‘Political Correctness Is Killing Silicon Valley’ Warns Tech Industry CEO

offended
PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty

There is now more freedom of speech in Beijing than in the San Francisco Bay area — and this could kill the Silicon Valley tech industry.
While right-wing commentators have been saying this for years, it’s extremely unusual to hear it from the lips of a Silicon Valley tech guru as impeccably liberal as Sam Altman.

Altman, influential and respected CEO of Y Combinator — an accelerator program for Silicon Valley start-ups — has triggered outrage in the tech community for having dared to suggest that political correctness has gotten so bad that it threatens to destroy their business model.

He writes in his latest blogpost:

Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me.  I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco.  I didn’t feel completely comfortable—this was China, after all—just more comfortable than at home.

That showed me just how bad things have become, and how much things have changed since I first got started here in 2005.

It seems easier to accidentally speak heresies in San Francisco every year.  Debating a controversial idea, even if you 95% agree with the consensus side, seems ill-advised.

This will be very bad for startups in the Bay Area.

You can have freedom to think and innovate or you can have political correctness, but you can’t have both, he warns:

To get the really good ideas, we need to tolerate really bad and wacky ideas too.  In addition to the work Newton is best known for, he also studied alchemy (the British authorities banned work on this because they feared the devaluation of gold) and considered himself to be someone specially chosen by the almighty for the task of decoding Biblical scripture.

You can’t tell which seemingly wacky ideas are going to turn out to be right, and nearly all ideas that turn out to be great breakthroughs start out sounding like terrible ideas.  So if you want a culture that innovates, you can’t have a culture where you allow the concept of heresy—if you allow the concept at all, it tends to spread.  When we move from strenuous debate about ideas to casting the people behind the ideas as heretics, we gradually stop debate on all controversial ideas.

In today’s climate, some of the most innovative ideas in tech — such as Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin or Elon Musk’s SpaceX — would have probably have been killed at birth:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

 

Do Penises Cause Climate Change? Discuss

The academic hoax that shows how generations of kids are paying good money to study pure, unmitigated, mind-warping drivel.

‘Why not think about Gender Studies?’ asked an advertorial aimed at prospective students in the newspaper I was reading. Actually, I can think of lots of reasons, starting with: what kind of employer in his right mind (or her right mind, come to that) would be insane enough to take on a graduate with an intellectually worthless degree indicative of shrill resentment, bolshiness, blue hair, lax personal hygiene and weaponised entitlement?

But two US academics, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay, recently came up with an even better one. They managed to get published in a social sciences journal a paper arguing that the penis is not in fact a male reproductive organ but merely a social construct and that, furthermore, penises are responsible for causing climate change.

It ought to go without saying that their paper, ‘The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct’, was a spoof. Yet it was peer-reviewed by two supposed experts in gender studies, one of whom praised the way it captured ‘the issue of hypermasculinity through a multidimensional and nonlinear process’, and the other of whom marked it ‘outstanding’ in every applicable category.

Their model was the Sokal Hoax of 1996, when New York University physics professor Alan Sokal persuaded an academic journal to accept a similarly meaningless paper titled ‘Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity’. His aim was partly to mock the incoherence of post-modernist social science, and partly to demonstrate that humanities journals will publish anything so long as it is couched in the language of ‘proper leftist thought’.

Like Sokal’s, the latest hoax was careful to observe all the fashionable left-wing pieties. ‘We suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding, almost religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil,’ the authors later observed. So they included lots of derogatory language about men and male vices such as ‘manspreading’ — a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, which they described as ‘akin to raping the empty space around him’. This is funny, obviously, but it’s also a bit worrying for a number of reasons. One is what it tells us about the reliability of ‘peer review’, so often claimed in academe as the gold standard which independently validates research. But as Matt Ridley recently noted, all it really is is a way for ‘academics to defend their pet ideas and reward their chums’. He cited a report by Donna Laframboise, a Canadian investigative journalist, which concluded: ‘Fraudulent research makes it past gatekeepers at even the most prestigious journals.’ She was talking not only about social sciences but about the harder ones, such as medicine, where accuracy can be a matter of life or death. She quoted a US National Institutes of Health official’s claim that ‘researchers would find it hard to reproduce at least three-quarters’ of published medical findings.

There are similar problems with her particular area of interest, global warming. A scare industry worth an annual $1.5 trillion has been built on the notion that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for unprecedented and catastrophic changes to the world’s climate. Yet the scientists promoting this hypothesis are a fairly small, closed shop who validate one another’s work in a process which has been nicknamed ‘pal review’ and whose response to criticism from dissidents is to bully them, smear them and have them denied access to mainstream science journals.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

Keep Calm and Carry on in the Face of Muslim Terror? No Thanks

Whenever I’m trying to work out what I really think about another terrorist incident involving the Religion of Peace, the first place I always turn to is the BBC.

Whatever the BBC says I know for certain that the right view to take is the exact opposite.

And so it was last night on BBC News. A policeman had been stabbed to death; three passers-by had been deliberately mown down by a car on London’s Westminster Bridge, and another 29 injured, some very seriously. Clearly, this was yet another Islamic-State-inspired terrorist attack whose main aim was to inflict as much carnage as possible to as many innocent victims as possible until the perpetrator got shot.

Or so you might have thought, till you watched the BBC, which knew exactly what the real story was. Apparently, the tragedy of those dead and injured people, including at least one mother and several schoolchildren, was a relatively minor detail…

No, what the story was really about was that it was an assault on the heart of parliamentary democracy, a narrowly averted disaster which could have seen an actual MP get hurt and which, almost worst of all, meant that MPs and parliamentary staff and reporters and other inhabitants of the Westminster Bubble including the BBC’s own Laura Kuenssberg were forcibly cooped up inside the Parliament buildings for a few hours.

We knew this because one of the lead sections of the BBC’s coverage comprised amateurish footage that had been shot of Kuenssberg looking confused and trapped, wondering what was going outside. She was shown asking some other people trapped with her what was going on. They didn’t know, either.

But we did. That’s because by the time the news bulletin was broadcast at 10pm – seven hours after the incident – the story had moved on. We knew about the dead policeman. About the woman who’d jumped off the bridge into the river. About the poor chap who’d jumped over the parapet and fell 18 feet onto concrete. About the bearded assailant who’d died of his injuries not long after being shot by plain clothes police.

All of this was far more compelling and important and dramatic than anything Laura Kuenssberg might have experienced, hours earlier, during her unfortunate moment of temporary inconvenience under lockdown.

You could argue that this was simply a case of poor editorial judgement. Kuenssberg is, for better or worse, one of the BBC’s star reporters. Perhaps some cowed editor felt that her geographical proximity to the story – even though she hadn’t witnessed it or been able to do any useful reporting on it – justified giving her such prominence.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Preserve Us from a National Trust That’s So Achingly Right-on:

  • on a once-great institution’s plans to promote the gay and transgender links of our finest houses

once-great National Trust

Whenever I read in the papers about some new trendy scheme introduced to the National Trust by its tiresomely PC management under director general Dame Helen Ghosh, I feel a pang of regret at having resigned our family membership a decade ago.

One month Dame Helen is singing the praises of wind farms; the next it’s a story about signs in the grounds of NT properties that read ‘Please do touch the trees — or even hug them!’; then it’s a row about some scheme to pay over the odds for a farm in Cumbria that has infuriated the locals.

Every time I read this stuff, my response is: why can’t I still be a member? Then I could resign, to signal how thoroughly I disapprove of initiatives so at odds with the Trust’s culture, history and core membership.

Read the rest in the Daily Mail.

Matt LeBlanc and Gazza: Soon All Jokes by Straight White Men Will Be Made Illegal

If you didn’t know the details, you might imagine he’d done something serious.

Nope. Here’s what happened:

Gascoigne was speaking at a venue in Wolverhampton, as part of his An Evening With Gazza tour, where audiences around Britain are paying upwards of £30 a head to hear anecdotes about Gazza’s days as a footballing legend.

At some point in the evening, Gazza made an ill-advised quip at the expense of a black bouncer standing in a darkened part of the auditorium. Gazza joked that he couldn’t see whether or not the security guard was enjoying himself because the venue was poorly lit.

Yes, you probably had to be there. It’s not the funniest joke ever told. But nor is it the kind of remark you’d ever imagine getting anyone hauled up before the courts. It’s just laddish banter of the kind you’ll often find when boozed up blokes are gathered together. There’s certainly no malice in it and in the old days – before the era of licensed victimhood and professional offence-taking – that security guard would perfectly well have understood this, in much the same way any white person would have done in the Seventies or Eighties had they been singled out as the butt of a joke by, say, Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy.

I originally reported that the bouncer had complained to the police – but it turns out I maligned the poor fellow. It wasn’t the black bouncer who complained but one of those grisly SJWs – often known as Offendotrons, usually white – whose speciality is to patronise ethnic minorities by taking offence on their behalf. This Offendotron reported to the police and the police, in accordance with the wishes of the rampantly politically correct Crown Prosecution Service, decide to make an example of Gazza.

Gascoigne, the judge claimed, is guilty of the “sort of insidious racism” which needs to be challenged.

Well I’m not so sure about that. My fear is that this kind of case, far from healing racial divisions in Britain is likely to exacerbate them by fostering a climate of mutual resentment and bitterness and a sense that “Britain is no longer a free country any more.” Which indeed it isn’t. In Britain – taking our cue from the identity politics victimhood culture of the US – our minority grievance industry has now become so powerful that you cannot even make a mildly tasteless joke without being dragged before the courts and treated like a criminal.

And it won’t be long – you can be sure – before jokes perceived as offensive to women result in similar court cases.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

Scotland: Brainwashing Little SJW Nazis Since 1986

If you’ve got 17 minutes to spare I urge you to watch thisvideo (currently being circulated on Twitter).

And if you haven’t got 17 minutes to spare, then make some spare. It will infuriate, enlighten, delight and terrify you all at the same time.

It’s an interview given by the great English cricketer Ian Botham to a bunch of Scottish schoolkids in 1986 for a BBC TV programme called Open To Question.

Here they are, teenage kids, with a rare opportunity to ask a genuine sporting legend any question they want.

But all they want to do is harangue him earnestly about his male chauvinist attitudes to domestic chores and his apparently unhealthy love of “blood” sports like shooting and deer-stalking and his support of Margaret Thatcher.

An Eighties-permed missy opens the batting by asking:

“You only do the clean jobs when bringing up a baby. Changing the nappy – why not?”

Then comes the next question:

“If it’s only you that doesn’t change nappies why do you classify this as women’s work?”

Then the next:

“Is your wife satisfied with your attitude to child-rearing or do you think she resents your apparent immersion in your own sport?”

and, later:

“Do you not think it would be so much better if Mrs Thatcher would put some of the money she uses in defence into research and therefore help us out before she destroys the world?”

The assault never stops. It’s like Children of the Corn meets the Korean War. The questioning has the relentlessness and doctrinaire zeal of Red Army soldiers swarming across the Imjin River.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Meet the Grisly SJW Loons Behind the ‘Blackface’ Morris Dancing Ban

Even FRESh have admitted that the “blackface” tradition – dating back to the 16th century – has nothing to do with racism. But, damn it, they’re Social Justice Warriors, so they’re not about to let facts get in the way of a nice bit of kill-joy bansturbation.

Jonathan Hyams, secretary for equality group FRESH said: ‘From Fresh’s perspective, it is good news.

‘We entirely understand the argument from Morris dancing communities that this is something that goes back to tradition.

‘Our understanding is that it comes from traditional disguise when for different reasons Morris dancers were subject to persecution if they were dancing or protesting against different things.

‘However, there are other ways of celebrating this other than blacking up, which has very strong connotations of racism.’

Who is exactly is this grisly twonk? And how the hell did we come to value England’s culture and history and traditions so lightly that we’re prepared to scrap them at the merest sniff of a complaint from some cry-bully professional offence-taker?

Have a look for yourself at the activists who campaigned for this ban. FRESh (it stands – ugh! – for Fairness, Respect, Equality Shropshire) has a tiny membership, all of whom, you can fairly safely bet, are the kind of tofu-eating libtards you’d cross the road to avoid or chop your arm off rather than get stuck next to at dinner.

Rest the rest at Breitbart.

Why the Alt-Right Isn’t Wrong

The Trump-supporting vigilantes of conservatism dismiss the mainstream as spineless cuckolds.

I got told off this week by a presenter on BBC radio for using a four-letter word live on air. In my defence, I was merely quoting a tweet from a black Hollywood comedy star called Leslie Jones which said: ‘Lord have mercy… white people shit.’ And the only reason I did so was that I thought it important that someone, somewhere, spoke out against the double standards which seem to exist on social media right now: one rule for progressives and accepted victim groups; quite another for everyone else.

A good example is the ban recently imposed by Twitter on my friend and colleague Milo Yiannopoulos. Milo had got into a public spat with Jones when he goaded her over the awfulness of her new movie, an all-female remake of Ghostbusters. Nothing he said matched the borderline racism and incitement to mob bullying in some of Jones’s tweets. Yet guess which party it was that ended up being booted permanently off Twitter…

This is why I took very strong exception to a piece written by Brendan O’Neill on Coffee House condemning Milo and his Twitter followers as ‘alt-right angries, convinced the world is one big lefty, feminist plot to ruin your average white dude’s life’ and ‘as anti-PC, bedroom-bound fans of Trump and strangers to sexual intercourse’. It seems to me that if you’re going to campaign for fairness and free speech — as Brendan frequently and heroically does — then you need correctly to identify the true enemy.

To help you understand what’s going on, I’d like you to cast your minds back to the Eighties and the era of ‘political correctness gone mad’. At the time, we thought it was so loopy it would disappear up its own bottom. Instead, it continued to get worse and worse, leading to lunacies like the nursery schools in Oxfordshire teaching kids to sing about ‘Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep’, and thence to nonsense like the ‘safe spaces’ promoted on university campuses for a generation of special snowflakes, as well as to vexatious campaigns like the one conducted at Oxford by anti-white race hustlers known as Rhodes Must Fall.

Yes, to some it might seem a joke but to the kids who have to live in this oppressive environment — as Brendan himself knows, having written about the Stepford Students in The Spectator — it’s horribly real. Young white straight males suffer especially: the moment they arrive on campus they are treated like potential rapists; in lectures they’re harangued by Marxist professors on their ‘white privilege’, as if all ills in the world from the abuse of women to racism are somehow their fault. And the conservatives who should have been fighting their corner just haven’t been up to the job because of the fatal weakness so many on the right have: a secret terror that they’re as nasty as the left claims they are.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

Brainwashing of Our Children: Britain’s schools Are Force-Feeding Pupils Politically Correct Dogma about Sexuality, Climate Change and British History

The result will be a nation LESS tolerant than before.

‘When I get married — whether it’s to a man or a woman…’ my 11-year-old niece told her grandpa the other day. But I don’t think she thinks she’s a budding lesbian (would she even know at that age?).

It’s just the way she has been taught to think at her impeccably right-on school in the People’s Republic of Brighton.

It reminded me queasily of another niece’s experiences — this time at an overwhelmingly white, Christian state school in Worcester. Her dad had wanted to know why when she said ‘Mohammed’, she automatically added the phrase ‘Peace Be Upon Him’.

‘Oh, it’s what we’re taught we have to say in RE,’ my niece replied.

Did the schools ever consult us on whether we wanted our children’s heads to be filled with such politically correct bilge?

After 25 years’ ongoing exposure to this nonsense, I suppose I should be used to it by now. My elder son’s headmaster explaining to me airily how it just wasn’t the modern way to punish children for not doing their homework; my daughter coming home with the news that her primary teacher had advised her to ‘go veggie’ for a week; my younger boy being co-opted into some grisly global sustainability club, so that his school could win more eco-star ratings from an EU-sponsored green scheme.

Such indoctrination never fails to irritate. More than that, though, I am genuinely terrified about the kind of havoc these brainwashed mini-revolutionaries may wreak in the future.

Read the rest at the Daily Mail.

I Prefer My Cod in Batter, Thanks Very Much

August 15, 2015

Whenever I find myself choosing my next meal I always like to look out for the sign that says “healthy option.” In this age of variety and abundance it can often be hugely difficult making up your mind as to what to eat next. “Healthy option” makes things so much easier. It tells me: “Avoid like the plague.”

Good news, then, for takeaway customers in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. No fewer than six local fish and chip shops have taken on board the advice of their local council’s Healthier Choices Manager and introduced special, non-greasy, low-fat menu options. So now when customers find themselves torn between the battered sausage, the chicken nuggets and the “rock salmon” at least they can be sure of what they don’t want: that insipid-looking fillet of steamed cod on a bed of salad, with so few chips they barely even qualify as a garnish.

“It’s too early to say if steamed fish will be a hit,” says an article on the council’s website. And I’ll bet when they know the answer they won’t tell us. That’s because this well-meaning scheme is doomed to flop like a wet kipper. Of course it is. No one in their right mind goes to a takeaway as part of a calorie controlled diet. You do it when you fancy a treat.

And the reason it’s a treat is precisely because that food is so deliciously greasy. As the late Clarissa Dickson-Wright, the generously girthed cook from TV’s Two Fat Ladies, once explained to me, fry-ups, sizzling bacon, battered fish, and so on will always taste nicer than the “healthy option” because fat is a great carrier of flavour.

Clarissa (who was as big an expert on the science of food as she was on cooking and eating it) remained, to the end, a great defender of butter, cream and full-fat milk. She claimed they were much better for you than most of the supposedly healthy, low-fat alternatives. And it turns out she was right. Recent studies have shown that it’s the “trans-fats” in artificial health products like margarine that are the killer, not natural animal fats you find in butter.

What’s more, the evidence increasingly suggests, that it’s sugar not fat which is most responsible for our supposed obesity epidemic. So by trying to stop customers eating fried fish in Rochdale, the council is barking up the wrong tree. It’s the cafes pushing sweet cakes and doughnuts they should be investigating.

If, that is, you believe it’s a council’s job to be lecturing takeaways shops, cafes and the like what should and shouldn’t be on the menu. Which personally, I don’t. Surely, if you’re forking out hundreds of pounds every year for your council tax, it ought to be things you actually want and need like regular dustbin collection, not for the services of some nannyish, finger-wagging lecturer treating you like a small child who refuses to eat his Brussels sprouts.

When I read that Rochdale Council employed a Healthier Choices Manager, I assumed at first it was a joke. But no: the job exists and it’s currently held by someone called Clare McNicol. Well I’m sure she’s a nice, caring, well-meaning person and she’s clearly very persuasive to have got all those chippies to participate in this ludicrous scheme. Really, though. Oughtn’t the council to have more urgent priorities than creating such busybodying non-jobs?

For example, three years ago, Rochdale was at the centre of an ugly, grooming gang scandal when a group of Pakistanis were jailed for 30 ‘horrific’ counts of child rape. With its limited budget, wouldn’t the council be better off beefing its apparently lacklustre Children’s Services Department, rather than trying to decide the local fish and chip shop menu? Isn’t the safety of vulnerable girls maybe a bit more important than the danger that someone, somewhere might put on a few more inches as a result of too many ill-advised takeaways?

Councils are always telling us how underfunded they are, how they’re expected to do more and more with less and less money. But I suspect that this is at least partly a problem of their own making. If they stuck to the basics – schools, street-cleaning, lighting and so on – and cut out all the dispensable luxuries like recycling awareness, sustainability, lesbian outreach, diet fascism, and so on, then I’m sure they’d find it much easier to live within their means. I expect most council taxpayers would be a lot happier too.

My fear, though, is that councils, especially those in inner-city Labour strongholds like Rochdale, really aren’t so interested in the dull but essential bread-and-butter stuff. (Let alone in confronting issues like the growth of intolerant Islamism). Rather they see it as their holy mission to mould the whole world in their progressive image. Hence, that multitude of different coloured bags you’re expected to sort your rubbish into, each week: they want to teach you that recycling as an act of religious devotion.

Hence too those healthy eating menus. They don’t want you to see food as a source of fun or sensual pleasure. They want you to see it as they do – worthy, tofu-eating, vegan types as most of them probably are – as a source of guilt, self-hatred and neurosis.

Never mind the fact that cod – or haddock, come to that – is really quite disgusting when steamed and that it desperately needs the improving influence of a nice, crispy layer of beer batter, a side order of thick chips swimming in vinegar, and a squeeze each of tomato ketchup and tartare sauce to make it palatable. Enjoying the stuff was never the point. These people don’t just want you to be healthy and thin. They want you, above all, to be miserable.

From the Express

Related posts:

  1. Eat local organic food if you like, but don’t kid yourself that it’s ‘green’
  2. So butter is good for you? Just like global warming, then
  3. What the left would prefer you didn’t know about multiculturalism…
  4. Does Mitt Romney prefer dog-poop yogurt?