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Feminism 2017

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mordecai, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Solfege

    Solfege High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    "Who are those "diversity" candidates, I wonder? Gee, it's not as if, having read this memo circulated within my company, the nature of my humanity compels me to question the deservingness of my fellow coworkers who fit that profile on some level. Especially in moments of frustration with those coworkers."

    The problem with essentialist arguments is that they inevitably break the statistical-anecdotal line in the sand.

    I'm all for discussing the subject matter on the macro level. Merit-based hiring is great; I've said before in this thread I don't believe in quotas. Where diversity-based hiring applies, it should apply representatively between two candidates of equal ability. But where and how Damore chose to disseminate the memo has highly unfortunate implications.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  2. Lindsey

    Lindsey Order Member

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    Why does everyone think that Google doesn't hire based on merit? They totally do.

    I know quite a few female engineers and CS majors that have been rejected by Google- including myself. Some of these women are incredibly strong programmers who graduated from top ten CS schools and had previous jobs at Microsoft, Amazon and other well known companies. Trust me, companies this size with that much pay, can choose the very best, and that is what they do.

    The reason these companies are specializing and supporting minority and female classes is because it is a brilliant move for the future.

    Think about it, the STEM market is mostly untouched by a large minority of the population. Who knows what wonderful ideas and skills these people might have if given the chance. By trying to get people interested and supporting them you are doing two major things:

    1) Making more engineers which in turn make more very talented engineers and gives the company a much larger candidate pool to pick from. More people mean more skills, ideas, etc.

    2) By being the ones who helped the newcomers get interested in CS, these new people would be much more inclined to work with these companies. After all, wouldn't you want to work with the company that helped you out in the past?

    All-in-all, its a great strategy for any large company in tech. Plus, by trying to get women interested in technological jobs, even if it doesn't work, might get them interested in various products the company produces.

    example: Microsoft would LOVE for women to be interested in the x-box just as much as men. You know how much their sales would go up?

    This is why these companies are targeting younger children and making these classes. Making anyone just slightly more interested in technology is going to benefit them greatly. These companies want childhoods to be devoid of gender stereotypes as it means more people will be interested in the products they serve.

    I just have to laugh at this memo he wrote, because its sounds so much like an engineer... he can't even imagine that there are reasons to why they are doing this other then to fill 'diversity quotas at any cost.' I really doubt any of what Google is doing for women and minorities has even hampered him at all. It is just ridiculous.
     
  3. disposablehead

    disposablehead Seventh Year

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    I might be reading too much into this, but I remember something I the memo along the lines of increasing access to programs for everybody instead of giving specific groups exclusive programs. Instead of training women to negotiate better wages, let everybody in on it. And if those programs aren't accessible to him, then it seems like he is being disadvantaged, in that other employees get better training and skills that he is excluded from.

    I totally agree about the PR side of the equation tho.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    Well yeah. Dude was a dumbass who brought down a firestorm on his boss' head, even if it hadn't gone public. There was no way he was keeping his job after that.

    That's kinda irrelevant though. The guy being an idiot in how he went about saying it doesn't make what he said wrong.

    I could be wrong, but my reading wasn't that Google didn't hire competent people (and if memory serves, he goes out of his way to highlight that stance). The way I parsed it, it read as "This is great and all, but the culture of exclusivity and discrimination that's necessary to push through natural inclinations to reach a 50/50 gender split is harmful and discriminatory".
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  5. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    He explicitly said that Google has prioritized quotas for minority and female hiring that are being given more and more weight in the hiring process, and that anyone who questions it is pretty quickly shut down and shown the door. And then he's shown the door.

    This is not a new complaint. It's a real problem with social liberalism, and their collective failure to deal with it honestly and have any kind of discussion is why we have a Trump presidency. It's bad to be that circlejerky and narrow minded, but you can largely pass through life and not have it matter until you start trying to elect people out of your circlejerk circle and then the wider communities opinion matters.
     
  6. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    As I see it, there was only ever one possible ending for this guy after he sent that document, and that’s being fired.

    Without debating the merits of his argument, the salient points are:-

    1. There might be biological reasons why fewer women might be choosing STEM fields.
    2. Tech companies should not lower standards to admit more women.

    There is a direct implication that there are women working at Google, that wouldn’t be there if they were held to the same standards as men. Any CEO would fire him, because this dude just became a walking lawsuit magnet from his fellow female colleagues.

    Furthermore, any good CEO should be as concerned about the rest of his employees(in this case particularly the female ones) where this guy just called many of them stupid, preserving his right to dissent and engage in free speech does not take precedence over protecting that dignity of many thousands of employees.
     
  7. someone010101

    someone010101 Groundskeeper

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    Shoudnt the quota for googles tech hiring practices be compared to the male - female ratio of CS graduates instead of some abstract figure relating to the male - female ratio in the whole population. Google isnt the fundament, high school and college are. Google does not need to look at possible biological differences that might possibly lead to imbalances (systemising vs personalising). They can just take a look at the market they recruit from right now, assume the same level on average and go from there. AND they can get numbers instead of just speculation. All the speculation about innate differences is academic. Those with a degree and/or experience deserve it. Who cares if it's because they are statistical outliers, they managed to work around deficiencies, they work harder or he's just wrong.

    Unless he's against Coding Camps for High Schoolers, but thats just stupid.

    That doesnt include his hypotheses that men value status more, therefore more men in leadership roles he mentioned, but w/e.
     
  8. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    Problem there is that that is deemed sexist and mysoginistic, because something like 25-30% of CS degrees every year are earned by women.

    Anything less than 50% women is derided as a cesspit of toxic masculinity that needs to get with the times, regardless of any factors that might be at play, and that's largely what the memo is trying to point out.
     
  9. Lindsey

    Lindsey Order Member

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    It is quite a bit less. 18% of women earn CS degrees and quite a few don't become developers or engineers. You are probably looking at 12% women who are actively looking for developer or engineering work.

    In 1980s, 37% of CS degrees were held by women.

    I think most women would be ecstatic if the ratio was 30/70 at this point. The reason a 50/50 ratio exists as the 'desired marker' is because 30-40 years ago, we were pretty close. It was the introduction to video games, other 'boy activities', and the CS stereotype back in the day that caused a massive drop in interest for the field for women.

    Are they though? As I mentioned in my last post, it really doesn't look like it. All the evidence shows that these are Google's goals for the future, rather than actual quotas. If they were quotas, there would be a lot more women at Google.

    We also have to realize this goal is not just for developers, but women in leadership as well. This means many of these positions are not engineer work, yet these two tend to be very male dominated. It wouldn't surprise me that a company like this is trying to balance out the gender inequality in the future.

    Secondly, he is shown the door because he communicated this in the worst possible way. He could be 100% right but still deserved to be fired because YOU DON'T SEND MEMOS TO THE WHOLE COMPANY LIKE THIS. He could have talked with a manager, or HR, or even got a group of people to work with him to change things.

    Discussions have not changed in the last 30 years, just what we discuss and how has. Now we have the internet, a very convenient tool to finding people who agree with you. This PC culture did not just appear in the last couple of years, it always has been around. It just was hidden because we did not have mass communications. People were and always will be offended by stupid shit, doubly so if they are young.

    Think about how many people were yelled down before the civil rights movement for believing blacks should be treated as equals... or people who supported homosexuality in the 80s and 90s. Then you had the anti-war and hippy movement which had all sort of 'strange ideas' that were not accepted or even wanted to be discussed.

    No, we have a Trump Presidency because many white Americans feel oppressed because they no longer can get away with the bullshit they once were able to. The quote 'When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression' really applies here. People want someone to blame for their troubles, Trump gave them so many people to blame.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  10. Puzzled

    Puzzled Professor

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    Do you have a source for that at all? Wikipedia's article on women in engineering says that in 1960 that women made up less than one percent of all engineers. Since schools still produce way more male engineers than female I think that having equal representation a decade later is impossible. Looking at another article from computer science.org on the current state of Women in Computer Science I found that in the seventies only 12% of engineers were female. They reference a table showing the gender ratio of students in computer science by year, and women never got above 37%, and also say that the total percentage of women topped out at 35% in the nineties.

    Fifty percent is a bold claim, and I've never seen anything to back it up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  11. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Is there maybe a U.S statistics vs The World statistics confusion going on here maybe?
     
  12. Lindsey

    Lindsey Order Member

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    Nope, I was completely wrong. It was just a very badly worded statistic.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/data-mi...ce-gender-gap-widens-despite-increase-in-jobs

    It seems it was roughly 37-40% in the early 1980s (which is crazily almost 40 years ago now). By the early 20s, it had dropped to around 15-18%. Less then one generation and we saw nearly a 50% drop in interest. That is pretty crazy on its own.

    I wouldn't be surprised that companies are trying to reverse this within a generation, as the opposite happened in one generation. It will still be several decades before we could even get close to a balanced-ish ratio. No wonder many of these companies are sponsoring young classes and programs. Jobs in the field are growing exponentially and there is this huge untapped market. It would take a fool not to try to get into this market.

    Ps. editing previous post to reflect this.
     
  13. disposablehead

    disposablehead Seventh Year

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    Scott Alexander has a more pessimistic hypothesis.

     
  14. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    Rereading the original article again, I don't actually understand his argument.

    He says that:
    - There are some scientifically suggested differences in men and women in the general population as a whole
    - Therefore affirmative action is bad

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see his actual argument for how the statistical slight differences between men and women in the general population directly leads to Google should stop affirmative action. It's easy to infer a lot from what he said as shown by the hate shown, so it is an ineffective rant anyway.

    I mean, if the desire is for highly motivated workers, then you should try to hire more minority ethnicities and females because they will have gone into a job they want rather than go in because it is socially easy for them to do. It will also create more diversity in thinking which is good for designing human interaction with the systems and understanding more people's use cases.

    It could be said that he is accidentally arguing for the opposite case- that men should be discriminated against because more men join computing because they are socially pushed into it and they find it easier so less effective workers can get further.
     
  15. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The desire was to theorise the possibilities for the huge disparity in gender representation in his field using the data he used.

    He's also against forcing the disparity to be closer through affirmative action.

    He offered some (debatable) ways they can change to appear a more appealing prospect for young women.

    He has no issue with his colleagues (that were represented in his Manifesto).
     
  16. awinarock

    awinarock Alchemist

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    So I haven't read the manifesto, but tbh, I don't think it really matters what it said and I don't think he should have been fired for releasing it. Sure it was incredibly of him to do it the way he did and it's Google's right to fire him, but the whole thing reeks of thought crime. Like Xiph0, one of my biggest gripes with the left in recent years is it's tendency to use social pressure and the legal system punish people who openly express certain opinions. I think that people should be allowed to express their opinions in the public sphere without having their life ruined as long they aren't actively harassing anyone.
     
  17. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    This doesn't make any sense. If you release a public statement implying a group of your colleagues are too stupid to work there. I will fire you.
     
  18. awinarock

    awinarock Alchemist

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    I mean, technically it was originally a memo sent between colleagues wasn't it? So you wouldn't allow an employee to voice the opinion that he/she thinks their colleagues (for whatever reason) are stupid to work there? Regardless of the logic or validity of the reasoning behind that opinion shouldn't employees he allowed to speak their mind without the threat of losing their job hanging over their head?
     
  19. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    Yes, that's exactly my point. My duty as a CEO is to all of my employees, I'm not going to sacrifice the dignity of thousands of female employees in order to preserve this one guy's right to free speech.

    Furthermore, it wasn't just shared between a few people, it went to all of Google's 40k workers. Most of the stuff in the manifesto is fine, but the part targeting women directly affects his ability to function with other colleagues and breaks company cohesion.

    If he were complaining about how individual employees were not upto the standards of Google, you may have a point. But that's not what happened.
     
  20. EsperJones

    EsperJones Order Member

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    There's a difference between speaking your mind and posting something to an internal forum and having it go viral both inside and outside the company.