Linus Torvalds, inventor and lead developer of the Linux kernel, recently stepped down “temporarily” from his role in the Linux project due to controversy surrounding his management style. The New Yorker published an article (archived) about it right after Torvalds’ announcement. Torvalds’ decision to take some time away from his project had a lot to do with questions asked by The New Yorker in the days prior to his announcement. Either Torvalds was planning “his decision” in advance together with others, possibly including the Linux Foundation, or, Torvalds got afraid of the possible negative reactions that an article by The New Yorker would produce, and decided to preempt their article with his announcement.
I’ve always been a fan of Torvalds’ highly critical and no-nonsense management style, and I believe that it’s that management style that contributed the most to the success and quality of Linux. In fact I think that if I had the privilege of working with Torvalds I would have become so much better at programming. It’s very much comparable to Steve Jobs’ management style at Apple. Here’s Torvalds explaining why he has this specific management style, quoted from The New Yorker:
Until this weekend, Torvalds had not only defended his aggressive behavior but insisted that it contributed to Linux’s runaway success. “If you want me to ‘act professional,’ I can tell you that I’m not interested,” he wrote in 2013, in response to a prominent Linux contributor, Sage Sharp, who demanded on a public e-mail list that Torvalds stop using “physical intimidation, verbal threats or verbal abuse” in his e-mails. “I’m sitting in my home office wearign [sic] a bathrobe,” Torvalds wrote. “The same way I’m not going to start wearing ties, I’m also not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because THAT is what ‘acting professionally’ results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways.”
“Acting professional” is really just another way of saying “act politically correct.” It’s manipulative, deceptive, disingenuous, fake and it leads to all kinds of trouble as Torvalds mentions. The real question everyone should be asking themselves is how Torvalds went from that statement in 2013, to the one below a few days ago:
This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of not understanding emotions. My flippant attacks in emails have been both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me. I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.
The above is basically a long-winded way to get to the somewhat painful personal admission that hey, I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely.
So all of a sudden Torvalds decided that being “professional” is desirable knowing full well what that actually means?
If you ask me, and I’m going to assume you are, this stinks. The only explanation for this 180 degree change in opinion from someone as rational as Torvalds is that a group of people and/or companies probably put a lot of pressure on Torvalds, and it won’t surprise me if some kind of blackmail was involved as well. It’s well known that they’ve tried to get Torvalds into traps in the past (and failed). The below quote is from a 2015 post by Eric Raymond:
“They have made multiple runs at him.” Just let the implications of that sink in for a bit. If my source is to be believed (and I have found him both well-informed and completely trustworthy in the past) this was not a series of misunderstandings, it was a deliberately planned and persistent campaign to frame Linus and feed him to an outrage mob.
I have to see it as an an attempt to smear and de-legitimize the Linux community (and, by extension, the entire open-source community) in order to render it politically pliable.
Linus hasn’t spoken out about this; I can think of several plausible and good reasons for that. And the Ada Initiative shut down earlier this year. Nevertheless, this report is consistent with reports of SJW dezinformatsiya tactics from elsewhere and I think it would be safest to assume that they are being replicated by other women-in-tech groups.
It’s similar to how a few days ago 3D gun pioneer Cody Wilson also became wanted for “sexual assault”; it seems the US government, through entrapment, finally found a more effective way to attack him and stop his efforts of getting 3D printed guns to people via the Internet. And of course, this is very similar to what happened to Jacob Applebaum and Julian Assange. You would hope that activists and open-source leaders would have learned by now to avoid such traps, where sexuality and women are (ab)used to damage people’s reputations and gain power over them.
In the case of Torvalds, the agenda appears to be to get more “diversity” into the Linux development community and corrupt the highly rational, moral, ethical and quality standards when it comes to their code. They started by weakening and basically castrating the project lead after many attempts over a period of years, and somehow found a way (again, possibly through some kind of manipulation or blackmail) to let him accept the introduction of a new “Code of Conduct” (CoC). Using that CoC, they now appear to go after individuals in the Linux development community who pose a problem to their plans of weakening and p0wning the code. For example, one of the first people they went after using the CoC is Theodore Ts’o who resisted an Intel backdoor in Linux in the past. The “diversity”, “women-in-tech” and CoC crap is simply being used as a political attack vector to get their way.
Only Torvalds really knows why he made the fucking stupid 180 degree turn and changed his mind. Was he afraid of the controversy that The New Yorker would cause? Were some of their “questions” and remarks threatening to him? Remember:
Torvalds’s decision to step aside came after The New Yorker asked him a series of questions about his conduct for a story on complaints about his abusive behavior discouraging women from working as Linux-kernel programmers.
Was it because he was afraid of the Linux project losing most or possibly all of its funding and destroying his reputation because of the pressure and controversy, similar to what happened many times to others recently in the #metoo movement? Were there other things that were used against him in some kind of blackmail? Or perhaps a combination of all of these possibilities? It would be interesting to find out.
What is very clear is that Torvalds got fucking castrated and lost his balls. This is not the Linus Torvalds we’ve known for the last 30 years. Man the fuck up, Torvalds, and face your opposition. Don’t let groups of irrational people suffering from severe mental damage due to sexual repression destroy your 30 years of hard work. The very least you could do is be honest about what the fuck is actually happening right now. If you can’t even do that, and if you’re not willing to step up and fight for what’s right, then in your own words simply “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” and “Please just kill yourself now”.
Update 24/9/2018: This post got banned on “Hacker” News. Political correctness and “diversity” man, that shit is like cancer. Most tech people in Silicon Valley appear to be braindead.