Daystar Eld

1050 karmaJoined Jun 2021



    Just finishing up the post now, sorry for the delay! I've been gathering and double-checking permissions :)

    Hoping to announce by the end of the month :) It'll be its own top level post.

    Ah yeah the September 1 deadline was meant for the writing retreat, the overall deadline is Oct 1st.

    Yeah, I think it is actually incredibly easy to undervalue CH, particularly if people don't regularly interact with it or make use of them rather than just having a single anecdata to go off of. So much of what I do in the community (everything from therapy to mediation to teaching at the camps) is made easier by Community Health, and no one knows about any of it because why would they? I guess I should make a post to highlight this.

    Thanks for this writeup, still undergoing various updates based on the info above and responses from Nonlinear.

    One thing I do want to comment on is this:

    (Personal aside: Regarding the texts from Kat Woods shown above — I have to say, if you want to be allies with me, you must not write texts like these. A lot of bad behavior can be learned from, fixed, and forgiven, but if you take actions to prevent me from being able to learn that the bad behavior is even going on, then I have to always be worried that something far worse is happening that I’m not aware of, and indeed I have been quite shocked to discover how bad people’s experiences were working for Nonlinear.)

    I agree that it was a bad message to send. I agree that people shouldn't make it hard for others who have a stake in something to learn about bad behavior from others involved.

    But I think it's actually a bit more complex if you consider the 0 privacy norms that might naturally follow from that, and I can kind of understand where Kat is (potentially) coming from in that message. This doesn't really apply if Nonlinear was actually being abusive, of course, only if they did things that most people would consider reasonable but which felt unfair to the recipient.

    What I mean is basically that it can be tough to know how to act around people who might start shit-talking your organization when them doing so would be defecting on a peace treaty at best, and abusing good-will at worst. And it's actually generally hard to know if they're cognizant of that, in my experience.

    This is totally independent of who's "right" or "wrong," and I have 0 personal knowledge of the Nonlinear stuff. But there are some people who have been to summer camps that we've had the opportunity to put on blast about antisocial things they've done that got them removed from the ecosystem, but we try to be careful to only do that when it's *really* egregious, and so often chose not to because it would have felt like too much of an escalation for something that was contained and private...

    ...but if they were to shit-talk the camps or how they were treated, that would feel pretty bad from my end in the "Well, fuck, I guess this is what we get for being compassionate" sense.

    Many people may think it would be a better world if they imagine everyone's antisocial acts being immediately widely publicized, but in reality what I think would result is a default stance of "All organizations try to ruin people's reputations if they believe they did something even slightly antisocial so that they can't harm their reputation by telling biased stories about them first," and I think most people would actually find themselves unhappy with that world. (I'm not actually sure about that, though it seems safer to err on the side of caution.)

    It can sound sinister or be a bad power dynamic from an organization to an individual, but if an individual genuinely doesn't seem to realize that the thing holding the org back isn't primarily a mutual worry of negative reputation harm but something like compassion and general decency norms, it might feel necessary to make that explicit... though of course making it explicit comes off as a threat, which is worse in many ways even if it could have been implicitly understood that the threat of reputation harm existed just from the fact that the organization no longer wants you to work with them.

    There are good reasons historically why public bias is in the favor of individuals speaking out against organizations, but I think most people who have worked in organizations know what a headache it can be to deal with the occasional incredibly unreasonable person (again, not saying that's the case here, just speaking in general), and how hard it is to determine how much to communicate to the outside world when you do encounter someone you think is worse than just a "bad fit." I think it's hard to set a policy for that which is fair to everyone, and am generally unsure about what the best thing to do in such cases is.

    Thanks for your submission! There have been a few others already, but so far they've all been through DMs.

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