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The fired Google employee

Recently dismissed Google employee James Damore posted a document on an internal Google mailing list entitled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber about Google’s diversity policy and the difficulty of criticising it. It was originally reported by Motherboard (labelled an anti-diversity manifesto) and later by Gizmodo (labelled an anti-diversity screed). Here are some quotations from the document:

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more.

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad […] . I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group

Meanwhile the very headlines of the article call this an anti-diversity document, establishing a narrative.

Here is a reaction from Laura Shortridge, a prominent commentator on Twitter:

Many users responded that he had not called for anyone to be fired. A response to this objection may hint at where differences in opnion about the document originate:

The personality differences section talks about such things as “openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas”. It also contains more controversial-sounding statements such as “Women on average are more prone to anxiety”. It cites a section of a wikipedia article about sex differences in psychology, though this may not have been known by commentators external to Google as the version of the document containing hyperlinks has only become available more recently. The Wikipedia page says, ” Females were on average higher than males in extraversion, anxiety, trust, and, especially, tender-mindedness (e.g., nurturance).” It cites “Gender differences in personality: a meta-analysis” by Feingold, A. (1994-11-01). The section is in the context of coming up with suggestions to improve the work environment for women without resorting to discriminatory practices such as training courses only available to women.

The Guardian columnist Owen Jones says:

Damore’s assertions about gender are, frankly, guff dressed up with pseudo-scientific jargon: not just belittling women, but reducing men to the status of unemotional individualistic robots.

On the general subject of differences between men and women, Scott Alexander has an interesting article comparing meta-studies on the subject and statistical approaches which lead to different results. He finds that:

[Author of a meta-analysis Hyde] does a wonderful job finding that men and women have minimal differences in eg “likelihood of smiling when not being observed”, “interpersonal leadership style”, et cetera. But if you ask the man on the street “Are men and women different?”, he’s likely to say something like “Yeah, men are more aggressive and women are more sensitive”. And in fact, Hyde found that men were indeed definitely more aggressive, and women indeed definitely more sensitive. But throw in a hundred other effects nobody cares about like “likelihood of smiling when not observed”, and you can report that “78% of gender differences are small or zero”.

In his document, Damore explains that he is talking about small differences between men and women across a large population, and not making generalisations.

I’m not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

This is difficult to reconcile with reactions from fellow employees, such as, “That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with.”

The first official response from Google was from Vice President of Diversity, Integrity & Governance, Danielle Brown.

I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.

It is understandable that someone might hold this view, though the document mainly summarised information on Wikipedia.

The CEO later said:

portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace. Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.

This seems to misrepresent the document, which is mainly talking about why women who do not work for Google do not work for Google. It says nothing at all about the ones who do work there.

He continues:

At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent. So to be clear again, many points raised in the memo — such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all — are important topics.

It is clear the the offending portion of the document is the part that summarised Wikipedia’s summary of the state of the science on the subject. I wonder whether, as a matter of debating tactics, it might have been possible to make the same points in safety, while omitting this section. On the subject of tactics, there are a couple of interesting comments about this on ESR’s blog:

You can make the work environment more hostile for lots of people by saying true things. It is reasonable to fire someone who creates negative value for the company in this manner

and

if you loudly challenge the principles or initiatives which have been handed down and spearheaded by upper management, you’d be a damn fool to expect to keep your job for very long.

To the extent that these comments are true it does not speak well of the environment at Google or in Silicon Valley, but it is interesting that Damore’s firing was predictable and indeed somewhat predicted in the very document that led to it.

I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired.

Perhaps comments which sound inflammatory out of context can be avoided. For example, “Women, on average, have more … neuroticism” or “the Left tends to deny science”. But taken as a whole the document has been treated unfairly by some.

I wonder how easy it is for Google to hire more women, given that “According to the American Association of University Women, in recent years only 20% of Advanced Placement computer science exam takers in high school have been female.”.

Finally, I should like to draw everyone’s attention to the Norwegian television documentary series “Hjernevask”, or “Brainwash” in English, which is on this very topic, and is quite worth watching. I’ve linked to the first of the seven parts below:


Please make sure you enable subtitles, unless you speak Norwegian that is.

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74 comments to The fired Google employee

  • Lee Moore

    Since you’ve extracted the same extract that I commented on before on a different thread, I’ll bore y’all simply by copying and pasting my comment again here. The specific relevance to this thread is that the guy’s memo was about as moderate as it’s possible to be. By moderate I mean that he pulled the usual punches to try to ingratiate himself with the moderate SJW crowd. Only there isn’t a moderate SJW crowd. Anyway here it is again :

    Damore : I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

    This is a standard, and no doubt heartfelt, disclaimer of the type one always sees from members of the dark side in the sex / race / IQ etc wars (the Pinkers, Murrays and so on.) It’s a nice comfort blanket, but it serves no protective function against the SJWs and has the further disadvantage of being obviously wrong.

    The correct, but hardly comforting, thing to say is that if you have two populations – Xs and Ys – and the mean “thingynessness” score of Xs is 110 (with a standard deviation of 15) while the mean “thingynessness” score of Ys is 90 (with a standard deviation of 15) there are several things you can validly say about a random individual Y who may walk into the room, of whom you know nothing other than that it is a Y. You cannot, of course, say anything definitive about that individual Y’s own “thingynessness” score unless you test that indiviidual directly. But you can say lots of statistical things about how likely it is that that particular Y has a “thingynessness” score of over 80, over 90, over 100 etc. Or how likely that that person is to be the thingynessnessest person to walk into the room in the next hour. The fact that you only know statistical things certainly doesn’t mean that you know nothing. After all if you select employees on the basis of college degrees, job interviews, IQ scores and whether their shirts are tucked in you still only have clues as to how a particular recruit will work out in practice, based on your previous experience of how previous applicants with comparable traits got on.

    It is obviously true that once you have replaced statistical predictions about an individual based on its group with individual measurement, you know a lot more about that individual than you did before. But you didn’t know nothing before. This is what prejudices and stereotypes are for. We use them to predict the behaviour of dogs, lampposts, knives, motor cars, spiders, as well as humans. Life is much too short to test each individual, individually. The more important any individual dog, lamppost, knife, motor car, spider or human becomes in our lives, the greater the benefits of the individual test, relative to the cost.

    Damore was fired for spreading “harmful” gender stereotypes. That’s instructive, no ? No one would have thought the harmfulness of the stereotype was even vaguely relevant if he had been stereotyping dogs, lampposts, knives, motor cars or spiders. All anyone would have wanted to know was whether the stereotype was (statistically) accurate.

  • Had they just said “we don’t agree, but whatever”… this would have blown over in a day or two.

    Instead they proved what Damore said about Google’s internal culture was demonstrably correct, beyond even the slightest shadow of a doubt: even if you bend over backwards to provide soothing caveats – express an “incorrect” view and you are out of a job.

    Fuck Google.

  • Alisa

    Had they just said “we don’t agree, but whatever”… this would have blown over in a day or two.

    That’s not how Cybermen work though.

  • You can make the work environment more hostile for lots of people by saying true things.

    This is a revealing quote. You can say true things in a nasty manner, or at a moment when they are as irrelevant as true, but neither of those possibilities even remotely apply in the case of the memo. The SJWs appear to have taken over the attitude of the old English criminal law of libel in which “the greater the truth, the greater the libel”. There were reasons why that law (written to provide an alternative to duelling) was itself discontinued long ago, just as there were reasons why free speech was made a principle, but I guess if their universities protect SJWs from ‘Western Civ’ as if it were ‘Mein Kampf’ then they don’t know those reasons.

  • the other rob

    I’m not 100% on this, but I think I remember reading that Damore has a PhD in Biology, along with a shed load of other degrees, from many of the top universities in the world. If so, he’s probably qualified to speak on the subject.

    I also seem to recall reading that the person who fired him has an MBA from some place that I had never heard of.

  • CaptDMO

    Somewhere along the line, the original concept of (U.S.)Affirmative Action was disingenuously “reinterpreted” to imply mandatory hiring quotas.
    Hiring quotas by tribe are illegal (U.S.) of course, (with the possible exception of by school tie)so “we” discovered “diversity” from higher education rent-seekers.
    But, as always, it’s not enough. It’s NEVER enough! Expect to see the term intersectionality tossed about by duplicitous “experts” in Human resources, and “gay”/illegal alien opinion news outlets.
    It’s already begun.

  • damaged justice

    Whenever anyone says “But of course they had a right to fire him, private org”, they are either a leftist pretending to be a libertarian and thinking this is a devastating unanswerable demonstration of libertarian hypocrisy, or a useless autistic spergatarian. It’s the worse kind of “true and completely irrelevant”.

  • Publius

    I’m not 100% on this, but I think I remember reading that Damore has a PhD in Biology, along with a shed load of other degrees, from many of the top universities in the world. If so, he’s probably qualified to speak on the subject.

    That makes no difference and should not be part of our reasoning process. The truth can be told by anyone, degreed or not, and can be mangled by anyone, degreed or not.

    We should pay attention to the ideas in question because there is, in fact, excellent scientific evidence behind them (and there really is!), and not because of who happened to write about the ideas. It is fine to discuss the research that has been linked to, directly and indirectly, but not who has brought it to our attention.

    Ad hominem reasoning and argument from authority (“we can ignore him because he has the wrong degree”, “he says that because he’s a cishet white male”, “we should believe him because he has a PhD”) are favorite tactics of those who would deceive us. Don’t fall into the trap of using them yourself.

  • It’s the worse kind of “true and completely irrelevant”.

    Fortunately I have not heard a lot of that from the actual libertarians I know. None of them are saying “Google cannot fire this guy”, they are all saying “Google should pay a price for firing this guy because it makes me see them in a whole new light, and they make money off me”.

  • If so, he’s probably qualified to speak on the subject.

    I generally think anyone with an ability to think critically is qualified to speak on almost any subject, provided they have taken the time to acquaint themselves with the facts and principles involved. Formal qualification are often vastly overrated (unless we are speaking of an extremely specialised technical issue).

  • It is fascinating how the woman starting at 7:22 in the video refuses to even consider the possibility of a biological element to aggregate gender choices

  • John B

    Isn’t diversity the opposite of equality: different v same?

  • pete

    Why did Damore speak out on this matter at work?

    He is an employee and it is not really any of his business if his employer has a deluded and silly diversity policy.

    He is free to take his labour elsewhere or to start his own search engine company.

    If you agree to sell your labour to another person you should expect to toe their line on all matters while in the workplace, however ridiculous that line is.

    When I work for clients I never disagree with them about anything. I don’t care about their views. I just want more business from them and more of their money.

  • Fortunately I have not heard a lot of that from the actual libertarians I know. None of them are saying “Google cannot fire this guy”, they are all saying “Google should pay a price for firing this guy because it makes me see them in a whole new light, and they make money off me”.

    I’d go even further than that.

    If Google had said “You’re fired” and made no further comment than that, then for all the facts in the world, he wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on and the matter would probably have been blown over and forgotten rather quickly.

    Google chose not to do that though, probably because the description of Google’s internal culture as described in the “Damore Memorandum” is largely accurate.

    Instead, they chose to characterise the memorandum as “advancing incorrect assumptions about gender” (it doesn’t) and by association that James Damore is a bigot (he isn’t).

    The first rule of PR crisis management is “when in a hole, quit digging“. To paraphrase a recent QotD, Google have switched from using spades to dynamite and appear to be looking at bringing in tunnelling machinery. There is no immediate end in sight and Google stock continues to decline.

    Who in their right might would want to work for such an awful company?

  • Alisa

    Pete, if you read the actual memo, you have seen that Damore’s remarks pertain directly to Google’s business. IOW, the memo was basically a suggestion for an improvement of the company for its employees, logically making it more profitable as a result. Do you never make suggestions to your clients that may be to their benefit?

  • Do you never make suggestions to your clients that may be to their benefit?

    Clearly not. If I understood pete’s comment correctly, he is the very definition of a keep-your-head-down-meat-robot-for-hire, which is fine I suppose 😉

    Damore obviously looked at Google’s various stated policies and thought in good faith that they actually meant it, and thus he offered up a well considered opinion on that basis about how to make the company better.

    But they didn’t mean it, it was just empty posturing, a pack of hypocritical lies in fact.

    Indeed, if I can criticise Damore for anything, it is not drawing the obvious inferences from his own memo: if what he said about Google was true, then clearly they did not value diversity or free expression of science based opinions, and thus of course they would fire him, because his own memo was entirely correct.

  • “Thoughtcrime does not entail death

    Thoughtcrime is Death”

  • Indeed, if I can criticise Damore for anything, it is not drawing the obvious inferences from his own memo: if what he said about Google was true, then clearly they did not value diversity or free expression of science based opinions, and thus of course they would fire him, because his own memo was entirely correct.

    They’d have been better off saying “We fired him because he was clearly an idiot and Google doesn’t employ idiots“.

    At least then people would have laughed and in most probability agreed, despite the irony.

    Last time I checked “Idiots” were not a protected group under US employment law, although there appears to be an exemption for Senators, Congressmen and members of the Executive branch.

  • Darrell

    Celebrate Diversity has become Celebrate Diversity, Or Else.

  • Chip

    I didn’t realize the extent to which social justice hysteria had affected Google. So taking another look at the question of whether Google manipulates search results for political reasons, the needle on the dial just moved from Not Sure to Probably.

  • @Chip: I didn’t realize the extent to which social justice hysteria had affected Google.

    Without excusing Google’s behaviour, part of the reason why Google treated this incident more harshly than they should have is that they have been under investigation by the US Department of Labor since the beginning of this year.

    Google is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor to determine whether the tech giant systematically underpays its female employees when compared to male counterparts. The federal agency sued the tech giant in January, saying Google was intentionally withholding documents that demonstrated the degree to which women are underpaid.

    Since the investigation, Google has created programs and reformed hiring practices in an effort to address its diversity issues and foster an environment where women and minority candidates get fast-track consideration and are assisted in navigating the workplace.

    Secret Blogger Says Google Silences Critics of Diversity Efforts

    I’m guessing the firing was a kneejerk reaction that they will regret, if not now then in the future.

    @Chip: So taking another look at the question of whether Google manipulates search results for political reasons, the needle on the dial just moved from Not Sure to Probably.

    I was thinking that exact thought this morning when Google searches returned very little in the way of meaningful results for the search “Google Diversity Memo” when compared to the same query on Bing (which I hate).

    I’m not saying Google is or is not manipulating results, as it could be just differences in the search algorithms, but as you say, the needle on the dial just moved from “not sure” to “probably” for me as well.

  • Sigivald

    There is no way to say things that cannot look bad when taken out of context … especially when “out of context” really means “summarized by someone who thinks they can read minds based on what You Obviously Really Meant”.

    (And, as I summarized elsewhere, Google’s position boils down to a contradiction:

    “Diversity is very important because different groups have different abilities and perspectives, because of who they are, and thus their very difference is a useful contribution to the whole.

    Also, different groups are all exactly the same and not different in any way, and suggesting they might be is intolerable.”)

  • Sam Duncan

    Now Google says it wants “an open and honest debate”. You fired the guy who started it.

    “Damore’s assertions about gender are, frankly, guff dressed up with pseudo-scientific jargon: not just belittling women, but reducing men to the status of unemotional individualistic robots.”

    No, Owen, you’re doing that, because you don’t understand statistics. Which might explain your politics.

    The misrepresentation is breathtaking. The NYT beggars belief:

    This week, some Google workers were on the targets of online harassment after screenshots of internal message boards leaked to Breitbart News that showed employees saying they planned to blacklist people who did not support the company’s diversity efforts.

    Got that? Whistleblowing on a, probably illegal, blacklist of unpersons is “harassment” now.

    As the harassment continued, it focused on specific employees who had spoken out in favor of Mr. Damore’s dismissal. One Twitter account encouraged Google workers to expose the true identities of colleagues and “ruin their lives.”

    You just complained about the exposure of a #@*%in’ industry blacklist! And it “focused on specific employees who had spoken out in favor of Mr. Damore’s dismissal”? Such as the Googler who said she wanted to “beat the shit out of him” on Twitter? Even if there were threats from both sides, why insinuate that it all came from his supporters?

    This is Gamergate all over again. And Sad Puppies. In fact, it’s becoming a pattern: misrepresent the “right-wing” position and portray yourself as the victim. Rinse and repeat.

  • Sam Duncan

    Oh, by the way (the edit timer doesn’t seem to work on this browser), as to the idea that he must have known he’d be fired for it, in his interview with Stephan Molyneux, Damore says he actually wrote it more than a month ago and, “It was only after it went viral and got leaked to the news that Google started caring”.

  • This is Gamergate all over again

    Lets hope so. Gamergate was a major win for the good guys.

  • Jacob

    “Google chose not to do that though, probably because the description of Google’s internal culture as described in the “Damore Memorandum” is largely accurate.”

    Damore was fired for exposing the dementia and rot inside Google a.k.a. “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” i.e. for stating the obvious.

    Google probably started digging their hole when they hired a feminazi as “diversity officer”. No need to do deep research to grasp the nature of the “ideological echo chamber”.
    Truth and logic are the last thing these ideologues will tolerate.

    I join David Brooks at NY Times: Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO should resign, along with his hysteric and un-diverse diversity officer.

  • Alisa

    Pertinent first 10 minutes.

  • Alisa

    My guess is this is going to be bigger than Gamergate, because it is much less esoteric for most people.

  • bobby b

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    August 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    “Gamergate was a major win for the good guys.”

    I was wondering about that.

    Look at all the major Cons. Look at the panels being run in them.

    The Anitas and the Briannas are still running them.

    The Sargons are still dissenting from the floor.

    Everybody seems to be adopting a SJW Code of Conduct. You can hardly collaborate in coding without accepting one.

    Are you counting the continued presence of dissent as a win?

    Personally, I’d count GG mostly as a win because it was the very first “meeting engagement” of the two cultures, and it opened the way for many more, in other areas. Yes, we can fight back against the SJW’s, which hadn’t really happened until GG.

    But, as far as changing minds and opinions, I think everyone who was on one side at the beginning remains on that same side. Which is exactly how I see this new Google controversy going. We all think the other side is even more awful than we thought before.

    (Go read the comments at the NYT to Brooks’ column on Pichai’s need to resign. Smart, well-spoken people who, so far as I can tell, must have grown up on Mars, but who believe sincerely that I must have grown up on Mars.)

  • Mr Ed

    Google Job Application:

    Q1: Are you not now, or have you ever not been, a Social Justice Warrior?

    would at least be honest, so you could know what you were contracting into, and there would be no deceit as to the nature of your employer.

  • Chip

    Like so many issues today the schism over the Google memo mostly pits what Daniel Kahneman called system 1 thinking against system 2 thinking.

    Most people rely on system 1 – that is their intuitive, emotional and reflexive response to things, while system 2 takes some effort, using logic to understand the thing.

    The media’s collective description of the memo as anti-diversity is clearly system 1. They made no effort to understand. Instead they emoted.

    System 2 has pulled us into the modern age. But if you go near a classroom today you will hear teachers exhorting kids not to think, but to be passionate. I suspect education today is mostly regressive.

  • Rich Rostrom

    CaptDMO @ August 11, 2017 at 11:23 am:

    Somewhere along the line, the original concept of (U.S.) Affirmative Action was disingenuously “reinterpreted” to imply mandatory hiring quotas.

    What happened is that authorities (mainly the US EEOC, and the many state and municipal EEOCs) adopted the position that any hiring practice or result with “disparate impact” (the proportion of a favored race being less than in the general population) is presumed to be invidious discrimination. Any alleged victim could drag the employer before a hostile tribunal. There the employer had to prove (at great expense) that the practice or result is necessary to the job. IOW, guilty until proven innocent. The costs of successful defense were rarely reimbursed, unless the claim could be shown to be completely frivolous. Employers frequently settled even weak claims for substantial amounts to avoid the costs of litigation.

    The one “safe harbor” against such shakedowns was de facto quota hiring.

  • The one “safe harbor” against such shakedowns was de facto quota hiring.

    Which for “them” would be the minimum requirement.

    The real issue of course is that every job interview is tainted with the question “Why didn’t you hire the minority applicant”, with the answer “not good enough” being politically incorrect.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Damore has discovered that trying to reason with the left is like trying to reason with rabid dogs – it can not be done.

    What is more serious is that many capitalists (including the people who control Google and other companies) have internalised the egalitarian (“SJW”) doctrines of Frankfurt School Marxism – they are laying the foundations of their own destruction.

    And the destruction of Western Civilisation.

    I hope those “practical” people who are assumed that what happens in schools and universities (what these places teach young minds) does-not-matter are very pleased with their smug selves now.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Indeed, if I can criticise Damore for anything, it is not drawing the obvious inferences from his own memo: if what he said about Google was true, then clearly they did not value diversity or free expression of science based opinions, and thus of course they would fire him, because his own memo was entirely correct.

    Precisely.

    By speaking a certain truth James Damore compelled Google to fire him, thereby proving James correct about the truth he spoke.

    This is sacrificing one’s own welfare to hurt the enemy – in the public eye. Martyrdom.

  • Jamesus

    Aren’t we missing sonething here? Woman have and nurture babies. Men do not.

    Even if men and women were identical apart from this fact, this would still result in differences between them.

    I suspect that every biological difference between men and women is due to this fundamental biological difference of giving birth anyway.

    Rather than making arguments though, I feel like it’s got to the point where the majority just needs to shout at these people “you are insane STFU!”

  • What is more serious is that many capitalists (including the people who control Google and other companies) have internalised the egalitarian (“SJW”) doctrines of Frankfurt School Marxism – they are laying the foundations of their own destruction.

    Lo and Behold! Not only have Google demonstrated that they are infested with the worst excesses of Liberal idiocy, but they have resurrected Marxist/Leninism.

    Clearly, James Damore suffers from “False Consciousness“?

  • @Jamesus:

    Do not forget Briffault’s Law:

    The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.

    — Robert Briffault, The Mothers, Vol. I, p. 191

    This is literally the driving force of humanity (before the creation of the welfare state at least), in that if a male is to succeed in producing genetic offspring, he must make himself sufficiently desirable to fertile female of the species and then support her during the children’s upbringing.

    Those that are unable or unwilling to do so end up being the end of their genetic line.

  • Roué le Jour

    These are the people who accuse us of not believing climate science? Uh huh.

  • Sam Duncan

    “These are the people who accuse us of not believing climate science? Uh huh.”

    Oh, yes. They’ve gone from “jail the science deniers” to “science doesn’t mean truth” so quickly it must have caused whiplash. (The irony being that, contrary to the straw men thrown about by the opposition, no climate sceptic ever claimed that science, per se, might be untrue, simply that the alarmists aren’t following the scientific method rigorously enough.)

    This would be even funnier if I thought Apple was any better. Bonus points for putting it up outside their offices, though.

  • Thailover

    The “invisible” elephant in the room is the FAITH BASED ASSUMPTION that the only differences between male and female are only insignificant overtly physical ones. However, given that men and women are obviously physically different, why can’t those differences extend to brain mass, brain structure, the consequences of both hormones and genetics, and so on? Being that we are indeed different, why couldn’t those differences extend to effects due to these obvious differences? The Left have no answers to these queries, because questioning the DOGMA of the crypto-religion of Leftism is verboten.

    And since they were not reasoned into their positions, they can’t be reasoned out of them. Reason, is the enemy, as we can see with the vitriolic treatment of James Damore, a reasoning fellow, by people who completely lack any self awareness. The Left, for example, can’t forgive and forget that the fellow pointed out, among many other contradictions, that one is being a discriminating “…ist” if one treats people as a faceless member of a herd rather than an individual with individual interests and talents. Why? Because Collectivists hate individualism as much as they hate indisputable facts. They ostensibly hate sexism, racism, etc, but the practice of said discrimination is central to their MO. Indeed, it’s central to all identity politics, which is their forte’.

    The contradictions of the Left never end. There are how many genders again? It’s completely arbitrary you say? Ah..so what does the “B” stand for in LGBTQ? Transsexuals are transitioning to what again? the other sex? WHAT other sex? Hmmm.

  • Thailover

    “Oh, yes. They’ve gone from “jail the science deniers” to “science doesn’t mean truth” so quickly it must have caused whiplash”

    That’s the way it is with faith-based positions. (Leftism is a crypto-religion). If “science” (excuse the reification) says something favorable to a faith-based position, the believers shout it from the rooftops. If “science says” something critical, then it’s a lie spread by Satan, or it’s secular equivalent, (“Jews” perhaps; that never ending whipping boy).

  • Thailover

    “Why did Damore speak out on this matter at work?”

    That’s like asking does that rich guy really need that expensive car.

    What he pointed out was that their ostensible goals can be met by NOT being what they pretend to despise. Damore is actually pro-“diversity”, pro-“equality” and pro-“tolerance”. It just so happens that the Left is more dedicated to their hypocrisies than they are in reaching any actual Leftist ideals. He assumed that they were merely mistaken and misled….rather than ruthless and evil. Unfortunately, he was wrong about that.

  • Thailover

    “Why didn’t you hire the minority applicant”

    Because race and sex isn’t a tech firm job skill.

  • Thailover

    I imagine when James Damore was trashed by google when he only wanted to show them the way to reach their diversity goals.. he felt much like the character Equality 7-2521 felt in Ayn Rand’s short story Anthem when he showed his overlords his creation…an electic light…and was punished for the offense of unauthorized thinking and invention.

  • PapayaSF

    I remember seeing someone say Damore wore the memo after a particularly coercive diversity indoctrination session.

  • “Why didn’t you hire the minority applicant”

    Because race and sex isn’t a tech firm job skill.

    …and the SJW’s and other Cultural Marxist race baiters would simply say “Check your privilege” to which my response is always “I must have left it in my other coat“.

  • Lee Moore

    It may be that Google and other tech firms are packed with SJWs (and in the HR department I’m sure they are – that’s pretty much what HR departments are for.) And / or it may be that they are hard nosed businessmen (yes businessmen) who are carefully weighing up the legal and business implications of their “diversity” policies.

    But I wonder if there might not be a contribution from a third direction. The guys (yes guys) at the top are geeky sort of chaps, who are particularly good examples of the male stereotype Damore was painting – interested in things more than people, interested in understanding systems, nerdy, obsessive – Big Bang Theory types. I don’t quite mean socially inadequate – more that social interaction is not a natural talent for them, but a learned skill. They have got their views about humans from what they have read on their computers, or heard in their internal “People’ courses, not primarily from actual interactions with humans.

    Hence they are easy prey for the SJWs who write all the literature that the geeks are exposed to. Geeks like Damore have got off the reservation by reading beyond the approved texts. The geeks at the top are insufficiently interested in the whole subject to waste time on it. The received wisdom is good enough, because the whole subject is boring to them.

  • Alisa

    Lee is definitely on to something there…

  • bobby b

    Lee Moore
    August 12, 2017 at 6:13 am

    “The guys (yes guys) at the top are geeky sort of chaps . . . “

    I’m picturing Google’s CEO and about twenty of his direct reports (all nerdy techie guys, none in HR) who, for the very first time in their gaming, coding lives, are . . . popular!

    They never cared before, but when they started to let the non-techie HR SJWs make real money in Google, they suddenly began receiving affirmation and love, and they really, really liked it, and they decided that there must be something to this feelz-good emotive we-are-the-world BS.

  • I don’t think bobby b (August 12, 2017 at 6:44 am) or Lee Moore (August 12, 2017 at 6:13 am) are quite right. Being geeks, the people at the top of these companies would rather someone else handled the non-tech-related human interactions made necessary as the company grows, so they made the classic mistake: they created an HR department.

    There was some discussion of this in my comment in a prior thread and the comments above and below it.

    “The Fountainhead” has a fairly detailed section on how the company nominally owned and run by a guy who likes the hero nevertheless is sufficiently taken over by the villain putting his people in place that eventually the owner is compelled to enact the PC policies of that time.

  • Alisa

    Niall, I see no contradiction or mutual exclusiveness between your point and Lee’s or Bobby’s.

  • Lee Moore

    I always liked Churchill’s version of Niall’s point, though I can’t find the exact quote. But the gist of it is :

    “There’s no point arguing with Admirals. They’ve always got the tide, or the oil, or the engines, or something.”

    In order to defeat an Admiral in an argument about what to do at sea, you’ve actually got to learn enough about the tides, or the oil, or the engines or whatever to engage with their opposition. And likewise for geeks running tech companies. If they settled down to it, they’re clever enough to marshal the facts necessary to show that the HR department is talking out of its rear end when it comes to “harmful stereotypes.”

    But who wants to settle down to it, when there’s much more fun stuff to be done ?

  • Mr Ecks

    My regret in this caper is that–since I already have nothing to do with Google–I can’t boycott them.

    Or as far as I know.

    Can any geeks out there show where Google have some sort of insidious presence behind other functions? I know Duck Duck Go apparently “rests” on top of the Google search engine but stops the snooping so no point in that as a boycott. If any one knows of any other behind–the-scenes Google that can usefully be hit back at/ dropped etc I would be glad to hear of such.

  • Rob

    I was also sceptical about manipulation of search results as that would require a widespread shared political viewpoint in the company. Fairly obvious that my scepticism has evaporated somewhat this week.

  • Rob

    If they settled down to it, they’re clever enough to marshal the facts necessary to show that the HR department is talking out of its rear end when it comes to “harmful stereotypes.”

    It is more about courage than being clever enough. Lunatics are going to make your life hell. They will trawl, on company time, through message boards, every area of your life to find one thing to ruin you with. The bolder ones will physically threaten you, actually attack you, or find out where you live and dox you to the million other lunatic fellow travellers outside the company.

    Assuming you endure all this, eventually the other techies will realise they don’t want the same and will distance themselves from you. Once isolated you can be sacked as a bigot and a hater and that’s it, game over. Anyone with brains will anticipate this proces and keep their head down, which is why Google is the political cesspit it now is.

  • the other rob

    I generally think anyone with an ability to think critically is qualified to speak on almost any subject, provided they have taken the time to acquaint themselves with the facts and principles involved. Formal qualification are often vastly overrated (unless we are speaking of an extremely specialised technical issue).

    @pdh – I agree, in general. In this particular case, however, I take his doctorate as an indication that he’s likely to be more familiar with the literature and the science of the matter than you*, I, or the dumb broad who fired him. This view is supported by the effective use of citations in his memo.

    *Yes, that’s an assumption and there’s no reason that you or I could not become as expert as he is on the matter but we both have other things to do, so I think it a safe one.

  • tomsmith

    When I work for clients I never disagree with them about anything

    I guess you aren’t providing your clients with advice then? Sometimes it is necessary to disagree, for example when they are wrong. This wins more business in the long run than agreeing to avoid conflict where advice is being sold.

  • Mr Ed

    When I work for clients I never disagree with them about anything

    I do not disagree with clients, I tell them that I am like a sign on the road saying ‘sharp bend ahead’. It’s up to them if they brake in time, and how good their tyres are, or how much they would like to rearrange that dry stone wall or tree.

  • bobby b

    Niall Kilmartin
    August 12, 2017 at 8:23 am

    “Being geeks, the people at the top of these companies would rather someone else handled the non-tech-related human interactions made necessary as the company grows, so they made the classic mistake: they created an HR department.”

    Pichai’s memos over the past year plus his actions recently don’t show a man who has abdicated anything to HR. To the contrary, he appears to have embraced the SJW ethos completely.

  • Ljh

    Thank you for posting the gem Hjernevast! Most interesting was hearing the smug social sciences ideologues in academe, whose prejudices and wishful thinking provide the theology of the sjws, dismiss the experimental data of biologists on innate difference as “a joke” “not important”. It is also shorter than Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate” which performs an in depth demolition.

  • Lee Moore

    I agree Ljh, Hjernevast is great fun. I’m only about half way through but there have been a couple of real naked emperor moments from the social ‘scientists”

    One from the very smug blonde guy (OK that doesn’t totally nail it down) in which he is arguing that the biologists studies are “weak” and is asked by the comedian “OK what evidence have you got that its all social and zero biology.” And the guy admits he has no evidence and flat out says that it’s the job of the biologists to prove a biological angle, until which time he doesn’t have to prove anything !

    And then there’s the startled rabbit short haired blonde lady wth a rather spiky face who, faced with the comedian’s recitation of the biologists’ studies, simply looks exasperated and says “I just can’t see why anyone would ant to study this – what’s the point of it ?”

  • Lee Moore

    The spiky faced lady put me in mind of the apocryphal wife of the Bishop of Worcester :

    On hearing, one June afternoon in 1860, the suggestion that mankind was descended from the apes, the wife of the Bishop of Worcester is said to have exclaimed, ‘My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known.’

  • Alisa

    I began watching, and half-way through the first episode the subtitles disappeared – anyone has a good link?

  • Lee Moore

    I’ve done five, and the subtitles have been OK.

    Except that the one on violence (number 4) had ridiculous gobbledygook subtitles, so I could’t follow it at all. But the other subtitles have worked fine.

    However I didn’t watch it on Youtube, I downloaded it and then watched the download. Conceivably that may make a difference.

    It’s getting increasingly obvious, and rather embarrassing, that the joke around comedian presenting it is waaay smarter than most of the Norwegian social “scientists” who don’t seem capable of thinking at all. They do nothing but parrot their received wisdom and that’s it. Sad, as the great Oz tweets.

  • James Hargrave

    “…packed with SJWs (and in the HR department I’m sure they are – that’s pretty much what HR departments are for.)”

    Surely ‘HR’ departments serve other purposes? Making problems where none existed before. Forcing people onto pointless training courses where the trainers know less and have less experience of the matter in hand than their audiences. And, of course, providing, ‘graduate-level’ employment for all sorts of ambulant personality defects with credentials, little education, even less knowledge, and…. supreme self importance. One should follow not merely the advice to fire the HR department but to set fire to it (so much hot air that a small spark would do the trick).

  • Laird

    Actually, HR departments can serve a useful purpose: They handle general in-processing for new hires and out-processing for departing employees; manage the (voluminous) paperwork for employee benefits; can (if properly supervised and trained) screen job applicants for the hiring managers; help ensure that the company doesn’t run afoul of all the federal and state employment discrimination laws; and prepare (but not file) any governmentally-mandated reports. But they cannot be permitted to rise above their (mid-level) station: they should report to the General Counsel (since so much of their legitimate functions is law-related) and they need constant reminders that they are merely a support function, not a core (or even particularly important) business unit. No head of HR should have a VP title, or be included in the executive management team. And no competently-run company would have a “diversity coordinator” or anything equivalent.

    The problems started when they began to be called “Human Resources” instead of the more prosaic “Personnel”. It gave them delusions of importance.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “The problems started when they began to be called “Human Resources” instead of the more prosaic “Personnel”. It gave them delusions of importance.”

    It was a bit of verbal flattery*, from the era when people became “Administrative Assistants” instead of “Secretaries” — which was once a title of considerable honor, since, among other things, a SECRETary was necessarily privy to confidential business dealings — and janitors became “Sanitation Engineers.”

    *Although what’s flattering about it is beyond me:

    Personally my hackles went up the very first time I heard this garbage “Human Resources” title. I’m not a “human resource,” I’m a human being. (Yes, by now one’s inured to the idea that people are “resources,” but at the time it seemed to me to relegate employees to the status of mere objects. Just as copper is a natural resource, to be used by humans.) 😡

  • staghounds

    If people aren’t different by sex, race, sexuality, and so forth, why do we need diversity among those things?

  • bobby b (August 12, 2017 at 5:38 pm): “Pichai’s memos over the past year plus his actions recently don’t show a man who has abdicated anything to HR.”

    Agreed; I was thinking that the Steve Jobs types create an HR department when their startup gets so big it surprises them and, partly thanks to that terrible error, a later generation sees the Pichais in charge.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Volunteering that something can be done better – as Damore did – is a very great bureaucratic sin; it implies that your bosses aren’t doing it as well as they might, and presumes to school them in how to do it better.

    It is an especially great sin if they aren’t doing it very well, and your suggestions would achieve the stated goals better. Damore, in his innocence, courted disaster – and disaster obliged.

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