Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > My Thoughts on the “Google Memo” and James Damore: Aug 9, 2017

My Thoughts on the “Google Memo” and James Damore: Aug 9, 2017

It appears that many of you want to hear my opinions about that now infamous “Google Memo” and its author- who has now been identified as James Damore. Well.. I had considered writing about this issue a couple of days ago, but thought it was best to wait until the guy at the center of this latest culture war controversy represented himself though an interview or two and maybe a detailed blog post. As it stands today, he seems to have given interviews to two people in what many would consider the ‘alt-right’.

In my opinion, who he gives an interview to at this time is not particularly relevant- since the Mass Media and SJWs of all persuasions are going out of their way to demonize and shut him out. This is not to say that I agree with every single word in his memo. However, the right to free speech (which I strongly support) is more important than the right of SJWs and other morons to feel “safe” from speech which they might find “offensive”. As long-time readers of my blog know, I am not fond of SJWs or the underlying motivations of their behavior.

As I have said in previous posts, SJW-ism is largely driven by the desire to show moral superiority (and perhaps make a quick buck) under neoliberalism. The current “intellectual” underpinnings of the slowly imploding neoliberal order do not allow real large-scale social problems to be addressed, and therefore activists and scammers spend their energy at promoting really small-scale causes such as transgender rights and the right for muslim women to wear a hijab while simultaneously ignoring endemic poverty, joblessness and overall misery seen in western neoliberal countries- especially the USA.

To put it another way, SJWs and their boosters in Mass Media are more interested in trying to make you feel ashamed about some video game you enjoy than push for universal healthcare. They would rather spend their efforts on trying to make you say that certain women comedians are talented and “beautiful” than lead a campaign for fully tax-funded university education. It is also no secret that many supposedly “liberal” TV personalities who pretend to care about social issues are just scammers making money out of misdirected outrage that is safe for their corporate backers.

So now you know where I stand on the issue of free speech, SJWs and Corporate Mass Media. But what about the actual contents of that memo or James Damore? Well.. this is the part that some of you might not like, because what I think about both of them is a bit more nuanced than my views on SJWs and Corporate Mass Media.

Firstly, the basic idea proposed in that memo- namely that women and men’s brains are not “wired” the same way is essentially correct. Now this does not mean that there is no overlap between the “wiring” of the two groups. In fact, there is far more overlap than many would be willing to accept. Having said that, you can make the claim that women as a group will perform better at some tasks than men as a group and vice versa.

This does not however translate into differences in gross intelligence or other large-scale abilities. As many of you know, women now make up almost half of doctors, lawyers and (in many countries) engineers and they seem to do as well as their male counterparts in these vocations. You might also recall that even 50 years, it was rare for women to be admitted in these field because of their supposed lack of intellectual ability. So clearly, all the beliefs which kept women out of intellectually demanding fields in previous eras were wrong.

Furthermore, psychological studies (which is largely made up bullshit) was once used as a justification to treat non-whites as subhuman. Today we are largely accept the idea that asians (both east- and south-) are very good at math and other STEM subjects and account for a disproportionate number of employees of technology heavy corporations and institutions. However as late as the 1960s, many prominent white scientists still believed that Asians were “low IQ” without any worthwhile ability for scientific or original thinking. How the tables have turned now..

And this brings me to what I think about the most significant, but overlooked, part of that memo. Though the document has been blasted for being overtly sexist, it is more about the corporate and office culture at Google in particular and corporate america in general. The guy is complaining about how the managerial and HR types at Google has basically stopped listening to opinions which diverge ever so slightly from their fashionable and “naturally correct” consensus. He is describing an organisation where the loudest and most manipulative faddists carry the day.

In short, he is describing an organisational culture which has more in common with royal courts, politburos and other large corporations that are dominated by clever and sociopathic power seekers than those who make the system function properly. I, for one, am not surprised that a large and unwieldy corporation such as Google has now more in common with other corporations and institutions with a similar head count and complex hierarchies than what it was a decade ago.

The fact that institutional bias at Google seems to be based in one fashionable type interpretation of the social “sciences” is just a quirk of the times we live in. Some of you might recall that many large corporations of yesteryears- such as Kodak, IBM, HP, Ford, GM, Merck too used have their own and equally well-known institutional biases based in conservative values or whatever corporate bullshit was fashionable at that moment. In fact, I wrote about inevitable emergence of such dysfunction in large institutions about six years ago.

Anyway, to summarize this post- what James Damore wrote in that memo has more to do with emergent dysfunction in large impersonal institutions than sexism. I would go far as to say that there is little, if any, sexism in that document. The very fact that he is being attacked for the basically nonexistent sexism in his memo says a lot about our contemporary media culture and society. Also, it says a lot about where Google is going.. or not going.

Might write more about this story depending on comments and future developments.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. P Ray
    August 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    They were looking for somebody to dare stick their neck out, and Mr. Damore rose to the goading.

    SJW are the type of people that harp about their difficulty in life while ignoring the huge issues … so, “the personal is political”, and they’re “playing Oppression Olympics to win”.

    There is a Chinese saying, “kill the chicken to scare the monkey”, Mr. Damore was to be made an object lesson.

    Even Sundar Pichai is afraid of these queen bees causing trouble for the organisation unless sated with Damore’s firing. That’s why he “cancelled my family vacation to deal with this urgent issue, that does not follow our Code of Conduct”.

    Some years earlier when Googlers I personally knew were scared to show their faces in a Youtube video set to the music of Harlem Shake, I knew something was wrong in Pyrmont, Sydney … but didn’t expect that the infection was company-wide.

    Looks like for some corporations, “High School Never Ends”.

    • Libertarians are superhumans
      August 10, 2017 at 12:16 am

      LOL, you do realise that the author of this blog is a SJW? The reason he does not consider himself an SJW is because he is not concerned about social justice for trannies, gays, women, obese people, and other SJ pet groups. However, he very much supports the race-obsessed social justice and class-warfare. He is a race-baiting Black-LIEs-Matter supporting SJW Bolshevist indeed.

    • P Ray
      August 10, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Urs Holzle (According to Bruce Reid, in 2004 Hölzle told Reid that his opinions and ideas were “obsolete” and “too old to matter,” that he was “slow,” “fuzzy,” “sluggish,” and “lethargic,” and that he did not “display a sense of urgency” and “lack[ed] energy.”) … has started policing his Wikipedia page to ensure that his part in the firing of Bruce Reid, 9 days before Google’s IPO in 2004 … doesn’t come to light.

      Google really is full of SJWs.

  2. Xtrabeing
    August 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

    You really should come visit my website and comment:

    http://www.xtrabeing.wordpress.com

    You want a comment? I’ll give you a few, like em or not.

    You’re wrong about cunts. Aka bitches, twats, the inferior sex. I was in computer science, the most technogical of sciences and I saw how poorly they perform. They can parrot engineers’ equations like a robot, BUT THEY CANNOT DESIGN NEW THINGS. They are pure tokens. So there’s your first error.

    Your implicit pining-for free education is a canard and stupid. Someday I’m going to be a famous writer: if I gave my works out for free, aside from the vast profit-loss, do you think anyone would appreciate them? Subsidized education is appreciated as much as free water. If you really want it, like John Boehner or Henry Kissinger or a million others, you’ll get your higher education chops. Otherwise, fuck you and go work for the Golden Arches.

    Your comments about corporations — which I plan on running — are not bad. However you fail to ask yourself the question: IS THERE MAYBE A GOOD REASON GOOGLE AND OTHER CORPS TURN INTO THEIR ORGANIZATIONAL LATER-STAGE FORMS? Have they become idiots … or are they molting like caterpillars into their proper butterfly forms?

    Yours,

    Anxiously awaiting your counter-replies,

    X.

  3. P Ray
    January 4, 2019 at 12:23 am

    3rd time’s the charm, please remove duplicate comments 🙂
    Just leaving this here in case the quora mysteriously disappears
    https://www.quora.com/When-did-Larry-Page-and-Sergey-Brin-seriously-stop-coding
    When did Larry Page and Sergey Brin seriously stop coding?
    2 Answers
    Saurabh Mehta
    Saurabh Mehta, Living in the valley since 2007
    Updated Nov 27 2015 · Upvoted by Ken Fishkin, former Software Engineering Manager at Google (2013-2018) and Antonio D’souza, works at Google · Author has 118 answers and 584.4k answer views
    I think long back since the initial days of Google, they are more like researchers and product guys than coders. Here’s one article and some excerpts from the same and a book by an early GooglerI’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59: Douglas Edwards: Amazon.com: Books
    It Turns Out Google Co-founders Larry Page And Sergy Brin Are Actually Pretty Lousy Coders
    It’s mainly Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat who created lots of initial infrastructure for Google search.
    In the book, early Google engineering boss Craig Silverstein says “I didn’t trust Larry and Sergey as coders.”
    “I had to deal with their legacy code from the Stanford days and it had a lot of problems. They’re research coders: more interested in writing code that works than code that’s maintainable.”
    One Google engineer from back then says the most remarkable thing about the co-founders’ code was that when it broke, users would see funny error message: “Whoa, horsey!”
    It turns out the developers most responsible for building the Google that quickly became the Web’s most powerful company are two guys you’ve probably never heard of.
    The first is Urs Hözle. According to one early Googler quoted by Edwards, Hözle was “the key” to Google’s early success.
    Edwards writes, “Enough engineers sang his praises that this book could have been written entirely as a hagiography of Saint Urs, Keeper of the Blessed Code.”
    The second is Jeff Dean. Edwards writes that “Jeff pumped out elegant code like a champagne fountain at a wedding.”
    “It seemed to pour from him effortlessly in endless streams that flowed together to form sparkling programs that did remarkable things. He once wrote a two-hundred-thousand-line application to help the Centers for Disease Control manage specialized statistics for epidemiologists. It’s still in use and garners more peer citations than any of the dozens of patented programs he has produced in a decade at Google. He wrote it as a summer intern in high school.”

    EDIT: came across this and it’s epic, Larry asking to set the HTTP user-agent, for maybe their initial version of the web crawler 🙂
    “groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/comp.lang.java/aSPAJO05LIU/ushhUIQQ-ogJ”
    Lawrence Page
    1/7/96
    I have a web robot which is a Java app. I need to be able to set the
    User-Agent field in the HTTP header in order to be a good net citizen (so
    people know who is accessing their server). Anyone have any ideas?
    Right now, Java sends a request that includes something like:
    User-Agent: Java/1.0beta2
    I’d rather not rewrite all the HTTP stuff myself. I tried just searching
    in the JDK for the Java/1.0beta2 figuring I could just change the string,
    but I couldn’t find it. Perhaps it is stored as a unicode string?
    An easy method of setting the User-Agent field should probably be added to Java, so people can properly identify their programs.
    Thanks, Larry Page
    Joseph Millar
    1/9/96
    Larry,
    The User-Agent field is built in:
    .\javasrc\src\share\sun\sun\net\www\http\HttpClient.java
    It looks to be a concatentation of three items:
    1) the system property “http.agent”
    2) the word “Java”
    3) the system property “java.version”
    Since the agent string that gets built has only items 2 and
    3, perhaps that means “http.agent” is blank (i.e. settable)?
    If you could set “http.agent” prior to establishing the URL
    connection, you may be able to get the desired effect.
    Just a shot in the dark…
    Joe Millar
    In article , page at cs.stanford.edu
    says…

    P Ray says … if Larry Page really knew Java, he’d also know you can OVERRIDE existing methods with your own definition …

  4. P Ray
    May 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Related, Huawei getting completely blocked from Google infrastructure, starting from the next version of its smartphones:
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/google-cuts-huawei-s-access-to-android-updates-after-blacklist-source-20190520-p51p3f.html
    Google cuts Huawei’s access to Android updates after blacklist: source
    By Angela Moon
    May 20, 2019 — 5.25am
    Share on Facebook
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    New York: Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and software products except those covered by open source licenses, a source close to the matter told Reuters on Sunday.


    Huawei Technologies will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app.

    They have been developing an OS for last 7 years. Also, they have experience with running large app stores within China. Biggest problem for USA is that it does not control any part of the manufacturing ecosystem.

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