(sorry for adding yet another meta discussion folks, but since we’re trying to keep collaboration up I figured it was about time)Summary
Deprecate the culture tag.Context
Here’s a listing of the last 15 or 16
culture stories, going back a few weeks from the time of this writing:
| Upvotes | Downvotes | Comments | Comment/net vote ratio | Story | |-------|--------|-------------|------------------ |-----| | 2 | 0 | 2 | 1.0 | [Pandora's Vox Redux (1994)](https://lobste.rs/s/t2idnk/pandora_s_vox_redux_1994)| | 2 | 0 | 0 | 0 | [ActivityPub: Past, Present, Future](https://lobste.rs/s/jfjd5p/activitypub_past_present_future)| | 4 | 0 | 0 | 0 | [Spawnfest 2019 Submissions](https://lobste.rs/s/sijbw9/spawnfest_2019_submissions)| | 30 | 13 | 34 | 2 | [It's time programmers talked about ethics](https://lobste.rs/s/onyvea/it_s_time_programmers_talked_about_ethics)| | 19 | 0 | 14 | 0.736 | [Thoughts on improving chat systems](https://lobste.rs/s/5cxjxw/thoughts_on_improving_chat_systems)| | 74 | 36 | 82 | 0.463 | ['Everyone should have a moral code' Says Developer Who Deleted Code Sold to ICE](https://lobste.rs/s/yy5vf0/everyone_should_have_moral_code_says)| | 5 | 0 | 6 | 1.2 | [What's Wrong with the Tech Interview Process?](https://lobste.rs/s/hvey8q/what_s_wrong_with_tech_interview_process)| | 4 | 0 | 0 | 0 | [The Power of "Yes, If": Iterating on Squarespace's RFC Process](https://lobste.rs/s/box3d5/power_yes_if_iterating_on_squarespace_s)| | 2 | 0 | 14 | 7 | [Freeing Software](https://lobste.rs/s/xlpods/freeing_software)| | 3 | 3 | 1 | +Inf | [The viral self app ImageNet Roulette seemed fun -- until it called me a racist slur](https://lobste.rs/s/xca16u/viral_selfie_app_imagenet_roulette)| | 13 | 0 | 16 | 1.23 | [Would the Internet Be Healthier Without 'Like' Counts?](https://lobste.rs/s/6recff/would_internet_be_healthier_without_like)| | 2 | 0 | 0 | 0 | [2019 EFF Pioneer Awards Transcripts: William Gibson, Danah Boyd, Adam Savage, Cindy Cohn](https://lobste.rs/s/fcxlqr/2019_eff_pioneer_awards_transcripts)| | 2 | 0 | 2 | 1 | [How to Pay Remote Workers](https://lobste.rs/s/fm96bm/how_pay_remote_workers)| | 51 | 36 | 209 | 13.933 | [Remove Richard Stallman](https://lobste.rs/s/yxj6cd/remove_richard_stallman) | | 1 | 1 | 0 | NaN | [Forward motion](https://lobste.rs/s/8nai5s/forward_motion) | | 18 | 0 | 13 | 0.722 | [What is it like to work remotely as a software developer?](https://lobste.rs/s/bzpljh/what_is_it_like_work_remotely_as_software)|
(sorry about that, apparently Lobsters doesn’t do tables in markup. :( )Problems
Problems with the existing culture tag, seen in the above list.It gets misused (compare with
culture tag often kinda gets lumped onto things that aren’t primarily about tech culture. From the examples above, we see:
philosophytag, which is arguably a better fit for discussions of ethics.
I acknowledge that I’m really picky about tagging–but for whatever reason this seems to be a trend in that dataset (affecting about a third of the data points).It attracts news stories.
Oftentimes it looks like news stories are brought in under the
event(one of the two forms of news, the other being
release, that we explicitly include via tags).
So, something like 20% of the submissions in our sample here were news or news-adjacent. Because Reasons, articulated elsewhere (though currently offline, it’s archived) I believe that news is a good way to get lots of junk submissions that produce a lot of smoke but little heat. That said, a fuller explanation is outside what I want to cover here.It attracts stories that result in unkind discussion and behavior.
The Stallman katamari is a great example of this, spawning additional vitriol that leaked into other threads.
Further, having culture submissions often seems to result in political submissions, and if you believe that politics is at its core frequently about power relationships it may come as no surprise that discussions of those topics lead heated discussion–either the underdogs complaining/speaking truth to power, or the authorities punching down/reinforcing their positions. Neither is likely to be civil.It is covered extensively outside of Lobsters.
Cultural discussions are all over the place. TechCrunch. The Orange Site. /g/ on 4chan. Ars Technica. Reddit. The Daily Beast. El Reg. The New York Times. Wired. Vox. Vice. Youtube comments.
There is no shortage of places to
argue about politely discuss technical culture.
I’d suggest that we should retire
culture for a while and see if that helps improve the community experience.