Category Archive 'Gleichschaltung'
13 May 2021
Zero HP Lovecraft refuses to be assimilated.
We have watched each click of the ratchet, as mindless pod people tell us that each new change isn’t really happening, it’s a crazy conspiracy, and also it’s good that it’s happening.
Have you ever seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Don’t waste your time on any version but the original from 1956. It’s a truly chilling film, one of the great classics of sci fi horror, and also a political allegory, as poignant today as it was then.
In the story, alien seed pods grow exact replicas of the people all around you, and when you fall asleep, an alien consciousness grown from your pod takes over your body. At first it seems like a mass hysteria of Capgras delusion, but the aliens and pods turn out to be real.
“I will not eat the bugs, I will not live in the pod” – this far right hate slogan exists because we know the people in charge want to make us eat insects and house us in bug hives. But Invasion of the Body Snatchers offers us a different way to imagine pod life.
Progressives feel a salacious thrill when they imagine what common, ordinary things will be prohibited in the future. This is the sacrifice that the god “progress” demands – each generation gives up a slice of humanity – and they call this “humane.”
We’ve all heard them say it, that perverted thrill they feel when they imagine their own futureshock. “one day, people will see meat-eating as cruel and barbaric” – These cancerous prohibitions are always latent in the progressive mind, then one day they metastasize.
The first time I was politically awake for it was the normalization of homosexuality. Public opinion flipped over night. One day, Obama himself was against it (lie) and the next day your very own friends were taking you aside in private to tell you to stop calling things gay.
Since then it’s happened two more times in rapid succession: first with transsexuality, and second with Bowels Loose Movement. In 2014 they were a minor nuisance, in 2020 everyone spontaneously bent the knee. They did that because people instinctively submit to power.
Watching my friends and coworkers install the latest kernel updates for progressivism makes me feel like everyone around me is being replaced by Alien pod people. For some, the feeling is mutual, but these are people whose slogan is “Change”, who insist WE are the radical ones.
Whether you can be body-snatched by a rapid norm reversal is pretty much the criteria for whether you are fully human or just some kind of animal. True nihilism isn’t hopelessness, it’s having no anchor.
People who believe in nothing also believe in everything, it’s why cults proliferate in times of social collapse, which is what you are living through. Physical collapse isn’t here yet, but cultural collapse, meta-political collapse, has arrived.
13 Oct 2020
Zman finds 21st Century corporate conformism a lot worse than that of the previous century.
America is now a corporation, rather than a country. It is why the public space is being transformed into something that looks like a corporate training center. You donâ€™t go there to express an opinion or advance your interests, but to learn the latest policies. The person in charge sees herself as a facilitator, using behavioral techniques she learned in graduate school, in order to help you reach your potential an employee.
Just look at how the big social media platforms censure people. It is not traditional censorship we would see in an ideological state. Instead, the first violation gets you a day off to think about what you have done. The next violation gets you a longer bit of time off, which everyone knows means youâ€™re on the list. The next downsizing means you get let go, regardless of your performance. Finally, like an employee that never fit into the corporate culture, youâ€™re fired from the platform.
Note too that the enforcers at these firms clearly share information with one another about violators. One day the problematic user wakes up and his Twitter has been suspended, his Facebook is deleted and his YouTube channel nuked. This happens for the same reason the HR department ticks the box â€œNot eligible for rehireâ€ when youâ€™re riffed out of the place. It is not about you. Youâ€™re dead to them now. It is a service to their peers, so they can avoid hiring the same mistake.
This is why our radicals now sound like every human resource department and our politicians look like everyone at a corporate retreat. The managerial elite is imposing its corporate sensibilities on the country. The dreary sameness we see all around us is what you see inside every corporation. Everything must serve the point of the enterprise, even the aesthetic. Everything is subject to the quest for efficiency, so everything that makes life interesting is removed.
The regions of the country are no longer unique cultures with unique histories, but subsidiaries that must be normalized into the cooperate culture. Movies and television are repetitive and shallow, because corporate culture eschews creativity as risky and embraces banality because it is predictable and safe. Sports are drenched in identity politics because cross-marketing says the way to promote a new product is to attach it to the most successful product in the catalog.
Corporations travel a well-known arc. They start with a frontier mentality, in which the creative and daring control the enterprise. They are trying to develop a new market or subvert an existing market, so they canâ€™t follow old rules. This attracts people who are goal oriented, not process oriented. This is the culture of every start-up, which is why they can find new ways to attack the market and maneuver the company around larger, better established competitors.
That success eventually outgrows the capacity of the start-up culture. Eventually, the people being hired to do the things the enterprise needs doing need to be managed and that means managers and rules. A new type of employee is brought in, the sort who enjoys the process. They enjoy creating employee manuals. Soon they are joined by another type of employee, who values conformity. Her job is to make sure everyone follows the rules and does so with enthusiasm.
This is the current phase of Corporate America. The thing that matters most to the managers is not ideology. In the corporate state, ideology is about as authentic and meaningful as corporate culture. It is just a veneer to decorate the latest HR effort to boost morale. What matters to them is the quest to assimilate the wide range of assets now under corporate control. If you step back and look at the current crisis, it is not an ideological battle, but a war on variety and exception.
This is, in part, why the elites hate Trump. Itâ€™s not his politics, as his politics, stripped of the carny act, are rather conventional. They hate Trump because he is the guy who laughed at the white diversity trainer when she shared her painful experiences of oppression at Princeton. They hate him because he just wants to do his job and have a life and an identity outside the company. For the champions of the corporate state, nothing can exist outside the state.
25 Sep 2020
Here is Kristie Higgs’s petition that got her fired. (click on the image for larger version)
Toby Young, in the British Spectator, explains how you can lose your job even for anonymous on-line dissent.
Kristie Higgs, a 44-year-old school assistant, didnâ€™t realise that criticising the sex education curriculum at her sonâ€™s school on Facebook would get her fired. For one thing, her account was set to â€˜privateâ€™, so only her family and friends could read it. For another, she was posting under her maiden name, so no one could connect her with her employer. Finally, the school that sacked her for expressing these views wasnâ€™t actually her sonâ€™s, but another one altogether. This seems a pretty clear case of a person losing her livelihood for dissenting from progressive orthodoxy.
Kristieâ€™s case is being heard at an employment tribunal in Bristol this week. The dispute relates to two Facebook posts from two years ago. In one, Kristie urged her family and friends to sign a petition objecting to mandatory new sex and relationship lessons in English primary schools. In the other, she shared an article by an American conservative Christian commentator criticising the promotion of â€˜transgender ideologyâ€™ in childrenâ€™s books. â€˜This is happening in our primary schools now!â€™ Kristie said.
Someone circulated screenshots of these posts to Kristieâ€™s colleagues at Farmorâ€™s School in Gloucestershire, where she had worked for seven years, and predictable outrage followed. Senior members of staff compared her views to those of â€˜Nazi right-wing extremistsâ€™, according to Kristie, and someone lodged a formal complaint with the head, claiming her posts were â€˜homophobic and prejudiced to the LGBT communityâ€™. Kristie was summoned to a â€˜disciplinaryâ€™ at a hotel just before Christmas, where she was cross-examined for six hours by three of the governors, supported by three members of staff. When Kristie tried to explain that her objection to her son being taught that a woman could have a penis was rooted in her Christian beliefs, she was told: â€˜Keep your religion out of it.â€™ After the hearing she was dismissed for â€˜illegal discriminationâ€™, â€˜serious inappropriate use of social mediaâ€™ and â€˜online comments that could bring the school into disreputeâ€™.
There are two free speech issues at stake here. The first is whether an employerâ€™s social media policy, limiting what employees are allowed to say on Facebook and other platforms, can legitimately be extended to private conversations, particularly when the employee has taken steps to disguise her identity. On the face of it, that looks like a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to privacy. The second is whether Kristieâ€™s comments constituted â€˜illegal discriminationâ€™ as defined in the UKâ€™s Equality Act 2010. Did they create an â€˜intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environmentâ€™ for LGBT colleagues, even though they wouldnâ€™t have known about them if they hadnâ€™t been circulated by someone trying to get her into trouble? Or is she permitted to express such views by Article 10 of the ECHR, which protects the right to freedom of expression?
Kristieâ€™s legal team can also appeal to the Equality Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees for their possessions of various â€˜protected characteristicsâ€™, including religion and belief. Her lawyers will argue she lost her job because she expressed her belief about the immutability of natal sex. However, when Maya Forstaterâ€™s lawyers made that argument in an employment tribunal last year â€” she was sacked for refusing to use trans womenâ€™s preferred pronouns â€” the judge said her gender critical beliefs werenâ€™t â€˜worthy of respect in a democratic societyâ€™.
Kristieâ€™s treatment is -obviously deeply concerning for believers in free speech, but thereâ€™s another aspect of her case that worries me. According to a recent white paper, a Bill will soon be brought before parliament empowering Ofcom to regulate the internet. Under the proposals, Ofcom will be able to impose punitive fines on Facebook for not removing content that political activists find â€˜offensiveâ€™, even if it doesnâ€™t fall foul of any existing speech laws.
Twitter already bans users for misgendering trans people, so it wonâ€™t take much of a push for all the social media companies to ban people for criticising trans ideology. The Free Speech Union has just produced a briefing paper warning of the dire consequences for free speech if the governmentâ€™s internet censorship plans become law, and I urge you to read it. Soon, it wonâ€™t just be Kristie Higgs who is punished for challenging woke dogma. It will be all of us.
17 Jul 2020
Andrew is bending over backwards acrobatically to be nice about it, but he clearly didn’t fall. He was pushed.
What has happened, I think, is relatively simple: A critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associate with me, and, in a time of ever tightening budgets, Iâ€™m a luxury item they donâ€™t want to afford. And thatâ€™s entirely their prerogative. They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space. Actually attacking, and even mocking, critical theoryâ€™s ideas and methods, as I have done continually in this space, is therefore out of sync with the values of Vox Media. That, to the best of my understanding, is why Iâ€™m out of here.
Two years ago, I wrote that we all live on campus now. That is an understatement. In academia, a tiny fraction of professors and administrators have not yet bent the knee to the woke program â€” and those few left are being purged. The latest study of Harvard University faculty, for example, finds that only 1.46 percent call themselves conservative. But thatâ€™s probably higher than the proportion of journalists who call themselves conservative at the New York Times or CNN or New York Magazine. And maybe itâ€™s worth pointing out that â€œconservativeâ€ in my case means that I have passionately opposed Donald J. Trump and pioneered marriage equality, that I support legalized drugs, criminal-justice reform, more redistribution of wealth, aggressive action against climate change, police reform, a realist foreign policy, and laws to protect transgender people from discrimination. I was one of the first journalists in established media to come out. I was a major and early supporter of Barack Obama. I intend to vote for Biden in November.
It seems to me that if this conservatism is so foul that many of my peers are embarrassed to be working at the same magazine, then I have no idea what version of conservatism could ever be tolerated. And thatâ€™s fine. We have freedom of association in this country, and if the mainstream media want to cut ties with even moderate anti-Trump conservatives, because they wonâ€™t bend the knee to critical theoryâ€™s version of reality, thatâ€™s their prerogative. It may even win them more readers, at least temporarily. But this is less of a systemic problem than in the past, because the web has massively eroded the power of gatekeepers to suppress and control speech. I was among the first to recognize this potential for individual freedom of speech, and helped pioneer individual online media, specifically blogging, 20 years ago.
And this is where Iâ€™m now headed.
And he’s right: if an anti-Trump, anti-Bush Quizling ersatz conservative, who additionally plays for the wrong team, is not an acceptable token in Establishment journalism today, things have reached one helluva pass. Andrew, of course, needs to sit back and reflect on his own part, in the role of sell-out, in letting matters proceed so far.
Andrew finds himself rather in the position of the late German pastor Martin NiemÃ¶ller:
“They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
26 Aug 2019
Chinese Social Credit Score
Fast Company notes that Red China’s social credit system is quietly being emulated in Western societies by tech companies, acting on the basis of their own political prejudices and entirely on their own authority.
Have you heard about Chinaâ€™s social credit system? Itâ€™s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to â€œallow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,â€ according to the Chinese government.
In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.
It can also award points for charitable donations or even taking oneâ€™s own parents to the doctor.
Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.
Chinaâ€™s social credit system has been characterized in one pithy tweet as â€œauthoritarianism, gamified.â€
At present, some parts of the social credit system are in force nationwide and others are local and limited (there are 40 or so pilot projects operated by local governments and at least six run by tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent).
Beijing maintains two nationwide lists, called the blacklist and the red listâ€”the former consisting of people who have transgressed, and the latter people who have stayed out of trouble (a â€œred listâ€ is the Communist version of a white list.) These lists are publicly searchable on a government website called China Credit.
The Chinese government also shares lists with technology platforms. So, for example, if someone criticizes the government on Weibo, their kids might be ineligible for acceptance to an elite school.
Public shaming is also part of Chinaâ€™s social credit system. Pictures of blacklisted people in one city were shown between videos on TikTok in a trial, and the addresses of blacklisted citizens were shown on a map on WeChat.
Some Western press reports imply that the Chinese populace is suffocating in a nationwide Skinner box of oppressive behavioral modification. But some Chinese are unaware that it even exists. And many others actually like the idea. One survey found that 80% of Chinese citizens surveyed either somewhat or strongly approve of social credit system.
Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about Chinaâ€™s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.
Here are some of the elements of Americaâ€™s growing social credit system.
The New York State Department of Financial Services announced earlier this year that life insurance companies can base premiums on what they find in your social media posts. That Instagram pic showing you teasing a grizzly bear at Yellowstone with a martini in one hand, a bucket of cheese fries in the other, and a cigarette in your mouth, could cost you. On the other hand, a Facebook post showing you doing yoga might save you money. (Insurance companies have to demonstrate that social media evidence points to risk, and not be based on discrimination of any kindâ€”they canâ€™t use social posts to alter premiums based on race or disability, for example.)
The use of social media is an extension of the lifestyle questions typically asked when applying for life insurance, such as questions about whether you engage in rock climbing or other adventure sports. Saying â€œno,â€ but then posting pictures of yourself free-soloing El Capitan, could count as a â€œyes.â€
A company called PatronScan sells three productsâ€”kiosk, desktop, and handheld systemsâ€”designed to help bar and restaurant owners manage customers. PatronScan is a subsidiary of the Canadian software company Servall Biometrics, and its products are now on sale in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
PatronScan helps spot fake IDsâ€”and troublemakers. When customers arrive at a PatronScan-using bar, their ID is scanned. The company maintains a list of objectionable customers designed to protect venues from people previously removed for â€œfighting, sexual assault, drugs, theft, and other bad behavior,â€ according to its website. A â€œpublicâ€ list is shared among all PatronScan customers. So someone whoâ€™s banned by one bar in the U.S. is potentially banned by all the bars in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada that use the PatronScan system for up to a year. (PatronScan Australia keeps a separate system.)
Judgment about what kind of behavior qualifies for inclusion on a PatronScan list is up to the bar owners and managers. Individual bar owners can ignore the ban, if they like. Data on non-offending customers is deleted in 90 days or less. Also: PatronScan enables bars to keep a â€œprivateâ€ list that is not shared with other bars, but on which bad customers can be kept for up to five years.
PatronScan does have an â€œappealsâ€ process, but itâ€™s up to the company to grant or deny those appeals.
Thanks to the sharing economy, the options for travel have been extended far beyond taxis and hotels. Uber and Airbnb are leaders in providing transportation and accommodation for travelers. But there are many similar ride-sharing and peer-to-peer accommodations companies providing similar services.
Airbnbâ€”a major provider of travel accommodation and tourist activitiesâ€”bragged in March that it now has more than 6 million listings in its system. Thatâ€™s why a ban from Airbnb can limit travel options.
Airbnb can disable your account for life for any reason it chooses, and it reserves the right to not tell you the reason. The companyâ€™s canned message includes the assertion that â€œThis decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts. Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account.â€ The ban can be based on something the host privately tells Airbnb about something they believe you did while staying at their property. Airbnbâ€™s competitors have similar policies.
Itâ€™s now easy to get banned by Uber, too. Whenever you get out of the car after an Uber ride, the app invites you to rate the driver. What many passengers donâ€™t know is that the driver now also gets an invitation to rate you. Under a new policy announced in May: If your average rating is â€œsignificantly below average,â€ Uber will ban you from the service.
You can be banned from communications apps, too. For example, you can be banned on WhatsApp if too many other users block you. You can also get banned for sending spam, threatening messages, trying to hack or reverse-engineer the WhatsApp app, or using the service with an unauthorized app.
WhatsApp is small potatoes in the United States. But in much of the world, itâ€™s the main form of electronic communication. Not being allowed to use WhatsApp in some countries is as punishing as not being allowed to use the telephone system in America.
This article fails to note the censorship and deplatforming regimes quite thoroughly already in place in giant social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or the censorship of conservative speech by Google, or the removal of firearms videos by YouTube, or the denial of banking services to firearms dealers by a number of big banks. In the West, we get soft authoritarianism via Capitalism.
07 Apr 2018
I think Jonah Goldberg did the best job of putting Kevin Williamson’s rapid firing by The Atlantic (after a single editorial) in the appropriate perspective.
Michael Anton, who penned â€œThe Flight 93 Electionâ€ back when he was hiding behind a pen-name, articulated very well in an exchange with me what millions of conservatives believe to be true:
The old American ideal of judging individuals and not groups, content-of-character-not-color-of-skin, is dead, dead, dead. Dead as a matter of politics, policy and culture. The left plays by new rules. The right still plays by the old rules. The left laughs at us for it â€” but also demands that we keep to that rulebook. They donâ€™t even bother to cheat. They proclaim outright that â€œthese rules donâ€™t apply to our side.â€
I disagree with Antonâ€™s prescription â€” to surrender to identity politics and cheat the way our â€œenemiesâ€ do â€” but I cannot argue much with this description of a widespread mindset. Many on the right are surrendering to the logic of the mob because they are sick of double standards. Again, I disagree with the decision to surrender, but I certainly empathize with the temptation. The Left and the mainstream media canâ€™t even see how they donâ€™t want to simply win, they want to force people to celebrate their victories (â€œYou will be made to care!â€). It isnâ€™t forced conversion at the tip of a sword, but at the blunt edge of a virtual mob.
I could go on for another 2,000 words about all of the double standards I have in mind. But letâ€™s stick with the subject at hand: Kevin Williamsonâ€™s views on abortion put him outside the mainstream. And he was fired from The Atlantic merely for refusing to recant them.
Meanwhile, extreme views on the left are simply hot takes or even signs of genius. Take the philosopher Peter Singer. He has at least as extreme views on a host of issues, and he is feted and celebrated for them. He is the author of the Encyclopedia Britannicaâ€™s entry on â€œEthics.â€ He holds an endowed chair at Princeton. He writes regularly for leading publications. And he argues that sometimes itâ€™s okay to kill babies, as in his essay â€œKilling Babies Isnâ€™t Always Wrong.â€ â€œNewborn human babies,â€ he writes, â€œhave no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.â€ He cutely asks whether people should cease to exist. (He ultimately and grudgingly answers â€œNo.â€) Oh, he also argues in favor of bestiality.
And heâ€™s been profiled favorably in the pages of The Atlantic.
And thatâ€™s okay. I canâ€™t stand his utilitarian logic-chopping and nihilistic view of humanity, but at least going by Nockâ€™s Ark of the Covenant rules, he should be free to make his arguments anywhere willing editors want to publish them. We have a right to be wrong.
But thatâ€™s not the point: Singerâ€™s work does not render him anathema in elite circles, it earns awards, praise, and celebration for its ruthless consistency and edgy provocation. He is not fired for what he writes never mind what he thinks. I have no doubt some people donâ€™t think this is a perfect example of a double standard, and I could come up with some objections to it myself. But if you canâ€™t see why some people â€” fellow American citizens â€” see it as a glaring double standard, you are part of the problem.
Kevin was hired by The Atlantic because he is among the best of the homeless conservatives in the Trump Era. Thatâ€™s why Bret Stephens went to the New York Times, and itâ€™s probably why Iâ€™ve gotten my share of strange new respect from some liberals. But what Goldberg â€” or his boss â€” and countless others fail to appreciate, I think, is that the Trump Era is merely one facet of the larger age of tribalism that we live in. In an age when evangelical Christians and constitutional conservatives can overlook the sins of a Roy Moore, itâ€™s easy to see how people could mistake a Trump critic as a useful voice in their chorus. But Kevin isnâ€™t one of them. He sings from his own hymnal and he stands athwart the tribalisms of Trumpism and the tribalisms that gave us Trump. He is in The Remnant (which Nock described in, of all places, The Atlantic). And I am honored to be a happy warrior by his side, hopefully at National Review once again.
It seems to me that The Atlantic disgraced and embarrassed itself so badly that it really did far more damage to itself than to Kevin Williamson.
06 Aug 2017
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
27 Apr 2015
Rod Dreher notes that Social Justice Warriors are not content with merely winning.
Well, well, well:
A crowdfunding campaign that had raised more than $109,000 for the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was removed Saturday after complaints from gay-rights advocates.
The website GoFundMe said in a statement Saturday that it took down the page because the campaign violated the policy against raising money â€œin defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.â€
â€œThe campaign entitled â€˜Sweet Cakes by Melissaâ€˜ involves formal charges. As such, our team has determined that it was in violation of GoFundMeâ€™s Terms & Conditions,â€ said GoFundMe in an email statement.
The state of Oregon proposed a $135,000 fine to be levied on the Christian-owned bakery, with the money to be paid to a lesbian couple to compensate for their pain and suffering when the cake-makers declined to bake pastry for their wedding.
So, there we have it: the Social Justice Warriors, not content to have driven this bakery out of business, are now trying to prevent people from giving the bakers money to pay their monumental fine. It is not enough for the SJWs that the Klein family business was destroyed. And it is not enough that the Kleins are now struggling to feed their five children, and facing a $135,000 fine that will probably drive them to bankruptcy.
Nope, the progressive stance is now to grind those people to dust, in the name of social justice.
Read the whole thing.
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