Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

Ted Lemon <> Fri, 07 October 2022 14:31 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <>
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2022 10:30:48 -0400
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To: Richard Barnes <>
Cc: John C Klensin <>, Jay Daley <>, Kjetil Torgrim Homme <>, "Bless, Roland (TM)" <>,
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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Precisely. The reality of communication, particularly communication with
strangers, is that you MUST assume that what you say will be taken
literally. And if you say something that, taken literally, is offensive,
/you/ are responsible for giving offense, not the person who misunderstood
your intent. Of course we all can stand to be careful not to needlessly
take offense, and of course we all want to think of each other as friends
who understand each other.

But in order for a diverse community to be inclusive, certain best
practices must be followed. One of these is: always speak literally. Never
try to convey information ironically. That may be how you interact with
your friends, and that's fine. But this is a professional organization that
does work, not a kaffeeklatsch where we hang out for pleasure. Even if you
may come here because you enjoy it, assuming that this is the case for
everyone else is harmful to the organization.

To put the finest possible point on it, remember that the people you will
exclude are precisely those who do not know you, and don't know whether or
not you intend what you say literally. The people you work with daily will
probably understand that you are using irony. They are not the audience to
whom you need to cater. It's the newcomers you have to consider.

On Fri, Oct 7, 2022 at 10:04 AM Richard Barnes <> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 7, 2022 at 9:48 AM John C Klensin <> wrote:
>> --On Friday, October 7, 2022 10:50 +0100 Jay Daley
>> <> wrote:
>> >...
>> > Dan however did not introduce it for any serious debate or
>> > other genuine contribution, he did so solely for the purpose
>> > of belittling and ridiculing it.
>> Jay,
>> While agreeing that his statement was extremely distasteful and
>> unhelpful and without necessarily disagreeing with either your
>> overall conclusions or reasoning, how can you be sure you
>> understood Dan's motivations?
> This philosophical digression isn't helpful, John.  What matters isn't
> what is in Dan's innermost heart, but the effect his comments have on his
> colleagues and the community.
> --Richard
> --
> last-call mailing list