I really didn’t want to post about this, because it’s the year 20*checks watch*17 and we are apparently still having this argument. But I’m a guy in tech and apparently his views are wider-spread than I would like to believe, so here goes:
Edit: this article about The e-mail Larry Page should have written to James Damore is way better, just read that instead!
If you haven’t read the essay, I’d recommend doing so. (I debated about whether to even read it, but eventually decided it was better to be engaged) Here it is in full – note that it was posted to an internal Google forum that is apparently available for all employees to read.
It’s a little hard to respond to because there’s a whole tangled mess of points he makes, a few of which are reasonable. I do think conservatives can be alienated in tech circles, and if you think taxes should be lower, then you shouldn’t feel afraid to express that opinion at work. (although why are you talking about politics at work?) But, there’s some pretty bad stuff:
– He claims to value diversity, but doesn’t like programs that work to increase diversity – for example:
Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
I…don’t even know what to say to this. Which is weird because later he says
I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority.
(emphasis added) So…which is it?
– Maybe there are fewer women in tech for non-sexist reasons? for example:
We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.
I think the best response to this is this chart of the gender representation in Computer Science over time:
– Women are biologically different than men! This is true to a very small extent. David just finished a whole book (Brainstorm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences) showing how most of the studies that purport to show differences are way overblown. Even the guy whose research the author cited says he misinterpreted that research.
Ugh, I’m tired. Read this response by an evolutionary biologist and call it a day.