James Damore was correct - Apple edition

Some of you may remember the story of James Damore, the Google engineer who suggested that perhaps some of the male/female software engineering disparity was due to the different dominant characteristics of males and females, and got fired for it. Damore's essay Google's Ideological Echo Chamber made a number of points and hypotheses, but one particular point stands out to me in the context of recent news:

Women, on average, have more:
  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas[...]
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness[...]
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance). This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
A whole bunch of neurotic women (and, to be fair, men) got together to demand that Damore be fired, for contributing to their workplace stress... I guess, proving his point?

Well, there's now a new sacrifice for the Social Justice Wicker Man, and he also appears to have been bundled into the cage on the altar of neuroses: Antonio García Martínez. Martínez had previously written a bestselling book Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley. It was originally published in July 2016, though the most recent paperback reprint on Amazon is from 2018. So, and this is not insignificant, he wrote this 5 years ago.

Mr Martínez recently got hired by Apple. But, it turns out, a few people had read his book and were not happy:

Then, a group of workers wrote a letter calling for an investigation. “Given Mr. García Martínez’s history of publishing overtly racist and sexist remarks about his former colleagues, we are concerned that his presence at Apple will contribute to an unsafe working environment for our colleagues who are at risk of public harassment and private bullying,” they said.
Within hours, the letter had well over 1,000 signatures. It was leaked to The Verge. That evening, García Martínez was fired.
The irony, it burns. (Must be hot irony).

I tried to order the book a couple of weeks ago but - yet more irony - it's now in such demand as a bestseller that I'll be lucky to get it by mid-June. When it finally arrives, dear readers, I promise an in-depth review.

Getting back to my original point, let us summarize: a bunch of Apple employees felt so empowered by Social Justice that they could demand firing of a new company hire based on something completely unconnected with Apple which he wrote 5 years ago, and which Apple must have known about when they hired him - and within the space of a couple of days, he was gone, no appeal

This isn't healthy, and isn't going to end well.

In the meantime, though, Martínez's book is still selling heavily on Amazon. And he's probably earned out his advance, so every sale is another royalty. Perhaps being fired by Apple was one of the better things to happen to him, financially - and I bet there's going to be a financial settlement on the quiet as soon as he hires a lawyer, if he hasn't already done so.

The really interesting information though, would be the names of the Apple employees who are signatories to the letter. Any future employer should think really, really carefully about employing someone so neurotic, self-entitled and bitter that they would hound someone out of a company simply because they didn't like what they wrote.

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