Protests at Google offices across the country have been postponed due to what organizers claim are threats posed by unspecified “left-wing terrorists.”
The rallies were announced by a conspiracy-theory promoter after a Google employee was fired for penning a highly controversial internal memo about gender differences, sparking uproar in the tech industry.
James Damore’s memo, which claims biological factors contribute to gender inequality in the tech sector, sparked a quick reaction from Google after it circulated widely online.
The “Peaceful March on Google” was billed as an “event for First Amendment supporters from across the country, from all backgrounds, ethnicity and walks of life,” according to a code of conduct listed on the march’s blog.
That should probably read “Threats by Google staff”
To nice, nerdy James Damore’s surprise, Google does not want to engage in a discussion of how their hiring discrimination against white and Asian males can be justified. Google’s corporate culture has been exposed as an Orwellian pig farm, where social justice warriors (SJWs) send daily missives on the correct way to think. Those who express contrary opinions are bullied, sent to HR for reprogramming, fired and – not punished enough – put on Silicon Valley blacklists to ruin their careers.
Google’s fascist witch-burning of an honest engineer for refusing to bow down at the altar of politically correct lies was the final straw, an unequivocal warning to conservatives that there’s a new set of rules, and that we need to play by them. First they came for the tech geeks; we’re next. That means Republicans at both the federal and the state level need to rein in the skinny-jeaned fascist social justice warriors who control Silicon Valley – and, to a growing extent, our society – through the kind of crushing regulation of these private business that we conservatives used to oppose.
“Yesterday, after reading the news, my daughter asked me a question. “Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?”
That question, whether it’s been asked outright, whispered quietly, or simply lingered in the back of someone’s mind, has weighed heavily on me throughout my career in technology. Though I’ve been lucky to work at a company where I’ve received a lot of support—from leaders like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg to mentors like Bill Campbell—my experience in the tech industry has shown me just how pervasive that question is.”
As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.
Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions.
The Damore debacle at Google is a perfect example of what Lilla disdains in his book. Google engineer James Damore wrote an impolitic memo criticizing the way diversity is handled at Google. He said there are scientific reasons why Google’s diversity initiatives aren’t working to change Google’s male-female employee ratio. He said clearly that he favors diversity, but thinks that science shows there are more effective ways to achieve it. And he criticized Google for being the kind of place where people who disagree with cultural progressivism cannot speak out.
This got him fired. It also energized the mob of left-wing witch hunters, who piled onto Damore for his alleged sexist bigotry. Much of the hysteria had nothing to do with Damore’s actual arguments. It bashed him on identity politics grounds. Never mind that Damore said in the memo that he favors diversity, and that he thinks racism and sexism are real problems. Never mind that he simply complained that the way Google pursues diversity is unfair to men. And never mind that Google provided the internal forum precisely so that its workers can discuss workplace issues. More.
Reality check: Lilla is self-deluded if he thinks that the junior jackboots of We’ll Fix U are in any sense liberal. They’ll just freeze him out now. Why should they think when they can riot? Why should they persuade when they can enforce?
When CNN’s Brooke Baldwin framed Damore’s thesis as, “he’s essentially saying well I don’t really like women anywhere near a computer,” Mary Katharine Ham’s facial expression says it all. It’s a truly ridiculous claim that bears no resemblance to the actual memo. To her credit, liberal commentator and free speech advocate Kirsten Powers slapped back at the media’s atrocious coverage of the storyMore.
Reality check: Traditional media would love to control what we are allowed to know about the world around us. They can only dream of what Google could do if permitted. See ‘Dangerous’: Milo Yiannopoulos delights to provoke: The book by the gay conservative provocateur is not nearly as Dangerous as the social media world he exposes. See also: It’s not just Google
Two of the most powerful companies in the world are co-sponsoring a protest against a pro-life women’s health care clinic that provides free medical services and counseling to pregnant women — just not abortions.
Following the firing this week of a valued employee for the thoughtcrime of questioning gender quotas, Breitbart is running a series called “Rebels of Google.” Whistleblower employees are exposing the purposeful censorship by Google – not only of free thought within the company, but on the internet.
Not since Jerry Maguire circulated his mission statement at Sports Management International has an internal memo so backfired on its author as James Damore’s written thoughts on the tech world’s groupthink did.
The Google engineer wrote that “when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies.”
Google quickly terminated Damore (Maybe Brendan Eich is hiring).
I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.” My firing neatly confirms that point. How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?
We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.
James Damore, the Google engineer that was fired for writing a memo criticizing the company’s diversity policies, said in a Thursday interview that Google employees publicly criticize people based on race and gender in meetings.
The all-hands meeting was scheduled following the leak of the “ideological echo chamber” memo that called the company’s diversity efforts into question. The tech giant subsequently fired its author, James Damore, for allegedly violating the company’s code of conduct.
What do Google, Evergreen State College, and Middlebury have in common?
A lot, apparently. They’re filled with “snowflakes” — those students (in Google’s case, employees) who have such a high sensitivity to — or is it inability to tolerate — diversity of thought, they dissolve like so many, well, snowflakes. (Unlike real snowflakes, however, that are different one from the other, these snowflakes tend to be monotonously the same, spewing the same slogans and even wearing, basically, the same clothes.)
Lots of people are now saying that the king is a fink*. A friend kindly offers some useful update links on the subject:
Neuroscientist Debra Soh defends Damore. No surprise, she is also not a fan of the marchin’, marchin’ pussyhats for science and has warned about the danger of fad post-modern concepts like intersectionality invading science and just plain stompin’ down hard on fact.
Prof. Jordan B. Peterson of the University of Toronto interviewed James Damore:
Then there is “Google Memo: Four scientists respond,” more or less supporting Damore’s right to think about the question of biological differences. Right or wrong, they sound like they are free of PC diversity yap-yap.
Damore had internal support from many employees, it turns out, who must now keep clear of house snitches. From Wired: “But the internal discussions that followed Damore’s memo and its fallout show Google employees both embracing and advancing its views. Damore himself indicated that his former coworkers had reached out privately to express ‘their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues.’” Wired also did oppo research on Damore.
An earlier stage of the controversy involved massive misrepresentation in dying traditional media of what engineer Damore actually said. That, of course, tells us why so many traditional media of record are suffering so much. They cannot imagine getting the story right anymore, as opposed to getting it Correct.
Tia Ghose’s piece at LiveScience, Google Manifesto: Does Biology Explain Gender Disparities in Tech? is a masterpiece of misdirection, as she tries to chip away at some pretty obvious facts about differences, on average, between men and women.
By the way, why do people who find the similarities and differences between life forms so informative for interpreting evolution join the witch hunt when differences between males and females come up?
At Slate, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein dumps on evolutionary psychology:
Stop Equating “Science” With Truth: Evolutionary psychology is just the most obvious example of science’s flaws.
Most saliently in the context of the Google memo, our scientific educations almost never talk about the invention of whiteness and the invention of race in tandem with the early scientific method which placed a high value on taxonomies—which unsurprisingly and almost certainly not coincidentally supported prevailing social views. The standard history of science that is taught to budding scientists is that during the Enlightenment, Europe went from the dark ages to, well, being enlightened by a more progressive mindset characterized by objective “science.” It is the rare scientific education that includes a simultaneous conversation about the rise of violent, imperialist globalization during the same time period. Very few curricula acknowledge that some European scientific “discoveries” were in fact collations of borrowed indigenous knowledge. And far too many universally call technology progress while failing to acknowledge that it has left us in a dangerously warmed climate.
Much of the science that resulted from this system, conducted primarily by white men, is what helped teach us that women were the inferior sex.
Prescod-Weinstein must have been educated in a system where teaching literal history is forbidden. Otherwise, she would know that from time immemorial, women were considered the inferior sex. It would not have been possible for white European colonialists to better the widespread oppression, which was—as a matter of fact—usually worse than what was happening in Europe at the same time. You know, foot-binding, female genital mutilation, widow-burning, etc. Oh, but wait, we don’t study history anymore, do we?
Yes, evolutionary psychologyis bunk. But not because it tries to study actual differences between men and women today, rather because it invents untraceable palaeolithic tales to explain modern trends. That distinction would be lost on a post-modern, of course.
We don’t quarrel with Prescod-Weinstein saying this: “Science’s greatest myth is that it doesn’t encode bias and is always self-correcting.” But we somehow doubt she would be very interested in following that train of thought very far.
Anyway, they are all missing the point: People want an honest discussion of differences between men and women that isn’t promptly shut down by Jackboot Enterprises or We’ll Fix U — with help in both cases from their assorted flunkies and lackeys, paid, freelance, or volunteer.
If the rest of us must finally choose between them and honest, witch hunt-free discussions, maybe they should look to their options.