A Low Point

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    Q: Why are there no women on this panel?

    A fair question.

    A: Because gender isn't a factor in selecting speakers and I refuse to discriminate on gender, so called "positively" or otherwise.

    An unapologetic answer, and one I *wish* I had directly given after the panel.

    The question I don't mind. It's as legitimate as I hope people will realise my answer is, whether they agree with it or not.

    What I found disappointing was the way in which it was handled, and a sensitive issue abused in an unprofessional, disrespectul, and puerile manner.

    1. kapowaz 96 months ago | reply

      The worst part is that if you flip that card over, I had written "I can has cheezburger?" on the other side. That would surely have been a better question.

    2. adactio 96 months ago | reply

      Patrick, I've read your post on the @media website (though it isn't easy to find) where you claim that the *only* factor in deciding who speaks is how good they are.

      This is, frankly, bollocks. There are lots of factors that go into the choice of speaker e.g.:

      * How much money would you need to pay them? (definitely a factor in your case),

      * How far away do they live? (which could mean expensive airfares),

      * How much speaking have they done recently in the same geographical area? (again, very relevant for both @medias),

      * How well covered is the topic on the schedule? (you don't want everybody talking about just JavaScript, for instance).

      So it is naive and downright wrong to say that the only factor in choosing a speaker is how good they are.

      Now, given that there are *many* factors that go into the choice of speaker, I'm simply suggesting that varying the gender line-up (along with the topic line-up) is a good thing to factor in.

      That's a far cry from suggesting that anyone should be chosen *just because* of their gender. That is reducto ad absurdum but that's exactly what you're doing when you suggest that to even *consider* diversity automatically means discounting every other factor that goes in to the choice of speaker.

      Anyway, that's the point I was making on my blog post. If you don't agree that diversity can at least be a *factor*, then we'll just have to agree to differ. But, as I said, I think you're being willfully disingenuous to suggest that the line-up of a conference isn't already effected by many factors.

    3. adactio 96 months ago | reply

      Oh, and to be fair, I handled every question on the hot topics panel in an unprofessional, disrespectul, and puerile manner. :-)

    4. Patrick Griffiths 96 months ago | reply

      Ugh. What has happened to you, Jeremy? I give up.

    5. adactio 96 months ago | reply

      Well, like I said, let's agree to differ on the diversity issue: it's clear that we both have very strong feelings about this.

      As for the way I addressed it on the panel, I was quite snarky. That might not be very "professional" but I was being snarky with *everybody* (well, maybe Richard Ishida got off lightly but that's 'cause he's so darn nice, even I couldn't think of anything cutting to say). Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick but I thought that one of the reasons you wanted me to moderate was because you knew I was going to be sarcastic, bitchy and otherwise unprofessional.

      Like I say, I may have misunderstood. I was under the impression that I was being given a license to entertain, whatever the cost. I wasn't singling you out: I made fun of everybody on the panel and anybody in the audience who asked a question. I thought it was entertaining. I guess I was wrong.

      "Unprofessional, disrespectful, and puerile"... that pretty sums up what I thought you wanted (if you throw in "thought-provoking and entertaining" as well). Clearly I was wrong about that. I apologise for the misunderstanding. I don't want this to come between us so believe me when I say I'm sorry that I misjudged the mood, I'm sorry I misunderstood what I was and wasn't supposed to talk about and I'm sorry if you felt I was unfairly singling you out: that wasn't my intention.

    6. Patrick Griffiths 96 months ago | reply

      Your moderating style, or even the gender issue, isn't the piss in the pint. I don't really want to draw this out - the points are summed up pretty well by my comment (and other comments) on your blog post.

    7. adactio 96 months ago | reply

      Well now I'm really confused. In your comment, you refer to my "lengthy attack".

      1. It wasn't lengthy. I guess I'll have to wait for the podcast to confirm this, but I don't recall mentioning it for longer than 60 seconds.

      2. It wasn't intended as an attack, as I've repeatedly said. I realise that it may have come across that way, in which case I apologise: it wasn't my intention to attack you.

      But when you say I turned "...what could have been a quick quip ... into a lengthy attack", I have to say I honestly thought it was a quick quip.

      The other comments are calling me to task for mentioning the gender issue at all... but this picture shows the comment card that was handed to me five minutes before the panel began. I wasn't pulling the issue out of thin air (as I have been accused of doing) and yes, perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Hannah specifically but--and I hate to repeat this once again--you said you would take full responsibility for the all-male line-up of the panel. That's why I made what I thought was a quick quip that people could direct their enquiries to you.

      If you didn't want me mentioning the issue, you shouldn't have said that you were willing to take responsibility.

      As I've said repeatedly, it was not my intention to attack you (any more than I attacked everyone). Sorry if it came across that way.

    8. And all that Malarkey 96 months ago | reply

      May I suggest that in the interests of everyone concerned, that you have this discussion offline?

      So this shiny internet thing means that people can have their say, sure. The question is not whether you can do this in public, but whether you should.

      This discussion is nobody's business but your own. It would be best for everyone and the conference if this matter were sorted out in private. Trust me, you won't regret it.

      I also suggest than anyone not directly involved in these events , please refrain from commenting.


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