The martyrdom of St. Googlebro

Bobo says the Google CEO should resign for firing Googlebro because science:

When it comes to the genetic differences between male and female brains, I’d say the mainstream view is that male and female abilities are the same across the vast majority of domains — I.Q., the ability to do math, etc. But there are some ways that male and female brains are, on average, different. There seems to be more connectivity between the hemispheres, on average, in female brains. Prenatal exposure to different levels of androgen does seem to produce different effects throughout the life span.

In his memo, Damore cites a series of studies, making the case, for example, that men tend to be more interested in things and women more interested in people. (Interest is not the same as ability.) Several scientists in the field have backed up his summary of the data. “Despite how it’s been portrayed, the memo was fair and factually accurate,” Debra Soh wrote in The Globe and Mail in Toronto.

Geoffrey Miller, a prominent evolutionary psychologist, wrote in Quillette, “For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate.”

Why does Bobo think he knows anything about what the mainstream view is in any area of science? He has no training as a scientist. Quillete and Globe and Mail are both right-wing publications, not scientific journals of any sort. Soh has a PhD but is not a researcher, she writes for Globe and Mail and for Playboy. Geoffrey Miller is not a prominent researcher — there is no way you can call a 1993 PhD who is now an associate professor at UNM “prominent”. And he’s best known for this:

On June 2, 2013, Miller posted a tweet on Twitter stating: “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth”.

Update. By the way, I don’t think it matters whether what Googlebro said is true or not. Most job situations are such that if you wrote a 100% accurate memo out about your co-workers you can would (rightfully) be fired immediately. (If you had to write a memo about your co-workers, you’d be much better off lying.) This is a very good point from a former Google employee (h/t commenter Walker):

What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful. You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs, and that they’re only being kept in their jobs because of some political ideas. And worse than simply thinking these things or saying them in private, you’ve said them in a way that’s tried to legitimize this kind of thing across the company, causing other people to get up and say “wait, is that right?”

207 replies
  1. 1
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I’m old enough to remember when there was a movie literally about how the earliest Fortran programming at NASA was done exclusively by women.

  2. 2
    maurinsky says:

    Evolutionary psychology is the worst.

  3. 3
    dlw32 says:

    I don’t think he’s saying that this is the mainstream scientific view… it’s the mainstream view… like if you were to do a poll of “average” Joes, that’s what they believe…

  4. 4
    dedc79 says:

    Bobo is basically the “No, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night” character from the commercials.

  5. 5
    zhena gogolia says:

    Although I have a subscription to the NYT, the only time I ever read a single word by Bobo is in these posts. What a disgusting excuse for a human being.

  6. 6
    PaulB says:

    Here’s the thing: if the guy had concerns about being picked on for being conservative, there are avenues to handle that. You talk to your manager, their manager, HR, or all of the above. I had to handle this once, when a colleague at Amazon was being bullied by his (conservative) manager who knew that he was liberal. I went to HR and to the bully’s manager, whom I know to be a good guy, and reported it without telling them who told me. They handled it and the bullying stopped.

    Similarly, if you have concerns that some training isn’t being offered to everyone, you go to your training department and/or to HR and you express those concerns. If there are legitimate legal concerns, which there may have been (but which the manifesto author didn’t provide enough information on which to make that judgment), they’ll take care of it.

    If, on the other hand, you want to tell your recruiting team to not try to hire more women because women can’t handle stress, just don’t. Ever. There is no scenario here that ends well for you. At any company, high tech or not. That is world-class stupid and world-class bad judgment. Not only will it likely get you fired, it will also close a lot of doors elsewhere in the industry. There is no way that this jerk would get hired at the high-tech company I work for. We don’t need a bomb thrower.

  7. 7
    Walker says:

    The dude was fired because he was bad at his job. He was a scrub with no engineering background at all. He was a bio major that failed out of a systems bio PhD program at Harvard. He just happened to have some coding skills which he was able to turn into a coding job. But notice that his manifesto focus was on coding and not engineering. Because he does not know how engineering works.

    That is why Yontan Zunger’s response is so correct.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    LAO says:

    I thought this Vox explainer by Cynthia Lee is pretty good. It certainly helped me understand googlebro.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    it’s not just that they want ‘ freedom of speech’.
    they HAVE freedom of speech.
    They want ‘freedom from repercussions of said speech’.

    THAT is what they want.

    Phuck him.
    He lied on his credentials…Bobo got a comment on THAT?!

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I thought this was mean until I read the carbs tweet

    there is no way you can call a 1993 PhD who is now an associate professor at UNM “prominent”.

    @zhena gogolia: Although I have a subscription to the NYT, the only time I ever read a single word by Bobo is in these posts

    Pierce’s takedowns can run a bit long, but they almost always leave some deep cuts

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    Ya know, Applebee’s just announced that they are closing 135 restaurants (including some IHOPs).

    Applebee’s locations are disappearing across the US. On Thursday, executives announced that the chain plans to close between 105 and 135 locations this year.

    “We are long overdue in rationalizing the size of our system and closing poorly performing restaurants,” Dine Equity CEO Richard Dahl said in a call with investors.

    In March, Applebee’s said that it planned to close 40 to 60 locations in 2017. In 2016, Applebee’s closed 46 locations.

    I suspect that Bobo will wail with grief. After all, where will he be able to go to find “average Americans” to use as props for his vapid punditry?

    But there are some ways that male and female brains are, on average, different.

    I’ve been reading this shit about genders and ethnic groups forever. There are two obvious responses. One, what people think is a “difference” may not be a difference at all. The other point is one that even some scientists miss. A “difference” is not necessarily significant. It is possible, fuck, likely, that different expressions of genes, hormones, etc, in different individuals still end up with the same result.

    But ultimately, you don’t need a defense or correction provided by science. Got a problem with diversity? Remove the barriers to education and hiring and promotion that many groups face, which is the social obligation of a civilized society, and then get back to me about “differences.”

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    From Nancy L over at Washington Monthly in her round up column:

    * Over at the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren is wondering whether the president is preparing to ditch the Republican Party.

    Trump has been building the case against his fellow Republicans for some time, but it came to a head late last month as Obamacare repeal began its path in the Senate. “Republicans in the Senate will NEVER win if they don’t go to a 51 vote majority NOW. They look like fools and are just wasting time,” he tweeted on July 29. “If the Senate Democrats ever got the chance, they would switch to a 51 majority vote in first minute. They are laughing at R’s. MAKE CHANGE!” Then, a few days later, he blamed the “all-time & very dangerous low” relations with Russia on Congress, “the same people that can’t even give us HCare!”

    Trump’s short-term target was the filibuster and its most important defender, Mitch McConnell. But the beginnings of the broader argument against the GOP are all right there, in 140 characters at a time. Republicans are fools, they’re impotent, and everyone’s laughing at them.

  14. 14
    Doug! says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    there is no way you can call a 1993 PhD who is now an associate professor at UNM “prominent”.

    It’s not mean. I have a better title at a better university in a more prestigious field and I would ask for a correction if I was ever
    described in print as “prominent”. “Prominent” means you’re a member of the National Academy of Science or something like that.

  15. 15
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Sorry, DougJ’s comment about the “prominent” thing is just a fact, not mean at all.

  16. 16
    LAO says:

    I really this doesn’t belong here — but, it made since we are tangentially discussing the NYtimes:

    I'm so sorry to hear about your terminal case of #BothSides, Glenn. https://t.co/OPTinEhZ84— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 11, 2017

  17. 17
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Interesting how Brooks always concerns himself with what happens to the privileged. I bet he has never written an article championing a marginalized person who was fired from his/her job because he/she spoke out against oppression.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Bobo, if you had not yet noticed, is an utter buffoon.

  19. 19
    Keith says:

    Another deeply ironic upshot, should Bobo, or Googlebro, or anyone else scratching that “I’m a put-upon, victimized white male – hear me whine” itch care to actually ponder it.

    They focus on their (purportedly) loftier skills in STEM, their higher SAT scores (if trying to gain entry to college, unimpeded by the evils of any action, affirmative or other to ensure a representative student body is on campus), their higher IQ scores, or whatever metric is convenient at the moment to their argument of grievance.

    Here is a truth – if colleges accepted entrants purely on the basis of those standardized scores, on which many Googlebro’s arguments of masculine difference (superioriteh!) lean, young women would be a higher proportion of the student body than men. A lot of whom might be Indian, or Asian. Right now admissions offices lower the bar, to bring in more white, male, college entrants despite their lower standardized scores.

  20. 20
    gratuitous says:

    For what it’s worth, Geoffrey Miller, your “For what it’s worth” observation isn’t worth very much. “There somethin’ happenin’ here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

  21. 21
    NorthLeft12 says:

    That snippet of a comment from the former Google co-worker of the Manifesto Dude was absolutely perfect. Now, that person sounds like he should be Google leadership material or at least writing an Opinion column for the New York Times instead of the execrable Mr. Brooks.

  22. 22
    Walker says:

    @rikyrah:

    As much as I agree the guy is a douche, this “he lied on his credentials” may be stretching things. I might have worked like this (because this happens a lot):

    He is in a PhD program in computational biology at Harvard. It is not working out. He gets a masters for his troubles, but sent by his advisor on an internship at a computing company like Google. Advisor talks to company behind his back and it turns into longer job. That way the advisor kicks him out without having to be a bad guy. He never updates Linkedin page.

  23. 23
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Bobby Thomson: This! Which a systems biology ex-PhD student who learned to code on the side might not be aware of. The first ENIAC programmers were also women.

    Oh and Bobo’s first instinct as always is to “comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.” It’s what makes him a Republican.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bobby Thomson: A woman…REAR ADMIRAL Grace Hopper…is credited with the coining of “bug” for a computer malfunction.

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    I think a Luntz-approved talking point set went out because my local paper’s regular visiting RW crank (formerly of the Manhattan Institute) had a very similar screed this a.m. It’s how they roll.

    Finally, somebody standing up for the oppressed middle-to-upper class white dude.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    I think the main problem with women is that they are biologically overprepared.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: I’ll say it again, it’s almost supernatural, the man had some kind of derp ESP about the job he didn’t reply want and didn’t think he was going to get

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account realDonaldTrump
    Polls are starting to look really bad for Obama. Looks like he’ll have to start a war or major conflict to win. Don’t put it past him!
    7:30 AM – 17 Oct 2012

  28. 28
    trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Heh-heh, you said “REAR.” Heh-heh.

  29. 29
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Christ, the trove that keeps on giving. And that was back when he didn’t have handlers screening…er…trying to grab his phone.

  30. 30
    hitchhiker says:

    I read that piece at Vox, too. The point I’d hammer is this:

    Mr. Memo doesn’t address the fact that everybody at google, by definition, lives at the tail end of the distribution curve. All the women, all the men, all the ethnicities. They’re all in the 95th (or whatever the number is) percentile of the same curve. And when you get out to that 95th percentile in the population of, say, top engineering students, you find that women are represented much more strongly than they are at google.

    So it doesn’t matter what the “average” woman or African American can do when it comes to software engineering. It matters how well google (and every workplace) draws from the population that it has to draw from. In google’s case, the numbers show that it’s been passing over qualified women and certain minorities in favor of qualified men who are white or belong to other, more suitable minorities.

    Mr. Memo doesn’t think that it’s good business to correct that. He likes it the way it is.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @hitchhiker:

    Mr. Memo doesn’t address the fact that everybody at google, by definition, lives at the tail end of the distribution curve.

    I assume Juicers are at the other end.

  32. 32

    By the way, I don’t think it matters whether what Googlebro said is true or not. Most job situations are such that if you wrote a 100% accurate memo out about your co-workers you can would (rightfully) be fired immediately

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying to my fellow Bay Area tech Millennials but most of my friends seem to be of the opinion that it is completely ok to distribute a ten-page op-ed at work.

    “Lefties do it all the time!” That’s true at some places, but they’re wrong too!

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to that. It almost makes me believe in the supernatural.

  34. 34
    pacem appellant says:

    @Walker: I know Yonatan. His extremely cogent response has been making the rounds on my soc-med feed for a few days. I agree with everything he said, even before it is made plain by this KQED short about the legality of firing him. (TLDR; not firing him would have put Alphabet in legal jeopardy).

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    most of my friends seem to be of the opinion that it is completely ok to distribute a ten-page op-ed at work that only denigrates other people

    Fixed

  36. 36
    Lyrebird says:

    @Walker: THANK YOU for that ref. I will probably have to talk about this bro-ha-ha, so to speak, in one of my classes, and that will help.

    The manifesto talks about making “software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration” but that this is fundamentally limited by “how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be;” and even more surprisingly, it has an entire section titled “de-emphasize empathy,” as one of the proposed solutions.

    The pair programming practices I observed and mandatory code reviews I occasionally participated in as a liaison back in the day, as in more than 15 yrs ago in my case, were designed and required by men and performed well by a team of maybe eight men and one woman? Code review and pair programming makes your product less likely to break you bozo!

  37. 37
    eclare says:

    @rikyrah: One thousand times this. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people that the First Amendment protects your speech from the government, it does not protect your speech from market consequences.

  38. 38

    @Bobby Thomson:
    To add another twist of irony, programming was originally ‘women’s work’ because it was thought to be secretarial. They’re just typing, after all. When it started to become important, it was firmly reassigned to men.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Major Major Major Major: This is exactly what I’ve been saying to my fellow Bay Area tech Millennials but most of my friends seem to be of the opinion that it is completely ok to distribute a ten-page op-ed at work.

    apparently a few older folk at the NSA think the same way.

  40. 40
    Gretchen says:

    Rod Dreher over at American Conservative has been hyperventilating for days about this – one day he had to write two posts about it to fit in all his outrage about how conservatives are persecuted for speaking truth and pretty soon liberals will have them all in jail, or something, for speaking their truth. Truly amazing.

  41. 41

    @rikyrah:

    They want ‘freedom from repercussions of said speech’.

    They specifically want to be able to be mean to anyone they want and have society back them up. They feel – with partial justification – that they used to have this freedom before ‘political correctness’ took over in the 90s.

  42. 42
    Lyrebird says:

    @pacem appellant: Thanks to you too! (see above)

    Expressing a belief to a news outlet is a tad different than expressing it to stir sh_t up at your workplace. Can’t wait until we get the head Republican stirrer of excrement out of office so he’ll stop inspiring more of this. Not claiming a link between national maladministration and this bro, just noting a similarity.

  43. 43
    pacem appellant says:

    @NorthLeft12: Yonatan is a former leader at Google (and an acquaintance of mine). He recently changed careers for reasons that have nothing to do with Douchebro, putting him in a unique position to speak about Google culture and leadership. In the full piece, he states that had he been Damore’s boss as Google, Damore would have been walked out almost immediately. Read the whole thing. It’s that good.

  44. 44

    @Gretchen:

    Truly amazing.

    Not really. This is central to current conservative anger, and why they voted for Trump. It is closely tied to the freakout over the first black president, and their angry opposition to the idea that black lives matter.

  45. 45

    @hitchhiker: yes! Exactly! Google isn’t hiring the median member of a population. Now, it may well be that men are more prevalent at the tails of the tail ends of everything, but with few exceptions nobody at google is a crazy 0.05% genius so it has no relevance on anything.

    Also, even if these population wide statistics did have any relevance whatsoever on who works at google, it would explain like a 48/52 gender gap, not 80/20. (ETA: also assuming they are accurate and have anything to do with innate ability at the 9xth percentile)

  46. 46
    geg6 says:

    Bobo and Sully had a mind meld this morning.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PaulB: Yes, but Julian Assmunch has offered fuckhead a job. Which figures.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    My oldest son works in tech and he doesn’t share this opinion. He’s not at all “politically correct”- he doesn’t really like people except for I don’t know, 7 people, maybe. I think if he believed this he would say it. He does think the industry is horrible for women but I’ve never heard him blame the women he works with for that.

  49. 49
    Seanly says:

    This stupid male/female thing is stupid (to phrase like a Wonkette article). I’m more “feminine” than my wife in that I am more empathic and nurturing (as she’s told me several times – as a compliment). I am also sometimes geekier than the guys on Big Bang Theory yet I can also change the oil in my car and love watching college football. We all run the gamut.

    So the male/female dichotomy is mostly BS and just societally reinforced, learned behavior and roles. Just as those Meyers-Briggs personality types are BS – sometimes we introverts have to be extroverts. Sometimes we have to judge or think or feel things outside of some silly box we’re told we belong to.

    Also, I am misreading or does the second half of Bobo’s first quoted paragraph contradict the sloppy point he’s trying to make?

    Lastly, read the Yontan Zunger response linked in #7 – much of what he says about software engineering is true of engineering in other fields. At my more senior level, I have to work with other disciplines, agency personnel (many fellow engineers but with their POV), non-technically school associates (like CADD techs), and even sometimes the public. I have to listen and be able to articulate my POV.

  50. 50
    Doug! says:

    @geg6:

    They had a mind meld 20 years ago.

  51. 51
    pacem appellant says:

    @Lyrebird: Silicon Valley has a gender parity and sexism problem. It always has. I grew up here and work here. I can’t pretend that I’m fully inoculated either. It’s pernicious. But I believe Alphabet is trying to correct this. Sacking Damore is a good acknowledgement that the problem exists, and signals to other companies that there are steps they can take to try to amend their ways. There are better ways to correct the problem, too, and I believe Alphabet is trying earnestly to implement them.

    Disclosure: I do not work for Alphabet, though I have friends and acquaintances who do.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    Wait, is what we’re talking about an economic issue or identity politics? I need to understand the electoral ramifications for Trump districts.

  53. 53
    Felonius Monk says:

    @dedc79:

    Bobo is basically the “No, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night” character from the commercials.

    No. He isn’t that good. More like he stayed at Motel 6 or a Microtel.

    ETA: Or maybe the Bates Motel.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: Chuckles the Toddler has voiced this view in the past.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Doug!:

    So Bobo is really in the closet and the ex and the new bimbo are just beards?

    Doesn’t surprise me in the least. He always strikes me as a self-hater.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I knew I learned it somewhere.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Doug!: They’re both utter wastes of skin.

  58. 58
    Walker says:

    @Lyrebird:

    I teach several team-oriented project courses. Furthermore, my classes are interdisciplinary with the gender balances being flipped between the two disciplines (which is one of the reasons my university loves my classes). I have come to loathe tech bros with poor people skills.

  59. 59

    @Baud: well, this is relevant to the 4chan and r/mensrights voting bloc, which might not have turned out for somebody who wasn’t the physical embodiment of “suck it, libtard!”

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Interesting how Brooks always concerns himself with what happens to the privileged. I bet he has never written an article championing a marginalized person who was fired from his/her job because he/she spoke out against oppression.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Just a coincidence..I’m sure…

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    It’s identity politics, loosely wrapped in “science” :)

    Except it’s not even Bobo’s identity. It’s the group he would like to belong to, except he’s not a scientist and really has nothing in common with the group at all but that’s also true of the former group he tried to join: “red state real men dads”. He understood them because his son played Little League baseball on some kind of travel team and he once went to a lower-priced chain hotel in Pennsylvania with the other parents. True. That was his column.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    Googlebro’s comment strikes me as a very successful derailer troll. He was unhappy that Google was having a successful conversation about bringing in more women, so he decided to derail it. It’s a classic technique to avoid losing an argument that’s going badly for you: say something completely opposite to the way things are going that’s so inflammatory it distracts everyone in a mad rush to slam you.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @pacem appellant:

    my soc-med feed

    How come you get socialized medicine? And food, too!

  64. 64
    MattF says:

    @Kay: Things are changing, and one gets (unsurprising) squawks from some people. And it’s not just Google– I’m in a tech field and of five people in the management chain directly above me, four are women. Yes, some people are going to have a problem with that; dog bites man.

    ETA: Bobo thinks he’s being brave, I suppose.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    They want ‘freedom from repercussions of said speech’.

    Exactly. They want the power to be able to say whatever they want about women and minorities without the women and minorities being allowed to answer back, just like the good ol’ days.

  66. 66
    patrick II says:

    First there are some difference between male and female brain. Female children start talking earlier for one.
    But, no one really understands what those differences would eventually mean minus the effects of culture. Too many women who have been successful in various scientific areas have had their success stolen from them by their male counterparts, too many women with valid degrees and published papers do not advance in the sciences because sexual stereotyping. See Lawrence Summers, late of Harvard, who said women didn’t have what it took, and then ignored and intimidated Brooksley Born, who worked for him and who said in 2006 that we had to regulate the derivatives or there would be a crash. We all would have been better off if Summers would listen to women. Or other women who were intimidated out of the games playing world by verbal abuse.
    We simply don’t know what would happen if women had social pressures removed and felt free to study areas traditionally belong to white guys. So, include blacks in the who knows, but with better education and more social acceptance, what could happen for anyone?

  67. 67
    randy khan says:

    @pacem appellant:

    Let me second the suggestion to read the piece in full. It’s really a great response.

  68. 68
    catclub says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: NSC National Security Council, not NSA the Eavesdropping Agency

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    Part of the reason Google can’t be associated with rants about what women are is Google is a huge presence in schools, and they’d like to utterly own young people in a frightening world-domination way so they have to appeal to decent people, half of whom are women. And girls. Kind people. People who want other people to succeed and have equal opportunity. They brand all the time in schools. They put kids on top of blocks labeled “Google” because they’re selling a whole idea.

    Tell Bobo it’s a bidness decision. He’ll be more comfortable with that. End of debate.

  70. 70

    @patrick II: that was probably the dumbest part of the whole thing for me, when he claimed that these differences are “universal across human cultures” which is… untrue?

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Kay: He is Martin Prince grown up.

    @Roger Moore: flipping over the chess board, so to speak.

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brachiator:
    In a thread about Bobo, how can you write a comment about Applebee’s and not mention their famous salad bar?

  73. 73
    pacem appellant says:

    @catclub: Too many Judge John Hodgman podcasts. For giggles, he says “Sosh-Meed” as a contraction of Social Media. I didn’t even get that trying to spell that out would be so punny. Thanks!

  74. 74
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: Or at least mention sneeze guards.

  75. 75
    low-tech cyclist says:

    On June 2, 2013, Miller posted a tweet on Twitter stating: “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth”.

    I’ve got a Ph.D. in mathematics. Losing weight is almost as hard as making progress on a math dissertation, and the results of weight loss are all too easily reversible, unlike the dissertation. I’ll always have the doctorate, but Lord knows if I’ll ever weigh 170 again.

  76. 76
    Cermet says:

    @geg6: Yes, mouth to butt … where bobo does his best “work”!

  77. 77
    The Moar You Know says:

    What part of “at will” employment don’t the conservatives understand? They got the damn laws written and enacted.

    “Googlebro” is fucking unemployed and going to stay that way for a while and there’s no court in this state or nation that can help him.

  78. 78
    Cermet says:

    @Mnemosyne: Actually, they want more than just freedom from repercussions from what they say – they also require freedom to repress all who differ from them

  79. 79

    @The Moar You Know:

    “Googlebro” is fucking unemployed and going to stay that way for a while and there’s no court in this state or nation that can help him.

    He’s already getting offers from wingnut welfare joints, will probably get hired by whatever the tech equivalent is, not Uber but only because they’re having PR problems.

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Seanly:
    Bobo’s defence of Googlebro amounts to saying Googlebro had his stats about women right so he must be speaking the truth. That misses a key point: Stephen Jay Gould once said, “You don’t judge an individual by his group mean.”

  81. 81
    Steeplejack says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It’s the Trump Gypsy Twitter Curse. For everything stupid that he does or bad thing that happens to him, there is a Trump tweet from the mists of the past foretelling it for someone else—usually Obama.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    they’d like to utterly own young people in a frightening world-domination way

    That’s what the Giant Evil Corporation I work for does, too, except we start when the kids are babies and try to hold onto them until they’re grandparents. 😈 We are insidious, and legion.

    And, not surprisingly, the GEC is HUGE on preventing harassment and promoting inclusion and diversity. Because if you don’t include the entire world’s population in your plans for world domination, you won’t get very far these days.

  83. 83
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Bobo, you’re supposed to use citations for your claims, from reputable, peer-reviewed journals and/or books. Didn’t college writing ever teach this to him? As crappy as my public school experience was in Ohio, they did ingrain how important it was to cite your sources in a paper.

  84. 84
    Felonius Monk says:

    Why does David Brooks persist in writing these long winded dissertations that incontrovertibly prove that he is an asshole?

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @Seanly:

    Lastly, read the Yontan Zunger response linked in #7 – much of what he says about software engineering is true of engineering in other fields.

    It’s actually true about a lot more than just engineering. Solving problems is what most people do in one way or another, just to make it through life and doing it in or with groups often gets much better results than attempting to be a lone wolf who knows everything. Because no one does.
    Very few can see all sides of a problem, collaboration is essential to progress, it’s essential to learning, which after all is progress.

  86. 86
    Lyrebird says:

    @pacem appellant:

    Silicon Valley has a gender parity and sexism problem.

    I believe ya, since the condition has also been observed in the northeast and the southwest! The sexism troubles me more than the dis-parity per se… I have criticized Alphabet for many things – mostly privacy issues – but given the number of friends, cousins, & ex-boyfriends of mine work for them, I know with certainty that they employ many clueful and upstanding men. Maybe even including the dude that fired the sexist-whisper-campaign bozo!

  87. 87
    Matt McIrvin says:

    It’s remarkable how quickly people can jump from (1) “some behavioral differences between men and women can have a biological component” to (2) “the current underrepresentation of women in the computer and software industry is caused by ineluctable biological differences, and current attempts to rectify them are therefore doomed and wrong”.

    Argue against (2), or even state that it’s inappropriate for a workplace memo, and you end up being challenged to disprove (1), which of course you can’t. So we go around and around. I just saw someone argue that the guy shouldn’t have been fired because boy chimps and girl chimps play with sticks differently.

  88. 88

    @Felonius Monk: Because he’s interested in the truth?

  89. 89
    patrick II says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    In the older world, physical strength and carrying babies mattered more (in the sense babies were difficult and came more often, not that the babies themselves mattered more), so most cultures are not matriarchal. But times change. We have women fighter pilots now, women have more access to contraceptives, and more free time to make the most of what they are. Old attitudes hold them back. Status is an underappreciated driving force. White guys think they are special because of who they (actually me too) were born as, and their deep insecurity in such a fragile justification is shown when they are challenged.

  90. 90
    Yarrow says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Why does David Brooks persist in writing these long winded dissertations that incontrovertibly prove that he is an asshole?

    Because he gets paid a lot of money to do it.

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    I think you answered your own question.
    Asshole does as asshole is.

  92. 92
    Laura says:

    I’ve never worked in the Tech industry or teh googles. How, exactly, is the penis an essential function of the job?

  93. 93
    moonbat says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Very, very untrue. Don’t tell me the bro is claiming to have a degree in anthropology too.

  94. 94
    ruemara says:

    @PaulB: UC system. Supervisor on the carpet for email blaming an error on “the cripple”. When in an HR meeting for his conduct, he whined, “Why am I being forced to hire these inferior people.” Pressed for specificity, he clarified with “women, pregnant people, blacks & cripples). The meeting was endef, the tape wiped, record of it wiped, notes destroyed. Bigot still in place and STILL sleeping with his underling and using facility funds to travel with his family.

  95. 95
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Part of the reason Google can’t be associated with rants about what women are is Google is a huge presence in schools, and they’d like to utterly own young people in a frightening world-domination way so they have to appeal to decent people, half of whom are women. And girls. Kind people. People who want other people to succeed and have equal opportunity. They brand all the time in schools. They put kids on top of blocks labeled “Google” because they’re selling a whole idea.

    Kay,
    You crack me up, but you are being honest….you see the truth of it…LOL

    “frightening world-domination way”

    No lie told.

  96. 96
    Walker says:

    @ruemara:

    The meeting was endef, the tape wiped, record of it wiped, notes destroyed.

    Uh, why?

  97. 97
    sharl says:

    @maurinsky:

    Evolutionary psychology is the worst.

    Based on how I’ve seen it used in response to public controversies like this, I’m inclined to agree. It seems to be something resorted to by dudes like this Google guy, who then cite former frat boys who grew up to become tenured faculty dude-profs at universities.

    Can evo psych research actually be conducted in a professional and scientifically valid manner, that leads to legitimately defensible results? Are there generally agreed-upon professional standards for practitioners? I’ve only seen it come up when it is misused, so I wonder if I am unfairly biased against it because of that.

    My impression is that research in behavioral science in general is a very hard thing to do; I’m grateful that my research in chemistry and materials has mostly involved only inanimate stuff.

  98. 98

    @patrick II: @moonbat: Right, I mean, anybody who writes code should understand the logical ramifications of the word ‘universal’.

  99. 99
    Ruckus says:

    @patrick II:

    We simply don’t know what would happen if women had social pressures removed and felt free to study areas traditionally belong to white guys. So, include blacks in the who knows, but with better education and more social acceptance, what could happen for anyone?

    Thing is we do know. Hell the dude bros know. That’s why they fight so hard to protect their turf.
    We’d all be better off. It’s what the grown up table is supposed to look like.
    OK maybe the dude bros would be passed over because they are assholes, rather than pushed over or up, just to get rid of them. No wait, that would still make us all better off.

  100. 100
    Lyrebird says:

    @Walker:

    I have come to loathe tech bros with poor people skills.

    Liberal-arts bros with axes to grind are the ones that come to class without having done any of the reading, but they try to dominate class discussion by claiming that some Neofoucaultian gibberish makes them both Right and More Oppressed than anybody else in the class.

    I teach several team-oriented project courses. Furthermore, my classes are interdisciplinary with the gender balances being flipped between the two disciplines…

    If you are open to being contacted by email by a job-searcher who totes wants to glom your ideas for the “I would also be interested in co-teaching a yadda yadda course” section of her teaching statement, kindly indicate so and maybe Doug! would forward my email. Totally understood if you have neither time nor inclination for anything along those lines; searching for a TT position lowers my shame threshold.

  101. 101

    So I assume he’ll probably get scooped up by Cambridge Analytica.

  102. 102
    kjazz says:

    FYI: Globe & Mail is NOT a right-wing publication

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    What part of “at will” employment don’t the conservatives understand? They got the damn laws written and enacted.

    Those weren’t supposed to be used against them! Those laws were to supposed to be used for protecting them against people they didn’t like.

  104. 104
    Lyrebird says:

    @sharl:

    Can evo psych research actually be conducted in a professional and scientifically valid manner, that leads to legitimately defensible results? Are there generally agreed-upon professional standards for practitioners?

    My somewhat-informed opinion is that the answers are
    Yes and No

    Some of the research on differences in what people find attractive over the course of their hormonal cycles probably does shed light on something that was selected for. Evo and comparative psych (which also has a very checkered history, but then again the whole field does, sigh…) have produced useful insights about group affiliation & the stress response in humans. The non-bozos doing evo psych probably don’t get interviewed by news media as much, though.

    ETA: edited to make direction of attraction clear

  105. 105
    Walker says:

    @Lyrebird:

    What field are you in? I am in CS, but I am a phil double-major who co-teaches with the technical writing staff in my university. Trying to figure out whether or not you think my feedback would be useful (I am the primary reader for on-the-market teaching statements in my department).

  106. 106
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    It took a week for this guy on my local newspaper to respond:

    Me:

    I’m quite aware of the unlikeliness of this Congress impeaching Trump. Ought to does not = can. And despite your bizarre ostrich routine regarding Trump-Russia, it is a serious problem potentially threatening our national sovereignty, stability, global standing, and democracy.

    As for Trump signing the sanctions bill, he did so because he basically had to. Congress had veto proof majorities.

    Impeachment is a political process. it’s criteria is intentionally left vague. You could impeach a president for literally anything as long as enough votes were in both houses.

    The Supreme Court is very conservative and of course tried to overturn Obama’s laws. Obama was also in office for 8 years Trump has been in office for less time.

    Him:

    OH … and I agree with you. President Trump had to sign the sanctions bill. There is no doubt that Russia tried to interfere with our election process; but then, we are guilty of the same. Let Putin know, in uncertain terms, that he is no longer dealing with the Obama administration. Putin walked all over Obama. Then negotiate from a position of strength.

    We have much in common with Russia and the Russian people. We face the same enemies … and if you have ever seen what goes on in downtown Moscow during rush hour, you’d swear that it was New York City.

    I ran across and looked up these “flash mob” episodes on Youtube:

    Kalinka singing flash mob in a Russian supermarket — disq.us
    Flashmob in Russia with a beautifull Russian folk song… — disq.us
    Flashmob Moscow (Russia) : Putting on the ritz 2012 —

    Me:

    Putin’s Russia is an enemy. It’s clear Putin wanted Trump to win so that he could lift sanctions off of Russia for human rights violations as well as weaken American global standing. Deligitmizing US democracy on the world stage was an added bonus for him to show to his people that real democracy is not possible and that they’re better off living in a corrupt dictatorship. The Trump administration even expressed a desire to unilaterally lift those sanctions on Russia. And we don’t have very much in common at all. At the moment, we’re still a country that has free and fair elections and is ruled by the law, not people. Russia, to my knowledge, has really never had any of those things in its history. Putin is a thug who has had people that oppose him killed. And your false equivalency is nauseating. No US administration has extrajudicially killed it’s own civilian opponents in modern history. And even if they did, I’d condemn them and Russia. F*uck them! And to suggest that the US or Russia are the same is ignorant and disgusting. The US isn’t perfect, but it’s on a higher moral ground than some b*stared oligarchic, dictatorial, semi-failed state that doesn’t even pay lip-service to human rights.

    Also, I don’t dislike the Russian people, just their government.

    Oh, and Trump can’t negotiate from a position of strength. He’s weak. He likes to talk tough but that’s all he really he is; talk. Didn’t you hear about how he responded in a press conference over the expulsion of 750 diplomats from Russia? He actually thanked Putin for reducing our payroll! That’ll be great for morale for our diplomats around the world. “You’re an unwanted expense.” He’s a weak loser and its pathetic that morons like you can’t see though it.

    Him:

    The Russians, from all indications, did meddle in our election process. … and we meddled in theirs and a whole bunch of other countries’ election processes as well… just ask Israel about that one. In that regards, we have no claim to a “higher moral ground” what-so-ever. It just a question of which one of us is worse.

    The unilateral financial sanctions instituted against Russia by our Congress have had absolutely no effect. Most of the banks in the world are very willing to deal with them. Their overall economy based on oil and natural gas, is not stable, but their currency is much more stable than ours … backed with precious metals (gold, etc) and 20% or our uranium reserves obtained from the Obama administration, the deal fostered by Hillary Clinton (want to talk about collusion???)

    President Trump has abrogated many of the regulations preventing our energy sources from being used. We now are exporting energy, coal, oil, natural gas, etc. reducing our trade deficit and giving the Russian economy and Putin (and even the Saudis) headaches they never imagined could happen. We are lowering the price of energy world wide … and that is detrimentally affecting the economies of not only Russia, but also of every Mid-East country to which we were previously held hostage for energy

    President Trump is a pragmatist and a negotiator. Unlike Obama, who supposedly “led from behind (lol),” Trump will be negotiating for peace from a position of strength and fortitude.

    Another conversation with same dude:
    Him:

    You are correct that if there enough votes in the House, a president can be impeached (charged and brought to trial). Conviction by the Senate (2/3 majority vote) does not remove a president from office.

    Somehow those on the left and progressives always seem to confuse “Constitutional” with “conservative.” Abiding by the precepts of the Constitution does not mean that you are “alt-right or even a conservative.” Objection to what the Constitution dictates usually means that one is “alt-left” e.g. violating the First and Second Amendments.

    Me:

    When the h*ll did I ever claim any of that?

    The alt-right (and quite a few conservatives) don’t actually care about the Constitution when it’s inconvient for their ideology. They’d shred it in a New York minute if it meant they could expel American citizens that don’t look like them from the land they were born in.

    Him:

    Perhaps you should read your post. … or was that post just a “copy and paste?”

    Your post is only your opinion derived from left wing talking points. Please present some facts substantiating that the “alt-right” has violated the Constitution. However, I can present facts where the Obama administration’s mandates have been overruled by the Supreme Court at least 14 times by unanimous (either 9-0 or 8-0) decisions and many times more by majority decisions. The “alt-right” and even President Trump has not been overruled by the Supreme Court even once yet.

    NO American citizen has been expelled by Trump’s administration…. PERIOD. However, thousands of illegal criminal (crossing our borders illegally makes them all criminals) aliens are now being expelled; and if they come back, they will be imprisoned. … and it is about time.

  107. 107
    Doug! says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m thinking a visiting scholar at Hillsdale or Claremont McKenna.

  108. 108
    Facebones says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: At the time, it referred to literal insects that had gotten in the giant mainframes and shorted out circuits.

  109. 109
    gene108 says:

    Bobo says the Google CEO should resign for firing, Googlebro because science

    Or is it because Google CEO is a brownie brown brown man?

  110. 110
    sharl says:

    @Lyrebird: Thanks, that’s very helpful perspective. And your observation about news media coverage would be met with weary sighs of agreement from researchers in nearly all scientific disciplines, lol/sob.

  111. 111
    J R in WV says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Why does David Brooks persist in writing these long winded dissertations that incontrovertibly prove that he is an asshole?

    SATSQ: Because David Brooks IS an ASSHOLE!…. duh!!!

  112. 112
    zhena gogolia says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Those flashmob things are total Putin propaganda.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @ruemara:

    UC system. Supervisor on the carpet for email blaming an error on “the cripple”. When in an HR meeting for his conduct, he whined, “Why am I being forced to hire these inferior people.” Pressed for specificity, he clarified with “women, pregnant people, blacks & cripples). The meeting was endef, the tape wiped, record of it wiped, notes destroyed. Bigot still in place and STILL sleeping with his underling and using facility funds to travel with his family.

    Well, at least he’s an equal opportunity hater.

    Slightly reminds me of the former dean of the USC Keck School of Medicine.

    A former USC dean who described himself as a “God” to medical students lived a secret life of drinking, drug use and partying with addicts and prostitutes – sometimes even after-hours on the school’s campus — according to an explosive new investigative report.

    Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, the dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine, was a top bundler for the institution before his resignation in March 2016, hauling in $200 million in research grants while overseeing hundreds of students and thousands of professors and clinicians, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

    He brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to the university, so his bad behavior was tolerated.

  114. 114
    germy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    No US administration has extrajudicially killed its own civilian opponents in modern history.

    Fred Hampton?

  115. 115

    @Doug!: Hoover Institute, maybe? He already lives in the neighborhood.

  116. 116
    germy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    We now are exporting energy, coal, oil, natural gas, etc. reducing our trade deficit and giving the Russian economy and Putin (and even the Saudis) headaches they never imagined could happen. We are lowering the price of energy world wide …

    I’m pretty sure that predates Trump.

  117. 117
    Al Swearengen says:

    @PaulB: Yeah, a lot of the whining about Googlebro seems to be under the misconception that he was hired to write dumb MRA screeds, start a giant PR bonfire, and cause the CEO to be called back from vacation to deal with.

    He’s an entitled idiot who spewed his entitled idiot ideas in an inappropriate setting.

  118. 118
    J R in WV says:

    @Walker:

    So they wouldn’t have to fire the dumb son of a bitch who said and does the horrid things,
    SATSQ>

    really?!?!? you needed to ask why?

  119. 119
    Lyrebird says:

    @Walker: Thank you for replying!

    I’m a social scientist (cognition language brains etc) who used to work in software R&D. I’m an entirely non-prominent VAP not at Claremont McKenna (@Doug!) I was just wanting to pilfer your course ideas, not ask for more of your time than that. On the other hand, my CV might make you laugh! I once taught tech writing for an engineering department, too.

  120. 120
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    I did hedge by saying even if they did I would still condemn it. I’d add that in Russia it’s the norm to kill people you don’t like. It’s not like that here not yet.

  121. 121
    Walker says:

    My courses are a bit idiosyncratic (which you will see when you find my webpage), though the basic infrastructure works across engineering. And I have no time for anything until after classes start in two weeks.

    But sure, @Doug! send my contact.

  122. 122
    PPCLI says:

    @kjazz: I came here to say the same thing.

  123. 123
    Lyrebird says:

    @Walker:

    And I have no time for anything until after classes start in two weeks.

    Understood!!!

    says She Who Should Quit All Blogs Until The New Syllabi Are Uploaded

  124. 124
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:

    I’m about done talking to this idiot. He always ignores points like “Putin is a murderous dictator who offs his own domestic opponents”, or “Putin wanted to undermine US democracy on a global stage deligitmize real democracy” to make bs false equivalency arguments. Has the US done some bad things? Yes, of course. Out of the two, I would certainly say the United States is the better one. At least it, generally, tries to the right thing much of the time.

    On top of that, he never sites sources for his claims ever and is vague on many points.

  125. 125
    DougJ says:

    @Walker:

    If you guys both email me I’ll send you each the others email.

  126. 126

    So any thoughts on whether or not he did it intentionally to martyr himself; intentionally to be an asshole; or honestly thought he was participating in allowable internal discourse? (The latter almost certainly requires allowing that he’s on the autism spectrum, but I see no reason to discount it.)

    @Walker: I agree with you about the “lied about his credentials” thing, your explanation is more likely than Google not knowing something.

  127. 127
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Walker: Interesting observations. So another mediocre male has issues with the hiring of females because “science”. This is such a common story.

  128. 128
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Baud: I know I am!

  129. 129
    Mel says:

    @Brachiator: What you said (“remove the barriers to education…” ) is absolutely essential.

    However, even as things change with regards to giving girls full educational access and ensuring that fair hiring processes are enforced, there are institutionalized mindsets, behaviors, and patterns of action that persist in schools and in the workplace and will take, I suspect, a very long while to become extinct.

    Despite lots of forward motion, girls and women still face lots of barriers with regards to STEM careers. The barriers are just often more subtle, and a little harder to see and name outright as such.

    For example, decades ago I tested in to AP high school math, along with numerous other girls in my class. However, only two of us were actually placed in the class by our guidance counselors (and I suspect only because my grandmother and the other girl’s father had made it clear that we WOULD be allowed to be in the class, b/c it was our legal right.) The male coach who taught the class sat us in the back of the room, and purposefully and obviously ignored us most of the year (except when he was trying to belittle or intimidate us). Add to that an endless in-class barrage of boob jokes, dumb blonde jokes and the fact that we two girls were openly mocked by the teacher (“just teasin’, you little gals need to toughen up!”) the few times that we were brave enough to ask a question, and the thrill of earning a place in AP math quickly fell to the wayside.
    When I tried to talk to my guidance counselor in the same school about pursuing a degree in biology, he kept aggressively re-directing the conversation, and suggested that “a smart girl like you would make a good teacher, or a nurse, or maybe you’d like to do something with fashion since you like to sew.”

    Things are subtler today, but the bias still exists. A friend’s daughter has a 3.8 gpa and is very interested in a career in medicine. Last year, a guidance counselor suggested that she consider nursing school instead of a pre-med major, because she “could always become a Nurse Practitioner.” There was no valid reason given for the suggestion, and the reason my friend’s kiddo wants to be an MD instead of an NP is because she’s interested in being a general surgeon, not in the more wholistic, long-term caregiver/patient relationship involved in being an MD or NP in a primary care setting. So, women in STEM = okay, just as long as they don’t aspire to what the system perceives as too high a goal.

    Things like the this Google fiasco and the recent exposure of the crappy work culture for female coders / programmers at Uber, etc., are just examples of the problem bubbling up to the surface where it’s visible to the naked eye.

    The problem is not just in STEM related carerers and companies, however. It’s everywhere. I will never forget having my dept. chair at a teaching job tell me that it was “a shame that” I’d “be leaving in a year or two, because every good female teacher that gets married gets pregnant and leaves to stay home with kids”. WHAT?! Add to that the fact that a school psychologist had just stated the previous day to one of my (childless) coworkers that, “when a teacher has her own children, it reassures the parents that she really understands and cares about children. Parents are more comfortable when a teacher is a mother.”

    Yeah, no mixed, inappropriate, borderline illegal messages there…

    This is the kind of deep-seated, creeping bias that many women fight against every day, in many lines of work.

  130. 130
    Boatboy_srq says:

    Leave it to David Brooks to suggest that eugenics is correct after all, and that gender is as much a marker as race for survival superiority.

  131. 131

    @Mel: Did you try smiling more?

  132. 132
    Mel says:

    Yes. But maybe I should have been less shrill…

  133. 133
    germy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I’m about done talking to this idiot.

    Good decision. Debating someone like him is like trying to staple jello to the wall.

    He’ll ignore your points, subtly attack you (passive-agressively accuse you of “copy pasting” your opinions) and repeat the same talking points that have been drilled into him as if he’s providing original analysis.

  134. 134
    NorthLeft12 says:

    I just finished reading the rest of Yontan Zunger’s piece………and my hat is off to Mr. Zunger. He describes perfectly the ramifications of Manifesto Dude’s rant for an organization, and the Dude in particular.
    The fact that the Dude was too ignorant to figure that out before going public sealed his fate. Of course that goes double for the impossibly dense Mr. Brooks, who never having had to work in a real organization with others, would not have a clue as to the impact of the Dude’s rant on the organization as a whole and all the individuals in it.
    Frankly, Manifesto Dude sounds like a great understudy to take over for Mr. Brooks someday. That is if anyone is interested in propagating the soft bigotry and overarching ignorance that is his specialty.

  135. 135
    Don says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Using those enormous paper forms with Column 6 identified so we could be sure to include it for long statements. Them was the days…..

  136. 136
    sharl says:

    BAKOON‏ @BAKKOOONN Aug 7

    cant believe i got fired for measuring female coworkers skulls with my phrenology calipers. welcome to 1984. i have committed “wrongthink”

  137. 137
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Yes, I commented on a Globe and Mail thread that I was shocked that a white male would loudly argue that males are inherently better qualified for leadership and tech jobs……which are not only his field of work, but a higher paying job class. And then citing data/studies to support it. Perfect.

  138. 138
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    flipping over the chess board, so to speak.

    It’s a little bit more subtle than flipping over the board. It has to look like you’re trying to engage in the discussion while actually re-routing it in the direction you want it to take. And it helps if you have a horde of trolls who agree with you who are willing to dive in once you succeed in getting your argument in the door.

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mel:

    A PhD candidate in linguistics that I knew was bluntly told that she had torpedoed her career and would never get tenure anywhere because she had a child.

    And it was a woman who told her this, a more senior professor.

  140. 140
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Apropo of nothing, I watched Hidden Figures and was simply in awe. One woman played a huge part in building the entire framework for orbital dynamics calculation. Another pretty much invented the IT department for NASA. I would have been honored to know either one, but what do I know? I’m just a pinko, feminine liberal DemocRat who is shrill and uncivil.

  141. 141
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Walker: It might be plausible but considering how fuzzy is logic is my bet is St Googledude bro was one of those Christian Fundamentalists they send to collage to be Creationist Scientists and he bombed out when his Dogma meet the Scientific Consensus. Coding was Plan “B”, that didn’t work out, so REAL American Martyr High Tech division is his next career move (and lest face it, REAL America has a need for arguments to explain to itself how High Tech and it’s permissive culture is FALSE prosperity, spitting in the eye of the crying Freemarket Baby Jesus)

    I mean seriously, anyone who works in Valley knows you don’t just blast out emails to everyone like the corporate e-mail server is Redit and “free discussions” are only for the VPs and above. Heck, just critiquing a collage’s work when one has to talk about it has to be carefully worded to avoid ending up in HR. St Googledude Bro knew that manifesto would get him fired when he wrote it.

  142. 142
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Boatboy_srq: Leave it to Brooks to defend privilege.

  143. 143
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    “Googlebro” is fucking unemployed and going to stay that way for a while and there’s no court in this state or nation that can help him.

    He should have written it while Kalanick was still in charge at Uber; I’m sure they would have been glad to have him.

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    @PaulB:

    If, on the other hand, you want to tell your recruiting team to not try to hire more women because women can’t handle stress, just don’t. Ever. There is no scenario here that ends well for you. At any company, high tech or not. That is world-class stupid and world-class bad judgment. Not only will it likely get you fired, it will also close a lot of doors elsewhere in the industry.

    Donald Trump and his offspring would like a word with you.

  145. 145

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    anyone who works in Valley knows you don’t just blast out emails to everyone like the corporate e-mail server is Redit and “free discussions” are only for the VPs and above.

    Based on the reactions I’m seeing from some friends and colleagues, this is not true. I do wonder if it’s a Millennial thing.

  146. 146
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I assume Juicers are at the other end.

    Juicers are quantum waves.

    You may know where we are at any given moment or our velocity in any given direction, but never both at the same time.

  147. 147
    JanieM says:

    @Walker: Thanks for introducing me to Yonatan Zunger. Great stuff. :-)

  148. 148
    Lyrebird says:

    @DougJ: Grazie. Just sent an email using the Contact A Front Pager dealie.

  149. 149
    Roger Moore says:

    @Facebones:

    At the time, it referred to literal insects that had gotten in the giant mainframes and shorted out circuits.

    As I understand it, this is not quite correct. There was a famous incident of finding an insect in the computer, but it became famous because people had already started to use the word bug to describe computer problems, so finding a bug that was caused by an actual bug was noteworthy.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    Lyrebird says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh yes, I believe that in a heartbeat! Of the three professors who’ve ever bullied me, one was a woman in that same field.

  152. 152
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I’m no PhD, just a CS degree and 40+ as a programmer and DBA, and I think the guy is full of shit. I worked with many women and people from all sorts of origins. The women were just as good or better than the men, and far less likely to be asshole Randians.

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lyrebird:

    That’s why I am sad but not surprised that so many of my fellow white women voted for Trump. A lot of us are misogynistic assholes who hate other women. 😢

  154. 154
    sharl says:

    I assume that most people discussing this are by now aware of the problematic performance this guy delivered in a skit in 2012, while still in college. That wasn’t in a frat house or other “boyz only” tree-house kind of venue, but rather was part of an event put on annually by people in the Harvard department where he was working on his degree.

    …The more interesting — and maybe more relevant — detail about Damore’s time at Harvard is an anecdote first reported by Gizmodo about a “sexist” skit Damore participated in as a student in 2012. Two of his then-professors sent an apology to his peers following the performance, “we would like to offer our sincere apology for uneasiness, embarrassment, or offense that any of you suffered at the retreat.” A then-student who was present for the performance told Wired that it “seemed inappropriate” and “crossed a line.” (Sundar Pichai used similar language — “portions of the memo … cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace” — when writing of Damore’s memo in an email sent to Google staff.)…

    That he could have had this experience, yet gone on to write that memo several years later, doesn’t particularly narrow down what this guy’s root problem is – for example, he could be on the spectrum, a possibility already suggested by M^4 – but it is interesting (at least to me) that he didn’t learn from the earlier experience, either not to do it again (the good lesson), or to be more sneaky in doing something like that in the future (the bad lesson). Early indications are he is enjoying his new hero status with the wingnut crowd, which certainly won’t help motivate him to work toward self-betterment.

  155. 155
    rikyrah says:

    Schools Are Humiliating Kids Who Don’t Have Lunch Money as a Cruel Lesson in Social Class | Alternet https://t.co/H9WQETBMoL

    — Dorothy Li Calzi (@Dorofcalif) August 11, 2017

  156. 156
    LaNonna says:

    There is a great Italian proverb, roughly translates to
    “Tell the truth all day long, you’ll be in jail by dark”.
    Having worked in many toxic environments, keeping my mouth shut often was the most difficult part od any job.

  157. 157

    @sharl: some people on the spectrum are also assholes, same as every other group.

  158. 158
    Roger Moore says:

    @sharl:
    My guess is that this guy is in the category that thinks being an asshole is its own reward.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: I don’t know how respected Donald Trump is in any particular industry anymore. maybe money laundering or con-artistry.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LaNonna:

    There is a great Italian proverb, roughly translates to
    “Tell the truth all day long, you’ll be in jail by dark”.

    And if you tell easily disproven lies like this guy did, you’ll be there by lunchtime.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Getting rid of the competition that would show them to be the people they really are?
    Just questioning possible motives.
    OTOH this might just prove that men and women really aren’t all that different, some people are just assholes and genitalia doesn’t change that. I’ve often wondered though if it’s upbringing that creates assholes but then it’s not difficult to find that in a family of 2 or more siblings, there are often normal kids and assholes. Or not. And that asshole kids can and do grow up to be non asshole adults. So maybe it’s just the way some people see/react to the world. Or a combination. OTOH, I’ve noticed that there are a lot more male assholes than female assholes. It can’t be that I’ve just run across more of one than the other in all the decades I’ve been running across them. Can it?

  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    He’d have to be good at money laundering or con-artistry and he doesn’t appear to be either. His one and only attribute is his ability to bullshit to small crowds. Having achieved the job of playing to a much larger audience is exposing him to scrutiny that doesn’t work well for him.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I was forced to post that on Facebook because it made me LOL at work. 😂

  165. 165
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Ruckus: he isn’t getting a ton of respect in politics, that’s for sure

  166. 166
    JustRuss says:

    @Walker: My best guess: the guy’s a rainmaker, bringing in lots of grant money; or it’s just good ol’ boys protecting their own. 20 years in higher ed, I’ve seen both.

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    I think it stems from what I’ll call Phyllis Schlafly Syndrome: their need to see themselves as special and better than everyone else in their group is so deep that they need to hold everyone else in their group back lest that person surpass them and show that they’re not so special after all.

    Could also be called Clarence Thomas Syndrome.

  168. 168
    lgerard says:

    @ArchTeryx:

    In the book Girls of the Atomic City the author relates the story of a contest between two groups to see which was more adept at manipulating the process of separating Uranium isotopes for enrichment.

    On the one hand, a group of male PHD candidates at The University of California working under the supervision of the man who invented the process. On the other hand, a group of young woman recruited from high school graduation classes of small towns throughout the South and Midwest.

    It turned out to be no contest at all.

  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Yes. The downside to the Peter Principle. When everyone reaches their potential they can go three ways.
    1. Back up and find something rewarding that they are capable of. This the rarest used way in my experience.
    2. Hate everyone and everything for both putting them in a position of failure, and work to make everyone else equal to their failure. Most popular, with varying degrees of hate and work on blaming.
    3. Stick their heads up their ass and glide along, oblivious to everything around them but especially how bad they are at whatever it is that they really can’t do. Not that difficult to find but unless they work for you, or with you, you might not notice them. Which is their desired affect.

  170. 170
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Based on the reactions I’m seeing from some friends and colleagues, this is not true. I do wonder if it’s a Millennial thing.

    Someone was mentioning liberals doing this at their companies which amazes me, my experience is most Silicon Valley execs are libertarians so some liberal rant on the corporate e-mail would bring serious career limiting frowns in the corner offices. Then again everyone in the Valley seems to loath Trump so maybe Trump bashing is allowed.

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @Mel:

    However, even as things change with regards to giving girls full educational access and ensuring that fair hiring processes are enforced, there are institutionalized mindsets, behaviors, and patterns of action that persist in schools and in the workplace and will take, I suspect, a very long while to become extinct.

    To me, “institutionalized mindsets” is just a fancier term for bigotry. I absolutely agree with everything you say, and can only say that the battle is hard, and cannot be fought alone.

    Every woman of all races should watch the film “Hidden Figures,” and read the book on which it is based. Katherine Johnson’s family had to move to a place where there was high school for black children. They had to nurture her math skills. Even when she graduated, her only job choice was to become a school teacher (and paid less than white teachers), not to use her math skills for anything else. And even then, she was legally proscribed from being able to teach white children. The presumption was that no matter what she knew, no matter what math ability she displayed, she was by definition inferior to white people, and thus had no reason to try for anything higher. Except that she did, and succeeded.

    Modern variations of these obstacles still exist for women. In addition, I know women who were pressured into downplaying their math or other intellectual talents so that they would not make their boyfriends “feel bad.” I see this especially with women of color. Sometimes their parents reinforce this “be nice to the boys” thing as well, so the women have little support from anywhere and especially from the people who should most be in their corner.

    I am obviously not a woman, but when I moved from Texas to California, I had a junior high school math teacher who assumed that I could not do the work, and instead of being pleased, surprised and encouraging when proved wrong, he begrudgingly gave me an A. To this day, if I bother to think about it, it amazes me that this teacher could not change his opinion of me even when confronted with the plain fact that I exceeded whatever his standards were. Yeah, early confrontation with cognitive dissonance.

    I also have to confess that I have worked for google. Some of the men and women there are the smartest and kindest people I’ve ever worked with. And many of them are unconventional thinkers. So, it is I guess not surprising, but still sad to realize that even here there are morons steeped in bigotry and stupid assumptions about the talents of women and others.

    My mother was a math teacher. I’m pretty good at math. My younger sister is even better. I happily helped her fight battles against dopes who would try to keep her down, not give her a chance. I know that things are tougher than even I might know for many women. I’m willing to do what I can to help fight the battles for as long as necessary.

  172. 172
    RSA says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    The women were just as good or better than the men, and far less likely to be asshole Randians.

    From Footnote #2 (of 11) of the memo:

    I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason.

    It’s kind of funny, then, that Damore submitted a complaint to the National Labor Review Board–it’s the kind of organization he presumably believes shouldn’t exist.

  173. 173
    randy khan says:

    @ Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) :

    That last response is a real gem, starting with “left wing talking points.” But I particularly like the part comparing the Obama Administration record on Supreme Court appeals to the Trump Administration record.* There is literally one case involving Trump Administration actions that has gotten to the Supreme Court so far, and it sure looks (based on the stay) like the Administration is going to lose on at least part of it.

    *As it happens, the Obama Administration did have a relatively bad record at the Supreme Court, winning just over half of its cases. But there are a lot of reasons for that, and it’s part of a longer-term trend in which Administrations have been winning fewer and fewer cases. Reagan won 75 percent of his cases, but G.W. Bush won only 60%.

  174. 174
    VeniceRiley says:

    I found a good woman in tech to follow on twitter today: Katie Moussouris @K8em0
    She’s a CEO, been coding since she was 8. Is in the security field. Currently running an epic thread on how it isn’t just a girls-in-stem pipeline issue. How the culture is toxic for women. Giving examples.

  175. 175
    MoxieM says:

    @Walker: yeah…no. He might be able to have “pursuing Ph.D.”, or, “ABD”. But to claim the degree? You don’t get to do that until you have earned the sheepskin. (Pet peeve of mine is when degrees are listed as “given”. Uh, nope: earned! unless: honorary.) Ask me about my ten lost years I’ll never get back.

  176. 176

    @RSA: So many of my friends don’t know that “classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason” means “libertarian”, I have to keep explaining it, it’s shameful.

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: In my experience, it’s more that people do it on casual channels like Slack and small email threads, not blasts (although a public Slack is sort of a blast). The Google document was on the internal google+, where some people do indeed post lefty political stuff.

  177. 177
    Walker says:

    @MoxieM:

    I was under the impression he was claiming PhD candidate, not the degree.

  178. 178
    cain says:

    That manifesto was junk. Seriously, one of his points is that men have rigid social programming or something like that. Of course, if men are rigid (pardon the pun), then someone else must be flexible, huh? The best part was logically if men became more feminine they would not be interested in tech anymore. Like there is proof of that at all.

    What really got me is how we must play nice with conservatives. Why do we always have to play nice with these guys while they are in charge of country and taking away everything we worked for?

    ETA:
    In the end I felt angry because he was attempting to cage my masculinity as well. My gender has nothing to do with anything. When I was in high school I loved to cook, and I wanted to go to home economics, unfortunately that’s not where boys go, they go to shop which I sucked at and did not enjoy myself at all.

  179. 179
    MoxieM says:

    @Walker: Good question. I’ve seen it claimed as “had the degree” … but seriously, I’m guessing we’ve each wasted more time on it (beyond establishing that he’s a liar) than he deserves. The manifesto and its ramifications, on the other hand, are certainly worth exploring (I think.)

  180. 180
    Mike in DC says:

    There’s an intersection (ality?) between so called pick-up artists (PUA), men’s rights advocates (MRA), Men going their own way (MGTOW), and the various white supremacist groups in the alt-right (ASSHOLES). In part it stems from the common use, misuse and abuse of social science research, particularly evolutionary psychology, which is just this side of pseudoscience on a good day. Neurolinguistic programming is another doubletalk obsession, particularly for pick up artists. It is essentially the “this one weird trick” principle applied to trying to get laid (in practice, harrassing women in various environments and trying to manipulate them into sleeping with them).
    At any rate, for a certain segment of the (largely white, male, conservatarian techbro) population, this stuff is like an article of faith.

  181. 181
    Gelfling 545 says:

    I’m a bit surprised that conservative business types don’t get the need for the firing, even if they completely agree with Mr. Googlebro. I expect they’d be the first to unload someone who had said/done sonething to “damage the brand.”

  182. 182
    Chris Fisher says:

    As I’ve said elsewhere, is it really too much to ask people to come in, do their damn jobs, and act like goddamned professionals? You’re not being paid to opine on the genetic differences between men and women or the races. You’re being paid to come in an do a job. Do it. Be polite to your coworkers and then go home.

    If you feel like putting out a manifesto on male superiority, do it on your own time, and expect that there will be consequences.

  183. 183
    Annamal says:

    I do in-house application development (the stuff we do is idiosyncratic enough to require bespoke solutions) and it is amazing how much of the job is understanding the problems people are having, which means understanding the people and the way that they are interacting with the systems we build.

    I recently spent two days of my own work and saved the organisation I work for over 100 people hours a year, I couldn’t have done that if we weren’t talking to users and finding out what their most tedious/repetitive jobs were (and working with them to find the best way of resolving the issues).

    Googlebro shows an offensive lack of understanding about the ultimate aim of software engineering/application development.

  184. 184
    Jack the Second says:

    @sharl:

    @maurinsky:

    Evolutionary psychology is the worst.

    Based on how I’ve seen it used in response to public controversies like this, I’m inclined to agree.

    Allow me for a moment to defend science in general.

    See, the thing you have to understand is that most individual scientific papers are mostly useless. I don’t mean they’re badly written or the science is poorly done or the conclusions are necessarily wrong, I mean they’re mostly useless, because you can’t usually tell, looking at an individual paper, whether it is good or bad.

    There are some individual exceptions, of course. Some math papers are relatively straight forward and just by following the argument you’ve more-or-less verified its correctness. Some papers are so obviously wrong in their methodology that you can discard them on that basis, knowing their conclusions can only be right by accident.

    But mostly, any individual scientific paper is useless … except to a practitioner in the field. If you are studiously following a body of scientific research, you have the context to properly evaluate new papers that come along. You can tell if their methodology is sound, whether their findings fit with the overall body of research, and whether their hypothesis are contradicted by other evidence. Bodies of evidence, that’s what useful, but it’s only accessible to the public at large after it has been digested by a group of scientists, a consensus has been reached, and the conclusions have been boiled down to something solid and uncontroversial.

    We don’t give individual scientific papers the respect they deserve. We publicize their findings when they titillate us, not when their incontrovertible. We build grand theories of life on top of them, flimsy as a foundation as they are. We use them as shields against the larger body of evidence they contribute to.

    The latest author is no different. He cites a handful of papers from a field that’s a mile wide and an inch deep and his supporters hold that up as proof – PROOF! – that science is on their side, and the Social Justice WARRIORS! are anti-SCIENCE!

    We should all treat scientific papers with a bit more respect than that.

  185. 185
    gorram says:

    @dlw32: Which kind of shows how much it plays into stereotyping rather than testing presumptions (like, uh, science is supposed to???).

  186. 186

    @Keith: I got a 770/800 in the math section of the GRE. And I am no bro.

  187. 187
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris Fisher:

    is it really too much to ask people to come in, do their damn jobs, and act like goddamned professionals?

    White exceptionalism says to hold his beer.

  188. 188

    Miller sounds like a crank. This column sounds worse than the column where Bobo compared macroeconomics to quantum mechanics, that was stupid^n where n is a very large number.

  189. 189
    MoxieM says:

    @Mike in DC: I’ve been surprised by the utter lack of understanding actual social science in the “but, but, but, I’m a white guy and I don’t see a problem here–never happened to me; ergo, never happens” responses in a variety of discussions. Lots of ’em in the talk-back to Yonatan Zunger’s discussion of the MANifesto. I speak as an actual degree-loaded social scientist (sociologist–no longer, what, practicing?) with specialities including research methods. I’m frankly stunned at the social illiteracy out there. Of course a lot of it is willful ignorance, but it’s still painful to read.

  190. 190
    chopper says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I think that’s his point.

  191. 191
    jl says:

    I don’t know enough about the details of Googlebro and his memo to know whether it was smart or right to fire him. Neither does the pretentious and dishonest ass, David Brooks. He certainly did not provide any evidence that he knows in his dumb trolling column today.
    Googlebor dude is sketchy. I saw a news item about the tale that he told major lies about his qualifications. Don’t know whether that is important in itself or for his work, but a major misrepresentation, in this case about educational qualifications, is a warning sign.

  192. 192
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @sharl: Probably completely dead thread but Damore/Googlebro wasn’t in college
    when he performed the offensive skit. He was a graduate student in a PhD program and clearly thought it was appropriate.
    All these incidents speak to him having zero people skills and an inability to learn from previous mistakes. Back in grad school,
    a few of the guys in my CS PhD program had Asperger’s or were otherwise high-functioning autistic. Some may have been
    awkward in social situations but none were gratuitously cruel or sociopathic. Seems to me that this guy does not understand or
    like people who are not white males and would like to hurt them psychologically if he can.

  193. 193

    This is really the same mistake the Limbaugh made about Donovan McNabb, and he never understood it either.

    It may be true that sports journos wanted him to succeed as a black quarterback. It’s nevertheless true that it was racist to claim all of his accomplishments were nothing but PC statements by sports journos. It was disrespectful to McNabb and the journalists.

  194. 194
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Yeah, knowing the ASD people that I do, I don’t see him (allegedly) being on the spectrum as any kind of excuse. The people I know who are on the spectrum may have trouble picking up on social cues, but they’re also self-aware enough to know that about themselves and try to be open to feedback.

  195. 195
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike in DC:

    I don’t have the link right now, but I read a really fascinating series of long posts by a guy who was somewhat a believer in the whole PUA thing but realized that the instructions basically guaranteed that you were going to attract women with serious Cluster B personality disorders (like borderline personality or narcissistic personality disorder) because those strategies were basically designed to attract them.

    And then he started realizing how many of the MRA and PUA leaders had had a parent or parents with Cluster B disorders and were trying to “fix” that relationship through the women they dated, or had one of those personality disorders themselves.

    It was really interesting to see him walk through the whole explanation, and it seemed to hold together well.

  196. 196
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Baud: I read this comment and knew it was from Baud!

  197. 197
    sharl says:

    @Jack the Second: I don’t think we have any disagreements on the fundamental issues. I certainly like and respect science myself, which brings me to a question about part of your comment:

    We should all treat scientific papers with a bit more respect than that.

    Could you elaborate on who you mean by “we”, and maybe also what you specifically mean by “respect” within the context of this discussion?

    Frankly, I am unqualified to evaluate the value of most scientific articles that are outside of my specialty, and since I am unable to evaluate most scientific and technical articles in a responsible and qualified manner, I’m not going to treat any such articles with respect or disrespect. At most, my response might be “huh, that’s interesting” or “oh, wow, I’d like to know more!” or maybe an unenthusiastic “so what?” But those responses are not expressions of respect or contempt of an article based on its technical merits.

    That’s why I asked in my original comment about the current state of the quality of evolutionary psychology (evo psych) research, including how a non-expert might be able to separate the charlatans and incompetent practitioners from those who practice due diligence and professionalism in conducting evo psych research. Unfortunately for those who do this kind of research honorably and responsibly, I’m afraid the burden will probably fall mostly on them to out the ne’er-do-wells who lurk among them. Such noble actions will be particularly dangerous for professionals lacking the protections typically afforded by seniority and tenure (i.e., probably older white dudes), which I suspect leaves a relatively small group of people who can do these good deeds without seeing their entire careers get derailed.

    So for any single research paper, or single author, in evo psych, I’m gonna stay skeptical unless and until some qualified reviewer happens along, and even then I’ll still retain a bit of skepticism. After all (for one thing), how would I know whether a paper’s reviewer(s) are themselves qualified? Wheels within wheels…

  198. 198
    sharl says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Your read on the situation seems reasonable to me. It’s more a case of idle curiosity on my part as to why this guy is the way he is, which is maybe an unanswerable question for most/all of us, not just this knucklehead.

    I haven’t seen him address the skit incident, and I probably won’t bother to actively seek that out, though I have some (slight) curiosity about what he would say. Although at this point, he’s probably surrounded by more media-savvy dudebros who can coach him on answers, and that will attenuate what little remaining interest I have in the whole thing.

  199. 199
    John Weiss says:

    Doug!

    I guess you didn’t know that Bobo is an expert in any subject you could name, right?

    jw

  200. 200

    I still don’t follow Brooksian logic, why does the Google CEO need to resign?

  201. 201
    Jack the Second says:

    @sharl:

    including how a non-expert might be able to separate the charlatans and incompetent practitioners from those who practice due diligence and professionalism in conducting evo psych research.

    That’s just it – you can’t separate good research from bad without being an expert. You don’t have to be a professional academic, but you do have to devote the time and energy to become an expert, to familiarize yourself with the full body of research.

    For the rest of us non-experts, and everyone is a non-experts on most subjects, they to respect primary research is the same as how you respect wildlife in a national park: by leaving it alone, or maybe briefly, from a distance.

    I don’t know a good book on evo-psych, it’s not really in my wheelhouse, I’m afraid, but in general it’s not really a matter of “good researcher/charlatan”, “good journal/bad”. A lot of good researcher occasionally hare off in the wrong direction and even idiotic, bigoted researchers occasionally do good primary work, even if their conclusions are wrong. And all that separates a good journal from a bad one is that good journals weed out the really obviously wrong or boring papers – lots of bad research still gets published in good journals. The only difference between a good and a bad journal is that a lot more good scientists read good journals than bad, and they will chew over the methodology, come up with alternate explanations for the data, and try to apply the work to their own data sets. So papers in good journals, right or wrong, will eventually contribute to the consensus understanding of the field, while papers in bad journal don’t get read and are quickly forgotten.

  202. 202
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Mel: In the 60s, a history prof at my prestige grad school told his best student (a woman) that she should apply for jobs teaching history in HS. I don’t remember if he refused to recommend her for univ positions. He may have, because he blocked the hiring of a female historian who went on to become an excellent prof and scholar at a rival prestige school.

  203. 203
    Lyrebird says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Some may have been
    awkward in social situations but none were gratuitously cruel or sociopathic.

    I know this thread is probably long gone but THANK YOU!

    There’s actually at least one German high-tech company that courts coders on the autism spectrum and offers them additional support in various ways (to help them work well with others and to help them feel appreciated as employees and not just treated as odd specimens).

    Very few of the people I know who work for Alphabet have what a real estate agent would consider good social skills. None of them are harassers out to put others down.

  204. 204
    DougJ says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I still don’t understand that.

  205. 205
    Steve Gerrard says:

    My take on science papers in evo-psych and other behavioral sciences is that however good the actual data is, the conclusions regular people draw from them go way beyond what the the actual data supports. Take a paper showing that X% of people will pay tokens to punish another player for contributing too little to a shared pool, and Y% will also do so to players contributing too much to the pool.

    You can draw interesting conclusions about how people play games with tokens, and you may be able to establish some of the biology involved. But you can’t claim that the same result will occur in courtrooms, or business meetings, or classrooms. Context makes a huge difference in how people behave, including nationality, culture, group size, how many of the observers you know well, and so on.

    Real world human life is just too elaborate to be captured well by a game with tokens, or any other experimental design. You have to be very careful how you extrapolate the result from the experimental setting to real life situations.

  206. 206
    sharl says:

    @Steve Gerrard: Yours is a more relevant observation than the concerns I stated earlier. In fact – as you say – “respectable” media outlets frequently do an awful job of reporting science, regardless of how well a published research study was conducted (experimental design, data collection, statistical workup & analysis of results). Then we get these bro types, who will misrepresent research to suit their own agendas without a second thought. Research authors will often voice objections to misuse of their work, but by the time they respond the damage has often already been done, and the spotlight has moved on. (This all can sometimes have tragic consequences, such as when court systems accept junk science from “expert” witnesses, though I don’t know how often that happens with behavioral science these days.)

  207. 207
    Doug says:

    Friends don’t let friends read David Brooks.

Comments are closed.