Social Justice Warriors on Soylent


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This happens over and over again. It is pretty entertaining, though.
I don’t see any racism on the page, unless they want stock photos of smiling, multi-ethnic groups.
Disclaimer: I am a white, middle class male working in the technology sector.


Holy guacamole! How can the kickstarter page be racist? Background too white? Font too black?

How on earth does Soylent decrease the social mobility of the poor?


Why is it always black letters doing the work of making words while the white background just sits around doing nothing!!? </s>

[quote=“ruipacheco, post:3, topic:12329”]
How on earth does Soylent decrease the social mobility of the poor?[/quote]

Providing nutritious food cheaply in both time and cost! What a bunch of…


Could someone help me understand how allowing the poor to eat balanced meals cheaply and therefore be healthier and more able to do the work that will earn then a way out of the lower class is opressing them?


I don’t think the poor can afford Soylent.


Not at this point, but with the advances made in food science, cheap food for the poor isn’t far off.



I usually try really hard to stay away from ad hominem attacks, and so I just won’t go there (and seriously, no one here should either. Do Not Add Fuel)

It does bring into question the kind of reaching it takes (isn’t this same ‘downward slope’ fallacy republicans use for why gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed?) to attempt to apply your plight to Every Possible Situation. Sort of like taking the ‘nothing happens in a vacuum’ idea to the opposite end of the spectrum and then beating it over the head with hyperbole.


@dstaley My pleasure! It's easy to take for granted that everyone is as literate on intersectionality as me.

— AKA DoubleCakes (@jetta_rae) April 23, 2014

Nice and modest…


Post removed due to excessive flagging. Take that, posterity.


Had you taken a moment to be humble and ask for a better explanation, here’s what you would have received:

@jetta_rae brings up several interesting, very likely, points. What happens when an employer, interested in making their elite team of hackers more efficient, starts endorsing Soylent as an alternative to long lunches? What happens when programmers, eager to conform to the company’s brand image, feel obligated to consume Soylent to “fit in”? There are a lot of complexities that exist when you stop to really consider the implications of Soylent.

I also would like to say I disagree with @jetta_rae on the notion that Soylent “will only be used for evil.” I can definitely see how it can be, but I don’t think it would only be used for evil. The very fact that I was able to purchase two months of nutritious meals is a testament to the fact that there are some good benefits to Soylent.

Finally, I believe you do a disservice to the mission of Soylent when you simply mock the people who are willing to view Soylent through a critical eye. It’s quite clear that @rob and the rest of the Soylent team are trying to do good, and simply mocking those who disagree as opposed to taking serious attempts to engage and educate are not beneficial to any party.


Presenting the comment without any context completely casts it in the wrong light. Here’s the actual conversation:

@jetta_rae then took time out of their day to explain their concerns to me, something they had no obligation to do. I do not have the right to demand that they give a full, complete explanation to someone who is not knowledgable on the subject. With that in mind, I sincerely thanked them for taking the time to explain.

to which they replied

When you read the entire conversation, you realize they were simply stating that they take for granted that some people (such as myself) need a bit of explanation to understand the argument they’re making. That’s all. It was not a boast. It was not a brag. It was simply them admitting one of their own faults, just as I admitted my own fault of not understanding their original argument without some explanation.


Seconding the notion of avoiding ad hominem. Srsly, quit it.

All this said, we have labor laws already. Soylent isn’t going to do anything more than what employers are ALREADY able to subject their employees to. In a twisted sort of way, our own drive for productivity (this includes employers AND employees here one and the same) has driven the need for S/soylent to begin with.

These are, unfortunately, arguments that are very explicitly trying to fit a specific narrative. When looked at in context to Why Soylent has come about in the first place and the existing state of labor laws as well as those that abuse them, it falls apart pretty quickly. If you’re abusing labor laws, I highly doubt you care much about how well fed your employees are.

I’d also be really curious to see an argument where somebody tells me that feeding poor people a healthier diet is somehow a bad thing (which if you’ve seen any article on the positive feedback loop of homelessness and malnutrition you’ll understand how big this problem really is). It all comes down to choice, consent, and most importantly, context, which these arguments woefully ignore.


I think the entire discussion is disingenuous regarding how employers may abuse this product. What’s stopping my employer from recognizing that I only take 5 minutes to eat my sandwich today?


There is more to lunch breaks than eating food. Its been pretty well established that breaks increase productivity. Companies could already offer fast, work-friendly lunches to their workers to try to keep them working over lunch, soylent doesn’t really change that.

We aren’t mocking her for viewing soylent critically. We are mocking her for making absurd claims about it being racist and classist etc. The reasoning here even seems contradictory. An issue currently is that poor people have a hard time eating healthy. Yet, she complains that this healthy alternative will exist, while simultaneously complaining that the middle class are going to be using it to get ahead. Which is it? Is it some advantage for middle-class people which is also going to extend to the poor, or is it some inhuman indignity that we are going to be forcing on poor people while middle class people use it to get ahead? Part of the goals of soylent are to provide affordable nutrition, and it is being made out to be a bad thing. just because we got her to articulate her stance clearer than “racists and classist” doesn’t make it any more coherent.


Soylent being abused in the workplace (especially the tech workplace) is completely legal. Here’s a better explanation:

Let’s say you work in a competitive work environment where people’s talent and skill is measured by their output. A few programmers, to get ahead of their coworkers, begin drinking Soylent as a way to reduce their reliance on lengthy lunch breaks. Their employer, eager to provide a new benefit to their workers, begins offering paid-for Soylent in the office. Other programmers, who know that they’re now being judged against their Soylent-consuming peers, will now feel pressured into skipping their lengthy lunch breaks, instead opting for Soylent.

Now, obviously, there’s a few differences in my scenario. For one, I don’t foresee (as you mentioned) that a company would require Soylent in lieu of traditional lunch breaks. I can, however, see a company reducing their subsidizing of meals, replacing it with Soylent, or companies without any complimentary meals opting for Soylent as opposed to more expensive options. None of this would be an abuse of labor laws.

I also agree! I’d love to see this argument fleshed out more. I think there’s a lot of complexity there that we’re missing, so I’d love for someone with a bit more expertise in that area to chime in.


Honestly I don’t see the problem about soylent in regards to work ethics… nothing was stopping people from sitting at their desk and eating while trying to write code already… breaks aren’t really about only eating… specially in regards to interlectual work such as programming… You need the break to clear your mind or think creatively.

If a employer suddenly abuse his workers just because a food product is available that is healthy and easy to consume… then that is a completly different problem, one for unions or law suits.


Can I ask my employer to subsidize Soylent so I can skip lunch and leave an hour earlier? Because that would be super, I am all on board with this outcome. I am betting I would be more productive as a result, too.

I work with programmers who skip lunch to get ahead of their peers. I don’t see how this changes the competitiveness in that particular situation… I think at that point you have to decide your priorities and who you want to work for. I understand that some feel they don’t have that option available to them but you have to fight for those things that are important to you.


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Exactly! I was accused of not being humble when I was poking some good fun. Then the thread turns all serious!