No, It's not that European law-suit. This post from "Jim's Blog" (tag line "Liberty in an unfree world") holds that political correctness, partially driven by Google wanting to get cozy with the government, has led to the hiring of unqualified women and the firing of males who told the truth about it:
Google had an elaborate system of metrics to try to measure how people and teams performed, and these metrics showed that the women were no good. Therefore the metrics were sexist, since they had disparate impact. They were replaced by non sexist metrics, which metrics showed that women are wonderful. Metrics that show advantage men are disparate impact. Metrics that show advantage women are just a reflection of the fact that women are wonderful.
Sexist males were laid off, where sexism was largely manifested by doing work that females could not understand or participate in. Which is to say, they laid off their smartest males, in part because smartness tends to exclude women, in part because the new metrics that showed that women are wonderful also showed that their smartest people were doing a really bad job.The blog is pretty dead-center of the NRx (Neo-Reactionary) school of thought with the idea that genetics ('human bio-diversity') dictate intelligence and that traditional gender roles (where women are certainly not doing math and science) are objectively preferred.
The interesting part comes in the comments where someone purporting to be an actual employee of Google declares the whole thing bullshit. Blog-author Jim, explains to the alleged Googler that Google has two disparate hiring processes--one that hires men and another, secret one, that hires unqualified women and minorities.
No, says the apocryphal Google-Employee, that's not true--or, if it is, he sees no sign of it. He's hired women through the normal process and no unqualified woman was hired on his watch. He wants to know how Blogger-Jim knows ("knows") all this stuff? Jim says he has friends who work at Google who tell him this. Who he can't reveal anything about.
So, Is Political Correctness Destroying Google?
No. The Omnivore actually knows people who work at The Googles and reached out to them. While one couldn't comment (He Did Nothing), even off the record (because of their position this was not unexpected) the story is bullshit (The Omnivore has also been used as a reference for a female Google Employee and is pretty sure the interview process The Omnivore participated in was not part of a secret hiring cabal). Even the employee who couldn't comment was scornful.
These are people The Omnivore has known for decades (in one case, uh, many, many decades) and would have been able to provide nuance if these allegations were true. Google is not more dedicated to social justice than it is to being incredibly smart (one of the Google-friends contrasted Google to Akamai --another "smart people company" where she had also worked--and said the best Akamai programmers were average at Google. The Omnivore believes her).
That said, of course, there's no way to know, is there? The Omnivore admits that the article--with its prescriptions of DOOM and focus on the injustice of Social Justice has a certain ... Truthiness ... would you say?
After all, if you go read the article there's:
- No sourcing. Everything is presented as commonly-held fact.
- Zero nuance. Everything has one cause (political correctness) and one effect (firing the smart people).
- Evidence to the contrary (Google's valuation has reached an all time high in the past 12 months. If we assume markets are good for setting prices, what of that?)
This is a very strongly present argument for something that the author (a) admits they only know second hand (if even that--the sources never come up in the body of the article--only after Jim is challenged) and (b) are incredibly impactful (Jim is drawing bright-line conclusions from what would be statistically limited policies: Google does employ women--but not nearly as many as white men).
|We Don't Know What Those Jobs Are, Either|
While it's fair to say that Jim's blog, much less the entire NRx movement, doesn't depend on getting some facts about Google right, The Omnivore thinks this post--the response from a Googloid--and the author's refusal to either back down or back up his assertions is telling. Why?
Well, if there's one thing that NRx absolutely needs at its foundation it's this: it has to be smart and right. If it it's wrong, say, about human-bio-diversity (black people are genetically less intelligent) then instead of being a teller of hard truths in a self-blinded world, it's just recycling racist tropes at the speed of the Internet. That's not the way to bring the NRx Utopia into existence (read it!).
Warning: Objects Under Consideration May Appear Smarter Than They Are
What The Omnivore was struck by in the blog post was the utter surety with which the author was making extreme, questionable, and unsourced claims. Yes, this is kind of "What everybody does"--but the NRx isn't supposed to be everybody. In fact, that's kinda the point-of-pride. Secondly, NRx readers are supposed to be Less Wrong, overcoming cognitive bias types who, as the song goes, Won't Get Fooled Again.
So what's going on here? What if the NRx was formulated (unintentionally) to play on cognitive biases the same way optical illusions prey on visual 'software errors'? For example: We believe mean statements to be smarter than nice ones. We are hardwired to badly evaluate risk (and favor more 'glamorous' risks over more mundane ones). Our culture is rife with end-time scenarios and they are popular. We are susceptible to flattery--even if we know we're being flattered.
The NRx memes play on all of these (if you are in the NRx target market, anyway) and the Decline and Fall of the Google Empire does too. It predicts disaster in the meanest of terms (if not for the world, for the Internet--and if not just for Google, all smart companies who will fall to the disease of Social Justice). It overestimates risk-factors badly (even if those 2% black Google employees were senior engineers, how much damage would they do to a company of more than 55k people?).
And, finally, if you are a white male who feels even a microscopic decline in their privilege? It flatters you--you are special. You will be elevated when the End Times come (GNON! GNON! LET IT BURN!!).
What if that's all just an illusion?