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There are few things in life more important than choosing one's peer group well. The Internet gives you many more options than we had available prior to the existence of it. Choose wisely and re-evaluate that choice periodically to see whether your peer group continues to represent your goals and values.

Why? Your peer group literally gets arbitrary code execution on your brain. (It's a flaw in MonkeyBrainOS 1.01 which we haven't patched yet.) You'll tend to find yourself valuing what they value. You will tend to find yourself achieving outcomes strikingly similar to their outcomes.

Given this, picking a peer group whose values are not your values and whose outcomes are terrible is a poor choice.

There is some cognizable peer group of "the most misanthropic 10% of commenters on Internet threads about programming languages." The majority are not professional programmers. Most are not very happy people. You can generally tell a lot about what a person values by what they spend their time doing; someone who professes to value the great intellectual challenge that is Real Programming but actually ships comments which make other people feel bad probably, to a first approximation, values making other people feel bad.

If you do not also want to grow into a values system where making other people feel bad is the highlight of your day, consider choosing a better peer group, where e.g. feeding one's family through honest labor is valued and having very loud opinions about NodeJS not so much.

If i ever met OP this is what I would tell him. There are two ways a low self esteem can materialize. One way is to put down the world to make you feel bigger than them. The other is to feel bad about yourself and proactively try to improve in anyway you can. Both might be unhealthy...but if you are like me and have a low self esteem...you are a million times better off being the second guy than the first...so you have that going for you.

The reality is that you likely noticed these negative comments and took it to heart because of deeper issues. It sounds like you had a very difficult life so far. Try to focus on the good you do. Realize that programming is a tool to create things. Creating things is the greatest thing you can do in this world. Creating is a form of giving of yourself to the world. The knowledge in your head is yours but the websites you built are a real contribution. A positive contribution. Never stop creating and giving of yourself and try to remember wheneer you see a negative comment that you are giving good to the world and that commenter is giving bad to the world. If you focus on admiring those that create and give and forget the selfish ones that take and take.. You will slowly find your self worth from the people out there who build people up not break people down.

This wont get fixed over night...but you are not alone and you are on the right track.

I wanted to say something like your comment is just 1st order making people feel bad about 0th order making people feel bad, but then I'd be 2nd order making you feel bad about 1st order making people feel bad about 0th order making people feel bad, so then I just thought about how I felt and it was bad. What a mess. Good points about the importance of choosing a good peer group, I totally agree. It's really hard when you have more than one group.

Interestingly, I've learned to love having more than one peer group. I felt like a floater all through high school and college, like I didn't belong anywhere, but around age 30 I started viewing that as a source of strength rather than of weakness, and "I belong everywhere" rather than "I don't belong anywhere". My wife and many of my close friends (that don't belong to any particular peer group) are the same way.

There's a certain irony where, although it sometimes feels lonely being a floater, such people often seem to have higher status when viewed from the outside. They're confident enough to not be defined by their peer group, after all. Few people are, and many people wish they were.

Thanks for the positivity, it's hard to remember that how you see yourself is not how others see you. Whenever other people tell me that others look up to me I'm like wtf are you talking about. I have about five major peer groups, it's kind of like the jack of all trades, master of none conundrum.

It would depend on what you were actually feeling behind your appraising comment, would it not?

On the one hand, one tacitly feels contemptuous towards the other group and tries to come across as dispassionate in their appraising comment. On the other hand, one feels considerate (or neutral) and simply calls a spade a spade in their appraising comment.

When you take the entire context of people's interactions over time into consideration, the former is likely to be hurting (overall) and the later is likely to be helping (overall) even though certain specific instances may come across as the opposite.

tl;dr - feelings and vibes (over time) matter more than words (in individual instances).

Your first sentence would be more appropriate if parent's post was directed at this subgroup.

You think you're cute, but you're missing the point.

Please don't post unsubstantive swipes at other users. If someone misses the point, explain the point, or simply don't comment.

Thank you! I've written a new language for your comment:

  <knockout_punch> ::= <personal_attack> <you're_wrong>
Its provisional name is Cute.

May I quote your first two paragraphs? I have a few people starting out as programmers who really need that kind of language to get that point to them.

Those are great, however I think "arbitrary code execution" in MonkeyBrainOS is not a flaw but working as intended. Better think twice before patching it, it may be part of this feature called empathy.

In general, please feel free to quote a reasonable amount of anything I write.

I believe you could expand your thoughts further into a longer form and be well recieved. I look forward to reading more.

Where would one go to find a better peer group? Irc?

Most of mine are face to face real people - some of those started out from blogs and IRC, in a kind of incubation stage. Some have been graduated from Twitter to a kind of incubation where I await meeting them in person before I afford them "write access to my brain". I find meeting people in person, one is able to really gauge people's personalities, passions, sense of humour, side interests and the like. And the side effect of meeting your heroes is that they appear to be just as human and fallible as yourself!

Opinions come from passion. You don't care for opinions because you are not passionate about programming. You just want to get a job done. To you, these opinions are noise.

The obvious counterexample: Linus Torvalds.

Linus is very talented. He is also a raging singularity of abuse who gets tolerated for it because he is extremely talented. I worry a little bit about logic which suggests that anyone who is insufficiently Linuxian in dealing with other people is thereby assumed simply to care less about programming.

a raging singularity of abuse

Oh, come on. We hear about an over the top email every couple of years and we discuss them endlessly. Linus gets talked about because all of his communications happen in an open record. Not that it excuses his abuse, but a "singularity"? Please. Offices I know have instances of that kind (and worse) abuse every month, if not every week.

>Linus is very talented. He is also a raging singularity of abuse

Only if you have never worked in any team outside nice cosy polite and P.C. US programmers.

And I wouldn't even consider him "abusing". He is ranty, fun, and vocal about what he thinks.

Exactly. It is not abuse to honestly review a patch or an idea, and block its progress pointing out serious deficiencies. This is just a way to assert quality, and apparently it is a very effective way - we do trust Linux.

You are not the code you write. Accept the critical comments and improve.

Honesty is not abuse. But abuse is often misrepresented as honesty, and intolerance of abuse is often misrepresented as an inability to accept useful criticism.

Anyone who is actually concerned about honesty should be able to recognize the existence of abuse and draw a clear distinction between the two. But if every time abuse is brought up, you pretend that honesty was brought up, accuse the speaker of attacking honesty and mount a defense of honesty without ever acknowledging the existence of abuse, then it is clear that you simply reclassify all instances of abuse as honesty, and are really defending abuse. As a heuristic rule of thumb, that's a strong indicator that you are yourself a habitual abuser, because other people don't have much reason to defend abuse.

Everyone screws up from time to time, but it takes faulty rationalizations to keep screwing up in the face of criticism. If you see a lot of feedback which indicates you are behaving harmfully to others, your first conclusion should not be that the people giving this feedback are against honesty and criticism. You should ask yourself why you so often seem to run afoul of this kind of feedback, and why you are so defensive about it. Attacking people for saying "this thing you do is harmful" is an indication that you yourself are not good at taking criticism. And, considering consequences, it's probably even more important to be able to take criticism on doing active harm to others than to take criticism on the importance of garbage collection.

You have a valid point. It is, indeed, possible and often quite easy to misclassify abuse as criticism. However, I disagree with this part:

> Considering consequences, it's probably even more important to be able to take criticism on doing active harm to others than to take criticism on the importance of garbage collection.

All three major operating systems, this is Windows, Mac OS and Linux, all have or had leaders (Gates, Jobs, Torvalds) that on numerous occasions proved themselves to be harsh and very open about their criticism. One might want to say - they were/are class-A assholes. What we want to believe is one thing, but the recent history of major operating systems disagrees with your point of view.

Linus Torvalds has been pretty coarse with his lieutenants in the past, but on the other hand he does not sit around in programming forums telling novice programmers that they should feel bad because they used a language which doesn't have static typing. That is a passion, but the passion is not programming. The name for that passion is "sadism" and while some sadists program, to a first level of approximation, if the primary output of someone is public sadism then programming is at best on that person's back burner, likely not something they're actually very good at, and plausibly not something they really even do.


Frankly, I have a hard time believing that the misanthropic commenters on r/programming are major opensource contributors. The most prolific programmers simply don't have time to waste on comment threads.

"Of course, I'd also suggest that whoever was the genius who thought it was a good idea to read things ONE F★CKING BYTE AT A TIME with system calls for each byte should be retroactively aborted. Who the f★ck does idiotic things like that? How did they not die as babies, considering that they were likely too stupid to find a tit to suck on?"

- Linus Torvalds, principal author of the Linux kernel

Linus was speaking abusively there, but he wasn't just speaking abusively: there was a context. That context wasn't that Linus spends hours every week trolling Reddit by putting people down and making snarky remarks about every new project. The comparison to Linus is really irrelevant and needs to stop.

It's not irrelevant, because it continues to be used to legitimize abuse.

It's roughly put, but I sometimes wonder how people who appear to be doing really dumb things _did_ make it to adulthood....

Probably because the things they do aren't up to scrutiny. You don't know it's bad until someone/something comes along and tells you, or you just happen to discover a better way on your own (that someone else has probably already discovered). The computer doesn't shock you if you write terrible code, after all.

This is what the people of Earth call a 'joke'.

Perhaps the best part of some jokes is that half of the monkey people take these exaggerated fictions seriously and become quite upset upon processing them. This is in itself also a joke.

I pulled back from the community around some of the stuff I use for much the same reason, it's the same people telling other people they are "doing it wrong" and yet almost without fail those people aren't doing anything interesting.

The ones I still respect don't say a real lot but either have amazing blogs full of interesting stuff or repo's full of interesting and useful projects.

As my grandfather used to say "don't tell me I'm wrong, show me".

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