The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Argument to the man

Wired, being journ-o-listers, went out to refute James Damore... and not the substantive points in his essay.

It transpires that Damore, a Harvard alumnus, a couple years back had claimed on LinkedIn to have left there with a Doctorate :mumble: Philosophy (my Latin's not great). Wired contacted that establishment; the Harvardians reported that they had delivered to Damore naught but a lowly 2013 MS. I myself in mine own academic blunderings never got anywhere near this, but I am told that Harvard gives the MS as a participation-trophy to PhD candidates whose theses go splat.

And sometimes a university gives out PhDs to theses that go splat years after the fact; and when they do, those degrees are not retracted. You may or may not be surprised at some of those recipients. The insufficiently-credentialed bystander can certainly understand a temptation for the MS graduates / PhD failures to handwave - hey, I went through the PhD programme! at Harvard!!

Stolen-valour sucks, and Damore's resume-pumping should not be condoned. But we're all here to debate Damore's argument to Google.

Damore's argument argues what it argues despite whatever dirt its detractors dig concerning Damore himself. Take it from one who has also attempted Arguing Without A Licence, in my case concerning Late Antique Islam. Personally, in that capacity, I've not actually claimed to be anything more than a BA in Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations (and in various mathematicals). But there's lots other irrelevant dirt an interested party might dig up. (To pick on some dirt I actually deserve.)

So, kudos to Wired, I guess, in finding out some stuff that can serve as a warning to others. Yes, Dr Mr Damore should be less swift to inflate his C.V. However, Wired would have done more good to devote its efforts in confuting the actual argument. I take it that Wired can't do this.


posted by Zimri on 18:04 | link | 0 comments

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