GandhiCon

From Academic Kids

GandhiCon is a concept in hacker culture.

There is a quotation from Mohandas Gandhi, describing the stages of establishment resistance to a winning strategy of nonviolent activism, that partisans of open source and especially Linux have embraced as almost an explanatory framework for the behaviors they observe while trying to get corporations and other large institutions to take new ways of doing things seriously:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

In hacker usage this quote has miscegenated with the U.S. military's DefCon terminology describing "defense conditions" or degrees of war alert. At GandhiCon One, the subject is being ignored. At GandhiCon Two, opponents are derisive and dismissing the idea that the person in question could ever be a threat. At GandhiCon Three, they are compelled to fight the issue in question on the merits and/or by attempting to discredit the challenger. At GandhiCon Four, the subject is winning and the opponents are arguing merely to save face or stave off complete collapse of their position.

Interestingly, this is a reversal of the DefCon terminology as DefCon 5 is the most "relaxed", and DefCon 1 indicates highest alert.

Source

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