#Goolag

So Google decided to fire an employee who penned a memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”  The memo suggested that, while diversity was an important and shared goal, it may be a mistake to assume that all “gaps” — particularly gender gaps — are attributable to bias. The googler offered substantial scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that biological differences (and not bias) may explain much, if not most, of these gaps at the margins. The googler implored readers to treat people as individuals, rather than as members of groups, and to judge each person on their own merits. Finally, the googler suggested that Google had developed a stifled, partisan culture that ran contrary to the ideals of diversity and chilled the free exchange of ideas.

No shit.

According to Google’s CEO, Google fired the employee for allegedly violating the company’s code of conduct by “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” Much of the MSM has described the pro-diversity memorandum as a sexist, anti-diversity screed.

(1) I don’t really have a view of the claims in the memo (but other credible sources seem to agree). Google doesn’t really either, since its criticism focused on the claim itself — or rather a twisted account of the claim — and not the evidence. That being said, Google’s decision to censure critical inquiry because it runs contrary to Progressive dogma is itself very bad science. It undermines the credibility of Google’s broader commitment to evidence-based reasoning and diminishes Google’s ability to make “but science says” arguments in the future.

[It certainly puts the lie to the whole “Obama partners with tech to reengineer government narrative.” If tech relies on data except when relying on data is politically inconvenient, it defeats the whole purpose of bringing data-based decision-making to government. Although, that’s what I would expect from the self-selected group of googlers who opted to go work for the administration.]

(2) Google’s decision to make it a fireable offense to openly believe that biological differences contribute to (if not explain) different gender roles and outcomes — a belief that I suspect is shared by more than half of Americans and wayyyy more than half of humanity — is a pretty big blow for liberalism. (The media’s overt misrepresentation of the substance and intent of the memorandum are pretty terrible too, but we already knew the MSM was a shrill partisan outfit.)

It doesn’t really surprise me that some people within Google are science-hating, intolerant, close-minded bigots. It also doesn’t surprise that such people might concentrate in cost-centers, like HR, which add significant value (legally) by enforcing pro-regime monoculture.

It does surprise me a little that Google’s CEO would take such a visible stand against diversity and critical inquiry. When the most powerful company in the world signals that it will fire you if, in its sole discretion, it determines that you have violated Progressive taboos, it will certainly not foster coexistence, tolerance, understanding or peace. It will similarly erode Google’s credibility to promote anything like coexistence, tolerance, understanding or peace, or demand anything like those values from anyone else. Tolerance is a two-way street. Tolerance for me, but not for thee will backfire.

To give a sense of the hypocrisy, imagine the following immigration compromise: exclude/deport anyone who believes that biological differences contribute to, explain and justify different gender roles and outcomes. The anti-immigration crowd would take that deal in a heartbeat. Progressives would howl about racism and islamophobia.

(3) I think companies should be allowed to discriminate to their hearts content. I also, think, however, that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If discrimination against the Progressive coalition is a cause of action, then other forms of discrimination must be actionable, as well. Google should be simultaneously liable for making a hostile work environment if it fires the employee (to non-Progressives) and if it does not (to Progressives). Just like firms should be forced to choose between discriminating against a trans for failing to accommodate his bathroom needs, or discriminating against women for allowing a male into the women’s locker room. Unfortunately, the absurdity will be embraced by lawyers, but hopefully it will also impose some discipline on this madness. Maybe not.

Before you shriek about false equivalencies and “historically” marginalized, oppressed, or powerless groups, it makes sense to consider at what point these “groups” are no longer “powerless.” When the most powerful company in the world fires people for disagreeing with you, you may have reached that point.

(4) Other than as a shareholder, I’m not really concerned that Google will slowly rot itself from the inside. There will be some social value lost, but I’m confident in the ingenuity and resourcefulness in humanity that some alternative will emerge to take Google’s place. [And by that point, the foot-stomping “break up Google” crowd will have moved on to some other “monopoly” that “can’t be stopped” without regulation, unlike the previously unstoppable monopolies, Google, Microsoft, Walmart, GM, AT&T, the cable companies, etc.]

(5) What does concern me, however, is that Google will use its considerable influence to advocate laws that will prevent ingenious and resourceful humans from taking its place. “If Google rots, we all rot!”

Google has already partnered with the ADL–led by the simpering lightweight Jonathan Greenblatt who will do anything to keep his place in the Progressive coalition–to combat “hate speech.” It would not surprise me at all if, at some point, Google, Facebook, and Twitter join together to offer the internet in humble sacrifice to their Progressive overlords. It’s already happening in Europe.

That is, after all, the political dynamic that drives much regulation:

Companies say, “we finally adopted these value-killing policies you’ve been nagging us about and now all of our customers are fleeing to these upstart competitors who are offering the exact same services you scolded us for! It’s not fair! Make them illegal!”

Regulators say, “That’s a great idea. We’ll regulate the bejeezus out of those ingenious and resourceful humans scofflaws.”

The press reports, “Government and industry agree that regulation is in the best interests of everyone! Stop questioning our authority. Everyone go home.”

It will be hard to close the internet when so many of the people who built the internet are wrong-think wierdos like the fired googler, but it won’t be pretty.

 

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Autocracy Continues to Rise

At least the New York Times is reporting on this stuff, although I worry it has to do with the growing subset of their readers that also wants to censure wrong think:

Social media companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $57 million if they do not delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts within 24 hours under a law passed on Friday.

When Viktor Orban (or righty MK in Israel) passed a law requiring not-for-profits to disclose foreign funding (because campaign finance and election meddling are vurry sirrious crimes), the EU threatened reprisals. As the New York Times noted at the time,

Prime Minister Viktor Orban . . . has moved Hungary in an increasingly illiberal direction.

Criminalizing righty dangerous minds? Well, the EU is apparently OK with that.

Also, the New York Times hilariously describes Soros as follows:

Mr. Soros, a major funder of programs that promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

At least he’s nothing like Sheldon Adelson, “casino magnate and [] prominent political donor.” That guy is toxic — can’t trust anything he touches.

Autocracy Really Rising Now . . .

I wasn’t ready to ring the alarm bells over the European crackdown on political dissidents, but it seems like the ruling elite mean business:

From the New York Times:

In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police on Tuesday raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media, including threats, coercion and incitement to racism.

Most of the raids concerned politically motivated right-wing incitement, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, whose officers conducted home searches and interrogations. But the raids also targeted two people accused of left-wing extremist content, as well as one person accused of making threats or harassment based on someone’s sexual orientation.

“The still high incidence of punishable hate posting shows a need for police action,” Holger Münch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said in a statement. “Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threat, criminal violence and violence either on the street or on the internet.”

So, 36 people had their homes raided by police in a “coordinated campaign.” 34 of the victims were guilty of saying mean things about Team Left and 2 of them were guilty of saying mean things about Team Right. Goooo Diversity!

This comes as the Germans are debating even more “crackdowns” on wrong-think that will require tech companies to do their dirty work for them, or else!

The raids come as Germans are debating the draft of a new social media law aimed at cracking down on hate speech, a measure that an array of experts said was unconstitutional at a parliamentary hearing on Monday.

The measure, championed by Justice Minister Heiko Maas for passage this month, would fine Facebook, Twitter and other outlets up to $53 million (50 million euros) if they failed to remove hate speech and other forms of illegal content.

Under German law, social media users are subject to a range of punishments for posting illegal material, including a prison sentence of up to five years for inciting racial hatred.

Under the draft statute, networks must offer a readily available complaint process for posts that may amount to threats, hate speech, defamation, or incitement to commit a crime, among other offenses.

Social media outlets would have 24 hours to delete “obviously criminal content” and a week to decide on more ambiguous cases. The law, approved by Germany’s cabinet in April, would be enforced with fines of up to $53 million.

Let’s hope those “experts” are right about the constitutionality of the law, but it seems as though things have already gotten out of hand.

In case you need a reminder of how the politics of “hate” work, when a Muslim girl is brutally raped and murdered on her way home from mosque, it is a suspected hate crime . . . until the perpetrator is discovered to be an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, and then it becomes “road rage” by a “22 year old construction worker from Sterling.” NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Whew. What a relief. Just road rage . . .

Google announced that it too was going to step up its efforts to curb “extremism” online. Not to worry, Google won’t outright ban merely “offensive” content, but it does block advertising, promoting, commenting or other forms of engagement.

And A.G. Eric Schneiderman is adding Pro-Life protesters to his list of political enemies to destroy, along with tech entrepreneurs, scientists, and of course, Donald Trump.

Democracy dies in the darkness . . . is apparently the strategy.