All posts in Ethics and Values

Open Source World

by Ian Dunn

TED Radio Hour has a great episode about the pre-technology roots of the ideas behind today’s Open Source movement, and how they’re being applied beyond the digital realm, to things like architecture, deep-sea rovers, and even democracy itself.

The Web We Lost

by Ian Dunn

The Web We Lost does a great job of contrasting the values of today’s big tech companies and the values that made the Internet and Web so radically different from the mediums it replaced. The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people,… [more]

Internet Slowdown

by Ian Dunn

Today is the Internet Slowdown , to show support for Net Neutrality . If you want to participate, you can install the Cat Signal plugin on your WordPress.org site, or enable the setting for your WordPress.com blog .

Walled Gardens

by Ian Dunn

Jeff Atwood makes  a compelling argument  that the ideology and values behind private social networks (e.g., Facebook) conflict with the core values of the Internet, and that they’re doomed to fail.

Challenges for the WordPress Community as it Matures

by Ian Dunn

Mike Jordan’s post on the WordPress community has some great insight and challenging thoughts. The truth is, however, that our community does not have these rare traits simply because its members are just that awesome. The primary reason that our community is so approachable, is that for the first several years of its life we had to be approachable to encourage growth. Now that… [more]

The Values Behind Startup Culture

by Ian Dunn

What Your Culture Really Says is a compelling peak behind the startup culture curtain. This is not a critique of the practices themselves, which often contribute value to an organization. This is to show a contrast between the much deeper, systemic cultural problems that are rampant in our startups and the materialistic trappings that can disguise them.

Sexual Harassment at WordCamps

by Ian Dunn

It’s really disheartening to read stories like this coming out of the WordPress community, but kudos to Sarah for speaking out about it. We all need to be more aware of these issues and look for ways to prevent things like this from happening in the future.

The Importance of Taking Time Off Work

by Ian Dunn

Seth Bannon’s article on taking vacations is a great reminder of how important it is to take time off, and that you should never feel guilty for it. I didn’t take enough time off last year, even though I could have, so I’m going to try and plan out some more time in advance this year.

The Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming

by Ian Dunn

The Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming  are very insightful, and worth revisiting from time to time.

Something to Keep in Mind

by Ian Dunn

“Nothing recedes like success.” – Walter Winchell

They Had This Beautiful Office…

by Ian Dunn

I love this quote about Ani DeFranco from Small Giants : IRS Records wanted to sign Ani, and we went to see them in Los Angeles. They had this beautiful office. I thought, ‘Who’s paying for this?’ I couldn’t see anything they had that we really needed. IRS had a phone; we had a phone. IRS had… [more]

How WordPress Saves Lives: Freedom, Hope and Custom Post Types

by Ian Dunn

Paul Clark’s presentation at WordCamp Phoenix 2013 is a must-watch for any developer who’s interested in using technology to advance human rights and social justice. He describes how his team used open-source technologies to help a human-rights organization in Burma manage their information in ways that have a direct impact on their mission and the lives of the people they support.

Negativity and Meanness in Online Communities

by Ian Dunn

Here’s a thoughtful and insightful post by Jen Mylo on negativity and meanness in online communities .

Sidestepping the Debate About Quotas

by Ian Dunn

Lately we’ve been having a discussion within the Seattle WordPress Meetup about how to be more inclusive, and welcome people who are traditionally under-represented or discouraged from participating in tech communities. During the discussion, Mark Root-Wiley linked to an article by Courtney Stanton where she describes how she was able to get women to represent half of the speakers at her tech conference , something that many conference organizers… [more]

Maintaining Personal Integrity in Your Career

by Ian Dunn

Barry Eisler asks some tough questions in this essay on journalistic integrity , and I think they can also be applied to working on the Web, or in any industry. I like to think of myself as having strong standards for what types of clients and projects I take on, but after reading the article, I’m left questioning some decisions I’ve… [more]

Discouraging Trolls

by Ian Dunn

Jeff Atwood wrote a fascinating article on different methods to use to discourage trolling on social websites , including some discussion of their ethical merits. I wasn’t aware of slowbanning and hellbanning before, but I think they’re very clever ideas.  

Success in Business

by Ian Dunn

Here’s a great quote from Jeff Atwood’s post on why he decided to step back from Stack Exchange : I finally realized that success at the cost of my children is not success. It is failure.

Pushing Back Against Unreasonable Employer Demands

by Ian Dunn

I just read a good article on work/life balance from Kendall Guillemette. It’s encouraging to hear others in the industry pushing back against the sense of entitlement many employers have regarding our time (which is to say, our lives). I think the 40-hour work week was one of the most important advances of the labor movement, but it seems like so many… [more]

Another Obtuse Attempt to Control the Internet

by Ian Dunn

Check out Mark Jaquith’s post on the PROTECT IP Act for a basic rundown on why it’s bad and what you can do to help stop it.

What Really Motivates Us

by Ian Dunn

Dan Pink’s talk at RSA presents some really interesting ideas about what really motivates people to work. Contrary to popular opinion among management, mainstream studies reveal that people don’t really care about making more money, as long as they have enough to meet their basic needs. What really drives us is mastering our craft, having autonomy and knowing that our work… [more]