On the one hand they sincerely want to increase diversity because increasing the pool of candidates means there are more candidates to choose from. Also, having more women see technology as a career path is a good thing for the American workforce --it strengthens it.
On the other hand, there are some who then see this initiative to begin their crusades for diversity in their vision. That is, it ends being a means to enrich the pool of applicants but rather a means to play favorites and push agendas. That's to say Google wants to increase women in the workforce but they do not want to make men "unwanted".
I have known people there and I am told that the generalities that we hear that conservatives tend to stay quiet and that one side of the political spectrum in encouraged while the other is shunned is true.
Beside that, this person left voluntarily, they did not get fired despite their attempts to re-start contentious conversations management had sought to regain control over.
By the way, overlooked in all this is the overrepresentation of non-American citizens in the companies, with respect to wanting the companies to reflect the Am pop at large. And, who cares about that stat. I mean, they contribute a whole hell of a lot. Yet, you see, people only care about _their_ interpretation of what is acceptable diversity and unacceptable diversity figures.
Here’s what you don’t get: none of these groups are homogeneous. It is perfectly plausible for a “white male” manager to discriminate against a white male Worker if that manager is incentivised to do so, either explicitly or implicitly. I mention in another comment an example of Google systematically attempting to disempower Workers (for which members of the boss class gave those bosses a mere slap on the wrist)
Class trumps race, gender, age, anything else when analysing anything from a company to an entire country.
Then they'd offer them recruiting bonuses if any of their friends were good recruiting leads.
It turns out they send you to these handy classes so you know all the rules that let you stay employed. And they send you over and over again, because (as Damore proves), some of their employees are slow learners.
Or underrepresentation, depending on whether you're talking about the US pop or world pop. Or the population of countries where Google is not firewalled, and hence is the dominant gateway to the internet there.
Aside from that, it's no country's responsibility to provide gainful employment to non-nationals.
Offices in Japan will be mostly Japanese, offices in England will be mostly English, offices in India will be mostly Indian, etc.
Assumes we are talking about tech of course, England has more diversity than the USA in that area, especially in London.
England is 91% white, 5% Asian, 4% other. I would expect workforces in England to follow those trends.
London is 60% white, 13% black, 7% Asian, 7% Indian, 13% other. I would expect workforces in London to follow those trends.
That anyone would expect a workforce to reflect world numbers rather than local ones is very odd.
I'm sure Google has many Chinese employees as well.
There's just not that many (if any) companies here which have taken such a radical approach (I mean this in the most positive sense) to intentionally crafting a company culture so focused on employee satisfaction and retention.
But, I hadn't thought about how those features which seem like extraordinary perks from the outside--like, no-charge gourmet meals on campus, on-site laundry, and a college-environment, might transform the culture in totally unanticipated ways.
Anyway, oddly enough (now that I think about it), the Navy was remarkably similar in their approach: they did provide a "campus" (ship), with no charge ~~gourmet meals~~ chow, on-site laundry, and pretty good security. ;)
I'm all for diversity & inclusion within the work place but in general I would suggest companies do it in a more "covert" manner -- reach out to HBCUs, re-evaluate your interview process, talk to your employees who are "underrepresented minorities" to see how they feel about working for you. In general I think a lot of companies are simply inviting too much scrutiny by plastering diversity on the walls and screaming to high heavens.. press releases and chief diversity officers will not make you a more diverse company.
And what even is diversity? Google employs a lot of Indians - both in India and the USA - and that helps diversity along all lines - racial, gender as India doesn't have the same gender tech bias as the west. Is that AMERICAN diversity? Using BS numbers, if US born employees are 90-10 men to women, but overall it is 70-30, then the best means of increasing diversity could be more foreign hires. Does that benefit who people are hoping it does?
I'm not for or against any position here, it is just that the history of measures like this is to use euphemistic "statistics", aka "lying with numbers". If companies can find a way to manipulate the numbers - consultants instead of employees, inhousing female dominated positions etc - then this will be easily doable. In fact, I think I might start a consultancy in just that :)
Not least because seeing diversity as a causal factor seems to imply that a person's skillset is somehow linked to their gender/race (or whichever diversity criteria is in play), and hence that a diverse workforce leads to a broader skillset.
But I'd argue that it's not so easy to make a company truly diverse--in the sense that people are friendly (or at least congenial on a professional level), equally respectful of each other, and able to hold and tolerate varying/conflicting perspectives without respectfully, without animosity.
That makes for a truly enjoyable place to work, if you can find a company with such a culture. But it's much more rare than one might hope. It's just not human nature to treat each other that well, in general, by default.
In my (admittedly limited) experience, it takes truly gifted/talented/experienced leaders, and they must cultivate a culture like that from the top down. It just isn't likely to evolve organically, without guidance.
Sad, but true, I think.
Anyway, companies that do succeed in that regard tend to be extraordinarily successful.
I once had a really incredibly great boss. He went to Georgetown, was very sharp and was an exceedingly shrewd business tactician, so that certainly helped. But this company succeeded in a way that seemed so effortless, in comparison with other less pleasant places I've worked.
It was a team effort; we had several developers who were very good at their jobs, so I certainly wouldn't attribute our success to anyone person. But I do really believe the way this guy treated us and motivated us the critical factor.
More on the blacklisting http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/10/19-insane-tidbits-james-...
The original scam https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/25/no_poaching_a_doj_n...
Sorry with such a dumb request, but if you have the link ready I would appreciate it.
Edit:never mind, I tried some more using “screenshot” instead of “filing.” I found them.
This article is also worth reading, it highlights a bunch of other shocking tidbits from the lawsuit.
This is par for the course for any place where you're given a microphone, for good or for bad.
If the majority of your team or even just the management level of your department are participating, you must pick a side, keeping in mind silence and abstaining from emotionally charged discussions if often seen as picking a side in and of itself.
Because the promotion process is based on feedback from your peers, but is decided by a random selection of people two levels higher than you, this shouldn't particularly be the case. I mean you could obviously alienate all your peers, such that nobody would give you even the faintest praise in your peer feedback, but that seems almost as hard as being promoted :). Again, your manager and your management chain don't directly decide whether or not you're promoted here. It's overall refreshing, if imperfect.
Damore wasn't hired as an inhouse biologist but as an engineer. Same goes for everybody else. I personally have enough stuff to care about at work, I don't need to be drawn into any culture wars, if you want to discuss politics do it over a drink after work.
I partially blame Google for this because they have fostered a culture that turns the work environment into a living environment to squeeze as much brainpower out of their employees as possible. We need to go back to professional environments.
This is arguably also better for diversity in the first place. Women and minorities seem to do better in rule based environments like academia rather than summercamp like startups.
(1) Lots of people say Google should be approaching diversity in one way. (2) Damore says Google ought to be approaching it another way. (3) Damore is fired. Not told "no, we're not going with your suggestion". Not told "you can't quote those studies". Fired.
If you're going to encourage this kind of discussion, you'd better be ready to hear researched opinions without firing people. But Google wasn't in a position to do that, so they shouldn't have encouraged it.
That creates a hostile work environment. Which is why he was fired.
His opinion was not "well researched". He quoted respectable studies then took multiple leaps and applied them inappropriately.
I don't understand how anyone who doesn't understand why he was fired can hold down a professional career.
I never claimed it was "well" researched, just that he was citing honest, peer-reviewed studies. [Insert rational, mature critique of Damore's citations.]
> Damore was fired for stating without ambiguity that not only should Google drop diversity initiatives, but that some current Google engineers are innately less talented than others based solely on their gender.
"I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions."
"Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are 'just.' I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions."
Are either of these the quotes you are thinking of?
Practice the principle of charity. Assume the best of your debate parter(s). Argue in good faith. Desire truth, not for your claim to the correct one. Find shared values in others, even amidst disagreement. Decouple political beliefs from your identity as a person.
There's no real good reason discussions about politics and religion ought to be divisive.
Here's what Altheide’s document quotes a "Googler" as writing on an external blog:
> Blacks are not equal to whites. Therefore the “inequality” between these races is expected and makes perfect sense. (This also explains why progressives are unable to come up with a black martyr who was not killed while committing a crime.)
Was this really written by someone who works for Google?
> “As far as I can tell Urs is of the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ school with regards to diversity topics,” he added. “This is best summed up by him saying ‘if the majority of your coworkers are Nazis, it is better if you don’t know about it’ because productivity.” Altheide wrote that he remembered the quote verbatim, and told Gizmodo that he was so struck by the comparison that he jotted it down after the meeting.
That's also quite an accusation. Are there any other reports of Urs saying anything in that ballpark of crazy?
That's just braindead. Not that it's necessary to point out the falsehood of a quote so obviously motivated by hate and bereft of truth, but...
Vernon Dahmer offered to pay the $2 poll tax for those who could not afford it. His home was doused in gasoline and set on fire, and he died a few hours later as a result. I guess sleeping in your own house is a crime.
Harry Moore and his wife Harriette were killed by a bomb detonated directly below their bedroom on Christmas. I guess Christmas is illegal.
Interestingly enough Walter Scott was killed less than a month after he posted this. Someone I'd argue could be a bit of a martyr. While he had committed a crime, it still wasn't justifiable in any sense. Of course, the offending officer was also convicted to 20 years in prison.
Yes: https://wasarchived.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/brief-introduct... The other posts on the blog makes it clear that the person authoring the post worked at Google.
I'm about to step into a minefield here, but whatever.
So the black martyr thing I don't really care to touch since that's pretty unrelated to the other statement of inequality between races.
It seems you are calling that statement crazy. If it makes you so uncomfortable to think about black people (on average) having a lower IQ than white people. What about black people's domination of most sports? Is there systemic discrimination against white people in basketball and football? Or could it be that there are more black people who are more well suited to play these sports than whites?
I have to ask:
1. Why do you say it is unrelated? The author is making a direct connection between the first two sentences and the claim in the parentheses.
2. Are you saying you don't care to touch it because a) you don't feel comfortable making a nuanced argument in a hostile environment, or b) it is indefensible?
> It seems you are calling that statement crazy.
I asked two questions assuming respondents would have read the article. I may have missed something, but AFAICT the article in no way implied the blogger from my first quote is Urs.
What I found crazy is that somewhat that high up at Google would interrupt the usual HR process and attempt to get an employee in line using a Nazi metaphor. Especially when the metaphor implies to ignore whether your colleagues are Nazis. And most especially given how badly it turned out for tech companies that literally ignored the consequences to humanity that came from working with Nazis.
So, another question-- does my characterization of the alleged statement seem level-headed to you?
To characterize the first quote-- I don't find that statement crazy, but I do find it sad and alarming. Sad because the loose reasoning and fallacious argument is easily avoidable by iterating over a list of names, which is presumably something everyone poster here knows how to do. Alarming because I'm starting to get the sense there is some kind of underground racism railroad in tech where people whisper and reinforce opinions with each other, but without subjecting them to the same rigor and potential public ridicule that, say, sloppy patches to the kernel would receive.
Yes, but it isn't something I agree with and I'm not obligated to support all of his positions.
> 2. Are you saying you don't care to touch it because a) you don't feel comfortable making a nuanced argument in a hostile environment, or b) it is indefensible?
I don't know if it is exactly indefensible, but I do think it is stated quite poorly and loosely. It is more of a smear than anything else and I don't really care to argue for it. I make an attempt at a generous reading (more devil's advocate) of it in another comment in this thread. It was also tangential to the point I was trying to make.
>What I found crazy is that somewhat that high up at Google would interrupt the usual HR process and attempt to get an employee in line using a Nazi metaphor. Especially when the metaphor implies to ignore whether your colleagues are Nazis. And most especially given how badly it turned out for tech companies that literally ignored the consequences to humanity that came from working with Nazis.
Ah I see. So you don't really think it is inappropriate to bring politics into the workplace? I generally don't (bring politics into the workplace), not because I really feel I'd be persecuted for my opinions, but because it simply isn't the place to talk about politics. I have worked at places where there were some conversations about religion and politics. What I found most amazing about them, was even if you agreed 99% things could get very heated about the 1% you disagree on. Which is a total distraction of the task at hand. Your company pays you to get work done, not to talk politics. Now, if you want to go to a happy hour after hours and talk about politics, that's fine. If you want to quit because someone else has an opinion that you disagree with, that's fine too. I do think it is a really shitty thing to do to attempt to get someone fired for an opinion they have. If you can prove it affects their job in some way, or how they interact with others, that's job performance. Of course, it is within a company's power to fire that person. I just think it is an underhanded tactic and potentially incredibly damaging, without much of a positive side.
If you think the prevailing attitude at your company is Nazi-sympathy, you have to determine if you want to work there. Hell, maybe you can expose that to the public in some way too. But if it is the tiny minority of people that it really is in the real world, and you didn't have any reason to believe it affected their job performance, let them have their dumb opinions. I have spoken to an admitted racist who wants a fascist state, because individualism has led to too much prosperity, which made me laugh out loud. I asked him how he treated minorities at his job. Of course I have no way of knowing if it is the truth, but he said he was paid to treat them like anyone else, so he did his best to not show his personal feelings. I think that free markets and economics ultimately favor people who don't discriminate.
> To characterize the first quote-- I don't find that statement crazy, but I do find it sad and alarming. Sad because the loose reasoning and fallacious argument is easily avoidable by iterating over a list of names, which is presumably something everyone poster here knows how to do. Alarming because I'm starting to get the sense there is some kind of underground racism railroad in tech where people whisper and reinforce opinions with each other, but without subjecting them to the same rigor and potential public ridicule that, say, sloppy patches to the kernel would receive.
Well it depends on what you mean by "in tech". There are spaces online where that kind of thing happens, sure. I can't really speak for other people's experience, but I've never worked with anyone who showed the slightest hint of discriminatory behavior or attitudes. The closest thing I've seen are elitists who resent people who didn't go to college.
I hope that poor arguments see the light of day and people can do their best to disprove them. I agree with Urs in the sense that work is not the appropriate place to talk about these things. Google has backed themselves into a corner in this situation though. They constantly publicly champion diversity initiatives, so how could you not expect people to talk about it internally?
I'm not asking you to argue for it, I'm asking if you disagree with it.
> So you don't really think it is inappropriate to bring politics into the workplace?
Having a policy against politics in the workplace is one topic. An employer allegedly trying to enforce that policy by going around standard procedure to make a didactic example of ignoring Nazi colleagues is a separate topic.
Also, "Just how many Nazis are we talking, here?" is a parody of playing devil's advocate.
> If it makes you so uncomfortable to think about black people (on average) having a lower IQ than white people.
People who make this statement always, always, always use the thoroughly debunked "IQ Map" (https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country) as their source. It is based on data fabricated by Lynn and Vanhanen and jotted down in their book IQ and the Wealth of Nations.
> What about black people's domination of most sports?
Even if we assume that is true (which it isn't -- 972 medals were awarded at the 2016 Summer Olympics and only a fraction of them went to (really) "black people"), why on earth would domination of most sports imply low IQ?
Claiming a race is inferior to another based on faulty information is racist.
> People who make this statement always, always, always use the thoroughly debunked "IQ Map" (https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country) as their source. It is based on data fabricated by Lynn and Vanhanen and jotted down in their book IQ and the Wealth of Nations.
In terms of the debunked "IQ Map", that's not really what I was referring to. The Bell Curve is also a (admittedly controversial) source. I would like to know how that map is "debunked", you simply assert that it is.
> Even if we assume that is true (which it isn't -- 972 medals were awarded at the 2016 Summer Olympics and only a fraction of them went to (really) "black people"),
I'm confused by your qualification of "(really)" black people. Of course "race" is a bit arbitrary, what I really mean is genetic populations, which certainly exist in a scientific sense.
>why on earth would domination of most sports imply low IQ?
What? That's not what I was saying at all. We are talking about the inequality between races. There is an overrepresentation of black people in the most popular professional sports in the US, namely basketball and football. It is less the case with baseball, and there are very few black people who play hockey.
So I was trying to figure out why we see this inequality of representation of whites in basketball and football, despite there being plenty of them in high school.
Ultimately what I was getting at was that races (genetic populations) aren't perfectly equal in every way. I honestly don't see why that is a particularly controversial thing to say. Are heights uniform across countries through all the world? Humans have lot of different populations that only recently have been interacting in meaningful ways, and even with that there are still lots of places that are largely racially homogenous.
I'm an individualist, so I don't really think that you should pre-judge a person as being dumb or smart simply based on race. But we do have statistics that can help us understand the world as it is, along with trends. This can also help us make the world a better place. IQ seems to be largely genetic, but there are certainly environmental factors that play a role. Malnutrition being a very large one, considering how much energy the brain takes.
I shouldn't say I'm surprised at how hostile you are being, as I said in my comment before, I was aware of the minefield I was walking into. I do find it unfortunate how you simply assume the worst intentions about people. I think you might want to take a look inside yourself, consider how you deal with other people, and determine if it is productive.
The book The Bell Curve that you references doesn't make any definite inferences regarding IQ and race. It does not claim that IQ differences between races do exist. I know your defense is that you are not "actually" claiming that blacks are inferior intellectually to whites, you are "merely" asking the questions. Which is a bullshit defense since your questions are based upon faulty research that you have accepted without even doing the most basic research.
> What? That's not what I was saying at all. We are talking about the inequality between races. There is an overrepresentation of black people in the most popular professional sports in the US
There is an over representation of tall people too. There is an over representation of men... If you think I'm being hostile, it is because your arguments are so incredibly lame. I'm not a geneticist, but even I can refute them without much effort just by reading a few Wikipedia articles. Like why even reference The Bell Curve when that book was written a quarter of a century ago? It tells us nothing about modern genetic research.
Edit: You can have the last word if you want -- I'm not going to reply. I'm not interested in debating IQ and race. My reason for replying in the first place was to show that it is not true that people with your opinions are being downvoted/ignored/silenced/censured/disrespected/shunned by the media or whatever. There is no global SJW conspiracy. It's just that this "blacks have low IQ" trope have been pushed a whole lot. Try googling for "hacker news iq race" to see for yourself. It gets boring beating a dead horse.
> Herrnstein and Murray report that Asian Americans have a higher mean IQ than white Americans, who in turn outscore black Americans. The book argues that the black-white gap is not due to test bias, noting that IQ tests do not tend to underpredict the school or job performance of black individuals and that the gap is larger on apparently culturally neutral test items than on more culturally loaded items. The authors also note that adjusting for socioeconomic status does not eliminate the black-white IQ gap. However, they argue that the gap is narrowing.
>I know your defense is that you are not "actually" claiming that blacks are inferior intellectually to whites, you are "merely" asking the questions.
I'm not "merely asking questions" I have a thesis. That is, races (defined as geographically based populations) are different from one another in more ways than just their skin color. Of course, there is lots of overlap because we are all human.
>If you think I'm being hostile, it is because your arguments are so incredibly lame. I'm not a geneticist, but even I can refute them
You honestly aren't doing a very good job.
There are known environmental factors in IQ (most notably, early childhood environment factors), and because of de jure and de facto segregation (including redlining), which was quite active until fairly recently historically and continues to have substantial lingering effects on people's environment (even if all such active practices were ended, and some of the de facto practices have not been, that would still be true for a long time unless you randomly relocated the whole population to erase the impacts), so adjusting for socio-economic status other than race does not actually control for the environmental factors that contribute to IQ.
As such, the effect identified could plausibly be environmental, which would also explain why it is weakening over time with the elimination of some and erosion of other segregationist practices.
Redlining doesn't really have much to do with early childhood malnutrition, which is the majority of "early childhood environment factors". Though pollution seems to cause problems as well, which would have more to do with the neighborhood someone lives in.
> so adjusting for socio-economic status other than race does not actually control for the environmental factors that contribute to IQ.
I'm not sure this follows. Why wouldn't controlling
for socioeconomic factors (such as parental income) be able to control for an environmental factor that has been shown to lower IQ (such as malnutrition)?
Some of the lines of logic that this would result in are kind of disturbing. It almost seems like you are suggesting that black people being segregated (via redlining) to be around other black people will make them have a lower IQ, even if they are just as wealthy as the white people across the railroad tracks. Perhaps they are on a more polluted side of the tracks? Though it doesn't seem that pollution would account for the standard deviation difference. Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding what you are saying.
It might be worth sharing that when some Googlers made a custom Cards Against Humanity deck, one of the cards just said "Cory Altheide". (Or so I heard.)
Let's just say the man is neither shy nor politically correct. "Worrying pattern of posting topics that are divisive" is understating things because it leaves out the "gleeful" part. I miss his G+ feed.
It’s up to the owners of the company to communicate the values they want to promote in the workplace; management to implement specific policies; and employees to suck it up (and talk to HR if they feel their rights are being violated).
To take an example from the other end of the spectrum, I don’t imagine that fundamentalist Christian owned Hobby Lobby has an internal mailing list for discussing their policies. Why should Google feel any more compelled to seek employee approval?
There was a time when a company could create an internal mailing list called "politics" without worrying too much.
The same way that after work alcohol parties (colloquially known as "drinks") or board games at the office after a hard day of coding are organized via Slack; humans are going to talk to each other about idle activities.
These two actions by Google are not necessarily in conflict. It’s possible to discourage both opinions without showing any kind of biased agenda.
So, the consistently left-leaning analysts at Gizmodo inform us that James Damore, whom Google themselves say they fired for the opinions expressed in a memo we can all read and see for ourselves what he was fired for, is still only alleging and claiming that the company that SAYS they fired him for expressing these views stifles conservative views.
But a MEMO written by a guy whom Google didn't fire at all, much less for expressing a pro-diversity opinion, but simply quit becomes a NEW DOCUMENT that ILLUSTRATES facts about Google not otherwise in evidence.
I lived in a country once with a state-controlled media that would begin its evening news reports with statements such as, "US President so-and-so claimed such-and-such today, but our-glorious-leader set the record straight, pointing out that blah-blah." I wondered how people in that country could hear that template and not see that it was blatantly biased at the template level. It wasn't just a biased interpretation of the issue, but was biased on the face of it, even before anything about the actual issue was inserted in the blanks.
But I discovered that people who consistently heard media talking this way couldn't detect even this blatant a bias in format, much less in the content of the actual issue, so the writers didn't have to even pretend superficially. With government-controlled media, most people lived in a bubble. Everything they were told agreed with everything else they were told, so it was just common sense, and anything I said that contradicted "the narrative" was considered utter nonsense.
What does it say about the tech audience Gizmodo is writing for that they are as confident as the state media in that small, tropical dictatorship, that they can be this blatant and their audience lives in such an ideological bubble, self-imposed in our case, that they'll approve of it and want more like it?
Please don't. It breaks the site guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
Also, please don't post ideological rants to Hacker News regardless of your ideology. We're hoping for thoughtful discussion here, not flames.
The OP posted interesting insights from his time in a small totalitarian state. He also drew comparisons to the writing style of Gizmodo. This sort of post has value to me, even if it might not be right, because it makes me think about new topics and existing topics in new ways. It merits further discussion and analysis, not downvoting, flagging, and being ticked off by moderators for being "ideological".
But this is one instance of a wider issue, that moderation and flagging in discussions of Google's diversity-related woes is often wildly inconsistent for no apparent reason. Slashdot associates adjectives with votes and moderation decisions, something maybe HN could use. I now routinely expand hidden posts and have showdead switched on because the ratio of useful and well written flagged posts to genuine spam or nonsense is so unbalanced. There's hardly any genuine spam or trolling here.
Other examples - there's a post further up by calculusftw that's dead for no apparent reason, as the post itself seems calm, well written and to present a reasonable point of view that is repeated by other posts elsewhere. Another post by nodesocket compares the management styles of Google vs other bay area tech firms and claims differing management style is related to the internal culture - it is both flagged and dead, again for no apparent reason.
You're thinking about this in terms of specific comments and political views, while for us it is a systemic problem of how to run a large, anonymous internet forum that doesn't self-destruct. These are two different perspectives. That gap is why people make the mistake of feeling certain that we're secretly biased in favor of $X, where $X has nothing to do with us but is rather the inversion of their own ideological side. All sides think this, leading to many contradictory-yet-somehow-all-the-same charges of manipulation. I presume it is the same cognitive bias that makes sports fans 'know' that the refs secretly support $X, where X is whoever opposes their favorite team today.
Often people throw in seemingly factual statements like you did here: "because they agree with the increasingly rather odd Silicon Valley...". A statement like that is simply invented. You don't know it; you can't know it; nor can you point to any statement showing it. It just feels like it's true. Meanwhile opposite people say opposite things, feeling just the same way that you do. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16098840 is typical.
There's an incongruence between saying that HN is filled with quality discussion ("hardly any genuine spam or trolling") and that the moderators are biased censors (Soviet-style! adds your sibling commenter) stamping out good discussion. That would hardly be quality-enhancing behavior. The assumption that if only we would stop doing what we do, HN would get better, is magical thinking. If HN is any good, how did it get good to begin with? How could it stay any good, if the moderators are so repellent?
Re dead comments, there are lots of reasons why that happens. Sometimes it's software that we've written based on past patterns of abuse; sometimes it's user flags, etc. These methods are indispensable but imperfect, which is why we created the 'vouch' feature for community members to rescue dead comments that shouldn't be dead. Anyone with karma > 30 can click a comment's timestamp to go to its page, then click 'vouch'. This way, instead of interpreting it as censorship and complaining about the refs, you and your fellow community members can simply reverse it. How Soviet is that!
Reading news seems to requires a very strong -- to borrow Wikipedia's term -- "weasel word" filter, and paying attention to only bare facts.
This suit-story's various spins are starting to feel very Orwellian (in aggregate).