Have we become too sensitive?

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Have we become too sensitive?

#1

Post by Polkster13 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:00 am

So, I am reading about a Google engineer who posts an internal memo [10 pages with cited sources] (Google as a company has promoted the use of employees doing this exact thing) describing what he feels is an issue with how Google is handling diversity in the workplace at his campus. I have read over the document and did not see anything that stood out as "shaming" someone else-except maybe the way upper management is handling or directing programs at Google. He opens discuss what he feels are bias at the company and gives constructive viewpoints on ways he feels could make the company and better company.

He is then promptly FIRED!

Here is a link to the memo he wrote:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... ocument/p1

Here is an excerpt of the news article I read:

James Damore, the software engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email to Bloomberg, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.” He added that before his termination, he had submitted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board claiming that Google’s upper management was “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints.”

“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does,” Damore said.

Google has long promoted a culture of openness and has allowed employees to question senior executives and their decisions via internal forums. The company has publicly announced its intention to improve the company’s diversity programs and close pay gaps between men and women. In an email titled “Our Words Matter,” Pichai said that while he supported free expression in the workplace, Damore’s memo had gone too far.

“The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender,” Pichai wrote. “Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive,’ showing a ‘lower stress tolerance,’ or being ‘neurotic.’”


I think management totally missed the point of his paper. He states that he has bias. He states that the company has bias. He states that there should be more open discussions on the topic and that it should be looked at from a factual standpoint and not an emotional standpoint. He advocates ways for certain groups (women in this case) to be more inclusive in technology fields like programming. He points out that the training courses at Google may be doing the opposite of what was intended for their purpose. He states that their are biological differences between men and women and these differences could play a role in why there are gaps in the number of women in certain positions and "pay gap". He advocates that leadership should recognize that the company bias may be a detriment to the company.

Basically, he is pointing out what he perceives as an issue with company policy and the company FIRES him.

I personally feel that the company just proved his point. Instead of being "inclusive" by allowing someone to voice their opinion of what they feel is a perceived problem in Google's policies (this was an internal memo folks-until he got fired), they have excluded him by firing him and have by such indicated to all others that if you voice an opinion different from theirs, you will face the same punishment.

Have we as a society, that claims we want to be all inclusive-and thereby not hurt anyone's feelings, gone to an extreme where we are now exclusionary of anyone that doesn't agree with us? If we are to have "free speech" in this country then we have to allow others that we don't agree with to voice their opinion freely. They must be able to do so without the "fear" of punishment or harassment or in this case losing their job.

Thoughts?



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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#2

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:22 pm

You are most likely correct. He has suffered from the PC bias of the current corporate world, our governments and much of brain washed society. They promote openness, but not that kind of openness. They want him and all of their employees to be open to the concept that a woman can do anything a man can do ( and probably better ). But they do not want any one to be open to some differing opinion, and if you have them you better keep them to yourself. Classic PC, the kind the Soviet and other communist regimes were known for, maybe even known for inventing. If your thoughts were incorrect, you needed to go off for some re-education, aka sensitivity training.

What ar some of the 1984(book) words or phrases for these types of situations? Any one remember?
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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#3

Post by GregD » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:23 pm

I'm thinking that the politics discussion has been very quiet for a long time.

Google made a perfectly legal business decision. A U.S. company can terminate employment for no reason, or for any reason other than a very few specific reasons. I don't think it is possible to read anything into Google's action other than Google management considered it the best course of action for their business.

We can get into victim blaming and discuss whether Damore exercised good judgement in how to pursue his issues within the company.

We could discuss the veracity of any of the points that Damore raised in his memo.

Your thread title, "Have we become too sensitive", is misleading. I do not see any indication whatsoever that you think you personally are too sensitive. What you apparently mean by that is actually, "I think those other people over there are being too sensitive". You are expressing your opinion on how someone else should feel about situations that you don't experience from their perspective. From personal experience I can tell you with no doubt whatsoever that some people really hate being told how they should feel, and telling them how they should feel is usually counter productive.

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#4

Post by kev137 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:08 pm

BillyBob66 wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:22 pm
You are most likely correct. He has suffered from the PC bias of the current corporate world, our governments and much of brain washed society. They promote openness, but not that kind of openness. They want him and all of their employees to be open to the concept that a woman can do anything a man can do ( and probably better ). But they do not want any one to be open to some differing opinion, and if you have them you better keep them to yourself. Classic PC, the kind the Soviet and other communist regimes were known for, maybe even known for inventing. If your thoughts were incorrect, you needed to go off for some re-education, aka sensitivity training.

What ar some of the 1984(book) words or phrases for these types of situations? Any one remember?
Double think. The ability to hold two contradictory ideas in your head and believe them both to be true is one that comes to mind. We are expected to be accepting of someone's ideas of bias, but we are not supposed to have are own ideas on bias. The belief that there are no biological diferences between the sexes is absurd. To think that we should raise are children as " gender neutral" is absolutely ridiculous. My daughter and son were born 14months apart. As toddlers they shared the same toys. Trucks, dolls, kitchens, scooters, etc. At no time did I tell my son not to play with dolls or my daughter to put down the dump truck. As they got older they naturally gravitated to gender specific toys. My daughter preferred her dolls and my son his cars. There are people out there who would say that this is unhealthy and I should not reinforce gender stereotypes in this way. But, isn't this how it has always been? I'm not saying that anyone should be denied the opportunity to do as they wish. Give women the chance to fulfill their desires to perform the same jobs as men for the same pay, but also be aware that there are certain physical limits to the jobs that most women are able to do.
And in a side note:
My wife read me a news quote that stated MTV is changing the name of it awards trophy from a " moon man" to a gender neutral " moon person". Absolutely ludicrous, as all humans that have so far walked in the moon have been men.
" No sympathy for the devil. You buy the ticket, you take the ride", Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#5

Post by BillyBob66 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:33 pm

GregD wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:23 pm
I'm thinking that the politics discussion has been very quiet for a long time.

Google made a perfectly legal business decision. A U.S. company can terminate employment for no reason, or for any reason other than a very few specific reasons. I don't think it is possible to read anything into Google's action other than Google management considered it the best course of action for their business.

We can get into victim blaming and discuss whether Damore exercised good judgement in how to pursue his issues within the company.

We could discuss the veracity of any of the points that Damore raised in his memo.

Your thread title, "Have we become too sensitive", is misleading. I do not see any indication whatsoever that you think you personally are too sensitive. What you apparently mean by that is actually, "I think those other people over there are being too sensitive". You are expressing your opinion on how someone else should feel about situations that you don't experience from their perspective. From personal experience I can tell you with no doubt whatsoever that some people really hate being told how they should feel, and telling them how they should feel is usually counter productive.
It has been quiet, hasn't it? And absolutely Google made a legal business decision. But they made a wrong decision, a discriminatory double standard decision. As indeed the laws are wrong and discriminatory and full of double standard. Discrimination is legal against out of favor(with government and corporations) groups, but not allowed against favored groups. Had he been a woman and wrote that she thought women were under represented in that job due to the biases and oppression/discrimination of white, straight males in management and society, she probably would have been promoted. And try to imagine a world where she would be fired for having such an opinion and stating it. Impossible. If she were fired for having such an opinion, I can even see the government civil rights folks wanting to have a talk with Google management. But such a thing is very unlikely to happen if it is a male- especially a white hetero male- being fired for having incorrect thoughts. The Stalins of the world have never liked it when people have politically incorrect thoughts in their heads, (just as some religious leaders have not liked it) and they like to punish those with incorrect thoughts.
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#6

Post by Karla (with a k) » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:28 am

Wow, from reading the responses on this thread, I don't think some have become sensitive enough.
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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#7

Post by GregD » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:02 am

BillyBob66 wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:33 pm
And absolutely Google made a legal business decision. But they made a wrong decision, a discriminatory double standard decision. As indeed the laws are wrong and discriminatory and full of double standard. Discrimination is legal against out of favor(with government and corporations) groups, but not allowed against favored groups. Had he been a woman and wrote that she thought women were under represented in that job due to the biases and oppression/discrimination of white, straight males in management and society, she probably would have been promoted. And try to imagine a world where she would be fired for having such an opinion and stating it. Impossible. If she were fired for having such an opinion, I can even see the government civil rights folks wanting to have a talk with Google management. But such a thing is very unlikely to happen if it is a male- especially a white hetero male- being fired for having incorrect thoughts. The Stalins of the world have never liked it when people have politically incorrect thoughts in their heads, (just as some religious leaders have not liked it) and they like to punish those with incorrect thoughts.
It is hard to choose which point of disagreement to respond to.

I have been writing computer code off and on for 40 years and see absolutely no reason why a person's gender has any influence whatsoever in that person's ability to do that job and to manage people doing that job. It isn't like being a professional football, soccer, or tennis player. It isn't the nature of the work driving the extreme bias towards males in the industry. Damore is completely wrong about that, IMHO, but everybody gets stuff wrong most of the time. Damore's analysis of the situation is not very skilled; clearly he is not as competent in the skills required for his job as he might be. But hey, not everybody is a top performer. Far more concerning is his hubris. The course of action he chose maximized the chances of realizing the potential negative consequences of his position. There were effective ways of advocating his position without exposing himself to such extreme risk. Very poor judgement probably due to excessive overconfidence in his capabilities.

How is that for victim blaming?

Even so, Google had acceptable options other than to fire him.

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#8

Post by GregD » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:34 am

A far more useful perspective on the issue than mine:

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/8 ... ogy-sexism

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#9

Post by GregD » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:16 am

On women in computer science:

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#10

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:45 pm

GregD wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:02 am
BillyBob66 wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:33 pm
And absolutely Google made a legal business decision. But they made a wrong decision, a discriminatory double standard decision. As indeed the laws are wrong and discriminatory and full of double standard. Discrimination is legal against out of favor(with government and corporations) groups, but not allowed against favored groups. Had he been a woman and wrote that she thought women were under represented in that job due to the biases and oppression/discrimination of white, straight males in management and society, she probably would have been promoted. And try to imagine a world where she would be fired for having such an opinion and stating it. Impossible. If she were fired for having such an opinion, I can even see the government civil rights folks wanting to have a talk with Google management. But such a thing is very unlikely to happen if it is a male- especially a white hetero male- being fired for having incorrect thoughts. The Stalins of the world have never liked it when people have politically incorrect thoughts in their heads, (just as some religious leaders have not liked it) and they like to punish those with incorrect thoughts.
It is hard to choose which point of disagreement to respond to.

I have been writing computer code off and on for 40 years and see absolutely no reason why a person's gender has any influence whatsoever in that person's ability to do that job and to manage people doing that job. It isn't like being a professional football, soccer, or tennis player. It isn't the nature of the work driving the extreme bias towards males in the industry. Damore is completely wrong about that, IMHO, but everybody gets stuff wrong most of the time. Damore's analysis of the situation is not very skilled; clearly he is not as competent in the skills required for his job as he might be. But hey, not everybody is a top performer. Far more concerning is his hubris. The course of action he chose maximized the chances of realizing the potential negative consequences of his position. There were effective ways of advocating his position without exposing himself to such extreme risk. Very poor judgement probably due to excessive overconfidence in his capabilities.

How is that for victim blaming?

Even so, Google had acceptable options other than to fire him.

Fine Greg, you think that way, he thinks differently. You think his hubris is concerning, he might think yours is. Or he might think Google's hubris is concerning, considering they fire folks for having politically incorrect thoughts.

If you worked at a firm where those in power were more like Damore than like you, and in a situation where "openness" is encouraged by them, do you think it would be the right thing for them to fire you for having incorrect thoughts as you obviously do? ;)

I don't think you(Greg) should be fired unless the firm had made it clear "hey, this is our store, we don't care what you think, or actually we do care and don't want to hear it, especially if it is different from what we think. If any one is caught discussing these matters, even just in house- and your opinion happens to be different than ours, you are fired.". Or, maybe, "do not discuss these political things at work period. Pretend like you are at certain hammock forums". But the impression I got was rather the opposite. In house discussion and openness were encouraged. Is this part true? "Google has long promoted a culture of openness and has allowed employees to question senior executives and their decisions via internal forums. The company has publicly announced its intention to improve the company’s diversity programs and close pay gaps between men and women. In an email titled “Our Words Matter,” Pichai said that while he supported free expression in the workplace, Damore’s memo had gone too far."

And Greg, unless it was spelled out like the above, I don't think they should fire you for having crazy left wing thoughts in your head and letting them escape. Do you? Think they should fire you, that is? I rather believe in freedom of speech and thought. At least in work situations where discussion of certain subjects is allowed. But not every one believe in such freedoms, I realize. ( and NO, I am not saying his first amendment rights were violated, the feds did not fire him from Google for expressing an incorrect thought. I'm just saying they are in the wrong and a bunch of oppressive PC bigots punishing people for having incorrect thoughts. Although, that does not mean I don't hope he prevails in some sort of lawsuit. I hope he does! Even better would be if they suffered financially for being such oppressors of thought and speech. But I realize either result is extremely unlikely )
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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#11

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:52 pm

GregD wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:16 am
On women in computer science:
I've been wondering what we can do to help the males. Affirmative action maybe?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2015/ ... b36e774d3c
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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#12

Post by GregD » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:28 pm

BillyBob66 wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:52 pm
I've been wondering what we can do to help the males. Affirmative action maybe?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2015/ ... b36e774d3c
Understanding the problem often increases the probability of devising an effective solution.

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#13

Post by GregD » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:56 pm

BillyBob66 wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:45 pm
I'm just saying they are in the wrong and a bunch of oppressive PC bigots punishing people for having incorrect thoughts.
This would be an interesting topic.

IMHO, the Google/Damore incident does not provide a useful example.

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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#14

Post by sarge » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:07 pm

Image
James Damore, the man fired by Google after he published a manifesto that suggested women may have a disadvantage in tech because of their biology, may well prevail in the legal case he has filed against his former employer.

That's because he filed his complaint against Alphabet (Google's corporate parent) under a provision of the National Labor Relations Act that protects workers' rights activists. Under that provision, Damore's complaint will not be about whether he was discriminated against as a white person, a man, or a conservative, or whether the company had a right to let him go as an "at-will" worker.

Rather, the provision governs what workers are allowed to talk about in the workplace about pay, conditions, promotions, and other practices. The law was crafted to protect the right of union organisers to discuss pay rates with their colleagues, and more recently to protect anyone asking questions at work about who gets paid what, and why.

On that basis, he has a fighting chance, according to Valerie Sharpe, a labor lawyer based in the San Francisco area. She told Business Insider that Damore's chances of success were "a little bit above decent." Human-resources lawyers at other tech companies in the Bay Area are following the case closely for that reason, she says.
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Re: Have we become too sensitive?

#15

Post by sarge » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:16 pm

Of course, before we explain what James Damore was right about, it’s important to note the things liberals FALSELY claim he said.

He didn’t say women should be paid less than men. He didn’t argue that there should be no diversity. He didn’t argue that women are biologically inferior. He didn’t, as Brooke Baldwin at CNN falsely claimed, say anything remotely like, “I don’t really like women anywhere near a computer.”

Liberals always seem to find it easier to lie about what someone says and then kick the stuffing out of the strawman than to deal with their real argument.

So, what did Damore argue? Well, the crux of his argument is that Google’s engineers are mostly male because of a combination of cultural and biological reasons, not discrimination against women.

Was Damore right? Evolutionary psychology professor Geoffrey Miller (whose work I've read and enjoyed previously) says that he was spot-on.

For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history. I know a little about sex differences research. On the topic of evolution and human sexuality, I’ve taught for 28 years, written 4 books and over 100 academic publications, given 190 talks, reviewed papers for over 50 journals, and mentored 11 Ph.D. students. Whoever the memo’s author is, he has obviously read a fair amount about these topics. Graded fairly, his memo would get at least an A- in any masters’ level psychology course. It is consistent with the scientific state of the art on sex differences.
Not only do Liberals tend to lie about what someone said and then kick the stuffing out of the strawman afterwards, they'll also claim that other people ignore science and that they never do, and then they'll ignore it all day long when it interferes with their narrative.
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