Friday, December 6, 2013

Assholes Revisited

Recently, Joyent, the Node.js corporate side chose to make a public fool of themselves by being assholes about a pronoun. It would be funny if it weren't so perverse, but these paragons of "tolerance" and "empathy" would have no problem instantaneously firing someone for using grammar correctly.

As TheHackerCIO mentioned before, the old-fashioned Grammar pedants were a bit silly, but at least they wouldn't fire someone for a grammatical lapse. The Political Correctness crowd is an order of magnitude meaner, less tolerant, and lacking in empathy.

Naturally, they put this "empathetic firing" forth while linking to  this slideshare, about "Dealing With Assholes." [note: the actual site is called "Assholes are killing your project, but the link in Joyent's blog is called "dealing with assholes."]

I took some time to view the slideshare, because I just had a run in at a client with a major asshole, and so I'm thinking about them quite a bit. I was quite amused to read this slide:
What is an Asshole? Two Tests 
1. After talking to the asshole, does the target feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittled?
2. Does the asshole target those less powerful?
I'm pretty sure that  Ben Noodhuis -- the unfortunate, correct grammarian,  would have felt oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, and/or belittled if he had been under the power of UnJoyent and had been summarily fired just before Christmas for grammatically correct use of pronouns. Furthermore, AssholeJoyent.js were indeed targeting those less powerful -- specifically, anyone who works for them.

Then there was this slide:

Word of mouth transforms one asshole into an avalanche
How do you fix it?
    personal interactions: have a conference
    provide expectations: Nobody knows your culture when they start. Do you want them to learn it from an asshole? Provide a code of conduct.
Again FascistJoyent did NOT have a personal, private conference, did they? Instead they published publicly in order to brag about how fascist they were about pronouns. In other words, they skipped the word-of-mouth, and moved straight on to the avalanche. And I wonder if they could provide us with a copy of their code-of-conduct, with proof that it existed prior to their blog-posting, where they specified that use of gendered pronouns was an instantaneous firing offense.

As to my own wisdom about assholes, I'll have to talk more about that another day.

In the Meantime, I Remain,


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