Google fires employee for controversial memo

small square painted on the sidewalk which reads "Designated free speech area"

Preface

Wow @Google’s decision to fire someone for expressing their opinion on the internet has backfired. The fallout has been mostly very negative. Journalists and Bloggers have accused @Google of breaking labor laws, anti-American behavior, and stifling free expression and free thought. I think this shows that whatever social idealogy @Google may once have had, it has been crushed under the weight of their corporate greed. They must have had board meetings where they weighed the financial risks of tolerating the employee’s behavior, or firing the employee. Ethical standards have nothing to do with decisions like these when a corporation of Google’s size is in the crosshairs, the only thing that matters to them is money and their continued stability in the marketplace.

My opinion

I happen to agree in a narrow sense that diversity of thought and diversity of culture is probably what we should all be striving for. I am of the opinion that people should be hired and promoted based on merit alone, and never gender, or race, or any other “book cover” trait. Some board room decision that “We need at least 40% to 60% women in our top roles” is not a good way to staff an organization of any size or role. It limits your options and opens the door for unexpected breakdowns in the team.

The human race is not divided into genetically isolated groups competing with each other for dominance. It’s not Women vs Men vs Latinos vs Blacks vs Gays. There are humans who choose to live that way or they think that’s how it works, but they are either ignorant or stupid. You can certainly organize your culture into that kind of competition, but it would not be best for the species and it would have no basis in science or knowledge or intellect. You might wish that the world could be divided up in such ways, but Planet Earth and The Human Race do not exist to grant your fucking wishes. Life is what it is, reality is what it is, regardless of whether any one person or persons chooses to accept it.

man with tape over his mouth which reads 'freedom'Some women would not make good engineers. That is true. That doesn’t mean all women make poor engineers. Some men would make terrible engineers too. People are individuals with unique experiences which define much of their capabilities and competencies, as well as genetic factors which are not group-based but individual-based. I would suggest that any genetic differences would be minor and have the least noticable effect on workplace capability, especially when placed against educational and cultural differences which have huge impacts.

So it’s not right to say one group of people is genetically inferior to another, it’s also not right to say they’re all equal to another. There is only one “Human Race” on Planet earth, and you humans need to stop trying to re-define yourself in various sub-groups. There is The Human Species, and then there are individual Humans, and that’s as good as it’s ever going to get. The whole reason we have anti-discrimination laws is because science has shown there are no correlations between biological capabilities including intelligence, and group categories like gender, skin color, religion, sexuality, and so on.

It’s not because anti-discrimination laws make us feel better. Seriously nobody in power cares how anything makes any of you feel. Anti-discrimination laws exist to efficiently provide guidance for hundreds of millions of people. It takes too long to sit every person down and ensure they’ve been properly educated on the subject, so we have laws instead which are basically the society saying to every hill billy in the nation “Listen, trust us, gender and skin color have nothing to do with competence. Don’t discriminate”. It’s definitely not to make anyone feel better. If there were scientific evidence showing that specific groups of people were less capable than other groups, discrimination would be legal, with complete disregard for your feelings. People who craft and lead nations are not interested in your feelings. They’re thinking on a larger scale and in longer terms than any one lifetime.

In summary

If I were Google I’m not sure I’d have made a different decision. To them it’s not about ethics, it’s about reducing fallout. They believed that firing the guy would have the least damaging effect on their business in the long term. Time will tell if they got it right or wrong. That said, they probably shouldn’t have fired him. Sure the guy said a lot of things that are wrong. So what? He also expressed some ideas that had a twinkle of inspiration behind them. It’s better to have a conversation about these subjects, than to freak the fuck out and hang the bastard. What did he actually do besides write his ideas down? If people can be fired for expressing ideas, they will become afraid to express themselves, and that future isn’t good for anyone.

Decoding Evil: It’s not about morality.

Decoding Evil: It’s not about morality.

Preface

Before I dig into the meat of this post, I want to clear up some language conflicts. I am using the word ‘Evil’, which carries a lot of baggage with people. A lot of that baggage is centered around religion. This post is not about religion. I was raised by christian parents, and while I do not personally follow any religion, the influences of christianity have made themselves apparent in my vocabulary. I am using the word ‘Evil’, you are free to substitute another word in it’s place if you like, so that you may better understand this post.

What is Evil?

We need a common definition of evil. A quick websearch suggests the following:

Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful

Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous

These aren’t the only definitions, but they are what we’ll be using for this post.

Why is Evil ‘Live’ spelled backwards?

This is not accidental. Nothing in popular language is accidental. Someone made a conscious decision to teach us all the word Evil, and the word Live. Someone made a conscious decision to make them the reverse of each other. Whoever that was, I believe they were trying to pass knowledge to the next generation in a way that would survive the storybooks.

It is my belief that we are to learn to recognize evil, and work to counter it. It is in this way that we find the best path to ongoing prosperous life. That is why Evil is shown as the reverse (or opposite of) Live.

How to recognize Evil?

Recognizing evil is a lot easier than you might think. It’s got nothing to do with morality. Philosophers spent years debating morality, and found themselves at an impasse. Evil is easier. Evil actions create Evil results. I’ll use an example. Smoking cigarettes is a deadly activity that causes cancer and heart disease. It is a habit that is guaranteed to kill you if something else doesnt kill you first. Many of us would say that makes it Evil. Smoking cigarettes often leads to fires, people fall asleep with lit cigarettes, they discard their cigarettes or matches in the brush of forests which starts forest fires, and so on. Evil actions lead to Evil results.

We can recognize the results are ruinous, and look backwards to see the actions which created those results were Evil. This doesn’t allow us to predict the future but it does allow us to learn from mistakes, which is a critical skill for any species which wishes to survive itself. We can use this method to recognize and discourage Evil, without ever invoking morality. I could go on and on with examples of corporate greed, warmongering, and so forth. The examples of Evil being practiced and tolerated every day by Human beings is endless.

What should we do?

Every person must ask themselves if they want to live or die. If they want to be happy or miserable. If you want to live, if you want to be happy, if you want to be prosperous, then logic dictates you should not act in Evil ways, and you should discourage Evil where you see it. Practitioners of Evil such as overpaid CEOs need to be brought down. For-Profit prisons need to be eliminated. Profiteering at all costs needs to be discouraged. The power and wealth of those who have benefitted from these Evil actions is undeserved and belongs to the community which they have harmed. We are not obligated to tolerate their activities.

By persuing Evil means to their selfish goals, those people invade the liberty of the citizens who they share this nation with. One man’s liberty only extends so far as to not invade the liberty of another man, so with their actions they have forfeited the right to liberty, at least until they bring their activities back within the boundaries of ‘Not Evil’. It is up to us to discourage Evil wherever we see it, both for our own protection and for the protection of our communities and families. Inaction will lead to ruin.

Summary

I believe I have made the case today that Evil is ‘bad’ for us, like a poison or dangerous narcotic. Evil kills people, destroys communities and families, and topples empires. Evil is the kryptonite that defeats Human Ingenuity. IF we can minimize the Evil in our societies, together we can accomplish greater things than many can even imagine. People do not need Evil to prosper. Perhaps they lack an understanding of consequence, or they have not been taught how to succeed without using Evil methods. We can address these issues without ever bringing up the confusing topic of morality.

I read today an article that reminds us how the abuse of anti-biotics in abominable industrial farming techniques is creating deadly bacterial mutations which cannot be killed with medicine. If the human race does not act to eliminate the Evil it has allowed to flourish, then the results of that Evil are going to kill the entire human race. We all have choices in our lives, I encourage you all to make the right ones, and stand up to those who do not.

Encryption, PGP and Keybase.io

Privacy matters. Encryption matters.

Everyone has heard that the united states government is spying on you. They probably aren’t the only ones. If you aren’t concerned that strangers are reading your emails and instant messages and tracking your browsing histories you really, really should be.

A strong encrypted solution to online privacy has existed since 1991 when PGP was invented. A lot of people think that key-pair encryption, also known as end-to-end encryption, is really complicated or technical but it isn’t.

How it works

You have two keys. a PRIVATE KEY and a PUBLIC KEY. Your PRIVATE KEY is kept private, and you give your PUBLIC KEY to the world.

When someone wants to send you an encrypted message or file, they encrypt it using your PUBLIC KEY. You decrypt it with your PRIVATE KEY.

When you want to send someone else an encrypted message or file, you encrypt it using their PUBLIC KEY and the other person decrypts it using their PRIVATE KEY.

See? Simple.

The Trust Issue

There is another consideration, how do you know if the PUBLIC KEY that claims to be from john.doe@example.com actually belongs to Mr. Doe? In the past the method was to create a “web of trust”. John would personally give you his PUBLIC KEY, and you would digitally sign it using your key. Then when John gives his PUBLIC KEY to someone else, they can see that you have vouched for it’s authenticity. The problem with this is that everyone needs to do it. This has been one of the greatest hurdles in the adoption of key-pair encryption.

Enter Keybase.io

The clever folks at Keybase.io have found a solution. Their service allows you to connect your PUBLIC KEY with various online identities, such as Twitter and Reddit, or websites which you control. These entities are considered trust-worthy, because we use them every day to communicate with our family, friends, and colleagues. This service practically solves the trust issue, eliminating the necessity for the “web of trust”.

Keybase.io will also help you with the creation of a key pair, which simplifies and standardizes the process for a lot of people. Keybase.io also generates seperate key pairs for each device that you use, be it a smart phone or a laptop or desktop. If you stop using a particular device (for example if your smart phone is lost or stolen) you can revoke the keys for that device, preventing someone from using it to impersonate you, without having to destroy your original PRIVATE KEY.

The Future, Transparency and Ease-of-Use

Encryption is the future. It is the future because the alternatives are too horrifying to live with, which is why we have books and movies like 1984 and The Matrix warning us about them years in advance. Privacy is sacred and as a race human beings are going to embrace it, whether the government likes it or not (they really don’t like it). There have been technical hurdles to overcome, but with open-source community funded projects like Keybase.io, I am confident that the future of privacy looks bright.

Most Retarded Idea of 2016: Guaranteed Minimum Income.

Why guaranteeing income regardless of whether a person works or not, is a retarded idea.

1. Economy is a system.
Economy is similar to the ecological systems we see in nature. It is a system where resources flow from one piece to the next. You create things, things have value, other people trade their stuff of value for your things of value. Sometimes rather than creation, the value is in service, such as with doctors. But usually value comes from creation (or production, in the industrial realm).

2. Nobody would work.
Giving everyone a guaranteed income is exactly the same as giving everyone food without requiring farms or hunting. It is actually impossible. Over a long period of time people would stop working and would persue recreation instead. But for our world to survive, the majority of the people living in it must continue to work, to maintain roads, to serve lunch at the restaurant, to keep the internet operational, to route phone calls.

3. Money is a finite resource.
There are X number of dollars in the world. We are pushing those dollars around in a somewhat complicated circle. The only way to add money to this system is to create things of value. Over time, the money begins flowing into the hands of specific people, sort of like natural selection. Because stupid people spend their money on retarded things that they do not actually need. That isn’t going to change anytime soon.

In summary, a guaranteed income would destroy the global economy. There would be famines and depressions and mass poverty everywhere within years. People would die on a massive scale. A guaranteed minimum income is not a compassionate idea, it’s a retarded, selfish, lazy idea.

What is Liberty?

Liberty is a practice of freedom limited only by the protection of all other men’s Liberty.

What that means is, if you want to eat an apple on Sunday, you can eat an apple on Sunday. But you can’t steal someone else’s apple because it could prevent him from eating it on Sunday.

I recently discovered the online dictionary Mirriam Webster changed their definition to say Liberty is the “freedom to do anything you want”, which is not true. This is an attack on the idea. Today you laugh, in 1,000 years the word Liberty will be shunned, if they get their way.

We need to preserve Liberty, and the other core ideas which made America such a promising idea when we were younger.

The “Fun Police”, the real bad guys of life.

You’ve seen them. When other people are having too much fun, they show up and wreck the party.

A recent example of this is the recent shutdown of Oklacon. 3 new attendees showed up, did some illegal stuff in the park grounds that the con was taking place in, and then another attendee contacted the park owners and connected the crime with the convention.

So who is really responsible for the con being shut down? The 3 attendees who broke the law? Maybe.. but so is the person who called the park owners to blame the convention. And the park owners themselves for blaming the convention instead of the individuals. All of those people are to blame.

The fact is stupid stuff happens at conventions all of the time. I had the privilege of being privy to behind the scenes information at two major conventions. I can remember a dozen incidents at least where the con was afraid their hotel might kick them out. But the hotel never did, because they understood the individuals are the ones to be blamed. (plus they make a lot of money). The con bans the individual, and the problem is effectively solved. This has been going on for years. People who violate the ban are likely to be arrested.

There’s people talking about this today and I think they are missing the big picture. Sure, idiots sometimes ruin things for everyone, but the fun police ruin the party every time, and they do it a lot more frequently than idiots. And they do it on purpose, unlike some dumb kids who were just trying to have fun and did not appreciate the consequences of their actions.

You can see the letter from the convention about it’s closing, below:

Show Oklacon's 'Goodbye' letter.

Democratic Fair Tax

Premise:
The tax system is broken. Money is spent on wasteful things while neglecting crucial items such as infrastructure. People are unhappy with the bizarre structure of income tax. As a result, many many many people are simply refusing to pay. The entire system is broken.

Solution: Democratic Fair Tax.
Fair Tax: Everyone pays the same tax, eliminate all loopholes. 15% is the popular number.
Democratic Fair Tax works the same, but instead of paying your money into a general fund and then letting government shit-heads choose how to distribute it, every tax payer chooses their own distribution. Instead of one general fund there is a fund for each government agency, DoE, DoJ, etc. Huge agencies like DoJ could be split into sub groups, FBI, CIA, Army, Marines, etc.

The argument against a Democratic Fair Tax is that people would not choose to spend money on necessary things, but I suggest that is not true. What makes a tax necessary? For example, Infrastructure is necessary because we need roads to drive our cars on. People will spend their tax money on infrastructure because they can see the result of under-funding in their own lives. I think this example would prove true across the board, and the nation would improve as a result.

Presidential Competency Litmus Test

These are three leadership philosophies that are obvious and should be easy to agree with. Anyone who does not believe in these 3 simple ideas is not suitable to lead a modern enlightened civilization. Anyone who does not agree with these 3 things will prove themselves to be too self-interested or incompetent to lead a nation.

1. The 2nd Amendment protects an individuals right to protect himself with modern arms against threats domestic and foreign, from street muggers to tyranically governments

2. The ratio of dollars spent on National Defense compared with Education is roughly 6:1. That should be changed to 2:5. We are creating a nation of stupid people who are only good at killing other human beings. That might have worked in the Dark Ages but we are in the Information Age. We need a nation of smart people. The money should be spent on building many new public schools, especially in high density areas such as cities, to reduce all class room sizes to below 20. Hiring new teachers, and funding teaching careers with an increase in college grants and scholarships.

3. Corruption in Government should be persued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The rule of law itself is meaningless if our leaders cannot be jailed for their crimes. The abuse of presidential pardons to allow terrible people to escape justice must be stopped, and should be a crime.

Requirements for a Successful Space Empire

Simba, laying in the grass at night

1. Faster-Than-Light Travel & Communication

Objects in space are very far apart, so this is an obvious requirement. Without faster than light travel, it would take too long to go from point A to point B, people would die in the interim and the goal of the effort would be forgotten.

2. Self-Sustaining Environments (Biodomes)

Not all environments will be friendly to the species attempting to colonize them. Terraforming is an option, but if functional biodomes can be constructed, terraforming is not necessary.

3. Industrialized Agriculture

Large scale production of food would be required to feed the enormous population required for a proper space empire.

4. Genetic Engineering

Genetic manipulation to create superior traits amongst all people, and mass-production style breeding would benefit a species looking to populate many worlds.

5. Standardized Education

To create the best possible race of people, everyone should be educated on a standard curriculum which maximizes intellectual development. “Classism” should be discouraged.

6. Repression of Religion & Other Intellectual Poisons

Religion is fairy tales, and has a detrimental effect on the minds of intelligent people. It uses the potential of an intelligent mind against the host. All kinds of intellectual poisons should be eliminated at the outset.

Regarding Military:

I am intentionally leaving militarization out. While it’s true that military power might be required in a populated universe, at present we have no evidence proving the existence of other life in the universe, which makes military power a waste of resources. The only thing a military is good for when you are the only intelligent race is to kill your own people, which is not a healthy behavior for a species looking to dominate multiple worlds.