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Posted Jun 16, 2012 15:52 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
That seems curiously specific for human nature. Or perhaps you don't have the magical insight into human nature that you think you do, and in fact this is *not* an immutable aspect of the human condition?
Posted Jun 16, 2012 20:37 UTC (Sat) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639)
Posted Jun 16, 2012 21:54 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Jun 16, 2012 21:58 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Lots of things are "human nature" including levels of intergroup violence which kill perhaps 40% of males. We have overcome that. Just because things are human nature does not mean they are necessarily either inevitable or praiseworthy. The naturalistic fallacy is still a fallacy.
Posted Jun 16, 2012 23:13 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
the big difference is that it takes place the same way that all other communications in that profession take place, which is generally in private conversations.
With opensource development, almost all the communications that would be private in any other group, instead take place on public mailing lists, with thousands of people reading them, and with the mailing lists archived forever.
This means that comments that otherwise may have been heard by a half dozen people with no durable record instead are read by thousands and easily found by searching archives.
I'd even lay odds that the frequency of mocking is not too different, it's just that it's visibility is magnified by the openness of the communications.
for those who say that this would never be allowed in commercial development, think about every code and architectural discussion, including those by the water coolers. I think that if you are honest with yourself you will realize that there are a lot of comments that could be called 'mocking' that take place. the only difference is how "public" the mocking is.
In the situations where other professions would consider their communication "public" I'll agree that there isn't much that would be considered "mocking", but if you look at the equivalent situations in opensource development, you won't see any "mocking" either. The development mailing lists appear to be an exception, but you need to realize that they are just the otherwise private conversations made public.
for all those people who think that such things never take place among "respectable" professions, haven't you ever heard of the sometimes legendary levels of infighting and backbiting that takes place among such "professionals"? That's the same type of thing, just not as visible.
Posted Jun 17, 2012 11:32 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Jun 17, 2012 22:44 UTC (Sun) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
it may be called 'infighting' 'backbiting' or simply 'office politics', but negative comments on other people's work exist everywhere. This sort of thing is legendary in academia for example.
this isn't mutually exclusive with respecting the work of other people either.
In Linux development, some of Linus' harshest comments go to his most trusted lieutenants. this is the "you should have known better" or "I expected better from you" factor.
But let's take a look at the "horrible" culture of the Linux-Kernel mailing list.
how many "mocking" comments are made a month? I'd be surprised if there were more than a couple dozen. This is out of tens of thousands of messages.
are you really sure that negative comments in other fields are at at a ratio of less than 1 in 1000?
Posted Jun 18, 2012 11:48 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
The worrying thing is when people extend that treatment to people they haven't known for a long time. This is much less common on l-k than it was -- l-k is getting better -- and l-k is definitely not the worst place in the free software community for that sort of thing. It's just the largest and most visible.
Posted Jun 18, 2012 8:58 UTC (Mon) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
Don't confuse my words. I'm not saying that mockery is the best way to solve conflicts (go re-read my earlier posts), but it's useful sometimes. I know, I have been there many times. I did something stupid, and I was called stupid as I deserved. It's hard to swallow, specially for somebody as stubborn as myself, but in the end every time I learned a valuable lesson.
For these reasons I do not believe that mocking on somebody that deserves it is any kind of deadly sin. It's a tool to be used with caution like any other dangerous tool, and only with well defined purposes.
Posted Jun 18, 2012 14:22 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Then there is "this is my only visible way of interacting with other people", Joerg Schilling being the foremost exemplar of this approach. Note that as Joerg's unremittingly hostile attitude made clear, hostile approaches rarely lead to constructive outcomes when the people being hostiled at are major l-k figures -- I do wonder why anyone would expect them to lead to constructive outcomes in any other situation. Most people are less hostile than Joerg even when they're being nasty, and there is at least the possibility of movement: is that all it is?
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