The Brogrammer’s Guide to Derailing
Soon enough, you'll have defeated all those misguided Social Justice Warriors, for the good of mankind (where mankind = brogrammers)!
This guide is a supplement to Derailing for Dummies, a general guide to shutting up and shutting down those pesky Social Justice Warriors (SJWs). (For the purposes of this guide, you can understand ‘Social Justice Warrior’ to mean any person not a white cishet man.)
The examples used in this guide were taken from one comment thread on a Github pull request (PR) for the Django project. The pull request replaced the use of ‘master/slave’ terminology to describe database configuration, initially proposing ‘leader/follower’ as replacement terms but ultimately selecting ‘primary/replica’ based on the few useful comments in the thread.
fcurella, the SJW responsible for the PR, claimed that the justification for this was master/slave “may carry racially charged meanings to users” but discerning brogrammer and redditor, DoTheEvolution, notes that the real reason behind this change is “to appease political correctness”.
At the time of the writing, it looks like the Django maintainers have dug in their heels, despite several brogrammers deploying many of the rhetorical, derailing strategies listed in this guide. However, one should not take this as evidence that these strategies are ineffective or do not work. They do. But sometimes their impact is indirect. While it may be the case that Django is a lost cause, drowning the comments of this PR with these derails ensures SJWs understand that while they may win occasional battles, they are losing the war.
Everyone is doing it
The basic outline for this strategy looks like this:
This is a much-loved and highly effective strategy. It raises the specter of standards. It is ingenious because it disguises the conservatism that motivates your actions. This appeal to ‘standards’ is actually an appeal to tradition/the status quo/etc., because no such standard actually exists.
In appealing to a non-existent standard, you set yourself up as the Authority, the expert: thus, everyone should be listening to you (and not those terribad SJWs who want to fragment standards and ruin tech for everyone)
It also allows for a corollary derailing tactic: moving the goal posts. If, perchance, someone were to point out that the last comment says ‘for god knows how long’ of an industry/technology that is maybe fourty or so years old, rendering the statement hyperbolic at best, you can simply shift the goal posts. Perhaps to “the transparency and readability of the documentation” as proposed in the second comment.
What was that sound you just heard? The whooshing of a goal post moving. And (the sweeter sound of) the agonized tears of the SJW you’ve just ruined with your derail.
This is a fairly simply strategy to deploy, recommended for brogrammers who are too busy doing Real Tech Work to bother with using a more subtle or thought intensive derail. Consequently this is a fairly common tactic, which is also one of its strengths: the more people who use it, the better it works.
The way it functions is by creating so much noise that it becomes difficult to actually ascertain or find any genuine attempts to discuss or engage the topic. It renders the discussion trivial by drowning it in comments with zero substance or importance.
Here are some examples:
There are many more such comments in the thread (good job on effectively and collectively deploying this strategy!). Who knew we could be so clever and terrifically funny? And people say we have no sense of humour. You sure showed them!
I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly happy to see that there are so many busy, important brogrammers busily creating software and tech that is changing and improving the world in Real Ways.
God bless America.
Who called the PC Police?
‘Political correctness’ is practically like air for SJWs, so depriving them of it is a sure-fire way to put out the fires they like to start with their endless bleating about “you need to treat other people like human beings”, “respecting people involves using language that isn’t violent or hateful”, or other ridiculous notions they use to disguise their true desire for everyone to be politically correct.
The great thing is that ‘political correctness’ has become a four letter word, making this tactic ridiculously easy to deploy: any time you see a SJW talking about how to use language in ways that demonstrate your respect for all living people, call them the “PC Police”. You literally do not have to do anything else, simply labeling them and the discussion as ‘PC’ will win you allies and friends while reducing their support base.
Here are some examples:
Why does this work? Particularly in a situation like this, where the discussion largely involves the descendants of enslaved Africans, calling them the ‘police’ (or implying it as above) does a great job of shutting down the discussion because of the Black community’s ongoing targeting and oppression by the actual police. So equating them (and most marginalized people) with a pseudo-military group who spends their time harassing, attacking, and otherwise harming their community is a super effective way to trigger this history of community trauma by telling them they are just as bad as the people who oppress them.
Clever trick, isn’t it?
Slippery slope is slippery
This is actually a tough tactic to use correctly. Mainly because the ‘slippery slope’ is a logical fallacy. However, because you are amongst the most rational and logical group of people to have ever existed, you obviously know that invoking a fallacy in your argument leaves it wide open to attack from SJWs.
Here is a bad example of how to use this derail:
Word of advice, if you are going to invoke a logical fallacy in your argument, it is best to not actually name the logical fallacy (or derail). You’ve made your derail too easy to dismiss by anyone with even the slightest understanding of logic and/or rhetoric.
Fortunately, there are some more effective examples in the thread too:
See? Much better. Why are these successful, but the first is not? Primarily because they also deploy the LOL strategy as a way to disguise their slippery slope fallacy as a reductio ad absurdum argument.
Reductio ad absurdum is a logical/rhetorical way of discrediting someone’s argument by demonstrating that their premises (or conclusion) entail a contradiction (this is the ‘absurdity’). However, because we also know that because SJWs aren’t capable of true rational thought (they only mimic it), they can often be confused by a slippery slope fallacy mixed with some LOL, since many of them will not realize that ‘absurdum’ doesn’t actually mean any silly or absurd conclusion.
More Important Things
This derailing tactic is fairly straightforward, all you do is simply point out that this (and ‘this’ can be anything) is a waste of time. Bonus points go to the brogrammers who also directly or indirectly assert that there are more important things to do.
This derail works by frustrating anyone with any sensitivity to cognitive dissonance. Consider the first example: in it, the person asserts that it is a waste of time and that people should ‘go solve real problems instead of whining about words’…
Except, that is exactly what is happening. Not only are they apparently not solving a real problem (if the trivial change is trivial, then the change isn’t an actual problem) but they are also, wait for it, whining about words since the current discussion is about a change in terminology. That they are whining about. It is like a recursive derail.
I know you may not quite perceive the cognitive dissonance at play here because, of your many virtues, a near insensitivity to cognitive dissonance is one of your greatest assets. But SJWs are often fatally sensitive to it. Thus, upon reading a statement like this, they’ll:
- Scream in frustration.
- Get stuck on an infinite loop, very much like an android faced with a logical contradiction, and their heads will explode.
- Dissolve into a puddle of goo.
- all of the above.
Only the most skillful masters of cognitive dissonance will be able to achieve (4), so be sure to hone your skills by practicing as often as you can.
The Lasting Delight of Vacuums
One of the pseudo-academic goobledygook words that SJWs are constantly bleating on about is ‘context’. This nebulous concept is simply something that SJWs like to invoke to confuse people into buying into their irrational notions. Context, they’ll insist, is necessary for understanding certain social issues or whatever.
Thus, this derailing tactic works by pretending that you exist in an atemporal vacuum. Fortunately for us, this isn’t a difficult perspective to embody, since many of you are white cishet men and thus, have the entire world validating your position as default human. And as default human, you don’t actually have any need or use for context. Whatever you say is the word of god, and that is that.
Here are some examples:
Marvelous, is it not? However, these aren’t actually the best examples of the vacuum derail. The best examples are the ones that make facile appeal to context.
These are clever and subtle examples of this tactic because they actually appeal to context. Except that the context named here is extremely narrow and limited in scope. These three examples note that within a programming/database environment ‘slave/master’ carry no racial meanings, thus the usage is correct. But you know, as well as I do, that this tactic tacitly requires that you live in a larger socio-political/historical vacuum.
Aren’t vacuums delightful?
Coder by day, historian* by night
*Note: this can be exchanged for whatever domain of knowledge you need to appear authoritative on a topic you are clearly ignorant about.
In many ways, this derailing tactic is similar to the vacuum strategy. However, instead of asserting that there is no context, it asserts that a context exists, but that you know or understand it the best. No really, you do, you probably teach a class at Harvard about it. So SJWs best STFU and listen to you, or else!
Isn’t it amazing that you make the best historian, on top of being a most excellent coder? Is there any limit to your skills and knowledge? Such majesty.
The most effective ways to engage this tactic is to cherry pick facts. As the saying goes: the best lies contain a grain of truth. It is also crucially important that you don’t, in actual fact, know anything about history (or whatever domain of discourse) and have zero intention of ever learning about it.
Remember: you are the majestic, brave brogrammer. If you say it, it is true. If it isn’t already reality, it will soon become so.
This should only be considered a strategy of the last resort. Or if you really don’t have time to engage in the issue in any actual substantive fashion. Even so, if you are strapped for time, you really ought to aim for the LOL strategy (note how some of the best examples of that derail were quick one liners).
Here are ways to engage this tactic in a straightforward fashion:
Now, some SJWs might insist that these are actually ad hominem fallacies, but they’d be wrong because they are incapable of rational thought.
If you are feeling up to it, however, you can take a more subtle approach:
We should take a moment to admire the sheer elegance of this supremely logical and rational argument. Imagine how silly SJWs feel for not knowing this obvious truth about the world? Well, they should feel silly.
Keen SJWs who’ve learned to mimic the rational thought of their superiors (eg you) might point out that this comment invokes a false dilemma, but don’t pay any attention to their poor attempts to logic. Even if they learn the words, they rarely (if ever) understand them. Much like parrots.
In any case, the point of this derail is to demonstrate your superiority by refusing to engage in the substance of the SJW’s argument by simply attacking their person. This is why this is the most expedient (but also easiest to dismiss) derailing tactic. Since you are super busy and important, you don’t even have to read, consider, or think about the topic at hand. Simply drop in with a ‘lol, ur crazy!’ and zip out to your full and joyful life. Like the LOL tactic, this is best deployed by as many people as possible.
Phew! That was a lot of material to go through. Don’t worry if you don’t remember them all. Hold onto this guide and consult it periodically. Practice each of the tactics as frequently as you can.
Once you are comfortable with each, you can move on to more advanced tactics by combining two or more of the derails in a single comment!
Soon enough, you’ll have defeated all those misguided Social Justice Warriors, for the good of mankind (where mankind = brogrammers)!