[tz] KyivNotKiev

Paul Ganssle paul at ganssle.io
Sat Nov 28 21:25:57 UTC 2020

I think the fact that we have a 200-e-mail thread about this every time
someone brings up the issue of Ukraine (or, less frequently, another one
of these political arguments) means that the policy about not getting
into political arguments is /failing/, because no one's time is being
saved here.

If there's going to be a rule about not wanting to get involved in the
political stuff, it should actually be enforced. Hold any e-mail that
mentions Kiev or Kyiv or Ukraine in a moderation queue and only let
through the ones with simple factual information. Or add a second
mailing list `tz-nomenclature@` or `tz-political@` where that sort of
thing is on topic, and impose bans (temporary or permanent) on people
who bring it up on the main list.

Either that or abandon the pretense that we don't engage in political
arguments at all and invite people to make their own political
arguments. Otherwise one is in danger of imposing an asshole filter
<https://siderea.livejournal.com/1230660.html> (somewhat crudely named
and described on a site with an unfortunate color scheme¹, but an
important concept nonetheless) — where people are rewarded for ignoring
the FAQ and/or violating the cultural norms of the list.


¹On the "asshole filter" site, there's a "Readability" checkbox that
will switch the site into a much more reasonable color scheme.

On 11/28/20 4:07 PM, Brian Inglis wrote:
> Folks,
> If we are regarding these as English identifiers, we should be
> ignoring all these political arguments, and *STOP* adding alternate
> spellings, exccept for technical reasons when time zones split or
> combine.
> Alternate spellings and scripts are localization issues that should be
> dealt with by the likes of CLDR and ICU libraries. If the characters
> to be used were not in the POSIX base character set, we would have no
> hesitation just saying *NO*; we should have no hesitation just saying
> *NO* to political arguments! Whether there are more occurrences on
> more sites should have no relevance once the identifier has been
> assigned, just as other location selection criteria such as population
> are considered irrelevant once an identifier has been assigned.
> We have dropped posixrules and eliminated many other legacy rules and
> zones, we should in the course of time, eliminate all the alternate
> spellings, keeping only the base zone identifiers.
> Otherwise we appear to have given up any basis for resisting these
> political complaints and we should just add a link anytime anyone has
> any political objection to how we identify it.
> If this change is made, I would promptly expect growing demands for
> more political changes, as we have been shown to waver in the face of
> political demands unrelated to technical issues.
> There will be more demands to change or add official or remove
> unofficial zone identifiers on political bases.
> And for most English speakers the locations under discussion will for
> decades continue to be referred to as Ukraine, Crimea, Sebastopol,
> Kiev, etc. regardless of what the locals want to call it or have
> others call it.
> Few English speakers will recognize or assign any meaning to new
> names, unless both appear together regularly with explanations on
> common social and tabloid media web sites, which is unlikely as it not
> click bait.
> Those sites will continue to use the old spellings, as their primary
> focus is getting their readers attention, with words they recognize
> and could use.
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