> Consider that the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy. Social media weakens this skill because it’s engineered to be addictive. The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom.
I've recently been finding it really hard to concentrate on my work and I genuinely think this might be the reason. I find myself compulsively opening twitter and tumblr and scrolling through for ages before realising that literally none of it is interesting. I'm just scrolling past brightly coloured images and auto-playing videos while completely distracted and detached from the real world.
I agree with the sentiment elsewhere in these comments that the solution isn't to completely delete your accounts (I think they can have some value when used in moderation), but rather to change the way I use them. Maybe deleting the native apps and using the webapps will raise the barrier to entry high enough that I'll only use them when there's actually something I want to do on them.
As for Facebook, I deleted that a few months ago and my quality of life instantly increased.
I've overcome my Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter problems, but I can't seem to shake Hacker News.
I literally owe many of my succesful professional decisions to researches that initally started here. I find some interesting article, read the comments first, then the article, then the comments again. In the middle of this flow, I decide whether it is worthy to save to my Pocket account. Those things in my Pocket quite often become kickstarters for things that I eventually adopt using or learning. I see no way of giving up such opportunity. Why would anyone do that? (That is a serious question that I really wish there exists a convincing answer)
Just enough distraction for my work day.
Twitter I don't use at all. I don't even read it.
I utilize their 2-feed layout option with HN (set to "Trending" posts) on the left and "visual inspiration" sites on the right (default is Dribbble, but I have Lapa, ffffound, Design Inspiration, etc. in the list, too).
It's quite simple, when I'm looking for something, I do a google-based site-specific search to HN. I often find very old threads with really good value.
I still follow things every few days to stay on top of trends. I haven't discovered how to catch up with those without frequent visits, though. Perhaps the solution lies in NLP summary technology.
In the case of Facebook I found that just removing it from my bookmarks bar helped loads. Prevents me from just clicking on it half-dazed and starting to scroll.
HN is the one where I find myself checking several times/day and I constantly have 20+ HN tabs. The pattern is something like this:
1) "Oh, interesting topic!"
2) Open in a tab
3) Read existing comments & the link (I don't always do the latter, admittedly)
4) Come back N hours later, read new comments
5) Repeat #4 over a day or two
6) Close tab unless I haven't read the link yet. If I haven't, then they tend to stick around until I do or send it off into OneTab for ultimate procrastination.
This was true with Slashdot as well, now that I think about it. Back in the day it had the same draw for the same reasons. Though I think HN is a better version, since it doesn't have a few editors driving it like /. did, which was often frustrating.
Correct. But like Professor Ted Kaczynski stated in his "Technology Manifesto"
> The bad parts of technology cannot be separated from the good parts.
This here is pretty much applicable to everything online, not just SM. Example: FaceBook and Twitter are used to organize protests, break news, reconnect with lost loved ones. The same technology sites are also used to recruit terr_ists, phish and spam seniors and unsuspecting people, troll and commit felony crimes etc...
1) Reading HN all the time creates a false sense that things are moving much faster than they really are.
2) I'd suggesting reading "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" and it'll remind you your time is finite
Mark Manson "THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F_CK" (12 minute read) => https://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck
"In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people."
That being said this looks interesting and I am going to give this a read. Thanks for the tip!
I have similar problems with the net in general. This happens to me all too often. I decide to do something like take a shower. I walk to the shower and turn it on letting it heat up. I remember something that I want to remind myself to do. I walk over to the computer to type in a reminder. Before I even start typing the reminder something on the screen distracts me. 5-15 minutes go by. I go back to the shower and just before getting in I realize I never typed the reminder. So, I walk over to the computer to type the reminder and the same thing happens again. This type of thing has happened on more than one occasion. For example I'm walking out of the house, at the door I remember something tiny I want to do on the computer (send a mail, write a reminder, ...) same things happen as above.
Oh funny thing I found I was wrong about showdead setting there... I had assumed if I wanted myself to be declared dead/offline I could set my profile to show dead.. lol
What's its functionality?
I wouldn't mind reporting on these, or vouching for the good ones, but it would be nice to have a channel where I could get feedback -- such as "this use was banned for reason xyz on these 10 comments".
The "vouch" feature was recently added exactly for the purpose of correcting those mistakes as we spot them - so I'd say it is useful. Moderators are just people and have finite time too.
I can only block the whole domain, right?
Considering that he was very very active on HN in the past (karma 155077), I wonder what his reasoning is to cut back?
I think we have since learned about the influence of survivor bias, that you can really accomplish the same things in any programming language and that since YC itself is now focusing on larger problems, some with sociological and political leanings, that it is best to move on from looking at things at the code level and instead look at the bigger picture.
There are no moderation tools at present which can prevent this sort of in-fighting with blatant censorship.
In the absence of such tools, the only viable solution is a fragmentation of the community. This is most apparent to HN readers with the rise of lobste.rs
So, a bit closer to underlying mechanics of social networking in practice than it would seem on surface. Enough to get a similar participation high. That's on top of the knowledge expansion we use to justify the other high coming from the fact that we just enjoy reading this stuff. ;)
> If you turn it on you'll only be allowed to visit the site for maxvisit minutes at a time, with gaps of minaway minutes in between. The defaults are 20 and 180, which would let you view the site for 20 minutes at a time, and then not allow you back in for 3 hours.
You can set it to something more extreme, like maxvisit=60 minaway=720, and then it'll only allow you a one-hour session every twelve hours, which in practice usually means you can only go here once per day. Doing this turns HN from a distraction to something you have to consciously choose to visit.
One thing that's helping is Lobsters. Lobsters is super slow so if I do make a full switch from HN to that I only need to check it a handful of times a week.
But to me, it's not so much about how much time I spend on the time but rather the why. I simply don't get as much value out of HN as I think I do. Most news are irrelevant and unimportant, and I haven't really learned anything too insightful like others said they have (sadly). Simply put, tech news boards apparently just aren't for me.
Now, Lobste.rs is different. They're a small community with a narrower focus on mostly tech stuff. They have relatively low noise with a preference for deeper insight on tech. You'll see more writeups on algorithms than product releases for instance. They also have an open-source website and open moderation log. A bit radical on occasion like where owner JCS just got rid of downvotes to experiment if upvote-only would keep quality without total censorship.
Definitely check out the articles over there on top of the ones here. The comments especially as people often say something there that someone here overlooked or vice versa.
It would be helpful to see the specific links that you're basing this view on, so we could clear them up.
So even at HN, the most addictive content is considered to have the highest value. Seems…topical.
It's interesting to see HN debate itself. The asymmetrical karma allocation can be a really interesting factor.
1. Scan headlines for a topic I'm interested in, say, geometric algebra.
2. Rapidly scan the comments for people linking to other media (books, blog posts, libraries, etc.) that are related to geometric algebra.
I get vastly superior pointers to useful material this way than any other approach I've tried, and I'm extremely good at research anyway.
But when I get frustrated on a problem or am knee deep in technical debt, you can be I'll flip over to Hacker News.
I also don't bother with Twitter anymore. I still have an account but don't ever open it. Instagram and Snapchat are rather boring for me also.
So while I like social I don't really care for the media.
The comments are seriously addictive; I wish there was a way to hide 90% of them to make it easier to stop reading.
Yes, I can very easily `sudo vi /etc/hosts` to undo, but I never did.
Helps that I could really pull it up on my iPhone if I needed, but this way I could focus when I needed to, and if I was on my mobile I was clearly doing other stuff.
HN is problematic because signal/noise ratio is relatively high.
Then I got a better job, and now I feel a lot less compulsion to sit and read the internet.
That way I have enough time to think and question whether I really want to open the page I was about to open, and I don't disable the whole thing if I actually need to visit it.
I recently solved this problem, yes 'solved' and it worked from day one. Thanks to Cal Newport's ideas.
The trick was this (YMMV, but I believe you sound exactly like me):
Imagine your mind like your desk. Every morning it's empty. (Usually) You wake up you load it up with all sorts of crap to entertain yourself, social media, Reddit, hacker news etc, etc.
By the time you get to work, there is no place to put work stuff on that desk. You try to put work stuff on it, but pretty much the whole desk is filled with Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook shit. So even if you make some space for the work stuff, sooner or later you focus on Tumblr again. Work stuff gets pushed out.
Generally in my case, by 2PM I manage to clear out all the distracting stuff and get focused.
The solution was this: BORE YOURSELF at every available opportunity.
When I start my morning, I refused to pick up my phone and check out social media (usually I would take a 45 minute dump just catching up on stuff posted last night). Sure my morning chores became a bit boring, but I also became more efficient (I started getting to work sooner).
Basically, by the time I get to my desk, I am so bored that the most interesting thing I can do is work. And my work (programming) is a very interesting task, it used to keep me engaged for hours and hours, it's just that Social Media defeated it.
I do check social media. I check it around 2PM after my standup. That 'impulsive' desire to constantly check it is gone. I catch up on all the social media in the evening or at night (but it doesn't create that compulsive pattern anymore.
End result: My productivity has gone up by 5-6 times. I have a performance enhancement story to work on and I managed to fix 6-7 bugs I found during my work, and it turns out that it was a whole team's sprint's work.
It's exceedingly difficult to take charge of one's moment-to-moment experience of the world, but in those rare instances when I achieve it it's very rewarding.
One thing that I haven't seen anyone commenting is that nowadays Facebook becomes the place where you test ads, write content, become an expert, and get clients... so many folks can't just quit. Heck, I still want to get started on it...
But maybe carrying a dumb phone during the day and coming back to the smartphone during the night is a way to try unplugging for a couple hours.
For example, I waste at least 2 hours a day on the weekend on HN. I learn a little bit, but not as much as if I had been actively trying to learn a new technology or topic. Also on HN, I get frustrated with others' responses, so it affects me mentally as well. If anything is engineered to be addictive for those in tech, it's HN.
Also, news. I can read news sites for hours. Constantly going back to the same headlines, waiting for something new.
And games. I have a handful of games I'll waste time on.
And deal websites. I want to save money.
The only way to stop all of it? Stop using my phone and computer.
In fact, most of them are mostly not series any more: they are serials. That's infinitely more addictive.
In a series you can watch a random episode, almost or fully independent from the other ones (so you don't care so much about missing one episode now and then), that has an introduction, a progression and a conclusion. The continuous background is weak, sometimes almost non-existent, just to give a little bit of matter to the characters.
In a serial, you cannot miss an episode because it's just one long story cut in chapters, and the episode theme is more and more secondary nowadays. When you start a serial, you're hooked, you need to see all episode to be able to follow (and even if you happen to get bored, you want to finish the season to know the final word). Also, instead of cooling down after the climax as in a series, each episode ends with a cliffhanger ; that means your consumption becomes compulsive, you want another episode right away, or as soon as possible.
In fact every 'cultural' production nowadays aims at binge consumption and is tailored for this unique purpose.
If social media really is addictive, then moderation might not work. Most alcoholics aren't capable of having just one drink, most smokers aren't capable of having just one cigarette. Absolute prohibitions are cognitively much easier than moderation.
One reason I do not wish to close my Facebook account is for the groups and events. Facebook Timeline is not something I look at daily, but rather once or twice a week, to find upcoming events I might be interested in, particularly ones in which people I know have already expressed an interest.
When being on Facebook becomes an activity in itself, then I think it becomes problematic.
AA helps you rebuild your life. It's a whole lot more than just coping with addiction.
At some point over the last couple of years AA started coming under attack for some inexplicable reason. There's a lot more to it than just statistics.
One interesting finding is that the sense of self-efficacy gained through moderation makes dealing with relapses or setbacks easier when compared to the all or nothing approaches.
I met a number of people that had just traded one addiction for another. They were AA-meeting-addicts.
When I start the workday, I toggle it on, and every time I try to load my social stuff (HN included) it puts up a big red warning.
I found that the majority of my wasted time was because I impulsively opened a tab to somewhere during like 10 seconds of downtime while waiting for something. And having this little block in place stopped it in its tracks.
I'm not near my PC to be able to say which one exactly, but there are several made specifically for this kind of thing.
We are all going to "collaborate" endlessly into ever higher heights of achievement.
"Social" was being integrated, per force, into the workforce.
And... real productivity dropped, and people became stressed out.
Facebook et al. aren't at odds with the contemporary corporate workplace. They just exemplify what a crap policy it is.
Imagine being forced to be on Facebook 8, 10, 12 hours a day, while trying to actually accomplish something. That's what much of the contemporary workplace has become at major corporations with which I'm familiar.
Am I bitter? A little... more than. Because they kept telling my my trouble concentrating in such environments was my fault.
Whatever you think of social media, such workplaces have not earned the right to express any opinion on the matter.
And it doesn't help that the software itself is universally bad, if it were ever exposed to the public internet where people had a choice to use it or not, it would sink without trace...
At a large company I worked at they tried discussion software but once the shine was gone, out of 150K people you'd have like 10 people who actually posted and on this web discussion board thingy and the content was all filler. Sometimes funny filler, but filler none the less. Imagine the sadness of a HN with only 10 participants.
I really have to disagree with this. Social media can be essential in a company that is widely geographically distributed and needs to collaborate, such as a technical sales field with different offices and R&D groups. Really depends on incentives.
That's worked pretty well for me. Also check out Kill News Feed and Kill Tweet Stream to avoid distraction if you need to use eg Facebook events or Twitter DMs.
> Social media weakens this skill because it’s engineered to be addictive.
Absolutely. App companies like FB and Twitter are on a constant quest to eat up as much of your time as possible, in pursuit of metrics like "daily active users" (they want you there daily) and "average session time" (they want you there as long as possible).
Ultimately, they're maximizing ad revenue. An hour of your time spent feed scrolling is worth about 10 cents to Facebook.
The other day I realized that social media is essentially the same thing tabloid junk. Only now in the social media we choose to watch it we seek it out and then comment on it we become part of it.
As for the premise of the article, I can see how your brain craves immediate relief from boredom. That's really what it is, right? My work is fairly interesting to me, so I've never had the overwhelming and constant desire to distract myself from it. Perhaps a few articles here and there for a mental break.
LeechBlock has helped me out of this habit. I'd recommend giving it a shot.
Might as well add (modern?) gaming to the list—it has the exact same property.
Games and social media, OTOH, are designed for continuous consumption without end. Here, "being addictive" is basically the only thing that matters (and in fact, is the only variable companies actually measure).
And at the other end of the age scale, my MiL watched (watches) MASH (a 70s sitcom about the Korean war, which sounds improbable but was actually hilarious due to good writers) and she never, ever laughs, quiet as a church service, but I'd LMAO at a funny line I'd never heard before, and her entire family would stare at me like I'm insane. "But don't you get it, it was hilarious, Radar compared the other guy's wife to ..." and they'd just shush me like in church. I'm not entirely sure what she's thinking when she sees episode #24 for the three hundredth time. I should ask her over the holidays...
Something that both anecdotes fit is the model of not being in adult society or caring much about adult opinions.
I feel religiously opposed to them now when I see how involved people get into those games. I'm all okay with Quake/CounterStrike/Left4Dead type games where you shoot-em-up with a team for a bit and then it's over. Those are good breaks when you've been on a project for hours.
As for twitter, I want to use it as a personal brand vehicle, that and my quora page. So while I agree that it's poison half the time, it's also a great way to engage people and discuss topics that can lead to partnerships/work in the future.
It's hard to find this done well. I tried this myself on Twitter for a few months and realized that, even though I wasn't saying so explicitly, it was bland pathetic performative "I'm an entrepreneur, thinker, innovator, creator, TEDx Speaker" nonsense.
1. log in once; be logged in everywhere
2. no password manager required because you have only one (or maybe a few) logins
disadvantages (I'll just keep numbering to give it unique IDs):
3. if the provider is down, you can't login
4. the provider knows when and where you log in
5. if you decide to delete your account at the provider, you can't log in anymore
6. if the provider decides to delete your account because, say, you bought a fake Nexus (or what was the story recently?) or because you forgot to pay or just because there is a glitch on their end, you've got a problem
7. if your account gets hacked, everything got hacked.
I just don't see how that tiny bit of convenience weighs up to all the issues of having a SPOF whose trustworthiness is questionable to begin with.
Except for the part where the addicts are confused why you aren't on facebook.
But I think its becoming common enough now that you aren't so much of an aberration
+1. I have found that switching to the Dillo web browser (with CSS and at times even images disabled) has considerably decreased the time I spend on Facebook. There was also a command line client for FB, but iirc it's not maintained any more.
So, yes, use an "ugly" browser and you're good. :-)
As with all renaming strategies, eventually the new name gets enough tarnish that its either given up, gets yet another new name. There was a pretty concerted push a few years ago to rename everything online as "viral" regardless of the original source and meaning of that name. Wasn't time yet, but soon enough "social media" will be for old people but the cool kids will continue doing the same old thing with a new name.
Anxiety - It's also called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). If all our friends and family are on Facebook and we don't constantly login and read the feeds, we feel like we are "missing out" on all the fun and exicting stuff going on around us.
Pleasure - Social Media feeds our ego and give us pleasure when we post pics and "updates" and then few minutes later, a RED Icon notification pops up showing that so and so liked your post, commented on it etc. There is a reason why Facebook has no DISLIKE button. Don't forget 'Zuck' is a Psychology Minor.
Related Reading: "What is driving people to constantly check in with social media" => https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewired-the-psychology-...
The longer version (9 minutes) of this argument: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYYuiWP0IpA
There are hacks to mitigate some of the negative effects, which pre-date FB et al. You might carry a photo of a loved one, and that's enough to trigger that part of your brain that craves contact. You might have a pet or a "companion animal" as they are called these days. Children (and some adults) have meta-pets - stuffed toy animals.
FB quite deliberately leverages these urges - it is designed to trigger all the fear-of-being-outside-the-tribe that evolution gave you. Why does it tell you that all your friends are at an event, say? To make you feel like you should have been paying more attention to FB so you could have gone too..
People want to feel like they are part of a group.
I'm on vacation now and am experimenting with reducing my phone time dramatically (about 10 minutes a day to respond to texts). I don't carry the phone around with me at all times. It's great -- mentally liberating and actually allows me to completely space out staring off into the distant landscapes, or completely focus on reading/writing.
> Sounds pretty eccentric, doesn't it? It always will when you're trying to solve problems where there are no customs yet to guide you. Maybe I can't plead Occam's razor; maybe I'm simply eccentric. But if I'm right about the acceleration of addictiveness, then this kind of lonely squirming to avoid it will increasingly be the fate of anyone who wants to get things done. We'll increasingly be defined by what we say no to.
I do still check hn more than I should...might have to work on that one next.
127.0.0.1 facebook.com www.facebook.com m.facebook.com twitter.com m.twitter.com www.twitter.com
I found that really helps.
I would hope the solution to your problem is not for me to delete my accounts.
Your problem sounds like you're following people with weak content. Follow new people and stop following (or make better) the weak.
Being social is a good thing. However companies have figured out they need addictive properties in order to be successful. I previously worked on optimizing companies for user engagement and the addictive properties naturally fall out of the process. If social media satiates your desires you will actually use them less. Think about it; why are your keys always in the last place you look? Because once you find them you stop looking. If you want to keep people on your site you hide their keys. People love a challenge and will be even happier when they find them.
It's particularly bad with modern (low information) news media. I'm a compulsive news junkie* so I have to avoid the news in order to get anything done. I quit facebook and google over their insistence on pushing 'news'. It's junk food for the brain. It's low information and only gives an illusion of being informed. E.g. the recent election.
* Note: I consider HN to be social 'media' news and I am aware that I'm here 'chipping'. I do so intentionally in effort to avoid fettishising vices. Plus HN is as close as I get to an online group of peers. I only use HN after self-flagellating while repeatedly muttering "the flesh is weak".
Is this a real thing?
EDIT - I actually found it, "Reddit is probably the world's largest group of people that communicate while shitting.": https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/comments/5dqufr/redd...
But then again, the smartphone simply is that important for many of us. For me, it's a device that's always with me, second only to my own clothes. I may leave a wallet behind, but for sure I'm taking my phone with me. I don't usually think consciously why is that, but some reasons would be:
- the phone is what enables telepathy; if someone wants to reach you with their thoughts over large distances, you have to have the phone with you to receive it (and to respond)
- the Internet-enabled phone also lets me look up answers to random questions that pop up in my head; since the questions pop up randomly and either go away or take real estate in the brain until answered, I want to be able to answer them ASAP anywhere I am and whatever I'm doing
Unless you spend 5 minutes finding the phone first.
This is all that I need to have learned to quit* social media.
*I still use a Facebook, but I don't post anything, and I don't read anything. It is handy for the messenger though to keep in contact with friends that you might see again, such as when travelling.
That is actually very interesting analogy! And when I think about my facebook browsing habits, it only makes sense. Of course it has a flow an rhythm. Something interesting I engage with, a bunch of filler I scroll through, another interesting post. If all that is interesting to me is crammed into the top of the page, that would drop the metrics. Less vertical space used, less ads, less time on site (biggie with investors, I'm sure). Probably get fatigued much faster too. Consume even less interesting stuff than the "long format". I wonder if it is really beneficial (at least to them) in the long term or it is one of those things not worth maximizing (metrics vs. reasons ).
Do you have any interesting reading/watching/listening material from your old jobs? What are you up to these days?
I don't teach 'defence against the dark arts' as the techniques are more likely to be exploited if more widely known and I'd rather not help it spread. Thankfully we're already seeing a cultural pushback with people logging off. I expect to see much more of that in the future as society gets better at understanding addiction and individuals get better at optimizing for their own happiness.
As for me; I have my own software product company now and I am free to optimise for the user. I don't need the money but I do like making the world a better place.
After being a news addict for years, I've decided to not only limit my social media posts (and reading) down to zero, but also the amount of time I spend on the daily news sites (NYT, Guardian, Politico etc). Instead I read media that operates on a longer cycles like weekly (Economist, NewYorker) and longer (Foreign Affairs, Private Eye)
Its been an interesting experiment: most "news" is just content that is ultimately inconsequential, discussing ephemeral events that will be forgotten by the next news cycle.
However, the weeklies and the monthlies, because they have to edit what they write about, do a great job of filtering out the fluff and giving me a better perspective of what mattered that week/month.
I've found I still know what I need to know, suffer much less distractions, and more time to read books (amazing invention btw!)
Side note: it sounds like adding the occasional dose of /r/tldr + /r/outoftheloop would add quite nicely to the "filtering".
News is essentially free (and commoditized). What I value is thoughtful analysis and good interviews; Andrew Marr's interview with Marine Le Pen being a recent case in point.
Have see some humorous attempts such as http://www.chorewars.com/ and http://code.rpgify.com/ but usually with a focus on motivating groups of people.
Tracking my friends stripped a lot of the romance, joy. and mystery out of reconnecting.
Around the same time I got into a new group of friends that were all about their 'personal brand.' Every occasion was started with a good ten minutes of silence while they checked-in to Yelp, Foursquare, snapped photos of the venue / table / food, and tweeted bullshit along the lines of 'having the time of my life!' -- I spent the time looking for typos and leading errors on the menus. It was exhausting. Everybody was there, but nobody was present. Even the meal itself was dull because of the endless obsession with creating something it wasn't.
I never bought into those bullshit games of 'put your phone in the middle of the table' or whatever. If you're a typical human being, my expectation is that you can silence your phone and have the slightest bit of restraint to avoid looking at it every few minutes. I understand if there's an emergency or whatever, but otherwise, keep it on vibrate and be done.
Around this time I completely disabled all notifications and the phone never made a peep.
A few years after that I starting tracking how many images and tweets I was reading vs enjoying. It was about one in twenty or so.
Examining my own tweets and other contributions to social media had me realizing that I was as social as a guy at a party shouting opinions over the music to a room full of people doing the same. It wasn't social, and it was barely media.
I decided to purge the accounts and start from scratch -- and will be doing so every year or so. Starting fresh is nice, but I find that I rarely have anything of actual value to contribute.
I've avoided facebook for years and only use it for events. Instagram is all kids. Twitter is all business and 'I'm speaking at x conference --- here's a link to an instagram post of a photo of a slide in my presentation taken from the back row'. I've avoided the graphic design sites like dribbble where most 'portfolios' aren't filled with client work or art, just 99designs level work that is good, but irrelevant... and the list goes on.
Social media isn't completely dead, but for me, I checked out a long time ago.
I'm hoping that the next wave will be a hybrid of twitter, meetup, foursquare, and tinder --- an app where you check into a location to say 'I'm here, who wants to hang out?' and you can hang out with some strangers for a time.
I don't know why, I find people doing the same but playing games instead are less annoying.
An ex of mine has a young boy who she treated more as a mannequin than anything. She'd get angry if I didn't take a Vogue-level portrait of her posing with an ice cream cone. It was exhausting --- and to what end? To get a higher Klout score?
Online social apps should be focused on improving the offline world.
> I’ve never had a social media account.
He basically summarized that procrastination is harmful and social media is to blame. He doesn't really share anything I haven't known as a social media addict. Kinda like saying to a smoker that smoking tobacco causes cancer. I know that, what now? I tried shutting down social media sites with plugins, blocking sites in the hostfile and other slow to circumvent things. They kinda worked, sometimes never. I also noticed that if a site gets shut down, something new emerges that replace it.
This is something you have to deal with, regulate it. If you find yourself constantly opening FB, Twitter or whatever your addiction is, then it signals that something you are having problems with something you should be really doing.
>I think many more people should follow my lead and quit these services
You can't quit something if you never started using it.
> There are many issues with social media, from its corrosion of civic life to its cultural shallowness, but the argument I want to make here is more pragmatic: You should quit social media because it can hurt your career."
> Perhaps more important, however, than my specific objections to the idea that social media is a harmless lift to your career, is my general unease with the mind-set this belief fosters.
Just talk to me like a person! Unless you're Slavoj Žižek you should probably go for something more accessible and conversational.
For what it's worth, the author of the article has written multiple best-selling books for popular audiences.
Meaning: social media forms a global hive mind. It determines what a lot of people see and hear about the world. Witness the flare up recently over the influence of “fake news” going viral.
A neuron's role, as one tiny piece of a brain, a neural network, or, for my purposes, a hive mind, is to take in a number of inputs and filter them, firing occasionally to convey some distillation of the inputs received.
Anyone who reshares highly inaccurate or incendiary content is being a bad neuron.
If instead you gather a range of news and opinion from a variety of sources and then, being very selective, reshare the one or two things each day (or week) with the best combinations of reputability, newsworthiness, timeliness, importance to current problems society is facing, and exploration of new ideas, then you're being a good neuron.
This in my opinion is the best use of publicly shared social media. If lots of people did this the world would be better off.
There may be career risk in sharing things related to politics, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Without the freedom to do that, I might as well be in a repressive totalitarian society, and now more than ever that is something we should fight to prevent.
"My second objection concerns the idea that social media is harmless. Consider that the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy. Social media weakens this skill because it’s engineered to be addictive. The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom."
I know it is a newspaper article and not an academic paper but I still need evidence to make me believe these claims are true. I've read people claiming that we are becoming more distracted but I haven't read that the ability to not be distracted is becoming more valuable. Similarly, while I've read claims that social media is addictive but not that it is engineered to be so.
Recommend reading up on the "Hook Model" - http://www.nirandfar.com/hooked - or watch this video - https://youtu.be/oQBsnSC_TRM - the techniques for building addictive products are well known, with a history that goes back to Las Vegas and the gambling industry.
Most social media companies - with the exception of one or two like Zynga - of course aren't overly announcing "we're building stuff to get you addicted" but their business depends on audience numbers so guess what: try searching LinkedIn jobs for "Facebook" and "psychology" and it's pretty clear
You probably shouldn't indulge at work, but in some careers it may effectively be required.
Most people learn moderation, but some may have to cut themselves off.
I ended up adding Facebook, Twitter,9gag, Reddit and other sites to my /etc/hosts (0.0.0.0). Was the only way to fix it.
While I work I leave my phone at a distant table, with notifications turned down. The only thing that I get are phone calls.
I remember Simon Sinek saying something like: "if there's a person that the first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is drinking a glass of whiskey, you'd say he's an alcoholic". What does that make you if the first thing you do when you wake up is checking Facebook?
Here's another way to put it - "If the first thing a person does when they get up is eat, you'd say they're a glutton". True?
(Or indeed "if the first thing a person does when they get up is go to the toilet, you'd say they're incontinent.")
You're right that this one thing alone doesn't spell addiction, but if someone talked about how they should use the bathroom less, felt bad about how many times a day they went, and annoyed everyone by the bathroom constantly being occupied and the person being absent/late due to their use, in addition to using it first thing in the morning, then... maybe they're addicted to social media and using the bathroom as a way to get their fix ;)
I like that fix! I tried to limit myself awhile ago by getting a chrome plugin to limit my access to only lunchtime... but I would simply get around it by opening firefox instead :(
Twitter and Snapchat, on the other hand....
(I feel old)
Facebook is full of old people because they have more weak connections, while my boy doesn't use a social media platform because in his words, "I have high school"...I'd asked him about it just this week.
What social media might give the author is the ability to continue their relationship with their editor's assistant over the next twenty years as their careers progress and paths diverge and perhaps the editor's assistant becomes an editor in their own right. Sure, TANSTAAFL. But it points both ways.
What I did was I've unsubscribed from all people and pages on Facebook, unsubscribed from all Reddit subs, and unsubscribed from all YouTube channels. In the end, I've learned to stop visiting facebook.com, since all I was seeing was an empty page, but at the same time I avoided giving up my network, and I can still check up on people when I remember about them, I can keep using Messenger and I can keep using Facebook as an identity provider on other websites. Not to mention that this way I don't have to throw out years of stuff generated by me (which can be painful with photos, especially for a data hoarder like me). Same goes for Reddit and YouTube (I keep my comment and post history, the ability to participate in discussions, my uploaded videos, and more).
For Hacker News, which is too valuable to me as a knowledge expanding tool, I did something else: I've started using the "top 10" section on hckrnews.com. I can keep checking it however many times I want, but I'll get stuck in at most 10 comment threads per day, which I consider to be a reasonable compromise (this thread being one of them </meta>).
Never used Twitter, but I suppose something similar can be accomplished by muting all the accounts you're following.
I have a buddy who refuses to open hackernews on his computer. Instead he waits until Friday and reads the newsletter.
Whatever the author claims about social media ('corrosion of civic life and cultural shallowness', for one) to me sounds like thinking too much like any other standard social media target but with some clicking around and reflection you can change it to work pretty well for you (at least on FB). Sure I do get some crap but most has been filtered out after a while and it now works extremely well for me: mainly for events/band info (most forums I used to frequent for e.g. the goa/squat scene only have a fraction of all parties these days but most is on FB now), news for some particular stuff I care about, group chat for setting up meetings etc. Used this way it also doesn't hurt my carreer any more than anything else on the internet: before FB I spent time frequenting many different forums and news sites and chatting on IRC during work hours. Part of that just got swapped for something else.
I do consider social media addictive. But adults can usually handle addictive substances. We just have to know our limits, and cut ourselves off if needed. There's really no need for 21st-century temperance activists preaching its evils.
Interesting viewpoint. Does the author really follow this? Has a webpage, blog and an archive that stretches for 91 pages ~ http://calnewport.com/blog/archive/ Not a good sign if the author thinks you should quit or limit your social media contact. I don't care if the authour justifies this as necessary. It's a sign that ignoring the real problem doesn't seem to work.
The Internet is addictive. In fact I've spent a bit of time writing my own tasking system to tackle this problem. In writing up an accompanying blog post on distraction and focus I found the GTD, work hard, achieve more in less time frenzy isn't new. It pre-dates the Internet by decades. Take Charles R. Schwab, owner of Bethlehem steel, someone who Thomas Edison described as a hustler. Schwa hired the best productivity guru he could. Ivy Ledbetter Lee. Lee proposed a very simple technique to focus and work on. Then charged Schwab USD$20,000 for the effort. You can read more in this article, "Ivy Ledbetter Lee" ~ http://jamesclear.com/ivy-lee
Quitting social media is a temporary fix as you'll probably find other ways to distract yourself and avoid work. The deeper problem is realising the Internet is very addictive and find coping mechanisms to counter the side effects.
While reading up on the problem of Internet addiction and digital works, I re-read the article pg wrote on this topic, "Distracting Distractions" I found an update on his suggestions: "The strategy described at the end of this essay didn't work. It would work for a while, and then I'd gradually find myself using the Internet on my work computer."
It is a problem that could yield some interesting work.
The people I follow that are popular are always posting.. 24x7.. its a wonder they get any work done.. but they're also people that appear to love talking on the phone and chit chatting about everything.. so if you're a socialite it may work better for you...
I find both draining, but twitter more so and i'm currently takinga hiatus from FB mostly over fake news, but considering a hiatus from twitter as well.. unfortunately though twitter is the way people in my industry communicate and get news.. (devops / distributed computing)
Popularity seems like an anti-goal unless you're selling something.
1) To show how the mind works and to showcase it on a CV.
2) To be available to this thing called the 'internet' which is basically a giant global party where the only information that we can find out about one and another is either through what others say about us or what we say about ourselves. If I purpose a crazy solution to a problem you will most likely want to verify who I am to see if my idea has any credence.
The article is right that it is a distraction but for CS minds to come together and share ideas it is almost a necessity to help drive innovation.
As someone who, years ago, implemented a lot of change to improve my life; here are some thoughts:
If you want a better, and more meaningful life, figure out what (and who) in your life is detrimental to your quality of life. Then rid yourself of those elements.
Second, enumerate everything (and everyone) you spend time on that adds no value--eradicate those elements from your life.
Make no mistake, these can be two very big, strenous and time-consuming tasks; which might need to be planned out in detail--as in how you will rid yourself of each element. The hardest part will usually be to "quit" detrimental people. But once you are done, boy, will your life improve.
When these two steps are done, you have been rewarded more time, not simply given, but earned. In the case of social media, I think I read that the average (globally) time spent is at something like 2 hours per day! If social media is one of those things either detrimental to you, or that adds no value, and you are an average user--then you just freed 14 hours per week.
Imagine if you took up a new hobby (do you even have one? many don't), something that actually improved quality of life, 14 hours a week learning a new instrument, or learning to draw, or write, or ski. That is a lot of time. Novel activities are good for your brain!
Another thing I have observed, especially in the age of social media--but it's not new, just seems worse now--is that a lot of young people need to learn how to be alone. Some people are hardly never alone. They have to learn this before they can learn to concentrate.
If you are like me, an introvert, you are probably alone a lot (if you are not, that can drain you of energy), but one thing you probably need to learn is to cut down on multitasking. It's not good for your brain (learning, memory) or body (stress), it's not good for productivity.
Sorry for rambling.
For the record: I barely use social media; I have inactive accounts here and there.
If you find yourself constantly wasting time on Facebook during work, you just lack discipline. I don't know about you guys, but my news feed is generally pretty boring, thus I don't have the urge to keep checking it. I'm not trying to claim moral superiority here, just saying that if you have an addiction problem, you need to take responsibility and hold yourself accountable rather than blaming the tool.
I really enjoyed Brad Feld's post on choosing how to use each social network you sign up for. On LinkedIn, I've decided to be a public, promiscuous consumer. On Twitter, I am public, selective, and a mix of consumer/producer. Facebook is one that I probably need to cut even more than I do, since I don't have a strategy and get little value from it.
Social networks can be tools, and if they are not providing value, it may mean you need to use the tool differently or get rid of it if it doesn't solve a problem you have.
> Most social media is best described as a collection of somewhat trivial entertainment services that are currently having a good run. These networks are fun, but you’re deluding yourself if you think that Twitter messages, posts and likes are a productive use of your time.
This rings of the author's experience being in academia. In the business world, good products do not sell themselves.
"Most social media" is not Twitter. Twitter is a relatively unique social network.
Very much like in the early days, people just didn't have any awareness that cigarettes were harmful. Hell, everybody was doing it (see Mad Men).
I've learned from day trading and investing is how much we downplay herd psychology. Our society has geared us to beat any sense of opposition as hostile. Our evolutionary process have selected individuals based on how well they are able to blend and we feel instinctively safer in large numbers (def. mech. against predators). We are social creatures so they say.
But history is filled with instances were the crowd behaves very predictably over and over because the underlying constraints of group think are there. Social media is particularly aggravating medium for which false,fake,wrong have greater mobility than facts and common sense.
Besides the dissemination of false information which is harmful to our society and individual as a whole, perhaps the sheer noise and frequency of sensationalist artifacts is the biggest perpetrator of all.
It's only recently that we are beginning to become aware of the what if effects of being exposed to so much "spamming with our running commentary of bullshit masquerading as insight". So far, studies have confirmed that it's negative on the individual.
Having said that, there's plenty of people who don't care. They are happy uploading selfies and food they are about to digest and poop out in 12 hours. It's fleeting moments that are so ephemeral, information that otherwise would be irrelevant, insignificant noise, is being magnified through the crowd effect that social media platforms exploit and engineer to grow their user base.
Our low interest money has created a whole new economy where the number of active users without any doubt, taken at it's face value rather than examining it's intrinsic worth.
Just how important is it for everybody to be so connected and knowing every possible detail going on with everybody else?
For me, not very, and I've for the most part (besides HN & Reddit) have embraced off the social media grid lifestyle 3 years ago and I'm fucking loving it so far. I feel happier.
I'm not perfect as I use HN & Reddit. Although, I do spend less and less time on those platforms and experience more joy as well.
Social networks spend a lot of time optimizing performance because they know how much it increases traffic. So it seems like a browser extension that adds a bit of latency and gradually ramps it up for the websites you choose could help to reduce the impulse to check too often.
At least this is my personal experience.
I think it's how easy it is to get the last word in and check out of the conversation without any real consequences or feedback.
Everyone gets their smug win in, even the lurkers. No real understanding is promoted.
The character limit is a problem, but that has simple workarounds (blogging, tweet storms, text images) if that was a real issue.
And sice we usually don't quote here, or only very sparingly, you'd affect lots of other people.
That seems to work just fine for plenty of other social forums.
Public opinion and the law may of course change, the issue that something uttered in public, be it by voice or in writing, can be retroactively taken back and declared as "private" has only been an issue with the advent of public electronic forums.
I don't think you will find a lot of people who think enabling people to change their mind after they made a public statement is a high priority, especially since it has a negative impact on everybody else: How does a forum look like when key posts are suddenly missing? And I say "key post" because if it didn't get a lot of attention to begin with it's unlikely that the poster will regret having posted it.
That's an incredible strawman. Nothing you argue is a reason why we can't delete posts with our accounts.
>How does a forum look like when key posts are suddenly missing?
I guess that depends where your values are: privacy or making sure a forum "looks good".
> That's an incredible strawman
> Nothing you argue is a reason why we can't delete posts
> depends where your values are: privacy or
Again: It is NOT a private post, it was posted on a PUBLIC forum, and pretty much guaranteed not by mistake! I wrote about that.
You can of course get rid of TV, music, theater, art, books, .. out of your life and focus only on your career skills development.
Social media is young generation's way of life. It's such a valuable communication channel for teens. Embrace it. Teach them and yourself how to use it to your benefit in moderation.
However, I can't just shut my accounts down. The advantages they give me over a life without them are just things that I don't want to miss out. I feel "blessed" of having even the opportunity to use amazing worldwide connected tools like facebook and twitter considering the last 100 years.
I get around very often and make friends and contacts almost everywhere. Some of these connections are not relevant until I am in location X again. Some are old friends in my hometown that I from time to time contact. Some are professional connections. In many cases Facebook is the only viable connection to keep contact with less-frequently contacted people.
Messenger? Doesn't work. Some countries use WhatsApp, some LINE, some KakaoTalk, some Threma and some, well, facebook messenger. Replacing facebook with 6 messaging clients is just not gonna work.
I am currently blocking most websites through a little snitch profile but I can feel the urge to unblock them and just... one more time... check if there is something new. I even catch myself occasionally opening facebook just to see the "connection unsuccessful" message.
From my experience, Pomodoro helps a lot in staying focused. But please, if you have anything to share to get rid of this addiction, share!
Yes, you can.
When I deleted my Facebook account the first thing I noticed is that I did not die.
The irony of this whole situation being that the reason they scan applicants social media in the first place was to look for red flags in the applicants behavior outside of the work place and/or to find reasons they shouldn't be considered for employment.
Kind of ridiculous.
They did give the impression that the suspicion when finding no internet presence was generally when vetting younger graduates.. ie. Millenials, and those who they felt were more likely 'trying to hide something' by not using social media..
I feel like 2 years ago people would pile on about how unusual it was to not be part of social media, how there is little argument against leaving, or how you must be seeking attention or must be anti-social. Well, as a very social 20-something, I left Facebook 3 years ago, myself a heavy user with thousand+ friends scattered around the world, and it has made zero negative impact on any aspect of my life ('invitations to events' or 'keeping contact' is the typical fear against leaving, and it continues just as seamlessly  - people don't stop caring, thinking, or reaching out to you just because you leave Facebook, and vis versa), and it has easily been one of the top 5 or 3 decisions I've made in these 3 years. It's the equivalent of cutting out unnecessary yet significant things, or simplifying your life so you can remain mindful of the bigger goals. This may sound like something cheesy from the 4HWW, but I nonetheless think that kind of mindset is right on.
Now I see more people leaving Facebook who I wouldn't have imagined doing so a few years ago. Perceptions will remain divisive for some time, but I can see "avoiding social media" as gaining some real cachet as "I don't fuck around". Regardless of whether there is actually a correlation with avoiding social media and being a more serious, goal-oriented person, I do think mainstream perception will continue to change for the better away from the stigmatizing "Wow <person X> is not on <platform>, what's his deal?"
 Lightweight messaging apps, especially for international contacts... certainly not the whole investment of 'social media' since it's nothing but the messaging.
Basically, Facebook converts time of every single user life and productivity decrease into own revenue. And it's done with very very low efficiency--for the whole year it's around $40+ per US user for Facebook. As reported average user spends 50 minutes per day on Facebook. Hence, about 7.3 full 24 hour days (if we add sleep time required to compensate being awake 7.3 x 1.4 = 10.2 days) of your life make Facebook $40+.
I wonder what it means for US GDP in general should the data be run countrywide calculating distraction time and productivity decrease during the work hours.
As far as comments, I always try to act online as I would in real life. This means I try to avoid snark online since it is so hard convey sarcasm online. I also always think about if I was having a real conversation how would I act. If you read my comment history, most (all?) are calm, and I think are how I have disagreements in real life. I try to follow the thought process that you can shear a sheep many times, but can only skin it once.
Maybe I should re-read books more, and at some point the content ends up being used.
Do like I do and turn your phone or tablet notifications for these apps off and check them later in your free time. If you really can't handle being personally responsible in your job, then sure, quit social media, but otherwise grow up and keep your brain on.
The only problem is that like every social illusion it creates a social contract which makes it hard to get out of it - mostly because it will feel like being isolated from the "world" and in losing that perfectly crafted new "self/identity" will shatter the ego (we all know the ego doesn't enjoy being messed with).
Even if one is using it "just" for the messenger part, one is still part of all of this.
I'm not sure why would anyone use FB. to get new opportunities, FB. et al should not be taken seriously since most create their own persona on it akin to an MMORPG where one can literally choose to act like an Apache helicopter.
Moreover FB. is pure evil at its core: it's a global scale psychological experiment that future generations will refer to as: "those decades where everyone diluted their identity online, forgot about their "real" selves and thus slowly became clinically insane".
Some of the other arguments in the article are so broad that one can apply them to the Internet as a whole e.g. "distraction free work: just unplug your cable or disconnect your wi-fi"
It was quite an eye opener.
This may also have something to do with the fact that this was a novel and enjoyable project (for me) with a hard deadline, but there were a couple times where my brain was trained to go open up Reddit when I was stumped on something, and I immediately caught myself since it wasn't the normal page and got back to work.
The worse being twitter, a lot of people retweet so much junk.
The best being reddit, because by picking subreddits you can read about specific topics with a very low noise ratio.
What we need is a social media that is only about personal news.
This sounds such a short-sighted argument. Do people greet others because they expect some sort of rewards? It's a basic courtesy. Yes, some people overdo it but using a social media moderately could be a good norm. Again, the balance is the key, and we'll still need a bit more time to figure out the right amount of dose for each, but rejecting them outright is equally misguided.
I like his scarcity argument there is something to it.
I'm less convinced of his argument that he and Steve Martin don't need it. Yeah right - but they already got visibility. Arguing against marketing from the top of the hill may get you print in the NYT but it still feels false.
There may be generational aspects to this story too.
At the end of the day, you gotta do what you gotta do. If you have to avoid social media to stay mentally healthy and to get your work done, OK. If you can still do your work and remain mentally healthy while using social media, OK.
I don't see the point in using anecdotal evidence, limited research, and popular myths to prove that social media is bad or that we should delete it. If it doesn't work for you, stop. It's like telling the world that alcohol is bad and that we're better off not doing it because you have a problem with alcohol. I'm not here to defend alcohol. I am here to suggesting considering that alcohol isn't necessarily evil. And I'm also here to say the same about social media.
This idea that social media is inherently evil because of the psychological tactics used is academically interesting but practically just a way for you to get onto your soap box and sound profound. It might also be a way for you to rationalize your choice for having somewhat regretfully deleted your Facebook. I get it. I did that for a long time. I see now that my problems with social media were mostly my own issues; and I see now that I can maximize the benefit of social media without becoming mentally disturbed or financially ruined.
I pulled the plug on Facebook and Instagram this weekend, not that I was a heavy user of Instagram anyway and Facebook a light to moderate user. (it sounds like I'm discussing a coke habit here). What I will find frustrating is that in my social group - and I'm sure I'm not alone - Facebook appears to be the central tool for organising one's life.
Everything is organised on Facebook. Social events, parties, last minute "Does anyone want to go for a drink?" requests, discussions and meetup arrangements on my side hobby of homebrewing. I fear I shall become something of a social outcast, particularly as many friends I have, I don't have their mobile numbers as all contact was made through Facebook messenger.
This is one part of the reason that I'm pulling away from Facebook in particular. Facebook has almost two billion users and the internet as a whole has roughly 3.5 billion users.
How one corporation having that much data willingly supplied - where they live, where they work, where they've been, where they currently are, among everything else - by so many people is, frankly, a disaster waiting to happen. I want no part of it. I've given them enough data over the last couple of years. No more.
And on a less tin-foil hat angle it is a huge distraction that, aside from the social life organisation aspect, serves no good purpose that can't be provided using other means (email? phone calls? meeting face to face and sharing your selfies in person?).
I've also withdrawn from Instagram and plan to start developing in VueJS or EmberJS rather than React. I'm not officially boycotting Facebook, I'm just choosing not to use their products.
I'm really looking forward to a post social network world. Though I fear something even more addictive, and destructive will come around.
So why should I listen to what this guy has to say about social media?
If you're trying to turn social media into your career - say, being a journalist but only tweeting about things - then, no, that's probably not going to work. This seems to be what the article is railing against.
If however, you're using social media to help your work elsewhere find a wider audience, and then providing added nuggets of value on social media, then that's valuable.
The era of someone producing one piece of work that defines them for the rest of their career is now probably over. Theres an expectation now that you're continually engaged.
I think it works both way. It can be detrimental to people who think what they say online is "private" (Justine Sacco), but plenty of attention seekers double down and take advantage of the viral effect of Twitter or Facebook to "promote their brand", whatever that means, or to make up controversy. But for these people it is also a double edged sword as the consequences of saying something on social media cannot really be controlled. But for most of us it is only a source of problems and unnecessary controversy, it is especially true on Twitter.
Then again, maybe that's also kind of why everything's become so polarised and clickbaity in the media world now. Because the people writing for it are incapable of writing anything deeper than a 140 character soundbite.
This is still the case, except that the number of access methods and filters have increased, and many of them are with us everywhere, all the time.
Our own time is indeed finite, and my experience has been that the digital world will consume as much of that limited time as you let it.
Awareness is a first step, and a purposeful approach to consuming content helps keep your content consuming time balanced with, well, all the other stuff you can do in this world.
I agree with this particular sentiment but I don't believe that "deep work", as Cal Newport calls it, requires us to turn off social media or other forms of less-deep work altogether. Certainly, we must balance and control our usage of social media. Certainly, we must be more than just consumers and create tweets/posts/blogs/etc. These mediums can be great ways to give back to the community.
But I am now a heavy FB user despite that, as an expatriate it helps a lot with keeping the fluency of my native tongue. The ease with keeping in contact is also really good for me, quite a bit away. I just wish there were fewer cat pictures.
The relevance for work and career is zero, of course. But the personal value is high.
You online presence affords recruiters and hiring managers the opportunity to identify who you are before they make a determination to formally invite you to an interview (phone or in person). Even if you opt out of self identify, they can still figure it out if you have FB, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.
Thus, are you qualified, but didn't get a call back or request to interview email? It may be because of your race, gender, sexuality, etc.
If I didn't laugh so hard at this, I'd have to cry. Let's say my mileage has varied significantly. Diametrically. Exponentially. Hilariously.
No idea whether social media has any effect on anything; I don't use it. So there's that.
And then I realize that HN is social media, after all.
Read The Distraction Addiction: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16131064-the-distraction...
That shit doesn't happen in Facebook.
I'm talking about mining, say, Twitter's firehose for nuggets of gold using, let's say, R or finding other clever ways to separate the signal from the noise.
It's well known that Twitter and even Facebook's firehose are a cluttered, un-curated mess which are crying out to be analyzed with things like R, if you are so inclined, or finding other ways to do signal analysis on other social networks like Facebook.
Every time you distract yourself with browsing HN or checking whether Toady One has updated Dwarf Fortress, a little ding lets you know you just satisfied an addiction.
Probably turn people into bell addicts with a feedback loop.
Quitting social media for personal usage is a pretty good idea though if you're always checking it.
"There are many issues with social media, from its corrosion of civic life to its cultural shallowness,..."
Can anyone elaborate on how it "corrodes" civic life? I am guessing this mean "civic" in the sense of civility not civic as in civic duty? Is this referring to the mean spiritedness of many people's online personas?
If pushing addictive narcotics is denounced as one of the moste evil deeds possible, how's this different?
Can we get someone to restore the correct punctuation?
I think a valid solution is to limit social media usage to within specific windows (eg: only use social media for 1 hour per day)
If someone builds a stereotype and then says - I don't like that. It speaks more about the stereotype, than about the real thing necessarily.
Any suggestions on replacing in this manner?
It's a digital nicotine patch for your bad browsing habits.
Maybe I made the wrong call, but I'm happy to start flagging nytimes articles with the same judiciousness I'd flag a Breitbart article with an innocent-seeming but obviously-politically-motivated conclusion at hand.
Once, though, I got a message "I am going to kill you tonight", addressed from one student to another. Ignore, reply, report to UK law enforcement? I got the headmistress of the school on the phone, in the middle of the night in the UK. After about a minute of confusion, she told me that the sender was 12 years old and the problem would be dealt with.
If that had had happened in the US, it probably would have involved a SWAT team.
0 - https://advertising.microsoft.com/en/WWDocs/User/display/cl/...
But many people (sadly even on HN) think it is ok to fire people, based on their opinions.
Lest we forget:
- Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla, fired for a donation,
- Douglas Crockford, uninvited from NodeVember, the general opinion is that he said something that a woman didn't like,
- Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder and former CEO of GitHub, upon an unproven accusation,
- And all people and the 2 colleagues who have been fired in smaller companies, in smaller events, without proof, only based on lynching and without demonstratedly due process to determine what they're guilty about (@mr-kanks from PyCon, I think about you every day I talk with a woman at work).
But making public your support for Trump — or the KKK, or NAMBLA, or Hacker News — is a completely different thing. You can and should be judged on the basis of the ideas and opinions that you promote.
Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
That reminds me of the quotation:
"A new idea is a beautiful and fragile thing. Attack people, not ideas."
I don't know who said that first, but I love that quotation. It mocks itself (and other witticisms), and at the same time reminds you to focus your energy attacking ideas rather than people.
In extreme cases, someone can have a lot of bad ideas and you need to challenge them personally. But that's only in extreme cases, and doesn't apply transitively to supporters of the person.
Usually people are judged based on the ideas that those who oppose them hold.
Not in the context of your employment, you shouldn't. Really, where does this attitude come from that one's employer should get a veto over everything one does when off the clock? It's usually from people who are always complaining about evil corporations stepping on people's rights, too. I don't get it.
I don't think what he did say was quite eloquent and it was clearly emotionally heated, but it didn't imply nor state that Trump voters are unwelcome.
He very explicitly says that any employee that disagrees with his statement should resign and the "statement" included his political views.
Will wearing a t-shirt with "I heart America" get you fired at GrubHub? It's on Matt's list of no-nos: nationalist.
Nationalism and expressing love or pride in one's country (patriotism) are two different things, I think. They can be felt simultaneously but can also be expressed separately. Nationalism focusses more on cultural background, language, and heritage, which "I ︎<3 America" doesn't necessarily convey.
I don't know how all of this will shake out at GrubHub. The most I've heard of the company has been around this incident. There's a lot of close and sometimes purposefully uncharitable parsing of language and cherry-picking going around in general.
I would agree that they are distinct, but very much related.
> Nationalism focusses more on cultural background, language, and heritage, which "I ︎<3 America" doesn't necessarily convey.
Ok, then, how about this t-shirt of Mickey/Heart/Flag: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155866837074483117/
Sure. If they weren't, you wouldn't have put forth the example you did.
"how about this t-shirt of Mickey/Heart/Flag:"
I don't understand what you're getting at (nor am I interested in defining the working attire policy of GrubHub). My point was that there can be a meaningful distinction between nationalism and wearing a "I <3 America" T-shirt, which it looked like you were equating. If you have a point, please make it.
> [from your OP] Nationalism focusses more on cultural background, language, and heritage, which "I ︎<3 America" doesn't necessarily convey.
I picked an "American" cultural icon in conformance with your definition of nationalism.
> If you have a point, please make it.
Social commentary on the current attempt to render expressions of affinity for one's "cultural background, language, and heritage" as socially unacceptable, and indicative of regressive and/or antisocial mindset, and possibly cause for loss of livelihood in companies such as Grubhub.
I'm getting that impression from you in this discussion as well. Given the email as a whole and his follow-up, I don't get the impression of a CEO that would have someone fired over either of the T-shirt examples you've given. So far in this thread, that's been implied by your argument, and that's the only thing you've put forth. I also don't think that's everything you have to say on the topic, and I'm not going to assume what that is. Building straw men is in no way a useful exercise for constructive discussion.
I think there's a lot to be said for your statement:
"Social commentary on the current attempt to render expressions of affinity for one's "cultural background, language, and heritage" as socially unacceptable, and indicative of regressive and/or antisocial mindset"
I also don't see that being fairly applied across the board by a lot of people making arguments like this.
As stated before, I don't know that much about GrubHub or the CEO. If there is other evidence based on his behavior or experiences at GrubHub, that would add to this discussion of the letter and its affect on GrubHub. As I don't have any, I don't have anything more to say on the topic.
Where does he say that?
Obviously only excerpts from the full email, but seems to contradict what you just said pretty heavily. If I was someone who voted for Trump that worked at Grubhub, I know that I would have been afraid for my job after that email. Possibly even still would be, and might even consider moving jobs in order to not be afraid of that.
 The full original text of his email is at the bottom of this page: http://media.grubhub.com/media/press-releases/press-release-...
It's referring to things like ridiculing or mocking minorities, immigrants, and disabled people. Which I think we can all agree are things that Trump did and have no place in a workplace like Grubhub, no?
But I think things get more complicated in the current environment where people who have voted for Trump have basically been labeled the same as him. It's apparently possible to have a "hateful attitude", or be racist, or whatever else, which can get you fired at GrubHub, by having voted for Trump.
But honestly, regardless of arguing intent or whatever, I think the crux of the argument boils down to this: If you had voted for Trump and worked at GrubHub, would you be comfortable going to the CEO and saying "I voted for Trump" without fearing for your job, after that email? I would imagine the number of people at the company who don't/didn't feel that is non-zero (purely based on a vote, not based on if anyone there is actually racist), and I view that as completely inappropriate.
The CEO never said Trump voters aren't welcome. That was the original comment that I disagreed with. It's factually incorrect to say that's what the CEO said.
"the new administration deserves our open minds and a chance to lead... never stop believing that the fight for what's right is worth it"
Quick example, as awful as sexual harrassment is - the code of conduct at your workplace - it doesn't say - Sexual harassment (like the kind Trump does) will not be tolerated. They manage to get a point across regardless.
Anything to back that up?
This appears to have been the instigator:
Fired for a donation that supported enshrining discrimination in a state constitution. It was a good firing.
Support nasty causes, win nasty prizes.
Plus, the point is, if we purge people based on their political opinions, why bother with democracy?
What is legal is not the same as what is moral or ethical.
Figuring out how to tolerate dissent is an issue I think a lot of people are trying to figure out right now, as your statement is pointing to.
He may have good reasons to think that, which aren't forbidden by law. It was legal, it is moral for some people, it is ethical for others, what about we let him do his job of managing a technical company? Companies shouldn't be forced to fire people who are considered as "witches" by the people, as long as they're competent in their job. It takes a huge amount of time to train CEOs and keep replicas on hot standby in a company, if the company has to second-guess the people's opinion about the politics (or sexual life) of CEOs, it's bad for the economy. And if we practice a witch hunt at every level of companies, it quickly goes unethical. See this quote from GitHub's new Diversity Director:
> "Some of the biggest barriers to progress are white women"
You bring up good points regarding the training and the costs of replacing people. Those costs are balanced against the value brought to the company, right?
One of the reasons I think it's difficult to discuss as when people start giving examples as to what should be tolerated and what shouldn't, some people are going to think it's absurd, and take issue with the discussion as a whole.
For the sake of argument, I'll try.
Let's say one of the goals of the company is to provide honeymoon packages and the target market is gay couples. An employee makes a donation in support of something like Prop 8. Is there a conflict there? Are they a good fit for the company? If not, should they look for someone else? Perhaps the person shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Should the company be able to make that decision based on knowing the candidate made such a donation? Should the candidate look elsewhere and not consider a position at the company? Can a company's goals change over time? Can a company's goals include those broader than just the product they market?
You mention "let him do his job of managing a technical company". I think there's tension here, as well (independent of the situation at Mozilla). People are not purely rational beings. How people get along in the workplace is important to its overall effectiveness. What's acceptable in one workplace is not going to be acceptable in another, similar to how people have different circles of friends. Should companies be able to hire for fit? Fire for it?
I think there are some very real questions there. And a lot of contentious issues. Please don't assume my answers to all of these questions, either. You're guaranteed to be wrong as I haven't come to a firm conclusion on all of them :)
If toleration of political opinion is a settled issue for you, please share :) Can you think of a political position that should not be tolerated?
The whole "what's legal is not necessarily moral or ethical" is another kettle of fish, which is the point I was making initially. Your point about what's moral for some people and ethical for others points to some agreement on your part, doesn't it? Perhaps one difference is whether or not we agree that a company can or should have an ethical purpose or should reflect the ethics of the people who own the company or work of the company. Or do business for the company, for that matter.
I don't expect you to have answers to all of these questions. I'd be surprised if you did. If you don't think these are valid questions, I'd be interested to hear which ones are invalid and why.
Lots of people knew proposition 8 was reprehensible and protested accordingly. Eich chose not to listen.
> if we purge people based on their political opinions, why bother with democracy
Purging people based on political opinions is exactly how democracy is supposed to function. We regularly vote politicians out of office because of their political opinions. What other criterion should a democracy use to select leaders?
What does "purging" mean to you in this case? You've now provided two examples: firing and voting. What level of political disagreement justifies what actions? I don't think there's widespread agreement, and it's something I'm trying to figure out for myself.
Voting someone out of office is firing them. We're talking about firing.
So for the sake of LGBT Mozilla employees, I'm glad Eich was shown the door. I'm not interested in entertaining a bunch of fluffy questions about heuristics, expression of opinion, what "purging" really means, or whatever. That's just noise.
When you post on Facebook or Twitter, you're publishing content in the public sphere, deliberately. Published ideas are for public consumption and judgement. If you don't want those ideas and opinions to be judged, don't publish them. Talk to your friends and family about them: keep them in the private sphere.
There's a perverse modern idea that you don't have an identity unless it's a public identity. You barely exist unless you're seen to exist in Instagram pictures, Facebook posts, and Tweets. Not only don't you exist unless you build a social media identity, but because identity is sacrosanct, whatever you publish must be accepted without reservation and judgment — because it's just you being you.
That's bullshit. You have a private identity. You don't have to publish your opinions in the public sphere, and if you do everyone has every right to judge those opinions. If you don't want to be judged, keep it private.
That started with talk shows on TV, where it is implied that you haven't had an emotion until it's made public.
I would argue that Facebook is private, Twitter is public.
You have no expectation of anything on Facebook not being public.
It's not very reasonable to insist that everyone conceptualize all assurances as blatant lies all the time.
You could in theory have it communicate directly with your counterpart's server over TLS, which would provide a good deal of privacy, but then you're trusting your counterpart's server. Given that most people aren't capable of running a mail server, it's not an ideal solution.
Nor are they obligated to. To paraphrase, I may defend your right to speak your opinion but I am not required to be your friend or to spare you from any social consequences of your speech. Make no mistake, there has never been a time when unpopular speech did not have consequences for the speaker and if this bothers you then feel free to exercise your right not to speak or select a society that shares your beliefs.
Quoting from http://volokh.com/2013/08/06/lawsuit-over-firing-based-on-em...
In 1937, “the California Legislature, recognizing that employers could misuse their economic power to interfere with the political activities of their employees, enacted Labor Code sections 1101 and 1102 to protect the employees’ rights.” Labor Code section 1101 provides: “No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy: [¶] (a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics …. [or] (b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.” Labor Code section 1102 provides: “No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.” These sections are designed to protect “ ‘the fundamental right of employees in general to engage in political activity without interference by employers.’ ”
Now it can be used to protect those who political beliefs are more on the right. How the worm turns!
Freedom of speech means the government cannot throw you in jail for the things you say. That is it. Short of violence, everyone else has the freedom of speech to tell you how reprehensible you are without limitations.
This idea that people have the right to say whatever they want without repercussions due to "freedom of speech" is a meme that needs to go away.
As much as I disagreed with Brebdan Eich's political positions, I thought it was wrong that he was pushed out of Mozilla because of them. HN is not a single voice but my reading of it at the time was that, contrary to my position, most people thought it was the right thing to do.
> however if your core beliefs are out of line with a companies beliefs then it just might make you a bad FIT for the company. Not about your opinion, but about you fit with a group of people who's opinion and beliefs are opposite.
So I can veil and justify my prejudice in a company mission statement? This is busybody-ism run amok. This is institutionalized busybody thinking. We really need some collective soul-searching because great people are being destroyed.
How about this, let's stop ruining people for what's going on between their ears. Everyone's got stupid ideas and ugly and complicated thoughts. Get over yourselves, thought police!
Employers: hire people for what they can do for you, pay them fairly, and let them live the rest of their dumb lives in peace. If employees are being assholes in the workplace, discipline and/or fire them. If employees are tarnishing your brand by doing things disagreeable to you
A) publicly, **AND**
B) in your brand's name
Of course, the larger problem is the rest of the culture. There are groups who will retaliate against individuals by naming them and trying to link them to the brand of their employer. It puts the employer in an impossible bind. Brendan Eich and Mozilla spring to mind as a particularly memorable example of this.
It's a form of cultural terrorism, where one's private ideas can get them killed. The only solution, as distasteful as it sounds to many, is to not let the terrorists win. Mozilla should have kept Eich on, just to spite the SJW's and prevent them from souring civil discourse.
49 people were massacred this year for going to a gay nightclub, but Eich was a victim of terrorism because he was fired? What are you smoking?
Brendan Eich contributed to the Prop 8 traditional marriage campaign that the California electorate voted on. It was a constitutional amendment and it passed which, in 2008, was simply stunning.
In any case, Eich was shamed retroactively for his contribution. The hate and vitriol I read directed at the man at the time was incredible. If I were him, I would have been more in fear for my life and my family's, much less holding on to my CEO position. I don't know Brendan except hearing heard him speak a bit on youtube on technical topics, maybe he's a braver soul than I am IRL.
In any case, "the use of violence or threats of violence in order to coerce, especially for political purposes" is the #1 definition of 'terrorism', which describes what happened with Eich pretty well. Fear is as powerful a weapon of terrorists as bullets or jet planes or pressure cookers are. Is this definition of terrorism and its implications well understood by you, and are you simply resistant to empathizing with someone with different politics than yours? That's all well and good until it's your ox that gets gored.
Eich wasn't fired, at least not publicly. He stepped down because the cowards/traitors on the board let him dangle with no support.
Yeah. He was given a taste of his own medicine with regard to what it feels like to be victimized.
Edit: I have upvoted gaur because their minority viewpoint needs to be fully heard to be understood.
On the facts, Mozilla and I both say I resigned, and Mozilla's board members said at the time that they wanted me to stay.
But in fantasizing that I was fired, gaur's moralistic and judgmental language exhibits the usual signs that Jonathan Haidt has detailed in "The Righteous Mind": a casting out of the other as beyond redemption and justly punished, without the ability to model said other or address their point of view.
(Also without ever adverting to the bad "purging" precedent he's endorsing, which global Trumpism can and will exploit by reversing his right-makes-might-makes-right circular argument. The shoe may soon be on the other foot even here in the USA, at least in large regions; it definitely never left the first foot in places like Saudi Arabia.)
Dishonesty and self-pity are not worth hearing or studying -- we have enough of them already.
Gaur expresses or implies falsehoods about California law, but I've addressed those elsewhere on HN and won't repeat here. Links:
Of course, you're right on, and that level of injustice he lusts for invites a cruel backlash. Your ominous parenthetical sidebar is not lost on me, and we may be heading to ugly places under Trump.
I am glad to hear you speak well of the Mozilla board. I know you all were put in an awful bind, and you did the most honorable thing you could.
Take care, I pray for you and for the country.
Thanks for your other words & thoughts.
I hope you took good notes during those times and write your memoirs someday. What was it like to become a public figure after having such an impact on our industry? And then, I'm convinced you were just at the wrong place career-wise at the wrong time, what was it like to be a public figure caught up in a media firestorm? That's a story I'd like to read someday.
Also, what are you going to do next, if you're in a sharing mood?
I've been bummed not to have Privacy Badger on my Android Firefox. I will give Brave a tumble, thanks!
Why work at a Christian company if you find their beliefs oppressive?
I say this as someone who thinks there is a thin line (a birth canal) between infanticide and a legal abortion.
And there's always the option of working at common ground. Instead of picking a point of contention, serve at a food bank. Nobody objects to those.
For example, the mandatory volunteer time may not have offended any principles and come with higher pay.
This is true only if your company has a deliberate no religion or politics position, and can operate like such.
There are three things you hire people for:
- Doing something specific
- Working more general things out
- Choosing what the first two do
The first is completely apolitical, the second is partly apolitical, the third is completely political. Suggesting that a company is not, in some manner, a political machine is a useful way of shifting the blame for the things it does to the regulatory system and making employees do things they don't agree with.
Keep in mind though that that's just a current fashion, not a law of the universe. You could just as easily make the case that if your religion doesn't matter at work, you should get a new religion (or a new workplace).
The only reason our current beliefs are in fashion is basically that the continual development of new technology has made public morality irrelevant. But if we ever stop being able to innovate ourselves our of the hole we're digging then the party's over and we become an islamic republic or whatever.
Once you start thinking like that, it becomes easy to find any way to rationalize firing anyone for any reason.
Yeah, don't get me wrong: not vaccinating your child is a very shitty decision, and dangerous both for the child and other children they interact with. Herd immunity and all that.
But let's be fair: one major difference between anti-vaxxers and Nazis is that anti-vaxxers are simply misguided and ignorant. The Nazis on the other hand knew exactly what they were doing (exterminating people) and even developed fucked up methodologies for doing it more efficiently. So I stand by my previous assertion that the two groups are categorically and fundamentally different.
Free speech acts as Natural selection for ideas. Bad ideas never get checked and fester in filter bubbles if you don't let people express themselves openly.
In case you hadn't noticed, fascism seems to be increasingly popular around the world lately despite speech being freer than ever before.
Being shamed isn't an infringement upon free speech. Being subject to legal sanction that impacts your liberty or property interest is. Your conservative friends have suffered no loss of their speech freedom, they simply haven't found a sympathetic ear for their viewpoint among liberals. Nor should they, say I as a liberal - when they come to me saying they want to restrict others' freedoms, I feel zero desire to assist them in that project or even associate with them.
Why would you assume that the subtextual nature of these fascist views explained their existence, though? They've been kept below the surface because when they were openly expressed in the past the overall reaction was highly negative.
You seem to think that if we just accepted people going about spouting fascist opinions, they'd eventually grow out of it or somesuch, as if it were a developmental stage everyone went through. The reality is that a lot of wars have been fought over these ideas already, most famously World War 2. And what we learned from that were that first, fascism when implemented on a large scale can lead to monstrous moral evils, as much as any other totalitarian ideology, and second, that some people seem totally OK with that.
Now, that would be merely interesting if we could be disinterested outside observers, in the same way that it's interesting to watch two ant colonies duke it out for territorial dominance because we don't empathize much with the individual ants. On the other hand, fascism (like all totalitarian systems) always has designated out groups who are designated to be acceptable targets for violence, both formal and informal. If you're passively accepting of that when it's happening to someone else next to you, then you share a small part in the moral responsibility insofar as your passivity differs from your base level of passivity. That is to say, if you're the sort of person who wouldn't lift a finger to help someone else in any trouble - being hit by a car, say, or suffering some wholly random natural calamity - then you're just an unhelpful person to begin with, whether that's due to anxiety, fear, or simple selfish indifference. On the other hand if you're normally helpful but don't help someone out if they're suffering from fascistic (or other ideological) violence, then you're indirectly assisting the oppression and bear some of the moral culpability for the results.
The fact is that when someone goes about saying (for example) they want the USA to be a country for white people and are willing to employ force to that end, that makes everyone who's not white feel much less safe because such speech normalizes the use of force against them. Of course, it's just as troubling if someone goes around asserting that they feel fine about hurting or killing white people. However, the facts that white people a) form a majority of the population and b) have inflicted far more violence against people of color in the recent historical past than they have been subjected to in return suggest a strong statistical basis for treating the first case as a much bigger problem than the second.
John Stuart Mill disagrees as I quoted previously: Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
"On Liberty" also delves way into harmful speech which Nazism certainly is, but all I'm really pointing out is that's a light year away from merely voting for Trump and seems to be done solely to dismiss others.
I encourage everyone to avoid answering that question, it presupposes that the mindset that resulted in such a question is valid on some level and worthy of engagement.
You can judge on consistency by using some empathy and substituting in Jews, progressives, and Muslims to select some arbitrary left wing groups as opposed to the right wing groups initially named. For people with empathy (and a bit of wisdom) regardless of which side they're on, they can see that its a fundamentally immoral method of argument, regardless of who is picked as today's trendy victim of the sophistry. How can something moral and worthy rely specifically on not using empathy? The response to civilization getting punched in the face by a right fist a century ago should be something like "turn the other cheek" not having bad guys propose "punch back left handed, maybe harder and using computers this time". You're not going to win with a strategy that boils down to being nazis, but more specifically left wing nazis so that means we're not only OK but we're great because I'm sure the other side shares our views that they're deplorable and if we just call them racists or bigots one more time then they'll finally start voting for us. That was quite an empathy fail in the recent election strategy. We tried left wing authoritarianism last century a couple times and it failed every time. Oddly enough it turns out people hate being genocided regardless of being told its to help the left or the right. Theoretically and pragmatically WRT empathy, mislabeling "natural" is just a bad strategy, gonna fail.
Another way its not "natural" is confusing groupthink with observing actual nature or wisdom. For example, today left wing progressive views are extremely popular, near universal in some subgroups echo chambers, in the 30s in Germany somewhat further right views were more popular. Popularity contest results are very interesting but has nothing to do with morality and ethics and right and wrong and the correct way to live a good life. Is the truth of the world that the Earth is flat or round? Did the earth change shape before and after Columbus or just the groupthink? Is the logically efficient and dependable way to determine the result of 2 + 2, to vote on it? In summary don't confuse merely measuring groupthink vs observations and analysis of actual "nature".
So not bad, given a two word phrase "natural selection" its gotten at least three gaping philosophical holes shot thru it.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12998777 and marked it off-topic.
Does he express his views at work or somewhere else? If he's professional at work, I don't give a shit what he thinks.
So, if this person is professional at work, then you come home, and watching the news, you see a report about a neo-nazi parade, and there this person is, literally on-screen, shouting "burn the niggers*. Is that also ok?
Of course, this is an extreme example, I'm just interested in understanding where the line is, or indeed if there is one, in the minds of people who think it's ok to express any opinion without there being any consequence.
That said, is he professional at work? If he does his job and doesn't discuss shit at work, that's his business. I'm not going to fire someone because of personal beliefs. Yes, that's an extreme example but I'm not going to play arbiter of beliefs because we are quickly going to get into a slippery slope of defining where a line is, who decides, etc. Hell, if half the folks on Facebook had it their way I might not have a job simply because I prefer Trump to Hillary. You see where I'm going with this?
If it's my personal belief that I am duty bound to try and get this person fired and find legal ways to ruin their life would you be supportive of that? None of this activity would be carried out at work.
I don't discriminate at work, full stop. I don't care what you do or who you screw so long as it doesn't affect folks at work. The second you start pushing your political agenda at work it becomes a problem. It has nothing to do with a "safe space" and in fact it is in no way a safe space. Work is not a place to talk politics and push your ideals onto society. We all know these "safe spaces" are just a place for a given "side" to espouse their ideology without having to defend it from rational discourse.
You are using a throwaway account. Clearly you are not willing to be beholden to your words online despite advocating for us to do us.
If said behavior persists and it's a distraction to the team, disciplinary action should be taken.
In my opinion, it hinges upon the expression. If they are pleasant at work then one day you find their Facebook profile has a racial and homophobic slur, I don't think that's interfering with the work environment. If they say the same thing to you at work, then you can talk to HR.
Unfortunately, by drawing the line here I'm allowing the possibility that you have to work with someone you don't like. Sorry about that. I think that's part of a larger problem, and I'm open to hear solutions for not-liking-someone-but-being-part-of-a-society. When a person is engaging in poor behaviour in the work context, you can use the mechanisms in place to correct that behaviour, but keep in mind that the goal is behaviour correction not crucifixion.
I don't think being pleasant has anything to do with this. Perhaps you meant professional?
Assuming that, what if someone is professional at work, but often says at work that they believe black people should be lynched and are subhuman. Is that ok? If it isn't acceptable, why isn't it?
The crux of the problem is what it takes to become a "perpetrator of abuse," and we must all be cautious of expanding that group too aggressively.
I don't need to put up with those views. He has freedom of speech, but he does not have freedom of venue.
ROFL. That's 1 long helluva a Dump. Hope you don't have roommates or a large family.
haha she lost and so will your beloved init++
NY Times was made to look like a fool by this election. Their arrogance will be their downfall. And keep in mind I'm a hardcore liberal, and always valued sources like NY Times. Now I think they are a joke with how they didn't take Trump seriously.
>> Please avoid introducing classic flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say about them.
That's my immediate reaction to the title.
As it happens, deciding for myself is more important to me than my career assessment by other people.