My thoughts on DHH’s tweet about the Apple Card and their family’s experience.

  1. Systems that make decisions as a black box, with no way to understand how it came to make those decisions are dangerous and should be banned.
  2. We are setting a dangerous precedent if “I don’t know, it’s the algorithm” starts to become a cop-out answer from anybody representing any company. We as consumers should continue reinforcing this. It is unacceptable.
  3. A system that gives a man with a worse credit score than a woman 10x the credit limit is broken and most likely sexist. As a technical person, I can think of quite a few reasons why this could be the case, but this does not mean the outcome — what actually matters — is not sexist.
  4. Because people don’t design a system with explicit sexism, racism, or any other type of discrimination in mind doesn’t mean it can’t be. The right thing to do is call it out when you see it.
  5. After an investigation is complete and any form of sexism is found, both Apple and Goldman Sachs should apologise and tell people the methods they will take to stop this happening in the future. I frankly don’t give two fucks who underwrites what. Apple’s marketing is all over it, therefore they are jointly responsible.
  6. Men who haven’t experienced constant daily discrimination (no, somebody getting your name wrong on a Starbucks cup doesn’t count) in their lives sure find it hard to empathise with the fact that discrimination could be built into a flawed society.
  7. If your first reaction to this is to immediately think “she must have done something wrong in her application” or “what’s her income” or “another attack on men” then you have gotten it completely wrong. Re-evaluate your morals.
  8. Anecdotally, men in technology really find it hard to think about the bigger picture.
  9. Jeff Atwood’s reply is a prime example of men who don’t get it. This is the same man that several Computer Science professors link his writing as the gold standard of programming and young people look up to. Shocking (or is it?)
  10. Apple fanboys are unbearable. Raising the fact that Apple’s Credit Card might be unfairly biased towards women is not an attack on Apple, it’s helping the company.
  11. Twitter continues to showcase the worst of humanity in a way that doesn’t seem to respect my experiences in the real world. Then again, I’m firmly in the “bubble of liberal London”.