On Codes of Conduct

Published on December 13, 2019 (↻ July 1, 2023), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

This post was once called “No Codes of Conduct.” In it I shared the idea that “our individual values and [personal] initiative, our social norms, and our legal systems” should be “sufficient to govern our conduct,” so that we “treat each other respectfully.”

When we treated 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 simply 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 do 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After the responses had confused and hurt me so much that I turned defensive and unpublished the original, this post is here to maintain the original idea: the idea, the wish, the vision of us treating each other well.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!