Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Created June 1, 2023 16:38
Show Gist options
  • Save m-ou-se/ca7d7edf778a9b93b812512b3d8288f5 to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
Save m-ou-se/ca7d7edf778a9b93b812512b3d8288f5 to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.

Mara's statement on the retraction of ThePhd's RustConf keynote

I was one of the people who didn't vote for ThePhd's keynote; originally because I simply preferred another promising candidate. Later, after hearing technical concerns from an expert that I mostly agreed with, also because of the topic, although I must admit I am no expert on the topic.

The candidate I voted for originally got a few approving comments at first, but ended up being mostly ignored later, mostly because of our lack of process and proper voting.

When it was brought up in the leadership chat that 'there are concerns', I focused on the talk itself rather than focusing on the process failure. That was a mistake, for which I apologize. I am not an expert on this topic, and should not have rushed myself into talking about things outside my expertise, even under pressure.

In another situation this could have been a minor mistake with no consequences, just one of several opinions in a discussion, but in this situation it became part of the very brief discussion that got summarized to the RustConf organisers as "Rust leadership changed their minds", which, at least for me, was not true. (While I think it'd be an interesting talk, I didn't vote for it as an opening keynote.) There was absolutely no consensus in the chat to change anything about the talk, and I did not know that this was what was communicated with the RustConf organisers. Regardless, it was our shared responsibility to know; it was our failure to not check and confirm.

Some days later, the schedule is published without the 'keynote' labels. I naively assumed that either the damage had already been done, or that this was a peaceful outcome with the consent of the speakers. That was not the case. I should have spoken up and confirmed, but did not, which I feel terribly guilty about.

A week later, the speakers were actually informed of the change, and ThePhd understandably decides to retract their talk entirely. Our failures should have never led to them being put into this terrible situation where they had to do that.

I'd like to believe that a proper governance structure with formal votes rather than ad-hoc decisions would have prevented this entirely (especially downgrading a talk should never happen without proper process), and am still convinced it gets us a long way, but there is a lot more to it to prevent things from breaking down in similar ways.

I've been trying to process for the past few days the ways in which my actions were part of what happened (also with some help of others who were kind enough to listen to me and give feedback (thank you <3)) and will be spending a lot more time reflecting and talking with relevant parties, both on how to improve myself and the Rust project.


Copy link

That's not an accurate summary of the study btw, 0/2 for you:

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment