Comment Policy

Our portfolio company Disqus, the company that makes the comment system we use here at AVC, released a new feature last week.

This new feature allows a blogger/publisher to put their comment policy above the comment thread.

You can see it here, at the end of yesterday’s post, above the comment thread.

For those of you who use the Disqus comment system on their blogs and/or publications, here is a knowledge base post detailing how to use this new feature and containing some advice on how to set a comment policy.

As always, we encourage comments here at AVC. But please be nice or leave. It makes everything so much better.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Very useful…especially for the newcomers who may not be familiar with the AVC community. Like yesterday for example, when some comments veered off a bit more than the usual.

    1. kenberger

      Except the guy yesterday was arguably compliant with these terms. (The comment where Fred responded suggesting “calm and civil”)Hate Speech and “bein’ a hater” are different things.

      1. kenberger

        Maybe Fred could add “no excessive vulgarity”, or something like that.

        1. pointsnfigures

          George Carlin comes to mind. We are in a mostly non-violent Civil War in America. People get inflamed easily. No excuse for it, but they do.

          1. JLM

            .Whoa, Zoomie.Our future and our freedom is at stake and there is no reason why people should become “enflamed”? Really?We should be civil, but a little enflamement is fine by me. [Warning: word invention alert.]JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. pointsnfigures

            Major Grunt. I agree that our battle is between the tyranny of big govt bureaucracy and entitlements.I try to be as civil as I can especially when faced with outright and overt discrimination for believing in free market freedom.I am understanding of the other sides vitriol. When lines are crossed they need to be called. On both sides.I maintain we are in an undeclared Cold War right now in America. It’s not exclusively between Republican and Democrat. Often it’s intraparty

          3. JLM

            .The war in America is not new. It has been raging for half a century and it is between good v evil and the makers v the takers.It rose to the level of viciousness we see today during the Vietnam War Era. Now those were riots!While all should be civil, there are right and wrong views. One should not be unwilling to point out the error of another’s views. Only good comes from letting ideas wrestle — good meaning better ideas.The Republican and Democrat parties no longer exist except at the primary, county level and only because they have control of the election apparatus.The US Congress is the biggest bunch of prima donas on the planet. They are all about themselves and there is no sense of party.Shame on the Republicans — they have the House, the Senate, the White House, the Governor’s Mansions, the State Legislatures — and they can’t pass a freakin’ Obamacare repeal after having had seven years to think about it and with Obamacare itself failing as we speak.The only reason for me to vote for a Republican is because they are not Democrats. They are totally ineffective. Neither McConnell nor Ryan could get laid in a Tijuana whorehouse with a pocket full of silver dollars.The GOPe and the DEMe are both dinosaurs, but they control the funding — which is why Candidate Trump’s victory is so miraculous. He raised the $$$, beat the GOPe/DEMe, and went directly to the people over the heads of the MSM.On a very serious note, Fred Wilson and the other VCs who funded Twitter elected Donald J Trump who rode Twitter to the Winner’s Circle. Thank you, Fred.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            > I agree that our battle is between the tyranny of big govt bureaucracy and entitlements.For protection against tyranny, we have the Constitution and the SCOTUS. Since 11/8/2016, we have taken a nice step forward on both of those. There stand to be several more such nice steps in the next few years.We can try to make the entitlements have less fraud. We can clean up the garbage at the VA.But some people need the entitlements, and we CAN afford them IF we get the economy going as it should be, quit pissing away our wealth, etc.IMHO the main challenge is just getting good government, competent, honest, expert, working for the country as a whole, e.g., doing well on each of GDP, unemployment, national security, good education, low crime, good health, etc., that is, measures of the whole.For this challenge, the main need is to get special interest money OUT of politics so that the politicians can work on what they are supposed to work on — the work of the country.Would help with this, and maybe really sufficient for it, would be good news media that did a competent and honest job reporting the truth. But, here, again money is a problem: E.g., there is the recent Sharyl Attkisson remark that everything you see in the media was put there by a special interest that paid for it and wants to influence your opinion.For that, have some media outlets that are objective, serving the public interest, and have that reputation as part of their success and brand.The Internet is a good start on enabling such sources. And for finding them? Hmm ….

          5. sigmaalgebra

            “Civil war”. You took the words right out of a letter I sent via FAX to Chucky Schumer last Wednesday.I wrote him that with his “resistance,” that I called a “civil war”, he was not doing his job, that Trump is now POTUS and that the job of a US Senator is to work with our POTUS for the good of the US, and that if Trump has some bad ideas or that if he, Schumer, has some better ones, then I want to hear.Schumer’s refusing to work with our POTUS is just Schumer refusing to do the job for the US citizens he is being paid by the US citizens to do.Curiously I sent Schumer my letter just before Schumer changed from “resistance” to “a better deal” or some such. I doubt if my letter had any effect; likely still has even to be read, but apparently the idea of a “civil war” occurred to you, me, and likely enough others that Schumer got the message.But IMHO Schumer is still working for the Democrat Party instead of the US citizens and still getting paid by the US citizens and not the Democrat Party.

        2. JamesHRH

          Fuck off……… I couldn’t resist.I actually think that there is very little vulgarity here and the only time things get even a little heated is when politics comes up. Somewhere on today’s thread, I posted a suggested revision to the label based shaming version of the comments policy. It just uses ‘anti-social’.

      2. fredwilson

        he was in violation of #s 4 and 5 in the comment policy4) We respect each other and are careful to use polite and civil language5) We avoid aggressive “in your face” language and trolling

        1. kenberger

          ahhh, you are referencing additional # points found if one clicks through the link mentioned at the end of the inline comment policy box.I didn’t even notice that there was such a link, since the link doesn’t show up with an underline, and IMO the box’s current wording confuses by containing a nesting element (it starts with “AVC comment policy”, then concludes with “read our comment policy” while I thought I just did).My humble suggestions are:- first sentence missing a final “.”- check the link underline issue; I don’t get an underline on either desktop or mobile, like all the other links on the page have, whether previously viewed or unviewed.- maybe add wording like “please read further details in our Comments Policy document…”.

          1. kidmercury

            i pretty much had this same exact misinterpretation

          2. kenberger

            thx Kid… or maybe it’s just demented minds think alike! 😉

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Wow. I only just now saw that guy’s reaction. He was wound up, torqued off, and out of line.I’m surprised the comment was not just deleted.

        3. JamesHRH

          I totally disagree with this stigma based comment policy. Shaming people is a horrible community practise. While it has been around for millennia, it is only a common form of community control in tribal, subsistence driven societies.Your comment policy should be much more open.How about: ‘ AVC exists to create a forum for meaningful exchanges on technology, startup financing & the interaction of both with the broader society. Its also a place where I talk about things I find interesting. The AVC community is open minded and tolerant but anti-social behaviour is not rewarded and I reserve the right to block commenters who consistently act in an anti-social manner. ‘Guy yesterday was pissed, but sexist and hate speech was not evident to me. A little bad language, ALL CAPS and suggesting that someone has poor intentions is hardly anti-social.

          1. PhilipSugar

            I went to look at that comment…I disagree with you. Shamming people is what keeps society civil.

          2. JamesHRH

            Exclusion is what advanced civilizations practise. Rights revoked.Shaming is primitive, hunting and gathering level of civil enforcement.There seems to be hints that I missed something in a link with this Oz character….but I cannot find it.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Shaming is much nicer than excluding. It give a person a chance.

          4. JamesHRH

            Shaming is using emotional buttons. That’s unfair to people who do not handle emotions easily.Calmly repeating in simple language that certain behaviours are unacceptable and that there will be natural consequences, most of which are the revoking of right and privileges, is a button that all types of people can connect to, without struggle.Shaming leads people to withdraw and stewing. Hell, most anti-social behaviour ends up being driven by people being ashamed of themselves or hating people who shamed / excluded them for no valid reason (and with no honest, simple communication).Your example of your computer policy is not shame based, its a solid example of a behaviour that will have a consequence (termination or loss of computer I assume).

          5. Matt A. Myers

            I don’t believe @jameshrh:disqus is meaning that exclusion is the first reaction, instead you respond – and if a person doesn’t learn then they get excluded – much like how a person with continued bad behaviour that leads to what we call criminal behaviour will end up in jail; some countries have nicer exclusionary systems for criminals than others – unfortunately the majority aren’t humane, because we don’t treat the general populations humanely yet either.

          6. rick gregory

            And who are you to tell Fred what his comment policy should be? This is his community – you’ve been around it so you have a good feel for what’s OK but if Fred wanted to ban people with names starting with J (or R), it’s his choice. In fact, one reason the discussion here is generally good is because Fred’s historically been involved and set some limits.In almost all cases I’ve seen online the people arguing for ‘in your face’ comments being allowed end up simply wanting to be jackasses and either cannot or will not make their points civilly. Me, I use Disqus’ block feature to hide their comments, but that’s a rather hidden feature.

          7. JamesHRH

            I could provide you with a fairly compelling point by point rationale for why my opinion on the issue is more informed than most folks….but I will spare you and everyone else.By eliminating, to a high degree, people who do not formulate their thoughts entirely internally, but do so iteratively and socially, the AVC comments policy would become exclusionary.Anti-social is effective without the negative aspects of labelling / shaming people as sexist, racist, etc. And, its behavioural, rather than attitudinal, which means it is harder to twist or shade on people.And I could go on.

          8. rick gregory

            “I could provide you with a fairly compelling point by point rationale for why my opinion on the issue is more informed than most folks”Which is not relevant when it comes to telling Fred or anyone else the values that they should enforce on their own site. You run your social presence the way you want to. Fred’s free to do the same here.And you seem to care a lot about shaming but very little about actual sexist/racist or other behavior. If someone doesn’t want to be tagged with those labels in reasonable company then don’t say racist, sexist things.

          9. JamesHRH

            Puh-lease.In reverse order:1) Take as long as you like to find sexist or racist behaviour in the comments @ AVC. I will give you until 2020 before I ask for results.And don’t come back with SigmalAlgebra poorly expressing the valid point that men and women are inherently different, as a general rule.2) Shaming is an epidemic in society. Have you heard of honour killing in Islamic families? What sort of torturous, murderous force could warp some one to kill their own family member for committing innocent and sometimes basically natural acts (like having sex)?Oh, that’s right – extreme, rigidly enforced, social norms or, shaming.Research shows that the brain registers physical pain and social ostracism in the same way, through the same circuit of the brain, and with the same impact – https://www.psychologytoday…And that’s based on brain scans, not human observations.So, shaming people is not ‘an innocent form of civil rule enforcement’ but is, in fact and practise, barbaric and primitive.To be clear, as far as its impact on society, being a purveyor of stigma is as desructive as being a purveyor of meth.BTW, quite often I find that people who run their mouth while its connected to zero relevant information specialize in label based social shaming. Just a random thought.3) Couldn’t agree with you more, in principle. Fred can do whatever the fuck he wants online, with his ‘social presence’.However, AVC is not his social presence and he is not the sole owner of AVC. Its a business community and he’s the majority owner, for sure, but a large part of the power of AVC is the broad community of experts, newbies, techies, finance geeks and entrepreneurs who commit time and interest to the topics and people here.They have a stake in AVC as well. And, some of the most valuable contributors have been singled out for stigmatizing and shaming, with these horseshit, PC, “exclusion masquerading as sensitivity” rules.In his own words, Fred has benefitted far more the AVC community than anyone else. Now that he has reaped from the community, he finds it annoying that its openness is not always to his liking.Tough fucking luck.4) My point by points are absolutely relevant but I likely don’t need to cover them off now.5) Cool, you don’t need to see the information to form an opinion. The value of your comment just went way up. See last paragraph of point 2).BTW, long ago, Fred used to read all the comments. When it was of benefit to his working life. Think he reads them now that Shana and William can moderate?

          10. rick gregory

            You need to get a grip. You’re equating shaming in comments (even stipulating that calling out sexist or racist behavior constitutes shaming) with HONOR KILLINGS? That’s so incredibly stupid I didn’t even bother with the rest of your screed.

          11. JamesHRH

            Equating honour killing with everyday social shaming would be similar to equating a lynching with calling someone Nigger.So, no, of course not.Its a continuum.Lynching and the N word are both racially motivated, yes?Honour killing and social shaming are both about the fear of lack of community acceptance, no?Rather than using arbitrary labels that are enforced by a cabal (Fred, Will & Shana), why not layout behaviours that are unacceptable and the natural consequences?Also, these rules come 13 years into the game, after the main ring leader has practised and benefitted from some of the full contact communication that is now so offensive.And, because I am here to help, not reading and calling names isn’t a behaviour that generates learning or growth – its a behaviour that reinforces current bias. FYI.PS – I dont feel shame when you say you stopped reading and call my post a ‘screed’.PSS – I often find people who are wired to purveying stigma so reflexive and entrenched that it often seems that they are unaware that they are doing what they are doing. FWIW.

          12. ShanaC

            Vis a Vis 1 and 2Actually I can think of one before your timeI shamed kid mercury to shut up about young women in the hamptons who choose to wear bikinis, because he was (knowingly or not) including fred’s daughters and people like me who wear bikinis for certain kinds of swimming/sea-water sports that have nothing to do with men looking at us. He was saying they were trophy girls, while they were still in high school, as well as saying that there are contingents of young women who don’t pay for themselves and are there for be trophies, when in reality, the vast majority of women in the hamptons PAY FOR THEMSELVES (and for their swimwear of choice). He apologized.(Pro tip – bikinis are bad for lap swimming, though I have heard they are good for jet skis and surfing. I don’t jet ski nor surf, but I do lap swim)This by the way, is relatively mild social shaming. Real social shaming and the threats that come with it is the reason I am not talking to my parents, because I don’t believe in rewarding the kind of stuff you are talking about to build a life and a community of people around me. Unless you are telling me you grew up with someone telling you they would kill a girlfriend for being a different religion than you when you went off to college? Or actually has gone up to you to tell you they are ashamed of you because you believe something different than they do (things I have experienced)Your moderating team thankfully doesn’t allow that set of things to happen to anyone here, because we value healthy communities, which means we value your voice. With that comes the responsibility that you don’t allow the same to people who are vulnerable and targetable, because valuing voices and allowing them to speak doesn’t work very well if we passively ignore people (which, having also experienced that growing up, is THE MOST POWERFUL form of social shaming you can experience ever)

          13. JamesHRH

            I have more connection to your experiences than would appear to you or othersI bet.Not the depth of them, but he nature.Which is a philosophy I adhere to in life, which is why I find superficial, label based political correctness so abhorrent: if you tell me I can’t connect, on some level, with your experience, exclusively b/c I am not your race, gender, religion or whatever, you deny – philosophically, not physically – the belief that humanity shares core universal values.By creating a speech policy, Fred is using his granular nature to solve a problem that should be solved as singularly, universally and vaguely as possible.That’s why anti-social is a better standard.You cannot include all voices without denying some, no matter how you tilt your filter.I stand by my comments that this is arbitrary, personal, about Fred’s annoyance with a specific voice and below a standard that Fred would set for others.

          14. Matt A. Myers

            Right, and if someone is racist or sexist (anti-social behaviour), then a community like AVC would be a good place to learn, for someone to have pointed out to them that their behaviour is anti-social and what specific terms may apply – racist, sexist, etc. It’s all about compassion, which is based on understanding – understanding that their life circumstances lead them to have the beliefs and behaviour they have, and we should always try our best to be calm and respond as adults.

          15. JamesHRH

            Behaviour is what matters in social settings.

    2. JLM

      .Yes, of course. I am still trembling, but luckily I have my footed, plaid pajamas, and Teddy to comfort me.Tea? Did I mention my herbal, decaf, green tea? With honey, lemon, and a shot of bourbon?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. ShanaC

        try pu-eh. gong fu style

        1. JLM

          .One element of my personal comment policy is that I no longer respond to comments that are more than a single day old. In accordance with my policy, I am unable to respond.I wish you an extraordinary weekend, the best of your entire life, why not?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. awaldstein

      I agree William.Community has leaders and it their choice to set the tone. It is everyone’s else’s choice to be there or not.As it should be.

    1. ShanaC

      poor cat

  2. kenberger

    I’m all for policies, and appreciate their need to be stated. I am for this.But this implementation reminds me of the bus sign saying, “No abuse or profanity!”: the likeliest offenders don’t tend to have the civility to look for signs.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      However, it does give you something to point to when you have to banish someone. I work in the public sector and we see a small amount of abusive and profane comments. By publishing a policy, we can lead offenders to the policy when we explain why we have to delete their comments.

      1. kenberger

        yes, hence my 1st line.

      2. PhilipSugar

        Agree you do have to write it down. I like very simple broad ones, because when you have really specific ones offenders will try and point to a technicality.

      3. sigmaalgebra

        So, you are looking a step or two ahead! WOW!There you go again! You women do it again! Again, once again, you show that claims that men and women are equal are total BS! Instead, in people issues, you women make us men, especially us STEM field specialists, look like oblivious clods! Equal? Not even close!!!!Yesterday I read, once again, but in an article not worth referencing, that already within two days after birth it’s clear that the girls are paying attention to people and the boys, to things. The article claimed that the same thing is true even about Rhesus monkeys!

        1. PhilipSugar

          I am sorry, I have said this before, and I am going to violate a rule.This is an ignorant comment.Just ignorant.Two of the smartest technologists I know are women.Some of the best readers of people I know (including me) can read people.How can you say this? How?I don’t care if you think you are right, but if you notice I never respond to your rants.Do you realize that even if you have good points you get ignored for coming off as an angry old man?I say that not to try and belittle you, but as somebody that would like you to succeed.I don’t care what happened to you in the past. I don’t care what you did in the past, but you simply will get ignored, marginalized, and dismissed when you make comments like this.I implore you to think about this retrospectively, I debated about writing this comment, but I think you have a great mind, but it can be wasted.

          1. JamesHRH

            80/20 rule Phil.As the father of a girl & boy, with a senior operations executive energy industry wife (that’s the inner sanctum of a male dominated business), I fell that there is no doubt that there are inherent male and female traits, which is what Siggy is getting at here.The stupidity is in blindly applying them to everyone you meet and not noticing the interesting parts of life…..when people are in the 20% of the spectrum, not the 80.Society has become incredibly feminized in the last 30 years. We needed most of it, but the pendulum has swung past the midpoint, which is basically the gist of Siggy’s flip out.Take this Elon Musk comment on teaching –… .Teaching has become completely feminized. Women are not as mission based as men, so WHY is not as important to them. Women are also more community minded than men, so sitting together and learning as a group has become the norm in schools.Men are much more hands on, independent learners.BTW, his comments apply directly to my son (at space camp this week but who hates how he is taught Math) and I thrive in a community based group learning environment.Variations are the spice of life.Siggy is never going to be successful until he learns that success is given to you by others, while fulfilment can only be given to you by yourself. His frustration comes from missing the former, which is common amongst huge brains STEM types.

          2. PhilipSugar

            See my comment to LE

          3. PhilipSugar

            She writes a simple comment saying she thinks you need a written policy and then gets this back:”There you go again! You women do it again! Again, once again, you show that claims that men and women are equal are total BS!”If I wrote that comment (which I agreed with) do I get that back?? No.And I think that is a really good point. Success is given to you by others, and contentment by yourself.

          4. JamesHRH

            You are right.Many of his comments are indefensible. I do think there is a good chance that his communication is more offside than his beliefs.He’s so in deep in the weeds on everything. Incredible source of data.

          5. LE

            Do you realize that even if you have good points you get ignored for coming off as an angry old man?I say that not to try and belittle you, but as somebody that would like you to succeed.I think this assumes that he values what people think (and wants to be liked) more than he likes just saying what he wants to say. Same with @JLM:disqus or @InformationShield:disqus or @le_on_avc:disqusI am like that as well. I am not running a popularity contest and I suspect that neither is sigma algebra. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like it when people like what I say or upvote what I say (I do). But I don’t want to (as I have said before) mentally stutter and wonder if I am saying the right thing or not. I have canned some comments that I have made but that is more for business reasons and the bottom line.(Anyway this is a guess on my part let’s see what SA thinks of what you have said..)

          6. PhilipSugar

            I am the most “politically incorrect” person there is. But you can not just say women are this men are this. Just not right.I think the Black Lives Matters movement sucks. How is that for inflammatory? I have way to many police in my extended family. Notice how the North Carolina police shooting quietly went away.This video viewed millions of times sums up my views. Look at the pain and anguish on this police chief’s face. Tell me he doesn’t care. They tried to shout him down.

          7. LE

            That is a great video (I am not seeing the ‘shout down’ was that another one?)In any case much of this is instigated by the media constantly trying to trap someone by egging on an improper answer that can make them seem insensitive uncaring etc.We are seeing that with the white yoga teacher from Australia who was shot. Obviously someone made a mistake [1] but nobody wants to wait for an investigation they just want to build a case against the police doing the wrong thing. The mentality of the public is to generally accept the narrative of the media as far as the validity of what they are asking.I mean honestly why do we need answers right away? The only reason I can think of is because it is a way to sell advertising and suits the media’s goals.[1] No amount of training will eliminate mistakes if anything the Australian lady case shows that there is more than race which leads to these types of events.

          8. PhilipSugar

            They were shouting him down after a police shooting where they policeman was not convicted but was fired.Are all police good? No.Are all police bad? No.

          9. LE

            The overwhelming amount of cops out there are good. Just like the overwhelming number of airplanes don’t crash or have safety issues. And if you have enough pilots and doctors or whatever there will be ones who screw up.Number of police encounters per year vs. the actual incidence of abuse, well, the numbers bare that out.I had a cop that was nasty to me. I asked him a question outside the Met and he answered in a snotty way. Same day on the way home NJ State Trooper pulled us over for speeding and was nice and just gave a warning.Here is what I told my wife the other day. The person that does this job is not me and is not a low energy (sorry) history teacher. He is putting his life on the line. The type of person who does that job is not going to act like you or I act. Just like a secret service guy (who visits prostitutes) and is a ‘manly man’ is not me who would never ever risk my life in the same way. I am glad these guys do that job since I don’t want to.As a result they have to be cut slack for doing a job that the rest of us would never do.

          10. PhilipSugar

            I think the vast majority just want to get home.Joe Biden quoted that best.I have had many that have told me that they would not have done this if they knew what it was going to be.Do I think there are some that have a power trip thing?? Yup.It is just a tough job. You do not need somebody saying everything you do is assumed wrong, because you deal with really bad people all day.Let me give you stories from this year:A business partner and I got pulled over by a PA Trooper doing 80 on the PA Turnpike. We were in a nice car and dressed very casually. He was visibly nervous as he put his head in my window (passenger side) He said you were doing 83 what is the deal? Hurry, not paying attention, going down a hill? Driver said, I had the cruise control no 80. We didn’t get a ticket because he was so stunned that somebody told the truth.My neighbors SIL a Maryland State Trooper watched a fellow Trooper right next to him lose an ear due to a rock throw in Baltimore during riots.I occasionally get driven by a friends driver. He is a retired Philly Cop. He is black. He carries, all of the time. I asked him do you have to carry as part of your job??? He said, no. I just have seen so much bad stuff over 20 years, that was my job, I will always carry.I can go on and on.

          11. JamesHRH

            Can’t sleep.Do you think this explains what I think of as the militarization of US police forces?They seemed armed to the teeth and on edge. Is US society that fractured?Sigma laid some of his most un-Churchillliam posts on you.

          12. PhilipSugar

            The police have it rough. As my video shows he agrees they are not without sin, but the amount of violence is terrible.The problem I have is that I agree Black Lives Matter, but you cannot just lay that at the door of the police.Look at the small city of Wilmington, DE. The Newsweek Headline is “Murder Town USA (AKA Wilmington, DE)”We were at a wake at the Delaware Association of Police. (Now there is an interesting place you can drink for a dollar, smoke inside, and if you are a member you can play slots, I cannot)Not a place for kids and we were going to have a good time, my wife brought the food, so we had our “nanny” take the kids to the mall and then drive us home. She is about 4′ 6″ at best and even though she is 25 with a Masters in Education people think my 15 year old is older.She comes in accompanied by an uniformed officer with my son. I run over to say she is 25 she is driving us, he says I know, I know.He addresses the crowd and says. I am patrolling and a Black Yukon Denali XL pulls up and the door opens. My heart is pounding out of my chest, and then this one gets out and asks for directions to the Delaware Association of Police. I thought you guys were F’ing with me!My son loved the fact they got a police light escort to their club.The police have it tough. I am not saying I agree with stop and frisk, I think it is a fourth amendment violation. I am not saying that there are not cops that are on power trips.But I will say that do not lay it at their door because there is a whole bunch more wrong in that community.

          13. cavepainting

            That’s a good point. He probably doesn’t care one whit about people think. It is not a bad thing either from the perspective of an internet blog as long as the comments do not cross the line. It provides some diversity of opinion.However, there can be no meaningful exchange of ideas if people are too pig headed or insular to see the situation from the other person’s perspective.

          14. JLM

            .In a collision amongst ideas, one never sees the moment at which someone or their idea is changed.Case in point — President Obama was adamantly anti gay marriage as he came into office and then, somehow, morphed to being in favor of it.When did he change? What drove the change? What was the catalyst? Was it really Joe Biden preempting the discussion by his utterances?It is perfectly fine to be pig headed or insular on the journey to changing thoughts. In some ways, you have to be to actually change.I suspect the real question is — is anybody out there listening?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          15. LE

            Case in point — President Obama was adamantly anti gay marriage as he came into office and then, somehow, morphed to being in favor of it.I met my current wife right when Obama was in the process of getting elected might have be right before the election. She had this gay guy friend ‘Chris’ who had an Obama button and was all in and afaik was all his peers. These were people in high paying careers. So perhaps the word was out that lack of support for gay marriage was all a ruse to not offend to many conservatives? And that would change?In any case anything a politician and Harvard Law grad does is most certainly a calculated move in order to gain more votes or support. I honestly don’t think they make any decisions at all without considering that angle. Obvious?In a way it’s similar to the way many business people feel about money. It’s just the way you think.I dated a girl years ago who was a radiologist. I was introduced to the concept of not doing medical care that wasn’t necessary. At first it was a strange concept to me as a business person. Turning down business? Ditto for the Dentist who put up the Crest poster in his office. I said ‘what do they pay you for that’? He stopped and said ‘I never thought about money, I just figured it was good for my patients’. He wasn’t making fun of me either . He just meant to say he never even considered that angle.

          16. cavepainting

            That’s a fair point. With Obama though, it was clear that he was evolving in response to conversations with younger people including his daughters and he was never as adamant about his stance while he was collecting new information and processing it.Of course, any engagement with people with different POVs or political affiliations is >> no engagement. While change does work in mysterious ways and the response to stimuli not always linear or even visible, the engagement is easier when there is signaling from both sides on some openness to the other POV.

          17. PhilipSugar

            Yes, but shouting into the wind is just shouting. I suppose it can make you feel better but it is no different than the crazy person arguing with themselves in the subway. I suppose they might have a good idea, but I’m not going to listen. I literally didn’t get past the first sentence of his response. I doubt anybody else did either, which means it’s just wasted effort. Which is really sad.

          18. LE

            Well to be sure the length and organization leaves much to be desired. I had given a suggestion as far as using headers to make it easier to read and he did that a few times (if you are reading this you should do that, why not?).I also had an idea for disqus which of course and as expected wasn’t picked up on. Which was that they should give people an easy way to post a link and create long form content. In other words incorporate the ability to have blog posts from comments when they run to long or even be able to archive them in some way for easy retrieval or to use elsewhere. Seems a sham that if you spit out such long info it ends up going nowhere because of length.I think in the end the major reason that I comment is that something moves me emotionally to say something. I also suspect that this is a reason that others don’t comment. I always thought disqus should research this (of course fell on as always deaf ears).

          19. sigmaalgebra

            We don’t have many women around here; Ms. Rubinsky did something good with people; and I was trying to be nice to Ms. Rubinsky.On being popular, beyond being nice to Ms. Rubinsky, I was being fully, rationally correct and generally believe that a comment being rationally correct, especially while being nice to someone, should be enough, whether PC or not, popular or not. The world I live in emphasizes being rationally correct.For people who believed I did something wrong, I posted a clear explanation complete with references to support everything I said: For the charge of “sexism”, I got and quoted a definition; the definition said that sexism involved being critical of females, and I was the opposite of that. For women being better with people than men, I quoted two relatively serious psychology professors who directly addressed and supported what I said.So, someone knows a man good with people and a woman good with things so can’t understand how a statement that women are better with people and men, with things can be true; for such a person I gave an explanation at several levels: We’re talking distributions and we can do a statistical hypothesis test that will likely reject that the two distributions, one for women and one for men, are the same. I’m fully, 100% rationally correct.Since I’m rationally correct, in a rational arena, my age, motives, hair style, how I “come off.” etc. shouldn’t matter.In part, I got attacked personally. Commonly on Internet fora, people will attack personally when they don’t like a rational statement but can’t find a rational response. The rational statement is essentially forced to deal just with ideas, and the personal attack is two levels lower in desirability.Another remark was that I need to learn that to do well in business I need to please people. Well, yes, but my business is, to my users and customers, just a Web site where the users have no idea at all about who I am. So, just be rational about that: To my users I’m anonymous so don’t have to please them personally on, say, my opinions on the three biggies — politics, sex, and religion! And the users don’t need to know if I prefer cats or dogs, red wine or white, beef or chicken, pork or fish, or my gender, age, level of “anger”, etc. I’m not trying to become a TV or Internet personality, a teen heart throb, etc. There are now a lot of people who very much want to throw at Trump every rotten vegetable they can find; I don’t want to be such a target; so, I use a little rationality: For my startup, I just remain anonymous to my users. Simple. Some simple rationality saves my tail feathers again!If my business is really successful, then some people will know who I am — people at my bank, the bookkeeper, accountant, CPA, and auditor I hire, the realtor that finds and sells me a nice house, a local Chevy dealer that sells me a nice mid-size SUV and a nice, high end Corvette, a lady at Tiffany’s I call (used to do that, intend to do it again) to send presents, e.g., for weddings, etc. Somehow I suspect, as I’m spending all that money, that those people will all find my “angry old man” personality plenty easy enough to deal with!!!The key rationality is the crucial, and it really is crucial, core of my startup. Without that core, or something equally powerful which I have good reason to believe can’t exist, no way could I or anyone else get the results I intend for my users, results that please my users, have them coming back frequently, spending a lot of time, etc. How do I know my secret sauce will work? Sure, some theorems and proofs in applied math — nearly 100% pure as falling snow rationality!In school, some of my teachers didn’t like me. For the English and history teachers, I never got them to like me. The science teachers liked me just fine. Two out of three math teachers didn’t like me — one was a really nasty person who didn’t like anyone. But, like me or not, all the math teachers had to give me A’s because they were unable to find anything wrong with my math! That situation continued: Some math teachers liked me and some didn’t, but they all had to like my math. Being good at math saved my tail feathers.For the people who did the first version of GPS, how’d they know it would work? Sure, some nice applied math with some nice physics, e.g., some relativity theory. Such applied math is why I have confidence in the crucial core of my startup. Just some rationality.

          20. LE

            If my business is really successful, then some people will know who I am — people at my bank, the bookkeeper, accountant, CPA, and auditor I hire, the realtor that finds and sells me a nice house, a local Chevy dealer that sells me a nice mid-size SUV and a nice, high end Corvette, a lady at Tiffany’s I call (used to do that, intend to do it again) to send presents, e.g., for weddings, etc. Somehow I suspect, as I’m spending all that money, that those people will all find my “angry old man” personality plenty easy enough to deal with!!!This is exactly true. As we both know when you have money the world sees you differently. Because either they stand to gain something from you or they perceive they might gain something from you or because of halo effect to name just three reasons. You might even be thought of as being interesting vs. being weird. (Eccentric vs. nut).People are very animalistic. Our cat normally pays little attention to me unless I have a treat for him. The wife and kids are away for the week. Now all the sudden the cat is being much nicer to me because he needs me and perceives me as a food source for him. Small example.

          21. sigmaalgebra

            > This is exactly true. As we both know when you have money the world sees you differently.I got a lot of clarity and reinforcement on that point long ago from an old AVC comment of yours.> … interesting vs. being weird. (Eccentric vs. nut).Ah, again, I’ve written 24,000 programming language statements in 100,000 lines of typing, and it all appears to run as I intended. The software I wrote to schedule the fleet at FedEx was 6000 lines; for the computing for my Ph.D., 4000 lines; for some other important projects, just hundreds of lines. So, 100,000 lines is a new high watermark for me! Yes, it all seems to run as intended. Sooooo, what? I’m not so bad at software architecture or writing the code, line by line! Soooo, what? I can’t be too “excentric” in a bad way or too much of a “nut”!But any sole, solo information technology startup founder who becomes successful will, necessarily, be at least rare, unusual, exceptional, different.Looks to me like what Melania just said at the Trump rally in Ohio, the US is a land of “opportunity”, is correct.I don’t see any hidden, sinister, devilish, force out to sabotage or deny me. I’m not afraid of monsters from under the bed, out of the attic, or taking over my brain while I sleep.Math is good training for some of that: First there are the exercises where, mostly in pure math, are supposed to come up with correct proofs. If you do and do that always or nearly so, then you go to the head of the class. Second, if you can come up with new theorems and give correct proofs for those, then you make big progress quickly. If the theorems are interesting, significant, then the progress is bigger and happens more quickly.Do the first and second, and here are some things that don’t matter: In high school, voted most popular. In college, rushed by the best frat and later elected President of the frat. Have six pack abs. Have a great handshake, a confident, commanding manner, and deep voice. Don’t count! In a good grad math program, the profs will look at that stuff and just smile and wait to see what the proofs look like! Then for the second part, the new theorems and proofs, here’s something else that doesn’t count — good grades. Straight A’s don’t count. Again, in a good program, the profs will just look at the supposedly new theorems and proofs.So in that context, the criteria are clear. That helps: For a startup that is depending on some new ideas and software, it’s good to know that can accomplish such things without having been voted captain of the football team.So, especially with the current, running code, there’s not much doubt about the technical stuff. Sure, it will be nice to see really good results for thousands of users an hour, and for that, again, I have to use my math and software architecture to have confidence.The next big step will be, do people like it, e.g., enough to use it a lot and spread the word (there are some things I can do to help the word spread, but most important is just that people like it). I suspect they will like it.It’s a little like aspirin good for some pains but not all of medical cures, and in total medical cures are bigger than aspirin. Well, I’ve got some pills for some such cures. I believe that people want and will like the pills, and I doubt that the color of the background on the label on the bottle will matter much — I doubt that the small stuff will matter much.If this were 200 years ago and there were no aspirin, then I’d wonder about trying to be successful in the pill business! But, now, aspirin is already a grand success, so people are not totally against pills, and that fact is part of my confidence.There’s more to my confidence that people will like my work, but, sure, I will be a lot happier when they do! And my first-cut, back of the envelope arithmetic indicates that if people like my work enough to keep one server half busy 24 x 7, a server from less than $1500 in parts, then one month can be the new mid-sized SUV, another month the high end Corvette, 2-3 months and a nice house, all for cash, with plenty of free cash for more parts for more servers. My guess is that my target users are not narrow or specialized but, really, nearly everyone on the Internet. In that case, good early success will suggest good success with 3+ billion people, assuming I want to run ads in second and third world countries which likely for a time I won’t. Sure, my first users will be in the US and, then, the more developed countries.Looks good to me, no matter what my handshake is! Heck, I was never going to be captain of the football team — I was a disaster at football, but I don’t think that hurts much!A story goes, Rome was not built in a day and instead it was build one brick at a time. Well, I can see needs, draw architectures, and lay bricks!The most recent brick is beside me: My current keyboard is flaky, but I have another one. But the other one needs a little plastic part fixed. I know how to do the fix, with epoxy. I start with 5 minute epoxy just to get the part positioned and then apply some 2 hour epoxy to give the real strength. But, bummer: My tubes of 5 minute epoxy have gone bad! One half of the two parts has gone nearly solid! I tried something and maybe it will hold well enough for me to apply the 2 hour epoxy, and maybe my supply of 2 hour epoxy is still good! Ah, such a repair job is one brick! But I can lay bricks!

          22. sigmaalgebra

            > This is an ignorant comment.There you are wrong, simply, obviously, factually, rationally, badly wrong. My comment is correct, rock solidly correct, and this fact is easy to see.Again, over again, once again, yet again, one more time, this time just for you, it is solidly accepted in child development, in relatively serious work in psychology, and by experienced baby sitters, grandparents, and parents that already in the crib the girls are paying attention to people and the boys, to things. If you have so far missed this little piece of wisdom about people, then learn it here. Then, for the rest of their lives, the girls/women are much better with people and the boys/men, with things.Supposedly this difference also holds for Rhesus monkeys. Since the common ancestor is maybe some millions of years old, don’t expect this difference to disappear soon now.It’s millions of years old, holds for boys and girls around the world, and you want to insist that I’m wrong. Okay.Ah, it’s common these days for some people to be wrong! A lot of Manhattan believed that Hillary was going to win. Apparently some of them still believe that somehow she will be POTUS soon!In case you haven’t noticed, it’s common for a girl of four to wrap her father about her little finger, have him ready to move mountains to avoid any risk of a tear or even a frown. Boys don’t do that.Girls have ways with facial expressions, tone of voice, head tosses, posture, etc. to be endearing and, thus, extract support and protection from their fathers, uncles, etc. Boys don’t do that.Moreover, it’s easy to see that both girls in Europe and Japan are good at this, both REALLY good. So, in such endearing behavior the girls in Japan and Europe are close. But the common ancestor is from about 40,000 years ago and necessarily closer to both the girls in Japan and the girls in Europe than the girls in those two countries now are to each other. So, we know just what the common ancestor girls 40,000 years ago were doing — being endearing.Since that behavior has lasted 40,000 years, don’t expect it to go away now.The boys are good at getting things to work. The girls are good at getting the boys to get things working for the girls!Sorry ’bout that: Observing and understanding the world really would be easier without such differences.Now, next apparently you are confused about some such statements: If you want, and apparently do need, more detail, then the statement is that there are two distributions and clearly they are separated. There are various measures for the separation, but the common one, and usually, but not always, okay, is just expectation.So, a few individual counterexamples don’t change this result.You are welcome to start some research, define some measures, establish that the measures have reliability and validity, etc., get a pass on protection of human subjects, collect some data, analyze the data, e.g., get two empirical distributions, take the two averages as estimates of the two expectations (use the weak/strong law of large numbers), observe that the two estimates are far apart, and conclude that, between human males and females, there really is a difference! Shocking!Or, much better, you could do a distribution-free statistical hypothesis test with null hypothesis that the two sets of data have, or been drawn from, the same distribution, e.g., as in, say,Sidney Siegel, Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, McGraw-Hill, New York.E. L. Lehmann, Nonparametrics: Statistical Methods Based on Ranks, ISBN 0-8162-4994-6, Holden-Day, San Francisco.Or hire Stanford professors P. Diaconis or B. Efron. And I have published in that subject although my work is more advanced than needed for this example.Basically this is just non-parametric hypothesis testing, and it’s old, e.g., goes back to K. Pearson, J. Neyman, and others. E.g., Lehmann, as was Neyman, was long at Berkeley.Such research done at all well will show that there’s no way the boys and girls have the same level of interests in people and things. Not a chance. Not even close.Sure, you can advise your daughters that, of course, they will be just as happy in the STEM fields as the boys and as happy in the STEM fields as they would be in fields with human contact and give the corresponding advice to your sons, but then get ready for decades of misery and weak, sick, or dead limbs on the tree.Or you can just search some of the psychology literature where, IIRC, recently some such study was carefully done.Or just talk to, say, some experienced baby sitters or grandmothers.If you want to get a passing grade in People 101, it appears that you need to get some first, elementary explanations from some child development experts (maybe Dr. T. Brazelton or his many books), e.g., maybeT. Berry Brazelton, M.D., What Every Baby Knows, ISBN 0-345-34455-3, Ballantine Books, New York, 1987.from some experienced baby sitters, say, ones with some gray hair, a lot of experience, some good insight, good at formulating what they have learned, and good at articulating that, some similarly good grandmothers, etc.Next, talk to the COOs who set up business HR departments, customer service departments, and customer facing clerks. Notice that nearly all the first level employees who deal directly with people are female. Why? Because the females are better at such work. A LOT better at it. You can try men in those positions if you want, but at the end of year the score will be fully clear — the men are disasters, bad enough to hurt the business.The post I responded to is an illustration: Her remark looked ahead, nicely. Smart. Good people insight. On average, better than what men do.”Experience is the great teacher, and some will learn from no other.” Well, on some topics, I did learn and paid “full tuition” (JLM). When I see people making the same mistakes I did, sometimes I give my evidence.My remarks giving such evidence are not easy, comfortable reading. As a result, you feel uneasy, and that is much of why you get upset with me (thank you Brazelton).You are attacking me personally and not my thinking, and that is the standard sign of a weak mind that can’t handle ideas.Commonly, the better the remark, the less response it gets. E.g., for a while (as part of trying to help my wife) I was a B-school prof. I’d just come from a part time job supporting my wife and I through our Ph.D. degrees, and as part of that I was a systems administrator of a computer center with a relatively new and innovative computer — bit sliced hardware architecture, ring security with gate segments borrowed from Multics and later borrowed by Intel, operating system ideas borrowed heavily from Multics, especially finely grained security from capabilities and access control lists also borrowed heavily from Multics. Nice system. Also the system was for just our group of 45 people and very successful but was popular in our larger company of 300. So, I was technical lead on a selection committee for the whole company.So the B-school was in the middle of a struggle to get some much better computing. And they were trying to get a new and better MBA program going, with better computing. The college computer committee had been meeting and had come up with only disaster.So, at the first faculty meeting, two weeks after arriving on campus, plenty of time to see the bad computing situation, I stood and gave a recommendation based on my experience both long and recent.I was made de facto chair of the college computing committee, given a professor of economics, who liked computing, as a colleague, and encouraged to make a formal recommendation. So, I went shopping again and made a recommendation.I was popular because I offered the only promising path to better computing.But I was NOT responded to! At one point, the sitting Chair of the old computing committee told me, privately, for no particular reason, “No one can argue with you about computing.”. Of course not!Well, I did get an argument from the campus CIO, the longest sitting CIO in higher education. We had a shoot out in front of my dean. I won. Uh, he couldn’t argue with me, either! It was not smart for him to argue with me!I won it all. The skeptics on HVAC, I beat them. Similarly on everything else. The system was a grand success, lasted 10+ years. I was appointed Chair of the college computing committee, but I never called a meeting, and no one ever asked. I was appointed to a university committee to pick a new CIO (it was not smart for the old one to argue with me — he lost big time!).I turned the computer over to a nice lady who had been helping faculty submit computer jobs to the central system. She did great. I basically just bowed out. Partly she had two assistants, both former students, who did spectacular work. One of them did a little data base thingy that got the college alumni office sending beautifully done, personalized letters … made big bucks, and the system was borrowed by the university’s new CIO and rolled out for all the colleges.So, when really know what are doing, then don’t always get back a lot of comments! I’ve been there; done that!On girls and women in STEM fields, there is some more recent research. The deal is, if a girl or woman is really good with both people and things, commonly she selects working with people instead of things. If she is good with things and not so good with people, then she can go for things, e.g., the STEM fields.In my post, I just praised the woman for her good insight into working with people. Broadly boys/men are nowhere nearly as good working with people as girls/women are. In simple terms, girls/women should stay out of the NBA, and boys/men should stay out of sensitive slots working directly with the general public.Maybe this observation, conclusion upsets some aspect of your cherished, coveted world view, but, gee, AVC doesn’t yet have a “safe space”!Your upset is old and was answered by E. Fromm, The Art of Loving: where, IIRC, he said that people were straining, harmfully, to regard males and females as just the same in all respects possible and that Western Civilization got this idea from the French Revolution where any difference was seen as a threat of tyranny. You are not the first.I comment at AVC and a few other places on the Internet for my own reasons. I don’t expect responses from you, and from your responses I can’t respect responses from you.Maybe you are successful in business. My father was an employee, not an entrepreneur or business owner. I’ve long been an employee and only now am trying to be an entrepreneur. So, I am just getting started.But my approach to being an entrepreneur builds on, exploits, some of my background that is not common, especially in business and even in information technology entrepreneurship. I have good reason to believe that that background is a big advantage. But the fraction of the population able to evaluate that background and it’s potential is just tiny, so small as to be essentially zero. To me, early on that fact was surprising, but it’s clear enough now.Really good results as a startup are exceptional. For the best cases, there are no strong, useful, empirical patterns.For an information technology startup, my background and approach are exceptional. For exceptionally good results, and, sure, I’m going for such, one should not be surprised at exceptional approaches; they are not sufficient, but they are nearly necessary. But, again, the fraction of people in business who could give a competent evaluation of my approach and work is tiny. So, e.g., here at AVC and from you, I don’t expect positive feedback or comments.So, how do I know that with my approach I’m not being a fool?Well, I’ve got a lot of experience being successful with things that are new, where I was a team of just one. So, I’ve got some judgment about when and how to do that. My judgment for my startup is that there’s no doubt that I can do the work as I intend and that there is a really good chance, about the best one could hope for in a startup, that people will like the results of my work, enough people to make my business successful. Looks like a good project to me!From my time on high end US DoD projects, I have views of how to do fantastic things, as planned, on the first try. E.g., for a while I was writing software in the group that did the first version of GPS, that is, the US Navy’s version. And I have much more. E.g., can watch the movie The Hunt for Red October, and I was in the middle of a lot of that technology. E.g., at one point I rushed to get good withR. B. Blackman and J. W. Tukey, The Measurement of Power Spectra: From the Point of View of Communications Engineering, Dover, New York.took a risk, misused a week of time, wrote some illustrative software, called an engineer at our customer, met on a Friday at the computer, ran my software several times, illustrated for him the bad news in power spectral estimation for ocean waves, that is, the trade-off between bias and variance, common in statistics, and in this case between frequency and resolution, showed him how to measure power spectra and then to use that measurement to generate stochastic process sample paths with just that power spectrum. He walked out with new, good appreciation, e.g., how long it would take for his data, at his low frequencies (a crucial point) to converge to an accurate estimate of his power spectra. Result: My company got sole source from the customer! The week was a risk, but I was 100% successful. That week, I picked a good project. Good project selection is one of the keys to success.At FedEx, I took on a project that commonly was regarded as too difficult — schedule the fleet. The FedEx BoD believed that the project was too difficult. I intended to do the work by writing software, but computer people who had considered fleet scheduling believed that doing it with software was too difficult. I thought I could do it. So, I resigned my slot at Georgetown University (before my Ph.D.), kept teaching the courses I was teaching there in computer science, got access to, right, VM/CMS, got the PL/I manuals, designed, wrote, debugged, and ran the code, all as planned, on time.Ah, for the PL/I manuals, they were delivered to me in my apartment living room by an IBM senior marketing representative who wanted to know what new effort was going to make use of PL/I!Risky? Sure. For me? Not so much. The first real use of the code pleased the BoD, enabled crucial funding, and saved the company. Literally. Remark of the founder, CEO, COB: “Solved the most important problem facing the company.” That work was new in several respects but fully successful, first time, on time, no problems.There is some education for doing well with things that are new — a good Ph.D. in a STEM field from a high end research university, and I’ve got that education and its lessons, super tough to get in such a program and much more difficult to get otherwise.Tough? Only about 1 in 15 who try hard gets the degree, and only about one in 10 of those has any very good idea what to do with it.And I have some severe quality control — the theorems and proofs of my crucial core applied math.Then could I write the needed software? I have a long background in software. But, I learned enough about .NET programming and was successful — I typed in 24,000 programming language statements in 100,000 lines of typing, and it all appears to run as I intended. On test data, it works in all respects just as I intended and expected. So, so far, I’ve been correct.I don’t want to give up now! If you don’t like, respect, or respond to my work, fine with me! Nearly everyone else in the world would agree with you! It’s clear enough that I’m the only person in the world doing anything at all like what I’m doing and have already done.It’s also plenty clear enough that I’m the only person in the world both (A) ready, willing, able, and eager to do an information technology startup and (B) similarly able to do at all well solving the problem my work solves. Why? In simple terms, I’m field crossing, say, bringing the first open ocean sailing to moving silks and spices from the Far East to Europe. Can get rich for life from just one shipload!The problem? Essentially everyone on the Internet has the problem to a quite serious degree and, I believe, with a lot of good reason, will leap to use my solution once they see that it solves the problem.Sure, some simple, first-cut, back of the envelope arithmetic says I’m well on the way, with all the crucial parts done, to being 100% owner of the world’s first business worth $1+ T. That’s just how the arithmetic works out. Heck, I’d be plenty happy with $1+ B or $100+ million.The “crucial parts”? Sure, those parts are why the problem is still just sitting there without a solution from anyone else. Why? Those other guys are not field crossing. E.g., they believed that for the most powerful exploitation of computing they should study and concentrate on computer science. WRONG!You will never like what I’m doing.You will never like what I post at AVC.You will have a lot of company. That’s one reason I’m relatively anonymous!It’s crucial to know how to select projects, to go out alone, to solve a new problem, a new way, and be successful. Only a tiny fraction of the population can do that. I believe I can and should; so I am. But along the way, not many people will agree with me. You won’t, and you will have a lot of company.But, as I observed often enough here at AVC, the story is old, was in Mother Goose, in particular, “The Little Red Hen”.People liked working with me well enough when I was giving them stuff they really wanted, especially if they couldn’t get that stuff anywhere else!But for my startup to be successful, the users need only like my Web site! They don’t need to know who I am!

          23. PhilipSugar

            Wow, I could not get through that whole diatribe. As Churchill said: “I would have written you a short letter but I didn’t have time”Anytime you generalize and compartmentalize you lose me. Women are this, Men are this, Police are this, Inner City people are that.Out.

          24. sigmaalgebra

            The subject is too difficult for you. The real situation is too complicated for you. So, you have your simplistic, absolutes. I gave you a nice tutorial on how to describe general differences accurately, but you didn’t read it.For you, at about the 1st or 2nd grade level, boys and girls are different. Girls are better with people, and boys, things. There are exceptions, but they are a small fraction of the total.Or dogs walk on four legs. A small fraction of dogs can walk on two legs, but they look awkward and unstable, and they are.Understanding how boys and girls are different is one of the more important lessons in life; you need better understanding than at the 1st or 2nd grade level.My post can help, but it is too difficult for you. E.g., to appreciate my post, you’d have to understand at least the beginnings of statistical hypothesis testing.My post is also about business and my business. But that is also way too difficult for you.

          25. cavepainting

            There are few absolute truths in life. Difficult topics are likely to attract multiple perspectives; each might be right in their own way looking at the problem from a unique vantage point.While there are surely some characteristics stronger on average in one gender vs. the other, there is also natural variation that spans a broad range. From my own personal experience, (I have two sons, grew up with 10+ cousin sisters), I know that kids have many different talents and inclinations that defy any type of gender compartmentalization.Generalizing is always bad because it leads to stereotyping, abuse, and depriving opportunity to sub-groups.I do not see the point of reverting back to your claims about boys vs. girls as often as you do. The big problems in society have more to do with inequality, lack of access to opportunity, etc., not so much that men or women are being given the wrong jobs inconsistent with their gender.

          26. sigmaalgebra

            There are few absolute truths in life. Difficult topics are likely to attract multiple perspectives; each might be right in their own way looking at the problem from a unique vantage point. Basically true, but that standard comment is often used to suggest that all attempts at truth are relative to “perspectives” so that there, really, is nothing like meaningful truth possible.That suggestion gives up too much.Or tell the judge that from your perspective your driving at 120 MPH was safe and reasonable, tell Visa that from your perspective you don’t own them interest or late fees (I don’t owe any credit card company anything), tell Amazon that from your perspective that they raised their price $1 while you had the item in your “shopping cart” was unfair and you want the lower price; tell the building inspector that from your perspective your calculations on column loading are correct and the house won’t collapse (creeeeeak, rip, boom, crash, tinkle, tinkle — ah, sh*t, not again!), tell the English literature teacher that from your perspective your essay on Hemingway is as good as any. You might get away with the last.While there are surely some characteristics stronger on average in one gender vs. the other, there is also natural variation that spans a broad range. That’s relatively close to just what the heck I wrote. Or for each “characteristic” and measure of it, there are distributions, possibly different for boys, girls, Rhesus monkeys, etc.What I said about a statistical hypothesis test is to detect when we can reject that two distributions are the same.E.g., take the Math SAT scores for boys and girls (right, young men and young women, to be politically correct). Assume the boys and girls are just the same — please the feminists! This assumption is called the null hypothesis, that is, that there is nothing there, that is, the situation is null. For the math, this hypothesis lets us do some calculations we could not do otherwise.So, there are several, maybe lots of calculations we could do with this null hypothesis and the Math SAT data for the boys and that data for the girls. For details, look in the texts I mentioned or call the experts I mentioned — both yesterday.Here’s the bottom line: With any reasonable test, will have two choices:(1) The two distributions are the same and somehow we just observed a difference so large that it is really rare, say, one in 100,000.(2) The two distributions are different, that is, the boys and girls are not the same on the Math SAT, and the feminists are screaming again.Since we find (1) too tough to believe, we reject the null hypothesis, reject that the two distributions are the same, and conclude (2) that the two distributions are different. Then we look again and see that just on average the boys did better than the girls.Uh, if want to please the feminists, then do a really silly calculation and not be able to see a difference. Then the feminists can scream “Science proves that boys and girls are exactly the same!”. There’s plenty of that nonsense (lying with statistics) in the media — special case that nearly everything in the media is total BS.Once as above we show that there is a difference, skeptics and various attention getters will say that we need to control on the usual suspects, family income, educational level of the parents, number of parents in the home, etc. and do the calculation again.Then some activists will say that we need a Federally funded program to help the girls and wipe out the difference.But, the simple point is: The two distributions are different.And you were talking about the distributions, and what I said about statistical hypothesis tests, with references yesterday and a tutorial here, just makes the point more clear.From my own personal experience, (I have two sons, grew up with 10+ cousin sisters), I know that kids have many different talents and inclinations that defy any type of gender compartmentalization. No. There are distributions. Typically girls have one and boys have another. So, that’s a form of your “compartmentalization”, but like you claim tough to draw much in conclusions for individual people.Generalizing is always bad because it leads to stereotyping, abuse, and depriving opportunity to sub-groups. Yes, as I wrote yesterday, from E. Fromm, that concern goes back to the French Revolution where any recognition of any difference was seen as a threat of tyranny.I do not see the point of reverting back to your claims about boys vs. girls as often as you do. In my experience, for many purposes, the influences of gender are ENORMOUS, and ignoring the differences can lead to disaster and even death.For boys and girls, the distributions are different; some of the distributions are very different; due to some other considerations, ignoring those differences is DANGEROUS.not so much that men or women are being given the wrong jobs inconsistent with their gender. That thought is DANGEROUS.The big problems in society have more to do with inequality, lack of access to opportunity, etc. It looks like you’ve been sold a line that can be used to pull you around.Right, the NYC Jewish kids are treated so unfairly by the NBA! Total BS!My parents were from the north, mom from Ohio, dad from NYS. Dad’s job took him to Memphis. Memphis was still fighting the civil war.There in Memphis, yourThe big problems in society have more to do with inequality, lack of access to opportunity, etc. was rock solidly true.I got the hell out of there ASAP. I went back for a while for FedEx; saw that the place had not changed, and was thrilled to get the hell out of there again. I haven’t been back. Glancing at Memphis, e.g., from some people I know there on Facebook, the place still hasn’t much changed.So, I hate that stuff.Memphis was unfair to the Blacks; that’s what I hated.But there are plenty of differences along the lines of race in NY and NYC. Here I’m not much blaming NY or NYC. Instead, unlike the screaming liberals who play the race card and gender cards at every opportunity I don’t believe that on all measures the distributions will be or can be the same across gender and race.Or if like to scream, then pick something to scream about that can’t be changed, e.g., differences in gender, race, and the climate this year versus last year. So, right, the screamers will keep screaming until both genders are just alike on all measures, and using the same restrooms and showers, wearing the same clothes, all the races are just the same on all measures, and the climate never changes again! Lots of screaming! The newsies like that — lots of headlines!So, drag out the French Revolution, say, that, of course, there should be no differences, all the observed differences are due to evil humans, and we should eradicate all differences!If you want to scream “race”, then scream about the NBA! Where are the Jewish kids? Gee, where are the white kids? Larry Bird was the last? I don’t know the details, and I’m no expert in basketball, but it looks to me like the NBA has nearly all the world’s best players.Net, there are some differences. Are they all genetic or are some cultural?Gee, we should have Federally funded programs to ensure that the NBA has the right proportions of all races and genders?Likely I’ve come to this bottom line before at AVC: On gender, be careful, be VERY CAREFUL.

          27. JLM

            .Phil, your comment about “angry OLD man” to sigma offends me and is an example of ageism.I think the comment policy should be expanded to ban ageism as well as racism, sexism, and any other -isms.This comment debate has made me infinitely more sensitive and has sent me on a journey to establish my own victimhood and to protect it vigorously.For your penance I recommend: two Hail Marys, one Wednesday night novena, and a single lap of the Stations of the Cross.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          28. PhilipSugar

            As an angry old man myself I have earned the right to use the term. :-)What really upset me was the “You women do it again!”I served at Mass this Sunday because the altar server was on vacation. I received the traditional absolution so I think I am ok.

          29. JLM

            .Yeah, you’re promoting a promoter — no absolution without Confession. I have always thought the Confession feature was the best marketing angle for the Catholics, ever.If I were the Pope, I would have that on my Vatican website as the “special of the week.””Bless me, Father, for I have sinned ….. “You get my vote for being a churchgoer. I love going to church.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          30. PhilipSugar

            Just like everything there are things I agree with an things I don’t.But I always found that strange. I served every week for a decade. My parents would say I need to go to confession. But I told them I got absolution every Sunday.They didn’t believe me and asked the priest and he was the best example of an angry old man I have ever seen. He in his very gruff tone said I absolve him of his sins they are absolved.

          31. JLM

            .Having lunch w/ Monsignor next week. I will have to get a second opinion.I spent a lot of time sorting through my venal and mortal sins — pretty nice portfolio of both, I am pleased to say. Bumper crop. A few times I had to write them down to ensure I gave a complete Confession.Father Horan used to require me to go Confession before basketball games, said I played better after Confession. Lightened my load of all that guilt and helped my vertical leap, said he.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          32. PhilipSugar

            There is a very clear passage. “If they are absolved they are absolved, if they are held, they are held”

          33. LE

            @JLM:disqus @philipsugar:disqusAgain on the confession thing it makes sense but it doesn’t make sense. I do think it’s very practical though.You are not supposed to sin. But then you get a way to reset the clock and a do over when you sin. Almost in unlimited amounts. All you can eat.Where are you taught that the motivation to not ‘sin’ comes from then? There doesn’t seem to be any punishment for doing so. On the other hand they probably teach (I am guessing) that people are fallible and the reset is necessary. Just like having a radiator on a car (if not naturally aspirated) is. Or the heat buildup kills the engine. Something like that. So it’s waste removal I guess.

          34. LE

            As a jew that ‘do over’ that you folks have going has always fascinated me. We have no such thing in Judaism. You screw up and they will never let you forget it. Agree it was a key killer app for Catholics.The other feature that I have reverse engineered is that ‘forgive’ thing. We don’t have that feature. We would consider it a bug. [1] Someone murders a love one? NP forgive them! Rape? Give them another chance.But it actually behaviorally makes a great deal of sense. It allows you to move on in your life and not hate and spend time and mental energy on a situation that you will not be able to change. A way to feel better going forward. I guess that was something the wise men figured out years ago just by anecdotal observations of human nature (which is what I spend a great deal of time on). Today of course nobody takes anything that isn’t backed up by research or written by a known author or credentialed person seriously.[1] God knows the Goldmans are still ‘whining’ today about what OJ did. Sorry for what appears to be humor but I really think they would be better off if they just were able to forgive and move on.

          35. JLM

            .When you go to Confession, it is in a darkened Confessional which is almost anonymous — not if you’re an altar boy and the priest recognizes your name.When I was in the Army, I used to go to Confession with the Chaplain — often on the side of a hill somewhere — face-to-face.The Chaplain was a Major and I was a First Lt and/or a Captain. I would confess my sins and could see his face. Half the time I thought he was a little envious. I usually had a bumper crop right after R & R or leave. Not bragging, but I was a pretty damn good sinner.It was kind of creepy. One time I was in the O Club at the bar getting ready to troll for a couple of sins and in walked the Chaplain. He gave me a dirty look which dampened my enthusiasm for a few minutes, but I was able to rally.The Catholics have a very good system.Now, with the new rules, I may have to confess I made a bad comment on — luckily only a venal sin. You get unlimited venal sins.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          36. ShanaC

            I think you need to read maimonidies on forgiveness from the yoreah deah. We sort of have a do-over, but only if you figure out how not to do the thing again and make an honest apology, otherwise you’re still stuck in the mire of no do-over

        2. fredwilson

          this is a sexist comment. this is not allowed here. it’s against our comment policy.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            My response to Ms. Rubinsky was to complement her on her insight into working with people.For sexism, at Google the definition is: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. I was being complementary and not “against”.I was assuming that we all are well informed on People 101 and realize the well accepted point that, from the crib on, human females are strongly interested in people and males, things.To reduce the length of my post, and the time to write it, I omitted references on this totally obvious, well accepted point.But, for references, sure, there is:Rong Su, James Rounds, Patrick Ian Armstrong, “Men and Things, Women and People: A Meta-Analysis of Sex Differences in Interests,” Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 135, No. 6, 859–884, 2009.with in part:The magnitude and variability of sex differences in vocational interests were examined in the present meta-analysis for Holland’s (1959, 1997) categories (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional), Prediger’s (1982) Things-People and Data-Ideas dimensions, and the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) interest areas. Technical manuals for 47 interest inventories were used, yielding 503,188 respondents. Results showed that men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people, producing a large effect size (d = 0.93) on the Things-People dimension. Men showed stronger Realistic (d = 0.84) and Investigative (d = 0.26) interests, and women showed stronger Artistic (d = -0.35), Social (d = -0.68), and Conventional (d = -0.33) interests. Sex differences favoring men were also found for more specific measures of engineering (d = 1.11), science (d = 0.36), and mathematics (d = 0.34) interests. and from Lee Jussim Ph.D., professor of social psychology, former Chair of the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, athttps://www.psychologytoday…isLee Jussim, “Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers,” Psychology Today, Jul 20, 2017.with in part:Things versus people. Su et al (2009) performed a meta-analysis of studies including a total of over 500,000 people examining gender differences in interests. Despite claims that gender differences are typically “small” (Hyde, 2005), Su et al found a gigantic gender difference in interests. Women preferred working with people, whereas men preferred working with things, a preference that is detectable within the first two days of birth and among our close species relatives, rhesus monkeys! To be sure, these differences were not absolute. Not every man prefers working with things, and not every woman prefers working with people. But the effect size was d= .93, and even if you are not familiar with effect sizes, this would make it one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic. So, of course women are better working with people than men — “one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic.”So, appropriately and reasonably enough, I attributed Ms. Rubinsky’s nice insight to gender — “one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic.”Maybe my post was taken as “against” men? Ah, come ON! All REAL men can take it, and I’m fresh out of tiny, frilly, lacy, scented, pink hankies to dry tears of snowflakes in need of safe spaces!Now, you are sure my post was “sexist”? Sure about that?

          2. sigmaalgebra

            My response to Ms. Rubinsky was to complement her on her insight into working with people.For sexism, at Google the definition is: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. I was being complementary and not “against”.I was assuming that we all are well informed on People 101 and realize the well accepted point that, from the crib on, human females are strongly interested in people and males, things.To reduce the length of my post, and the time to write it, I omitted references on this totally obvious, well accepted point.But, for references, sure, there is:Rong Su, James Rounds, Patrick Ian Armstrong, “Men and Things, Women and People: A Meta-Analysis of Sex Differences in Interests,” Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 135, No. 6, 859–884, 2009.with in part:The magnitude and variability of sex differences in vocational interests were examined in the present meta-analysis for Holland’s (1959, 1997) categories (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional), Prediger’s (1982) Things-People and Data-Ideas dimensions, and the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) interest areas. Technical manuals for 47 interest inventories were used, yielding 503,188 respondents. Results showed that men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people, producing a large effect size (d = 0.93) on the Things-People dimension. Men showed stronger Realistic (d = 0.84) and Investigative (d = 0.26) interests, and women showed stronger Artistic (d = -0.35), Social (d = -0.68), and Conventional (d = -0.33) interests. Sex differences favoring men were also found for more specific measures of engineering (d = 1.11), science (d = 0.36), and mathematics (d = 0.34) interests. and from Lee Jussim Ph.D., professor of social psychology, former Chair of the Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, athttps://www.psychologytoday…isLee Jussim, “Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers,” Psychology Today, Jul 20, 2017.with in part:Things versus people. Su et al (2009) performed a meta-analysis of studies including a total of over 500,000 people examining gender differences in interests. Despite claims that gender differences are typically “small” (Hyde, 2005), Su et al found a gigantic gender difference in interests. Women preferred working with people, whereas men preferred working with things, a preference that is detectable within the first two days of birth and among our close species relatives, rhesus monkeys! To be sure, these differences were not absolute. Not every man prefers working with things, and not every woman prefers working with people. But the effect size was d= .93, and even if you are not familiar with effect sizes, this would make it one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic. So, of course women are better working with people than men — “one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic.”So, appropriately and reasonably enough, I attributed Ms. Rubinsky’s nice insight to gender — “one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic.”Maybe my post was taken as “against” men? Ah, come ON! All REAL men can take it, and I’m fresh out of tiny, frilly, lacy, scented, pink hankies to dry tears of snowflakes in need of safe spaces!Gee, sure, from these references, if someone is to be slow to see the well known differences between human males and females as in People 101, then most likely that person would be a geek male! But, have hope! The references here will easily provide remedial tutoring!In The Art of Loving, E. Fromm warned about the dangers of the French Revolution view that men and women should be regarded as the same in all possible respects. There are dangers there. Fromm was correct.Nutshell view:”one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic.” Now, you are sure my post was “sexist”? Sure about that?

          3. ShanaC

            there is such thing as positive sexism/racism/___-ismeg: all jewish people are good with money.That’s not true, and it can easily turn into a stereotype used negatively, even if it said as a complement.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Sorry, Shana, you blew it! Big time!Your response was MUCH better, nicer, more insightful than Fred’s so that in this way you made my point!Jewish people and money? Hmm …, let me think! Ah, in Memphis there was a Jewish family next door. The husband was one of several siblings. They decided they wanted to start a business. So, they got a lot of failed auto generators, water pumps, starting motors, etc. that mechanics had taken off cars, took them apart, cleaned them up, replaced the failed components, typically just some brushes, seals, bearings, etc., that is, only a small fraction of the total part, applied a nice paint job, put each part in its own nice, new box, and sold them to auto parts stores to sell, for much less than a new part, to cost conscious customers — for those parts, typically DIY mechanic car owners.The siblings did well, soon had their business in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.Yup, they were good with money.Sure, they had some paper work problems. Those were the days of punched cards, and Dad was talented at such things, had taught himself about punched cards, had done a punched card inventory system for a Navy BOQ, so helped our neighbor: So, each part had a card, and there were cards for each auto parts shop, etc. So, for the inventory, billing of the auto parts shops, etc., the delivery truck guy at each delivery just grabbed the card from each part he was delivering stuck that card behind a card for the shop, put the cards in a box, and completed the delivery. Back as HQ, some really simple punch card processing generated the bills for the shops. Nice. No great reason not to do much the same now!So, for the old car my brother and I shared and I maintained, right, water pump, generator, I got free parts!Dad did the same thing for another neighbor; this one was a big truck-small truck wholesale liquor distributor.Sadly Dad didn’t see a business in any of that. Of course, there was one, e.g., eventually Ross Perot. Dad was a great guy, but he was not very good with small and medium business.Well, the guy next door, his wife wanted some work done on the house. So, the work was done, and she didn’t like it, for a silly reason. So, it took jackhammers to undo the work; then the work was repeated with a small change. She was not being so good with money!But, of course, the jackhammer work didn’t seriously hurt the family finances, and soon the family moved to a neighborhood with houses that cost a few times more than the one I grew up in!Shana, I’d guess that you are sensitive. For stereotypes, I get hit with some of those, e.g., that a lot of knowledge about something technical means that will not be able to have knowledge about how to run a business, as if somehow the technical knowledge resulted in some brain damage! People who want to attack with gossip can use such stuff, but otherwise the hits are not very serious. “Stereotypes”? Maybe relax?Gee, dangerous to complement a female! Wow! Where can I take an on-line course in safely walking on eggs?

          5. ShanaC

            I’m glad you knew people who ended up via a mix of grit, hard work, talent, and luck, very successful.Unfortunately, that doesn’t take away from the statistical polling truth of what I said.…Which is true of all -Isms and a great way of turning off the individual you’re talking to. No one here actually knows if the person that they are talking to has a life that conforms to stereotypes.

          6. sigmaalgebra

            Okay I read the Boston link. Sad case.My guess is that only a tiny fraction of stereotypes result in such pain.Besides, sorry, Shana, here you lose again! I’d think you’d get tired of losing!Specifically, there were three posts, one each from Ms. Rubinsky, one from Fred, and one from you. There, stereotypes aside, just from the three posts themselves, sorry, Shana, but the truth is so obvious “a blind man (uh, oops, person) could see it in [less than] a minute”: The posts from Ms. Rubinski and you showed MUCH better abilities with people than the third post. MUCH better. You just can’t duck that one: You are fully guilty as charged for making a much better post!Yes, for an explanation I could, perhaps did, use the stereotype or, better yet, as I already posted, “one of the largest effects in social psychology; it is gigantic.” — human females are much better with people than human males.A bit tough to see how complementing a female, two in this case, for being good with people and using the “gigantic” effect as an explanation could hurt anyone!Again, primarily I was responding, not to some stereotype or even a “gigantic” effect but only directly to what Ms. Rubinski and you actually, in words, wrote and posted here — that’s darned good evidence for my complement that you two are better with people!Sorry I have to tell you two females that you are good with people, but clearly you are guilty as charged!!!! I mean, we want equal treatment, right?

  3. BillMcNeely

    Nicely played Fred with the Etsy tie in

    1. karen_e

      You beat me to it – I was going to say nice tie-in with on-trend embroidered soft goods (and so much more).

    2. fredwilson


  4. jason wright

    the polity police have arrived.

    1. fredwilson

      they arrived day one. and that’s why this community works. the police are just getting better tools to do our jobs

      1. jason wright

        i don’t think it’s ever been that much of a problem here. just the occasional heated spat.personally i prefer that people be allowed to say whatever they want to, but be coherent in the thoughts behind their words, and be willing to take responsibility for should have been warned by the mods for calling that someone a “dickhead” a couple of years ago.EDIT: 18:21 GMT:when will this blog be switching over to a decentralised platform, where the dynamic of the community will allow for more democratic outcomes about such issues?

        1. JamesHRH

          I agree and an interesting question.

      2. JamesHRH

        Come on Fred.The community works because you opened the kimono on VC dirty tricks when no one in the Valley had motivation or inclination to do so.It was a fair trade, as you have often said, as you learned far more form the community than anyone of us did from you – and a lot of us learned a lot.To be honest, its a really bad look when a 55 year old 1/2 billionaire starts to rewrite history and dictate ‘civil ‘ terms of engagement. The Suck Up factor reaches a level that makes community asphyxiation very likely.Disqus is also the most consistently frustrating online platform I have used in the last decade, constantly signing me out and other goofy glitches. It must be awesome for publishers.

  5. DJL

    We’ve been through this before, but it is worth repeating. In the highly politicized climate we live in, proposing to enforce immigration laws makes you a “racist.” Stating that women make less because they choose to leave the workforce to raise children makes you a “sexist.” And any position certain liberals disagree with is called “hate speech”. Of course, most people strive to be civil and polite. But lets remember that these terms can be totally subjective. (And I say this as politely, widely and diversely as possible.)

    1. SFG

      Not too long ago the moderator called out a discuss comment thread on Breitbart as “hate”. I looked though much of the comments, and some were out of line but the majority were just stating their opinion. I think that the moderator could have just as easily called out a Washington Post comment thread. Frankly, I see much “hate” going on in that neck of the woods. But maybe it’s not hate if it’s hating the president.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      You have outlined a weakness in the wording of Fred’s statement: Sure, we are against racism, sexism, and hate speech. BUT: The racism card is commonly used by liberals who want the immigration laws ignored to have more people who “vote but don’t work”; the sexism card is used by liberals to beat down any Republican males; and some liberals use hate speech as a standard attack on any remark that makes them feel, say, uncomfortable.So, Fred’s three are also the main clubs liberals use to attack Republicans (I’ve long been and still am a registered Democrat; I can’t respect Paul Ryan; but I’m thrilled with Trump) . So, Fred’s statement sounds more like something from some NYC liberal cocktail party than just a well formulated policy statement. So, the statement begins to smell more like liberal politics than just good policy, even if it is just good policy.I don’t like the liberal attacks on Trump, but I don’t really care if Fred’s statement sounds like some liberal politics. Fred’s statement also sounds like good enough policy, so I will ignore the NYC cocktail party guesses. Still, your post, even if only just curiously, got the, even if merely coincidental, correspondences clear!

      1. DJL

        Amen! My point exactly.

  6. JLM

    .I hope this policy will conform to President Trump’s Executive Order on regulations — meaning two regulations must be deleted before a new regulation can be enacted. Perhaps does not fall under the aegis of the White House?I recall Winston Churchill’s utterance: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”I have made quite a few friends on this blog (my second favorite on the web), but I hope I have made a few enemies. Because that would mean the discussion was passionate and worthy of our time. That real ideas wrestled and spawned better ideas.On the other hand, I apologize to all the snowflakes and cupcakes (please self-identify at your own volition) that I have offended. I promise not to do that again. Really. I do. I know how sensitive y’all can get and I don’t want to add to your burden.While there is nothing I love as much as some order in the face of chaos, this blog blundered through storm for a good many years without it.And, yes, President Obama is still the Worst. President. Ever.Now you know I’m just kidding, right?Rules — the hobgoblin of small minds.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Well I imagine we’re not going to see eye to eye on this JLM, but I’ve always believed that good frameworks and good guidelines make good ecosystems.Every now and then something goes a long way without needing clear guidelines, but that’s usually because of the good will of people who lead the community. Controlling one is never a good idea but having a rules of the road makes sense, in my experience.

      1. JLM

        .I’ve always thought cold beer and good cheer make for the healthiest adult conversations which are unafraid of touching upon anything.I like to be around outspoken, well-spoken, thoughtful persons, who hold interesting — Hell, even controversial — positions on the issues of the day.I love to have people tell me why my ideas — IDEAS — are wrong. Love it.I took ballroom dancing and hand-to-hand combat at a time in my life. Dancing is vertical foreplay, but hand-to-hand combat is more engaging.Life is a contact sport and I like the contact. Like hand-to-hand combat, it is an engagement in which there is competition amongst ideas. Why not test our ideas by a bit of debate?Rules are the hobgoblin of small minds and stymie conversation.I hope none of this is racist, sexist, or any other –ists. [Not really.]JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Fair enough=) …and I suspect we’re closer on that than either of us knows. I love good design, so to me any set of guidelines is less about telling people what to do (something that I personally dislike receiving or delivering) and more about helping them get invested and find something to work on.

  7. CJ

    The larger societal problem is that those who tend to violate these rules don’t tend to view their behavior as in violation. If you get offended or think their behavior offensive, even without being offended, then you’re a Snowflake that needs to be protected when in fact they’re just offensive people.You don’t get to normalize being a horrible person. You will always get called out and the day that society stops is the day that we’ve all failed.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I agree. I think your point is similar to mine which is there are two sides which have gotten out of control:People have somehow gotten to the point where they can say truly horrible things and not think that is wrong.People have gotten to the point where they take great offense and try and shut down discussion that while it might be tough is not horrible.

      1. CJ

        Agreed, ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces’ certainly don’t help the discussion either, in fact they kill it. As a society we have to be able to talk about the hard topics or we’ll never address any of the issues that exist.Though a key part of that is being able to discuss these things civilly and productively, though not necessarily without passion.

        1. PhilipSugar

          We agree 100%

  8. Joe Cardillo

    I like it Fred, glad to see they added these features. A good, no b.s. comment policy not only helps slow down abuse and harassment, it also gives new viewers/users a sense of how they can engage.For anyone dealing with comment section issues (or just a general fascination) the team at Coral Project have done a lot of research, incl. a 12,000 person study released earlier this year: https://community.coralproj

  9. LE

    Honestly I have to tell you that while there are things that are good about having this, from a human behavioral aspect it’s a really bad idea (particularly where it is located) . Juxtaposed against your post and prior to reading comments. Negatives.You are priming with the words ‘racism, sexism and hate’ right at the top where someone will see that after you have written something and prior to writing something themselves. Leaves bad taste and creates a negative. (Just like the word ‘FREE’ creates a positive.) [1]I would simply say “We seek to encourage a wide diversity of opinions please read our comment policy and thanks for stopping by!” Then you can put those things on the comment policy page.I say this as someone who makes money making sure the exact right words are in the right position and order (or not at all) to create exactly the impact and mood that I am trying to create (when I am trying to make money using words that is).[1] This might be similar to going into a restaurant to have a relaxing meal and seeing a sign that says ‘please shower we don’t want you to smell’ or similar ‘and won’t tolerate it’. Bad mood setting. The vast majority of customers aren’t Spicoli ‘no shoes no shirts no service’ and this is not a pizza joint.

    1. creative group

      LE:”exact right”. We fumbled on the construction.

    2. CJ

      Intriguing insight.

    3. sigmaalgebra

      You are spot on correct, with good thinking and insight. There is some question (meaning I’m unsure about which way would be the more appropriate) about how appropriate such a blunt policy statement should be in a blog such as AVC, but I’ll set that point aside.The observation I can’t mess is “racism, sexism” as the first two because in simple terms, based on current big themes in major parts of the media, much of the media now is, in my description, NYT-MSM, Democrat, Goebbels style (repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it), pro-Obama, pro-Hillary, hate-Trump, made-up, cooked-up, stirred-up, faked-up, gang-up, pile-on lying propaganda where, in the Democrat deck of cards, which they play at least each 24 hours, if they have nothing better, then they will play either their racism card or their sexism card. E.g., IIRC yesterday I saw such a story claiming that Trump doesn’t respect people of color — racism card. The propaganda has played the sexism card (the claim that Trump grabs women — no he didn’t, but as Trump explained, essentially as a mentor, something like some of what Dad told me, some women will permit it, JFK did it, and Mimihttp://rockcenter.nbcnews.c…did permit it) frequently.. Now there is a pro-Trump story that now in the White House, the DoD, and the DoJ, the spokespersons are all women — push back against the sexism card.Racism, sexism — now those two look like just over used attack clubs of the Democrat party long since run out of anything more important to talk about such as the 94 million US citizens out of the labor force, the irresponsible, incompetent, dangerous, destructive design of ObamaCare (IMHO, just a step to single payer where deliberately the sh*t hits the fan just as Obama is out of office), the weakened US military, the huge US trade deficit, the slow GDP growth rate since the 2008 crash (now 2/3rds plus some as long as the Great Depression), etc.Has there really been a significant problem with racism, sexism, and hate speech at AVC?AVC has long been ready, willing, able, and eager to delete sufficiently offensive comments.So, if there is something new with this policy, then it is not clear but only hinted at so that what is new about the policy is not clear?

    4. JamesHRH

      What a great post.Mood does matter.

    5. PhilipSugar

      I agree and disagree. I agree in that I hate signs shouting at me, Like NO RESTROOMS FOR NON CUSTOMERS!!But on the other hand you have to have some ground rules. And in comment boards you can see there are people that need guidance, and the self realization that they are going to get thrown off, which frankly is good for the community.It’s a fact of life, we have to accept some rules. Maybe it can be smaller, maybe to the right, but I don’t have a problem.

      1. LE

        You have to consider the negatives. As a somewhat related example my neighbor the dentist has a sign on his door ‘no solicitors’. [1] I’ve told him that that will offend many people who have done cold call selling. Not only that but there isn’t even an issue in our complex with this. It probably almost never happens. I know this because I am here more hours than anyone and maybe 1 time per year someone knocks on my door. And he isn’t even bothered his receptionist is. But not being a businessman and never ever having cold called he has no concept of what I am talking about. He just keeps thinking of it as if it’s a problem.But most importantly it’s offensive to anyone who has done cold calling who might be a patient. So my point is the negative has to be considered.And guess what? Any good cold calling salesman has zero to loose and everything to gain by ignoring any sign like that. @JLM or any entrepreneur would totally ignore a sign like that.[1] Being on the condo board (and the defacto head) I got it banned by the sign policy that I wrote.

        1. Michael Elling

          My lawyer’s building is filled with lawyers. Prominent sign on door reads “No Solicitors”. Of course it’s more ironic if it were in the UK.

    6. Joe Cardillo

      Mostly agree w/you on the language LE, but I do think the placement makes sense. Plenty of folks who receive hate speech that I don’t specifically b/c of skin color, gender, etc. won’t engage in a space where there isn’t a clear policy against hate speech.I think something along the lines of below could address both of those…”AVC welcomes a wide range of opinions and viewpoints, and encourages healthy discussion. Please take a moment to review our Comment Policy, and note that we reserve the right to remove comments and/or users from the community that advocate racism, sexism, or hate speech of any kind.”

      1. LE

        won’t engage in a space where there isn’t a clear policy against hate speech.Now we have gotten to the point (on a private blog no less) where we need to state some obvious principle to make people feel comfortable? Even though the amount of this type of speech (here) is trivial to begin with? As if it’s a large corporation (with sanitized language) or federal housing anti-discrimination policy? Can we stick the world ‘antisemitism’ in as well? Or ‘anti gay comments’ where do we end this?What’s next? All businesses must have clear policies that say ‘all are welcome’ even though as a general rule ‘all are welcome’ and the vast majority of businesses ‘do not discriminate’. I flatly reject this type of thinking with the exception perhaps when there is a clear, widespread and repeat problem and the cure does not create a problem in itself (which was my point).The edit that you did also is a just a fine print adjustment (in the sense the the words still appear but they are more buried).

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Ah, gotcha, sorry about that…I thought we agreed, but after reading this, sounds like we definitely don’t!Re: “obvious principle” – if it were an obvious principle on the internet, we wouldn’t have people doxxing and SWAT’ing anyone they don’t like. In the physical world, that’s a pretty serious offense (particularly if a gun is discharged as a result of a raid, for example) but on the internet it is not clear that all really are welcome. If someone with a private blog, as you put it, wants to put out a welcome mat politely explaining what they welcome (and don’t welcome) in that space, I’m all for it.

      2. JamesHRH

        Joe, this is thought police. Next step fascism.Behaviour is what matters – see my revision of the policy below.

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Alright, well, I read your re-write and maybe I’m missing something, but I’m going to respectfully disagree w/you on this. Any healthy community/ecosystem requires moderation, and you can call it thought police/pre-facism if you like but that doesn’t change the basic reality which is that someone has to moderate it. And, that’s always going to be a subjective process so you might as well be honest about what your non-negotiables and biases are up front via a clear set of guidelines.And no, they are not absolute and yes it is bound to get painful anyway. But if you deal with it early and often (both manually and via machine learning tools, etc.) you’re more likely to foster a healthy community.

          1. JamesHRH

            I agree that ‘natural consequences’ and repetition is how to enforce a policy fairly.I think that any objective review of the facts here shows that the policy is exclusion masquerading as sensitivity. See other responses for more detail.

          2. Joe Cardillo

            Gotcha, I have read through everything and will leave it at that. We may disagree on how some things are worded but I certainly don’t advocate for fascism or being the thought police. As far as I’m concerned it’s a good thing when people disagree, I’m just not going to agree that there’s no limit on speech in a public space (perhaps you’ve read or heard about the situation in Bosnia in the 1990s where instructions for genocide were broadcast via radio, a good example of what happens when you don’t deal with reality).

          3. JamesHRH

            For sure there are limits, I agree.The policies as stated are too arbitrary, self serving and beneath the standard that has been set here, for as long as I have have been hanging out.Colour me dissappointed.

    7. Amar

      Interesting, I am was surprised to see Fred not being his usual pithy self with his comment policy 🙂 Makes me wonder if some or both of:a) not having enough time to craft this policy statement [1]b) it is a hot button issue and the long form felt good and necessaryMy compressed version of this would be:a) follow the golden rule [2]b) don’t shoot the messenger because it is harder to counter the message[1] As originally attributed to Pascal: “If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.” [2] Assumes we are continuously expanding our world view and adding diversity to thinking

    8. Matt A. Myers

      Disqus has had bad UX direction for years now, it’s been really sad to see.

    9. sigmaalgebra

      The three sound like the top three cards in the deck of the NYC Democrat party and associated news media, all special cases of the media’s main theme — sell fear!

    10. ShanaC

      Proof about the behavioral aspect?

      1. LE

        Not something I studied or read originally but something I figured out that has proven to be true from my observations of people’s actions. I am sure there are books written on this (I don’t read those books on purpose).Many things describe this but a simple example is ‘priming’:…Maybe also the ‘contrast principle’:

        1. ShanaC

          So I actually have read some academic studies on this from stanford.this one is important…Apparently this works vis a vis operant conditioning in comparison to everyone else around over the long termPeople are more short term sticky with negative comments/ability to argue, but they stick around longer term with positive community.Arguing is exhausting and eventually people go away. Being nice and upvoting, awarding people with questions, and they stick around and come back.(I’m the type of person who likes reading Jure Leskovec, because he does interesting work)

  10. creative group

    FRED:We agree this is actually your platform to do how and what you please. The Contributors can either except it or show their displeasure and vacate.We usually have been known to push back when the majority of the Progressive clan enables the few by rarely challenging those who have and continue the attempt to inject the O’Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh imitation’s infused with intentional hyperbole, disinformation, falsehoods, deceptions, disconnected essays big on opinions and short on facts, deflections, etc.If our challenges to the aforementioned is viewed as a violation of the AVC Comment Policy we accept our violations which the enablers question only as reactionary.Or our retorical questioning to power and it’s motivations.Two of the best features available on this blog are the block feature and unsubscribe. Both are effective depending on ones reasoning.Captain Obvious….

  11. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!The promising sector in CRISPR research has really intrigued our investment excitement because of the altruistic and future of medicine to actually really save life’s.CRISPR genomics research should be inexpensive to eliminate negative mutations that are incurable as of this post but in the near future cured. The negative side is mad Scientist creating incurable mutations that could eliminate mankind. (Not a Sci-fi movie or conspiracy theory.The current CRISPR tools are seen as outdated and should develop into 22nd Century application’s in the near future.(There will be no need to reply with a long list of what you have done in the field to justify responding to this topic, We get the self promotion is heavy). This is about the science that can help people not Contributors profiles.The Start-up’s in this sector have taken a beating.DISCLOSURE: WE ARE INVESTED IN TWO EQUITIES IN THIS CRISPR SECTOR. WE HAVE REFRAINED FROM PROMOTING COMPANIES ON FREDS BLOG. SO WE WILL NOT DISCLOSE THOSE COMPANIES.

  12. Guest

    It really does come off as mindless parroting of MSM/Democrat/leftist talking points. Would suggest removing the first line of the comment policy summary and just stating: Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

  13. I am spirit

    You should really figure out a way to better moderate your channels, they are yours right? I was banned from a channel for an unknown reason. I was also banned from a so-called Christian website for no apparent reason. Can’t you make a way for my comments to be heard. You are ultimately responsible for these decisions, rather you do it directly or indirectly. I wish you would make a way to discuss matters openly with Moderators. I was done a mis-service by being banned from making comments on ‘calling all christians’ for some unknown reason. I ask you please to investigate the reason and get back to me. God will bless you or curse you for your decisions. I am not threatening you, but promising you based on the Word of God. God wants the darkness to fade, and the Light to shine through, but you have to stand up and make some important business decisions. You should make everyone’s profile open to the public, and hold the channel Moderators more accountable. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. I pray that you make some wise decisions with your businesses.SINCERELYI am spirit

  14. JLM

    .Seems odd you’d be interested in that group, Charlie, the non-snowflake/cupcakes.But, yes, I apologize to all with thin skins and fragile egos with the identical degree of sincerity and contrition.Pick your group and stick with them, Snowflake.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  15. DJL

    Of course. Just trying to illustrate a point – which you obviously get.

  16. DJL

    You just brought up a “nuance” worth noting. You just took a (example) statement that had nothing to do with performance (it’s about gender roles) – and put your own bias and judgement on top of it to create sexism out of thin air. “[xxx] perpetuates the myth that women underperform their male counterparts in the same or similar positions.”I have never in my life heard or thought that women underperform men in any work-related capacity. So I would never think to say that. But you read that into a related statement based on your own belief systems. So what you heard is not what is being said. This is how slippery it gets very quickly in the arena of ideas. Using this method you can turn almost any statement about a group into a victim-oppressor situation.

  17. JLM

    .Trying to translate what you typed — every person I have ever met is flawed, even you and me, Charlie.For the record, I never met Jesus.Or Winston Churchill.Being offended is a choice that a person makes. I choose to never be offended. But, hey, that’s just me. You might try it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  18. LE

    everyone knew offend or have offendedThat’s actually easier to understand in Chinese:你假设每个人都知道冒犯或冒犯有一些根本的缺陷。 你假设每个人都知道冒犯或冒犯有一些根本的缺陷。你假设每个人都知道冒犯或冒犯有一些根本的缺陷。

  19. CJ

    It’s easy to choose to not be offended when society isn’t built around offending and marginalizing you.That said, I think a lot of this works at the person level. I’m not an easily offended person, I couldn’t give a care about what most people say to me or about me as I’m able to easily ignore people. However, not everyone is and people like you and I, @JLM:disqus, are the exception rather than the rule.It’s compassionate to choose not to offend people even when you think them being offended is overblown and overwrought. Most people I’ve met are capable of getting their point across easily enough without offense and those who aren’t mostly choose to be offensive instead of considerate.

  20. JLM

    .Society does to us what we allow it to do to us — in the same vein in which we choose to be offended.When people fire up their victim mode, they stop listening. When they stop listening, they stop learning.Discussions are all about letting ideas wrestle with the end game being better, more informed, more robust, hardier ideas. It is an iterative process.There is nothing to be gained by talking to those with whom you agree or who agree with you too easily. It is in the missionary work of selling an idea — such as Kid Mercury’s conversion to being a Trump voter — in which ideas actually change people’s views on things.Much of what passes for discussion — particularly here on — is just a search for confirmation of biases, nothing more. It can be an echo chamber.The mark of a gentleman is the ability to tell someone to go to Hell in such a manner that they ask for directions.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  21. JamesHRH

    Let’s be honest though, none of those people were in CNN’s History of Comedy episode last night, right?

  22. JLM

    .Aren’t all flaws sort of “fundamental”?Perhaps, I am not up on my genealogy of flaws?I think you’re just spitballing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  23. Twain Twain

    Which tenet of Confucius? Thanks.

  24. Twain Twain

    Hahahahahaha. Talk about Google lost in translation! And I don’t think you meant to repeat the same phrase three times.

  25. sigmaalgebra


  26. JamesHRH

    Ever notice that Shame is only used in subsistence level cultures?

  27. LE

    Nope. I repeated it three times on purpose!Why?Visually it was to short when only done once.In retrospect I should have said some other things rather than repeat (thanks for giving me a reason to up my game).

  28. CJ

    “When people fire up their victim mode, they stop listening. When they stop listening, they stop learning.”Or when people are offensive the other person stops listening because the speaker loses the respect of the listener.”Society does to us what we allow it to do to us — in the same vein in which we choose to be offended.”I have quite a few family members around who lived through the 50s and 60s that would beg to differ with you on that one. Society does what it has the force to do to you unless enough people decide to stop it.”Discussions are all about letting ideas wrestle with the end game being better, more informed, more robust, hardier ideas. It is an iterative process.”Agree with you here, honestly I agree with most everything else except the paragraph about AVC, I find the discussion here to be some of the most respectful and diverse on the net. For example, you and I hardly ever agree. Definitely not an echo chamber there. 🙂

  29. JLM

    .Haha, an entire taxonomy? Not a cytology? Sort of a cellular approach?I think we just leave it at snowflake and call it a day, eh, pardner?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  30. JamesHRH


  31. JamesHRH

    CJ, the rules are being imposed to silence a very limited group of commenters.It will get to be an echo chamber soon enough.

  32. JLM

    .Using an example from the 1950s — a time when nobody on this blog was alive, but me — is not really germane in the world in which we now live.Having said that, I get where you’re coming from, but I say, “Wow, we’ve come a long way, baby, haven’t we?”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  33. CJ

    Comedy gets an exemption. It’s the rare part of our society where it’s (mostly) OK to be offensive with the caveat that you’re making a larger point.

  34. CJ

    The rules seem fine to me. They’ve been around for a few months now to little, if any, ill affect – especially in diversity of opinion. If that limited group can’t adhere to them it’s their problem, not the rules.I don’t think there is anything wrong with being respectful, but passionate in disagreement. I don’t learn anything when the other person says ‘you’re right’. But likewise I don’t learn anything when the other person insults me while trying to make their point.If the best you can do is be offensive and rude then I’d argue that your words haven’t kept up with your ideas.Ultimately it comes down to this, do you want to be right, or do you want to convince others that you are? You can be right without talking to me but you can’t convince me that you are unless you first convince me to listen.

  35. JLM

    .Comedy is the truth masked by humor. It is a mirror held up to ourselves and we see ourselves undressed and unvarnished.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  36. CJ

    We have indeed come along way. I don’t want to understate that at all. This country is much better for minorities of all classes than it was in the 50s. Full stop.That said, I can also tell you that we have a long way to go. And while I know that you and I don’t agree on either of the last two presidents, I’d say the election and administrations of both shows both how far we’ve come and how much more work is yet to be done.I’ve traveled the world and I can tell you that this is the only place where I feel like a black man vs. just a man. And that includes extensive time in Hong Kong and being one of an estimated less than 30 black people on the entire island. Never once treated rudely or differently than my colleagues, with or without them near. I can’t say that for here and that is something that needs to change.

  37. JLM

    .Not fair to personalize what we (perhaps meaning me) think about individuals who were President. I only care about their policies.I’ve broken bread with both of them and they both have more than a fair share of charm, but both of them had terrible policies.It would be wrong to suggest that Geo W Bush was any better than BHO as it relates to policy. With the passage of time, I like his policies less and less.As it relates to the current POTUS, same deal. Only care about policy. Don’t care about Russians. Here’s what I do care about:http://themusingsofthebigre…As to your personal journey, everybody lives the life they live. I grew up on Army posts which were fully integrated by 1950. Long before the rest of America. I then went to college at a school at which Stonewall Jackson taught before the Civil War and which provided a lot of the prominent officers for the Confederacy.My life having grown up in an integrated environment made going to VMI in the 1960s an alien experience. There were a lot of Army brats there at that time because of the Vietnam War and the draft.The first black graduate of VMI was there when I went to school. The first black football player came to the University of Texas in 1963.When I went into the Army, my platoon sergeants were black or Puerto Rican. I will never forget Sergeant First Class Carter from the Mississippi Delta. He molded me and formed me into a platoon leader.When I showed up, it was HIS platoon. Six months later, it was MY platoon. He made me into a soldier. One day, he told me he was finished with my training and we laughed.Nobody who has not been in the Army can understand the closeness that develops between a platoon sergeant and a platoon leader when it works the way it is supposed to work.I served with SFC Carter one more time in the States and it was an odd feeling to have him salute me. I was a Captain by then and the company commander, but for all time I was a green, shavetail who didn’t know shit. It was actually quite sentimental.I tell you this because we live our own lives inside our own experiences. There is no one universal experience.It pains me that you feel as you have expressed, not just because of your personal experience, but because of what it means about the country I love.We have become a country of inventoried victims — I am a veteran, which is an inventoried class of victimhood. I so hate it when people thank me for my service. I hate it.It will get better because people like you and I can talk to each other.JLM

  38. CJ

    Regarding thoughts on the President – I was referring to your public support of Trump and your comment elsewhere in this thread calling Obama the worst president ever. I don’t support Trump nor do I think Obama was our worst president, quite the contrary, I consider him one of our best. That said, that’s where the comment came from and why I assigned opinions to you that were seemingly not in evidence.And while I agree that we all live life inside our own experiences, the collective that we call society has an very real and very big impact on those experiences. You grew up in an integrated environment, served in an integrated Army, was taught by a black sergeant(the movies would have you believe that all sergeants are black!) spent time afterwards with black people of various circumstance(I recall from previous conversations) all of which shaped your opinions and experience. All of these things are societal impacts on your experience.Lots of my experiences are unique for sure, but there is nothing unique about a black man who can’t get a cab in D.C., walking distance from the White House and in business attire because the taxi driver is afraid you want to go to the projects. Nothing is unique about the black man scared of being pulled over by cops because he might not make it home to his family.I don’t call that victimhood. I’m not a victim because I’m black. Society is unfair to me because I’m black. It’s a fact and it’s existed in this country since before it’s official incorporation. But even so, I don’t want society to give me a prize, I don’t want reparations. I don’t even want society to like me. I have little use for any of those things but what I do want is society to respect me as a person and not as a black person, but simply a person.I want society to not treat me as the 3/5ths of a man that it so codified into law those hundreds of years ago.Let me be clear, black people don’t want nor need help from society aside from respect and equality in its eyes as people. If you give us that, just stand back and watch us work. Hell I think we’ve earned it at this point.So yeah, I get what you mean about victimhood, but I think it’s a bit of a cop out. It’s a way of saying that we, as society, won’t acknowledge the issue here, instead we’ll group you people together to dehumanize you and then we’ll call you whiners to diminish the legitimacy of your argument.It’s the same reason we say ‘Thank you for your service.’ Because it’s cheaper than saying, here – we took care of your family while you were gone – you didn’t come back to losing your house, it’s cheaper than adequately funding the VA so that you can get the level of medical care you deserve, it’s cheaper than s the counseling you need to get over the PTSD and mental changes you had to endure for risking your life physically and risking the destruction of your life mentally on the battlefield for us. So yeah, instead we just buy a goddamn yellow ribbon and send you on your way. Such bullshit.Ultimately I say all of this to say that I agree with you, we do all live in our own experience. But the societal impact on those experiences can’t be dismissed and is often given less weight to those who navigate the waters successfully and more to those who don’t. The reality is somewhere in the middle and often not seen unless you evaluate its full body of work instead of just the individuals. You and I, JLM, are outliers and I have to remind myself of that often because it’s too easy to think that just because I did it, everyone else can too.Like you said, there is hope because we can have this conversation. I just wish more people would as well.

  39. ShanaC

    I grew up with it. My family was not living in a subsistence culture. It’s a part of orthodox Judaism’s resistance to complete integration into western culture, and is used both informally (which I exeprienced) and formally (which I know about, but never experienced.When Aharon Friedman, an aide to U.S. Representative Dave Camp, had an order of contempt from the largest and most important Jewish legal court in the US for his refusal to come and start the process of giving his civilly divorced ex-wife her orthodox Jewish religious divorce so she could remarry, he became formally shunned.Here is the original order of contempt…Formal shunning due to order of contempt is a form of nonpermenent excommunication. You are not allowed to be included in a prayer service, be called up to the torah (considered an honor in a Jewish community. People in the jewish community won’t talk to you, they won’t work with you, etc. Basically, make your life impossibleIn the case of Aharon Friedman and U.S. Representative Dave Camp, this meant running billboard ads in the DC metro where Dave Camp could see them, protesting in front of Dave Camp’s office, and informing Dave Camp’s constituents.It made the list of the 16 worse ways a DC Aide can embarrass their boss.…None of this is possible to do without modernity.Furthermore, if we are strictly talking about standard american coastal western society: And shame is used in non-subsistence level cultures, including western culture, witness what happened to dave mcclure or bill cosby. Or excommunication from the Catholic church.

  40. JamesHRH

    I mean this with all the sincerity & empathy I can muster: Orthodox Judaism is absolutely a subsistence culture.

  41. ShanaC

    I’m glad you are trying empathy, but you have no empirical proof for that claim about orthodox judaism, about shunning and cultural norms and enforcing norms, or about subsistence cultures..Can we try for proof alongside empathy?

  42. JamesHRH

    I like the trying empathy shot. Well placed.If you provide me with Joel Osteen like synagogues for Orhodox Judaism, I will take it back. There are pastors here in Houston who run multiple parishes and fly between them in helicopters.That’s not a subsistence culture, is my point.

  43. JamesHRH

    I think of Joel Osteen’s church here in Houston or the Baptist pastor that runs 7 congregations and flies form one to the other in a helicopter in Houston as cultures that are not subsistence but not mature or highly impactful, over time.They will die with the founder. Possibly, an heir will make it last another generation.Compare that to the structured, enterprise orientation of Western European religions. Not the same, as I believe Orthodox Judaism is also not the same in its structure, outlook or impact (could be very wrong on the second).The closed-ness of Orthodox Judaism, and by this I meant the Ultra Orthodox ( this report uses Haredi –… ) strikes me as subsistence in nature.They are clinging to the edge of the culture, gathering nuts and berries. You can’t fight the secular world, it is a long term trend.Its kind of the opposite of the Osteen style plague of locusts fad religion (‘God wants you to be rich and sexy!’), which is sort of a flash subsistence culture, if you get my drift.If I am wrong in that these Heredi groups plan long term for the future of the faith, rather than just one generation to the next, I am happy to be educated, but appreciate its not something you may like talking about.I certainly limit the discussion of the things that worked against me in my life these days.

  44. ShanaC

    Excuse me, I didn’t grow up Ultra-Orthodox. I grew up in the same kind of group that Jared Kushner did. And pew also separates orthodox and ultra-orthodox out (I’ve read pew)Both orthodox subgroups use shunning. Regular orthodoxy uses it on a much more selective basis formally, and it is much more poorly enforced both formally and informally (except with issues involved divorce and courts vis a vis formal uses. People really don’t like the idea of agunot, for good reason).The case I cited appears to be a regular orthodox guy. Not an ultra-orthodox guy.It isn’t clear to me the ultra-orthodox are fighting it as much as being belligerent to coopt it culturally and keep/create barriers. They are perfectly aware that they use the secular world to live the lives they do (if you talk to them/people who I have left). They do have concerns about the future, but they also aren’t panicking about it.

  45. JamesHRH

    There you go.I learned a bunch and I am appreciative.Shunning is cruel, seems to be our common ground.Maybe I should have used primitive instead of subsistence…..