This is really great on the Google controversy, but I think that “prominent evolutionary psychologist” really gives away the game. I saw a bit of an interview with the fired Google guy in which he was talking about adrenal levels among similarly spurious things and I just thought: what does this have to do with anything? The adrenaline-generating work of software development? I figured the argument was headed in this direction because of how specifically stupid it was. You can’t empirically study the mindset of early hominids. They died over a hundred thousand years ago. Evolutionary psychology is nonsense like “we’re scared of spiders because they remind us of dinosaurs that hunted us” that isn’t in any way observable or even provable, just sort of sounds plausible, and depends on dubious notions of “collective unconscious” and the like. It’s about as scientifically rigorous as the ending of Battlestar Galactica maybe. It can make for a fun standup set, but that’s it.

Also, people, stop sharing David Brooks’s columns when they’re good. You give him credibility when he’s bad, which is like 90% of the time at least. The “brave” columns are loss-leaders for him to put right-wing nonsense into the heads of New York Times readers. It’s a scam, nothing more.

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  1. lumpkin says:

    I know this doesn’t prove anything any more than the Google guy’s rant but many of the best engineers I ever worked with were women. Sub par performance seemed to be more widespread among male coworkers than female.

    I agree with the decision to fire the guy, not for his malicious ideas, but for expressing them. He told a significant (but insufficient) number of his colleagues that they are incompetent affirmative action hires. This is harassment and is a no-no in any workplace.

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