back to article Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

There are a lot of theories about why human beings can, on occasion, be terrible assholes. Social psychologists have been working on the issue for a while and even have a number of useful terms. "Behavioral contagion" for example describes a strange human trait where people copy the behavior of someone they are in close …

  1. John Gamble

    Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

    I'm looking forward to the responses to this article.

    With luck, we'll get the actual dreadful people in question responding to this, instead of their proxies.

    1. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

      >First, if there was anyone complaining to HR it was in fact Mr Damore<

      Well, obviously /someone/ complained to HR, because Mr Damore got fired.

      And yes, I did read at least that far. Since I'm not here looking for long-form articles, I was slready stretching at that point, and that bit of carelessness indicated to me that you were too.

      1. HCV

        Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

        Well, obviously /someone/ complained to HR

        Or, HR reads the news.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Down voting?

      There's an unusual amount of unexpected downvoting on comments to this article, even on relatively non-contentious posts. Has some arsehole been writing a comment-bot? Or is it the dreadful people? (Nah, I'm sure they don't read El Reg)

      1. astrax

        Re: Down voting?

        Down-voting for having a different opinion is somewhat different from down-voting due to:

        1). incorrect information presented as fact

        2). going off-topic

        3). being a complete bell end

        Note that point 3 is not mutually exclusive with anything else :)

        1. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Down voting?

          Astrix, no down voting is always because people are arseholes for not agreeing. Anyone disagreeing with a leftie is clearly an arsehole since only an arsehole could fail to have a different opinion. It's all perfectly logical and sensible and only an arsehole would disagree with what I just said.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Down voting?

        Tends to be most prolific when references to Assange are made. I am pretty sure that the Self-Righteous One has some El Reg Bot for down voting comments that might reference him in some way.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Down voting?

        probably the usual HOWLER MONKEYS. they're ganging up on their favorite people again, most likely, and slinging poo in the form of 'downvoting'

    3. el kabong Silver badge

      Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

      In a few cases downvoting merely reflects how poor some people are at dealing with sarcasm.

      Other times downvoting is just an easy way to punish someone who dared to have a different opinion.

      Sometimes it just tells how much of a cunt the downvoter is.

      In this case downvoting your post is just a mere exercise in common sense.

      1. Sanctimonious Prick
        Joke

        Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

        @el kabong

        Man (woman)! I'm offended by your excessive use of the word "downvoting!"

    4. Oh Homer
      Headmaster

      "shaming dissenters into silence"

      Having read Damore's ten-page rant, my first observation is that his supposed "intellect" is highly suspect, given the above quote, as just one early example.

      Someone who believes he's right is disinclined to be shamed into silence, as he has no particular reason to feel shame, even if he is wrong according to his detractors, and even if those detractors represent a very loud and hostile majority.

      Moreover, no true scientist would ever feel "oppressed" by criticism, given that it's an absolutely essential part of the process of establishing fact, which scientists value far more than ego, and often even more than their own personal safety.

      Put it this way: if you are so insecure in your convictions as to be ashamed by them, then clearly you recognise that there must be something fundamentally wrong with them in the first place, or else what other reason could you possibly have to feel ashamed by them?

      The same goes for supposedly "alienating conservatives". I always find it particularly amusing when the dominant party feigns victimisation.

      Mostly, though, Damore exhibits the most astonishing hypocrisy in a diatribe that is supposedly anathema to irrational bias, but which itself is riddled with irrational bias. His presumptions about gender and political ideology are little more than ignorant generalisations at best - purely anecdotal observations that seem to be largely a matter of wishful thinking.

      I'd like to attribute his imprudence to the naivety of youth and privilege, but sadly that too would be an inaccurate generalisation, so let's just stick to the unapologetically "deindividuated" consensus that this guy is an unmitigated asshole, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "shaming dissenters into silence"

        At least James Damore got everyone talking about it - and regardless of what you think about his position, that's a good thing. OK, so he's somewhat off the rails in some areas but he's young and that's what youth does from time to time - certainly my opinions have evolved over the years and I expect that his will too.

        I think that Google made an error in firing him - dissent is important, just as diversity is important. The two go hand in hand and when we reject either one, we lose balance. I'm not surprised that Google fired him - that was to be expected - Google's not as smart as it thinks it is.

        1. Sanctimonious Prick
          Thumb Up

          Re: "shaming dissenters into silence"

          @Version 1.0

          "At least James Damore got everyone talking about it..."

          Nice post.

      2. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: "shaming dissenters into silence"

        Well that post deserves a downvote. Too many assumptions, slander and strawmen to mention. I'll mention some...

        Calling someone low intelligence because they don't agree with you.

        Calling someone a poor scientist because they fell victim to pressure on them to shut up. (except you worded it as criticism which makes it sound less harsh)

        Then there's your extraordinary hypocrisy in calling him a hypocrite.

        Yes I know the current culture allows you to indulge in the above SJW twaddle but we do see right through it.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Assuming They Don't Post Anonymously

      John Gamble, it's interesting how each side thinks the other are dreadful people.

      There is an error here and you're in the wrong. The people you are accusing of being dreadful believe in equal opportunities for people. Where as you believe in equality of outcome as long as the dreadful people come last.

      This whole article by Christina is just her leftie ramblings stemming from the above error.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

    Basically the theory that as rich, upper class White men are at the top of the heap they are naturally superior, and should go on being at the top of the heap.

    This was the idea that lead to laws in the US allowing doctors to enforce mandatory sterilization of people for everything from having below average IQs to having a child outside marriage.

    The idea of glass ceilings, pulled up drawbridges, hereditary wealth and writing laws to benefit a specific class were simply not in their mental landscape.

    I imaging Ada, the Countess Lovelace and Grace Hopper would also have had something to say on the suitability and capability of women in tech jobs.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      WTF?

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      John Smith 19, sadly doctors did not act alone in taking some of the reprehensible actions you condone. They were mandated by a society who's religious zeal transcended any actual religious consideration, i.e. the bit about forgiveness as a starting point. In short society conditions and allows conditioning and has to take action when it becomes clear that society's own failing are leading to bad outcomes. In my book that might have happened in this case.

      But then I once worked in a different society where it was found that females, who had previously been excluded from the labour force by societal norms only a few years earlier were actually far better coders than their male brothers.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      "This was the idea that lead to laws in the US allowing doctors to enforce mandatory sterilization of people for everything from having below average IQs to having a child outside marriage"

      So us thickos and mongoloids *in* marriages are exempt? Good

    3. Jet Set Willy

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      *Rear Admiral* Grace Hopper, if you don't mind.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "*Rear Admiral* Grace Hopper, if you don't mind."

        True.

        But IIRC she got the title after the work on COBOL.

    4. jmch Silver badge

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      "glass ceilings, pulled up drawbridges, hereditary wealth and writing laws to benefit a specific class " are unfortunately part of the landscape that ideally will change and disappear over time. But using Lovelace and Hopper misses the point. Exceptional people will always rise to the top. The argument in the memo was about group averages.

      This point seems to have been spectacularly missed by the author of the article when saying:

      "If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be. And, no, simply inserting the word "average" does not excuse you ".

      That is a completely rubbish statement. Pretty much all of social science is based on comparing large groups of people to another, in their aggregate or average. It has to be a large group to be statistically significant. It is the outliers that cannot be used to make a case for the group as a whole.

      I'm not in any way taking a position one way or another about whether men are any more predisposed to IT than women. "IT" is itself such a broad term as to make comparisons meaningless anyway. I do not thing it is outrageous at all to postulate the theory that based on genetics and evolution, females (on average) may be better suited to some roles than males (on average) and vice versa, and thus that gender might be over- or under-represented in those roles even in an optimally-functioning meritocracy. Such a theory can be put to the test with a well-enough designed research / experiment (which will have to involve large groups of people).

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      "lead to laws in the US allowing doctors to enforce mandatory sterilization of people for everything from having below average IQs to having a child outside marriage."

      WHAT??? proof required. that's simply OUTRAGEOUS.

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

        Google for "three generations of imbeciles is enough".

        1. I Like Heckling

          Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

          "Google for "three generations of imbeciles is enough"."

          More commonly known as a 'politician'

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re: simply OUTRAGEOUS

        But true. Also in USA sterilisation after a first birth (without consent) simply because you are poor.

      3. TheElder

        Re: You WHAT??? proof required. that's simply OUTRAGEOUS

        Yes it is.

        It is also true.

        U.S. Eugenics: When a Low I.Q. Meant Sterilization

        However, there might be some exceptions that should apply. I am thinking of a particular government worker that must be similar to this one: A capital T comes to mind

        Man with almost no brain leads normal life

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      >I imaging Ada, the Countess Lovelace and Grace Hopper would also have had something to say on the suitability and capability of women in tech jobs.

      Hopper has said plenty, though much of it does not support your contention. Lumping her major achievements in with Ada is a little unfair. Lovelace is a terrible role mode who epitomised white privilege far more than the state educated Googler and her only significant contribution was the translation of Menabrea's work for which she is, more often than not, wrongly credited.

    7. Citizens untied

      Re: You might have also looked up "Social Darwinism"

      As usual only fame seems to matter.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/04/technology/obituary-jean-sammet-software-designer-cobol.html?_r=0

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Then there are people who write articles while standing on the Good side.

    Meanwhile: Perhaps Shame Still Exists? "No Google Doodle today in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."

  4. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    asshe but

    I dont agree with many of the things he says, yet he is not wrong when he claims that google is no longer hiring based on merit (I would say they hired based on geekness at some point).

    Posting that was naive, has plenty of bias and firing him proves a big part of what he said and is dangerous.... you should not fire someone because you dont like his political ideas.

    1. HCV

      Re: asshe but

      you should not fire someone because you dont like his political ideas.

      But perhaps you should fire someone if they are a liability to your company. Or, more assertively: if someone is a liability to your company, you should fire them.

      Mr. Damore has conclusively proven that he cannot work well with others. I would not assign him to any team of any composition, based on his documented thought processes and aggressive contempt for empathy,

      In addition, he has put the company in a bind, internally and externally.

      Therefore, I would give him the chance to exercise his right to be happy elsewhere, and at the same time make room for a more productive and less disruptive employee.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: asshe but

        Bullshit. As soon as companies are allowed to selectively employ only "my kind of people" who think appropriately "positive thoughts", they become exactly the discriminative assholes they are allegedly trying to get rid of. What "white male" people are usually accused of is selectively congregating in certain spaces with the active exclusion of everybody else - this is exactly the same thing, corporately sanctioned, with a different criteria. If his work is poor, if he's discourteous or explicitly hostile to others and you fire him, that's one thing. If you do that because some people didn't like the way he thinks - and that includes the company itself - or because other people have a problem with him instead of the other way around then the asshole is YOU.

        1. astrax

          Re: asshe but

          I genuinely think long gone are the times when an idea was shot down with a well constructed counter argument as opposed to just being silenced by any means necessary. I get the impression that (for some people at least) censorship is more agreeable if the consequences for ideological deviation are of a non-violent nature. Whilst I disagree (mostly) with what he said, sacking him simply enforces a lot of his points about the bigotry that exists within Google.

          1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

            Re: asshe but

            "I genuinely think long gone are the times when an idea was shot down with a well constructed counter argument as opposed to just being silenced by any means necessary. I get the impression that (for some people at least) censorship is more agreeable if the consequences for ideological deviation are of a non-violent nature. Whilst I disagree (mostly) with what he said, sacking him simply enforces a lot of his points about the bigotry that exists within Google"

            If this is censorship why are we still talking about it. Censorship is typing falun dong in a search engine and getting a visit from the secret police.

            The young man had every right to express his opinions, he just didn't have the right to expect to work for a company whose opinions go directly against the expressed cutltural aims and brand of the company after doing so.

            He is still allowed to express his opinions, he just has to find a different pedestal to do so

            1. LewisRage

              Re: asshe but

              > Censorship is typing falun dong in a search engine and getting a visit from the secret police.

              Surely thats oppression, censorship would be getting zero results.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: asshe but

          Everybody needs an asshole from time to time.

        3. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: asshe but

          Dropbear,

          No I think it's fair and right to hire people who fit your company culture and to fire those who don't. It's probably illegal but I'd want to surround myself with like minded individuals.

          There are problems with this approach, for example paedophiles gravitate to child services and then tend to hire more paedophiles. Great for paedos but not so good for children.

          At that point it's the organization which is corrupt not just the people in it.

          Firing this man will help Google achieve the true evil which is there destiny.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: asshe but

        "Mr. Damore has conclusively proven that he cannot work well with others. "

        Has he? Do you know him personally?

        Working with others forces you to adjust to different views and circumstances. You may disagree with the way they run their personal life - but if there is a job to be done then you judge on their ability to contribute their skills and effort.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: then you judge on their ability to contribute their skills and effort.

          And that's why Google is mainly white, young men? Honestly, go away and think about it, you're arguing that the status quo is working when it blatantly isn't, your employing from a narrow demographic instead of the broadest possible and yet you still think that merit is what drives the process. Repeating the same thing while expecting a different outcome is what?

          1. Terrance Brennan

            Re: then you judge on their ability to contribute their skills and effort.

            You can only hire from the available pool of qualified applicants. There are many reasons why that applicant pool favors a certain demographic; but, you can't make qualified candidates out of thin air. The hiring process is the wrong place to address the underlying issue. Making sure everyone has an opportunity to pursue their interests as far as their innate abilities will take them is how you address the "bias" you see.

        2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

          Re: asshe but

          "Mr. Damore has conclusively proven that he cannot work well with others.

          Has he? "

          Well yes, as soon as he disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior he became a liability. He became less effective in doing his job and incapable of being put in a position of responsibility where he may have direct influence over the career of others. Not only that but any decision based on the work of others will now have to be put in the filter of his expressed views. Did he turn down a colleague suggestion on its worth or due to their gender.

          Google is a corporation, and the bottom line is it about whether an employee can justify the cost of employing them(which I assume in this case is a lot). This employee reduced his worth to the company to the point where it was more cost effective to replace him. The employees big mistake was over estimating that his value.

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: asshe but

            "Well yes, as soon as he disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior he became a liability."

            Where did he do that? He didn't. He noted biological differences, and biological differences in brain function simply, factually and provably exist. Is that in and of itself a claim that one sex is biologically inferior to the other? It seems to me you must have felt the need make up that criticism due to a pre-conceived bias without actually reading or thinking about what he said.

            1. Vaidotas Zemlys

              Re: asshe but

              Men and women are different biologically and that is a fact. But does that mean that women are less apt at software engineering than men? The author of that document noted the biological differences and made a conclusion that because men and women are different biologically, they are different in their aptitude for being a software engineer. He tried to sugar coat this conclusion with fancy statistical terms, and certain caveats, but it is quite clear from the document that the author thinks this is true. He is entitled to that opinion, but voicing it out loud in a public forum naturally has certain consequences.

              1. SuccessCase

                Re: asshe but

                @Viadotas Zemlys

                "and made a conclusion that because men and women are different biologically, they are different in their aptitude for being a software engineer."

                No he didn't and you won't be able to come up with a quote to show he did. This is really very important and I am interested in why you feel the need to say that despite the fact he didn't say any such thing. He said in effect women are less inclined to want to be software engineers. That is a very different thing from saying they don't have the aptitude.

                Let me give an example. My mother was very clever. She could quite possibly have been a Nobel prize wining scientist if she had wanted to be. She didn't want to be. There is nothing at all insulting or demeaning about saying that. If someone told me my mother didn't have the aptitude to be a Nobel prize wining scientist, I would would think that is rather presumptive. They don't know her and don't know how very intelligent she is. But if they said she didn't have the desire to be one, I would agree with them.

              2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: asshe but

                Different yes - but difference can be a huge advantage if you recognize it.

                If males are such good coders and that's why men write code, then when does every day bring a new exploit and vulnerability?

                1. Michael Thibault

                  Re: asshe but

                  @Version 1.0. "If males are such good coders and that's why men write code, then when does every day bring a new exploit and vulnerability?"

                  Exposing vulnerabilities typically requires an understanding of code and creating exploits typically requires coding. And then there're the incentives... Who ya gonna call if you want either a vulnerability, an exploit for a vulnerability you know about, or both as a package?

            2. Paul 195

              Re: asshe but

              "He noted biological differences, and biological differences in brain function simply, factually and provably exist"

              The evidence for biological differences (as opposed to differences caused by social conditioning) is sketchy, controversial and dubious. If men were inherently better at science, why is it that in Malaysia (for example) women now outnumber men in university, and for children at school: "One Unicef report on the region found that Malaysian girls outperformed boys in all key subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science and Bahasa Malaysia." (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/343444) . If there were a genuine gender gap, surely it would be reflected internationally. Or maybe the claims of "biological unsuitability" are indeed, simply absolute bullshit.

              1. SuccessCase

                Re: asshe but

                "The evidence for biological differences (as opposed to differences caused by social conditioning) is sketchy, controversial and dubious."

                Not at all, please provide sources. I can. This contains multiple highly accredited scientific sources, and discusses the Googler's paper :

                http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/

                Also please avoid left-wing sociologist/gender studies peer-reviewed "social science" sources as they are so often discredited bullshit - see this for a laugh:

                http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/05/21/fake-academic-paper-published-in-liberal-journal-hilariously-exposes-the-absurdity-of-gender-studies/

                1. Lingomat

                  Re: asshe but

                  Yes, I'm completely open to the idea of writing off entire genres of scientific literature because some random guy on the internet tells me they are 'discredited bullshit'. Particularly if they use an impeccable source to back up their claim such as theblaze.com.

                2. tom dial Silver badge

                  Re: asshe but

                  Upvoted solely for the reference to (the reference to) the "Conceptual penis as a social construct" article.

              2. art guerrilla

                Re: asshe but

                "The evidence for biological differences (as opposed to differences caused by social conditioning) is sketchy, controversial and dubious."

                .

                @ paulnumber-

                and with that right there, you have shown you are an idjit... no differences ? ? ? c'mon, i don't care how much you WANT to believe there are 'no differences', the differences are INESCAPABLE...

                wtf is it with people that they abandon ALL common sense and observable reality for how THEY WISH things were (even if unattainable)...

                this wishy-washy, hopey-feeley, 'why can't we all be the exact same organism' thinking is so stupid it makes my brain bleed...

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: asshe but

              Differences may exist, but there is no evidence that these differences have any impact on a persons ability to do a tech job.

          2. JimC Silver badge

            Re: disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior

            Where did he do that? He did not. This is very muddled thinking.

            Every individual is good at different things. Yes, there's a belief in some quarters that every individual is really exactly equal in every capability, but that's nonsense.

            I am not disparaging Albert Einstein as inferior if I said he was a brilliant physicist but a mediocre violin player, or disparaging Yehudi Menuhin if I say he was a brilliant violin player but a mediocre physicist.

            But if I am employing physicists I want brilliant physicists, and I don't give a damn about their violin playing.

            Lets say that people with gene 123alpha6 are more likely to be good at physics than people without it, and people without gene 123alpha6 are more likely to be good violin players than those with it. And lets say that I want to employ people from the top 10% of the population as regards competence at physics. That top 10% of the population will have more people with gene 123alpha6 than the population at large, so if I employ a random selection of the worlds top 10% physicists gene 123alpha6 will be over represented. Does that mean that the ones who don't have gene 123alpha6 are somehow inferior? No, it does not. They are still in the top 10% of the worlds physicists, they are not inferior at all, and its quite possible that the best physicist in the world won't have gene 123alpha6. And incidentally the presence or absence of gene 123alpha6 is actually no use when recruiting physicists. If I were only to recruit people with gene 123alpha6 then I would be automatically excluding a lot of the worlds best physicists from consideration, and end up hiring people who weren't such good physicists even though they did have that gene.

            What you are doing, effectively, is claiming that this guy was saying that physicists without gene 123alpha6 are biologically inferior. But he was not saying that at all. And even worse you are making a value judgement that violin players are inferior to physicists, which is appalling. Someone who is good at a one specific job isn't biologically superior to someone who is good at a different job. If you say they are that's pretty appalling too.

            1. TheElder

              the presence or absence of gene 123alpha6 is actually no use when recruiting physicists.

              I work in the field of genetics. You made me curious just what gene this may be so I did a quick search on 123alpha6. This is the first hit:

              Memory leaks

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: asshe but

            "as soon as he disparaged 20% of the workforce"

            did you bother reading what he said, or only what other people said ABOUT it... ?

          4. Terrance Brennan

            Re: asshe but

            But, he never said women were biologically inferior. And, he explicitly said every person needs to be considered on their individual merits; not on the basis on their generalized group.

          5. John Jennings
            Thumb Down

            Re: asshe but

            Nonsense!

            The art of management of staff is knowing you have internal bias, and making personal adjustment to ensure that these bias do not negatively impact your staff.

            I have managed large teams in the past - had to hire, and unfortunately fire. I have always tried to understand my biases and not based my decisions on these - rather corporate needs.

            EVERYONE has some forms of bias - its management 101 to underdstand this, and develop tools to work with your own. Be it gender/belben person types/colour/religion - whatever.

            Reading the article, it appears that Kieren has developed (and revels in) bias of his own.

          6. Chemical Bob

            Re: asshe but

            "He became less effective in doing his job and incapable of being put in a position of responsibility where he may have direct influence over the career of others."

            Then you have him move himself into Storage B in the basement and, once he's settled in, tell him to get a flashlight and a can of pesticide and take care of the cockroach problem. Then turn out the light.

            And don't forget to take his red stapler too.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsayg_S4pJg

          7. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: asshe but

            "he disparaged 20% of the workforce as biologically inferior" - strawman argument.

      3. Lou 2

        Re: asshe but

        Where has he proved he don't work well with others? Possibly Google is, like big companies afraid that the workers will have a voice, think they are important. Large companies can't allow that. You need to stay in your tribe / cultivated group otherwise you may not want to follow the latest direction the politically correct management deem appropriate.

        His fault was - he forgot he is a nobody. In reality he can be replaced overnight.

        1. Just Enough

          Re: asshe but

          "Where has he proved he don't work well with others? Possibly Google is, like big companies afraid that the workers will have a voice, think they are important."

          The workers in Google *do* have a voice. And the vast majority of them said "this guy is an asshole and I wouldn't like to work with him". That means Google have a problem, they have an employee who has alienated most of his colleagues, and has drawn negative publicity towards his employer into the bargain.

          Sacking him, however, has had the unfortunate effect of making him a martyr to even more dreadful people, as referenced in this excellent article. It's a bit of a 'everyone loses' scenario.

          1. nijam

            Re: asshe but

            > And the vast majority of them ...

            The vast majority of the tiny minority who bothered to respond?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: asshe but

            "The workers in Google *do* have a voice. And the vast majority of them said "this guy is an asshole and I wouldn't like to work with him"."

            Yep, and look what happens when anyone agrees with him! FIRED! Most people won't take a moral stand to lose their job and change nothing. Got bills to pay.

      4. nijam

        Re: asshe but

        > perhaps you should fire someone if they are a liability to your company

        perhaps you should fire someone if they point out that your HR policies are a liability to your company

        FTFY

      5. Terrance Brennan

        Re: asshe but

        Has anyone read his memo? He NEVER said females were inferior. He stated some biological truths and said there were general differences between genders. If you read those traits are inferior that is your problem not his. However, he repeated several times that each person needs to be treated as an individual because there is significant overlap in the biological traits he talked about. His point was NOT that women could not be good coders/engineers/managers; his point was that there MAY be non-discriminatory reasons there is not a clean 50-50 representation.

    2. joeldillon

      Re: asshe but

      Google is legally required not to have a hostile work environment for its employees. This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job. Regardless of your opinion about that statement, by being stupid enough to do that this guy pretty much legally required HR to fire him or risk Google being sued; Google couldn't just say 'oh well fair enough whatever it's your opinion let's just keep going about our business' any more than it could if he'd set up a burning cross on their front lawn or whatever.

      1. Ilmarinen
        FAIL

        Re: asshe but

        @joeldillon " This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job. "

        He didn't.

        As they say, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your "own facts".

        Read what he wrote*. To help you with this, here is the link:

        https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

        *presumably while sitting in his cubicle or whatever, and certainly not standing up in front of the entire company

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: asshe but

        "This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job"

        No, he did nothing of the sort.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: asshe but

        "This guy stood right up in front of the entire company and said a chunk of said employees and co-workers were biologically unsuited for their job"

        BULLSHIT. you didn't read it did you?

        Google was effectively soliciting opinions. But they don't tolerate opinions that don't jive with their political correctness culture. THAT is why he was fired!

        (that and they saw him as a replaceable mook)

        1. Terrance Brennan

          Re: asshe but

          Ok, now you people are making me mad. I just had to upvote Bombastic Bob which goes against all my instincts and beliefs.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Average differences between groups

    A handy graphic for understanding outrage at statements about average differences between groups:

    https://twitter.com/sentientist/status/894959693822558209

    1. hnwombat
      FAIL

      Re: Average differences between groups

      = A handy graphic for understanding outrage at statements about average differences between groups:

      A handy definition for those that think statistical differences between groups should inform general policy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_fallacy

      (That said, the graph is in fact correct.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Average differences between groups

        Google is making policies based on groups (sex, race). The manifesto is saying the opposite - judge each person on their merit.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: Average differences between groups

          " judge each person on their merit."

          Judge people on their merit, but on average they won't be any good, but still judge them on their merit anyway, even though there's a good chance they'll suck at it, but still, hear them out, even though you'll interview them assuming they'll suck. That's the memo's thinking. If that's a rational, coherent and fair thought process for you, then... I don't know what to say. No wonder particular groups feel unwelcome.

          Right. Let's say you were a fan of the Sopranos on HBO, or you like Brit metal band Cradle of Filth. And say there was a study that suggested Sopranos and Filth fans tend to be unstable in stressful situations. And you go into a job interview with the interviewers knowing from your Facebook that you're a fan of the Sopranos or the Filth. And immediately they're thinking: on average, this person isn't going to be a reliable candidate.

          Or your colleagues you pair program think the same.

          C.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            Re: diodesign Re: Average differences between groups

            "....Let's say you were a fan of the Sopranos on HBO, or you like Brit metal band Cradle of Filth. And say there was a study that suggested Sopranos and Filth fans tend to be unstable in stressful situations. And you go into a job interview with the interviewers knowing from your Facebook that you're a fan of the Sopranos or the Filth. And immediately they're thinking: on average, this person isn't going to be a reliable candidate....." Already happens, and not in an unconscious bias but in a very professional process. HR drones have books that will tell them what they think they need to know about you by your choice of fave film, TV show, actor, pop group, song, book, politician or historical figure*. Even your taste in food is "a doorway to your thought processes", apparently. They won't just ask you in the interview, they will scan your social media for such info. For example, got on Facebook that The Smiths are your fave group? That's career suicide for the City or Wall Street. My advice is to think very carefully not only about what you put on your social media but also the people you link to and friend. I am certain some of the candidates I have interviewed in the last few years have edited their social media because it was too squeaky clean, but I personally saw that as a good thing as it meant they looked ahead and came prepared.

            *The historical figure is a classic and over-used question, usually indicative of an unimaginative, process-following HR drone - "If you could go back through time to talk to any historical figure, who would that be?" Look at the company career pages, pick out the buzzwords like "team work", "innovative", "assertive", etc., then choose a figure you can build a response around those. Also look to see if they sponsor something like a scholarship set up in the memory of a famous person or industry innovator - this gives you the double bonus of looking like you know about the industry and looking like you have researched the company when you say something like; "And I was pleased to note your company sponsors Dr X's scholarship."

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Average differences between groups

            Google literally has a policy that discriminates job applicants based on their sex and race. The manifesto says to judge each person on their merit.

            What if in 10 years more women want to be in tech, study computer science and occupy 70% of jobs. Will you campaign to discriminate against them to make it 50/50? Or will you let the best qualified person do the job?

            1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

              Re: Re: Average differences between groups

              "The manifesto says to judge each person on their merit."

              While at the same time saying certain people - women, for instance - aren't suited to certain jobs due to their biology. You can't have it both ways: you can't say 'treat people on their merit' while also writing them off because "on average" they suck at certain tasks. Which is it: treat people on merit because everyone has every chance of being competent, or assume "on average" women aren't as competent as men? How can you take people on merit if you've already decided half of them are potentially defective? It's hardcoded bias. It don't make no sense.

              This is why, here at El Reg, we just don't buy it. We don't buy the memo. It's shit reasoning by a PhD dropout that has now spiraled out of control, fueled by latent biases.

              C.

              1. JimC Silver badge

                Re: Average differences between groups

                > You can't have it both ways: you can't say

                >'treat people on their merit'

                > while also writing them off

                > because "on average" they suck at certain tasks.

                Agreed. But there is no writing off going on in the note. This is the point you have utterly missed.

                Look, men are, on average, taller than women. Agreed? But the tallest woman who ever lived was just over 8ft tall, taller than some huge number of 9s of men.

                Now lets supposing I need as many people as possible over 6ft tall for some reason. If I am foolish I only look at men for the job because I know that on average men are taller. But if I am sensible I look at everyone, because I know that some women will be over 6ft tall, and a 6ft tall woman is exactly the same height as a 6ft tall man. And because I understand how averages work I also know that there is a chance that the tallest person available will be a woman. But if I would be a consummate idiot if I labelled people under 6ft tall as inferior.

                And of course this is easily reversed: if I need as many people as possible under 5ft tall then the exact opposite will apply. Its notorious, for example, that electronic assembly lines tend to employ women because people with smaller hands are better at the job. Does this make men with large hands inferior? Of course it doesn't. It just means they have a different aptitude. Next to tha factory in the warehouse stacking boxes there are more men with strong arms. If the factory is employing 70% women on the assembly line, and 70% men in the warehouse and decides that's sexist they could swap jobs around so that there are 50% men and women in each role. And then what happens?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Average differences between groups

                  Thank you JimC.

                  This is a great explanation for people who are more verbal than visual, or just need another angle to understand it.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Average differences between groups

                  It is a sad state of affairs when you have had to spell out what is essentially so simple yet many cannot grasp it. Yes there are some that grasp it but don't agree with it too, which as your post shows, there are always exceptions to the rules.

                  It does not take a genius to understand that women can do many jobs men can do and in most cases get the same pay. For some physical jobs, men may be able to do more in a role on average but there will always be some women that have more strength and work ethic than men in that role too.

                  The problem occurs when companies insist on equal rights which means a team of 4 has to have one man, a woman, a disabled person and a foreigner to fill some quota that in most cases will not be an improvement over hiring the right people for the job. There is no reason why a workforce should be 50% men and 50% woman to fulfil some liberal managers fetish garnered from hearing feminists activists and their mangina followers.

                  Choose the best people and if the manager under you is employing people based on the wrong merits, ie another white man, when other candidates were obviously stronger, get rid of the bad apple. The same when you have the feminist female manger who only employs women. We still have to make that work for Polish site managers who only employ cheap polish labourers to work on their site though.

                  There are averages, better than averages and people who do well when not expected. Employee them on their merits rather than a male/female/race/disabled balance

                  1. JimC Silver badge

                    Re: Average differences between groups

                    > if the manager under you is employing people

                    > based on the wrong merits ... get rid of the bad apple.

                    The challenge, of course is to understand what the merits are. Goodness knows there are no shortage of people claiming that only men can do a given job when its not true. Speaking as someone who has a bit of a history of picking candidates who don't turn out to be nearly as good as I thought they sounded at the interview, I'd love it if there were accurate and scientifically backed ways of picking out aptitude. Instead all we seem to get is pseudo science and other woo.

                    This is the problem with the note. He points out, correctly in my opinion, that there may be non-discriminatory reasons why there is not a 50/50 gender split in a given organisation or function. What he doesn't give - probably because at the moment its almost impossible - is any way of identifying how much of a given unequal gender split is discrimination and how much is aptitude or career choice. And that's something important to know, because discrimination on non rational grounds is damaging by reducing the pool of talented individuals - and that is true just as much of positive discrimination as negative.

                3. Michael Thibault

                  Re: Average differences between groups

                  @JimC. "And then what happens?"

                  The manager who spear-headed the change takes the bonus cheque cheerfully, anyone who suggests that the fall in productivity and throughput is a result of the change is fired, and a memo is circulated to remind workers that: they're fortunate to still have a job; that they're fortunate not to be paid at piece-work rates; and, that rations will be further limited and discipline by caning will be stepped up until productivity and throughput return to historical highs?

                  Close?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Michael Thibault

          Re: Average differences between groups

          @AC. "The manifesto is"

          not a manifesto, it's a memo. 'Do not overlook the distinction' seems to be lost on many, as is the very real significance of by whose conscious, willful actions the memo took on a character it did not originally have.

  6. macjules Silver badge

    There's always room ..

    ... at WikiLeaks for yet another self-important, self-promoting poppinjay. Sadly not much room for another ego beyond that of Saint Julian of Hans Crescent.

  7. sabroni Silver badge

    Awesome.

    Thank you for this article! Much needed!

    1. Paddy

      Re: Awesome.

      Yes it was a good read. I note that the readership is likely to have a large amount of current members of the community being criticised which makes the comments and votes here also interestng!

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Awesome.

      I didn't think it was all that awesome. The somewhat echoed opinions on James Damoore are disappointing.

      It started well with "The ex-Googler did a very stupid thing. He decided to let his intellect drive his internal biases and ended up producing a document that he no doubt felt at the time was a powerful corrective argument to what he sees as a misplaced assertion within Google that the company needs to hire more women and more people from different races and backgrounds to balance its dominant white, male Caucasian culture."

      I can understand the apparent author-bias in this, and it's "over-look-able". Differing opinions are usually interesting.

      But wait.. THEN the article went on to say things like "It uses highly subjective language to push demeaning or mocking arguments. It provides "evidence" as an afterthought or not at all."

      NOT the article that _I_ read. It didn't do that. I just got done summarizing it in another forum. So yeah, I read the thing. And commented on it. I didn't see *ANY* of what the author alleges.

      So after wasting an ENTIRE page blasting this guy and making sound like some kind of "throwback" [I'm surprised "1950's" or "slavery" wasn't mentioned], the article COMPLETELY misses the point that Google was (in effect) soliciting opinions, and when a dissenting opinion was offered, one going against the political correctness culture, one that tries to show that their attempts at 'divesity' are hurting the company, they _SILENCED_ him, and created a "chilling effect" for anyone ELSE who might DARE to say the SAME kinds of things.

      [it's why I don't work for companies like Google - that kind of "hostile environment" would drive me to RAGE QUIT]

      However, the other points on the following pages were ok.

      I'd give it an "Average" with some caveats about page 1.

    3. Michael Thibault

      Re: Awesome.

      "Much needed!"

      I'm almost certain you don't mean in the sense that captive seals have to be given a chance to strut their stuff, or what's the point of all that training?

  8. oldtaku
    Mushroom

    Thiel Capital

    No surprise with Eric Weinstein - anyone who works for Peter Thiel is guaranteed to be a flaming asshole spouting gouts of of magmatic tat in all directions.

    For anyone who doesn't know the name he's a classic old school techbro who helped create the 'techbros are assholes' culture - he's such an asshole that he used to pretend to be a libertarian and gave that up when the libertarians wouldn't elect him king. And now he will just outright literally tell you that he should be able to make all the laws because he's rich.

    1. HCV

      Re: Thiel Capital

      Come for the gouts of magmatic tat, stay for the teenage blood transfusions.

      1. Lotaresco

        Re: Thiel Capital

        "stay for the teenage blood transfusions"

        I think you will find that's "irradiated children's glands".

        Bug Jack Barron

        Gosh, that doesn't half look prophetic these days.

  9. Dave Bell

    Why did Google even hire the guy?

    It's emerging that Mr. Damore lied on LinkedIn about having a PhD, but I find myself wondering just what he had that Google thought they needed. What does "Research Intern" at MIT really mean in terms of skills? What of his time as an Intern at Google?

    I don't know enough of these things, but I do hear stories about "Interns" being unpaid positions in expensive cities used to stack the hiring deck against the less-privileged. As I recall, the name used to refer to the Junior Doctors in American Hospitals. How much has the label changed.

    Google doesn't do just programming and computer engineering, but I can't figure out what skills they were paying for.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Mr Weinstein showed an epic fail of virtue signalling.

    Good article and an interesting read.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The bigger question to ask is probably why highly intelligent, accomplished, lauded white men feel the need to draw distinctions of superiority in the first place. Why does someone already sitting high on the hill feel the need to point at those below him and explain why they don't deserve to be where he is?

    Just to be absolutely clear here: If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be."

    I was looking for some hint of self-awareness that this was exactly what you were doing. Still looking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He didn't say "why do all highly intelligent, accomplished white men feel the need...?"

      He said, "Here is a specific group of people that are drawing distinctions of superiority. They are all highly accomplished and lauded, and they are in a position of cultural privilege. Why would they feel the need...?"

    2. Citizens untied

      Capitalism, duh

  12. Mage Silver badge

    It's true most people are not programmers, but:

    "But then again, he is also a software engineer who is not even 30 years old. Damore's CV reveals an extremely privileged existence: a chess champion with a degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s in systems biology from Harvard, an intern at Princeton, a researcher at MIT and then a software engineer at Google. It is a veritable list of elite US establishments.

    That life, that existence, has never had to deal first-hand with the inequities that exist for the vast majority of people. He has never had to build an objective, evidence-based argument for something other than programming a logic machine. His understanding of computer code is greater than the vast majority of people on the planet but it has come at a price"

    Actually, is there any evidence that he's even a good programmer? The percentage of programmers that are good is low and maybe falling as universities concentrate on teaching a language rather than programming.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: It's true most people are not programmers, but:

      One would assume Google hired him for a reason, and that their hiring process consists of more than simply reviewing resumes.

      But being a "good programmer" doesn't mean he isn't easily replaceable to Google. Almost everyone reading this is easily replaceable in their job. If you think you are irreplaceable in your job and are not self-employed, you are probably wrong.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: It's true most people are not programmers, but:

      I'm thrown that being a "chess champion" is considered as "extremely privileged" - except I guess for being able to take the time to learn to play chess very well. You could start out as naturally mentally gifted, but to beat other players reliably, you - and they - have to spend a lot of your time playing and practising. Instead of doing home chores or regular homework. So, maybe.

      As for the issues, I think that as long as men and women are different things, our society won't achieve "equality" between them, but this doesn't excuse us from exerting ourselves to remove or reduce the various barriers to entry and progress in various fields of endeavour against this or that sex, race, etc., even to the point of making over-privileged people entering these situations feel less wanted.

      I also don't doubt that amongst reasons for continuing to find fewer women practising or excelling in some activities, it may be that some women don't want to pursue those activities - and also it may be that some women are not very good at those activities. But that doesn't excuse us from offering fair opportunities to people who are willing and capable. If being fair is still a thing to do - capitalism doesn't always think so.

      But I'm not rushing to publish a memo about all this at work. However I may get a surprise tomorrow.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: It's true most people are not programmers, but:

        I don't think it is the "chess champion" alone, but the list of institutions he attended. Maybe he got full ride academic scholarships to each, and had to excel in a public school with limited resources to get into U of Illinois. So Kieren is making some assumptions here, but one with a decent shot of being right. He probably should have tried to track down where the guy grew up and what high school he went to. If it was some sort of private prep school, then case closed.

  13. Mage Silver badge

    Bonkers

    It never ceases to amaze me how bigoted people can be and blind to it. Like the Colour problem in N.I. that is now much worse than in 1980s and 1990s. The Orange and Green. Why are people electing SF and DUP?

    The differences between individuals is greater than between men and women or Scandinavians and Bushmen. We are all humans.

  14. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Arseholery breeds success

    "Here is a specific group of people that are drawing distinctions of superiority. They are all highly accomplished and lauded, and they are in a position of cultural privilege. Why would they feel the need...?"

    Simples - a noticeable proportion of "successful" people are arseholes, because being an arsehole helps them be "successful".

    "successful" is in quotes because it's a relative term - the arseholes equate money, chattels, bling and power with success. Many nicer people don't.

    Basically it's easier to get to the top of the tree (if that's where you want to be) if you're an unpleasant bullying arsehole. They push better people aside. They're ruthless. They lie and cheat. They have to believe though, that what they're doing is a good thing, because they deserve it, and they're better than the other people.

    Nicer people often have different goals in life. They often want to live happy, satisfying lives, and perhaps don't see a 70" TV in the downstairs toilet (or even having a downstairs toilet) as the height of success. Some nice people do end up in senior positions, but perhaps because they feel that that is where they can do most good for other people, rather than just for themselves.

    And as a quick quiz - name one orange person who fits the profile of the successful arsehole.

    1. wayne 8

      Re: Orange person

      Dutch or NI?

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Arseholery breeds success

      a relative term

      It's all the proof we need that business does not operate on the principle of merit and achievement. Research over the years has shown there's no positive correlation between executive pay and company performance, with some research suggesting the exact opposite. And yet companies continue to appoint highly paid charmers like Travis Kalanick to positions of leadership, defying all apparent logic. Even the investors, who you would think would wish to maximise their return, are simply maximising the directors' "toilet TVs".

      If the arseholery of the last few days were largely limited to 5 prominent people, we could merely shake our heads and tut. The real concern is the scale of outpouring of entitlement from the industry and the clear message that Yiannopoulos and Kalanick and their ilk and not quite the outliers that we may have assumed. It's almost as if someone had rumbled a conspiracy.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Arseholery breeds success

      And as a quick quiz - name one orange person who fits the profile of the successful arsehole.

      Mr Tickle.

      He's cuddly and orange, with a blue hat and has a big smile. But that just covers that he's a serial sex-offender. On about page 3 of his book, he's reaching through the classroom window to tickle the teacher's bum.

      Admittedly he was also my hero. Because on page 1 of the book he gets biscuits out of the tin in the kitchen, without having to get out of bed. When I was 4, that was the most amazing idea ever.

  15. hammarbtyp Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Probably the best article i have read on El Reg for sometime.

    I am male, a software engineer and i approve this message

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This Article

    If it's not sarcasm, then well it's a really bias and poorly concluded article compare to the other informative El Reg Articles.

    Here are a few points that are bias or poorly concluded.

    "He does a spectacularly bad job of it. Mostly because he is wrong and acting out of bitterness and ignorance – never a great start point."

    This sentence ended with the next sentence about something else. You used your opinion to point out 'Mostly because he is wrong' and with nothing before or after to backup your claim. No examples, nothing, like a train of thought just ramp right into a dead end. This is just poorly concluded and random unless we read through the memo.

    "The bigger question to ask is probably why highly intelligent, accomplished, lauded white men feel the need to draw distinctions of superiority in the first place...Just to be absolutely clear here: If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be."

    This is just plain bias. If making a statement about a group of people is wrong, then everyone who study or report psychology or biology are doom to be wrong then (which just happens to have a lot of highly intelligent, accomplished, lauded men and women).

    Psychology is the study of behavior and biology is the study of living organisms, which unlike physic or chemistry does not 100% return the same results due to small variation in living things. You're not going have the same behavior, you're not going to get the same drug reaction between a 100 women and men 100% of the time.

    Here's a psychology experiment on groupthink. The individuals ended up follow the group, but not all of them followed the group at the same time or in the same way due to the living things variation.

    Is concluding that in general the concept of groupthink exist within a group of people wrong? I'll let you and history (1962) do the debate. Instead, a better way to state that would be conclusion on group of people should not be mixed with opinion and/or bias, like 'A lot of Japanese eat rice, vegetable and fish based on this study'. See better?

    "Toby Young...pointing out that the average woman was different to the average man and that everyone had failed to noticed this..."

    Read the damn memo. Starting from "Women, on average". Everyone DID failed to notice.

    "It's a pretty safe bet that the women being interviewed for specific posts at Google are in fact highly qualified to do those jobs. What is so infuriating about Damore's mindset – and what Google is trying so hard to unravel – is the immediate assumption that..."

    This is poorly concluded. 'a pretty safe bet' is an assumption too. You can't use an assumption to disprove assumption. That's like I assume 2+2 =190, therefore your assumption of 2+2 = 54 is wrong. You need facts to disprove assumption. You can however state that's an assumption and might not be true.

    Overall, yes you did conclude that there ARE assholes (from the other people you've pointed to). But with the complete poorly concluded and bias view with the lack of referencing, it just in return makes you an asshole too.

    TL;DR: I'm an asshole, who pointed out an asshole author on an asshole article being bias and poorly concluded.

    1. Ogi

      Re: This Article

      Thank you for taking the time to write this.

      Honestly, this article on the reg reads like a propaganda hit piece, going off into a list of people the author doesn't like.

      Did the author actually read the memo, or just assumed based on what they heard from other reports the memo actually contained?

      For example, here are some extracts from the memo, and I quote:

      (page 3)

      I’m not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

      (page 8)

      Suggestions:

      I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

      I sure didn't read that as:

      But that also ignores the fundamental fact that Damore literally argued that women were biologically unsuitable to do certain types of jobs.

      as the author contents. It sounds to me like a guy who wants to have a rational debate about the situation, he isn't name calling, he isn't saying "Women can't code and should have babies and sit in the kitchen all their life", or that everything is pure black and white (in fact he says the exact opposite in the memo). He made his position clear and backed it up with evidence.

      You may not like what he says, you may not agree with what he says, but the answer is to challenge the message, and debate it. If your counter arguments/evidence are strong enough, you will be be victorious, that is how debates work. You do not insult and attack the messenger. So far all I have seen in response to this memo is horrid attacks on the person, not the message.

      To me, a neutral third party, that makes me think that the other party in this debate does not have any decent counter arguments, so have resolved to use character assassination of the messenger, in the hope if they discredit the author enough, people won't read or pay attention to the memo.

      The way I read it, his key point is mentioned in this quote:

      I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

      That to me seems like a perfectly valid position to hold, I now await a reasoned counter argument against it. So far I have been let down.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: yeah, yeah, yeah.

        "I'm not a racist but....."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Article

        Exactly. What the google software engineer actually wrote seems quite reasonable and intelligent - the reaction to it hasn't been.

        In my world we would extract the key claims he makes in the text and, if there is some debate or uncertainty about them, put them to the test. Because it does seem that much of what he says may have some truth in it, even if you would prefer it not to be so.

        Equality for all under the law is beyond doubt the right way to setup a society. However we are clearly not all the same. If you can't see that men and women are different, or that black and white people are different etc, you are stunningly stupid*. Genetic variation exists and we need to accept it. Its just a fact of life.

        This variation almost certainly will mean that certain 'types' perform better at some tasks than other 'types'. Tall people are better suited to basketball etc.

        The hypothesis that perhaps men are better suited to some types of work than women, and equally that women are better suited to some types of work than men should really not be that controversial for humanity. We seem to be denying whats right in front of us. Evidence for it is all around us in our daily lives. Generally speaking, men and women differ, and we have often no trouble enjoying, celebrating and joking about those differences.

        There seems to have been a lot of knee-jerk and group-think reaction to his Google article, including this very disappointing El Reg piece.

        * Hint: if you can visually tell white and black people apart, then clearly they are 'different'. Ditto men and women.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: This Article

          In my world we would extract the key claims he makes in the text and, if there is some debate or uncertainty about them, put them to the test. Because it does seem that much of what he says may have some truth in it, even if you would prefer it not to be so.

          But the reaction is not and was never going to be reasonable. A large group of bigots* in our society respond to any attempt at reasoned argument on an ever expanding set of subjects that they consider to be objectionable with attempts to supress the argument.

          * bigot

          noun

          a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.**

          **Definition correct until updated in the next version of newspeak.

          The end result of this is dangerous. Why? Because if a bunch of extremists locks down freedom of speech to an extent that venturing an opinion on virtually any subject is "thoughtcrime" then it's effectively impossible to exercise freedom of speech, and this eliminates both the centre ground and sensible discussion and moderate opposition. Arguments are not won, they are simply not voiced.

          This leaves only extremists in opposition and you end up with a choice of two agenda's, both from extremists.

          This culminates in Donald Trump & Brexit.

      3. manchesterj

        Re: This Article

        Try this bit "I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes" this is in relation to the Tech industry so rather than thinking that maybe the differences might be cultural (female participation in India and other countriesin coding is at least 50%) - he suggests that its biological. There is absolutely no evidence for his statement. So I would suggest that he's trying to back fit what he thinks of "evidence" to fit his own prejudices.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This Article

          I think the bit where he rants at length about left wing liberals grinding the poor, oppressed rich conservative white man beneath their steel capped jackboot somewhat gave away that this chap wasn't particularly interested in reality.

      4. oneeye

        Re: This Article

        EXACTLY!!!! I wrote to elreg late Sunday, and mentioned that they TOO had a similar problem, though not as bad as all the other tech journo"s. But, the resident TROLL McCarthy, who seems only able to name call, hurl insults,instead of reasonable arguments, only demonstrated his own lack of intelligence, and most importantly, SELF-AWARENESS. A virtue the progressive leftist seem to have in abundance. I specifically called out the fact that this author makes elreg look, and sound bad, but, whoever C.is, (I think it stands for COWARD)? Only sought to justify said name calling. It's unprofessional, and childish to say the least, at least in a professional publication, NOT a tabloid. And finally, I'm surprised at the support for the memo author here in the comments. I really think the majority get it. Which, is completely bassAckwards. At least in my previous observations over the last three years.

    2. insideClaw

      Re: This Article

      Thank you! I stopped reading the article after it started listing Top 5 horrible people by name, as per the author's divine judgement. I hope this article is treated as an incident and doesn't represent what we will find on this website in the future.

      1. kierenmccarthy

        Re: This Article

        I thought I was quite specific as to why I had chosen those particular people to highlight as dreadful.

        I can see why you might disagree in principle with singling out people and shaming them. But not sure arguing that I didn't explain why I singled them out is very valid.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: This Article

        Five horrible people is the title of the article. Why start reading if you don't want to see that? Also, do you think any of them are losing sleep over this coverage?

    3. hnwombat
      Mushroom

      Re: This Article

      You did have almost one correct statement in your reply. Let me fix it for you, so that you can at least have one completely true statement (I won't comment on your grammar, as that will guarantee that I make a grammatical error):

      = TL;DR: I'm an asshole, who pointed out an asshole author on an asshole article being bias and

      = poorly concluded.

      TL;DR: I'm an asshole, who pointed out an *well-informed* author *who actually bothered to look carefully at social psychology research* on *a well-synthesized* article *summarizing that research* and concluded with *a lot of ignorant vitriol which I added above*.

      N.B.: My comments refer, as do most of the original poster's, to the content of the article before talking about the asshole-outing. While I generally agree with the author there as well, that is obviously opinion.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: This Article

        "(I won't comment on your grammar, as that will guarantee that I make a grammatical error)"

        Do punctuation errors count?

        1. hnwombat

          Re: This Article

          = Do punctuation errors count?

          Yes. :-)

    4. kierenmccarthy

      Re: This Article

      This is a pretty reasonable attack job.

      I did have several paragraphs explaining why Damore was wrong but the article was getting too long and I pulled them out while failing to kill the preceding line. So you're right there.

      I could have, should have, gone more into why group comparison in this case was entirely the wrong approach and why it ended up being incredibly offensive.

      You are however wrong about Google and hiring. I doubt whether you live in the Bay Area And I doubt you know many people that work at Google or have applied for jobs at Google. I do and I have. Admittedly, their hiring process is a little odd but the reality is that they have their pick of the very best candidates. If someone is being interviewed for a software engineering job there, they are fully qualified to do it.

      Even accounting for the fact that there are far fewer women and non white men who have the requisite skills, Google maintains a huge white, male bias and articles like Damore's indicate why. Perple end up getting the job or not getting the job based on what the interviewers think of them because the skill level is consistently high and they all are qualified.

      That's why this doc hit such a nerve at Google: it confirmed what many suspected. That despite their best efforts white males continued to get most of the jobs because they were white males being interviewed by white males. Damore's hokum piece of self justification was a lightning rod for people incredibly frustrated by the situation.

      All that said, this article was about calling out the people that showed themselves to be dreadful people in response this one issue in this one company.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Article

        "...and articles like Damore's indicate why"

        And it has nothing on the response. Job offers from an alleged rapist, funding drives from the alt right, the right-wing press strumming themselves silly over his freedom of speech and, topping it off, el reg commentards falling over themselves to defend his unacceptable statement of his barely acceptable views.

        Think how reading that would feel if you weren't the typical commentard, if you weren't white (which you almost certainly are), if you weren't male (which you almost certainly are) or if you weren't western (which you almost certainly are). You'd run a fucking mile and never look back.

  17. Ilmarinen
    Thumb Down

    FFS

    Well I read Mr Damore's document in its entirety. I didn't agree with all of it, but it seemed to me well written, well thought out, respectful and made good points.

    Unlike the load of bollocks that Kieren McCarthy has written above, where I gave up after reading page one and skimming page 2. I think the picture at the top sums it up for me.

    I appreciate that folks may disagree with my take, but I rarely now read El Reg and this article is a good example of why.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: FFS

      > Well I read Mr Damore's document in its entirety.

      So did I, twice. My reading understanding may be shit (and English is not my first language), but have the distinct impression that almost none of the reporters writing on it have even attempted to take a single look.

      A noteworthy exception (4 in one pack) is The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond, I strongly suggest reading that.

      Whether or not Kieren has read that memo, I do not appreciate this article. What really puts me off is suggesting that Mr Damore is somehow a bad person with no hint why that should be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FFS

        "A noteworthy exception (4 in one pack) is The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond, I strongly suggest reading that.'

        Or for those who can't be bothered, a summary:

        Lee Jussim - "I agree with him politically and therefore choose to spectacularly miss the point by claiming this is about whether his scientific claims are scientifically defensible (without, of course, backing up the claim that they are) rather than deeply professionally inappropriate, and ignoring that the controversial bit is the jump from "there is a 5% observed difference on average between men and women at X" and "therefore men are better programmers and always will be" and jumping again to "so therefore we should stop going to efforts to recruit women"."

        David P Schmitt - "He gets the science wrong (provides links to studies. Not only is it not clear that sex differences that do exist can directly be transliterated to job performance as a coder, but these sex differences account for less than 10% of the variance. He is using someone's sex to essentialise them - "like trying to operate with an axe". Affirmative action policies which aim to 'reset the dial' to a fair position should be supported."

        Geoffrey Miller - "Anyone who isnt a scientist can't weigh in on science. I am an evolutionary psychologist. What do you mean thats not a scientist it's just https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism dressed up for 2017? FUCK YOU. Here have some straw feminists. MORE IDEOLOGICAL DRIVEL ABOUT FEMINISTS. What do you mean this isnt about feminists? What else is there to talk about? Oh I have an idea: RACE! "

        Debrah W Soh - "if we can’t discuss scientific truths, where does that leave us? Oh that's right, in a fucking business."

      2. oneeye

        Re: FFS

        My sentiments exactly GrumpenKraut ! I searched hi and low, for any honesty in the press, and tech Journal's specifically, and after two days, finally found this piece at The Atlantic. It takes the media to the woodshed in a grand way, calling out their hypocrisy to boot. Hope you enjoy this,as I know I'll enjoy the link you shared.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/the-most-common-error-in-coverage-of-the-google-memo/536181/

        1. IT Poser

          Re: FFS

          oneeye,

          Thanks for linking the Atlantic piece.

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: FFS

      "But it seemed to me well written, well thought out, respectful and made good points."

      No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

      1. John G Imrie

        No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

        Citation needed

        1. kierenmccarthy

          Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

          Maybe later. I'm not sure it's worth my while tbh. The document is out there, it is really incredibly easy to find the parts that are dreadful. You're not going to change your mind regardless. I have to wonder what the point would be.

          Besides, as the article makes abundantly clear, this piece is not so much about Damore's piece but the appalling reactions that some people had to the overall saga about it.

          1. John G Imrie

            Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

            Well I'll agree with you that this saga has brought out a load of arse holes, many of whom I happy to say I've never heard of before and will be equally happy when I can ignore them again.

          2. kierenmccarthy

            Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

            I found a link to a short article pointing out how the claimed accuracy of the manifesto is garbage: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/differences-between-men-women-vastly-exaggerated-adam-grant

            As I pointed out at the start of the article, a little knowledge makes instant experts of us all. And we will be wrong. Well, here's a guy who's an expert.

            So that would leave the offensive garbage in the rest of the manifesto to be defend. Anyone...?

            1. Terrance Brennan

              Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

              You're letting yourself get sucked into a race to the bottom in these comments. I read your entire article as well as the offending memo. While I don't agree with a lot of your article it does not mean you a bad person. While I agree the memo writer brought up some valid points I don't believe he is a paragon of virtue or that bias does not exist. Not everyone who disagrees with you is evil; although the world being what it is it is a good bet some are.

              Unless we require everyone to take an aptitude test and then force them to go into whatever field society believes they should be in you are never going to get a perfect demographic representation in any profession. Treat every person equally during and after the hiring process. Google may see enough qualified candidates to hire whatever "type" of employee they want; but that certainly is not true of most companies. Until half of all computer science students are female don't expect half of all coders to be female.

            2. NippleHead

              Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

              Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, an expert of clinical psychology, has claimed that the memo was accurate.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agU-mHFcXdw

              Dr Debra W Soh, an expert in sexual neuroscience, has claimed the memo is accurate.

              https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/no-the-google-manifesto-isnt-sexist-or-anti-diversity-its-science/article35903359/

              Also some other scientists:

              http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/

              You don't really have a leg to stand on here.

              1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

                Lol, gender differences are small or close to zero.

                "There are only a handful of areas with large sex differences: men are physically stronger and more physically aggressive, masturbate more, and are more positive on casual sex. So you can make a case for having more men than women… if you’re fielding a sports team or collecting semen.

                "Across nearly 4,000 studies, the average gender gap in math achievement is not statistically different from zero."

                And so on.

                C.

                1. NippleHead

                  Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

                  What does the part about maths have to do with the memo? I don't recall it claiming anything about female mathematical abilities. Seems like a crude strawman to me, although you can correct me if I'm wrong.

                  Dr Debra Soh says:

                  "As mentioned in the memo, gendered interests are predicted by exposure to prenatal testosterone – higher levels are associated with a preference for mechanically interesting things and occupations in adulthood. Lower levels are associated with a preference for people-oriented activities and occupations. This is why STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields tend to be dominated by men.

                  We see evidence for this in girls with a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, who are exposed to unusually high levels of testosterone in the womb. When they are born, these girls prefer male-typical, wheeled toys, such as trucks, even if their parents offer more positive feedback when they play with female-typical toys, such as dolls. Similarly, men who are interested in female-typical activities were likely exposed to lower levels of testosterone."

                  Now I am in no way in a position to vouch for the validity of this statement, but it does back up what the memo says, what Prof Jordan Peterson said and seems to be fairly in-line with other scientific and anecdotal evidence I've seen, so I'm inclined to believe it.

                  This is all really an irrelevant sideshow to the real issue. The thing is, we can debate the facts forever, that's what academic rigour is about. However, certain ideologues seem intent on shutting down this debate by silencing anyone that holds views contrary to the prevailing feminist narrative. This article, an article written purely to spread hatred against others, is a prime example of how not to conduct a discussion. All it does is radicalise the moderates and move the centre away from your cause.

                  1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                    Re: Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

                    "What does the part about maths have to do with the memo?"

                    Ah, so tedious. It was an example of how there are sod all differences between men and women if you're not interested in things like physical strength. You're still missing the point, the contradiction within the memo. You can't on one hand scream about considering people purely on merit, and then on the other hand bang on about how some people are incapable of tasks due to their biology.

                    Which is it: giving everyone a fair crack to prove themselves, or writing off whole chunks of the population? It's stupid.

                    As for the silencing of debate - if your daft ideas and reasoning can't stand up to scrutiny then that's really your headache. I don't like to see people pushed out or moderates turned into extremists, but honestly. Calm down. It's just a stupid ill-thought-out memo that got someone fired.

                    C.

      2. Ilmarinen
        WTF?

        "No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it"

        Oh dear!

        You can't know what I know - not without telepathy that is.

        Now, you might think, as you say, that it's "garbage" and I accept that you might hold this view. I don't agree with that view, I wrote what I meant and what I said is my view. I don't understand how you could hold the view that it's "garbage" other than thinking that you can't have read it properly or you could possibly be a bit "challenged" in some way, but that's just my opinion.

        I also found the article very poor. I have just gone back to try to read it again, but lost the will to live somewhere in page two. IMO it was poorly written and mostly nonsense, but life's too short even to begin deconstructing it. I'd just add my vote to the earlier commentard who described it as a "turd".

        Sorry, there it is.

        (PS: does this get me a FOTW entry?)

        1. John G Imrie

          does this get me a FOTW entry

          Not enough CAPS, NO extraneous exclamation!!! marks. Two mutch good speling. And grammar working proper. Not even an also ran.

        2. kierenmccarthy

          Re: "No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it"

          If you genuinely believe the argument that whatever you believe is therefore true, there is nothing I or anyone else can do for you.

          Go find some creationists and have a good time.

          1. Ilmarinen
            FAIL

            Re: creationists

            Can I invoke Godwin's Law for the spurious introduction of creationists?

            Or should I just hold up a mirror for you?

            1. kierenmccarthy

              Re: creationists

              How do you fit so much wrong into such a small space?

              Godwin's Law is specifically about comparisons to Hitler.

              And my comparison to creationists is completely valid because you asserted that if you believe something to be true that makes it true. Which is what creationists believe.

              I almost look forward to seeing what mad word insult jumble you come up with in response to this. Almost. Not enough to read it.

              1. Ilmarinen
                Happy

                Re: creationists

                "my comparison to creationists is completely valid because you asserted that if you believe something to be true that makes it true"

                ROFL - no I didn't, read the words. I said that I didn't agree with you and I couldn't see how you you thought the memo was "garbage". I even said that it was "my opinion".

                I also said that your article was pants (several people have said this but I don't think you've responded).

                Obviously I believe what I'm saying is true, and I think you must be barking if you really believe what you are saying, but I was completely assertion-less about believing anything to be true making it so.

                It would be silly to assert any such thing: obviously, I might be wrong. I have been in the past (like when I believed all that Climate Doom nonsense). I suspect that you however might be someone who is never wrong. You do seem to be having a bit of a leftie style sense of humour failure today.

                Anyway, great click bait if that was what you intended, and very amusing even if you really think all that stuff. I'm off now to post a link on Worstall's blog to share the mirth :-)

      3. oneeye

        Re: FFS

        You are some kind of special SNOWFLAKE, aren't you? You prove everything that's wrong with Silicon Valley, and leftist progtards all at once. Your constant name calling is NOT professional, but only gets laughs from the rest of your group, who lack any self-awareness what so ever. It's clear that the vast majority of people have a different view on this issue, and even here you're vastly outnumbered. It's your lack of intelligence that you are unable to see the obvious intent of the memo author. But I already knew that about you from your other, thoughtless pieces here. We are laughing at you, not with you coward.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FFS

      "I didn't agree with all of it, but it seemed to me well written, well thought out, respectful and made good points."

      Is this is a joke? It's laden with fallacy, based on assumption and assertion rather than evidence and makes no attempt to link his point to his supporting material. It's like reading something lifted straight from /r/redpill.

    4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: FFS

      If you aren't here to read then I assume you find the pictures amusing. Enjoy.

      Or it's something to do with advertising or SEO. I'm more comfortable thinking of you as a lover of found art.

    5. rich_a

      Re: FFS

      "Well I read Mr Damore's document in its entirety. I didn't agree with all of it, but it seemed to me well written, well thought out, respectful and made good points."

      I wouldn't go as far as saying all that, but I think it's pretty clear that the press (including the article of this article) haven't read it, neither have most of those opposing/defending this guy. There was a fair amount of dubious generalisation about the prevalent views of the left/right men/women in there, which was pretty distasteful when the rest of the document was all about the benefits of individualism, but the point it repeatedly hammered home was that we shouldn't discriminate against those with political views that are different to ours and we shouldn't discriminate in an attempt to stop discrimination, which seems fair enough to me.

  18. Ole Juul

    Good article

    Some good insights there Kieren.

    1. Ilmarinen

      Re: Good article

      I clicked the downvote to your comment, but then immediately realised that, actually, I agree with you in part.

      I think it's a very poor article, but agree that there are some good insights. It's just that the insights are all into Kieren's world view and journalistic abilities ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good article

      @Ole Juul: presumably all your downvoters missed that your comment was obvious sarcasm.

  19. conel
    WTF?

    Wrong think black list

    According to the author anyone who studies variance between population groups and considers how the averages affects society is a bigot.

    This is truly bizarre, it's extreme blank slatism and is the far-left equivalent of creationism. The inability to consider group differences and still treat people as individuals is the most concerning part of identity politics.

    "Just to be absolutely clear here: If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be.

    And, no, simply inserting the word "average" does not excuse you from making such false generalizations about groups of people; in the same way adding "allegedly" does not let you accuse a random person of being a child molester."

    If I was to say that on average women live longer than men would I be wrong?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Wrong think black list

      "If I was to say that on average women live longer than men would I be wrong?"

      It depends on whether you think that's a good thing. On the other hand, if you were to say that, on average, women have to put up with men longer than men have to put up with women, then you probably offend either way.

  20. Slap

    Is this a competition

    Is this a competition between James Damore and Kieren McCarthy to see who can write the biggest load of bollocks.

    Never have I seen such a handwringing, meandering load of hogwash in El Reg.

    I used to come here for the irreverent look at the IT world. I guess El Reg is nothing compared to what it one was if it allows this writing equivalent of a turd on the front page.

    1. Starace Silver badge

      Re: Is this a competition

      I have actually been waiting for Kieren to pop up about this subject and as usual he doesn't disappoint with a load of reactionary bollocks about his personal bias.

      The back room changes at El Reg have really warped its politics in a very specific direction. And shit like this would have been booted in the past if only for being neither factual nor funny.

      1. kierenmccarthy

        Re: Is this a competition

        It's true, I have a personal bias against unpleasant people.

        I thought I had included quite a few facts and some good humor but airy to have disappointed.

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Is this a competition

      Not sure there's any handwringing going on.

      I'd say it was the opposite to be honest. Quite a lot of punching.

      I can see why people may want to criticise the article as adding to the general lack of calm discourse over this but what I take from your response is just a general annoyance that has little to do with the words in the actual article you are commenting on.

  21. Timmy B Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Hats of to the reg

    This is one of the best bits of satire I've read in a long time.... Well done, Sir. Well done indeed.

    What?

    You're being serious?..... oh damn!

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Hats of to the reg

      Not sure how you confused it with satire.

      In fact, I don't think you did. I think you just thought that would be a clever response.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Hats of to the reg

        "Not sure how you confused it with satire."

        kierenmccarthy your sarcasm meter is broken....

        1. kierenmccarthy

          Re: Hats of to the reg

          Sarcasm doesn't work in this respect either.

          I'm not sure you know the right words for things.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. conel

      Making ad hominem attacks doesn't help.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ad hominem

        I dont think that means what you think it means

        1. conel

          Re: Ad hominem

          Claiming people are biased because they're white is an ad hominem.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ad hominem

            Er, no.

            One, I didn't say that.

            Two, it's an obvious caricature.

            Three, it's not an ad hominem. The underlying point is that if you're a wealthy, white and western male (and if you're posting on el reg comments you almost certainly are) sitting there furiously and loudly defending this man and his diatribe against women in the workplace (and there are more than a few of these around today, evidently) you are almost certainly displaying many of the same biases as the original author.

            More importantly, you're almost certainly overlooking those biases.

            But now I'm comparing groups to groups and we all know where that ends.

            1. Ilmarinen
              FAIL

              Re: Ad hominem

              @AC "this man and his diatribe against women in the workplace"

              It wasn't. You plainly haven't read it. Why don't you do so?

              Here's a link:

              https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

            2. Timmy B Silver badge

              Re: Ad hominem

              "defending this man and his diatribe against women in the workplace "

              It's not that at all. Did you actually have your brain engaged when you read his memo? Did you read his memo? He actually said that men and women are different and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. And generally they do. This isn't a diatribe it's an observation. An observation based on the genders as a whole. If you take an average man he is going to be physically stronger than the average woman. The average woman is going to be better able to communicate and operate within a group. This is how we have evolved. Does it mean either is better? NO! JUST DIFFERENT. Difference is actually a good thing. He argues for these strengths to be used to the betterment of the company. This is the worst part of what we're seeing - the idea that we're all the same. We're all different with all our strengths and weaknesses and some of those are inherent due to our gender.

            3. conel

              Re: Ad hominem

              According to the Cambridge dictionary an ad hominem attack is a criticism directed against a person, rather than against what that person is saying.

              I think it's clear this is what you're doing.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ad hominem

                Er, no. That's not what an ad hominem is at all. Literally speaking it means "to the person" but practically speaking it means attacking an argument because of some attribute of a person. For example I could have said "You are wrong because you are white". I didn't.

                A more relevant example would be saying something like "You are a worse person for this job because you are a woman".

          2. strum Silver badge

            Re: Ad hominem

            >Claiming people are biased because they're white is an ad hominem.

            No it fucking isn't.

            1. HandleAlreadyTaken

              Re: Ad hominem

              >>Claiming people are biased because they're white is an ad hominem.

              >No it fucking isn't

              Technically speaking it's a fallacy known as Bulverism.

          3. itzman

            Re: Ad hominem

            Claiming people are biased because they are white is either

            (a) as true as for any other skin color or

            (b) racist bigotry.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ad hominem

              It is true for all skin colours. The difference is white men almost invariably hold all the power. In this case they hold almost every executive and venture capitalist position in Silicon Valley. Therefore their tendency to hire and fund people who look and sound like them is disproportionately more damaging than the tendency of young black americans to seek out people who look and sound like them*.

              *They do do this, which is one of the key reasons the east coast tech scene is much, much more black than the west.

              The challenge is to build in interruptions to our natural unconscious processes without disrupting productivity. In practise these are very light touch. We're not talking the ludicrous (and oft-repeated) example of less well qualified women getting jobs over better qualified men, we're talking little things like ensuring people are interviewed and assessed by people from outside their job function, by people who don't look/sound like the expected norm, by people who come from different backgrounds, by removing as much identifying information from the screening process as you can.

              That's principally what this chap was railing against - people who didn't look like him (women), sound like him (women) and people who don't do his job (non-"engineers") getting involved with picking who the company wanted to hire. He'd built this ludicrous fantasy of the engineer as a man who does nothing but put his head down and churn out code while debating the finer points of Go vs Ruby, and argued for it based on nonsense pseudoscience.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "But then again, he is also a software engineer who is not even 30 years old. Damore's CV reveals an extremely privileged existence: a chess champion with a degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s in systems biology from Harvard, an intern at Princeton, a researcher at MIT and then a software engineer at Google. It is a veritable list of elite US establishments.

    That life, that existence, has never had to deal first-hand with the inequities that exist for the vast majority of people. He has never had to build an objective, evidence-based argument for something other than programming a logic machine. His understanding of computer code is greater than the vast majority of people on the planet but it has come at a price"

    The two paragraphs above - and indeed much of this article - are just as smug and patronising as anything in Damore's rather pompous treatise; how on earth do you know what Damore has or hasn't experienced in his life?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because he's spaffed his social history all over the internet. The irony of being a googler eh?

    2. kierenmccarthy

      You chose the wrong insults.

  24. JimC Silver badge

    There's a lot of misunderstanding about all this

    If statistical analysis demonstrates that people with gene 123plusalpha are 10% more likely to be great coders than the average member of the population then that tells you absolutely nothing useful about whether you should hire Alan who has gene 123plusalpha, or Bill who has not. But it does tell you that if gene 123plusalpha is more prevalent amongst your coders then your hiring policy is effective.

    It also doesn't mean that your best coders will have gene 123plusalpha. Statistics tell you nothing about that either. So a company that operated a completely effective hiring policy would have no need to find out whether an individual has that gene before they hire them, because it tells them nothing useful about that individual. However if they did an analysis they would expect to find that gene over represented in their coding staff, and that would be the result of competent hiring, not discrimination.

    This is the crucial mistake that people make time after time. Statistical trends are not applicable to individuals, and a company would be enormously foolish to hire and fire on them. But they can cast light on how well your hiring and firing is functioning.

  25. ForthIsNotDead

    Wow...

    I've read some shit in my time, but this article is REALLY pushing the envelope.

    I just don't know where to start.

    Why on earth did The Register publish this?

    I can only think they're trolling/click-baiting their readers.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Wow...

      You could start by making a single point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow...

        As could you.

        1. kierenmccarthy

          Re: Wow...

          I wrote a while article of points. You know, the one you are commenting on.

          1. conel

            Re: Wow...

            You wrote an article so bad that it's making many long term readers question the integrity of the publisher.

            1. kierenmccarthy

              Re: Wow...

              Yeah?! Well you smell of poopy pants.

              Just trying to gauge the level of debate here...

          2. Timmy B Silver badge

            Re: Wow...

            "I wrote a while article of points. You know, the one you are commenting on."

            No. You wrote a whole load of waffle based on your own political bias. Ironically complaining about the political bias of others. What you wrote was a big opinion piece full of subjective comment. Explain to me the observable differences between men and women.

            1. kierenmccarthy

              Re: Wow...

              What political bias? I listed five people who behaved like assholes and went into some depth on each.

              Get a grip.

              1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

                Re: Wow...

                For what it's worth, I enjoyed the article. Your point that the original author, in commenting on racism or sexism is talking on an area he has no experience of, is a good one. And the numpties you've managed to find pitching in with their 160 characters of hate are deserving of being singled out. Sadly there will be plenty to choose from.

                "If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong." - not sure there's much to add to that. Well played Kieren.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wow...

            I wrote a while (sic) article of points.

            You certainly wrote a whole article. Well done you. But it was pretty much pointless.

          4. 9Rune5

            Re: Wow...

            Put me in the "couldn't stomach reading past page 2"-brigade.

            I have not read the original memo. I came here to be enlightened and entertained. I expected one or two quotes from the original memo so I could join you in hanging an asshole out to dry.

            But all I got was two pages of name calling.

            Not very constructive IMO. Maybe the good parts were in the following pages. I'll never know.

            I do not intend to participate in this particular debate as the subject doesn't really interest me all that much. All I ask is that you please consider including some direct quotes in your next articles (whatever you choose to write about next). That at least gives us a better starting point for a debate here I feel.

  26. Bodhi

    I spent a few minutes last night reading through Damore's original memo, thought it was well researched, backed up with verifiable facts, reasoned and nuanced - and made some damn good points - for instance, is it really diverse and inclusive, to exclude a section of the company from support mechanisms and help with professional development, just on the basis of their race (i.e they're white), or their sex (they're male)? Are Google going for equality of opportunity (should be standard everywhere), or equality of outcome? And is Positive Discrimination not just another form of discrimination?

    I then spent some time this morning reading this "article", and I know which of the two works was the more considered and though provoking piece - and it wasn't the 3 page rant on The Register. Ignoring the fact it pretty much started off on incorrect principles (Damore claiming women couldn't code, when he said nothing of the sort), complained about "rich white men" generalising, then made some generalisations about "rich white men" - and then spent another two pages ranting about how wrong Damore was, without actually offering any proof that he was.

    So yes, this author has helped with my top 5 dreadful people. The author has gone straight in at number 1.

    I've also tried to find a copy of the original memo (with sources) through a certain search provider, and for whatever reason it isn't finding anything.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      My article aside, if you read Damore's piece and concluded that it was well researched and persuasive then you either have very low standards or you willfully ignored large chunks of it.

      It was a terrible hack job that doesn't stand up to even basic scrutiny. There is a reason why this blew up, and it's because it was bad.

      My personal view if that Google should not have fired him though but used it as a teaching opportunity. Google failed in that regard.

      The point of this article, as stated very clearly, was to highlight how the topic has brought out the very worst in some people.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        My article aside, if you read Damore's piece and concluded that it was well researched and persuasive then you either have very low standards or you willfully ignored large chunks of it.

        As per George Miller, (evolutionary psychology professor) of the University of New Mexico:-

        (http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/)

        When the memo went viral, thousands of journalists and bloggers transformed themselves overnight from not understanding evolutionary psychology at all to claiming enough expertise to criticize the whole scientific literature on biological sex differences.

        I think you've done this, honestly.

        Taking a further paragraph of yours:-

        It was a terrible hack job that doesn't stand up to even basic scrutiny. There is a reason why this blew up, and it's because it was bad.

        The same professor says:-

        For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history. I know a little about sex differences research. On the topic of evolution and human sexuality, I’ve taught for 28 years, written 4 books and over 100 academic publications, given 190 talks, reviewed papers for over 50 journals, and mentored 11 Ph.D. students. Whoever the memo’s author is, he has obviously read a fair amount about these topics. Graded fairly, his memo would get at least an A- in any masters’ level psychology course. It is consistent with the scientific state of the art on sex differences.

        Terrible hack job that doesn't stand up to even basic scrutiny? He appears to disagree.

        1. kierenmccarthy

          Can I just suggest you read the entire start of the article again where I make your exact point?

          The rest of your comment is wrong.

      2. Timmy B Silver badge

        "It was a terrible hack job that doesn't stand up to even basic scrutiny. There is a reason why this blew up, and it's because it was bad."

        Well thanks. My Ironometer just broke. How am I to detect irony now?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    University of Illinois, Harvard, Princeton

    You failed to spot that only two of those are great universities.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: University of Illinois, Harvard, Princeton

      I know, Harvard is crap.

  28. rh587 Silver badge

    It's okay, there's a bright future for Damore as Leader of the Commons.

    Jk. Anyway, I lost interest in this article after Kieren said:

    The document is an embarrassment. It views everything and everyone in black-and-white terms: you are a man or a woman; you are white, or you are not; you are right-wing or you are left-wing.

    Unlike this article (which treats the "manifesto" in absolute black and white terms), the document does no such thing. It goes to lengths - literally on page one - to state that the generalisations do not apply to all women or all men, but are just that - demographic generalisations which can be used as a basis for discussion at an industry scale. They are not a discussion on individual hiring decisions.

    There is a great deal to dislike or disagree with in the manifesto, and much of it just plain wrong, but most commentators have also ignored his slew of grievances with such Google practices as reviewing team make-up if they do not hit certain diversity quotas. Assuming you have selected by Merit in the first place, such a review means - by definition - that you are bringing in a "second choice" in order to hit your diversity quota. By arbitrarily writing off the entire thing, you prevent dialogue or discussion.

    I was pleased to see that Google's own CEO show a much more mature response than Google's Diversity Officer or indeed Kieren.

    First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.

    He acknowledges that Damore crossed a line, whilst also admitting that there are elements worthy of debate. That's a well considered response. Short article from Inc about why it's a great response.

    This article pretty much falls directly into the issue the "manifesto" was attempting to address:

    Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.

    Diversity does become a distraction sometimes when people try and force it. I was involved in an application a few years back to a grants body to develop facilities at a local sports club. They gave us a very hard time about how we were not sufficiently ethnically diverse. We had enough women but all 90 of our members were "White British". They only backed off after we sought the 2011 Census data and showed that the area was 99.2% White British. Minorities would have been more than welcome, but none had come knocking on the door. Just one member from a minority would have made us more statistically diverse than the actual local area! All things must be considered in proportion.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      I also wrote that simply appending "average" at the beginning of something does not excuse anything written after it.

      There are big chunks of highly objectionable stuff in there. Why pretend otherwise?

      Anyway, I think Google was wrong to fire him. And I think critics of the decision to do so have a point.

      But the point of this article was to flag how this saga has really brought out the worst in some people. Think of them as future Damores who were never challenged about their beliefs.

      1. conel

        You also stated: "Just to be absolutely clear here: If you ever make a statement about what a broad group of people are like, especially in comparison to another group of people, you are going to be wrong. And the bigger that group, the more wrong you will be."

        There are real average differences between groups, debate the accuracy, question the research but to advocate for blank slatism is silly.

        The irony of your piece is that the memo and responses appear to have brought out the worst in you.

  29. ColonelClaw

    Toby Young: Cunt

  30. hnwombat

    I would like to thank the author for this article. This is why I am a researcher, and not a journalist. The summary of the social psychology research was excellent and readable, which my summaries are not; I do strive for excellence, but readability isn't as important in the research world. :-)

    The facts are:

    1. Yes, men and women have obvious biological differences.

    2. Yes, there are measurable psychological differences between men and women.

    That's it. Those are the only facts.

    What the white male bros here are doing (and I say this as white male, but not a member of the white male bros, to the extent that I can be) is assuming a causal link between statements 1 and 2. This causal link is DECIDELY NOT PROVEN. In fact, there is considerable evidence to support the idea that many, if not most, of the psychological differences between men and women are due to environment (socialization, external biases and restraints) rather than biology.

    Whether the environmental differences should be tackled is a fair question, even if I think you're an asshole for answering "no". But that the psychological differences are inherently biological is NOT a question of your uninformed opinion.

    Looking through the original article (yes, I DID RTFA), I note several things:

    1. The personality differences ascribed to being female has a huge confound. The traits of agreeableness, awareness of feeling, interest in people, empathy, lack of assertiveness, gregaroiusness, and neuroticism also correspond to the traits expressed by any group of people who are raised in a position of low societal power. I cannot quickly find if this has been studied; if not, I may have my next research topic. :-)

    2. Much of the author's argument rests on conclusions from evolutionary psychology. That field has some serious problems, notably falsifiability. Much of their theory is basically "Just So" stories. The research in that area is largely self-contained; there are not many other fields that reference evolutionary psychology in their own research, whereas social psychology research is used extensively through the social sciences, having been proved useful.

    3. This is a clasic, and I will grant you well-crafted, example of "argue the controversy". There is very little difference in the fundamental argument the author makes from those of creationists (or climate-change deniers) who argue that what they are arguing is science, and that evolution is wrong. They use a few carefully chosen facts, bound together by strongly implied (but not stated!) dubious causal links, to come to conclusions which they find morally desirable. As such, it is FUD propaganda, and should in fact be denounced. The author misuses the science and leads the reader to infer scientific backing for things which are simply not true.

    I expect this will be my last post on this subject. It has fallen very much into the "Someone on the Internet is WRONG!" category. The assholes who wish to protect their privileged positions from the "others" are not going to listen, and the others are bored or annoyed. I must agree with one of the earliest replies: I strongly suspect an invasion of the alt-right, either by bots or simply their attention drawn not by the tech focus of El Reg but the political focus of these articles, based upon the suddenly larger number of upvotes for comments supporting the white male tech bros and downvotes for those opposing.

    I used to be an asshole like Damore myself (and worked 20 years as one of the best programmers you'll ever find). I got better, learned my own biases, and moved into social psychology research with a focus on differences between IT people and management. I still have my own biases, but I am much more aware of them, and of the fact that success in the world is much more about luck, the color of your skin, what you have between your legs, and who you know, than your own innate abilities. I would love to live in a real meritocracy, but I also recognize that that is impossible; and that leveling the starting point (I.e. yes, discriminating against people who are members of the privileged classes-- which is mostly white male in the developed world) leads to better outcomes than allowing a fundamentally flawed fake meritocracy to fester.

    I'm a white, male, anglo-saxon, ex-protestant, American, and am also a feminist, socialist bordering on marxist, supporter of affirmative action. If you find yourself offended by that, I will point out: I'm probably older than you, almost certainly more educated than you, probably more intelligent than you, probably have lived in more different places and dealt with more different people than you, almost certainly more widely read than you, and I'm not interested in hearing your drivel.

    I fully expect to set a new Register record for downvotes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm a white, male, anglo-saxon, ex-protestant, American, and am also a feminist, socialist bordering on marxist, supporter of affirmative action. If you find yourself offended by that, I will point out: I'm probably older than you, almost certainly more educated than you, probably more intelligent than you, probably have lived in more different places and dealt with more different people than you, almost certainly more widely read than you, and I'm not interested in hearing your drivel.

      I'm so pleased I don't know you. You're not interested in hearing our 'drivel' (i.e. things you don't agree with) yet you're perfectly happy to vomit more than your fair share of unsubstantiated nonsense right here. You truly take pomposity and general arse-holery to a whole new level. I'm not going to bother down voting you - you'd simply wear it as a badge of honour.

      1. hnwombat

        @word_merchant: You're right, your downvote would be a vote of honor. But you did me one better-- you actually replied! Excellent! I pissed you off enough to make you fling poo in public!

        And hopefully this really IS the end of my comments. You bore me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I will point out: I'm probably older than you, almost certainly more educated than you, probably more intelligent than you, probably have lived in more different places and dealt with more different people than you, almost certainly more widely read than you...

        yet you are a feminist and marxist. I can probably compete with you on most of the life experience. The difference between us is that you obviously learned nothing from your experiences. Therefore...

        I'm not interested in hearing your drivel.

    2. JimC Silver badge

      > many, if not most, of the psychological differences

      > In fact, there is considerable evidence to support the idea that many, if not most, of the psychological

      > differences between men and women are due to environment (socialization, external biases and

      > restraints) rather than biology.

      There's no need to dispute the accuracy or otherwise of that statement. One only needs to note that if one is hiring someone to fulfil a role it matters not one jot whether their psychological strengths and weaknesses for the role in question are genetic or environmental.

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Meh

      Kieren, here's a 6th person to add to the dreadful people list.

      Admittedly I can't decide if it's real or a parody of Trump as a leftist bro.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm a white, male, anglo-saxon, ex-protestant, American, and am also a feminist, socialist bordering on marxist, supporter of affirmative action. If you find yourself offended by that,"

      I can't imagine why would anyone be offended by your particular circumstance although I do wonder why you haven't moved to the socialist nirvana of Venezuela long ago, all be it a wise non-move in retrospect, but I'll let you continue.

      "I will point out: I'm probably older than you, almost certainly more educated than you, probably more intelligent than you, probably have lived in more different places and dealt with more different people than you, almost certainly more widely read than you, and I'm not interested in hearing your drivel."

      That is alot of rather arrogant unsubstantiated assumptions. May be you are more educated but you are certainly less socially intelligent than most folk who come here and I'm sure you looked down on all dumb folk who lived in all those places you lived. It also doesn't matter what you've read since you clearly haven't understood the vast majority of it since you weren't interested in listening to such drivel.

  31. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Thumb on the scale

    "But then again, he is also a software engineer who is not even 30 years old. Damore's CV reveals an extremely privileged existence: a chess champion with a degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s in systems biology from Harvard, an intern at Princeton, a researcher at MIT and then a software engineer at Google. It is a veritable list of elite US establishments."

    A privileged existence, or an accomplished life so far? UIUC is certainly selective, but let's concede that the right zip code had something to do with getting him in. Did he win chess championships by dazzling the opponents with the whiteness of his brow and the regularity of his orthodontia? Presumably Harvard looked for evidence of accomplishments and potential when it admitted him to graduate studies.

    But I have to agree that it is a veritable list, even if it might be of "stints at selective US establishments."

    "He has never had to build an objective, evidence-based argument for something other than programming a logic machine."

    Well, I have met some oblivious programmers. I have to say, though, that journalists are not uniformly better at objective, evidence-based arguments.

    My two cents: Mr. Damore was employed to make money for Google. When he became a distraction and a liability, Google fired him, just as UPS might fire a driver who wrecked too many trucks. Should Google have fired him? I should say probably not. Making a martyr out of a jerk is usually bad business.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Thumb on the scale

      Why would making a martyr out of him be bad for business? Are those who think his firing is a travesty going to start using Bing for search and switch to iPhones? Google is in the relatively comfortable position of knowing that political outrage on either side isn't going to harm their bottom line. Few will feel strongly enough about their objection to boycott Google, they'll just shout a bit and then move on to their next outrage.

      Google is more concerned about whether his presence will damage its ability to run its business and hire top people. This may cause those within Google who agree with his viewpoints to be more likely to seek jobs elsewhere, and those who might have considered applying at Google to apply elsewhere instead.

      Regardless of one's feelings on whether his viewpoint is correct or not, Google obviously does not want employees who share it, so firing him makes sense as a way to further their aims. Those who agree with him will feel Google is going to hurt themselves in the long run by excluding those who share his views, while those who disagree with him will feel Google will be better off by getting rid them. Everyone wins! Or at least believes they do, which is the next best thing.

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Thumb on the scale

        Are you sure the circular firing squad is out of ammunition? Some years ago National Public Radio fired Juan Williams for offensive remarks he made, though whether on an NPR platform I no longer remember. A couple of months later, the person who fired him was herself fired, I'm fairly sure as part of the brouhaha.

    2. nzok

      Re: Thumb on the scale

      Concerning the quote "He has never had to build an objective, evidence-based argument for something other than programming a logic machine", Damore has a PhD in systems biology. Not programming.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Thumb on the scale

        "Damore has a PhD in systems biology"

        FYI he dropped out of his PhD, and downgraded to a master's.

        C.

  32. horse of a different color
    Unhappy

    Wow

    Is this an El Reg article or something better posted to Gawker? What a load of character assassination nonsense.

  33. Andy 73

    Poor choices in this article

    It's hard not to conclude that this article is attempting to demonstrate that Damore is a terrible person because all of these other terrible people have used his memo to spout bile.

    If Damore has done something stupid and offensive, it doesn't make it better by compiling a list of other stupid and offensive views. If he hasn't, attempting to pillory him by associating his views with other more stupid and offensive ones is character assassination. If none of those views are stupid and offensive, but just different to your own, then you're going to look bigoted.

    Any news item of any appreciable size sets the fringes of the internet off, so an article dedicated to the inevitable doesn't enlighten us, improve the situation or reduce the existence of those fringes.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Poor choices in this article

      The goal of the article, as clearly stated, is the exact opposite of what you claim. I'm almost intrigued as to how you got there.

  34. evilhippo

    "The document is an embarrassment"

    A critique like yours that is loaded with ad hominem remarks is the true embarrassment. You have clearly never heard the phrase "play the ball, not the man".

  35. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Snowflakes to the left of me, wankers to right

    In this time of growing polarisation and division in the west; Damore threw a hand grenade and poured petrol on the fire. I can't see it as anything but deliberate.

    I don't believe he wanted debate, or was looking for resolution, he simply wanted to hammer the wedge down hard to create further division and disunity and incite conflict. There's a lot of that about these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snowflakes to the left of me, wankers to right

      And here we have a remote mind reader whose skills exceed even those of the author of the article! Brilliant! Can you please explain my wife to me?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Snowflakes to the left of me, wankers to right

        Seconded. Not even other wives understand my wife - what fucking chance have I got!?

  36. John Savard Silver badge

    Averages

    Google certainly doesn't pick random women off the street to interview for jobs. The reason the average is relevant is whether or not parity - representation of women to the same extent as they are present in the population in general - is likely to be achievable.

    Of course, it still may be achievable if a large proportion of potentially qualified people are not employed in the field, either by Google, or by any other organization seeking a representative workforce.

  37. itzman
    Paris Hilton

    I am utterly perpexed

    A woman I dont know writes a long tirade about men and women I dont know either.

    What has this got to do with computers?

    I finished my tea, but there are no signs of global warning induced unusual weather in it.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: I am utterly perpexed

      Is it, admittedly, tangential to computers.

      But it is relevant in that we are taking about the people who design and build the software that millions of us use every day. It is a problem, as even the companies have acknowledged.

      Btw I'm not a woman.

      1. itzman
        Paris Hilton

        Re: I am utterly perpexed

        honey, you cant say that these days. you are a potential closet woman.

        anything else is sheer bigotry in these gay days

        However it has absolutely NOTHING to do with software.

        The principle of orthogonality seems to have passed you by.

  38. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

    I don't give a s**t about your color, your gender, your gender preference, your religious beliefs your "challenges" (physical or mental) or your age.

    Can you get the job done?

    Can you get the job done in the social environment of the company?

    You don't hire a social group. You hire a person. Once you start excluding people on their membership, or non membership of a group you just cut yourself off from a significant chunk of the potential workforce. I could say it's bigoted, narrow minded and prejudiced.

    But actually it's simply inefficient.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

      I'm not clear as to where you stand on Damore's argument but actually that's a good thing because one of the biggest problems is that you say about "not giving a shit so long as someone is good at the job" is both exactly correct and, unfortunately, one of the main problems.

      Because despite what people *say* when it comes to hiring something that they have to work with, in reality they *do* chose the people that they most want. And that's where the problems kick in. Google has recognized that it needs to have a diverse group of people for its own welfare because - and it is incredibly simple when you think about it - its products are used by a diverse group of people.

      The reason people grew so annoyed at Damore's "manifesto" is because here was someone justifying their biases by misrepresenting science and cherry-picking information. What's more, by taking the approach that there is something *inherently* different about others (i.e. not white men like himself) he is basically refusing to ever listen to people who want to explain why his bias is wrong and counter-productive. And, of course, he is massively offending everyone that isn't like him.

      Just imagine if there was an article written by a female doctor explaining why men are, on average, worse doctors because they don't have the necessary listening skills and empathy. Everyone would, rightly, be furious.

      1. Lucas&

        Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

        Dear Kieren,

        Again, I don't think you've read his "manifesto' well. Yes, he picked his science, but it is almost impossible to be objective if you have an opinion. I believe that, though his document is flawed, he was trying to be objective. Your claim that "he is basically refusing to ever listen to people who want to explain why his bias is wrong and counter-productive" is nowhere substantiated and frankly I don't get this impression. On the contrary, your writings give me more the impression of "refusing to ever listen to people who want to explain why your bias is wrong and counter-productive". My request to you would be, please stop reading and writing about this topic for a day and then calmly read his "manifesto" again. If you still feel the same, you're probably more right than I give you credit for.

        Good luck, Lucas

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

          Kieren has read the memo plenty of times - it still doesn't make much sense.

          C.

          1. oneeye

            Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

            You still don't get it, do you C. McCarthy and elreg are having there collective A$$ handed to them, yet you defend the indefensible. I emailed elreg early this week, and I believe you are the one who responded to my charge that elreg, had some of the same problems that are spelled out in the memo. A cultural problem. You defended name calling as justifiable, in your opinion. Now, tell me, how many comments are supporting your side of this issue? Very few that I've seen so far, and the more you ignore the problem, the worse it'll get. This article is another straw, in an overloaded basket. Your organization is headed toward that "mono culture" mentioned in the memo. Out of all the great stuff from Blackhat and Defcon, this is the best elreg can produce? That's just SAD !

    2. HCV

      Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

      Someone on the Twitters noted that the fact that people like Damore can't see that diversity is important in creating quality projects demonstrates exactly why diversity is important.

      1. nzok

        Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

        Where do you get the idea that "Damore can't see that diversity is important in creating quality projects"? His very first sentence is "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse stereotypes." Later he says "I ... suggest some ways to increase women's representation in tech". Later again he says "I hope it's clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of (sic.) those in the majority".

        Where in the entire memo is there ANYTHING that suggests Damore "can't see that diversity is important"?

        Far from attacking diversity, Damore's memo is an argument for (amongst other things) a more diverse diversity. "My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don't fit a certain ideology. ... Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity."

        The twitterati that HCV quoted either couldn't be buggered to read the memo before mouthing off about it or were deliberately lying.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: nzok

          "His very first sentence is 'I value diversity and inclusion'"

          Bit like folks who say, "I'm not sexist, but..."

          "Some of my best friends are gay, but..."

          C.

  39. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Windows

    Google Rewards Effort?

    ....think of Salome and all the effort that went into her dance just so she could get John the Baptist's head. Today women just demand the head feeling a sense of entitlement. It makes for a very boring story.

  40. Scorchio!!
    FAIL

    The title "psychologist" is in the USA and the UK protected; there is no such thing as a "social psychologist", though there are people who study social psychology. Furthermore, Damore's document is not as black and white as you contend and, in addition, we are psychobiologically different. It is odious to label Damore as thinking in terms of black and white, when the psychobiology of sexually dimorphic non sexual behaviours does indicate spectra in various dimensions of human behaviour.

    I note that you appear to be a right on Los Angeles author, possibly pulled in for entertainment value, but you are merely an idiot specialising in egregious silliness. Sit on the naughty step until you have grown up. As you sit there read up on sexually dimorphic non sexual behaviours, also read the literature showing differences in the neuroanatomy of females vs males. For example, the pre optic bulb of the anterior hypophysis in males has smaller nuclei that are greater in number to the female variant, where (obviously) the nuclei are larger and fewer in number. You would benefit from looking at experimental work at the phenomenal level by, e.g., Corcoran et al. who found that females are better than males in a silent 'e' checking task; IOW they detected more silent instances of the letter 'e' in text that was presented to them.

    In 'socialist' East Germany, before the reunification, Günther Dörner carried out a vast amount of research on the matter. It ranged from the greater musculature and aggression of males, through to reproductive behaviours (e.g. how some females of some species adopt the 'lordosis' postion prior to and during copulation), and caused a great deal of opprobrium (though it has to be said that his idea of neurosurgery to 'cure' homosexuality didn't help) from politically correct twits such as yourself, who cannot swallow the truth and have to misrepresent it by dint of PC psychobabble. The Canada based philosopher, Michael Ruse, wrote a great deal on the subject that is worth a long calm read.

    At the more gross level you will find that while dogs cock and, shall we for the sake of robo mod call them 'lady dogs', squat. It is clear, from the macular to the molar level that there are sexually dimorphic non sexual behavioural differences, and the more recent research showing that males have more effective hippocampal 'place' cells (sense of place in a location) than females adds to the lore.

    To use a phrase from Californian psychobabble, do go and "have a swim in lake you".

    HTH. HAVSD.

  41. JcRabbit

    So, this guy wrote a memo where he argues that people should be hired on MERIT instead of race, sex and religion (i.e.; to fill quotas, and THAT, btw, is true discrimination) and he gets fired for it - and someone at El Reg even writes an article claiming how wrong the guy is without actually counter-arguing or debating a SINGLE of his arguments with facts.

    "He does a spectacularly bad job of it. Mostly because he is wrong and acting out of bitterness and ignorance – never a great start point." - The author of this article blatantly states that the guy who wrote the memo is wrong - but then fails to explain WHY he is wrong with facts. Basically 'He is wrong because I think he is' - a laughable argument at the very best, if this kind of thinking wasn't so dangerous for being accepted 'as is'. Furthermore, she then proceeds to make denigrating assumptions about the guy who wrote the memo, that he is bitter and ignorant. Based on what? On the guy having a different opinion which he actually backed up with facts and charts and links to the sources? lol

    'He's a bad person because I think he is, a privileged white male does not deserve to have an opinion, even if based on facts, because he is part of the so called problem' lol How crazy is this kind of thinking?!

    Guys, political correctness is driving the world to the ground. FACTS do not care about your feelings.

    For instance, do you know that the average IQ of Black Americans is 85? Am I being racist for stating a FACT?! Am I being racist stating a FACT because I'm a white male? Am I not entitled to state something that is TRUE simply because I am a white male and therefore had a 'privileged' life or come from a 'privileged' group?! Who the hell decided I'm 'privileged' anyway?! Do you know anything about me, my life or the effort I put into getting to where I am now?

    Do you know that men and women are biologically different and this includes their brains (well, at least the first part should be common knowledge lol)?! Do you know that this naturally means women excel at - and prefer - certain jobs and men others? Do you know that there are very few women at high risk professions because only men are insane enough to actually do those jobs? Do you know that men and women get paid the same until women get to around 30? And do you know why there is a gap after that age? Not because of sex discrimination, but because of behavior: women *opt* to have babies and raise their families, while men are insane enough to sacrifice family time in order to make more money for their loved ones. That is the TRUE reason.

    When we stop denying reality and biology in favor of socially constructed concepts, we are in big trouble as a society.

  42. Philip Stott

    I really wish Kieren would come on down from off his high horse, stop writing click-bait articles and start writing copy I'm interested in reading.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Always happy to receive news tips...

      Btw, I write two to three articles a day. You can see them all here - https://www.theregister.co.uk/Author/2886.

      Click bait they ain't.

      Unless of course top-level domains, FCC policy debates and surveillance laws are your version of click-bait (I would be genuinely delighted if they were).

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Unless of course top-level domains, FCC policy debates and surveillance laws are your version of click-bait

        Yeah, these one are pretty good.

        Unlike this one served uncooked from MiniTrue entrails.

        More ICANN watch, Kieren, please!

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has the author read the memo?

    I do not believe someone can actually read the memo concerned and make observations like:

    'It views everything and everyone in black-and-white terms: you are a man or a woman; you are white or you are black...'

    'It pushes a narrative. It uses highly subjective language to push demeaning or mocking arguments. It provides "evidence" as an afterthought or not at all. Overall, it is insulting to pretty much anyone who isn't James Damore.'

    It does not do this. In fact it does the opposite. It goes out of its way to say that different characteristics are distributed so that different groups and specifically men and women cannot simply be characterised as a binary. It even has a diagram to illustrate this point. It uses no mocking or demeaning language and it is grounded extremely well on science that shows that certain characteristcs are distributed differently between men and women. The memo then suggests how this knowledge could be used to increase the number of female software engineers and support them more effectively.

    I stopped reading at the point that it was clear that the author is either deliberately misrepresenting the memo or has a serious problem comprehending written english.

    I suggest no one comments on the memo or this article without actually reading the memo concerned.

    Annonymous because it is clea rthat thsi debate is not about evidence or facts but about supressing debate and mocking those that hold views based on evidence instead of ideology.

    1. JcRabbit

      Re: Has the author read the memo?

      > Annonymous because it is clea rthat thsi debate is not about evidence or facts but about supressing debate and mocking those that hold views based on evidence instead of ideology.

      EXACTLY!

      Now Kieren, since you are obviously reading this: he is not accusing you of click bait, but of writing an *opinion* article in which - unlike the guy who wrote the original memo - your opinion is NOT based on ANY facts whatsoever - in fact it doesn't even TRY debating or counter-arguing the arguments raised in the memo - but on personally attacking the author of the memo because he *dared* to put in writing what many reasonable people think. I accuse you of the same too, and I'm not hiding behind an anonymous account.

      What do you have you to say for that? Want to actually debate the issue instead of calling people names?

      You might actually start seeing things differently if you apply reasoning instead of emotion to these issues.

  45. Foxache

    RTFM

    Kieran ... note to self, read the memo (https://diversitymemo.com/), then write your piece. As others have said, utter garbage.

    "simply inserting the word "average" does not excuse you from making such false generalizations about groups of people". See Section 3 Graph 2.

    "Damore literally argued that women were biologically unsuitable to do certain types of jobs". No, he didn't. He said:

    - women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas

    - women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading

    - Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average

    I know that this is an opinion piece, but come on, a little bit of critical/analytical thinking too.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: RTFM

      He did read the memo. Not our problem if you disagree with him.

      C.

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: RTFM

      You may not have noticed the headline of the piece. It is - "Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork" - and the bulk of the article is about people's appalling responses to the discussion around the document and what happened as a result.

      Just as a quick reminder.

      Now as to your point. I did indeed read the memo. You are misrepresenting its contents - or, charitably, you are viewing its contents in the best possible light - because you are upset about something that has nothing to do with my article. I'm not sure why. But it doesn't make you any less wrong.

      The memo is garbage. As the entire start of the article went to some lengths to point out: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

      If you are genuinely persuaded that this was a coherent, rational argument about Google's diversity issues then I'm afraid all that does is highlight that you have a terrible grasp of what makes a persuasive argument and/or evidence-based policy.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: kieranmccarthy Re: RTFM

        "....The memo is garbage....." True, it is not going to make the Booker List, but that does not mean the issues raised should be rejected out-of-hand, nor that raising them should be verboten, especially as Google created the internal-only forum supposedly as a safe space for employees to raise concerns about company policies. Sure, send him on some diversity training, educate him as to why his theories are wrong, but fire him out of hand? Had his work been unsatisfactory, or he had a history of reducing team performance by insulting women members, then there would have been an understandable and proper reason to fire him. But, it seems the only reason they fired him was because he dared to hold an "unacceptable" viewpoint.

        And then your article doesn't really delve into the memo, it just picks five people whose politics you don't seem to agree with for a barrage of insults. Whilst I'm sure that went down well with the members of the socio-political bubble you surround yourself with, you obviously failed to understand how other people might be alarmed by Google's effective suppression of thought. Google is already in the press for editing search results to hide political pieces they don't like (see here and here), so it's worrying that this unregulated and unelected body that has so much power over the Internet is again being shown as ideologically rigid, unquestioning and unforgiving of "unfavourable" views. Maybe you should seek a more diverse set of opinions before your next article.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: kieranmccarthy Re: RTFM

          "And then your article doesn't really delve into the memo, it just picks five people whose politics you don't seem to agree with for a barrage of insults."

          Yeah, that's kind of the point (hence the headline)... finding people flailing miserably to defend a shonky manifesto, and ripping the piss out of them. We tend to rip the piss out of a lot of people.

          Also, you don't have to lecture us on Google. We've written tons on the corp's overreaching power and influence. I've even been interviewed on the subject by a chap writing a book about Silicon Valley and power.

          But the target isn't Google this time; it's incoherent views on fairness and discrimination in the workplace, and the morons seizing these views to further unsavory agendas.

          C.

    3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: RTFM

      Shall we try turning that around and we'll see if you can spot the problem?

      - men relatively prefer jobs that involve working with their hands rather than more intellectual pursuits

      - men have a harder time empathising with customers, with taking direction, with admitting mistakes.

      - men on average focus on their career and money ahead of their families, and are more concerned with money and status.

      Offensive? Maybe not. Amusing? Perhaps. Accurate? Obviously not: while I clearly could be describing any one man, I am by no means describing a typical one (and even to attempt to do so is absurd). But if you were in an organisation where 80% of the management were women and these opinions were in a manifesto from one of them, you could rightly be concerned about your chances for career progression.

      1. ST Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: RTFM

        > men relatively prefer jobs that involve working with their hands rather than more intellectual pursuits

        Men iz dumb. I can haz flint?

        > men have a harder time empathising with customers, with taking direction, with admitting mistakes

        What about men who don't have customers? For example, I don't have any customers. But I empathise with all the customers of Spectrum (née Time Warner Cable).

        Men have a hard time taking direction? Ask anyone who has served in the military.

        Men have a hard time admitting mistakes? Some men do. It's a size issue methinks.

        > men on average focus on their career and money ahead of their families, and are more concerned with money and status.

        Again, ask someone who has served in the military. Alongside women preferably.

        The author of the memo under discussion wants to de-emphasize empathy and abolish diversity efforts. Because men in general are naturally predisposed to computer programming - something about testosterone - while women are just "neurotic". And not that good with computers. But women are good at customer service. And cooking.

        But when it is pointed out that these views are out of step with the generally accepted norms of our modern society - including the military - the memo author runs crying to some alt-right channel on Youtube, starts playing the oppressed victim and rails against Google's intolerance to opposing or alternate views.

        That's the problem with alt-righters. You make indignant claims to the right to inclusion, tolerance, diversity and affirmative action, but only for the purpose of promoting your own bigoted, intolerant and exclusionary brand of ideology.

        You can't have it both ways. Either you accept inclusion and tolerance to diverse veiwpoints - including yours, or you don't.

        If your premise is that modern society should de-emphasize empathy and forget about inclusion and tolerance, then your views have no place in this society. It's your ideas put in practice: society has de-emphasized empathy and has no tolerance for dissenting views. You're out.

        If, on the other hand, you want your own views - as offensive as they may be - tolerated by modern society, then you must accept inclusion, empathy, diversity and tolerance as fundamental principles.

        1. nzok

          Re: RTFM

          "ST" says "The author of the memo under discussion wants to ... abolish diversity efforts." It is possible that he does, but he doesn't say that anywhere in the memo. It would be *so* nice if we could have an honest debate about what the guy *actually* wrote instead of making stuff up.

          Having watched Jordan Peterson interview Damore, I have to say that he sounds more naïve than anything else. Certainly it was naïve to think that people with power and privilege at Google would tolerate dissent.

          (For the record, 28% of the staff in my department are women, and all of them got in on merit.)

          1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: nzok

            "It would be *so* nice if we could have an honest debate about what the guy *actually* wrote"

            He wrote a 3,000-word ramble. You gotta forgive people for summarizing it - and for a lot of people, it was a rather long-winded way of saying: it's ok to assume people are genetically incapable of some jobs. And that's rather in the face of efforts to ensure a fair and diverse workforce.

            C.

  46. Lucas&

    I almost feel like crying

    Where Kieren McCarthy and James Damore seem to discuss a topic that still has not been resolved after centuries, it makes me very sad that especially Kieren's reaction sends us back to a time where, instead of discussing and working through effects and causes one by one, the believe is that shouting louder or seemingly more eloquent is more important than actual listening, trying to understand the opponent and building a foundation for bridges.

    I don't know Kieren or Kieren's background and my guess would be that the topic was too close to home. From the text it is very clear that, either Kieren did not read the article or did read it badly. In any case, to make a list of 'a-holes' is closer to putting witches on the stake than trying to progress a difficult and complex problem.

    The question is not whether James is wrong in many ways (as, in my opinion, he is), the question is whether what he said can be used to help in the process of progressing the issue of underrepresentation. In my opinion, the reaction of Sundar Pichai did the opposite and so does Kieren. I would urge everybody to read James Damore's piece intelligently and with an open mind. Hopefully, not to agree with him, but to think about more effective ways of progress than calling names.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: I almost feel like crying

      Damore blundered pretty badly in the way he brought up the issue: the memo is contradictory, and so poorly thought out. He can apparently code but he can't string together a coherent line.

      He then became a corporate liability by making colleagues feel uncomfortable, as well as breaking internal policy, right in the middle of Google fighting off legal complaints of discrimination. And, we hear, the CEO had to cancel his vacation to fly back and sort it out. At that point, in corporate Silicon Valley, you're toast.

      And yes, we did read the memo. I still can't get my head around it. It just doesn't make any sense. People claiming we've misread are, I suspect, projecting their own opinions onto it to fill in the blanks, so to speak, and warp it to fit their narrative.

      C.

      1. QuiteEvilGraham

        Re: I almost feel like crying

        "making colleagues feel uncomfortable"? Fuck that shit. Is he capable of mind control?

        Regardless of the other arguements pro and cons in this issue, I really, really hate the idea that somehow reading something you don't agree with somehow denies you the agency to decide to either ignore it or dispute it and move on. Are words really violence now, or are there just a bunch of narcissistic fuckwits who expect tummy rubs from everything they encounter?

        Is Google really full of children who go running to daddy expecting him to fix the problem if they have hurt feelz?

        Christ on a bike, grow the fuck up and behave like adults for once.

      2. oneeye

        Re: I almost feel like crying

        OH PLEASE ! Cut it out! That's classic projection you just exhibited right there. The vast majority of readers here are pretty much in agreement, that it's YOU at elreg who are clearly not getting it. But do persist in your delusional fantasy. I remind you though, it's not a healthy thing for an organization to politicize it's business. Remember my example? Just look at ESPN as they flame out.

      3. Someone

        Strengths and weaknesses

        diodesign wrote, “Damore blundered pretty badly in the way he brought up the issue: the memo is contradictory, and so poorly thought out. He can apparently code but he can't string together a coherent line.

        “And yes, we did read the memo. I still can't get my head around it. It just doesn't make any sense. People claiming we've misread are, I suspect, projecting their own opinions onto it to fill in the blanks, so to speak, and warp it to fit their narrative.”

        Another commentard has mentioned autistic spectrum. Damore's CV and memo are consistent with someone with a high autism score. The memo is difficult to follow and not well argued. The writer has failed to consider the mind of the reader. This is a defining characteristic of a high functioning autistic. Absent a formal diagnosis, let’s assume that he is.

        Damore is aware of his strengths and probably very well aware of some of his weaknesses. In what he does, his weaknesses are not a problem. Or they weren’t, up until that memo. Chess and coding are very formalised means of expression that don’t require you to get into another’s mind. And, if you’re in an office surrounded by other socially awkward people, being social awkward is less of an issue.

        https://www.wired.com/2001/12/aspergers/

        The TV show The Big Bang Theory often used a method of contradiction, with embarrassment for others, to generate humour. Seemingly identical behaviour can be caused by very different thought processes. If Sheldon Cooper did or said something that appeared, say, racists or sexist, it would be the result of a personal failing on the part of Sheldon. But, that failing wouldn’t be one you would naturally class as racism or sexism.

        The memo was a very cack-handed way of saying don’t forcibly change the people and hope that changes the environment, change the environment first. Some of his assumptions are odd, to say the least, but ideas like more part-time positions with equal status to full-time positions seem completely uncontroversial.

        The irony is that, in calling for more accommodation of others’ needs, Damore has been fired for his own weaknesses. Maybe the geek shall not inherit the earth. Google has fire one of its geeks for being, well, too geeky.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Strengths and weaknesses

          As a result of this article, the comments and links to other articles, I've discovered that there are people out there *genuinely* calling for discrimination against white-males as a way to address the balance of diversity within the workplace, on the grounds that the bias of the predominantly white-male hirers is to hire more of the same.

          This is put forth without the slightest hint of irony or hypocrisy - yet apparently that is an acceptable viewpoint to many who are denouncing this memo - something I find quite astonishing.

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: I almost feel like crying

      Lucas, the memo is garbage.

      And the article was about the dreadful people that felt the need to defend it, and to attack people that were offended by it. Even though it is garbage.

      1. JcRabbit

        Re: I almost feel like crying

        > Lucas, the memo is garbage.

        Yeah, that is what you keep saying. That and that you were offended by it (facts do not care about your feelings, by the way).

        What I would like you to see you doing, however, is explaining WHY the arguments he raised are garbage. Debate them, one by one, if they truly are garbage you will have no problems debunking them.

        Saying something is 'garbage' does not automatically make it so.

        > And the article was about the dreadful people that felt the need to defend it, and to attack people that were offended by it. Even though it is garbage.

        Wait, you had no problems *personally* attacking the author of the memo and those who defended it on a public article, but those who disagree with you are automatically 'dreadful people' to you? And you're the one accusing the author of the memo of black & white thinking?

        1. kierenmccarthy

          Re: I almost feel like crying

          I think this is the link you are looking for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_lioning

          1. JcRabbit

            Re: I almost feel like crying

            > I think this is the link you are looking for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_lioning

            Lol. Of course you would think that. But no, I was actually expecting a reasonable debate on the actual issues. At least on a couple of points you think are 'more offensive' or 'more garbage'. Instead you just assume I'm trolling - easier and much less effort on your part, of course.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Diversity for Diversity's sake?

    From what I understand, much is touted as being "diverse". Wonderful concept, but what does it actually mean? Are the record holders for the 100 meter dash "diverse"? Are university graduates "diverse"? People make many choices in their own lives that end up tilting the "diverse" scale in a wrong direction. We all do it to some degree. If you want equality, that is what you will get. People dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. If a class of people are determined to make things "equal" it seems to me that what you get is something like North Korea where you must chose from a list of proper haircuts that are state approved. Very equal, and diverse up to a point.

    To find out the proper population, one needs to look at what is walking in the front door of a company that looks for "qualified people". Estimate the pool of "qualified people" from another population (say graduates of a school's engineering department), then you might have an understanding of the diversity of the input stream.

    Lowering standards doesn't help anyone.

    p.s. An example of "diversity" might be the employees of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Carson City Nevada. But I digress.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

      Ok, here's the deal.

      Everyone that gets through to a second round of interviews at Google is more than qualified to do the job.

      And yet the people that actually get the jobs - having been interviewed by the people who they will work with - end up being disproportionately white men. And that is disproportionate according to the number of people that get to the second (or third, or fourth) round - not to the number of people in the world, or living in the Bay Area.

      In short, for quite a long time now, tech companies have been concerned that the reason they remain dominated by white men is because white men are only hiring white men because they feel more comfortable with them.

      There are a multitude of arguments put forward to justify this continued bias. The most common are that "you should just hire whoever is best for the job", and "we can't bring down our standards."

      But here's the thing: Google wants and needs a broader group of people because its products and services are used by a broad group of people.

      In the same way that many start-ups in Silicon Valley - especially apps - tend to cater for people exactly like themselves, so having mostly white male software engineers means that software will tend to cater for their needs because that's what and who they know.

      This is not new or novel, it is basic business fact. Hence the long use of focus groups and so on.

      But *despite* Google recognizing the need for more diverse engineers, despite it pointing out it needs these people, and despite those (highly qualified) people turning up for interviews, the company just can't stop its white male engineers from hiring white male engineers over and over again in preference to others.

      The reason this "manifesto" created such a stink is because the very ugliest reason for this refusal to diversify was written down and justified: that some people are *inherently* not as good.

      It is absolutely ridiculous to say that "women" "prefer social jobs" or that "women" are bad at asking for pay rises and then try to connect that to the precise issue of hiring someone for a specific job at your company.

      It is also offensive to lump together and dismiss huge swathes of people. That's why people got so upset about this.

      But, again, I will note two things:

      1. My article is about the very ugly responses that some people had to the row that developed around this.

      2. I don't agree that Google should have fired him. They should have seen it as an opportunity to learn and to teach on a topic that is clearly very difficult to handle and talk about. Google screwed up by not taking that opportunity.

      That doesn't detract from how awful this memo was.

      1. JcRabbit

        Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

        > It is absolutely ridiculous to say that "women" "prefer social jobs"

        Why is it ridiculous if it is true? Read my comment above about Sweden. What is ridiculous is trying to fit men and women into the same box by force, like you and many others are trying to do. I'm all for equal rights, but at the same time you have to admit that women and men ARE different. And for very good reasons.

        > 2. I don't agree that Google should have fired him. They should have seen it as an opportunity to learn and to teach on a topic that is clearly very difficult to handle and talk about. Google screwed up by not taking that opportunity.

        See, here I agree with you. But when you start an argument by calling people you do not agree with as 'dreadful people'... hmmm. :-P

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: kieranmccarthy Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

        "....In the same way that many start-ups in Silicon Valley - especially apps - tend to cater for people exactly like themselves, so having mostly white male software engineers means that software will tend to cater for their needs because that's what and who they know....." And there you go with yet more failure, only this time you fail to understand the business roles and decision chains for products. Software engineering teams in large corporations do not decide which apps a company will produce, indeed it is my experience that they are the last people to be asked if something is a good idea. Waaaaaaaay ahead of them in the decision-making chain are Marketing (usually a female-dominated department) and Sales (usually an unscrupulous asshole-dominated department, whether they are male or female). Ever heard of market research? Here's a clue - not done by software engineers!

        In reality, what happens is the software engineers usually build what they are told to build, the product requirement having been identified by someone else. In that respect, whether they are white, black, brown, yellow, male, female or non-identifying is irrelevant as long as they are good coders and have a program/project manager that can follow the requirements doc. Pretending that better code will be written just because 14% of the coders are black and/or 50% of them are female is simply nonsense. The best coders write the best code, and therefore you want to employ the best coders and not the ones that are not the best just because they make you feel socially warm'n'fuzzy.

        Many years ago I stood up for hiring gay coders in security projects, something that was definitely not the approved line. Although there was some drivel about them being a security risk due to blackmail (an easily debunked point by answering that if they were openly gay then there was no point in trying to blackmail them), when the reality was there was a considerable body of (homophobic) opinion that gay men just could not do as good a job as straight men. My stance was that there was no proof that being gay made you any better or less able to code than a straight male, and I challenged anyone to prove otherwise. Did I do so because of some altruistic idealism about equal opportunities? Fuck no! I did it because I wanted my projects to have the best coders available. Whether they were straight, gay or fancied sheep, I saw that as none of my professional business. Did I want my projects to succeed because I loved my employers? FUCK NO! I did it because of the money - successful completion of projects meant I got paid. The Google management fired Damore because they wanted to keep their business revenues healthy because they wanted to keep getting paid.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dunning–Kruger much?

        "Ok, here's the deal.

        Everyone that gets through to a second round of interviews at Google is more than qualified to do the job."

        First, when I was there, (2015-6), the second round was for those who were borderline after the first round. In my case, there was one round. Second, no one I spoke with about hiring at Google, and it was a constant topic of conversation, indicated agreement with that statement. Certainly, the view was that in general Google over-filters, but the idea that Google never hires someone who turns out not to be able to do the job is ridiculous. The most common adjective regarding the process was "random". Actually, one of my interviewers expressed scepticism to me about the hiring process during the hiring process!

        Google's internal culture is well to the left of the Democratic party. They proudly discriminate against whites & males, calling it "affirmative action", and justify it through the usual means. Not everyone can long tolerate such.

        You spend half of the first page of your article stating that you are not competent to actually delve into the topic---and then you proceed to delve into the topic. In the comments, you have abandoned all pretence of modesty, and repeatedly played the role of expert.

        "Damore's CV reveals an extremely privileged existence: a chess champion with a degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s in systems biology from Harvard, an intern at Princeton, a researcher at MIT and then a software engineer at Google."

        How on earth does being a chess champion require that one privileged? Do blacks and women throw matches for to their male white opponents? What it is far more likely to require is that you have a high IQ and be on the autism spectrum. More on that in a bit. As for the his universities, again, your remote cognition is truly astounding. He would be privileged to have been in these programs if he had a lackluster academic performance, and was admitted anyway. But the chess championship strongly indicates not just academic aptitude, but actual achievement in line with admission to these programs based on his skills and achievements. You have no idea what kind of childhood he had, or what he did or what was done for him relative to these achievements. The claim of privilege based on these four data is outrageous.

        But yes. Chess champion. Again, very much likely to be high IQ and on the spectrum. We are genetically disposed to have a very hard time leaving systemic errors with large effects alone. I managed keep my head down just enough to not be let go like he was. Probably.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: Dunning–Kruger much?

          If Google discriminates against white and male employees, they shouldn't do it proudly, because they are disgracefully bad at it.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

        Everyone that gets through to a second round of interviews at Google is more than qualified to do the job.

        And yet the people that actually get the jobs - having been interviewed by the people who they will work with - end up being disproportionately white men. And that is disproportionate according to the number of people that get to the second (or third, or fourth) round - not to the number of people in the world, or living in the Bay Area.

        They're not falling into the old trap of positively discriminating only at the lower levels are they? It's a very basic mistake but given what we know of google it wouldn't surprise me.

        Positive Discrimination needs to be applied equally at all levels of the recruitment process, otherwise you just get a later level kicking out all the people you positively discriminated in favour of, meaning all you achieved was to waste the time of a group of minorities.

      5. Turbo Beholder
        Happy

        Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

        Which exactly parts of the memo do you consider the most "awful"?

        Examples, please.

      6. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

        @Kieran

        Perhaps we can look at reasons why male teachers are under-represented in UK primary schools, and that trend is starting to play out in secondary schools too.

        No-one seems to want to talk about why (or concede if it's actually a problem or not) but I have a sneaking suspicion that the decline in male teachers is largely down to claims of abuse.

        One child (or parent of child) claiming a teacher abused their child (in any way) is typically enough to end a career, whether it is true or not. Why would men enter a profession that can potentially be ended as a result of a parent taking exception to their child being told off for bullying (for example) and reporting the teacher for abuse.

        The reason this situation has arisen is because men are perceived to be abusers, and mud sticks.

        If this hypothesis is correct, then it because they are male that men are no longer deciding to become teachers - which, if my logic isn't totally wacked, is based on them being men. i.e. their decision not to enter a particular profession is based on their gender (and the perception of that gender).

        Is the answer to this problem to discriminate against female teachers in order to promote more men in the profession? This seems to me the very thing that the 'outraged of Tunbridge Wells' deem appropriate, and the very thing this chap is speaking out against (i.e. forced discrimination based on group in order to address perceived inequality of representation of gender in a particular profession), yet by it's very definition is discrimination - which is against the law.

        This is why I believe he was sacked - because he inadvertently pointed out that Google's hiring policy is actually illegal, whilst trying to present itself as anything but. He was sacked for naivety.

  48. CruentusVulpes

    sigh...Again?

    I wish to inject only two points into this swirling issue:

    1. People having and wielding authoritative power have proven THEMSELVES empirically to have common traits that render THEM incompetent at making any decision that attempts to rectify social ills. These common traits need not be expounded, but let us safely agree that illustrator and author Scott Adams more than sufficiently captured them in the body of his works. In regards to this issue, THEY commonly try to “solve” one social ill by introducing a host of others (e.g.: quota systems, political correctness, Jim Crow, fascism, affirmative action, Apartheid ... ad nausea, ad absurdum). Google management is not the first (nor will it be the last) to blunder down this mine-infested rocky road. It’s a case of smart people making dumb decisions.

    2. If Google had any notion of actually addressing this problem, they would have already noticed it and corrected it, internally, years ago. The problem has always been that they do not just hire competent people – they hire people who also “feel” competent…to them. THEY share the same hiring practices as Google. Everyone has this problem…privately: young, hip, urbanites hang out with other young, hip urbanites; god-fearing church folk hang out with their equals; etc. We form tribes. It’s a trust issue hard-wired into humans. One can blame Google for being human, but not misogynistic. If Google, et al, truly wish to create a blind meritocracy, they first need to remove the human element from managerially social decisions.

    I wonder how such a technologically advanced group of programmers and scientists should go about that…hmmm?

    1. Turbo Beholder

      Re: sigh...Again?

      > Google management is not the first (nor will it be the last) to blunder down this mine-infested rocky road. It’s a case of smart people making dumb decisions.

      Since it's Google with all its... antics, that's more a case of beast biting its own leg. With any luck, it will immobilise itself and then chew itself to death.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sigh...Again?

      People having and wielding authoritative power have proven THEMSELVES empirically to have common traits that render THEM incompetent at making any decision that attempts to rectify social ills. These common traits need not be expounded, but let us safely agree that illustrator and author Scott Adams more than sufficiently captured them in the body of his works.

      Interestingly, Scott Adams has said that he supports them both.

      It's an interesting listen if you've got ten minutes and nobody easily offended can overhear.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Memo is factually incorrect

    The recent anti-diversity memo from a (now former) Google employee is not just offensive, it is - as you might expect - badly incorrect factually.

    Digital computing began largely female - because of the Second World War (far more women than men were available on the home front) and because of computing's association with work already perceived in the UK as "female" (typing, electromechanical computing). Only re-inventing computing as a "high status" career - hence, in the flawed thinking of the time, male - led to our current gender imbalance.

    I learnt all this from Marie Hicks' excellent book "Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing". Please can everyone read it.

    The history of gender and computing is not a happy one, but it is clear the current male bias has nothing to do with one gender being better or worse than the other at computing.

    1. JcRabbit

      Re: Memo is factually incorrect

      Sweden is one of the countries where the laws most favor women. Women there have NO ISSUE choosing their professions, and are, in fact, encouraged to do so.

      Despite this, the numbers do not reflect what feminists would like to see. When women are allowed to FREELY choose what they want to do, MOST of them choose jobs that are typically associated with the female gender. Not because the males drive them to it, but because THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT.

      Why is it so hard to admit such a thing? Numbers do not lie:

      The five most common occupations among women in Sweden:

      Assistant nurses and hospital ward assistants

      Home-based personal care and related workers

      Child-care workers

      Pre-primary education teaching associate professionals

      Other office clerks

      There is a TREMENDOUS gender imbalance - in favor of women - in the above professions (e.g.; 148, 600 women vs. 11,700 men for Assistant nurses and hospital ward assistants). What are you going to do about this? FORCE men to fill the gaps? No? Of course not. It is what it is. Different genders have different preferences.

      Likewise here are the five most common occupations among men in Sweden:

      Technical and commercial sales representatives

      Heavy truck and lorry drivers

      Computer systems designers, analysts and programmers

      Stock clerks and storekeepers

      Machine-tool operators

      There are 54,100 men vs. 1,800 women for Heavy truck and lorry drivers. What are you going to do? Force women to become lorry drivers because you dream of gender equality in every field?! Of course not, that would be insane!

      Bottom line is, people like the author of this article are trying to force ideology over reality. Does that remind you of something? Communism, maybe? And we all know how that turns out.

      P.S. For Computer Systems, it's 51,800 men vs. 14,100 women - and since we are talking about Sweden, it's because women OBVIOUSLY prefer doing other things. Doh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Memo is factually incorrect

        JcRabbit - I'm sure Swedes do not choose their education and jobs in a social vacuum, any more than anyone else. The influence of family, friends, teachers, role-models, films, social media and culture will be important in Sweden as elsewhere.

        The particular history of computing actually demonstrates that it is not inherently male or female. As a result of the practicalities in World War 2, then employer policies/practices and social influences, digital computing began largely female. Currently, in line with more recent social influences and employer practices, computing is largely male. Neither the biology of men and women, nor even computing, have changed much during this short period - yet the gender bias has switched. The gender bias - whether female (earlier) or male (now) - is a result of social forces.

        If there is any difference in inherent preference or aptitude for computing between genders, this is swamped by other factors. We have no sound basis to say that women are inherently better at computing, or have more in-built interest in the topic - or the reverse.

        1. JcRabbit

          Re: Memo is factually incorrect

          DanielBarker -

          > I'm sure Swedes do not choose their education and jobs in a social vacuum, any more than anyone else.

          How is that even relevant? Women are *freely* making their own choices on a society that actually *encourages* them to choose careers typically associated with men. And still they don't.

          Does it really matter if the reason why is biological or cultural?

          > in World War 2 [...] digital computing began largely female

          The war effort is what opened the gates for women to join the work force, because most men were busy fighting in that war (and dying). So women did the work, men did the dying. Fair enough?

          > Neither the biology of men and women, nor even computing, have changed much during this short period.

          I'm not sure how you can say that computing hasn't changed much since the 40's. Anyone who has been involved with computers, or knows the history of computers, knows that is absolutely not true - computing was, back then, VERY different than what it is today.

          To start with, computers used whole rooms and in those days programs were entered using punched cards up until the mid-70's. Unlike today, there was a VERY clear distinction between analysts, programmers and computer operators. Analysts did the flowcharts, programmers converted them into sets of instructions, and operators punched in the cards via a keyboard. Operators were therefore not much more than 'glorified typists'', in an era were being a secretary (i.e.; typing letters) was considered a woman's job. These women were called the "keypunch girls".

          Furthermore, computers weren't very powerful back then - a typical pocket calculator these days has exponentially more computing power than mainframe computers of the era. Programs then were thus necessarily very simple and short, because they wouldn't even fit in the extremely limited mainframe memory otherwise (we're talking 1 KB *total* RAM).

          With the development of computers, the jobs of analysts, programmers and operators essentially merged. These days you do your own programs and also type them in via a keyboard. With more powerful computers, programs became ever more complex, requiring extensive use of logic and math skills.

          There was a time in the late 70's were many women flocked to computer sciences, and in 1984 the women earning computer science degrees reached it's peak: 37%. In the next two decades, women left computer science in droves, their numbers dropping to 20% by 2006. This shows that women with aptitude for computer sciences are out there, they're just not choosing computer science.

          It's not that they are not capable, it's just that they prefer doing other stuff. Pretty much the same way most men are also perfectly capable of doing jobs typically dominated by women but simply prefer to do other things (are we going to blame women for this choice, the same way feminists blame men when the shoe is on the other foot?).

          Capabilities aside, the fact is that women and men have different preferences, and this is in no way a bad thing. This simply means that men and women *complement* each other.

    2. TheElder

      Re: Digital computing began largely female

      Not entirely. I started programming when I was 13. I also skipped a few grades so I was in High School at that time. The first machine I coded was a Bendix G-15 with glass cylinders filled with nothing. I also took typing. A lot of guys were teasing me until they noticed the very pretty girls that I found in the typing class. I am also tall with long fingers. Turned out to be a very good thing in more ways than one....

      I should also mention that was in Berkeley...

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Digital computing began largely female

        I took typing along with Computing back in the 80's - took a lot of stick too - but I was completely surrounded by girls for a few hours a week and if there's one thing I remember it was that the room smelt a lot better than it would have otherwise :)

  50. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    +1 for Kieren.

  51. PhilRack

    ... and now we see the conservatives move on to Bing.

    1. TheElder

      now we see the conservatives move on to Bing

      I don't use Bing or Google (except searching). I am totally apolitical. I once voted for Micky Mouse. Not everyone gives a shit about the political parties. It is ability and honesty that count.

      1. Turbo Beholder

        Re: now we see the conservatives move on to Bing

        Unfortunately, leaving the polyticks alone does not work - they do not reciprocate.

        Very few witch-hunts try to go after someone with a megaphone, because most of those that do backfire.

  52. Anthony_Blighe

    First, read the memo

    Let's get the ad hominem out of the way first. Just because the author has deemed James D'Amore to have a "privileged background" does not invalidate his arguments.

    I urge anyone considering posting a comment to actually read and consider James D'Amore's memo.

    D'Amore's main point is that Google's employees are not allowed to question the extent to which biological differences between men and women influence their distribution in various professions. There have been many studies of human gender difference, and it would be hard to argue that differences do not exist. D'Amore believes that the science should be considered, rather than denied, in order to improve equality of opportunity.

    1. zebthecat

      Re: First, read the memo

      D'Amore, however, presents precisely no evidence to back up his supposedly scientific assertions. Firing him was a bit harsh but don't pretend that this was a well researched paper. For all the apparent logic the premises of arguments are worthless

      "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

      1. Random Q Hacker

        Re: First, read the memo

        Turns out the memo was scientifically accurate:

        http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/

  53. John Latham

    Occam's Razor

    The simplest explanation for the firing is that he ruined the CEO's vacation.

  54. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    FAIL

    A staggeringly obtuse fail!

    ".....Second, no one benefitted financially from him being fired. In fact, money has nothing to do with the entire saga....." Kieran, I managed to make it to page two of your article before I stopped reading at that naïve gem of blinkered idealism. Of course it is all about money! The only reason Google and other such companies advertise their wholesome policies, be they ethical behavior, greenness, diversity, charitable donations to "good causes", etc., etc., and why they stamp down on any dissenting views, is because they believe to do so will generate more business due to public approval. To not do so is to invite a business-threatening wave of hysterical and public criticism that could threaten income. If Flat-Eartherism and Demonism were the flavor of the week in PC Land then I'd wager Google would be frantically producing statements to say how much they earnestly embrace both.

  55. Uffish

    Ten pages !!??

    From a cursory glance at the headlines I formed an (uninformed) opinion that the guy was unfairly dismissed although deserving a warning. But ten pages? Hmm.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leaked on YouTube! Google's latest diversity training video...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS37SNYjg8w

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serious question

    So... "scientific racist" is a thing and this isn't that.

    I really find it hard to believe each "group" of people is equally able in all areas. Especially with populations that evolved far enough apart for skin colour to change.

    There are also differences between the sexes.

    I've not really read what the guy said but is this not okay to acknowledge?

    Being very TL;DR about it, normal distributions can have different means and variance and there can be outliers but the populations as wholes differ - surely this is okay?

    I very much don't care what someone is when I'm dealing with them - I just... I would be shocked to find a 50% split in everything (if indeed that is the goal).

    Like the gender pay gap for example.... that's over the entire population, you will find instances of men being paid less than a woman for the same job and the other way around (and the fact there's more of the other way is bad) - that's a "metric" I can get behind! Ranking statistics. I don't like "let's sum up all the earnings of women and men and divide by the sample count" as a measure of equality.

    I don't really have a point, I just want to know if I'm a part of the problem or whatever? I like to think that by staying out of it (and my "not give a shit about the individual" policy) that I'm not.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Serious question

      "Especially with populations that evolved far enough apart for skin colour to change."

      Evolution of skin colour was driven by ambient UV levels and the need to produce vitamin D. The availability of milk drove drove the development of lactose "tolerance". What are the environmental factors that would drive significant differences in the evolution of the brain?

      Sexually dimorphism is rather more complicated. It's clear that chromosomal or hormonal variation produce slightly different phenotypes. But my understanding is nobody can tell apart the MRI of a male or female brain.

      But all of this is moot, since the problem is about selecting between people who are more than good enough. Google are choosing people they want to be friends with and dressing it up as "meritocracy".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Serious question

        Same AC here

        It seems my point was totally missed. Just to piss on the other guy vitamin D plays a small part as melanin hampers it's production... but that's not relevant.

        The point was the populations were separated and diverged enough for skin colour to change (which is in the scale of things a relatively slow adaptation) but you could have used any 2 populations really.

        It does seem silly to assume that every other attribute of the populations are identical. Can it not be so that one population is better at something than the other ("on average" - again I mentioned the normal distribution, there are occasionally freaks)

        I am a little bit hurt that you assumed I was just spouting sciency words or some shit.

        Then you added no information. I even said I didn't read the article. I'm also "all but certain" that the ratios we see are not population differences but biases instead.

        .... there must be a better way than Tumblrites going "we have found a way to deal with the cis-scum, we become career landmines"

        ----------------------OR!-------------------------

        You could have explained that you replied to the wrong comment

  58. WatAWorld

    I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

    You cannot condemn people for holding beliefs you disagree without being called a bigot. You can debate their beliefs, freely, but you cannot merely observe they hold a belief you disagree with and that make them dreadful.

    So I vote to add the clearly very bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco. For a long time bigotry has been standard in the USA, only who is doing it and who they condemn varies. It is so entrenched there the bigots don't even realize they are themselves committing a dreadful evil act when they speak, post or write.

    Oxford English Dictionary definition of bigot:

    A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

    Merriam-Webster definition of bigot:

    a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bigot

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot

    1. Turbo Beholder
      IT Angle

      Re: I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

      So now Google will have to redefine another word. Not the first time.

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

      Actually you can condemn people for holding objectionable, indefensible, hurtful and unpleasant beliefs. And you should.

      Again, I'll note that the article is about highlighting five people's dreadful responses to this saga and I don't believe a single comment here has defended them because, of course, they are dreadful.

      1. JcRabbit

        Re: I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

        kierenmccarthy > Actually you can condemn people for holding objectionable, indefensible, hurtful and unpleasant beliefs. And you should.

        And, of course, YOU get to decide what is indefensible, despite the greatest majority of comments here proving that not only is it defensible, as the ideas are grounded on reasoning and facts.

        So what do you do? Instead of debating those arguments with your own opposite arguments so others can decide which are more valid, you resort to covering your ears with your hands while calling the author and everyone else defending him names - like a good 5 year old throwing a temper tantrum would do. Well done. Not.

        By the way, nobody is disputing that those arguments may be unpleasant, hurtful and objectionable to you. The truth many times is. And if you don't think it is the truth, then *rationally* explain why the message is wrong - instead of attacking the messenger.

        And no, despite your accusation, I am not a troll. Just look up my comments history.

      2. Random Q Hacker
        Facepalm

        Re: I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

        Kieren, maybe next time readers will make it through your top 5 clickbait rage piece if you don't start it with a smear job that completely misrepresents the subject. Those of us that read the memo, even if we don't agree entirely, know you are grossly mischaracterizing it.

      3. Turbo Beholder
        Facepalm

        Re: I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

        > Actually you can condemn people for holding objectionable, indefensible, hurtful and unpleasant beliefs. And you should.

        But when people here did exactly this, you protest again.

        Specifically, it looks like a lot of the readers consider yet another variation of "I did not read Pasternak, but condemn him!" presented in your article an "indefensible and unpleasant belief" and, accordingly, condemn you for it.

        You are in process of receiving a reward specifically prescribed by your own belief, according to yourself.

        So what's your problem? That the people here are too decent, fastidious or lazy to burn you at the stake - or to disemploy you and then shriek and throw poo at you when you're down?

  59. T J

    Opinion Piece

    Not sure it constitutes news or should even be on El Reg in the first place.

    1. Turbo Beholder
      Linux

      Re: Opinion Piece

      It looks like something from a CNN columnist carbon-copied to a wrong mailbox.

  60. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Stop

    Misconceptions, misinterpretations, fallacites, and flat-out fabrications

    How about we see this "manifesto" broken down by a clinical expert (and academic) and spoken of directly from the horse's mouth?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEDuVF7kiPU

    1. Turbo Beholder

      Re: Misconceptions, misinterpretations, fallacites, and flat-out fabrications

      Why would a commissar allow anything to come "directly from the horse's mouth" when a strawman will suffice?

  61. oneeye

    Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

    Actually quite amazing, and my hats off to the majority, who clearly understand the issue's at hand. Usually, I'm quite disappointed reading the comments. But on this, I'm just stunned. Clearly, McCarthy and the elreg team in general, just fail, and BIGGLY ( - ; LOL But, it's their business to either succeed, or fail at. I would just say, I read many comments who expressed displeasure about this article, questioning whether it actually belonged here. I have to agree, it doesn't. McCarthy is a troll, plain and simple. His responses to many here in the forum clearly demonstrated his immature attitude, as a petulant child would act out. Worse, he dishonors his employer, and their customers.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

      Poopy face

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

        @Kieran

        I genuinely believe you would garner more respect at this point by telling everyone to shut their fucking mouths.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

          No.

      2. HandleAlreadyTaken

        Re: Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

        >Poopy face

        While this reply is certainly more cogent and well argued than your article, I still can't help feeling it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi to be utterly convincing.

  62. Justin Case

    Hopeless

    I've written and rewritten my response to this piece about 5 times now... I've even quoted Bob Dylan's My Back Pages, and I still feel that there's something relevant there.

    My considered opinion is that there's nothing to be gained here. I genuinely cannot understand the complete and utter condemnation of Damore's original transgression. Those who can understand why it's such an egregious piece or writing are so certain of their rightness that they are unable to countenance the need to explain their position.

    Apart from the undoubted sincerity of Kieren on this matter, I take away nothing to help me grasp why he says what he says.

    1. Turbo Beholder
      Childcatcher

      Re: Hopeless

      Short version -

      SJWAL Second Law: SJWs Always Double Down.

      Long version -

      "Digital Maoism", like any socialist movement, is very fragile. Any time things go wrong for them, it's an existential threat. The more their dam breaks apart, the more it's obvious it was made of papier-mache to begin with. There's desperation.

      They can't wait it out quietly, because for the crybullies there's no middle ground - they either ride triumphant or will be flushed down the drain. So they crank it up. Like this:

      http://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2017/01/22/nothing-to-see-here-folks-just-a-trump-supporter-set-on-fire-during-the-inauguration/

      Right now there's a moment of true unity (and revel in the knowledge that for a while they are safe from each other) in a rush to save the rotting corpse of Pink Terror (very paltry breed of Red Terror) - each does however much they dare: one sets a girl on fire, another swings a bicycle lock, Lena Dunham tier starts new witch-hunts, and Kieren McCarthy tier does not have status (inside or outside the pack) enough for this, so they advertise a case of successful disemployment as far and wide as possible.

  63. BarryUK

    "And so it was with James Damore who, it is fair to say, did not expect to be fired, condemned by his own CEO, held up as a martyr by right-wing ideologues, and lambasted as the very worst sort of privileged white boy within days of posting a 10-page document on an internal noticeboard."

    When I was at Goldman Sachs, the guideline was "don't post or e-mail anything you wouldn't be happy to see on the front page of the New York Times". I would imagine Google has a pretty similar guideline, and this episode shows why.

    1. In Belfast

      I thought the whole thing was just the way American firms did business.

      If you're easy to replace and you're distracting a lot of other people from their jobs, out the door you go.

  64. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Tweeting your opinion...

    ... is probably enough to prove you're an asshole, at least to some.

    Anyway, anyone judging an individual based on his/her belonging to a group (gender, skin color, country...) deserves the 'Asshole' label.

    The world's most revered politician, Winston Churchill

    For the Anglo-saxon world, more accurately.

  65. Luiz Abdala

    XKCD 1357

    The man is entitled to his opinion.

    But he should have kept his trap shut to keep his job.

    I couldn't even understand most of what he said there, honestly, but it angered enough people to get him fired.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XKCD 1357

      ...and California law will rip Google a new one over that.

      It just so happens that you can't fire people over opinions.

      1. hnwombat

        Re: XKCD 1357

        =It just so happens that you can't fire people over opinions.

        Actually, in the US, in most states (though possibly not California), yes you can. You can also fire them for voting for the wrong candidate, being a Democrat, parting their hair on the wrong side of their head, or looking at you funny. See "employment at will" (typically a part of the doublespeak "right to work" laws).

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Asshole,

    Naturally, the author of this article is not strongly opinionated and name-calling is beneath his super intellect. The rest of us, the true assholes, including myself, should never voice an opposing opinion.

    No one in his/her right mind agrees with Damore's utter nonsense, except for two main points that you seem to conveniently ignore.

    1. In some organizations, diversity is manufactured. Going out of one's way to prove that diversity exists is nothing but a show. Google was sued by the government earlier this year for discriminating against woman so it is in their interest to fend off assholes.

    2. Unless you work for Google and experience first hand the absurd measures they are implementing to prove their diversity then you're just blabbering. For example, anyone at Google can anonymously complain about anyone, with or without reason. This anonymity enables Google assholes to complain about things such as "He called us 'guys' so I'm offended". If you don't believe me then I urge you to Google this information yourself. Having to tiptoe around such sensitivity is frustrating.

    Truly yours,

    Asshole

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have you actually read the article?

    Am I the only person on the liberal left that objects to the Google firing? What happened to the idea of encouraging free expression. I did not find the article offensive and wonder what kind of person would be offended. I do not agree with a lot in the article, but I also do not think its tone offensive or off-putting. I do find this article I'm responding to out of step with reality.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Have you actually read the article?

      It was offensive.

      But no, lots of people think firing him was the wrong call.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have you actually read the article?

      "What happened to the idea of encouraging free expression."

      Google is a corporation, not the US government. Corporations are not required to pay attention to the First Amendment. Damore attacked its HR policies. Whether he was factually correct or not - and actually I have no view on the subject - there are, I guess, not many corporations where publicly telling senior management that they are wrong from a junior position would not lead to termination. I've worked for a US corporation and for UK ones, and I got shouted at and threatened with termination by a US CEO for a much more minor offense. Like my director of engineering around the same time, I decided to leave of my own accord.

      At one company I worked for there was a metallurgist who used to buttonhole people in the canteen and tell everybody what the management was doing wrong, but he was regarded as a harmless nutter outside his field and was simply ignored. I imagine, though, that if he had nailed a 10 page manifesto to the receptionist's desk, things might have escalated.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Have you actually read the article?

        Sober Lessons from the Google Farce

        A company with a US$650 billion market cap and a CEO who took home US$200 million last year fires an employee for expressing his opinions on an internal forum curated by the company itself in probable violation of California labour laws designed to protect, inter alia, union organising and nobody on the political left can stop gloating and come to the defence of the fired worker.

        Yes, that.

  68. Random Q Hacker
    Facepalm

    Like the author, it seems many commenters haven't read the memo...

    The memo never says anyone is inferior, just that there *are* some biological differences in aptitudes and preferences that may influence who *choses* to get into computing in the first place. He acknowledges that there is huge overlap between male and female populations. He acknowledges that bias still plays a role in hiring. He explicitly says everyone must be evaluated as an individual, with respect, and not based on their group membership.

    In short, anyone screaming racism, sexism, or calling this guy an asshole needs to work on their reading comprehension or their tolerance for ideas other than their own. Civil discussion should not be met with shaming and punishment.

  69. richardalm

    Assholes are too expensive

    A more poetic treatment (under my supervision) would have been to reassign Damore to Google Day Care and halve his pay. (On slow days he'd be my ping pong ball boy and his days would be long.) But that's just my opinion, man.

    Google wasn't too reactionary if they thought about Damore's bullshit longer than five minutes. Anybody who's lived longer than 30 years understands that ignorant assholes add higher costs to everything. Evidently, assholes in Silicon Valley are a dime per dozen so cost adjustments can always be justified one way or another.

  70. IT Poser

    Well that happened

    What we have here is a case where most people are complaining over a document they haven't read. Of the small subset of people who have actually read Damore's piece the general consensus is that it is fairly well written and we should be debating the specific points. The few that don't have this opinion seem to be the bigots at both ends of the political spectrum.

    At one point I expected far better from El Reg. I used to come to this site expecting to learn useful information. Now it seems like the standard is to be less informative than Buzzfeed.

  71. Ilmarinen
    Meh

    Comment to El Reg

    I just emailed this to John Lettice, Editorial director:

    Hi John,

    I just clicked the "report abuse" tab on one of Kieren Mccarthy's posts

    (https://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/report/3258478). I was expecting

    to get a dialogue about why I was reporting it, but didn't, hence this

    follow up to you.

    It's not that the individual post is abuse, it's that the original

    article itself, and the many follow up posts by Mccarthy, taken

    together, show a really quite bigoted attitude, a disregard for facts

    and a contempt for anyone who attempts to express an alternative view -

    even when Mccarthy is quite plainly wrong.

    Now it may be that you are happy for El Reg to become click bait,

    driven by a fact free troll. He's certainly got a lot of comments.

    It's your publication, up to you. I'm just making you aware of the

    opinion of a once daily reader who dosen't visit so much these days -

    and articles and authors like this are most of the reason.

    Kind regards,

    Gareth

    (usename Ilmarinen)

    PS: I originally looked at the article because I was looking for a

    factual, truthful and informed piece on the subject. I did not find

    that.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comments on this article are now closed.

  73. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Jeez, this dicussion is still ongoing?

    I will just quote more iSteve then:

    Why Are Damore's Observations About Statistical Distributions Assumed to be Inevitably Aspersions on Women _already_ Hired by Google?

    Imagine if in an Alternative Universe in which the media’s diversity dogmas were based on their ostensible logic rather than on sheer “Who? Whom?” childishness, somebody asked Cleveland Cavalier all-time great LeBron James:

    Q. “Why is there so little diversity and racial equality in the NBA?”

    LeBron: “Well, I think we could be doing a little better outreach to under-represented ethnicities to show them what a great sport basketball is, but, yeah, basically, at the highest levels, blacks tend to be a little better than whites at basketball.”

    Q. “Didn’t your stereotyping just create a Hostile Work Environment for your white teammates like Kevin Love? How can Kevin Love continue to play on the same team with a hate-filled bigot like yourself who doesn’t believe he deserves to be in the NBA?”

    LeBron: “Wait a minute, I didn’t say that Kevin Love doesn’t deserve to be in the NBA. I specifically insisted that the Cavs sign Kevin as part of my plan to return to my home region and win Cleveland an NBA title, which we did. Granted, Kevin looked a little dorkier while defensively shutting down NBA MVP Steph Curry in the last minute of the seventh game of the 2016 Finals than, say, I might have, but damn that white boy got the job done when it mattered!”

    Q. “But if whites are genetically inferior to blacks at basketball, then aren’t you saying that all the whites in the NBA don’t belong there.”

    LeBron: “No, stop being stupid. The whites in the NBA belong in the NBA or they wouldn’t be in the NBA. We don’t have special programs to hire whites who aren’t really good enough to play in the NBA. What I’m saying is that there aren’t a huge number of whites who aren’t in the NBA who belong in the NBA but are being kept out of the NBA by anti-white racism.

    “I’m not saying that there is no anti-white racism, just that it doesn’t explain most of the The Gap. You know, maybe we need to think about why more and more whites in the NBA come from Europe or Canada or super white small cities in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe we’d discover that there are changes we could make in basketball culture to get a few more white NBA players out of the suburbs of big American cities. But in the big picture, not much will or can change. Basketball talent is what it is.”

    “Sure, if Adam Silver ordered each NBA team to be half-white, there’d be a lot of white guys sitting on the end of NBA benches who wouldn’t really belong in the league. But we don’t have quotas, so we don’t have white deadwood in the League.”

    Q. “But if you are saying that whites aren’t inferior in basketball, why are you The Man on the Cavaliers? Why isn’t Kevin Love your Co-Man? Or, more appropriately, why aren’t you both the Co-Persons on the Cavs?”

    LeBron: “Hey, thanks for the questions but I got to go lift some weights. Bye.”

    When are we getting that deplorable icon? I already got the T-Shirt.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How neat of google et al to neatly sidestep any latent and rife issues of 1. Misandry and 2. Ageism within their squeaky clean dogma/culture/purported diversity.

    Instead, the easy, trite, aphoristic, bleeding obvious sexism displayed from an unwise posting, by a daft (but not apparently dangerous it even mischievous) young man.

    The world gets all self righteous and puffs up, all to condemn the bleeding obvious.

    Turgid shit. Selective diversity aimed at appeasing a certain part of the demographic.

    Google come out as shit. So something achieved

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must have been working in a different Silicon Valley

    ..for the last 30 plus years.

    I usually only work for product dev companies, not dot coms or advertising companies (like Google, Facebook, etc), so I tend to work with technically competent people. Funny thing is the last time I worked with an all white dev team the Berlin Wall had just come down. First time I was the only white guy on a dev team was a few years later.

    One half of the whole diversity scam is based on pure racism. It seems that all asians are white. Even those south Indians who are even darker skinned than most American Blacks. Product dev teams in the Valley are far less white than the neighborhoods in SF where all the Progressive SJW seem to live. Walk around the Whole Foods in Upper Haight or Upper Market and play the game - Spot The Non White.. Remember, whites are just another minority in the City. About 40%. Whole Food and its ilk are 90% plus white in SF.

    The other half of the diversity scam is based on an outright lie. For as long as I can remember, since the early 1980's, the distribution of the sexes is all high tech companies (except 3 guys in a garage) goes something like this. HR, Marketing, General Admin and Finance / Accounting overwhelmingly women. Legal, Graphic Design / UI, Documentation, Project / Product Management usually majority women. Tech Support and QA lots of women. Sometimes majority. Sales, Product Development., Upper Management, majority men. So much for tech company misogyny in hiring.

    These numbers really have not changed that much over the decades. In actual product development companies.

    The other thing that has not changed over the decades is that the large majority of women in product development positions will over time move into management positions. Usually product / project / middle management. So thats why you will see far more female junior developers than female senior developers. With any given sample of male and female junior developers after 10 years most of the males will still be doing (senior) development work and most of the women will have transitioned to management positions. Thats the way it was in the 1980's when I started. And that is still the way it is today.

    The only thing all this "Diversity" scam will succeed in doing is make it even harder for qualified women to be hired. Because hiring managers like me will now add women to the catagory of "protected groups" who the very real risk of potential discrimination lawsuits in the future is just one of the deciding factors in who gets the job offer. So all things being equal guess who gets the job offer when the choice is between a woman, a black and an asian? The person least likely to sue in the future? Its difficult enough running a successful product dev team without having this kind of crap added to the mix. So expect to see the percentage of asians in dev positions (30% plus) in the Valley to continue going up in the future.

    See, thats how the real world of running product dev teams actually works. When you have a product to ship. And why it is the height of folly for upper management to introduce any kind of politics into the workplace. It is utterly divisive and always has unintended consequences. All bad. In Googles case, their biggest and most damaging PR fiasco since they left Page Mill Road.

  76. Rik Myslewski

    "Overall, it is insulting to pretty much anyone who isn't James Damore."

    Beautiful line — that is, if one defines "beautiful" to mean, "My sentiments. exactly."

    Damore, as you explain and to which I concur, is not the most subtle, most nuanced sandwich at the picnic, tool in the toolbox, knife in the drawer. He may be able to code and/or architect efficiently, but I — if I were a Google manager — would keep him far, far away from any interactions with Actual Humans™.

    Fire him? Well, not a bad idea — although such a decision is, of course, dependent upon who else is in his workgroup, if he plays well with others on a daily basis, or if his skills are commiserate with his salary.

    But, all in all, it's Google's decision — and Damore certainly didn't help his case by proving that he's not exactly the world's most cogent thinker.

  77. toffer99

    Of course, nobody who reads this will seize the opportunity to attack these assholes on twitter, will they? Please don't or you risk joining their number. Oh, alright, make an exception for Toby Young.

  78. dv

    Not anonymous

    ... and I sincerely hope my sarcasm detector has been damaged by just the first page of this personal diatribe.

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