Author of “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” Memo Fired for Expressing Ideology

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I, like many practical people, usually avoid assumptions if at all possible, preferring to research and apply honest questioning. I try to stay open to learning new things and the possibility that there may be valid points I haven’t even considered.

This common philosophy often leads people to study and read more into subjects, even if put off by the title. It is the groundwork for rational discourse and respect for fellow humans who we may disagree with. A, sort of, “don’t judge a book by its cover” approach. An approach apparently disappearing from the American Zeitgeist, as evidenced by a memo sent around Google. The memo, penned by a, now fired, employee, ironically sought to point out a what is developing into an enforced mono-culture within the company.

If an individual has described the memo “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” as “the anti-diversity google memo” or “the anti-woman google memo”, it’s fair to assume they probably haven’t read it. It’s not necessary to believe the author when he says “I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes”, because that’s what a guilty party would say. But if one thinks his words prove him wrong, they should probably know what those words are, and in context. At bare minimum, maybe reading the full sentence referred to in articles critical of it, when what is in quotation marks is one word with a summary that could easily be misleading.

If one is writing an article about this memo and describe it either way in their title, I’m going to assume they’re playing the click-bait game of selling moral outrage packaged as journalism. Don’t get me wrong–the title is what gets people to your actual content, and people tend to hate thinking and love easy righteous indignation. I’ve learned more about the art and necessity of click bait titles the past couple months than I ever wanted to…

If you think this note enforces disparagement against women, at least read it first if you want to be taken seriously. It’s not even that long, and it’ll take you just a few minutes. Here it is…

If those ten pages, including graphs, are just too much for you, there’s a convenient section the author included literally entitled “tl;dr” and condensed to a bulleted list.

● Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety,
but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
● This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too
sacred to be honestly discussed.
● The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this
ideology.
○ Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
○ Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
● Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership.
● Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business

Of course google fired him, almost as though they wanted to confirm some of his major points or as though they just appreciated irony. I believe that as a private business, they should have every right to, whether they should have done so or not.

Of course, California law may disagree with me. He filed a complaint with the national labor board, and some legal analysts suspect his lawyers may make the case that the memo related to unequal treatment of employees. Under California law, it could be argued that

1. An employer can’t retaliate against workers for complaining about illegal working conditions

2. There is no requirement that google’s activities actually were illegal, just that the allegation was stated or implied in the memo

3. The burden of proof may, incredibly, fall on Google to prove they didn’t retaliate based on the memo rather than Damore, despite their status as defendant

Google’s defense may amount to whether or not they knew about the NLRB complaint before or after the memo itself, that there was a contractual obligation to a code of conduct that the memo violated, or that it did not allege illegal, rather than unethical, activity on the part of Google, in the form of censoring political beliefs of employees.

Perhaps this article itself is tl;dr for some readers. If so, a pretty short bulleted list of my own can easily summarize:

● Allegations that this memo is anti-diversity or sexist seem to be coming primarily from those who didn’t take the time to read it
● They should if they want to be taken seriously
● Media outlets that describe it as anti-diversity or sexist in the title are likely doing so to generate traffic, not because they actually believe it… and if they do, it’s due to journalistic bias rather than factual reporting
● Google has since fired him, and I agree with their right to
● California, ironically through progressive laws, may not

Gary Doan

Gary Doan

Obviously, he's a guy in front of a keyboard. He uses it to make money through the stock market for his career, but more importantly he uses it to tell other people on the internet how they're wrong, post dank memes, and stay in a constant state of research about economics, law, and history. He lives in a town called Salem in a geodesic dome with his lovely wife, lovely children, regrettable pets, and some random Sanders supporter that lives in his attic and drinks all his booze. He enjoys logic, snark, satire, tattoos, learning, and obviously writing and liberty (even of the viral variety).
Gary Doan
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