Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Warren » 03 May 2018, 10:47

Jasper wrote:
03 May 2018, 09:23
The most recent Fifth Column podcast touches on this a bit. I's a conversation with Bret Weinstein and his wife about the Evergreen College & free speech on campus thing, and they mention Google & Damore early on. (I'm only about 20 minutes in.) Weinstein is careful to point out that yes, "free speech" blah blah first amendment blah blah government censorship, but then makes the point that Google did invite feedback on female engineers in Google, and that by firing Damore over his memo, and the huge outpouring of support over that decision, reveals something perhaps dangerous to the overall American culture of free speech since Google is a huge 'gateway' (my word) to how people consume information, media, and news.

I'm not sure if I'm adding anything to the conversation here. As I said, I'm barely into the podcast, so I don't know if they hash this out further, but I thought I'd mention it in case folks wanted to listen to it too.
That was a great podcast. I've seen stories on the Evergreen case, but this is the first time I've heard Bret Weinstein speak at length. Super depth and nuance, no sportsbar. The Damore case is only discussed briefly, but with great perspective. They also spend some time giving some much needed perspective to Jordan Peterson (short version: He has a messianic problem, but he's a first rate academic).
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Dangerman » 03 May 2018, 13:09

It's a good point that we should not assume that Google (read: the service, the algorithm, the product) is a neutral arbiter of information, when it's clear that the org has specific institutional values.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Eric the .5b » 03 May 2018, 13:35

So, wait, is Google a crazy free-fire zone, politically, or is it a lockstep rightthink orthodoxy?

I'm sure you could criticize it as being one or the other, but both? Really?
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jennifer » 03 May 2018, 13:50

Jasper wrote:
03 May 2018, 09:23
The most recent Fifth Column podcast touches on this a bit. I's a conversation with Bret Weinstein and his wife about the Evergreen College & free speech on campus thing, and they mention Google & Damore early on. (I'm only about 20 minutes in.) Weinstein is careful to point out that yes, "free speech" blah blah first amendment blah blah government censorship, but then makes the point that Google did invite feedback on female engineers in Google, and that by firing Damore over his memo, and the huge outpouring of support over that decision, reveals something perhaps dangerous to the overall American culture of free speech since Google is a huge 'gateway' (my word) to how people consume information, media, and news.

I'm not sure if I'm adding anything to the conversation here. As I said, I'm barely into the podcast, so I don't know if they hash this out further, but I thought I'd mention it in case folks wanted to listen to it too.
Not familiar with the podcast, but -- regarding what you said here, and also Jason's comments upthread -- I do think part of the problem is that Damore didn't only talk about female Googlers, but non-white ones as well (see my Damore quote upthread where he blamed "Marxists" not only for attempts to eradicate sexism, but to eradicate racism as well -- and I'm giving him the maximum benefit of the doubt here, by assuming he was not dogwhistling -- "cultural marxism" is a new alt-right code for Jews). Damore's manifesto ignored very obvious facts as well -- I think it was Shem who first pointed out here that Damore made no mention of the fact that women dominated the profession in its early days, then facetiously suggested maybe women are biologically predisposed to work in low-prestige professions -- but while I understand the free speech concerns, WTF is Google or any other employer to do regarding an employee who pretty much states outright that he believes certain of his colleagues are inherently unsuited to certain jobs, solely because of who they are?

Imperfect analogy: if there's a workplace discussion on "What's wrong with the economy and how do we fix it," there are MANY proposals I personally oppose, but do not think the proposal-maker should lose their jobs over it, ranging from "Let's go full Commie and have the state own everything and provide all needs" to "Let's go full Ayn Rand, rescind ALL regulations on businesses and spend not a single penny of tax money to help the poor" ... but what do you do about someone who suggests "To understand the problems with the economy, we really need to look at the roles of Jewish bankers"? If you keep that guy on staff, what are his Jewish colleagues supposed to think?
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Warren » 03 May 2018, 13:55

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:35
So, wait, is Google a crazy free-fire zone, politically, or is it a lockstep rightthink orthodoxy?

I'm sure you could criticize it as being one or the other, but both? Really?
It's the latter. No one is arguing the former. The problem is that it has subsumed the broad enforcement of rightthink orthodoxy into it's business model, well beyond what would previously be expected, or indeed even tolerated, in a secular workplace.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Andrew » 03 May 2018, 14:38

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:35
So, wait, is Google a crazy free-fire zone, politically, or is it a lockstep rightthink orthodoxy?

I'm sure you could criticize it as being one or the other, but both? Really?
It's the latter trying to present itself as the former.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Painboy » 03 May 2018, 14:46

Jennifer wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:50
Jasper wrote:
03 May 2018, 09:23
The most recent Fifth Column podcast touches on this a bit. I's a conversation with Bret Weinstein and his wife about the Evergreen College & free speech on campus thing, and they mention Google & Damore early on. (I'm only about 20 minutes in.) Weinstein is careful to point out that yes, "free speech" blah blah first amendment blah blah government censorship, but then makes the point that Google did invite feedback on female engineers in Google, and that by firing Damore over his memo, and the huge outpouring of support over that decision, reveals something perhaps dangerous to the overall American culture of free speech since Google is a huge 'gateway' (my word) to how people consume information, media, and news.

I'm not sure if I'm adding anything to the conversation here. As I said, I'm barely into the podcast, so I don't know if they hash this out further, but I thought I'd mention it in case folks wanted to listen to it too.
Not familiar with the podcast, but -- regarding what you said here, and also Jason's comments upthread -- I do think part of the problem is that Damore didn't only talk about female Googlers, but non-white ones as well (see my Damore quote upthread where he blamed "Marxists" not only for attempts to eradicate sexism, but to eradicate racism as well -- and I'm giving him the maximum benefit of the doubt here, by assuming he was not dogwhistling -- "cultural marxism" is a new alt-right code for Jews).
The Marxist thing was literally a footnote. I 'm unclear why you keep bringing it up like that was some kind of main axis of what he wrote. There's plenty of other stuff to criticize in it. It's weird mentioning it over and over.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jennifer » 03 May 2018, 14:56

Painboy wrote:
03 May 2018, 14:46
Jennifer wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:50
Jasper wrote:
03 May 2018, 09:23
The most recent Fifth Column podcast touches on this a bit. I's a conversation with Bret Weinstein and his wife about the Evergreen College & free speech on campus thing, and they mention Google & Damore early on. (I'm only about 20 minutes in.) Weinstein is careful to point out that yes, "free speech" blah blah first amendment blah blah government censorship, but then makes the point that Google did invite feedback on female engineers in Google, and that by firing Damore over his memo, and the huge outpouring of support over that decision, reveals something perhaps dangerous to the overall American culture of free speech since Google is a huge 'gateway' (my word) to how people consume information, media, and news.

I'm not sure if I'm adding anything to the conversation here. As I said, I'm barely into the podcast, so I don't know if they hash this out further, but I thought I'd mention it in case folks wanted to listen to it too.
Not familiar with the podcast, but -- regarding what you said here, and also Jason's comments upthread -- I do think part of the problem is that Damore didn't only talk about female Googlers, but non-white ones as well (see my Damore quote upthread where he blamed "Marxists" not only for attempts to eradicate sexism, but to eradicate racism as well -- and I'm giving him the maximum benefit of the doubt here, by assuming he was not dogwhistling -- "cultural marxism" is a new alt-right code for Jews).
The Marxist thing was literally a footnote. I 'm unclear why you keep bringing it up like that was some kind of main axis of what he wrote. There's plenty of other stuff to criticize in it. It's weird mentioning it over and over.
Yes, it was literally a footnote -- in which he literally compared attempts at bringing about sexual and racial equality to Commie attempts to bring about economic equality (implying, in the context of his piece, that they're both equally foolish attempts), and furthermore he literally blamed "Marxist intellectuals" for attempts to fix sexual and racial dynamics. (Also -- I've got the actual manifesto open in another browser window as I type this -- in the main body of the document he referred to attempts at gender or racial equality as "just veiled neo-Marxist ideology that can irreparably harm Google.")

I agree that there is plenty else to criticize in Damore's piece -- but the Marxist quote works best as a standalone without needing additional information about context. (And IMO, it's also worth mentioning as an example for why Google had good and cogent reasons to decide they didn't want Damore working there anymore, beyond merely "He was punished for wrongthink.")
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by thoreau » 03 May 2018, 14:57

Eric the .5b wrote:So, wait, is Google a crazy free-fire zone, politically, or is it a lockstep rightthink orthodoxy?

I'm sure you could criticize it as being one or the other, but both? Really?
I suspect that it's mostly a breakdown of professionalism in certain divisions or units, with one side of the firefight having greater influence and management trying to thread a needle between showing how open they are while avoiding all the PR and HR problems that would come if they _actually_ let people say whatever they thought about diversity policies.

I mean, they apparently do have second amendment groups there. I can't imagine that they are terribly popular, but if you get enough engineering geeks in one place some of them will like guns, and apparently Google wants to let them form some type of affinity group. Presumably there are other groups with right-leaning politics, and it seems that Google wants to tolerate them (to a point) as part of their "blur the lines, spend all your time here, and use our rec facilities" approach.

But when blurred lines lead to breakdowns of professionalism, Google does seem to follow the same HR and PR imperatives as just about any other corporation because duh. Probably with more lefty slant than others because they are a Bay Area corporation, but still.

My best guess.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by nicole » 03 May 2018, 14:58

FWIW I mentioned the Damore lawsuit not because of Damore or his memo but because of Exhibit B, starting on page 73: https://www.scribd.com/embeds/368688363 ... o%E2%80%9D
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jennifer » 03 May 2018, 15:06

Dammit, for some reason Scribd refuses to load anything past page 3 on my computer. But Googling for "exhibit B" damore lawsuit brings up some comment threads saying it's a collection of memes.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by nicole » 03 May 2018, 15:36

It's a collection of posts to the internal messageboard at the center of the WSJ article Mo linked.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jennifer » 03 May 2018, 15:41

Heh, I can't read the WSJ article either, due to a paywall.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Eric the .5b » 03 May 2018, 16:55

Andrew wrote:
03 May 2018, 14:38
Eric the .5b wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:35
So, wait, is Google a crazy free-fire zone, politically, or is it a lockstep rightthink orthodoxy?

I'm sure you could criticize it as being one or the other, but both? Really?
It's the latter trying to present itself as the former.
Yeah, no. I don't believe that for a moment. Especially when the secret, grim orthodoxy is "Hey, don't say 'women all have -2 to thinking about abstract stuff and should just work with, like, people', that's not cool."

(And the first idiot to say Go read what Damore actually wrote gets exactly the response deserved, especially after I reread his open letter last night, as posted on his I am a martyr to the truth! site where he has public-domain art of a guy getting executed as the header.)
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jennifer » 03 May 2018, 17:10

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 May 2018, 16:55

Go read what Damore actually wrote
Except for the footnotes; they don't "really" count. [/snerk]
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 03 May 2018, 17:33

Dangerman wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:09
It's a good point that we should not assume that Google (read: the service, the algorithm, the product) is a neutral arbiter of information, when it's clear that the org has specific institutional values.
When companies grow above a certain size, politics cease to matter for business purposes. Maybe at the tiniest f margins, like which state to extort receive tax rebates from, but that's why companies that make a stink about bathroom bills do business in countries where homosexuality is illegal or companies that are for free speech hand over customer information to the government rather than close up shop in a market. The politics of a company are not made up of the sum of their employees' politics.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by thoreau » 03 May 2018, 17:42

And along the same lines, I doubt that an employee of Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A could get away with sending internal messages questioning the diversity policies, whatever they are. The HR issues will be entirely the same, and even the PR issues will be remarkably similar.

Google might have different social pressures on how people discuss these issues at lunch with work friends, but when you take this beyond a casual lunch and to the level of memos, it's all going to be pretty similar.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Warren » 03 May 2018, 19:28

Eric the .5b wrote:
03 May 2018, 16:55
Andrew wrote:
03 May 2018, 14:38
Eric the .5b wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:35
So, wait, is Google a crazy free-fire zone, politically, or is it a lockstep rightthink orthodoxy?

I'm sure you could criticize it as being one or the other, but both? Really?
It's the latter trying to present itself as the former.
Yeah, no. I don't believe that for a moment. Especially when the secret, grim orthodoxy is "Hey, don't say 'women all have -2 to thinking about abstract stuff and should just work with, like, people', that's not cool."

(And the first idiot to say Go read what Damore actually wrote gets exactly the response deserved, especially after I reread his open letter last night, as posted on his I am a martyr to the truth! site where he has public-domain art of a guy getting executed as the header.)
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 03 May 2018, 22:03

thoreau wrote:
02 May 2018, 20:12

As I get older I'm developing more and more appreciation for the drawing of lines.
The Germans are good at this.

The starting point to bringing bit back is referring to people as "Mr." or "Ms." rather than by first names.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Mo » 03 May 2018, 22:40

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
thoreau wrote:
02 May 2018, 20:12

As I get older I'm developing more and more appreciation for the drawing of lines.
The Germans are good at this.

The starting point to bringing bit back is referring to people as "Mr." or "Ms." rather than by first names.
Do not ask a German colleague how they are doing unless you are ready for the unvarnished truth.
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 03 May 2018, 22:41

Mo wrote:
03 May 2018, 22:40
Fin Fang Foom wrote:
thoreau wrote:
02 May 2018, 20:12

As I get older I'm developing more and more appreciation for the drawing of lines.
The Germans are good at this.

The starting point to bringing bit back is referring to people as "Mr." or "Ms." rather than by first names.
Do not ask a German colleague how they are doing unless you are ready for the unvarnished truth.
Which is exactly right. Say hello or whatever, don't ask how's it going or similar. How the fuck such a stupid custom got started I don't know.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Ellie » 03 May 2018, 22:57

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
03 May 2018, 22:03
The starting point to bringing bit back is referring to people as "Mr." or "Ms." rather than by first names.
I really REALLY wish that English had a widely accepted gender-neutral alternative to Mr./Ms. and sir/ma'am. Not just for the classic SJW reasons (which in this case I endorse) but because, y'know, sometimes it's hard to tell. Some dudes have girly voices on the phone! There's an entire blog of men who look like old lesbians!
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 04 May 2018, 00:21

If you have a gender ambiguous name, that's your fucking problem.

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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Aresen » 04 May 2018, 00:28

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
03 May 2018, 22:03
The starting point to bringing bit back is referring to people as "Mr." or "Ms." rather than by first names.
It took me a long time to accept strangers calling me by my first name. I still dislike this habit, which began in the US and is now pervasive in Canada.

IMHO, the use of my first name is reserved for those who actually know me personally. It is not for use by store clerks or 'customer service agents.'
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Re: Silicon Valley Disrupts Its Own Ass

Post by Jadagul » 04 May 2018, 01:35

The use of my first name is reserved for those who know me personally.

If you're in the same room as I am, and talking to me, then clearly you know me personally.

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