August 10, 2017
Google is a brilliant search engine where they accrue seemingly infinite amounts of data and organize it into patterns. When you type in “cars” it takes you to the most popular car-buying site as well as all the dealerships within a 30-mile radius. The people who work there are mostly male, mostly white, and I’d assume mostly autistic. These abnormally gifted nerds have been assigned the task of taking this incredible invention that grosses $60 billion a year and improving it.
James Damore did exactly that on Monday when he sent out an interoffice memo detailing the dangers of “echo-chamber” thinking and this strange obsession with making tech 50% female. “Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety,” he began, before adding, “but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.” The CEO of Google cut his vacation short and fired Damore within hours. James is presently exploring legal action.
The story from Google’s side is that the memo perpetuated “harmful gender stereotypes.” The media has run with this narrative, calling Damore’s essay an “anti-woman screed” that “confirms your worst fears.” While sorting through all the pearl-clutching hysteria it becomes pretty clear that nobody convulsing has actually read it. Like most things that cause major controversy these days, it’s remarkably benign. Damore says diversity is good. He says sexism is a problem. He makes it very clear he wants as many women in the workforce as possible. He also says demanding 50% may be dangerous. It could involve discriminating against qualified men, which is illegal. Even reading between the lines leaves you with no “anti” for anything but prejudice and inequality.
When I read it, I sensed the subtext was:
(1) Please don’t penalize me for being male and don’t let it hurt my job opportunities in the future.
(2) While women are an asset to every company, crowbarring them into every position at the same rate they are represented in the population may not be good for the company.
(3) We should consider the possibility that women—OVERALL—are not exactly the same as men.
(4) We need to treat every individual as the exception to the rule and not assume that general patterns apply to that particular person.
(5) Above all, we need to be able to openly discuss such issues. Diversity is an asset and that includes diversity of thought.
Points like these would be considered liberal five years ago, but the pendulum has swung so far left, it now reads like the tenets of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. We all know what’s really going on here: James identified the elephant in the room. Women are not equally represented in tech because it’s generally not their bag. Tech and coding are for autistic geeks who don’t particularly like people. These tend to be male. Women are social creatures who prefer interaction to sifting through tangled piles of numbers. James includes a graph explaining that even this seemingly extreme take isn’t extreme. We see there is massive overlap between men and women. Below the image with the overlap he shows a chart with no overlap and includes the disclaimer “this is bad” and “I don’t endorse that.” Not good enough, James. You identified the Emperor’s New Clothes in an economic climate where mentally ill attention whores with purple hair tell us how to live and only radical leftism will be tolerated. James was fired for telling the ugly truth at ugly-truth headquarters.