A Cause and a Cure

My Next Career?

I have discovered an existing term for what feels like my next calling, described very well in this interview below with Li Jiansheng…

A Cause and a Cure

I often think about the youth of today who have been the most absorbed and damaged by their activities on social media platforms. They have been our lab rats in this great experiment. I hope that they will be able to heal and gain strength and wisdom from their experiences.

Most people don’t know this, but there is a strict code of conduct in certain other places on the internet – on huge swaths of it.

These places are supremely boring places to those who delight in so many of the cringe-worthy aspects of social media. So you just don’t encounter people who are attracted to those values and norms.

These are joyful places where it is easy to feel (and actually be) safe, where everyone is welcomed, and where you can easily find and make new friends to last a lifetime.

They are places of social and personal healing and growth, where everyone knows, or is actively learning from their experience there, that collective and personal progress and abundance are the natural products of personal responsibility.

In these places random souls from every corner of planet Earth drop in at random times. Notwithstanding this extreme diversity, the code of conduct is strictly and effectively, yet lovingly, enforced and maintained. Can you guess how?

Just simple people, from anywhere and everywhere on planet Earth, actively taking personal responsibility, in critical mass. Together, somehow they can maintain and sustain a joyful, productive place with peace and order, over decades.

These places have existed since the inception of the Internet. This is because the code of conduct was started by the original developers of the internet.

These founders and their protégés are still among us, still quietly standing guard in these places. They accompany us, and mentor us, along the now well-traveled, illuminated paths they carved out long ago.

I attend these places daily. I used to take for granted that these places would always be there. But I have grown to realize that they are precious resources, and that the custodians of these places are special people.

These places – as a category they don’t really have an established name like “Social Media”. Open Source Culture is what some of us call this code of conduct.

I think this culture is what Vint Cerf refers to as the “Geek Orthodoxy”.

People go to these places to get help and find camaraderie, when they just feel a need to give, or to work in the silent company of others.

Participating is always free. People generally know they can share their thoughts and ideas without fear of repercussions.

You can document and record things for your future self, if you want. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve Googled for a solution to a technical problem only to find my own solution that I had posted years earlier.

People’s most authentic selves seem to naturally and easily emerge in these places. Conflict is rare. The only possible punishment for bad behavior like being mean or abusive, lying, stealing, or trying to take credit for someone else’s work, is being ignored. (We all have our moments, right?) People can be (and are, but not often) banned for being abusive.

In these places ignoring people somehow actually works. I would go as far as to say that in these places, even the (otherwise) monstrous, narcissistic humans among us somehow manage to keep their egos in check and behave kindly, if only to not be ignored.

Here below is just one example of open source goodness at work in my daily practice…

Here is another…

What is Open Source Culture?