Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
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the problems in tech: a lovely example

James Nicoll pointed to this post on Scripting News, wherein the author tells a story about a guy he hired who didn’t do any work, had to be fired, then sued on the basis of discrimination, all back in 1985. The author lays out this gem:

[E]very time a company hires someone who is not a young male, they run the risk that the new hire isn’t there to work, rather is there to scam you.

…and proceeds to deny that he’s advocating only hiring young white men. (The white part comes in later, in comments.)

Here’s my reply, in case it doesn’t get unscreened:

The statement that you made very much advocates hiring only young males, whether you want it to or not.

”[E]very time a company hires someone who is not a young male, they run the risk that the new hire isn’t there to work, rather is there to scam you.”

The meaning of the sentence is that people who aren’t young men might just be scamming you, and that young males, by exception, are not out to scam you.


Young women need not apply: might be out to scam you! Anyone over whatever your definition of “young” age is need not apply: might be out to scam you! Risky! Young men, by contrast: not part of the problem; not out to scam you.

What do you think this advocates?

And yes, there is an implicit whiteness in this, by virtue of the point of “Roy” using civil rights laws to sue you. C.f. all the people in comments picking it up, and comments already made that “this scam only works because of protected classes.” You may not want to own that, but you put it out there.


The underlying assertion, of course, is bullshit. I’ve seen exactly this work behaviour out of your “young males” more than once. When I was at Microsoft in particular, I saw this a couple of times, and how your “young men” had to be so carefully nudged out the door to prevent them from being able to sue either. I saw your “young males” doing it when I was doing research in academia. It was project-destroying.

But that’s not part of your story, now, is it?

Stories matter. We tell stories for reasons, and we pick stories we think have meaning, and meaning we want to communicate. And yours, here, communicates certain things very clearly – whether you want to admit it or not.

My only regret is failing to mention that exactly this thinking is exactly how Bitcoin’s Reddit forum had posted in their FAQ not to do business with people identifying as women online, because it was probably a scam.

Awfully similar language, don’t you think?

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Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

Tags: politcs, rage, rampaging idocy, who do i have to kill to get some killin
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