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[flagged] You can't say that – It might be true (rongarret.info)
22 points by lisper 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

I am not defending Damore's thesis. I am defending his right to advance it without putting his livelihood at risk.

The trouble is that this was at work where Damore was earning that livelihood and the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech doesn't extend to work. Google was well within its rights in CA to fire him for having a bad haircut.

BTW, I have a new theory about the manifesto: Damore is a really bad writer. He probably got an A on every paper he ever turned in and he's still a bad writer.

One of Orwell's rules in Politics and The English Languages [1] is:

   The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
I don't think Damore is being sincere and says what he means. He's clearly angry about how people have misinterpreted him and says that Pichai misrepresented him. But really, he's just a bad writer who isn't saying what he means.

[1] http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/Politics_and_the_English_Langua...

You are projecting by assuming Damore isn't saying what he means. I.e., you are assuming he is deep into the alt-right, which seems like a hidden smear, when there is no evidence that he is.

If you read the doc[1] it will become very clear that Damore is a leftist/progressive, not a rightist.

The right is defending him, and that by itself seems to be enough reason for the left to vilify him.

I'm left, and I feel ashamed at the way this is happening and how many of my friends do the same.

[1] https://medium.com/@Cernovich/full-james-damore-memo-uncenso...

> If you read the doc[1] it will become very clear that Damore is a leftist/progressive, not a rightist.

Would you mind elaborating on how/where that is very clear? Honest question. Not that I think it should matter, but I'm inclined to say the opposite and that he very much had an agenda.

> But as mainstream journalists across the globe reached out to him for interviews this week, Damore largely ignored the queries and instead selected two rightwing YouTube personalities [...] Stefan Molyneux and Jordan B Peterson, who both have large followings on YouTube and have espoused anti-feminist views.

If that's the case then immediately giving interviews to several right-wing YouTubers and telling them he's a "huge fan" is simply terrible optics...

No one said that what Google did was illegal. Just that it was wrong and makes the world a worse place.

When Ron says that he is defending [Damore's] right he is saying that Damore's rights have been offended. But Damore has no right of free speech in Google's hallways.

That's true. I used the word "right" too glibly. However, Google claims to encourage free speech and dissent. Its actions in this case undermine that claim.

As a person who wholeheartedly agrees that we shouldn't avoid considering unpleasant truths in the quest for truth, the real problem here isn't Damore's hypothesis, or the fact that he held it. And there is no problem with testing such a hypothesis in the search for truth. The real problem here is the context in which he presented his hypothesis is very prone to miscontrual of hypotheses as facts in a way that can cause unacceptable, and unwarranted discrimination that may be very hard to reverse.

Looks more like they sacked him for wrongthink, to me.

> It is important to note that Pichai makes no attempt to actually debunk Damore's claims about women's biology.

Why is the CEO somehow obligated to debunk the theory? Why are we entertaining the notion that women might be biologically less inclined for engineering? Aren't we passed this?

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills or went through a time machine.

Pichai is obligated to do so because he fired Damore for "perpetuating harmful stereotypes" while at the same time "affirming" that Google values open discussion about what is true.

The notion that women may be biologically less inclined toward engineering is something that can be suggested in a non-contrived way from scientific studies. I am not claiming it is true.

When diversity training is based on the foundation that the totality of the gender disparity in tech is due to prejudice, and there is a possibility other important factors are at play, the resultant policies could have a negative or meaningless effect.

If this assumption about the cause of diversity is shoved down people's throat through a culture of shaming and silencing, then this is a serious workplace problem /unless/ the non-biological cause of the gender disparity is demonstrated to be the only cause by Pichai.

>Why are we entertaining the notion that women might be biologically less inclined for engineering?

Because it's basically true and all the evidence points to it? (See my comment below.) That we aren't even supposed to talk about scientific facts for political reasons is deeply disturbing.

>Why is the CEO somehow obligated to debunk the theory?

Because the CEO is promoting policies that sexistly discriminate against women in favor of men and firing employees for their political opinions. The very least they could do is provide some argument for why their opinions are right.

Imagine if there were a commonly held belief that women have superior communication skills? Aren't we past this?

Oh hang on a minute, that belief is absolutely rife and in fact often touted by women as evidence of their superiority for certain roles. If men and women are interchangeable in potential, how is so negative a stereotype not unspeakable?

>I do not agree with Damore's hypothesis. The evidence for it seems thin to me, and the best data indicates that there are few discernible differences in mental capacity between men and women.

There are very large and well documented differences in personality traits between men and women. There is an enormous difference between men and women in the "interest in things vs interest in people" dimension. See here:


93% of men are more "thing oriented" than the average women. And that's assuming there is no noise in the measurement, likely the true value is even higher! Similar for big 5 personality traits.

Exactly. Women may indeed have the same intellectual potential as men, perhaps more. But so what? I believe talent is widespread - and therefore what makes the difference is motivation and application.

One thing that bothers me is the putting on a pedestal of social skills, as if it's the be all and end all. Of course, it's those with supposedly good social skills that do this (though their social skills apparently do not extend to being kind to those that are different). Who do these people think built the bloody technology they use to post their banal crap on Instagram?

let's downvote science!

Not surprised at all that this was flagged of the front page in minutes. Completely proving the point...

Although most of the pieces that have ended up on the frontpage (based on my subjective impression) actually were critical of what happened. I wouldn't imply that HN is overrun with people who want to surpress striving for the truth.

I also had a tex flagged. It seems to happen to articles about the topic which mostly include a personal oppinion and not much more.

Why was this flagged?

It's a quite reasonable argument.

Gender segregation in sports is certainly not without controversy.

That's news to me. References?

On the one hand I understand why people feel like they need the law to protect them when discussing biological differences in the workplace. Someone who is blind might not be the best at driving cars, for instance...

But on the other hand I don't feel good about notions of genetic superiority being accepted in the workplace and I worry about the slopes that could be exposed from such discussion.

No one said anything about genetic superiority. The Google memos entire argument was that women are statistically less likely to be interested in tech for various reasons. He never said they were less capable or intelligent or anything.

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