24 May 2001 itp   » (Master)

More and more lately, I realize that the Free Software / Open Source community is primarily a load of bullshit. To be sure, there are talented, smart, and pleasant people out there, and if you're lucky you get to work with them on projects. But that's true no matter where you work, be it Free Software or locked up in some proprietary development house.

There seem to be lots of people out there, however, who think they're entitled to stick their fingers in the pie when the sad fact is, they don't know shit. I'm talking about the hangers-on, the asshole "journalists", the slashdot crowd... you know what I mean. I don't begrudge them their right to use Free Software -- hell, that's part of the reason we do what we do! -- but I just don't understand where all of the rudeness, the anger, the righteous indignation comes from, especially when they have no idea what they're talking about.

It's frustrating enough tackling difficult technical issues. It's exacerbated when those technical issues have all sorts of political baggage tied to them. But it really sucks when you have to do it while dealing with a constant barrage of angry people, all of whom think they know more than you do, except that they don't and instead rely on you to do all of the work.

Of course, now that I think about it, I realize this syndrome probably isn't limited to Free Software. People are always arrogant, judgemental, and convinced of their own superiority. They probably always have been and probably always will be. Increasingly I have to ask myself, what's the point?

Oh, and this morning on the way to work, while getting off of the T, a woman started shoving people out of her way to get onto the train as soon as the doors open, before anyone had gotten out. I was content to let it go with a dirty look, but an older man behind me turned and told her off. So she started hitting him with her umbrella.

Sometimes violence is so appealing, it's all I can do to stop myself. Because I've reached a point where I begin to feel that no matter what you do, there will probably always be people who are so sheltered from the consequences of their own actions, so protected by society, so far removed from the formerly harsh realities of life, that the only thing you could ever do to get through to them is to inflict pain.

And people wonder why I don't like myself very much.

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