March 27, 2013

Adria Richards

Adria Richards


It is worth noting that Miz Richards isn’t anything like a software developer. Her official job title is “€œdeveloper evangelist,”€ which I think means “€œsalesgirl”€ in the San Francisco dot-com dialect. I doubt she has ever coded anything in Python and was thus out of her depth at a Python conference. Her crunchbase profile says that “€œShe produces videos and online content to explain technology to the world.”€ Some of the videos demonstrate astonishing technical ignorance, unless you think connecting a laptop to a big screen is interesting. It wouldn’t be a big change to go from leveraging her considerable skill at self-promotion to producing dumb videos and online content for the purpose of full-time insane political activism. Who else would hire her at this point? 

One of the ironic consequences of this Döngledämmerung is that association with this creep will cause authentic hacker girls to be unfairly vilified. While there are doubtless some programmer girls who share her character defects, most I have known are pleasant and hardworking introverts”€”the opposite of megalomaniacal attention-seekers perpetually demanding redress for imagined slights. Their semi-autistic male colleagues will inevitably be even more awkward and evasive around them, and potential employers will be more reluctant to hire them for fear of costly future Döngledämmerungs.

Researchers in Great Britain have found that 73% of their citizens are considered “€œofficial victims.”€ If we count double victimhood, up to 109% of their populace are considered “€œvictims.”€ Being female, black, and Jewish, Miz Richards scores triple victim points by this accounting. I only count her as a victim once”€”for losing her job. This non-incident involved two or three people, and it directly ruined at least five people’s well-being. Two companies and one very large programmer community will experience fallout from this for months or years. This makes thousands of people the “€œvictims”€ of the actions of one or two mildly crass men and one hysterical woman. Those British researchers are optimists.

A sane society would not attribute any importance to this non-incident. So long as large groups of people subscribe to insane conspiracy theories masquerading as sociology, this will only get worse. So long as the subjective dismay experienced by certain privileged people is elevated to totemic significance, social totalitarianism will only become more oppressive. Well-meaning dunces continue to yammer on about “€œsystems of oppression”€ involving dongle jokes. Losing your job over a dumb joke is overt oppression. The idea that an ill-chosen word overheard by a fellow citizen may end your career is despotism, not tolerance. 

While I endeavor to have good manners and think others should too, I do not wish to live in a country where people live in fear that they could lose their livelihood for some illusory sin. I don’t understand why other people seem to accept this as natural and just. We laugh at a country that puts feminists in jail for desecrating a Church; maybe the Russians have the right idea.



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