Google: When Wizards Cannot Talk to One Another

August 1, 2023

Note: Dinobaby here: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid. Services are now ejecting my cute little dinosaur gif. Like my posts related to the Dark Web, the MidJourney art appears to offend someone’s sensibilities in the datasphere. If I were not 78, I might look into these interesting actions. But I am and I don’t really care.

Google is in the vanguard of modern management methods. As a dinobaby, I thought that employees who disagree would talk about the issue and work out a solution. Perhaps it would be a test of Option A and Option B? Maybe a small working group would dive into a tough technical point and generate a list of talking points for further discussion, testing, and possibly an opinion from a consulting firm?

How would my old-fashioned approach work?

7 24 cannot talk

One youthful wizard says, “Your method is not in line with the one we have selected.” The other youthful wizard replies, “Have you tested both and logged the data?” The very serious wizard with the bigger salary responds, “That’s not necessary. Your method is not in line with the one we have selected. By the way, you may find your future elsewhere.” Thanks MidJourney. You have nailed the inability of certain smart people to discuss without demeaning another. Has this happened to you MidJourney?

The answer is, “Are you crazy?”

Navigate to “Google Fails to Get AI Engineer Lawsuit Claiming Wrongful Termination Thrown Out.” As I understand the news report, Google allegedly fired a person who wrote a paper allegedly disagreeing with another Google paper. This, if true, reminded me of the Stochastic Parrot dust up which made Googler Dr. Timnit Gebru a folk hero among some. She is finding her future elsewhere now.

Navigate to the cited article to get more details.

Several points:

  1. Google appears to be unable to resolve internal discussions without creating PR instead of technical progress.
  2. The management methods strike me as illogical. I recall discussions with Googlers about the importance of logic, and it is becoming clear to me that Google logic follows it own rules. (Perhaps Google people managers should hire people that can thrive within Google logic?)
  3. The recourse to the legal system to resolve which may be a technical matter is intellectually satisfying. I am confident that judges, legal eagles, expert witnesses are fully versed in chip engineering for complex and possibly proprietary methods. Have Google people management personnel considered just hiring such multi-faceted legal brains and eliminating wrong-thinking engineers?

Net net: A big time “real” news reporter objected to my use of the phrase “high school management methods.” Okay, perhaps “adolescent management methods” or “adolescent thought processes” are more felicitous phrases. But not for me. These fascinating Google management methods which generate news and legal precedents may render it unnecessary for the firm to use such words as “trust,” “user experience,” and other glittering generalities.

The reality is that cooperative resolution seems to be a facet of quantum supremacy that this dinobaby does not understand.

Stephen E Arnold, August 1, 2023


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