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Labor Board Says Google Could Fire James Damore For Anti-Diversity Memo (theverge.com) 605

According to a recently disclosed letter from the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, Google didn't violate labor laws by firing engineer James Damore for a memo criticizing the company's diversity program. "The lightly redacted statement is written by Jayme Sophir, associate general counsel of the NLRB's division of advice; it dates to January, but was released yesterday, according to Law.com," reports The Verge. "Sophir concludes that while some parts of Damore's memo was legally protected by workplace regulations, 'the statements regarding biological differences between the sexes were so harmful, discriminatory, and disruptive as to be unprotected.'" From the report: Damore filed an NLRB complaint in August of 2017, after being fired for internally circulating a memo opposing Google's diversity efforts. Sophir recommends dismissing the case; Bloomberg reports that Damore withdrew it in January, and that his lawyer says he's focusing on a separate lawsuit alleging discrimination against conservative white men at Google. NLRB records state that its case was closed on January 19th. In her analysis, Sophir writes that employers should be given "particular deference" in trying to enforce anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, since these are tied to legal requirements. And employers have "a strong interest in promoting diversity" and cooperation across different groups of people. Because of this, "employers must be permitted to 'nip in the bud' the kinds of employee conduct that could lead to a 'hostile workplace,'" she writes. "Where an employee's conduct significantly disrupts work processes, creates a hostile work environment, or constitutes racial or sexual discrimination or harassment, the Board has found it unprotected even if it involves concerted activities regarding working conditions."
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Labor Board Says Google Could Fire James Damore For Anti-Diversity Memo

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  • by greenwow ( 3635575 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:21PM (#56138508)

    between men and women is illegal in this country.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by beelsebob ( 529313 )

      Not illegal, just not speech that's granted special legal protection from a company disagreeing with you so vehemently that they feel that you damaged them so badly that they need to fire you.

      Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pfhorrest ( 545131 )

        Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

        This particular topic aside: stop saying that. Freedom of any kind absolutely is freedom from at least specific kinds of consequences. You're "free" (inasmuch as nothing is physically stopping you) to not give a mugger your wallet, if you're willing to accept the consequences of being shot; that doesn't mean you really gave it to him freely in the relevant sociopolitical sense. You're "free" to break the law, so long as you're willing to accept the consequences of the punishment. But absence of such consequ

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by beelsebob ( 529313 )

          Yes - the point in this case is that it's a very specific type of freedom that's granted by the 1st amendment. Specifically, the government can not ban you from saying things.

          This wasn't the government banning him from saying anything, it was google saying "yes, you can say that, but we disagree, and feel that you damaged our image so badly that you're fired". That's an entirely different thing.

          No one from a government agency put him in prison, or legally punished him in any way for saying what he said, t

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          This particular topic aside: stop saying that.

          No.

          Not just no, but fuck no.

          Seriously with friends like you, free speech does not need enemies.

          If speech is inconsequential then it's barely worth defending. It's only as important as it is because it has not just consequences but massive, important consequences. With a gun you can kill a few people. With speech, you can topple an empire. You know, liberty or death and all that shit.

          Freedom of any kind absolutely is freedom from at least specific kinds of conse

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by lsllll ( 830002 )

            If speech is inconsequential then it's barely worth defending

            That should go down in history as one of the famous quotes.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2018 @11:16PM (#56139850)

            The phrase "freedom of speech, not freedom of consequences," deliberately and pointedly oversimplifies a problem that is much more difficult than a few words. If you can expect your life to be ruined extrajudicially for exercising your freedom of speech, then by default, it does not exist in a practical sense for the vast majority. Only those who are independently wealthy will be able to exercise the right, and for everyone else it will be a cruel mockery of a right. The rest will be able to speak when they express the "correct" ideas.

            This is worse than not having freedom of speech at all, because it provides the illusion of it while at the same time destroying it for the common people. And that is what we effectively have in this case, and in a lot of other cases.

            Punishment does not need to be issued from a judge's bench or a firing squad to ruin a life, and your practical contempt for free speech and desire to make it effectively an imaginary construct lends little credence to your judgment of who is or is not the enemy of free speech.

        • If you can be punished for doing something, then you are not free to do it.

          You are perfectly free to do it, and then you will receive your expected consequence. In the US legal frame, that consequence will not be criminal prosecution. Didn't you learn that in grade school?

        • What we're really saying, then, is that nobody has the "freedom" to work for Google.

      • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @08:08PM (#56138852)

        Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

        Unfortunately, no matter how many times you say it, there are a trove of idiots that just don't get it. Freedom of speech allows you to express yourself without criminal prosecution, but that's about it.

        • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @08:33PM (#56139042) Homepage

          This may not be a freedom of speech issue but it is still a dick move by Google. One that I hope comes back and bites them in the ass.

      • Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.

        Let the mob rule begin!!!

        Problem is, groups of people are really dumb, and do terrible things, for terrible reasons. And furthermore, they cannot tell that they're being dumb. From their point of view, they thing they're doing the right thing. This is the dynamic behind many historic tragedies. And it is precisely what you're advocating for. Because, you know, your team is right!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Here's the relevant part of the decision: (https://apps.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d45826e6391 page 5)

      The Charging Partyâ(TM)s use of stereotypes based on purported biological differences between women and men should not be treated differently than the types of conduct the Board found unprotected in these cases. statements about immutable traits linked to sexâ"such as womenâ(TM)s heightened neuroticism and menâ(TM)s prevalence at the top of the IQ distributionâ"were discriminatory and constituted sexual harassment, not withstanding effort to cloak comments with âoescientificâ references and analysis, and notwithstanding âoenot all womenâ disclaimers. Moreover, those statements were likely to cause serious dissension and disruption in the workplace. Indeed, the memorandum did cause extreme discord, which the Charging Party exacerbated by deliberately expanding its audience. Numerous employees complained to the Employer that the memorandum was discriminatory against women, deeply offensive, and made them feel unsafe at work. Moreover, the Charging Party reasonably should have known that the memorandum would likely be disseminated further, even beyond the workplace. Once the memorandum was shared publicly, at least two female engineering candidates withdrew from consideration and explicitly named the memo as their reason for doing so. Thus, while much of the Charging Partyâ(TM)s memorandum was likely protected, the statements regarding biological differences between the sexes were so harmful, discriminatory, and disruptive as to be unprotected.

      So basically:

      1. They don't buy the bogus scientific argument, which has been debunked by the authors of the studies he cited.

      2. The use of softening language / disclaimers like "not all women" and "on average" don't help him.

      3. He distributed the memo himself initially, expanding its audience, and should have known that such an inflammatory document would be more widely distributed once circulated.

      4.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tokolosh ( 1256448 )

        "1. They don't buy the bogus scientific argument, which has been debunked by the authors of the studies he cited."

        There is no way to make a contrary argument any more. All further discussion is prohibited to anyone who wants a job.

        It's like the Catholic church saying the sun rotates around the earth and anyone who tries to say otherwise is subject to excommunication (or worse).

        Damore may be wrong, but this is not progress.

        • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @08:16PM (#56138930) Journal

          There is no way to make a contrary argument any more.

          You don't get some sort of right of first dibs simply by speaking first. If your argument is not sound, people don't have to come up with a rigorus rebuttal to the central premise of your thesis, they merely have to point out where your argument is unsound.

          Otherwise, the burden is always massively on the second person. You're basically absolving the first person of the need to make a coherent argument.

          • No, I am not absolving the first person.

            Given that the second person has a massive burden, it behooves us to give him/her an opportunity to state a case.

            But you are not only enacting a "massive burden", you are also erecting further barriers by shutting down discussion.

            Sounds like you are scared your beliefs may be found wanting? If you are confident, then welcome opposition in the knowledge that you will be strengthened.

        • There is no way to make a contrary argument any more. All further discussion is prohibited to anyone who wants a job.

          The last time I heard that, it was about climate science. The time before that, it was about evolution. It wasn't true either of those times, either.

          Here in the real world, if someone can actually disprove the prevailing wisdom in some academic field, it would make their academic career. History is full of examples, especially in fields where non-academics are convinced there's a grand conspiracy to prevent it from happening.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I should also add that the Labour Board was at pains to point out that they don't accept imagined or spurious slights, the harm, discrimination and disruption has to be real. They cite other cases where people have been disciplined after making bogus claims of harm, and that in this case they judged that his memo wasn't just triggering snowflakes or whatever.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        1. They don't buy the bogus scientific argument, which has been debunked by the authors of the studies he cited.

        2. The use of softening language / disclaimers like "not all women" and "on average" don't help him.

        It absolutely amazes me people are still trying to make everyone believe men and women are the same physically and mentally. That they think and care about the same things and all differences can be explained away by environmental pressures. This is plainly false to everyone and everyone knows it. No study or research required. It is a plainly obvious fact. Girls like girl shit and boys like boy shit. It's just the way shit is.

        Damore was fucking trying to get more girls interested in boy shit by makin

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2018 @08:16PM (#56138936)

        1. They don't buy the bogus scientific argument, which has been debunked by the authors of the studies he cited.

        Do we need a scientific argument to explain neuroticism in females? It is a self evident truth that is backed by research. [wikipedia.org] So where is the "debunked"?

        2. The use of softening language / disclaimers like "not all women" and "on average" don't help him.

        Except that is what our best research says.

        3. He distributed the memo himself initially, expanding its audience, and should have known that such an inflammatory document would be more widely distributed once circulated.

        "Facts are inflammatory"

        4. People complained and actually withdraw from job opportunities as a result. Snowflakes or otherwise, there was measurable damage done to Google's workplace.

        Why? If women are the same as men, women withdrawing and being replaced by men shouldn't be a problem should it?

        5. While a lot of what he said was protected, the statements on biological differences between the sexes (which were deemed bogus and pseudo-scientific, conclusions that the authors of the cited studies agreed with) do not enjoy any legal protection and Google was okay to fire him on over them.

        Except this is bullshit. Would you like me to explain the birds and bees to you before we get started on sexual dimorphism and evolution? Damore was arguing for more female engagement in the workplace and you are a shill!

      • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @09:13PM (#56139296)

        1. They don't buy the bogus scientific argument, which has been debunked by the authors of the studies he cited.

        Personally, I think that the Myers-Briggs studies he brought up were awful, but I don't think that was his fault. Have you actually read them? If he made mistakes, or if his information was outdated, you correct him. That's how we resolve differences. Some people can't be corrected, that's true enough, but honestly, I don't think that was the case for him

        2. The use of softening language / disclaimers like "not all women" and "on average" don't help him.

        No, those were quantifiers, not disclaimers.

        And unlike President Trump for instance, Damos used quantifiers pretty well actually. Many feminists could learn a thing or two from him instead of using absolute quantifiers, or instead of using no quantifier at all.

        3. He distributed the memo himself initially, expanding its audience, and should have known that such an inflammatory document would be more widely distributed once circulated.

        He distributed the memo inside an official working group of ~8 people. He didn't expand the memo behind that. Others did it for him.

        4. People complained and actually withdraw from job opportunities as a result. Snowflakes or otherwise, there was measurable damage done to Google's workplace.

        Not to mention men.

        I guarantee you that far many more men stopped applying to Google than women after their reaction to Damos.

      • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @09:34PM (#56139406)

        1. That should not matter, the science was published, and the conclusions he took from it are a valid conclusion, so to the best of his ability he was stating fact, normally THAT WOULD BE ENOUGH. The fact that some of the publishers (not all not, some actually said his interpretation was correct) since backpedaled on their own research is hardly Damores fault. You are not required to be CORRECT in all interpretations, just to have not presented things you know to be false - this is LONG established - otherwise everyone would be required to be THE leading expert in everything they said - which is obviously impossible.

        2 - Why not? Because you want to change what he was saying? He made it clear he was speaking of averages and trends, not absolutes - and then is getting punished as though he stated absolutes.

        3 - He (amongst others) was asked by his employer to write their thoughts on the subject and publish them to a specific internal location - he did exactly as requested by his employer. He is no was distributed it further than that - where is the punishment for those who did? Why is he being punished for following instructions of his employer?

        4 - Why is that his responsibility? Google asked people for their thoughts, he did exactly as asked. The fact that they did not like the response was not his fault - perhaps they should have had a process in place to vet submissions if they didnt want such opinions.

        5 - Why not? They are very well known science, and the fact that they may be unpopular amongst some at present does not change than, neither does a backpedal on published research by some of the people involved (but, importantly, not all, and not the leaders in the field) does not change that. He published information that was at that time publicly published in respectable scientific journals - why should he be punished for repeating such content?

        The situation we are creating here is one where someone can get punished for repeating publicly accepted (by peer reviewed journal publishing) information in a way their employer asked them to, because the employer felt embarrassed about it after the fact. Think about the ramifications of that for a while.

        Also note that NO action was taken against him at the time he followed the instructions of Google - in fact it was only taken after a 3rd party made this information public. THAT, above all else, should indicate that Googles actions are blindingly wrong.

        • they say he disseminated it out to a wider audience knowing it would stir up trouble. Also knowing that it would likely be leaked outside the company. Basically, he was shitposting on a sensitive topic.

          Now, you can argue he didn't intend to do that (in fact that's exactly what you're doing) but that wouldn't be the conclusion of the labor board. The labor board disagrees with you.

          For my money I don't have enough information. I'd want to know what happened with the document after he wrote it. Who did
      • by poity ( 465672 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @10:43PM (#56139728)
        Well shit it looks like people at the NLRB didn't read the actual memo either. Damore had written specifically against forming stereotypes based on differences in population distributions because of their overlaps.
        • Well shit it looks like people at the NLRB didn't read the actual memo either. Damore had written specifically against forming stereotypes based on differences in population distributions because of their overlaps.

          The NLRB called such quantifiers defining the scope and context of what he wrote "softening language" (although how one could possibly construct a meaningful argument regarding real-world problems without quantifiers puzzles me). The NLRB knows what Damore *really* meant [nudge-nudge, wink-wink] even if he wrote the exact opposite and cited multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies from multiple sources to back it up.

          What an evil genius Damore must be to have written a cited memo that to most of us means wh

      • If he'd prefixed the memo with "Allah (PBUH) says ..." you'd be supporting him 100%.

  • Racist facts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DavenH ( 1065780 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:26PM (#56138530)
    When facts are deemed discriminatory, you know that ideological rot has set in.
  • I guess (Score:5, Funny)

    by Revek ( 133289 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:29PM (#56138550) Homepage

    The checks must have cashed.

  • Read the damn thing. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:30PM (#56138560)

    There is so much disinformation surrounding Damore.

    His memo was not against diversity. He specifically included very well-researched and reasoned suggestions on how to encourage more women to get involved and make tech more attractive to them as a career choice.

    Read the damn thing yourself, people.

    • by hambone142 ( 2551854 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:37PM (#56138602)

      My son's taking pre engineering courses.

      In his science and math courses, there might be one or two females.

      So far, after about 4 weeks of class time, ALL of the females have dropped the courses.

      We wonder why there aren't a lot of women in STEM courses.

      Well, this could be one of the reasons.

      Similarly, I tried to talk my niece in to taking engineering courses. She quit after the first semester. Her reason: "Math is too difficult" (I am not kidding).

      • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:40PM (#56138626) Homepage Journal
        To be fair a lot of guys drop out because "math is too difficult" too. There are a ton of people who realize that engineering is not for them. As an engineer myself, I agree. There are better career paths out there right now.
        • I got into programming on the 6502 because I liked programming, especially low level programming. When I went to university I picked electronic engineering because I wanted to know more about how hardware worked. Both low level coding and engineering are very seriously skewed towards men.

          Now if you look at Damore's memos his point was simply that not seeing 50% men and 50% women was not prima facie evidence of discrimination. He also explained a bunch of reasons why men might be more likely to pick engineer

          • "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."

            He got fired because that simply isn't a "fact". It is just a "statement" (his opinion). Sor
            • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday February 17, 2018 @01:13AM (#56140266) Journal

              What is a "fact"? That's not a scientific term, so how are you using it? It's very close to a "measurement", which is the basis for all science. Sure, there's some judgement involved as to what personality traits make one better at software development, and it undoubtedly varies by field, but the measured differences between the statistical distributions in men and women are certainly facts. The fact that in the Scandi countries, where great pains have been taken to remove social pressure and allow people to choose the career of their choice, engineering is 95% male and nursing is 95% female is, well, a fact.

              So, it's a fact there are differences in preference. It's a fact there are differences in ability - though how to weigh those differences is a matter of judgement.

              It's also a fast that Google interviews for dev positions in the way least likely to produce gender equality, by focusing narrowly on the most technical aspects of the job and ignoring measuring the social aspects of the jobs entirely from what I saw. FFS Google, if you want more women, then interview as if software development was the team effort it actually is!

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Friday February 16, 2018 @08:09PM (#56138862) Homepage Journal

        Her reason: "Math is too difficult"

        Great example of how stereotypes can be harmful. In the UK girls overtook boys in maths at school over a decade ago. They are measurably better at maths than boys, once the stereotypes about girls being bad at maths are addressed. Efforts are also being made to address the things that cause boys to lag behind in maths, because no one seriously thinks that boys are biologically inferior with numbers.

        Another interested and related example is how in some European countries with high levels of gender equality the number of women studying STEM is rather low, yet in countries where women are widely oppressed like Iran they are actually the majority. Turns out that because engineering and medicine are not prestigious careers in Iran they are often majority female at university, but in European countries even when there is equality in wages and conditions those centuries of cultural stereotypes are really hard to shake off, especially if it feels like the battle has already been won.

      • Her reason: "Math is too difficult" (I am not kidding).

        Your argument is basically "I sopke to a woman once therefore I know everything about the issue".

        I notice you didn't touch on the motivations of the men tha tdropped out of the course.

        So far, after about 4 weeks of class time, ALL of the females have dropped the courses.

        Plus you know, it's not that there's anything wrong with saying "females", it's just that you sounds a bit like a Ferengi when you say it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Actually the Labour Board specifically examined his research and claims that his statements were backed up by science. Since the authors of some of those papers have publicly rejected his conclusions it would be odd if the Labour Board went against their expert opinions and agreed that Damore's interpretation was the correct one, given that they are lawyers and not scientists and that Damore hasn't been peer reviewed or even qualified.

      This outcome was inevitable as soon as it became clear that he got the sc

      • by slew ( 2918 )

        Google could probably get the authors of those studies to testify against him if necessary, and he couldn't exactly try to discredit the sources he relies on his own memo.

        You underestimate the ability of lawyers to find holes in our convoluted legal system.

        IANAL, but as an example, as a plaintiff, Damore's lawyer could always pre-emptively call the authors as a hostile witnesses and attempt to discredit their conclusion from their data on the stand and plant Damore's interpretation in the eyes of the jury before the google lawyers (representing the defendant) get a chance at remediation. Who knows what a jury would think...

        I'm sure a real lawyer could come up with something

      • by bongey ( 974911 )
        The SCIENCE was CORRECT, it is just the authors wanted to be politically correct, making the WORST kind of researchers.
  • ... a call to clean house of the Deep Staters at the NRLB.

  • Jayme Sophir (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:53PM (#56138730)

    https://www.judicialwatch.org/... [judicialwatch.org]

    In response to an April 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, calling on President Obama to explain the NLRB lawsuit against Boeing, NLRB attorney Jayme Sophir issues a one word email response on May 2, 2011, to NLRB attorney Debra Willen, Division of Advice: âoeUgh.â

    She was appointed by Obama

    https://www.reuters.com/articl... [reuters.com]

    An Obama administration holdover at the National Labor Relations Board recommended last year that a case accusing President Donald Trumpâ(TM)s businesses and presidential campaign of requiring workers to sign unlawful confidentiality agreements be dismissed, according to a memo released this week.

    Associate General Counsel Jayme Sophir in an advice memo dated Oct. 31, 2017 said there was no evidence that the agreements were ever enforced, and the law firm that brought the case, Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld, did not file it on behalf of any employees of the Trump Organization Inc or the campaign.

    I think it's safe to assume Sophir is a left winger.

    Article here

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/S... [wsj.com]

    It's paywalled, but you can read it here

    http://archive.is/1pp1R [archive.is]

    South Carolina is a right-to-work state, and we're proud that within our borders workers cannot be required to join a labor union as a condition of employment. We don't need unions playing middlemen between our companies and our employees. We don't want them forcefully inserted into our promising business climate. And we will not stand for them intimidating South Carolinians.

    That is apparently too much for President Obama and his union-beholden appointees at the National Labor Relations Board, who have asked the courts to intervene and force Boeing to stop production in South Carolina. The NLRB wants Boeing to produce the planes only in Washington state, where its workers must belong to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

    Let's be clear: Boeing is a great corporate citizen in Washington and in South Carolina. The company chose to come to our state because the cost of doing business is low, our job training and work force are strong, and our ports are tremendous. The fact that we are a right-to-work state is an added bonus.

    The actions by the NLRB are nothing less than a direct assault on the 22 right-to-work states across America. They are also an unprecedented attack on an iconic American company that is being told by the federal governmentâ"which seems to regard its authority as endlessâ"where and how to build airplanes.

    The president has been silent since his hand-selected NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon, who has not yet been confirmed by the United States Senate as required by law, chose to engage in economic warfare on behalf of the unions last week.

    While silence in this case can be assumed to mean consent, President Obama's silence is not acceptableâ"not to me, and certainly not to the millions of South Carolinians who are rightly aghast at the thought of the greatest economic development success our state has seen in decades being ripped away by federal bureaucrats who appear to be little more than union puppets.

    Basically Nikki Haley criticised the Obama admin for taking Boeing to court over setting up shop in a 'right to work' state where workers don't have to join a union..

    Presumably her reaction to Damore's memo was a similarly visceral 'Ugh'.

    So it's not surprising she's decided that the labor rules she's so keen on defending don't appl

  • Women might be too smart to take them.

  • Same as in Venezuela (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xenog ( 3653043 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @07:59PM (#56138772)

    I saw this happen in Venezuela: first the ideologues pump their ideology for years, get people to fall in love with their romantic left-wing utopia where human nature dosn't really exist and is a product of society and can and changed at will with enough enthusiasm and—if that doesn't work—good old-fashioned repression. As long as government is not on board the "harmelss" ideas spread and do not cause that much damage. Eventually authorities are elected that are ideologically compromised and we end up with an authoritarian left-wing dictatorship.

    To deny human nature and the findings of science is to deny ourselves understanding that can lead to improvement of our collective quality of life. But if we prefer to be sedated into ideology and expect science to always reinforce our already-established value systems we will just deepen our miseries and do a disservice to ourselves and future generations.

    I read Damore's memo. There is nothing there that disagrees with modern psychology. The findings he refers to have been discovered by psychologists and sociologists from prestigious institutions using sound methodologies. We better accept the information that science gives us and decide how we'll organise incorporating rather than denying the uncomfortable bits. Science doesn't tell us how to be moral, it just tells us what is. It is up to us to find meaning and fairness within the context of what is, and not fall into the trap of thinking that what ought to be is what is. The Universe doesn't need to follow our moral convictions du-jour.

  • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @08:15PM (#56138920) Homepage Journal

    Federal labor law doesn't make political speech a protected class in employment.

    California law, however, does. [ca.gov]

    His lawsuit is going to be a lot more complicated than the news media (and most people who read it) can comprehend.

  • by eepok ( 545733 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @09:11PM (#56139282) Homepage
    I see a lot of commentary in these Damore threads suggesting that everyone who leans left politically must believe that the irrational, authoritarian form of progressivism is the way forward. Similarly, others are accusing defenders of Damore's memo as being regressive neckbeards.

    It's not that simple nor is the argument along the line of political leanings. It's about speed and collateral damage.

    Nearly a decade ago, the Tea Party Movement began its own irrational and loud stranglehold on conservative politics. There were loyalty oaths and identity politics. The Republican party is still trying to re-discover itself and its integrity having sold itself to the more ignorant side of populism.

    Today, following almost the same exact playbook, there is a very vocal minority of the liberal-leaning part of America who is choosing activism over advocacy, punishment over education, and change now without consideration for collateral damage. Again, the face of irrational populism peaks over the the horizon.

    These are the same beasts with different goals. Both are repulsed by the long-game of social change. They refuse to accept that society changes at the speed of generations. They don't want to accept that engineers are grown from a young age, not simply given jobs. They don't care that reducing deficit first comes with a better-educated populace and thus a better workforce. They want what they want NOW. They want to show short term gains because all will be damned if they didn't make their mark on this world before they shuffle this mortal coil.

    But then there are the mature conservatives and the mature liberals who know that it simply takes time to coexist and progress together. It takes time to convince people to compromise and it takes time for those who refuse to compromise to die off. And when you force try to force people to change under threat of loss of loss of livelihood or try to shoe-horn in a solution that benefits the very few without consideration for the many, you will get widespread resentment, rebellion, and reaction. And the cycle will continue.

    Or we can simply teach our young parents that they should foster the spark of nerd they see in their daughters as they would an ember in tinder instead of immediately reaching for the Barbies and pom-poms. They should step in to prevent the mockery of nerds, gamers, and computer users so that there is less social resentment harbored by those who choose to be so engrossed in the loving blue glow of a monitor. And then allow those better-adjusted, better-educated, and more equitably educated children grow up and show their actual demand in their chosen fields of work.

    Or we can just keep trying to force it and fighting about it.
    • Nearly a decade ago, the Tea Party Movement began its own irrational and loud stranglehold on conservative politics. There were loyalty oaths and identity politics. The Republican party is still trying to re-discover itself and its integrity having sold itself to the more ignorant side of populism.

      I know what you're saying, but I think you're missing some of the history before that. The rise of populism is a reaction to the kind of Straussian fundamentalism [wikipedia.org] that took over conservative politics a few decades earlier. It's hard to say when this really "began", but the place I'd identify is the Powell Memorandum [reclaimdemocracy.org] of 1971. It really picked up momentum in the aftermath of Watergate.

      In the late 70s, fundamentalists started hostile takeovers of conservative institutions such as the NRA and the Southern Bapti [mchorse.com]

  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Saturday February 17, 2018 @12:49AM (#56140186)
    My son's grade 12 teacher lined the kids up based on how well they did in their last year of high school math class. The top 5 were all girls and 3 more were in the top ten. This is based on a fairly standardized curriculum. Next he lined them up based on their results from the university of Waterloo math contest. 22 kids in the class and the top 8 were all boys. The girls new how to write the tests and give the answers expected but it was obvious that the boys actually understood the math better. (the teacher is no longer teaching)

    Here are the math contest results http://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/c... [uwaterloo.ca] you will see a Cynthia on the 6th page of the results. That's the first woman's name I recognized
  • Summary title (Score:3, Informative)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday February 17, 2018 @12:59AM (#56140216)

    >"Labor Board Says Google Could Fire James Damore For Anti-Diversity Memo"

    And thus, misinformation continues to flow. His memo was not "anti-diversity." A correct title could be:

    "Labor Board Says Google Could Fire James Damore For Memo About Anti-Diversity Program"

    "Labor Board Says Google Could Fire James Damore For His Memo Criticizing Google's Diversity Program"

  • by The Cynical Critic ( 1294574 ) on Saturday February 17, 2018 @03:52AM (#56140684)
    Looking at the labor board's decision I'd say it's pretty clear that the people who ruled against Damore made up their minds based on the faulty reporting that claimed the memo said something along the lines of "women can't do maths" and other fabrications. This is pretty clear from how when they had to base their decision on what's actually in the memo they chose the mention of women being more prone to neuroticism, which he backs up references to scientific studies, and the mention of male IQ being more unevenly distributed, which he also backs up with references to scientific studies.

    Particularly the latter scientifically-backed point is so benign that claiming it's somehow sexist makes it clear that the labor board just went looking for stuff to be offended over and when they couldn't find anything genuinely offensive they went for the closest thing. A board that makes it's decisions based on bad information and then rather than changing it's mind when having to examine the actual facts has some serious serious issues.
  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Saturday February 17, 2018 @12:47PM (#56142548)

    You guys, the same idiots who said bakers have the right to refuse service to gays, are the ones now saying Google should be forced to let declared mysognists stay on there staff? Unless you are a racist, you cant be against affirmative action while saying companies dont have the right to hire or fire who at will.

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