[Pharo-users] Code of Conduct

PBKResearch peter at pbkresearch.co.uk
Tue Sep 24 06:21:28 EDT 2019

These discussions are interesting, but they have nothing to do with Pharo – I’m surprised we have not had a moderator intervening to say they are off-topic and political. The subject line says ‘Code of Conduct’, meaning the proposed Pharo Code of Conduct, so please can we keep the discussion about conduct in the Pharo community.


Offray complains that he has encountered discriminatory behaviour on account of his identity, specifically in immigration contexts. I can assure him he is not the only one. I have gone through US immigration with a British passport; I have met long waiting times and obvious suspicion from the officers – and US and UK are supposed to be close allies. But I accept that there is discrimination in the world; my question to Offray is: have you encountered discrimination, harassment or any other unpleasant behaviour on account of your identity in the Pharo community? My impression is that you had helpful answers to all your questions as you learned Pharo and developed Grafoscopio; the only way your identity came into the matter was when people thought: ‘Oh, so Pharo is being used in Colombia – that’s interesting.’


My observation suggests that is typical of the community. We are all human, so we are all sinners (that’s what a Catholic education does for you), but I think the community is as inclusive, diverse and respectful as you can expect any human organisation to be. This is one of my objections to having a code at all – the implication that we need an explicit code to continue to behave decently.


In his post announcing the new code of conduct, Esteban Lorenzano said: “…we have decided to retract the code. But sadly, we cannot just remove it and let things continue as before…”. Well, I too think it’s sad, but I don’t see why we cannot continue as before. What specifically would go wrong if we just canned it? In the past we had what Sven called ‘implicit rules of engagement’, and if problems arose – about once every five years – the board worked it out ad hoc. This left the board as ‘benevolent dictators’, but we trusted them.


Please could someone explain why the board chose to do this. I simply do not understand Esteban’s ‘bigger can of worms’ metaphor. Is there some external pressure which is compelling the board to have a code?


Peter Kenny


From: Pharo-users <pharo-users-bounces at lists.pharo.org> On Behalf Of Steve Quezadas
Sent: 24 September 2019 04:32
To: Any question about pharo is welcome <pharo-users at lists.pharo.org>
Subject: Re: [Pharo-users] Code of Conduct


Thank you for that well-stated argument. I agree, offray's argument is silly. It's like saying that there aren't many male kindergarten teachers and that this is evidence that the school system is "sexist".


- Steve


PS Can we please just kill the CoC  it's making this maillist political.


On Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 8:25 PM Richard O'Keefe <raoknz at gmail.com <mailto:raoknz at gmail.com> > wrote:

Let's look at some official numbers.

Looking at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/news/11-01-2018/sfr247-higher-education-student-statistics/qualifications
we see that overall, female graduates outnumbered male graduates about
4 to 3 in each of the three years
recorded.  The imbalance in science graduates was less, but it was
still consistently women significantly
outnumbering men.  Computer science stood out as consistently about 4
men to 1 woman, and Computer
Science departments are tying themselves into knots trying to figure
out what to do about it.  Meanwhile,
nobody worries that "subjects allied to medicine" was about 4 women to 1 man.

If there are models explaining that "colleges" are set up to favour
white males, why are women succeeding
so much more than men?

In my own country, ten years ago the main newspaper ran an article
pointing out that "Two-thirds of bachelor
degrees last year went to women, the highest figure on record" and
that "Women have outnumbered men
in the tertiary sector for more than a decade", blaming "a secondary
school system which may discourage
or poorly prepare boys for further learning".

Look now at Canada.
tells us that "Canadian women aged 25 to 64 are 17 per cent more
likely than Canadian men to have a tertiary education.
The imbalance in educational attainment between Canadian men and women
has increased over the past decade,
raising questions about whether higher education in Canada is becoming
less hospitable to male learners."  This is not new.
"the overall gender imbalance tipped in women’s favour in Canada in
the early 1990s.  ...
Many are asking whether there is a 'boy crisis' in education and
wondering what can be done to address it. In fact, a
growing 'boy gap' in education can be seen across OECD countries, with
the problem beginning long before students
 reach post-secondary age. According to a recent report, 'boys, as a
group, rank behind girls by nearly every measure
of scholastic achievement'—including reading and writing scores—and
they are 'also more likely to be picked out for
behavioural problems, more likely to repeat a grade and to drop out of
school altogether.”  "when we examine th
more recent cohort of graduates—those aged 25 to 34—nearly every
country has a gender imbalance that favours
women. In most cases, moreover, women’s advantage has become much more

So models that explain why colleges favour white males are rather like
models that explain why the sun is dark.
If "colleges" are set up to favour white males, they are doing a
catastrophically bad job of it.  So much so that I
have been glad I have daughters, not sons.

If you want to say that Computer Science numbers are due to some sort
of discriminatory environment rather than
preference, then you have to explain the equally large imbalance the
other way in "medicine-related subjects" as
discrimination rather than preference.

On Tue, 24 Sep 2019 at 02:39, Stephan Eggermont <stephan at stack.nl <mailto:stephan at stack.nl> > wrote:
> Steve Quezadas <steveeq1 at gmail.com <mailto:steveeq1 at gmail.com> > wrote:
> > Your interpreting this information with a SJW lens.
> SJW is a political construct from the extreme right. As a straight white
> male from Western Europe I have seen enough discriminatory practices
> applied to less privileged friends to know there is a problem. And as I can
> afford to speak up, I do.
> > Look at the low proportion of blacks and women who
> > apply for CS majors in college. Are you going to say that colleges are
> > using discriminatory practices to keep blacks and women from taking CS
> > classes?
> Yes, the colleges are set up to make it easier for white males to succeed.
> There are enough models explaining why that happens
> > Maybe the bulk of the low recruitment statistics is simply due to
> > non-interest within that sub-culture.
> Back to identity politics?
> Stephan

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