SIO79: James Damore, Author of the Google Memo

On an episode of Dave Rubin, James Damore lamented the fact that no one on the left had been willing to have a long form discussion with him and that his previous ones had been edited to be misleading. So, I wanted to show that I, as a lefty, would be more than willing to have a long form, unedited discussion with him. Here is his original memo.

Here’s probably the best source of scientific refutations of his memo. Google Unconscious Bias Training I referenced. Really good source on sexism in tech.

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18 Comments on "SIO79: James Damore, Author of the Google Memo"

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Joe
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Damore wrote a response to the nymag article.
In case you’re interested:

https://www.reddit.com/r/JamesDamore/comments/6ueek7/my_response_to_some_counterarguments/

Man
Guest

Not hiring someone cuz its xy color is discrimination based on race. That is illegal.

Ryan M
Guest

Jesus Christ, James Darmore is ridiculous. I’m about an hour 15 mins in and I am amazed at his completely jumps around and keeps changing the subject. It’s like the perfect example of whataboutism.

Paul
Guest
Thanks for getting Damore as a guest. I listened to the whole thing, and it was more boring…I guess…than outright controversial as far as interviews go. I’m not saying you were necessarily boring, but Damore was only substantively challenging or replying about half the time, and wandering about verbally the rest. He seems like a smart, level-headed person with their head in the wrong place, and seems to be guilty of a blind form of discrimination. He, at least from this interview, does not seem like someone who goes around really pushing his perspective as gospel. Now, I haven’t heard… Read more »
Roger
Guest
What are you talking about,Thomas complete misunderstanding of computer science as subject just shows that you people don’t know anything about the subject you are talking about. The reason women are less in CS is because after 85 you could use C to code an algorithm,before that coder was basically a calculator job. Look at the list of Turing awards almost all men,they are the reason why you have internet,dynamic programming and AI. Also these things weren’t coded properly back then,it was all theory. When powerful computers came boys started coding powerful algorithms and it changed the field forever. CS… Read more »
Ted Reagan
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Apparently this Thomas character never heard of behavioral sciences. He mines the one or two professionals in the field who sort of disagree with Damore, when the overwhelming majority have no problem with the claims made in his memo. I also love it when he says “why do you keep saying ‘many people’ think something?” when he himself is a walking example of everything Damore is referencing. You think it, ya dink! The most salient point I’ve taken from this is the kind of embodiment of the Begging The Question fallacy Thomas works with – he already knows all of… Read more »
Actuallyyou'rewrong
Guest

Almost everything you said is either wrong.

Clara
Guest

Your patience is tremendous. How do you put up with his doofus for almost 2 hours. I hope he doesn’t get a dime out of his lawsuit against Google.

yazikus
Guest
I’m late to the game, but well done, Thomas! You were polite, courteous, and professional. One thing I wish would have been expanded upon is what Damore means when he says ‘disenfranchised’ when talking about young, white, men. When he talked about them joining the KKK because they had been ‘disenfranchised’ my head just about broke my desk. When he talked about the social support the KKK provides by ‘forcing companies to hire certain people’, I would have loved to have him understand that yes, the KKK probably did do that, by excluding people of color. He is confusing privilege… Read more »
Isa
Guest
According to him, men are more stress tolerant than women at work. However, he was the one who got extremely stressed about the diversity training and politics at Google to the point he couldn’t focus on his duties as a SWE. If he was a status-driven, goal-oriented, stress-tolerant software engineer, why would he have spent a month or so writing and circulating the memo? Who has time for something like that in real life? For one thing this guy didn’t even major in CS and SWE. He’s a biology major. He said to David Pakman that he’s not passionate about… Read more »
luardo
Guest
Around minute 12.. reason for people joining a gang. Thomas.. your argument is wrong. People join gangs for the brotherhood they get there, the fraternity, the respect and because they have a common anger against some other group (the other gang, police, or other race). I know people who have joined small gangs and I have watch the documentaries. “Economics reason”.. you mean the Mafia, Mobs. But street gangs fight with other dudes, they steal, kill and get high. By saying that is their income source sounds like you are somehow justifying what they do. KKK is as bad as… Read more »
LakerFan1
Guest

At around the 1:01 mark, you said affirmative action points given to minority college applicants is extremely small and, hence, insignificant. But a few minutes ago you were arguing that a computer model showed that a one point out of one hundred advantage has huge results. Which is it? Do very small benefits have big results or not. Pick a position and stick with it.

Sophia Sadek
Guest

Damore’s perspective on gender and STEM reminds me of Charles Murray’s perspective on race and IQ.

Chris
Guest
Well, that was amusing. On the early part where you both really realized you did not know much about the KKK, I thought that you should read books written by David Neiwert. His newspaper career began with covering Richard Butler’s neo-nazi “church” in Sandpoint, ID. he writes about some of the extreme groups with a deep dive into their history, family, etc. Check out In God’s Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest, Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America and And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the… Read more »
Roger
Guest
If you think Human Computers were “highly skilled with the tools used in applied math”,then you have set a pretty low bar. “Finally, Damore seems to still believe the myth that a software engineer goes into cubicle and just creates code by their lonesome. ” It’s not a myth,just depends on the company you are working in. Google operates like a university meaning it has a bottom up structure. That’s why you see so many Google products that have same application. In Google things like reducing time and memory complexity actually matter and no that doesn’t require team work,usually just… Read more »
Chris
Guest
There are different levels of projects. Small applications can be done by a single person, though they need to make sure that they are compatible with other applications. Compatibility across different platforms adds complexity (over thirty years ago I had to deal with someone who was tasked with getting a graphic from a Cyber computer to display/print on a VAX minicomputer, it took him at least four attempts to make the “metafile” work, and that was only after I called him up to ask to speak to his supervisor when the third attempt failed). I only speak as a user… Read more »
Roger
Guest
“What Turing Award winners? Link to them, because I have only heard about silly attempts.” Dijkstra work in Graph theory and greedy technique,even Bachman and the AI winter that was caused by Minsky’s book was a wrong view of his argument. Which basically was that a single layer Neural Network can not learn something like XOR,he never criticized the approach. Again basic maths concepts that were missing from AI research of 60’s and it looked like a victory for Chomsky’s innate argument until Geoff Hinton came up with back propagation. “The more you want software to do, the more complex… Read more »
Chris
Guest
Not a link in sight. Total fail. (30% is not a “win”) Also, I know how to recognize the baffle with bovine excrement method, hence the need to provide actual citations (with a link, you made a claim, therefore you need to provide evidence of that claim, not a word salad) Argument by blatant assertion is always a fail. Name dropping does not help, but hinder. As does your neglect of basic grammar. Um, yeah… it seems obvious that the 1960s AI research is why I can recognize a phone robot with just two questions. Again, total fail. Bungle, bungle,… Read more »