[CentOS] Flame war police

Wed Oct 11 20:05:03 UTC 2017
Mark Haney <mark.haney at neonova.net>

On 10/11/2017 02:44 PM, Lamar Owen wrote:
> On 10/10/2017 11:22 AM, Mark Haney wrote:
>> We have this discussion on every list I've ever been, or currently 
>> are on about every 6 months or so.  I do my best to contribute to the 
>> list as often as I can, but I can't help people when they are deadset 
>> on doing dangerous things.  Posts like his, and posts like yours make 
>> it harder for me to bother trying to help those unwilling to listen.  
>> I don't take it from my children, and I certainly won't from adults 
>> who won't listen.
> Hi Mark, been a while since I saw you last in Asheville.
Hey Lamar, long time no see.  It's been a real long time actually, left 
ERC in late 2009 after 3 surgeries on my feet and couldn't walk enough 
to do anything useful (ended up having 2 more, an elbow rebuilt and just 
had surgery #7 to reconstruct a knee).  We moved to Durham in 2013 and 
have been here since.  Just got my last 2 daughters off to Virginia Tech 
this fall and it's empty nest time. I still don't know what to do with 
all my free time.
> The core issue in the /var/run thread is one of lack of civility. 
> There is a civil way of calling someone to see their need for further 
> thought and investigation; calling someone 'stupid' or 'an idiot' over 
> something as small as /var/run directory persistence is, to my mind at 
> least, its own brand of immaturity and will typically cause the person 
> so being attacked to go on the defensive and harden their stance, and 
> this is the textbook genesis of a flame.
I do agree, to a point.  Being Irish, my temper is always simmering, 
usually over ignorance or willful stupidity.  But, sometimes you just 
have to be the bad guy when people are recalcitrant.  Hence my stance in 
this thread.  I honestly have no problem being the bad guy if I have to 
be.  In this case, it was a situation where OP was already on the 
defensive after the first posts.  My input was much later, and was 
civil, even if not completely polite.  The fact remains trying slam that 
square peg into that round hole, despite repeated attempts to explain 
/why not to do it/ seems to me to be willfully stupid (or stubborn).  I 
made my case in my replies that forcing this issue absolutely will 
result in lost data and few people who get paid to do this for a living 
will countenance such a thing.  In a lot of ways, we view things from 
the perspective of our own jobs/environment/culture, putting ourselves 
in their position as it were.  A lot of people join the list simply to 
get a question answered, a lot more hang out and help when they can.  I 
think no one wants to see anyone put their data, or livelihood in 
jeopardy and certainly not with advice given by (other) professionals. 
Sometimes you just have to be the 'disappointed parent', and that's how 
I replied after a while.  Right or wrong, I stand by it.
> I've been involved in Unix and related pursuits long enough to know 
> that different people consider different things to be polite.  And 
> I've said my share of impolite things, especially back in the day when 
> I had a Usenet leaf node over uucp and participated in news.admin and 
> alt.flame, so I'm not being self-righteous here, just practical and 
> realistic.  I've been plonked before, and I've plonked before.  (If 
> anyone isn't familiar with the term 'plonk' it means to put in your 
> killfile or ignore list, and there are a few people that have been on 
> this list that I have killfiled in the past, several especially right 
> around the releases of CentOS 5.6 and CentOS 6.0).
Heh. I haven't seen that word in a long time.  Plonk and netiquette are 
widely unused words these days.

> So, for the last several years, I have set a protocol for myself 
> where, if words that would be considered uncivil by most people were 
> present in my post, or if my wording became too much of an attack over 
> the person, I simply don't send it.  My wife and I have five children, 
> so I'm more than a little familiar with a certain rabbit named Thumper 
> and his famous adage "f you can't say something nice, don't say 
> nothin' at all."  Now, I don't agree with that adage as written, as I 
> would rather use the word 'civil' instead of 'nice,' because 'civil' 
> doesn't mean nice.  Civil just means 'not nasty' even when you need to 
> have 'Radical Candor.' But I reserve that sort of 'harsh civility' for 
> my staff here when necessary, who get a much more civil tone than my 
> children at home would, incidentally. But my staff aren't children.  
> And the members of this list aren't my staff, and I will be civil to 
> everyone on this list.
> I'll drop a brief note about my opinion of /var/run later, so that 
> anyone who wants to ignore that thread before I post can do so. 
I get it.  I really do.  And there were times I probably should have 
walked away from the entire thread.  But, I want people to learn, and 
learn the right way (regardless of the multitude of 'right ways' in our 
line of work) and you just have to be very firm with those digging their 
heels in, if, for instance, they are in a position to do real harm, to 
data or otherwise.

Anyway, hope all is well with you and PARI.  I need to get back down 
there with telescope sometime, the light pollution in RDU is just awful.

Mark Haney
Network Engineer at NeoNova
919-460-3330 option 1
mark.haney at neonova.net