Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Monday, 4 April 2022

One-sided Shootout at Coronado Mall!

Filed under: Politics, Principles, Reading, Self-Defense — Tags: , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 11:52 PM (23:52)

More “gun violence” at an Albuquerque mall on Thursday, 31 March 2022, as reported by the Albuquerque Journal, and reposted by the Journal to Facebook[1]

Five teens accused of beating at Coronado Center, by Matthew Reisen, Journal Staff Writer by Matthew Reisen, Journal Staff Writer

At least this time, no one seems to have been injured or killed as a result of shots fired.

Meanwhile, there have been several firearm-related homicides (involving shots fired at the victims) at other locations around Albuquerque — in the Downtown area, for example.

“Rbj Benjamin” posted a comment

Where’s our concealed carriers when you need them?

To which I replied

Concealed carry is not permitted on the property, per Coronado Center policy.

Blame Coronado for this one with their “No weapons allowed on site” policy, not concealed-carriers for their “failure” to be first responders to this incident.

And then there’s my follow-up comment

So when Ross and Morales were allegedly pistol-whipping the Fuddruckers employees, should that be considered “gun violence” (firearm(s) were involved) or “blunt-object violence” (no shots were fired at that time) ?

ONCE AGAIN, we see just how “effective” this sort of “No weapons allowed” policy is (it is NOT effective, for those too dense to understand sarcasm) in stopping firearm-related crime.

As for the “gun free” status of Coronado (and Winrock, Cottonwood, etc.), if someone is injured or killed by a criminal there, and that injury or death could have been prevented had the victim been armed, I hope the victim or their survivor(s) sue the property owners into non-existence.

Something not yet brought up: Ross and Morales are both under the age of 21. This means their mere possession of handguns was a federal offense. ANOTHER failure of the victim disarmament statutes.

Apparently, I made a mistake — per 18 U.S.C. § 922(x)(2)[2], Ross was legal in possessing a handgun.

Still, Ross’ alleged pistol-whipping of the Fuddruckers staff was definitely NOT legal, and would probably constitute battery, if not aggravated battery

30-3-4. Battery.

Battery is the unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of another, when done in a rude, insolent or angry manner.

Whoever commits battery is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

30-3-5. Aggravated battery.

  1. Aggravated battery consists of the unlawful touching or application of force to the person of another with intent to injure that person or another.
  2. Whoever commits aggravated battery, inflicting an injury to the person which is not likely to cause death or great bodily harm, but does cause painful temporary disfigurement or temporary loss or impairment of the functions of any member or organ of the body, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. Whoever commits aggravated battery inflicting great bodily harm or does so with a deadly weapon or does so in any manner whereby great bodily harm or death can be inflicted is guilty of a third degree felony.

What’s the takeaway here?

The lessons to be learned from this incident are as follows:

FIRST, victim disarmament edicts, whether they are in the form of public-sector statutes and regulations, or a private-sector “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” policy, don’t do much of anything to deter violent criminals from committing crimes.

If anything, they do the exact opposite — they make it easier for the criminals to victimize others.

Think of them as a sort of “workplace safety” code for the bad guys, making what are supposed to be “safe spaces” for shoppers and tourists into a  happy hunting ground for the crooks.

As the saying goes, “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away.”

But . . . but . . . what about the “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” sign? Surely, those intent on committing assault, battery, robbery, burglary, and possibly murder will see that sign, and then leave their guns in the car, right?

Well, you see, the criminal element always seems to find that massive loophole in all of the various victim-disarmament schemes called “breaking the law.”

If they’re willing to kill you over pocket change, what makes you think that they’re going to obey your hoplophobic prohibitionary edicts?

As the saying goes, “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away.”

And the reality of it all is this: You are your own best defender. Sure, you can contract the task out to someone else, but that person wants to go home to their family, too. That person will put their own personal safety above yours, if it comes down to it.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Albuquerque JournalFive teens accused of beating at Coronado Center, by Matthew Reisen, Journal Staff Writer by Matthew Reisen, Journal Staff Writer
    Published: Friday, April 1st, 2022 at 10:05 PM, Updated: Saturday, April 2nd, 2022 at 12:05 AM
    Facebook — Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 7:31 AM MST
    Retrieved Friday, 1 April 2022 and Monday, 4 April 2022
  2. H/T United States Concealed Carry Association [USCCA] — Federal Minimum Age to Purchase and Possess Handguns. Retrieved Monday, 4 April 2022

NOTES

  1. Published at The Libertarian Enterprise [TLE] — Number 1,151: Sunday, 10 April 2022
  2. Approximate reading level — 12.9
  3. Reposted —
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs — Bastyon / BlogspotDiaspora*ElloFacebookGabGettrgorf.pubgorf.spaceLiberty.meMindsRetalkSpreelyTwitterVKWimkin
    2. Absurdist Discordian Party of New Mexico — Facebook pageSpreely pageWimkin page
    3. Albuquerque Liberty Forum — Facebook pageSpreely page
    4. Discordian Absurdist Party of New Mexico — Facebook pageSpreely page
    5. Egg McMuffin for President — Facebook page
    6. KCUF Media — FacebookSpreely
    7. Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus — Facebook page / Spreely page
    8. New Mexico Dissent and Expose — Facebook pageSpreely page
    9. New Mexico Libertarians — Facebook groupFacebook page / Minds groupSpreely groupSpreely pageWimkin groupWimkin page
    10. “No One Wants to Take Your Guns” — Facebook pageWimkin page
    11. Resist Marxism New Mexico — Facebook page
    12. Stupor Bowl Sundae Feetball Shoot — Facebook pageSpreely page
    13. The Old Drunken Old Irrvelivents — Facebook pageSpreely page
    14. The Weekly Sedition — Diaspora*FacebookGabGettrgorf.pubgorf.spaceMindsSpreelyTwitterWimkin / WordPress
    15. Vote Dumpster Fire — Facebook page
    16. Vote the Air — Facebook page
    17. Wood Chipper — Facebook page

Copyright © 2022 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepadqq and Notepad++.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Book Review — 2345: A Letter From The Future, by Brandon Goldentree

Filed under: Reading — Tags: — mikewb1971 @ 5:28 AM (05:28)

2345: A Letter from the Future

by Brandon Goldentree

Published by 22 Lions

Needs more of a story

2 out of 5 stars

This book could work as a science fiction story with a bit more world-building and some more details, and less stream of consciousness.

Was it intended to be a sort of warning for present-day readers (2022) ? If so, what sort of action is the author proposing to prevent the predicted bad state of affairs?


NOTES

  1. Reposted —
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs — Amazon / Bastyon / Blogspot / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page, profile / Flote / Gab / Gettr / Gorf .pub, .space / Minds / Retalk / Spreely page, profile / Twitter / VK / Wimkin page, profile
    2. Bubonicon Puppies — Facebook page
    3. KCUF Media — Facebook page / Spreely page

Copyright © 2022 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepadqq and Notepad++.

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Book Review — Faith Seeking Freedom: Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:48 PM (14:48)

BOOK REVIEW — Faith Seeking Freedom: Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions

129 pages, by Dr. Norman Horn, Doug Stuart, Kerry Baldwin, and Dick Clark

FULL DISCLOSURES:

  • Kerry Baldwin has been a Facebook friend for several years now.
  • I don’t profess to be a Christian of any denomination or sect or whatever. Organized religion and I simply don’t do well together.

With those out of the way . . . .

Faith Seeking Freedom is easy reading, in that the authors don’t try to cram you chock-full of data and information and jargon, such that you would feel overwhelmed by it all.

When the authors cite Biblical content, they put the citation right there in the same paragraph as the point that they’re making, so you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to the end of the chapter or the end of the book. This is probably for the best where electronic versions are concerned. Also, for those inclined to have a Bible nearby to check on the authors, it’s right there where you can compare and contrast the authors’ points against the Bible verse(s) itself.

The authors don’t attempt to take sides where the big divisions of libertarian thought occur, such as the minarchy vs. anarchy debate, or whether or not to be involved in the LP, with the exception of the abortion issue.

SPECIFIC POINTS

[Page numbers cited here are what listed is on the particular page. The actual pages on the PDF version that I used for this review will be that number, plus 10 pages.]

Chapter 2 (The Libertarian Basics, pp. 23-34) gives the reader a decent summary of the Non-Aggression Principle and how it applies to everyday life.

p. 26, part of the answer to Question #13 (How do libertarian Christians account for people who violate the non-aggression principle (NAP)?) takes on the minarchy vs. anarchy question rather well — the authors explain both sides without explicitly favoring one side or the other. (Disclosure: I personally lean towards the anarcho-capitalist side.)

p.39, Question #25 (Do libertarians believe any and every government is illegitimate?) also tackles the minarchy vs. anarchy adroitly, explaining both sides without favoring one or the other.

pp. 67-68 give a succinct and principled response to the “What about roads?” shibboleth.

OK, enough spoilers.

Do me a favor Do yourself a favor — Go and get a copy and read it for yourself.

SUMMARY

Faith Seeking Freedom is an easy-to-read, principled guide for Christians who are seeking to understand libertarianism, on par with Inclined to Liberty by Louis Carabini, The Law by Frederic Bastiat, or Down With Power by L. Neil Smith.

Go get a copy, read it, then tell your friends and family.


NOTES

  1. Published at The Libertarian Enterprise [TLE] — Number 1,096: 6 December 2020
  2. Reposted —
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs — Blogspot / Diaspora* / Facebook page / Flote / Gab / Goodreads / Gorf Social / Liberty.me / Minds / Pocketnet / Spreely page / Twitter / VK / Wimkin page / YouMe Social
    2. Albuquerque Liberty Forum — Facebook page / Spreely page
    3. KCUF Media — Facebook page / Spreely page
    4. New Mexico Libertarians — Facebook group / Facebook page / Minds group / Spreely group / Spreely page / Wimkin group / Wimkin page
    5. The Old Drunken Old Irrvelivents — Facebook page / Spreely page
    6. The Weekly SeditionFacebook page / Spreely page / Twitter / Wimkin page / WordPress

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Skiffy Books I’ve Read by Women Before 1997

Filed under: entertainment, Media, Reading — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 4:54 AM (04:54)

For me, a partial list:

Margaret Wander Bonanno

Diane Carey

Carmen Carter

Jeanne Cavelos

Karen Rose Cercone

C. J. Cherryh

Carolyn Clowes

Sonni Cooper

Melissa Crandall

A.C. Crispin

Myrna Culbreath

Kathryn Drennan

Diane Duane

Julia Ecklar

Barbara Hambly

Laurell K. Hamilton

Janet Kagan

Judy Klass

Dana Kramer-Rolls

Majliss Larson

Jean Lorrah

Sondra Marshak

Anne McCaffery

Vonda N. McIntyre

Barbara Paul

Selina Rosen

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Pamela Sargent

Melissa Scott

Josepha Sherman

Kathleen Sky

Melinda Snodgrass

Susan Shwartz

Laurie S. Sutton

Jeri Taylor

Lois Tilton

Della Van Hise

Susan Wright

H/T Frank Ney — Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 10:51 PM


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Facebook page / Flote / Friendica / Gab / Minds / Spreely page / Twitter / VK
    2. Bubonicon Puppies — Facebook page / Spreely page
    3. KCUF Media – Facebook page / Spreely page

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Book Review — Sci-Fi Shorts, by Nathan Dodge

Filed under: Reading, Reviews — Tags: — mikewb1971 @ 9:49 PM (21:49)


Sci-Fi Shorts by Nathan Dodge

If you’re looking for a quick, easy read, then Sci-Fi Shorts might be for you.

I read through all 28 pages on my phone in under 30 minutes, and was not at all disappointed.

Each of the three stories were short but solid and thought-provoking.

(NO, I’m not providing any spoilers!)


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook / Gab / Minds / Twitter / VK
    2. Bubonicon Puppies Facebook page

Friday, 17 May 2019

G.P. Eliot’s Reader Questionnaire

Filed under: Correspondence, Quizzes / Surveys, Reading — Tags: — mikewb1971 @ 1:30 AM (01:30)

What’s your age?

  • Younger than 18
  • 18 – 24
  • 25 – 40
  • 41 – 65
  • 65 or older

Where do you live?

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • Other:

How did you discover G.P. Eliot?

  • An email from Amazon
  • Amazon “Also Bought”
  • BookBub
  • Other book recommendation service (i.e. Freebooksy, instaFreebie, BookSends)
  • You saw an ad on Facebook
  • You saw an ad on Amazon
  • Recommendation from family member or friend

What originally attracted you to G.P. Eliot’s books?

  • Cover
  • Blurb
  • Look Inside (free sample on Amazon)
  • Reviews
  • Other:

How many Sci-Fi books have you read?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6 – 10
  • More than 10
  • I don’t read Science Fiction

Which are your top three favorite Sci-Fi books?

I’ve read literally hundreds (see above), to pick just three from all of them is a bit of an injustice to so many of them.

Name your top three favorite Sci-Fi Amazon authors

Michael Flynn, Neal Stephenson, L. Neil Smith, and of course, the late great Robert A. Heinlein (again, too many to do proper justice to here)

Name your favorite(s) Sci-Fi movie(s)

The Matrix (the first one), Interstellar

How do you read your books?

  • Amazon Kindle
  • Print
  • Barnes & Nobles
  • Apple Device
  • Android Device
  • Kobo eReader
  • Audiobook
  • Other: Amazon Kindle, print, on my laptop

Are you in Kindle Unlimited?

  • Yes
  • No

What do you think G.P. Eliot should include more in his books?

  • Space Battles
  • Colonization
  • Alien Invasion
  • Exploration
  • Splatter
  • Humor
  • Action
  • Sex
  • Other: All of the above, with the exception of splatter (it gets tedious after a while).

What is your favorite Science Fiction category?

  • Space Opera
  • Dystopian
  • Galactic Empire
  • Military
  • Alien Invasion
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Colonization
  • First Contact
  • Space Exploration
  • Other: I’m a bit of a sucker for science fiction — I can go with just about any genre in a skiffy setting.

How often would you like to hear from G.P. Eliot?

  • Just when there’s a new book
  • Once a week
  • Once a month
  • Twice a month

Is there anything else you’d like G.P. Eliot to know?

Nada for the time being.


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook / Gab / Minds / Twitter / VK

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Book Review — Dalida, by G.P. Eliot

Filed under: Reading — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 3:33 AM (03:33)

Emancipation, Book 1.0: Dalida by G. P. Eliot

As promised, here is my review. I tried posting it to Amazon, and received this error message upon making the attempt —

The other reviews posted to Amazon are spot-on, for the most part.

If you’re looking for swashbuckling adventure of the Indiana Jones variety, with tidbits of Star Trek thrown in, Eliot is your guy.

The good guys aren’t the angsty, indecisive types that so many other writers like to put out there for your entertainment FRNs. Sure, they have their flaws, but they’re basically good, stand-up people when it counts. You won’t find any socialist just-us wankers on the crew of the Dalida, insisting that everyone sing “Kum-bah-ya” with everyone that they encounter.

Likewise, I suspect that most readers would want to see the main bad guy (the “Jackal”) killed in a firefight at some point. He’s a conniving, backstabbing, untrustable son of a bitch, and makes no bones about it.

The only “bad” thing in the 500 pages of the ePub version that I saw was on page 343.4 —

Instead, the ansibles worked on encoding data into neutrinos—tiny sub-atomic particles that could travel faster than light. Without them, humanity would dissolve into a mess of disparate colony worlds, never able to talk to each other.

Neutrinos usually travel at the speed of light, as far as the current research shows.[1]

So “neutrinos” should be changed to “tachyons,” the technobabble catch-all faster-than-light subatomic particles, for v.2 of Dalida.


NOTES

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino#Speed
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measurements_of_neutrino_speed
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook / Gab / Minds / Twitter / VK

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Filed under: Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 11:28 PM (23:28)

People should not be afraid of their governments.

Governments should be afraid of their people.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. DC Comics, Vertigo Comics — V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, et al.
  2. Warner Bros. — V for Vendetta

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Captain America and Spiderman, On the Rooftop

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics, Principles, Reading — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 10:52 PM (22:52)

Usually, the superhero genre doesn’t do much for me (mostly I wait for the movies to show up on TNT or FX[1]).

But when they[2] get it right, it’s pretty damn good.

I saved these scanned pages from a post made years ago on the calguns.net message board. They were scanned from The Amazing Spider-Man #537.

Considering the current socio-political climate, it seems as though the importance of standing up for one’s views, regardless of whether the whole world is against you, cannot be understated.


NOTES

  1. Why bother going to see them at the overpriced cineplex, with its overpriced snacks, uncomfortable seats, other moviegoers who are assholes, etc., when you can save a bundle by seeing it at home — you can have your food and drink of choice, start the movie whenever you want, pause or stop it whenever you want, and not have to put up with people you wouldn’t otherwise touch with a ten-parsec pole?

    Seriously, they can’t cut much from any of the Marvel or DC flicks — there’s no nudity, excessive profanity or graphic, gratuitous gore to speak of, and if they cut out the comic-book style violence, there wouldn’t be any plot left.

  2. In this case, J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5 fame, Ron Garney, Bill Reinhold, Matt Milla, Cory Petit, Michael O’Connor, and Alex Alonso.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, by James Damore

Filed under: Politics, Reading, Technology — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 9:25 PM (21:25)

FULL TEXT OF JAMES DAMORE MEMO

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber

by James Damore

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

TL:DR

  • Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
  • This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
  • Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
  • Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Background [1]

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.[2] Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it’s a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.

Google’s biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.

Left Biases

  • Compassion for the weak
  • Disparities are due to injustices
  • Humans are inherently cooperative
  • Change is good (unstable)
  • Open
  • Idealist

Right Biases

  • Respect for the strong/authority
  • Disparities are natural and just
  • Humans are inherently competitive
  • Change is dangerous (stable)
  • Closed
  • Pragmatic

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]

At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:

  • They’re universal across human cultures
  • They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
  • Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
  • The underlying traits are highly heritable
  • They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective

Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

Personality differences

Women, on average, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that “greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s personality traits.” Because as “society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider.” We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.

Men’s higher drive for status

We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay / high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap

Below I’ll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women’s representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it’s still instructive to list them:

  • Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
  • We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).
  • Women on average are more cooperative
  • Allow those exhibiting cooperative behavior to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there’s more we can do. This doesn’t mean that we should remove all competitiveness from Google. Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what’s been done in education. Women on average are more prone to anxiety. Make tech and leadership less stressful. Google already partly does this with its many stress reduction courses and benefits.
  • Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
  • Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in tech.
  • The male gender role is currently inflexible
  • Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.

Philosophically, I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimizing for Google — with Google’s diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google’s funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.

The Harm of Google’s biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

  • Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
  • A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
  • Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
  • Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
  • Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]

These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.

Why we’re blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what’s being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google’s left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we’re using to justify highly politicized programs.

In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women’s oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of “grass being greener on the other side”; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness[11], which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

Suggestions

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

My concrete suggestions are to:

De-moralize diversity.

As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”

Stop alienating conservatives.

  • Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
  • In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
  • Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company./li>

Confront Google’s biases.

  • I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
  • I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.

Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

  • These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.

Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.

  • Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
  • There’s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
  • These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
  • I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination.

Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.

  • We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
  • We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
  • Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.

De-emphasize empathy.

  • I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy — feeling another’s pain — causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.

Prioritize intention.

  • Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offense and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
  • Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn’t backed by evidence.

Be open about the science of human nature.

  • Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.

Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.

  • We haven’t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
  • Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
  • Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).

[1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google’s Mountain View campus, I can’t speak about other offices or countries.

[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I’d be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

[3] Throughout the document, by “tech”, I mostly mean software engineering.

[4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

[5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.

[6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I’ve seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivize the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.

[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”

[8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.

[9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

[10] “The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men’s problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak.”

[11] Political correctness is defined as “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against,” which makes it clear why it’s a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. British Journal of Guidance & CounsellingWomen, careers, and work-life preferences by Catherine Hakim [Article linked to in the original document by J. Damore]
  2. PDF version (also here)

NOTES

  1. Published at The Libertarian EnterpriseNumber 935 – 13 August 2017

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