August 6, 2017

"Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google."

At Gizmodo. From the "screed," written by an unnamed software engineer:
Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech

At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.

On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:
  • They’re universal across human cultures
  • They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
  • Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
  • The underlying traits are highly heritable
  • They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective...
Personality differences

Women, on average, have more:
  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • 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...
Men’s higher drive for status

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

113 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

I hope Chelsea doesn't see this ...

AJ Lynch said...

I read the whole thing. It was well reasoned and well written. And the writer is, IMO, a liberal.

Bay Area Guy said...

Keen technobabble grasp of the obvious.

Did you know there aren't many female linebackers in the NFL? It's hard to find gals who are 6'3 and weigh 245.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

AJ Lynch said...
I read the whole thing. It was well reasoned and well written. And the writer is, IMO, a liberal.

And, I suspect, soon to be unemployed.

Dennis P. said...

The comments at Gizmodo are... enlightening. Kind of like the hard left flip side of Stormfront.

Lem said...

It's called a screed when it goes against the popular culture.

hawkeyedjb said...

Diversity is a religion. Google's diversity officer responded to the apostate with a statement that repeated the articles of faith of the religion, but which was very short on facts or contra-argument. It is what I expected from a High Priestess whose job is to keep the flock in line. The engineer will need to profess the faith, or he will be excommunicated. The church of Diversity, like Islam, does not suffer apostates.

Achilles said...

Anonymity is pretty much impossible at this point.

This person is about to learn about leftist tolerance and reasoning ability.

Fernandinande said...

"I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance. ...

Many of you have read an internal document ...And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages. .."

Daniel incorrectly assumes "assumptions"... or is it more likely that she is lying?

"Conquer meanness with generosity. Conquer dishonesty with truth." The Buddha

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

And samizdat (самизда́т) arrives in the US. I never thought I'd live to see the day.

readering said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuck said...

> And the writer is, IMO, a liberal.

These things can be surprising. I had a high school friend who worked in Silicon Valley, a Putnam Scholar, very bright, and very left wing. He told me flat out that he had never met a good female engineer. I was frankly astonished to hear that, as I've known a couple who were quite good, but there you go. Maybe his standards were excessively high.

buwaya said...

This situation has been the case for many years in the Fortune 1000; its just been expanding the subject coverage. First civil rights dogma ate HR departments, then environmentalism became a sacred cow, then global warming, then womens rights this and that, and then gays, anti-religion, and now transexual - well this last I don't understand as they have been around for many years as it is.

There really are no demands left to make, it is all agitprop and mind control now.

Anyway, the matter of a lack of free speech, and even a lack of religious liberty in some cases, in American industry is not new. The only surprise here is someone had the guts to challenge it.

Henry said...

The wave is not the water.

Beneath this froth, most of the work at Google is still being done by head-down developers for whom the diversity talk has no meaning. They have already been quota'ed.

holdfast said...

"Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."

Those are not the words of a "screed", at least not in any halfway sane universe. You can argue that the author is incorrect, but the language is incredibly careful and respectful, even gentle.

The author strikes me as a "classical liberal" or maybe a very moderate conservative. Certainly no alt-right rhetorical bomb-thrower.

The hysterically (in all senses) over-the-top reaction only goes to prove the truth of this memo - Google's senior leadership and the tech press (Motto: "If you can't do tech, write about it") is so deeply cocooned in Hard-Left, Intersectional Feminism that they cannot even conceive of a polite, gently worded dissent - and they certainly cannot permit such dissent to exist.

Chest Rockwell said...

"He told me flat out that he had never met a good female engineer. "

I have. Outstanding ones, actually. And plenty of mediocre male ones to boot.

The question in my mind isn't the average, but the outliers. That's where gender difference, if it exists, will really show.

MikeD said...

Back in the 70's, at the beginning of the whole rigged game, HR (personnel dept. then) asked what I was looking for in a prospect for a job opening, I went with flow and said "a black female,disabled veteran with a Spanish surname". I was then, seriously, asked which ones were must haves. Suburban DC, 1976!

Virgil Hilts said...

Holdfast -agree with you 100%.
I wouldn't be surprised in the sentiments set forth in the doc were shared by a majority of the engineers at Google (actually my bet is that they are); I think they are held my a majority of the intelligent people I know. The stupid reaction to this - the stifling political correctness and rigorously imposed groupthink - is why you got Trump and, I'm starting to think, why you will get Trump again.

holdfast said...

Good to see the Gizmodo comments are still the far-left cesspool that they were back when Hulk Hogan pile-drivered Nick Denton.

I remember when that site used to be all about tech, and I really enjoyed reading it. Ah well.

wwww said...



Lordy save me from this young man who wants to be in high school debate club.

My mother worked on the early computers in the 60s. She's very "feminine" aside from her tech/math background. Grandfather encouraged her in math classes.


Tech jobs at places like Amazon & Microsoft & Google can be hard for new mothers because of the hours expected to be on call. It drives women away from those jobs and into workplaces more family-friendly.

Workplaces were better in the 70s & 80s for women in tech.

chuck said...

> And plenty of mediocre male ones to boot.

When you are talking about four sigma above average, pretty much everyone fails the grade.

Gk1 said...

Having met and worked with a large amount of silicon valley creatures, I believe there are armies of conservative engineers employed in silicon valley but it just doesn't pay to advertise. They are appalled that meritocracy is caving in to quotas and slackers who lacked the chops but have the correct melatonin content for advancement. I expect more of this samizdat to surface in response to company indoctrination and lock step liberalism.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

This post was going to be a lot of fun to comment on, until I realized from the indenting that Althouse wasn't suggesting that men take jobs in garbage collection to gain a higher status.

bagoh20 said...

" they cannot even conceive of a polite, gently worded dissent - and they certainly cannot permit such dissent to exist."

This essay, dismissively and mindlessly labeled a "screed", is mostly a thoughtful and carefully worded argument of facts and obvious logic, but imagine such a viewpoint put forth in the manner that the left argues today, with the name-calling, accusations of evil motivation and projections of bigotry. In fact, when was the last time you heard a leftist argument on the trigger subjects without any of those tactics?

holdfast said...

@bagoh20

And soon all subjects of any importance will be "trigger subjects", and thus there will be no further debate. Control via victimhood. And our "betters" will ave full control of the narrative.

Of course, that's when things will move from "debate" to "bloody revolution".

Hagar said...

Software developers are not "engineers."
In 50 years of practice I have met two women civil engineers who were "good," in fact very good, in their quite different ways, a few mediocre ones, and several godawful ones - a "Summers distribution".

buwaya said...

The subject aside, this reaction is done for a purpose, that is to hide the strength of the dissent from potential dissenters. If the dissenters realize their numbers by hearing each other then they can and will form an organized opposition. Therefore any dissent must be crushed, with as much fanfare as possible.

This is what lies behind such episodes as Brendan Eich and the Milo riots.

Henry said...

@wwww -- those are all huge companies. It matters a great deal which group you enter.

* * *

Back to the manifesto:

More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs [software engineers], comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.

I find this interesting -- but off the mark. I work on the front end and it does deal with people and aesthetics. But the dealing with people and aesthetics is a skill set, not an brand of extroversion. You aren't really dealing with human beings, you're dealing with frameworks that represent average human capacities and industry expectations.

I entered front-end development from the aesthetics side -- a serendipitous skill set I apply all the time. But a large swath of front-end development is a step removed from people and aesthetics. For example, accessible design for the visual or physically impaired is a set of heuristics that many visual designers screw up -- developers are better at following the rules.

What I have found is that front-end is more utilitarian, more trial-and-error, more scaffolding and carpentry. In contrast, the best full-stack engineers have a capacity for abstraction that is truly daunting.

But I will also say this. In my experience, while most software engineers are men, the women are exceptional and can be found anywhere.

George Grady said...

Googlers,

I’m Danielle, Google’s brand new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance....

Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.


It's responses like this that get 95 Theses nailed to your church door.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

...then environmentalism became a sacred cow.

People should be more open-minded about the benefits of pollutionism. Seriously, why's it wrong to poison our communities if extra money can be made by doing it?

I know that this is what convicted wives say after they're denied the proceeds of their husbands' wills when he suddenly keels over after a plate of all the fixins' with arsenic found in his system.

bagoh20 said...

Today's standard of innovation is another phone app that does something 10% different than others, whether better or not, and often is only one of many, but which was lucky enough to catch the wave. All of the innovation and advancement of the last 50 years seems relatively trivial and derivative compared to the the age of discovery, the industrial revolution, 19th century transportation, nuclear energy, and the space race. Not that modern tech isn't useful and often amazing, but it seems like baby steps compared to the past. Today there are many more steps more often because so many minds and dollars are working on it, but still tiny steps. Look at what Elon Musk is often praised for. Yes, some great success, but really none of it is new. It's just realization of old ideas that had to wait for the supporting technology to get good enough, and the taxpayers to get sufficiently fleeced.

wwww said...

Software developers are not "engineers."


yeah, this also.


@wwww -- those are all huge companies. It matters a great deal which group you enter.

oh yeah I agree. And things have changed over time in places like Amazon & Microsoft. I know many women working for both companies, and one who retired because of Microsoft stock. But I also know women who decided not to apply for jobs at those companies back in the day because of the stressful system of job evaluations and the on-call culture.

My basic point is that in west cost tech jobs there is a culture that can be (but isn't always) unforgiving towards women who tend to have less flexible schedules with young ones. It's not universal, but it does persuade women that government jobs or jobs outside of tech are more family friendly.

There's a code "jockey" thing that is a different attitude then one would find in the 70s or 80s. What's different is this mythology of brilliant bros dressed in sweats working in tech.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I don't see anything wrong with what was written in the excerpt. It's all true and will only change once there is as much evolutionary and social pressure for women to go out into the world and change their surroundings as there is for them to find a way to get little people to be drawn from their vaginas.

As it stands however, I think women are generally more manipulative and better at hiding what they think. That's a good job-related skill, no?

buwaya said...

Environmental sacred cow-ism is how all real manufacturing was driven out of the Bay Area. Without a corporate argument, because the word from the top was not to rock the political boat. No pushback, no rational compromises are possible.

The sort of "lets work it out" partnership that the Germans have for instance. They are rational. American politicians and regulators are by contrast insane fanatics.

All that industry just went to Texas or some other southern state, or to China, to pollute there, presumably, as much or more as they would have polluted here.

Bay Area Guy said...

Roughly, I would say men and women are 80% alike and 20% different. The main differences are the plumbing, the physicalness and a smidgen of analytical thinking. This is mostly a WAG.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Environmental sacred cow-ism is how all real manufacturing was driven out of the Bay Area. Without a corporate argument, because the word from the top was not to rock the political boat.

Probably because it didn't pay or profit as well, smog drives down property values, and the Chinese (and Filipinos?) are better fans of races to the bottom for slave labor, anyway. Oh, and also because tech industries make better use of that innovative creativity that you berate us supposedly inferior Westerners for valuing.

The sort of "lets work it out" partnership that the Germans have for instance. They are rational. American politicians and regulators are by contrast insane fanatics.

They (we Americans) also have corporate control of their/(our) political system and avoid acknowledging that it is basically a system of bribery. This is the way our conservative overlords want it to be, though.

bagoh20 said...

"All that industry just went to Texas or some other southern state, or to China, to pollute there, presumably, as much or more as they would have polluted here."

Yes, so globally (we all think globally now, right?) we still get the pollution, and probably more of it, but we lose the jobs, the tax revenue, the expertise, the capability. If we ever go to war with China, I think we will run out of stuff we need before they run out of money or people, and they make their own stuff.

buwaya said...

All modern societies have some degree of "corporate control", we are all fascists now.
What they have is a BETTER sort of corporate control, more efficient, less destructive, less centralized in certain industries. In many areas anyway.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sure, but how did reading that document make you feel?

Chest Rockwell said...

'Software developers are not "engineers."'

Explain please.

bagoh20 said...

Software developer is to engineer as anesthesiologist is to surgeon:

An engineer uses software much more than a software developer uses engineering.

I'm neither, but I've played both in real life to gullible audiences.

Lem said...

my suggestion would be drop the word 'diversity' when addressing the whatyoumacallit they ascribe to.

Diversity, as it's been known for god knows how long, is just not woke enough to help wake people up.

If anything the word is too inflexible to represent today's culture. They are asking the word to carry a load it cannot bear.

and I don't have a square to spare... where did that come from?

robinintn said...

There's a survey of Google employees making the rounds showing that 35% strongly agree or mostly agree with the "screen", and another 14% are neutral. Those are pretty big numbers - it's no wonder he's already been doxed. He must be made an example of or the peasants might get ideas.

robinintn said...

**screed** not **screen**

rhhardin said...

It's too worried about respecting leftist moral touchstones.

mockturtle said...

Software developer is to engineer as anesthesiologist is to surgeon:

An engineer uses software much more than a software developer uses engineering.


But the average anesthesiologist makes more than the average general surgeon.

wildswan said...

If you look at magazine subscriptions 98% of the readership of magazines like Maximum PC is guys. This free choice tells you how many women are really interested in tech stuff as compared to men. But women who like tech stuff do exist. The feminist movement gave us a chance but now ... well, pretending that just as many women as men enjoy such fields is really very destructive because then incompetent women get hired and held in place and even promoted. Those of us truly interested have to face a storm of outrage caused by these bad policies and the resentment they generate. (And it was the same in the 80's, I assure you, wherever there was feminism.) I really wish for everyone's sake that we could stop pretending but as far as I can tell it is all getting worse. You can't just be silent; you have to grovel and agree enthusiastically like some pitiful North Korean or else lose opportunities.

Sebastian said...

"All of the innovation and advancement of the last 50 years seems relatively trivial." Robert Gordon wrote a great, though slightly depressing, book about it.

Of course, the reaction to the "screed," including the label, supports his main points about the Google culture. But the left doesn't do self-awareness--they fight, hard.

tcrosse said...

'Software developers are not "engineers."'

As a software developer, I was proud to be a skilled mechanic. Nothing to sneeze at.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Amusing that the response neatly confirmed his claims. I thought everyone at Google was a soooooperjeanyus but evidently not.

wwww said...

'Software developers are not "engineers."'

Explain please.


different jobs.

Anyways, there's a response from a senior Googler engineer who recently left the company printed on medium. One of his central points is that the writer doesn't understand engineering & the skills needed.

wwww said...


"People who haven’t done engineering, or people who have done just the basics, sometimes think that what engineering looks like is sitting at your computer and hyper-optimizing an inner loop, or cleaning up a class API. We’ve all done this kind of thing, and for many of us (including me) it’s tremendous fun. And when you’re at the novice stages of engineering, this is the large bulk of your work: something straightforward and bounded which can be done right or wrong, and where you can hone your basic skills."

https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/so-about-this-googlers-manifesto-1e3773ed1788

here's the Medium article.

wwww said...



"All of these traits which the manifesto described as “female” are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering. Anyone can learn how to write code; hell, by the time someone reaches L7 or so, it’s expected that they have an essentially complete mastery of technique. The truly hard parts about this job are knowing which code to write, building the clear plan of what has to be done in order to achieve which goal, and building the consensus required to make that happen."

True that. Anyone can learn how to write code. One of the reasons this screed is stupid.

Michael K said...


"Software developer is to engineer as anesthesiologist is to surgeon: "

Anesthesiologists have figured out that giving anesthesia is pretty much a commodity,

Thy are all into pain clinics and stuff like that,

But the average anesthesiologist makes more than the average general surgeon.

No overhead and a billing service helps, until your billing service embezzles.

"All of the innovation and advancement of the last 50 years seems relatively trivial.

I assume this excludes Shockley. Eugenics made him untouchable.

The Godfather said...

If you go back to the early days of the civil rights revolution, everyone who advocated opening up jobs to Blacks (then called Negroes as I recall) insisted that they were not calling for quotas; they just wanted Negroes to get a fair chance. But then, after awhile, folks looked around and said, Gee, this company has only 7% Negro salespersons, and we think it should be 10%, but we can't find any proof that the company discriminated against a particular Negro applicant. So let's establish a rule that if the company has under 10% Negro salespersons, it is PRESUMED to be discriminating. No proof required. "The Bell Curve" was condemned as racist because it said that there might to reasons other than racial discrimination to explain why there are such statistical disparities. Good liberal Larry Summers lost his job as President of Harvard because he suggested that there might be non-discriminatory reasons for disparities in the number of women and men in certain academic disciplines. And it goes on.

If we, as a society, once accept the idea that people are different, that not every woman is substitutable for every man, that not every white person is substitutable for every Asian person, etc., then the whole affirmative action/quotas-by-another-name structure will collapse -- and what a fall that will be!

openidname said...

#hastheGoogleengineerlandedyet

Michael K said...

Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers.

This is essentially the PC system internalized.

It is no accident that the only big tech company founded by a women is is Theranos and is a scam.

Lots of smart people like George Schultz invested but that was much more about her story that the product which is fake.

My high school girlfriend is an engineer but women are not as skilled at Tech as the legend implies. Some are but not as many as the narrative says.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Sorry to be all girly and feelz about it, but it makes me so sad that at the rate we're going we'll never cure cancer or walk on Mars because we are redefining merit and accomplishment to mean that Susie Breastfeeder gets a trophy and a promotion for managing to come to work 20 hours a week.

Unknown said...

True that. Anyone can learn how to write code. One of the reasons this screed is stupid.

That is not even remotely true. I saw many, smart, people drop or fail out of the CS track while I was in college. Their brains simply do not work like that.

mockturtle said...

My experience at university was that Asian women [and 1/4 of our students were Asian] seemed to be as adept at math & computer science as men. Perhaps there is a racial component as well as a gender one.

buwaya said...

The " building consensus" part, and the other "high level" skills - i.e. management, is where plenty of engineers fail. It is not an engineering skill, this is that most strange and ineffable thing, leadership, granted on a rather different distribution curve.

I sense the ex-Google fellow struggled here.
If you aren't a "natural", and there are naturals that can lead any people anywhere, your struggle would likely give you skills at getting things done at Google, maybe, but somewhere else you would be lost. Its a knowledge good for a given world.

The original article was written at a higher plane, not a lower one, than his reaction. Its implication is to ask whether Google has created an optimal world. In a better world, a more optimal corporate culture, then perhaps it would be easier to manage, to get things done.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My experience at university was that Asian women [and 1/4 of our students were Asian]

UDub?

Gospace said...

I have a friend who works from home maintaining legacy software databases, and troubleshooting problem. There are five people in his section. One is a woman. One week in five each person takes a turn on call. One week in 20 each man is "secondary on call" when the woman is on call. There are some glitches she simply can't handle, and sometimes when she's on call she inexplicably cannot be reached. Which is a job requirement...

His thoughts on women in tech aren't suitable for printing here.

I've worked with two women in my field. Both consistently turned down overtime. Contributing to the myth that women make less then men in the same job since they made less then the men over the course of a year, while getting the exact same hourly rate. I made my yearly base pay by July. But this is an exceptional year. Usually I do it sometime in November. Overtime can be a significant part of one's yearly pay. If it's taken when offered.

JaimeRoberto said...

Perhaps he should have remembered Althouse's rule on writing about gender differences: You must portray whatever you find to be true of women as superior.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
True that. Anyone can learn how to write code. One of the reasons this screed is stupid.

That is not even remotely true. I saw many, smart, people drop or fail out of the CS track while I was in college. Their brains simply do not work like that.

I think this has more to do with the college/university system being a poor model for teaching what is essentially a trade skill. Coding is a trade skill. Just like everything else the best job security for a good coder is a bad coder.

Software engineering is an order of magnitude more difficult. 4 year colleges conflate the two and stick engineering/design in the course track. People who could code effectively and eventually work into software engineering drop out when they are dumped into those classes at school with no effective experience.

StephenFearby said...

This reminds me of this tempest in a teapot stirred up by chess grandmaster Nigel Short:

The Guardian, 20 April 2015

Nigel Short says men 'hardwired' to be better chess players than women

UK grandmaster provokes anger and derision with suggestion we should ‘gracefully accept’ that men are more able to play at high competitive level.

'...Amanda Ross, who runs the Casual Chess club in London, said it was “incredibly damaging when someone so respected basically endorses sexism”. “Judith Polgar, the former women’s world champion, beat Nigel Short eight classical games to three in total with five draws,” she said.'

She must have brought her man brain. Let’s just hope Nigel didn’t crash his car on those days, trying to park it. At least this resolves the age-old debate as to whether there’s a direct link between chess-playing ability and intelligence. Clearly not.”'

http://preview.tinyurl.com/yasey7s7

GM Judith Polgar, a former women's world champion chess player, was at one time rated over 2700 (Elo). She stopped playing in women's chess tournaments and only played in high ranking men's events because the competition in high level women's events was not challenging. Polgar recently retired. In her late 30's her previously very high performance weakened and she slipped out of the elite 2700 club.

The international chess organization FIDE keeps track of the top 100 players by male and female. The current, August 2015 list:

Men & Women:

#1 World Champion GM Carson, Magnus 2822
#2 GM So, Wesley 2810
#3 GM Caruna, Fabiano 2807
#100 GM Hou, Yifan 2652 (tied for 98-100)

https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=men

Women:

#1 GM Hou, Yifan 2652
#2 GM Ju, Wenjun 2578
#3 GM Muzychuk, Anna 2572
#100 WGM Wang, Jue 2365

https://ratings.fide.com/top.phtml?list=women

WMG is the politically correct FIDE "Woman Grand Master" title, awarded because less than one third of the top 100 women players are grandmasters without the woman prefix. Of these, none are in the elite "super grandmaster" 2800 or 2700 rating class, and only one has a rating above 2600.

Women are superior to men in many aspects of life, but on the whole not in chess and probably not in other areas involved with high level strategic planning.

That is because, on the whole, with some exceptions, women's brains are wired differently than men's:

More evidence that male and female brains are wired differently (2016)

http://preview.tinyurl.com/jbj6qyy


Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal (2013)

Maps of neural circuitry show women's brains are suited to social skills and memory, men's perception and co-ordination.

'Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men's brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women's for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.

"If you look at functional studies, the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, the right of the brain is for more intuitive thinking. So if there's a task that involves doing both of those things, it would seem that women are hardwired to do those better," Verma said. "Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved – they will listen more."

She added: "I was surprised that it matched a lot of the stereotypes that we think we have in our heads. If I wanted to go to a chef or a hairstylist, they are mainly men."'

http://preview.tinyurl.com/y8eznmtd

These days, politically incorrect to the Nth degree.

Lem said...

An engineer I used to work for, one of the partners at LMS Engineers, said an engineer can do anything.

Unknown said...

An engineer I used to work for, one of the partners at LMS Engineers, said an engineer can do anything.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

mockturtle said...

Misplaced asks: UDub?

Yup.

mockturtle said...

Misplaced laments: Sorry to be all girly and feelz about it, but it makes me so sad that at the rate we're going we'll never cure cancer or walk on Mars because we are redefining merit and accomplishment to mean that Susie Breastfeeder gets a trophy and a promotion for managing to come to work 20 hours a week.

Indeed it is sad. We have become a nation of mediocrity, starting with our educational system. 'No child left behind' means that no child can forge ahead but is absorbed into the lowest common denominator of academic achievement.

wwww said...

I think this has more to do with the college/university system being a poor model for teaching what is essentially a trade skill. Coding is a trade skill.


Coding is easy compared to many skills, just as many low level math and science classes aren't hard.

Until you get to advanced theoretical work, almost everyone can learn to do it. (assuming a good teacher and an average IQ.)

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

"But the average anesthesiologist makes more than the average general surgeon."

No overhead and a billing service helps


Excuses, excuses.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Anesthesiologists have figured out that giving anesthesia is pretty much a commodity,

Man, you really are a bitter and resentful organ barber, aren't you?

The immediate life-or-death risks and complications that an anesthesiologist incurs dwarf those incurred by a surgeon, who can usually get an opportunity later to go back in and fix his mistakes, anyway.

Hey Skipper said...

My son just graduated from WSU with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

110 graduates in his class.

4 women.

holdfast said...

My experience at university was that Asian women [and 1/4 of our students were Asian]

UDub?


I was thinking UBC, but that would have been between 1/3 and 1/2.

Breezy said...

I work in tech as an engineering manager. Similar diversity and inclusion policies in place. Hiring takes longer, schedules slip, so stress is higher. And of course no give by corp on getting the needed help in place by relaxing the diversity rules. Are there fed funding benefits to this ? I don't see the biz benefit to this strict unnatural-to-the-pool demographic push.

I would like to know if we can actually measure the diversity and inclusion benefit. People claim it improves the bottom line by expanding the ways problems are solved or increasing innovation from different types of thinking. Can we measure that, as good engineers are wont to do?

By the way, we have an angst among some of our diverse hires, that they are perceived as being hired for quota, not their skill. This is not good either.

Daniel Jackson said...

Does UDub = University of Washington

or

Does UDub = University of Wisconsin

Original Mike said...

University of Wisconsin = U double-U, where we know the alphabet.

Daniel Jackson said...

Ah! Now I understand. There is one UDub where they know how to spell and another UDub where they know how to count (the one where Momma Gates was chairperson of the board)

Rigelsen said...

wwww wrote: "Coding is easy compared to many skills, just as many low level math and science classes aren't hard."

Only true at a very basic level, for coders who do nothing more than integrate technologies, usually by copying and deviating from working code form elsewhere or something they saw online. We call such coders technicians (or code monkeys if they have a sense of humor), but would not give them thinking work. In software development, differences in talent and skill levels vary widely, with talented and skilled developers/engineers outperforming the average by an order of magnitude, and the truly creative and brilliant ones outperforming the latter by nearly as much. In my experience, women have tended to be closer to the average in technical skills, though I've seen my share in the talented/skilled category. Of the few brilliant/hyper-creative software hackers/engineers I've known, however, none have been women. Of course, the category of truly incompetent software technicians have also in my experience invariably been a male one.

The response you pointed out in Medium was more screedy than the original, filled with ad hominems, and arguments to authority and emotion. And while there is something to its pointing out the importance so "female" skills, the Medium writer not only oversells the importance of these skills. Further, his distinct dismissal of the technical skill/talent ladder suggests a lack in that area. Likely a lack he had to make up for in some other way, with a shift of role, and likely exrting a medocrity-izing pressure on the organizations he has been a "leader" in. Ultimately, he's just another authoritarian Peter Principle asshole you find in middle management in many companies, that would rather purge any dissent than develop honest debate.

In the end, the skill mix he suggests is actually only useful in the outer layers of the technology stack, i.e. user experience (UX) and application integration where all the actual technical challenges are pre-solved or solved by others.

It does not speak well of Google that their Diversity czar weighed in on this so dismissively. If Google really does have a lot of smart engineers, she is going to make more enemies than friends that way. Smart engineers can be notoriously contrary, at least on things that directly impacts them.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My son just graduated from WSU with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

110 graduates in his class.

4 women.


I am only partially snarking when I say, don't say that so loudly, or someone will hear you and decide that clearly the standards of admission to or graduation from the program are too exclusive of women and they need to redesign it to include fewer test scores and more personal essays about the impact of intersectionality on one's life.

Roger Sweeny said...

Anyone can learn how to write code.

Like anyone can learn to write prose. But damn few people can write prose that is both interesting and informative.

And as a former teacher of ninth graders, I know that lots of people can't put together three sentences that are grammatically correct and follow logically one to the next.

tcrosse said...

Writing code is like playing the harmonica or taking photographs: it's easy to do half-assed.

Daniel Jackson said...

Snap Shots. PLEASE!

Ralph L said...

The writer has screwed-up ideas about conservatism, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Eleanor said...

While not true in each and every individual case, there is a basic difference in how men and women approach solving a problem. Given an assignment to create a game and a trunk full of props, a group of elementary school aged boys will come up with rules for their game and then look through the trunk for things they can use in the game they've already designed. A similar group of girls will open the trunk, look at the props, choose some they like, and design a game around them.

In a math or science class you can see this different style of problem solving play out. If you give the kids a problem to solve that contains all of the information they need to solve it, but also throw in some extraneous information they don't need, most boys will decide what equation they need, then look at the data they have, and choose the ones that fit into the equation. Most girls will struggle to use all of the data they have. There are methods for teaching math and science that both take advantage of the "all-inclusive" thinking of the girls, but also teach them how to sort out what they need to know from all the extraneous stuff. It doesn't impede the progress of the boys (and some girls) who don't need it, and it introduces all of them to the larger idea of how one might use the "extra" data to solve additional problems. The issue is that given the huge disparity in salary between being an engineer and a teacher, and the idea that "those who can't, teach", there aren't many people who think like engineers who become teachers so few people are working on how to create women engineers. What I've found working in both fields is on a team, no matter what the kind of work it is, there is benefit to having both kinds of problem solvers there. We don't really have "women's brains" even when we have women in engineering jobs. What we have are girls who solve problems more like boys do entering the field. The numbers pretty much reflect what percentage of girls that is.

Hagar said...

"Engineer" is not a protected title. Historically it is anyone who tends an engine, such as onboard ships or for the BNSF Railway. Today there are also such things as "Hair styling engineers."
Professional engineer is a protected title, and you will get in trouble with the law if you offer to provide professional engineering services without having the proper license.
Professional engineering began with military officers specializing in military construction such as fortifications, bridges, siege engines, etc., which naturally led over to using the same professional knowledge and skills for civilian construction projects.
Today, there are four professional engineering groups: civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical, all of which have several subgroups. F.ex., within electrical engineering, there is obviously a large difference in the knowledge and skills required for someone specializing in major power transmission lines and another specializing in electronic circuits design.

However, all "engineering" involves applying special knowledge of scientific principles to design structures, machines (engines), or material processes for the benefit of society. The term "professional" comes in when the lack of such special knowledge, or the reckless application of it, may present a danger to society, and thus require the individuals providing such engineering services to specially examined and licensed to practice.

Snark said...

You either think think like an IT person, or you don't. I've seen several people over the years who have the credentials academically but fall on their faces in the job because their brains just don't work like that. It's hard to explain, but I personally experience it as almost instinctual. I took an Intro to Psychology class for interest as an adult and we had a number of tests done - a few personality tests, a few miscellaneous tests of brain patterns, an IQ test, and, to my point, a logic test. On the logic test I was 2.5 standard deviations above the mean in the sample of several hundred first year psychology students. I found that astounding and incredibly interesting given my line of work. On the flip side, no doubt I'd probably make a terrible psychologist! My department at work is overwhelmingly male, with only one of us female in a senior tech role. At some point there is certainly a sorting hat that weeds out most women from software development and technician streams, and I suspect most of it has to do with the way one thinks and likes to spend their time. In contrast, the senior management team at my education related workplace is overwhelmingly female. So it's about where women generally succeed rather than the fact that they don't gravitate to certain jobs in large numbers. As long as these gender dominated workspaces don't inadvertently limit the advancement, development and comfort of their respective "minorities", then all is right with the world.

Ralph L said...

Paragraph breaks, gentlemen.

Snark said...

"We don't really have "women's brains" even when we have women in engineering jobs. What we have are girls who solve problems more like boys do entering the field."

I find this to be precisely true in IT, and it extends beyond things immediately relevant to the job and problem solving. A preference for non-fiction over fiction in leisure reading, the tendency to withdraw rather than reach out under stress, taste in television shows, an appreciation of video gaming, lone wolfiness and comfort with conflict are often part of the non-typical package of female programmers.

Hagar said...

Danica Patrick is a woman and a driver, but she is not a woman driver.

Todd said...

Unknown said...
True that. Anyone can learn how to write code. One of the reasons this screed is stupid.

That is not even remotely true. I saw many, smart, people drop or fail out of the CS track while I was in college. Their brains simply do not work like that.

8/6/17, 10:36 PM


As with any other "skill", most moron's can learn to do it enough to say that they can do it BUT not everyone that does it "gets" it. To review a problem, visualize a result, code and refine that result into a optimized, thing of efficiency and flexibility, completely documented, tested and promoted into use is something that not all of those that "code" can either do or appreciate.

Sure, put a thousand monkeys in a room with typewriters and given enough time you will get Shakespeare but a truly gifted and driven writer can do so much more with so much less. Same with coding. It is part science and part art. Truly good code is both a joy to write and to read (when done by others). Sorry, no. Not just "anyone" can be a "coder". Most are just monkeys with compilers.

JimT said...

Many years ago (mid 60s) I was doing software in a professional engineering environment. The boss tasked his assistant with figuring out how to hire software folks. He had determined empirically that IBM's Programming Aptitude Test was useless for the purpose. She looked around the room and picked the four people she and the boss thought were best at engineering software, and gave us every psychological test she could get her hands on. She ended up picking the Remote Associates Test, which correlated very well with performance. She hired some great developers that way. Some time later the expression "thinking outside the box" became popular.

I have never considered writing software to be engineering. It is a highly-skilled craft. I made a career for over 50 years by doing engineering in a software environment and writing software in an engineering environment. The only things they have in common are imagination and rigor. And serious penalties for failure.

Ralph L said...

Someone should study the East German female athletes to see if their hormone treatments affected their career choices, or just ruined their health.

Todd said...

You know how it goes:

- Women are "over represented" in nursing and other "caring" fields because women are people persons and care so much!

- Women are "under represented" in tech fields because patriarchy and sexism.

Friedrich Engels' Barber said...

I find it interesting, and by interesting I mean scary, that he thinks the left aligns with “Change is good (unstable)”and the right bias is “Change is dangerous (stable).” Just comparing the preference for central planning and large mud-bound government bureaucracies versus creative destruction and market driven obsolescence, he is 180 degrees misdirected. I guess he has fallen for the “progressive” line that they represent change for the better when what they really represent is change to what they need to give them power. Once we get there, all change stops, comrade.

Jupiter said...

Let's try to remember that what all these fucking geniuses do for a living is sell advertising.

Bruce Hayden said...

"You either think think like an IT person, or you don't. I've seen several people over the years who have the credentials academically but fall on their faces in the job because their brains just don't work like that. It's hard to explain, but I personally experience it as almost instinctual."

My first programming class was > 45 years ago in college. Maybe 1970. It was in the math dept, and I was a math major. Got the book for the class, read it, and wondered what the catch was. The here wasn't one. For, me, it really was that easy. The computer just does exactly what you tell it to do. The problem is the word "exactly", of course. It is something that many can do some of, but few can do well. 100 line program? Sure. 10,000 lines? Nope. 100k? Even fewer. Started working professionally maybe 5 years later, and found that a lot of even professional programmers started getting lost much above the 100 line level. Certainly, before the 1k level. They couldn't keep straight what was going on where, where different variables were being modified, and why. This was when we were moving to "structured programming", and then Object Oriented, which, when properly done, goes a long way to isolating and controlling this sort of thing. After 3-4 years, I moved from applications programmers on to operating systems, and then data communications. And the problems there were that it was no longer linear. No longer deterministic. And falling into linear, deterministic thinking was, inevitably, fatal. You could no longer depend on the state being the same every time you came through a piece of code. Or, even having a piece of code to yourself in a thread. I knew few other men, and no women, who could do it really well. And, indeed, there seemed to be a sharper dropoff with the women - they could maybe surpass the men with simple programs, but, numerically, to drop off more quickly as things got complicated. Just weren't able to move up and down the levels of abstraction as quickly or successfully, keeping more and more things in their proper places in their minds through this level of abstraction technique. And it is this facility with levels of abstraction that seems to really be sex linked.

Ultimately, I moved out of software and into patent law, where I dealt with a lot of other types of engineers. And discovered that complex software engineering was no less engineering than is other types of engineering. You use building blocks to build ever more complex machines. The problem is that other types of engineers, as well as much of the public, have taken basic programming classes, written 100 line programs that, ultimately, mostly work, and figure that it would be simple to just scale up to a multi-million line OS, which could not be further from the truth. I ask EEs whether being able to solve simple circuits makes them competent EEs. That is the equivalent to their being able to write a working 50 line program.

One of the frustrating things in life is convincing people that complex software engineering is equivalent to complex engineering in other disciplines. Tens and hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on software development every year, and, yet, so many still think that it is no more innovative than writing that 50 line program they did in an intro class. Despite much of the Fortune 50 being highly software dependent. IBM, MSFT, Apple, Amazon, Google, etc. One of our most recent SCOTUS amicus briefs (Alice software patenting case) explained this in great detail, including pointing out the cost and value of software, to no avail. The Supreme Court doubled down on their ludicrous 1970s era determination that software involved abstract thought, and, thus, was no different from Einstein's E=MC^2.

Jupiter said...

"One of the frustrating things in life is convincing people that complex software engineering is equivalent to complex engineering in other disciplines."

I have written some code, but I have mostly worked maintaining code written by others. I have read at least a thousand lines of code for every line I have written, and I can assure you that the vast majority of the code that runs the world is so riddled with errors, bad patches, half-baked innovations, broken features and general code rot that it is really amazing it works as often as it does.

Real American said...

Very interesting memo. The guy goes out of his way to say he believes in Diversity, though that isn't good enough because he also believes there are non-discriminatory reasons for differences between the sexes in terms of tech employment. Naturally, the Diversophiles won't/can't hear anything else. The responses this Google engineer is getting is proving his point about the closed-mindedness of the left on this stuff. They're so invested in their myths. They can't let the bubble burst or else people like "Danielle" will have to find real work.

tcrosse said...

The scary thing about software is that testing can prove the existence of bugs, but not their absence.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Jupiter - I did a bunch of that when I first went into OS and Data Comm. With the OS, in particular, we would get a system crash, and my job was to figure out why from the dump and the code.

One interesting example of horrendous code was from the ClimateGate dump. At the time, maybe a decade ago, there were five primary global temperature databases, three from surface temperatures, and two from satellite data. Of those, the one probably considered most authoritative was from the Hadley Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglica in the UK. They were tweaking/calibrating the two satellite databases from the Hadley CRUT DB. Turns out that the software that interpolated the raw temperature data from around the world into intermediate temp data had been written in unstructured FORTRAN, probably by the tree ring counters/Atmosperic scientists running the unit. In any case, it was bug riddled, and unmaintainable. They hired a professional programmer to clean it up, and he threw up his hands and left after a year or two. Much of what was being done was completely nonsensical and undocumented. And, then they lost a lot of their input data in a move. This is the software whose results were, at least partially, being used to drive the Anthropogenic Global Warming debate.

Snark said...

"My first programming class was > 45 years ago in college. Maybe 1970. It was in the math dept, and I was a math major. Got the book for the class, read it, and wondered what the catch was. The here wasn't one. For, me, it really was that easy."

Yes! Exactly right. My first computer science class was in high school in the early 80s. We had a major assignment centred around diagrammming a program, and I still have a powerful memory of sitting at my dining room table with my flowchart template working really hard on it and being really satisfied when I finished. Handed it in, and days later got held back at the end of class and had it handed back with a bid, red angry zero slashed through it. I was sent to the office for cheating, apparently because it was too correct and I must have gotten the answers from previous students. I can't describe how helplessly stunned I was, and it ultimately led to me being suspended. I never went back, and my life was profoundly affected. I picked it all up again a few years later, and once again it was like slipping on a perfect glove.

Jupiter said...

"They hired a professional programmer to clean it up, and he threw up his hands and left after a year or two."

Should have hired a woman. Women can do anything.

Jupiter said...

When I first started programming, there were people called "Data Librarians". Their job was to keep track of the program documentation and listings, and the magnetic tapes with all the backups. These were regarded as secretarial positions. For no very good reason, they hired a couple of women who had training in "library science". They began a lobbying campaign with Personnel, to the effect that there was no reason why a Systems Analyst, whose job was to design computer systems, needed to have coding skills. This made perfect sense to the *women* in Personnel, and within a few years the Data Librarians were designing systems. Boy, were they designing systems! It was really pretty funny to sit in one of those meetings, listening to one of those stupid HellSows expounding her theories of system design. This was all in government, of course.

mockturtle said...

Bruce: Is it possible that the climate data records have been selectively tweaked to conform to 'climate change' evidence? I used to keep pretty extensive records of daily temperatures--highs and lows in Seattle. Now some of the 'record highs' I'm seeing today are lower than the 'highs' I recorded from the 70's and 80's. Whazzup?

Daniel Jackson said...

Mockturtle,

You might want to compare your data with this Official "average temperature data for Seattle" to see if your observations are significantly different.

It's an interesting hypothesis easily testable empirically.

mockturtle said...

I got my data from the official NOAA sources, not personal observations. And no, they do not. There were higher temperatures back then than they are calling 'all time highs' this summer, and I'm not referring to just the highs for a specific date. I am not at home so don't have access to my data right now but I'm going to pull it out and send the data to NOAA to see what they make of it.

Unknown said...

One of the things I have noticed is that most women compartmentalize their jobs from their life. They don't talk about work even in the abstract (ie not about the boss). When I am hanging out with my IT and engineer and scientist male friends, topics come up from ancient Roman engineering to math puzzles and jokes to AI and robotics and self-driving cars. Women almost never get involved in such discussions even if they have a college degree and have a job. Talking about tech stuff simply does not interest them. They probably wonder why in the world men are talking about work stuff when at a PARTY. Men read computer and automotive books for fun, women don't. Who composes algorithms in the shower? Not women that's for sure. In many professions you are not going to the top unless you are obsessed by it. Women are too well-balanced to be obsessed about their work.

mockturtle said...

Women are too well-balanced to be obsessed about their work.

Not all. My late husband and I continually talked shop--at home and when we were out for drinks and dinner. And I was at least as interested as he.

openidname said...

Fired. That didn't take long.

walter said...

Celebrate deferens!

"That's not funny."