Thursday, April 30, 2009

Microcosym in a Teacup

If you haven't already heard Matt Aimonetti’s talk “CouchDB + Ruby: Perform Like a Pr0n Star.” at the Golden Gate Ruby Conference caused quite the stir.

There are so many different angles to explore. Here's some that come to mind:
  1. Although I was not offended this crossed my standards of good taste
  2. Although hopefully not his best example Matt obviously has a talent for creating presentations
  3. Like Giles Bowkett says if you're going to apologize then make sure you really mean it. If you don't, then defend your position
  4. If someone from a different sexual or ethical group says they're offended then you have to take their word for it. You have and will never have a basis to refute their argument. Washington Redskins take note.
  5. Strange that Sarah Allen didn't leave. I admire Ken Schwaber's work but recall not staying for his presentations at Agile 2007. His (lesser) crime: he was boring.
  6. In a country where the Sopranos is such a popular show why is it not OK to have a few PG-13 pictures in a presentation
  7. In a male dominated industry is it discrimination to treat others differently or is it discrimination to not
  8. This presentation probably would have been a hit in the UK. I'm hoping John is alluding to my British upbringing when he remarked that "of course you weren't offended"
  9. Why are the US and the UK (two countries I love) so different
  10. But of course this was not the UK so Matt really broke rule #1: Know Your Audience


AbbotOfUnreason said...

Although the British upbringing is a good point, I really didn't mean to refer to you specifically or even generally. I meant the abstract you of "if you do this, then you get that". I was trying to say something about the non-apology. Sorry I wasn't clear, sometimes Twitter is much too constraining.

If a left-handed person says that the presentation created by a right-hander was offensive to lefties, then the righty must not respond with 'well, I don't think it's offensive.' For one, they'll get flamed for it, but more important, the problem is that of course the righty wasn't offended; it was offensive to a southpaw. The righty has no standing to stamp their little foot and shout 'it isn't! it isn't! it isn't!', because this isn't about them. Even if they're married to a left-handed person.

I think that was even less clear.

That isn't to say that the righty can't enter into a discussion about it, but the 'no it isn't', 'yes it is' isn't a discussion. I think the woman you link to was interested in explaining, and further, she made it clear that it wasn't the existence of scantily clad women, it was the context and volume. So I think if I had been the offender, I'd have tried to examine where the thing went wrong for my consumer.

(Actually, I'd have thrown down my pen and stomped out of the room and cried. But that's just me.)

AbbotOfUnreason said...

Oh, on #5, I can imagine why I wouldn't leave: if I was sitting in the middle of the room and embarrassed by the presentation, I wouldn't want to draw attention to myself by walking out.