke could convince me.
Thanks as well for providing this basis for moving toward agreement,
once the time comes to resume the discussion.