back to article Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

James Damore, the software engineer fired from Google after ironically firing off a neurotic memo about "neurotic" women, has launched a class-action lawsuit in the US against his former employer. The sueball was lobbed into the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara on Monday by Damore and fellow former Googler David …

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  1. cbars

    I am confused

    If you discriminate in all directions (against woman, against white men etc)... does it cancel out? In which case, Googles lawyers should have this sewn up in no time.

    Discriminate against men? Can't, check out this female lawsuit

    Discriminate against woman? Can't, check out this male lawsuit

    I reckon a judge would buy the 'Newtons Second Law" defence, right?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I am confused

      well, NO discrimination is the best idea, but if you do THAT, and the hiring environment is basically what Damore said it is [mostly white men applying], then you're gonna get sued, regardless, because, lawyers and insane people who can't simply ACCEPT that they don't discriminate [until they HAVE to discriminate, because,REVERSE discrimination, which is PROBABLY true in this case, out of self preservation].

      That being said...

      If employees could be discriminated against for their POLITICS, they should just shut the hell up about it when at work. After all, business is business, and politics is politics. Happy customers/employers keep you employed and are more likely to give you raises.

      And then as long as "the workplace" doesn't use what you say on line ON YOUR OWN TIME [assuming it disagrees with them\ and you're not violating any laws or revealing trade secrets, if they were to discriminate against you BECAUSE of your 'after work' politics, they'd be "sue-able" I'm pretty certain. And the lawsuit would be completely justified.

      Anyway, my $.10 . It's not so bad being a techno-whore. If the guy with the money that hires me is a total lefty, I'll just say "yes, sir" and shut the hell up if he says something "left-ish". He's paying the bills, after all.

      So - did Damore possibly INVITE the discrimination from past behavior? Just curious...

      1. nerdbert
        Alien

        How to leak information...unintentionally

        I'm certainly no fan of politics in the workplace. That said, this suit was filed in California, and as with many things, California is an oddball. And remember, this suit is filed in California, in California courts, with California law controlling.

        Google has a policy of actively attacking those who don't hew to one particular viewpoint and firing them as Damore found out. Under California employment law, that's illegal. Remember that Damore didn't discriminate against anybody according to the reason the CEO gave for canning him, it was because he promoted "badthink". In most right to work states that's actually legal, but not in California where there are protections against firing for political reasons. Given the storm of accusations and leaked documents showing managers who would blackball employees based on their political beliefs, Google's really behind the 8-ball in this suit.

        The suit would have had to be structured differently if it were filed in Federal courts, since firing for political reasons is allowed under Federal law. The discrimination and hostile workplace claims could still be made, but they're harder to prove. Frankly, the ability to add the political angle probably made filing in the California state courts preferable given the statements that Google made when they fired Damore. It will take some pretty fancy gymnastics on the part of Google's lawyers to make this go away.

        1. Agamemnon

          Re: How to leak information...unintentionally

          Considering that I'm currently sitting in Hollywoerd, and grew up in Silly Valley (and live in Seattle, you want to talk Kum-By-Yah,), I think I may have something to offer here:

          I'm politically antagonistic...I hate all of your sides/perspectives and the only good politicial is the one [severely edited] and piss American Pilsner on their graves. And I work in the Information business. These being said

          He was fired because he was a prick and his workgroup turned on him, went to management, and he was walked to the door.

          I have managed a bunch of folk in my time, and so:

          1. Google is Retardedly and Blindly Liberal. It's no less a Kool-Aid drinking Cult than Microsofties.

          2. It is unlikely that a Conservative is going to fair well in that environment.

          3. I have 20 people on my team, and One of them opens their mouth and pisses off 17 of the remaining, the one has to go.

          There isn't enough Gold in Christendom to get me to work for Google (I remember when they were eight people above a used book store on the 500 block of University Ave in Palo Alto). They've gone off the deep end and Bully For Them!

          But, as a manager, my Team Coherence is of Vital Importance to me.

          This guy, as an individual, is a prick. I wouldn't have allowed him on my team to begin with ... so, really, Google HR is to blame for not descriminating against him back in the early hiring process where it would be Very difficult to prove (even in The Socialistic Republic of California) that a White Conservative Male was discriminated against. San Mateo County would laugh him out of the court room.

          Apropos: When you pull a knife in a fight, and your opponet *Smiles*, you may wish to rethink some things because either:

          A. Your opponet is crazy.

          B. They know something you don't know.

          C. Both.

          Google will not be writing checks to this guy.

          He should have moved to Texas and sued from there. He might have had a chance. For now, he's just pissing up a rope instead of Maximizing His Search Engine skills over at monster.com.

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: How to leak information...unintentionally

            @Agamemnon

            I'm politically antagonistic....

            ... Google is Retardedly and Blindly Liberal.

            Those two lines do not sit well together.

            "Politically agnostic" would indicate neither left or right wing. Outside the USA, this is translated as "liberal" meaning neither socialist or conservative..

            Your usage of the word "liberal insinuates that you see the (liberal) politics of the centre as somewhat to your left.

            That does not indicate "agnostic" to me or is there another meaning to that word?

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: How to leak information...unintentionally

              They didn't write "agnostic", they wrote "antagonistic". They're saying they just hate every political side.

      2. cbars

        Re: I am confused

        @bombastic bob

        "NO discrimination is the best idea"

        This is just a restatement of Murphys law - but you're always too subtle for someone!

        'twas a Vector joke! Getting pulled in all directions is the same as not being pulled :)

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: NO discrimination is the best idea

          And we should just wait for that to happen naturally? Because it doesn't happen naturally. So how do we get to "No discrimination"?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am confused

        But Bob, why do you need to SHOUT every few words. If you were talking to someone in the street you'd sound like a MADMAN. I'm sure, of course, you aren't.

      4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: I am confused

        because,REVERSE discrimination

        Reverse discrimination is like a Reverse Proxy - it's still discrimination. I sometimes get the feeling the use of the word 'reverse' in this context indicates that it should be treated as a sub-case of discrimination, when it really is at the same level. Not suggesting you were inferring that, just in general.

      5. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: I am confused

        "If employees could be discriminated against for their POLITICS, they should just shut the hell up about it when at work"

        This is what confuses me. In most of the places that I've worked, discussing politic or religion at all, regardless of your stance, was against policy and could get you reprimanded. Seems like good policy to me, at least in the highly contentiousness and hostile environment that exists in the US.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: I am confused

          Okay - you're working in places where discussing politics or religion are explicitly grounds for a reprimand? This is some serious bullshit you have to contend with. Never would I work at a place where I was forbidden to discuss current affairs or history with my friends and colleagues. Combining this with your 50:50 gender split, there's something very atypical about these jobs you're talking about.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: I am confused

            "This is some serious bullshit you have to contend with. "

            Personally, considering how divisive and hostile things have become, this strikes me as an excellent policy (and it's becoming increasingly common). It avoids a lot of pointless strife in the workplace -- which is supposed to be a place where you work, after all.

            "Never would I work at a place where I was forbidden to discuss current affairs or history with my friends and colleagues."

            Neither would I -- at all of the places, I could talk about anything I like with my friends and colleagues. Just not on company time or using company resources.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

          That seems to be a US practice that is less common away from the "land of the fee".

          I work in the NHS and there are Conservative supporters here. It comes up in conversation on occasion and, like other adults, we agree to disagree about everything from basic arithmetic to Brexit.

          Also, unlike US altered workplaces, there are not rules about relationships within the organisation. We have a good number of married couples and other relationships. There are also a number of people who have followed their parents in here. I see that as either a good advert for working here or successful parental indoctrination! (My money's on the former.)

          Lets not adopt any more Americanisms in the workplace and drop some of the ones that have crept in.

        3. normalperson

          Re: I am confused

          If that is true then both sides should keep their politics to themselves, Unfortunately what we see in the US is progressives can rant all day long but a single conservative comment will get you attacked, called various names and told to shut up and keep your opinion to yourself – liberal fascism

          1. Jonathan Schwatrz
            Unhappy

            Re: normalperson Re: I am confused

            ".....but a single conservative comment will get you attacked....." When people admit they have been more harassed for coming out as Republican than gay by their Democrat friends and family it kinda shows how nasty the "progressive" groupthink has become. It's very hard to build consensus when people insist you have "become evil" just because you don't share their viewpoint.

      6. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

        Re: I am confused

        Down-voted due to all the SHOUTY caps.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I am confused

      @cbars. If you're gonna make a vectors joke, get the right law. Action and reaction is law three.

      1. cbars

        Re: I am confused

        Good God. That went off! I apologize to all subsequent posters that my joke got thread jacked

        @Symon: I can't let this slide. Though I only gave two examples (so I can see why you're confused, however please note the "etc"), I was referencing the second law. F (force) is a vector. I can't let my name be besmirtched so. Aren't jokes that much funnier when they need explaining.....

        @Jonathan Schwatrz: again. It was a joke

        Later posts have genuinely serious and interesting contributions! Again, sorry!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am confused

      James Damore, the software engineer fired from Google after ironically firing off a neurotic memo about "neurotic" women...

      The Register forgot to mention that Damore has a MS is Sociobiology from Harvard, and that everything he said in his memo was backed up by a myriad of prominent sociobiologists.

      Just saying...

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: I am confused

        El Reg also threw out any pretence of objective reporting right at the start when they called his memo an "anti-diversity essay". I've read the entire thing. Some parts I don't agree with, some I do. But his contention was not "anti-diversity". It was that to a greater degree than men women choose other fields than tech and that therefore, policies designed to drive towards a 50:50 split on the assumption any imbalance was due to systemic sexism was flawed. And indeed manifested as bias against men. And he adequately supported this argument.

        I've read about a third of Damore's court-filing (it's very long). I recommend anyone with half an hour to spend read it. It makes a fairly convincing picture of a hostile environment towards those who didn't share the Google group-think with numerous documented examples that would be evidence of constructive dismissal in the UK.

        I suggest El. Reg strive to be a little more objective in their reporting. Although it took a marked political shift a few years back with the dismissal of Lewis Page and I've noticed a very Silicon Valley slant in recent years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

          Is it a chicken and the egg situation, though?

          More women do not venture towards tech, despite having just as much desire early on and with empirical evidence (especially from other countries) showing they are just as capable. Therefore the whole premise of the essay seems to have evolved from a misogynist standpoint and through a certain world-view that is not supported by evidence.

          World War II in the UK showed that women were just as capable in the workplace and the results from Bletchley Park and NASA seemed to suggest just as capable in computing. Previously women had been, on the whole, seen incapable of such work to a great extent.

          So the Culture in Europe and the USA does seem to have a view of women being less capable and that pushes towards a greater hiring of men, better promotion prospects and more senior male employees.

          This in turn makes the industry less attractive to women and reinforces a gender stereotype. So there are less women entering, less diversity and less women to promote to higher levels.

          It is self-fulfilling.

          For years there has been encouragement to try to get more women into tech but at any point the picture shown is a male dominated industry. Which can stifle that campaign.

          Therefore if you start changing the industrial picture to be one of true diversity it evens up the playing field lower down so that it becomes an industry that appeals to everyone. It's a way of changing attitudes and in a small part social engineering. IF you believe that women are less capable genetically then you'll never agree. The evidence doesn't point to that and I would disagree with that.

          1. h4rm0ny
            Paris Hilton

            Re: I am confused

            I think there is an element of chicken and egg. I think it's less to do with role-models and more to do with the fact that at 14 you find yourself having to choose whether to go into a class with all your friends or be one of three girls amongst approx. 20 boys. (My experience).

            However, there has been a LOT of effort to increase the number of women in tech. One of the interesting observations in Damore's memo which addresses your point is that the disparity in tech INCREASES with career opportunity for women. I.e. in poorer countries where there's greater pressure to work and provide for yourself, gender ratios in tech are more even. This is also true in the USA historically where women were well represented in the emerging field of computers. What Damore concludes from these examples are that women are just as capable as men at programming but that as society opened up other careers to women that had previously been closed (doctors, lawyers, managers), career-minded women tended to pursue these.

            A credible case is made that reduction in career sexism in the USA has DECREASED the number of women programmers because women could always pursue a programming career (many early programming pioneers were women) but were formerly excluded from these other careers. That lends support to his view that there is a significant biological preference in general rather than it being primarily education and role-models.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: I am confused

              At the risk of paraphrasing Harmony here, it seems that women are perfectly capable of achieving a high degree of success in the world of IT but don't really want to do so, especially if there are better things they could be doing.

              This sounds like a very sensible attitude, but obviously in this day and age completely wrong. The only way to correct it is to force women into a career where you often don't see daylight or anything beyond 3ft away from you that isn't viewed through a screen (at least until you have a 50:50 split).

              Seriously, if (in general) women don't *want* to work in IT (and I wouldn't blame them) that doesn't mean that IT is inherently sexist - it's just full of blokes so it looks like it is. Not the same thing :)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I am confused

              "I.e. in poorer countries where there's greater pressure to work and provide for yourself, gender ratios in tech are more even."

              This is a very strange claim? Is there a source for that or is it made up?

              I would suggest that looking at official figures developed countries have as high or higher working women as a percentage than anywhere else. In fact the poorer countries have less women working as a percentage possibly due to the need for extended periods of childcare. So the USA which has a 45% women working average compared to India with a 25% average still has a greater disparity with Women entering tech training around 50% male to female. Women with tech jobs in India is at th e30% mark, in the UK & USA it is 20~25%.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: I am confused

                >>This is a very strange claim? Is there a source for that or is it made up?

                Thank you so much for the accusation. Here are sources you can review. Rather involved, but you're welcome to check my conclusions through the figures:

                http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/vgalpin1/ps/Gal02a.pdf

                http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/GDI

                To get you started, you can compare countries that are very low on sexism such as Sweden, New Zealand and Canada against some that score badly on the Gender Development Index (I would suggest Thailand, Guyana, Iran, Zimbabwe if you don't have any prepared subject area). And with this comparison you can see that these least sexist countries actually do worse.

                It seems like an odd idea to you because your preconception is that women are held back from computing and advanced countries should hold women back less. In fact, what is happening is that these MORE sexist countries are blocking careers like doctors, management, law, etc. whilst the LEAST sexist countries do not. The greater freedom of opportunity in these less sexist countries leads to women choosing other careers over programming, typically.

                As to your vague suggestion that I should look at "official figures", I hope you now see that I actually have a passable knowledge of what I'm talking about.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I am confused

                  So the very strange claim that, in your words "I.e. in poorer countries where there's greater pressure to work and provide for yourself, gender ratios in tech are more even." does not seem to be addressed?

                  The claim as you can see because I quoted it has nothing to do with sexist countries it is to do with greater pressure to work in a poorer country.

                  1. h4rm0ny

                    Re: I am confused

                    I'm not sure if you genuinely don't understand or if you are, as I suspect, simply determined that I must be wrong. To extend the benefit of the doubt one last time:

                    It very much does have to do with sexism. I provided good quality primary data showing that computer classes have higher female participation in sexist countries than they do in less sexist ones. I even helpfully directed you to examples of both countries as the data set is large. The reason for this is because in these more sexist countries, women have less career choice. You're less able to become a doctor or a lawyer or a manager, etc. When choice is restored, e.g. Sweden, you find participation drops because more often than not a female student will pursue a career other than a purely technical one.

                    The first are well-demonstrated facts. The conclusion is directly derived. If you again try to shift ground or dispute this, then I don't believe you're arguing honestly.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: I am confused

                      Your claim was "in poorer countries where there's greater pressure to work and provide for yourself, gender ratios in tech are more even."

                      Where is it stated that there is greater pressure for women to work in poorer countries?

                    2. lucki bstard
                      Joke

                      Re: I am confused

                      Or to put it another way, once the employment market becomes fully open many women realize that they can earn as much if not more in a job that doesn't require working in IT.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I am confused

                  Not only that looking at the articles you posted, one talking about women in computers doesn't mention 'sexism' as a factor in the way you mention.

                  You then correlate between two separate sets of data using poor correlation - it doesn't exist. The gender differences are made up from a range of categories - lifespan, schooling and income. For actual employment opportunities if we look at income the top 20 equitable are the following:

                  Tanzania (United Republic of), Mozambique, Burundi, Botswana, Viet Nam, Malawi, Slovenia, Thailand, Norway, Sierra Leone, Moldova (Republic of), Togo, Congo (Democratic Republic of the), Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Sweden, Eritrea, Congo

                  In that order.

                  So this is completely un-evidential and unscientific.

                  Even using your interpretation we can see that Singapore scores very highly on the GDI (#5) and also is one of the highest for female ratio to male in tech.

                  Either way the stats have a very low correlation.

            3. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: I am confused

              A credible case is made that reduction in career sexism in the USA has DECREASED the number of women programmers because women could always pursue a programming career (many early programming pioneers were women) but were formerly excluded from these other careers. That lends support to his view that there is a significant biological preference in general rather than it being primarily education and role-models.

              Alone the fact that we have tons of mansplainers in IT in the USA and in the UK trying to mansplain away their own discriminatory practices clearly indicates that career sexism in the US (and the UK) is still far from a level where women feel they are truly equals.

              Downvote me all you like, but there's *nothing* that excuses the kind of reprehensible 'bro' behaviour that makes women feel unappreciated, less than capable, or having to live up to higher standards than their male 'peers'. Biological preference my arse.

            4. voster

              Re: I am confused

              "A credible case is made that reduction in career sexism in the USA has DECREASED the number of women programmers because women could always pursue a programming career (many early programming pioneers were women) but were formerly excluded from these other careers. That lends support to his view that there is a significant biological preference in general rather than it being primarily education and role-models."

              A credible case indeed, but not airtight of course. Here's a Slate article along the same lines:

              http://www.slate.com/blogs/better_life_lab/2017/11/09/the_stem_paradox_why_are_muslim_majority_countries_producing_so_many_female.html

              How much of a role do biological preferences is however, debateable, I think.

              Women were still minorities decades ago, and the massive expansion of the sector meant that the workforce increased greatly and the dynamics at play in a fast expanding industry is always influenced by many factors. For example, as the industry grew rapidly in the 60s and 70s, it's need for staff meant that it hoovered up university graduates of many different backgrounds. University graduates of the time were, of course, more male than they are now. This, I'd argue, is one of many factors that shifted gender ratios.

              And as tech workforce growth slowed, some systemic biases will set. Society starts adapting gender views of tech jobs etc.

              An interesting analysis is therefore to see if gender ratios can stay stable in a country as levels of sexism (however measured) decreases.

              This is an argument that I'd just like to throw in, and I'm happy to be contradicted by facts.

              1. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

                Re: I am confused

                "For example, as the industry grew rapidly in the 60s and 70s, it's need for staff meant that it hoovered up university graduates of many different backgrounds. University graduates of the time were, of course, more male than they are now. This, I'd argue, is one of many factors that shifted gender ratios."

                I was a Civil Engineering student in the mid to late 70s in the UK, and one of the reasons I'd chosen the subject was that there had been a massive slump in construction in the mid 70s, people weren't going into construction related degrees, and I thought the world would be my oyster as I graduated as the industry boomed.

                Previously effectively all Civil Engineering students would go into related work.

                In fact, the slump got worse, most people switched to other careers, most of those to computing!

                Oh, and there were three girls in my year, who all went into construction (I can't recall any in Mechanical, Electrical or Electronics!)!

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: I am confused

            "More women do not venture towards tech"

            I'm not really so sure about this. The last three places that I've worked have been pretty close to 50/50 in terms of the gender of the engineers, although none of them put any special effort into recruiting women. What they did have were policies that restrained some of the worst aspects of how men behave when women are around.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: I am confused

              That an astonishing ratio. I've worked in places I didn't find sexist in any meaningful way and there was nothing like a 50:50 gender ratio amongst programmers in any of them. Do you mind identifying the field we're talking about, and which country you're from? We're ARE talking programming jobs here? Front end or back end?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I am confused

                "Front end or back end?"

                Cough, splutter ...

              2. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: I am confused

                "Do you mind identifying the field we're talking about, and which country you're from?"

                Software engineering (security-related) companies in the US (west coast). These were major well-known companies (only one of them was Fortune 500, though). None of them were Google, Microsoft, etc.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

          Was Lewis Page dismissed? El Reg never made any announcement about it, and Lewis said (on his blog) that he wasn't allowed to discuss it.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: I am confused

            Lewis Page is, as I understand it, legally prevented from discussing his departure. But it was abrupt and he didn't leave for another position elsewhere as would be normal if it were voluntary. He was immediately trying to find other work. And there was an accompanying political slant that appeared in El Reg. around the same time. So I'm reading between the lines, but I think that writing is pretty clear.

            1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Re: I am confused

              I would argue there was a very strong political slant that suddenly disappeared when Lewis left. I liked his writing on some topics, but he let dogma get in the way of science on his environmental stuff.

              Anyone else remember the absurd column on climate change he (presumably) approved from some random clown who worked in IT from memory, and had no experience in the field whatsoever? I remember commenting on it but have been trawling through the last ten years and can't find it, so maybe it's been pulled. The site was turning into a joke for a while.

        3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: I am confused

          It was that to a greater degree than men women choose other fields

          That is unfortunately true in both USA and UK. It is significantly less true elsewhere. The gender ratios in STEM in continental Europe with the notable exception of physics are reasonably sane.

          However, what you missed is the list of anecdotal bollocks like "women could not take stress" which were attached as a flawed reasoning to this statement while at the same time ignoring the main reason - antisocial PFYs like himself.

          That is one area where women are better than men - we get that from our simian ancestry. Women are significantly more adept in maneuvering a social situation so that they do not need to deal with an arsehole. Especially an arsehole with ideas on what they are incapable of.

          That is the real reason for low number of ladies in UK and USA STEM - the arsehole numbers are too high.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: I am confused

            >>That is unfortunately true in both USA and UK. It is significantly less true elsewhere. The gender ratios in STEM in continental Europe with the notable exception of physics are reasonably sane.

            STEM is not the subject. That covers academic research, sciences in general, teaching STEM subjects. The subject covered by Damore is explicitly tech jobs of an engineering kind - programming, chiefly. Even there he draws a distinction between front-end work and back-end work because there's another significant gap there. You'll find the gender ratio is a lot more heavily slanted towards men amongst Sysadmins than those creating GUIs. The contention is not that men are more capable as sysadmins, but that in general men are more likely to put up sitting in a frozen maze of server racks talking to a screen all day.

            We have to stay off broadening into "STEM" as a whole because it misleads. For example, women are OVER-represented in teaching STEM, iirc.

            You're factually wrong, when you say it's a more "sane" ratio on continental Europe. See the link I posted elsewhere. Countries that score extremely highly in the Gender Development Index still have ratios far from that of the general population. Sweden has 30% female in computer classes. And that's high-ish. New Zealand has 20% and Canada 24%. And of those, many women will on graduation take it towards teaching or a related administrative or managerial role associated with their degree. Contrast that with Guyana (54% female computer class participation) or Zimbabwe (41%).

            All this supports the conclusion that necessity increases female participation in programming, not choice.

            >>That is one area where women are better than men - we get that from our simian ancestry. Women are significantly more adept in maneuvering a social situation so that they do not need to deal with an arsehole

            Anecdotal but I am terrible with people. Also, "arseholes" are sometimes necessary. Singular leadership and a measure of punitiveness by an authority figure can be more productive than a tendency to prefer consensus by default. Elevating consensus to be an inherent good can be very destructive to a group's success.

        4. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

          Re: I am confused

          Yes. It's a bollocks article. Hang your head, Register.

        5. Cederic

          Re: I am confused

          I must admit, I'd be much happier if The Register didn't allow their San Francisco based staff to report on Damore and his Google interactions. I'm happy for El Reg to rip into Damore but do it with humour and insight, not by misrepresenting his position.

      2. NerryTutkins

        Re: I am confused

        If a big company like google is going to discriminate, they won't just create female only hiring lists and so on. What they'll do is offset the huge gender imbalance in the recruiting pool of qualified engineers by accepting wider degree subjects outside of the usual computer science and electrical engineering disciplines.

        So for example, biology. In the US, that's over 60% female, compared to computer science and engineering courses that are overwhelmingly male.

        And that's the funniest thing. Damore is a biology graduate, and probably only got the job because of positive discrimination to hire people with biology degrees as it would mean hiring more women. He only got his job at google because he did a girly subject.

        No I lie. The funniest thing was his interview later where he said that he was autistic and therefore had poor social skills, and that Google and other companies should have to have programmes to educate other staff about his particular foibles, because that's how god made him and as such he could bring a different perspective and angle on this (but of course, they definitely shouldn't have such programmes to educate the workforce about how not to grope women in lifts, or suggest that women could bring a different perspective).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

          You are clearly confused as to what systems biology is, you know, Damore's masters degree.

          It's the modelling of complex bio systems mathematically/computationally, very 'girly'. However I'm sure you can enlighten the Reg readers on your take on, for example, the math models for the kinetics of enzyme catalysed reactions and the challenge of inhibited or binding regulated systems.

          Or perhaps you are a bit of an uninformed shouty type, if so, you'd fit right in in the Google HR team.

      3. joea

        Re: I am confused

        Is "a myriad" a real thing? (not) Waiting for the myriad responses . . . .

      4. voster
        Stop

        Re: I am confused

        ."..that everything he said in his memo was backed up by a myriad of prominent sociobiologists."

        Not "everything". He cites many studies on gender averages, which are backed up. But then, he makes the leap from this data to make several conjectures on morality and solutions which are not backed up by any study.

        A small selection of quotes shows the speculative nature of the paper:

        "Philosophically, I don't think we should..."

        "As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of

        costs and benefits"

        "We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is

        both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left

        ideology"

        He insists Google should not moralise some issues, but this is an entirely subjective view. Prominent sociobiologists certainly do not tell people what should be moralised and what should be viewed purely in terms of costs and benefits.

        1. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

          Re: I am confused

          When he talks about moralising and costs and benefits he's not talking about pure economics, never mind morals.

          What he means is that when someone suggests the ideologically orthodox "solution" might not actually be beneficial for women and minorities, that in fact the dogmatic approach might be counter-productive for them, you shouldn't be shooting the messenger for heresy, never mind burning him at the stake, along with every word he has written!

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