Should a programming conference host a reactionary weirdo?

LambdaConf is a conference for people who are into functional programming. If you don't know what that means, it suffices to say that these are stout, yeomanly Hobbits of computer science. What's news is that they invited Mencius Moldbug to speak at it. Moldbug (real name Curtis Yarvin) is a Hollywood archetype of coders: the programming whiz who has strange and comically retrograde opinions of minorities, slavery, ladies, etc. So. Should he be invited to speak?

LambdaConf founder and chief organizer John A. De Goes wrote in a blog post that the conference decided to keep Yarvin as a speaker in order not to set a precedent of discriminating against attendees because of their beliefs. "LambdaConf does not and cannot endorse any of the wildly different, diametrically opposed, and controversial opinions held by speakers, attendees, volunteers, and vendors," he wrote. …

Jon Sterling, organizer of LambdaConf workshop PrlConf, decided to cancel the workshop, writing in an open letter: "We cannot possibly organize a workshop under the umbrella of a conference that values the free expression of racist and fascist views over the physical and emotional safety of its attendees and speakers."

Not all who oppose Yarvin's views say they will boycott the conference. The writers of a forthcoming book on the programming language Haskell say they are coming to support other speakers and attendees.

There's a passage in one of the Hannibal Lecter novels, probably Silence of the Lambs, where it's made clear that the good doctor, though incarcerated as a serial killer, is still engaged as a professional in his field of study. He writes in respected journals, and for the sake of the advancement of their field, his colleagues affect a level of professional respect for his work that may seem, to a layperson, suspiciously titillated. Nevertheless, he is reviewed by his peers. He is published.

Now, I'm not in a position to peer-review the turd. My code is obviously 100-IQ garbage. But I wrote a functioning, functional CMS once! So I feel vaguely qualified to make sweeping judgments on how things Get Done in the organizational context. And my judgment on the turd is the same as Dr. Lecter's judgment of himself: a civilized society would kill Yarvin or give him his say.