When I first came to Stack, it was a terrifying place (much akin to NYC in the late 1970's;) So I think the mandate to "be nice" (kindness, charity, patience) has been enormously beneficial.
It's not that most people come to Stack to be nice, but the brutality of old culture was eventually understood to be dis-incentivizing, potentially running the risk of diminishing the core mission, which is sharing of information, the core purpose of the internet (along with surviving nuclear war;)
Now we're experiencing another transformation, where the issue of identity, and how we refer to one another, is causing disharmony and strife.
A little while ago I joined Twitter, part of what is referred to as "the internet of evil aka the internet", and it very quickly forced me to be a better person. The level of raw anger unleashed on a daily basis on Twitter could probably power all bitcoin mining for year. I quickly found dispassion to be the only viable strategy.
Stack began as a true geek forum, focused on computer science and demonstrating strong utility. These are our founders. We now have a robust hard-science kernel in addition to a wide array of humanities stacks, and even hobbies.
It occurs to me that a principle of scientific inquiry could be a useful complement to "be nice", here the idea that, as analyzers of knowledge (and potentially even truth;) it is incumbent on us to also "be dispassionate", here in the sense of impartiality and a certain degree of detachment.
I mean this most specifically in regard to formal Q&A which, in their highest purpose, serve as public resources.
(I think a little passion on chat can sometimes be a good thing, such as when a user is dressing me down for a perceived lapse in moderation, and I give them points for their passion because it means they care deeply and I should give the issue fair review.)
As we're evolving and working through shifts in culture and potentially charged topics, I think striving for a level of impartiality and detachment would greatly serve the community.
I mean this proposal in the sense of an ideal as opposed to a hard rule.