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 whinerThis totally happens. Right?
political correctness, 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!