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Hostile-Workplace Laws Helped To Create "Google Memo" Drama [Podcast]

Make no mistake, says Cato Institute's Walter Olson, the government is playing a role in policing speech at your job.

"Many outsiders look at a firing-over-speech and say it's just a private firm's decision. No public policy or First Amendment implications, right?," writes Walter Olson for USA Today. A longtime contributor to Reason, Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who blogs at Overlawyered.com and Cato At Liberty. He stresses that "hostile-environment law is not content-neutral. It plays favorites on topics and it takes sides in debates."

In the latest Reason Podcast, Nick Gillespie talks with Olson about the "Google Memo" case, in which employee James Damore was fired after circulating his opinions about diversity efforts at the search behemoth, and the debate it has started over free speech on the job, political correctness, and workplace diversity.

Audio post production by Ian Keyser.

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  • Charles Easterly||

    Please do not find this offensive in any way, really please don't, because it's not offensive speech, so I need you to understand that our Inclusivity and Diversity doesn't include your kind of people.

  • Longtobefree||

    I feel the workplace growing more and more hostile - - - - - -

  • SQRLSY One||

    "But I'm even far more diverse than you are!"

    Would I be allowed to say that at work?

  • Longtobefree||

    No. Because if you have to say it, you aren't it.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    You have to say "I identify as more diverse than you are".

  • SQRLSY One||

    So if we fight about who is more diverse than the other, than that's pretty divisive, yes? So when we have an "Office of Diversity Against Divisiveness", we really have an "Office of Having Your Cake, and Eating It Too", right? And this is kinda what "Memo Bro" was writing about, maybe?

    I was just reading about the Salem Witch Trials, late 1690s, eve of 1700… They (anit-witch fights) finally went away forever, after the CONTROLLING LEGAL AUTHORITY big-wigs started getting accused of being witches!!! Then it finally all came crashing down…

    Is this the eve, now, of fighting between the diversity-ists and the anti-divisive-ists getting SOOO bad, that the leaders of Google and Government Almighty start getting accused? And then the whole thing starts falling apart?

    One can always hope and dream, right?!?!?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That's because they didn't do it right (see: socialism). It's not the "accused of being witches" part that brought it crashing down, it was the real danger of being held accountable.

    We've been accusing members of the "controlling legal authority" of being much worse for years, and nothing. Proof that we are enslaved by the one true government.

  • Dillinger||

    if you think that, prime for camp.

  • Jerryskids||

    "search behemoth"

    If you think Google's just a search engine, or even primarily a search engine, we need to have a little talk about how when you're getting something for free you're not the customer, you're the product. Google, along with others like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, is the privatized surveillance state and, like with most anything privatized, they're much more efficient than the government. Google may indeed be a search behemoth, but the searching runs in both directions and it ought to be at least a little disconcerting to know how much they know about you and that their mission in life is trying to figure out how to make money selling that information to god knows who for god knows what purpose.

  • ||

    I swear the granny double amputee bukakke porn was for a friend

  • GroundTruth||

    what happened to "don't be evil"?

  • Mmmmmm||

    My concern is that Google has shown they'll make offenses up to burn an employee because they don't like his politics.

    How long til they start doing that to customers?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    You are probably not actually one of Google's customers. Have you ever directly paid them for anything?

  • Mmmmmm||

    Yes actually, I use Youtube red, and pay for it.

    So, anything else?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    You're an exception then.

  • Mmmmmm||

    Exception among what? Customers? Because I specifically mentioned customers, and I doubt I'm an exception among customers if I'm paying.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Google, as a company is really no different than radio stations or tv stations (NBC/CBS etc.) No one 'paid' to watch TV. You used their free services and they made their money from ads.

  • Mmmmmm||

    But I do pay.

    Maybe I don't understand your point, but I pay them for youtube red, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

    Youtube red is a paid service.

    And, despite where this has gone, I didn't say "customers" when I actually meant "users".

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Doesn't anyone who buys an app from the Google play store buy something from them?

    But even if you're right, Google's customers are mostly advertisers. They have the same relationship to their consumers that NBC had to its viewers.

  • Mmmmmm||

    "Doesn't anyone who buys an app from the Google play store buy something from them?"

    Yes. Or an android phone. Or google music. You get the gist.

    "Doesn't anyone who buys an app from the Google play store buy something from them?"

    I'm not sure that would be true if you count android phones. In fact, I'd bet money it's not true.

    Even so, I'm not sure what this has to do with my original point.

  • Mmmmmm||

    Sorry, cut and last f-ed up there...

  • Mmmmmm||

    Paste. Jesus Christ I'm done.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Need an edit button. Or maybe not. LOL

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    Do you think your role as a customer entitles you to a place on their HR team?

  • SusanM||

    The more diversity there is diverse it gets.

  • SusanM||

    The more diversity there is diverse it gets.

  • SusanM||

    The more diversity there is diverse it gets.

  • SusanM||

    The squirrels love bad puns, I see.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    nice.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Can anyone tell me what benefits we accrue from diversity that come anywhere to compensating for the amount of bullshit we've had to endure to achieve it?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Diversity that happens naturally is fantastic.

    Diversity managed by some pencil-neck with a three ring binder and a clipboard? Fuck that in the ear.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes. Well said too.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Workplace diversity is mostly meaningless but diversity in genes is the propeller of evolution.

  • Mmmmmm||

    No actually, mutation is the propeller of evolution.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Genetic diversity fosters mutation.

    But don't argue if you're just anti-Buttplug.

  • Sevo||

    How about if we're just anti-stupid?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Go back to Bratfart.com Sevo.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|8.11.17 @ 10:08PM|#
    "Go back to Bratfart.com Sevo."

    More stupid from turd.
    You've spent years accusing me of defending the GOP and never found one case of it. So now you lower the stupid bar and accuse me of something equally false.
    Go fuck your daddy, turd. It's the best use of your time, and keeps you of making an ass of yourself here.

  • Bra Ket||

    Relating political arguments to genetics and evolution can only lead to depraved and taboo thoughts.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Rebel yell: Southern nationalists again crying 'secede'

    "The South has been at odds with the rest of the nation for generations over issues including education, race, politics, shared history and religion, Thompson said in a telephone interview, and some things just don't change.

    "It's not that just the rest of the country would be better off without them," he said. "It's that everyone would be better off without them, both sides."

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/.....spartanntp

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    I say let them go. It's either me or them.

  • Mark22||

    He stresses that "hostile-environment law is not content-neutral. It plays favorites on topics and it takes sides in debates."

    Just wait until Mr. Olson figures out that water is wet and that sex is fun!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bill Maher: Trump and Kim Jung-An just met at the Hair Club for Tyrants..

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|8.11.17 @ 10:05PM|#
    "Bill Maher: Trump and Kim Jung-An just met at the Hair Club for Tyrants.."

    Turd. Stupid for those who didn't realize how deep it could be.
    Fuck off.

  • ||

    Was that supposed to be a funny by Maher?

    Har, har, har.

    Not.

  • SamHell||

    Sounds like Google firing Memoman for wrong think may be. discriminating against people with Aspergers/autism (which is common among nerdy types).
    I'm having trouble with links so bear with me:

  • Sevo||

    Haven't seen that, but:

    "Ads Posted Near Google's LA Office Blast Firing of Memo-Sending Employee"
    [...]
    "Fake advertisements bashing Google appeared near its Venice, California offices Friday in response to the company's decision to fire an employee who emailed a memo criticizing the company's efforts to increase diversity.
    Billboards posted on bus stops and bench ads in the neighborhood include using the company's signature rainbow font to spell out "Goolag," a play on a name for Soviet-era labor camps — where dissent was crushed. Another advertisement juxtaposes Google CEO Sundar Pichai with late Apple boss Steve Jobs. It includes Apple's "Think different" slogan, with a fake Google motto responding to that, saying "Not So Much."
    http://www.sfgate.com/entertai.....759551.php

    Think, uh, pretty much like the VP in Charge of Good-Think thinks. Or claims to.

  • Sevo||

    "Backup" is a mystery to some of us, with dire consequences:

    "Musician killed in Oakland while trying to retrieve stolen laptop"
    [...]
    "Witnesses said the 40-year-old Deporis grabbed on to the side of a red Audi sport utility vehicle the robber jumped in and was briefly dragged until he slipped beneath the wheels of the vehicle and was run over.
    [...]
    Deporis kept all of his music on the stolen laptop, said Chris Vogel, a close friend."
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/.....748739.php

    Never heard of the guy, but he's getting sympathetic ink, 'cause he's an "artist". But seemingly not too bright.

  • ||

    That's sad. Guy saw his life in that laptop and died for it.

    I hope the person who killed him gets what he deserves.

  • SamHell||

    Fuck it just search:
    quillette neurodiversity-case-free-speech

  • SamHell||

    What HTML code are you using Sevo? Or is it because I'm on an Android?

  • Sevo||

    Sam, as an old fart, I have this limit of effort; Want me to post here? Make it easy.
    Reason used to get 4-figure donations from me; they now get none, simply because they make it tough on you and me to post here. Besides which, I'm looking for some measurable results for my dough (See Institute for Justice if you want results)
    What you see above is a link to a site which auto-shrinks to a size that amateur sites like Reason will accept.
    So, when I get a 'too-long' link that won't post and Reason won't accommodate it, there are two choices:
    1) Post the link by sticking spaces in at random to lower the character count and let the reader remove them.
    2) Tell Welsh he's running a pathetic excuse for a web site and he'll get no money until he fixes it, and don't bother.
    3) Both. My choice. Welsh, the check this year didn't get there. No reason to spend $0.45 to send a check in the amount of $0.00. Hope you cashed it, sukka!

  • Sevo||

    That's AMATEUR SITES, Welsh. Did you get that?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If you out it in a hyperlink tag you can post arbitrarily long links condensed down to text

  • loveconstitution1789||

    short-url
    Paste your desired link into "full-URL" and comment in "short-URL" and presto!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    a href="full-url">short-url
    add an < before the letter a. I had to do it this way so it would appear.

  • SamHell||

    Sure, that would be swell if you posted it.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

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