James Damore: the celebrity years

Ah, of course he did. James Damore turned down interview requests from professional journalists and instead shared his wisdom with two right-wing anti-feminist YouTubers, Stefan Molyneux and Jordan Peterson.

The videos posted Tuesday, which quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views, come as Damore has threatened to take legal action against Google over his termination, making him an overnight celebrity amongst the “alt-right” and other conservatives in Silicon Valley.

The podcasters provided a sympathetic audience for Damore, who also argued that Google is intolerant of rightwing viewpoints and that companies discriminate against white men with diversity and inclusion initiatives. (Google remains overwhelmingly white and male, with women occupying just 20% of the technical workforce and African Americans at 1%, according to company statistics).

So where’s the discrimination exactly? Damore thinks Google should be 100% white and male, and anything less is discrimination?

I guess that’s one of the ways women are different from men.

Damore told Molyneux in his 45-minute long interview that he was inspired to write his manifesto after attending a Google diversity program that he found offensive.

“It was totally secretive. And I heard things that I definitely disagreed with,” he said. “There was a lot of just shaming and, ‘No you can’t say that, that’s sexist, you can’t do this.’ There’s just so much hypocrisy.”

It’s such an outrage to tell people they can’t say sexist shit in the workplace.

Damore has faced widespread scrutiny this week, with journalists investigating his time at Harvard where he reportedly was involved in a sexist skit in the systems biology program. His LinkedIn profile had also said that he obtained a PhD, but a Harvard spokeswoman confirmed that he only completed a master’s degree in 2013 before starting at Google.

One former Harvard student, who was in the systems biology program at the same time as Damore, told the Guardian that it was not surprising to find out he was the author of the controversial manifesto, which was widely criticized for relying on shoddy science.

“His comments do not reflect the ability to read literature critically that a typical Harvard student develops over the course of actually completing a PhD,” the former classmate said.

Damore’s views, the source said, made him an outlier in the department, which values diversity.

“It’s pretty unusual someone would have those opinions and be stupid enough to voice them,” the former classmate said. “Part of me worries that he got into some dark corner of the internet.”

Well that’s the thing: it’s not so much a dark corner as a dark large segment.

It’s amusing that Damore accuses Google of being an ideological echo-chamber. Molyneux and Peterson aren’t?

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