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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fired Coder Speaks Out On Google's "Potentially Illegal Practices", "Recorded Meetings" And "Science Denial"

For those who have managed to avoid this storyline, James Damore, now a former Google employee, caused outrage when he circulated a manifesto on Friday, complaining about Google’s “ideological echo chamber,” alleging women have lower tolerance for stress and that conservatives are more conscientious. By Monday, the chess master, who studied at Harvard, Princeton and MIT and worked at Google's Mountain View HQ, was fired after the search giant’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said portions of Damore’s 10-page memo “violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes” despite saying in the same memo that Google employees shouldn't be afraid of speaking their minds.
Now, for the first time, the former Googler sat down for a YouTube interview with University of Toronto professor of psychology, Jordan Peterson, to discuss the circumstances leading up to the release of his controversial memo and the fallout that has resulted since. 
In this first exchange, Damore explains that he decided to write his now-infamous memo afterattending a 'secretive' Google "diversity summit" in which he says presenters talked about "potentially illegal practices" intended to "try to increase diversity...basically treating people differently based on what their race or gender are."
Peterson:  "Why did you do this?"

Damore:  "About a month and a half ago, I went to one of our diversity summits, all of it unrecorded and super-secret and they told me a lot of things that I thought just were not right."

Peterson:  "Ok, what do you mean 'unrecorded and super-secret?'"

Damore:  "Most meetings at Google are recorded.  Anyone at Google can watch it. We're trying to be really open about everything...except for this.  They don't want any paper trail for any of these things." 

"They were telling us about a lot of these potentially illegal practices that they've been doing to try to increase diversity.  Basically treating people differently based on what their race or gender are." 

Peterson:  "Ok, why?"

Damore:  "Because I think it's illegal.  As some of the internal polls showed, there were a large percentage of people who agreed with me on the document.  So, if everyone got to see this stuff, then they would really bring up some criticism." 
Damore also talks about how he originally published his memo over a month ago but upper-management largely ignored it until it started to garner media attention.  Then, once it went viral, upper management organized a coordinated attack and misrepresented facts in order to silence him.


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