Author Topic: Google manifesto  (Read 15351 times)

JoshCrow

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Google manifesto
« on: August 08, 2017, 12:20:37 AM »
So apparently you can get fired for your wrong opinion, even if that opinion is presented constructively in a reasonably well-assembled argument that also calls for civil discussion.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/7/16111052/google-james-damore-fired-anti-diversity-manifesto

Seriously, I'm wishing I could kick Google in the metaphorical nuts right now. Anyone have any idea how I can add my voice to the chorus opposing this behavior?

I'm not a conservative, but I'm increasingly siding with them. This is an outrage.

TheDeamon

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 12:54:54 AM »
That chorus enabled Trump's path to the White House.

I find it somewhat interesting and ironic that the Diversity VP Officer seemed inclined to take no action, and it required higher authorities becoming involved before the guy was canned because of "employee feedback" on his memo. I guess. Which then caused senior leadership to decide it actually was in violation of company policy. Not fun for Google either way, they were going to lose, and the left-wits have longer fangs than the conservatives do at this point in time.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 01:01:39 AM by TheDeamon »

Crunch

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 08:54:10 AM »
Quote
The engineer, James Damore, confirmed his firing in an email to Bloomberg, saying he was terminated for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

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Both Google and the journalists behind earlier reports on the screed originally declined to name Damore, citing his personal safety.

All together, this pretty much displays the tone in America and why Trump came to power. Simply saying something not approved by SJW's and the alt-left, no matter how supported and constructed the argument, it's labeled a "screed", you're fired for saying it, and you're in serious danger of violence.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 09:20:40 AM »
The 'manifesto' is apparently intended to suggest practices for Google to help offset the gender gap at the company, just in such ways that don't use what he considers sexist or racist policies. Examples of the latter include training programs offered only to people of certain gender/race in order to promote diversity at Google. In other words, affirmative action. But I like how his stated goal is to find alternate (fair) means of creating more workplace diversity, and because he condemns "leftist" policies he is a racist/sexist, and according to the title of the article, is "anti-diversity". Also worth noting is that part of what he discusses in terms of workplace diversity is that the environment seems almost hostile towards people who are more conservative or Republican, which creates a strong confirmation bias in the internal Google culture. He points out that this can be bad for business because only one side of each argument in heard in terms of company policy. You'd be surprised (actually you wouldn't) how many people posting about this say that he should have known better than to open his mouth and tell anyone these ideas, because it would obviously get him in trouble, and that if he doesn't like the tone of Google he should go work somewhere else. Which is all but saying that Google is an openly liberal-aligned company and that conservatives aren't welcome. I guess diversity is just about what a person looks like and not about who a person is. The sad part is how much people seem to cynically just assume that stating one's opinion on this subject will get you in trouble; it seems to be taken for granted now that a person will be punished for their political beliefs. Also sad is that people seem to be blaming him for writing it, rather than blaming the person who spread it around when it was only intended for HR people as a suggestion to improve the company (from what I read).

Mynnion

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
I have been trying to find out who he actually sent the manifesto to.  At a corporate level sending an unsolicited email that is critical of the company is not exactly a smart move depending on those it was sent to. 

Google could have used the incident as an opportunity to look at the factors that prevent women from following tech jobs rather than silencing the dissenting voice.  Instead they took the easy way out and squelched it.  To me Google appears to have weighted the risks of keeping Damore and decided that it wasn't worth the possible negative press especially with the lens already focused on Silicon Valley for it's lack of diversity.


Mynnion

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 09:34:54 AM »
Don't immediately assume that "Liberals" support Google's actions.  Huffington Post just reported the story.  A CNN Editorial said Google went too far.  I will withhold judgement until I know who this was sent to.  If it was management and HR then I believe he had every right to express his thoughts and concerns and actually should as a good employee.  If it was sent out to a general audience then while firing him may have been extreme sending the memo would have been extremely inappropriate.

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 10:05:39 AM »
The memo was posted to an internal Google message board, from what I gather. The company response:

Quote
To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. ... The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being “agreeable” rather than “assertive,” showing a “lower stress tolerance,” or being “neurotic.”

At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent. So to be clear again, many points raised in the memo — such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all — are important topics. The author had a right to express their views on those topics — we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.

The past few days have been very difficult for many at the company, and we need to find a way to debate issues on which we might disagree — while doing so in line with our Code of Conduct.

If he had just stayed away from declaring women biologically less suitable, and including calling them more neurotic, I think he could have kept his job (but probably eliminating much chance for promotion).

His motivation is unclear, since presumably he could have brought this through quiet channels rather than publicly and with the language he used. It was basically like hanging a poster that said "women are inferior". I suspect he wanted the reaction he got, to act the martyr.

JoshCrow

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 10:08:17 AM »
How everyone gets to "women are inferior" from "women are different" is deeply troubling. It's like declaring a wrench to be inferior to a hammer. There's this weird value-attribution going on.

Are men "inferior" for not wanting to be nurses or veterinarians as much as women because of biological factors (among others)?

Great analysis by Scott Alexander here: http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 10:10:36 AM by JoshCrow »

NobleHunter

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 10:22:38 AM »
How everyone gets to "women are inferior" from "women are different" is deeply troubling. It's like declaring a wrench to be inferior to a hammer. There's this weird value-attribution going on.

Are men "inferior" for not wanting to be nurses or veterinarians as much as women because of biological factors (among others)?

Great analysis by Scott Alexander here: http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/
I think "more neurotic" implies inferiority. It's also a short step from biological differences to biologically inferior. I'm not sure how well he keeps from taking that step.

JoshCrow

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 10:32:53 AM »
I think "more neurotic" implies inferiority. It's also a short step from biological differences to biologically inferior. I'm not sure how well he keeps from taking that step.

He qualified that as higher anxiety and lower stress tolerance. I dunno, I'm plenty aware of bad things one could say about men on average but none of that points to "inferior". It's again like judging a wrench to be bad because it isn't interested in pounding nails.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 10:46:52 AM »
I think "more neurotic" implies inferiority. It's also a short step from biological differences to biologically inferior. I'm not sure how well he keeps from taking that step.

He qualified that as higher anxiety and lower stress tolerance. I dunno, I'm plenty aware of bad things one could say about men on average but none of that points to "inferior". It's again like judging a wrench to be bad because it isn't interested in pounding nails.

His intention seems to have been to try to explain why there might be a natural gender gap in tech industries based on preferred work environments for men/women, such that there can be causes attributed to it other than "sexism". Now, someone who believes that women are less inclined or even less suited for that industry may well have a sexist personal belief, but they don't need to just because they believe it. I can say that women are worse at basketball than men, and not have to conclude that women are inferior than men, even though I am by definition saying that are inferior at basketball. This is a fine point to make and indeed we see resistance to even the ability to speak of obvious physiological differences in sports, which briefly made a rise recently with the McEnroe controversy.

Now the tech industry isn't sports and it isn't automatically intuitive as it is with basketball that one sex should have an advantage over the other or in any case prefer certain lines of work. But the fact that the issue is more complex doesn't mean there is no data and no case to be made. I don't know if women are better/worse suited to certain jobs, or if they just plain don't like certain jobs (which are not exclusive categories), but if someone is proposing an explanation of why this might be I wouldn't dismiss it just because the answers don't look good. Arguing, for instance, that women are less tolerant of workplaces stresses doesn't even mean they wouldn't contribute other positive things to the environment that men wouldn't; it just means they would be less likely to end up in that field regardless of their capabilities. "More neurotic" does sound like less of a positive statement, objectively speaking, however again the question isn't whether what he said was complimentary, but rather whether it was true. Identifying true things, even if unsavory, ought to certainly be the best way to improve working conditions for women and to make certain jobs more attractive to them.

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 11:05:31 AM »
You should read his whole memo. He talks about the benefit and adaptability of stereotypes, among other things. His graph and words clearly indicate that on average, he believes men are better at the job. While he does take pains to acknowledge that those ranges overlap, this isn't really his major point.

After all, there are female tennis players, golfers, and ballers that could kick the asses of the majority of males on this earth. It is only at the elite level where those things come into play.

It seems that he was really hot about programs benefitting PoC and women even existing. And there was an argument to be made about that, although I personally am in favor of such programs. I suspect Google would have allowed that debate to occur, although it is impossible to say.

Judging people based on gender stereotypes is inherently foolish.

JoshCrow

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 11:13:51 AM »
It seems that he was really hot about programs benefitting PoC and women even existing. And there was an argument to be made about that, although I personally am in favor of such programs. I suspect Google would have allowed that debate to occur, although it is impossible to say.

Actually he proposed programs benefitting PoC and women, a point that I think is getting lost here. They just took a different form than the usual thrust of such programs (combatting bias, etc.). I think it's commendable to bring new strategies to the table when you want to tear down the old ones.

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Judging people based on gender stereotypes is inherently foolish.

Let me suggest that you really mean judging individuals based on gender stereotypes is foolish. Judging in aggregate form is wholly appropriate when your mission is expressly to enact policy.

It's also not like he proposed that Google should build a "crying room" for sad, stressed women. :)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 11:16:17 AM by JoshCrow »

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 11:22:33 AM »
TheDrake,

There's a difference between saying that women shouldn't be working for Google, which didn't say, and saying that women on average might not be as well suited to working there. The former would be prescriptive; the latter is simply descriptive. The fact that it sounds unflattering is immaterial to its truth value. And you are right that whether or not one is in favor of special programs to increase diversity is a matter of personal opinion, rather than being an absolute fact about which one side is correct.

Regarding sports (and indirectly, Google), the issue of the disparity in capability only kicking in at the highest level is a misleading truism. Yes, at the highest level it's most apparent since the best are shown against the best. In common life when we play a pick-up game we don't have the best players of either sex, and so it's in a sense random whether or not an excellent female player will be present and be able to crush the less skilled males. But that has to do with the small sample size of a typical game and has nothing to do with average capability based on sex. Creating a team to have fun would probably lead to a priority of it being a fun environment; creating a team to win would require looking for optimal members. That team could certainly include women but if you looked at the end result and a ten person team ended up with one woman on it you shouldn't need to scratch your head trying to figure out why. The biological/social component is not as clear-cut for certain sectors of the marketplace, and so rather than it being obvious one must search for why the disparity in representation is present. Suggesting that it's because men have a natural advantage might be true or false, but it isn't sexist. Again, one might be inclined to zero in on the word "neurotic" and ignore the broader issue, but I think you've misunderstood what his intent here is.

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Judging people based on gender stereotypes is inherently foolish.

If he was using his general argument as a reason not to hire a qualified woman then you'd have a point. But if he's using it merely to explain why women don't apply to work there in the first place then you're off base.

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 12:21:49 PM »
Except from what we see, the opposite is true. His data is hypothetical whereas real data suggests that there is no difference in inherent ability. The programs that he is disparaging are attempting to overcome the stereotypical gender bias that he embraces.

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If women made those requests to an outsider and their user profiles did not identify them as women, the requests were accepted 71.8 percent of the time. But if they made the requests using a profile that identified them as women, the acceptance rate dropped to 62.5 percent.

Study


Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2017, 12:49:06 PM »
TheDrake,

It's irrelevant to the issue whether or not his points are accurate. Everything he says might be flat wrong, in which case the result should be for HR to read his statement and reject it because it's not representative of reality. And it should end there. Or they could even bring him in for an interview to assess whether his positions were indicative of a sexist mentality or not, if they had concerns about his views of his female co-workers. But once the document was released to the general public the game was over, obviously.

But I did read the letter, which is here:

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

Most of the descriptors he uses about women are in fact complimentary, as he describes them as being more agreeable than men, being better as interacting with people, more cooperative, and prioritizing a better work-life balance than men do. In short, they're too sensible to get into high-stress annoying careers that involve a lot of non-human work (like sitting in front of a PC all day). You can yea or nay any of these arguments, but they are not inherently sexist. His point is that the disparity in representation in tech may be due to the fact that women prefer other kinds of work on average, and he repeatedly says that biological differences may be part of this. Bottom line, the letter reads as dispassionately addressing the issue, and simply holds the opinion that trying to force a 50/50 gender balance in the workplace is counterproductive.

EDIT - Here's a quote from his concluding statements:

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I hope it’s clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that
we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of
those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that
don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender
roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another
member of their group (tribalism).
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 12:52:23 PM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2017, 01:34:14 PM »
I will say that this generally does highlight why we should downplay anonymous sources and "reports" of what something contained. This document bears little resemblance to the one being described in media as "anti-diversity". Had this not been released (leaked!) to the public, it would simply be "according to employees who have seen the memo" and been stripped of any nuance.

I think he would have been far more effective doling these ideas out one at a time, instead of balling up his metaphorical fists and letting the whole thing fly at once.

Should he be fired? Moot point. According to his own description, Google should operate based on a calculation of net benefit. Clearly, the *censored*storm would have cost them far more than the lawsuit they may have to settle with him. Only a moralistic viewpoint would have them keep him on staff in the name of free speech, and he's not in favor of doing things based on morals.

Crunch

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2017, 02:30:59 PM »
Google management is starting to blacklist people.

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“While Google appears to be doing very little to quell the hostile voices that exists inside the company, I want those hostile voices to know: I will never, ever hire hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit of technically excellent or whatever,” declared former employee Adam Fletcher in a post on Google’s internal, staff-only Google+ network: “Internal Plus.” “I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.”

“You’re being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google,” he continued. “You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.”

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“One of the great things about Google’s internal communication mechanisms (G+, mailing lists, etc), is that, as a manager, I can easily go find out if I really want to work with you,” wrote another individual described on social media as a Google manager, Collin Winter. “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”

Of cousrse, no true left wing event is complete without the threat pf violence:
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The employee’s manifesto quickly prompted extreme responses from left-wing users, including one SJW, Emily Gorcenski, who claimed she would “beat the sh*t out of him.”

Gorcenski frequently retweets and expresses support for It’s Going Down, an extremist far-left Antifa organization, who have previously doxed and harassed college students, and encouraged violence against Trump supporters.

More than one google employee is demanding the firing of anyone that supported Damore. A purge of those engaged is wrongthink, couldn't they just go for reeducation?  Maybe a labor camp?

JoshCrow

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2017, 02:34:06 PM »
A little relevant comedy from the Simpsons...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64PKoAiWhjE

Wayward Son

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2017, 02:40:28 PM »
It's strange that a guy with a PhD in Systems Biology has so little understanding of biology.

Quote
Quote
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

Yes, there are real biological differences. But what are they?

•Name these universal differences. Which ones are relevant to working as an engineer at Google? Do you realize that engineering, Google, and even working are socially constructed concepts? I rather doubt that we evolved sex differences in being able to code in Java or Python.

•Which of these differences have clear biological causes linked to prenatal testosterone? I can think of a few: gonadal differentiation and formation of the external genitalia. Unless you’re banging out code with your testicles these are not relevant to working as an engineer at Google. The factors that do affect competence at engineering do not have clear biological causes.

•“Biological” (I am learning to hate that modifier in these contexts) males that were not castrated at birth may still identify and act like females, whatever that means. What does it mean to act like a male or female? Do you realize that those terms are largely socially constructed?

•Which traits are highly heritable? Producing sperm? Excessive body hair? Liking to watch football? Are these relevant to working as an engineer at Google, and what makes you think they’re exclusive to “biological” males?

•Since the whole point of evolutionary psychology is to make up evidence to justify the status quo, that is a true statement, since EP predicts everything after the fact. It’s just not much of an endorsement to cite quack science in favor of your claims.

I agree that sex differences aren’t just socially constructed. If you’re born with a penis (a biological property), you will experience a different social environment than if you’re born with a vagina, or if you’re born intersex. You will then experience a cascade of influences that shape how you think about the world, including how you think about sex, and sometimes you’re born with, or acquire responses to gender that do not match narrow preconceptions about how men and women should be. It is flatly absurd to try and reduce the factors that make up a human being to “biological” or “social”. Biology modifies culture, and culture modifies biology. Neither stand alone.

He then builds on this weird misunderstood picture of biology to argue for encouraging more conservative thinking. I don’t get the connection. Does he think political ideology is heritable, and that it is linked to sex?

While he criticizes the Google "echo chamber," he is apparently a victim of his own echo chamber. :)

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2017, 03:10:47 PM »
Should he be fired? Moot point. According to his own description, Google should operate based on a calculation of net benefit. Clearly, the *censored*storm would have cost them far more than the lawsuit they may have to settle with him.

True, and the harm done to get to this point was perpetrated by whomever spread the letter around, not by its author. So while it's clearly possible for a person's reputation to be ruined by a Twitter mob (as we've seen many times before) blaming the target of the attacks is hardly constructive. The fact that the target may nevertheless have to be relocated to protect him/her from the angry mob is unrelated to the desire to assign guilt to the target, as in having "asked for it" or "deserving it" (victim blaming).

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Only a moralistic viewpoint would have them keep him on staff in the name of free speech, and he's not in favor of doing things based on morals.

Did you get this from somewhere in the document? I read nothing of the kind. What he says is this:

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My concrete suggestions are to:
De-moralize diversity.
○ As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”

This doesn't in any way mean that morality should literally not be part of the equation. What he says is that certain issues (like diversity) should not me turned into moral issues involving good and evil. There are no doubt other issues that he would consider legitimate moral considerations, but here he is simply stating that diversity should not be one of them. Might I hazard a guess that you were reading his comments through Objectivist glasses? A true anti-morality argument for the workplace, such as we see in Rand's works, is a radical viewpoint and it would take some pretty specific arguments being made for us to conclude that that is actually what someone like this means. I see no evidence of that here.

While he criticizes the Google "echo chamber," he is apparently a victim of his own echo chamber. :)

Even if you are correct this is a red herring. So what if his opinions are biased by an echo chamber? That doesn't invalidate them, it just means he may not be totally accurate in his assessment. The issue of how accurate his comments are is a distraction from the issue, which is whether wrong opinions should get you fired, and whether messages meant for a select group should be circulated widely without asking permission of the author first and then treated as if he addressed the general public in the first place. And incidentally, if he does live in an echo chamber, well at this point who can blame him? The more each side becomes entrenched and unreceptive to the other side the more a person will tend towards one of those polarities and move away from the center. Before blaming someone for being on the other side of an echo chamber chasm you should consider whether personally being on your side of it isn't in part responsible for that.

LetterRip

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2017, 03:29:33 PM »
NobleHunter

Quote
I think "more neurotic" implies inferiority. It's also a short step from biological differences to biologically inferior. I'm not sure how well he keeps from taking that step.

He was using the correct term, it was a reference to the five factor OCEAN personality model - openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.  Women on average are far higher on neuroticism.

Quote
A study of gender differences in 55 nations using the Big Five Inventory found that women tended to be somewhat higher than men in neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The difference in neuroticism was the most prominent and consistent, with significant differences found in 49 of the 55 nations surveyed. Gender differences in personality traits are largest in prosperous, healthy, and more gender-egalitarian cultures.

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

I've just lost a lot of respect for google.

NobleHunter

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2017, 03:33:08 PM »
The "select" group was apparently Google employees. If he didn't expect it to attract broader attention, especially given that it touches on matters that are under investigation, he's an idiot.

If I were a lawyer pursuing a discrimination against Google, this would be a godsend. An engineer should be aware that everything written by employees may be used against the company. Failing to respect that principle alone is reason to fire him.

LetterRip

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2017, 03:42:28 PM »
Wayward Son,

Quote
It's strange that a guy with a PhD in Systems Biology has so little understanding of biology.

It sort of pisses me off when people make such blatantly false accussations (not you per say, but the source you are quoting).

He was absolutely right about the testosterone.  He was talking about it in relationship to seeking leadership positions, seeking promotion, willingness to negotiate aggressively, etc.

He also pointed out systematizing vs collaborating differences (which are related to INTEREST in coding vs other careers, and somewhat related to capability in coding). As well as willingness to do unpleasant and boring jobs for status value.

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2017, 03:52:38 PM »
This doesn't in any way mean that morality should literally not be part of the equation. What he says is that certain issues (like diversity) should not me turned into moral issues involving good and evil. There are no doubt other issues that he would consider legitimate moral considerations, but here he is simply stating that diversity should not be one of them. Might I hazard a guess that you were reading his comments through Objectivist glasses? A true anti-morality argument for the workplace, such as we see in Rand's works, is a radical viewpoint and it would take some pretty specific arguments being made for us to conclude that that is actually what someone like this means. I see no evidence of that here.

So diversity should not be turned into a moral issue, but free speech should be? They are both moralistic in their basis, in that they can be framed as "It is wrong to fire somebody for anything they might say publicly in the company anonymous chat groups."

One can easily contruct a moral argument "It is right to give additional assistance to people in order to create a more diverse workspace." He's asking for a cold calculus about net benefit, and by the same math is subject to such calculations. Otherwise his statement would have to be "only sometimes should we consider the net benefit to the company over our moral arguments."

As for objectivism, it certainly would not allow for such programs. Primarily because in the idealistic world of Rand, it simply wouldn't be possible to have a racial or gender bias and they would not be needed. Naturally, we're far from that utopia. At the same time, objectivism easily supports firing an employee that has diminished his value by antagonizing co-workers and would cry out at the idea that someone could get sued for telling him to take a hike.


LetterRip

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2017, 03:58:56 PM »
Regarding the open source female contributors - they aren't at all normally sampled from all women who can code, and those with multiple contributions, and hence subject to this analysis, even more dramatically skew the distribution.  A woman is unlikely to have multiple contributions to open source unless she is already well into the top 1% of female programmers.


TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2017, 04:03:41 PM »
That's fair, LR. But what it does do is demonstrate clear bias on the part of the reviewers, doesn't it? Whether or not the raw stats would hold up for a wider sampling, I agree, cannot be determined.

It is more undermined by thinking about whether the males selection bias is representative. Perhaps only dudes in open source have this bias, and it can't be extended to the wider population.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2017, 04:12:35 PM »
So diversity should not be turned into a moral issue, but free speech should be? They are both moralistic in their basis, in that they can be framed as "It is wrong to fire somebody for anything they might say publicly in the company anonymous chat groups."

Are you trying to have a debate with me, or with him? I can talk about this issue with you if you like, and would be happy to do so, but at present I'm discussing what he is trying to say. I'm neither advocating nor endorsing his opinion, nor arguing for or against its accuracy or coherence. He said he doesn't believe diversity should be a moral issue, and that is his position, which is different from what you said, which was attributing him as having said that morality shouldn't be a consideration in the marketplace (which I suggested was an Objectivist viewpoint, but not his).

If we want to get even more specific about what he said, I suspect implicit in his view is that diversity has become morality-based insofar as certain opinions about diversity have been categorized by the left as "good" and certain opinions as "evil", and that believing one versus the other gets you branded as being moral or immoral. So maybe we could interpret his comments as implying that at present the morality involved is dogmatic and therefore discriminatory towards people who believe differently (which is the entire thesis of his letter). So it's a bit unclear whether he intends to convey that morality should never be involved in the discussion about diversity, or whether it shouldn't be involved in the manner it is now, where people treat you as the devil for disagreeing. Broadly speaking you are right that it's difficult to frame any issue in entirely non-moral terms and to rest no premise on any moral statement. Charitably, I think it would therefore be fair to suggest he means that while there may be some moral conclusions that can be drawn on the topic, but that at present rational, clear thought should be the manner of dealing with it since when people involve moral terms it degenerates into emotionality and bias.

LetterRip

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2017, 04:47:41 PM »
TheDrake,

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That's fair, LR. But what it does do is demonstrate clear bias on the part of the reviewers, doesn't it? Whether or not the raw stats would hold up for a wider sampling, I agree, cannot be determined.

It is more undermined by thinking about whether the males selection bias is representative. Perhaps as only dudes in open source have this bias, and it can't be extended to the wider population.

The reporting of the study was misleading,  "gendered" accounts of either sex had reduced rates of acceptance vs neutered accounts,

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What is glossed over by the authors of the paper is that men also have a drop in acceptance if their gender is known, compared to gender neutral accounts. Although, it does appear to be a smaller drop than the one faced by women.

Also of interest, something left out of the paper,

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Our analysis (not in this paper — we’ve cut a lot out to keep it crisp) shows that women are harder on other women than they are on men. Men are harder on other men than they are on women.

https://techraptor.net/content/does-study-prove-bias-open-source

The whole article there is worth reading (I vaguely recall a more devasting critique of the study, but can't find it offhand).

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2017, 05:05:22 PM »
Are you trying to have a debate with me, or with him? I can talk about this issue with you if you like, and would be happy to do so, but at present I'm discussing what he is trying to say.

If we want to get even more specific about what he said, I suspect implicit in his view is that diversity has become morality-based insofar as certain opinions about diversity have been categorized by the left as "good" and certain opinions as "evil", and that believing one versus the other gets you branded as being moral or immoral. So maybe we could interpret his comments as implying that at present the morality involved is dogmatic and therefore discriminatory towards people who believe differently (which is the entire thesis of his letter). So it's a bit unclear whether he intends to convey that morality should never be involved in the discussion about diversity, or whether it shouldn't be involved in the manner it is now, where people treat you as the devil for disagreeing. Broadly speaking you are right that it's difficult to frame any issue in entirely non-moral terms and to rest no premise on any moral statement. Charitably, I think it would therefore be fair to suggest he means that while there may be some moral conclusions that can be drawn on the topic, but that at present rational, clear thought should be the manner of dealing with it since when people involve moral terms it degenerates into emotionality and bias.

It seems more to me that he is pronouncing his own moral views as superior. His description of company programs as "unfair" is a right/wrong judgement.

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Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

I particularly like the verb tense error in a statement describing his high degree of conscientiousness in a memo for widespread consumption at Google, though this could be a transcription problem and not in the original.

rightleft22

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2017, 05:35:50 PM »
This all just makes me sad
Is it a common thing for employees to send email manifesto's company wide?

I have a military back ground so its nothing I would have even thought of doing.

Crunch

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2017, 06:48:20 PM »
This all just makes me sad
Is it a common thing for employees to send email manifesto's company wide?

I have a military back ground so its nothing I would have even thought of doing.
If the company you work for openly makes a big deal out of ideological and/or political activism, it's not surprising that employees would engage in such things. Just as it's not surprising he got the reaction he did, he posited double plus ungood thought crimes. This is really gonna cost the guy. If he'd just voiced approved thoughts, he'd probably be up for a promotion.

How'd you like to be one of his friends or had voiced any support for his right to speak and still work at googke today?  Those people are getting industry blacklisted today.  Remember when blacklisting people due to political beliefs was not cool?  I sure do.

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2017, 07:17:04 PM »
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How'd you like to be one of his friends or had voiced any support for his right to speak and still work at googke today?  Those people are getting industry blacklisted today.  Remember when blacklisting people due to political beliefs was not cool?  I sure do.

When those political beliefs are detrimental to the company, I think its positive. I don't think too many companies would let you hang Nazi gear in your cube at any point since WW2. Which this isn't close too, but lets not pretend that there isn't a line, the question is where it belongs.

Remember when everybody got blacklisted for being interested in Communism? That was pretty bad - partly because there were some people caught up in it who had never said anything about it in their workplace. Remember when people could get fired just for talking about unions? I think that happened last week. This isn't just some new thing that just happens to people with conservative views.

LetterRip

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2017, 07:36:07 PM »
Interestingly California holds political views to be a protected class; and he had filed a complaint a while prior.  So Google could have a lawsuit on their hands for wrongful termination.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2017, 08:58:52 PM »
It seems more to me that he is pronouncing his own moral views as superior. His description of company programs as "unfair" is a right/wrong judgement.

You are confusing moral (good/evil) with successful (better/worse). He is arguing that the way in which diversity is being sought is bad for the company in the long run and that he has proposals to do it another way. He goes out of his way to specify near the end that he isn't taking a dig on the idea of diversity and is merely suggesting a superior way of pursuing it that doesn't involve discrimination. It seems like you're trying to equivocate what he's saying in order to try to catch him in a contradiction or something. Why? Even if he had slipped up and made an error in his argument, who the heck cares? This isn't about whether he should be awarded a honorary doctorate in social studies, but about whether he was dismissed for offering a constructive and civil opinion. It sort of seems like you're sure he did something wrong, but you're still searching for exactly what that thing is so you can pin it on him. What's the purpose of figuring out how he can be framed as a bad guy in this scenario? Do you have shares in Google or something?

When those political beliefs are detrimental to the company, I think its positive. I don't think too many companies would let you hang Nazi gear in your cube at any point since WW2. Which this isn't close too, but lets not pretend that there isn't a line, the question is where it belongs.

You're making two separate arguments here. First you're saying that his beliefs are detrimental to the company. And why would that be? Because they've created an environment where activists in their employ have been made aware that their opinions are going to be championed and contrary opinions are going to be shut down, so they can adopt a comfortably militant position on them knowing there will be no opposition? Why how nice for them. Maybe the blame for the firestorm that erupts when someone actually does offer a contrary opinion should be attributed to the entitlement the activists feel when their sacred cows are challenged, rather than to the fact that not every person shares a hive mind and agrees with everyone else. In fact, this is part of the main thesis of the article as well, which is that conservative views cannot be freely expressed, even though the author personally knows several people who privately have said they agree with him. The metrics don't look too good on scenarios where people have to operate underground in order to express dissenting views. So when you mention the truism that he was detrimental to the company, that's because they had already created a toxic environment hostile to diversity of opinion. The fault lies not in those who are different, but in those who won't tolerate them. The woman who said she'd beat the s**t out of him if she saw him should have been fired instantly rather than being cited as the reason why the author is the problem. Think about that one for a moment.

The second argument you're making here is that certain opinions shouldn't be tolerated if they are hateful or violent, such as with the Nazis. Oh, the Nazis. And of course when someone suggests anything other than the PC "social constructivist" (as he put it) opinion then they are on their way to Nazism, yes? If you can show me where his comments are designed to (a) prevent people from participating in the workplace, or (b) to threaten or do violence to those people, then I might see your point about how his views might have been dangerous. Can you furnish the quotes to support that position?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 09:00:55 PM by Fenring »

NobleHunter

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2017, 11:33:45 PM »
Interestingly California holds political views to be a protected class; and he had filed a complaint a while prior.  So Google could have a lawsuit on their hands for wrongful termination.
He wasn't fired for a political viewpoint, he was fired for giving a human rights lawyer a gold-plated invitation to file a lawsuit for gender discrimination.

I also think there's fairly solid argument that causing this kind of PR issue is grounds for termination. Especially when it touches on matters that the company is already being investigated for.

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2017, 07:09:15 AM »
I don't own GOOG, lol.

He could have made most of the same arguments, but by making a clear statement "on average women are not as suited to engineering than men, and it will always be so because of biology" he stepped on a hot coal. To me, it is axiomatic that such a statement is unacceptable. There is no question that he makes a lot of good points, especially with respect to how men are treated in the workplace. He missed an opportunity to focus on that message, though he certainly devotes some time to it. Had he argued for equality of paternal leave, for instance, I'd be right there with him.

And with respect to the woman that threatened violence, she should be canned immediately as well. I get that disparity and wholeheartedly agree that the standards on expressing violent thoughts toward other employees should be more strict than expressing opinions. I would also say that had he expressed these opinions on his own time, it wouldn't rise to my standard.

For your defense of free speech, where would you draw a line? I think I'd be one hundred percent comfortable defending this guy if he hadn't brought up all the biological inferiority arguments. If he had just said, "hey, I think there shouldn't be special programs for women" then I would have an easy time arguing against his termination rather than for. He might still have reaped a fallout from that, and I would agree that would be wrong. The way he's phrased his statement, it suggests that he would agree with the idea that all things being equal, you should preferentially interview and hire men. Because, on average, they are going to be better.



Crunch

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2017, 08:43:01 AM »
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He could have made most of the same arguments, but by making a clear statement "on average women are not as suited to engineering than men, and it will always be so because of biology" he stepped on a hot coal. To me, it is axiomatic that such a statement is unacceptable.
Why is that unacceptable?

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And with respect to the woman that threatened violence, she should be canned immediately as well.
It's quite telling that she won't be, isn't it?

TheDeamon

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2017, 09:18:18 AM »
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And with respect to the woman that threatened violence, she should be canned immediately as well.
It's quite telling that she won't be, isn't it?

About 5 minutes later, she'd be counter-suing Google as well for wrongful termination, claiming she was "speaking metaphorically" and didn't have any intention of actually doing so.

Protected speech you know.

Crunch

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2017, 10:16:14 AM »
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And with respect to the woman that threatened violence, she should be canned immediately as well.
It's quite telling that she won't be, isn't it?

About 5 minutes later, she'd be counter-suing Google as well for wrongful termination, claiming she was "speaking metaphorically" and didn't have any intention of actually doing so.

Protected speech you know.
I do, some speech is definitely more equal than others.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2017, 10:54:19 AM »
TheDrake,

I don't see how you get from this:

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"on average women are not as suited to engineering than men, and it will always be so because of biology"

to this?

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it suggests that he would agree with the idea that all things being equal, you should preferentially interview and hire men. Because, on average, they are going to be better.

It feels like you're looking for sound bites to take out of context so show that he stepped out of line. Are you sure you're following the intent of his letter? The purpose of the quote you referred to above is to explain the gender disparity, not to suggest hiring practices. Your interpretation doesn't even make sense, to say nothing of the fact that it seems to wilfully ignore what he's obviously trying to say. If you have a gender ratio in a business of 10:1 and the applicants also have a ratio of 10:1, then the hiring practice would ostensibly be unbiased. In this scenario, the biological factors are already accounted for, in that fewer women than men applied because fewer want to do the job. Your conclusion that he's suggesting hiring fewer of the female applicants is really far off from anything present in the letter.

I'll also note that you are making another serious error in interpreting the statement "on average women are not as suited to engineering than men, and it will always be so because of biology", which is that you think this must mean that women are worse at engineering than men, which does not follow whatsoever. You have entirely discounted the fact that women simply may not want to do jobs like that, which has nothing to do with capability. The author even goes out of his way to explain reasons why they might not like that line of work, and why the advantages women have over men make them more inclined to enjoy other jobs more; especially jobs where they have a lot of human interaction. Trying to twist that into a "women are inferior" kneejerk really makes it hard to discuss issues like this, which is exactly why he wrote the letter in the first place!

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2017, 11:13:35 AM »
Not at all. Let me demonstrate.

On average, MIT graduates are more skilled than graduates of other schools. Therefore, we should make an effort to recruit hand hire more MIT grads.

It would be nonsensical to say that on average, a group is better, and then ignore those results.

Now the guy in question may think that the conclusion does not naturally follow, but I can't see how it doesn't. I do understand he wasn't making that point, and goes out of his way to say so. But I'm demonstrating why I and others consider that offensive and dangerous to equal opportunity.

It could easily be used if it is based on preference rather than ability. "Women don't really like engineering jobs as much as men on average, so let's concentrate on the candidates who are more likely to enjoy engineering."

You have to look at his whole manifesto. He isn't describing just a calculated target of a preferred ratio to strive for. He's suggesting that relatively no efforts should be made to make the workplace more amenable to women. Including the cancellation of the Google training designed to avoid making the workplace more equitable, with regard to behaviour.

Lost in all of this, let's not forget that these training programs apply to minorities as well, and he makes no argument that minorities are either worse at or less interested in engineering.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2017, 12:24:22 PM »
Not at all. Let me demonstrate.

On average, MIT graduates are more skilled than graduates of other schools. Therefore, we should make an effort to recruit hand hire more MIT grads.

It would be nonsensical to say that on average, a group is better, and then ignore those results.

That is indeed a demonstration...of why you're missing the point. Hiring based on Ivy League pedigree is specifically a kind of qualification. People don't end up at MIT because of a 50/50 coin toss at birth, but rather (we hope) due to merit and effort. This means that hiring someone from there is comparable to having a letter of reference from a reputable previous employer as to the skill of the individual applicant. It's got nothing to do with averages because the issue of merit was already met by first getting in and then graduating. In fact, part of the author's point is precisely that the gender gap begins with MIT, not with Google, and that by the time Google notes that 1/10 applicants are women it's already 'too late'; they have already declined to pursue engineering at MIT and then proceed to apply to Google.

Now if you want to argue that an MIT grad isn't actual superior to any other grad then we could get into the issue of bias, but putting that aside an MIT grad is going to be superior to someone else, and Google should hire the best they can get. But if some particular MIT grad isn't so hot then presumably they shouldn't be hired. When choosing applicants from amongst men and women similarly Google should also observe the qualifications of each individual, including perhaps where they went to school. But you're missing the point if you think "man = good qualification" is somehow derivable from the document. It isn't. This goes back to my earlier point that "not as suited to" isn't the same as "is worse at."

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I do understand he wasn't making that point, and goes out of his way to say so. But I'm demonstrating why I and others consider that offensive and dangerous to equal opportunity.

Your attitude is understandable, and is directly what he's addressing. His letter is precisely about the fact that many people are offended at opinions that don't march in lockstep with the Left (his term). Being offended at a statement of fact is exactly what he's talking about when he suggests that diversity shouldn't be turned into a moral issue. You wondered before what was meant by "moral" in this context? It's this very issue, that an assessment of facts you don't like is referred to as "offensive" (e.g. evil). Facts are facts! He's either right or wrong, but controlling which topics are allowed to be discussed and which aren't is the kind of squashing of debate that he thinks is bad for Google's business.

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It could easily be used if it is based on preference rather than ability. "Women don't really like engineering jobs as much as men on average, so let's concentrate on the candidates who are more likely to enjoy engineering."

Again missing the point. He's not advocating focusing on one sex or the other, he's simply explaining why he thinks there's a natural gender gap. In fact he has a section devoted to suggestions to make the work environment more attractive to women, so your assumptions here are really off-base. His point is to address what the actual cause it of having less women at Google, and that if the company policy is to bridge the gap then it should address the actual cause of it rather than a made-up cause.

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He isn't describing just a calculated target of a preferred ratio to strive for. He's suggesting that relatively no efforts should be made to make the workplace more amenable to women.

That is not in evidence as far as I can tell. But I'll take this argument more seriously if you can furnish a quote to this effect.

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Including the cancellation of the Google training designed to avoid making the workplace more equitable, with regard to behaviour.

Are you referring to the "Unconscious Bias training" that he advocates cancelling? You're cherry picking the one thing he says to cancel and ignoring the several suggestions he makes to improve the environment for women in the workplace? About this 'bias training', he claims that there are no metrics to show it has achieved any difference in practice, and he also argues that the training itself contains factual errors and implicitly adopts a biased left-centric premise. In other words, he's saying it may be useless and is more of an indoctrination program than a training program. And ironically, from what he says we can gather that the "bias training" program is itself deeply biased, which is itself ironic enough to at least underline the program as being problematic.

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Lost in all of this, let's not forget that these training programs apply to minorities as well, and he makes no argument that minorities are either worse at or less interested in engineering.

He's obviously not chosen to focus on that since it's out of his field of study and maybe doesn't feel qualified to address it. So?

The sad thing is that debates about this will inevitably be mired in confusion about what is or isn't meant, and about whether certain kinds of opinions are offensive or not. Little will ever be done to debate the actual issue, which would be to assess the merit or lack thereof of his comments. LR has offered a few points to help on that score, but I have a higher opinion of the people here than I would expect to have in a corporate office environment. I doubt they would even get as far as we have, and still we've spent most of this discussion just clearing up what's actual been written. This is basically the author's point, which is that entire parts of the spectrum of opinion have been quarantined as off-limits with a large percentage of Americans, and I guess at Google as well. You can take or leave any of the particulars of his arguments, but the one point that seems to me to be obviously true is this one. How can proper decisions be made when only one side is allowed to voice its opinion?

TheDrake

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2017, 01:38:11 PM »
I understand your points. His suggestion to "make the environment more cooperative" seemed like a good idea, but since I'm already rejecting the premise of "women need a more cooperative environment" I discounted it. Most of his other suggestions seem adjuncts off this premise.

It also gets difficult to discuss without knowing the specifics of the training involved. Maybe it is garbage indoctrination as he says. Maybe it is helping people to understand that bias does exist and how to counteract it. I know I found it helpful to put female and minority applicants (when identified) to the top of my screening process to offset this effect. Likewise, I don't know their particular targets for balance - are they industry standards? Inter-group standards? Something he didn't address, presumably because he was writing for an audience that already knew all that.

As far as what women need in the workplace, I think I would tend listen to the women speaking for themselves. Are they demanding a more cooperative workplace? Are they insisting on more work-life balance? I don't know the answer to this in a fully coherent way. And the guy in question, if he wanted to make his point in a less belligerent way, could have phrased it that way.

I'm less certain now than I was about what his outcome should have been, and that's probably as far as you're going to get me to go along.

JoshCrow

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2017, 02:30:26 PM »
Good interview with the guy who wrote the manifesto by Jordan Peterson (a Canadian psychology prof who recently got into his own kerfuffle for refusing to use newfangled transgender pronouns):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEDuVF7kiPU


TheDeamon

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2017, 04:55:39 PM »
As far as what women need in the workplace, I think I would tend listen to the women speaking for themselves. Are they demanding a more cooperative workplace? Are they insisting on more work-life balance? I don't know the answer to this in a fully coherent way. And the guy in question, if he wanted to make his point in a less belligerent way, could have phrased it that way.

I'm less certain now than I was about what his outcome should have been, and that's probably as far as you're going to get me to go along.

I think from what I'm hearing in here alone, I think he was making suggestions as to changes that would make the workplace more appealing to women (and men by extension) and was citing those factors as reasons why only about 10% of their applicants are female. Because the general work environment they'd be placed in is not one that most women(and many men) would care to remain in for years on end.

He just failed to mention the "Hey, this would help with the male workers as well" aspect too, but then, that would have potentially come off as self-serving. "Hey, our work conditions could be better, make them better by implementing some of these changes to make the job more appealing to women."

Seriati

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2017, 06:22:46 PM »
I want to thank you guys for this thread.  I didn't read past the headlines cause once it was labeled a screed I made certain assumptions about what the guy must have said and wasn't too interested in reading it.  I really enjoyed the link to the piece that made the very well constructed argument about how a free an open society might cause an increase in apparent gender bias as it frees people to select the most appealing option from a wider variety of choices.

On the other side of the issue, I also found it a very good point that even if firing the employee should not normally be on the table, the controversy itself could be a grounds for firing him.  I definitely saw early conclusions that he'd have no standing for wrongful dismissal on a federal level, and I'm curious how that will be impacted by CA apparently labeling  political views as a protected category.

ScottF

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2017, 06:30:05 PM »
I suspect Google will gladly settle by throwing $500K-$1M at him to make this go away. Unless he decides he wants to use it as a platform, in which case all bets are off.

Fenring

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2017, 07:06:31 PM »
I'm curious how that will be impacted by CA apparently labeling  political views as a protected category.

My problem is that even if firing him is totally legit under the law, all that means is that the bloodhounds are merely bound by a leash and not by themselves. This issue strikes me as being considerably farther-reaching than what CA law happens to say on the matter. We're now seeing a growing trend of large segments of American society adamantly against the spirit of free speech, and who actively want anyone who disagrees with them to go away and basically exist somewhere else. It's getting to be like the dialectical version of Gangs of New York, where if one gang smells the other's ideology on their turf they'll pull out the lead pipes. I'm more sad than anything that some people are basically demanding a new version of segregation.

Crunch

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Re: Google manifesto
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 08:54:25 AM »
This all just makes me sad
Is it a common thing for employees to send email manifesto's company wide?
To follow up, it actually may be a very common thing at Google. A current employee, remaining anonymous for obvious reasons, says:
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A lot of social justice activists essentially spend all day fighting the culture war, and get nothing done. The company has made it a point to hire more people like this. The diversity gospel has been woven into nearly everything the company does, to the point where senior leaders focus on diversity first and technology second. The companywide “Google Insider” emails used to talk about cool new tech, but now they’re entirely about social justice initiatives. Likewise, the weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings used to focus on tech, but now they’re split about 50/50 between tech and identity politics signaling.

Damore  has been interviewed, I've sliced it a bit so it reads more cleanly but it doesn't change anything.

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Damore: A month and a half ago I went to one of our diversity summits, all of it unrecorded and super-secret. And they told me a lot of things that I thought were not right.

JBP: I see and so it was unrecorded and ultra-secret in what manner?

Damore: Yeah, so most meetings at Google are recorded. Anyone at Google can watch it. We’re trying to be really open about everything, except for this. They don’t want any paper trail for any of these things.

Obviously this is a very toxic culture and company.  Employees are genuinely fearful:
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Asked how he copes with this given that he is not on board with the SJW approach, Hal tells Breitbart, “I always fear for my job and operate with the expectation that I will be purged unless something changes.”
Purges, blacklisting, secretive meetings outside the normal rules, the only things missing are some brown shirts and special camps.

As  showed n another thread, google is willing to do this outside the company borders by locking people out of accounts.  Theve been caught altering search results to provide desired outcomes (ie liberally biased ). Google is pretty much the thought police.