From its title (“Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”) to its claims that its author is the only human capable of rational thought without bias, to its assertion that modern feminist critique only exists because Communism failed, it’s filled with faulty logic and flawed arguments that wouldn’t have held water in any of the philosophy classes I took as a freshman.
It’s clearly a document meant to inflame, to incite, and most definitely not to encourage the kind of discussion the author claims over and over again to want to facilitate.
Let me be clear:
- The gender pay gap is real. Its size varies across countries and industries, but it exists.
- Studies of group decision-making show that those with a variation in viewpoints — particularly along gender lines — do better than those that lack such diversity.
- Bias against women is long-standing in the technological fields, and should be combatted by any means necessary.
- Feminism goes back a hell of a lot further than communism.
- Claims of universal values for Left and Right ignore the historical context in which those labels arose, and how fluid the beliefs of the groups assigned those labels have been over time.
- Affirmative-action programs are not “illegal discrimination”
- Political correctness is the name commentators on the Right have given to an age-old phenomenon: politeness. Certain beliefs or expressions are always considered beyond the pale. Those expressions change over time. The recent trend in Western society has been to push insults of race or gender beyond the pale. This is not a new thing, it is not a new form of authoritarianism, it is not a symptom of a Fascist Left. It’s civilization. Rude people have always faced censure, and rightly so.
- Finally, insisting that others are biased, while you are “biased” towards intellect and reason, is absurd. It’s a classic male power move. It denies your opponents any semblance of reason or thought. It’s dehumanizing. And it’s horseshit.
Thank the gods 2016 is over.
I think it’s been a rough year for many people. My rough 2016 actually stretches all the way back to fall 2015, when my wife and I upped stakes and moved back to the mid-south to take care of her mother.
The stress of that time — her mother’s health, the terrible condition of the house we bought, the shock of discovering that all traces of the friendly South we’d once known were gone — almost undid us. We felt abandoned, hated by our neighbors and resented by her family.
Things improved when we were able to tread water enough to reconnect with our friends, plug back into the community of accepting nerds and geeks we’d missed.
But the presidential campaign, culminating in the election of a liar, a swindler, and a bigot, convinced us that nothing could make up for the fact that we don’t belong here. And never will.
So we’re moving back to California.
Back to a state that takes life seriously, and so passed the most restrictive gun control laws in the country.
A state that takes liberty seriously enough to want to offer it to refugees from a horrible civil war.
A state that knows the pursuit of happiness means respecting the many diverse ways that its citizens go about it.
I can’t wait to be back home.
I refuse to believe that Trump’s election is a moment of ‘crisis’ for liberalism.
We’ve always been under siege. We’ve always been fighting uphill.
We were fighting uphill when we were abolitionists. We were fighting uphill when we worked to win the right to vote for the women of this country.
We were even fighting uphill when we wanted to stand with Britain in World War II. Not many people know this, but many in this country wanted to stay out, to let the Nazis and the Soviets divide up Europe between them, and let Japan have Asia. It took liberals like FDR to stand up and say, “That’s not the world we want to live in.”
Every time, we have been in the right. It has just taken a while for the rest of the country to see it.
I am reminded of MLK’s phrase, “the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” I remember the victories of the recent past, when we expanded the right to marry to same-sex couples. When we finally decriminalized a drug less harmful than alcohol. When we made health insurance affordable for 20 million more Americans.
This is not a crisis for liberalism. It isn’t the last gasp of conservatism, either, a desperate attempt by the powerful to stave off change.
They are always fighting us. And we are always winning.
This time will be no different.
Same-sex marriage is not a religious issue. It’s a legal one.
When you get married, you give your partner certain rights, and the two of you can act as one person. You can buy a house together and be treated as if you both owned it. If you have children together, you both get parental rights.
You get these rights because the government says you have them. No religious leader can simply point to two people and give them the ability to make medical choices for each other. The two people have to be adults, they have to decide to get married, and the person that marries them has to have been given that power by the government.
For the government to say that two people of the same sex can’t get married is like saying they can’t buy a car together. It’s an arbitrary refusal, a failure to fulfill one of the core functions of government: to enforce contracts.