[nSLUG] On Linux & digital rights & freedoms advocacy (avoiding us/them mentality)

Tony Rowe ay986 at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri Apr 5 22:15:36 ADT 2019

Hi Ben!

On Fri, Apr 05, 2019 at 07:49:10AM -0300, Ben Armstrong wrote:
> I didn't mean to come down heavily on Donald in particular, 
> But it does point to a thing that we, as a group operating within a community
> with a broad range of opinions & feelings on these issues, should probably
> avoid: adopting an "us/them" mentality about our assumptions & values,
> consciously or unconsciously, is not pro-social behaviour. 

Pro-social behaviour does not equate with goodness or best behaviour 
necessarily, does it?  

> If we want to advocate within the broader communities we are in for 
> more careful attention to and protection of digital rights and 
> freedoms, it would be helpful not betray such attitudes, even when 
> "privately"* discussing it amongst ourselves. I speak as one who 
> struggles with this with regards to all my own assumptions & values, 
> too, across the spectrum of my life experiences, and don't want to 
> come off as "having arrived" or being a perfect example to the group.

No.  I believe the realists have a point here: that there comes a time 
when one needs to speak to a policy, to defend it, and be vocal in 
one's disdain (in this case for individuals who choose to use software 
which stands against digital freedoms); who are exercising the freedom 
not to be free at their peril.

> The increasing polarization of views in the world is being 
> exacerbated by the toxic culture that Facebook and other social media 
> giants promote. Rather than entirely withdraw from that world, I have 
> opted to continue to work within it, but work harder at promoting a 
> different kind of culture in my interactions that does not "feed the 
> beast".

I agree about Facebook and toxic culture.  

To return to Donald's point, I allow a software suite written by L. 
Poettering and cohorts to be installed (by fiat essentially).  It 
resides on my machine like an alien, almost as an operating system 
within an operating system, which sits devil-like between my userspace 
and the kernel.  I do this because it works quite well and because I am 
too lazy to fix something that isn't broken.  But I still think the PR 
(propaganda) of its implementation was awful and I don't mind saying 

> Whether this is worth it or not remains to be seen, but I care too 
> much about some of the people with whom social media is my sole point 
> of contact to just drop off of it entirely.

Your transgressions look better than mine do.  You tolerate non-free 
media because you want to remain in touch with people you care about.  
But if I am lazy (and that would be a kind way to say it), are you not 
committing a bandwagon fallacy (succumbing to peer pressure 
essentially) with your, "Rather than entirely withdraw from that world, 
I have opted to work within it… "?

Seriously derailed and insanely morbid governments have relied on this 
sort of behaviour from their civil service and from their military and 
indeed from common citizens as well, to commit horrible deeds.

Certainly I see your reasoning and it may be mostly harmless in this 
context to do as you say, but I think your position has more potential 
to do harm than Donald's alleged elitism does.


> Ben 
> * Note: we have a public web archive of our mailing list, so 
> nothing said here "in private" really is. The whole world is 
> watching!
> On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 7:36 AM Ben Armstrong <synergism at gmail.com> wrote:
>     That's my understanding too. Not a requirement at all.
>     On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 7:20 AM Joel Maxuel <j.maxuel at gmail.com> wrote:
>         I think it's because meetup offers (and emphasizes) signup through FB
>         OAuth (whether that last word should be quoted or not).  
>         However it is very trivial to set up a standalone account from what I
>         remember.
>         --
>         Cheers,
>         Joel Maxuel
>         "One should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret."
>          - Ronan Harris / Mark Jackson
>         On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 5:21 AM Ben Armstrong <synergism at gmail.com>
>         wrote:
>             On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 10:31 PM D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com>
>             wrote:
>                 A linux event requiring Facebook?  I guess that's what to
>                 expect from the people who brought us systemd.
>             First off, a bit elitist, hm? Second, FB? Where do you see that in
>             the link?
>             Ben

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