I'm also a leader. I'm a parent of two daughters. My mother had to fight sexism issues in her career. I am supportive of inclusion & diversity. I am trying to raise my girls to be empowered, confident & curious. But the dominant themes in current diversity & feminist circles are so racist & sexist towards me that my first impulse is outrage.
For those of you who share this impulse- I want to provide the piece of perspective that helps me manage my frustration: Our culture operates under a pendulum. Right now, it's bad, but it will swing back.
There are “equality” people who are openly hostile to certain categories of humans based on gender, sexuality & race. This has happened before and it will happen again.
The pendulum will swing back and we'll look back at these people in the same way as certain stale feminists & race marketeers of the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s etc. The leaders of these ideas in the tech community who focus on gender & race over building products that people want will not last. They get louder & shriller, but wielding bigotry to fight bigotry always fertilizes suspicion.
You can't fight exclusion with exclusion. So don’t worry about these themes. If people aren’t bitching about their bigotry, their relevance wanes.
Just keep trying to do big things. If someone calls you privileged, it doesn't mean it wasn't hard & that you didn't earn it. You don’t have to argue with every person who writes something stupid on the Internet. To hell with those bigots. Their misery does not earn them the right to rob you of your own self worth and success. Diversity means that all perspectives deserve to be heard. It is ok that someone uses the word diversity to ward off white folks from leading. The community eventually rejects this kind of bigotry.
You can find these people worthy of your contempt and still be supportive of diversity & equality. Now ignore these fools and go build your shit.
There's practically no hostility (as you put it) towards white, heterosexual males in these circles. I have never been personally attacked or felt uncomfortable. Most of the discussion is aimed at systemic issues, not individuals. It's been pretty eye-opening, actually.
Based on my experience, I'm fairly certain that stories involving militant feminist/diversity people have been vastly overblown by places like Reddit.
Most of the feminists that are my friends aren't 'militant'. I can disagree with them and point out where their little bits of dogma differ with reality. We can usually have a discussion and learn from each other.
But trying to do that with any self-proclaimed feminist who doesn't already know me and it's I don't get it because of male privilege, or I'm ignorant on the subject (even if I cite sources and they don't), or I'm a rapist or rape sympathizer. They give me appeals to (their own) authority, fabricated statistics* , specious arguments about female fear, and I get shouted down if I want to discuss where males have similar struggles to females.
I once pointed out that the term feminism does not espouse the equality the feminist movement is trying to achieve. I said that is a disservice to the movement because it excludes some would-be allies while at the same time encouraging the "bad" type of feminist. I also pointed out that if someone self-identifies as a feminist, I don't really know what that person means. For some, like your friends apparently, it means what I think it means. But for others it means "white males are the devil."
I was immediately attacked. My attacker stated that she had read all the literature and (a million non sequiturs). My feminist friends just bowed out of the conversation, which irked me. The only person who stood up and was like "Uh, this is crazy. You're not even talking about what he said," was another male.
*Did you know murder by males is the number one cause of death among females?
I've been hearing that myth a lot recently too. I checked the CDC to see the real numbers. Cancer (disturbingly all ages groups), and (traffic) accidents, and heart disease make up the lion's share. Even suicide is larger than murders.
But even that isn't enough.
That would not be possible if it wasn't a dominant culture (without him getting fired).
Under the Civil Rights Act / Equal Opportunity law, race and gender are protected classes. So having your executives on record saying that "white women" are "some of the biggest barriers to progress" seems dangerous.
I'm not a lawyer, but when your employee tells Business Week that "it is very hard to even interview people who are 'white'", that seems like a legal disaster.
Replace "white" with any other color and notice how flagrantly racist and illegal that sounds. The law does not distinguish.
They need to fix this quickly.
They should assure people both internally and externally that hiring and promotion will be meritocratic, without regard to gender or race, and then ensure it actually happens that way.
> There's practically no hostility
There are many people who identify as feminists who are fair, rational, and genuinely want equal opportunities for all.
There are many other people who identify as feminists who are militantly against anything but total female domination.
The word is used by so many different groups with different ideologies in different contexts that it's become meaningless.
 http://www.census.gov/population/age/data/files/2012/2012gen... @ 15-19yo
That quote sounds like the kind of thing that could easily be an immature employee who doesn't like the idea of a "VP of diversity", or doesn't like the tone of the VP's slides, taking something small and blowing it out of proportion.
Like, they tried to recommend a friend of theirs for an open position and the friend didn't get an interview and suddenly that n=1 case becomes "OMG! They won't let us interview white candidates!!"
Even if true, "very hard" /= "not allowed".
So imo "very hard" == "not allowed" because it virtually achieves same result.
It's like, well, you asked for it.
I'm not sure, but I'm starting to think that we've reached a point where sociological constructs that would have flamed out, even just 20 years ago, can be sustained, because the people in power to sustain them now have an echo chamber where the message never quite falls below the point of being lost. It's almost as if improvements in communication have now backfired in raising the noise above the signal.
I hope you turn out to be right. As a white, male, heterosexual programmer who's reached his late 40's, I don't need any extra pressure working against me in my career prospects. I'm already starting to hate the H1-B visa program, but that's a rant for another post.
My point is, far as I'm concerned I can't afford to just sit tight and wait for it to blow over. And neither can the rest of you.
I understand that indeed people could have "issues" because of their gender, race or some other quality. I support they in their effort to make things better.
However, I do not understand this categorization. By categorizing people this way one actually splits a group of people into smaller groups based on given categorization. Those groups have conflicting interests and different level of privileges, and each of the groups tries to change that.
But why, instead of working within this artificial categorized groups, just get away from this categorization completely?
PS It's a sensitive topic and I hope I didn't offend anyone; sorry if I somehow did it, however.
PPS I'm wondering what are the job duties of diversity consultants...
Instead of taking it personally, use this advantage to eliminate as much privilege as possible. Don't shy away from "leadership," but instead embrace it and make diversity a major focus of your leadership style.
Calling out the underrepresented as "bigots" for being upset is just plain cowardice.
It's the ones who say that certain people must shut up because $GENDER or $RACE who are bigots.
I don't think this describes the majority of reasonable people defending diversity.
Radical anti Male Feminism and Euro phobic racism are wonderful things for everyone. And there good for the economy. Just like you, I will continue to watch the glorious Television programming.
These are very dangerous ideas that are being thrown around.
https://twitter.com/rachelmyers/status/629981737121021953 (also see some of her late Tweets about this very thread)
I think it started around the time they threw out their "meritocracy rug" back in early 2014 or somewhat before: http://readwrite.com/2014/01/24/github-meritocracy-rug
Bottom line: all of these pains are probably inevitable if you want to go from 50 to 500 employees with revenue in the $100-$500 millions. Hopefully they get it right, and manage to keep most of their long term employees happy. If not, hopefully they take care of them, and find people to replace them who know how to keep Github working well.
My intention is to get the angry dudes to chill out on arguing with every social justice warrior they meet.
Is that the thing you want to disagree with? Or did I make my point poorly?
There's about 5 things in there you could disagree with.
(are they actively discriminating? is it just against white guys? is it actually a problem? should people just ignore it? will it eventually go away?)
I'm not saying yes or no to any of these, but I think its pretty obvious people could disagree with any number of things that you've said.
...that said, broadly speaking, I agree with the idea that people should just chill out...but also, that github's growing pains are probably about more than this particular issue you raise.
And with that I take my leave of this whiny white bastion called HN. Enjoy your caves, suckas
Agree also in the big problem with the word 'feminism'. It seems the opposite of 'machism', and machism is bad, to claim supperiority of men over women, so many people still think feminism is claiming supperiority of women over men.
And as you say, there are soooo many variants of feminism that indeed claim that, and so many feminists (men and women) that claim it, that when I say 'of course I'm feminist' I always have to inmediately explain what I mean in case someone doesn't really know it's real meaning, coming from the context of its birth, as an oposition to machism.
And almost always, personal feelings, traumas, etc get into every discussion, deforming reason incredibly. Also prejudices about what you are trying to say (filling everything non explicitly stated with what they want to hear, you being the monster they're desiring to crunch). So you have to loose so much time stating everything about the context of what you are refering to, it's better not to even begin, as if they read you, either wouldn't understand anyway, feelings and lack of practice in logic would make them not to reason properly, or would just be the kind that doesn't really want to listen and be open to change in front of new verified data and reasonings, as all of us should, and will attack you using the lowest use a human can give to its brain, a use we have used over centuries to destroy and kill innocents (evil plots, rumours, false accusations, deformation of claims, lies, ...).
History doesn't have to play out in any one way. Our culture of individualism and freedom is not guaranteed to survive. It is on each generation to preserve it for the next. When they asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution would create, he said "a republic, if you can keep it." We can't win every battle, and we can't win the war if we don't choose our fights, but we must fight to win.
Usually with some self confirming story like the OP... I'm white just like you! Just ignore these radical racist people. go back to watching the ball game dude!
Its a tactic. The last thing they want is an actual debate because there ideas do not hold merit under scrutiny. If they can't get you to sit down and shut up then they will try to attack attack you.
So yes, everyone needs to stand up and stand firm against these people or they will continue and only get more irrational and nasty.
Is it? What about white men who grew up as orphans? Or with parents that had severe mental illness? What about white men with emotional disorders?
What about white male cancer survivors? Or white male single parents?
What about white men who grew up as historically disadvantaged minorities in their home countries?
Why is it OK to assume the system is stacked in someone's favor? How is that not prejudice?
So in one respect, sure, as a white male I had some advantages, but there are plenty of other ways to look at it. As a "nerd" I was bullied; I suffer from an incurable disease; I'm not a particularly attractive person; I'm notably uncoordinated and bad at sports. And on the other hand, I've got a fairly sharp mind, and have some talents and a supportive network around me. A lot of these things apply to other people in and out of my demographic cohort, to such a degree of ... let's say "diversity" ... that it makes no sense to focus on those demographics when thinking about who has privileges or disadvantages.
White males has comparably poorer supportive network than most other demographics. Culture assume that all white men are healthy and strong, and society carry a discrimination when reality crash with that imagine. Is that privilege? Privilege for whom and compared to what?
Perhaps, perhaps not -- but your examples do nothing to counteract the idea that it is, as every single one of the groups you've mentioned is, in the US, significantly advantaged over the broader, corresponding group that is identically described without the "white men" or "white male" limitation.
Now, in many case, the system is also stacked against the class described in the other part of the descriptor, such that the intersection of that class with the "white men" restriction is disadvantaged compared to "white men" more generally.
But that doesn't, in any way, change the fact that the system (in the US) is stacked in favor of white men.
> Why is it OK to assume the system is stacked in someone's favor?
There is a difference between "conclude" and "assume".
> How is that not prejudice?
If you assume in the absence of evidence, it is prejudice. If you conclude on the basis of evidence, it isn't prejudice (because there is no "pre".)
 I'm interested in the differences between reactions to this, versus Brendan Eich's gay marriage scandal at Mozilla a couple of years ago.
Don't get me wrong... I supported marriage equality then, and I do not support the worst of the statements called out in this story now. However, there are rational arguments that the HN community overreacted in BOTH cases. You have to assume that self-interest factors into the difference.
 Why are people so reluctant to move from GitHub to Bitbucket or GitLab? I've done work with all three, and personally haven't found any of them to be significantly more or less reliable than the others (i.e. they ALL go down occasionally). GitLab's interface is virtually on-par with GitHub at this point, and frankly Bitbucket is far superior if you're using JIRA.
Current architecture trends are moving toward smaller services, with a proliferating number of repositories. So GitHub's pricing model, in which you're charged by the number of repos, is becoming less competitive every day against Bitbucket and GitLab charging per user. I sometimes wonder how many HN people do actual work on teams of significant size, and how many are college students or micro-startup founders who don't really pay much for tooling anyway? GitHub's pricing model makes NO sense for established companies with lots of projects, and it seems weird that so few people here bring this up.
But for the use cases in which people actually pay money (i.e. private repos that you don't WANT outsiders to access), then how is lack of popular visibility a downside?
Has anyone really thought of this? Do people just happen on to a github project because "it is on github" or because someone linked their work and people liked it and wanted to contribute?
Would React, D3, Rails, Bootstrap etc not get what they do now simply because "oh I don't have a bitbucket account, I'm not going to bother"
To me at least this kind of argument (I hear a lot of, nothing personal davesque!) is along the lines of "everybody is on MySpace"
I happen to have a BitBucket account, so I can't speak directly to your point, but I'm less likely to file issues on a project if I have to register a new account with their bug tracker to do so. I imagine the same would apply to a project hosted on BitBucket if I had a GitHub account but not one on BitBucket.
Github has become the number one place to show of your portfolio. Half of job postings these days encourage you to include a link to your GitHub profile.
For me, it emphatically is about the software.
Even for totally private repos, where popularity is not a factor, I continue to turn to Github because the UIs for both Bitbucket and GitLab continue to stand in the way of me easily getting shit done.
Ex. by far the most common thing I'm doing when going to a repo is looking up a file and doing something with it. So why isn't a file list the first thing which comes up when I open a repo?
Also, generally work on visual hierarchy more. GitHub does a great job of this and it makes the UI both efficient and pleasant. For example, you show the latest commit on a repo's homepage but it is very poorly differentiated from the content around it. This makes scanning the page much harder.
> Ex. by far the most common thing I'm doing when going to a repo is looking up a file and doing something with it. So why isn't a file list the first thing which comes up when I open a repo?
You can set this as default in your profile at /profile/preferences! Note that with GitLab 8.4 we now also have the quick-files finder which you can open from any page in a project by typing `t`.
We're working hard on improving the UI and UX and improving visual hierarchy and especially providing context to the current view is very high on our list. I hope the many changes in the last and upcoming releases will help, but any more specific feedback is very welcome.
There's a lot of stuff going on in the sidebar and it took a while for me to figure out where things were. The mobile experience was also not amazing.
If you would like to take this conversation offline, I'd be happy to. I like Gitlab so far, although I'm only 5% in to my "migration" process.
If you need any help please email firstname.lastname@example.org and reference this comment.
But commenting online is encouraged, all of our issues are public.
GitLab 8.5 will have responsive views for most pages, but their functionality will be slightly limited compared to a full-browser, as we chose to hide certain elements (rather than a separate mobile view).
(I'm one of the founding engineers on Bitbucket Server, but more involved in Bitbucket.org these days)
Why has it been 7 years and nothing's been done? We're also considering moving everything to github, even if the price is higher... especially since the interface is more user friendly and there are far superior integrations available. It seems Bitbucket has been lagging in improvements :(
Their culture is definitely screwed up - or they wouldn't be in the news like this. Culture starts at the top, a few people, even just one person at the very top. You have to take responsibility for that. The "we can break all the rules" thinking is naive - you'll find some of those rules are there for a reason.
If you wanna develop software without profit motive (and VC investment) that's awesome, but don't think flat org structures are going to fly in a company over 100 people. I'm all for question authority, but profit motive needs organization, which needs order and hierarchies enforce that order.
Totally agree with this assessment. When we were with Github, we actually ended up on a custom plan, negotiated with them directly, because we had too many projects to fit within their normal pricing structure. We eventually moved to Bitbucket two or three years ago and it's far more cost-effective for us. At this point we have 500+ projects on Bitbucket, and we're a company of only 20 people.
However, right now microservices are blowing up. The new greenfield project that I'm working on right now started out a year ago as a monolith with one repo. It now has microservice components scattered across several DOZEN repos, with dev teams finding excuses to refactor into smaller and smaller granularity each month.
I also did not understand the big hoopla. If you can open source your project, then its good for you (free!). But they depend on enterprise and potentially other businesses with private code. But then it really does not make as much sense - as in whats the real gain - most of the use cases are from command line doing git [clone/pull/push].
For every company I've ever worked at, the "community" or "network effect" of a source control vendor is meaningless. Because the repos are all private. Sure, the company might have SOME open source stuff mirrored on GitHub for publicity purposes. But the real bread-and-butter daily WORK that pays the bills takes place in private repos. In most cases, private repos that are hosted on-prem rather than in the cloud.
Sure, GitHub and its "network effect" matters for open source projects, and for resume-fodder side projects we tinker with as individuals. But all of that is free anyway. What about the scenarios where you'd have to pay GitHub a lot of money? How many vocal people on HN are actually IN that scenario?
GitHub continuously improves their application and enterprise customers get new features a release or so after its rolled out on github.com.
As a tinkerer, I tend to appreciate a feature when I have it missing during the day and rely on it at night. A self-network effect of sorts?
As mentioned in another comment, I'm trying gitlab to move my stuff there but I'd be a bit pissed if we got off Github Enterprise at work since it "just works" and "needs no fixing because it's great".
I've been searching through old HN stories about Eich, but can't seem to find any where the comments generally supported firing him due to supporting Prop 8 (banning gay marriage).
Is there a particular thread you had in mind? Or are you stating the overreaction was being angry that he might have been fired over that support?
I just recall there being a LOT of people who found it perfectly reasonable to oust somebody for long-ago political donations, despite there being no indication that he ever actually discriminated against anyone at Mozilla.
Yeah, you can make arguments that the mere existence of a such past donation creates a symbolically hostile environment, etc. But those arguments seemed pretty thin to me. At the time Eich made that donation, every major Democratic presidential candidate (including Clinton and Obama) were ALSO publicly opposed to marriage equality. So it seemed like extreme mental gymnastics to put a "hate speech" label on Eich.
In the GitHub story today, if you were feeling charitable then you could likewise apply some positive spin too. There IS some context to those slideshow bullet-points and that tweet, which has been buried under the outrage. Once again, I disagree with these messages even when that context is considered. But my point is that it seemed like there were a lot more people willing to do mental gymnastics in the Eich case than in this one.
No, the extreme mental gymnastics here involve thinking that hate speech can be defined by looking at the content of Clinton and Obama's campaign speeches.
The ouster came six years after his donation. The only way that could be characterized as "long ago" is by the use of extreme mental gymnastics.
Anyway, donating to Proposition 8 is equivalent to making the statement "I will actively work to take other people's rights away, even though it will never affect me". Is it any surprise that he was ousted? It was a disaster for Mozilla to associate with him.
Does the last 6 months count as history? I don't think enough time has elapsed to fully ascertain the merits of same-sex marriage. Changes in sexual culture take a few dozen years to propagate and get a good read on the real effects.
People started boycotting Mozilla after he was promoted. "Disaster" is an appropriate descriptor.
One is a thought, the other is an action.
Punishing people for unknowable bad thoughts is an Orwellian nightmare. Punishing people for visible bad actions is how society moves forward.
I'll spell this out very simply: the same laws and social standards that make it OK for you to criticise them, make it OK for them to criticise Mozilla.
As I see it, Eich didn't lose his job because of his political opinions, he lost (or decided to leave) his job because of his inability to perform basic duties of the job -- a CEO, after all, must ultimately be responsible for managing a company, including its public image and relations with its employees, customers, etc.
And, honestly, I think that even with the past donation, the situation was manageable, and that anyone who was up to the task of being CEO of an organization like Mozilla could have managed it.
How about for starters, "we" stop getting people fired for holding unpopular political opinions? That said, I don't have a good idea of how to persuade everyone to change this disastrous course we're on, if that's what you were asking.
> At what point does it become unacceptable, and unacceptable to whom?
Unacceptable to people who realize that in a large nation full of people with wildly different lifestyles and cultures, a level of tolerance is required so that we can all go about our business as opposed to murdering each other in the street.
This doesn't mean that you don't speak your mind, advocate for your cause, and criticize those idiots over there who are clearly wrong; it does mean that you acknowledge those idiots still should be able to earn a living and argue for their own causes, no matter how wrong they are.
And for the second or third time this thread, having an opinion and taking an action are two different things. Please address that rather than just repeating your original post.
Society has decided that denying people basic rights is what's "unacceptable" and chooses to punish those that act in that fashion. And it's not like there's any other explanation for the donation either... the group he donated to was a single purpose lobbying campaign.
Voluntary, in the sense that when you get mugged you can choose between your money or your life? For some reason I suspect Eich did not leave the position he had just taken because he wanted to spend more time with his family. And "voluntary" or not, somebody leaving a position in a private industry because of a mob that's intolerant of his unrelated political views is nothing to celebrate: in fact, it's a symbol of the wild polarization that is destroying this country.
> Society has decided that denying people basic rights is what's "unacceptable" and chooses to punish those that act in that fashion.
"Society" has decided this, has it? When did that happen? Last I heard, there was a lot of arguing going on about that very point.
> And it's not like there's any other explanation for the donation either... the group he donated to was a single purpose lobbying campaign.
And as I stated previously, "you can hold any opinion you want as long as you don't tell anyone about it" is unacceptable.
Did you completely ignore the differentiation between thought and action that I just laid out?
I strongly agree with that statement, but I also strongly object to the ouster of Eich. An opinion on one does not imply an opinion on the other.
I support the right of the KKK to march through the streets, but that doesn't mean I should have to hire one of their members.
That's not the analogy. It's contrived, but to stick with the theme of white racists, is it ethical (legality aside) for a board full of clansmen to fire a CEO that donated to the ADL? To keep it simple, let's say the CEO is not Jewish, but does financially support the ADL.
I was making an oblique reference to a rather famous free speech case. 
> is it ethical (legality aside) for a board full of clansmen to fire a CEO that donated to the ADL?
No, but I have a hard time finding anything clansmen do ethical. If your ideology is motivated by bigotry, that's the problem.
> If your ideology is motivated by bigotry, that's the problem.
I agree. I'm not sure corporate leaders need legal protection. Perhaps. But the right to publicly assemble and speak absolutely needs legal protection. That's why I was trying to draw another analogy. To explore the difference between the Eich and Skokie incidents.
I think there's been a miscommunication, because neither do I.
They're fundamentally different cases, in that I think the NSDAP should have the legal right to march but they can absolutely be punished socially.
Likewise, I think what happened to Eich was perfectly legal but not necessarily moral. They're not the same and that was my point: invoking "free speech" as a Constitutional right has no bearing on the Eich case.
You must have a different definition of ethics than the rest of us do. I'm having a hard time reconciling that opinion with a definition of "ethical" that actually means anything, to be honest. Would you care to provide a definition?
How is this even legal? Change 'white' for any other race, and you'd have yourself a workplace discrimination lawsuit.
I'm very interested in the "internal cultural battle" over diversity issues at Github, because my school's CS dept. is having a lot of dialogue lately with similar rhetorical arguments. Teaching Assistants recently had a mandatory student-run training session that I perceived to be frighteningly one-sided.
Besides the photo, what else did the talk discuss?
No really, just read reddit.com/r/tumblrinaction and realize wtf people are saying these days shielding behind (false)feminist propaganda and some very confused idea of oppression.
Before reading that subreddit, one should probably be aware of Poe's law. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law
Don't get me wrong, they clearly kick things up a notch in the drama department, but they do the ground work in sourcing articles for you.
I hope the irony is not lost on you. What a despicable (and sadly typical) comment.
This sentiment is racist and sexist.
Goodbye revolutionary, forward-thinking work culture & hierarchy (meritocracy). You will be gravely missed. Good luck hiring sub-par engineers for the next 2 years and watching your data centers go down on a daily basis.
I guess the only question left is... who are you switching to?
Hosted: Bitbucket, GitLab
Self-hosted: GitLab, Gogs
None of these come close to GitHub in my experience.
* Even has a serious business mode, for the most serious businesses.
* Written in PHP so literally anyone can contribute, even if they have no idea how to program.
* Even babies and dogs can contribute.
* You, too, can contribute!
And then underneath: 'Companies probably using Phabricator'
We started using it due to the Arcanist pre-commit hooks. We now use it for issue tracking and may be soon migrating our "scrum" functionality from JIRA to Ph.
The only downside I see is that it is not very well documented... in fact I will say it is all the opposite. But still, the fact that we use it happily shows how good it is!
On the other hand, if you don't feel like drinking the Atlassian sugary beverage with an odd taste, there's LXR (and LXRng), OpenGrok (remember OpenGrok?), and Etsy's Hound, not to mention Russ Cox's standalone Go implementation of Google's code search tool.
2: Ironically enough, search Github. lxr.linux.no went down some time ago.
If things go smoothly, Bitbucket users will be able to make search, a first class citizen.
I should have mentioned it, but the current version of GitSense in the Chrome store doesn't support Bitbucket. I'm still testing it out but it should be updated within the next couple of days.
It was quite disappointing, especially since Gitlabs was on the table as an option but we opted for Bitbucket since we added JIRA a couple years ago.
If the smart people here have any suggestions on how to make Bitbucket look more line GitHub, I'd love to hear.
Also, the degree to which Atlassian products integrate varies a lot. FishEye and Crucible integrate closely. Both of them integrate OK with Jira. Neither of them really integrate at all with Stash, which has its own implementation of code browsing, search, and review. Jira and Stash integrate acceptably, but not very flexibly, and not to a level that surpasses any number of third-party integrations.
And there's no level of integration that would make Confluence worth using.
There is no good reason to be a full-boat Atlassian shop, period. If Jira is what you want, use it; I'm not a huge fan of it conceptually but it there's nothing wrong with it. Crucible is decent if you're willing to put the effort in to get it set up for your workflow. Nothing else of theirs I've used is worth the time it takes to set up, let alone the cost.
CEO of Atlassian here. Can you list the features you deem missing? I want to check them against our roadmap, as I don't believe we have many gaps, and a host of things better.
Here's some additional things off the top of my head...
- search! maybe our fisheye isnt indexing all our repos properly (we just recently migrated 10+ years of svn codebases too, in addition to a slew of new git repos) but I would have hoped to be able to do deep code searches within stash itself, across many/all repos.
- project areas: Only one level hierarchy. we'd rather be able to form adhoc groups (think github organizations) under those project areas
cant think of any more right now but it's late saturday evening :) but you can certainly have your folks contact us at CBP and we'd be happy to give deeper feedback if you want it
Search is known and being worked on. FishEye should work in the interim until we do Stash native search - if not - please contact our support team.
Project areas - will get the team to dig into this more, and understand the real underlying use-case you need this. Is it search? Permissions? Discovery?
re: project areas, all of the above :)
I'm a product manager at Atlassian, feel free to email me (rbarnes@) if you'd like to crack this open, I'd love to hear more.
Stash and Bitbucket have converged more than I expected, mostly because my recollection of Bitbucket was closer to Github than it actually is. But versus Bitbucket, Stash is missing Mercurial support, snippets, issues, wiki, project overview pages, and some social features. The lack of snippets was particularly vexing to me in my day-to-day work until we started using Slack. And Slack snippets are still a poor substitute for Gists.
Versus Github, the difference is more pronounced. Github has better search (and it isn't even that good), much nicer pull requests with superior integration to the issue tracking system, a much better API, better profile pages, static site generation, and in-place editing.
Yes, I know the answer to the lack of some of those features is "use our other products too", but Atlassian's competitors offer products with lightweight issue tracking and wikis. And while the features Stash provides are generally decently implemented and usable (the last few versions have been a big improvement), Confluence... is poorly suited to be used as a programmers' wiki, to use the gentlest language I can muster.
Using this for work:
- Would love to be able to see something on my profile page. I've got hundreds of commits but my user page is completely empty. Maybe this is because our repos are private, but since I'm logged in I would expect to see something.
- I love GitHubs personal commits page, as well as the reporting features baked into each repo. I think it would make the higher ups happy if they could see how active we are.
Note that there is a plugin that seems to do this, but while it's cheap for 10 users the price escalates at a weird rate ($1 to $6 to $8 /user at the first three tiers). At this point I'm hoping we can trial it out to show how much it would help with reporting/at a glance metrics, and then hopefully find funds for it. Or find a package to generate these locally. I'm not sure why this isn't just baked in though.
- Triggering emails when commits are made seems to be a plugin? Or email isn't setup correctly yet. This one still needs to be dug into.
- This is a value add: README file support for projects?
Maybe it's intentional, but coming from GitHub a local server install of Bitbucket is just so plain.
Edit: And kudos for reading Hacker News and leaving a comment asking for feedback.
Email should be built in. Raise a support ticket with our amazing support team if any issues with that.
I'll check on README. I thought we had equivalent, but perhaps in a different place. Will have to wait until the team wakes up.
> Maybe it's intentional, but coming from GitHub a local server install of Bitbucket is just so plain
We try to be deliberate about adding features that matter. The Bitbucket server team is one of the best at Atlassian, so hopefully you're saying the lack of "right features" is the issue, not just the extra whitespace.
Thanks for taking time to add feedback. I really appreciate it & helps us make a better product.
Never tried it without the .md extension since that was the Github default (IIRC).
Could you make it so that you could just lay down files, attach storage and start the service?
Also, clustering (active/active) word be awesome.
There are a few options for configuration management and automation.
The installer, web setup and almost everything in settings/admin/provisioning can be done via a config file, script or REST call.
There are a few 3rd party modules for config management tools available that make use of this:
We also provide a docker image that may be of interest: https://hub.docker.com/r/atlassian/bitbucket-server/
As for clustering, Bitbucket Data Center provides the same self-hosted functionality as Bitbucket Server for 500+ user tiers, with active-active clustering for performance at scale and HA, as well as Smart Mirroring for distributed git read performance.
Feel free to email me (rbarnes@) if you have feedback on how these options work for you.
For Clustering - any reason you need active/active? We have mirroring which (from our chats with most of our customers) is what people prefer.
 - https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucketserver/smart-mirro...
Please use the same markdown syntax across ALL your products.
No excuse, but wanted to set expectations.
I honestly have to ask: have you used GitHub Enterprise? It's search functionality is horrible. Oh, it searches for things, but it won't find things. And this isn't a rare issue. And I'm not talking about anything other than searching through master branches.
It's a tool that I cannot trust.
Searching is done at the branch level and you'll have niceties like case sensitive searches and you'll be able to search across multiple branches at once to verify bug fixes and what not. It also introduces commits and diffs search, which are currently not possible with GitHub. And once again, these searches are at the branch level.
I get free unlimited private repositories and everything works. It's blazingly fast. I absolutely love it, not a single issue so far.
Should have switched sooner.
Destroying company culture takes some time.
Programmers are abstract thinkers, and it's disgusting to see them lower themselves and adopt the semantics and memes of obvious cultural constructs like race. What does it even mean to be "white"? Who exactly are they talking about and what is it about this group of people that is so bad? There's no need to bring in this gross oversimplification of culture and biology into professional talks. If they're seeing some kind of pattern within their company that correlates with some ethnicity or culture, it's just a coincidence! Start hiring less asshole managers! Who cares what color they are?
American culture is such a bummer when it comes to how it shoves people into categories. We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and NOT MENTION IT. There is simply no excuse at all to mention it. People CANNOT be categorized based on skin color at all, AT ALL. People cannot be categorized based on culture either. Virtually everyone is multi-ethnic and multi-racial at some level. To identify even yourself as belonging to a distinct "color" is just a fabrication of American culture that is an unfortunate outcome of the history in this country.
The only way forward is to forget about categorizing people, and just speak to their qualities -> not "white managers are assholes", instead "asshole managers are assholes".
"Reverse-racism" is now an acceptable ideology in the media and in the tech community, and all the social-studies crowd now get jobs as "diversity officers" in Tech companies. It isn't going to end well for some companies, that might get "disrupted" from the inside because of people pushing politics before anything else.
I've been a member of multiple institutions that have fallen on the wrong end of this kind of activism. My Catholic high school has been dragged through the local media for not listing a gay marriage in the Marriages section of the alumni magazine. The inter-fraternity council at my alma mater has a speech code for offensive language and a dress code for offensive clothing, like Indian mascots. I saw the behind-the-scenes arm-twisting by the college administration to make them do it. Every big tech company has to pay the protection money here too. Jesse Jackson and his allies in Congress started saying that the tech industry was racist for not having enough black people, a totally absurd accusation because the only reason why there aren't many black employees is that there aren't many black applicants. Then he got invited to a few board meetings, extracted some donations, and went on his way.
Outragism certainly pays a lot of salaries for mid-level administrators there, though.
In practice so far, it hasn't fared any better, but probably not worse either.
Like in the U.S., one of the biggest hindrances or obstacles to success is segregation (forced or by choice). Wanting success essentially entails assuming the culture and practices of the successful, but for some fraction of people, being malleable and becoming like the mainstream is antithetical as it's interpreted as "giving in" to the larger culture, while simultaneously wanting to be part of the larger culture and to be accepted by the larger culture. So there is that ambivalence.
Personally, if I wanted to succeed in China or Mexico, I'm willing to bet I'd improve my chances by adopting local customs, manners and attitudes, rather than being steadfast about my own. [it's somewhat peculiar some Americans are sheepish about being "too American" while abroad but simultaneously believe that integration into the mainstream isn't all that necessary. It tells me that their brain tells them one thing, but in practice, when given the opportunity, try to be like Romans while in Rome]
Personally, I think people put too much stock in group identity over say, personal identity. But you know, let people do as they wish.
That said, mainstream Chinese society is basically Han Chinese, which is largely eastern China. There's a lot more to China than just the eastern areas. Xinjiang and Tibet are two areas of the PRC that are essentially occupied countries experiencing ethnic cleansing via dilution. The ethnicities that are the majority (or used to be the majority) in these regions are second class citizens in the PRC.
Insterestingly, I think by using China as an example is an example of an issue I've raised a few times in this thread. Countries as large as the United States and the US are hard to generalize about. There are many remarkably different regions flying the same flag. One of the issues the frustrates me is that Silicon Valley needs to be representative of the United States instead of California, neighboring states and those US states and cities that many California transplants come from. Large countries have utility insofar as exerting economic, political and military force upon other nations, but they present internal complications because of internal diversity. There's no reason that Silicon Valley should be representative of US diversity. US diversity is and should be merely one of several contributors to diversity of Silicon Valley. The US, like China, is one nation composed of many states many of which could function as their own nation as many countries in the EU do.
But I think people make these demands arbitrarily [or rather not, but whenever it benefits them]. So as an Irishwoman or an Indian man, I might not fret about the diversity of a product/service from Ireland or India, but then if a product or service from the US or Japan is used extensively in Ireland or India, I might insist on it having representation of my country/ethnicity.
You also don't hear people saying, HonHai (Foxconn) should hire a more diverse workforce, or Xiomi [or even Lexus, for example] even though many of the products out put by these companies are used in diverse places.
TBH, I find it positively weird to concern myself in any way about the identity of the people that make products I use. I am a human being after all and that is most important for the overwhelming majority of product decisions. Gender and body size may also be important depending on the product. For example, the only trait I wish more product designers understood and catered to is my height (I'm 6'5" (196cm)), but it's insane for me to demand a firm to employ someone my height or even design products for me when I'm well past the 99th percentile (I guess that makes me part of that 1%, right?). Accommodating people of my height may not be cost effective for most firms, especially if it raises the price enough to make them less competitive. If I can't use their product, then I won't and hopefully I'll find a product that caters specifically to me or solve my own problem.
Take a look at this video about a Chinese villager with Russian ancestry:
He is completely culturally Chinese, although in a rural kind of way, in his speech and mannerisms. If you can read Chinese, the comments are very inclusive.
"Non-Asian" people have settled in China for hundreds of years, especially Arab traders who arrived through the silk road. Multiculturalism is not a foreign concept in China.
They have settled for hundreds of years. And never been fully accepted.
I don't see how this can go well. Meritocracy is important among dev and open source. And they don't care about political diversity. I can only imagine this new "culture of fear" where you can't hire white people (even woman).
Skills and experiences should be the only way to choose who you hire, not race or gender.
Anyway, looks like a good time to switch from github to open source solutions.
You're totally right that skills and experiences should be the only way to choose, but right now, tech firms in this society are fundamentally incapable of actually implementing that without diversity initiatives. True meritocracy can only come through promoting diversity.
>> True meritocracy can only come through promoting diversity.
If you are taking diversity into account, you are taking things other than merit into account and so it isn't a 'true' meritocracy. Not only that but it also suffers from the no true Scotsman fallacy.
The best way to promote meritocracy is to base your decisions on merit and nothing else. To avoid unconscious bias, you would have to hire someone without knowing their age, sex, sexual orientation or anything else that you could consider discriminatory. That would mean hiring someone that you haven't and that's a little extreme.
Well, no. The point is that due to inherent unconscious biases (see my link for scientific papers documenting this), it's impossible to only take merit into account without social norms biased towards white men skewing the process. Diversity initiatives seek to eradicate this bias, in order to truly measure merit and compensate for the interfering factors.
> Not only that but it also suffers from the no true Scotsman fallacy.
I really don't see what that's got to do with anything here.
> To avoid unconscious bias, you would have to hire someone without knowing their age, sex, sexual orientation or anything else that you could consider discriminatory. That would mean hiring someone that you haven't and that's a little extreme.
Presumably you mean "you haven't met"? Well exactly. Hence, diversity initiatives that seek to compensate in practical ways.
If you work at a truly diverse tech company you can assume discriminatory hiring practices are in order.
Trying to apply normal social dynamics to a play where you have a completely async environment(meaning they don't even see each other), is a little bit of a stretch.
A lot of interviews in tech don't even involve voice or face to face communication. If you take away looks, sound and name, what else is there besides quality of work?
see my comment below:
Unless their name is in their username. Or they have a profile picture of themselves. Or they have their real name on their commits. Or their username or picture is something stereotypically masculine/feminine.
I searched for 'things' on Github and looked at the most recent committer of the first 20 responses (easiest way I could think of to get a random sample of users). For 16 of them, I could easily see that they were male. 2 of them had their names, but I wasn't sure if the names were feminine or masculine. 2 had no hints whatsoever.
I can still remember the first time I uploaded a masculine avatar I had to get a medical exam to prove I was the same gender people seeing my picture assume I am.
Its a hard world, if only we could communicate online with a total identity of our choosing! We could all pick fake names, like a pen name, or a 'pseudo' name thay wasn't real. Wjat a crazy world THAT would be @sanctus.
For bonus points, consider the gender and racial connotations entrenched within your own username - sanctus - based on the language (latin) I'm guessing you're a white roman from antiquity!
Meritocracy is a lie. Look how broken interview processes are - definitely not meritocratic. Meritocracy is a rationalisation for "I hire people I like so long as they don't say anything idiotic during the interview". You'd get better results from having some kind of bar that candidates have to meet and then just selecting one at random and giving that person the job.
But why didn't the old boys club decide to have microsoft's hosted team foundation server win? Or sourceforge? The silicon valley conspiracy is hard to understand at times ...
One side of the equation are people that grew up with an alternate reality, because they spend a lot of their time online, growing up, working on their own projects and only later joining "society". In that world you get indeed ridiculed by how good or bad your code is, but not generally based on your socioeconomic background.
The other side of the equation is people that grew up in society where things do indeed work like in an old boys club. I will never get access to the people, that people studied international affairs at columbia do. I will also never get access to the people that MBAs from Harvard do.
But I still very well remember when I graduated from "the annoying kid that doesn't know shit" to "the kid that wrote a LR parser in IRC almost 20 years ago. And most of those people never ever found out my real name, my gender, my socioeconomic background, nor my ethnicity.
In fact the reality that this shit does matter in real life was as inconceivable for me back then, as the concept of meritocracy must be for someone that spent his entire life in society now.
If the only real goal put down on paper is to hire x% black people and y% brown people and reduce z% of white people under some fuzzy equality rubric its no surprise these positions attract people who have ideologically compatible beliefs.
There has been a small collection of black/brown power radical organisations in California for over 50 years. There views are openly racist and have anti white, anti European, anti Colonial America sentiments. These diversity jobs are a magnet for people with that mindset who live every day with there race on there sleeve. When they get in they can twist whatever mandate there is to promote there own agenda and beliefs.
The sheltered Ivy league set who runs these companies have no street smarts or experience with race politics in California. So you end up with what we have now with genuinely nasty ideologues hired into these organisations and they eventually do lots of damage.
I suspect that in GitHub's case, the diversity officer was tasked with defining those goals, on the basis that the straight white male executives would have no clue what the "right" goals should be.
I hire developer where I work, I hired white, non-white and women, and every time I make my choice by testing their skills and asking about their past experiences because that's how you get the most competent employees. And every tech company want best employees...
Hiring people based on how much diversity they provide based purely on their gender, race, etc is prejudice in itself, even if well intended.
We don't have a lot of evidence meritocracy works. We have several pieces of evidence suggesting that it, in fact, didn't serve github very well. The fact there was a sexual harassment lawsuit with a barely kept secret about a whole group of women bound by arbitration and non-disparage agreements is probably evidece it doesn't.
The sad part, most people will never really understand how much Tom sacrificed to protect his friends during his final days there.
The philosophic burden of proof is on you as you're making a statement counter to user "audessuscest"'s claim that meritocracy is important and the ideal is to make solely skill-based hires.
Let's just... ignore the larger societal angle of harassment, denigration, fear and uncertainty that plagues women and some minorities in STEM fields or finance, okay? Let's say, "It exists but let's not discuss it here."
I really don't wanna do this conversation AGAIN but the contention is that right now "whiteness" and "maleness" are implicitly part of the meritocratic process as positive traits. That happens in 2 ways:
1. Young, single, white (and Asian!) men are targeted by recruiters because of a perception of a "work ethic". This ethic is "I expect people to prop up my life so I can work 80+ hours a week, which is not sustainable if you have ANY responsibilities at all outside of basic sustenance". Historically, they has been a safe bet.
2. Subsequent "pattern matching" be it implicit or explicit, kind or cruel, expects that kind of commitment and education and ethos. That this wasn't ever reasonable is lost because people are just trying to recognize someone who can likely work in the same way they're expecting or have worked.
You can argue that people should work that hard and that it's fair, if you want. But what actually happens is that people find that there is a specific profile of people most likely to be willing and able to commit to that kind of lifestyle and then they optimize for selecting that. Therefore, Meritocracy is not a hedge against racism or sexism. Indeed, Meritocracy may be selecting "merit" based on attributes which explicitly reinforce sexism or racism.
So when you say, "skill-based hires" I can't help but hear, "people like me" every time. Because if anyone actually gave a shit about skill based hires they'd be blinding their recruiting efforts, doing pre-filter tests and desperately trying to remove every drop of bias from the industry to identify them.
No, let's not just agree to a narrative that you want to sell. I strongly reject your premise that uses weasel words and emotive language. You already tried manipulating the conversation by referencing a lawsuit without mentioning that the outcome ran counter to your narrative of endemic sexism.
>I really don't wanna do this conversation AGAIN but the contention is that right now "whiteness" and "maleness" are implicitly part of the meritocratic process as positive traits.
It's clear that you're used to "arguing" with people that agree with your ideology. If you don't want to deal with disagreement, then don't bother responding -- stay in your echo chamber.
The/my meritocratic process doesn't care about race or gender. When I hire consultants and contract-out work, I often don't know their race or gender and I'm not interested. I choose candidates in my price range based on the best work-samples.
>1. Young, single, white (and Asian!) men are targeted by recruiters because of a perception of a "work ethic". This ethic is "I expect people to prop up my life so I can work 80+ hours a week
Sorry, you forgot to mention that those people have experience in the industry or are otherwise credentialed -- your phrasing either intentionally or unintentionally suggests that recruiters just contact arbitrary white and asian men: "Hey, so we see that you're currently painting fences. Want to run a tech startup?" That's not the case.
Further, your assignment of "work ethic" to mean "I put my career first" reflects a personal choice. Either gender and any race can make this choice. By the way, "working really hard" isn't a "perception of a work ethic", that's just what's meant by work ethic. It's okay for words to have definitions.
>2. Subsequent "pattern matching" be it implicit or explicit, kind or cruel, expects that kind of commitment and education and ethos.
If I'm unpacking your assertion correctly, you're just saying that an interviewer or recruiter wants/looks-for commitment, relevant education, qualifications, and a career-first mentality. What a shock.
>But what actually happens is that people find that there is a specific profile of people most likely to be willing and able to commit to that kind of lifestyle and then they optimize for selecting that.
Which makes me think that I'm understanding you. The person that makes the personal choices and sacrifice required to excel in an industry is the logical pick over the person that didn't.
>Indeed, Meritocracy may be selecting "merit" based on attributes which explicitly reinforce sexism or racism...if anyone actually gave a shit about skill based hires they'd be blinding their recruiting efforts, doing pre-filter tests and desperately trying to remove every drop of bias from the industry to identify them.
According to your reasoning, hiring someone with a very strong work ethic is a "reinforcement of sexism and racism". Your prior suggestion that that those traits are unique to "young, single, white (and Asian!) men" is disgusting and offensive. Stop diminishing the importance of personal agency in becoming successful in a highly competitive field.
I'm going to stick with my approach of not caring about the gender, race, or any other _not at all relevant to their work or how I treat them as a person_ detail. If this wave of "social justice" parasites actually wanted change instead of attention and money, they'd quit the bullshit and put in the work to become great engineers or create their own companies.
It might be true for you. We know it's not true for many other people. That's why orchestras stick auditionees behind curtains. It's why people are advised to remove any protected characteristic information from their resumes/CVs.
> I'm going to stick with my approach of not caring about the gender, race, or any other _not at all relevant to their work or how I treat them as a person_ detail
I'd be interested in how you know you've eliminated this bit of strong conditioning, or whether you're operating under a cognitive bias.
Because so far when we test people who say "I don't care about race / sex / etc" we find people who do in fact care about it.
In a highly-competitive field with strong compensation and a lack of qualified candidates, I have a hard time believing that it's any sort of normal for recruiters (who require placement for compensation or to keep their jobs) to discount people based on race or gender, especially with the amount of good press and cheap marketing that now comes from having an outwardly diverse company.
I don't buy into the narrative that the engineering field is flush with discriminatory practices. Companies are even paying non-STEM people to spew inflammatory garbage about the STEM industry -- if the tech industry is financially tolerant of these parasites, why is it insane to think that we, as an engineering workforce, have healthy/tolerant views?
>I'd be interested in how you know you've eliminated this bit of strong conditioning, or whether you're operating under a cognitive bias.
This one is easy -- I'm not interested in someone's race/gender/religion/appearance/other-non-consequential-factors when it comes to work. I'm primarily interested in taking care of my family and in personal growth; working with others that help the success of my company and challenge me to better myself help in these goals.
By definition, I wouldn't know if this is some sort of cognitive bias, but evidence would suggest that I'm in good shape on this front. If it's a bad thing to not raise or lower my expectations of others based on race/gender, then I'm comfortable being a jerk that judges people based on their merits.
>Because so far when we test people who say "I don't care about race / sex / etc" we find people who do in fact care about it.
I feel like you're trying to indirectly accuse me of something, so if you are, own up to it and make the accusation directly.
People who fixate on race/sex/etc that have deeply rooted issues with it, not those who focus on thoughts, ideas, and ability.
Any positive claim is a negative claim and vice-versa. That also means positive claims are often contradictory.
1. Diversity should be considered along with merits when hiring.
2. Merit should be the overriding concern when hiring.
3. Extra precautions should be taken to promote a "blind" application and vetting process.
There's not enough proof to close the discussion, but we still have to hire people.
For many people it means, atomically, when you're filling a position, you're not just going thru the motions to get your buddy, mate, someone you owe a favor, your cousin, etc. in and not doing due diligence in finding someone capable of executing the position. For many people merit does not equate to reversing historical injustices, but it does mean not being unjust during this process. That's to say you don't disqualify people out of hand, just because.
Exactly. The issue should not be how many percent are what "race", but if companies are dumb enough to leave good programmers, managers etc waiting tables, manning the help desk etc because they doesn't fit our stereotypes.
Or: If if companies does spectacularly bad hires because of political correctness.
"Privilege is invisible to those who have it". I humbly suggest you watch this TED presentation, https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_kimmel_why_gender_equality...
Granted it's primarily about gender equality, but it does an excellent job also addressing race, ethnicity, etc.
But in the better future world we're trying to create where there is much less discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or sex or other body attributes, isn't that exactly what we'd be doing, not talking or thinking about race because it just isn't important to us? Isn't not talking or thinking about race exactly what we should be doing, as much as possible?
To come anywhere near social equality, you have to recognize your own biases and actively ignore them.
The initial problem is seeing the world as if people are different, and then identifying yourself as part of a group, and then seeing people outside of that group as "others". This is even worse when the categories are inaccurate, and are actually not races, but rather sub-cultures.
We shouldn't be promoting these inaccurate categories. Many "white" people are actually "black", and many "black" people "white". It just so happens that American culture has incorrectly correlated certain physical traits as markers for these sub-cultures, and now in an attempt to fix inequality we have persisted this mistake into government forms and professional business in the name of fixing the inequality, but we're simply promoting this mis-categorization and actually persisting the segregation into the future. There are definitely ways to address racist people and the damage they're causing without using these incorrect labels.
To acknowledge that we have this blind spot and ensure that we shine extra light into it is the only way to mitigate its effect. Cultural, like genetic, diversity is a good thing. We achieve by standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants come in all shapes and colors.
If we continue to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals, we will never learn what we don't know. It is by gradually incorporating foreign ideas and concepts that initially challenge our own that we grow as a society. Two hundred fifty years ago, we thought it was acceptable to own another human. Two thousand five hundred years ago, we thought the earth was flat. Twenty years ago, we thought the Spice Girls were the pinnacle of musical achievement.
It is particularly difficult to accept these new people and ideas because it forces us to reconsider our beliefs and admit we were wrong. But when we know better, we do better. Be self critical and form new opinions when exposed to the new and different.
Or you could just put it out of mind and not drink.
Acting like your goal has already been achieved doesn't necessarily get you any closer to your goal. If my closet has a bunch of stuff I don't use, it's not going to get any cleaner if I just pretend it's already clean.
To try to make this clear by analogy, one of the reasons that #OscarsSoWhite is a meme is because if black children only ever see white people winning Oscars…they won’t believe that they themselves could win one (and there’s 95%+ white winners for all acting categories in the Oscars). Having visible role models is important. Having discussions about equality and representation are important.
Erasure seems to be jargon with no widely accepted meaning outside of social justice. For now I will stick to what I perceive to be the average of the various dictionary definitions of racism. By that meaning, not talking about or thinking about ethnicity is definitely not racism.
> if black children only ever see white people winning Oscars…they won’t believe that they themselves could win one ... Having visible role models is important.
I think you're saying it's important to have visible role models with the same ethnicity and/or sex, and/or whatever other bodily attribute we're focusing on at the moment. But why would anyone think that unless they already have racist and/or sexist beliefs?
That's a new low in victim-blaming. It's not Hollywood that's racist - it's black people!
If you think about what race really is, it's not what it seems (unlike sex and gender, which have not only a more consistent historical difference, and a stronger biological one as well). Race is more cultural than anything else.
Sure it starts with physical traits, but whether or not you're black, white, or asian, does not depend on your biology. You're actually not born that way (even if the labels make it seem like you belong to a certain geographical location, they're just labels), and the proof is people who are of mixed race.
People who are half black, half white, from my experience, they choose which culture to belong to, and we all confuse it with their race. Obama is a great example. People saying he's our "black" president. What? What does that really mean? He's clearly half white, half black, so why is he a "black president"? That statement is inaccurate, and people should always say, he's our first "half black, half white, president". So what's going on there? People just categorize themselves, and it's just a matter of the stories and memes they adopt from a set of some kind of cultural background. In other words, it's all made up. Half-white, half-black people often choose to be black because they think black is cool. They adopt that culture and roll with it.
So in short, if people keep categorizing themselves, there's no way out of this. Categorization will lead to division among people. "Black" people are just Americans with a different sub-culture, that's it. "Black" people are just as racially diverse among themselves as they are in comparison to "white" people. There are "blacks" from east Africa, west Africa, and Saudi Arabia. Every "black" group is culturally and ethnically different. Why group them?
I'll recognize there is a history to be dealt with here. And that is that we've inherited inequality that is for the most part based on skin color (because that's how our ignorant ancestors decided to categorize people), so that division of inequality still lingers. But there is a case for both repairing the damage, while at the same time getting everyone to forget there is any kind of racial categorization. There is only sub-cultures within American culture.
All jokes aside, some white people grow up dirt poor in predominantly black neighborhoods and identify more with black Anerican culture then their own skin color.
Do they get better access to schools, scholarships, government jobs, funding for small businesses? Etc...
What about the black kid who grew up in the suburbs with a stable family and all whote friends. Should their access to the same programs be cut because they're less likely to need it.
Categorization will never go away as long as people are incentivized to promote their identity as a 'protected class'.
It has gotten to the point where everybody except white males falls under one or more protected classes.
I'm not claiming inequality is an issue that should continue to be addressed. I'm creating government mandated classes of people based on their race/ethnicity and throwing money at the problem isn't the solution. It replaces implicit descriminatiom with explicit descrimination.
I grew up as a poor white kid in a multicultural neighborhood and I've spent the last 20 years trying to fit into middle class white society. It is a constant struggle. I've had to work harder than every one of my peers to get to where I'm at. When I hear upper middle class white women and minorities whining about how hard it is for them my blood boils.
Your parents read to you, paid for you to go to college, talked like middle class people do about middle class things, taught you how to manage money, a growth mindset, encouraged you, teachers expected you to be something when you grew up and treated you appropriately. Poor white kids, like poor black kids don't get any of this. Putting on a suit and tie doesn't improve your vocabulary or make you think about yourself like an equal. It doesn't teach you how to write a good resume or cover letter. It doesn't put internships or solid educational credentials on that resume.
So what's the alternative? Systematically killing off all the old white guys who still cling to their anachronistic perceptions? Their children are still going to inherit their wealth and the 1% will continue to be the 1%.
Hand the power over to militant feminists who happen to be as -- if not more -- biased based on race and/or gender? IMHO, that's just trading one class of terrible people for another.
Tech is a the perfect place to foster a diverse working environment. I wish there were more people from varied backgrounds rather then 50/50 white/asian males in development and mostly white women and men in design.
But I don't know how to rewind the clock 10-15 years and teach inner city kids that all of their idols are frauds and that being a computer is the path to being a real success in life.
The kids I knew from the inner city who were into computers and tech didn't start in college. They got deeply involved in tech in their teens partly to stay out of trouble and fell in love with learning and creating things.
My own path wasn't much different except I grew up in thr suburbs and had more resources. I had my own bad influences to get away from and I didn't need to go to school to be taught what I was happy to learn on my own.
And I'm not ready to resist every attempt to re-level the playing field as 'explicit dicrimination'. Is the alternative to do nothing, and hope it all works out?
Second, I'm all for leveling the playing field when it comes to education and building community. By which I mean, multicultural communities not 'stick with your own, fuck the other guys' communities.
I went to school at one such community and it deeply saddened me when I left because the same degree of diversity can't be found anywhere else. Ironically, the military (ie USMC) is probably the closest I've found to a true, 'not just for the photo op', diverse community that doesn't explicitly try hard to be. The difference there is, everybody is American first and individuals have the courage to stand up for each other in the face of injustice.
If so, what is the plan to achieve that goal? Don't we achieve it by actually acting that way as much as possible? That's what makes sense to me.
Suppose we, in the name of equality or diversity or fairness, actually elevate the importance of bodily attributes like ethnicity and sex, deliberately considering them during hiring, and build that practice into our culture. Having practiced doing it wrong for however many years, will we someday decide it isn't needed anymore and get rid of it?
What is the historical justification for the effectiveness affirmative action? Certainly, countries like Malaysia and South Africa with extreme disparity seem to have mixed results at best.
I agree that pretending ethnicity/sex are not visible, is not the same thing as making ethnicity/sex invisible.
But actually implementing enrollment and employment laws or policies that hide this information from decision makers could make it nearly invisible.
That's actually not the fundamental problem though. Even if you managed to a perfectly even proportion of middle class stem graduates from 1st and 2nd tier universities represented on your payroll, you'll still end up with a monoculture. Not because of some hard to pin down unconscious bigotry, but because little has been done to eliminate class from society, and social class is a big factor in a persons access to education and the quality of their childhood.
Poor, working class women have less work opportunities than men, as less educated ( religious ) working class people tend conform to traditional gender roles more than middle class people, well paid working class jobs require more physical strength, and unlike middle class mothers, working class mothers cannot afford childcare or help with housework while working or studying.
Like ethnicity, class is almost hereditary so is easily confused with ethnicity in statistics.
Making the statistics look better by hiring proportionally more middle class minorities is a face saving exercise, not a solution.
And the assumption that minorities can only be hired by insufficient scrutiny is not a very enlightened attitude. Perhaps the company can look really hard for qualified candidates that help balance the workforce. How about that?
I agree that real progress is the right way to evaluate hiring/ admissions programs. Do qualified people end up in a diverse student/worker population? Then you're doing it right.
I never said that minorities can only be hired by applying insufficient scrutiny. What I will say is as a group, minorities can only be hired in a proportion that is different to the proportion of minorities in group of qualified applicants if some weighting is taken off the job relevant qualifications, and applied to their membership in minority groups.
If you could come up with a huge list of entirely fungible, interchangeable resumes and interview notes, you could consciously pick minorities first without harming the quality of your recruiting.
What kind of roles would have that weak of a job market though?
If candidates aren't fungible weighting any importance to race/sex means taking some weighting off something else, and it means that bigots will assume individuals from minority groups are less qualified, because of the fact that the group as a whole is less qualified, because of your own policies. It perpetuates both inequality and bigotry.
If we had some way of scoring candidates numerically, then yes, you'd just pick the biggest number. But I've never heard of a hiring system that worked like that. There's always some subjectivity. You can look at a bunch of resumes and rank them, but a good chunk of that ranking is guesswork and opinion. That gives room for your biases to play, and you'll end up with the "best" candidates tending to match those biases. And don't tell me you don't have any racial or gender biases; you do, everybody does.
You shouldn't give up a 9.9/10 because he's white, and hire a 2.4/10 because she's black. But if you have a bunch of candidates around 8/10, consider hiring the minority candidate who's a 7.9 rather than the candidate who matches the existing demographics of your team and is an 8.1. Your numbers are probably ±3 anyway, so it's not the irrational decision it sounds like it would be in a universe of pure numbers.
I'd like to know how you even begin to judge what ethnicity someone is just by looking at them. Sounds like an extremely fraught game to play.
Part of the answer is surely to try your utmost to take all the subjectivity out of the process. I've mentioned it here previously, and people said that they enjoy getting to make subjective value judgments of candidates. I think that is a poor attitude.
This is the kind of process I was thinking:
One person strips CV's of irrelevant info (names, ages, schools, etc). They hand that to another person who decides who to interview.
When the candidate is interviewed, pre-determined questions get asked, and then notes are taken of their answers and any relevant info, and that gets handed over to the person who makes the ultimate hiring decision.
Even that process probably leaks a bit, but it's better than simply trying to guess.
Your idea sounds great too. I think there's still room for error there, in how the questions are formulated or answers interpreted. Think a mild version of the old Jewish Problems. But it could certainly make things a lot better.
We're already factoring these things into decisions whether we want to or not. I don't see anything weird about saying that we should change how we do so, as a step towards getting rid of it altogether.
I think that as long as we have large discrepancies in how many people with or without a particular attribute are in a particular profession, we'll have subconscious biases in evaluating who's good at that profession. If you spend your whole life in an environment where almost all the best programmers are purple people, you'll have a hard time overcoming the notion that purple people are generally better programmers. Pretending not to notice color will simply persist the status quo. If we deliberately include more orange people for a time, then we may be able to overcome that.
We're all familiar with the possibly apocryphal experiment of five monkeys, a ladder, and an electric shock - with the end of the experiment being five monkeys that have never been shocked, but their behaviour is changed. I think we all like to think we've evolved above this kind of manipulation, though I also suspect we each have stories of having worked in professional environments, staffed by evidently smart people, where we observe this same phenomenon.
(Aside -- it's sobering to consider that the people we've worked with may have stories about such effects operating upon us.)
Anyway, point being that while you may be correct in the assertion:
> It's rarely possible to achieve a goal merely by pretending
> you've already achieved it.
Do you think that may have a positive effect?
I'm reminded of the Garbage Dump Troop - a fascinating story, told in many places, but here's a succinct explanation of the effect:
Unsurprisingly, alpha males usually don't find the story charming. ; )
It seems to me that if you want to get to a state where diversity just happens by not consciously thinking about race, you need to first get to a state where diversity happens, let it sit for a while, then relax it. I don't see how it's supposed to work if you just stop deliberately discriminating against people and otherwise let things take their course. It seems like trying to achieve flight by making airplane noises and thinking real hard about being up in the air.
Currently a black family making $100k will live in roughly the same area as a white family making $30k.
This family is also much more likely to have family that has gone to prison due to previous racist institutions, and less likely to have had 3 generations of parents having gone to Stanford.
So sure, race gets ignored, but do you think people will start ignoring all the other social signals? Even if you ignore everything else, being born to a white family in itself means you inherit centuries of advantages
This is the justification behind affirmative action. Even if it might not be "fair" when looking at an individual case, its also pretty unfair when a kid just happens to be born to a family that has had opportunity robbed from them until extremely recently.
Your end goal might be laudable, but the path to reach it requires corrections
Currently a black family making $100k will live in roughly
the same area as a white family making $30k.
I don't doubt this figure could exist at some time pre-1990, but I don't understand how this could possibly be the case since the start of the housing bubble that burst in 2008 in which many many firms pretty much threw out all prejudices in the pursuit of money as people tried to source any and all loans to sell Wall Street. They not only threw out prejudices, they actively overlooked issues that might correlate with and work against some identity groups like credit rating and earning power.
>Sharkey’s research shows that black families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000.
If you think it's a good goal, how would you would try to achieve it?
Obviously in combination with "magically getting rid of all racist/sexist thoughts".
How does acting like the problem doesn't exist solve the problem? If that's not what you mean, then do you mean we should all just suddenly stop being racist/sexist/bigotted/etc? Just like that? How would that work? How do you get your neighbor to go along with that? Or white middle manager, who means well but is uncomfortable hiring people of certain ethnicities or sexualities because of "culture fit"? It seems that anyone willing to do what you are saying, if I'm understanding it correctly, is probably already of the belief that a world without racism/sexism/etc would be better, and already behaves in the manner you suggest. In which case, we still live in a fucked up world and system where these things are actually still big problems.
No, you live in a COUNTRY where that seems not remotely possible.
"'We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about denigrating and enslaving blacks, and NOT MENTION IT.' We live in a world where this is not remotely possible. Suggesting it is the worst sort of idealism." --some Southern slave owner, 1859
The same could be applied to historical anti-semitic movements, anti-suffrage groups--anti-anything groups, really.
It can be boiled down to: "We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about treating other people badly because of their appearance or where they are from, and NOT MENTION IT," and people like you saying, "That's impossible. We will always be just as hateful and prejudiced as the worst of us are now. You shouldn't even suggest that it's possible to make any progress in human society."
It boggles my mind that you could even think this way. But, then, people thinking and acting in unreasonable ways is the root of these problems.
> We will always be just as hateful and prejudiced as the worst of us are now.
That is emphatically not what the GP is saying. The problem is not the ideal that race should not matter, it's that history does not go away, or more generally we can not build the ideal world from first principles.
Those with privilege often wish it was as simple as simply being "color-blind", then everything would be fair, right? Wrong. Because even if no white person harbored racist thoughts of any kind, we are still saddled with racist institutions and wealth distribution. Even if police magically became completely egalitarian, black people would still suffer the brunt of police brutality, because they still live in the poorest areas where there is the most crime.
The bottom line is that, if you are a white male (which I am), then you really and truly should be listening and not proclaiming any strong opinion or solution, because privilege is a blind, and so you really are not qualified to have an opinion about what should be done about sexism or racism. I feel like this is especially onerous for geeks (again, like me) who value their ability to reason, but understand that your (my) feelings being hurt is much less of an indignity than most black people face on a regular basis. Don't get defensive and try to prove how non-racist you are. Instead just take a deep breath and realize that this country forcibly imported 10 million African slaves. Despite how uncomfortable that makes a lot of people, there really is no way for that legacy to ever be erased.
You saying "If you are a white male, you should hold your tongue" is hugely problematic, because it means white males should not be part of the solution to racism and should have no voice in any changes.
And that's all balderdash. In fact, go back in time a few decades, and this was not such a big deal. We were moving on. Fast-forward to today, and we have a new generation of agitators learning how to be outraged at the distant past, fomenting dissent and unrest.
We are not saddled with racist institutions--we are building a new breed of them. And poverty knows not skin color.
And what is it with this idea of police brutality? "black people would still suffer the brunt of police brutality, because they still live in the poorest areas where there is the most crime." There is less police brutality in this country than there has been at any time in its history. Those people you're talking about are suffering from crime. The problem is not police brutality--the problem is crime. Most murdered blacks are murdered by other blacks.
Frankly, how dare you tell anyone that they are not qualified to have an opinion on what is just or fair or right or wrong. That is a stone age attitude if I ever heard one. What you are advocating is effectively a detatched kind of /lex talionis/, one in which the distant descendants of people who were wronged are asked how they should be compensated by the perpetrating of further injustice upon innocents who are in no way responsible for said wrongs of the distant past.
And as a rational human being, I am fully qualified to recognize that injustice, regardless of my skin color or sex.
It's ludicrous. Ask any human being, "Hey, some folks way up your family tree a long time ago were treated wrongly. Therefore, we can give you some free money and bump you to the top of the resume pile. Is that okay with you?" and what do you think they are going to say? The problem is that, in some ways, it is a zero-sum game, because every time one person is given preferential treatment over another, that other person suffers. And that is unjust, unfair, and wrong.
And at the same time, in some ways, it's not a zero-sum game, because when one person suffers injustice, we are all wronged. The only way to stop this is to stop all injustice and treat all people equally. That is the only truly fair, just, and right thing to do. Justice should be blind, and that includes being blind to skin color and sex.
> Don't get defensive and try to prove how non-racist you are.
Why are you saying these things? Show me where I am defensive and trying to prove anything about myself. I am not and have never been the subject of this discussion. You're parroting lines, not participating in a discussion.
> Despite how uncomfortable that makes a lot of people, there really is no way for that legacy to ever be erased.
So, tell me, what is the statute of limitations? When is the expiration date? Apparently 150+ years is not it. Apparently the 600,000 deaths of Union soldiers who died as part of the effort to end slavery isn't part of the equation. So what is it then? 200 years? 500 years? 1,000 years? The dissolution of the nation altogether? If there is truly no end to this "legacy," then why are we stopping at slavery? Why aren't we going back more hundreds or thousands of years to all the other horrific tragedies perpetrated by one group upon another?
Quite seriously, where do you draw the line, and who are you--or anyone else--to make that call?
You don't bail out a sinking ship by pouring water into the ship; you stop the leak and pump out the water. You don't heal broken bones by breaking other people's bones. You cannot solve racism by applying more racism.
"We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about slavery, and NOT MENTION IT."
Do you see why this would not be an effective way to eliminate slavery?
Can you implement and maintain a market without mentioning/discussing that market?
I don't see how any activity, economic or otherwise, can exist much less persist if you can't discuss it.
How would one buy something if they don't understand what it is or its utility?
Why would someone engage in selling something if they don't know a market exists for that product and don't talk about it (market it)?
Could racist groups like the KKK persist without resorting to racial language to communicate their ideas?
This thought experiment is rooted in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity.
Yours is akin to saying, "Let's sweep slavery under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist."
Mine is akin to saying, "We should no longer even consider enslaving people or treating people badly because their skin is a certain color."
Yours would certainly be ineffective in eliminating slavery because it advocates pretending that it doesn't exist.
Mine is standing up against slavery and saying that the underlying principle used to justify it is morally wrong.
Applied to the issue of reverse racism, yours would be akin to saying, "Let's ignore or even advocate one kind of racism, while condemning another kind."
Mine would be akin to saying, "All racism is wrong. We should all stop being racist in any way, period."
I think the issue is that one side bases its position on moral principles, while the other side bases its position on utilitarianism.
One side says, "Two wrongs don't make a right. -1 - 1 = -2". The other side says, "It's acceptable to do wrong to compensate for another wrong. -1 - 1 = 0."
One side says, "We are not all-knowing or all-wise. We cannot fairly do a concrete injustice to an innocent person to compensate for a perceived injustice done to another innocent person." The other side says, "This innocent person should not complain about being treated unjustly, because this other innocent person has probably been treated unjustly."
One side sees it as a zero-sum game. The other side recognizes that, as long as racism exists in any form, we all lose.
The thought promoted by the OP (of this idea) seems to imply that by setting an example behavior based on our ideals, others, with no such ideals, will somehow be compelled to adopt them. I just can't imagine anyone actually thinks that's true.
A German citizen in 1940 doesn't want anyone to see murder in the world, so he sets an example by NOT THINKING and NOT MENTIONING murder. And millions of people get murdered by his fellow countrymen who don't share the same ideals.
Pacifism has it's place and is often respectable. But non-confrontational, silent pacifism is a holey personal journey and has little hope of having any influence outside oneself.
> "We need to start learning how to simply NOT THINK about race, and
> NOT MENTION IT." We live in a world where this is not remotely possible.
> Suggesting it is the worst sort of idealism.
I'm somewhat curious on knowing some other data points on your spectrum of (bad) idealism..
But the 'not remotely possible' claim sounds like you've decided for all of us that we're incapable of ever thinking of skin colour in the future the same way we think of, say, hair colour today.
I suspect your position is based upon your current cultural surroundings, in which case I'd prescribe travel. Lots of it.
Rather, we aim to be in a place where racism simply doesn't exist.
I am painfully aware that for many people this is an unsettling proposition as it sounds like rampant fantasy and/or they don't comprehend how (or believe that) any society could reach that position.
But in turn I believe those people exhibit a poverty of imagination, and are exhibiting an ignorance of various historical examples of comparably profound cultural shifts.
Racism is not reality.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick
from "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978) http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm
Literally every other western country calls people... people. A man is "a man" not "a green/blue/pink/red/etc man". A women is "a women" not "a green/blue/pink/red/etc woman".
Continuously giving skin colour qualifiers in descriptions of people... is (to non-US people) bizarre, and seems to be a large part of the language used to keep racism alive in the US.
That's as far as I've been able to tell so far anyway. :(
There is also a long history of racism in Australia towards the indigenous population, and more recently towards immigrants.
Pretty much everywhere you have two different cultures meeting you have racism. The modern western cultures are no exception.
[note - edited for clarity]
People are categorized in that manner every day. Perhaps you're trying to say that's regrettable and inaccurate?
> To identify even yourself as belonging to a distinct "color" is just a fabrication of American culture
Certainly, but it's a culture which still exists. It doesn't go away just because you announce that it's illogical and unfortunate. I think you may be falling prey to the is-ought problem.
(To be clear, I'm not expressing a view on Github's actions, but I think it's somewhat naive to suggest that there aren't real problems out there.)
The problem is, society chooses to give it a significant amount of meaning.
> People of mixed race, for example, half "black", half "white", will often choose to be "black", and identify as such, when in fact, their race is a mix, yet they see themselves as "black".
Yes, but they're generally treated by society as "black". And since race is construct rather than a scientific or genetic reality, that's all that really matters.
Racial categories ought not to matter, but the cold truth is they do.
The problem is, society chooses to give it a significant
amount of meaning.
Personally, I felt as though we were progressing towards a society where we were giving it less and less meaning but in recent years we're regressing towards elevating its importance again and that is resulting in animosity.
Let's treat people as individuals, not as faceless members of some caste.
All people should be treated with respect.
You have to be joking. This is sarcasm, right?
As a programmer, I just care that you write good code. In fact, I might as well be interacting with your mind across the internet, and don't even have to look at you in the face, and we will be collaborating just fine.
Why does it matter for someone who deals with 0's and 1's what the color of the skin of your coworker is? Once again, if you're a programmer and you're swimming in abstractions and code, my coworker might as well be a robot, and I could give two shits.
For them their ideology comes first, and professionalism is only worth it when it can be applied to meet their political goals.
Never had problems working with people from all around the world, but if there is a bunch I would never consciously hire it is SJ activists.
It seems crazy to me that someone would have to explain this on a public forum.If you are a white male I'm sure it might be hard for you to understand why race, gender, and class matter and how they intersect with your life, your work, and that of your colleagues.
STOP WITH THIS BULLSHIT
If you contribute to an open source product under then name 'anotherc', nobody cares if you are black, white, pink, male or female. All they will care about is the quality of your code
Likewise at work, all that people should care about is the quality of your work, and being respectful of others.
IF YOU THINK SOMEONES RACE MATTERS YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM
Show me a discrete situation where this results in bad decision making on my side, and I'll change my behavior.
You could pick any societal construct or experience and say it doesn't matter to you. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
You could say money is just paper and ones and zeros in a database so you shouldn't have to use it but you are deluding yourself.
Money justifies itself because it allows trade and therefore specialization of individuals. Its required for the technological progress we already done.
Same goes with Companies, Math, or most Science things.
Race is used by people who want to discriminate (independent of direction) or seek justification by victim-hood (and everything derived). Both are harmful behaviors. I will not support that.
So when Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about his experience constantly being treated as a shoplifter solely based on his race , there's "simply no excuse at all"? I'd counter there's simply no excuse at all to attempt silencing necessary discussion about ongoing mass injustice.
Basically racism (using this definition: ) is never OK, regardless to which race and with which attributes.
If that's really what he's saying, then that's even dumber. You can change how you think. You can help to change the thinking of the people you come in contact with. You can't change anyone you've never met, particularly the people who treated Tyson as a shoplifter. I'd love it if racism were to just disappear too. But wanting it to happen doesn't make it happen.
The point being made here is that making the system even more racist is going to make the problem even worse. It's bad to assume Neal DeGrasse Tyson is a shoplifter because of the color of his skin. It's also bad (it may or may not be worse, but it is in no way good) to assume a person will discriminate against others because of the color of his skin.
Let's pretend there are no races for a second. What would racist people do? They would probably still hate on "others". They would probably not have the vocabulary or the knowledge to group people, but they would still hate "others". The fact that racist hate other races is just incidental to the fact that we categorize people, and then they use that as a tool / avenue for their hatred. So why would we promote their tool for hatred? We don't categorize people based on eye color, so why skin color?
The idea is not to lose identity and pretend we're all the same, but rather to avoid explaining things with race. When someone behaves a certain way, or when someone can't get a job, or got the job, the explanation should not include race, because it's just not needed, it's inaccurate, and it promotes the semantic tools for racist to leverage and keep hating.
I'm definitely open to why this is wrong, so corrections are more than welcome.
We are sadly forced to "categorize" people of certain "races" because when you in fact meet an enormously successful astrophysicist who is African American, that person almost certainly had to achieve that status in the face of many completely intractable obstacles put up by society, compared to an enormously successful astrophysicist who is white and had no such obstacles.
Now, any person that achieves anything had to overcome obstacles; however if you met a successful scientist who was say, an injured Iraq war veteran, or someone who went through struggles above and beyond what most of us go through, you'd likely give that person some credit for achievement in the face of very great obstacles. Looking at the plight of African Americans in this country in a critical fashion would reveal that they also are subject to significant struggles that should be acknowledged.
Nowhere in that above sentiment lies any notion of spreading hatred towards white people. Only that, since I'm not an Iraq war veteran, I don't get to run up on stage and claim a purple heart.
And neither article says that warming would not be a problem, instead indicating that popular climate models for rates of warming have a lot of errors... and shows some.
Yet a comment about the race aspects is the top comment here.
Your complaints have already been addressed many many times in academic literature and popular media. But I have to say, there is something amazing about reading someone comment that we should not be talking about race. I guess the current alternative, where we don't talk about it, but people both consciously and subconsciously continue discriminating by race seems far more palatable to you.
Racism or 'seeing in race' isn't just a natural group-think behavior. It provides poeple with concrete benefits both emotionally (meaning, it allows people to tell themselves a story where they're better than other people) and logistically through the racial equivalent of cronyism.
So don't get caught up in the idea that racism is just a random behavior, or holdout from an earlier time, or something that people want to think themselves out of.
Acting with love towards all people and believing it's in your best interest requires a level of abstract thought and faith that isn't a prerequisite for tribalism & racial discrimination.
Race for some is more than outward appearance. It's a line of community strategy. It's a shared language. It's shared food. Shared customs. Shared values. There's something beautiful and treacherous there.
Race as a social reality exists whether we talk about or it not. Omitting speech destroys a valuable technique for counterbalancing instinct. Omitting thought disarms people from contemplating social reality.
This is something that had wondered about the USA race culture... the fact that you mention "there are x Latin-like population" or "Y black population" or "Z white population", the mere separation means that people are thinking in terms of races...
Yes race is a social construct but so are lots and lots of things that we talk about all the time and don't see to have problems with.
I'll talk about race the same way I talk about eye color.
I'll talk about culture the same way I talk about TV preferences.
Fuck spineless "don't you dare mention race" bullshit.
Both are equally cowardly.
Try to apply that logic to any other subject however, and the insanity will reveal itself.
"People say lies about used cars. So let's not talk about used cars anymore"
"People say lies about the mistakes of The One Party. So let's not talk about the mistakes of The One Party anymore"
There is no excuse for suppressing legitimate, non-racist speech on racial issues. Also, that kind of speech exists, and if you haven't heard it, that's because decent people around you are scared shitless of being labelled a racist for bringing up race, however innocuously. And actual racists don't care. Which exactly the scenario that your argument is designed to enable.
 every racist statement is by definition a lie. That's very important.
The argument is "race as used in the U.S. is a social construct that is incorrectly correlated with some physical traits. So lets avoid bringing up someone's race when trying to explain their behavior and/or intentions."
Just because someone has dark skin doesn't automatically mean they are "black" because black is more of a cultural thing than a race. It's incorrectly attributed as a race in the U.S., and in many cases it does coincide, so someone that looks black is probably black, but not everyone. This is more so the case with white people. The white label is a huge generalization on many sub-cultures and races, not just one. So it is inefficient to try and explain behavior with these labels that are incorrectly seen as race.
To further expand, yes there is a problem with racist people, but what's the point of saying they are "white" racist people? They're just racist. No need to be further promote the same mis-categorization that racist people love to use. Racist people are ignorant and/or crazy, and we can continue analyzing them and fighting without mentioning anyone's race.
Normal people already do that most of the time, because most of the time race, ethnicity, or culture does not matter for whatever you're talking about.
However, a blanket statement that such things never explain anything is false. A person's upbringing and environment influences them tremendously, and it does correlate with ethnicity, nationality, country of origin, socioeconomic status, and many other variables.
For example, an average russian doesn't like gays. That's a fact. There are cultural reasons for that, it's not just something that happened randomly. If I want to explain to someone why my russian friend doesn't like gays, I will tell them that it's because he's from Russia, where it's normal.
Here, I've used ethnicity to explain someone's actions. In America this would cause hysteria, and I would be branded a racist, because in America every statement that involves race is racism thanks to the argument you're promoting.
However, there is no racism in my statement. It's factually correct – if my russian friend was raised in Canada, he probably would have internalized the normalcy of varying sexual preferences long ago. But he was brought up in Russia, where casual racism, sexism, and other assorted intolerance is the norm. My statement is also not judgmental. I'm just explaining the probable reason for a person's behaviour using information available to me.
But again, for the sole reason that it involves ethnicity, in America this valid statement is widely considered racism. Not to mention that if my statement was similarly correct, but involved blacks or mexicans or whatever other ethinicites are conversationally popular in America, I would be in even bigger trouble for no reason other than the reader / listener's prior experiences with racial issues, which are, I might add, dependent on the reader / listener's race, ethnicity, and country of origin (and here we go again...).
What are you trying to say? That sounds incredibly racist. Are you trying to say that someone who has dark skin but "acts white" is not black??
Dark skin alone doesn't make you black, and I know I'm right because there are plenty of dark skinned foreigners that complain they get lumped in with black people when they're actually Arabs or something else. This is even worse for white people. Italians and Russians are in the same category, and that really makes no sense. Skin color should just be forgotten altogether.
Nope, the left won't let that happen. Leftists have to categorize to divide, conquer, and marginalize their enemies...all under the guise of compassion and the other bullshit they make up to further their agenda.