on hubris

Posted on Tue 20 June 2017 in musings

a quick disclaimer: i am fairly young with regard to the open-source movement, and i suppose i am also fairly young with regard to falling out of a vagina one could argue, so keep in mind that there is a non-zero chance that the following could just be me prancing about with some very empty opinions that are very full of shit. so now that that's out of the way, i'll carry on.

now don't get me wrong here; i love the sweet ba-jeezus out of open-source and everything it happens to stand for. my life was never quite the same after i moved to linux full-time, and the quality of software that is available freely still surprises me at times (though that also applies to the shit-side of the quality spectrum.) the almost anarchistic belief in freedom that bleeds from nearly every orifice of the open-source movement is well-intentioned at worst, and downright valiant at best.

but, and it is a very large but, the community, like any group of like-minded people collectively invested in something, does have its failings.

it's subtle as fuck; unless you are deeply invested yourself in some open-source project or group of heavy open-source users it's unlikely to be noticeable at all. but if you are, it's inevitable that you'll start to feel stifled by a general miasma of half-elitism/half-hubris.

let he who is without sin, eh?

but alas, i admit to being just as guilty of both of these things; a few times you do wind up having the wisdom to back it up, but most other times you are just fallaciously assuming that you do.


of course, we don't need another blog crying about how the sun should be rising in the west and setting in the east. a thing as abstract as hubris is intransigent by its very nature: humanity, good/evil, ???, meretricious philosophy, etc. i am mostly just expressing my slight curiosity about my day to day happenstances, maybe even tossing a hail-mary or two guessing at the "why?"

it is possible that the whole "free" business is a large part of it. of course it is true that not all open-source software is free, the vast majority of it unequivocally is. i mean people are competitive by nature. people want to be the best, be the richest, or be the most liked. i would even venture to say that is a large portion of what it means to be human. so we're no longer strutting about trying to make the most money; instead, it's about being the smartest fuck in the room.

because let's face it; we all have some motivation for bothering to do the things we do. we need one. otherwise why bother even waking up in the morning? have a motive is not a bad thing at all, and neither is the commendable goal to want to be the smartest fuck in the room. great! now i can WAIT OH SHIT—

turns out being smart is fucking hard.

and then something interesting happens: turns out if you stick 20 people in a room and have them debate some random rhetorical topic, the person who seems the smartest is quite often simply the most confident; being the smartest is helps of course, but it is not required at all. as they say: empty vessels often make the most noise.

so now you have 19 people and 1 really confident dude who the group has subconsciously picked as the smartest. the ironic part is that it's also very likely the actual smartest person in the room is now second guessing him/herself. lorem ipsum; the cycle continues.

the point i am trying to make here is a plea to please refrain from being just another aimless sheeple who takes everyone and all arguments at face value. you don't have to be a dick or an ungrateful sack of shit, (it's still possible after all that they actually ARE the smartest person in the room,) but do verify on your own time before accepting shit as fact.

it quickly starts to get easier to tell who is full of shit, (easier to tell when you yourself are full of shit as well,) and you start to find your own little ways to speed up checking out the accuracy of some arbitrary information or look up some random reference fact.


don't be a fucking sheep. don't be an ungrateful dick. admit to yourself that the possibility that at times you don't know shit. have the courage to recognize those times that you do know shit. trust sparingly, doubt gratuitously, and don't take shit so seriously; especially yourself.