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Posted Jul 27, 2010 3:53 UTC (Tue) by butlerm (subscriber, #13312)
Posted Jul 27, 2010 12:26 UTC (Tue) by nye (guest, #51576)
Posted Jul 27, 2010 13:00 UTC (Tue) by fuhchee (subscriber, #40059)
Posted Jul 27, 2010 15:28 UTC (Tue) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
And, of course, one has to consider the amount of times (%centage wise) this happens before passing judgment. I would suspect that this is rather low for Linus, and that the whole point (which seems to have been missed) is: that he doesn't sway easily, and that the few subjects where he has being swayed drastically show both his original good judgment on most things, along with the ability to be convinced of opinions better than his first (usually correct) opinions.
Posted Jul 27, 2010 17:49 UTC (Tue) by pflugstad (subscriber, #224)
In plain English...
Actually, this statement identifies another problem - many non-native-English speaking readers won't understand Linus' comments, or take them at face value.
Or in other cultures, it's literally the worst possible thing to change your mind as publicly as Linus' occasionally does, so they assume he really means it.
So I certainly don't see the OP as a troll, but asking a legitimate question.
Posted Jul 28, 2010 10:02 UTC (Wed) by nye (guest, #51576)
The unwillingness for a public figure to acknowledge a past mistake and fix it is the cause of a great variety of societal ills. I don't believe anyone should ever pander to a culture that encourages this kind of poisonous behaviour.
Posted Jul 28, 2010 22:39 UTC (Wed) by njs (guest, #40338)
Okay, I'm with you so far...
> I don't believe anyone should ever pander to a culture that encourages this kind of poisonous behaviour.
...but you lose me here. We're talking about people who have certain expectations, and those expectations are, in fact, valid for their culture. These people may or may not like this aspect of their culture, but it doesn't matter -- so long as they have those expectations, then they are not worthy to participate in kernel development? Explaining to them that things work differently here is somehow "pandering" to their culture?
Posted Jul 29, 2010 1:15 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
1. you make the perfect decision the first time, every time
2. you do things wrong, even when you know better.
Since there is no developer who ever qualifies for #1, avoiding changing decisions at all costs would lead to having a bad system, and knowing that it was bad.
so yes, the kernel development _is_ better off by being willing to change decisions, even if that excludes some cultures from participating.
Posted Jul 29, 2010 3:41 UTC (Thu) by njs (guest, #40338)
1) It's somewhat problematic if leaders regularly make very strong, emphatic statements, specifically saying that this is not an ordinary decision but rather one that will never be changed under any circumstances, and then change their minds.
2) If they're going to do that anyway, then maybe that should be explained to newcomers, since their default understandings will otherwise be wildly miscalibrated.
You seem to be arguing about something else, not entirely sure what, and I don't have much to say about it.
Posted Jul 29, 2010 12:25 UTC (Thu) by nye (guest, #51576)
It seems I had misinterpreted the previous post in haste. An explanation of the differences between cultures to the honestly ignorant (I use this word in a purely descriptive way with no unstated implications intended) would be a worthwhile exercise in education (especially when, as I believe, the one culture is clearly superior to the other in a particular way).
So, I retract that statement.
Posted Jul 29, 2010 12:27 UTC (Thu) by nye (guest, #51576)
Which, now that I think of it, is sort of ironic in the circumstances.
Posted Jul 29, 2010 13:05 UTC (Thu) by fuhchee (subscriber, #40059)
Posted Aug 2, 2010 12:52 UTC (Mon) by miku (subscriber, #35152)
It is best possible thing for a person to change their opinion when it contradicts with reality. Linus, thankfully, is among the sane people who practice this =)
Posted Jul 27, 2010 23:37 UTC (Tue) by aliguori (subscriber, #30636)
The last characteristic is one that's extremely appreciated in a maintainer. It's much more fun to contribute to a project if you think that with a sufficiently compelling argument, you can convince the leadership to agree with you.
Posted Jul 27, 2010 23:48 UTC (Tue) by jejb (subscriber, #6654)
Actually, I'm afraid history really doesn't support this view.
Stevenson was told by all medical authorities that people would suffer seizures if they travelled at more than 30mph, so the Rocket was a stupid idea.
Max Planck despised Ludwig Boltzmann's statistical mechanics because of the challenge it gave to classical thermodynamics. He went as far as to attack Boltzmann both verbally and in print for the heresy. Planck was ultimately forced to use statistical mechanics to solve the ultraviolet catastrophe and lay the basis for quantum mechanics ...
Einstein famously and vehemently denied the conclusions of the EPR paradox with his "spooky action at a distance" comment. He recanted very reluctantly when the Bell inequalities proved it.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Great discoveries are made by challenging the accepted and laid down "facts". The corollary to this is that if no-one lays down the "facts" to be challenged, the human instinct for contrariness doesn't get aroused as much as it should and some of our brilliance sinks into the mire of mediocratic reasonableness.
Being wrong is a recoverable error. Never daring to be wrong is an opportunity missed and a life never lived
Posted Jul 28, 2010 2:15 UTC (Wed) by fuhchee (subscriber, #40059)
"The corollary to this is that if no-one lays down the "facts" to be challenged, the human instinct for contrariness doesn't get aroused as much"
Now this "corollary" needs somewhat more evidence to convince that naysayers are a necessary (or necessarily positive) factor in innovation.
Posted Jul 28, 2010 15:29 UTC (Wed) by jejb (subscriber, #6654)
I'm failing to see your point. I gave Einstein and Planck as examples of people who made categorical negative but wrong statements and later admitted they were wrong (without, incidentally, incurring a "credibility cloud"). You seem to now be saying that it's OK for the likes of Einstein and Planck to do this, but everyone else should be humble?
> Now this "corollary" needs somewhat more evidence to convince that naysayers are a necessary (or necessarily positive) factor in innovation.
A corollary is a logical deduction from a proposition. If there's enough evidence to support the proposition then, ipso facto, there's enough to support the corollary.
If you think the proposition needs more evidence, there's enough in google to supply virtually any amount of it going back to the beginnings of recorded history.
Posted Jul 28, 2010 15:46 UTC (Wed) by fuhchee (subscriber, #40059)
You misread. "cautioning" is not saying "it's OK".
> A corollary is a logical deduction from a proposition.
Well, thanks for the lesson, but it doesn't quite work here. This "corollary" is your main point, and it is supported by exactly three historical anecdotes. By the way, in none of those stories has there been any indication that the "should-have-been-humbler" people performed a useful service in naysaying. IOW, there has been no argument that without those "laid-down-wrong-facts", the discoveries would not have been made.
If you can't make that argument stick, perhaps your original argument/corollary is not quite as logically sound as you believe it is.
Posted Jul 28, 2010 15:50 UTC (Wed) by egk (subscriber, #50799)
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