Tucker Carlson recently asked how diversity is our greatest strength, receiving an angry reaction and predictable accusations of racism. Nobody actually bothered to offer a good faith answer, because there isn’t one. When people who have little in common try to work together, you invariably end up with communication and collaboration sinking to the lowest common denominator. More and more time gets wasted managing communication problems and value conflicts than is invested in the actual project.
A self-anointed priesthood of experts on managing social conflict swarm in like buzzards on a carcass, further complicating matters. These people not only care more about perfecting social protocol than about delivering solid code, they’re actively hostile to the dorky middle-aged white guys who actually bring the skills and experience. They’re constantly ruling in favor of the chicks with dicks and Indigenous Australians with Invisible Illness who comprise a large and growing subset of package maintainers, documentation specialists, and other bit players who commit more drama than code.
Their purpose in life is to henpeck the important people in the name of “social justice,” insisting that the Linux kernel mailing list focus on tone policing Linus’s brusque mannerisms instead of improving the memory management module. Linus isn’t “racist,” “sexist,” or “altright.” He’s not /ourguy/. He’s consistently apolitical. He doesn’t care what color your ass is or which restroom you use to shit, as long as your pull requests aren’t shit. He cares more about the kernel’s quality than your preferred pronouns, which has rendered him “problematic” in today’s oppressively politically correct environment.
Linus was bullied into replacing his tongue-in-cheek “Code of Conflict” with a new “Code of Conduct” that was part of a larger campaign to confront and correct his micro-aggressions. He dreaded attending his own annual Linux Conference because the whole thing was being set up as an intervention where the crybullies intended to corner and shame him for not talking and thinking like a leftist faggot. After years of this insulting, degrading, and spirit-crushing treatment, Linus has finally said “Fuck it!” and abandoned his maintainership of the open source community’s flagship codebase.
Even if Linus wants to come back, he mostly likely won’t be allowed back.
For decades, the open source community has dreaded a potential doomsday where the mega-corporations would take Linux down. It just happened today, not with a bang or a fight, but a queef. And not one prominent person in the open source community will have the courage to admit what’s happened, much less challenge it. If I could travel back in time to the nineties and warn my fellow Slackware geeks that Linux would actually defeat Windows, then go down like this, nobody would believe me.
It’s not really that big of a deal, though. Linus’s talents have been wasted on work that some random Oracle employee pretending to be a “volunteer” could just as easily perform. His creation of git was far more transformative than everything else he’s done since creating Linux itself thirty years ago. Part of the magic of the open source community is that the critical part–the part where the real creativity, risk, and fun all lie–will always remain a “safe space” for dropping a homophobic joke or responding honestly and directly to stupidity.
That’s because there’s no money in the early, risky, uncertain stages of open source development, long before one has a commercially viable product with support contracts and patch requests from major corporations. You’ll never find Zoe Quinn at that stage of the project, because neoliberalism is a fundamentally capitalist and corporate phenomenon. What the hell can they do if there’s no money to grift, no HR department to file a complaint with, no investors to lobby, and no public reputation to hold for ransom?
Linus should respond in the same way Brendan Eich has with his development of the Brave Browser, which I highly recommend. Eich, like Andrew Torba, proved that you don’t need Silicon Valley’s echo chamber of self-righteous busy-bodies to deliver popular and successful software and services. Maybe he’ll make some transformative contribution to blockchain technology, help mainstream Tor or other essential privacy and free speech tools, or scratch some obscure itch of his that he has been too busy juggling retards and apologizing to assholes to scratch. My wish is for him to help lead the AltTech revolution against Apple, Google, and Facebook turning the web into a heavily-censored and algorithmically filtered Prodigy-style walled garden.
Whatever it is; I hope Linus stops apologizing once and for all to the angry mob of well-funded losers feeding off of his genius, labor, sacrifice, risk, and precious time.