Why not pick *nice* places for the Usenix conventions?

karl.kleinpaste at osc.edu karl.kleinpaste at osc.edu
Sat Jun 29 03:47:08 AEST 1991

geer at crl.dec.com writes:
   > I'm horrified that USENIX will be meeting in New Orleans, in a 
   > state that has the most repressive view of women's right to 
   > choice of all the fifty states.

   i'd agree that we cannot simply do nothing, for, as always, silence kills.

If Usenix is going to start adopting political viewpoints on every
subject that comes along, I'm just going to drop out entirely and take
up carpentry again.  Usenix, a technical association designed to
foster use of and understanding among users of the UNIX operating
system, establishes a policy on abortion?  To be followed by what?  A
policy on the Brady Bill, and with just as much basis?  A heavy-duty
endorsement of or objection to the Fully Informed Jury Amendment?
Where's the Usenix position paper on solutions to the acid rain
problem?  On starvation in Ethiopia?  On the morality of the Gulf War?
When does Usenix start funding CPSR and/or EFF?  At least the latter
two bear some resemblance to the association's raison d'etre.

Pick convention locations because of what it'll do for Usenix, please,
not for what it'll do for your feelings and political views.  Pick
your personal and political views as you see fit, as always.  Don't
attend the New Orleans Usenix Conference, if you wish, as your
personal statement against Louisiana's habits.  And before you adopt
any position of such a magnitude, purporting to represent the views of
the Usenix Association, kindly poll the membership to find out what
view it is you should be endorsing on our collective behalf.  Then
you're liable to find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having
to explain why you're bothering the membership with, and spending the
membership's money on, such things rather than fostering UNIX.

It really disturbs me to find what I perceive as an arrogance to
assume such a position on behalf of an organization which exists for
no such reasons.


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