The degree to which I qualify as a “techie” is debatable. I’m typically not an early adopter. I mean, I bought my PS3 in 2011 – that’s like, what, 5 years after it launched? My current handset is an iPhone 4S, which is now poised teetering on the edge of obsolescence. I am tabletless. And also, despite my transition to the IT industry, I’m just now getting around to checking out this Linux thing.
I’ve always enjoyed technology. It can just be so damned time consuming to learn what the hell a dongle is and why a SDD is superior to HDD; so expensive to buy an Apple anything. Sometimes a guy would rather just download a few dozen Steam games or read the latest Game of Games novel. But I’d like to actually have a career, so here we are.
Maybe you’re in a similar spot? Over the past two or three years I’ve had a couple of friends pivot from (almost) totally unrelated fields (Theology and Video Production) to IT because they possessed hobbyist-grade interest in tech and the explosion of jobs in the field has made it an attractive direction to go in.
I can’t speak as a successful “tech person” yet, but I can reflect on secondhand experience. This is a good time to be a casual techie. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your average Joe doesn’t know what an Ubuntu is. They may only have the vaguest understanding of a “server.” Now, knowing these things in and of itself probably won’t land you a job, but it’s your foot in the door. This is the first step on the path of those who possess the hidden knowledge. It’s the foundation upon which you can build your very own heathen temple to the Deus Mechanicus. Or you can, you know, use it to get a CS degree or some certs.
That’s what I’ve been doing, anyway.
Pearls before swine
I had switched over to Chrome quite a while before Brian Eich was essentially forced out of Mozilla for his apostasy. After the story broke, I uninstalled Firefox from all my systems and fired off an email to let them know they’d lost a user.
But for a conservative who wants to take a stand against these companies that step into politics or fold to interest groups and SJWs, is Chrome any better? If Internet Explorer weren’t the pariah of the web browser market (to nerds anyway), would it be a better choice? Nah and nope, respectively.
After the University of California, Microsoft and Google where the top contributors to president Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
Almost all of the big names are either in bed with the Democrats or else regularly place their obligatory burnt offerings at the feet of the SJW priests in order to remain unmolested. Thus their “cool” credentials are preserved.
Apple’s Tim Cook decries religious freedom in the States while engaging in talks to sell iPhones in Iran. But what is one to do – boycott Apple? We’ve already established that Google (Android) and Microsoft aren’t real alternatives.
Netflix pushes for “net neutrality” and utility style regulation of the internet; not only to benefit its position in the industry, but to make sure all those John Oliver fans and Obama-voters remain loyal customers. Should I mention that Netflix recently lamented a deal it made with Australian ISPs, after a backlash from critics exclaiming that said deal violates the principles of net neutrality?! But come on…are we going to give up Netflix?
Facebook is also a vocal net neutrality advocate, but who can live without Facebook these days?
The big tech companies, much like the big film and TV studios and the big game publishers, don’t appreciate their more conservative customers. I’m sure there are many of us out there, but we are a quiet bunch. Perhaps it’s our noble stoicism that resigns us to suffer in silence.
And so? What’s to be done?
It’s a serious question, and one I don’t have a good answer to. Reaxxion and others have taken a crack at this in part. I came late to the Gamergate party, but I’ve read that Operation: Disrespectful Nod has had success in pushing back against SJW-haven gaming sites like Kotaku.
If enough people swore off companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, perhaps they’d listen. But they have many customers, and their services have become so ubiquitous that I don’t have any real confidence in such an initiative succeeding. I don’t know that I’d personally have the wherewithal to find acceptable alternatives or else give up said services altogether. And if I have to say that about myself, what about all the borderline conservatives out there – the people who aren’t overjoyed to find a major transgender character in every new major game release and who don’t want to be demagogued constantly about sexuality or whatever the liberal pet issue of the day is; but who aren’t willing to give up online shopping or social networking to avoid these annoyances?
I can only conclude that we are a people awaiting leaders. Movements like Gamergate and the Sad Puppies have made an impact; how successful they’ve been is still being debated and will be for some time. But the fact that they’ve stirred things up is encouraging, if only because they show that there are conservatives willing to be organized and willing to take action.
As part of me cheers, another part of me wonders if this is even a desirable strategy, however. Many businesses only understand those things that affect their bottom line, true. But then I think of the liberal campaigns against the likes of Chick fil A (which is doing ok) and Memories Pizza (which may not be ok), and I wonder if fighting fire with fire is the appropriate response or only makes things worse. “Vote with your wallet” – what a conservative principle! I love it. And yet I also cringe at the idea of passing on great products or services because of bad corporate judgement. Businesses would be better served by staying out of politics and social issues, it seems to me, but you can’t put the genie back in the bottle.
We must fight back – this much I know. But on tactics, I am torn.