Author Topic: The Google Manifesto  (Read 640 times)

BridgeTroll

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The Google Manifesto
« on: August 11, 2017, 01:37:51 PM »
As most of you know this has been all over the interwebs this week though some of you may not know that the author was fired. (shocking?) :o

Here is a link to the gizmodo version. 
http://gizmodo.com/exclusive-heres-the-full-10-page-anti-diversity-screed-1797564320

I would post the whole thing but it is too long.  I found it interesting... but even more interesting are the reactions to it...  :)

Here is one...

Quote
No, the Google manifesto isn’t sexist or anti-diversity. It’s science
DEBRA SOH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2017 2:42PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2017 5:36PM EDT

By now, most of us have heard about Google’s so-called “anti-diversity” manifesto and how James Damore, the engineer who wrote it, has been fired from his job.

Titled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, Mr. Damore called out the current PC culture, saying the gender gap in Google’s diversity was not due to discrimination, but inherent differences in what men and women find interesting. Danielle Brown, Google’s newly appointed vice-president for diversity, integrity and governance, accused the memo of advancing “incorrect assumptions about gender,” and Mr. Damore confirmed last night he was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

Despite how it’s been portrayed, the memo was fair and factually accurate. Scientific studies have confirmed sex differences in the brain that lead to differences in our interests and behaviour.


As mentioned in the memo, gendered interests are predicted by exposure to prenatal testosterone – higher levels are associated with a preference for mechanically interesting things and occupations in adulthood. Lower levels are associated with a preference for people-oriented activities and occupations. This is why STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields tend to be dominated by men.

We see evidence for this in girls with a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, who are exposed to unusually high levels of testosterone in the womb. When they are born, these girls prefer male-typical, wheeled toys, such as trucks, even if their parents offer more positive feedback when they play with female-typical toys, such as dolls. Similarly, men who are interested in female-typical activities were likely exposed to lower levels of testosterone.

As well, new research from the field of genetics shows that testosterone alters the programming of neural stem cells, leading to sex differences in the brain even before it’s finished developing in utero. This further suggests that our interests are influenced strongly by biology, as opposed to being learned or socially constructed.

Many people, including a former Google employee, have attempted to refute the memo’s points, alleging that they contradict the latest research.

I’d love to know what “research done […] for decades” he’s referring to, because thousands of studies would suggest otherwise. A single study, published in 2015, did claim that male and female brains existed along a “mosaic” and that it isn’t possible to differentiate them by sex, but this has been refuted by four – yes, four – academic studies since.

This includes a study that analyzed the exact same brain data from the original study and found that the sex of a given brain could be correctly identified with 69-per-cent to 77-per-cent accuracy.

Of course, differences exist at the individual level, and this doesn’t mean environment plays no role in shaping us. But to claim that there are no differences between the sexes when looking at group averages, or that culture has greater influence than biology, simply isn’t true.

In fact, research has shown that cultures with greater gender equity have larger sex differences when it comes to job preferences, because in these societies, people are free to choose their occupations based on what they enjoy.

As the memo suggests, seeking to fulfill a 50-per-cent quota of women in STEM is unrealistic. As gender equity continues to improve in developing societies, we should expect to see this gender gap widen.

This trend continues into the area of personality, as well. Contrary to what detractors would have you believe, women are, on average, higher in neuroticism and agreeableness, and lower in stress tolerance.

Some intentionally deny the science because they are afraid it will be used to justify keeping women out of STEM. But sexism isn’t the result of knowing facts; it’s the result of what people choose to do with them.

This is exactly what the mob of outrage should be mobilizing for, instead of denying biological reality and being content to spend a weekend doxxing a man so that he would lose his job. At this point, as foreshadowed in Mr. Damore’s manifesto, we should be more concerned about viewpoint diversity than diversity revolving around gender.

Debra Soh writes about the science of human sexuality and holds a PhD in sexual neuroscience from York University.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Tacachale

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Re: The Google Manifesto
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 03:10:41 PM »
IMO the dude's full of it. Yesterday I read through a full version of the manifesto that included links. Contrary what Dr. Soh says there, not all the links were legit or up to date. Some were links to Wikipedia articles! I can't find the link but will post it if I can find it (here's a link to Soh's piece which includes links to back up what she says.)

But the bigger problem isn't the science, it's the conclusion he makes. There's a difference between saying that there are biological factors that account for generally different interests between men and women, and saying that those factors cause the present gender disparity at Google and the tech world in general. If that were the case, Google's gender disparity would at least be closer to the national norm (Google's tech positions are only 20% women, after years of efforts to improve, compared to a national average of 25%.) The national average itself also wouldn't have shrunk from 36% in 1991 to 25% today. Something explains those disparities, and biology plain dun't work that fast.

Damore took it a step further to effectively argue that since there are biological differences, which according to him cause Google's sex disparity, that Google's efforts to reduce the disparity should be halted. There he's essentially arguing that women are biologically indisposed to tech jobs and that Google is misguided in trying to hire more of them. Hard to sympathize with bro on that one.

As for him being fired for "speaking truth to power", "speaking his mind", "speaking out his ass" or whatever, it does suck that Google apparently encourages employees to speak out about the company internally but then punishes someone who does. But this is America, companies can fire people for pretty much anything they want, except in very specific cases like discrimination, retaliation, etc. Don't like it, call up the California legislature and get them to change the law.
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I-10east

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Re: The Google Manifesto
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 04:50:51 PM »
Goolag

Jim

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Re: The Google Manifesto
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 12:22:22 PM »
Anyone that claims science proves a women is less capable of a technical job is bending facts, lying and/or has an agenda.

His firing was appropriate for attempting to disrupt the culture and work environment for thousands of employees to say nothing of how damaging that was to corporate brand and their future recruiting efforts.

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Google Manifesto
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 01:05:54 PM »
I did not see that as a claim at all.  From what I can tell... He didn't say he disapproved of diversity. He disagreed with the best way to achieve it.  Regardless... Of course there will be a lawsuit...

https://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/google-may-lose-to-the-manifesto-writer-in-court-h.html

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Jim

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Re: The Google Manifesto
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 01:14:51 PM »
I did not see that as a claim at all.  From what I can tell... He didn't say he disapproved of diversity. He disagreed with the best way to achieve it.  Regardless... Of course there will be a lawsuit...

https://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/google-may-lose-to-the-manifesto-writer-in-court-h.html



“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership”

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Google Manifesto
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 01:30:37 PM »
I did not see that as a claim at all.  From what I can tell... He didn't say he disapproved of diversity. He disagreed with the best way to achieve it.  Regardless... Of course there will be a lawsuit...

https://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/google-may-lose-to-the-manifesto-writer-in-court-h.html



“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership”

Lol... well there you go.  Not sure why he typed multiple paragraphs and pages when one sentence sums it all up.  Thanks for finding and focusing like a laser on that one sentence.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."