Hey, guys! As the title suggests, I’m going to play some catch up and address the two and a half big stories happening right now. This’ll be a quick one.
North Korea: First Blood, Part I
This is another George W. Bush situation. I believe that poor Dubya would have been a passingly fine president had nothing happened while he was in charge of the country. Yeah, he passed No Child Left Behind, which is shit, but the American education system was shit before he touched it and it continued to be shit afterwards, so even that wasn’t as awful as it could have been. It was just his poor luck that a major natural disaster and a terrorist attack happened under his watch and forced him to have to do things. He wasn’t all that great at doing things.
It’s just America’s poor fortune that the Great Leader of True Korea decided to start making threats whilst the leader of our country is little more than a petulant child who’s version of international diplomacy with hostile forces is to tell them catch deez hands if dey step to us!!111!!!1! Cash me outside, beeotch!!!!11!1!
The North Korea problem is an extremely complicated one that I will not delve into here because that is literally a thesis topic that you can’t ramble on about forever. Essentially, North Korea itself is not as much of an international threat as the fallout of trying to fight North Korea would be. North Korea does not exist in a vacuum: It exists in a very tremulous East Asian political landscape where literally none of the countries involved like each other even a little bit except for North Korea’s weird buddy-buddy relationship with China. There are already shit tons of conflicts (both military and political) going on between Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, and ASEAN–to the point where many scholars of that area think that the tension between China and Japan is enough to qualify as an actual cold war. There’s a reason South Koreans give no fucks about North Korea–they know they’re not going to be the ones getting bombed if their neighbors to the north get a wild hair up their collective ass and decide to do something–it’ll be Japan, who South Korea isn’t keen on aiding. Stirring that pot would be disastrous, and our president rifling through the kitchen drawers looking for a big enough spoon is very worrying.
That said, China has recently released a statement saying that it would not support North Korea if it ever attacked America or any of our territories, which is very heartening. How China would react to an American-instigated war with North Korea–either a Cold or Hot one–would be the true source of East Asia imploding, if and when that happened. My main fear was that China would use the conflict with North Korea as an excuse to a.) do some actual fighting over South China Sea maritime territory with Japan and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines; and/or b.) use the conflict as another means to propagandize anti-imperialism and pro-unification rhetoric to its populace that it oftentimes uses to justify its military threats to ASEAN, Japan, and Taiwan. But since China has overtly come out saying that it’s not going to support North Korea, I can sleep easier. Hopefully the petulant man-child in charge of North Korea will realize that his main bargaining chip–China’s support–being thrown out the window means that he should leave the unnecessary airstriking to ‘Murka and go back to starving his citizens in peace. And hopefully Trump will respond to that by not completely and utterly going against his election platform and starting yet another international conflict even though he said we were going to be more isolationist. I’m still fucking mad about that, Donny.
North Korea: First Blood, Part II–I For One Welcome Our New Google Overlords
Palling in comparison to the whole “Trump and Un are competing to see who the bigger idiot is” news coverage, however, is the controversy with Google and “diversity.” Does this mean that the American news media has really weird priorities? If the coverage was an astute and in-depth look at corporate culture and the political make-up of Silicon Valley and how that effects its products and employees, I’d say no. But that’s not the coverage topic: The topic is essentially all about how Google’s “anti-diversity” memo was bad and mean and sexist and how “tech has a problem because look at this mean sexist who said women are biologically inferior to men.” So yes, priorities are fucking skewed.
This is coming right on the heels of Google throwing itself face-first into political bipartisanship by announcing the news that videos that don’t violate the terms of service or break any rules can still be blacklisted from viewership or audience interaction if the content of the video is just something the Google AI . . . finds distasteful, I guess. It’s times like these that I get really scared and paranoid about the fact that Google pretty much owns the internet, especially considering how Facebook is all but overtly aligned with Google’s own hyper-specific politics as well, with Patreon’s founders being brought into the fold as well.
Hey, at least Amazon‘s still just good ole’ fashioned evil and not “we’re gonna throw all the things that commit thought crimes down the memory hole” evil. There’s still hope!
None of this surprises me. The big-name tech companies have made it pretty clear where they fall politically, and they’ve made it very clear that they’re more than willing to let their politics effect how their business is run. Google specifically is incredibly cultish and has been for as long as I can remember hearing about its internal antics. I have lots of friends who have worked for Google or, at the very least, interviewed with them. I say “have worked” because almost all of them quit, not because the work itself was too difficult but because the work environment was so stressful to be in.
One of my best friends (who is a woman, by the way) majored in computer science and computer engineering, and she avoids tech jobs like the fucking plague despite that being her area of interest and expertise. She avoids them because Silicon Valley tech companies–the big names and the start-ups that only exist to hopefully be bought up by the big names–are places where she felt like she was on trial all the time for every single benign thing she did. I’m not talking, “Oh, we have a smart casual dress code, and this is a nut-free environment so we can accommodate people with allergies.” According to her and multiple other people I’ve talked with, it’s more along the lines of, “I see you’re wearing a t-shirt under that blazer instead of Under Amour. Hmmm, interesting. Oh, and that snack food you brought to put in your desk drawer really isn’t what we eat here, if you know what I mean. It’s just not what we prefer, so maybe change it. Oh, you’re listening to that band while you work. That’s okay, I guess . . .”
Every single little thing you do has to be “how Google does things,” apparently. So was I surprised to hear that that extends to politics and opinions on topical subjects? Of course fucking not. I read the memo. I’m not going over it here because I don’t feel the need to. I don’t agree with every single point he makes and thinks he could have explained some things much better or left some things out. But overall, it was fine. It was well informed. It was the least offensive thing on the face of the fucking planet. The fact that it’s being called the “anti-diversity” memo by the mainstream press is rather telling seeing as how it is in no way against diversity, simply questioning the current means by which Google as a company was trying to achieve it and trying to offer some potential explainations as to why it wasn’t as diverse as they wanted it to be.
Although, I must say I find it rather hilarious that feminists are screeching about how he says women are inferior to men when, in reality, all he said was that women on average are biologically less inclined towards mathematical reasoning than men. That apparently means “inferior” now. Way to project your own insecurities onto benign statements. I wonder if they would freak out over the misandry of saying, “Men on average are less inclined toward verbal reasoning than women.” Probably not, but a girl can dream.
So the world’s gonna end, guys! North Korea is gonna blow us up right before the Google AI starts tracking all our movements and killing wrong-thinkers. The end is nigh! Buy gold!