back to article Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Right off the bat, let's get this straight: on average, ignorant bigots and well-rounded human beings biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren't just socially constructed; they're universal across human cultures. Bigots that should have been castrated at birth but raised by well-rounded human beings often still …

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Just to clarify

Did google ever get around to specifying which bits of the manifesto are in breach of the code of conduct and which parts employees are free to discuss?

Or did they do the standard corporate weaseling and hope the problem would go away?

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Mushroom

Re: Just to clarify

Put this in your favorite search engine: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”

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Re: Just to clarify

That's a no then.

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Optional

Do you work for Google? If so, why are you asking here, and not...at Google? And if not, why would you care?

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Re: Just to clarify

"Or did they do the standard corporate weaseling and hope the problem would go away?"

Not quite They hoped that firing him would have sped it on its way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just to clarify

In Google's defence I've got a clause in my contract that I can be fired for bringing the company into disrepute. If that manifesto is not bringing the company into disrepute I honestly don't know what would?

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Re: Just to clarify

Circulating the memo internally can not, by definition, have brought Google into disrepute. I'm sure Google have the means to know who first copied it to the outside world at large, but they do not seem interested.

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Facepalm

Re: Just to clarify

>To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.

That wasn't what the document said. He was addressing (recruitment) programs and policies, not individuals. If we know women in general dislike solitary roles, could we not make the roles more social rather than running women-only recruitment programs?

What he said was: https://diversitymemo-static.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

I watched the Stefan M Interview too. It was painful. Damore appeared to want to be nice to his host, but S.M. kept trying to push Damore into saying things he really didn't want to say.

I know El Reg is a red-top but I do expect more journalistic integrity than what was presented in this article. He didn't pile into "what the left does wrong" or say or imply that "protecting women" was "something the left does wrong." He noted the biases on both right and left, not just listing "lefty" biases as the el reg list implies. Despite El Reg's assertion, there was no reason for Google to feel they had no choice but to fire Damore. It was neither hurtful nor offensive unless you are ideologically wedded to the idea that there are no differences between men and women. Damore said nothing about individual performance and explicitly denied that his memo was relevant to that, in the interview.

Some factual observations we can make from all of this are:

1. Damore lost his job and has poor judgement regarding interviewers.

2. Damore's assertion that Google tries to purge dissent rather than accepting or refuting it is confirmed by its action in purging him.

3. Google (and FB, Twitter and online publications) will make money from Damore being fired and the general outrage.

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Re: Just to clarify

Never accept an interview with a political commentator unless you have years of experience in interviews. It is their job to manipulate their subjects into saying things which will bring in the ratings.

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Re: Just to clarify

"If that manifesto is not bringing the company into disrepute I honestly don't know what would?"

That would depend on who is making the judgement of "disrepute". I'd say that sacking someone for expressing views you don't like is pretty disreputable but I suppose I'm fairly liberal, and in the UK, where liberal is an adjective rather than an obscene interjection.

It is also pretty stupid, since it has drawn huge amounts of attention to Google's actual performance in this area (which isn't stellar) and at the same time made it impossible to have a reasoned discussion of the policy. (Perhaps they should google for "Streisand effect".)

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Re: Just to clarify

I can't +1 this enough. I don't know when Kieren started being 'published' in Reg, but its been fairly recently. I don't know why he's still writing, let alone writing for The Reg. Still waiting on his source list or some evidence from his piece on the "government spying on our purchases". Everything he writes is a superlative-laden opinion piece, and not much else. Please Reg, make it stop!

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Re: Just to clarify

I noticed for a while now that I can immediately tell an article is by Mr. McCarthy after the first few words (much like with Mr. Orlowski), and definitely NOT because it's so eloquent and impartial. Nowadays I just save myself the trouble of reading it at all.

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Thumb Down

Re: Just to clarify

If that manifesto is not bringing the company into disrepute I honestly don't know what would?

How's about the continued, intrusive, unwanted and secretive use and selling of personal data without ever coming quite clean about what is sold, who to and why. Will that do you?

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Re: Just to clarify

You should relax. And maybe stop reading my articles if they're so upsetting to you.

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Re: Just to clarify

As far as I'm aware, no way is making you read these articles. And if they are, you should tell them to stop.

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WTF?

Re: Just to clarify

@ DropBear

If you don't read his articles how do you manage to post a comment on one?

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Holmes

Re: Just to clarify

@kieren - "You should relax. And maybe stop reading my articles if they're so upsetting to you."

The reader said that they already did stop reading: "Nowadays I just save myself the trouble of reading it at all."

I read it. Not sure why you decided to add the "Trump nuclear weapons tweet" section - completely unrelated. And as others pointed out, Damore did write negatively about the right-wingers as well as the social justice warriors. Seemed like you could have covered that aspect. But, in the end it was an opinion piece instead of a hard news item, and you should most certainly express your own opinion.

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Re: Just to clarify

"Not sure why you decided to add the 'Trump nuclear weapons tweet' section"

I presume he did it so he can further his narrative by having Trump (who everyone hates) and Damore in the same article so that he can draw an association between the two.

you know, the way people people like to link someone they want to smear with pedophiles or Nazis even though there isn't a link simply so that someone searching for one associates the name with the other

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Re: Just to clarify

"so he can further his narrative by having Trump (who everyone hates) and Damore in the same article so that he can draw an association between the two"
Everyone hates Trump? Don't think so. An awful lot of people voted for him and that's hardly evidence of hatred. Then his success has led to a considerable amount of foaming at the mouth from people who do hate him. And for some of us that is a source of considerable amusement. Why would you hate someone who makes you laugh?

FWIW I utter the word "covfefe" as I get out of bed in the morning these days, though my son tells me I'm pronouncing it wrong :-)

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Holmes

Re: Just to clarify

@Pompous - "Why would you hate someone who makes you laugh?"

Wall Street loves him and is laughing all the way to the multi-trillion dollar bank.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just to clarify @Keiren

No, the comments are about the direction you and El-Reg are taking your articles,

Its really not a very good place.

'Well, noone is forcing you....' is a crap response. Your stories are attempted click bait, sir.

On another note, you mention that the data subject 'dressed up' his LinkedIn account somewhat - whats the crime? How many here haven't stretched somewhat - isn't it what social media is for ?

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Re: Just to clarify

"If you don't read his articles how do you manage to post a comment on one?"
Why are you picking on DropBear? Not reading the OP doesn't stop ever so many other commentards commenting... Especially when they comment on the comments rather than the OP.

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Re: Just to clarify @Keiren

"'Well, noone is forcing you....' is a crap response. Your stories are attempted click bait, sir."
Successful rather than attempted I'd say. Four pages of comments and we're still going :-)

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Boffin

Re: Just to clarify

Wall St is making easy money while the sun shines and (apart from the dumber funds) quietly diversifying and hedging the hell out of everything.

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Re: Just to clarify

"Nowadays I just save myself the trouble of reading it at all".

And yet you do go to the trouble of commenting on it. How can you do that sensibly, when you yourself boast of not having read it?

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Coat

Re: Just to clarify

@ Tom Paine:

"and (apart from the dumber funds) quietly diversifying and hedging the hell out of everything."

Well ... we *hope* they're hedging the hell out of everything or we'll be looking at TAARP2/3/4 when things go "PoP" .

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Re: Just to clarify

I suppose I'd ask them why the reader felt the need to post a comment on a story they hadn't read.

Re: why include the Trump nuclear tweet? Actually I didn't. I included someone being attacked for referencing Trump's tweet. And I believe I wrote exactly why I included in the actual article.

Which I suppose links to the first point: you haven't read the article either.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I think you should read an actual article before posting a comment; you don't it. I'm not sure it's a gap we're going to be able to bridge.

Re: it was an opinion piece not hard news. I believe it has the word "Comment" at the front. That's what that word is there for.

In fact, here's an idea: may be all future all commenters that haven't felt the need to read the article before posting a comment could append "Non reader" in bold in front of their comment. Greater clarity all round.

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Re: Just to clarify

"may be all future all commenters that haven't felt the need to read the article before posting a comment could append "Non reader" in bold in front of their comment. Greater clarity all round."
Touché :-)

Worth noting that there's a lot of opinion all over the place from those who obviously haven't read any of the ten pages being discussed.

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Re: Optional

Jeez. I thought the point here was pretty obvious: this (the 'clarification' of the code of conduct) can only possibly affect Google employees. So why would it be an issue of public interest?

I mean, feel free to take a side on whether the guy is some kind of heroic truth teller (sigh) and whether or not he should have got fired. But it seems a bit odd to me that you'd demand Google 'clarify' its code of conduct to people who *aren't bound by it*. Hence my point: if you're a Google employee, then your request is perfectly reasonable, but surely you have better places to ask for a clarification of the code of conduct than a random internet forum. If you're not, it has precisely zero impact on you, so why do you think Google should be obliged to interpret its code of conduct for you, when you have no standing relative to each other at all?

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Re: Optional

"it seems a bit odd to me that you'd demand Google 'clarify' its code of conduct to people who *aren't bound by it*"
Not really. Codes of Conduct are generally available to the public and for good reason. Let's say the CoC allows employees to swear at customers. Customers then have no grounds for complaint when called a stupid cunt. OTOH is the CoC specifically forbids abusing customers in any way, then customers have grounds to complain to the employer.

NB I deliberately chose an extreme example, not a real-world one.

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Now you see

This is why Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other social sites like them are important.

The rabid mouth foamers from both sides of any debate happily lock themselves up together in them to engage in mortal and pointless combat.

Keeps them off the streets and out of my face. ☺

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Trollface

Re: Now you see

The greatest crime the "world wide web" has committed, is giving stupid people a voice.

My view on the existence of social media,

it puts almost all the stupid people in one place, where they can be conveniently ignored.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now you see

@the JIm Bloke. Speak for yourself.

Because people who you consider in your great wisdom and judgement to be stupid should be censored and silenced from expressing an opinion ?

And who shall judge the judges (the judges themselves perhaps ?)

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Re: Now you see

You have made Mr Jim Bloke's point for him. He did not say, or even suggest, that anyone should be censored or silenced. He merely said that it was convenient for him that all the stupid people (as he puts it) should be busy on social media, where he can ignore them.

Or have you decided that ignoring people is also to be a social crime?

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Re: Now you see

How can they be conveniently ignored when most of the population has one of a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Reddit account?

These are people in the real world with a vote posting things which are read by other people in the real world with a vote.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now you see

Funny but wrong.

Social media is a filthy breeding ground for stupidity, which spills out into all internet communities, society, and ultimately the voting booth.

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Re: Now you see

Because they're not compelled to have an account. If they don't want to read the crap, they can close it.

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Re: Now you see

> The greatest crime the "world wide web" has committed, is giving stupid people a voice.

Yeah, but it has also given us metaphorical ear-plugs.

Really though, all this noise is a barrier to discourse scratching past the surface of an issue. And of course, breaking the world down into discrete issues is also a barrier to understanding.

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Re: Now you see

>> How can they be conveniently ignored when most of the population has one of a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Reddit account?

I've got two of those and I was completely unaware that this had happened until I read this article. It's not the sites, it's the bits of them you choose to read.

You do need to develop a rapid mental shit filter to prevent you clicking on obvious crap, but I've not found that difficult to do.

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Re: Now you see

Well, I for one don't have a Facebook, Twitter or Reddit account. I admit to a LinkedIn account, but that is a quiescent relic. I certainly don't visit or read LinkedIn.

In fact, I don't have a mobile phone either. In general, I try to do only things that are fun or good for me. The world is complicated enough that it's quite possible to avoid all the bad stuff.

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Re: Now you see

Hard to get someone as stupid as the author of this article.

Starts off with the old "bigot" line for anyone who disagrees with him - as usual with people who like to throw around this word, the very definition of bigotry itself.

Then in complete denial that if you want to talk about overall trends in employment then general biological preferences will be relevant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now you see

This is why Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other social sites like them are important.

Only to those foolish enough to bare their lives on them. Otherwise, they are irrelevant.

If like me, you avoid them like the plague then you life can be a whole lot easier.

Come on, just say NO to them and basically 'get a life'. There is one outside of Social Media after all we existed for millions of years before Farcebook etc came along.

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Re: Now you see

He also failed to read the IMTERNAL memo as well; as if he had done he would have noticed the table about right wing behaviour as well. Unbalanced reporting by the reg does not help anyone. The man went out of his way to balance the memo sp as to be politically neutral and referenced Avery single paper he used to determine his stance. Not liking the conclusion of a peer reviewed paper does not make it extreme or stupid - ask any climate scientist

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Re: Now you see

>Or have you decided that ignoring people is also to be a social crime?

You mean like these people think?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/11/twitter-lawsuit-donald-trump-blocking-knight-institute

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Re: Now you see

That's because he's a member of the government. It's not allowed for them to restrict access to themselves. Free speech or something.

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Re: Now you see

It's not a "crime", it's a side effect. Everything has side effects, but you shouldn't let them blind you to obvious benefits.

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"why Blacks are such fast runners?"

Probably due to eugenics as a side effect of the slave trade. The slave traders picked the strongest "specimens" from Africa and shipped them to the Americas as slaves. The weaker of those died off through over-work, so only the strongest survived. This meant that blacks in America were from a hardy, strong stock which is well suited to various sports (basketball, sprinting, etc).

It's benefited them, but it doesn't justify slavery or what was done to them.

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Re: "why Blacks are such fast runners?"

Or it could be that it was more useful to be a fast runner for humans in Africa than it was for the humans who migrated north. While we all came from Africa if you go back a hundred thousand years or so, to the extent that fast running was more important for survival and having more children (i.e. higher social status) in Africa versus Europe/Asia/Americas the ones who left Africa would stop selecting for it as much. We selected for other traits, like lighter skin to allow getting sufficient vitamin D from the sun, digesting milk when we started keeping cattle, and so forth.

At any rate, the difference in speed is pretty small on average as well in the elite category. But when the difference between winning and losing is measured in hundredths of a second, it doesn't take much difference for blacks to be overrepresented in the ranks of elite sprinters.

Which is similar to the difference between men and women that Damore was pointing out. Yes, there's a difference, but it isn't large enough to account for the wide disparity in men and women working in tech. Especially since there is nearly a 50/50 mix in other countries like India and China. The difference in the US is obviously not genetic, unless someone wants to make a case that the difference between men and women in suitability for tech jobs exists only in Caucasians.

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Re: "why Blacks are such fast runners?"

So what you're saying is America needs to enslave the Whites to weed out their poor breeding stock? Hell yeah! Make America Great Again!

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