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

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

  1. cbars

    I am confused

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

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

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

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

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I am confused

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

      That being said...

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

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

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

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

      1. nerdbert
        Alien

        How to leak information...unintentionally

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

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

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

        1. Agamemnon

          Re: How to leak information...unintentionally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          A. Your opponet is crazy.

          B. They know something you don't know.

          C. Both.

          Google will not be writing checks to this guy.

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

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: How to leak information...unintentionally

            @Agamemnon

            I'm politically antagonistic....

            ... Google is Retardedly and Blindly Liberal.

            Those two lines do not sit well together.

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

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

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

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: How to leak information...unintentionally

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

      2. cbars

        Re: I am confused

        @bombastic bob

        "NO discrimination is the best idea"

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

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

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: NO discrimination is the best idea

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

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am confused

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

      4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: I am confused

        because,REVERSE discrimination

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

      5. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: I am confused

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

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

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: I am confused

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

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

        3. normalperson

          Re: I am confused

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

          1. Jonathan Schwatrz
            Unhappy

            Re: normalperson Re: I am confused

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

      6. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

        Re: I am confused

        Down-voted due to all the SHOUTY caps.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I am confused

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

      1. cbars

        Re: I am confused

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

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

        @Jonathan Schwatrz: again. It was a joke

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am confused

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

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

      Just saying...

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: I am confused

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

          Is it a chicken and the egg situation, though?

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

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

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

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

          It is self-fulfilling.

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

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

          1. h4rm0ny
            Paris Hilton

            Re: I am confused

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

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

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

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: I am confused

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

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

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

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I am confused

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

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

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

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I am confused

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

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

                  1. h4rm0ny

                    Re: I am confused

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

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

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

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: I am confused

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

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

                    2. lucki bstard
                      Joke

                      Re: I am confused

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

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I am confused

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

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

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

                  In that order.

                  So this is completely un-evidential and unscientific.

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

                  Either way the stats have a very low correlation.

            3. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: I am confused

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

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

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

            4. voster

              Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              1. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

                Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

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

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: I am confused

            "More women do not venture towards tech"

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

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: I am confused

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

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I am confused

                "Front end or back end?"

                Cough, splutter ...

              2. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: I am confused

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

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

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: I am confused

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

            1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Re: I am confused

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

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

        3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

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

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        4. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

          Re: I am confused

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

        5. Cederic

          Re: I am confused

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

      2. NerryTutkins

        Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am confused

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

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

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

      3. joea

        Re: I am confused

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

      4. voster
        Stop

        Re: I am confused

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

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

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

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

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

        costs and benefits"

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

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

        ideology"

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

        1. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

          Re: I am confused

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

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

      5. Spanners Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: I am confused

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

        Apparently, at least one of the people he quoted said he did not agree. They replied and said so.

        Actually, Damore seems to have been fired because he is an ar**hole. Holding really stupid opinions is one thing but pushing them round a, supposedly, knowledge based business was just stupid. That's what got him fired. Those around him probably knew his opinions anyway.

      6. evilhippo

        Re: I am confused

        You seem to think the author of this article is serious journalist seeking truth. Snap out of it!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am confused

      so google is a liberal brainwashing entity that loves money. it prefers to hire women so they can pay the women less. it hates hiring or keeping conservatives because conservatives are usually christian and don't buy into google's extreme liberal beatings.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am confused

        You're confused? I'm confused.

        I asked Google to remove links to One Angry Gamer from news search results, and they just ignored me. If they were 'SJWs' surely they'd have done it gladly.

        Maybe Google is the new BBC - viewed by liberals as fascists, and by conservatives as communists.

        1. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

          Re: I am confused

          "Maybe Google is the new BBC - viewed by liberals as fascists, and by conservatives as communists."

          Except that the "Fascists" were Marxists who'd decided that the workers weren't ever going to revolt and overthrow the man because they felt they had more in common with their fellow (country)man than foreign workers.

          (Look up Mussolini's bio if you doubt that!)

          So they developed National Socialism (based on national ties) as opposed to International Socialism (based on the international brotherhood of workers which never materialised).

          Then Stalin and Hitler fell out, Stalin won, his side wrote the history, and just like the Sunni and Shia are heretics to each other, and they hate each other more than they hate Christians or Jews, the International Socialists demonised the heretical, breakaway, National Socialists and made out they were the extreme far opposite of International Socialists as opposed to a different strand of left-winger!

          None of the left think that the BBC are more conservative than the Conservatives (who are pretty Blairite).

          They just don't think that everything the Beeb says agrees 100% with their favoured strand of Left-Wingery!

          And that's all they disagree with the Beeb over!

    5. Jonathan Schwatrz

      Re: cbars Re: I am confused

      "If you discriminate in all directions...." Well, no, as it is likely to be different staff at the company discriminating in different ways, but all just as liable as they are all supposed to be working in a non-discriminatory manner. It is quite easy for a large organization to actually have staff with completely opposing viewpoints that both think they are right when they tip the scales in what they view as "the right direction", and actually both are discriminatory in their hiring practices. Given that being pro-women and "minorities" is more hip'n'trendy I'm betting the majority of San Fran bias is more anti-white-male than pro, even if the guilty don't see it as being anti.

  2. kain preacher Silver badge

    Pay women less and when express an opinion fire them

  3. ST Silver badge
    Devil

    Damore, who has remained unemployed since leaving Google [ ... ]

    Something tells me that this lawsuit ain't gonna help with the unemployment situation.

    Fortunately, there's always Breitbart News or Alex Jones' Infowars. I'm sure they're looking for a few good caucasian, oppressed males.

    1. Mycho Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Damore, who has remained unemployed since leaving Google [ ... ]

      The Metro called, they want to know why you're not at your desk.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Damore, who has remained unemployed since leaving Google [ ... ]

      Might not help with employment prospects but will help with money problems.

      When he's done with Google he really should start considering libel actions against all the media outlets who misrepresented his paper. Especially the English ones.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damore, who has remained unemployed since leaving Google [ ... ]

      If I can type Goatse without hyperlinking it, surely you can do the same.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all okay, soon white males will be the minority, and then ought to be able to expect affirmative action.

    1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Coming soon!

      According to at least one source, you'll be there by 2060!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't bank on it!

    3. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Males, of any skin colour, are in the minority in my workplace. 52% female. And we're a tech outfit. As commented before we got there by discriminating against men during hiring and firing. It's not a pleasant place to be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is this a joke?

        You're close to having an equal workplace, with nearly fifty percent of each gender.

        Why is that such a bad thing? If you find it 'not a pleasant place to be' perhaps you need to have a deep introspective look at yourself and the flaws in your personality that lead you to think this is a bad setup!

        People are people and have different personalities. You need to be able to professionally cope with this, regardless of their gender. Women have been discriminated against in the workplace since recording of salaries and workplace jobs began! If you investigate historical records you can see that women were thought of as less intelligent to men and less reliable. This is evidently wrong, as many very successful women are in charge of companies ad perform not just as well as men, but in many cases better than men.

        You are old school and need to up your game. I was disgusted to see the upvotes for your post, which reveals you and the upvoters as backwards. Men have had an easy time of it heading up the latter in work environments.

        The same happened (and still happens in some states) to ethnic minorities in the USA, but now we have positive discrimination to attempt to apologise and alleviate this. We need to aim higher. Please can you, your upvoters and your attitude join the modern business world. Thanks.

        Edit: your post reminds me of the land-barons and elite classes who weren't happy about losing entitlement and money as a result of wealth redistribution during the better years of positive capitalism. They moaned, but were obviously proven wrong: the move for wealth redistribution was important and, historically analysed, completely necessary. It's now necessary again due to a bad decade for the middle and lower earners in the world since the financial crash.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why the downvotes?

          I really don't understand.

          Many posts here are implicitly suggesting that women were employed even though there were better men available. I'm afraid that's really not what has happened in your workplaces. Your idea of what was a good fit for those jobs was wrong, because you stereotyped based on what you viewed in the past. The past was dominated by males, so you learned to think that was surely the best fit in a workplace. Now that things are changing and equality is at the forefront of minds, you're questioning based on your past experience.

          As with many things in history; oppression of non-whites (the USA 'stole' the non-whites from abroad to enslave them, remember?) was wrong, male dominance was and is wrong, as are numerous other instances of failure of humans to work fairly and effectively together.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Good code, low bugs, willingness to work hard near deadlines are not "wrong ideas" acquired through a history of "White males". They're objective qualities that remain the same for anyone of any sex and any skin colour. Your post is terrifyingly wrong.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Why the downvotes?

            I really don't understand.

            Possibly because you made the assertion that, simply because someone didn't like working in a particular 50/50 environment, that there must be something flawed about their personality, when all you know about the environment is one specific demographic statistic.

            You assumed that it was the gender spread that was the problem, rather than the business culture which would create a company which is willing to break the law in order to hire people based on their sexual organs, rather than their ability to do the work.

            You then followed on by calling any one who agreed with them "backward" and disgusting, which generally won't gain you any friends either.

            Many posts here are implicitly suggesting that women were employed even though there were better men available. I'm afraid that's really not what has happened in your workplaces.

            Here you appear to think that you know about other peoples' workplaces better than the people who actually work there?

            You wrote: "People are people and have different personalities." You need to remember that businesses are run, owned, and operated by people, all with different personalities. So you cannot assume that what goes for one business also goes for any other business.

            The past was dominated by males, so you learned to think that was surely the best fit in a workplace. Now that things are changing and equality is at the forefront of minds, you're questioning based on your past experience.

            We're talking about the "tech" sector. The present is dominated by males. Barring any attempts at press-ganging women (ie. forcing them into careers they don't like or want), this is likely to continue to be the case until a larger percentage of tech-interested women start making their way through the education system.

            If you investigate historical records you can see that women were thought of as less intelligent to men and less reliable. This is evidently wrong, as many very successful women are in charge of companies ad perform not just as well as men, but in many cases better than men.

            This is a logical fallacy. A few exceptional members of a population cannot be used to derive trends about the population as a whole.

            If you investigate historical records then, yes, even as women were generally considered less intellectually capable than men, you will find that there have been many women - throughout history - who were recognised for their intelligence and talent, and considered to be the intellectual equal of any man.

            But "intelligence" has always been a red herring, as the "problem" in tech diversity is a lack of interest - by adolescent girls and the other proportionally under-represented groups.

            1. David Nash Silver badge

              @AC

              "You assumed that it was the gender spread that was the problem, "

              To be fair, your original post did very much imply that, without saying so explicitly, especially as you gave no other reason for it being unpleasant.

          3. jmch Silver badge

            "implicitly suggesting that women were employed even though there were better men available"

            The idea of 'better' is a very faulty one. Typically when hiring for any post, unless it's an extremely niche post, there will be a number of candidates who could all do the job competently and equivalently to one another for equivalent salary, without there being a 'better' one.

            At this point, historically hiring maangers often went for those who 'felt' a better fit and mostly white males would (unconsciously, or even consciously) mostly hire white males. If in that equivalency situation a conscious decision is taken to hire the non-white or female, I have no problem with that - it's hiring one of the best people to do the job. Whereas if you listen to some complaining about this tye of discrimination, you would think that companies are happy to hire minorities even if they are absolute fuckwits...hmmmm I think rather it's more likey that racists believe other minorities are stupid than care to admit that 'the other' can be as smart as they are.

            In Damore's particular case of course, it's more complex (as it always is, in real life). His point was more that different people are suited to different jobs, and that while it's possible to characterise for example a gender as statistically in aggregate being more suited for a specific job, companies aren't hiring statistical aggregates, they are hiring individuals, and individuals should be hired on their own merits, which very often do not match those of their statistically aggregated peer group

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "At this point, historically hiring mangers often went for those who 'felt' a better fit and mostly white males would (unconsciously, or even consciously) mostly hire white males."

              as someone who was responsible for building an IT dept from scratch I take issue with this. In all the hiring that I did over a 15 year period I have to advise that I had a very minimal response from any female applicants. I hired males (even though I would have loved to hire even 1 female) for every position simply because I had next to no other choice. The few non-male applicants that did apply did not have the correct skill set to match the job requirements - plain and simple! And before someone says it's bias and that I excluded people on purpose - both the HR Manager and the CEO were women, The people that they have since hired (since I left 2 years ago - and yes I keep in touch with my former colleagues) have ALL BEEN MALE.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              ... you would think that companies are happy to hire minorities even if they are absolute fuckwits.. ...

              Probably not happy, but, in the USA they are totally steeped in retarded and divisive identity politics and "affirmative action" rules to rub it in, so they basically *have to create* the very same tribal composition inside the company as exists outside, in society. Especially within government organisations and government contractors. To make the diversity-numbers, HR will pad with "diversity candidates" because it rarely come back to HR that they hired some duds.

              The EU perspective and the US is totally different. Maybe that is driving the discussion?

              Identity politics did not (yet) take off in Europe, thank God. Here we mostly find only the candidates that were most competent when the hiring process was done, what they *are* is a secondary thing.

              The last couple of times I hired women, one Greek, one Iranian.

              Very good they are, the most trouble I have with hiring them is that a certain tribe of men in their 50'ies that cannot bear than a 30'ish female is not only smarter and more productive than they are, but, because they deliver above expectations also gets more influence on the project, while those elephants gets less and less because they speak rubbish too much instead of delivering. Then they try to dominate the wimmin in the only way they can, by harassing them, and we get HR in over the bullying, which takes time and effort.

              The younger men are no trouble at all (apart from one or two "outliers", which I think has personality disorders, like it sounds like the Google person has. Yes, we get rid of those too - there is too much maintenance required).

              PS - I also hired two young scotsmen, also very competent and able to think for themselves, so I am lucky so far.

          4. lucki bstard

            'Many posts here are implicitly suggesting that women were employed even though there were better men available' - You can prove that how??? If you can prove it then get those sue balls rolling if you want to make a difference.

            'numerous other instances of failure of humans to work fairly and effectively together.' - So by that standards El Reg's forums are wrong and you should find them too repugnance to post in them. You might want to thing on that one a while.

        2. lucki bstard

          'not a pleasant place to be' - That might just be because he prefers a meritocracy? It also tells me that your a person who stridently expects their workplace to reflect their personal political views, that would make it unpleasant simply because I prefer a workplace where I work. Interesting to see your discriminatory behavior, maybe your'd like to go after the Royal colleague of Midwives next and indeed any major HR company as well.

          'People are people and have different personalities' - So you agree with Damore

          'You need to be able to professionally cope with this, regardless of their gender' - Danmore's memo says this your language says you are unable to do this.

          'Women have been discriminated against in the workplace since recording of salaries and workplace jobs began!' - Damn right they have, its illegal in the UK for them to work in coal mines, they die in less workplace deaths, occupy proportionally more finance/hr roles; work fewer shift jobs and combine this with living (on average) longer then men. It's a big positive step towards equalization in the work place that some industrial countries have decided that state pension age should be equalized and women retire at the same age as men; now that parental leave can be claimed by men it allows men to be more involved with their children at an early age. I look forward to the time when men are not seen as effeminate by staying at home and looking after children as well. When women start equalizing the missing person figures, violent death figures, criminal incarceration figures, suicide figures, heart attack deaths figures then truly the world will be a more equal place.

      2. Mooseman Bronze badge

        " we got there by discriminating against men during hiring and firing."

        Got any evidence for that? If so, that's illegal (or at least it is in the UK)

        If not......

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Yes. Standing instructions to recruitment agents to only send candidate lists if they're at least 50% female. Pre-interview coaching to female candidates. Jobs advertised on "women in IT forums" before the open market.

          It might be illegal, but how do the hundreds of overlooked male candidates even know they were overlooked to take action?

          It's unpleasant for the same reason that apartheid South Africa was unpleasant.

          1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

            Comparison with apartheid?

            Ludicrous, hyperbolic, wrong.

            1. Adam 52 Silver badge

              Re: Comparison with apartheid?

              Hyperbolic, yes.

              Wrong, I don't think so. Apartheid was about discrimination in basic human rights on the base of race. Dear of workplace rights on the basis of gender is a similar concept. Less extreme, obviously, but the same mindset.

              They was I look at it is this - just substitute any protected characteristic in your policy or change the polarity of the policy. If it looks dodgy then you're discriminating badly.

              By way of example "our policy is to only hire Muslims because we're under quota". Or "our policy is to stop hiring Christians".

              1. sabroni Silver badge

                Re: Wrong, I don't think so.

                Think more, you'll work it out eventually....

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Comparison with apartheid?

                I think the apartheid comparison is a bit over the top. Last time I looked, women didn't have to travel in separate train carriages to men, or live in different areas of town, unless they obtained the correct papers to allow them to live in a shed at the bottom of the garden. Not even in Silicon Valley.

              3. Adam 52 Silver badge

                Re: Comparison with apartheid?

                Or try it another way:

                "You can't go on that bus because you're black."

                "You can't go on that training course because you're male."

                Or, generally,

                "You can't do [x] because of [protected characteristic]"

                What's the conceptual difference?

              4. Adam 52 Silver badge

                Re: Comparison with apartheid?

                To labour the point a little, imagine The Register saying to Drew, "you can't write that Intel bug scoop story you discovered because you're a man".

                I was told last month "You can't present at that conference because the gender balance won't be 50/50. Rachel is going instead." Despite that Rachel didn't work on the project we're presenting. One of my bonus objectives is to present at conferences, so it materially affects my pay.

                Don't get me wrong, I love my job but the toxic policies are spoiling it.

              5. voster

                Re: Comparison with apartheid?

                "They was I look at it is this - just substitute any protected characteristic in your policy or change the polarity of the policy. If it looks dodgy then you're discriminating badly.

                By way of example "our policy is to only hire Muslims because we're under quota". Or "our policy is to stop hiring Christians""

                That's bollocks. Context is key.

                The full context for your statement could be:

                our policy is to only hire Muslims because we're under quota, and Muslims have been traditionally shut out of these professions unfairly"

                To take apartheid as an example, after it was abolished:

                "our policy is to hire more blacks in government" would sound ridiculous if 'blacks' are replaced with 'whites'.

                But put context in:

                "our policy is to hire more blacks in government because before 1990, they were completely excluded from it"

                Now try substituting 'white' for 'black' and you can see that the statement no longer makes sense.

                Context.

                1. Adam 52 Silver badge

                  Re: Comparison with apartheid?

                  Funnily enough I always thought that Robert Mugabe's policy of forcible and violent rebalancing land ownership in Zimbabwe was wrong too.

                  Just to spell it out for the hard of thinking, it's not the same physical thing but it's the same argument and Machiavellian thought process.

            2. lucki bstard

              Re: Comparison with apartheid?

              I believe your US so I'll quote from Merriam-Webster for you;

              'Definition of apartheid

              1 : racial segregation; specifically : a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa

              2 : separation, segregation cultural apartheid gender apartheid'

              See definition 2, please your meant to be a professional learn your craft and improve your communication skills if you don't like it start another job elsewhere; no-one will mind.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
            Facepalm

            "It's unpleasant for the same reason that apartheid South Africa was unpleasant."

            Apartheid South Africa: famous for mandating every company be 50% black and 50% white. A model of equality that has inspired us all, ever since.

          3. anothercynic Silver badge

            @Adam 52

            Unless you are black and of a specific age that indicates you lived through Apartheid in South Africa, don't start preaching on about how your current situation equates to Apartheid in South Africa, because you wouldn't even fathom what it meant in real life terms.

            So. Are you black, South African, and of that specific age to preach on about how your current situation equates to Apartheid? I'll wait.

    4. voster

      "It's all okay, soon white males will be the minority, and then ought to be able to expect affirmative action."

      It's not minority status that's used as an argument for affirmative action, but being subjected to systemic biases.

      Whether these biases are correctly observed or not, is not what I'm arguing. After all, Asian Americans and Jewish American populations rarely receive affirmative action.

  5. inmypjs Silver badge

    Funny how...

    one of the shittiest, privacy violating, evil companies in the world has so many staff running around SJWing.

    Perhaps they see it as some kind penance or compensation for their sins.

    1. Eguro

      Re: Funny how...

      What does SJWing even mean?

      1. malle-herbert Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: What does SJWing even mean?

        Social Justice Warrior...

      2. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Funny how...

        What does SJWing even mean?

        SJW is like a generic version of the n-word that can be applied to any uppity minority.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Funny how...

          No. SJW (Social Justice Warrior) are people who see everything in terms of advancing groups, rather than seeing people as individuals. So for example doctrine of White privilege trumping an individual's actual circumstances. Which is obviously a negative because people aren't defined by their skin colour, sex or sexuality.

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Funny how...

          "SJW is like a generic version of the n-word that can be applied to any uppity minority"

          Clueless dumb fsk.

          SJWs fight for a just society in order to demonstrate to themselves and other they are virtuous. This would not be a problem except they use their own definition of just which is at least 95% wrong 95% of the time.

      3. spacecadet66

        Re: Funny how...

        It means "left-ish person I don't like."

      4. Eguro
        Meh

        Re: Funny how...

        I think you all misunderstood me.

        I know SJW stands for Social Justice Warrior.

        I meant to ask: What does "SJWing" - as a verb - mean in this context? What exactly are the Google staffers doing that can be described as SJWing?

        If I am to go by one of the replies I've gotten, it means Google has employed people who "end up unemployable".

        I was asking for some specifics to help me understand what the comment was meant to say. Do Google hire people to simply roam around doing SJW stuff - and in that case what is that stuff specifically and why is it good or bad - and why do Google think it worth paying someone for?

        I ask, because until there's some actual meaning placed to the term SJWing, it's a catch-all into which we can all pour our best or worst interpretations, and then argue endlessly because we aren't arguing about the same thing at all.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Funny how...

          >>I meant to ask: What does "SJWing" - as a verb - mean in this context? What exactly are the Google staffers doing that can be described as SJWing?

          It means, basically, sticking your nose in people's business and advancing SJW agendas and control. So examples from the court filing would be the attempts to exclude people from meetings because they were a known Trump supporter or get people fired because they'd openly expressed contrary views (e.g. that chromasomes determine if you're a man or a woman) or creating hiring policies that discriminate against people who are male, as is the case in Google. Basically, SJWing is doing what SJWs do.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Funny how...

        What does SJWing even mean?

        It means that the person who used it can't compete on an intellectual basis with those he/she/it denigrates and so chooses to label them en-masse instead..

        IMHO of course.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What does SJWing even mean?

        Rule of 'Likes', Trial by Twatter, exile to Goolag.

        When the courts reject your fucktard ideals, you go to war. Social media witch hunts, New McCarthyism, online censorship, "Anti"-Fascist riots. JUSTICE!!!1!!

      7. rh587

        Re: What does SJWing even mean?

        Social Justice Warrior

        1. See Rachel Dolezal

        She was president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington, from 2014 until June 15, 2015, when she resigned after it was revealed that she had lied about being African American,

        In June 2015, Dolezal came to media attention when her European American parents stated publicly that Dolezal was a white woman passing as black.

        Dolezal and her defenders contend her racial identity is genuine while not based on biology or ancestry. In a November 2015 television interview, Dolezal publicly stated for the first time since the controversy began that she was born white but still identified as black.

        The mind boggles. I thought "blacking up" was considered offensive these days...

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: What does SJWing even mean?

          She's pushing the claim that she is Transracial. That you can identify as a different ethnicity than the one you actually are.

          So, next time you'd like a job but they're not hiring anyone but minorities you just tell them you're transracial, and identify as (INSERT NEW ETHNICITY HERE)

          1. fajensen Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: What does SJWing even mean?

            She's pushing the claim that she is Transracial. That you can identify as a different ethnicity than the one you actually are.

            .... And the rantings of this particular brand of lunacy only seem to matter and only gets reported because too many people spend too much time on "social media" immersed in a torrent of globalised stupidity rather than going to the pub and rant & rave impotently like a normal, healthy, person does.

            Sometimes, more and more often, I think the internet will turn out to be the worst invention ever!

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Funny how...

      Sounds like something an 'SJW' would say...

    3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Funny how...

      Social Justice Warrior...You know...Those hippies who take gender studies instead of real qualifications, end up unemployable and spend every waking hour protesting something.

      Irony alert: They're usually white and complaining how white people are evil and privileged for daring to be white. Their agenda sees a white homeless person as more privileged in society than a rich person of a different skin colour.

      See Lily Allen and JK Rowling for more info: Privileged, rich, live in fancy mansions in posh areas. Always complaining about immigration and issues we should pay for, but not them personally. That we should take all refugees that ask, as long as they don't have to live near them.

      1. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: Funny how...

        "See Lily Allen and JK Rowling for more info: Privileged, rich, live in fancy mansions in posh areas. Always complaining about immigration and issues we should pay for, but not them personally. That we should take all refugees that ask, as long as they don't have to live near them"

        Been reading the Daily Mail too much?

        1. David Nash Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Funny how...

          How much is too much Daily Mail? One page? One story?

          1. mattje

            Re: Funny how...

            One hateful idea

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Social Justice Warrior

        I have difficulties understanding the position of all those activists proclaiming group A is better than group B. Especially when they have to convince group B to admit its own inferiority by paying the bill for group A. And somehow their propaganda is not about pulling the inferior up to the same level of superiority but about bring the superior to some universal inferiority.

      3. Davidmb

        You're trying too hard

        When the trolling starts to sound strained I have to downvote.

        However, I do like the mocking of the view that there's an "elite" that are simultaneously unemployable layabouts while also starting all the most successful companies and running the media.

        The only bit you missed was the shadowy group who somehow co-ordinate the billionaires, hippies, dole scrounging single mums, actors, pop stars, refugees and muslims.

      4. ratfox Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Funny how...

        Those hippies who take gender studies instead of real qualifications, end up unemployable...

        ...and work for Google.

        Like the Schrödinger immigrants who never work and take our jobs.

      5. spacecadet66

        Re: Funny how...

        Nice, nice. Stick some old clothes on that strawman and stick it in the field, that'll keep the birds away.

      6. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Funny how...

        @ Tigra 07

        "See Lily Allen and JK Rowling for more info: Privileged, rich, live in fancy mansions in posh areas"

        Maybe you missed Rowling beiung single mum, skint, writing first HP book on benefits?

        She may be rich now but she knows all about being poor... That's why she is one of the few ultra wealthy UK people to pay a fair amount of tax instead of using dubious accountancy tax "avoidance" tricks so beloved by most super rich.

        (disclosure: Not a fan of HP works, nor of much of Rowling's views e.g. her anti Scottish devolution stance but she is a classic "rags to riches" person)

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Funny how...

          She's just demolished the house next door while we have a housing shortage so that she can extend her garden.

          She has 18 rooms in her house and could take in many homeless or refugees.

          She is a billionaire after all

      7. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Funny how...

        @Tigra 07, stop reading the Daily Heil and The Scum.

        JK Rowling was anything *but* rich. She came from *nothing*. You seem to forget that. So JK Rowling has *every* right and reason to be a social justice warrior because she has seen both sides of the coin and *knows* how crap 'the other side' is. And you bitching on about how she demolished a house next door to extend her garden sounds more like bitter envy than your purported claim to be concerned about the housing shortage.

        Lily Allen... I can't speak for her.

        1. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Funny how...

          "JK Rowling was anything *but* rich"

          Her greatest achievement was writing a popular series of children's fantasy books.

          She knows FA about anything and her opinions should be valued as such. Having a bazzilion twatter followers doesn't make you smart or right.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: anothercynic

          I'm not bothered where she came from. I'm bothered by millionaire/billionaire socialites in posh all white neighbourhoods (that have never taken a single refugee i'll bet) lecturing us to take in more refugees, keep the uncontrolled immigration flowing, and that everyone should pay for this.

          Lead by example.

          PS: And you need to learn the difference between bitching and hypocracy when talking of a billionaire demolishing needed housing, living in a huge empty house that lectures us constantly to take in more people we don't have housing for.

        3. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

          Re: Funny how...

          No, she's white colonialist.

          She should check her privilege!

    4. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

      Re: Funny how...

      "Funny how... one of the shittiest, privacy violating, evil companies in the world has so many staff running around SJWing."

      Have an up-vote!

  6. Ole Juul Silver badge

    and not based on their individual merits?

    "Damore, who has remained unemployed since leaving Google . . . "

    You'd think he'd be able to find a job based on his "merits".

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: and not based on their individual merits?

      You'd think he'd be able to find a job based on his "merits"

      well, not having seen the guy's resume, who knows. I'd suggest that he leave silly valley and go to Texas. Silly Valley has probably labeled him "troublemaker", and there's no casting couch big/wide enough for him to get his 'favor' back. OK that last part was kinda, bad. coat, please.

      1. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

        Texas....

        You think the Texas tech sector is significantly less liberal than Silicon Valley? Perhaps outside of the major urban centres. Guns are often allowed though.

        1. Symon Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Texas....

          I thought all the tech companies were moving to Phoenix? Should be a bit less liberal for you, although Sheriff Joe Arpaio has gone now...

          1. DougS Silver badge

            @Symon - Sheriff Joe Arpaio

            Just saw in the news today he's planning to run for Senate to fill the seat Jeff Flake is vacating. So now there are two Trumpsters and one mainstream republican vying for the republican nomination.

            I'm sure the democrats they get to run against Arpaio, it would be like Roy Moore all over again, but in a state much less red so it would be an easy victory unless they nominate a bigger crook than Sheriff Joe.

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: and not based on their individual merits?

        Woah, someone tell Bob his account has been hacked - not a single SHOUTY, a dead give-away!

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: and not based on their individual merits?

      Suing his previous employer is not going to help him find future employment, whether that employer is of a more liberal or conservative bent. One thing employers of all political persuasions can agree on is they don't want employees who will sue them - and there is no anti-discrimination law preventing employers from googling a potential employee and tossing his/her resume in the trash if they have previously sued their former employer and made the news even in the UK while doing so.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: and not based on their individual merits?

        "Suing his previous employer is not going to help him find future employment, "

        Which is pretty much the argument Harvey Weinstein used.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: and not based on their individual merits?

        Are you always against former employees suing for wrongful dismissal? Or just in Damore's case?

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: and not based on their individual merits?

      >>You'd think he'd be able to find a job based on his "merits".

      Really? Any company that hires him will be set upon by online hate campaigns. You know this is the case. So why snarkily suggest he's unemployed because he lacks skills.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and not based on their individual merits?

      You'd think he'd be able to find a job based on his "merits".

      Given his newfound notoriety, what he's doing is the highest and best use of his time. It should be financially rewarding for him and beneficial to the public at large.

  7. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

    In the same way that executing a murderer is not itself somehow equivocal to murder, because the violator forfeits any further right to consideration of the principle he violated.

    1. deive

      Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

      It kinda is murder still, that's why the civilised world doesn't have capital punishment.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

        Yeah, that example sucks, but the argument is valid. The only thing I try to discriminate against is discrimination. Is that wrong?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

          well, if it's discriminating discrimination .....

          Sir Humphrey

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

          No. But it assumes he was being discriminatory and having read both his memo and substantial parts of this court filing, I don't think he was and has in fact been the real victim of discrimination. He was unquestionably fired for his views, not any action. And his views were not discriminatory. He was very clearly advocating a merit-based approach rather than race / sexuality approach that Google demonstrably is using.

          1. Oh Homer Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: "his views were not discriminatory"

            You need to take another look at his rant:

            "The manifesto claimed women were more prone to "neuroticism" than men, and essentially tried to make the case that girls just typically don't make good engineers."

            Not only is that clearly discriminatory, it's also crass hypocrisy, given the supposed purpose of his little invective.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

      Always a funny argument that the state should kill people who kill people to teach people that killing people is bad...

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

        There's a bit of irony that those at Her Majesty's Pleasure have been known to rape the rapists.

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

        @Tigra: I'm more inclined to believe that the state kills people to stop them from killing someone else, rather than as an object lesson in morality.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: Punishing discrimination is not discrimination

          Locking them up does the same. And there's solitary confinement and secure wings for the really dangerous crims. Either the state kills them as a punishment, or it's to save money on housing them for decades.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh the misleading...

    Article Words: "The missive claimed women were more prone to "neuroticism" than men, and essentially tried to make the case that girls typically don't make good engineers."

    Actual Words: "Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs." and "...differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics."

    At most, it meant they are better as 'front end' type engineers, not "girls typically don't make good engineers".

    Actually, it didn't even state what makes a "good engineer" (heck being good at coding doesn't make me a good engineer. It makes me a good programmer. /joke)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh the misleading...

      Absolutely. He didn't say what he is being universally reported as saying. People need to read his article.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Oh the misleading...

        I have tried reporting factual mistakes to the newspapers but they're not interested. The press, Reg included, seems to have its own agenda.

        Maybe that's why they are all so anti-Leveson.

      2. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Oh the misleading...

        Balls. He articles basically sums up to "They aren't as good as me at what I do because I have a penis and they don't, silly ******* women! I'd be running this company if I was a gay, disabled, black, muslim furry". The fact that he wrapped it up in so much prosaic verbiage just shows he knew what he was saying was bigoted.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Oh the misleading...

          "The fact that he wrapped it up in so much prosaic verbiage just shows he knew what he was saying was bigoted."

          So, in your opinion, someone who writes 'statistically speaking, males under the age of 40 make up a disproportionate number of the offenders for violent crimes such as murder, with the subset of black males again being disproportionately represented' really means 'men are murdering bastards, black men especially so' but they don't have the balls to say it? Maybe nuance is there because things are nuanced.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh the misleading...

            Nuances? Statistics? What nuances?

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh the misleading...

      If the article linked by AC is the original text published then there must be either something else going on we don't know about or Google really are a bunch of hpersensitive idiots who probably are guilty of what is being suggested. The article states that women - 'on average' - and men are different so there should be different expectations about the types of jobs they might prefer so full gender diversity may not be obtainable. No where do I see (in my quick scan) any calls for women to be treated less preferentially than men, for women to be paid less for the same job or even the suggestion that women cannot do the job as well as men (please correct me if I've missed the relevant part in my scan through- need to rush out to work). I wonder if this was just an excuse by Google to offload someone with 'personality issues'.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Ilmarinen

        Re: Oh the misleading...

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh the misleading...

          @ Ilmarinen

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

        2. voster

          Re: Oh the misleading...

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

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

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

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

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: Oh the misleading...

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

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

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Oh the misleading...

      Thank you AC for the link El Reg damn well should have included to the actual text. The opening paragraph of the article could hardly be more wrong about it, although (from memory) some previous Reg coverage of the story has been much better.

      I think the crucial question here is, how central was the memo itself to his firing? That is to say, it is presumably one element in an unhappy relationship that Google terminated (note that the same is likely to apply in many cases near-automatically ruled as discrimination by our courts, such as firing a pregnant employee). If it's really all about the memo then he certainly deserves to win. But for all we know, he might have been on the point of being fired anyway for something unrelated.

      What I find disturbing is that it's even remotely *plausible* that he got dismissed for writing the memo. It's plausible because the forces of Political Correctness - being also a dominant Establishment in many areas - show extreme intolerance to dissenting views. That's nothing new: Tom Sharpe mused on "the intolerance of tolerance" back in the 1970s (Wilt), while in a more serious work from the same era, Ursula LeGuin's thought experiment in The Dispossessed explores the repression inherent in "progressive" norms.

      Right now, the US is suffering the beginnings of a backlash against Political Correctness. The fact that Trump is such an a** will set back that backlash, but a next wave in 10 or 20 years could be a whole lot nastier if the SJW stranglehold isn't loosened.

    4. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      "...therefore Socrates is a dog"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        @Kristian Walsh

        Thanks!

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

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: @Kristian Walsh

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

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

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

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

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            @h4rmony Re: @Kristian Walsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: @h4rmony @Kristian Walsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

                Re: @h4rmony @Kristian Walsh

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

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

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

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

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

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: @h4rmony @Kristian Walsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2. Nick Kew Silver badge

        @ Kristian Walsh

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

        Firing him just demonstrates absolute intolerance of dissent.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Kristian Walsh

          >Firing him just demonstrates absolute intolerance of dissent.

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

      3. lucki bstard

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

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

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

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

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

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

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

      4. James 47

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

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

    5. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

      Re: Oh the misleading...

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

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

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

      It's a fucking lie.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Oh the misleading...

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

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

  9. deevee

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

  10. Phil Kingston Silver badge

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

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Facepalm

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

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge
        Headmaster

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

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

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

        And - final pedantic quibble - women as a minority?

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

    3. h4rm0ny

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

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

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Help! Help! I'm being repressed

    Conservative views eh?

    Now there's ya problem.

  12. asheep

    Translation

    Here's a translation:

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

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

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

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Translation

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

  13. Mycho Silver badge

    Is he still being represented by Harmeet Dhillon?

  14. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    So they want the right to express discriminatory views?

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

    1. h4rm0ny

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

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

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

  15. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    cry me a river.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

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

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

        1. h4rm0ny

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

        2. James 47

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

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

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

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

          2. Wilseus

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

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

      2. My Alter Ego

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

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

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

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

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

    2. bexley

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

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

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

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

      1. rh587

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

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

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

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

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

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

      2. lucki bstard

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

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

  17. JLV Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

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

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

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

      1. JLV Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2. h4rm0ny

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

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

      1. rh587

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

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

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

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

        1. h4rm0ny

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

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

  18. nsld

    Unemployed

    Can't he be this weeks leader of UKIP?

  19. RobertLongshaft

    El Reg - FAKE NEWS

    I'm sorry but this article is full of FAKENEWS!

    Taking parts of the white paper and using them out of context. This is what James Dalmore said

    "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem."

    El Reg said

    "The manifesto claimed women were more prone to "neuroticism" than men, and essentially tried to make the case that girls just typically don't make good engineers."

    LIES LIES LIES LIES

    This is what James actually said:

    Personality differences

    Women, on average, have more:

    Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).

    These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.

    Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.

    This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.

    Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs."

    But why bother reporting the truth when you have a massive LEFT WING bias eh?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: El Reg - FAKE NEWS

      Whilst we are on the subject of Bias - try looking up and understanding Confirmation Bias.

      Damore's whole post was a sophisticated version of the old "I'm not sexist but....." trope. (insert your -ism as appropriate). The fact that he effectively employment-Darwined himself and still apparently cant accept it only confirms how right Google were.

      The fact that so many are people posting and upvoting stuff like the above with a similar tone even on something relatively centrist and rational as El Reg shows you just what an insidious problem this stuff is.

      There will always be a large minority of people who don't believe there is a problem because they got to where they are "on merit", and blindly ignoring the fact that the playing field (of whatever kind) was never level in the first place, mainly because everything in their life to that point is predicated on them *not* getting that fact.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias - read it and every time you react to something without thinking long and hard - check yourself for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: El Reg - FAKE NEWS

        Why not read it yourself? You just posted a textbook example.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just left here wondering...

    ...why they have their own version of 4chan running in the workplace.?

    1. lucki bstard

      Re: I'm just left here wondering...

      Privacy - lack of it... I mean Google has to have a test lab somewhere, why not in house?

  21. bexley

    I hope that he wins

    He didn´t say anything wrong, he, as far as we know, did not do anything wrong.

    All he did was dare to challenge the regressive liberal narrative which is destroying companies.

    1. spacecadet66

      Re: I hope that he wins

      Yes, Google sure looks like it's in bad shape.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope that he wins

      >regressive liberal narrative which is destroying companies

      That Google eh? When did they ever make money? And those famous lefties Apple - I bet they must be bankrupt..

      (Just two examples to show what an idiotic statement yours was)

      1. lucki bstard

        Re: I hope that he wins

        Google doesn't make money, Alphabet does; Apple doesn't make much money its holding company does.

        Please stop being naive and remember most things happen because of money/sex/power

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hope that he wins

        >regressive liberal narrative which is destroying companies

        This is ridiculous hyperbole. They are doing perfectly well financially.

        It is however perfectly fair to describe their culture as being directly responsible for destroying civil debate in society. Not blindly agreeing with our supposed "betters" on an ever increasing variety of subjects is now wrongthink. If it is easily demonstratable that our "betters" are factually incorrect (or worse incapable of basic logic or math) then that's double plus ungood thoughtcrime. The expression of throughtcrime is punished by gangs of vigilanties operating outside of and in contempt of the law.

        This has led to moderate civil debate being largely eliminated, which let one side do pretty much whatever they wanted to for a while without much in the way of question. With moderate opinion sucessfully supressed, they continued advancing well beyond the point of prudence until encountering opposition. This led to Brexit in the UK, and Trump in America. Both are simple reactions to pushing people too far and are largely deserved by the people who have been pushing dangerously flawed agendas.

        An intelligent person at this point would reflect that this has been a phyrric victory and try to build up the moderates before things society breaks down totally, but the inherent problem in gangs and mobs is that they aren't accountable or controllable and have the collective IQ of the lowest member, which means that they probably aren't intelligent enough to spot the problem.

  22. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with discrimination

    When you interview 6 candidates but there is only one job then the whole point is that you must discriminate against the other 5 on grounds of competence. Where things go bad is when you discriminate against protected characteristics such as race, gender, disability, and so on. It's not legal (in UK) to say we don't have enough female employees in this company so we will only consider employing a female candidate. Same goes for firing the white males you might consider you have too many of already.

    Will be interesting to see how this court case turns out.

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: There is absolutely nothing wrong with discrimination

      Illegal, you say?

      https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/09/more-half-labours-target-candidates-be-women

  23. LucasNorth

    Question social justice dogma at your peril

  24. Wibble

    Where are the women in tech jobs?

    Throughout my entire 40 year career in IT one thing has always been the same: there's very few women in *technical* jobs. I've worked with a few but a fraction of the number of men. When I used to teach, the more technical the course the fewer - if any - women would be present. Same with IT technical conferences, very few women.

    There's lots of women in project management and support. Same with testing and training. But so few in really technical roles. Same in other technical roles such as airline pilots.

    Why is this? I've no idea why there's so few female geeks. Seems to be some deep-rooted sociological reason.

    However it does strike me that discriminating in *any* way when recruiting is just plain dumb -- "positive discrimination" just means you've a much smaller candidate list.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

      For the same reason that more women become nurses than men, more men watch sport and more women watch Strictly Come Dancing - men and women enjoy different things.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

        > men and women enjoy different things

        And nothing at all to do with the programming that kids get when you eh?

        (It's a more complicated situation than just "enjoy different things")

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

          Whatever the reason for them enjoying different things, that doesn't change the fact that they actually and definitely do enjoy different things.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

            The important thing people keep dropping from Damore's works is "on average" and "in general". At no point does he comment on or exclude individuals based on their sex. That is critical.

            It's okay to say men or women tend towards different things (if you can support that). It becomes discrimination when you say "you are this sex therefore you the individual must do such."

            1. Nick Kew Silver badge

              @h4rm0ny

              The important thing people keep dropping from Damore's works is "on average" and "in general". At no point does he comment on or exclude individuals based on their sex. That is critical.

              Exactly. If only that were the whole story.

              I tend to be more cautious than to say "on average" or "in general" in such matters, because I know that just leads to futile arguments. Yet I too periodically find myself on the wrong side of SJW fury. You don't have to express an actual contrary view, you just have to suggest it's possible there might be an explanation other than discrimination for not having a 50:50 male/female split to be labelled a dinosaur.

              It becomes discrimination when you say "you are this sex therefore you the individual must do such."

              And it becomes repression when you get attacked for an innocent transgression.

              p.s. Next time someone dogmatically insists that a count of bums-on-seats proves an injustice, ask them how they plan to equalise the male and female prison populations. It's the same bogus argument.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

          And nothing at all to do with the programming that kids get when you eh?

          I'm a parent and am blessed with both genders. They are both wonderful and yet inherently different. You say that it's the "programming" - well hate to spoil your day, but my son and daughter are VERY different with no special programming. They both have access to the same toys, they both do the same sports (gymnastics, dancing, soccer etc) - and yet, my son could care less about how he's dressed, what colours he's wearing etc - yet my daughter will throw up the biggest tantrum in the world if you try to dress her in something she doesn't like. Also, my daughter LOVES dolls, loves playing with them etc - my son could care less about them - for him it's lego etc...it's not programming. We did not in any way guide or attempt to influence them. My daughter is naturally different from my son - in their likes, the toys they play with etc...my daughter for example with spontaneously give a hug etc - my son normally will not...

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

      However it does strike me that discriminating in *any* way when recruiting is just plain dumb -- "positive discrimination" just means you've a much smaller candidate list.

      Depends who you are and how you do it, actually. Google is pretty much known to everybody, so their candidate list is everybody. But they also organize Anita Borg scholarships and participate to events encouraging women to work in tech in general and at Google in particular.

      On the other hand, if your recruiters are calling 50 new graduates a day, that's how many candidates you get. What difference does it make if they call the women first?

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

        >>"On the other hand, if your recruiters are calling 50 new graduates a day, that's how many candidates you get. What difference does it make if they call the women first?"

        Depends if you're one of the men and you lose out to someone less qualified than you because of your sex. And it would be the same the other way around, to be clear.

      2. Wibble

        Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

        @ratfox: Depends who you are and how you do it, actually. Google is pretty much known to everybody, so their candidate list is everybody. But they also organize Anita Borg scholarships and participate to events encouraging women to work in tech in general and at Google in particular.

        Isn't the point of recruitment to get the best fleshy organism for the job regardless of any other aspect?

        You appear to be saying that you start by narrowing the field, not by competence, but by some other factor. Then what you've got left is what exactly?

        I.e. you're looking for the best of the bunch not the best available for that role.

  25. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Neurotic woman posted memo to the Internet

    As part of an internal discussion, James Damore provided his opinion in a memo not meant for general distribution. The memo only became neurotic when some neurotic woman posted it to the Internet. His main though-crime was criticizing Googles diversity program finding it secretive and shaming. It seems that the people at Google are diverse only some are more diverse than others.

    Google's Ideological Echo Chamber

  26. Ilmarinen
    FAIL

    Oh how El Reg is fallen

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

    I've read Damore's memo: "Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber - How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion".* It was well argued, moderate and does not contain any of the sentiments indicated in the El Reg article.

    This is "fake news" of the worst kind, and exemplifies why I rarely read El Reg these days.

    I only came here today to verify what the Beeb was saying about Intel's little problem. Don't think I'll be back anytime soon.

    * https://medium.com/@Cernovich/full-james-damore-memo-uncensored-memo-with-charts-and-cites-339f3d2d05f

    (copied by email to Editorial director John Lettice)

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Oh how El Reg is fallen

      It was well argued, moderate and does not contain any of the sentiments indicated in the El Reg article.

      I could agree that it does not contain those sentiments, but I have to disagree with well-argued and moderate.

      The thesis of the paper is that women make choices that are different from men, because they are on average biologically different from men. The conclusion is that Google should stop their diversity efforts, and not make their employees follow anti-bias training.

      The paper does not claim that the biological differences are significant enough to explain all or even most of the difference in results between men and women. The paper does not give any argument that bias does not exist. The paper does not explain why the status quo is optimal and should be left as is. Without these arguments, all that's left of the paper is the conclusion that the author wanted to reach, and a single factoid that generally goes in the right direction.

      This is in fact rather similar to what right-wing comments accuse the global warming argument from being: A single explanation (carbon pollution) is given for an effect (temperatures are going up); all other explanations are dismissed, and the conclusion is imposed.

      Completely omitted: Diversity means racial diversity as well as gender diversity. It is well-documented that resumes wearing names that sound African-American are rejected more often than those wearing names that sound white. This is not only unfair, it reduces the pool of candidates to hire from, which means it is detrimental to businesses. Which is why businesses want their employees to follow anti-bias training. There is not a single word in the article that contradicts this; yet the article somehow concludes that Google should stop its efforts to raise diversity, and again that includes racial diversity just as much as gender diversity.

      1. lucki bstard

        Re: Oh how El Reg is fallen

        'because they are on average biologically different from men' - Really, on average? A hermaphrodite would have both male and female sexual organs but that would make them different from both men and women.

        If you honestly believe that 'on average' they are biologically different from men, and then women must be on average biologically different from men then I strongly suggest that you improve your social life (social skills?); or your education.

      2. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

        Re: Oh how El Reg is fallen

        It is equally well documented (Google is your friend) that in the real world, in real life, when they try to anonymise candidates (eg in VAST swathes of Australian pubic sector jobs, or in schemes where even interviewing is done by anonymised, gender/race neutral, artificial voices) you get less diversity rather than more!

        1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Oh how El Reg is fallen

          Citation please.

          The immediate counter-argument is blind auditions for orchestras. Evidently, this eliminates gender bias: https://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2013/oct/14/blind-auditions-orchestras-gender-bias.

          Also in white collar jobs, blind screening aims to eliminate all selection biases, including age and education. So it means that older (probably more expensive) men who went to less prestigious universities or who did not attend university at all are not eliminated at the first hurdle.

  27. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Unhappy

    2 Points

    I have always thought that the gender ratios in IT sucked, in the 18 years I've been a full time developer i have worked with dozens of other blokes and a grand total of 3 women.

    Also this guy is a prat that got what he deserves certainly all of the employment contracts i have ever signed have a "Bringing the company into disrepute" clause which in the UK at least means that making a news story political statement against to the company ethos is grounds for being fired.

    In short when it comes to politics in the workplace ether stand by your guns and collect your lumps or shut up the choice is yours.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: 2 Points

      What happens if the company has an internal, authorised, polical discussion board? A stupid idea in my opinion, but there you go... And then further what if someone else releases what an employee wrote on that board and it starts an internet sensation?

      Has that employee still "brought the company into disrepute."

      If he'd puplished it off his own bat, then he should take the consequences - it was done at his own risk. But management apparently, tacitly at least, authorised that statement.

      I've not read his memo, but I've seen bits of it. Maybe his argument is clumsy, maybe wrong, but he seems to at least have made an effort.

      He may not come out of this well, and of course he's been publicly sacked which doesn't help his career. But it makes Google management look pretty shit as well. And doesn't show their internal culture in a good light.

      I don't think we have the information to know if he was sacked unfairly or not. But I'd say you'd have to be pretty hard-hearted not to feel at least a little sorry for someone whose life has been ruined (at minimum for a year or so) - for trying to reasonably express an opinion when invited to.

      1. Not also known as SC Silver badge

        Re: 2 Points

        Was there a 'someone else' and if so do we know what happened to them?

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: 2 Points

          Someone leaked the memo and it was highly unlikely to be Damore himself. Quite a lot of people within Google were able to access it. Thousands, I believe, if they chose to be involved in that particular diversity group. However, I'm not aware they've ever been identified and seen little to no interest in discovering it (if that were even possible). From the court filing it seems there is no shortage of possible culprits. Multiple emails and comments are cited from Google employees who said they would "try to get him fired."

    2. lucki bstard

      Re: 2 Points

      'I have always thought that the gender ratios in IT sucked' - And you did what about it apart from being that annoying person who complained and never did anything.

      1. Wibble

        Re: 2 Points

        @lucki bstard: 'I have always thought that the gender ratios in IT sucked' - And you did what about it apart from being that annoying person who complained and never did anything.

        Like what? It is a *fact* that IT, technical and engineering are male-dominated professions.

        You're looking at the wrong end of the telescope; the place to change this is to get a larger supply of women interested in geekdom.

        However, as the old adage goes, what does a developer use as a contraceptive....? His personality.

        IT just isn't cool to women. Why?

    3. Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

      Re: 2 Points

      But he didn't bring the company into disrepute.

      It was the person or persons who leaked the REQUESTED internal forum feedback on diversity policy.

      And those who reacted so badly to it.

  28. low_resolution_foxxes

    It's difficult. We get it in electronics all the time - At uni 98% of our electronics degree course were male, typically white or Asian. After 17 years in electronics, I have still only met 1 female working as an electronic design engineer.

    This is more of a problem with aspiration, girls in the 1990s didn't want to do engineering/comp sci because it was a dorky/messy thing to do. Guys kinda just learnt it arsing around trying to fix their cars/pirate music and 'specialist media' on the interweb. So err, we are in that annoying situation where girls didn't want to do maths/sci 'cause it was hard and icky', but want the same salary doing flexible part-time work in a 9-5 clean office environment in their hometown? Hmmm, difficult. They are perfectly capable of doing it - but lack of take-up and experience is holding them back.

    PS The female engineer I did meet was a total ninja/nerd and massively better at her job than me...it was great. Before that we pretended an old engineer with a pony tail was our romantic ambition.

  29. spacecadet66

    Happened to find a related article in another fine British paper:

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/this-is-discrimination-against-twats-says-toby-young-20180109142012

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Since that's openly satirical, you can have an upvote for it.

      I don't know enough about Toby Young to make a judgement one way or t'other on his particular case. But then, most of life is a grey area.

      1. spacecadet66

        I'd never heard of him before 30-odd minutes ago, but the coincidence was too good to pass up.

  30. Haefen

    More racism is not the solution to racism

    Canada has tried to address various forms of racism with yet more racism even though it has only ever created more racism. Today we have a multi-billion dollar Apartheid program that continues to grow and discriminate and segregate based on "choice" of parents.

    The solution is less racism, it isn't complicated, except to the majority who are racist or wish to benefit from racist policies.

    1. lucki bstard

      Re: More racism is not the solution to racism

      Shush.. Don't mention racism and language politics in Quebec

  31. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    wheeeee --- 105 comments already.

    I'll be back in few minutes to read. Have to make popcorn and coffee!

  32. spacecadet66

    I wonder how much this suit has to do with Danmore's conviction of the righteousness of his cause, versus Dhillon's political ambitions. My guess is the ratio is somewhere near a tad :: a whole lot.

    I also don't see a path to him actually winning the case. Leaving aside the question of whether his arguments actually have any merit, he's facing Google's legal department and a Santa Clara County jury.

  33. Eduard Coli

    There was a lot of illegal coercion by Silicon Vallay threating employees if they voted for Trump. Trump had threatened to turn off the tap on their supply of cheap, exploitable labor plumbed through the various US visa programs.

    For example this from Bryan Llenas :

    The CEO of Grubhub, an online food delivery service, sent a company wide email Wednesday suggesting employees who agree with President-elect Donald Trump’s behaviors and his campaign rhetoric should resign.

    “If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here,” wrote Matt Maloney, Co-Founder of Grubhub. “We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team."

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. ColonelClaw

    All I know is that I wouldn't want this prick working in my office, and neither would anyone else here (I asked). Personally I don't have a problem in firing people if they stink up the atmosphere.

    1. lucki bstard

      With your attitude 'wouldn't want this prick working in my office' and 'I don't have a problem in firing people if they stink up the atmosphere' I can see that people would really be honest with you, and wouldn't be intimidated by you at all. Hell with that attitude and a little bit of documentation, an employee could have a lawsuit aimed at you anyday.

      1. ColonelClaw

        Well, it's clearly an unpopular opinion, judging by the downvotes, but I place the happiness of my existing employees above all else. We spend half our lives in the same room, I'm not prepared to share it with some bigoted misogynistic bro arsehole.

        1. h4rm0ny

          >>"I'm not prepared to share it with some bigoted misogynistic bro arsehole."

          The problem being that you're talking about firing someone for not agreeing with you preferentially selecting by sex. Or for voting for a different political party than you (see his court filing listing many of the emails that were flying around insisting he be sacked before someone leaked the memo to make it happen).

          You can't just point at someone, call them a "bro" and fire them. Well, not in Europe anyway.

  35. tiggity Silver badge

    Blind auditions

    Lots of orchestras use blind auditions to try and reduce bias (even if it is unconscious and not deliberate)

    Candidates play, behind a screen, they can be heard but not seen

    Using this approach, % of women in orchestras increased a lot

    Obviously quite hard for IT post, coding tests on a machine easy enough but interview more awkward (though could have voice technology, but interviews do allow hints of gender, race, "class" depending on language / idiom use so hard to make it fully bias free)

    Obviously, this might not lead to greater female diversity, it would depend on gender ratio of applicants, and if selection process was actually identifying best candidates, the gender split of top candidates. In orchestra auditions plenty of women applying, in IT might have to do some "positive action" to increase number of female applicants in interview pool just because (from applications I have seen) most applicants for IT jobs tend to be men

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blind auditions

      When trying blind CVs in AU they found the number of Women and Minority successful candidates plummeted as they no longer benefited from positive recruitment bias.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Blind auditions

        Citation or "shenanigans".

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Blind auditions

          It didn't "plummet". It was around 8%. But that's sufficient to be significant and more than sufficient to show there wasn't bias against women in hiring. There was a similar but smaller effect for racial minorities.

          Link

          It's blackly amusing reading the foreword trying to downplay the conclusions and subtly argue for the body's continued funding.

          1. Ray Foulkes

            Re: Blind auditions

            Just hilarious: It reads "In fact, in the trial we found that overall, APS officers generally discriminated in favour of female and minority candidates. " or to paraphrase "In fact, in the trial we found that overall, APS officers generally discriminated against white, male candidates."

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg really seems to have gone to the wolves since I dropped it for supporting political violence. But hey ho https://twitter.com/mjaeckel/status/950446329603461121 to see some of the great stuff going on at the goolag HQ

  37. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I think they have a point.

    Unless, of course, it turns out that they are a pair of gossiping douchebags pushing their political and social agendas by denigrating others' choices and slandering their workmates.

    Which would explain why no-one wanted them on their team.

  38. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Forest vs Trees

    The net claim is Chocolate Factory actively discriminates against certain groups in violation of state/feral laws. If true and proven, Chocolate Factory is footing the bill for some serious money plus further scrutiny such as age discrimination.

    As far as why there is in imbalance in IT between men and women in the US my take is that many males who go into IT have dismal social skills even for STEM majors. Also, there is a tendency to not realize most of IT is problem solving that is a common STEM skill applied to a specific set of problems. Much of IT can be learned by anyone who wishes to spend the time.

    A bit of history, in the old days there were no IT graduates so those who got into IT were often some what older, seasoned professionals who were more mature and socially adept. They had a better understanding of the fundamental role of IT in business which really has not changed to improve the bottom line by automating tasks that humans tend to do very slowly and often erratically. Often the PFYs are more interested in 'saving the world' than helping the business make money but they will not have any money if the business does not survive.

  39. wolfmeister

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

    Oh come on, that's just complete bs. Try reading the memo.

    (I'm making no judgement about the merit of this "case" btw)

  40. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    Gender ratios, rooney rules and Positive discrimintaion

    theres reasons why the highest suicide rate is in single white hetrosexual males over 25 and under 55.

    Discrimination is wrong, and this group can't stand up for themselves without being accused of it.

    Just because the legislation was created for one case doesnt mean its not valid for the opposite.

    jsut have to say the race for life is only open to females, but Movember's morun is open to everyone..

  41. WatAWorld

    Why am I instead reading strawman arguments in The Register instead of fact-based articles?

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/10/19-insane-tidbits-james-damores-lawsuit-googles-office-environment/

    Why does The Register carry so many strawman arguments on this issue? Why does it ignore people's own statements and evidence is going on?

    What is wrong with The Register's editorial staff and what happened to journalistic integrity?

    1. h4rm0ny
      Unhappy

      Re: Why am I instead reading strawman arguments in The Register instead of fact-based articles?

      >>Why does The Register carry so many strawman arguments on this issue?

      It didn't use to. But I notice that these days writer's bylines keep reading "San Francisco". Didn't use to.

  42. Wilseus

    The last straw

    The Register has gone to shit over the last couple of years, and this article is possibly the last straw for me. Is The Inquirer any better?

  43. Brian Allan 1

    He's probably 100% correct in his comments if Google does indeed use a quota system for hiring. Quota systems do not attract the best employees; never have; never will. One simply has to look at the public service where the quota system is most obviously shown to be the wrong approach!

  44. Jonathan Schwatrz
    Go

    Great read!

    I think the top people at Google need to read this post by Mike Rowe which neatly and eloquently deals with an "un-fan".

  45. evilhippo

    Why is El Reg posting politically partisan smear pieces written by Baizuo?

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