Fired Google Memo Author To Explore Legal Action Against Company




Google engineer James Damore, who penned the now-viral memo on Google’s intolerance of conservative viewpoints, has been fired from his job and plans to explore legal action against the company. He was allegedly fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

Damore recommended that tech hubs like Google: 1) stop demoralizing diversity, 2) stop alienating conservatives, 3) to confront Google’s bias, 4) to “stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races,” 5) to “have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs,” 6) to also focus on “psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity,” 7) to de-emphasize empathy, 8) to prioritize intention, 9) to embrace the science of human nature, and 10) “reconsider  making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.”



Here’s the gist of his memo:

  • Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
  • This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
  • Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
  • Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

And here’s the “contentious” portion about women in tech. (Warning: it’s not offensive)

Women, on average, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

In response to Damore’s memo, Google’s vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo asserting the engineer’s essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender”. But that will not help the case against Google, who is currently the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for allegedly paying women less than men– a claim the company has since denied.

Experts say Damore doesn’t have much of a case against his former employer, but that remains to be seen. As I wrote on Facebook this morning, it’s imperative for more conservatives and libertarians to enter the tech realm and offer some creative disruption in that industry. It’s needed now more than ever.

Zuckerberg Says New Facebook Will Help Build Common Ground

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled his company’s new mission: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

This was in line with Facebook’s first-ever Community Summit in Chicago, IL. During his talk, Zuckerberg highlighted the need to build community. Here’s an excerpt from his talk:

Right now, I think the most important thing we can do is bring people closer together. It’s so important that we’re going to change Facebook’s whole mission to take this on.
For the past decade, we’ve focused on making the world more open and connected. We’re not done with that. But I used to think that if we just gave people a voice and helped them connect, that would make the world better by itself. In many ways it has. But our society is still divided. Now I believe we have a responsibility to do even more. It’s not enough to simply connect the world, we must also work to bring the world closer together.
We need to give people a voice to get a diversity of opinions out there, but we also need to build enough common ground so we can all make progress together. We need to stay connected with people we already know and care about, but we also need to meet new people with new perspectives. We need support from family and friends, but we also need to build communities to support us as well.

What will facilitate these important discussions? Facebook Groups, Zuckerberg said to CNN Tech’s Laurie Segall.

Zuckerberg also told Segall, “A lot of what we can do is to help create a more civil and productive debate on some of the bigger issues as well.” This is a large departure from making family and friend posts the dominant theme on Facebook.

This goes along the lines of a letter he authored earlier this year to make Facebook more open to diverse opinions — conservative ones included.

With respect to free speech, Zuckerberg said this:

“An important aspect of freedom of speech is that you need to be able to get pretty close to offensive,” said Zuckerberg. Disagreeable content is allowed, “as long as it’s not hate speech or way over the line,” he added.

This is Zuckerberg’s first major media appearance since 2012. The Facebook CEO was notably absent from a tech meeting with President Trump earlier this citing a “scheduling conflict.”

Zuckerberg certainly has his obtuse social justice opinions, but as the leader of the largest social media platform out there–with 1.9 billion users and counting–he recognizes his company’s responsibility to facilitate discussion and meaningful conversations.