Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

On the Google Manifesto

Sometimes (there just isn't an easy way to say this) people are just wrong, go to a lot of trouble to be wrong, stay wrong, and need to get told that they are wrong. I think the instance of the Google Manifesto is just such an example of wrongness. This might seem like an authoritarian or absolutist position--and I am okay with it. I feel that way about evolution, climate change, the roundness of our planet and the heliocentrism of our local planetary system. You want to get all flat-earthy or talk about humans as being created separately from the rest of the flora and fauna on this planet, and I'll just say it--wrong. Sometimes a person is just wrong. It isn't about opinions or politics, it's about facts. A person can have sincerely held opinions that don't relate to any damn facts, and this is what makes that person wrong.

Google Manifesto Guy is wrong. He is assuming his generalizations based on "what is happening now" can be divorced from socialization (that changing culture won't fix it) and that inequality is probably justified. A statement that reads like: 

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.
falls under the "I'm not a racist, but" rule, which is, if anyone ever says they are "not a racist, but"--then they are totally a racist butt. "I'm not a sexist, but" = "totally sexist butt". He doesn't endorse using stereotypes, but goes on to describe women as being "about feelings not ideas" and "people rather than things" and art and aesthetics and also they are neurotic for some reason. Sure. That's not sexist or stereotypical aaaaattt aaaaalllll. (All the eyeroll gifs Google can even.)

Let me just stop that for a minute to note that if not for Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Hedy Lamarr, my dude doesn't even have a thing to be about. Women helped make this internet thing a thing happening on various mechanical platforms. So ladies helped make the things.  But if he wants to talk about the primacy of things over people--who is using your products? Bots? No--people are. Over 50% of whom are women. Who is posting those selfies? Who is downloading BeyoncĂ© content? Who runs the world?

Girls. All up in the phones. All over the internet. Making content, saying things. We use tech to say our things. We use tech because this internet thing gives us a platform and a voice. This series of tubes makes connections that demonstrate the value of diversity because we regularly can hear from people outside of our own limited communities--the key thing is listening. And we get enriched because of these expanded connections--knowing people who have diverse life experiences and listening to them gives one the benefit of not being a bubble-boy. You can legit talk to people unlike you any old time. It's amazing. And be challenged. And get told you are wrong. And the beauty of it is--you might even have to defend your premises and discover they are not right. It's a great thing!

I also just want to make a wee foray into one odd assertion--the idea that empathy for the weak is specifically  a "left" concern. The last I checked, many conservatives agree with the idea that babies should be fed and cared for, that sick people should have medical care, and that crime victims should have justice. These are forms of empathy for others that I don't think really have a political bias.

As for the firing of Manifesto guy--he poisoned his ability to be a team leader in any unit that had female employees by demonstrating a bias against their abilities. It's a shame--but not that his expressed opinions were countered. It's a shame that he was just so dreadfully wrong. How was he not aware women are people, have interests and skills, and can employ them in multiple ways? How? 

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