Apocalypse Basecamp: The Comedy

Casey Newton of “The Verge” publishes the details of the Zoom meeting where the woke employees have a meltdown when a somewhat conservative manager disputes their definition of white supremacy.  It’s hilarious and maddening at the same time.  The only sad point is that the conservative manager also resigned from Basecamp.  I take that as a definite negative for the whole thing.  If he had stayed it would have been the cherry on the float.

Well, just read the thing.  Understand that Newton is extremely sympathetic to the wokesters and so take that into account with respect to any statements of opinion on motives or judgement.

Here’s the summation at the end.

“But as much as the conversation about Basecamp’s moves has been framed as “politics,” it seems important to remember that the entire affair began when a third of the company — not all of whom are among the 20 who have departed so far, by the way — volunteered to help the company become more diverse and equitable. It was only when their committee dug a skeleton out of the company closet — that list of names — that Fried and Hansson moved to shut the whole thing down.

“It was actually a positive thing we were doing,” one employee told me, marveling at the chaos that had followed. “We had identified the problem, how it happened, and vowed not to do it again. It was a company doing exactly what it should do. The founders refused to lead, and so the company was doing it itself.”

Another employee said they had been thrown by the fact that the founders, after years of telling employees that they were part of an elite chosen few who were good enough to work at Basecamp, would get rid of them so easily.

“They just want to build cool shit all day,” the employee said. “They don’t want to deal with people, which is something you have to do as a manager … Jason and David just threw us away.””

I was saddened to read that not all of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council has resigned.  That, I see, as the real tragedy.  But hopefully the owners are wiser for their sad experience and will stamp out any sparks of wokeism if the appear again.

I think the lesson for the rest of us is that even non-conservatives recognize that a woke presence in a business is poison and unless you suppress its activities it will destroy your company right before your eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

02MAY2021 – OCF Update – A Day of Rest

Today was a day for other things.  I had chores and some outlining for a story.  But I thought it would be good to just mention what I think is the significance of the story I found most interesting this week, the Basecamp story.  The details are amusing enough but what I think is most interesting is that this is the second incident where a tech company has put an end to the woke reign of terror at their company.  First Coinbase and then Basecamp.  What seems to be happening is that CEO’s familiar with the actual ethos of the millennial generation can parse the difference between employees seeking to optimize their work environment and SJW’s working to parasitize a healthy company and suck the life out of it.

From my observation of old guard corporations they either can’t see this or are afraid of the wokesters or they think it won’t destroy their company within the time window they care about.  Perhaps it’s a matter of size.  There is a lot less margin for error in a sixty man company than there is in a sixty thousand man company.

What will be interesting to see is whether any other type of company decides to try out this strategy.  I’m trying to imagine how a car company or an oil company or even a coffee company tells its employees to shut up and get to work.  I think that would be really edifying.  And hopefully it will be in a red state because I can see a blue state government stepping in and helping the feds put the screws to someone who doesn’t want to pay people to complain about social justice offenses against wokeness.

It may be that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill.  But it was one of the only promising signs I’ve seen in the corporate world in a very long time.  And for that reason it really impressed me and gave me a lift.  I’ll keep my eyes open and await the third occurrence.  After all everyone knows the third time is the charm.

This Thing Just Gets More Entertaining by the Day – Basecamp – The Prequel

While enjoying the tweets of the various Basecamp employees that were virtue signaling their resignations, I came across a tweet by someone named Casey Newton who was commiserating with the brave golden parachutists who were flouncing into unemployment.  Turns out he is a “reporter” at the The Verge and he has written a breathless tell all expose laying bare the sordid heart of “Basecamp-Gate,” as I like to call it.

And I’ve got to say the lameness of the whole thing is extraordinary.  It started back in 2009.  Now, that was back before the woke monster had terrorized all normal people into keeping their heads down and genuflecting to whatever golden idol had been thought up by the SJW’s at work.  Well, some computer geeks at Basecamp had been amusing themselves by going through the database of customers and picking out the names that were the funniest to their tenth-grade psyches.  You can only imagine the hilarity, Seymour Johnson, Dick Steele, etc.  Fast forward ten years and those employees are gone but the list surfaces and the SJW’s spring into action.  One of the geniuses points to an Anti-Defamation League incitement document that claims there is a “pyramid of hate” that provides a clear and inescapable escalation from school yard rank-out sessions all the way up to death camps.

To their surprising credit the owners of Basecamp have spent an enormous amount of energy trying to smooth over this kerfuffle.  Without dismissing the concerns of the always outraged SJW’s they have steered a middle course of acknowledging the inappropriate nature of the joke but deciding that nothing terrible happened or would happen because of this incident and attempting to move on without the necessity of firing anyone or moving heaven and earth to change human nature.

When the SJW’s would have none of it, the owners took the action they did Monday and ended the company’s involvement in social justice on the job.  And the rest is history.  From what Newton has written there were about twenty employees who were part of the DE&I council and had been politicking to expand their authority over everything from hiring to how Basecamp employees were allowed to socialize, to even which vendors the company hired.  In other words, they were the SJW rabble-rousers looking to dictate what went on at Basecamp.  And if we had the list of these twenty employees, I’ll bit it matches up almost one to one with the employees leaving the company.

So David Hansson, one of the owners, responded to the Verge post with all the details of the funny name list “investigation.”  I’ve got to say, based on their written words, these guys must be the calmest human beings alive.  Everything is so measured and rational.  Everything seems so moderate and reasonable.  Even his stance on severance packages is more than decent.  I mean these people resigning en masse is meant to be an assault on the viability of the company.  And yet he discusses it in the friendliest of terms in his post.  It’s like having Ned Flanders as your CEO.

With all the details now available it’s more than apparent that what was done by management was a bold move to save the company from a very bad situation.  When a third of the employees are attempting to subvert the CEO’s control over all the most important decision-making functions in the company, well, having them quit en masse may be the best result you could possibly hope for.

Basecamp has now provided a master class in how to rid your company of parasites.  Anyone else who has the courage and the foresight should look to their example for inspiration and details.

The Basecamp Saga Continues – The Exodus

After announcing on Monday that employees of the tech company Basecamp would no longer be allowed to post social and political material on the company’s communication channels about a third of the company’s sixty employees have said that hey will accept buyouts and leave the company.

I read through the tweets and they mostly sounded proud that they had taken the stand.  But one of them sounded suspiciously like reality.

 

This whole strategy sounds remarkably like a very clever way to have the dead wood “choose” to go away.  My guess is that for the last year the social justice wing of the company has been horrifyingly unproductive and the owners realized that banning the problematic behavior would enrage the culprits so much that they would leave on their own.

In the current environment of woke ascendancy, telling SJW’s that they have to work instead of complain about the unfairness of life is like asking them not to breath.   And offering them a six month severance package was just too tempting.  So I think “bletchley punk” is definitely on to something.  It sounds like Basecamp’s owners are saying, “Don’t go away mad, just go away.”

Maybe this could become known as the Coin/base/camp gambit, tell employees that they have to work and then hold the doors open as they leave.  You can even hand out vegan muffins to them as they leave and tell them to have a nice day.

Of course it’s also possible that the owners didn’t anticipate this much attrition.  But I think not.  Stay tuned.

The Post Woke Corporation

In a previous post I linked to Vox Day’s discussion of the software company, Basecamp’s decision to eliminate political and social commentary from the company’s communication systems.  Vox Day has been at the forefront of criticism of the way social justice warriors (SJW’s) infiltrate and as he calls it “converge” a company so that human resource decisions and even general company policy is based not on what increases the profitability of the organization but instead on the socio-political goals of these SJW’s.

Vox has written several books on the subject (1, 2, 3) and has thought about this phenomenon and has himself been the involved in an organization that was converged by SJW’s and destroyed from within.

Within the last two months two companies, Coinbase and Basecamp in competitive parts of the American business world have both recognized that their companies were being hijacked by people who were more interested in social justice than in doing their jobs.  It’s probably fair to say that neither company’s founder was even remotely “conservative” in his social or political leanings.  But each was interested in the health and profitability of the company that he had founded.

Both of these technology companies are embedded in an employee ocean that is decidedly woke in its sensibilities and culture.  Therefore it was a bold move to makes these decisions.  It was sure to anger many of its employees, trigger media attacks and even elicit some resignations.  But what the leadership recognized was that if these SJW’s were allowed to consolidate their positions in the company hierarchy and dictate policy, the damage would just continue to get worse.  And the damage would involve larger and larger proportions of paid employees who did no useful work but spent their time carving out resources to further their agenda.  They would bloat the Human Resources departments with their friends and create committees that did nothing but apply pressure for the hiring and promotion of protected identity groups to the exclusion of individuals who were qualified to get work done.

Reading the letter from the SJW who obviously triggered this whole decision it’s easy to see what was happening.  This lunatic was “… just getting started with the DEI Council, just putting in place inclusive processes and structures for decision-making, with our first steering committee meeting to happen sometime later this month or early next.”  She was designing a process that would allow her and her cronies to dictate company policy and justify it on the basis of “diversity, equity and inclusiveness.”

This explains the following action, “The responsibility for DEI work returns to Andrea, our head of People Ops. The responsibility for negotiating use restrictions and moral quandaries returns to me and David.”  It wouldn’t surprise me if the whole problem at this company is centered around this one renegade employee who was trying to carve out a little empire for herself.  She’s currently on “medical leave” and it will probably involve a lawsuit to get rid of her but it would seem to be the best course of action.

What I think is interesting is that some effective action against SJW encroachment is happening in smaller, more dynamic companies.  The old guard companies, like Coca Cola and GM, allow these psychopaths full rein to dictate company policy and virtue signal to the outside world who is in charge.  Possibly the executive suite thinks this is just the price of doing business with the federal government and its endless diversity dictates.  Maybe their attitude is just “Après moi, le deluge.”

Perhaps these smaller companies have watched how Silicon Valley became an SJW preserve and realized that their companies were too small to survive the parasite load that this SJW infestation entails.  Or maybe it’s simply pride of ownership that won’t allow them to watch the degradation of their brain child.  Or maybe they read Vox’s books.

In any case, there is the possibility that we are seeing the beginning of a new phase in the woke phenomenon.  Maybe it is the reaction phase.  If management and employees begin to acknowledge that there is a cost to allowing the wokesters to infest a business maybe we’ll see other companies imitating the actions by Coinbase and Basecamp and announcing that social justice is not an allowable business activity.  That, in and of itself, isn’t a complete solution to corporate convergence.  There is already, as mentioned, federal hiring guidelines that force companies to hire people they can’t use.  But at least preventing these identity groups from constantly haranguing the employees about their mental illnesses would be a decided improvement.  It’s too soon to call this a trend and with the Dementia Joe administration ready to punish any normalcy that might still exist in the country it may be strangled in the crib.  But any sign of health is still welcome in this crazy world we find ourselves in.  And who knows, maybe even the millennials are realizing that living in a woke world is not all that much fun.

So kudos to Vox for documenting and advocating for companies to protect themselves from this blight.  And kudos to Coinbase and Basecamp for showing some wisdom and a lot of courage.