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 …

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

They literally asked for feedback on their diversity and hiring policies following a training session.

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>They literally asked for feedback on their diversity and hiring policies following a training session.

"I want someone to tell me", Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched to them all prayerfully. "If any of it is my fault, I want to be told."

"He wants someone to tell him," Clevinger said.

"He wants everyone to keep still, idiot," Yossarian answered.

"Didn't you hear him?" Clevinger argued.

"I heard him," Yossarian replied. "I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us."

"I won't punish you", Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore.

"He says he won't punish me", said Clevinger.

"He'll castrate you," said Yosarrian.

"I swear I won't punish you," said Lieutenant Scheisskopf. "I'll be grateful to the man who tells me the truth."

"He'll hate you", said Yossarian. "To his dying day he'll hate you."

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Anonymous Coward

There is however in California a law that prohibits hiring/firing based on political beliefs, which is the basis of Damore's suit.

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What's a bro-grammer?

I assume it's a white male programmer, but knowing google and the SJW folk, it could also be a programmer who has a My Little Pony fetish.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's a bro-grammer?

It's a male programmer who still acts like a frat boy.

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Re: What's a bro-grammer?

> It's a male programmer who still acts like a frat boy.

White?

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Re: What's a bro-grammer?

A pejorative term coined by some person or group with an axe to grind.

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re the fluffy little women can't hack it nonsense.

twitter thread "about Constance Tipper, 1st woman faculty @Cambridge_Eng whose work helped feed Britain during WW2"

https://mobile.twitter.com/paulcoxon/status/878169235188584448

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Re: re the fluffy little women can't hack it nonsense.

The plural of anecdote is not data. And you don't even have two anecdotes there.

This is just a comment that you don't trump a paper that has a semblence of scientific thought (true or not) by citing one person as proof that a group of individuals have that property, otherwise I can say 'men are smarter than women, proof Stephen Hawking'. It just doesn't wash. Debunking a claim with utter specious bollocks makes people more likely to believe the claim, whether or not it's true. They think 'if that's the best you have to refute him, he might well be onto something'. That's a bullshit argument as well, but it's how people think.

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Re: re the fluffy little women can't hack it nonsense.

lots of bros who collectively couldn't make 1% of the contribution that woman did.

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Re: re the fluffy little women can't hack it nonsense.

So... how many anecdotes does a data point make?

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Feral vs CA Law

Under Feral employment law, there was no case as the issue for the firing is not a feral no-no. State law in some cases has broader protections against summary firings. CA law is often broader than the feral law. So Chocolate Factory has won the easy round but the next round may be much tougher (need to CA law on this point).

All the hyperventilating about the feral rejection is a nothing burger. If you knew the feral requirements this case never met any other than a slight chance of a disability (Autism) which was rather doubtful.

A point to consider, Chocolate Factory's handling was rather incompetent and might leave them open to other types of lawsuits which might also stick.

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Big Brother

Controversial bro-grammer James Damore

"Therefore, the employer did not violate Se3ction 8(a)(1) of the act" ref

Jayme Sophirs advice to the board was incorrect:

8(a)(1): "you may not .. Threaten employees with adverse consequences if they engage in protected, concerted activity. (Activity is "concerted" if it is engaged in with or on the authority of other employees"

Damore was invited to contribute his views to an internal Google discussion forum. The moderator of which subsequently leaked the memo to the Internet and got him fired. A clearer example couldn't have been made that there is indeed an atmosphere of intolerance at google for those still holding hetero-normative views. There is however room for furries and yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin. What this 'controversial' issue is really about is that Damore was hounded out of Google for being white, male, heterosexual and conservative.

ps: to the editors: the general tone of that article is offensive and unprofessional and it does lower the tone of the place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Controversial bro-grammer James Damore

Damore was invited to contribute his views to an internal Google discussion forum. The moderator of which subsequently leaked the memo to the Internet and got him fired.

I'm no sure how you came to believe this, but that's absolutely not what happened. Nobody asked him to write that memo. He wrote it on his own, over multiple weeks, asking for feedback to other people who tried to make him tone down some of the most outrageous claims. It eventually went viral in the company, and a random employee leaked it to the internet.

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Childcatcher

Re: Controversial bro-grammer James Damore

"I'm no sure how you came to believe this"

it's not a matter of what I believe. Damore was invited to attend some diversity programme and subsequently engaged with dialog with certain attendees through a restricted internal discussiion board. And Damore wrote the memo through a twelve hour flight to China. Unlike certain internal commentators, Damore did not call for a “moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors.” and other such lunacy. Such as an entity who self identifies as a ‘yellow-scale wingless dragonkin’, an ‘expansive ornate building’ and a 'plural being’. But here through the magic of the Internet we can make our own minds up:

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber

Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety

This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed. The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.”

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Controversial bro-grammer James Damore

Damore was invited to attend some diversity programme and subsequently engaged with dialog with certain attendees through a restricted internal discussiion board. And Damore wrote the memo through a twelve hour flight to China.

Damore sent his memo to an internal mailing list open to all Google employees. People politely disagreed with him, and nothing happened.

Four weeks later, he sent it to another internal mailing list that was more widely followed; and then his document went viral internally. After a few days, somebody leaked it, and then it went viral externally. He was fired a few days later.

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Anonymous Coward

Amused

That the comments section got flooded by salty /pol/ GamerGate bro-dudes. I didn't expect that to happen on El Reg.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Joke

Re: Amused

@AC

I didn't expect that to happen on El Reg.

Well, something must be bringing them in. I myself drop by for the DevOps and the occasional stories of blokes getting their appendages released by the local fire service

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amused

I, for one, was here long before GamerGate, and I loathe Reddit.

Get off my lawn!

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Re: Amused

Well, something must be bringing them in. I myself drop by for the DevOps and the occasional stories of blokes getting their appendages released by the local fire service

Frankly, I can no longer handle that level of content-providing articles; they are too dense.

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Trollface

The offensive, adversarial and generally illogical comments.

Seem to fit the reported Google culture quite nicely.

Regardless of science (not that any commentards seem to have summoned any) two things seem obvious.

(1) Damore was hounded out at least partly as a result of the malicious publication of an internal discussion. If the paper was grounds for dismissal it should have been passed to management for action. Instead it was leaked with the intent of punishing and publicly humiliating Damore. Despite this the perpetrator was not fired. I do not believe whistleblower protection applies in this case.

(2) The culture as exposed is very probably not attractive to or supportive of intelligent, balanced and motivated women. Whatever his chain of logic he nailed that one.

Oh, and is the term "ad hominem" gender sensitive?

Oh, and don't email anyone anything you wouldn't want to see in the evening news and/or court.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The offensive, adversarial and generally illogical comments.

Despite this the perpetrator was not fired

You don't know that. Firings are generally kept secret by all parties. The reason we know about Damore is because nobody bothered to hide something so obvious.

Leaking internal documents and discussions is generally grounds for immediate dismissal. Leakers are fired much faster than Damore was, considering his document was viral inside the company for many days before someone leaked it, and he was fired days afterwards.

If the Google leadership ever figured out who the leaker was, it's absolutely certain that they fired him (or her). Indeed, Google's reputation was far more damaged by the leak than by the document being written in the first place.

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In a slightly different approach, this article contains numerous statements that are manifestly untrue and provable so in court. In particular, they can be proven false to the point that no reasonably diligent reporter could reasonably consider them to be true. In England he would have a pretty open and shut case for libel.

I am seriously disappointed in the Register as they normally take a stance of trying to present the truth. I won't join in with the general mudslinging except to say that I would love to find some anti-Damore article that actually presents actual evidence as after many hours of searching I have been unable to find even a single one. Since his memo is actually available it would be perfectly feasible for someone to point out any of his statements that is, in context, incorrect but nobody has bothered to do so.

All those attacking him are doing a serious disservice to their supposed objective of reducing discrimination as they are insisting that as a society we must ignore the real problems and focus on issues which are either largely resolved or barely ever existed. The current action against Google for discrimination against women is a symptom of this problem. If you ignore the real reasons that men end up getting paid more than women then you end up not doing anything about it.

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FAIL

It's all rather depressing, and I'm pretty disappointed with The Register's coverage of it.

I've been too lazy to read his memo. So I've no idea how much sense it makes overall. However I've seen enough large chunks of it quoted - that it seems unlikely that he was just firing off a hate-filled screed. And it doesn't appear on the surface that his motive was malice or trolling.

So even if someone finds his views offensive - I would expect them to have the decency to approach this as something to discuss - rather than just launching the witch-hunt.

That's partisan polics for you. Bringing out all the unhelpful people, who enjoy the heat of a good shouty debate, and the mudslinging. Rather than addressing the actual issues.

There seems to be a modern trend in politics to try to de-legitimise the other side's point of view, rather than actually debate the issues. It's always happened of course, but the temperature seems to have been turned up of late. You see it over Brexit for example. You have the pro-EU people are traitors EUSSR idiots, and then you have the over-the-top remainer types who claim that they can't think of a single argument for leaving. And they do enjoy a nice old barney online - despite the fact that both sides are turning off neutrals with every post.

If there has been Russian interference in recent elections (it's looking increasingly likely) it does appear to be more about encouraging those extreme positions, more than supporting particular candidates. In order to discredit democracy and open debate. Putin's circle know their system is shit, they've no ideology to fall back on, and they know they're criminals. There's not much in the way of a postive case to make for their system, so much better to attack the other system and try to make a false equivalence between theirs and the many failures of democracy.

Finally we come to El Reg. Who I'm fucking disappointed with. Snark I can take. Snark I like. Aim it at companies please. Even at individuals if they deserve it. So funny stories about Aussies getting caught by the fuzz having 90mph blow-jobs is all grist for the mill. Or the other bootnotes stuff. And abusing powerful individuals who deserve it - again fine. Especially the ones that found Uber or Groupon. But unless they want to produce an article that dissects his piece and convincingly shows it to have been written from a position of malice or trolling - then can we please not revel in some blokes career and life going down the toilet as he gets publicly sacked and vilified by a giant lynch mob. This isn't edifying.

Tear down his arguments by all means. But don't tear down individuals who appear to have been accidentally caught up in a massive public shit-storm. If he'd published, then even if unfair, you could at least argue that he asked for it. He didn't, so he didn't.

Oh and dial down the fucking sanctimony everybody. Please.

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I'm reminded of something, someone supposedly "offensive" and "shocking" said about this kind of thing once:

"How can you ban language, words? How're words offensive? And why should I have to tolerate your interpretation? I'm the one using the word. Ask me how I'm using it, don't tell me. And if you don't like the way I'm using it, so what? It's my right. It's my freedom of expression. Without that, we're nothing but slaves. My language, now fuck off!!!

In other words, if you don't like someone's message, ask them what they mean, don't just delegitimize them for their argument.

Oh and I'll buy whoever correctly identifies the author a six pack.

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'the statements regarding biological differences between the sexes were so harmful, discriminatory, and disruptive as to be unprotected.' Which does not address the only really important question, which is ' Were his statements true?' If the answer is yes, then it does not matter that someone's feelings may have been hurt - tough, get used to the truth!

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A facile opinion and poor commentary

Accusing someone of sexual harassment for stating industry held analysis is not an argument, it is outrageous. In fact there was not a single hint of an argument or rebuttal to the facts in the whole opinion. It did however contradict itself at least once. There was a lot of statements about what they thought James was thinking, contrary to what he says on the issue, so I guess those putting it together were mind readers; perhaps the CIA can have some use for them? That my go to site on all things IT allows such a ridiculous commentary from a few of its representatives is just sad.

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Anonymous Coward

Here's a Venn diagram I'd like to see

Men who are passionate about Sociobiology, and climate change deniers. We can then think about adding an extra circle to the Venn diagram: Men in both sets who also think Sociobiology, climate change and Venn diagrams are too much for the pretty little heads of the women. I'm guessing that'll big the big, outer circle. Then we start to think about the men in all three sets who also aren't getting any, and how many of those are really pissed off at The Last Jedi with all its strong female roles.

BTW, when will one of these bloody spell checkers include Sociobiology as standard? They include Biology. They include Chemistry. They include Physics. They include Phrenology. Why not Sociobiology?

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Re: Here's a Venn diagram I'd like to see

A Venn of SJW men and soy drinkers.

And, of course, a Venn of liberal men and sexual harassment accused.

A Venn of the statements Trump makes on border protection, and the comments made by Democrats about border protection prior to the advent of Trump as a candidate.

Oh, look, here's a handy video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqaCRzKQmbg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's a Venn diagram I'd like to see

I drink soya and have rare steak - what's it to you?

Get used to people having taste different than yours.

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What everyone is ignoring is it doesn't matter if you agree with damore's science. The issue is that it IS science. It's backed by good quality research, even if you prefer some other supposedly better research. If quoting well researched science is now potentially illegal, this opens the floodgates to all manner of abuse.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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The issue is that it IS science. It's backed by good quality research, even if you prefer some other supposedly better research.

If your good quality research is contradicted by other good quality research, you're not doing science. Ahem.

That said, no matter how good the science is, it doesn't support Damore's own conclusion that discrimination doesn't exist.

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@xpusostomos: Let's try this again; the mods deleted my first reply to you, and I feel very strongly about this.

In short, you won't convince Postmodernists by appealing to Science. To them it's just another subjective viewpoint. Their truth trumps the truth. It's all a big shouting match to them - which they can only win through peer pressure and censorship in "their reality" of social media and forums.

If you value scientific freedom, leave science out of the culture wars.

@ratfox: No, Damore's memo didn't say discrimination isn't a problem.

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Paris Hilton

No, Damore's memo didn't say discrimination isn't a problem.

Oh really? Then why all the biological argument to explain disparities in engineering? What would be the point, if anyway he agreed that women and black people are discriminated against, and that it is a problem?

He was trying to show that the anti-discrimination training at Google was unnecessary, and to support this assertion, he claimed that the differences where due to biological differences rather than discrimination.

The whole biological argument that made people scream so much is irrelevant unless it implies that discrimination is not a problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Quoting from Damore's memo:

"Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don't have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership."

"Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business."

"I hope it’s clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad"

He goes on to suggest "Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap" - by accommodating women's biological differences!

The rest of it is a (polite) rant against the SJW cult of Google. Dear God, it sounds like a horrible place to work! He was lucky to get fired before wasting another day of his life there.

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Joke

"When the lawyer thinks you're cruel, that's Damore. When you're thrown on the street with a cloud at your feet..."

Either someone's released a cover I don't know about... or someone at El Reg is showing their age....

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Anonymous Coward

Today it has became dangerous to express one's views openly if the views don't fit the narrative of politically correct fascists who for some reason call themselves "liberals".

The self righteous internet mob will attack you via your employer demanding you to be fired because they did not like something you dared to say.

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WTF?

Do you ...

To some of the commentards here:

Do you really have such low opinion of your mothers, wives/girlfriends, sisters, daughters?

Do you see them only good enough to make your dinner, wash your dirty underwear, give birth to you (mothers), have sex with when it suits you even if they said 'please, not tonight' (wives/girlfriends)?

What kind of human beings are you?

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Re: Do you ...

I'm taking no sides in this argument. I'm too lazy to have done the research to have an opinion.

But if you want to accuse people of that level of sexism, you need to say who you're accusing and state how you know they hold such opinions. I've seen a bunch of posts I don't agree with, on both sides, but not noticed one that expresses the view that women are only fit for washing cooking and cleaning. If there is one, reply to it with your complaint.

If not, you're part of the problem. Another person taking an extreme position and trying to win the moral high-ground without confronting the issues.

Seeing as you didn't ask me, I'll tell you what those issues are:

1. Has Danone been unfairly hounded out of his job - and possibly had his current life and future career prospects ruined? Is he some evil sexist bastard, or just someone who's got out of his depth and is now being shat upon from a great height by people who love the sounds of their own voices and couldn't give a fuck if they destroy someone's life doing it?

2. The discussion about sexual discrimination. Obviously this is actually the more important matter to society - but if people are going to use someone's life as a way to launch that discussion then they have a duty to be careful about it.

3. You can't get on your high horse and claim to be the more moral, caring person, if you're destroying someone's life in the process without justification.

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Re: Do you ...

How on earth do you conclude that anyone here thinks any of those things?

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Mushroom

Re: Do you ...

Do you really have such low opinion of your mothers, wives/girlfriends, sisters, daughters?

Not in the slightest. But I'm also not going to force my daughter to become a programmer to fulfill someone elses half baked notion of fairness.

If she chooses a career in technology then I'll support that and aid it as much as I am able, which will be rather a lot.

If she chooses a career in medicine, I'll support that and aid it as much as I am able, which will not be a lot.

If she chooses a career as an artist or musician, then her mother will be furious.

It's not my choice to control what my daughter chooses as a profession. And it certainly isn't yours. Whatever she does she'll be more than capable of standing on her own two feet and not relying on some artificial quota or selection list. Why on earth would she need such things?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do you ...

“Not in the slightest. But I'm also not going to force my daughter to become a programmer to fulfill someone elses half baked notion of fairness.”

Far easier to dress her in pink and give her puppies to play with?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do you ...

"Do you see them only good enough to make your dinner, wash your dirty underwear, give birth to you (mothers), have sex with when it suits you"

But didn't you realise that the word wife is an acronym of washing, ironing, fucking, etc.?

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Re: Do you ...

Far easier to dress her in pink and give her puppies to play with?

She likes pink. And blue. And green. etc So pink is verbotten why, exactly? And who doesn't like puppies?

She plays with whatever toys she chooses - I usually let her pick her toys when we buy them. There's no point in my insisting she play scalextric just because daddy wants to. It's not like I grew up envisionining a future where I play teddy bears picnic, but as she's 5, its more important that we play what she wants than what I want.

She'll code, when she's old enough. If only to give her fall back options in case her chosen career doesn't work out. She'll service her own car. And she'll kick ass in self defence. These things are far more important to me than what colour she chooses to wear this month, or what toy she plays with.

Sorry, but its her life and her happiness is so much more important than your demented social engineering experiment. You'll understand that when you grow up. And you'll understand why.

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Re: Do you ...

My sister is furious that her daughter likes pink frilly things.

I've not given up on using pink frillies to convince her to take over the world with a giant robot. I mean that's what uncles are for, right?

If gender differences give me some cues how to elevate my niece to high empress of you all then I will take it and you can all bow down like the peons you are.

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Anonymous Coward

Out of interest

I really am curious.

Does the reg have any stats relating to new account and activity on this particular thread?

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Happy

Re: Out of interest

Ah, but now you've posted that anon, so we have to start by asking about you...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Out of interest

Just interested in the numbers....

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