The tech industry, especially the open source side of things (but that’s only because that’s the only things we typically get to see in public) has been getting a bad rap lately for being very unwelcoming and hostile.
It wasn’t always this way. When the Internet started out, it quickly became populated by people who would often put down others, be hyper critical, and just in general seem like complete jackasses.
However, that was the culture. That was our culture. Most people were fine with it, no big deal. We had a blast. Just like the British with their notion of “taking the piss” out of each other. We had fun.
A decade or so later, the gates burst, and everyone jumped in on the Internet bandwagon. Now we have a ton of people jumping into a culture that they don’t understand.
Many people adapted. They became one with the culture, as people tend to do, and all was good.
Some people didn’t understand that the culture was a culture of people who actually cared about each other. A culture that is not hostile, but easily a culture that outsiders might not understand and may mistake as hostile.
These people ended up splitting into two camps. The ones who adopted the idea of actually being hostile, misunderstanding the real culture, and people who, while also seeing the culture as a hostile unwelcoming place, decided to take up arms and fight the culture as some sort of evil.
As time goes on, we see the old guard, the people who loved each other and loved giving each other a hard time, start to fade away. It was replaced by people who often were truly cruel. However, many communities, such as the open source community, are largely descendants of the former rather than the latter.
This has led to people attacking, not only the actual hate filled culture, but the old culture as well.
Sure, the old culture trolled the hell out of itself, but that helped everyone improve as individuals. We knew there was no real hate there (well, usually, but even if it was, we looked at it as if it wasn’t).
Now we are rapidly moving towards a culture where everyone is afraid to point out each other’s mistakes, or indeed, simply have their own thoughts about social concepts, due to extreme hostility by the very people who are fighting the fight to have everyone play nice.
The following statements are found far too often from people trying to make the world (Internet) a better place:
“We want everyone to be good to each other.”
“This is the way in which we can be good to each other.”
“Everyone should be free to believe and act however they see fit, so long as it doesn’t hurt others”
“If you don’t believe as we believe, we will try to destroy your life.”
Perhaps the old saying is true. “The path to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
What a sick perversion of our culture. We lose our culture of love and hyper-criticism, to be replaced by a culture that is a combination of hate and political correctness (Often masqueraded as “professionalism”). This is the culture of the “Social Justice Warrior”.