I still think I am pretty bright, but definitely mentally unhinged. I work alone now, not even a part timer any more. If someone planted cameras on my property I would get hauled off to the funny farm.
Thermite's a smart guy, and perhaps the constraints on him in former occupations (as in the Army in Vietnam, where I suspect that he was smarter than a lot of senior officers) rubbed him the wrong way. And it appears he went into a career of coding after that. Coding culture can encourage immature, sophomore-in-high-school mentality. It also requires extreme focus.
There is some science that suggests when one is working on a very difficult, demanding problem (extreme focus required), that some of the emotional intelligence portions of the brain turn off. If you've ever snapped at a friend or loved one when they asked a simple question while you were focussed on a problem, that's an example (see the book "Thinking Fast and Slow" for more details - highly recommended).
Last, it's been shown that a lot of the emotional dampers we normally used in discussion are turned off when one is typing into a dialog box. Simply put, the same person is ruder on the internet in formums, than the same people face-to-face. There are things people write here that they'd never say face-to-face. Focussing on the writing turns of emotional IQ. In fact, any emotional content is lacking in written stuff on the internet. Which is why I think emojis are so prevalent.
This creates a perfect storm: a smart guy with a bit of a chip on his shoulder who has had a long and successful career in coding in which emotional IQ is not valued and in fact in which the emotional component of the brain must be turned off to do hard analytic thought, expressing himself in a medium which has no easy ability to express nuance and emphasis, allowing for statements that are way more aggressive than the writer realizes. What could go wrong?
I may be way off, so Thermite, please forgive the psychoanalysis (Most of you don't know this, but in communicating with Thermite, I found out that we are distant cousins. So, sorry if I overreached, cuz). But my points about the written word being less able to express subtlety or nuance (with emojis being a poor substitute for hearing a persons tone of speech) I think stand.
I've noticed a bit more stridency in Thermites notes but if he wants to make the effort to tone it down a bit I'd advocate letting him back into the forum.
BTW, the points about the internet not having dampers and in fact allowing people to amplify their emotions and agressiveness with no immediate feedback applies to the interweb in general. I'm a control systems engineer and I wonder if civil society is stable and tenable in the presence of these and other points about the internet. But that's another, long post. Some other day.
A guy took his blonde girlfriend to her first football game. They had great seats right behind their team's bench. After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience. "Oh, I really liked it," she replied, "especially the tight pants and all the big muscles, but I just couldn't understand why they were killing each other over 25 cents." Dumbfounded, her date asked, "What do you mean?" "Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it, and then for the rest of the game, all they kept screaming was, 'Get the quarterback! Get the quarterback!' I'm like, hello? It's only 25 cents!"