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Comment Re:Sophistry (Score 1) 1021

Not true. The traits that make me more likely to choose something are often very different than the traits that make me good at something.

For instance, I'm an overweight gentleman who has vanishingly little ability to delay gratification when it comes to food. Because of those traits, I rarely choose to shop at the grocery store, and instead opt for fast food on the way home. However, when I do shop at the grocery store, I kick serious ass. I find the sales, I buy the healthy stuff, and I'm super nice to the person who watches the self checkout stations. Therefore, the same trait that make me less likely to shop at the grocery store does not at all negatively affect my suitability for it.

Comment Re:I find myself split on this (Score 1) 1021

I do appreciate your perspective on this - I think most folks with a very black and white opinion of this situation (myself include sadly) are probably mistaken about something. That being said, one thing about your comment disturbs me.

Any discussion that tries to lump massive groups of population and assign traits to them is going to fail ... (And you can't get around that by liberally sprinkling the phrase 'on average'.)

How then does one talk about averages? Aren't they sometimes important? Particularly if the "problem" one is trying to address is merely one of averages itself (i.e. the gender gap). I think that most people (perhaps yourself included) are not truly bothered by lumping people together, but instead bothered that the conclusion isn't flattering. Suppose I said the following three things (and, I am NOT saying that I believe any of these things - this is just a mind experiment):

  1. "On average, women are less likely to be a developer"
  2. "On average, women are more likely to encounter negative bias"
  3. "On average, women are less likely choose software development because of their biological makeup"

In which statements am I "lumping massive groups of population and assigning traits"? Which is not "OK" to say in a memo? For which should I be socially castigated? If the answer to any of these is only 3, I submit that you are simply cherry picking the statement that you don't like as the generalization.

Comment Re:seig (Score 1) 1021

I agree that this is capitalism, and I certainly agree that Google has the right to fire Damore (even as I personally find that action repugnant). That being said, political correctness can still be repressive, socially speaking. The state is not the entity that exercises power within the country. For example large corporations also wield power in a capitalist system (particularly those with $500+ Billion market caps, and particularly those with a history of employment price fixing and collusion).

Comment Re:he's not a whistleblower (Score 2) 1021

Naubol is totally right. Read the memo again (or, you know, for the first time).

Additionally, and I think more importantly, the notion that you (and many other people) have of "toxic" ideas is very disturbing. To declare an ideological, political, or sociological position as "toxic" justifies (for many people) a multitude of disproportionate responses, including violence and large-scale social castigation. I certainly think certain ideas are wrong or even morally repugnant, but we need, as a society, to be in a place where we can have these discussions rationally and without fear of reprisal. In short: even if you (and all the other folks in the world that didn't bother read the memo) are right about his premise, it simply doesn't justify the backlash.

Comment Re: They wont get in trouble (Score 4, Informative) 1021

but going so far as to assert the hypothesis that women were biologically not suited for the work crossed a line.

You really need to read it again. He never brings of the topic of suitability. His section about biological differences only discusses why genders tend to choose certain professions.

Comment Re:Google is not a political club or Slashdot (Score 1) 754

he marked himself as someone who would not fairly grade women co-workers

Simply false. Please quote for me the section of his memo that would make any reasonable person think that. Just because a person can talk objectively of averages or statistics doesn't mean that they are incapable of judging, grading, or promoting people based on their personal merits.

his so demoralized a lot of his women co-workers that many stayed home from work on Monday.

Given the quite reasonable and level-headed tone of his memo, I think this reflects quite poorly on those that stayed home from work. Perhaps they should have been fired.

Comment Re:Is there anything wrong with this? (Score 1) 754

I'm not sure that people are that concerned merely with the fact that they have blacklists. Rather, I think the concern is Google has shown that, as a company, they conflate having a non-conforming view with being "impossible to work with" (as evidenced by Damore's firing). Therefore, their blacklists would indeed have folks that they "don't agree with".

Comment Re:The Rainbow Scare (Score 1) 754

The CS gender gap likely has a variety of causes, and I think that is one of the most significant points of Damore's memo. Heck, he literally titles a section "Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech," meaning that bias may be a component, but there may be others.

To your specific point, saying that the gap is entirely social or entirely biological is probably over-simplifying. Given that there are likely a number of factors (and assuming that biology is one of the causes [duck!]), I would expect that on average, women would be underrepresented in CS across the entire world, but would closer to parity (or in the majority) in certain places based on prevailing social factors and perception.

Comment Re:The Rainbow Scare (Score 1) 754

I too did not realize that an original well-sourced version existed until I read Noble713's above comment (thank you!). However, I cherry picked a few of the bolder claims and found that there was indeed at least some scientific basis for each of them.

Also, I think people of good conscience could choose not to castigate the author for not citing sources for every single claim, but rather give him some benefit of the doubt *prior* to firing him. Similarly, I will try to give you the benefit of the doubt when you make claims without any citation whatsoever.

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 1) 684

There may be a connection, loosely interpreted. However, I just don't think the OP really had any interest in discussing the original topic. He just wanted a platform to mention his thoughts about how stupid he thinks the Old USA is concerning issues like climate change and creationism, and of course once we're on this topic, he knows we won't leave.

In general, people get on Slashdot and they want to talk about a particular thing, but there aren't any articles specifically about that topic on the front page. So, they jump on the closest article they can find and hope it's close enough. "Speaking of Open Source, have you noticed how hard it is to Open Doors lately?"

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 1) 684

Ad hominem definition:

marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

The following three statements are instances of Ad hominem attacks (in this case, all levied against me in this thread):

but that's just displaying your lack of analytic skills which in a normal studious person can quickly identify

full of people like you who aren't capable of such critical thoughts

That hole you're standing in is getting pretty deep; you might want to stop digging.

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 4, Insightful) 684

Something being obviously stupid/wrong/anti-intellectual is not mutually exclusive with it being a political or religious issue (as it seems you are claiming). For instance, if 50% of people in a country strongly believe that women should be legally required to wear a Burka in public and 50% believe that they should be allowed to wear whatever they want, it is a political issue in that country. This is regardless of whether this is any insurmountable evidence that such a law would be harmful or unjust.

but that's just displaying your lack of analytic skills which in a normal studious person can quickly identify

Again, you regress to Ad Hominem attacks. Why are you so quick to point out how little estimation you have for other peoples' "analytical skills"?

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