Hi Brandon,

On Fri, 2019-11-08 at 16:36 +0000, Brandon Invergo wrote:
> A social contract is only a necessity in a community-run organization
> because it helps prevent the organization from moving off-course.  When
> the moral compass of the organization is set and maintained by a leader
> or group of leaders, then it is completely unnecessary.  If you believe
> GNU should be community-run, then you'll want to see a social contract;

I think this is a good observation. It is one step that is necessary
for making sure GNU really is a Free Software movement based on shared
values, away from what some might see as just based on on a cult-of-

> if you think it should be run as it currently is, then it's
> impossible to see a use for it.
> Given that nothing has changed in how GNU is being run, it appears
> that the cart is being placed well before the horse.

There might be different perceptions on how GNU is actually run in practice. 
Some might say it already is completely community-run. Some might claim there 
is one person who is ultimately responsible for all decisions. It is probably 
somewhere in between. With different people believing different things about 
their roles and responsibilities. And that is why I want to have more clearly 
written down what the structure and mission of the GNU project is. Because I 
think it is bad to have a governance structure that people don't agree on.

> However, I would be
> shocked if they didn't already expect rms not to step down and therefore
> to reject their Social Contract out-of-hand.  Given that it is
> nevertheless still being written (in public) under conditions where it
> will be rejected with almost certainty, I wouldn't be surprised if they
> are in fact counting on this to happen.  That would give another
> opportunity to publicly shame rms and the GNU project as it actually is:
> "Look at this beautiful document that rms refused to implement for GNU!
> The fact that he *disagrees* with these points shows that he is not fit
> to lead GNU anymore!".  Nevermind that the rejection is due to its utter
> superfluousness given the structure of the GNU project and is not due to
> disagreement with the contents.

I thought we had agreed not to make things personal in generic
governance discussion threads. You say "shame rms and the GNU project"
as if they are one and the same thing. That might be how we see things
differently. Personally I don't believe they are the same thing. I am
also not sure who you mean with "they". But if you mean me personally,
then no, I don't want to shame rms by trying to formulate what I think
we (as in we GNU hackers together) believe is the mission of the GNU
project. In fact I hope he will agree that it correctly describes what
we all believe in.  I do think rms is an important voice to hear in
this discussion. If he doesn't agree with it, then we might have to
reword things a bit.

> With that said, I am fully in support of having a couple of succinct
> documents that describe the structure and mission of the GNU project.
> Richard has also expressed interest in that.  I just don't see any need
> of enacting them as the basis of a formal pledge.

That is good to hear. Then we can hopefully openly work together on
them, even if we might for now differ on how we might see them used in
a future GNU governance structure.



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