Author Topic: The Viral Internal Google Memo  (Read 8533 times)

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #100 on: August 09, 2017, 08:39:43 AM »
Speaking as a software engineer myself, I don't think I've once seen a fully-specified set of requirements for a project I've had to work on. I always have to make a few assumptions about things not explicitly listed in the requirements in order to write my code. If I'm lucky, either I or the person reviewing my code will recognize that I've made such an assumption, and will call that out to the PM types for clarification if the assumption seems at all likely to be contrary to the intended project deliverables. Even better is if the gaps in the requirements can be called out before I start typing any code into the computer. Diversity helps here. The more different eyes you can put on things before you go too far down a wrong path, the better.

Wrong again. In a big company, influencing product decisions is < 5% of the job of an engineer, I'd say even < 1%. If the company needs diversity of user viewpoints, they'll hire a diverse QA team (which they do), PM, UX designers, etc. They let engineers discuss products for their own motivation, but engineers have no say in the final product. Even if they hire a team of e.g. 100% Asian male engineers, the team will still perform well; in fact that's almost what happens in SV.

This pro-diversity argument is a big stretch motivated more by PC-ness than optimizing performance (which explains why it's not acted upon by big companies). The argument is very common though, everyone and their mom is parotting it.

And, it's because of folks with viewpoints like this that AIs are inheriting the sexist and racist biases of the non-diverse group of people who are creating them. It's not about PC-ness. It's about having people at the table with different points of view, so that different points of view can be accommodated in the product.

Except that a large part of his memo is saying google doesn't allow for different points of view. They want diversity of superficial factors, but the moment someone doesn't agree with their point of view they are out of the door.

FrugalToque

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #101 on: August 09, 2017, 08:43:30 AM »
This is a much better response than I have time to craft:

https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/so-about-this-googlers-manifesto-1e3773ed1788

Basically: the tools that the original memo attributes to women (empathy, cooperation, teamwork etc.) are the real tools of engineering.  Competing, within a workplace, is not a real thing.  In addition, how could a manager at google ever assign this guy a group to work in, especially with women in it?

Toque.

First line of said article is already mischaracterizing the original memo, good start:
"You have probably heard about the manifesto a Googler (not someone senior) published internally about, essentially, how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, itís just not worth it."

Despite the memo actually arguing for ways to make the job more attractive to more women.

Then proceeds to say hey I'm not actually going to argue the citations he provided that I'm saying are wrong wrong:
"(1) Despite speaking very authoritatively, the author does not appear to understand gender."

"1. Iím not going to spend any length of time on (1); if anyone wishes to provide details as to how nearly every statement about gender in that entire document is actively incorrect,Ļ and flies directly in the face of all research done in the field for decades, they should go for it. But I am neither a biologist, a psychologist, nor a sociologist, so Iíll leave that to someone else."

So he is saying the memo writer is wrong, but isn't actually interested in determining why. So either he hasn't looked in to it and has no leg to stand on or he knows he is wrong so he isn't going to attempt to address it in which case it's just a big case of personal PR for the writer.

What he's saying is that, while the original writer is wrong in the way he characterizes the nature vs. nurture of gender, that is not the subject of his response.  His response is about how the original writer mischaracterizes engineering and software design.  Basically, the "female" qualities the original writer thinks the industry should adapt to ... these are actually the qualities that real engineers need in order to do their real job: solving problems.  The fact that he doesn't understand this means he's either very junior, or very bad at engineering.

It's also important to note that the way Demore characterizes "making the job better for women" relies on stereotypes drawn from a) the 1950s and b) evo psych papers trying to make us into the 1950s.  He's not really trying to make the workplace fit better for women.  He's trying to pigeonhole women as non-go-getting, reluctant-working-moms and that's one of his real problems.  Any "adaptations" made in this regard come off as chauvinist and ridiculous.  There's no particular to argue point by point with a person who talks about women that way.

Toque.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #102 on: August 09, 2017, 08:48:12 AM »
This is a much better response than I have time to craft:

https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/so-about-this-googlers-manifesto-1e3773ed1788

Basically: the tools that the original memo attributes to women (empathy, cooperation, teamwork etc.) are the real tools of engineering.  Competing, within a workplace, is not a real thing.  In addition, how could a manager at google ever assign this guy a group to work in, especially with women in it?

Toque.

First line of said article is already mischaracterizing the original memo, good start:
"You have probably heard about the manifesto a Googler (not someone senior) published internally about, essentially, how women and men are intrinsically different and we should stop trying to make it possible for women to be engineers, itís just not worth it."

Despite the memo actually arguing for ways to make the job more attractive to more women.

Then proceeds to say hey I'm not actually going to argue the citations he provided that I'm saying are wrong wrong:
"(1) Despite speaking very authoritatively, the author does not appear to understand gender."

"1. Iím not going to spend any length of time on (1); if anyone wishes to provide details as to how nearly every statement about gender in that entire document is actively incorrect,Ļ and flies directly in the face of all research done in the field for decades, they should go for it. But I am neither a biologist, a psychologist, nor a sociologist, so Iíll leave that to someone else."

So he is saying the memo writer is wrong, but isn't actually interested in determining why. So either he hasn't looked in to it and has no leg to stand on or he knows he is wrong so he isn't going to attempt to address it in which case it's just a big case of personal PR for the writer.

What he's saying is that, while the original writer is wrong in the way he characterizes the nature vs. nurture of gender, that is not the subject of his response.  His response is about how the original writer mischaracterizes engineering and software design.  Basically, the "female" qualities the original writer thinks the industry should adapt to ... these are actually the qualities that real engineers need in order to do their real job: solving problems.  The fact that he doesn't understand this means he's either very junior, or very bad at engineering.

It's also important to note that the way Demore characterizes "making the job better for women" relies on stereotypes drawn from a) the 1950s and b) evo psych papers trying to make us into the 1950s.  He's not really trying to make the workplace fit better for women.  He's trying to pigeonhole women as non-go-getting, reluctant-working-moms and that's one of his real problems.  Any "adaptations" made in this regard come off as chauvinist and ridiculous.  There's no particular to argue point by point with a person who talks about women that way.

Toque.

They come of as chauvinist and ridiculous yet no one here seems to be able to argue the actual research he has used as sources for his memo and instead choose to attack what his motives according to their psychic abilities. We all agree it is hilarious when instead of accepting the science on climate change many conservatives get rather emotional about the situation instead. Seems that many progressives feel the same way when their sacred cows are being slaughtered.

I'll also include a link to a version of the memo that hasn't conveniently been edited to exclude inconvenient things like sources:
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:50:18 AM by prognastat »

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #103 on: August 09, 2017, 08:52:15 AM »
I guess I just read it more as someone who sincerely wants to help than someone who hates women. I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise if you come with a different perspective.

But it doesn't really matter what his intent was. If I run you over with my car and it's an accident vs. intentional, it matters to the legal system but not to your actual body. Your body is just as broken regardless of my intent.

Same thing with this bozo at Google. Outside of the White House, sexism is usually not as blunt as "I hate women and girls." Much of it is wrapped up in subtly misogynistic ideas like respecting women's differences, wanting to protect women, and assuming women need help with various tasks which we may or may not need help with.

I agree with Scantee entirely. I also believe that there is literally no way to know what the biological differences are between men and women's cognition because there's so much cultural history mixed in and human brains are enormously plastic and molded by our environments and upbringing to an extent that most of us never even contemplate.

So, at this point, with the tools we have, it's not possible to separate them. The only fair position is to operate as though there are no widespread biological differences in cognitive ability, because we simply don't know.

Except he provided resources showing that it isn't as plastic as you make it out to be. Another person commenting with no actual sources disputing him out of hand rather than actually engaging with the ideas and finding a way to dispute him.

The problem is that the data he's talking about is based on population-level differences in distributions. This doesn't address native differences between men and women -- it addresses differences in the way men and women behave after they've already been acculturated to see women as less intelligent and trustworthy than men. 

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #104 on: August 09, 2017, 08:59:01 AM »
Speaking as a software engineer myself, I don't think I've once seen a fully-specified set of requirements for a project I've had to work on. I always have to make a few assumptions about things not explicitly listed in the requirements in order to write my code. If I'm lucky, either I or the person reviewing my code will recognize that I've made such an assumption, and will call that out to the PM types for clarification if the assumption seems at all likely to be contrary to the intended project deliverables. Even better is if the gaps in the requirements can be called out before I start typing any code into the computer. Diversity helps here. The more different eyes you can put on things before you go too far down a wrong path, the better.

Wrong again. In a big company, influencing product decisions is < 5% of the job of an engineer, I'd say even < 1%. If the company needs diversity of user viewpoints, they'll hire a diverse QA team (which they do), PM, UX designers, etc. They let engineers discuss products for their own motivation, but engineers have no say in the final product. Even if they hire a team of e.g. 100% Asian male engineers, the team will still perform well; in fact that's almost what happens in SV.

This pro-diversity argument is a big stretch motivated more by PC-ness than optimizing performance (which explains why it's not acted upon by big companies). The argument is very common though, everyone and their mom is parotting it.

And, it's because of folks with viewpoints like this that AIs are inheriting the sexist and racist biases of the non-diverse group of people who are creating them. It's not about PC-ness. It's about having people at the table with different points of view, so that different points of view can be accommodated in the product.

Except that a large part of his memo is saying google doesn't allow for different points of view. They want diversity of superficial factors, but the moment someone doesn't agree with their point of view they are out of the door.

The difference here is that a woman experiences being a female and all the fucked up sexist impacts of living in a patriarchal society her whole life. She can't escape from them. A black person experiences the fucked up racism of our society their whole life -- again, it's inescapable.

But a conservative has chosen their viewpoints. There's no "protected class" of conservative because conservatives are not systemically oppressed in our society. I mean, if someone voted for Donald Trump, they will have lost the respect of some folks in this country (like me), but they're not denied basic rights like women and black people have been all throughout American history.

This is why when people talk about how victimized Christians are, or how white people are suffering from "reverse racism," they sound like such dipshits. Having to accommodate non-Christians or non-white people is NOT the same thing as being oppressed by systemic racism or sexism your whole life.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #105 on: August 09, 2017, 09:01:54 AM »
I guess I just read it more as someone who sincerely wants to help than someone who hates women. I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise if you come with a different perspective.

But it doesn't really matter what his intent was. If I run you over with my car and it's an accident vs. intentional, it matters to the legal system but not to your actual body. Your body is just as broken regardless of my intent.

Same thing with this bozo at Google. Outside of the White House, sexism is usually not as blunt as "I hate women and girls." Much of it is wrapped up in subtly misogynistic ideas like respecting women's differences, wanting to protect women, and assuming women need help with various tasks which we may or may not need help with.

I agree with Scantee entirely. I also believe that there is literally no way to know what the biological differences are between men and women's cognition because there's so much cultural history mixed in and human brains are enormously plastic and molded by our environments and upbringing to an extent that most of us never even contemplate.

So, at this point, with the tools we have, it's not possible to separate them. The only fair position is to operate as though there are no widespread biological differences in cognitive ability, because we simply don't know.

Except he provided resources showing that it isn't as plastic as you make it out to be. Another person commenting with no actual sources disputing him out of hand rather than actually engaging with the ideas and finding a way to dispute him.

The problem is that the data he's talking about is based on population-level differences in distributions. This doesn't address native differences between men and women -- it addresses differences in the way men and women behave after they've already been acculturated to see women as less intelligent and trustworthy than men.

Actually men are seen as less trustworthy and inherently more likely to be a danger. More unsourced assertions abound.

There are sex differences as early as 6 months. I doubt the babies have been acculturated to see women as interested in systemizing and more towards the social.

Source:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766397/

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #106 on: August 09, 2017, 09:04:16 AM »
Speaking as a software engineer myself, I don't think I've once seen a fully-specified set of requirements for a project I've had to work on. I always have to make a few assumptions about things not explicitly listed in the requirements in order to write my code. If I'm lucky, either I or the person reviewing my code will recognize that I've made such an assumption, and will call that out to the PM types for clarification if the assumption seems at all likely to be contrary to the intended project deliverables. Even better is if the gaps in the requirements can be called out before I start typing any code into the computer. Diversity helps here. The more different eyes you can put on things before you go too far down a wrong path, the better.

Wrong again. In a big company, influencing product decisions is < 5% of the job of an engineer, I'd say even < 1%. If the company needs diversity of user viewpoints, they'll hire a diverse QA team (which they do), PM, UX designers, etc. They let engineers discuss products for their own motivation, but engineers have no say in the final product. Even if they hire a team of e.g. 100% Asian male engineers, the team will still perform well; in fact that's almost what happens in SV.

This pro-diversity argument is a big stretch motivated more by PC-ness than optimizing performance (which explains why it's not acted upon by big companies). The argument is very common though, everyone and their mom is parotting it.

And, it's because of folks with viewpoints like this that AIs are inheriting the sexist and racist biases of the non-diverse group of people who are creating them. It's not about PC-ness. It's about having people at the table with different points of view, so that different points of view can be accommodated in the product.

Except that a large part of his memo is saying google doesn't allow for different points of view. They want diversity of superficial factors, but the moment someone doesn't agree with their point of view they are out of the door.

The difference here is that a woman experiences being a female and all the fucked up sexist impacts of living in a patriarchal society her whole life. She can't escape from them. A black person experiences the fucked up racism of our society their whole life -- again, it's inescapable.

But a conservative has chosen their viewpoints. There's no "protected class" of conservative because conservatives are not systemically oppressed in our society. I mean, if someone voted for Donald Trump, they will have lost the respect of some folks in this country (like me), but they're not denied basic rights like women and black people have been all throughout American history.

This is why when people talk about how victimized Christians are, or how white people are suffering from "reverse racism," they sound like such dipshits. Having to accommodate non-Christians or non-white people is NOT the same thing as being oppressed by systemic racism or sexism your whole life.

Ah yeah, those muslims that say they are victimized, discriminated against for their beliefs are such dipshits. They could just change their chosen viewpoint. /s

Also which rights are women legally denied in the US today that men do have?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:26:55 AM by prognastat »

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #107 on: August 09, 2017, 09:09:34 AM »
https://sysbio.med.harvard.edu/

"Systems biology is the study of systems of biological components, which may be molecules, cells, organisms or entire species. Living systems are dynamic and complex, and their behavior may be hard to predict from the properties of individual parts. To study them, we use quantitative measurements of the behavior of groups of interacting components, systematic measurement technologies such as genomics, bioinformatics and proteomics, and mathematical and computational models to describe and predict dynamical behavior. Systems problems are emerging as central to all areas of biology and medicine."

That doesn't necessarily qualify him to comment on human behaviour.  This is clearly demonstrated by his use of the term "evolutionary psychology", a branch of research which is basically regarded as nonsense by actual evolutionary biologists.  For the most part, it's people trying to demonstrate that the mores of the era from the Paleolithic to the Idealized 1950s are genetically locked into our brains.  When you read that "science says beards are sexy" in some magazine?  That's evo psych.  It's not well respected, despite the media hype it gets.  Yet many of his opinions clearly have their roots in the latest "evo psych" output.

As an example, the fact that the gentleman who wrote the memo refers to evo psych, and then uses ideas like "giving women part time work because they care about work-life balance" shows that he's missing the point.  The social push for women to have "work-life balance", more so than men, is the *cause* of the problem.  We rarely ask a man how he balances work and a family, but we ask women all the time.  That's something our society does to women, and almost all societies have done to women.

Yet, mysteriously, sometime in the 1950s, the universal, biological fact that women couldn't do math, or couldn't handle the stress of being heart surgeons, went away.  But, before that, it was a universal fact across human cultures that -=mumble mumble hunting spatial awareness=- women couldn't handle numbers and three dimensional thinking.

I don't find his arguments compelling.  No more compelling than the exact same arguments made by radio talk show hosts in the 1980s.  No more compelling than the 18th and 19th century arguments that women were crazy and unreliable because their uteri wandered around their bodies and messed them up.

Toque.

How is he not qualified? From the description he is more qualified to speak on this than just about anyone here.

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #108 on: August 09, 2017, 09:10:31 AM »
Speaking as a software engineer myself, I don't think I've once seen a fully-specified set of requirements for a project I've had to work on. I always have to make a few assumptions about things not explicitly listed in the requirements in order to write my code. If I'm lucky, either I or the person reviewing my code will recognize that I've made such an assumption, and will call that out to the PM types for clarification if the assumption seems at all likely to be contrary to the intended project deliverables. Even better is if the gaps in the requirements can be called out before I start typing any code into the computer. Diversity helps here. The more different eyes you can put on things before you go too far down a wrong path, the better.

Wrong again. In a big company, influencing product decisions is < 5% of the job of an engineer, I'd say even < 1%. If the company needs diversity of user viewpoints, they'll hire a diverse QA team (which they do), PM, UX designers, etc. They let engineers discuss products for their own motivation, but engineers have no say in the final product. Even if they hire a team of e.g. 100% Asian male engineers, the team will still perform well; in fact that's almost what happens in SV.

This pro-diversity argument is a big stretch motivated more by PC-ness than optimizing performance (which explains why it's not acted upon by big companies). The argument is very common though, everyone and their mom is parotting it.

And, it's because of folks with viewpoints like this that AIs are inheriting the sexist and racist biases of the non-diverse group of people who are creating them. It's not about PC-ness. It's about having people at the table with different points of view, so that different points of view can be accommodated in the product.

Except that a large part of his memo is saying google doesn't allow for different points of view. They want diversity of superficial factors, but the moment someone doesn't agree with their point of view they are out of the door.

The difference here is that a woman experiences being a female and all the fucked up sexist impacts of living in a patriarchal society her whole life. She can't escape from them. A black person experiences the fucked up racism of our society their whole life -- again, it's inescapable.

But a conservative has chosen their viewpoints. There's no "protected class" of conservative because conservatives are not systemically oppressed in our society. I mean, if someone voted for Donald Trump, they will have lost the respect of some folks in this country (like me), but they're not denied basic rights like women and black people have been all throughout American history.

This is why when people talk about how victimized Christians are, or how white people are suffering from "reverse racism," they sound like such dipshits. Having to accommodate non-Christians or non-white people is NOT the same thing as being oppressed by systemic racism or sexism your whole life.

Ah yeah, those muslims that say they are victimized, discriminated against for their beliefs are such dipshits. They could just change their chosen viewpoint.

Also which rights are women legally denied in the US today that men do have?

Anti-Muslim sentiment in this country is more about racism and xenophobia than it is about the actual belief system. If you can't tell someone is a Muslim without looking at them, then there's no way of discriminating against them or not.

And if you think everything boils down to what's legal and what's not, this this clearly is too subtle a discussion for you to participate in usefully.

FrugalToque

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #109 on: August 09, 2017, 09:10:35 AM »

They come of as chauvinist and ridiculous yet no one here seems to be able to argue the actual research he has used as sources for his memo and instead choose to attack what his motives according to their psychic abilities. We all agree it is hilarious when instead of accepting the science on climate change many conservatives get rather emotional about the situation instead. Seems that many progressives feel the same way when their sacred cows are being slaughtered.

I'll also include a link to a version of the memo that hasn't conveniently been edited to exclude inconvenient things like sources:
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

Ugh.  They come off as chauvinist and ridiculous because his sources are weak.  Here's one of them:

http://quillette.com/2017/07/15/time-stop-worrying-first-world-gender-gaps/

Quote
However, between 2000 and 2015, 31 per cent of applicants for the jobs were from women. Based on these numbers it would be impossible to argue that sexist hiring practices are the cause of the gender imbalance in research chairs. Fewer women hold research chair positions because fewer women apply; itís that simple.

Come on.  That's not a source.  That's a ridiculous opinion piece that acts likes all of the a priori sexism in our society is irrelevant and that if women aren't already there, they don't deserve to be.

His evidence for this statement:
Quote
For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.
is this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068300/

All that link contains is an abstract for a study in which men (college-aged white men?) were injected with testosterone and had some interesting aggressive and non-aggressive behaviours because of it.  What does that have to do with the statement he's allegedly supporting - that there are biological origins for status in men and beauty in women?

There are similar studies for creating testosterone bumps in women that show that they start caring about status too, via reciprocation.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201401/testosterone-trust-and-social-status

His "War on Science" statement, indicating the left is anti-science, contains a link alleging that GMO opposition is from the left
https://www.city-journal.org/html/real-war-science-14782.html

However, when we actually look at polls, we find that anti-GMO and anti-vaccine sentiment is statistically even across the political spectrum:
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/left-science-gmo-vaccines/

Do we need to do this with every link he posts?  No, I think not.

Toque.

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #110 on: August 09, 2017, 09:13:12 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even a flighty and emotional woman)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.


madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #111 on: August 09, 2017, 09:16:28 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even women, who are often seen as flighty and emotional when they are expressing the same level of passion as men)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

FTFY

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #112 on: August 09, 2017, 09:18:12 AM »
I guess I just read it more as someone who sincerely wants to help than someone who hates women. I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise if you come with a different perspective.

But it doesn't really matter what his intent was. If I run you over with my car and it's an accident vs. intentional, it matters to the legal system but not to your actual body. Your body is just as broken regardless of my intent.

Same thing with this bozo at Google. Outside of the White House, sexism is usually not as blunt as "I hate women and girls." Much of it is wrapped up in subtly misogynistic ideas like respecting women's differences, wanting to protect women, and assuming women need help with various tasks which we may or may not need help with.

I agree with Scantee entirely. I also believe that there is literally no way to know what the biological differences are between men and women's cognition because there's so much cultural history mixed in and human brains are enormously plastic and molded by our environments and upbringing to an extent that most of us never even contemplate.

So, at this point, with the tools we have, it's not possible to separate them. The only fair position is to operate as though there are no widespread biological differences in cognitive ability, because we simply don't know.

Except he provided resources showing that it isn't as plastic as you make it out to be. Another person commenting with no actual sources disputing him out of hand rather than actually engaging with the ideas and finding a way to dispute him.

The problem is that the data he's talking about is based on population-level differences in distributions. This doesn't address native differences between men and women -- it addresses differences in the way men and women behave after they've already been acculturated to see women as less intelligent and trustworthy than men.

Actually men are seen as less trustworthy and inherently more likely to be a danger. More unsourced assertions abound.

There are sex differences as early as 6 months. I doubt the babies have been acculturated to see women as interested in systemizing and more towards the social.

Source:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766397/

Definitely makes sense to extrapolate about all human beings based on a study of fewer than 100 people, sure.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #113 on: August 09, 2017, 09:19:39 AM »

http://quillette.com/2017/07/15/time-stop-worrying-first-world-gender-gaps/

Quote
However, between 2000 and 2015, 31 per cent of applicants for the jobs were from women. Based on these numbers it would be impossible to argue that sexist hiring practices are the cause of the gender imbalance in research chairs. Fewer women hold research chair positions because fewer women apply; itís that simple.

Come on.  That's not a source.  That's a ridiculous opinion piece that acts likes all of the a priori sexism in our society is irrelevant and that if women aren't already there, they don't deserve to be.

His evidence for this statement:
Quote
For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.
is this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068300/

All that link contains is an abstract for a study in which men (college-aged white men?) were injected with testosterone and had some interesting aggressive and non-aggressive behaviours because of it.  What does that have to do with the statement he's allegedly supporting - that there are biological origins for status in men and beauty in women?

There are similar studies for creating testosterone bumps in women that show that they start caring about status too, via reciprocation.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201401/testosterone-trust-and-social-status

So you agree with him? Increased testosterone leads to increased status seeking behavior both in men and women leading to the logical conclusion that the gender naturally producing more testosterone is in general going to be the one displaying more status seeking behavior which is likely to lead to an imbalance between these two genders when it comes to high status achievement. Doesn't mean there aren't women that can't do it. But does mean that statistically they have a lower probability of it.


His "War on Science" statement, indicating the left is anti-science, contains a link alleging that GMO opposition is from the left
https://www.city-journal.org/html/real-war-science-14782.html

However, when we actually look at polls, we find that anti-GMO and anti-vaccine sentiment is statistically even across the political spectrum:
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/left-science-gmo-vaccines/

Do we need to do this with every link he posts?  No, I think not.

I would agree that anti-vaccine bias is pretty even across the political spectrum, but I wouldn't agree on the anti-GMO part. On the anti-GMO argument mother jones uses a survey with data predominantly gathered in 2006(a time where GMOs were barely a part of the wider political discussion), because that is supposedly relevant to the political positions on GMOs in 2017.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 09:32:20 AM by prognastat »

Wexler

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #114 on: August 09, 2017, 09:20:07 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even women, who are often seen as flighty and emotional when they are expressing the same level of passion as men)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

FTFY

+1 (I obviously needed a /s on that statement, especially in this thread)

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #115 on: August 09, 2017, 09:20:29 AM »
I guess I just read it more as someone who sincerely wants to help than someone who hates women. I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise if you come with a different perspective.

But it doesn't really matter what his intent was. If I run you over with my car and it's an accident vs. intentional, it matters to the legal system but not to your actual body. Your body is just as broken regardless of my intent.

Same thing with this bozo at Google. Outside of the White House, sexism is usually not as blunt as "I hate women and girls." Much of it is wrapped up in subtly misogynistic ideas like respecting women's differences, wanting to protect women, and assuming women need help with various tasks which we may or may not need help with.

I agree with Scantee entirely. I also believe that there is literally no way to know what the biological differences are between men and women's cognition because there's so much cultural history mixed in and human brains are enormously plastic and molded by our environments and upbringing to an extent that most of us never even contemplate.

So, at this point, with the tools we have, it's not possible to separate them. The only fair position is to operate as though there are no widespread biological differences in cognitive ability, because we simply don't know.

Except he provided resources showing that it isn't as plastic as you make it out to be. Another person commenting with no actual sources disputing him out of hand rather than actually engaging with the ideas and finding a way to dispute him.

The problem is that the data he's talking about is based on population-level differences in distributions. This doesn't address native differences between men and women -- it addresses differences in the way men and women behave after they've already been acculturated to see women as less intelligent and trustworthy than men.

Actually men are seen as less trustworthy and inherently more likely to be a danger. More unsourced assertions abound.

There are sex differences as early as 6 months. I doubt the babies have been acculturated to see women as interested in systemizing and more towards the social.

Source:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766397/

Definitely makes sense to extrapolate about all human beings based on a study of fewer than 100 people, sure.

Definitely makes sense to extrapolate from no data at all, sure.

J Boogie

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #116 on: August 09, 2017, 09:22:04 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even a flighty and emotional woman)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

Could be that he's interested in a career in punditry/writing/podcasting media type work.  If this stunt was meant to launch his transition, things went about as good as they could have for him.

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #117 on: August 09, 2017, 09:22:48 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even women, who are often seen as flighty and emotional when they are expressing the same level of passion as men)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

FTFY

+1 (I obviously needed a /s on that statement, especially in this thread)

I agree with your point, btw. Even if this dude were right -- which I am pretty sure he's not, in any way at all -- it's pretty stupid to have blown up his job about this.

Also, just personally, I am not inclined to give the opinions of very young and inexperienced men much weight when they are talking about shit they have not lived and clearly have not even discussed with people who HAVE lived it.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #118 on: August 09, 2017, 09:34:29 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even women, who are often seen as flighty and emotional when they are expressing the same level of passion as men)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

FTFY

+1 (I obviously needed a /s on that statement, especially in this thread)

I agree with your point, btw. Even if this dude were right -- which I am pretty sure he's not, in any way at all -- it's pretty stupid to have blown up his job about this.

Also, just personally, I am not inclined to give the opinions of very young and inexperienced men much weight when they are talking about shit they have not lived and clearly have not even discussed with people who HAVE lived it.

I tend to give young inexperienced man with a PhD and sources more weight than anecdote that aren't being backed up by statistics and research.

Wexler

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #119 on: August 09, 2017, 09:37:52 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even a flighty and emotional woman)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

Could be that he's interested in a career in punditry/writing/podcasting media type work.  If this stunt was meant to launch his transition, things went about as good as they could have for him.

It's got to be tempting, right?  There's so much money in right wing media, and it's the most loyal, rabid, and gullible audience on earth. Even more tempting, you can peddle bullshit about the president faking his birth certificate and maybe get elected president yourself. 

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #120 on: August 09, 2017, 09:42:24 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even women, who are often seen as flighty and emotional when they are expressing the same level of passion as men)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

FTFY

+1 (I obviously needed a /s on that statement, especially in this thread)

I agree with your point, btw. Even if this dude were right -- which I am pretty sure he's not, in any way at all -- it's pretty stupid to have blown up his job about this.

Also, just personally, I am not inclined to give the opinions of very young and inexperienced men much weight when they are talking about shit they have not lived and clearly have not even discussed with people who HAVE lived it.

I tend to give young inexperienced man with a PhD and sources more weight than anecdote that aren't being backed up by statistics and research.

FrugalToque has already pointed out that many/most/all of his "sources" are bullshit.

And unless that PhD is in gender studies or some other field that's relevant to the question at hand, why would it be relevant at all?

Social sciences and cultural studies often rely upon qualitative as well as quantitative analyses. This dude isn't equipped to handle the topics that he's popping off about. Maybe if he had talked to some actual women at some point, he'd have a better understanding.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #121 on: August 09, 2017, 09:46:05 AM »
Can you imagine being 23 years old and realizing that the CEO of the big deal company you work for had to cut short his family vacation to come back and address your fuckup?  Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with any of the points he made, I think his judgment is pretty piss poor.  Every rational person in the workplace (even women, who are often seen as flighty and emotional when they are expressing the same level of passion as men)  has to learn how to pick their battles and not express every stray thought, particularly not in a way that this guy did.   Everyone knows an asshole client or boss, and even if you'd be 1000% correct in pointing out their various flaws and the ways they have fucked various things up, it's still a stupid thing to do and would create more chaos than it's worth.  That's maturity-and it's a pretty damn good metric for evaluating employees in any discipline. If you had a choice between a coder who is a 9.3 and a 9, but the 9.3 is going to rain down shit on your company's reputation because he's too whatever (arrogant? clueless?) to think through consequences, then the choice is clear.  Particularly for a company like Google that, in reality, has its pick of an abundance of 9.3 coders.

The MMM lesson is: make sure you have FU money before you post an anonymous screed on your company share site.

FTFY

+1 (I obviously needed a /s on that statement, especially in this thread)

I agree with your point, btw. Even if this dude were right -- which I am pretty sure he's not, in any way at all -- it's pretty stupid to have blown up his job about this.

Also, just personally, I am not inclined to give the opinions of very young and inexperienced men much weight when they are talking about shit they have not lived and clearly have not even discussed with people who HAVE lived it.

I tend to give young inexperienced man with a PhD and sources more weight than anecdote that aren't being backed up by statistics and research.

FrugalToque has already pointed out that many/most/all of his "sources" are bullshit.

And unless that PhD is in gender studies or some other field that's relevant to the question at hand, why would it be relevant at all?

Social sciences and cultural studies often rely upon qualitative as well as quantitative analyses. This dude isn't equipped to handle the topics that he's popping off about. Maybe if he had talked to some actual women at some point, he'd have a better understanding.

Actually he has yet to succeed at showing any of his "sources" are bullshit. The most I will grant him is that the idea that anti-vaccine is a predominantly left leaning belief is incorrect.

His PhD is in systems biology and actually does look at biological systems all the way up to the species level. I think you aren't equipped to handle the topics since you have asserted one thing after another without backing any of it up not actually discrediting any of his sources.

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #122 on: August 09, 2017, 09:46:36 AM »
Except that a large part of his memo is saying google doesn't allow for different points of view. They want diversity of superficial factors, but the moment someone doesn't agree with their point of view they are out of the door.

So, women and men are inherently biologically different in vastly greater ways than any of us are giving credit for, but when that goes against your arguments suddenly it's a "superficial factor" to diversity? Dude, get your arguments straight. You're all over the place.

Also, why is a lack of status seeking seen as a bad thing by you? Women are socialized (and, in your worldview, biologically programmed) to seek a greater consensus and accommodation. That's a good thing, in life and in business. Status seeking leads to all kinds of shitty people and behaviors (think of celebrities who've tried to show off how great they are and just come away looking like assholes), so why would companies value that more than they would the "female" traits of sharing and corroboration? Why on earth would testosterone's status-seeking boost make men any better or more suited to being engineers than women are? If the point is to design and create a product that's beneficial and useful (and thus, bought) by the most number of people, having women in places where they can influence that, all along the design spectrum, can only be a good thing.

You're still not making any valid points as to why this author is right. I can also say that, as a working woman, he made not one point that would make working at Google, or any other company, seem better to me. Not one. So your argument that he's trying to be more accommodating to his female coworkers, not patronizing, is quite false.

See also: the responses of every other woman in this thread. None of them support your position, and for good reason. Do you not realize what group you're talking to? These forums skew very heavily toward tech workers (as evidenced by several polls people have created) and, I would venture a guess, to very smart and driven people. That goes for the women as well as the men. So maybe arguing this point in here is a little silly? You're insulting quite a few women in tech who are, I'm sorry to say, at least as smart as you are and clearly understand the world of business better than you do.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #123 on: August 09, 2017, 09:50:51 AM »
Except that a large part of his memo is saying google doesn't allow for different points of view. They want diversity of superficial factors, but the moment someone doesn't agree with their point of view they are out of the door.

So, women and men are inherently biologically different in vastly greater ways than any of us are giving credit for, but when that goes against your arguments suddenly it's a "superficial factor" to diversity? Dude, get your arguments straight. You're all over the place.

Also, why is a lack of status seeking seen as a bad thing by you? Women are socialized (and, in your worldview, biologically programmed) to seek a greater consensus and accommodation. That's a good thing, in life and in business. Status seeking leads to all kinds of shitty people and behaviors (think of celebrities who've tried to show off how great they are and just come away looking like assholes), so why would companies value that more than they would the "female" traits of sharing and corroboration? Why on earth would testosterone's status-seeking boost make men any better or more suited to being engineers than women are? If the point is to design and create a product that's beneficial and useful (and thus, bought) by the most number of people, having women in places where they can influence that, all along the design spectrum, can only be a good thing.

You're still not making any valid points as to why this author is right. I can also say that, as a working woman, he made not one point that would make working at Google, or any other company, seem better to me. Not one. So your argument that he's trying to be more accommodating to his female coworkers, not patronizing, is quite false.

See also: the responses of every other woman in this thread. None of them support your position, and for good reason. Do you not realize what group you're talking to? These forums skew very heavily toward tech workers (as evidenced by several polls people have created) and, I would venture a guess, to very smart and driven people. That goes for the women as well as the men. So maybe arguing this point in here is a little silly? You're insulting quite a few women in tech who are, I'm sorry to say, at least as smart as you are and clearly understand the world of business better than you do.

This shows your lack of a grasp on what he is talking about when I say it is a superficial factor there I am talking on an individual level of analysis. When I am talking about the difference it is when generalized across a population. He actually addresses this in the memo and I have brought this up before:

Except that he heavily qualifies his critique in the memo:
"Note, Iím not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these
differences are ďjust.Ē Iím 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 donít see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences
are small and thereís significant overlap between men and women, so you canít say anything
about an individual given these population level distributions."

So there isn't an indication he would judge women any women with a negative bias.

Also nice job straw manning both me and the memos position on this. It isn't saying less status seeking behavior is bad. You are inferring this and it more likely shows a bias in your mind set. However it can explain why we see a difference in outcomes when generalized across the population.

It doesn't say it is better, it means that if a job is high status like software engineers at google. Men are more likely to strive to achieve this position due to the higher level of status seeking.

Also you mention you may not be representative of the wider population, yet argue that you don't feel his suggestions would make it more appealing to you. Now who is in need of getting their arguments straight?

At no point does the memo writer or I say that women aren't capable of being in these positions or that they shouldn't be. It's the difference between explaining something and prescribing something. The memo writer isn't asserting that google shouldn't get women to join, but that he feels google is going about it the wrong way.

If you are insulted by these points I have to question whether the points are touching on some source of insecurity.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 09:59:05 AM by prognastat »

FINate

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #124 on: August 09, 2017, 09:59:42 AM »
2.  Stop alienating conservatives.
I see.  I think this is the real "problem" from his point of view.  Unfortunately, I've been around since the 80s, when Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazi" and people complained about "reverse sexism".  The language hasn't really changed, and the arguments are no better now than they were then.  (And I think we all agree women were treated poorly then?  And that nay-sayers back then were also blaming either genetics or women's choices?)
What really bothers him is that his "conservative" viewpoints aren't given the privilege they get in other spaces, or other times.

That's a bit much. As someone who is center-right and attended an extremely liberal university I can say that the left can indeed alienate people with its intolerance. The problem is when they truncate substantive discussion and demand ideological purity. I personally experienced this many times over will comments such as "how stupid can you be to vote for X?" - a conversation stopper - rather than asking questions to understand another person's POV. Another example of this are the recent demonstrations to prevent certain people from giving talks on campus. I don't necessarily agree with these speakers but it indicates something is very wrong in our universities if people are so afraid of hearing controversial ideas.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #125 on: August 09, 2017, 10:10:13 AM »
2.  Stop alienating conservatives.
I see.  I think this is the real "problem" from his point of view.  Unfortunately, I've been around since the 80s, when Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazi" and people complained about "reverse sexism".  The language hasn't really changed, and the arguments are no better now than they were then.  (And I think we all agree women were treated poorly then?  And that nay-sayers back then were also blaming either genetics or women's choices?)
What really bothers him is that his "conservative" viewpoints aren't given the privilege they get in other spaces, or other times.

That's a bit much. As someone who is center-right and attended an extremely liberal university I can say that the left can indeed alienate people with its intolerance. The problem is when they truncate substantive discussion and demand ideological purity. I personally experienced this many times over will comments such as "how stupid can you be to vote for X?" - a conversation stopper - rather than asking questions to understand another person's POV. Another example of this are the recent demonstrations to prevent certain people from giving talks on campus. I don't necessarily agree with these speakers but it indicates something is very wrong in our universities if people are so afraid of hearing controversial ideas.

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #126 on: August 09, 2017, 10:24:44 AM »
2.  Stop alienating conservatives.
I see.  I think this is the real "problem" from his point of view.  Unfortunately, I've been around since the 80s, when Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazi" and people complained about "reverse sexism".  The language hasn't really changed, and the arguments are no better now than they were then.  (And I think we all agree women were treated poorly then?  And that nay-sayers back then were also blaming either genetics or women's choices?)
What really bothers him is that his "conservative" viewpoints aren't given the privilege they get in other spaces, or other times.

That's a bit much. As someone who is center-right and attended an extremely liberal university I can say that the left can indeed alienate people with its intolerance. The problem is when they truncate substantive discussion and demand ideological purity. I personally experienced this many times over will comments such as "how stupid can you be to vote for X?" - a conversation stopper - rather than asking questions to understand another person's POV. Another example of this are the recent demonstrations to prevent certain people from giving talks on campus. I don't necessarily agree with these speakers but it indicates something is very wrong in our universities if people are so afraid of hearing controversial ideas.

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 10:26:39 AM by madgeylou »

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #127 on: August 09, 2017, 10:39:18 AM »
2.  Stop alienating conservatives.
I see.  I think this is the real "problem" from his point of view.  Unfortunately, I've been around since the 80s, when Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazi" and people complained about "reverse sexism".  The language hasn't really changed, and the arguments are no better now than they were then.  (And I think we all agree women were treated poorly then?  And that nay-sayers back then were also blaming either genetics or women's choices?)
What really bothers him is that his "conservative" viewpoints aren't given the privilege they get in other spaces, or other times.

That's a bit much. As someone who is center-right and attended an extremely liberal university I can say that the left can indeed alienate people with its intolerance. The problem is when they truncate substantive discussion and demand ideological purity. I personally experienced this many times over will comments such as "how stupid can you be to vote for X?" - a conversation stopper - rather than asking questions to understand another person's POV. Another example of this are the recent demonstrations to prevent certain people from giving talks on campus. I don't necessarily agree with these speakers but it indicates something is very wrong in our universities if people are so afraid of hearing controversial ideas.

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?

When people use accusations of moral deficit rather than argue the actual points brought up how could that not be seen as an intellectual failing?

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #128 on: August 09, 2017, 10:42:45 AM »
I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended.
...
But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.
When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?
Are you claiming the Google memo writer is misogynistic and racist?

FINate

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #129 on: August 09, 2017, 10:46:12 AM »
2.  Stop alienating conservatives.
I see.  I think this is the real "problem" from his point of view.  Unfortunately, I've been around since the 80s, when Rush Limbaugh coined the term "feminazi" and people complained about "reverse sexism".  The language hasn't really changed, and the arguments are no better now than they were then.  (And I think we all agree women were treated poorly then?  And that nay-sayers back then were also blaming either genetics or women's choices?)
What really bothers him is that his "conservative" viewpoints aren't given the privilege they get in other spaces, or other times.

That's a bit much. As someone who is center-right and attended an extremely liberal university I can say that the left can indeed alienate people with its intolerance. The problem is when they truncate substantive discussion and demand ideological purity. I personally experienced this many times over will comments such as "how stupid can you be to vote for X?" - a conversation stopper - rather than asking questions to understand another person's POV. Another example of this are the recent demonstrations to prevent certain people from giving talks on campus. I don't necessarily agree with these speakers but it indicates something is very wrong in our universities if people are so afraid of hearing controversial ideas.

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?

The real question is what do you do with that perceived moral failing?

Too often this means people get dismissed out of hand. They are bad, so we don't want to hear them speak, they are to be marginalized and silenced ("alienated"). This prevents dialog and increases polarization and actually increases the power of their message, since it provides publicity and people naturally wonder what they have to say that's so dangerous.

Let them speak. Get to know people who have different POVs. Ask sincere questions to understand why they believe what they do. Build empathy even if you don't agree with them. Even if no opinions are changed you'll have a better understanding of the "other side."

gerardc

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #130 on: August 09, 2017, 10:46:42 AM »
Wrong again. In a big company, influencing product decisions is < 5% of the job of an engineer, I'd say even < 1%. If the company needs diversity of user viewpoints, they'll hire a diverse QA team (which they do), PM, UX designers, etc. They let engineers discuss products for their own motivation, but engineers have no say in the final product. Even if they hire a team of e.g. 100% Asian male engineers, the team will still perform well; in fact that's almost what happens in SV.

This pro-diversity argument is a big stretch motivated more by PC-ness than optimizing performance (which explains why it's not acted upon by big companies). The argument is very common though, everyone and their mom is parotting it.

And, it's because of folks with viewpoints like this that AIs are inheriting the sexist and racist biases of the non-diverse group of people who are creating them. It's not about PC-ness. It's about having people at the table with different points of view, so that different points of view can be accommodated in the product.

Hahaha, you're a joke, you don't know what you're talking about. AI doesn't show racism because researchers are biased, it shows racism because that's what naturally follows from the data to get the highest predicitive accuracy. I work with a team in a big tech company dedicated specifically to understanding bias in machine learning, let's just say that bias is in the data, and it's very difficult to eliminate bias without sacrificing performance of the model. Heck, it's even hard to define bias in that framework in the first place, and playing with that data in the long run just shows you how full of shit and PC people like you are.

FrugalToque

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #131 on: August 09, 2017, 10:48:18 AM »
https://sysbio.med.harvard.edu/

"Systems biology is the study of systems of biological components, which may be molecules, cells, organisms or entire species. Living systems are dynamic and complex, and their behavior may be hard to predict from the properties of individual parts. To study them, we use quantitative measurements of the behavior of groups of interacting components, systematic measurement technologies such as genomics, bioinformatics and proteomics, and mathematical and computational models to describe and predict dynamical behavior. Systems problems are emerging as central to all areas of biology and medicine."

That doesn't necessarily qualify him to comment on human behaviour.  This is clearly demonstrated by his use of the term "evolutionary psychology", a branch of research which is basically regarded as nonsense by actual evolutionary biologists.  For the most part, it's people trying to demonstrate that the mores of the era from the Paleolithic to the Idealized 1950s are genetically locked into our brains.  When you read that "science says beards are sexy" in some magazine?  That's evo psych.  It's not well respected, despite the media hype it gets.  Yet many of his opinions clearly have their roots in the latest "evo psych" output.

As an example, the fact that the gentleman who wrote the memo refers to evo psych, and then uses ideas like "giving women part time work because they care about work-life balance" shows that he's missing the point.  The social push for women to have "work-life balance", more so than men, is the *cause* of the problem.  We rarely ask a man how he balances work and a family, but we ask women all the time.  That's something our society does to women, and almost all societies have done to women.

Yet, mysteriously, sometime in the 1950s, the universal, biological fact that women couldn't do math, or couldn't handle the stress of being heart surgeons, went away.  But, before that, it was a universal fact across human cultures that -=mumble mumble hunting spatial awareness=- women couldn't handle numbers and three dimensional thinking.

I don't find his arguments compelling.  No more compelling than the exact same arguments made by radio talk show hosts in the 1980s.  No more compelling than the 18th and 19th century arguments that women were crazy and unreliable because their uteri wandered around their bodies and messed them up.

Toque.

How is he not qualified? From the description he is more qualified to speak on this than just about anyone here.

This is an error in attribution, so I will clarify, even if only to repeat what I wrote:

1.  The definition of systems biology tells us that he is not necessarily qualified to comment on human behaviour. 
Not necessarily.  Those were my words.
His work may have been at any "system" level and may not be applicable to understanding humans beings.

2.  His acceptance of "evolutionary psychology" in the phrase:
"Theyíre exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective"
indicates that he is not qualified to comment on human behaviour.  Evo psych is fairly random field involving a lot of pop psych mixed with 1950s mores and a few good studies.
You can tell by the things he's attributing that he's taking the worst of the field.
"Women are more interested in people than things"
"Women are more cooperative"
"Women look for more work-life balance"

I mean, if men were the hunters, wouldn't they be better at cooperating while out on the hunt?  While the women were at home, competing to see who could collect the most berries? (Or whatever the current evo psych fad is.)  If we were having this discussion 15 years ago, it would be about how male workplaces have better cooperation because we're the hunters, and women are always bickering with each other because something-mumble-something-caveman.

Toque.

retiringearly

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #132 on: August 09, 2017, 10:56:38 AM »

So the question is, has the liberal diversity/feminism rhetoric gone too far (or do a significant amount of people think it has), and if so, how does a big company respond to it?

For the first question - I think a significant portion of the US population thinks the liberal diversity rhetoric has gone too far.  That is part of the reason Donald Trump was elected.

For the second question, I think companies have to play along with the diversity initiative whether they believe in it or not.   It is far too easy to be labelled as "racist" in today's society.  Companies don't need that headache.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #133 on: August 09, 2017, 10:59:42 AM »
https://sysbio.med.harvard.edu/

"Systems biology is the study of systems of biological components, which may be molecules, cells, organisms or entire species. Living systems are dynamic and complex, and their behavior may be hard to predict from the properties of individual parts. To study them, we use quantitative measurements of the behavior of groups of interacting components, systematic measurement technologies such as genomics, bioinformatics and proteomics, and mathematical and computational models to describe and predict dynamical behavior. Systems problems are emerging as central to all areas of biology and medicine."

That doesn't necessarily qualify him to comment on human behaviour.  This is clearly demonstrated by his use of the term "evolutionary psychology", a branch of research which is basically regarded as nonsense by actual evolutionary biologists.  For the most part, it's people trying to demonstrate that the mores of the era from the Paleolithic to the Idealized 1950s are genetically locked into our brains.  When you read that "science says beards are sexy" in some magazine?  That's evo psych.  It's not well respected, despite the media hype it gets.  Yet many of his opinions clearly have their roots in the latest "evo psych" output.

As an example, the fact that the gentleman who wrote the memo refers to evo psych, and then uses ideas like "giving women part time work because they care about work-life balance" shows that he's missing the point.  The social push for women to have "work-life balance", more so than men, is the *cause* of the problem.  We rarely ask a man how he balances work and a family, but we ask women all the time.  That's something our society does to women, and almost all societies have done to women.

Yet, mysteriously, sometime in the 1950s, the universal, biological fact that women couldn't do math, or couldn't handle the stress of being heart surgeons, went away.  But, before that, it was a universal fact across human cultures that -=mumble mumble hunting spatial awareness=- women couldn't handle numbers and three dimensional thinking.

I don't find his arguments compelling.  No more compelling than the exact same arguments made by radio talk show hosts in the 1980s.  No more compelling than the 18th and 19th century arguments that women were crazy and unreliable because their uteri wandered around their bodies and messed them up.

Toque.

How is he not qualified? From the description he is more qualified to speak on this than just about anyone here.

This is an error in attribution, so I will clarify, even if only to repeat what I wrote:

1.  The definition of systems biology tells us that he is not necessarily qualified to comment on human behaviour. 
Not necessarily.  Those were my words.
His work may have been at any "system" level and may not be applicable to understanding humans beings.

2.  His acceptance of "evolutionary psychology" in the phrase:
"Theyíre exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective"
indicates that he is not qualified to comment on human behaviour.  Evo psych is fairly random field involving a lot of pop psych mixed with 1950s mores and a few good studies.
You can tell by the things he's attributing that he's taking the worst of the field.
"Women are more interested in people than things"
"Women are more cooperative"
"Women look for more work-life balance"

I mean, if men were the hunters, wouldn't they be better at cooperating while out on the hunt?  While the women were at home, competing to see who could collect the most berries? (Or whatever the current evo psych fad is.)  If we were having this discussion 15 years ago, it would be about how male workplaces have better cooperation because we're the hunters, and women are always bickering with each other because something-mumble-something-caveman.

Toque.

I would say even if he didn't specialize in the species level systems, which is simply an assumption on your part, they would still be covering the basics of the field for everyone regardless of specialization and have been exposed to others that were partaking in that specialization making him more qualified than the vast majority that have either no degree or a completely unrelated degree.

You are again putting words in everyones mouths and trying to read some magical subtext about what people "really" believe. At the same time you are making assertions you aren't backing up. You say you can read between the lines and that he is taking the worst of field without proof that the things you believe he is taking are wrong or that those are actually the things he is taking from.

Any contribution you might have made to the discussion has been wasted by your clear bias in trying to discredit any notion that anything said in the memo might be true rather than genuinely engaging with it. Your mocking demeanor with your "mumble" comments belies your willingness to engage with any form of sincerity. I'm going to start ignoring your responses if they continue to be speculation about the authors thoughts/motivations rather than actually arguing his points.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:05:14 AM by prognastat »

FrugalToque

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #134 on: August 09, 2017, 11:11:22 AM »
https://sysbio.med.harvard.edu/

"Systems biology is the study of systems of biological components, which may be molecules, cells, organisms or entire species. Living systems are dynamic and complex, and their behavior may be hard to predict from the properties of individual parts. To study them, we use quantitative measurements of the behavior of groups of interacting components, systematic measurement technologies such as genomics, bioinformatics and proteomics, and mathematical and computational models to describe and predict dynamical behavior. Systems problems are emerging as central to all areas of biology and medicine."

That doesn't necessarily qualify him to comment on human behaviour.  This is clearly demonstrated by his use of the term "evolutionary psychology", a branch of research which is basically regarded as nonsense by actual evolutionary biologists.  For the most part, it's people trying to demonstrate that the mores of the era from the Paleolithic to the Idealized 1950s are genetically locked into our brains.  When you read that "science says beards are sexy" in some magazine?  That's evo psych.  It's not well respected, despite the media hype it gets.  Yet many of his opinions clearly have their roots in the latest "evo psych" output.

As an example, the fact that the gentleman who wrote the memo refers to evo psych, and then uses ideas like "giving women part time work because they care about work-life balance" shows that he's missing the point.  The social push for women to have "work-life balance", more so than men, is the *cause* of the problem.  We rarely ask a man how he balances work and a family, but we ask women all the time.  That's something our society does to women, and almost all societies have done to women.

Yet, mysteriously, sometime in the 1950s, the universal, biological fact that women couldn't do math, or couldn't handle the stress of being heart surgeons, went away.  But, before that, it was a universal fact across human cultures that -=mumble mumble hunting spatial awareness=- women couldn't handle numbers and three dimensional thinking.

I don't find his arguments compelling.  No more compelling than the exact same arguments made by radio talk show hosts in the 1980s.  No more compelling than the 18th and 19th century arguments that women were crazy and unreliable because their uteri wandered around their bodies and messed them up.

Toque.

How is he not qualified? From the description he is more qualified to speak on this than just about anyone here.

This is an error in attribution, so I will clarify, even if only to repeat what I wrote:

1.  The definition of systems biology tells us that he is not necessarily qualified to comment on human behaviour. 
Not necessarily.  Those were my words.
His work may have been at any "system" level and may not be applicable to understanding humans beings.

2.  His acceptance of "evolutionary psychology" in the phrase:
"Theyíre exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective"
indicates that he is not qualified to comment on human behaviour.  Evo psych is fairly random field involving a lot of pop psych mixed with 1950s mores and a few good studies.
You can tell by the things he's attributing that he's taking the worst of the field.
"Women are more interested in people than things"
"Women are more cooperative"
"Women look for more work-life balance"

I mean, if men were the hunters, wouldn't they be better at cooperating while out on the hunt?  While the women were at home, competing to see who could collect the most berries? (Or whatever the current evo psych fad is.)  If we were having this discussion 15 years ago, it would be about how male workplaces have better cooperation because we're the hunters, and women are always bickering with each other because something-mumble-something-caveman.

Toque.

I would say even if he didn't specialize in the species level systems, which is simply an assumption on your part, they would still be covering the basics of the field for everyone regardless of specialization and have been exposed to others that were partaking in that specialization making him more qualified than the vast majority that have either no degree or a completely unrelated degree.

You are again putting words in everyones mouths and trying to read some magical subtext about what people "really" believe. At the same time you are making assertions you aren't backing up. You say you can read between the lines and that he is taking the worst of field without proof that the things you believe he is taking are wrong or that those are actually the things he is taking from.

Any contribution you might have made to the discussion has been wasted by your clear bias in trying to discredit any notion that anything said in the memo might be true rather than genuinely engaging with it. Your mocking demeanor with your "mumble" comments belies your willingness to engage with any form of sincerity. I'm going to start ignoring your responses if they continue to be speculation about the authors thoughts/motivations rather than actually arguing his points.

What are you talking about?

I argued his points.

I demonstrated that his links don't actually go with his comments.  He links to opinions pieces and one unrelated study involving testosterone when he was trying to make a point that "men are biologically wired for status, women for beauty."  The linked study didn't even mention women OR beauty.

Second, there was no "assumption on my part" that his degree was irrelevant.  Again, I will remind you of what I said.  His degree is "not necessarily" relevant.

Did you get that this time?  Do I need to put "not necessarily" in all caps?

What gives him the lie is that he's using current beliefs, of certain people, about how life was in the era of "Paleolithic through 1950" to decide what women are genetically like today.  This is not valid.  If you feel that women are genetically unsuited to being competitive, or that men are less suited for cooperation than women, please post whichever link of his you think is appropriate to support this thesis.  I can't find it in any of the links he posted.

It is not sufficient to say "he posted some links" and expect all of us to go through all of the nonsense, opinion pieces and irrelevant "supporting evidence" to find out what you're talking about.

Toque.

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #135 on: August 09, 2017, 11:23:25 AM »
Wrong again. In a big company, influencing product decisions is < 5% of the job of an engineer, I'd say even < 1%. If the company needs diversity of user viewpoints, they'll hire a diverse QA team (which they do), PM, UX designers, etc. They let engineers discuss products for their own motivation, but engineers have no say in the final product. Even if they hire a team of e.g. 100% Asian male engineers, the team will still perform well; in fact that's almost what happens in SV.

This pro-diversity argument is a big stretch motivated more by PC-ness than optimizing performance (which explains why it's not acted upon by big companies). The argument is very common though, everyone and their mom is parotting it.

And, it's because of folks with viewpoints like this that AIs are inheriting the sexist and racist biases of the non-diverse group of people who are creating them. It's not about PC-ness. It's about having people at the table with different points of view, so that different points of view can be accommodated in the product.

Hahaha, you're a joke, you don't know what you're talking about. AI doesn't show racism because researchers are biased, it shows racism because that's what naturally follows from the data to get the highest predicitive accuracy. I work with a team in a big tech company dedicated specifically to understanding bias in machine learning, let's just say that bias is in the data, and it's very difficult to eliminate bias without sacrificing performance of the model. Heck, it's even hard to define bias in that framework in the first place, and playing with that data in the long run just shows you how full of shit and PC people like you are.

There are so many unexamined assumptions in this that I hardly know where to begin.

"Bias is in the data" has been used as a justification for oppression throughout history. I suggest reading through some beginners' texts on the topic of unconscious bias -- clearly it's a topic you have no understanding of.

Tass

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #136 on: August 09, 2017, 11:33:26 AM »

There are sex differences as early as 6 months. I doubt the babies have been acculturated to see women as interested in systemizing and more towards the social.

Source:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766397/

That's a pretty dramatic assumption, since we know that (a) treatment of infants in the first months of their lives dramatically affects their brain development (how often they're touched, how much they're spoken to, etc), and (b) that adults speak to and handle male and female infants differently.

In studies about babies preferring certain kinds of toys, it's not very hard to imagine that female infants are more often surrounded by dolls and male infants are more often surrounded by trains, and that babies prefer the toys that are familiar. But if you read beyond the first sentence of the abstract you linked, you discover that it argues: "These results challenge claims of an innate basis for sex-related preferences for toy and real stimuli preferences and suggest that sex-related preferences result from maturational and social development, which continues into adulthood."

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #137 on: August 09, 2017, 11:34:38 AM »
Quote from: FINate

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?

The real question is what do you do with that perceived moral failing?

Too often this means people get dismissed out of hand. They are bad, so we don't want to hear them speak, they are to be marginalized and silenced ("alienated"). This prevents dialog and increases polarization and actually increases the power of their message, since it provides publicity and people naturally wonder what they have to say that's so dangerous.

Let them speak. Get to know people who have different POVs. Ask sincere questions to understand why they believe what they do. Build empathy even if you don't agree with them. Even if no opinions are changed you'll have a better understanding of the "other side."

I know plenty of Trump supporters and even if I didn't, the media has been obsessed with talking about them and what they are upset about ever since the election. Why? Because they are mostly white dudes, so of course it must be really important to hear from them, right?

Not for me. I've heard enough. I'm much more interested in hearing from voices who haven't been the dominant ones all throughout our history. Why isn't anyone doing profiles of the millions more people who voted for HRC? Oh, because they are not white dudes, by and large, so why would that be interesting to anyone? /s

And, you know, the disagreement here is not just some intellectual exercise. I don't feel the need to empathize with people who espouse openly hateful views and who openly seek to restrict possibilities for people who aren't exactly like them.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that Trump people deserve healthcare and clean water and everything else I want for me and the people I love. I'm just never going to be interested in what they have to say, because I've heard it my entire fucking life already. What they have to say is the default position of our culture -- women's bodies are public property and black people's lives don't matter. No one is confused about it!

All that being said, this is off topic so I'll stop here.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:43:24 AM by madgeylou »

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #138 on: August 09, 2017, 11:38:24 AM »
Quote

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?

The real question is what do you do with that perceived moral failing?

Too often this means people get dismissed out of hand. They are bad, so we don't want to hear them speak, they are to be marginalized and silenced ("alienated"). This prevents dialog and increases polarization and actually increases the power of their message, since it provides publicity and people naturally wonder what they have to say that's so dangerous.

Let them speak. Get to know people who have different POVs. Ask sincere questions to understand why they believe what they do. Build empathy even if you don't agree with them. Even if no opinions are changed you'll have a better understanding of the "other side."

I know plenty of Trump supporters and even if I didn't, the media has been obsessed with talking about them and what they are upset about ever since the election. Why? Because they are mostly white dudes, so of course it must be really important to hear from them, right?

Not for me. I've heard enough. I'm much more interested in hearing from voices who haven't been the dominant ones all throughout our history. Why isn't anyone doing profiles of the millions more people who voted for HRC? Oh, because they are not white dudes, by and large, so why would that be interesting to anyone? /s

And, you know, the disagreement here is not just some intellectual exercise. I don't feel the need to empathize with people who espouse openly hateful views and who openly seek to restrict possibilities for people who aren't exactly like them.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that Trump people deserve healthcare and clean water and everything else I want for me and the people I love. I'm just never going to be interested in what they have to say, because I've heard it my entire fucking life already. What they have to say is the default position of our culture -- women's bodies are public property and black people's lives don't matter. No one is confused about it!

All that being said, this is off topic so I'll stop here.

lol no response required.

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #139 on: August 09, 2017, 11:48:27 AM »

So the question is, has the liberal diversity/feminism rhetoric gone too far (or do a significant amount of people think it has), and if so, how does a big company respond to it?

For the first question - I think a significant portion of the US population thinks the liberal diversity rhetoric has gone too far.  That is part of the reason Donald Trump was elected.

For the second question, I think companies have to play along with the diversity initiative whether they believe in it or not.   It is far too easy to be labelled as "racist" in today's society.  Companies don't need that headache.

See, I think the reason old Donald got elected is because most white people would rather live in a totalitarian society than have to share with black people or be led by a woman. The liberal rhetoric is not the problem. The defensiveness that privileged people experience when having their unconscious biases pointed out to them is the problem.

madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #140 on: August 09, 2017, 11:49:23 AM »
I guess I just read it more as someone who sincerely wants to help than someone who hates women. I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise if you come with a different perspective.

But it doesn't really matter what his intent was. If I run you over with my car and it's an accident vs. intentional, it matters to the legal system but not to your actual body. Your body is just as broken regardless of my intent.

Same thing with this bozo at Google. Outside of the White House, sexism is usually not as blunt as "I hate women and girls." Much of it is wrapped up in subtly misogynistic ideas like respecting women's differences, wanting to protect women, and assuming women need help with various tasks which we may or may not need help with.

I agree with Scantee entirely. I also believe that there is literally no way to know what the biological differences are between men and women's cognition because there's so much cultural history mixed in and human brains are enormously plastic and molded by our environments and upbringing to an extent that most of us never even contemplate.

So, at this point, with the tools we have, it's not possible to separate them. The only fair position is to operate as though there are no widespread biological differences in cognitive ability, because we simply don't know.

Except he provided resources showing that it isn't as plastic as you make it out to be. Another person commenting with no actual sources disputing him out of hand rather than actually engaging with the ideas and finding a way to dispute him.

The problem is that the data he's talking about is based on population-level differences in distributions. This doesn't address native differences between men and women -- it addresses differences in the way men and women behave after they've already been acculturated to see women as less intelligent and trustworthy than men.

Actually men are seen as less trustworthy and inherently more likely to be a danger. More unsourced assertions abound.

^^ unsourced assertion alert ^^

J Boogie

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #141 on: August 09, 2017, 12:01:41 PM »
Not for me. I've heard enough. I'm much more interested in hearing from voices who haven't been the dominant ones all throughout our history. Why isn't anyone doing profiles of the millions more people who voted for HRC? Oh, because they are not white dudes, by and large, so why would that be interesting to anyone? /s

People aren't doing many interviews with HRC voters because she lost the election.  How many interviews were there with McCain supporters in 08 and 09? Wouldn't have been very interesting to anyone, because he lost too.  08 was all about Obama ushering in a new era, so we wanted to hear from people who sought to bring about this new era.  Why would we want to hear from people who wanted to continue the status quo? That's basically the opposite of newsworthy. 


I don't mean to pick on you, but this knee-jerk reaction to see racism where it doesn't exist seems to fit a pattern on the left.  Kind of like the right and how they see always attacks on Christianity, regardless of how slight or constitutional.  No matter which side, it erodes credibility and distracts from what otherwise might be compelling arguments.


madgeylou

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #142 on: August 09, 2017, 12:13:05 PM »
Not for me. I've heard enough. I'm much more interested in hearing from voices who haven't been the dominant ones all throughout our history. Why isn't anyone doing profiles of the millions more people who voted for HRC? Oh, because they are not white dudes, by and large, so why would that be interesting to anyone? /s

People aren't doing many interviews with HRC voters because she lost the election.  How many interviews were there with McCain supporters in 08 and 09? Wouldn't have been very interesting to anyone, because he lost too.  08 was all about Obama ushering in a new era, so we wanted to hear from people who sought to bring about this new era.  Why would we want to hear from people who wanted to continue the status quo? That's basically the opposite of newsworthy. 


I don't mean to pick on you, but this knee-jerk reaction to see racism where it doesn't exist seems to fit a pattern on the left.  Kind of like the right and how they see always attacks on Christianity, regardless of how slight or constitutional.  No matter which side, it erodes credibility and distracts from what otherwise might be compelling arguments.

Seeing racism where it doesn't exist isn't a thing, unless you are talking about "reverse racism." On the contrary, white people tend to NOT SEE racism where it exists, because it doesn't impact us. And because we don't see it, we think it doesn't exist, even when folks who do experience it tell us about it. It's called White Fragility, look it up. The same thing happens around sexism.

And, you know, the media was obsessed with Trump voters even before the election. Meanwhile supporters of HRC were openly harassed to the point where many of them started to keep their opinions, so they wouldn't be yelled at in person or threatened with rape on Twitter. Do you really think that misogyny has nothing to do with this?

Unconscious bias impacts much much more than most of us think. That's why it's called unconscious. And denying that these biases exist does nothing to resolve them.

Pick on me all you want! Many people on this thread don't seem to understand these concepts at all and I'm happy to explain and defend them.

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #143 on: August 09, 2017, 12:44:13 PM »
I guess I just read it more as someone who sincerely wants to help than someone who hates women. I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise if you come with a different perspective.

But it doesn't really matter what his intent was. If I run you over with my car and it's an accident vs. intentional, it matters to the legal system but not to your actual body. Your body is just as broken regardless of my intent.

Same thing with this bozo at Google. Outside of the White House, sexism is usually not as blunt as "I hate women and girls." Much of it is wrapped up in subtly misogynistic ideas like respecting women's differences, wanting to protect women, and assuming women need help with various tasks which we may or may not need help with.

I agree with Scantee entirely. I also believe that there is literally no way to know what the biological differences are between men and women's cognition because there's so much cultural history mixed in and human brains are enormously plastic and molded by our environments and upbringing to an extent that most of us never even contemplate.

So, at this point, with the tools we have, it's not possible to separate them. The only fair position is to operate as though there are no widespread biological differences in cognitive ability, because we simply don't know.

Except he provided resources showing that it isn't as plastic as you make it out to be. Another person commenting with no actual sources disputing him out of hand rather than actually engaging with the ideas and finding a way to dispute him.

The problem is that the data he's talking about is based on population-level differences in distributions. This doesn't address native differences between men and women -- it addresses differences in the way men and women behave after they've already been acculturated to see women as less intelligent and trustworthy than men.

Actually men are seen as less trustworthy and inherently more likely to be a danger. More unsourced assertions abound.

^^ unsourced assertion alert ^^

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ellen_Garbarino/publication/223483951_The_robustness_of_trust_and_reciprocity_across_a_heterogeneous_US_population/links/56ba987708ae6a0040ae00e7.pdf

"Regarding trusting behavior, we also find that men and women of all ages trust women and older people more than men and younger people"

Glad to see you finally agree that one shouldn't take someone's assertions if they aren't backed by anything other than their opinion. Maybe you should do some more of it yourself.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 12:47:57 PM by prognastat »

gerardc

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #144 on: August 09, 2017, 12:44:54 PM »
There are so many unexamined assumptions in this that I hardly know where to begin.

"Bias is in the data" has been used as a justification for oppression throughout history. I suggest reading through some beginners' texts on the topic of unconscious bias -- clearly it's a topic you have no understanding of.

Look, I did my PhD in AI/machine learning and I work personally with a team in a big tech company focused on bias in machine learning at the forefront of research, and I'm telling you that bias occurs naturally when training a model for high accuracy, and that bias is difficult to define mathematically in the first place. Whereas you're probably an old woman with an art history degree and minor in women studies working at the local library, who's just cherrypicking old texts because it makes her feel better. And you seriously think you're right?

Tass

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #145 on: August 09, 2017, 12:50:16 PM »
Whereas you're probably an old woman with an art history degree and minor in women studies working at the local library, who's just cherrypicking old texts because it makes her feel better. And you seriously think you're right?

Gosh, sexist, elitist, AND condescending! Weren't you just arguing we shouldn't make unexamined assumptions?

prognastat

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #146 on: August 09, 2017, 12:53:13 PM »
Whereas you're probably an old woman with an art history degree and minor in women studies working at the local library, who's just cherrypicking old texts because it makes her feel better. And you seriously think you're right?

Gosh, sexist, elitist, AND condescending! Weren't you just arguing we shouldn't make unexamined assumptions?

Right, because he is the one that started acting elitist and condescending. It wasn't a response geared at shutting those very behaviors by madgeylou down. Maybe you should look at your internal biases if you felt the need to speak up when he was returning in kind that which she has been doling out in just about each of her posts.

Also calling someone sexist means nothing if they haven't actually been sexist. Good job adding less than nothing to the conversation.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 12:55:16 PM by prognastat »

gerardc

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #147 on: August 09, 2017, 12:55:04 PM »
Gosh, sexist, elitist, AND condescending! Weren't you just arguing we shouldn't make unexamined assumptions?

I would have said "old guy" if she was a guy. Stop seeing sexism where there's just contempt.


tyort1

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Re: The Viral Internal Google Memo
« Reply #149 on: August 09, 2017, 12:58:35 PM »
Quote from: FINate

I think it's frustrating that people are misinterpreting "women and men are different" with "women can't be engineers," which I don't think many people agree with. Most people on the left seem to think everyone on the right is saying the latter, and are understandably quite offended. I'd be pretty peeved if someone said men can't be nurses, even if I think men historically haven't been nurses because it's a lower-paid occupation and associated with women.

But that's still reflective of a total lack of charity, and assuming everyone who disagrees with you must posses some sort of extreme moral failing.

When people ally themselves with and support misogynistic, racist people and causes, how could that NOT be seen as a moral failing?

The real question is what do you do with that perceived moral failing?

Too often this means people get dismissed out of hand. They are bad, so we don't want to hear them speak, they are to be marginalized and silenced ("alienated"). This prevents dialog and increases polarization and actually increases the power of their message, since it provides publicity and people naturally wonder what they have to say that's so dangerous.

Let them speak. Get to know people who have different POVs. Ask sincere questions to understand why they believe what they do. Build empathy even if you don't agree with them. Even if no opinions are changed you'll have a better understanding of the "other side."

I know plenty of Trump supporters and even if I didn't, the media has been obsessed with talking about them and what they are upset about ever since the election. Why? Because they are mostly white dudes, so of course it must be really important to hear from them, right?

Not for me. I've heard enough. I'm much more interested in hearing from voices who haven't been the dominant ones all throughout our history. Why isn't anyone doing profiles of the millions more people who voted for HRC? Oh, because they are not white dudes, by and large, so why would that be interesting to anyone? /s

And, you know, the disagreement here is not just some intellectual exercise. I don't feel the need to empathize with people who espouse openly hateful views and who openly seek to restrict possibilities for people who aren't exactly like them.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that Trump people deserve healthcare and clean water and everything else I want for me and the people I love. I'm just never going to be interested in what they have to say, because I've heard it my entire fucking life already. What they have to say is the default position of our culture -- women's bodies are public property and black people's lives don't matter. No one is confused about it!

All that being said, this is off topic so I'll stop here.

Just wanted to say - you are awesome 👍
Frugalite in training.