Linus doesn't scale and Whonix social organization structure doesn't scale yet either

I am not comparing myself with Linus but the issue is a similar one.


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We live by 2 and need to keep deviations from 1 in check as much as possible.

Wow I never heard of half of these deceased projects we definitely got a solid track record going for us though.

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I haven’t even read a lot about his issue an potential solutions myself yet.

Others (Debian and other Linux distributions) managed to scale (more or less) but these solutions might not be portable to Whonix since most contributors wish to stay pseudonymous.

I am also listening https://fosdem.org/2020/schedule/event/selfish_contributor/ which also talks about this issue. He said that for a while the rule was “for every feature you want to merge, you need to review two other features” and other ways trying to handle this which he thinks are bad.

Linux is still very successful though. I suppose this falls into general organizational structure and the “business management” field of study.

Something I’ve learned about the birth of an organization: They incredibly frequently start as a one-man or one-woman mission. This correlates to all kinds of organizations. Usually, someone has a vision, an idea, funding, and starts convincing others… etc etc. Even if it’s not one, it’s usually a small group - so instead of a kingdom we have an oligarchy.

The problem is that founding an organization isn’t the same skill-set as presiding over one, but even if the founder(s) maintain successful control, eventually they must leave. The problem is - how do you replace yourself? Typically that’s impossible to create a perfect replacement, so the founder’s role is split up into several, and the founder will ‘hire and fire’ as a sort of transitional phase. The founder-CEO may have a cult of personality, and be effectively impossible to replace.

So with video gaming guilds, companies, or even governments, a huge question to answer is: will it outlive it’s founders? Frequently it will not. Monarchy did not fail because of good Kings, it failed because of bad ones, and I believe that policies, structure, and a transition of power from single executives to a larger community-based leadership historically stands the test of time. However, that’s why we see stuff like constitutions, policies, bylaws, etc.

I think Linux has founder’s syndrome. Debian has a distribution of power that has a higher likelihood of outliving Linux in that way.

Apologies if my post sounded grandiose or whatever, I just love studying organizations and how they mature and develop, and for some reason I’m seeing a link there. I started an organization at one point so I was immersed in this stuff.

tl;dr - I think this steps into a field of study, but there’s a lot of info out there. Also getting here means the project must already have grown so much. A good problem to have, right?

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Interesting read!

“still” implies they didn’t solve the issue.
https://lwn.net/Articles/393694/ was posted in 2010. Somehow they’ve sorted it out. At least somewhat. Linus has now “trusted lieutenants”.

This is now on my reading todo list:

Right. :slight_smile:

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Good reads. One thing that I believe is harmful to software projects, including Linux and its subcategories, is the adoption of so called “Codes of Conduct” . When an organization begins to do things like hire someone just because they think they have to represent a certain group, lifestyle, ideology or whatever, ultimately the project suffers. Contributors should only ever be considered based on their ability to perform the needed tasks skillfully. So-called “social justice” has absolutely NO place in development.

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Contributors should only ever be considered based on their ability to perform the needed tasks skillfully. So-called “social justice” has absolutely NO place in development.

So-called “social justice” has absolutely NO place in development.

“social justice”

Right, so, very quickly we see political events occurring externally influencing internal events here.
I believe the marcom term for that is “off-brand” or in politics “off-message.”

I’m finding it hard to succinctly convey the concept, but it’s of great importance.

Message is vitally important for scaling. After all, ideas, beliefs, values - when in a decentralized structure such as this - it’s the thoughts we share that bind us. I personally enjoy how Qubes has worked their philosophy into the very roots of the organization. I was exposed to it before even downloading an image.

“Mistrust the infrastructure.”

Philosophy, Principles, and Policies - I guess? I don’t know I just wrote that.

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