# administrivia

Konrad Hinsen

04/29/2020, 8:54 AM
One thing that's important to remember is that the whole diversity/inclusivity/whatever-label-you-like movement is pretty young. It has identified a problem, but not fully understood it. And all the social engineering attempted to improve the situation should best be seen as experiments. Another important point is that this movement is very US-centric but not aware of that cognitive bias. @Vladimir Gordeev is completely right in considering himself a member of an underrepresented minority, coming from a different cultural background. He is also right in pointing out the risks of focusing on group identities. It's not just the history of the USSR that has plenty of warnings to offer, it's world history at large. Finally, this movement is conflating three kinds of issues that I think should best be considered separately: 1. Gender roles, which are still those of the agricultural age that lasted for millenia. The problem here is inertia, the goal of social engineering is accelerating a change that is likely to happen anyway. 2. Xenophobia, including the consequences of colonialism. These take different forms around the world and probably require case-by-case solutions. 3. Minorities that appear dysfunctional in the eyes of many, including gays, trans people, autists, physically disabled, and many more.
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Scott Anderson

04/30/2020, 1:07 AM
Vladamir's strongest criticism was US-centric nature of the CoC and not truly thinking about global diversity. There are a lot of topics that directly relate to FoC that intersect, which we don't see discussed as often here which is unfortunate. One example is making coding accessible on mobile devices, another is coding in areas with unreliable infrastructure or coding for people without regular access to a computing device. Programming languages based on languages other than English, and the ramifications of that (is it just syntax? Does it improve accessibility for native speakers?) is another.
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Rami Ismail (indie game developer and advocate) talks about this a lot in the context of game development, I definitely think it's worth expanding definitions, which are often in line with US protected categories for HR and legal reasons
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The rest of his criticism was pretty standard criticisms that come from right of center tech people
Which is... Fine I guess just kind of tired, now it feels like a circular argument

Ivan Reese

04/30/2020, 7:55 AM
Worth pointing out that, if a goal of FoC is to allow people outside mainstream tech to have a better relationship (or any relationship) with computation, women are an underrepresented majority.
In that light, the "diversity is an NA-centric worldview" debate is likely a red herring. Not that it's universally invalid. Aside from women, yes, all of these more nuanced distinctions and relatives become increasingly important.

Konrad Hinsen

04/30/2020, 8:20 AM
@Ivan Reese The problem with the "diversity" label is that it's not what the whole movement is really about. For good reasons BTW, since diversity isn't universally desirable. Any collaboration requires significant cognitive overlap between group members - starting with a common language. Diversity is much like freedom in that it cannot be maximized. There are always trade-offs. Claiming "diversity" while in reality fighting the discrimination of very specific populations comes down to saying that all other possible aspects of diversity don't matter. And that has exactly the opposite effect of what is openly claimed: it alienates people for no good reason.
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