Women's Week: Equal Opportunity (Even for Corruption)
The week started off with a bang when a Google employee dared to say there were reasons why we should have an open discussion on the goals of diversity of employment and equal hiring and promotion outcomes. It ended with a clear refutation of the argument that women politicians would be more moral than men. Some of us are looking wistfully at the old patriarchy. At a minimum, we want to see a stake being driven into that hoary meme and, for once, an honest dialogue about diversity and equal outcomes.
Diversity and Google
Google engineer James Damore was fired for seeking open dialogue on the company’s diversity policies. Most of the press grossly misstated the text. You can see for yourself how distorted the coverage was. In sum, he argued:
[quote] I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).
My concrete suggestions are to:
- As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”
Stop alienating conservatives.
- Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
- In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
- Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.
Confront Google’s biases.
- I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
- I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.
Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.
- These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.
Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.
- Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
- There’s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
- These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
- I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination.
The best defense of the Damore point of view came from 4 scientists who say we must choose between equality and diversity because we cannot have both.
So, if the sexes and races don’t differ at all, and if psychological interchangeability is true, then there’s no practical business case for diversity.
On the other hand, if demographic diversity gives a company any competitive advantages, it must be because there are important sex differences and race differences in how human minds work and interact. For example, psychological variety must promote better decision-making within teams, projects, and divisions. Yet if minds differ across sexes and races enough to justify diversity as an instrumental business goal, then they must differ enough in some specific skills, interests, and motivations that hiring and promotion will sometimes produce unequal outcomes in some company roles...
So, psychological interchangeability makes diversity meaningless. But psychological differences make equal outcomes impossible. Equality or diversity. You can’t have both.
Weirdly, the same people who advocate for equality of outcome in every aspect of corporate life, also tend to advocate for diversity in every aspect of corporate life. They don’t even see the fundamentally irreconcilable assumptions behind this ‘equality and diversity’ dogma.
Why didn’t the thousands of people working to promote equality and diversity in corporate America acknowledge this paradox? Why did it take a male software engineer at Google who’s read a bunch of evolutionary psychology? I suspect that it’s a problem of that old tradeoff between empathizing and systematizing that I wrote about in this Quillette article on neurodiversity and free speech. The high empathizers in HR and the diversity industry prioritize caring for women and minorities over developing internally coherent, evidence-based models of human nature and society. High systematizers, such as this memo’s author, prioritize the opposite. Indeed, he explicitly calls for ‘de-emphasizing empathy’ and ‘de-moralizing diversity’, arguing that ‘being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts’. He is right.
His most important suggestion, though, is apparently the most contentious: ‘Be open about the science of human nature’. He writes ‘Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.’ This is also correct...
American businesses also have to face the fact that the demographic differences that make diversity useful will not lead to equality of outcome in every hire or promotion. Equality or diversity: choose one. In my opinion, given that sex differences are so well-established, and the sexes have such intricately complementary quirks, it may often be sensible, in purely practical business terms, to aim for more equal sex ratios in many corporate teams, projects, and divisions.
Women in Politics: Equal Corruption
The Capital is largely deserted, with the President and his senior staff having decamped to New Jersey during renovations to the White House, and Congress having largely returned home. But the scandals of Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Loretta Lynch, and Samantha Power are not dying down. They are growing.
This week, after years of delays and former FBI director James Comey’s inexplicable acquiescence, she finally turned over to the Department of Justice her private email server, which seems to reveal extensive mishandling of classified information. Even the Washington Post was unable to put a lid on this burgeoning scandal.
Will any of the more than 31,000 e-mails that were deleted off of the server after being determined to be private and personal be recovered? According to an expert on e-mail recovery that our own Philip Bump talked to this spring, there is a 90 to 95 percent chance those deleted e-mails could be recovered "if no other steps were taken to go in and otherwise make the data inaccessible." That last part we don't know yet -- were any other steps taken to ensure the e-mails could not be recovered -- but presumably we will get some answers once the Justice Department begins to look at the server. The bigger question is whether there are legal reasons to try to recover the 31,000 deleted e-mails. If those are recovered and examined, it's hard to imagine this story doesn't go from bad to worse for Clinton.
There's simply no way to see these latest development in the long-running e-mail story as anything but bad news for Clinton. The turning-over of her private server not only takes control of its contents out of her hands but also likely ensures this story will be in the news for far longer than she'd like.
At the American Spectator, Austin Bay reviews the strange case of the Awan brothers and Schultz and suggests there may be a great deal behind her hiring of the Awans and refusal to fire Imran Awan despite overwhelming reasons to have done so. He suggests the Hillary emails, former AG Lynch’s previously hidden pseudonymous email account (“Elizabeth Carlisle”), and Schultz’s reluctance to fire Awan are connected with the hiring of GPS Fusion and the cockamamie confected Russian Collusion scandal. (GPS Fusion continues to occlude Congressional investigations into its role.)
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLUJ) filed a Freedom of Information Act inquiry regarding documents respecting the untoward tarmac meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton in the midst of the FBI investigation into Hillary's mishandling of official emails and this week published more than 400 pages it received inresponse. For a year the FBI, then headed by James Comey, denied any such documentation existed. The Department of Justice, however, did respond.
“The emails are heavily redacted and don’t reveal much about what Clinton and Lynch discussed, why the former president put the attorney general in such a compromising position, or why she allowed herself to be put there. What they reveal is an agency trying hard to control the damage.” They reveal as well a press doing everything it could to bury the story which, when fully revealed, must certainly involve James Comey.
More evidence was revealed this week that Obama’s UN ambassador Samantha Power was the person who made hundreds of unmasking requests, though she had “no apparent intelligence-related function” And there is evidence that such unmasking, along with Obama’s directive to share this information far more widely than historically was the case, was to aid the spying on Trump’s campaign.
(Some) Ladies First
As the meme of the Hand that Rocks the Cradle Cannot be Politically Corrupt proves nonsensical, those women who love affirmative action for women continue their attacks on women of a non-leftist cast.
Nina Burleigh, who once publicly expressed a desire to fellate Bill Clinton (an offer he seemingly declined), attacked the Trump women for wearing high heeled shoes.
And Glamour took a clueless, gratuitous slam at conservative women.
One woman who has been regularly abused by the media -- Sarah Palin -- is not sitting in a corner whining about it. She sued the New York Times for a libelous editorial accusing her of inciting the shooting of Gabby Giffords, and in an unusual step, federal District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff is allowing her counsel (upon the paper’s motion to dismiss) an opportunity to question the editors who wrote it. The editorial’s claim contravenes years of articles in that very paper disputing the editors’ charge against Palin. The questioning, while brief, is to permit her to ascertain how they could have ignored their paper’s own reporting.
It’s fun to imagine the editors involved confessing to follow our own practice of ignoring what the paper prints and what their editorials say.