For everything that is cult-like, there is a tendency among people to get divided in insider and outsider argument. Insiders are those who are following the cult and outsiders are those who are not. A couple of examples of this cult like stuff are: open source, blogging, army etc.
It is interesting to see how differently insiders and outsiders see the same thing.
Insider: Blogging is great. It is going to change the world and the way we live in this world. This is the best possible thing that has happened after fire was discovered.
Outsider: Blogging is full of shit. It is a way for some kids to come online and express their supressed emotions to faceless/unknown people. All bloggers will eventually go to a mental asylum.
Insider: Open Source is great. It is going to change the world and the way we live in this world. This is the best possible thing that has happened after fire was discovered.
Outsider: Open Source is full of bullshit. Some kids write some software somewhere, throw it open for anybody/everybody to change and feel happy about it. You can’t build great/secure/big/ software with open source.
In the debate between insider and outsider, nobody cares about proving one’s point. Nobody cares about substantiating one’s claims. It’s mostly fallacies. A statement of what they have concluded. And their conclusion statement has an emotional overtone. They talk in extremes; they talk in terms of black and white.
However, this is not how Insiders and Outsiders start. To begin with, there are no insiders and outsiders. Consider blogging. Were there any insiders or outsiders before blogging was born? No. It’s interesting how the insider Vs outsider thing starts. For the purpose of illustration, I’ll take example of blogging.
When you introduce the topic of blogging to someone, the response would most likely fall into one of the two categories: 1. it sounds interesting 2. it sounds absurd.
The first category of ‘sounds-interesting’ people try blogging. The second category of ‘sounds-absurd’ people don’t try it. The first ones become insiders as they get into blogging and start enjoying it. The second ones become outsiders as they don’t get into blogging and can’t know what it is about.
And then the insiders and outsiders have conversations. In those conversations they have arguments. The arguments start as mild ones but they get stronger. People take a firm stand and start believing that the other side just doesn’t get it. After a while, the reason is destroyed. People have already formed an opinion (insiders as well as outsiders) about the people on the other side of line.
The world gets divided in black and white. What both the sides forget here is that the world is not black and white. It has shades of grey. And more importantly, it is full of colors.