Saturday, May 01, 2021

Basecamp doesn't quite get it

One of the Basecamp founders explains why they bought out their SJW employees:

This was the second such discussion in a few months that had to be closed out following an acrimonious devolution that pitted employees against each other, and stressed these complicated power dynamics between managers and reports, all on a company-wide stage that invariably pulled everyone into the spectacle.

Together with other acrimonious debates and inappropriate discussions with roots in societal politics on our internal communication systems, this formed the context that led to the recently announced changes. After going through repeated, worsening incidents like this, we took a hard look at why we kept doing this, and kept getting the same unproductive, unhealthy results.

I've read some opinions on all of this that charge that facilitating these kinds of discussions, however acrimonious or uncomfortable or unresolved, is actually good, because a lot of life right now is acrimonious, uncomfortable, and unresolved, so work should reflect that. I can't get behind those arguments. As I wrote in the segment posted from our internal announcement of the changes, all of that, inasmuch as it does not directly relate to the business, is already so much of everyone's lives all the time on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever. Demanding that it also has to play out in our shared workspaces isn't going to lead anywhere good, in my opinion.

But more so than just whether I think that's productive or healthy, a significant contingency of Basecamp employees had been raising private flags about this as well. Finding the discussions to be exactly acrimonious, uncomfortable, unresolved. Yet feeling unable to speak up out of fear that they'd have an accusatory label affixed to their person for refusing to accept the predominant framing of the issues presented by other more vocal employees.

Which gets to the root of the dilemma. If you do indeed strive to have a diverse workforce both ideologically and identity wise, you're not going to find unison on all these difficult, contentious issues. If you did, you'd both be revealing an intellectual monoculture and we wouldn't be having these acrimonious debates.

So if that is something you want, I continue to believe that a diverse workforce _should_ be something that you want, you have to consider what guardrails to put on the internal discourse. My belief is that the key to working with other people of different ideological persuasions is to find common cause in the work, in the relations with customers, in the good we can do in the industry. Not to repeatedly seek out all the hard edges where we differ. Those explorations are better left to the smaller groups, to discussions outside of the company-wide stage, and between willing participants.

It's a good start. But it's not sufficient. The problem is that a diverse workforce is at the very least inefficient and less productive, no matter what sort of lipstick you attempt to put on the pig. And it will eventually become a disaster if you aren't prepared to actively screen out the infestants determined to converge your company. 

Of course, it's much better to maintain professional standards that attempt to keep SJW employees in line, but sooner or later, it will become clear that doing so simply isn't possible. Especially if you haven't gotten rid of your HR department.

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Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 01, 2021 6:24 AM  

A question, are the US based tech companies about the same size as this one that are owned and ran by non-whites all pretty much non-diverse? I've assumed so and also I assume they pretty much then immunize themselves from the white SJW disease of lefty incels and hamplanets with mental health issues hairstyles, and people with genitalia disorders.

"Diversity" being just a corporate attack tactic to take down competitors with big tech being large enough to bribe the DNC and absorb the cost of disposable SJW morons.

Blogger Bettey Fontaneaux May 01, 2021 6:32 AM  

Professionalism. That is what they lack. I work with Jenkins, even though I can't stand him and he cheats on his wife, because we are paid to do a job to a minimum standard or better. Professionalism is THE thing that safeguards against those hard edges and permits "diverse" people to function.

Blogger Shane Bradman May 01, 2021 6:40 AM  

As long as the founders maintain control of the direction of the company, I think that they will do well in the future.

Blogger Unknown May 01, 2021 6:43 AM  

The fact they were keeping a list of customer names to mock, and this was only a problem when they added diverse names on the list, is a huge issue.

Of course the SJWs had to go, but so should the bosses who allowed the list to ever be typed up, in any form and any names.

Blogger SciVo May 01, 2021 7:16 AM  

I continue to believe that a professional manager _should_ know better than to use "should" unironically.

A question, are the US based tech companies about the same size as this one that are owned and ran by non-whites all pretty much non-diverse?

That entirely depends on whether you think that "diverse" means "different from each other" or "non-anglo".

Blogger Opus May 01, 2021 7:20 AM  

It was a long time ago, now, but when I was first out at work my Father always urged me never to bring my political or religious views to work - it was that reticence that prevented the country from drifting into another civil war - indeed I did not do so (if I had any such views) and no one else did either. The same went for discussing or venting ones romantic, sexual or marital grievances. - no one wants to know. If you have a political interest then you may on Saturday attend your favoured political meeting and if of a religious persuasion one may on Sunday attend ones favoured house of worship.

There used to be an old joke and like all good jokes essentially true where a person enquires of an acquaintance 'You have known old Bloggins for a long time. What exactly are his political/religious view? To which the first person replies 'well actually I don't know'. That is how things should be. One goes to work for the purposes of ones employers and not ones personal aggrandisement.

A company employee's views on these matters should be no more voiced than that of the company's non-human resources. The same should apply (and always used to) to employers but now far too many force their favoured ideology on their employees and their customers.

Blogger Iceeater May 01, 2021 7:39 AM  

America when air conditioning goes off.

I hope they will accept the buy out offer when thay are told to get on free bus ride to a mega city.

The great re shuffle is gona be messy

Blogger Th3 J3st3r May 01, 2021 8:11 AM  

I wonder if it's possible for a company policy to simply state that they don't hire leftists, blacks, Hispanics, and whoever they don't agree with.
I would hope so; many of the perceived shackles on our society are still mental, and not instantiated in any legal form. But, alas, I'm not a lawyer.

Blogger DougW May 01, 2021 8:17 AM  

I do have to say, though, that you know he's doing something right when you read the articles and (entertaining) comment sections of lefty rags such as Gizmodo and TechCrunch. Man, this has really given those sunken-chest SJW'S the vapors.

Blogger RedJack May 01, 2021 8:21 AM  


You may hate your coworker, but we are here to work. If you want to duel arrange a time and place outside of work.

Blogger Damelon Brinn May 01, 2021 8:26 AM  

@1, I think you're asking whether tech companies that fill up entirely with dot-Indians are SJW convergence-proof. I'd say the answer is no, for several reasons:

1. Indians can be SJWs/Gammas too, especially second-generation or later.

2. Indians think white women in the workplace are fair game for hitting on, so they'll hire them to have them around, even if they're only in marketing and HR.

3. If they're trying to do anything more difficult than the lowest-level programming or call center work, they're going to need some white guys to do the hard stuff. They won't want to hire masculine white men who would monopolize the hottest white women, so they'll hire Gammas and even trannies first. Those may only be a few percent of the workforce, but that's still a vector along with the women.

4. Though the most public positions like CEO may be Indian, you'll often find Jews in less public positions or as the investors, so there is steady convergence pressure from the top of the company as well.

Blogger rumpole5 May 01, 2021 8:27 AM  

This may be an "okay Boomer" moment, but I don't see how a company larger than the "rule of 140" could do without an HR entity of some sort. Even back in the mid 1950s my Dad was the "personnel manager" at an engine parts manufacturing corporation. He also did all of the material coordination for the factory as well, so back then it was not even a full time job. Be that as it may, someone has to do the compliance paperwork associated with unions and government regulations, come up with uniform company policies, coordinate worker vacations and training, decide whom to hire, discipline, and let go, and the like. How would a "no HR" large corporation would handle these functions? Maybe hire a nonwoke outside firm?

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 01, 2021 8:33 AM  

I like how in Star Trek they show how professional everybody is and all that diversity doesn't cause any problems.

It's good comedy.

Blogger Maniac May 01, 2021 8:49 AM  

@8 - In this social and political climate, not a snowflake's chance. Anglophobia seems permissible, though.

Blogger OnInfantry May 01, 2021 8:55 AM  

Could it be that, in the course of hiring replacements for the employees who left, Basecamp has jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Blogger Bill Chunko May 01, 2021 9:03 AM  

I've said it plenty of times before, diversity is the importation of failure.

Blogger Canadian Warlord May 01, 2021 9:04 AM  

I believe a large portion of the problem is the sales market.

More and more apps are not productive in the classic sense, they do fatuous idiotic things. Look at where most patents are directed now - one touch purchase? Really? _That_ is a patent? I've worked for people with patents that enabled digital/ analog dual phones to not drop calls, which was an actual requirement. Dude was a real hard ass but I guarantee the company is not infested with sjw-ism.

A large-scale example of this market phenomenon is Amazon. Their customers have a certain perception of their inner workings, woke or whatever, and their image is thus an important part of their corporate model. They _know_ they're incompetent, so their building operations are designed by Dematic or Honeywell, and their maintenance is farmed out to companies that rely heavily on former military. Talk about culture clash! Basically the managers do nothing but deal with employee feels as they wring that last bit of spirit out on the way to emotional breakdown and the infamous $2k 2 year payout.

I think that as long as the target market is woketards, it's likely the companies selling to them follow suit like classes of fish.

Blogger Balkan Yankee May 01, 2021 9:08 AM  

Memo to Basecamp: SJWs are not just another voice in the social melange. They are the enemy. They are why ya'll cannot get along.

Blogger bw May 01, 2021 9:17 AM  

One of the historical ironies of the revolutionary spirit is that it has been done time and time again

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 01, 2021 10:08 AM  

Th3 J3st3r wrote:I wonder if it's possible for a company policy to simply state that they don't hire leftists, blacks, Hispanics, and whoever they don't agree with.
Making the company mission statement explicitly pro- everything the SJWs are anti- would probably help, but anything effective is going to have a disparate impact and won't stand legal challenges.

It won't stop as long as we're law abiding.

Blogger Unknown May 01, 2021 10:30 AM  

Th3 J3st3r wrote:I wonder if it's possible for a company policy to simply state that they don't hire leftists, blacks, Hispanics, and whoever they don't agree with.

I would hope so; many of the perceived shackles on our society are still mental, and not instantiated in any legal form. But, alas, I'm not a lawyer.

Not in the US. Maybe leftists, but many of them are Jewish or something else identifiable.

In order to stay out of trouble with the overlords, in my state the Civil Rights Commission does both state and federal, you have show your hiring meets the percentages within your MSA, or show why it can't even though you go all out.

Ex: you do construction site prep. You have enough drivers and skilled trades for black and hispanic for your MSA, but you are low on civil engineers based on their numbers in the MSA. But if you can show you are in the same MSA as the University of Public Hugeness who employs many of the local black engineers on their faculty, and you send HR to every black job fair and give money to the pastors for their phony organizations, than you are okay.

Blogger Chill Penguin May 01, 2021 10:46 AM  

> Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. 14If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 15But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

no-fault divorce was passed by Ronald Reagan in 1969 but Scofield of the Scofield Reference Bible was ordained by a Congregationalist while his divorce was pending in 1883

Blogger Damelon Brinn May 01, 2021 10:49 AM  

How would a "no HR" large corporation would handle these functions?

Start by having a Personnel Department instead of Human Resources. The names we give things matter. Then tell the Personnel Manager that his job (and it should be "his") is to handle the paperwork involved in hiring and firing employees chosen by other managers, taking care of their insurance and benefits, dry necessities like that. He's not to be a camp counselor, and if anyone comes to his department with a grievance against the company or another employee, his job is to record the information and kick it up to an executive who can make a quick judgment on it. If he or his people start creating or inserting themselves into any drama, they're gone.

Blogger Bettey Fontaneaux May 01, 2021 11:03 AM  

It is a joke. She is goofing on them.

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot May 01, 2021 11:10 AM  

If you do indeed strive to have a diverse workforce both ideologically and identity wise

Any organization works best when everyone is focused on the same goal and pulling in the same direction. Any "diversity" of effort is just acting as a brake on any forward progress. Not surprised many of these modren "entrepreneurs" don't grasp the basic facts of human achievement.

A question, are the US based tech companies about the same size as this one that are owned and ran by non-whites all pretty much non-diverse

They're very light on the white, which is the real endgame of "diversity", so such companies are actually the shining city on the hill for SJWism. They're also all essentially useless in performing whatever their purported main mission is.

I wonder if it's possible for a company policy to simply state that they don't hire leftists, blacks, Hispanics, and whoever they don't agree with.

From what planet do you come, strange and wondrous visitor? Might as well burn your own building down when announcing such a policy in today's West.

Blogger FacelessBro May 01, 2021 11:14 AM  

"The problem is that a diverse workforce is at the very least inefficient and less productive, no matter what sort of lipstick you attempt to put on the pig."

It was pretty funny, in my business courses, when professors would try to compare and contrast the advantages of a diverse workforce vs a homogenous one.

The best they could come up with in favor of diversity was "different perspectives". Meanwhile, the arguments for homogeneity were "efficiency, shared vision, and effectiveness." Also known as "things you actually want from your workforce."

Blogger Turk187 May 01, 2021 11:46 AM  

Read the article, read the linked article in it. Not only is the company deeply dysfunctional no one involved is capable of the introspection needed. The SJW doesn't recognize that all the diversity BS is political, so they don't understand why it should be kept out of the workplace.

and -
(as mentioned by someone else earlier) they have learned nothing.

Blogger Didas Kalos May 01, 2021 11:56 AM  

@betty. a man who cheats on his wife should never be trusted in smaller matters.

Blogger Didas Kalos May 01, 2021 11:57 AM  

@opus. I think you 'doesn't quite get it' either.

Blogger JimiChanga May 01, 2021 2:05 PM  

How many times is this guy going to use the word “acrimonious” in one post? Please send him a thesaurus.

Blogger rumpole5 May 01, 2021 2:26 PM  

Oh, too concrete an approach on my part then. Might indeed be a Boomer thing. When someone my age hears a trendy newspeak term we tend to just translate it mentally back to the real sensible term. So in my mind "Human Resources" is automatically translated back to "Personnel Department". Same thing. I always thought that the "resource" term was just a somewhat lame touchy feely attempt by the out of touch office types to make the guys (and it's almost always a guy) cleaning out sewer pipes or climbing up a pole feel a bit more appreciated.

Blogger Didas Kalos May 01, 2021 5:14 PM  

Try telling that to Catbert.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel May 01, 2021 5:37 PM  


In the common parlance, diverse means non-male, non-white and with intrinsically disordered sexual appetites.


I received the same advice from my elders. They said stick to weather and football. Now football is converged, and you are as likely as not to have to suffer the uninvited opinion of a woman on the efficacy of a slant-in pattern if you do discuss football. If you've never been knocked on your ass, wondering if somebody got the plate of the truck that just hit you, you shouldn't talk football. Sorry girls, you don't understand football and its collisions until you experience them.


No. US "equal opportunity" law is designed to address two things: "disparate design"(you intentionally don't accept or promote "protected classes") and "disparate impact" (you are doing something obvious, but you just fire too many or don't retain or promote enough "protected classes". Your idea is the former and would be an invitation to the EEOC.

@12 @23

When Vox' Corporate Cancer came out-next up after I finish a personal project-I became interested in the etiology of the disease. Several internet articles traced back "HR" to National Cash Register-which still exists as NCR after an acquisition by ATT and a spinoff.

In the early 1900's the company organized a personnel department to handle grievances, discharges, and safety, as well as training for supervisors on laws and practices, although HR origins can be traced to "welfare officers" that emerged to look after the interests of working females.

The putative purpose of modern HR is to assure employee recruitment and retention and termination when required, along with designing policies and procedures to obtain maximum productivity, minimal interorganizational conflict and compliance with laws and regulations.

In reality they do no such thing and produce conflict as they pursue the Orwellian double-speak of diversity. HR is the finest example a private agenda-even when not converged-masquerading as technical expertise. Inevitably, they are liberal arts graduates, leftist in political orientation, and predominately female with the remainder being gamma males.

In a better they time would have been school teachers obsessing over penmanship and assigning students the task of writing "I will not" 100 times. Instead they are the Cartmans of corporate America demanding "respect muh authoritah".

Personnel is term I remember still being used at a now long gobbled up local bank I interviewed at in the late 80's or early 90's-but I think that the minute you confine it-it will try to expand and intrude again. The truth is state and federal employment laws are HR's best friend and some form of HR will exist as long as companies face the EEOC, state Human Relations Agencies and ruinous litigation awards for "discrimination".

Blogger megabar May 01, 2021 5:40 PM  

In a healthy society, the truly important political positions are largely agreed upon by almost everybody, so talking politics at work is neither very common nor contentious to the degree that it is today.

Blogger weka May 01, 2021 6:28 PM  

The (((woke))) want a revolutionary discussions they win, so fanning divisions between people is a feature not a bug

Blogger Kristophr May 01, 2021 9:11 PM  

The best thing you can do for your company is to get a copy of the local voter's registration list, and quietly fire every last Democrat or Green.

Blogger Star Tipper May 01, 2021 10:19 PM  

If Basecamp follows up the buyouts with a public firing of the next SJW rebellion then they will be effective. The buyout was the last chance for those who didn't want to adjust to the new regime could leave. Any rebellion after that, and it will happen guaranteed, must be met with swift action.

Blogger JamesB.BKK May 02, 2021 2:36 PM  

Women in government and their voters have for decades been making more detailed rules for the have-it-all girls to have something to put their degrees to. Parasitical departments full of shrill compliance gals have abounded.

Blogger Dave May 03, 2021 3:42 PM  

Nice man, letter was needlessly long and drawn out. I find brevity works best with socialist blades and could care less what they "feel".

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