The Google Anti-Diversity Memo: Why is it such a big deal?

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the the Google anti-diversity memo (it would be impossible not to). In years of blogging, never have I seen such a firestorm over a culture war story [2]…the amount of attention this memo has gotten is unprecedented. That in itself is noteworthy. Assuming it expresses the actual beliefs of the author (and is not a work of satire), I agree, and it’s similar to an earlier post Whose Sexism? in which I argue that the gender ratio disparity in STEM is no more indicative of racism than the gender disparity in other activities and fields (such as knitting or dance), yet for some reason the left has latched onto STEM.

A Google search reveals over 11 million results. It’s also unleashed a tsunami of discussion on, and the original article that broke the story was shared 14 times on Reddit, but other reports were shared many times too. The total number of shares across all domains and sub-Reddits is probably around 50, which is more than even most Trump stories [1]. So why has this story generated so much attention, even though it was originally an internal memo and it’s not like the views and arguments expressed in the memo are especially original. Look at it another way: had an employee of a low-IQ company such as Taco Bell, Kmart, or Target (ignoring that most employees of the aforementioned companies are probably barely literate) released such a memo, no one would have given a shit. Maybe the media would have been like ‘wow some Taco Bell employee does not like diversity, but because it’s Taco Bell, who cares’.

But this ties with Scott’s SILICON VALLEY: A REALITY CHECK article, which a few months also went massively viral. Why did that article go so viral? As I explain, it’s because it’s about Silicon Valley–where intellect, wealth, ‘privilege’, and prestige all converge in an area no bigger than Rhode Island, yet is wealthier and more important than 95% of countries in the world. But also, how there is so much wealth juxtaposed with poverty. You have founders, venture capitalists, and employees worth millions or even billions of dollars living in close proximity to those who are barely getting by. And then the memo is about Google–literally one of four of the most important and influential companies in the United States, if not the world (along with Amazon, Apple, and Facebook). So you have a story that in and of itself is potentially controversial involving a company that is among the most important in the world that is headquartered in the intellectualism and wealth capital of the world, Silicon Valley…so, yeah, sparks are going to fly.

This also relates to the the post last week about history being a struggle between elites (echoing Carlyle’s ‘great man’ theory, not only is history written by elites, it’s waged between them). Google and Facebook employees are not like ordinary employees; rather, they are emissaries of America’s tech nobility, and hence their opinions carry a lot of weight.

[1] Restricting the Google search to just Reddit, the anti-diversity memo for the past week has generated about as much discussion as Trump’s airstrikes on Syria in April

anti-diversity memo

Syrian air strikes

[2] Although gamergate was bigger, it involved many stories and people over a period of a year, instead of just a single story