Google CEO Pichai cancels 'town hall' on gender dispute

Phillip Butler
August 14, 2017

The U.S. far right plans to take its dispute with Google to the company's doorsteps, with a nationwide "March on Google" set to take place this month.

As a crisis unfurled at Google over an employee memo that argued biological factors helped explain the shortage of female engineers and leaders in Silicon Valley, some of the most pointed critiques of the company's handing of the issue were posted to its own message boards.

The ads appear to be related to the saga of James Damore, the Google engineer who was sacked earlier this week after writing a 3,000-word essay criticizing Google's diversity policies in which he suggested that biological differences in women could make them less suited to work at Google. Some even live on campus. For years, Sandberg has been conveying - in her books and even in an global forum like the World Economic Forum - that people need to go beyond gender stereotypes. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, nearly like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of "Don't be evil".

Google is "a particularly intense echo chamber", he wrote. As Noam Chomsky once observed, "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum". Whether it's in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos. He wrote that public shaming serves as a warning that punishment awaits those who don't conform to the ideological beliefs of the majority.

You can read the whole thing here.

This is a case that should be studied by social scientists.

Damore asserts that he was "fired for telling the truth" - a point he reinforced with his recently opened Twitter account @fired4truth.

The memo, which was shared on the tech blog Gizmodo, attributes biological differences between men and women to the reason why "we don't have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership".

Damore may be a talented engineer, but he's not a biolgist. This is hurting minority Googlers because it creates the perception that they are less qualified. Google Vice President for Education Maggie Johnson said, "It's definitely a defining moment for Google and our culture".

To deliberately misinterpret what someone writes or says in order to maintain control over the thinking of employees is evil. The organizers motto is "Google is an anti-free speech monopoly".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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