What kind of attitude goes with a Silicon Valley tech-bro crypto-dude? You probably won’t be surprised by this:
Jesse Powell, a founder and the chief executive of Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, recently asked his employees, “If you can identify as a sex, can you identify as a race or ethnicity?”
He also questioned their use of preferred pronouns and led a discussion about “who can refer to another person as the N word.”
And he told workers that questions about women’s intelligence and risk appetite compared with men’s were “not as settled as one might have initially thought.”
Of course, being a pretentious libertarian, Mr Powell has written a philosophical manifesto for his company.
This month, Mr. Powell unveiled a 31-page culture document outlining Kraken’s “libertarian philosophical values” and commitment to “diversity of thought,” and told employees in a meeting that he did not believe they should choose their own pronouns. The document and a recording of the meeting were obtained by The Times.
He talks about valuing “diversity of thought,” but at the same time he has an “ideological purity test” for his employees. He does not seem to be aware of the contradiction, or that his company is no better than Answers in Genesis in this regard.
He also insisted that some workers subscribe to Bitcoin’s philosophical underpinnings. “We have this ideological purity test,” Mr. Powell said about the company’s hiring process on a 2018 crypto podcast. “A test of whether you’re kind of aligned with the vision of Bitcoin and crypto.”
Here’s where I get really annoyed: to defend his argument that women have inferior brains than men (because they prefer real cash over crypto junk!), he pulls out a Shapiroesque claim that he’s just talking about science and biology.
“Being offended is not being harmed,” Mr. Powell responded. “A discussion about science, biology, attempting to determine facts of the world cannot be harmful.”
I call bullshit. I hope his whole company gets sucked into a vortex of destruction as the crypto market implodes.
Ada Christine says
diversity of opinion unless you’re of the opinion that one ought to respect somebody’s pronouns
We respect diversity of opinion, as long as it agrees with mine.
I look on the product, the theory, his libertarianism refusing to accept history entirely and I say, if he was the absolutely last employer on this planet, I’ll live in the woods. With vaporware as a product, it’d end up that way anyhow.
I’m the third to notice the blatant contradiction here.
Jesse Powell believes in “diveristy of thought” but doesn’t believe people should choose their own pronouns.
I don’t believe Jess Powell is very smart and don’t believe that anyone sane should get near a troll like this.
Insulting the majority of the population when you are running a retail business isn’t very bright either.
In a lot of companies, Jesse Powell would be fired for that.
Jesse Powell’s personality problems are now settled and he is an idiotic troll.
I’d barely heard of Kraken and already have it on my list of companies to never do business with.
Pierce R. Butler says
Does Jesse Powell have a police record?
And what about weapons – what kind and how many?
Ian King says
I am starting to believe that a person’s fondness for ‘reason’ is inversely proportional to their ability to do so.
Being offended is not being harmed? No, perhaps not, but personally I am very offended by attempts to harm me, successful or otherwise. No matter how many times you try to explain to someone like this that harm is being done which they cannot see or understand because it has never happened to them, they wilfully ignore you and blithely assure everyone that people are outraged for no reason at all, just because they like it. What a fucking idiot.
The whole crypto market is imploding right now.
The largest crypto exchange is laying off 1,100 employees.
Kraken claims that they are hiring rather than laying people off.
Then again, they are also offering 4 months pay for employees to leave.
Well, really, it looks like a horrible place to work in an industry that might well do a dot.com and just all but disappear in the next year.
I’d take the money and get a real job somewhere.
PZ Myers says
Another thing about Powell that throws up a red flag for me: the sources all mention that he attended CSU Sacramento, but they don’t say that he has a degree from CSU Sacramento. Anyone can attend a university, but the real test is whether you can graduate from one (it’s not that hard, if you can afford it; faculty and staff want students to be successful, and the administration positively hates seeing people fail to graduate, because it messes up their statistics.)
Everything about this guy screams pompous dropout to me.
I put a few keywords in Google including Kraken, Crypto, and lawsuit.
Kraken is being sued by multiple people for multiple reasons. The list above is only a few of them.
They include heavy hitters like the IRS and the CFTC.
It is hard to say just how much Kraken is a scam and how much it is a poorly run criminal organization.
David C Brayton says
You lost me at mention of crypto. Crypto is the biggest scam of all time. Anyone that tells you differently is either a fool or trying to get you to buy their crypto. Jesse is no different.
Ada Christine says
@ David #9
nah, it’s we risk-averse women who fail to understand the brilliance of crypto! it creates value from thin air! well, not thin air, but hot silicon and gigawatt hours of electricity. and that’s where all economic value comes from, right? my postmodern materialism-addled woman brain is just too limited.
Being offended is not being harmed.
But, as a class, women are clearly being fiscally harmed. Or do appeals to old fashioned dollars and cents not work with crypto dudes?
Reginald Selkirk says
This varies from field to field. Performing artists (musicians, actors) tend to drop out if they get actual paying work in their intended field. Something similar goes on with high level athletics. Why play for a college team that might prepare you for the NBA if you are actually good enough to play in the NBA?
In biology, not so much.
Raging Bee says
Another tech-bro lecturing others about biology…like we didn’t already have too many of those…
…the sources all mention that he attended CSU Sacramento, but they don’t say that he has a degree from CSU Sacramento.
Do said sources say what he majored in, or what courses he took? Why do I get the feeling it wasn’t biology?
Karl Stevens says
So if someone were to begin calling him “Ms. Powell”, and referring to him as “her” or “she”, I’m sure he’d be 100% OK with that, right?
David C. Brayton: “Crypto is the biggest scam of all time.”
Cough, cough! Catholicism! Cough, cough!
Cough cough! The Mormons! Cough cough!
Tabby Lavalamp says
As usual alleged radical free speech absolutists show they don’t actually believe what they preach when it comes to free speech. They really only want to make it so other people have to listen to them.
He possibly studied Philosophy w/ Concentration in Ethics & Law and may have a BA.
@Ian King, #5
Their fondness for reason and rationality… I have met too many people with that specific blind spot. It goes like this.
Step 1). I am a rational person.
Step 2). I come to my opinions and facts in a rational way.
Step 3) Therefore, all my opinions are rational and everybody disagreeing with me is irrational.
It is like they consider rationality a transitive property of themselves, not of the process of reasoning and getting to conclusions. And even if the process itself is completely rational and “fool” proof, they still ignore that old rule of “Garbage in, garbage out”. Starting with wrong assumptions you will almost certainly come to wrong conclusions and any that is not wrong is purely accidental.
Yeah, I love sending those guys copies of the research papers that show that the portions of the brain that control an action light up prior to the portions that decide whether to take the action. Of course, most of them are not bright enough to grasp the implications for their free will and rationality, but then some of us get the joke some of the time, and the rest of us are the joke all of the time.
“If you can identify as a sex, can you identify as a race or ethnicity?”
Apparently he’s right. As I have learned from other commenters on this blog it is A-OK to identify as ethnicities you don’t actually belong to.
I’ve been commenting on this blog for over a decade, and have never seen anyone claim that it is acceptable for someone to decide they are an ethnicity of their choice.
You can’t choose your ethnicity. It’s inherited, just like eye color.
Maybe lasius is referring to the thread where you informed Americans that they can’t be German because they don’t live in Germany, or speak German. Which of course is utter tosh, as my German ethic heritage is not dependent on my address. Ja voll!
Ooh, another transphobe is asking “why should sex-distinctions be treated differently than racial-distictions?”
And my response is: okay, let’s try that. Let’s treat sex under the law exactly the same as race. That means:
a)Sex-segregated bathrooms must be immediately outlawed, just as race-segregated bathrooms already are.
b)Sex-segregated sports teams must be immediately outlawed, just as race-segregated sports teams already are.
c)Sex-segregated schools must be immediately outlawed, just as race-segregated schools already are.
d)Abolish any law which say a doctor can perscribe medicine to someone of a particular sex but can’t perscribe the exact same medicine to an otherwise-identical person of a different sex.
e)No listing of sex on legal ID cards, just as race is not listed on legal ID cards.
f)No tax exemptions for religious organizations that discriminate on the basis of sex.
Most trans people I know would be happy with these policy changes. Is this outcome something transphobes would be happy with?
Thanks. Yes, I said that you’re not German if you don’t have German nationality, live in Germany, speak German, eat German cuisine, follow German customs… even if you have German ancestry (“heritage”). I don’t recall which side of that argument either you or lasius were on, but if they were on my side they could indeed be referring to that.