opinion on google/damore story?

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opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Propagandhi711 on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:24 am

wondering what ppl feel about the arguments that james damore made vis-a-vis the diversity hires at google and his comments on women at large. I dont care about the fallout, google reaction etc...just wondering about individual opinions on what he said vs what picchai said in their respective memos..

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:03 am

I'm not sure biology is what is keeping women away from CS/Eng. Women are beating men in total STEM degrees in all fields except CS/Eng/Physics. Yes more women getting math degrees too. The reason there are fewer women at companies like Google is because there are fewer women in CS and Eng.  

Also see this:
https://qz.com/730290/harvey-mudd-college-took-on-gender-bias-and-now-more-than-half-its-computer-science-majors-are-women/

I remember someone doing a study of mathematical ability of academic professionals. The results as I recall were that the averages between men and women were close with men having a slight edge but real difference was in the distribution's upper tail where men were more numerous farther along the tail. Most women (and men) do not have Fields medal level math ability.

My opinion for most STEM work well above math ability is sufficient.  Focusing on the extreme upper tail (Fields medal type people) distracts from the task of developing a qualified workforce and probably dissuades talented girls from pursuing STEM.  Nobody wants to pursue an activity where they are told they have a biological handicap.

That said it was not right to fire Damore. 
That sends a terrible message to the younger gen.
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Idéfix on Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:04 pm

I think Damore is wrong. Pichai was right when he said that the Damore "manifesto" advanced harmful stereotypes in the workplace. The arguments Damore advocates are not that different from the arguments that were used a hundred years ago for saying that women are biologically unsuitable to be good doctors, lawyers or business executives. The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong.

Look at the chart here: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/10/21/357629765/when-women-stopped-coding

But here's a good starting place: The share of women in computer science started falling at roughly the same moment when personal computers started showing up in U.S. homes in significant numbers.

These early personal computers weren't much more than toys. You could play pong or simple shooting games, maybe do some word processing. And these toys were marketed almost entirely to men and boys.

This idea that computers are for boys became a narrative. It became the story we told ourselves about the computing revolution. It helped define who geeks were, and it created techie culture.

BTW, that episode of Planet Money is really good; it tells the story very well.
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by truthbetold on Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Why did damore wrote this manifesto? If a contributor writes that kind of social stuff on company's time, he would be fired for misusing his time. Is that different in other companies?

If Google has some social forum that allows people to express themselves, then damore was encouraged to express his views. However distasteful those vies were, Google should not have fired him if they gave him a forum. 

What particular physiological characteristic is identified by the likes of damore to say women cannot do well in engineering or stem areas. When I left India there are as many women in computer science as men. Why is this analysis any different from woman cannot be president because she is likely to be more emotional.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Propagandhi711 on Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:24 am

well to be fair, a place like google hires the best of the best and at those rarified levels maybe there arent enough talented women because they're supposedly far more heavily weighted toward the middle of the bell curve compared to men. I agree such arguments were made in the past to keep them out of professions but to deny all logical arguments as it's inconvenient to current narrative sucks.

"The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong. "


same sentiment was expressed by larry summers about 10 yrs ago, was he also unsuccessful and needing someone to blame?

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by confuzzled dude on Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:33 am

Propagandhi711 wrote:well to be fair, a place like google hires the best of the best and at those rarified levels maybe there arent enough talented women because they're supposedly far more heavily weighted toward the middle of the bell curve compared to men. I agree such arguments were made in the past to keep them out of professions but to deny all logical arguments as it's inconvenient to current narrative sucks.

"The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong. "


same sentiment was expressed by larry summers about 10 yrs ago, was he also unsuccessful and needing someone to blame?
Wonder if Mr. Summers would've have been as successful if he were a black man born in the '50s with same smarts, my guess is not a chance. I guess the same applies to the women of yesteryears  and even today.

P.S: I've not followed google controversy closely.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Propagandhi711 on Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:59 am

too much guessing, not enough following

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by confuzzled dude on Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:57 pm

Propagandhi711 wrote:too much guessing, not enough following
Your comment is a reflection of your prejudices than the content in my post.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Idéfix on Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:37 am

Propagandhi711 wrote:well to be fair, a place like google hires the best of the best and at those rarified levels maybe there arent enough talented women because they're supposedly far more heavily weighted toward the middle of the bell curve compared to men. I agree such arguments were made in the past to keep them out of professions but to deny all logical arguments as it's inconvenient to current narrative sucks.
It's not a logical argument just because it sounds plausible. It would be a logical argument if it was backed up by strong evidence. AFAIK there is no strong evidence for this hypothesis.

Propagandhi711 wrote:"The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong. "


same sentiment was expressed by larry summers about 10 yrs ago, was he also unsuccessful and needing someone to blame?
He said that about science, not about law or medicine. I should broaden my comment to: "But in the tech industry STEM fields, these stereotypes are still quite strong."
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by pravalika nanda on Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:03 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:I'm not sure biology is what is keeping women away from CS/Eng. Women are beating men in total STEM degrees in all fields except CS/Eng/Physics. Yes more women getting math degrees too. The reason there are fewer women at companies like Google is because there are fewer women in CS and Eng.  

Also see this:
https://qz.com/730290/harvey-mudd-college-took-on-gender-bias-and-now-more-than-half-its-computer-science-majors-are-women/

I remember someone doing a study of mathematical ability of academic professionals. The results as I recall were that the averages between men and women were close with men having a slight edge but real difference was in the distribution's upper tail where men were more numerous farther along the tail. Most women (and men) do not have Fields medal level math ability.

My opinion for most STEM work well above math ability is sufficient.  Focusing on the extreme upper tail (Fields medal type people) distracts from the task of developing a qualified workforce and probably dissuades talented girls from pursuing STEM.  Nobody wants to pursue an activity where they are told they have a biological handicap.

That said it was not right to fire Damore. 
That sends a terrible message to the younger gen.
what are you smoking, max? that guy can never get a date. esp not with any woman at google now. sundar could see that he was going to languish in some corner and be ostracized by everyone and stay single forever so he fired him. that was very kind of him, don't you think?

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by pravalika nanda on Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:26 pm

I know a google guy, he was from india, went to a non-iit, then got his MBA and worked at a few places then went to work for google. He was very smart but definitely not a genius. I know a lot of mds and md/phds who're way more engaging and intelligent.  Just cuz someone wokrs at google doesn't mean they spend their hours doing extraordinary, creative work. these guys are not all math phds. most of them are doofball managers - just helping manage the business of sergey brin and larry page.

propa, don't know why you're calling it rarefied etc. they're above average but if you had planned your career right and spent your time mindfully you have enough brains to work there too, managing something for sure and still making time for such. 

the thing with people who sell technology is they can make a lot of money and they become famous cuz they touch the lives of millions of people with one product.  

you all have met people of above avg caliber in other professions - for example teaching or medicine - and they don't have that kind of outreach. a teacher can teach a few students a year and can hope to have taught the subject well but who will remember him? you may have a wonderful physician in the ER who will diagnose you after many have failed or a surgeon who does a beautiful job repairing a damaged knee but who remembers them after a couple of post-op visits?

aside, I don't give a shit about what happened at google. but that guy is wrong about women. women are lagging behind just like black men because they have been second class  citizens for thousands of years. he should be fired not for being some kind of outlier but for being so fucking dumb. now that's a problem.


Last edited by pravalika nanda on Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : sp)

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by SomeProfile on Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:58 pm

pravalika nanda wrote:

what are you smoking, max? that guy can never get a date. esp not with any woman at google now. sundar could see that he was going to languish in some corner and be ostracized by everyone and stay single forever so he fired him. that was very kind of him, don't you think?

Not sure what you are smoking. That guy is going to get a large enough settlement from Google that he does not have to work ever again. Plus, there are plenty of women willing to date him. Especially of the "right" variety, who have a reputation for being hotter and better relationship material. I doubt not being able to date "any woman at google" is a big loss for him.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by SomeProfile on Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:59 pm

pravalika nanda wrote:aside, I don't give a shit about what happened at google. but that guy is wrong about women. women are lagging behind just like black men because they have been second class  citizens for thousands of years.

I wonder what made women "second class citizens" in the first place. And I wonder what kept them there for not one or two years, not one or two centuries, not one or two thousand years, but for thousands of years!

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by SomeProfile on Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:02 pm

There were two things Damore mentioned in his write-up, both of which cannot be denied:

1. Men and women are inherently different, both physiologically and psychologically. These physiological and psychological factors go a long way in explaining the differences in their performance at the work place.

2. The above differences are not an all or nothing deal - not all men are the same, not all women are the same, there is some overlap between their characteristics as well. But the general male and female trends hold.

3. A more inclusive work culture can be built by other means than the reverse discrimination and reservation system culture, which Google seems to have built up internally.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Idéfix on Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:44 pm

SomeProfile wrote:There were two things Damore mentioned in his write-up, both of which cannot be denied:

1. Men and women are inherently different, both physiologically and psychologically.
So far, so good. This is a fact and cannot be denied.

SomeProfile wrote:These physiological and psychological factors go a long way in explaining the differences in their performance at the work place.
In the context of most positions at Google, this is not an established fact. Neither Damore nor you have backed up this assertion with solid evidence.
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Propagandhi711 on Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:13 pm

Idéfix wrote:
Propagandhi711 wrote:well to be fair, a place like google hires the best of the best and at those rarified levels maybe there arent enough talented women because they're supposedly far more heavily weighted toward the middle of the bell curve compared to men. I agree such arguments were made in the past to keep them out of professions but to deny all logical arguments as it's inconvenient to current narrative sucks.
It's not a logical argument just because it sounds plausible. It would be a logical argument if it was backed up by strong evidence. AFAIK there is no strong evidence for this hypothesis.

Propagandhi711 wrote:"The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong. "


same sentiment was expressed by larry summers about 10 yrs ago, was he also unsuccessful and needing someone to blame?
He said that about science, not about law or medicine. I should broaden my comment to: "But in the tech industry STEM fields, these stereotypes are still quite strong."

no STRONG evidence as there is no way to separate the social conditioning aspect from innate sex driven ability from past data (taken over past 100+ yrs). however this article written by a woman claims there's something something to innate sex differences in the rarified 1%.

if google hires 1% of top 1% to write predictive search algorithms that can beat work being done by anyone else in the world, then it does stand to reason they're more likely to land men disproportionately.

methinks where this nerd went wrong is that he feels google's work is solely limited to writing those faster algos and nothing else. he doesnt realize the amount of collaboration that happens at even a purely technology company like google that requires other skills that the .01% jocks may not have but women might excel at...

Dave Lubinski, a psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, also studies the SAT scores of precocious 7th graders and tracks what happens to them in their careers. The oldest cohort is now 50 years old. He says once you narrow the population down to the 1 percenters in math, boys do score slightly higher. “But conditional on being in the 1% of math, the girls have better verbal skills.”
This suggests women may be less likely to be extreme math stars, but they display a more well-rounded intelligence. It’s hard to separate out what’s biological and environmental because intelligence reflects what you study and how intensely you pursue it. People are often drawn to what they are good at and what they have access to. Lubinski and his coauthors observed that women are more drawn to working with people and jobs that prize communication. Many talented women, for a number of reasons like discrimination or just their personal preferences, don’t end up as research scientists.

https://qz.com/441905/men-are-both-dumber-and-smarter-than-women/

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by SomeProfile on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:32 pm

Idéfix wrote:
SomeProfile wrote:These physiological and psychological factors go a long way in explaining the differences in their performance at the work place.
In the context of most positions at Google, this is not an established fact. Neither Damore nor you have backed up this assertion with solid evidence.

In the context of Google, is it an established fact that differences in performance between men and women is due to external factors such as discrimination against women, misogyny, etc.? And not due to factors inherent to the delivery of personal results by the men and women themselves? In fact, the opposite seems to be the case in Google since inception. Yet, women don't seem to be doing as well as men at Google even so many years after it was established, and even after getting preferential treatment, and reverse discrimination in their favor all these years. Wonder why!

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by smArtha on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:34 pm

pravalika nanda wrote:women are lagging behind just like black men because they have been second class  citizens for thousands of years. he should be fired not for being some kind of outlier but for being so fucking dumb. now that's a problem.

Black Men were second class citizens in Africa for thousands of years? When did white people colonize and enslave Africans?

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:53 am

smArtha wrote:
pravalika nanda wrote:women are lagging behind just like black men because they have been second class  citizens for thousands of years. he should be fired not for being some kind of outlier but for being so fucking dumb. now that's a problem.

Black Men were second class citizens in Africa for thousands of years? When did white people colonize and enslave Africans?

Why you haven't heard of South Africa or Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)?
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by smArtha on Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:07 am

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:
smArtha wrote:
pravalika nanda wrote:women are lagging behind just like black men because they have been second class  citizens for thousands of years. he should be fired not for being some kind of outlier but for being so fucking dumb. now that's a problem.

Black Men were second class citizens in Africa for thousands of years? When did white people colonize and enslave Africans?

Why you haven't heard of South Africa or Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)?

I did but no colonial era I know of is thousands of years old. Unless I missed a major piece or chunk of history here.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by southindian on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:00 am

Technically, while at work, your employer owns your attention/time, unless there's a family grievance/issue .

When you join ANY company, you would have signed-off on all free-speech mumbo-jumbo.

James Damore is an idiot. Period. And he knows that know. He has nothing except giving TV interviews.
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by SomeProfile on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:46 am

southindian wrote:
James Damore is an idiot. Period. And he knows that know. He has nothing except giving TV interviews.

Hardly! He has a fat Google-sized settlement package to look forward to. Plus, he has a long line of right wing girls ready to date him now. And once he gets that settlement package from Google, even left wing girls will join the line... if they have not already!

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by southindian on Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:08 pm

SomeProfile wrote:
southindian wrote:
James Damore is an idiot. Period. And he knows that know. He has nothing except giving TV interviews.

Hardly! He has a fat Google-sized settlement package to look forward to. Plus, he has a long line of right wing girls ready to date him now. And once he gets that settlement package from Google, even left wing girls will join the line... if they have not already!
Companies don't give settlement packages to fired employees who break company rules. They are walked out the door by security.

James Damore will now have a lot of free time to date any girl who chooses him.
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Idéfix on Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:12 pm

Propagandhi711 wrote:
Idéfix wrote:
Propagandhi711 wrote:well to be fair, a place like google hires the best of the best and at those rarified levels maybe there arent enough talented women because they're supposedly far more heavily weighted toward the middle of the bell curve compared to men. I agree such arguments were made in the past to keep them out of professions but to deny all logical arguments as it's inconvenient to current narrative sucks.
It's not a logical argument just because it sounds plausible. It would be a logical argument if it was backed up by strong evidence. AFAIK there is no strong evidence for this hypothesis.

Propagandhi711 wrote:"The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong. "


same sentiment was expressed by larry summers about 10 yrs ago, was he also unsuccessful and needing someone to blame?
He said that about science, not about law or medicine. I should broaden my comment to: "But in the tech industry STEM fields, these stereotypes are still quite strong."

no STRONG evidence as there is no way to separate the social conditioning aspect from innate sex driven ability from past data (taken over past 100+ yrs). however this article written by a woman claims there's something something to innate sex differences in the rarified 1%.

if google hires 1% of top 1% to write predictive search algorithms that can beat work being done by anyone else in the world, then it does stand to reason they're more likely to land men disproportionately.

methinks where this nerd went wrong is that he feels google's work is solely limited to writing those faster algos and nothing else. he doesnt realize the amount of collaboration that happens at even a purely technology company like google that requires other skills that the .01% jocks may not have but women might excel at...

Dave Lubinski, a psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, also studies the SAT scores of precocious 7th graders and tracks what happens to them in their careers. The oldest cohort is now 50 years old. He says once you narrow the population down to the 1 percenters in math, boys do score slightly higher. “But conditional on being in the 1% of math, the girls have better verbal skills.”
This suggests women may be less likely to be extreme math stars, but they display a more well-rounded intelligence. It’s hard to separate out what’s biological and environmental because intelligence reflects what you study and how intensely you pursue it. People are often drawn to what they are good at and what they have access to. Lubinski and his coauthors observed that women are more drawn to working with people and jobs that prize communication. Many talented women, for a number of reasons like discrimination or just their personal preferences, don’t end up as research scientists.

https://qz.com/441905/men-are-both-dumber-and-smarter-than-women/
Even if we assume for a minute that women are less likely to be extreme math stars than men, the idea that Google hires only extreme math stars is incorrect. I know several guys who are not extreme math stars who work there. A lot of work in a large company involves working with people to get things done, and many roles including engineering require strong interpersonal skills. Most of Google's workforce is not inventing bleeding-edge algorithms, they are doing product design, marketing and sales work, not to mention large departments of corporate work that you would find at any other Fortune 500 company.
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Idéfix on Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:14 pm

SomeProfile wrote:
Idéfix wrote:
SomeProfile wrote:These physiological and psychological factors go a long way in explaining the differences in their performance at the work place.
In the context of most positions at Google, this is not an established fact. Neither Damore nor you have backed up this assertion with solid evidence.

In the context of Google, is it an established fact that differences in performance between men and women is due to external factors such as discrimination against women, misogyny, etc.? And not due to factors inherent to the delivery of personal results by the men and women themselves? In fact, the opposite seems to be the case in Google since inception. Yet, women don't seem to be doing as well as men at Google even so many years after it was established, and even after getting preferential treatment, and reverse discrimination in their favor all these years. Wonder why!
Google has been trying for a few years to recruit more women into its hiring pool. Not to have quotas for women, but just to attract women candidates for consideration. That is nowhere near adequate to undo the structural and societal disadvantages women face in tech -- not least attitudes like these that are far too common among male engineers!
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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:31 am

He is right to some extent. Google firing him for expressing his opinion is not right.

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Re: opinion on google/damore story?

Post by Propagandhi711 on Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:21 pm

Idéfix wrote:
Propagandhi711 wrote:
Idéfix wrote:
Propagandhi711 wrote:well to be fair, a place like google hires the best of the best and at those rarified levels maybe there arent enough talented women because they're supposedly far more heavily weighted toward the middle of the bell curve compared to men. I agree such arguments were made in the past to keep them out of professions but to deny all logical arguments as it's inconvenient to current narrative sucks.
It's not a logical argument just because it sounds plausible. It would be a logical argument if it was backed up by strong evidence. AFAIK there is no strong evidence for this hypothesis.

Propagandhi711 wrote:"The only people who still say that kind of thing about those fields are unsuccessful men who need someone to blame. But in the tech industry, these stereotypes are still quite strong. "


same sentiment was expressed by larry summers about 10 yrs ago, was he also unsuccessful and needing someone to blame?
He said that about science, not about law or medicine. I should broaden my comment to: "But in the tech industry STEM fields, these stereotypes are still quite strong."

no STRONG evidence as there is no way to separate the social conditioning aspect from innate sex driven ability from past data (taken over past 100+ yrs). however this article written by a woman claims there's something something to innate sex differences in the rarified 1%.

if google hires 1% of top 1% to write predictive search algorithms that can beat work being done by anyone else in the world, then it does stand to reason they're more likely to land men disproportionately.

methinks where this nerd went wrong is that he feels google's work is solely limited to writing those faster algos and nothing else. he doesnt realize the amount of collaboration that happens at even a purely technology company like google that requires other skills that the .01% jocks may not have but women might excel at...

https://qz.com/441905/men-are-both-dumber-and-smarter-than-women/
Even if we assume for a minute that women are less likely to be extreme math stars than men, the idea that Google hires only extreme math stars is incorrect. I know several guys who are not extreme math stars who work there. A lot of work in a large company involves working with people to get things done, and many roles including engineering require strong interpersonal skills. Most of Google's workforce is not inventing bleeding-edge algorithms, they are doing product design, marketing and sales work, not to mention large departments of corporate work that you would find at any other Fortune 500 company.

am aware of that and it was my bolded point above. what he said is bullshit to a large degree as it pertains to normal roles, with small kernel of truth at the rarified levels. read his reddit ama, he comes across as less than smart which is surprising considering he was hired to work at google.

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