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SubjectRe: open conflicts vs. hidden conflicts (was: [ 00/19] 3.10.1-stable review)
On Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:14:40 +0200 Ingo Molnar <> wrote:

> 1)
> Your notion that conflicts and insults somehow hurt group cooperation is
> wrong. It is a scientific fact that open conflict _helps_ cooperation
> while hidden conflict hurts it.

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that open conflict is a bad
thing are they?
I don't object to reminding everyone that conflict can be healthy and
valuable, but is seems to miss the main point of this discussion(*).

> 2)
> Your notion that insults are harmful because they 'hurt' is misleading to
> such a level that it's almost wrong.
> Insults do hurt of course, but that argument misses the full context: in
> real life the typical substitute for an avoided open conflict is not
> singing kumbaya around the camp fire, but _hidden_ conflict.

Open conflict != insults.

Certainly there is an overlap, but it is quite possible to engage in open
conflict without being deliberately insulting. The appropriate alternate to
insults is not "hidden conflict" but rather "civil bluntness".

So you appear to be to be drawing a false distinction here.

(I certainly agree that hidden conflict is bad)

> 3)
> I couldn't cite a single example where Linus flamed me unprovoked,
> unjustified, just for the sake of letting off steam or any other petty
> reason. I've not seen Linus flame newbies and I've not seen him
> micro-manage people over unimportant details.
> In the large majority of colorful flames the flame was over something that
> _matters to the kernel_ - and heck do I prefer a top level maintainer who
> cares and who is honest, over someone who is indifferent or sloppy ...

If it is something really important (which this stuff is), then surely it is
important enough to make the effort to communicate it effectively.
Being emotional is OK and even getting heated about something you care a lot
about. But that doesn't justify directing your heat at others.

An extremely good rule of thumb for when you are communicating emotionally is
to make "I" statements.

I don't give a #&*%$ if it fixes a bug - it introduces a @*#$$ regression
and that @#$*%@ is not acceptable. Ever.

is, in my mind, perfectly acceptable. Saying

You've $%^@$% done it again.

is not helpful.

(*) One of the amusing things about this whole discussion is that different
people seem that have very different ideas about what the core issue really


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