[erlang-questions] Announcing Erlang.org Code of Conduct

Joe Armstrong erlang@REDACTED
Wed Mar 18 16:32:52 CET 2015

I like top posts:


1) People have short span of attention - they only read the first few
lines, then decide
whether they want to read the rest. I know for a fact that people
follow links near the top of my
blogs and not near the end - the stuffs so boring they don't get to the end.

2) Interleaving replies with previously posted text often results in a
mess where it's impossible
to see who said what, especially if their are multiple interleaving. I
have recently heard of
deliberate manipulation of previously published text, in attempt to
manipulate a discussion.

 Separately posted articles makes it clear who said what and the
postings can be digitally signed

3) Top postings aren't really at the top - the subject line in the
mail is at the top.

4) The topmost posting is often the most interesting and an indication
that a topic is
worth of a discussion.

-- on niceness etc.

Would I want to live in a world where everybody was nice?

(this would make an interesting essay topic - there is not sufficient
space to answer here :-)

My view on this is that there are two types of behavioral standards

a) what you were taught as a kid - "share your toys" - "stop hitting Tommy"
    and what the social norms of your tribe are
b) what the laws of the land are - "do not thump people"

I don't see what we need something in the middle - bullying, general
nastiness to the extent
that it is criminal needs no action.

Telling adults how to behave at conferences seems very strange to me -
Adults should *know*
the rules of their tribe and the laws of the land. If they break these
spoken or unspoken rules
there will be consequences.

I read Gordon's mail on this and was horrified that he had come across
behavior that
would break standards a) and b) - I don't see how writing more rules
will change behavior.
Laws that are enforced probably do (slowly) change behavior. Nasty
people will be nasty
and not stop being nasty because of more rules. Their already are
rules which they don't obey.

On the very odd occasion where I've come across really bad behavior I
have taken the people
aside and just told them that I do not accept their behavior and told them to
<furry animal - cos my mum said I'm not allowed to use *that* word> off.

Tricky subject ...

I think just "being nice"  doesn't do justice to the problem

Lady Hartley's rules did after all take 356 pages.

Interestingly about half of the book was a "Manual of Politeness" -
Being polite never does any harm.

So we should not say "this code is crap" we should say

"having perused my learned colleagues code and admired it for its
elegance, structure and beauty,
I have however found one small element where in my humble opinion it
might be slightly improved .."



On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 3:24 PM, Jesper Louis Andersen
<jesper.louis.andersen@REDACTED> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 2:32 PM, Gordon Guthrie <gguthrie@REDACTED> wrote:
>> I am introducing a CoC for Erlang events because I have become aware of
>> sexual assaults against female engineers at tech events (some of which I
>> have attended).
> While somewhat tangential to this discussion, I think this is the right move
> for events/conferences. Whenever you have an incident, it will often be
> against a female engineer because statistics says so. And you better come
> proactively prepared to handle the incident, so you don't have to begin
> drawing in information once it happens. It can get pretty heated. I'd argue
> conference organizers needs to educated  about human psychology to handle
> the situation, as you will risk dealing with the darker parts of the human
> mind. Law enforcement doesn't get educated in the subject for fun: they deal
> with heated arguments on a daily basis. As a conference organizer you can't
> a priori claim to have the same level of education and experience, so I'd
> suggest that the responsible people make sure they have the necessary
> knowledge.
> It is also worth mentioning that culture plays a role. An event where people
> come from all over the world means the risk of misinterpretation is much
> higher than normal. Which in turn means that what is taken for a resounding
> "NO" in one culture might not elicit the same cues in another. Knowing how
> to defuse such situations before they explode is highly beneficial, and this
> is where a CoC can level the playing field among several cultures for an
> event.
> As for the horror stories in the news, several factors plays a role. News
> media are vultures for these stories, because they generate ad revenue. A
> large part also has to do with what I colloquially call "outrage culture" in
> which relatively small incidents gets blown up to the point where the
> outrage overtakes the narrative. At this point, due to the amplification
> factor of social networking, anything can happen, and it usually ends in
> misery for every party involved. These two factors ensures you can't ever be
> fully guarded against a horror story, even if you try very hard[0].
> [0] Scott Aaronson, the quantum computing complexity theorist, provides an
> ever so eloquent introduction to online shaming culture
> http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=2221 which I heartily recommend.
> --
> J.
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