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That Google Thing Published on

Found at: sdf.org:70/users/jzp/phlog/2017-08-15-that-google-thing.txt

That Google Thing

Published on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017


So this Google memo debacle has been brewing for little
over a week now, and while I no deep insights to add to
the discussion, I feel that I need to say _something_
about the memo and the fallout.

First off, the memo give off the distinct smell of the
usual paranoid ramblings of a "white cis male" that feel
marginalized in a world that they believe no longer cater
to them first and foremost. It's the tired story about
how some things can not be said and how this champion
will rise to the occasion and slay the dragon of ideological
opression. All while coating the whole thing in a veneer
of scientific validity by citing papers and studies, leading
feeble-minded individuals to believe that the whole thing
is science.

No, it's most definitely not science. Just citing stuff
that happen to support your claim does not magically make
it science. And another thing that makes my piss boil is
the constant inability to understand that implication does
not mean equality, that observed attributes in a group
cannot be directly applied to individuals. I've seen this
being done countless times, and it's especially prevalent
when the discussion is about race or gender.
Because apparently those groups are somehow considered
more valid than the group of "canasta players" or "those
who enjoy the feeling of grass between their toes."

(You know what -- it just hit me that the people that write
this kind of garbage might _actually believe_ that the
groups within race and gender are the attributes themselves,
and not the complex of attributes that we happen to stick a
label on. And now it hit me that I'm doing a banal
digression, so never mind.)

Furthermore, the guy has a very poor grasp at what makes an
engineer. Even if all of those claims were true -- that, for
instance, female engineers always tend to be more focused on
social aspects -- that would not be a liabilty.

That's an asset.

The first and most important lesson I learned when I
started my work life as an engineer is that technology is
a means, not an end. And that it hurts when you realize that
the technology itself doesn't matter, that there are tons of
other factors that are in play when a technology is deemed a
success or a failure. People that master the social aspects
of engineering work will undoubtly have output that is more
often successful than of those who only focus the tech
itself. Why? Because they vocalize their ideas, they receive
feedback, they are on other peoples' radar, they form
consensus, etc., etc. Engineers are people, and people like
to socialize.

Well, some prefer to write paranoid rants about how ones
status as a white, straight guy is threatened.

But they aren't very much fun to be around anyway.

<3 jzp


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