Categories
General

Response to recent Google employee’s memo..

As many people on the internet know, a few days ago a Google employee’s internal memo was leaked out.. and there has been a big fuss about it.
Not only was there so much hate on that guy, claiming that he was ‘misogynist’ and ‘male chauvinist’ but his name and picture were actually leaked by the press as well! If this wasn’t character assassination and defamation I don’t know what is.

So, I’ve actually read the memo, and while I disagree with portions of it, for the most part I agree with him. My opinion is not a popular one in the liberal majority Silicon Valley. But I can assure you there is nothing that sexist / misogynist about what he wrote. First off, people should stop using that term so frequently because it literally means someone who hates women. This memo does not come off to me as someone who hates women. The main point he was getting across is that 1. conservatives are discriminated against in the tech industry and 2. Women’s biological differences with men are the reason why there aren’t as many women in the tech industry

His first point is actually true, since Google promptly fired him after that memo leaked. As a private company they have all the right to do that, but it goes to show what happens when you have an unpopular conservative opinion in a sea of liberal opinions. Yes he had freedom of speech, but in the end if he violated Google’s code of conduct they had every right to fire him. I just don’t think it was fair since his opinion was actually quite valid.

Secondly, as an Engineer I am usually very skeptical of claims unless they are backed by science. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories like area 51 / aliens or chemtrails or 9/11 theories or moon landing hoax theories or stuff like that. I don’t believe in superstitions like Feng Shui or chinese medicine (pseudoscience) or go to tarot readers or astrologists since I don’t believe in the supernatural. I don’t believe in ghosts or monsters. I DO believe in global warming, because that’s backed up by science.
Now, while this is very hard to prove by science, it is actually common sense to everyone that men and women are not the same. Our bodies are built very differently. Our brains are wired very differently. There is a gender difference in humans just like there is in every other animal. That is quite easy to accept. So I don’t understand what is so misogynist or hard to understand that differences in the way each gender thinks is the reason why certain genders perform certain roles?? Being different is good. There’s nothing wrong with being different. If people really want a society where men and women are treated exactly the same, I would recommend those people to move to a communist society. Perfect gender equality there.

Men usually perform roles with physical labor like construction or mining, or roles that involve analytical thinking like mathematics, science or engineering. That is not to say women can’t do those roles, but definitely men have a dominant advantage in those roles. Women on the other hand, are much better at serving and caring for people. That’s why women tend to be clerks, cashiers, customer service reps, broadcasters, receptionists, nurses, etc. They are better suited for those positions than men. There is nothing misogynist or women-hating about this train of thought, this is the way that I feel after looking at other animal species and interacting with humans. Male lions don’t ask female lions to do the same task, they each have their own responsibilities. So why is it so unacceptable for humans to be the same? Even in engineer crazy India and China, there are more males than females in engineering. They have no reason to discriminate against women there (Asians are notorious for pushing that field onto all their children), yet there are still more males. Why? because men and women’s brains are different, that’s why. Its not hard to understand why. Anyone who’s been in a relationship before can tell you that women’s minds are way more emotionally complex than a man’s mind.

Because people like to be social justice warriors. They like to think that taking the stance that women are the victims of social constructs, that women can do anything men can do, and somehow that will make others think of them as better people and supporting gender equality more. Its total nonsense, just like third-wave feminism. I support equal pay for equal work and gender equality, but I do so while acknowledging that men and women have different roles in society. People are just fooling themselves, they are denying science and biology because ironically, they are the victims of the liberal social construct, the very social constructs that they fight against. Do they also believe that social constructs are the reason why men can run faster and jump higher than women can? The liberal echo chamber of the Bay Area puts pressure on people to care or think about minorities, disabled, women, etc to help anyone who’s “oppressed” historically, even if it goes against science or what they actually believe. This is unfortunate, and the firing of this man for his memo (which is personal btw it wasn’t meant to be leaked), just goes to show that if you do not reflect this liberal echo chamber, then you will be punished for it in America. Those are just my 2 cents on this issue.

tldr; I’m not a misogynist, I’m for gender equality, but I also believe men and women are biologically different and that makes them better at certain positions for each gender. This is backed by science and I support it.

Categories
Business Programming

Startup Weekend Toronto

Edit: looks like these guys are on their way! http://www.vuru.co/

I attended Startup Weekend in Toronto during the weekend. What an experience that was! Met lots of great people, there were lots of great ideas, and everyone was a fellow entrepreneur minded individual like me. Everyone pitches their idea, and then everyone gets together into different teams, with each team working on their most viable idea.

I worked with a team called Vuru, with our team leader being the co-founder Yoseph West. The idea for the application was that it contained an algorithm for choosing stocks such that a value investor wouldn’t need to pour over financial statements himself. I thought it was a pretty cool idea, being an investor myself, hence why I joined. The website was already working for the most part, and me and another developer mostly made incremental changes to the site to enhance different functionality of the UI using PHP.

In the end, our team didn’t win the competition, but we did come up with a pretty cool storyboard:

Our persona and use case
Our persona and use case
He doesn't have time to research stocks
He doesn't have time to research stocks
Vuru automates everything
Vuru automates everything
We are more cost effective than our competition
We are more cost effective than our competition
Vuru analysis application
Vuru analysis application
Portfolio performance & tracking
Portfolio performance & tracking

Overall, I enjoyed it, and look forward to working with more people next time!

Categories
Business General Music

The Tech Industry and the West Coast

The West coast mystifies me. Ever since I became interested in computer science and programming in middle school, the thought inevitably turns to the west coast and the high tech industry that it revolves around. Silicon valley in many ways represented what America was about – free thinking , innovation and entrepreneurship. Being on the East coast for 20 years, that culture to me has always seemed very far away, probably because my parents and my relatives have always been here and not there. We’ve never even visited the West coast even once. The closest I got to that culture was when our plane landed in Vancouver for a stopover flight.

But I’ve always had a longing for being part of that culture. Maybe its the extreme temperatures here or the more formal attitudes but I’ve always preferred the laid back casual and temperate climates of the West coast compared to the East coast. Vancouver and Toronto are different in so many ways. Los Angeles and New York City are also different in the same ways. The atmosphere is different. I wanted to experience the difference… but as long as I was in school I couldn’t go there. That had to wait until graduation to even consider the possibility.

Anyways, back to the West coast tech industry. Here’s a breakdown of which fortune 500 tech/ tech 100 companies are headquartered on the West coast:

Washington:
Amazon.com
Microsoft

Silicon Valley:
Oracle
Google
Netflix
Salesforce.com
Symantec
Intuit
McAfee
Autodesk
VMware
Hewlett Packard
Apple
Cisco
Intel
Sun Microsystems
eBay
Yahoo!
Electronic Arts

Southern California
Qualcomm
Western Digital

I think one thing to note here is the staggering amount of IT companies that are in Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County + San Francisco). If we include the startups + other companies that weren’t on the list but headquartered there (Nvidia, AMD, Sandisk, Adobe, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), it’s easy to see that the West Coast takes up a significant proportion of tech companies.

So what is it about the West Coast in particular that fosters such a high growth of technology and entrepreneurship? I believe Intel, Xerox and HP pioneered it with their presence and the establishment of semiconductors and microchips (Xerox PARC comes to mind with its many innovations). This in turn led to development of other companies to share in their growth. The fruits of such development are seen in the amount of video game companies that developed there and IT in general. Those companies continue to sustain growth – Washington State, California State, University of California and Stanford to name a few pump thousands of engineers and computer scientists into the region which in turn fosters more start ups and more growth.

Anyways, the point of all this is that in the East coast the infrastructure is not so developed for IT. You have a lot of formality in business attitudes, and New York and Toronto are better known for financial companies than for IT. The industry of technology has its headquarters in Vancouver, Washington and California and it makes sense for me to believe that my place and my career belong more to the sunny hills and Mediterranean climate than to the skyscrapers and extreme climates that dominate here on the East coast.

But there’s more. I’m also a musician, and many of the most well known guitar + effects + pickup manufacturers + music studios are located on the West coast (particularly in SoCal). So my connection to the West coast extends to much more than just the technology industry, it’s also the music industry as well.