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Monday, September 17 2018

From Beyond The Campfire

Big news in the Linux world: Linus Torvalds is taking a break to work on personal growth. The important part of his message:

The above is basically a long-winded way to get to the somewhat painful personal admission that hey, I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely.

I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.

First and foremost: I wish Linus success in that endeavor. It says a lot about him that he's making the attempt, and my personal (as distinct from professional) respect for him has just increased dramatically as a result of it.

On the site where I learned of the mailing list message, the consensus has been expressed by "SJW" being hurled like a barrage of emotional firebombs. How curious: The man stands up and says that he wishes to be less of a jerk, and the community that cheered him until a few hours ago is now berating him and predicting the demise of the Linux kernel. I find this disheartening. My own experience of the industry we call the tech sector is that the innovation comes from the outliers, the oddballs and misfits who think independently and creatively -- not because they're daring so much as because they know no other way of being. Misfits tend to appreciate social justice, even if they don't champion it, because it's not a stretch for them to make the connection between being accepting and being accepted. Knowing this, I am troubled by the current state of the tech sector as its members represent it to be by their social media posts.

I've not known many brilliant minds that were wrapped in conformist behaviors. In a world so deeply troubled as ours is right now, with so many keeping the faith that science and technology will produce the miracles we need to keep or make life worth living, I must wonder if what we've got now to work with is even capable of it.

I hope so.

Good luck, Mr. Torvalds.

→ committed: 9/17/2018 05:56:55

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