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The Federalist has the worst take yet on the Google Manifesto and James Damore. It involves NWA

N.W.A. is not impressed with your argument, The Federalist. Or wouldn’t be, probably, if the group still existed.

By David Futrelle

The good folks at The Federalist — the clickbaity tradcon site known for its nuclear-level hot takes — have done it again: They have managed to come up with what may be the dumbest possible take on the Google Manifesto and its author, James Damore.

And somehow, it involves N.W.A.

Yes, N.W.A., the rap group that broke up more than a quarter century ago, but which is apparently the only rap group or rap artist that anyone at The Federalist can name off the top of their head.

In a post titled “What James Damore, Formerly Of Google, Can Learn From N.W.A,” the Federalist’s Rich Cromwell notes that the aforementioned rap group managed to survive criticism over the misogyny in the lyrics of its 1988 debut album “Straight Outta Compton.” Even though N.W.A. used words like “bitch.”

And if N.W.A., nearly 30 years ago, got away with calling women “bitches,” Cromwell suggests, then surely Damore should be able to get away with suggesting that women are biologically less suited for tech than men.

At least I think that’s what he’s arguing. Cromwell’s article is so clotted with inexpertly wielded sarcasm it’s sort of hard to tell exactly what he’s arguing.

Here’s what seems to be Cromwell’s thesis:

Damore, in the spirit of N.W.A., had the temerity to suggest, in the most foul-mouthed way possible, that there’s an inclusion problem at Google. Except actually he was very measured in the infamous memo that 99 percent of people upset about it didn’t read. …

Whereas N.W.A. created a whole lot of outrage with “Straight Outta Compton,” some of it was warranted. They were not nuanced in how they discussed the differences between men and women, but brutal and ruthless. But it was harder to take them down in August 1988 because people had to actually type letters and make phone calls and that’s a whole lot more work than a status update. People did the work, though, and N.W.A. persevered.

Damore should do the same, particularly as he wasn’t calling women b-tches or proclaiming their only use is as sex objects. He may be facing the Internet lynch mob, but he doesn’t have to do it sitting down. …

Stand up, Damore, and don’t let this … take you down and bite your tongue, but rather let it serve as a launch-pad, much as it did for N.W.A.

That is some Scott-Adams-level “persuasion” right there. My head hurts.

Oh, and did I mention that the picture of N.W.A. that The Federalist uses to illustrate the article is not actually a picture of N.W.A at all? Nope! It’s a picture of the actors who portrayed N.W.A. in the 2015 movie “Straight Outta Compton.”

But I guess all rappers and people portraying rappers look the same, huh?

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Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

“Fuck the Federaleest”

Ray of Rays
Ray of Rays
4 years ago

On the one hand, N.W.A. is on the forefront of my mind quite frequently, too.

On the other hand, that’s because I keep singing “Fuck The Police” in my head whenever I read news of another cop murdering someone, not whatever nonsense this guy is trying to spout.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
4 years ago

Ok, I’m just going to throw it this out there again for these misguided fools who think feminists and the Left in general is just screeching and trying to shut conversation down.

– It doesn’t matter how well-intentioned the manifesto might have been (it actually wasn’t).

– It doesn’t matter how extensive or logical it seemed (it wasn’t).

– It doesn’t matter how polite and conciliatory it seemed (it wasn’t).

The point of the matter here is that the memo was nothing more than pure propaganda. And I’m not using that word without context and/or careful consideration, despite how impulsive I tend to be. No.

What the Alt-Right and conservatives praising this little manifesto are doing is pretty obvious to anyone who doesn’t have their head in the sand. They’re trying to normalize oppression and re-instate the status quo of the 50s and 60s by adopting victimhood.

They are very fully aware that these views are archaic and based on pseudoscience which has been debunked again, and again, and again, and again for the past 30 to 40 years. Yet they continue to pretend as if diversity, progressivism and overall “PC Culture” had been the main cultural norm for the past 50 years (it hasn’t).

The reason behind why they want to pretend that PC Culture is something deeply rooted in society is because they want to paint themselves as the oppressed innovators, challenging the status quo in order to bring about a new era of rationality. An era of rationality which, ironically, will bring about rationalized White supremacy, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, among others.

They keep on screaming and accusing the Left of fascism without understanding what that word entails. And yet these conservatives and Alt-Righters are adopting the single most common tactic of fascists, and the very cornerstone of Nazism:

Propaganda. The villification and rationalized oppression of anyone not a cishet white male in order to advance policy.

This is what nazism is at its core. This is what they are very intentionally doing when they throw out this pseudoscience. They’re not at all interested in a debate they lost long ago. The reason they keep on insisting we pay attention to these ideas at all, and why they continue to cry persecution and accuse us of “shutting down dialogue”, is because they want this to spread.

They are all too aware of what Joseph Goebbels once said:

If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it

(((Podkayne Lives)))
(((Podkayne Lives)))
4 years ago

I’m having a lot of trouble following the logic here.

Viscaria the Cheese Hog
Viscaria the Cheese Hog
4 years ago

Whereas N.W.A. created a whole lot of outrage with “Straight Outta Compton,”

Clearly this sentence should have been written “Whereas N.W.A. created a whole lotta outrage with ‘Straight Outta Compton’…” Actually, even better: This sentence and all the rest of the piece should never have been written at all.

Btw I don’t know whether the ellipses in that quote should have gone within the internal quotes or not and if anybody else knows please tell me so that it doesn’t bug me until I die.

magnesium
4 years ago

So I guess the Federalist is dumber than mustard…

Speaking as a woman who works in tech, this whole incident has been an excellent/depressing way to keep track of how many men don’t think I deserve to be here.

Hey fellas, when you defend this ten page pseudo science manifesto, I can promise you, the women who work with you or just know you are making a mental note that you’re not on their side.

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

There’s not really anything wrong with the data Damone cited or psychometric analysis of behavior and personality across populations. It’s just that, when you try to draw policy recommendations from that data, your flaws and personal biases will come through. The actual published literature needs to make statements that you can back up rigorously, so what the data actually “says” is much more reserved. Try comparing an article in a sociology or psychology journal to The Myth of Male Power. You’ll find it’s clear what’s propaganda and what’s rigorous research.

I don’t know of any left-wing sociologist or even Marxist sociologist who believes in complete social constructionism of group differences and the tabula rasa (that the mind is a general-purpose cognitive device with no strong innate characteristics). Nobody is claiming that conscious and intentional discrimination and prejudice is the sole cause of disparities between populations. Nobody, except maybe New Agers and Scientologists, thinks anyone has the potential to be an NBA all-star or a math professor at Harvard.

iknklast
iknklast
4 years ago

Uh, Dave, you might want to check your spelling of Mr. Memo’s last name. Just in case someone who is much meaner than me shows up and tries to ad hominem you based on a pretended inability to spell, or accuses you of some other heinous crime, such as intentionally getting the names of white males wrong.

Dan Hoan
4 years ago

I just can’t believe The Federalist couldn’t come up with a more timely example. Like how a presidential candidate can say a lot of terrible things about woman and their biology and still get elected. (*insert Price is Right fail horn*)

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

I thought this essay was an excellent practical explanation of precisely why the “Google Manifesto is so wrong on so many levels about engineering.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
4 years ago

I seem to remember the controversy being over Fuck the Police more than the word “bitch” in the lyrics. Not that I approve of misogynistic lyrics in rap (or any genre) but that stuff is pretty normalized from what I can tell.

It’s a silly false equivalency anyway. Musicians are expected to be somewhat controversial or at least hedonistic. Most jobs require a lot more decorum. It’s pretty common sense. Don’t tell me that conservatives wouldn’t mind if they went to a store and the cashiers and sales assistants were swearing in front of them. Don’t tell me they’d be cool with it if their insurance agent told them that men engage in riskier behavior because they’re stupid, therefore they deserve a shitty policy. I don’t believe for one second that the conservative position is really and truly “employees can say whatever they want while representing their employer and there should never be a consequence.”

I mean, these are the people who cry about the “war on Christmas” when a retail employee says “happy holidays” to them.

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

There’s not really anything wrong with the data Damore cited or psychometric analysis of behavior and personality across populations. It’s just that, when you try to draw policy recommendations from that data, your flaws and personal biases will come through. The actual published literature needs to make statements that you can back up rigorously, so what the data actually “says” is much more reserved. Try comparing an article in a sociology or psychology journal to The Myth of Male Power. You’ll find it’s clear what’s propaganda and what’s rigorous research.

I don’t know of any left-wing sociologist or even Marxist sociologist who believes in complete social constructionism of group differences and the tabula rasa (that the mind is a general-purpose cognitive device with no strong innate characteristics). Nobody is claiming that conscious and intentional discrimination and prejudice are the sole causes of disparities between populations. Nobody, except maybe New Agers and Scientologists, thinks anyone has the potential to be an NBA all-star or a math professor at Harvard.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@magnesium
I’m really glad I don’t work with my former lead right now because he’d be arguing with me right now about how the guy had some good points and shouldn’t be fired for an opinion. And I’d probably keep my mouth shut like I learned to do leading up to the election.

Bina
4 years ago

Oh, these Fuckeralists think they’re making a clever cultural reference by using an old sexist record to justify present-day sexism? Well, why don’t they use Damore’s old sexist record to measure this “manifesto” by, then? It’s not that old, but it’s definitely sexist:

According to emails provided to Gizmodo, Andrew Murray and Tim Mitchison, the co-directors of the Systems Biology Program at Harvard—which Damore attended for two years before leaving the program and starting his career at Google—issued a formal apology to a number of students for a student skit performed at the 2012 Systems Biology Program Retreat. According to two sources, Damore was the primary performer in the skit.

In an email dated October 15, 2012, nine days after the conclusion of the retreat, Murray and Mitchison wrote that the skit “presented material that offended many members of our community” and emphasized that even in the context of a humorous skit, “targeting any group within the program that can be defined by gender, by ethnicity, by sexual orientation, or by religious orientation, is never acceptable.”

His shit was so bad that the Harvard program organizers had to apologize for it somehow getting in there. Yeah, surprise, it wasn’t Junior’s first pseudoscientific sexist rodeo!

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

Reposting this from the other manifesto thread:

I had a realization. I was thinking about all these techbros standing up for the former Googler by trying to claim that women are indeed biologically inferior at programming and flat out refusing to believe that women were the first programmers. I was thinking about those early women programmers and how much harder it was back then (Grace Hopper helped make it easier, though), and how all these techbros wouldn’t be able to do it without all the tools that make it easier.

And then I thought about the history of midwives and how men came in with their forceps and forced women out, claiming they’re biologically inferior and unable to work forceps when they’d been there all along without the tools that make it easier.

Basically, women are badass and men refuse to do the same work until someone finds a way to make it easier, at which point they need to stroke their own egos and make the job more prestigious than when women were primarily doing it.

Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
4 years ago

Missouri trying for new “Most Regressive State” award….

ETA:

need to stroke their own egos and make the job more prestigious than when women were primarily doing

noo… we just need to find a way to make it about MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JS
JS
4 years ago

I’d also like to point out that women were some of the first computers, too. Thank you “The Bletchley Circle”, “Doctor Who”, and some crypto documentaries.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

<3 The Bletchly Circle.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

he wasn’t calling women b-tches or proclaiming their only use is as sex objects

Nah, he only called em inferior and unintelligent. How very “measured” of him ?

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

I have a STEM master’s degree, not from Harvard. There’s a really big difference between a master’s and a PhD. A master’s thesis technically needs to be original research, but the project usually entails the application of existing theories to a specific problem or collecting data and applying a theory to analyze it. A PhD thesis would focus more on the “why” of your research results to try to update an existing theory in a way that contributes significantly to your field.

Master’s = more “you know your course material well and you can do a project competently,” less “you’re a distinguished rational man non-FEEEEMALE person who understands everything about teh science.”

Laugher at Bigots, Full Blown Future Heretical Frankist Whistleblower Neo-Hippie Resurgent

I don’t know whether the ellipses in that quote should have gone within the internal quotes or not and if anybody else knows please tell me so that it doesn’t bug me until I die.

The way I do it is: If the ellipsis was part of the title, then it goes within the internal quotes. If the ellipsis was part of the text (e.g. as a rhetorical device like… this) then it goes unmodified outside the internal quotes but inside the external quotes. If the ellipsis represents an editorial elision of text, then it goes outside the internal quotes but within the external quotes, and it is also enclosed in square brackets like this: “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. […] Therefore is the name of it called Babel; […]” (Gen. xi: 7, 9)

Haise, the husky puppy
Haise, the husky puppy
4 years ago

How long will these guys continue to hate women? Another 5-10-20 years? Lifetime..? Ugh.

Woman studies something other than STEM and these guys are the types to berate her for choosing an inferior field.

Woman enters into STEM and these guys complain about how women aren’t suitable for that career.

Nice catch-22..
comment image

As someone having recently graduated with a cis degree, hoping to get into web dev., it’s kinda discouraging reading that google manifesto (the Yahoo was just.. bleh) but I won’t let it hurt me much.

Viscaria the Cheese Hog
Viscaria the Cheese Hog
4 years ago

Vaguely related: My stepdad, who is an engineer and is married to an engineer (my mom), just sent a short dad catch-up interesting fact email* to me, my fiancé, and my brother. The subject was how a pilot program of CV submissions in Australia that did not mention gender led to fewer interview requests for women for STEM positions, rather than more as was expected. He claims this show that there was bias, “just not the bias they thought,” wink wink nudge nudge etc.

I wish that someone who considers himself a skeptic could think more critically about these things. I also wish he would think about how sending that email would make me feel as his daughter and how it reflects on his feelings about his wife.

*Do all dads send those? Or just mine?

SinisterPigeon: Sombrero Golem
SinisterPigeon: Sombrero Golem
4 years ago

I don’t know about you guys but I for one hope he takes their advice. I can’t wait to hear Damore’s new hit rap single. I heard he is going to get the Yahoo memo guy on the track too. /s

Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
4 years ago

I wonder how many people who are cheering this guy’s firing because “speech has consequences” are simultaneously protesting on behalf of poor Colin Kaepernick because speech shouldn’t have consequences.

Interestingly, my spell checker suggested “pumpernickel” in place of Kaepernick.

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