6
   

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

 
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:20 pm
@ossobucotemp,
It would help if I understood what you said. It felt personal, but it wasn't exactly clear what you meant. I think I am upsetting you again Osso, but you haven't really explained why.

Don't worry, I will live with it Wink

0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  5  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:37 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

But the main problem is the stifling of political views, now by employers.


That has always been the case.

Show up at a factory with a sign like this one and see what happens:

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/p__/images/5/5b/Norma_Rae.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131113141839&path-prefix=protagonist

Now, unlike Norma Rae, I make too much ever to say anything controversial at work.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 12 Aug, 2017 08:44 pm
@Kolyo,
I have never been been fired... so I seem to know when to keep my mouth shut.

I like to work for small companies with informal cultures, people learn to get along and no one is too uptight. My current workplace is great... everyone is opinionated, everyone is thick skinned, everyone has a good sense of humor. If one of us gets offended, we work it out like adults. There is no need for political correctness or bureaucratic nonsense.

There was one time the small company I worked for was slurped up by a large bureaucratic corporation. This was the one time I had to sit quietly through diversity training and then answer all the "correct" answers on a computerized multiple choice test. It was a pretty useless exercise.

My friends in the company and I made fun of the experience, calling each other "sweetheart" at lunch was an inside joke after the training. But our little act of rebellion was just for fun... we all learn to adjust to our environment.



0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  4  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 09:37 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
If this isn't about a "liberal ideology",


Its not about ideology. Its about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Its about equal access.

Arguing keeping a class of people from a means of making a living purely because of gender is ideology.
0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 09:45 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
What should happen to people who don't agree with you.


Are you arguing a right to argue continuously on until you think you can convince me of something?I have right to not listen, not listening is an expression of free speech, too. And other rights come into play like my ability to travel on unimpeded by you yelling hate crap in face.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 09:59 am
@emmett grogan,
Quote:
Are you arguing a right to argue continuously on until you think you can convince me of something?I have right to not listen, not listening is an expression of free speech, too.


And yet you keep responding Wink ... are you trying to be funny. You and I both have a right to express our opinions here. And yes, you have every right to continue to not listen. I have no problem with that.

I am here by choice. If I didn't enjoy having these interactions with you, Emmet Grogan, I wouldn't keep doing it.

I could respond to your previous post about the Bill of Rights... but if you aren't going to listen to what I have to say, it would probably be a waste of both of our times. There no point discussing something when you have already made up your mind not to listen.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 10:07 am
@maxdancona,
We will get the mindless upthumbing and downthumbing, I get that people here support the people on their side, and oppose the people on the other side... and that facts don't matter.

But I will throw out this question anyway.

Here is the Bill of Rights... https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

Facts matter. Rather than mindless acceptance... could someone tell me what in the Bill of Rights Emmett is talking about?

0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 10:23 am
@maxdancona,
Gees....

Quote:

And yet you keep responding Wink ...


I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing at what point protected free speech became unprotected hate speech.

Are you uninviting me from the discussion?

Quote:

I could respond to your previous post about the Bill of Rights... but if you aren't going to listen to what I have to say, it would probably be a waste of both of our times. There no point discussing something when you have already made up your mind not to listen.


I've responded to your posts and without slams or name calling. You make me doubt your ability on the Bill of Rights.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 11:01 am
@emmett grogan,
No Emmett, you said it yourself, we are both here consensually... either of us is free to respond as we see fit. We had a silly two page discussion about Free Speech, at the end of which you agreed with me (although I don't think you admit it).

You got the Bill of Rights, I linked to it. I think you are still being sill. Please quote the portion of the Bill of Rights that you are talking about. They aren't very long... maybe you could tell me which of the 10 amendments you were talking about.

I suspect you are just blurting out stuff to support some ideological point without thinking about what you are saying... and that you didn't really have anything from the Bill of Rights in mind. And, I am really just playing with you.

But go ahead, you made a claim that your argument is supported by the Bill of Rights. So, pick an amendment 1 through 10.


0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  7  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 11:52 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

maxdancona wrote:

I think that conservatives in general feel stifled at Google.

Life is tough all over.

Conservative snowflakes.... who'd've thunk it?

I lived in Lubbock, TX for a while, and liberal views were not much tolerated. Two women were physically attacked for holding hands at the movie theater. Minority friends of mine were harassed by the police. Other friends had trouble finding housing.

This dude getting fired doesn't even move my outrage meter.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 12:01 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
I lived in Lubbock, TX for a while, and liberal views were not much tolerated. Two women were physically attacked for holding hands at the movie theater. Minority friends of mine were harassed by the police. Other friends had trouble finding housing.

This dude getting fired doesn't even move my outrage meter.


Of course not DrewDad. This is how ideological bubbles work. You are outraged by things that fit the proper outrage script of your political side. Liberals are outraged by what Conservatives do. Conservatives are outraged by what Liberals do.

It is people who have opinions that cross ideological lines that I respect. Show me a liberal who can admit when a conservative has a valid point (or a conservative who can admit a liberal has a valid point), and I will show you someone who is able to step out of their own bubble and think for themselves.

In this discussion I have carefully considered this issue from at least two points of view, and I have admitted where I think you and Engineer have made valid points. The rest of this thread seems to be a bunch of people who are unwilling to even consider the possibility that there may be more than one way to look at the Google firing... and some people who are actively trying to prevent a discussion from even happening.

I respect your intelligence DrewDad, but I think you are letting ideology override your ability to view this from other perspectives. I would honestly like to hear your response to my question about what should happen to engineers who believe that there may be valid science suggesting cognitive differences between men and women.

Assuming they are talented engineers, should they be prevented from working as engineers? Or would you rather have them working on teams without their co-workers knowing their opinions on the matter.

I think this is a fair question, and I think it shows a difficulty with the position you are staking out.
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 12:12 pm
@maxdancona,
You're really poor at reading.

I'm outraged by violence and indignities imposed on people who are just trying to live their lives in peace.

I'm not outraged by a privileged blowhard pissing off his employer and getting fired.

See the difference?
DrewDad
 
  7  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 12:16 pm
@maxdancona,
What, pray tell, is the position I'm staking out?

I'm stating my opinion.

Also, you have no idea what I have and have not considered.

You're really bad at this.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 12:20 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
I'm outraged by violence and indignities imposed on people who are just trying to live their lives in peace.

I'm not outraged by a privileged blowhard pissing off his employer and getting fired


The question I am asking, DrewDad, is whether the difference has anything to do with the ideological lens you are using to view the world. Would your outrage be the same if the political sides were changed?

Let's say that someone was fired by a Christian employer for posting her opinions that bathrooms should be open to transgendered employees. Would you consider this a "privileged blowhard pissing off her employer and getting fired"? Or would this be an outrage.

Maybe this is a good example, maybe it isn't.

Can you give me an example where you would be outraged by someone in your own political bubble, or come to the defense of someone in the conservative bubble?

maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 12:23 pm
@DrewDad,
I am asking a very simple question. Rather than answering the simple question, you are insulting my reading ability. Please answer the question.

Consider a talented engineer who believes that there is science to support the idea that there are cognitive difference based on gender. Should this person be allowed to work in engineering? Should he be forced to keep his opinions quiet as they work on an engineering team. Or should be be forever unable to work.

What do you propose to do with engineers who have this opinion?
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 03:47 pm
@maxdancona,
What political sides?

Some white dude trumpeting about how great white dudes are is juvenile, but not really a serious political stance.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 03:50 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Consider a talented engineer

Talent comes in many forms. One such talent is navigating the world in such a way as to get along with people.

Also, I have no evidence that this engineer, in particular, is talented.

Finally, I think I've made my view of "brilliant jerks" pretty clear. Being "brilliant" doesn't excuse one's other flaws. Excusing "brilliant jerks" from being jerks just leads to everyone claiming to be special and brilliant in order to justify their asshole behaviors.
ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 04:25 pm
@DrewDad,
Never mind the tech engineer writer in question, yawn -
the engineer I always read on a2k is Engineer.
ossobucotemp
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 04:54 pm
@firefly,
Thank you for that link, firefly. It's a saver.

I'm a woman who went into two different fields and was not ostensibly dismissed. Except in the first matter that I railed about earlier, pre the civil rights jump. So I couldn't then get into med school (see past posts) but I was respected as a tech. I left, after all those years.

I think I need to point out that in the mid sixties, much changed.
0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  4  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 04:57 pm
@ossobucotemp,
http://theconversation.com/what-the-google-gender-manifesto-really-says-about-silicon-valley-82236


What the Google gender ‘manifesto’ really says about Silicon Valley
August 10, 2017 8.55pm EDT



Five years ago, Silicon Valley was rocked by a wave of “brogrammer” bad behavior, when overfunded, highly entitled, mostly white and male startup founders did things that were juvenile, out of line and just plain stupid. Most of these activities – such as putting pornography into PowerPoint slides – revolved around the explicit or implied devaluation and harassment of women and the assumption that heterosexual men’s privilege could or should define the workplace. The recent “memo” scandal out of Google shows how far we have yet to go.

It may be that more established and successful companies don’t make job applicants deal with “bikini shots” and “gangbang interviews.” But even the tech giants foster an environment where heteronormativity and male privilege is so rampant that an engineer could feel comfortable writing and distributing a screed that effectively harassed all of his women co-workers en masse.

This is a pity, because tech companies say they want to change this culture. This summer, I gave a talk at Google UK about my work as a historian of technology and gender. I thought my talk might help change people’s minds about women in computing, and might even help women and nonbinary folks working at Google now. Still, the irony was strong: I was visiting a multibillion-dollar tech company to talk about how women are undervalued in tech, for free.

I went to Google UK with significant trepidation. I was going to talk about the subject of my upcoming book, “Programmed Inequality,” about how women got pushed out of computing in the U.K. In the 1940s through the early 1960s, most British computer workers were women, but over the course of the ’60’s and ’70’s their numbers dropped as women were subjected to intentional structural discrimination designed to push them out of the field. That didn’t just hurt the women, either – it torpedoed the once-promising British computing industry.

In the worst-case scenario, I imagined my talk would end with a question-and-answer period in which I would be asked to face exactly the points the Google manifesto made. It’s happened before – and not just to me – so I have years of practice dealing with harsh critics and tough audiences, both in the classroom and outside of it.

As a result of that experience, I know how to handle situations like that. But it’s more than just disheartening to have my work misunderstood. I have felt firsthand the damage the phenomenon called “stereotype threat” can wreak on women: Being assumed to be inferior can make a person not only feel inferior, but actually subconsciously do things that confirm their own supposed lesser worth. For instance, women students do measurably worse on math exams after reading articles that suggest women are ill-suited to study math. (A related phenomenon, impostor syndrome, runs rampant through academia.)
A surprising reaction

As it happened, the audience was familiar with, and interested in, my work. I was impressed and delighted with the caliber and thoughtfulness of the questions I got. But one question stood out. It seemed like the perfect example of how the culture of the tech industry is so badly broken today that it destroys or significantly hinders much of its talent pool, inflicting stereotype threat on them in large numbers.

A Google engineer asked if I thought that women’s biological differences made them innately less likely to be good engineers. I replied in the negative, firmly stating that this kind of pseudoscientific evolutional psychology has been proven incorrect at every turn by history, and that biological determinism was a dangerous cudgel that had been used to deprive black people, women and many others of their civil rights – and even their lives – for centuries.

The engineer posing this question was a woman. She said she felt she was unusual because she thought she had less emotional intelligence and more intellectual intelligence than most other women, and those abilities let her do her job better. She wondered if most women were doomed to fail. She spoke with the uncertainty of someone who has been told repeatedly that “normal” women aren’t supposed to do what she does, or be who she is.

I tried to empathize with her, and to make my answer firm but not dismissive. This is how structural discrimination works: It seeps into all of us, and we are barely conscious of it. If we do not constantly guard ourselves against its insidious effects – if we do not have the tools to do so, the courage to speak out, and the ability to understand when it is explained to us – it can turn us into ever worse versions of ourselves. We can become the versions that the negative stereotypes expect. But the bigger problem is that it doesn’t end at the level of the individual.
A problem of structure

These misapprehensions bleed into every aspect of our institutions, which then in turn nurture and (often unwittingly) propagate them further. That was what happened when the Google manifesto emerged, and in the media frenzy that followed.

That the manifesto was taken as a potentially interesting or illustrative opinion says something not just about Silicon Valley, but about the political moment in which we find ourselves. The media is complicit too: Some media treated it as noteworthy only for its shock value. And others, rather than identifying the screed as an example of the writer’s misogyny, lack of historical understanding, and indeed – as some computer professionals have pointed out – lack of understanding of the field of engineering, handled the document as a think piece deserving consideration and discussion.

The many people who said openly and loudly that it was nothing of the sort are to be commended. But the fact that they had to waste time even addressing it shows how much damage casual, unreflective sexism and misogyny do to every aspect of our society and our economy.
The corporate response

Google, for its part, has now fired the writer, an expected move after the bad publicity he has helped rain down on the company. But Google has also – and in the very same week that I gave my talk there – refused to comply with a U.S. Department of Justice order to provide statistics on how it paid its women workers in comparison to men. The company claims that it might cost an estimated US$100,000 to compile that data, and complains that it’s too high a cost for their multibillion dollar corporation to bear.

The company will not expend a pittance – especially in relation to its earnings – to work to correct allegedly egregious gender-biased salary disparities. Is it any surprise that some of its employees – both men and women – view women’s contributions, and their very identities, as being somehow less inherently valuable or well suited to tech? Or that many more silently believe it, almost in spite of themselves?

People take cues from our institutions. Our governments, corporations, universities and news media shape our understandings and expectations of ourselves in ways we can only partially understand without intense and sustained self-reflection. For the U.K. in the 20th century, that collective, institutional self-awareness came far too late to save its tech sector. Let’s hope the U.S. in the 21st century learns something from that history. At a time when technology and governance are increasingly converging to define who we are as a nation, we are living through a perfect – if terrifying – teachable moment.
 

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