Posted Jun 16, 2012 23:13 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
In reply to: On meritocracy by nix
Parent article: On mocking
I actually believe that mocking takes place in every profession, from construction worker to CEO, from nurse to research scientist.
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.