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Author of anti-diversity manifesto "exploring legal remedies" after Google fired him

By midian182 · 39 replies
Aug 8, 2017
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  1. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,522   +514

    I agree with you on the fact that gagme can fire him for any reason. Others seem not to get that and cry that his rights are being violated.

    However, as an individual with a strong scientific background, I disagree that his article is accurate in all aspects, particularly in regards to gender differences. I realize you said "mostly accurate," but as the thrust of his article is aimed at gender differences, there is no scientific consensus on that, and as I see it, his argument falls flat solely on that aspect alone. Specifically, the science is still out on gender differences, and he seems to think that a study of monkeys that is referenced in the link I am posting, (which I also posted in another thread on this same topic in response to someone saying that differences in gender affinities to career preferences were shown to be scientific fact) is the be all-end all of gender differences. http://www.parentingscience.com/girl-toys-and-parenting.html

    That link does a much better job of looking at the gender differences that he seems to cite as valid scientific fact. What he refers to regarding gender differences are not valid scientific facts. The scientific community is still out on this, and while other statements in his article may be "accurate," the statements that he makes about gender differences are not supported by science.

    With no valid scientific evidence for gender differences, though his other points might be valid, his article is blatantly sexist - IMO. As I see it, his article is junk science at best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  2. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,762   +435

    It's not quite like that. An absolute fundamental of being an engineer is not to invent things. It is to solve problems. As an employee of Google, you are not solving *your* problems. You are solving problems for Google. For their customers. A critical part of being an engineer is being able to communicate effectively with customers to determine what they want and working out the best solution. For large projects that means working with people.

    Guess what two qualities are critical to engineering that are strong qualities of women? Empathy and communication.

    This guy didn't get it. He has the perception that he can live in an ivory tower and just build stuff. Real engineering is not like that at all. Being a good coder is not all there is to it.

    So he essentially outed himself as not appreciating his fellow employees who deserved where they got to. He also lacked the empathy to see why there is a cultural barrier for women entering the industry. I have first hand experience of women's difficulties in entering engineering *and* IT (I am a male senior dev who has worked with many women in both industries and have consulted them in their difficulties/career path struggles).

    So the reason he is gone is he has shown he lacks empathy and the ability to work in a team with his peers in a job where these are key elements. He simply was a bad engineer in a large company that prides itself on employing great engineers.
     
  3. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +22

    To me it seems like this guy didn't think through the consequences of what he was doing. Out the entire piece there are about three lines that were enough to cause serious embarrassment to any organisation - and he nailed it on the wall for everyone to see.

    Corporations are not democracies. They are in the business of making a few quid, within the confines of the law and common decency (hopefully). For that reason they have guidelines, policies and codes. Those usually exist to protect them from the actions of individual employees, that might wind up their customers or fellow employees. You follow them or go walk, it's as simple as that.

    Google ought to drop the pretence that it is some sort of bastian of open ideas and freedom of expression. Get real. It is part of a massive global corporation that controls all online advertising outside of Facebook.

    Your right to free speech is protected by the state, not your employer. Employees are well advised to keep their politics out of the workplace, and if they really have an axe to grind, use the proper channels their employer provides for them. If that doesn't work, they can find another employer. Vote with your feet.
     
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  4. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Rookie Posts: 16

    You are obviously biologically ill equipped to deal with such complex issues as this! For those who are superior to you, it is easy to understand. ---- Obviously this is not true, I'm sure you get the point. To put anyone down or say they are not the same as other people because of who they are. come on, you don't get that. this is eugenics.

    The issue was well-addressed by the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai in an email to Goole employees:

    "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."
     
  5. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    That's funny, these scientists seem to think otherwise...
    http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/
     
    CanadEan84 and psycros like this.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,493   +3,490

    Further responses regarding this topic will be ignored. Reason: unfathomable lack of observation.
     
    psycros likes this.
  7. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 192   +123

    Could you define what you mean by "eugenics" please? Could you also point out the parts where the author of the original memo said that one type of person was superior to another? Then could you explain what you mean by "To put anyone down or say they are not the same as other people because of who they are"?

    To suggest that we're all the same is absolutely absurd. Why bother with things like job interviews when you could just grab the nearest person off the street, "'cus we're all the same".

    The point of the original memo was to stop discrimination as a short-cut to diversity, and instead put in place evidence-based and fair remedial policies so that increased diversity happened of its own accord. He was offering suggestions such as "lower the stress associated with senior roles" so it's more appealing to everyone, instead of existing policies of offering aid based on race/sex/gender conditions - which is basically the definition of discrimination.

    It's bizarre. Offer up something like the "War on Terror" and many people see the fallacy, and call foul. But put in front of them examples of discrimination in order to overcome discrimination, and they're nonplussed. Putting it succinctly: how can you stop the consequences of the actions that you're involved in? You don't fix bullying problems by bullying people, you don't stop thieves by stealing, you don't stop wars by going to war - so why is it accepted that discrimination is the way to stop discrimination? It won't work, and is already having detrimental effects. Just look what 'intersectionality' is doing to discourse.
     
    CanadEan84, psycros and davislane1 like this.
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,682   +1,077

    So you support fascism. Nice to know.

    "So the reason he is gone is he has shown he lacks empathy and the ability to work in a team with his peers in a job where these are key elements. He simply was a bad engineer in a large company that prides itself on employing great engineers." - Some clueless internet dips**t

    Welp, there it is - the stupidest thing I'll read all day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  9. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Maniac Posts: 268   +183

    Please read the manifesto, he is respectful and raises legitimate concerns in it.

    EDIT :
    After looking over this thread you seem to have a similar view as me ( I assume based on what messages you have liked ) So I also assume you misinterpreted what I was saying. When I said " Geez, just don't feed the Troll, its that simple ".

    I was referring to Google feeding the Trolls when they fired him. By firing him Google has just made things worse because it teaches people to just whine loudly to get their way. He was going about things the right way and was punished for it.

    At least that is my view, if for some reason that makes me a Fascist, well I don't see the connection, but ok.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    CanadEan84 likes this.
  10. CanadEan84

    CanadEan84 TS Rookie

    In reality, nobody except the most backwater portion of the right have any gripes with hiring outside of white, conservative, christian males. Any proponent of this would be in a small minority. The problem the majority has is when people are hired because the applicant is outside of a particular group. It becomes a game of Pokemon instead of hiring based on merit. Anytime white people are a majority in a group, SJW assume there's something unfair at play. Then their solution is to skew the process so it's easier for another group. There's no way around it. Affirmative action kicks one group in the shin so another can shine, regardless of who the players are in any given situation. It assumes there's a corrupt and malicious agent at work, with very little if any empirical data.
     
    namesrejected likes this.
  11. CanadEan84

    CanadEan84 TS Rookie

    But... there are differences in how male and female brains work. Nobody is saying that one is worth more than the other, but I like how you paraphrase, "and the reason is men's brains are better than females at this", and that this is crossing the line, then go on to say there are studies that female brains are better at math.

    People seem to think that we need to kick men in the nuts because of the man-centric view of history in order for women to feel equal. Pretty messed up view.

    Men and Women are equal in value. We're not equal in our strengths and weaknesses. Sweeping differences under the rug, or firing people who want to talk about these differences isn't productive. It holds us all back. I'm personally weak at math. That doesn't mean I'm garbage or less valuable than other humans. It just means that in this particular metric, I have to try harder to succeed.

    Discussion like this shouldn't be controversial in the slightest. Let the ideas stand for themselves, and if they're not rational, then ignore it. Policing thoughts like this is a horrible practice.[/QUOTE]
     
    namesrejected likes this.
  12. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +131

    Yes, and so he wrongly stated that women are worse (a stereotype) and he also said women are just more interested in "aesthetics" than men and men are more interested in "things" (another stereotype). If he had cited facts, studies, etc. he would have some ground to stand on. Instead he just stated opinion as if it were fact.

    Maybe? I don't see this. Men are still getting ahead, still paid more, still in more positions of power. Hard to complain about being the victim when you're winning the most. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...ge-gaps-persist-in-u-s-despite-some-progress/

    I agree, we are different. However, it's fine to say "I" or "This person", but general statements about 50% of the human population are not wise. If we want to have a discussion, then it needs focus and data - not one dude's opinions based on his limited experiences. Had this person quietly had a discussion with his manager/HR, he might still work at Google - the problem was he felt so strongly he wrote a 10-page memo which went far and wide (largely because it was so controversial/wrong). No one policed his thoughts, they policed his words. He was allowed to say it - but if he were as smart as he thinks he is - he surely foresaw the consequences of his words.
     
  13. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 192   +123

    He presented citations for just about everything, but because they were scientific articles and peer reviewed studies, pretty much every news outlet stripped them away. Even the original Gizmodo publication admitted "we've removed two charts and multiple citations". This was a guy appraising the state of modern biology, psychology and sociology, through the lens of the equal representation debate. There will be other studies that contradict some of his views, because some of these issues aren't as settled as he perhaps presented, but hardly any of the scientific stuff was "just his opinion" (the political stuff, that's another story..).

    And personally I think you have it completely backwards. It's fine to say statements about traits which bear out when groups are studied as a whole, as long as you don't then assume that those characteristics are shared by each member of said group. That's the difference between population analysis and stereotyping. I can say that, on average, men are taller than women. That doesn't mean every man is taller than every woman, it doesn't mean that all women are short, it doesn't mean all men are tall. It means on average, across a large enough sample size, men are taller than women.

    But instead of thinking of the sexes first, and characteristics second, look at it the other way around. The characteristics that draw people to learning a particular skill-set or join an industry are likely to be able to be grouped together. So, you're likely to find similar character traits among people who go into (for example) nursing, as opposed to stock trading, interior design versus military service etc. And most of the time gender won't come into the question when it comes to distribution of those characteristics. A male and a female lawyer are likely to have more similar personality traits than a female lawyer vs female school teacher. The distribution of traits within sexes is greater than the distribution between the sexes - but that doesn't mean the latter doesn't exist.

    So when looking at other professions, like coding and computer science, you can look at what traits might lead people to choose that industry or career path and ask, when looking at large sample sizes, does either sex show a general propensity for those traits? The author of the memo asked that question and surmised that across the male population, those traits appear more often than across the female population. That says absolutely nothing about the capabilities of individual women. It says nothing about individual men. It doesn't mean "women don't want to" or "can't" work in that sector. It doesn't mean individual women are less capable.

    Finally, on your last point about he should have seen the consequences coming - is it just acceptable then that calmly putting out a backed-up opinion should result in being fired? Imagine if his argument contained no sources, no studies, no couching and conciliatory statements, but instead had been on "why Google's diversity policies are the best!". It would have been hailed as brilliant; the words to live by for the modern era! Even though that would have just been a purely subjective, ideological post. But write up a reference-based look at the reality of your situation and you'd best expect to be jobless!
     
    insect and namesrejected like this.
  14. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +131

    Thank you for the information about his sources - I had just opened the PDF from Gizmodo assuming it was the full document.

    Regarding your approach to stats - I think this approach has merits when applied generically (generic stats go with generic statements). But this engineer applied it specifically (to female engineer hiring practices at Google) and as a result, possibly offended every female he works(ed) with (as well as many he does not).

    And yes, had he praised Google (without being overly generous so as to thought of as satire), he would probably still have his job. I would think this is true of any private company. Grievances are private; glory is public. There is still plenty of discussion outside Google about male/female ratios in X industry. His 10-pages don't change the debate or studies into it. What he did do was put Google between a rock (don't fire him, piss off women, other employees) and and a slightly less hard surface (fire him and piss off a smaller set of people). They chose the best strategy for them (and it worked - it's already out of most media outlets and being forgotten except in small corners of the internet).
     
  15. CanadEan84

    CanadEan84 TS Rookie

    No he didn't.

    There's a difference between stereotypes and generalizations, and sometimes generalizations are helpful to sum up statistical findings. There are certainly commonalities between people of a gender, and therefore some general common differences between the genders. That doesn't mean one is worse than the other. Just like with individuals, we're not all good at the exact same things. We have issues we have to struggle with that others may not.

    The gender and racial pay gap is a farce and has been completely debunked for anyone who wants to do any kind of research outside of SJW sources who keep perpetuating it. The pay gap only exists when many variables aren't factored in. It's based on poor rationale.
     

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