Next Launch

The Cape has been quiet for a few weeks while undergoing needed modernization. But things are about to pick up, with today’s SpaceX CRS launch less than an hour away. If they don’t get it off today, they’ll have to wait another five days, due to EVA scheduling issues and other things. You can watch here.

[Post-launch update]

Another successful launch, and perfect landing. Mission won’t be complete until Dragon delivers its cargo to ISS, then returns to earth, but it’s off to another good start.

Google’s CEO

A question:

Given that the full text of the memo is public, that it is the subject of a national debate on an important subject, that many educated people disagree with one another about what claims it made, and that clarity can only help Google employees adhere to the company’s rules going forward, would you be willing to highlight the memo using green to indicate the “much” that you identified as “fair to debate” and red to flag the “portions” that you deemed Code-of-Conduct violations?

He can’t do that, because a) he doesn’t know himself and b) maintaining uncertainty is a key element of totalitarian thought control.

[Update a couple minutes later]

The Google Archipelago: A nice round up of links from Ed Driscoll.

[Updatea a while later]

This whole thing is so rife with irony. Google may regret being a California company:

Dan Eaton, an employment lawyer, in San Diego wrote on CNBC: “Federal labour law bars even non-union employers like Google from punishing an employee for communicating with fellow employees about improving working conditions … California law prohibits employers from threatening to fire employees to get them to adopt or refrain from adopting a particular political course of action.”

He also said” “It is unlawful for an employer to discipline an employee for challenging conduct that the employee reasonably believed to be discriminatory, even when a court later determines the conduct was not actually prohibited by the discrimination laws.”

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

[Monday-morning update]

Cathy Young has an interview with Damore, in which he provides his influencers. I’m probably going to write up something on this myself at some point. There are so many issues to unpack.

[Update early afternoon]

Yes, Pichai should go, but that’s not enough:

When you use Facebook or Google (or Twitter, or Amazon, or Netflix) you’re sharing a lot of data with a company that you have to trust won’t abuse that. It’s much harder to trust a company that has decided to aggressively pursue thoughtcrime. And it doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum – Damore describes himself as a centrist. But it only takes one politically incorrect utterance, as so many in academia have learned, to achieve Enemy Of The People status. And then, apparently, you’re fair game.

Can you trust a self-driving car from Google, if some new company policy might reprogram it to avoid events Google doesn’t approve? Can you trust Google to prevent its (apparently many) “social-justice warrior” employees from trawling through your personal data looking for dirt, and then leaking it?

As Robert Tracinski writes, this is the big danger for Google: “The most dangerous part is that they are now beginning to be seen by the public (or revealed, depending on how you look at it) as politicized entities. Politicized entities to whom we are giving enormous amounts of data on our lives, thoughts and interests.”

There should, at a minimum, be Congressional hearings.

From College Indoctrination

…to corporate intolerance:

It is no surprise, then, that corporations are increasingly populated with young adults who do not know how to handle political views or scientific claims they have been taught are out of bounds of public discussion. When Google’s diversity officer replied to James Damore’s email, it was an incoherent affirmation of the company’s diversity policy, coupled with an accusation of sexism. It didn’t even attempt to cite reasons why the science Damore mentioned was wrong, or why his political views about diversity policy were misguided. It just asserted they were, and then used that assertion the next day as a pretext to fire him. This is what we get when university professors abuse their power and attempt to turn students into pawns in their political game, rather than autonomous agents with the capacity (but not yet ability) to think for themselves.

Combined with the problems of journalism, which are also discussed, this is a societal disaster.

[Update a while later]

Straight talk about sex differences in the workplace.

[Update mid-morning]

No one expects the Google Inquisition.

[Late-morning update]

By firing the memo author, Google validated his thesis.

[Update a few minutes later]

I don’t often agree with David Brooks, but yes, the Google CEO should resign.

[Update early afternoon]

Google is run like a religious cult:

“Conform and carry out the rituals, and you’ll be rewarded and praised; ask any uncomfortable questions or offend the wrong people, and the threats and public shaming will be swift and ruthless. The religion in this case is a kind of intersectional feminism, its central tenets are Diversity and Inclusion, its demonic enemy is Bias, and its purifying rituals include humiliating forms of ‘training’ that resemble Maoist struggle sessions.”

“This might sound crazy to a lot of your readers, but college students should understand, since it’s a similar culture.”

This is just awful.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Ann Althouse:

Apparently, Damore wasn’t sufficiently afraid. He didn’t see that this was the unacknowledged rule. Google is a safe space, muffling the fear. That in itself is something to be afraid of. When sparing everyone fear is the order of the day, you need to fear you will be deemed the embodiment of the fear that others must be spared. Then you’re completely unsafe. And gone. No man, no fear.

And as Stalin would have said, “No problem.”

[Update a while later]

Why I was fired from Google.”

Obstruction Of Justice In The Clinton “Matter”

We now know that the White House was involved.

We need congressional hearings on this. Competent ones, though that’s a lot harder.

[Update a few minutes later]

The real story of that tarmac meeting gets stranger.

My question is, where is Jeff Sessions? Why is he letting this happen? He didn’t recuse himself from this.

[Afternoon update]

Lynch’s attorney now on Congressional committee investigating Lynch. It seems to be standard operating procedure for Democrats to be allowed to investigate themselves.

[Update a while later]

Related, in that it’s about more Clinton/Obama corruption: A judge orders the State Department to find more missing Benghazi emails.

We still don’t know where Obama was that night.

Men And Women

An interesting discussion on sex differences, spurred by the Google kerfuffle.

It is very important to the Left to minimize them. This is one of the several areas in which they are not the “party of science.”

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s sort of the tl;dr:

This seems to me like the clearest proof that women being underrepresented in CS/physics/etc is just about different interests. It’s not that they can’t do the work – all those future math teachers do just as well in their math majors as everyone else. It’s not that stereotypes of what girls can and can’t do are making them afraid to try – whatever stereotypes there are about women and math haven’t dulled future math teachers’ willingness to compete difficult math courses one bit. And it’s not even about colleges being discriminatory and hostile (or at least however discriminatory and hostile they are it doesn’t drive away those future math teachers). It’s just that women are more interested in some jobs, and men are more interested in others. Figure out a way to make math people-oriented, and women flock to it. If there were as many elementary school computer science teachers as there are math teachers, gender balance there would equalize without any other effort.

I’m not familiar with any gender breakdown of legal specialties, but I will bet you that family law, child-related law, and various prosocial helping-communities law are disproportionately female, and patent law, technology law, and law working with scary dangerous criminals are disproportionately male. And so on for most other fields.

This theory gives everyone what they want. It explains the data about women in tech. It explains the time course around women in tech. It explains other jobs like veterinary medicine where women dominate. It explains which medical subspecialties women will be dominant or underrepresented in. It doesn’t claim that women are “worse than men” or “biologically inferior” at anything. It doesn’t say that no woman will ever be interested in things, or no man ever interested in people. It doesn’t say even that women in tech don’t face a lot of extra harassment (any domain with more men than women will see more potential perpetrators concentrating their harassment concentrated on fewer potential victims, which will result in each woman being more harassed).

It just says that sometimes, in a population-based way that doesn’t necessarily apply to any given woman or any given man, women and men will have some different interests. Which should be pretty obvious to anyone who’s spent more than a few minutes with men or women.

Yup. But do read the whole thing, because it also describes just how toxic and (ironically, given the “punch a Nazi” commentary) fascist the environment in the industry has become.

[Update a while later]

The most common error in reporting on the Google memo:

To object to a means of achieving x is not to be anti-x.

The failure to apply that same logic to the author of the memo is straightforwardly frustrating for those who agree with many of the views that the memo expressed. And it should also frustrate those who disagree with the author but care about social justice.

Every prominent instance of journalism that proceeds with less than normal rigor when the subject touches on social justice feeds a growing national impulse to dismiss everything published about these subjects—even important, rigorous, accurate articles. Large swathes of the public now believe the mainstream media is more concerned with stigmatizing wrong-think and being politically correct than being accurate. The political fallout from this shift has been ruinous to lots of social-justice causes—causes that would thrive in an environment in which the public accepted the facts.

Given that many of their goals are actually terrible, I’m glad they continue to screw up like this.

[Update a while later]

The Google memo exposes a libertarian blind spot.

[Update a while more later]

Megan McArdle: As a woman in tech, I realized that these are not my people:

Thinking back to those women I knew in IT, I can’t imagine any of them would have spent a weekend building a fiber-channel network in her basement.

I’m not saying such women don’t exist; I know they do. I’m just saying that if they exist in equal numbers to the men, it’s odd that I met so very many men like that, and not even one woman like that, in a job where all the women around me were obviously pretty comfortable with computers. We can’t blame it on residual sexism that prevented women from ever getting into the field; the number of women working with computers has actually gone down over time. And I find it hard to blame it on current sexism. No one told that guy to go home and build a fiber-channel network in his basement; no one told me I couldn’t. It’s just that I would never in a million years have chosen to waste a weekend that way.

These people don’t realize the degree to which their ideology is blinding them to reality. And they don’t realize the degree to which their behavior harms their own cause:

…you still have to ask whether shamestorming Damore and getting him sacked was really the best way to convince him — or anyone else — that he’s mistaken. Did anyone’s understanding of the complex quandaries of gender diversity advance? If there were guys at Google wondering whether the women around them really deserved their jobs, did anyone wake up the morning after Damore’s firing with the revelation: “Good God, how could I have been so blind?” No, I suspect those guys are now thinking: “You see? Women can’t handle math or logic.”

And as always, the Left is impervious to irony.

[Update just before noon]

Leftists: We worship science, except when we don’t.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Google has done a horrible thing to its employees, especially its snowflakes:

Google’s monoculture has turned these employees into snarling, hate-filled, censorious little thought-police who live under the misapprehension that their seething rage is virtue. It reminds me of what happened in the Soviet Union when neighbor turned in neighbor to ensure the regime believed in their loyalty to the Right Ideas.

And they are incapable of seeing it.

I may follow Roger’s advice to start using Dogpile. But I’ll have to wean myself from Chrome, because it makes it hard to automatically use other search engines.

The DNC “Hacking”

It seems pretty clear now that it was a leak from inside, and the whole Russia narrative is false. In fact, it looks like the Russians were framed, perhaps by Guccifer. And perhaps by our own intelligence community:

By any balanced reckoning, the official case purporting to assign a systematic hacking effort to Russia, the events of mid-June and July 5 last year being the foundation of this case, is shabby to the point taxpayers should ask for their money back. The Intelligence Community Assessment, the supposedly definitive report featuring the “high confidence” dodge, was greeted as farcically flimsy when issued January 6. Ray McGovern calls it a disgrace to the intelligence profession. It is spotlessly free of evidence, front to back, pertaining to any events in which Russia is implicated. James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, admitted in May that “hand-picked” analysts from three agencies (not the 17 previously reported) drafted the ICA. There is a way to understand “hand-picked” that is less obvious than meets the eye: The report was sequestered from rigorous agency-wide reviews. This is the way these people have spoken to us for the past year.

What’s surprising is the publisher of this story, hardly a publication you’d think would be sympathetic to the narrative: The Nation.

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