Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred.

@zephoria

by Danah Boyd

0
terms
3
notes

Boyd, D. (None). Failing to See, Fueling Hatred.. Medium. https://medium.com/backchannel/failing-to-see-fueling-hatred-2c0fbae77ef9

Without understanding the complex interplay of things, it’s hard not to feel resentful about certain things that we do see. But at the same time, it’s not possible to hold onto the complexity. I can appreciate why individuals are indignant when they feel as though they pay taxes for that money to be given away to foreigners through foreign aid and immigration programs. These people feel like they’re struggling; like they’re working hard; like they’re facing injustice. Still, it makes sense to me that people’s sense of prosperity is only as good as their feeling that they’re getting ahead. And when you’ve been earning $40/hour doing union work only to lose that job and feel like the only other option is a $25/hour job, the feeling is bad, no matter that this is more than most people make. There’s a reason that Silicon Valley engineers feel as though they’re struggling, and it’s not because they’re comparing themselves to everyone in the world. It’s because the standard of living keeps dropping in front of them. It’s all relative.

It’s easy to say “tough shit” or “boo hoo hoo,” or to point out that most people have it much worse. And, at some levels, this is true. But if we don’t account for how people feel, we’re not going to achieve a more just world — we’re going to stoke the fires of a new cultural war as society becomes increasingly polarized.

by Danah Boyd 2 years, 10 months ago

Without understanding the complex interplay of things, it’s hard not to feel resentful about certain things that we do see. But at the same time, it’s not possible to hold onto the complexity. I can appreciate why individuals are indignant when they feel as though they pay taxes for that money to be given away to foreigners through foreign aid and immigration programs. These people feel like they’re struggling; like they’re working hard; like they’re facing injustice. Still, it makes sense to me that people’s sense of prosperity is only as good as their feeling that they’re getting ahead. And when you’ve been earning $40/hour doing union work only to lose that job and feel like the only other option is a $25/hour job, the feeling is bad, no matter that this is more than most people make. There’s a reason that Silicon Valley engineers feel as though they’re struggling, and it’s not because they’re comparing themselves to everyone in the world. It’s because the standard of living keeps dropping in front of them. It’s all relative.

It’s easy to say “tough shit” or “boo hoo hoo,” or to point out that most people have it much worse. And, at some levels, this is true. But if we don’t account for how people feel, we’re not going to achieve a more just world — we’re going to stoke the fires of a new cultural war as society becomes increasingly polarized.

by Danah Boyd 2 years, 10 months ago

It took me years to understand that the boys who tormented me in college didn’t feel powerful, didn’t see their antagonism as oppression. I was even louder and more brash back then than I am now. I walked into any given room performing confidence in ways that completely obscured my insecurities. I took up space, used my sexuality as a tool, and demanded attention. These were the survival skills that I had learned to harness as a ticket out. And these are the very same skills that have allowed me to succeed professionally and get access to tremendous privilege. I have paid a price for some of the games that I have played, but I can’t deny that I’ve gained a lot in the process. I have also come to understand that my survival strategies were completely infuriating to many geeky white boys that I encountered in tech. Many guys saw me as getting ahead because I was a token woman. I was accused of sleeping my way to the top on plenty of occasions. I wasn’t simply seen as an alpha — I was seen as the kind of girl that screwed boys over. And because I was working on diversity and inclusion projects in computer science to attract more women and minorities to the field, I was seen as being the architect of excluding white men. For so many geeky guys I met, CS was the place where they felt powerful, and I stood for taking that away. I represented an oppressor to them even though I felt like it was they who were oppressing me.

by Danah Boyd 2 years, 10 months ago

It took me years to understand that the boys who tormented me in college didn’t feel powerful, didn’t see their antagonism as oppression. I was even louder and more brash back then than I am now. I walked into any given room performing confidence in ways that completely obscured my insecurities. I took up space, used my sexuality as a tool, and demanded attention. These were the survival skills that I had learned to harness as a ticket out. And these are the very same skills that have allowed me to succeed professionally and get access to tremendous privilege. I have paid a price for some of the games that I have played, but I can’t deny that I’ve gained a lot in the process. I have also come to understand that my survival strategies were completely infuriating to many geeky white boys that I encountered in tech. Many guys saw me as getting ahead because I was a token woman. I was accused of sleeping my way to the top on plenty of occasions. I wasn’t simply seen as an alpha — I was seen as the kind of girl that screwed boys over. And because I was working on diversity and inclusion projects in computer science to attract more women and minorities to the field, I was seen as being the architect of excluding white men. For so many geeky guys I met, CS was the place where they felt powerful, and I stood for taking that away. I represented an oppressor to them even though I felt like it was they who were oppressing me.

by Danah Boyd 2 years, 10 months ago

For most, Silicon Valley is at a distance, a far-off land of imagination brought to you by the likes of David Fincher and HBO. Progressive values demand empathy for the poor, and this often manifests as hatred for the rich. But what’s missing from this mindset is an understanding of the local perception of wealth, poverty, and status. And, more importantly, the political consequences of that local perception.

Think about it this way. I live in New York City, where the median household income is somewhere around $55K. My network primarily makes above the median, and yet they all complain that they don’t have enough money to achieve what they want in New York, whether they’re making $55K, $70K, or $150K. Complaining about not having enough money is ritualized alongside complaining about the rents. No one I know really groks that they’re making above the median income for the city (and, thus, that most people are much poorer than they are), let alone how absurd their complaints might sound to someone from a poorer country where a median income might be $1,500 (e.g., India).

The reason for this is not simply that people living in New York City are spoiled, but that people’s understanding of prosperity is shaped by what they see around them. [...]

[...]

In other words, in a neoliberal society, we consistently compare ourselves to others in ways that make us feel as though we are less well off than we’d like. And we mock others who are more privileged who do the same. (And, horribly, we often blame others who are not for making bad decisions.)

by Danah Boyd 2 years, 10 months ago

For most, Silicon Valley is at a distance, a far-off land of imagination brought to you by the likes of David Fincher and HBO. Progressive values demand empathy for the poor, and this often manifests as hatred for the rich. But what’s missing from this mindset is an understanding of the local perception of wealth, poverty, and status. And, more importantly, the political consequences of that local perception.

Think about it this way. I live in New York City, where the median household income is somewhere around $55K. My network primarily makes above the median, and yet they all complain that they don’t have enough money to achieve what they want in New York, whether they’re making $55K, $70K, or $150K. Complaining about not having enough money is ritualized alongside complaining about the rents. No one I know really groks that they’re making above the median income for the city (and, thus, that most people are much poorer than they are), let alone how absurd their complaints might sound to someone from a poorer country where a median income might be $1,500 (e.g., India).

The reason for this is not simply that people living in New York City are spoiled, but that people’s understanding of prosperity is shaped by what they see around them. [...]

[...]

In other words, in a neoliberal society, we consistently compare ourselves to others in ways that make us feel as though we are less well off than we’d like. And we mock others who are more privileged who do the same. (And, horribly, we often blame others who are not for making bad decisions.)

by Danah Boyd 2 years, 10 months ago