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 …

Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh the misleading...

Nuances? Statistics? What nuances?

Statistically speaking, disproportionate number of male offenders are imprisoned for rape, and the cases of female rapists are statistically ignorable.

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Re: Oh the misleading...

The original (including the graphics missing from AC's link) is here:

https://drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

You can also find various interviews with the bloke on the interwebs and make up your own mind whether he has 'personality issues' or not.

He seemed OK to me, other than a naive belief that facts trump politically correct dogma - I think that's been beaten out of him now :-)

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"...therefore Socrates is a dog"

Well I did read what he wrote. It's crap. It's structure is typical of conspiracy theories - the introduction says nothing controversial and concedes some points in an attempt to gain your trust that the author is impartial and acting in good faith. Then the actual argument begins (from the section "the harm of Google's biases"), and logic goes for a beer somewhere.

Even if I agreed with his hypothesis, I couldn't endorse this bunch of logical fallacies that attempt to "prove" that he's being badly treated as a result of some political-correctness conspiracy. If that document is an example of his logical reasoning skills, he's unfit to be a software engineer.

Where to start? How about the beginning. From the get-go, by denouncing every program to change it, he takes as given that the current status-quo is the best possible in the tech industry. Well, I'd just note that there once was a time where every Olympic runner was a white guy. I suppose the only reason it's different now is that about sixty years ago, black guys must have decided to stop complaining about things being unfair and instead learn to run like white men...

Next, anyone who says we need to "De-emphasise empathy" when designing software has made a fundamental error about the reasons why we write software. If it does not make the life of a human being better in some way, there is no point to it. (Sadly, that doesn't preclude things that make one human's life better by making another's much worse, or much, much shorter; but I'm not the one claiming this is an easy thing to "fix").

The only things he writes that are verifiably true are the data-points he quotes in the introduction, but these are ignored by the time he's launched into his argument proper. Just because someone uses lots of facts, it doesn't mean that they're reasoning from them properly. Or should we really combat global warming by becoming pirates?

Take the quoted excerpt above: when an easily identifiable subset of workers, women, at Google report more anxiety than the majority group (I'll assume that this is a fact), Damore leaps to the one hypothesis that suits his agenda without considering other, likelier causes. Here's his "cause", plus three reasons I'd want to look at in addition:

a. Women are naturally more prone to be neurotic (says Damore)

b. Men under-report the amount of stress they're under at work

c. The raised stress is as a result of the nature of the jobs more commonly done by women

d. The raised stress is as a result of unfair treatment (lack of advancement, lower pay, etc)

A look at work-related suicide statistics should make you stop and consider "b" for a moment (if we want to talk about how men are badly treated by workplaces, this is where we start). Damore himself glides over "c" without stopping to consider that front-end, user-facing development is the most fluid and most subject to customer interference part of a project and therefore one of the most stressful development tasks. And "d" might explain why the shittiest jobs have an overabundance of female engineers doing them, but we're simply told (without evidence to back it up) that "women are better at front-end". Yes, and I'm sure someone told me that Mexicans naturally gifted at picking fruit.

The argument Damore is making is not, as his defenders claim, that men and women have (in general) different approaches to work and problem solving, and that we need to consider everyone's needs in a workplace. That's not even an argument, and as a statement it's so obvious that it's hardly worthy of comment. His argument is the big non-sequitir rant that follows those platitudes: that we should not change anything if it makes white men like him uncomfortable, because white men like him are the best engineers. The problem with that argument is that he defines "desirable" qualities as those which he and other men like him possess, and discounts those skills he lacks as being worthless. He also sees the situation as a zero-sum game, and so creates a false dilemma where measures to help minority participants can only disadvantage people like him.

I could summarise the whole ten pages as "(A) I am a good engineer, (B) I am a man, therefore (C) men are good engineers"

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@Kristian Walsh

Thanks!

Does make me wonder about the thinking power of the people on here claiming it's a great read with many valid points.....

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@ Kristian Walsh

OK, you disagree with him. And you express that disagreement by putting your own arguments. That is of course exactly what Google should have done (ideally also without the element of personal attack) when they disagreed with him. That is, if they didn't just ignore him.

Firing him just demonstrates absolute intolerance of dissent.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh the misleading...

@ Ilmarinen

I'm the AC who mentioned 'personality issues'. What I trying to imply (sorry I really was about to rush out to work so I wasn't very clear) was that maybe his personality didn't fit in with the Google culture and they were looking for an excuse to get rid of him. Publishing this article just gave Google the ammunition they wanted. Apologies for any confusion caused.

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Re: Oh the misleading...

I woud say less "personality issues" and more "didn't fit the group think". The court filing depicts a very politicised atmosphere in Google that affected multiple people. And not simply asserting that but providing numerous examples of it. It's a class action suit, rather than solely about him.

In any case, he has been turned into such a hate-figure - and the media has helped with that - he will probably never have a normal career again.

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Re: @ Kristian Walsh

>Firing him just demonstrates absolute intolerance of dissent.

Or, quite possibly, Google wanting to get rid of someone who is disrupting the workplace.

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Re: @Kristian Walsh

I wouldn't thank them. I would instead read the memo yourself. It's not long and it's been linked just a few comments above. To pick just one example of Kristian Walsh's misrepresentation they say that:

>> From the get-go, by denouncing every program to change it, he takes as given that the current status-quo is the best possible in the tech industry

No. He doesn't say that nor is it a logical inference from what he says. He says that enforcing a goal of 50:50 representation is flawed because it assumes a natural 50:50 break down in available qualified candidates. And that Google has created discriminatory programs designed to bring this about. His argument that hiring should be merit based and allowed to find whatever natural balance comes about through people's choice of what careers to pursue is very different to stating "current status quo is the best possible" as Kristian tries to present it above.

With fewer qualified female candidates than male (demonstrated amply in his memo by referencing university figures), hiring policies designed to bring about 50:50 ratios inevitably manifest as unequal treatment of men and women by the company itself.

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Re: "...therefore Socrates is a dog"

Suicide is a serious matter, its not really appropriate for you to drag it into your argument almost as a form of entertainment. Obviously you cannot apologize to those who do commit suicide, but you can at least treat them with a bit of respect.

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Re: "...therefore Socrates is a dog"

That's great, the guy was wrong. He didn't deserve the ensuing witch-hunt and loss of career.

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@h4rmony Re: @Kristian Walsh

(I'm male, by the way - I know it's an ambiguous name in some countries)

Yes, I'd urge anyone to definitely read the memo before making a comment - it's not very long. Don't go by my reading of it - make up your own minds. I posted in response to those who appear to be supporting Damore on the basis of a skim-read of the introduction to this document, or hearsay based. Search "Damore memo" and you'll find any number of links to this document.

Before going any further, though, I will say that I find it very hard to believe that he was fired just for writing this document. Dismissing a permanent employee is not something that any company (even an American one) does lightly - it often, as in this case, ends up with both the employer and employee in court. This document is one part of a bigger story, and none of us know the whole story yet, but my suspicions are that it's a story in which Damore may not be the hero.

... and as this is highly likely to be settled out-of-court, I don't think we'll ever know the facts.

I didn't make any comment one way or the other on gender representation, but Damore's point about never achieving a 50/50 balance is a straw-man argument: everyone knows that's not practical with the current pool of available talent, but we all (he included) know that that's not what "diversity" policies are about.

These policies aren't looking to pass over men and replace them with women - that's an example of the "zero-sum" thinking I criticised; they're about making changes to the workplace that make it easier to attract and then retain male and female staff of a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. I believe he is deliberately misrepresenting a policy of preferring minority candidates who meet the requirements for a position, as one where such candidates get the job without meeting the requirements.

At the end of the document, he has his list of "recommendations": this is where he makes his pitch for what the ideal solution will be. And when you look at it, it's just a rollback of measures Google has taken to stop its workplaces being so hostile to people who aren't nerdy white men. If someone is unwilling to see the changes as necessary, what does that say about their opinion of the current situation?

Now, I'm also willing to entertain the possibility that Google's inclusiveness programmes are as cack-handed, insensitive and blunt-edged as you'd expect from a company that truly believes that algorithms can replace human judgement in pretty much all situations. But that doesn't stop this memo being a poorly argued whinge about having to share the the office with people who see the world differently to him.

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Re: "...therefore Socrates is a dog"

I'm very well aware of how serious the matter of suicide is. If you thought I brought it up as a quip, please re-read what I wrote. If you still feel I was being flippant, then I apologise.

We have a serious problem as men about not admitting that we're unable to cope with stress. The macho bullshit about "manning up" and getting on with it makes things worse. I know people who've denied being under any pressure... right until they've had a breakdown.

And I also know others who aren't here anymore. It's not only work stresses, it's everything, but talking helps and if you can, do. It's awkard, and maybe you'll be told to fuck off, but it can help in some cases. Not all, but some.

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Re: @h4rmony @Kristian Walsh

>>"Before going any further, though, I will say that I find it very hard to believe that he was fired just for writing this document."

People have often been fired due to a public witch-hunt. Hell, do you remember those two programmers at Pycon who were fired because Adria Richards was sitting in front of them and overheard one make an innocuous joke about "dongles" and tweeted to her 12,000 followers a photo of them saying sexism 'not okay' and accusing them of creating an atmosphere hostile to women? I do - because she single-handedly made women in tech everywhere look like humourless bigots in one afternoon. It was eventually and partially cleared up but it's a good example of how a company can and will throw an employee under the bus if that employee is being targeted online for racism / sexism / whatever. You're very wrong to think that he couldn't be fired for this memo. It went public. He was promptly fired. It was, based on documented emails from other employees saying they wanted to get him fired, likely leaked with that aim. You're dismissing this because you want to, not because it isn't sound.

>>Dismissing a permanent employee is not something that any company (even an American one) does lightly - it often, as in this case, ends up with both the employer and employee in court

And has done. But in the court filing, one of the emails points out that Damore and the others are employed "At will" which is common in the USA and it points this out specifically to highlight that these employees can be fired with little risk. The USA has fewer protections for employees than most of Europe.

>>This document is one part of a bigger story, and none of us know the whole story yet, but my suspicions are that it's a story in which Damore may not be the hero.

My contention is that you base this on your dislike of his memo rather than a reading of the court filings which I am now on page 27 of.

>>I didn't make any comment one way or the other on gender representation, but Damore's point about never achieving a 50/50 balance is a straw-man argument

50% is not randomly picked. It more or less corresponds to the proportions in wider society and which Google uses to assess their own diversity. He argues that it will never be 50% because he's arguing that it will never match the general population. This is a key part of his argument which you must understand. He's saying that you can't use the general population as your determiner for what is a "correct" diversity ratio in your technical hires. There's no strawman. It's the point of his argument.

>>These policies aren't looking to pass over men and replace them with women - that's an example of the "zero-sum" thinking I criticised

He cites several programs that are discriminatory to men. Some of them are innocuous (imo) such as outreach programs to encourage young women to enter tech. I have been involved in such efforts myself. Others are far more insidious such as hiring practices that lower the bar for certain groups, diversity targets for departments which incentivise preferential hiring and promotion. So you're incorrect. Policies DO exist that pass over men in favour of women.

>>I believe he is deliberately misrepresenting a policy of preferring minority candidates who meet the requirements for a position, as one where such candidates get the job without meeting the requirements.

I find it hard to credit that you can write this without seeing anything wrong with it. Policies that prefer candidates based on racial or sexual identity are wrong. And yes, I understand the distinction you are trying to draw between meeting the requirements and not. It's wrong. Also, highly hypothetical. And also contradicted by having diversity targets that inevitably is going to lead to overlooking weaknesses in the candidates from the desired group.

>>At the end of the document, he has his list of "recommendations": this is where he makes his pitch for what the ideal solution will be. And when you look at it, it's just a rollback of measures Google has taken to stop its workplaces being so hostile to people who aren't nerdy white men.

Well, setting aside the pejorative language in your last paragraph (and also that it's men in general), what is wrong with rolling back discriminatory measures? It's you that think that these policies are what stops Google being so hostile to men. Based on everything he's cited from the culture, that doesn't seem likely. Further, the policies don't 'prevent the workplace being hostile to women'. They introduce a discrimination in favour of women. It's on you to prove that any of the policies he recommends changing lead to "hostility to women" because I don't see it.

>>"But that doesn't stop this memo being a poorly argued whinge about having to share the the office with people who see the world differently to him."

Damore's memo plainly isn't that at all. And I'll support that by simply linking to it for anyone to read: Link

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Re: Oh the misleading...

Indeed. The text of this article is a massive distortion of what he actually said.

In fact, I'm just going to ahead and call The Register a bunch of fucking liars on this one.

This article is un-true, potentially libellous/defamatory, and should be removed.

It's a fucking lie.

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Re: Oh the misleading...

How come no-one is asking for the citations so glaringly omitted from the linked document? Many "learned" axioms are posed and conclusions drawn from them, not one single citation to research backing up the original postulates (at least as far as I read - about the fourth page or so).

Had he posted this in these comments he'd have been snowed under with demands for citations or silence.

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Re: @h4rmony @Kristian Walsh

You've obviously been following this more closely than I have. I read the original memo, and found it to be an unreasonable complaint, and moved on. It irked me later to hear some people talk about it as if it were a manifesto against "political correctness gone mad". It isn't.

You're dismissing this because you want to, not because it isn't sound.

No, you're wrong there. I didn't mention the details of the leak because I simply wasn't aware of it. Sincerly, thank you for pointing out these circumstances: knowing that this was leaked without his knowlege, rather than published post-facto does change my view on Damore himself (rather than "Damore's memo"). I already said that I'd be surprised if this was the sole reason he was fired, but I'm now happy to accept that it's likely the dismissal may have been orchestrated by people he worked with. For what little it'll help him, I hope that if this turns out to be the case, he gets very well compensated.

I used the word "nerdy" without meaning it to be pejorative, by the way. I meant an office culture where it's considered desirable to spend all hours coding, to the exclusion of other activities.

I will say that when it comes to these arguments that I take the opinion that both edges of the spectrum are equally destructive and stupid. In this case, it's only the conservative, reactionary end that has come up. On the other end, we have Identity Politics, probably the most horrible, divisive concept of recent decades, focussing on difference rather than commonality is not the way to build tolerant and welcoming societies. The hair-trigger outrage merchants like that "dongles" woman you cited (and the cowards who dismissed their engineers without bothering to hear their side of it), are just as obnoxious as the "tech bro" culture, because ultimately they're the same thing: someone who wants everyone else to behave the way they want, but is unwilling to accommodate anyone else's position.

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Re: Oh the misleading...

"He seemed OK to me, other than a naive belief that facts trump politically correct dogma"

What's politically correct when Trump is president and self-declared anti-PC politicians wield more power than the people they say are enforcing PC culture?

Perhaps it's time to accept the political correctness is a broad thing and cannot really be criticised as single entity or idea?

Also, his writings are not all about presenting facts, but making moralistic conclusions from them as well.

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Re: @h4rmony @Kristian Walsh

>>No, you're wrong there. I didn't mention the details of the leak because I simply wasn't aware of it.

In that case, I withdraw my statement saying you're deliberately ignoring facts. But I hope you see it as reasonable that I thought that - this is a key fact openly available. As you were pronouncing rather confidently on why Damore was fired, I figured you must have known the details. I respect you being open to changing your mind.

>>I used the word "nerdy" without meaning it to be pejorative, by the way. I meant an office culture where it's considered desirable to spend all hours coding, to the exclusion of other activities.

Well that's kind of Damore's point in which case you're at least somewhat in agreement with him. He argues (with support) that women are in general less inclined to work jobs where they're just coding away all the time. But Google creates policies on the assumption that its coders should naturally reflect general population. If you create policies based on a wrong assumption...

>>On the other end, we have Identity Politics, probably the most horrible, divisive concept of recent decades

And I agree with that. And I expect Damore would as well. Respectfully, I think if you re-read the memo and some of his court filing (which goes into the environment in Google in some detail) with an honest, open mind, I think you might find it has more merit than you originally thought. The Identity Politics that you despise appears to be endemic within Google to the point that it is systematic in actual policy. Which is what Damore is objecting to.

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yeah, he's right, he will make a windfall in the settlement, he was fired by a feminist HR manager who had been specifically put into google to promote females and gender equality and diversity, and been put too far up in the tree, who took her role far too seriously and started doing exactly the opposite to what she was hired for, in some Political Correctness "brain fart"

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He'd probably best hope this doesn't come before a judge who identifies themselves as any particular minority

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Facepalm

Do you realise that you have just effectively said that all judges who identify with a minority are biased?

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Anonymous Coward

Judges are specifically required to judge cases by their merits. Failure to do so leads to an appeal, and if personal bias is found in the original judgement then that judge ends up with a damaged reputation and in professional trouble with their regulator for not doing their job properly.

If we get caught deliberately not doing our job enough times then we get fired. Pretty much the same applies to Judges.

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Headmaster

Do you realise that you have just effectively said that all judges who identify with a minority are biased?

To be pedantic, I think you mean "likely to be biased".

I wonder if the reverse might be the case? That is to say, a judge from an "identifiable minority" might feel less personally pressured to conform than an equally-fair[1] white male? Just an idle thought, and of course it shouldn't matter either way.

And - final pedantic quibble - women as a minority?

[1] Hypothesizing a fair judge, with no comment on how realistic that might be.

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I'm a woman and I would not have a problem ruling in Damore's favour if his case is correct. I reject Identity Politics and it's rather patronising to assume that a judge would decide based on some arbitrary "team" they're told they're a part of, whether that be sex, race or orientation.

You oppose prejudice against your group. That is fair and right. But it doesn't mean you seek to disadvantage someone else on theirs.

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Devil

Help! Help! I'm being repressed

Conservative views eh?

Now there's ya problem.

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Translation

Here's a translation:

"ostracized, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males," and "Google formed opinions about and then treated Plaintiffs not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in groups with assumed characteristics" = We were being dicks and for some reason that means we're passed over for promotion which is our God given right as white american males.

"Google staffers openly discussed in meetings how women and members of certain ethic groupings would receive preferential treatment when it came to hiring and promotions. " = Google discusses how to address the misrepresentation of 50% of the population and other under-represented groups, and how to attract people to work there who aren't just white males.

"people interested in "traditional heterosexual monogamy" were left without any message board." = we're not satisfied with having most of society and culture, we must dominate everything.

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Re: Translation

Yeah, it's like the men who complain about the women's rights movement, because the men's rights movement doesn't get nearly as much attention.

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Is he still being represented by Harmeet Dhillon?

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So they want the right to express discriminatory views?

But are none too happy when the boot is on the other foot? I wish them all the best :-/

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Re: So they want the right to express discriminatory views?

Well firstly, the memo is not discriminatory. Secondly, they have never objected to anyone else expressing views. They objected to things like being fired and held back because of their views.

So it's not really the hypocrisy you paint it as.

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cry me a river.

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Anonymous Coward

That last part reminds me of a guy I knew who was complaining about the existence of groups like the muslim students' society and the black students' society in university making out like it was discrimination and asking "why isn't there a white students' society?"

it's called the union and they meet at the bar

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it's called the union and they meet at the bar

Am I to take that in your example no non-whites would be able to join the 'union'?

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... groups like the muslim students' society and the black students' society...

Muslim are not allowed to join for a drink at the pub. That is clearly a discrimation against muslim, and has nothing to do with any religious taboo against alcohol.

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Why would non-whites be banned from joining the Union? Whites weren't banned from the Asian society, etc in my Uni.

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Are saying that the student union bar is a whites only establishment?

Don´t be absurd, please. Having a black students group or a muslim students group is playing identity politics. If we everyone to equal standards then by rights, there ought to be a white students group too.

But no, for two reasons, that would be racist and I doubt anybody of any consequence really wants a white only student group.

Only idiots, the feeble minded and the mislead engage in identity politics.

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Muslims, like everyone else, can choose what they wish to do. If a muslim wants to go the bar, the only person stopping them is themself. I don't accept that Allah is telling them they can't even if they believe He is. They don't have to drink, either. I'm a vegetarian. I'll still go out to restaurants where my friends are eating meat.

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Don´t be absurd, please. Having a black students group or a muslim students group is playing identity politics. If we everyone to equal standards then by rights, there ought to be a white students group too.

But no, for two reasons, that would be racist and I doubt anybody of any consequence really wants a white only student group.

I've never understood this. Surely having racial-specific unions is promoting segregation/non-integration?

When I was at Uni there was a push for the Students Union to have a "Women's Officer". This was accepted but on the condition that there was a corresponding "Men's Officer". Fair play - the bloke who ran for Men's Officer as a joke made the (voluntary, unpaid) job his own and ran several excellent events over the year surrounding Men's Health, One For The Boys, Testicular Cancer, etc.

But I was never really sure why this wasn't simply covered under the remit of the existing VP for Student Welfare (six full-time sabbatical posts - Union President, VP Sports, VP Welfare, VP Education, VP "Student Communities" and the VP for the Union Newspaper/TV/Film/Radio/Media Office).

If the VP wasn't doing a good job for women, then fix that - you don't need a separate Women's Officer. Likewise if you find yourself forming a special union around a racial or religious characteristic then stop. It's unnecessary. You are already represented by the core Union (and if you're not, then fix that because if they're failing one group, they're probably failing others - fragmenting into dozens of splinter groups won't fix the core problem).

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Why would non-whites be banned from joining the Union? Whites weren't banned from the Asian society, etc in my Uni.

Ok, didn't realise that would be the case, but I don't suppose you could highlight the reasoning behind Caucasians joining a group identifying with Asian heritage?

Is it logical to assume at this point that Caucasians could also join the Black Society (ot whatever it might be called)?

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'Only idiots, the feeble minded and the mislead engage in identity politics.' - So HR and anyone else who wants to appear good on social media etc Identity politics is a great card to play, it allows an organization to say 'hey ignore that stuff we shouldn't be doing over there' instead 'look at the positive things we're doing over here'

Identity politics is great, just learn to speak the language and make sure that you get the first complaint in.

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I've often gone to the pub with Muslims, they either drink soft drinks or non-alcoholic Becks.

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I've often gone to the pub with Muslims, they either drink soft drinks or non-alcoholic Becks.

I've just realised that I have too, I just wasn't thinking about them being Muslim as they are just colleagues to me.

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"I've often gone to the pub with Muslims, they either drink soft drinks or non-alcoholic Becks."

That's funny, as I've been to bars in Tunisia where Muslims happily drank beers, wines and spirits.

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difference of opinion is not the same as calling management as incompetent

I read the entire original memo, and, as I remember it, the problem wasn't limited to him just holding out "a few heretical opinions".

He basically went on the record saying that management was really screwing things up. Which, regardless of the merits or not of said argument, well, isn't necessarily something that management really likes to see happening, cleaning dirty laundry in public.

In a previous life, a very competent engineer got fired for sending staff-wide email saying he did not want to to go a team building event (in Spain, all expenses paid) because he thought the regional management in one country was playing favorites on resource allocation to its own benefit.

Management was, and they were a bunch of f***ups. Still, I wasn't surprised that he got canned and couldn't really blame them for putting an end to public insubordination.

It might be symptom of excessive SJW that an aggrieved female might very well get away with writing Damore's memo, making the exact same whines from the other side of the fence and a company would put up with it*

Still, nothing in his memo struck me as particularly clever, neither from the rather confused points he was trying to make nor from calling out management, hard, over something as subjective as his claims and to do this so publicly. This wasn't, quite, a glorious doomed whistleblower scenario.

* though they might not. remember our toxic little friend Ellen Pao?

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Re: difference of opinion is not the same as calling management as incompetent

Well, iirc he didn't publish this memo publicly, someone else did that for him. He published it on an internal memo board that was set up to discuss such things, but it seems that it was being used simply as a honey trap as opposed to a viable debating venue.

Also, sacking someone for telling an uncomfortable truth is morally bankrupt, as is tacitly agreeing with it.

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Re: difference of opinion is not the same as calling management as incompetent

Damore didn't publish the memo. It was maliciously leaked to create a circumstance in which he'd be fired. And the memo board he did publish it was specifically soliciting opinions on diversity in Google. You accuse him of trying to cast himself as a "doomed whistleblower" but in fact feedback was encouraged and going public was not by his choice.

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Re: difference of opinion is not the same as calling management as incompetent

Damore didn't publish the memo. It was maliciously leaked to create a circumstance in which he'd be fired. And the memo board he did publish it was specifically soliciting opinions on diversity in Google. You accuse him of trying to cast himself as a "doomed whistleblower" but in fact feedback was encouraged and going public was not by his choice.

And as I recall, the statement from CEO Sundar Pichai was actually very reserved, along the lines "Whilst some of this is wrong, some of it is very worthy for debate as the company develops."

However, VP Diversity Danielle Brown had already publicly deemed it unacceptable and given Damore his marching orders, something which Pichai was obviously not willing to go back on given that Brown was only just in the job and to overrule her at that early stage (whether or not he wanted to) would clearly undermine her position on other matters going forward.

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Re: difference of opinion is not the same as calling management as incompetent

Yes. Sundar Pichai actually got a lot of grief online for not condemning Damore enough, which is worth mentioning. I think your analysis is spot on.

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Re: difference of opinion is not the same as calling management as incompetent

OK, my bad for not being more clear on "publicly".

In my example with my ex-colleague, that email was never public in the sense that anyone out of the company could see it. What I meant is that, on a general staff email, that person basically called out management for being incompetent. In what world do you live that you think criticism of management, voiced to the general employee base (not the larger public), is conducive to job security? That is why I separated it out from the whistleblowing, which is calling out management for illegal activities.

Anyway, I wasn't impressed by his memo when I read it. I also do NOT think he should have gotten sacked solely on his opinion that us poor men suffer undue horrible hardships. On the other hand, he was pretty darn scathing in his criticism that Google's management was effing up the diversity thing. So he did kinda set himself up for hurt.

I suppose if he, or the hypothetical aggrieved female employee, had cast-iron arguments that their particular group was objectively discriminated against, then yes, they deserve protection despite going way outside of normal employee complaint channels to criticize management. I don't think his rant reasoned exposition really passed that test of objectivity where a reasonable person would find his complaint totally warranted. So, IMHO, you're left with a disgruntled employee bitching openly about his bosses ... not something you'd expect to end well.

Like I said, I wouldn't be surprised if a woman avoided immediate censure for the same behavior (but I rather expect she'd also be blackballed later on). And I also wouldn't surprised if, minus his direct bitchiness about management, he'd also gotten canned, cuz SJW.

Still, anyone smart enough to work at Google should have thought twice before penning that note the way he did.

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