Microsoft, SUSE, & KDE get political.
(Not taking sides, just reporting and pondering on the repercussions.)
MP3 / RSS: http://lunduke.com/
@lunduke Seems the GitHub stance is very even to me.
But corps using their gains for politicking isn't even remotely new. They've been lobbying from day one. At least this is a bit more altruistic than rent-seeking lobbying efforts. And it was Citizen United the proved out that corps have 1A rights.
I actually appreciate a tech firm making a political and ethical stand. It helps guide me as to who I prefer to do business with, respect in the marketplace and generally view as a future provider and partner. For me this is the quintessential point of intelligent, informed capitalism.
@lunduke making a public statement with complete disregard for the stances of one's employees and customers seems like a dangerous game to play. I understand supporting the environment, because saving the environment is better for most people, but the Github stance in particular has me nervous.
@lunduke I think that the three big taboo topics in our society are the three most important for us to have open discussion of: Money, religion, politics. But I already have plenty of reasons to dislike Microsoft. Them adapting any form of political correct hardline really just cements my disdain for them. The big three tech giants Google, Apple, and Microsoft have way too much power in our society, and they flex that power in dangerous ways - even when I agree with them, how they do it hurts.
@lunduke And since we are getting political, I will just say that the single greatest evil in our world stems from when people try to use force and coercion (usually in the form of government) to bludgeon people who disagree with them into behaving in a way that conforms with the beliefs of the bludgeoner.
@lunduke From my point politics here is secondary, primary are values and ethics. Someone should stand up for that.
Also - everyone blames big corps anyway for influencing politics, so this is fair and honest statement to keep up transparency.
So however I despise MS (as a tech company) - I support this particular motion.
Ok @lunduke I'll bite, even though I don't expect a response ^_^
There is a threshold where a political issue transcends the political, and becomes moral. Moral issues can also transcend the moral and become an emergency, or in other words, an existential issue.
Some people are all to eager to share their (often lame and uninformed) political opinions. I'm not for that. BUT as a young student, I was often fascinated by...
I often would put myself in the shoes of a young german man in the late 30s, and I would repeatedly ask myself what I would do if I found myself in that situation. At what point do the evils of the present day warrant me speaking out, even at the cost of life or liberty?
I spent the spring of '17 studying...
...the Weimar Republic (the period of German history just before the Nazi era) in grad school.
I was *NOT* eager to make connections between that era and this one. I went into it with an open mind. Even at the end of the semester, I wasn't making any kind of comparisons, but treating it purely as an academic exercise (which of course, it was).
But as the year wore on, and turned into the next, I found myself growing steadily uneasy.
The young late-1930s german man...
...started tapping me on the shoulder.
By the summer of 2018, in the midst of the family separation scandal, I had had entirely enough. I made a stand, at not-negligible personal cost, and alienated many friends.
I'm not saying I did the right thing. Of course, even with the best of intentions, I will tend to go off half-cocked. It's just my nature. A lot of what I lost could have been avoided. (Would have been avoided more if I would have deleted Farcebook sooner).
But anyways, I think any moral/ethical person has a threshold at which they will risk life and limb to speak out against something they feel is evil. Of course, not everyone's threshold is the same, and I think some people will scream and wail over the smallest thing, while others will just take a beating and go home without saying a word.
Back to the podcast itself, you said something to the effect that for the Github team to call the current administration evil...
...they are effectively calling anyone who supports it evil. I don't think that quite parses out.
I don't have to think you're evil to agree with something I consider evil, I can merely consider you uninformed, or undiligent in researching the issue, or at worst, just stupid.
The case you make is that the statement will alienate all of those who support the current administration. That may be so, and I have felt that kind of corporate alienation myself. It's not...
...a particularly nice feeling. But that isn't necessarily what's happening here. Most people who support the current administration don't support all of its actions, or may only support half of its actions. So, to call an action evil isn't necessarily to alienate all of those who agree with the person performing those actions, only those that think that those particular actions are good, or necessary.
But enough of that point. I think the crux of the issue is this:
You want to affirm and respect every human being on the planet. I freaking love you for that.
But I think that even for that laudable goal, there are limits. Maybe not on the affirming part (that's debatable), but on the part where we say that we must not alienate everybody.
I don't think you're particularly concerned with alienating someone like Charles Manson. At least, I would wager not. But hold on, I'm not meaning to draw up a false dichotomy here. I'm not...
...so crass as to leave you with such a cheap bit of dialectical sleight-of-hand.
What I mean is, just like nearly everything else in life, there's a scale which we must fall on. Some people are all TOO HAPPY to alienate anyone that does not agree with them on any number of issues, or that doesn't look/sound like them. Others loathe to alienate people, and avoid it at all cost.
What I want to point out is that you and the GitHub CEO fall on different places in this...
The other issue is that of a company speaking up on issues that are none of their concern, or to put it more precisely, not their core competency.
As I described earlier, I think there are times where this is necessary, and I *might* even say that we're there now.
We can disagree on that without vilifying or alienating each other.
I guess that's my point. :)
If *anyone* got this far, you're awesome. And you're awesome even if you didn't.
IMHO left or right wing political partisans should not be allowed in science or business environments. They are no more cogent or trustworthy than a religious zealot.