An Interview With James Damore

The former Google employee and author of a now notorious memo about the company's diversity culture chats with Reason.


James Damore, a former software engineer at Google, was suddenly propelled to fame after an internal memo he wrote criticizing diversity policies at the company leaked to the media. The document, sometimes labeled a "manifesto" (and, less kindly, a "screed" and a "rant"), asserted that the gender disparities in tech jobs are at least partly the result of innate differences between the sexes (primarily of women being more people-oriented and less attracted to such work) and that the diversity programs intended to boost the number of women at Google are counterproductive and possibly illegal.

While the document proposed alternative ways to make the workplace at Google more female-friendly, it was widely labeled "anti-diversity" and "anti-woman." After 28-year-old Damore was identified as the author of the memo, he was fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes."

Since then, the controversy has raged unabated—perhaps unsurprisingly, since it touches on many hot-button, polarizing issues from gender equity in the workplace to freedom of speech. A few days ago, I wrote about the debate for USA Today. I interviewed Damore via Google Hangouts text chat on Friday. The transcript has been lightly edited for style, flow and clarity.

Cathy Young: All this must be a little overwhelming?

James Damore: Yes, especially since I tend to be pretty introverted.

CY: Did you think when you wrote the memo, that it could become public at all, let alone as such a huge story?

JD: No, definitely not, I was just trying to clarify my thoughts on Google's culture and use it to slowly change some of our internal practices.

CY: You've mentioned in other interviews that you decided to write this memo after attending a staff meeting on diversity at Google.

JD: Yes, I decided to write my thoughts down after attending a particular "Diversity and Inclusion Summit," although I had seen many of the problems in our culture for a while.

CY: Who was this summit for? All employees, or employees at a certain level?

JD: It was generally for high level employees in my organization that were interested in diversity efforts.

CY: Does Google have a lot of diversity events? Do any of them have mandatory attendance, or is it primarily for those interested in the issue?

JD: Google has many diversity events, including many during our weekly company-wide meeting (TGIF). They've also recently made "Unconscious Bias" training, which is ideologically similar, mandatory for those that want to evaluate promotions, all managers, and all new hires.

CY: You've mentioned that the summit that prompted the memo had some material that you found disturbing and offensive. I don't know how specific you can be, but any examples?

JD: They outlined some of the practices where employees were being treated differently based on their gender or ethnicity at Google and during the hiring process. For example, there's special treatment during the interviews (like more being given) and there are high priority queues for team matching after an employee gets hired. Also, there were calls to holding individual managers accountable for the "diversity" of their team, which would inevitably lead to managers using someone's protected status (e.g. gender or ethnicity) during critical employment situations.

CY: More interviews being given, as in women and underrepresented minorities being given a second chance?

JD: Yes, and I, of course, don't have anything against women and underrepresented minorities, but I think that we need to rethink these practices because they may be illegal and actually increase intergroup tensions, as we've seen in academia, which is exactly what we don't want.

CY: Do you think practices like that amount to "lowering the bar," as you suggested in the memo? Some would argue that it may be a good idea to give "diversity candidates" a second shot, since they may have been unfairly prejudged in the initial interview due to hidden biases.

JD: Yes, I do think that some of these may amount to "lowering the bar." Google's hiring practices are currently optimized to have a really low false positive rate [i.e. hiring someone who turns out to be underqualified or ill-suited for the job—CY] and high false negative rate (i.e. we reject many unlucky, highly qualified candidates). If someone only gets one chance, then their interviews have to be really good for us to be confident enough to hire them.

CY: You also mentioned the policing of "microaggressions." In the published responses to your memo in internal Google discussions, someone mentioned people being shamed for using the phrase "guys" for a mixed group. Was there a lot of that going on?

JD: Yes, "microaggressions" are being taught and compared to actual violence. There's also a weekly email that goes out to about 20,000 Googlers where people submit examples of these.

CY: I gather the "offenders" aren't identified, at least?

JD: Sometimes they are, and other times it's obvious to whoever reads it (which is a large portion of the company now).

CY: Any particularly egregious examples of innocuous things being blown out of proportion?

JD: I only really remember one, but that's because my memory is failing me. One was complaining about someone suggesting to use a picture of an attractive person on an ad to increase the number of clicks. Which is apparently a case of "lookism."

CY: By the way, backtracking a bit, when did you start working for Google?

JD: I interned in summer of 2013 and joined in December 2013.

CY: Were the diversity initiatives already in place when you joined, or did they begin (or intensify) sometime after?

JD: I think they intensified.

CY: Did you give a lot of thought to gender and diversity issues before that summit? Some of your citations suggest that you did a fair amount of reading on the subject.

JD: I had been thinking about it for a while, and had many personal discussions in addition to research.

CY: Who are some of the authors or commentators you've followed on gender issues?

JD: Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Farrell, Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, Rebecca Solnit.

CY: Who do you think comes closes to your point of view?

JD: It's hard to say because I think they all have legitimate things to say and sometimes just talk about different areas. Maybe Christina Hoff Sommers, but obviously, I don't have 100% agreement with any of them.

CY: So, back to the memo: you wrote it and then you circulated it and edited it based on the feedback you received?

JD: Yeah, I started sending it out to the diversity programs and some select Googlers about a month ago and continuously edited it based on their feedback.

CY: I assume some of the people you sent it to were women?

JD: Yes, of course.

CY: What would you say was the gender ratio of the people who read it and gave feedback? And were there any noticeable differences of opinion between the men and the women?

JD: I don't know about the actual ratio, but there were positive and negative responses from both men and women. In my experience, it largely depended on how much the reader was in the "progressive echo chamber" that I described in the document.

CY: So, among the women who work at Google, there are many who don't agree with the standard progressive view of women in tech—i.e. that all disparities are due to sexism?

JD: Correct, and many of them are tired of being made to feel like victims by that narrative.

CY: What were the negative responses you received?

JD: Most were just name-calling or public shaming. I did get a few personal threats, though.

CY: Of violence, or retaliation within the workplace?

JD: There were some threats of violence and many public displays of retaliation within the workplace—i.e. internally public posts stating that they will never work with me and will sabotage my projects.

CY: Even before the memo went public?

JD: Right.

CY: Did anyone speak out in your support when those threats were made?

JD: Some brave souls did.

CY: Both men and women?

JD: Yes. But no one in upper management, because it would have been career suicide to defend me.

CY: Did you start feeling even then that your days with Google might be numbered?

JD: No, I was honestly surprised when they called to fire me. I thought that we had a right to discuss and try to improve the terms and conditions of working environment, especially when bringing up the possible illegality of some of our practices.

CY: I think you've mentioned that the management ostensibly had a stance encouraging discussion of company policy…

JD: Yes, that's what they would claim. By the way, I like Noam Chomsky's quote from The Common Good: "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."

CY: A lot of the criticism has focused on charges that you were essentially telling the women in tech jobs at Google they're not as good or well-suited to those jobs as the men. What's your response?

JD: The purpose of my document was mainly to discuss the ideological echo chamber. As for the gender things, I was trying to explain why we might not expect 50/50 representation in tech largely due to differing interests, and I don't say anything about individual women, especially those in tech.

CY: Another part that I think a lot of people saw as incendiary was the reference to women being "higher in neuroticism," which once again was seen as a swipe at your female colleagues, or even a suggestion that Google shouldn't hire women because they're too neurotic. What does that research actually imply?

JD: The reaction seems to mostly be pointed at the negative connotation of the word "neuroticism," which is the technical term used in psychology. "Neuroticism" is in part a measure of how prone someone is to anxiety and how sensitive they can be to stress. I was mostly stating this as a possible reason why women report higher anxiety on our Googlegeist (internal company-wide survey) and why we should try to control for people's personality traits before assuming that this disparity means that women are mistreated at Google.

CY: It could also be a matter of women being more willing to verbalize anxiety because of social norms, no? It's ironic that many of your critics accuse you of ignoring the role of social norms in shaping people's self-reports, yet they ignore that factor here.

JD: I don't think it can be explained just by that because the gap widens in more gender-egalitarian societies.

CY: Were there any valid points that you think your critics made?

JD: Not that I'm aware of; I'd very much like to see a valid point, though! I had been working on the document for a while and took in feedback before it was leaked. There were some possible differences between men and women that could contribute to the differences in representation that I didn't include because I didn't think that had as much scientific evidence—for example, [mathematically gifted girls having more varied interests] and men having higher variance in traits.

CY: This is probably a cliché question, but would you have done anything differently if you could, and would you do it again?

JD: I guess I would avoid the term "neuroticism." But it's hard to regret anything major because I'm afraid that if I didn't speak up, then the echo chamber would have only gotten stronger with time.

CY: In terms of the responses, you've received quite a bit of support from the alt-right. You've also been criticized for going on an alt-right podcast—that of Stefan Molyneux. How do you navigate a situation like that where you obviously cannot control who supports you, but the controversy can draw some unsavory characters [including white nationalists]?

JD: Hmm, I guess I'm not an expert in controlling public opinion, but I only hope that people judge me by what I say and do. I don't think I've said or done anything that could be honestly classified as "white nationalist." [I hope people understand] that "one-way" endorsements are inevitable.

CY: How would you describe your politics?

JD: Generally centrist/"classical liberal"/libertarian in philosophy, although I think individual policies and decisions need to be looked at individually and not through the lens of one's party.

CY: Do you plan to continue speaking out on these issues, now that you have a very public platform?

JD: Yes.

NEXT: Brickbat: When in Germany

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  1. He’s a witch! Burn him!


    1. I was honestly surprised when they called to fire me

      They’re always surprised when the witch hunters come for them. That’s their main weapon, fear and surprise. Their two main weapons, fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency. Their three main weapons, fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and a fanatical devotion to eliminating Western civilization..

      1. Ahh, that count is horrible…. It should be 2, 3 & 4 main weapons.

      2. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

  2. No surprise, the guy’s rational. I nominate Leonard Nimoy to play him in the movie version.

    1. He’s dead, Jim.

      1. Given the chance of this actually becoming a movie (unless it is made by Mikey to crucify James), dead is OK. Don’t be life-ist.

        1. Don’t be life-ist.


      2. cis-ventilator.

    2. I feel like his autism shined through beautifully as well.

      1. that’s neurotypicalist!

  3. But the narrative is that the right has a monopoly on denying science.

    1. Unless it has to do with genetic engineering, vaccines, nuclear power, sex-linked traits in humans or race.

      1. Look it’s pretty clear, the consensus is that the Right is anti-scientific!

        1. The left’s consensus? Well that clears that up.

  4. Dr Debra W Soh (@DrDebraSoh) has been a revelation… a Ph.D neuroscientist going toe-to-toe with the haters on twitter.

  5. Go James Go!!! Kick some arse, take some names! “Ideological echo chamber” really about sums it up!

    (“Ideological echo chamber” also sounds like a good name for a garage band).

    1. Or their studio.

  6. I wonder if google fired the workers who threatened to blow up his projects or worse made violent threats? I am guessing no.

    Three words
    Duck Duck Go

    1. “I wonder if google fired the workers who threatened to blow up his projects or worse made violent threats? I am guessing no.”

      Of course not. Google values diversity. sarcasm

    2. Even Duckduckgo uses Google. I’ve switched to Bing.

      1. Yahoo also uses Bing last I heard.

      2. That seems strange. As I understood it they have their own engine. Certainly the results are not precisely the same if you do the same search in both which suggests they are in fact not just a different interface on google. Have a link handy by chance?

        1. Perhaps I’m mistaken. I could have swore I saw that somewhere.

          1. If you find it please post it. It might be even better that way if they use google’s bandwidth but don’t pay them. My best guess is they use a flavor of pagerank which to google’s credit was published in the public domain. If true that would mean they use part of google’s algorithm not their service.

  7. Can someone clarify what defines the alt-right and why Molyneux qualifies?

    1. The alt-right is anything correct thinking progressives don’t like.

      1. Yep.
        After years of calling anyone they didn’t like, “RACIST”!, they realized that shtick was getting old so a new term was born.

    2. Spouting white nationalism drivel. Molyneux definitely qualifies.

      1. Spouting white nationalism drivel. Molyneux definitely qualifies.

        I’m not a fan of molyneux, but i’ve listened to a half dozen of his excruciatingly long broadcasts / Q+A, and i never once heard him make a single reference to any desire for a racially-pure ethno-state. if anything he came across as an uptight objectivist. Like Cytotoxic, but less interested in bombing people.

        Do you have any actual quotes/links clarifying examples of his ‘white nationalism drivel’, or are you just parroting someone else’s claims?

        1. Come on Gilmore, look at Chipper’s lazy ad hominem. You really expect him to come up with examples?

          I have the exact same experience re Molyneux. When I can slog my way through one of his dissertations, it is super dry Objectivist/Libertarianism with not a hint of collectivism.

          1. That’s not ad hominem. Just an unsupported assertion.

          2. He changed his tune around the time Trump started campaigning. But even before then he spouted racialist nonsense about blacks being more prone to violence when the whole Trayvon/Zimmerman thing happened.

            And no, I am not gonna waste my time and google that for you. Fuck off. This isn’t a peer-reviewed journal. If you are really interested, you will research it yourself.

            1. so you don’t have a single example of what you claimed?

              Going forward, i can say with confidence

              “Chipper Morning, Now #1″ is a liar and not to be taken seriously”.

              When people ask me for proof, i can point them here to this exchange.

              1. Naw. They can google it.

        2. They will argue that they aren’t white supremacists but white protectionists. They prefer a segregated society not annihilating other races. They are an odd bunch, many of them socialists and/or have no grasp of politics and wouldn’t know a libertarian/conservative stance if it bit them in the hindquarters. I’ve encountered some who think single payer health care is awesome and who have no problem with further gun control legislation.

        3. @GILMORE : This long piece by Stuart Hayashi is pretty damning, with chapter and verse: “A Libertarian Icon’s Descent Into Racist Pseudoscience.”

          1. This long piece by Stuart Hayashi is pretty damning

            It very well may be, but it would still just be thirdhand opinion, not actual evidence of Molyneux’s “White Nationalism”.

            Could you not provide any examples either? An unambiguous quote? or even a statement of his support for someone like Richard Spenser?

            As I said in the beginning, I don’t even like the man, but my dislike for him is because he strikes me as a kooky anal-retentive objectivist. Despite having listened to him 2-3 times a year going back many years, i don’t recall a single example of his calling for a National Homeland for Whites free of the influence of lesser races… which is what Chipper The Liar claimed.

            even this here (unsupported by any link or quote) =

            According to Molyneux and the Pioneer Fund, what race you are strongly influences your IQ number, and your IQ number strongly influences how economically successful or criminally violent you are

            And? he’s basically summarizing The Bell Curve. Last i checked, Charles Murray isn’t a ‘White Nationalist’ for making similar observations.

        4. Molyneaux is a niutccase who thinks basically everyone should disown their biological families; he’s also prone to passing off wild unevidencef assertions and hackneyed sophistry as philosophy.

          He’s one of those people I’m ashamed is associated with libertarianism.

          1. None of which adds up to “nazi”

            as i said in the thing you’re responding to, i’m not a fan of the guy, nor do i think him particularly “libertarian” (he seems more objectivist when it comes to his kookier applications);

            half of what you said could just as well apply to some people who write here.

    3. Can someone clarify what defines the alt-right


      1. Huh. Always thought I was at least an okay person.

      1. Crap, should’ve scrolled down first.

    4. YAL has been flagged as Alt-Right in some progressive-liberal circles So here is your definition: Any group, person, or media outlet that does not support our views* 100% without questions.

      *Our views = person’s individual views, who is making claim at the time.

    5. Hillary coined the term during the last election. She didn’t pretend to know what it meant other than to refer to people who thought Pepe the Frog was funny. Like all other blanket terms the left now throws it over everything and everybody they don’t like and can’t be bothered to try to understand

      1. I was hearing it long before she mentioned it, though she did put it on the national stage and into the awareness of people who can barely log into their email, let alone navigate the internet.

  8. If you dig a bit through the links in the article, you can find something interesting…

    Given the starting point of 4 recent relevant scientific studies (where people actually did original research), 3 out of 4 were supportive of James’s assertions, and 1 of 4 said that in mid-level STEM jobs (lab manager, managing the tools and supplies in tech), men were hired preferentially over women. The 1 of 4 studies got cited a TON, and the other 3 were mostly neglected, when it came to citing such studies!!!

    The “ideological echo chamber” infests the entirety of academia and science today!!!

    1. For this see the bottom-most part of . . . blog/rabble-rouser/201707/why-brilliant- . . . girls-tend-favor-non-stem-careers . . . . AKA . . . Lee Jussim Ph.D.
      Rabble Rouser
      Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers

  9. Also this:

    At the end of the day… Data easily found… A lot of women chose to major in / work in, nursing and education, especially education of very young children. And only 20% or so of those who chose to major in programming are women. If we insist on having just as many female programmers as men, then WHERE DO WE GET THEM?

    “Hey you! Stop teaching young children, get yer butt over here, and write some programs!”

    Then where do we get the replacement teachers of young children? Gotta dip into male-dominated fields…

    “Hey you! Stop putting tar and shingles on hot roofs, stop collecting garbage, and get over here, and teach the young children!”

    Then to the women, “Hey you! Stop teaching young children, get yer butt over here, and replace those missing roofers!”

    Coercion all the way down… WHERE will it end?

    1. WHERE will it end?

      If you start with roofers, probably the basement.

    2. Coercion all the way down… WHERE will it end?

      Keep in mind SQRLSY that for much of this, socialism and/or obliteration of the individual is woven in. Roles traditionally filled by white males can’t be individually filled with black or brown males or even black or brown females. That takes lots of heavy lifting and doesn’t solve the problem. You must effectively take the individual job/skill/task and redistribute it, equally, among a team.

    3. What I find interesting is that jobs other than tech where women predominate are looked down upon. A woman who chooses to get one of those jobs does so only because she is forced by the inherent bias in the system. All women really want to be computer geeks.

    4. If we insist on having just as many female programmers as men, then WHERE DO WE GET THEM?

      We need to import more dragons? (yeah, kind of an obscure reference).

      Or perhaps some alien data interfaces?

      Hey, if they want to live in their fantasy worlds, might as well provide them with some fantasy options…

    5. When people’s freedom to pursue an occupation (of their choosing) dies.

  10. Boy that’s just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him.

    1. Bob….Bob… Good luck with your firings today.


        1. I wonder if he took his memo directly to the engineers or had his secretary do it.

          I don’t want to jump to conclusions (mat).

    2. Fucking perfect reference!

    3. Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately.

  11. If he realized that it was career suicide for upper management to defend him before he was let go, then Google firing him should not have been a surprise. There would be no one to argue for keeping him on.

    1. He tries to play off like he’s more Libertarian than a lefty who got eaten by his own.

      Anyone with common sense knows that lefty businesses retaliate against opposition think. If you cannot handle the consequences of speaking out then don’t speak out or don’t work there.

      Google has lost sight of its appeal to customers. Giving in to foreign government limiting speech, caving to government spying, and this echo chamber shit is just some of the symptoms of a failing business that started on being innovative and the internet company around.

      1. He tries to play off like he’s more Libertarian than a lefty who got eaten by his own.

        Do you have some reason to believe that is not the case?

        1. Do you have some reason to believe that is not the case?

          He doesn’t actually say the word ‘voluntary’ but it sounds like he chose to attend this diversity summit thing. Do they serve cocktails at a diversity summit?

          1. So if you attend something with the intent of critiquing it, you necessarily essentially identify with it?

            Good logic there, internet guy!

          2. When corporations hold events like “diversity summits” they may be voluntary but it is death on a rocket sled if you do not attend.

        2. He wanted to work at a known lefty business that does value Libertarian or conservative ideals.

          Not evidence of being a lefty per se, but just another piece of the puzzle. He also said he was okay with diversity programs but they were just doing it wrong. In other words, the system is not broken but needs tweeking. He just ran afoul of the tweekers.

          He might be a Libertarian in transition from being a lefty.

          1. He wanted to work at a known lefty business

            It’s also one of the more prestigious tech firms in the world, and has an incredibly high quality of life associated with working there.

            Also, your statement implies that if you allow yourself to associate with lefties then you are not libertarian.

            1. He (ilovecocknsemen) may or may not be a libertarian, but he is definitely a moron.

    2. “If he realized that it was career suicide for upper management to defend him before he was let go, then Google firing him should not have been a surprise. There would be no one to argue for keeping him on.”

      He might well have thought upper management would argue for keeping him on even if they weren’t prepared to openly defend him while he was being criticized and threatened. After all, upper management had made many explicit commitments to open discourse, and hadn’t warned him to shut up in the weeks before the document was leaked. Furthermore, he hadn’t anticipated that his enemies would leak the document, which was contra Google protocol AFAIK, so he hadn’t thought that management would consider his continued employment to be bad publicity for the company?and as evidence that could be used in a gender-bias lawsuit against the company.

  12. Are the SJWs already screeching at CY for betraying her sisters, or does that start now?


    1. I’m sure they’ve been doing that for years.

    2. She officially became an unperson when she participated in a Society of Professional Journalists panel discussion in Miami on how #GamerGate wasn’t actually about driving women and minorities out of video games and geek culture.

      The screeching at that event included a credible bomb threat that had us all out on the sidewalk for 3 hours while the police swept a whole city block with bomb sniffing dogs.

      The only news coverage of the threat and evacuation was by one local station and either Telamundo or Unavision.

      1. bomb threat

        Mother fuckers.

        BTW Karen, great videos! Keep up the good work.


  13. JD: There were some threats of violence and many public displays of retaliation within the workplace?i.e. internally public posts stating that they will never work with me and will sabotage my projects.

    Behold the oh so tolerant progressive left in action.

  14. CY: Do you plan to continue speaking out on these issues, now that you have a very public platform?

    JD: Yes.

    Considering his career prospects in tech are pretty much in the shitter now* that’s probably not a bad idea. Although I’m not sure what his earnings prospect are. Maybe he can write a book or something?

    *Nobody’s going to hire him now that his name is all over the internet, and every other tech company is just as big of an echo chamber as Google.

    1. He could get like minded non-echo chamber type techies to start a new search engine called “Fuck Google”.

      1. Fuck Fuck Goo?

        1. Fuck Fuck Goo?

          Brilliant. 🙂

    2. My guess is his credentials are good enough that someone will hire him. There are a lot of tech firms, someone would probably grab a Harvard educated, ex-Google employee. Just might not be in Silicon Valley.

      1. Anybody heard from or about Brendan Eich lately?

        1. He went and founded a new start-up. That’s his current job.

    3. I think he’s already had job offers. Assange offered him a position at wikileaks, and offered him a job, too.

  15. Interesting interview, especially, his quote from Chomsky which I agree with. Benign Authorianism seems to be the ambiance at Google. In fact, I was reading an article about him at The Verge which cited his probable annual pay. The article gave the amount to be around $162,000 per annum, which seems even high for an at-will employee, plus many other benefits. Of course, the whole intent of the article was basically a put-down of him like, “What does he really have to complain about?” But he got in the last word. The photo published with the article showed him wearing a white T-shirt with the various primary colored letters of the Google logo. But on his T-shirt the logo spelt “Goolag.” I thought it was funny, of course, with his reference to Alexander Solzhenitsyn. As long a he maintains that kind of sense of humor, he’s going to be just fine and will weather this storm.

    1. $162,000 per annum, which seems even high for an at-will employee,

      Wages typically relate to the cost of living in the area they are paid.

      The cost of living in the Bay Area is insane. The wages required to attract skilled labor are therefore higher, but the actual wealth achieved by those receiving those wages is lower. Their NIMBY landlords, otoh? They’re doing great.

      1. Can confirm. I have a friend who does programming for a major tech firm in the area, and he makes insane money.

    2. Starting pay at Google is 6 figures. It’s not unusual. Starting pay at MS and Facebook is higher as well. Assuming my information is representative.

  16. I work at Google and I don’t feel safe at all! I sent James an email the day before he got fired thanking him for opening up the conversation. Now I have to hide behind my blog so I can express an opinion that’s not so popular with Google!

    1. Thanks, Broke-Bro, that’s pretty cool!!!

      Good luck at the Goolag!!!

      1. Have fun getting your finger nails ripped out.

  17. They’ve also recently made “Unconscious Bias” training, which is ideologically similar, mandatory for those that want to evaluate promotions, all managers, and all new hires.

    I’m having considerable trouble coming up with a reason why this doesn’t fall into classical definitions and policies regarding brainwashing and conditioning. This is really creepy.

    1. Depends on what it is. My guess is its not great, but unconscious bias is a pervasive part of everything. We all make assumptions about the world, our brains are probably evolved to make certain assumptions about the world.

      That being said, my guess is that their curriculum isn’t a great dissection of this fact.

  18. Just posting here to offer my anonymous support for Mr. Damore. There are more of “us” than it seems, here in the valley… most of us are just afraid and are hiding in our closets. Ironic for an area surrounding a city that is famous for people coming out of the closet, but I guess some behaviors are truly more offensive than others. Disagreeing seems to be the absolute worst behavior.

    Mr. Damore, thank you for what you are doing. I wish I could be as brave as you.

    1. He was surprised he got fired. In other words, he didn’t do it risking anything that he knew of.

      I wouldn’t use the word brave.

      He’s giving the lefties and Google a run for their money and he will probably win a lawsuit for violating federal labor laws.

      1. He’s got grounds to sue under 3 different laws.

        Illegal to punish employees for discussing how to improve working conditions (federal labor law).

        Illegal to punish employees for adopting or failing to adopt a political course of action (California law).

        Illegal to punish employees for challenging conduct they believe constitutes illegal discrimination, even if it turns out no such illegal discrimination was occurring (federal, I believe).

        He also may have a case for malicious falsehood against media outlets who mischaracterized his memo, if he can demonstrate intent. If Google only fired him after the media blitz condemning his suggestions as an “anti-diversity screed” (in clear contradiction to the contents of the memo itself), then he can prove financial harm. The burden’s higher than libel and slander (you have to prove malice) and the damages generally lower, but it might be worth it just to prove a point.

        1. may have a case for malicious falsehood against media outlets

          Maybe Peter Thiel can help him with that, the way he helped crush the assholes at Gawker.


  19. Google Code Jam Finalists Are All Men For 14th Year In A Row

    For the 14th year in a row since 2003, men are the only ones who have ever made it to the finals of the Google Code Jam. In the wake of the company’s PR disaster with the leaked “Ideological Echo Chamber” memo and the subsequent firing of the man who wrote it, Google may not be too keen on promoting the event?or its finalists.…..-in-a-row/

  20. Glad to see this interview with Damore. I noticed his detractors suffered from selective seeing, only focusing on what they thought he implied in his memo.

    What bothers me are the liberal feminists who took such issue with it. As a feminist of the non-liberal variety, I hate racial/gender quotas and see them as a form of reverse discrimination. It’s as if women and racial minorities are not intelligent and capable enough to be judged on their personal merit and are incapable of competing with white males without special exemptions. All this “triggering” nonsense makes us look like hysterics who need a nearby fainting couch and smelling salts. Such attitudes only breed mediocrity and low expectations…exactly what we don’t need in STEM fields.

    1. A bunch of female employees calling in sick to work after the memo leaked because “I just can’t even! SO TRIGGERED!” certainly went a long way toward dispelling the “myth” that women are more sensitive and prone to neuroticism.

      And yeah, every feminist (except, I guess, you now) I’ve discussed this with has spent more time discussing what they believed was written between the lines of his thesis, what they assumed he “really meant by what he said” and what they themselves somehow “know” his intentions and motivations for writing it must have been.

      Also, a lot of “I bet he hasn’t had much experience with women,” and the like (which may or may not be true, but has nothing to do with the content of his memo).

      And of course, during these discussions, they inevitably start doing the same to me, including accusing me of taking the opposite position to the one I’ve clearly stated.

      For instance, I say in a comment, “Men and women are treated differently EVERYWHERE.” (yes, I used all-caps)

      One or two comments later, they tell me, “If you can’t stop denying that women are treated differently than men in the workplace, then this discussion is over.”

      It’s quite sad, really.

  21. I guess I just don’t understand the culture at Google. They pay people to sit and write essays? Did he not have a real job?

    1. Not only did he have a real job, but if I recall reports correctly his job ratings were uniformly excellent.

    2. Apparently, he wrote most of it on an intercontinental flight. Why would you assume he billed Google for the time spent writing the essay?

  22. Discussions of innate differences should not discuss how those differences might correlate to membership in groups that social justice warriors are sensitive about.

    The way to proceed is to assume there are innate differences, then to try to find operations that measure the differences quantitatively. One of those operations could be IQ tests. Let the operation try to predict outcomes in performance using another measure, and leave it at that. Start with performance within groups, at the level of individuals. Might be first grade performance at jumping rope or playing baseball. Or grades on first grade math tests. See if second grade performance correlates with first grade performance.

    Many of the social justice warriors teach. Are they going to stop testing their students? All those tests are a variety of IQ test, just on a particular subject. Or are they going to stop testing and let everyone pass with an “A”?

    At Google hiring is based on test results. Use those tests as predictors. Or just hire using some kind of lottery, and see how that works out.

  23. Might also examine the differences between workers willing and able to wore 90 hours a week and those who are not. I have found few if any women who do that.

  24. But who leaked the Google memo? And did Google fire them for doing so?
    I’m beginning to think that Google has lost control of this situation, and possibly their own company.

    1. At Apple, where they have a true meritocracy, leaking anything like that would get you canned ever since Steve returned. Apple doesn’t fool around about that, and we all signed agreements on the way in that were very clear on that point.


  25. What a foul taste Google has left in my mouth. Moral cowards. Very unlikely to stand up to pressure defending their customers’ gmail accounts, if this is what passes for due process.

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