Flame War Police

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Hiya everyone,

Is there a way to disable a thread that has degenerated into flaming? The recent “discussion” on /var/run descended into some quite nasty places and perhaps a lid should have been put on it. This seems to happen every few weeks and is somewhat embarrassing when I’m trying to persuade people of the “active and friendly CentOS community”

It was a shame that no one actually read past the belligerence his original post enough to come up with a solution. It was quite clearly a problem with third party packages not coming with SELinux policies.



7 thoughts on - Flame War Police

  • In Thunderbird, right click on a message in the thread, and click
    “Ignore Thread”, for other mail user agents you can find a similar feature.

  • Also just as clearly, everyone on the list said this wasn’t standard CentOS practice, the third party repo/packages OP used was not built properly and to either find a package that did, or compile from source. 
    At no point will anyone on this list try to fix a ‘problem’ by ignoring the 40+ years of UNIX design.  Liability aside, if someone doesn’t like what the majority say on the list, that’s their problem.  Trying to stick persistent data in /var/run isn’t standard (or best) practice and, indeed, /var/run is literally designed to not be persistent.  Any sane admin wouldn’t countenance that, and most of us are sane, and experienced.

    Let me ask, would you allow your kids to do something that was obviously dangerous?  This is the same thing.  We’re here to guide those willing to learn the /best/ method of resolving problems. Some aren’t willing to learn and refuse to believe the majority here know what we’re talking about.  The true answer to OPs question wasn’t what he wanted to hear and continued ad nauseum to insist that’s what he wants to do. 
    Sometimes people just have to fail to learn.

    Most of us make a living in IT, and get paid to do things within the parameters of the systems we manage.  How hard is it to understand such a simple concept? What you insist on calling a flame war, was some of us, me included, trying to get people to understand that 1) OP is wrong trying to do it this way 2) that OPs package wasn’t standard CentOS
    packaging and was dangerous to use on CentOS systems and 3) that there’s no way any of us would offer a work around for something that will almost certainly result in lost data.

    OP appeared, to me at least,  to be quite immature in insisting going against how CentOS (and RHEL) is designed and would very likely have come back to the list raising hell over losing data and how it’s our fault for his inability to listen to us. Don’t you think that would have been a bigger blow to the ‘active and friendly community’ if we’d actually offered advice contrary to design/best practice?  Would you take advice from someone you know has given dangerous advice in the past?

    We have this discussion on every list I’ve ever been, or currently are on about every 6 months or so.  I do my best to contribute to the list as often as I can, but I can’t help people when they are deadset on doing dangerous things.  Posts like his, and posts like yours make it harder for me to bother trying to help those unwilling to listen.  I
    don’t take it from my children, and I certainly won’t from adults who won’t listen.

    Mark Haney Network Engineer at NeoNova
    919-460-3330 option 1
    mark.haney@neonova.net http://www.neonova.net

  • Am 10.10.2017 um 17:03 schrieb Andrew Holway :

    A community has always at least “17%” of unpleasant behaviour – thats natural! The other part is very “active and friendly”. Everything else is not realistic. :-)

  • Thanks, Mark! Not only I agree with all you said, but these were the same points that I was seeing in this whole thread. The OP gave me the same feeling as I have when sometimes someone comes to me to fix their system, and when I start doing what I see necessary starts direct me what I should do next. Which brings these feelings: you already failed to fix it yourself, that is why you came to get me do that, now step back and observe how it is done…


    Valeri Galtsev Sr System Administrator Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics University of Chicago Phone: 773-702-4247

  • Hi Mark, been a while since I saw you last in Asheville.

    The core issue in the /var/run thread is one of lack of civility. There is a civil way of calling someone to see their need for further thought and investigation; calling someone ‘stupid’ or ‘an idiot’ over something as small as /var/run directory persistence is, to my mind at least, its own brand of immaturity and will typically cause the person so being attacked to go on the defensive and harden their stance, and this is the textbook genesis of a flame.

    I’ve been involved in Unix and related pursuits long enough to know that different people consider different things to be polite.

  • Hey Lamar, long time no see.  It’s been a real long time actually, left ERC in late 2009 after 3 surgeries on my feet and couldn’t walk enough to do anything useful (ended up having 2 more, an elbow rebuilt and just had surgery #7 to reconstruct a knee).  We moved to Durham in 2013 and have been here since.  Just got my last 2 daughters off to Virginia Tech this fall and it’s empty nest time. I still don’t know what to do with all my free time. I do agree, to a point.  Being Irish, my temper is always simmering, usually over ignorance or willful stupidity.  But, sometimes you just have to be the bad guy when people are recalcitrant.  Hence my stance in this thread.  I honestly have no problem being the bad guy if I have to be.  In this case, it was a situation where OP was already on the defensive after the first posts.  My input was much later, and was civil, even if not completely polite.  The fact remains trying slam that square peg into that round hole, despite repeated attempts to explain
    /why not to do it/ seems to me to be willfully stupid (or stubborn).  I
    made my case in my replies that forcing this issue absolutely will result in lost data and few people who get paid to do this for a living will countenance such a thing.  In a lot of ways, we view things from the perspective of our own jobs/environment/culture, putting ourselves in their position as it were.  A lot of people join the list simply to get a question answered, a lot more hang out and help when they can.  I
    think no one wants to see anyone put their data, or livelihood in jeopardy and certainly not with advice given by (other) professionals. Sometimes you just have to be the ‘disappointed parent’, and that’s how I replied after a while.  Right or wrong, I stand by it. Heh. I haven’t seen that word in a long time.  Plonk and netiquette are widely unused words these days.

    I get it.  I really do.  And there were times I probably should have walked away from the entire thread.  But, I want people to learn, and learn the right way (regardless of the multitude of ‘right ways’ in our line of work) and you just have to be very firm with those digging their heels in, if, for instance, they are in a position to do real harm, to data or otherwise.

    Anyway, hope all is well with you and PARI.  I need to get back down there with telescope sometime, the light pollution in RDU is just awful.

    Mark Haney Network Engineer at NeoNova
    919-460-3330 option 1
    mark.haney@neonova.net http://www.neonova.net

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