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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

When smart guy meets smarter guy

The result often looks like road kill, because far too many smart guys, and girls, rely upon nothing more than bluffing and credentials, which only serve to intimidate the midwits and prevent them from noticing that they haven't actually backed up their arguments.
This is straight out of The Autism Spectrum Handbook For Winning Online Arguments, 3rd Ed. and it shows a common weakness of the inadequately socialized: they are rarely satisfied with anything other than a FLAWLESS VICTORY in a discussion despite the relative rarity of said victories. I think it probably goes back to when Zunger was the smartest kid in his classroom and he could easily demolish any argument with a list of pre-memorized facts and figures, seasoned liberally with the I’m-smarter-than-you-and-you-know-it attitude. Many people, including both commenters and authors at this blog, have fallen prey to that temptation, because most people of above-average intelligence have, at one time or another, been the smartest person in the room. Of course, to be the smartest person in your Ohio State Classroom you probably need to be a 95th-percentile intellect, while to do the same at Stanford maybe you’re one in a thousand — and that means there are still more than seven million of you out there.

1.I’m not going to spend any length of time on (1); if anyone wishes to provide details as to how nearly every statement about gender in that entire document is actively incorrect, and flies directly in the face of all research done in the field for decades, they should go for it. But I am neither a biologist, a psychologist, nor a sociologist, so I’ll leave that to someone else.

This “I’m not enough of an expert to explain why I’m right but I’m enough of an expert to know I’m right” business is a smart-guy boilerplate response. It can be ignored. There is plenty of scholarship out there that shows innate differences between men and women in nearly any category of which you could readily conceive. Here is just such a paper, which should appeal to Mr. Zunger because it is both a front-page Google result and a product of Stanford....

It’s plainly obvious from Zunger’s essay that the primary function of Google, as he currently understands it, is to cooperate and collaborate for the social good. It has nothing to do with writing good software or effective software. Anybody can do that now. Code doesn’t matter.

Mr. Zunger is a very smart man, and he is a scientist to boot. But here’s the thing about modern scientists: they are only trained focus on very small things. The days of the Victorian gentleman chemist are past us now. All of the big ideas that could possibly come to a classically-educated man relaxing on the Louis-Quatorze-era chair in his family estate’s library have been discovered. Today’s science is done by putting laser-like attention on finite areas of effort.

The problem with Google, and the problem with other modern software houses, is that they have decided to put their laser-like attention on things other than quality of product. They focus on diversity, social good, various arcane theories of user-interface design, and other things that have nothing to do with writing effective code. Unsurprisingly, they aren’t very good at doing any of those new tasks — and because they’ve abandoned the things that they used to do well, the foundations are slipping out from underneath them.

Today’s Google home page is a slow-loading mess compared to what it used to be, loaded with buggy features and featuring plenty of bugs. Browser-dependent, hugely bloated, more like the old Excite! homepage than anything a Google user would have enjoyed a decade ago. It’s simply not very good anymore. That should worry the people at Google. Fixing that should be a priority above “social good” or “diverse teams”. They should hire the smartest people and have them write the best code. Period. That’s what Google is supposed to do. Whenever Google does that, it succeeds. Whenever they try to change the world, it’s a ridiculous failure.

Which brings me to the funny part. From what I’ve read, Mr. Zunger’s primary accomplishment at Google was…

wait for it..

Google Plus. Which is

a) utter garbage
b) currently serving a user base that is 74% male.
I think one of my biggest advantages as a debater is that I grew up with a best friend whose IQ exceeds mine. I could not say anything without him playing devil's advocate, and promptly ripping to shreds any baseless posturing or unsupported assertions.

Zunger's empty posturing is remarkably common among the cognitive elite, particularly the professionals, who are frequently inclined to opine about matters on which they are not sufficiently informed. That, of course, is why they are so defensive when called out; they realize that the whole edifice will come crumbling down if deference is not paid to them, thereby allowing them to avoid their bluffs being called.

Smart people usually construct their arguments to impress midwits and normal people. Smarter people construct them with an eye to hypothetical critics who may be smarter than they are.

Labels: ,

137 Comments:

Anonymous Icicle August 09, 2017 5:59 AM  

I think one of my biggest advantages as a debater is that I grew up with a best friend whose IQ exceeds mine.

Don't worry, I'm here for you Vox-scrote.

Blogger Felix Bellator August 09, 2017 6:27 AM  

Zunger provides a good example of a fixed mindset in this case. Google would have been far better off learning something from Damore and responding more like Steve Jobs (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FF-tKLISfPE) rather than like Trigglypuff. Clearly Google has lost focus on the customer and the shareholder.

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 6:28 AM  

Allow me to expound on this further. I already covered this briefly in the comments and in the responses to Mr. Zunger's post on Medium. but it bears repeating.

Zunger makes a big point in his post about how important empathy is for an engineer.

Now, ignoring the fact that he's actually talking abut project management and not engineering (which he appears to be incapable of distinguishing) and the fact a significant percentage of my former managers would be happy to inform him that he's full of it, he then proceeds to make point number 3:

> And most seriously, the author does not appear to understand the consequences of what he wrote, either for others or himself.

Which shows that he completely lacks the empathy he says is so important, as he actually thinks Damore didn't know what the results of his memo would be.

I'm certain Damore knew exactly what he was doing. He made the memo public because he knew private conversations with management would accomplish nothing and he fully expected to be fired for it. It was a last ditch effort to save the company from itself, even at the cost of his own job.

This goes right over Zunger's head. By his own stated standards, he's a functional idiot, no matter how intelligent he is.

Anonymous Steve August 09, 2017 6:30 AM  

Somewhat related: I read about a recent paper by some American social scientists (sic) who explained that the reason why infants prefer different types of toys according to their gender is that The Patriarchy™ is somehow infiltrating the soft, malleable brains of tiny humans before they can even talk good or do other stuff good such as learning not to try to eat the cat.

Which is funny, apart from the fact that these are 'academics' 'working' at a 'university' and seeking to shape public policy with a theory that's less plausible than African blokes worrying about witches stealing their penis.

I am, however, unsurprised that the soy-addled, sexually monomorphic bugpersons of Google find gender differences scary and problematic. The phrenologists may have been barking up the wrong thalamus, but physiognomy is destiny.

Anonymous Looking Glass August 09, 2017 6:35 AM  

The first rule of "being smart on the Internet" is that there is *always* some topic expert with years of experience on a topic that'll find their way to the thread, but it requires a certain level of humility to keep your desire to pontificate in check so you don't play the fool for the entire world to mock. Mr. Zunger clearly hasn't learned that lesson.

As to VD's point about debating, there are consequences for being the "big fish in the small pond", even if you keep being unimpressed by each bigger pond. I find I'm extremely good at explaining relatively complex concepts to 10-year olds. I just never mention that to the "well educated" that I use the exact same method, though they normally can reach the conclusion faster than the children. Normally.

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 6:36 AM  

> I am, however, unsurprised that the soy-addled, sexually monomorphic bugpersons of Google find gender differences scary and problematic.

They haven't even advanced to "vive la différence" in their lives. It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for them. But only almost.

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 6:38 AM  

> Mr. Zunger clearly hasn't learned that lesson.

Mr. Zunger appears to be incapable of learning that lesson.

Anonymous Cheshirych August 09, 2017 6:43 AM  

Zungers response struck me as psychotic and hateful and then i stopped reading it, filing under psychotic garbage category.

Blogger Daniel August 09, 2017 6:54 AM  

That "TM" was actually funny

Anonymous Cheshirych August 09, 2017 7:02 AM  

His undying love to his former employer is sickening. It reminds me of me at my first job.

Blogger VoodooJock August 09, 2017 7:05 AM  

These people are not masculine enough to be taken seriously as men, nor feminine enough to be taken seriously as women. Naturally, the only recourse they have is to push for a sexually ambiguous society as that's the only one in which they'd be accorded any sort of advantage.

Blogger Chris Lutz August 09, 2017 7:09 AM  

It's like playing chess. You don't get better by playing weaker opponents and you always assume your opponent will make the best move possible.

Blogger GracieLou August 09, 2017 7:16 AM  

What is it with SJWs and "empathy?" They've been banging that drum for years, "My morality is based on 'empathy.'" Which obviously (to normal people), you can't base morality on something as slippery as feelings but more than that--

It's a stupid game. They're narcissists who have no empathy and like all psychopaths they want people to feel sorry for them.

Anonymous PAC August 09, 2017 7:21 AM  

Mr Zunger is an extraordinarily hateful man. Here he is imprecating the Hebrew curse of Yimakh Shemo, "may their name and memory be obliterated," on Trump voters who refuse to be globalized out of history:

"To his supporters, I can only offer you the grim lesson of the history of destroyers. Your names will be cursed by future generations. Your children will cover their faces in shame at your mention and the reminder of what you did. And this is no more than you have bought with your petty vindictiveness: May all remembrance of you be erased. Your works have turned our nation to dust; to the dust you shall go as well.

Our nation will be reborn. We may descend far, but we shall rise again. Wiser, perhaps, for the experience, and for the cost which will surely be paid in blood — for no such destruction is without it."

I had seen it hurled at Germans; never against Americans. It seems to me to be of a piece with the trend we see, whether with the BBC's program on Roman Britain or the taking down of statues of European men, of rewriting the European past, on top of denying Europeans their future.

https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/we-shall-not-let-democracy-die-fbc06e336300

Blogger Chris Lutz August 09, 2017 7:23 AM  

@3 Danmore knew perfectly well he was going to get fired. His memo was precisely and clinically written. It is a legal landmine onto which Google happily jumped.

If Google had an intelligent board they would:
1. Tell the CEO he could show up at the office but will no longer have authority. He will be fired once the lawsuit is settled with Danmore.
2. Immediately fire the entire HR staff.
3. Fire any employee who publically spoke out on the matter or skipped work over it.
4. Announce to shareholders that there is going to be a refocusing on the core business.

Blogger Avalanche August 09, 2017 7:26 AM  

@15 And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride...

If Google had an intelligent board, the place wouldn't be infested and rotting with SJWs! The level of self-awareness -- and commitment to keeping the company alive -- necessary for those excellent ideas does not exist. Alas, poor Google.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer August 09, 2017 7:33 AM  

James Dixon wrote:Which shows that he completely lacks the empathy he says is so important, as he actually thinks Damore didn't know what the results of his memo would be

He is a coward and assumes everyone else is as well. That is what causes him to think Damore didn't know what was going to happen. He is projecting his own cowardice onto Damore. That is what he is calling "Empathy". He can't ever imagine himself doing something for a higher purpose than his own interest. This shows the dangers on SJW convergence. They will run silent and say all of the right things until they feel they have accumulated the necessary power to start implementing their real beliefs.

Avalanche wrote:If Google had an intelligent board, the place wouldn't be infested and rotting with SJWs! The level of self-awareness -- and commitment to keeping the company alive -- necessary for those excellent ideas does not exist. Alas, poor Google.

Pretty much all major corporation boards are infested by political hacks. The investment banks control most of them and they vote on board members based on who is in the club and who has the right political views. That is why the same people keep showing up on boards for multiple companies. That is also why people like Al Gore show up on boards despite having no business experience relevant to the company.

Anonymous James Parliament August 09, 2017 7:35 AM  

They're going to about-face, or they're going to tank.

They're going to tank.

Blogger CM August 09, 2017 7:36 AM  

I'd rather be the stupid person in the smart room than the smart person in the stupid room.

Why I keep coming back here.

Blogger Harris August 09, 2017 7:38 AM  

Someone recently asked me why I am not a member of MENSA. I told him that I was barely over the genius line, so why would I want to join an organization where I'd be the dumbest guy in the room. LOL

Seriously though, there are some downsides to being smart, namely frustration with not being underatood, and impatience with others who cannot see things as clearly. That can lead to some anti-social behavior if you aren't careful. For my part, I like to ask a lot of questions. When I do meet someone smarter than me, I am more interested in picking their brain than getting into a competition, or in posturing. Theven other big pitfall for smart people is laziness. It's so easy most of the time that you can develop poor work habits, and be caught flat footed in some situations.

Better to stay humble, and realize intelligence is simply a gift, and you are responsible to God for how you use it. I once told someone that being submitted to the Holy Spirit is more important because He actually knows all things, and can reveal them to dumb people in an instant. So trusting in God is the main thing; not being smart.

Blogger heyjames4 August 09, 2017 7:48 AM  

thank you vox

Anonymous Bobby Farr August 09, 2017 7:53 AM  

@3 After watching Molyneaux's interview with Damore, I don't think Damore expected to be fired. He is one of those young moderate types who thinks he can persuade SJWs with facts if he is sympathetic enough to their concerns. He seemed blindsided by the response.

Anonymous burgmeister August 09, 2017 7:54 AM  

There's an old saying: when you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

Blogger Nate August 09, 2017 7:59 AM  

ya know... nothing puts a spring in my step like seeing an out-of-their-depth mid-wit get utterly destroyed for making the mistake of posturing to the Wrong Guy.

Blogger Nate August 09, 2017 8:00 AM  

'They're going to about-face, or they're going to tank.

They're going to tank. '

They've already tanked. The Market just doesn't care yet.

Blogger Harry Goldblatt MD August 09, 2017 8:07 AM  

@burgmeister
If you are not the least talented member of a band, find a new band.

Blogger VD August 09, 2017 8:07 AM  

I don't think Damore expected to be fired. He is one of those young moderate types who thinks he can persuade SJWs with facts if he is sympathetic enough to their concerns. He seemed blindsided by the response.

I tend to agree. Everything about that manifesto screamed dialectical sincerity.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 8:12 AM  

Google would have been far better off learning something from Damore

True, but that's the catch-22: if they were capable of learning from Damore, there would be no Damore, just a young man happily writing code.

I don't believe Zunger believes what he said about Damore's statements on gender being "actively incorrect" (and try unpacking that weasel phrase). Sure, he's no biologist, but you don't have to be to know better than that; you just have to have lived in the world. Even MSM outlets like Time magazine have run articles in recent years about, "Whaddya know, there are innate differences between boys and girls!" Also, he doesn't claim to be ignorant of all the research, but just the opposite: he claims it exists in abundance, but he's just not trained to explain it. It's more "explaining it to you would be beneath me so trust me" than "I don't know enough about it."

So he's lying, and he knows he's lying. But he's counting on his confident swagger, credentials, and ability to string words together artfully like "actively incorrect" to keep anyone from calling him on it. And anyone who does call him on it is by definition a fascist racist sexist badthinker who should be ignored anyway.

It's also lazy. It's just plain easier to forestall argument with bluster than to meet it head-on, and the bluster works so often in their world.

Anonymous burgmeister August 09, 2017 8:17 AM  

Everything about that manifesto screamed dialectical sincerity.

Maybe because it should make him look good in court?

I think he planned it. He knew exactly that inside SJWs would go ballistic - he has been working with them for years. He certainly has seen people being fired or being put under pressure for expressing similar views.

As someone else said: the guy can retire now.

Blogger VD August 09, 2017 8:19 AM  

Maybe because it should make him look good in court?

That is not the way those heavily inclined to dialectic think. People with Machiavellian profiles are usually adept at rhetoric.

Anonymous roadrage August 09, 2017 8:20 AM  

So God created man in His own image....male and female created He them. Gen. 1:27

Their push for a sexually ambiguous society is simply a manifestation of their humanistic rebellion against God.
They deny the creator by denying the most basic distinctions of His creation.

Blogger Jack Ward August 09, 2017 8:20 AM  

Definitely follow the link to Baruth's blog and read the whole thing. Do not miss the comments. That blog has been added to my desktop goto places [like Vox blog]. The whole thing is brilliant.
@4 Steve: You sir, for what it's worth, have been added to my short list of commenters I always read. Well Done!

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 8:21 AM  

I don't think Damore expected to be fired.

Agreed. If he were trying to get fired in a way that would provide him with a big payday, he didn't need ten pages for that. He really hoped to effect change.

And I suppose it's possible that he will in the end, if the people in charge get their act together, fire every SJW they can identify, trim away the non-productive fat the workforce has accumulated, and return it to its roots as this author suggests. That's not what he had in mind, though, and there's not a chance in hell of it happening.

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams August 09, 2017 8:27 AM  

I doubt Zunger's claim he ever worked with another human being. He'd know men and women are different.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 8:32 AM  

Their push for a sexually ambiguous society is simply a manifestation of their humanistic rebellion against God.

That's shown most clearly in the parents who insist their small children are "trans" and give them hormone treatments to try to change them. They're literally playing God, saying, "I'm going to change this child You gave me in the most fundamental way possible, and You can suck on it."

Anonymous Starbuck August 09, 2017 8:36 AM  

The problem with Google, and the problem with other modern software houses, is that they have decided to put their laser-like attention on things other than quality of product. They focus on diversity, social good, various arcane theories of user-interface design, and other things that have nothing to do with writing effective code. Unsurprisingly, they aren’t very good at doing any of those new tasks — and because they’ve abandoned the things that they used to do well, the foundations are slipping out from underneath them.

This is a real thing. I have seen it happen in manufacturing a couple of times. The companies ended up being sold over and over again. They were no longer experts in the fields they claimed they were experts in. Competition drove them to the lower end of the market.

Blogger David The Good August 09, 2017 8:40 AM  

Harris wrote:When I do meet someone smarter than me, I am more interested in picking their brain than getting into a competition, or in posturing. Theven other big pitfall for smart people is laziness. It's so easy most of the time that you can develop poor work habits, and be caught flat footed in some situations.

Better to stay humble, and realize intelligence is simply a gift, and you are responsible to God for how you use it.


Good points. I enjoy people who are smarter than myself. It's refreshing.

And poor work habits are a problem for smart children, most definitely. I used to wait until the last moment then write A-winning essays. In the final for a college biology class I sat down and reviewed my notes for the semester in the 20 minutes before class started. An older woman in the next seat who had gone back to school after being out for a long time said "did you study hard?" "No," I answered. She looked at me with contempt. "I spent three days studying late into the night." "That's great," I said, "but I can't talk. I'm studying now."

I got a 97% for my twenty minutes. Highest score in the class. She was horrified.

This sort of thing doesn't teach you to work hard. I had to learn that later after much battering about.

Blogger Nate August 09, 2017 8:46 AM  

"That is not the way those heavily inclined to dialectic think. People with Machiavellian profiles are usually adept at rhetoric."

a-yup.

This was an engineer sincerely trying to fix a problem.

Blogger Buybuydandavis August 09, 2017 8:51 AM  

David The Good wrote:
I got a 97% for my twenty minutes. Highest score in the class. She was horrified.

This sort of thing doesn't teach you to work hard. I had to learn that later after much battering about.


The educational conveyor belt is child abuse for a smart child.

Not only does he fail to learn what every child most needs to learn in school, how to press his own buttons to work to achieve his ends, what he does learn is exactly the wrong lesson - that simply by showing up and being smart he can succeed.

Anonymous Darth Veda August 09, 2017 8:51 AM  

Zunger's post can of course be far more accurately described as (((Zunger's))) (((post))).

It's always the same thing, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, the Villain With A Thousand Faces:

Set the controls for the heart of destroying the goyim.

Blogger Duke Norfolk August 09, 2017 8:55 AM  

basementhomebrewer wrote:He is projecting his own cowardice onto Damore. That is what he is calling "Empathy".

Yep. What these people call empathy is most likely just projection. And as we know SJWs (and lefties in general) always project.

Blogger Buybuydandavis August 09, 2017 8:57 AM  

Felix Bellator wrote:Clearly Google has lost focus on the customer and the shareholder.

When do shareholders take exception with employees who shirk their fiduciary responsibility to make shareholders money and instead spend corporate capital on the pursuit of their ideological programs?

Blogger pdwalker August 09, 2017 9:02 AM  

@37 David The Good, that's called, The Curse of the Gifted

Anonymous NH August 09, 2017 9:05 AM  

Smart people usually construct their arguments to impress midwits and normal people. Smarter people construct them with an eye to hypothetical critics who may be smarter than they are.

Yes, but most smart people know this. They just often run away when they actually meet a smarter person.

What causes the intellectual resilience of some people but not others? Why does losing hurt so damn bad that some never get over it?

Anonymous Donald Wheeler August 09, 2017 9:13 AM  

Another part of the issue with Zunger's 'hypothesis' (for lack of a better word) is his continuing insistence that coding ability is assumed/easy/not an issue. Anyone who has coded, worked with other developers, or managed developers knows that this is not the case, even slightly - there are only a fraction of people that are good enough at the base skills (i.e., problem analysis, analytical thinking, coding, architecture) that the soft skills play any role in their success.

This stupid insistence that coding skills are completely fungible and that soft skills are the only determining factor suggests that this person has never managed a team with differing skill levels or capabilities.

Blogger VD August 09, 2017 9:19 AM  

Yes, but most smart people know this. They just often run away when they actually meet a smarter person.

See: PZ Myers, Ben Shapiro.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 9:20 AM  

I used to wait until the last moment then write A-winning essays.

I had kind of a moment of clarity when a teacher gave me an A on an essay and thanked me for putting a real effort into it. I had written it in one draft, slapped together in 15 minutes before it was due. Kinda felt like a jackass, and it's stuck with me ever since. But I didn't really learn the lesson then; had to learn it in the real world getting knocked around like you said.

Anonymous Den Ekte Norsk August 09, 2017 9:22 AM  

Main stream media has caught onto it... and wait for it, a woman is defending reason:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/no-the-google-manifesto-isnt-sexist-or-anti-diversity-its-science/article35903359/

Blogger Matthew August 09, 2017 9:22 AM  

If you know where to put custom CSS for your browser, here's how to hide their stupid doodles.

/*Google Doodle*/
div#lga > img {
display: none!important;
}

Blogger DonReynolds August 09, 2017 9:23 AM  

Vox ...."Smart people usually construct their arguments to impress midwits and normal people. Smarter people construct them with an eye to hypothetical critics who may be smarter than they are."

I must not be Smart (or Smarter). I already knew that because I have met too many people more clever than myself and other people who have received a much better education. I am certainly glad we have such people and cannot imagine the world without them. None of my arguments are intended to impress anyone and anyone who bothers to add or subtract to my own argument with the intention of improving it....has my full support and encouragement. I am only in search of what works and so my arguments are only intended to appeal to the reasonable, interested person, who may not be the brightest person in the room. What can we accomplish with the least amount of excitement? I always considered it more the art of seduction, rather than persuasion, because people have to fall in love with an idea for it to work well.

I spent much of my lifetime as a technocrat, which meant I had specialized knowledge that was relatively narrow but uncommon. That meant half of my time was spent teaching the principles and practices of my craft to people who were specialists in other related areas. The other half of my time was spent adapting and integrating my own world to the other related areas, while retaining and preserving what was vital to the purpose and mission. That usually meant a certain amount of give and take in order to forge a rough compromise agreement (plan) on what was actually important and withdraw from hillsides that could not be defended or were no longer important.

In my world, nobody did ALL the thinking. Dictatorship was usually just impractical. Being the Boss usually meant being a good Traffic Cop. Everyone had a contribution of value, even if it was small. The Eagle's-eye view had to be in agreement with the Worm's-eye view. (The architect and the carpenter had to see the same thing.)

No One Was As Smart As ALL of Us Put Together. (Yes, I know that may be controversial with some people.)

There was simply too much at stake and time was definitely a factor so decisions needed to be deliberate and informed to avoid or anticipate unknown or emerging pitfalls and game for a success that really could not be measured in terms of profit. That meant that the organization had to learn about its own strengths and weaknesses...which managers had blind spots, which managers were not particularly experienced, which managers were overly focused on the non-essential, and who would be watching from outside the organization.

Anonymous Cremm Boulais August 09, 2017 9:24 AM  

i guess there are plenty of converged tech companies for now, so google on a resume isn't quite poison. but maybe tomorrow...

Blogger Ken Prescott August 09, 2017 9:24 AM  

A truly great Machiavellian would recognize that and work on improving their skill at dialectics so that others won't be able to see how Machiavellian they are... (c8

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2017 9:25 AM  


"What causes the intellectual resilience of some people but not others? Why does losing hurt so damn bad that some never get over it?"

It's a combination of (1) lack of adequate experience; (2) egoistical human nature; (3) an aversion to being ruthlessly mocked. The first two are condemnable, the third inspires some sympathy... when you're a kid, anyways. Adults need to grow a pair.

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 9:29 AM  

> He is a coward and assumes everyone else is as well.

One of our numerous problems is that we have an abundance of cowards amongst our current "leadership".

> Why I keep coming back here.

Bingo. I learn things here.

> I tend to agree. Everything about that manifesto screamed dialectical sincerity.

It's entirely possible that I'm incorrect. It's been known to happen. :)
I would have expected the worst, but then I'm quite a bit older than Damore.

> He really hoped to effect change.

Oh, he hoped to, yes. What I'm arguing is that he didn't really expect to survive the process. Vox disagrees. I'd say that lowers the odds of my being correct to at best 50/50.

> This was an engineer sincerely trying to fix a problem.

Exactly. But he's a good enough engineer that I'm having difficulty believing he overlooked the full parameters of the problem (i.e., the likelihood of his being fired). That may simply be an example of personal bias on my part.

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 09, 2017 9:30 AM  

It was indeed a thoroughly thorough thrashing.

Lovely to watch.

Blogger JaimeInTexas August 09, 2017 9:35 AM  

"Smarter people construct them with an eye to hypothetical critics who may be smarter than they are."

When you see the other's premise and extrapolate, as you said, with a view of further and more relevant line of reasoning, and you get a "what are you talking about?" Then, a couple of years later, something else happens, memory flashes, and you get a "you were right."

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 9:36 AM  

> I already knew that because I have met too many people more clever than myself and other people who have received a much better education.

Reading here can be at least a Master's level course in and of itself. :)

Blogger Nate August 09, 2017 9:37 AM  

"If you know where to put custom CSS for your browser, here's how to hide their stupid doodles.

/*Google Doodle*/
div#lga > img {
display: none!important;
}"

Alternatively... you can just set your default search engine to Bing. Which is 1000 times better than Google.

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass August 09, 2017 9:43 AM  

I echo what LookingGlass said about there always being someone smarter than you. Any engineer can take me to task but it seems (to me, a non engineer) Zunger has never done actual hardware engineering. I have a friend who works on power systems. I think he would be the first to say that empathy and getting along with people is the last thing on your mind. Sure, he trains guys that are sitting by his client to learn how to operate the system he develops but that's it. He does his own hardware level coding and does his own construction of the apparatus within design parameters.

Anyone who has ever worked with women outside of an SJW bubble can tell you it's generally not pleasant from getting accomplished perspective, certain fields excepted of course.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 09, 2017 9:46 AM  

This probably explains why I'm so intellectually sloppy.

Blogger DonReynolds August 09, 2017 9:48 AM  

@44 NH
"Why does losing hurt so damn bad that some never get over it?"

Some people have a misplaced competitive drive mixed with too much ego. Contradict a person like that (especially in front of others) and they will hate your guts for the rest of their life....often plotting and scheming to get you out of the organization entirely or seriously demoted. They live for revenge and making examples of uppity punks who dared to challenge their (apparent) authority. Such persons do not play well in groups, especially any group where people need to pull in the same direction. They can be vicious and vindictive and can nurse a grudge for decades. We have all encountered them. They are like foul weather.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 09, 2017 9:48 AM  

NH wrote:What causes the intellectual resilience of some people but not others?

1) Practice
2) Identifying as good things other than "smart".

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 09, 2017 9:51 AM  

3) Making a living that's robust to personal ideological changes
4) Low trait Neuroticism (Big Five)
5) High trait Thinking (MBTI)

Blogger Shimshon August 09, 2017 9:51 AM  

Even if Mr. Damore did not embark on his plan with malice aforethought (rather instead tilting at windmills that he should have known fight back) there were no real negative outcomes for him. If the advice proffered was accepted as intended, win. If they doubled down, win bigger (if there's really collusion involving employees of different companies, is that a RICO violation?).

Mr. Damore played a perfectly executed Thanatos Gambit. Well played, James Damore.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora August 09, 2017 10:00 AM  

Some of the most valuable lessons I've learned from this blog were how to avoid bluffing in arguments and how to deal with it when people try it on you. I always wondered why a lot of 'smart' people get all cringe inducing and talk about winning debates with 'pure reason' (because it takes less effort) but clearly that is inferior to simply knowing the material. That lesson and knowing how to spot rhetoric and differentiate it from dialectic, plus all the small things I've picked up reading old blog posts has changed how I approach discussions of important issues.

Personally I'm glad I discovered this place while in my 20s because I don't know enough smart people to learn these things from personal experience. On some level I can sympathize with people who do stupid stuff like bluffing if that's all they've ever known and haven't been fortunate enough to be challenged and defeated handily for their laziness.

Blogger Troy Lee Messer August 09, 2017 10:06 AM  

I practice the old saw:

It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

This has, no doubt, saved me some embarrassment from the commentariat.

P.s. Thanks again to Cail for teaching me about conversions.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 10:07 AM  

What I'm arguing is that he didn't really expect to survive the process. Vox disagrees.

I'd waffle in the middle: he knew he was taking a risk, but hoped to survive. I doubt he expected to be identified and booted in less time than it takes milk left out to curdle. I think he expected his well-crafted arguments to give him some protection, at least. It's hard for logic-oriented people to appreciate just how easily others will sweep facts and argumentation out of the way when they're upset. We see it over and over, but it's still hard to believe someone will just say, "I don't care if you're right, you're wrong."

It's like playing chess, saying "checkmate," and having the other person say, "Uh uh, my pawn has super board-jumping powers, so he moves six squares sideways and kills your king! I win!!!" Grown people aren't supposed to do that.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 10:21 AM  

his continuing insistence that coding ability is assumed/easy/not an issue.

Yes, that is ridiculous. My thesis is that modern, high-level languages have actually made coding harder, in this sense: so much can be done with so few lines of code that you're not snapping together small, simple pieces like building with Legos. You're fitting together large, complex pieces, the workings of which are largely abstracted away but must still be understood if you're going to write good code. That abstraction makes the job easier for those capable of doing it, but basically impossible for everyone else. The only people who are good at that tend to be male, smart, white (or some East Asians), logic-oriented, and probably a bit (or more than a bit) aspie.

So they have a job that requires a very specific kind of person, and they insist on filling it with a rainbow of people. There's no way that could end well, even if they didn't also give the SJWs the power to purge the very men they need.

Anonymous Ezekiel Cassandros August 09, 2017 10:22 AM  

@David The Good

"I got a 97% for my twenty minutes. Highest score in the class. She was horrified.

This sort of thing doesn't teach you to work hard. I had to learn that later after much battering about."

Can. Confirm. I still haven't learned.

Blogger DonReynolds August 09, 2017 10:29 AM  

VD wrote:I don't think Damore expected to be fired. He is one of those young moderate types who thinks he can persuade SJWs with facts if he is sympathetic enough to their concerns. He seemed blindsided by the response.

I tend to agree. Everything about that manifesto screamed dialectical sincerity.


Absolutely. Damore did not expect to be fired. He was appealing to Caesar, as was his right as a Roman citizen.

I believe he thought (incorrectly) that it would be possible to have a DIALOG with higher authority and expected permission to exist in the organization under the same rubic of diversity and tolerance. He did not understand the nature of the beast and that the problem was not an accident or flaw, but a feature of the organization.

The smart play (which I have seen several times) would be for higher authority to name respected officers to an ad hoc, for the express purpose of examining the contents of the memo and conducting their own "investigation" ....which would satisfy the presumption of innocence and due process. It would also preserve the dignity of the organization, since summary execution is always a bad precedent, when no actual crime has been committed. Said ad hoc would give the young man an opportunity to recant even part of the memo, so they could be justified in keeping a valuable resource in the organization. And finally, it would be a way to signal to all employees that the commitment to diversity is stronger than ever and defensible, even if it has been questioned, and those who do not approve should make other plans.

Instead, Google did not handle this well and they will get a black eye in spite of their virtue signaling and they will think it unfair and blame Damore for the way they handled the memo.

What could have been a win for Google was turned into an infection...a public infection...and a wound that will be difficult to heal without serious scars.

Blogger GracieLou August 09, 2017 10:39 AM  

Duke/Brewer @ empathy.

That's a really good point. If other people exist solely as mirrors the value of any individual would be determined by the quality of the reflection. Thus the importance of groupthink.

Imagine how creepy it would be to look into a mirror expecting to see yourself and instead see something behind or beyond the mirror. That might suggest you don't exist or that something unknowable does.

No wonder they're screaming over Manifesto.

Anonymous 0007 August 09, 2017 10:41 AM  

I read elsewhere that Damore filed a complaint with the NLRB before he posted his remarks. Which I suspect shows that:

1. He was pretty certain as to the outcome of his post.
2. He was the smartest person in that particular room.

Blogger kevin sim August 09, 2017 10:48 AM  

Can you suggest an alternative to Google?

Blogger DonReynolds August 09, 2017 10:50 AM  

0007 wrote:I read elsewhere that Damore filed a complaint with the NLRB before he posted his remarks. Which I suspect shows that:



1. He was pretty certain as to the outcome of his post.

2. He was the smartest person in that particular room.


I had read that too, but it may not prove your point. Damore likely knew that he was protected from dismissal by California state law, which prohibits a firm from firing an employee for his political beliefs. I would say the complaint to NLRB was more an insurance policy to that same end. For a company to fire someone who had filed a NLRB complaint is considered illegal retaliation. That gave Damore two good reasons to believe he would not be nailed to the cross for the memo. That is why he was surprised that they ignored these legal protections in favor of summary virtue signaling. Damore anticipated he was dealing with a rational organization and he actually proved the opposite is true.

Anonymous Stickwick August 09, 2017 10:50 AM  

Zunger's empty posturing is remarkably common among the cognitive elite...

I recently got into it on Twitter with Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist who's trying to establish a career as a pop scientist and professional atheist. Prior to Vox's posts about scientists and IQ, I just assumed theoretical physicists were super-smart and dialectical spergs like me who at least try to make clear arguments. So, I put forth the facts to Krauss, and expected some kind of reasoned response. Instead, I got bluster and insults.

Krauss' response was kind of shocking. Not the insults -- I get insulted on Twitter all the time -- but that this towering intellect was squawking and flapping his wings at me instead of doing what he supposedly does best. Krauss is undoubtedly pretty smart, and is used to his credentials and notoriety intimidating people. But they didn't intimidate me. I haz credentials, too, and more importantly, facts are facts -- can you refute them or not? Apparently he couldn't, thus the aggressive display to try to run me off. When that didn't work, he claimed he didn't have time for this nonsense and left the argument.

This behavior was confusing until Vox challenged my assumptions about the academic elite. Now it makes total sense, and will help me in future identify people who may be smart, but are out of their depth.

Thank God for VP, or this world would still be an inscrutable morass.

Blogger Gunnar von Cowtown August 09, 2017 11:14 AM  

As fate would have it I used to run in some of the same circles as Jack Baruth. Upon stumbling across Vox's WND columns circa 2006, my initial impression was to wonder if they were the same person. Obviously, that's not the case, but there are some very interesting parallels.

Regardless, it's great to see two of my favorite "smarter guys" acknowledge one another.

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2017 11:33 AM  

I tend to agree that this looks like he was playing the middle - sincerely attempting to effect change, but doing CYA like a pro. Clearly did his homework in advance. I'd bet this actually isn't the first time something like this has happened at Google.

Blogger VD August 09, 2017 11:36 AM  

He does not appear to have done it intentionally. The document had been published internally for a month without any attention or concerns until it was leaked by SJWs.

Anonymous TS August 09, 2017 11:53 AM  

"I could not say anything without him playing devil's advocate..."

Don't sell yourself short Vox, playing the DA is DEFINATELY not a sign of intelligence or even trying to look at things from a different angle, mostly it's simply insecure pride.

Anonymous Stickwick August 09, 2017 11:58 AM  

Incidentally, I was at a gathering of tech geeks last night in Austin, and judging by the conversations, the Google document has caused major ripples in the tech community. This is Berkeley-in-Texas, and yet I didn't hear anyone defending Google's enforcement of their code of conduct. They were more concerned by the chill wind of dissent-crushing that's blowing through their community.

Anonymous TS August 09, 2017 12:03 PM  

"In my world, nobody did ALL the thinking. Dictatorship was usually just impractical. Being the Boss usually meant being a good Traffic Cop. Everyone had a contribution of value, even if it was small. The Eagle's-eye view had to be in agreement with the Worm's-eye view. (The architect and the carpenter had to see the same thing.)"

That was excellent Mr.Reynolds, a really thoughtful post.

Blogger Dave August 09, 2017 12:09 PM  

I'm curious if the decision to fire Damore was made wholly by a mid-level department manager or just how far up the chain did it go. Was he fired by some blacklister SJW before upper management had a chance to weigh in on the decision. Not so sure upper management would've pulled the plug as quickly but if their hand was forced then now they feel like must present a united front.

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2017 12:13 PM  

"He does not appear to have done it intentionally. The document had been published internally for a month without any attention or concerns until it was leaked by SJWs."

He did file an official complaint with the state of CA and get a lawyer involved before it blew up. That indicates that he knew there was potential for trouble.

Blogger tuberman August 09, 2017 12:16 PM  

My impression of Damore after watching Stefan's interview, is that he is an idealistic puppy, and much of his smarts, IQ is wasted in those puppy ideals. He is mainly leftist/globalist, with his only moderateness related to gender STEM issues.

So, popcorn time, as this is fun. Will he ever get Red Pilled? If so it will be completely forced on him by his former associates. There will be much resistance to reality by his puppy, idealistic self even noww.

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 12:19 PM  

They were more concerned by the chill wind of dissent-crushing that's blowing through their community.

A GamerGate-like awakening of tech geeks could be pretty interesting.

Blogger Harris August 09, 2017 12:33 PM  

NH wrote:Smart people usually construct their arguments to impress midwits and normal people. Smarter people construct them with an eye to hypothetical critics who may be smarter than they are.

Yes, but most smart people know this. They just often run away when they actually meet a smarter person.

What causes the intellectual resilience of some people but not others? Why does losing hurt so damn bad that some never get over it?


When I was a child, I didn't even realize how smart I was. I didn't even know that teachers were creating extra work for me alone just to keep me engaged in class. My mother told me later. I was more interested in getting to recess and playing football with the other boys, or chasing girls. I had my first kiss in 1st grade (aaah, Cheryl Hoffman...)

Later, I was always intrigued by finding someone smarter than me, simply because it was so rare. But I was often put off by their lack of social skills, and inability to carry on intelligent conversations about sports, politics, girls, etc. I was never that impressed by intelligence. I was interested in other things.

Don't get me wrong. It is nice being smart. But I wasn't a straight A student. It was nice being able to get an A whenever I actually wanted one. And it was flattering to be recruited by nearly every top University in the nation due to a perfect SAT score. But by that time, my father was dying, and I was working after school to help support the family. So other things were once again more important.

When I did get to college, I was disappointed with how easy it was. I expected it to be harder. Most of my friends and people I admire are not as intelligent as I am. I am more impressed by accomplishments than intelligence. I count myself as inferior to others with who are more accomplished, regardless of their intelligence level.

Anonymous TS August 09, 2017 12:35 PM  

"My impression of Damore after watching Stefan's interview, is that he is an idealistic puppy, and much of his smarts, IQ is wasted in those puppy ideals. He is mainly leftist/globalist, with his only moderateness related to gender STEM issues."

Intellectuals like him invariably ended up in camps under communistic systems this is just a precursor. Deviating from the (((narrative))) just a little and an example would be made out of them.

Blogger DonReynolds August 09, 2017 12:37 PM  

OK....nobody else is going to say it, so I will.

Damore is probably one of the better analytical minds in the country. He was a chess champion at a very young age and made the move to coding...which must have seemed like a perfect fit.

That may be his weakness. In chess, there are hard and fast rules, and everybody knows the same rules. There are many combinations and sequences that make up the chess game, much like in coding, but everyone must follow the rules, otherwise it simply does not work....not in chess or in coding....and all that pure analytical horsepower is not worth much when playing against people who have no rules or people who can change the rules at will or people who can invent new rules whenever they need to. THAT, boys and girls, is the challenge of dealing with SJWs. They do not lose a chess match gracefully and chalk it up to experience. They will not let the rules get in their way, especially if they think they own the rule book...and the chessboard and the pieces.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 09, 2017 12:38 PM  

Alas, poor Google! I knew them, Horatio
a search engine of infinite depth,
of most excellent fancy
they had borne my curiosity on their site a thousand times
and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!
my gorge rims at it.
Here hung those indices that I have queried I know not how oft.
Where be your customer focus now?
Your result quality? Your surprises?
Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the internets on a roar?
Not one now, to mock your own ironic failure? Quite conventional!

Blogger Harris August 09, 2017 12:44 PM  

I will say this about intelligence. Although I disagree with Vox Day on some things, and don't share his interests, I keep coming back to this blog because it is nice to read coherent arguments.

Blogger tuberman August 09, 2017 1:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger tuberman August 09, 2017 1:03 PM  

88. DR

"Damore is probably one of the better analytical minds in the country."

I have to disagree. His immaturity and his leftist points of view cut heavily into what ever analytical abilities he might have. Watch Stefan's interview of him. Stefan runs circles around Damore's analysis (in a nice way, as Stefan is sympathetic) throughout. Chess masters and good coders are very smart, but there are dimensions of depth, maturity, density, astute observation, and often hard knocks that go into making a truly sharp analysis capable person.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 09, 2017 1:11 PM  

@80 Stickwick

Incidentally, I was at a gathering of tech geeks last night in Austin, and judging by the conversations, the Google document has caused major ripples in the tech community. This is Berkeley-in-Texas, and yet I didn't hear anyone defending Google's enforcement of their code of conduct.
---

This is the one thing I keep going back to thinking about this mess.

Sometime in the past, an SJW entryist got their CoC implemented into Google. And it sits there like a time bomb ready to be used as the SJWs slowly take over the entire company.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 09, 2017 1:15 PM  

@82 Dave
I'm curious if the decision to fire Damore was made wholly by a mid-level department manager or just how far up the chain did it go
---

It had the full backing of the CEO. If it was done by proxy via an underling or not, the CEO is behind it.

http://archive.is/JidzR

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 09, 2017 1:21 PM  

S1AL wrote:
He did file an official complaint with the state of CA and get a lawyer involved before it blew up. That indicates that he knew there was potential for trouble.

Love all the "He learned to fake sincerity!" coments. He comes across as way too innocent for that. More likely, someone with more experience in the organization, who liked him or agreed with him, let him know that the essay would get him fired, so he pre-emptively filed the complaint.

Believe me, very smart people know when they meet someone smarter than they are. Whether they are threatened by that or not is another question.

The larger point is that intelligence is one of the least important things about a person. Character is far more important, as are mental and emotional toughness, and intellectual honesty. Intelligence alone doesn't even lead you to the Truth. Lots of very very smart people are completely wrong, in every way it's possible to be wrong, and in some ways that are technically impossible, about the most important questions in human existence.

Blogger tuberman August 09, 2017 1:29 PM  



"Stickwick wrote:Incidentally, I was at a gathering of tech geeks last night in Austin, and judging by the conversations, the Google document has caused major ripples in the tech community. This is Berkeley-in-Texas, and yet I didn't hear anyone defending Google's enforcement of their code of conduct. They were more concerned by the chill wind of dissent-crushing that's blowing through their community.

This could be another turning point where the globalists make a bunch of high IQ enemies (on top of the high IQ enemies they already have), but this group has been trying to go along for the most part. This stage was likely and predictable, and if not full force now, it will be soon. I think NOW is a great time.

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 1:51 PM  

> Believe me, very smart people know when they meet someone smarter than they are.

I come from a relatively rural area, which affects things somewhat, but I've only met two or three people IRL who are smarter than me. I married one of them.

There are more than two or three people here who are smarter than I am, and there are even more who are better in their areas of expertise. That's the main reason I hang out here.

Anonymous Gen. Kong August 09, 2017 2:00 PM  

Somewhat related: I read about a recent paper by some American social scientists (sic) who explained that the reason why infants prefer different types of toys according to their gender is that The Patriarchy™ is somehow infiltrating the soft, malleable brains of tiny humans before they can even talk good or do other stuff good such as learning not to try to eat the cat.

...and little did they realize that the evilest of evil patriarchs, Y.T. Raycisz with his 6 million google thoughts of purest refined evil, was orbiting earth in his invisible Patriarchal Planetoid sending out ceaseless undetected waves of doubleplusungood hatefacts. Send that gurl an Obamaphone.

Blogger Ingot9455 August 09, 2017 2:08 PM  

@73 There are many individual alternatives to google.
Many different email services/identity managers.
Many different browsers.
Many different search portals.
Many different dropboxes for file sharing.

Bing for them, they're out there.

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2017 2:33 PM  

Something that strikes me about this whole situation: Climate Change, which is basically speculation, is treated as gospel truth. Sex differences, which are readily measurable and have thousands of papers describing them, cannot be trusted. The true believers will never be convinced, of course, but I wonder if this situation allows for a psychological wedge to be created by highlighting that dissonance.

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2017 2:36 PM  

"Love all the "He learned to fake sincerity!" coments. He comes across as way too innocent for that."

I'm not sure if this was directed at me, but that's not my view of it. I think he's completely sincere - someone this spergy isn't faking that. But you also don't file a legal complaint before something like this if you aren't prepping for blowback.

Anonymous Zion's Paladin August 09, 2017 2:36 PM  

NH wrote:What causes the intellectual resilience of some people but not others? Why does losing hurt so damn bad that some never get over it?

Learning from failure implies two things:

1) That you have the ability to recognize your error
2) That you are willing to acknowledge that you screwed up

To explain #1, imagine a martial arts school where they "taught" you by sticking you in a sparring match against a top student before you had learned how to do anything. You'd fail over and over again, but you'd have no ability to figure what you're doing wrong, so you wouldn't learn much of anything.

#2 has already been explained by others on this thread.

DonReynolds wrote:That gave Damore two good reasons to believe he would not be nailed to the cross for the memo. That is why he was surprised that they ignored these legal protections in favor of summary virtue signaling. Damore anticipated he was dealing with a rational organization and he actually proved the opposite is true.

That's my read too. Dialectical people tend to thrive on learning the rules and playing by them. They may exploit loopholes or loose interpretations for their benefit, but they still fundamentally respect the rules and expect others to follow them as they do.

Damore just got firsthand experience that SJW's only respect the rules when they are useful. The moment the rules are in the way, they get kicked aside.

TS wrote:"I could not say anything without him playing devil's advocate..."

Don't sell yourself short Vox, playing the DA is DEFINATELY not a sign of intelligence or even trying to look at things from a different angle, mostly it's simply insecure pride.


From what Vox has described and how he operates, his friend played the same role for Vox that the Great Knock played for C.S. Lewis. Namely, he took Vox's arguments and tossed them into the crucible to see how they stood up. The result is that both men learned to build their arguments carefully, lest they get blown over by a stray gust of wind at the wrong time.

You can see this at work in Lewis' "Miracles". Despite the central topic being about miracles, he starts out talking about the natural world, which at first blush, doesn't seem to have anything to do with that. It's only later on that you realize he is first answering the question of whether a divine being would work miracles in the natural world that He has made; in other words, building the foundation before he reaches the central point.

Blogger Dave August 09, 2017 2:37 PM  

Here's a quote from the shareholder meeting in June:

"The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking," Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt said.

Pichai said Damore violated the Code of Conduct but didn't say he would be fired. Google won't publicly confirm or deny if COC violations are automatic firing offenses.

In light of Schmidt's public statement in June, I still question if upper management was pre-empted by a mid-level blacklister who believed they were taking action under the cover of a COC violation as called out by Pichai.

Blogger S1AL August 09, 2017 2:39 PM  

Stickwick wrote:Incidentally, I was at a gathering of tech geeks last night in Austin, and judging by the conversations, the Google document has caused major ripples in the tech community. This is Berkeley-in-Texas, and yet I didn't hear anyone defending Google's enforcement of their code of conduct. They were more concerned by the chill wind of dissent-crushing that's blowing through their community.

Shades of GamerGate, right there. When largely apolitical groups feel threatened in the areas they actually care about, that's when things happen.

Blogger Dedd Sirius August 09, 2017 3:29 PM  

@20 Harris

"...being submitted to the Holy Spirit is more important because He actually knows all things and can reveal them to dumb people in an instant. So trusting in God is the main thing..."

Very well said. Trusting God is my foundation and my refuge.

Blogger VD August 09, 2017 3:53 PM  

Don't sell yourself short Vox, playing the DA is DEFINATELY not a sign of intelligence or even trying to look at things from a different angle, mostly it's simply insecure pride.

I'm not. There was nothing insecure or prideful about it. I know how smart my friend is. He was also the first dual Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Phi graduate in the university's history.

Blogger VD August 09, 2017 3:54 PM  

Pichai said Damore violated the Code of Conduct but didn't say he would be fired.

Please. I even posted that Pichai's commments were a clear signal to fire the guy before it happened. You clearly lack fluency in corporate-speak.

Blogger James Dixon August 09, 2017 3:59 PM  

> Bing for them, they're out there.

Why not use Google too and let them know what they've unleashed?

Anonymous Stickwick August 09, 2017 4:11 PM  

"The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking," Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt said.

Two of those things are not like the others.

Blogger Dave August 09, 2017 4:21 PM  

You clearly lack fluency in corporate-speak.

Thank heavens. I left the corporate world back when everyone started going on ad nauseum about synergy, paradigm shifts, mission critical, and all the other stupid buzzwords.

Blogger tuberman August 09, 2017 6:01 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger JayKayNZ August 09, 2017 6:40 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger JayKayNZ August 09, 2017 6:41 PM  

Just had a look at Zunger's FB page, where of course his article is receiving adoration (although thankfully, not 100% positive response).

Someone should friend him, and post a link to the rebuttal VD is referring to.

Someone more anti-fragile than myself though heh.

Blogger The Morrigan August 09, 2017 8:11 PM  

My dating life suffered until I accepted this reality.

Blogger The Morrigan August 09, 2017 8:20 PM  

This is why I love the chans. Good writing stands out, good ideas are supported not only by facts but by a good structure. (This morning I had to explain to my father what a process server... age takes its toll.)

The dicksizing contests on Twitter never interest me. I'm working on my own projects at my own pace and will leverage social media when the marketing issues are in front of me.

Too often writers grab the bottle and the smartphone to make up for writers block and/or laziness.

Blogger The Morrigan August 09, 2017 8:25 PM  

Compassion is another one.

Blogger JaimeInTexas August 09, 2017 8:26 PM  

Damore seems to have thought in contingencies. Whether he thought he was not going to be fired, or he thought he would be fired at a latter time Damore prepared by lawyering up.
He understood the possibility of being fired.

Blogger The Morrigan August 09, 2017 8:31 PM  

Maybe someone knows a DA who can charge him with criminal harassment.

Blogger The Morrigan August 09, 2017 8:40 PM  

Recently someone used pysical violence by proxy on me because I kept catching her in lies. The argument? Acceptable size of an burlesque performer's posterior. It's never really about what they say it's about. This is why for years events unnerved me, they find it all a different story.

Now I just don't care.

Blogger stevo August 09, 2017 9:12 PM  

Any blog that makes me feel dumb is one I need to pay attention to

Blogger Cail Corishev August 09, 2017 10:14 PM  

"The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking,"

I don't know what Alphabet was founded on. Probably a CIA meeting. But I'm pretty sure Google was founded on none of these things. One guy said to another, "Hey, I've got this idea for how to rank search engine results that I think could make us a shitload of money." And it did. All the diversity crap came later. If it had been there at the start, no one ever would have heard of Google.

Anonymous Jack Amok August 09, 2017 10:28 PM  

a-yup.

This was an engineer sincerely trying to fix a problem.


At his age, I might have done the same dumb thing.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 10, 2017 12:11 AM  

S1AL wrote:Something that strikes me about this whole situation: Climate Change, which is basically speculation, is treated as gospel truth. Sex differences, which are readily measurable and have thousands of papers describing them, cannot be trusted.
You refuse to see the reality before you:  they're BOTH 100% true.  (The changes in downwelling IR have been measured in real time as CO2 levels change.)

Why is the left certain about climate change and in denial about sexual dimorphism, and the right is the opposite?  Propaganda games, playing "divide and conquer".  Climate-change denial was pushed into the right's set of shibboleths during the era when the public Internet was in its infancy and talk radio was the main route for getting (dis)information out to the right.  Now there's a big ecosystem of fake scientists and bloggers built around keeping the disbelievers in line, and the social herd forces do the rest.  It probably wouldn't work today.

Ask yourself, what would happen if the right realized that climate change was actually a huge deal and had to be dealt with?  First thing:  the fake science behind the "linear no-threshold" theory of radiation hazards would be thrown out, and all the laws and regulations based on it.  The cost of nuclear plants and a whole bunch of medical diagnostics would drop like a rock.  We'd pick up construction on VC Summer again and get ready to start building at least 12 more, doubling every 2-4 years for a while (Americans back to work, yay!).  And we'd stop trading with coal-burning Chindia (bad for globalists, yay!).

Coal-mining and gas-drilling work is dirty and very dangerous.  Nuclear plants are clean and safe; even the construction is very safe for construction work.  Uranium mining often doesn't even involve removing a shovel-full of dirt.  Replacing fossil-fuel jobs with nuclear jobs is a huge step up for quality of life.

Getting serious about climate change is one of the best things that could possibly happen to the USA.

Blogger S1AL August 10, 2017 8:51 AM  

"Coal-mining and gas-drilling work is dirty and very dangerous."

This isn't 1900, Grandpa. Gas drilling is safe and clean. Oil... different story on the clean, but not the safe. Uranium mining is no cleaner than drilling.

Now, I'm all about nuclear. You won't find a bigger proponent of it than me, especially now that nuclear waste is an energy source of its own. I can only imagine how far along nuclear tech would be if we'd probably the hundreds of billions of dollars into it that we put into solar.

But the problem with climate change is, and always has been, that the evidence didn't match the "conclusions". The supposed catastrophic results haven't materialized. We can't even determine to what degree CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas, much less if it continues to act as a net positive on warming *at all concentrations*. The most prominent scientist working with the middle atmosphere is convinced that the warming is a self-countering cycle due to increased cloud cover.

And the models are wrong, consistently. But we're supposed to somehow base policy on them? Ha!

The reality is that we need to accept that fossil fuels are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and that the transition will take time, probably a century before we're ready to have more than 50% to renewables. Moreover, given that CO2 reached 3000 ppm in eras past, freaking out about how much of it there is doesn't do us any favors. Building hyper-dense cities on the coastline is stupid games with stupid prizes, regardless. The sea level has risen almost 500 feet in the last 20,000 years.

Blogger James Dixon August 10, 2017 9:58 AM  

> (The changes in downwelling IR have been measured in real time as CO2 levels change.)

And? https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/dr-vincent-gray-on-historical-carbon-dioxide-levels/

> Replacing fossil-fuel jobs with nuclear jobs is a huge step up for quality of life.

Well, if you're talking thorium reactors, I might be persuaded. Not about climate change, but about the benefits of switching. Though it will never completely replace natural gas.

> Gas drilling is safe and clean. Oil... different story on the clean, but not the safe.

Tell that to the Deepwater Horizon workers. Relatively speaking, you are correct in that it's far safer than it's ever been. But it's never going to be "safe" in the absolute sense of the word. But that's my only disagreement with your post.

Blogger S1AL August 10, 2017 10:39 AM  

Well yes, there are catastrophic freak accidents, of course. But on the level of "total working hours versus total fatalities", it's quite safe even compared to just 50 years ago, much less 100.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 10, 2017 12:34 PM  

James Dixon wrote:Tell that to the Deepwater Horizon workers. Relatively speaking, you are correct in that it's far safer than it's ever been. But it's never going to be "safe" in the absolute sense of the word. But that's my only disagreement with your post.
More people die doing janitorial work than oil drilling.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 10, 2017 1:32 PM  

S1AL wrote:This isn't 1900, Grandpa. Gas drilling is safe and clean. Oil... different story on the clean, but not the safe.
I went and looked it up on the Department of Labor site, and to my surprise you're (mostly) right.  Oil and gas drilling DOES have a lower rate of work-related injuries than the US average (which is well above the median because of a few dangerous categories).  Underground coal mining (the only remaining form that provides lots of jobs) is about 50% worse than average, though.

Uranium mining is no cleaner than drilling.
A lot of uranium "mining" is in-situ solution mining, which only breaks ground with a few water wells.  Then you have uranium as a co-product of other things, such as phosphate.  Thorium is a co-product of rare-earth production which current rules force to be treated (expensively) as a waste product rather than nuclear fuel; that's the major reason it's not economic to mine most US REE deposits.  (Did you know that you have to get NRC certification for everything associated with nuclear fuel, and no thorium-containing fuels are currently certified?  Our government is THE problem here, and it's in the pocket of fossil-fuel interests.  This is why fracking is exempt from the Clean Water Act while Diablo Canyon was threatened with revocation of its permit to put warm water back into the Pacific.)

nuclear waste is an energy source of its own.
Not in the USA it isn't.  MOX fuel is mainly a way to dispose of recovered plutonium from reprocessing (which doesn't work very well in a thermal neutron spectrum, BTW), and we don't do reprocessing.  If we had breeders we could burn all of it, but Clinton signed the bill which shut down our last one in 1994.

I can only imagine how far along nuclear tech would be if we'd probably the hundreds of billions of dollars into it that we put into solar.
Just get government out of the way.  Eliminate most of the NRC, especially its years-long approval processes and utterly bizarre QA requirements; aircraft-type QA is more than adequate.  Eliminate the legal roles for "intervenors" and other lawfare.  You'd see it skyrocket.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 10, 2017 1:35 PM  

S1AL wrote:the problem with climate change is, and always has been, that the evidence didn't match the "conclusions". The supposed catastrophic results haven't materialized.
Larsen B ice shelf in the process of final disintegration.
Larsen C ice shelf calved a berg the size of Delaware a couple months ago.
So much for "haven't materialized".  The West Antarctic Ice Shelf is destabilizing.  Even the threat of that is cause for immediate action.

We can't even determine to what degree CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas, much less if it continues to act as a net positive on warming *at all concentrations*.
What, so you propose to TRY it just to see?  Don't you know that high CO2 makes people stupid?

And the models are wrong, consistently. But we're supposed to somehow base policy on them? Ha!
You can't even model the reaction to aspirin accurately, but do you distrust all medicine because of that?

The most prominent scientist working with the middle atmosphere is convinced that the warming is a self-countering cycle due to increased cloud cover.
So suddenly you're all trusting in models when they say what you want to hear.

Models are models.  There are major uncertainties in all of them, the effect of cloud feedbacks being just one of them.  However, we know that the world is hospitable to us when CO2 is in the range of 180-275 ppm.  We do NOT know if we'll have long-term hospitability even at the current ~400 ppm level, let alone what we're headed to if we don't change things pronto.

The reality is that we need to accept that fossil fuels are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and that the transition will take time, probably a century before we're ready to have more than 50% to renewables.
"Renewables" (which I like to pronounce "ruinables") are a scam.  They are greenwashing the natural-gas industry, pushing nuclear energy out to grab more market share.  One look at the takedown of Mark Z. Jacobson's fraudulent scheme to run the whole USA on ruinables should convince you that this whole thing is rotten.  Who does it serve?  The fossil industry.

http://www.pnas.org/content/114/26/6722.full.pdf

France took its electric grid from a few percent to 80% nuclear in just 17 years.  We were going to do it first, but the fossil industry replaced the AEC with the NRC and it all went to hell.
http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html

The sea level has risen almost 500 feet in the last 20,000 years.
Sea levels are normally going down at this point in the climactic cycle.  This isn't enough to convince you that something is badly wrong?  If not, is there ANY evidence that you would accept?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 10, 2017 1:51 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:The West Antarctic Ice Shelf is destabilizing.  Even the threat of that is cause for immediate action.
You realize that ice shelves melting doesn't raise sea levels one iota, right?

Blogger S1AL August 10, 2017 3:51 PM  

"So much for "haven't materialized". The West Antarctic Ice Shelf is destabilizing. Even the threat of that is cause for immediate action."

First, the calved glacier was completely within the bounds of normal size. Second, analysis indicated that global warming played no part in its formation. I read the reports about it shortly after it happened.

And even if it *is* destabilizing, we can't do enough to prevent any warming due to CO2 (literally, the tech doesn't exist right now). Second, we can't say for certain that reducing CO2 would even help.

"What, so you propose to TRY it just to see? Don't you know that high CO2 makes people stupid?"

I'm saying let's not spend trillions of dollars on something that we have no reason to believe will actually work.

And too much water is toxic to the human body. Come on, you're not even trying there.

"Sea levels are normally going down at this point in the climactic cycle. This isn't enough to convince you that something is badly wrong? If not, is there ANY evidence that you would accept?"

Based on what chart? Last I checked, we're still solidly in the interglacial period where sea levels are relatively steady. Most of that sea level rise was in a burst... 20,000 years ago (?). But we know that sea levels have been rising since early antiquity at a steady rate. That's part of why we have preserved harbors 40 feet underwater.

"So suddenly you're all trusting in models when they say what you want to hear.

Models are models. There are major uncertainties in all of them, the effect of cloud feedbacks being just one of them. However, we know that the world is hospitable to us when CO2 is in the range of 180-275 ppm. We do NOT know if we'll have long-term hospitability even at the current ~400 ppm level, let alone what we're headed to if we don't change things pronto."

No, I don't trust any of the models so far because they've all been horrendously wrong (see: Florida not being underwater). My point is that the guy who should be considered the leading authority on cloud formation and its effects on climate change is being ignored because his view doesn't fit the narrative.

And we know that life on Earth *thrived* at 3,000 ppm CO2. That's the number one reason I'm skeptical of it as a relevant greenhouse gas.

"Underground coal mining (the only remaining form that provides lots of jobs) is about 50% worse than average, though."

It actually doesn't provide that many jobs anymore. Coal is only 40,000 people directly, total. And the reason the injury rate for it is so high is a single incident in WV about a decade ago. I live in the state that produces the plurality of the country's coal, and we haven't had a major issue in the last century.

As for the nuclear stuff: again, you don't have to convince me. In point of fact, the reason for the amandine of nuclear was the gullible public consumption of early media reporting on Three Mile Island. That's who you need to convince. The cessation of nuclear plant construction can be reached to that event.

And in-situ is not particularly cleaner than drilling. Almost all drilling work is done at surface level, or on rigs. Compare/contrast with the physical mining operations that proceed in-situ and it comes out about the same. And a lot of yellowcake would be extracted with heap leaching, anyways, once production ramped back up. In-situ requires pretty specific circumstances.

Blogger S1AL August 10, 2017 3:54 PM  

Amandine = abandonment, reached = traced

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 10, 2017 5:49 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:You realize that ice shelves melting doesn't raise sea levels one iota, right?
Brain fart.  That's the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and no it is not floating; it is grounded on rock.  Floating it will raise sea levels by about 3.3 meters.

S1AL wrote:First, the calved glacier was completely within the bounds of normal size.
Exposing areas which have been ice-covered for the last several glacial cycles is not normal.

Second, analysis indicated that global warming played no part in its formation.
Anthony Watts and his ilk are propagandists, not analysts.

And even if it *is* destabilizing, we can't do enough to prevent any warming due to CO2 (literally, the tech doesn't exist right now).
Hogwash.  It would be easy compared to a lot of things we've done.  Ever looked at the Keeling curve?  Notice that annual wiggle?  The biosphere picks up a LOT of carbon during the growing season.  There are ways of capturing much of it for the long term... and lots of those methods are anything BUT high-tech.  Some are as simple as better pasture management.

Second, we can't say for certain that reducing CO2 would even help.
How about trying it, instead of going hell-bent-for-leather into terra incognita on a technological course that's going to be harder to reverse the longer we're on it (like today, only worse)?

I'm saying let's not spend trillions of dollars on something that we have no reason to believe will actually work.
We're already spending trillions of dollars a year on fossil fuels.  At 18.5 millon bbl/d of raw inputs (products supplied minus processing gain) and $50/bbl, that's $339 billion/yr for the USA alone in 2016.  27 trillion scf of natural gas at ~1035 BTU/scf and $3/mmBTU is another $84 billion at something like the Henry Hub price.  It was close to 5 times that at the 2008 price peak.

Know what uranium to make electricity costs?  Around 1¢/kWh, refined, enriched and fabricated into fuel rods.  That's under $1 per million BTU, and it's emissions-free.  Imagine the fuck-ton of money we'd save by going that way, as well as the clean air we'd enjoy.

Imagine the fuck-ton of money the fossil industry is willing to spend to keep us from doing it, and even force us away from it.  Which they're doing.  Vermont Yankee's 620 megawatts of emissions-free power was forced off the grid by lawfare and economic warfare, mostly replaced by natural gas.  Guess who owns Vermont's Green Mountain Power?  A Quebec company, Gaz Metro.

we know that life on Earth *thrived* at 3,000 ppm CO2.
Which was 450 million years ago, when the sun was about 5% dimmer than it is today.

the reason for the abandonment of nuclear was the gullible public consumption of early media reporting on Three Mile Island.
No, it goes back another 2 decades to the BEAR I report which breathlessly told the US public that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, carried risks.  It was used to halt above-ground nuclear testing, no doubt a good thing.  But everything it did after that was bad.

The BEAR I committees were under the auspices of the NAS, but were sponsored and chaired by people from the Rockefeller Foundation.  Fossil fuel money.  It was touted on page 1 of the NYT.  Collusion.

Blogger S1AL August 10, 2017 6:51 PM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Exposing areas which have been ice-covered for the last several glacial cycles is not normal.

It's not? That hasn't happened at any other point in recorded history?

Mr. Rational wrote:Anthony Watts and his ilk are propagandists, not analysts.

Project MIDAS said there was no evidence.

Mr. Rational wrote:Hogwash.  It would be easy compared to a lot of things we've done.  Ever looked at the Keeling curve?  Notice that annual wiggle?  The biosphere picks up a LOT of carbon during the growing season.  There are ways of capturing much of it for the long term... and lots of those methods are anything BUT high-tech.  Some are as simple as better pasture management.

Hey, one upside of warmer temperatures is definitely the longer, better growing seasons for most of the planet. Imagine how great Canada's gonna be if we get a couple more degrees C.

But my point is actually about the rest of the planet. Fossil fuel use is only going to increase around the rest of the planet, and we don't have carbon capture tech advanced enough to deal with that.

Mr. Rational wrote:We're already spending trillions of dollars a year on fossil fuels.  At 18.5 millon bbl/d of raw inputs (products supplied minus processing gain) and $50/bbl, that's $339 billion/yr for the USA alone in 2016.  27 trillion scf of natural gas at ~1035 BTU/scf and $3/mmBTU is another $84 billion at something like the Henry Hub price.  It was close to 5 times that at the 2008 price peak.

Know what uranium to make electricity costs?  Around 1¢/kWh, refined, enriched and fabricated into fuel rods.  That's under $1 per million BTU, and it's emissions-free.  Imagine the fuck-ton of money we'd save by going that way, as well as the clean air we'd enjoy.


Again, don't have to convince me on nuclear. Even on a personal level, a bunch of nuclear plants would lead to reopening local mines, which would mean an indirect increase in my income.

Mr. Rational wrote:No, it goes back another 2 decades to the BEAR I report which breathlessly told the US public that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, carried risks.  It was used to halt above-ground nuclear testing, no doubt a good thing.  But everything it did after that was bad.

Be that as it may, TMI was the singular event that stopped future nuclear plants from being built.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash August 11, 2017 1:00 AM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Floating it will raise sea levels by about 3.3 meters.
And?
That's not the end of the world. As you yourself point out, sea level has been rising constantly for several thousand years. Yes, several thousand, at least since Doggerland was a human habitation. The rate of increase hasn't changed significantly since accurate measurement became possible. Maybe some people will have to move. (and no, coral atolls will not be significantly affected, they are an artifact of the interface between coral reefs and the sea.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 12, 2017 4:36 AM  

S1AL wrote:That hasn't happened at any other point in recorded history?
And quite some time before.  Apparently you get different types of sediments beneath ice shelves and below open water, and the last time these areas were uncovered was before H. Sapiens arose.

Note that glaciers are retreating almost everywhere on earth; Otzi wouldn't have been discovered otherwise, and Glacier National Park is losing its namesakes.

Project MIDAS said there was no evidence.
The terms MIDAS used were much more equivocal:  "we’re not aware of any link to human-induced climate change".  They go on:  "this puts the ice shelf in a very vulnerable position. This is the furthest back that the ice front has been in recorded history. We’re going to be watching very carefully for signs that the rest of the shelf is becoming unstable".

one upside of warmer temperatures is definitely the longer, better growing seasons for most of the planet. Imagine how great Canada's gonna be if we get a couple more degrees C.
You're deceived by the Mercator Projection.  Canada and Siberia are relatively small compared to the expanses southward, and expanding the reach of tropical disease vectors northward is a huge loss.

Fossil fuel use is only going to increase around the rest of the planet
China tried that.  Now the air in Beijing and Shanghai is so thick you can cut it with a knife.  People are NOT pleased.  China is making a belated push to nuclear to replace coal.  They might de-smog the cities before people revolt, or they might not.

Most of the world is too dumb to make fracking work.  If we don't sell it to them, their FF use will either be coal or nothing.

we don't have carbon capture tech advanced enough to deal with that.
Why bother capturing it, instead of not emitting it in the first place?  There are ways to serve the remaining demand for liquid fuels with negative net emissions.  I'd say more but... NDA.

don't have to convince me on nuclear.
Why can't I convince you that the natural gas interests trying to kill nuclear are your enemy too?

TMI was the singular event that stopped future nuclear plants from being built.
No, nobody would have panicked over TMI if the radiation-phobia groundwork hadn't been laid decades before.  The NRC's regulatory ratchet was also in place years before.  You have not studied these matters, so you don't see them.  Remove the log that is in your own eye.

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 12, 2017 9:17 AM  

Widely Headgash wrote:As you yourself point out
That wasn't me.  That gash in your head has let your brains fall out again.

sea level has been rising constantly for several thousand years.
But now it's rising because of a massive surge of heat into the oceans causing thermal expansion as well as loss of land ice.  This is a system way out of equilibrium.

The rate of increase hasn't changed significantly since accurate measurement became possible.
The curve of ice volume vs. time looks different in this cycle.  Where today's state falls on the curves in Figure 1 I don't know, but I'd bet it's higher than anything we've seen.

Conducting uncontrolled experiments on something that your life depends on is a really bad idea.

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