On Codes of Conduct
Post from December 13, 2019 (↻ August 3, 2021), filed under Everything Else.
This post was once called “No Codes of Conduct.” In it I shared the idea that “our individual values and initiative, our social norms, and our legal systems” should be “sufficient to govern our conduct,” so that we “treat each other respectfully.”
When we would treat each other respectfully, I suggested, we would not need codes of conduct. The ideal world that I painted consisted of people who care about another; who care about each other much more than not to harass or infringe on anyone.
Some readers misconstrued the idea. They read absurd statements in it, they made grotesque interpretations: They took wishing for a world in which we treat each other well for desiring a world in which people, especially women, could be harassed with impunity. They missed the aggressiveness of their insinuation, they missed the obvious contradiction—that if we all treat each other well, we do not treat each other poorly (as with harassing anyone). They missed that once we all treat each other well, we may not need codes that say we should not treat each other poorly.
After the responses had confused and hurt me so much that I turned defensive and unpublished the original, this post is here to maintain the original idea: the idea, the wish, the vision of us treating each other well.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
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