UPDATE (August 9, 2017): Here’s My Own Damned “Google Manifesto”
UPDATE (August 7, 2017): Audio from My Radio Discussion About the Leaked Google “Diversity” Manifesto Controversy
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The topic of the leaked — and already widely viewed and discussed — Google “diversity” document (an internal opinion “manifesto” authored by a single Googler, not a statement of Google policy) is sufficiently depressing that I’m already getting tired of the queries I’m receiving about it.
I view the leak itself as an extraordinarily serious breach of trust. This breach stands apart from a separate issue — was it appropriate for such a missive to have been written and disseminated even in Google’s extraordinarily frank and open internal discussion ecosystem? That discussion environment overall provides major benefits to Google and ultimately to its users.
While the issues are separate, they together create a cascade of damage, a true lose-lose-lose situation.
It seems impossible to tease out any positive aspects from the manifesto. Even if we leave aside its foundational and the other fallacies which permeate its structure, any reasonable, dispassionate observer would predict that such a document could only do damage — not only to individuals but potentially to Google itself if it was propagandized by Google Haters — which now indeed seems to be the case if I judge by various of the queries filling my inbox.
Enough such damage would have been done if the manifesto had stayed purely internal to Google. That such an inflammatory document might have been expected to have a significant risk of being leaked does not in any way excuse the leaking, which has poured a tanker car of gasoline onto the already blazing fire.
What perhaps saddens me the most about this situation is that I’ve seen similar twisted, sexist claims — as in that Googler’s manifesto — so many times over the years. For all our talk, for all our efforts, such malignant views continue to persist. In the age of negative role models from vile sociopaths like Donald Trump, they may even be expanding.
I touched on some of this several years ago in “Meet the Guys: The Jerks of Computer Science” (https://lauren.vortex.com/2017/02/27/meet-the-guys-the-jerks-of-computer-science) several years ago, and I am unconvinced that the situation described there has improved in any notable aspect to date.
And all of this — both the abominable manifesto itself and the leaking of same — gives me the strong urge to punch my fists into my screens and pray for the aliens to show up to put Earth out of its misery.
But we can’t always have a happy ending.
Be seeing you.