Saturday, August 12, 2017

Goolag


For John, BLUFSuppressing unpopular opinions is dangerous to democracy, because the "approved" views are not always right.  Remember, Margaret Sanger believed in Eugenics and Woodrow Wilson in Segregation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is a long post, by Writer Ed Driscoll, with lots of Links and Excerpts.  He put it up late last night, around 11:44.  This is only part of it.

THE GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO:  In an article at the Weekly Standard that was likely written before Google’s meltdown this week headlined, “You Can’t Say That,” a review of the recent book The Demon in Democracy, Matthew B. Crawford asks, “Has liberalism taken a Soviet turn?”
He then looked at an item from Mr James D Miller, Get ready for the 'tech alt-right' to gain power and influence in Silicon Valley, on 9 August 2017.

The firing of James Damore over his “Google's Ideological Echo Chamber” memo will empower the tech alt-right.

To understand why, imagine yourself as a Republican working at a big Silicon Valley tech company.

You agree with Damore that some average differences between men and women probably explain some of why such a high proportion of computer programmers are male.  You, however, in no way consider yourself sexist.

What Damore’s termination tells you is that many in your field consider people with your beliefs to be unfit to work with.  They hold opinions of you similar to those of former senior Google employee Yonatan Zunger, who wrote about Damore, saying:

“Do you understand that at this point, I could not in good conscience assign anyone to work with you?  I certainly couldn’t assign any women to deal with this, a good number of the people you might have to work with may simply punch you in the face, and even if there were a group of like-minded individuals I could put you with, nobody would be able to collaborate with them.” (Emphasis mine.)
If you are on the right, you probably find it hard to imagine that any reasonably person could read Damore’s memo and think that it reveals the author to be sexist, punchable, or a danger to women’s careers.  It appears to you that Damore was excommunicated for questioning the progressive diversity narrative in a most respectful manner.
Here is a scary quote from the article:
When SJWs in Silicon Valley realize that their ideological enemies are hiding, they might actively search them out.  They might become suspicious of the guy who was the first to stop clapping when a new diversity initiative was announced.  Even worse, SWJs in human resources might become reluctant to hire those with characteristics correlated with conservatism, such as past military service.
Then Mr Driscoll makes a connection:
That line about SJWs becoming suspicious about “the guy who was the first to stop clapping when a new diversity initiative was announced” is Straight Outta the Kremlin, comrade.  In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote of the fate of the man who stopped clapping first:
At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for.  Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). … For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued.  But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion.  It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first!  And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes!  They were done for!  Their goose was cooked!  They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks!  At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly – but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?

* * * * * * * *

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat.  And, oh, a miracle took place!  Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone?  To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down.  They had been saved!

The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.  That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were.  And that was how they went about eliminating them.  That same night the factory director was arrested.  They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different.  But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

Then Mr Driscoll rings in a Post at The American Conservative by Mr Rod Dreher, on 11 August, that talks to Google’s Hypocrisy On Gender

At the conclusion of a post today on the hypocrisy of Google firing Damore over his memo but making billions off of gender-based data-mining and targeted advertising code, Rod Dreher links to [this] a scene from the 2006 film on the East German Stasi, The Lives of Others:

HERE

If someone asks you why, in the 1930s and early 1940s, the Germans did nothing, said nothing, remember that Soviet Citizen who was the first to stop clapping.

And then remember that a little deviant thinking is a good thing.  They may be wrong, they may be cuckoo, but their existence, in public, means that you too are free to have divergent thinking.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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