Explanation, Apology and Pledge Not To Pledge

Enrico Zini suggested that I don’t stir up stinking shit unless I want it to keep stinking. I find that he’s almost always right so I’ll try to keep this short as I ignore his advice.

A number of people didn’t see the humor in my pledge. I was, in fact, joking around to make a point. I thought the fact that it was phrased as a pledge would reveal the joke. If you want to do something strongly enough that you might create a pledge, just do it instead of risking action on the interest or apathy of others. Pledges — and especially pledges of this sort — are silly in this respect and I didn’t think people would take my pledge so seriously.

In terms of my point, Joey Hess was right. My point was bigger than Andrew and it wasn’t fair to pick on him to make a point. I apologize to Andrew and to anyone else offended.

Those concerned about killfiling may have missed the comment where I revealed that I don’t actually killfile. If we can achieve the maturity to not respond to messages when we read them as provocations (whether they were intended that way not), killfiles are unnecessary. I think we should all grow up a little bit. That was the point and I apologize if it didn’t get across.

But I realize that talk is cheap. So to end this saga on the absurd note it was supposed to start on I’ve gone ahead and started another pledge…

"I will never start another pledgebank.com pledge to killfile anyone but only if 50 others will agree not to create such pledges as well."

—Benjamin Mako Hill

You can sign up for the pledge here.

3 Replies to “Explanation, Apology and Pledge Not To Pledge”

  1. As I understand it, the original idea of the PledgeBank is to allow people to organise to do X where X is effective when done by >Y people but is rather stupid (or at least useless) when done on your own. I don’t see it used that way much. It does sometimes have a nice side-effect where you can say “oh, what a good idea X is, I wouldn’t have done it without the PledgeBank.”

    With regard to the cone of silence response, I am dubious about this, and not only because it’s so hard to get everyone to stop feeding the troll. The other reason I’m dubious is because of the effect on newbies of seeing someone ranting and raving and not seeing any responses. They may think “oh this person is a troll, what a self-controlled community, awesome.” But I worry that many (especially those unused to online free-for-alls) think “oh gosh, that post was so unremarkable noone replied. That must be mainstream opinion in this community.”

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