Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Don't be Google

And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
--Numbers, 22:23

The notorious Google memo Gizmodo calls an "anti-diversity screed" (elsewhere it's a "fulmination", "sexist twaddle", and, even, "lengthy") is neither. It opens with a sort of standard genuflection to diversity that seems earnest enough (not that being earnest would be enough). Somehow despite seeing and outlining the impossibility of diversity as a reality, the author and his defenders accept its necessity as a goal. The goons who shut them down while shouting nonsense only look like the stupid ones. They get it: the way in which diversity efforts fail--women and minorities proving inadequate--reveals the absurdity and injustice of diversity as a goal.

"If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem." He pleads. But the real problem is we can't have an honest discussion that doesn't ultimately reveal there is no problem. Indeed, if the honesty goes long enough, we might find that diversity as an idea is the problem. Even, maybe, diversity is a problem. Monsters dwell here. That's why you can't even draw maps of this place.

The problem here is the problem with "white privilege" entire: if you accept the inherent value of enlightened Western values over ignorance and hunger, and you accept the idea that this West is nonetheless uniquely hostile to such as blacks (for one)--this dissonance is conventional opinion--then you necessarily imply blacks aren't as well suited for enlightenment values. This is why we can't have nice conversations. The floor always ends up strewn with our prettiest lies. But we should have them. For one thing, those enlightenment values are being pawned off to pay the interest on our debt to black America, as the West and the US are deformed to meet their cruder biases and values. From the black vantage, civil rights are rationalized ethnic warfare contorting the law and culture to conform to black values.

That's why the line, for the moment, holds against honest public conversations about any of it. But social justice is like football. You have to move the ball. So its proponents keep advancing. Anything else is taking a knee, truth be damned. 


If the memo author's sentiments in favor of diversity are real, they are about to be a severe stress test such as an engineer can appreciate and understand. Of course all bets are off when we're talking social justice. If the hammer comes down at Google--and the standard move is to double-down every time the Narrative is challenged: "sensitivity" training, firings, expansion of diversity efforts and staff--I suspect that faction of discontented White--and likely Asian--men will grow in size and impatience.

How big is the discontent? How "angry" are the white males? They've been incanting "white male anger" into the electronic ether so long they are about to conjure it up in reality. It's long overdue. The scandal isn't the excess of white male anger it's the absence of it.

Consider the absurdity of Danielle Brown, thirty-something, riding her triumph in increasing "diversity" in just two years as diversity honcho at Intel ("...hit its goal of retaining diverse employees, with a 15 percent exit rate for women and people of color compare to a 15.5 percent exit rate for employees in majority groups"), 
without a technical background, dismissing out of hand the memo (which doesn't deserve a link) because it's inconsistent with the values and needs of the company at which she's yet to occupy an office. In her role as the social justice equivalent of a Soviet political officer.

Her linkedin page suggests she was saved from having to rely on her own education in finance and sales by being plucked out of relative obscurity at the biotech firm Gilead (she was the bomb in Gilead) and put on the diversity fast track (Intel's "accelerated leadership" program) in 2011. Six years later she's a VP at Google, and if she doesn't know computer code from the DaVinci Code it doesn't matter; she's in charge of the conversation. Nice work if you can get it.

That work involves maintaining a culture of shaming and coercion. The memo writer complains:
"While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment."

Update: The author has already been sacked.

That culture of shaming is going to have to get a lot harsher. I suspect Google will take measures to root out like-minded individuals where it can and rely on the power of the non-disclosure agreement. The company is on its way to becoming Scientology.



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