Google thought police score a victory (Google employee fired)

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

Source: Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences – Bloomberg

After reading the memo for which the Google employee was fired, it is an example of how political correctness is the tool of conformity. The text of the memo can be found on the web (link). If you have not already read it, you should read and understand it because the reporting on this memo by both sides of the political spectrum has been biased.

I will say that there are parts of the memo with which I strongly disagree based on my experiences of working with women in technology. On the other hand, I do understand that my experiences working with business software most likely not be applicable to the kind of technology that Google produces. I will also note that he does not adequately address the biases that keep women out of leadership positions. That omission is what I see as the biggest flaw with the memo.

A central theme of this memo was about biases specifically the overwhelming left-wing bias present in the culture of Google. As reported, he did point out there are biological differences that could possibly drive women to not seek jobs in technology. He pointed out psychological differences between men and women (and used a Wikipedia article to support his argument). He made recommendations about how to be more inclusive of all points of view; not just those of certain ideologies. He did stress that he believes in having a diverse culture.

The bottom line is that the Google employee made some very controversial observations and the memo was certainly not politically correct. It is known that Google has a very strong left-wing bias.

Keep this in mind…

Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

Essentially, what the Google employee did was to commit a thoughtcrime. He expressed an opinion with which the authoritarian left did not approve. To the authoritarian left, this is an unforgivable crime. As such, they demanded that he be terminated which Google management did.

This raises the question of whether or not his termination was appropriate. There is a good case that he may have violated policy, if so, then a corrective action would be appropriate. Assuming that he has not any prior issues, termination of his employment was far too extreme.

Of course, this does not matter to the authoritarian left because he did not conform to their way of thinking. He challenged their beliefs and rather than have a mature discussion, they demanded that management make him into an example.

The termination of this employee will have the effect of stifling the free flow of ideas and free speech within Google corporate culture. It will make people afraid to express any potentially controversial opinion. It will make future talent hesitant to join the Google team if they hold right-wing opinions. It gives credibility to those who say that Google opposes free speech. It also shows that Google’s CEO is weak and allows the mob to tell him what to do. This action is a loss for Google.

Another aspect that is troubling in this is how a matter that was internal to Google was made public. For this to have happened, someone had to have leaked the information. Regardless of who did the leaking, the person or persons were letting their bias drive their decision. I am sure that there are policies at Google that prohibit these leaks. I guess the rules only apply to those who do not think correctly.

The irony of this event is that by terminating the employee, Google gave vindication some of the things that were said in the memo.

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