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IMO: Intel Invests 300 Million. And?

Todd Wohling / January 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM / Archive

Updated Editor’s Note 11/7/2017 – In an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It’s not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor’s editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here.

 

At CES 2015, Intel dropped a $300 million bomb on the tech industry by announcing the Diversity in Technology Initiative (DTI).  According to Intel, DTI has the following goals: achieve “full representation” of women and under-represented minorities at Intel by 2020, help build a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists, support hiring and retaining more women and under-represented minorities, and fund programs to support more “positive representation within the technology and gaming industries”.  It’s a noble goal, to be sure; I, for one, applaud Intel for stepping up to the plate and telling the world they see an issue and are willing to invest the time and money to fix it.

That’s not the whole story, of course—it would make a pretty boring commentary if it was the entire story.  Intel is partnering with IGDA and Fem Freq, amongst others.  Twitter went berserk in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.  I have to admit I’m perplexed a bit as to why.  I understand the principle: The IGDA leadership is incompetent to the point of negligence, as evidenced by their total mismanagement of ggautoblocker, and Fem Freq are documented anti-capitalist, anti-consumer, anti-creative process bigots whose non-existent knowledge of technology rivals their non-existent knowledge of video games.  However, it seems I’m in the vast minority when I look at the announcement, look at the positives, and shrug my shoulders at it.  Let’s break it down.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Don’t get me wrong, a top tech company investing 300 million dollars in workplace diversity is going to shake up the tech industry.  However, there are many aspects of Intel and its partners that will still be true tomorrow, or in 2020, that were true yesterday.  Intel will still be a publicly traded company, so the success or failure of DTI will be measured by how the talent generated or retained through DTI affects Intel’s bottom line, and by extension, the stock price.  Jobs at Intel are still in the Top 1% of tech industry jobs.

Further, those jobs are going to require Top 1% of technology professional talent for Intel to create successful products and meet their business goals.  Intel isn’t going to suddenly lower its standards for new employees in the name of “accessibility”; it’s not in Intel’s best interest to do so.  The rainbow-haired, incompetent, blowhard “software engineers”, coders, designers, and not-game “developers” with Abandon all Hope, Ye Who Enter Here tattooed on her lower back aren’t suddenly going to get jobs at Intel.

The people on the outside of the tech industry looking in and looking to blame absolutely everyone but themselves for why they don’t have top 1% industry jobs will still be on the outside in 2020.  Meanwhile, Intel will continue to hire top talent, regardless of who that talent is and where that talent comes from, and create components found in more and more devices every day.

P.T. Sarkeesian and McIntosh are still charlatans with dubious knowledge of technology, gaming, or products that sell.  The best possible scenario for them is to sit in the corner while the adults are talking and quietly nod agreement when good ideas are brought forward; subsequently they can take all the credit for DTI’s success when it’s time for another round of crowdfunding.

The worst possible scenario for them is that they’re brought in to consult on products.  How long would they be allowed to baselessly assert the same variety of nonsense they spew about gaming and “toxic masculinity” on social media every day on the biggest stage in the technology sector?  How many commercial failures would they consult on before Intel sent them home?  The ~130k left over from the Tropes crowdfunding can’t turn a commercial failure into a commercial success, no matter how many advertisements The New York Times, MSNBC, Polygon, Kotaku, The Mary Sue, Salon, and Jezebel et. al. run for them.

Similar is true for IGDA.  Their negligent mismanagement of ggautoblocker showed everyone who’s paying attention that IGDA leadership doesn’t know much of anything about software design or coding.  IGDAs Board of Directors doesn’t seem to care their organization was embarrassed by publicly distributing terribly designed, barely functioning code to the public—after all, Kate Edwards still has her job as Executive Director, in spite of the autoblocker fiasco.

There’s very little IGDA can bring to the table that will help DTI achieve Intel’s goals, so organizationally IGDA is in the same boat as Fem Freq.  The best case scenario is to survive as consultants to the end of DTI, and fight with Fem Freq to take the credit for whatever successes DTI generate.

Finally, it should come as no surprise to anyone that a technology company introducing a diversity campaign at a major conference would be covered by the Ministry of Truth as a slap in the face to a consumer revolt.  News outlets incapable of journalism, including all the usual suspects, made a direct tie between the Intel announcement and a denouncement of GamerGate.  The tie is simultaneously journalistic malpractice and tryhard utopian delusion put together in one neat package of putting the narrative in front of the facts—as obvious as it is fabrication, since it was journalistic malpractice and putting narrative in front of facts that started GamerGate in earnest on August 28, and has kept GamerGate going into its fifth month.

In the real world, media outlets across the board tied the announcement to Intel trying to garner good PR in response to pulling ads from Gamasutra after Leigh Alexander’s asinine, hate fueled condemnation of the gamer identity as a part of the 2 Minutes Hate perpetrated against consumers by the gaming media.  That tie, by contrast, is less journalistic malpractice than it is laziness in research.

Last year, I addressed the idea the philosophy of inclusion as imposed by the education academic elitists over the last 20+ years on American public schools has created an environment where students coming out of college in STEM majors are not qualified for jobs in VR and Cybersecurity.  It would come as no surprise to me that Intel would be looking at the top 1% of talent coming out of places like Cal Tech, MIT, Stanford, etc. and found them lacking the skills to be on the cutting edge of technology development.

It’s far more likely Intel is making a 300 million dollar investment to lead the discussion of how to undo the damage inclusion has done to public schools in the US, particularly in STEM subjects, than Intel is investing 300 million dollars for workplace diversity because they thought they screwed up by standing up for their consumers.

So What Is DTI

DTI is going to do exactly what it says on the tin: 300 million dollars will create a pipeline of potential employees at Intel.  Intel is not going to shoot itself in the foot with this initiative, so people who come out of DTI that aren’t qualified to work at Intel aren’t going to work at Intel.  The tech industry at large will see the most benefit from DTI—“graduates” of DTI that are not qualified to work at Intel, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, or Cisco will have more than sufficient skill to work for a ton of other technology companies in virtually every sector of tech.  Hopefully, VR, Aerospace, Cybersecurity, and Defense will all benefit from Intel’s investment, and they will join Intel in creating an even bigger pipeline of candidates, regardless of gender, race, or orientation, for the tech industry.

DTI should be the beginning of the end for inclusion in STEM subjects in American public schools.  It won’t take long before public school students who are being held to mediocrity because of inclusion resent not qualifying for DTI scholarships that are going to students of private or charter schools.  The domino effect could propagate as far down as elementary school, where Gifted & Talented programs are specifically designed to cultivate a love of technology and enhance the skill sets of students to get them into DTI in the first place.  Getting rid of inclusion in STEM, if not all of public schools, is a win for everyone.

Final Thought

I have seen many calls to action to boycott Intel processors in people’s next PCs.  Obviously, what you spend your disposable income on is your business and none of mine.  If anything, I would advocate taking the long view on DTI.  Sure, IGDA and P.T. Sarkeesian are going to fight for the credit of DTI’s successes, but don’t we all know the empress has no clothes?  We all know journalism challenged news outlets are going to tout the same narrative, but don’t we know better?  Isn’t it a good thing that private industry is going to do in 5 years what education academic elitists couldn’t do in 30 years?  I’m on board with the Diversity in Technology Initiative and Intel, regardless of how incompetent their partners might be.


Todd Wohling

A long time ago on an Intellivision far, far away my gaming journey started with Lock n' Chase, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons The Cloudy Mountain, and Night Stalker. I earned both a BS-Physics and a BS-Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Today I spend most of my time on PC. I left a career of 14 years in aerospace in Colorado, so I could immigrate to Norway.



  • Nervatel

    It shouldn’t be about who the money goes to, it should be about what gets done with it.

  • logan_mac

    Imo their partnership with FemFreq is nothing more than amending their “fuck up” with the whole Gamasutra thing, they saw what the Gawker network can do calling them a bunch of misogynists or I don’t know what, throwing them a bone. Now Intel will be looked at as the saviors of tech, a PR move.

  • Aldershot

    I can not agree more. Honestly, if it works and we can get more women in the industry maybe every one will shut the hell up we all can just game once again.

    To be fair though, even with out intel or anita making a push for women in the industry, it is happening naturally any ways. With every passing year the ratio of genders get more and more equalized, and this has been trending prior to all this gender hooha. I’m sure intel and anita will fight for credit in a few years, but what ever… i don’t care. I just want the rift between gamers, a once unified and proud community to end.

  • Reptile

    Probably 2 videos by Sakasian and 3 IGDA conferences on “How to lick your own balls”.

  • Reptile

    One thing that bothers me about this “fight for equality” is that it more likely will grind the actual equality gear.
    I remember listening from a movie (I don’t recall the name), that a guy was telling that when he was young, he saw a butterfly cocoon, and the butterfly was trying to get out. He then took the cocoon and forced it open to release the butterfly, what happened? The butterfly got out of the cocoon but it did not have the strenght to fly, it died right after, so by breaking the cocoon the kid did not allowed the butterfly to gather strenght from openning the cocoon on its own, this strenght, it would use to fly on its own. No matter how I try I can’t remember the movie, I did only say this specifically this scene on TV and it was burned down on my brain. (if someone knows the movie please tell me).

    What this relate? You may have guessed or not, when you try to impose diversity you actually are being against it, sure it is a cool move to “invest 300 on equality somehow”. But how much of it will actually help? How many women (for examples sake) will still not be interested in STEM at all?

    But then, how do you make women be more interested in STEM disciplines? That’s it, you can’t make people interested in things, it is their right to choose it. There is women that still wants to be a household wife, while there is others that want to pursue a job career, and is their right to choose what they want or not. It is their wings they will have to stretch to get out of their cocoon.

  • TeLin特林

    I suppose if it helps women begin to have foundational skills in stem fields, it’ll be awesome.

    Still..giving Freq and IGDA money is just…ugh…

  • Blockchains

    Meanwhile, AMD has roughly 1 billion left in cash, and if they fail to produce a highly competitive architecture next year, they’ll likely go bankrupt thanks to Intel’s anti-competitive behavior. Diversity is all well and good if there is a diversification of employers to begin with.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    As was the case in the past everyone will assume you got in on the basis of who you are and not your qualifications. The whole thing will be a fertile ground for lawsuits from these “oppressed minorities” looking to cash out.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    I would hope GGers would universally support AMD as a result of intel’s behavior here.

  • DynastyStar

    For now, I’ve just been skeptical on the matter.

  • Reece Hardy

    The best thing that could happen for diversity in tech is for the entire SF area to slip into the sea as it is currently “uniform-ideology-central”. “Diversity” doesn’t need a hive-mind, it celebrates the differences.

  • Psichaos

    I’m getting the feeling that after Intel pulled ads from Gamasutra, FemFreq and IGDA threatened them with negative PR and using their publicity to falsely proclaim that Intel is discriminating against minorities. Companies don’t often make these huge declarations unless there was an actual threat to their PR. Unfortunately, Intel and their investors will find out the hard way that there is no appeasing these people. Their $300mil will be wasted and I’m sure the long-term investors that are paying attention are already selling some of their stocks, but we probably won’t see the effects while short-term investors are using CES hype for a quick profit.

  • John

    I have only one problem with this move, giving IGDA & FemFreq money. That’s the only thing that bothers me.

  • Cerxi

    Are you certain it was a movie? This is a pretty common morality tale

  • I only care about the technology, anything else is PR fluff

  • Misogynerd

    No matter how much money you throw at it, in my school, The psychology department will still have over 90% of women as students and the Computer Science department students will still be over 90% male because people have a choice of what they have to study.

    Don’t give me any of the: “Women aren’t in STEM because there’s no women in STEM”, it’s not an issue as simple as that. People have freedom and unless these whiny feminists take away freedom of education and jobs, there will be jobs that women will be less likely to do. Let’s also ignore the fact that more women are graduating university in certain countries than men and it’s clear they don’t want to have a STEM job.

  • Misogynerd

    It’s a similar issue to what Penn and Teller talked about, that forced diversity and sensitivity training just hurt the people it was trying to help. Since a straight white male employee couldn’t sue for as much or easily claim sexual harassment or racism as the affirmative action employees, they would just hire the necessary amount and pray they didn’t cost the company more than what they needed.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    Here’s the thing – no one is doing this to bring men into K-12 education, no one is doing this to bring men into nursing. Once you get down to it feminism and those proffering it as a solution have absolutely no interest in equality or equity. If homelessness were primarily a women’s problem it would have ceased to exist.

    Furthermore women are the majority in campuses across the nation and have untold amounts of handouts that are gender-based due to their “minority” status despite the fact women have been the majority in colleges since the 1980s.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    If an equal amount were spent to get men into non-male traditional fields I’d agree with you. That will never happen.

  • TeLin特林

    TL;DR—I agree with you.

    Yeah, you make a great point. I think the issue is the pay…”male” traditional jobs are paid more…while “female” traditional jobs aren’t as valued, education for instance.

    Not recommending communism where everyone has high wages, but certain fields do need to be valued a bit more…(not talking about plain English, psychology, “humanities” degrees either lol…but actual careers.) But how the fuck can you do that? Most states want to cut education…and most people don’t give two shits about the future. Especially if they don’t have any kids.

    I’d also like to see them EQUALLY use money to get boys AND girls interested in STEM. The US has issues filling some positions. period.

    My M-I-L is pretty feminist, though she doesn’t yell down my throat. Wish there were more “feminists” like her and my wife…but there is so much animosity, jealously, and plain hate in the air. No one wants to think about their neighbor.

    Guess that’s been the way of life since the dawn of mankind.

    Anyways…ramble ramble ramble.

  • Reptile

    What if this is a plot by Intel to make GGers support AMD so that they don’t go bankrupt? You know, competition is important to business.

  • dsadsada

    My own opinion when it comes to caring for diversity in any industry is don’t. Just let it happen. What’s most important is a person’s ability and their interest in the field. If they’re not interested then they’re not interested. And even if they are, how much can they actually help if someone else’s ability is just better.

    Scholarships aimed at women and minorities are the only things that really make sense to me. When people are out looking for jobs, they’re on their own.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    There are more than enough scholarships for women as it is. They make up over 60 percent of those in college as it is and it’s closer to 70.

    The only thing that makes sense is to put more money into inner city schools for K-12 – but that would benefit boys instead of putting them on the prison track. Since doing that would actually be beneficial no one will advocate for it. You can’t fix things at the college level after a lifetime of inequities.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    Then GG intel (pun intended).

    Not that I think that’s the case but thanks. 🙂

  • destroy_all_monsters

    Except that isn’t strictly true. Feminism has successfully conned people into thinking that but men occupy the majority of really low-paying and dangerous work. Women don’t want to do work that isn’t white collar. They don’t want to get their hands dirty. This is why the wage gap is such unmitigated nonsense. Men and women don’t work the same jobs and when they do – they get paid the same. Want flexibility and time off? You get paid less. That’s what most women want.

    When women are the majority of migrant farm workers or other backbreaking work you let me know. For those that buy into the glass ceiling (which is nonsense) there’s the actual glass cellar for men.

  • Typical

    Would be a lot better for them to just sink $300 million into their IGPs IMO.

    This actually makes me glad I’m not an Intel shareholder. Throwing away money at things that aren’t going to make you more money shows a complete lack of good decision making. Intel’s products are so ahead of the competition they could probably host weekly sacrifices of children to Cthulhu, and it wouldn’t hurt their sales all too much. Focus on products, not PR, I mean hell, AMD’s owner made a comment that “Real Men have Fabs”, INtel could have just bought some ad time showing clips of that, and called it a day.

    http://www.businessweek.com/stories/1994-04-10/real-men-have-fabs

  • Mighty No. 56008

    Excellent points and I think most of us here don’t really have issues with trying to make the industry more diverse, so I understand where this editorial is coming from.

    But as Green Sub Zero and others have shared, as noble as it sounds to try and “force” diversity, it’s not such a simple issue that you can throw money at it. Sure lack of education is a major factor, but it is only one of many.

    But for me the underlining issue with the investment was addressed by the editorial by Georgia Young: a campaign for “Diversity” also includes groups that act the exact opposite of that ideology. Like you said, they would most likely have little to no impact in the grand scheme of things so there isn’t that much to worry about. However the fact remains that their involvement does muddle the message Intel is trying to send out and also takes away funds that could’ve been better used for more deserving companies/people.