Playing video games over the years has lead me to become interested in finding out how to program and use the computer technology that we have today. Everyday I learn more about how the programming business works along with the technical side of developing software. I have developed respect for programers because it is tough to program and create technology. So when the “Donglegate” incident happened in March of 2013, it really set me off into an angry rage.
During that month, there was a Python programming language convention called PyCon. At first one might think Python might refer to a snake but it is actually refers to a computer programming language. The goal of the conference is to help programmers network while helping them learn new things about the Python programming language.
During this conference there was a presentation where two men where sitting down in a row making jokes to themselves about the software language presentation that they were watching. However, technology evangelist Adria Richards took offense to their jokes and took a picture of the two men and posted it to her twitter account with the hopes of publicly shaming them.
Once she posted this picture it would later become viral once the PyCon organizers read the tweet and took action against these men for their “inappropriate” language. Adria Richards said that what propelled her to take action was seeing a little girl at the conference and thinking that guys who make dongle jokes would somehow keep a young girl out of the tech industry. Eventually one of the two men would be fired from his job and Richards would also be fired from her job later on.
The reason this story got me so upset is because I realize there are worse problems going on in the world—problems relating to disease, starvation, genocide, abandonment, child cruelty, and kidnappings. Compared to that, do these guys really deserve to lose their jobs for making a programming joke to themselves?
It just so happened that Richards was in earshot which caused her to take offense and get one of these men fired. This situation really worries me about the programming industry as a whole because I could be fired for making a joke that offends someone. Hypothetically, I could be a stand up comedian making jokes at a club and someone can take my picture and post it to Twitter which might lead me to get fired. At the end of the day people need to just calm down and stop being so sensitive to be offended by innocent little jokes.
As if I was not angry enough at Donglegate, my rage would soon reach the levels of an angry Old Testament God with Shirtgate. Shirtgate started when the British Rosetta mission sought out to land a space probe on a moving comet. This has never been done before throughout human history and it would be a huge achievement if people actually did it. Project Scientist of the Rosetta Mission, Matt Taylor, actually achieved the feat of landing a probe on a moving comet. Let me explain just how difficult this is.
Take for instance my struggle to park my truck in a parking garage. My truck usually travels around 5 mph in the garage and I struggle to park in between the lines of a stationary parking spot that is not moving. Sometimes I park over the line or I park too close to a car so someone might put a dent on my door. Eventually after two tries I park perfectly in my spot and I go about my day.
Now Taylor has the job of trying to land a probe on a comet that is probably moving around 20,000 mph. Not only that but the probe would have to be traveling around that same speed to catch up and attempt to land on that comet. When you are dealing with these mind-boggling speeds, it makes Nascar’s Jimmy Johnson look like he is trying to beat a snail in a race.
Matt Taylor achieved this great feat and he had a picture of him taken in his proudest moment as a scientist.
Instead of focusing on his spectacular feat of landing the probe on a moving comet, he instead received mountains of hate for wearing this shirt. People ignored the fact that a woman friend of his gave him this shirt and he put it on for good luck. It is just crazy to me how a scientific feat of this magnitude would be overlooked just because people felt offended that he put on this shirt.
It was also argued that because he wore this shirt it is no wonder why there is a lack of women in the STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. All because of this material fabric shirt. I am still angry about this whole incident and I at times I am really at a lose for words.
Since we have had Donglegate, Shirtgate, and Gamergate, I argue that in the next two years we will have a Fartgate. Why you ask? Because there will probably be a STEM guy who achieved something or is working on achieving something and one day he will just let it rip in a large public space. Because people will get offended by jokes or a shirt, it is not a stretch to think people will get offended by a nasty smelling fart. Someone who is offended will probably say that the fart is marginalizing them in some way and because they are forced to smell it by the one who passed gas.
In the near future I think you will need to check your flatulence. Because you never know when you might offend someone for doing a basic human action of passing excess air out of your intestinal tract.