Tag Archives: Google

The Goolag Echopeligo, by Robert Gore

If you find the title confusing, DDG the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. (DuckDuckGo.com is a search engine whose acronym is hereby designated as one of the replacements for the verb google.)

Warning: SLL is about to put forth two propositions that are so obvious they’re undoubtedly controversial. Readers offended by the obvious but controversial are advised to stop reading.

Proposition one: If Group A and Group B are competing for the same jobs and standards are lowered for Group B but not Group A, on average the members of Group B will not be as good at the jobs as members of Group A.

Proposition two: Men and women are different.

This, when you wade through James Damore’s excruciatingly diplomatic Google memorandum is the crux of what he said. SLL can say it but Damore couldn’t; Google fired him for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

Google’s highly compensated management and engineering jobs are held disproportionately by white males. Here’s a fact: the universal set of people inside and outside of Google who have the ability to write complex computer code, or have the ability to manage such people, is disproportionately white males. That may be changing, but as of August 13, 2017, that’s still a fact.

While perpetuating gender stereotypes supposedly got Damore the boot, the money portion of his memo nails the contradiction at the heart of diversity and affirmative action programs: lower standards for Group B in the interest of promoting “equality” is inherently unequal. Group A has been disadvantaged and Group B has received preferential treatment.

From James Damore’s Google memorandum:

The harm of Google’s biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

• Programs, mentoring, and classes for people with a certain gender or race
• A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
• Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
• Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing the same scrutiny in the reverse direct (clear confirmation bias)
• Setting org level OKRs [Objectives and Key Results] for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination

You can have equal treatment or preferential treatment, but you can’t have both. De jure unequal leads to de facto unequal, not de facto equal. It leads to two other consequences: the favored group will on average not do the job as well, and the unfavored group will know it.

A cherished goal of the diversity drones is to get the unfavored group to applaud not just the drones’ enlightened moral status, but to pretend that the favored group does just as good a job as the unfavored one, and that diversity of secondary traits (but not, evidently, diversity of thought) itself confers a benefit. It’s a subset of an “optics” problem that besets the entire redistributive racket: how do you get unfavored producers not just to go along with the scam and keep producing unearned benefits for the racketeers and redistributees, but to pretend they like it?

How a Google coder’s gender or gender identification, race, ethnicity, creed, or any other secondary characteristic will affect his or her ability to spot and fix the flaws in an algorithm is left unstated. But that’s not the diversity drones’ problem. Google makes so much money it can afford some less-than-stellar employees in service to enlightened ideals and the greater good. If members of the unfavored group can’t bring themselves to applaud, they should at least shut up. Or else!

Denounce the theory of evolution and you’ll be roundly condemned as anti-science. Turn around and accept the theory, point out that evolution’s prime directive is the propagation of a given species, that for humans each sex has an evolutionary role, that women’s evolutionary role is to bear and rear children, that men’s role is to protect and provide for the family, especially when the woman is pregnant and then nursing and is unable to do so, and that men and women are equipped with different hormones, sex drives, and yes, brain wiring to facilitate their differing evolutionary roles, and you will earn for yourself  a fusillade of criticism from the same people who were condemning your earlier stance against evolutionary theory.

The existence of differences, and what they might be, are questions for scientific inquiry. Repression is when you get shot for telling the truth. Totalitarianism is when you get shot for asking questions. We’re reaching the point where questions cannot be asked, and all sorts of energy is expended maintaining the fantasy that men and women are not different, that gender itself is merely a matter of choice and can even vary day-to-day.

We’re running into evolutionary dead ends. In the springtime of their lives, when both men and women’s fancy used to lightly turn to thoughts of love—and then marriage and procreation—appreciable percentages of both sexes hate each other. Many feminist groups despise men; men’s groups like MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way, aka Men Grabbing Their Own Weenies) despise women. One suspects that much of the antipathy stems from the eternal rejections and betrayals they’ve encountered with the opposite sex. In the good old days, the rejected and betrayed turned to lyric laments—“Your Cheating Heart,” “You’re No Good”—but didn’t lose romantic hope. Now they change their sexual orientation…or their sex…or embrace celibacy…or all of the above. And the birth rate continues to decline.

There is always one group of victims overlooked when standards are lowered for Group B: the members of Group B who meet the Group A standards. To say that computer coding skills might be more prevalent among men than women and minorities is not to say that no women or minorities have such skills, a point Damore bent over backwards trying to make (he even used illustrative graphs). He urged stepping up “nondiscriminatory” efforts to find them.

The women and minorities who make the “A” grade should be more upset at the lowering of standards than their white male coworkers. They will be unfairly stigmatized, and their advancement within Google will come with an asterisk—winks and nods that they climbed the diversity, not the talent and achievement, ladder.

That is an injustice against these individuals. However, in Google’s brave new world there are only groups, not individuals. Individual James Damore questioned the new order. Google exercised its right to fire him and intimidate everyone else. However, the decision to seek employment with a company is an individual one, as is the decision whether to stay or leave.

The kind of people who draw top dollars and stock options at Google have rare talents and are always in demand. Some of them may depart for companies eschewing today’s fashionable but counterproductive doctrines, where they and their coworkers will be judged on their own merits, not secondary characteristics. In its echo chamber—the Goolag Echopeligo—Google can maintain the fiction that Group A can be replaced by Group B, but competitive edges are remarkably ephemeral. The technology landscape is littered with the corpses of yesteryear’s hot new thing.

The decision to use a particular technology is also an individual one. Individuals critical of Google can refuse to use its products and services. There are plenty of other competitive technologies. DuckDuckGo claims it doesn’t track you. DDG your next search!

BEFORE  THE LUNACY

ROBERT GORE’S CLASSIC NOVEL OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

AMAZON

KINDLE

NOOK

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James Damore: “This Is Why I Was Fired By Google”

James Damore penned a thoughtful opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal explaining his take on his firing from Google. From Damore via zerohedge.com:

Fired Google engineer Jame Damore has penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journalexplaining how his good-faith effort to discuss differences between men and women in tech couldn’t be tolerated in the company’s “ideological echo chamber,” adding that self-segregation with similar-minded people has grown in recent decades as we spend more time in digital worlds “personalized to fit our views.”

I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.” My firing neatly confirms that point.

How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?

We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.

Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards and weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity,almost like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of “Don’t be evil.”

To continue reading: James Damore: “This Is Why I Was Fired By Google”

Google Tech Fired for Using Google, by Gavin McInnes

Gavin McInnes hits a nail on the head: most of the hysterical comment’s made about James Damore’s Google memorandum betray the fact that the commenters haven’t read it. From McInnes at lewrockwell.com:

Google is a brilliant search engine where they accrue seemingly infinite amounts of data and organize it into patterns. When you type in “cars” it takes you to the most popular car-buying site as well as all the dealerships within a 30-mile radius. The people who work there are mostly male, mostly white, and I’d assume mostly autistic. These abnormally gifted nerds have been assigned the task of taking this incredible invention that grosses $60 billion a year and improving it.

James Damore did exactly that on Monday when he sent out an interoffice memo detailing the dangers of “echo-chamber” thinking and this strange obsession with making tech 50% female. “Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety,” he began, before adding, “but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.” The CEO of Google cut his vacation short and fired Damore within hours. James is presently exploring legal action.

The story from Google’s side is that the memo perpetuated “harmful gender stereotypes.” The media has run with this narrative, calling Damore’s essay an “anti-woman screed” that “confirms your worst fears.” While sorting through all the pearl-clutching hysteria it becomes pretty clear that nobody convulsing has actually read it. Like most things that cause major controversy these days, it’s remarkably benign. Damore says diversity is good. He says sexism is a problem. He makes it very clear he wants as many women in the workforce as possible. He also says demanding 50% may be dangerous. It could involve discriminating against qualified men, which is illegal. Even reading between the lines leaves you with no “anti” for anything but prejudice and inequality.

To continue reading: Google Tech Fired for Using Google

Thank You, Google, by Bionic Mosquito

Google’s firing of James Damore will reverberate for a long time. From the Bionic Mosquito at lewrockwell.com:

Google engineer James Damore wrote a ten-page memo (PDF), titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”  Google fired him.

You know all about the contents already.  To make a long story short, he suggests…

…that biological differences could help explain the gender gap in tech employment in Silicon Valley, and criticized Google’s policy of silencing discussion on the issue.

And wouldn’t you know it, Google attempted to silence discussion on the issue.

The ten-page memo is well written and well documented; based on my quick (and likely not perfect) count, he has thirty-four hyperlinks and eleven footnotes.

The reaction from the left is exactly what you would expect.  A typical example is offered by The Guardian.  They found an expert on the topic:

One former Harvard student, who was in the systems biology program at the same time as Damore, told the Guardian that it was not surprising to find out he was the author of the controversial manifesto, which was widely criticized for relying on shoddy science.

“His comments do not reflect the ability to read literature critically that a typical Harvard student develops over the course of actually completing a PhD,” the former classmate said.

A systems biology student.  What is systems biology?

Systems biology is based on the understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It has been responsible for some of the most important developments in the science of human health and environmental sustainability.

This doesn’t sound like someone qualified to pass judgement on the science in Mr. Damore’s memo.  Let’s find someone who is.  How about Jordan Peterson?  Who is Jordan Peterson?

To continue reading: Thank You, Google

He Said That? 8/8/17

In the interest of equal time, here is Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s note to employees after employee James Damore was fired for his 10-page memo criticizing some of the companies personnel and diversity policies.

This has been a very difficult time. I wanted to provide an update on the memo that was circulated over this past week.

First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace. Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects “each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”

The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being “agreeable” rather than “assertive,” showing a “lower stress tolerance,” or being “neurotic.”

At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent. So to be clear again, many points raised in the memo—such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all—are important topics. The author had a right to express their views on those topics—we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.

The past few days have been very difficult for many at the company, and we need to find a way to debate issues on which we might disagree—while doing so in line with our Code of Conduct. I’d encourage each of you to make an effort over the coming days to reach out to those who might have different perspectives from your own. I will be doing the same.

I have been on work related travel in Africa and Europe the past couple of weeks and had just started my family vacation here this week. I have decided to return tomorrow as clearly there’s a lot more to discuss as a group—including how we create a more inclusive environment for all.

Google: Search Engine or Deep State Organ?, by Michael Krieger

This is third part of a broad examination of Google’s power and policies (there are links below to Parts One and Two).  From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Today’s post should be read as Part 3 of my ongoing series about the now infamous Google memo, and what it tells us about where our society is headed if a minority of extremely wealthy and powerful technocratic billionaires are permitted to fully socially engineer our culture to fit their ideological vision using coercion, force and manipulation. For some context, readPart 1 and Part 2.

I struggled with the title of this piece, because ever since the 2016 election, usage of the term “deep state” has become overly associated with Trump cheerleaders. I’m not referring to people who voted for Trump, whom I can both understand and respect, I’m talking about the Trump cultists. Like most people who mindlessly and enthusiastically attach themselves to political figures, they tend to be either morons or opportunists.

Nevertheless, just because the term has been somewhat tainted doesn’t mean I deny the existence of a “deep state” or “shadow government.” The existence of networks of unelected powerful people who formulate and push policy behind the scenes and then get captured members of Congress to vote on it is pretty much undeniable. I don’t believe that the “deep state” is a monolithic entity by any means, but what seems to unite these various people and institutions is an almost religious belief in U.S. imperial dominance, as well as the idea that this empire should be largely governed by an unaccountable oligarchy of billionaires and assorted technocrats. We see the results of this worldview all around us with endless wars, an unconstitutional domestic surveillance state and the destruction of the middle class. These are the fruits of deep state ideology, and a clear reason why it should be dismantled and replaced by genuine governance by the people before they lead the U.S. to total disaster.

To continue reading: Google: Search Engine or Deep State Organ?

“I Have A Right To Express My Concerns”: Fired Google Engineer Will Pursue Legal Action; Assange Offers Job, by Tyler Durden

James Damore questioned unquestionable shibboleths and Google, which has become a politically correct and powerful ally of the Washington establishment, fired him. He gingerly explored the issues he raised about sexism and Google’s policies, but you don’t touch those issues even with kid gloves, at least at Google.  From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The computer engineer fired by Google for writing a memo in which he slammed the company’s anti-conservative culture and said women are less suited to certain roles in tech and leadership, is considering taking legal action against the company.

As a reminder, now former Google employee James Damore, caused outrage when he circulated a manifesto on Friday, complaining about Google’s “ideological echo chamber” alleging women have lower tolerance for stress and that conservatives are more conscientious. The chess master, who studied at Harvard, Princeton and MIT and worked at Google’s Mountain View HQ, was fired on Monday after the search giant’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said portions of Damore’s 10-page memo “violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes” despite saying in the same memo that Google employees shouldn’t be afraid of speaking their minds.

 One day after Google announced the engineer was fired, Damore said he would “likely be pursuing legal action”.
“I have a right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” he said in an email reported by the New York Times.

In a further email to Breitbart, he reportedly said: “They just fired me for ‘perpetuating gender stereotypes’.”

While liberals were delighted by the decision, others accused Google of hypocrisy as the company is itself currently involved in litigation with the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the company systemically discriminates against women. Google has denied the charges, arguing that it doesn’t have a gender gap in pay, but has declined to share full salary information with the government. According to the company’s most recent demographic report, 69 percent of its workforce and 80 percent of its technical staff are male.

To continue reading (the linked article has Damore’s memo): “I Have A Right To Express My Concerns”: Fired Google Engineer Will Pursue Legal Action; Assange Offers Job