The Bird – 8/14/2017

I am going to have to say that this week’s recipient of the bird is most likely not be a popular choice and some would argue that I made the wrong choice. It certainly would be a good topic for debate.

There were two logical candidates for this week. The first candidate was James Damore, the author of the now infamous memo at Google. The memo that Damore wrote is considered to be offensive by many people and thus the reason for being a logical candidate.

The other candidate is Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. Pichai was the person who fired Damore because the memo “cross the line.” The reason Pichai is a logical candidate is that the firing of Damore is authoritarianism.

After reading the memo, I believe that the offensiveness of the memo is overblown. Yes, there are some claims that are ignorant (IMHO) and it did not address certain biases adequately. However, this memo is not as offensive as it is being portrayed in the left-wing media (the reporting by right-wing media is just as problematic but that is outside the scope of this post).

Pichai’s handling of the matter is disturbing. Pichai is the CEO, it is his job to be the adult in the room in disputes such as this. Instead of encouraging mature debate over the merits of the memo, he joined the mob and fired Damore. Essentially, he took the easy way out. IMHO, this was wrong as it creates an authoritarian environment; one where people are hesitant to openly express opinions.

For this reason, I give The Bird to Sundar Pichai.


5 thoughts on “The Bird – 8/14/2017

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    1. The short story was that the guy wrote a memo as to give some possible explanations as to why there was a gap between genders at Google. He included some right-wing opinions such as there could be biological differences; at one point, he used the word neurosis and recommended that all programs that give preferential treatment to certain groups be eliminated. There is other stuff but I think that gives a general idea. He was fired shortly after the contents of the memo were leaked to the press. Unfortunately, he’s become a cause celebre for the right which makes things worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I just finished the other post you put out here. Some of his remarks in the memo were accurate. unfortunately, he did not state where he was getting his information and that removed the “factual” nature of his claims. If he had stated something along the lines of “in this study ” or “as evidenced through this study” he possibly would have gotten away with the memo without being fired. As it was he pontificated about gender differences without backing anything up and came off sounding misogynistic. I am familiar with one of the studies he had obviously read (Hillar, et al 1953, Brown college) and it was debunked in the 1970’s. Have to be careful when researching using the internet which I think he probably did. His point that conservatives “stay in the closet” in technical jobs doesn’t ring true either. I personally know several conservatives who work in technical fields and they don’t feel constrained in speaking their minds. They just speak during breaks, lunches or before or after work. they would no t put their opinions into a memo though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect you might be right about his doing research on the Internet. I have/had conservative co-workers and they didn’t need to keep in the closet. Heck, we would trash talk (and still do on Facebook). It boils down to the corporate culture. I think it is plausible that he is being truthful in that while there is no policy, those with right-wing views would be made to feel unwelcome by co-workers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can easily see that happening. Especially with the vitriol that inevitably occurs when one has a republican and a democrat come together to discuss “issues”..or a Charismatic Christian and an Atheist. They just don’t tend to listen to each other or accept each other’s views. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule.

    Liked by 1 person

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