Cryptocurrency Shoots for the Moon… Can You Tolerate the Ride?

Text Copyright (C) 9 December 2017 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved. Distribute whole freely.

Origin of ₿itcoin

Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, came into existence in 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto devised and implemented a computer network algorithm which encrypted a buy/sell transaction into a data block, and inserted the block into a chain of blocks. The algorithm guaranteed each new block an absolute position in the block chain, and rewarded the network computers that verified the block encryption process by issuing virtual money of one “Bitcoin,” putting that transaction in the block chain as well. The Bitcoin rewards occur randomly.

Don’t let the photo mislead you. Bitcoin is virtual, not physical currency. Unlike golden and silver coins, no physical Bitcoins exist, so you cannot hold Bitcoin in your hand.

Last year the Bitcoin rewards occurred at the rate of 125 per minute worldwide. Today they occur at 12 or fewer per minute worldwide. Thus the process of verifying blocks in the blockchain in exchange for a Bitcoin reward became known as “Bitcoin mining.”

The first known use of Bitcoin in a financial transaction occurred when a pizza vendor accepted 10,000 Bitcoin for an order of pizzas. The dollar value of Bitcoin has risen ever since until it reached $1000 in March 2017. And then the price took off like a rocket to the moon.

The International Standards Organization adopted as the Bitcoin currency symbol (₿ in hypertext markup html). Financial entities have accepted XBT as the text symbol of choice because the more popular BTC symbol conflicts with the country symbol for Bhutan.

Recent Bitcoin History

Bitcoin has experienced tremendous popularity. In March 2017, one Bitcoin sold for $1000. The past three months have seen Bitcoin prices jink upward from $3,700 to over $19,000 3 days ago. Just now it hovers at $14,200 as traders try their best to “buy low and sell high,” driving the price up and down like crazy.

What People Want from Bitcoin

People worldwide yearn for Bitcoin to stabilize in its inexorable climb upward, for several reasons, but principally so it can become the defacto international currency away from the control and taxation of any and all government.

Investing in Bitcoin has made it easy for investors to grow their money with no effort at all. In order to purchase Bitcoin with US dollars, one must open an account at a “digital wallet” provider like Coinbase.com, Coinmama.com, or Payza.com. Then one must deposit some money in the account using credit card or bankwire. Wallet providers don’t like credit card deposits because of the risk that customers will demand a chargeback. One may then purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies with the deposited money. Then one need only watch the cryptocurrency value jink away. Yours Truly enjoys GDAX.com because it shows real time Bitcoin trading.

Second, some enterprises have decided to compensate their workers in Bitcoin. For example, USI Tech, an automated FOREX (foreign currency exchange) software developer, started accepting partners and clients from the general public. The client enrolls under an existing USI partner, then elects to become a partner by accepting the terms and conditions.

Clients only grow their money, while partners enroll new clients and show them how to grow their money. Growing money consists of purchasing BTC (Bitcoin) “packages” for the Bitcoin equivalent of €50 each and receiving income from them each business day. USI repays the package cost plus 40% in daily 1% increments over a period of 7 months. The client may elect to “rebuy” packages with package earnings, thereby compounding the earnings from about 60% APR (annual percentage rate) to 250% APR. USI distributes a 35% commission to 12 levels of upline partners, with 10% going to the level 1 partner under whom the client enrolled. USI provides a nice advertising page for the partners, and a convenient on-line enrollment form for new clients.

USI Partners and clients feel delighted to see Bitcoin price rising rapidly. Bitcoin price declines don’t bother them much because they know it will go right back up in a few hours or days.

Imagine your dismay if your periodic paycheck fell in buying value 25% the day you receive it. How long would you remain employed with a company that paid you in such “funny money?”

Well, to address the matter more fairly, let us confess that someone who enrolls at USI does not depend on the company for a periodic paycheck. Furthermore, a fledgling partner could have in the past two months built a USI package and account balance exceeding $25,000 in value, despite today’s depressed Bitcoin price of $13,500. Remember the $7,280 Bitcoin price of one month ago, and $4255 two months ago. Who could complain about the price jinking up and down while it inexorably climbs higher and higher overall? People who buy Bitcoin WANT it to climb ever higher in value.

Why Bitcoin Grows in Value Compared to Dollars

Why does it climb so high so fast? Yours Truly has a few considerations to share as partial answers.

Bitcoin has an absolute limit of 20 million Bitcoin in circulation, and has so far reached about 17 million. By comparison, no end exists for the distribution of US dollars in the form of federal reserve notes. The US Congress has ordered the printing of trillions more in federal reserve notes than it takes in. Such deficit spending destroys bank deposits of federal reserve notes through inflation, like a back-end tax on savings of government’s fiat currency. Thus, the shortage of Bitcoin makes it more precious and desirable than US dollars, and that drives the price up even though speculators jink the price up and down around its ever-climbing average value.

We in the USA should consider ourselves lucky currency wise compared to the people of Zimbabwe. Mugabe’s recent fall from power there brought with it a further dramatic decline in the value of Zimbabwe’s new national currency, the bond note, which he had released on November 28, 2017. The people of Zimbabwe strove to get and use US dollars (federal reserve notes), but the fortunate ones started trading with US Dollars or Bitcoin. That drove the international price of Bitcoin upward.

And so we can see the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies becoming a new and much more reliable kind of international unit of exchange that people can use for purchasing necessities, especially in war-torn or financially crushed economies in third world countries like Zimbabwe.

Cryptocurrencies also provide a medium of obtaining mortgage loans internationally, without government and national banking restrictions. People can put up their Bitcoin holdings as security for loans. Bitcoin, because of its rising value, provides much better security than does real estate which borrowers in financial distress always neglect, causing its value to decline.

Bitcoin Problems

Bitcoin can solve a lot of financial problems internationally, but it brings its own problems.

Bitcoin’s dramatic price jinks make it unsuitable for use as a standardized currency for daily use in paying bills and payrolls and buying commodities. Workers want to know in advance what their paychecks will buy. Since no law requires a vendor or landlord to take Bitcoin in payment for products, services, or rent, Bitcoin cannot function as a common currency with a reliable value.

On the other hand, no government regulates Bitcoin production, mining, quantity in circulation, or value in national currencies. That alone gives Bitcoin great value, especially for people who want to make monetary transactions away from government scrutiny. Government, you see, has regulated, criminalized, or taxed the buying and selling of sexual services, human beings, human bodies and organs, explosives, military armament, stolen goods, and so on. Bitcoin encourages circumvention of taxes and regulations, and participation in criminal transactions.

Because of this, governments’ legislators and law enforcers struggle to devise ways to penetrate the secrecy of cryptocurrency transactions. They have decided to attack the companies that provide cryptocurrency traders with digital wallets. Last week, the IRS obtained a court order requiring the cryptocurrency wallet provider Coinbase to hand over 14,300 records of transactions exceeding $20,000 in 2014 and 2015. So much for the privacy rights of those cryptocurrency traders. Government snooping makes everyone nervous because of the intensity of government tax collection efforts.

Bitcoin transaction time deters many from relying on Bitcoin for day to day purchases. Unlike with common fiat currency like federal reserve notes, Bitcoin transactions take some time, ranging from two or three minutes to fifteen or twenty minutes, to complete. The higher the volume of transactions the longer it takes to put them into the blockchain and get verification of the transaction from several computers in the blockchain network.

And digital wallets have not become universally simple and convenient to use, typically not as convenient as pulling $20 out of your wallet and handing it to someone. Nevertheless, smart phone and smart watch applications using NFC (Near Field Communication) and QRCode scanning capabilities can simplify the initiation of buy/sell transactions, such as in a coffee shop that accepts Bitcoin.

King of Pentacles – Tarot Symbol for Prosperity

Bitcoin Heads for Even Broader Acceptance

In spite of its drawbacks, Bitcoin stands closer to becoming an international currency accepted worldwide for many kinds of transactions. Yours Truly believes that it will continue in that vein until a much better-planned cryptocurrency takes its place. Jealous governments will surely make their own cryptocurrencies, like the Federal Reserve’s “FedCoin,” and force people to accept them as a medium of exchange.

If that happens, the US Congress will have to devise a limit on the production of the FedCoins lest they become ever-more worthless like federal reserve notes have. Without that limit, Congress will spend more FedCoin than it takes in, and that will create an overabundance that will drive down the value.

So Yours Truly does not see the FedCoin replacing the Bitcoin any time soon. Meanwhile we should not naively think that Bitcoin can become a fully functional international currency in spite of its value volatility. In fact, if ever a time existed to buy Bitcoin, that time has come throughout the past 9 months.

How to Take Best Advantage of Bitcoin NOW

USI’s BTC packages have become a decent hedge against Bitcoin volatility because they pay 250%+ APR compounded. If you want to learn how to take advantage of it,

  • click here to learn more about Bitcoin,
  • click here for home business ideas,
  • click here for savings growth ideas,
  • click here for a ground floor opportunity to buy USI’s token before its ICO (Initial Coin Offering),
  • click here to learn more about how the foregoing opportunities work, and
  • click here to cut to the chase and enroll under Yours Truly right now.

# # #

Bob%2BHurt%2B-%2By3.jpg Robert Hurt
Email
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“I’m not a home SAVIOR,” says Storm Bradford

Storm Bradford of Loudon County, Virginia founded a litigation support company decades ago (see http://LawPartnerOnCall.com) to help attorneys win cases.  As an adjunct to that activity, he founded Mortgage Fraud Examiners to aid attorneys for borrowers with mortgage problems. Bradford’s team examined every aspect of a loan transaction from inception to present time in order to discover who injured the borrower and how. THIS, according to Storm Bradford, was the ONLY way to beat foreclosure because it enabled the borrower to attack the injurious parties in court and win legal fees plus compensatory and punitive damages.

Around the same time, attorney Neil Garfield came out of retirement with a new and different business plan.  He started delivering seminars across the land encouraging attorneys to take on broke mortgage foreclosure victims as clients, and charge them $500 to $1500 per month to drag out the foreclosure proceedings as long as possible, sometimes as much as 5 or 6 years.  In that way, the attorneys could earn $20,000 to $50,000 per client and use only cookie-cutter / copy-machine pleadings without doing any real work other than leading the client by the hand into the inexorable jaws of foreclosure.

Those who learned first hand the value of Storm Bradford’s comprehensive mortgage examination from his web site http://MortgageFraudExaminers.com discovered that they could negotiate settlements with the injurious parties and never have to go through foreclosure.  They looked at Storm Bradford as their “SAVIOR” because the examination report provided information that enabled them to stop the foreclosure and settle with the creditor.

I’m NOT a home savior,” declared Bradford in an interview. “I just give the loan transaction the equivalent of an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging, Ed.], showing evidence of the injuries to the borrower, just as an MRI shows evidence of a brain tumor.  A patient will need a competent surgeon to remove a brain tumor.  A borrower might need a competent attorney to sue the servicer, creditor, lender, appraiser, mortgage broker, title company, or other party.  But usually the borrower can negotiate a settlement because the injurious party wants to avoid the expense of losing in court.

“So, while borrowers might see me as a savior, actually, I just show them how they got injured in the loan transaction,” Bradford said,  “and if artfully presented in court, that evidence is worth its weight in GOLD because it can win a judgment in favor of the borrower!”

These days, Neil Garfield still schemes to get clients for mortgage-related services that some consider worthless, and Storm Bradford still performs comprehensive mortgage examinations that give borrowers evidence of injuries, and their only possibility of prevailing in a dispute involving the foreclosure and related counter claims and cross claims. To many, Storm Bradford is both Hero and SAVIOR!

 

Share your comments below.

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Winston Shrout Sentencing set for 26 Sept 2017

I have attached Winston Shrout’s jury verdict, guilty on 19 counts –

  • 7 counts of making or producing a fictitious financial instrument
  • 3 counts of presenting or passing a fictitious financial instrument
  • 3 counts of mailing or shipping a fictitious financial instrument
  • 6 counts of willful failure to file an income tax return (for years 2009 – 2014)

Patriot Myth Monger Winston Shrout will spend years in prison (and possibly die there) for practicing what he preached – bogus methods of obtaining undeserved money and of not paying taxes. He might have fared better by following David Myrland’s or Pete Hendrickson’s recommendations for avoiding payment of taxes one does not owe. See below Winston Shrout’s docket report as of today, from PACER.GOV.

If you have sat at the feet of a patriot myth monger, hanging on his every word, struggling to squeeze sense out of his preachments and absorb them into your being, pay heed to the fate of Winston Shrout. We don’t know its full impact on his life, and we certainly cannot envy it. He could have avoided the fate had he not tried to “Trick” the system by embracing mythological nonsense about the US Government and our status and obligations under the law.

If you have followed a patriot myth monger, seek competent legal counsel before you get into serious trouble.

Winston Shrout Verdict.pdf

Google CEO Sundar Pichai fires employee for writing men better at tech jobs

http://diversitymemo.com

Read James Damore’s employee memo (reproduced below) that started the uproar, and read Sundar Pichai’s idiotic response.

The memo called Google culture an echo chamber that suppresses honesty, and explained why women are biologically unable to do as well as men in tech jobs. Damore wrote this:

“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. … We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism. … Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths. ”

I’d extend that to say women don’t fare as well as men in military combat, and men don’t manage a domestic environment as well as women. The genders have their built-in relative strengths and weaknesses.

I personally believe women should, during their fecund years, stay home and rear, nurture, educate, and train their husband’s children, and employ them in the family enterprise to teach them a good work ethic, and cooperation at reaching mutual goals, as well as to earn more family income.

If women actually did this instead of competing against men in the workplace, America would have stronger, more productive families and better government, men would earn enough from one paycheck for a good standard of living for the family without needing a second income, children would grow up to become more responsible citizens and workers, more couples would marry and stay married, and more married couples could enjoy their sunset years in affluence.

Political correctness of the type promoted by Sundar Pichai at Google, constitutes a grave danger to American society because it encourages people to ignore statistical reality about the differences between men and women, shaming them into silence on any related topic, lest discussion of relevant issues appear as harassment, intimidation, bias, and discrimination. It also encourages embrace of the myth that men and women are equal. Pichai is a damned fool for perpetuating such nonsense.

Let us all try to remember that throughout the million years of human habitation of this world, women have traded sexual favors to men in exchange for security. Natural selection has ensured that the players in this woman-concocted exchange survive better than the non-players. Today that exchange characterizes the way men and women present themselves to one another and to society, in and out of the workplace. The genders might have remained somewhat equal, but thanks to women, they have not, no matter what today’s delusional feminists wish.

Now for the diversity memo…

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber

How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion

go/pc-considered-harmful James Damore – damore@

July 2017

Feel free to comment (they aren’t disabled, the doc may just be overloaded). For longer form discussions see g/pc-harmful-discuss

Reply to public response and misrepresentation 1
TL;DR 2
Background 2
Google’s biases 2
Possible non bias causes of the gender gap in tech 3
Personality differences 4 Men’s higher drive for status 5
Non discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap 5
The harm of Google’s biases 6
Why we’re blind 7
Suggestions 8

TL;DR

  • Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
  • This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
    • Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
    • Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

Background [1]

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document. [2] Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it’s a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.

Google’s biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.

Left Biases Right Biases
Compassion for the weak Respect for the strong/authority
Disparities are due to injustices Disparities are natural and just
Humans are inherently cooperative Humans are inherently competitive
Change is good (unstable) Change is dangerous (stable)
Open Closed
Idealist Pragmatic

Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]

At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:

  • They’re universal across human cultures
  • They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
  • Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
  • The underlying traits are highly heritable
  • They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective

Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

population-overlap.png

Personality differences

Women, on average, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
    • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
    • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
    • Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that “greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s personality traits.” Because as “society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider.” We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.

Men’s higher drive for status

We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.

Status is the primary metric that men are judged on [4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap

Below I’ll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women’s representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it’s still instructive to list them:

  • Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
    • We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).
  • Women on average are more cooperative
    • Allow those exhibiting cooperative behavior to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there’s more we can do.
    • This doesn’t mean that we should remove all competitiveness from Google. Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what’s been done in education.
  • Women on average are more prone to anxiety.
    • Make tech and leadership less stressful. Google already partly does this with its many stress reduction courses and benefits.
  • Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
    • Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in tech.
  • The male gender role is currently inflexible
    • Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.

Philosophically, I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimizing for Google—with Google’s diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google’s funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.

The Harm of Google’s biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

  • Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
  • A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
  • Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
  • Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
  • Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]
  • These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology [7] that can irreparably harm Google.

Why we’re blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ [8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what’s being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap [9]. Google’s left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we’re using to justify highly politicized programs.

In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner [10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women’s oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of “grass being greener on the other side”; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness [11], which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.

Suggestions

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

My concrete suggestions are to:

  • De-moralize diversity.
    • As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”
  • Stop alienating conservatives.
    • Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
    • In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
    • Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.
  • Confront Google’s biases.
    • I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
    • I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.
  • Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.
    • These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.
  • Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.
    • Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
    • There’s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
    • These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
    • I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination.
    • Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.
  • We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
    • We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
    • Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.
  • De-emphasize empathy.
    • I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy—feeling another’s pain—causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.
  • Prioritize intention.
    • Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offense and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
    • Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn’t backed by evidence.
  • Be open about the science of human nature.
    • Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.
  • Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.
    • We haven’t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
    • Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
    • Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).

Reply to public response and misrepresentation

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.

Notes

[1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google’s Mountain View campus, I can’t speak about other offices or countries.

[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I’d be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

[3] Throughout the document, by “tech”, I mostly mean software engineering.

[4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.

[5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.

[6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I’ve seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivize the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.

[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”

[8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.

[9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.

[10] “The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men’s problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak.”

[11] Political correctness is defined as “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against,” which makes it clear why it’s a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.

Why is injustice rampant in our democracy?

Mark Adams:

I write this in response to your oped piece “Why is injustice rampant in our democracy?” at https://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-is-injustice-rampant-i-by-Mark-Adams-JD-MBA-Aristocracy_Citizens_Democracy_Democracy-170720-8.html

The word Democracy means MOB RULE, where the minority always loses at the hands of the majority and the majority generally suffers from ignorance, stupidity, and other forms of irresponsibility, and constitute the group least fit to govern a nation or lead its people. Democracies throughout history have devolved into anarchy, then dictatorship and tyranny. “Democratic” means “pertaining to MOB RULE, and it suggests an exceedingly BAD form of government, a democracy.

Bouvier’s 1856 law dictionary defines Democracy thusly:

“DEMOCRACY, government. That form of government in which the sovereign power is exercised by the people in a body, as was the practice in some of the states of Ancient Greece; the term representative democracy has been given to a republican government like that of the United States.”

Right. Some fools call the US government a representative democracy. That makes my point. Every student of history knows what happened to the democracy of ancient Greece. And people within US borders do not enjoy universal suffrage. Felons, aliens, children under 18, and those adjudged mentally incompetent may not register to vote or vote in any elections. So we do not have a democracy.

But Woodrow Wilson, in his WWI slogan “To keep the world safe for Democracy,” helped to destroy the historical meaning of democracy and popularize it as a perversion in disguise. Well, why not? He was a socialist Democrat university professor before becoming President.

This messing with the meaning of Democracy has caused well-educated people like YOU to develop muddled thinking on the subject of Republic and Democracy characterized by your introductory remarks in the subject article you authored. There in that title you presumed a fact not in evidence by casting our government as a democracy, a nature it does not and never did have.

The Constitution of the US (CUSA) and all the states characterize the corresponding governments as REPUBLICS, and the CUSA mandates this in Article IV Section 4:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

By contrast with a Democracy, a Republic preserves the integrity of the affairs or rights of RESPONSIBLE citizenry having nexus to government. It does this through responsibly separating the powers of government into branches, through balancing those powers to prevent any branches from subsuming the authority of other branches, and through limiting suffrage to responsible citizens.

The 1928 Army Training Manual on Citizenship, TM 2000-25 elaborates on page 88:

The “blessings” which the citizen enjoys under our form of gov­ernment are secured through “liberty under law,” the enforcement of which is their only safeguard.

The purpose of our Government is to protect (not to provide) the property of its citizens; to guard his person (not to provide his sub­sistence) while he acquires the means of livelihood; to give every citizen equal opportunity in his chosen work and assure him of equal standing before the law.

Our Government is the most nearly perfect of all in securing indi­vidual rights and insuring the blessings of liberty. In no other nation is equal opportunity and equal protection assured, with such equal division of reward for labor and services rendered.

117. The American philosophy of government.-The Ameri­can philosophy of government emphasizes that-

(1) Individual rights are sacred and it is necessary to establish a government in the protection of these rights.

(2) All the powers of government are derived from the people, who retain the supreme authority over all delegated powers of government.

(3) Individual rights are not permitted to be exercised in the contravention of the rights of society. Individual liberty is always bounded by social obligations.

(4) Government is exercised for the purpose of protecting the individual in his rights.

(5) Governmental powers are delegated to the National, State, or local authority, and are limited in their exercise by provisions of the constitution as interpreted and defined by the Supreme Court.

(6) All rights not thus delegated are recognized as the inviolable right of the individual citizen and can not be usurped by any governmental power.

(7) The Government of the United States is not a democracy but a Republic.

The training manual goes on to compare the Democracy to the Republic:

Democracy:

  • A government of the masses.
  • Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of “direct” expression.
  • Results in mobocracy.
  • Attitude toward property is communistic – negating property rights,
  • Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, preju­dice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
  • Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

Republic:

  • Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
  • Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.
  • Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
  • A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
  • Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
  • Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
  • Is the ” standard form ” of government throughout the world.

Clearly, the USA and the Several States are REPUBLICS, not democracies.

To WHOM, then, does the CUSA refer with its numerous guarantees of rights to “the people?”

Axiomatically, the term “the people” in the US Constitution means RESPONSIBLE people who have a nexus to government. In the early days of our nation, only free white propertied men 21+ years of age could vote or hold public office. That restriction reasonably guaranteed responsible electors and government officers.

Since those early days, Democrats and other socialists have nearly destroyed the American republic by empowering ever more irresponsible people with undeserved and unwarranted suffrage under the myth that all men (and now women and children, welfare recipients, indigents, the abysmally stupid, and the utterly irresponsible) are created and stay equal, which, of course, they are not and do not.

Around a year ago I explained in some detail precisely why governments gutted petite and grand jury powers and destroyed the right of private prosecution of crimes. Read all about it here:

https://bobhurt.blogspot.com/2016/07/why-government-destroyed-jury-powers.html

In summary thereof, I offer the following:

At the end of the Civil War, the white men running governments of the US and several States felt appalled at the notion that Legislatures had handed suffrage to ignorant, feckless Negroes, Mexicans, and non-tribal Amerindians. They knew that Negroes registered to vote could populate juries and prosecute crimes. So, they decided to strip powers away from associated quasi-government activities – petite and grand juries, and criminal prosecutions.

They reasoned that Americans could not trust Negroes to perform their jury/prosecution functions without using those functions as a platform to express hatred for Caucasians generally and against former overlords in particular. In other words, they believed no Negro jurors would indict or convict a fellow Negro. And we now have proof of the soundness of that concern – the mixed-race jury refused to convict Negro O.J. Simpson, so he runs free to gloat over getting away with his stabbing murders of his Caucasian ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her Caucasian boyfriend Ron Goldman.

Since the civil war era’s 15th Amendment guaranteeing that governments cannot deny suffrage on the basis of race, matters have worsened. The 19th Amendment prohibited denial of suffrage 0n the basis of sex (gender), so now WOMEN can vote and sit on juries. The 26th Amendment gave suffrage to CHILDREN age 18+. Most in those categories have little if any nexus to government or have more than a vague idea of what the Constitution provides or means. And everyone of any sense knows that a child’s brain has not fully developed till age 25, so it is plain crazy to let people under 25 enjoy full suffrage.

THAT, Mark Adams, explains the sorry state of our government. Legislatures have foolishly handed suffrage to irresponsible people, so NATURALLY we have panderers and irresponsibles running government. And, NATURALLY nobody of good sense will trust irresponsible electors to wield unfettered jury and prosecution powers.

Through the murk of unwarranted suffrage sabotaging the American republics, it becomes clear… Somehow America’s educators and parents have failed to imbue the people with an acute awareness that liberty comes ONLY at the cost of commensurate responsibility.

The solution, in order to restore jury powers and right of private prosecution, lies in first restoring sanity to our system of suffrage by eliminating irresponsibles from the electorate and the government by Constitutional amendment. The Amendment should require a minimum IQ and education, a high passing score on a comprehensive constitution competency test, financial self-sufficiency, and a history of demonstrable respect for law and the rights of others as prerequisites for swearing an oath to support the Constitution. Since one must swear that oath to register to vote or take government employment, those demonstrations of responsibility above will become a standard prerequisite for all who would enter the electorate or government service.

Meanwhile, please stop referring to our governments as democracies, lest you cause people like me to suffer a malevolent gas attack.

Debunking Rod Class flimflam regarding his 2nd Amendment Rights

I do not know who authored the comments below, but the author seems to want to cast Rod Class as a delusional fool and criminal instead of as the freedom-fighting hero and law expert whom Rod Class sees smiling back at him in his bathroom mirror. I cannot argue with the assessment, but I consider it exceedingly disingenuous and cowardly to write such an anonymous and carping criticism. Nevertheless, I appreciate the work that the author put into making his point that only a fool will pay any attention to legal theories coming from Rod Class.

Beyond doubt, Rod Class has demonstrated incompetence at managing some of his personal legal affairs. It seems axiomatic to conclude that the patriots who heed the legal theories of Rod Class do so at their peril.

Bob Hurt