James Damore firing…what happens next

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, James Damore got the boot and is exploring legal remedies. He could try to make the case that his memo was a work of satire that was misconstrued, but then that would mean repudiating the memo (and also his principles if he truly believes what he had written, but it could at least be a way for him to keep his job).

Vox Day argues that Google’s business is vulnerable:

In other words, as the AdWords model fails, which is already happening, Google’s massive market cap is going to rapidly decline with it because all of its other businesses have failed to find traction. The company has observably entered the ideological death spiral that is the inevitable result of the Impossibility of Social Justice Convergence.

Even though I am a Google shareholder, I too would like to see it receive its comeuppance for its smug arrogance that is all too characteristic of a SJW-infested corporate culture. But unlike Firefox, which fell from grace after the forced ‘resignation’ of CEO Brendan Eich, which generated enough bad press and boycotts that Mozilla (the parent company of Firefox) was unable to recover [1], Google is unlikely to suffer a similar fate.

Google is too big, but more specifically, their Adwords ads are displayed on major websites (such as Wall St. Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, and Forbes) that likely share the same SJW views as Google. Right-wing publishers and advertisers are a smaller fraction than left-wing ones. Whereas Eich was the CEO of a company that was already fading from relevance, Damore had a much lower position and will be easier to replace (it’s not like there is a shortage of leftists who want to work for Google).

But to play devil’s advocate a bit, regarding Eich, the outrage was over the fact that he donated $1,000 to support California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, but this had nothing to do with Mozilla. In the case of Damore, he used the company as a sort of personal soapbox, which from a legal standpoint is harder to defend. Maybe he originally intended to leave and the memo served a sort of resignation letter, but that would not explain his charge against Google to the US National Labor Relations Board. He probably mistakenly assumed he had immunity under the 1st Amendment, but it’s not illegal in the US for bosses to terminate employees based on speech:

But what about the First Amendment? Well, as Sydney Ember at The New York Times reported in 2016, the Bill of Rights doesn’t protect workers in the private sector from being fired over speech in or outside the workplace — it only prevents the government from infringing upon citizens’ speech, according to the blog of the law firm Parks, Chesin, and Walbert.

Regarding Google’s business being vulnerable, with the exception of Gmail and a few others, most of Google’s non-Adwords ideas have failed to get much traction (but also Google hasn’t invested much in many of them), but the Adwords business is pretty strong. It’s like saying that Philip Morris and Altria are vulnerable because they only sell cigarettes.

The good news is, James Damore will find work elsewhere. The added publicity, even if a lot of it isn’t in a positive light, will raise his visibility, and corporations (such as Palintir, which is backed by Peter Thiel)) may pick him up to make a ‘counter statement’ against social justice orthodoxy.

[1] Firefox market share was already in decline before the resignation, but it certainly did not help