Yes Linus Torvalds is an asshole and the world is better because of it.

In short Linus's acid takes on code quality over developer fee fee's might be one of the things that has made the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux project such a long lasting open source success and in my opinion the risk of him falling for all this "let's be nice and non offensive" bs trend may impact negatively on code quality.

Being an asshole has it's downsides and it's not always the best response, I'll give you that, but personally I think most of us who are viewed as assholes are seen like that because we put quality over convenience, facts before feelings and dedication over mediocrity; it is not because we hate you, it's because we measure ourselves with the same stick.

It depends on one's character, but when you've been toughened up because of bullying(I don't doubt many devs have been since being a nerd has never been hip) or life in general, you learn to stop whining & pick yourself up and you expect everyone to be competitive and competent as you are and it gets frustrating to manage people who don't fulfill your expectations.

Pros: You get shit done and you do it well.
Cons: People won't like you and you don't tolerate failure (much less mediocrity).

Yes Linus is an asshole, my coach was an asshole, some of my best teacher's have been assholes, I had friends who were assholes, heck I'm an asshole!

But I thank them because they made me better than I was, just as people have thanked me for being the right amount of asshole.

A warm thank you and fuck you Linus, keep being the asshole we need.

  • 25
    Should mail this to him.
  • 3
    I sort of agree.
    What he him self said is that some of his comments tend to be directly personal and that not only doesn't belong in a technical debate, it can be insulting, completely unnecessary.
  • 11
    As of my own experience, been an asshole in the professional side is the best way to get results quickly.
    Just dont forget to be kind from time to time 😜
  • 8
    House is purposefully written as a likable villain. You're supposed to envy his boldness but never emulate it. No human could operate like that in the real world. We have consequences in the real world.
  • 8
  • 12
    He's not the asshole we deserve, he's the asshole we need.
  • 4
    Except that he's not always right. He can be an asshole to people who have good points and are correct, just because they disagree with his vision. Not to mention you don't have to be an asshole to be correct, and you don't have to be an asshole to be a genius.
  • 5
    I don't know why, but after knew that, I feel kinda depressed...

    I wish I could explain. Maybe it's the world saying that don't matter what you do, you must be kind with everyone even if they bring harm in some way. Or that you can't be deeply (emotionally/existencially) attached to something, even if it's your life's work, because the primary goal of everything is to make people feel good.

    Some bursts of him I saw with good reasons (a.k.a I could feel empathy for the guy).

    If a guy like Linus needs to get out of the 'scene'/society to polish about the way to deal with the mankind, I guess I need to be locked down forever.
  • 5
    I concur. Love House and Linus.
  • 8
    I'd like to welcome all to the fucked up world of political correctness 🖕🖕🖕
  • 1
    @Cheeseypi I agree, being an asshole is not always the best course of action but as I explained sometimes it forged into your character, also I like to distinguish between douche bags, some people are assholes but don't have a point to it they just are. I don't really think Linus was 100% like them.
  • 6
    I disagree. In 20 years of industry, I havn't used scatology and four letter words in professional communication, and the projects worked. It's perfectly possible to make oneself crystal clear in a professional manner. You just don't need to retroactively abort people when criticising bad code.

    As for the bullying experience - yeah, I had to deal with that indeed, and that's a big reason why I don't want that shit in my life ever again. I'll either retaliate or leave, but I won't submit because I have learnt that giving bully assholes their ways makes things only worse.

    The Linux kernel suffers from a shortage of maintainers. Drive-by contributors come, submit and go, as Torvalds admitted at the Linuxcon already in 2015, because there aren't enough people who want to put up with that bullshit as daily job - most kernel devs are paid guns, remember.
  • 4
    @Fast-Nop I agree that Linus should tone down his words, there is no need to get personal in programming but I'm also saying I know where he comes from, he just needs to learn how to manage people diplomatically which is a hard skill to learn.

    I hope the Linux projects gets more devs as long as they produce the same quality of work.
  • 1
    @fast-nop Things have changed since 2015. If you look at recent statistics, over 90% of contributions to linux kernel come from emplyed ppl: companies are using linux and improving it along the way. Contributors are getting payed to improve linux.
  • 2
    @ravijojila things havn't changed. Please re-read my comment what the shortage actually refers to. It's not contributors, just as in 2015.
  • 4
    @JKyll there’s a line.

    Acceptable asshole: this code fucking sucks. And here’s why it sucks

    Unacceptable asshole: this code sucks. Kill yourself
  • 2
    @jeeper both have the same effect

    Weak minded: *cryes* and quits the project

    Strong minded: fuck you! Now you tell me what can be done better if at all!

    If you ever train for a highly competitive sport even scratching the semi professional level you'd get me when I say it's tough love ( not the kys part that's uncreative ).
  • 0
    My appologies dear sir, I didn't pay enough attention.
  • 3
    Just read up on personality a vs personality b. Your brain is just wired differently, so no need to feel a special snowflake.

    Also, this idea of being a righteous asshole is cringy af. Most of these righteous assholes are just nerds with ptsd and anger management issues, and more than half of the time even though their work might be good, amount is shit
  • 2
    @zemaitis first of all that's what my rant is about personality, that some people can't cope with the stress of being a dev or can't handle mean comments makes them the special snowflake as they are the minority.

    Righteous or not, assholes or not, they are good at what they do and produce quality work. At the end of the day companies, users and you just want your device to work properly and consistently if being harsh (not unnecessarily harsh) is the way you get those results so be it.

    Stop whining, get with the program.
  • 3
    @JKyll I disagree. Linus said “retroactively aborted” but that’s just a dog whistle for kill yourself. Yea, that’s taking it too far. I’m on your side for saying a community needs some assholes to make it work, but we need exactly 0 people encouraging Suicuide or inciting violence because somebody tried to push bad code.
  • 3
    @jeeper I think assholery is quite different from leadership. Leadership isn't coercing people into doing what you want them to do. It's rather making people WANT what you want them to do. That's how you get great teamwork.
  • 3
    @jeeper if you think he's a douchebag just tell him "hey you are a dick" and walk away. I'd honestly retaliate at least jokingly, I don't take shit from my father let alone Linus Torvalds.

    If he is able to talk shit then he's able to take it, it's the internet after all, if not he's the pussy not you.
  • 5
    @JKyll if you are an employed dev, like 90% of Linux kernel devs are, and you use your company account to tell Torvalds he's a dick, then you'd better be prepared for an immediate talk with your disciplinary manager at your company. This asymmetry is what makes things really nasty. You can't talk back.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop interesting, I'd honestly still do it no job is worth taking it up the ass, it would also be my company's fault for not letting me reply so fuck them.

    Plus fuck it I'll gladly talk with the disciplinary manager all day long, heck I'll record it and let people know how shitty X company is. But I wouldn't demand people to change, they'll do in time like Linus has learned, but I'm not morally superior to anyone to demand a code of conduct that protects my feelings and politics. That's kind of my point with the rant ig.
  • 5
    @JKyll e.g. the US has a hire & fire mentality. If you need the job because you got a house to pay or even worse, alimony (threatened by jail if failing to pay!), then there's a lot that hangs on a job.

    Getting fired over a public dispute with Torvalds would make finding another job even more difficult because other companies don't want such an employee since they see him as troublemaker. Him, not Torvalds.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop there is always a way and even if your case resembles that, I would guess you have way more important stuff to worry about than a mean comment from Linus, it might be a big name in open source but that's about it.
  • 2
    Amazing rant. Have my favorite! The world sure as hell needs to step away from this whole recent PC nature, especially in development where SJW's have only impeded but never contributed. When it even affected Linus Torvalds - my favorite asshole next to AlexDeLarge (RIP to him as well) perhaps it wouldn't be all that bad to put my fingers onto the live wires... This world is clearly going downfall exponentially, and so is the amount of people with an actual brain in their head.
  • 1
    @Condor smh when saying “maybe don’t tell people to kill themselves” is now social justice warring
  • 2
    @jeeper I've ranted countless times about certified enganeers of which the shit that I have to cope with IMO warrants them hanging themselves on a piece of their spaghetti. If I can do it, you can bet your ass that Linus Torvalds can do it too. Shitcode has no place in the Linux kernel. Sure it can be told more professionally.. but Linux was never professional in its development in the first place, was it?
  • 2
    @jeeper kys is something 12 year olds say through their mics when playing video games, imo it's one of the lamest insults you could utter and being the adult in those situations really counts.

    The actual SJW shit can be read on their new code of conduct and as @Condor points out politics seeping through every crack and domain won't end well.
  • 1
    @RantSomeWhere luckily the booze didn't shut down my brain that much 😛 but maybe I'll need to run the most important places like the bench (where live wires are most accessible) through a relay 🤔
    Also there's too many SJW fuckers to prove wrong for any of us white cis males to die yet 😁
  • 1
    @Condor you aren’t supervising a community of microshit engineers so the context is a little fucking different
  • 2
    @jeeper of course, but I'd tell Microshit enganeers to fuck right off just the same 🙃 they can leave their crap to WanBLowS!
  • 2
    Why people above talk about anuses?
  • 3
    @Pogromist because talking about dicks and cunts is sexist now. ;-)
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