On Damore's Firing and "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber"

For those following the controversy at Google on Engineer Damore bringing into question diversity initiatives at Google:

Related Pieces of Writing - For and Against

My Thoughts:

I think Google has every right to disassociate with someone they don't want to work with anymore. This isn't a matter of rights as I see it because free association should be the primary principle here. No one should owe anyone else a living.

But I question whether Google's action is morally defensible. It smacks of the brand of social cowardice in which half-informed outrage leads to deplatforming of people of reason who are willing to talk about difficult things. Maybe it's the same, maybe it's not.

A question we need to ask ourselves is whether we want to live in a world where you have to pass an ideological litmus test in order to work together. I will grant you that an agreement to ban physical force from social interaction is an idea. And so, there are ideas that are non-negotiable. But that idea happens to be codified in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and enforced by the government.

From the outside, it looks like Damore was attempting discussing on attitudes toward hiring and diversity initiatives, which he argued, was a choice and one with consequences. Whether you ought to try to fix possibly discriminatory outcomes with discriminatory practices seems like a discussion worth having.

I suspect that over time some people some of the better minds on Google's Engineering team may choose other options. Google has demonstrated their attitude toward reasoned dissent when the issue is a sacred cow of sorts. When a company creates a hostile environment toward attempts at nuanced discussion, they can expect mostly narrow thinkers to remain among their ranks if other options are available.

On a long enough timescale, you reap what you sow.