Thursday, July 14, 2005

Moderation in all things

Mike Spille blogs about computer folks' tendency to adhere to extremist positions on technologies and methodologies, as well as their tendency to jump to opposite extremes when they get burned. That tired "considered harmful" meme is one of the sounds you hear immediately preceding legions of lemming programmers making the leap.


Anonymous said...


This phenomenon doesn't just apply to programmers, either. I've seen this happen to lots of other folks, with varying effects. As Mark Rosenfelder says in his essay on libertarianism, "People who leave one ideological extreme usually end up at the other [....] If you're the sort of person who likes absolutes, you want them even if all your other convictions change."

An interesting question is whether programmers (or technical people in general) are more prone to this sort of behavior than average. It seems plausible, because dealing with computers and logic (that need everything spelled out in black and white) might favor that kind of mindset. But I have no real evidence one way or the other on that.

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