Before going to your arguments, can you stop conveniently *ignoring*
my argument and answer this questions?

When two children fight, who has the blame? The one that threw the
first punch? Or the one that returned it?

On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Michael Haggerty <mhag...@alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> On 06/11/2013 03:40 PM, Ramkumar Ramachandra wrote:
>> Is it because you have realized deep down that you have absolutely no
>> rational argument...Why are you incapable of
>> using your words to counter my arguments rationally?Are you so blind
>> that you cannot see the consequences of acting without reason?
> Ram, you are insulting Thomas the human being rather than addressing his
> points.  Please stop.

How is Ram insulting Thomas? By implying that Thomas is a human being?
That he is imperfect and is making a mistake?

My gosh! How offensive!

>> Tomorrow the majority opinion will dictate that I am a fire hazard and
>> must be removed.  Soon, anybody who disagrees with the majority
>> opinion will be removed, and the community will be reduced to a
>> handful of circlejerking yes-men.  The git project will die a sad
>> death.  And the blood will be on your hands.
> It is not disagreement that is causing problems; it is the inflammatory
> tone of the discussion.  Civil and constructive disagreement is
> completely welcome here.  But hurtful and offensive discussion is not,
> even if it is in support of the "party line" (haha as if there were such
> a thing).

The difference between the two is totally and completely subjective,
and only a despot would be conformable parting judgment about which is

> And yes, I know that the word "offensive" is subjective, but for the
> sake of this discussion let's take it to mean "offensive to the vast
> majority of a community".

Rule of the mob. How wise.

>> [...]  I already gave you the
>> example of the survivors on the boat with limited food/water on IRC:
>> it is you who stupidly refused to throw anyone overboard, killing all
>> the survivors; I am the one who said that I would get them to draw
>> sticks to "fairly choose" who to throw overboard, maximizing the
>> chances of survival of the others.  I am making a pragmatic argument,
>> based on what is best for the community; not some stuck-up idealistic
>> bullshit.  Further, I tried to help you think through the justice
>> problem, by recommending an accessible course.  You have either not
>> gone through it, or have gone through it and learnt nothing.
> Your idea that you can assign Thomas "homework" in ethics and call him
> stupid for coming to a different conclusion than you is presumptuous in
> the extreme.

He didn't call him stupid, he said he was acting stupidly, big difference.

>> [...]
>> You have embarrassed yourself and the entire git community today.
> This is also presumptuous, not to mention extremely ironic.  In my
> opinion Thomas's email was calm and reasonable while yours is beyond the
> pale.

Of course it would be. In a witch hunt nobody sees what's wrong with
burning the witch... until you become it.

It's fine for Thomas Rast to call me a fire hazard, which ironically
is itself an inflammatory comment. But it's not OK for Ramkumar to say
that Thomas is acting stupidly *in this particular instance*.

Double standards much?

> Ram, don't just take my opinion on this matter.  At the risk of being
> presumptuous myself, I suggest that you show a copy of your email to
> somebody whom you know and respect in the real world, somebody who is
> not immersed in the Git community meltdown.  For example, somebody like
> your mother or father, or a teacher whom you respect, or a member of
> clergy if you are so inclined.  Ask that person's opinion about your email.

I can offer my own perspective; I think Ramkumar's tone is not
particularly useful, but to concentrate on *how* he is saying things,
instead of *what* he is saying is an even bigger mistake, specially
because it's *you* the one that is making it. You should concentrate
on what *you* do, not what others do. Otherwise you will be forever

You have chosen to ignore *all* of Ramkumar's arguments, and all your
arguments can be summarized as "I don't like your tone", and by doing
that, you have lost even more touch of the discussion than what you
accused Ramkumar of doing.

You have even violated two your own guidelines:

* Conduct disagreements on a technical, not a personal, level.
* It is not OK to use these guidelines as a stick with which to beat
supposed violators.

You have also violated some of Ramkumar:

0. You do not take offense, no matter what.

In this particular case, you are taking offense by proxy, which might
be even worst.

1. You do not take sides or vote.
2. You stop pointing fingers.

I would also suggest another guideline based on Paul Graham's guide
How to Disagree[1].

* Do not respond to tone. Concentrate on *what* is being said, not
*how* it is being said. If the worst thing you can say about something
is to criticize its tone, you're not saying much. A "bad tone" is
highly subjective, and it's not really relevant in a discussion, it
matters whether the author is right or wrong. Is the author flippant,
but correct? Better that than grave and wrong. Keep your eye on the

[1] http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

Felipe Contreras
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