You Shouldn't Stay Silent Because Someone Helped You Out
Following up on my previous microblog post regarding Aubrey de Grey, I wanted to comment on a specific thing Daria Khaltourina said:
There was an accusation from Laura Deming regarding a 9-year old mildly improper e-mail. Most women and men too, get romantic or sexual proposals many, many times through their lives, sometimes hundreds. If we start exposing everyone this would be complete mess. I would never do things like this to anyone for just 1 very old email like Laura Deming does, especially given how strongly Aubrey promoted and empowered Laura. [emphasis added]
Let's leave aside for the moment Daria's characterization of the email as mildly inappropriate. Daria is saying that Laura should have stayed silent over what she thought was an inappropriate email because Aubrey helped her career. That's wrong. Whether Aubrey helped Laura's career does not affect whether Laura should have raised the issue. People should be called out for their inappropriate behavior regardless of whether they offered someone some kind of help or favor. And if someone did act inappropriately and then helped someone out, that actually raises the question of whether the wrongdoer only offered the help in order to buy the aggrieved party's silence (which would be a new, independent act of wrongdoing separate from the first one).
Daria is basically endorsing being biased because of personal favors over being objective, impartial, and non-biased. Those considering donating to Aubrey's new organization should take note as to the apparent values of the people on the Board there.