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Mark Smith's Journal

Work related musings of a geek.

Re: meritocracy is in fact the problem (Reply)

12.05.2012 02:47 pm (UTC)

Re: meritocracy is in fact the problem

vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
Posted by [personal profile] vass
meritocracy is not elitism
Do you actually know what 'meritocracy' means? It sounds like you think it just means a society in which merit is recognised and valued. That is not correct. The suffix '-cracy', from the Greek -κρατία, means power or rule. Democracy doesn't mean 'we like people,' it means 'rule by the people'. And meritocracy means a hierarchy with the most meritorious at the top. Government by merit.

One of the important questions this concept raises is "Meritorious at what?" The best coders? The best at governance? The thickest skins?

Having a thick skin is a very useful trait. Being resistant to physical damage is also a very useful trait. But most decent societies move on beyond "let's go around punching people in the head, and the person who loses consciousness last shall be our leader." Mainly because this doesn't actually select for the most damage-resistant people, it selects for the people who don't mind being punched in the head and actually like punching other people in the head. Everyone else leaves sooner or later.

Maybe you think that's an implementation problem, and that if we just find a better way of selecting for merit then things will work out. Maybe you don't mind the attrition rate we're getting from the current method, because (as you keep saying) there will always be assholes. But what I and other people in this thread keep telling you is, open source as it is right now is a broken, dysfunctional system.
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