Google

How the Google Memo Hysteria Punishes Openness and Innovation

The overreaction to critiques of diversity methods ramps up the culture war unnecessarily.

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Google headquarters
Bennymarty | Dreamstime

The tech press has been on fire with the recent publication of an internal memo on Google's diversity and labor policies by former engineer James Damore. Damore, who was quickly fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes" in light of the ensuing media conflagration, penned the 10-page memo during a long flight to China after attending a Google diversity training seminar that he found to be ineffective, hostile to his cohorts, and factually incorrect. More fundamentally, in "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," Damore argues that Google's corporate culture discourages criticism of company policies and leads employees to feel that they can't speak openly.

The article, which cited research and concepts from scientific disciplines in a well-reasoned and compassionate manner, was wildly misrepresented in the media and has served to further fan the anxious flames of social tensions in Silicon Valley. Such incidents are unfortunately encouraged by unproductive labor norms which divert companies' drives to create value and innovate towards futile social engineering endeavors that waste money and time while unnecessarily pitting groups against each other.

The bulk of the discussion on the so-called "Google Memo" so far has unfortunately been driven by the left-leaning media's sensationalist and downright incorrect characterizations of the document. Gizmodo, which originally published the memo, called it an "anti-diversity screed." NBC News' headline implied that the author blamed "women's 'neuroticism'" for the relative lack of female engineers. Engadget said the memo is evidence of tech's "toxic culture." Other outlets piled on, simply referring to the memo as "sexist" or "misogynist" without delving into the article's contents.

Given such alarming headlines, you might expect to find some kind of hateful, invective-filled rant about the innate inferiority of women and perhaps a sandwich joke or two thrown in for good measure. What you will instead find is a thoughtful, helpfully-categorized criticism of Google's alleged "ideological echo chamber" replete with citations and figures. (Curiously, Gizmodo decided to remove the academic citations and graphs from their version of the memo.) It's a thought-provoking and fascinating read, I highly recommend that you check out the unedited document if you haven't already.

Damore notes sources of both left- and right-wing bias before exploring potential "non-bias" contributors to gaps in representation among engineers. Like Larry Summers before him, Damore notes that slight differences in the average distribution of men's and women's talents, risk profiles, and preferences result in outcomes that are not exactly 50-50. This is not to say to that any one sex is "better" or "worse" than the other, but that a slight preference on women's part to, say, take time off to raise their young children will have an effect on women's aggregate final career trajectory. Given this, Damore points out that any diversity initiative to "lower the bar" or provide special treatment to favored groups will be not only ineffective, but discriminatory and inefficient to boot.

What is most important to note is that Damore's memo was not "anti-diversity" at all. In fact, he directly states that he "value[s] diversity and inclusion, [does not deny] that sexism exists, and [does not] endorse using stereotypes." Rather, he maintains that if we can't have "an honest discussion" about diversity, then "we can never truly solve the problem" and provides several alternative suggestions to close the gaps that he believes would not cause issues like discrimination and lowered expectations.

We've got a real monster on our hands here, folks!

The disjoint between the quality of Damore's attempted conversation and the downright hysterics of the media reaction is greatly disturbing. Anyone with a passing familiarity with the state of the art in social psychology and neuroscience will know that the Google Memo's chief arguments are largely in line with much of the literature. But the few experts who have attempted to chime in and offer their support to Damore's theses have been unceremoniously drowned out by the tide of unhinged condemnations.

The always-excellent psychology- and sociology-focused Quillette Magazine featured a response by four leading scientists in sexual psychology expressing their agreement with many of Damore's core arguments. As evolutionary psychologist and author of The Mating Mind Geoffrey Miller notes, he has not encountered even one critic who "understands sexual selection theory, animal behavior, and sex differences research," opting instead to result to slurs and dismissal. (In a strange coincidence, Quillette's website was hit by a DDoS attack which took the article offline shortly after publication.) Elsewhere, sexual neuroscientist Debra Soh wrote that the Google memo wasn't "sexist or anti-diversity. It's science." Soh provides a helpful breakdown of the neurological research that sheds light on how different groups of people make decisions. She notes that none of the Google memo critics have provided sufficient evidence to cast doubt on these studies.

Yet the scientific accuracy of many of Damore's points did not matter when the mob caught wind of a possible heretic. Ironically, the tech community's blind condemnation of Damore provided some of the best evidence for his argument that the tech community stifles debate.

Some have argued that regardless of the memo's merits, it was an inappropriate topic to discuss at work, and Damore has no reason to expect his right to free expression to be protected at his place of employment. Yet this is unpersuasive precisely because Damore was critiquing workplace policies that affected his opportunities and output.

In an interview with the rogue libertarian firebrand Stefan Molyneux, Damore states that he found the diversity training to which he was subjected to be openly hostile to him as a white male and perhaps even illegal. (Damore is considering legal action against his former employer for improper dismissal due to criticizing internal procedures.) Indeed, a review of the internal feedback to the Google Memo suggests that many of Damore's coworkers shared his fear of critiquing company policy. A recent poll suggests that a majority of Google employees disagree with the decision to fire Damore.

One might wonder exactly why a powerful company like Google would immediately bow to the howls of a tantrum-throwing minority. It is no secret that many people in Silicon Valley tend to veer to the left. But Google's reaction was likely self-preserving more than anything else. Silicon Valley has been rocked by expensive, and sometimes questionable, discrimination lawsuits. Google itself is under investigation by the Department of Labor for pay inequality as I write. So it is easy to see why the company may be sensitive to the perception that "dude bro" engineers are to blame.

Importantly, this is not a new phenomenon. In an excellent essay for USA Today, legal expert and Cato Institute senior fellow Walter Olson points out that federal anti-discrimination laws function to compel corporations to censor speech that would be illegal for the government to do. It's a kind of dastardly First Amendment workaround that effectively penalizes certain speech in private settings. And the targeted speech is clearly political. For example, this perverse legal structure allows as much "feminist" speech as employees desire, yet when an employee engages in what can be construed as "anti-feminist" conversation, as Damore was, can be an offense under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was surely a factor in Google's calculations.

One of the greatest casualties in this situation will be the freedom to collaborate and innovate. When employees at one of the largest, most well-positioned and funded companies in the world feel too afraid to critique the direction that their firm is going, it does not bode well for the company's internal openness and productivity. Employees may feel the need to dedicate more time to saying the right things and assembling the "right" teams instead of making the best products and creating the most value. Culturally, employees will be pitted against each other in artificial wars of sexes and races that accomplish nothing but increasing animosity. And if even mighty the Google cannot navigate these tempestuous waters without sacrificing open innovation, how can smaller startups with a tiny fraction of Google's legal and reputational protection expect to survive these kinds of trials by public opinion?

The Google Memo hysteria is not just bad for free speech, it is downright dangerous for the future of innovation. To secure an open culture of dialogue and collaboration, both our laws and our norms must change in a more pro-liberty direction.

NEXT: Life Under Communism Was No Liberation For Women

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  1. Given such alarming headlines, you might expect to find some kind of hateful, invective-filled rant about the innate inferiority of women and perhaps a sandwich joke or two thrown in for good measure.

    Heh

    1. someone’s been reading Reason comments

      1. Or a fellow contributor’s twitter feed.

        1. C’mon, all you chicks and babes out there, make us some sandwiches while we write some code!

          (Running for my life now, see ya…)

    2. It is my intention to build a robot that can make a sandwich. I expect vigorous political opposition.

      -jcr

      1. “Vigorous political opposition”, ya say?!?!

        Wait till I invent a SEXBOT that can also make a sandwich!!!

        (Chicks and babes may become obsolete!)

  2. When is Reason going to cover the Google memo?

    1. What google memo?

  3. Given the sources of such alarming headlines, you might expect a mild, geek flavored, corporate memo. Complete with citing verifiable references.

  4. “The overreaction to critiques of diversity methods ramps up the culture war unnecessarily.”
    Sorry, but the overreaction is absolutely necessary. The left intends to win the culture war, and will not back down one bit until all freedom is restricted to those who think correctly. So they will continue to manufacture hate where it does not exist, so they can restrict independent thought through the voice of the mob.

  5. The article, which cited research and concepts from scientific disciplines in a well-reasoned and compassionate manner,

    Ah. That is the problem. I still appreciate the irony that they immediately fired him and some hyper-emotional snowflake employees took the day off. That aside, I have an example that supports the theme of the infamous memo, that *GASP* men and women differ from one another. Every time my gf talks about a problem my mind immediately starts searching for a solution or advice on how to avoid something in the future. This pisses her off for some reason. She just wants me to “understand” and “sympathize”. She would prefer to be emotionally coddled rather than solve the problem.

    1. Oddy enough I observe the very same dynamic between my wife and I. Must be a coinkydink.

      1. Ditto. And if you added up every instance of this, it moves from “anecdote” to “statistic,” validating the writer’s point, which is hatespeech, so we’re all going to burn as heretics.

    2. I suppose it sort of comes down to how much of the difference between men and women comes down to social conditioning and how much is inherent. But even if everything is social conditioning (which seems very unlikely), that’s the world we are in now and you aren’t going to be able to get women on the same exact footing as men in less than a generation or two.

      1. Yeah, this new thing where mental differences are nothing more than social conditioning is absurd. I’m no scientist, but the idea that the very different hormone levels are capable of creating vast physical differences, but have absolutely no affect on the brain, seems to be completely absurd. Why do we accept the notion that our body chemistry creates differences, but not brain chemistry?

        Give me a break.

        1. It’s interesting to look at in the light of the recent prominence of transgender issues. I’m sure there is some good overlap between people who are sure that being transgender really means you should change your body and hormones to be like that of the opposite sex, which would seem to imply something inherently male or female about the human mind, and people who are outraged at the suggestion that perhaps it’s not reasonable to accept the exact same outcomes for men and women in all careers and interests.

        2. Careful, guys. Here is the thing. Yes, there are physiological differences in the brains of men and women. But do these differences necessarily translate to differences in outcome, or are men and women able to overcome these differences? Am I forced to seek a solution when my gf complains, or can I teach myself to listen and emphatize?

          Because if libertarians insist on these inherent differences as drivers of outcome, then similar arguments will have to be applied to socioeconomic environments. People that grow up in poverty, under stress, or in broken families do not have the same brains as people that grow up in a loving upper middle class environment, which predisposes their brains to succeed. If such brain differences drive outcomes, may be the government should do something about it.

          Do you see the danger here?

          1. I never see a danger with acknowledging reality.

            There is a big gap between: a) Maybe many women are simply disinterested in certain types of jobs for these psychological reasons, and b) Women are incapable of doing this, therefore we should ban them from trying.

            I haven’t seen anyone suggest “b,” but I’ve seen lots of “a.” When people start trying to manipulate, coerce, or use government to control because of those differences, then yeah, I’ll start yelling about it.

            In fact, I’ve seen the opposite of “b” a lot, where it’s: We should force women into these jobs, even if they don’t really fit, because “diversity!”

            1. More than once I have suggested the reason there are fewer women in the computer field is because they’re *smarter* than us men, and know not to enter into that dark cesspool of despair.

          2. I’m not assuming or insisting on anything. I just don’t think that there is good reason to assume that career outcomes would be identical for men and women, even with complete social equality (whatever that means). I think it is clear that women can succeed in any field (that doesn’t require a lot of physical strength anyway) that a man can.

            I think it’s a damn good thing that the sexes have become so much more socially equal, and that there is still some progress to be made there. But there’s no reason to assume that men’s and women’s interests and abilities will always, on average, be the same no matter what social changes there are. Which is what would need to be the case if you expect all companies and industries to have compete gender parity at all levels.

            1. I agree. But people tend, even here, to apply such conclusions to predict the behavior of individuals, which is a fallacy.

          3. Careful, guys. Here is the thing. Yes, there are physiological differences in the brains of men and women. But do these differences necessarily translate to differences in outcome, or are men and women able to overcome these differences? Am I forced to seek a solution when my gf complains, or can I teach myself to listen and empathize?

            That larger point is that physiological differences are just one of hundreds (thousands?) of differences amongst that particular applicant pool at the point that the hiring authority made a final decision.

            Because people are always different, there is no reason *any* non-job related-trait should necessarily represented in equal proportion to the aggregate statistics of society at large. As a result, yes, the differences between men and women (if that is the trait in question), along with all of their differences, are sufficient to translate to differences in outcome.

            To take it a step further, when hiring one person individually, by definition that person won’t be representative of society at large. Well, unless some idiot at the company starts hiring based on non-job-related traits. Even then it won’t work.

      2. But even if everything is social conditioning (which seems very unlikely), that’s the world we are in now and you aren’t going to be able to get women on the same exact footing as men in less than a generation or two.

        Even this optimistically assumes that we cut straight to the chase of making women as good as or better than men. Instead, the propensity seems to be to throw a team of mediocrity at the problem and have faith that, because women can empathize better and some of them are women, things will turn out great.

    3. Every time my gf talks about a problem my mind immediately starts searching for a solution or advice on how to avoid something in the future. This pisses her off for some reason. She just wants me to “understand” and “sympathize”. She would prefer to be emotionally coddled rather than solve the problem.

      This is actually a very common phenomenon. It’s one of the reasons why I’m glad I married another engineer. Even she gets annoyed at other women when they whine about some problem without ever bothering to seek a solution. If I had to put up with that all day every day I’d probably stick a shotgun barrel in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes.

      1. I don’t see it as whining. If that is your perspective, you may have poor emotional intelligence. People need empathy. Sometimes the solution is to show empathy and that is what allows people to move on and deal with things.

        1. You don’t know many women do you? They DON’T move on from the problem. They bring it up later or whatever without necessarily solving it. They have better memories for what the problem was.

          I find differences between men and women fascinating.

          Men typically try and solve problems and then brag about the story (solution). Nothing wrong with that and seems to logically tie into our caveman days of hunting and killing and then telling hunting stories around a fire with full bellies.

          Meanwhile, women sat around a different fire and talked about how Blarg was mean to her but gave her a obsidian ring for her birthday and that she has been cheating on Blarg with Meh for many moons.

          1. You don’t respect many women do you?

            Men typically think that when we talk about our emotions that we aren’t intelligent enough to solve our own frickin problems and that MAYBE we just want to share things with someone we care about.

            The woman bitchin’ about Blarg already knows the only solution to him being mean is for her to leave him but has made the intellectual calculations as to just how that will affect her socially and economically and has decided to put up with him being a know-it-all that makes idiot ‘men are,, but women are’ comparisons and seems to think all women are cheating whores (instead of the reverse being statistically far more likely). Complaining in just a way of dealing with a situation you’ve already decided to put up with.

            1. … But complaining about a problem is not a permanent solution to a problem.

        2. I don’t see it as whining. If that is your perspective, you may have poor emotional intelligence.

          I’ve been accused of that before. Probably some truth to it.

        3. you may have poor emotional intelligence

          Or he may have little patience for useless whining.

          -jcr

    4. Every time my gf talks about a problem my mind immediately starts searching for a solution or advice on how to avoid something in the future. This pisses her off for some reason.

      I assume everybody has seen this by now, but just in case:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg

      1. I’ve lived that.

    5. What you have experienced is the central theme of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”.

      When men talk about a problem, they are looking for advice and a possible solution to their problem.

      When women talk about a problem, they want sympathy and understanding, not a solution to the problem.

      1. When the women engineers I work with in my engineering teams talk about an engineering problem they are looking for a solution for the engineering problem. How they communicate with their husbands and boyfriends in private isn’t relevant to this particular topic.

    6. “let the bread, meat and cheese coddle you while you make my sandwich.”

    7. oddly enough, i have that same dynamic with my SJW male roommate

    8. Use some search engine other than Google to find “It’s not about the nail.”

      -jcr

    9. I didn’t even know the theory was controversial — I told my wife during a “discussion” about Google guy that he’s really saying no more than that Men are from Mars and Women are From Venus. All “good” men were supposed to have learned this in order to know how to talk properly to women in their own language.

      But now that the same concept (women are different in various ways, including speech patterns and needs) is brought up in the context of why doesn’t Google have more women engineers, it’s evil and wrong.

      MAKE UP YOUR FREAKIN’ MINDS, LADIES.

      I know that’s not possible, either (stereotype, stereotype, stereotype).

    10. There is a video about that: youtube “not about the nail”
      a classic.

    11. Me too…My god there needs to be an app for this. You insert a solution/advice to start and then it has the steps laid out for you, and then after that your solution/advice reappears at the end. It would save me hours.

  6. His chief mistake and misunderstanding was that this was a subject open for a debate. Narratives aren’t meant to be challenged, only discussed within the scope of the narrative. As per the Chomsky dictum, ” limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”.

  7. I followed somebody’s advice from the comments recently.
    I now use Duckduckgo for searching.

    I know nothing about Duckduckgo except that they aren’t Google, which is enough for me now.

    1. Same here.

    2. Is Ask Jeeves still around?

      1. I’ll go ask Jeeves.

      2. Jeeves joined the glibertarians.

    3. Duckduckgo isn’t merely “not Google”, it doesn’t track you or use your web surfing habits to push certain products in your web searches. The TOR service, which permits anonymous web surfing, uses Duckduckgo.

      Google’s motto was “Don’t be evil!”

      Do you know anyone that gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says “Remember…don’t be evil”?

      “Don’t rape your sister”, “Don’t set fire to any puppies”, “Don’t kidnap and torture little children”.

      But that’s not what Google means. “Don’t be evil” means don’t say anything that might upset a thin skinned neurotic progressive. Helping the Chinese locate and imprison dissidents doesn’t qualify as evil. Suggesting that women might prefer occupations other than engineering more than men do is really evil.

      1. Google’s motto was “Don’t be evil!”

        But we’ve all been reading that wrong; they forgot part of the punctuation. It should read:

        “Don’t. Be evil!”

  8. Damore argues that Google’s corporate culture discourages criticism of company policies and leads employees to feel that they can’t speak openly.

    And then they fell all over themselves in their rush to prove him right.

    Given such alarming headlines, you might expect to find some kind of hateful, invective-filled rant about the innate inferiority of women and perhaps a sandwich joke or two thrown in for good measure.

    That’s what the H&R commentariat is here for. Now make me a sammich!

  9. “In fact, he directly states that he “value[s] diversity and inclusion, [does not deny] that sexism exists, and [does not] endorse using stereotypes.”

    Can everyone please stop quoting this shit? It might very well be true. It might also be complete horseshit. Just because someone says, “i’m not a racist, but…” before they proceed to say some racist shit, doesn’t mean that they’re actually not racist because they gave the disclaimer.

    Don’t repeat his disclaimer. Just judge and report on the memo based on its own merits.

    1. Why should people stop quoting it — after all it’s *part* of the memo. Does he contradict those sentiments and later deny that sexism exists and endorse the use of stereotypes? If so, where?

      1. The point is that the disclaimer means nothing. Either he says sexist things or he doesn’t. That’s what is noteworthy. I guess you could say that it might be noteworthy if he includes those disclaimers and then writes sexist stuff. That might back up an argument that he’s oblivious about his sexism. But, if you don’t consider his thoughts sexist, then his disclaimer is completely irrelevant. The relevant point would be that he doesn’t say anything sexist.

        1. It isn’t irrelevant, because far too many people will make kneejerk reactions to what they *think* the paper (or any similar papers/articles/etc) are about, so you *have* to point it out, because some (or many) of your readers will be too dimwitted to take the paper as a whole.

    2. Can everyone please stop quoting this shit? It might very well be true. It might also be complete horseshit. Just because someone says, “i’m not a racist, but…” before they proceed to say some racist shit, doesn’t mean that they’re actually not racist because they gave the disclaimer.

      At no point after he makes the disclaimer does he say some “[sexist] shit.” Maybe he put those disclaimers in because he was worried that people would take it the wrong way? And of course, everyone still chimped out over it.

      The only thing that could be remotely construed as “sexist” is the use of the word “neurotic,” which he intended in the clinical sense but a lot people misinterpreted. And which he’s admitted was a poor choice of words on his part because of the negative connotation that word has. I don’t see anything in the memo to cause me to doubt that his disclaimers were true or that he was lying about not being a sexist, which makes his disclaimers relevant to any discussion about whether or not he’s a sexist “dude bro” SW engineer.

      Now, if he had done what you seem to assume he did and followed his claims to not be a sexist with a bunch of demeaning, sexist horseshit and maybe some jokes about how all the the women engineers should be making him a sammich, then you might have a point. But you probably didn’t bother reading the unedited version of the document and went straight to maximum outrage for no reason.

      1. I make no such assumption. I have no outrage. I literally think that reporting on the disclaimer is stupid.

        As I say above, reporting on the disclaimer would have value if he then followed it by saying sexist shit. One could argue it demonstrates either he’s unconscious of his bias or that the disclaimer is cynical BS. An example of the former would be “I’m not sexist, but women are simply too emotional to be leaders.” The latter might be, “I’m not racist, but we need to execute all f’ing (n-word)s.”

        If his comments aren’t sexist, then the disclaimer is pointless. “I’m not sexist, but women are valuable members of my team.”

        Disclaimer means nothing. Either his words are reasonably considered sexist, or they aren’t.

        1. Me? I don’t have an issue with what he says. I do have an issue with the mis-characterization of what he’s said that has been the dominant narrative in most of the media.

          But, his disclaimer doesn’t determine whether his content was sexist or not. It just doesn’t do anything for me. The rest of the content speaks for itself.

    3. Can everyone please stop quoting this shit?

      Why no, Tovarisch Zampolit. We will comment in a manner of our choosing, with no regard to your complaints.

      -jcr

  10. Gosh… do you mean to imply that the looter press–the people who advocate the initiation of force to take from others–has actually begun to say things that aren’t true? How can such a thing happen?

  11. Rules of sex discrimination hearings:
    1st RULE: You do not talk about WOMEN.
    2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about WOMEN.
    3rd RULE: If someone says “stop” or goes limp or taps, your job is over.
    4th RULE: Only two guys max to a Title IX hearing.
    5th RULE: One hearing at a time.
    6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.
    7th RULE: Title IX hearings will go on as long as they have to.
    8th RULE: If this is your first Title IX hearing, you HAVE to talk.

  12. It cannot be restated enough how much law has helped create this situation. Every HR department is trained to consider the risks associated with protected classes. Black, female, certain religions, etc. The fear of litigation has allowed the slow creep of the line for “acceptable behavior”. Every time someone says something slightly callous to a protected class, HR and corporate lawyers MUST react, or face liability for their actions. On the flip side being rude to a conservative might get a private talk from your boss to “tone things down just a bit”.

    Year after year, this has continued until HR is filled with people who reflexively act this way, and SJWs have eagerly picked up the call. It is perfectly fine to call someone a close-minded bigot to their face in a meeting because (say) they don’t support gay marriage, but they are not allowed to respond that you are a hot-headed asshole.

    Man, I’ve been watching this in the SV tech industry for 15 years now, and have never seen it so bad.

  13. I think Damore has a viable lawsuit against Google. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who object to what they reasonably believe are violations of Title VII’s prohibitions against employment discrimination based on sex and race. Damore expressed concern that Google’s diversity program constituted unlawful sex and race discrimination. The line between permissible actions to “promote diversity” and unlawful reverse discrimination is quite thin, and his objections sound reasonable. And he was immediately fired for raising them.

    Google will likely respond that he was fired for improper “gender stereotyping,” not for his objection to a possibly unlawful diversity program. But that will give rise to a “who do you believe” scenario that ultimately a jury needs to decide. And once a plaintiff can get a case to a jury, his settlement leverage increases enormously. Don’t be surprised if we hear about Google writing a settlement check for an undisclosed amount in the near future.

    Google is also being investigated by the US Department of Labor for sex discrimination, and it’s reaction to Damore has all the earmarks of a panic reaction. I would have assumed that a company that wealthy could have afforded better lawyers.

    1. If google manages to rent a clue anytime soon, he’ll walk away with a settlement in the low seven figures and a gag order. If they don’t, he’ll get a judgement in the low eight figures, and a book deal.

      -jcr

      1. From what I’ve been seeing of **ALL** Google products and websites (including search), they don’t have one anymore (they might have at one time). They’ll have to go search for one on Bing.

  14. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was also labeled sexist. Lots of money in being sexist.

  15. A couple of comments.

    – Google as a private corporation can fire someone who they think gave them poor publicity. Personally I would not post positions contrary to those of my management on a big employee bulletin board. It’s just not politically smart. I don’t think his lawsuit is going to go anywhere.

    – As a tech person, what I most didn’t like about this fellow’s memo, is that he was making suggestions based on “interests” for all women overall when Google is targeting women who actually get engineering degrees and want to apply to Google. That’s apples to oranges.

    – There are reasons for wanting a “diverse” employee team. Even software engineering is not a solo endeavor. You have to work in big teams. It’s helpful to have people on the team with good communication skills to translate stuff for people outside the immediate group. It’s good to have some leaders have a collaborative instead of a hierarchical style. Sometimes women and other minorities bring these kinds of talents to teams. Not to mention reflecting your customer base for product development.

    Google is not going to “suppress innovation” by targeting more engineers that aren’t cut from the identical stamp that the majority of their present employees are coming from.

    1. – There are reasons for wanting a “diverse” employee team. Even software engineering is not a solo endeavor. You have to work in big teams. It’s helpful to have people on the team with good communication skills to translate stuff for people outside the immediate group. It’s good to have some leaders have a collaborative instead of a hierarchical style.
      Some people bring these kinds of talents to teams.

      There, fixed that for you.

      The talents you mention are readily available across the human spectrum.

      1. Read more carefully. The words I used were “Sometimes women and minorities bring these kinds of talents to teams”. It does not exclude other categories of people who can also bring these qualities to teams.

        Mr Damore made a big deal about differences on the margins between men and women. I was making the point that some differences he is attributing to women (I haven’t done research myself) may be attractive to Google with respect to hiring for technical teams.

        1. IIRC, Damore made the latter point himself.

  16. Why does Reason care what private firms do?

    1. Do private firms not make judgments?

      If multiple companies are present in the exact same market, must our decision of who to choose not depend on the judgments made by said companies?

      As an anecdote: Imagine you’re dating someone who provides everything that you want, but is very close to their batshit crazy parents. You may then decide to no longer date this person. You could think of Reason as a catalyst in this process.

    2. Because the private firms are doing it because of governmental laws that pressure them to favor one side over the other, as a commnter said above.

    3. We’re discussion the premise of what they did, not what they should do.

  17. They shouldn’t have fired Danmore. They didn’t need to and it made a martyr of him. However, he is a “training” snowflake.

    I take mandatory courses on how to not to get myself or my company sued every year for a number of possible things I could do wrong

    – not secure confidential info
    – insider trading
    – bribing vendors or customers by giving them gifts outside of guidelines
    – sexual harrassment and bias

    I don’t get all offended about taking the training. It’s part of working at a big company. Assuming that taking anti-bias training is putting down white males is like assuming that taking insider trading training infers you are likely to be dishonest. The company is trying to keep you from making mistakes that could get you and they in trouble.

    1. Problem is, “diversity training” has been shown to be ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst.

      That’s why he wrote the memo.

  18. I just wonder how these sorts of SJWs would take Robert Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers”, where he suggests men & women are best suited for different jobs; notbecause one gender is superior or inferior to the other, but rather that each is physically better suited to particular tasks, and by accepting that and working *with* the differences works better for everyone. Perhaps the specifics of what makes them different may be a bit off, but the concept of working with your strengths rather than trying a vain battle against them is valid.

    1. We have gotten far too rich and complacent to consider the efficiency and viability of division of labour. Oh and far, far too SJW-ey

  19. Google being the largest corporations in the world giving the large extent of service to the users and the advertising company Google proves to be well known in the world for its browsing services.

    Firefox Customer Service

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