Please give generously to James Damore’s fundraiser

I just gave $100 to James Damore’s official fundraiser.

Damore, for any of you who have been hiding under a rock, is the guy who wrote a completely sane and reasonable memorandum, objecting on principled and scientific grounds to the assumptions behind “diversity”.

He’s been fired and is, of course, the target of a full-blown SJW rage-mob.

The full version of the memo is here. Note that much of the negative public discussion seems to have been based on redacted versions from which references and charts were omitted.

Please give generously. Because the thought police must be stopped.

104 thoughts on “Please give generously to James Damore’s fundraiser

  1. I’m pretty sure we just saw the end of Google as a long-term influence. Every Googler who agrees with Damore (what was it, 30%?) and every Googler who thinks it was a reasonable topic of discussion, regardless of agreement (I think I saw > 60% for that) surely understands that as Damore went, so go they.

    I expect a lot of resumes are being emailed to a lot of places as we speak, and I can’t imagine they’re going to find it difficult to find new jobs.

    I also expect that the ones currently heading for the exit will turn out to be the people who actually spend their time writing code, rather than engaging in SJW witch hunts.

    Google is doomed. Like an animal with its spinal cord cut, it may keep twitching for a while, but it’s still dead nonetheless — in this case, by its own hand.

  2. This is complicated. Suppose Damore’s scientific claims are essentially correct (I find this plausible). Then:

    1. I don’t believe it follows that Google’s current strategy of reducing the *false negative* rate when hiring underrepresented groups is problematic; instead, it’s plausibly the least bad option under a variety of metrics.

    2. In particular, Damore mentions that conservatives may be more valuable at a mature company like Google than their raw software engineering skill would suggest, due to their greater interest in maintaining things (as opposed to breaking new ground). But related stereotypes suggest that women should be a better fit for Google than for most of the small startups in the Valley. A reasonable conclusion is that Google should reach out to conservatives in a similar manner to how they’re already reaching out to women; not that they should stop reaching out to women.

    3. You can make the work environment more hostile for lots of people by saying true things. It is reasonable to fire someone who creates negative value for the company in this manner; Google is a business, not a university. (Hi, Larry Summers!) While it was the leaker, not Damore, who inflicted the most PR damage to Google, it was predictable that the memo would make many female employees uncomfortable if it was widely read.

    Counterargument to 3: Some SV liberals have been creating hostile work environments for conservatives for years. It may be necessary to stoop close to their level to set a chain of events in motion that stops what they’re doing.

    I’ve decided to avoid all Google services other than Gmail until/unless I see a sustained effort to reach out to conservatives (and if a good alternative to Gmail emerges, I’m willing to make that switch too), but I don’t think it is useful to be outraged at Damore’s firing; that was, dare I say it, a conservative thing for management to do. (Though if a law was broken in the process, sure, management can be punished for that.) Focus your attention on Google’s (and other tech companies’) treatment of conservatives and conservative arguments (made in non-value-destroying ways) going forward, and build viable alternatives to the products of the companies that double down on culture war.

    • > Focus your attention on Google’s (and other tech companies’) treatment of conservatives and conservative arguments

      I’m not going to do that, and I think it’s a framing of the issue we should all resist.

      It’s not about liberal vs. conservative – it’s about actual diversity – the willingness to hear and process dissent from the consensus with ragemobbing the dissenters.

      If it’s tribalized into a liberal vs, conservative thing, that will just harden everyone’s positions.

      • If it is solely the Left that is not concerned with actual diversity and it is only the Left conducting the ragemobs, then it’s entirely accurate to call out the tribes. I’m open to the idea that this sort of corporatist totalitarianism is symmetric, but see little evidence myself.

        It’s not like conservatives or libertarians yelling “Knock it off!” is the same thing as Progressives scalphunting.

      • Everybody’s positions are already hardened. The advocates for “diversity” are convinced that they’re morally right and anyone who opposes them is eeeeevil!!!. There is no convincing them otherwise.

        It’s past time to get out the clue-by-four. This is a war, and if we don’t fight to win, we will lose.

      • To clarify: I agree with “diversity of thought” as the goal. I am using treatment of conservatives and conservative arguments as my measuring stick, since that’s currently the worst deviation from the goal (was just speaking with a conservative professor, who commented “do you know who has a hostile work environment? me!”). It is obviously possible to go too far with this (after all, a measuring stick centered around 50/50 gender representation is what Damore was objecting to…), but for now it will do.

        • Zealots are always more vicious to the heretic than the infidel. Punishing any deviation from the party line among their fellow believers is easier, since they’re less likely to meet vigorous opposition.

          Attacking a fellow SJW: “You’re a sexist, comrade! I denounce you!” “OMFG, I’m a sexist? I’m so sorry! I apologize, bow, scrape, and humbly beseech your forgiveness”

          Attacking a non-SJW: “You’re a sexist, and a big meanie!” “Fuck off, you guilt-peddling leftard twat!”

          Which is more satisfying to the SJW?

    • I switched from GMail to FastMail, which isn’t free, but except for some spam detection is as good or better.

      I disagree with “You can make the work environment more hostile for lots of people by saying true things” when you don’t intend it as a direct result. Telling the truth in charity is an act of mercy. Oversensitivity is not hostility. Feelings will be hurt. There may be places where this is a part of working (e.g. a counseling service), but not coding, finance, or much of the business side. Steve Jobs for most of his career personally created a hostile work environment if you use the stretch definition. Linus Torvalds is not very diplomatic.

      Is the purpose to have a rational discussion, use facts, reason, and evidence?

      Harassment is hostility, not discussion. Shaming, blacklisting, insults are designed as their main purpose to hurt feelings, and in that case truth is not a defense, but it isn’t an isolated incident. I’ve had things said and heard discussions that were debatable and I felt hurt but just shrugged and got past it. That is what mature adults do.

      As to corporate policy, either there should be no expressions or discussions of politics and religion, but if it is allowed inside, it can’t be discriminatory without that being hostile. One of the problems is the instant news (often fake) from our smartphones, so if there is an incident, everyone hears about it and wants to discuss it.

  3. I contributed, but someone should tell the poster(s) of the fundraiser to use shorter more to-the-point videos. Rambling for half-an-hour is not going to help attracting support.


  4. James certainly deserves the donations, but stopping the thought police sounds awfully like saving Google’s managers, or Silicion Valley managers in general from the natural consequences of their choices, which are increasing incompetence and irrelevance.

    Instead of trying to stop entropy and saving their asses, how about just letting these companies burn? The only capital that matters in software is human capital, so any company consisting of the top 25% brains from Google *is* the new Google and the old one only owns the brand.

    So let’s just make a new Silicon Valley. And not in a physical location. Hackerdom demonstrated that you don’t have to sit in the same room or even continent to succesfully cooperate (although I suspect time zones must mean some of your collaborators are always sleepy at IRC meetings). Register companies in a reliable, privacy-respecting rule of law country, my first guess would be Switzerland (think Ethereum), work from your homes anywhere on the planet.

    Surely it was sad when the Renaissance in Florence ended. Sure it is sad that the Renaissance in San Jose and Palo Alto ends. But things move on and bright productive brains meet somewhere else, most likely online now.

    But yes James deserves the donations. Suing Google for a nice sum is part of the “let them take the natural consequences of their choices” strategy.

    BTW DuckDuckGo is not a bad search engine.

    • > The only capital that matters in software is human capital

      I don’t know about that. An entrenched monopoly position and humongous piles of cash sound very useful to me.

  5. Diversity is a cornerstone of Google’s principles. I used to say that from what I observed, if you fit the techie trope of being a straight white male, you had better have graduated summa cum laude from a God-tier school if you want a shot at working for Google — but if you can tick enough diversity-checklist boxes, you could be a clown-school graduate and Google wouldn’t care; as a matter of fact, graduating from clown school may mean that you bring the fresh new perspective that’s needed for extra Googliness and so may work in your favor on your Google application.

    Now, the thing is, if you loudly challenge the principles or initiatives which have been handed down and spearheaded by upper management, you’d be a damn fool to expect to keep your job for very long. It’s like that for any company and any policy or initiative. If your company is all-in on Scrum, and you pass around an internal memo pointing out what may well be valid drawbacks to Scrum, you can expect to be fired. You could be 100% in the right, and all you’ll be is right and jobless. Most states in the USA are at-will employment states — meaning that employers can fire employees for any reason at any time, except certain reasons delineated by law. James Damore’s lawsuit, if he files one, is unlikely to go anywhere. His behavior was explicitly at odds with what is endorsed by Google, and Google had the right to terminate him. You may not like it. It may be a dick move. But it’s their right.

    • If an at-will employment state was the bright center of the galaxy, California is the planet it is farthest from….

    • …as a matter of fact, graduating from clown school may mean that you bring the fresh new perspective that’s needed for extra Googliness and so may work in your favor on your Google application.

      Normally, I would be a quite loathe to reveal any sort of personally identifying information, but … since this is especially topical, here’s my hot take:

      When I was in high school (in the mid-90s), I already knew I wanted to be a programmer. I am effectively one of the oldest second-generation programmers; my father was one of the early mainframe programmers, and I have been programming at home pretty much since the original IBM PC. I took pretty much every AP or college track class offered by my school system (including doing an independent study with artificial intelligence tasks in C), so coupled with pretty much everybody knowing I was a solid programmer already [thanks to mandatory TI graphing calculators], while my grades weren’t anywhere near the top of my class there was widespread assumption of exactly what my career plans were.

      I don’t remember exactly which class I was in, but it eventually grew close enough to graduation that people were talking about where they had applied rather than doing course work. I was holding my tongue (for reasons that will shortly be evident) but eventually somebody had to ask:
      “So, Alex, where are you going?”
      — US air force.
      “Wow, Air Force Academy? I didn’t know they did programming, and you weren’t in ROTC.”
      — No, no, I enlisted. 3C0X1, Computer Programming.

      As I remember it, most conversation in the room stopped at that point. This was the college track, and yet I wasn’t going to college — what madness was this? Well, knowing I didn’t have the outstanding grades to get a true “full ride” scholarship (covering not just tuition but board, books, etc), I did the math. Minimum wage of ~$5 for a full time job made just over 10 grand per year. Assume half that for non-tuition costs I shouldn’t expect to get covered, times four years, and I was looking at paying $20,000 (minimum) just to go to any college whatsoever. Alternately, I could enlist, and with one of my conditions being guarantees of my chosen field, I was getting an equivalent technical training… no “sheepskin”, but four years of real work experience … years where I am PAID rather than accruing debt … and if college turned out to be crucially important after all, I could have both savings as well as benefits unavailable to my classmate in covering that cost.

      When people talk about “wanting diversity” or fresh perspectives, THAT is precisely what I hear them asking for. Not a crowd that looks like the Village People or some cliche stock photo while all singing the same refrain, but individuals who recognize that every choice is a tradeoff and are unafraid of considering alternatives. “Diversity” must mean diversity of opinion — opinions which may confront, rather than support, those things we hold sacred.

      If it weren’t for the fact that I have always felt unusually empowered to control my environment and steer my own circumstances, leading to employment at places which actually value diverse thought, I could very easily see myself in James’ current situation.

    • Jeff, You are grossly mistaken. the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 gives all employees a protected right to discuss working conditions and employer policies with fellow employees, and it outlaws any employer retaliation for engaging in such discussions. Especially in this case, where Goolag policies claim to encourage open discussions. Second, California has detailed state laws outlawing company discrimination against employees for their political statements.

  6. > It’s like that for any company and any policy or initiative. If your company is all-in on Scrum, and you pass around an internal memo pointing out what may well be valid drawbacks to Scrum, you can expect to be fired.

    This is seriously not my experience, you are either full of it or American companies are way more authoritarian than European companies. Out of these two options my bet would be that you are full of it.

    Okay, a third option is that the Silicion Valley is kind of more fanatical than the normal businesses. But being committed to a process instead of being committed to having the kind of people who can improve processes means ossification, a gradual descent into cargo-cult management – and that is when giant corporations begin to slowly decay and new startups can challenge them.

    In one event I witnessed the aftersales manager rather rudely telling the CEO that if they would not accept crappy product quality (hardware products) from vendors there would be a whole lot less trouble with returns. It was a faux pas, but the only punishment was some tut-tutting.

    Every actually succesful company I know of is always on the hunt for improving practices, not casting them into stone and they would keenly listen to the valid drawbacks of Scrum not because they want something else but they want to find a way to improve and fine-tune Scrum. In fact, speaking up, then taking responsibility for a project to fix those drawbacks would be exaclty how to get promoted. How else can people be promoted if not for behaving like a responsible, dedicated manager before promotion?

    • I’m in the middle of something like that – we have some critical software that isn’t like doing incremental updates to a website or database, it is released infrequently and after a heavy verification phase. Think something like an update for the OS of a cell phone. But the company has a bug tracking system and process tuned for everything else and it drives me mad, the other engineers don’t like it either, but they have to follow the rules. In this case no one will be fired, but suggestions to make it better are simply ignored. They will use the original process or pantomime it.

      The other problem is the tyranny of the buzzword. Scrum is the latest thing. C++ and OOP will fix everything letting weaker programmers do more. Pair programming. Agile.

      These things tend to get stuck and like socialism, it never fails because it doesn’t work or is incompatible with the actual process, it just wasn’t done right, so the changes sought – and note how you worded it – “find a way to improve and fine-tune Scrum” – are locked inside the paradigm. If the Scrum paradigm is wrong, then no amount of fine tuning will fix things.

  7. I have a friend who’s a Googler. They confirm not only that dissent from the SJW party line is not tolerated, but that there are more than a few people who actively seek out those who dissent from it in order to drive them out of the company. The stress is so bad that, as soon as it no longer becomes advantageous for them to be there, they’re leaving – and maybe leaving tech entirely.

    And all of this from someone who’s a member of one of the SJW Left’s designated victim groups.

    • >I have a friend who’s a Googler.

      I’d think we might be talking about the same person, except my Googler friend is not in any of the designated victim groups – dude’s whiter than I am. He confirms your report and is seriously considering bailing out.

      • That doesn’t surprise me at all.

        Once upon a time, I would have loved to go to work for Google, as long as I didn’t have to live in a blue state. Now? No way in hell, not unless the corporate culture undergoes a radical SJW-ectomy.

  8. DB:

    > It is reasonable to fire someone who creates negative value for the company in this manner

    What if firing them creates much more negative value? Like you, I’m in the process of de-platforming Google from my life as we speak, and I strongly doubt that we’re the only ones.

    I would argue that the only thing that’s likely to bring this crap to a halt is the negative consequences of giving in to the SJW mob outweighing the positive ones.

    > it was predictable that the memo would make many female employees uncomfortable if it was widely read.

    Google’s purpose isn’t to make people comfortable. As you yourself pointed out, Google is a business.

    Jeff Read:

    > Most states in the USA are at-will employment states — meaning that employers can fire employees for any reason at any time, except certain reasons delineated by law.

    Political belief is apparently one of those reasons in California.

      • This reminds me of the old Google joke that foreshadows all of this:

        Google motto 2003: Don’t be evil
        Google motto 2010: Evil is tricky to define
        Google motto 2013: We build military robots

        In 2013 they bought robot maker Boston Dynamics of creepy balancing robot fame. They may have divested of them since but who knows with the new Alphabet soup.

        If they really did divest I wonder if it was driven by SJW internal political forces…

        And of course, the same company who’s SJW internal politics insist on no differences between the sexes actually could go bankrupt if they take their own SJW horde’s advice and start pushing tampons to engineers.

        Trust me, the hypocrisy will remain strong to retain the pursuit of profits…

        • > Google motto 2003: Don’t be evil
          > Google motto 2010: Evil is tricky to define
          > Google motto 2013: We build military robots

          I’m not seeing the progression there, unless you have the idea the military is evil.

  9. It appears that keeps 15% of donations. Any word on a donation avenue without such egregious overhead?

  10. I didn’t read Damore’s memo because it obviously contains one important logical flaw: If his assertions are true, they are only true statistically. That is, if we assume that 80 percent of men validly test as being “more logical” than women, we are left with 60 million women in the U.S. who are at least as logical as the average man.

    60 million is a pretty-big number.

    If someone goes on to say that no tech company should hire a woman, even if that woman has graduated college in a technical field and perhaps even holds a Master’s or Ph.D., and thus shown it highly likely that they are a member of the 20 percent of “superior” women, then the ugly agenda is obvious, isn’t it? (When you consider that that such a person is telling us that Babbage shouldn’t have collaborated with Ada Lovelace, that the Navy shouldn’t have let Grace Hopper use their computers, or maybe NASA shouldn’t have hired Margaret Hamilton… the poor quality of their thinking becomes really obvious, doesn’t it?)

    From an H.R. perspective, Damore was almost certainly fired for “creating a hostile work environment” for his female coworkers. This Eric, is where you invert the whole thing: How many female workers at Google saw the memo? How many women who had already crossed the threshold of B.S., MS, or Ph.D., in STEM fields, who had already proved themselves as real technical contributors, who were liked and trusted by Google’s management as someone who could complete an important technical task… how many of these women had to see some complete jerk’s hateful screed about their “inferiority?” A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand? How about the whole goddamned planet?

    And how many women at Google then had to listen while their male peers, (or their male managers,) discussed the memo in positive terms while ignoring their very real contributions? How many ugly arguments happened? Did anyone rage-quit or call in sick so they didn’t have to deal with this shit, thus delaying an important project? It wouldn’t surprise me if Google lost a hundred thousand productive hours and maybe some good people over this! Of course they’re going to fire him! This is the “no-jerks” rule in action.

    Damore got fired for being a gigantic dick to a large percentage of his coworkers, metaphorically grabbing them by the hair and rubbing their faces in male-supremacist bullshit,* and you’ve taken his side! I’ll note Eric, as politely as possible, that your blind spots are… rather large.

    And no, I’m not giving James Damore a penny.

    * As I noted above, Damore’s memo may be correct in statistical terms, but on the level of individuals, it is complete crap.

    • >I didn’t read Damore’s memo

      Read it. Until you have, you are unequipped to argue about on any level at all.

      Damore does not make the mistake you assume. In fact, he explicitly warns against it.

    • …which the memo itself makes a point of stating, so your restating it is hardly a rebuttal of it.

      You’re doing the same thing as others doing a hatchet job on the memo by making a claim that it’s somehow putting down women working at Google (and elsewhere in tech) and saying that they’re unqualified or inferior or should go away… it says no such thing. It is simply using the statistical differences to give a possible explanation for there not being the same percentage of women in tech as in the general population. Of course, any women who DO work in tech are not “average”; they don’t fit whatever stereotypes one might make from the statistical differences, and nothing in the memo denies this.

    • I didn’t read your post. You’re wrong because, oh wait how could I know, I did’t read your post.

      Basically all your comments about the memo are based on your misrepresentation of it, so I’m ignoring them.

    • Hateful screed about female inferiority? You are confused. I don’t know how to put it more respectfully than that. Nowhere does Damore state that NASA shouldn’t have hired Margaret Hamilton. Nowhere does he try to imply that Google would be better off to sack their existing female employees, or that women are categorically worse. Nowhere does he state or even imply that any individual woman is of lesser worth than any man, for any reason, to say nothing of calling them worthless merely by dint of their sex.

      Go RTFMemo and then inveigh against it, if you still have any coherent arguments against it at that point.

    • You have proven the Memo’s point though not in the original way the memo suggested.

      White Men, especially those with traditional values, have to put up with threats, insults, “diversity training” where they are treated to insulting stereotypes – the equivalent for blacks would be the Mammy, Uncle, Picaninny, and Sambo.

      They have to have a stiff upper lip. Suck it up. Just sit there under constant emotional attack from every direction under high stress while their job is threatened on a daily basis. This is not microaggression, it is active harassment and a hostile work environment.

      Men and Women are biologically different – that is a fact. That is why we can call someone a man or a woman. Transgenderism wouldn’t even exist if there was no from and to category.

      But mentioning the above even in purely factual, scientific terms to these snowflakes causes a meltdown, and they seek the fainting couch in HR to bawl and complain about how their feelings are hurt and how they can never work again with that pig in their department.

      Let me summarize your point:

      Men must talk like they are walking on eggshells because Women are so easily offended and their feelings hurt by the least little thing that Men wouldn’t even notice at, or laugh off or engage in a dialogue about.

      And if that is your idea of a good work environment, I do not want ANY woman on the team or in the room. Even if she is technically better, she will spend most of her hours in the ladies room crying over some perceived insult.

      But somehow there are no biological, mental, or emotional differences?

      Thankfully, Women can learn to overcome their vanity and immaturity and oversensitivity. If they want to. Just as men have to channel their aggressiveness.

      Or put simply, who is acting like a mature adult and who is acting like a spoiled brat? And should the spoiled brats have veto power over the mature adults?

    • I didn’t read Damore’s memo because it obviously contains one important logical flaw: If his assertions are true, they are only true statistically.

      JFC, the thing you point out as “obviously” the “logical flaw” in the memo that you didn’t read is baked into his thesis. Don’t judge the thing on the basis of misleading headlines that are eliding its actual point.

    • >As I noted above, Damore’s memo may be correct in statistical terms, but on the level of individuals, it is complete crap.

      You should read the memo, and look less silly.

      In point of fact, Damore specifically cautions that individuals should always be treated as individuals and he in fact criticizes Google for treating people not at individuals but as members of identity groups. Which appears to be why he was fired.

    • For your convenience, A list of sins Damore did not commit:

      He did not say that diversity was bad, he merely said that there might be reasons for a lack of diversity other than oppression (and proceeded to cite scientific research that supported this point). He even tried to offer suggestions of how to improve diversity among engineering staff and leadership. You can question whether his suggestions were correct, but that is part of the point of his essay – to foster those kinds of questions.

      He does not claim that sexism does not exist, merely that it may not account for all of the disparity in diversity of Google employees.

      He did not say that any of the women (or other minorities) working for Google in engineering or leadership positions were unqualified for their work on account of their identity. He does mention that group averages may be different, but that they largely overlap and as such there are plenty of capable women. He does raise concerns having a double standard in hiring practices, because lowering the standard for any demographic is going to bring down the average for that demographic regardless of inherent differences.

      He does not argue that women (or other minorities) should be precluded from engineering or leadership positions, he even suggests ways that those positions could be more appealing to women.

      He does not claim that no work should be done to increase the the diversity of the Google workforce. He does argue that it should be done in a way that does not lower standards or run afoul of anti-discrimination laws, and that Google should discuss adjusting its expectations about what a diverse workforce will realistically look like.

      His factual claims were not obviously false. They are backed up by scientific research and something that is debated within the scientific community.

      Let me know if I missed any.

    • I don’t think that calculation can possibly be right, given that there are about 320 million Americans, barely over half are female, and one-fourth of those are under 18; that’s 120 million adult female Americans. It’s very likely true that half of them, or 60 million, are above the female average, or “at least as logical as the average woman.” But if the male average is at all above the female average—and you seem to concede this—then surely fewer than 60 million are “at least as logical as the average man.”

      I’m willing to look at a proposed numerical distribution that shows I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine what such a distribution would look like.

      • >But if the male average is at all above the female average—and you seem to concede this—then surely fewer than 60 million are “at least as logical as the average man.”

        The real problem for feminist theory isn’t averages, it’s dispersions.

        On the evidence, probably men have a very small average-IQ advantage over women (some population studies show this, some don’t; the reverse is never observed). What does show up pretty consistently is a difference in dispersion – more male geniuses and idiots than female ones.

        This means that in STEM, where IQ is really important, men will almost inevitably outnumber women. There’s a counter to this claim that outside the U.S. – places like Indonesia and Japan – STEM is more sex-balanced. But dispersion statistics have the last laugh, because as it turns out the significant difference in IQ dispersion is a Caucasian feature not shared by Sub-Saharan blacks, East Asians, etc.

        Now I’ll go beyond the psychometric science a bit and express my guess that this is why the Chinese don’t rule the world. They have a significant average-IQ advantage over Caucasians. but the breadth of white-male dispersion is so large that white males dominate the Nobel-prize range of the IQ right tail anyway.

        • I don’t disagree, and I find this interesting, but I do have two notes:

          * I thought about discussing possible distributions of logical reasoning ability, but I wasn’t sure the person I was responding to knew even as much about statistics as I do, given that the statement I was responding to seemed arithmetically challenged; I thought I would stick to the simpler question, at least until the poster had shown their work.

          * For working at Google, or in STEM jobs generally, what matters is not so much the extreme tail of the dispersion, but the pattern of overlap rather closer to the middle.

          By the way, a day or two ago Megan McArdle had a rather good column that focused not on the cognitive abilities but on the motivational aspects. See if you haven’t seen it and are curious.

          • ” But I was never going to like it enough to blow a weekend doing more of it for free. Which meant that I was never going to be as good at that job as the guys around me.

            So I went to business school, and eventually I landed myself in the kind of career that I was happy to do on weekends, and nights, and most of my other time — a career that I did, in fact, do for free for five years before anyone offered to pay me for it”

            I think she described the problem perfectly but I don’t understand the solution – why not just find another career, easily inside tech, where it is entirely okay to treat it as just a job and not a hobby? Is there something wrong with actually having a life?

            Having a job you like enough to feel good doing it but don’t like enough to sacrfice the rest of your life is healthy, as long as it is normal in that kind of job and you are not outcompeted by people who do.

            Plenty of tech are 9-17 just-a-jobs, obviously not in the Silicion Valley, not about products that want to change the world. The billing software of the closest hospital is probably a good example.

            I am as male as it gets and I am no workoholic and weirded out by ideas that working a hell of a lot is somehow inherently masculine. Every day at 18:00, latest 19:00 the bars are full of men drinking beer, watching a match and discussing the days events and I don’t think are less of a man because they are not clocking in crazy hours. Of course their jobs are clearly not bleeding edge world changing.

            • >Every day at 18:00, latest 19:00 the bars are full of men drinking beer, watching a match and discussing the days events and I don’t think are less of a man because they are not clocking in crazy hours.

              This is not even a little bit complicated. Both your home country and your adopted one are historically and still predominantly Catholic.

              The equation of manhood with clocking in crazy hours is confined to a handful of historically Protestant countries and Japan. If you’d read your Max Weber you’d know that outside Japan it can be traced back to specific ideas in Protestant theology; Japan is a weird case where a native tradition of collectivist self-sacrifice has cross-fertilized with the Protestant work ethic imported along with other Western ideas since 1845.

          • >A high dispersion cuts both ways. Is there at least anectodal evidence that the white village idiot is far more common than the Chinese village idiot, or at the equivalent of this does not really exist?

            Yes. It’s called “Congress”.

            Seriously, I think the difference in the expected number of idiots is far less important than the difference in the expected number of geniuses, because idiots at the small percentage they exist don’t have the ability to change the society around them. Geniuses, on the other hand, can cause ripple effects that change the entire society.

      • I have to accept the guilt for that number. When I calculated the number of women who might show up as “above average” in math/logic I neglected to divide the population of the U.S. in two (to account for two genders.) The number should have been thirty million.

        • What distribution are you assuming? Gaussian? I’d like to see your actual procedure for estimating the stated number; it still doesn’t sound as if it can be right. Even by a crude symmetry argument, if 80% of men are above the mean for women, then 20% are below it, and that suggests that 80% of women are below the mean for men, and 20% are above it; your figure is 25%. But a Gaussian distribution seems more plausible, and I’d like to see an estimate based on that.

    • I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how monumentally arrogant you’ve been by condemning a memo¹ that you haven’t even read and hallucinating a flaw with the memo that doesn’t exist because the author of the memo² explicitly warned against that exact flaw.

      I don’t need to but it’s a lot of fun nonetheless. Still, you owe the readers of this post an apology, IMHO; we had the good manners to actually read your mad screed about a memo¹ whose contents you absorbed remotely through the power of your extraordinary mind (and, I would suggest, witchcraft) and yet we took the time to reply to you with accurate points in rebuttal.

      Guess why our rebuttals were accurate? I’ll give you three guesses…
      ¹ That’s the memo you didn’t read
      ² This is, again, the memo left unread by you thanks to your supernatural powers, the memo which we’re all talking about and which you started to talk about for some unfathomable reason given your complete ignorance about the memo. That you didn’t read

    • I’m disappointed in you. You’re usually much more intellectually honest than this.

      Really, why aren’t you going to read the memo so you can debunk the arguments he actually makes, instead of the ones the SJWs and the MSM told you he makes?

  11. “I didn’t read Damore’s memo because it obviously contains one important logical flaw:”

    Speaking of logic flaws, starting out your comment with one is a great way to signal to the reader to give your comment the same treatment you gave Damore’s.

  12. The sheer amount of ludicrous kafkatrapping I’m seeing in Internet discussions about this memo is absolutely amazing. Many folks are actually arguing in full seriousness that the memo creates a hostile work environment _because_ its claims are (supposedly) unfounded/stereotyping, _and_ that any discussion of its scientific basis would be inappropriate because of its hostility. How in the hell.could anyone think of this as a cogent argument – let alone Google’s top leadership, which has publicly channeled at least part of these claims as a rationale for Damore’s firing?

    My guess is that we’re seeing not just the terminal decline of Google itself as an active force, but an end to the SJW movement’s ability to claim any sort of moral high ground in the tech community, and be taken seriously (as anything other than clowns or extreme Maoists/cultural revolutionnaires) – following comparable developments in the broader US political culture, which had the recent Presidential election as their focus point. This is not a wholly positive development IMO – advocates for good-faith (non-authoritarian) progressive-leaning causes should be encouraged to get their act together too!

    • Eh, it’s early days yet. Google’s revenues won’t be hurt much by this, or not immediately; those depend on its reputation as the world’s most comprehensive search engine, and on the Android OS for smartphones.

      Where it bites first and worst is employee quality. The top talents in software engineering won’t want to work at a firm where they’re judged by fidelity to a political agenda. Now that Google has shown itself to be such a firm, it’ll have much more difficulty hiring or keeping first-rate programmers. Which means that the quality of Google products may be expected to decay, compared to similar products from other companies.

      Look at what happened to Mozilla, after Brendan Eich was ousted on political grounds. Firefox, its main product, is a significantly worse browser now than it was before Eich’s ouster, thanks to a series of bad technical decisions made by his successors.

      So, no this isn’t the end of Google, or of SJWs in software. It’s only the peak of the wave, the high-water mark; the point where the movement begins to falter.

      • It’s a shame that Brave still sucks so much, as does Waterfox (but in very different ways).

        Palemoon could be a winner, but it’s not cross platform enough for me. I put it on my phone though.

        • I’ve been using PaleMoon since the week Eich was kicked out (I also use Chrome quite a bit, too), and modulo a couple weeks where it seemed something was seriously broken (I don’t remember what specifically, but I switched to Chrome exclusively for a little while), I’ve found it to work just fine.

  13. One thing I find absolutely fascinating about the debate over the memo is that the overwhelming majority of people who object to it exhibit (in descending order of popularity) one of the following behaviors
    1) State they didn’t read it because it’s sexist (or some other -ist) but argue anyway that it is hostile to women etc.
    2) Claim to have read it but argue points that the memo explicitly avoids or agrees with
    3) Claim to have read it but come up with statements like “just an opinion based on no evidence” which are wrong seeing as the memo has lots of hyerlinks/footnotes to evidence

    About the only person who has criticized the memo but doesn’t fall into these traps (though he gets damn close to 2) ) is Yonatan Zunger.

    On the other hand the people who generally agree with it or support its publication/dissemination have all read it and demonstrate that in their arguments and many actually argue against parts of what the memo says while agreeing with a lot of the rest of it.

    I find that remarkably telling

    • I just finished reading Zunger’s rebuttal, and I’d say you’re being much more generous to him than he deserves: to my eyes his essay is a pretty bald mix of #2 and #3. He refuses to even engage the memo on the science — he declares that every single point is “actively wrong” and contradicted by years of research (that he of course fails to cite) in the same breath that he concedes he’s comprehensively incompetent to argue the point. He then goes on to sling essentially the same bullshit that Troutwaxer did, above, falsely accusing Demore of having argued that women are less capable engineers. Along the way he spouts several pieties to the importance of empathy and cooperation in engineering work, apparently by way of countering Demore’s suggestion to de-emphasize empathy, but ignoring that said suggestion had a particular context (Demore was advocating for a more dispassionate, analytically-rigorous approach to diversity issues, not dismissing the importance of empathy and cooperation in engineering work).

      Zunger may be a brilliant mathematician and engineer but his essay seemed, to me, to be Salon-worthy hot take.

      • Yeah on second thoughts I think you’re right. he engages in #2 (and some of #3 implicitly) to get to the point where he can make his criticisms.

        That means there is no critic of the memo who is able to logically argue that the memo is wrong.

        On the contrary even liberal places like the NY Times, which published a David Brooks editorial on the subject, are stating that the memo is based on good science.

        Damore may or may not win his battle, but I think he’s going to be key in the longer larger war against “feelz” and pernicious effects of “progressive” thought on the world at large

  14. Google’s days as a center of engineering excellence are over. Right, left, or libertarian, if you’re an exceptionally talented engineer or scientist today, why would you choose to work in a place where feelz trump performance?

    They’re a huge company, with a massive cash hoard, so they’ll be around for decades just like Microsoft, but like Microsoft, they’re no longer a tech company, but a marketing company.

  15. > Google’s revenues won’t be hurt much by this, or not immediately; those depend on its reputation as the world’s most comprehensive search engine, and on the Android OS for smartphones.

    No, not really. Virtually all of Google’s revenues come from advertising. The other things are just window dressing.

    Advertising dollars are fickle.

    Google has angered > 50% of the people who actually pay the bills to appease their internal SJWs.

    That way lies bankruptcy, probably a lot sooner than Google thinks.

  16. @FrancisT
    “That means there is no critic of the memo who is able to logically argue that the memo is wrong.”

    This is no logical argument, but an empirical one. And his memo has been shown to be a piece of amateur sociobiology. As many have already written, the part about women in tech is “cherry picking of evidence” and wild extrapolations from small group differences.

    How the Internet got the ‘Google memo’ wrong

    Back to the tech world: There is ample evidence of sexual harassment, unwelcoming workplace environments, and in some cases quantitatively measurable discrimination in scientific and technical fields. Why focus on biological differences, many of them quite small, rather than other factors that could explain certain discrepancies? That’s why some researchers, particularly those with a feminist bent, think it’s beside the point that the differences Damore mentioned are borne out by studies.

    • You should probably look for a better rebuttal, because that article refutes little, if anything.

      Claim #1 – supported by the less-than-rigorous field of sociology.

      Claim #2 – Note the framing “Many of the stories told by Evo Psych” as if sociology isn’t loaded with unscientific narratives. But note the switch to a full critique of the field of Evo Psych without really addressing the memo’s claims specifically. Oh sure, there’s the standard vague tell of “science shows differently” without any details, let alone the specific “scientific and scholarly” explanations which apply. I’m not saying Damore necessarily got this right, but “because my field says so” doesn’t prove him wrong either.

      Claim #3 – The one you cite. “There is ample evidence.” This is what academics refer to as horsesh*t. Cite or GTFO. But really, look at the last line of what you cited. You think that suffices for a refutation? Shorter version: Feminists say facts don’t matter. But look at what else that section says:

      “I glanced at the document but I have seen ones just like it so many times, and the underlying venom of it made me know I did not need to read yet another,” said Anne Fausto-Sterling, a Brown University professor with a lengthy career studying biology and gender development.”

      It doesn’t matter what this “Professor”s qualifications are; she commits the same fatal error Troutwater did in this thread – commenting on something she didn’t read. Add to it that Anne-fausto Sterling is a “sexologist” and it’s quite obvious that the Boston Globe didn’t do the heavy lifting you needed them to do.

      Do better.

  17. > wild extrapolations from small group differences.

    The differences for the population as a whole may be small, but that does not generalize to the tail of the population that Google is hiring from. Mean and standard deviation are two different things. Entirely.

    A lot of coders are somewhere on the autism spectrum. Five times as many men have autism than women. That’s simply a fact.

    > As many have already written, the part about women in tech is “cherry picking of evidence”

    It doesn’t matter how “many have written” anything. Science doesn’t work by majority rule.

  18. @Winter’s article:

    Just because women, in studies of an entire population, display a certain trait more frequently on average doesn’t mean that this difference holds for the very small, very specific subset of people who are talented enough to be hired at Google. Why point to population-level averages rather than potentially significant institutional factors within Google?

    Because tail effects massively amplify population effects – and that “very small, very specific subset” sounds very much like a tail. As a demonstration, consider four variables (standing in for attributes of population groups) with normal distributions:

    Variable A is centered on 0, stdev of 1.
    Variable B is centered on 0.1, stdev of 1.
    Variable C is centered on 0, stdev of 1.1.
    Variable D is centered on 0.1, stdev of 1.1.

    Now suppose we set an attribute cutoff of 3 for the tail.
    Variable A will exceed 3 about 0.13% of the time.
    Variable B, 0.19% of the time.
    Variable C, 0.32% of the time.
    Variable D, 0.42% of the time.

  19. I use google a lot. I don’t like their politics, but I started using them before I knew anything about their politics. Searching is the least of it. I use gmail, calendar, drive, docs, maps, and google play music. The only thing I actually pay for is the music, and at $10/month I consider it a bargain.

    OK, so suppose I decide to cut my use of their services. How can I do that without a major disruption in my work routines? Yes, there are other free (or cheap) email services, but I would need another email address, and I would lose all my archives. Ideally I would like to transfer all my email archives to another provider, but is that possible (without a major effort)? Ditto for all my calendar stuff and docs. And I was just getting good at google docs. Anyway, does everyone see the dilemma here?

    • You don’t need to do an absolute boycott to improve the incentives.

      As mentioned above, I’m not moving away from Gmail for now; I’m only moving away from Google products when there’s an alternative I can live with (Chrome -> Brave, Google Maps -> Apple Maps[1], etc.). I also haven’t implemented these changes in the office, where many of my coworkers are ex-Googlers, and the accepted range of ideological diversity is arguably worse than at Google itself (I tolerate this because our actual work is thoroughly apolitical). The main point is to provide more oxygen to better-behaved competitors when they most need it; adding 1 to a thousand or a million has far more impact than subtracting 1 from a billion, especially if you provide useful feedback to the developers.

      1: Yes, I realize Apple is also a controversial company; I’m currently happy enough with them in a way that I’m not re: Google, but I can understand if you want to avoid them too.

    • You don’t have to stop using the services, just stop clicking on the ads. Google is primarily an advertising company. If the click-throughs on their ads start falling off, advertisers won’t pay Google as much. If the ads present you with something you might be interested in, look it up on DuckDuckGo or equivalent.

      You can probably replace Google Play music with Amazon Prime music, I’ve never used Play because I’m happy with Amazon, but there might be some features you’ll miss.

  20. Wars are easy to start, hard to stop.

    War is easy, peace is hard, in the same sense falling off a cliff is easy, hanging onto a cliff is hard.

    It takes two to make peace, one to make war. Wars recur because one side forgets just how bad things might get.

    esr keeps proposing a peace arrangement, but social justice warriors are not listening, and not likely to listen.

    The state always has the right, the authority and the duty to enforce truth and forbid lies, despite its absolutely terrible record in performing this duty. Thus white people always wind up with an official religion. The issue then, is what shall that religion be?

    esr proposes no official religion. Been tried. Just not going to fly.

    The Catholicism of Spain was arguably bad for the economy and the intellectual life of Spain, but the Anglicanism of Charles the second and the thirty nine articles saw the scientific and industrial revolutions, and England conquering an empire on which the sun never set.

    The problem with our current official religion is that the proposition that all men are created equal is rather more readily falsifiable than the proposition that Christ rose on the third day.

    We need a state religion that does not intrude so radically on readily observable reality. And that state religion needs to forcibly suppress competing belief systems that compete for the niche of state sponsored belief system.

  21. “We need a state religion”

    Who is “we”, and who authorized you to speak for them? You remind me of leftists who purport to speak for “women” and “minorities”.

    There are plenty of countries with an established religion, including the one you appear to like. Pick one. Go there.

    • But don’t-cha-know? The best way to fight evil is to adopt every facet of it with different curtains! In this case the first evil would be left wing collectivism of the SJW/Antifa/Racist-while-denying-it variety, and the second is left wing collectivism of the We-actually-admit-to-racism/We-ain’t-antifa-idiots variety.

      Party like it’s 1933 folks!

    • Locketopus, please pay more attention to this line in Jim’s comment which I feel makes his point very clear, and makes your snide questions unnecessary:

      > esr proposes no official religion. Been tried. Just not going to fly.

      From which I infer that “we need a state religion that…” should not be read in the mode of speaking on behalf of anyone, but should be read in a mode more akin to prediction or assumption of purpose, compare “You need to sharpen that axe” [implied: if you want to achieve your goal]. Maybe Jim is wrong on this point, but in that case you should engage the point on which he is wrong, rather than pulling a single phrase out of context and pretending it’s useful to engage that phrase on its own.

      Here is a template you can use:

      “No, we do not need a state religion. Having no official religion would probably fly if we tried it under other circumstances, such as [insert circumstances here].” Alternatively, make that second sentence:
      “Having no official religion worked just fine in [insert case here].”

  22. I finally read Damore’s screed, following Eric’s link and… For starters, it’s 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. And while its about what I expected, I would have to concede that it’s not an ugly or loud screed, and Damore avoids the usual right-wing dog whistles, (though he does invent new ones.) And I have to concede that he is an excellent writer on all levels from his ability to state an overall thesis to his individual sentences.

    But the content is – I’ll be diplomatic – very difficult if you’re a believer in diversity. A musical analogy might be appropriate here. Modern right-wing political writing is essentially Heavy Metal. It’s very loud, with lots of growly voices, the drum-kit from Hell, shrieking electic guitars, and lyrics that go something like this:

    “You fucking libtard. You useless Muslim whorebag!
    ~ Insert crazy-loud male-supremacist message here ~
    I hate your tiny gonads and your penis is too small!
    So I will cut it off with a rusty razor!”

    This is because the modern right reacts, in full out, meth-fueled, Gwar-like rage, to things only they can see, like the idea that Obama is a secret Muslim socialist from Africa. (Is socialism even compatible with Islam?) The political “music” started getting Metal-ish in the eighties, and has gotten even more Metal ever since (thanks Newt) and we’ve become so used to the growly shoutiness that political voices akin to Norwegian Satanic Metal seem normal to us. (If nothing else, the modern right should be exiled from politics due to the damage they’ve done our discourse.)

    Whatever Damore’s other faults, he doesn’t fall into that trap. His male-supremacist screed is something more like soft R & B from the seventies. Muted guitars without a fuzz-box. A soft, seductive beat and a gentle, sweet male voice that goes something like this:

    “Hey baby, I love looking into your eyes
    You’re so gentle and artistic
    Let me tell you how I feel –
    ~ Insert gently-phrased man-splaining here. ~

    For those of you who’ve never seen it, this is what old-school political discourse looks like. This is a Wall Street Journal editorial from the seventies, complete with carefully muted language. Or maybe Bill Clinton crooning “Ah feel your pain.” For all its faults, which are many, the voice sounds sane. Unlike modern right-wing discourse, you can read it without ear-protectors. But that becomes tricky, because unless you remember what old-style political discouse was like it can difficult to decode a sane-sounding discussion of politics.

    But his screed is still poison. And once again, it’s very gentle. This is not “you keel over immediately and die” poison. It’s more like “one day you wake up and you’re too weak to go into work, and you never get better.” In other words, it’s subtle poison. !! Oh Damn, I’m going to have to read it again and find specific examples!! I should have taken notes so I didn’t have to read it twice.


    For starters, there’s the footnote where Damore mentions communism. In 2017, this is a red flag which clearly tells us that his concerns are not modern, but probably stuck in the 1950s or (or maybe the 1960s.) By the 1970s most of us understood that communism was not coming to the U.S. The closest we were going to get was the (then current) success of the Union Movement, which had not yet been sandbagged by Reagan, but by 1970 you’d have to look crazy-hard to see an actual Commie on the board of any union, large or small, and most of us had concluded that the John Birchers (financed, IIRC, by the father of the Koch Brothers) were cranks. So we can successfully place Damore’s concerns in time. (Just to clarify, I don’t disagree with Eric’s contention that leftist discourse has been affected by Communism, but I also feel the concern has aged into irrelevance, and I’ll note that women and Blacks were making strong pitches for equality long before the Russian revolution.)

    The second thing I’ll note is that Damore makes seven different references to “psychological safety.” with reference to diversity. It sounds like, if surrounded by women, Gays and people of color, Damore does not feel “psychologically safe.” It’s the damn-near Lovecraftian cry of someone caught up in the tentacles of Cthoogle who realizes, in the italicized last sentence of the story, that he must spend eternity in the belly of the beast, damned in the unspeakable horror of associating with women, blacks, and homosexuals!”

    We’re now supposed to shudder. I’ll pass, thanks.

    The upshot of his focus on “psychological safety” is that Damore does not want to be “shamed into silence.” (that’s not an exact quote, BTW, but it captures the sense of his much longer sentences.) And what would he prefer to not be “shamed into silence” about? That would be his concerns about how Google gets diversity wrong. In other words, if you’re a white male whose concerns are stuck in the 1950s, its bad if someone “shames you into silence.” Damore, an insecure white-male college graduate in the highly-in-demand STEM field, is SO WORRIED that someone might not “feel his pain” that to resolve his pyschological distress he must write a ten page memo, complete with graphs and footnotes. The horror! (If my sarcasm is not apparent, consider the parents of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child who got caught up in “not-diversity” and shot, in an open-carry state, while playing with a toy gun at the park. What about their “psychological safety. And while I’m at it, Eric, did you send the Rice family a hundred bucks? Because… you know… someone actually died?) *

    But this is reaaally soooper important! Because “diversity” is a “…veiled left ideology? (7)? that can irreparably harm Google.” (and that is a direct quote, except for the parenthesis around “7.”) The “7,” BTW, leads us to the footnote where he talks about how communism doesn’t work (in a corporation with one of the highest share prices on the stock market which is run as purely-for-profits as any company on the planet.)

    Yes James, I would definitely agree that anyone who uses “communist” and “Google” in the same sentence is probably “psychologically unsafe.”

    And that’s before we get to Damore’s contentions that women ‘don’t have the same drive to gain status’ ** and that ‘women, as a general rule are not as good as men at __________’ (not to be applied to individuals, of course, and if you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.) But I must concede this particular issue as the sole point where Eric was right if you believe in the absolute sincerity of the text.)

    So let’s decode this:

    1.) Men have a higher drive for status (so they should be promoted? Or something?)

    2.) Women have a lesser drive for status, and aren’t as good at STEM (so they should not be promoted? Or maybe not assigned to work with men? Or put to work in the art department? I’m not sure what Damore’s asking for here, but if you’re a woman you probably won’t feel that his proposed arrangement is fair.)

    3.) Men’s “psychological safety” is very important, so we shouldn’t talk about the things women (and people of color or Gay people, though they aren’t mentioned explicity,) find uncomfortable in the workplace, and men should have greater access to psychological services to help them feel safe (from all the diversity?) and men should be able to talk about how diversity makes them feel psychologically unsafe even if this, in turn, makes the women (and blacks and homosexuals) feel very much unsafe. James Damore is a very anxious little guy. :-(

    4.) This weird, female need for diversity comes from the left. Because communism.

    Maybe Damore is playing Metal after all. Turn it up dude!

    “Shut up bitch!
    I need higher status!
    You do not need status!
    You are not as good!
    You make me unsafe!
    You’re a commie whorebags!”
    ~ Cue guitar solo ~

    My conclusion is as follows: If you’re so stuck in the past that you imagine that “diversity” is a communist plot, and diversity makes you feel “psychologically unsafe,” and you’ve got a desperate need to explain to someone else that women aren’t as good at ______________ and “have lower status needs…” then you should be ashamed. If she’s doing good work, treat her like a colleague and shut the fuck up!

    In short, fuck James Damore and the horse he rode in on!

    * That officer’s previous employer had “…concluded that Loehmann had shown a “dangerous loss of composure” during live range training and lacked the maturity to be on the force. “I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies,” he wrote on Nov. 29. Four days later, Loehmann resigned.” But the Cleveland PD was happy to hire him. Maybe we have bigger problems in American than “poor James Damore.” –

    ** Regardless of whether you love or hate feminism, if you have observed feminism and concluded that women have “lesser status needs” than men, you’re probably delusional. (And right-wing sociology is no more a “science” than left-wing sociology.)

    • Shorter version of Troutwaxer on Damore: “I can’t face the truth, and don’t want to deal with the science, so I’ll flap my arms about Damore’s supposed psychological problems and call it all ‘poison’.”

      Disappointing. You even edited Damore’s support for diversity out of the picture.

      • Even shorter version of Troutwaxer on Damore: “The guy’s a pissant. The document is full of little psychological tells that scream ‘I’m a pissant.'” (And so it naturally follows that I don’t trust the guy. *)

        Longer version: Eric, You’re very aware that I disagree with you on damn-near everything. But I will go to my grave knowing that you’re not a pissant. Your writing is not full of ‘little psychological tells.’ Just to be clear, I read “Cathedral and the Bazaar” in a state of absolute awe as you shattered the software development paradigm (and didn’t make seven different demands for ‘psychological security.’) I was incredibly impressed when you went toe-to-toe with Microsoft (and didn’t complain that Open Source programmers had ‘higher status needs.’) I was supremely jazzed when you broke the Halloween documents, something that required great courage (you could have passed them on to a reporter and stayed out of the line of fire as billions of dollars went on the line) without noting that MS executives suffered from ‘neuroticism.’ ** But you released them yourself and didn’t complain that Microsoft needed to “make safe places for GPL-believers to express themselves.” In short, when it comes to stubborn integrity, you’re the real thing, even when you’re wrong.

        Now take this home: If your writing had one tenth the “pissant tells” of James Damore I’d have forgotten who you were twenty years ago. Everyone else would have forgotten you too. You’d be an aging sysadmin in New Jersey who wrote a book once…

        I don’t say this to kiss ass – I think you’ve become a rather horrible person as you’ve aged – but regardless of how I hate your politics I can tell the difference between you and Damore. His writing is full of “pissant-scat” and yours isn’t. Twenty years from now he’ll be wondering, “did I do the right thing?” (as he works at his sysadmin job in New Jersey. ***) You’ll die twenty years from now, with your middle finger in the air, screaming “I called ’em like I saw ’em!” You’ll die wrong, and you’ll probably burn in hell, (but your white plume will be unstained.)

        What really, really absolutely shocks the fsck out of me is that Damore’s pissant-hood isn’t obvious to you. I’d imagine that a guy who’s stared down Silicon Valley VCs and has enough martial-artistry to scare the pants off Seal Team Six would know a pissant when he saw one… but maybe you’re enjoying the new source of Liberal Tears and haven’t looked him in the eye.

        Meanwhile, news flash: James Damore is a pissant. If he were a real fucking man he’d have left Google years back for some company where the streams are full of Mountain Dew and brogrammers run wild and free. (Pissants write memos. Non-pissants move to greener pastures.) Pissant. Just a fucking pissant.

        * On the scientific/factual side of things, Damore did nothing more than prove he could find a couple references which reinforce his point of view. Any half-educated person can manage that. Not impressed. But maybe if he weren’t a pissant…

        ** I’m sure you said some unkind things about the MS Executives, but there were real insults, not pissant whinging.

        *** He’ll probably be a Windows Sysadmin, which is the proper fate for a pissant.

      • Eric, a brief technical note. I note that despite having two recent controversial posts your blog has has shown less than twenty new posts since last Friday. It has literally put ALL of my posts into moderation, but even if you’re moderating me heavily (which doesn’t seem like your style) I’d have expected to see at least a hundred new posts on the Democrats and the Damore threads since last Friday. So you might want to check your blogging software, because I strongly suspect it isn’t just my posts going down the memory hole.

        • > your blog has has shown less than twenty new posts since last Friday. It has literally put ALL of my posts into moderation,

          That rateis correct, and the reason they’ve come through so slowly is that my Akismet filters are busted. Until I can get them fixed, I have to moderate by hand.

      • Even shorter: “Troutwaxer detected multiple tells that Damore is an insecure pissant, so Troutwaxer doesn’t trust Damore’s sincerity or goodwill.” (I’ll address the science issues last, but I will get there.)

        Eric, this is not a subject where you and I have much disagreement. You’ve brought up half-a-dozen people in the last 2-3 years who were “unjustly” kicked out of an organization due to some kind of disagreement with SJWs, and I’ve agreed with you that four (out of six) were indeed kicked out unjustly… We agree on Larry Garfield and the guy from (was it Oxford?) who made an obvious and very British joke – sorry, can’t think of his name. We only disagree on Damore and Eich.

        So what makes Damore different? Essentially, I can’t muster much sympathy for some dude with a Master’s from Harvard, (he didn’t complete his Ph.D) who works on Google’s infrastructure – probably a job full of really interesting challenges – he won a bunch of Chess prizes as a kid… he’ doubtless brilliant. And for God’s sake, the guy had “root” at Google! (How much higher can you rise in a purely technical hierarchy than having root at Google?) and he’s just massively fucking insecure and self-destructive. The guy doesn’t need political allies, he needs therapy! Badly. (If there were a “Get Damore therapy fund” I might contribute.)

        So why do I call him a pissant? The memo has seven different references to men needing “psychological security.” (Pissant.) Multiple discussions of how Google should have places where men can express themselves safely. (Pissant.) Discussions of men’s “status needs” (This is the hill he’s going to die on? Out of all the studies that might support his position he’s fixated on “men’s status needs?”) How pathetic can you get?

        If you want the full measure of Damore’s pathetic nature, consider that he had root at Google and still whined about status needs! Sorry, the dude’s a pissant.

        Worse, Damore says he “agrees with Diversity” but he doesn’t want to do the hard work to be comfortable with it or make it happen. (You know, like not letting his male insecurities create a hostile work environment… what an ass! (This is one reason why I question his sincerity.)) And he talks about evolutionary psych, which is a sure sign of someone who has researched why feminism is wrong without researching why (leaving aside the crazies who took over the movement) feminism might be right. And the worried discussion of how Communism will destroy Google… fifties mindset anyone? He’s not just a pissant, he’s a post-war pissant!

        On the subject of science, Damore is certainly well-enough educated to pick out studies that support his ideas. This is not difficult and I could certainly find studies that disagree with him if I thought it necessary, but in his particular case the issue really goes to character. Damore had every advantage and he threw a self-destructive tantrum because he’s colossally insecure. (A real man would have kept his mouth shut and moved on to a job where the streams are full of Mountain Dew and the brogrammers run wild and free!)

        Eric, we’ve both got a long background reading Heinlein. Would Lazarus Long feel any sympathy for this guy?

        What’s awfully, terribly unfortunate for Damore is that the whole thing went public. Ideally someone senior at Google would have pulled the plug on his discussion a month ago, told Damore that he was fired (for being a miserable pissant who created a hostile work environment) and suggested that he use his benefits from the next job to get some therapy (so he can stop being a pissant.) The whole thing would have remained internal to Google and Damore might have gotten the help he desperately needs instead of ending up as a disposable (Joe the Plumber anyone?) spokesman of the alt-right. The poor guy’s a mess and now he’ll get worse, which is the real tragedy.

    • > For starters, there’s the footnote where Damore mentions communism. In 2017, this is a red flag which clearly tells us that his concerns are not modern [yadda-yadda-yadda]…

      Funny, I could have sworn that a communist was threatening to nuke us right now. So yeah, communism is totally not a threat in This Modern Age. Totally. Anyone who is concerned by it is totally stuck in the 1950s. Totally.

      This just makes you look ridiculous, dude.

      The rest of your diatribe is simply ad hominems mixed with shit that you’ve made up out of whole cloth. Spare us the “dog whistle” and “decoding” stuff, please — either address what the man actually said or I’m going to assume you have no response.

      • >Funny, I could have sworn that a communist was threatening to nuke us right now.

        And funny, I could have sworn that many of the leaders of the SJWs now terrorizing the tech industry are self-described communists (see for example Steve Klabnik) and/or constantly retail recycled Marxist tropes.

    • I don’t have time to list all the things wrong with Troutwaxer’s comment, but I’ll mention one: the reason that Damore repeatedly mentions “psychological safety” is that Google repeatedly uses the term internally, to justify their discriminatory “diversity” policies.

      • >the reason that Damore repeatedly mentions “psychological safety” is that Google repeatedly uses the term internally, to justify their discriminatory “diversity” policies.


        Troutwaxer, if you’d been paying attention rather than getting high on your own supply, you’d have noticed this, I did. Damore was pointing out the internal contradiction in Google’s mythology about its own behavior.

    • You do realize that when you lace your tirade with observations like:

      “and Damore avoids the usual right-wing dog whistles, (though he does invent new ones.)”

      …that it says far more about you than it does the target of such bile, right? When you’re reading racism, sexism, and whatever-else-ism into an opposing view, then it’s you who has the problem.

      Your diatribe exemplifies the projection. glaring lack of self-awareness, and propensity to deploy thought-terminating cliches that are rendering the Democrat party increasingly irrelevant.

    • Summarized Damore: “Here is a memo in which I repeatedly stress that I’m in favor of diversity, I’m against discrimination, here are some more ways I propose to get women in tech, and we should treat people as individuals.”

      Summarized Troutwaxer: “Damore is calling people commie whorebags and poisoning the discourse. He should treat people as individuals. I know he said this same thing, but he was lying when he said it. Something something Tamir Rice Koch Brothers John Birch heavy metal.”

      Trout, if anyone is poisoning the discourse here, it’s you.

      You are teaching people that if they disagree with you, they have no reason to be civil because you will paraphrase their words as “commie whorebags” anyway, call them liars on little to no basis and shout at them to shut the fuck up.

      • Well the animosity is certainly real. Dropping the mask to show just how full of burning hate you really are is probably an error.

    • (so they should be promoted? Or something?)

      Regardless of whether the premise is true or not, it’s clear that the argument is that all else being equal they will be more likely to do what it takes to get promoted (and thus that a lack of balance in higher level positions does not indicate discrimination). He’s not proposing a course of action here, except to not aggressively seek to promote women who simply aren’t there in great enough numbers.

      2.) Women have a lesser drive for status, and aren’t as good at STEM

      I don’t believe he even once said that women aren’t as good. He did say they’re less interested in it. Which, if true, would mean that you’re going to have fewer applicants, and have to reach all the way to the bottom of the applicant pool (and therefore not require anyone to compete against anyone) if you have a goal of filling an equal (or greater, to make up for the current unbalanced workforce) number of slots with women as with men.

      He may be wrong, but at this point you are aggressively misrepresenting his claims.

  23. > Maybe Jim is wrong on this point, but in that case you should engage the point on which he is wrong

    I think you are coming into this conversation late. He is on record as favoring the restoration of the Stuart Dynasty (yes, really).

    > “Having no official religion worked just fine in [insert case here].”

    Okay. Having no official religion worked just fine in the case of the United States from Day One until now.

    If you favor an official religion of any kind, you are deeply un-American. Which is your right, but in that case you should probably move somewhere else.

    • The United States had state churches on Day One, then a temporary interlude of secularism before it evolved into the current legal climate where Google is under institutional pressure to ditch Damore for neo-heresy and the N-word is a neo-blasphemy. While I respect the attempt for having produced a multitude of great things, this does not exactly strike me as having worked just fine.

      • > The United States had state churches on Day One

        No, it didn’t. Some individual states had established churches, but the United States as a whole never did, not under the Articles of Confederation nor under the present Constitution.

        > While I respect the attempt for having produced a multitude of great things, this does not exactly strike me as having worked just fine.

        Compared to? Which nation with an established church has done better?

        • I said: > Which nation with an established church has done better?

          I had a little free time, so I looked into this. The countries that fulfill his criterion of having a state religion that “forcib[ly] suppress[es] competing belief systems” appear to be Islamist hellholes, without exception.

          While there are some other countries that have a pro forma state religion that are reasonable places, they all allow free exercise of other religions.

        • All states had established churches, and the civil war was the state church of New England, headquartered in Harvard, engaging in a crusade to impose its religion as the religion of the United States over the individual states.

          The civil war was a continuation and escalation of the Mormon war.

          There was a time when the United States had no official religion, but only in that the individual states were free to have their own official religions

          • That’s an interesting perspective, but Occam’s razor leads me to a far simpler explanation for the civil war: the south wanted out, and the north wasn’t willing to quit bleeding them financially. Most federal revenue at the time came from customs duties, and the southern ports made up more than half of the foreign trade.

  24. A quote from Damore’s memo:

    “Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as
    misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the
    homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.”


    • That’s… spectacularly, hilariously terrible. I savor the irony of The Economist accusing Demore of motivated reasoning while (a) appropriating, and doubling down upon, Yonatan Zunger’s arsonist-in-a-field-of-straw-men response to Demore’s memo, and (b) citing Suzanne Sadedin’s Quora article as an authoritative “debunking” of Damore’s scientific claims when, in fact, Sadedin admits Damore’s scientific claims are for the most part respectable (before aiming a fusillade of silly criticisms at his conclusions and recommendations — four paragraphs in she’s accusing Damore of trying to advance “a covert alt-right agenda,” and it’s mostly downhill from there).

      When did The Economist go Full Retard in its embrace of progressive identity politics and thought policing? Is this a relatively recent development?

      • That’s a shame because with my experience with “The Economist”, which was mostly in the 90s, was that while it was left-leaning (at least from an American perspective), it was still very intelligent and worth reading.

  25. There could be a repetition of the free software/open source debate when it comes to diversity – another clash between RMS-style idealism and ESR-style pragmatism. For the RMS-view, proprietary software is an evil, and they are engaged in a moral crusade against evil. To them, it is wrong for a company to own the software on which we all depend. Software companies are oppressors who must be fought.

    For the ESR-view, what matters is the software quality. And a small, unaccountable group somewhere is going to produce lower quality (and maybe introduce backdoors) than an open collaboration between everyone on the internet. Because we can involve the skills of everyone, we can get to better software than if we relied on only a few people.

    Similarly with diversity, there are RMS-style crusaders who see white men as oppressors. To them, men have unjustly held too much power and need to lose some. Diversity is an end in itself because it reduces white male power. But like the RMS crusading produced a backlash among companies, this view produces a backlash among men who don’t see themselves as oppressors but as contributors to the software infrastructure of civilization. It’s likely damaging efforts to produce diverse teams.

    There’s a pragmatic view, like the ESR view of open source, which isn’t about crusading and fighting oppression but simply wants more contributors. There are many open source projects critical to the internet infrastructure which have TODO lists with dozens of open items. I’m personally a contributor to two such projects, and I have noticed that there have been no patches sent in from women in several months or years.

    I want more women to be involved, so we can get through the TODO lists and advance the software. That’s how you encourage diversity in tech: speak of how much better the software world could be if we had more people working on it. Remove sexism, stereotyping, harrassment, etc not to fight men but to add more contributors whose talents could benefit us all.

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