Mark Smith's Journal

Work related musings of a geek.

Re: meritocracy is not the problem (Reply)

11.05.2012 11:54 pm (UTC)

Re: meritocracy is not the problem

denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Posted by [staff profile] denise
The ideal of meritocracy is not a good ideal. It presumes -- it's inherent right in the comment you just typed -- that the world is divided into the worthy and the unworthy and those divisions are eternal, perpetual, fixed, and unchanging.

If the open source world used "meritocracy" as "a method of encouraging and enabling everyone to perpetually bring their A game", that would be one thing (and something everyone could get behind). It doesn't. The concept of "meritocracy" as used in the open source world is a way of saying that most people except for the chosen few are unworthy of time, energy, effort, and even basic courtesy. It is a poisonous, insidious model that immediately discounts everyone who does not behave exactly in the way that the thought leaders of the society behave and value. It is a form of groupthink that is enforced vigorously, unhesitatingly, and with swift sanctions against those who do not adhere to it.

And it is shitty and sad, and the fact that so many people think it's something to be praised and encouraged is enough to make me despair.
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