This morning, Wired published an excellent piece by Nitasha Tiku about the white supremacist guerrilla war going on at Google. You should read it, not only because it’s good and interesting, but because it’s important in understanding the modern white supremacist movement known as the alt-right.
Well, you seem to only have read one “side” of it; the part that promotes your existing biases.
Google is being attacked (I am not condoning this, btw — make me queen for a day over there, and I’d fire anyone who thinks politics should have a place int the workplace) because the Damore incident has been interpreted by some (many) as meaning that Google’s internal culture is intolerant towards anyone who does not have a leftist/progressive political world view.
Now, I don’t have a leftist/progressive world view either (thankfully), but I also know that the opposite of leftist/progressive world view is not “white supremacist”. You seem to be confused on this point.
At any rate, I wouldn’t give a shit, and nobody would, if Google was just another company; but they have the ability to control thought through search algorithms, and any bias in result presentation towards anyone (even noxious ideologies like white supremacy) is and ought to be frightening.
Their parsers should only attempt to discern what the person is searching for, and certainly not incorporate value judgements on whether they should find it or not.
When the alt-right first came to national attention during the 2016 Presidential Campaign, many (including me) argued that the media should avoid the term, and stick with more traditional — and accurate — terms like “Nazi’ and “White Nationalist.” There is, however, a specific trait that sets the alt-right apart from other hate groups: Their philosophy of life as a game or program, that can be hacked or “beaten” if one learns the rules.
There is nothing new about your boldfaced sentence. Every political movement in history has done the same thing. Thus, there is no reason to be especially concerned about Spencer’s group learning how to play the game. He plays to a bunch of disaffected misfits, even if they dress in polos. So, you were right the first time; adding in the term “alt-right” just confuses the issue (as you do below).
This modern trend of the “dapper” white supremacist comes from leaders like Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer, who rose to prominence online.
Milo is not a white supremacist. You just shot your credibility in the foot, whilst illustrating the point I made immediately above.
The left embraces the term “alt-right” because it gives them the ability to group in with the supremacists other people they dislike, connecting dots which have no business being connected.
Now, THAT’s a “hack”. :-(
Alt-right leaders expanded their influence through platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon, often gaming algorithms to gain exposure.
The term “alt-right” aside, all “movements” learn how to play the game. What’s new here is how the game is played. If a search bot controls your hits, you’re going to figure out how that thing works so you can game it. Doesn’t matter if you’re pushing white supremacy or Black Lives Matter.
“negging,” or complimenting a woman in a way that’s actually a put-down, feigning disinterest, and initiating physical contact in the right way at the right time, a pickup artist believes he can unlock a sexual encounter as if it were the secret boss level of a video game.
Yea…..there’s another tactic that’s been around since cave people. You’ve just given it a name. :-)
2015: Theodore Beale hacks the Hugos
I don’t know much about this, but I do know that before all this stuff happened, conservative authors were complaining that the Hugos were shutting down more conservatively oriented authors. Which, as a long time aficionado, upsets me because arguably the greatest sci-fi author of all time, Robert Heinlein, was a right-leaning libertarian individualist, and that world view permeates virtually all of his fiction.
(Heinlein was honored by NASA, it’s worth mentioning, because so many of the engineers and astronauts credited him as being the inspiration that brought them into space technology. So it matters that today, it seems that Heinlein would be sent to the back of the bus because he believed in self-reliance as opposed to sucking at the government teat.)
In addition, Heinlein wrote a political manual called Take Back Your Government, which outlines the steps necessary to recover the government from leftist abuses which he himself experienced back when a leftist himself. It’s an interesting read that likely would make you nauseous.
But, I digress.
Beale, an author of self-published science fiction and a well-known troll in the SciFi community, is also the self-appointed nemesis of best-selling author John Scalzi. Scalzi is a prominent voice for progressive thought and inclusion, particularly through his blog, Whatever.
Ah. So he was politically biased towards a particular ideology. Did that ideology creep through in awards? Some say it did:
A few years back, conservative science-fiction author Larry Correia noticed that left-leaning participants at Worldcon were engaged in a whispering campaign against one of his nominated books because of his political views. Many of them had not even read his novels. They opposed him, not because of the quality of his work, but because of who he was.
In effect, the Left was enforcing a blacklist in which no right-leaning science fiction writer can be allowed to win awards.
To counteract the voting bias, Correia organized a campaign called “Sad Puppies” — because, he explains, “boring message fiction is the leading cause of Puppy Related Sadness.” Which gives you a small sampling of the kind of goofy, irreverent humor with which the campaign has been conducted. The idea was simply to suggest a slate of authors Correia thought were likely to be overlooked or slighted because of their views — and to counteract that effect by lobbying in their favor.
His goal wasn’t even to win, but just to bring attention to the issue. Here is how he described it:
1. I said a chunk of the Hugo voters are biased toward the left, and put the author’s politics far ahead of the quality of the work. Those openly on the right are sabotaged. This was denied.
2. So I got some right wingers on the ballot.
3. The biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do.
4. Point made.
The goal was simply to bring the leftist bias out into open view.
But then things got out of hand. This year, the Sad Puppies campaign (and a related slate of recommendations called Rabid Puppies) swept the field.
The response was a total meltdown among the leftist elites who had assumed, in previous years, that they (and their favorite publisher, Tor) basically owned the Hugos.
So they did what the Left always does: they smeared everyone who disagrees with them as racists.
(Smeared as racists, despite the fact that the slate of recommendations from the Sad Puppies was half POC or women.)
Are you with me so far?
Are you with ME so far? Sounds like fascism being practiced by the Hugo committee. (Interesting how every story has two sides.)
Authors as prominent as George R. R. Martin condemned the Puppies for ruining the Hugos, and within two years the rules for voting were changed.
Martin can view the matter any way he likes; doesn’t mean he’s right. At any rate, all’s well that ends well. The Hugos had a model that worked fine when nobody cared about sci fi. When sci-fi went mainstream, the voting model needed an update. Good to see that it happened.
The complicated saga of the Hugo Awards and their “Puppy” schemes perfectly illustrates the defining attribute of the alt-right.
Mmmm. What’s also missing from your self-serving description is the fact that Scalzi started this by proposing slates of nominees who all were personally progressive, and from there tried to shut out opposing views. So, it appears that what the “SAD Puppies” were actually guilty of was using the same tactics that were used against them by Scalzi, only doing a better job of it.
Further, it’s noted that you’re conflating the SAD Puppies (who as I said, were advancing nominees of color and and women writers as well) with the RABID Puppies, which is Beale’s group.
Never the twain should meet.
I am genuinely sorry to fill your head with the saga of Theodore Beale, but again, it’s important to understand how the alt-right operates.
That’s OK; Beale may very well be a scumbag. But you simply can’t paint with as broad a brush as you wish to.
If I, as a Muslim, believe myself to be socially aggrieved, I can count on legions of progressive/leftists to take up my cause. If I, as a woman, believe myself to be socially aggrieved, I can count on legions of progressive/leftists to take up my cause.
But if I, as a conservative, believe myself to be socially aggrieved, I get the middle finger from progressive/leftists. Because it’s probably they who are doing the aggrieving.
When James Damore’s internal memo leaked and became a nationwide scandal, he and many media outlets portrayed himself as a naive savant just asking innocent questions. This was by design.
Indeed? What evidence can you provide that it was “by design”? I find this to be a rather heinous accusation, if made without evidence.
A white supremacist openly calling women and people of color inferior can be neatly discarded by the mainstream. A naive programmer, asking honest questions about what science says, is not so easily dismissed — and he might just have a shot at winning a discrimination lawsuit.
Just to be clear, Damore never did what you’re accusing him of. You’re reading things into his words which are not there.
In today’s Wired piece, Tiku quotes Google site reliability engineer and diversity advocate Liz Fong Jones on the moment she realized some of her fellow employees, who had been discussing the potential negative impact of diversity initiatives, weren’t acting in good faith. It came when excerpts from her private conversations were leaked to, and published by, Theodore Beale.
I agree that that is rather heinous behavior, if true.
(It’s rather standard practice in our politics, though, eh? Leaks and all that. So, is it really surprising that individuals are following the lead of our politicians?)
Perhaps the enemy is actually ourselves.
They are hackers, seeking to use written and unwritten rules we all observe — social mores, etiquette, and electronic algorithms that shape our daily experiences
Hm……if you’re referring to not going public with private conversations…..I would refer you back to the behavior of our politicians. Recent behavior. As if meetings held in the Oval Office are assumed to be matters for public dissemination. By senators from Illinois.
And that’s just one example.