back to article James Damore's labor complaint went over about as well as his trash diversity manifesto

Google was well within its rights when it dumped controversial bro-grammer James Damore in mid-2017. This is according to legal advice given to America's National Labor Relations Board by its associate general counsel Jayme Sophir. In a just-released memo to the board, she explained the Chocolate Factory did not break US …

Anonymous Coward

Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

"(including several death marches)"

She was Palestinian?

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Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

Well no, see above. The percentages of successful women in engineering versus men does at least correlate with the theory that women are less suited.

Not necessarily, after all it's been a male dominated field for social reasons as well, may take a while for the filter to wear off.

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Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

Established in a legal memo... not that established really

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Anonymous Coward

Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

>WTF is SJW?

It's right-wing arsehole-speak for "someone with a social conscience who isn't a sociopath".

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Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

"The percentages of successful women in engineering versus men does at least correlate with the theory that women are less suited."

No. It correlates with the theory that the men who get appointed to the senior posts are less likely to appoint women. And that women are less likely to be appointed to the senior posts that do the appointing of junior posts. A view supported, in part, by the the fact of people posting here who believe that women are intrinsically unsuited to engineering.

The same holds true for ethnic minority appointments. But here there is objective proof available, because of the oft repeated studies that show how applications with an Anglo-Saxon name are more likely to get interviews than those with "ethnic" ( i.e. non Anglo-Saxon) names on the identical CV.

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Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

Mmm

There is something about this rebuttal I don't like, if there are significant differences in the sexes this kind of plays in support of this blokes thesis even if they are not in the direction he believes.

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Anonymous Coward

Got to love the way google seems to be run by women who hate men, and its these women who keep claiming Damore has no rights, or no claim.

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Anonymous Coward

Lol

At all the butthurt people commenting within an hour of the article going up.

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Re: Lol

No kidding. You should all of his apologists on other comment pages. Douche bros defending a douche bro.

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oh the irony

Damore wasn't an engineering graduate. He studied biology. A subject unlike engineering which in the US is 60%+ female. The thing that damore and his supporters missed is that he was only at Google thanks to diversity policies to open up recruitment from other disciplines than engineering and computing that are 90%+ male.

He then later claimed that Google should have training in place for other staff to learn to accommodate autistic people like him who might occasionally act like arseholes, because they add diversity of thinking. So only positive discrimination for him then eh?

The poor lad clearly doesn't have any sense of irony. Another in a long line of privileged people convinced they earned everything they got, and all their failures are the fault of others.

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Re: oh the irony

@NerryTutkins, thank you that explained a great deal of what went wrong and why Damore did what he did. Many people who know those with his sorts of fundamental issues know that while they are not fun the other part of the word after the 'da' can appear to apply in spades. One I know will come out with the most egregious things and be unable to understand that their view of the world may not be shared by others. Once the 'bee is in their bonnet' that is the end of the matter they may not have seen the subject or read an article about the matter but they know instinctively that you are wrong.

Some will never be able to work, some will work for a while then blow up and leave economic activity, while others can sometimes find a niche and thrive. Your quote "all their failures are the fault of others" rings especially true in my experience of several real life examples.

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Re: oh the irony

According to the Guardian's article, Damore actually studied computational biology, which appears to be a math/stats-focused major (so, likely more male-dominated) separate from actual biology.

(Note: I'm not ranting at you with the below, just jumping off from your mention of his supposedly being autistic.)

It's also not clear whether he's actually on the autistic spectrum or not. The Guardian claimed he was diagnosed in grad school, but Damore later said first that he was just "likely" autistic, then later that he'd just mistakenly believed that a while ago. AFAICT, his interviews only ever mention 2-3 relevant traits, but they're also found in non-autistics.

All I can say is that while the Guardian was doing Damore a favor by casting him as an innocent underdog, it definitely wasn't doing the non-jerkish majority of autistics a favor by reinforcing the old "auties are geeky arseholes" stereotype. Damore's beliefs & insistence that they're "the truth" are both the result of him being a hardcore MRA Red-Pill Libertarian, not because he's theoretically autistic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: oh the irony

The thing that damore and his supporters missed is that he was only at Google thanks to diversity policies to open up recruitment from other disciplines than engineering and computing that are 90%+ male.

The thing that Damore's detractors missed is that he wasn't anti-diversity. What he was against were some of Google's diversity policies which he saw as ineffective, and in some cases illegal.

NerryTutkins: "Another in a long line of privileged people convinced they earned everything they got, and all their failures are the fault of others."

Richard Jones 1: "his sorts of fundamental issues"

Trilkhai: "Damore's beliefs & insistence that they're "the truth" are both the result of him being a hardcore MRA Red-Pill Libertarian, not because he's theoretically autistic."

Wow! What are the chances that three people who knew Damore personally would appear in a single comment thread on The Register!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: oh the irony

"Damore wasn't an engineering graduate."

No, he was a science graduate and anyway engineering degrees are commonly a Batchelor of Science / BSc

"The thing that damore and his supporters missed is that he was only at Google thanks to diversity policies to open up recruitment from other disciplines than engineering and computing that are 90%+ male."

No, technology firms often recruit science graduates. He had a STEM degree. Those policies would have reduced his chance as a white male of being hired.

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Anonymous Coward

"Essentially, Damore claimed women's brains are just not inherently suited to engineering jobs,"

No he didn't. Why is this lie still being spread?

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Yeah, it's rather that he said their brains make them prefer other jobs. To be clear, that's still controversial, and in my opinion deeply unconvincing, but still, a bit different.

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No he didn't. Why is this lie still being spread?

He started from the point of view that the current state is optimal in terms of outcomes for Google and then sought to construct reasons justifying it - the principle reason being that women were not genetically predisposed to hack it in the hot house of male competitiveness.

What he did not do is offer any evidence that the current state was optimal, he just took it for granted that he could not be part of a suboptimal system. He offered no evidence that the outcomes for Google were better or worse as a result of their diversity policies, he just assumed that the candidates being hired under that policy were inherently inferior.

He said I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. - an unqualified statement that makes no reference to whether such a change would have better or worse outcomes for Google, he simply assumes that the result will be worse.

Indeed, it's not clear that he understands what outcomes actually count. He says those willing to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead - by which he means mostly men. Yet that pretty much defines the kind of employee you don't want: the stressed low-productivity presentee.

Now, I suspect that Google is sufficiently chaotic in its hiring and its management that it doesn't have any useful metric for outcomes - they produce too much that they throw away. And if Google don't have those statistics, Damore has none.That leaves the value of their former hiring policy as moot as their more recent policy and Damore's belief in the inevitability of gender imabalance is simply post hoc ergo propter hoc.

It's hard to view an argument based on no evidence that is basically "engineering has always been done this way by tough men and touchy-feely women are repelled by it" as anything other than "women's brains are just not inherently suited to engineering jobs" if you're also asserting those jobs cannot be done differently.

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Anonymous Coward

If the Register publishes the truth of what he said, then Antifa terrorists* will storm their offices, burn their dogs and nail their left feet to the floor.

If they report an agreeable lie, it will be debunked over and over in the comments and their website still contains the truth, albeit at enough of a distance that they can convince the terrorists that it wasn't them.

(*Under Obama the DHS and FBI determined that Antifa are domestic terrorists under the label of "anarchist extremists" - picture Rick from The Young Ones with a baseball bat)

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Anonymous Coward

He started from the point of view that the current state is optimal in terms of outcomes for Google

No, he didn't. He was putting forth his opinion that the "current state" of Google's hiring practises were not optimal in terms of outcomes for Google, and gave logical, statistical, and scientifically-backed reasoning to support this position.

The tech industry has had decades of growth, profit, and innovation to show for its male-dominated culture. Google has a multi-billion-dollar multi-national mega-corporation to show for its male-dominated culture. So where is the comparable evidence that gender diversity would produce even better results than that? It seems to me that it's those who seek equal gender representation are the ones making assumptions.

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The tech industry has had decades of growth, profit, and innovation to show for its male-dominated culture.

Thank you for providing a stellar example of post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning.

So where is the comparable evidence that gender diversity would produce even better results than that?

First of, you haven't provided evidence that those results are causally linked to the lack of diversity; you've only shown correlation. Second, take a look at this: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/delivering-through-diversity

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Anonymous Coward

McKinsey delivers what clients ask for. It might sometime also be true. If it is politically useful to claim a commitment to diversity, there's a report for that. Obviously there is no call for an alternate report in the current climate.

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Facepalm

McKinsey delivers what clients ask for. It might sometime also be true. If it is politically useful to claim a commitment to diversity, there's a report for that. Obviously there is no call for an alternate report in the current climate.

Provide evidence invalidating their work. Don't simply attack them and assume that that means their work is invalid. That's not how logic works.

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"He said I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. - an unqualified statement that makes no reference to whether such a change would have better or worse outcomes for Google, he simply assumes that the result will be worse."

Well, it WILL be worse for the qualified folk who are overlooked in favour of a lesser qualified person who helps google meet a quota.

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Anonymous Coward

@Steve Knox

"Provide evidence?" That's not how shitposting works. You dropped a pseudoscience link as "evidence" in lieu of making a sound argument yourself, and AC called bullshit on you.

You say this McKinsey research proves that diversity makes companies more profitable. In their own words, it only shows correlation. A deeper study may show that companies become profitable, then corporate culture sets in and they start checking off boxes like "diversity", and the company goes to shit but remains profitable for another decade or more thanks to its monopoly position. That's Google to a T.

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Reason for firing

IMHO anyone who publicly publishes anything deserves the consequences. And anyone stupid enough to publish something , for no good reason, that will adversely affect their own career deserves all they get.

i.e. What he thinks probably matters little. What he publishes matters more. That he published matters most.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reason for firing

He didn't publicly publish anything. It was sent to an internal list after a request for opinions on the matter of workplace diversity, following a training workshop. Someone leaked it.

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Re: Reason for firing

> IMHO anyone who publicly publishes anything deserves the consequences. And anyone stupid enough to publish something , for no good reason, that will adversely affect their own career deserves all they get.

i.e. What he thinks probably matters little. What he publishes matters more. That he published matters most.

What the actual fuck? should I hound you for publishing such a stupid comment? Would you 'deserve all you get'?

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Re: Reason for firing

"IMHO anyone who publicly publishes anything deserves the consequences."

So what consequences do you deserve for publishing that comment?

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Re: Reason for firing

Sadly, Google has made it clear they have no interest in taking action against the person who published the memo, only the person who dared to write it on the assurance that it would be kept private.

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Re: Reason for firing

should I hound you for publishing such a stupid comment?

Well, since my comment doesn't stigmatise or offend any particular group ( except maybe the incautious) you would (did) just prove yourself rather stupid to have a go at me on that basis.

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Re: Reason for firing

Mycho

Fair comment, and a good point.

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Re: Reason for firing

So what consequences do you deserve for publishing that comment?

Criticism. Disagreement. If logical and well grounded that's part of normal discussion. Even downvotes. I can take it. I'm an adult.

Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, this is a comment and discussion forum . It really doesn't matter a monkey's what I (or you) think to anyone outside of these columns. Though judging by the tenor of the comments, it matters a lot to some of the commentards in here.

It would be very surprising if anyone here was adversely affected by a comment they make ( and if they don't make it AC if they're potentially identifiable from their details and display name then they would, yes, deserve the real world consequences).

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Re: Reason for firing

> Well, since my comment doesn't stigmatise or offend any particular group ( except maybe the incautious) you would (did) just prove yourself rather stupid to have a go at me on that basis.

Re-read your comment. You suggest that anyone who publishes anything should prepare to have their career ended. You published that comment

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Re: Reason for firing

No, you reread it. And reread your own comment. There is no logic to your comment. Consequences do not have to be negative or significant. But if you do choose to go public with a comment then you do deserve the consequences. You choose to go public. A positive statement that supports your employer, or is non-controversial is not going to damage your career. The point being that ( and to be fair the person in the article didn't actually intend it it be made public, which is by and by in terms of your comment) if you do choose to make an incautious public statement that is not in the interest of your employer as they see it, it is your lack of foresight about how this could affect your future, rather more than the substance of the comment, that suggests that you shouldn't be in a responsible job. It's about making choices. To go public or not, and accept the consequences if you do.

If you choose to make the point as a matter of principle then you must accept your martyrdom and you have my utmost respect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reason for firing

In a world filled with SJWs of diverse types, there is NO SUCH THING as a non-controversial statement.

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Re: Reason for firing

> A positive statement that supports your employer, or is non-controversial is not going to damage your career.

What absolute horseshit! Who gets to decide what is 'non-controversial'?

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Re: Reason for firing

If you choose to go public it's your judgement of the value and risks that is under question. If your choice is " (I'll) Publish and be damned" and it's worth it you are a hero and/or a martyr. If it's "Ooh, I didn't see that coming" then your judgement failed you. And poor judgement is an issue in its own right. Whatever the substantive issue is that upsets your employer might be you are still responsible for the decision you make. Including knowing what might be controversial or offensive. And yes, to be fair this guy was let down by a colleague, which should be a cast iron defence.

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The court case is over?

Oh wait, it's not. Feel free to crow once it is but not until then.

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Political correctness

'…fellow Googler reading: "You're a misogynist and a terrible human. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. Fuck you."

That employee was given a "final warning" from Google bosses, we're told.'

Damore is fired for writing a carefully argued statistical paper. The other person is allowed to stay despite an offensive rant. That is what happens when political correctness is allowed to trump rational argument.

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Boffin

Re: Political correctness

"Damore is fired for writing a carefully argued statistical paper."

I really hope you're not a practising scientist.

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Re: Political correctness

Whatever science he was using did very little to support his conclusion that Google should stop giving their employees training against discrimination.

To begin with, the biology argument he uses, even assuming it helps explaining the disparity between men and women in engineering, does not magically mean that discrimination does not exist. And then, it does absolutely nothing to explain why black people are so rare in engineering.

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Re: Political correctness

And then, it does absolutely nothing to explain why black people are so rare in engineering.

Quite obviously because they choose to be.

There is not one single avenue to education, in Europe at least, that discriminates against black people becoming engineers. There's nothing against oriental folk ..... or hispanic, etc. And there's nothing in favour of white people there either. Loans for education or free education, are available to all irrespective of skin colour.

If some predominantly white continents, such as Europe & North America, prioritise higher education more than predominantly black continents, such Africa, you may get a racial disparity in educated professions. I doubt that is the key reason here, which is why I suggest it is because they choose other professions, because I meet a lot of black people that have chosen the medical profession rather than engineering, IT, legal, or accountancy.

Why are there fewer women in IT? Because fewer of them choose to continue their education in the subject than do men. Nothing, certainly not 'positive' discrimination, will do anything to redress a perceived or actual problematic imbalance until the education component is first addressed. Hiring someone because of their gender or race over a better educated candidate with more experience is the height of stupidity. If you're not capable of hiring the best person before you because of your own racism or mysoginy then you shouldn't be hiring people at all. So far this year none of the candidates I've recommended hiring have been white men, but that's not because I'm trying to tick diveristy criteria, it's just because the best candidates that applied this round weren't white guys. Go figure.

You want to level the numbers, then make IT compulsory up to at least GCSE level. Real IT, not a word processing course - programming, devops, networks etc.

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Re: Political correctness

carefully argued statistical paper

Lies, damned lies and statistics..

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Damore is fired for writing a carefully argued statistical paper.

Damore wrote a set of opinions and associated them with a random selection of what he asserted were facts. However, there are few actual statistics in his paper (there's one about 93% of work-related deaths being of males and another asserting that 95% of humanities and social sciences lean left) and none is actually relevant to his argument (workplace death is not a common problem in IT and he isn't suggesting that HR departments are entirely staffed by social science graduates) .He makes a number of assertions about male vs female characteristics but fails entirely to correlate those characteristics with the tasks staff are required to perform, so they're irrelevant too, regardless of whether they may be true or false. He also has a few links to disputed evidence of bias against men. The only statistical argument I can detect in it is that correlation actually is causation as that seems to be how he explains the present gender balance.

So no, it wasn't anything like a carefully-argued statistical paper and would have been a fail grade if it had been an assignment.

But, I agree that in an "employment at will" situation, I can't seen why "Fuck you" man wasn't fired.

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Ok, great. He was out of his depth. I still don't see why the SJW rabble went on an all-out assault to destroy him. That Google campus sounds like a terrifying place to work, I'd be afraid to talk to anyone about anything not work related. I can picture myself being crucified for trying to 'bum a fag' (ask for a cigarette)

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He was out of his depth

Having got out of his depth, he dug himself in further by trying to make out his "conservative" facts were being undermined by some sort of liberal conspiracy. You don't get some special status for your argument by pretending it is somehow protected political speech. You can't negate arguments against misogyny simply by calling it "conservative values" any more than you can those against lynching by calling it "traditional justice" . I really don't know how that affected his working relationships with his colleagues, but I can see it might not have gone down too well.

I can picture myself being crucified for trying to 'bum a fag'

You don't have to: see Rule 34.

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Angel

> You don't get some special status for your argument by pretending it is somehow protected political speech

Not to mention that: In the US there is no constitutionally protected political speech at work.

If someone working at Google is stupid enough to write a memo postulating that men are better than women at doing Google things therefore Google should only hire men, Google is perfectly within its rights to fire that jackass.

Google did not hire Damore to opine about Google's hiring or diversity policies.

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