Alienation in online FOSS communities

Tangentially related lecture: The hard parts of open source.

Collaborative engineering has more problems in collaboration than engineering. Those 'soft' skillsets do not correlate well with technical expertise, especially when filtered through asynchronous (and often pseudonymous) text-based communication. Additionally, some foundational assumptions about the nature of improving technology and society turn out to not work so good.

The patterns of behavior that people fall into because of software are rarely positive for themselves or others. Use and development both invite what Skinner would call superstitions: spurious connections between actions and outcomes. […]This extends to human interactions about software. People can be driven to sociopathy, apathy, obsessive placation, or anything in between, thanks to the sparse, arbitrary, and frankly batshit crazy stimuli they're subjected to.

We're not dutifully working around harmful narcissists out of conscious tolerance or demographic over-representation. They just blend in with all the other assholes we've become.

Reddit user "mindbleach" on Why I'm not collaborating with Kenneth Reitz.