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.
1 thought on “A Googler’s Leaked Google “Diversity” Manifesto — Lose-Lose-Lose”
This confuses me even though I have been working computers since mid 1970s & thought I saw crazy. Working in all sorts of companies; manufacturing, process control, federal contractor, and as the tech part of Program Manager’s mail processing automation redesign/procurement/(I got the fun job as go between on federal, i.e., help CPA badges when a tech issue by vendor became an issue accounting). Sure, in all that time I noticed “things happen” that brings HR people out. Those that I knew & know hold personnel very close to the chest so nothing can run amuck.
My wife as head of HR in a civil engineering company with a broad cross-section of people: men, women, different cultures & religion and list goes on. She thinks there is an up tick of sexual harassment & managers who believe their bad behavior is OK. There is no interest in wage-gap correction by principals which has caused female engineers to depart. They show a subtle similarly to the people in your “Meet the Guys (..)” essay. Google diversity problem in the company wife works for is not issue because it’s Principals are from India (Minority).
Even in her position running HR she has to deal with executives who think, “Oh, it’s just her opinion” and then ignore her legal point and say total BS that she warned is admissible in discovery if the company gets sued.
As for this memo I have never seen this level of stupid in any internal memo. The author must have some reason to disadvantage himself and/or Google. There was a case wife handled that needed a specialist & she, along with counsel, proved the person who filed the lawsuit was deliberately trying to harm the company by “Playing EEOC”. I have read that Diversity Manifesto several times and it has a “F__ C__s, I’ll get you” flavor. I may be wrong due to my missing why entitlement has seeped into engineering in general.
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