This is why we can’t have nice things

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds, the famously surly creator of the Linux operating system, has been persuaded (pressured?) to grovel and step aside from the open-source project for the sin of… being rude.

The Linux community is probably the closest thing to a pure meritocracy that has ever existed on this earth. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Linux kernel powers every Android device on the planet, as well as most supercomputers, Amazon, Google, the New York Stock Exchange, the Japanese high-speed rail system and the US nuclear submarine fleet.

This is not hard to understand. A society that throws its geniuses under the bus to cater to the ever-changing whims and feelings of the mediocre, will rapidly cease to enjoy the benefits of genius. Once that happens, not only will progress grind to a halt, but the complex machinery of civilization will begin to fall apart, as the genius-hostile society loses the ability to solve large-scale problems.

Only a society in the grip of terminal madness would kill the golden goose because it was rude to the other geese.

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