On Y Combinator’s Defense of Peter Thiel
Jason Putorti
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Any individual affiliated with an organization to the point that the organization has the ability to cut-off ties with said individual, is an employee, wealth aside. Bill Gates is still an Employee of Microsoft and so is Mark Zuckerberg, if either Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg made financial contributions that were disagreeable with someone, regardless of what you believe is right or wrong, advocating for their ouster by definition sets the wrong precedent. It sends a clear message to much lesser employees, for whom you seem to be advocating, that they for sure can’t speak out and express their opinions. If the head of an organization is not able to make financial contributions to an organization of their choosing without public reprimand and fear for termination, what hope does the rest of the staff have? If half of this country is indeed supporting Donald Trump, what you are saying is that that half is irrelevant and meaningless and has no voice, that sounds rather bigoted and closed minded of you, isn’t it?

As an aside, from my experience, women are just as poor listeners as men, if they don’t receive appropriate training in communication. Being a good listener takes substantial effort and years of practice. I have seen plenty of men be extraordinary listeners who are able to cut through an argument with surgical precision and appropriately express opposing points of view in a mutually constructive manner. At the same time, I’ve seen plenty of women be absolutely tone deaf to the conversation at hand and cause more friction and aggravation than necessary. The gender of the individual is not relevant to their ability to be a good listener or communicator. This here is, as I hope you can see, some strange bias that you are expressing and as a result are not helping the overall diversity problem in the valley.

If you’d like to address diversity issues, then you create an environment where everyone has the ability to thrive, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. You create an environment where individuals can succeed based on merit and not on some external non tangible factors. You create an environment with transparency, accountability, honesty, and responsibility, not fear, blaming, or public shaming when someone disagrees with you. Labeling everyone as “privileged” when they seem to have a different background than you is non-constructive, it closes the conversation with a base Ad Hominem, its the cheapest trick in the book, and it certainly does not lead to the desired outcome of greater diversity.

I’m certain you can be more thoughtful about your responses and insights, and less divisive. If you have a good following and a loyal reader base, you have an obligation to help the discussion, not hurt it.

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