The NERDS Strike Back!

Started by dr e, Mar 24, 2013, 05:25 AM

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dr e

God bless the programmers!  Some overly sensitive, shame based, incredibly PC woman reported a joke she overheard from behind her at a conference.  She thought it was injurious to a climate that welcomed women into the sciences.  What a moron.  She got the guy fired.  Fuck sake.  But read what happened then!

A Dongle Joke That Spiraled Way Out Of Control
KIM-MAI CUTLERThursday, March 21st, 20131218 Comments
In an age of blogs, tweets, Hacker News, Reddit and Anonymous, an off-the-cuff joke can spin wildly out of control.

At least it appears that's what happened with PyCon this week when a sexual joke led to some very public firings, a virulent debate about women in technology, another virulent debate about public shaming, and now, a DDOS attack.

So here's what happened:

1) While sitting in the 10th row of a Python programming conference, a developer who used to work for mobile monetization startup Playhaven apparently made a joke about "big" dongles and "forking someone's repo."

2) Adria Richards, a developer evangelist sitting in front of them, called them out on Twitter and in a blog post for making the conference environment unwelcoming toward women. PyCon then escorted them out to the hallway.

"Women in technology need consistant [sic] messaging from birth through retirement they are welcome, competent and valued in the industry," she explained in a blog post.

3) Shortly afterward, Playhaven said it had fired the developer. CEO Andy Yang explained, "As a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honorable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go." He added that the employee wasn't Alex Reid, who is the guy looking straight at the camera in Richards' tweeted photo. Reid still works for Playhaven.

4) The unnamed fired employee showed up on Hacker News by the name of "mr-hank" and apologized for the joke.

I really did not mean to offend anyone and I really do regret the comment and how it made Adria feel. She had every right to report me to staff, and I defend her position. However, there is another side to this story. While I did make a big dongle joke about a fictional piece hardware that identified as male, no sexual jokes were made about forking. My friends and I had decided forking someone's repo is a new form of flattery (the highest form being implementation) and we were excited about one of the presenters projects; a friend said "I would fork that guys repo" The sexual context was applied by Adria, and not us.

My second comment is this, Adria has an audience and is a successful person of the media. Just check out her web page linked in her twitter account, her hard work and social activism speaks for itself. With that great power and reach comes responsibility. As a result of the picture she took I was let go from my job today. Which sucks because I have 3 kids and I really liked that job.

She gave me no warning, she smiled while she snapped the pic and sealed my fate. Let this serve as a message to everyone, our actions and words, big or small, can have a serious impact.

5) After news that the developer was let go came out, Richards said on Hacker News that she didn't intend for the developer to get fired. She then started getting some incredibly degrading criticism on her Facebook page and on Twitter. I won't re-print it here, but you can just read the link. It's awful.

6) PyCon is still discussing how to change its code of conduct around reporting incidents like this one.

7) Someone claiming to know plans of the hacker group Anonymous posted a note this morning saying that it had acquired SendGrid's client list and was going to attack the company's infrastructure if the startup didn't fire Richards.

Adria Richards engaged in malicious conduct to destroy the another individual's professional career due to what she perceived as an affront to her own extremist views from a comment that was not directed at her, not meant for her to hear, and certainly not for her to provide unwarranted input on. As such, she should have her professional career destroyed just like her victim in order for justice to be rendered and balance restored to the universe. The hivemind's judgement is final and there is no appeal. No forgiveness, no forgetting remember?

8) SendGrid acknowledged that they had suffered a DDOS, or distributed denial of service, attack today.

9) And now, just hours ago, SendGrid's Facebook and Twitter accounts plus their company blog posted that Richards has been terminated:

Effective immediately, SendGrid has terminated the employment of Adria Richards. While we generally are sensitive and confidential with respect to employee matters, the situation has taken on a public nature. We have taken action that we believe is in the overall best interests of SendGrid, its employees, and our customers. As we continue to process the vast amount of information, we will post something more comprehensive.

SendGrid's CEO just posted the company's rationale for firing her. Basically they disagree with how she handled responding to the joke so publicly and say that she's no longer going to be effective in her role at the company. He didn't say whether the company could have offered her a different role.

A SendGrid developer evangelist's responsibility is to build and strengthen our Developer Community across the globe. In light of the events over the last 48+ hours, it has become obvious that her actions have strongly divided the same community she was supposed to unite. As a result, she can no longer be effective in her role at SendGrid.

In the end, the consequences that resulted from how she reported the conduct put our business in danger. Our commitment to our 130 employees, their families, our community members and our more than 130,000 valued customers is our primary concern.

Hold on. Wait, what? Did this even really need to happen?

Mix a single tasteless joke with the wrath of the Internet, and this is what you get.

It's incredibly out of control. None of this had to happen. I can't speculate about the firings, because they're often complex decisions that factor in more than a single joke or a blog post.

But it's important to be conscientious about off-color jokes in public or in a workplace.

Secondly, don't publicly shame people before discussing it with them in a more direct way -- whether that has to be facilitated by a third-party like PyCon or not. This is not to undermine the very real concern that the tech industry hasn't always been that comfortable for women.

I was reading Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography this weekend (really) and he wrote: "We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party."

Furthermore, as a tech journalist who has covered many conflicts between companies, going public is always the strategy of last resort. Otherwise, you risk instigating the unpredictable and fickle behavior of the Internet masses.

Then the third thing that's sad is the lopsided nature of Internet fury, which is largely directed at Richards' employer, not Playhaven for firing the developer. If you read the tweets and comments that are coming Adria Richards' way, it is some of the foulest kind of hate that the web harbors. Far worse than a dongle joke.

Indeed, this firestorm is a classic example of how the distance between people on the web can sometimes make us less understanding and empathetic to each other, not more.
Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.


She sounds like pure evil. She should be fired.
Men's Movie Guide:   The Healing Tomb:


I put up with lots of sexual harassment when I was a young man. How big is your penus? Bum pinching. Showing pictures of naked men. etc

But I bet you cannot find a single feminist who would say there was anything wrong with that.

So lets not pretend this has anything to do with sexual harassment. It is about power. Dis-empowering men. So that they will always be afraid.

She saw him as a casualty in her war against men. She is evil.  :angryfire:
Men's Movie Guide:   The Healing Tomb:


Here is a petition that you can sign to help the man get his job back.

Even if he doesn't get his job back, it will at least let PlayHaven know what you think of their actions.
Affirmative Action: The federal government takes your job away from you and gives it to a woman. Then she sneers at you because you are unemployed.


A few speculations here:

1)  I'm betting this company found a golden opportunity to get rid of some feminist in their midst.  Feminists see themselves as "Holy Avengers" (tm), but always seem to think their OWN actions are "different".  Most normal people view feminists as oversensitive, backstabbing, exagerating, conniving power and control junkies. 

If you think you're all sorts of wonderful and most others see you as evil - it's time to a serious reassesment of who you are.

2)  Adria was raised in the climate of "I'm a woman, and a person of color" - which is unhealthy.  She is a PERSON, her gender and color/race do not define her.  She'd claim "of course I know that" and in the next breath tell me how her gender and race affect EVERYTHING in her life.

Again - she never thought the same rules would EVER apply to HER.  I'm not sorry she got a taste of her own medicine.  The truly sad part is she will never acknowledge that she did this to herself, will never see herself as anything but a victim, and this will actually increase her FEELING of grievence.  She's toxic and a poison to all around her.

3)  What-in-the-name-of-Jupiter's-Cock is a "developer evangelist"?  So, she can't make it as a developer so they made her a cheerleader?!  I'm sorry, and please any IT guys help me out, but is it just me or is this some, in-reality, do nothing job that wastes money or what!?


Somewhere in the comments was said, and I have seen it too, that people like this go in, and they game the system from day 1.  They find a situation whereby they can complain to HR about being a victim, making them essentially bullet proof for being fired for incompetence and ride the PC gravy train for years in an industry.  Often with a lofty title, but without doing any actual WORK.

'Watch our backs at home, we'll guard the wall over here. You can sleep safe tonight, we'll guard the door."

Isaiah 6:8
"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"


3)  What-in-the-name-of-Jupiter's-Cock is a "developer evangelist"?  So, she can't make it as a developer so they made her a cheerleader?!  I'm sorry, and please any IT guys help me out, but is it just me or is this some, in-reality, do nothing job that wastes money or what!?

Someone who "convinces" developers about why should they use the particular development environment. Ideally implies (superior) development skills. I can't make statements about her development skills -- her LinkedIn page lists several development languages (and maybe environments) but that can be just PR.

Anyhow, someone who stalks developers at a conference can't really be an effective "developer evangelist". I guess that's why she got fired: there's simply no way on God's green earth which explains how is it beneficial for one's employer when one alienates the "customers" (developers) she's paid to court.
The spreading of information about the [quantum] system through the [classical] environment is ultimately responsible for the emergence of "objective reality." 

Wojciech Hubert Zurek: Decoherence, einselection, and the quantum origins of the classical

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