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SubjectRe: [...] an apology, and a maintainership note
On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:22:43PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>This is where the "look yourself in the mirror" moment comes in.
>So here we are, me finally on the one hand realizing that it wasn't
>actually funny or a good sign that I was hoping to just skip the
>yearly kernel summit entirely, and on the other hand realizing that I
>really had been ignoring some fairly deep-seated feelings in the
>It's one thing when you can ignore these issues. Usually it’s just
>something I didn't want to deal with.
>This is my reality. I am not an emotionally empathetic kind of person
>and that probably doesn't come as a big surprise to anybody. Least of
>all me. The fact that I then misread people and don't realize (for
>years) how badly I've judged a situation and contributed to an
>unprofessional environment is not good.
>This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of
>not understanding emotions. My flippant attacks in emails have been
>both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made
>it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me.
>I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.
>The above is basically a long-winded way to get to the somewhat
>painful personal admission that hey, I need to change some of my
>behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal
>behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development
>I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to
>understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.

Thank you for writing this, Linus. I have personal experience how
difficult it is to be honest, especially publicly, about difficult
topics and admitting one's own mistakes. You deserve huge kudos for the
journey you've already taken to write the above, and I look forward to
the improvements in the lkml culture that are certain to come as a

The culture of lkml that came about in large part due to your behavior
that you alluded to above was a culture that I found amenable, and
absorbed, and replicated in other communities and relationships for many
years. It took a lot of soul searching and growth to realize for myself
that it wasn't healthy, fair, equitable, or amenable to folks from other
backgrounds, and to change my own behavior. A big part of that
realization and process was that I stepped away from the kernel
community completely. I'm still working on getting healthier around
this stuff, and that will be a lifelong process I'm sure.

If I can help in any way (for example, I have some suggested reading, I
can point to therapists and counselors who helped me, and I'm happy to
have in depth one on one or small group conversations about these
topics), please feel free to reach out. (That goes for others on lkml
as well, but I will be fairly guarded about engaging with folks who I
don't know or who I don't have confidence are engaging in good faith).


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