Strengths and weaknesses
diodesign wrote, “Damore blundered pretty badly in the way he brought up the issue: the memo is contradictory, and so poorly thought out. He can apparently code but he can't string together a coherent line.
“And yes, we did read the memo. I still can't get my head around it. It just doesn't make any sense. People claiming we've misread are, I suspect, projecting their own opinions onto it to fill in the blanks, so to speak, and warp it to fit their narrative.”
Another commentard has mentioned autistic spectrum. Damore's CV and memo are consistent with someone with a high autism score. The memo is difficult to follow and not well argued. The writer has failed to consider the mind of the reader. This is a defining characteristic of a high functioning autistic. Absent a formal diagnosis, let’s assume that he is.
Damore is aware of his strengths and probably very well aware of some of his weaknesses. In what he does, his weaknesses are not a problem. Or they weren’t, up until that memo. Chess and coding are very formalised means of expression that don’t require you to get into another’s mind. And, if you’re in an office surrounded by other socially awkward people, being social awkward is less of an issue.
The TV show The Big Bang Theory often used a method of contradiction, with embarrassment for others, to generate humour. Seemingly identical behaviour can be caused by very different thought processes. If Sheldon Cooper did or said something that appeared, say, racists or sexist, it would be the result of a personal failing on the part of Sheldon. But, that failing wouldn’t be one you would naturally class as racism or sexism.
The memo was a very cack-handed way of saying don’t forcibly change the people and hope that changes the environment, change the environment first. Some of his assumptions are odd, to say the least, but ideas like more part-time positions with equal status to full-time positions seem completely uncontroversial.
The irony is that, in calling for more accommodation of others’ needs, Damore has been fired for his own weaknesses. Maybe the geek shall not inherit the earth. Google has fire one of its geeks for being, well, too geeky.