[gmx-developers] FW: Gromacs quotes

Justin Lemkul jalemkul at vt.edu
Wed Dec 19 17:34:37 CET 2012

On 12/19/12 10:04 AM, ms wrote:
> On 19/12/12 15:31, Lee-Ping Wang wrote:
>> I agree with Michael that a moderate solution would best serve our
>> collective motivations as developers and contributors.
> Moderation, as an absolute concept, doesn't exist. Everything can be "extreme"
> or "moderate", depending on where you are in your opinions. I personally see
> this "moderate solution" as a rather extreme example of self-censorship.

Deleting a handful of quotes out of nearly 400 is extreme?

>> I don't think free
>> speech is the issue; rather, the main issue is that everything has
>> consequences, and it's in our best interest to voluntarily avoid saying
>> things that might endanger the important goal of having a broad and
>> inclusive user base.
> Gmx devels can do what they want, but I'd advice *against* bending over
> backwards to a prudish, thin-skinned and overall unscientific user base.

Excuse me if I'm prudish and thin-skinned for finding it very insensitive that a 
program at random may print out "killing children" (irrespective of context) 
after a massacre in our country that brings back horrific memories of a similar 
event that took place a few hundred feet from where I work every day and 
affected me deeply.  Frankly, I could care less about the others that have 
profanity and suggestive remarks in them, but I'm also aware that other people 
may have objections to such content for similarly personal reasons.  We can't 
predict everyone's lives, of course, but we should try to have some level of 
decorum while having some fun.

Yes, the quotes can be turned off altogether.  That's fine for those who object 
to them completely (probably the vast minority of the population).  But many of 
them are actually funny and do bring a smile to people's faces.  That's the 
objective and we should not have anything that is construed otherwise.  We can 
delve into all sorts of philosophical and legal interpretations and at the end 
of the day none of that means anything and we're really already talking in 
circles.  If a quote brings a smile to the face of the average person (sure, we 
can only guess what that means), we keep it.  If it contains anything else, I 
say it gets nixed (and that's really only a few).  If people complain about 
slippery slope issues that have been brought up about gender equality/political 
correctness/whatever, we remind them of the environment variable and they go away.

My $0.02 and I probably won't add anything more to this.



Justin A. Lemkul, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Department of Biochemistry
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
jalemkul[at]vt.edu | (540) 231-9080


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