back to article Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

There are a lot of theories about why human beings can, on occasion, be terrible assholes. Social psychologists have been working on the issue for a while and even have a number of useful terms. "Behavioral contagion" for example describes a strange human trait where people copy the behavior of someone they are in close …

Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

I'm looking forward to the responses to this article.

With luck, we'll get the actual dreadful people in question responding to this, instead of their proxies.

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Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

>First, if there was anyone complaining to HR it was in fact Mr Damore<

Well, obviously /someone/ complained to HR, because Mr Damore got fired.

And yes, I did read at least that far. Since I'm not here looking for long-form articles, I was slready stretching at that point, and that bit of carelessness indicated to me that you were too.

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Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

Well, obviously /someone/ complained to HR

Or, HR reads the news.

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Down voting?

There's an unusual amount of unexpected downvoting on comments to this article, even on relatively non-contentious posts. Has some arsehole been writing a comment-bot? Or is it the dreadful people? (Nah, I'm sure they don't read El Reg)

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Re: Down voting?

Down-voting for having a different opinion is somewhat different from down-voting due to:

1). incorrect information presented as fact

2). going off-topic

3). being a complete bell end

Note that point 3 is not mutually exclusive with anything else :)

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Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

In a few cases downvoting merely reflects how poor some people are at dealing with sarcasm.

Other times downvoting is just an easy way to punish someone who dared to have a different opinion.

Sometimes it just tells how much of a cunt the downvoter is.

In this case downvoting your post is just a mere exercise in common sense.

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Re: Down voting?

Tends to be most prolific when references to Assange are made. I am pretty sure that the Self-Righteous One has some El Reg Bot for down voting comments that might reference him in some way.

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Trollface

Re: Down voting?

probably the usual HOWLER MONKEYS. they're ganging up on their favorite people again, most likely, and slinging poo in the form of 'downvoting'

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Headmaster

"shaming dissenters into silence"

Having read Damore's ten-page rant, my first observation is that his supposed "intellect" is highly suspect, given the above quote, as just one early example.

Someone who believes he's right is disinclined to be shamed into silence, as he has no particular reason to feel shame, even if he is wrong according to his detractors, and even if those detractors represent a very loud and hostile majority.

Moreover, no true scientist would ever feel "oppressed" by criticism, given that it's an absolutely essential part of the process of establishing fact, which scientists value far more than ego, and often even more than their own personal safety.

Put it this way: if you are so insecure in your convictions as to be ashamed by them, then clearly you recognise that there must be something fundamentally wrong with them in the first place, or else what other reason could you possibly have to feel ashamed by them?

The same goes for supposedly "alienating conservatives". I always find it particularly amusing when the dominant party feigns victimisation.

Mostly, though, Damore exhibits the most astonishing hypocrisy in a diatribe that is supposedly anathema to irrational bias, but which itself is riddled with irrational bias. His presumptions about gender and political ideology are little more than ignorant generalisations at best - purely anecdotal observations that seem to be largely a matter of wishful thinking.

I'd like to attribute his imprudence to the naivety of youth and privilege, but sadly that too would be an inaccurate generalisation, so let's just stick to the unapologetically "deindividuated" consensus that this guy is an unmitigated asshole, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

I'm posting anonymously (well, as anonymously as can be expected), for one simple reason: It's quite clear from this article (and many others I've seen online) that anything you write these days can be twisted out of proportion and used to attack your livelihood and your person. I have read Damore's screed, and this article would qualify as defamation.

That the author writes from San Francisco is not even mildly surprising: Just another part of the same echo chamber Damore mentioned, which indulges in virtue signalling its so-called ideals of tolerance and equality while secretly using race controls to segregate its neighbourhoods.

Just over 417 years ago, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for having the temerity to state that the universe was infinite, and that there could be more than one solar system. We don't burn people at the stake these days, but it's clear that fascist concepts (like depriving someone of their livelihood and dragging their name through the mud online, to ensure their future prospects are as diminished as possible) are fair game for those who think that certain views simply shouldn't be aired at all, and can be viewed as a modern equivalent.

In other words, your opinions are fine, as long as they're my opinions.

Personally, I'm sad to see that so little progress has been made, and so little has been learned from a very long, oppressive and bloody history.

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Facepalm

Re: "shaming dissenters into silence"

At least James Damore got everyone talking about it - and regardless of what you think about his position, that's a good thing. OK, so he's somewhat off the rails in some areas but he's young and that's what youth does from time to time - certainly my opinions have evolved over the years and I expect that his will too.

I think that Google made an error in firing him - dissent is important, just as diversity is important. The two go hand in hand and when we reject either one, we lose balance. I'm not surprised that Google fired him - that was to be expected - Google's not as smart as it thinks it is.

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Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

@el kabong

Man (woman)! I'm offended by your excessive use of the word "downvoting!"

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Re: "shaming dissenters into silence"

@Version 1.0

"At least James Damore got everyone talking about it..."

Nice post.

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Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

John Gamble, it's interesting how each side thinks the other are dreadful people.

There is an error here and you're in the wrong. The people you are accusing of being dreadful believe in equal opportunities for people. Where as you believe in equality of outcome as long as the dreadful people come last.

This whole article by Christina is just her leftie ramblings stemming from the above error.

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Re: Down voting?

Astrix, no down voting is always because people are arseholes for not agreeing. Anyone disagreeing with a leftie is clearly an arsehole since only an arsehole could fail to have a different opinion. It's all perfectly logical and sensible and only an arsehole would disagree with what I just said.

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Re: "shaming dissenters into silence"

Well that post deserves a downvote. Too many assumptions, slander and strawmen to mention. I'll mention some...

Calling someone low intelligence because they don't agree with you.

Calling someone a poor scientist because they fell victim to pressure on them to shut up. (except you worded it as criticism which makes it sound less harsh)

Then there's your extraordinary hypocrisy in calling him a hypocrite.

Yes I know the current culture allows you to indulge in the above SJW twaddle but we do see right through it.

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Unhappy

You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

Basically the theory that as rich, upper class White men are at the top of the heap they are naturally superior, and should go on being at the top of the heap.

This was the idea that lead to laws in the US allowing doctors to enforce mandatory sterilization of people for everything from having below average IQs to having a child outside marriage.

The idea of glass ceilings, pulled up drawbridges, hereditary wealth and writing laws to benefit a specific class were simply not in their mental landscape.

I imaging Ada, the Countess Lovelace and Grace Hopper would also have had something to say on the suitability and capability of women in tech jobs.

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WTF?

Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

John Smith 19, sadly doctors did not act alone in taking some of the reprehensible actions you condone. They were mandated by a society who's religious zeal transcended any actual religious consideration, i.e. the bit about forgiveness as a starting point. In short society conditions and allows conditioning and has to take action when it becomes clear that society's own failing are leading to bad outcomes. In my book that might have happened in this case.

But then I once worked in a different society where it was found that females, who had previously been excluded from the labour force by societal norms only a few years earlier were actually far better coders than their male brothers.

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

"This was the idea that lead to laws in the US allowing doctors to enforce mandatory sterilization of people for everything from having below average IQs to having a child outside marriage"

So us thickos and mongoloids *in* marriages are exempt? Good

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

*Rear Admiral* Grace Hopper, if you don't mind.

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

"glass ceilings, pulled up drawbridges, hereditary wealth and writing laws to benefit a specific class " are unfortunately part of the landscape that ideally will change and disappear over time. But using Lovelace and Hopper misses the point. Exceptional people will always rise to the top. The argument in the memo was about group averages.

This point seems to have been spectacularly missed by the author of the article when saying:

"If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be. And, no, simply inserting the word "average" does not excuse you ".

That is a completely rubbish statement. Pretty much all of social science is based on comparing large groups of people to another, in their aggregate or average. It has to be a large group to be statistically significant. It is the outliers that cannot be used to make a case for the group as a whole.

I'm not in any way taking a position one way or another about whether men are any more predisposed to IT than women. "IT" is itself such a broad term as to make comparisons meaningless anyway. I do not thing it is outrageous at all to postulate the theory that based on genetics and evolution, females (on average) may be better suited to some roles than males (on average) and vice versa, and thus that gender might be over- or under-represented in those roles even in an optimally-functioning meritocracy. Such a theory can be put to the test with a well-enough designed research / experiment (which will have to involve large groups of people).

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

"lead to laws in the US allowing doctors to enforce mandatory sterilization of people for everything from having below average IQs to having a child outside marriage."

WHAT??? proof required. that's simply OUTRAGEOUS.

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

Google for "three generations of imbeciles is enough".

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

"Google for "three generations of imbeciles is enough"."

More commonly known as a 'politician'

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Re: simply OUTRAGEOUS

But true. Also in USA sterilisation after a first birth (without consent) simply because you are poor.

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"*Rear Admiral* Grace Hopper, if you don't mind."

True.

But IIRC she got the title after the work on COBOL.

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

>I imaging Ada, the Countess Lovelace and Grace Hopper would also have had something to say on the suitability and capability of women in tech jobs.

Hopper has said plenty, though much of it does not support your contention. Lumping her major achievements in with Ada is a little unfair. Lovelace is a terrible role mode who epitomised white privilege far more than the state educated Googler and her only significant contribution was the translation of Menabrea's work for which she is, more often than not, wrongly credited.

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Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

As usual only fame seems to matter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/04/technology/obituary-jean-sammet-software-designer-cobol.html?_r=0

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Re: You WHAT??? proof required. that's simply OUTRAGEOUS

Yes it is.

It is also true.

U.S. Eugenics: When a Low I.Q. Meant Sterilization

However, there might be some exceptions that should apply. I am thinking of a particular government worker that must be similar to this one: A capital T comes to mind

Man with almost no brain leads normal life

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Windows

Then there are people who write articles while standing on the Good side.

Meanwhile: Perhaps Shame Still Exists? "No Google Doodle today in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."

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asshe but

I dont agree with many of the things he says, yet he is not wrong when he claims that google is no longer hiring based on merit (I would say they hired based on geekness at some point).

Posting that was naive, has plenty of bias and firing him proves a big part of what he said and is dangerous.... you should not fire someone because you dont like his political ideas.

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Re: asshe but

you should not fire someone because you dont like his political ideas.

But perhaps you should fire someone if they are a liability to your company. Or, more assertively: if someone is a liability to your company, you should fire them.

Mr. Damore has conclusively proven that he cannot work well with others. I would not assign him to any team of any composition, based on his documented thought processes and aggressive contempt for empathy,

In addition, he has put the company in a bind, internally and externally.

Therefore, I would give him the chance to exercise his right to be happy elsewhere, and at the same time make room for a more productive and less disruptive employee.

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Re: asshe but

Bullshit. As soon as companies are allowed to selectively employ only "my kind of people" who think appropriately "positive thoughts", they become exactly the discriminative assholes they are allegedly trying to get rid of. What "white male" people are usually accused of is selectively congregating in certain spaces with the active exclusion of everybody else - this is exactly the same thing, corporately sanctioned, with a different criteria. If his work is poor, if he's discourteous or explicitly hostile to others and you fire him, that's one thing. If you do that because some people didn't like the way he thinks - and that includes the company itself - or because other people have a problem with him instead of the other way around then the asshole is YOU.

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Re: asshe but

"Mr. Damore has conclusively proven that he cannot work well with others. "

Has he? Do you know him personally?

Working with others forces you to adjust to different views and circumstances. You may disagree with the way they run their personal life - but if there is a job to be done then you judge on their ability to contribute their skills and effort.

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Re: asshe but

I genuinely think long gone are the times when an idea was shot down with a well constructed counter argument as opposed to just being silenced by any means necessary. I get the impression that (for some people at least) censorship is more agreeable if the consequences for ideological deviation are of a non-violent nature. Whilst I disagree (mostly) with what he said, sacking him simply enforces a lot of his points about the bigotry that exists within Google.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: then you judge on their ability to contribute their skills and effort.

And that's why Google is mainly white, young men? Honestly, go away and think about it, you're arguing that the status quo is working when it blatantly isn't, your employing from a narrow demographic instead of the broadest possible and yet you still think that merit is what drives the process. Repeating the same thing while expecting a different outcome is what?

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Re: asshe but

"Mr. Damore has conclusively proven that he cannot work well with others.

Has he? "

Well yes, as soon as he disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior he became a liability. He became less effective in doing his job and incapable of being put in a position of responsibility where he may have direct influence over the career of others. Not only that but any decision based on the work of others will now have to be put in the filter of his expressed views. Did he turn down a colleague suggestion on its worth or due to their gender.

Google is a corporation, and the bottom line is it about whether an employee can justify the cost of employing them(which I assume in this case is a lot). This employee reduced his worth to the company to the point where it was more cost effective to replace him. The employees big mistake was over estimating that his value.

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Re: asshe but

"I genuinely think long gone are the times when an idea was shot down with a well constructed counter argument as opposed to just being silenced by any means necessary. I get the impression that (for some people at least) censorship is more agreeable if the consequences for ideological deviation are of a non-violent nature. Whilst I disagree (mostly) with what he said, sacking him simply enforces a lot of his points about the bigotry that exists within Google"

If this is censorship why are we still talking about it. Censorship is typing falun dong in a search engine and getting a visit from the secret police.

The young man had every right to express his opinions, he just didn't have the right to expect to work for a company whose opinions go directly against the expressed cutltural aims and brand of the company after doing so.

He is still allowed to express his opinions, he just has to find a different pedestal to do so

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Re: asshe but

Where has he proved he don't work well with others? Possibly Google is, like big companies afraid that the workers will have a voice, think they are important. Large companies can't allow that. You need to stay in your tribe / cultivated group otherwise you may not want to follow the latest direction the politically correct management deem appropriate.

His fault was - he forgot he is a nobody. In reality he can be replaced overnight.

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Re: asshe but

Google is legally required not to have a hostile work environment for its employees. This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job. Regardless of your opinion about that statement, by being stupid enough to do that this guy pretty much legally required HR to fire him or risk Google being sued; Google couldn't just say 'oh well fair enough whatever it's your opinion let's just keep going about our business' any more than it could if he'd set up a burning cross on their front lawn or whatever.

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Re: asshe but

> Censorship is typing falun dong in a search engine and getting a visit from the secret police.

Surely thats oppression, censorship would be getting zero results.

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Re: asshe but

"Well yes, as soon as he disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior he became a liability."

Where did he do that? He didn't. He noted biological differences, and biological differences in brain function simply, factually and provably exist. Is that in and of itself a claim that one sex is biologically inferior to the other? It seems to me you must have felt the need make up that criticism due to a pre-conceived bias without actually reading or thinking about what he said.

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Re: asshe but

"Where has he proved he don't work well with others? Possibly Google is, like big companies afraid that the workers will have a voice, think they are important."

The workers in Google *do* have a voice. And the vast majority of them said "this guy is an asshole and I wouldn't like to work with him". That means Google have a problem, they have an employee who has alienated most of his colleagues, and has drawn negative publicity towards his employer into the bargain.

Sacking him, however, has had the unfortunate effect of making him a martyr to even more dreadful people, as referenced in this excellent article. It's a bit of a 'everyone loses' scenario.

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Re: asshe but

> perhaps you should fire someone if they are a liability to your company

perhaps you should fire someone if they point out that your HR policies are a liability to your company

FTFY

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Re: asshe but

> And the vast majority of them ...

The vast majority of the tiny minority who bothered to respond?

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Re: asshe but

@joeldillon " This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job. "

He didn't.

As they say, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your "own facts".

Read what he wrote*. To help you with this, here is the link:

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

*presumably while sitting in his cubicle or whatever, and certainly not standing up in front of the entire company

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Re: asshe but

Men and women are different biologically and that is a fact. But does that mean that women are less apt at software engineering than men? The author of that document noted the biological differences and made a conclusion that because men and women are different biologically, they are different in their aptitude for being a software engineer. He tried to sugar coat this conclusion with fancy statistical terms, and certain caveats, but it is quite clear from the document that the author thinks this is true. He is entitled to that opinion, but voicing it out loud in a public forum naturally has certain consequences.

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Re: asshe but

"This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job"

No, he did nothing of the sort.

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Re: disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior

Where did he do that? He did not. This is very muddled thinking.

Every individual is good at different things. Yes, there's a belief in some quarters that every individual is really exactly equal in every capability, but that's nonsense.

I am not disparaging Albert Einstein as inferior if I said he was a brilliant physicist but a mediocre violin player, or disparaging Yehudi Menuhin if I say he was a brilliant violin player but a mediocre physicist.

But if I am employing physicists I want brilliant physicists, and I don't give a damn about their violin playing.

Lets say that people with gene 123alpha6 are more likely to be good at physics than people without it, and people without gene 123alpha6 are more likely to be good violin players than those with it. And lets say that I want to employ people from the top 10% of the population as regards competence at physics. That top 10% of the population will have more people with gene 123alpha6 than the population at large, so if I employ a random selection of the worlds top 10% physicists gene 123alpha6 will be over represented. Does that mean that the ones who don't have gene 123alpha6 are somehow inferior? No, it does not. They are still in the top 10% of the worlds physicists, they are not inferior at all, and its quite possible that the best physicist in the world won't have gene 123alpha6. And incidentally the presence or absence of gene 123alpha6 is actually no use when recruiting physicists. If I were only to recruit people with gene 123alpha6 then I would be automatically excluding a lot of the worlds best physicists from consideration, and end up hiring people who weren't such good physicists even though they did have that gene.

What you are doing, effectively, is claiming that this guy was saying that physicists without gene 123alpha6 are biologically inferior. But he was not saying that at all. And even worse you are making a value judgement that violin players are inferior to physicists, which is appalling. Someone who is good at a one specific job isn't biologically superior to someone who is good at a different job. If you say they are that's pretty appalling too.

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Re: asshe but

@Viadotas Zemlys

"and made a conclusion that because men and women are different biologically, they are different in their aptitude for being a software engineer."

No he didn't and you won't be able to come up with a quote to show he did. This is really very important and I am interested in why you feel the need to say that despite the fact he didn't say any such thing. He said in effect women are less inclined to want to be software engineers. That is a very different thing from saying they don't have the aptitude.

Let me give an example. My mother was very clever. She could quite possibly have been a Nobel prize wining scientist if she had wanted to be. She didn't want to be. There is nothing at all insulting or demeaning about saying that. If someone told me my mother didn't have the aptitude to be a Nobel prize wining scientist, I would would think that is rather presumptive. They don't know her and don't know how very intelligent she is. But if they said she didn't have the desire to be one, I would agree with them.

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