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Assange offers job to sacked Google diversity manifestbro

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Don't hold back.

Tell us what you really think.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't hold back.

Well sounds like he went to a secret google diversity event and came out deciding what google was doing was likely illegal.

I look forward to nothing being covered.

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Forage, the Orange Menace and Gorgeous George?! The man in committing credibility seppuku. He must be setting up an insanity defence in case the colonials finally get their hands on him.

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Alien

All that's missing is David Icke's support and he has an unbeatable four of a kind.

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Do you really need to ask whether David Icke supports Wikileaks?

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He must be setting up an insanity defence in case the colonials finally get their hands on him.

Not soon enough.

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"All that's missing is David Icke's support and he has an unbeatable four of a kind."

True.

"Weapons grade bell ends."

Sub head of the years so far.

I see El Reg has taken something of a dislike to this young man.

Then again his views do seem pretty dislikeable.

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Well..

One of the few areas Assange and I agree - if he's right or not is moot. He was talking about having the debate and he was fired for this.

It's made worse by the fact he is right: hiring policy shouldn't be a forum for resolving society's ills. He's wrong in saying it's biological though - the disparity is caused by upbringing, the way children play. If a girl shows interest in "boy things" like say Mecano or computers she's a tomboy and should be shunned. I have no doubt these attitudes are working their way out in western society but they are the root cause; and will take generations to resolve.

Any attempts to force feed a "correction" into the employment market as discussed in this chap's paper will cause companies to not always be hiring the best person for the job which will cause companies to not perform at their peak efficiency - doubly so because it will sow resentment (and a culture of fear if people are fired for bringing it up for debate) amongst employees. Why companies aim for this to fit in some false model of what the employment market should look like (why aren't men given priority in nursing if this is a thing?) is precisely why people like Trump get elected, the population will always push back at what it views as top-down unfairness when given a chance.

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Re: Well..

I don't believe the chap in question was claiming it was biological, I think he was pointing out the various studies that showed that it was based on biology.

These days you don't seem to be able to bring up a controversial topic for discussion without being immediately pigeon-holed as being associated with the very worst of whatever the topic was you brought up.

Discernment and critical thinking appears to have been pressed out of people's brains by MSM/TV (a bit like apple juice is squeezed out of apples to make cider I reckon).

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Pint

Re: Well..

"Discernment and critical thinking appears to have been pressed out of people's brains by MSM/TV (a bit like apple juice is squeezed out of apples to make cider I reckon)."

No, your apple juice simile has a positive outcome.

It's cider -->

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Anonymous Coward

Biology is a thing.

>He's wrong in saying it's biological though - the disparity is caused by upbringing, the way children play.

Have a look at the classic sex difference play/toy studies when they're replicated in monkeys - almost all the males take the wheeled toys - same as with human children.

eg http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018506X08000949

(I picked this example as the researchers are female - the study and similar are widely replicated)

Anyone who works with animals will talk in detail and at length about sex differences - but there's a weird belief that humans have 'evolved' beyond them in some way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Biology is a thing.

If there's one thing we learned from Trump, rebutting someone with facts never works.

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Re: Well..

"

the disparity is caused by upbringing, the way children play.

"

You state that as if it is an accepted fact. Far from it - there are almost certainly innate differences as well as environmental factors at play. I do not believe, for example, that if it were not for their upbringing, everyone would have an equal sexual attraction toward both males and females (i.e. we would all be bisexual). Lots of behavioural traits are due to hormonal factors, and many hormones are in turn dictated by gender - certainly post-puberty at any rate.

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Re: Biology is a thing.

The thing (I hope) we've learned from Trump is wasting political capital on things that don't mean anything in the long run is a bad idea.

Not for nothing but if you fail to acknowledge that people are left out by societal changes those people who are left out and actively harmed will fight back - you'll do more harm than good - see also the Brexit vote. That's how something like Brexit splits London v rest of the country; nobody has any problem believing immigration helps London but it causes a race to the bottom in the rest of the country and where there is more low skilled jobs. Ignoring those people who suffer under that regime and not making any effort to help them makes them come back at you the first change they get; even if they acknowledge that it might even potentially hurt them. Again, same as per Trump.

You state that as if it is an accepted fact

I did nothing of the sort. It's what I believe to be the case; if it was established fact I could cite references - it certainly causes a lot of the disparity we see for sure, or more accurately the gap.

I know enough extremely competent female software developers to say women don't write code well is bullshit, but what we're talking about is the idea that there should be a 50:50 split in females in the workforce - in all areas. If you don't believe that makes any sense you're a white software bro. All that needs to fuck right off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well..

Having a debate with some of your workmates is one thing. Sending out a widely-distributed memo attacking your employer's policies is quite another. The latter is always going to get you fired. I have some sympathy with some of the things he said in that memo, but I'd still have fired him just as quick if I was his CEO.

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Re: Well..

The latter is always going to get you fired. I have some sympathy with some of the things he said in that memo, but I'd still have fired him just as quick if I was his CEO.

"At google we value lively but respectful debate on a wide variety of subjects".

The end. So easy to solve. Firing people because you don't want feminists to rant about you is silly, from Google of all companies. Literally impervious to any sort of PR.

a widely-distributed memo attacking your employer's policies

My understanding is it was posted to an internal message board where one assumes subjects of debate come up regularly. Also anybody who has read it clearly can't possibly judge it as an attack; it's essentially an opinion piece with many points, some have which have been validated by the guy being fired.

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Re: Well..

He was talking about having the debate and he was fired for this

While it was as wrong to sack him as it would be wrong to sack a woman complaining of sexual harassment, the knee jerk reaction of corporations faced with embarrassment is often to get rid of the source rather than deal with the cause.

However, it's simply wrong to say that he was looking for a debate.

For a start, Google's hiring policy is their business, not his, so it's not quite clear why he feels it should be subject to his political views. If you circulate a memo around your peers questioning the company's investment policy or campaigning for projects to be canned you wouldn't be looking for a debate, but a disciplinary hearing and the same applies to the company's choice of who they want to employ.

But more seriously, his logic is simply flawed. He's saying that fewer women get hired because of certain, supposedly biologically-determined traits, but he offers no evidence that those traits are relevant to the job (it's merely his assertion that "bro" traits and IT competency are highly correlated), no evidence that women who get through the employment process perform less well at their jobs than their male colleagues and no evidence that the selection process is the blind optimal process he assumes. In fact his entire argument amounts to "women are more touchy-feely and therefore can't do IT and it oppresses me to say otherwise". That's not a debate, it's a tantrum.

Which is no doubt what appealed to Julian of Knightsbridge.

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ATG

Re: Well..

Now the question is - if this was an employer firing an employee for trying to form a union - where would your outrage be?

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Re: Well..

You would think people involved in technology would have a brain and not fall for this nonsense you have just came out with. OF COURSE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN ARE BIOLOGICAL!!!

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Re: Biology is a thing.

One basic trait of all placental mammals, the females carry the develop young inside them for varying lengths of time (humans happens to be 9 months). The males do not. Also, in most (probably all) placental mammals, the females nurse the new born and are primary care givers until the young are old enough to fend for themselves (both time periods being variable). With some mammals, the males have little or no role in the rearing of the young. Since humans are placental mammals it is rather likely that a good bit of human behavior will have strong parallels to other placental mammals, particularly other primates.

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@Sir Runcible Spoon Re: Well..

Thing is, he absolutely did use the word "biological".

That was what struck me about the whole episode: he made some points, which a lot of people would consider valid, and then also threw in a lot of speculation/personal judgment that can't be substantiated in any way. Then he mixed them all up, so it was next to impossible to separate the substantive points from the ranting.

This basically guaranteed that sympathetic readers would say he was right, and unsympathetic ones would say he was bullshitting, and they'd both be right, within the studiously-ignored limits of what aspects each side was focusing on.

It was masterful, almost Trumpian level trolling. And it worked. Just look at all this publicity.

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Re: Well..

There are differences between men and women, the key question is if the differences are the root cause of the number disparity (which obviously does exist). Basically my position is this isn't actually a problem and people saying it is are full of it.

Google have gone out of their way to set their company up like a university campus and as a result they're turned it into safe space central rather than fostering debate and people's freedom to speak (again this should be respectful at all times, but people should be able to state their views).

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Re: Biology is a thing.

"I know enough extremely competent female software developers to say women don't write code well is bullshit"

The writer of the memo never claimed that afaik, in fact I believe he said the exact opposite. What he *did* say was that differences in the way the sexes think might account for the lack of women joining the ranks of programmers in the first place - that they are simply drawn to other things, things that involve relating to people more.

For example, we never really speak about how under-represented males are in HR departments do we?

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Re: Well..

@veti, fair point - I didn't read the whole thing. The impression I had was that he was raising these points to describe why there weren't more women in technical roles and that it was down to their *choice* (which was based on biological differences - something I happen to agree with - as do ALL of the women I know).

However, if he was also claiming that they couldn't do their jobs because of those differences, well that's a different kettle of sea monkeys.

Most of the 'awkward' personalities in IT that present me with the most challenges are blokes - they don't listen to reason, but they are very prone to ego-boosting. Women aren't as daft, but if you tell them you respect their point of view (yet still disagree) you tend to get a lot more respect in return.

As someone said in another thread - it's horses for courses and we're all individuals (yes Brian, I'm looking at you!).

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Re: Well..

@streaky

"He's wrong in saying it's biological though "

Unfortunately, numerous peer reviewed university studies have shown that men and women DO think differently and DO have ability differences in various areas. Of course, this is all an average and is not specific to any specific person.

However, the Google chap was simply saying that because of the above, not all jobs will split 50/50. He wasn't saying you shouln't employ a woman coder or a male nurse or whatever. He was just saying that biologically, the sexes natural traits (as shown in studies) indicate abilities and desires will tend to push them towards certain jobs, hence the split will naturally vary from 50/50.

Of course, society does push and enhance this effect enourmously, but saying it isn't at least in part caused by biology is rather going against the science and studies showing differences do exist.

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You're conflating "thinking differently" with "the sexes natural traits", as did the idiot author of the brofesto. Your thoughts are a result of nurture and nature, that's the issue. And there biological differences in brains between genders have been shown to have a tiny impact compared with the nurture element.

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Re: Well..

" biological differences in brains between genders have been shown to have a tiny impact compared with the nurture element."

Citation?

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WTF?

Re: Well..

"For a start, Google's hiring policy is their business"

You don't say... oh, wait, you do! So if they were to decide to have a "hiring policy" of white males (or African-american females or Thai ladyboys or blonde, blue-eyed Germans) exclusively - that would be "their business" too, and we should let them carry on with it...?

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Re: Well..

@mr. Puddleduck: [Citation needed (BADLY)]

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Re: Well..

He was talking about having the debate and he was fired for this.

A company is no democracy, never was and never will be. That guy used company's board to publish an opinion contrary to the company policy, being fired for that is logical. Firing him would have been scandalous if he had posted his pamphlet on a public board and be fired for that, but it is not the case.

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@ Warm Braw, Please Read the memo.

1."But more seriously, his logic is simply flawed. He's saying that fewer women get hired because of certain, supposedly biologically-determined traits, "

He didn't say fewer women get hired, but he say "the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain"

2."no evidence that women who get through the employment process perform less well"

He didn't say women perform less well, but he did say "Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate"

3."no evidence that the selection process is the blind optimal process he assumes."

He didn't assume this is the blind optimal process, but he did say "Why we’re blind" for "We all have biases" and stated "I hope it’s clear that I'm not saying that [the existing] diversity [process] is bad"

4."In fact his entire argument amounts to "women are more touchy-feely and therefore can't do IT"

He didn't say women are more touchy-feely and therefore can't do IT, but he did say "Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things"

Disclaimer: I'm NOT supporting all of his points, but I dislike the news media for putting words into his mouth when it clearly is different.

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Re: Well..

"why aren't men given priority in nursing if this is a thing?"

Because they're too busy being disproportionately employed at higher positions as doctors and specialists, which pay a shit load more, in spite of similar outcomes from medical qualifications.

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Re: Well..

@Jeremy Puddleduck.

"You're conflating "thinking differently" with "the sexes natural traits", as did the idiot author of the brofesto. Your thoughts are a result of nurture and nature, that's the issue. And there biological differences in brains between genders have been shown to have a tiny impact compared with the nurture element."

Yes, I am, because one of the sexes natural traits is different ways of thinking. My thoughts are from many published studies in this area and nothing to do with nurture. I don't deny that nurture affects things as well, but the differences naturally present have been found to be quite large in studies. Women think slightly differently to men (google it....many studies etc.), which is actually a good thing. Whilst it may make the sexes slightly more adept at some jobs than others (in many it may not make the slightest difference), it is also useful in that men and women will often look at things very differently and from different angles, which in many case, is very useful.

The desire to make everyone equal (whether social standing, sex, race, religion etc.etc.) is actually very anti-nature and if successful, would produce a mindless soup of identical individuals. To succeed as a species, we need to utilise the differences rather than try and remove them and deny they exist. At the moment, schools are very bad at playing to the strengths of individual children and instead generally try and produce a standard child at the end. This leads to many going onto careers that do not get the best out of them or offer them the best opportunities. Of course, society doesn't help by valuing academic more than vocational etc., which needs to be stamped out.

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Re: Well..

@Potemkine!

"A company is no democracy, never was and never will be. That guy used company's board to publish an opinion contrary to the company policy, being fired for that is logical. Firing him would have been scandalous if he had posted his pamphlet on a public board and be fired for that, but it is not the case."

That would be fine if the company didn't actively ask for opinion and discussion, which it does. So, effectively what they've done now, is ask for opinion and discussion provided it doesn't disagree with their thinking. They are actively discouraging different thinking and opinions (which in most good businesses are considered a good thing) and acting against their own supposed policies.

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Re: Well..

@Rob Gr

""why aren't men given priority in nursing if this is a thing?"

Because they're too busy being disproportionately employed at higher positions as doctors and specialists, which pay a shit load more, in spite of similar outcomes from medical qualifications."

In spite of similar outcomes from medical qualifications? This simply isn't true. The entry criteria for nurse training and medical school are vastly different. Also, the qualifications at the end are significantly different. Although there are some nurses who can add Dr to the name (in the sense of having a doctorate), there aren't that many. You're trying to suggest that a man with a given qualification is more likely to become a doctor than a nurse and vice versa for a woman. I'm sure there are some that have the qualifications to be a doctor, but choose to become a nurse, but they're very few.

In fact, your reply is completely wrong on representation as well.

http://www.gmc-uk.org/information_for_you/23490.asp

57% men, 43% women. Yes, a small bias towards men. But, also note that the above link says many more women are training to be doctors than men, so in a short while, there are likely to be more women doctors than men!!

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Re: Well..

>>"OF COURSE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN ARE BIOLOGICAL!!!"

Not if the differences you're referring to are roles in society. There culture, history and prejudice apply. And this discussion was about women's roles in society - specifically a career. And you cannot make a supported case that roles in society are solely down to biological differences.

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Re: Well..

Even if there are biological predispositions to certain careers, it's meaningless as a guide to who you should hire unless the disparity is, to use a statistical term, fucking enormous.

If women were - very hypothetically - 5% less capable of higher mathematics on average, it would still be insanity to use male / female as a determinant in hiring policy. And 5% is actually pretty high, if there were a difference of that much, it would have been easy to prove by this point.

Biology primarily influences women's careers by the fact women often take career breaks to have children and men seldom do. Everything other than that has always seemed to be cultural rather than biological in my experience. Certainly I have known innumerable very talented engineers who were women. I have also, from personal experience, known many girls who got put off "boy's subjects" at school. IF (and I'm breaking out the capital letters here), there is a biological difference in ability, it's so small as to be utterly inappropriate to make judgements about individuals based on it. And if there's a biological difference that inclines men and women to be interested in different careers independent of ability, then I would stake everything I own on it being far, far less a determinant than cultural factors because I have seen the latter in action repeatedly at school and at university.

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Re: Biology is a thing.

>>What he *did* say was that differences in the way the sexes think might account for the lack of women joining the ranks of programmers in the first place - that they are simply drawn to other things, things that involve relating to people more.

If so then it's likely more a pressure towards IT for many males. Girls mature more quickly than boys (probably to do with cave people not having a word for 'jailbait'). Consequently a girl at school is usually more capable socially on average than a boy at the same age. Perhaps it's as simple as IT appealing to those who seek subjects dependent on simple, learnable rules. As career paths start as young as fourteen / fifteen (choosing GCSEs), perhaps if career paths settled in later in life you'd see, not more women taking IT, but fewer men.

It's a hypothesis only, but it's one I could entertain. Essentially that IT is a career perceived as not depending on social success and girls acquiring social adeptness and team mentality earlier than (not more than) boys.

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Re: Well..

Hiring should be about ability to do the job well. Nothing else. By all means identify why there is a lack of candidates in a particular demographic - for example girls in school being discouraged from IT - and address it. By all means deal with cases where prejudice is preventing the hiring of qualified candidates - for example, racism. But the goal is to make hiring about the ability to contribute the most, not ham-fistedly treat a symptom rather than a cause.

Google's culture is worrying to me because they have massive influence on what people can say. Their ability to supress a view, an idea or even just a funny video, is greater than a lot of governments. Someone sent me a funny clip of Harry Potter dropping the dragon egg from one of the films and it exploding terrorist-style. Fairly dumb, quite funny. Half an hour later it was removed as "Hate Speech". Not that this is hugely consequential, but just observing that unlike governments, Google can do what it likes. Including shutting down debates. Honestly, if this person wants to discuss male vs. female careers, I'd far rather him do so openly so I can engage and challenge his views than for him to go away with them unexamined and many others to wonder if his views have to be censored that there must be something to them.

All great ideas challenge the status quo. That doesn't mean that everything which does is a great idea, but it does mean you can't institutionalise the suppression of anything that challenges your views because inevitably a few of those things will be something you were wrong about.

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OT: Ad "sponsored article": "...is in the maths"

Sends me to https://thereglabs.com/endpoint_security/article/article2

... where I get a German text that looks like a poor machine translation of a poor text. It starts "Die Grundlage der Technologie-Branche ist Disruption." and doesn't get better from there. Can anybody who sees the English version check whether the text is really that sad?

Near the end: "Der neue Ansatz ist dabei, die bisherigen Ansätze in der Cybersicherheit durcheinander zu rütteln.", seriously non-convincing.

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"In his latest attempt to further the global alliance of weapons-grade bellends*"

I reckon James can make a small fortune suing news publishers who have misrepresented him.

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

...we already know what Assange's attitude towards women is (ie "I'm famous, so I don't need to listen to your opinion about wether I can have sex with you or not") so I can well understand why he feels he may have found a kindred spirit.

By the way, when WAS the last time Assange showed up at work?

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Re: Well...

This morning. He works from the embassy.

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Obligatory xkcd

https://xkcd.com/1357/

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Re: Obligatory xkcd

That is a bigoted US-only legal definition of free speech.

Most of us are not in the USA.

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Re: Obligatory xkcd

Since this happened inside the borders of the United States, the US definition of free speech would be applicable.

Whether or not it is a good definition is another matter.

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Re: Obligatory xkcd

"Whether or not it is a good definition is another matter."

Any definition that disagrees with people not having to listen to your speech if they don't want to would be a _bad_ definition though. What the exact practical ramifications should be can always be debated further, but the idea is sound. That said, whether you should be able to fire someone solely based on what he thinks or says in a non-person-to-person manner* is certainly in need if some debate, even if I happen to think hell no you should NOT.

*Let's not go slicing and dicing the details for hate speech and such right now. No, I don't like that either. But one should be very careful in how one defines what exactly that is.

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Re: Obligatory xkcd

It's a bad definition. It presumes the thing you have to fear when speaking out is the government supressing your voice. That may have been true once but these days there are companies more powerful than many governments. And unlike governments which could only deprive you of printing presses, companies like Facebook and Google can deprive you of talking to your community. Because they believe they own it rather than the people it is made up of.

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Re: Obligatory xkcd

Exactly - the law we have now is not the law we need now.

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Is there room for anyone else

In the cupboard he's hiding in?

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