Social Fallacies

I ran across this list of Geek Social Fallacies yesterday. It’s a pretty old list; I’m surprised this is the first time I’ve seen it. It’s pretty interesting, and, I’d wager, pretty accurate. I’ve seen these everywhere to varying degrees in the OSS world. Personally I tend to suffer a lot from #3 (though I usually recognise this one and realise that most, if not all, of my friends aren’t like me in this regard, so this tends to not be that bad at all), and quite a lot of #5 (when I’m on the receiving end of a lack of an invitation, it can hit me pretty hard).

I see a lot of #1 among OSS contributors. Many OSS people seem to believe that everyone’s opinion has equal value, or at least should be considered with equal weight. I often see “poisonous people” who just like to rant, or don’t understand a particular community. Sometimes they’re actively malicious, and sometimes they’re genuinely trying to help, but don’t understand what’s going on to actually be useful. Often these people will never get it, and in these cases I greatly advocate cutting them off and kicking them out. Unfortunately, a lot of people see this as rude, or anti-community, or some bullshit like that. Sorry, but the real world just doesn’t work that way: some people just don’t, and can’t, belong.

As for #4, it’s often a shame. I’m fully aware that I have different groups of friends for a reason, and that in most cases, my different friends wouldn’t really get along. Not that they’d be actively hostile, just that they wouldn’t find much in common and would probably be bored with each other during extended interaction. It’s pretty rare that I introduce friends and they actually hit it off.

#2 is actually pretty rare in my experience. Personally, I tend to believe that my close friends do accept me as I am, and actually because of that, they’re the ones most likely to criticise me when I’m acting like a dick. And I (usually) welcome that.

Anyhow… pretty interesting.