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02.28.20

Alexandre Oliva Against Bullying and Violence

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original blog post by the FSF's interim co-president

Previously:

I was ready to come to a close of this series, but an urgent request I got takes priority over the last planned post in the series, now postponed.

I’ve got word of threats of violence and other ongoing forms of bullying against the FSF and LibrePlanet, presumed to be in reaction to my posts.

If you are involved and you think you are doing these things on Richard’s behalf, or mine, or the good old FSF’s, please bear the following in mind. And if you know or suspect someone else who might be engaging in such actions, please pass it on to them.

A main driver of my behavior, including my commitment to and involvement with software freedom, and my writing this series, are my very strong inner sense of justice, and a crushingly demanding conscience.

I can understand the anger sparked by the claims made against my friend. Abuse alone is wrong; abusing the defenseless is outrageously wrong. Our urges to empathize with victims and fight wrongs are great, admirable traits.

However, an eye for an eye is not the path to blind justice, and history is full of outrageous, false and very effective accusations, for personal and political reasons.

I found what was done to my friend very, very wrong. It made me very angry and disappointed in humankind to witness the bullying, the violence, the humiliation, and the life-wrecking changes imposed on my friend, based on twisted, exaggerated and outright false hearsay, that even conflicted with the little available hard evidence that accompanied it. The lack of empathy, understanding and tolerance for his handicaps, including the inability to take hints, the difficulty to read emotions, and the neural wiring that drives to hair-splitting, further aggravated it.

I can thus understand your anger, as you read myself and others state quite damning facts. Though I’m somewhat reassured by the confirmations I got, I’m not at all happy to watch mob justice unfold again. Though facts I’ve witnessed myself are strong evidence to me, to you they’re no more than hearsay.

Bullying is not cool. Violence, even if driven by hearsay-provoked anger, no matter how outrageous the trigger is, is not justice, be the target friend or foe.

It’s rather mob justice, that civilization efforts have for centuries attempted to replace with science- and evidence-based, painfully slow but thoughtful, rational, unbiased and proper justice.

It’s often unsatisfying, for sometimes you can’t prove what you deeply believe, and occasionally a deep belief or plausible suspicion may turn out to be wrong. Aside from evident speculation, I know what I wrote is true. But you don’t, even if you have no reason to doubt me. Even if you have plenty of reasons to believe me!

Let’s show how political pressure can be done in a more civil way, and how justice can be pursued in a more civilized way, shall we?

So blong…


Copyright 2007-2020 Alexandre Oliva

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document’s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

The following licensing terms also apply to all documents and postings in this blog that don’t contain a copyright notice of their own, or that contain a notice equivalent to the one above, and whose copyright can be reasonably assumed to be held by Alexandre Oliva.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License BY-SA (Attribution ShareAlike) 3.0 Unported. To see a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

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