I happened to run across an interesting bit of AI history. I found it relevant with recent events, such as the Linux code of conduct discussions. Learning from history is faster than repeating it.
The linked article is worth a read, but the TLDR goes like this. In the 60s, computer scientists were betting on symbol processing as the path to strong AI -- human-like machine intelligence. An MIT philosophy professor named Hubert Dreyfus quickly realized that their aspirations were misguided. And so he set about torpedoing their ideas. History shows that he was correct for the most part, but nobody learned from his critiques simply because of the way he went about them. The industry independently arrived at the same conclusions through trial and error at a later time. Dreyfus might have advanced AI research significantly if he had expressed his criticisms differently. To quote the conclusion of the article...
McCorduck wrote, "His derisiveness has been so provoking that he has estranged anyone he might have enlightened. And that's a pity." Daniel Crevier stated that "time has proven the accuracy and perceptiveness of some of Dreyfus's comments. Had he formulated them less aggressively, constructive actions they suggested might have been taken much earlier."
Simply being correct is not enough. How I communicate with people directly affects whether they hear what I am saying. If the goal really is to improve things, spending personal effort to keep it above the flames is essential.
Note to self: work on this.