If a programmer confuses the average for the 1% they deserve to be fired

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

A guy at Google wrote a long rant about how there were too many diversity initiatives at Google, and it was all a waste of time, because women don’t like computers. Google fired him. Some people think Google should not have fired them, but I would ask you, do you know what business Google is in? They are in the business of fine-grained market segmentation. That’s what advertising is all about.

The guy deserved to be fired for calling his co-workers “neurotic” but even if you can forgive that, he deserved to be fired because his memo relentlessly does the one thing that Google can not afford, which is confuse the average for the rare. For instance, the average woman prefers to focus on people rather than machines. Cool. Does Google hire the average woman? No, of course not.

Suppose there was overwhelming evidence that 95% of women were terrible at technology and 5% of women were awesome at technology. There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet, roughly 3.5 billion women, roughly 1.5 billion women who work outside the house for a wage. In this scenario, where only 5% of women love technology, there are 75 million working women who are awesome at technology. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statics, the USA had 1,256,200 software developers in 2016. The BLS also tracks some other minor categories, such as Web Developer, which have about 150,000 jobs. Lump all the sub-categories together, and let’s say there are 2 million such jobs in the USA. Let’s be wildly generous and double the number for the EU, and triple it for Asia. That gives 12 million software developer jobs in all of the advanced and developing economies. So even with exaggerated assumptions about women’s inherent weakness in technology, we still end up with a scenario where every single programming job in the world can be filled by a woman who will be awesome at the job. There is no need for men, at all.

This kind of fine-grained market segmentation is the core of what Google does. Since this idiot confuses the average for the rare, and I would fire him simply for being bad at math.

From the article:

The firing of the memo’s author, who identified himself as James Damore in an email to the Guardian, was first reported by Bloomberg. Google declined to comment on an individual employee’s case, but tweeted a link to further comments by Pichai: “Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive’, showing ‘lower stress tolerance’ or being ‘neurotic’.”

The 10-page “manifesto” was initially published internally, but was leaked to the press on Saturday after prompting a firestorm within the company. The document, entitled Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, takes aim at Google’s “diversity and inclusion” initiatives, such as implicit bias training and programs to promote women and under-represented minorities, and argues that the company is intolerant of conservative political views.

“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence,” the author wrote.

The author also made questionable claims about supposedly innate differences between men and women to account for the extreme gender disparity in Google’s workforce.

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