I guess we can call this another mile marker along the Cultural Superhighway. I just wish it included more exits where I could periodically stop for a bathroom break—because traveling along this road and soaking everything in makes a man fill up quickly.
Google last night fired the author of a controversial internal memo that argued that biological gender differences were a factor in the lack of women in computer programming jobs. It criticized the company for programs dedicated to closing the gender gap, instead imploring the company to look at workers as individuals and not groups. Sounds reasonable enough. The only people who do NOT want to be rewarded according to their individual merit are those that have little talent.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said parts of the memo violated the company’s code of conduct. In an absolutely exquisite slab of irony, he then added, “Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting.” He then proceeded to Deep-Six someone who had done the equivalent. Pichai also said the author had a right to voice concerns about certain company policies and stressed that he hoped to maintain a workplace culture that allowed for dissent. Right after the most conspicuous dissenter was canned, of course.
The ten-page memo was published by Gizmodo on Saturday. It was written and circulated internally by (now former) Google software engineer James DeMore. He argued the lack of women in certain professions was (in part) a result of women being more susceptible to “neuroticism.” You can read it for yourself here: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf Some of the highlights included:
“We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.” “At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK.”
Most of the news reports are focusing on the word “neuroticism,” because that was the most pointed part of his memo. He could have not have been any more circumspect as he outlined his reasoning. In typical engineer fashion, he included visual aids (see picture above.) He went through great pains to point out that differences in distributions of traits between men and women may IN PART explain why Google doesn’t have 50% male/female representation. DeMore’s memo was not “controversial.” It was completely rational and non-controversial to anyone with a discerning brain. He went out of his way to make his points as evenhandedly as possible. He wanted Google to treat people as individuals, not as members of a preordained group. That, unfortunately, is at odds with modern-day culture.
In terms of the reaction—well let’s say DeMore’s memo upset some people. Female engineers at Google. There were reports of many calling in sick over the obvious trauma of reading this even-handed memo. That they are perpetuating every single stereotype that makes them bristle is…interesting. One noted, “He was committing violence. People felt afraid. People had to take days off. People feared for their safety.” Another example of the Left seeing other people’s words as “violence,” while calling THEIR violence, “speech.”
This is NOT a censorship issue. Only the government can censor. As a private company, I feel Google should be able to hire and fire whom they please. No one has a “right” to work at Google…no more than anyone has a “right” to be signed as an NFL Quarterback; eh, Colin? You can simultaneously believe in at-will employment, AND that a company fired an employee for a stupid reason.
It was also entirely predictable that the Mainstream Media would run reliable interference for Google in the wake of someone being axed for improper thoughts. CNN just teased a segment by saying the Google memo said women weren’t “biologically fit” for tech. Mmmm…that’s not really what he said. Time Magazine went a step further, saying DeMore had published an “Anti-Diversity Tirade.” I guess they were upset that he was more succinct than Ted Kaczynski. It was hardly an “anti-diversity” memo. But characterizing it as such makes DeMore the bad guy and that is the goal with today’s coverage of events.
And we’re not talking about just any company here. Google is an icon of Silicon Valley and the 21st century economy. In addition to their obvious success, they also have access to the largest information database in human history. What they do matters. How they do things matters. Corporate culture is a microcosm of society at large.
This entire episode has done nothing to change my mind about something I have been saying for years. To the left, diversity means little more than a bunch of people who look differently but think alike. Diversity of thought is the LAST thing they want.