[gmx-developers] FW: Gromacs quotes

Szilárd Páll szilard.pall at cbr.su.se
Wed Dec 19 23:49:18 CET 2012

On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 7:58 PM, Mark Abraham <mark.j.abraham at gmail.com>wrote:

> Thanks for the discussion - let's close the topic and keep the list
> focussed on GROMACS development :-)

While I respect your call for no flaming, I personally don't feel that the
discussion is closed and I think that this is a topic that, although it's
neither about science nor about GROMACS development strictly speaking, it
*does  matter* and is very relevant to GROMACS.

Honestly, I would love to have the gmx-dev finger shown (why not in a
"Linusian" manner) to all users bothered by the mere existence of some
sentence in the gcq DB that they might find offensive and I'd be tempted to
take the time to tell them to mind the science and use the env. var. if a
quote with obviously no harmful intentions bothers them so much. As I said
before I am *strongly* opposing self-censorship driven by nothing else but
a way to adhere to the cultural, ideological, or emotional state (all in
all the "world view") of some user(s). In fact, I'd rather spend time with
removing some boring quotes than arguing about this, there have been way to
many of them showing up lately :) ! However, this seems to be a real
concern for some, including developers, so in order to avoid tension and
internal conflicts, I think it's better to take all the anger and
frustration out here and now, decide something, and *then* move on.

This might sounds harsh, but let' be honest, "killing children"
"irrespective of context" -- (*facepalm*) which shows that it's a purely
personal and emotionally driven opinion  -- is only disturbing if
actively misinterpreted. On the other hand, picking special interpretations
is easy, for instance: the quotes mentioning God or Jesus can be disturbing
to some sensitive believers, and the ones mentioning "strike" or "torture"
(both from Pulp Fiction quotes) could easily upset sensitive people who've
had enough of both, possibly not so long ago -- and they would have all the
right to request removal of Pulp Fiction quotes, after all few orders
of magnitude more of their children have been killed (it's just that their
stories are not turned into tv shows -- sorry slightly offtopic).

Although I'd be angered and supportive of removal if any of the quotes
would turn out to have an obvious agenda of spreading hate or clearly and
intentionally disturbing some people, I have to agree with Christoph that
as a community respecting everyone draw their own lines and adhering to it
is silly.

I hope at this point we can agree that unless we have a consensus that
something is not appropriate (and such a consensus can be simply driven by
gmx-devs community's own peculiar world view), blindly accepting personal
requests for removal is a questionable practice.

And as any rules, this one also has a potential exception: if some user
would start spamming or systematically annoying people because of a quote,
in the lack of simple and effective defense I'd personally approve the
removal just to save our time.


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