A corporation’s profits should be tied to the benefit it provides to people (i.e. beneficial and desirable products or services). If a business’s profits are tied to harm, inefficiency, waste, and damage, it should be penalized, reduced, or regulated accordingly. Pollution (including greenhouse gases), usurious and entrapping loans, for profit prisons, for profit healthcare, for profit war industry, and for profit harmful substances like cigarettes and harmful drugs should be regulated or reduced because their money making is tied to harm.
Does this mean that we should get rid of capitalism? Absolutely not. But a capitalists’s stock prices should be tied to the benefit that they provide to the public. If their stock prices are tied to doing bad things or harming people, then they will be incentivized to do bad things and harm people. Cigarette companies make more money and see their stock prices go up when they get more people hooked on cigarettes. For profit prisons get more money the more people go to prison. War companies don’t want peace because that would cut their flow of money. Someone making money off a high interest rate loan has a financial incentive for the borrower to remain indebted. Healthcare companies see more money the more people need expensive surgeries. It is not in a their interest to end disease and suffering in the population as a whole because then they wouldn’t make a cut off all the surgeries and treatments that people need.
There should be an alignment of interests between the companies and the people. When companies that do not benefit the people lobby Washington to bend the rules in their favor at the expense of what is best for the people, these companies do not deserve to profit. They should see their stock prices go down, not up. The healthcare industry is an industry where I have seen this conflict of interest. One big centralized electronic health system built by tech companies would be faster and more efficient than a bunch of spread out systems built by hospitals and health insurance companies, but people who make money off the healthcare system do not want one centralized system with transparent prices because to lose money (and some jobs, but we can help cushion that).
There must be a balance between government and private sector, and if elected, I will do my best to uphold and maintain that balance for the benefit of all. When government is too big and inefficient, I will try to cut government. When corporations are bad or inefficient, I will try to cut, reduce, or regulate them. I will balance capitalism with socialism using my best judgement and as appropriate for the benefit of all.
Gay men use the same bathroom as other gay men and lesbian women use the same bathroom as other lesbian women, and they fucking get over “same sex attraction” because they’re socially competent adults in a developed society.
I write this piece from the comfort of a toilet seat, in my single person bathroom, in my single person apartment. I remember when I was in middle school we had gym class and the boys all had to change in the men’s locker room. It was an uncomfortable feeling, to come into a circle around a wooden bench with a bunch of guys and change into and out of gym clothes. There was like this wooden bench that guys put their clothes on while changing, and behind them there were green gym lockers. I went to a single person’s stall in the locker room and changed there instead, or at least I did the first several times. I remember telling a classmate of mine in the men’s locker room “I wish I were normal”. He replied something to the effect of “nobody is normal” or “what is normal?”. I couldn’t answer that question, but after puberty (and after a run-in with symptoms of bipolar disorder), I didn’t think I was normal. I did think this other guy was normal, though. He seemed content and reasonably confident in himself, with no apparent psychological or psychiatric problems, and he later dated a very normal seeming girl who also seemed reasonably content and confident in herself. Both of them were a little quirky, but they seemed very normal, more normal than I ever was. In addition to being mentally sane, they were also apparently much more emotionally straight that me.
As a young male person, I hated women (and also myself). I wanted to lose my male virginity, and women did not want me to fuck them. I made a list of desirable characteristics in a woman, and at the top of that list was “short stature”. I didn’t understand that there was a connection between relationships and sex at this time in my life (or for many years after puberty, honestly), but I did understand that I wanted to put dick in girls, and they didn’t want me putting dick in them, and this was a problem because if I couldn’t put my dick in girls I couldn’t lose my male virginity. Yes, this is basically how my male brain worked as a teenager. Some women even seemed to like or love me, but I didn’t really understand that until over a decade later. Like this one girl named “Cathy” got me this Teddy Bear for Valentine’s Day in 8th grade, went to my birthday (which was at a beach where I basically stared at her boobs), and later at the end of 11th grade (I think it was 11th) she wrote this in my yearbook. We were friends and I think she liked me or loved me (at least at one point – we had lunch alone behind the school together a few times, and to me that was like middle school dating). I liked her too, like as a friend who I could eat lunch with in 8th grade. She later ended up dating my older male friend, which I didn’t like. Me personally, the thing I remember most strongly about her is how tingly my hands felt on top of her bra (don’t ask how they got there – she took my math book and I kind of tried to wrestle it from her) when I was in 8th grade and we were having lunch alone together behind the school. The feeling, it was like lightning that shot up through my body starting from my hands, then up my arms, and to my head, and my bipolar made it stronger. I felt kind of embarrassed feeling sexually turned on around her (it was instant), and when I was in middle school I took active measures to conceal erections. I felt really embarrassed, and I acted awkwardly. I remember hiding this erection and saying to her that I had to go look at an encyclopedia or something. Man teenage years suck.
Cathy had this annoying high pitched laugh, a friendly voice (she liked me), and she constantly asked me to shave, just like my mother did (I don’t think either of them realized how much I hated that), because apparently they both find a clean shaven look to be more sexually attractive than facial hair. Oh boy. Hey – I also find pretty boys to be more attractive! I kind of had this pretty male friend (no sexual attraction, although to be honest his face sort of resembles that of my current girlfriend – they both have hot eyes). He did ballet and later wrote poetry [click “The Work” at this link to see his poetry]. He was adorable, and he had this blond anime boy hair that sort of moved back and forth when he shook his head, and he liked this song. Oh Stefan. He’s adorable, and I talked to him a lot and he listened and occasionally made wry comments, and the two of us were inseparable when we were together. He was on the way to a friend’s house when we bumped into each other near some trimmed hedges. He had a volleyball, so we played 1-on-1 volleyball over the shrubbery, and later I would literally show up at his house at like 7AM on a Saturday, and he would open the door in his pajamas with this funny look on his face and be like “Do you have any idea how early it is? *Hrmph*“. We were friends, and I loved him. One time we were talking about girls and I said I didn’t like girls, and he retorted that this implies that I was gay, and I said that I wasn’t gay. Later on he or his father said that he thought that homosexuality was a choice, but for me fucking guys was physically not something that my body could do, so to me it wasn’t a choice (although I later did question whether or not I was straight). His future girlfriend didn’t look like someone who I would want to fuck, so I guess I can see how he might be a little gay in a way, although I think he really loved her. This was many years later. Anyway…
Going back to the story, Stefan moved overseas because his parents had issues with taxes, and I was absolutely destroyed, and when I was 13 I kind of threw myself at Cathy to fill the deep emptiness that I felt after Stefan was gone. I was unhappy about the end of my friendship with him for years afterwards. We mentioned something about doing long distance over Skype, but it never worked out (although we did one Skype call), and that made me very sad for a long time. I didn’t really have closure. It took what felt like an eternity for me to find that kind of a relationship again. After a long time he found me on Facebook and added me as a friend (I wonder if he was ever attracted to me in some way), and one time my parents went over to Europe and we played soccer together, but it just wasn’t the same. I kind of went from this happy kid to this miserable narcissist after I went through puberty, and my heart was closed off, and it just wasn’t the same. I just wanted to fuck chicks to fill my sadness whole. *Wha ha ha ha*. Years later, I sort of randomly messaged him “I love you” on Facebook messenger, and he was sort of like “OK”. If he told me he wanted to have sex with me, I probably would have had about the same reaction 🙂.
Anyway, back then I changed from this kid who was always smiling to this mentally fucked up person. I became embarrassingly and uncomfortably hyper-sexual (and the mental problems probably contributed). I fantasized about Cathy when I masturbated, which is generally not something that I do with people who I am actually in a real romantic relationship with. Like I don’t fantasize sexual scenarios involving my girlfriend or the person who I was in a relationship with before her, or the person before that, or Stefan (*eww*, lol ❤️). Generally if I fantasize sexual scenarios about someone, I’m not actually into them in real life (regardless of what thoughts pass through my head at 11PM the next day). Why would I fantasize sexual scenarios about someone if could have real sex with them in real life? I think some sexual fantasies are just a result of sexual repression – like things that you want to do but don’t. The point is that I never loved Cathy. Anyway…
I didn’t really have any psychological connection between romantic love for a person and sex with women (attachment, sure, but not love), and I didn’t really connect relationships with sex until later in life. Like I just thought someone else turned you on and you turned them on and then you two fucked (sort of like a male and a female animal that are alone together). I didn’t really have a relationship with a woman that wasn’t sex based until after I graduated from the University of Florida. I mean I had a female friend who I had sex with and became attached to, but it was a bad relationship (although she instigated almost all of the sex) and she had to bully me or trick me to get me to have sex with her. Like I didn’t have the kind of relationship where it gradually progressed from hanging out to kissing to more than kissing until after I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida (at age 22). I mean at an LGBTQ+ nightclub (which had drag queens and a “men get in free” night back then) at the University of Michigan, a femme looking lesbian who I was sort of dancing face to face with grabbed me by the neck once and started tongue fucking my mouth, and that felt hot, but that never became a relationship. I’m not sure why she did it, but she kind of noticed my eyes, was drunk (and probably turned on), and later used the term “animalistic urge” to describe the feeling that she acted on when she sort of grabbed me and started making out with me. I got her number, but when we were texting, she texted that the making out didn’t feel hot to her like it did to me and also she was in a relationship with this older, butch looking lesbian who was in another city at the time (I didn’t know about this until after). I liked her as a friend and she was very hot.
Anyway, I don’t think it occurred to me that there was a connection between sex and relationships because I never really connected sex with love (assume that healthy attachment and love are not the same thing). Like in my late teens I had a guy friend who I loved (different guy friend, also attractive) and I had “girl friends” who I wanted to have sex with, but I didn’t really come to the conclusion until later that I was supposed to have both of those things (like the romantic attraction to the person and the sexual attraction) both in one person until later. Like some people (who are kind of like me) sort of have someone of the opposite sex who they’re attached to and have sex with and they have someone of the same sex who they would go on long walks on the beach with, but those were two separate people. You don’t marry two people and get sex from one person and love from another person. You marry one person and get both love and sex from the same person (hopefully). I mean some people don’t feel sexual attraction and they have sex a little differently, but there is still some sort of coupling that holds you two together, where your needs are met, and you are secure (hopefully, although you should be secure before you find this other person).
Anyway, the point is I love men (I admit it!) and that I’m emotionally gay but heterosexual. Like I’m gay when it comes to the person, not the body. I hope that makes sense. I think my girlfriend is also like that, because if she wasn’t like that I don’t think we would have the gender balance that we do and I don’t think she would be into me the way she is. Like she likes Chuck Norris and she talks kind of like Chuck Norris (from “Walker, Texas Ranger”), but despite her masculine characteristics I still want to fuck her (love + sexual attraction is the best). I’m sexually attracted to the opposite sex, but it’s a neck-down thing. Don’t Google this if you don’t want to see anything explicit, but look at the lady from “BehindTheMaskk” and you’ll kind of get what I mean by “it’s a neck-down thing”. I’m not gay or straight. Technically, I am a homoromantic heterosexual (Google “romantic orientation” if you don’t know what “homoromantic” means). There’s a gender balance.
Anyway, I’m kind of like a girl a little bit. Like I often feel like I want to be in “women’s” places, like for example at the University of Michigan there was a feminism club where girls (young women) met every week to sit in a circle on couches and talk about stuff from women’s studies and feminism. Or like I would do hot yoga, aerial silks, that kind of stuff. I like this and occasionally I’ll sing along. There is this sort of love for femininity that some gay men (including some masculine looking gay men and also me) have. That being said, I sometimes felt pressured to be more of a man. Like with my female friend who bullied me in to sex (in a bad relationship), I would sit down to pee and she would ask me why I didn’t pee standing up. Apparently she wanted me to pee standing up. I sometimes get a sexual feeling when I see guys peeing standing up from behind, and I guess she was looking for something like that from me *eww – I am not into her – get away from me*. Like when I look at James Deen at that link in the previous sentence, I can kind of feel this sexual feeling in my junk, but I don’t have any desire to like touch myself or anything the way some girls do when they look at something online that gives them that sexual feeling (I am guessing that this is the same feeling that some femme straight women feel when they watch lesbian porn, which according to PornHub is a popular form of porn for straight women). From my perspective as a guy, straight girls are gay (I mean just look at how they look up Kim Kardashian on PornHub), but that’s just how it looks from my perspective, with my definition of the word “gay”. The way I define “gay”, straight women are gay. I don’t look at naked dudes the way straight girls look at Kim Kardashian on PornHub. I’m a top, not a bottom, and I’m not physically sexually attracted to males. No “same sex attraction” as Dr. Michael Brown calls it, but I honestly think that femme straight girls do have some of that “same sex physical attraction”, which is why they come off as gay to me.
Also, it is really awkward when me and another guy pee side by side. Like occasionally there is no divider between the urinals and I kind of sort of notice or want to look at the other guy’s dick. I’m not gay, but there is something sexual about dicks. Don’t tell anyone this, but I secretly own a dildo. Okay, it’s not that secret. Anyway, if there is no divider, I would rather just use a stall. Basically, I’m like a woman or a “male lesbian”, and I would like “to achieve the complete dismantling of all gender based institutions“, as I Tweeted, because sexism, homophobia, sexual repression, etc. are bad for people and I don’t think that restricting people socially or keeping them from being themselves helps. Just look at what happened to the gay Catholic priests:
At Bank of America, I ran into the worst codebase that I had ever seen. It was written in the Scala programming language, and I love Scala, but this codebase was like a wooden ship that had gone without maintenance for so long that the wood was rotting and it had taken up water. Morgan Stanley also ran into issues with its Scala codebase, but this was worse. Java and Scala are two different programming languages and the way you run a Scala project is different than the way you run a Java project. Java is backwards compatible and Scala is not because Java is fully matured and Scala is not. I believe this delay in maturity was a deliberate design decision made by the creator and head of the Scala programming language, Martin Odersky, because without backwards compatibility, it is possible to retroactively fix flaws in the programming language. That being said, without backwards compatibility, and with a totally different programming paradigm, a certain additional degree of care must be taken (including additional maintenance), and the people who handed me this Scala codebase DID NOT take this additional degree of care and DID NOT do any maintenance. Imagine a president who ran up their country’s debt up to the absolute max before handing it over to a new president from another political party. Or imagine that you bought a used car that was on the verge of breaking down. There was a lot of technical debt to be paid back and a lot of maintenance and updating that needed to be done. The old ship (codebase) must be repaired before it can set sail again (i.e. before new features can be added), and this codebase was in a complete, utter state of disrepair. It also had many security holes, which to me went part and parcel with how flawed and shitty it was from a software perspective.
Looking at the logs, people who originally built this codebase no longer worked at Bank of America. I looked one person up on LinkedIn and he apparently left to work at Facebook. The last code change in the build was over three years ago. Apparently this codebase had been built sloppily and neglected for years before being handed off to unsuspecting me (plus some other people), and I couldn’t even contact the people who wrote the code that I was working on because they either did not work here anymore or they were in India. Basically, they left a complete and utter dysfunctional mess, and now it was my job to continue where they left off. Oh boy.
The codebase was the worst thing that I had ever seen. None of the tests ran and passed. The build was completely messed up. Everything was deprecated and needed to be replaced. This codebase was like a car where the engine, headlights, oil, carburetor, and every major component was broken and needed to be fixed before the thing could make forward progress again. The fact that they left the keys in the ignition (a massive security hole) was the least of my problems – if they knew exactly what they were doing the security hole wouldn’t have even been there, but they winged it – poorly. I wing things, but I first do my research, plan it out, and execute it meticulously, but these people were sloppy and didn’t do their reading. My main concern at the time was that the codebase was so bad that it was virtually impossible to make changes or updates to this codebase without redoing almost the whole thing. The codebase was built on top of an HTTP library that was deprecated (Spray), and they were supposed to have switched to a different one (Akka HTTP) years ago, but apparently these people did not get the memo. The memo was posted on the Spray website for years, like so:
If you look at the website, it is clear that you were supposed to migrate from Spray to Akka HTTP, but they didn’t migrate. The people who created Spray tweeted and posted in multiple places that all the users should migrate, but the people at Bank of America apparently didn’t get the memo. The Bank of America firewall blocked all the social media websites, so one possible explanation is that the people who created Spray were posting and posting, but nobody at Bank of America got the memo. This codebase was built on top of rotting, deprecated shit, the people who built it were no longer available, and now it belongs to me. Oh boy. On top of that, the bank employees who used this codebase had no idea that it was supposed to have regular maintenance and updates. The people before me didn’t really know what they were doing and they just left the thing, and now I am supposed to add new features to it. This never goes well.
One difference between Java and Scala is that because Java is almost totally matured, it doesn’t change as quickly, so things don’t get old or deprecated as fast. It doesn’t change or move as quickly, so it doesn’t need as much updates and maintenance. Bank of America has these ancient codebases written in very old versions of Java, plus they had mainframes that were running code written in COBOL. They were very behind the curve technologically, and this particular project was constructed by a startup like organization that was acquired by or inside of the Bank. The startup type people apparently picked the most experimental, bleeding edge, pre-release technology and then abandoned it and then the bank people took it over. The only problem was that the startup people were good enough to be hired by a company like Facebook, and the bank people were in India and I could barely understand their English. This codebase was in such bad shape that it crashed constantly, ran terribly slowly, and was impossible to work with. The people who worked on it (including the guy who left to work at Facebook) didn’t know what they were doing (perhaps because there is a learning curve, the functional programming language Scala is not meant to be coded in like C++ or Java, and also because the documentation was blocked), and it was the worst software system that I had ever seen. At least at Amazon someone code reviews your code before you push changes, so if one person disappears you can always talk to the person who did the review, but here there was zero review. The bank just kind of paid money for a thing and the people who were in charge of this thing didn’t what they were doing. For the tech people it was like “the wild west”, and for the bankers, it was constant frustration because the software kept breaking and crashing, and it took FOREVER for them to see new software features.
A while back my mom told me a story about a guy who was assigned a software system to work on. This software system was like a trading program that had previously been built by one guy. The trading program made a lot of money for the bank, but then the guy suddenly quit. They needed to make changes to this trading program, so they grabbed this other guy and told him to continue where the previous guy left off (this isn’t exactly what happened, but you get the idea). I could imagine sitting down at this other guy’s trading program and feeling like it was written in Chinese and also busted in 50 different places. No, it wasn’t literally written in Chinese, but it was unintelligible. There was no code review, no oversight, and no responsibility. The previous person just abandoned the thing. Now you have to either learn Chinese and fix all the things that are broken or start over and create a new trading program that trades just as well as the old one. Normally you would do the former, but in Scala there is no backwards compatibility, so you can’t just abandon it for years, especially if the stuff that it was built on is already rotten and deprecated. The whole thing needed to be migrated to a new system and redone, and apparently the only person at Bank of America who had any idea how to do this was me. I was now leading the charge (without issuing a single verbal order), and people almost twice my age were coming to me.
Scala is a bigger, harder programming language than Java. If you’re not a great programmer, you could write Apache Spark (data processing script type) jobs because you don’t actually have to fully know the Scala programming language to do that, but you’re going to run into problems if you try to do a big, complicated backend system with no guard rails. These people who came before me tried to do something big and complicated, and they wrecked the thing and left it in god awful shape before abandoning it. The setup instructions hadn’t been updated in like four years and I basically wrote entirely new setup instructions and provided them to everyone, bought everyone technical books, and planned out a migration path. At Bank of America, there were people of all skill levels from people who had no idea what they were doing up to me (and some people who I think were pretty close to me but didn’t work as passionately), and these people were spread all over, from New York City to India. They totally screwed the whole thing up. Heck, in order to talk to another person who was working on the same code as I was, I had to wake up early in the morning and get on Skype because I was in the US and they were in India. Apparently Bank of America never heard that coworkers are supposed to be in the same time zone.
Ideally, you have someone running the show who is really smart, thoughtful, can lead without having to yell orders, and who knows what they are doing (i.e. the technical lead or software architect). Bank of America didn’t have someone like that, at least not on the codebase that I was working on, so I kind of filled in for the absence of that person. Before I worked at Amazon Web Services, and everyone was good or better and they were all in the same building. Here there were people ranging from “I have no clue what I am doing” to “I have this super detailed plan to fix everything, but I don’t have approval because the person who is supposed to give me approval doesn’t actually understand the problem”. You can guess which one I was.
In software engineering, this state of being stuck in a problem is called “The Tar Pit”, a term taken from the book “The Mythical Man-Month“. This group of programmers was in “The Tar Pit” because there was nobody in charge who knew what they were doing and the thing was in a total state of utter disrepair. There was nobody with prior knowledge and experience to enforce structure and order. Nobody read the manual, and because of the firewall, the website with the manual on it was blocked anyway, so I had to use my phone to read it at work. I used my phone, but apparently the people before me did not. They just winged it, and they did it terribly. I took control of this situation, and then my recruiting company, TekSystems, kind of mysteriously fired or transferred me from Bank of America, and then the Russia Investigation happened, and I got thrown into some stuff. From there my life became crazy.
In order to attract desirable tech talent, desirable people have to want to work for you or with you. There has to be something attractive that you (as a leader) have to offer – the company or business, the technology, the leader (team lead or manager), the location, the pay, the people, the environment, the culture, etc. If you are located in the middle of nowhere, your business is “knife sharpening robots”, your software looks like it was made in the 80’s, the team lead or manager is dislikable, the pay is less than what other companies offer, the technology is obsolete, the culture is miserable, and the reviews on Glassdoor are terrible, it is going to be virtually impossible for you to attract good tech talent. You would be lucky to end up with “indentured servants”, or people who work for you and stick with you because they can’t get a job elsewhere. The best tech talent can work wherever they want for pretty much whoever they want, and if you suck, they are not going to want to work for you. There are people who have received competing job offers from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and other top companies. How can you get their attention or peak their interest, and why would any of them want to work for you? Recruiting tech talent is kind of like dating – if you look and smell like shit, you’re going to struggle with it, but if you are attractive and likable, you’re going to have an easier time with it.
Continuing with the dating metaphor, some companies metaphorically “look and smell like shit”, but they aren’t even aware of it. They are like the guy who smells like farts, and people stay away from him because of it, but nobody tells him that he smells like farts, and unfortunately he can’t smell his own odor. He thinks that he smells like perfume, but he smells like farts. You don’t want your company to be like that. Work on yourself and maintain a good, presentable image and a good network in order to make yourself (or your organization) attractive to the kind of people that you want. It’s like you’re dating, but the “men” or “bees” are the talented software people and the “women” or “flowers” are the companies that need talent. You want your flower to attract the right kind of bees.
I’m going to start with myself for an example. My first tech job I hated, the second tech job I disliked but tolerated, and the third tech job I liked. My first tech job was a contract, through Accenture, for a cruise ship company to make cruise hospitality software. The way a cruise ship is built is very different than the way a website is built. A cruise ship is pretty much finished on the day of it’s launch, but a website is not. This cruise ship company didn’t really know what it was doing or what it wanted from a technology perspective, and they lacked basic technology competence, so Accenture just hired and flew in people from all over the US and had them sit around and pretend to do work for over a month and charged them for it. A friend who had a PhD was paid to get on a plane on Monday, fly in to Miami for work, stay in a hotel, make it look like he was doing work on his laptop, and then fly back home on Friday, all while Accenture collected a percentage of his pay, which by the way was a lot of money. The cruise ship company was basically shoveling cash into an incinerator, and Accenture was totally fine with that, probably because they were making money. It’s fine to hire plenty of people early and provide them with training resources or education during a “ramp up” period, but this was literally highly paid people being paid to pretend to work. I went ballistic and then they fired me. Unlike some people, I am INCREDIBLY productivity oriented – I get bored easily and I want the best tools and the best technology for maximum productivity, so any tech job where I have to sit on my ass, tilt my laptop screen away from a boss, and hit keys on a keyboard to make it look like I am working is a definite no-go. Some people dream of getting paid lots of money to do pretty much nothing, but I don’t, and you don’t want to hire workers who will suck cash out of your company the way a vampire sucks blood. Unhappy, mediocre, or deadbeat tech people who are just there to collect a paycheck and go home will drain your company of finances. If you are a big, fortune 500 company with below average tech competence, and you want a third party to grab 100 tech people from India of varying talent levels and have them create something in a way that is standardized and not particularly innovative, this might be an acceptable approach for you, but to me it is a massive waste of money. In addition, because the people from India who are doing the work for you often don’t speak good English, you can’t communicate with them directly. You end up having to talk to someone, who talks to someone, who talks to someone, who finally talks to the person who is doing work on your behalf. Too many layers. I personally prefer to just see a software bug on my computer screen, take a screenshot, email it to someone with a message that says “this is not working – please fix”, get a quick response, and later see a bug fix on the website.
I just shoot them an email, they forward it to the developers, the developers fix the bug, and then I refresh the website and the bug is either fixed or modified. This all happens within the span of a couple weeks.
Back to the main story, my second job was at Amazon Web Services. In theory it would have been a great job. The pay was great, the environment was great, the culture was great, the teammates were great, and the company was great. The place ran like a well oiled machine, but I disliked my job from week one, and I didn’t stop disliking it until after I submitted my letter of resignation and left the company. Amazon took regular employee surveys, but I never explicitly said that I disliked my job and didn’t want to do my assigned tasks, and frankly I don’t think they pickup up on that until the end. Just because a job is great for one person doesn’t mean that it’ll be great for everyone, and just because one person doesn’t like a particular job doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it and excel at it. Someone else took that job, and whoever it is, I am not jealous of them because frankly it was never a job that I personally wanted.
Going back to the dating analogy, maybe were looking for a relationship and you got the hottest guy, and everyone was like “wow, he’s so good looking,” but he’s not the best guy for you, and you later find happiness with a less hot looking guy. The hot looking guy was Amazon and the less hot looking guy was my follow-up employer, Bank of America. Sometimes certain people look really good together on paper or in a photo, but things don’t work because of “irreconcilable differences”, and they separate. The blame isn’t all on one side or another. Resigning from a job is kind of like divorcing your employer, and this divorce (like the divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos) was amicable. I learned a lot as a software engineer from my time at Amazon and I have no complaints.
One error I think that Amazon made was that they as an organization are so hyper-focused on the customer that they often miss vibes from the employees. For example, an employee might feel a certain way, but not explicitly say to their boss something along the lines of “here is a thing that I dislike about my job or my company. Allow me to explain it to you while praying that you don’t fire me.”
One detail that I would like to go into is the boss/employee relationship. I have a psychiatric condition and I am mentally “different”. Sometimes it is nice when those differences can be accommodated, a subject that I wrote about in this gist. I’m not going to say his name, but my boss at Amazon was a very humble, soft, respectful guy. He’s a great manager, and I have no issue with him, but I generally avoided him. When he scheduled meetings with me and asked how I was doing or if I had any issues, I generally nodded my head and said “no issues” even though there were issues. There were issues from the day I received my offer, which I accepted to make my parents happy, and those issues remained throughout the duration of my employment, but I didn’t talk about those issues, and I honestly do not think that Amazon was aware of exactly what those issues were until years after I accepted my offer. I remember at the very end of my employment, my boss asked me “Do you like you job?” and in a politically correct fashion I replied “there are moments where I experience brief happiness, like when I complete a task, but in general, no.” Other than brief moments where I felt a short burst of happiness, I did not like my job, but I held on regardless. This was a failure where neither side was entirely at fault. It’s like the divorce where the wife isn’t happy and her needs are not met. As a boss, you want happy, productive employees rather than people who merely tolerate their job so that they can collect a paycheck and go home after having put in the minimum number of hours. This is especially true in the software industry.
I’d also like to say that there was a personality mismatch that didn’t help. During my employment, my boss repeatedly said that I was overly soft-spoken during team stand up meetings, and that when I did go into verbal detail nobody cared. Oh boy. I don’t think he actually saw the kind of person who I am until well after I left Amazon, and perhaps I acted a certain way to make myself more tolerable to other people like him. Sometimes one person kind of puts on a mask and pretends to be someone different than they really are so that someone else can be in a relationship with them. Like imagine a wife who pretends to be this soft, womanly wife in order to fit certain gender roles in order to be with this hard, manly man who got her pregnant so that they can stay together for another month for the sake of their baby (who may or may not be this other man’s biological child). Like this hypothetical person, the real me kind of tried really hard to remain in a relationship. The real me is this very aggressive, forward, borderline egomaniac who will steamroll anyone who gets in my way, but in this relationship, I made my behavior different than it usually is am in order to make it last longer because I didn’t think that I could get a better job than the one I had at Amazon. I mean, just look at how sparkly the word “Amazon” looks on a résumé. Seriously though – there is not one job that is the best job for every person just like there isn’t one boyfriend who is the best boyfriend for every woman. Like a romantic relationship, an employer/employee relationship is a relationship and it should be treated as such. There are cheap, short-term relationships that just temporarily give you what you want and there are valuable long-term relationships that are more than that, and if you are building high quality, long lasting, maintainable software, then you want the latter, not the former. Temp workers can provide supplemental assistance, but a company like Amazon is not built by temp workers. Just like a good child is raised by caring parents, a good company is raised by responsible leaders who treat it like their baby. Amazon was like Jeff Bezos’s baby.
Getting good talent for your software project is a skill in and of itself. You could pay some company to hire cheap people in India to bombard programmers on websites like LinkedIn, Dice, Monster, and Angel.co with spam cell phone calls, but unless you want to throw spare cash at cheap overseas tech workers who will build a low quality product, that approach is usually not the best. Tech recruiters as a group are annoying, sometimes calling people like myself multiple times an hour and hitting them with over a dozen spam emails a day, wasting the programmer’s time pitching totally irrelevant or uninteresting jobs that they wouldn’t do even if they received an offer. They don’t really know which jobs go with which people because they don’t have domain expertise, so they do keyword searches and send mass emails. Cheap tech recruiters are like guys on Tinder. They swipe right on everyone and send the same first message to almost every woman, and sometimes they come off as desperate. Unprofessional tech recruiters can make the end client look bad, pathetic, or desperate, and the jobs that they pitch usually pay less and have less benefits than what high end tech company jobs pay. Basically, these recruiters bother people in order to get them to agree to employment that they don’t want. In addition, if talented people come to you asking you for a job, you have more bargaining power than if you come to them and ask them to work for you. Tech recruiters serve as a liaison between programmers who are looking for a job and companies that most programmers do not want to work for. For all these reasons, cheap tech recruiters are a last resort or at most a supplement to more professional recruiting methods. Staffing companies may display the semblance of professionalism, but that’s just the surface. If you go deeper, it’s just a bunch of people with zero domain working a call center in order to make a commission. They don’t actually care about the people who they are contacting – they want money.
In contrast to the way these people who don’t know what they’re doing do it, allow me to explain how I recruit. At Bank of America, we needed people with a very esoteric specialty, “Semantic Web”, so we resorted to hiring smart people who don’t know what that is and providing them with educational resources and “ramp up time” to learn during the first few months of their employment. My manager, “Rick Short” said “You can’t hire people who know Semantic Web. Trust me, we tried.” Not long after he said that, I befriended someone online who was getting a PhD in this subject, and through me this PhD student reached out to my employer. Savy networking can be helpful when recruiting people. For example, on https://www.meetup.com/, I found tech events where people can network with tech people. I talked to some subject matter experts at an event and recruited some teammates for a startup that I was interested in creating, and at least one of them seemed genuinely excited about my idea. For me, networking works much better than paying someone from overseas who doesn’t speak good English to filter through online employee profiles by keyword and bombard potential employees with spam calls. The following story comes to mind.
On my resume, I wrote something to the effect of “Even though I have experience with Ruby, I hate Ruby. Please do not contact me with Ruby jobs.” A recruiter then proceeded to contact me with a Ruby job, perhaps because my resume had the word “Ruby” in it. This was incredibly annoying. In addition, it’s often better to just hire good, talented people with a similar (but not identical) skills to what you need and have them pick up new skills while they are an employee of yours (for example through a combination of online educational resources, books from https://smile.amazon.com, and employer sponsored training) rather than hire people whose specific skills are an exact keyword match with the technologies that you have. For example, C# and Java are similar in that they are both statically typed, object oriented programming languages, so even if you have a Java project, it’s usually better to hire a good, talented C# developer and have them pick up Java than it is to hire an average Java developer and not have them not learn new things while they are an employee of yours. Ruby and Python are similar, Swift and Kotlin may be similar, and F# and Scala are similar. There aren’t many backend Scala programmers, but if I were looking to fill a roll, I might seek out good F# programmers and have them pick up Scala because these two programming languages are similar. In general, people can quickly pick up programming languages that are similar to what they already know, but picking up something different is more difficult and takes more time. The similarity between F# and Scala is not obvious to most people, so it helps to have domain expertise which can be obtained by read online articles and Wikipedia.
Your run-of-the-mill tech recruiter typically doesn’t know these things because they’re basically call center workers who lack background information. In the absence of information, they rely on heuristics. For example, they might obtain a list of keywords which they jot down on a piece of paper, and then search for people with those keywords on their profiles or in their resumes. Me personally, if I had a really esoteric technology and I was hiring for that, I would look up that technology on Wikipedia, look at “related technologies”, and find people with related skills who could pick up this esoteric technology on the job, but your run-of-the-mill tech recruiter would probably just resort to copy-pasting keywords and dialing through a list of people, often pissing people off in the process. Example:
One way to tell which programming languages are related is by looking up a programming language on Wikipedia and looking at the attributes and the “influenced by” section:
From Wikipedia, I can see that “Kotlin” has static typing (just like Java, C#, Scala, Gosu, and ML) and that it was influence by “C#, Gosu, Groovy, Java, ML, Python, Scala”. I don’t actually know what “Gosu” is, but Wikipedia tells me that it is statically typed and that it runs on the Java Virtual Machine, as does Kotlin. Because of these similarities, if I saw someone with “Gosu” on their resume but no “Kotlin”, I would still consider them in my recruiting because of these similarities, and also the fact that anyone who knows a language as esoteric as “Gosu” probably has picked up most of these other languages at some point. There aren’t many backend Kotlin developers, but Kotlin is not a hard programming language to learn, so if someone knows say Java or Scala, they should be able to pick up Kotlin over the course of several weeks, especially if I order them a book and provide links to online educational resources and entry level “baby” tasks like tiny bug fixes. Personally, I am more of a physical paper-and-ink book kind of person, but different people learn things in different ways and ideally there should be multiple different ways to learn the same thing. Learning doesn’t end when you get a degree – you have to keep learning new things to stay relevant and up-to-date in tech. Some people program old mainframes, and that is great for them, but I like to stay on the cutting edge, and even mainframes eventually get decommissioned.
Now I’m going to change the topic to hiring and screening.
On the topic of hiring, high-end tech companies have their own policies, procedures, and recommendations, and they evaluate potential employees and make offers based on their evaluations. They train people on how to conduct interviews and copy interviewing techniques from other companies, often adding their own twist to existing techniques. Techniques which are described in books like “Cracking the Coding Interview“. I might also Google “How to conduct a good Programming Interview” and conduct interviews based on my research. If your hiring manager goes on Google, types in “Interview Questions For [Insert Technology]”, and then asks online questions verbatim, then you’re going to end up hiring people who are good at Googling interview questions on their cell phone.
Companies that are not tech savy do not have the means to attract and recruit top tier talent on their own, and they often don’t even know how to estimate a programmer’s worth. Rather than going through all that, they might hire ten people at say $65 an hour, and out of those ten, one is horrible, two are bad, five are in the middle, and three are good. Overall, it averages out, particularly if they get lucky and end up hiring a really good person who sets things up in such a way as to positively direct and ultimately help the group of programmers as a whole. That being said, if you don’t know what you’re doing, hiring programmers is a crap shoot. Spam recruiting is for technologically undesirable companies that just want to throw money at a recruiting agency and get labor that will eventually do work. If you advertise and network well, have an attractive looking business or company, can attract and recruit top tier people, and know the kind of people you’re looking for and how to peak their interest and train, then you generally don’t need to resort to paying recruiters to make cold calls and send out mass emails.
Popular tech companies that pay well, like the FANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) have their own internal recruiters who (in my experience) have excellent social skills and speak perfect English. They can stop by at University job fairs and can be socially charismatic with a variety of people. As an aside, these interpersonal workers tend to also appear more attractive looking than tech people, especially at networking events. They are more likable than people overseas who make cold calls, and they don’t make the company that they are representing look cheap or desperate. In addition, Amazon has an employee leadership principle that is as follows:
Me personally, I am very socially outgoing and if I’m passionate about something, I can delve into it and convey that passion to other people. This can be helpful when recruiting. Personally, outsourcing my recruiting to a firm that hires people from overseas would be a last resort, and only something that I would resort to if I had a lot of spare money and an inability to recruit talented people on my own.
I might also consider hiring people through TripleByte, which is a service that screens people in bulk with an online exam that covers a myriad of computer science fundamentals and then runs programmers who pass this exam through a rather difficult tech interview over a website like https://codeshare.io/ or an app like Skype. I personally like this approach, and also I personally prefer doing my coding interview with Skype via screensharing or by solving a challenge while screen recording my computer. I tend to get distracted by the other person’s face on Skype, so my personal favorite type of tech interview is when they just send me a hard problem, I turn on my screen recording software, forget that it is recording, work on the problem for an hour or two, and then send them the solution and the recording in video format showing me solving the problem on my computer. I like this approach because I don’t get distracted by the screen recorder and it verifies not only that I solved the problem, but how I solved the problem. Skype is not bad, but I find the little square with the other person’s face in it distracting. Using a whiteboard is also pretty good, although you should research how to conduct a whiteboard interview before attempting to do one on my own, and I would also watch an example whiteboard interview or shadow one. My least favorite interview method is when prospective employers make me write code inside of a code sharing website like https://codeshare.io/ because I rely heavily on tooling like my Itegrated Development Environment (IDE) and I am basically so dependent on tooling that I can’t work productively without it, and online browser based coding lacks tooling. For me, tooling makes an order of magnitude difference in my productivity and once I start using a tool that I like, I forget how I lived without it. For example, I pretty much don’t even know how to navigate without Google Maps anymore because I am dependent on that tool. Without the Google Maps tool, I get lost. My coding productivity tools are kind of like Google Maps in that regard.
Different programmers like different tools, and they’re going to run into problems if you drop them in say the middle of nowhere with no “Google Maps” like tool. Also, regardless of whether you use a WhiteBoard, Skype, a ScreenRecorder, or do your screening some other way, some form of filtering or evaluation is a must. Different organizations do it differently, and there is not a perfect approach for every organization, but your organization needs some sort of filtering and evaluation method, and preferably one that is standardizable and widely applicable. A given tech person could be worth $300k to one employer and $50k to another employer, and I want to filter out the people who are worth $50k to me rather than hiring a mixture of people who suck and people who are good and hoping that the good people will balance out with the sucky people. Maybe that $50k person will be worth $150k to another employer in another job role, so you want that person to go work for someone else rather than having them suck money out of you or your company. Amazon kind of nudges these people out of the company by for example offering them a financial incentive to leave the company within a certain timeframe. I resigned without being paid to quit, as described in this article, but you really want unhappy people who don’t want to do their job to go find another job or position.
I mentioned this before, but I lack empathy. In order for me to feel empathy, I need to form a real personal connection. It helps when I can look into the other person’s eyes, see their pupils, Google them, see who their spouse is, watch an interview of them on YouTube, and see how they interact with other people in real life. I like being able to tell when people are lying and telling the truth – being able to see what their tells are. It helps when I know not only who someone is, but who their spouse is and how they relate to their spouse, as this tells me more about who they are as a person. Without a human connection, I have VERY little empathy. An atomic bomb on Manhattan would make me snivel, and then I would get a sandwich. Or at least that’s how I imagine I would react.
The problem with websites like https://stackoverflow.com/ is that there isn’t really a way for me to personally connect with other people. I can’t see their facial expressions, Google them, or scroll through their photos. It’s not like Facebook or YouTube. I’m a total dick online, and I don’t even realize it because I don’t have the empathy with total strangers necessary to feel bad. I honestly don’t even realize that I’m doing it.
Also, I think a lot of people don’t realize that I have an incurable mental health problem. Medications are ineffective, so I resort to non-medication based methods. Most of the time I kind of cover it, hide it, or correct for my it, but not all the time. Pretending not to be “crazy” takes a lot of effort. If you are in a jail cell, you can be literally crazy and there is nothing that anybody can do and there are no repercussions, but out in society there is an expectation of normalcy or conformance, and there are social repercussions. Getting myself to be “normal” (or “not crazy”) frequently requires intentional, deliberate effort on my part, and I have to choose to make that effort.
Although I was a US citizen at the time of my birth, I was board abroad in Russia and my family came to the US before I was a year old. I don’t know what the institution of marriage was like in the US when Ronald Reagan was president. When it comes to marriage, I can only comment on what it means to me, a 25 year old male who believes that he has found his other half.
But first, allow me to explain how I believe that marriage is supposed to work. In my world (which might not be yours), people who are middle class, smart, or above middle class should go to college or university. In college or university, they should have sexual or romantic experiences and encounters with people who will not be their future spouse. They learn social and interpersonal things in these younger years. At some point, they feel that they want a baby or a kid (personally I am more interested in kids than babies), and maybe they had a past relationship that lacked something. They hope to find someone with whom they have chemistry and can be in a relationship that doesn’t lack that something that was lacking in a previous relationship. Maybe a previous relationship lacked some form of chemistry, compatibility, or attraction, but eventually they run into a person who completes them and who doesn’t lack that chemistry, compatibility, or attraction.
Congratulations! You (and by “you” I am referring to myself) have found your other half, and at some point you decide that you want to have or raise a child with this person. You get rings and go through an engagement period where you don’t have babies. The end of the engagement period is marriage, which to me just means getting a marriage license or changing rings from an engagement ring (I initially put mine on my right hand) to a marriage ring (which typically goes on the left hand). Then you can have children (either your own or adopted). Even if you can’t produce your own, adoption is still an option, but you shouldn’t do that until after you are married. Also, I personally don’t believe in [penetrative penis-in-vagina] sex with a person who you are serious about until after engagement, and I hold this belief for reasons that have nothing to do with the Bible or any other holy book. I personally get attached, and I learned that getting attached to the wrong person can lead to being in a bad or abusive relationship. Also, I currently rent a 501 square foot studio apartment in a city, and I don’t want another person living in it full-time, so I personally wouldn’t share a living space full-time before marriage.
As for weddings, to me a wedding is just a special event like a Bar Mitzvah or a Quinceañera. If you’re broke or your families don’t like or know each other, that might put a wedding on hold, but that isn’t something that should prevent young people from, at the very least, getting rings. A wedding isn’t a necessity – it’s just a celebratory event or party. They can be nice, though. For example, a little while ago I met an Uber driver who used to DJ at nightclubs, but now does custom DJ-ing for weddings. He switched because the pay is better, but he emphasized that the increased price is because everything has to be tailored to and for the couple that is getting married. That’s great, but again, a wedding is not a necessity, just like a Bar Mitzvah or a Quinceañera is not a necessity. If anything it’s a capstone that commemorates a very important achievement – the achievement of having found your life partner. And that to me is what the institution of marriage should be about. Regardless of whether you are male or female, monogamous or polyamorous, gay or straight, or some something in between, I believe that having found your “other half” is an important goal to have achieved in life, and ultimately that is what getting married is about. The wedding is just a party to commemorate and celebrate that life achievement.
Let me tell you why I fight for Healthcare. The entire American medical system is, from end to end, fucked up.
I worked in the technology industry at Amazon. If the customer says “I want it delivered”, Amazon asks “how fast do you want it?” Jeff Bezos LOVES his customers. Even though he is a billionaire, he silently listened in on customer calls so that he is attuned with the wants of his customers. Customer obsession is a corporate value at Amazon, not just for Jeff, but for the employees there as a group.
The medical industrial complex does not give a shit about its customers. What it really gives a shit about is their money, not the people themselves. If it were legal to do so, as a patient, I would kick the crap out of some of these people. There are people in the medical industry who, in my opinion, do not belong in this industry. I want whole systemwide reform for the benefit of medical patients. Please back Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren so that we can create a system that values human lives over special interests and giving more money to greedy people who are already rich.
p.s. I have to be 35 for President or Vice President, and I am 25 now, which is why I am backing Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and even Pete Buttigieg, the first openly homosexual running for the highest office in America. He is married, he served in Afghanistan, he went to Harvard and Oxford, and I think he is a good role model for gay people in America.
I am straight (heterosexual), but I love and am attracted to men as people (homoromantic), and that is unfair to women because I will never love them, it’s unfair to males because I will never have sex with them, and it’s unfair to me because I’m not being true to myself.
The sexual identities of “gay” and “straight” are social constructs because different sexes have different standards for what these words mean. Males and females categorize themselves as “gay” or “straight” on a different set of subjective rather than objective or universal standards. Males tend to base their categorization on their more physical sexual orientation and females tend to base their categorization on their more mental romantic orientation. The “gay” and “straight” standards for males and females are very different, and this results in words that do not have broad or universally applicable meanings. These words are social constructs.
To prove this point for males, look at this couple: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/23/2020-spouses-presidential-candidates-1233092 . In the the United States a self-identified gay man, Pete Buttigieg, is running for President. He comes off as a straight man in terms of appearance. He has a masculine personality, he speaks in a masculine way, he served in the military, and he wears short hair and a clean shaven face. He identifies as “gay”, but he looks like a typical straight man.
That being said, his partner, Chasten is very visibly male (male physical form, suit and tie, etc) and I would assume that Pete is sexually attracted to Chasten. As I see it, Pete Buttigieg is homosexual because he is sexually attracted to males such as Chasten. That being said, when I look closely at the personality of his partner, Chasten comes off as more like a woman or as womanly in many ways, or at least to a greater extent than Pete does. His partner is a grade school teacher with more effeminate mannerisms and a more effeminate way of speaking. Me personally, I generally do not find effeminate mannerisms and an effeminate way of speaking attractive. My romantic partners tend to have masculine mannerisms and a masculine way of speaking. That being said, I am heterosexual and I am happy with physically female features. I am sexually attracted to that – the female sex – as well as things that I associate with the female sex. For example, I find a streak of the color purple to be attractive even though the color purple isn’t physically female because I associate the color purple with the female sex, but I still like it when my female partner has a more masculine personality (tomboyish, older woman, talks like a dude, offers for us to get drinks, etc).
I don’t know Pete or his partner personally, but perhaps Pete is a homo-sexual hetero-romantic if he loves those non-sexual female features (female mannerisms, way of talking, etc). Perhaps his partner, Chasten Buttigieg, is a homo-sexual homo-romantic because he is sexually attracted not only to the physical male body (suit and tie, male physical body, etc) but also to the masculine personality that Pete has (masculine personality, masculine way of talking, military service, etc).
Also, in terms of Pete and Chasten’s roles (who folds the laundry and who does some other typically male or female chores around the house), that is a separate thing. If I remember correctly, I think that Pete does more of the typically “womanly” chores in his household like folding the laundry. This might be more of a gender role than anything. I personally am not sexually or romantically attracted to gender roles like who folds clothes and who doesn’t fold clothes. But yeah, I would identify as a heterosexual homoromantic (or at least more homo-romantic than I am hetero-romantic) and when I see a couple of gay men where one of the men is feminine and the other is masculine, that makes me suspect that they are not both 100% homosexual and 100% homoromantic. This makes me suspect that perhaps one is slightly more heteroromantic than the other.
As I see it, these men (Pete and Chasten) both identify as “gay” because they are sexually attracted to males or things that they associate with the sex of male (say, a three piece suit and men’s dress shoes). The fact that one of them likes or loves the feminine characteristics in a partner doesn’t affect whether or not they identify as “gay” or “straight”. They identify as “gay” because they are physically, sexually attracted to men. That being said, let’s flip it and look at a lesbian couple and see what makes them identify as “gay”.
Imagine a couple of cis-sex, female, “lesbian” women. They are born female and wish to stay female. Now imagine that in this couple, one of them physically looks like a man with a suit, tie, and men’s dress shoes and the other looks like a woman with a curvy red dress, red lipstick, and makeup. Let’s say that both of these women identify as lesbians. That being said, one of those self-identified lesbians for some reason appears to have been sexually interested in males in some way. Let’s say it is the feminine looking one who was sexually interested in males. Let’s say that the feminine looking lesbian used to have no strings attached sex with men and enjoy it ( https://youtu.be/jtsqciPLwfU ). If a cis-sex male does this, he would probably self-identify as “gay”, but if a cis-sex female does this, she might also self-identify as “gay” or “lesbian” because she only enters into romantic relationships with women and she is only romantically attracted to women. This is a difference in the standards that cis-males and cis-females use with regards to their definition of “gay” and “straight” in terms of sexual identity. For example, the butch lesbian with the three piece suit and the men’s dress shoes might still have womanly personality characteristics that the femme lesbian finds attractive and desirable in a relationship partner. The femme lesbian (the one with the red dress and lipstick who dates butch lesbians) appears to identify as “lesbian” because of her romantic orientation, not because of what a cis-male might consider to be her sexual orientation.
I have seen this same phenomenon with an asexual woman who identified as “lesbian” because she entered into romantic relationships with other women. I would say that she is technically a homoromantic, asexual woman, not a “lesbian”. The category of “gay woman” or “lesbian” is subjective because cis females tend to put themselves in this category based on their romantic orientation (who they date or love or feel emotional attraction to) and cis males tend to put themselves in this category based on their sexual orientation (the sex that they are sexually attracted towards and physically aroused by).
Thus, the categories of “gay” and “straight” are not hard or universal. They vary based on the sex of who uses or identifies with these words. These words (“gay” and “straight”) are social constructs. These words should NEVER be used in a technical context (example: ) because technical terms should NEVER be subjective rather than objective. These words should NEVER be used in a scientific or technical context because these are not scientific or technical terms.
When I was younger, I had a friend. He was the “prettier” of the two of us. I liked and wanted to have a more male look (beard) and he liked and wanted a more female look (baby face). That being said, I wasn’t really into girls. I mean I thought that they were hot from the neck down, but I would have much rather been with him than with a girl. He on the other hand seemed to think that being heterosexual was a choice. I didn’t feel that way at all. In college I experimented with a guy once and I honestly couldn’t even get it up. Guys just make me flaccid. I didn’t see heterosexuality as a choice, but he did. That being said, when I said I wasn’t into girls, he joked that I was gay. I was like “no no no – I am heterosexual, I just don’t like to be with girls” and he was like “no, that’s gay”.
Here is the problem with the terms “gay” and “straight”. Different people define these terms differently. People who want to identify as “straight” can sort of bend the definition to say that they’re straight and the definition can even vary across sexes (for example the male definition of “gay” and the female definition of “gay” or “lesbian” can be different across sex lines). These terms aren’t exact – they don’t have a universally agreed upon definition. To me, these terms are meaningless. They have no specific, agreed upon definition.
In the previous case, both me and my friend can say we are both totally straight, but that would be inaccurate. I think that men who think that being homosexual is a choice… I don’t think those men are straight. I think that they are bisexual or at least partly bisexual, and they just don’t say that they are. That being said, let’s say that the other person’s definition of “straight” was the universal definition. That would make the other guy straight and me gay. Which one of us is “straight”? What exact requirements have to be met in order to meet the definition? There are none – people made it up.