[PD] Inclusiveness: Fratments of my Personal Experience

Julian Brooks jbeezez at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 13:22:41 CET 2018

Bang on Joe.
We stand (fail & fall) - together
(makes fist, raises it skyward:)

On Wed, 28 Nov 2018 at 15:53, Joe Deken <newblankets at newblankets.org> wrote:

> I'd like to mak a contribution to discussing inclusiveness in Pd.  I'm not
> sure I'll succeed; I'm uncomfortable Plato's regime of abstractions and
> ideals. I'm even less comfortable when confronted by any/all labels which
> try to express and encompass any unique and precious human life. What then
> could I offer "inclusiveness and Pd?" Please allow some points  simply
> from my personal experience.
>    Note below: I'll divvy up my remarks here and number them -- allowing
> you easily to stop reading anywhere along the line. And if you decide to
> stop reading quickly.   I still give you my sincere "thanks for
> listening."
> 0) I am thankful to all people of goodwill who *act on their commitment.*
> --  particularly to you who downplay *controversy and polarization* around
> diverse alternative particular tactics we may actively employ.  I'll start
> simply with a link to the inclusiveness video which PA indicated,  which
> does not require youtube:
>      http://newblankets.org/worth_a_look/equality_audio_industry.webm
>  Further (personal) perspective on inclusiveness and diversity ...
> 1) I'm fairly old and have worked on many things which I now realize have
> been useless or worse.  But I have been a parent to five children. My
> first child was a daughter, Kate.  Honestly I couldn't tell you if Kate
> "identifies as female" because she and I don't speak.  Kate was born
> beautiful and perfect and healthy with the smile of a cherub or a Buddha
> that will never leave my eidetic   consciousness. But
> on the day Kate was born she was also recently deceased. This beautiful
> perfect girl at that point (by only a matter of hours) beyond any possible
> help.
> 2) So what? Shall we relay another medical malpractice tale, to bore us
> all with its sheer repetitiveness?  We could simply state that Kate's
> parents trusted the wrong people and let her die.  But a bit of truths is
> not the truth; a picture is not a pixel.  So it's worth considering
> additional matters of fact and on the
> record from that dark day in 1976:
>       The (male) obstetrician would not listen to Kate's (female & medical
> professional) mother or take her seriously. Mom brought her unborn child
> to this doc's hospital the evening before Kate's birth, in mortal
> distress.
> 3) Without my resorting to abstractions, my daughter Kate's story forces
> upon me this truth: Enormous harm is done by people whom we TRUST TOO MUCH
> and by those who advertise that they "MEAN NO HARM."
>       Great harm is done simply through "experts" and other gatekeepers.
> These "leaders" lack dedication to open observation; they lack the
> simple modesty to question their own scope and skills.
> Policymakers, warmongers and other experts casually absorb arrogance and
> tunnel vision with their elitist miseducation. Elitism is a pollution as
> endemic as plastics in our five major ocean gyres around the Earth.  But
> elitist self-preserving traditions and practices are  also hostile and
> lethal to us all. So let's face it:  This pollution is another toxic waste
> that "advanced society" has produced.  And let us now  remediate as best
> we can. Sooner addressed, more lives rescued.
> 4) But no one likes sad stories. Not me.  After Kate's death, it turns out
> that I was blessed with three incomprehensible and awesome sons. And then
> my youngest arrived twelve years after Kate -- a miracle daughter, Claire.
>  (Of coure _every_ child who survives their trip to arrive safely on our
> little planet is a miracle. -- It's simply eye-opening to realize miracles
> which are also everyday facts.)  There could not be any words to say what
> it is to have a living daughter who is a kindred spirit and a
> mathematician and a first grade teacher?  Rather a simple action: I'm
> delighted to be able to send "PA's equality video from Pd-list" today to
> my daughter Claire and her first-graders.
> 5) Why is my ramble relevant to all us denizens of Pd-land?  I'll convey
> an unoriginal viewpoint/observation I first learned from Chris McCormick.
> But I now appreciate how vital this aspect is. And why?  Through the
> *works* of Miller and Katja and Iohannes and Fred Jan and Dan and Julian
> and Connie and Susan and Liam and  Alexandros ... (you fill in the blanks
> you can keep your own list going as long as you like-- I'm out of ink but
> not out of people.)
>     Consider this:
>      The free/open community must dedicate itself beyond producing the
> finest and most worthwhile software that humankind has ever seen.
> We also be working just as effectively together to cultivate
>        --   better social practices in our self-organizing co-operative
> community --
>      It simply stands to reason. Building an inclusive and welcoming
> community is vital.  If we don't nurture healthy and inclusive and
> open communities, then our vaunted "free software" will never
> actually be more
> than a marginalized disguise for yet another class of elites --
> "producers" or "experts" or "professors" -- dribbling their discards out
> to "consumers," clients and pupils for cash.
> 6) What is the "higher ground" for free/open communites?" How do we react
> to "good causes" such as medicine or education or software-professionalism
> that are practiced badly and/or with inept
> tactics?  From personal experience again, I can say that despite Kate's
> death or maybe because of it, I also
> eventually became Dean of a Medical school. "Better to light one candle
> ..."
>      Or still personal and perhaps more relevant in terms of assisting
> Pd-land: Our little non-profit, New Blankets was started in 2008.  In
> a real sense NB meant as an *antidote* to the so-called "public
> benefit"  non-profits I myself had spent 50 years vainly attempting
> to assist.  In the first ten years of New Blankets, I have thus been
> immersed in Pd-land through friendship with "Miller and friends." Thus you
> may discount any biased thing I say. But I will opine this objectively:
> the Pd community is the finest example of what a free/open development
> group can be.  (If you think I'm wrong, please tell me where they're doing
> it better. The quest is never ending.)
> 7) If you observe that I myself rarely post to Pd-list you may reasonably
> bring charges against me of a) first-degree lurking and b)
> off-topic-abuse.  Guilty as charged.  But when questions of equality and
> inclusiveness arise, I simply don't recognize "off topic for Pd." For me
> and the folks so kindly  supporting New Blankets, these community-concerns
> are a vital central activity.  These commitments also mandate tolerance
> and thick-skinned-ness and carelessness-to-take-offense.
>       Let us not obstruct any tactics which *may* help.  Why attack or
> obstruct any benevolent practitioners based where they place
> themselves on any left-right political spectrum? Who cares how much
> a
> true contributor may  believe/disbelieve any useful fictions like
> "economic realities" or "intellectual property?"  Rather, modesty dictates
> to us to allow consider it possible for  "People with the wrong
> approach" to be righter than we are. They might be enlighted by insights
> and techniques that have
> simply  escaped our own ken.
>       So let a thousand flowers bloom. Let's shamelessly seduce diversity
> and inclusiveness over the threshold to join our tent-revivals
> everywhere.  Let's cherish an ecology which *relies on* diversity
> and
> *welcomes contributions* -- let's strengthen this energy however and
> wherever it chooses to spring up. Beauty graces us all.
> 8) A wonderful guide to free/open social practice can be found in the
> indigenous Six Nations "constitution" which the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
> people called their *Great Law of Peace*.
>      Ref:
>      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Law_of_Peace
>      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Law_of_Peace#Published_accounts
>    -- btw GLoP from the Haudenosaunee was a key influence on the American
> settlers during colonial times. GloP makes these indigenous people and
> their democratic federation (through Ben Franklin and
> Thomas Jefferson's absorption of their treaties and traditions ) emerge as
> truly the
> "Forgotten Founders" of the U.S.Constitution itself.  (And for the present
> inclusiveness discussion, we should observe that the Haudenosaunee
> matrilineal/matriarchy lessons were somehow ignored Franklin/Jefferson et
> al in launching US of A.  --- Hence the rightful recognition of  U.S.
> Founding Mothers has also been forgotten.
>     Ref:
>       http://www.sixnationsindianmuseum.com/
>       http://www.thegreatpeacemakers.com/iroquois-great-law-of-peace.html
>    "Thy mind is made straight; thy head is now combed; the seven
>     crooks have been taken from thy body. Now thou, too, hast a New Mind."
>    —Deganawida (The Great Peacemaker)
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