Nasty computer scientists (again)

Autism spectrum
Autism spectrum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My gut feeling is that we are about to see another “internet bubble” burst: money has again flooded in to the development community (partly because in a recessionary environment cash is being hoarded just about everywhere else), skilled staff are in short supply and a massive IPO (Facebook) is about to happen, which will only, if temporarily, increase the frenzy.

With the bubble along come the nasties – or as one of them apparently refers to himself the “No Talent Ass-Clowns”. The person concerned, one Matt Van Horn, has probably taken enough flak for his immature and ridiculous behaviour, so I won’t focus on him, but on the more general issue of why so many poorly adjusted and socialised males are attracted to computing? (It’s for others to judge if I fall into either group here, but I think I can at least be allowed to get away with regarding myself as higher functioning if they do.)

Perhaps it is partly some self-selecting autism spectrum thing (computers do what you tell them without the burden of emotional interaction), but I also have to pin a lot of the blame on the promotion of the “hacker culture” by its high priests – whether in the Orthodox Branch – or the Reformed Wing.

Neither RMS nor ESR are particularly attractive characters, whatever their technical or marketing skills may be, so holding them up as the great paragons of the computer revolution is almost certainly counter-productive.