Post-meritocracy

The Cancer that is Coraline is truly the Black Plague of technology. Now xit has authored a manifesto of post-meritocracy, complete with the core values and principles of xit’s philosophy of mediocrity:

  • We do not believe that our value as human beings is intrinsically tied to our value as knowledge workers. Our professions do not define us; we are more than the work we do.
  • We believe that interpersonal skills are at least as important as technical skills.
  • We can add the most value as professionals by drawing on the diversity of our identities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Homogeneity is an antipattern.
  • We can be successful while leading rich, full lives. Our success and value is not dependent on exerting all of our energy on contributing to software.
  • We have the obligation to use our positions of privilege, however tenuous, to improve the lives of others.
  • We must make room for people who are not like us to enter our field and succeed there. This means not only inviting them in, but making sure that they are supported and empowered.
  • We have an ethical responsibility to refuse to work on software that will negatively impact the well-being of other people.
  • We acknowledge the value of non-technical contributors as equal to the value of technical contributors.
  • We understand that working in our field is a privilege, not a right. The negative impact of toxic people in the workplace or the larger community is not offset by their technical contributions.
  • We are devoted to practicing compassion and not contempt. We refuse to belittle other people because of their choices of tools, techniques, or languages.
  • The field of software development embraces technical change, and is made better by also accepting social change.
  • We strive to reflect our values in everything that we do. We recognize that values that are espoused but not practiced are not values at all.

It would be amusing if technical people began imposing this manifesto of mediocrity in non-technical areas. If interpersonal skills are as important as technical skills in the tech industry, are not technical skills as important as interpersonal skills in the service industry?

And given what we now know about social media causing depression, how can any ethical person work for either Facebook or Twitter?


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