2x39: Snark of the Covenant

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the hardest part of being a developer is personal development, the BV team average two-thirds of a workout per day, and:

  • [00:02:10] Apple release the Apple Watch 4 with a bunch of health additions, and iOS 12 is apparently pretty good, while at the same time they reject iPhone apps which mention the new Apple phone models ... Signing into a Google thing now signs you into the browser whether you want it or not, although it can at least be turned off in later versions if you don't like it ... Elon Musk is in the early stages of McAfee syndrome, according to a chap on Twitter ... Jono's got a Peloton exercise bike and has a mini review...
  • [00:38:50] Linus Torvalds writes that he's taking some time off to get some assistance in understanding people's emotions and apologises for his past behaviour, vowing to try to do better. The community welcome this new personal insight, or condemn other people for unduly influencing Linus into this decision, and everything in between. We have some thoughts on how we got here, and what's next.

Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!

Download from https://badvoltage.org

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Do you guys have any thoughts on Sage Sharp, formerly Sarah Sharp, accusing Ted Tso of being a rape apologist? She’s using the new CoC as ammo against the guy.

That would seem to be a rather…dramatic way of reading a Twitter thread that seems more to be using T’so to make the point that reporting violations of the Code of Conduct might (as with many companies) see the reporter or victim pushed out instead of reprimanding the perpetrator. That is, Sage is saying that all reports are transparent to them, while nothing about the process is transparent to the community; and at least one member of the Advisory Board has a documented history of making really dumb claims about sexual assault that suggest he might not take a report seriously. None of that equates to an accusation (since the accusation has already been made and has public documentation) or an an attack.

Look, we already have the “recission” dingbats making the Free Software community look far dumber than it needs to. Let’s not make it worse by claiming that men are unfairly under attack, worrying that a code of conduct is a weapon against people who refuse to follow it, or heck, even dismissing someone’s gender, for that matter.

As to the episode itself, I half-wonder if Google’s recent moves are (yet another?) attempt to bring all their services under one banner. Because this reminds me an awful lot of the weird stretch when everybody needed to use Google Plus to comment on YouTube. It doesn’t seem out of the question for them to want to funnel as many people as they can push into their social network that costs a lot to maintain even though nobody uses it.

And…I don’t know, depression is certainly possible, but it may also be that Musk is just an erratic nightmare that the media had been ignoring. Like, he’s been claiming to make affordable electric vehicles for a while, when that requires a blatant disregard of arithmetic for the overwhelming majority of budgets. He also claims to be a socialist while trying to get rid of unions. He’s kind of a mess, and it seems likely that he’s been getting away with it because “eccentric genius” (ahem, Tesla) is an important archetype in culture.

I have to admit, though, that I’m curious about @jonobacon’s tales of social justice run amok. It seems like we’re all raised to believe that social progress is dangerous (for which see the Luddites, the Illuminati, and so forth), but the actual examples always seem to get hand-waved away because “we’re all familiar”…

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More on the Musk:

Great to see Musk step down a bit. He indeed seems to suffer from the onset of McAfee syndrome. Would like to see him completely step down from any managerial role, as he is much more the nerd than the manager.

That Peloton bike sounds as like it’s something a non-cyclist would choose to do. I’m a keen cyclist myself and have opted for an indoor cycling trainer on which I put my outdoor bike. The plus is that I can sit in the exact same position as outdoors. If I’d bought a more expensive trainer ($400-$1000), I could connect it to a screen and use Zwift, which let’s you compete against cyclists from around the world on well known hills and mountains. Much like the Peloton bike. A Zwift subscription sets you back $10 a month.

This would be true if she had said Tso had been accused of being a rape apologist. But she literally stated Tso is a rape apologist, asserting the accusation herself. I agree that she does it in order to make a point about the CoC process as a whole, but she definitely makes an attack and basically suggests that an ideal CoC process should forbid people like him from involvement in the process (and hence, by extension, in the board).

Well, asserted here, except for the part (if one follows the link from the Tweet) where the e-mail has been circulating in the context of “rape apology” since 2012 through multiple (albeit not many) user accounts. And statements that assert it doesn’t count if it’s your significant other or if you later have sex with your attacker are pretty much the classic examples of rape apology.

When the accusations were made six years ago with documented evidence attesting to them, it seems like it might be blaming the messenger for the recipient not already knowing the message.

Time since accusation has nothing to do with truth. If I accuse you of being an asshole in a ml thread, letting 6 years pass (assuming nothing happens in that time) does nothing in terms of confirming or denying that you were an asshole - it’s still an accusation, not a fact.

I think you’re clutching at straws to justify an aggressive statement - which may or may not be deserved, but fundamentally remains an insult. Considering the context, it’s pretty ironic.

Interesting how the situation has mutated from “accusation” to “insult.”

But…I’m getting tired of the “we need to be nice when characterizing a person of privilege by their words and actions” narrative. T’so’s words are public. They have been characterized by multiple forums over several years by the fact that they are archetypal examples of that thing. It doesn’t matter whether he defines himself as a rape apologist or a masked vigilante, because his actions are the important part. And there exists a phrase that encompasses exactly those actions.

Plus, the strong implication of claiming that “Sage accused him” is that this is new and original, as if this is out of left field. I can’t “accuse” FDR of signing off on internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II. The word doesn’t make any sense in that context, because it characterizes an action that is well-documented. I can’t “accuse” Mao Zedong of precipitating China’s worst famine in history.

Finally, nobody is calling for him to step down (from a position he’s not, incidentally, entitled to as he would be entitled to his freedom from imprisonment) for it or even suggesting that he is unwelcome or should issue an apology (which is surprising), let alone trying to impose legal consequences. We do not need to wait for a jury of his peers to state that they believe they are beyond a shadow of a doubt to be allowed to characterize someone’s behavior.

Yes, the paradox of tolerance is a mildly ironic issue. We resolve it by judging situations based on evidence and treating people fairly, not nicely, and certainly not so nicely that we come running whenever any bored little shepherd boy cries wolf about being insulted by their actions being described with the most accurate words available.

In fact, this aspect of the discussion goes right back to Sage’s point. Due to the structure of Linux’s organization and the bias assuming that we need to be more protective of people at the top, it’s much more likely that a report of bad behavior along the lines of the tweet would be used to reprimand the messenger (or cause a counter-claim taken more seriously) than to trigger an investigation into T’so’s behavior, even if he said exactly the same things today in a far more public forum. The report can only describe and characterize his behavior, whereas a hypothetical T’so can dishonestly claim to be under personal attack and lean on his personal relationships to claim innocence or explain away his guilt; rape apologist apology, so to speak.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.