:: Re: [DNG] Way forward
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Author: Rick Moen
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] Way forward
Quoting info at smallinnovations dot nl (info@???):

> <cut>
> This is really too childish to be true.

No, Nick, it's human.

Daniel, I completely empathise with everything you just posted, and
appreciate your care and thoughtfulness. Having gotten to know you
along with Enzo/KatolaZ and Denis/Jaromil, I can say absolutely
seriously that you _also_ have my full and unreserved confidence.

There's something relevant one eventually learns from decades of
involvement in technical projects, especially ones that are
geographically dispersed: E-mail and mailing lists are very difficult
places to fruitfully discuss anything contentious. The coldness of
text, its lack of personal expression, and a certain perceived
irrevocability of the written word tends to dramatically worsen
interpersonal conflict in a way that would not have happened if
telephone or video conferencing or in-person discussion had been used at
critical points, instead. I've seen the sort of e-mail mediated
conflict and (conseequent) great loss happen, again and again.

I was just reading, a few nights ago, about a fateful pre-Internet
example (a disaster caused by use of written text rather than
interactive discussion) that happened when I was a young lad. Shortly
after my family moved to British Hong Kong, the Cultural Revolution
happened just across the border in mainland China, a frightening time
for everyone. What I didn't know until a few days ago was about a
triggering event in that complex story, one that happened seven years
earlier at the Party's Lushan Conference in 1959, which convened to
try to deal with Mao's faltering and badly planned Great Leap Forward
economic scheme.

China's blunt and plainspoken Defence Minister, Marshal Peng Dehuai,
after getting consensus from many of his peers about the failures of the
Great Leap Forward, went to visit Mao's quarters on the night of July 13,
1959, to discuss those problems, but fatefully found Mao asleep and,
rather than disturb him, wrote and dropped off a 'letter of opinion'
summarising his thoughts. Mao didn't read that letter for four days,
but interpreted it as a frontal personal attack, which was not Peng's
intention at all. Mao circulated Peng's private written thoughts
widely, and drove the conference and Party to a radical doubling-down on
Mao's direction of leadership, ending Peng's military career and setting
the stage for the further escalation labelled the Cultural Revolution,
wrecking the lives of millions, a few years later. And all of that
_might_ not have happened if Marshal Peng had waited to have a quiet
chat directly with Mao over breakfast -- rather than leaving a letter.

I'm willing to host and cook an absolutely delicious breakfast for all
parties concerned, here, one that would be highly likely to encourage
amity and constructive action, but fear that the airfare required to
reach my house near Stanford University would be brutal. Short of that,
tantalising but sadly impractical idea, I would point frantically at
Devuan Project's Jitsi instance. (Hint, hint.)

Now, please excuse me, but I have fresh-baked sourdough bread to remove
from the oven and a second cup of really strong Scandinavian coffee to
make -- the time-honoured methods for keeping everyone happy (and
caffeinated), Chez Moen.

Cheers,              "I am a member of a civilization (IAAMOAC).  Step back
Rick Moen            from anger.  Study how awful our ancestors had it, yet
rick@???  they struggled to get you here.  Repay them by appreciating
McQ! (4x80)          the civilization you inherited."           -- David Brin