Why is the RoR community so outraged at all the DHH/Basecamp stuff?

It seems the RoR community is united against DHH right now, at least on Twitter. But why is that?

Over the last few days I've seen people calling him:

- QAnon
- An anti vaxxer
- A white supremacist

And several prominent maintainers have now quit. I find it all so bizarre, just from the guy telling his employees they can't discuss politics at work.

I followed all of the Basecamp controversies pretty closely, and I really don't get why people are so outraged at the guy -- at least for any of this.

The QAnon thing and anti vaxx thing don't make sense, at all. I listened to an interview recently where he said he's triple jabbed, and I'm not exactly getting QAnon vibes? He's also incredibly -- vocally -- left wing.

And white supremacist? Really? The funny names list thing is bad, but wasnt that his employees, not him, keeping the list? And it apparently the majority of the names on that list were white European names, so I don't see how that makes him a white supremacist?

Honestly all of this kinda reinforces why Basecamp probably enforced the no politics rule to begin with. I've lived the RoR community for a long time but some of the members -- it has to be said, American ones in particular -- seem like fragile babies who can't handle someone disagreeing with them.

Is this maybe a culture difference? I know Americans are usually a bit more hyper partisan than their European brethren.

6 thoughts on “Why is the RoR community so outraged at all the DHH/Basecamp stuff?”

  1. People in the west have lost their mind. I lived in Indonesia for a while and people are less serious about these sort of things.

    The west is harming itself. People say that they believe in right to speak, but can’t listen to thoughts different from theirs.

    Left is a tribe that wants everyone to speak the same language and have same thoughts.

    Right is a tribe that wants everyone to look like them

  2. I think a lot of people in the United States are just very irrationally polarized at the moment. It’s pretty sad actually.. impossible to have conversations that even stray from the ‘woke’ narrative.

    >It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

    \- Aristotle

  3. This feels like a straw man to me. Literally none of the people who have left Rails have said they’ve done so because of Davids politics. David is trying to spin this narrative about being cancelled but that’s clearly not what’s happening.

    David’s political opinions are about as spicy as a lukewarm take in The Economist. People will always try to fight the culture war, but this situation is easy to understand without bringing politics into it.

    I’m concerned because 5 important contributors have felt the need the step away or step down because of David. That should concern you, too.

  4. The US has a different culture for sure. And it’s really hard to say something without getting into weird political issues, as you’ve described.

    Personally I admire DHH for all his work, and I’ll continue to do so. I don’t really care about any of the politics or the cereal brand he had for breakfast 🙂

  5. I think this reflects a larger theme in Western political discourse right now. For some reason political discussion quickly goes to accusations of extremes. DHH is essentially getting cancelled right now. While the maintainers who quit are very vocal, there are many developers who just want to stay out of politics and code. As someone who thinks highly of DHH’s work as an engineer, I really hope that this does not destroy Rails as a platform.


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