Wednesday, March 11, 2015


On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM, Sarah Sharp wrote:


Oh, FFS, I just called out on private email for "playing the victim card". I will repeat: this is not just about me, or other minorities. I should not have to ask for professional behavior on the mailing lists. Professional behavior should be the default.


The thing is, the "victim card" is exactly about trying to enforce

your particular expectations on others, and trying to do so in a very

particular way. It's the old "think of the children" argument. And

it's bogus. Calling things "professional" is just more of the same -

trying to enforce some kind of convention on others by trying to claim

that it's the only acceptable way.

[ Since you seem to want to keep this in public, I'll just cut-and-paste from my reply, so you have already seen this part of my

argument, it's only slightly edited because now I'm no longer typing

on my cellphone ]

The thing is, different people act and react differently. On both

sides. And I think we should recognize that and also allow for that.

And sometimes it means, for example, that people interact primarily

with certain people that they like more - because they are a better


I think we actually do it very naturally, simply because we are human,

and this is how people interact in real life too. Sometimes we do it

consciously - the way we have people at various companies that act as

go-betweens - but most of the time we do it just because humans are

all about social interactions and we don't even think about what we do

and why.

For example, you work mostly through Greg. I don't think either of you

planned it that way, but it's likely because you guys work well together.

See what I'm saying? People are different. I'm not polite, and I get

upset easily but generally don't hold a grudge - I have these

explosive emails. And that works well for some people. And it probably

doesn't work well with you.

And you know what? That's fine. Not everybody had to get along or work

well with each other. But the fact that it doesn't work with you

doesn't make it "wrong".

This isn't all that different from working around language issues etc

by having certain people work as in-betweens on that front.

And where we differ is in thinking either side has to necessarily

change. You think people need to act "nicer". While I think it's

natural that people have different behavior - and different expectations. We all have issues somewhere and don't all like each

other. There are certain people I refuse to work with, for example.

They may be good engineers, but they just aren't people I can work


And hey, I don't actually think we've personally even had any

problems. And I realize that you may react very strongly and get

nervous about us having problems, but realistically, do you actually

expect to like all the other kernel engineers?

And equally importantly, not everybody has to like you, or necessarily

think they have to be liked by you. OK?

So as far as I'm concerned, the discussion is about "how to work

together DESPITE people being different". Not about trying to make

everybody please each other. Because I can pretty much guarantee that

I'll continue cursing. To me, the discussion would be about how to

work together despite these kinds of cultural differences, not about

"how do we make everybody nice and sing songs sound the campfire"

Do you think you might be interested in that kind of discussion

instead of the "you are abusing me" kind of discussion?

Because if you want me to "act professional", I can tell you that I'm

not interested. I'm sitting in my home office wearign a bathrobe. The

same way I'm not going to start wearing ties, I'm also not going to

buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and

backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because

THAT is what "acting professionally" results in: people resort to all

kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their

normal urges in unnatural ways.

from lizard's ghost

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