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ElectronConf postponed until a “more diverse slate of speakers” can be delivered (electronconf.com)
158 points by legostormtroopr on June 4, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 316 comments



As a European, I keep getting baffled about how out of hand these things seem to be in the USA.

I live in the Netherlands, a very open-minded country with same-sex marriage, equal rights and were women seem to me to be even slightly more dominant over men (but this is just my perception).

All this without safe spaces, forced quotas at conferences, codes of conduct and people that police every word you say. There are laws against harassment of course, and that's enough.

Of course, it's not perfect, but there are rarely if ever any big incidents due to discrimination (to my knowledge).

Looking at the USA instead I see people getting offended pretty much for anything. As a consequence discussion gets neutered to the point where everybody is afraid to express even small controversial ideas or make the next "dongle" joke for the fear of repercussions.

I have also seen a lot of videos of people getting beaten in the streets for holding up signs with which "offended" people did not agree. Is that freedom of speech? We had such things in our history in the "old continent" and they were definitely not called this way.

This is one of the big reasons that always kept me away from the USA, even for short trips at conferences. Here in Europe to me it feels much safer and open minded, with all the flaws and imperfections that there might be.


I definitely agree with this view, and it's perhaps also why I really can't understand choices like these, to cancel an event, because of the genders of the people speaking? Why does that even matter?

If what another commenter mentioned[0][1], that they did blind-reviews of the papers, then this is actually quite appalling to me and sends the reverse signal that we don't really care about your paper, as long as you fill up our quota.

I also deeply believe that this is inherently the wrong way to fix this kind of problem. It's like treating symptoms instead of actually treating the underlying disease. If the papers accepted were all male, then why not ask "why was it only papers from men that were qualified enough?" or "why did only men submit papers for our event?". If the former is true than we need effort into investigating why more women aren't writing these papers (be it quality or just plain quantity), and if the latter then look into the marketing/awareness on the paper submitting process.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14480918

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14481098

EDIT: Included links to the comments that mentioned the blind-reviews.

--

Semi-related: While I haven't seen it, I saw an interview with Jordan Peele about the movie "Get Out". He mentions that he wanted to tackle the fact that while Obama definitely helped the US move to less racist tones, it was never really solved, it is just there hiding under the skin with super-awareness to not be racist, which arguably is not the desired effect - there shouldn't be awareness at all about race period. I feel like this effect is somewhat similar to what is happening here, and the fact that the US is not able to hold any reasonable discussion at all on these topics doesn't make me optimistic on their capability to handle these issues. I feel like PC culture is causing way more harm than good.

</rant>


PC culture is a frustrated reaction to how fucked up America is with regard to race. Look at the income/health statistics between blacks and whites, or go live in an inner-city. It's mind blowing. It's a problem we created as a society and we're not doing anything to fix it. So we've resorted to counting the number of different color people at coding conferences.


It's a reaction that only makes the problem worse.

Imagine the reaction if a group of male organizers had decided too many women were speaking, and you'll understand how other people feel about this decision.

When sexism like this is tolerated it only discredits any claim that equality and fairness are the goals.


There is a difference between superficial equality and structural equality. Consider a society where 50% of tech CEOs and programmers were women, but it was socially acceptable to deny any given woman or man a job based on his or her gender. Such a society would have structural equality but not superficial equality.

What you're talking about is superficial equality. Your point is correct within that narrow context, but I don't think superficial equality is all that interesting.


That's equality of outcome though, which is often terrible.

I want a society where everybody gets an even shot, at which point I find it highly unlikely we'd end up at 50/50 - given programming has been both male-majority and female-majority over time I'm damned if I know in which direction it'd fall, but 50/50 usually means "you have forced people to be here who would've been better/happier somewhere else" and my feminism involves the radical notion that women have agency too.


The equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity distinction is a cop-out. If you have real equality of opportunity then you should expect equality of outcome,[1] unless there is biological reason why women/black people/etc want to be left out of well-paying secure careers, or can't hack it in those careers. Maybe that's true, but it's an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof.

The fact that programming has been both male-majority and female-majority at different times proves my point, and undermines yours. There is nothing inherent about it that makes women select into or out of it. Society pushed women into it back when it was a low status profession and now pushes women out of it now that it's a high status profession.

[1] When people say equality of opportunity they really mean something well short of that. Equality of opportunity means that's if you take a sample of say 1,000 kids, they should experience extrinsic forces over their lifetime that aren't correlated with race/gender/etc. I.e. some kids might have it easier because they have rich parents and some kids might have it harder because they have poor parents, but there shouldn't be a systematic pattern to those forces. But when people invoke "equality of opportunity" I am skeptical they mean doing something about the fact that statistically a random black kid is going to grow up in a household that only makes 60% as much as the one a random white kid would grow up in.


Please tell me how society "pushes women out" of programming. I've only seen women being pushed toward programming. It's up to the individual woman to choose programming - just like it's up to the individual man to want a degree in, say, clinical psychology. The only pressure I've seen is that of the gender majority. Men and women tend to overlook careers where there is a majority consisting of the opposite sex. It's not society's job to equalize gender ratios and yes there are real differences between men and women. It's not true that if there's a majority gender in a field it must be because of discrimination.


> When people say equality of opportunity they really mean something well short of that

I don't.


Why is equality of outcome terrible, per se?


Because it is ambiguous goal which under any reasonable interpretation has massive consequences and major unintended side-effects. My favorite sport is basketball. What is the 'equality of outcome' in the context of the NBA? Is it that players are evenly distributed across gender lines? Across economic lines? Across national lines? Across racial or ethnic or religious lines? In our society, it would probably be understood that NBA should be proportionally represented by each identity group. So you should see 70% white players, 15% hispanic players, 12% black players, 5% asian players. Is that the right solution? But is the fact that black Americans dominate the league actually a problem? And what the heck are you supposed to do to fix it?

The other point is that in a free society, you cannot guarantee equality of outcome because people are going to make personal choices that will be magnified and influenced by whatever sub-culture they are immersed in. Professional basketball in the early days was over-represented by Jews, because it just so happened that interest in the game went viral in that sub-culture.

Tech has an over-representation of men because it grew out of a particular nerd sub-culture. There's nothing wrong with doing outreach to get non-traditional sub-groups developing an interest in programming, just like there's nothing wrong with the NBA running clinics in China to get Chinese kids into basketball. But it's not racism that the demographics are the way they are! In a free society you should expect that!


> So you should see 70% white players, 15% hispanic players, 12% black players, 5% asian players. Is that the right solution? But is the fact that black Americans dominate the league actually a problem? And what the heck are you supposed to do to fix it?

Arguably yes. The NBA itself is an irrelevantly tiny portion of the economy. But it creates a huge pressure on African American kids to focus on being successful through sports instead of academic pursuits.


>Arguably yes.

What do you mean "arguably yes"? What are we losing by having blacks be over-represented in the NBA?

>But there is a huge pressure on African American kids to focus on being successful through sports instead of academic pursuits.

BY WHO??! Who are these individuals who are pressuring black kids to focus on sports instead of academics?!? I have never met such a person.

Professional Hockey is dominated by White Canadians and Russians. Baseball is over-represented by Latino/Hispanic players. Asians, who are 5% of the US population, account for almost 25% of all Physicians. Which industry has this perfect ratio of races that should serve as a model for us all. And you conveniently side-stepped the issue of 1) why it is race/ethnicity where proportionality should be prioritized over (for example) religion, and 2) is it even reasonable to expect that such a ratio to be achievable in a society where people are free to choose and 3) what the heck is the actual gain to society if it is versus the cost of brainwashing people to want things they don't actually want.


> BY WHO??! Who are these individuals who are pressuring black kids to focus on sports instead of academics?!? I have never met such a person.

How much do you know about the personal experiences of African American teenagers?


>How much do you know about the personal experiences of African American teenagers?

How much do you? How much do middle-class black Americans in New York know about the personal experiences of poor black teenagers in rural Louisiana? How much do you know of the personal experiences of second generation Polish Americans in Chicago? Or recent Chinese immigrants in San Francisco? Or poor White Protestants in Appalachia.

What is your point?


My point was based on personal experience. You're the one who said you don't know anyone encouraging black kids to pursue success through sports. How is that opinion supposed to carry any weight if you wouldn't be in a position to know about it even if it were happening?


This thinking is exactly the problem. "There are a lot of people with dark skin in basketball, your skin color is looking like theirs, therefore your path to success must be basketball". But the solution you seem to be implying is even worse - "ok, we succeeded in convincing you your skin color determines your path in life. Congrats to us. But now we'll close this path for you because we already have too many people looking like you there, so no success for you, sorry". Both ways of thinking are idiotic and both if followed can ruin people's lives. We need less of that, not more.


Great. Now convince all the black teenagers living in the same segregated neighborhoods black people lived in a century ago (because it was illegal for them to live in the other side of this or that road) that skin color doesn't determine their path in life.


I can't, of course. But it's not about me, is it? It's about how to fix it. And I think getting out of "race determines everything" mentality is part of fixing it, regardless of what I personally can or can't do. Yes, there was a lot of harm and injustice done to black people in the US in the past, and some of it continues even to this day. It must be fixed. I haven't seen an instance of concentrating on racial quotas fixing it though. I don't think racism can be fixed with racial quotas.


Would you support 50% gender equality of speakers at a conference?

Would you support limiting professional teams from hiring black people to allow for a certain number of Asians?

Would you support universities reducing their intake of Jewish students to stop over-representation?

Would you support hospitals hiring a maximum 5% Asian doctors?


> But is the fact that black Americans dominate the league actually a problem?

It's a symptom of one.

> And what the heck are you supposed to do to fix it?

Deal with the problems that deny so many black youth any better opportunities than the lottery-ticket of aiming for success in sports.


Because it reduces people to a set of identity classes that fill respective identity checkboxes. I.e. if it happens that on conference there is 10 good presentation submitted from class X but only 2 from class Y, and the quota is half-half, you would either reject 8 good presentations or add 8 crappy ones, just to fill identity checkboxes and achieve equality of outcome. Or cancel the conference altogether.

The true equality would be when the conference organizers see 12 good presentations, and don't even think to dig into what identity class they represent (unless the conference is specifically organized to represent identity classes). When did you last seen statistics about hair color or eye color of conference presenters? How about blood type? Maybe AB- people are underrepresented? You get the idea.


If green eyed people had been systematically oppressed until recently and still made a fraction of the money brown eyed people do as a result, you'd see statistics about eye color at conference presentations.


Define "recently. Neither women nor blacks nor catholics nor jews have been systematically oppressed in the US in my lifetime, or yours, or most of the potential presenters. If you are conservative about it you can claim discrimination up until the 1960s - which is 50 years ago, hardly "recently".


> Neither women nor blacks nor catholics nor jews have been systematically oppressed in the US in my lifetime

If you are ever so slightly open-minded about it you could consider black Americans to still be systematically oppressed by the criminal justice system. Read a bit about the criminalisation of marajuana, sentencing procedures, the industrial prison complex etc..


Equality of outcome as a goal is terrible because it's the enemy of equality of opportunity. "Everybody is denied their agency" would be equal, perhaps, but isn't part of any feminist vision I choose to align myself with.


What is the "structural inequality" in this case? That there are more men than women in tech? If so, what is the 'structure' that causes this inequality?


Turtles, all the way down.

----

Or to be less glib, that's a great question, and like many, not simple to answer well.

Mostly, it seems like a lack of positive reinforcement and role models (leading to self selection out at early ages), mixed with sexism in a a variety of forms (leading to lack of opportunities, or hostile environment and self selection out at later ages).

But that's an oversimplification.


If women don't choose to go into tech, that's their own choice.

It's not as if men went into tech because of positive social reinforcement for being a nerd.

There's still a social stigma attached to it, which I'd love to see change, but it affects both men and women.


It's a choice, but it's not the same choice. When a woman signs up to be an engineer, she's signing up for long hours debugging segfaults, just like a man. But unlike a man, she's signing up to spend four years in school being one of the handful of women in her class, then entering a workforce with the likes of Uber, etc. There signing up for a life of awkward encounters with coworkers, supervisors who try to date female employees, limited support networks, etc.


None of that stopped women from entering law, medicine, business, etc.

Tech isn't new. Why haven't women chosen to enter tech in the same numbers they've chosen other male-dominated fields?


> None of that stopped women from entering law, medicine, business, etc.

As to law, it didn't happen by magic. After openly excluding women into the 1970s, law schools and law firms made concerted efforts to increase the representation of women. Large law firms not only track demographic information for hiring and promotions, they disclose it to legal publications who report on it. These days much of it has become self reinforcing. Frat culture has a hard time surviving in an environment where a big chunk of the clients are women (a quarter of existing Fortune 500 CLOs and a third of new ones are women).


That's all true of tech as well. People should seriously ask why women aren't choosing tech careers, because the "old boys club" or "frat culture" explanation isn't at all unique to tech.


There is not a stigma against "in tech". There was never a stigma against it, really.

And yes, men largely do get into stem fields because there is huge positive reinforcement and many positive role models.


>There is not a stigma against "in tech". There was never a stigma against it, really.

Yeah. Traditionally all the cool kids were the math and computer whizes with glasses and pocket protectors - not the star football player. Yeah. Got it.

>And yes, men largely do get into stem fields because there is huge positive reinforcement and many positive role models.

Uh huh. Can you quantify that? Or did you just sit down and think really really really hard about it so it must be true.

>and many positive role models

Is that actually a real problem? Are you saying a white kid will be dissuaded from playing basketball, or even being an NBA fan because the best players are black?

In similar spirit, are you really trying to argue that a young girl will not be able to be inspired by Woz, or Jobs, or Elon Musk because they are men? What dystopian, ugly world are you living in?


I'm pretty sure the cool kids in my school did individual sports (golf, tennis, track), were in 2-3 AP classes, and aced their SATs. So that'd depend on where and when you are.

There's absolutely a stigma against not confirming to prevailing norms, which is a bit of a different discussion. Also the mess that is putting hundreds or even thousands of adolescents in a confined space with minimal oversight.

>Uh huh. Can you quantify that? Or did you just sit down and think really really really hard about it so it must be true.

Why did you get into it?

>Is that actually a real problem?

Yes. Though, representation generally is probably a better way to have said it. Though availability of role models and mentors with similar life experience is a factor as well.

>Are you saying a white kid will be dissuaded from playing basketball, or even being an NBA fan because the best players are black?

Fandom and participation aren't the same things, and while there's some overlap between former participation and later fandom in sports, it's far from 1 to 1.

I'm not sure if white kids would be discouraged due to lack of representation in the NBA. All other things being equal, yes, that's a likely outcome. But all other things are not equal. Race and sports in the US is an interesting topic in its own right.

>In similar spirit, are you really trying to argue that a young girl will not be able to be inspired by Woz, or Jobs, or Elon Musk because they are men?

Not at all. But a lack of representation has a few different impacts. At the personal level, individuals find it easier to identify with folks who they see as being like them. What exactly like them means varies, but the younger the child, the less abstract they tend to be. Second, parents and teachers are influenced by lack of representation, so it feeds back into a loop of lack of community encouragement, which doesn't help.

>What dystopian, ugly world are you living in?

The same one as you, of course.


Really what I'm getting at, there is no 'structural racism' in this case. You cannot point at a law, or mandate, or policy that actively discriminates against an ethnicity, race, or gender. The best you can do is give some hand-wavy argument that 'unconscious biases' are driving racist actions without knowledge of the person - but what is a person supposed to do with that? They are racist in such a secret way that even they are unaware of it? Total garbage.


What is your explanation for the underrepresentation of black people and women in engineering besides structural racism and sexism? If the answer is "self selection," explain to me what could possibly cause women and black people to self-select out of high paying interesting jobs?


>What is your explanation for the underrepresentation of black people and women in engineering besides structural racism and sexism?

Null hypothesis. YOU are making an unsubstantiated claim. What is YOUR proof of this structural racism. And feel free to define your terms, because I have no effin clue what 'structural racism' is.

Here's an alternative explanation, people are influenced by the sub-cultures they are in and ideas that go viral in one sub-culture, may not go viral in another. In the early 1900s professional basketball was dominated by Jews. Why basketball? I don't know. It just happened to strike a chord with that specific population, in that specific time.

I'm not saying this is the reason, but what it is, is an example that YOU have to dismiss or account for to prove YOUR claim.

>If the answer is "self selection," explain to me what could possibly cause women and black people to self-select out of high paying interesting jobs?

An average salary for a radiologist is $350,000/year. Why aren't you a radiologist? I'll tell you why I'm not. I would rather shoot myself than spend the amount of time it takes to become a radiologist because I have no interest in it. I have no interest in memorizing massive amount of latin names and reading volumes of biology and anatomy text books. Similarly, if you don't love programming, programming is an insanely boring and tedious profession. You may sit in-front of a computer screen for days trying to find a bug that occurs sporadically under some very specific conditions. I find that fun, others who have no interest in it will want to shoot themselves too.

So to answer your question: "I don't know" but if your criteria is human irrationality, I can go on and on and on and on... Why are middle-class kids borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to private liberal arts colleges with no real hope of landing a job that will provide them an income to pay of those loans? Come to think of it, why do humanities degrees even exist? Why do people buy lottery tickets when investing the equivalent money will net them a significantly higher return rate?

Humans are not rational agents. We're driven by emotion.


We known several things as fact. We know overt and open oppression of black people happened as recently as the 1970s and 1980s. (I'd say it's still happening, but the fact that it did happen in the recent past is indisputable.) And we know that black households make only 60% as much at the median as white households. All I'm doing is suggesting a causal relationship between the two.

Since you reject my hypothesis, I'm asking you to suggest an alternative. And your alternative appears to be, "I don't know why, but for some reason black people just don't like money." Which doesn't make any goddamn sense. Sure individuals are different, but why would we expect groups of people to have such distinct preferences? To me your theory smacks of rationalization.


That's surely a factor, but there are many other factors that have to be considered: the stigma against "acting white", Democratic benefit programs that breed dependency and make wealth building almost impossible, violence, fatherless families [1]. The opportunities for success exist; now, it's up to people to work for success.

1: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jul/...


>Since you reject my hypothesis

I reject your hypothesis on the basis that you have provided no evidence.

>I'm asking you to suggest an alternative

An alternative to what? Why there are less black people and women in tech than there are Asians and whites? I don't know. It could be any number of reasons and none of them may have to do anything with racism or misogyny. You can't just prove your assertion by saying "well i can't think of anything else it could be therefore racism must be the cause".

>And your alternative appears to be, "I don't know why, but for some reason black people just don't like money."

Your paraphrasing of a position I put forward is disgusting. It isn't at all what I said. At all.

You also missed my point. I'm not saying I believe my alternative. I have no evidence for it just like you don't have any for yours. I put it out there to demonstrate that there are potential alternatives that would need to be taken into account.

>Sure individuals are different, but why would we expect groups of people to have such distinct preferences

That's a good question. A type of question that one could study and get a Masters for or a PhD. Certainly there is plenty of precedent at least when it comes to tastes in movies, music and food. So why would you just dismiss it out of hand and blame racism?


> Mostly, it seems like a lack of positive reinforcement and role models

If one presupposes that men and women are literally just the same. As in they have the same distribution of proclivities and personality traits across their gender this would be the most logical conclusion to reach.

As an aside. Anyone ever heard of David Reimer? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer


I appreciate your concern Mr. Hashem, but I doubt you had anything to do with the state of our society in the USA. Racial problems were baked into the cake here, so to speak.

Insofar as being "fucked up with regards to race." I've heard there are literal open market slave auctions going on in the Middle East.

Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestiniens.

India has a brutal caste system.

That's all worse than section 8 housing IMHO.


They've realised now (or maybe still don't realise) a blind review of papers isn't what they wanted.


The US is currently deep in a dark age. With a country this big, it may not be obvious as everything is mostly operating as it was in the past, only slowly failing over time. If you look closely, however, you can see that we have pretty much given up on education, science, and the pursuit of truth. Actually, you don't have to look very close anymore at all; it's beyond obvious. We make a big deal out of people graduating high school, a feat that I have no doubt certain non-human primates are qualified for at this point given how much we've dumbed down our education. We have no problem churning out uneducated fools, so why would we expect these fools to be knowledgable when softer topics like "diversity" are so much easier to tweet about? I'm not saying diversity is not a worthy pursuit, far from it, but the way these people are pursing it is indeed foolish and dumb. It's a step above anti-vaxers and climate change deniers, but now we're just splitting hairs on what constitutes stupid.


Come now. What would you say to an academic who didn't want to go to the whole of Europe, just because he saw some scary news about something that happened in Prague once?

The US is a huge, multifaceted place, and like anywhere so large, you will find things both awful and wonderful. But life is a lot less chaotic than the news agencies claim. And the histrionic folks, while loud, are a lot fewer in number than the amount of airtime their doings get would have you believe.

tl;dr- Come on over, the water's fine. You'll probably make some friends. Everybody wins.


I second the line of thinking, but please rein in the TSA a bit. That's literally the only thing I'm scared about going to US. All the other things seem like a purely local phenomena that shouldn't be generalized to the whole 300M country. But I am scared I'll get into trouble on the border because of my HN and Facebook posts (e.g. against US drone strikes).


> That's literally the only thing I'm scared about going to US

Don't be. TSA is stupid theater, they suck, but probability of anything happening to you is very low. Probability of anything beyond mild irritation happening to you - unless you one of high profile people that Powers That Be have a beef with - is vanishingly low.

Yes, it still happens - millions pass through TSA every day, and you'd have a number of cases where usual silliness rises to the level of dangerous idiocy, and these cases would be widely publicized and criticized, as they should be. But pure numbers game suggests your chances of becoming one of those is very small. If you take some basic precautions - like not standing out too much, being polite and not arguing with them, however stupid the proceedings look, etc. - even smaller.

In fact, on my latest travels, I personally have had much more irritating experience with London security that with TSA. On top of everything TSA does (which they did too), London people were severely understaffed for some reason, but if you think that made them move at anything faster than a glacial pace, you'd be so wrong. They were so Zen I'd be envious if I wasn't so concerned about missing my flight because they need to swab my books and slooowly bring it to some mysterious machine and slooowly come back and so on... But still it wasn't much more than mild annoyance summarily.

> But I am scared I'll get into trouble on the border because of my HN and Facebook posts (e.g. against US drone strikes).

Nobody cares. Really. They don't have resources to read every HN thread.


Yeah, there's no way I'm going to defend the TSA's methodologies. They a pain to deal with.

The good thing I'll say is that somewhere around 57 million people visited the US last year. 99.9%+ had no trouble other than long lines and the general frustration that comes with long distance travel. So your fears, while completely understandable, are also very, very unlikely to cause any actual trouble.


Those 0.1% mean absolutely nothing. There was a comment months ago right here in HN about a guy who owned a secure email provider who had his throwaway Android device confiscated, and who was interrogated for 8 hours on the topic of "give us access to your private email admin panel". He refused and was smart enough to not bring any way of unlocking his admin access with him (whitelisted IPs and/or physical keys which he left at home). He described the interrogators as very angry and that they "advised" him to immediately go back.

We get it, people who comment on sweet puppy Instagram posts aren't under threat. Sure. But the IT folk, especially people having access to sensitive information or white/black hats can definitely expect a plethora of insolent questions at the airport, asked in small creepy rooms somewhere at the back, from people who refuse to even identify themselves. Is that even legal?

Shall we also mention the looming danger of own laptops being banned on flights? Either use a Chromebook-like device (which, I have no doubt, will steal your private data, why else would they setup such a honeypot anyway) or GTFO, that's USA's policy.

I've made up my mind. I am not going to the USA for now. There's undoubtedly a huge pool of interesting people who can make some of my business dreams come true there but I am not sure being recorded in an unofficial "special target" list for life and having my devices every time I go confiscated is worth it. I'd say no.

(I exaggerate a bit of course, but to the average guy like myself losing even a $250 throwaway device is something that I will feel.)


> who owned a secure email provider

So he probably was on some kind of a radar. Are you? Then you concern is completely warranted. Are not? Then it's not.


It's a slippery slope kind of situation. Once they start doing it and see they can get away with it, then they start widening the circle.


I'm not advocating or defending them. Of course they should be called out on any case of abuse, and aggressively. With that, you also need to rationally evaluate if your personal probability is high enough to worry about it (especially to the point of not visiting a country just because of that), and for most people it just isn't.


That doesn't really do it for me. Isn't the level of government mistrust and "dissent in speach" you regularly encounter on HN, extremely high on HN compared to the average US visitor?

Like, at levels only seen in 1 out of every 100,000 visitors, making it quite likely you'll be one of the 0.1-% percent if you hold these extreme viewpoints?


The sort of stuff you see here wouldn't even wiggle the needle.


Ok, thanks for the numbers. That feels much better than what I was lead to believe happens at the borders all the time.


0.01% of 57 million people still means 5,700 people were harassed, largely unnecessarily.


The TSA and immigration officers at points of entry are nearly as bad as people make them out to be. It's a little like judging Chicago as a war zone based on stats from a very narrow geographic area with high violent crime rates: it isn't representative -- it's just that nobody ever gets "outraged" over the times they are treated well by customs/immigration/TSA. It's the same thing as tourists avoiding France because of terror incidents when in fact tens of millions safely visit France every year.

Criticism of TSA are certainly fair, but as someone that flies to the US from Europe monthly, the fears are definitely overblown.

Seriously, don't sweat it. The fears are overblown and not based on any actual data other than anecdotes from highly vocal bloggers/etc.

About 1 million visitors a day enter the US through airports in the US and about 360 are denied entry -- most of those because they had prior visa violations that deemed them inadmissible and others because they didn't have a valid visa. So 0.03% denied entry. In the U.K., that percentage is about 0.02%, just for comparison.


>The TSA and immigration officers at points of entry are nearly as bad as people make them out to be.

I think you're missing a 'not' in there somewhere. :)


As we know from history, and as was confirmed during the debacle over "naked scanners", TSA and such institutions will never, ever yield an inch. At best we can hope for a side step.


Very unlikely that they would care. Frankly, they don't have the resources to care about people (including myself) who protest and don't like drone strikes. The TSA is annoying but the worst part is just long lines.


That is probably the reality over there. But the perception from Here is definitely different.


That's what every American says.


I didn't live here until I was a teen, and I spent my childhood in Southeast Asia.

I've also lived for years at a time in a half-dozen other countries around the world.

So far, there's no other country I would rather live in than the USA. YMMV, and I respect that.

But please also consider that I am speaking from relevant experience.


The U.S. faces challenges the Netherlands does not. Take race for example. One out of every eight Americans are here because their ancestors were slaves. That's not the distant past. Heck, many people today are fighting for the right to commemorate the pro-slavery side of that story. More recently, if Bill Gates had been born in the south, he likely would have gone to a racially-segregated school. And the effects of that are felt today. Black households, for example, have a median income of just 60% as much as white households.

How does this affect a coding conference you ask? Because it affects everything. You don't do something like that as a society and expect that the consequences will disappear just a few generations after you stopped doing it.[1]

So yes, everyone in the U.S. is really sensitive, with good reason. Frankly it's a miracle that safe spaces and sensitivity training are the worst atonement we have to deal with. People in many regions of the world are fighting decades' long bloody wars over less egregious circumstances.

[1] In college I used to be anti-PC. Then when I was living in Atlanta, I walked across one of the streets that historically served as a dividing line for segregation: http://socialshutter.blogspot.com/2012/10/when-street-names-.... I went from my trendy white midtown neighborhood to a predominantly black very low income neighborhood. For me, it was a major "holy fuck everything is fucked up" moment.


With the risk of being downvoted, let me cite George Carlin regarding the "sensitivity training":

"Hey, if you need a special training to realize you can't shove large cumbersome objects up somebody's ass, then maybe you're too fucked up to be in the police force in the first place. ... Let's try something else -- intelligence and decency. You never can tell, it might just work, it certainly has never been tried before."

I feel that in such areas USA just refuses to acknowledge the existence of a very, very basic common sense.


I think it's better to cite and learn from people who actually have to deal with problems on the ground instead of those who have the luxury of earning money and fame by uttering platitudes complaining and pontificating about them.


You're vastly underestimating people's ability to learn about emotions, work, and life in general. It doesn't matter much in what area you're in -- when you're 35 and on, most people share a lot of common insights in many areas of life. One of the names for "common sense", I believe, although I am sure that partial definition is far from being precise.


Okay, so what do you do when people don't have intelligence and decency?


Carlin was referring to a specific case when a bunch of white cops sexually assaulted a black man with inanimate objects (translation: putting a metal tube in his ass).

Instead of these people being relentlessly persecuted and jailed, they received "sensitivity training".

So yeah, I'd sue them to hell and back, and will fire any person in the chain of command who even remotely resists that decision. Which of course wouldn't ever happen, for one reason or another. I don't know the reason(s) but it's baffling that these people actually ran free, don't you think?


The median net worth for whites is over 10 times that of blacks. I think that's a much more telling statistic than income.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/12/racial-wealt...


I agree 100%. If I'm paying for a conference I want the best speakers and content - if you can deliver that with diversity I'm all for it. If you're number one priority is diversity and it means your content and speakers are sub-par, I'm going to stop coming.

I think the more important issue is to make sure you selection committee is not biased. While it might be nice to have a selection committee made up with the front-page names in the start-up industry, you'd probably be better off skipping those that act more like fraternities.


It's social engineering meant to divide and weaken us, and a large portion of the country has fallen for it. Especially in Academia.

We are becoming crippled by our own will. It's sad to watch and the pendulum response was the 2016 election.


My problem with claims like these is that they imply intent, which implies a coherent (and nefarious) effort behind large social trends.

Who precisely is it that's doing this?


My first guess would be those involved in the trillion dollar diversity and inclusion industry.

How many departments of government, academia, and business are there today which depend on a continued societal belief in postmodernism's collectivist explanation of oppression and victimhood?

If humanity achieved the goal of absolute equality, would those currently employed in the diversity and inclusion industry simply find new careers or would they continue to find new ways to segment humanity into oppressors and victims in order to retain the power and salary they are accustomed to?


This is as specious as "well of course vaccines don't work--pharma doesn't make money if you don't get sick!" By this logic, any profession built on solving a problem can't be trusted. Car broken? Don't take it to a mechanic--they'll just make sure it breaks again! Free-market competition (even the regulated kind) solves this conflict of interests.

"Trillion dollar diversity and inclusion industry?" That's ~1/18th of the entire US GDP--which firms, etc., do you include in this sector of the economy? I can't think of a single example.

This is why it's hard to reason through these topics. Either I'm told it's verboten to even discuss the implementation details of equal-opportunity initiatives, or I'm told it's some vast global conspiracy master-minded by Pam in HR who, having apparently learned the secrets to controlling the national discourse, can find no better application for that secret than keeping her job in HR.


> All this without ... people that police every word you say.

Is that a joke? There are literally laws, with actual prosecutions, in the Netherlands designed to police every word you say.


[citation needed]



Not OP, not endorsing their opinion, just linking for info:

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2016/netherlan...


Just recently in Zurich somebody was sentenced to a fine for "like" on Facebook:

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/man-guilty-libel-over-facebook-lik...


So I'm a Dutch-American dual citizen that has lived in both countries. I guess I was born to answer this question :)

A big hint to the difference is that my Black American friends spell it capital-B Black. Almost all of them live in, or are from, majority black neighborhoods. The majority listen to different music, and even have different diets compared to my white friends. They speak differently and have different names and are a distinct group of people. This isn't me making this up either; this is paraphrased from a Facebook post by an American Black friend of mine. There are large parts of the country where they can't rely on help from the police, and a significant portion of the country will actively hate them if they marry a non-Black person. I do have some black American friends that aren't like this. They spell it lowercase-b black, they live in mostly white neighborhoods, and aside from the color of their skin they are indistinguishable from another white person in that neighborhood. But those are a minority. The majority of Black Americans are capital-B Black, and they have much different lives because of it.

In the Netherlands however, there are no large Black neighborhoods. (There are "black neighborhoods" to some degree, but orders of magnitude smaller.) None of my black Dutch friends would "capitalize the B" so to speak. The average black Dutch person has a pretty similar life to the average white Dutch person: there wouldn't be much of a difference in where they live, their diets, or their schools. A black Dutch person won't have to worry that the police won't help them.

That can help you understand the race tensions in the US. To a somewhat lesser degree it can help you understand our LGBTQ+ and gender tensions. Sure, there aren't "female neighborhoods", but there are LBGTQ+ neighborhoods, and both women and non-straight people face discrimination. The Dutch women I'm friends with have pretty gender-mixed friends, while I'm usually the only male friend of the American women I've been friends with. The same for LGBTQ+ people - they tend to mostly make friends among themselves in the US, while my queer Dutch friends are mostly friends with straight people.

Basically, in the Netherlands everyone is the same, but in the US people form groups. A big reason for that is that the American groups formed out of necessity. If you were going to be killed for being gay, well it makes sense to have mostly gay friends. If you're going to be lynched because you're Black, well it makes sense to make friends with other Black people. The Netherlands experienced racial tensions to a much lesser degree, so these groups never formed.


As an American, I keep getting baffeled how opinions like GH's in this are so prevalent on the internet but rarely seem to occur in the real world. Please don't judge us on the acts of a few.

Gender equality in IT is a realistic important issue, but this is just taking it to a crazy level.


The issue is that here in the US we have an entitlement problem. Everyone feels entitled to everything. Even poor people feel like temporarily inconvenienced rich people, as the famous saying sort-of goes. We are also still obsessed with might making right, even at an individual level. America means guns and freedom and kicking everyone else's ass. It doesn't help that recentlyish our politicians feed this narrative by creating the worst us-vs-them chasm our nation has ever seen.

I think this is problematic, but I also think it's inherent in a society that truly wants to allow freedom of expression. Why do we still have the KKK in America? Why do we let things like Breitbart exist? In Germany they have restrictions on Nazi-related things and discussions, and they seem to have turned out pretty well. We need to hold the right people accountable when bad things happen, and pretty much up and down the whole chain, that doesn't happen, because freedom. Hell, we even have judges who have allowed "affluenza" to be used as a legal defense for things as heinous as rape.


Yeah it is out of control in America. Perhaps it's partly that young middle-class people are less wordly (less experience of other cultures) and thus more inclined to juvenile, over-the-top views. Perhaps it's a pendulum swinging a bit too far currently; it's a pretty huge change to have the degree of support for a socialist presidential candidate that we saw with Bernie Saunders.

> This is one of the big reasons that always kept me away from the USA, even for short trips at conferences.

That's just silly. The first bit of your post was good, but now you sound like someone who really needs to take themselves less seriously. You don't have to avoid going to a continent because you don't like the tone of their culture wars currently. There are plenty of people who think all sorts of shit there, and if you really can't find any people who live up to your European standards then how about going for the natural world etc? (European speaking here)


>>>I live in the Netherlands, a very open-minded country with same-sex marriage, equal rights and were women seem to me to be even slightly more dominant over men (but this is just my perception).

I can't comment on the present social climate or attitudes in NL generally, but the history seems pretty similar. Sufferage at about the same time, anyway.

Anyway, think about who is offending and being offended. No is being beaten in the streets for saying, "Actually, I think Bill Maher is the height of comedy."

Also, holding a sign that, explicitly or implicitly says, "I am inherently superior to you, and I fervently hope you will all die and come to ruin, what are you going to do about that, huh, <expletive>?" seems unlikely to be well received anywhere in the world.


How do we define the word "diversity" for a tech conference? Shouldn't it about the diversity of idea?


"a very open-minded country" cough Geert Wilders is the most popular politician in the Netherlands cough


He's also the most unpopular politician. What's your point?


That the Netherlands isn't as tolerant and open-minded as it seems to have fooled the rest of the world into thinking so. The man walks around calling Moroccans scum, even in Brexit Britain this would _never_ be tolerated.


It is really worth considering that this conference used a blind review process[1]. Subsequently, there is zero chance that the reviewer's decisions were influenced by racism or sexism.

As a society, we need to consider the implications of what is going on here. In what way could this move possibly be said to be anti-racist/anti-sexist? It just isn't. If anything, abandoning your speakers because they are male/white (presumably), is itself bigoted. Consider how it would feel to be bumped from a speaker line up because of your race/gender.

[1] https://cfp.githubapp.com/events/electronconf-2017


Blind review followed by them selecting for diversity.

They have an agenda and it hasn't got anything to do with code.


They realized they blindly selected and enjoyed topics submitted by the undiverse, and this is the discordant backlash.

"Oh God, I liked a talk by a white male! Cancel everything."


It's an unfortunate sign that you felt the need to use a throwaway account in order to make such a statement.


I know.

I am genuinely embarrassed not to associate my real name with my public speech. Having calculated the potential cost (and the low-impact of my message), though, it was either speak pseudonymously, or not at all.


It is not totally blind, worse than that it is pro-diversity :)

'Speaker information will be used in any final reviews necessary to break ties and bring a balance to the speaking line-up.'


One wonders how they they ended up with an all white group if the '...break ties and bring a balance to the speaking line-up' step had actually been applied?


Pro-diversity, ex-conference (not this one) organizer here.

I can't speak for what GitHub did or didn't do, but a common problem is that there is a huge step before review that you can't skip. You must coach, encourage, and counsel the types of people you want to submit talks! If you don't, don't be surprised if they don't submit because of the treatment or impression they have from other events in the past.

Pro-active outreach to underrepresented groups is the way to get better events and a blind review process is no panacea despite many organizers seeming to think it is.

It's suggested here that they did blind review and then wanted to tweak for diversity. That's just not how it works. You need the diversity up front in the submissions.


However, there's might still be bias in who applies to speak at this kind of conference. They could have done more to reach out and encourage other groups to apply. I'd be interested to see the submission statistics.


True. It would be very interesting to see who actually applied.


Isn't it a slap in the face of speakers that took time to send in their proposals for presentations? "Your talk is great but your ethnicity or gender just isn't quite right"


Totally. Were I accepted and later dumped like this, I'd feel I was subject to actual gender/race discrimination.

The whole thing is ridiculous. To fight perceived discrimination, those people are doing even more direct and overt discrimination.


I see this from another point of view.

Suppose a female new grad goes to Electronconf and sees all male speakers. Suppose she goes to other conferences and it's the same story.

She feels there's no way she'll be able to break ground and be recognized as successful. She slowly drops out and leaves the industry and goes somewhere where she can make friends like her.

Now suppose she sees plenty of female speakers and she thinks to herself "wow this is awesome, I wanna be like her, she was like me 5 years ago". She stays in industry, and possibly becomes a speaker on future.

Once the cycle of people being motivated and seeing others like you starts, you see a diverse set of candidates joining the industry.


>Suppose a female new grad goes to Electronconf and sees all male speakers. Suppose she goes to other conferences and it's the same story.

>

>She feels there's no way she'll be able to break ground and be recognized as successful.

Does a person like that actually exist? Have you ever met a person that was so discouraged and distraught by the fact that many tech conferences have more white male speakers that she decided to leave the industry?!

Or are we just spinning a hypothetical person that does not actually exist?

>Once the cycle of people being motivated and seeing others like you starts, you see a diverse set of candidates joining the industry.

Again, is that actually based on reality??

This is line argument is so frustrating. I strongly suspect you're just making things up. You have a particular belief and you used a totally made-up scenario as validation for your belief.


This relies on some sort of implied theory that women require female role models in order to be encouraged to break into an industry(and vice versa, probably).

I don't know if it's true or not, but I find way more in common between me and the nerdy girl studying programming in my class than between me and the tall athlete playing football. I would have thought that our shared love for programming and geeky stuff would be a sign that this is a space with shared values, more than the gender of the speakers.

Of course, this may be a skewed perspective since there have always been men in the hobbies that I picked; but I would also think that a woman breaking into programming would be aware of the existing gender disparity, just like I am aware I would be a "gender minority" if I pursued teaching or psychology(things I was actually interested in due to great female role models in my youth!)


> Suppose a female new grad goes to Electronconf and sees all male speakers. Suppose she goes to other conferences and it's the same story.

How does cancelling the conference help anybody? The minority of women that may have otherwise met and inspired each other no will no longer meet. Everyone is worse off.

> Once the cycle of people being motivated and seeing others like you starts, you see a diverse set of candidates joining the industry.

Do you think this really applies in the computer industry? I've been doing this for a while, and at no point have I had - or cared to have - any heroes to emulate. I work with computers because I like computers - not because I like people!


You can generalize this in any way.

Height: Hey, all the conference speakers are really tall, there's no way I a 5'4" male be a conference speaker.

College: None of the conference speakers are from my university hence there's no way I from an unknown university can make it in the industry.

There are already a ton of female only events including conferences happening in the tech industry and if most cutting-edge stuff in a narrow field/tech (electron) is being done by male counterparts (or they are more interested in speaking about it) that shouldn't be a bad thing.


Wow, what a weak view of women.

Do you think Marie Curie or Ada Lovelace were motivated by the amount of women in science and engineering?

Is this a joke to perpetuate the "can't go alone to the bathroom" meme?


`Dweck, like many adults, had learned to hide her frustration and anger, to politely say “I’m not sure I want to play this anymore” instead of knocking over the board. She figured the successful kids would be the same — they’d have tactics for coping with failure instead of getting beaten down by it.

But what she found was radically different. The successful kids didn’t just live with failure, they loved it! When the going got tough, they didn’t start blaming themselves; they licked their lips and said “I love a challenge.” They’d say stuff like “The harder it gets the harder I need to try.”

Instead of complaining it wasn’t fun when the puzzles got harder, they’d psych themselves up, saying “I’ve almost got it now” or “I did it before, I can do it again.” One kid, upon being a given a really hard puzzle, one that was supposed to be obviously impossible to solve, just looked up at the experimenter with a smile and said, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative.”` - Aaron Swartz, http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dweck

Another way to look at the scenario is to go "Oh cool I'll get to be the first woman presenter, instead of the millionth."


You've proposed a false choice - between a conference with male speakers and a conference with female speakers. As the article shows, the choice is between a conference with male speakers and no conference. In the first case, most attendees learn Electron and the community expands and maybe a small subset of people are turned off by the demographics of the speakers. In the second case, nobody learns Electron and the community doesn't grow. Everybody is turned off because the place to which they wanted to go to learn about a cool new technology is not available.


So you would have gotten a minute taste of what it's like to be a woman in today's society.

In order to lift women up, yes it's necessary to push men aside to make room. But women are being and have been pushed aside every day by men for almost all of history.


This may be an unpopular opinion but I still don't understand why diversity even matters here - shouldn't it be the merit of the ideas and the presentation skills of the speakers?


I don't actually know anyone who concerns themselves with identity politics to the extent they would mothball their tech conference. Who are these people who make these kinds of decisions?


The same kind of people who banished the word "meritocracy" from the posters in their office because it might be offensive towards diversity hires who couldn't compete on merit.

GitHub, that's who.


I'm becoming convinced they are saboteurs. See all the projects that descended into chaos over codes of conduct.


It's GitHub HR and their ongoing war against meritocracy.


Conference organizers and conference presenters/attendees are two different sets of people with wildly different objectives and values.


You made me think. Electron may have been unsatisfied with the promotional appeal of the lineup; it's like advertising Windows 10 - you show ethnic minorities, women, children using their tablet etc. But who knows whether electron are being business minded or simply upholding standards they claim to have.


The trouble is, this is a very difficult position for the organizers to defend as it is easy to attack them with "So you claim that the other sex is not capable for skilled presentations, how dare you!" -comments. And likely this is something that resonates with enough people to create a storm in social media where you as the organizer end up in the middle.

It is much easier to put up a more equal lineup of speakers and probably picking up few less insightful presentations. While somebody could also attack this approach, it would be much more difficult as you would need to argue that somebody who was left out due to their gender would have given much better presentation than somebody who was included. This would be so complicated that it is not likely to create the angry mob effect.


>"So you claim that the other sex is not capable for skilled presentations, how dare you!"

I don't think it's particularly hard to defend yourself against that. You simply claim that for some reason women don't want to come to your conference so there wasn't enough submissions, and then promise to aim to do better. Maybe it's just me who feels that intent to fix is better than trying to cover up our problems. If i had any interest in this conference now I'd consider not going.


It's sad this could be considered an unpopular opinion


on face value you can't argue with your logic but if you want to play the long game and help create and contribute to an industry that includes people from all demographics than this is a very smart move.

and more people included in your sample, more chance of finding amazing A++ engineers that can help the industry, your dev platform, etc...


> help create and contribute to an industry that includes people from all demographics than this is a very smart move

I doubt it. Now people are just going to think it's a waste of time trying to submit to this conference, and so lower quality material will be presented, and those in attendance aren't going to be as impressed and may not return. It's frankly a great way to to ensure you only ever hold one conference.


> and more people included in your sample, more chance of finding amazing A++ engineers that can help the industry, your dev platform, etc...

Wasn't everyone included in the sample? Did they reject any paper based on how the sender looked like?

> on face value you can't argue with your logic but if you want to play the long game and help create and contribute to an industry that includes people from all demographics than this is a very smart move.

The way to play the long game in this is precisely accepting applications from anywhere, anything different is detrimental. So no, not a smart move.


>and more people included in your sample, more chance of finding amazing A++ engineers that can help the industry, your dev platform, etc...

Well, whatever. Myself, I was just about to look into Electron having heard so much about it lately. But if this is how they run things, I think I'll just look elsewhere to satisfy my cross-platform development curiosities.


It's an effort to make the programming community more accessible to currently underrepresented groups. Expanding the base is one way to improve a meritocracy.


What you describe is an important goal, but I agree with protomyth[0] - they're doing it backwards. If you want to make the industry more accessible to minorities, focus on making information and training more accessible to them, and not on status rewards (being a speaker on a conference is first and foremost a status reward).

--

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14481090


The argument here is representation. See also: Uhura from Star Trek.


Learning code should be the only way to make programming 'more accessible'. Black, white, yellow, red, gay, straight, whatever. None of that should matter. All that matters is that you can pull your weight.


The gender gap in the open source world is notoriously bad (worse than in the idustry as a whole), and this goes beyond women not being able to pull their weight.

There are fun statistics such as that women who are not immediately recognizable as such have a higher pull request acceptance rate on github than their male counterparts, whereas women who are easily identifiable have a lower one.


Open-source, an all-volunteer, enthusiast community, where the only requirement is you show up and write good code has a gender gap.

You can even be an open-source developer of one by starting your own project.

Maybe that tells you something about the general interest in programming by women. If people aren't volunteering, maybe they just aren't interested in that thing?


Source? I heard of one study like this but it was refuted for bad procedures



> ElectronConf is a brand new conference completely dedicated to Electron

If you were completely dedicated to Electron you wouldn't postpone it, since what matters is the content, not who tells it.


Once social justice warriors converge an organization, the organization is doomed, because their goal of perverted "justice" is much more important to them than the goals of the organization itself, and they are perfectly willing to sacrifice the latter.


This is like the memetic version of a virus. It exists only to subvert the host into spreading itself.


Shhh logic has no power here.


Social justice is not justice. Social justice is not compatible with truth (science, math, physics, software engineering, etc).

https://youtu.be/Gatn5ameRr8


Didn't expect to find such a gem here - a really good talk! I feel like he hits a lot of points of the current problems and he literally goes into why things such as what the ElectronConf just did is wrong (not specifically ElectronConf of course, but speakers and conferences).

Thanks! :)


That lecture has been the most interesting thing to come out of this thread so far, and everyone here should listen to it and ponder it.


?


Your question mark is missing a question.


No.


Listen conference organizers, if you actually cared about diversity in our industry and not just optics, you would find the best possible speakers regardless of their "grouping" and then get as many scholarships to people who wouldn't normally come to your conference. In other words, you are doing it backwards.

One of the great problems I, and those I work for, have is getting quality educational resources to the particular minority population I serve. My blood boils when I hear stupid crap like this because you are actively doing it wrong and worse: freezing out the people you want to help by not helping them grow and generating bad will in everyone else. We need the best experts to train and lecture people.


Give us diversity! There's too much JavaScript code in Electron. Minorities such as PHP, C++, and LISP are underrepresented and opressed!


JavaScript itself is one of the biggest arguments against existence of meritorcracy in tech :).


Against it's reality in tech, but not against it's utility!


Will we ever accept the fact that women tend to be less inclined to do nerdy stuff (like developing Electron plugins instead of doing your actual coding job)?

That doesn't imply that women are worse or unable, it's simply a matter of proportion.

It's like saying men are underrepresented at yoga classes.


But then some feminists, who probably never took a single science class in their life and majored in "gender studies", will tell you that women not being interested in open source or men in yoga is because our society deliberately conforms people/children into gender based roles.

To counter this of course, parents buy their daughters lego sets with female scientists in lab coats glamorously posing with telescopes. Instead of, say - buying them actual scientific toys like gyroscopes, electronics kits, or lego's own genderless DIY programmable robot.

Go figure.


I'm someone who rants about PC culture so much that I'm sure I'm very boring. However, are you sure that's nature not nurture? And if it's nurture, why should we "accept" it, instead of helping our culture evolve? Certainly, the "nurture" part comes from some pretty fucked up history when it comes to gender roles and treatment of people other than white straight males in western society.


I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm "sure" but from observation, women which certainly have all the freedom to pick one thing or the other choose certain interests and lifestyles.

It's like trying to find causes (and solutions!) as for why my marketing friend doesn't like programming. He just isn't interested!


Not as yoga teachers though, interestingly, from my anecdotal sampling.


It seems that most people are crediting the cancellation with this tweet - https://twitter.com/fox/status/870761439094489088

"Congratulations @Github for hosting an all male conference!"


Of note the still visible 'Event Terms' contain:

> This Code of Conduct was forked from the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.

And their request for speakers at https://cfp.githubapp.com/events/electronconf-2017 contains:

> Selection Process > Submissions will be initially blind reviewed by a panel of GitHub employees from a range of departments and backgrounds. Speaker information will be used in any final reviews necessary to break ties and bring a balance to the speaking line-up. Final selections should be complete by June 6, 2017.

GitHub has a history of turning pro-minority & pro-women into anti-white-male and even anti-white-female. For journalists to have a pop at them when they fail to meet the set goals of their own politics should be expected.

They are fighting a political battle and the open source community has found itself in the middle.

GitLab and BitBucket are both great places to host your code and neither hate my guts for the way I was born.

http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/56b3d2462e526543008...

http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/56b3d2f12e526555008...

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11049067


Ah! The good old: rabid feminist complains about misogyny - company gets nervous - too chicken shit to stand up when they have done nothing wrong - cancels what could have been a great event.

I think this was an insult to all the speakers who no doubt dedicated time and effort, and made changes to their schedule for their talk, and got a slap in the face instead.


The guidelines ask that you make your point substantively and without calling names. This is even more important on controversial topics which come near their boiling point right out of the box.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It looks like they didn't even inform the speakers https://twitter.com/framerate/status/870038985422249984


I still can't fathom how it is that Twitter has so much influence on the tech sphere.


Did they just assume race of the presenters? Sounds like they use race-based discrimination if they just look at the picture and classify people belonging to a race.

Perhaps they identify-as other race than they appear-as. After all, race is just a social construct: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/race-is-a-social-...


I'm disappointed in how many comments here are just kneejerk reactions. Reaching for weird comparisons, getting angry at the idea of diversity and social justice, and many others.

This wasn't enforced from outside. It's the organisers who agreed: yup, that's not what we want to do (https://twitter.com/nmsanchez/status/870811022306574336)

Stop for a moment, think of how you'd organise a conference. Is it different? Will people find it inviting? Will they find it interesting? Go ahead, and organise it! Every community and group of organisers can shape the events they create the way they want to. ElectronConf organisers made such choice.

For the people that worry so much about speakers... I haven't done many talks (2 bigger events), but if I heard my talk was delayed so the conference can be rebalanced / less of a white sausage party, I'd be glad. Others may not share that opinion. But don't assume everybody will.

Edit: Yes, there are better and worse ways to go about it. Realising too late and reverting the original list was not the best. Reaching out to / inviting diverse groups rather than fixing balance later would be better. Hope they learned and will do it better next year. Organisers which care about it from the beginning somehow manage to get a decent m/f split - both in the audience and in the speakers. (see linux.conf for a good example)

Edit2: A few people assume that talks will be dropped / replaced as a result. I don't know what the organisers are planning, but there's always an option of adding another room/stream. Until any talks are confirmed as dropped, this is just baseless speculation.


>(https://twitter.com/nmsanchez/status/870811022306574336)

I usually hate doing this, but hey.

From that twitter:

>OG tech diversifier. GitHubber. Lecturer, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

And her github is: https://github.com/nmsanchez?tab=repositories

Two repositories have only a README, with, more or less, one line in it. One has a document about, not surprisingly, "diversity in tech" (and a code of conduct, ofc). And one is a fork. Her contributions to other projects sing the same song.

There is also a link there to her profile on https://medium.com/@nmsanchez

>Lecturer at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. VP of Social Impact @ GitHub. Founder of Vaya Consulting. Purveyor of fine race/class analysis.

All this kind of behavior rubs me the wrong way so i won't even comment on it all.

To be honest i never had a high opinion of electron as a piece of software, so i don't know why i am even here. Sorry, i guess.


It looks like you expect a conference organiser to write open source code and put it on GitHub. Why?


I'm mad because this is a commitment to optical diversity and does nothing for actual diversity in our industry. It is approaching the problem from the exact opposite direction. Instead of giving a diverse audience the best possible information using a blind selection system, the organizers are now going to select based on something that is not part of the lecture.

If the organizers actually cared about diversity beyond being optically correct to their peers, they would plan scholarships, flights, and lodging for a diverse population that cannot normally attend and event like this. Changing the speakers is the least effort, least effective method of adding diversity to our industry. They picked lazy and cheap over effective.

Frankly, the thought that a minority population can learn more for like minorities versus the original presenters is insulting and promotes a stereotype that closes more doors.

"white sausage party" - the thought you are advocating for diversity yet feel it ok to insult anyone's race / creed is troubling. People who insult others or make them uncomfortable with their slurs and jabs are the basis of the problem.


> Instead of giving a diverse audience the best possible information using a blind selection system, the organizers are now going to select based on something that is not part of the lecture.

You're making an assumption here that the blind selection process will change or that added/substitute papers will not chosen by the same criteria. I'd wait for the followup, before judging the followup ;)

I agree it could be done in a better way, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.


> You're making an assumption here that the blind selection process will change or that added/substitute papers will not chosen by the same criteria

Clearly they won't be because now diversity is part of the additional criteria. I don't have to wait for the follow-up as they've already given the information.

Hindsight is 20/20, but we've had enough of these to actually analyze what the problem is. The organizers took the out the will require the least time and money but looks good on a brochure as opposed to furthers a goal. Having grown up and worked on a reservation, I am well aware of the nice photo op versus the effective program.


> Edit: Yes, there are better and worse ways to go about it. Realising too late and reverting the original list was not the best. Reaching out to / inviting diverse groups rather than fixing balance later would be better. Hope they learned and will do it better next year. Organisers which care about it from the beginning somehow manage to get a decent m/f split - both in the audience and in the speakers. (see linux.conf for a good example)

A couple other comments said that they did a blind review of the submitted papers. I can't think of a farer review process.


Many commenters here, and apparently the conference organizers, appear to misunderstand that blind review and random sampling are not the same thing.


If the selection committee doesn't represent a diverse field, a blind review can still be biased. I write things in a way I find compelling, other people that find them compelling are likely similar to me.


The selection committee should only be "diverse" in so far as it contains a mix of people who understand what makes a good Electron topic and a people who understand what topics make good conference presentations.

If in fact, the goal is to out on an enjoyable conference on the topic of Electron.


No review process is more fair. But if you end up with all-X selections from a blind-review, you may be advertising to a very homogeneous culture. As a result, you may be limiting your pool of ideas to choose from and reaching only a local maximum. There are usually great non-X engineers, as long as you reach out to them. (they're usually have their own group - guess why?) Mixing multiple varied-X groups usually results in more diverse discussions and ideas, in my experience.

On the other hand, not caring about it and accepting that you're just getting dominant group X submissions is not a terrible thing. But we're social creatures - if everybody nearby is similar but different from you, either you'll feel uncomfortable, or have a bard-level charisma. So by allowing your group to become almost entirely X, you're enforcing the limit on your submitted papers pool even further.

(applies for many (all?) X, where X influences your life in any way)


> (they're usually have their own group - guess why?)

Self-segregation, so in-vogue nowadays. That, by the way, is also not the way to do things.

> No review process is more fair. But if you end up with all-X selections from a blind-review, you may be advertising to a very homogeneous culture. As a result, you may be limiting your pool of ideas to choose from and reaching only a local maximum. There are usually great non-X engineers, as long as you reach out to them. Mixing multiple varied-X groups usually results in more diverse discussions and ideas, in my experience.

Moving the goalposts, as usual for this kind of crowd. What would be your way to blame everyone but the people not submitting papers if you were told that the organizers did reach out as many different groups as possible? I know of several, I'm just curious to read which you'll use.


> if you were told that the organizers did reach out as many different groups as possible?

If we were discussing what-ifs, then I'd say - tough, maybe next year they'll have more success. But that's not the situation we're discussing. An organiser responded with "we can do better, we're postponing", so I don't have really a comment to that.


Post hoc ergo propter hoc sure is handy... in this particular situation.


I honestly don't know where do you see an invalid temporal causality here. I can't unsee the organiser's response :)


In this instance the speakers were all men. Can you show that GitHub specifically advertised to only men?


I haven't read a single comment here from someone "getting angry at the idea of diversity." What I've read are comments expressing disappointement that speakers are being judged by the color of their slides, not the content of their presentation.



> but if I heard my talk was delayed so the conference can be rebalanced / less of a white sausage party, I'd be glad

Maybe the solution is to stop being racist and sexist.


You seem to imply that being happy to be surrounded with a more gender/race diverse crowd than the typical 90s IT conference is either racist or sexist. I just don't understand that argument.


Calling something a "white sausage party" is racist and sexist, and if you said something equivalent against women or minorities on-line, you'd end up in a huge shitstorm. This assymetry is a big part of the problem.


I don't fine the usage of the word "white" in that sentence to be racist. The phrase "sausage party" is derogatory slang for a group of men. If he said "white group of men", that wouldn't be racist or sexist, so "white sausage party" could only possibly be considered sexist.

And I agree, asymmetry is part of the problem. As a white male, there's not a lot of derogatory terms regarding my skin color/sex that I'll get upset about. But there are tons of derogatory terms for minorities and historically oppressed groups of people where those words will carry a weight that I've never experienced.


This is a common reaction, and it started from a misunderstanding of the terms.

I recommend reading

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

And then

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sexism

Of course, it's a complex topic, and there's a lot more great material which would help you get a better understanding.

While particularly focused on a specific type of racism in the US, includes a decent 101 on racism generally - https://medium.com/@absurdistwords/how-to-discuss-race-with-...


If you were going for discrediting calling something "a white-sausage party" as if it were a bad thing isn't racist by linking that, you failed.

The very first definition in your own link on racism:

> : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

Inherent inferiority, I'd assume, fits within that mind frame.

As for sexism, the second definition.

> : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

Now you'll start thinking of ways to complaint to the dictionary so that those definitions can be changed in a way that it's only about "minorities", I'm sure.


I'm not sure how saying that a non diverse group is inferior to a diverse group is equivalent to saying that the specific elements making up the non diverse group is inferior?

Like, saying all-white is inferior to mixed is not the same as saying white is inferior.

Also, do recall usages b and c, and that they are important to consider, and specifically see my third link for better explanation of how.


> I'm not sure how saying that a non diverse group is inferior to a diverse group is equivalent to saying that the specific elements making up the non diverse group is inferior?

That you don't see it is framed as a question. Ok, look at it harder and come back to me when you have an actual answer instead of a question on your own reading capacity.

> Like, saying all-white is inferior to mixed is not the same as saying white is inferior.

Yes, it is, that's exactly what it is. I'd ask you which mental hoops led you to think it isn't but I know every single one of them will be a fallacy so I won't bother asking.

> Also, do recall usages b and c, and that they are important to consider, and specifically see my third link for better explanation of how.

You don't get to tell me which definitions to use. And I'm not reading some rant rationalizing why racism and sexism is good based on the target.


>That you don't see it is framed as a question.

To restate:

"I'm not sure how saying that a non diverse group is inferior to a diverse group is equivalent to saying that the specific elements making up the non diverse group is inferior[. Could you please clarify]?"

Thought it was implied. Sorry to be unclear.

>Yes, it is, that's exactly what it is. I'd ask you which mental hoops led you to think it isn't but I know every single one of them will be a fallacy so I won't bother asking.

You haven't added anything here, just restated your original thinking that I don't get.

Here's what makes sense to me:

1 + 1 = 2 1 < 2 1 = 1

>You don't get to tell me which definitions to use. And I'm not reading some rant rationalizing why racism and sexism is good based on the target.

It's not that there are more than one competing definition. There are several complimentary ones and ignoring the rest does not promote better discussion.

If you read the third link, that's so not an accurate assessment of it's contents.


> 1 + 1 = 2 1 < 2 1 = 1

No, no, you're doing a false equivalency. This is what you're saying:

1+1=2 but 2>2 if the second 1 is of a different race/sex/orientation/etc.

> It's not that there are more than one competing definition. There are several complimentary ones and ignoring the rest does not promote better discussion.

... According to you.


If you assume I mean, contrary to my intent, that the units are individuals rather than groups, perhaps.

To restate again, for clarity:

1 type + 1 type = 2 types

2 types > 1 type

1 type = 1 type

How is this false?

---

I am not sure what to say to your second point. I didn't make up the definitions, or the way language works.


> 1 type + 1 type = 2 types > 2 types > 1 type > 1 type = 1 type

Yep, that is good and I agree with that, I'll let it pass that i wasn't what you were saying earlier giving the context.

But it still doesn't justify postponing/cancelling something just because it's "1", it's discrimination against that "1".

> I am not sure what to say to your second point. I didn't make up the definitions, or the way language works.

I'm not arguing that the definitions exist. I'm arguing your assessment that only using a particular one stifles discussion.


>Yep, that is good and I agree with that, I'll let it pass that i wasn't what you were saying earlier giving the context.

But it is what I said.

>But it still doesn't justify postponing/cancelling something just because it's "1", it's discrimination against that "1".

As to whether it is appropriate to postpone or cancel the event, I'd say that's up to the organizers, their goals, etc. If they specifically only want to put on a >=2 event, and they cannot, the justification seems adequate.

I'm not sure how, in that context, it equated to discrimination. I'd expect them to have cancelled regardless of the "1" in question, in this case.


>I'm not arguing that the definitions exist. I'm arguing your assessment that only using a particular one stifles discussion.

You said, if I understood correctly, that the definitions meaning "there are essential qualities applicable to all members of a group" was the only relevant definition for purposes of this discussion.

I said, no, the other definitions are complementary, and must be considered.

You said no, they should not be considered.

I am unclear on how this is not stifling to the discussion.


Because at the same time you're implying that being surrounded by a specific skin color or sex is undesirable. That's racism and sexism. That's like me going to Japan and getting upset because I went to a conference and everybody was Japanese and there wasn't any diversity.


No, that's a false dichotomy. The fact I prefer a mix of cultures, doesn't mean I'm against whatever conference you'd like to see (unless you were explicitly excluding people, that is). I'm not even saying staying in the monoculture of your own origin is bad, if that's what you want to do. And btw, East Asia has some awesomely diverse conferences :)


I'm not saying that you can't have a preference. The problem is that, if you prefer a monoculture than you're labeled a racist. So if you say: "I prefer a mix of cultures at xyz conference" that is ok because the mix is seen as good. But if you say: "I prefer only Han Chinese at this conference" you're a racist (actually I don't think you'd be labeled a racist, I think you would only be labeled a racist if you said white people). Personally, I also don't care who anybody prefers to associate with. What bothers me is that it's immediately racism if you're white. It's got to the point where I've stopped really caring about diversity. Sensory overload with how I'm an evil white man taking away everybody's jobs and how I'm so privileged. Meanwhile somehow white women aren't privileged? Meanwhile some black woman that went to Harvard had such a struggle? All people do is look at skin color. You (not you specifically) don't know what I've been through. Sorry for the poorly-worded rant. I'm just growing frustrated with stories like these. If people stopped flipping out and calling everything fascist and racist maybe we wouldn't be so divided.


Agreed. People that talk with disgust about all men rooms should be ashamed.


Maybe if people stopped flipping out a out having to think about injustice and their relative complicity in institutional inequality...

Like, freaking out about having to think about it. About not being able to sail through life without ever having to.


> relative complicity

No, this stuff doesn't belong in HN, I don't accept it; this isn't tumblr.

Nobody is complicit of anything just for existing. At risk of invoking Godwin's law, that's exactly what the nazis said about every jew, including children.

> About not being able to sail through life without ever having to.

Yeah, let's not pretend you aren't a person who's had so much privilege that the biggest thing you think to fight about online is the diversity quota about some conference in an emerging (bad, but that's IMO) technology.


The instant someone steps in to make comments defending the status quo -- when the status quo is obviously deeply flawed -- they become complicit irrevocably and beyond any hope of later denial.

Like you just did with your comment.


> The instant someone steps in to make comments defending the status quo -- when the status quo is obviously deeply flawed -- they become complicit irrevocably and beyond any hope of later denial.

Counterpoint: no, it doesn't. Because, being against racism against white people or sexism against men is not the same as being in favor of racism against non-white people or sexism against women. You're doing a false dichotomy.

> Like you just did with your comment.

Good thing I'm not in the USA and I'm not white, then. Now you'll tell me I have "internalized racism."

I'm also gay, facing actual discrimination because I can't even get legally married in my country.

And none of that makes retaliating to racism and sexism with racism and sexism ok. Nor it does retaliating homophobia with heterophobia, of course.


Don't confuse defending the status quo with resisting the misguided attempts at breaking it by encouraging something even more deeply flawed.


Straight to Nazis, huh? I'm not talking blood and soil here. I'm talking about benefiting from structural inequalities that favor certain groups over others.

And to the degree one benefits, and takes that for granted, and perceives the calling out of those benefits as a form of persecution, then yes, there's a degree of complicity.

But no one's saying (well, not anyone on HN, anyway, and not most people on Tumblr) that white people or me should be persecuted. Just that they shouldn't be accorded undue advantages to the direct detriment of others.

How you get to Nazis from that, I don't know.


> I'm talking about benefiting from structural inequalities that favor certain groups over others.

Still arguing about complicity just out of existence. Last time I'm replying to you because you won't understand, but at least now my comment is just as visible as yours.

> And to the degree one benefits, and takes that for granted, and perceives the calling out of those benefits as a form of persecution, then yes, there's a degree of complicity.

Again, calling out unfair benefits is not bad. Attacking the people directly based on their race and sex is. But you do you and keep pretending I'm doing the first, it's the only way you can avoid the cognitive dissonance of your narrative after all.

> Just that they shouldn't be accorded undue advantages to the direct detriment of others.

Yeah, no, this isn't what's being argued here, again. Nobody should have inherent advantages over anyone else, that's a non-starter, it's obvious.

What I and the others you replied to here is calling out is a direct snub on a group of people because of their race and sex. If you don't see that as racism or sexism (or are selectively pretending that those aren't bad things) doesn't matter: It is racism/sexism and they're bad things.


But how is saying "we want a more diverse group" a snub?


Postponing it because they aren't "diverse" enough is a snub.


Again, how so?


Let's imagine someone organizes a conference and every single speaker ends up being a black woman. The organizers proceed to postpone it because it isn't "diverse" enough.

Now you'll tell me that you'd think they did the right thing and that you won't consider that a snub. And I sure will believe that.


Let me know if that ever actually happens. I'd be happy to discuss when it does.


> Let me know if that ever actually happens.

As I knew, this is what you hope starts happening. So don't pretend that what you want is diversity, it was patently obvious from your first statement that it isn't what you want, and your backpedaling in every single reply didn't work.

Glad you're back to your original intent, though, it's honest.


There have been many open submission conferences with speakers who are all male. And all white. And a few both.

Are there any open submission conferences which have had speakers who are all WoC?

It seems like a distraction to discuss hypothetical diversity problems that don't exist, instead of real ones that do.


Ridiculous. I think about it all the time. I mentor early-career black and female employees right now, and sponsor on-campus events for groups like NSBE. So don't sit here and assume that because I have a problem with our discussion about equality now means that I don't think about equality, don't support it, or somehow I "sail through life". Did you grow up in a poor family of high school dropouts? Did you go fight in a stupid war so you could do something with your life besides drugs? Did you nearly fail out of college multiple times because you didn't learn how to study when you were younger? Did you struggle from depression for your whole life?

This is the exact kind of bs response that I was expecting from somebody who doesn't really understand what's going on besides whatever the latest outrage article they just read said they should be outraged about.


To clarify, it's not about you. Poor word choice? My bad.

The sailing through life bit was specific to the context of being untroubled by the need to examine ones relative privelege or lack of, and the structures affecting same.

Not to imply that not having to think a out these things means life is automatically easy. You can still get cancer, get hit by a bus, etc.

----

You say that if people were not so quick to call out perceived racism or sexism things would be better.

I say if people were not so quick to be personally insulted when perceived racism and sexism are called out, things would be better.

Did I misunderstand your point?


If the makeup matters enough to cause an emotion then yes you are racist/sexist.


> Edit2: A few people assume that talks will be dropped / replaced as a result. I don't know what the organisers are planning, but there's always an option of adding another room/stream. Until any talks are confirmed as dropped, this is just baseless speculation.

Yeah... If a second room were confirmed, your rationalizing by saying that talks wouldn't be dropped is baseless speculation.


If I did say they won't be dropped, that would be baseless speculation indeed :) Simply saying: don't assume either way before it's announced. There are a few comments which did imply previous speakers will be bumped as a result: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14480993 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14480918 and some others.


Electron, proton, and neutron enter the bar. I forgot basic physics and chemistry, so I don't know how it goes from that, but at the end, electron says: there's not enough diversity here!


That's because he repelled all the positive particles with his virtue signaling.


The event has been postoponed by ministry of truth due to truth not being consistent with the truth.


[sarcasm] Glad to see the legacy of Dr King is alive and well. [/sarcasm]

If this is the underlying thought guiding GitHub -- yes I've read the other stuff about the company -- it might be time to start setting up my own git server.

"We're not releasing this killer new feature because too many white people worked on it."


"Your organization is not allowed to register for GitHub because it's not diverse enough."


This is ridiculous. If I'm attending a conference, it's for the quality of the content and the speaker who will present it. I don't care how they look. I always thought those "women only" coding camps are absurd but this is next level stupidity.


What's next, bar contributions to the repository and automatically deny pull request​s based off race, gender, and/or ethnicity?


You mean like GitHub? </joking_but_not_really>


I'm a minority as far as "diversity" goes and this is dumb. If diversity really matters to you (and it fucking shouldn't at something like this), then put the conference on, and use it to get more minorities interested in the con. Teach more people, and eventually you will have more than enough speakers who come from diverse backgrounds.


This is crazy. Big minus for Electron and GitHub. Diversity++; Actual knowledge and skills of speakers--; Reputation of event--; GitHub--; Electron--;


We published a list of speakers that does not reflect the standards to which we hold ourselves. We will be postponing this event until we can deliver a more diverse slate of speakers.

Oh get over yourselves. Why would future speakers not feel like token representations used to meet an imaginary quota?


Or, I wonder how the current speakers from the list feel about that statement. They seem to not reflect the [high] standards than the godly organizers hold themselves to.


This is getting sillier every day.


I don't buy the meritocracy BS that's so popular around here, but I do agree this seems insane, at least based on the small amount of information we have.

The organizers have the right to do whatever they please, but I don't understand what they hope to accomplish by calling off the entire conference. It seems like that just hurts everyone.

(I'm a white dude, just for full disclosure.)

P.S.: Does anyone else wonder if this is a cover for something else? Maybe there were speakers they did not want to allow but also didn't want the backlash of denying?


You can follow the chain of events here:

https://twitter.com/fox/status/870761439094489088

This seems more like poor planning than anything else to me. Github's culture is such that they have no problems with abruptly cancelling the event after they are called out. However, if that's their culture, you would think some diversity plan would have been baked into the speaker selection process.

At the very least, they could have injected their own speakers, right? I assume, given the way they work, that they have some female staff that's knowledgeable on Electron.


Very interesting. This makes a lot more sense. Thanks for the context.


> (I'm a white dude, just for full disclosure.)

Sorry, this thread is already over-represented by white male commenters and will be closed until more under-represented minorities comment above a specific threshold.


How is cancelling the conference going to allow the diversity they want in the community, do sponsored tickets from organisation that promote women in tech, or BAME organisations that promote that.

Cancelling means everyone loses.


If population of speakers are representative of population of Electron users I fail to see the issue.

Unless the organizers think by skewing the sample they can somehow change the underlying data. (Which maybe to a very minor extent but probably not much).

Short of that they are simply damaging their own conference and thus subverting dissemination and development of their own platform.

This kind of thing is a canary IMOP. When peripheral issues (to the tech.. it's about the tech right?) subsume critical issues it ain't headed in the right direction.

But hey, I wasn't going anyway. If the tech is any indication, the Electron conference was 20X as expensive as the QT conference :)


This is retarded. @fox's only merit for anything is that twitter handle. Did she submit a presentation? Oh, no she didn't? Oh yeah, the patriarchy. Swear to God, this shit has to stop.


From her website: "Please note that I’m not accepting invitations to conferences with non-diverse lineups and no evident commitment to fostering inclusion." Is this another Anita Sarkeesian?


She seems pretty talented to me.


Is this financial mismanagement being covered up?


Looking at the Twitter evidence[0], it seems to be just a new chapter of social justice in tech saga. I honestly thought people calmed down and got reasonable over the past year, but it seems not.

--

[0] - what times we live in...


This is not the way to do things, like literally not the way to do things:

1. They could've reached out to many more different groups if that's what they wanted (and it's not like that's a bad thing anyway).

2. That out of the way, they shouldn't postpone it based on the characteristics of the speakers they got. Now that is a bad thing.

3. They shouldn't have pointed out that it was precisely because of that they postponed it. "Logistics problems" would have worked just as well as an excuse.

Now all this is visible and bad for everyone. I don't care about electron either way, but many people do. Just a cavalcade of errors this thing.


Everyone could wear masks and voice changers so it was simply a bunch of brains communicating at a conference.


Perhaps they've just postponed this conference until they can find some scrubs to speak, so you're not just hearing from people who might know what they're talking about.


This only makes things worse.

Try being a kindergarten teacher in the US and spend a ton of time on Twitter complaining how you gender isn't represented enough in your industry.


I don't get it; like race/gender or code. Are they all desktop chat and Todo apps and since electron isn't "taken seriously" so they won't move forward? Or they can't fill an arbitrary human type diversity?

Like less than a paragraph, idk if this was a big conf but this is not a satisfactory explanation.


I think conferences should end.

Clearly they don't work any more.

On the Internet, no one knows if you're a green Martian.


I think it's about time we boycott companies that discriminate in the name of diversity. Discrimination is wrong no matter who it's against.


Is meritocracy dead?


Was it ever alive in the first place?


> We will be postponing this event until we can deliver a more diverse slate of speakers.

Like until the time only 50% of speakers are homo sapiens?


Two thoughts on this matter:

* If not for the increasingly inescapable fact that a lot of OSS projects are moving to GH, just as they lived on SourceForge a decade ago, I would have zero use for GitHub to either submit patches, access, or publish software. I'd be content on Bitbucket alone.

* This is a conference about yet another front-end technology.

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