[aur-general] About bullying in our community (Was: TU Application)

Baptiste Jonglez baptiste at bitsofnetworks.org
Tue Oct 30 12:27:09 UTC 2018

Hi Santiago,

Now that the discussion period is over, I am taking time to fully answer
this, since it's much more general and important than the TU application

On 28-10-18, Santiago Torres-Arias wrote:
> I've been following this email thread quite closely and without
> participating as I was hoping to keep opinions to myself --- I don't
> think I have much questions other than what's already asked for
> Konstantin --- and make up my mind for voting.
> It's clear that it is time to take a step back and stop fanning the
> flames. We are all passionate people, and sometimes this passion leads
> us to the type of arguments we are having right now. I agree with Eli,
> this is not a toy operating system and there are things at stake.
> However, I'm completely convinced that no ill intention is coming from
> everyone involved, and that, if we consider this optic, it's clear that
> this is just a non-technical quarrel that should've been shelved a while
> ago.
> Personally, I think this is a good opportunity to tone it down for a
> second, leave the 10+ emails behind us and try to go back to the things
> that make this community friendly and welcoming.
> Baptiste, Konstantin, Eli, and Doug. Please take a deep breath and
> extend a friendly handshake. I'm sure everyone else following this
> exchnage thinks this is the reasonable way to move forward.

I understand that you want to calm things down and the intention is good,
but you make it appear as if the animosity is symmetrical.  But the
situation is actually not: we have two bullies ganging up violently on a
newcomer, who has so far kept a very cool head and stayed polite where
most people would have gotten angry.  On my side I reacted more angrily
because I am getting fed up with this kind of repeated toxic attitude, and
other people expressed dismay at the violent personal attacks we

Note that here I am not making any judgement on the validity of the
arguments in the various technical debates: this is important but it is
not the point here.  The point is precisely to be able to have interesting
discussions and debates, without resorting to personal attacks, insults or
abusing a dominating position, as both Doug and Eli have repeatedly done
in the past and now again:


This is not a witch-hunt: Doug and Eli, this discussion does *not*
question your attachment to this community, the quality of your work or
the quality of your technical opinions in general.  In fact your are both
much more knowledgeable and active in Arch than most people including me.
But that is certainly not a valid reason to start bullying people around,
or else I am grossly mistaken about this whole community.

As a general rule, when nobody stands up publicly against a bully, the
bully will just continue bullying people the same way in the future,
perhaps even more confidently.

Of course, we can also bury our head in the sand and pride ourselves that
our community is "friendly and welcoming" (I think this is still true on
the whole btw) while leaving the bullies act unchecked.  Santiago, I don't
mean this as a personal attack on you, I just think that it's a bad idea
to sweep such unacceptable personal behaviour under the carpet as if
nothing happened.

Quite frankly, in the future I am considering taking whatever actions are
necessary to make sure that this kind of hurtful behaviour doesn't happen
again, including asking for the bully's resignation or resigning myself.
I hope that we will find ways to work things out without having to resort
to such extremes.

Discussing these problems seems like a good start :)

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