A Really Smart Guy’s Response To A Smart Guy’s Memo Accidentally Explains Why Modern Software Is Utter Garbage

If you’re at all interested in “tech” or “tech culture” then you’ve no doubt heard about the pc-considered-harmful post written last week by a (mostly) anonymous Google employee. In that post, the employee suggests that there might be biological, “innate” reasons why women aren’t flocking to software jobs. He then goes on to say that the full-court-press for diversity at Google is damaging the company. He suggests that the company consider diversity as a scientific issue, deserving of research and development, rather than as a moral issue which must be addressed to the satisfaction of the high priests regardless of cost.

Needless to say, the pitchforks have come out for this guy. He’s getting death threats. Google has made the usual “that’s not who we are” public response. He’s being called “The Manifestbro”, the word “bro” of course used to dehumanize him and prepare him for the inevitable consequences of extrajudicial unpersonhood in much the same manner that racial epithets were used in the Jim Crow South. All of this was eminently predictable; perhaps not to the insulated, isolated Googler who wrote the memo, but to everybody who lives in the real world outside the Google Bubble with its scarcity, misery, and psuedo-sharia lose-your-job courts of acceptable discourse. To quote Stilgar from Dune, this dude put himself in the way of the Harkonnen fist. It’s sad to watch, and it’s ironic that his employer is probably going to take real steps to crucify a fellow who loves Google so much that he’s willing to sacrifice his own career for the general good of the company, but this sort of thing happens all the time in the post-Kulturkampf world and as such it’s no more interesting than the thirty-ninth time a Christian was martyred in a Roman arena.

Here’s what I did find interesting: a former Distinguished Engineer at Google named Yonatan Zunger decided to write a lengthy screed detailing how and why he’d have walked that unfortunate, naive engineer right out the door. I think his post was probably meant to be nothing more than a public declaration of fealty to the golden calf of progressive thinking, an affirmation of group membership similar to the various abuse heaped on Trotsky after the fact by anybody who wanted to be found alive the next morning.

These impassioned reiterations of the status quo have become much more common lately, and most of them, the Zunger piece not excluded, boil down to The Progressive Theology Is Never Wrong And Here’s Another Reason For That Unchallenged Supremacy Which Had Probably Not Occurred To You Until Right Now. Five hundred years ago, scientists used to regularly write pieces about how you could Clearly See The Existence Of The Christian God In The Design Of The Hummingbird Nectar Tube. Their purpose then, as now, was to provide preemptive evidence against any future charges of heresy — and then, as now, they were utterly ineffective.

Yet this pile-on piece is much more than that. It’s a completely accidental, but utterly truthful, explanation of why modern software is so thoroughly, horrifyingly bad. It’s also a graphic reminder that nerds are gonna nerd, so to speak, with all the positive and negative consequences that result. So what I would like to do is ignore most of the crap on both sides about whether or not women should be programmers and focus on the inadvertent, but hugely relevant, revelations in Mr. Zunger’s post. You don’t have to be a programmer to click the jump; in fact, if you know nothing about computers, this will help you understand why computers and websites and whatnot are so hard to use.


We can start the way Mr. Zunger would like us to start: by reading his piece in its entirety, but it’s not necessary because much of it is virtue-signaling fluff and it’s irrelevant. We can get right to the red meat:

So it seems that someone has seen fit to publish an internal manifesto about gender and our “ideological echo chamber.” I think it’s important that we make a couple of points clear.
.
(1) Despite speaking very authoritatively, the author does not appear to understand gender.
.
(2) Perhaps more interestingly, the author does not appear to understand engineering.
.
(3) And most seriously, the author does not appear to understand the consequences of what he wrote, either for others or himself.

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,¹ 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.

People who haven’t done engineering, or people who have done just the basics, sometimes think that what engineering looks like is sitting at your computer and hyper-optimizing an inner loop, or cleaning up a class API. We’ve all done this kind of thing, and for many of us (including me) it’s tremendous fun. And when you’re at the novice stages of engineering, this is the large bulk of your work: something straightforward and bounded which can be done right or wrong, and where you can hone your basic skills.
.
But it’s not a coincidence that job titles at Google switch from numbers to words at a certain point. That’s precisely the point at which you have, in a way, completed your first apprenticeship: you can operate independently without close supervision. And this is the point where you start doing real engineering.
.
Engineering is not the art of building devices; it’s the art of fixing problems. Devices are a means, not an end. Fixing problems means first of all understanding them — and since the whole purpose of the things we do is to fix problems in the outside world, problems involving people, that means that understanding people, and the ways in which they will interact with your system, is fundamental to every step of building a system.

As we will see later, this is horribly ironic — but in the short term, let’s just focus on the idea that Zunger has redefined software engineering from “writing software” to “fixing problems”.

And once you’ve understood the system, and worked out what has to be built, do you retreat to a cave and start writing code? If you’re a hobbyist, yes. If you’re a professional, especially one working on systems that can use terms like “planet-scale” and “carrier-class” without the slightest exaggeration, then you’ll quickly find that the large bulk of your job is about coordinating and cooperating with other groups… Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers. If someone told you that engineering was a field where you could get away with not dealing with people or feelings, then I’m very sorry to tell you that you have been lied to. Solitary work is something that only happens at the most junior levels, and even then it’s only possible because someone senior to you — most likely your manager — has been putting in long hours to build up the social structures in your group that let you focus on code.

At this point I feel compelled to remind Zunger that “solitary work” is the absolute fucking basis of computer science. Individuals, or very small teams, brought us everything from UNIX to TCP/IP to C to the GNU License to the vast majority of Atari 2600 games. Meanwhile, “cooperation, collaboration, and empathy” brought us Facebook and Windows 10 and video games that never ship. Zunger is attempting to hold a hugbox party on the shoulders of individual giants. Without “solitary work” we would still be… um, I don’t know where we would still be because MS-DOS was a solitary work and so was Apple ][ DOS and, shit, man, it’s solitary-work turtles all the way down. Let’s assume we would be using the Texas Instruments 99/4A, which was a team effort.

All of these traits which the manifesto described as “female” are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering. Anyone can learn how to write code; hell, by the time someone reaches L7 or so, it’s expected that they have an essentially complete mastery of technique. The truly hard parts about this job are knowing which code to write, building the clear plan of what has to be done in order to achieve which goal, and building the consensus required to make that happen.

Anybody can write code! And right there you have the core problem with Zunger’s manifesto, which also happens to be the core problem with pretty much everything you hate about every program you’ve ever used: The tech business has decided, as a whole, that the writing of code is no longer important enough to be done well or even conscientiously. That’s why we have pair programming and offshore teams and mystery-meat APIs. It’s because we decided that code does not matter. That Moore’s Law will make up for all faults in the code in a short time after said code is released. Doesn’t Flight Commander run great on an Intel i7, even if didn’t work on the 486DX33 for which it was written?

According to Zunger, and a lot of other people who should know better, the hard graft of software engineering is in fact just a fungible commodity. And that is why every single program, application, and software appliance you use in 2017 seems unable to perform at the rippin’ old velocity of an Apple //e playing Lemonade Stand: because the software business has decided software doesn’t matter.

All of which is why the conclusions of this manifesto are precisely backwards. It’s true that women are socialized to be better at paying attention to people’s emotional needs and so on — this is something that makes them better engineers, not worse ones.

Gender is not real.
People are all the same.
Also, women make better engineers than men.
He wrote “socialized” in there to cover his ass.
But still.
How seriously can you take somebody whose response to “men are better software engineers” is “you sexist jerk… oh yeah, women are better.” Huh?

…this is addressed specifically to the author of this manifesto.
.
What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful. You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs, and that they’re only being kept in their jobs because of some political ideas. And worse than simply thinking these things or saying them in private, you’ve said them in a way that’s tried to legitimize this kind of thing across the company, causing other people to get up and say “wait, is that right?”
.
I need to be very clear here: not only was nearly everything you said in that document wrong, the fact that you did that has caused significant harm to people across this company, and to the company’s entire ability to function. And being aware of that kind of consequence is also part of your job, as in fact it would be at pretty much any other job. I am no longer even at the company and I’ve had to spend half of the past day talking to people and cleaning up the mess you’ve made. I can’t even imagine how much time and emotional energy has been sunk into this, not to mention reputational harm more broadly.
.
And as for its impact on you: Do you understand that at this point, I could not in good conscience assign anyone to work with you? I certainly couldn’t assign any women to deal with this, a good number of the people you might have to work with may simply punch you in the face,

I’d like to see a list of the facial-area punches delivered by Zunger, his entire staff, and all of Google’s employees since the founding of the company. I bet it’s less than the number of facial-area punches delivered by my son to his classmates this school year.

and even if there were a group of like-minded individuals I could put you with, nobody would be able to collaborate with them. You have just created a textbook hostile workplace environment.

Actually, what the author said was that Google should not force diversity. He argued that the bar for women entering the company should be the same as the bar for men entering the company, which is the very antithesis of sexist thought. But even if you want to interpret the author’s work as saying nothing other than that one-third of the engineers at Google are only there because they are diversity hires, and they should now have to prove themselves — is that not the natural, and logical, consequence of poor hiring practices?

If some percentage of the women at Google should not be working at Google, then that’s a problem to be fixed, which, if you will recall, is Zunger’s definition of engineering, which is what this fellow is actually doing, which makes him a better engineer than Zunger even if he spends his days writing code instead of having new and exciting social experiences in the brave new world of soft-skill software engineering.

It doesn’t matter how good you are at writing code; there are plenty of other people who can do that. The negative impact on your colleagues you have created by your actions outweighs that tremendously.

Zunger doubles down on the idea that plenty of people can write good code. But that’s like me claiming that plenty of people can teleport at will. Why, then, don’t we ever see anybody teleporting at will? If good code is so easy to write, where is it?

Not all ideas are the same, and not all conversations about ideas even have basic legitimacy.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. This is how you know that Zunger is poorly read outside his physics-and-software discipline; he fails to note when he is accidentally channeling the villains of a (sorta) childrens’ story.

I’m writing this here, in this message, because I’m no longer at the company and can say this sort of thing openly. But I want to make it very clear: if you were in my reporting chain, all of part (3) would have been replaced with a short “this is not acceptable” and maybe that last paragraph above. You would have heard part (3) in a much smaller meeting, including you, me, your manager, your HRBP, and someone from legal. And it would have ended with you being escorted from the building by security and told that your personal items will be mailed to you. And the fact that you think this was “all in the name of open discussion,” and don’t realize any of these deeper consequences, makes this worse, not better.

This is the “crimestop” idea in its most flagrant display. “Open discussion” is not welcome in corporate America. Period. If you try it, your personal items will be mailed to you. In just two paragraphs, Zunger goes from unironically channeling Animal Farm to unironically channeling 1984. Again: poorly read, uneducated outside his very small specialty, not nearly the all-conquering Renaissance Humyn that he wants to be.

One very important true statement which this manifesto makes is that male gender roles remain highly inflexible, and that this is a bug, not a feature. In fact, I suspect that this is the core bug which prompted everything else within this manifesto to be written. But the rest of the manifesto is basically about optimizing around the existence of this bug! Don’t optimize your bugs; fix them.

I remind you that the author is not a biologist. “Working around the bug” of male sexuality is, basically, a cute phrase for a genetic-engineering nightmare to make Mengele look like Dr. Spock. (The child-care guy, not the Vulcan.)

And that’s all we need to hear from our friend, I think. 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.

In other words. Mr. Soft Skills Diversity Guru has managed to build a product that actively repels people in general and women in particular. Don’t you wish he’d taken that big brain of his and used it to make Google Search better? Wouldn’t you rather that he had spent the past seven years writing outstanding code for something that people really want to use? If you consider your primary accomplishment in life to be something that most people utterly despise, and that women in particular despise, what does that say about you as a person? Should Zunger be lecturing anybody about anything outside theoretical physics? That’s the biggest problem with nerds: they love to lecture people about things, even if they haven’t shown any mastery of that thing. (Whether that applies to my own piece is for the reader to decide.)

Smart people tend to think that they are universally infallible. But they are wrong. Being a good physicist doesn’t make you very smart about biology, people management, or cultural direction. That’s a variant of a lesson that I am still learning, forty years after I took the Stanford-Binet for the first time. It’s a lesson Mr. Zunger would do well to learn for himself.

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/is-google-plus-dead/

142 Replies to “A Really Smart Guy’s Response To A Smart Guy’s Memo Accidentally Explains Why Modern Software Is Utter Garbage”

  1. Elias Sugarman

    I reposted this on G+. 😛

    Really enjoyed the article. I’m not in a code-oriented field (MatSci), but I see this emphasis on soft skills creeping in everywhere. Only from the administration though, very rarely from the faculty. The most I’ve heard on the subject was from English and Communications teachers trying to justify their existence.

    Reply
  2. -Nate-Nate

    I know bupkis about computers , my only programmer friend killed himself due to stress .

    This was an interesting read .

    -Nate

    Reply
  3. Kevin Jaeger

    Nice post. I have no doubt that this Zunger fellow is very smart, but I’ve also found that these very smart people instantly lose about 50 IQ points as soon as they approach any of the dangerous PC topics. I guess this is to demonstrate very clearly to everyone involved that they have mastered CrimeStop and want everyone to know it.

    I mean, he actually claims female traits make women better engineers in a screed against any idea that there could be a difference! He has to be smart enough to know that people won’t actually believe that kind of nonsense. But he will still bask in the glow of the virtue signalling of it all.

    Reply
  4. silentsod

    I left a job shortly after two non-technical people overrode my boss and I’s preference on who we should hire to work side by side with me (I am a programmer). They picked someone who was a better “people skills” guy but who was much worse in the technical interview. I wanted the guy who actually seemed like he could think through novel problems quickly. That Mr. Zunger doesn’t seem to think code quality is important “anyone can code” can be countered with “I’ve seen ‘anyone’s code’ and it’s not very good.” A good programmer is floating something like 6-7 levels of the stack in their head at any given time and thinking through possibilities and permutations of behavior which is a non-trivial task.

    Reply
  5. Lucas Zaffuto

    Anyone can write code is patently false. I certainly can’t, despite the many classes I took. To write code at all you have to be proficient at math, and I am terrible at even basic math. To write good code requires a certain special something… almost like a grand composer thinks about music. An old friend of mine that worked at id software and now works at Nvidia had the capability of translating to code in his head while you were telling him what you wanted a program to do. He could see your ideas in English translated to machine language almost in real-time.

    Reply
    • Disinterested-Observer

      I was very good at math, although that muscle has long since atrophied, but I could never code.

      Reply
    • WATYF

      [To write code at all you have to be proficient at math]

      Depends on the language and the type of software you’re writing. I code professionally and I suck at math. I am, however, good at logic, which is what my area of programming requires.

      Reply
  6. WheeTwelve

    I was recently asked, if I could start all over again, what profession would I choose. I had to explain that choosing a profession would have nothing to do with what I love or enjoy doing [engineering], because engineering is no longer valued in the society. Instead, I would have to choose a profession based on the lifestyle I would like to have. And having lived the life of an engineer, I would be very, very foolish to choose it again.

    Engineering as a profession, especially in the area of computer software, has been hugely devalued in the last couple of decades. Businesses needed not good software, but software anyone could write. After all, when all you’re chasing is your next quarterly earnings report, how can you possibly afford to develop anything that requires more than six months? Furthermore, how can you afford a large staff of well-trained, and well-educated engineers? Former giants like IBM and HP kept cutting their staff until they became unable to develop anything of any value anymore. For your added quarterly earnings benefit, universities will now churn out graduates with two-year “developer” degrees. Not to worry, they know Java, and Agile, and Scrum (and little else). So when the sales team says “JUMP!”, they will obediently ask “How high?”

    I didn’t know that Google’s “junior” employees, the ones who do all this “basic” software writing, have ‘number titles.’ Essentially, they are just numbers — how fitting.

    I wouldn’t worry about Google, though. Personally I don’t really use any of their software, but that’s because Google’s primary business isn’t software. Nor hardware. Google’s primary business is selling advertising, and I think that’s working just fine.

    Reply
    • jz78817

      this is the problem when the people running things have no idea how the sausage is made. to them, “software” is just a bunch of people hammering out code. they don’t realize that good software needs an architect/engineer with a clear idea what the software is supposed to do. Ideally, the software engineer knows what the software needs to do, and personally needs to use it. the software engineer(s) need to be laying out all reasonable use cases and writing the specifications.

      on the other hand, you can off-shore it to Bangalore and hope for the best. I’ve been dealing with that for a few years now; yes, people can be taught how to write C code and they can read the programmer’s guide to whatever uCom you’re using, but unless your spec is airtight you’re going to get back spaghetti code which is going to be a nightmare to debug. ‘cos in these cases, if your spec sucks, your software is going to suck.

      Reply
      • Daniel J

        Part of the reason the spec sucks is because, at the high level, program managers and marketing people write the high level requirements. However, they’ll just blame the engineers when the product can’t sell and it doesn’t have XYZ. Their requirements are always moving targets. For software running on Windows or some PC based OS, that’s not terribly hard to add a feature. On real products sold, it’s hard to add display port functiality when the hardware doesn’t support it. Why doesn’t the hardware support it? Because the bean counters choose the cheapest hardware to meet the spec and the price point those marketing types want to sell the product for.

        Reply
      • WheeTwelve

        I do agree with your assessment that people in charge should know “how the sausage is made.” However, I think the problem is even worse than that. No one seems to bother with proper requirements. A software architect can work out the high-level details of how the software should work. But even before that, someone should work out the “what” and the “why.” It’s as if the business guys yell “write us some software we can sell that does X”, and the ‘developers’ scrum in an agile way to cobble something together.
        Couple of weeks ago I drove a rental Mustang GT 6-speed. A blast to drive, but I was hugely annoyed by the interior layout. A million small buttons all over the place (hey, more is better!), duplicate buttons for certain functions for no apparent reason, a mess. It’s as if no one bothered look at the “whole picture,” if you will, and make sense of it all. Ok, it’s not software, but it is engineering.
        Just today I was given a software presentation as a member of a non-profit I volunteer for. The menu layout was of the “let’s just add that here” variety. Things crammed on top of each other, and then duplicated, just for a good measure. Then there were features I am certain no one will ever use. Confusing as hell. Again, no one bothered to come up with a cohesive design.
        Funny story about Bangalore. I worked for a medium-sized CE manufacturer who had an office in Bangalore. After five years, there wasn’t a single thing the office Bangalore produced that did not have to be thoroughly re-worked here in the States. The company finally closed the Bangalore office, and brought a handful of people who were worth keeping to the US.

        Reply
    • halibetlector

      > Google’s primary business is selling advertising, and I think that’s working just fine.

      Google’s ad revenue has been slipping in the past few years. As far as I can tell, they have no idea how to fix it. It’ll take quite some time, but that particular Titanic has started to take on water.

      > Instead, I would have to choose a profession based on the lifestyle I would like to have. And having lived the life of an engineer, I would be very, very foolish to choose it again.

      Have you jumped ship yet? I’ve been thinking of doing that for years. Go into Design or Business.

      Reply
      • WheeTwelve

        > Have you jumped ship yet? I’ve been thinking of doing that for years. Go into Design or Business. <

        Too late for me. One of (many) drawbacks of having lived the engineer's life is that it has left me old and poor. However, if I were younger, and able to finance such a transition, I would probably look at the trades that heavily depend on the engineering mindset. I love engineering, and I can only step so far away from it. Also, with the trades you can never get promoted too far away from "where the rubber meets the road."

        I've commented elsewhere on the interwebs how the corporate world has no answer/solution for people who enjoy working "close to the metal," are very, very good at it, and have a lot of experience doing it. The only solution seems to be to promote them into low-to-middle management. This is more often a problem than not, because those people usually do not want to do management work, and/or they are just not very good at it.

        I won't disagree that *some* engineers can make good, even great managers. But after 20+ years in the industry, I have seen very few of those. And from speaking with people in different lines of work, it seems that the problem isn't limited to engineering.

        Reply
  7. jz78817

    a few things upfront:

    – I agree it is not Google’s (nor any other employer’s) duty to “enforce” diversity (though you people who worship at the altar of the “Free Market” should applaud them for doing so if they wish to)
    – I truly believe that there are inherent differences between men and women.
    – I am an engineer (and a guy)

    that said:

    – Zunger is pretty much correct in that engineering is about solving problems. It’s about using scientific methods to come up with the best solution for the stated problem, within the given constraints. Since I’m a mechanical engineer, an example of someone thinking engineering is about “building devices” would be German car companies. I often joke that “German Engineering” means “design the most complicated solution to a problem which still manages to work. Some of the time.”
    – However, he’s off his nut when he says engineering is all about “collaborating” and “co-operating.” Yes, engineers do have to do those things, but there’s a reason there are stereotypes about our lack of social skills*. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that the best role for someone with an engineering mind and the ability to foster collaboration and co-operation is managing an engineering team. The absolute best boss I’ve had in my career was a brilliant engineer who also had phenomenal people skills.

    Now, as for women in engineering… in my career, the percentage of the engineering workforce made up of women has been steadily increasing on its own. And (IME) there’s no difference (in general) between men and women in our abilities. So (again IME) it’s not that women can’t do it. But that the sexist part is that they’ve generally been discouraged from it. Case in point- my mom is easily as smart as I am, where she definitely could have been an engineer. But, thanks to her high school guidance “counselors” refusing to support her taking more advanced electives (“girls don’t do that stuff”) and pressure from her own mother meant she spent much of her life as a disenchanted housewife.

    Nobody reasonable thinks it’s “sexist” to say there are inherent differences between men and women. There are many**. It’s sexist to say women (in general) simply can’t do certain things, or all act a certain way, or should be pigeonholed into certain roles.

    oh, and:

    the word “bro” of course used to dehumanize him

    years of women being called “bitches,” “broads,” “cunts,” and so on means I think he can suck it up.

    * How do you know if an engineer is an extrovert? when he talks to a woman, he stares down at her shoes instead of his own.

    ** e.g. Dave Barry: “If four women named Michelle, Jennifer, Carla, and Christine go to a restaurant for lunch, when they talk to each other they’ll call each other ‘Michelle, Jennifer, Carla, and Christine.’ and when the check arrives, out come the calculators. On the other hand, Jack, Mark, Jim, and Bill go out for lunch. when they talk to each other, they’ll call each other ‘Bullethead, Asshole, Useless, and Numbnut.’ And when the check comes, they’ll all toss in a $20 and none of them will admit they want change. ”

    (that second one, IMO, is the source of a lot of the friction with women we work with. we’re guys, we insult each other and treat each other like shit all the time. Women don’t do that, at least not in the same way. then we get all confused when women don’t like us treating them like shit.)

    Reply
    • DontLikeMyLanguageThenSuckItUp

      “years of women being called “bitches,” “broads,” “cunts,” and so on means I think he can suck it up.”

      No, no and f— no. That’s typical SJW excuse making: bad things happened in the past to other people, so you get to dehumanize this person here who had absolutely nothing to do with any of thise things. Seriously, f— you for letting that pass. We’re not talking sbout locker room banter here. That’s the sort of thinking that considers every white male a literal Hitler in some circles- it allows for further attacks without guilt. It is organized, and Animal Farm-ish like the author implies. It needs to be vigorously opposed. Again, f— you because it cant be said enough and you deserve it.

      Reply
      • rwb

        Feelings are showing.

        Not to put words in Jim’s mouth, but I read “he can suck it up” to refer to his being called a “bro” rather than his being fired. Because of this I assume that was what you considered “dehumanizing” so that’s how I’m responding here:

        At the highest level, we can probably agree that in a just world, as an individual, you have no right to enact punishment against someone for historical acts to which they have effectively no connection. If someone has never transgressed against you, they owe you nothing.

        However, in this very specific instance, I’m really struggling to care about “bro” being used derisively when the “chick-” prefix been used to dismissively label almost anything you can think of (chick cars, chick lit, chick flicks, &c.)

        Do you really feel “dehumanized” by “bro” becoming a similar appendage?

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Make no mistake, “bro” is not analogous to “chick”. BRO is meant to refer to a specific race, gender, and sexuality. And it is meant to facilitate discrimination against BROs the same way that racial epithets made discrimination easier in the past.

          Reply
          • rwb

            It’s news to me if “chick” means something other than “white girl, probably straight” to most people.

            And I’m still unsold on how the end result of associating the term (which isn’t new as a slur,) with whatever “toxic masculinity” might be today is that far removed from associating “chick-” with weakness et al., and implying men are lesser for liking some “chick-” widget. Both are used to “dehumanize,” which facilitates discrimination.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Let’s stipulate that chick is bad. How often do you see it used by major media now, and in what context? Compare that to the usage of “bro”.

        • Bojangles, M.

          Recent memory, I’ve got this, ‘pharma bro’ and the Dixie Chicks, which probably indicates nothing but how much I pay attention. “Chick” was a bad example anyway, I could choose some other mean words used in less censored forms of media, but that hole’s deep enough.

          As far as I can tell, “bro,” when used with the most insidious possible intent, is supposed to emulate or approach insult equivalence with how some interpret even the inflection or context of what could be the most basic terminology (see: Farentold’s “Female Senators” comment and resultant strongly worded editorials.)

          At the very least, I would consider that a win for maintenance of the dynamic tension between opposites that may stave off a sexless, Bergeronian apocalypse.

          Reply
      • Robert

        “Broad” is 1940s noir. I don’t think I have ever heard a person use it outside of a black and white film.

        Blood libel comes to mind.

        Reply
    • WATYF

      [So (again IME) it’s not that women can’t do it.]

      His memo never stated that they can’t do it. Only that their biological tendencies make them ON AVERAGE less inclined to the type of work involved.

      [But that the sexist part is that they’ve generally been discouraged from it. Case in point- my mom…]

      haha… your mom? Really? And how long ago was that? Were poodle skirts still a thing? :Op

      Seriously, man. Any “discouragement” women used to get is long, long, long gone and dead. Women are *pushed* these days toward STEM fields even when they don’t show any proclivity for them. As evidenced by the memo, major companies have programs devoted to getting as many women and minorities as possible in the door. The idea that there is any significant “social engineering” left that is discouraging women from doing such thing flies in the face of all evidence. All of the “social engineering” is now working in the exact opposite direction, which makes it even more obvious that women simply aren’t inclined to such things, in general.

      [Nobody reasonable thinks it’s “sexist” to say there are inherent differences between men and women. There are many**. It’s sexist to say women (in general) simply can’t do certain things, or all act a certain way, or should be pigeonholed into certain roles.]

      Do you enjoy contradicting yourself in the same statement? If it’s not sexist to say there are inherent differences between men and women, then why would it be sexist to say that one of those differences is that women, in general, can or can’t do this or that? Or men in general? Men can’t have babies. That’s not “sexist”. It’s biological reality. The strongest woman can never be as strong as the strongest man. Again. Not sexist. Biological reality.

      The problem with people who try to sound “reasonable” and then lay down some ideological “line in the sand” is that they are only demonstrating that “reason” is not what they’re using to draw their conclusions.

      It’s true that the female biological impulses make them, on average, less suited to work in the engineering environment due to the type of work involved, the types of sacrifices that need to be made, and the motivations involved in those fields. This is not “sexist”. It’s biological reality. Men and women are wired differently.

      [years of women being called “bitches,” “broads,” “cunts,” and so on means I think he can suck it up.]

      So, “two wrongs make a right”, eh? Or even worse, “Some past historical wrong by some completely different person makes it OK to wrong some other person”? You should stick to engineering. Moral philosophy obviously isn’t your strong suit.

      WATYF

      Reply
      • jz78817

        and no,

        “haha… your mom? Really? And how long ago was that? Were poodle skirts still a thing? :Op”

        that would have been my grandmother’s era.

        Not everyone here is an old fossil, you know.

        Reply
        • WATYF

          [tell me more.]

          There’s no need. I address all of the flaws in your argument.

          [that would have been my grandmother’s era.]

          Ah, you’re young. That would explain the naivete.

          WATYF

          Reply
  8. Harry

    A better reply by Zunger would have been something like this.

    The manifestbro is a sexist.

    At a large company like Google a third of our employees are useless, the majority of the rest do competent scut work, and the few that are left either cause huge problems for the rest of us, or provide enough brilliant work to keep the ship from sinking. Manifesbro is a trouble maker. I don’t know who he is, but he better be creating some next level shit to make himself worth it. Otherwise there would be a

    Manifestbro’s sexism is laid bare by the fact that he notices the female portion of the incompetent third more than the male portion, while failing to note the accomplishments of the female contingent of his adequate co-workers. I assume that even he can notice the important contributions of those those who make them, regardless of gender.

    End Transmission.

    I don’t know if that argument is correct, by it seems more plausible than the quoted passages in the above rebuttal. It also has the advantage of being impossible to prove true or false.

    One thing that Zunger is correct about is that Manifestbro is not going to bring about positive change in any way, and he is only providing distraction that sucks energy away from accomplishing goals.

    I am guessing Manifestbro is a combination of fairly junior, and fairly young. He doesn’t know what a shit show staffing is. If you hire candidates out of school based on gpa, student work, alma mater and other measurable-ish things, you get employees who are good at getting a good gpa, producing work that pleases instructors, and getting into a good school. By accident they may also be good at the thing they were hired to do. If hiring is biased towards the interview, you get employees who are good at interviews, and so forth.

    For the good of himself, the company, and the world(at least in the sense that Google sees itself as making the world better) Manifestbro should learn how to get the most out of the people he is forced to surround himself with.

    Reply
  9. Harry

    Crap, there is a sentence at the end of third text block that is missing because I placed the text between greater than and less than signs, it should have read something like “insert the text from above about a meeting where a lot of people witness you getting terminated” Obviously I am not able to speak about coding if I didn’t realize that would happen.

    Also, I must be both a horrible sexist, and spending way too much time clandestinely reading the open tabs from the DailyMail my wife leaves open, because it typed “femail” instead of “female” at least 5 times, I hope auto correct caught most of them.

    Reply
  10. Daniel J

    Solitary worked back then, not anymore. Too much complexity and too many lines of code these days.

    1. Software has become crap because CEOs think it’s just typing and anyone can write code.

    2. It does require a certain level of teamwork, and dealing with programmers from China makes crap code because of the language barrier, cultural barrier, and the time zone difference.

    3. Software Engineers at many levels don’t care about speed or memory usage, but do care about maintainability and readability over performance.

    I could go on, as this scratches the surface. Coming from a software/computer/embedded engineer with 15 years experience.

    Reply
    • halibetlector

      > Too much complexity and too many lines of code these days.

      That’s because software has fundamentally gone the wrong direction since the 90s. Instead of creating abstractions to help us utilize and take advantage of hardware features, programmers decided to create abstractions based on mental models that have nothing to do with reality (OOP, FP, etc).

      I also have 15 years of programming experience.

      Reply
      • Daniel J

        With what I’ve seen, especially in c#, the levels of abstraction can go way too far. Byy the time I get to the meat of the code, it’s 8 interfaces later 3 derived classes down. C++ can get the same way.

        Reply
        • silentsod

          That sounds like an architecture/programmer problem and not necessarily an issue with the language; especially given that C++ can get as close to the metal as C.

          Reply
    • Kevin Jaeger

      None that I can tell. I have no use for Google+.

      But I will grant that at the core of Google’s operation they developed truly innovative software to crawl and index the web, coupled with search algorithms that clearly no one else has been able to replicate yet. I’ve tried to cut ties with Google search and Maps but they are just too far ahead of their competitors to give up.

      Their core software operation that makes all their money is probably a very small percentage of their global workforce. The rest are working on vanity experiments funded by all of the cash the core operation throws at them.

      Reply
      • Elias Sugarman

        While I’m tied to Gmail, Drive (would use OneDrive but school and Mac-users preclude that), and Maps (among other things), I’ve recently been using Microsoft’s Edge and Bing. You might be surprised at how good they’ve become.

        Reply
      • VTNoah

        Facebook is the next frontier in automotive advertising…. Lower cost of entry at the time being and fantastic engagement with comparison to other channels. Hopefully they can steal some of Google’s thunder because I’m sick of them being the only game in town.

        Reply
        • VTNoah

          Not that I’m the biggest fan of Facebook and all the fun stuff they do with our data or how the platform turns people into validation seeking zombies.

          Reply
    • MrGreenMan

      Apparently they tried it – in Texas (is that where they also license interior designers?) – but I’ve never seen it as a job requirement. In any event, those look like pretty specific skills and content knowledge, not about getting along with people, but perhaps the IEEE doesn’t know what an engineer does.

      Reply
        • jz78817

          no. I had to look it up, but a “pinky ring” is a ceremonial thing started in Canada. Just stupid, ritualistic BS which doesn’t mean anything more than your degree.

          Not all engineers need to have a PE license. they’re most common among civil engineers and engineers working for themselves. In my career I’ve only worked with a few PEs who had to be licensed in order to sign off on certification test reports.

          it’s pretty weighty, too; signing off on something as a PE means you are assuming some legal responsibility for the results. Generally, when you’re an engineer employed by a company, the company itself bears legal responsibility for its products, not the engineers designing them.

          Reply
  11. Pingback: New top story on Hacker News: Response to a Memo Accidentally Explains Why Modern Software Is Utter Garbage – The Internet Yard

  12. Dying Ngyuen

    Google is not a software company, they’re an advertising platform, all that matters is ad dollars. They’re also really the only viable place to advertise online besides Facebook.

    This is exactly why they’re getting in the autonomous car game. Once they know your destination they can serve up ads relevant to it on your phone/screen in car etc…. I’m even willing to be the cost of cars/rides will be subsidized by ads.

    Reply
  13. Dirty Dingus McGee

    30 years ago I worked for a Fortune 100 company (actually at the time they were in the top 20) that was implementing an internal email/messaging system that was worldwide. At the time, my exposure to computers was barely above zero. As the system was rolled out, needless to say, there was an abundance of issues with many parts of it. From losing whatever you had typed in (your message/email), to never reaching it’s intended recipient. Our facility had a guy who would now be called an IT specialist, but was known as “Fix this POS, Craig”.. Many times he would be in the office when I arrived(6am),or in there still at midnight, trying to work with another guy in the same predicament somewhere else in the world. He liked computers and what they could do, as did I, but was up against the “low bidder” issues with the programs.

    A few years after I left that company, I saw a poster that reminded me of him. The poster said;

    “If builders built buildings, the way programmers write programs, the first woodpecker that came along would have destroyed civilization.”

    Based on my personal experiences with off the shelf programs, and to some extent PC’s, things haven’t changed.

    Reply
    • banana man

      The other side of the “low bidder” problem is that job requirements are no longer limited to any specific expertise. Almost every software job posted requires knowledge of n number disjoint technologies. In other words, they are looking for a “generalist” – a person who knows a little of everything and is an expert in nothing.

      Reply
    • Daniel J

      Because the expectations from the higher ups are such that rolling out software, crap or not, is more important than the quality. Software is fungable. It’s not that software engineers don’t want to produce a good product. Many times they aren’t allowed.

      Reply
    • jz78817

      and? shouldn’t you “free market uber alles” types be happy Google has the freedom not to employ people whose views they disagree with?

      or do you really want companies like Google to only have the freedom to not employ people whose views you disagree with?

      Reply
      • UberKek

        We’re just able to think freely and discuss the issues while not locked into a rigid ideology.

        You know, unlike Google. And you, apparently. Your broad brush assumptions about people’s ideologies here is dehumanizing nonsense. Please take it elsewhere.

        Reply
      • Bob

        RE:http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/08/breitbart-is-on-it

        [[“While Google appears to be doing very little to quell the hostile voices that exists inside the company, I want those hostile voices to know: I will never, ever hire hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit of technically excellent or whatever,” declared former employee Adam Fletcher in a post on Google’s internal, staff-only Google+ network: “Internal Plus.” “I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.”]]

        I just had an epiphany.

        Years ago I would go to libertarian meetings and they would say beware how companies were and are pervasively and actively being sunk by far-leftist/SJW/commie sabotage which result is then being blamed on evil capitalism to fan public disgust and expand their bureaucratic powers. I resisted that thinking who would deliberately sink their livelihood.

        Now I understand what they mean.

        The problem is commie infiltrators, the flakes they attract, and folks like jz78817 who excuse them with cute arguments.

        Reply
      • carrya1911

        Don’t you types ever get tired of carrying water for “progressive” totalitarians who want to wave around words like “diversity” and “tolerance” and yet act in a manner that is completely antithetical to the principles they claim to hold so dear?

        Reply
  14. Ryan

    Perhaps it is because I have an “Intersectionality Score” of < 0, but I did not find anything contained within the original document to be factually incorrect. The response from Google's Diversity VP did nothing more than reinforce the principles of the original document.

    From an experience standpoint, I cannot speak to anything regarding software engineering outside of academia. In an era where we encourage all people to "chase their passion," why has the gap in male vs. female distribution in STEM fields suddenly such a large issue?

    Anecdotal evidence aside, I feel this "gap" has a lot more to do with evolutionary psychology than an industry which the media is trying to label as sexist. At a primal level, a man seeks to make his mark on the world. In 2017, there is no "West" to conquer or railroads to build. Climbing Everest is attainable goal to nearly anyone with a large enough pocketbook. Engineering is perhaps one of the last fields in which someone could make a true mark on the world in the same way men such as Ford, Vanderbilt, and Carnegie.

    Reply
  15. Disinterested-Observer

    I just remembered something along the lines of Zunger’s thinking from my work. There is a guy who babysits the videoconferencing shop. He isn’t very good at it, and when something isn’t working it is as obvious to the end user as the blank screen they are staring at. His email signature contains the quote “People don’t care what you know, they only want to know that you care” Wrong. They want the videoconferencing feed to work, and they care that you don’t know how to do it.

    Reply
  16. arbuckle

    “‘Open discussion’ is not welcome in corporate America. Period.”

    No sh*t. I have no Ph.D degrees and went to Directional State University but even I know that. Keep your head down, salute when ordered, try to avoid being a debtslave, and wait to be outsourced or replaced by AnalystBot 9000.

    “a fellow who loves Google so much that he’s willing to sacrifice his own career for the general good of the company”

    Unless you are among the top 10 members of an organization, “caring” about your employer is f*cking ridiculous. Assuming this guy didn’t want to go out in a blaze of glory so he could earn 70% less at Gab.ai, he was meatsuit-in-the-tiger-cage stupid.

    Reply
    • hank chinaski

      Playing devil’s advocate, but better to rule in hell and all, and some poor sod had be the first to rush the machine gun nest.

      Reply
  17. viper32cm

    Not that I give a shit, but Google+ was a fucking idiotic move, and it seemed plainly obvious from the get go.

    “This is how you know that Zunger is poorly read outside his physics-and-software discipline”

    That sentence along with one or two others above hits the nail directly on the head with what I feel is the primarily problem with the way we conduct post-secondary education for engineers and scientists, especially at colleges that specialize in those subjects. I graduated from one, and a fairly good one at that, albeit not in an engineering field. However, even now, more than a decade later, it’s kind of mind boggling how narrow minded a lot of the kids were. Anything that wasn’t engineering or a hard science (geologists need not apply) was a “fake major” and beneath contempt. I don’t believe thinking that way is a good way to go through your late-teens and early-twenties, especially since the male to female ratio was ~3:1 (at least 12-15 years ago). Take a bunch of generally poorly socialized young guys, continue to deprive them of the female interaction they were denied in high school, and build them up in a system where they work their asses off, are told they are better than everyone else because of it, and believe that anyone who does something that doesn’t require calculus is an idiot. Yep, great pedagogical environment sure to produce well rounded people.

    Also, his definition of engineering is laughable at best. I have some friends who are mechanical and civil engineers that would take extreme exception to his statement that “[e]ngineering is not the art of building devices.” Bullshit.

    Reply
    • rpn453

      “Take a bunch of generally poorly socialized young guys, continue to deprive them of the female interaction they were denied in high school, and build them up in a system where they work their asses off, are told they are better than everyone else because of it, and believe that anyone who does something that doesn’t require calculus is an idiot.”

      Then send them out to beg for a job in an undesirable location that will take ten years to pay what anyone who did two years of training in power “engineering” or an industrial trade has been making since they were 20. Make sure they don’t even know that these more practical and valued jobs exist until they’re out of school and working alongside them. Hopefully then they’ll still think it’s worth the effort of going at it for another five years to get their P.Eng. If they find out during a summer job, turn down their application for further training on the grounds that their somehow important university studies should not be interrupted.

      Anyway, I read the document and I can’t imagine how it could be offensive to anyone, aside from the sort of management who would willingly sacrifice performance for the sake of diversity.

      During my first engineering internship, I replaced a female student who had been hired by HR. She only lasted a couple months of what was supposed to be a sixteen month term. She apparently wasn’t terribly interested in or knowledgeable about heavy machinery and equipment at an industrial site. I don’t know how one would be unless they’ve been focused on mechanical things since early childhood. So the engineers decided that, from that point on, they got to choose their own intern students. My boss/mentor sat in the background and didn’t even seem to be paying attention during the interview, but I guess he saw enough in me to correctly figure out that we’d get along.

      Reply
    • jz78817

      “Take a bunch of generally poorly socialized young guys, continue to deprive them of the female interaction they were denied in high school,”

      and there it is. They weren’t “denied” anything. Too many guys grow up thinking the world owes them a hot girlfriend, and when they fail to realize that the reason they never got one is in the mirror they blame women.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Alright, so nerds who get shit on in high school and afterwards deserve to be alone. They are bad people who suffer accordingly.

        But at the same time the PUA types who sleep with dozens of women and then never call them are ALSO bad people. And they deserve whatever happens to them.

        It’s hard to hold both ideas at the same time. They don’t contradict directly but they aren’t complimentary for any other ethos besides “men bad womyn good.”

        Reply
        • jz78817

          “It’s hard to hold both ideas at the same time.”

          not really, because they’re not the only possible states. despite how much we wish it was so, practically nothing in the world can be distilled down to “either this, or that. no other possibilites.”

          “Alright, so nerds who get shit on in high school and afterwards deserve to be alone. They are bad people who suffer accordingly.”

          you missed the point. I never said anyone “deserved” to be alone. I’m saying blaming women for your loneliness is misplaced and can turn you into a bad person. you aren’t entitled to a partner. if you want to be with someone and can’t, try to figure out why. Don’t become a bitter neckbeard.

          Reply
          • everybodyhatesscott

            I’m saying blaming women for your loneliness is misplaced and can turn you into a bad person. you aren’t entitled to a partner. if you want to be with someone and can’t, try to figure out why.

            This how how people become ‘loser PUA’s’. Most do it to find a gf. I got dumped, found heartiste 8-9 years ago now and have had great success ever since but learning how to get laid is frowned upon.

          • Panzer

            No Jz, it’s you who missed the point. Viper and Jack weren’t saying – “Man, fuck these feminist dykes, tryna take away a white guys right to pussy on demand, wtf do they think they are?” Viper meant that these ‘nerds’ are being ‘denied’ female companionship in the same way you liberals argue that women are being ‘denied’ access to more tech jobs –
            through a nasty mixture of social expectation and pressure.
            Part of that cocktail is the the shaming of ‘nerds’ desire for female companionship on one hand and the shaming of promiscuous men on the other, this leaves next to no space for a male heterosexuality that is not exercised solely on the woman’s terms.

          • viper32cm

            Yes, I agree. JZ missed the point and went way beyond the context of what I was talking about in my original post, which was primarily focused on describing my observations and opinions of the social and educational problems attendant with how we educate engineers and scientists at undergraduate institutions that specialize in those subjects and feature overwhelmingly male student bodies. Specifically, my use of “denied” in the sentence JZ quotes neither expresses nor implies any sense of entitlement or right on behalf of anyone.

            That said, I could certainly sympathize with a young man who works ass off through his late-teens and early-twenties to try and better his economic and social situation and has consistent trouble securing some form of female attention, even if that trouble is partly his fault. The fact that the young men in that situation might feel frustrated, discouraged, or, hell, even angry does not mean they are entitled or feel they are “owed” anything. It just means they are human beings, who think and feel and dream and, yes, want to feel valued by the opposite sex.

            As for who to blame? Both sexes is a good starting point in general:
            https://www.city-journal.org/html/child-man-promised-land-13063.html
            https://www.city-journal.org/html/love-time-darwinism-13124.html

            And, for the record, as to the whole PUA thing, I read “The Game” about ten years ago and took it as social commentary instead of an instruction manual. To put it mildly, I wasn’t left with good feelings about the present or the future.

        • rwb

          “It’s hard to hold both ideas at the same time. They don’t contradict directly but they aren’t complimentary for any other ethos besides “men bad womyn good.””

          Nah. The socially paralyzed celibate and the red-pill guy who realized that caring about people is a waste of time are both societal extremes. Outside of the bizarro gender studies vacuum, the coexistence of those opinions just implies a belief that that some people can’t gracefully handle certain facets of their lives.

          Reply
        • Ryan

          I find it almost ironic how much hate is levied against the PUA community. Critics are sexist in that they view PUA as part of some zero-sum game. The belief that the man is “getting one over” on a woman is at odds with feminism in that it suggests that a woman is not intelligent enough to make a decision as to whether or not she wants to date/fornicate with a man.

          Not once have I read a piece suggesting that perhaps someone leveraging these teachings/mindset in their dating career is just better equipped to engage women on both a physical and/or emotional level.

          From the perspective of your stereotypical basement dweller, I do understand their plight to some extent. However, they have the same resources at their disposal as everyone else. You have nobody to blame but yourself for how you spend your waking hours.

          I know someone will likely chime in here citing the culture of “meninist, womyn-hating, red pillers” but I’m sure everyone can agree that there are outliers in any group of people.

          Reply
    • Daniel J

      Wow. I must have grown up and went to college in a different era, even though it was only 15 years ago. Most engineers I knew didn’t have problems with women like this. Sure, there were a few. I work in an engineering town and many women flock to engineeea here, and I’ll be sexist, manly due to their earning potential. Many EE, CPE, Ae, and ME make close or over 6 figures by their mid 30s in this town.

      Most engineering programa still require 20 hours or more of humanities outside of English comp 2.

      Reply
      • hank chinaski

        In the days of giants, at least one school had a test during freshman orientation to pass out of English comp. One could possibly pass said exam massively hungover.

        Reply
      • rpn453

        “Many EE, CPE, Ae, and ME make close or over 6 figures by their mid 30s in this town.”

        So, about what a guy in his early twenties with an industrial trade or an 18 year-old working in the oilfield makes. Engineering students aren’t going to be terribly competitive with guys who already have money and houses, nor were they typically competitive with the jocks in high school unless they themselves were also jocks. Though many are, they aren’t the norm. I always had far more interest in sports than anything academic. It just happened that I excelled at the academic without effort so continuing it was the path of least resistance and I had nobody to advise me otherwise.

        Engineering is a respectable profession that pays a perfectly livable wage, and any fit, decent-looking 30-50 year-old guy with a good income is going to have no problem getting attractive women on a frequent basis, and even keeping some if that’s desired. But you’ve already missed out on most of the prime, childless offerings that are snapped up quickly.

        I still had plenty of options in my twenties despite my negligently-chosen path and it is only my awareness of my faults and doomed future that saved those sweet girls. The disillusioned leftovers who never appreciated their own life enough to want to reproduce are more my type anyway, as long as physical fitness is one of their priorities.

        Reply
  18. Noman

    I knew a fellow who was hired by one of the big “cloud” companies, with a “software engineer” title. A few weeks after he started, he asked me: when am I going to write code?

    What do you say to that? If you’re honest (“No one expects you to write code, ‘software engineer’ is a formality, your job is to hack config files to keep the system close to working, engineering is about more than software development”) then you could be responsible for keeping him from ever writing software. If you lie, you set him up for short-term failure…

    Somebody has to fix the systems to keep the money rolling in. The Apple II, you design it once and sell a million copies–Google, and any cloud provider, has to keep the systems almost working long enough to get their money. (The flip side is–suppose Gmail doesn’t work. Then where are you going to go? What can you do? Google has all of your email!)

    It’s all depressing work–but everyone has heard of Linus Torvalds, who writes good code, builds what he wants, runs his own organization, and keeps the “diversity” crowd at bay, so…

    Reply
  19. Joseph Hertzlinger

    I was struck by how much the Zunger anti-manifesto applied to feminism. Maybe the “alt-right” looks like it might become Feminism II … a source of endless lawsuits that cannot be fought without provoking more of the same. The tech industry made the mistake of surrendering to feminists a decade or two ago and it’s too late to go back now. They have resolved to not let that happen again.

    Meanwhile, opponents of feminism (or left-wing ideology in general) have been saying it’s time to imitate left-wing tactics. As a result, the tech industry is trying to stop Feminism II before it starts.

    Reply
  20. Aoletsgo

    “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.”

    I have said this before and taken some grief here, but thank God I work for a small, private company that kicks ass and is world class.

    Reply
  21. dave

    I very much agree with your article. It can be boiled down to the usual case of left-wing hypocrisy, which always applies to everything.

    – criticizing the guy* who said women should be treated equally
    – criticizing the guy for ‘bad engineering’ with arguments based on ‘bad engineering’
    – firing the guy who criticized them for not tolerating dissent
    – etc, etc

    *using guy in a gender-neutral sense

    Reply
  22. kvndoom

    Viva Jimmy the Greek!

    Shit, we all know some stereotypes are simply based on facts. We should also know by now that it’s best to not point that out publicly.

    My company has kicked its “diversity and inclusion” movement into overdrive over the past two years. They promoted some lady to “VP of diversity and inclusion” (you really can’t. make. this. shit. up.) and thus far the fruits of her 6-figure labor is a bunch of posters all over the place and full-page bios in the weekly corporate circular. I’m not even lying when I say these bios have featured homosexuals, midgets, blind people, rednecks, and many ethnicities. In other words, she gets paid to effectively do nothing.

    The very meaning of “diversity and inclusion” is “hire people who are not heterosexual white males.” Throw qualification for the job out the window. I personally don’t care what bodily orifice you prefer to put your mouth on, I don’t care which of the 50 shades of brown your skin is… the only qualifier should be- are you the best fit for the job? If the best fit happens to be a straight white man, then so be it. If it happens to be a Hindu lesbian, so be it! “Diversity and inclusion” is nothing more than discrimination by another name.

    But… let me say this. Trump was a natural consequence of Obama. The black man who was everybody’s friend, to the white man who panders exclusively to whites. And along those same lines, “diversity and inclusion” is a natural consequence of the “Mad Men” culture that dominated America for way too damn long. It’s an extreme reaction to another extreme. So just like Trump getting elected, I’m not here to say if “D&I” is good, or bad, but I’m here to say it’s EXPECTED. It’s the workplace equivalent of electing Obama after 8 years of Trump, so to speak.

    Reply
  23. Panzer

    Oh man.
    The dude didn’t even say men were inherently better coders than women. Only that the differences between men and women (no way, men and women are different? whoda thunk it…) inform peoples career choices and are one of the reasons some fields have gender imbalances.
    I didn’t think the liberal hysteria in the Trump era could reach newer lows but it seems I was mistaken.

    Reply
    • Rock36

      Imagine how many people commenting on the manifesto (here and in general) didn’t even feel it necessary to read it in order to be used as a platform for their own projections.

      Reply
  24. Someone

    This man said some things which might have made black and female colleagues uncomfortable, to an unreasonable extent. That’s a far cry from Uber employees propositioning subordinates, or denying promotion on sexual and sexist grounds. Words and written argument are not violence. It didn’t reach the threshold of misconduct required for dismissal. In my view the correct HR action would be to (a) require him to remove the posting and (b) hold a formal interview with him and tell him that while he was entitled to his controversial views, it is inappropriate to post them on a public forum accessible by other employees, and that repeating such behavior would result in dismissal. Unfortunately this man was dismissed because of fear of being perceived as sexist. It’s not healthy.

    Nobody cares about the fact that this man said about black people – it’s only the relatively powerful mainly white women who are driving this narrative.

    Reply
  25. Straight white bro

    “a good number of the people you might have to work with may simply punch you in the face”

    That’s known as a hostile work environment, stringbro.

    So both you and Google were lucky you cashed out before you got fired. And let’s not think about what would happen if the guy could take the stringbro sucker punch.

    Reply
    • rpn453

      My money is on this guy being capable of beating down anyone who would be willing to punch him simply for writing this document.

      I don’t think this Zunger has ever had a physical confrontation in his life. His casual tone suggests that he doesn’t grasp the potential consequences of actually punching a man in the face.

      Reply
  26. Noman

    Also, the Apple II was an anomaly, a “microcomputer” invented in a garage. Real computer programmers of the time used or worked at IBM, where software development was always a group activity.

    The hobbyist, microcomputer revolution was the (temporary?) triumph of the individual over the collective. Junior executives used to buy Apple II’s, at their own expense, to run Visicalc–being the only guy around who could use a spreadsheet was valuable.

    The modern, cloud revolution is the pendulum swinging back. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft don’t sell tools to make individuals more competent–they aggregate demand, which requires boring software and tolerates low quality.

    Reply
  27. Ronnie Schreiber

    Now that it’s come out that Damore had filed a complaint with the NLRB (though it’s not clear exactly when), it seems to me that he deliberately set up Google for a lawsuit. So much of his memorandum is couched in language that’s straight out of employment discrimination law that it strikes me as intentional.

    Unfortunately for the SJWs that run Google, their anger at Damore for pointing out that their diversity emperor is naked clouded their vision and they walked right into a trap.

    The left changed the rules. They won’t like it now that the right has learned how to play.

    Reply
    • Panzer

      “The left changed the rules. They won’t like it now that the right has learned how to play.”

      Now you understand the anger at Trump and the ‘Alt Right’, Because they’re shaping narratives on the new media and influencing people, when the left thought the internet was ‘their thing’ in the first place…

      Reply
    • Booty_Toucher

      I’m sure that you and this 28 year old programmer know more about the law then the attorneys at a multi-billion dollar corporation.

      /s if that wasn’t obvious.

      Reply
      • Will

        You’d be surprised at how bad corporate attorneys are at their jobs. Plus, people assume there’s only a one way street and if the opposite is occurs, they don’t know how to deal with it.

        Reply
        • Frank Galvin

          There is a reason why firms are adding experienced attorneys to staff their HR divisions – shit like this. Its been going on in the public sector, higher ed, and public utilities for a while.

          Reply
    • Frank Galvin

      I picked up on that too. Nice way to backdoor an expensive and time consuming future ADEA claim – nail down state specific labor laws, and file with the Board. Viola. Free and cheap discovery and a simple business decision to pay him off and avoid a prolonged extensive bureaucratic review.

      Reply
  28. Noman

    “Big Blues,” “Hackers,” “Japan’s Software Factories”–my goodness, in the 1980s the majority of computer programmers, computer scientists, etc. were working on mainframes and minicomputers. The hackers who built Apple and Microsoft were tinkerers, college dropouts, autodidacts, individuals. IBM, at that time still offering lifetime employment, apparently reassigned employees from obsolete departments into computer programming–so easy, anyone can do it!

    The hackers proved IBM wrong, as people realized they didn’t have to buy OS/2. Power shifted from MIT to Stanford and Berkeley, Japan’s software factories closed,

    The same situation applies today: git works. GitHub works. Visual SourceSafe? Visual Studio Online? Anything by Rational? Well, those companies employ lots of people. (Or, in Rational’s case, employed.) Minitel, Prodigy, America On-Line, Facebook–at least the names have changed.

    Reply
    • MrGreenMan

      Minor quibble: I’ve found Gitlab to be superior to Github, and you can run it on your own servers. Github still has the idea that they can take all your stuff away if they don’t like you. I switched when they were in the process of self-immolation over something about the founder, the founder’s wife, and a female engineer.

      Reply
          • Elias Sugarman

            I know, I excel at it.

            In all seriousness, I wasn’t trying to offend. You seem identify strongly with your people and leap to their defense every chance you get. Completely understandable. I do the same for the culture I identify with (Orthodox Christianity).

            Just poking fun.

          • Booty_Toucher

            For whatever reason, I can’t reply to your response, so I’ll go ahead and address you here, point by point. I’ll also add that I’ve been reading your comments for years, and I don’t think very highly of you. Your responses are pretty weak here.

            “If I sent wrote a very public diatribe denouncing affirmative action, I would understand if the minority person next to me became uncomfortable.”

            Do people other than your approved list of minorities get to feel uncomfortable? If a coworker writes a very public diatribe denouncing Zionism, would you understand it if the Jewish person next to them became uncomfortable?

            Where is my list of approved minorities? Of course someone making anti-Semitic posts in a public forum should be held accountable. Frankly, I think the same is true if someone low level new engineer wrote a diatribe on a work forum about white privilege. Would they get fired? Almost definitely not, I’ll concede that.

            ” Again, if someone wrote a scribe that could be interpreted as suggesting that I didn’t earn my position,”

            “could be interpreted”? That’s a pretty vague standard. What if someone wrote something that explicitly said that white males didn’t earn their positions, that they were just beneficiaries of the patriarchy and white privilege?

            Reading this guy’s manifesto, I don’t think it’s reach to make that conclusion. Again, I agree that if someone said the same thing about white privilege, they should be chastised.

            “Who else is displaying hostility? I haven’t heard about any open letters from Google employees on their forum saying that’s he’s being blacklisted.”

            Then you haven’t been paying attention. Numerous Google managers have stated that they are keeping blacklists of heretics from the church of diversity.

            Sorry, I guess I haven’t been paying attention.

            ” I’m not sure what you’re specifically referring to. Dude definitely threw the first stone, and any hostility towards him is reactionary.”

            Dude sat through a deliberately unrecorded training session where they directed employees to violate discrimination law in order to promote women and minorities. He challenged and was told it was wrongthink, hence the memo.

            Have you ever worked at any corporation? That type of training is par for the course. You weren’t in the room, neither were any of us, so you have no idea what exactly they said.

      • Booty_Toucher

        As I understand, the memo was posted on an “internal discussion board.” It doesn’t matter if his opinion was factually correct, and it doesn’t matter than he’s entitled to whatever opinion. The issue is he’s directly challenging his employer’s strategic mission, and doing so among their employees within their discussion boards.

        You can’t do that, especially at a large high profile company. I work at an engineering firm- I can’t go on our forum posting a diatribe (even a well cited one) about our company’s diversity initiative, safety program, or any other strategic visions. I can complain with my coworkers privately outside of work, I can complain during year end reviews, I can complain during internal surveys, and I can complain when I’m more than a pencil pushing engineer and my responsibilities include developing such plans.

        I agree with the assessment articulated elsewhere- since he made his opinions known in a very public way, he’s created a hostile environment for his coworkers. You and many others might think those people are being babies, but I promise it’s very real to those folks. Again, as articulated elsewhere, it does create a real problem (perceived or real) when he’s responsible for reviewing his peers, or in the future if he’s in a management role.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I think the primary issue here is that his actions are protected by California law and he had a pre-existing complaint with the NLRB. You can also argue that the people who were blatantly trying to no-platform him were also outstanding candidates for termination and if Google picks sides it had better be prepared to pay.

          Reply
          • Booty_Toucher

            What laws protect him? I’m sorry, I’m also not familiar with the term “no-platform.”

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            California has a recent statute that prevents firing people because of their personal politics.

          • Skein

            Quite possibly. I’m sure there will be armies of lawyers to debate it either way. Litigation might have been the original intention of the fellow posting what he posted.

        • WATYF

          It’s true that it was foolish to publicly post something that was completely contrary to his company’s vision. They have every right to fire people who aren’t on board with their strategy (no matter how suicidal that strategy is).

          However, it’s objectively untrue that he has created a “hostile environment” for his coworkers or that any of the insane, hyper-sensitive nonsense the people there are displaying right now is “very real” in any objective sense (personal delusions don’t count as “very real”). The entire corporate management hierarchy is on their side as is the majority of their coworkers. The only people in danger of facing a “hostile environment” are those who dared to agree with the memo.

          It’s quite interesting that you would make note of being “responsible for reviewing” peers, when so far as we know this person wasn’t, but plenty of people who *are* responsible for reviewing their peers are making it known that anyone who agrees with his memo will be blacklisted (their own words). Does the hostility they’re displaying towards their coworkers somehow not matter? Or does hostility only matter when it’s supposedly being exhibited by the politically incorrect?

          WATYF

          Reply
          • Booty_Toucher

            The hostile work environment bit was purposefully the second part of my argument, because I disagree with you, and think that it’s subjective. If I sent wrote a very public diatribe denouncing affirmative action, I would understand if the minority person next to me became uncomfortable.

            From what I understand, Google (like most firms) has a peer review process, so he is responsible for reviewing others. Again, if someone wrote a scribe that could be interpreted as suggesting that I didn’t earn my position, I’d be wary of them reviewing me. And even more so of them being my manager. That appears on the surface to be a bigger issue liability wise than having this guy sue for his dismissal; then again I’m not a lawyer.

            Who else is displaying hostility? I haven’t heard about any open letters from Google employees on their forum saying that’s he’s being blacklisted. I’m not sure what you’re specifically referring to. Dude definitely threw the first stone, and any hostility towards him is reactionary.

            I’ll concede that the PC crowd gets a lot more leeway in these instances.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            “If I sent wrote a very public diatribe denouncing affirmative action, I would understand if the minority person next to me became uncomfortable.”

            Do people other than your approved list of minorities get to feel uncomfortable? If a coworker writes a very public diatribe denouncing Zionism, would you understand it if the Jewish person next to them became uncomfortable?

            ” Again, if someone wrote a scribe that could be interpreted as suggesting that I didn’t earn my position,”

            “could be interpreted”? That’s a pretty vague standard. What if someone wrote something that explicitly said that white males didn’t earn their positions, that they were just beneficiaries of the patriarchy and white privilege?

            “Who else is displaying hostility? I haven’t heard about any open letters from Google employees on their forum saying that’s he’s being blacklisted.”

            Then you haven’t been paying attention. Numerous Google managers have stated that they are keeping blacklists of heretics from the church of diversity.

            ” I’m not sure what you’re specifically referring to. Dude definitely threw the first stone, and any hostility towards him is reactionary.”

            Dude sat through a deliberately unrecorded training session where they directed employees to violate discrimination law in order to promote women and minorities. He challenged and was told it was wrongthink, hence the memo.

          • WATYF

            [If I sent wrote a very public diatribe denouncing affirmative action, I would understand if the minority person next to me became uncomfortable.]

            Why? Leaving aside the fact that Affirmative Action is discriminatory, what does it harm you if someone expresses an opinion that no one anywhere in management agrees with?

            This is the problem with so many people today: they have no concept of what an *actual* hostility is. They’re so insulated and weak that they can’t handle the mere *existence* of a view that doesn’t match their own, regardless of the fact that said view doesn’t have a lick of impact on their lives.

            [Again, if someone wrote a scribe that could be interpreted as suggesting that I didn’t earn my position…]

            …which he didn’t do. Have you read the memo? Or do you think “could be interpreted as” allows you to make up whatever meaning you want for his words?

            [Who else is displaying hostility? I haven’t heard about any open letters from Google employees on their forum saying that’s he’s being blacklisted.]

            Really? Are you following this story at all?

            Leaving aside the fact that the guy who wrote this got fired, and is therefore the ONLY person who can say that they were truly impacted by this in a REAL way, everyone else has decided to pile on and talk about how anyone who thinks the same way should be shamed/fired/blacklisted….

            http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/08/07/revealed-inside-googles-sjw-cabal-blacklists/

            […and any hostility towards him is reactionary.]

            Nonsense. First, his memo was reactionary to all the garbage that was being forced upon him (and everyone else) at Google. So I guess that justifies it, since in your view anything that’s “reactionary” is totes OK, right?

            Second, hostility towards anyone who doesn’t toe the PC line goes back years in Google (you can see from the first screencap in the article above).

            Third, apparently “two wrongs make a right” is a popular moral philosophy around these parts, because someone else tried to use it in another thread. Even if he say something to *truly* create a hostile work environment for others (which he didn’t) that still wouldn’t excuse everyone else from turning around and creating an even more hostile work environment for anyone who dared to agree with him. If “creating a hostile work environment” is wrong, then it’s always wrong, not just when someone you don’t like is doing it.

            WATYF

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            “I haven’t heard about any open letters from Google employees on their forum saying that’s he’s being blacklisted. I’m not sure what you’re specifically referring to. Dude definitely threw the first stone, and any hostility towards him is reactionary.”

            “Colm Buckley: “You know there are certain “alternative views, including different political views” which I do not want people to feel safe to share here… You can believe women or minorities are unqualified all you like — I can’t stop you — but if you say it out loud, then you deserve what’s coming to you. Yes, this is “silencing”. I intend to silence these views… Take your false equivalence and your fake symmetry, and shove them hard up where the sun doesn’t shine.”
            Kim Burchett: “I am considering creating a public-inside-google document of “people who make diversity difficult”…which calls out those googlers who repeatedly made public statements that are unsupportive of diversity… Things I’m still pondering: should inclusion on the list require something resembling a trial? should people be removed after some period of time if they start behaving better?

            Colin Winter: “One of the great things about Google’s internal communication mechanism… is that, as a manager, I can easily go find out if I really want to work with you.”

            Kelly Ellis: (Responding to a colleague who mildly opined that Damore’s original memo was misrepresented and that Damore’s firing validates his notion of the suppression of ideas.) “Your reply…ignores the many women Googlers who have expressed the frustration they feel as a result of this. F*** off. Thanks for using your real name here, though. Makes it easier to update my spreadsheet.””

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            “Things I’m still pondering: should inclusion on the list require something resembling a trial? should people be removed after some period of time if they start behaving better?”

            If you gave this woman any real power there would be blood in the streets.

        • Frank Galvin

          I wouldn’t call it a diatribe – he offered a countervailing view on whether the set asides and D&I efforts could actually be prohibited discrimination. The act of terminating him may give rise to an additional whistleblower cause of action. Dumb, dumb,dumb.

          Reply
    • WheeTwelve

      I cannot agree that “Google was right to fire the dude,” but I will agree that “Google was free to fire the dude.” After all, one of the potential drawbacks to freedom is that you can shoot yourself in the foot. Some people will see “the dude” (don’t know his name) as the one who shot himself in the foot. Others will see Google as being the one doing the self-wounding.

      I am not privy to the California legal code, so I don’t know how this will legally play out. But what I do know is that this incident paints for me a much more detailed picture of the inner workings at Google, than what I was aware of before. The post, as well as Google’s reactions to it will result in people re-considering working for/at Google.

      I have been working in the computer software (and a little hardware) engineering field for over 20 years. Financially, I would probably have done a lot better had I chosen to move to California. I have friends who did. I’m truly happy for them, but there is no way I could live in California. I have been offered a full relocation package in the past, and have declined it. California is a great place to visit, but (in my opinion) a terrible place to live.

      Reply
      • Booty_Toucher

        There is room for disagreement here. I definitely see both sides.

        “The post, as well as Google’s reactions to it will result in people re-considering working for/at Google.”

        Those folks will by far be in the minority. Still a coveted position, and for good reason. I’m sure they risk to lose a lot more potential employees (not to mention money) if they have a record of standing idle when someone publishes a manifesto that can be interpreted as sexist by many. Especially given the current climate. Look at Uber.

        Reply
  29. A. Katon

    Jack Baruth writes:

    I remind you that the author is not a biologist. “Working around the bug” of male sexuality is, basically, a cute phrase for a genetic-engineering nightmare to make Mengele look like Dr. Spock. (The child-care guy, not the Vulcan.)

    Dr. Spock, as it turns out, is more like Mengele than anyone could imagine. He was one of the major peddlers of the current “self-expression” paradigm that has been the rage and the bane of child-rearing since the post WW2 era. Genetic engineering indeed.

    Reply
  30. TMLutas

    Sometimes, bad people let the mask drop. If you cannot be professional enough to not punch your coworkers for their memos at a rate sufficient that HR doesn’t have to worry about the issue, you should not be working for a large organization, period, full stop.

    That the prospect that some people might punch this guy for writing a memo leads him to recommend that the memo writer is the problem says all that needs to be said.

    But wait, there’s more. Typing Zunger’s name into a search engine shows he was featured in February by the Washington Post in an article titled The Cult of the Paranoid Medium Post, specifically Zunger’s musings about the upcoming coup coming from the Trump administration.

    So, violence friendly and paranoid, that is all, right?

    No, there’s yet more to mine here. He claims to have left Google to work at Humu, a startup devoted to the idea of making workplace environments better. I dropped them a note asking if he actually worked there.

    Truly a laugh/cry situation.

    Reply
  31. Zykotec

    I’,m not sure I agree that modern software is utter garbage, except for the fact that it (like most other modern things) it is horrifyingly awful crap because I personally don’t like it. This whole case just shows that still in 2017, in what was considered a pretty modern company, you aren’t allowed to criticize your employer. Yeah, google can blame some retarded sjw’s, but they honestly can’t be bothered to fix their problems and help rephrase what he wrote until everyone can read it without freaking out. I skimmed through it quickly and it seems he is correct.
    Back to the engineering part, as someone who knows a little about everything, but is hardly an expert on things that are not automotive or movie trivia related, we need all kinds of engineers. Straight up coding and designing fasteners and bridge supports can possible still be done by one guy alone, but nowadays when all engineering is fixing problems made in the past almost everything really is a group project. (example, most Ford engineers aren’t working on making new things, they are probably working on making the previous generations hard points fit into the next generations design. And fixing Sync to account for all possible user preferences)

    Reply
  32. Doug

    “Should Zunger be lecturing anybody about anything outside theoretical physics?”

    This is a question we should ask of every radical leftist progressive who is spending their time focusing on every micro-aggression others are supposedly performing. More of these people need to turn their focus on themselves being a better person rather than calling out every other person for some perceived slight. I think the appropriate phrase concerns glass houses.

    Love these article on the idiocy of progressivism Jack. Keep it up!

    Reply
    • Zykotec

      As an actual leftist, though libertanian, and not interested in being confused with the ‘not as far right as the rest’ American liberals, I hate that all the insane SJW’s and whatnots are called leftists all the time.
      Not to criticize this comment in particular, because in the US these posh softskinned princesses call themselves the left I guess. But I feel they belong more in H.C. Andersens ‘the Princess and the Pea’ , a fairytale about a princess who is so spoiled that she complais about everything. If there’s one thing Mark ‘gets’ when it comes to politics it is that a lot of those who call themselves leftist in the US are privilieged people who fight for no one.
      Now that there are both rightist and leftist SJW’s out there, it’s getting incredibly hard to write anything on the internet withour causing a fight.
      Not that I really mind though, theres a lot of entertainment being made out of these fights. (like this post by Jack is a response to such a fight in the first place)

      Reply
      • Doug

        I somewhat agree. If anything those people resemble the caricature they call the right in that they are more like the Nazis, Socialists, and Communists which are just slightly different shades of totalitarianism. In the traditional sense a liberal or what would be called a leftist more resembles what is called a Conservative bent these days.

        I am curious, what are examples of a “rightist” SJW? Are they in the conservative and/or libertarian bent?

        I for one am looking forward to the entertainment that the war among micro-groups will provide. We already have seen this here in NC with the bathroom wars that pits the trannies against girls and women. I am just waiting for someone to publish a scorecard or a hierarchy of oppressed micro groups so we can all tell who is the most oppressed and depressed of them all.

        Reply
  33. stuntmonkey

    Just out of curiosity, women in computer and tech history, since tthese never got brought up by the media during the run of the story:

    Ada Lovelace – possibly the first ‘coder’ in history
    Hedy Lamarr – Improved WWII torpedoes with frequency hopping radio control
    Grace Hopper – programming pioneer, instrumental in lead up to COBOL
    Roberta Williams – Sierra Online, Kings Quest et al.

    Reply
  34. A Nony Mouse

    The tech business has decided, as a whole, that the writing of code is no longer important enough to be done well or even conscientiously

    This is the key thing that makes excellent coders leave the industry.

    Reply
  35. Pingback: Smarter Than Thou | Shot in the Dark

  36. Noel

    It’s because Zunger is an effeminate cuck…There are a lot of them in computer science.
    We don’t hire them because they are pathetically noncompetitive…A time and money suck in the competitive business world.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *