6
   

White Women vs Free Speech: And Google is going to get sued.

 
 
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:07 pm
@firefly,
Maybe the race and gender thing is a different thread. I will start that if you want. I think I disagree with you, but I am not sure that this discussion is useful to this topic.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:10 pm
@DrewDad,
Sure DrewDad, I think there are valid arguments on both sides of this issue. I am forced to take one side because everyone else is pretty much in unquestioning agreement here. Plus, the overreaction within the liberal bubble, both here and elsewhere, bothers me.

The big question for me is whether the existence of this memo constitutes a "hostile workplace environment". Honestly, I don't think that it does. But if it does, than Google would have to act.

The second question is whether Google had to fire him, or if there was some other action that they could have taken. I believe that Google's decision to fire him was based on PR considerations, they wanted to show how great they were with this issue. This was a political decision, not a moral one.

I don't think that Google should fire someone for what you are calling "offensive speech"... actually what we are really talking about here are offensive ideas. There are costs to punishing people for ideas... particularly in a company such as Google. Again, the most important question is whether the expression of these ideas constitute a hostile work environment.
ossobucotemp
 
  5  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:16 pm
@DrewDad,
Going back, didn't this guy sign a specific contract? This was an important point, I think brought up by E. Brogan.

p.s., I'm not a bubble, and neither am I an idiologist. You seem to like putting people in chambers.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:21 pm
@ossobucotemp,
From what I have read, he was an "employee at will" meaning that Google has the right to fire him... unless there reason for firing is against the law.

I don't think the contract matters legally. I think the court case will revolve around a California law protecting political dissent, and a federal law to protect whistle blowers. I am just repeating what the lawyers said. I think Google will pay him off... it makes all the business sense to just make this go away. This will never get to court.

I am more interested in the problem Google has made for itself; they say they support the free expression of ideas, then they fire someone for expressing ideas.

Many Google employees are upset about how this guy was treated. Google is paying a cost in terms of employee morale.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/technology/google-gender-diversity-memo-damore.html
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:42 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The second question is whether Google had to fire him, or if there was some other action that they could have taken. I believe that Google's decision to fire him was based on PR considerations, they wanted to show how great they were with this issue. This was a political decision, not a moral one.

So?

If you don't like how Google operates, then don't work for Google. Don't use their products. Don't buy advertising on their platforms.

Not sure why anyone expects Google to make decisions based exclusively on abstract moral principles.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:42 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Quote:
I'm not a bubble, and neither am I an idiologist. You seem to like putting people in chambers.


Osso,

Everyone has an ideology. All of us live in ideological bubbles. Our friends mostly think as we do. I don't mean this as an insult. It is just a recognition that we all have prejudices. For you to deny that you have an ideology is denying that you are human (and that your beliefs aren't infallible).

The issue is whether we can honestly question our own prejudices and step out of our own ideological bubbles. Can you accept that people who disagree with you have valid points?

It seems to me that it is very difficult for most liberals to accept that people outside the liberal ideological bubble are even worth human beings. This is a bad thing. Hillary lost the election the moment she first talked about the "basket of deplorables". Liberals cheered at this line... but in that moment she just proved what everyone outside of the liberal bubble already knew.

I am seeing that here on this thread. There is no one here who is willing to question the liberal narrative... even in places that it clearly doesn't make sense.

I have said plainly that there are two sides to this issue. Is there anyone else here who is willing to say this, or to accept the weaknesses in their own side?

DrewDad
 
  6  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:44 pm
@maxdancona,
I think you're working really hard to make this a liberal vs conservative issue. It's really not.

Google made a business decision. It's their decision to make.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:47 pm
@DrewDad,
I don't think I would enjoy working for Google, or any other large company. I worked for a medium sized company (7,000 people) for a while. I felt the bureaucracy (including diversity training that no one took seriously) was stifling.

I do very well in small, highly productive and successful teams that don't have to worry about outside pressure. I like working with "brilliant assholes".... people who have strong opinions who aren't afraid to express them, yet know how to get along with people who disagree with them and get the job done. I have been on very profitable, innovative teams with brilliant assholes. I don't get along very well with well-behaved, upstanding, polite people who believe all the right things.

To each his own. People are different and teams are different. We all have to find our own place in the world.

That being said, I am not an absolutist. I like Google's products.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:49 pm
@DrewDad,
I think that conservatives in general feel stifled at Google. They will tell you that they feel Google favors liberal political ideology. But figuring out how to manage their employees is their business... I would suspect that alienating some of your employees has a business cost.

On the other hand, you probably wouldn't like to work at Hobby Lobby.
firefly
 
  7  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 03:52 pm
@maxdancona,
I don't think this is about a "liberal ideology"---nor is the issue about someone who got fired for making an innocuous albeit unpopular post--it was hardly innocuous or simply "unpopular"--and the main issue really isn't freedom of speech.

Susan Wojcicki is the chief executive of YouTube, which is owned by Google.

Quote:
Read YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s Response to the Controversial Google Anti-Diversity Memo

Susan Wojcicki
Aug 09, 2017

Yesterday, after reading the news, my daughter asked me a question. “Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?”

That question, whether it’s been asked outright, whispered quietly, or simply lingered in the back of someone’s mind, has weighed heavily on me throughout my career in technology. Though I’ve been lucky to work at a company where I’ve received a lot of support—from leaders like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg to mentors like Bill Campbell—my experience in the tech industry has shown me just how pervasive that question is.

Time and again, I’ve faced the slights that come with that question. I’ve had my abilities and commitment to my job questioned. I’ve been left out of key industry events and social gatherings. I’ve had meetings with external leaders where they primarily addressed the more junior male colleagues. I’ve had my comments frequently interrupted and my ideas ignored until they were rephrased by men. No matter how often this all happened, it still hurt.

So when I saw the memo that circulated last week, I once again felt that pain, and empathized with the pain it must have caused others. I thought about the women at Google who are now facing a very public discussion about their abilities, sparked by one of their own co-workers. I thought about the women throughout the tech field who are already dealing with the implicit biases that haunt our industry (which I’ve written about before), now confronting them explicitly. I thought about how the gender gap persists in tech despite declining in other STEM fields, how hard we’ve been working as an industry to reverse that trend, and how this was yet another discouraging signal to young women who aspire to study computer science. And as my child asked me the question I’d long sought to overcome in my own life, I thought about how tragic it was that this unfounded bias was now being exposed to a new generation.

Some of those responding to the memo are trying to defend its authorship as an issue of free speech. As a company that has long supported free expression, Google obviously stands by the right that employees have to voice, publish or tweet their opinions. But while people may have a right to express their beliefs in public, that does not mean companies cannot take action when women are subjected to comments that perpetuate negative stereotypes about them based on their gender. Every day, companies take action against employees who make unlawful statements about co-workers, or create hostile work environments.

For instance, what if we replaced the word “women” in the memo with another group? What if the memo said that biological differences amongst Black, Hispanic, or LGBTQ employees explained their underrepresentation in tech and leadership roles? Would some people still be discussing the merit of the memo’s arguments or would there be a universal call for swift action against its author? I don’t ask this to compare one group to another, but rather to point out that the language of discrimination can take many different forms and none are acceptable or productive.

I thought about all of this, looked at my daughter and answered simply.

“No, it’s not true.”

Susan Wojcicki is the chief executive officer of YouTube.
http://fortune.com/2017/08/09/google-diversity-memo-wojcicki/




















emmett grogan
 
  5  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 04:08 pm
@firefly,
The real reason women are not prevalent in tech is that it is a little boy's club and women are discouraged in many ways from invading the clubhouse. This is just a minor mirroring of the cyber-bullying of women that's occurred in the online gaming world.

To me that is a bigger outrage than the proper firing of a privileged white male who tried to pass off sexist hate speech as protected speech.

Thanks for posting that article.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 04:24 pm
@maxdancona,
No, I know personally that people can change their minds. It's a propensity of humans, that people reconsider.
I change my mind fairly often.
Maybe you are not acquainted with people like me.

firefly
 
  5  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 04:44 pm
Quote:

Women only account for 31 percent of Google’s work force and 20 percent of its technical staff, according to the company’s latest diversity reports. But the company does have a rich history of fostering top technology talent like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer; Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s former chief executive; and Susan Wojcicki, who runs YouTube. Megan Smith, a former vice president at Google who recently served as the chief technology officer for the United States under President Barack Obama, said the views promoted by Mr. Damore were common in Silicon Valley.

“It’s insidious and it’s all around the culture,” Ms. Smith said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

The flap over Mr. Damore’s criticism of Google’s diversity efforts comes as the company has tangled with the Labor Department over its pay practices. The department has not charged Google with any wrongdoing, but a department official said there was evidence that the company systematically paid women less than men. Google denies this is the case.

Mr. Damore’s comments also raised another issue around Google’s peer-review system. Employees at the company are expected to judge their colleague’s work in a peer-review process that is essential to deciding whether someone gets promoted. By expressing certain beliefs — such as that women are more prone to anxiety — the concern was that he could no longer be impartial in judging female co-workers.

For a company steeped in a rich history of encouraging unconventional thinking, the problem was not that he expressed an unpopular opinion, but a disrespectful one, according to Yonatan Zunger, who left Google last week after 14 years at the company to join a start-up.

“We have a long history of disagreement over everything from technical issues to policy issues to the most mundane aspects of building management, and over all, that has been tremendously valuable,” Mr. Zunger said in an email. “The problem here was that this was disrespectful disagreement — and there’s really no respectful way to say, ‘I think you and people like you aren’t as qualified to do your job as people like me.”

Wesley Chan, a venture capitalist at Felicis Ventures and an early Google employee who left the company in 2014, said Google had no choice but to fire Mr. Damore.

“It’s not about free discourse,” said Mr. Chan. “It’s about advancing a fringe viewpoint which is hurtful to a large population of the company.”

The legal argument for Mr. Damore’s dismissal is more complicated. On one hand, there may be a way to argue that the memo and its recommendations — such as “stop alienating conservatives” — constitute a “concerted activity” to aid and protect his fellow workers, which may be protected under federal labor law. However, Google can argue that his memo created a hostile workplace for women.

“There’s no free speech in the private sector workplace,” said Katherine Stone, a labor and employment law professor at University of California, Los Angeles. “Clearly, the company was concerned that he was making the environment difficult for people to do their jobs.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/technology/google-engineer-fired-gender-memo.html


Quote:
The imbroglio at Google is the latest in a long string of incidents concerning gender bias and diversity in the tech enclave. Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick lost his job in June amid scandals over sexual harassment, discrimination and an aggressive culture. Ellen Pao’s gender-discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2015 also brought the issue to light, and more women are speaking up to say they’ve been sidelined in the male-dominated industry, especially in engineering roles.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-08/google-fires-employee-behind-controversial-diversity-memo
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 05:19 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I think that conservatives in general feel stifled at Google.

Life is tough all over.

Conservative snowflakes.... who'd've thunk it?
emmett grogan
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 05:43 pm
This Is What ‘Oppressed’ White Men Look Like:

Tiki torch fascists.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHBkAUMXoAAocyW.jpg

The story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-oppressed-white-men-look-like-charlottesville_us_598f2ff4e4b09071f699f123?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 07:29 pm
@ossobucotemp,
ossobucotemp wrote:

No, I know personally that people can change their minds. It's a propensity of humans, that people reconsider.
I change my mind fairly often.
Maybe you are not acquainted with people like me.




If you are being objective, you have to acknowledge that this thread has become a liberal ideological echo chamber.

- There is a "right" way to think with no consideration of any other point of view.

- There is no acknowledgment of pros and cons. No admission of the downside of Google's action firing their employee.

- There are insults, comparisons to Nazi's (a dead give away).

When DrewDad talks about "conservative snowflakes" in response to my point that some Google employees feel like their employer doesn't support their political perspective. He isn't accepting people from outside his political perspective. He is telling them to go to hell.

- No one on the liberal side has even once challenged someone on their own side. There is no back and forth on any single issue.


I have noticed that you go between the liberal ideological bubble, and being open minded. I respect when you show open mindedness. By open mindedness, I don't mean that you agree with me. Open mindedness means that you acknowledge that there are more than one way of looking at a problem and that people with different views do have valid points.

Most people on this thread seem to think that there is only one way to look at this issue, and that it is pretty simple. That is what the last couple of pages have been about.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  4  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:05 pm
You are telling me what open minded is?

Such a prince, never wrong, ever, dominating your attempt for discourse.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:07 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
I don't think this is about a "liberal ideology"---nor is the issue about someone who got fired for making an innocuous albeit unpopular post--it was hardly innocuous or simply "unpopular"--and the main issue really isn't freedom of speech.


If this isn't about a "liberal ideology", then what is it about? You are certainly promoting a point of view, and a way of looking at this issue, that is common among liberal.

Do accept that there are other points of view that also make valid points? The inability to question your own point of view, or to see the valid points in competing points of view... these are traits of an ideology.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:09 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Quote:
You are telling me what open minded is?


I am giving you a perfectly good definition for "open-minded". Do you disagree? It is a well used phrase. It has a meaning.

If you have a different definition for the term "open-minded", I would like to hear it.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:12 pm
@maxdancona,
Live with what I said.
 

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