I read a well articulated blog posting by Hank Williams, in which he was arguing that comfort rather than racism may be motivating some of the industry movers in Silicon Valley. I think such observation is more general than he may have put it. I would argue that the sense of comfort (or discomfort) motivates most of the decisions people routinely make, and this all around the world.
As I could make out, Hank’s posting was a part of the debate on diversity raging on Twitter and the blogosphere. While I don’t pretend to understand the sensitivities around this topic in the US, I think such phenomena can be observed everywhere and this may have always been the case with human beings. This topic would fill volumes, I won’t even try.
I liked how Hank made clear that people should avoid victimisation and focus on what they can do to help themselves, and that is a really nice one that may be worth elaborating on. I have learned that if you feel and act like a victim, whatever the circumstances, then you are defeated before the battle even begin. Such attitude would seldom be exhibited by very good hackers, or geeks.
Indeed one of the traits of good hackers is that they don’t give up easily, they would look for solutions until they can find something that works. If that attitude is smartly applied to entrepreneurial endeavours, then the person has a chance to succeed. The myth of overnight success has long been debunked, just look up the history of any successful person. Some people may be looking for cheap/easy money, or just not trying hard enough to leverage their own strengths and merits, that would also be a way of victimising oneself.
Diversity is a big subject in many parts of the world, and rightly so because otherwise the human society doesn’t move forward. When the subject is cheaply tossed into every debate then that dilutes its importance and turns it into a gossip making object. Those who feel like they are on the wrong side of the diversity should stay focused. And these may be other take aways from Hank’s posting, though I don’t know if he intended it that way.
If you are into this sort of topic, Hank’s post is well worth reading.