Sam Hartman (hartmans) wrote,
Sam Hartman

SIPB: Remember We're Working Together

Monday's SIPB meeting was very emotional. I wasn't there; this was partially on purpose. A friend of mine of 13 years was the subject of a serious complaint. I would have had nothing to add to the discussion other than sympathy for all involved: I realize this is emotionally rough for my friend, I appreciate people's concern that perhaps this was not the right way to handle the issue, but I also appreciate the viewpoint of those making the complaint. I would not have been given an opportunity to vote; that's good as I don't know how I would have voted had I been able.

The details don't matter. In my opinion what matters is working with all the people involved, respecting their viewpoint and trying to find the best solution that is possible. I've heard a lot of comments of the form "SIPB never learns," or "Ah, now we see that institutional memory is short," or "How could the they be that stupid?" Many of these comments have been from people who have not been involved recently and don't know what is going on. They are missing months of context, and making quick judgments about people holding opposing viewpoints without understanding what tradeoffs they have considered or where they are coming from.

I've mostly only heard from the people who think the complaint was inappropriate. However I think that's just because of who I've been talking to. I suspect the frustration and lack of time spent understanding the other side goes both ways.

I witnessed some of the discussions the people who were in favor of the complaint had. You may disagree with them, but they did put a lot of thought into their position and they did consider many of the arguments brought up by people who disagreed with them. I also realize that those who believe this was the wrong course of action have a long history of thinking about these issues, have felt the pain of doing things wrong, and have first hand experience with the pain this sort of discussion causes.

Please, folks. Let's stop calling each other stupid and stop assuming people are unable to learn. Let's either let the issue drop or better yet work together and remember that we all need to respect and understand each other.

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