Looking at the facts: Sarah Sharp’s crusade

Much has been written around the internet about this geeky kernel maintainer Sarah Sharp who left kernel development. I have now spent two hours reading through lkml posts, and want to summarize a few mails from the long thread, since most of the usual news sites just rewrap the original blog of hers without adding any background.

darth-cookie

The whole thread evolved out call for stable kernel review by Greg Kroah-Hartman where he complained about too many patches that are not actually in rc1 before going into stable:

<rant>
  I'm sitting on top of over 170 more patches that have been marked for
  the stable releases right now that are not included in this set of
  releases.  The fact that there are this many patches for stable stuff
  that are waiting to be merged through the main -rc1 merge window cycle
  is worrying to me.
  [...]

from where it developed into a typical Linus rant on people flagging crap for stable, followed by some jokes:

On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 8:47 AM, Steven Rostedt <rostedt@goodmis.org> wrote:
> I tend to hold things off after -rc4 because you scare me more than Greg
> does ;-)
 
Have you guys *seen* Greg? The guy is a freakish giant. He *should*
scare you. He might squish you without ever even noticing.
 
              Linus

and Ingo Molnar giving advice to Greg KH:

So Greg, if you want it all to change, create some _real_ threat: be frank 
with contributors and sometimes swear a bit. That will cut your mailqueue 
in half, promise!

with Greg KH taking a funny position in answering:

Ok, I'll channel my "inner Linus" and take a cue from my kids and start
swearing more.

Up to now a pretty decent and normal thread with some jokes and poking, nobody minded, and reading through it I had a good time. The thread continues with a discussion on requirements what to submit to stable, and some side threads on particular commits.

And then, out of the blue, Social Justice Warrior (SJW) Sarah Sharp pops in … with a very important contribution:

Seriously, guys?  Is this what we need in order to get improve -stable?
Linus Torvalds is advocating for physical intimidation and violence.
Ingo Molnar and Linus are advocating for verbal abuse.
 
Not *fucking* cool.  Violence, whether it be physical intimidation,
verbal threats or verbal abuse is not acceptable.  Keep it professional
on the mailing lists.
 
Let's discuss this at Kernel Summit where we can at least yell at each
other in person.  Yeah, just try yelling at me about this.  I'll roar
right back, louder, for all the people who lose their voice when they
get yelled at by top maintainers.  I won't be the nice girl anymore.

Onto which Linus answers in a great way:

That's the spirit.
 
Greg has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release
your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.
 
Come to the dark side, Sarah. We have cookies.

On goes Sarah, gearing up in her SJW mode and starting to rant:

However, I am serious about this.  Linus, you're one of the worst
offenders when it comes to verbally abusing people and publicly tearing
their emotions apart.
 
http://marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=135628421403144&w=2
http://marc.info/?l=linux-acpi&m=136157944603147&w=2
 
I'm not going to put up with that shit any more.

Linus himself made clear what he thinks of her:

Trust me, there's a really easy way for me to curse at people: if you
are a maintainer, and you make excuses for your bugs rather than
trying to fix them, I will curse at *YOU*.
 
Because then the problem really is you.
[...]

It is easy to verify what Linus said, by reading the above two links and the answers of the maintainers, both agreed that it was their failure and were sorry. (Mauro’s answer, Rafael’s answer) It is just the geeky SJW that was not even attacked (who would dare to attack a woman nowadays?).

The overall reaction to her by the maintainers can be exemplified by Thomas Gleixner’s post:

Just for the record. I got grilled by Linus several times over the
last years and I can't remember a single instance where it was
unjustified.

What follows is a nearly endless discussion with Sarah meandering around, changing permanently her opinion what is acceptable. Linus tried to explain to her in simple words, without success, she continues to rant around. Here arguments are so weak I had nothing but good laugh:

> Sarah, that's a pretty potent argument by Linus, that "acting 
> professionally" risks replacing a raw but honest culture with a
> polished but dishonest culture - which is harmful to developing
> good technology.
> 
> That's a valid concern. What's your reply to that argument?
 
I don't feel the need to comment, because I feel it's a straw man
argument.  I feel that way because I disagree with the definition of
professionalism that people have been pushing.
 
To me, being "professional" means treating each other with respect.  I
can show emotion, express displeasure, be direct, and still show respect
for my fellow developers.
 
For example, I find the following statement to be both direct and
respectful, because it's criticizing code, not the person:
 
"This code is SHIT!  It adds new warnings and it's marked for stable
when it's clearly *crap code* that's not a bug fix.  I'm going to revert
this merge, and I expect a fix from you IMMEDIATELY."
 
The following statement is not respectful, because it targets the
person:
 
"Seriously, Maintainer.  Why are you pushing this kind of *crap* code to
me again?  Why the hell did you mark it for stable when it's clearly
not a bug fix?  Did you even try to f*cking compile this?"

Fortunately, she was immediately corrected and Ingo Molnar wrote an excellent refutation (starting another funny thread) of all her emails, statements, accusations (all of the email is a good read):

_That_ is why it might look to you as if the person was
attacked, because indeed the actions of the top level maintainer were
wrong and are criticised.
 
... and now you want to 'shut down' the discussion. With all due respect,
you started it, you have put out various heavy accusations here and elsewhere,
so you might as well take responsibility for it and let the discussion be
brought to a conclusion, wherever that may take us, compared to your initial view?

(He retracted that last statement, though I don’t see a reason for it)

Last but not least, let us return to her blog post, where she states herself that:

FYI, comments will be moderated by someone other than me. As this is my blog, not a
government entity, I have the right to replace any comment I feel like with 
“fart fart fart fart”.

and she made lots of use of it, I counted at least 10 instances. She seems to remove or “fart fart fart” any comment that is not in line with her opinion. Further evidence is provided by this post on lkml.

Everyone is free to have his own opinion (sorry, his/her), and I am free to form my own opinion on Sarah Sharp by just simply reading the facts. I am more than happy that one more SJW has left Linux development, as the proliferation of cleaning of speech from any personality has taken too far a grip.

Coming to my home-base in Debian, unfortunately there is no one in the position and the state of mind of Linus, so we are suffering the same stupidities imposed by social justice worriers and some brainless feminists (no, don’t get me wrong, these are two independent attributes. I do NOT state that feminism is brainless) that Linus and the maintainer crew was able to fend of – this time.

I finish with my favorite post from that thread, by Steven Rosted (from whom I also stole the above image!):

On Tue, 2013-07-16 at 18:37 -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> Emotions aren't bad. Quite the reverse. 
 
Spock and Dr. Sheldon Cooper strongly disagree.

Post Scriptum (after a bike ride) The last point by Linus is what I criticize most on Debian nowdays, it has become a sterilized over-governed entity, where most fun is gone. Making fun is practically forbidden, since there is the slight chance that some minority somewhere on this planet might feel hurt, and by this we are breaking the CoC. Emotions are restricted to the “Happy happy how nice we are and how good we are” level of US and also Japanese self-reenforcement society.

Post Post Scriptum I just read Sarah Sharp’s post on “What makes a good community?“, and without giving a full account or review, I am just pi**ed by the usage of the word “microaggressions” – I can only recommend everyone to read this article and this article to get a feeling how bs the idea of microaggressions has taken over academia – and obviously not only academia.

Post3 Scriptum I am happy to see Lars Wirzenius, Gunnar Wolf, and Martín Ferrari opposing my view. I agree with them that my comments concerning Debian are not mainstream in Debian – something that is not very surprising, though, and I think it is great that they have fun in Debian, like many other contributors.

Post4 Scriptum Although nobody will read this, here is a great response from a female developer:

[...] To Linus: You're a hero to many of us. Don't change. Please. You DO
NOT need to take time away from doing code to grow a pair of breasts
and judge people's emotional states: [...]

Nothing to add here!

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64 thoughts on “Looking at the facts: Sarah Sharp’s crusade

  1. If you don’t mind me asking, Are you saying that *some* of the feminists in the Debian community are brainless? or *all* of them?

    And so it sounds like you would like there to be more aggressive men in Debian to drive the feminists out? am I reading that right?

    • Some of course!!! Can one read something difderent there? There are brainless men and women, and the ratio doesn’t change, since men and women are equally gifted (and ungifted).

    • SJW =/= feminist. Many rational intelligent people identify as feminist. If you believe people should be treated fairly regardless of race, gender, identity, or shoe size you are not a SJW. You’re just a decent human being. SJWs are people who see racism, sexism, etc in everything and feel that this gives them the right to police everyone else’s speech and behavior. As characterized by Sharp in this article.

      • SJW is just attempting to slander anyone who refuses the status quo. Like someone said somewhere else, the use of that label should be equivalent to Godwin’s law, resulting in immediate disregard for the statement. These dirty tactics are known for millennia: look up ad hominem.

        • Godwin’s law is rubbish, sorry to tell you. It might be valid for those who aren’t from the countries concerned, but as someone who grew up in Austria, I am entitled to compare and relate – because I know the history and background.

          I have heard the defense “Stop that – Godwin’s law” too often, this is just because people run out of arguments and don’t know how to defend their extremely radical positions. That’s all.

          It is the forgetfulness of US common sense that history starts with the 70ties and the moon landing, and everything before (Vietnam, Cambodia, etc etc) is just things from the past you are not allowed to mention.

        • the use of that label should be equivalent to Godwin’s law, resulting in immediate disregard for the statement

          That’s not what Godwin’s Law originally states, however. The actual point is just an observation, ie. that any internet (well, originally it was referring to Usenet) argument will eventually lead to an invocation of Nazis. Or to give the standard formulation,

          “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”

          Ironically enough, that means your comment is an example of Godwin’s Law.

          • Not what originally states but that is how it is used often and how I chose to use it now. My comment does not bring up the Nazis, it references a common example of ad hominem attack, which is what I was criticizing. You chose to ignore the discussion and nitpick and stray away from the point.

  2. Thanks for your post. It’s good to see others critically thinking about the political correctness nightmare we are heading into. I also like to swear and curse. Especially to people I like. It can be a sign of familiarity and friendship.
    And I agree about the Debian part as well. I got into several arguments on mailing lists where I was called a bad guy because I was objecting to the use of the German /-in ending to all words thar are gramatically masculin. I just thought it made the text harder to read and I consider “programmer” a word for al programmers and not just male programmers. But then the accusations started and nowadays I am not a Debian contributor anymore. Just a user who contributes to other projects like KDE.

    I like my politics and technology separated from each other. And if the separation is complet, we can ship all the politicians to some uninhabited island and let it drown due to climate change. 😉

  3. Thing is: you can’t separate politics from anything human. Technology in particular crystallizes specific architectures of power (example: choosing centralized systems over peer to peer architectures so that the owner of the center can extract value and monitor the interactions – gmail, facebook, etc). Technology is political. Just like the personal is political.

    • This is just a goddamn excuse to shove politics into every orifice of society in general and science in particular (reminds me of Lysenkoism in my home country or Creationism in teh US).

  4. Sorry for a “me too”-style comment but I also should add my own “thank you”.

    These matters are quite complicated but the degree of political correctness abusing is indeed alarming these days. Thanks for being cold-headed and researching the facts.

  5. To many people, physical violence is no joke. The very mention of it is enough to shake someone who suffered in an abusive relationship to the core. This is not sterilizing discourse or “political correctness”, it’s just being mindful of other people. It’s about empathy.

    Power relations are everywhere, whether we acknowledge it or not. And make no mistake, the issue here is power. Forget the actual details for a minute. We (white, male, cis) can’t see any problem with the way it works because we are benefiting from the status quo. It’s like water to fish, we think it’s just the way it is, that it’s just natural. We are not constrained in this way, we can’t even feel it. It takes a real effort to take a stroll in someone else’s shoes, an it seemed to me that you took that step, to read over and think and argue. It’s just not enough yet. Look deeper, listen closely. I chose some links that helped me understand this better, maybe it’ll make things clearer:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/
    https://imgur.com/gallery/h82vC

    And there’s this great talk by Jacob Kaplan-Moss:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIJdFxYlEKE
    http://lwn.net/Articles/641779/

    • Hi jj,
      thanks for your constructive reply. While I agree that white man often have the “lowest difficulty setting”, you might have noticed (or not) that I am white, but living in a remote corner of Japan. Up to very recent I saw about 10 white faces a *month* … now you might doubt that, but I know what discrimination means, because I am confronted with it on a daily base. Still I don’t go havoc and insult all of my Japanese colleagues for being bastards. Difference in culture I guess.

      • I bet the word you hate, “microaggressions”, is a more apt description of this “daily” discrimination you speak of. I imagine if the police were constantly harassing you, or randomly frisking you, you would have left Japan by now.

    • White? How white do you have to be to be privileged? Does a Armenian still count as white? Or Georgian? Or Ukrainian (especially the blonde ones)? Or a Russian Jew? Or a Spaniard? And normally, judging by the quoted e-mails in the article, the “threat” was made in jest and was recognizable as such, so any whining or “privilege”-blabbering about it is BULLSHIT.

  6. I read most of the Linux kernel mailing list thread. She says this has nothing to do with her personally, women in general, or minorities. Linus says that he only yells at people who have the heaviest responsibility and that he knows can do higher quality work. She disagrees, she thinks calling out bad code or blocking bad maintainers is fine, but insulting developers is not.

    That seems reasonable to me. And she does stay consistent with that message.

    I think this whole “SJW” or “Anti-SJW” crusade is a distraction. Professional courtesy in development teams makes sense regardless of your views on feminism or political correctness. When I screw up, my boss reverts the commit and then explains why. When the people I manage screw up, I do the same.

    • Hi MIke,

      yes, the way you are describing is a possible way, but not the only way. The point is that forcing a standard upon others is wrong.

      We non-US people are used to this way of living and doing since long, US standards (better word would be sub-standards) are pushed down our throats (TPP, TIPP, Safe Harbour, etc) with the only aim to *lower* standards.

      Respect is a two way thing. Only because my own standard is different, it doesn’t mean that it is the only correct one. Same with religion, and politics. Unfortunately the general culture in Anglo-Saxon countries (US, UK, Japan, …) is that this acceptance has been forgotten, and the “high values” of the local country are considered the standard to which everything needs to be measured.

      This is simply wrong. End of the story.

      • I’m sorry, “forcing a standard on others is wrong” is just ignorant. We have standards for everything. There are piles of RFC’s all over the place defining standards. Having standards for code, and for community interaction makes sure everything runs smoothly and makes sure everyone knows how to interact. This isn’t about something being “correct” its about having an agreed upon way to interact so everyone is welcome, people are respected and the software is made that is high quality. Standards aren’t bad or good, they just exist for people to use so interactions, whether between people or software, works in a predictable way.

        • Yes yes, standards are not always bad. But look at the environmental protection and consumer protection laws which standards are not pushed down to abysmal low level due to the bullying of US politics. Complete declaration of ingredients – gone. GMO – allowed. The list goes on.

          Standards are only good if the standards making gremium is good. That does not hold true in many cases.

          Of course, compromises are necessary at times, but the compromises should be here to improve the situation, not make it worse.

          On the other hand, what you are reciting about code of conducts, that are soft standards. They are not regulated by any law, they are just agreement between some people. Making sure everything runs smoothly in interaction is as dreamy as believing in the stork. It can only work by force-creating a “happy happy lovely lovely we are the best” communication style where everyone always is the greatest, best and a hero (look look, typical Anglo-Saxon talk style). Understatement and direct critic is forbidden in this field. That is not a good outlook, at least not for me.

          But feel free to believe so.

  7. I don’t much care for political correctness, but when people start needing to swear at one another to get their point across it seems that something isn’t working right. More so across the internet, because you can’t see how the other person reacts and go have a drink afterward.

    Not being able to simply make jokes on public mailing lists is of course a pain, but I never much liked jokes at other people’s expense in any case.

    • I lived in Italy for some years, and I can tell you if I would use the same expression that are used in Tuscany for daily greetings in the US or in Japan, I would probably be thrown into prison. \

      Read what I wrote – most developers stated that if the “were grilled” then it was with reason. Most of them did not complain, and saw their failure. Mission accomplished. Why do we need to smear honey around everyones mouth just to keep a happy world?

      • Beying Italian myself I know what you mean. LOL! 🙂

        Aside from that, all of this “LKML and Linus are evil” nonsense makes me cringe.

        LKML is actually *the* one highly productive, totally transparent, fully online, place of work where everyone is welcome and usually treated politely no matter who it is.
        One of the few actually polite, clean and productive clean places on the Internet.
        LKML is a place where work – hard valuable and highly professional work – really gets done.
        Actually they fucking do the fucking best fucking work ever made in the history of computers and they maintain the fucking most fucking complex single fucking software project ever. Did I say fucking yet? Oh, I fucking did? Ok. 🙂

        Now, in that setting, The fact that there are only a few misfits complaining about random minutiae amongst thousands (of active contributors) should be held as the proof that lkml is doing a great job of making people work in harmony.
        Not the other way around.

        And by the way, Internet aside, in the real world nobody cares about the feelings of the overly sensitive people out there who’s not the part of a discussion between coworkers or whatever (unless of course they’re present and make their presence and particular sensitiveness known before hand).
        Why should people on the Internet constantly walk on eggs, just because some Social Extremist Warrior (which we call “buonisti” in Italy) may feel a disturbance “in the force”?

      • If devs are kinder and more respectful to each other, it encourages more contributions to their projects. There are a lot of people who don’t contribute to open source specifically because they feel the culture is toxic. There are a lot of people who have stopped contributing to the Kernel because they were “grilled” and those people’s voices aren’t heard on the mailing list any longer because they have left. A few people saying “I was yelled at and its fine” doesn’t make it ok for everyone else to get treated that way. Honestly most people probably would have rather not gotten sworn at if they had a choice.

        • Not everyone is needed in a certain circle. Does who don’t have the power to stand up on their feet should search a different area.

          It is very similar to mountaineering. If you are not up to climb a high mountain due to your limitation in physical power or self-defiance, you are simply in the wrong place. There are good and bad places for people. But that does not make the places by itself good or bad. It is just that they don’t match.

          I surely would be a complete looser in several circumstances – so I try to keep away from that.

          Very simply – if you can’t stand it, or don’t want to gain the strength to stand it – just don’t come in.

          • I’m happy that Debian (and many many others!) has realized people “who don’t have the power to stand up on their feet” can also become amazing actors for the project 🙂

  8. “Further evidence is provided by this post on lkml.” — Good ol’ Ove Carlsen. Does he still try to patronize people and promote to establish islamic laws to right all wrongs? 🙂 Also, what evidence exactly?

  9. What you forget in this discussion: Cultural differences.

    Linus mentioned it in one post, Sarah anwered but ignored or didn’t understand the argument.

    There are huge differences between Finnish and Americal cultures which can lead to misunderstanding (true for all cultures). And this here is a perfect example: Finish culture is one of the mist direct cultures in the world. Finns don’ beat around the bush.

    You don’t know this if you haven’t met a Finn. Or a German, who share this cultural dimension.

    Americans have very indirect way of communicating on the other hand. If a Finn says something direct, the American can think of it as a verbal attack. If an American criticizes a Finn, he probably would think “Why are you lying to me, why are you so wrong, being friendly, smiling and bullying me at the same time?”

    What makes it worse here is the use of English language, which is used in a British or American way usually. Linus uses it when he rants like his mothertongue. He knows about this fact an pleads inncocent, belonging to a cultural minority that has to be respected or tolerated.

    Perkele.

  10. I can confirm that this young lady has edited one of my comments and not published several of them.

    I do not think that a blog owner is entitled to change a comment, what I think of such a character trait is too risky to be said in public.

  11. Is it only me? But the convos Sarah posted about Linus being a “serious offender” just add to my respect for Linus & Linux Kernel dev more.
    I wish other people/companies would be half as concerned about not breaking user programs & clean patches.

  12. would someone please make a list of the kernel contributions made by Sarah Sharp so that we can know what we have lost?

      • Now can you apply that git log to all the contributions missed from people that reject this toxic culture and walked away or didn’t even got close in the first place?

        And I don’t even abide by that utilitarian, productivist view. People contribute more than just code. And what is true will still be true even when said by someone who can’t code.

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  14. That you very much for providing a counter-position to the “happy, happy” people that get way too much exposure these days. It is an honor to know you.
    どうもすみません、ありがとうございます

  15. Of course, this research is generally pretty stupid, given that there’s no theoretical underpinning to the distributions and in fact mostly a grab bag of badly done statistics in the field of intelligence.

    But how can one fight pseudo-science, particularly pseudo-science associated with luminaries like Larry Summers?

  16. I cannot fathom why people would use “social justice warrior” as a derogatory term. Why else would you want to denigrate people who strive for more justice, if not because you want less? I just don’t get it.

    What’s more, Linus’ comments Sarah links to are horrible. Whether some people don’t mind getting “grilled” that way doesn’t make his posts less caustic, it just means those people have thicker skin than others. Good for them. And the rest? They can go suck it?

    Now I’m no part of the Linux dev community whatsoever, but as an interested onlooker I find this post, and the discussion culture it conveys, pretty self-righteous. I don’t know if Sarah’s concerns are justified or not, but I don’t get the impression that many devs even took the time to consider whether they might be.

    • I cannot fathom why people would use Men’s Rights Activist as a derogatory term. Shouldn’t men have rights? Isn’t it good to be engaged and an activist?

      SJW is shorthand for a certain kind of objectionable person.

  17. It’s, because its irony. The term is exaggerated to have a laugh on the people. Most of them get it and see SJW as derogatory in consequence, some see it with pride.

    • “To have a laugh on the people” – that’s not irony, that’s being a dick. And you could claim all day long that the other person just didn’t get the joke, but that wouldn’t change the fact that they perceived you as being a dick. We don’t get to tell others how to feel.

  18. I identify with the work I do. If you call my work shit, I will form unkind opinions about you.

    Don’t add insult to injury claiming that I should not identify with my work.

      • Ich identifiziere mich mit der Arbeit die ich leiste. Wenn Du meine Arbeit als Scheiss bezeichnest, werde ich eine negative Meinung über dich entwickeln.

        Mach es nicht noch schlimmer, indem Du behauptest ich sollte mich nicht mit meiner Arbeit identifizieren.

        This was specifically to counter “For example, I find the following statement to be both direct and respectful, because it’s criticizing code, not the person: “This code is SHIT!” “.

        I don’t know what else I can say to help you understand how exclamations like that are perceived.

  19. Even though I admire Linus Torvalds for his accomplishments, I can’t see how being that agressive on a written media (no body language nor tone of voice to soften the blow) is being productive, except perhaps if the intent is to get rid of the people he’s virtually shouting insults at.

    If I have a problem with the work of someone in my team, I take some time to talk privately with him (face-to-face, not by email nor chat nor whatever non-oral media). It’s gonna be about his work, not his personnality or level of intelligence, and it’s going to be an explaination of what in his work went wrong and why, in as friendly a phrasing as possible, because:
    1/ I don’t know the reasons why he submitted a breaking change, so I won’t assume he was malignant or stupid, but rather that he was misinformed or distracted
    2/ I’m not judging his personnality but one thing he commited, and I don’t want to take what I’m going to say as a harsh judgment on his character
    3/ I like to work in as friendly a place as possible, and shouting insults publicly at people strangely do tend to make unfriendly environments
    4/ If my colleague has some level of self-respect, he’s probably going to leave for a place where he’s not insulted and shouted at before long, or file a justified complaint to my boss
    5/ Last but not least, hurling insults at people is a douchy thing to do, and I don’t value doushiness

    Now that doesn’t prevent me from calling a colleague “dumbass” or other nicknames of the kind for the lulz, but I do it when there’s nothing at stake and I make it clear by my tone of voice and body language that I’m not serious about it. There’s no such thing as body language or tone of voice on a written media like emails. I also don’t do it if I see that my colleague is in a panic or annoyed, because I know that he may not take it well. You can’t predict in which emotional state an email will find someone you send it to.

    Also, when you’re in a position like Linus, a legend for the community, you have to be doubly cautious about this kind of language abuse because of the effect it will have on the community, some tend to follow these bad exemples, others that may be good, productive contributers may be disgusted by this kind of behaviour and go away.

    And finally, it’s not about feminism (even though I trust the anti-feminism crew to ad-hominem me for this) nor politically correctness (I can fucking swear all the fucking time if I fucking want to). It’s about basic human respect, and applying it to media that lack body language and tone, and the effect it has on a community.

    • Doesn’t anyone in here see the cutural differences here? Finns are swearing l the tine without meaning to insult anyone. Plus they are more direct than American. This is nothing bad, it is just the way it is.

      • So all Finns that ill-mannered? (as per to nominally accepted norm of the rest of the world) – I do not think so.

        • “being ill mannered” is relative, not something absolute.

          As pointed numerous time before, and explained by Torvald, though it was ignored by Sharp, politeness is something socially constructed and prone to vary with different cultures.

          The problem is with US people wishing to force their own values on others.

  20. With all due offense, if you identify with your work to the point of taking insult on its behalf, then you’re a bad engineer. It displays an attitude of absent self-critique, and suggests a tendency to base judgement on faith rather than reason and science. These traits do not make for robust software.

    On the contrary, a good engineer does not fall in love with his own droppings. (Though I could in principle see this of german speakers, what with the international stereotype and everything.)

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