Tuesday, August 08, 2017

James Damore gets fired

The rainbow colours of diversity

The ex-Google employee was terminated for observing (in an internal memo) that genders differ in their aptitude for, and interest in, computer science.
Steve Hsu has this to say, while Scott Aaronson has written an elegant and oblique post.


Blank-slate ideology asserts that all humans - of whatever gender and/or race - are cognitively biologically-identical, and that therefore all detrimental differences of outcome are solely due to oppression. When elites defend plainly-wrong ideas with the utmost ferocity, I am reminded of Marx's point, "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas."

Why would the ruling elite want to believe it? Because it would be so dangerously divisive to look at any human subgroup and affirm that group's lower average cognitive performance or competence. Even identifying plainly outperforming groups - such as the Ashkenazim - risks opening the door to the concept of differences. So extreme is this impetus to faux-egalitarianism that many people deny even physical performance differences between genders or races. Social cohesion is the game.

I keep reminding myself (I already wrote about this) that globalisation is the economic driver for blank-slate ideology. Its young, educated beneficiaries are eager converts (arguably against their own longer-term interests) to causes so apparently egalitarian, culturally left-wing .. and economically convenient for globalised capital.

At least we haven't reintroduced the auto-de-fé yet or I wouldn't be writing this.


The Google CEO's sophistry was particularly disingenuous: see "If Google did heavy lifting ...".


  1. I have just read this "memo" and there are several corporate issues here too.
    It is a long essay making some anti-Google statements like:

    "Google has created several discriminatory practices..."

    "While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment."

    Now if you were a Director at Google and this memo appeared in your email because it was widely circulated you would want to know what was going on. Who commissioned it, is all this part of their job description or are they a software engineer with some spare time?

    Is there any real doubt as to what your action would have been (unless you had commissioned this work yourself of course)?

    1. It's an internal memo and I wouldn't describe it as 'anti-Google'. He's criticising some internal practices. I've seen a lot worse and I'm sure you have too.

      It seems to me the naive writing of someone who knows the science (post-grad biology at Harvard) and is exasperated at the wrong-headed idiocy he sees around him. Naive because in the current state of the culture wars the antibodies were always going to get him.

      The net result of this is that a high-tech company with a science-base has been exposed as a working environment where ideology trumps what any clear-thinking person knows to be the case.

      On the other hand, given the hysteria in the states, where even Dawkins can be no-platformed, in my more cynical moments I don't see how Google management could have avoided firing him. What was the alternative, defend his points? That was never going to happen.


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