Starting somewhere

Matt wrote about some abhorrant spam he received, and lamented at the overwhelming magnitude of the global culture of disadvantaging people for perceived weaknesses (and exploiting them for actual ones). And he is right. It is overwhelming.

But that is no reason to give up altogether. We have to start somewhere.

To even think that I could have a universal influence that encompasses all the horrors of the world is beyond stupid. I do, however, have an influence here. I do have an influence in the Ubuntu community (and by extrapolation, the broader FOSS community) and I do have an opportunity to help it change for the better so that it can lead by example. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

So does Matt. So does Lefty. So does Matthew. So does Jonathan.

When we see crap, we call it for what it is. But, at the same time, we’re not omnipresent. We cannot possibly respond to everything.

We really do not appreciate comments such as this or this. What we say is valid, even if we do not manage to comment on every incident worldwide across every industry that ever existed. What we say is relevant while ever the subtle little things continue in the same mediums.

These sorts of comments are really not helpful. They are what is referred to as “silencing tactics”, and they are a kind of intimidation. They serve little purpose (intended or not) other than to resist change (ironic in an industry that wants to change the computing landscape) and enable a continuance of whatever disadvantage or exploitation is under discussion.

Some parts of the world may be satisfied with the unfair status quos, but there is absolutely no way I’m going to cheerfully permit the bits I touch do the same.

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8 Responses to Starting somewhere

  1. Jason says:

    As the author of one of the ‘this’ linked comments, I find myself thinking how abhorrent your post is too! You dislike my comment and opinion on someone else’s post, and effectively tell me I should shut-up with my opinion because you dislike it.

    I wonder what is more abhorrent … spamming a technical discussion community, or effectively telling people they should shut-up when giving an opinion which differs to yours?

    • melissa says:

      You’ve missed the point.

      Your comment was not merely opinion. Your comment was a an attempt to silence Matt.

      I have not told you that you have to shut up. Nor have I said that you must agree with Matt or myself.

      I have however disagreed with your interpretation of Planet Ubuntu, and provided validation for my P.O.V. Furthermore, I expressed annoyance at your using said misinterpretation to deem social issues “irrelevant”. Ubuntu is as much a social project as it is technical. Social issues that hold us back are relevant.

  2. Jason says:

    No, you have missed the point Melissa!

    My comment was an expression of opinion that I do not, and should not, have to be exposed to such topics as rape videos on a Ubuntu related site. That expression of interest was far less an attempt to silence Matt, than his post was an attempt to expose me to a disgusting subject in a place and community where it can be reasonably assumed I should not be subjected to it.

    Explain to me how the promotion and/or discussion of rape video’s (via spam, blog post, planet feed, or any other method) is relevant to Ubuntu? Social or Technical. Should I have an expectation that going to a Ubuntu social gathering (eg. release party) or technical gathering (eg. Global Jam) that I will be exposed to discussion on and reference to rape video’s?

    Linking to others that share the same opinion as you does not validate a point of view. To think that it does, and thus trying to allude that it denounces a differing point of view, is defined within dictionaries as bigotry.

    Finally, by saying that “We really do not appreciate comments such as [mine]” IS an attempt to silence my opinion. Your saying it’s not welcome and using the plural ‘We’ in an attempt to show support and numbers. And only one of those people (unsurprisingly, the OP) has expressed acceptance of promoting/highlighting rape video’s to Planet Ubuntu anyway.

    • nido says:

      Dear Jason,

      There may be many people around sharing the opinion, but not everybody is interested in dragging on a subject they don’t really care a lot about; especially when their opinion is already being represented (or when it just takes too darn long to do it correctly).

      Given the recent bombardments of chatter about sexism all around the linux blogs/fora/chat I’d say it is a social issue. Said videos are therefore linked indirectly to Ubuntu via Linux.

      Therefore it is reasonable to find such posts in such planets. Looking around, the ‘definition’ of planet is more thought to be “all that people of group x post”, rather then “all about subject x by a group of people”. I think you are looking for an aggregate rather then a planet.

      I agree requesting certain types of comment to be or not be at a certain place can be seen as censorship. However, not posting that opinion is censorship in itself. This, off course goes both ways. Therefore, in my opinion, censorship is an invalid argument for either side.

      Also, by mentioning it over and over again in your reply; you indeed increase the possibility of talking about it on real life social gatherings. Sarcasm has its own sarcasm in misunderstanding.

    • melissa says:

      If the emotion you posted above had been your first response — or at least evident from it — rather than the misguided “I read Planet Ubuntu because I want Ubuntu related information, not the personal afflictions/desires on a totally unrelated topics.” then I would not have had a problem at all.

      But that is not what you said.

      Bonus points for ignoring the genuine 6hr-old apology and then stating that (emphasis mine) “Regardless of the topic, or how abhorrent it is, it’s unrelated to Planet Ubuntu and thus spam by any definition!”.

  3. Lefty says:

    Jason, I feel the same way about what you were doing: Matt corrected his oversight and apologized graciously for it.

    Yet, rather than discuss the issue that Matthew raised, you want to continue to discuss what you perceive as Matt’s past offenses, which have already been corrected. It’s a clear form of diversion and an attempt to change the topic to suit you.

    Your attempt at playing unappointed Ambassador from Planet Ubuntu is likewise not too impressive to me.

  4. Jason says:

    Your apology is accepted Melissa, but you have a more important one to give … http://en.emgent.org/index.php/2009/07/25/gerix-wifi-cracker-new-generation/

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