BritRuby (mild) critic Josh Susser: I don't think adding diversity at the end works. You have to start with it as one of your goals. Who wants to be the token female?
BritRuby organizer Sean Handley: Adding a token minority speaker is offensive to that speaker, it says "You're here because you tick a box - not because you're skilled."
Note how the "critic" who allegedly destroyed the conference expressed the exact same idea as one of the people who put it together. They were saying the same thing, for one small, tiny moment, which in real life might have led to some kind of common ground, but there was a whole lot of freaking the fuck out, and there was no searching for common ground.
Rubyists need to get better at having reasonable conversations.
Avdi Grimm wrote a blog post about this. I couldn't bring myself to read it. Instead, I counted the words using copy/paste and vim: 2,995.
That's a lot of words.
(I was able to read this post by Elisabeth Hendrickson.)
I sat this thing out, uninstalled my OS X and iOS Twitter clients, and even though I occasionally logged into the web client (making sure to log back out again, because anything which makes Twitter harder to use is good for my productivity), I basically wrote an entire ebook on Ruby on Rails and its deviations from classical OO theory (both its misguided deviations and its inspired ones) in the ensuing free time.
Now this is somewhat an exaggeration, because I had the idea for the book on Wednesday, and I already had an outline when I started writing it Thursday night, and there were several shots of espresso involved, but it's not much of an exaggeration to say that I wrote an entire ebook with the energy I saved by not participating in a discussion about how some mild criticism completely destroyed a 500-person conference.
OK, actually, that is a big exaggeration, but still. What I'm saying here is I got a lot done without paying attention to the drama, and I don't think this tempest in a teapot means anything.
Rubyists need to get better at choosing their battles.