Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

An Anti-Diversity Manifesto Is Circulating Within Google

Kate Conger, Gizmodo:

A software engineer’s 10-page screed against Google’s diversity initiatives is going viral inside the company, being shared on an internal meme network and Google+. The document’s existence was first reported by Motherboard, and Gizmodo has obtained it in full.

In the memo, which is the personal opinion of a male Google employee and is titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” the author argues that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women. “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” he writes, going on to argue that Google’s educational programs for young women may be misguided.

Amongst the fallout from this manifesto, the most abhorrent replies are those praising the author for his bravery in raising these issues — as though it’s a simple matter of opinion, like whether blackberry or raspberry jam is better in a peanut butter sandwich. These responses serve to legitimize bullshit, and that would be a farcical take on the current information climate in which we live if it were not so objectionable.

Former Google engineer Yonatan Zunger, in a section of a Medium post addressed directly to the author of the manifesto:

You talked about a need for discussion about ideas; you need to learn the difference between “I think we should adopt Go as our primary language” and “I think one-third of my colleagues are either biologically unsuited to do their jobs, or if not are exceptions and should be suspected of such until they can prove otherwise to each and every person’s satisfaction.” Not all ideas are the same, and not all conversations about ideas even have basic legitimacy.

Some opinions and arguments are simply and plainly wrong. We need to stop pretending that there is validity to every opinion. What this Googler wrote is wrong, and those defending him for writing it are complicit in spreading a falsely-equivalent argument.