The Google Memo: The Dangers of Speaking Out

When Google employee James Damore posted a memo on an internal messaging board discussing his reservations about Google’s diversity policy and culture it was published by Gizmodo with all citations and charts backing up arguments removed. You can read the full text with citations here.

Despite the fact that the author made it very clear he fully supports diversity and making suggestions for fairer ways to achieve it, Gizmodo branded it an ‘anti-diversity screed’, a phrase which stuck when it came to further coverage from trusted media outlets. This careful narrative shaping of course sent the social justice left into a frenzy of accusations of sexism and demands for the dismissal of the individual in question:

And, of course, today the inevitable happened and the author lost his job. Something that even the most biased coverage of the story grudgingly admits ‘could be seen as confirming some of the claims in the memo itself – that the company’s culture makes no room for dissenting political opinions’. Of course, much coverage seeks to push the narrative that the only people pushing back against what happened to Damore are ‘white dudes’ when there is no shortage whatsoever of female STEM professionals saying they agree with him:

Never mind the fact that there is a plethora of scientific evidence for the claims made by the author, something that has been pointed out by many academics who are knowledgeable of the subject. If you are in any doubt of this, excellent writing on the subject can be found here, here, here, and here. Yet despite the data many of those at the forefront of politics and business are intent on making sure that the gender gap in tech and other areas is attributable to sexism alone.

Here’s Christina Hoff Sommers with some wise words:

One of the reasons I have been so appalled by the reaction to Damore’s reasoned piece is that I used to work for a gaming start up, surrounded by dozens of code writers every day. Those running the company did everything possible to offer equal opportunities to all applicants – and there were females working in technical capacities. Every time a female developer came in for an interview everyone would get excited and want her to do well. I chatted to some male devs about this and asked them whether they felt the world of computer science was sexist. One of them said ‘my degree year group was over 90% male, so I really don’t see how this can be reflected in the workplace in any other way.’ What a terrible human being.

And yet, over the past five years during which I’ve been researching and speaking about the flaws of feminist theory and activism the tech industry appears to have become a particular target for vitriol and assumptions of malevolence. My own opinion is that this subject in particular draws social justice ire precisely because it so perfectly illustrates how wrong they are; it confirms differences in gender preferences, it reflects the fact that men and women make different degree and work/life balance choices, these ‘problems’ are occurring in an industry run predominantly by left leaning ‘progressive’ people, and people who understand science. There are too many facts here that they just vaporise, no matter how much they want them to go away. The more truth, logic and reason they see in the Google memo the louder they must cry it out, while being extra careful not to bother debunking any of Damore’s references and making sure to deliberately misunderstand the difference between talking about aggregate population differences and implying that individual women aren’t capable of doing their jobs.

Not to mention the complete and utter hypocrisy of their position; they have no problem arguing that women may potentially be better at coding than men and that women have unique qualities which make them good for the workplace. The people who claim James Damore’s opinions created an unsafe space for women to work also think it’s ok to make statements like this:

This is a warning to everyone. The real people who are not safe are those who disagree with social justice ideology. Say that you feel silenced and bullied and the narrative will ensure an Orwellian freedom-is-slavery, ignorance-is-strength reversal of the message, and you will be sacked for making others feel victimised. Just look at the intellectual dishonesty of the mainstream media. Removing citations so their audience doesn’t pursue both sides of the argument and people can react like this:

Most early coverage of the story made mention of the totally unrelated Uber sexual harassment case, and the fact that Google is currently under investigation for alleged wage discrimination. However the mainstream press does not seem to be particularly interested in the claim made by that Google will be going to trial in November for interfering with employees’ rights to discuss “workplace diversity and social justice initiatives ” after managers allegedly stoked up witch hunts to muzzle low-level employees who raised concerns about the company practice. Have a look at this terrifying interview with a Google employee who fears for his job every day because of his opinions.

Note the attempts to imply that all support of Damore must be coming from the alt-right. They way they trawl the internet to cherry pick evidence that will demonise people by association is horrible (I know, it’s happened to me). But we must remember that this comes from leftist media bias that does not reflect the opinions of most of the population. Most of the top comments on the Financial Times’ coverage of this topic were dismayed at the stupidity of the backlash against the memo – I suppose the FT readership is entirely composed of Alt-right baby-eaters too:

Danmore is now raising funds for a legal fight against Google. As the fundraiser states, we have to get behind people who are bullied like this, or we will be next.




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