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Culture wars at Google

MTL76

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Culture wars at Google
« on: August 05, 2017, 07:43:30 PM »
http://gizmodo.com/exclusive-heres-the-full-10-page-anti-diversity-screed-1797564320/amp

This internal memo questioning the push for equal representation of women at Google has rustled some jimmies.


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NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 03:53:20 PM »
From what I was reading the person who wrote didn't just make the point they should hire the best people for the job, which is an understandable argument, but that mean are biologically better at the computer sciences.

MTL76

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 07:42:12 PM »
No, he said that women and men on average tend to go into different fields and have different interests, so expecting there to be an even distribution of men and women at a tech company like Google (or in any field) would require abandoning a strict meritocracy.



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Pillow Biter

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 08:08:23 PM »
Calling this an 'anti-diversity screed' would be laughable if it were not so effective.

He is, of course, pretty much right. However, he may have failed to read the room...

MTL76

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 07:22:56 AM »
Anyone saying the memo was "anti-diversity" (never have quotes been needed more) either didn't read it, is lying, or is blinded by ideology.

If the large majority of college graduates in computer science and engineering are female, how the hell should Google's computer science and engineering workforce be 50% female?


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Toilet Bunny

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 07:44:47 AM »
Yeah, women not going into a specific field as much as men is not sexism at work.  It's the result of men and women having different interests on average.

MTL76

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 09:35:35 AM »
Well, the authors, James Damore, got fired for thoughtcrime. That didn't take long.



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Rufio

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 10:10:55 AM »
The comments at the Gizmodo site are mind-numbingly closed minded and ignorant.

Some posters cite to the study on the statistical equalization rated between men and women with respect to "masculine" instruments after the correction of unconscious biases. That's a fair example (it was cited in a Gladwell book, I believe Blink), but it doesn't mean that every statistical gender disparity has the same cause. In fact, it's absurd to assume that's the case.

One commentator argues that the IQ disparity between boys and girls, where girls perform better at verbal skills on average and boys perform better at math, is cultural. Sweden is cited as an example of a more "equal" society where the math gap is closed. What the commentator omits is that in Sweden, girls are slightly ahead of boys in math but vastly ahead of boys in reading. So the reading/math ratio held constant; the variable is that boys are falling behind in everything in Sweden. In fact, Swedish boys are falling behind boys in another European countries.

The commentators ignore other facts he pointed out, e.g., that you actually see more women in STEM and other more male-dominated fields in places where women have less rights and the economy is poorer. The obvious explanation for the data is that as women are more liberated, they're freer to choose the careers they want rather than what they need to survive.

Above it, it's ridiculous to see the commentators' poorly thought out comparisons to the Bell Curve. Much of what  the guy said is in line with mainstream research. Rather than the Bell Curve, Stephen Pinker's book The Blank Slate would be a fairer comparison.

NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 10:11:35 AM »
No, he said that women and men on average tend to go into different fields and have different interests, so expecting there to be an even distribution of men and women at a tech company like Google (or in any field) would require abandoning a strict meritocracy.

He directly says the biological differences between men and women maybe the reason why we see less women in tech jobs. Careers we pick is definitely more a nurture thing than a nature thing.

NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 10:23:53 AM »
The comments at the Gizmodo site are mind-numbingly closed minded and ignorant.

Some posters cite to the study on the statistical equalization rated between men and women with respect to "masculine" instruments after the correction of unconscious biases. That's a fair example (it was cited in a Gladwell book, I believe Blink), but it doesn't mean that every statistical gender disparity has the same cause. In fact, it's absurd to assume that's the case.

One commentator argues that the IQ disparity between boys and girls, where girls perform better at verbal skills on average and boys perform better at math, is cultural. Sweden is cited as an example of a more "equal" society where the math gap is closed. What the commentator omits is that in Sweden, girls are slightly ahead of boys in math but vastly ahead of boys in reading. So the reading/math ratio held constant; the variable is that boys are falling behind in everything in Sweden. In fact, Swedish boys are falling behind boys in another European countries.

The commentators ignore other facts he pointed out, e.g., that you actually see more women in STEM and other more male-dominated fields in places where women have less rights and the economy is poorer. The obvious explanation for the data is that as women are more liberated, they're freer to choose the careers they want rather than what they need to survive.

Above it, it's ridiculous to see the commentators' poorly thought out comparisons to the Bell Curve. Much of what  the guy said is in line with mainstream research. Rather than the Bell Curve, Stephen Pinker's book The Blank Slate would be a fairer comparison.

What's the gap between Sweden's men and men in other countries?

MTL76

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 11:06:11 AM »
No, he said that women and men on average tend to go into different fields and have different interests, so expecting there to be an even distribution of men and women at a tech company like Google (or in any field) would require abandoning a strict meritocracy.

He directly says the biological differences between men and women maybe the reason why we see less women in tech jobs. Careers we pick is definitely more a nurture thing than a nature thing.

He said the biological differences between men and women contribute to them ON AVERAGE having different overall interests. Obviously this is only pertinent when we are discussing large groups of people and not specific individuals, a point he stressed. I'm sure culture/environment plays a role. As Rufio notes, in societies where there is pressure to go into these fields, the gender gap is much smaller. But I'm not sure how that leads to the conclusion that biology doesn't play a role.

Maybe the cultural gender roles we see are partially influenced by biology? They didn't form out of nowhere. Are there any First World countries where women outnumber men in the fields of computer science and engineering?

Women in the Western world are free to go into computer science and engineering. No one is stopping them. In fact, the push to have parity between men and women in these fields has never been stronger. Yet the large majority of computer science and engineering graduates are men, because women are choosing to go into other field.

This is about as controversial as saying the solar system is heliocentric. Even if you disagree with him, it's sad that this can't be discussed without him being insulted, fired, and having his name dragged through the mud.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 11:20:00 AM by MTL76 »


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NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 12:27:41 PM »
The reason there is more men in the field instead of women could be do to the fact that until the last decade or two there really hasnt been a cultural push in the U.S. for women in the field. So your not really getting generations of girls who are told computers and tech arent just for boys.

Also, from what I understand, Google's policy has nothing to do with them hiring equal amount of men and women. There gender diversity programs are about getting women interested in computer science programs in the first place. If women are biologically skewed not to be interested in these fields then these programs will fail on their own. These programs can only combat against cultural biases not biological ones.

Rufio

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 01:58:52 PM »
Neo, here's the Sweden study on boys:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thelocal.se/20131204/swedens-letting-its-school-boys-down/amp

It's unlikely that the timing of diversity programs explains, or will eliminate, the tech gap in the US. Some of the Scandinavian countries have repeatedly tried similar programs. Typically, they get a quick boost in the stats, then it levels out and the stats return to roughly where they were before.

On the other hand, in Iran women are starting to dominate science and tech:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/amyguttman/2015/12/09/set-to-take-over-tech-70-of-irans-science-and-engineering-students-are-women/amp/

So if you want more women than men in tech jobs, what you really want is a culture of conservative Islam.

On a serious note, the real culprit is the men going away to fight and die against Iraq in the 80s, forcing Iran's women to pick up the tech jobs just for survival. It's similar to women going into factories during WWII.

When great numbers of women *have* to do tech and engineering jobs for survival, or because there's nothing else that pays well, you see a large and sustained boost in stats. When a society is wealthy and egalitarian enough that individuals can afford to do what they want, more men than women end up in tech. I'm unaware of an exception.

Depending on how they are structured, the danger of diversity programs is that they risk pressuring individuals into doing jobs they don't want. And if a "gap" fails to diminish, the managers are often unfairly accused of bigotry, despite their best efforts to increase diversity.

Why does no one care that less than 30% of psychologists are men? Or that there are far fewer women than men who work well-paying but dangerous jobs? No one seems interested in these "gaps" for some odd reason.

The point is, not every statistical demographic gap is caused by discrimination:

https://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/07/27/what-explains-demographic-gaps-simpsons-paradox/

Assuming that every gap is caused by discrimination or implicit bias has the potential to create paranoia, stifle honest discussion of ideas, reduce viewpoint diversity, and push people into careers they don't want.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 02:01:35 PM by Rufio »

MTL76

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 02:08:51 PM »
Or push the people who talk about it out of careers they did want, apparently.


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NeoGreenLantern

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Re: Culture wars at Google
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 02:51:44 PM »
I highly doubt women are being forced into these jobs due to social pressures.

Not every gap is caused by discrimination but that's doesn't mean some aren't.

Also that the Sweden article isn't really helping the argument men are biologically better or psychologically more adapt at STEM fields.  It sounds like boys need there hands held more than girls.