I mean... this is from >10 years ago. Having just interviewed a few engineers last year and the year before I can say that I didn't encounter a single applicant who couldn't do significantly more complex things than the ones mentioned here.
It took the Economist 176 years to finally add bylines to some of their content pages. The holy shit! moment of creator’s realizing that their value could be larger than it’s getting credit for started with platforms and the ability to accumulate and engage followers directly on platforms. But the emergence of platforms like Substack, OnlyFans, Cameo & Patreon have accelerated that and are creating a new market indicator for individuals similar to what free agency does to athletes.
chief among staffers’ requests was a desire for prominent labels on editorials and op-eds indicating that the Journal’s opinion pages are independent of its news department. While the letter also asked for fact-checking and a “genuine commitment to transparency,” nowhere did it challenge the editorial page’s right to offer opinions and analysis.
A perfect illustration of the dichotomy of this topic that on one side a group of underpaid journalists ask for stronger fact checking & clear labeling on op-eds. On the other some well-paid columnists screech this makes them victims of cancel culture.
What a great illustration this is b/c it's the perfect example of some folks taking issue w/systematic problems w/some impact on people of privilege & instead of discussing those problems the criticized make the entire discussion self-centered. It's carnival mirror libertarianism.
I am old enough to disdain cancel culture, though not for the reasons the letter gives. My disdain comes from the belief that it doesn’t exist — at least not as anything new, anything more than yet another term used as a blanket criticism of people, often young but not always, deploying new forms of communication (in this case, social media) to call out those they believe are espousing or enabling racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual harassment and capitalistic exploitation. (Or, less grandly, to promote inter-influencer feuds.)
I think that Hedges understates the degree to which opening up the conversations about speech is useful and overstates (ironically) the moral purity of BDS, but I find his position of the problem being in our system of capitalism a useful lens to employ in reading these discussions:
Corporations have seized control of the news industry and turned it into burlesque. They have corrupted academic scholarship. They make war on science and the rule of law. They have used their wealth to destroy our democracy and replace it with a system of legalized bribery. They have created a world of masters and serfs who struggle at subsistence level and endure crippling debt peonage. The commodification of the natural world by corporations has triggered an ecocide that is pushing the human species closer and closer towards extinction. Anyone who attempts to state these truths and fight back was long ago driven from the mainstream and relegated to the margins of the internet by Silicon Valley algorithms.
"But if there was some assurance that real justice was possible, would cancel culture even feel necessary or important to so many people? Could we better separate the art and the artist if we could use a set of prison bars to do it?
A really excellent historically-minded deep dive into the concept and philosophy of freedom of speech that gently urges us toward rejecting the “marketplace of ideas” as an insufficient tool for improving our society.
The article is perhaps a little more cautious than I would but, but does hit on my core conflict with the so called 'Less Wrong' category - "The rationalists regularly fail to reckon with power as it is practiced, or history as it has been experienced, and they indulge themselves in such contests with the freedom of those who have largely escaped discrimination."
I am Jewish & that tends to make me particularly angry about Weiss, more so than others of in the same vein of discourse, b/c she uses critical responses to her choice to discuss Israel and Jewishness as an excuse to dismiss her critics, an avoidance of engaging in discussion
TBC, I think that Israel is both a worthwhile project and also has done a lot that deserves to be criticized (same with the US actually). I have spent years moving across spectrums of debate & discussion. Along w/a great deal of time working to engage and educate on the topic.
As someone who has put tons of time, & work, & research into the topic it is extremely troubling when she conflates criticism with antisemitism on that topic & then on other unrelated occasions. It is no mistake that she brings it up above the fold here.
The irony of calling Twitter an orthodoxy but the history of the NYT masthead was apparently not in her eyes proves to be extremely ahistorical, especially considering NYT's engagement with Jewish people as a topic pre-2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buried_by_the_Times
Not all criticism of Israel is antisemitic (though there are indeed some who use it as a cover for just that). Just like criticisms of America are appropriate and part of our culture. Indeed making those criticisms is arguably what op-ed pages are for. There are no perfect people, cultures or countries.
But beyond that ludicrous supposition--that Twitter is somehow imposing an orthodoxy on NYT--is how selfish it is to arbitrarily cover herself in Judaism in a response to critics when there are actual Nazis marching in our streets.
While I'm sure there are many shitty internet Nazis who attack Weiss on Twitter, they are not the ones who are impacting decision making or conversations at NYT that have put her in the midst of controversy. There is so much to criticize Weiss on that has nothing to do with that.
But it is no accident that she uses Jewishness in her letter in the way she does, along with a number of subtle pushes to the reader to imply that the criticism of her stems from antisemitism. It is there. I see it. Other Jewish people who are sensitive to this see it. I see her implication. It would be difficult to call it subtle. She's claiming my heritage and beliefs as a shield for her to hide behind while simultaneously trying to make room for the type of talk that the entire ethical system of modern Judaism opposes.
To say that the NYT, which has made huge strides in bringing forth the type of projects that would never have made it to the front page in the past and which less than a year ago did The 1619 Project, doesn't challenge its readers is beyond ludicrous.
To claim non-specific anonymous critics and also non-specific anonymous supporters of her claim towards some 'new McCarthyism' is such a perfect example of her own capability to rip language from its context in the real, historical and present world.
But to do all that while hiding behind a barely audible claim that her critics are all somehow antisemitic by dint of them daring to criticize her is just so incredibly gross that it puts her over the top for me, beyond her peers.
If there is one thing that Jews of all stripes can agree on it is our responsibility to make the world a better place.
How does this performance piece accomplish that?
Edit: How does editing work on Read Up?
lol ok, just adds to the existing post. On re-reading I realized it wasn't clear that the irony is calling Twitter's influence on the NYT orthodoxy while considering the historical masthead of the NYT some bastion of free thought, especially in regards to Jewishness.
"But the fundamental problem implicit in the letter is confusing freedom of speech with the freedom to a platform or the freedom to act without consequences. I may support your right to say whatever you wish; that doesn’t mean that I support your right to say whatever you wish in a major publication (or that I myself am entitled to having my views aired anywhere, for that matter). I reserve the right to call you out for spewing rhetoric that unjustly maligns a particular sect of humanity. Having the freedom to say anything, in theory, does not mean that one should, in fact, be able to say anything in any publication or on any platform without ramifications."
Another really excellent analysis of the Harper's letter that identifies it's core concerns and biases and challenges them on the basis of not just the text but the context, an important measure in any analysis.
"To meaningfully acknowledge the political threat that many journalists face worldwide, or to name the violence and economic insecurity that disproportionately affect certain groups working in media, would require conceding that critical tweets are not censorship. But the passively worded Harper’s statement is damaging in large part because of the issues it doesn’t name..."
An excellent counterpoint with many good points of which this is just one.