Playboy once asked author Ray Bradbury why science fiction was the “purview of young men.” His response is worth recalling now that Ellen Pao has resigned as Reddit’s CEO amid a censoring scandal.
There are two races of people—men and women—no matter what women’s libbers would have you pretend. The male is motivated by toys and science because men are born with no purpose in the universe except to procreate. There is lots of time to kill beyond that. They’ve got to find work. Men have no inherent center to themselves beyond procreating. Women, however, are born with a center. They can create the universe, mother it, teach it, nurture it. Men read science fiction to build the future. Women don’t need to read it. They are the future.
Young men take risks (invent the future) to win over young women (the future). They conquer frontiers to be worthy. America was once that frontier, but with illegal immigration and restrictive housing policy, she’s filling up. The few frontiers that remain are in the mind. Science fiction, Steve Sailer has written, was the new gateway to that “final frontier.” But even that frontier is fading. NASA is grounded and appeasing Muslims while SpaceX rockets are blowing up.
Where are the places for young men to imagine the future in a filled-up frontier? They have but two choices: videogames, where there are infinite worlds to explore and conquer; or the Internet, where there are unimaginable fortunes to be made from weaponizing social science and software. With everything to lose, these young men are fighting back against corruption (#Gamergate) and censorship (Reddit revolt). Aristotle argued that the human sciences were capable of infinite progress because man’s mind was capable of infinite thought. As aging boomers increasingly regulate the world of stuff and atoms, the Internet—that home for infinite thought and bits—is the only place where that freedom frontier is possible.
Naturally the social justice warriors (SJWs) want to take the Internet frontier from us, though they are too stupid to invent it for themselves. They have criminalized its creative uses (“hacking”) or civil disobedience against authority (“trolling”)—what Andrew “weev” Auernheimer calls “lulz crimes.” The SJWs and their government allies will jail you for 30 years for “stealing” academic articles (Aaron Swartz, Reddit cofounder), for building a truly online free market in goods and services (Ross Ulbricht, founder of the Silk Road), for sharing links (Barrett Brown, Anonymous spokesman), or for aggregation of arithmetic (Auernheimer, AT&T “hacker”). Edward Snowden fled to Russia because he was freer to tell the truth there than he was in the land of the free and the home of the brave with a Justice Department that enjoys prosecuting whistle-blowers in the most transparent administration ever. In Russia or China they turn their hackers into privateers or U.S. government contractors. (Thank you, OPM-outsourced “leak”!) Russian-paid troll farms drive small-town Americans mad. In America we jail our hackers and trolls. No wonder we’re too stupid to figure out that North Korea didn’t hack Sony.
It wasn’t always so. Open borders/drug enthusiast Sean Parker was free to be recruited by the CIA, to invent MySpace and Facebook, and to become a billionaire. Now Parker lectures about a “hacker’s guide to philanthropy”—despite hacking the FBI in his teen years. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold a box that committed criminal fraud with phone companies before they built Apple. If you use their technology better than they can, they’ll ban you—either from polite society or from the technology altogether. If you invent the technology but don’t have the right views, they’ll harass you and blacklist you.
Western young men are free to fight unwinnable wars, but how dare we have a man cave on the Internet—even though everyone knows the Internet was built for young men by young men. One of the 4chan’s /b/’s “Rules of the Internet” is “there are no girls on the Internet,” and nowhere is that more true than on Reddit, the community news aggregation website. Seventy-four percent of Redditors are men and nearly 60 percent of its visitors are under 34. Like the attack on fraternities and the redefinition of rape, the assault on Reddit by left-wing slander merchants like Gawker was part of the plot to end young (mostly white) male power. And yet Reddit refused to comply. Right-wing trolls are driving the discussion and winning. Reddit—the home of young men—is the home of Internet trolls. (Indeed my firm helped some of them get some nasty things to trend by manipulating Reddit’s algorithm.)
Enter Ellen Pao. The feminist failed lawyer–turned–failed venture capitalist–turned–failed CEO was brought on as Reddit’s CEO in November 2014 after a round of $50 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, the $50,000 Obama donor. Pao’s rise is Marc Andreessen’s middle finger to rival venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which Pao was suing for gender discrimination after she screwed co-workers literally and figuratively and yet still failed to deliver. Andreesen knows that once Silicon Valley’s bubble inevitably pops, he’ll have to compete for deal flow with venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins for fewer deals. Making Pao an executive was supposed to mean her frivolous lawsuit had merit, except she failed.
Most of the left-wing coverage of l’affaire Pao focuses on her Kleiner Perkins departure. It’s taken as self-evidently true by The New York Times that Pao was fired because she’s a lady in a male-dominated world. The Gray Lady doesn’t mention Pao’s weird tastes in conning a black ex(?)-homosexual hedge-fund manager who just so happens to owe the same amount of money she was suing for.
Nor do they mention how much Pao sucked at investing. Curiously promoted to senior partner after a stint as senior partner John Doerr’s chief of staff, Pao helped Doerr waste hundreds of millions of Kleiner Perkins’ funds. At a panel presentation organized by nonprofit Cleantech San Diego in 2009, she revealed that Kleiner Perkins had already pumped about $680 million into some 50 start-up companies, and planned to invest about $1 billion in its Green Growth Fund. Pao even journeyed to Brazil to study ethanol. That waste might have been forgiven, but Pao fell asleep during a board meeting. Instead of apologizing she said she fell asleep because the meeting “was boring.” Female privilege means never having to say you’re sorry.
As Reddit CEO, Pao didn’t apologize for censoring popular topics on a free-speech platform; she was rather Orwellianly “banning behavior, not ideas.” Pao didn’t say sorry for firing an employee with cancer. Nor did she apologize for firing a popular female moderator on the mostly male site. Yes, that’s right. Those evil, young, mostly white men rebelled by shutting the whole site down on behalf of a damsel in distress. Who says chivalry is dead?
Despite the toppling of Chairman Pao, the censorship of Reddit and of Silicon Valley generally will continue apace. Silicon Valley knows its bubble is about to pop. And with no real leadership or business models beyond declining advertising revenue, it is prettying up its companies’ stock for acquisition by kicking off “trolls” who made the place interesting in the first place and who helped them build their companies for free. Except there are no willing suitors with cash to burn and the bubble is getting frothy while Silicon Valley heeds the stupidity of the social justice warriors who lack the intelligence to build the fragile communities they seek to control.
Silicon Valley has chosen against civil liberties. GoFundMe bans cop defense funds or money for Christian bakers but keeps on child molesters. Uber bans drivers and passengers from carrying guns despite an Uber driver stopping a mass shooting. (This edict almost certainly means their drivers are employees, not contractors, by the way.) Twitter permanently bans free speech of journalists while its ex-CEO pretends to stand for free expression. Reddit learned this week what Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia did long ago: When you are CEO of a user-generated platform you’re the Queen of England, who must persuade, not an absolute monarch, who can command.
This lack of power might be difficult for feminists to swallow. They grew up learning “I am woman, hear me roar!” Reddit reminded them who really runs the Internet: the young men they hate. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be on Reddit.