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Google's Ideological Echo Chamber *Updated*

As you probably saw this morning with a headline along the lines of "Google Anti-Diversity Memo" or something similar, someone at Google wrote a 10-page piece that challenges the status quo regarding the gender gap. The actual title is "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" and by the backlash regarding its publishing, it is spot on. I highly recommend reading the full ten pages you can find here,[/embed] but I am going to include some of the most insightful points, including the TL;DR that he provided.

Reply to public response and misrepresentation

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can't have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, 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. This needs to change.

This is how it starts off, which hits the nail on the head regarding the response it received, and is a testament to how prevalent the ideological echo chamber is in the media as well.

TL:DR

* Google's political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
* This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
* The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
* Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
* Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
* Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don't have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

The following are points I think are worth expanding on.

Men's higher drive for status

We always ask why we don't see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.
Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

He later gives non-bias explanations for the gender gap, and evolutionary differences between men and women.

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:
* Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
* A high priority queue and special treatment for "diversity" candidates
* Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for "diversity" candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
* Reconsidering any set of people if it's not "diverse" enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
* Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]
These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We're told by senior leadership that what we're doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.
...
[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn't going to overthrow their "capitalist oppressors," the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the "white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy."

This might be the most important part of his piece, and the scariest part of the whole situation. In many ways, we are in an era of socially-enforced leftist-McCarthyism, which is very very dangerous.

Why we're blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the "God > humans > environment" hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren't on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what's being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google's left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we're using to justify highly politicized programs.
In addition to the Left's affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he's labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women's oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of "grass being greener on the other side"; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.

This has some interesting wording human inclinations on who we protect. It is arguable that programs meant to help only one gender are in fact sexist in themselves because they are inferring them as weaker and needing help.

Suggestions

I hope it's clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don't fit a certain ideology. 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 (tribalism).
My concrete suggestions are to:

De-moralize diversity.

* As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the "victims."

Stop alienating conservatives.

* Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
* In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
* Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

This last point stuck home with me as I am currently starting at a new University in a few weeks in part to how hostile the culture was at my previous institution to those not on the far-left.

Confront Google's biases.

* I've mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
* I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.

Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

* These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.

Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.

* Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women's representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
* There's currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.

It is funny how susceptible human nature is to overcorrection. Just 20-40 years ago there was an echo chamber of only white guys, which is a problem, and didn't have the openness for diversity. Now we are the opposite end of the spectrum, and now it is structural and intentional.
After stating all of his points, he does recognize where he can be wrong.

[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I'd be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.

I thought the wording was great, he tried to open a discussion in a space in which he thought there was no room for, was shut down by Google, and misrepresented by multiple media outlets, but then again, I am susceptible to bias as well. One huge point that cannot be understated, is how pervasive the echo chamber is at Google after this getting so much flack. There is certainly a lot to discuss here monkeys, so I will leave you too it.

UPDATE:[/embed]

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes." A Google representative didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Mr. Damore was trying to open discussion, and Google's response is clear: Think like us, or you will be fired.

Above in my post, I mention a phrase which I want to restate and call for more discussion on which no one has mentioned: socially-enforced leftist-McCarthyism. It started in classrooms, now it is in boardrooms, how long until it moves into courtrooms?

Mod Note (Andy): top 50 posts of 2017, this one ranks #43 (based on # of silver bananas)

Comments (223)

Aug 7, 2017

I'm pretty surprised at the response this memo is getting from Google, although I also admit I have a relatively right wing perspective. Whether or not you agree with the writer's arguments, he was respectful in trying to open up a dialogue, and was promptly shut down and shamed, almost proving the point of business right wing policies being discriminated against. Interested to hear everyone else's thoughts. (Any left-leaners that want to perhaps make a counter argument that isn't a straight up "No."?)

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Aug 7, 2017

I agree, but again I, and assume you, are susceptible to bias. It definitely shows how bad the lack of ideological diversity is though. I'm looking forward to seeing a female reader's take on this.

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Aug 7, 2017

You can't be surprised that a place that's been taken over by progs would respond to classical liberal/individualist ideas like this. This is the new normal.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Aug 9, 2017

Oh that's BS. Dialogue respects the platform. You don't shit on your friend's mom's food at her dinner party. He was trying to be a hero for conservatives by initiating policy change.

Aug 9, 2017
iBankedUp:

Oh that's BS. Dialogue respects the platform. You don't shit on your friend's mom's food at her dinner party. He was trying to be a hero for conservatives by initiating policy change.

He's not even a conservative. He even states in the manifesto that he's a liberal.

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Aug 8, 2017

I don't feel like writing an essay to respond to his diatribe so unfortunately I'm just going to say "no." My view is that if he wants to talk about "population level differences" then we should also get to talking about genetic diversity. His essay is a prime example of the Gish Gallop, which, given how stupid Americans tend to be, is exceedingly effective at influencing people.

As a moderate and neither Dem or Rep, my take is that the current climate in America is decisively the result of a higher proportion of retards in the country versus those not. America is far-right as fuck compared with most of the Western world, and a few progressive steps by a black guy was just way too much progress to handle for people who only like to believe that they're intelligent.

Edit: gee, who knew this might get monkey shit on a forum dominated by right-leaning 18-30 year-old males?

Edit 2: I read the whole thing. Monkey shit doesn't lie, the guy had a point.

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Aug 7, 2017

As a moderate and neither Dem or Rep, my take is that the current climate in America is decisively the result of a higher proportion of retards in the country versus those not. America is far-right as fuck compared with most of the Western world, and a few progressive steps by a black guy was just way too much progress to handle for people who only like to believe that they're intelligent.

Edit: gee, who knew this might get monkey shit on a forum dominated by right-leaning 18-30 year-old males?

The monkey shit is probably coming from the self-righteousness, not the dissenting opinion as we want responses sharing a viewpoint that differs based on fact and reason.

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Aug 7, 2017

Probably true, so I'll restate my opinion: a collection of pseudo-facts does not make an argument worthy of discussion.

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Aug 7, 2017

lol this website is definitely not right-leaning by any standards... but yes right wing people are all retards, but obama was a genius and a god hehe nice viewpoints

so you are basically agreeing that it is ok for google employees to be threatening anonymous memo writers with violence for having a different point of view, yet you think other people are extremist?

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Aug 7, 2017

No, I never said any of that you dig bumb idiot. I don't think Obama was a god or even close to a GOAT president, and I don't think it's okay to threaten violence.

I do think that you don't find WSO right-leaning because you are more right-leaning than you're able to acknowledge. I also don't think all right-wing people are retards, just the large majority, and I believe the same thing about leftists. I live in NYC, and would regularly have to dodge Bernie Sanders rallies in 2016 to avoid having my brain melted by the stupidity.

The fact is that both right- and left-leaning opinions tend to be made by idiots, but you hear more anti-right propaganda now because - guess the fuck what - we have a right-wing extremist in the White House. What's missing from America isn't more conservative or liberal ideology, but common sense.

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Aug 7, 2017
Dig Bumb Idiot:

lol this website is definitely not right-leaning by any standards...

This website is most definitely right-leaning. I'm personally a conservative and sometimes I feel like Che Guevara here

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Aug 7, 2017
Kassad:

The current climate in America is decisively the result of a higher proportion of retards in the country versus those not.

America's climate is determined by the earth's positioning around the sun, and fluctuates seasonly. To blame the mentally challenged is just ignorant.

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Aug 7, 2017

I'll admit when I've been owned

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Aug 9, 2017
Keyser Soze 123:
Kassad:

The current climate in America is decisively the result of a higher proportion of retards in the country versus those not.

America's climate is determined by the earth's positioning around the sun, and fluctuates seasonly. To blame the mentally challenged is just ignorant.

Best comment of the thread...this guy gets it

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Aug 7, 2017

False, your post was shit on because it's useless, moronic and adds nothing to the discussion. You dropped in to say "Wow, what a moron, Americans are dumb and this a prime example. I could explain to you why you're wrong, but I'm too smart for that."

Post a cogent, intelligent counter-argument to even one of his points and I'm sure any of the more intelligent members of this forum would be happy to debate you. Until then your opinion is meaningless.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Aug 7, 2017

So the gender gap in tech is due to what? The author argues that it's career self-selection and high distributions of males who exceed at math and science. I assume you disagree with that position and attribute gender gap in tech to...discrimination?

Let me ask you, does progressive Europe have a tech gender bias or are about 50% of coders, for example, women?

Aug 8, 2017

I'll give you this one - I indeed didn't read the full 10 pages this morning, but only the TL;DR posted on the linked site. Having read the whole thing, it takes on a much different tone (one that wasn't espoused by the TL;DR), and I do agree with much more of it.

Aug 8, 2017

The shit is based on your in ability to actually look at data. The perpetuated gender "gaps" sprouted by every douchebag looking for brownie points have been proven to be false.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Aug 9, 2017
Kassad:

I don't feel like writing an essay to respond to his diatribe so unfortunately I'm just going to say "no." My view is that if he wants to talk about "population level differences" then we should also get to talking about genetic diversity. His essay is a prime example of the Gish Gallop, which, given how stupid Americans tend to be, is exceedingly effective at influencing people.

As a moderate and neither Dem or Rep, my take is that the current climate in America is decisively the result of a higher proportion of retards in the country versus those not. America is far-right as fuck compared with most of the Western world, and a few progressive steps by a black guy was just way too much progress to handle for people who only like to believe that they're intelligent.

Edit: gee, who knew this might get monkey shit on a forum dominated by right-leaning 18-30 year-old males?

Edit 2: I read the whole thing. Monkey shit doesn't lie, the guy had a point.

You complain about monkey shits, you get more monkey shits.

It's a fucking internet forum, if you are really worried about your opinion being undermined by this, then your opinion isn't really that much worth at all.

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Aug 7, 2017

That liberal paradise of Silicon Valley isn't as open minded as we all thought/believed.

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Aug 8, 2017

Silicon Valley has never been liberal. It is authoritarian.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Aug 9, 2017
heister:

Silicon Valley has never been liberal. It is authoritarian.

Yes. The litmus test is to see which of the mandates people rail against. It's telling on many levels...

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Aug 7, 2017

I agree with the (I guess we'll call it an) Op Ed's overarching idea about how diversity is being treated in society and business (I would also include education), however I disagree with many of the individual points made. I find that they're distracting from the overarching goal of the piece and may create cause for undue criticism for a topic that needed to be addressed.

To reaffirm the overarching logic, I recently read that Deloitte is doing away with work place racial and gender groups for more inclusive groups that contain every race and gender. I hope this trend continues. Over the past 10 years people have mistakenly defined school, work, and societal ethnic groups as being "Diverse" when in fact they do nothing but create "exclusivity" and "tribalism."

When someone is denied the right to join a club because of their race, skin color, or sex is by definition discriminatory. I find it baffling that when a minority group employees these practices it is somehow seen as "Empowering" or "Diverse." Our goal as people should be to embrace and put aside our differences, not make them so prominent that we surround ourselves with our own biases. I think it would be more empowering / diverse to include other races in your work group and educate them about your culture (open to hear other opinions on this).

Although I disagree with how he went about making his case in the Op Ed, I definitely give this guy props for sending the memo (especially if this guy works in the Google Palo Alto Office). Try talking conservative ideologies at a bar in SF without triggering someone in your vicinity...

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Aug 7, 2017
Keyser Soze 123:

Try talking conservative ideologies at a bar in SF without triggering someone in your vicinity...

Goes for almost any college campus in North America...

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Aug 7, 2017

And that's why you join greek life

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Best Response
Aug 7, 2017

It's not the most graceful argument, but it is an important one. Here's another of the same kind.

Anti-intellectualism, whether is it conservatives denying global warming or liberals thinking GMO food is bad for you and vaccines cause autism, is absolutely running rampant in our country. Politically, it is expressed by the alt-right's white nationalist dog whistles and continuous assaults on the freedom of the press as well as the collegiate-left's safe spaces, relentless identity politics, and public shamings.

I believe that diversity has an inherent value. In school, the best group projects I were in were with someone who had complimentary skills to mine. Our diverse strengths covered for our diverse weaknesses and the project was better. In real estate development, this situation arises regularly as well. People come into development from different backgrounds - sales, finance, design, operations, construction, etc. - and I love being on a team made up of people with diverse backgrounds. Beyond the development staff, I love talking to the pre-con and the construction guys during jobs, because their backgrounds and skillsets are so different than mine and we can approach problems different ways.

Similarly, economic diversity gives you great perspective on life. My parents, sadly now divorced, came from vastly different worlds. My dad's family was very fortunate. My mom was one of ten, born to farmers. My dad's family has people who have designed then-top secret military equipment. My mom's family are country to the core. Growing up witnessing this was one of the best things that ever happened to me - grounding me and exposing me to things I otherwise wouldn't have seen.

Political diversity is also terrific - echo chambers are becoming an increasing problems. Gender diversity also helps. As much as some people hate to admit it, men and women are different, have different tendencies, and on average, different strengths. Those differences are a good thing - not a bad thing - and a woman's tendencies and strengths are no "less than" a man's. Even racial diversity in a group is beneficial. A white person will simply have different life experiences than a black person, etc., and if it's business we're talking about, you'll want both of those insights in order to maximize profits.

The problem lately it seems is that diversity has simply become a synonym for racial minorities. Somehow, a group of white people from various socioeconomic backgrounds, who hold various political views, is less diverse than a group of black people all from the same background.

Google apparently has the following:

* Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
* A high priority queue and special treatment for "diversity" candidates
* Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for "diversity" candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
* Reconsidering any set of people if it's not "diverse" enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
* Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]

Clearly, the only diversity sought is along gender and racial lines, to the point of imposing quotas to force gender and racial diversity. This doesn't make me angry like it does the alt-right. It doesn't make me feel self-righteous as it does the far-left. It just makes me sad that even among some of the worlds brightest people - Google employees - there is so much intellectual dishonesty.

Are left-leaning, male, white, upper-middle income tech nerds who went to Stanford imposing quotas to make sure that left-leaning, female, white, upper-middle income tech nerds who went to MIT and left-leaning, male, black, upper-middle income tech nerds who went to Harvard are on teams really making those teams more "diverse?" I suppose a little. Seems like it's lacking a whole lot of honesty, though.

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Aug 7, 2017

Came here to try and articulate this argument, but you did it far better than I could have. Thanks for this. +1

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Aug 7, 2017

Well articulated. I think your post would have made for a better Memo at Google than the aforementioned +sb.
Curious what you meant by intellectual dishonesty?

Aug 8, 2017
Keyser Soze 123:

Curious what you meant by intellectual dishonesty?

Claiming to want diversity because of its inherent benefits to a group while only really wanting racial and gender diversity is to me, intellectually dishonest. If you accept that diversity is beneficial to a group's mindset and deliverable, and I often do, you should look for diversity in all forms - age, background, economic status, political leanings, etc. - not just in two.

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Aug 7, 2017

Perfectly articulated, +SB

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Aug 8, 2017

One thing, people don't understand what freedom of the press means. It doesn't mean the press is free to put their ears in everything that the government does. It means they are free to write about things they can confirm with out fear of reprisals from the government. Unless we live in very different versions of reality, that hasn't been attacked at all.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Aug 8, 2017

actually trump said mean things about CNN and also tweeted a gif of his fake wwe wreslting appearance that had him attacking a CNN logo....

That is actual violence and it will get journalists killed. He is literally Hitler. If you don't agree with me you are Hitler too.

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Aug 8, 2017
CRE:

It's not the most graceful argument, but it is an important one. Here's another of the same kind.

Anti-intellectualism, whether is it conservatives denying global warming or liberals thinking GMO food is bad for you and vaccines cause autism, is absolutely running rampant in our country. Politically, it is expressed by the alt-right's white nationalist dog whistles and continuous assaults on the freedom of the press as well as the collegiate-left's safe spaces, relentless identity politics, and public shamings.

I believe that diversity has an inherent value. In school, the best group projects I were in were with someone who had complimentary skills to mine. Our diverse strengths covered for our diverse weaknesses and the project was better. In real estate development, this situation arises regularly as well. People come into development from different backgrounds - sales, finance, design, operations, construction, etc. - and I love being on a team made up of people with diverse backgrounds. Beyond the development staff, I love talking to the pre-con and the construction guys during jobs, because their backgrounds and skillsets are so different than mine and we can approach problems different ways.

Similarly, economic diversity gives you great perspective on life. My parents, sadly now divorced, came from vastly different worlds. My dad's family was very fortunate. My mom was one of ten, born to farmers. My dad's family has people who have designed then-top secret military equipment. My mom's family are country to the core. Growing up witnessing this was one of the best things that ever happened to me - grounding me and exposing me to things I otherwise wouldn't have seen.

Political diversity is also terrific - echo chambers are becoming an increasing problems. Gender diversity also helps. As much as some people hate to admit it, men and women are different, have different tendencies, and on average, different strengths. Those differences are a good thing - not a bad thing - and a woman's tendencies and strengths are no "less than" a man's. Even racial diversity in a group is beneficial. A white person will simply have different life experiences than a black person, etc., and if it's business we're talking about, you'll want both of those insights in order to maximize profits.

The problem lately it seems is that diversity has simply become a synonym for racial minorities. Somehow, a group of white people from various socioeconomic backgrounds, who hold various political views, is less diverse than a group of black people all from the same background.

Google apparently has the following:

* Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
* A high priority queue and special treatment for "diversity" candidates
* Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for "diversity" candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
* Reconsidering any set of people if it's not "diverse" enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
* Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]

Clearly, the only diversity sought is along gender and racial lines, to the point of imposing quotas to force gender and racial diversity. This doesn't make me angry like it does the alt-right. It doesn't make me feel self-righteous as it does the far-left. It just makes me sad that even among some of the worlds brightest people - Google employees - there is so much intellectual dishonesty.

Are left-leaning, male, white, upper-middle income tech nerds who went to Stanford imposing quotas to make sure that left-leaning, female, white, upper-middle income tech nerds who went to MIT and left-leaning, male, black, upper-middle income tech nerds who went to Harvard are on teams really making those teams more "diverse?" I suppose a little. Seems like it's lacking a whole lot of honesty, though.

I wish I could write the way you do.

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Jul 17, 2019

"This doesn't make me angry like it does the alt-right" So if you believe these forced diversity programs are divisive and hurt companies/society AND clearly discriminate against people like yourself, that shouldn't make you angry, just sad?

Aug 7, 2017

Employee who wrote internal memo got fired: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-08...
James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes."

Google is absolutely fucking disgraceful.

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Aug 7, 2017

Straight McCarthyism

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Aug 7, 2017

I'm seeing a lot of people saying they agree that he should have the right to say all this, but that they disagree with all the actual points he made.

Everything he said was based on empirical science, and I can't think of a thing he said in his essay that contradicts actual scientific theory or observed, empirical fact.

By the way, he has a PhD in systems biology - most of you, I'm guessing, do not. So this set of topics is exactly in his purview.

If you disagree with the fact that people should be treated as individuals, and that there are definite, measurable and observable differences in both genders and ethnic groups, you are quite simply wrong. It's not up for debate, nor is it a matter of opinion or feeling.

This is the exact line of thought that's led us to this point - a great deal of virtue signaling and desiring to be on the "right side of history" has essentially ruined western culture.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Aug 7, 2017

It's amazing how the left literally denies that there are inherent sex/gender differences. To your point, empirical data proves most of his points (I believe he links to studies each time he makes an assertion), but one doesn't even need empirical data to understand that there are sex/gender differences between men and women. It's like saying, "Prove that men have more muscle mass, on average, than women..."

Aug 7, 2017

Right, and there's nothing "wrong" or "immoral" or "evil" about this. Unless you think evolution and the universe have some sort of agenda (given that I've now seen articles about how cheese is sexist, I put nothing past these people).

Group characteristics form a basis, a point from which you can start to form heuristics. And then, if you have the ability to judge someone on their individual merits, characteristics and actions/viewpoints, do so. That's it. That's the whole thing. That's basically classical liberalism and western enlightenment step 1.

None of this should be controversial. If you find what he said offensive or controversial, perhaps the EU is more your speed, and you should be forcibly removed.

I know you mean that last part as a joke, but many leading lights in the modern Left would actually probably dispute that. Certainly many third-wave feminists. We have now passed the point of jokes and irony, it seems.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Aug 7, 2017

I agree with some of his points, but firing off a memo to the whole firm at a place like Google is immature and flat out stupid. This isnt college, nobody cares about your political views or your take on the diversity program...just attend your 2-10 mandatory meetings/brainwashing sessions per year and save your commentary for your friends over a beer at the bar.

...Only exception is if his real plan was to parlay this into some kind of right-wing internet fame in which case maybe it could work but let's see how he plays it from here...

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Aug 7, 2017
Bondarb:

his real plan was to parlay this into some kind of right-wing internet fame

Most likely scenario would be my guess.

Aug 7, 2017
Bondarb:

I agree with some of his points, but firing off a memo to the whole firm at a place like Google is immature and flat out stupid. This isnt college, nobody cares about your political views or your take on the diversity program

Apparently they do--it's one of the biggest stories in the news cycle today, and he pissed off enough people to lose his job.

Bondarb:

...just attend your 2-10 mandatory meetings/brainwashing sessions per year and save your commentary for your friends over a beer at the bar.

...Only exception is if his real plan was to parlay this into some kind of right-wing internet fame in which case maybe it could work but let's see how he plays it from here...

At least to his points on political bias, I think it does matter. Youtube, for example, in just the last month, has attempted--before getting called out--to shut down Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro's youtube pages for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Only public shaming caused youtube to reverse course. This stuff does matter--it has a direct impact on how they do business.

Aug 8, 2017

I suppose you are right that "nobody cares" was a poor turn of phrase given that he got fired...I should have said "nobody wants to hear" or something like that. But my point still stands...this dude did nothing but shoot himself in the foot and will not change the culture of google one iota.

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Aug 8, 2017

I would agree with this. We're past the point of just putting your head down and working. I think a lot of us have that attitude because we can't possibly imagine that it's actually as bad as it is, that these sorts of people have now essentially taken over.

I doubt he wanted internet fame, this was one of the most polite, mild-mannered "manifestos" (lol) I've ever read in my life. Was practically a friendly email.

I'm being told people actually called in and didn't come to work because they felt threatened and at risk of harm due to learning about this letter. These are the types of people that belong in mental institutions, not working at one of the world's foremost technology companies.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Aug 8, 2017

jordan peterson is fucking awesome man i seriously think that guy is the man, you know he is starting an online university soon?

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Aug 8, 2017

The guy shouldn't have sent this to the firm and he should have ensured that it was anonymous. Also, the first amendment only protects you from govt censored speech. A private company can do whatever.

That being said, what he said was even keeled, even if you disagree. And Google wouldn't have fired an employee for sending around a memo taking the opposite stance. If a company wants to make a no politics policy I'd fully support it, but when major tech companies that influence our lives punish only one view point it can become dangerous.

I only use google and this isn't going to change that, but seriously, fuck that company.

Aug 8, 2017

I'm trying to think of alternatives to Google products--duckduckgo, Outlook, random non-Youtube sites. It's basically a sad state of affairs where Google has near-monopoly power in the U.S. over certain mediums. Sure, private companies have the right to have viewpoint discrimination, but it's especially frightening when companies like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, Apple, and Google combine for near-total monopoly power and all viewpoint discriminate against one side and all have the legal right to viewpoint discriminate. I'm genuinely concerned about a possible dystopian future.

Aug 8, 2017
Dances with Dachshunds:

I'm trying to think of alternatives to Google products--duckduckgo, Outlook, random non-Youtube sites. It's basically a sad state of affairs where Google has near-monopoly power in the U.S. Sure, private companies have the right to have viewpoint discrimination, but it's especially frightening when companies like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Apple, and Google combine for near-total monopoly power and all viewpoint discriminate against one side. I'm genuinely concerned about a possible dystopian future.

I was just thinking about this. I no longer want to support this company, but there won't be any alternatives until large portions of the population (libertarians, conservatives) commit to new services/products. And even then, I'm sure a libertarian alternative to youtube will be boycotted and maligned by leftists to the point that corporations will refuse to advertise on it, making it economically unsustainable and uncompetitive with the likes of youtube.

Are you aware of the recent Patreon fiasco?

https://youtu.be/ofpbDgCj9rw

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Aug 8, 2017

Google, via youtube, has nearly 3/4 of video streaming market share and nearly 4/5 of search engine market share in the U.S. It's genuinely frightening that a monopoly--and that's what it is--has the power to literally control speech. The question has to be asked: at what point should Google be regulated like a utility? An electric utility, by its very nature, would have monopoly pricing power and is therefore regulated about what it can charge (among many other things). Google/Youtube has a form of speech monopoly in the U.S. Should Google, therefore, be told by the government that it cannot use its monopoly power to effectively deny Americans rights that could once only be denied by government? The first amendment obviously doesn't apply to private companies, but at what point SHOULD a regulator step in and tell youtube, with its monopoly power, that it can't deny people access to a monopoly speech platform due to viewpoint bias? Actually, it's even simpler than that--Congress could simply declare viewpoint a protected class, at least amongst monopoly speech platforms.

https://www.datanyze.com/market-share/online-video/
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/august-2016-se...

Aug 8, 2017

Asking the government, who has been the primary driver behind all this, with the incessant identity politics we've been witnessing over the last few yeas, is not going to solve anything. You can't fix a monopoly by regulating it.

We need competition. And now that people have seen how bad it is out there, maybe that will start to happen. They can't maintain this stranglehold for long, I don't think.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Aug 8, 2017

I agree that competition is the best solution, and competition is inevitable (no monopoly is forever in the free market), but in this instance, what if the competition comes from other people with the same viewpoint? Should a platform with monopoly power over speech be allowed to regulate speech? I'm not an anti-trust expert, but it would seem to me that speech regulation from a monopoly hurts the consumer, which is what U.S. anti-trust laws were meant to prevent (harm to consumers as a result of monopoly behavior). One could even argue that under U.S. monopoly laws, YouTube should be forcefully broken up (although I'm not saying it should be).

Aug 8, 2017

Tim Pool actually did an piece on this very issue just yesterday. Tech corporations wield a huge amount of influence in shaping the political viewpoints that are allowed into the conversation through extensive banning of views that don't fit their narrative. Just take a look at Facebook or Twitter.

YouTube is rolling out an algorithm to flag "offensive" videos, which do not violate their ToS, but are still not towing the party line. These videos will be placed in a type of netherworld where they will only be visible to that channel's subscribers. They will also be de-monetized, and have sharing and commenting disabled. Currently there is no appeal system for videos flagged by this process. If there's any YouTube junkies on here, I'd recommend taking a look at what happened to some of Mark Dice's videos: YouTube set them to private, which has raised speculation around whether this was a system test.

To add insult to injury, Google is partnering with anti free speech groups and the ADL to help them set the standard on what content is offensive and what is not.

The amount of influence that we have willingly given these corporations to shape public discourse is truly frightening.

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Aug 8, 2017

On your prompting I looked into the Mark Dice situation--it's crazy. As I said before, if these people had control of government we'd be on a quick trip toward Venezuela status.

The irony in this is that when you attack the speech platform of popular commentators you just empower them by infuriating their base of support and turning them into political martyrs. Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, which only increased his fame (and probably wealth).

Aug 9, 2017
Dances with Dachshunds:

It's genuinely frightening that a monopoly--and that's what it is--has the power to literally control speech.

lol when ultra right wing conservatives whine about the same thing leftists do.

Commence incoherent rationalization combined with sophisticated looking BS about something something trump, maga, maggots, #whoCares

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Aug 9, 2017
UFOinsider:
Dances with Dachshunds:

It's genuinely frightening that a monopoly--and that's what it is--has the power to literally control speech.

lol when ultra right wing conservatives whine about the same thing leftists do.

Commence incoherent rationalization combined with sophisticated looking BS about something something trump, maga, maggots, #whoCares

Only in your little bubble do you believe that conservatives are OK with monopolies. In your bubble world echo chamber, you have this black-and-white view of conservatives, so it's easy to make strawman assessments.

Aug 8, 2017

Agree or not, the lesson learned here should be that you never, ever take up issues like this in the public of a company. Unless you work at a place where they actively encourage you to break the status quo.

(I think it's bullshit how people are fired for nothing these days, especially when it could be resolved with some simple "This is the first and last warning, do not send out messages like that")

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Aug 8, 2017

Another solution is to not work for a large, bureaucratic monstrosity of a corporation. Smaller companies often don't have these problems.

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Aug 8, 2017

I'm torn about this. I don't think people should be sharing their political views widely at the office. It's bound to cause friction in a workplace of any meaningful size. There are places and times to share your ideological views, and I don't really want to work in an office where people feel the need to proselytize on a regular basis.

That said, I worry about the free speech implications here. I would ordinarily argue that you can think and say whatever you want, but you can't tell your boss to go fuck himself without consequences. That's not what happened here. He was attempting to point out the logical inconsistencies with Google's approach to gender diversity, the problems that arise from those inconsistencies, and potential solutions to the firm's gender imbalance that might work better than current approaches precisely because the those approaches are rooted in false premises.

There is a 'blame and shame' culture on the left at the moment that is distinctly illiberal. There is some cognitive dissonance in having exclusionary groups dedicated to promoting the interests of one race or sex over another. It creates tribalism, and works against the very purpose for which those groups were created. If Google had a group dedicated to the recruitment and promotion of white males, the internet might finally take human form just to defecate (and that pile of poo would become Yahoo).

Which brings me to my next point--Google has such a wide-reaching and powerful platform that it's able to impose its values on society. I don't believe in unlimited free speech, and Google is now so large and pervasive that it can do real harm if it so chooses.

I read the full 10-page screed, and despite the dozen or so typos, it was fairly articulate, cogent, and reasonable. The guy has a PhD from Harvard in Systems Biology. Evolutionary biology is certainly within his wheelhouse of expertise. He wasn't bashing women. He wasn't promoting men. He says that he's a liberal. His arguments are backed by facts, logically presented, and worth a discussion. But because his conclusions differ from accepted company thinking about the problems he's seeking to address, the company fired him.

For an organization which seeks to 'do no evil', this seems antithetical to their core values, especially since they are meant to be introspective. Googlers are taught to challenge conventional wisdom. There is a resonance chamber in Silicon Valley at the moment which ascribes differences between various groups to oppression of one form or another. His treatise recognizes bias and oppression as partial causes of said gap. He is simply proposing that bias alone doesn't explain the whole gap.

It sounds like the sort of thing Google should consider. Or if they have already considered it, perhaps Google could provide a rebuttal supported by facts and analysis. Otherwise, they just fired a guy for having and sharing (perhaps in the wrong forum) a thought they didn't like. It's dangerous to shut down debate that way because it doesn't answer the most basic question: What if he's right?

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Aug 8, 2017
brotherbear:

I don't believe in unlimited free speech

What speech do you seek to restrict?

Aug 8, 2017

Elvish, dwarvish, entish and all the tongues of men. Henceforth, the black speech of Mordor shall be heard without challenge. So sayeth Brotherbear!

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Aug 8, 2017

Is anyone on this site really bitching about this dude being fired? Really? The entitlement among some people is amazing. For all my views and thoughts on politics and society (race, income inequality, police brutality etc.) You'll never catch me circulating a fucking memo at my work place about them. Hell, you'll rarely hear me discussing such things with a work acquaintance. He deserved to be fired, period. Idc if his views were the exact opposite and he was criticizing the "bro-culture" in tech. Do that political shit in your free time, this is work bro. Save your pontificating for after you're out of the office. The fact that dude thought he could send this shit off on the INTERNAL msg board with his name attached to it and not be shown the door is amazing to me. Then again, I'm not entitled, I'm out here grinding and know damn well my political beliefs have nothing to do with, and may be a hindrance, to the level of success I'm trying to get to. As for the individuals whining about Google and their political stances, gtf over it. Use the product if it is superior to others, don't if it's not. Chick File A is extremely conservative to the point of not even being open on Sundays and I've no issue pulling up to the drive thru for that chicken sandwich, it's delicious. I sort or missed the days when a company could have a view and their product was allowed to stand alone without calls for boycotts and other nonsense, unless you're funding a terrorist or KKK member who gives a shit. This goes the same for Uber and all the whines from liberals to boycott it because Kalanick is a grade A asshole.

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Aug 8, 2017

I completely agree with you regarding leaving your politics at home, but as @Dances with Dachshunds pointed out:

Google has a company-sponsored private forum to discuss just such issues. What Google is really saying is that freedom of speech is great---so long as we agree with you. That's the crux of what just happened at Google.

Google is not a traditional employer, in that they claim to want input from their employees. What Damore wrote was completely related to the work place, and wasn't about politics, it was about company policies and a culture that happen to be politicized. He wanted to improve and start a discussion regarding these policies, but Google has shown that they will not allow that type of discussion. This is a warning to everyone to keep your mouth shut about all dissenting opinions, even when you are told to do so and they are meant to help the company.

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Aug 8, 2017
BobTheBaker:

Is anyone on this site really bitching about this dude being fired? Really? The entitlement among some people is amazing. For all my views and thoughts on politics and society (race, income inequality, police brutality etc.) You'll never catch me circulating a fucking memo at my work place about them.

It's completely different for two reasons. 1) You're right that in some random company, it would be insane to fire off a public opinion like this; Google, however, has a company-sanctioned forum where employees discuss issues, particularly issues related to Google. Google endorses/endorsed open and free discussion and welcomed it, that is until it got a viewpoint that it didn't like. 2) The very core of Google's business model is free and open discussion. It would be like Goldman Sachs saying "no finance" during business hours.

BobTheBaker:

As for the individuals whining about Google and their political stances, gtf over it. Use the product if it is superior to others, don't if it's not.

Once again, this situation is fundamentally different than "whining about Google's political stances." Nobody cares what Google believes until Google fires someone for believing it. My bosses, for example, are universally conservative Republicans, and they hired as an office executive a relatively open liberal Democrat. She doesn't care that her bosses are conservatives because it doesn't negatively impact how she is treated.

BobTheBaker:

Chick File A is extremely conservative to the point of not even being open on Sundays and I've no issue pulling up to the drive thru for that chicken sandwich, it's delicious.

Again, not comparable. Not one person--ever--has accused CFA of discriminating against someone professionally. Google (Youtube) assaults the speech of conservatives on its video platform regularly.

BobTheBaker:

I sort or missed the days when a company could have a view and their product was allowed to stand alone without calls for boycotts and other nonsense, unless you're funding a terrorist or KKK member who gives a shit. This goes the same for Uber and all the whines from liberals to boycott it because Kalanick is a grade A asshole.

I totally agree. Conservatives aren't calling for boycotts. Boycotts are the tactic of the left. But we would love to participate in a forum that won't arbitrarily shut us down and destroy our economic livelihood.

Aug 8, 2017

Well said. Post it in another forum outside of work, by all means. Clearly it is a statement about how he does not agree with the corporate culture. If it bothers you that much then go find another job. Otherwise, accept that you are agreeing to work there by your own freewill and the willingness of the company that employs you. If you do need to discuss it bring it up tactfully with coworkers who are not afraid of minor political discourse.

Aug 8, 2017

So the fact that Google encourage(d) open discussion about corporate culture on its company-sponsored platform means absolutely nothing?

Aug 8, 2017

I suppose your attitude is that unless they're coming for you, it's all good right?

Are we all just supposed to put our heads down and ignore what's happening?

Google is one of the most proficient tech companies in the world, and he's watching it go to hell because it's being run by a bunch of insane people. You seriously think he's in the wrong by pointing it out?

If I had to choose between risking my job and speaking out about something that was clearly having a negative impact on the company, or staying quiet and hoping it all goes away, I know which one I'd choose every time. Not even a question.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Aug 8, 2017

Are you still in school? You sound very inclined towards the ideal. No bills to pay, spouse or kids to support? Nevermind all that - let's worry about the "negative impact on the company".

Aug 8, 2017

I'm assuming he's loaded and was ready to be fired. What's the point of having fuck you money if you can't say fuck you?

mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

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Aug 8, 2017

Regardless of the substance of his arguments, this "memo" generated such controversy that the CEO had to send out a letter about it. When a rank-and-file junior guy does something that the CEO has to spend time addressing, you know he fucked up. Surely the guy could have gone about raising concerns in a different, friendlier way. Here, he made his employer look bad. Of course he gets fired - you would too if you were the CEO.

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Aug 8, 2017
fesenq:

**Surely the guy could have gone about raising concerns in a different, friendlier way. **

Did you read the full 10 pages?

mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

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Aug 8, 2017

It's my understanding that the memo was published internally on a forum "encouraging" such discussion. If that's true, shouldn't Google axe whomever leaked it?

Aug 8, 2017

I'd love to see this forum and what kind of views others espouse. Pretty sure no one pushing liberal ideology is punished.

Aug 8, 2017

I always got very annoyed when the EU went after large American tech companies for behavior approaching monopoly.

But today is the day I woke to the threat posed by these companies. They need to be broken up.

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Aug 8, 2017

I agree. My only concern with the EU fining Google, Apple, et al at this point is that foreign fines can be written off a company's taxes, so a $3 billion fine against google is also a $1B+ fine against the American tax payers.

Aug 8, 2017

Did not read all the comments, so apologies if this has been mentioned but, if this interests you at all (or maybe more importantly, if it does not), go watch Professor Jordan Peterson on this topic. Former Harvard prof now at the University of Toronto. He's a verbal genius, so very interesting to listen to even if you disagree.

Aug 9, 2017

This is a link to the full unedited paper.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586...
Unfortunately, Gizmodo decided to remove the links which were in the citations and footnotes.

Aug 9, 2017

Google with this huge market share should be treated as an utility. If google sensors your content you are pretty much out of the internet nowadays. I don't think that anyone wants a single company deciding what you can see and what you can't.
That is why this is bigger than just a company firing someone. If you cannot tolerate different opinions you are not supporting freedom if speech. period. And if you are the company that supposedly ensures the freedom of speech in a huge chunk of the internet then this is a problem.

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Aug 9, 2017

Apparently the guy already filed a lawsuit for discriminatory termination. In California, ironically, he may have a strong case.

Aug 9, 2017

Yeah, isn't he suing under the pretense of whistle blower protection?

Aug 9, 2017

I have started using Bing and DuckDuckGo as result of this.

Let's see a few facts: google is relatively old by now and hasn't really improved significantly in a decade, nor produced anything. They acquired youtube, yes. That's it. There's no evidence that the company is a bastion of technological improvement any longer.

During the decade or more of non-production, we saw the rise of identity politics; for those who don't know, it's the result of what used to be called ''marxist feminism'' in the 70s, or ''intersectionality''. It's a mix of ideologies, pushed further to the extreme, to the point that they claim e=mc2, Einstein's equation, is sexist (look up Luce Irigaray if you don't believe me). That's retarded. So while google still enjoys a market dominance, due to the fact that it became, and still is the best internet search website, I find that power associated with that ideology a threat to society. I will take a less efficient, less popular, internet browser over effectively funding our own society's destruction.

Google has proven the criticism right: they love diversity as long as it's not diversity of opinion. Then the whole point of diversity is moot. They actually want an echo chanber of yes men. They hate diverse perspectives. Let them be an echo chamber. I don't want to work with them nor want a society where they have influence.

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Aug 9, 2017

What's interesting about many of these dominant tech companies is that they are really just glorified marketing firms, like newspapers are/were. Google and Facebook, for example, owe the vast, vast, vast majority of their revenue to advertising (where at least newspapers actually had/have customers who pay for the service). Unlike Apple, if Google and Facebook are innovative, their innovation has pretty much stopped at figuring out how to maximize ad revenue (I don't consider acquiring successful companies/technology to be "innovation" or rolling out idiotic failed devices, like Google Glass). As a proponent of autonomous cars, I do give Google a lot of credit for their work, although it's to be seen if Google ultimately wins that war (off topic, but I tend to think the automakers will win because of their manufacturing infrastructure in place).

Aug 9, 2017

(continuing on that off topic. I see the winner being a cooperation betweein automaker and software company. But if this doesn't happen automakers have the upper-hand because self-driving or not, its still their game)

Aug 9, 2017

I wanted to offer two articles on this that were relatively easy reads for a guy who leans gently conservative on social issues but were written by those who take the liberal side that at least made me think about things. They won't piss you off, but they might make you change a few views or at least give you the nuance of understanding the other side (which I think understands Damore's point):

https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/so-about-this-go...
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/po...
I'm trying to stay out of the political weeds of this and just focus on the business aspect of it. I think there is an assumption by many 20-somethings in the workplace in general that a firing (not a layoff) is either justified or wrong-- that while a layoff is often a no-fault divorce, an unplanned separation can't be. That there is no such thing as a firing that is a good business decision but doesn't necessarily make someone a bad employee. To be clear, Google has the right to fire anyone for any reason, righteous reasons or not, good business decision or not. The firing may not have been morally justified, but it may not have been the wrong business decision based on everything I've read.

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Aug 9, 2017
IlliniProgrammer:

I wanted to offer two articles on this that were relatively easy reads for a guy who leans gently conservative on social issues but were written by those who take the liberal side that at least made me think about things. They won't piss you off, but they might make you change a few views or at least give you the nuance of understanding the other side (which I think understands Damore's point):

https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/so-about-this-go...
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/po...
I'm trying to stay out of the political weeds of this and just focus on the business aspect of it. I think there is an assumption by many 20-somethings in the workplace in general that a firing (not a layoff) is either justified or wrong. That there is no such thing as a firing that is a good business decision but doesn't necessarily make someone a bad employee. To be clear, Google has the right to fire anyone for any reason, righteous reasons or not, good business decision or not. The firing may not have been morally justified, but it may not have been the wrong business decision based on everything I've read.

I read the first one, the author goes like this:
1) He's wrong about genders, but I can't explain why because I'm not a biologist, sociologist, psychologist.

Ok? I mean if you are going to claim someone is wrong, provide evidence. The only evidence he provide was disqualifying himself on the topic. That's.... idiotic.

Aug 9, 2017
neink:

I read the first one, the author goes like this:
1) He's wrong about genders, but I can't explain why because I'm not a biologist, sociologist, psychologist.

Ok? I mean if you are going to claim someone is wrong, provide evidence. The only evidence he provide was disqualifying himself on the topic. That's.... idiotic.

To be sure, I entertained everything in both articles, but I didn't necessarily agree with everything. And, without getting into my opinions on the subject matter, your point that the guy makes a claim without citing sources and evidence is well taken.

But on the business front, his perspective that Damore "had interfered with the company's ability to function" did offer some color. And I don't want to get into the business of determining how or why companies can or can't fire people.

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Aug 9, 2017

No. I wonder if you or the authors even read the manifesto, or if you/they read media-edited portions of it that fit their narrative. The first link you provide opens up with an objective lie:

"You have probably heard about the manifesto a Googler (not someone senior) published internally about, essentially, how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, it's just not worth it."

This is just not true. This was never even remotely said in the manifesto and, if anything, it contradicts specifically what was written. This a provable lie!

READ. THE FUCKING. MEMO.

Aug 9, 2017

I read the memo and disagreed with the point that Yonatan made. The part I liked about both posts was the explanation that for whatever reason, this memo had interfered with the company's ability to function.

Obviously there's an interesting counter-argument that if a low level employee can write a memo that causes trouble like this, the cause of the problem is probably bigger than just one low level employee.

Aug 9, 2017

LOL go email your whole company how its policies suck and let me know how it goes for you.

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Aug 9, 2017
UFOinsider:

LOL go email your whole company how its policies suck and let me know how it goes for you.

That's not what happened. This has been discussed like 40 times in this thread already how that is not what happened.

Aug 9, 2017
UFOinsider:

LOL go email your whole company how its policies suck and let me know how it goes for you.

UFO has a point on this one. Remember Tyrel Oates emailing Wells Fargo's CEO asking for a pay raise and CCing the entire firm? What was our response to it?

I am three years older and wiser than I was in 2014. Oates was totally unprofessional for sending the email. I support his first amendment right to ask, but also the company's right to fire him for CCing 220,000 other employees. (I don't think they actually did).

I actually find myself agreeing more with Damore than Oates, but if we change the politics without the other circumstances, our response ought to be the same. Using firm resources to challenge corporate policy-- even if you might be right-- isn't professional. Whether Wells Fargo and Google had something like this coming is a completely different issue. But professionals shouldn't light matches in rooms that management has doused with gasoline and they shouldn't send out mass emails that challenge corporate policy that they find dumb-- at least using firm resources.

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/wells-fargo...

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Aug 9, 2017

Wasn't this posted on an internal company discussion board where dissent and discussion was encouraged?

My gripe is that a liberal paper done the same way wouldn't have been fired. The guy was canned because his free thought and discussion came to a different conclusion than the mob.

And for all of us, the worry is google and others will use their bias to slant information their way. Like Airbnb discriminating against right wing people using their service or Facebook deciding what is fake news and what isn't. At the core I get it, but that kind of power corrupts. It's one thing to ban actual nazis from using Airbnb for a rally, but it never stops there.

Aug 9, 2017
IlliniProgrammer:

I actually find myself agreeing more with Damore than Oates, but if we change the politics without the other circumstances, our response ought to be the same. Using firm resources to challenge corporate policy-- even if you might be right-- isn't professional. Whether Wells Fargo and Google had something like this coming is a completely different issue. But professionals shouldn't light matches in rooms that management has doused with gasoline and they shouldn't send out mass emails that challenge corporate policy that they find dumb-- at least using firm resources.

On this topic, your views are completely uninformed. What happened at Wells Fargo and what happened at Google are not remotely comparable situations. Damore didn't randomly email the public. What he wrote privately was disseminated publicly throughout the company and the world by someone else.

Aug 9, 2017
  1. It's obviously within Google's purview to fire any of their employees for practically any reason.
  2. That said, firing someone for writing a polite, well-cited memo asking for greater intellectual diversity under the auspices of defending your firm's 'diversity' efforts seems disingenuous.
  3. Furthermore, the intellectual dishonesty alluded to in my #2 above is further exacerbated by the fact that the only offense committed here appears to be the leaking of this internal memo to general public. I have come across exactly zero evidence or even the assertion that the leaking was done by this particular employee - the fact that Google has justified his firing under the auspices of "advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace" (as opposed to publicly criticizing the company via social media etc.) seems to indicate that they have no such evidence.

So, to streamline my reaction and insert some much needed profanity:
Why the fuck hasn't whoever leaked this shit to the press been fired as well? Without that, it's really, really, really, hard for me to believe this was anything more than 1) a ham-handed move to put out a PR fire and appease the HuffPo crowd and 2) a validation of the author's core critique (that Google has no interest in entertaining opposing views on corporate policy).

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Aug 10, 2017
The Stranger:

it's really, really, really, hard for me to believe this was anything more than 1) a ham-handed move to put out a PR fire and appease the HuffPo crowd

The nail has been hit on the head

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Aug 9, 2017

The memo was Jerry Maguire level stuff. Except I don't think blogs were a popular thing when Jerry Maguire was filmed.

And let's put things into context. This was a bad time for the author to decide to play with fire. Uber just went through the whole fiasco that led to the removal of their CEO and then there's the lady(ies) who wrote that blog post and ousted McClure or whatever at 500 startups. I'm not surprised that Google decided to fire the guy.

Not saying it's right but writing a company memo, circulating to everyone, and at this time was dangerous and he bit the bullet. But I do not mean to defend Google, just opining on the situational aspects.

Aug 9, 2017

My god, man. This has been mentioned dozens of times already, but to say it again--Damore didn't circulate the fucking memo. He posted an opinion to an internal company message board. Someone else distributed the memo and leaked it to the press. It would be like you taking one of my posts from this very website, and sending out an email to the entire staff of google, and then going to the press to complain about my weltanschauung.

And even then, doing so would only be analogous to Damore's situation if this message board were specifically designed for the purposes of sharing ideas and criticisms of the company. It's like having a 'suggestions box', encouraging people to contribute their thoughts, and then canning anyone who didn't praise 'dear leader.'

If you read the damn memo (I know, 10 pages is a lot for most morons, but try to concentrate for a few minutes), you'd know his main purpose in writing the thing was to make suggestions on how to change Google's diversity program to address what he believed to be a core cause of the firm's lack of diversity--biological differences. If the firm only considers social and cultural reasons to explain away its diversity issues, Damore believes they will always fall short of their diversity goals. He suggests opening a discussion about another possible reason besides discrimination and bias along social and cultural grounds to explain some of the gaps scene between various groups Google chooses to promote.

If you're going to comment on the topic, READ THE DAMN MEMO.

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Aug 9, 2017

I have not read it, largely because I haven't had time. I thought I understood it was a company-wide memo from the cliff notes, because for some reason everyone is describing it as such. I'll try to get time and read it.

If it was a board where employees were encouraged to speak their minds on things about the company, then I do think firing Damore was inappropriate and hypocritical. People are too sensitive. Even if they did not like the tone, it should be argued down and not shot down. It's unfortunate because we all know the typical flowered pants liberal chick with a best friend who majored in journalism.

I'll reiterate my feminism is taking over the world theory here. And if you don't like it, to hell with you!

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Aug 9, 2017

Sequence of events from Damore interview with Jordan Peterson:

1) ~45 days ago Damore goes to a company-wide "diversity summit"

2) Damore didn't like what he was hearing--it sounded to him like Google was engaging in illegal discrimination to improve diversity at Google

3) Published/wrote this about a month ago when he sent it to an internal Google group called "Google Skeptics" who challenge assumptions and debate--he wanted them to challenge his assertions and break his arguments. This memo then got released by someone in that group and went viral around Google internally, at which point Damore started getting contacted by Google managers saying that his writing was unacceptable.

4) Once the memo went out into the public, Google then decided to fire him under the pretense that he was "perpetuating gender stereotypes."

To sum, Damore wrote a piece to an internal Google organization that debates and challenges assumptions, somebody didn't like it, sent it around Google, then it went into the public, Google management panicked and fired him.

Aug 9, 2017

Thanks. People are forgetting this isn't a rogue author writing shit to the CEO. This was a group created for discussion. Someone leaked it and that got the guy fired.

Google was within their right, but should not favor one type of opinion over another.

Aug 9, 2017

This is my understanding and, assuming all this was done via work emails (or gmail in general), Google has the resources to identify both the original leaker in the 'google skeptics' group as well as who sent it out to the public.

The fact that neither of those individuals has been dismissed (both items would clearly violate the employee code of conduct AT LEAST as much as the drafting of the original email) highlights the real problem - having a corporate agenda is fine, but allowing that agenda to drive when and how your corporate policies are applied flies in the face of US labor and (ironically) discrimination law.

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Aug 9, 2017

I read the whole thread and the memo and think this topic touches on a few important points so excuse this post being a bit all over the place but I wanted to post my thoughts all together in one post.

I wish we had the counterfactual of a feminist screed about toxic masculinity and its negative impact on the workplace and how Google needs programs to deal with this. Then we could see what the reaction to that was.

I suspect that TNA is correct. That an equally inflammatory piece posted from a left-wing perspective would not have resulted in a firing. I furthermore suspect that anti-male dogma like I described above probably already is discussed openly at Google, at least in HR circles, and no one is punished for it.

My biggest question is what the norms were on this discussion board. What were other posts like? How controversial were the conversations expected to get? Many companies have similar forums or methods for employees to "openly discuss new and challenging ideas" but it's understood by everyone that these "challenging" ideas are meant to conform to a very narrow box. Does anyone have any details on what sort of discussions regularly occurred on this discussion forum? How far outside the norm was this type of post?

Also I want to really emphasize this part of the memo:

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.

The author probably needed to re-state this idea on every page. This is the core misunderstanding of the people accusing the author of sexism. He is saying that biology explains group-level statistical differences in outcomes, but that it can't be used to attribute a trait to any particular individual. So it would be incorrect to point to any given female and say she is higher in empathy, more neurotic, etc. based on her gender, but when taken as a large group, we can assign these traits and see a slight difference in outcome. The biology would predict a SLIGHT difference in outcome, so a large difference is likely due to bias of some sort, though not necessarily by the hiring committee.

Maybe this analogy will help:
A bag is filled with red and blue balls. The red balls have the numbers 2-11 written on them and the blue balls have 1-10 written on them. So we can say the red balls have higher numbers. But if you pick a blue ball out of the bag, it would NOT be interesting or relevant to point this fact out. You would look at the ball and read the number.

The hiring committee should not necessarily be expected to make up for a difference in interest-level or ability across gender. If 80% of the applicants for software engineering jobs are men, then an unbiased hiring process would result in 80% of software engineers being men, assuming the applications are equally strong. The measure of bias should be at the application-level not the societal level.

That the incoming applications are not equally representative of the population is due to 1) biological differences and 2) social norms. I personally am a nurture-over-nature believer so I think #2 is more to blame here but don't think the hiring committee is necessarily the place to address this. It would be nice if they did, at the margin, try to slightly correct things, but I certainly wouldn't expect the ultimate hiring decisions to equally represent the population since the applicants are bombarded by societal messages and unequal circumstances since birth that form their preferences and outcomes. To be blunt, the women grow up watching Disney princess movies and the blacks go to bad schools in bad neighborhoods. By the time they are old enough to apply to Google it is no surprise that a relatively small number of them have gone to university for computer science and now want to be software engineers.

For those concerned particularly about YouTube, here is the CEO's thoughts on the memo:
http://fortune.com/2017/08/09/google-diversity-mem... She doesn't seem to be able to hold in her mind at the same time the two ideas that 1) there are biological differences between men and women and 2) men and women should be treated equally. She sees these ideas as mutually exclusive. That, I think, is the viewpoint of "the left" on this topic. That these two ideas cannot be true at once. I disagree with that and see no conflict in these ideas and you could substitute race, LBGT, or religious identity in there as well and I still see no conflict. We have to be able to talk about groups of people as groups while still recognizing the primacy of the individual.

Thank you if you actually read all this.

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Aug 9, 2017

One only has to look at the horrible behavior and posts on the left and how no one gets canned. I could work for Google and advocate for white slavery and castrating men and get a medal. The second you delicately challenge and leftist believe and people need a safe space and their blanky and you're fired.

I respect intellectual honesty and fairness. Fire the leaker. Fire anyone posting far left shit. Have a zero tolerance for politics work place. But don't advocate for different opinions and then silence a different opinion. Dude didn't drop "make me a sandwich" shit. He wrote a pretty calm, 10 page letter criticizing what is unfair.

Only person making Google look bad is them. They come off as fascist and over reactive. And the delicate few who get offended by this need to self select themselves out of the gene pool.

Aug 9, 2017
LongandShortofit:

I read the whole thread and the memo and think this topic touches on a few important points so excuse this post being a bit all over the place but I wanted to post my thoughts all together in one post.

I wish we had the counterfactual of a feminist screed about toxic masculinity and its negative impact on the workplace and how Google needs programs to deal with this. Then we could see what the reaction to that was.

I suspect that TNA is correct. That an equally inflammatory piece posted from a left-wing perspective would not have resulted in a firing. I furthermore suspect that anti-male dogma like I described above probably already is discussed openly at Google, at least in HR circles, and no one is punished for it.

My biggest question is what the norms were on this discussion board. What were other posts like? How controversial were the conversations expected to get? Many companies have similar forums or methods for employees to "openly discuss new and challenging ideas" but it's understood by everyone that these "challenging" ideas are meant to conform to a very narrow box. Does anyone have any details on what sort of discussions regularly occurred on this discussion forum? How far outside the norm was this type of post?

Also I want to really emphasize this part of the memo:

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.

The author probably needed to re-state this idea on every page. This is the core misunderstanding of the people accusing the author of sexism. He is saying that biology explains group-level statistical differences in outcomes, but that it can't be used to attribute a trait to any particular individual. So it would be incorrect to point to any given female and say she is higher in empathy, more neurotic, etc. based on her gender, but when taken as a large group, we can assign these traits and see a slight difference in outcome. The biology would predict a SLIGHT difference in outcome, so a large difference is likely due to bias of some sort, though not necessarily by the hiring committee.

Maybe this analogy will help:
A bag is filled with red and blue balls. The red balls have the numbers 2-11 written on them and the blue balls have 1-10 written on them. So we can say the red balls have higher numbers. But if you pick a blue ball out of the bag, it would NOT be interesting or relevant to point this fact out. You would look at the ball and read the number.

The hiring committee should not necessarily be expected to make up for a difference in interest-level or ability across gender. If 80% of the applicants for software engineering jobs are men, then an unbiased hiring process would result in 80% of software engineers being men, assuming the applications are equally strong. The measure of bias should be at the application-level not the societal level.

That the incoming applications are not equally representative of the population is due to 1) biological differences and 2) social norms. I personally am a nurture-over-nature believer so I think #2 is more to blame here but don't think the hiring committee is necessarily the place to address this. It would be nice if they did, at the margin, try to slightly correct things, but I certainly wouldn't expect the ultimate hiring decisions to equally represent the population since the applicants are bombarded by societal messages and unequal circumstances since birth that form their preferences and outcomes. To be blunt, the women grow up watching Disney princess movies and the blacks go to bad schools in bad neighborhoods. By the time they are old enough to apply to Google it is no surprise that a relatively small number of them have gone to university for computer science and now want to be software engineers.

For those concerned particularly about YouTube, here is the CEO's thoughts on the memo:
http://fortune.com/2017/08/09/google-diversity-mem... She doesn't seem to be able to hold in her mind at the same time the two ideas that 1) there are biological differences between men and women and 2) men and women should be treated equally. She sees these ideas as mutually exclusive. That, I think, is the viewpoint of "the left" on this topic. That these two ideas cannot be true at once. I disagree with that and see no conflict in these ideas and you could substitute race, LBGT, or religious identity in there as well and I still see no conflict. We have to be able to talk about groups of people as groups while still recognizing the primacy of the individual.

Thank you if you actually read all this.

This does a good job of describing in a comprehensive way that right-wing politics is correct in its stance on social issues like diversity. Where I have a problem is in the majority vs minority aspect. I do not believe that Ben Shapiro, who I find most of his arguments to be very logical and true, will go outside and enlist himself on a purity campaign to improve the world by ridding it of Jews, blacks, and subjecting women to the kitchen. But you do have the majority of Trump supporters (sorry if that's offensive TNA) who are dirty, poor, angry, and not thinkers who might not object to the idea. I always wonder, how do we balance the logical and idiotic disparity in how we define and deal with differences that simply might take time to correct?

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Aug 9, 2017

Did you just suggest that a majority of trump voters - tens of millions of American adults - would advocate for a "purge" of all minorities, non-whites and non-christians? I just want to make sure you and I both understand what you said? I'm a bit surprised anyone can work in this industry and have such a gross misunderstanding of statistics or numbers.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Aug 9, 2017

So, Damore got interviewed by Jordan Peterson who has been tackling identity politics for a while.

Some creepy elements:
-google is running unrecorded diversity seminars where plain discrimination is advocated against a specific race and gender (you can easily assume white and male)
-the criticism is at least a month old, Damore got fired only after it became leaked to the media, google execs wussed out to pander to the social justice base

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Aug 10, 2017
neink:

So, Damore got interviewed by Jordan Peterson who has been tackling identity politics for a while.

Some creepy elements:
-google is running unrecorded diversity seminars where plain discrimination is advocated against a specific race and gender (you can easily assume white and male)
-the criticism is at least a month old, Damore got fired only after it became leaked to the media, google execs wussed out to pander to the social justice base

Whoa, this changes things, thanks for sharing

Edit:
Whatever opinion/thoughts I had on just went right out the window. Time to sit back and watch the next round of bickering:

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Aug 10, 2017

I mean, none of those proves anything and should be treated with suspicion... but, to some extent, none of that would really shock me

Aug 10, 2017
The Stranger:

I mean, none of those proves anything and should be treated with suspicion... but, to some extent, none of that would really shock me

Again, yeah, it's granted that there are 2 sides of the story, but if you are going to advocate plain racial/gender discrimination as a company, the less records you have about it, the better, just for cases like this.

There's allegedly a lot of support for Damore, so it'd be interesting to see someone else coming out.

Aug 10, 2017
Comment
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Aug 12, 2017
Aug 12, 2017

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