H/t reader kevin a.
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H/t reader squodgy:
“Messier & messier…..”
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Let’s face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren’t talking about your average car company here.
Statistics professor Salil Mehta, adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science and whose work has appeared on this website on numerous prior occasions, was banned by Google on Friday.
What did Salil do to provoke Google? It is not entirely clear, however what is clear is that his repeated attempts at restoring his email, blog and other Google-linked accounts have so far been rejected with a blanket and uniform statement from the search giant.
Here is what happened, in Salil Mehta’s own words.
New data released by the World Socialist Web Site seems to confirm what many had feared: the new Google search evaluation protocol is adversely affecting a broad array of leftist, whistleblower and democratic rights organizations, and anti-war news outlets. The data, collected from the search engine metric website SEMrush, shows massive drops in traffic to Wikileaks, the Intercept, the ACLU, Common Dreams, Antiwar.com, and many others.
Google’s new algorithm, implemented for the ostensible purpose of limiting the reach of “fake news” and “conspiracy theories,” has targeted anti-establishment websites seeking to challenge the disinformation and propaganda of corporate mainstream media. Facing mounting criticism from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other MSM benefactors following the 2016 presidential election, both Google and Facebook have capitulated and taken drastic measures to restrict the flow of information. Wikileaks traffic dropped by 30 percent; Democracy Now fell by 36 percent. The WSWS was the most adversely affected, as its traffic dropped by 70 percent during the same month the new algorithm went into effect.
Fired Google engineer Jame Damore has penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal explaining how his good-faith effort to discuss differences between men and women in tech couldn’t be tolerated in the company’s “ideological echo chamber,” adding that self-segregation with similar-minded people has grown in recent decades as we spend more time in digital worlds “personalized to fit our views.”
I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
For those who have managed to avoid this storyline, James Damore, now a former Google employee, caused outrage when he circulated a manifesto on Friday, complaining about Google’s “ideological echo chamber,” alleging women have lower tolerance for stress and that conservatives are more conscientious. By Monday, the chess master, who studied at Harvard, Princeton and MIT and worked at Google’s Mountain View HQ, was fired after the search giant’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, said portions of Damore’s 10-page memo “violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes” despite saying in the same memo that Google employees shouldn’t be afraid of speaking their minds.
Now, for the first time, the former Googler sat down for a YouTube interview with University of Toronto professor of psychology, Jordan Peterson, to discuss the circumstances leading up to the release of his controversial memo and the fallout that has resulted since.