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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Mailvox: convergence kills the cons

A former conference speaker who is still very much in demand explains why he doesn't even attend technology conferences anymore. Sounds like we don't just need #AltTech, but #AltCon as well.

These technology conferences are usually run by community-minded people, not corporates, by people who devote themselves to the endeavor, enter into huge financial risk and often wind up losing money at the end of it. Yet this kind of over-the-top virtue display is becoming increasingly common. Once upon a time I seriously considered launching a conference myself, but there's no way I'd expose myself to this kind of drama, which is almost guaranteed now.

These tech community controversies fall into 3 broad categories:

1. Not enough speaker diversity.
You're guaranteed this kind of outrage now if you don't have 50% or more women speakers. I'm certain the bar will move once parity is achieved and you then need PoC, then trans, then ... You even have popular speakers now making statements like "I won't speak at a conference or be on a panel unless there are least 50% women and PoC" such as this fellow. ElectronConf is a hilarious example of this controversy. Electron is an important and rapidly growing technology. It's what applications like Slack, Skype and Brave and many other desktop applications are built on. It's an open source project run and owned by GitHub. They announced their first conference in 2016, got speaker proposals, and even did a blind speaker selection, but ended up with all male speakers, which is obviously not surprising to the rational observer. This kicked off a controversy. The conference was initially postponed, then went dark and completely disappeared. It's supposedly back again for 2018 and calling for speakers, but there is no reason to assume the same thing won't happen again.

2. I won't speak if X is speaking!
Identify a problematic speaker on the list along with yourself and make a big show of how you are cancelling your talk because you won't appear at a venue that promotes problematic Mr X. Often the timing is guaranteed to give the organizers an aneurysm. Nodevember in Nashville in 2016 was a great example of this. Doug Crockford, a well-respected old-guard from the JavaScript community,  literally wrote the book on JavaScript best practices that was a reference for many years--JavaScript: The Good Parts, was on the speaker list but had recently caused conference controversy for "slut shaming" because he was making a technical point and referred to the "old web" as "promiscuous" and the "new web" as "consensual", the case being that he was equating promiscuity with something negative. Kassandra Perch, a typical screechy non-contributing SJW who creates controversy wherever she goes, pulled out and made a scene. She was backed up by the usual Twitter suspects in that community and caused a headache for the organizers. The organizers then had a falling out because one took it upon himself to disinvite Crockford immediately, while another organizer stepped down in protest of the first guy's unilateral action and released a public statement about it. All hell broke lose. This is a conference organized by individuals, who invest their own time to make a fun community thing and have to go begging for sponsorships to make it happen. Somehow they survived and are still doing it each year.

3. A man looked at me! Reeeeee!
This used to be a common tactic as a tool used to justify and introduce Codes of Conduct as a standard practice at conferences in the first place, before they were pushed into our code repositories. There is rarely evidence of actual wrongdoing, just hearsay, and often even that hearsay is a head-scratcher. Now you can't run one of these without a CoC, you just won't get sponsors because they'll be targeted if you don't. See LambdaConf as the last non-CoC conf that has now introduced their own, a bit less SJWized version in an attempt to have one but not completely submit to the narrative. Now that all the conferences have CoCs, the screeching is about supposed violations that aren't correctly handled. They are either pure virtue-signaling or an attempt to undermine the unconverged organization committee. It's not surprising that this current controversy is around a conference in eastern Europe where they are less attuned to SJW culture and don't properly understand how to feed that dragon. They probably stepped on a tripwire and alerted this individual that they hadn't fully signed up to the narrative. The non-West suffers the most from this and comes because they see a need to invite Western big-names to attract ticket sales.

As that guy you interviewed in SJWs Always Double Down said, tech community conferences were the initial gateway for SJW convergence of open source, and my assessment is that they'll be the canary in the coal mine for the costs that convergence will eventually extract from open source. Tech conferences are becoming too risky to organize. The rules around what is acceptable, who you can have speak, ratios of acceptable groups to feature in your speaker lineup, and so forth, are just too hard to understand as the SJW standards mutate over time. The financial risks are huge and you have to rely on large sponsors to fund your events; ticket sales don't do it. But your sponsors are flighty and will withdraw at the first hint of controversy. Quality speakers are becoming increasingly difficult to book and the ratio of knowns to unknowns will deteriorate too far to attract sufficient ticket sales. Particularly when you have to insert so many token speakers who don't contribute to the attractiveness of the conference, and will sometimes even detract from it.

Of course women and other minority groups in tech will bear the greatest cost. The rest of us will just have fewer venues to meet with our peers and hear about cutting edge developments in person. But women, PoC, trans people, etc. are already being promoted at significantly higher numbers than they exist at large in tech with the bar being set very low to make this happen. Low-quality speakers from these minority groups are all too common. The same names keep appearing and people wonder why because they never seem to have anything interesting to add. Non-technical soft talks are becoming too common, and nobody wants to go to a tech conference to be moralized at, but it's now standard practice.

The tech community at large is being presented with artificial evidence that these minority groups are simply full of low-quality and non-contributing individuals. Then we're told that that this is caused by rampant sexism, racism, and transphobia in tech. I don't believe this is true but I wouldn't blame regular conference attendees and video watchers from concluding that their non-white, non-cis, non-male peers are indeed of lesser quality considering the anecdotal evidence being force fed to them. There are great women, PoC, trans, whatever, people in tech, but the high-quality ones exist in proportion to their numbers overall. And those overall numbers are small. For all the reasons that James Damore was chastised for pointing out.

Labels: ,

51 Comments:

Blogger Silly but True November 07, 2017 8:07 AM  

Ever since Adria Richards harassed attendees at Pycon in 2013 over a joke, why would anyone attend a con that is open to angry black women looking to do exactly the same thing to their next victims?

It's not worth it. The normal process of such cons significantly being a source of tribal bonding and networking has been weaponized against the members of the tribe.

Anonymous Rien November 07, 2017 8:16 AM  

"There are great women, PoC, trans, whatever, people in tech, but the high-quality ones exist in proportion to their numbers overall."


How is the IQ distribution among the different members of the LLBGtts....?

Has any research been done? Does it indeed follow the same curve as the general population?

Anonymous DDT November 07, 2017 8:18 AM  

And even if you have much smaller meet-ups - and you're critical of SJWs - [stuff like this can still happen to you.](https://twitter.com/EthanVanSciver/status/927695613432680449)

It's a mess.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville November 07, 2017 8:20 AM  

These are all heralds of the Great Polarization that is already upon us as the natural and healthy reaction to the cultural chimerism of ManBearPigTranny. This is another branch of the same story in the post below on Jerrold with SJW convergence leading to a weak, sterile dead end.

We have already won, and they have already lost even if that isn't apparent yet. Like the cons above, they cannot survive. Our alt-right cultural fork will survive strongly because our homogeneity is our strength.

Blogger SirGroggy November 07, 2017 8:21 AM  

PoC (People of Color) is a racist term against whites as it welcomes anybody except a white person.

Genghis Khan, Montezuma, Cleopatra, the men of ISIS, Chairman Mao and the Emperor of Japan, are all "People of Color" despite having nothing in common and none of whom are the slightest bit 'oppressed'.

It is pure anti-white propaganda and if you are using that term you are spewing the propaganda for which you have been programmed by the left.

If you are using that term you are either a leftist, a hostile foreigner, or a cuck.

Blogger SirGroggy November 07, 2017 8:24 AM  

How is the IQ distribution among the different members of the LLBGtts....?

The term is LGBTQAI+ as you are well aware and by actively not being inclusive in your term you are promoting the genocide of our QAI+ brothers and sisters.

I will shortly be reporting you to the United Nations Human Rights Commission for your hateful bigotry and QAI+ophobia.

Blogger wreckage November 07, 2017 8:25 AM  

So a con needs to headline controversial speakers from the outset, have a strict code of "interference with or harassment of speakers equals instant expulsion followed by whatever legal proceedings we can think of" - which for it to bite, means you have to pay to attend.

Speakers would need to attract a fee, so that untimely cancellations in violation of contract have a penalty. However, inviting ONLY controversial speakers should help a lot. It would be preferable to invite at least one red-zone REEEE inducing speaker as a honey-trap for virtue signalers.

Troublemakers are a more difficult matter, but with instant expulsion for messing with a speaker, you've protected the high-value targets.

Blogger SirGroggy November 07, 2017 8:30 AM  

We have already won, and they have already lost even if that isn't apparent yet.

We have not already won. The West is grievously wounded and bleeding profusely.

It is still in question as to whether the wounds are mortal.

If they be not mortal, that still does not count as victory.

Blogger SirGroggy November 07, 2017 8:35 AM  

3. A man looked at me! Reeeeee!

Like this: For those who haven't seen this, it's a must-see - an SJW lady goes full REEEEEEEEE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzA4dCT4X0I

Blogger Jeff aka Orville November 07, 2017 8:38 AM  

SirGroggy, from one point of view that is certainly true, and I expect a crash and burn scenario, which I don't look forward to. But another perspective is that right, and most particularly Christianity, will survive and grow in the ashes. I see the alt-right as building a hardy base stock for whatever comes.

Blogger The Observer November 07, 2017 8:40 AM  

3. A man looked at me! Reeeeee!

Clearly the answer to this is to segregate attendees by sex.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville November 07, 2017 8:46 AM  

Wow. But kudos to Hugh! Epic trigger.

Blogger SirGroggy November 07, 2017 8:47 AM  

nobody wants to go to a tech conference to be moralized at, but it's now standard practice.

It's not moralising. It is presented as basic morality but as always it is not morality but on the contrary it is the enforcement of left-wing politics.

It is presented as basic morality because leftism is a pseudo-religion and their politics are their morality, but they and many others are unable to fundamentally grasp that this is 100% about POLITICS and nothing else.

Blogger James November 07, 2017 8:58 AM  

This wsj article was a real eye opener to me. https://t.co/9HLXYfAagP Vox does a very good job of explaining sjw tactics. Shelby Steele's article I think touches on sjw motivation. Basically Liberalism is one group of white people feeling smug and morally superior by bullying another group of white people. Once you understand this all the virtue signaling, lying, namecalling, and yes doubling down make a twisted kind of sense. In other words most liberal solutions are about making white people feel better about themselves rather than actually solving a problem. Which is why the left reliably runs things they control into the ground.

Blogger VD November 07, 2017 9:01 AM  

Basically Liberalism is one group of white people feeling smug and morally superior by bullying another group of white people.

You clearly have not yet read SJWADD....

Anonymous Anonymous November 07, 2017 9:07 AM  

Oh, I don't know, I spoke on ARKit at a tech conference last week and had a thoroughly entertaining and non-converged time, lead picture here is me demoing in fact

https://habrahabr.ru/company/e-Legion/blog/341630/

However, one might note that this conference was in fact in Moscow. Strange days, when the former Soviet Union is a refuge from thought commissars...

Blogger Shimshon November 07, 2017 9:08 AM  

For this reason alone, a resurgence in the popularity of Perl is inevitable.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 07, 2017 9:19 AM  

Maybe some kind of upfront viral protection, the NRA has some of it because the Left has to virtue signal against guns. Not a perfect solution since I expect the NRA to be converged thru its outreach to women, but it at least gives a bit of breathing room.

Maybe start your conference with an invocation to Jesus, that might slow down the SJW slime monster.

Blogger James November 07, 2017 9:23 AM  

VD,
You are correct. I have not read SWJADD yet. I'm hoping to get some time over the holidays. I'm guessing you already touched on this idea or you have a better explanation. Still when I read the article I felt like I was having a scales falling from my eyes moment. Suddenly it all made sense. Looking forward to SWJADD.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira November 07, 2017 9:31 AM  

Was at a "Tech Conference" last night. Very few companies there compared to previous events by this organisation, and they were very low energy.

Speakers were given 5 minutes to "make the crowd smarter" about something. One female speaker introduced her purple haired 8 year old who had recently "created her first web page with AI". Then she shrieked on about how women are discriminated in tech, despite having an entire auditorium full of gammas completely in rapture. The next speaker was talking about automation and those unemployable small-brains, which inevitably leads to universal basic income and "Everyone should be given $40 000 a year to live a decent life." Granted, he's talking Leaf dollars but that's the point at which I walked out.

I did, however, made an attempt to shite-post their hashtag to get on a large screen that was displaying tweets.

Anonymous Iacobus November 07, 2017 9:52 AM  

I still remember a video of a get-together with creative pros who used Adobe apps where one person interviewed was wearing a "I didn't vote for Trump" button. (This was soon after the election.) Talk about virtue signaling; does the dude want a cookie or something? A pat on the head?

Anonymous veryfunnyminion November 07, 2017 10:15 AM  

"The tech community at large is being presented with artificial evidence that these minority groups are simply full of low-quality and non-contributing individuals."

"There are great women, PoC, trans, whatever, people in tech, but the high-quality ones exist in proportion to their numbers overall. And those overall numbers are small."

Nice square circle you got there.

IOW, the contributions of the few good ones are vastly overwhelmed by the shitty ones. And if the shitty ones wind up being those chosen for conference positions, how is that artificial? More likely they are the norm, the good ones the minority.

Tldr;

the costs of inclusion outweigh the benefits by several orders of magnitude.

See also:

women in the military
gays in the military
"girl" Scouts
Vatican II
etc., etc., etc.

Blogger RC November 07, 2017 10:19 AM  

Female presenters at a conference I attended a few weeks ago:

1. Accessibility Cookbook: 10 Easy Recipes
2. The Business Case for UX
3. How to Get More Girls Coding!
4. Collect the Right Metrics for the Right Reasons

I'm sure these were all excellent but I just couldn't find the time to attend any of these sessions.

Blogger RC November 07, 2017 10:23 AM  

A few decades ago my MS in CS cohort at the University of Illinois graduated one black, two women, and a hundred+ Americans, Germans, Chinese, and Dots. I'm sure things are different now.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 07, 2017 10:56 AM  

The real reason to go to tech cons is to network, but if the pool of talent is going to always have bluehaired freakpoop floating on top it's not worth the time and cost. One Donglegate takes away all the real network value.

Might as well go to invite-only videoconferencing with secured website, in order to get something done. That's not an alt-con but it's in the direction.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 07, 2017 11:00 AM  

@20 Daniel Paul Grech Pereira
I did, however, made an attempt to shite-post their hashtag to get on a large screen that was displaying tweets.
--

That's how you do it

Anonymous Barabba November 07, 2017 11:09 AM  

Don't even get me started.

I had my last disappointing experience this year, when I attended the JS conference in Berlin. It was like a SJW festival.

From the vegan/vegetarian menus only (no meat, whatsoever) to the transgender friendly bathrooms, to the pins with your pronoun of choice, you name it, there was everything.

And beside some interesting talks there was a lot of inclusion/diversity/gender/useless talks that made me feel embarrassed for the "speaker". I mean, pompous and self-aggrandizing people with no serious tech competence.

Needless to say, if nothing is going to change, I'm not going to attend again to this kind of conferences. And I'm not the only one among my peers to see the things in the same way.

Blogger Warren Yurmind November 07, 2017 11:09 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger S. Misanthrope November 07, 2017 11:15 AM  

#2 Insanely enough applies to women as well. About 8 years ago, I roomed with a woman who worked in tech. While she started out coding and did on occasion still code, like many women she had moved into marketing. She was invited to present on effective online marketing for very young startups at some conference, and the title of her presentation had "money shot" in it.

She had good reason to call it that both in terms of the content of the presentation and in terms of the self-marketing (an unusual number of men who don't work in marketing showed up). The conference organizers thought it was funny, too, and sent out the conference schedule with each presentation's title listed.

Next thing you know, she's embroiled in a Donglegate-style controversy with another presenter, some POC "woman in tech" who took offense. Luckily she had more sway with the organizers and the POC overestimated her influence with conference goers. She changed the title but gave the exact same presentation she originally planned.

Years later, controversies like these became well known to anyone even vaguely connected to the start up-world in SF. When Donglegate happened, I was amazed to see that very same POC who had attacked my roommate being quoted by the NYT and others for her opinion on the controversy. I looked her up and found she had basically not worked at all since that incident (and her work was as usual not "real tech"). What she had been doing was keeping up connections with other women who do not work in tech but do constantly complain about it and writing the same blog she clearly had spent more time on than her actual job back when she actually had one. Her entire "career" became waiting for the NYT to call and ask her opinion about something she has nothing to do with.

I realize this is not news to anyone who has read either SJWAL or SJWADD, but it was very impactful (and instructive) for me to observe at that time. There are so many snakes in the grass in tech, it's more accurate to say there's grass in the snakes.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 07, 2017 11:24 AM  

Alt-Retard cleanup on aisle 29.

Anonymous Just another commenter November 07, 2017 11:29 AM  

Simple solution: Have Islamic-theme tech conferences.

Women go to the woman's tech room to listen to women tech speakers, men go to the men's tech room to listen to men tech speakers, trans/QWERTY go to the trans/QWERTY's tech room to listen to trans/QWERTY tech speakers. You'll need one large hall and two large closets.

Problem solved. Anyone who doesn't like it and protests is clearly an Islamophobe and therefore disinvited.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 07, 2017 12:03 PM  

@32
You'll need one large hall and two large closets.

Plus a rooftop at least 4 stories up for the trans/QWERTY sessions.

Blogger Silly but True November 07, 2017 1:33 PM  

@thetroll:
It's not surprising at all. When women of the internet doxxed, death- and rape-threatened Carter Page and forced him from his home, his only safe refuge from the rampant internet misandry and harassment was Moscow.

Anonymous BBGKB November 07, 2017 1:33 PM  

There are great women, PoC, trans, whatever, people in tech, but the high-quality ones exist in proportion to their numbers overall. And those overall numbers are small

One gay programmer I knew just played World Of Warcraft all day at his job.

PoC (People of Color) is a racist term

People of Color only come in black/brown in hair/eye colors. Whites are the real people of color
https://gab.ai/BGKB/posts/14299149

Strange days, when the former Soviet Union is a refuge from thought commissars...

Putin made it so people can spit at & curse the jewish oligarchs.

How is the IQ distribution among the different members of the LLBGtts....?

MPAI but I noticed while doing a travel job each DieVerse City has a Jewish Lesbian Gatekeeper whose Soros paid full time job is to enforce the narrative

You'll need one large hall and two large closets.

Don't forget mirrors

Blogger Cloudswrest November 07, 2017 1:47 PM  

Google image search of "Kassandra Perch" - Jesus Christ!! I need bleach for my eyes.

https://www.google.com/search?

Blogger S'mon November 07, 2017 2:12 PM  

It's all over the RPG Cons:
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?594081-Harassment-At-PaizoCon-2017
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?596725-North-Texas-RPG-Convention-Refuses-To-Listen-To-Harassment-Concerns

Anonymous kfg November 07, 2017 2:18 PM  

Kassandra Perch:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3JFdvYGQ_IE/maxresdefault.jpg

Anonymous Avalanche November 07, 2017 2:41 PM  

@5 Cleopatra was a direct lineal descendant of Ptolemy, Alexander the Great's GENERAL! She was Greek, NOT a "PofC" -- that's idiots throwing a (an ahistorical) sop to blacks to let them fake that "ANYone on the african continent was therefore black!" GREEKS are not PofC! (Sheesh -- Greco-Roman, right? OUR forebears?!)

(Not yelling at you, Groggy -- just it seems like everyone has bought this crap!

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 07, 2017 2:43 PM  

Kassandra Perch:

It has to go back.

Anonymous kfg November 07, 2017 2:51 PM  

@39:

Yeah, but where is "back"? Alamogordo, Bikini (and you can thank me for that mental image later), Chernobyl?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 07, 2017 2:55 PM  

@40

Marianas trench?

Blogger Silly but True November 07, 2017 3:13 PM  

Jesus.

OOC, HTF is "Mx." abbreviation even pronounced? "Myther?" (Myth?) "Mishter?" (Mish?) "Mixter?" (Mix?)

If there's to be no acceptance of the old ways, then best we get along sooner rather than later to warfare in the streets.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot November 07, 2017 3:51 PM  

"Once upon a time I seriously considered launching a conference myself ..."

You know that they invite who they bloody well want to invite at Davos ...

Some of these social justice wankers had a go at Marc Faber recently -- the fools. Not that it did them a bit of good -- he simply resigned several positions on the basis that if those organisations are too stupid to recognise good counsel, by all means they shouldn't have it.

Actually, that might make a good basis for an effective rule to govern them all within conferences: the purpose of a blacklist is to reduce presenter idiocy caused by presenters insisting they can't be seen with "certain other people" on the basis of their past statements.

"We no-platform the no-platformers" has a fairly good case going for it.

Still, not being seen with people who have groped other presenters on stage during conferences is absolutely a sound principle ...

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club November 07, 2017 3:53 PM  

The odds that any presentation at any conference is going to be soul-crushingly dull are quite high, so the probable outcome of an exhibition from someone whose only qualification is being a REEEEEEEEE!tard would be a situation so hellish even Satan would describe it as "a bit much".

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot November 07, 2017 3:57 PM  

Silly But True @1: "Ever since Adria Richards harassed attendees at Pycon in 2013 over a joke, why would anyone attend a con that is open to angry black women looking to do exactly the same thing to their next victims?"

Because we've deployed surveillance teams to monitor these people so their activities can be tracked?

Americans used to do this during the Cold War: they'd monitor one key organisation in-depth in order to figure out what the "fellow travellers" were up to.

Also, revelatory comments among these people when they think nobody's paying attention are often good fodder for the "Court of Public Opinion" aka YouTube.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot November 07, 2017 4:07 PM  

Deplorable Paradigm @39: "It has to go back ..."

We have a vegetarian-friendly island in Scotland that might interest "it" ...

Just look up Gruinard Island, you'll find all of the information you need. :-)

Blogger Silly but True November 07, 2017 4:21 PM  

@Post,
Very good. Best of luck to those efforts.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 07, 2017 4:29 PM  

@40  Belugas belong in the North Atlantic, right?

Blogger SirGroggy November 07, 2017 6:32 PM  

Avalanche,
She was said to be dark though at least from the Masters of Rome novels which were well researched.

Anonymous kfg November 07, 2017 6:50 PM  

"Cleopatra's True Racial Background"

Blogger LP9 November 08, 2017 10:55 AM  

Tech conf's are for and by men, women do not and should not be there in any capacity, let the men talk shop, leave the men alone. The women should go to the nearby gyms workout then be called when the men are done.

Really, all men have left is skype. its a shame.

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