I went to a ham radio club meeting tonight and it got me to think about club dynamics. Sometimes things go smoothly, but there’s often someone coming in and trying to change the power structure. They want more power, sometimes without knowing why they want it. I can describe a lot of things using the “club model,” including Open Source programming projects and politics.
I don’t know how this got me to think about this odd “Ivy League Plus” mailing list I bailed out of. They even have a disclaimer and refused to start the list until their lawyers looked over the disclaimer. I left after seeing too many people chastised for asking innocent questions. The final straw for me was when the list queen slapped some people down who wanted to meet to discuss politics. She demanded that the list not be used to make political statements, even when no one had made any statement other than what Chinese restaurant they were going to meet in. Come on. What a control freak.
Of course, when I left, I made a comment about how I, “enjoyed watching yuppies in their natural habitat, a list made by lawyers for lawyers,” and that really cheesed the yuppies off.
I didn’t think anything about the Ivy league freaks until I got an email from a guy who got kicked off the list. Someone asked for “Humane Rat Catchers” and he replied that rats usually got poison (describing the actions of Warfarin in less detail than my biochemistry teacher) and then described prairie dog hunting. Come on. Everyone west of the Mississippi knows about prairie dog hunting, don’t they? They kicked him off for being intolerant and disrespectful.
I’ve come to find that the guy who got kicked off the list is the President of a large, visible local company (and possibly a bit of a redneck). How can you live in Oregon without tolerating rednecks?