The New Yorker Magazine Gets Close to a Key Precept of Google Senior Management

August 11, 2022

I suggest that anyone interested in the bizarre personnel decisions which have become as notable as Google’s amazing announcements about its technology read “Google’s Caste-Bias Problem: A Talk about Bigotry Was Cancelled Amid Accusations of Reverse Discrimination. Whom Was the Company Trying to Protect?” The article did not appear to be behind a paywall, but you may be asked to spit out some cash to read the interview.

I am not going to discuss the ins and outs of the interview, its factoids, or the motivation for the comments.

I have several observations:

  1. The New Yorker has identified and made visible behaviors which have been ignored by other “real” news outfits; for example, Yahoo News. (Yahoooooo!) The question is, “Why?”
  2. The consequences of certain decisions have been fascinating. Dr. Timnit Gebru departed and set out to do the Don Quixote thing? Blake Lemoine, the fellow who thought software was alive, is now free to share his insights on podcasts. By doing this, he highlights some of the thought process of Google professionals. Then there was the cult. I don’t want to think about that.
  3. The high school science management methods of the Google have certain deep roots. I am not sure if these are cultural, bro-behaviors, or some other protein firing in the carpetland crew. What’s clear is that only Meta’s management methods are in what I would call the Sergey-Larry league. Maybe it’s the water in Silicon Valley.

Net net: The New Yorker’s Delphic soothsayers are definitely on to something that business school gurus have been skirting for years.

Stephen E Arnold, August 11, 2022

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