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James Damore: Working at Google Is Like Being in a 'Cult'

14 August 2017

It wasn't until the memo went viral inside Google and was leaked externally last weekend that Google made a decision to take action, he said.

Damore is also pictured holding a sign saying "Fired for truth" and, in other photos, wearing a t-shirt that simply says "Truth".

For those not following along, Damore, a senior engineer at the world's biggest search engine, wrote a memo about a month ago entitled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber".

"There was no outcry or charge of misogyny". Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values.

Clearly Megan McArdle has a shallow understanding of the tech industry if she feels that all roles work with "inanimate objects" as she noted her in column "That Google memo about women in tech wasn't wrong".

Google has drawn severe criticism over firing James Damore as several anti-Google Ads have popped-up in public places across the streets of Venice.

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The way Damore expressed his opinions and pushed discriminatory conclusions runs counter to a free idea exchange. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, nearly like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of "Don't be evil".

Last year, a Google security official sent a companywide email imploring employees not to leak information. "Google had to solve the problem caused by my supposedly sexist, anti-diversity manifesto".

But Google executives, including the chief executive officer and the chief of diversity, deemed the document to be in violation of the company's code of conduct because it "perpetuated gender stereotypes". There are about 87,000 Google groups - essentially email lists formed around a central theme - and more than 8,000 discussion groups like "misc" - short for miscellaneous - where employees debate and disagree on topics ranging from the optimal temperature in the office to the brand of laundry detergent the company should use for washing employee towels.

Damore has been on a media tour, giving interviews to Bloomberg and conservative YouTube host Stefan Molyneux. Fired4Truth, widely believed to be Damore's Twitter account, is closing in on 50,000 followers in a matter of days.

Google's liberal stance toward self-expression, enabled by those online forums, was created in part to show that it is not bound by the conventions that stifle more stodgy companies.

James Damore: Working at Google Is Like Being in a 'Cult'