On Eich

I will grant that it is appropriate for him to have stepped down. CEOs are public faces of a company and I agree that he and Mozilla made the right call given the backlash.

But I do disagree with the backlash demanding resignation (though I think it is completely appropriate to apply scrutiny to his policies and following of the anti-discrimination policies at Mozilla). For many, many years in this country, the majority were not on the side of gay rights. Ellen came out  17 years ago on network TV and caused a firestorm. My childhood church was kicked out of every Baptist group for accepting people regardless of sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt in the South were subject to rank discrimination despite being stable, conservative family households. In that environment, the argument I made time and time again was for tolerance - having a fair and permissive attitude even if you disagreed with someone. Tolerance was the first step towards building connections and friendships between people with anti-gay attitudes and LGBT folks, and in those connections people could realize the mistake of their bigotry, initially formed often in childhood by fear and rumor. Tolerance was crucial.

While growing up, the stance I and many others took and argued was that marriage was fundamentally a religious sacrament, whereas governmental civil unions for everyone would enable rights to be shared freely. That way, people could get married at my church and the state would have no say in what was allowed to be "marriage."

My problem with this backlash is that we are rejecting the tolerance that was so important in building support for gay rights on the grounds of a religious position. We have no information on Eich's feelings about rights, but we know that he has never been known to discriminate against anyone in his long positions of leadership in the software community. I worry that we are sending a message of "now that our position is in the majority, this is no longer up for debate or discussion. Fall in line or you will be targeted." This has two negative impacts:

First, those with anti-gay attitudes (a majority of California citizens voted for Prop 8) will never have a chance to discuss them openly and be convinced by people like me, because it won't be seen as ok to admit that you might not agree with gay people getting married.

Second, we weaken the argument for tolerance in future debates where the majority isn't with us (and in other countries today, where the majority still isn't for gay rights). It's a lot harder to ask for people to be tolerant unless you demonstrate that yourself.

Silicon Valley's Age Problem - Bloomberg View

Silicon Valley's Age Problem - Bloomberg View: The youth culture of Silicon Valley was remarked upon in the 1990s, but in Scheiber's telling it seems to have actually gotten worse. New industries often start out young, and then age to stately silver as the founding generation stays put at the top. But almost 20 years after Netscape started the first Dot-Com Bubble, Silicon Valley is still in a startup frenzy. And according to Scheiber, investors are looking almost exclusively for disruptive youth, not competent experience.

This has implications for the kinds of projects that get funded -- Scheiber argues that all this disruption is focused on stuff that 25-year-old nerds need, like cab-hailing apps and social networking, and not so much on the things that 45-year-old parents might want.