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 Post subject: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:13 pm 
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I don't know how many of you guys have been following the "Google manifesto" thing. It's fascinating me.

For those who aren't following it:

A Google employee submits a document internally within Google which addresses the subject of diversity, bias, and monoculture. (specifically within Google.)
Document gets leaked to the public by someone else
Document goes viral, get labeled "anti diversity"
Google reacts by labeling the message "toxic" and fires the guys
Much debate ensues

It fascinates me for the following reasons:

1. It strikes me as an appropriate rebuttal to the sentiment (which I've hear here at the DBB) that "reality leans left." In this case, the guy has put together a well documented, well sourced disagreement to the (left leaning) idea that disparities are due to injustices.
2. I see an example of people with no religious affiliation rejecting a scientifically backed, cogent argument simply because it doesn't fit their ideology, an accusation often levied against religious people as a product of their religion. (Thus, presented as something to which the non-religious are immune.)
3. It also reminds me of the global warming political battle.

Have you guys been following? What are your reactions?

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:46 pm 
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My thoughts are that there was nothing "scientifically-backed" about the screed's claims in the least, and that was just one in a long line of examples of old-boys-club misogyny. It's the sort of bullshit I'd expect from an MRA subreddit. A former Google employee wrote a fantastic rebuttal describing how the traits the original piece's author claims are "feminine" only make someone a better engineer and project manager.


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Some of this guy's opinions are based in a little bit of fact. Sure, there are differences between the way men think and the way women think. There's no argument here. Our brains are biologically different for the most part, with more than a few exceptions. But where he went horribly off the rails was when he essentially labeled all women as neurotic. I mean, as a female, I could label all men as loutish oversexed cavemen, but would this description fit ALL men? :wink:

He also never realized how difficult it is for a women to enter into a career where it's already dominated by an "old boys culture", or "bro culture" to begin with. I've run into it myself, when I worked as an automobile mechanic for a few years, back when women were expected to be "in the home and pregnant". Most women today will either be eventually expelled or revolted by the whole idea of a "bro-culture" and that bro culture will do it's damnedest to repel any female invaders to their club. It takes a certain hardy stock of female to put up with it, but usually they have to mold themselves to become "one of the guys" in order to be accepted. Me, I took the time to change a few minds and make new friends and STILL keep my job and sense of humor. But I'll tell you, it was like pushing against a mountain of preconceived male sexist nonsense to make it work at all. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Related to this whole incident, I was reading a few articles talking about the software and gaming industries that noted how, from earlier times which had seen percentages almost starting to approach parity between male and female programmers, there was a precipitous decline in females in that field during the late 70s to early 80s. The strongest correlation suggested was how home personal computers (and, slightly later, video game consoles) were very much marketed as "boys' toys" based on data suggesting that somewhat higher percentages of boys used them. This created a self-reinforcing pattern of girls not getting into programming because that same targeted marketing was completely ignoring them. Even today, when there have been at least small gains made, the disparity in the software industry is still pretty enormous. And unlike this chauvinistic idiot suggests, it has absolutely nothing to do with women being "less suited" for programming or engineering. Hell, last year's biopic "Hidden Figures" should dispel that notion instantly.


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:52 am 
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Thanks for making some of my points.

The rebuttal linked opens by claiming that the statements are incorrect, but that the [rebuttal's] author is not an authority in the field, so he'll leave it to others to prove their incorrectness. Turns out, the author [of the Google manifesto] is a biologist, and does have a degree of authority in the field which which to back his claims, along with citing outside sources. This is pretty clearly a case of "the science doesn't fit my agenda, so I'm going to reject it."

Attributing conclusions that women are somehow not fit for leadership or programming to the "Google manifesto" is simply projecting. The author doesn't make those claims - he claims that there are biological reasons which could explain why you see the disparity - but doesn't take that to any superiority/inferiority conclusions.

I agree that the "good old boys club" exists - but this guy's point is that fighting fire with fire (fighting the "good old boys club" discrimination with "diversity" discrimination) isn't the answer. The response he received was essentially doubling down on the position - by alienating him for daring to voice an opinion that disagreed with the group think.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:06 pm 
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"Projection" nothing, this is the very definition of dog-whistle politics. Or to use a popular meme, "I'm not saying it's aliens...but aliens." Stated or not, you don't write something like that without having one specific purpose in mind. As far as authority goes, I'd challenge you to find a single respectable scientific publication out there that attributes gender disparity in STEM fields to differences in neurochemistry instead of opportunity. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Actually, I went ahead and dug up the original document text myself. He's cherry-picking random study results and attempting to apply them to observations without doing any sort of actual legwork to explore causation. There's nothing remotely scientific about this text.


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Top Gun wrote:
"Projection" nothing, this is the very definition of dog-whistle politics. Or to use a popular meme, "I'm not saying it's aliens...but aliens." Stated or not, you don't write something like that without having one specific purpose in mind. As far as authority goes, I'd challenge you to find a single respectable scientific publication out there that attributes gender disparity in STEM fields to differences in neurochemistry instead of opportunity. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Actually, I went ahead and dug up the original document text myself. He's cherry-picking random study results and attempting to apply them to observations without doing any sort of actual legwork to explore causation. There's nothing remotely scientific about this text.


Projection, indeed. You're projecting, too. Why do you refuse to take the author's stated intentions at face value? You project, too, when you challenge me to find studies which drive at different points than the author - the author's point is that Google is artificially creating discrimination to explicitly create more opportunity for females than for males and it isn't helping. We both know that the valley is a hotbed of sexism and chauvinism - but you're projecting if you read "women don't belong here" from the document. Finally, you're guilty of projection when you treat the text as if it purports to be the product of scientific research - it's an opinion piece, not a research paper. That being said, it puts forward some hypotheses (which seem to make sense based on the citations provided) which may be worth researching, but they aren't being treated as such - they're being treated as heresy which must rejected on the basis of their [projected political] message, not their merits.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:54 pm 
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snoopy wrote:
...I agree that the "good old boys club" exists - but this guy's point is that fighting fire with fire (fighting the "good old boys club" discrimination with "diversity" discrimination) isn't the answer. The response he received was essentially doubling down on the position - by alienating him for daring to voice an opinion that disagreed with the group think.


I'll have to agree with you on that point. I think Google went too far in firing him. They missed an opportunity to create a company-wide teachable moment for everyone involved. Now all we have is a bitter fired employee and everyone choosing sides either defending him or excoriating him. The way to change minds and heal wounds is take a deep breath and use our supposed smart brains to learn from the experience so that people can see things from the perspectives of others and perhaps cause lasting change for the better.

But I think that by creating an internal memo that contained a few misconceptions based on sex, he pretty much built a "bro" wall around himself that he now has to defend. He based some of his arguments on a few emotional gut feelings. It's no surprise that women reacted negatively. He could have started a better discourse by encouraging discussion and not making preconceived assumptions based on a person's sex. In my personal experience living with an engineer, most competent engineers usually like to iterate towards a solution in a logical manner. He came off as a sexist bitter little nerd commenting from inside of his "bro" sanctum. That may not have been his intention, but that's how women took it. He also missed the fact that women in general are better at language skills, something that I'd think would be a big help in computer programming. It's a language after all. So there are definitely other factors going on with the lack of females entering STEM fields.

See what you think of this article about sex bias in STEM fields snoopy.

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~srugheimer ... urces.html

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:18 pm 
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First, let's start with this.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3149680/

Then,


After reading his paper (You know I try to see if the claims are substantiated or BS), I find that it's well researched and with good cited sources, and it really does look like Google didn't want a discussion of diversity (and I mean true diversity based on merits instead of 'feels') to exist inside their company.

How can you have reasoned discussions when one side simply refuses to talk with the other when the other side is demonstrating sound reasoning?


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:16 am 
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...again, correlation does not imply causation. No one's debating the fact that there are observable variances in the average values of certain traits between the biological sexes (but even then, contrary to what he's saying, the jury is very much out on how far the "nature vs. nurture" scale swings either way, and that's before you even get into gender identity). However, he's taking these differences and making a massive logical leap straight to "women aren't in leadership roles as much because they tend to do X instead of Y" while ignoring the massive flashing neon elephant in the room. Where is his examination of whether or not women experienced an equally-feasible path towards those career options in the first place? Where was his acknowledgement of the fact that simply changing the gender of the name on an equal resume substantially affects the person's perceived qualification for the position? Like, I'm sorry, but if that screed was your idea of "well-researched," you need to seriously re-evaluate your standards. The man had a clear political agenda from the get-go and attempted to massage data in order to support it.


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Ferno wrote:
How can you have reasoned discussions when one side simply refuses to talk with the other when the other side is demonstrating sound reasoning?


Like I said above Ferno, Google should NOT have fired him. They made the typical knee-jerk PC reaction. Google "mishandled the situation" was an understatement. What Google did was thee most counterproductive thing that they could have done. That action won't do anything positive towards making changes in a culture which is perceived to be out of touch or sexist. What they DID do was create an embittered ex-employee who is now using the public bully pulpit to vent his grievances and claim victim hood. So guess who's putting this guy on a pedestal as some sort of poster boy to further for their cause of going after the PC culture? The Alt-Right for God's sake. :roll:

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/09/fired-g ... nterviews/

https://www.recode.net/2017/8/14/161456 ... -ties-cnbc

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Oh hey, The Economist saved me some typing.


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Top Gun wrote:
...again, correlation does not imply causation. No one's debating the fact that there are observable variances in the average values of certain traits between the biological sexes (but even then, contrary to what he's saying, the jury is very much out on how far the "nature vs. nurture" scale swings either way, and that's before you even get into gender identity). However, he's taking these differences and making a massive logical leap straight to "women aren't in leadership roles as much because they tend to do X instead of Y" while ignoring the massive flashing neon elephant in the room. Where is his examination of whether or not women experienced an equally-feasible path towards those career options in the first place? Where was his acknowledgement of the fact that simply changing the gender of the name on an equal resume substantially affects the person's perceived qualification for the position? Like, I'm sorry, but if that screed was your idea of "well-researched," you need to seriously re-evaluate your standards. The man had a clear political agenda from the get-go and attempted to massage data in order to support it.



Seeing as this is a two-part response, I'll try to separate them as best I can.

Now, about the names-on-resume part, that's well documented. But I'd like to see a similar study where names are changed for a different type of work, such as child care, nursing or any other line of work we normally associate with women. It could be useful data.

And I went through the whole thing. I don't see any sort of political agenda, but a person pointing out the fact that there are internal problems that are in need of addressing. Did you see the part where Google has programs only available for one gender and certain races? He showed that there are inherent left and right biases that need to be acknowledged and talked about. As for women not being in as many leadership roles as men, that is correct because stats and studies show that women tend to drift towards more towards the work/life path while men tend to drift towards the status path.


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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Tunnelcat wrote:
See what you think of this article about sex bias in STEM fields snoopy.

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~srugheimer ... urces.html


Yeah - I see it all the time at work (I work in STEM) - in subtle ways. My bottom line when I'm hiring (again, for STEM positions) - I want to find people who I think will be good, quality contributors - regardless of their age/race/gender/etc. I have hard enough time finding qualified candidates that I can't afford to be racist/sexist, even if I wanted to be (which I don't).

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:51 pm 
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It's too bad there aren't more employers with your attitude snoopy. Hiring people who have the best qualifications despite their immutable traits is good business practice. The tech industry is still having their issues however.

https://mic.com/articles/175136/women-i ... onferences

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:55 pm 
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HA HA HA...tell that to the affirmative action crowd.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:20 pm 
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If not with affirmative action, how would you right past wrongs Spidey?

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:34 pm 
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As I have stated before...it's not possible to correct past wrongs.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:39 pm 
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OK, you can't correct past wrongs, what's done is done. But how do you make things right in the future or do we all just sit back and stomach an unfair status quo?

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:57 pm 
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You had it right when you agreed that companies should hire based on qualifications and not on race, gender etc.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:53 pm 
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But in the real world, bias, bigotry and sexism still drive a lot of human decisions. How do you work around that and still be fair to those applicants who are qualified, but who are having difficulty being hired because of either a minority status or for just a being woman? This stuff still goes on even today.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Got me...I only know the right thing to do...not how to force people to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:01 pm 
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That's what the courts are for and that was the original intent of Affirmative Action, to use the courts to remedy wrongs caused by institutional bias and bigotry. But what's now apparent is that Affirmative Action has morphed into a quota system, essentially it's a sledgehammer performing a scalpel's job. It's creating more and more resentment.

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles ... s_a_q.html

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:17 pm 
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What…resentment caused by ill-conceived policy…say it isn’t so!

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 Post subject: Re: "Google manifesto"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Just like how Google is using diversity to fill a quota instead of using it as an inherent virtue.


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