Friday, March 22, 2013

outrage culture and capitalism: on firing Adria Richards and Michael Brutsch, and blacklisting Orson Scott Card

Outrage culture loves getting people fired. Adrian Chen at Gawker outed Michael Brutsch as Violentacrez, even though Brutsch told Chen he was, as it turned out, rightfully afraid for his job. A petition was circulated to get Orson Scott Card blacklisted at DC Comics.

But now the worm has begun to eat itself: Adria Richards humiliated a man on Twitter who was sitting near her and making jokes about software to a friend. He was fired. Then Richards was fired. Here's a good account: Adria Richards, PyCon, and How We All Lost | Amanda Blum.

The best comment I've seen is a tweet from Jason DePriest:
"The dude shouldn’t have been fired and neither should Adria. Thanks American Corporations for shitting all over employees. Maybe the two comapanies should just swap employees instead of putting two people out of work during a recession."


  1. They always eat themselves. You've read "Homage to Catalonia" by Orwell? It's pretty much all there. Ideologues with time on their hands starting shooting one another pretty much straight away.

  2. I will say that the school of thought that suggests that if Richards had just delicately approached the two lads, the situation would have ended with puppies and rose petals are around are smoking a very fine product of some sort. Of course that would not have worked, the boys would have been defensive dicks and tried hard to make Richards feel worse, probably with a fair degree of success.

    This doesn't make her a nice person, and it doesn't make her chosen course of action awesome, either.

  3. Based on the photo she took, they don't look scary. I'm with those who think she should've done what our society recommends when someone in the audience is being too loud: turn around and ask them to be quieter.

  4. She's full of it and I'm glad to see her get what's coming to her. She talks on her blog about being shaken by the incident. Yea,'re supposedly a strong, powerful woman and you're shaken by a couple of geeks laughing about Dongles and Forking a Repo? C'mon, don't try and BS people. What I'm surprised no one has picked up on is that if it were a man sitting in front of two women telling the same joke and he reported it, he would in all likelihood been laughed out of the conference. Adria Richards needs to mind her own business and focus on what's being said in the conference instead of acting like some prudish little school girl.