August 8, 2017

"Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences."

Bloomberg reports.
Earlier on Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees that said portions of the memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”...  A Google representative, asked about the dismissal, referred to Pichai’s memo.

[James] Damore’s 10-page memorandum accused Google of silencing conservative political opinions and argued that biological differences play a role in the shortage of women in tech and leadership positions. It circulated widely inside the company and became public over the weekend, causing a furor that amplified the pressure on Google executives to take a more definitive stand.
I'm still trying to understand how Damore distributed the memo. Did he shoot it out to a lot of people in an effort to suddenly force them to face up to the issue in his terms right now or did he muse on paper to develop his own thoughts and only share it with a few people who'd shown an interest in working through ideas they'd already talked about with him?

The phrase "It circulated widely inside the company" doesn't explain what he did. I can't figure out what to think about what happened to him without knowing more.

Firing him seems cruel and chilling toward free speech, but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

The memo and surrounding debate comes as Google fends off a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the company systemically discriminates against women. Google has denied the charges, arguing that it doesn’t have a gender gap in pay, but has declined to share full salary information with the government. 
It's possible that what Damore talked about in his memo actually reflects what many people at Google privately think and are trying to hide and that he was treated harshly to manufacture evidence against a proposition that matters in the lawsuit.

I'd like to know a lot more, so I'll just throw out the hypothesis that Damore is being scapegoated not because Google is dominated by social-justice warriors but because there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field and Google is desperate to hide it.

ADDED: From the NYT article on the firing:
Before being fired, Mr. Damore said, he had submitted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board claiming that Google’s upper management was “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints.” He added that it was “illegal to retaliate” against an N.L.R.B. charge.

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
Tank said...

Althouse, you're a decade behind at least.

Google if fully converged with SJWs.

Free speech there is intolerable.

Xmas said...

Google has an internal version of Google+, their social networking app. I believe the memo was posted their and shared widely within "circles", sort of the equivalent of "Tagging" people and groups on Facebook.

MayBee said...

My favorite thing is that a group of women took yesterday off because they didn't feel safe at Google. Talk about proving his point!

Ken B said...

Then you frankly are ill-informed. I work in IT. In the past 20 years 7 of my 12 bosses have been women. I have more women co-workers than men, and have had for several years.

MayBee said...

Would a woman be fired if she complained about "mansplaining"?

Rick said...

the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

There's no reasonable basis to conclude his actions do this.

Chuck said...

I really appreciate Professor Althouse's customary care, and caution, and legal expertise in examining a situation like this. She is so right, to want to know more, before making any judgments about this case. I love reading her on topics like this one. And I'd be delighted if there is substantive follow up.

In the meantime, I'll respectfully depart from Althouse, and say that unlike her, I will happily presume that indeed "Damore is being scapegoated not because Google is dominated by social-justice warriors..."

Occam's razor.


SGT Ted said...

"...but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women."

Pointing out differences in men and women's career choices and observed behaviors that is supported by social science research doesn't do this whatsoever.

Firing him was corporate SJW bully behavior and is a calculated effort designed to shut other people up if they disagree with social justice bullshit designed precisely to do that.

Sebastian said...

"I'll just throw out the hypothesis that Damore is being scapegoated." Now that's funny. "He had to be fired for their sins." Perfect red-meat trolling. Well done.

Still hoping for a proper fisking of "Sundar's" screed, though. I thought you'd enjoy that one. Not telling you what to blog, y'understand. I ain't no LLR.

MadisonMan said...

Let the Virtue Signaling begin.

"We care about our Female Employees so much that we fire anyone who makes them uncomfortable with words and thoughts"

How very Feminist and empowering.

(I still have to take my Sexual Harrassment training at the UW, by the way).

Ken B said...

"the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women. "

Isn't the phrase "assumes facts not in evidence"? Because the memo does no such thing, and I seriously dobt the employee in his actions did either.

Most of the time you want to look beyond the 1st amendment in free speech issues. Cue rhhardin at this point I fear.

Jason said...

the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

Thinking that Damore actually did this is insane.

SGT Ted said...

"There's no reasonable basis to conclude his actions do this."

A group of women heard something true from a man that they didn't like. There must be punishments. Strong Independent Women need to be shielded from men who say things the women don't like.

Unknown said...

The guy was an idealistic idiot, a self proclaimed liberal, who thinks he has the right to say whatever he wants on company time suing company resources whether or not it fits with the image his company is trying to project. I agree with almost everything he said, but he's an idiot.

MayBee said...

I'll just throw out the hypothesis that Damore is being scapegoated not because Google is dominated by social-justice warriors but because there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field and Google is desperate to hide it.

That doesn't ring true to me.
I'm no longer in the tech field, but I was. Because women tend to not go into tech, I was prized as a hire and I know the same was true of my female friends.
We all know that something doesn't have to be true when it comes to fearing how things will look in a lawsuit.

Unknown said...

suing was not a Freudian slip, just 'using' and maybe a touch of dyslexia. misspelled .

Kevin said...

I'm so old I remember when Google tried to not be evil.

Apparently if you put enough rebels together they start building their own Death Star.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

Of course, if he is right that the differences between men and women in tech are the results of innate biological differences, then any effective effort at reducing the gap will be based on creating unequal working conditions for men and women, in women's favor.

Of course, such unequal conditions would be justified, because equality.

Laslo Spatula said...

Prohibiting the viewing of porn in the workplace disparately affects males.

I am Laslo.

Jason said...

Watching all the prominent HR bloggers who have posted daily for years and who were all over Uber last month like flies on shit totally avoid writing about the number one story in their field this week lulz.

It's as though they all secretly want to work for Google.

Kevin said...

We all know that something doesn't have to be true when it comes to fearing how things will look in a lawsuit.

Justice is blind today becsuse seeing the truth interferes with the required verdict.

Michael K said...

The best thing to read when thinking about this topic is Dalrymple's essay on "The Uses of Corruption."

Admittedly, corruption is a strange kind of virtue: but so is honesty in pursuit of useless or harmful ends. Corruption is generally held to be a vice, and viewed in the abstract, it is. But bad behavior can sometimes have good effects, and good behavior bad effects.

Where administration is light and bureaucracy small, bureaucratic honesty is an incomparable virtue; but where these are heavy and large, as in all modern European states, Britain and Italy not least among them, they burden and obstruct the inventive and energetic. Where bureaucrats are honest, no one can cut through their Laocoönian coils: their procedures, no matter how onerous, antiquated, or bloody-minded, must be endured patiently. Such bureaucrats can

neither be hurried in their deliberations nor made to see common sense.
Indeed, the very absurdity or pedantry of these deliberations is for them the guarantee of their own fair-mindedness, impartiality, and disinterest. To treat all people with equal contempt and indifference is the bureaucrat’s idea of equity.

In such circumstances, the use of personal influence or bribery by a petitioner at the bar of bureaucracy may actually represent an increase in efficiency.


This is The Administrative State but it is also the PC Corporation.

Innovation does not arise in bureaucracies and I expect a new competitor will appear for Google, probably made up of non-PC men.

Jason said...

For the record... you heard the unlawful chilling effect on protected concerted activity on social media/NLRB issue from me first.

MayBee said...

Of course, if he is right that the differences between men and women in tech are the results of innate biological differences, then any effective effort at reducing the gap will be based on creating unequal working conditions for men and women, in women's favor.

Exactly.
Given the chance, women tend not to study tech in college in the same numbers men do. So of course they can't be hired in the same numbers.
But we don't try to even out the genders of teachers, right? Or cosmetologists or mammogram technicians? So why tech?

Perhaps we need to stop letting so many men choose tech at the university level. Then we can even things out. We need to start rationing who can study what in college.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Looks to me as if this guy was fired for being a conservative, and sharing non-leftwing views, and pointing out the fact that google is mostly all male.


From the link:

"After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google’s new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, [yeah - that's not creepy]
... sent a statement to staff condemning Damore’s views and reaffirmed the company’s stance on diversity. In internal discussion boards, multiple employees said they supported firing the author, and some said they would not choose to work with him, according to postings viewed by Bloomberg News.

“We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company,” Brown said in the statement. “We’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.” ..."

Diversity police = no conservatives allowed.

traditionalguy said...

Feminazis are very close to their final solution: Ethnic cleansing by hiring and firing standards that exterminate all males.

Rick said...

The SJWs at Google are bragging about keeping blacklists of people insufficiently supportive of diversity, by which they mean far left radicalism. If the leadership had any brains at all they'd fire every person who commented positively. You can't have employees subverting your company for political purposes.

I think there's about zero chance that happens. On the bright side this further exposes the SJW goals. They're coming for you. Even if you're a moderate liberal they'll get to you. It doesn't really matter how far left you are the attackers need a scapegoat so they can pose as anti-racist heroes.

Here's a sample of the next step. And when people claim this can't happen in the mainstream remind them they used to say that about what just happened at Google.

YA Literature Wars

JohnAnnArbor said...

The witch must be burned.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The Google vice president of diversity, integrity and governance hath spoken. NO Conservative wrong-think allowed. Good loyal progressives only.

Perhaps Google can hire Lena Dunham?

Jason said...

Incidentally, I'm liking the DuckDuckGo.com search engine so far

Jason said...

Wait til someone figures out that CA law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against employees on the basis of political activity or affiliation, too.

LilyBart said...

Old Google: Don't be Evil.

New Google: Let's fire people who don't tow the politically correct diversity line. Which is kinda evil.

This reminds me of the 'shunning' that Amish do, or the Excommunication of the Catholic church. In fact, having grown up in a very 'evangelical' fundamentalist church, I'd say these people more "self righteous" than ANY church-goer I've ever met. And that's saying a lot.

Funny though, I remember one of my better Sunday School teachers warning us that we needed to be careful, or you can become what you hate. And here it is...the left has actually become exactly the people they said they hated.




Sure Google is free to fire people who don't spout its favored political correctness (provided they're within the law in doing so), but we're also free to form opinions about Google for doing so and act accordingly.

Etienne said...

This guy is a brainiac. No shit, I think he did his PhD in record time, and his studies were in exactly the area he is writing about now.

Google hired him, because his knowledge of the differences between women and men, could be monetized by adapting their search engine.

Now that they have all his knowledge, they don't need him anymore.

He has zero chance of any legal success. He was an at-will worker, and does not have a contract like a movie star. He has the same status as a gas pump employee.

Free speech is not a right inside a company. His using the company computer system for his manifesto is probably a crime.

Kate said...

All I can think of is Jerry Maguire, who wrote a mission statement about compassion and human connection in the sports agent business.

Google is the Bob Sugar here. I don't think they've thought this through.

MayBee said...

I don't think he was even conservative. I think he was just a nerd who saw that fewer women choose tech and tried to discuss it. And the women of Google responded by declaring themselves unsafe and unable to go into work that day. Which embarrasses me as a woman.

Big Mike said...

Jason's right. Use DuckDuckGo instead of Google. It will give you hits that Google won't let you see,!and it does not save and analyze your searches.

MayBee said...

Google hired him, because his knowledge of the differences between women and men, could be monetized by adapting their search engine.

Ha! True! Google ads certainly cares about the differences between men and women!

Ralph L said...

The fact that a man is complaining about their preferences for women should help Google in their lawsuit, not hurt them, so why are they so mad about it?

Luke Lea said...

Here is a link to the whole document that got James Damore into so much trouble, complete charts, footnotes, and hyperlinks: https://goo.gl/dHmzty

When you consider all the supporting documentation it looks to be a masterpiece of logic and persuasion, for which Damore deserves a public service award instead of losing his job. Maybe Ann can chime in on whether the author has grounds for a lawsuit against Google for wrongful discrimination as has been reported: https://goo.gl/H5EVc2

Should this thing go to trial and become a cause célèbre in the media (who are addicted to conflict after all) it could become a valuable learning experience for the whole country I should think. Or maybe I'm just dreaming.

Ken B said...

Kevin
"Don't be evil. That's our job'"

walter said...

Blogger Laslo Spatula said...
Prohibiting the viewing of porn in the workplace disparately affects males.
--
Likewise, blocking Pinterest to women.

Men exhibit "toxic masculinity" while women are "sex positive"
Does Google offer "pole dance fitness" classes at work?

Laslo Spatula said...

How many female Google employees does it take to plunge a toilet?

Trick question: all of the maintenance workers are men.

I am Laslo.

Ralph L said...

It's obvious from his characterization of conservatism that he is ignorant of it.

Lewis Wetzel said...

. . . but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

"participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women"? What does that mean? Or not mean? If you are the boss, and invite all your workers, male and female, to a football party, and only the male employees show up and "bond" with you, are you participating in creating unequal working conditions for men and women?
This is about power, not justice. No two people define justice the same way, but we all know what power is, don't we?

Laslo Spatula said...

Google needs more women plunging toilets.

That is my point.

I am Laslo.

Known Unknown said...

No more Chrome. Back to Brave for me.

Jason said...

Remember: Gizmodo published the memo, but intentionally removed supporting charts, links and notes. This is unforgivable.

Tommy Duncan said...

Chuck said: " She is so right, to want to know more, before making any judgments about this case."

Mark your calendar. Chuck praises Althouse for adopting a policy directly contrary to his own time honored policy of shooting from the hip.

TreeJoe said...

Ann: I would welcome your reading of the actual memo - widely available.

One of my favorite points of it was
"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.""

How very prescient.

This is being called a memo, screed, manifesto, and other items. But it was just a social platform post in long-form on a platform where google encouraged free speech and non-punishment for sharing.

The discouragement towards engaging in opposing views is one of the most troubling things I've seen in my life.


bagoh20 said...

Firing him is the discrimination. Egregious, and designed to terrorize people for their thoughts (even if it's for the reason Althouse proposes). If a company as widely used as Google cannot permit honest differences, then how can we trust them with the very information we use to decide important issues and questions. Answer: we can't. Time for resistance. Start finding and using alternatives. The only way we can allow a single company to control so much that is so important is if they were open, fair and honest. They have proven through this and many other actions of censorship that they are not up to the responsibility. Frankly, how could anybody be. Google keeps getting worse in this regard, which is pretty much the normal human trajectory with power. Time to weaken them.

rhhardin said...

Women are really interested in not saying that women can't sustain the interest in technical stuff. They're more into social stuff. Stuff about saying.

They wind up on the women's workplace issues committee.

Chuck said...

Mark your calendar. Chuck praises Althouse for adopting a policy directly contrary to his own time honored policy of shooting from the hip.

Privately and publicly, I frequently praise Althouse. And one of her very best qualities is not jumping to conclusions. It is praise from me that is genuine, and freely given. Just as is my highly-infrequent criticism of some her editorial choices.

I will plead guilty to regularly challenging the mainstream thinking of the Althouse commentariat.

But I deny "shooting from the hip." And I can't even think of one of my posts that comes close to "shooting from the hip."

Breezy said...

It's a shame Google can't try to refute the memo professionally, with charts and links, etc. It's beyond clear a significant portion of their employees are not on board with the D & I policies. If so important to corp, join the debate, don't squash it!

Unless of course they have no effective rebuttal...

SDaly said...

"Firing him seems cruel and chilling toward free speech, but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women."

Do you not see how anti-discrimination laws are wholly incompatible with free speech?

Rae said...

Apparently some empowered women at google were so freaked by this they couldn't report to work the next. There were ugly crying jags in the transgender bathroom.

That's the claim anyway.

Fernandinande said...

"Did he shoot it out to a lot of people in an effort to suddenly force them to face up to the issue in his terms right now or

Wow! Force! Face up to it!

That sounds a bit like virtual mental rape or some such nonsense.

Did you really mean "Did he send it to a bunch of people by email and then they could either read it or ignore it as soon as they saw what it was about?"

That kind of "forcing them"?

Wow!

JPS said...

MayBee, 8:30:

"I don't think he was even conservative."

Not exactly. For example, he describes the right as biased toward authority. I wonder if the reaction to his piece on the left will lead him to rethink that.

Fernandinande said...

"Shoot it out!" and "force them" !

I can't get over that hysterical sentence.

Ralph L said...

Looks like they would have tried to avoid the bad publicity of firing him. Guess they don't want deplorable customers.

Saint Croix said...

I think this case is very similar to the Colin Kaepernick case.

Different politics, of course, but very strong similarities. Somebody at work wants to opine on politics and says some divisive things. Upsets a bunch of people. Employers want to get rid of the trouble-maker.

You can see how biased you are by your attitudes in the two cases, I think. If you favor one guy, but think the other should be out of work, your bias is strong.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"The guy was an idealistic idiot, a self proclaimed liberal, who thinks he has the right to say whatever he wants on company time suing company resources whether or not it fits with the image his company is trying to project. I agree with almost everything he said, but he's an idiot."

Had he said it on his own time with his own resources the outcome would still have been the same. I feel bad for the guy but am, as always, delighted to see the fascist Left exercising their shit in full view of everyone. This stuff has to be seen to be understood, and every time the Left does it they crumble a little bit more.

whitney said...

This engineer should contact Jordan Peterson. He's going to need some work setting up a new platform for all his videos since Google and YouTube are arbitrarily shutting them down

Saint Croix said...

Spike Lee will not be leading a protest for James Damore anytime soon.

stlcdr said...

Don't document your thought crimes. Gotcha.

Ambrose said...

I am a strong believer in employment at will.

Sebastian said...

Two striking things about the Damore Memo:

1. He's a liberal professing his liberal bona fides. I love diversity! We have a long way to go! We can't infer individual judgments from population distributions! Doesn't help him a bit. All irrelevant, of course.

Which also shows,

2. The guy is utterly naive. Has no clue. Can't see the lay of the land, with all his charts and footnotes. Doesn't try to to apply correct prejudices, even the Jussim research, to the SJWs that surround him. Thinks arguments and evidence and earnest pleas (demoralize diversity"! ha!) will make a difference. Blind to his own blindness. And so it goes.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Conservatives are not allowed to point out leftwing subjugation of women.

left-wingers like to excuse Islamic men and their subjugation of women. I see a pattern.

Bad Lieutenant said...

TTR, I assume that you are in agreement that this is modern day Lysenkoism.

JPS said...

Sebastian:

"He's a liberal professing his liberal bona fides...Doesn't help him a bit. All irrelevant, of course."

Just what I thought when I read his statement: Do you really think any of this will make a difference when they catch up with you?

exhelodrvr1 said...

"deeply entrenched prejudice against women"

Of course, there is no possibility that they tend to be not as well suited for those positions.

whitney said...

Maybe the engineer was brave. It's possible he knew what he was doing and he suspected what the repercussions would be.

Chuck said...

Saint Croix said...
I think this case is very similar to the Colin Kaepernick case.
Different politics, of course, but very strong similarities. Somebody at work wants to opine on politics and says some divisive things. Upsets a bunch of people. Employers want to get rid of the trouble-maker.
You can see how biased you are by your attitudes in the two cases, I think. If you favor one guy, but think the other should be out of work, your bias is strong.

But you've missed Althouse's excellent point; you don't know how the Google memo was distributed. At least I don't know, and Althouse's point was that she didn't know.

I dare say, the Google case is not like Kaepernick's case. Kaepernick was in uniform, in the course of a public performance for his employer. In contrast (comparison?), Damore was not delivering a public address at a Google-sponsored function. It may have been -- Althouse quite rightly wants to know -- an essentially private communication.

Anyway, I never thought the Niners would, or should, or even could fire Kaepernick for his "speech." And they didn't. All that I ever wanted, was for Kaepernick to debate someone like Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute. She would rough him up worse than the Seahawks' defense.

Fernandinande said...

I'm still trying to understand how Damore distributed the memo.

I think he must have waited in the parking lot and grabbed the womenfolk as they came out of the building and held a gun to their heads while they read his sexist screed out loud through their blubbering tears in an effort to suddenly force them to face up to the issue in his terms right now!

stlcdr said...

And once again, the solution to the rest of us: don't hire women, and this thing won't happen.

(Or, only have single sex companies).

The reality is that some people have weak mental constitution - both men and women. Men, basically and quite rightly, have to suck it up. Or go somewhere else which offers group hugs. With women, there's a whole industry built around victimization. Not that they are weak, but it's because they are women.

This is all on top of the fact that the sexes migrate to tasks based on their general disposition. It's not a hard rule, but just because a few women can be great coal miners does not mean women can be great coal miners.

walter said...

I guess they couldn't convince him to hold a tearful mea culpa presser like that NASA dude.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Remember: Gizmodo published the memo, but intentionally removed supporting charts, links and notes. This is unforgivable."

-- Yeah. When I first heard of the memo, it was quoted and cut up to basically make it sound like all the guy said is, "Women don't choose high salary jobs and pop out babies," whereas it sounds like he's got a way more nuanced and detailed analysis.

Sam said...

Rick at 8:24 AM, Slate Star Codex made a similar link to the YA Culture Wars as you, in a very comprehensive piece about the Google fiasco: http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences

The whole thing is very Sad! In the interest of culture wars comity, though, I'd like to point out that that link you posted was to … New York Magazine… Normally very reflexively librul, but I think their real focus and comparative advantage is bitchy insidery gossip which is very attentive to power and groupthink behaviors. Like who's sitting at the Cool Kids table this week, who's in who's out, etc.

rhhardin said...

Women are traditionally good at coding, by the way. They're not traditionally good at coming in on weekends and holidays on their own time to do it just because it's fun.

After a few years that comes out as a huge difference in skill level between men and women, at the top levels.

Matthew Sablan said...

[That's not to say I'll agree with everything he wrote, just that it was not anything like it was originally presented.]

stlcdr said...

As far as memo distribution goes, it probably doesn't matter. The fact that it got out into the general population is all that was needed for action to be taken.

It could have been written on a private blog or Facebook; would the result be different once tied by to an alphabetti employee?

Kevin said...

He has zero chance of any legal success. He was an at-will worker, and does not have a contract like a movie star. He has the same status as a gas pump employee.

I wouldn't say zero. You can't fire the black workers because they are at will and you don't like black people. Google fired him for a specific, and publicly stated, set of reasons. Let's see if those reasons hold up. Let's see if he is allowed discovery. Let's see if Google finds it more convenient to settle this with a gag order.

Big companies are very good at public virtue signaling while privately paying off people so as to obscure the truth. The truth is Google needs to hire every good female engineer it can find. As the man pointed out, they are fewer and can be more selective in their choices, so this kind of thing could have put Google at a recruiting disadvantage had it not sent a strong signal.

That's their real issue. It's much cheaper to fire this guy and pay him off and they will surely know it.

Kevin said...

Remember: Gizmodo published the memo, but intentionally removed supporting charts, links and notes. This is unforgivable.

Must. Turn. Research. Into. Screed. To make. Easier. To. Dismiss...

Ann Althouse said...

Etienne said: "This guy is a brainiac. No shit, I think he did his PhD in record time, and his studies were in exactly the area he is writing about now. Google hired him, because his knowledge of the differences between women and men, could be monetized by adapting their search engine. Now that they have all his knowledge, they don't need him anymore."

Is all that true? If so, very interesting.

What should he do next?

Caligula said...

""...but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women."

Would his position have been stronger if he'd posted his essay (a better word to describe it than "memo," let alone "screed" to a public forum (preferably one not hosted by Google), complete with disclaimers stating that he'd done it entirely on his own time and not at his workplace, and that what he said in no way represented the opionions of Alphabet or Google?

What's needed, perhaps, is something like the truth defense to libel or slander: i.e., that if you can show strong evidence that what you said or wrote is true then it can't be slander or libel.

In this case, there's surely plenty of evidence that men are vastly over-represented among the mentally handicapped, and that the average IQ of men and women is about the same, and that the statistical distribution is symmetrical for both men and women. And if one stipulates these facts, then how much math does it take to realize that the distribution at two, three, or more standard deviations above the mean must also be unequal?

His essay shows signs of being written hastily (e.g., the typos), and considering the price he's paid to publish it perhaps he should have edited and re-edited it a few times before publishing it. Nonetheless, the core of the essay is a plea to treat people more as individuals and less as members of identifiable groups.

And although it's easy enough to find the essay online, it is disgraceful that the mainstream press coverage does not provide a link to it, so its readers can easily judge its content for themselves.

Nor is the muttering of a few media outlets about "alt-right support" excusable, as it is obvious the essay's author's politics are firmly Liberal (even if he does show some sympathy for libertarianism.

Did Google have a right to fire him? Well, since he was almost surely an "employee at will" it presumably did. Should it have done so? Of course not; doing so, by revealing the rigid extents of acceptable thought and expression at Google, it has diminished Google.

Mark said...

He was doing this on the corporate network.

Just about every modern workplace has a form you sign stating that you will not use corporate networks for non-work purposes.

If he posted it on his personal blog I doubt any of this would have occurred, but he used corporate networking features to spread private views in the workplace - something the company can and will get involved in.

Hopefully dude will learn to follow standard corporate network practices in the future.

JAORE said...

1970s: I am woman, hear me ROAR!

Today: I am woman, hear me whimper as I scuttle off to my safe space.



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[Laslo, I often put a quote on my social media. I'm using your disparate impact one today. With attribution, of course. Thanks.]

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

If the truth makes progressives look bad, you will be fired.

Rick said...

What should he do next?

1. Change his name.
2. Look for a new job.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger SDaly said...

Do you not see how anti-discrimination laws are wholly incompatible with free speech?

Not to mention freedom of association. You are not to decide whom you shall associate with. That's the government's job.

James K said...

I suppose Google has the right to enforce whatever rules they want on what their employees can say in a public forum--most companies have policies on that. But they should be humiliated and shamed for having the audacity to call what they practice "diversity," as it is exactly the opposite. Orwell would be proud.

rhhardin said...

Some aspects of coding. If it comes to trajectory calculations in fractional fixed point you lose a lot of women who are otherwise good at coding.

Rick said...

Mark said...
He was doing this on the corporate network.

Just about every modern workplace has a form you sign stating that you will not use corporate networks for non-work purposes.


This argument doesn't work. If it was posted on the internal network as generally believed everyone posts non-work specific items on work time. The communication tool is specifically for that purpose.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

...unless the inequality favors women in some way in which case the company is in fact required to create and sustain that inequality. Are you kidding with this? I know you're talking about what the law says but even a superficial look at the reality of big companies shows that the deck is stacked in favor of women in almost every dimension of employment (hiring preference, specific additional "mentoring" programs, special treatment in promotion consideration, etc).

NPR was funny in their treatment of the story this morning--they said it was a good "learning opportunity" to remind everyone that you don't have free speech rights at work. Which, you know, would be interesting if it were true. The truth is you don't have free speech rights about CERTAIN THINGS at work. If the memo had been about how oppressive white men are, or how dangerous heteronormativity is, or how terrible it is that there aren't more opportunities for transexuals...well if anyone got fired for saying those things the lawsuits would fall heavy and hard and NPR'd be the first to say the employer ought to be fined into bankruptcy.

Anyway, no surprise that the people who claim to care about free speech as a concept (as opposed to a Constitutional right), "academic freedom," and diversity actually subordinate all of that to their need for Leftist conformity. Cross a Leftist with a techie and you get...a Leftist.

Biff said...

The Professor wrote: "I'm still trying to understand how Damore distributed the memo."

I'm trying to find the article I read when the story first broke (and before Mr. Damore was identified and fired) that named the system that Damore used to post his memo. According to the article, the memo originally was posted on an internal system where staff can post anonymous messages, along the lines of an internal bulletin board or suggestion box.

If that is true, I struggle with the idea that someone who works in a technical capacity at Google would believe that any internal system would be truly anonymous. My presumption is that either Mr. Damore is particularly naive about human behavior in a way that is not particularly uncommon among high performing engineers, or he intended to be identified and disciplined and anticipated subsequent litigation.

In any case, I hope he is prepared to receive a level of demonization and vitriol that not even serial killers are likely to experience.

rhhardin said...

Nagging makes women happy.

rhhardin said...

It's a biological difference.

Caligula said...

"Perhaps we need to stop letting so many men choose tech at the university level. Then we can even things out. We need to start rationing who can study what in college."

It's not so hard to imagine the imposition of Title-IX style proportionality quotas here, is it?

(And, yes, that possibility seemed a good and sufficient reason for preferring Trump, despite his all-too-obvious flaws, for President.)

tcrosse said...

I wonder what he thought was going to happen after he posted all that ? Nobody here seems surprised at the reaction, so why would he be ? Or maybe it was a grenade thrown over the transom on the way out ?

mockturtle said...

Per Laslo: How many female Google employees does it take to plunge a toilet?

Trick question: all of the maintenance workers are men.

I am Laslo.


Question: How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper?
Answer: We don't know. It's never been done.

rhhardin said...

Some code I published ad libitum just because it was neat, a few years ago, in repairing a program that was taking too long. That's guy stuff.

TestTube said...

Michael K,

Thank you very much for the link to Theodore Dalrymple's essay.

This situation also calls to mind Jonah Goldberg's essay on the rectification of names:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/387879/when-words-lose-their-meaning-jonah-goldberg

(lots of irrelevant fluff before he gets into the good stuff)

Lewis Wetzel said...

There are deeply entrenched prejudices against hiring women to work in sewers and do hot tar roofing.
The justice department ought to look into that. Start a mandatory program, find some elementary school age girls who want to be nurses and tell them "No, no, no. It's hot tar roofing for you, sweetie!"
Since the sexes are in all ways equal, why not do a coin flip to decide who gets custody of the kids in a divorce? That would be fair.

MaxedOutMama said...

Althouse: "...but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women."

Explain to me the content in what he wrote which in any way created unequal working conditions for men and women? Please. Otherwise, I call BS.

I read it. I may not agree with every word, but nothing in the discussion he was trying to prompt, in my view, would create an unequal working environment, which could of course only be done by management.

A couple of points he made were very good, and might tend for a better "diversity" effort within the company.

buwaya said...

I switched to Silk (Browser) a year ago, from Chrome, having tried Brave.

Brave gives excellent performance especially dealing with pages full of ads and popups, but I couldnt get used to the odd UI. They could really have something there if they just simplified it.

Silk is as minimalist as Chrome. Yes its Amazon.

Also, switched to Bing from Google. Yes its Microsoft.

walter said...

tcrosse said...I wonder what he thought was going to happen after he posted all that ? Nobody here seems surprised at the reaction, so why would he be ?
--
SEO for his name..

Angel-Dyne said...

...so I'll just throw out the hypothesis that Damore is being scapegoated not because Google is dominated by social-justice warriors but because there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field and Google is desperate to hide it.

Well, that hypothesis won't get you sacked anywhere, despite the fact that it's a far more, shall we say, Ptolemaic hypothesis than the one that got Damore sacked.

Silicon Valley is for the most part run by true-believin' shitlibs who have heretofore been somewhat successful in keeping the Diversity Police off their backs, while they continued to maintain a preponderance of white/Asian males in positions that actually matter. (Successful companies can afford to keep up the "diversity" numbers by staffing "soft" jobs with "POCs" and women, and throwing a bone to the SJW parasites via bullshit window-dressing positions.)

This is going to get a lot uglier. And a lot funnier. There has to be a significant number of white males (and other people) who are truly, deeply Sick of This Shit.

Ken B said...

Mark said "He was doing this on the corporate network."
I dunno. Are you sure he didn't do it at home? Certainly a lot of those circulating or complaining were using company resources. But that seems SOP and acceptable at google (and in most of IT btw). But in any case that's not why they said they fired him. If he sues them and they shift their ground to that I, as a jury member, would snort in derision.

Etienne said...

Is all that true? If so, very interesting. What should he do next?

Well, I don't know him personally, but his CV was being discussed in a forum (that my google search turned up).

He is still pretty young. If I was him, I would check into CIA or State Department employment. I suspect he will probably join a think tank.

Mark said...

"This argument doesn't work. If it was posted on the internal network as generally believed everyone posts non-work specific items on work time. The communication tool is specifically for that purpose."

He was posting it on an internal Google bulletin board.

Are you suggesting that this internal corporate bulletin board's purpose was non-work related? I don't see any details to suggest that's the case.

Go ahead, post your screed about gender on a bulletin board in your workplace's lunchroom or common area and tell me how it goes.

Ken B said...

Puffin Browser is faster, and lets you use DUckDuckGo or Bing (integrates better with Bing). It has its annoyances, but it's fast.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Google - like Hillary.

Greg Hlatky said...

The term I recently saw for SJW zampolits was "Adolf Hipster."

Titus said...

This guy will be a new conservative victim/star. Sundar Pichai is hot.

I saw a woman's nipple on the train today. She was sitting down and I was standing up. The train was packed. There were a couple other guys standing by me and we we all looking at her nipple. She had spaghetti straps on and the shirt wasn't sticking to her tits so you could see the full nipple. Public transportation can be hot.

tits.

Fernandinande said...

Mark said...
Are you suggesting that this internal corporate bulletin board's purpose was non-work related?


The stuff the guy wrote was work related. It just wasn't PC.

buwaya said...

If he posted it on his personal blog, it would have drawn the same reaction should it have attracted attention. Many people have been picked off through private communications that were outed, for which their employers were pressured to terminate them.

They need not even be terminated.

This is why Mencius Moldbug stopped his own blog, as he was being blackballed professionally. And boycotted in professional venues after that.

And, as a submission, in effect, to the internal suggestion box, this document specifically addresses company management practices and policy, that sort of thing suggestion boxes are intended for.

That said, I wouldnt be surprised if the writer had anticipated such a reaction and expected dismissal, as part of a plan.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya rightly observes: If he posted it on his personal blog, it would have drawn the same reaction should it have attracted attention. Many people have been picked off through private communications that were outed, for which their employers were pressured to terminate them.

Exactly so. Post something non-PC on FB? Your job is toast.

MaxedOutMama said...

rhhardin wrote: Women are traditionally good at coding, by the way. They're not traditionally good at coming in on weekends and holidays on their own time to do it just because it's fun.

After a few years that comes out as a huge difference in skill level between men and women, at the top levels.


This is so bleeping true. But a lot of this has to do with family issues. And no, it's not just discrimination in the family either - very effing hard for a woman in her 30s to even get pregnant if you are living the hard-core programming lifestyle. People do it because they love it. Women who don't have families or don't want them are totally able and willing to do it for the same reasons if they have the same desire, but they are statistically much rarer than men. There is no way this does not show up in the workplace even if an active female outreach program and a very supportive culture is present.

Engineering, high-level coding - the same. The people who do the best are fanatical about doing it. It is their hobby and for many, an addiction, not just a profession. As one of my brothers put it: "When I don't get enough programming hours in, I get the shakes."

If we can't even discuss reality, how do we expect to cope with it?

Well, I have to leave this discussion, because I have a programming date with my 8-year old niece. She worked her way through Scratch in six months, and now is in Visual Studio. The kid ain't remotely normal. As I loaded Visual Studio on her PC last month, she was running around the room in a state of joyous hysteria. Then she discovered Unity.

This career picks its stars - the high-level stuff is not picked by individuals. You pretty much either have to do it, or you don't do it at that level.

Mark said...

"The stuff the guy wrote was work related. It just wasn't PC."

It was part of his assigned work duties? I have not seen that claimed.

chuck said...

> "He's a liberal professing his liberal bona fides."

I think these things go beyond politics to innate personal makeup. The division isn't between left and right, liberal and conservative, but between free thinking pursuit of truth, and the safety of the herd. Althouse is a liberal, but I would put her in the free thinking category. Free thinking is dangerous, as the herd followers are more numerous and better organized.

Clyde said...

They promote every sort of diversity except diversity of thought. Fascists!

cubanbob said...

The lesson here is a simple one: opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but your bosses asshole is bigger than yours.
I'm sure the guy will get a settlement which of course will have all the requisite gag rules and other corporate protections. It's not even loose change for Google. His problem will be finding a job at a large mature company. The HR SJW make the decisions in the big companies.

buwaya said...

The "suggestion box" is not traditionally a work duty.
It is for discussing problems and improvements in the business. I've seen thousands over a vast range of matters, all being business issues, but not in the narrow range of work functions.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Saint Croix said...
I think this case is very similar to the Colin Kaepernick case.

Different politics, of course, but very strong similarities. Somebody at work wants to opine on politics and says some divisive things. Upsets a bunch of people. Employers want to get rid of the trouble-maker.


I disagree. Kapernick's sin was using the team (and his position as an employee of that team) to help him make his statement. He and others in the NFL were free to hold whatever beliefs they want and (presumably) to engage in whatever political talk they wanted to in their locker rooms, but Kapernick chose to make a pulic statement using the forum provided by his employer and team (when he took a knee at games).
It'd be similar if this Google ex-employee had published this memo publicly to some forum using Google letterhead--say he put the post up on a public webpage and said "as a Google employee this is what I think" and his post gained notoriety because of his position as a Google employee, etc. He didn't really do that, though--he posted this to an internal Google discussion board and wasn't in any way trading on his employer's fame to get attention for his views (since they're all employed by Google).
It'd be similar on the other side if Kapernick were let go because he said in the locker room that he didn't think people should stand for the Anthem or something like that--for expressing his private views to his coworkers only and not using his position with his employer to promote his own opinion.

Ray said...

Google is supposed to be all about the scientific method, and his post was in the best tradition of the original ethos of Google. Respectfully questioning dogma. He had footnotes, charts, etc. Google originally celebrated the boy who pointed out the Emperor Had No Clothes. This is a huge black eye for Google, and I am surprised they did not offer him X dollars and a non disclosure to resign. Or even say people in google are free to state their own opinion.

I am disappointed in Google for the path they have chosen.

Vox Day has some charts on Google internal opinion. Along with people internally who have made black lists, etc. Google has a lot they would prefer not come out, if the guy gets a good lawyer it will really tarnish their image.

Fernandinande said...

Mark said...
"The stuff the guy wrote was work related. It just wasn't PC."
It was part of his assigned work duties? I have not seen that claimed.


"Somebody" (in this thread?) claimed he was hired to manipulate advertising directed toward women, or something similar - FWIW, which is not much. I looked at his linkedin page and he does have biology degrees.

At any rate he was fired for "advancing harmful gender stereotypes", not for misusing a forum or company equipment.

Angel-Dyne said...

Mark: If he posted it on his personal blog I doubt any of this would have occurred...

Hahahaha. We all know that the long arm of SJW thoughtcrime policing never extends to anyone's off-the-clock activities.

...but he used corporate networking features...

He used "corporate networking features" that were set up for the function he used them for. But you knew that.

...to spread private views in the workplace - something the company can and will get involved in.

Hopefully dude will learn to follow standard corporate network practices in the future.


Mark, I wonder how long it took your brain to churn, re-churn, re-arrange and re-prioritize the facts of this incident until they hit upon this cognitive dissonance-evading/comfortable worldview-maintaining angle?

Not very long, I bet.

buwaya said...

Most suggestions in the suggestion box, btw, however correct in themselves, cant be worked on because they are naive about the complexities of, say, tax reporting of business expenses, labor laws, safety regulations, etc. They are worms-eye views.

Others, more rarely, contradict established policies and "done" decisions. Objecting to an error by management is however valid feedback and should be taken seriously, to guide future decision making if nothing else. This keeps management honest and pops the bubble that management loves to keep itself inside.

Unknown said...

Did Damore ever say the women employed by Google as engineers were less capable than the men? I don't see where he did, but that seems to be the major complaint against him. He acknowledged the difference in numbers and said it might not be due to discrimination in hiring.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Is all that true? If so, very interesting.



From Heavy.com:

Damore is an Illinois native who graduated from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in 2007, according to his Facebook page. As a child, Damore was a chess champion, earning the FIDE Master title, putting him in the >99th percentile, according to his CV. He won regional tournaments in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and finished second in the Nation Youth Action 2003 Chess Tournament.
He then went on to the University of Illinois, where he graduated in 2010 in the top 3 percent of his class with a degree in molecular and cellular biology, according to his CV. He graduated as a James Scholar and was given the Bronze Tablet, the highest awards given to graduates, he said.

Damore also pursued his Ph.D. in systems biology from Harvard University in from 2011 to 2013, according to his Linkedin profile. He is listed in the alumni section of the Harvard Systems Biology Ph.D. program, but it is not clear if he completed the degree.

----

Before working at Google, Damore was a researcher at Princeton, Harvard and MIT, according to his CV and Linkedin profile.

He published two research papers while working at Jeff Gore’s biophysics laboratory at MIT in 2011 and 2012: “Understanding microbial cooperation” and “A slowly evolving host moves first in symbiotic interactions.”



Quaestor said...

I'll just throw out the hypothesis that Damore is being scapegoated not because Google is dominated by social-justice warriors but because there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field and Google is desperate to hide it.

Quite agree. Let's be sure to throw out that hypothesis as far as we are able.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Anyway Leftists "fucking love science" so this guy must not be a real scientist. I mean, whatever he's saying is the scientific basis for his beliefs isn't real science since it's apparently contrary to what the Left believes. The Left is big into credentialism and would normally say that whatever a smart person with degrees and training from universities (esp. ones like Harvard) says is correct, but that's only if what that person says lines up with what the Left already believes.

Look, if science says things that hurt the feelings of nice centrist people then science is just wrong, ok? Or, no, that's not it...oh! If someone claims they have a scientific basis for a belief that's contrary to what the Left believes then that's not REAL science!

There we go: I got there. Science is only science if it conforms to what the Left already believes. Believing anything else, and daring to publicly state so, is a violent, hateful, hostile act, so expressing any such belief automatically creates a hostile environment and that's grounds for termination.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Here is a link to his CV.

I'm astounded that he has PERL experience. I thought that all the younger guys used Python and think PERL is archaic.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

the link

http://www.gorelab.org/James_Damore__CV.pdf

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I mean, I'm working on getting proficient in Python syntax and have considered taking PERL off of my resume so I won't seem too old.

TestTube said...

For those debating if this guy broke any corporate rules -- There is ALWAYS something that they can peg you with if they want. That is how corporations work.

Those little nitpicky violations are useful for the corporation to get rid of dead wood and workers who are more trouble than they are worth. You can't prove that Joe Blow was a PITA who dragged his team down and got zero done, but you can prove he violated ordnance #17 about using the company email system for non-work purposes when he wrote that message to his Game of Thrones FanFic group.

However, when you start cutting talent like this guy or Brenden Eich, that is when the system is eating itself. Damore is worth a ten Diversity VPs. Eich was probably worth more than the rest of the Netscape executive staff.

Google can probably afford to get away with this, at least for a while. They are like the Ivy league of tech companies. Netscape and other Silicon Valley companies, not so much.

tcrosse said...

Science is only science if it conforms to what the Left already believes

Trofim Lysenko.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

You know, the next big thing in tech is going to be in biology. Going to work for google was a mistake for this guy. He should have started his own company.

Big Mike said...

I'd like to know a lot more, so I'll just throw out the hypothesis that Damore is being scapegoated not because Google is dominated by social-justice warriors but because there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field and Google is desperate to hide it.

Two years ago I retired from a career designing and leading the development of advanced information systems that began in the late 1960s. In the earliest days, I think there was a genuine belief that women weren't up to tough programming jobs (a colleague -- with a master's degree in computer science -- angrily told me of a conversation she overheard between her direct supervisor where he assured his boss that had he realized how challenging her assignment was he would never have assigned it to a woman. The most charitable way to look at it was that the manager's boss was a dingbat. I'd say that by the early 1980s the last remnants of this attitudinal problem were gone and I saw women in leadership positions.

"Diversity" seems to be one of those things that is supposed to be intrinsically good, like honoring thy father and thy mother. I say that because no one has ever given me quantifiable reasons why diversity is good. OTOH, diversity is easy to measure, even an HR person can count the number of women and number of men (though what they do with biological men who want to use the women's room to urinate I'm not sure about). Any technology organization wants to have a strong workforce ("world class" was the meme for a long time), but how does one measure the technological prowess of an organization's engineering staff? I don't know, yet I know good engineers when I see them. I can't imagine HR staffs, who can hardly tell the difference between a good software developer and someone who can't write two lines of code without three or four bugs, getting anything like a grip on it. But they can measure diversity, so that's what they cling to.

More anon.

chuck said...

> I mean, I'm working on getting proficient in Python syntax and have considered taking PERL off of my resume so I won't seem too old.

Damon graduated high school in 2007, which is the early paleolithic in Python years. The growth of Python since has been astounding, especially in scientific fields.

Jupiter said...

Mark said...
"Are you suggesting that this internal corporate bulletin board's purpose was non-work related? I don't see any details to suggest that's the case."

Huge tech companies have scads of boards, posts, forums, groups, etc. The express purpose of these media is to enable people to engage in wide-ranging discussions. They generally have rather hazy policy statements, along the lines of "keep discussions positive and do not engage in personal attacks on other employees". So, Damore was probably using the medium in accordance with Giggle's stated policies. It was the people using those media to demand that a named fellow employee be fired who were in open violation of stated corporate policy.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I can't imagine HR staffs, who can hardly tell the difference between a good software developer and someone who can't write two lines of code without three or four bugs, getting anything like a grip on it.

I once saw an article where a programming team supervisor (who happened to be a woman, but I have had guy bosses this out of it and plenty of good women bosses) state that the main productivity problem was that the programmers couldn't type and kept making typos in the code.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The growth of Python since has been astounding, especially in scientific fields.

Now that I have started to pick it up, I can see why. It is a pretty good language. He also has c/c++ which means he can actually program. If all somebody has is java be very, very wary.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

We can cut through a lot of the discussion here if we're just honest: this is about feelings.

This guy said something that hurt people's feelings. Specifically it hurt women's feelings and despite the fact that we all believe in equality women's feelings count more than men's.

Now, it doesn't matter if the thing the guy said is true, or if it's a well-reasoned argument, or if his assertions are well-supported by facts (with charts, graphs, footnotes) in a scientifically-minded manner...that's all a sideshow. The fact is that the thing he stated hurt women's feelings.

It's easy to work backwards from that fact. Since he hurt women's feelings that's harmful to women (maybe it's even a form of violence against women) and no company can allow an employee to harm other employees--especially not if the harmed employees are women!

He hurt women's feelings so he had to be fired. It certainly would have been cleaner to ask him to resign with a healthy settlement and an NDA...but that wouldn't have addressed the fact that feelings were hurt and the person who hurt those feelings must be punished.

Professor Althouse has many times scolded us for downplaying the role of emotion in decision making (and, more generally, for discounting the role emotion should play), so don't ignore those past warnings now.

What matters is that he hurt womens' feelings. That is intolerable.

Jupiter said...

And BTW, Althouse is correct that "there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field". That wasn't true when I started, back in the 70's. My first boss was a woman. But these days, you can be pretty sure she's an AA hire. She doesn't really like or know much about computers, and you will end up doing her work for her. She will spend her time flying off to conferences on Women in Tech, where she gives emotional talks about being a Woman in Tech (It's So Hard!). She will get the raise and the promotion. And she sticks her tits in your face at every opportunity, but if you look at them she can get you fired. Even if you don't look at them, she can get you fired.

Who fucking needs that shit?

Jupiter said...

Say what you will about the incompetent guy you have to work with. He may be a liar, aweasel, a fuckup or just a lazy jerk. But if he goes to your boss and tells her that you keep staring at his tits, you won't get fired.

Michael K said...

However, when you start cutting talent like this guy or Brenden Eich, that is when the system is eating itself. Damore is worth a ten Diversity VPs. Eich was probably worth more than the rest of the Netscape executive staff.

Bingo. I expect he will probably start his own company now unless Brenden Eich wants to get into biological systems.

I also expect that there are venture capital people (mostly men probably) lining up to fund it.

Etienne said...

If all somebody has is java be very, very wary.

Ha. Worse than that, if anyone has any Object Oriented leanings, they are Communists.

The only language to learn right now is Julia.

No kidding. This is a fantastic language, and it can be compiled to machine code.
It does parallel processing with ease.

Mark said...

Jupiter, you keep acting like people have 1st Amendment rights in the workplace.

It's patently stupid to post anything that will ruffle feathers in there, given your supervisors can evaluate that as part of your `contribution to the company'.

Sure, they might say something about allowing `wide ranging discussions' but any socially competent adult knows that means not offending co-workers, especially those in supervisory and management positions.

Wide-ranging conversations are what you have over beers after work, not something you put into the permanent corporate record.

readering said...

If he didn't know a large organisation being pursued for sex discrimination would have a problem with this ....

Rick said...

Mark said...
Are you suggesting that this internal corporate bulletin board's purpose was non-work related? I don't see any details to suggest that's the case.


Revealingly you haven't posted any details suggesting your presumption is correct either, but suddenly you believe evidence is required to dispute your evidenceless assertion. So let's see the fantasy evidence from which you've built your entire argument.

Meanwhile here's a sample of a SJW Google manager which clearly demonstrates the internal system being used for non-work assignments:

“While Google appears to be doing very little to quell the hostile voices that exists inside the company, I want those hostile voices to know: I will never, ever hire hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit of technically excellent or whatever,” declared former employee Adam Fletcher in a post on Google’s internal, staff-only Google+ network: “Internal Plus.” “I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.”

tcrosse said...

At the big company where my wife worked, there were plenty of Diversity Sessions, possibly due to the terms of a lawsuit settlement. At one Women-Only session, she heard many complaints about about some guy who was always staring at their tits. When she finally got to meet him, it turns out he was barely five feet tall, and probably had to get a stepladder to look anywhere else.

Big Mike said...

Observations from my lengthy career (see comment at 10:16) as to why women are less often found in technology jobs than men:

One thing I'll reject out of hand: that women are intrinsically less capable. I've hardly ever met a poor female software developer in the course of my career, which may be due to only women who are really good at it even try getting into the field.

That said, software development does have its drawbacks for women considering it.

Software development is notorious for attracting men with (to put it charitably) very, very poor social skills. I can picture women being turned off by having men around them with poor social skills, but these are often the most productive software engineers in the company and few technology companies can live without them. SJWs might expect to resolve the situation by firing all the "icky" engineers, but remaining profitable enough to stay in business is something that any company owes all its employees, and getting rid of your most productive software developers doesn't help achieve that goal.

There is a myth that software development requires strong math skills, and this may contribute to women being uncomfortable with the idea of software development as a career. In fact, the curricula of computer science departments even just a few years ago (when I last dealt with a university professor) looked like a spin-off from the math department, with fairly obvious IT truisms being presented as theorems and "proved" in class. I still get "Communications of the ACM," so I can see that the comp. sci. faculty sort of realizes the problem, but they came up out of the old system and my perception is that they have a hard time shaking their biases. FWIW when the object-oriented programming revolution hit our company, the best OO programmer we had was an English major -- he had no investment in the old way of doing things so he was able to leap right in with the new way of doing things.

I'm aware that some universities have two competing computer science departments, one taught over on the sciences side of campus along with math and physics, and the other under the auspices of the business school. That may be the way to get more women into software development.

There is something else that may drive women away, and that is an attitude so pervasive that we in software and systems engineering probably don't even think much about it. When a bug shows up, people are expected to work on it until it's been found, fixed, and certified by the test organization. This plays Hell with one's social life, and is extremely hard on young mothers. (But many of the male software engineers -- see above -- don't have much social life so what do they care?)

Just observations, and since I'm retired I can't be fired like poor Mr. Damore.

Biff said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...I'm astounded that he has PERL experience. I thought that all the younger guys used Python and think PERL is archaic.

Perl remains popular in bioinformatics and related fields, like systems biology, where Mr. Damore did his academic work. It's not nearly as dominant in the life sciences as it was ten years ago, but it definitely remains part of the toolkit.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Mark said...Sure, they might say something about allowing `wide ranging discussions' but any socially competent adult knows that means not offending co-workers, especially those in supervisory and management positions.

A-ha! So you're saying if a person had a disability that caused them to be less socially-competent then it would be illegally discriminatory to fire that person as a result of the disability??

Laugh if you want but that kind of thing is coming. Quickly. What percentage of programmers or people working at the elite levels of "tech" are in some way "on the spectrum?" If part of that means they're less socially competent and since we've already decided that mental health is one of those conditions which a company cannot legally discriminate against...boom, grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Angel-Dyne said...

Jupiter: And BTW, Althouse is correct that "there really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field". That wasn't true when I started, back in the 70's. My first boss was a woman. But these days, you can be pretty sure she's an AA hire. She doesn't really like or know much about computers, and you will end up doing her work for her. She will spend her time flying off to conferences on Women in Tech, where she gives emotional talks about being a Woman in Tech (It's So Hard!).

It's a fair bet that any woman with a tech degree who immediately gravitates toward making a career out of "being a women in tech" (instead of being a woman who does tech), had no business being in a tech field in the first place.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Etienne

Thanks, I've bookmarked that page.

Big Mike said...

@Jupiter, the world is full of bad managers.

Rick said...

Sam said...
Slate Star Codex made a similar link to the YA Culture Wars as you, in a very comprehensive piece about the Google fiasco: http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences


Thanks for pointing that out, his work is great.

Ken B said...

Scott Alexander has a (long) but excellent post. http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

He makes a very cogent argument that it's ridiculous to assume there is bias against women in engineering because it's traditionally male, but magically not in law, math, biology, veterinary medicine, oncology, etc.

Elmer Jones said...

When an organization becomes feminized, focus shifts from the efficient production of goods and services to the creation of rules for the comfort and security of women. Ossification and organizational death are inevitable.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Damore is the un-named boy in A Wrinkle in Time who could not (or would not) bounce his ball in the correct rhythm.

Cynthea said...

Ann, if 72% of Googles HR are women, than..... doesn't logic say that these women are either not looking hard enough for women software engineers or that they are deliberately choosing men over women (if enough qualified women are available) to hire for those positions? You seem to be asking and answering the wrong questions, and Google seems to have fired the wrong person (perhaps because he's male?). They should be asking why their SJW HR women are discriminating against women and why it took a man to point that out.....

Duh.

Xmas said...

He complained to the NLRB before he was fired. I'm thinking he talked to a lawyer immediately after the complaints started. Breitbart has screenshots of internal message boards where managers talk about blacklists of conservatives. An internal anonymous survey shows 30% of Google employees agree with the memo. This is looking like a shitshow for Google and their obvious discriminatory culture.

LilyBart said...

My favorite thing is that a group of women took yesterday off because they didn't feel safe at Google.

How is it that THIS doesn't hurt women's reputation in the workforce? Girls have to run home to cry if someone says something they think is kinda mean?

RonF said...

MayBee said:

"Given the chance, women tend not to study tech in college in the same numbers men do. So of course they can't be hired in the same numbers.
But we don't try to even out the genders of teachers, right? Or cosmetologists or mammogram technicians? So why tech?"

Because women are oppressed and men aren't, so there is no need to assist men in evening up the odds in fields that women dominate. Additionally, cosmetology and mammogram techs are not paid as highly as tech workers are, and the perception is that teachers are not either. So those occupations are viewed as low-status/low-power and don't matter, whereas tech jobs are viewed as high-pay/high-status/high-power and so therefore they must be made at least 50:50::female:male. And if they end up being skewed majority female, no action will be taken to ensure that the balance goes back to 50:50 (see historical trends in college attendance and graduation and what did NOT happen when the ratio skewed majority female).

FullMoon said...

. In internal discussion boards, multiple employees said they supported firing the author, and some said they would not choose to work with him, according to postings viewed by Bloomberg News.


Whenever you see statements like this, assume most employees did not agree with "multiple", and vast majority did not feel the same as "some".

Otto said...

"here really is deeply entrenched prejudice against women in the tech field and Google is desperate to hide it. " What women. What BS. I was in the "hi tech field" for 43 years and you could count the number of women electrical engineers that i encountered on one hand. I would say that there are more women in software than in developing hardware. Sorry to say that the great scientists and mathematicians were all men.
Look no further than the things that interest you - men's shorts, Suday pictures, and flowers - and you were a validictorian. Have you ever written about how the ubiquitous Electromagnetic wave that consumes our life or how the Fast Fourier Transform algoritum revolutionized the medical field. You don't even know what i am talking about, so stop the BS.

RonF said...

Mark said:

"Jupiter, you keep acting like people have 1st Amendment rights in the workplace."

According to all the SJWs complaining about what's happening to Colin Kaepernick in the NFL, they seem to think so. I would like to know why Colin Kaepernick has First Amendment rights in the workplace but this gentleman in Google does not.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Given two candidates that are equally desirable from a projected competency perspective, why would you hire a female/minority/disabled person? You're just asking for trouble if at some point you might have to fire them.

Unknown said...

Look, there's truth in the stereotype that techie men are socially inept. Certainly there are exceptions, but it's a thing. We socially inept guys would *love* to have more women in the field. You can say that wanting to meet and interact with more women is the wrong motive, but the result is the same: Ladies welcome. The idea that we are trying to make the gender imbalance even worse misunderstands human nature.

Greg said...

Firing him seems cruel and chilling toward free speech, but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

Um, if you could write this you probably need to actually read the 'manifesto'.

One of the things he was fired for was questioning the wisdom of various affirmative action practices inside the company that assign extra resources and opportunities ONLY to certain privileged groups, like women. As in, special classes, training, mentoring and other career enhancing/advancing opportunities not available to all, but only to members of certain identity groups.

How do we choose to define equal?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Worst manager I ever worked for was a male Harvard grad. Best manager was a former nun.

Jupiter said...

"Jupiter, you keep acting like people have 1st Amendment rights in the workplace."

Well, they do. But the First Amendment is a restraint on government, so if your employer is not the government, it is not restrained by the First Amendment. So, no, that is not what I am "acting like". Glad you brought it up, so I could straighten you out.

What your employer *is* restrained by, to some extent, is their stated policies, and the instructions they give to their employees. So, if your manager says, "Listen, I want to know what you *really* think, and I promise I won't fire you no matter what you say", and then you tell her what you really think, and she fires you, some might say that she had violated a stated contractual arrangement. Especially if she put it in writing on the company's internal website.

These things aren't decided by laws and lawyers, you know. They are decided by juries. And a lot of the time, the people on juries are retired engineers. So hiring the very best Liars out of Harvard Lie School does not guarantee that you will win in a federal courtroom.

rehajm said...

If you can read this, you're feeding Google.

Unknown said...

To the original question, is IT biased against women? In my 30+ years in IT at all levels, from software development to executive management I haven't seen it. Granted, that's based on my experience. Also, I've spent my career on the East coast. The West coast might be different. But I work with women in all sorts of positions from programmers to executive managers. What I've experienced doesn't support the notion that women are discriminated against in the workplace.

I have always thought of IT as the great opportunity field. It has grown so rapidly and large that it has provided opportunities to excel for a multitude of people. It is a results driven field. For instance, if you are a programmer the only thing anyone truly cares about is the quality of your code. Code is not racist, sexist, or any other ist. It's good or bad. Good programmers are prized. They are rare, sought after and rewarded. If you're not the best programmer but good at something else, well there's likely opportunity for you there. Because the role requirements for building good software are highly diverse and most people find there is somewhere they can contribute.

All this stuff makes me wonder what's going on out there. Are these software companies or daycare centers? If they were software companies people would be too busy to be worrying about who's getting ahead of whom and why. Maybe the CEOs of these companies should start wondering why their people are more worried about that than the next big software release.

n.n said...

Google is desperate to hide it

Google is a "progressive" organization. Their monotonic liberalism is ingrained in their Pro-Choice philosophy.

Michael K said...

A woman the age of my older son is a senior developer in Orange County CA.

She's about 50 so she started 25 years ago. I've not heard of a problem.

n.n said...

An inconvenient... Nay, an embarrassing truth.

Class diversity. Discrimination between individuals based on the color of their skin, their sex (i.e. male or female), etc. is logically and by definition racist, sexist, etc. A bigoted (i.e. sanctimonious hypocritical) philosophy normalized by the Pro-Choice Church -- and Democratic Party -- and its progressive (i.e. monotonic) liberal (i.e. divergent) acolytes.

Equal and complementary. It's not that complicated.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Expressing ideas that hurt people's feelings is an act of violence.
Violence is not tolerated in the workplace, and violence against women is especially heinous (for some reason).
Therefore this person who expressed a hurtful opinion in the workplace had to be fired.

I appreciate all you people talking about your own experiences, about whether the guy's point is empirically correct, etc, but all of that is beside the point. The truth of his assertion does not matter--he could be right or he could be wrong as to the facts, but by stating that opinion he hurt some people's feelings. He hurt the feelings of fellow Google employees, and he hurt the feelings of women (both Google employees and non-Google employees).

He had to go.

Titus said...

I am hiring Python developers, but so is everyone else. Hard to attract and retain these folks.

tits.

Titus said...

I am also looking for programmers who know Pig.

gregq said...

Ann writes:

Firing him seems cruel and chilling toward free speech, but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

The memo and surrounding debate comes as Google fends off a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the company systemically discriminates against women. Google has denied the charges, arguing that it doesn’t have a gender gap in pay, but has declined to share full salary information with the government.


1: His memo points out that Google is currently "creating unequal working conditions for men and women" by having programs for advancement that white males are not allowed to be part of

2:His memo helps provide a defense against the Labor Department lawsuit, since his point is that, given the actual male - female differences, we would expect to see more men than women at Google, and those numbers are not proof of discrimination.

So if Google wasn't run by ideology obsessed idiots, they would ahve embraced his memo as their best defense.

rhhardin said...

"Strongly typed languages are for weak minds."

gregq said...

Saint Croix said...
I think this case is very similar to the Colin Kaepernick case.

No.

He produced an internal memo to encourage his company to improve its decision making. The memo was released publicly by people who didn't like it.

Kaepernick was a grandstanding dick who forced his (worthless) views on the public

There's no similarity at all

Etienne said...

I would like to know why Colin Kaepernick has First Amendment rights in the workplace but this gentleman in Google does not.

Most people who go to work, do not get an employment contract.

On the other hand, Sports, and Performing Artists usually do have a contract. Neither can end the contract without huge losses. The contracts are designed so that any whim decision is not possible.

This may appear to be rights attributable to the Constitution, but no one has any Constitutional rights in employment. There is employment law that covers many aspects, but free speech isn't one of them. Neither is the right to bear arms, or the right to unreasonable search.

No one in America has the right of free speech as regards employment. There are laws to protect your political or religious activities outside a company, but not inside a company.

Once you enter the property of your employer, your rights are those given by your HR person upon employment, and not your rights as a citizen.

Matthew Sablan said...

Actually, if the guy really *did* file a complaint with the NLRB, he *might actually* have rights to not be fired.

Inkling said...

Quote: I'm still trying to understand how Damore distributed the memo.

I've seen hints that Google had internal discussion boards that were anonymous or almost so. Once posted there, it could go viral.

More interesting might be how Google tracked him down. Did they just ask "Who does this sound like?" or are those anonymous systems not as private as they claim.

Static Ping said...

DuckDuckGo.com is working out pretty good so far. The MapQuest app has been disappointing but there are other options. Sadly, I do not think I can do without YouTube at this point.

So is Google going to put out a sign that "No non-SJW need apply"? Diversity and tolerance is going to replay some of the worst discriminatory practices in the country's history, huh? Unexpected.

Matthew Sablan said...

I have accepted that on the Internet, *nothing is anonymous.* Certainly not on any intranet.

Matthew Sablan said...

"So is Google going to put out a sign that "No non-SJW need apply"?"

-- No. They'll simply say that "so-and-so wouldn't fit in our corporate culture."

Jason said...

Etienne is writing as if the Labor Relations Act did not exist. Lots of people arguing from ignorance here. Or outright straw man constructions of what the memo author actually wrote.

TBlakely said...

The evidence that SJWs are Maoist thug wannabees keeps piling up.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Matthew Sablan said...Actually, if the guy really *did* file a complaint with the NLRB, he *might actually* have rights to not be fired

Couple-a posts indicate there're some CA laws about employment termination for reasons of political belief/expression, too.
Sounds like the guy filed the NLRB complaint before posting the "manifesto," and may have already had a lawyer lined up.
Pretty smart, if so; could get interesting/expensive for Google!

Something something don't mess with a chess master

Clayton Cramer said...

"Wait til someone figures out that CA law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against employees on the basis of political activity or affiliation, too." Unruh Civil Rights Act, extended to gays in 1978 because being "out" was a political act.

Chuck said...

I would like to know why Colin Kaepernick has First Amendment rights in the workplace but this gentleman in Google does not.

I don't know that Kaepernick has any "First Amendment" rights that Damore doesn't enjoy. We aren't talking about any state action, nor any governmental restriction on speech.

We are talking about employment law.

NFL players have a union, the NFLPA, and a collective bargaining agreement.

Ralph L said...

So if Google wasn't run by ideology obsessed idiots, they would ahve embraced his memo as their best defense.
That was my thought. Instead they've gotten plenty of bad publicity and pissed off a large section of their employees. Will Wall Street punish them too?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"We care about our Female Employees so much that we fire anyone who makes them uncomfortable with words and thoughts"

How very Feminist and empowering.


I watched an all-hands webinar for Mr. Pants' employer with him the other day where they discussed the new mentoring program that is available to women only. I am so offended at the thought that my owning a vagina, to these people, means that I'm mentally handicapped to the point where I can't figure out how to advance my career without someone holding my hand.

...but the company is entitled and even required to demand that employees not participate in creating unequal working conditions for men and women.

As mentioned above, my husband's employer offers professional mentoring to women only. That sounds an awful lot like unequal working conditions. But God help the person who speaks up to point this out.

The guy was an idealistic idiot, a self proclaimed liberal, who thinks he has the right to say whatever he wants on company time suing company resources whether or not it fits with the image his company is trying to project. I agree with almost everything he said, but he's an idiot.

Maybe. Or maybe he has been salting away his salary and decided he was going to be the one to take stand and be made an example of to start the we've-obviously-jumped-the-shark conversation. Someone has to.

The SJWs at Google are bragging about keeping blacklists of people insufficiently supportive of diversity, by which they mean far left radicalism. If the leadership had any brains at all they'd fire every person who commented positively. You can't have employees subverting your company for political purposes.

I think there's about zero chance that happens. On the bright side this further exposes the SJW goals. They're coming for you. Even if you're a moderate liberal they'll get to you. It doesn't really matter how far left you are the attackers need a scapegoat so they can pose as anti-racist heroes.)


This is true, and terrifying. Like having a job and paying your mortgage? Don't be the first one to stop applauding.

Just about every modern workplace has a form you sign stating that you will not use corporate networks for non-work purposes.

I'm sure corporate networks are never used for social justice purposes. Like how the listserv at my husband's office in Austin wasn't used to organize a walkout so employees would leave their desks during working hours to join the anti-bathroom bill protest at the Texas state capitol a few weeks ago. Yeah, that was a figment of the imagination.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Will Wall Street punish them too?"

-- Did Grubhub ever recover from telling the world that certain people aren't welcome there? I remember I saw that and gave them a day to apologize, or even fauxpologize, and then cut off using them, and I haven't looked back since. Given that we have bi-weekly game/DnD days, and I'm a lazy single guy who frequently works late, they've lost a lot of business from me.

Jim at said...

Your day is coming, leftists. The day you pull this crap on the wrong person or persons.

Because they will - to quote a certain President - "Punch back twice as hard."

You will not like being crushed under the rules you mandate for the rest of us. You won't like it one bit.

But you will have deserved it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A coworker of mine had a calendar of Michelle Obama. Each month had a different large picture of the First Lady.
The calendar was a form of expression. Political expression, at that.
Let's say I really disliked President Obama and his wife.
Is that expression therefore violence against me? Does that expression create a hostile work environment--forcing me to think about the fact that a person in the same space as I inhabit (to work) holds a positive opinion about someone I find so terrible, or troubling, etc?
If I go to her Obama-hating boss and complain, I guess the pro-Google people would back the boss if he fired her.
I mean, opinions are violence now. Speech we don't like is violence, and violence is prohibited in the workplace.

Hey, she should have known not to put such a divisive expression up--the fact that she didn't anticipate getting fired for that is just a "blind spot" she should have corrected.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 221   Newer› Newest»