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Re: Truth matters when writing software and selecting leaders

From: Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss)
Subject: Re: Truth matters when writing software and selecting leaders
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 09:01:32 -0700
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/0.9.2

On 2021-03-25 18:57, Jacob Bachmeyer wrote:
Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss) wrote:
On 2021-03-24 19:55, Jacob Bachmeyer wrote:
Does there appear to be some form of hidden coordination behind these articles?

As I understand, RMS always thought that proprietary software
companies would make some kind of large legal attack on the GNU
project, so he was very particular about setting up the FSF and
arranging for copyrights on many GNU packages to be held by the FSF.
If we interpret the SCO mess as that attack, the strategy seems to
have worked:  SCO did not attack GNU, but instead attempted to attack
the Linux kernel project. Ultimately, they failed but I now wonder if
we may be seeing a different angle of an attack on the GNU project
that RMS did not anticipate.

I also have similar suspicions. If you can replace the stewards of
free software with meek, emotional weaklings, or fools, you can easily
manipulate those projects in whatever direction you see fit.

"You must accept this backdoor patch because it's written by a
member of a vulnerable, disadvantaged group."

If you don't think that's coming, just sit back and watch.

I have vague memories of similar incidents having already occurred,
although I do not recall exactly what they were.  I think they were
actually demands for direct commit access, on the grounds that none of
the active developers were [insert FOOBAR group name here].  I want to
say that the attempts failed, but I am not certain.

As a maintainer of a package that I did not write, I expect that I
would react very badly to anyone trying to push an obviously defective
patch on grounds of personal identity.

Those incidents could have been "innocent" in the sense that
the person was really just working on their own and actually member
of [FOOBAR group], just with a really oboxious personality and
way of thinking.

The conspiracy-like theory of mine that I'm referring to is that the
submitter is not actually a member of any [FOOBAR group]. The claim is fake,
used by some nefarious agency to push rogue commits.

To make it crystal clear, I am not in any way "FOOBAR-phobic" or

That strategy will easily work if the project leaders have been
replaced by mental/emotional weaklings, by some coup in which the original
leaders were displaced for faintly smelling of being resistant
to unconditional "inclusivity".

I'm not even saying anything like that the new project leaders are
moles.  Basically everyone involved, up to that point, had just been
a pawn being played.

Let me articulate the crazy conspiracy theory more precisely:
some nefarious agencies are injecting animosity into free software
communities in order to create disruption which will have the result
of bringing changes into projects, such that the leadership of those
projects becomes more docile and pliable in the face of pressure from
those nefarious agencies. Nefarious agencies could be corporations,
governments (local and foreign), you name it.

The disruption is what causes certain social activists to take notice
of free software and become attracted to free software projects
in the first place.

"Hey there is this world of free software which is really great
and powers most of the Internet. But I hear stories about how it's
run by volunteers some of whom are bad people. Racists, trans-phobics,
defenders of pedophilia and sex trafficking. That's how I even heard
about this stuff in the first place, sadly! Well, we can fix that.
Gosh, darn it, I'm gonna join one of these projects and do something
about it!"

Think of the analogy of smearing something with blood to attract

I think the most level-headed attitude to have is represented in that
"no code of conduct".

Projects must put up a barrier against allowing manipulation via
irrelevant politics. All decisions must be purely technical. Nobody
must be allowed to manipulate technical decisions, like what software
changes are approved, by means of gender identity politics, race or
anything else. This is necessary for software security and the survival
of free software as such.

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