August 11, 2017

"I have known, worked for, and taught countless men who could have written the now-infamous Google 'manifesto' — or who are on some level persuaded by it."

"Given these facts, I’d like to treat it — and them — with some degree of charity and try to explain why it generated so much outrage."

Writes Cynthia Lee in "I'm a woman in computer science. Let me ladysplain the Google memo to you" (Vox).

Read that. I'm not going to ladysplain the ladysplaining.

I tried to help you guys long ago when I devised the rule that many people have repeated and called The Althouse Rule (e.g., Instapundit, 3 days ago). The rule, as I put it in November 2005:
Scientists: remember to portray whatever you find to be true of women as superior.

I've said it before, and I must repeat, the rule is: If you do scientific research into the differences between men and women, you must portray whatever you find to be true of women as superior. And when you read reports about scientific research into the differences between men and women, use the hypothesis that the scientists are following that rule. It makes reading the reports quite humorous.
I've mainly used this rule to make fun of reports that follow this rule. I said:
It's patronizing. And it's unscientific! I understand the motivation of the scientists, though. I think they have reason to be afraid not to couch their findings this way.
Apparently, Damore wasn't sufficiently afraid. He didn't see that this was the unacknowledged rule. Google is a safe space, muffling the fear. That in itself is something to be afraid of. When sparing everyone fear is the order of the day, you need to fear you will be deemed the embodiment of the fear that others must be spared. Then you're completely unsafe. And gone. No man, no fear.

I'd been thinking that if only Damore had followed the rule, maybe he wouldn't have gotten fired. I have been tempted to take his memo and rewrite it following The Althouse Rule. I'm rereading the memo, however, looking for a good paragraph to make an example of, and it's not that easy to find one. I think Damore did try to assume a neutral pose and balanced the aptitudes he ascribed to the 2 gender stereotypes.

If anything, it seems better to fit his female stereotype. I mean if you were a soul in the ante-chamber to life and given your choice how to enter the world, with only this document to use to decide whether to enter your allotted human life as a male or a female, wouldn't you pick female? You have your one shot at living the life of a human being: Do you want to be oriented toward people and cooperation or to things and competition?

157 comments:

Lucien said...

"No man, no fear" -- A nice riff on Stalin's "No man, no problem."

Bay Area Guy said...

The mere fact that they are talking about Damore's memo proves that: (1) it was a legitimate expression of an opinion/idea worthy of discussion, (2) not prima facie proven false and, hence, (3) absolutely not a valid basis for firing someone, unless there truly are "thought" crimes, where if you express them, you have committed some cosmic offense against somebody somewhere.

Google has lost its credibility, by catering to some leftwing feminist bad ideas.

traditionalguy said...

I take things and competition . After the fun is finished, you can always find a kind and intelligent women who will put up with you.

Ken B said...

Brooks hits it out of the park. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/opinion/sundar-pichai-google-memo-diversity.html

Rocketeer said...

Things and competition, of course. Generally speaking, people suck. And generally speaking, "cooperation" means I do the work while the group shares the credit.

Yancey Ward said...

Damore, I am more convinced than ever, knew exactly what was going to happen to him when he wrote it and published it. In fact, I think that if he didn't believe that, he wouldn't have written it in the first place.

It is pretty damned clear to me that he intended to make a statement, and he knew Goolag and a lot of its employees were going to prove his statement for him.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I mean if you were a soul in the ante-chamber to life and given your choice how to enter the world, with only this document to use to decide whether to enter your allotted human life as a male or a female, wouldn't you pick female? You have your one shot at living the life of a human being: Do you want to be oriented toward people and cooperation or to things and competition?

Fucking whatever. The only question that (ISTM) to matter is, would you rather have the love of a woman or the love of a man? Me for Column A.

But yeah, not to be nonresponsive, things and competition, every time.

Gahrie said...

wouldn't you pick female?

A woman decides being a woman is better than being a man.

This is my shocked face.

Bad Lieutenant said...

things and competition, every time.




Hmm, this may be a lie. But, you see, men can do that too. Before women entered the workforce, men just did everything. Men used to be secretaries and nurses and teachers.

On average, people should do what they're good at, unless perhaps they're only good at evil.

rhhardin said...

He wasn't doing the stereotypes though. He was describing what happens mathematically in the tails where Google hires technical staff. Lots of men, few women.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Blogger Ken B said...
Brooks hits it out of the park. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/opinion/sundar-pichai-google-memo-diversity.html


Since paywall, could you just tell us what he said?

Lucien said...

When you say that one normally distributed population has a mean value of some attribute that is greater than that of another normally distributed population, it sounds less strident to note that the two distributions overlap quite a bit.

But places like Google are hiring from the far right-hand tail of the curve, where differences in the mean can have more dramatic implications (differences in the distributions can, too).

buwaya said...

Things and competition suit the male ethic of obligation.
Obligations usually to women and children. A man with no obligations is generally restless and unhappy.

Note that competition in males is quickly resolved on a micro-level - males, under proper conditions, self organize into teams and assign roles and status near automatically, and retain those roles, if satisfactory in spite of status, with equanimity. Men are not that far from being social insects.

Women much less so IMHO. Its much easier to manage men.

rhhardin said...

I can't describe how many happy hours and weekends I spent long ago on huge mainframes doing math and physics.

No waiting for job turnaround, you run it yourself on weekends.

Exactly what Megan Mcwhatshername said was not her people. But there was a steady bunch of guys every weekend.

Howard said...

The hysterical response proves Damore correct.

Unknown said...

Isn't there a genre of books on how women can succeed in the corporate world (Ex: https://tinyurl.com/yd3jzcux) embracing the idea that men and women tend to really be different?

rhhardin said...

There wasn't competition in my experience, beyond the pajama boys looking for advancement opportunities. The real science guys wanted to stay where they were.

Cooperation was the norm, if you can help with his project you did so. But you have your own project, or share completely with a co-worker who's working with you. Curiosity is the thing.

Hagar said...

Maybe Damore should have spent more type about the few "really bright stars" in a Summers distribution?

Hagar said...

The real science guys wanted to stay where they were.

Also true in other fields. Let somebody else run the business and see to it that I am paid what I am worth. I just want to work and be good at it.

Yancey Ward said...

The uncomfortable fact is simply this- most cutting edge things in technology and science cannot be developed by people who don't have IQs above 130. The right hand tail of the intelligence spectrum is really all that matters here.

Ken B said...

'splaining is not explaining. 'splaining is using your pretended authority to shut people up.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Women outnumber men in the nursing profession by about 8:1.
Does this mean that men are incapable of being nurses? Even top-of-the-profession nurses? Of course not. It only means that, for whatever reason, men are much less interested in becoming nurses than women are. This is the point that Damore was making. Immediately he was accused by our intellectual elites of saying something entirely different -- that woman were not suited to technical work due to their nature as women.
If it wasn't for straw men and ad hominem, the elites would have no arguments at all.
Our 'elites' are, by and large, dimwits.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

As a certified scientist I can tell you that Althouse's rule breaks down re peeing.

It's impossible to argue that peeing via a cock is not better than doing so from you ass.

Other than that, women are better.

etbass said...

I think the proposition is mixed wrongly; it is People and competition or Things and cooperation.

Bob Loblaw said...

Cynthia Lee's article is pretty (unintentionally) funny, and it really highlights the underlying divide. Dalmore brings logic and the current state of research, and she tells us he's wrong because it makes her feel bad.

Also, her third point is incoherent. If you have two overlapping distributions at the very tail one of them will dominate, i.e. if men are better programmers on average and the curve for both is roughly the same shape, all the very best programmers will be men bar very rare exceptions. That is, the fact that Google is far more selective than the average company means of all workplaces it's the least likely to have a 50/50 distribution by sex. The fact that you can get published on a relatively high traffic site addressing this subject without understanding it is just depressing.

Ken B said...

Bad Lt:
Well, I can't just cut& paste.

He discusses the memo briefly and fairly, noting its science seems decent. He discusses why women at Google might be upset.

Here's part of his conclusion:

"The fourth actor is the media. The coverage of the memo has been atrocious. ... The mob that hounded Damore was like the mobs we’ve seen on a lot of college campuses. We all have our theories about why these moral crazes are suddenly so common.
...
Which brings us to Pichai, the supposed grown-up in the room ... he joined the mob. He fired Damore and wrote,
“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

That is a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo. Damore wrote nothing like that about his Google colleagues.... Pichai... was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob.

Regardless which weakness applies, this episode suggests he should seek a nonleadership position. We are at a moment when mobs on the left and the right ignore evidence and destroy scapegoats. That’s when we need good leaders most."

Xmas said...

The author of the Vox article misses the point of the memo.

It's not that he wants to end Google's outreach programs because they may possibly be illegal. He wants Google to acknowledge those programs don't work and they need to take a different approach towards changing Google to be more accommodating of everyone that doesn't fall into the "ideal male programmer" model, which includes men and women.

Fernandinande said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
Since paywall,


I never see that, dunno why, but it's definitely not because I gave them money.

could you just tell us what he said?

That Damore's paper was basically correct as well as harmless, and that Sundar Pichai lied about it.

Sailer's got a few articles from California employment lawyers saying that google probably broke the law in firing Damore.

stutefish said...

Bob Loblaw: Cynthia Lee's article is pretty (unintentionally) funny, and it really highlights the underlying divide. Dalmore brings logic and the current state of research, and she tells us he's wrong because it makes her feel bad.

Not quite. She's not saying he's wrong. She's explaining why bringing up logic and the current state of research makes her (and many other women) feel bad. Her article is basically an apologetic for silencing rational debate on the issue. You have to understand that it makes women feel bad, and therefore we are justified in suppressing it.

rhhardin said...

A women producer on the John and Ken show reported on a pee-standing-up accessory that it worked but it was traumatic.

John asked if it would be okay for a woman less psychologically unbalanced than you.

No, she said, it's traumatic to everybody. Too competitive, aiming and stuff. Sitting down is fine.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The paragraph most in need of rewrite to conform to the Althouse Rule:

"Women, on average, have more: ... Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance). This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs."

exiledonmainstreet said...

PB, if I ever pee from my ass, I will call an ambulance immediately. Agree that penises make peeing much more efficient.

Not ever having to buy tampons and pads would be a big plus too.

rhhardin said...

Google is okay on employment law. Men are not a protected group.

They're vulnerable on defamataion. They not only fired Damore, which they're free to for any reason, but they said why, and their why is not true and exposes him to public damage.

Big payoff.

sparrow said...

Your hypothetical is hard to imagine objectively as we are already formed in one gender or another already, such that we cannot readily preceive the other state. Although I love women, the more feminine the better, I have never understood their point of view. My wife has a completely different set of thought processes than I do; she considers so many things, especially about the welfare or our boys, that simply never occur to me. I see the value and appreciate it but I can not envision having that mindset myself.
We are complimentary, more complete as a team, an example of diversity functioning when unified by shared goals. When you see men and women as competing against each other you've failed already. The joy is the team.

Although this is most frequently seen in marriage and family it can exist in the work place. I'm in a technical field (Computational Biology) and my boss is a woman. She's frankly the best boss I've ever had in that she has assembled a hard working, high functioning devoted team. It's all about merit and productivity. This place functions more like a family than any environment I have been in before. Perhaps the fact that she and about half the department are first generation Chinese immigrants is why it works; I think they are less culturally influenced by PC thinking.

rhhardin said...

In order to get gains from trade, the parties have to be different. Hence men and women.

rhhardin said...

PB, if I ever pee from my ass, I will call an ambulance immediately.

Surface tension. The effect depends on anatomical details in the individual case.

sparrow said...

Ugh spelling errors again: "perceive" and "of our boys" rather than "or our"

Ralph L said...

Google has made a larger unsafe space for its employees and even non-googlers. Aside from the risk of firing, who would want the firestorm of attention this dissident got? Talking about normal people, not SJWs.
They now must stew in silence.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
Google is okay on employment law.


No they're not.

Men are not a protected group.

Irrelevant.

They not only fired Damore, which they're free to for any reason,

No they're not.

Roughcoat said...

The ulitmate "I choose things and competition" scene:

Jean-Pierre: But you understand it.

Sam: What do you mean, I understand it?

Jean-Pierre: The warrior code. The delight in the battle, you understand that, yes? But also something more. You understand there is something outside yourself that has to be served. And when that need is gone, when belief has died, what are you? A man without a master.

Hagar said...

Another difference between me and women is that if I am not paid what I think I am worth, I am soon gone, while women tend to stay and just complain about it.

Known Unknown said...

"And generally speaking, "cooperation" means I do the work while the group shares the credit."

The leaps and bounds of human progress are the proprietorship of individuals, not groups.

rhhardin said...

I'vwe taught at least four different programming languages, including assembly

She thinks assembly is hard. The language is easy. Whether you can think like a machine without thinking and see a path right away to do what you want governs how much fun it is.

hey - a FAP homework assignment of mine in 1963, saved by a colleague and sent to me when he retired

code
run

I remember spending hours optimizing the code for speed and size, a huge entertainment.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Althouse said...If anything, it seems better to fit his female stereotype. I mean if you were a soul in the ante-chamber to life and given your choice how to enter the world, with only this document to use to decide whether to enter your allotted human life as a male or a female, wouldn't you pick female? You have your one shot at living the life of a human being: Do you want to be oriented toward people and cooperation or to things and competition?

Of course you would! Esp. if you knew you'd be big into STEM stuff; from a Rawlsian perspective you'd choose "woman" every time!

That's one reason we he-man woman-haters make so much fun of the cult of victimhood that says women deserve constant compensation for their oppressed status. Women are vastly underrepresented in the dirty, dangerous jobs and vastly overrepresented in the clean, safe jobs. That women agitate for MORE representation in certain high-status clean jobs is little more than a beacon of their own hypocrisy! Where are the protests for equal representation, by sex, in sanitation workers? Those jobs pay pretty well on average (they have to, to get anyone to take 'em) but they're almost exclusively taken by men. No one seems to mind! But computer engineers...

It's bullshit. We die earlier, we kill ourselves at a much higher rate, we're the victims of violence at a much higher rate, we serve longer sentences in less-safe prisons for the same crimes...and on and on.
Don't mention that, though, or it's "whining."

When women talk about fairness hang on to your wallet.
I think it's a Bill Burr line, but it's true: the only reason we put up with most of this BS is 'cause we want to fuck 'em.
Women have successfully weaponized traditional male regard and deference/"chivalry" and continue to use that to their political advantage. Women as a group are, no shock here, one of the Left's favorite special interest groups.
Of course it's better to be a woman!

Ralph L said...

Yes, I’m a woman in tech
You were. Now you're in academia, a less stressful and time-consuming career. Why'd you leave.

Her fisk was not convincing. Bad ladysplaining.

Sal said...

Brooks hits it out of the park.

And, of course, he followed the Althouse Rule: "But there are some ways that male and female brains are, on average, different. There seems to be more connectivity between the hemispheres, on average, in female brains."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

stutefish said...Not quite. She's not saying he's wrong. She's explaining why bringing up logic and the current state of research makes her (and many other women) feel bad. Her article is basically an apologetic for silencing rational debate on the issue. You have to understand that it makes women feel bad, and therefore we are justified in suppressing it.

Ding ding ding! Nailed it.

Add on the fact that "things that make women feel bad" are a form of violence and "feeling bad about something" is a form of trauma and it all lines up: things that make women feel bad--true or not!--cannot be allowed. Preventing trauma is more important than finding truth.

All in the name of empathy. Thanks, nice centrist people!

Ralph L said...

optimizing the code for speed and size
Isn't that also an obsolete skill?
The first little bit of assembly I did was in hexadecimal, so I immediately put a negative voltage into the $300 microprocessor and burned it out, after the prof said not to.

Kevin said...

I mean if you were a soul in the ante-chamber to life and given your choice how to enter the world, with only this document to use to decide whether to enter your allotted human life as a male or a female, wouldn't you pick female? You have your one shot at living the life of a human being: Do you want to be oriented toward people and cooperation or to things and competition?

How do you know we aren't living out the life we had chosen? That theory with some naturally-occurring buyer's remorse would seem to fit the known universe quite nicely.

rhhardin said...

Well some things have to be optimized still, but owing to huge amounts of RAM allowing huge arrays rather than running out of space.

Some optimizations are not obvious but pay off - optimizing so that cache hits happen often instead of seldom, for example.

Jupiter said...

"The fact that you can get published on a relatively high traffic site addressing this subject without understanding it is just depressing."

The fact that a woman can understand statistics well enough to teach it at Stanford, without having the least notion of how it applies in the real world, is even more depressing.

Henry said...

That, by far, is one of the best critiques I've read of the Damore essay; the point about how Damore references race is short and eviscerating.

One thing that bugs me is the extent to which the author accepts Google's corporate status quo. For example:

3) The author cites science about “averages.” But Google isn’t average.

No. It's far worse (better?) than average. Whatever biases exist in computer science will be magnified at Google. This is a huge problem with Damore's original essay -- his love-affair with evolutionary psychology leads him to assign strong causal force (on average he says) to biological determinism. But Lee's generic statistics about female CS graduates are equally meaningless in interpreting Google's 19% female work force. It's a disappointingly tepid response.

One of the truly weird things about this fiasco is the focus on the environment at Google Headquarters when Google has a world-wide workforce including numerous off-shored development teams. It's as if they don't exist. So here's a question that also goes unanswered: what does the data look like when you break it down by nationality?

Known Unknown said...

This is a PR nightmare for Google. I can tell because none of my left-of-center friends on social media have made a peep about it.

They are all-in whether you are on Team Trump or Team Jong-Un in the Great Nuke War of 2017.

Henry said...

She thinks assembly is hard.

She thinks assembly is fundamental.

Known Unknown said...

In advertising, there are much fewer good creative women than there are men.

However, there are much, much more mediocre men than women.

Ralph L said...

Brooks left out another possibility, that Pichai didn't read the memo but listened to its mischaracterization by others. That's most likely to me.

William said...

Is any of this relevant to Colin Kaepernick and his ongoing struggle to land a qb job in the NFL? I'd like some reporter to ask a google exec that question or,even better, Colin Kaepernick.

rhhardin said...

The last assembler I wrote was via C in 2011

#include "stdio.h"
main()
{
long long unsigned x;
__asm__ volatile (".byte 0x0f, 0x31" : "=A" (x));
srandom(time(0)*991+getpid()*99991);
srandom(random()*99^(int)x);
printf("%u\n",(random())&(~(unsigned)0>>1));
}

Bob said...

Nerds don't lie. They can't. They lack the social skills to pull it off and they know it so they don't try.

rhhardin said...

Microcode is fundamental. The VAX 11/780 let you write microcode.

rhhardin said...

"She thinks assembly is hard."

She thinks assembly is fundamental.


No you wouldn't list a fundamental course separately. You'd list the esoteric or difficult ones.

From a guy's point of view, the fun ones. It's a tell.

Fernandinande said...

$ ./a.out
2011820918

SDaly said...

I don't think Henry knows what eviscerating means.

Jack Sherman said...

""I have known, worked for, and taught countless men who could have written the now-infamous Google 'manifesto' — or who are on some level persuaded by it."
"Given these facts,"

Uhhh...that's called an opinion

rhhardin said...

It's a random number generator that uses the cpu clock as well as time of day to seed the random number, so it can be called more than once per second (in a shell script, say).

n.n said...

And women, too. Of a kind, anyway. The female chauvinists shamed, lured, and indentured women who would have otherwise chosen to look after the household, the children, community affairs, and other interests in order of priority.

Henry said...

I don't think Henry knows what eviscerating means.

I think we have a difference of opinion.

Henry said...

No you wouldn't list a fundamental course separately. You'd list the esoteric or difficult ones.

Assembly is esoteric. How many software developers have written assembly in the past year? A show of hands, please.

rhhardin said...

Assembler is what serious coders wrote. Fortran was for stuff that didn't care about fitting or efficiency.

First courses were in binary, octal and assembler.

It wasn't hard, just something to learn. In turn it created interesting puzzles, if you're that kind of person.

Michael K said...

"When women talk about fairness hang on to your wallet. "

At one point in the Peterson video he comments that feminists seem only interested in high status high income jobs. Nobody is complaining that 98% of garbage collectors are men.

rhhardin said...

The IBM 360 brought the plague of hexadecimal.

Ralph L said...

Henry, that was rhhardin's point. It isn't fundamental.

David said...

Pichal got a pay package worth $199 million (!) for the year 2016. He is apparently a brilliant product developer and technician. In other words the high end prototype of the male tech engineer. But it's pretty clear from this incident that he got about everything wrong from a social, political, publicity, worker morale, reputation, fairness and human development perspective. It's a massive mistake, especially because he was handed a great opportunity to do something positive, and completely blew it. Civil War seems to be brewing at Google.

Unless it is as dysfunctional as the executive suite, the Google board of directors has to be searching the horizon for replacements asap.

Google is one of the best investments I ever made. (I blew it on Amazon and sold my cheaply acquired Apple stock a decade too soon.) But now I am casting a suspicious eye on Google.

Nonapod said...

How many software developers have written assembly in the past year? A show of hands, please.

It's not so much that it's esoteric, more like it's tedious unnecessary wheel reinventing. How many times does a bubble sort or a binary search need to be coded in assembly? Unless you're literally coding firmware for a novel piece of hardware or something.

Ralph L said...

It was a Kim microprocessor, IIRC. We did some crude things with it (not anal).

Martin said...

I looked at the Cynthia Lee article at Vox and it makes some good points.

But I am left with the fact that Google didn't pursue discussion on the points Damore raised, even to the extent of defending the corporate position and explaining why including maybe the perspectives that Lee articulates.

None of that; they just summarily fired him. People (i.e., me, but I think I am pretty representative)who are upset about all this are not upset because Damore was correct in every respect, they are upset over the way he was treated.

So my conclusion about the Cynthia Lee/Vox piece is it misses the point. And it insults my intelligence by trying to pull a fast one on me.

MarkW said...

You have your one shot at living the life of a human being: Do you want to be oriented toward people and cooperation or to things and competition?

That's a false choice. Competition and cooperation are not mutually exclusive, and working with things almost always means working in collaboration (and often -- at the same time -- in friendly competition) with a group of people sharing a common goal.

To step away from software, think about, say, the Beatles writing and recording Sgt Pepper. A bunch of guys messing around with music and words and, yes, instruments and electronic technology -- helping each other work out songs, but also trying to outdo and push each other in order to make something great. Would you consider that process people-oriented or thing-oriented? Or is that, perhaps, the wrong question?

David said...

Four of the 15 directors of Google are female. The only female director with a technical engineering background is Diane Greene. The female directors are all very accomplished and well qualified. Shirley Tilghman, former President of Princeton and a director, has a background in biological science but not tech.

rhhardin said...

C replaced assembler ("All the power of assembler with all the convenience of assembler") through advances in efficient code generation. The compiler can do better than a human by making also global changes; but it can only use operations that it knows about the machine having, which leaves an opening for humans here and there.

chuck said...

> How many software developers have written assembly in the past year?

Back in the day I spent 24 hours writing a disk driver in assembly. These days I use python when I need some computation, C when I need python extensions, but spend most of my time reviewing other peoples code and doing releases.

Feste said...

I feel Cynthia Lee’s ladysplain empathy over the fact that Damore got - fired.

Lance said...

To be a woman in tech is to know the thrill of participating in one of the most transformative revolutions humankind has known, to experience the crystalline satisfaction of finding an elegant solution to an algorithmic challenge, to want to throw the monitor out the window in frustration with a bug and, later, to do a happy dance in a chair while finally fixing it. To be a woman in tech is also to always and forever be faced with skepticism that I do and feel all those things authentically enough to truly belong. There is always a jury, and it’s always still out.

Huh, as a 20-year programmer I've felt all that too, even the part about the anxiety of not being good enough, of not being passionate enough. I'm pretty sure everyone feels that.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Are we having a contest about esoteric programming skills?
Let's see, my first major job involved writing custom 56-bit-wide microcode for an aircraft control interface computer.
Before that I wrote a modest amount of IBM JCL (oh, joy) while learning PL/1 on a 360/65.
Assembly? Shoot, that was easy.

Ralph L said...

Althouse has gotten a lot of posts out of this brouhaha, so we can guess how much fur is flying at Google.

veni vidi vici said...

Nice of her to be "charitable" to men.

What a fucking twat.

JaimeRoberto said...

I read the Vox article and am unconvinced.

1) She claims to understand statistics, and I hope she does given that she lectures at Stanford. But she doesn't seem to understand the effects of a higher standard deviation at the right tail of the distribution. Actually, I bet she does understand it in other circumstances, but her belief system doesn't allow her to see it here.

2) Maybe people would be less skeptical of women in tech if there weren't such a push to hire more women in tech. It will always put the idea in others' minds that the person was hired to fill a quota. I include my current boss in this category.

3) Nearly 50% of the tech majors at Harvey Mudd are female. How many will choose to stay in the industry? Were they accepted to fill one of those quotas?

4) She sure seems to spend a lot of time making Damore out to be a nefarious character using soothing language to fool people into believing his evil ideas.

Rae said...

The content of the memo doesn't matter to the Red Guards. That should be obvious given the characterizations of it in the media. It was merely a pretext to Purge the White Male Oppressor.

Unknown said...

Known Unknown (8/11/17, 1:24 PM) says "In advertising, there are much fewer good creative women than there are men. However, there are much, much more mediocre men than women."

I manage a university lab, got our Business College, PR course to work on a project to bring more students into my field and learned that there are very few men in PR and that PR firms often hire token men to interface with customers (think cigar smoking mogul stereotypes who don't want to be lead by the little lady). Pretty sure whenever you hire tokens a large fraction of them (not all, this is the recap of the averages argument) are sub par because you weren't looking for the best.

Gabriel said...

In defense of the Vox article: Goolge hires out of the right-hand tail, but they don't hire EVERYONE out of that right-hand tail, but only a small fraction of those people. They could hoover up enough to get a 50/50 sex ratio, if they outbid other employers for the underrepresented sex.

Whether that would make financial sense I do not say, but it makes statistical sense.

Henry said...

You guys are old.

Jupiter said...

"To be a woman in tech is also to always and forever be faced with skepticism that I do and feel all those things authentically enough to truly belong. There is always a jury, and it’s always still out."

What Lance said. She appears to believe that she has a right to impress everyone she meets. You know how many times I've interviewed for a position and not been chosen? I guess I should have gotten the interviewers fired for failing to validate me. Oh, wait, I have a dick. Sorry, my mistake.

Henry said...

So am I, but I started out in visual design.

Henry said...

Ralph L. I think fundamental is a perfectly good word, in the sense that it is the language that exposes the hardware and that higher-level languages compile to. Esoteric is a good word as well.

tcrosse said...

I had no idea there were so many bare metal programmers still walking around. Back when I started out in the racket there were guys who had worked on the abacus.

Joe said...

"You guys are old."

Yes, some of us are. My first computer programming class was Apple Basic on the Apple ][, my second was FORTRAN IV using punch cards and a time share on a mainframe 80 miles away. (My third programming class was Z-80 assembly.)

All but the Z-80 assembly class bored me so I majored in Film, but still ended up in a career as a programmer, I mean Software Engineer!

buwaya said...

IIRC, most Google employees are not in the US.
And are not subject to counting diversity noses.

chuck said...

> You guys are old.

Why yes, yes we are, and here we sit, waiting on the bank of the Styx and passing time at Ann's salon for the ancient. What's a nice kid like you doing here ;)

Bob Loblaw said...

Assembly is esoteric. How many software developers have written assembly in the past year? A show of hands, please.

I don't myself, but I know a couple guys who do. Embedded stuff is still mostly written in assembly.

It's not a large part of the job market for programmers, because the market is probably 85%+ CRUD applications, but "esoteric" is going a bit far.

Joe said...

"How many software developers have written assembly in the past year?"

I haven't, but just this week, I looked at assembly output from C++ to understand what something was doing.

Almost 20 years ago, I wrote a highly optimized lossless audio compressor using 80x86 assembly. I then rewrote my "C" version to be highly optimized and got it run within 10% the performance of the assembly version.

About five years ago, I wrote a highly optimized CRC algorithm using SSE, which is essentially assembly. It runs 300% faster than the the C/C++ algorithm.

Geek out.

Freeman Hunt said...

"To be a woman in tech is also to always and forever be faced with skepticism that I do and feel all those things authentically enough to truly belong. There is always a jury, and it’s always still out."

That will be the case in any situation where it is assumed that the group you are a member of receives preferential treatment.

Henry said...

I too learned to program writing BASIC on an Apple II.

My freshman year in college I took a CS 101 class out of my major. Pascal. Hated it. Hated waiting for my pointless Hello World programs to compile. Hated paper tests where points were deducted for syntax errors. Pascal stole the joy of programming from my heart.

Started programming again about 15 years later -- about 15 years ago -- when javascript showed up.

Joe said...

Ah, THAT Pascal class on Apples and written tests. Yet another class that sucked joy out programming.

javascript: The language that makes Pascal look good. I kid, I kid!

* * *

"Embedded stuff is still mostly written in assembly."

I work heavily in the embedded space and C++ is most widely used. Some micro-controller firmware still uses assembly, but that's pretty rare.

OTOH, learning assembly is an excellent way to really understand computers, but C and/or procedural C++ work nearly as well.

Bob Loblaw said...

That will be the case in any situation where it is assumed that the group you are a member of receives preferential treatment.

Ding ding ding! Give that lady a prize!

Otto said...

Somemore phlegm for ann: now women aren't scientists because they care about humanity, but scientists only care about things. The more you try and rationalize why men dominate hard science and engineering the more silly you get. Methinks the empress has no clothes.

Saint Croix said...

The mere fact that they are talking about Damore's memo proves that: (1) it was a legitimate expression of an opinion/idea worthy of discussion, (2) not prima facie proven false and, hence, (3) absolutely not a valid basis for firing someone, unless there truly are "thought" crimes, where if you express them, you have committed some cosmic offense against somebody somewhere.

Shhhhhh! Are you trying to get her fired too?!

Freeman Hunt said...

Comparing the percentages of computer science majors in elite college programs to those working at elite tech companies is not logical. One, there are far fewer people that make up these college programs, so it's easier to fill larger percentages with women. What are the percentages of women in lower tier college studying comp sci?

Two, private industry has to produce, so if you've given preference to women at the college level, that will not necessarily translate into equality at producing in the private sector. There is too much focus on credentialism in this comparison. Fancy college is nice. Creating fancy things regardless of where one went to college is what counts after.

Three, not all of the top computer science grads go into computer science, especially those from elite programs. Being a quant can pay big. Staying in comp sci may make one a greater outlier than simply being someone who majors in comp sci.

Four, there's a difference between pursuing something for a limited time and pursuing something for a lifetime. Even if you don't particularly like the work, you may stick with a certain college major in the interest of finishing your degree. How long will a person stick with a career he doesn't particularly like if he has other options?

Jacinto said...

"How many software developers have written assembly int the past year?"
Years ago, writing software for real-time machine control (using 16-bit Intel processors), we always use assembly for the math calculations and use C for the rest of the program. Nowadays, with more powerful processors, optimized compilers and improved algorithms for math functions, I am sure the same program will be written without any assembly routines.

Jupiter said...

"Nowadays, with more powerful processors, optimized compilers and improved algorithms for math functions, I am sure the same program will be written without any assembly routines."

Well, you're wrong. The highly vectorized code used in x86 math libraries is all written in assembly. Or, embedded assembly and/or intrinsics in C/C++ programs. You can't trust a compiler to use all the special new instructions correctly.

Bob Loblaw said...

Nowadays, with more powerful processors, optimized compilers and improved algorithms for math functions, I am sure the same program will be written without any assembly routines.

Yes, but on the small end microcontrollers are so cheap engineers are using them for things like debouncing switches. Last time I looked you could get one with 512 bytes of EEPROM and 256 bytes of RAM for (IIRC) about eleven cents in quantity. You can't realistically use anything but assembly for something that small.

pdug said...

Damore didn't "publish" a memo.

He sent his piece to an internal "Skeptics" discussion group as a kind of "Change my view" excercize.

It got leaked and everything went crazy.

Its not that he hit "CC: all" on an email.

Michael K said...

"My first computer programming class was Apple Basic on the Apple ][, my second was FORTRAN "

Mine was not a class but a job writing in IBM decimal on an IBM 650. 2K memory.

The main plant (Douglas AC) across the street finally got a transistor version of the 704 the year I went back to do premed.

My girlfriend at the time programed the analog.

rhhardin said...

The point of all this is that, for guys, it's all fun.

I've never known a woman to like it that well, and there were lots of women. They don't come in holidays and weekends.

After a few years of this difference, the guys have a far superior skill level.

rhhardin said...

One way to equalize things is to make programming not fun, by the way.

vanderleun said...

"Do you want to be oriented toward people and cooperation or to things and competition?"

Depends on whether or not you want to get laid by slugs (towards people) or hot babes (competitiion).

rhhardin said...

Comp sci courses are one way to make programming not fun, the way algebra courses kill off your interest in solving equations that had until then been interesting.

Achilles said...

Lance said...

Huh, as a 20-year programmer I've felt all that too, even the part about the anxiety of not being good enough, of not being passionate enough. I'm pretty sure everyone feels that."

Everyone feels it. But we have a generation of whiners trained to complain about it for 16-18 years in our public education system.

The worm is turning on theee people. Finally.

Jonathan Graehl said...

I don't bother reading things by people with that attitude. Does that make me a bigot?

gadfly said...

Back in 2007, when Rush could discuss subjects not related to Trump, he boiled down the difference between men and women:

RUSH: Hubba hubba. I found this story. It’s from SpringerScience.com .... Let me just read the first paragraph. I’m going to summarize what the story says. “New evidence on sex differences in people’s brains and behaviors emerges with the publication of results from the BBC’s sex ID Internet survey. Survey questions and tests focused on participants’ sex-linked cognitive abilities, personality traits, interests, sexual attitudes and behavior, as well as physical traits. The archives of sexual behavior has devoted a special section in its April 2007 issue to research papers based on the BBC data.” Now, this is sort of high end in terms of its literature, so let me just summarize this. They conclude based on their massive survey that men are different than women. Now, why would somebody have to do a survey to conclude this ...[?] I’ll never forget TIME Magazine in the late nineties, or in the mid-nineties, actually ran a cover as though they were shocked, “New research indicates men and women are born different.

Freeman Hunt said...

She also leaves off that even if you only consider the tail, there's a huge spread in the tail. Google is likely a tail of the tail sort of place for interest.

bagoh20 said...

Why do legal minds so often counsel cowardice, and holding onto principles like truth with a light grip so that you don't get overburdened if they get a little heavy.

He's lucky to have gotten fired. It's like getting thrown out of North Korea. Google needs new leadership at the top too.

Krumhorn said...

Ok. I get it. In spite of extending a charitable impulse at the outset, she still strongly disagreed with him. That doesn't address the question whether he should have been fired for it. And that's the ONLY question that requires an answer.

I never realized that a different point of view....even a wrong one...was a fireable offense. As Bernie Goldberg wrote:


If Google had fired Damore for being naive, they'd have a case. But they didn't. They fired him for having an unacceptable opinion, and that just can't be tolerated at such an open-minded place as Google, a place that welcomes a wide array of points of view -- as long as they're acceptable liberal points of view.


- Krumhorn

Freeman Hunt said...

I've never known a woman to like it that well, and there were lots of women. They don't come in holidays and weekends.

After a few years of this difference, the guys have a far superior skill level.


I think that captures it.

Tails of tails of interest. Maybe even tails of tails of tails sometimes.

Ralph L said...

I didn't care for Pascal either, and I never got beyond BASIC and Fortran on Ms-Dos, so I don't have much to compare it to.
The first practice program in Pascal that I wrote in college filled the screen with [something-something] butt-fuck Dr. Roberts (our prof) until his navel bleeds. Of course, he walked up behind the girl next to me who'd just seen my screen. Thankfully, he didn't.

I am not Laslo

Krumhorn said...

This reminds me of the brawl that broke out after the NY TIMES published Bret Stephens' oped piece on AGW.

Adriana Heguy, a genomics scientist and professor of pathology at NYU, urged her colleagues to scrap their subscriptions.

“Composing my letter to the editor today and canceling @nytimes,” she tweeted. “‘Balance’ means a VALID alternative opinion, not pseudoscience. I’m so sad.”

That was the perfect illustration of the issue. The lefties are more than happy to embrace alternate views to their cherished catechism so long as they have the right to approve what a valid contrary opinion might be.

- Krumhorn

rhhardin said...

Get Smart (2008) is about the interest difference of men and women.

The skilled and feminisst-egotistical spy Anne Hathaway falls for the novice but natural spy Steve Carell who loves the job.

Fernandinande said...

veni vidi vici said...
Nice of her to be "charitable" to men.
What a fucking twat.


Steve Hsu has some non-trash, er, non-Vox, articles.

http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2017/08/meanwhile-down-on-farm.html
Stanford Neuroscience Professor Nirao Shah and Diane Halpern, past president of the American Psychological Association, would both make excellent expert witnesses in the Trial of the Century.
"Two minds: The cognitive differences between men and women"

http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2017/08/damore-vs-google-trial-of-century.html

Glen Filthie said...

He WANTED to get fired. He's set up for a very nice law suit, he's attracted the attention of every potential serious employer, and he gave Google a well deserved flip of the finger. People are getting fed up with this bullshit and if the judiciary won't sort it out like adults, we the people will.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I've said it before, and I must repeat, the rule is: If you do scientific research into the differences between men and women, you must portray whatever you find to be true of women as superior. And when you read reports about scientific research into the differences between men and women, use the hypothesis that the scientists are following that rule. It makes reading the reports quite humorous.

-Ann Althouse

Brilliant!!

JimT said...

Coming to the conversation late, I note that rhhardin had some of the same experience I did when I started programming in the early 60s. I almost lost my family from spending night after night staying up 'til dawn with the computer instead of being home in bed with my wife.

One thing in Lee's Vox article struck me. She complains that no diversity program would satisfy Damore. I can think of one he would love: none at all. Hiring strictly on job-related qualifications should do it. The workforce would be diverse to the exact extent that individuals of either (or any) sex, race, national origin, or previous condition of servitude could perform job-specific tasks at the level required.

To my feeble mind it seems to be a no-brainer that any diversity program, by its nature, discriminates against as well as for. It does not surprise me that this would not occur to someone writing at Vox.

More opportunity for those in the early stages of the educational system so as to create a deeper pool of qualified candidates at the output end would be much more productive, IMHO.

buwaya said...

"he's attracted the attention of every potential serious employer"

I think he is blackballed with everyone in the F1000 and any contractors to these.
He may have problems with academic jobs also.
Granted, I don't know exactly what it is he does.
I hope he gets a good settlement as his career is going to suffer for a while.

Unknown said...

> You guys are old.

and way out of date.

In cloud computing the valuable problems will be about data - AI, functional programming, devops, and glueing parts together from a software utility.

Seems there is a "gay gene", but no gene separating men and women...

buwaya said...

"Steve Hsu has some non-trash, er, non-Vox, articles."

Steve Hsu gets away with what he has been doing for decades as he is Chinese, and has a public academic job. He is unfireable.

glenn said...

The big thing lacking here? Common sense. By anybody.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I've never known a woman to like it that well, and there were lots of women. They don't come in holidays and weekends."

Very brilliant men often have a single-minded obsessiveness about their work that women do not generally exhibit.

Isaac Newton wouldn't have been much fun at a cocktail party.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Very brilliant men often have a single-minded obsessiveness about their work that women do not generally exhibit."

Are you a brilliant man if you have a single-minded obsessiveness about women?

Or does that make you a psycho?

If the latter, I'm asking for a friend.

Browndog said...

You see what is happening with social media/news in relation to computer tech and social justice-

Yet, many can't wait to usher in the age of the AI/robots and driver-less cars.

Snowden and Damore are two canaries in the same coal mine. I will now try to prove to a computer that I'm not a robot to post this comment...

Angel-Dyne said...

On a lighter note, re l'affaire Goolag.

buwaya said...

"Are you a brilliant man if you have a single-minded obsessiveness about women?"

Define brilliant. This fellow fits the bill, to a degree, and has attracted enormous attention for centuries -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova

and his work -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoire_de_ma_vie

Which is worth reading. Modern English edition is quite good IMHO.
"History of My Life" Willard R. Trask
Terribly long (12 vol) and expensive for the whole thing, but there is an abridged edition (quite reasonably priced) that gets you the picture pretty well. If you want a unique perspective on the long-gone world of 18th century Europe. It is quite often a page-turner. No Kindle or Audio.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, many here have noted that Althouse has really run w/ this theme of giving a nerd/loser a bunch of fuss re the world that supposedly oppresses him.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

As if this blog isn't doing that every single day, for it's readers and commenters.



Funny stuff.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Buw,

Thanks for the tip.

If I change into a nerd/beta who reads instead of being a strong/F-ing/rich alpha, I'll file that away re stuff losers do, i.e. read.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Um, the correct word is broadsplain'

exiledonmainstreet said...

Hugh Hefner made his singleminded obsessiveness about women work for him, didn't he?

Be said...

It's Really Funny, but: my Failure courses in school were those in the domain of Translatology. (Which is why I don't have a Masters, nor a Bachelor in Translation.)

exiledonmainstreet said...

PB you don't come across as a rich alpha. you come across as permanently stuck in adolescence.


It's certainly evident that you are not much of a reader.

Bob Loblaw said...

In cloud computing the valuable problems will be about data - AI, functional programming, devops, and glueing parts together from a software utility.

People are making millions of dollars trying to sell that to big companies. It's a recipe for generating large amounts of very low quality software to tight deadlines. In a few years the winds will shift again when companies realize they can't maintain it.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

reading is for nerds.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

The one undeniably good thing about DJT is that he doesn't read much.

Technically, he as other positive attributes:

He Fs models.

And, he's rich.

But, he's not hot, so he missed the triad. Triad = strong/Fs hotness/rich.

Henry said...

Up your game, man. Larger than life is a tall category.

Jupiter said...

I recently had an opportunity to observe this bullshit up close, at Intel (Adios, assholes! Thank God, I found some humans to work for). The really amusing thing was when the diversicrats would try to make the business case for "diversity". Remember, "diversity" at Intel is code for ... well, for example, dizzy twits wrote things on their little subsidized internal woman-in-Tech blogs like "as a diverse person, I feel ...", without a hint of irony. See, they are "diverse". You are -- whatever is the opposite. Universe, I guess.

Anyway, the business case for diversity, as these clowns tell the story, is that if Intel is going to make widgets that appeal to a diverse customer base, those products must be designed and produced by a diverse workforce, since only diverse people know what appeals to diverse people. Ahem.

The peculiarity of saying that there are no important differences between what men can do, and what women can do, while simultaneously claiming that there are certain very important things that only women can do, did not seem to cross their lo-res screens.

Actually, I think characterizing them as "lo-res" is unnecessarily charitable. The fact is, these witches know perfectly well that the shit they are shoveling makes no sense at all. That is why it is so important to them to ensure that no rational discussion is ever allowed on these topics.

Jupiter said...

They're not stupid. They're evil. Burn 'em!

buwaya puti said...

PB&J,
I concede you are my superior in that personality style. It is in fashion.
And it is true that reading is out of fashion. The last generation of leaders who were great readers is on its way out. Perhaps the last chieftain-scholar, Gen Matt is, has his position for a few years, but he has no one to follow.
Statesmen-scholars and Warrior-scholars and even businessmen-scholars were quite common in their day.
Obviously, everything is better run these days, so good riddance eh?

exiledonmainstreet said...

PB, Trump was good looking when he was a young man. The only man on earth who was still hot at age 70 was Paul Newman.

exiledonmainstreet said...

But Buwaya, Winston Churchill might have been a great reader and superb writer, but he wasn't hot. PB has his priorities.

buwaya said...

The only man on earth who was hot at 70? Paul Newman?
Bah.
I'm not 70, yet, but I like my chances.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I'm not 70, yet, but I like my chances."

I have no way of judging that, buwaya, but I'll take your word for it. :)

George Spix said...

Which brings us to the larger question. At what point do similar arguments intrude on all scientific pronouncements, those that argue from authority some true and not positions? Why even bother with the Scientific method? Measurement and inference from a clear truth. Newton for instance. Some laws are unwritten but still laws.

hstad said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

"On average, people should do what they're good at .....?"

8/11/17, 11:44 AM

In the real word my friend, "..people.." pick jobs/work that they like. That doesn't mean they are good at it, in fact, by a large most people suck at their chosen jobs no matter what they think.

Women who graduate college usually avoid STEM careers and pick (top 10) careers in fields as follows: Fashion Design, Interior Design, Elementary Education, Social Work, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Art History, Medical Technology. Food and Nutrition and Health Care Administration. As compared to men (top 10) careers in fields as follows: Construction Management, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Landscape Architecture, Agriculture and Chemical Engineering.

This should tell everyone on the feminist "equal pay" bandwagon that it is mostly choice bias for women/men in picking careers, not institutional discrimination. Just another bubble being burst by the feminists own hands - LOL!