Wild how many white men (and yes I am seeing this today specifically from white men) would prioritize "what if we can just learn to get along with each other" when the people they want folks to "get along with" are actively driving people out of the community.

Put your energy on THOSE people, not on the people who have a problem with those people.

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'"But we wouldn't have X without [horribly toxic person]"

True, but you cannot even FATHOM all the ideas/products/processes/community leadership you've lost out on from the people you've driven out.

You're focusing on a couple constellations at the expense of the Milky Way

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anyway, if you're making calls to tolerance and just getting along:

1) remember that "getting along" has always looked like letting your idols/big stars/etc push people out

2) redirect that energy toward the people who ARE the problem, not the people responding to the problem

3) don't @ me

@platypus :THIS: I don't get how many people just don't seem to *want* to understand this.

@petrichor @platypus Back in 2019 I lacked two key pieces of info: what Epstein actually was (thought he was just a rich pimp, not a child trafficker the rich knowingly frequented), and the actual past of RMS. All my interaction was on Emacs mailing lists, on the rare occasion that I submitted a patch. It was obvious that he's obnoxious but how heinous and disgusting he was I didn't know. So I defended him for a brief few hours until the internet told me off and taught me a valuabel lesson.

1/

@petrichor @platypus
Back then tho a lot of people outside FSF circles didn't really know much about him. His stories at MIT and elsewhere, his misogyny, homophobia, ableism, etc. were stuff a lot of people first encountered back then, me included. Before that, to many he looked like a Diogenes of Sinope sorts of guy, annoying but useful.

Now AFAICT his defenders aren't really about him but the usual right wing stuff. You encounter the vocabulary you expect, the perspectives you expect...

2/2

@platypus there's also this idea that inventions tend to come simultaneously from different people when the time is right, as civilization progressed to some level. So basically, if Stallman wouldn't write GCC, someone else would almost certainly write something very comparable in value.

Lone benevolent geniuses are actually rare accidents.

@isagalaev @platypus And there are numerous cases where this has quite evidently happened.

In our field we can point to Alan Turing. We wouldn't be so convinced of the concept of "turing completeness" if it wasn't independantly discovered by Alonzo Church. The two read their papers after the fact leading them both to write appendices arguing their ideas are equivalent.

Mathematicians of the time were very curious about the question they independantly answered.

@isagalaev @platypus Indeed. The person who gets the credit usually has better PR or is more media friendly then others.

There is precedence since BSD was basically an extension pack for Unix, and there is no reason to think BSD wouldn’t have grown into something like the BSD OSs we know today taking the place of the GNU project.

@platypus We wouldn't have *this specific* X, but who's to say nobody else could've come up with it?

@KamareDrache @platypus There were probably 5-6 other implementations at the time, but that was the one everyone picked regardless for whatever reason. The reason was probably not technical merit, and X probably kept us from a better future/present.

@platypus "But we wouldn't have X without [horribly toxic person]"

Yes, and we will continue to have X without them. They do not need to be here for X to continue to exist.

@Vordus @platypus There were at least two competing window systems at the time X was being developed. It just happened to be the one the industry settled on.

Did they also have toxic people involved? Maybe/probably/likely, given the era. Is that any excuse? Nope.

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