Inside Google’s echo chamber

Google fired the male engineer who created the Silicon Valley uproar over the weekend  after writing an internal memo asserting there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the tech industry.

Now this is not Bernie on the loading dock saying women have no place on the job. No James Damore has a doctoral degree in systems biology from Harvard University, according to his LinkedIn page.

It sounds like he has a bit of scholarship behind his thoughts, despite that the search giant saying Monday he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”.

What I believe got Damore sacked was the assertion in his 3,000-word memo was that “Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture” which Damore saw as stifling and discussion of diversity in the company. As witnessed by his firing.

He wrote in the memo:

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber.

Now, I know very well that you serve at the pleasure of the boss and that free speech in the workplace is not to be tolerates. Damore as well as thousands of other workers have lost their jobs from speaking out against employers.

But the reason this saga has gotten so much play is the fact that in the groovy, rarefied air of Silicon Valley where work is play and play is work, you may not question the great and powerful Oz that leads your company.

These CEOs who have become the faces of technology from the first uber valley chief  Apple’s Steve Jobs to the newest member Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel believe their press clippings that they know all. Please don’t look behind the curtain.

The “echo chamber” that Damore takes to task appears to be spurned by YouTube’s recent announcement that it would change its search results to promote socially progressive videos, and censor content, which it considered “potential hate speech.”

Google’s Vice President of Diversity, Integrity, and Governance Danielle Brown, who only started on the job last month, probably isn’t comfortable with her whole title just yet as she said the company will not tolerate diversity of thought or honor the integrity of a doctoral employee speaking on his subject of expertise.

Brown writes in her memo to Google employees:

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.

And with that thought the company fired Damore.

So as long as the company line is followed “diversity and inclusion” will be valued.

Helllllllo, Hellloooo. I think I’m in an echo chamber.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The subreddit r/google has barred me from posting after I put this story on the Reddit. While over a 1,000 hits from Reddit the moderator labeled this post spam.

This only confirms what Damore says about the echo chamber. Certainly it’s not spam, but it is not in keeping with the “truth” as Silicon Valley sees it.

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One thought on “Inside Google’s echo chamber

  1. Pingback: JPMorgan’s Dimon may have a whale of a problem, again | Gray's Economy

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