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I think war is pretty desensitized, at least in the US, already. The military is so disconnected from the general public that there's no difference— if we hear that X civilians were killed by a drone or that X civilians were killed from a bomb or crossfire or whatever, I would argue that the response is generally the same.

And the people who make decisions don't really seem to care at all about this sort of killing except insofar as it creates backlash or has some other operational implication, which means the mode of killing doesn't really matter.


I think the ethical arguments and the practical arguments about how other policies could be changed once basic income is implemented are more than enough reason to vote yes. But all of that is ultimately moot: the most important reason why basic income will soon be necessary is that "jobs" as they exist now are already on their way out.

The idea that it is "too expensive" just begs the question "too expensive to whom?" Eventually, our practice of giving the richest people more and more money will hit a breaking point, and we will have to figure out a way to take care of all the people whose livelihoods have been automated. Basic income is the best and easiest way to obviate that problem, and the richest can easily afford to pay for it.


Do you have an Apple Watch? Is this review based on your experiences using it for some time?

I think in practice some of your guesses about notifications and interruption are proving wrong for most people because of the phenomenology of the Taptic engine.

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I haven't used it but I think there are some biases going in that would affect how I feel of it regardless. For example, for my iPhone, I limit notifications to calls and SMS. Except for the occasional marketer, phone calls are normally "important", and I'm not sure, Watch or not, how I could effectively whitelist calls in such a way that would not block the myriad of important calls from first-time numbers.

In terms of text messages: I guess it's hard to think of a situation in which the ability to glance at my wrist instead of investigating the vibration in my pocket is a huge advantage. Text messages can sometimes be important, but if I'm expecting a text message in a given time period, I'll put myself in a situation in which having the phone out is not a problem (i.e. not be in a movie theater).

I guess one situation in which having a watch is better than a phone: when you're moving around in such a way that you don't notice/hear the phone going off. I've missed calls that way. But I guess I'm not in that situation enough to justify a new device...I mean, that's helpful, but we're not yet that far removed from a time when we had to arrange our rendezvous and appointments with no expectation that we could contact people in mid-transit (i.e. before cell phones).

I don't consider myself a huge Luddite. I waited in line for the first iPad, but with that, I felt the value proposition was obvious: this is a computer you can walk around with in one hand and read/navigate/etc....even just reading from a tablet is obviously appealing, in the way that reading a physical book/magazine/newspaper is more appealing (despite limitations) than from a laptop or desktop. The value of iPods and iPhones was never hard to figure out either, even if you doubted whether or not they were worth the price over their competitors.

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I wish more folks took your perspective on notifications. We need to reduce distractions, not make distractions less distracting. Of course for many companies like Facebook this leads to slower growth and less engagement, so I don't see it happening anytime soon—that is unless we all take your perspective with respect to technology and change the default settings to notify us of only important/time sensitive information.

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Have you had a chance to use the watch yet? This level of fine-grained criticism, which is about the phenomenology of using the watch, feels baseless unless you're one of the people who've been giving a review unit and have been using it for days. It's interesting to speculate, maybe, but confidence in any of these assertions, even formulating them as statements rather than questions, seems strange to me.

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Replace these watch interactions with the less recent technology of "passing notes." I don't think the character in Gruber's story would have walked up to her and given her a kiss on the cheek if not for the watch standing in his way. I think he would have done nothing or found some other indirect means. And think about the story in the context of what he says about the phone and talking and video chat and seeing— it actually feels like you're being touched to enough of a degree that this interaction is more intimate. Mediation by technology is not inherently distancing.

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SEEKING FREELANCER - Remote is fine, we're based in Chicago if you want to meet up in person, mainly using PHP/MySQL in various forms.

I run a small not-for-profit that does all of its work online in the field of Contemporary Art. We serve an audience of more than 1 million unique visitors per year despite having a tiny budget. We are a team of four full-time staff, but as the founder I am also the sole web developer for all of our websites. I'd like to find someone we can work with periodically on a project-by-project basis, and have some small, quick, easy projects to start. These are mainly things I could do myself given the time to focus on them, but that inevitably haven't gotten done.

Because we are a not-for-profit, we don't have a lot of money so cost unfortunately will be a factor in who we can work with and how much work we can afford to commission at a given time. The ideal for me would be to find someone great who we can return to again and again. My task list for a programmer is endless if we can find the money and the right partner.

Please email me directly with any questions! If interested, please include the amount you'd ask per hour and a couple of past clients I could get in touch with: forrest @@ contemporaryartdaily.com

Gratefully, Forrest

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I am incredibly grateful to Cook for this, not least because of how it will affect young gay people.

When I was a child, I felt generally good about myself. I was reasonably smart, well-spoken, curious, and so on, and I wanted to do something important with my life. Some nagging part of me suspected I was gay from very early on, but I resisted it intensely. I wasn't really afraid of being mistreated, although I probably should have been. People were already calling me names so I wasn't worried about that. More important for me was my sense that being gay meant being marginal.

There hasn't been a gay President, and at least when I was a child there weren't many gay people visible to me at all. The image of gay people presented to me were not powerful, focused on frivolous things, and consumed by attitude and lifestyle. If I wanted to do something important, I couldn't possibly be gay. It just didn't fit.

Knowing that the CEO of not only the most powerful company, but also the most admirable company, is gay would have helped me enormously. I always wanted apple products even before I could afford them, and this would have meant a clearly visible path forward. I can't imagine how happy this must be making some confused young people, given how happy it's making me right now.

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Agreed.

I was in a similar boat. My first exposure to the term "lesbian" was a flash cartoon that had a throwaway gag about a butch woman who lived in the sewer and ate children—I remember going home and crying because I strongly suspected that that's what I was, once the other kids explained what the term meant, and I didn't want to end up having to move underground and away from all my friends once I grew up. (This is hilarious in retrospect, but at the time I was really distressed.)

It's really good that young gay people to have so many prominent and positive role models now, and easy access to information on the subject via the internet. Can't imagine my story happening to anyone today.

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> It's really good that young gay people to have so many prominent and positive role models now,

Agree! Though as an avid sports fan, I'm disappointed in the sports world for not embracing this topic. With so many professional athletes odds are in favour of many a house hold name being gay, yet there are only a small handful of sports people that are openly gay.

It is inspiring that Tim Cook has done this, and I really hope top athletes look to this and follow suit. Tim Cook will positively influence many, but not as many as say, Michael Jordan or Christiano Ronaldo.

I suppose this is yet another example of our industry being thought leaders.

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YCP[1] is doing a lot to help reduce barriers in the sports world, and has had a lot of big-name athletes come out in support of them (although not, to my knowledge, actually coming out--yet)

[1] http://youcanplayproject.org/

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> This is hilarious in retrospect

I know what you mean. Lots of childhood things are silly to look back on. But "hilarious" is just not a word I'd use about a child terrified of her future, even if it was exaggerated.

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At first I didn't like the news. Tim Cook is gay, so what? I though 5 seconds about it and then I realized how actually we still need this... we still need to remind people that there's nothing wrong with being gay. That's sad that we are still at this point.

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>that's sad that we're still at this point

That said, public opinion is changing very rapidly. XKCD 1431 (http://xkcd.com/1431/) offers an interesting visualization and comparison between gay marriage and interracial marriage. According to XKCD's source, interracial marriage didn't reach majority approval until 1995, while gay marriage already reached majority approval in 2011.

Now obviously this rift could be the result of oddly-worded polls, data mis-interpretation or some other factor and it shouldn't be taken as a strict source, but I believe it speaks volumes all the same

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Majority opinion may change but there are still so many holdouts. Which is why I'm glad to see things like this.

I'm Asian and I married a white guy. It's only been seven months. I lost count of the number of people that raised their eyebrows because of my new European last name (less than the people surprised that he also changed his name!) and also lost count of how many people assumed my husband was Asian ~not~ a big white bearded guy. In SF Bay Area of all places. That's like the most common variety of interracial marriages here.

But... the best wrench I threw into the mix? I'm pansexual. If gay marriage has a long way to go still, understanding that I am personally no less attracted to women/others for having married a man is gonna take another 100 years. Even for gay/lesbian folks. It's very weird.

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Well if you acknowledge that the names are considered European/Asian as you say yourself, and you switch up names on purpose, is it that strange that people are surprised that the person doesn't match up their name? At least your kids will have less problems with this as they have both "bloods" running through their veins.

I think the problem is with the concept of names itself, if you're aiming for true etno-neutrality.

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> At least your kids (...) will have both bloods?

Are you sure you thought this through?

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I'm not sure what's wrong with that statement (I'm also not a native speaker). Please let me know how I could have worded it better.

(In my native language, Dutch, it's common to refer to people of mixed race as having "mixed blood". I can find similar statements made in English on Google)

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FYI: In the US and many (most?) other native English domains "mixed-blood" (or especially "half-blood"[1]) sounds racist because it's a term that has been co-opted by racist groups who rage against "race mixing".

I suspect language around race will always be racially charged - even for native speakers - so long as there are racists. It's unfortunate, but I'm not sure there is a good solution.

[1] https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=mixed+blood%2C...

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As a native English speaker (not the OP), I'll take a stab at this explanation:

No 2 males could have a biologically conceived child (i.e. you must have a female carry your baby). I may be waaay behind on current reproductive technologies, so please correct me if I am wrong. Therefore, the 'blood' of the child (aka DNA) will be not be a combination of the parents (i.e. the people raising the child).

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If I'm understanding the whole situation right, silencio is female, and your comment doesn't quite apply. rglullis was probably complaining about the political correctness of melvinmt's statement.

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Actually, no. I read original silencio's post as from being an Asian man marrying an European man. But it looks like you are right, and I am wrong. Which would make melvin's comment correct, and fuck me I'm confused now.

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Time for some basic sex ed: The issue is that there are no eggs to be fertilized with two guys. You can still a woman carry a baby that doesn't share her blood/DNA, via IVF.

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Thank you! It took only 4 hours for someone to show up. I was getting worried.

(The fact that OP is more concerned about the PC-ness of using "mixed blood" then understanding basic biology is somewhat alarming, but I will let that pass)

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Interesting. Maybe I misunderstand you, but every single Dutch person I know refers to mixed race as 'halfbloed', which means half-blood, which, now that I think of it, sounds rather racist.

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As a dutch person, why do you think that sounds racist? It's like bloodlines. One half from one bloodline, one half from another bloodline. It's mostly used to refer to offspring from two differently colored people (not necessarily races), but I don't see the term "halfbloed" as particularly racist?

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You could read "half-blood" as only one half of the blood being of the "good" type. That is, you're only "half" as good as a person which has only the "good" type of blood.

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In English, at best it sounds woefully inaccurate as that isn't really how blood works, but bloodlines are generally the sort of thing either discussed by people who trace royals and believe in the divine rights of kings and stuff like that, or people or are worried about theirs being diluted due to a woeful misunderstanding of how biology works that would be amusing if they didn't tend to be such utter bastards, or those who breed weirdly malformed dogs and then take them to shows, rather than those who are particularly interested in the parentage of someone.

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You're absolutely right, it probably does originate from the colonial/medieval days but nowadays it's just an expression, at least in Western Europe.

The biological correctness of it didn't even cross my mind; blue blood, for example, is the term we use when we talk about royal ancestry. It's not like we think that the blood of the royal family is actually blue, however the term does originate from a time where royals were lighter skinned than the working class of peasants, and thus their veins appeared to be more blue than others.

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One thing is that there is still strong usage of terms like blood-line, half-blood and blue-blood in English within fantasy novels and period dramas, however the reason they are popular in those settings is precisely because they feel so archaic.

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The whole concept of "bloodline" is fundamentally racist.

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We're digressing, but yes, halfbloed, gemengd bloed (mixed blood), it's all basically the same.

Just found out that mixed blood means mixed European and Native American ancestry specifically in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-blood).

I don't know if it's racist but it's definitely racial :)

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And yet, you've got Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a pretty modern book. Of course, that's from the UK, which may have the more classical interpretation of half-blood.

Bloodlines sound more like something from royal families and the aristocracy, of which we still have a select few in NL. Baronesses and whatnot. Kinda posh.

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I'm pretty sure the 'Half-Blood Prince' thing is supposed to sound racist in-universe, as that's someone of mixed heritage (magic and non-magic) referring to himself self-deprecatingly in a universe where racism against non-magical heritage is very much a real thing and a term like 'mudblood' is considered an extremely offensive racial slur.

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Half-Blood is considered to be a huge insult in the books.

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After re-reading this a couple of times, it's not 100% clear to me whether you're male or female. That seems to be causing some confusion in some of the followup comments. (Congratulations on your marriage either way.)

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[deleted]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansexuality

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Being pansexual does not necessarily imply that your have a gender identity other than male/female.

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Kudos on the name thing!

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Considering it's from Randal, I guess we can trust this but to the eye, but it seems like the variation is really similar. The only real difference is that the US government doesn't help their cause where for interracial, they did way before majority. I don't know which is better but I don't believe rights should be dictated by popular opinions but by facts.

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I think you're making a good point that governments followed rather than led in the case of marriage equality, however it's interesting to reflect on just how recent majority support has been in the gay community itself. Some early proponents such as Andrew Sullivan faced apathy and criticism from gay rights advocacy groups such as Human Rights Campaign in the 1980s and 1990s for even broaching the subject. It's always surprised me how so many of the strongest opponents to recognition of gay marriage were openly gay themselves.

TL;DR marginalized group ideology is strange

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Gay marriage isn't necessarily a great proxy for general approval (likely neither is inter-racial marriage.) I live in a very liberal city in a country where gay marriage has been legal for a decade and has widespread approval, and still encounter a surprising amount of anti-gay prejudice. At least is surprises me, so maybe I'm kind of stupid.

So while the rapid change of opinion on gay marriage in the US is great, it is still I think a generational shift to get to the point where gay people won't have a greater than 10% chance that any random person they meet won't be deeply prejudiced against them.

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Isn't that a fascinating graph? What can one make of it? Maybe that although racial prejudice was common throughout the 20th century and is not gone today, there was always a sense of its wrongness that was evident to legislators and judges. In contrast, homophobia is still a very acceptable prejudice to a lot of people.

I think one can also see in this graph the effects of the determined efforts by the American right, over the last few decades, to influence the makeup of the judiciary.

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Consider that for interracial marriage, the US was lagging international opinion substantially. E.g. in large parts of Europe there either haven't been restrictions on interracial marriage, or they have been very limited and lifted earlier, and in many countries such as the UK, there is a history of interracial marriages going back centuries (e.g. many people married Indians that came to Britain after the establishment of the East India Company). Much further resistance evaporated when European countries had an acute shortage of men following World War I, that was filled by increased immigration from own colonies.

While that may not have had a direct impact, most of the arguments against interracial marriage were thus demonstrably false, by looking to other countries, and a substantial proportion of the population of the US had come from countries where interracial marriage was legal and somewhat accepted when they emigrated.

Further, with interracial marriages, the marriages had the support of a far larger amount of churches, and legalisation happened amidst a general major push for equalisation of rights that had rallied a lot of people.

On the other hand, many of the same countries that have been liberal about interracial marriages maintained laws targeting gay people far longer, and both domestically and internationally there was not nearly the same momentum for gay rights.

Again consider the UK, where it took until 1994 for a serious attempt to reduce the age of consent for male gay sex to the same as for straight sex (from 21 to 16; bizarrely the UK did not have an age of consent for sexual acts between females). It took until 2001 for that to become reality:

The first attempt was defeated; a court challenge to the European Court of Human Right forced the UK government to try again; it was defeated twice more, and then the House of Lords dragged its feet long enough that the government was able to use Parliament Act to push it through with only the support of the House of Commons in late 2000.

As late as then, people seriously used as an argument that we needed to "protect the children".

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Another possible interpretation of this graph is that in the US today, the feeling "I disapprove of X, so X should be illegal" is a much more common approach to politics than it used to be. That's also my explanation for the "put people in jail for letting their kids play unsupervised" stuff that's been going on...

Chances are, of course, that the graph reflects a combination of several factors.

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While I agree it's a positive thing for him to talk about, I don't care much for the way he's phrasing it. What does it mean to be "proud" of something you are? Isn't that what we criticize white supremacists and other bigots for?

Take pride in the things you do, the things you create. My only reaction to someone who takes pride in his or her race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is quizzical indifference.

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Pride is the opposite of shame. Its about not being ashamed to be who you are.

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Pride is helpful for overcoming the shame society lumps on us for it.

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The issue here is that people use it in two ways:

1. As a signal that you embrace your own identity, and are not ashamed of what you are, despite societal prejudice.

2. As a signal that you see yourself as superior.

Most of the time when you hear someone say they are proud to be gay, or black, or otherwise proud to be member of some other minority group, it is 1 they mean. Sometimes it is 2, but it is fairly rare.

Most of the time when you hear someone say they are proud to be white, it means they are white supremacists using it in form 2.

While it is certainly possible for members of majority groups to use it in meaning 1, it is incredibly rare, because it makes little sense: The point of using it in that form is to counteract prejudice. Pretty much the only members of majority groups that consider it necessary to counteract prejudice are racists that are paranoid that they are being pushed aside.

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Yeah I wasn't so sure about that either, I agree with you on that.

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Being proud of who you are and the eay you live is different from being proud of an arbitrary superficial difference between you and others.

Proud to be White is leagues worse than proud to be American or Christian or Irish.

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But contrast this with black pride. E.g., James Brown's excellent "I'm Black and I'm Proud": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VRSAVDlpDI

That's hugely different than the white-pride loons.

Why? I think it's down to power and oppression. Black people in US society have been oppressed and marginalized for centuries. Decreasingly so, but it's still a big problem.

For me, black pride and gay pride are pushing for freedom. While the white-pride people are pretty explicitly pushing against freedom.

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It seems fairly obvious that "pride" simply isn't appropriate in either case. It only serves to cloud the issue with entitlement and expectations of privilege based on nothing in particular.

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It seems fairly obvious? Your seems-obvious meter went off when you ran it over the screen?

Own your opinions. Cloaking them in false objectivity makes you look ridiculous and removes the opportunity for discussion. You think it's obvious. I don't. I do think it's obvious that you're playing the game on easy [1], though, which is why your seems-obvious meter is poorly calibrated.

[1] http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-th...

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Ah, yes, stereotyping. It's OK When We Do It, right?

Here's an idea: I'll use whatever words I want, and so will you, and we won't even ask about each others' race or gender. Because it just shouldn't matter.

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It shouldn't matter, but it does. People without experience of marginalization are frequently unsympathetic to those who are. And people who are privileged often act in ways that maintain that privilege, even when they claim their conscious motives are unrelated.

Experience shapes ideas. Ideas are tested through experience. If you refuse to examine the things that shape your experience, some of your ideas will inevitably be poor.

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Experience shapes ideas. Ideas are tested through experience. If you refuse to examine the things that shape your experience, some of your ideas will inevitably be poor.

Any racist will, of course, tell me exactly the same thing.

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Will they? That's exciting.

How many racists have told you that you should pay deep attention to your life experience and consider how it differs from that of others? Could you name some of them?

I've read a bunch of pro-slavery literature from the civil war era, and also a bunch of modern white supremacist kook literature. I have to say, empathy and consideration for people from different backgrounds was not the major theme you say it was.

But hey, if I can't trust some anonymous goof, who can I trust? So I'm sure you're right.

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Sure, I'll go along with that. But sexual orientation is far more like skin color than it is like a country, religion, or sports team that you identify with for social purposes.

If there is a genetic (or at least embryonic) influence behind sexual orientation -- and I believe there is -- then why take "pride" in it?

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Yep.

Now if only we could remind people that there's nothing wrong with having an unpopular opinion.

After all, Brendan Eich has done more for computing than Cook ever will.

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Brendan Eich is entitled to his opinion, and a large not for profit is entitled not to want someone with that opinion as a figurehead.

As for who has done more for what — web browsers were going to have a scripting language. Is Javascript so astoundingly good that we can only assume any alternative would have been worse?

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I don't believe in the cause that Eich donated to. But taking away someone's job over a political donation is preposterous and disturbing. If he had donated to a liberal cause and was forced out because conservative employees had a problem with it, the entire media would have come down on Mozilla like a ton of bricks. Instead his resignation was celebrated.

Chilling political discourse by threatening the livelihoods of those you disagree with is a threat to democracy itself and should not ever be allowed to happen. Eich's forced resignation was an offense against everything America allegedly stands for.

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I don't agree with anyone who says this was an easy call. I think there are very good arguments on both sides.

The good argument on the side of opposing his CEO-ship was the concern that he would use his position to influence company policy and culture in a way that he couldn't do as CTO. Like most people, I don't know Eich nor have I ever worked at Mozilla, so this initially sounded like a very valid concern.

Eventually, though, it became clear that Eich had done a very good job of keeping his opinion out of the workplace. That's a difficult thing to do, and I don't think I and others were necessarily wrong, at first, to expect that he wouldn't be able to do it. But I read everything I could find on the case, and I never saw anyone even accusing him of intolerant behavior toward gay Mozillians, either in person or in policy -- and he was one of the drafters of the company's diversity policy.

Given that, I think it was unfortunate that the Board accepted his resignation. (It's particularly sad considering that they had talked him into taking the position in the first place.)

Had the Board told him "No, you can't quit; we're going to get you through this" I think they should then have tried to explain that his record on diversity was excellent, and that he and they both knew that the eyes of the world would be upon him, and that people should give him a chance.

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I tend to think most people look on something like that as an opportunity to score a win for what they believe in rather than genuine concern at his actions as CEO. Some of the decision to let him resign must have come from the lack a successful strategy to respond to it though.

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>>I don't believe in the cause that Eich donated to. But taking away someone's job over a political donation is preposterous and disturbing.

Let's keep in mind nobody legally kicked him out. He left because he couldn't deal with the consequences of his actions. The law protects your free speech, but does not protect you from the consequences of it. http://xkcd.com/1357/

Also, let's not forget how nasty the whole prop8 campaign was... http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/04/04/brendan_eich_s... ....Eich could have donated to prop- 2,147,483,647, to ban interracial marriage. It would be his right, but I hope society would backlash at him the same way as prop-8 donation caused.

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>>> He left because he couldn't deal with the consequences of his actions.

This is incredibly misleading way of putting it. He left because he had no other choice, and an organized personal destruction campaign against him was what did not leave him this choice. Of course, you can claim this campaign was result of his actions, and it is true, that this campaign was triggered by his actions and wouldn't happen if he did not donate to what he donated. However, this campaign was not an inevitable consequence of his actions - it was a voluntary act of his political opponents, in order to send a message to him and his supporters and achieve political goals. It's like if somebody says something you don't like to you and you beat him up, the beating is a consequence of the saying, but it doesn't remove the blame of the beating from you, and you can't just say "he's in hospital because he couldn't deal with consequences of his actions". No, he's in hospital because somebody beat him up. And Eich left because of the campaign against him, despite no proof that his opinions have ever interfered with his professional judgement or that he ever did anything inappropriate. Except for expressing a private opinion.

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He was forced out, as everyone is well aware. You are advocating for a society where political intimidation is acceptable. There are many examples of such countries around the world. None have worked out well.

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Wasn't most of the criticism due to Mozilla having policies that seemed to directly contradict the views his donation implied? I have no problem with the Koch brothers donating to climate change deniers, but I can see why that same action, if performed by, say, the President of Greenpeace, might make their position untenable.

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You are advocating for a society where political intimidation is acceptable. There are many examples of such countries around the world. None have worked out well.

All countries have some level of acceptable political intimidation; that you think otherwise just means your views are sufficiently mainstream. Try embracing more fringe ideologies in a public way.

I suggest supporting and donating to Wahhabist movements and seeing how it goes for you.

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If you donate to organizations that are not linked to terror, exactly nothing would happen to you. If they are linked to terror, it's completely different league.

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So you could support an hypothetical local pedo party[1] and be CEO of a company? Sorry, but I don't believe it.

[1] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_Neighbourly_Love,_F...

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If I understand your position correctly, then if there really was a prop to ban interracial marriage we should all be okay with that? I don't see any difference between a ban on gay marriage and a ban on interracial marriage.

I just want to be sure I understand your calibration settings. If you think a prop on banning interracial marriage should be just as acceptable as what you seem to be saying for prop8, then I'm done discussing this with you.

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Since you linked xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1431/ It's easy to look down on interracial marriage bans from our oh-so-enlightened modern view, but it took a long time to even get there. You have to look at these ideologies in the context that they were formed in. If the graph is correct, then when Eich donated, same-sex marriage didn't have majority support. (Setting aside what California's specific numbers were.) This isn't to say that "might makes right", but that Eich expressed his vision for how society should be, and it's only fair to also consider how the rest of the society felt about it.

In other words, how do you know views you hold today won't be considered the vilest bigotry in 30 years? Is your moral compass so special, that you would have fought for interracial marriage, even if you were born a white in the southern US in the 1800's?

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If the graph is correct, then when Eich donated, same-sex marriage didn't have majority support.

It did among the society composed of Mozilla supporters. This idea that society is not people you interact and work with (and in this case, even direct) but the random populace in your general geographic area was wrong before the Internet, and it's completely wrong today.

If he didn't realize that, I'd say his out of touch with the people he was supposed to work with.

Is your moral compass so special, that you would have fought for interracial marriage, even if you were born a white in the southern US in the 1800's?

What's with this topic and strawmen? Nobody demanded he fought for gay rights. Most people don't fight for gay rights, and you don't see them get criticized (in this community). Just not to invest his time and money to fight against it.

Regardless of either his ousting was justified or not (personally, I'm conflicted), most arguments here are terrible.

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Interesting society argument. For sake of argument I'll just talk about Mozilla employees. Does being a CEO require you to take political actions to support (or at least, not hurt) your employees in their outside lives, over other local political concerns? As a citizen, is that ethical?

People who oppose gay marriage typically believe it would hurt "society" at large -- do you really want to say he should have taken an action (or inaction) he believed would generally hurt everyone in his political jurisdiction (which the vote was in), so that he could help his Mozillian sub-society? (The typical proponent response would be that it doesn't hurt anyone, but that's the crux of where people disagree.) What other areas does this reasoning extend to? Maybe I'm making a straw man here, but how is this sub-society argument different than "The majority of my employees are white people or supporters of white people, so I should vote and campaign to support white people even though I believe it would hurt others"?

For what it's worth, Mozilla reportedly offer healthcare benefits to same-sex couples[0], and I've read several reports that Brendan personally treated gay employees equitably. I recognize the difficulty of reconciling all this, the near-hypocrisy of campaigning to ban legal unions of people you're cordial with at work, but I can't find a way to support the idea that he should be accountable to them for his legal participation in a process that transcends Mozilla. Or if so, why to them instead of his (potential) gay neighbors, or any Mozillians that supported the same cause? Obviously there's no legal way to enforce that either way, so I guess I'm thinking of the ideal way people would self-police.

> Nobody demanded he fought for gay rights.

I didn't mean to imply that. Make it "Can you be sure you wouldn't have opposed interracial marriage with your time and/or money?", since that's the more apt analogy people are using. I'll grant you it may be an unobjective argument, but the point is to reflect on how the popular morality is a moving target.

> Most people don't fight for gay rights, and you don't see them get criticized

Well, I'm loath to even suggest this level of enforcement, but the cognitive dissonance here bothers me a bit. So Eich could have been aware there was a threat of oppression to his employees etc., to "strip them of their rights" (quasi-quote), and done absolutely nothing to help them, because you know, there's TV to watch and frivolities to buy instead, and that's totally OK? Come on -- it's either such a righteous cause/travesty of justice that even inaction is intolerable; or it's just a societal rift that will take a few decades to achieve consensus on, and shouldn't be punished any more than being discovered to be a card-carrying Republican or Democrat. I don't know, am I crazy here? My cynical feeling is that few would support such an extreme position, because secretly we are all at least silent witnesses, if not enablers, to bits of injustice everywhere. It's just that most of us aren't publicly accountable to internet hordes, and/or people buy excuses like "At least I wasn't actively fighting for <cause they believe is evil>!"

[0] https://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2014/03/29/on-mozillas-suppo...

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Interesting society argument. For sake of argument I'll just talk about Mozilla employees. Does being a CEO require you to take political actions to support (or at least, not hurt) your employees in their outside lives, over other local political concerns? As a citizen, is that ethical?

I don't know. All I said was, "society" can't be reduced to people living in a geographical area. The person who made a societal argument wasn't me, it was you.

People who oppose gay marriage typically believe it would hurt "society" at large -- do you really want to say he should have taken an action (or inaction) he believed would generally hurt everyone in his political jurisdiction (which the vote was in), so that he could help his Mozillian sub-society?

I don't know. All I meant was what I said - his vote can't be explained away just by saying "well, it's a product of the society he lived in". Nothing more.

So Eich could have been aware there was a threat of oppression to his employees etc., to "strip them of their rights" (quasi-quote), and done absolutely nothing to help them, because you know, there's TV to watch and frivolities to buy instead, and that's totally OK? Come on -- it's either such a righteous cause/travesty of justice that even inaction is intolerable; or it's just a societal rift that will take a few decades to achieve consensus on, and shouldn't be punished any more than being discovered to be a card-carrying Republican or Democrat.

People here seem to have their mind so formatted in a us-vs-them mentality that they automatically assume everyone who disagrees with a particular argument is a strong supporter of the opposite position. This is not the case.

I never said he should or not be tolerated. I didn't say I agree with what happened.

All I said was that factually, people who are simply inactive on the issue don't get called out, so it's incorrect to assume Eich was being demanded to act in support of gay marriage.

EDIT: Damn my poor English :|

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Sorry I misunderstood the "society" stuff. I still don't understand this: "his vote can't be explained away just by saying "well, it's a product of the society he lived in"' I read this as saying that because his "Mozilla society" predominantly support gay marriage (presumably), he can't claim his opposition is a "product of society." He is a member of several societies with probably conflicting values in some areas though, any of which could oppose marriage equality, so I don't see why he should be constrained to choose Mozilla's. I've probably read the wrong thing from that quote.

Oops, the comments about inactivity weren't based on any assumptions about your position on whether he "deserved it" or whatever. For lack of a better place, I'll elaborate, but again I'm not talking about you. :) I'm wondering why so many other people can accept neutrality from anyone, when they simultaneously talk about how absolutely evil it was that people were actually stripped of existing rights (since gay marriage was legal in California before Prop 8.) I don't think it's fair to elevate it almost to the degree of re-enslaving Africans or something, and then not hold anyone accountable who did nothing. If it's not so evil that inaction is acceptable, than don't hammer so hard on anyone who took a legal action you didn't like.

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He is a member of several societies with probably conflicting values in some areas though, any of which could oppose marriage equality, so I don't see why he should be constrained to choose Mozilla's. I've probably read the wrong thing from that quote.

I'm not saying he should be constrained; what I'm saying is that he's not "a white in the southern US in the 1800's". He's not a man who hasn't been exposed to different viewpoints or who needs a "special moral compass".

One of the societies he belongs to values and promotes gay marriage rights, so the choice he made was his own, and not a result of being immersed in a myopic society like the "southern US in the 1800's".

Oops, the comments about inactivity weren't based on any assumptions about your position on whether he "deserved it" or whatever. For lack of a better place, I'll elaborate, but again I'm not talking about you.

Fair enough, sorry for that, I was reacting as much to your comment as to the downvotes, which was unfair.

I don't think it's fair to elevate it almost to the degree of re-enslaving Africans or something, and then not hold anyone accountable who did nothing.

Point taken, but let me ask you: there are people being enslaved / trafficked in the world right now. Do you do much about it? I know I don't. Does it make me an hypocrite? Yes, probably. Does it mean I'm wrong to denounce people who actively support human trafficking? I don't think so.

(To everyone) By the way, I'm NOT saying that banning gay marriage is enslaving people! I'm just using the analogy put forth.

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I find this extremely hypocritical. Does this justify obstructing his career and publicly nailing him to the cross ? NO.

If you're a liberal : please explain why Mozillans don't have the right to their own political opinion, right to do whatever they want with their money, ...

If I ever met anyone who expressed this opinion to me, you or anyone else, I'd do the very best I can to remove them from my presence, company, sabotage their career, whatever I can.

And I'll feel as smug about it as you. I'm defending freedom and democracy by doing that.

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I specifically said that I'm divided on the issue and I haven't taken position one way or the other, I just disagree with those particular arguments.

If you want to make me into the enemy, go ahead, but you're the Quixote here.

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Nobody's denying Eich's legal right to have a political opinion, or to act on it within the bounds of the law.

But note that Eich supported stripping people of one of their constitutional rights. Prop 8's explicit goal was to remove the right of equal protection before the law.

And further, other people were exercising their political rights: freedom of speech and freedom of association. Having a fancy-pants CEO position is not a legal right. People are free to decide not to work with the guy.

And really, if you're defending using the ballot process to strip people of constitutional protections, I'm not so sure you're truly on the side of freedom and democracy. Prop 8 was mob democracy, a classic example of tyranny of the majority.

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I have no way to argue against your comment. You're completely right that our moral compass is not static. So I can only say that I hope society overall always moves towards accepting humanity & life in all the shapes and forms it presents itself. I have no way of justifying that belief; it's just something in my core being. It's in the same part of me that has decided kicking puppies and other animal cruelty is not good. Anyone publicly supporting animal cruelty I think should be publicly shamed. I don't know how to justify that either.

Perhaps this takes this whole discussion to another level. Where does humanity's moral compass come from and how do we justify it as something worthy of being followed & upheld?

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> how do you know views you hold today won't be considered the vilest bigotry in 30 years

Ah, the classic argument: if we can't have perfect right now, then we obviously can't work toward the good.

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> You have to look at these ideologies in the context that they were formed in.

No. No, I do not.

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>If I understand your position correctly, then if there really was a prop to ban interracial marriage we should all be okay with that?

I would strongly oppose such a measure. But I would certainly respect the rights of others to support the opposing side and vote their conscience, and when the vote was over I would not go scouring donation records to figure out whom I should fire or force out of their jobs.

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"I would certainly respect the rights of others to support the opposing side"

No such right exists in this context. A proposition to ban interracial marriage has nothing to do with people's consciences and everything to do with the letter of the law, where marriage is an established legal construct to which access is guaranteed under the 14th amendment. Voting to have rights stripped from other citizens for arbitrary reasons is not a protected freedom and such a proposition is patently unconstitutional on its face. You don't need to be impartial here.

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No such right exists in this context.

Sure they do. Free speech applies even if what you defend is illegal or unconstitutional. Brandenburg v. Ohio made it very explicit.

Besides, while it may seem weird to Americans, constitutions do change. Ours is not yet 40 years old, and already we're speaking about changing it.

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Free speech != voting to legislate away the rights of some minority. This is a rampant conflation.

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Nobody did that, you're inventing a straw man. The results were published on the website of a well-known newspaper[1] in a format that Google could parse. It was only a matter of time for it to be found out and spread.

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> He was forced out, as everyone is well aware.

No, he was not. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/05/faq-on-ceo-resignat...

    Brendan was not fired and was not asked by the Board to resign. 
    Brendan voluntarily submitted his resignation. The Board acted 
    in response by inviting him to remain at Mozilla in another 
    C-level position. Brendan declined that offer. The Board 
    respects his decision.

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I can't believe that anybody would be so naive to believe that Brendan wasn't forced out.

Every single day, there is an employee going to work in a hostile environment, shunned by co-workers or left to sit in an empty room with no work to perform. Eventually they'll be forced to resign in order to save their own sanity.

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> I can't believe that anybody would be so naive to believe that Brendan wasn't forced out.

I'm using facts to reach the conclusion that Brendan Eich wasn't forced out of his job. Your argument boils down to "Ahh, come on!".

Guess who wins? (SPOILER ALERT: Not you.)

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People keep claiming Mozilla employees weren't hostile to him, and wanted him to stay. You can't have it both ways. Which is it?

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The two sides you paint are not at all equal. Political discourse gets thrown out the window when you are working towards the suppression of the rights of a group of people. If conservative politics is directly linked to bigotry I see no reason we should support it. Perhaps the fiscally conservative, small government political groups should work to dissociate their ideas from intolerance.

There is no paradox of tolerance. It is rational to be intolerant of intolerance, in order to preserve a tolerant society. Karl Popper summarizes: "Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them...We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant"

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This entire response essentially says that you disagree with his position on the issue. I also disagree with his position on the issue.

But here's where we differ. I believe in his right to express his opinion without fear of losing his ability to make a living. You, and the rest of the liberal lynch mob that forced him out, are doing nothing more than suppressing his rights. And thus begins the end of democracy.

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Please read the other part of my comment, wherein I claim that he does not have a right to suppress rights. The context is extremely important: totally uncritical tolerance is not useful to society, and erodes tolerance. We need to be able to defend society against intolerance in order to maintain tolerance.

You cannot divorce the actual issue he is expressing his opinion on from the fact that he is expressing an opinion. The context matters. You can't consider a different particular instance and expect the same conclusion, because the context changes.

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You cannot divorce the actual issue he is expressing his opinion on from the fact that he is expressing an opinion.

Of course you can. In fact this is one of the fundamental tenets of our entire political system. There are no carved out exceptions suspending constitutional protections for really bad opinions. We have a framework through which people with strong conflicting opinions can air them without fear of certain kinds of retaliation. That broke down here, and it's disgusting and scary.

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It is not at all one of the fundamental tenets of our political system. You have to take social context into consideration when generating social laws. People in oppressed and minority groups need more help because they are starting from a position of less privilege. And this is what we do: Laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 exist solely to protect the rights of people who are being oppressed and to restrict the rights of people doing the oppressing. Society acted to defend against intolerance, by being more intolerant of intolerant people.

The basic slippery slope you envision is "if we restrict rights, from what principle do we decide where to stop doing that?" The fault in the argument is that it is totally reasonable to not tolerate intolerance, and again, uncritical tolerance is not what we desire here, but rather tolerance of viewpoints which are not intolerant.

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There are no carved out exceptions suspending constitutional protections for really bad opinions.

No, but there's a reason why those constitutional protections don't apply here, and it's not because the people writing them couldn't imagine this situation.

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>>You, and the rest of the liberal lynch mob that forced him out, are doing nothing more than suppressing his rights.

You have to admit, using your rights to take someone else's rights away.... is a dubious position to hold.

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He has the right to be a racist, homophobe, Nazi or whatever. That doesn't mean he can lead a company.

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If Democracy will end because a bunch of bigots ended up with their panties in a knot, then Democracy was never meant to last. Let it end.

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The nature of politics is that if we want to accomplish things, we have to work together. When you throw out statements like

> If conservative politics is directly linked to bigotry I see no reason we should support it. Perhaps the fiscally conservative, small government political groups should work to dissociate their ideas from intolerance.

All this does is create animosity with moderates who do not consider themselves linked to bigotry, and it does not advance your position, except among people who already agree with it.

If you don't want the support of these moderates then that is one thing. But that raises the question of why you would engage them, if not to garner their support.

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The premise that fundamental rights for minorities is or could be the subject of reasonable political debate is preposterous and disturbing. The cause he donated to was not merely "conservative" and was not decried because it was insufficiently liberal. It was cruel and wrong.

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'Preposterous'? Really? It's - what - 6 years since Prop 8 went through; evidently a debate on this matter was not preposterous to Californians then. And it's only 18 years since DOMA, which made this tortuous state-by-state guerrilla war necessary. And it's only 28 years since homosexuality was removed from the DSM. That's just the States - see elsewhere in this thread re India; in Britain we had Section 28 on the books until recently, and got equal marriage (sort of) last year.

The trouble with declaring something, as an individual in a HN thread, beyond the bounds of reasonable discussion is that it does not actually make it so - the bounds of reasonable discussion are set by what people in general are prepared to reasonably discuss. The obvious takeaway from the Eich affair - the best corporate diversity record in the world will not stop individuals from holding to the beliefs that they do. They will just hold them more quietly.

Finally - Eich being drilled out of the CEO position is not directly a suppression of his free speech or whatever; he is not being sent to jail for his views. The board of a company has the right to ditch a CEO for being 'embarrassing'. The trouble is that this is not somehow a radical blow for gay rights: indeed, closeted gay people not too long ago would find their positions untenable for exactly the same reason if their sexuality was discovered (it was embarrassing, etc).

In order to get to a situation where they could go about their business relatively unmolested, gay people had to fight against, among other things, exactly this sort of kneejerk corporate small-c conservatism. The progress we've made on this issue was not made one non-profit CEO at a time; nor was it through individual gays having great individual 'role models' (sorry Tim), but through prolonged political fights. I have little sympathy for Eich in this matter, but the idea that his being Mozilla CEO was a serious obstacle to gay rights was risible, and remains so.

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I'm not saying I have an opinion on whatever mysterious thing happened behind closed doors at Mozilla; I don't know or care about the specific dynamics of that case.

But the tendency to turn this into a question of political preference, one among a handful of hot-button issues that contemporary Americans can and should have differing views about, is wrong and destructive. This same argument, that a view does not appear preposterous to some part of the public, so it is therefor reasonable, doesn't really hold water. The obvious rejoinder is to look at the past, right? Slavery wasn't preposterous to half of the country, even during the civil war. I'm not saying a ban on gay marriage is anywhere near as awful as slavery, but rather that it's a clear example of something accepted and "debated" at the time, that we now know should never have been debated at all.

I don't care if people believe that somehow he should have stayed as CEO, maybe he should have. But eventually it will be clear that he stood on the wrong side of history, and actively supported a cause that is blatantly wrong.

I guess the thing to realize is that "declaring something within the bounds of reasonable discussion" is already a kind of violence, regardless of the attitudes of the people involved in the discussion. Put another way, I'm trying to say this: your statement, that people in general are prepared to reasonably discuss whether or not I should have basic rights, is a devastating indictment of "people in general."

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> 'Preposterous'? Really? It's - what - 6 years since Prop 8 went through; evidently a debate on this matter was not preposterous to Californians then. And it's only 18 years since DOMA, which made this tortuous state-by-state guerrilla war necessary. And it's only 28 years since homosexuality was removed from the DSM. That's just the States - see elsewhere in this thread re India; in Britain we had Section 28 on the books until recently, and got equal marriage (sort of) last year.

Don't forget gay sex being illegal in the US up until 2003.

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> The cause he donated to was not merely "conservative" and was not decried because it was insufficiently liberal. It was cruel and wrong.

No, it wasn't. Proposition 8 did not ban civil unions; it did not ban any marriage-like accommodation for same-sex couples (that would have been cruel).

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We've seen how separate but equal plays out.

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His resignation was not celebrated here as I recall. Many found it regrettable (and rightly so in my opinion) that he was nominated for the position in the first place, considering what a symbolic figure the CEO of a foundation is.

But it was always recognized the culprit in this case was the board of directors who put him in this position, only to retract their support later.

Eich is a brilliant technologist, and that should simply have been his role. Becoming the chief brand embassador was never an appropriate choice.

I also don't get how you can equate this with a hypothetical where he is extremely liberal and is being attacked by conservatives. Supporting discriminatory laws is not even on the same plane as being "offensively" open-minded.

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"Supporting discriminatory laws is not even on the same plane as being "offensively" open-minded."

That's an obviously unfair polemic. It could be flipped around thusly (and would be just as invalid):

"Seeking to destroy the institution of marriage that has been consistently defined for centuries is not even on the same plane as being 'offensively' traditional."

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I disagree, because actively supporting limiting the rights of minorities over what amounts to an appeal to religious tradition seems more than a matter of opinion to me.

Also, I understand that you downvoted me above, but going to my other comments in another thread and giving them the same treatment is abusive - especially since I'm a new user. You have single-handedly destroyed my karma balance. So I guess the message is that I'm not welcome here because I support equal rights?

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> But taking away someone's job over a political donation is preposterous and disturbing.

That's a very poor framing of what he did. And you followed it with a lot of unsupported drama.

He didn't just donate to, say, a Republican candidate. He supported a campaign to strip gay people of the right to equal protection before the law. A successful one.

In the US, you can claim that gay people should not be full citizens and have that opinion protected under the first amendment. You can say the same thing about black people too, which is why we let the neo-nazis protest and even give them police protection when they do.

But the legal right to say something is not the right to freedom from social consequence. If he were a white supremacist and wanted to run Mozilla, a company with many non-white employees, would you really be outraged that people would fire him?

I'm hoping not. Free speech is an important right. But other people also get that right, and the right to freedom of association as well. If I were gay, I wouldn't want to work for a guy who believed I wasn't equal before the law. How could I trust him to treat me equally at work? And as a straight person, I wouldn't want to work for somebody like that either, so I'd take my freedom of association and walk right out the door. Why shouldn't Mozilla's board take account of whether or not people want to work for a CEO?

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I generally agree with what you say.

> How could I trust him to treat me equally at work?

You could see what he's done whilst at work. Apparently he helped create and enforce policies that protected minority employees.

The reason I'm uncomfortable with it is what happens if we switch the positions: Joe Bloggs makes a private donation to a bill supporting gay marriage. Years later he is appointed CEO of some org but the customers run a campaign to veto him based on his private political donation.

Isn't this precisely why voting is anonymous[1]? While Eich's views are repugnant he should have been judged on what he did in the workplace.

The other point is that US style political campaigning is clearly fucked.

[1] of course voting isn't actually anonymous in the UK. Some people still aren't aware of that.

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> You could see what he's done whilst at work.

It is the same person. If somebody wears a hooded sheet for evening rallies but a suit in the office, it is not unreasonable for black people to say, "Gosh, maybe I should work elsewhere." White people who are anti-racist might feel similarly. Freedom of association is also a right, and one you seem to be giving less weight. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

> The reason I'm uncomfortable with it is what happens if we switch the positions: Joe Bloggs makes a private donation to a bill supporting gay marriage.

That is not switching the positions. An equivalent position is, say, supporting a bill to strip Baptists of the right to worship. The sole point of Prop 8 was to remove a constitutionally guaranteed right, equal protection under the law, from gay people. If somebody was trying to strip a civil right from some right-leaning group, I'd say they also should not be running a large company containing those people.

> While Eich's views are repugnant he should have been judged on what he did in the workplace.

That might be another interesting world, but here people are judged on their out-of-work behavior all the time. Especially when that out-of-work behavior indicates something possibly relevant to work performance. Like, e.g., believing that a significant fraction of your employees are literally second-class citizens.

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>But taking away someone's job over a political donation is preposterous and disturbing.

>Eich's forced resignation was an offense against everything America allegedly stands for.

But what if the cause someone donates for, curtails the rights of someone else? Would you say the same thing if he had donated to a terrorist organisation?

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Of course he's entitled to his opinion. The public is also entitled to use whatever criteria they wish to choose where they spend their dollars, ad views, or seek employment. A board of directors is also entitled to weigh the effects of its officers public statements and actions on the future health of the company.

Note that I draw a very strong distinction here between officers and typical employees -- typical employees are not allowed to speak for the company unless specifically authorized, whereas a high-profile officer's public conduct is more inextricably tangled with the company itself. Someone might rightly interpret Eich's donation as an indication that Mozilla would be a less-friendly environment for a gay programmer than another company would, because Eich's opinions and policies are directly able to shape the culture therein.

There's no magic here. There are many ways in which executives are subject to substantially greater scrutiny than ordinary employees. This probably sucks for them, but in today's environment, it's part of the job. Changing that - well, that's a longer discussion.

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No kidding, if not for Eich we might have a scripting language with integers.

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I think the blame should land more on Netscape as a whole than Eich. He did remarkably well considering the circumstances.

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At least he didn't make the popular mistake of basing every type on strings.

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>Brendan Eich is entitled to his opinion, and a large not for profit is entitled not to want someone with that opinion as a figurehead.

Except Mozilla didn't make that choice. Eich was not fired or asked to resign. Mozilla made it clear they still wanted him. Eich voluntarily stepped down and excused himself from the community after it had shown its shallow, naive definition of tolerance. I don't blame him for not wanting to work in the industry anymore.

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> its shallow, naive definition of tolerance

But if you believe that, that's a pretty intolerant view you have there.

The question of tolerance of intolerance isn't perhaps as simple as you make out. It's been well discussed without a clear answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

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Brendan Eich is entitled to his opinion, and a large not for profit is entitled not to want someone with that opinion as a figurehead.

Right. It's really quite simple.

All this support of Eich as some kind of a martyr (or a victim of reverse bigotry, in any way comparable to the bigotry Eich promotes through his donations) is grossly misplaced.

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Brendan Eich donated money with the sole goal of denying equal rights to people based on their sexuality. There's nothing wrong with having an unpopular opinion, but I think there is something wrong with that. And I suspect you would too if it were you whose rights were being taken away.

Edit: Eich supported Proposition 8 which was _ruled unconstitutional_ for violating the Equal Protection Clause. Yes, his support was non-criminal, but he was fundamentally supporting something wrong, both morally and legally.

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So you're saying that stifling political discourse by firing people (or forcing them to quit) - as long as you really, really, disagree with them - is acceptable. Got it. For the sake of yourself and your loved ones, I hope you never voice an unpopular opinion.

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As others have pointed out, Eich was not fired. His resignation was of his own volition.

It's perfectly legal and acceptable to not use someone's product if you don't agree with their politics. That person does not suffer any loss of rights.

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Please don't respond to me with disrespectful and disruptive snark. Nobody was fired. Nobody went to jail. There was no "stifled discourse". If you'd like to elaborate specifically, then please do.

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Ok, forced out. Is that more palatable? He was, for all intents and purposes, fired. For expressing a political opinion. In a country that prides itself on being a democracy. If that isn't stifling political discourse, what exactly is it?

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Murdering someone or throwing them in a prison because they spoke out against the regime is stifling political discourse. Having to step down as CEO of a company because your unpopular political opinions resulted in a vast number of people boycotting your company's products is just a consequence of the way the free market works.

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Nobody kicked him out of the country. He was "forced" by the community that thought his views intolerable out of a company that is community driven.

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Just the same if he was a racist or a Nazi. Simply unfit for leadership.

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Eich was not fired or forced to do anything else.

Here's what often gets missed in this debate: Eich's handling of the outrage, demonstrated incompetence at his job. An exec is a leadership position by definition - the entire Mozilla thing showed us that Eich is not fit to lead.

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this comment begs the question... what is leadership? It does not seem like Eich did anything that impinges or diminishes his ability to lead. it seems that Eich acted in a way that was consistent with his personal beliefs (donating money to a cause he believes in) and at the same time in the best interests of Mozilla (resigning so public outcry against him did not damage the company). It seems like he has integrity, which in some circles is considered a invaluable quality of leadership.

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When evidence of behavior proving a conflict of interest appears (conflict: personal beliefs demonstrably incompatible with stated position of company), the correct action to take is not to downplay that conflict with transparent and inane language.

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Brendan Eich was not fired.

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supported Proposition 8 which was _ruled unconstitutional_

What does this have to do with anything? Lots of people supported things that later get ruled unconstitutional.

Using "constitutional" as a synonym for "good" is a bad idea.

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> Brendan Eich donated money with the sole goal of denying equal rights to people based on their sexuality.

You know, I'm sick and tired of this lie. A homosexual has exactly the same right to marriage as a heterosexual: a gay man is exactly as free to marry any unmarried consenting woman as a normal man and a lesbian is exactly free to marry any unmarried consenting man as a normal woman.

The essential confusion regards the nature of marriage. It's not about a couple (or group) and their feelings towards one another; it's about the formation of a family and the production of a new generation.

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> The essential confusion regards the nature of marriage. It's not about a couple (or group) and their feelings towards one another; it's about the formation of a family and the production of a new generation.

I bet you're hard at work trying to deny infertile couples the ability to marry.

Even if you were right, which you aren't, tradition is not a compelling argument. We've done away with a lot of stupid traditions, like slavery and dowry.

Even if you were right, which you aren't, gay couples can adopt.

I could go on, but why? Your arguments are tired and baseless.

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Once we get to the point of calling basic human anatomy 'baseless', we've definitely gone off the deep end as a society. This is not about infertility due to medical conditions or age and it's not about tradition - it's about the fact that a man and a woman having sex is the way that human beings are produced. Everything else is an attempt to ignore reality to suit our our personal desires.

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How about birth control? Marriage? These are ignoring the very human impulse to procreate constantly and with many people. Are they wrong too?

That procreation argument is silly. Human beings order themselves into societies, and not as some sort of procreation machine. But instead to encourage kindness, cooperation, happiness. We have laws to keep from harming one another, and roofs over our heads to keep us warmer and dryer than we 'naturally' would have been. This is what it means to be human, too.

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Yeah, I would argue that yielding to the impulse to 'procreate constantly' outside of marriage would be equally as harmful as following any other sexual desires (homosexuality, polygamy, pedophilia, etc) that doesn't line up with how sex and marriage are meant to work - that is one man marrying one woman and them having sex.

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"Meant to work" is very strange here. First monogamy it supposed to be a natural state. Now its an artificial social construction? Then what's so precious about it? Versus the other states that people are, and have been, living in for centuries?

Oh I get it - argue whatever it takes to make male-female marriage sacred and anything else wrong. Ok. I see.

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I can see how 'meant to work' would sound strange, especially since we normally talk about sex as something that should be based solely on our individual physical urges - whatever they may be.

I would say that marriage and sex get their value and purpose from God. That he created man and woman to come together in marriage and have sex. That he made sex pleasurable, and good, and that one of the benefits of sex is often that children are produced.

I think we must either get our understanding of sex and marriage from a source outside ourselves (the transcendent God) or we just make things up to suit our individual drives - and the second option opens us up as individuals, and as a society, to a lot of harm.

I understand this is not a popular viewpoint, especially on HN, but I think it's valuable to offer some pushback in a civil way every now and then.

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And how about older couples, past the childbearing age? Should they not be allowed to marry? Should couples be forced to divorce after 50?

This preposterous argument about 'its about producing a new generation' is sophomoric and lazy. It doesn't stand up to a few seconds of reflection. Yet I hear it again and again - its even part of the Mormon official line.

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> It's not about a couple (or group) and their feelings towards one another; it's about the formation of a family and the production of a new generation.

If you look at the actual legal structure of marriage outside of who is permitted into it, that's very obviously not the case for the civil institution of marriage -- virtually all of the legal effects are directed toward the creation of a legal relationship of mutual support between the partners. Even the pieces that relate to children (e.g., the presumption of paternity) directly serve the purpose of reinforcing the mutual support relationship between the partners.

One could argue that one of the (many) social functions served by this mutual support arrangements which justifies having a prepackaged, publicy-recognized set of obligations, permissions, and legal privileges for mutual support is the creation of a superior environment within which to raise children, but there are other public functions served, and n any case an environment for raising children doesn't require that children be produced by the people raising them.

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Eich participated in a public system in an approved way at a political level, did so without letting his politics get in the way of his personal or professional life, and made functional programming ubiquitous. There's nothing wrong with what he did given that he didn't let that view (in the abstract) color his personal interactions.

And, let us note, it's all speculation on this point as to what or why he did it, because the man himself hasn't said anything on the matter--mostly because of the gay hate brigade rallied against him.

By contrast, Tim Cook continued contracts with Foxconn with the sole goal of minimizing production costs by using underpaid overworked labor--and if you look at Apple close enough, yeah, there's some nastiness there. He's a solid operations guy (clearly!), but has directly supported policies that have harmed both our industry and workers abroad.

I'm likely going to get downvoted into oblivion (again, and in hilarious underscoring of my point).

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> Tim Cook continued contracts with Foxconn with the sole goal of minimizing production costs by using underpaid overworked labor

I'm going to upvote you for this.

Just because Tim Cook is gay doesn't make him Mother Teresa. He seems quite happy in promoting brutal Victorian style work-houses because it's "over there". Out of sight, out of mind. He's quite the hypocrite.

He's also no better or worse then the operations guy at Dell, Samsung, Lenovo, etc. who are all churning out products from the same manufacturers and assembly lines in China and South-East Asia. I don't know why people keep promoting the myth that he is some amazing operations guy when everything is outsourced anyway, and recent products have suffered from manufacturing delays and raw material supply issues.

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> Just because Tim Cook is gay doesn't make him Mother Teresa. He seems quite happy in promoting brutal Victorian style work-houses because it's "over there". Out of sight, out of mind.

Yes, yes, and yes.

Many of my more naive, young gay friends and acquaintances actually DO seem to think that 'being a powerful gay person', onto itself, makes him worthy of worship.

> He's quite the hypocrite.

Did he actually say that its wrong to promote brutal Victorian style work-houses?

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> Just because Tim Cook is gay doesn't make him Mother Teresa.

It's depressing to see this myth perpetuated that Mother Teresa was a good person.

She was a horrible human being who denied poor and sick people the help and medicated relief they needed just because of her religious beliefs. Of course, she also denied abortion, contraception and all other kinds of medical help that were not in line with her religious beliefs.

She was convinced that suffering brings you closer to god, so she made sure everyone under her care suffered as much as possible.

She was a sick and twisted person and the faster she gets forgotten, the better.

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There was a time in India when people with leprosy were left out to die along the streets and no one would come near them. If you had it, your family and the society would ask you to leave the area. I have heard stories from people of my grand fathers generation of how Mother Teresa and her followers (Sisters of charity), would physically carry the lepers and care for them. They really believed in the cause and had a lot of courage. Many of the sisters contracted leprosy doing this. For this they gained enormous respect from people of all religions in Calcutta.

If you have ever seen a leper in India and their condition, you would not have called her sick and twisted.

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Obligatory Godwin: Hitler probably thought he was doing The Right Thing, too.

Mother Theresa believed that suffering brings you closer to god. Sure, she were courageous and tried their best to help people, but that was probably more inspired by actively seeking suffering (and helping other people suffer) than altruism.

But it's absolutely on par for Catholicism (or guilt-based Christianity in general). Declaring her a saint was perfectly reasonable.

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Wow, what book of lies have you been reading, or writing.. I cannot even begin to tell you how far off you are. And you call her a myth. They say Jobs had a reality distortion field but you take the cake! Good luck with your fantasy world.

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Here, educate yourself:

http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/582913-mother-teresa-...

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Ok, I'm going to 'educate' myself with some random link that you found from some random guy's blog who also has a personal vendetta against all Theists(Military Association of Atheists). I can find a thousand links to show the opposite. Have you done ANY research on her or read or talked to a member of the order she started? Thought not. When casting an opinion, always look at both sides before you talk, not just the one you want to believe. That's how you get to the truth. The real truth. Oh, by the way, thanks for the down vote. Really mature of you.

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How many millions of Chinese are still scratching out a living from the dirt -- literally? People living in abject poverty would love to have Western industry set up a factory, or provide the contracts to give work to a factory in the first place, so that they could leave their 14th century villages and way of life.

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I am also bothered with the way workers are treated. I sickened by the way these companies are polluting the world. I've never been O.K. with this bottom line crap. It seems like people really don't care though? As long as they can have their comfortable life, exciting life, powerful life, and their electronic gadgets, etc., the're not loosing any sleep? Maybe it's just human nature to turn a blind eye to the real problems. Yes--Tim Cook coming out is a deal. Personally, I felt he should have came out a long time ago.(He was financially able to years ago?) If you have a deep felt issue and you are poor, or have no power in society; I understand why you hide, and don't try to make the world a better/fairer place. Tim Cook should have came out years ago. Why--because he was an American, and was wealthy. Being American and having the protection of wealth gives you a platform to really make a difference. O.K. Tim you are gay. The people around you(Bay Area demographics) never cared. Bring the manufacture of your products back to the United States, or to countries that don't exploit workers, and decimate environments. I'll get hammered for having an opinion on Hacker News, or any opinion other than a carefully scripted, beyond polite waste of words.

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Just because Tim Cook is gay doesn't make him Mother Teresa.

It's also completely irrelevant to the subject of Brendan Eich's support of bigoted TV ads. Which is why I found the arguments made by the poster above you to be not really interesting, or worth responding to.

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Actually, exploiting the poor is one thing that Tim Cook and Mother Teresa could find common ground on.

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This. I used to live in Kolkata (then Calcutta), where she had setup her place, and it was sick to see people being asked to pray to the Christ when they needed food and medicine instead.

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Why didnt you/other communities/societies people provide food and medicine without asking to pray first?

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Other communities/societies -> they were doing it already. Just no media hype, because they weren't funded by agencies wanting to convert people.

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> by using underpaid overworked labor

Underpaid in what way? Are there many other jobs those people could be doing which pay them better? They're not paid much by US standards but the alternative is subsistence level farming. Is anyone who puts their production into China (and let's remember that's basically everyone in hardware before we single out Apple) being nasty by offering people a better income than they can get anywhere else?

It's the market rate, something incidentally most people in tech in the West are pretty happy about when it's driving massively above average salaries for programmers and the like.

In terms of overworked - Foxcon workers recently went on strike because the amount of overtime they were being offered had been reduced. If they're overworked it would be very odd behaviour to strike to demand more.

Essentially Foxcon workers get to choose between two things - a shitty life working at Foxcon and a really shitty life not working there. That's unfortunate, but it's not Tim Cook's fault, it's in part the fault of the Chinese government, in part the result of them having been dealt a shitty hand and a consequence of global capitalism which most of us are in some way complicit in.

To place this at the door of Cook is pretty naive.

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The reason this is placed at the door of Cook is because he's very likely one of, if not the most responsible person for those choices at Apple. He played a very large role in operations at Apple. He also sits on the board of Nike, partly because he is very well regarded in supply chains and operations. Are you going to sing Nike's praises as well for worker treatment?

Whether or not those choices are moral is certainly up for debate. Whether or not Time Cook was largely responsible for them is not.

And as for the "market rate" you are talking about a country that does not allow it's currency to float on the exchanges, heavy subsidizes or outright controls much of the industry and denies workers access to information online about working conditions and pay. Playing into a regime that intentionally abuses workers to ramp up their industrial output wouldn't be something I would be particularly proud of and most definitely would not be something I would consider controlled by market forces.

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Sorry, I wasn't clear.

Cook is clearly a prime decision maker in where Apple operate but the poor situation for Chinese workers can't reasonably be laid at his door.

The wages are controlled by market forces, even if the market is being manipulated by the Chinese government.

But Cook isn't responsible for Chinese economic or fiscal policy and pulling Apple out if China would hurt the workers who may have shitty jobs but at least have jobs.

As it is Apple face higher scrutiny than most of their competitor in the same situation and as a result actually behave marginally better when it comes to worker treatment.

It's not something to be particularly proud of but the overall plight of Chinese workers, even those at Foxcon, is not a situation for which Cook can realistically be held significantly responsible or categorised as nasty (nasty being the original characterisation I was refuting).

It's the consequence of a capitalist economy which Cook may be a small part of but is neither the creator nor the controller.

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> There's nothing wrong with what [Brendan] did given that he didn't let that view (in the abstract) color his personal interactions.

Strom Thurmond filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours and 18 minutes. After that he continued to serve in the US Senate until 2003.

Yes, his actions were a lawful expression of his power. But I think there is something deeply wrong with using your power, even lawfully, to deny the rights of people who are less powerful than you. Even if you are nice to those same people in personal interactions.

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>By contrast, Tim Cook continued contracts with Foxconn with the sole goal of minimizing production costs by using underpaid overworked labor

Do you have any proof of this or citations on it? Everything I've seen about Apple regarding its supply chain is that it goes above and beyond the minimum needed to be in compliance, and they seem to genuinely care about the well being of their employees in China.

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> goes above and beyond the minimum needed to be in compliance

Awesome. I need that line added to my CV. Something like: "Conscientious worker, who often goes above and beyond the minimum needed to be in compliance."

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> Tim Cook continued contracts with Foxconn

As does Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, and more

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> it's all speculation on this point as to what or why he did it, because the man himself hasn't said anything on the matter--mostly because of the gay hate brigade rallied against him.

When the controversy broke he was literally asked what his views on SSM were, and he didn't give an answer. That strongly implies he doesn't think SSM should be legal.

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That's an incredibly muddle-headed sequence of arguments you've just made, for sure. But no, we're not going to hate you for it.

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Your inability to respond to any of the points has been noted.

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Oh, I'm "able." I just don't find them particularly interesting, or worth responding to in detail.

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Then next time, kindly just don't post.

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I'd kindly prefer that people not litter HN with puerile, psychologically baiting lines of argumentation from out in left field (c.f. "the gay hate brigade", up above) in the first place.

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Trolls and willful fools are cured by the same medicine: downvote, ignore, and flag if they broke the site rules.

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Eich shares the same moral ground with gay marriage supporters. Anyone supporting government-issued marriage licenses with associated privileges and entitlements is hateful and bigoted toward individuals who aren't marriage material for various reasons beyond their control.

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The witch hunt against Brendan was just terrible. He made a minor donation years ago and it's something people blew out of proportion.

Here was his statement about inclusiveness after his donation became an issue https://brendaneich.com/2014/03/inclusiveness-at-mozilla/ To me it looks like he was committed to keeping Mozilla inclusive and would have been a great CEO.

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I have no problem if people want to continue to rehash and re-litigate the Eich affair. But a story about the triumph of a gay man leading one of the world's most powerful companies is not the thread to do it in.

Please post another story about the Eich issue and upvote it, and comment there. Bringing up his donation and the fallout here is just being deliberately provocative and borderline disrespectful. Please don't.

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To most Americans, $1k is not a "minor" amount of money.

Furthermore, the exact amount of money that he donated is fairly irrelevant anyway. The donation, no matter it's magnitude, serves to illustrate what he believes. If I made a $1 donation to the local KKK group, would you make excuses for me because $1 is a trivial amount of money? Of course you would not.

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Comparing donating to an active hate group to a campaign doesn't make sense. The amount is irrelevant, I'll give you that but in my opinion something someone did six years ago isn't going to determine my opinion of something now.

In six years time Brendan could have gone through a lot of experiences that changed his opinion on marriage and based on his statement I would have given him the benefit of the doubt.

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He never said he changed his opinion on same sex marriage even when he was directly asked. Given that it could have saved job, i think you can conclude he doesn't support same sex marriage.

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Do you have a better definition for a confluence of people that uses irrational FUD to tilt public policy away from certain people having rights?

The commercials sponsored by this group are freely available on YouTube. I suggest you go watch them, and then re-evaluate whether you feel the campaign doesn't qualify as a hate group. Violence is not the only or most important qualification in defining what a "hate group" actually is.

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Wow. As a non-American I hadn't seen these ads before. They're pretty much the definition of FUD.

And the one with the mother is especially insane. Wouldn't want your kids to be taught facts that are uncomfortable to you, eh? What do you know, if your kids knew homosexuality was a thing they might like it and fall from grace.

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Comparing donating to an active hate group to a campaign doesn't make sense.

It does if that campaign ran hate ads on your local TV station. If you think that the issue around Eich is only about his support for a certain ballot issue (by itself), then perhaps you should look a bit more into bigger story behind it -- and what got people so angry.

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Feel free to substitute "KKK" with "campaign to ban interracial marriage" in my above comment. Frankly I think the later is even worse anyway; the KKK only wishes they still had enough political influence to pass unconstitutional laws in a state like California.

If Brendan had publicly released a sincere apology I would consider forgiving him. All he did was issue a bunch of "It doesn't matter, you guys are wrong for caring" statements.

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And this is the other important fact, right here, what you just said. Not only is Eich a bigot who supports other bigots with his own money, he very obviously still has those views because he didn't do even the slightest thing necessary to defuse the outrage. He could have said "Yeah, that was a long time ago", thrown a symbolic $1,000 at GLAAD, and it would have literally wall went away overnight.

In the face of that, his repeated assertions that he can somehow keep his personal and professional lives separate (yeah, the human mind does not work that way) ring very hollow, at best.

Here is a person, incredibly talented, well paid for his work, that decides his personal beef with LGBTs takes precedence over his professional life and everyone else at Mozilla.

That, right there, shows a tremendous lack of decision making and prioritization skills. Kiss of death for a C-level position.

I think that if he hadn't resigned, he'd have eventually been asked to leave anyways. You do not, as a company, go out of your way to promote an image of inclusiveness and togetherness, and then hire an unrepentant bigot for a high level position. Mozilla would have lost huge amounts of credibility.

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I'm very, very far away from judging people's work abilities (like being an CEO) based on their skin color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, or ideology.

Why you can't be the same?

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You would not judge a CEO for publicly admitting to being a racist? I do not believe you. I think that you are lying, either to us or to yourself.

Calling something "Ideology" is not a "get out of criticism free" card. You are free to have whatever political beliefs you desire, but we are all free to criticism you for your political beliefs. Our criticism of political beliefs is just as political as the beliefs that we are criticizing; it is fundamentally illogical to put political beliefs above reproach.

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Maybe it works for sociopaths?

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> Calling something "Ideology" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.

Of course. It is after all entirely different than:

Calling someone "Gay" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.

Or:

Calling someone "Jew" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.

Or:

Calling something "Black" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.

Or:

Calling someone "woman" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.

Or:

Calling someone "Muslim" is not a "get out of criticism free" card.

Right.

Obviously our public sphere is full of criticism of Islam (a.k.a. islamophobia), Black people (a.k.a. racism), women (a.k.a sexism), Jews (a.k.a. antisemitism), Gays (a.k.a. homophobia).

And YES I would take a racist for CEO - if he is more qualified than others - each and every time. Because I truly believe in a society where gender, sex orientation, race, religion, ideology - do NOT matter.

See, this is a paradox. You can't have that, and you just admitted it. Cultural Marxism is full of paradoxes like that. It's impossible to truly have society where gender, sex orientation, race, religion, ideology - do NOT matter. Thank you very much for providing evidence that you see a paradox there as well.

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Given that hiring/firing people is a key part of being a CEO, a racist CEO would result in hiring/firing/not promoting talented, capable people based on irrelevant factors. Speaking purely from a business perspective, this will give the company a disadvantage and negatively impact performance.

"Ideology" is too broad of a term the way you are using it: after all, believing that COBOL the ultimate programming language for all use cases could also be labeled an "ideology", one that would make somebody a poor CTO.

Similarly, beliefs that certain groups of people, based on unrelated criterion like gender identity, are inherently inferior to others or deserve lesser treatment, do materially impact the workplace.

Unlike the previous two examples, somebody's personal beliefs about things like religion or their cultural background have nothing to do with job performance.

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> Obviously our public sphere is full of criticism of Islam (a.k.a. islamophobia)

Islamophobia, racism, etc., are not criticisms. Criticism is the application of reason and intelligence for the purpose of analysis and improvment. Bigotry is the assumption that "others" are worse simply by their being "other". Nothing you listed is criticism, it is various forms of bigotry. In bigotry there is no desire for dialogue, simply judgement and superiority.

> And YES I would take a racist for CEO - if he is more qualified than others - each and every time. Because I truly believe in a society where gender, sex orientation, race, religion, ideology - do NOT matter.

Those two sentences are incongruent. You cannot claim to champion a society where gender, race, etc., do not matter, and then turn around and state your acceptance of a racist CEO.

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Unlike homosexuals, religious groups do actually try to recruit people (especially children), mind you.

Gay parents would likely be fine with their children being heterosexual.

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52% of Californians voted in favor of Prop 8 (to ban same-sex marriage) so you could argue Brendan Eich holds a rather popular opinion.

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    With recent big increases in support for
    legalization of same-sex marriage, the
    California public is now 61% in favor,
    31% opposed according to a February 2013
    Field Poll,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_California...

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You're quoting a rather meaningless poll given the low sample size: "The latest Field Poll was completed February 5-17, 2013 among 834 registered voters in California."

Since we're quoting statistics, here are some from the CDC.

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population... In 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/gender/msm/facts/

In 2012, there were almost 9,000 cases of syphilis, and 84 percent of them were among gay and bisexual men

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20140509/syphili...

My friends (who are gay) tell me there is a growing complacency amongst their younger gay friends, that HIV is seen as a long-term chronic condition rather than a killer disease. The results can be seen above.

Why does the issue of marriage dominate media headlines but not a peep about health? How much funding has gone into the campaign to legalise gay marriage versus educating people on safer sex?

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From the poll I cited:

    The maximum sampling error estimates for results
    based on the overall sample of 834 registered
    voters have a sampling error of +/- 3.5
    percentage points, while findings from the
    random subsample of 415 voters have a sampling
    error of +/- 5.0 percentage points at the 95%
    confidence level.
http://field.com/fieldpollonline/subscribers/Rls2443.pdf

FiveThirtyEight rates Field Poll (at least for political races) as being "A+": http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/pollster-ratings/

Your references to incidence of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men are something of a non sequitur, and—I think—underscore the value of extending the institution of marriage given that one might reasonably expect that enabling an at-risk population to engage in a social institution commonly associated with monogamy should only serve to decrease rates of transmission.

    My friends (who are gay)
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Friend_argument

Also, why would you want your friends to be deprived of a right you enjoy?

I regularly see billboards in my neighborhood targeting young gay men to be tested for HIV. I bet that risk of transmission would be further lowered if the stigma associated with being gay was further reduced or entirely eliminated.

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We're going to have to agree to disagree - I think 834 people is too small a sample size to draw any conclusions.

Btw, if the campaign for "marriage equality" were truly about equality, it would also include polygamous heterosexual families in Utah looking for recognition in law, as well as religions where marriage partners can be under 18. Thus the campaign for "marriage equality" has a narrow definition of equality and should be renamed the campaign for "same-sex marriage".

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As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once put it, you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Spend a few minutes reading about polling methodologies and playing around with a sample size calculator. California's number of registered voters was around 18.25 million in 2012. Put in 19 million if you're feeling generous to your own opinions.

Also, all 50 states allow minors to wed with parental consent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_marriage_in_United_State...

    Thus the campaign for "marriage equality" has
    a narrow definition of equality and should be
    renamed the campaign for "same-sex marriage".
Sure, ok, whatever.

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So you can get married without having to ask for anyone's permission.

Yet individuals who are 16 or 17 years old, need parental consent, before getting married.

How is this "equal"?

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They're minors. There is no equality. No one is debating that minors should be extended the full set of rights accorded to legal adults. The only time in the last 50 years this came up for debate was when 18-20 year olds were being sent off to die in a conflict that they couldn't vote against.

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> 52% of Californians voted in favor of Prop 8 (to ban same-sex marriage)

No, they didn't. 52% of those who voted on Prop 8 (about 79% of the ~17M eligible and registered to vote, which were themselves only about 45% of Californians) voted for Prop 8 -- so about 19% of Californians voted for it.

> so you could argue Brendan Eich holds a rather popular opinion.

Well, no, you couldn't make a good argument that he holds a rather popular opinion based on the results of an election 6 years ago. You could perhaps argue that he holds a view that was popular at the time of the election based on those results. After all, opinions change. [1]

[1] see, e.g., http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_show.asp?i=1012

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Semantics. The fact is, of registered voters in California, more people voted against same-sex marriage than for it. Of course, that was 6 years ago... so why should Brendan Eich be ostracised in 2014 for donating money to a campaign which was quite popular back then?

At what point did Mozilla's mission for a free and open internet turn into one about social justice and identity politics?

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Lots of people get ostracized for supporting and pushing things that were once popular but became massively unpopular, all throughout history. McCarthy advocated and pushed a very, very popular agenda for it's time, but history isn't written in the perspective of it's time, it's written in the perspective of today. It was also never "quite popular", it was essentially a split decision, and has been a very contentious issue for quite a while. It also doesn't take a genius to realize the trajectory of any social rights issue in this country, so I have a hard time feeling any empathy for what happened to Eich. Believe what you want, but if you want to be a popular leader, you've gotta have the intelligence and foresight to realize what kinds of things are bound to get you into trouble one day. And if he realized that and still believed in the cause so much, then there are no real victims, just choices and ramifications.

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> Of course, that was 6 years ago... so why should Brendan Eich be ostracised in 2014 for donating money to a campaign which was quite popular back then?

It's wrong regardless of when it occurred.

> At what point did Mozilla's mission for a free and open internet turn into one about social justice and identity politics?

This lame attempt to dismiss equality won't fly.

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> It's wrong regardless of when it occurred.

The world is a big place with different cultures and different opinions.

You are making a giant assumption that your world-view is the correct one.

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> You are making a giant assumption that your world-view is the correct one.

OTOH, if you condemn people for judging Eich, you are -- by so doing -- committing the same offense.

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> It's wrong regardless of when it occurred.

But it can be more or less wrong in specific circumstances.

You seem pretty sure that your opinions and actions will stand the test of time, just like countless people were in the past. So sure that now we are right, and amazed how they could be so wrong.

Well, I don't know the future, but see you in 30 years. Let's see what moral fashion will rule those times. Be prepared to be judged.

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The "they were a product of their times" argument is garbage.

I know my use of technology built in unethical conditions will be judged poorly, so I get the most out of tech and try to be pick the best companies to buy from when replacing it.

I know my difficulty moving past the gender binary will be judged poorly, so I learn about non-binary genders and people who exist outside gender entirely.

I know my past homophobia--even the internalized variety--will be judged poorly.

The list could go on for a long time, but the important thing is that I see where I fail and try to fix it. Supporters of discrimination are just as capable as I am of seeing past their failings. They choose not to.

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If my opinions and actions don't stand the test of time, and I'm still alive when they don't, I'll repudiate them.

Eich had his chance. He declined and ran away instead.

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>No, they didn't. 52% of those who voted on Prop 8 (about 79% of the ~17M eligible and registered to vote, which were themselves only about 45% of Californians) voted for Prop 8 -- so about 19% of Californians voted for it.

So the rest were either not competent to voice their opinion (below voting age), did not have sufficient stake for their opinion to matter or have proved their opinion doesn't count (residents who did not meet local requirements for franchisement or whose franchisement has been revoked, e.g., convicted felons), or simply didn't care enough to go make their opinion heard. I'd say 52% is still a fair number to quote, even if it may not be literally true if you're counting babies and other persons who are legally ineligible from having an opinion.

>After all, opinions change.

Sure, but not all that much that quickly. The latest polls show 45% of the American population still opposes same-sex marriage. While the opinion has shifted from majority to minority after relentless media campaigning, much like that in the article, there are still a very large number of people that hold it; it's still a "popular opinion".

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I see many people saying the community has spoken and he didn't get fired.

Okay, so has anyone heard of gamergste?

If any of he women developers quit due to all of the harassment online, should we conclude that "the community has spoken"?

the only reason you have this opinion is because you disagree with his politics. You don't agree with the freedom for all, only the freedom for people with your opinions, which is not freedom at all.

you all should be ashamed of yourselfs for harassing this guy online and forcing him to quit, but I can imagine I will get down voted and I will see a bunch of people justifying this vile and evil behavior.

The hypocrisy is why I can't take this community seriously. It's just entertsinment

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Eich didn't just "have an unpopular opinion", he actively contributed against civil rights for LGBT people. He is part of a dying breed, and he cannot possibly fade into obscurity quickly enough.

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> Eich didn't just "have an unpopular opinion", he actively contributed against civil rights for LGBT people.

Nonsense; he did not take any action to remove any of their civil rights. One doesn't have a right to say '2 + 2 = 3' and have the state pretend that it's true.

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He stood against marriage equality. If you want to join his side and be on the wrong side of history, then that's your prerogative.

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He held the same position that Obama did at the time.

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And yet, Obama didn't take action against the civil rights of LGBT people, did he?

Do you hear that sound? That's the point whooshing majestically over your head.

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A politician taking a public stand against an issue is at least as much an action as donating to a cause that would fund those politicians.

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ROFL. Gee, what will I use to fuel my car and what will I eat for dinner tonight? Oh, I know! I have some political speeches left in the freezer...

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140906052122/potcoplaye...

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Obama changed his mind and became an outspoken proponent of equality.

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Yes, very convenient that he was always on the popular side of the issue.

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Yeah, its almost like he's representing the populous. Should one not change their options in the face of new evidence? What's the point of debate or discussion otherwise?

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Sure there's nothing wrong with having an unpopular opinion but it's wrong to hurt other people based on an opinion (in this case he hurt them by limiting their right).

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Donating money to support a campaign on a proposition supported by 52% of voters is not 'hurting people', and saying so is hyperbolic and ridiculous.

The reality is that the gay rights movement did not have the unprecedented swiftness it did by alienating those who feel differently about homosexuality. It traditionally has been a movement predicated on the idea that people who didn't support gay rights could be converted if they could only be reached in the proper context. The effectiveness of this approach speaks for itself.

It's a shame and an embarrassment that people think it's appropriate or rational behavior to do what was done to Eich. If that type of behavior was the common reaction to someone who, privately I might add, had opinions counter to the movement then we would have been set back decades.

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Donating money to support a campaign on a proposition supported by 52% of voters is not 'hurting people', and saying so is hyperbolic and ridiculous.

(1) The fact that Prop 8 won in the polls is irrelevant to the question of whether it was hurtful or not. To say (in effect; not quoting you directly) that "if a ballot measure passes, it must be harmless" is kind of like saying that there's nothing wrong with supporting, say, a racist demagog because after all, their rallies were always attended by thronging, jubilant crowds.

(2) What got Eich fired (or pushed into resigning, whatever) was not so much that he donated to a group supporting Prop 8 (by itself), but rather the bigoted TV ads ran by that group (which Eich apparently never distanced himself from). That was really the "clincher" that rallied people against him.

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Supporting a cause that limit someone right based on their sexual orientation is hurting people. The fact that 52% support it doesn't change the fact that you limit someone right. Even if 99% people believe that brown hair people shouldn't have the right to take the bus, it wouldn't be less wrong. It's not magically right to limit rights because the majority agree.

I never said that what people did to Eich is right, I currently don't have an opinion on that because I doesn't know enough.

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Sorry, if you are going to re-define 'hurting people' to mean 'making a modest political donation to a mainstream position that some argue is discriminatory' I don't know what to tell you. This hard line perspective stifles an open society. In this case, money is speech, and regardless of how wrong it is it's not the kind of speech I'd classify as harmful. ("Fire in a crowded theater.")

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What's hurt people in this situation is to remove them their right. If you do an action with the goal to remove right from people, even if it's small, even if it's really indirect, if you do it with the goal to remove right from people, then yeah I believe it's wrong.

We are all equals, we should have equals rights. Having equals right doesn't hurt anyone but having different rights does.

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You do realize that he didn't actually limit their rights, correct?

He cast a dollar vote in support of a proposition, same way any of us could give campaign donations to a candidate we liked. He participated in the political framework in a widely-accepted way, and the system failed to effect the outcome he seems to have voted for: democracy prevailed, the system worked, nobody was harmed.

You might as well round up every Republican who voted against Obama or Democrat who voted against Bush because they're clearly enemies of liberty. Be careful what you wish for.

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Yes.

The issue I have with the whole Brendan Eich situation was he was professing thru his right to free speech a profoundly held religious belief, I disagree with his interpretation of scripture, and conceptually that scripture should determine who can get married - but as gay male (who came out at 15, in 1998) I'd fight to the death for his rights to speak his mind.

I have an extreme distaste of Social Justice Warriors - there are people whom I firmly believe would never stand up to try to stop a gay bashing, but are more than content to stir up a huge ruckus online. Brendan Eich did the internet community a great service in his time - he didnt deserve to be drummed out for his beliefs, a thoughtcrime is not yet a crime, and I'd rather see him judged for his actions in his management roles not for just what he thinks.

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> democracy prevailed, the system worked, nobody was harmed.

That's not true. For several years, people in California were denied marriage rights because of Prop 8. It was judicially overturned, not democratically so.

He actually did limit their rights.

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> That's not true. For several years, people in California were denied marriage rights because of Prop 8.

No, they weren't denied their marriage rights: under Prop 8, any unmarried lesbian was free to marry any consenting unmarried man, and any unmarried homosexual was free to marry any consenting unmarried woman.

The state did not recognise 'marriages' between men or women, but that's not denying anyone's rights, nor is it harming anyone. Pope Francis is not harmed if the State of California doesn't recognise him as the Vicar of Christ.

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>> democracy prevailed, the system worked, nobody was harmed.

>That's not true.

that's not true. It is exactly the difference between democracy and ochlocracy - both are the rule by majority - that in democracy some minority rights are protected from even the majority rule, and such a judicial overturn is exactly a part of the democracy that ochlocracy lacks.

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There's nothing inherent in the definition of democracy that requires protection of minority rights. It is true that many forms of democratic government include checks on majority power, but democracy per se doesn't automatically incorporate those protections.

Thankfully we have constitutions and a judiciary that define and enforce these protections.

That being said—even if I'm wrong on this point—it's the third clause that I took exception with, that "nobody was harmed."

EDIT: I think maybe I'm being pedantic here. While a democracy doesn't automatically include these protections, you're certainly right that ochlocracy excludes them.

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You do realize that no one advocated that Eich be physically "rounded up", right? They were just saying they didn't want to have him as their CEO.

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He voted for limiting their rights. He actively acted against people rights. The fact that it wasn't successful doesn't make it right.

Even if the majority of people decide that jews need to be killed, I will still believe it's wrong.

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Agreed.

After I came out, one of the best things was getting an email from an 18-year-old guy who had read my blog saying that he'd never spoken to or read anything from a gay person in technology and it was cool to read something from someone who as a programmer and geek came from the same perspective as him. He then said he'd gotten the courage to tell his parents from that.

Which left me feeling amazing for about a week.

Tim Cook's article will do the same for young gay techies but on a much grander scale. :)

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why "come out." Why do you feel you need to tell others you're gay? I don't feel like I need to tell everyone I'm straight.

I never understood this. You're gay, so what? What is this thing with some people feeling like they just have to tell others about their personal sexual orientation; especially in the context of business article. This has nothing to do with Apple.

If they wanted to report on Apple's equality they could have left things with the two sentences:

"The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California."

and be done with it.

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I shall quote one of my other comments from this thread...

"The lies and bigotry aimed at gay people thrived for so long precisely because nobody knew any gay people. That's exactly why coming out was (and still is) necessary. One of the reasons the gay rights movement has been so spectacularly successful over the last 40+ years is because the lives of actual gay people is a living testament to the falseness of the vicious stereotypes spread by homophobic pricks."

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> why "come out." Why do you feel you need to tell others you're gay? I don't feel like I need to tell everyone I'm straight.

because it's assumed that you're straight unless told otherwise.

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Gay people can tell whoever they want that they're gay. What follows is a complete and exhaustive list of things that you can do about it:

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Many in the heterosexual community really dislike gay people.

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We've gone through an incredible process in a single generations. Truly incredible and blazingly fast. It hasn't been everywhere, but it certainly has been global.

In many ways it seemed to have very high hurdles. Homosexuality and queerness elicits an unexplainably intense anger in some people. It is potently threatening. On the other hand, overcoming homophobia had a relatively small hurdle to get over because there was no intergenerational complexity like racism and xenophobia or deeply rooted structural institutions like sexism. Homosexuals were already everywhere in secret. A homosexual didn't need to overcome to become CEO, he was already a CEO. He just needed to come out.

A part of the precess that I think is happening now nearer the cutting edge is post revolutionary normalization. After the gay parades and overt homosexuality that forced the issue into centre stage what is needed is a homosexuality that can be worn lightly outside of the spheres were it is naturally central (like romantic relationships).

Tim Cook is gay, but he's mostly the CEO of Apple. His gayness is not the central part of his public identity and not being public about it up till now is not being closeted.

It's really a great thing that happened, and is happening. I'm glad to be part of the generation that made it happened, a gift to those who will come after, to those who will not have to suffer.

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"There hasn't been a gay President"

http://www.salon.com/2012/05/14/our_real_first_gay_president...

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What an excellent article, thanks for sharing.

    "Despite such evidence, one reason why Americans find it hard to believe Buchanan
     could have been gay is that we have a touching belief in progress. Our high
     school history textbooks’ overall story line is, “We started out great and have
     been getting better ever since,” more or less automatically. Thus we must be
     more tolerant now than we were way back in the middle of the 19th century!
     Buchanan could not have been gay then, else we would not seem more tolerant now."

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Shrug. There hasn't been a publicly gay President, which is what would in the context the OP is discussing.

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If by "President" you mean the equivalent "head of a country's government" role then Iceland elected an openly gay Prime Minister in 2009[0]. But I'm guessing you're all meaning "US President"

[0] - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7862804.stm

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That's neat! You're right, though, the OP was likely focusing on a US president. Not many US citizens look at other countries' heads of state as a role model to the same degree as our own.

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NL doesn't have a president but our PM is openly gay and as far as I know nobody cares.

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I can't believe what I'm reading there about facial hair.

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Homosexuality was still a crime in his day (up to 2003), so I doubt it was well-known if this is true.

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It looks like we had similar experiences. I had no model of "gay" that resembled me, and almost everyone around me was aggressively straight. Even considering the idea of being gay made me uncomfortable. So much changed in the last year that I felt safe thinking about it, and it was obvious in retrospect.

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Well, there's always Newton. We don't really know his sexual orientation, but it was probably either gay or asexual.

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That's a lot like when people wheel out Ada Lovelace as a token example of women in tech. It doesn't help people now who don't see anyone who shows they're allowed to be a part of something.

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Newton did make advances towards women as a schoolboy in Lincoln, but never persisted.

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> but also the most admirable company,

Really ? Did you have to say that to make your point ? What's so admirable about Apple ? Jobs has been lying constantly about competition, lied about being the first innovators in so many of their products, has pressured other companies to prevent poaching Apple employees to keep salaries as low as he could, and the list does not end there.

Fine, you can love Apple as much as you want, but calling it the "most admirable company" out there is rubber-breaking stretch.

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I'm not sure Apple is "the most admirable company", or even in the running.

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Well, they are! http://fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/

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Admired =/= admirable. The latter means deserving of admiration.

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If you admire someone, then by definition you consider them admirable. So, lots and lots of people consider them admirable. You may not, but that doesn't mean that other people can't have different opinions. It also doesn't mean they're wrong and you're right or vice versa, since we're all unreliable narrators of the world around us.

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Here, I'll translate:

Admirable is a moral judgment. Admired means that "the others" have drank the kool-aid. (Sheeple, etc. etc.)

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Do you consider Nike admirable? Would you eagerly link 'evidence' trying to prove that Nike is one of the most 'admirable' companies out there?

If yes, well... okay then. I don't understand you, and I'll stop here.

If no, then maybe you can see how maybe you've not fairly contextualized the conversation? This list of 'admired' companies does, indeed, completely miss the original posters point.

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Fuck Nike, fuck Apple, and fuck every other soulless corporation.

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Yeah, nothing good has ever come from people and groups acting out of self-interest. All societal advances have been due to people acting from their souls.

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Yes, I'm just pointing out that those people (like me) may be wrong.

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It is telling that the poster who confused admired with admirable linked to a list which placed amazon at #2, and included coca-cola, disney, nike, and the like.

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It's an interesting coincidence for Mr Cook to come out alongside the movie adaptation of Alan Turing: The Enigma. When I was an undergrad in the 90s, that book was the only obvious story about an out geek, and it was far more cathartic than comforting.

After that, some happier stories started to appear. Eric Allman and Marshall McKusick dropped by the university queer room incognito. There were some movies, Beautiful Thing and Get Real, where people were gay and nothing much happened. That was a big deal then, but I assumed it would all sound corny 20 years later.

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well said. I think this is such a great symbolic moment. It's so hard to come to terms with your 'otherness' when you're young. The biggest step is admitting to yourself that you're different.

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> The biggest step is admitting to yourself that you're different. I'm straight, so I probably don't get it. So I might be wrong. But it feels like that's the wrong way to go about it. I see gays and lesbians regularly in public places and they don't seem too rare to me. Instilling this feeling of being different may only make it harder for people. Your sexual orientation shouldn't make you feel different. No matter whom you're attracted to, there are a lot of people out there who are attracted to the same.

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I applaud this. I am not gay. Conventional family, kids, etc. Oh, yes, I am also an atheist which, today, in the US, is worst than being gay in some circles.

As I am sure a lot of you know, the reality show Survivor features a male homosexual couple this year. Bravo! We watch the show with our kids every week. Yes, they ask questions. The little ones cover their eyes when anybody kisses on TV anyway. Seeing two men kiss on the lips and show affection is, well, weird to them. You just don't see that on mainstream TV these days. We simply tell them that what they are seeing is perfectly normal and that these are two people who love each other just as much as mom and dad do. They say "ok" and still go "ewwwww!" When anyone kisses on the show.

The part of Tim Cook's statement that is disappointing to me is where he says "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.". Of course, as an atheist I tend to be particularly sensitive to such statements. If we leave that aside, it is simply a fact that god and religion --world wide-- have been brutal to the gay community. Historically this has ranged from denouncement all the way up to torture and murder. And that stands on it's own, it's a historical fact that has nothing whatsoever to do with the messenger being an atheist.

Anyhow, I am glad he decided to come out as the role model he surely is. Society has far to go. This helps. Every little step helps.

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By saying "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me" he is directly confronting those who discriminate for religious reasons, probably the majority.

I think it is savvy of him to meet it head-on, to prod people to maybe reconsider their reflexive religious beliefs.

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Several statements he made in this post seemed weirdly manipulative to me, and that was one of them.

I mean, its great that he chooses and advocates the view that homosexuality can be a 'gift'. That it can be a positive thing! Props for that!

But the phrasing...does he really believe that the imaginary being he worships chose for him to be gay? Like the creator of the universe is really sitting there saying "oh, I'll make this one straight! and this one bi! and this one gay!"

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[deleted]

>> If he truly does believe in God, then, knowing for sure that he is gay, he has to believe that God made him gay.

No, not at all. This is only one very narrow view of how a deity may function, or the kind of relationship a diety may have with the universe, or the humans within it.

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What are the other views of how a diety may function?

If God didn't make him gay, who did? (from a believer's POV)

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>> What are the other views of how a diety may function?

Well, what makes a deity a deity? Surely 'creating the universe' is sufficient to qualify. Why assume that a creator has any interest in the universe? Every day I create a new configuration of a complex, thriving ecosystem in my bowels. I don't give a crap about all those little bacteria living their little bacteria lives. Last week I saw someone drop paint on the floor, and it splattered in a beautiful pattern. They didn't even notice the beauty they had created.

If God was truly powerful and awesome, why stop at one universe? Why assume that the creation of the universe was even worthy of their notice?

Most of the 'founding fathers' of the US were Deists. They believed in a God who created a universe, wound it up, and let it go on its own. For many reasons (including the supposed existence of free will), many people who believe this also believe that God had no idea how the universe would evolve over time. Some believe the opposite.

All of the scientists I've known, who also believe in God, also believe that God plays ZERO active role in anything that is happening in the universe. For some, God is the fully incomprehensible outside of all time and space. For others, God simply manages the afterlife, and leaves the universe to its own machinery.

There are so many views on God, and God's role. The important thing is to ask: Why do people assume that if God has quality X, then God must also have quality Y? Does it actually follow, or is it just an unjustified belief that it must be so?

I have trouble believing that someone smart enough to run the worlds richest company would think that his God intentionally, specifically, knowingly chooses individuals' sexual orientations - especially given what I believe he must know about the science behind orientation-related proclivities.

I could be wrong. Maybe Cook is brilliant at business and ignorant of science.

I just suspect that he was intentionally, perhaps a little dishonestly, saying that bit about God for some well considered reason related to the fact that fundamentalist christians in the US are the main source of homophobia in this country.

TL;DR - See "Deism", for example.

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Others believe that while a deity may have the ability to shape to such a degree, said deity also chooses not to. Others believe that said deity is not that powerful.

In both cases, the matter is then left to personal and/or environmental factors.

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This is the main difference between Deism and Theism. Deists (like Thomas Jefferson), did not believe that god was still around, but had just started the whole shebang and then left.

Also, even in Theism you can have a pretty hands-off god. In modern Catholicism, evolution probably made him gay, but god created evolution. Pope John Paul II wrote an encyclical accepting evolution ages ago, so Catholicism doesn't require god to be involved with every single detail of creation.

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What you might call "understanding the universe", seeing how it works, the mechanisms by which conscious experience happens... a religious person might call that "knowing god" and both of these are reasonable views of the same whole, just taken from opposite sides.

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I don't understand how your comment relates to mine.

Are you saying that if someone wants to "know god", they are likely to conclude that god does, indeed, sit around saying "This one is gonna be gay! and this one will be straight!"?

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It does relate... I'm not articulating what's in my head very well. I'll try again, I guess...

The experience that you call "you" is the result of a direct, unbroken chain of physical chemical interactions all the way back to the beginning of time.

Religious people who think of the nature of things and remain religious call this complex interaction of the physical processes, this fundamental fabric of reality, "God"

If Mr. Cook gives the name "God" to this amazingly complex interaction of physical things that results in conscious experience, then it is rational for him to conclude that this process resulted in him being gay.

There is no big sky entity that points at a person and says "gay" or "straight", but there is a series of implications chained all the way from the beginning of things that directly results his homosexuality. And if you call that "beginning of things" God, then you get the conclusion he vocalizes, but with quite rational thoughts behind it: "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

This stuff gets very vague or very abstract quickly. In general it's probably a good idea to assume that people's beliefs come from reasoned thought, though some probably start from axioms we might find irrational.

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Thanks for explaining. I think your main point is contained in the last sentence, and I recognize that most of my response here addresses tangential aspects, not your main point.

>> Religious people who think of the nature of things and remain religious

It sounds to me like you are trying to say that this is true for all people in that group, and I don't believe this is true. This is one method of rationalizing a belief in God, but not the only.

>> call this complex interaction of the physical processes, this fundamental fabric of reality, "God"

Some non-religious 'believers' may do this, but most 'religious' people do not. Essentially no Christian, Jewish, or Islamic fundamentalists thinks this way.

Obviously many new agers think this way, and there are some offshoots of the main religious who do, but on the whole its a rare viewpoint.

While some religious people believe that God continuously provides the means whereby the universe continues to act, most hold that the universe and God are separate. Its actually sacrilege to some to suggest that God is the processes of the universe.

Check out 'pantheism' on wikipedia, and contrast this with 'theism'.

>> If Mr. Cook gives the name "God"

Well does he?? Since Cook is an educated white male gay business leader in san francisco in 2014, I thought he was not religious. It turns out I was wrong.

Is Cook pantheist? I seriously don't think so. But then, I was completely wrong about him religious just a few hours ago.

>> with quite rational thoughts behind it: "I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

I'm not sure that would be both honest and rational, as the speaker should know that the Christian community will misunderstand their unqualified pantheist use of 'God' as a theist use of 'God'.

>> a good idea to assume that people's beliefs come from reasoned thought, though some probably start from axioms we might find irrational.

I tend to assume that everyone's beliefs are informed by both rational and irrational thought processes. Did say something to imply otherwise? Or did I miss your point?

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If one truly considers their god to be the all-knowing and all-powerful creator of the universe, its rules, and everything in it, then it is an inescapable conclusion that the sexuality of every being in the universe is something that It allowed to come to be.

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Would that line of thought not also apply to murder, rape, genocide, etc etc ?

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Yes, absolutely. Typically that's explained away with "free will", which doesn't apply to things you're born with (sexuality).

In case it weren't clear, I don't believe in any of that.

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are you single? ;-)

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I have been thinking recently about hiring an assistant, and this solves one of the main reasons why. Working with dictation to send e-mail allows for a different kind of tab-less focus, and makes it easier to deal with one mail at a time. When I have too much to do, forty e-mails that need thought and replies feels like too much work, so I do something else, and then the problem gets worse. It also allows for you to work on e-mails while standing up from your computer for a moment, which is recommended for health. I think it's very valuable, and I look forward to receiving my invitation.

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From someone who is not a farmer and doesn't know so much about this, for example could we grow vegetables and feed them to humans directly, rather than feeding grains to cattle?

-----


I've been trying to feed vegetables to three small humans. Sometimes it works, but sometimes the humans seem to reject them and it fails.

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That's probably a good idea, but it's worth noting that about 30% of the Earth's land surface is too dry for crops, but works fine for pasturing cattle.

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I don't really think the issue with with grazing cattle on land that's suitable for it. I think the issue is that we're raising cattle in places that _arent_ suitable for it.

Take for instance the factory farms which have to constantly ship food in to feed the cattle. Another example is deforestation to create fields for cattle to graze.

I think the OP is right, we need to convince more people that beef is not a sustainable food with the rate at which we consume it today.

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The problem is our taste for grain (and alfalfa) fed meats.

People probably wouldn't eat as much meat as they do now if it were from free range, non-grain fed animals.

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Not too weird at all! Enlightening, generous, and gratefully received here. Difference is not something our society, and it seems most societies, handle well. Here's hoping a better line is found between empowering and transforming.

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The world could use a "Neurodiversity Parenting" equivalent of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/World-Babies-Imagined-Childcare-Societ...

"Every culture thinks that it knows the best way to care for babies. DeLoache and Gottlieb, both professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have gathered fictionalized accounts, based on factual information and including a brief description of the culture, of how various societies throughout history and the world think their offspring should be raised. Each of these accounts is written in a style similar to Dr. Benjamin Spock's child-care manuals, but using the traditions of each represented culture to create an analogous guidebook. This is an entertaining and educational collection of invented guidebooks spanning the globe. Questions such as what is the key to a successful pregnancy, when to bathe the baby, how long to nurse, and how to celebrate the various ceremonies that revolve around a birth are descriptively explained through the eyes of societies such as the Puritans of New England, the Fulani of western Africa, and a Muslim village in central Turkey. This book is an intriguing opportunity to learn about other cultures."

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