Google Employee Axed After Attacking False Gods of Diversity, Liberal Groupthink

A Google employee recently penned a ten-page memo that caused quite the uproar. Much of the media has emphasized only one of the memo’s arguments—that biology helps explain why women don’t get involved in the tech industry—but it can’t be forgotten that the memo also criticized Google for silencing conservative opinions.

Then yesterday Google fired him and thus proved the entire point of his memo.

Bloomberg:

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

Earlier on Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees that said portions of the memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” But he didn’t say if the company was taking action against the employee. A Google representative, asked about the dismissal, referred to Pichai’s memo.

After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google’s new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, sent a statement to staff condemning Damore’s views and reaffirmed the company’s stance on diversity. In internal discussion boards, multiple employees said they supported firing the author, and some said they would not choose to work with him, according to postings viewed by Bloomberg News.

“We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company,” Brown said in the statement. “We’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”

Read the full memo here.

My First Essay Contest

So I’ll be participating in First Things’ Student Essay Contest. I’m excited to throw my hat in the ring, as this is my first essay contest. I’m leaning towards responding to the first prompt: “Liberalism is at the end of its rope. What comes next?”

First place wins $500, second $250. I’m sure many of the participants, which will include graduate students and seminarians, are much smarter and can write much better than me. But what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. I’ve got nothing to lose.

I plan on posting my essay here after submitting it to First Things. It’s due September 15, and chances are I’ll need the full 39 days to finish. Starting the research today. Wish me luck!

The Mooch Out Per Gen. Kelly’s Recommendation

Less than two weeks after Trump appointed Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci as his new White House communications director, The Mooch is gone.

RT:

Anthony Scaramucci is leaving after only 10 days as White House communications director. The decision came at the recommendation of the newly sworn-in chief of staff John Kelly, the White House confirmed.

“Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director. Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The Mooch couldn’t be controlled—a problem for Gen. Kelly and his chain-of-command approach. Oh well. I liked The Mooch, but it’s not the end of the world.

Does Music Improve Focus?

A recent Wall Street Journal article asks the following question: Does listening to music improve one’s focus? After exploring the Mozart and Slayer Effects, the answer is that there’s no definitive answer. Music helps some while it hinders others.

I don’t always listen to music when trying to focus. If I’m sufficiently self-motivated, I just dive right in. If I’m distracted or unmotivated, I’ll put in my headphones and fire up Google Music or YouTube.

The science confirms it’s best to avoid music with lyrics. This is probably easier for those of us who already enjoy classical music. But if I decide to listen to music with lyrics, it must be a single song on repeat. I picked this tactic up from Ryan Holiday, who writes that it “allows the songs to fade into themselves—to become a more or less continuous stream.” You don’t even hear the lyrics once you enter “the zone.”

Whether or not you listen to music while concentrating, these findings are unlikely to change your habits. There is no right or wrong way to focus. Continue to do whatever works best for you.

Three Things You Need to Do For At Least an Hour Every Day

Reading, writing, and training. Alexander Cortes explains why:

Reading, Writing, and Training are absolutely critical practices. Within those three things you enable the broadest possible range of skills and cultivation of personal qualities that support your success in ANY field. I believe this is the foundational formula to becoming the top 1% of human beings, in any any given realm. It acts as a cornerstone to building skillsets, increasing cognitive learning, and maintaining physical health and resiliency to continuously improve. And it can be be done at ANY TIME, with a minimum of cost and a maximum of gain. There are ZERO prerequisites to doing it.

Said another way, it tilts the odds of success in your favor. And you WANT to the odds to favor you. The world is ever more competitive with each passing year, and staying competitive requires judicious action. The world has many narratives, many challenges, and many opportunities.

We all occupy a world where ideas have become the most valuable form of currency, where the ability to focus is under fire in a world of noise, and where “mastery” and making sense of truth is more important than ever before.

Reading and writing are self-explanatory. Training, however, means more to Cortes than just exercise:

3. Training-People might take this to mean “exercise”, but it is not so specific as that. Training is anything of a physical nature. Walking to have time to think, playing an instrument, physical training of the body through various forms of exercise, this is something that everyone had their own version of. What was recognized was that physicality creates mentality, and that to self-actualize, you must have the physical health to support doing so. Strong body, strong mind, the two are inextricably linked. (outliers exist of course, but they do not disprove the heuristic)

Read the entire post here.

What North Korea Really Wants

Could it be that ideology is not driving North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, but rather an attempt to become a full-fledged “member of the international community”?

New York Times:

Conventional wisdom holds that the North’s weapons are intended to address the country’s two greatest problems — military inferiority and economic weakness — by deterring the United States and extracting concessions.

But in practice, the weapons make both problems worse by increasing the risk of war and ensuring continued sanctions.

So what is driving the North’s actions? Earlier assessments pegged the country as irrational or warped by its own ideology. But virtually every expert now dismisses those explanations, saying that North Korea has managed its history-defying survival too cannily to be anything but coldly rational.

North Korea envisions the United States one day concluding that it has grown too powerful to coerce and the status quo too risky to maintain, leading Washington to accept a grand bargain in which it would drop sanctions and withdraw some or all of its forces from South Korea.

Interestingly, the relationship between the world and North Korea shares a few similarities to the relationship between the world and China back in the 50s and 60s:

Mao Zedong’s China began, in the 1950s, as a pariah state, isolated and threatened by the United States. It became, in the 1960s, a rogue nuclear power. And then it rose, through the 1970s, into an accepted member of the international community, embraced even by its onetime adversary.

China ultimately won acceptance by playing the United States against the Soviet Union, not by rattling nuclear sabers. Its size and power also made it impossible for other nations to ignore it, advantages that North Korea lacks.

But North Korea’s desperation, as well as its longtime obsession with China, may have led it to see the possibility, however misguided, of achieving success by following Beijing’s script.

Richard Nixon formally visited China in 1972, and although it was a controversial move, history has shown that it signified a huge first step in the country’s relations with the world, not just the U.S.

What’s stopping us from doing the same with North Korea? Food for thought. What do you think?

Atheism Plummeting in Mother Russia

02-2806 CBN:

The number of Russians who call themselves atheists has fallen by 50 percent in only three years, according to a new poll.

The independent Levada Research Center conducted the survey in late June.

It showed that Russian atheists and those who describe themselves as “absolutely irreligious,” dropped from 26 percent in 2014 to 13 percent in 2017.

Religious believers now make up 86 percent of the Russian population and 44 percent say they are “quite religious,” but that number included Islam and eastern religions.

The poll found that the Russian Orthodox Church remains the major denomination by far in Russia, with 9 out of 10 respondents saying they view the Orthodox church with “respect and benevolence.”

74 percent of Russians view the Roman Catholic church with “respect and benevolence,” 61 percent hold a favorable view of Protestantism, followed by 59 percent for Islam and 56 percent who said they respect Judaism.

Say what you will about Putin or the Kremlin, but the Russian people are loyal to God and nation. They, along with the Poles, best represent the essence of Christendom, i.e., Western Civilization.