Monday, August 07, 2017

Anti-diversity "manifesto" circulated by an engineer at Google raises legitimate questions about freedom of speech and the workplace


The word “manifesto” certainly has a pejorative, and now a document called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” is circulating in the company, authored by an unidentified male software engineer.
   
Fortune Magazine describes the controversy here in an article by David Morris here.  CNN’s account of the “anti-diversity manifesto” is here

A software engineer in Britain who just left Google “clears up” the controversy, at least for Brits, here.


One very interesting point arises about how I have handled “conflict of interest”. I’ve said that people with direct reports or underwriting responsibilities probably should not put their opinions up about anything in publicly searchable mode because of the indirect risk of hostile workplace or discrimination complaints later. At Google, all work is peer-reviewed before it is implemented, so the speaker seems to be compromising his own ability to participate in the peer review process objectively.

My own first DADT book, affectionately called “The Manifesto” by my friends, was called a “screed” by one reviewer on Amazon (Jan., 4, 2007).

Michael Cook's piece on "idol men" in Intellectual Takeout, a conservative site, seems applicable. 

Wikipedia attribution link for picture from the company’s Mountain View complex, CCSA 3.0, by “Ashstar01”. 

Update: 

Timothy B. Lee of Ars Technica reports that Google has fired the employee, here.   But the NBC Today show said Tuesday morning that it could not confirm the firing. 




Update: Aug. 10

Gizmodo has published Damore's "screed" with its own commentary here, and I have to say I agree with some points in it (the comment on "empathy" is interesting).  I have thought about some of  these things.  Some of his views resemble Charles Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos.  Wired reports that Damore "might have a case", here, 

In Personal Tech on p. B6 of the New York Times, Kevin Roose ("The Shift") writes "The Alt-Right Finds a New Enemy in Silicon Valley". I'd be a little put-off by the reported actions of Paypal annd Airbnb reported here. 

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