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It really makes me sad to see on HN arguments of the form, "I cannot understand/perceive X, therefore it is unimportant."

I get that you can't fathom it. But so what? Nobody put you in charge of deciding when people should feel unsafe. Or whether I should have sympathy for those who do. Or whether we, as a community, are willing to let a lot of otherwise useful contributors walk away because they don't feel safe.

I don't want to be a hero. Heroes need villains. I want a good conference, where everybody feels safe and welcome and we can all focus on learning. And this seems like a step in the right direction.

This reminds me of that Homer Simpson quote:

Hey! Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.

Homer Simpson isn't a role model. He's apathetic, stupid, and constantly convinced that he's more important of a man than he is. In fact, he's more a critique of that kind of man than an endorsement.

It's telling that Homer's redemptive characteristics are that he's capable of loving his wife and his children, and through his love, he's willing to realize that his opinions on things, his actions, are not perfect just because they're his. He can admit to being wrong; he can start caring; he can grow, ever-so-slowly, as a man.

I'm not suggesting that a person model their behavior after Homer.

The point I'm making in quoting him is that caring and understanding are distinct axes. You can care/understand, not care/not understand, not care/understand (Homer), and care/not understand. Each of these ways of being tends to bring different results.

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