Brendan Eich, Prop 8, Mozilla, and the "moral hazard" of his ouster

RoughneckGeek: I disagree the debate is preventing that. I honestly think the debate is what has made the progress to this point possible, and what will make further progress come more quickly.

And I'll admit that it's a more important issue to you than it is to me, even if gay rights issues are in a virtious cycle with all sexual freedom. But please don't think my concerns with further politicizing the workplace are a dodge on ENDA. Right now, those that seek to oppose gay rights are screwing it up royally. Prop. 8 exposed how much of it is just raw homophobia in a way that we could never do. You don't interrupt your enemy when he's busy making a mistake.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Maybe. But seeing headlines about homophobic bigots lose ANY job, from CEO to being in charge of the sheep dip, might help. In other words, "it'll help" is a standard so wide, I don't think the consequences of it are being taken seriously.

Look, I don't even think parents should be able to hit their kids, let alone raise them in a household where their parents' beliefs put them at increased risk of suicide. But there's more to the issue than just that question.

You're right. I don't take the consequences seriously. I'll consider taking them seriously if we're ever on an equal playing field. As long as the debate is about preventing those like me from the protections marriage affords and keeping it legal for us to be fired for being gay, I'm not going to spare the time to hand-wring over a CEO resigning.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

RoughneckGeek: I disagree the debate is preventing that. I honestly think the debate is what has made the progress to this point possible, and what will make further progress come more quickly.

I went back and corrected the typo I made omitting the word "about".

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

And I'll admit that it's a more important issue to you than it is to me, even if gay rights issues are in a virtious cycle with all sexual freedom. But please don't think my concerns with further politicizing the workplace are a dodge on ENDA. Right now, those that seek to oppose gay rights are screwing it up royally. Prop. 8 exposed how much of it is just raw homophobia in a way that we could never do. You don't interrupt your enemy when he's busy making a mistake.

I don't agree this is about politicizing the workplace. This wasn't a firing over an issue like gun control. This was a CEO's resignation after he contributed to the vilifying of a minority and rolling back human rights. This has only become a point of discussion because gays are still a vulnerable minority.

Okay, but I'd say that what I wrote is still applicable--I don't see how the word 'about' changes things.

As for it being a non-political issue, I guess politicize is the wrong word. I should say something more like what I said earlier, about turning the workplace into a spot where social punishment is meted out.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Okay, but I'd say that what I wrote is still applicable.

As for it being a non-political issue, I guess politicize is the wrong word. I should say something more like what I said earlier, about turning the workplace into a spot where social punishment is metted out.

It already is, although that's been getting a lot better in the past 40-50 years.

LouZiffer: I think we crossed, in edits--I agree, but why stop that progress?. This is an issue that goes beyond this topic (yet does have a bit of a connection to the thread, ironically) but as we become less and less anonymous, the idea of the workplace as a spot where we met out social punishment becomes more and more problematic.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Okay, but I'd say that what I wrote is still applicable--I don't see how the word 'about' changes things.

As for it being a non-political issue, I guess politicize is the wrong word. I should say something more like what I said earlier, about turning the workplace into a spot where social punishment is meted out.

The debate over gay rights in this country is still about whether I'm entitled to marriage protections and protected from workplace discrimination. I'm not going to lose sleep over Eich when on one side of the debate you might have to take a demotion from CEO or resign... when on my side of that same debate I can just be fired outright. Again, get back to me when we're dealing with a level playing field.

Social backlash is always something companies have had to take into account. This isn't new.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

LouZiffer: I think we crossed, in edits--I agree, but why stop that progress?. This is an issue that goes beyond this topic (yet does have a bit of a connection to the thread, ironically) but as we become less and less anonymous, the idea of the workplace as a spot where we met out social punishment becomes more and more problematic.

I agree that we need to separate that from the topic of this thread. To me, Eich's resignation had nothing to do with meting out social punishment and everything to do with ensuring that's not something which occurs within Mozilla. It's a deliberate move the other way. Whether we want to discuss "Hope there's no backswing against white Christian males for our actions in the past!" or "Hope political correctness doesn't turn our workplace into the thought police!", this thread is a poor place for it IMO.

(I'm not meaning to say those are your arguments, but I am putting forth a couple that I've seen in other forums as plainly as I've seen them. When I boil down the slippery slope stuff into its essence, those two stand out.)

The protection of the straight, white, Christian male is endemic in our system. True equality can only be achieved by taking away privileged statuses for everyone, including them. To them, it also looks like they're losing something - and they are. But it's something no one else has to begin with, and something that no single group deserves by any measurable, objective marker.

LouZiffer: And I'm in agreement about the case of Eich is a poor one for that discussion. As for whether we might have to separate that into another thread, I guess, but only because it's of such larger scope and not because it's irrelevant. I get ya you're not meaning to say I'm putting forth those arguments. For what it's worth, I'm putting forth an argument that I also put forth in the Police State threads as to why some of us are not as alarmed as others are.

edit: well, on second thought, I guess it's maybe like the latter one you listed.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

edit: well, on second thought, I guess it's maybe like the latter one you listed.

Like many good arguments, it can sound crappy without its nuances. That doesn't mean it's worthless. Maybe if I weren't tired of the topic already I'd make one. Haha. As it is, I'll say that I'm not averse to participating.

LouZiffer: no worries, I get you were just giving the shortest of shorthand. ; D

I mean, what's the saying about when fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in the flag, carrying the cross? Maybe when 1984 comes to America, it'll be on sale with a 2 year contract, compatible with high-margin accessories you can buy to 'personalize' it.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

But when it came time recently for him to have to face that, he planted both feet. A better man would have said, "I'm sorry" not because he was being browbeaten or shamed or whatever himself, but because the crap Prop 8 did was objectively awful. "I do not support gay marriage but I cannot condone the methods the Proposition 8 campaign employed" would have been a statement I could understand.

"I'm sorry for the hurt I've caused" objectively recognizes that the campaign did harm - I think you're claiming secret knowledge of his underlying motives here. I see the foot plant here as a refusal to lie about his underlying moral beliefs - and I don't see that in a negative light.

Objectively? Not really the correct use of the word, there. It's certainly a possibility, and I could read that into it, but I wouldn't want to be claiming secret knowledge of his underlying motives. I think, given the fact the whole issue swirled directly around that contribution, hedging around mentioning it directly is more reasonably interpreted as an act of someone who does not see the harm they did. Sure, an assumption, but so is yours, and eventually "well that's an assumption" is not actually a deflection when it's not a poor assumption.

As I said, I am not so concerned with the donation itself, but the refusal to actually face the wrongness of that campaign. I hope you're not implying that I or others would want to see him lie or that we wouldn't see such lying in a negative light.

Instead, as is so popular these days, the person doing or enabling attacks on others instead tries to quickly take the title of victim themselves. Pathetic.

When did he paint himself as the victim? Cite please.

Eich? He didn't, to my knowledge. That may have been a poor segue, but I was speaking more to those who have rallied to this banner of "my free speech is being curtailed" or "we're being bullied!"

Quick: how seriously would you take me if I said, "obviously everyone who doesn't want to see gay people married would also like to see them beaten in the streets?" Hopefully, you'd say I was an idiot, and that you have no need to argue with idiots, and would like to discuss this issue with someone who is not a goddamned idiot. Equating people who oppose gay marriage to the smaller crowd of people who literally wish violence on homosexuals is certainly not fair.

Certainly everyone would reject this carefully constructed reverse strawman. Except that someone draws this comparison on page 1 of this thread - feel free to be the first person to call them out.

Another swing and a miss at the "oooh hypocrisy" gotcha, as RNG pointed out.

Dissent is useful in many cases. But dissent itself is not explicitly valuable. And valuable dissent is not always equal in value to other forms of dissent. This keeps going around and around and around.

So you're either defining "value" here as "ideas judged valuable by me, Bloo Driver" or "ideas that more than 50% of society agrees with", unless there's an objective standard here I'm not aware of. The problems with applying either definition of value when it comes to expressing a political belief should be readily apparent.

Or you're just forcefully ignoring the third option - the point I was actually trying to make. Of course all dissent is not of equal value. Nowhere did I actually bother with who or what gets to be final arbiter of that value, as you want to pretend, because it is certainly subjective. The whole "let's be fair to this viewpoint" argument is constructed around this notion that dissent for its own sake is valuable, and dissent of all kinds is equal. Otherwise, the people making this comparison would engage in the discussion of the worth of their dissent. But articles like this don't. They never get beyond that, "Well he has a right to express himself!" Of course he does. But that's a false pass. The issue is not, among reasonable people, "Eich dared to make an unpopular opinion*" no matter how many people keep trying to drag that goalpost.

So it just comes back to, "why do we have to give this opinion due and fair consideration as if it were something else?" Note, the question is not, "Why do we have to let people say things" or "why do people get to have opinions" or whatnot, because despite what the article and those like it would like to pretend, that's not the end goal of many folks who had a problem with Eich.

I find it kind of fitting that instead of actually discussing the meat of what I mentioned, you decided to pick apart a few things, twist them beyond what I said in order to find the flaws. A good reminder of:

1) The whole mess in particular. So far, I have yet to see anyone actually make a substantive issue against what actually happened to Eich. Instead, we see people grasping at phantom "what if" situations, odd hyperbole, and trying to equivocate it to things that didn't happen.

2) Why I stopped bothering with this forum, since so many people believe simply dissenting itself and scoring a few points makes their posts worthwhile rather than actually trying to discuss the ideas. If you want to actually talk about what happened to Eich and discuss what I am communicating, I'll try to engage you in good faith, but for now I don't see that going anywhere.

(*an opinion which, curiously, is either popular with a majority or not, subjectively based on the argument used to defend him)

disregard

Bloo, you might have missed it because I can't use quotes yet, but I think I discussed the meat of what you mentioned, it's just that it led to the conclusion "we're gonna need a bigger thread."

IMAGE(http://csublogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/jaws.png)

I haven't seen this posted yet, but I feel it bears repeating.

IMAGE(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/free_speech.png)

I don't think it does: at least for the last couple of pages, we've been attentive to distinguish between Socially Free Speech, and 1st Amendment Legally Free Speech. The two are not the same, but I think there are some similarities.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

I don't think it does: at least for the last couple of pages, we've been attentive to distinguish between Socially Free Speech, and 1st Amendment Legally Free Speech. The two are not the same, but I think there are some similarities.

I think it's also talking about socially free speech though. Either way, they're still being shown the door.

SixteenBlue, it says right in the first panel "government can't arrest your for what you say." Unless he's talking about, I don't know, a Max Barry book, that interpretation makes no sense.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

SixteenBlue, it says right in the first panel "government can't arrest your for what you say." Unless he's talking about, I don't know, a Max Barry book, that interpretation makes no sense.

Did you read my last sentence though? What do you think either way meant?

Are you trying to say there's a point beyond just the PSA about the First Amendment? Oh, I agree with that, but it has nothing to do with Socially Free Speech. It has to do with how there's probably a strong correspondence between people who talk about the First Amendment when it has nothing to do with the situation and people who are A-holes. On that I agree--I laughed just like I assume you did the first time I saw it. But that has nothing to do with claiming certain speech should be socially free. To the contrary, it's about people who can't grasp that difference, and how honestly, they ususally have bigger problems than just a lack of legal facts.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Are you trying to say there's a point beyond just the PSA about the First Amendment? Oh, I agree with that, but it has nothing to do with Socially Free Speech. It has to do with how there's probably a strong correspondence between people who talk about the First Amendment when it has nothing to do with the situation and people who are A-holes. On that I agree--I laughed just like I assume you did the first time I saw it. But that has nothing to do with claiming certain speech should be socially free. To the contrary, it's about people who can't grasp that difference, and how honestly, they ususally have bigger problems than just a lack of legal facts.

I'm saying either way, the "you're an asshole being shown the door" point applies, regardless of type of free speech.

No, because lots of people the author probably doesn't think are a-holes get yelled at and endure criticism or consequences and otherwise don't get the social freedom of speech he believes they deserve, so that interpretation wouldn't make sense.

edit: maybe an example will help--I'm sure there are Creationists who want to get the show "Cosmos" cancelled. They're probably boycotting it. I'm pretty sure he's not going to explain that by saying "Neil deGrasse Tyson is an A-hole."

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

No, because lots of people the author probably doesn't think are a-holes get yelled at and endure criticism or consequences and otherwise don't get the social freedom of speech he believes they deserve, so that interpretation wouldn't make sense.

edit: maybe an example will help--I'm sure there are Creationists who want to get the show "Cosmos" cancelled. They're probably boycotting it. I'm pretty sure he's not going to explain that by saying "Neil deGrasse Tyson is an A-hole."

No, they'll say he's a godless heathen who's trying to lead people away from God and Jesus because he doesn't agree with them. It's, to my mind, somewhat of a greater insult, as they're suggesting he's trying to corrupt people away from God to make their souls burn for all eternity with the devil and his fake fossils.

Thai Buddhists will frequently say that someone "will not make a good death". In the words of one my favorite authors: "It makes f*ck you look like a benediction by comparison." Just because they're not using any words that the FCC censors doesn't mean their intent or their level of malice behind their words is any better.

But, that's why he's not doing shows on Christian TV. If he tried to run a show on a Christian TV network and then tried to complain when they fired him for his program not upholding their worldview... I would call NDT an idiotic smart person.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Bloo, you might have missed it because I can't use quotes yet, but I think I discussed the meat of what you mentioned, it's just that it led to the conclusion "we're gonna need a bigger thread."

I did, apparently. But, to be fair, I didn't say no one wants to engage on this (or whatever else). I just mentioned that there are a fair number of people who don't bother. I find this worth discussing because I think people on either side of this issue are rapidly losing sight of the actual problem at hand and it worries me.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

I agree that the contents of the dissent is not valuable, but it's the capability to dissent itself that is being called valuable. I know we're talking about Socially Free Speech here and not 1st Amendment Legally Free Speech, but it's like how a movie such as Gigli gets the same free speech protections as Citizen Kane.

As for "So why is it being framed as so reasonable and enlightened to equate people who are happy to see Eich gone with people who say "you are not allowed to have an opinion"?", I don't think it's being framed that way. I think it's being framed as equating people who are happy to see Eich gone with people who say 'opposition to gay marriage is a punishable offense you should lose your job* over'

*acknowleding the issues brought up about which jobs you should lose and which you can keep.

I get what you're saying here, but the disconnect I'm seeing is this - Dan Cathy still has a job as CEO. I don't think people find that wrong and unusual. Clearly there are people who would like to see him gone, but that wasn't the crux of that boycott. People may have clamored for him to be fired, but when the dust settled, the issue with Dan Cathy and Chik-Fil-A was not "Dan Cathy doesn't support gay marriage, fire him and get him away" it was that he was using his company's money for anti gay marriage efforts and so people wanted to boycott. So with that in mind, the situation is not as such (people saying "opposition to gay marriage is a punishable offense you should lose your job over"). But articles like the one in question keep acting like that's the singular line of thought - the opposition to people like Eich are throwing a tantrum, screaming for them to be fired, shut their mouth, be duct taped forever, and so on. I don't appreciate it personally, and on a more logical level, it's dishonest. Mozilla is a company that encourages diversity and actively encouraged things that their CEO was clearly spending his money to push back against. Even though his statement said, paraphrased, "me and the company remain committed to this" it also said "I know that actions speak louder than words". And on that second note, too late, friend, unless you want to honestly say you have changed your stance. The dissonance there is clear and obvious, and yet we have this hand wringing over "what has the gay mafia become!" and whatnot, but it doesn't actually address what really happened.

Eich had a moment where he could have said, "You know what, that was something I believed then, but I don't agree with that anymore," assuming that was the truth. Instead, he hedged, which means he hasn't actually changed his mind. Which, hey - free country. He's free to have that opinion. But if I was being named the CEO of a company that places a certain idea front and center of their business' ethics and I clearly do not actively support that, it makes sense that maybe I should not be the CEO.

So trying to frame this even as what you described above is still an intellectual sleight of hand (not on your part, but those who are trying to use Eich's situation as some sort of general barometer). I can't draw windows into the minds of others, but I think it's a fair assumption that the finger wagging and tongue clucking and other body-noun motion-verbing all get predicated on concepts that aren't addressing the actual situation.

Bloo Driver: that makes me think it's an issue of what the actual problem is. I agree Eich's situation shouldn't be used as a general barometer, but Eich's sitaution kicked off a larger discussion. I don't think it's a matter of losing sight of the actual problem as much as moving on from one small problem that actually happend to another, bigger-but-abstract problem.

Looking back at your earlier posts now, am I right in saying your problem is that the larger issue of 'social punishment in the workplace' is in some sense a myth? That it's a discussion not worth having because when it comes to *actual* incidents of boycotting homophobes, there's always another factor involved, like Dan Cathy was also funneling profits towards anti-gay initiatives, and this guy pissed off the people at his company?

I agree that sometimes those 'what if' situations are part of Derailing 101, but I disagree that's what's happening here. I don't see it so much as people losing sight of the issue as people having a different opinion than you on whether that larger discussion is also an actual problem. But am I seeing your point more clearly now?

Demosthenes: since I'm posting anyway, I'll repeat it here--We're not talking about what the Creationists would say, we're talking about what the author of xkcd would say because SixteenBlue thinks that comic means something I don't think it means.

And given that part of what he's talking about in that strip is the stopping of hosting a TV program, which relates pretty well to a certain dark hunter with a dynasty of a sort. I'd say the XKCD strip is talking about free speech in any setting. I'd actually say the host you while you share it part is where we diverge from talking solely about what's legal and where it moves into the what is or is not considered socially acceptable by the people who own TV networks, online forums, etc...

I'm confused by the preoccupation with the comic.

He pretty quickly transitions from defining the 1st amendment protection of free speech in the first panel to describing how society responds to free speech in the remaining five.

RoughneckGeek wrote:

I'm confused by the preoccupation with the comic.

He pretty quickly transitions from defining the 1st amendment protection of free speech in the first panel to describing how society responds to free speech in the remaining five.

It pretty clearly shuts down the whole argument in favor that something is wrong with reacting to speech in society, so of course the comic must be wrong somehow.