One of my greatest weaknesses is indecisiveness. Sometimes I just can’t make up my mind as well as I would like. I think much of this is because I find myself mired in internal speculation over the outcome of an n-problem system. The mental simulations I entertain during such times often become sufficiently complex that I completely lose sight of the original decision’s scope. That’s why I really like it when the decisions are already made for me. It’s so liberating.
I dumped DigitalOcean as my VPS provider today. It’s not that there was anything particularly wrong or troublesome with their service. In fact, I’d argue that DigitalOcean’s service has been among the most fantastic I’ve ever had the opportunity to enjoy. Counter to some of the opinions made elsewhere, in my experience, service disruptions have been minimal (enough so that I had a VPS with 319 days uptime–I meant to update it, honestly!), and although I never had to contact support, their team simply seems far more transparent than many other service teams you encounter in the wild. I greatly enjoyed my time as part of their family of customers, and I wish I could have stayed with them indefinitely as I grow my own projects.
Sadly, such things are not often meant to last.
About a year ago (perhaps longer), I followed their primary Twitter account as an extra source of information about DigitalOcean’s ongoing activities. It was great, at first, but it slowly transformed into a political mouthpiece of leftist philosophy. Retweets often appeared from self-described “social justice warriors,” feminists, and other personalities that were less reflective of (in my opinion) the forward march of technology and more a symptom of a push to substantially change culture for no reason other than for the sake of changing culture. I get why: DigitalOcean’s headquarters is in New York city, and so they’re steeped in a left-wing thought bubble. I’m not complaining. This is a free country, and they’re free to do what they want. I’m also free to send my money to businesses whose politics align with my own or are, at the very least, more private about their leanings.
Before you pick up the phone to arrange a protest outside my window, consider this: I’m not upset that they’re politically active (and very vocal about it). Quite the contrary: I’m happy for them. I would much rather live in a country where free speech is protected, even for businesses, than to live in a country where businesses are shut down by government agencies and fined into bankruptcy on the merit that they don’t wish to participate in activities counter to their beliefs. Unfortunately, the latter describes in horrific detail the nature of our society at the present moment, and of one that is teetering dangerously over the precipice of tyranny.
I’m reluctant to engage in debate, but even I will freely admit that this isn’t a free country anymore because First Amendment protections (religious, press, speech) are no longer guaranteed. Call me a bigot, call me hateful, call me whatever you like. I don’t really care at this point, but it definitely gives me pause for thought. Hell, forget the pause, I’m taking a tremendous risk just typing this (much less publishing), because the instant my blog is discovered by the thought police masquerading as activists, their perverted notion of justice will be swift, and they’ll do everything they can to destroy my career, my future, and my life–all while reminding me that free speech is free, but it’s not without consequences.
I think one of the most dangerous facets of this movement is that it has no concept of proportionality. It’s ironic to consider given that one of their core tenants involves a harsh critique of the proportionality inside the criminal justice system. Thus, rather than engaging in polite discussion, it becomes a matter of all-out victory regardless of cost or collateral. It’s necessary to completely annihilate the opposition and to rationalize it with seething vitriol and by labeling the other side with “hate.” The debate itself doesn’t matter. What matters is how hateful we perceive the opposition as, and it certainly doesn’t matter if the opposition is “hateful” simply because they disagree. The more fervently they disagree, why, the more hateful they are! It’s easy to win debates when one no longer must consider finding common ground or supporting an argument with facts.
It would be an understatement to suggest I’m growing horribly tired of it. I’m tired of being labeled because I’m a Christian, because I’m politically right of center, because I believe in personal responsibility. I’m tired of being labeled because I think politeness and mutual respect for your fellow man are more meritorious virtues than “social justice” and wanton disregard for tradition. I’m tired of the divisiveness perpetrated by political interests who are more keen on accumulating power than helping those who granted such power to them. Honestly, if the first thing you want to do is to storm out your door and protest in the streets, you’re part of the problem, and I’m tired of that, too!
All of this nonsense is really just a round-about way to say that I’m done. I’m taking greater care from this moment onward to support organizations and companies I agree with, or are not overtly partaking in providing aid to these groups, and retracting my support from those in opposition. Let’s be honest, when retweeting comments from anti-religious activists and plastering rainbows all over your company logo well into the week following a political victory, it makes me feel unwelcome. It makes me feel unwanted. It was never about #LoveWins; it was about marginalizing my convictions.
So no, I don’t want to continue rewarding individuals–or companies–who personally attack my God, my beliefs, or me. I was raised believing it virtuous to respect others’ convictions and feelings. I can’t be the only one, but there’s a whole gaggle of lost souls whose childhood was obviously void of such a foundation, and therefore continue happily tearing down the pillars that once held our society true to the virtues of honor and respect.
Nevertheless, I don’t wish ill of anyone. I pray that DigitalOcean will continue to grow and prosper. They’ve worked exceptionally hard to build one of the best cloud providers in the world, and I think they deserve to reap the rewards of their labor. I also hope they continue to exercise their First Amendment rights as granted to them by the Constitution of the United States. It’s an important amendment–that’s why it’s the First–and I will fight for their rights to say what they wish, because no one will fight for mine. I just regret that I no longer feel welcome as part of their family of customers. C’est la vie. My contributions were regrettably minimal, but on a positive note, it also means they won’t miss my departure.
I’m glad there are some decisions I don’t have to make alone. Moving forward with a different provider is a difficult choice to make but not so much when it was made for me.
Thank you for everything, DigitalOcean.