Linus "I'll Never Be Cuddly" Torvalds Responds to CoC Controversy

Megalith

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Linus Torvalds spoke with the BBC this week to offer insight on his recent decision to take a break from Linux and the controversy surrounding the adoption of a new, so-called Code of Conduct. His comments would suggest that criticism merely reached a boiling point: Torvalds has only ever really cared about crafting and promoting good code, but he has been forced to confront his “anti-social” side to avoid being lumped with the wrong groups of people.

"Because I may have my reservations about excessive political correctness, but honestly, I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum on the internet that think it's OK to be a white nationalist Nazi, and have some truly nasty misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic behaviour. And those people were complaining about too much political correctness too, and in the process just making my public stance look bad.
 

ManofGod

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Linus Torvalds spoke with the BBC this week to offer insight on his recent decision to take a break from Linux and the controversy surrounding the adoption of a new, so-called Code of Conduct. His comments would suggest that criticism merely reached a boiling point: Torvalds has only ever really cared about crafting and promoting good code, but he has been forced to confront his “anti-social” side to avoid being lumped with the wrong groups of people.

"Because I may have my reservations about excessive political correctness, but honestly, I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum on the internet that think it's OK to be a white nationalist Nazi, and have some truly nasty misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic behaviour. And those people were complaining about too much political correctness too, and in the process just making my public stance look bad.

So, he does not want to be seen a certain way but he has no issues pushing SJW crap, right.... :rolleyes:
 

iamjanco

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I guess. Well, the least he could do is make sure his package is protected from fembot malware...

ascii-1062.gif
 

DocNo

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Meh - sometimes you need to be a jerk to get things done. Maybe not all the time or to the extent Linus would often go to, but it's hardly the end of the world if someone keeps doing something stupid and the response escalates.

What will really be telling is if the CoC is really used to foster a better environment or used as a weapon to exclude those who don't share the same viewpoint. Cynicism and recent history tells me to expect the latter but I'll be happily pleasantly surprised if it really ends up being the former and the concern over the loaded language in the new CoC turns out to be overblown.
 

Crystoff

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We have political correctness for a very, very good reason. Without a prevalent sense of it, exclusionary and racist ideas become acceptable. The most supremely tragic instance of this is early twentieth-century Europe, where anti-semitism was casually wide-spread and seen more or less as a harmless preference. That mental environment brought us Hitler and Nazi power. He absorbed the poison and weaponized it. Nothing like that can be permitted again - hence the care necessary even with casual manners and mores.
 

Snowdensjacket

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We have political correctness for a very, very good reason. Without a prevalent sense of it, exclusionary and racist ideas become acceptable. The most supremely tragic instance of this is early twentieth-century Europe, where anti-semitism was casually wide-spread and seen more or less as a harmless preference. That mental environment brought us Hitler and Nazi power. He absorbed the poison and weaponized it. Nothing like that can be permitted again - hence the care necessary even with casual manners and mores.

Your viewpoint is extremely juvenile and beyond simplistic. I also think you are a bot. You'd think these people would be able to make bots that can at least copy and paste viewpoints from triple digit iq folks...

Also linus is apparently a massive failure as a father along with being a coward. "I'm I'm not like the *bad* people! Yes you can take over my life's work just don't call me bad names anymore!" What a coward.
 

Icon_Charlie

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We have political correctness for a very, very good reason. Without a prevalent sense of it, exclusionary and racist ideas become acceptable. The most supremely tragic instance of this is early twentieth-century Europe, where anti-semitism was casually wide-spread and seen more or less as a harmless preference. That mental environment brought us Hitler and Nazi power. He absorbed the poison and weaponized it. Nothing like that can be permitted again - hence the care necessary even with casual manners and mores.

And to be politically correct is a form of polite tyranny.
 

ChadD

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People bitching about this either haven't read the COC or are assholes. Most of the wine is coming from people that have never submitted a commit in their life anyway.

Linus himself has been an asshole over the years. You know when Linux was a little baby project where 100% of the code was submitted by people not being paid to do any work... being a dick wasn't all that big a deal. However Linux isn't that project anymore. Its now a project where 95% of the kernel code is submitted by people being paid to work on Linux code.

It may have been ok for Linus to go off on someone over something really really stupid... 12 years ago.

I mean just a year back he went off on a few people (Intel engineers and others) calling them shit for brains, and suggesting they where on drugs for commenting like this;
/* whatever it was
* something like this it looks wrong to Linus */

/*
* This is the type of comment he is ok with
* split over multiple lines
*/

Frankly he can be a massive dick. If your not a programmer just watch this Silicon Valley clip... if you don't get it. Linus going nuclear on highly paid kernel programmers working for companies like Intel over his personal preference on formatting. Is not cool .

 
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Wow. Just wow. So he stands up for himself and the code quality for linux by being politically incorrect. It works. That is, until people who were already politically incorrect have that attribute specifically featured instead of highlighting the truly despicable things about them like hate and bigotry.

So basically, the cool kids stopped doing it, so he thinks he'd better too. Fuck that. Linus has always been a massive dick. And that was ok. But now he's a pussy too, and can go fuck himself.
 

wardener

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"Because I may have my reservations about excessive political correctness, but honestly, I absolutely do not want to be seen as being in the same camp as the low-life scum on the internet that think it's OK to be a white nationalist Nazi, and have some truly nasty misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic behaviour. And those people were complaining about too much political correctness too, and in the process just making my public stance look bad.

He doesn't want to be "in the same camp" as supposed low-life scum but is happy to throw others into ridiculous groupings.

White nationalism does not have anything to do with Nazis. Nazi is a slur for a long-dead political party. White nationalism is the position that white people should be able to have nations, like everyone else does. In any case you will be called white nationalist and/or Nazi these days just for saying something like "Its okay to be white".
 

DrLobotomy

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A guy who is maintaining a free standing army has to be nice? Since when are drill sergeant's nice?

You can only poke the bear so many times before he rips your head off, and since Linus writes the code that runs most of all the servers in the world, not real sure I would want to piss him off over stupid shit.

Rock on, Mr. Torvalds.
 

ChoGGi

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his personal preference on formatting.
Keeping the formatting of the code/comments the same all over makes the hassle of working on it minimal, and if you keep submitting commits with the wrong format then a certain level of insult is called for (in my opinion of course).
 
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Icon_Charlie

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"Muh Nazis were making me look bad, so I decided to go full pussy."

You never go full pussy.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! I LIKE IT

Sorry for this vid but its your wording about going full pusseh... and flashbacks of going to The Confurrance years ago. The horror... the horror...
 
D

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Sorry. Nice doesn't win wars. Nice doesn't get the job done.
This shit is just going to come back and bite everyone in the ass.

Linus doesn't want to be lumped in with white nationalists and Nazis?
Fine, don't show up to white nationalist rallies or spout their talking points.
Mission accomplished!

Don't want someone to randomly label you a white nationalist or nazi?
Tough shit! It's going to happen NO MATTER WHAT!

You're a white guy in a position of power and you need to have "boss mannerism" which isn't always a nice thing.

Linux, and Open Source/Free Software is a source of social power in today's world.
Therefore, you are going to have people gunning for that power.
People with ZERO ETHICS about how they accumulate that power.
And if they can increase it by bumping off the guy at the top with baseless accusations, IT WILL BE DONE.

And they WILL get to you eventually.
They'll simply overload the community with pathological altruism.
Then declare themselves "wronged" and use that stupid CoC to knock off "obstacles".

Your job is to manage one of the most successful software projects in history.
Not to fluff up people's self image.

Meritocracy Or Fuck Off.
 

cdr_74_premium

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Meritocracy Or Fuck Off.

I've been on the two sides of that fence, and the perception of merit varies greatly. Get the person that's responsible for that evaluation to give a honest review of someone who's inside the circle jerk vs. outside.

Merit isn't the end all be all some makes it up to be. I would rather have blonde hair and two nice blue eyes than any "merit". The payoff is just better.
 

GhostCow

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We have political correctness for a very, very good reason. Without a prevalent sense of it, exclusionary and racist ideas become acceptable. The most supremely tragic instance of this is early twentieth-century Europe, where anti-semitism was casually wide-spread and seen more or less as a harmless preference. That mental environment brought us Hitler and Nazi power. He absorbed the poison and weaponized it. Nothing like that can be permitted again - hence the care necessary even with casual manners and mores.

Found the shill. Are you JIDF or Shareblue?
 

Pieter3dnow

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The only thing that matters is how the Linux Kernel progresses not how people feel after they heard from Linus why there code is not good enough.
I would suggest that Linus finds a friend psychologist and links his credentials (of course Linus gets his commission) each time he has to send such an email :).
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Meh - sometimes you need to be a jerk to get things done. Maybe not all the time or to the extent Linus would often go to, but it's hardly the end of the world if someone keeps doing something stupid and the response escalates.

What will really be telling is if the CoC is really used to foster a better environment or used as a weapon to exclude those who don't share the same viewpoint. Cynicism and recent history tells me to expect the latter but I'll be happily pleasantly surprised if it really ends up being the former and the concern over the loaded language in the new CoC turns out to be overblown.

I'm probably a little bit more hopeful than you, but I do share some of the same concerns.

The problem with these types of codes is that by their necessity they need to be vague, as it is completely impossible to write a detailed code that describes every type of harassment or indecent behavior. I would have worded the CoC adopted for the Linux Foundation a bit differently, but even any document I would have come up with would have suffered from the same problems, as has every single such document detailing acceptable behavior I've had to accept at every single job I've worked in the last 15 years since I graduated from college (and some of my summer jobs before that)

Thus, because these are necessarily vague, you have to have some faith that those making the decisions will execute the code in a manner that makes sense, such that it isn't used as a tool to exclude undesirables. I have hope that the Linux Foundation will do this right, but you are right, there is always a risk that these things are abused.

All we can do at this point is to wait and see what happens, and keep our eyes and ears open to see where it goes and remain vigilant.

I think a deciding factor will be to see if Ted Tso (CTO and in charge of managing the network stack portion of the kernel) gets pushed out. He was smeared and accused of being a "rape apologist" a few years back after he asked some legitimate questions about the definition of rape in an email discussion thread a few years back. (Now, it was incredibly stupid of him to so so in a public Linux community mailing list, but his questions were innocuous and analyzing some logical flaws in how sexual consent is currently defined)

If this gets reopened and Ted Tso gets pushed out over this, then we know the wrong people are in control. This will be the next thing to watch.

Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic though. I think these changes could go a long way to make the linux community less toxic. As with everything there are risks of side affects. We just need to be vigilant and observant to make sure things like this don't happen, and bring attention to them when they do.
 
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Maxx

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The most supremely tragic instance of this is early twentieth-century Europe, where anti-semitism was casually wide-spread and seen more or less as a harmless preference.

This shows a complete misunderstanding of reality. Anti-Semitism has a long and widespread history and even in the time period you mention it was just as prevalent in say, Russia. And at that time it was most certainly NOT seen as a "harmless preference." There are a number of books you need to read. Start with Schneer's The Balfour Declaration and Evans's The Coming of the Third Reich. If you read Ferguson's Rothschild series you'll learn that what is now Germany was one of the most permissive of locations for Jews in Europe for quite a time. Or how about Lowe's Savage Continent, which details anti-Semitism and pogroms for years AFTER the fall of the Nazi regime? Do you know the roots of the behavior that led to the Holocaust? Try Clark's Iron Kingdom. There's about a half dozen more I could recommend to expand your understanding, but without being rude I must say it sounds like you're parroting back random concepts that you don't understand without foundation. Read and think for yourself.
 
D

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I've been on the two sides of that fence, and the perception of merit varies greatly. Get the person that's responsible for that evaluation to give a honest review of someone who's inside the circle jerk vs. outside.

Merit isn't the end all be all some makes it up to be. I would rather have blonde hair and two nice blue eyes than any "merit". The payoff is just better.


That's your option.

I don't agree with it. But if you wanna go that way, that's entirely your option.
 

Tsumi

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Linux will be fine. Linus and all the Linux devs I know don't seem to be either the SJW or alt-SJW type. Good on him for working on being a better leader rather than burning bridges.

Problem is, the vocal SJW types will always lump the neither-SJW types into the alt-SJW category. And there is no room for compromise or tolerance. That's why there is such a big backlash against SJWs on more conservative sites.

Most people: "I'm not your enemy, just a neutral third party."
SJW: "No, you are either with us or against us."
Most people: "I don't want anything to do with this."
SJW: "We're going to post all over facebook telling everyone you're a Nazi, misogynist, etc etc etc. Let's see how you keep going with your life once your boss and relatives find out!"

The vocal minority is the problem, and the silent majority is doing nothing to hold them back. That is where the real issue lies.
 

Nytegard

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I've been on the two sides of that fence, and the perception of merit varies greatly. Get the person that's responsible for that evaluation to give a honest review of someone who's inside the circle jerk vs. outside.

Merit isn't the end all be all some makes it up to be. I would rather have blonde hair and two nice blue eyes than any "merit". The payoff is just better.

Is merit perfect? No. And I don't believe anyone would say it is. We've all been at companies and seen terrible people promoted, and valuable employees punished. There's a game of corporate politics, and that's just an unfortunate reality. But the main problem I have, is that the whole post-meritocracy doesn't begin to touch it. Their manifesto literally states, several times in fact, that technical skills aren't the most important thing in creating a technical product.

But I'd take a flawed system over one based purely on totally insane identity politics.
 

Tawnos

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He doesn't want to be "in the same camp" as supposed low-life scum but is happy to throw others into ridiculous groupings.

White nationalism does not have anything to do with Nazis. Nazi is a slur for a long-dead political party. White nationalism is the position that white people should be able to have nations, like everyone else does. In any case you will be called white nationalist and/or Nazi these days just for saying something like "Its okay to be white".
* Account created last week.
* Justifies racial bias based on bullshit claims. E.g. "like everyone else does" - okay, what other nation is based on race?
* Only other posts are similar in nature, but have nothing to do with [H]

Survey says... idiot, bot, or troll.
 

raz-0

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"In the meantime, I'm taking a break from the kernel and probably shouldn't talk to journalists."

Yup sounds like the policy is great if that is the logical reaction to it by someone who voted for it.
 

Laowai

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Just like there is no left wing, just SJW's. Vocal minorities always ramrod the silent majority.
The alt-right is not a vocal minority. Unless you go looking for them, chances are you'll never bump into them. The liklihood of running into somebody on the alt-right at your work or on a college campus is virtually nil. You're not likely to see an alt-right agenda being pushed by HR departments, encouraged by professors, etc.

There is no honest comparison to make.

Also, the alt-right....are leftists. They play the same identity politics as the left.
 
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