back to article Author of infamous Google diversity manifesto drops lawsuit against web giant

James Damore, the one-time Google developer who infamously suggested his bosses' diversity rules made it impossible to voice some opinions, has dropped his lawsuit against the internet titan. Damore’s ludicrous memo emerged in 2017 and suggested, among other things, affirmative action policies that balance gender …

  1. NibblyPig

    Evil Corp wins again

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: evil Corp

      Indeed. It would have been great to watch Google's dirty underpants being washed in court.

      Evil is the right word to describe them. For them, the song goes 'Things can only get more evil'.

      Posting AC so at least they have to work a little bit to add this post to their file on me.

      1. NibblyPig

        Re: re: evil Corp

        Your chrome browser, the ad trackers linked to your IP, your wifi name/IP likely mapped and cross referenced with your android device, your google search history cross referenced with your browser capabilities, IP address, ad and tracking cookies, the google authenticator you use to log in, google maps, location services, the fact you set your dns to 8.8.8.8 one time three years ago because your ISP was having problems, your social media account crossreferenced with friends that have used your AP while visiting your house, or perhaps strangers that drove past your house with an android phone in their pocket. That one time you typed your password into google search accidentally. If you use Chrome, all of your passwords are probably saved onto Google servers anyway though. The presentations you write in google docs, that one time you google translated a document. Google calendar syncing your appointments with your google location history, plus things you bought like that sofa using Google Pay, not to mention your app store purchases. But you escaped on a nice holiday you compared the prices of using Google Flights, but it all became a lot easier once you installed a Google Home wiretap in your house, it was easier to hear than the one installed in your phone. But at least when you browse the news, in firefox, on your work PC, it's not linked to google, although hold on google AMP has replaced all the news sites with their own cached version. Plus your e-mail is on G-Suite, your files are on Google Drive, and the websites you use are powered by Google Charts. Your thermostat and home automation are powered by Google Nest, and your driving instructions come from Google Maps or Google Waze. Half of your mobile apps were written in Google Flutter/Dart, and many websites you visit are protected with Google reCapcha. At least you can unplug though and simply use your Android powered TV box. Or avoid TV and just kick back and go directly for some Google YouTube.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: evil Corp

          @NibblyPig, I can't upvote that post enough.

          Why do so few people realise that we barely have an open internet any more, the tendrils of the Google brain parasite now extend almost everywhere, and, as you point out, with Recaptcha and AMP appearing in increasingly many places, it is very, very, very, hard to avoid them. :-(

          1. mevets

            Re: re: evil Corp

            Certainly; on a daily basis google's insights target me with ads for hot women in a town 650 km from where I live, that I have never physically been within 250 km of. It does happen to be where my ISP's head office is, so sure that is a point of confusion. A bit of a paper tiger.

            1. AK565

              Re: re: evil Corp

              My gay, Greek orthodox friend gets daily adverts on book face for "real Muslim brides". So there is that.

          2. AK565

            Re: re: evil Corp

            Why do so few realise? A couple of things:

            1. Many people are working more hours than their counterparts did 20 or 30 years ago. The discretionary time to keep up on this isn't physically there.

            2. Keeping up on this requires a shitload more time & energy than it did even 10 years ago.

            3. It's simply too complicated for the average person to understand.

            I'm really confident I'm one of the least tech savvy subscribers here. At the same time, I know much more than the average person. Feel like I'm 2/3 of the way to the right on the Dunning-Kruger curve. I know enough to know that I'm really not that knowledgeable, yet I'm surrounded by "experts" who crowd the left end of the curve and try to tell me I "don't really understand" how google works and that I'm being ridiculous with my concerns.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Yes, because calling out someone for being an offensive, sexist dick is evil. :rolleyes:

      There are a million cases where calling out Google for being evil dicks applies. This case is not one of them.

      1. NibblyPig

        At the risk of starting a total poo storm, I think you're misinformed if you think he was a 'sexist dick'.

        Pointing out gender differences and biased diversity hiring practices, which he produced when he was asked for feedback, is not sexist. We can't advance as a species until we acknowledge biological differences exist between men and women.

        As for being offensive, you can offend *someone* with just about anything these days, people say "I'm offended" like it means they have some kind of rights that mean you have to change what you say.

        Then again, in some circles it is offensive and sexist to say that men can't give birth. So I think we have a long way to go. Plus, people like yourself won't even consider it for discussion. It has to be shut down immediately with cries of 'sexism!'. Men are stronger than women? Sexism! I won't even look at the research! How dare you! You're probably an incel! This is the state of the internet. Then we wonder why happiness is going down overall for both genders, perhaps it is connected? But we can't look. Because if we find out it is, we'll be no platformed and called sexist.

        If you google his position you'll find articles with reliable sources that back up what he has to say. Unfortunately, sometimes facts can be sexist, in the advanced 21st century that will probably one day be known as the dark ages.

        1. sed gawk Silver badge

          Reliable sources say "yeah, it doesn't mean that!"

          If you google his position you'll find articles with reliable sources that back up what he has to say.

          ISTR that the authors of the studies referenced by Damore repudiated that interpretation of the work.

          https://www.wired.com/story/the-pernicious-science-of-james-damores-google-memo/

          Women as a group score higher on neuroticism in Schmitt’s meta-analysis, sure, but he doesn’t buy that you can predict the population-level effects of that difference. “It is unclear to me that this sex difference would play a role in success within the Google workplace (in particular, not being able to handle stresses of leadership in the workplace. That’s a huge stretch to me),”

          1. Matthew Taylor

            Re: Reliable sources say "yeah, it doesn't mean that!"

            "ISTR that the authors of the studies referenced by Damore repudiated that interpretation of the work."

            Yes, I'll bet they did.

        2. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Pointing out gender differences and biased diversity hiring practices, which he produced when he was asked for feedback, is not sexist.

          When there is no relevant evidence of the alleged gender differences and the purpose of the allegation is to defend a gender imbalance in the workforce it's difficult to describe it as anything other than sexist.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            When there is no relevant evidence of the alleged gender differences and the purpose of the allegation is to defend a gender imbalance in the workforce it's difficult to describe it as anything other than sexist.

            And yet, unless and until the intake and graduation levels of Comp Sci type courses is evenly mixed, the workplace balance among engineers cannot be so. Distorting hiring practices to game the outcome is more or less what Damore was complaining about, even if he chose to go a little off-piste in constructing his argument.

            Unusually, the imbalance between genders garners no concern when its jobs the middle classes look down on, like bin man, because it is almost entirely men that do that job.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I'm absolutely 100% for Equal Opportunity - give the job to the person most qualified, without considering gender, race, etc. Skill at the job is the only real criterion to consider.

              Affirmative Action, on the other hand, is simply applying a bias but in the reverse direction from the historical ones. And yes, it really does happen. As a white male, I was once told that I could not be *considered* for a position until all the "diversity candidates" were looked at first. That's racist and/or sexist!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                As a disgusting, reprehensible white male, you should be looked down upon for the physical traits of yours that you were given no choice or agency in deciding and have no easily done capability to change. Your skills at the job you applied for pale in comparison to your outward appearance. Actually, shame on you for even daring to exist.

                This is not racist, sexist, misandrist, or any other -ist; nor is it judgemental, surface-level, shallow, stereotyping, or any other negative word. After all, it is progress.

          2. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

            For the hell of it, I just read his memo.

            It reads like an educated and reasonable intellectual debate over gender issues. I don't see hate, I see constructive criticism (alas this is not something that certain types of leftists are fond of).

            They gave a high functioning autistic coder a diversity gender training seminar. You asked his opinion. He gave his honest opinion which conflicted with the diversity officers.

            It's a sad age when you can get fired for reasonable intellectual discourse. It's not like he shouted women should get back in the kitchen.

            1. ratfox Silver badge
              Alert

              There are some big holes in the logic though. The argument for diversity programs is that they right an "unjust" disparity in representation. He attempts to justify the disparity between the number of men and women in IT by claiming it is caused by women choosing not work in IT. He says that this is the natural order of things and we should not try to force it.

              However, he notes himself that the diversity programs at Google also try to increase the number of black people hired in IT; yet he offers no explanation as to why black people would be underrepresented in IT. Is that the natural order of things that black people choose not to work in IT? And if there is no particular need to justify the disparity in the number of black people, why even offer a justification for women?

            2. Pat Att

              I think you are spot-on, and I also suspect that the author of the Register article either hasn't read it, or just wants to maintain the PC line that is the easy route to take.

        3. LucreLout Silver badge

          As for being offensive, you can offend *someone* with just about anything these days, people say "I'm offended" like it means they have some kind of rights that mean you have to change what you say.

          Offence can be taken but never given. It's always a choice to be offended. I'm frankly puzzled why people who choose to be offended make out its so terribly bad, then go right out and choose to be offended all over again.

          Seriously kids, grow up. Just grow up.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Offence can be taken but never given

            Ha ha. As a simple experiment, just go around insulting everybody you meet. Call them bastards or morons or something. I think you'll find people will get offended, but strangely enough, they'll consider it's your fault, despite having the choice whether to get offended or not. Weird, huh?

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Call them bastards or morons or something. I think you'll find people will get offended, but strangely enough, they'll consider it's your fault, despite having the choice whether to get offended or not.

              I'd just think you were funny, or perhaps mentally impaired, but I wouldn't get offended.

              Unfortunately the things people are choosing to get offended about aren't even as robust as being called names, its reached the point where people choose to get offended if you don't choose to recognise their made up gender (singular they's come on down). Where people choose to get offended if you don't choose to recognise their made up sexual preferences (pansexuals I'm looking at you).

              There's no limit to what some snowflake might find offensive or choose to be offended about. Literally there's no limit. So, in the words of WOPR, the only way to win is not to play. So while you might choose to be offended that I didn't choose to play the latest round of your newspeak word games, that really does remain your choice. And if you do choose to be offended, I'm really not too sure why you might then think that was my problem to fix for you.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Mushroom

                i knew this thread would quickly devolve into sticks and stones

                so, here we are.

                when I was a kid, I guess there were things that offended me, but I didn't go whining in every direction about it.

                now, it's not only socially acceptable to wear your hurt on your sleeve, it's mandatory.

                welcome to the diverse twenty-first century where everything white and straight (I refuse to use cisgender - it's bullshit) is exploitative and bad, and everything of every other color and persuasion is holier-than-thou.

                I would say let me know how that works out for you but I already know how it's going to work out and it won't end well for anyone.

                If I offended you, tough shit - the world owes you nothing.

                1. Dinanziame
                  Angel

                  Re: i knew this thread would quickly devolve into sticks and stones

                  If I offended you, tough shit - the world owes you nothing

                  James Damore undoubtedly thought so, too.

                  More seriously, if you make one single person angry, it could well be that they're oversensitive and illogical. But as the number of persons you make angry grows, eventually comes the moment where you should ask yourself who's to blame. Preferably before you lose your job...

                  1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

                    Re: i knew this thread would quickly devolve into sticks and stones

                    The modern fascists want everyone they disagree with to lose their jobs to ensure that nobody challenged their ideology.

                2. AK565

                  Re: i knew this thread would quickly devolve into sticks and stones

                  "Cis" (or not) is an objective fact. But I don't think that's your point. IMO, an ongoing problem is these kinds of issues tend to attract people who are more interested in ranting and railing than in addressing any actual issue. Regarding "cis" itself.... I'd say half the time I hear it, being cis or not is completely irrelevant to the conversation. So using the word simply announces the speaker has his own agenda and doesn't give a shit about the conversation. So you're probably right to be pissed off at its usage.

                  Fun fact: You know that nauseating LGBTQIA++++++ ? Most people who are members of those communities have no idea what 3/4 of those letters actually mean and don't care. Oh, and before anyone says anything, I'm 'G' myself so I'll call it nauseating all I please.

                  I'm getting offf my soapbox now.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: i knew this thread would quickly devolve into sticks and stones

                    Ties in perfectly with everyone saying gender when they mean SEX! And Cis is only meaningful descriptor if you believe your "gender matches the sex you were assigned at birth". Argh! No-one has sex assigned (apart from a tiny number of people with medical conditions) and gender is societal pish anyway. Sex is what you all mean to say.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              you're anonymous and a coward.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Yes, because calling out someone for being an offensive, sexist dick is evil.

        Its been long established that very little of what it is reported that Damore said is actually what he said. Which specific bit do you disagree with, and why?

        From the article:

        James Damore, the one-time Google developer who infamously suggested his bosses' diversity rules made it impossible to voice some opinions, has dropped his lawsuit against the internet titan.

        Well, on this he certainly wasn't wrong.

        I'm not making any comment that men make better devs than women, because in my experience it isn't true; The main indicator of ability remains experience rather than any other individual factor. That said, I could readily accept that gender a difference is possible, and it may just as easily come down in favor of the girls as the boys.

        Absolute equality over a range of variables (race, gender, etc) isn't a realistic world view. Sorry if that upsets you, but it just isn't. Google have that very wrong, along with the rest of the PC brigade / Wokies. Women will be better at some things than men, men will be better at other things than women, so it goes. Pretending there's no difference isn't morally or ethically defensible.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Evil sexist

          "

          'James Damore, the one-time Google developer who infamously suggested his bosses' diversity rules made it impossible to voice some opinions, has dropped his lawsuit against the internet titan.

          Well, on this he certainly wasn't wrong."

          Yes he was, and the labor board has declared such.

          The issue that [certain] people wish to avoid is the fact of the first part, and we'll repeat it here again,

          "James Damore, the one-time Google developer who infamously suggested his bosses' diversity rules made it impossible to voice some opinions".

          The flat fact is that Google HAS the right to create a [diversity] rule that "makes it impossible to voice some opinions", if said opinion violates the rule, as Google is PRIVATE. Your 'freedom of speech' as guaranteed by law only applies against <u>government</u> censorship.. For example, a Non-Disclosure Agreement on your employment contract certainly muzzles your freedom of speech, but since it is a private agreement between two legal entities it is fully legal and allowed by law.

          Google made a policy that states that, essentially, no statements regarding diversity which may possibly lead to disagreements, arguments or social upheaval within the business, will be allowed. Damore not only agreed to abide by this rule during his acceptance of his employment contract, he de facto agrees to abide by the agreement by continuing his employment voluntarily whilst Google continues to maintain the policy. If he had problems with the policy, feeling that it was too 'PC' for his, well, "conservative values", then he should have either quit, or not taken the contract in the first place with such a "progressive" thinking company.

          Failing that, Damore should have sought approval from the PTB regarding the topic, prior to posting, as he knew he was openly challenging the rule. Again, a rule Damore agreed to follow during his hiring.

          People need to understand the LAW. Freedom of speech is only guaranteed in the public realm, but companies are private. You are not, and have never been, free to proclaim anything you want against the boss whilst employed with a company and not face possible repercussions (you're free to mouth off, but don't whinge when you get kicked out on your butt).

          Damore shot his mouth off against a policy that exists to prevent friction between workers. And was fired for it. Even if you agree with his beliefs (not the point), he violated the agreed-to rule. Google had the right to decide his fate, and out he went, as his continued presence would create the very friction that the rule tries to reduce. And Google [has] that right because they, legally, have the right to make policies regarding speech that regards your work.

          Sad, for some people who think otherwise, but very, very true.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Evil sexist

            Damore shot his mouth off against a policy that exists to prevent friction between workers
            telling half your employees to eat shit and shut up is not how you 'prevent friction' - more like forced groupthink.

            1. Snake Silver badge

              Re: Forced groupthing

              That is quite possible, but I didn't say that it may not be a negative. Only that it's legal, he signed on to it, mouthing off against your boss in public will almost always get you the axe, but yet somehow he expected different.

              1. neuticles

                Re: Forced groupthing

                Making a topical posting on an internal forum (which was then made public by somebody else) ≠ "mouthing off to your boss in public"

          2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

            Re: Evil sexist

            What an idiotic text. If the rule exists that nobody can do a statement that some people disagree with, why he was made to sit on a seminar he disagreed with? The seminar broke that rule in the first place.

            Modern fascists use any excuse to punish everyone who disagrees with them.

          3. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Evil sexist

            Google made a policy that states that, essentially, no statements regarding diversity which may possibly lead to disagreements, arguments or social upheaval within the business, will be allowed.

            Were that the case the wokies would similarly not be free to push their agenda, and yet they clearly are. Publicly so too.

            If he had problems with the policy, feeling that it was too 'PC' for his, well, "conservative values", then he should have either quit, or not taken the contract in the first place with such a "progressive" thinking company.

            The law doesn't work that way.

            a rule Damore agreed to follow during his hiring.

            You're making an assumption and a claim for which you have shown no evidence. Does this "rule" predate his employment or does his employment predate the "rule"?

            Damore shot his mouth off against a policy that exists to prevent friction between workers.

            No it doesn't. The policy exists to push an excessively politically correct world view that has nothing to do with the business, core or otherwise. The way its being abused is the tyranny of the far left over all other world views.

            The woke agenda is morally bankrupt, ill thought through & impossible to reconcile (which is why the trannies and lesbians are battling), and counterproductive. Its never been a good idea, and any sane person would decline to take part. Just hire the best person that turns up for the role and you'll get statistical diversity because balls or breasts, black or white, gay or straight, none of that is the least little bit relevant to coding. It just isn't. Playing games with arbitrary and irrelevant categorization of people is not going to make your company culture stronger, quite the opposite.

            None of the women I've hired, none of the black guys, or the gays of either gender have been hired to improve my diversity. They all stand on their own skills and efforts as the best person to come for the role. Same for the white guys. Stop trying to divide people so you can set them against each other. If that upsets you then you are the problem, not me, and not my teams.

          4. neuticles

            Re: Evil sexist

            Since you're so hot for people to understand the LAW, you need to look beyond the First Amendment and consider the NLRA, CRA, and applicable state laws.

            1/ Damore complained about working conditions to other employees, which is generally protected activity under Section 7 of the NLRA.

            2/ Although Damore used corporate email to communicate with other employees, the NLRB ruled in Purple Communications that you can do that.

            3/ Damore also could have claimed that Google's conduct violated Title VII because he was discriminated against for challenging sex discrimination. If an employer disciplines an employee for speech that is critical of the employer's hiring and promotion practices, the employee may claim he was disciplined for opposing an "unlawful employment practice."

            >> James Damore, the one-time Google developer who infamously suggested his bosses' diversity rules made it impossible to voice some opinions, has dropped his lawsuit against the internet titan.

            >> Well, on this he certainly wasn't wrong.

            > Yes he was, and the labor board has declared such.

            No. The Trump NLRB, as with all GOP NLRBs, ensured an outcome of maximal corporate discretion to fire workers. In basically all cases, a Republican NLRB will reduce the ways workers can coordinate with one another, and increase employer discretion to terminate employees. Anyone that cites the NLRB outcome as a meaningful adjudication of the merits or demerits of Damore's 'memo' is being incredibly naive or cynical.

            The NLRB General Counsel wrote a memo advising NLRB Region 32 not to pursue the case. The memo concedes that the Damore communications that led to him being fired were mostly protected by the NLRA, but then goes on to say that those protected communications were mixed in with statements about women that were so over the top that he lost protection under the NLRA.

            Here’s the money shot:

            <<In furtherance of these legitimate interests, employers must be permitted to “nip in the bud” the kinds of employee conduct that could lead to a “hostile workplace,” rather than waiting until an actionable hostile workplace has been created before taking action.>>

            You get that? It does not say that Damore’s conduct was bad enough to constitute a hostile workplace. Under prevailing interpretations of the Civil Rights Act, it probably wasn’t. But it says instead that employers can fire someone for otherwise protected activity if it decides that the protected activity involves conduct that could lead to a hostile workplace.

      3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Firing someone because they have different views than to his fascist.

        The people who get excited about others fired for tweets and saying things in Western countries today would be reporting jokes to authorities or informing about hiding Jews if they lived in the Stalin’s Russia or Germany when it was ruled by National Socialism.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          The people who get excited about others fired for tweets and saying things in Western countries today would be reporting jokes to authorities or informing about hiding Jews if they lived in the Stalin’s Russia or Germany when it was ruled by National Socialism.

          They are Extremely Socialist, as the phrase goes in Germany.

    3. Emma25

      Agree or Disagree

      The memo contains statements about the limitations and range of genders backed with real research, I admit that. But, the overall statistics does not represent an individual. I am acknowledging the research on psychology and biology that he cited but I am not saying that it is accurate. Essentially he proposed that men and women have jobs better suited for them, but we all know a man or a woman who defied these ‘statistics’ and are qualified for fields that are ‘not the best for them’.

      Despite his logical argument, I would say that he is wrong to place limitations on their hiring means. Can you imagine yourself being qualified for the opportunity to work with a team that you want but put aside onto another position simply because ‘you are male so you think more systematically instead of cooperatively’. This is just a hypothetical situation I’m seeing from his vision of ‘ideological’ so no, I don’t support him.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still think he would not have been fired, if only he had realized that thousands of angry co-workers meant he should maybe back down and apologize for causing a mess, rather than forging ahead trying to prove by inescapable logic that he was right.

    I remember he said that his VP personally told him that his memo was offensive and sexist, and his answer was to say "I don't like it that you're saying this about me, because that could be bad for my career". That's some blissful unawareness...

    1. squigbobble

      Blissful unawareness...

      ...is actually blissful autism- https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/16/james-damore-google-memo-interview-autism-regrets

  3. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Devil

    Ran out of money...

    "... late last week Damore’s solicitors filed to have his lawsuit against Google dismissed without prejudice..."

    What's the betting that he and the other plaintifs in this case can't afford the ongoing legal fees, and have had to do this in order to prevent themselves going bankrupt?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Ran out of money...

      Really? Couldn't find a rich facist to back him? In the USA?

      More likely he realised that employees in the USA have similar rights to black joggers.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Ran out of money...

        Why a fascist?

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Ran out of money...

          Why a fascist?

          Ah, I was wondering what a "facist" was. I just assumed it was something to do with social media that could safely be ignored.

          1. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: Ran out of money...

            Oh heh, I didn't even see that. Still got 7 brave downvotes for my trouble, I see!

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Ran out of money...

      Lawsuits against large companies are usually free, with the lawyers getting a big part of the settlement in case of victory. From what I understand, this particular lawyer is a politician treating similar cases as free campaigning opportunities, and is unlikely to insist on getting paid to keep going with a lawsuit.

    3. BNBRox

      Re: Ran out of money...

      That would be a very likely explanation, but I've also read that he dropped this case as part of an agreement with Google, which sounds more like an out-of-court settlement.

  4. Andy 73

    Hmmmm

    In the rush to demonise him, a small portion of the internet are only serving to bolster cases like his.

    Yes, of course his memo was supremely badly judged, sexist and all the rest - but the reaction to it shows all the characteristics of a purity spiral (go look it up). He's gone from being a socially maladjusted geek (hardly rare in this industry) to being a fascist sympathiser in just a handful of comments.

    1. NibblyPig

      Re: Hmmmm

      Amazing, I always imagined that there would be a term coined to describe what happened at Google with his lawsuit, which is a fascinating read for anyone that doesn't know exactly what went on.

      TLDR is lots of discrimination and silencing of people's views when they did not fall in line. Plus this 'purity spiral' of social justice, forcing white males not to attend or speak at events, forced hiring of minorities and quotas, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm

        I don't hate being male and white. Those are not things I can change, and I accept them.

        I strongly disagree ("hate" is too strong) with anyone who makes me feel inferior to everyone who is female/trans/other and/or of a non-white and/or white-Hispanic race.

        Am I allowed to be offended if someone tries to make me feel that way? Are we white males not human with emotions also?

        Us white males do generally agree that there is a long history of discrimination against women and minorities, but we can only answer for ourselves. Are we to be blamed for the wrongs of white males for centuries, or is the slate truly clean for each of us?

        To me, that question is the flip side of what "equality" truly means, and is the criterion that determines if we are allowed to call policies that discriminate against us "unfair".

        1. Dinanziame
          Angel

          Re: Hmmmm

          To me, that question is the flip side of what "equality" truly means, and is the criterion that determines if we are allowed to call policies that discriminate against us "unfair".

          You are allowed to call them unfair, the same that rich people can complain that anti poverty programs only give money to poor people, never rich people, which is clearly discriminatory.

          1. foo_bar_baz

            Re: Hmmmm

            Handing out charity and filling a job. One of these is a zero sum game.

            1. ratfox Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Hmmmm

              Not sure what you mean by that zero sum comment? If I understand correctly the argument, there is limited charity money, and limited jobs. Charity money is only given to poor people, because they don't have enough money, and some jobs are given preferentially to women, because they don't have enough jobs. Both are unfair, and rich people and men are entitled to complain about discrimination.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yonatan Zunger's response is still worthwhile reading

    Of all the responses to Damore's memo, I thought this one best summarised why Damore was about to be fired and is still worth a read:

    https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/so-about-this-googlers-manifesto-1e3773ed1788

    1. DemeterLast

      Re: Yonatan Zunger's response is still worthwhile reading

      From the first paragraph of Zunger's opinion piece: "...about, essentially, how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, it’s just not worth it"

      Having read the memo, I did not infer that conclusion at all. Starting from an inaccurate (or, more charitably, a questionable) position is not a great way to build a solid argument.

      The top-rated highlight is: "Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers."

      That sounds great, except that if you're an engineer and your project doesn't work, no amount of cooperation, collaboration or empathy will salvage it. Whether it's a bridge or a search engine, if the structure is faulty, the end result is a disaster of varying degrees. Sometimes it takes an engineer to stand up and obstinately refuse to cooperate or collaborate because your non-engineer colleagues and customers want to implement something that is wrong (pervasive privacy-infringing tracking) or dangerous (sub-standard steel girders from a cheaper supplier), and empathy be damned.

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

        Re: Bridges and taking a stand

        The engineers at the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation didn't stand up and "obstinately refuse" to ignore (i.e. not perform) proper inspections, and looked what happened to that I-35W bridge.

        Yes, I know it's been almost 13 years, but it really makes me sore when budget and government incompetence/bureaucracy get in the way of good engineering. And being in defense I've seen some bad decisions -- not "The Pentagon Wars" bad (thanks to that book/TV movie, things got somewhat better), but still bad enough.

        Sometimes I've been the voice to stand up and tell managers that damn the schedule and cost, X needs to be tested/fixed. Even a couple weeks ago a former colleague called me to consult on old projects and ask why they needed to continue* testing Y (a different issue than the many X's) on every new engine/transmission/alternator powerpack and I told him in no uncertain terms why, even though it's not my problem anymore! Better for it to remain the problem for the powerpack build & test team than the crew of soldiers in the field when Y doesn't fully perform.

        * The "continue" was the rub to the build team. They didn't see the need when previous packs had performed fine and it meant a costly test item purchase. But the customer requirements meant that Y was more crucial now than ever, and it only added an hour to the overall pack test. My parting shot: "Why keep testing Y for THIS pack design? Why HAVEN'T they on any other?!"

        (One might say I need to consider a different field. Long story. TL;DR: I considered it quite strongly, but I'm still in defense; this new job is better because the management on my side is better. And engineers in related fields such as automotive are even more constrained by cost and schedule anyway.)

    2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Yonatan Zunger's response is still worthwhile reading

      Anyone who tried to prove that Damore was wrong is missing the point.

      People should not be fired even if their views are “wrong”. It is not whether he was right or wrong which is the problem, it is whether people with the views someone else disagree should be losing their jobs.

      Yonatan Zunger is a dick.

  6. squigbobble

    Makes me wonder...

    ...what happened with the similarly vociferous (but less polite) Tim Chevalier's lawsuit against Google for firing him over stuff he posted about Damore's memo.

  7. HundredthIdiot

    Regardless of the gender politics...

    ...we can perhaps agree that Damore was fired because he ruined Sundar Pichai's holiday.

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