The engineer at Google who wrote the sexist manifesto about why people without a Y chromosome are less fit for technical jobs is unfortunately, not alone in his small-mindedness. All humans who are not white males —that fit into one of the desired buckets for what white maleness should look like in America— are aware that there are people around us with hate in their hearts and smallness in their heads. The problem is that in the past year the conversation has been brought to the fore as certain political factions and certain former reality tv stars have taken over a certain house that is white and also near to Delaware… read between the lines folks. There are some who might argue that it is healthy to bring the discussion to light. I would argue that you should leave that pimple alone and let the puss stay where it is otherwise you might end up with an ugly scar. Hate, racism and bigotry are facets of our animalistic-lizard-brain tendency toward tribalism and have always been floating around in the hearts and minds of human beings. The trigger for activating the small-mindedness can be anything from rejection, repressed sexuality, or just simple ignorance. To argue that we should allow ourselves to indulge these base and lesser instincts is to suggest that we should plunge ourselves back into the pages of ancient history. We have come far but we must actively ensure that our progress is guarded and tended otherwise the weeds will encroach and the crop will be spoiled. Civility is not just burying, it is not about political correctness or liberal elitism. Civility is about knowing that one’s own opinion is not the truth and maintaining an openness to others because it is good for them and good for ourselves and ultimately good for humanity when we create space for diverse thought and education. Free speech is not the same as hate speech. Having a conversation about diversity does not mean spewing your poisoned inner workings to the world. Most importantly, dialogue that encourages diversity must come from a place of love and not from fear.
Resources for learning online have exploded in number over the past five years. Many of these resources come with a moderate to hefty price tag, eg. Lynda.com or Pluralsight. I will not argue the merit of these subscription learning platforms as I have found their paid content to be valuable —particularly in the case of Lynda as they have free classes but their paid classes include resource files. There are however, many free options that may require a little more setup or self directed research by the user but are akin to the open source version of learning online. Salesforce has Trailhead, a learning platform packed with options and even badges that you can earn to display on your social media profile. The list is long and I don’t only consider the traditional tutorial platforms to be online learning. StackExchange is my personal learning trove. I am usually learning on the go, mid project as I need to understand a tool in a deeper way. StackExchange is perfect for this kind of learning as it is peer to peer but the FCC can’t shut it down because no music companies are being harmed in this trade 🙂
Here is a list for those curious about where to start: