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The Dumb Google Kid

Published: August 07, 2017

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Here is the problem.

By linking together various unsubstantiated and vague statements, the Google employee sounds reasonable. His piece says everything and nothing. It jumps between diversity, biology, internal Google politics, national politics, gender, and business (and more). To the uninformed, his motives appear both pure and obtuse.

It is dangerous because the lazy reader can ascribe whatever bias they want to the piece. Every reader will find something “smart” sounding in there. But on the whole — when you stitch the parts together — it is ineffective and rife with logical fallacies. It’s just not great (or good) writing. It isn’t crisp and direct. Assuming he had an objective… he likely didn’t/won’t achieve that objective, unless that goal was to destabilize his employer.

I’m not even judging his viewpoint. He did, and wrote, a dumb thing. There are other people who have shared his opinions, but have framed the issue far more eloquently.

Maybe he is smart, and this was a lapse. Maybe — as he mentions — men have a habit of doing risky/stupid shit like publishing poorly written 10 page screeds to their company intranets. Maybe he thought, deep down, that he was helping his company by regurgitating 4+ traditions of rebuttal to diversity in tech.

It will hurt our economy. On Monday morning, tech companies (not just Google) will have to spend/lose millions of dollars to unwind the laziness in this person’s delivery and thinking. Why? It will embolden people who haven’t thoroughly researched the issue. Companies will lose people. Lots of meetings will happen.

And … damn Google, you need to figure out how to talk about diversity internally. Authoritarian? Thought police?

This hit me when I tried to parse the various statements in the piece. My first instinct was to start researching and disproving. But then I realized that would do no good. Instead I tried to play the part of the naive Google fanboy. And that’s where this gets scary (because I’ve already seen how this people are responding). To the lazy/uninformed reader this is “common sense”.

Let’s look at the effect…

The entries follow this format:

What the Google employee wroteWhat the lazy reader will process (I method acted)

I value diversity and inclusionPhew. We all love diversity

we need to look at population level differences in distributionsThat sounds smart!

If we can’t have an honest discussionWe all like honesty

our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectfulShaming sucks. We need to respect each other!

and the possibility of being firedFire someone for speaking their mind? Fuck!

shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safetyShaming again. And shutting people up? Damn

This silencing has created an ideological echo chamberI’ve heard about this echo chamber

may in part explainOh cool. He’s not making a definitive statement

People generally have good intentionsYes they do! An optimist!

open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us growGrowing. Everyone wants to grow. Let’s lifehack

discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideologyDamn that dominant ideology. Thought-police

that desperately needs to be told at GoogleI can feel his desperation

the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean leftWell, we all know about the Media. Must be true

Neither side is 100% correctNow that’s pragmatic

both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning societyHmmm. Makes sense. Like Ying & Yang

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biasesThank goodness. Something fact based

Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monocultureWowzer. Mono what? PC? How compelling

by shaming dissenters into silenceMore shame. Dissent is good, right?

This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policiesI’m getting scared. Authoritarian, … but

the extreme stanceEveryone is SO extreme these days

the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representationHere come the thought police again

Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differentlyOf course!

but it’s far from the whole storyMystery … there’s more! Exciting!

On average, men and women biologically differ in many waysWell, I mean, women have breasts … right?

I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following waysSee, he’s reasonable

I’m simply statingYeah … he’s modest. He’s simply stating

Many of these differences are smallHow small?

and there’s significant overlapHow much?

Women, on average, have moreOn average? How much more?

These two differences in part explainI see, they partly explain

More men may like codingYeah. They may. That’s a good assumption

This leads to women generallyGenerally?

Note that these are just average differencesSee, he’s smart and measured

We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexismDamn straight! I mean there’s a chance, right?

without resorting to discriminationDiscrimination = bad

Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traitsOf course they can. Look at the Patriots

we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have themNot necessarily. That makes sense

Women on averageAverage?

men may disproportionately want to be in themThey may. He’s right.

we should be optimizing for GoogleExactly! Why sacrifice company profits?

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversitySee! He believes in diversity

Google has created several discriminatory practicesOoooh. I love dirt on the company that didn’t hire me

Hiring practices which can effectively lower the barEffectively? Can? How effectively?

both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidenceYeah. Without evidence! WTF?

Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the rightMy man! He’s a scientist! He’s not a nutjob

humans are generally biased towards protecting femalesNo one messes with my girl (or my mom)

the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weakSnowflakes

when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]This totally happens. Right?

political correctness[11], which constrains discourseWe need to be less PC to have real discussions

is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritariansSnowflakes. And authoritiarians

that use violence and shaming to advance their causeViolence? OK. Now shit is getting real

the violent leftists protestsI saw the videos from Berkeley. Scary

the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our cultureI feel bad for this guy. Shaming again?

I’m not saying that diversity is badSee! Diversity is good!

we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideologyIntolerance is bad

not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roleSee! He’s thinks you can be whatever you want

treat people as individualsExactly! Because we’re all special

not as just another member of their group (tribalism)Tribalism is bad. Very bad

we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefitsYeah! At the end of the day it is about costs/benefits

Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversitySee! He believes in diversity. And he has facts!

that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostilityThose poor conservative guys. WTF is happening?

We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselvesBecause that is what America is about!

Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad businessBad business? Ooooh, that is compelling

tend to be higher in conscientiousnessSee! That isn’t reported as much

breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personalityThat sounds smart!

Have an open and honest discussionOpenness. Honesty. I’m really like this guy

are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressivesExactly. You wouldn’t want to alienate us further

We should focus on psychological safetyHow touching

Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our productsHe knows about UX as well!

While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they doHe’s curious

Our focus on microaggressionsHahaha. Microagressions

sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offense and our self censorshipSnowflakes

Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safetyDamn straight! Don’t judge the guy

Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violenceBig words. Like the NRA threatening violence?

not all differences are socially constructedNo. Not all are. Indisputable

the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shownDamn biased politics

I can’t speak about other offices or countriesOh how smart of him. He gets it

Of course, I may be biasedSee, he even accepts his biases

a classical liberalOMG. You’re kidding me. He has balls!

Communism promisedYou have me by the heart strings. Communism?

transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politicsYou mean like labor unions?

Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the LeftOh, that’s a good one!