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Some Facebook Employees Unite to Challenge Its ‘Intolerant’ Liberal Culture (nytimes.com)
336 points by malachygr 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 679 comments



Worked across very liberal and very conservative places in tech. Neither is pleasant.

In my opinion, the American self-image and self-worth largely characterized by subscription to a political ideology is the problem.

What bothers me is not dress codes,free meals,open offices,etc... But the very idea that a company would display or promote politics in the work place.

Why are companies promoting "pride",donating to trump,telling workers to attend 'lgbt tolerance' meetings,etc... Wth!!!!

If you are my coworker,I respect you as a colleague and a human being. Your private life and beliefs are not mine to police or encourage in anyway. Left,right,etc... Who cares? You're at work!

Look at it this way,if your company is pro something,it can be anti- that same thing as soon as it becomes profitable to do so. Imagine not being able to work in tech because how you vote,pray or who you associate with becomes inconvenient to the industry.

This is my question for you: Are you willing to surrender your right to believe what you want,associate with whom you want and support the political causes that matter to you in exchange for your political views and ideology becoming the norm you can't deviate from?

What is the alternative? Do politics with your friends, family and community,associate with whom you want and believe what you want. When at work respect your colleagues,not because of their politics and beliefs but because 1) they're human 2) you would want to be respected if you were in their shoes 3) out of respect for your own self

This isn't about left vs right or kkk vs blm. It's about corporations vs individuals,who decides what views,beliefs and associations are acceptable. Should society be run by the people or by the ruling class and their corporate machine?


I don't mean any offense, but it has been my experience that people who can afford to "put politics aside", so to speak, are people from demographics who didn't have politics "happen" to them.

When you are gay or trans and a significant chunk of people find your mere existence revolting, when you are black and a significant chunk of people believe you are innately less intelligent and more prone to violence, when you are a woman and a significant chunk of people believe you have no business starting a career or working in tech or people don't believe you when you claim to have been sexually assaulted, it's hard to treat "politics" as an abstract debate where free-thinking intellectuals joust in the marketplace of ideas. In these contexts, you actually live "politics" - every day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep. You can't opt out of it.

I am taking these examples because they resonate best with what are considered "political" subjects in the West, but in more gruesome contexts, such as the situation of Syria, "politics" is whether you are pro-Assad, pro-rebel, which rebel group you are part of, etc. You can see how silly (at best) or insulting (at worst) it can be to try and dismiss politics when they are actually a matter of life or death.

Whenever there is a struggle, whenever there is an imbalance of power perceived by some to be unfair, there is politics. If you do not perceive that imbalance, it means you are on the better end of it, and your lack of stand is simply apathy for the status quo. I don't seek to judge you for that, but hopefully you may understand that some people are unhappy with the status quo and wish that it change, and that's why they're getting political.


I understand your position. But too often people who have legitimate gripes with society (like you say) are quick to classify legitimate disagreement with an attack on their identity. Disagreement over a company's diversity policies (for example) is not inherently an attack on anyone's personhood, but it is frequently interpreted as one, and with great rancor.

One definition of power that is sometimes given: "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." If the climate around things such as diversity policies effectively suppresses dissent, then the advocates of such policies have real power, whether or not they psychologically perceive it.


>One definition of power that is sometimes given: "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

I'm pointing this out because I see no one else did, but that quote is from Kevin Alfred Strom, a neo-Nazi convicted for possession of child pornography (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Alfred_Strom) and he really meant to convey not-so-subtle antisemitic undertones with it. I'm sure that's not what you meant, but I thought you'd wanted to know so you won't have this pointed out in a more formal context by less charitable people.


Appreciate the heads-up. I think it is a legitimate point despite its unsavory origins. But I agree that its origin makes invoking it a poor choice in low-trust discussion.


>I think it is a legitimate point despite its unsavory origins.

It's actually not. It's dismissive of the lived realities of people marginalized by unchosen structural norms. You can deny that identity has tangible effects, but that doesn't make what you say true. It only serves to demonstrate your blindspot. It is one that is commonly shared by people whose identity is considered the default.

Some people that are loudly ignorant, especially those that defend their ignorance vigorously, face consequences in professional settings. As they should. It's a waste of everyone's time and effort.


> Some people that are loudly ignorant, especially those that defend their ignorance vigorously, face consequences in professional settings.

Sort of like Galileo did?

Sometimes the societal norms of what is considered "ignorant" are wrong.

If you haven't come across it, I would highly recommend the book Galileo's Middle Finger. It was written by a lefty who started her career as an activist fighting for the humane treatment of intersex people (a marginalized group). But later in her career she discovered lots of people who were accused of being ignorant had actually been unfairly smeared by people whose accusations didn't stand up to scrutiny.


> Sort of like Galileo did?

That you're comparing positions that advocate genocide to the thoughts of Galileo just shows your complete lack of genuine desire to understand.


Who said anything about genocide? The only specific position I have mentioned on this thread is dissenting from a corporate diversity policy. Do you have a genuine desire to understand what I am saying? If so, why would you suppose I am talking about positions that advocate genocide?


What a total sequitur. The point of the quote isn't who said it, it's that it's true.


You can spend all day criticizing people and organizations in power in the US. The most powerful people, the most powerful companies, and everything else. How is it true except as a dog whistle for conspiracies? You can literally spend all day calling whichever president happens to be in power a cunt, along with every congressperson, judge, General, and CEO. The people who literally have the power of life and death over the citizenry are constantly criticized.

Maybe the origin of the quote is important to understand what it really means. It’s a dog whistle to claim that insertgroup is really the power behind the throne. It was a way of saying that because it’s considered bad form to be a Jew-hating Nazi, and most of society will despise you for that, it means that Jews really run things. Changing Jews to some other group doesn’t change much. Claiming that gays or blacks or “lefties” or whichever group you think are really in charge because you’re not supposed to denigrate them, isn’t a good point, and using a Nazi pedophile’s quote to make it is telling.


What does that even mean? Of course your job has power over your employment that's tautological. And given how expensive hiring people is there's a market interest in making sure "free thinkers" don't drive entire groups away in their vain attempt to pretend it's the 19th century.

If you feel you have a right to bull others and to deny that is to restrict your ability to "dissent"; if you feel that you have the right to spread false information (women aren't welcome in tech, any given race isn't welcome, any given sexuality isn't welcome, etc"; then you should perhaps sit down and remember your company is going to exercise its free speech and kick you too the curb. The cost of giving you a "safe space to dissent" isn't worth reducing the hiring pool.

Free market baby, get fucking used to it.


> What does that even mean? [...] Free market baby, get fucking used to it.

Please don't take HN threads further into the flamewar style. It's possible to disagree without doing that, and on this site, necessary.

You needn't look far for good examples: you replied to one, and it was replying to another. Please be like them and not like this.

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


That's fine to believe this, but don't pretend like the person you are responding to is "privileged".

That is what the person was arguing against. Yes, a company can fire you for basically any reason, even of it is because you wore a blue shirt or voted for the wrong person.

But don't pretend that workers are "privileged" or the people in power in this situation.


What Im against is these morons that think they're entitled to a space to excercise their bigotry despite the obvious capital costs of it.

It's not a question of privilege it's a question of what is your value system. Do you believe in organizational power of free markets? If so you are by definition for these types of tolerance programs. Corporate social responsibility isn't charity; it's just good business sense. Unless you're a conman preying on fear, bigotry is categorically bad for business.


The original poster was responding to someone who explicitly was bringing up the ideas of privilege.

Example quote from above "If you do not perceive that imbalance, it means you are on the better end of it, and your lack of stand is simply apathy for the status quo."

This was the topic that was brought up, and the original poster was responding to this.

Like I said, it is perfectly ok for you to not care about the ideas of power and privilege. Although I will say that many people on the left claim to care about these ideas, so it make sense to bring these ideas up when discussing things that happen at large, left-wing companies.

But the point that the OP was making is that it is very ironic to bring up these concepts. It is ironic because the suppression of dissent is very real power.

It is not a judgment on whether this is right or wrong. It is merely a statement of fact, that quite the opposite to what people claim about "privilege" and power, that if you are afraid of disagreeing with the powers that be, then you are definitely not "privileged".


I can’t agree enough with your comment.

The act of defining what and isn’t “political” - is itself a political act. It used to be unacceptably “political” in the majority of Anerican businesses to be against racial segregation. Now it’s the other way around. Whether you agree with that change or not, you can’t deny that the boundaries of what is or isn’t acceptable discourse at work have changed over time. When you’re bringing up a topic or opinion at work that makes others uncomfortable, you’re trying to move that boundary, which is a political. When you’re complaining that the topic is “too political” and doesn’t belong in the workplace, you’re trying to keep the boundary where it is, which is also a political act.


This line of reasoning is implicitely making the false equalence of "everyone who isn't with me is, by default, against me". Going down this route, you are forcing me to take a position on issues I don't nearly feel having sufficient amount of data, or nuance; nor motivated to acquire them, because giving a shit is a rapidly depletable resource, and I have my own life, and my own stuff to take care of.

Please do not take the position of neutrality away from me. Anyone who forces me using the reasoning above, is, by default, an enemy of mine, regardless of coincidence of wants.


Rather than speaking in generalities, can you specify particular political positions that you feel have been forced upon you?


I'm not the one you're asking, but...

I'm a conservative Christian. I believe that homosexuality is a sin. The one co-worker who I knew was gay, I told him that straight out. I also continued to work with him, and kept him as my friend. (Lots of my friends are sinners. For that matter, so am I.) I continued to be someone he felt he could confide in - he'd come talk to me when he needed to gripe, because he knew he could tell me sensitive stuff and I wouldn't burn him with it.

Now here comes company diversity training. It includes LGBTQ stuff. If it says "treat people professionally; whether they are LGBTQ or not is not something that affects how you treat people in the office", well, I'm fine with that. It's what I do anyway.

But if the diversity training moves on to "you should have a positive view of gay marriage" or some such, well, that's forcing a political position on me.

Note well: I have never experienced that. But I think I've heard of such things happening (and no, I can't document even hearing it).


Sin is not for you to judge though. That is for your G-d alone if you follow your scripture as I assume you assume you do.

"He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored."

Mark 3:5


I don't think that verse proves the point you're trying to make.

But yes, God is the judge. I'm not. But God has called something sin, I can safely rely on His judgment.


He's not judging though. Judging someone and knowing how the god you believe in judges something are two different things, and it's not really fair to conflate them.

His interactions with his coworker illustrate this pretty well. Isn't that all we can ask of someone with a different view?


> But if the diversity training moves on to "you should have a positive view of gay marriage" or some such

So, again, the concern is of a hypothetical nature.


In way of a reply, I will juxtapose two quotes from your post above. I think it preserves context, but please tell me if you think I left out something important.

Quote 1:

> This line of reasoning is implicitely making the false equalence of "everyone who isn't with me is, by default, against me"

Quote 2:

> Anyone who forces me using the reasoning above, is, by default, an enemy of mine


> please tell me if you think I left out something important.

You did: the position of neutrality. The position of not taking a stance either way. The position of actually doing stuff, like, in the real world, orthogonal to that of politics. The area outside of politics.

I observe, based on your comment 3 above, that you consider politics as all-encompassing. I reply: politics, as practiced currently, is a virus, which attempts to stick itself to everything, every act, every stuff; and until nuance, tolerance, and understanding re-enters the picture, I will not take any part of it.


> You did: the position of neutrality. The position of not taking a stance either way. The position of actually doing stuff, like, in the real world, orthogonal to that of politics. The area outside of politics.

Everything is political. Pretending it isn't is a luxury that you yourself have, as a person who is privileged enough that they aren't in any way forced to think about the politics of any action they take.

> politics, as practiced currently, is a virus

Again, it always was. You were just privileged enough that you could safely ignore it without it impacting any part of your life.


> Everything is political.

Can you support your claim with evidence?



I understand you personally don’t want to engage in what you consider politics at work. I don’t think anyone here has a problem with that. But you seem to feel like other people are forcing you to say or do political things.

I don’t understand who those people are, or how they force you to say or do political things. All I see are people who are saying things at work, like “everyone should march for lgbtq rights next weekend”, and those things annoy you because you don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss them at work. So, in this scenario, now you’re annoyed by unwanted speech... what happens next? Are you forced to go march, or forced to say outloud that you agree, under threat (explicit or implied) of retaliation? That might be illegal depending on where you work, but ianal. If that’s not what’s happening, then can you explain in more detail what harm is done to you, beyond being annoyed?


I would disagree, if you don't bring up any politics at all then you don't move the boundaries as the boundaries do not exist. There is no minimum level of acceptable politics to move any boundary. In that case, defining "political" is no longer a political act.

On the other hand you can also simply ban all tribal issues, ie the ones that cause coworkers to go at eachothers throats. This would be minorly political but the workplace atmosphere would improve greatly.


> When you are gay or trans and a significant chunk of people find your mere existence revolting, when you are black and a significant chunk of people believe you are innately less intelligent and more prone to violence, when you are a woman and a significant chunk of people believe you have no business starting a career or working in tech or people don't believe you when you claim to have been sexually assaulted, it's hard to treat "politics" as an abstract debate where free-thinking intellectuals joust in the marketplace of ideas. In these contexts, you actually live "politics" - every day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep. You can't opt out of it.

I've never seen any of these ideas openly expressed in the workplace, or for that matter, anywhere.

You know what's more dangerous than treating politics as an abstract debate? Treating it as a constant life-and-death struggle where enemies must be destroyed before they destroy you. The ideas you're talking about aren't even the ideas being expressed by anyone of importance: they're straw men arguments that propagandists falsely accuse people of perpetuating via "dog-whistles" so that you ignore and dismiss what they're actually saying.


> I've never seen any of these ideas openly expressed in the workplace, or for that matter, anywhere.

Animus against minorities is real. It's not made up. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't real.

Is this animus experienced by every member of every minority for every waking moment? No, that was a bit of an exaggeration, sure. But the animus is definitely not zero, like you suggest.

You might benefit from educating yourself about feminism, race relations, and gay rights.


I’m not saying that animus doesn’t exist. Overt animus shouldn’t be tolerated in the workplace and deserves social condemnation, but the existence of animus doesn’t automatically bless or justify any and every political ideology that markets itself as “anti-Xist”.

I have personally experienced animus based on my sex, race, and sexuality before, but I don’t want to be in a politicized workplace just because the governing ideology is supposedly for my benefit.


> the existence of animus doesn’t automatically bless or justify any and every political ideology that markets itself as “anti-Xist”.

I'm confused. How does saying "LGBTQ people deserve respect just like everyone else" somehow bless or justify another political ideology?


> I don’t want to be in a politicized workplace just because the governing ideology is supposedly for my benefit.

Workplaces need to say openly and often that, for every minority that's traditionally experienced discrimination in this country, "<minority> are equal and will always be treated with dignity, will be afforded the same benefits, and animus against <minority> will never be tolerated."

If this count as "politicizing" the workplace, then, well, I'd say politicize away.


I'm not arguing in favor of racial discrimination, so I'm not sure what straw man you think you're arguing against.

I am noticing an implication on your part that animus against white people, or animus against men, is acceptable and welcome in the workplace. That's definitely a politicization I'm uncomfortable with.


> I'm not arguing in favor of racial discrimination, so I'm not sure what straw man you think you're arguing against.

Never said that you were.

> I am noticing an implication on your part that animus against white people, or animus against men, is acceptable and welcome in the workplace.

Sorry what? You read in something that wasn’t there.

Perhaps you ought to read a bit more carefully.


> Sorry what? You read in something that wasn’t there.

So why specify minorities and women?


Oh, I see. You think that when I said that companies need to say openly and explicitly that they're cool with minorities, that this was a complete description of everything the company should do and say about the issue of unjust discrimination. Of course, I didn't say that. You read that in. It wasn't a complete description, just something I thought companies should also be doing. But that's fine, let me be clear now: In addition to minority outreach and accommodation, there ought to exist a clear anti-discrimination policy saying that no one should be discriminated against for their race or gender.

There. All better?


> In addition to minority outreach and accommodation, there ought to exist a clear anti-discrimination policy saying that no one should be discriminated against for their race or gender.

And my contention is that “no one should be discriminated against for their race and gender” is both necessary and sufficient. No need to give special treatment or attention to supposed “minorities” (note that women are in fact a majority).


I'm rolling my eyes at your "supposed minorities" comment. Women are a minority in tech, as I'm sure you know, and this is a forum that mostly targets tech. The rest of the groups that we're talking about are also minorities in the population as a whole.

As to your contention, I'm still not getting it. Why don't we play a game? I list off a few things that I've known companies to do in the past as a way of reaching out to or accommodating minorities, and you tell me which ones are objectionable to you and why. Here goes:

1. A company makes a prayer room available for their Muslim employees to do their daily prayers

2. A company hosts a Women in Tech conference

3. A company hosts a GLBT in Tech mixer during Pride Week

4. A social media company creates a couple special features for Black History month (e.g., Twitter's @Blackbirds bot)


Let me jump in in the discussion and answer why those are objectionable and how to fix them so the same objective can be achieved while not be discriminative.

> 1. A company makes a prayer room available for their Muslim employees to do their daily prayers

Services and gifts are from a practical point of view just different forms of bonuses given to employees. A extra room cost money to rent, and if employees are given free time in there then that also cost the company money. The solution is to calculate how much the prayer room cost, divide it per employee that wish to use it, and give each employee that money to do as they wish. The Muslim employees can pool their bonus for the room, and the rest can either pool it together for something else or increase their individual pay check. This way the company do not discriminate and a person who believe in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has the same benefit and support at the company as a Muslim.

> 2. A company hosts a Women in Tech conference If you have to ask attendees or speakers if they identify as a woman, then what you are doing is explicit discrimination. This is objectionable so simply don't. Organize event instead so that you reaching out to intended minorities by looking at what works and interests those groups.

> 3. A company hosts a GLBT in Tech mixer during Pride Week

Same as #1. If a company spend money on one group, then that is an indirect bonus to those employees who belong to that group. If its not possible to provide every employee the same benefit, at least make the selection process transparent and as fair as possible so both a GLBT mixer as well as a nudist mixer can be created if both exist as groups at the company.

> 4. A social media company creates a couple special features for Black History month (e.g., Twitter's @Blackbirds bot)

Very similar to the above one. Who decide which group deserve the special feature? I would suggest something similar to Wikipedia's featured articles, where any topic can be suggested and a fair process decide which one get selected. The more transparent the better.


> The solution is to calculate how much the prayer room cost, divide it per employee that wish to use it, and give each employee that money to do as they wish.

No, the solution is to call it a "wellness room", and have it be open to anyone who needs it: diabetics who need to inject their insulin, nursing mothers, Muslims who need prayer time, etc.

> If you have to ask attendees or speakers if they identify as a woman, then what you are doing is explicit discrimination.

Why do the majority (men in tech) always have to insert themselves into a minority's (women in tech) space to discuss issues intrinsic to being a minority in a field? What valuable input on a subject do you believe that a member of the majority could give to members of said minority?

> If a company spend money on one group, then that is an indirect bonus to those employees who belong to that group.

It's just as much a bonus to the company, who wishes to attract more LGBT folks.

> as well as a nudist mixer can be created if both exist as groups at the company.

In most tech companies, if you wish to create a nudist group and organize a nudist mixer, you're more than free to do so, provided you can acquire a space that will allow you to be freely nude.

> Who decide which group deserve the special feature?

So the fact that it's Black History month isn't somehow deserving of this special feature?


> it a "wellness room"

A rather common solution that partly solves the issue of making the service universal. It could easily benefits one group more than an other, but at least it would be equally accessible for any religion to use as their space. Historically through there hasn't been many churches that successfully served multiple religions at the same time. My hat is off to those Muslims that will share pray room with nursing mothers at the same time.

> What valuable input on a subject do you believe that a member of the majority could give to members of said minority?

That the majority and minority belong to the common group called human, where everyone share more in common than not. Why do people in progressive topics (women in tech) think that people should be treated different based on gender? To quote Carl Sagan, gender stereotyping and reducing people down to a single bit, male or female, is lazy thinking.

> It's just as much a bonus to the company, who wishes to attract more LGBT folks.

They would get the same bonus if they wish to attract any other group in the world. There is an infinitive number of grouping and classification that humans being can sort them selves in, and thus a company has by this logic a infinitive amount of bonus to get. Is one group more worthy than an other?

> if you wish to create a nudist group and organize a nudist mixer, you're more than free to do so, provided you can acquire a space that will allow you to be freely nude.

Same is true for the LGBT folks. Everyone should have the same liberty to to organize events if they can acquire a space to do so.

> So the fact that it's Black History month isn't somehow deserving of this special feature?

Every month is a special month for some group. Every day is "day of X". There is not a single day on the year that don't get celebrated by one group or an other. Should we start ranking those, and if so, where does Black History month rank up compared to other special days, weeks or months? Lesser than Christmas but better than Thanks Giving? This not something that is measurable but rather completely up to the ever changing local culture to define how special it is.


> Historically through there hasn't been many churches that successfully served multiple religions at the same time. My hat is off to those Muslims that will share pray room with nursing mothers at the same time.

In our company, there are multiple wellness rooms big enough to house a handful of people, with a queueing system managed via iPad. This solves the problem quite nicely.

> That the majority and minority belong to the common group called human

Just being human doesn't give someone the knowledge/experience of being on the lesser end of a power binary. If their conference is specifically to talk about, commiserate, and discuss strategies around being on the lesser end of a power binary, then what unique perspective would those on the greater end of said binary bring to the table?

If the only thing they have to contribute is the fact that they're human, then they have absolutely no unique perspective to give, and are thus unnecessary.

> Why do people in progressive topics (women in tech) think that people should be treated different based on gender?

Should be? No. They're recognizing the fact that they are treated differently. That's not a "should be" situation.

Much like recognizing and calling out racism doesn't make one racist.

> They would get the same bonus if they wish to attract any other group in the world.

Indeed, however this particular group has been historically discriminated against on a systemic level. Therefore, additional steps must be taken to ensure their inclusion.

> Is one group more worthy than an other?

Is your world really so simplistic that every attempt at inclusion is a zero-sum game?

> Everyone should have the same liberty to to organize events if they can acquire a space to do so.

They are, generally. So I don't really see why you're upset.

> Every month is a special month for some group. Every day is "day of X".

Are you seriously comparing Black History Month with something like International Bagel Day?

> Should we start ranking those

Nope. But some are bigger than others, so some will take priority.

> This not something that is measurable but rather completely up to the ever changing local culture to define how special it is.

And why is that a problem, exactly?


This is a joke response, right?

In case not, you’re way over thinking this. In points one and three, you’re looking to try and give something like compensation for these individual things. You’re not looking at (1) the value of being an accommodating, inclusive company or (2) that an individual who doesn’t take advantage of those particular accommodations enjoys other ones.

Your whole point about point four is silly. You don’t need some gigantic transparent democratic process to let some enterprising employees take it upon themselves to do a cool project like blackbirds. Just let them go do it.

About the women in tech conference, Grace Hopper allows men to attend; seems reasonable to follow their lead.


That you view it as a joke shows the problem.

Bonuses and gifts are a real problem, and is recognized as taxed income here in Sweden. Just a few weeks ago I had a similar situation at work where a coworker said "I would be fine if they just gave it as a bonus to every one", so discriminative gifts is very noticeable for those not being in the receiving end. Gifting one group might feel very accommodating and inclusive for them, but it is no different than raising the wages based on religion identity no matter how one tries to dress it up.

If a company want to discriminate and gift a selected people based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation then naturally they don't need any gigantic transparent democratic process. They can just do what past discrimination has done, flying as close to the law of illegal behavior as they can. I don't agree with it and I find it wholly immoral.

And yes there are conference and people who has learned to be less discriminative when doing outreach programs. However allowing men to enter a conference is a rather low bar, just as it would be if the genders were reversed. My personal line is if Grace Hopper has "only if you identify as women then..." in the way they operate. Looking at the scholarship application it does seem to say that both men and women can apply, but given the image on the site it seems that only women has ever been awarded scholarships. If there is a unofficial rule that only allow women then that is discrimination as any other.


> I've never seen any of these ideas openly expressed in the workplace, or for that matter, anywhere.

Probably because none of them apply to you.

> The ideas you're talking about aren't even the ideas being expressed by anyone of importance

You need only look at the president of the United States (or the GOP running for governor in Florida) to see that these ideas are expressed by a ton of people who have power.


"When you are gay or trans and a significant chunk of people find your mere existence revolting, when you are black and a significant chunk of people believe you are innately less intelligent and more prone to violence, when you are a woman and a significant chunk of people believe you have no business starting a career or working in tech or people don't believe you when you claim to have been sexually assaulted, it's hard to treat "politics" as an abstract debate where free-thinking intellectuals joust in the marketplace of ideas. In these contexts, you actually live "politics" - every day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep. You can't opt out of it."

This is an absurd dramatization. Really, what percentage of people at Facebook do you think believe that stuff? 0.0001%, or 0.00001%? Later in the post you indict apathy for the status quo, but this sort of left-leaning dramatic nonsense is as status quo as it gets.


> Really, what percentage of people at Facebook do you think believe that stuff?

The very act of filtering against it at recruitment and when it occurs in the workplace /is/ "politics". And post-Weinstein scandal it's disingenuous to think that the workplace can't have such a toxic culture. Just the other day a Riot employee's post about Riot's uncomfortable "bro culture" was discussed on HN.


Wrong,you're being presumptuous. I would not be 'tolerated' in most workplaces either 60+ years ago. Even now I face difficulties. Please don't be presumptuous.

One of the most offensive things I experienced in a liberal workplace was being treated differently(for my benefit) because of the 'group' I belonged to.

You show up to work to do a job not to struggle in politics. I should be accepted as a human and a coworker,not as a member of whatever group I belong to. You have the right to earn a living and feed yourself and family because you are human and you have the skills and qualifications for the job. Your membership to some socio-political group neither qualifies nor disqualifies you.


To add to some good points, people from various minority groups may be particularly keen on getting formal institutional buy-in (e.g. mandatory diversity meetings) because they have not been well-served by informally letting stuff play out in the past.

There is a line somewhere here, but it's not unreasonable for affected parties to pursue bureaucratic solutions.


Imagine a white man lecturing a room that's mostly people of color or women about the importance of including all people as equal peers in discussions. Toss in a few incredibly loaded questions with Very Obvious Right Answers to round it out.

It's obviously just me, but I have a difficult time imagining anyone being well-served by that particular "bureaucratic solution". Which, caricature though it might be, is also an accurate representation of a lived experience.


Having politics ‘happen’ to you is exactly the reason to put advocacy aside at work. Because hopefully it helps you empathize with people who have had ‘different’ politics ‘happen’ to them.

E.g. There’s a lot of Asian Americans from impoverished immigrant backgrounds who experience reverse affirmative action at American universities. They may still vote liberal, but for very different reasons as people pursuing social justice.

The issues are hardly black and white, and a workplace environment where people are forced to pick sides is inherently unhealthy, not to mention anything but diverse.


The people who put politics aside may have had politics from both leading sides happen to them. I'm utterly disillusioned with both parties and have leanings that go in all directions. Many people just don't care enough to understand the failings of their side because it's safe in their community of equally deluded people.


>I am taking these examples because they resonate best with what are considered "political" subjects in the West, but in more gruesome contexts, such as the situation of Syria, "politics" is whether you are pro-Assad, pro-rebel, which rebel group you are part of, etc. You can see how silly (at best) or insulting (at worst) it can be to try and dismiss politics when they are actually a matter of life or death.

Speaking as, as I am, an Israeli citizen, I have to say: having people yell at you to get bombed and die because you can't opt out of politics is actually pretty unpleasant. I can't imagine Syrian exiles like it much either.


The politics that's happening to you, if you're in a western republic or democracy, is one that created and maintains unprecedented safety and freedom otherwise alien to human existence.


Please don't post generic ideological comments to HN. They just lead further off topic and deep into flames.

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


Whoops. That you would condemn a perfectly reasonable comment like that speaks volumes about your character and the political leanings of whomever is paying for your coffee.


It's routine moderation and has nothing to do with which politics are being trumpeted—only with the dumbing-down effects of generic comments on the internet. The internet message board is not a medium that can handle grandiose rhetoric without breaking down.

https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20generic&sort=byDate&...


You need to get a megaphone. Everyone needs to hear this.


People's politics are mostly determined by where they live, and maybe their age. If you insist on fighting over politics, you should at least recognize that's what you're fighting over.

It's not about life and death or oppression, it's just about where you're from. And you're just fighting with people who live somewhere else than you.

People's actual concrete opinions on issues change with time, with their social circle, etc. The issues are not as important as people think they are, and there are lots of life and death issues which don't elicit churlish behavior the way politics does.


Absolutely. I completely disagree with the whole "bring your whole self to work". No! Bring your professional self to work.

The counter-argument is that the causes relate to discrimination in the workforce. I.e., BLM needs to be supported because blacks are underrepresented in the American tech workforce. I disagree these need to be equivalent. It's possible for a company to promote hiring underrepresented minorities without allowing employees to advertise their political beliefs.

What happened to never talking about politics on the first date or at your job?


It's called corporate social responsibility. Companies advocate for their bottom line and their employees at the same time.

As a gay dude that grew up in Ohio -- and had people yell "fag" when I got my diploma at graduation -- I'm beyond happy that the next generation of LGBTQ engineers won't grow up with the same level of hate I experienced.

The arc of moral justice is only bent when force is applied.


You only say that because it's convenient for you. You would not like it one bit at the conservative places I worked at. It really is a two way street and u-turns are allowed.


> You would not like it one bit at the conservative places I worked at.

So the commenter says that he looks forward to the next generation of developers not experiencing the hate that he has experienced. You say, he’d be unhappy at conservative places, presumably because he’d still experience that hate.

So then why do you wonder why he pushes for politics in the workforce? His goal—hell, it should be all of our goal—is to stamp out places where such hate is encouraged.


>So then why do you wonder why he pushes for politics in the workforce? His goal—hell, it should be all of our goal—is to stamp out places where such hate is encouraged.

How do you think a person who wore a MAGA hat to Google or Facebook would be treated? What about someone who advocates that people who entered the country without permission should be charged with a crime? I think the point being made is that be careful how the minority is treated because one day you might be in the minority. The best way to do that is to keep out politics out of work.


> why do you wonder why he pushes for politics in the workforce?

Because he doesn’t understand that these places openly hostile towards gays are likely formed by white heterosexual Christian conservatives defending their identity and pushing for politics at workplace.

> it should be all of our goal—is to stamp out places where such hate is encouraged

You can’t stamp out people. You forcibly convert that one place to your faith, people will likely change jobs or move to other states.


What are these white heterosexual Christians defending their identity against?


Against treats to that identity.

Through most of the history, the threats were imaginary, and it was conservative majority who oppressed other people.

Recently however, in places like Bay Area, the conservatives are no longer a majority, and consequently the treats became quite real, see e.g. https://www.scribd.com/document/368692388/James-Damore-Lawsu...

I don’t think the right way to solve this is oppress, stamp out, or discriminate people positively or negatively. The right way is promoting tolerance (the good one i.e. civilized behavior towards people despite different positions, not the bad one that says everyone must express the only true position), and most importantly following the laws.

Democracy + judicial system worked OK for centuries. IMO it’s the only working mechanism invented so far how a society can function despite different people have different identities and beliefs.


> Against treats to that identity.

What, precisely, about other minorities existing threatens that identity?

You keep repeating this claim of threats, but haven't been able to articulate any.

> I don’t think the right way to solve this is oppress, stamp out, or discriminate people positively or negatively.

And yet that's precisely what the Google engineer linked to was doing by circulating his memo describing how he and others believed women weren't as "qualified" to be programmers based solely on their biology. Hence, why he was fired.

The only thing that cannot be tolerated in a tolerant society is intolerance itself.


> haven't been able to articulate any.

See the link in the previous comment. Being fired for expressing a political viewpoint is a classic example of discrimination. Also because the subject was about work conditions, the firing was illegal in California jurisdiction.

> describing how he and others believed women weren't as "qualified" to be programmers

Apparently, you have not read that memo. He never said that (I’ve just downloaded the memo and searched), nor anything similar to that. And IMO he never meant that either.


> See the link in the previous comment.

That really doesn't describe a threat to the "white heterosexual Christian" identity. In fact, you're free to be a white heterosexual Christian at Google or anywhere else for that matter.

> Being fired for expressing a political viewpoint is a classic example of discrimination.

Again, the viewpoint on women and minorities was an intolerant one. Please study the Paradox of Tolerance.

> He never said that (I’ve just downloaded the memo and searched), nor anything similar to that.

You're right, he made a much more broad statement about the gender gap in the tech industry. Although there is this section:

> Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in ​people rather than things​, relative to men (also interpreted as ​empathizing vs. systemizing​).

>○ These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or ​artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.

He's regurgitating the idea that biology, rather than society, is what is holding women back in the tech industry. This is an intolerant viewpoint, as it suggests that there is something inherent about being female that makes them inferior at participating in the tech industry.


The quotes you’ve copy-pasted are about statistically significant gender difference in interests and preferences.

The conclusion you’ve made in this and previous comments is about abilities.

Huge difference between the two.


> The conclusion you’ve made in this and previous comments is about abilities.

This is the conclusion the author of the memo reaches as well. His suggestions are not to fix the culture surrounding these preferences, but instead to simply "give women what they prefer", which inherently limits their experience and makes an implicit claim on their ability without that compensation.


He makes observation of women's preferences, based on data. You claim he is "suggesting" something that is not there (seems like projection). Is this really the best argument for Damore's "intolerance" (in the memo) you can make?


> He makes observation of women's preferences, based on data.

He then prescribes things based on that generalization that make implicit claims about the ability of women to work without said compensation.


Quote them. Seriously.

Because you really sound like making stuff up, just to confirm your bias against Damore. The whole memo was about something else, yet you claim that because:

> He then prescribes things based on that generalization that make implicit claims about the ability of women to work without said compensation.

(whatever that actually means)

he is:

> He's regurgitating the idea that biology, rather than society, is what is holding women back in the tech industry.

That's gross hyperbole at best, and, considering you have not provided single citation (even after being called out), seems like random baseless belief you hold.

Frankly, now your two liner applies wonderfully:

> You are free to believe whatever you want. Just be prepared for your ideology to be called out for what it is if you choose to publicly stand for it.


> And yet that's precisely what the Google engineer linked to was doing by circulating his memo describing how he and others believed women weren't as "qualified" to be programmers based solely on their biology. Hence, why he was fired.

After all discussions on the HN on the topic you still hold this view? When you paint the dissenting view in the worst possible light (and imagine a few things just to be sure), you will be seen as the oppresor.

Hence the identity threat to the conservatives.


> Hence the identity threat to the conservatives.

You are free to believe whatever you want. Just be prepared for your ideology to be called out for what it is if you choose to publicly stand for it.


> Recently however, in places like Bay Area, the conservatives are no longer a majority, and consequently the treats became quite real

Spoiler Alert: the current threats to their identity are just as imaginary. White heterosexual conservatives will eventually learn how to be a minority, just like every other identity in this country has.


I don't think the presumption is that he would still be experiencing the hate. But neither might his lifestyle be celebrated at work. And why should it be?


I don't think he's looking to be celebrated, just accepted and treated fairly.


> You only say that because it's convenient for you.

I’m a heterosexual white male. It’s convenient for me to ignore the hardship of people who are outside my demographic.

I went for smoothies with a work friend who was outwardly gay and heard him called a faggot by a couple of random people when I realized how different life might be for someone who is not me. It was not great. It would be more convenient if I hadn’t heard that. The fact is, it happens.


This is an important question - how much personalization is ok within a workplace? I am grateful I've worked in really professional environments - nothing overtly political or anything. It might have been a bit bland, but honestly it helped us stay focused on the work.


That an individual would "not like it one bit" at a politically-active conservative company for no reason other than that they are gay, is an argument against modern American conservatism, not against corporate social responsibility.


I'm not saying you and others shouldn't be politically involved. I'm not even saying companies shouldn't contribute to political causes. I'm just saying they shouldn't encourage their workers to do so in the workplace.

You shouldn't be called a slur at work not because of the type of slur, but the fact that it is a slur at all.


The idea that one shouldn't be called a slur at work, and the definition of a slur, is itself intensely political.


> Companies advocate for their bottom line and their employees at the same time.

Pretty much just their bottom line. Companies advocate for whatever position makes a large majority of people think of them as the "good guys". How many companies did you see advocating for gay marriage before the political zietgeist shifted in favor of it a few years ago?

Rest assured that all these "socially conscious" corporations will have a sudden and miraculous change of heart the instant the sociopolitical winds shift on any given issue. And you will be expected to fall in line or keep your opinions to yourself.

Personally, I don't want my career success or failure to depend on my willingness to pledge fealty to whatever insincere political opinion my employer thinks is currently expedient.


o0-0o 11 months ago [flagged]

Cry me a river. I am not even gay and people yell fag at me in Bushwick all the time. Time to grow up dude. Sticks and stones...


We've banned this account for violating the site guidelines right after we asked you to stop.

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


I think a lot of it stems from the dorm-ification of workplaces. Because the ROI is so good, employers want you to think of work as more of an institution that is heavily tied to your identity rather than just a place of business. You're not an employee at Google - you're a Googler. Once you leave, you are a Google Alumni. The end result is that your whole self is brought into work because the boundaries between personal and professional life are heavily eroded.


I don't agree with this "professional self" thing. I think you should bring your whole self to work...but sure, as with everything that should come in moderation. We all go to work to do a job, after all. But maybe the core problem is that we can't just agree to disagree, on some things. We have gotten to the point, as a society, that if you are right of center (in some circles), you're batshit alt-right crazy. And that's honestly just another form of discrimination.

Why can't you talk about politics at work? We spend most of our waking hours at work. There should be basic ground rules for civility and then people should be free to say what they want, without fear that they'll be fired because they donated to some GOP candidate.

That's tolerance, and honestly, that's America. What the hell happened where everyone's trying to bite each other's heads off all the time?


> That's tolerance, and honestly, that's America. What the hell happened

Don't even go on Twitter, listen to mainstream media and see how much negativity is pumped out 24/7 in industrial quantities. It's an information analogue of First World War industrial warfare, and the effects are devastating.

Look at the comment here just below here - I am sure this guy who thinks half of the country is bigoted racists who needs to be crushed - is a nice person in real life who is a pleasure to be around. As long as he/she doesn't see you as an outgroup. And you probably would get along just nicely if you do not discuss things that reveal you as an outgroup. But if you and them bring your whole self to work, and turns out that person thinks you need to be crushed - would it be easy to get along, going forward?


[flagged]


The left has their share of misconduct.

Like expelling men accused of sexual misconduct without allowing them to defend themselves, while demanding that "people of color" be allowed to break the law without consequence (eg, trespassing, immigration).

Like forbidding hate speech, unless it's anti-white, anti-male speech, which will get you a job as an editor at the NY Times.


It sounds like you're assuming a pretty tight clustering of beliefs within the "left" and "right" camps.

Are you sure American individuals' beliefs really cluster that cleanly?

In particular, I wonder if you're accidentally equating "the right" with "the stated platform of the Republican national party."


The downvote button is not a disagree button.


If you google for “downvote disagree hn” you’ll find references from mods that downvotes are valid for disagreement.

Disclaimer: haven’t voted anything in this thread


A certain amount of downvotes cause a post to disappear. Downvotes should be restricted to non-constructive posts. :shrugs:


It's not that people disagree with you; it's just that your ideas aren't adding much to the conversation. You've got piles of misinformation, no sources, that beautiful demand for civility in the face of categorically uncivil views, and then the wonderful demand for "tolerance". Tolerance has limits and you can't allow tolerance of ideas that exist in mortal opposition. IE there is no room for white supremacists in a multicultural world. That's why you've been downvoted. Your dog whistles are too obvious for even this forum.


Labeling someone a white supremacist and dog-whistler in response to that comment is an outright personal attack. We ban users who do that, regardless of how right they are or feel, and regardless of their politics. Please post civilly and substantively, or not at all.

It's hard enough for a topic this divisive to show up on HN; stooping this low just sets the whole place on fire.

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


Except that it was never like that. In the old times when conservative beliefs were the norm, discrimination was brought to the workplace. There was no standard saying that you should leave your racist, misogynistic views out of the office.


Up front, I believe it's for the good of American society that more women should be in tech in America. That said, I think companies should go out there and ensure they engage people at the start, in Elementary school. Be they women, blacks and even whites (see the many H1Bs we need to shore up demand).

But... I don't think this should be a PR stunt. Or should be politicized. Go out there, and do the hard work. Engage all people and recruit the whole eligible population. It's in our interest, but don't politicize it and don't introduce politicized quotes. Do it methodically without pretenses.


> That said, I think companies should go out there and ensure they engage people at the start, in Elementary school. Be they women, blacks and even whites (see the many H1Bs we need to shore up demand).

This appears to be a form of the "pipeline" argument, that the problem with low participation rates by some demographic groups is due to a lack of those people in the earlier stages of the career pipeline to the workplace.

The thing to understand about the pipeline problem is that it is the same thing as the hostile/discriminating workplace problem. The pipeline leaks at every stage, from kindergarten to the boardroom, because some demo groups are supported, assumed capable, etc, and others are not.

So the solutions are the same at every level: workplace and school policies that explicitly correct the inequitable treatment, both structural and individual.


Recruit in elementary school? Seriously? How about pay more taxes to provide a better k-12 education so the kids have a baseline on which they can learn the skills they need to succeed in tech.


I believe that is exactly what they mean. They aren't proposing that Google etc. hire 6 year olds, they're proposing that the companies get involved in promoting what they do and how to get there. If these companies spent more of the billions they earn on enhancing education, showing off what they do and getting young kids involved in Tech then we may see a change in representation for these underrepresented groups.


Pay more taxes so kids can "learn" more common core bullshit? Why on earth should the institution of force in our society have a monopoly on funding our schools and legislating what's taught in them? The tacit statism on this forum is just absurd...


because otherwise you end up with kids being taught that the Earth is 12000 years old and that evolution is a communist plot.


"It's possible for a company to promote hiring underrepresented minorities without allowing employees to advertise their political beliefs."

That's only true with extreme censorship. If a company I was working for was hiring people based on race, I would call that out for the blatant racism that it is (under the disguise of "hiring underrepresented minorities"). Would that be an inappropriate airing of my "political" beliefs. It may be construed as "political", but really it's just pointing out a tautology and making a very obviously true value judgement (people ought not to be hired or not-hired based on their race).


I don't agree with the sentiment, but you're absolutely right that "non political" can only be achieved by strict definition and enforcement of what is and isn't political, which of course is itself a political act.


I think this only makes sense if you see corporations as entities completely separate from the people who work for them.

The way I see it, corporations are the people who work for them and their relationships. And since politics deals with peoples and their relationships, politics in an inherent aspect of corporations. And all attempts to separate the two by promoting politics that differ from the politics of the people in the organization is an act of propaganda.


If politics were "playing basketball" or "solving crosswords," I would agree. The problem is that reality and politics share the same space.

Alex Jones is a liar and manipulator. He goes on the air and presents theories for which there is not even superficial evidence as news and established fact. I'm not trying to be political, those are just the facts as I see them.

Just because I show up at work doesn't mean I become some sort of mechanical money making machine. If I was a TV executive at a company running that show, I would want to the show canceled, no matter the ratings or revenue. I suppose many would say I was bringing "politics" into the work place, and maybe I would be, but what's the alternative?

And sorry if upsets someone's political viewpoint, but there is scientific consensus for global warming, and in America we should probably cut back our energy consumption a bit. So, if I advocate that dress codes be relaxed in the summer so the thermostat can go up a degree, I guess it's political, but I'm not advocating it to piss off conservative people. It's just how I see the world.

I think the internal memo linked in the report makes the ever valid point to argue and attack ideas, not people. But honestly, that issue seems to be pervasive in our culture, so it does not seem specific to workspace behavior.

I think most people are just fighting for the world they want to live in. Why should that only be to do that outside of work, when we spend half our waking time at work?


I love discussing politics with co-workers that don't agree with me. You have to be careful to respect the person and not make it personal but it's really fun to explore complex ideas.

I think we just need to learn how to disagree in a friendly and constructive way. But also learn when to drop something and just get on with work.


> the very idea that a company would display or promote politics in the work place

If only we could seal off the workplace from the rest of the world and keep it unsullied by politics.

The trouble is that if your work is meaningful, it's making changes in the world. Making changes in the world is a political act.

Online platforms make billions of decisions every day and they need a point of view to guide their decisions. Having a point of view is necessarily and inevitably political.

Pretending your choices aren't political is itself a political act. It's inescapable.


> But the very idea that a company would display or promote politics in the work place.

This is indeed not a good development, but I think it already happens literally everywhere. It happens in hi-tech, it happens in restaurants, it happens in entertainment (massively), it happens in payment processing, it happens in travel... Literally every industry I interact with had done some political action lately.

> If you are my coworker,I respect you as a colleague and a human being. Your private life and beliefs are not mine to police or encourage in anyway.

That is a nice sentiment, with which I agree. But imagine proponents of some ideology - say, people that are opposed to wearing hats - do not subscribe to that. To the point they'd refuse to hire anyone who have ever worn a hat (either overtly, or by subtle sabotage if they can't do it legally in the open), would stage a public spectacle if they notice their coworker wears a hat, would sponsor company hat-burning parties (or call for a boycott of the company if the company refuses to sponsor one), adorn their workplace with anti-hat posters and loudly discuss how people who wear hats are just lowlife scum.

Would you wear a hat in such a workplace if you think wearing a hat is OK? Would you feel comfortable even mentioning you know someone who might wear one from time to time? Nope. So, some of the people would feel happy and supported in their private beliefs in the work place, and actively sharing and promoting them, while others would secretly terrified that someone would discover their instagram account and find out they wore a hat once. Not a good position to be in.

So, how you keep your right to your private beliefs and not bringing politics to work if the politics is already there? I don't know the right answer.


In general I agree with you, but neither pride nor tolerance training is political.

Pride is like St. Paddy's Day or Chinese New Year: it's neither left or right.

Tolerance training isn't political either. If an employer wants their employees to be comfortable at work, it's within their right to train employees to be tolerant of each other. It has nothing to do with politics.

It's strange how gay people just being gay is often seen as a political act -- but that's never the case for straight people.


> Pride is like St. Paddy's Day or Chinese New Year

Having worked in Northern Ireland I can tell you that St Patrick's Day is loaded with politics there.

The company got around it by giving both St Pats and 12th July as public holidays but allowing staff to voluntarily work them in lieu.

Hence staunch loyalists could work on St Pats and take the holiday another time, whilst nationalists could work on Orangefest. Neither felt compelled to celebrate the other's festival.

Being a naive Englisher 'Hun' I just took both days off and offended both groups equally.

All discussion of politics and sports was banned at all times. That seemed quite easy to enforce.


I will not respect or tolerate a person because they are gay. I will respect and/or tolerate them because they are human and a colleague.

Tolerance training is political because the employer wants employess of a certain belief,affiliation or private association to feel welcome. For example,tolerance training for vegetarians would also be political.

Pride also is supporting a political movement much like supporting 'alt-right'.

It's not gay people being just gay,but a company telling workers personal sexual lives of their colleagues is a basis for tolerance or intolerance and that the company favors tolerance in that particular case. By that same right,they can hold gay intolerance training.


> I will respect and/or tolerate them because they are human and a colleague.

Congrats, you just passed every tolerance course ever, and all without bringing politics into it.

While you may be high minded and professional, not all workplaces are, and it's fine for the company owners to ask that employees keep a professional environment around everyone -- including people that may make some feel uncomfortable.

> a company telling workers personal sexual lives of their colleagues is a basis for tolerance or intolerance

It's weird that you jump right to sex. Being gay is about a lot more than sex.

If a woman tells me she went skiing with her husband last weekend, my mind doesn't rush to thinking, "gee, why is she talking about her personal sex life at work?"


> I will not respect or tolerate a person because they are gay. I will respect and/or tolerate them because they are human and a colleague.

Good for you! The problem is that some people don't respect or tolerate a person because that person is gay. That's a thing that exists.


How you define and express both is political. How you require people to act around these issues is political.

Does the state require you to hire a quota of LGBT workers?

Does the state punish bad behaviour towards LGBT workers?

How do you handle people who hold beliefs that conflict with LGBT life styles?

Should you mandate the use of language around these topics?

Is there speech that can cause harm people and should it be protected as free speech?

Are these not all political issues.


Chinese New Year can be political. Why is it celebrated under that name in Western countries, rather than Tết or Korean New Year or just Lunar New Year? And then add Chinese money funding the events for some soft power propagation...


It looks like you've been using HN primarily for political-ideological-national battle. That's a violation of the site rules, and we ban accounts that do it, so if you'd review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and please stop doing it, we'd appreciate it.


Okay. I'm very intellectually curious about China, and I hope other people are too. I mostly comment on these sorts of topics because, relatively speaking, I know slightly more than the average HNer, but I'll take this into consideration.


Part of American conservatism is the moderate but solid consensus that homosexuality is morally wicked. Some people want to stay true to their convictions, rather than ignore the moral deviancy of the world. Some people truly believe that homosexuality is a danger to children and the spiritual health of society. Sometimes they feel like they can't speak out against homosexuality just because they work at a liberal workplace.

Another part of American conservatism is the dignity of the white race and the heritage of whiteness. That includes proud narratives of true heroic sacrifices against the brutish north, and a discussion of how blacks and other minorities play the victim card to create an emotionally hostile atmosphere for white youths. An unjust atmosphere where blacks, asians, and latinos are promoted at the cost of white children.

On a front page Reddit post on the top comment with regards to NYT's hiring of an asian intern who suggested that white people had biological deficiencies due to sunburning vulnerability, was a discussion of the extinction of the white race, and how white reproductive rates have been going down. As well as a discussion how blacks, asians, and latinos cheat their way into college through blind liberal favoritism, an ideology which seems to dangerously ignore that race is the fundamental way human relations work, and that the suggestion that we should all hold hands and put aside our racial differences is an unrealistic Disney vision.

And of course there is a discussion on the biology of sex, and whether liberals are being blind in thinking that women need active promotion in the workplace. That's of direct workplace concern. And do black and Latino people need active intervention in tech, like women?

Americans need to resolve their issues beyond rolling up their sleeves and going to work. There are decade-long wounds coming. Voting is not political negotiation with your peers. It's just an up-or-down bullet.

A lot of Americans also think it's their prerogative to form a religious business, especially a Christian-oriented business. On the flip side, is it okay to have a Muslim-oriented Google? Or a Christian oriented Chick-fil-A which donates to ban gay marriage?


Your understanding of conservatism is profoundly stereotypical and incorrect.


Does this understanding of American conservatism not describe effective points for voter galvanization? In other words, it's an operational definition in tune with American voter behavior. One might point to the rallying cry for a US Constitutional ban to gay marriage, during the Bush presidential candidacy.

Did that not serve to rally the American conservative base? Is Alex Jones not representative of effective (meaning the kind that wins elections) conservatism? Isn't Alex Jones, perhaps the #1 most popular media personality of today, being censored part of the reason why people are concerned?


As far as I know (which is not much), opinion on gay rights has shifted drastically in the last 10-20 years, both among democrats and republicans.

And I really don't think that Alex jones is the #1 most popular media personality today, not by a long shot (where did you get that statistic?). And him specifically being censored is not why many people are concerned, except insofar as it is indicative of how other people are treated. Most people that I listen, on both the left and the right, absolutely abhor him.


No, it didn't. Even Obama said he was anti-gay marriage in 2008.and California, one of the most liberal states, banned gay marriage in 2008 with prop 8: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8_(20.... Gay marriage divided people on both sides of the aisle. Conservatives were slower to move in favor of it...but that's sort of the definition of conservative (keep things status quo). It wasn't a major platform for Trump, who chose to make immigration a much bigger issue.

Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist shock jock. He's no more representative of conservatism than Howard Stern is of liberalism. He is not representative of the kind of conservatism that wins elections. Trump being an anomaly (and I wouldn't say Trump is nearly as batty as Jones), you've got a history of folks like Romney, McCain, Bush 1 & Jr, Dole, and Reagan in recent history carrying the election. Even those names though, don't encompass the nuance of the range of views of tens of millions of people in this country.


I view Alex Jones as relevant to the prediction of future elections not because he is vulnerable to criticism of being a "conspiracy theorist shock jock", but simply because of the scale of his influence. That's what makes him far more relevant as a conservative voice than Rush Limbaugh, Bill O Reilly, or Steve Bannon.

And if you're viewing President Trump as an anomaly, then you have to view this whole period as an anomaly, because Trump-like candidates are bluntly replacing low energy Jebs. I remember one recent advertisement where a candidate teased how different they were from Trump with an imaginary childhood rearing situation involving building a wall, and learning language by talking about making America great again.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most-listened-to_radio...

This is the best source I could find. Limbaugh has 14 million listeners, Hannity 13.5M...Alex Jones is sitting at 5.9M.

I don't know if Trumpism will last beyond Trump's term. I certainly hope not.


I would also offer for the debate:

By search category: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F01_...

By category on Youtube: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?gprop=youtube&q=%2F...

The latter is relevant as Alex Jones has a popular mobile app, YouTube, and podcast presence, which is not captured entirely by radio presence. If only he weren't banned, we could see how the popularity spike would've resolved.


The quote I shared above included online numbers (not just pure AM/FM), by Talkers methodology. I don't know about YouTube. But search trends aren't a complete metric either, as even critics of Jones could be searching for things related to him. A search is not necessarily a sign of support or devotion, just a sign of curiosity.


> This isn't about left vs right or kkk vs blm.

I've noticed this for a while now. I moved beyond the old left/right political football team-style arguments long ago because the political landscape has changed and become much more muddied.

I don't think the traditional spectrum applies anymore and I'm noticing more and more that others are seeing the same thing.

It still seems like most of the populace is stuck slinging shit at the 'other' though.

Honestly if a person still thinks in terms of left/right I don't think they are contributing anything whatsoever to any current political debate.


Honestly, having to worry about politics and beliefs at work only makes work more stressful. I just want to go to work so I can do a good job then go home. Stuff can still be accomplished and people can still be treated with respect without having to dive into their personal lives to judge them first.


I think that is ultimately everyone's goal. I doubt many people go into work wanting to deal with politics and beliefs. Unfortunately, the reality for many groups that these social/tolerance programs target is they cannot escape politics in the workplace due to being a woman/lgbtq/etc.


By saying "if you are my coworker, I respect you as a colleague and a human being" you are already expressing some personal views.

Some people will take 1 second to decide they don't like you because of stereotypes and there's nothing you can do about it.


Human resources deal with humans. Humans are not always so keen to leave their feelings at home, despite how capable you are of such things. Considering that there are a lot of opinionated people that exhibit displays of disgust and actions motivated by said disgust toward the LGBT community, then, in order to maintain a safe work place, human resources needs to address the issues of treating your LGBT coworkers with respect, much in the same way as they've had to do with minorities and female coworkers entering the work place back in the day (which sadly they still must address, because small minded bigots persist).

You may be perfectly fine, but one of your more conservative coworkers might be a talented bigot hiding their bigotry in the closet until such time that it might present itself, and human resources has to get ahead of that before it becomes an issue.

This isn't bringing politics into the work place. This is making sure hostile politics (i.e. bigotry) doesn't affect the workplace.


> When at work respect your colleagues,not because of their politics and beliefs but because 1) they're human 2) you would want to be respected if you were in their shoes 3) out of respect for your own self

You cannot escape politics no matter the environment. Your personal political views are a reflection of your core values, ethics and morals. I'd much rather have companies take a stand than try to appease everybody. If anything, it would let me know which businesses should get my money and which I should avoid (as well as which I'd work for and which I'd avoid).

> Imagine not being able to work in tech because how you vote,pray or who you associate with becomes inconvenient to the industry.

That is a slippery slope. Certain political viewpoints should be shunned and outcast from polite society...


> Your personal political views are a reflection of your core values, ethics and morals.

That's a pretty bad way to view politics, IMO. It not might be what you mean (in which case, sorry!), but the phrasing you used makes it seem like anyone who disagrees with your politics has different morals (or values/ethics).

That might sometimes be true, but you're leaving no room for differences of opinion that have nothing to do with morality! When Galileo said the Earth goes around the Sun, he wasn't saying it because he had different morals/values, he was saying it because he had a different belief about the world.

When the left and right disagree (in America), it's sometimes about morals/values, but it's also sometimes an honest disagreement about how the world works!


If my coworker doesn’t believe I have a right to not die from a chronic illness, thinks I shouldn’t have the right to get married, or thinks less of someone because of the color of their skin, then I don’t respect them as a coworker or a human being.


You don't get. That isn't why you should respect them!! Their beliefs are not grounds to or not to respect them. Their beliefs are part of their private life. You are able to change what rights and liberties are allowed to you because you can participate in society and politics without getting fired from your jon and exiled for your unpopular beliefs.


There are unpopular beliefs, and then there are beliefs that lead to the infringement of civil and human rights. Everyone has a right to their beliefs, but even bigot snowflake racist republicans do not have a right to be free from consequences for their beliefs. One such consequence is they are not as likely to earn the respect of respectable people.


If you think a bigot stops being a bigot during a meeting, I honestly don’t know what to tell you.


Just because you find it difficult doesn't mean everyone does. Oh, I know you don't consider that bigotry... But I'm sure someone will.

EDIT: It should probably be pointed out that the definition of bigotry is "intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.", pulled straight from Google. "If my coworker doesn’t believe ... then I don’t respect them as a coworker or a human being" (pulled from the great-grandparent post, from the same author as the parent) fits that perfectly, no matter what the opinion in the middle is.


Please educate yourself on the Paradox of Tolerance.


If being intolerant of racism makes me a bigot then so be it.


Is being intolerant of racism the same thing as being intolerant of racists, though? In my opinion, it's not - and you can be intolerant of racism while still working with a racist. If none of the actions they take at work are racist, then that's all that should matter. Would I be friends with them though? Not knowingly!


That this is downvoted here is really a depressing thing. Does hackernews actually represent the average, highly educated tech professional? If so we are in for a very bad time.


Keep politics out of the workplace. Just because you support the things listed, it doesn't mean everyone has to hear about it and succumb to your outspoken politics. Go out on the street, go home, go anywhere else and be political. At work, just shut up and work.


“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.”

Politics does come into work with things like family leave policy, hiring, promotions, corporate giving, corporate mission, etc.

It’s inescapable. Even denying it doesn’t make it go away.

Feel free to take your own advice and shut up yourself, but it’s up to other people to decide for themselves what they will speak up about, knowing the price they may pay for, in some cases, confronting whatever they are up against.


Well, here's the deal. The employer gets to decide, since it is their company. Before I retired, there were a lot of things I didn't like about work. I thought management regularly made bad decisions, in a number of different areas. But if you are an employee, you go along with what management wants, or you move along.


That’s only half of the deal. The employer can’t take the employees for granted any more than the employees can take the job for granted. So the other half of the deal is that the employee had better be offering a worthwhile opportunity. Employee turnover is not cost-free. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be perfect. But it is a two way street.


True. I was trying to explain why they were getting downvotes. I don't think people here are bigoted. I think they just don't want politics at work.


I wasn’t talking about thinking that taxes are a little high.

We’re talking about fundamentally bigoted and hateful beliefs. I refuse to believe that someone who holds those beliefs is able to separate those beliefs from how they treat others in the workplace.


> Why are companies ... telling workers to attend 'lgbt tolerance' meetings

Often, companies requires employees to undertake training in this area because the company is legally required to provide a workplace that is free from anti-LGBT discrimination (likewise, anti-racism, sexual harassment, etc)


If, as seems to be increasingly the case these days, someone's sincerely held belief is that some particular group of people should be marginalized, punished, deported, left to abusers, or even killed... is that all simply “politics”?


what was unpleasant about the very liberal workplace?


Same as conservative. Someone telling me what is ok and not ok to believe. I did not show up to work to get a brain-wash. I joined a company,not a cult.


> Someone telling me what is ok and not ok to believe.

Like what?


point taken, that definitely seems over the line


Not the OP, but twofold: Being told that certain hobbies/beliefs I had were explicitly disallowed to be discussed, whereas comparable statements on the other side were perfectly OK, and having the situation escalated on me aggressively when I asked to understand the apparent hypocrisy. (These were not radical things, by the way, take an example as 'laser tag'; I'm leaving out detail as I'll mention in my second point)

Secondly, following from the first, the fact that I have to post something even as innocuous as this this anonymously out of fear of retribution of it was linked with my professional identity.


> Being told that certain hobbies/beliefs I had were explicitly disallowed to be discussed

Context is important. If we're talking about the hobby of being a KKK member, I'd say that it's perfectly reasonable for that to be disallowed.


There is the unreachable ideal of political neutrality, then there are the achievable murky states of "neutral enough" that we can strive to achieve in daily life.

A workplace should be, first and foremost, a place where work is done. The march of history has proven that allowing people who are mistaken in their beliefs to contribute positively has achieved great things. Consider, for example, Fritz Haber - many of his beliefs and principles are clearly bad ideas, and his overall contribution is overwhelmingly positive. This is a particularly good example of a general principle that exists up and down the industrial underpinnings of modern western civilisation.

Politics entering the workplace, and monocultures in particular, represent a threat the the mechanisms that allow corporations to drive good outcomes. Nobody should want that, especially considering that even apparent fact sometimes turns out to be wrong.


Gay/LGBTQ rights and tolerance in the workplace is way different than donating to Trump.

I understand if you don't think a company should support a political party, but LGBTQ/gay tolerance meetings don't fall into that category.

If you put this into the context of some other progressive social movement such as giving women equal opportunity to men, it makes more sense. A company would not be out of line giving seminars about gender equality in the workplace even though some people may disagree. It's not a partisan issue. It's about acceptance and tolerance.


"tolerance" swings both ways. Unless you choose to be intolerant.

The majority of people who spout tolerance and acceptance at me are the least tolerant and acceptant of other beliefs.


That's an interesting point, however I disagree it's tolerance of one group that makes someone intolerant of another group. In other words, I don't think being tolerant of black people means I must be intolerant of white people.

Karl Popper wrote about this idea called the paradox of tolerance [0] asking if you should be tolerant of intolerance.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance


Popper was wrong - or, perhaps, not specific enough. The paradox only arises when you tolerate intolerant actions. But it does not arise at all if you tolerate intolerant opinions - which is the relevant part in this particular case.


Yes I agree. This is a much better solution.


"tolerant of intolerance"... Interesting concept. Who defines the intolerance?


Intolerance of anti-black people makes you intolerant,not tolerance of black people. That intolerance would be fine(I certainly don't tolerate anti-black people in my personal life) but I would want to make every effort to be professional and respectful towards a skinhead at work.


I do not intend to have a Philosophy 101-level debate here, but would like to say that some things are not morally ambiguous. It is fine and good to be disrespectful towards skinheads at work, on the bus, or anywhere else. It is not fine or good to be respectful towards skinheads. Someone who wishes violence against a class of people based on their race does not have a place in a well-functioning society for these beliefs to be openly tolerated and accepted.


I would collaborate with my coworkers to get him fired.

In the end after a few dozen unrelated complaints about random different things their supervisor would be thinking about getting rid of them.


I presume you would only complain about the workplace behaviour of this skinhead.

If your target skinhead kept all his skinhead behaviour out of the workplace, and only displayed respect and tolerance to his colleagues, would you still organise to get him fired?


To be clear skinhead is sort of ambiguous. I'm reading neonazi and I think you meant neonazi but people do actually use the term to mean other things it seems.

If you mean neonazi I would for no reason I can imagine tolerate them. Would you tolerate someone who hated and wanted to subjugate or murder some portion of your loved ones because they were polite at work so they could earn a living?


Same goes for a Trump supporter too?


No I work with trump supporters we just don't talk politics and many are just deeply misguided not terrible people.


> "tolerance" swings both ways.

It doesn't, which is the "paradox of tolerance".[1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance


It does. Popper's answer to the paradox of tolerance works perfectly well regardless of which side of the political spectrum you're on:

"I'm righteously intolerant of the political right's intolerance of my beliefs."

"Oh yeah? Well, I'm righteously intolerant of the political left's intolerance of my beliefs."

In the end, invoking the paradox is just a convenient fig leaf for those who want to justify their bad behavior.

(And that's completely ignoring the fact that Popper's answer to his paradox is not the only one, as the Wikipedia article itself mentions.)


Thanks for this. "Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance."

It seems to hinge on "rational argument" to base determination on whether tolerance is warranted, lest intolerance creep in. I wasn't able to discern the bar for "rational argument". Do you have some more info?


And yet people who make that argument are usually the most intolerant of anyone.

It hands people an excuse on a silver platter to exercise their bigotry.

People who have a moral excuse to engage in evil are almost always the most dangerous and evilest of the bunch.


I think this is an interesting read on the topic: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/30/i-can-tolerate-anything...


It doesn't tho.

If my co-worker is donating to Trump, and talking about kicking foreign workers out of America, they're literally talking about kicking ME out of the country. They're donating money to a politician who wants to make my life harder, and make my visa process less pleasant.

I can tolerate my co-worker all day, but if they're working to make my life less pleasant and workable, they're going to feel some chill.

Sorry you're eating alone conservatives, but you're working at a place with thousands of foreign co-workers, what did you think was going to happen?


Let's turn that around. In case it's not clear, these aren't my beliefs:

If my co-worker is opposing Trump, and talking about bringing more foreign workers to America, they're literally talking about lowering MY wages. They're donating money to a politician who wants to make my life harder, and make my work environment more competitive.

I can tolerate my co-worker all day, but if they're working to make my life less pleasant and workable, they're going to feel some chill.

Sorry you're eating alone immigrants, but you're working at a place with tens of thousands of native co-workers, what did you think was going to happen?


Here's why those are different: One is an abstract affect on your paycheck that may, or may not be real.

And the other is a definitive slight against my worth and my legitimacy as their co-worker.


Oh, I'd agree it's not quite as strong an argument. But it's not a slight on your worth - if anything it's saying you're worth enough to not want to compete against! Legitimacy, sure. I'd still rather people end up at least being exposed to opposing arguments, even if they aren't ones I'd make or agree with. And if it convinces someone that perhaps they're in a MAD situation instead of one where they're ensured a win, well... It's probably worth it.

Personally, I think that high-skill immigration is a very good thing for the country, and not a bad thing for the workers in the sectors they'd be joining. It's a globalized economy - competing with an engineer from Korea when they're 50 feet down the street isn't that far from competing with them while they're in Seoul.


You might not realize this, but you come off a little bit anti-gay in your post.

> Why are companies promoting "pride"?

First of all, you don't need to put pride in safety quotes.

Second of all, gay rights are human rights. Companies promote them because it's the right thing to do, and because they want all the good things that come along with doing the right thing. I don't think it's all that complicated.

Edit: If you're gonna downvote, at least say why you're downvoting.


The right thing to do is not letting any one special cause dominate.

My guess is that you arent tolerant of everyone either.

Gays are humans they have human rights not gay rights its this idea thats gays are somehow more worthy of our support than say a conservative at a liberal workplace thats the crux of the problem. I dont care what people are, who they sleep with, what they believe, as long as i am not asked to offer them special considertations i wouldnt extend to others.

Thats the right thing to do, not forcing conpanies to take up social caused for a small privileged group of vocal people.


1. No one's saying that companies ought to only advocate for gay rights and leave behind every other issue.

2. I am tolerant towards everyone. It's actually not that difficult.

3. You seem to be a little confused on what gay rights are. Here's a summary: Gay people want to be treated fairly. We want our partner/spouse to be treated equally. We want our children to be treated equally. We want to not be fired for being gay. We don't want to be called names for being gay. We don't want people to hate us for being gay. These things are not special considerations. These things are basic rights.

4. The right thing to do is to be in favor of gay rights.


1. No but you will have to prioritize which is exactly what is happening right now. That's a problem.

2. I agree so why question the Parents motives?

3. Not confused at all. Those are not gay rights they are human rights. You can replace the word gay with more or less anything and you will have the same. (Try read headed, try white, try black, try Swedish, try freckled, try fat). If you are a human you should have those rights no matter what you are and what you look like and what you believe.

4. The right thing to do is to be in favor of human rights. I see no reason why I should prioritize one thing over another. That's the very discrimination you seem to be advocating against.


“Those are not gay rights they are human rights”

You are misusing the English language. When a minority is targeted with animus and their rights are systematically violated, we tend to label the campaign to fight back against those things: Gay rights/Pride, Women’s rights/Feminism, African American’s rights, etc. This is done as a matter of pragmatism.

There’s no priortization of one group’s rights over another. Are you trying to say that when a minority is called out as being supported, that it makes you, who is not a member of that minority, feel left out? If not, then what is it? Be specific.


Unless you are telling me that Gays have rights other people don't have then no I am not misusing the language. I am simply saying that there is no difference between gay rights and human rights. It's a human right to marry no matter your sexual orientation.

Yes there is a prioritization of one groups rights over another and if you don't see that you need to look more careful.

Do you think it's easy being fat, Ugly, Short, Stupid, Too skinny?

You are proving my point.

Supporting one group but not another i.e. putting resources into fighting for the acceptance of one group but not another is the very difintion of prioritization.

How many more fat people do you think there are than LGBTQ+

The right thing to do is accept them all, not focus on one group instead of another. Treat them as humans give them the same rights, treat them with equal respect, because they are human not because they are gay or straight or black or white or asian or fat etc.

It's about what I feel it's about what it is by definition when a workplace prioritizes the hardship of one group and not another. It goes deep into the corporate culture when it comes to hiring and decisions of who gets which position in the company etc.

Thats exactly the opposite of what humanism is. It doesn't divide it includes it doesn't prioritize it simply treat everyone the same and that is not done by making on groups hardships more important than others. At least not in any form of humanism I am prepared to support.


> I am simply saying that there is no difference between gay rights and human rights. It's a human right to marry no matter your sexual orientation.

Sure. But the term "X rights" is emphasizing that X are being denied those human rights.

The problem with saying you're in favor of "human rights" is that everyone will agree with you, even the ones causing the problems. They don't realize you're telling them to stop that discrimination, that that type of discrimination counts.

That's why this language exists.

And it's not a bad thing to prioritize groups that are being treated worse. Because when you try to prioritize no one, you often end up using the majority as the barometer of whether things are fine. The fact that some people have it a lot worse gets forgotten, and the problems go unfixed.


In many of those companies where X are celebrated the most they aren't an issue. That's the irony of it all.

You don't need to focus on gay rights in Google, FB, etc they are non issues there and thus it becomes a political statement were open doors are kicked in because it's popular NOT because it's important in those companies to focus on "gay rights".

So it's not really a solution to anything but rather just a way to do virtue signalling in companies.


> In many of those companies where X are celebrated the most they aren't an issue. That's the irony of it all.

It's not ironic. It's causal. Discrimination against minorities is less of an issue in companies where minorities are explicitly and openly accepted. There's a causal relationship there.

> You don't need to focus on gay rights in Google, FB, etc they are non issues there

They might be for now, but the world outside is less accepting. So long as the world outside has a problem with minorities, companies need to be steadfast about ensuring that the animus outside doesn't survive inside. Think of it like a vaccine.

> So it's not really a solution to anything but rather just a way to do virtue signalling in companies.

Uhh, virtue signaling is still a great reason to be supportive of minorities?


We aren't talking about just accepting them we are talking about making it specific issues to fight for. So no it's not causal, it's exactly the opposite correlational.

Since when was being a gay a problem any of the SF/SV based companies we are talking about?

This is what is absurd about it. Gays are not minorities in SF/SV companies, conservatives on the other hand are. And no I am not a conservative.

Virtue signaling is nothing but that. It's dishonest. It helps no one and alienates everyone who doesn't agree. The exact opposite of what it's preaching.


> We aren't talking about just accepting them we are talking about making it specific issues to fight for.

Huh? I think you're missing some key words in this sentence. You're trying to say that it's inappropriate for a company to "fight for" gay acceptance? Is that it? That could have many different meanings, depending on who you ask. Why don't you show me a specific thing a SV company has done that you find objectionable?

> Since when was being a gay a problem any of the SF/SV based companies we are talking about?

Already addressed this issue. Current existence of anti-gay animus IS NOT a prerequisite for inoculating a company against anti-gay animus.

It's like I'm saying "Let's make sure the kitchen has a fire extinguisher" and you're saying "But the kitchen isn't on fire yet."

Anti-gay animus exists outside of the workplace; it is a threat, even in the SF bay area. (Heck, I was called a faggot on MUNI the other day for holding hands with my partner.) It's important to keep it outside the workplace. This is a point you've neglected.

> Gays are not minorities in SF/SV companies

??? Gay people are not in the majority, what are you talking about?

> Virtue signaling is nothing but that. It's dishonest. It helps no one and alienates everyone who doesn't agree

Virtue signaling is ... dishonest? What? If a company advertises that they're cool with gay people, and they are actually cool with gay people, that is not dishonest.

As far as alienating people who disagree, GREAT! That's the whole point! Those people who have a problem with gay people should find somewhere else to work.


> As far as alienating people who disagree, GREAT! That's the whole point! Those people who have a problem with gay people should find somewhere else to work.

This is glorious! Thanks for great illustration of problems with politics at work / US* politics in general. You are winning, but at the cost of alienating opposition. You will never convince anyone outside of your social "tribe", and therefore you are just sewing conflict.

And THAT is the biggest problem in politics today.

* of course this tribalism is natural to humans, therefore everywhere. But few "democratic" countries are as polarized as USA.


A company can do what it wants but when it decides to fight for one cause then it's ignoring others by definition or it won't be in business for long. You claimed you can fight for more things at once I am saying you can't fight for all things and thus you will be ignoring some by favoring others.

In this case, it's especially absurd as those companies that are most vocal about supporting ex "gay rights" didn't have the problem to begin with.

And no it's not addressed and you are setting up a strawman.

No, it's like saying. Let's make sure the kitchen has a fire extinguisher only for gay people. That's what you are saying and that illustrates exactly the problem here.

What about the fat? the ugly? The introvert? the short, the stutters etc. That's why fire extinguishers are for EVERYONE not just one type of person.

You don't have to advertise that you are cool with gay people to be cool with gay people that's the point.

You don't have to celebrate gay, white, black, Hispanic, straight, man, woman to be cool with any of them.

And that' brings us back to the beginning. You don't have gay rights, you have human rights. Unless you don't subscribe to being a human which would be odd then you don't have rights I don't have. You don't have your own fire-extinguisher in the kitchen. But the reality is that today that's exactly what's happening and that's sad because life is complicated for everyone, not just gay people or minorities.


You’re wrong about minority rights. They ought to be specifically labeled and supported under that label.

You’re wrong about the benefits a company and its workers enjoy from specifically protecting itself against allowing in the animus that exists outside the workplace. Being an inclusive workplace which goes out of its way to accommodate minorities carries a small price — but pays excellent dividends. Doing this in no way would alienate any prospective employee — except a person like yourself, which seems 100% okay to me.


What things ought to be is a moral question so far you haven't given me a single reason to support that idea.

I repeat. I am for human rights I don't discriminate and I don't favor people. I treat everyone the same. That's a perfectly ethical position and I am no more villain than someone a saint regardless of whether i choose to prioritize one group of minorities over another.

It pays dividends to those who are favored by the rights yes. It's still discriminatory towards a bunch of other minorities.



> Unless you are telling me that Gays have rights other people don't have then no I am not misusing the language. I am simply saying that there is no difference between gay rights and human rights. It's a human right to marry no matter your sexual orientation.

You’re in favor of gay rights. I don’t get why you’re so opposed to using the phrase gay rights. If you think gay people are equal, and gay relationships should be treated the same as straight ones, then you’re in favor of gay rights.

This is not complicated.


I have already explained why I have a problem with it. Gay s don't have rights because they are gays they have rights because they are humans. So yes it's not that complicated.


a.k.a. : "dont defecate where you eat"


Your mistake is in thinking that you can separate out politics from "work" or any other concept.

What you fail to realize is that everything is political. Everything. Politics isn't some concrete, easily identifiable thing you can point at. You can't separate out things into a "Politics" bucket and a "Not Politics" bucket.

No, politics pervades every single human interaction. Politics is in everything and everything is inherently political.


"[E]verything is inherently political."

My preference for the scent of lavender over cinnamon -- political. I'm against the designated hitter rule. Political too. I think my dog should not get into the trash. It's all politics.


Cyinism is political too.

Of course not directly, but even the tinyiest things can and do become political. Hand gestures, clothing, music, choice of cars, choice of food, choice of words.


How is it cynical to demonstrate that a specific claim -- put across with unreasonable certitude -- is in fact flatly false?

Let me ask you: is De Morgan's theorem political? Directly? Indirectly?


Would it benefit some group more than the other? Then it has political consequences.

Logic seems fairly apolitical, but logicians rarely. Thus it's pretty reasonable to think of circumstances where simply stating a fact turns out to be political.


"Would [De Morgan's theorem] benefit some group more than the other?"

Your actual publicly adopted opinion reads like a joke.


Why are stupid things like politics being proclaimed as the universal influencer behind behavioral decisions? If this is a side effect of putting fairness on a pedestal, then I don't think optimizing for fairness is the right way for society to develop.

Whatever happened to a society that has its roots in "love your neighbor and pray for those who persecute you"? Irrespective of religious beliefs, this is exactly what politically minded people want, but they go about it by hating other people and treating people as non-people - it's a huge hypocrisy and disgraceful behavior.


What? No. Politics has no bearing on any number of technical discussions. Why should I consider liberal/conservative ideology when deciding if the CFoo should inherit from CBar.


OP obviously, not everything is directly about politics, but evrrything can and does become a political battleground.

Think about how Master/Slave vs Primay/Secondary is an issue. It's technical, but at the same time choice of nomenclature reflects about those who chose them.


Because the concept of inheriting things from your ancestors is reflective of your white male heritage that doesn't have a slave-ship shaped hole in your family tree.

We should find more inclusive semantics for programming languages, or else risk perpetuating inherited racist cultural assumptions.

/s


Politics does not pervade every single interaction. Humans also love.


+1


Good for them. The structural change needed in our industry is for labor (or, to use a term we're apparently more comfortable with, "talent") to reassert itself, and for tech giants to reconcile themselves to the fact that they're accountable not just to their shareholders but to their employees. I hope this gets nasty, and that these FB employees ultimately find recourse in the NLRA.

We forget that this industry is still young. It's probably not even in its adolescence. When I started working, there was no such thing as an Internet giant. There was Intel and Microsoft and 30 different PC clone vendors and a bunch of small software shops competing to get their boxes on the shelves at Microcenter. A lot of ideas we take as axioms --- for instance, the idea that developers can't organize to coerce changes in their working environment --- haven't earned that status, and deserve to be challenged.


> The structural change needed in our industry is for labor (or, to use a term we're apparently more comfortable with, "talent") to reassert itself, and for tech giants to reconcile themselves to the fact that they're accountable not just to their shareholders but to their employees.

My read on this was that the conflicts is as much between different groups within the "labor" than between management and labor. And within the article it seems that other employees are the ones really pushing for this to be shut down, while managements response is "they haven't actually broken any rules."


Other employees requesting management to shut down a group asking for diversity suggests that there is a problem with diversity. They think that they're a majority and that management would be receptive to such a request.

Of course management refuse to take action. They're already under public scrutiny and it seems the rebels have just expressed their desire to speak, they haven't spoken yet, so it would be a little harsh to crush them so soon.


The idea that a bunch of highly paid conservative software developers would unionize and get the NLRB involved is rich.


Why?

We're all generally well-paid (even with respect to the value we create). But this whole message board is practically dedicated to the ways in which our industry pisses us off, from confiscatory IP clauses to open offices to death march projects. Who's to say labor can't organize simply for a better shop to work in? That's not unprecedented.


FB is monopoly at this point. Very few people there are irreplaceable. If this was was a startup you might have more leverage. Mr. Amerige probably doesn't have much here. Mr. Amerige is probably making good money. If he gets fired good luck trying to get another job. Companies hate controversy.

Trump won because of Facebook. I don't know why these guys are complaining.


> Very few people there are irreplaceable

Ah, but they're not replaceble fast enough. It's hard to get a scab up to speed quick enough. It could take weeks before someone's able to come in at short notice and replace a sysadmin. Hence the employees could take the website down for an hour or so...


> Trump won because of Facebook. I don't know why these guys are complaining.

You tar with rather a broad brush. Is it really so inconceivable that there are conservatives who disapprove of Trump and the far-right? Is it really so inconceivable that there are long-time liberals who don't agree with significant aspects of current liberalism?

Modern liberals should be wary of a hardline "us-vs-them" mindset lest they come to discover that there are more of "them" than there are of "us".


> If he gets fired good luck trying to get another job. Companies hate controversy.

But they love skills.


I still think the vast majority of software engineers are either 1) Thankful (if they take a few minutes to consider the unique time in history in which they are employed) that given their relatively modest education investment, they are making the salaries they are. And these are probably your non-high-ranking-university CS majors, those without a college degree, L.A. majors, etc or 2) Graduates of top C.S. programs who are making really great salaries.

What real incentive do they have to unionize even along a professional path? I just don't see having their political views stifled at work to be a big motivator.

It's a cart/horse position problem. If we had to go to school for 7-10 years to be a doctor or lawyer, then of course, we'd want the protection and insurance of a professional licensing organization. But if I can make half the money of a doctor or lawyer without all the hassle, then why bother?


I associate unions with homogenized labor, stratus of equivalent positions, but we’re all too unique 10x butterflies for that. I mean, what part of your career arc would have been better served in a unionized environment?


Who says it has to be an according-to-Hoyle union? The NLRA covers all concerted organized action. Start a professional association. The doctors and lawyers have them. We don't get one? Why?


There's the ACM and IEEE already though?


The ACM is an academic association. The IEEE should be more important professionally than it is; one problem with the IEEE is that you have to have a related bachelors degree to join.

Developers should start a new organization that represents the interests of employees of the technology industry.


Those things mostly exist to collect membership fees and run conferences.


That’s interesting. I figure we’re more like PEs than MDs or JDs.


People forget how much of entertainment is unionized. Like, Lebron James and Aaron Rodgers are members of their unions. Tom Cruise is a member of a union. Steven Spielberg is in a union.


Unions are one way. Guilds are another.

For people who are supposedly so highly paid the majority of my peers can't afford children. The rent of a two bedroom flat/house and the price of daycare means the household needs to earn close to $600,000/y for two children. That's maybe the top 10% in most companies. If a class in society can't afford to reproduce itself it is underpaid regardless of how many trinkets it can afford compared to the median.


Your retirement and your healthcare would probably be better in a union.


Because conservatives are anti-union and anti-NLRB.

Edit: why the heck am I being downvoted? I'm literally just explaining what I assumed the GP was referring to.


I agree about the irony. I think it's pretty sad that in the last 12 months, the two major tech/labor stories have been about conservative employees pushing back against supposedly-liberal corporations. But, whatever. A wakeup call is a wakeup call. I think these FB people can succeed, and should succeed.


The key word being supposedly. None of these "liberal" corporations have been left-liberal in terms of workers' rights or well-being. They want a rainbow of representation among the top-10% stratum of elite professionals to whom they pay enough to not need food stamps.


The party platform isn't the beliefs of every member of the party. Indeed, it's be absurd if every member of either party agreed with every line from a multi hundred page platform.


Only Nixon could go to China. Sometimes in America you see the strangest political bedfellows.


Yes. Another example is Clinton and welfare reform. Politics is weird that way.


Same thing with Reagan and Russia. But I think it's perfectly understandable. If Team Red is for X and Team Blue is against X, then it takes someone with street cred on Team Blue to make X happen, because they're the only one who can get Team Blue to stop the kamikaze opposition to X.


Nixon.


for one, American right wing conservatism is strongly anti-union and anything that diminishes the employers agility to conduct business as they see fit, so the idea of a bunch of well paid conservatives banding together to collectively argue against their employers is very ironic.


But is conservatism against regulating monopolies?

Facebook seems to be a natural monopoly. People only want one social network, and they want everyone they know to be on it. If it's a natural monopoly it should be regulated and, like other utilities, required to provide service to everyone.


Who says that these software engineers have to be necessarily "conservative"? I'll be perfectly frank. I'm a liberal. I've voted Democratic as long as I've had the right to vote. But I look at what's happening to politics the West Coast with a mixture of disgust and horror. People are losing their jobs for saying the wrong things, donating to the wrong causes, or because they've offended the wrong people. And far from being concerned at the excesses of this politics, activists are gleeful, and are saying that these are just desserts for "oppressors".

It's possible to be a liberal and be less than 100% on board with defining everything in terms of intersectional oppression. It's possible to be a liberal, and still think the left has gone too far. It's possible to be a liberal and think that people should only be punished for actions, not beliefs. And I believe that the people standing up at Facebook are, by any standard outside of San Francisco, liberals.


People are losing their jobs for saying the wrong things, donating to the wrong causes, or because they've offended the wrong people.

They aren't. At least, not any more than previously when they mostly also weren't.


Collective bargaining can be used to leverage other assets, besides money.


What if they weren't conservative?


Who said they're all conservatives?

I'm a liberal and I'd join this group in a heartbeat.


same here. some liberals are so fanatic that they can't hold a dialogue with a person of opposing views. I've got a friend who stopped speaking with their father because of Brexit.

I have no issues being friends with right wing people, even if they're more extreme. I just don't very often discuss politics with them, but we hang out a lot.


I like your thought process... embrace, extend, extinguish.


Sure, it's funny, but shush, they're coming around to unions being good!


The history of unions in the US is based around highly paid incumbents forming “good ole boy networks” when people [of color] started migrating from agricultural areas into big cities and accepting lower pay.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1913/06/the-neg...


The history of almost every institution in America is that of non-blacks forming overt and covert alliances to arrest the progress of black people. For over a decade after the civil rights act, mortgage lending was organized to keep black people out of "white" neighborhoods. Shall we do away with the 30 year fixed mortgage?


yeah I fail to really connect the dots between people that want to be islamophobic and transphobic with labor relations.

If anything I'd say the organized actions by googlers against military contracts shows the actions you seem to be looking for much better.


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