back to article Google's macho memo man fired, say reports

The Google staffer who penned an anti-diversity tract has reportedly been fired. Bloomberg reports that it has been contacted by James Damore, the author of the document. Damore told the financial newswire he had been dismissed for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” Google USA and Google Australia/New Zealand have not …

  1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Diversity is good, "positive discrimination" is still discrimination and is generally not good.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      So, if you don't have any diversity, and you know it's good, how do you get some without positive discrimination?

      1. Michael Thibault

        Start over without a false premise.

        1. Michael Thibault

          My thumb-down stalker... is BACK!

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Start over without a false premise."

          Start over with a quote to show which post you are replying to.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Start over without a false premise."

            Start over with a quote to show which post you are replying to.

            Pretty easy really: the false premise is assuming there is no diversity in the team. The premise conveniently elides any definition of diversity and allows the asserting that any socio-cultural diversity (people from different towns and backgrounds, for example) isn't the "right" kind of diversity.

          2. Michael Thibault

            @Anonymous Coward: "Start over with a quote to show which post you are replying to."

            "if..." only would have been my choice, had I not thought that the use of the word "premise" in my post -- made fairly early in the comments thread -- would have been sufficient information to contextualize it.

      2. Dave 15 Silver badge

        It is NOT positive discrimination - no such thing exists

        You can't positively discriminate. If you say you want someone from zzz because you have no one from there then anyone from xxx or yyy can't get the job... so just because of their origin xxx and yyy are discriminated against.

        If you have no diversity it is because you fail to attract or find people of suitable quality from those places. Two possible reasons - first is there are none in which case go out and do some training (a positive act), second there are but your pay, your conditions, your work are not interesting to them - find out what is wrong and correct it.

        Do NOT turn around and say we only want people from zzz so sod off if you are not, this is the sort of disgusting behaviour we see from several councils in the UK.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: It is NOT positive discrimination - no such thing exists

          Er, I think you'll find there are at least three possible reasons - the two you mentioned, plus the "well, she'll probably get pregnant so we should hire the guy" or "I'm not sure he'd fit into the team, probably likes hip-hop and has a slightly-too-urban accent, maybe we should hire the white one".

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: sabroni

        "So, if you don't have any diversity, and you know it's good, how do you get some without positive discrimination?" Instead of dropping your standards to a select group, you could instead ask that group why they are not applying for the jobs. It might expose some facts about your company that would help you make it a more attractive place to work without you having to potentially reduce the effectiveness of your workforce. Of course, that takes actual work, when it is so much easier just to do a bit of virtue-signaling with some fluffy HR statements about equality, etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The only form of discrimination that is valid is discrimination by ability.

      1. Michael Thibault
      2. hnwombat
        FAIL

        = The only form of discrimination that is valid is discrimination by ability.

        While a noble idea, the meritocracy is a myth. Social research has shown[1] that it does not, in an all likelihood, cannot, exist in reality. FWIW, Deming (one of the founders of the quality movement) concludes that "merit" based pay was mythical and harmful to the organization.

        Bootnote: social mobility (a measure of how meritocratic a society is) is lower in the United States than it is in any of the member states of the European Union, especially in the Scandinavian countries, but even including supposedly class-ridden Great Britain and France.

        [1] E.g.,

        (TL;DR: while merit has some effect, gender, race, and other social class markers have at least comparable, and probably larger, effects on measured attainment.)

        https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11211-014-0228-0

        https://books.google.fr/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Uc2-AAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&ots=f5LmkuVkDG&sig=eXKuGA-JOiTIqTmoP9sxTMDk-LM#v=onepage&q&f=false

        https://academic.oup.com/esr/article-abstract/17/2/81/517646

        http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/318961

        http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/588738

        http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2189/asqu.2010.55.4.543

        https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2410911

        https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ageing-and-society/article/in-the-name-of-meritocracy-managers-perceptions-of-policies-and-practices-for-training-older-workers/BCB6C3BDC01364D549ED631B58D899BF

        http://csus-dspace.calstate.edu/handle/10211.3/158507

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-4446.1999.00001.x/full

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289606001127

        https://books.google.fr/books?hl=en&lr=&id=LcAQvt2bXtoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA232&ots=WxgHeS92GM&sig=J_3MvUTrrKQOoXiiJYofmKHGHs4#v=onepage&q&f=false

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2007.00516.x/full

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2009.01339.x/full

        And, not an academic publication, but probably more readable, and cites much of the relevant research:

        https://shaunterrywriter.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/a-land-of-false-promises-deconstructing-the-mythology-of-meritocracy-and-equal-opportunity/

        P.S. Yes, I have a Ph.D. in social science. Business Administration, in fact (IS specialty), and teach and do research in a business school. This is relevant because, if we do in fact live in a meritocracy, then I must be an expert in the field, with a better understanding than that of the layman. My pronouncement that there is no meritocracy thus has a higher confidence value. If, on the other hand, you feel that my opinion is of less value, then you implicitly deny that we live in a meritocracy. I.e., the conclusion inescapably falls to "there is no meritocracy". And, in fact, I am white anglo-saxon recovered protestant first-born male from an upper-middle class family, whose father was a sociologist. Which probably provides significant explanation for my having my Ph.D. beyond my innate ability.

        1. hnwombat
          Mushroom

          And by the way, those links (not proper cites, but I felt links would be more appropriate in an online forum) were just a quick check. There were a few that claimed merit was stronger than socioeconomic, gender, or race, markers, but they were all rebutted, and the cite count was considerably higher for those latter indicating merit was a poor determinant, which indicates consensus in the field that merit is largely a myth which supports the status quo.

          Reading later comments, I see that the value of diversity is also questioned. I could provide a list of cites that argue against that, mostly in the business literature, but I won't bother, since I've probably bored you enough already. TL;DR: yes, diversity is good, no matter how diversity is measured. More diversity is better. While diversity of town, etc. is certainly good, it is typically not as different (at least in the US), and thus less valuable, as sociecomic, race, gender, or cultural markers.

          And no, firing an employee for sharing screeds detrimental to company performance and morale using company resources on company time is not "reducing diversity". Free speech doesn't mean I have to provide you the resources, nor does it mean that I can't say that "you are an asshole" and firing your lily-white entitled ass.

          1. Mad Mike

            @hnwombat.

            "And no, firing an employee for sharing screeds detrimental to company performance and morale using company resources on company time is not "reducing diversity". "

            By definition, it is reducing the diversity of opinion within the company. Given what's occurring round this, it could be argued that firing himis doing more to affect morale and company performance than just ignoring it. If ignored, it would have just disappeared with little fuss. Now, it's being heavily commented on, with a pretty large amount against Google. Also, what do you think is happening to morale in Google for the people who have something to say? Will anybody say anything even vaguely different to company line now?

            Googles actions have affected themselves and morale considerably more than the original text and the sensible debate that should have followed. If it had gone that way, perhaps employees morale would have gone up, as would different opinions and sensible discussion of them?

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: hnwombat

            "....And no, firing an employee for sharing screeds detrimental to company performance and morale using company resources on company time is not "reducing diversity"...." But the company had supposedly provided the forum expressly for staff to put forward their thoughts on company policies and processes, it was others that took the memo and out it out on the Web. As far as I can see, he did not trash the company, he was suggesting what he saw as reasons why the policy was wrong. As such, it looks very much as though Google likes debate and ideas as long as they are Google's approved debate and ideas, i.e., it is censorship at best, and discrimination against the writer because he didn't swallow their approved "group-think".

        2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
          Coat

          So, you went in the family business, thereby demonstrating that your own social mobility is rather low?

          BTW, upvote for your second post.

          (Mine's the one with the printout of the famly tree in the pocket.)

        3. Mad Mike

          @hnwombat

          "P.S. Yes, I have a Ph.D. in social science. Business Administration, in fact (IS specialty), and teach and do research in a business school. This is relevant because, if we do in fact live in a meritocracy, then I must be an expert in the field, with a better understanding than that of the layman. My pronouncement that there is no meritocracy thus has a higher confidence value. If, on the other hand, you feel that my opinion is of less value, then you implicitly deny that we live in a meritocracy. I.e., the conclusion inescapably falls to "there is no meritocracy". And, in fact, I am white anglo-saxon recovered protestant first-born male from an upper-middle class family, whose father was a sociologist. Which probably provides significant explanation for my having my Ph.D. beyond my innate ability."

          Unfortunately, it is becoming abundantly clear in todays world that qualifications do not equal merit in any meaningful way. I've met a lot of people who are qualified to the heavens in an area, but they knew almost nothing (these are technical fact based areas). So, whilst I may agree with your proposition that a true and pure meritocracy doesn't and probably can't exist, I think the idea that qualifications and education equal merit is somewhat wide of the mark.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "P.S. Yes, I have a Ph.D. in social science. Business Administration, in fact (IS specialty), and teach and do research in a business school. This is relevant because, if we do in fact live in a meritocracy, then I must be an expert in the field, with a better understanding than that of the layman."

          And the guy that got fired has a Ph.D. in biology so he must have a better grasp of biological differences between the genders. Or you both could just be pompous asses.

          I'll just leave this here.

          1. hnwombat

            *sigh* I should have put the PS into a different comment. I should have thought it was clear that my argument was the body of the reply-- which you ignored. The PS was not part of the argument, but was a completely separate and very subsidiary point. Let me spell it out for you:

            1. The author of the post I replied to believes that people should be judged solely on ability.

            2. This implies that either a. we live in a meritocratic world, in which his and others' judgment is completely unclouded by unconscious biases, or b. we do not but the author does not care (i.e., is an asshole).

            3. If we live in a meritocratic world, this implies that the rewards that are obtained are obtained purely on merit.

            4. I have attained one of those awards, which fewer than 1% of the people in the world (and less than 2% in the developed world) have been awarded, for my expertise in social psychology.

            5. I stated that statement 1.a. is false. This is supported by two possible arguments:

            5.a. Since we live in a meritcratic world, I got my award purely by merit, and thus have the necessary expertise to evaluate the truth value of statement 2.a., which I declare to be false (denying the premises of this specific argument).

            5.b. If I did get my award solely on merit, then statement 3 is false. Since statement 3 is false, statement 2.a. is necessarily false, and statements 4 and 5 are irrelevant.

            6. Thus, statement 2.a. is proven false. Therefore, we are left to conclude that statement 2.b. is true.

            Is that clear enough? It is not argument from authority; while statement 5.a. does hinge on that, it is also required that the reader conclude that argument from authority is appropriate. Argument 5.b. shows that statement 2.a. is false regardless.

            Since my comments were about a previous comment and the idea of meritocracy, I can only assume that you are using the usual tactic of the neo-fascists^Walt-right and trying to claim I said something I did not. Besides, my PhD in (effectively) applied social psychology is more relevant than a PhD in biology, even if the poster to whom I was responding had one.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "I can only assume that you are using the usual tactic of the neo-fascists^Walt-right and trying to claim I said something I did not."

              Let me spell it out for you. Your elitist "I'm smarter than you therefore you're wrong" screed still sounds like you're a pompous arse.

              P.S. "1. The author of the post I replied to believes that people should be judged solely on ability."

              So what? Look at politicians and consider how many of them want mathematically impossibilities presumably because their ability to understand maths is simply that bad. You seem like a yank so see Senators Burr and Feinstein and their desire for TSA locks on data. It would be nice if they would keep their illogical requests out of legislation because they lack the ability to understand it and should rightly be eliminated as a choice for the position of cryptanalyst.

              "2. This implies that either a. we live in a meritocratic world, in which his and others' judgment is completely unclouded by unconscious biases, or b. we do not but the author does not care (i.e., is an asshole)."

              It does nothing of the sort, it could simply be a goal the author of the post believes we should strive for. Perhaps it is you who is using "the usual tactic of the neo-fascists^Walt-right". While we're discussing claims of saying things not said, I never said anything about the poster to whom you were responding. The person with the PhD in biology is the Google employee who authored the anti-diversity memo who got fired but don't let that cloud your Piled high and Deep vision of the world. You are clearly far too important to read what we little people actually write.

              PPS. I'm done. <mic drop>

      3. leenex

        .... and since right-wingers are notoriously stupid, this was a discrimination by ability.

        Google doesn't want to be seen as a bunch of idiots.

    3. Aoyagi Aichou
      Paris Hilton

      Diversity is good

      I don't see how is diversity supposed to be good. Sure, there are situations when that statement is true, but it is very much case-by-case basis and I'm quite sure the cases where general diversity is a benefit is in the minority.

      1. Mad Mike

        No positive discrimination

        For there to be positive discrimination, there must be an equal amount of negative discrimination. If you discriminate in someones favour (for whatever reason), you are by definition discriminating against everyone else. So, the reality is that all discrimination is negative, regardless of how or why it is done.

        The only option is to remove discrimination totally and simply employ (or whatever) by ability and nothing else. Within a relatively short period of time, the demographics of workforce etc. will start to change and within a couple of generations should be wherever it should be. Natural turnover and newcomers coming in etc. will sort that. If it doesn't change, it either means there was no discimination in the first place, or you've failed to get rid of the discrimination.

        Problem is, some of the supposedly most PC environments are actually the most discriminatory. Take family courts as an example. Mostly biased against the father. Take politicians. Dianne Abbott, who has been racist, ageist and sexist in the past (she stated everything was the fault of middle aged, white men). Take industrial tribunals. The law in that case even has bias towards minority groups. Try raising a case for being discriminated against on the grounds of being white or a man!! Almost unheard of.

      2. Christian Berger

        Re: Diversity is good

        Well the theory goes that if you have people with lots of different backgrounds, you'll get lots of different ideas. Obviously gender is correlated with your background.

        (for ease of typing I'm abreviating "women and minorities" into minorities, I am fully aware that this is wrong)

        How the problem is that, simply put, minorities often aren't interested in things like programming, so the rate of programmers is lower in many minorities than it is for "white men". However some "neo-left" people want more even distributions, and that's where some organisations start to hire people just because they are in a minority. And then it becomes a problem.

        Now if those "neo-left" SJWs would actually want to do something against that, they'd start with things like demanding proper healthcare and a proper social system as well as tuition fees being paid by the public and not the individual. That way everyone choosing to do so can get any career they are physically and mentally able to pursue. Education wouldn't just belong to the rich.

        Instead they argue that they must not be confronted with opposing views, which is dangerous. Opposing views are what make you refine your own views. Views are rarely 100% wrong, but rather are likely to have some good points. Simply copying your viewpoint from another will lead to a stagnation. Eventually a groups viewpoint will become simpler and simpler.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Diversity is good

          Now if those "neo-left" SJWs would actually want to do something against that, they'd start with things like demanding proper healthcare …

          I'm sure they demand lots of things from other people. A lot of this touchy-feely "we care more than you…" bullshit is mainly about salving consciences and usually more than a little hypocritical. Providing real equality of opportunity by improving education for everyone would automatically increase competition for lucrative jobs. And, once our own livelihood is threatened, we tend to become a lot less big-hearted. Much easier to make it somebody else's problem.

      3. barbara.hudson

        Re: Diversity is good

        General diversity is VERY advantageous. Think of the consequences of inbreeding. It doesn't just apply to genes, either. Incestuous hiring practices (think "the boss's kids") are also usually damaging. Or entertainment - do you really want them to make only Rocky sequels? Operating systems, programming languages, news sources, elected officials (look where our current monoculture has got us), food, medicines (think antibiotics as one example), clothes (do you really want to follow Chairman Mao's dress code?), religion or the lack of, courses of study, jobs, pets, vehicles, tools (think screwdrivers) ... diversity is essential for life as we know it to exist.

        We've seen what happens when disease or pestilence attacks monocultures - they die. A good example is the banana. Today's banana is a sterile plant that cannot reproduce sexually, so the Cavendish bananas in the store all share pretty much all their genes, and are in danger of being wiped out by Panama disease, same as their predecessor Gros Michel bananas.

        Panama disease

        Similarly, any business that is not sufficiently diverse can get killed off by a change in the business , consumer, or regulatory environment - just look at Blackberry, Enron, Eastern Airlines, Radio Shack, Circuit City, A&P, Blockbuster (and VCRs and VHS and Beta tapes), Webvan, pets.com, Flooz, beanie babies, Yahoo! and Geocities, Chrysler (twice bankrupt), Worldcom, Peurto Rico (currently in bankruptcy protection), Trump University ...

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Diversity is good

          General diversity is VERY advantageous.

          No one's arguing against diversity per se simply per fiat. Your examples are all false equivalents if they are supposed to support the idea of enforcing some kind of diverse employment policy.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Barbara.hudson Re: Diversity is good

          ".....Today's banana is a sterile plant that cannot reproduce sexually, so the Cavendish bananas in the store all share pretty much all their genes......." Whilst a good biological example, it falls flat in the case of white employees as the genetic pool of Caucasians is actually quite broad and often includes genetic traits from other ethnic groups. Indeed, there is a 99.5% genetic commonality between all humans.

          Monoculture, such as employing only white MIT grads, is arguably much more of a problem as it potentially limits their ability to reach conclusions or use processes not prevalent in their place of development (I have seen this when an MIT-trained manager refused to accept a report using CMMI because he didn't use Carnegie Mellon tools whilst at MIT). Google risks creating a less-diverse group of employees by making "unorthodox" thought perceived as unwelcome - for example, as a Google coder, would I now be less likely to recommend the benefits of a new programming language or technique if it's author has been branded "racist/sexist/un-PC"? Probably.

          But ethnic monoculture is rarely an issue with coders as they are usually taught to code the same languages using the same techniques and are following a design doc. Pretending that some African-Amercan woman grad from North Carolina A&T is somehow going to write Java in a markedly different way than a white (or Asian) male MIT grad, simply because she is a black woman with a deprived upbringing in a ghetto (and please note the majority of NCA&T's black grads do not have "deprived" backgrounds) is simply preposterous. Whilst there may be many ways to skin a cat, 99% of Java coders will declare a variable the same way, especially if the design doc they are following already specifies the variable. She might write a cleverer complete piece of code, but my own experience is that has more to do with the individual ability of the coder rather than skin colour, upbringing or where they graduated from (one of the most consistently brilliant coders I have met was half-Indian and half-Portugese from Macau, and he actually had a BA degree in Literature!).

    4. KeepCalm

      Feel Good

      Many of the people decrying the memo (such as BBC), have refused to link to it, and just toss about general comments such as "he is a bigot", and "he has cherry picked studies", without addressing any of the points he raised, or without refuting any of the 'cherry-picked' studies.

      I wish people would just admit "We hate him because it makes us feel good. Not because he is wrong".

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Feel Good

        I've read the full memo not just the synopsis and it seems like a perfectly reasonable argument to make. One could agree or not, but he certainly didn't say anything outrageous or clearly wrong. The fact that he was fired exactly proves his point. It seems like at Google diversity of race, religion, gender etc is encouraged, but diversity of thinking or political belief is intolerable.

        Let's be clear, unconscious bias against women and minorities is a well-studied and proven thing. And Google's programs are definitely well-meaning, and also probably well-aligned with their 'diversity' goal. What the memo guy was raising is a valid question: Is 'diversity' in and of itself adding value to Google? And Google could perfectly legitimately answer that by saying: No, it does not improve our products and services, but it DOES improve our image and thereby also our revenue and market cap.

        Google would have been much better served to say: We disagree with the points in the memo but we respect all our employee's opinions. But I believe in this case it would have been attacked by the rabid ultra-left who would insist on his getting fired simply because he stated the obvious: Men and women are genetically, biologically different for valid evolutionary reasons that have nothing to do with culture or learned behaviour. This obviously and self-evidently true fact is anathema to the ultra-left

        1. evilhippo

          Re: Feel Good

          "I've read the full memo not just the synopsis"

          Well that puts you in a tiny minority.

          I read a couple critiques of this thing, then actual read the memo... and then went back to check I had read the correct memo because it did not have much in common with what the outraged protests were ascribing to it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Feel Good

          Excellent Comments - One correction - "They THINK it improves their image." Their lack of Diverse Thinking and diverse opinions lowers their image dramatically. Therefore, since Google has offended me with their lack of diversity, should I fire them? Someone walk me through how to remove Google crome from my computer.

      2. Dr. Ellen
        Flame

        Re: Feel Good

        I went to the post, and read it. It was sober and cautious, and far from stereotyping. He merely said that men and women are, on the average, different; so it's only reasonable they're not all interested in the same things.

        But then, everybody knows: men and women are exactly and totally the same, except men are bastards.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Go

        Re: KeepCalm Re: Feel Good

        ".... without addressing any of the points he raised...." EACTLY THAT! If his ideas are so loopy and easy to debunk, why is the emphasis on attacking him and suppressing his statements rather than publically examining them?

      4. leenex

        Re: Feel Good

        It was a business decision. Right-wingers are notoriously stupid. They give the company a bad rep, which in turn affects share prices.

    5. el kabong

      Discrimination against groups of people is always negative, there is no such thing as positive discrimination.

    6. sad_loser
      Holmes

      The World Athletics men's 100m final

      Wasn't very diverse.

      Where do I register my protest

      1. Aoyagi Aichou
        Joke

        Re: The World Athletics men's 100m final

        Try Oxford's Equality & Diversity Unit, but you have to look them in the eye when you make the claim!

      2. Mad Mike

        Re: The World Athletics men's 100m final

        @sad_loser

        "The World Athletics men's 100m final

        Wasn't very diverse.

        Where do I register my protest"

        Sport always amuses me as the desire to be all hip and PC actually results in the very reverse. Why should there be mens and womens teams? Why not mixed teams, with the best and most able playing in them? Why should women have a 100m and men a 100m race? If we're really equal, everybody should compete on a level playing field, so they should all race together.

        Also, there was that furore over the winners money at Wimbledon. It forced them to pay the mens and womens the same, even though the women spend less time on court, play less tennis (3 v 5 sets) etc. So, they're doing less 'work'. So, why should they get the same? Again, level playing field. Men and women all play 3 or all play 5 sets.

    7. Rob Gr

      Generally, positive discrimination is introduced to combat the fact that discrimination is already happening, in the opposite direction. Ideally, it would not be needed, but there seems little evidence of that in various aspects of society.

      1. Mad Mike

        @Rob Gr.

        It is a sad truth that people, whether deliberately or not, do discriminate. I guess it's built into us. However, swinging from one extreme to another (what seems to happen with positive discrimination) is not really any answer.

    8. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      This is not about diversity and positive discrimination

      This is about a sexist arsehole full of shit sucking shit out of his fingers and talking out its arse uncorroborated conservative bullshit that has no grounds in scientific fact.

      "Women are more susceptible to stress". Utter bullshit proven very well during WW2. No male allied pilot has ever managed to get anywhere near the number of combat sorties the night witches have clocked. The difference is > 4 times. No army has managed to replicate the success of the night witches bomber squadrons too - because they tried with males. Sure, macho, short term gorilla chest beating - that is what we do well. Now, flying every f*** night without a parachute, with a death sentence if caught in an antiquated crop duster and putting a 100 pounder from point blank range in-between Horst eyeballs. Night after night after night - to a total of 960!!! sorties. You call that "susceptible to stress"? F*** that. I can continue - snipers, radar operators, etc. Till this day Russian missile command employs > 50% women sitting in front of the radar screen and this is for a the same reason - they take long term repeated stress much better and there is no higher stress than being the person who assesses if this is a fluke or the beginning of WW3 3 times a week.

      Coming back to our own turf - the best sysadmin and QA I have worked with were ladies (including some I have hired). That one is for the same reason - better long term stress endurance. Some of the best software developers I know are also ladies. Some of the best pen testers, debuggers, security analysis are ladies too. Some of the best scrum masters and engineering managers. And so on.

      So frankly, applause to Google for firing him. Encore (desperately needed in the valley in many places).

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: This is not about diversity and positive discrimination

        Arguing from specific cases to general statements about the population as a whole is not valid reasoning. In particular, it is entirely possible that the particular female persons mentioned were at the extreme of both male and female groups with respect to stress endurance, and at the same time, that the trait is less common among women than men.

        It is, of course, equally invalid to argue from the proposition that because a desired trait is less common in a subpopulation, say of women in comparison to men, that a particular woman lacks it, or even is less likely to possess it than men.

    9. This post has been deleted by its author

    10. John 104

      Celebrate Diversity!

      Just don't say someone is different.

  2. sabroni Silver badge

    The guy's a bigot

    His arguments are weak and based on cherry picking the research that supports his bigotry.

    And as for pretending this is because he's concerned about the users? Yeah, he cares like Google care about my privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The guy's a bigot

      If he was a Google AI Bot he would have got away with it.

      Gorillas. That is all.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: The guy's a bigot

      He said:

      "Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies"

      ...and seems to have been proven correct.

      1. Day

        Re: The guy's a bigot

        The problem he has is encapsulated in the quote, but it's not the issue you think it is. Just in that one paragraph, there are a number of statements that are WHOLLY without foundation in the manifesto:

        1. Google's "left bias"

        2. Google's "monoculture"

        3. "Encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies"

        His ten pages are full of this sort of argument. Over and over, he states that he BELIEVES that something is true and then continues as if it IS true. This is the sort of thing that first year undergraduates do; one of the things they have to learn during their studies is the ability to recognise this sort of flaw in their own arguments.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: The guy's a bigot

          @Day.

          Unfortunately, you're largely wrong as the companies actions have really supported most of his arguments.

          The man was expressing an opinion. As an opinion, he is neither right nor wrong. It's an opinion. Indeed, some of what he said is supported by biological reality. Trying to say men and women are equal in every way is the same as saying an apple and an orange are exactly the same. They're not. They are biologically different. Whether this has an impact on their ability to do a given job is a different matter though and that's where the opinion comes in.

          By sacking him, Google have really rather proved that Google is a monoculture (no other opinions are allowed, you must obey the one message) and also that Goodle are 'encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies' (they sacked him for an opinion for gods sake). Whether you agree with his opinion or not, in western society most countries are based on the idea you can basically express that opinion. Yes, there are some limits, but what he wrote was really not that bad. Yes, it might have shown some potential sexist sentiments, but it was pretty mild. He was simply postulating whether inate biological differences might make women and men more suited to certain roles.

          There is absolute prrof in reality that this is true in some areas. If it's a physical job, men, on average, carry more muscle mass and therefore tend to be more suited....on average. Not to say if you get a suitably strong (or whatever) womsn apply, you shouldn't employ her. Just don't expect it to be 50/50, as the number of women strong enough will be less than men because of simple biology and the way men and womens bodies are built.

          Why is it that rather than embrace diversity and the fact that people are different and get the best from each person, we as a society are determined to try and bend everyone towards a single norm and take the diversity away. The fact that people, the sexes, races, ages etc. tend to have slightly different traits is actually a bonus, not a problem, if you use each to its best ability.

        2. Christian Berger

          Re: The guy's a bigot

          Well I could understand all of that if people simply tackled his arguments one by one, but what's happening is that they just claim that it's a rant. He does make some good suggestions like trying to remove the stigma of men reducing their work time.

          The world is not black and white, and we need opposing viewpoints to callibrate our moral compasses.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: The guy's a bigot

          The fact that he got fired is a good indicator of the authoritarian policies enforcing an extreme leftist monoculture. Which is strange considering that at the macro level, Google is an ultra-capitalist beast

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The guy's a bigot

      Full Ack!

      Bigotry, is a crime, especially when vox populi has detected it. And cherry-picking research in one's support against the immense amount of affirmative-action success stories is even crimer. What's next? Citing Charles Murray??

      That guy can't be fired enough.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: The guy's a bigot

        @Destroy All Monsters.

        "Affirmative-action success stories"?

        Where are they then. For each 'success' you talk about is potentially a person who was discriminated against (failure) to create the success for someone else. Affirmative action is simply discrimination by another name. It is never a success and never positive. It simply perpetuates discrimination, just for a different grouping.

        The inability to read, understand and maybe engage in dialogue with the person and the point he was trying to make shows Google in a very poor light. It's not like the person was just having a rant. It was a well written text, clearly with thought behind it. Doesn't make him right, but means dialogue is the best course forward, rather than just pulling the trigger........

    4. KeepCalm

      Re: The guy's a bigot

      care to cite any references for that?

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: care to cite any references for that?

        Read his manifesto. I did.

    5. el kabong

      Re: The guy's a bigot

      Maybe that bigot learned to be a a bigot from his bigoted boss, Pichai who runs a bigoted corportation that does not tolerate dissent, knows?

      1. el kabong

        Re: The guy's a bigot

        Google's pay gap tells the real story, google's pay gap should tell you what values google's boss really cares about.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: The guy's a bigot

          I've no idea why people quote pay gap statistics. They are almost entirely meaningless, because they aggregate all employees together, regardless of role, unless you're arguing for a pure socialist society.

          I suppose they also serve to highlight that the people who quote them are either innumerate or fraudsters.

          1. barbara.hudson

            Re: The guy's a bigot

            @Adam52 wrote "'I've no idea why people quote pay gap statistics. They are almost entirely meaningless, because they aggregate all employees together, regardless of role, unless you're arguing for a pure socialist society."

            Shouldn't the aggregate pay gap between the sexes also point out the truth of job discrimination based on sex, since in the aggregate the average male makes more than the average female?

            And if you're going to bring in time lost by women raising families, why is it women that mostly have to take the hit, unless it's also because of institutionalized and systemic discrimination, that a woman's career is regarded as less valuable than a man's?

            And then there;s the whole "male privilege" thing.

  3. Michael Thibault

    Busted!

    Fired while utmosting...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    ________________________________________________________

    Try reading the actual memo instead of the lies about it. There's even a graphic illustrating why reducing populations to a single group definition is a bad thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, the author then proceeds to make doing generalizations about women and how their biology makes them less able than men...

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        The author did not argue that the generalizations that apply to women as a population made any particular woman less able than any particular man at any particular job (other, maybe, than bearing a child). He did make statements supporting the claim that the population differences may lead to differences in particular subpopulations such as, for instance, that of Google technical employees.

    2. Phil W

      Indeed, the world at large seems to have read "the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes" as "all women are naturally crap at coding and only men can do it" which is totally not the point he was making.

      His point is perfectly valid in the sense that there are biological differences between men and women when looked at in a broad statistical way, such as spatial awareness, upper body strength, and the brain's ability to handle different kinds of problem.

      This doesn't mean no women are capable of being coders, or that no men are capable of being musicians or artists or poets. It simply means that in general you will likely see a gender bias in each of these areas, and there is no reason to consider this a "bad thing".

      What is a "bad thing" is to turn down women for coding jobs because they're female, or equally to turn down men from being midwives because they're men.

      But equally bad is picking a woman for a coding job, or employing a man as a midwife to even out your gender balance in the work place regardless of whether another applicant of the other gender was better.

      He also points out that because less women want to be coders, the available pool of potential female employees is smaller and therefore as a result the number of good female candidates is smaller. This is also a perfectly reasonable point. Dinner ladies (lunchtime assistants, sorry) tend to be ladies because in general more women choose to stay at home to look after children and therefore are more likely to look for part time work, often nearby and in their community. Should schools employ unemployed single men with no childcare experience instead in order to balance the numbers?

      Certainly we should be encouraging kids of both genders to pursue whatever they want in school, and make sure all opportunities are equally presented and available to boys and girls, and perhaps in the longer term this will result in the gender bias of tech industry balancing out a bit. But if you tried to put as much focus on getting more men to be midwives as their currently seems to be on getting women into tech, people would call you an idiot or worse.

      Trying to make companies demonstrate that they're equal opportunity employers by ensuring they have an equal number of male and female employees in every role completely misses the point of gender equality, and achieves nothing but discrimination of another form.

      If companies force themselves to employ people because of their gender, race or other protected characteristic in order to fill out numbers in that area, rather than because of their ability to do the job then not only do they reduce the effectiveness of the company but as the ex-Googler pointed out they may well demoralise the existing staff who see new colleagues coming in who were not the best choice for the job.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        "... regardless of whether another applicant of the other gender was better."

        One point regarding this. A lot of the arguments against affirmative action are built on the premise that hiring minorities will deny opportunities to better qualified candidates. In reality, however exhaustive the interview process, it can never give a true value to be able to rank all candidates sequentially. Or to put it more simply, it's possible to say candidates A, B, C are better than all the rest, but it's not always possible to rank A, B and C. This could be even more the case at Google where they might get loads of exceptional candidates for each opening. In this case if they choose a woman or minority from (A, B, C), that is not going to be to the detriment of Google, nor is it unfair on the other candidates since the chosen person is at least as competent as the others.

        Not to mention that being totally incompetent has rarely been a disqualifier for white men from a rich background who went to the right schools and had the right mates.

        1. Phil W

          That's certainly true, if you have 2 or 3 candidates who all interview equally well and are equally qualified and experienced, then perhaps selecting based on gender, ethnicity or whatever can be helpful as a deciding factor. But it should very much be a factor of last resort, not a short listing criteria or considered post interview except as a tie breaker.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: jmch

          "....A lot of the arguments against affirmative action are built on the premise that hiring minorities will deny opportunities to better qualified candidates....." Unfortunately, that is what happens in the real World. Another factor is the unspoken belief that white people will only hire white people, something that is shown to be ridiculous by the number of non-whites in Silicon Valley long before affirmative action took root. I have been on interview panels with other white, male technical experts where we have been directed by the HR manager that we have to include at least one female candidate and one ethnic minority candidate in our list of final interviewees, regardless of performance. Personally, I find that insulting, the assumption that a white male cannot see the potential value in a candidate unless it is another white male. Would they be so quick to make that accusation against a woman or a non-white person?

  5. Michael Thibault

    The issue appears to be...

    the very rules of the discourse about 'issues'. Sloppy move on Google's part, killing the messenger for a quantum of virtue.

    1. Nick Kew
      Boffin

      Re: The issue appears to be...

      To have fired him simply proves his point. It demonstrates a monoculture in which a diversity of views cannot be tolerated.

      Had they instead welcomed his contribution to the debate, they would conversely have demonstrated the very tolerance whose existence he questioned.

      To be fair on Google, they are under a lot of pressure from a Politically Correct establishment to demonstrate conformity. A classic scapegoat can be exceedingly useful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The issue appears to be...

        >To have fired him simply proves his point. It demonstrates a monoculture in which a diversity of views cannot be tolerated.

        No - it indicates that Google fired an asshole who has published something that makes it clear that he doesn't consider a large number of his colleages should be there "because of stuff".

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: The issue appears to be...

          @AC

          "No - it indicates that Google fired an asshole who has published something that makes it clear that he doesn't consider a large number of his colleages should be there "because of stuff"."

          The guy may or may not be an arsehole. Neither you nor I know and we might well disagree.

          However, he absolutely did not say what you claim. He was simply pointing out that differences between men and women might affect their ability or desire to do a specific job, given that there are substantial biological differences and university studies have shown differences in various abilities etc. These are on average and he postulates not that people shouldn't be employed if they're male/female, but that the split may not be equal due to the above.

  6. Howard Long

    Open discussion, oops, oppression

    While I don't support the content of the ten pager or its aims, I totally support his right to say it, and be free to discuss it.

    Shutting down a discussion does not make it magically go away. "A workplace culture that is free from intimidation"... errrr, you just fired someone for their opinion, sounds like intimidation to me. Winning people over by oppression, not quite the workplace I'd like to be in.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: Open discussion, oops, oppression

      I totally support his right to say it, and be free to discuss it.

      Freedom of speech does not equate to freedom of consequence for said speech. Especially as Google, being a corporation, is not bound by the First Amendment.

      Now I don't think that either have covered themselves with glory.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Open discussion, oops, oppression

        They aren't bound by the First Amendment but they are bound by the National Labor Relations Act. According to Reuters he had filed a NLRB complaint alleging Google tried to "shame him into silence" and it looks like it he is now going to use that as the basis for a suit claiming that his termination was retaliation for filing the complaint. I don't know how well it will fly but it will require more popcorn.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Open discussion, oops, oppression

          Taking his old employer to court? How very leftist.

      2. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Open discussion, oops, oppression

        The employee made statements (for internal consumption within Google, as I understand it) that in some cases are well supported by research. Some people disagree with him and take offense.

        Google appears to have allowed, and even encouraged such statements, then sacked him for expressing his opinion, thus proving (as a number of others have pointed out) some of his main claims.

        Google is not bound by the first amendment, but their behavior, if as described, reflects much more badly on them than on their former employee.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No No No ~!

    That dress is BLUE I say!!!!!!11

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No No No ~!

      There! Are! Four! Lights!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame so many of those gender sterotypes are actually real, yet this poor googler gets sacked for even mentioning them.

    Political correctness gone mad, as usual.

    1. walatam

      "Political correctness gone mad, as usual."

      I disagree. Google are a profit-making entity and will make decisions based on things that affect that ability. This person had, imho, deplorable views but they were sacked because those views potentially adversely affected Google, not because of "political correctness".

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        They adversely affected Google because of political correctness.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stating the stereotypes as truth, defending them, and claiming less women should be hired, because it lowers the bar.

      1. Mad Mike

        @AC.

        "Stating the stereotypes as truth, defending them, and claiming less women should be hired, because it lowers the bar."

        If you read the paper, you'll find that is exactly what he wasn't saying.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          He claimed that the diversity efforts to hire more women lowered the bar. It's right there in the doc.

          1. Mad Mike

            @AC.

            So, you mean having different physical exams for men and women applying for the same job? That's being done at the moment. How does giving women a lower physical exam not lower the bar?

            I would have thought that's case proven?

  9. Old Englishman

    Sounds like Google wants to be broken up. After all, Republicans control Congress, the Senate and the Presidency; and they have just announced that no republican can hold a job at Google.

    You want more Trump? More Populism? Well, this is how you get it. The longer this sort of hate and arrogance goes on - towards at least half the country! - the more violent the backlash will be.

    Google is anyway far too large and dominant. This is, remember, the company that doesn't really bother to pay tax in the UK while siphoning off our money in all sorts of ways. I hope that the US government sends it the way of the old Bell company monopoly.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Pint

      Yet another case for the +100 button...

    2. Day

      "they have just announced that no republican can hold a job at Google."

      Excuse me? What do you mean?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they have just announced that no republican can hold a job at Google.

      Are you claiming that Republicans all consider women are less able than men to work in tech? Please stop. Some of us have different opinions.

      1. Eddy Ito

        No, I think he's saying that Google's left bias is showing and that anything going against the grain would be a reason to dismiss someone. It's a bit like grade school where kids get suspended for chewing wrong, wrong hair cut, being bullied, taking a picture, wrong clothes, snacking, etc. In short the lesson is conform or get out.

  10. Mystic Megabyte
    Unhappy

    Fail

    I once had an interview with a white guy who wanted to make a film about black musicians. He told me that he would prefer a black crew, I was the wrong colour. It struck me as being rather hypocritical.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

    Sadly, I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team - because of the real risk of hiring someone who's professionally outraged and would simply sue me and my company into oblivion. A very militant set of people are using diversity as a weapon, to make everyone think like them. And these people, regardless of ethnicity are always pure poison. They can't get what they want any other way than through hate, so that's what they use. This is discrimination at its finest, yet they get away with it time and time again, Google Adria Richards for a fine, albeit sad, example - no-one really won there, she didn't advance any cause, she didn't come out looking like a hero.

    So, I read his tract, and it came across as somewhat cliched and pompous, but not entirely without merit. Should he have been fired for it? I don't think so. Was it a fine academic treatise? Definitely not. Was it 'hate-speak'? Of course not.

    1. ttGuy

      Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

      Exactly. I have actually informed my staff and contractors that if I am ever forced to hire based on anything other than ability, then rather than protest / refuse, I will simply shut down the company, giving the current staff and contractors some notice of course so they are not adversely effected.

      I will also refuse to 'install' gender neutral toilets and other nonsense cooked up by some very odd and selfish people.

      Whole situation has been cooked up recently to distract the masses and once caring liberals from more important matters such as climate change and such. It's a crafty political strategy that ironically, benefits right wingers who would rather youth and feminists are wound up about self than protesting at fracking sites in Cumbria.

      Reap, sow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

        Whole situation has been cooked up recently to distract the masses and once caring liberals from more important matters such as climate change and such. It's a crafty political strategy that ironically, benefits right wingers who would rather youth and feminists are wound up about self than protesting at fracking sites in Cumbria.

        That is a very good point indeed, and one that (naively) had never occurred to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

          If you ever need a tangible example of that phenomenon in place then consider how little outcry there was the day Trump's muslim ban came into force, and that he'd tweeted something particularly nasty (the bleeding from a facelift insult) about a female tv presenter two days previously.

          The angry mobs exhausted themselves over the tweet and hadn't managed to rest before the muslim ban.

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

          Whole situation has been cooked up recently to distract the masses and once caring liberals from more important matters such as climate change and such. It's a crafty political strategy that ironically, benefits right wingers who would rather youth and feminists are wound up about self than protesting at fracking sites in Cumbria.

          You are actually giving too much credit to the opposition for deliberate subtle planning. The truth of the matter has more to do with the loudest voices in favour of bringing in many legislative changes is financial interest. Who financially benefited from tinkering with electricity in the name of climate change? Well, the electricity price has gone up by 50% so not the consumer. Carbon emissions haven't dropped by an amount in any proportion to the price increase, so the enviroment isin't really a winner. But do check out how much emissions trading is worth a year.

          Simply, people supporting "the cause" were essentially useful idiots for a group who's now quite rich and has retired from politics.

          As of this moment 0.91%* (0.3GW) of our electricity is being produced by the wind fams that have increased our electricity bills by ~50%. 50.14%* is being generated by the gas plants that were built to "back up" the wind capacity. Excluding the aging nuclear plants generating 23.55%* of our electricity the only notable "green" power generation going is biomass plants, which are coal plants converted to burn trees which are cut down in america, pulped to pellets and then shipped from america. It'd be more sensible to just burn the sodding fuel used in transporting that lot directly to generate electricity, except the result would be counted as polluting rather than "green energy" and so wouldn't generate the carbon credits required to offset the emissions for the coal plants that are needed to ensure that pensioners don't freeze to death in the winter when the lights go out.

          * correct figures at time of writing. (http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk)

          We are literially in a position where if the loony bins keep fiddling with energy policy then the lights are going to go out so don't encourage them.

          As a country we've been extracting gas from the ground in the UK since 1896 without the world coming to an end so pumping up gas to power the gas plants that were built to "back up" the wind turbines (backups that usually produce 15x the amount of what they are backing up?) is hardly going to be a serious issue, and will mean that we can stop going to war to prop up despots in the middle east to ensure a flow of oil/gas.

          So let the utter loons on the extreme left get involved with harmless issues where they can't do serious damage, But FFS don't encourage them to further fiddling with power generation for the next five or ten years if you want to keep your lights (and computers/ipads) turned on and western countries out of wars in the middle east.

    2. Nick Kew
      FAIL

      Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

      Sadly, I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team - because of the real risk of hiring someone who's professionally outraged and would simply sue me and my company into oblivion.

      Methinks that makes you part of the problem. You appear to be showing prejudice over where a disruptive SJW might come from.

      Big nonprofit org I'm involved with has this issue internally. Vast male majority. The 'diversity' subject comes up about once a year, usually raised by someone well-meaning. Any potential debate is shouted down very loudly by one individual who absolutely won't tolerate dissent and must have the last word. He's male. I think he's also white, though I couldn't say for certain.

      A couple of years ago the subject was raised by a (black) lady, who proposed to conduct some actual study that might have thrown some light on the vexed question of whether there was a real issue and whether there was something we could/should do better. She was recently elected, so could perhaps be forgiven for not quite anticipating the hornets' nest she raised. But of course, as soon as people started to discuss the subject, SJW shouts down anything that doesn't fit his prejudices.

      Original proposer retreats from the debate, so whatever she now does is denied the benefit of community input, as well as the peer review that might potentially take it from a considered opinion piece to serious scholarship.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

        Methinks that makes you part of the problem. You appear to be showing prejudice over where a disruptive SJW might come from.

        I struggled to give your post any credence after the tired old SJW term came up, in particular the way you use SJW in two entirely distinct ways - in paragraphs 2 and 4.

        You are describing the actions of a complete arsehole - I wouldn't want them in my team either. But that's nothing to do with diversity, except you seem to be entirely expectant that any arsehole must be male and 'possibly' (although I think you know exactly what colour his skin was) white. Why is it that on every diversity course I go on, I'm the one who's told that to be diverse, I have to make allowances for other people's behaviour, whilst they seemingly can do what they want and make no allowances for anyone else. I have to put up with whoever's pissing in disposable cups and leaving it in the company's bathroom. Why don't they don't have to learn some fucking hygiene?

        And 'diversity' has been hijacked by angry, bitter, divisive and hateful people. Would I want to hire anyone like that? No. I've been put off trying something new; I'll stick with what I know. But good luck with your hiring... we'll see who's right or wrong in a decade or so, I guess.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I now wouldn't take the risk of hiring a diverse team

          " Why is it that on every diversity course I go on, I'm the one who's told that to be diverse, I have to make allowances for other people's behaviour, whilst they seemingly can do what they want and make no allowances for anyone else. I have to put up with whoever's pissing in disposable cups and leaving it in the company's bathroom. Why don't they don't have to learn some fucking hygiene? "

          They do that when they take over the disabled toilets in a certain university I know well too, but 'diversity' means no one dare speak out about such things, academic freedom to question such things packed its bags and left years ago.

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Goodthink upheld!

    A MiniTrue autonomously driven vehicle cunningly disguised as an anime character has been seen leaving the building with the perp inside. The unperson will be ecologically-mindfully disposed of.

    Get back to work!

  13. Lith

    So they have the right to say what they want.

    So long as Google agrees with it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It should be obvious that there are opinions that can get you fired if you express them at work. For instance, claiming that black people are inferior will see you out of most companies.

      At Google, claiming that for biological reasons, women are on average less able than men to work in tech is enough.

      1. Mad Mike

        @AC.

        "At Google, claiming that for biological reasons, women are on average less able than men to work in tech is enough."

        Unfortunately for Google, this isn't what he said. He postulated that biological differences might lead to either better ability to do something or more of a desire to do something.

        Now, university research has found that on average (bear in mind it's all averages and therefore doesn't apply to everyone in a given group) women are better at some tasks than men and vice versa. Men and womens brains operate slightly differently, which causes this. So, for instance, research has found that on average, men are more spatially aware than women. Similarly, women genuinely can multi-task better than men.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/articles/spatial_tests.shtml

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24645100

        I know they're both BBC, but google and you'll find more.....

        He then postulated that these changes might make the different sexes more suited (on average) for different jobs or change the want to do these jobs. This might then result in an uneven distribution for some jobs between the sexes. Given the evidence, I would think he has at least a point suitable for debate.

        As I've said before, none of the above means you shouldn't hire women or men for given jobs. It just means don't be surprised if the demographic doesn't match the societal 'norm' you were expecting. Not every job will end up a 50/50 split between men and women.

        1. ratfox

          "He didn't say that women are on average less able in tech! He only said that different sexes are (on average) more suited for different jobs."

          ... Wait, how is that different? It's not that women are less able, it's that men are more suited for tech jobs?

  14. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    WTF?

    After reading the document...

    there are certainly things a disagree with. But I cannot possibly spot why on earth someone who has put real effort to argue things (he's a techie, mind) should be fired. Did I miss anything?

    It is my impression that when working for a US company (at least for SOME of them), there is a very strong pressure to conform in many more ways than an employer should possible ask for. I consider that unsound, to say the least. That thing is increasingly taken up here in GrumpenLand, and I overwhelmingly dislike it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: After reading the document...

      It is my impression that when working for a US company (at least for SOME of them), there is a very strong pressure to conform in many more ways than an employer should possible ask for.

      I work for a large US company and there us a lot of truth in that statement. Being a team player is seen as more important than genuine discussion. The biggest faux-pas is anything that tarnishes the brand. Public, dissent even within the company is seen as bad for the brand so much be stepped on.

      The difference between US and European cultures is shown by this story I heard.

      MS was showing off its latest Excel. They went to a US conference and showed how you could do all sort of eye-candy stuff such as rotate your tables on a cube etc. The crowd in the conference went wild, whooping and hollering as the demonstration went on.

      They next came over to Yorkshire, UK and did the same demonstration. This time it was met with stony silence.

      At the end, the person doing the demo said to their audience "well, I got a much better reaction last time I did this".

      A voice from the back in strong Yorkshire accent then replied "Its only a bloody spreadsheet"

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: After reading the document...

        > Being a team player is seen as more important than genuine discussion.

        Ah, that's why me saying "This will never work." hasn't furthered my career 8^)

        > A voice from the back in strong Yorkshire accent then replied "Its only a bloody spreadsheet"

        LOL. We once had a meeting (here in Germany) where one of our CxO guys was boo-ed out of the room, he actually ran out with a red face. Deservedly, I must add, his speech was straight from BrainfuckIstan.

        US colleague to me: "Why isn't EVERYBODY fired?" Me: "German work laws are a bitch, with a 14-inch strap on."

        To connect back to the article: that firing would be A LOT harder to do with reasonable work laws.

    2. ttGuy

      Re: After reading the document...

      I worked for a Silicon Valley company in 1999-2000 where it was forbidden from making a move on another member of staff. In my social and professional circle, both here in the UK and in US, a large proportion of my happily married friends met at work. I think a lot of this BS is introduced into the narrative by people who are afraid of their sexuality / lack genuine self confidence, and so project a lot of hate and fear of others, even if unjustifiably.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: After reading the document...

      Did I miss anything?

      Yeah, you took the time to read the document and gave it your full attention. That's no way to get mad about anyone else's opinion. These days you have to decide to be offended before you read a single word.

  15. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    The truth

    They said that if DRUMPF got elected we’d have scientists silenced just for speaking out against the grain, and they were right!

  16. owensteam

    Has the World Lost its Mind

    This guy is simply pointing out that women and men are different but equal, how is that so inflammatory? There is evidence for this from gender scientists which is branded sexist as although meticulously and thoroughly researched, it doesn't fit with an agenda.

    This 'every identity group is exactly the same and should be represented a such at every level in every industry' nonsense has to stop, it is insane.

    Go look at Camille Paglia, she's much smarter and eloquent than me, plus she's a gay woman so you might actually pay attention to what she's saying.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google's monoculture of diversity, challenge it and off you go.

    Is it me or google is not nearly half as tolerant as they love to grandiously claim?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb move, had Pichai paused to consult his AI bot and taken its advice that diversity fiasco at google could have been avoided.

    Note to Pichai: whenever you have a common sense issue to sort out learn to trust your AI bot more, when it comes to common sense that bot is smarter than that you are. Much much smarter!

  19. codejunky Silver badge

    Shame

    I guess having diverse opinions didnt lead to "better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone."

    Hopefully he will be happier not working there.

  20. RobertLongshaft

    The ideological echo chamber will not have dissent

    I see silicone valley's ideological mono-culture has shown how utterly fragile it is yet again, they've created a safe space for liberal lunatics to preach multi gender pseudo-science and promote the pay gap myth.

    When a dissenting voice dares speak up the ministry of truth swoop in, black uniforms and all, arrest that man on charges of wrong-think and wrong-speak removing him for the safe space of the ultra fragile millennial snowflakes. Just as Twitter and Facebook now actively subvert conservative views on their platforms, silicone valley's elite cannot allow dissenting voices to walk the hallowed halls of the chocolate factory.

    As George Orwell so poignantly said, if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. And dissenting thoughts must not be allowed to disrupt the liberal echo chamber safe space.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems to me that activist (or militant) groups just realized how powerful a weapon "diversity" really is when thrown against anyone who nurtures ideas that differ from theirs and has the guts to speak those ideas out to the world.

    Diversity used as a weapon against free speech, it will not end well. It cannot end well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC. "Diversity used as a weapon against free speech, it will not end well. It cannot end well."

      I fear you are correct. Worse, that's probably the plan.

  22. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Discrimination used to mean choosing the best

    and it was good to be a person of discriminating taste.

    It was only by specifically referring to 'bad' value scales - racial, gender, religion, age, .. choose your favourite victim status.. that it becomes a negative. Then lazy people leave off the qualifier, and in not too long an interval, ANY kind of discrimination gets you consigned to the circle of hell next to where they keep people who talk in theaters.

    There is a case for affirmative action/positive discrimination - when a group is unfairly selected against, but it should not cause an objectively inferior candidate to 'win' over a more suited choice.

    Every person is the center of their own universe, and will interpret any judgement from that perspective.

  23. mrjohn

    This is Google on unconscious bias

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

  24. Dave's Jubblies

    So glad I find I'm not alone in this...

    From the minute I read the memo (yes, I actually read it, all of it) I wondered what the big outrcry was actually about.

    The guy IMO said (TL:DR version) there are differences between men and women, why try to pretend otherwise? Why not accept them and work with them instead of trying to force them into the same shaped role?

    What exactly is wrong with that? How is it wrong to see that men and women are different, in the main have differing views, see situations differently, respond differently? The point surely is that these differences *shouldn't* be treated as *worse*, just 'different' and use that to strengthen your company?

    Where differences exist due to social or societal reasons, yes, we should empower people (not just women remember...the poor, black and other minorities, disabled etc) to get over those. But try to stamp out biological and behavioural differences 'because its not right' isn't the right reason.

    The best person for the job, is the best person for the job. Don't remove the differences, embrace them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The best person for the job, is the best person for the job."

      Yeah, right, and Brexit means Brexit.

      Unfortunately, some companies have a poisonous macho management culture in which only swanker men and Maggie-Thatcher-type women can fit in. What are you going to do about that? Keep on hiring and promoting people who are the "best person for the job" because they fit in and can cope with that culture?

      Perhaps Google are developing a different type of poisonous culture, but I can't really tell from where I'm standing.

      By the way, if men and women were the same then you wouldn't be able to increase "diversity" by having more representative numbers of them so I don't think anyone is claiming that they are the same.

      1. Dave's Jubblies

        Sorry, but that's a shite comparison.

        No you don't employ people who can fit in with a culture that is clearly poisonous. But a good head wouldn't allow that, or would employ to fix it.

        This is what I meant by 'best person for the job'.

        I think your own biases are at play there, making assumptions on my behalf. In fact, that's a great example of where a woman WOULD be a good fit. If the top end is so macho and gung-ho, then yes, that's exactly where you SHOULD be looking to employ the strengths of a diverse workforce.

        Please be clear on what I said. I never even inferred anyone is inferior to anyone else. I just said that everyone has differing strengths, and yes, that also means that men are better suited, *in the main* to some tasks, and women are better suited *in the main* to others.

        Are ALL men better motor mechanics than ALL women? NO!, but fact is, that men IN THE MAIN are better suited to it because it's a physically demanding job, and *in the main* men are physically suited to it. Does that mean that women shouldn't even try to be a mechanic? Also, clearly no! But it's surely quite natural to assume that men would more naturally gravitate to a job like that than women, no?

    2. hammarbtyp

      The best person for the job, is the best person for the job. Don't remove the differences, embrace them.

      Problem is how and who defines who the best person is for the job.

      For example you could use the old British civil service system which was based on which public school they went to and their ability to speak Latin. Their argument would be that anyone who came from outside that culture would not fit into the environment and therefore be less effective. The fact this was total bullshit and used to ensure power rested with the ruling classes didn't stop the system being used well into the 21st century.

      In the end prejudice can often be disguised in this way and after a while can become a reinforcing feedback loop that is difficult to break out of.

      1. Dave's Jubblies

        "For example you could use the old British civil service system which was based on which public school they went to and their ability to speak Latin. Their argument would be that anyone who came from outside that culture would not fit into the environment and therefore be less effective. The fact this was total bullshit and used to ensure power rested with the ruling classes didn't stop the system being used well into the 21st century."

        Indeed, which reinforces my point.

        I said that where the differences empower your organisation you should seek to employ them. In this example, it could be seen that those prejudices were inhibiting them, and they should actively seek to address that.

        You would expect an organisation to look at its culture or mindset to assess whether it is helping or hindering. It would be foolish of a business to ignore damage being done to their brand or earnings by wilfully allowing a damaging culture (See: Uber).

        As for who decides, that's a separate argument.

        1. hammarbtyp

          I said that where the differences empower your organisation you should seek to employ them. In this example, it could be seen that those prejudices were inhibiting them, and they should actively seek to address that.

          You would expect an organisation to look at its culture or mindset to assess whether it is helping or hindering. It would be foolish of a business to ignore damage being done to their brand or earnings by wilfully allowing a damaging culture (See: Uber).

          In a perfect world yes (however in a perfect world there would not be discrimination based on race or gender)

          However you over estimate corporations and those who lead them.

          If you are a elderly middle manager you do not maintain control by employing people of greater or equal ability., you do it by employing yes men and lesser intellects. Many corporations die, because eventually you get a manager of little ability who employs people not on their ability, but on their subservience, loyalty and the ability to make themselves look more competent than they are. Diversity is discouraged because it highlights their inadequacies and there is always the danger that they may be competent .

          Eventually the company dies, gets taken over and in some extreme cases the incompetent CEO gets elected as POTUS

          Never underestimate the ability of a company to resist change while pay lip service to the changes they themselves will not make.

          Seriously does no one read Parkinson's Law anymore

          1. Dave's Jubblies

            So your solution is to blindly pretend there are no differences between any areas of difference despite knowing that doing so might in some way damage your organisation?

            Sorry that's balls.

            I agree that my example was 'in an ideal world', but I don't believe you fix something that is faulty by employing another fault.

            Embrace the diversity and use the strengths it brings. Don't deny it exists.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    commie times ahoy

    constructive criticism - good. Political correctness - BETTER. And if you cross the line, it's f... BAD for you, ex-comrade!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good job cunts.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Meh

      This is more than one way to read your message. Please let me not elaborate.

  27. el kabong

    How much does google value diversity? The answer is in the pay gap, google's pay gap tells a story that is at odds with official line of the company.

    Do as I say don't do as I do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They value diversity as long as everyone says the same things, "believes" the same things, conforms to a standard party I mean social norm and is given the same "reward" regardless of the situation.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: el kabong

      "....Do as I say don't do as I do." It appears that "do no evil" should have had a footnote explaining that Google reserved the right to define evil as they see fit.

  28. Tim Seventh

    Lesson for the Internet

    That moment when his memo was leaked, he should have created his own reddit discussion. That's because all the fake news, twitters post and blog are all very one sided, skipping and ignoring some valid points (not all) he made backed by real reference.

  29. PhilipN Silver badge

    People!

    I keep a small office just to avoid today's Human Resources issues.

    In fact I don't have any but a small part of my brain is prepared to pay a higher salary to attract female employees with long legs and big knockers.

    Does that mean I am normal? Or bigoted? Perhaps both?

    Don't tell me you are any different, guys.

  30. Nick Kew

    Back story?

    Can El Reg use its journalistic nouse to see if there's a back story to this?

    For example, if an engineer were about to get fired for very good reasons, releasing this document just before it could be a brilliant distraction. Turn a crook into a free speech martyr in the eyes of the world. Or make a bid for a career change: join the professional Chattering Classes!

    BTW, may I refer readers to my comment above ("Re: The issue appears to be...") for where I'm coming from? Trouble with a debate like this is that there are some on all sides who will jump to conclusions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back story?

      Discredit someone by building an elaborate conspiracy theory to twist the motivations of their actions into cunning malfeasance? No, I don't think that would work. And the media would never, ever relentlessly pursue such an obvious ploy on a daily basis for months-on-end, either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back story?

      If Google was going to fire an engineer for good reasons, why wouldn't they just fire them? It isn't as if the firing of a random Google engineering is going to rate the local paper, let alone be discussed on El Reg. I mean, you said "very good reasons" so if he's watching porn at his desk or keeps responding to spam emails and infecting the internal network, why would Google need to distract anyone from a firing that everyone would agree makes sense?

      If this was some top guy like a CFO and they were firing him because they found he was cooking the books then maybe they might want something to distract because firing a CFO might actually attract some unwelcome attention in the tech/financial press.

  31. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    If you're sending ten page manifestos to your colleagues about what you believe to be wrong with the world, then I probably don't want to work with you, no matter what those views are.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      I see your point, I'd perhaps avoid such a person as well.

      But firing him, really? This has STUPID written all over it.

      1. Dave's Jubblies

        Especially for an organisation that allegedly embraces debate and invites opinion.

    2. Michael Thibault

      @phuzz. I'd agree IFF "you're sending ten page manifestos to your colleagues about what you believe to be wrong with the world" every other day. Damore wasn't. And: the identification of it as a "manifesto" (a term with dark and sticky connotations, obviously) was not original with him -- a fact which should neither be glossed over nor forgotten.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Let me put it a different way, if you want to write ten page essays, go find an evening class, don't force your coworkers to read it.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: phuzz

        ".....don't force your coworkers to read it." Google created the internal forum expressly as a safe space for employees to raise what they saw as issues with Google processes and policies. No-one forced anyone to read it, and it was not Damore that posted it to the outside World.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Decision time

    So I am sitting here with two CVs in hand; one is pretty mediocre the other is a freakin genius and would be a great addition to the team. But I am not sure how the nazi tattoos across his face and insistence on always carrying a glock will go down with them. I will need to hire more gun-totting nazis to balance diversity.

  33. Phil W

    Fired, but what about the leaker?

    So Google fired this guy for expressing a critical opinion of Google's policies, on an internal discussion board. Aside from the fact that when read properly his post isn't really bad or wrong, firing seems a little excess for such an internal action.

    On the other hand, somebody at Google took that internal only communication and posted it on reddit for all the world to see. Surely disseminating internal corporate communications to the world (unless whistle blowing on some illegal activity) should be a sackable offence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fired, but what about the leaker?

      indeed, one could say that the person expressing an opinion was bullied and harassed then punished by not only the organisation but the regressive media and online factions.

      But he's a man so he should basically be happy he wasn't gassed and then incinerated.

  34. OptimumPlumb

    Rookie mistake.

    Rookie mistake. When a company asks you to put forward your views what they actually mean is express favorable uncontroversial views inline with the company agenda or be tagged as a potential trouble maker and become a target for future downsizing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rookie mistake.

      Well if you're in IT nowadays and even remotely close to any company that has a "progressive" somewhere in its values then you best not express any opinions slightly away from Lenin on economics/politics and the progressive mantra on diversity, no doubt right up to and including cultural appropriation. Because of course, the progressives are all for purity and supremacy of culture and would love for us all to live in a beautiful diverse monoculture while not embracing other cultures. Sometimes cognitive dissonance hurts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rookie mistake.

      Was it a mistake or a brilliant trap?

      Either way, he baited Google into proving its hypocrisy and revealing its extremist social agenda for all to see in a top news story that won't go away.

  35. TheElder

    Sarcasm?

    HAZARDOUS MATERIALS DATA SHEET

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

    ELEMENT: Woman

    SYMBOL:

    DISCOVERER: ADAM

    ATOMIC MASS: Accepted as 55kg, but known to vary from 45kg to 225kg

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    1: Body surface normally covered with film of powder and paint

    2: Boils at absolutely nothing. Freezes for no apparent reason

    3: Found in various grades ranging from virgin material to common ore

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

    CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

    1: Reacts well to gold, platinum and all precious stones

    2: Explodes spontaneously without reason or warning

    3: Most powerful money reducing agent known to man

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

    COMMON USE

    1: Highly ornamental, especially in sports cars

    2: Can greatly aid relaxation

    3: Can be an effective cleaning agent

    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

    HAZARDS

    1; Turns green when placed alongside a superior specimen

    2: Possession of more than one is possible but specimens must never make eye contact

  36. TheElder
    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: The facts

      Thanks for this, especially the relevant references within it.

      I have to say I lost all respect for Yonatan Zunger almost before knowing he existed.

    2. Michael Thibault

      Re: The facts

      @TheElder. The author of the article you linked to, Debra Soh, apparently holds a "PhD in sexual neuroscience". WTF more is there to say?

    3. KeepCalm

      Re: The facts

      @TheElder

      That is a wonderfully written article!

      The author links to 9 research papers to support her claims. I wish the BBC and the ultra left-wing libtards would actually read some research!

  37. TheElder
  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No diversity of opinion from "progressive" conformity

    A small diversity of salaries between men and women = very bad.

    Massive and growing diversity of salaries between workers and senior execs = no issue, totally justified.

    I remember 20 odd years ago our (female) science teacher telling us interesting extra-curricular science facts. Such as men's brains being larger on average than womens, and how men's brains were better at 3D spacial recognition / visualisation, while women were better at multi-tasking. Of course we knew it was politically incorrect but we didn't let that detract from expressing scientific truth. If there was no inherent difference between male and female brains we would be equally capable at all tasks and think alike. In which case the ratio of male to female employees would make no difference to an organisation and diversity would have no perceivable benefit.

    How things have changed, now just saying the truth is enough to get you fired from your job. It seems this has happened because behind the scenes political "progressives" put pressure on governments and corporations to adopt their false agenda (that denies nature and attributes all difference in ability to nurture / opportunity). Remember, the high ups who make these decisions prioritise profit over morality. If something is seen as "incorrect" as dictated by "progressives" they will not jeapordise their company reputation by taking a moral stand. Just because they are in authority doesn't mean their decision is right. What needs to happen is a legal challenge to stop people losing their jobs because of this. Otherwise if this "progress" continues, they'll be passing Orwellian laws and imprisioning dissenters. The same applies to hate crime laws where if the victim claims they are offended it's a crime, without any objective facts or reason.

    It's true thats sex discrimination in employment existed decades ago (and possibly still does in some backward places), but can anyone who has interviewed applicants at any professional organisation in the last 25+ years honestly say they denied a role to a woman because of their gender? If anything, for most IT companies the reverse is true, and women would be positively welcomed in a department with a surfeit of male employees. Despite this we are obliged to accept a false guilt-complex that we've all discriminated and "things have to change". In reality there's been a shortage of qualified and interested female applicants, because given a free choice with well-paid alternatives most women aren't interested in IT.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: No diversity of opinion from "progressive" conformity

      I remember 20 odd years ago our (female) science teacher telling us interesting extra-curricular science facts

      I hope, for the quality of your education, that what she actually said was "when observing a large sample, the female participants showed this trait slightly more often than the male participants did." Because these differences are statistical, they are small, and the degrees overlap considerably between individual males and females. Reducing any sex-linked personality trait to a binary flag would be an egregious mistake.

      I'm male, and have below-average spatial calculation skills, but high linguistic proficiency and positional memory - all of which are supposed to be "female" traits. However, I also have very high logical reasoning scores, which is allegedly a "male" trait. A group of us (mixed sex) did these tests once, and there was nobody who fit the clear-cut "male brain" or "female brain" categories. But I'm pretty sure that had 10,000 people taken the test, there'd be a slight difference by sex. But only slight.

      We're in danger of amplifying the noise floor here: ignoring a huge "same" to focus on the tiny "different" it's a common fallacy I've seen in tech people when they move outside of techical decision making (it's not unique to technical people, but it's more common there). That thinking is absolutely the right approach when trying to track down a bug, but not when trying to hire a team. (Over-weighting these small differences between people explains both entrenched misogyny/racism and poor "diversity hires" - the only difference is in the hirer's preconceptions)

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Kristian Walsh Re: No diversity of opinion from "progressive" conformity

        ".....the only difference is in the hirer's preconceptions." Er, no. Take for example a recent network team manager vacancy interview panel I sat on, where we had twenty-six applicants put forward by external (and almost uniformly female) national hiring agencies. Our HR department has a black, female director and her staff are predominantly female, and they approve all candidates before interview. By your reckoning on bias we should have received predominantly female candidates with a good number of blacks included. We actually got eighteen white male candidates, five Indian males, two Chinese males and a single white female. I did ask the agencies why we didn't have more women willing to apply, they just shrugged and said it wasn't a popular vacancy with many of their female candidates. At the same time we had another vacancy for a Web graphics designer - this had an almost equal number of male-to-female applicants, though the majority of the women were Indian. Not a single black applicant of either sex for either job, despite being in a city with over 50% black population. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the "hirer's preconceptions" and more to do with the actual candidates and the jobs they are seeking. For the record, we hired a white male network manager (he had more qualifications and experience) and an Indian female graphics designer (she tested the best).

  39. MK_E

    The question on my mind is whether the decision to sack him was made before or after it got leaked out on social media and the braying masses started to call for blood.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google wants the best talent?

    It is stated fact that many of the brightest people who have furthered our civilisation have been on the autistic spectrum.

    Google has a hiring policy that positively encourages the hiring of such people who, by definition of them being "autistic", struggle with 'normal' human perceptions of understanding emotional behaviour. Why then, is Google surprised when one of its engineers gets a thought, runs with it, and ends up saying things that, while rational and logical, are not considered either 'tactful' or 'politically correct'?! If Google wants to avoid their employees doing this again, they need to remove their email system, blogging environment and any other means for their engineers to post their thoughts. Better still, they manage them more closely and ensure that this kind of open conversation that they appear to explicitly engender in their workforce is something that is best avoided by their brightest talent.

    I used to work for ICL (an IBM-like organisation that got sucked into Fujitsu in the 1990's) and it couldn't have functioned without it's brightest autistic engineers, who solved some of the most difficult and fiendish technical challenges it came across. In those days it didn't have to worry about them emailing anyone as there was no-one to email properly!

    A bit of a rambling post, but hopefully you can see where I'm going here...

  41. DuncanLarge

    Google must be the most anti-diverse company I have ever heard of

    I read the memo. All of it. And understood it. Its not really hard. Mixing paint would be harder.

    Those who read this memo and see it as "anti-diversity" dont know what they read. I wonder if they can understand a shopping list to be honest.

    This memo is the most diversity supporting thing that Google will ever see in digital or physical form considering the memo's description of Googles own practices.

    It actively tries to expose Googles internal environment as one that is itself anti-diverse. Assuming it is correct, I agree. Google's internal work environment is possibly the craziest and most sexits/racist thing I have seen that thinks its none of those things. It is the cause of any gender gap, yet actually thinks it is the opposite.

    Those who work in this environment and dont see this are akin to the general human population of the Matrix who think they are free, yet are enslaved. They are like the Muggles in Harry Potter who cant see magic when it is right in front of their nose, inventing excuses as to why it cant possibly exist or be true.

    So one guy comes along and sees through it all. Writes a diversity promoting text that attempts to change the environment so it can actually do what its trying to do, and gets fired by those who want to keep hurting others while thinking they are not.

    So he gets fired. Those who did that probably did so because:

    - They got triggered at some point by something that would threaten their solid, non-plastic view of the universe. They stopped reading, jumped to a conclusion and acted.

    - They had tired eyes and could not read it all. Went along with the group or just said yes so they too dont get in trouble with the "solid ones".

    - They created these practices. They became angry that someone would not worship their "design" and found they can use their own system against him to protect themselves / take revenge.

    - They created / supported these practices and after reading the memo (assuming they understood it) found they were exposed to possible embarrassment. They are trying to cover up/take revenge etc.

    - They cant read.

    This memo should be posted to Google via snail mail thousands of times. Like in Harry Potter, enough exposure to the letters and Harry will get to go to Hogwarts, and Google employees will be freed.

    Also they may be forced to learn to read!

  42. MrReal

    Diversity of thought is banned.

    Diversity is a word that only applies to certain things, if you think differently that your tolerant, liberal co-workers will remove your living wage in a heartbeat.

    Point out that Sandy Hook events didn't add up, that the Orlando Pulse was too small, there were no ambulances and victims were being carried toward the nightclub can get you banned.

    Suggest that the easiest way to get Apollo to the moon (in light of the 17 year failure of the Orion project to get a man into orbit) was to fake it and you're a kook, and point out that the documented 2.25 seconds of free-fall in the timed and choreographed destruction of WTC7 can only be due to 40,000 tons of structural steel ceasing to be any impediment at the same instant gets you into the conspiracy box.

    The fact that a highly educated coder can actually get fired for a simple thought crime - and lets not forget it was just a mild opinion that anyone may have - that the First Amendment gives him protection to speaks volumes about Google, and not in a good way. Since Eric came onto the scene it's been run more like the CIA than a helpful nerdy company.

    So remember: Diversity in everything - the more perverted the better - but not in thought: because today, 33 years after 1984; diverse thoughts are a crime.

  43. betsyjeffery

    In favor or following your own policy.

    Google did the right thing by enforcing its policies. Remember people, businesses are NOT democracies. You knew the rules of the game when you were hired.

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