Posts Tagged ‘ Google ’

He was trying to fix a broken culture

Aug 18th, 2017 8:12 am | By

The war over the Google memo continues. Business Insider has another conversation with young James Damore.

A lot of the debate about fired Google memo writer James Damore has centered around his views, the science he cited, and whether or not he deserved to get fired.

But what’s been largely ignored is how women within Google felt and his reaction to that.

In an interview with Business Insider, Damore says he wasn’t trying to attack women, but fix what he views as a broken culture within Google. He didn’t express remorse for what he wrote, and went back to his point that he was fired for his conservative views, not the fact that he violated Google’s code of conduct

Read the rest

A fresh smack in the face

Aug 11th, 2017 9:34 am | By

Anna Wiener on James Damore as part of Silicon Valley culture.

As soon as news of the memo broke, tech workers took to the Internet. (Ours is a privileged moment: never before has it been so easy to gain access to the errant musings, rapid-fire opinions, and random proclivities of venture capitalists and others we enrich.) There were calls for Damore to be blacklisted from the industry; nuanced analyses of the memo’s underlying assumptions and ripple effects; facile analyses of the same; message-board debates about sexual harassment, affirmative action, evolutionary biology, eugenics, and “wrongthink”; and disagreements about the appropriateness of Google’s response. (“Firing people for their ideas should be opposed,” Jeet Heer, a self-described “Twitter Essayist” and an editor

Read the rest

The slights that come with that question

Aug 10th, 2017 9:07 am | By

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has thoughts on Damore’s memo. She starts with her daughter asking her if it’s true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership. Thanks, James Damore, for re-planting that seed of doubt in millions of girls and women. Nice job, 28-year-old dude – no doubt you eliminated a lot of competition with your memo.

That question, whether it’s been asked outright, whispered quietly, or simply lingered in the back of someone’s mind, has weighed heavily on me throughout my career in technology. Though I’ve been lucky to work at a company where I’ve received a lot of support—from leaders like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg

Read the rest

The structural differences that create inequality

Aug 9th, 2017 5:42 pm | By

Lara Williams at New Scientist points out James Damore’s neglect of the social aspect of perceived differences between women and men.

One truth though is that biological determinism has a history of being trotted out to justify sexism and it is problematic for a number of reasons. Damore’s manifesto portrays women as a product of inherited traits; understanding womanhood as an expressly anatomical concept without social and cultural influence. He needs to heed French intellectual and feminist Simone de Beauvoir’s famous line, “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”.

Feminist identity politics are, broadly speaking, concerned with the ways female identity and prescriptive modes of femininity are shaped and constructed. Damore’s assertions presume gender identity happens in a

Read the rest

James Damore: the celebrity years

Aug 9th, 2017 4:54 pm | By

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

Read the rest

Prejudice masquerading as fact

Aug 9th, 2017 4:44 pm | By

Angela Saini, author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, on that memo.

A portion of his argument is indeed based on published science. In particular, there is a school of neuroscience that tries to popularise the notion that male and female brains are distinct. It claims that female brains are typically hardwired for empathy, while male brains are built to analyse systems, such as computers and cars. This all hinges on the idea that autism represents an extreme form of the male brain, caused by exposure to higher than usual testosterone levels in the womb. Yet recent experiments have repeatedly failed to find a direct link between foetal testosterone levels alone and autism.

Indeed, psychological studies

Read the rest