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Pull-requesting the enemy

I was just about to email a maintainer of a repo about some programming stuff but then I realized that the guy was a denier of the mass incarcerations in Xinjiang. 🤦🏻‍♀️

In the 90s, 00s I wouldn’t’ve hesitated one second to work on code with someone with political differences. I thought it was a good thing that there were areas in life like code and boardgames where we could cooperate without harming each other.

But it feels like politics have gotten so extreme. It used to be that the enemy were the “no we wanna lower taxes for the rich” and now it’s all “no we’re about to annihilate such-and-such minority”.

To be fair, it’s not just the world that’s changed. I’ve changed too.

I was the one with extreme politics—at the time I was ancom, vegan, copyright abolitionist—so I was used to living & coexisting in a world where almost no-one agreed. But now I’ve finally bubbled up and echo-chambered-up enough that I can be in a place where eating plants and copying tapes is not seen as weird. That makes “working with the enemy” less of an everyday thing and more of a stretch.

I sometimes wish I could get back to the mindset of working with everyone, by somehow making a large enough disclaimer that I disagreed or whatever.

But, again, it’s not just me. Even back then there were lines I would never cross, and these days FOSS is so big that people way beyond those lines are running repos. Not happy about that.