Monday, August 7, 2017


     There's been some considerable arm-flapping this week in the Prozac Nation over the fate of a Harvard and MIT-educated software engineer named James Damore. Damore was fired from Google today after being exposed as the author of a 10-page Manifesto that was circulated first through Google as an unauthorized and anonymous corporate memo; then later leaked to the Internet at large. Most of the manifesto, which bore the title Google's Ideological Echo Chamber has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with say, designing software.

      Instead, this memo was really an exercise in trolling. Not surprisingly, the whackos on the fake Right---with Vox Day and Jack Posobiec at their head---are screaming about censorship. And of course they agree with Damore's premise: that women are unsuited for tech fields. Carly Fiorina and other Conservatives might disagree, however.

      Before taking sides in this non-debate, let us examine only a few simple, basic facts:

      1. Google is a huge corporation with thousands of employees; and their success as a company rests upon getting these thousands of people to work as a team.

       2. An employee circulates an unauthorized memo that causes a disruption in the corporate environment---wholly unrelated to Google's purpose as a Technology company.

       3. Someone---probably the same employee---leaks the text of this memo to the press, causing damage to Google's image. It should be noted that Google is currently also involved in a controversy with the US Labor Department over alleged wage disparities between genders.

         4. The same memo openly accuses Google management and executives of sabotaging the corporate good and arrogantly makes demands upon them to change.

       So what does one suppose that any corporation would do with an employee like that? Give him a medal for speaking out? No, they would fire him, as they did Damore. The bottom line here is that Google is a business. Software engineers don't dictate company policy to CEOs; and they especially don't disrupt the entire organization from within and without. They design software: that's what they're paid to do. As an employee, Damore's actions were completely unacceptable.

        And that is really the issue here. This not a censorship or free-speech issue because Damore was fired for his actions, not his words. Vox Day, in his usual dishonest way, ran a poll on Twitter asking whether or not respondents thought there was an problem with Google's diversity policy. That's not even a relevant question to what Damore did.

        It's time to get a grip on reality. Damore is no martyr; he did something stupid and got fired for it. Think of this: did Damore face losing his job before he published this manifesto? Of course not. Google didn't care about his opinions as long as he produced software---nor should they have cared. But Damore used his opinions to harm the company and that's another matter.

      Anarchists and Communists believe in Labor overthrowing company leadership from within: Conservatives do not.




  1. Kind of like waving a red cape in front of a bull with sharpened horns. You better know what you are doing. It doesn't seem like James Damore did know.

    I hope he good plans for finding employment elsewhere.

    1. The other strange thing was that he sent the original memo anonymously---as if Google (one of the biggest cybersecurity companies in the world) wasn't going to find out who sent it. It guess it also shows that Harvard and MIT degrees don't always equal common sense.

    2. Given what he was hired to do, one would think the guy would know that the company would be able to determine the source of any email. Only way to prevent people from abusing the system.

      People do some strange things. Why? Sometimes they are literally just a bit crazy.

    3. Damore impresses me as one of those types of employees who thinks he's too important to be let go. He probably thought that the CEOs would back down and the other employees who agreed with him would look up to him. But as an old detective friend of mine always says, "Things don't always work in reality like they do on TV."

  2. I agree completely and have posted some similar points to my facebook friends. Does the "alt right" understand how corporations function and the wide latitude they have to preserve shareholder value? I mean, to me, that is largely beside the point, but I thought conservatives "dug" this whole free enterprise thing. Or to put it another way:

    "Hi. This is the CEO. I just had to cut my vacation short to address the fallout of your unauthorized memo."

    Rational response: "So... should I go clean out my desk right now, or will you be sending me a box?"

    James Damore: Harvard PhD and first class knucklehead.

    1. Thank you---and not only the shareholders, but this happened while Google is under investigation by the US Labor Department for alleged wage discrimination against female employees. I don't know the details of that investigation; but is possible that if Google is violation of Federal Law they could be disqualified as a government contractor. I doubt if that will happen; but it potentially could, and if it did that would hurt Google considerably. I'm sure that Damore's memo certainly didn't give Google an especially positive impression in front of the Labor Department bureaucrats.