The hackers have gone soft

I hang out on a couple of tech communities. Everywhere I look I keep seeing people building the same boring things. It feels like diversity is dead.

One may argue that the reason for so many similar looking projects is due to the natural emergence of many smaller iterations of popular mainstream ideas.

But, when an ant colony runs out of food, it is the ants that stray off the lines that are most likely to find the new food source. That’s how randomness drives creativity.

I wish it was more common for us to see whacky and totally random ideas being brought to life just for the heck of it. Why don’t we? Are we too afraid of failure?

3 explanations are possible.

  1. Unimaginative trolls have become a majority in our communities.
  2. The systems are designed to highlight popular ideas [0] only. (votes)
  3. Our 'pulpit-mounters' now have vested short-term interests.

Whatever be the case, we are all guilty of blatant over-optimization for what is in front of us that is known, at the cost of that which is unknown and lies ahead.

The divergent ants have gone into hiding because we keep trampling over their motivation to imagine, express and create. Worrying times indeed.