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Steve Sether

A man wearing many hats. Developer, Security expert, DBA, business analyst. Trying to see a larger picture.

I'm critical of the SE system and mentality. SE seems to encourage this idea of cannonical answers, and doesn't encourage discussion. Discussion is one of the best ways for people to learn, and is especially useful when there's no clear answers,or answers aren't entirely appropriate. The gamification of SE is also clearly broken.

I've found one other person who've come to very similar conclusions explained here. Mr. Richter does a far better job at explaining the things I've only got a toehold on. Here's a teaser that I found especially insightful:

This changed slowly but surely in the way that all "community moderated" things change. Here is the recipe that all such "community-driven" approaches almost, but not quite, invariably follow:

  1. A wide-open community based on "merit" is built.
  2. The community gets a kernel of users who build up "merit" by virtue of, basically, being obsessive twerps.
  3. As this kernel of "serious" users builds up its influence, they start to modify what the standards of the community are to match their own desires.
  4. These standards get enforced on other members of the community who lack sufficient "merit" (read: who have a life outside the site) to fight back.
  5. The tenor of the community changes to match the notions of the obsessive, but "meritous" minority.
  6. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Still, I enjoy parts of the SE community, and still learn something from the Security community here, so the deep flaws are worth the benefits.

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