Damore v Google: get it right the first time

There are all these people who keep freaking out about James Damore; even more so now that he's filed his lawsuit against Google. And I've had to type this out so often, I've had enough. Going to post it here.

Here's the Web Archive copy of his original memo (PDF, 160kB). Or, a copy I have here in case something happens.


People have written various things like "He wants his white privilege and he wants it now! #tantrum". Really. I wish that sort of thing was a joke. But, people haven't been bothered to read a memo that isn't even ten pages long.

That which everybody thinks he's said, those evil horrible caveman white-male-privilege things he's said? He hasn't!

That's not what it actually says in the original memo. Look, I know I'm going to risk being called lots of bad things here, but I've got to try.

Here's the memo, it's not even 10 whole pages: <https://web.archive.org/web/20170809220001/https://diversitymemo-static.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf>

The memo is not about privilege. It's saying:

  • although males and females are both capable of doing the most technical work at Google, there are observed differences in the proportions of males and females doing so (and he cites scientists whose research points this out).
  • Google is trying to get around this by lowering the standards required for the smaller demographc to get in, in order to meet their quotas.
  • Damore actually recommends completely disregarding gender as a factor in hiring people at Google; instead, to just interview and test applicants for ability and nothing more.

On page 3: " these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions"

On page 5 he has a section on "Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap".

On page 8: "I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism)."

And here's four professors of psychology (social, personality, evolutionary and sexual neuroscience) who back Damore's paper as being valid. And yes, one's even female. <http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/>

If you're going to tear someone down for being misogynistic, white-privileged, caveman, backward cis hetero scum... shouldn't you at least check they are before you say so?

Damore's memo (local copy)
The Google Memo - Four Scientists Respond - Quillette (local copy)