WASHINGTON, D.C.—A congressional prayer at Capitol Building took over 24 hours to complete as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver concluded his prayer with amen, awomen, and amen variations of all 5,787 other genders.
“Amen, Awomen, Anonbinary, Agenderqueer, Atwo-spirit, Apolygender… this could take a while,” Rep. Cleaver said. “If anyone needs to go out and get some refreshments, feel free.”
After the prayer seemed to be finished, congresspeople tried to get up and leave, but Rep. Cleaver then said he was going to list all the gods he was praying to for clarification. “Yahweh, Allah, Joseph Smith, Brahma, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Thor, Odin, Isaac Asimov, Ra, Zeus, Loki, Isis, Xenu, the Force, the Lords of Kobol, Din, Nayru, Farore…” This went on for a while.
A new congressional rule will only allow Republicans to lead prayer for the sake of time, since they’ll pray to one God and conclude with “Amanlyman.”
The American dream is that any citizen, regardless of sex, race, creed, or color, can rise on his determination and merit. History is littered with examples of the reformers who worked to realize that dream, pushing the most influential institutions in the country to prize talent and hard work over wealth and connections.
The introduction of standardized testing, accessible to all American teens, was part of that push. Harvard University began administering a standardized test to all applicants in 1905. Its effect was profound and immediate: historically a landing spot for the Protestant upper crust, the school began admitting far more public school kids, Catholics, and Jews. …
In the name of racial equality, the woke now seek to dismantle meritocratic norms and return to the quota systems that practices like standardized testing were designed to relegate to the trash heap of history. …
The New York Timesâ€™s classical music critic, Anthony Tommasini, is calling for the end of the blind symphony audition, which drove a tripling of women’s representation in the field, so that conductors can make race-based selections. The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, where merit is literally a matter of life or death, recently suspended admissions to its honor society because the GPA-based admissions criterion did not produce an honor society that, as Bill Clinton said, “looked like America.”
The SATâ€”which measures intellect better and more fairly than do intangible heuristicsâ€”is under fire. University of California president and former Obama official Janet Napolitano has joined the chorus of administrators at elite universities who complain that race-blind admissions arenâ€™t producing the desired results.
Those calling for “progress” usually want to forfeit someone else’s job. Tommasini is a white man, as are all his listed colleagues at the Timesâ€˜s “music” section. So is the L.A. Times’s Mark Swed, and Washington Post music critic Michael Brodeur, who recently penned a news report about classical music’s “long overdue reckoning with racism.”
All are curiously quiet on the “racism” of their clique. None seem ready to give up their own position for indigenous or trans critics, who surely exist! Surely they are waiting somewhere for the call from the New York Times that their turn has come, merit be damned!
NYT Classical Music Critic Anthony Tommasini says “ensembles [need] to reflect the communities they serve, [and] the [hiring] audition process [for musicians] should take into account race, gender and other factors.”
During the tumultuous summer of 1969, two Black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic of discrimination. Earl Madison, a cellist, and J. Arthur Davis, a bassist, said they had been rejected for positions because of their race.
The cityâ€™s Commission on Human Rights decided against the musicians, but found that aspects of the orchestraâ€™s hiring system, especially regarding substitute and extra players, functioned as an old boysâ€™ network and were discriminatory. The ruling helped prod American orchestras, finally, to try and deal with the biases that had kept them overwhelmingly white and male. The Philharmonic, and many other ensembles, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that factors like race and gender wouldnâ€™t influence strictly musical appraisals.
Blind auditions, as they became known, proved transformative. The percentage of women in orchestras, which hovered under 6 percent in 1970, grew. Today, women make up a third of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are half the New York Philharmonic. Blind auditions changed the face of American orchestras.
But not enough.
American orchestras remain among the nationâ€™s least racially diverse institutions, especially in regard to Black and Latino artists. In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino. At the time of the Philharmonicâ€™s 1969 discrimination case, it had one Black player, the first it ever hired: Sanford Allen, a violinist. Today, in a city that is a quarter Black, just one out of 106 full-time players is Black: Anthony McGill, the principal clarinet.
The status quo is not working. If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.
Can there be any notion more preposterous, more incapable of surviving intellectual scrutiny, than today’s liberal shibboleth of “Diversity”?
Diversity requires abandonment of standards of merit, achievement, and genuine equality of opportunity, accompanied by lots of rationalizations, denial, and outright lying about what is needed to produce sufficient representation of members of various privileged victim identity groups. Note how Mr. Tommasini assures NYT readers that there is
remarkably little difference between players at the top tier. There is an athletic component to playing an instrument, and as with sprinters, gymnasts and tennis pros, the basic level of technical skill among American instrumentalists has steadily risen. A typical orchestral audition might end up attracting dozens of people who are essentially indistinguishable in their musicianship and technique.
But this begs the question: are there actually many representatives of underclass minorities in that “top tier”? Obviously, there are not, because, if there were, then blind auditions would work to achieve their hiring just fine.
Mr. Tommasini fails also to explain why “diversity” in the sense of more African-Americans in classical orchestras is an urgent problem, while massive over-representation of African-Americans in professional sports is no problem at all.
Why, I often wonder, are blacks, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, and homosexuals important for “Diversity” but not Finns, Ukrainians, or Belgians? If the answer is that a sob story about past hardships is required, then how come Jews, Appalachian hillbillies, and all those ethnic Catholic blue collar communities count for nothing in the Diversity sweepstakes? Tell us, Mr. Tommasini: what percentage of classical orchestra ensembles are made up of Southern Italians from the Outer Boroughs of New York?
You can imagine what I thought when I looked up Mr. Tommasini and found that he is a Yale classmate of mine.
Five Yale students staged a protest outside of Global Affairs professor Emma Skyâ€™s classroom on Tuesday afternoon after University administrators forbade them from entering and distributing a pamphlet criticizing the professor.
â€œOpen your eyes, open your ears, you are being taught by those you should fear,â€ chanted the protestors, disrupting Skyâ€™s 110-minute Global Affairs class titled Middle East Politics. Protestors â€” Zulfiqar Mannan â€™20, Casey Odesser â€™20, Hazal Ã–zgÃ¼r â€™20, Nika Zarazvand â€™20 and Francesca Maviglia MPH â€™20 â€” said they initially intended to enter Skyâ€™s seminar and distribute pamphlets calling their professor a war criminal.
But a Yale Police Department officer and Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarribar prevented students from entering the classroom. …
In an interview after the protest, Odesser told the News that she thought the Universityâ€™s response to the protest foreclosed discussion about Skyâ€™s previous involvement in Afghanistan.
â€œI am incredibly disappointed with the way that the University rejected our proposal to honestly, earnestly and creatively engage with [the students in the class],â€ Odesser said. â€œIâ€™m appalled and horrified at how no one will talk to us engage with us and instead perceive us as a threat.â€
According to Mannan, who is a staff writer for the News, the project was largely inspired by â€œthe revolutionary aspectâ€ of Paradise Lost and draws inspiration from the Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg and Shaikh Sarmad.
While Mannan and Odesser received a Creative and Performing Arts Award from Morse College for their project, the college is now â€œre-evaluating if they are still ableâ€ to fund the project, Mannan said. The reason for the collegeâ€™s reevaluation remains unclear. The Morse Head of College Office could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.
Odesser said that the project was not meant to be disruptive. She explained that the group had originally planned to â€œperform a slinky, sexy catwalkâ€ into the classroom and silently place a pamphlet on each of the studentsâ€™ desks. She said she believed that many students in Skyâ€™s class have â€œnot confronted the levels of hypocrisy and violence â€” like white feminism â€” that is propagated by her class.â€
Zulfiqar Mannan â€™20 shares (I’m not sure what possessive pronoun’s) viewpoint on the protest.
Looking at all this, I inevitably wonder why so many exotic specimens of humanity from remote parts of the world, holding alien worldviews, with native perspectives often unfriendly to the United States, are given places in the undergraduate student body at Yale.
I cannot help but think that out there somewhere are five Christian All-American A-student American Eagle Scout heterosexuals far better qualified to provide leadership to this country. Yale was founded to supply Congregationalist ministers to the Colony of Connecticut. Extending that charter obligation to provide leaders in a variety of fields to the nation was a logical evolutionary development. Exactly why and how that mission has been extended to the provision of sexually-ambiguous pseudo-intellectual activists to the Middle East seems mysterious to me.
And, yes, I think plenty of alumni would like to know what Morse College thinks it is doing funding this kind of thing.
During the 2015â€“2016 school year, I was a freshman in Silliman College, where Erika Christakis was Associate Master (the position of â€œMasterâ€ has since been re-titled as â€œHead of Collegeâ€ or â€œHoCâ€). *Mrs. Christakisâ€™ decision to express her opinions on free speech and Halloween costumes in an email the students of Silliman College, **/where she occupied a position of authority/**, was inappropriate. *I do not doubt that if she instead published her statement in a more general forum, for example as an op-ed in the /Yale Daily News/, that the reaction would not be as intense.
Basically, *Erika Christakis failed her duty as Associate Master by sending that email*, and this upset a number of students in Silliman College and in the broader Yale community. At Yale, the role of (Associate) Master/HoC is one of social and community leadership and support â€” kind of like the cool aunt/uncle for the 400 or so students under their watch. Erika Christakis was supposed to be someone that Silliman students could feel comfortable approaching if they felt unsafe or uncomfortable on campus. Instead, she indicated to her charges that she valued the principle of free speech and intellectual discussion over the very real personal hurt that insensitive language or other expression (like Halloween costumes, for example) might cause.
Also, the negative reaction didnâ€™t occur in a vacuum â€” other events had already fueled discussion and unrest about racism on campus.
And unconditional emotional support is more important to them than Free Speech.
I’d say: Yale made a huge mistake whenever it started admitting these kinds of spoiled, entitled, sensitive blooming plants.
The Master (Bugger that “Head of College” nonsense!) of a Yale Residential College, I have news for you, Snowflakes, was never intended to be the “Cool Aunt/Uncle” meant to be used as a crying towel at all.
College Masters, in my day, were older male faculty members of distinction whose role was approximately that of the British Viceroy of some minor Imperial Colony. He received a suitably impressive residence and an expense budget. His role was to preside as Master of Ceremonies over regular significant events, to represent the college officially, and to exist remotely, floating above the daily life of the college, as a benign tutelary deity, capable of dipping into that special budget under his control to bestow special favors, a celebratory dining-hall feast, a high-end table soccer game for the Common Room, special funding for the print shop or the wood shop.
The actual administrative work of the college, the disciplinary role, the shit work generally was all handled by the Dean, an humble graduate student type, only a bit older than the undergraduates, who was burnishing up his resume with an eye to future university administrative grandeur at some rinky dink institution far away from Yale.
The College Master could be relied upon to smile benevolently in your direction and to acknowledge you with a “Hullo!” or “Good Morning!” when passing by, but no one, in the pre-millennial Yale, would have dreamt of running crying to the College Master that his feelings had been hurt, Boo hoo!
Nobody, in the old days, old enough and smart enough to get into Yale could possibly have been imagined to consider himself “unsafe” or “uncomfortable” as the result of some other student or students wearing Halloween costumes.
In the old Yale, the natural response to some inadvertent insult, would have been to shrug it off. The natural response to a deliberate insult would have been to retort with a wittier and more devastating response.
This [via a commenter], from Breitbart London and dated 9/11/18, pretty much sums up where the West is at since 9/11: ‘Austria has rejected the asylum claim of an Afghan national who claims to be fleeing persecution for being homosexual after not being able to find any gay pornography on his mobile phone.’ It sounds like the Babylon Bee, but isn’t.
Just so. When historians are poring through the rubble of our civilization, that one sentence will pretty much cover the entirety of the situation in 2018. In fact, denying asylum claims on the grounds of insufficient gay porn on applicants’ telephones may be the best shot Trump has at getting any meaningful immigration policy past the average District Court judge. Although maybe he should add trans porn, too.
Incidentally, for a Pushtun goatherd or whatever he is, the Afghan guy isn’t the least bit stupid: He’s smart enough to know that claiming to be LGBTQWERTY gets you into the express check-in, so why not give gay taqiyyah (tagayyah?) a whirl?
‘We took him in as if he were a son,’ the girl’s father said, according to the Bild tabloid newspaper. He has lost his only daughter. She was stabbed and killed by her former boyfriend, an unaccompanied refugee from Afghanistan.
And there is also a decadence to our stupidity. When Maria Ladenburger was raped and murdered by another fake “child migrant” from Afghanistan, her father, a senior official at the European Commission, asked for donations to be made in her memory to a “refugee charity“.
I hear echoes of poor Maria Ladenburger’s case in the reactions to other recent killings: we are tiptoeing very close to conscious child sacrifice in the cause of “diversity”. As I reminded Louise Arbour and Simon Schama in the Munk Debate, with regard to their own societies, the differences between Quebec francophones and Ontario anglophones or between Irish Catholics and Protestants are, in the scheme of things, peripheral and footling. Yet they have caused profound intractable divisions that echo down the centuries. But relax, the differences between, say, secular Swedes and Afghan Muslims are gonna be a breeze …because “diversity is our strength”.
In Hedgehog Review, Matthew B. Crawford explains precisely why “Diversity” is essential to the contemporary meritocratic Haute Bourgeois community of fashion.
[B]ourgeois society is fundamentally competitive. One has to enact oneâ€™s social value anew each day. …
The competition inherent in bourgeois society is responsible for its unprecedented ability to create wealth. But there is a problem. Furet writes that â€œthe idea of the universality and equality of man, which [bourgeois society] claims as its foundation and is its primary innovation, is constantly negated by the inequality of property and wealth produced by the competition of its members. Its development belies its principle, and its dynamic undercuts its legitimacy. The bourgeoisie did not invent the division of society into classes, but by cloaking that division in an ideology that renders it illegitimate, they tinged it with suffering.â€
The suffering is not confined to those who find themselves on the bottom. Furet is especially perceptive on the psychological effect of this contradiction on those who rise to the top: a kind of bourgeois self-hatred. He suggests that this sentiment is the secret source of the revolutionary passion (and in milder form, we might add, of liberal guilt).
The ongoing ferment on campus reveals the university as the site where the paradox of bourgeois society is most acute. As gatekeeper to the upper middle class, the elite university has as its primary social function the sorting of the population. (And it seeks rents commensurate with occupying such a choice position.) It detects existing inequalities, exacerbates them, and certifies them. And whatever else it does, it serves as a finishing school where the select learn to recognize one another, forging a class consciousness that has lately hardened into a de facto caste system. But for that very reason, by the logic Furet identifies, it is also the place where the sentiment that every inequality is illegitimate must be performed most strenuously.
In times of broadly shared upward mobility, this contradiction was perhaps less keenly felt. But for reasons that are only now coming to be broadly understood, once the Cold War ended, the economy increasingly took on the shape of a winner-take-all competition. The self-applied, legitimizing balm of campus progressivism became more necessary than ever.
But simply becoming more noisy about equality wouldnâ€™t do the trick. Some conceptual innovation was needed, one that would shift the terms in such a way as to ease the contradiction. Enter â€œdiversity.â€
This concept claims descent from a lineage of shining democratic moments in the struggle for equal rights that we rightly celebrate: John Lockeâ€™s A Letter Concerning Toleration, Martin Luther Kingâ€™s â€œLetter from Birmingham Jail,â€ the statesmanship by which Nelson Mandela averted civil war in South Africa. But the family resemblance turns out to be superficial when one grasps the function â€œdiversityâ€ serves as a principle of administration in todayâ€™s political economy.
As Michael Lind has written, â€œNeoliberalismâ€”the hegemonic ideology of the transatlantic eliteâ€”pretends that class has disappeared in societies that are purely meritocratic, with the exception of barriers to individual upward mobility that still exist because of racism, misogyny, and homophobia.â€ Marking out the corresponding classes of persons for special solicitude is thus key to sustaining the democratic legitimacy of our major institutions. Or, rather, the point is to shift the basis of that legitimacy away from democratic considerations toward â€œmoralâ€ ones. These have the advantage that they can be managed through the control of language, which has become a central feature of institutional life.
The concept of diversity first germinated in the corporate world, and was quickly seized upon by academia in the 1990s. It arrived just in the nick of time. The previous two decades had seen the traditional mission of the university undermined, if not abandoned, under pressure from a highly politicized turn in the humanities that made its case in epistemic terms, essentially debunking the very idea of knowledge. The role that the upper-tier university soon discovered for itself, upon the collapse of ideals of liberal learning, was no longer that of training citizens for humane self-government, but rather that of supplying a cadre to staff the corporations, the NGOs, and the foundations. That is, the main function of elite schools is to supply the personnel required to run things in an economy that has become more managerial than entrepreneurial.
The institutional desideratumâ€”the political antipode to hated â€œprivilegeâ€â€”is no longer equality, but diversity. This greatly eases the contradiction Furet identified, shielding the system from democratic pressure. It also protects the self-conception of our meritocrats as agents of historical progress. As was the case with the Soviet nomenklatura, and the leading Jacobins as well, it is precisely our elite that searches out instances of lingering privilege, now understood as obstacles to fulfillment of the moral imperative of diversity. Under this dispensation, the figure of the â€œstraight white maleâ€ (abstracted from class distinctions) has been made to do a lot of symbolic work, the heavy lifting of legitimation (in his own hapless way, as sacrificial goat). We eventually reached a point where this was more weight than our electoral system could take, as the election of 2016 revealed. Whether one regards that event as a catastrophe or as a rupture that promises the possibility of glasnost, its immediate effect has been panic in every precinct where the new class accommodations have been functioning smoothly, and a doubling down on the moralizing that previously secured them against popular anger. Weâ€™ll see how that goes.
The term shibboleth is interesting. Its definitions include â€œa peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of personsâ€ and â€œa common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.â€ It is a random Hebrew word that acquired its present meaning when it was used by the Gileadites as a test to identify members of an enemy tribe, the Ephraimites, as they attempted to flee across the Jordan River. Ephraimites could not pronounce the sound sh (Judges 12:4â€“6). I think it is fair to say that oneâ€™s ability to pronounce the word diversity with a straight face, indeed with sincerity made scrupulously evident, serves as a shibboleth in this original sense. It answers the question of whether one wants to continue as a member in good standing of those institutions that secure oneâ€™s position in the upper middle class.
Detail, Raphael, The School of Athens, 1509-1511, Apostolic Palace, Vatican. Seriously lacking in Diversity.
The OCD is reporting on another crucial problem at Yale.
Yaleâ€™s Philosophy Department… has historically been majority white and male.
Philosophy has struggled as a discipline to attract students from diverse backgrounds, and faculty and students within Yaleâ€™s Philosophy Department told the News that while the department is not as diverse as it could be in terms of racial and gender makeup or curricular offerings, ongoing efforts to remedy the problem are a cause for optimism.
â€œ[Lack of diversity] has inspired a lot of soul-searching in the discipline in recent years,â€ said Joanna Demaree-Cotton GRD â€™21, co-coordinator of Yaleâ€™s chapter of Minorities and Philosophy which works to combat issues faced by minorities in academia. â€œLots of departments, including ours at Yale, have started asking tough questions about the cause of this drop-off in the representation of women and racial minorities, and how we might go about ameliorating the problem.â€ …
â€œThere is no question that as a field, philosophy is significantly less diverse nationally in terms of race and gender than we would like it be,â€ said Stephen Darwall, philosophy professor and former department chair.
He said that 2 percent of philosophy graduate students at Yale are black, and that there are no black faculty members currently in the department. …
Gender disparities also persist at the faculty level. Darwall said that five out of 18 philosophy ladder faculty, or 28 percent, are women. He added that the department focuses on identifying and recruiting talented women and philosophers of color to the doctoral program.
For a Philosophy Department anywhere to fail to conform to contemporary notions of “Diversity” ought not to be surprising in the least.
In the first place, anyone sufficiently intellectually competent to study Philosophy could not possibly avoid noticing that Diversity as presently defined is a purely arbitrary and fundamentally bogus concept. Only identity groups identified with political grievances count toward Diversity. Nobody cares how many Appalachian hillbillies, Swedes, Belgians, Corsicans, Lithuanians, Eskimos, or Tibetans are studying Philosophy at Yale. Only identity groups with a litany of complaints and power-seeking political agendas count.
Many students of Philosophy these days take a particular interest in the philosophical thought of Friedrich Nietszche. Anyone adequately read in Nietszche cannot possibly avoid recognizing in “Diversity” what the great philosopher identified as “the slave revolt in morality,” the inversion of values, and the cynical and calculating attempt of the base and unworthy to gain power over their betters through the exploitation of their charity and benevolence. Anyone familiar with Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887) can hardly avoid identifing “Diversity” as nothing other than Ressentiment deceptively packaged for purposes of marketing.
(Disclosure: NYM’s proprietor was a white, male Philosophy major at Yale.)
Well, surprise, surprise! Bloomberg reports that Google has fired the software engineer who wrote the memo criticizing that company’s diversity policies that recently went viral.
Alphabet Inc.â€™s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web companyâ€™s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.
James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for â€œperpetuating gender stereotypes.â€ He said heâ€™s â€œcurrently exploring all possible legal remedies.â€
The problem is that US labor law is well-settled in this area: In the vast majority of US states, employees have almost no rights to free speech at work. …
The First Amendment to the US Constitution prevents the government from restricting your speech. It doesn’t restrict your employer from controlling your speech when you are at work. As the government is not involved in this case, Damore is already on shaky ground if he files a lawsuit arguing a free speech case.
More importantly, Damore’s speech has not been restricted. He can continue to express his opinion. Indeed, his opinion has already been published far more widely than he can have hoped. His speech is on steroids right now! His legal problem is that he does not have a constitutional right to a job at Google. If he is an “at-will” employee â€” i.e. an ordinary employee not governed by a special contract, like a film star might have â€” then Google has every right to demand that he leave.
You can read a lengthy legal paper on this issue by Prof. Eugene Volokh, of the UCLA Law School, here. It can be summed up in one paragraph:
“Of course, employee speech can always be restricted by private employers, who are not bound by the First Amendment. This cannot, however, authorize greater restrictions by the government. A householder is entitled to kick out dinner guests who say certain things. A commercial landlord can refuse to rent to tenants who put up certain posters. A newspaper publisher can refuse to publish articles with which he disagrees. A private university may restrict what its faculty say in class, or even what its students say on campus. Speech on private property can generally be controlled by the private property owner.
As Google Site Reliability Manager Paul Cowan warned internally at Google â€” his posts were screengrabbed by Breitbart â€” “freedom of speech is the right to freely express an opinion. It is most assuredly not the right to express an opinion with freedom from the consequences.”
But he does have at least two job offers, Heavy reports:
Damore also has a couple job offers to consider. One offer came from Gab, a company founded in 2016 that says it is â€œan ad-free social network for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online.â€ It has become popular among those in the alt right, including some who have been banned from Twitter.
And Wikileaksâ€™ Julian Assange tweeted Tuesday, â€œCensorship is for losers. @WikiLeaks is offering a job to fired Google engineer James Damore.
This is a real pain in the ass. I use Chrome all the time, and now I have to switch to Safari or Opera. I guess I’ll also soon find out if Duck Duck Go is any good as a search engine.
Gizmodo published the 10-page critique of Google’s Diversity policies written by a white male software engineer that recently went viral within the company.
His conclusions were:
As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the â€œvictims.â€
Stop alienating conservatives.
Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.
Confront Googleâ€™s biases.
Iâ€™ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.
Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.
These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.
Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.
Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for womenâ€™s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
Thereâ€™s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination.
Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.
We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.
Iâ€™ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathyâ€”feeling anotherâ€™s painâ€”causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.
Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offense and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isnâ€™t backed by evidence.
Be open about the science of human nature.
Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.
Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.
We havenâ€™t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (Iâ€™m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of whatâ€™s said in the training).
They ought to hire Curtis Yarvon to write one of these.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for Google to adopt this (probably now unemployed) software engineer’s proposals. There was an immediate official response from Googleâ€™s new Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance, Danielle Brown (quoted below in part):
Iâ€™m Danielle, Googleâ€™s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate weâ€™ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words.
Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. Iâ€™m not going to link to it here as itâ€™s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.
Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and weâ€™ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, â€œBuilding an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. â€˜Nuff said. â€œ
Earlier this Spring, it was announced that the closing line of Harvard’s Alma Mater “Fair Harvard” would be changed from “‘Til the stock of the Puritans die.” The stock of the Puritans has not totally died, but it has obviously surrendered primacy of representation at the ancient university it founded in 1636 to strangers and aliens.