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    PIPs are not there for your actual improvement; personal, professional, or otherwise.

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      What should one do when presented with a PIP?

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        Start looking for a new job immediately. That is the message.

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          Exactly. The message is, “we’re firing you in 6 months and we made this PIP so we can cite it during the firing.”

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          Depends on the company and your situation.

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        Well, to take something positive out of it, I didn’t know that @coraline ’s team was responsible for first-time contributor badges and the new repo invite email process! Thanks!

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          Yeah, it sounds like she got a number of good changes implemented while she was there! I’m sorry her experience was so terrible. It’d be great to still have her there, pushing for this sort of change.

          Reading between the lines a bit, it sounds like GitHub leadership may have made the move to hire her without really getting buy in from the company about the need for a greater degree of empathy and consideration for marginalized groups. So she comes in having gotten a great song and dance about how they want to change, but the rank and file are hostile.

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            I see it both ways:

            https://lobste.rs/s/js3pbv/antisocial_coding_my_year_at_github#c_h8znxo

            They were probably hostile to any changes due to whatever lack of empathy or consideration they had. Maybe some deliberate discrimination, too. Who knows but I assume some to a lot given SV’s demographics. ;) Then, they see a possibly-recognizable, political extremist that attacks or censors anyone disagreeing with her on a campaign to benefit everyone but them. She’s also loads the team up with people as unlike them as possible who all agree people like them are the problem. This combo is a powder keg for political infighting.

            This story has enough villains who think they’re heroes to be a lot worse than it was. I’m glad it stayed as civil as it did with some benefits coming out of it. That said, your comment totally neglects the aggressive politics and censorship she pushes in your description of why there would be resistance. I remember one story submitted to Lobsters that thankfully didn’t get upvotes where the author talks about having “two, token, white men.”

            https://fusion.kinja.com/what-github-did-to-kill-its-trolls-1793864044

            I looked at that thinking, “Really? They say they’re about inclusiveness and equality but just said the word token followed by a race with no serious consequences?” Maybe it was a joke. I doubt it given the article similarly acted like Coraline’s opponents appeared out of thin air and only wanted to stop good deeds. So, again, her political aggression w/ censorship goals and apparently anti-white-male attitude should be considered when assessing response in an organization with lots of people who might not cooperate with such things.

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              Maybe it was a joke.

              Token white men is an obvious joke. Yes, it is not a joke when it refers to minorities but it is a joke when it refers to white men. Yes, in an imaginary world where all races are equal this wouldn’t be a joke. Perhaps the joke is about the fact that we do not live in that imaginary world. Perhaps getting worked up about the diction by an entirely different writer in a one-year old article is completely irrelevant to this thread and has no bearing on the author’s supposed hidden political agenda and anti-white-male attitude.

              I honestly do not understand why anybody would give Github the benefit of the doubt. How many awful things are we going to hear about Github, written under the bylines of people who are risking their careers and their reputations – authors who know that anonymous commenters on threads like these will drag their names through the mud a million times over, dredging up old posts and using shitty three-letter acronyms invented by angry white men –, before we start believing that they might contain a kernel of truth? A comment on Lobsters asking Coraline to be more like Martin Luther King, Jr. has 54 upvotes right now; at least 54 people have bought into the idea that if you are less morally upstanding that Martin Luther King, Jr. then you do not deserve to publish an article on your own blog detailing your own experiences. This is a two-billion dollar company that does not need your help defending it. To the people who are writing screeds against the author here, this single blog post is not some sort of silver-bullet shot fired at your culture: You have already won. You have the money, the executives, the jobs, the social networks, the access. You are winning. Congratulations. Jesus fucking Christ.

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                “Yes, it is not a joke when it refers to minorities but it is a joke when it refers to white men.”

                That’s exactly the kind of structural, reverse racism I’ve had to deal with. Also a double standard. They’re in a position of power, they’re minimizing any white/male people as much as possible, they write up an article about what they’re doing, and mention token, white males as a joke. Discrimination ain’t funny. Calling them out on hypocrisy is certainly worth my time.

                The bigger part of that article wasn’t the joke so much as it’s a bunch of people with SJW politics misleading readers into thinking they’re taking hate just because they’re minorities or getting people to play nice. They leave out political domination, launching mobs against Github projects, etc. Supports their false narrative where they’re the victims of attackers rather than the attackers themselves meeting both political resistance and just self-defense by those they’re targeting or trying to control.

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                  I think there’s a very thin line that needs to be respected when discussing these topics. This same argument has frequently been used to diminish the arguments of minorities who rightfully speak out against prejudice. I don’t know enough about this particular instance to comment about it, but we should be careful about the vocabulary that we choose in these discussions, because some phrases have unfortunate implications.

                  In particular, “SJW” has frequently been used as a catch-all phrase to disparage people who speak out against racism/sexism. I think if we’re going discuss this topic on this site, we should have a better understanding of the connotations our words carry.

                  A lot of this same argument, with the same sort of vocabulary, was invoked by more extreme members of the GamerGate community, who did a massive amount of damage to minorities in the gaming industry. Seeing you use it here damages the credibility of your position for me.

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                    “This same argument has frequently been used to diminish the arguments of minorities who rightfully speak out against prejudice. “

                    Which doesn’t really matter if it was coming from obvious racists or sexists ignoring data or selectively using it to push their agenda. They can be called out on those grounds. The SJW’s actually like that, though, since it lets them just associate such people with any use of the term and then ask people stop using it. You’re doing that as well but maybe for more honest reasons.

                    “I think if we’re going discuss this topic on this site, we should have a better understanding of the connotations our words carry.”

                    I’ve been very specific in at least two comments about what kinds of people SJW term is about. I’ve also linked to examples of their behavior involving forcing a minority in a minority view on people, using sophist tactics, censoring opponents, and going after their jobs or projects. These are not people just fighting racism or sexism that provably exists. I’m one of those people. I obviously wouldn’t dismiss just that with some BS label.

                    “A lot of this same argument, with the same sort of vocabulary, was invoked by more extreme members of the GamerGate community,”

                    It’s funny you mention that because it was my first realization these people existed in some big trend. I’ve studied and countered disinformation tactics for quite some time but not known about assaults on media, forums, and so on. The GamerGate reporting I read about in gamer-oriented media was extremely one-sided only showing what the feminists/activists said. I thought it was about minorities expressing some opinions, a relationship breakup w/ revenge porn, and the examples from gamers were all pure hate mail that apparently came out of nowhere. Some smart folks I know sent me a video that blew my mind:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXZY6D2hFdo&app=desktop

                    In this video, new information is introduced that I didn’t see in half a dozen articles I read. The author mentions at least two women involved were claiming gamers were unnecessarily violence-loving, sexist, and racist. Whether true or false, that was an attack which has predictable consequences for anyone who knows gamers. One had an academic paper saying how games should be done in a totally different way or developers + players were just evil. On top of it, the females developing games were doing some of the same behavior on the list of No No’s to make money. Interestingly, they also ignore that the supply side responds to market demand, the games that are like their list don’t sell, the games doing the complaints do, and that demand side includes a huge chunk of women. So, they were claiming bad things about all gamers, ignoring women gamers’ views on the matter, and hypocritically doing what they said shouldn’t happen for money. And then the hate rolled in.

                    Quite justified although obviously not supporting the extremist stuff. The regular gripes, mockery and so on makes sense with that backdrop. The thing that shocked me was it wasn’t reported in the articles I read from publications for gamers. Somehow, the gamers’ side of things with very, legitimate counterpoints was censored. Why was that? Why were these people not mentioning their negative claims about gamers or how they did the same things for money? Why were they only mentioning how they tried to do some nice things about (social justice stuff here) with the gamers just doing horrible things because they’re evil males and stuff who were unprovoked? Then someone told me they were SJW’s with this being their default tactic of looking like a victim, making news afraid to report whole thing, and causing big shitstorms. More research found similar attacks on many social issues where one side made a decree then declared holy war on enemies always claiming harassment, asking foes be censored, and so on.

                    If you thought GamerGate was evidence feminists were treated unfairly, then it damages your credibility for me because you may have never known what those select few did to gamers, you may not know why the information was censored at media level, and you would’ve been griping about their victims while supporting the original perpetrators. I can’t blame you as I did it early on not knowing anything about how these deceptive, manipulating “activists” operate. Thanks for reminding me about my wake up call on the subject, though. :)

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          This is getting to be a dumpster fire of a thread, but I’d like to add something I haven’t seen brought up, with regards to the sentiment expressed by several crustaceans that the author inserted gender or identity politics everywhere while at GitHub.

          Here’s the thing about identity: it’s not a thing. It’s an is. Identity already is, and it already is everywhere. There’s no inserting it, because it just is.

          The only groups who don’t know this intuitively are those who are in the sociologically “default” groups. In the U.S., that’s straight, white, males.

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            I’m going to try my best to gingerly step around this and if I manage to make an oaf of it, I’m sorry.


            Continuing along this line of thought– when trying to debug a technical issue, there are a lot of things that are that still remain irrelevant to developing a fix or better way forward. For instance: if some machine in AWS fails during traffic failover, the most relevant facts will tend involve the machine experiencing more traffic than expected. Total RAM, disk capacity, systems handling traffic, etc are all pretty safe bets to check out to make progress during either debugging or a post-mortem, while physical facts that can be identified about the machine are much lower on the scale of probable issues. However, it’s complete true that we cannot ever get away from facts about the machine. It will have some physical location, it will have some class of CPU with some memory capacity. You can enumerate any number of facts about the machine that form its identity– these things just are.

            In the same way, to quote the author:

            In the midst of my discussions with the editorial team, trying to reach a compromise, a (male) engineer from another team completely rewrote the blog post and published it without talking to me.

            The core injury, as I can see it, is that another engineer rewrote the author’s blog post without consulting her. That sucks. In solving the core injury, I do not think it important that the engineer is male– one individual’s actions removed agency from another individual here. There may or may not have been good reasons for it, but either way it’s not something I’d like to happen to me or anyone else. To that end, it feels more important to both understand why and prevent that sort of thing happening in the future. Though the other engineer can be identified as male certainly adds insult to this injury, this would still feel be bad if they were female. Or transgender. Or an agender markov chain with a graph coloring problem, whatever.

            This is, I think, where we start to see people describing that the author is inserting gender or identity politics. It’s not that identity ceases to exist, because that’s absolutely inescapable, but mentioning the package between another engineer’s legs isn’t likely relevant to fixing the core issue. It could very well be– going back to AWS failover example, all the machines in a specific rack may just be bad and that’s the real problem– but without significantly more data the mention of this other engineer’s gender serves only to bias the reader away from a deeper analysis of the situation.

            I personally find it rather difficult to not become distrustful of the author’s stated intent when she uses identity in this way throughout her post rather than spending more care describing the motivations and rationale of other individuals she has written about. That’s not to say that Github is absolutely blameless, either– taking the latter parts of the post at face value, the author’s manager at least could have handled things better. Just that the situation is probably more complex than the author lets on and probably not so overwhelmingly related to the specific gender or commitment to diversity of any individuals she has written about.

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              First of all, thanks for being willing to engage sincerely. These kinds of topics are politically and emotionally charged, and they’re not easy to talk about. It’s very easy to dismiss these issues as the rantings of an “SJW,” a mentally ill person, or a hypocrite (all of which have been done in this thread), but I think Lobsters can (and should) do better than that. Thanks.

              On to the point: you are, in principle, right. It’s entirely possible this specific incident did not involve anyone who was motivated by animus towards individuals with a particular gender expression.

              However, that kind of argument stretches the credulity of folks who study this, and of folks who are on the receiving end of gender discrimination in our society. In keeping with the debugging analogy — which is really nice, by the way, can I borrow it? — an experienced debugger starts to get an extra sense for when there’s a bad block on a disk, or there’s a race condition in a piece of software, or a bit flipped in a big non-ECC memory array. These are based on patterns and heuristics that are hard-won over years of encountering real problems, finding enough evidence to conclusively decide upon a root cause, and then recognizing those patterns the next time they come around. If you’re right often enough to make a career out of it, or develop a reputation over it, then most people are comfortable saying that you’re correct in your assessments, and that when you smell smoke folks should get ready for fire, even if no one else has smelled it yet. Nonetheless, pick any one of those incidents, and the facts might not be convincing to an observer brought in to examine that incident alone.

              The standard of evidence here is not that of the courtroom or the laboratory, though — it’s that of the water cooler (or the blogosphere). This person is posting their interpretation of events that happened to them, in order to offer a warning to others who might be in a similar situation, with similar concerns. Nothing more, nothing less.

              You might notice, however, if you’re on the lookout for these patterns, or have had someone spit on you because of your gender presentation a few times, that when someone writes a blog post called “Amazon Burned Me Out and Takes Advantage of College Students,” we end up with discussions about what reasonable labor expectations are, but when someone writes an article called “My Year at GitHub,” talking about their experiences with gender discrimination, we get discussions about how “SJWs are hypocrites,” “this person is mentally ill,” or “aren’t they just looking for gender discrimination and finding it because they want to?” To your credit, you asked the last question, which is by far the most reasonable of the three. But perhaps you can see why it rings hollow to someone who has dealt with this so often, and for their whole life: to them, you’re like the junior sysadmin asking “shouldn’t we be calling support,” while the guy in the corner, with a tube of thermal paste, is mumbling about how he can hear the heat buildup from the loose heatsink on the 9th processor core.

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                Yeah, thanks! It seems to be really difficult to engage with this topic in good faith, so I deeply appreciate your responses as well. As far as the debugging analogy goes, words are pretty thin air; borrow as you’d please. :)

                To get to the meat of your reply, it’s… we’ll obviously have different heuristics we can match against the situation the author described here. Even in just our conversation, I don’t feel confidently equipped with a reasonable standard of evidence for water cooler discussions. In my experience these kind of informal conversations carry significantly more weight than expected, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for others. Or maybe I don’t have enough information to make that kind of judgement. And as far as things ringing hollow…

                Let me back up a bit and lay out a few assumptions I try and operate with that are maybe(?) relevant.

                • The author’s experience qualifies as an ongoing catastrophe. For her, for Github, and for the wider technical community regardless of race, creed, gender, sex, ability, age, etc, etc

                • Any system with more than two components (be they individuals, management systems, technological systems, machines, et al.) is a complex system

                • My piddly meat-brain does not have the computing power to fully model complex systems of any stripe

                • Complex systems fail in complex ways

                It’s that last part that I want to emphasize– particularly (from the linked pdf):

                1. Catastrophe requires multiple failures - single point failures are not enough.
                1. Post-accident attribution to a ‘root cause’ is fundamentally wrong.
                1. Views of ‘cause’ limit the effectiveness of defenses against future events.
                1. Safety is a characteristic of systems and not of their components

                (and basically all the other ones, too. It’s a good read, highly recommend it if you have the time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

                My difficulty with the author’s work, and a lot of similar work, is that it suggests that these catastrophic experiences are the result of a singular category of root cause. Call it sexism, racism, general discrimination, patriarchy, systematic oppression¹, etc, these all pattern match to me as “individuals of this outgroup inherently don’t like people in my ingroup and because of this treat us badly”. Which is a huge problem! It sucks, it’s counterproductive, and I really wish I knew the words to express that without marginalizing it with the inevitable, “and also…”. Because to me, even with the grossest delineation of components possible, we still wind up with interactions between the author’s past self, Github the sociotechnical organization, and the community discussing the author’s work. Considering I am nowhere near intelligent enough to model three things in my head, I’m comfortable describing it as a complex system. And because complex systems fail in complex ways, there’s significantly more unique faults here than Github’s poor behavior as an organization as written.

                At the end of the day, I can’t solve discrimination or stereotypes or the million billion of microaggressions the technical community lavishes onto anyone who isn’t easily type-classed as cis-white-hetero-male-college-graduate-under-thirty-enjoys-social-drinking-reads-hacker-news-check-out-this-cool-framework-docker-docker-mesos-startup-docker without fundamentally solving the disease that we call the human condition². I don’t even know where to begin with that, but the author’s work puts a lot of emphasis on the selfsame identity of individuals they interacted with. To be clear: I think it’s important that we accept this as a candid reflection of her subjective experience without significant evidence otherwise.

                And then also, there are other factors that contributed to this catatrophe. Many of which are easier to solve and significantly more productive to discuss than the ways in which identity interacts with bias. For example, we could talk about what respectful, workplace feedback between individuals of any identity looks like– the author’s written communication style seems rather blunt to me, and I can understand why the data scientist described early in the post was upset. A Crustacean elsewhere in this thread had feedback on the survey question itself that I found surprising; it would be interesting to read other opinions on that, too. What kind of tradeoffs should we be making between factually correct and emotionally sensitive feedback? When is it possible to get both, when is it not? Another Crustacean brought up that PIPs were not for improvement, despite the goals clearly stated in the name. Is this a widespread practice and/or can we avoid working for companies who have such policies?

                Discussions along these lines lead to contributing factors that are easier to solve or work around than the widespread mistreatment of classes of people by classes of other people³. Above all, it frustrates me (and likely many others) that much of what good, actionable work we can source to make things better feels like it immediately gets tossed out the window when we start discussing identity in these contexts.


                ¹ - That *-isms are an emergent property of the complex web of social systems we engage with is the most interesting view to me in that it at least acknowledges the wider context in which we all interact. Unfortunately, it also seems like it’s easy to short-circuit on that description and throw up your arms in learned helplessness at the idea, too. Don’t know of any good solutions though, only tradeoffs.

                ² - Poe’s law warning.

                ³ - This is a defining and unfortunate trait of humanity as a whole. My fear is that it’s not entirely maladaptive, either.

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                  Hey, sorry for the late response, but I didn’t want to just let this hang, because your response is thoughtful and worthwhile.

                  I’d like to give a point-by-point response, but time is unfortunately short, and I just don’t have the time to do it well. Instead, I’ll focus on two broad points you raised, which I hope might help you to see where the author (and I) are coming from.

                  First, on the topic of complex systems, I agree that it’s a great read — as an operations guy, it’s basically required reading for me — and I also agree that, fundamentally, every particular interaction has a huge number of variables, and it’s unlikely only one or two of them contributed to the incident. I don’t think that’s actually what’s being argued here, however. In addition, I also think some of your premises are incorrect. In support of that, I’d offer a few points.

                  While our piddly meat-brains are not good at modeling most complex systems, they’re existentially good at modeling human cultures. It’s literally the condition of their existence. Homo sapiens is to the extent it is cultural, and culture is how we’ve managed to become a technological society. So while we’re certainly not perfect at modeling complex societies in our minds, I suspect we’re very good at kind of principal social component analysis of our existential threats. And while the author’s case was probably not existential, systematic forms of oppression are, in the general case. A lifetime of living at the end of one of those barrels will, of course, make you gun shy.

                  I also think you underestimate how much we, as a species, know about this stuff. Which is normal, and essentially the fault of academics for being quiet geeks. Nonetheless, a ton of research goes into the study of society, and as a result of reality being such as it is, a ton of research goes into the study of oppressive structures. There’s a tendency among a certain milieu (computer nerds, like me) to dismiss the fields that study this (sociology, anthropology, history, political science), as “not really science,” but I think this is an impoverished (and incoherent) view of what science entails. As someone who studied the anthropology of liberal democracies (yes, we do that!) intensively in the past, with the intent to make a career of it, I am very comfortable in saying that the evidence these systematic forms of oppression are real, and that they contribute to these smaller incidents (“microagressions”) in a real way, is overwhelming. To my ear, the insistence that the debate is somehow wide open on this sounds similar to the suggestion that anthropomorphic climate change is under serious debate. I’m not suggesting that of you, to be clear, but much of that research produces actionable results, which of course is basically stuck in journals that only universities can afford.

                  A couple things indicate to me that you (like most people) are thinking about the whole situation differently than the author or I. This struck me in particular:

                  Call it sexism, racism, general discrimination, patriarchy, systematic oppression¹, etc, these all pattern match to me as “individuals of this outgroup inherently don’t like people in my ingroup and because of this treat us badly”.

                  No one is suggesting this is “inherent,” and it’s really not even a matter of “like,” and moreover, not of “individuals.” I can only speak for myself, but most of the “lefty” persuasion would say that this is a structural issue, which has expression in individual interactions, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual doing the expressing harbors any dislike of the person on the receiving end. Moreover, that’s essentially beside the point. Even if the individual harbored no ill intent, and no feeling of dislike, the structural issue remains. If you’re interested in dealing with problem, you have to deal with those individual expressions, too.

                  Now, the classic, Marxist answer to this issue is that you should not deal with the individual expressions, you should seize state power and end oppressive relations once and for all. Aside of the difficulty of doing so successfully and without becoming the abyss, as it were, the objection to this that came out of critical theory and identity politics is this: as people, we’re born and stewed in this society, and we’re shaped by it. Just because the workers seize the means of production, it doesn’t mean the white people will want to hang out with the black people, and it doesn’t mean trans folks will stop being murdered at a higher rate than other groups. Besides, the objection continues, did you notice 1970, and the neoliberal “Washington consensus?” Did you watch them deregulate the markets, destroy unions, and have a democrat dismantle welfare? There’s no working class consciousness anymore, we’re not going to seize power in this century, we need to do something in the meantime.

                  So we try to confront individuals, and we try to get private corporations to put some pressure on the structural issues. This is a ridiculous, almost farcical task, because we know individuals hate being told they’re hurting someone when they didn’t mean to, and we know the corporations don’t really care. We also know (despite some of the more absurd things that have been asserted in this thread), that we don’t have much power. Just look at the demographic distribution of presidents, legislators, judges, local politicians, or corporate leaders and you can confirm it. A five year old could see it. So when the author is critiquing people directly, and critiquing GitHub directly, it’s coming from a place of being cornered, of being threatened, and of having to fight for the right to be treated like everyone else for your whole life. You develop a shorter, direct tone. You don’t preface every criticism with, “I know this person was trying very hard,” or “I’m sure the person at GitHub” who started this program really cared.”

                  The final point I want to make, and it’s harder to swallow if you feel like you don’t have skin in the game, is that for me, and probably for the author, this is all more than a question of “is (say) GitHub a nice place to work,” or even “is GitHub the kind of place I’d like to work at?” It’s part of a broader question: “which side are you on?” For the author, the social structure chose the side already. For me, it’s a political and moral commitment based on my religious beliefs. But in both cases, for us, the answer to the kind of questions you posed at the end of your comment — like “what kind of tradeoffs should we be making between factually correct and emotionally sensitive feedback?” — are the wrong question in these cases. The right question for us, is “which side are you on, the side of the weak, or of the powerful?” In an ideal world, I would love if the best question we could ask was always about the individual case. But so long as the last is last and the first is first, I feel that I must always be with the last.

                  I get that my conclusion here is not something everyone is on board with, but I think it’s important to note that an article like this is coming from a different place than most people. It’s shop talk — “hey fellow civilization-destroying SJWs, got a new job this weekend, just FYI they don’t get it, they’re not approaching hiring underrepresented groups as countering structural issues, it’s basically tokenism, probably stay away. Okay, see you next time.”

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            The disturbing thing about these writups, similar to original post at Github, is they always talk about how she gets all this hate just because she’s a minority or something. They never mention how she aggressively pushes politics into every space she can and has a Code of Conduct designed to enable censorship of political opponents (main thing she pushes). I encourage anyone that doubts how vicious she and her crowd are to read the entire Opal thread:

            https://github.com/opal/opal/issues/941

            It’s a plainer-than-usual example of the political strategy she wants enforced in every company and FOSS project. So, there’s a project without any actual problems happening with just a few people doing most contributions. She asks it eject one of it’s major contributors because he makes a probably anti-transgender comment on Twitter while being peaceful within the project. Maintainer “meh” says who cares what they do in their spare time: it’s irrelevant to the project, things are civil in the project’s operation, and they’ll deal with anything like that if it happens in the project. This is not acceptable because Coraline and friends’ political philosophy w/ enforcing Code of Conducts say nobody can ever do something their political group disagrees with (finds offensive) in any forum. If they ever violate Coraline et al’s political decree, then they are to be forced into compliance or ejected everywhere. Also, a huge number of people in groups they claim to benefit disagree with them, have no say in the matter, and will be censored too.

            That’s pretty extreme far as politics goes. More extreme and sickening was that a few then set the socially-inept maintainer up to look like a supporter of child molestation at some point in the comments. This is the kind of stuff Coraline is associated with in her war on people who disagree with her politics and to eliminate them from the public Internet with mandated rules. This is why she gets extremely, negative reactions. She deserves them for bullying people or forcing specific rules favoring specific types of people pretending to be truly inclusive. When the filtering or trolling comes, she writes as if nothing like this has ever happened with her merely being of a marginalized group or just trying to help people in some implicitly, acceptable way being what causes everything.

            Not a chance. I fight this crap, esp her political CoC, any time I see it. If you want real equality-focused activism, you need to look at people more like MLK than Al Sharpton. One risked (and lost) it all tried to benefit all people with fairness tolerance with a lot of focus on his own group (shrugs). One maintains fame or fortune trying to benefit one type of people in particular with no regard for fairness or tolerance. Coraline is more like the latter. She should putting it in her posts if she isn’t a dishonest politician where readers know she’s part of some marginalized group and part of political group that slam everyone she can forcing politics. She should also point out that this includes name calling, removal of key employees/contributors whose coworkers/contribors are fine with, and blanket censorship on basis of one kind of politics. Reading that, many people who feel sympathy for her as a minority under assault would have a light bulb go off saying “Oh. No wonder people have a problem with her.” (Might be supporters or detractors as that realization goes two ways.) Since she’s a dishonest politican, she won’t change her writing and will continue acting like she’s a hapless victim getting hit with the same hate everyone gets if they’re a minority trying to do “good things.” Don’t fall for it.

            Note: That said, she pushed some good analyses and features. As a truly-tolerant person, I know the world isn’t binary: even misguided activists or scheming people can do some good. I’m glad she did. I’m still for blocking her and her projects entirely in favor of non-extremist activists with similar skill who might also have made positive contributions without all the other crap.

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              Wasn’t she hired for the purpose of pushing politics into every space she can, though? After all, she was hired into

              a team called Community & Safety, charged with making GitHub more safe for marginalized people and creating features for project owners to better manage their communities.

              That, by definition, sounds very political to me. I can sympathize (although not necessarily agree) with criticizing her approach, but criticizing her for arguing politics in a team called “Community & Safety” is a bit… odd.

              EDIT: It’s hard to think that GitHub’s HR wasn’t aware of her past actions. It would be odd to expect an outspoken and opinionated person to simply stop being outspoken and opinionated at a new job, especially in a role like this. To me, this fact combined with the way she was treated and fired in the epilogue, points to some very pathological behavior by GitHub’s management.

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                “Wasn’t she hired for the purpose of pushing politics into every space she can, though? After all, she was hired into”

                Now, this is a better argument for at least what she did at GitHub. She was hired to do something inherently political. The main team she worked with seemed on her side of the politics. They probably weren’t representative of the rest of Github nor their actions wanted by the rest of Github. So, that dynamic has to be considered. HR department is an unknown since whoever told them about Coraline probably didn’t say she led mobs of people to attack open-source projects smearing them until they complied with her beliefs. These people usually present themselves as folks just trying to help companies understand social or diversity issues plus make things nicer on the Internet. I’d guess that’s what her team told HR along with recommendation that she was good at it. She specifically always mentions how she’s lived the harrassment and discrimination so she understands what she’s fighting [without mentioning her mob attacks].

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                I read the opal thread and you are wrong. The first shot fired in incivility was from “meh” who wrote about what he did here. He explicitly set out to cause a shitstorm and he admits it as a way to get some publicity for Opal.

                I don’t know about you but when I hear a developer like “meh” use the word “cuck”, I know which community he is part of and his agenda. His coding skills are weak too so he doesn’t exactly come from a place of strength.

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                  His coding skills are weak too so he doesn’t exactly come from a place of strength.

                  This is not a nice thing to say, especially since he is the maintainer for Opal and for elixir-socket and a bunch of Rust libraries–as is plainly visible here.

                  Please don’t say mean things about other people if you can’t back them up with facts.

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                    Productivity is the greatest source of waste. I liken his work to that of a romance novel writer. But you know, that’s just an opinion of taste.

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                      One of the points he made is his critics will talk all kinds of trash about him or how the project should work. Yet, they aren’t going to contribute code to it to replace him or anyone else. They’re in effect lying about their intent to help to play politics and power games instead. To test that, are you planning on taking over maintenance and development for Opal? Or just going to give reasons from a distance why he and the other major contributors should effectively terminate the project by resigning over their code quality or politics? And with what benefit to the users of the 3.5k star project?

                      I’d say none. It would be a net loss for lots of people. It’s better if they continue doing whatever they’re doing that’s benefiting people whether they’re nice folks on the inside or totally not nice.

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                    “The first shot fired in incivility was from “meh” who wrote about what he did here. He explicitly set out to cause a shitstorm and he admits it as a way to get some publicity for Opal.”

                    You clearly misread his post. You might not be aware of the SJW effect I’m describing in my original post. The term is about people who represent a minority within a minority who dog pile on other groups to force their specific views asking any dissent is censored. They love personal attacks and smears, too. There’s really no reason even discussing stuff with them because they’re not there to learn. It’s a holy war to them. The proper response is to disagree with them or ban them to get things stable again. Another legit, but perhaps less wise or virtuous, response to these zealots is trolling them to piss them off and make them leave.

                    The very beginning of meh’s blog indicates he knows this and wants to troll them. Although he could stoop to their level, he mostly does it by stating a rational position about censorship and repeating he’ll take action if something bad happens. Endlessly repeating the same thing (tiring to me even). Let’s look at his blog. Watch as he instantly recognizes the situation by seeing a SJW author open a post asking for ejection/censorship of an opponent on political grounds:

                    “One catches my eye, [opal] Transpho…,”

                    The well-known, SJW author comes in with a censorship request on political grounds. He instantly knows they are there to attack and enforce their doctrine with no discussion. Therefore, there’s no use to read anything they say further unless one is studying how they approach discussion or political attacks. I read it for that purpose. One unfamiliar with them might also read their arguments to think on. He’s already seen them probably since it’s always the same stuff. He doesn’t read them.

                    “I don’t read any further because there’s no need to, I already know the content of the issue and the nature of the OP.”

                    As they have no regard for other humans [that disagree], he takes the trolling route to delight in causing the attackers as much problems as possible. That’s how he plans to send a statement that they need to knock off their attacks. The other statement he sends in the comments consistently is he’s not censoring a contributor unless they do something bad in the project itself. Neither they nor he is judging what people do in their spare time.

                    “As I read a huge smile slowly creeps on my face and I think “it finally happened, they hit one of my projects, now I can send a statement”.”

                    “The bigger part of the SJW mob arrives, shit flinging ensues, logical fallacies left and right, lots of laughing at all the purplehairs and cucks being unable to see past their overlord agenda and thinking they’re on reddit and sending comments with just @T :+1:.”

                    “Suddenly pedophiles are brought into the picture, THINK OF THE CHILDREN! WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN? Having stated earlier in the issue that everyone was welcome, of course, I say even pedophiles would be welcome, everyone is if their contributions are worthwhile, why wouldn’t they.”

                    “Then finally one of the cucks mentions Hitler, I start laughing heartily and by the rules of the Internet declare my victory in the argument, but of course it wasn’t over.”

                    So, it plays out just as he expects. The attacks get dirtier and dirtier. They accept no reason or even the projects personal preference. They don’t care. So, he enjoys letting them show their ugly side as much as possible until someone reigns him in. In the process, the fools gave me one of the best examples of what SJW’s are and do. His use of word “cuck” might say something about him or just be an insult to attackers. I throw insults up to and including the N word at real-world attackers to make them too pissed off to fight me effectively. They’re attacking me to point that de-escalation didn’t work. So, I’m going to do the opposite of avoiding offending them. Personally, I think the names of his other repositories were more telling. ;)

                    Conclusion: a political attacker/SJW, Coraline, launches opening strike on his project brining a hoard of attackers with her. He knows they won’t reason or care about his preferences. They will be vicious (see child molester sophistry). So, he says, “Fuck these people. I’m not going to back down and will just argue with them until they leave.” Even people on his side ask him to stop since the situation gets embarrassing. Eventually it ends.

                    Btw, he’s not the only person that takes this approach. There are others that say it’s the only effective approach to deal with them outside banning them. They will twist logic and use rhetoric during their attacks. They have no morals in terms of tactics. So, just hit them hard with dismissals and rhetoric pissing them off until they leave. The reason is that mobs are vicious, unrelenting, and barely human. Described well here:

                    http://thenewfem.com/how-to-defend-yourself-from-the-sjw-mob/

                    http://www.voxday.net/mart/SJW_Attack_Survival_Guide.pdf

                    Note: I’m not endorsing the character, background, or whatever of these sources. Just the information presented about mob’s actions and effects.

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                      I’m sorry, but the world needs social justice. the only mistake the SJWs, as you call them, make is not realize meh is a troll. meh lives in a fantasy land where strongmen are only legitimate voices. Those who use the word “cuck” fundamentally come from an anti-intellectual position. Oh wait, you seem to be fine with the use of the word “cuck”, would you agree?

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                        but the world needs social justice

                        I agree. People fighting for actual social justice will try to increase tolerance, have discussion, build consensuses about what will/won’t be tolerated, and enforce that consistently. I do that on a regular basis at work and online. Then, there’s other people who represent a tiny slice of America, have specific views on what everyone should/shouldn’t do, and will use rhetoric/threats to force everyone in existence to comply with them or harm follows. They don’t even care if large numbers of those they claim to represent disagree with them or want something else. No discussion or deviation is allowed.

                        That’s not social justice. It has more in common with religious mandates, fascist governments, and racist organizations than anything else. Small group decides the ideology, forces it on everyone, and anyone who disagrees is punished or disappears somehow. Dr Evil meme: “Justice for all.” Laughable if they didn’t do so much damage…

                        “Oh wait, you seem to be fine with the use of the word “cuck”, would you agree?”

                        Edit to add: No, most studies I’ve seen done on people who use profanity esp in colleges showed they were smarter than people assumed. Profanity was just another way they expressed themselves among many. Using an insult makes sense if it’s an attack intended to piss opponents off. You’ve latched onto it nicely to focus much of your energy on it to the exclusion of larger issues. “meh” is still winning against you in his goal of getting SJW’s or their supporters to waste energy on his words. Now, I’d probably agree with you if it’s how a person actually thought in a non-confrontational or casual situation. Or they explained (discriminatory views here) about (group here) where I can be sure they weren’t just trolling. If so, they’d be dumbasses at least on that subject. I’d roll my eyes and walk away. :)

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                          You might not be aware, but when you use the word cuck in a serious manner, other people are going to think you are 12 years old. Fair or unfair, that is the association it has.

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                            You’re not getting argument from me there. I just said words like that should only be used by idiots or as a tool to piss off a verbal attacker whose gone beyond reason or discussion. Maybe raunchy comedians too dropping it in occasionally about kne of their targets in mockery.

                            Not rational or fair discourse, though.

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                        nickpsecurity

                        You might not be aware of the SJW effect I’m describing in my original post. The term is about people who represent a minority within a minority who dog pile on other groups to force their specific views asking any dissent is censored.

                        That isn’t what a SJW is though. You could literally call any alt-right person a SJW using that definition, every in-group online “dog piles”.

                        A SJW in the pejorative sense means a person who engages in arguments on the internet about social justice for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. They use shallow or stupid arguments and social media as a means to increase their reputation and often don’t even care that much about the things they are arguing about as they are not personally affected. A similar thing happens when people do charity work simply to make themselves look better. It’s not about actually making the world a better place, its about personal reputation and internet fame. Trolls also make inflammatory comments online for the same reason, to have internet fame and cause drama for the lolz.

                        a political attacker/SJW, Coraline, launches opening strike on his project brining a hoard of attackers with her.

                        Reading the Opal thread, it seems one of the devs made a transphobic remark and attaches their online account to Opal, as in, they represent the project and it’s values/culture. They literally went out of their way to say shitty things about another group of people who probably have no affect on the guy’s day to day life. They could have chosen to not do that and just focus on tech, but they didn’t and there are consequences for being shitty to others, including having other people come out and say “hey, that’s really shitty” and having people refuse to work with said person who is being shitty to others.

                        Coraline wasn’t the first person to “launch an opening strike”. Elia was the first person to go out of their way to attack another group of people who happen to deal with a lot of discrimination and totally unwarranted hate. If you really were against people attacking others online, you’d be against someone attacking trans people online. Obviously you are also just pushing your own political agenda.

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                          “That isn’t what a SJW is though. You could literally call any alt-right person a SJW using that definition, every in-group online “dog piles”.”

                          You couldn’t because most of the right uses different tactics. Well, at least those I ran into. They were more direct. The SJW’s use a different strategy where them portraying themselves as a victim or fighting for victims is key. They try to not look like they’re the attackers. Alt-right using the same tactics would qualify them for the term if it was in name of social justice. I’d be cool with that.

                          “A SJW in the pejorative sense means a person who engages in arguments on the internet about social justice for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. “

                          That is not what they are. That’s a redefinition that was probably created by the same types of people. When I looked it up, the Wikipedia page was even rewriten to make it look like only racists and sexists of worst sort used the term to distract from the good efforts of the SJW’s. Who knows what it looks like by now. A key tactic of SJW’s is re-defining terms or building up strawmen. They use both to create distracting side arguments where people are arguing about the terms and so on instead of the actual thing they’re doing or demanding. They also like building up strawmen to do a bait and switch on the argument. Both techniques are described in a great write-up:

                          http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/

                          Note: The scrollbar gives impression that the article goes on forever. That’s the huge number of comments in it. The article itself isn’t that long for anyone that reads at a decent pace.

                          On top of this, the SJW’s like to use smears. Anyone might do smears. Again, their strategy is to make it look like they’re the victim or representing victims. The smears will fit that. That’s why they went for a child molester and Hitler comparison in the Opal thread to set the opponent up to look like a monster. It’s usually just different accusations of -ism’s, claims they are harrassed by such and such, selective evidence of something like that which actually came out of a fight they started doing the same stuff, and so on. I’ve seen a gamut of techniques used which are all straight out of propaganda or disinformation guides. Finally, their goal is to totally censor opponents based on anything they say, who they associate with, and so on. Any non-compliance with their philosophy in any forum is grounds for them to ban that person from every forum. That’s how Opal thread started.

                          “it seems one of the devs made a transphobic remark and attaches their online account to Opal,”

                          You mean one of the devs just had a Twitter feed. In the past, it might have been a homepage or contact form with email. The developer was keeping the personal stuff separate from project stuff with them claiming to take contributions from anyone. Under SJW doctrine, he did two things:

                          1. He didn’t accept the gender claim of transgender people. A huge chunk of America along with all kinds of pioneers in (insert field here) or activists in (movement here) is the same. They aren’t allowed to have that belief because SJW’s don’t allow dissent from their beliefs. Strike One.

                          2. He expressed it in negative way on a public forum that one of their supporters saw. Either satirical or anti-transgender for real. SJW doctrine says, as previously stated, that you can’t ever violate their Code of Conduct or value system on any forum no matter how you act within projects or professionally. Strike 2, 3, and Out! Then, Coraline launched the attack trying to eject the key contributor on grounds of her crew’s politics while also offering nothing good for project in return. Typical for SJW’s although I’m not going to say for her necessarily. She did some good stuff at Github, for instance.

                          “Coraline wasn’t the first person to “launch an opening strike”. Elia was the first person to go out of their way to attack another group of people who happen to deal with a lot of discrimination and totally unwarranted hate.Coraline wasn’t the first person to “launch an opening strike”. Elia was the first person to go out of their way to attack another group of people who happen to deal with a lot of discrimination and totally unwarranted hate.”

                          This actually lets me illustrate the the SJW tactic right there. One group’s political beliefs are to be accepted as 100% correct. That would be SJW’s or any of liberal subset that agrees with them. Based on those mandated-by-them beliefs, any disagreement with that is automatically hate speech by their definitions. Since it’s hate speech, people that would be attackers are suddenly “defenders” of whoever was being “attacked” by the “hate speech.” Then they begin doing what I described. In this case, they didn’t argue with him on Twitter where he did the offense: they filed an issue with his Github to destroy his involvement with an open-source project for which he had only done positive things. Destroying reputation and livelihood is one of their common patterns.

                          I’m going straight to the general case here. What a decent amount of your set of people call discriminatory speech, racism, sexism, etc are just different beliefs. They are in many cases shared by a ton of people in minority classes, too. The actual route to social justice is to allow discourse of diverse parties. Then, a consensus is built on what will or will not be tolerated. It might even vary place by place with First Amendment protecting its ability to evolve over time. Most of the time, these SJW’s did not get a consensus on anything. A small group of people made a decision, they decided everyone will comply with it, and anyone who doesn’t is “offensive” in a way that must be converted or eliminated. They then act on that one target at a time as individuals and/or mobs. Just like in the Opal thread. Fortunately, the maintainer knew about and was ready for them to force them to show their true colors and block the attack. It was good he did since what I saw before that attack was more subtle or with fewer people. The new attack made for nice illustration of many of their sophist tactics and fact that they contribute nothing in exchange for the control they ask for.

                          Note: I’m not making any apologies for whether guy doing the tweet or maintainer are assholes. Probably based on what I see. Opal is just one of the clearest examples of how SJW’s operate by mobbing on projects trying to get their members banned for anything they claim to be discriminating. Even disagreeing with a transgender person, black person, woman, etc on any issue SJW’s would consider hate speech will cause them to do the same thing. They want total compliance with their core beliefs or that person to disappear. That is what I’m illustrating with Opal and calling out Coraline for. That is what gets her so much negative feedback but she doesn’t mention it. It wouldn’t support the narrative of her being the victim hit by unjustified oppression at every turn. Selective reporting of actions and motivations to support victim narrative followed by gaining control to force politics with suppression of opponents = SJW Strategy 101.

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                            You couldn’t because most of the right uses different tactics. Well, at least those I ran into. They were more direct. The SJW’s use a different strategy where them portraying themselves as a victim or fighting for victims is key. They try to not look like they’re the attackers.

                            Most of the Trumpists I run into are deep into wallowing in the self-pity of victimhood. The whole “make America great again” slogan encapsulates that pretty directly. They feel aggrieved, and they blame it on a Jewish-Black-Muslim-Mexican-Chinese conspiracy that has allegedly victimized white Americans and caused all their troubles. That’s why we need, according to them, “safe spaces” free from people speaking Spanish, burning the American flag, or doing other things that upset their delicate sensibilities.

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                              Excellent illustration of that group doing the very things it complains about with SJW’s. I’d call what you described a right-leaning version of SJW style. Definitely. You bet me being deep in Trump Country hasn’t been fun if I’m a moderate that will call that BS. I told them all the White, Black, and Latino Christian killers in prison had me worried little about the handful of Arab Muslims in the country that might one day try to kill someone somewhere. Are they interested in having TSA profile white Christians since some bad folks were among their group? I told them those Republican, mostly-white-male-run states that ran right into the ground might do better with some more Republican, white males. The ones that caused the problems to begin with. I told them I was confused by their idea that righteous, universally-beneficial businesses might come out of their Bible-bashing theory of capitalism where everyone is as selfish and scheming as possible to build up material wealth at exclusion of others’ well-being. I asked which part of the New Testament they were getting it from since my copy might be a few books short or distorted to favor selflessness.

                              Yeah, the victim mindset combined with bullshitting runs strong in the Trump crowd. They stopped bringing up their politics around me since I was driving them crazy with counterpoints. They even had to half agree with me on this stuff but struggled visibly to find the thread that allowed them to continue bashing (targets here) more than themselves. It was sad to watch rather than fun. Especially since I knew he’d win the election. :(

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                              That is not what they are. That’s a redefinition that was probably created by the same types of people.

                              It’s the definition used by basically everyone:

                              http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SJW

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice_warrior

                              http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/social-justice-warrior

                              http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Social_justice_warrior

                              SJWs and anti-SJWs all use the same exact tactics, fake news, misplaced moral outrage, dog piling, slacktivism, etc. I wasn’t the person who was redefining a term, you are using the term SJW with your own definition of what it is, and that definition could literally apply to anyone.

                              But in any case, I am just pointing out that you are being hypocritical. You are complaining about something (dog piling and attacking a person) when that person literally is dog piling and attacking trans people.

                              If I said “Christians aren’t accepting reality” would you not say that is a disparaging remark against a group of people? What is the point of even saying such things on a social media account with links back to my projects?

                              When other people read it, they are going to think 2 things. One, that I have something against Christians, and two, the projects I am a part of are not friendly to Christians.

                              If people then contact the project I am in (one I link to in my social media profiles) and say “hey, this person is being rather hateful against Christians and this makes people not want to contribute, maybe consider not having them in your community”. Would you say this is unreasonable? Maybe we can even change this to white men. Maybe I think all white men aren’t accepting of reality. Suddenly I am making my projects unfriendly to white men because…why…? The only reason I can think that a person would choose to do this is for attention and to intentionally cause drama and disparage others.

                              They could have easily choose to keep their remarks in a non-public context or posted anonymously and separately from their projects. They did not do that. Even if they do think this way about trans people, why are they going out of their way to publicly attack a group who hasn’t done anything to them or affected them in any way personally? Someone does this in a pubic venue with links to accomplishments to give their comments more weight, and bring attention to themselves.

                              You are defending this person saying they were dog piled when they jumped on the anti-trans dog pile head first.

                              I think it was reasonable to make a request. I don’t think its ok for people to make comparisons to hitler, or make death threats, or any other over the top comment, but it was also not ok for people to double down and keep up with the transphobia. If you expect the evil “SJWs” to be rational and respectful, then why do you not hold the other side to this same standard?

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                                “It’s the definition used by basically everyone:”

                                It’s possible that the sources I got my definition from were biased or redefining it. I’ll look into it further in case I’m making a mistake on it. I’m primarily focused on the tactics used on a specific kind of politics.

                                “You are complaining about something (dog piling and attacking a person) when that person literally is dog piling and attacking trans people.”

                                You’re redefining dogpiling now and attacking now. Dogpiling is a large number of people hitting someone at once. A person on their own Twitter account or space expressing an opposite position from trans people isn’t a dogpile. I don’t see them as attacking as I have to draw a line somewhere on personal expression. A person mocking something is a person mocking something. I follow numerous trans people on social media seeing them express the same damned things about those that disagree with their claimed identity. There’s no rush of liberals to hit their homepages, Githubs, employer’s emails, and so on asking they be removed from everything. Any comments that disagree with a trans identity or what’s considered discrimination… based solely on the beliefs of one set of people in the U.S…. is considered hate speech by these people and grounds for attacking a project asking for censorship. Doing actual damage that nobody would dispute. Any violation of their group’s claims can be called an “attack” since they’re unquestionable truths like Moses said he got from God or something. A religion. Anything truly negative on a public forum gets more action whereas they wouldn’t defend people in their outgroup from their ingroup doing the same stuff. I watch it all the time. Note that all sides have that bias but most don’t go for ejection from projects or destroying careers. They’re less common to rare but highly active.

                                They’re usually more sublte or passive-aggressive in these attacks. Many happen in private with emails to people. So, as stated before, I used the Opal thread since they were more obvious about it. I’m not endorsing the character of anyone there although the contrast between meh and the attackers is pretty telling. The attackers style of “discussion” is unrelenting, viscious, full of rhetoric, and have no intention of doing the project contributions they hint at. I loved the last one about “burning bridges” as if these people or their political style represent hiring or promotions at any major firm in tech. It was just another lie to push their agenda.

                                “If people then contact the project I am in (one I link to in my social media profiles) and say “hey, this person is being rather hateful against Christians and this makes people not want to contribute, maybe consider not having them in your community”. Would you say this is unreasonable?”

                                I’d do two things. First, I’d ask if they were treating any Christians poorly in the project/community itself or just indifferently versus the others. Remember we’re usually talking about FOSS projects in these discussions. So, are they rejecting Christian’s code, opening up unnecessary issues, or making negative remarks aimed at them? Or is all this talk outside the project/community in their own personal space? If in the project, then they get a warning and/or a ban because they’re causing actual harm by being unfair or negative for personal reasons. They’re not being responsible in terms of what the shared space or work is trying to achieve.

                                Second, if it was outside the project, I’d ask the people complaining if they’ve ever mocked another person’s beliefs or actions. Have they ever cut any jokes about other human beings? And did they do that recently in past week or month? Do they do it regularly? If so, then they’re being hypocritical mocking folks they disagree with then telling me someone else should be banned for doing the same thing. I’ll also note that some disagreements push emotional buttons. They should just probably avoid reading or listening to anything that really bothers them. My parents taught me that trick in elementary school maybe. Then, I’d remind them that First Amendment is there to protect unpopular speech. Things people have a problem with and want censored. That varies over time a lot where stuff you’re complaining about might have been socially acceptable to people like you a few decades ago. It took people saying or doing things that others found offensive for some time before change happened. So, I’d say I’m not eliminating a person for unpopular speech so long as they aren’t doing it here directed at people it might piss off. That’s disallowed in shared space on principles of being courteous and respectful of others’ preferences while working together.

                                So, there you go. That’s the “Be a grown adult, accept people say things you don’t like in their spare time, and defend yourself only when they’re starting something with you” take on the situation modified with the First Amendment. However, I could’ve readily dismissed it since your example, although it happens, makes no sense to me as a former, devout Christian. We’re taught to strive for fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We attempt to love, forgive, and pray for our enemies instead of ban or destroy them. If they did the opposite, I’d remind them of that gently at first escalating if they do to calling out their sin or Graham talking about how 90% of Christians actions don’t match their claim of faith. Hypocrisy always infuriated me more than anything. I’d tell them to be patient and not take it personally unless verbal or physical attacks within the project/community where I’d step in myself.

                                “Maybe I think all white men aren’t accepting of reality. Suddenly I am making my projects unfriendly to white men because…why…?”

                                Change all to most and you have the actual belief of most people that would join Coraline on an attack. They know some acknowledge their magic privilege and support the cause. The rest aren’t accepting reality by implication since such people say our view of it is incorrect. Yet, we’re still on Lobsters, Hacker News, sub-Reddit’s with different types of people, some still contribute to places with CoC’s just watching what they say, going to liberal Universities even if they weren’t as liberal, having friends in BLM, and so on. Without ever asking that those that disagree with or annoy them be removed from those places. I’m guessing we were all collectively taught to have thick skin not caring what others say, let them be them while we be us, keep stuff civil as possible, or standing our ground on our beliefs. It’s work but it makes us collectively stronger. Your side acts like it’s impossible or entirely too hard for such a thing to have happened whereas mine just thinks it’s a difference in upbringing and what the social circle reinforces. Your side reinforces victim mindset, shaming, and ostracism. Mine reinforces what I just described, acceptance of differences, helping everyone I can, and fighting all structural oppression with fair methods whether it’s minority or otherwise.

                                “I think it was reasonable to make a request. I don’t think its ok for people to make comparisons to hitler, or make death threats, or any other over the top comment, but it was also not ok for people to double down and keep up with the transphobia. “

                                I appreciate that you personally won’t go for personal attacks or ridiculous comparisons. Although you share beliefs with them, you’ve been much more civil than the people I was refering to. Your Christian and white comparisons were much more fair. I’ve already said I’ll let people believe whatever they want in their personal time but stop any attacks in shared space or directed at a person. That this can work out isn’t hypothetical: it’s how most businesses run down here with different people mostly getting along. Some times there’s moments of racism or sexism where people say what they have to say. A bit of bickering that stresses us out. Next day, they usually apologize to each other and we get along fine. That’s in and around a murder captial with high, racial tensions. BLM seizing the bridge/airport and the KKK marches are basically the worst things I’ve seen with overt, racial targeting at a large scale. It’s usually just verbal disputes people get past or learn to avoid such people where possible. We get along pretty well without a liberal Code of Conduct plus censorship and ejection.

                                That’s people just arguing with politics based on their biases. Attacks aren’t tolerated by decent folks. In my business especially, we’ll fire someone for verbal harassment, sexual harassment, or physically attacking someone. That’s because there’s a consensus across groups that these are evil and won’t be tolerated. If no consensus, we go back to being patient or making spot decisions saying “That’s not cool. Seriously don’t do that because I’m not comfortable with it.” Respecting boundaries leans more like a CoC but we’re free by default with each individual deciding for themselves what they will or won’t tolerate. Nothing forced on people by external parties.

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                        These people are terrifying and I’m not surprised they were pushed out over “communication” and that people rushed to look for poor coding. I suspect you can’t open internal issues at github asking people to be removed for being aggressively illiberal identity politicians who might try to get you fired if you’ve got opinions they don’t like.

                        1. 4

                          Also, a huge number of people in groups they claim to benefit disagree with them, have no say in the matter, and will be censored too.

                          I believe they dismiss that class of people with a term of their own invention.

                        2. 7

                          I’m getting a bit of a mixed message on the merit-based judgment bits. It’s mentioned twice that GitHub is a meritocracy, but if all of these accomplishments were truly widely praised as stated, wouldn’t they be rewarded?

                          I realize we’re only getting one side of the story here. Maybe GitHub really is a cartoon villain and hates having non-white non-male employees. I don’t know. I’d be interested in what their side is, though.

                          1. 29

                            Meritocracies were created as a joke concept. That companies and people believe merit-based judgement is possible is a mistake and doesn’t actually work (in the same way that humans can’t be unbiased).

                            1. 10

                              I see people say this, but I have no idea exactly what they mean. So, stripping away the loaded terms, can you explain?

                              Do you believe that everyone in a project contributes to its success equally, or do you think that there are no ways to tell who is contributing to a project?

                              1. 12

                                The term itself originated from a satirical work, if that helps. :)

                                1. 10

                                  I understand that, but the statement that “merit based judgement is impossible” fascinates me. It seems to me that implies all promotions are mistakes, for example, because it’s impossible to judge that someone deserves a promotion.

                                  It’s one thing to say “I don’t like what meritocracy is associated with”, but it’s something very different to claim “merit based judgement is impossible”. I’m curious to hear exactly what that implies, in the view of krainboltgreene, because it can lead down some interesting rabbit holes.

                                  1. 23

                                    Basically: people are really, really bad at being unbiased. We are filled with bias. We make all sorts of decisions under the influence of bias. In an ideal world, we recognize the bias, and try to set out procedures and practices that account for it, and limits its influence. In a “meritocracy” you pretend bias doesn’t exist, because you’re just “looking at merit.” Never considering that your ability to make an accurate assessment of “merit” is completely undone by bias.

                                    1. 7

                                      so you use procedure and practices in order to better identify merit? it’s only a meritocracy if you’re incorrect about who has merit?

                                      i also don’t buy the claim that it’s completely undone at all

                                      1. 18

                                        Generally, self-describing as a “meritocracy” bespeaks a belief that you’ve weeded out all causes of bias, which suggests you’ve done very little to weed out bias, as in trying you’d become a lot more humble about how hard it is and how imperfect any approximation is.

                                        1. 10

                                          More generally, any assurance that one meets a reasonable baseline standard is often a negative indicator. “You can trust me, I’m not a conman!” Not frequently said by actually honest people.

                                      2. 4

                                        So, in terms of specific implications: Does that mean that it’s impossible for a process to exist that will allow an organization to decide on fair promotions?

                                        1. 4

                                          Perfect fairness? Probably. But we can approximate it pretty well.

                                          1. 3

                                            Ok, if there is a way to approximate it well, doesn’t that imply that it is possible to reduce bias, and asymptotically approach accurate decisions based on measurable attributes?

                                            To be honest, I was expecting pushing the idea of “They’ve been sitting in that chair for 3 years, therefore it’s time for a seniority raise, because we can’t know better” approach, similar to how some unions handle it. Basically, why play when you’ve already lost?

                                            1. 13

                                              Yeah, it is probably possible to reduce bias effectively. Meritocracies make the mistake of assuming this is easy, or that it can be done without trying at all. This boils down to making decisions based on whatever an individual person thinks “merit” is, and never evaluating whether that definition is correct.

                                              1. 4

                                                That’s a claim I agree with – being accurate and reducing bias is a continuous, difficult, and iterative process, and in my experience many people never bother to set up the feedback loops and put the effort into recording and reconciling predictions in the way needed to to manage their own bias. I haven’t really interacted with any organizations that describe themselves as a ‘meritocracy’, so I can’t comment on what it means in practice.

                                                The initial statement, though, was that merit based judgment is not possible. That’s a far more philosophically interesting claim, at least to me. It’s not often I get to (edit:)expore a nihilist mindset like that.

                                                1. 6

                                                  What about that belief is nihilist?

                                                  Also, I really dislike having a conversation described as “probing a mindset.”

                                                  1. 4

                                                    Considering that merit is, in theory, a measure of a person’s impact, it implies that a person’s impact is unknowable. That strikes me as being fairly far down the road to nihilism.

                                                    Also, would you prefer the term ‘explore’?

                                                    Edit: Now that I think about it, you’re right. It’s less of a nihilist belief system and more of a solipsistic belief system.

                                2. 7

                                  so what does work? meritocracy still sounds pretty nice to me even though i know it’s a dirty word now

                                  1. 7

                                    Meritocracy is impossible. See my comment here.

                                    1. 0

                                      Meritocracy, if it was even possible, is also bad for producing great things. See https://hbr.org/product/rethinking-rewards/an/93610-PDF-ENG

                                    2. 1

                                      My point is that there is a claim of meritocracy, but then the author states that they were not rewarded based upon merit. It’s confusing at best.

                                      1. 2

                                        Are you sure you worded that comment correctly?

                                        “claim of meritocracy” but author refutes and says “they were not rewarded based upon merit”.

                                        I don’t see how that’s confusing.

                                        1. 2

                                          In a return to its meritocratic roots, the company has decided to move forward with a merit-based stock option program despite criticism from employees who tried to point out its inherent unfairness.

                                          The author states it was a meritocracy, then claims their work was widely praised, yet not rewarded, and finished by saying it is merit-based. Was it only not merit-based in the year this person was there? It’s confusing.

                                        2. 2

                                          There is a claim that meritocracy was promised but not delivered upon.

                                        3. -1

                                          Even if meritocracies were possible, they would be bad for another reason. https://hbr.org/product/rethinking-rewards/an/93610-PDF-ENG

                                        4. 6

                                          I suppose its possible to believe girls are capable of coding, and then to prove that’s true, subject all their code to hazing like code reviews. “See? I knew you could code!” So you’d simultaneously recruit people and then grind them up. And not grinding them up would be favoritism, of course. Its only fair to give them the chance to prove how tough they are.

                                          1. 3

                                            Social justice isn’t on the bottom line.

                                            1. 7

                                              Well, not directly. But if you make a culture that pushes people out who don’t fit the mold, you reduce your ability to hire and retain people you would otherwise be able to hire and keep. Big successful businesses by and large try to maintain a welcoming and professional work environment because doing so makes them more competitive and capable.

                                              1. 5

                                                But if you make a culture that pushes people out who don’t fit the mold, you reduce your ability to hire and retain people you would otherwise be able to hire and keep.

                                                Then maybe don’t make a culture at all.

                                                1. 2

                                                  I mean, it certainly sounds like they had a culture there. Just a different culture than one often sees in tech today. Company culture happens automatically. The question is whether the leadership will take an active and conscientious role in shaping it, or simply let things develop as they may.

                                                2. 4

                                                  A culture of political censorship and constant injection of politics into non-political environments also reduces your ability to hire and keep. After reading this article (and after a friend sent me http://hintjens.com/blog:111 ), I would not consider working for Github. In fact, I’m now extremely skeptical of GitHub’s long-term prospects as a useful service. GitHub is clearly very far along in the Silicon Valley ultra-political middle management lytic cycle, and it might be terminal.

                                            2. 26

                                              “a (male) engineer from another team completely rewrote the blog post and published it without talking to me.”

                                              This author is obsessed with gender in cases where it makes no difference, It reeks of confirmation bias.

                                              1. 36

                                                In the context of a feature designed to combat online harassment, a problem overwhelmingly experienced by more by women, it seems reasonable to mention that her own post was swapped out for one written by someone with presumably no personal experience of the problems this feature was designed to address.

                                                1. 10

                                                  written by someone with presumably no personal experience of the problems this feature was designed to address.

                                                  But it seems like everyone else at the company wanted to keep the feature log about features, not personal stories regarding the origins of those features. From the article:

                                                  It was decided that the tone of what I had written was too personal and didn’t reflect the voice of the company. The reviewer insisted that any mention of the abuse vector that this feature was closing be removed.

                                                  I don’t see what would be so bad about writing objectively about the feature itself on GitHub and then posting about the personal experience somewhere else. There are a bajillion other things that this abuse vector could’ve been used for, so implying that it’s inextricably linked to this specific event when writing for the company’s official feature log is bound to generate some controversy.

                                                  1. 15

                                                    out for one written by someone with presumably no personal experience

                                                    So you are presuming he has no personal experience because he’s a male?

                                                    Meanwhile presuming you are incapable of whatever because you are women/trans/not-white-or-asian = an unforgivable sin?

                                                    How do you reconcile this cognitive dissonance?

                                                    1. 13

                                                      “presumably no personal experience” - how would you, she or anyone know? We can all presume whatever we want. It might be someone who was bullied his entire life, or we can presume writing a long post gives you credibility over anonymous evil editors.

                                                    2. 19

                                                      Her interview process involved marginalized people (“I was impressed … by the fact that the majority of people that I met with were women”), her team was largely comprised of marginalized people (“My team was 5 women and one man: two of us trans, three women of color”), and her team’s mission included “making GitHub more safe for marginalized people”. It is relevant, in that context, that the person who rewrote her post was 1- outside of her team, and 2- not part of a marginalized group.

                                                      1. 15

                                                        I’m not sure it is. We might be seeing a double standard in how such data is used as evidence here. In many stories, people point out that young, white males particularly are taking action in companies or running them since Silicon Valley is biased toward hiring them. The non-marginalized crowd is the default that reinforces itself. Then, you say a critic of this team was “non-marginalized.” The obvious explanation is that anyone who critiqued her was with high-probability going to be a non-marginalized group if they’re such a huge majority as people like her always point out. This time, though, it’s significant that one person in Silicon Valley who is non-marginalized took action against another person. Because politics.

                                                        I dismiss it based on double standard and my other post pointing out she’s an aggressive politician doing her thing in that company which person doing rewrite might have reacted to. That’s one reason to doubt it matters. If it does, another to think it was a reflexive reaction against a political extremist. Personally, I have no idea what their motivation was as I have limited data that looks bad on both sides (status quo and activist aiming to fix).

                                                        1. 5

                                                          Being a particular race or gender is not a qualification of competence or non-bias.

                                                          1. 13

                                                            I don’t think I implied it was. I think I stated that reporting the gender of the engineer who rewrote her post was relevant, given the context of the job she was being asked to do.

                                                            I’ll add, though, that rewriting somebody’s content without discussing it with the original author (and then publishing it under the original author’s name) does say something about their competence.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              I’ll definitely agree with your point about rewriting.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                I’ll add, though, that rewriting somebody’s content without discussing it with the original author (and then publishing it under the original author’s name) does say something about their competence.

                                                                That’s true. One could test both competence and bias by seeing how often that happens in the organization. I’d probably make a rule to ban it entirely far as leaving it under their name. Just say it was deleted.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  I’ll add, though, that rewriting somebody’s content without discussing it with the original author (and then publishing it under the original author’s name) does say something about their competence.

                                                                  But that’s judging based on a soundbyte. From my perspective, it seems like the kind of thing that could’ve simply been caused by a miscommunication or lack of understanding—not necessarily an act that showed intent to undercut anyone else’s voice.

                                                            2. 6

                                                              How about this: since the gender is given parenthetically (thus indicating it is additional or non-essential information), and the author is a transgender woman, meaning she has had lots of experience being treated both as a man and as a woman and how it changes, maybe we can give her the benefit of the doubt and just consider the possibility that. as we learn more about the situation.

                                                            3. 10

                                                              The fact that she basically got fired for being rough on communication is pretty irksome.

                                                              Think about all the programmers you work with who are not great at communicating. It’s obviously not a positive point, and something we can all work on. But we’re not getting fired for it.

                                                              It’s hard to judge how rough the communication was, and how other people in the company interpret it. But so many other people in this industry get the benefit of the doubt on that specific point.

                                                              1. 8

                                                                The PIP on grounds of ‘lacks empathy’ was a particularly nice touch: A choice example of psychological projection in action I suspect.

                                                                  1. 0

                                                                    Best comment in this thread.

                                                                  2. 11

                                                                    Let this be a lesson to companies that want to score easy PR points by hiring SJWs.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      Unless you mean very specifically hiring SJW’s indiscriminately, that’s not true and that’s not fair. If asked in an interview, I try to present a solid case for and a long-standing record of fighting for institutional justice internally and social justice at large everywhere I go. Many if not most of the great engineers I know can point to theirs, as well. I hope this helps me avoid the hassle of talking more to places which won’t be a good fit.

                                                                      The author of this post is not motivated by a sensical attempt at social justice, but by petty personal revenge by someone who has an incredibly limited ability to evaluate the situation around her from a point of view separate from her personal desires and interests.

                                                                    2. 3

                                                                      This is a pretty damning write up for Github in my eyes. Here’s someone who was contributing to the company by writing and shipping valuable features, whom had friendly relationships with her co-workers, and was actively seeking to improve junior developers (thus providing better employee skill for the company).

                                                                      She actively attempted to improve her situation when provided with negative feedback (however valid). She actively attempted to conform to their bullshit bureaucracy. She didn’t rip that feature post thief a new one, something that I absolutely would have done in a heartbeat.

                                                                      This sounds an ideal employee and Github threw that away. Further, even if you think Coraline is somehow hiding “the other side to this story” (surely not worth the pain and literal monetary cost of talking about this situation), this can’t be something other employees are going to see as “a good move”. You’ll get less cooperation from PIPs, less communication, less self-improvement, and less peer improvement. That doesn’t even begin to dive into how this looks as someone who might want to work for the company.

                                                                      Way to shoot yourself in the liver, Github.

                                                                      1. 6

                                                                        Looks like trolling. It’s just too obvious that big pieces of the story are being left out. GitHub isn’t going to comment on an HR issue, so that side of the story isn’t coming out, so it’s a troll.

                                                                        Also, it’s kinda creepy how she points out everybody’s gender and race.

                                                                        1. [Comment removed by author]

                                                                          1. 11

                                                                            I said this elsewhere, but 60% of the industry has “numerous personality deficiencies”. Who hasn’t gotten into arguments with the Linuses or … those systemd people?

                                                                            Why do they get a pass? Supposedly for their contributions. But this blog post listed a decent amount of contributions to Github as well. And according to the blog, the managers thought as much for their technical performance.

                                                                            So many of us get a pass for social deficiencies. But here, apparently not. This could be a “cultural fit” thing, but based off of what I’ve heard about Github, I feel like some accommodations could be made if the technical contributions were good.

                                                                            1. 5

                                                                              Why do they get a pass?

                                                                              Because they’ve actually made valuable contributions to the field, instead of making money via political parasitism. We wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) tolerate someone like Linus if he held some nouveau-middle management mumbo jumbo fluff job. Instead, he’s effectively created and managed a project with social utility at least in the tens of billions of dollars, and his rudeness, beyond being excusable, is actually extremely useful in discouraging time-sinks that would hurt Linux development if humoured.

                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                his rudeness, beyond being excusable, is actually extremely useful in discouraging time-sinks that would hurt Linux development if humoured

                                                                                It also hurts Linux development when the likes of Alan Cox quit because Linus gets confused and decides to go on a half-cocked rant. And there is potentially people who would make good contributions but see what happened to the likes of Cox and decide they don’t want to be on the receiving end of that.

                                                                                1. 6

                                                                                  Did he quit because of a rant? He seems to dispute this himself -

                                                                                  “I’m aware that ‘family reasons’ is usually management speak for ‘I think the boss is an asshole’ but I’d like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons and not because I’ve fallen out with Linus or Intel or anyone else. Far from it I’ve had great fun working there.”

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    He resigned as tty maintainer over the rant.

                                                                                    https://lkml.org/lkml/2009/7/28/375

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      But that’s a long way from “It also hurts Linux development when the likes of Alan Cox quit” given he spent the next 4 years still working on kernel development.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        So you don’t think him resigning as tty maintainer hurt Linux, at all? The work he did in other areas made up for it? And when greg k-h (begrudging) took it on, that didn’t detract at all from the work he did (or would have done) in other areas if he hadn’t needed to step into that role?

                                                                                        I’d argue it would have been better for Linux if it hadn’t happened, ergo it hurt Linux.

                                                                                  2. 2

                                                                                    I think Zimpenfish thoroughly refuted the Alan Cox example, and as for

                                                                                    And there is potentially people who would make good contributions

                                                                                    There are vastly more people who would make bad contributions, either because they’re low quality, useless, or incur excessive technical debt. Linux’s inaccessibility to immature coders and egotists discourages people you don’t want contributing more than those you do.

                                                                              2. 19

                                                                                Author clearly has numerous personality deficiencies

                                                                                This is a highly inappropriate personal remark.

                                                                                1. 11

                                                                                  Author clearly has numerous personality deficiencies just from reading between the lines of this post

                                                                                  Since the analysis was so easy for you, can you make some of your conclusions explicit? What are these numerous ‘personality deficiencies’ that she clearly deserved to be teated this way and then fired?

                                                                                  the most glaring of which is the fact that they can’t admit fault

                                                                                  But, can’t she? I mean, reportedly she received the criticism of “un-empathic communication style”, lack of code reviews, and the performance improvement plan, and was clearly working to address each of them. She wouldn’t have kept notes each week, have made herself available for doing code reviews, and pointed out the ways she was working to grow if she couldn’t admit fault.

                                                                                  Given her thoughts on pair programming (helping her identify any negative ingrained behavior she wouldn’t have otherwise noticed), I don’t think it’s fair to claim ‘they can’t admit fault’ is fair at all.

                                                                                  they can’t admit fault. Github was right to fire them

                                                                                  She has a gender, which comes with nifty pronouns including she and her.

                                                                                  Github was right to fire them, just based on reading this article alone.

                                                                                  Let’s slow down there for a second, maybe talk about this a bit? The values she quoted from the CEO and the goals of her team were clearly in conflict with the actual organizational behavior she experienced.

                                                                                  Unless you think that providing really sound feedback on the questioner that was exactly within her job description was a ‘personality deficiency’.

                                                                                  Can we talk about that, by the way? What the hell is a personality deficiency, and to what degree do they have to exist for an organization to treat someone this way and then fire them? I mean, I get that certain things might make someone more difficult to work with, but isn’t that the point of inclusivity? That we tolerate people’s quirks and where they are in life so that they can bring their voice and experience into the organization?

                                                                                  You know, experience like continuous harassment in the open source community.

                                                                                  because I have dealt with folks like the author bring toxic and destructive attitudes into the workplace

                                                                                  Please elaborate, as it was so clear to you.

                                                                                  Actually, I’m a bit confused by your stance I suppose. This post exists explicitly and solely to point out the things the author experienced that were in conflict with both what she was promised and what Github claims to represent. And she does that in this article, right?

                                                                                  She isn’t trying to get her job back (obviously she doesn’t want to return, and the fact that she is a senior engineer with a history of productive development, I think her clear desire to be away from Github counts as signal).

                                                                                  Does her “deserving to be fired” erase what she experienced, or are you claiming that everything she talks about having experienced either a) wasn’t actually a problem or b) didn’t really happen that way?

                                                                                  1. 8

                                                                                    She has a gender, which comes with nifty pronouns including “she” and “her.”

                                                                                    Are you seriously bringing that up as a point in your argument? You could’ve just as well used the argument that it’s more courteous to use genderless pronouns. Why put the form of an argument over its substance?

                                                                                    Anyway, if you need an example of her taking her views to places where they’re not really relevant, you need look no further than here.

                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                      Not the person you are talking to but:

                                                                                      Are you seriously bringing that up as a point in your argument? You could’ve just as well used the argument that it’s more courteous to use genderless pronouns. Why put the form of an argument over its substance?

                                                                                      When you know someone’s gender identity it is polite to use their preferred pronouns. Personally, I wouldn’t have brought it up but my guess is that the author was deliberately using neutral pronouns because they don’t respect her gender identity but knew if they used male pronouns they’d get hell for it. But it can also just be a style of writing, so as said, I wouldn’t have brought it up.

                                                                                      Anyway, if you need an example of her taking her views to places where they’re not really relevant, you need look no further than here.

                                                                                      I, and she herself in https://medium.com/@coralineada/on-opalgate-2efd0fc1e0fd (ugh, I hate the trend of adding ‘gate’ to everything), acknowledge that the way she opened the issue (specifically the title) was overly inflammatory.

                                                                                      However, reaching out and letting people know that a member of their community is likely scaring people off from the project is a relevant view and needed in some cases. As said above, she did it in an overly inflammatory way but I don’t agree that it is not relevant.

                                                                                      After this whole thing I was: 1. Upset with how coraline handled starting it 2. Never ever going to touch opal (supported by the fact that the actual owner (NOT meh) implemented coraline’s Code of Conduct but now they are using ‘No Code of Conduct’).

                                                                                2. 4

                                                                                  She got pushed out in the name of tolerance because she was upsetting others. Her conclusion was the company is not tolerant enough. I guess she only likes these policies when it is self serving.

                                                                                  1. 11

                                                                                    She got pushed out in the name of tolerance because she was upsetting others

                                                                                    That’s a pretty reductive understanding of tolerance. In fact, tolerance really doesn’t have anything to do with not upsetting people.

                                                                                    And how exactly was she wrongly upsetting people anyway?

                                                                                    She upset the data scientist who created a poorly worded question about diversity by giving absolutely correct feedback which was also entirely inline with her job responsibilities. (Let me tell you, if I got a ’diversity & inclusivity questionnaire that started with ‘Are you male, female, or transgender’ I would stop taking it right there as it clearly isn’t a very strong effort.)

                                                                                    She upset some people by sharing how their proposed features would open up minorities to harassment on Github, not just hypothetically, but in a clear and concrete way she has personal experience with.

                                                                                    She apparently upset her manager by having a life outside of work.

                                                                                    Her conclusion was the company is not tolerant enough.

                                                                                    I don’t think this is accurate either. Her conclusion was that Github the organization does not embody the values they claim to hold, and their diversity & inclusivity initiatives aren’t a reality in day-to-day operation.

                                                                                    I guess she only likes these policies when it is self serving.

                                                                                    What policies was she ignoring? Can you be specific and give examples?

                                                                                    And how does any of this invalidate anything that she is saying about her experience at Github?

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      And how exactly was she wrongly upsetting people anyway?”

                                                                                      To quote the article:

                                                                                      “The two main areas that I needed to address were empathetic written communication and a target of reviewing 60% of the team’s pull requests.”

                                                                                      I believe her code reviews and writing were probably totally acceptable by my standards, and the over sensitivity is a direct result of the increased focus on not hurting anyone’s feelings. Everything else in the article suggests she is one of the strongest advocates for this type of policy. That’s why I said it is hypocritical.

                                                                                      I know what it feels like to have people attempt to censor you or force you out of the conversation for being too blunt or unemotional. Just look at how many people marked me as a troll for saying what I think. It seems like she experienced it too, only much worse, at the workplace.

                                                                                      Her conclusion was that Github the organization does not embody the values they claim to hold, and their diversity & inclusivity initiatives aren’t a reality in day-to-day operation.

                                                                                      I’ll concede that.

                                                                                      What policies was she ignoring? Can you be specific and give examples?

                                                                                      Mainly the code review ‘rudeness’ I mentioned earlier.

                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                        You know, this is really interesting because how you gramatically understand the quoted line could account for some of the disagreement here. I think it is fair to parse it as:

                                                                                        “The two main areas that I needed to address were (empathetic written communication) and (a target of reviewing 60% of the team’s pull requests).”

                                                                                        And since ‘empathetic written communication’ is a clear reference to the incident she described earlier with the data scientist that couldn’t handle being corrected about their understanding of gender, that critique from her manager had been demonstrated as unfair.

                                                                                        over sensitivity is a direct result of the increased focus on not hurting anyone’s feelings.

                                                                                        I think it is worth considering that the situation is a little more complicated. Over-sensitivity usually used to mean “complains about stuff that doesn’t actually matter”. But being ‘sensitive’ vs ‘over-sensitive’ is a subjective judgement (as it, is requires a person to decide if they think it is too sensitive, or sensitive enough).

                                                                                        Additionally, “not hurting anyone’s feelings” is overly dismissive. Since features either are or aren’t being shipped over this, blog posts being accepted or rejected, jobs being lost, and positions being created over this, calling it “not hurting anyone’s feelings” is unfair.

                                                                                        (The subtext being that the issues at stake here are fighting to make Github more inclusive, and reducing inclusion to hurt feelings is both one of the most common tropes in this discussion, but also total bullshit. But again, just subtext)

                                                                                        Let’s be a little more neutral and unbiased with this one too and say “increased focus on how our actions affect people.” (the affect being “hurt feelings” in your mind).

                                                                                        So the actual phenomena is “Sensitivity is the result of increased focus on how our actions affect people.”

                                                                                        Certainly! If we pay less attention to it, then it’s like the issue won’t even be there, as long as you aren’t one of the (literal) minority experiencing it.

                                                                                        Which brings me to what I originally wanted to say, which is: and these two variables increasing directly with one another is completely what we would expect when we as a community decide to start valuing the presence of minorities and their voices in spaces that generally haven’t welcomed them or their life experiences.

                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                      I’d appreciate a rebuttal rather than troll accusations, why am I wrong?

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        “Rebuttal” is such a strange thing to request, when you think about it.

                                                                                        In general, the lobste.rs discussion format is more of a “participate if what I have to say is something you want to engage with,” so “I’d appreciate a response” seems more fitting.

                                                                                        Besides, rebuttal would imply that you made some kind of argument (it seems like you were sharing a thought, if anything), and that it deserves a response if the majority disagree.

                                                                                        But if what you’ve posted is being given downvotes (using the lobste.rs downvote system, which is more intentional than HN or Reddit), then the onus is on you to expand or explain your thoughts in a way people don’t find destructive.

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          Rebuttal is the wrong word. I just would like a reasoned explanation for clicking ‘troll’. If they cannot, it makes me think they are experiencing cognitive dissonance and can’t actually put it in words why what I said is so disagreeable.

                                                                                    3. [Comment removed by author]

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                                                                                        In point of fact, she does share that she has bipolar depression, which is a mental illness (though disorder is a more appropriate term).

                                                                                        Or maybe you meant it in a derogatory way, which, I’ll admit, would give the post more of a purpose. However, that’d also be a pretty shitty and mean-spirited, destructive thing to say.

                                                                                        Please clarify.

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                                                                                            Ehmke seems obsessed… It’s not healthy.

                                                                                            That’s not your call to make though, right? What is and isn’t helpful or healthy for her life? And even if it were, this thread certainly isn’t the place to talk about it. The article is clearly about Githhub having made promises and then breaking them.

                                                                                            Think about it this way: how many of Github’s actions would a recruiter told the author when she initially reached out, had she known?

                                                                                            Which is to say, if how Github acted were Github policy, then of course a recruiter would talk about it. It is the company policy of how they treat employees and Github should be proud of it, especially given how proud they are of their values.

                                                                                            Is it’s Github’s policy to be strict and unhelpful accommodating any mental health needs of their employees, including when family members die? Is their policy, “sorry, need you at your best regardless of your mental health provider’s advice, so you definitely need to go home.”

                                                                                            So really this article is about how Github acted, in light of how they lead the author to believe they would act, and how it runs contrary to their professed goals of inclusivity.

                                                                                            Which is all to say, why are so many people focusing on the often irrelevant supposed faults of the author, instead of the actual content and arguments she is providing? Especially for such a clearly structured and functional post. Say what you want about her points, they are clearly made and have well presented evidence and anecdote.

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                                                                                              the article is about a lot of things. the inability to have perspective on a situation and petty retaliation for small grievances seem the prominent ones to me as well, unfortunately.

                                                                                              I’ve seen my fair share of office politics, and it sounds like at the very least her manager could use some 360° review, but providing this kind of feedback publicly and after leaving a company is so obviously not the time nor the place to do so that I’m really unclear on what her motivations are aside from vengefully smearing a company.

                                                                                              certainly she doesn’t think this will cause any kind of change internally? if she does, that seems a bit unrealistic and grandiose. had she left of her own accord while sending sent this to a sympathetic person in HR she would have had a significantly greater impact and significantly less attention.

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                                                                                                  https://twitter.com/CoralineAda/status/882636914981036032

                                                                                                  “So I lost a bunch of money posting that story. I had to turn down the severance offer because it contained a hush clause.”

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                                                                                                    not that much, and you don’t get it if you quit. most SWE make enough that it’s really not in their interests to take a month’s salary unless they have nothing but nice things to say about their time employed somewhere.

                                                                                                    personally, I think the best exit one can make out of a shitty situation that they don’t want to see through getting fixed is to document it and quit w/o signing anything.

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                                                                                                    This is what I’m betting: this gender identity politics stuff was all Ehmke talked about while they were at Github.

                                                                                                    …That’s why she was hired.

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                                                                                                      The core question seems to be, “Do a person’s personal views regarding certain minority groups always result in interpersonal issues?” If so, all people who are not fully tolerant must be fired (at least according to militant supporters of this ideology—see here for an example); and if they are not fired, some projects might risk alienating minority contributors, depending on the personal views of their existing contributors. If this is not true, however, then all existing projects go on smoothly regardless of their contributors’ views about each others’ member groups.

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                                                                                                      That’s not your call to make though, right?

                                                                                                      What does that even mean?

                                                                                                      If somebody was injecting heroin into his bloodstream, am I allowed to comment that it is unhealthy? Or is it not “my call to make’?

                                                                                                      You can not divorce the fact that Caroline xirself has always pushed identity politics and been extremely toxic to every person that doesn’t kowtow to schmer ideological agenda from the fact that now paxer is complaining about supposed ‘injustice’ that occurred during xomer time at github, and the fact that it is likely that it is not injustice at all, but that the people at github didn’t want to completely kowtow to all of xober demands.

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                                                                                                        Whether or not someone is an asshole, it’s rude to deliberately misgender them. Caroline apparently prefers “she/her” pronouns, and you know this. So why are you using the wrong pronouns?

                                                                                                        If your problem is with her actions, then her gender doesn’t matter. So why not be polite? But the pronouns in your comment make it read to me like your problem is in fact with her gender identity. And if that’s the case, then you’re doing a good job of making her case for codes of conduct, so that folks don’t have to deal with being randomly attacked for who they are.