Author Topic: In the News  (Read 82128 times)

Pentagathus

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Re: In the News
« Reply #585 on: August 23, 2016, 04:21:30 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37167700
Haha jezzas an absolute madman, told him to tall utter armadillo and he actually did it!

Clockwork

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Re: In the News
« Reply #586 on: August 24, 2016, 01:44:04 PM »
Jeremy's still in the news? Still a alpaca.


You see that the union leader was saying that Virgin was 'spinning' this footage? The bear faced hypocrisy I can almost give props for....If he wasn't a alpaca as well.
Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.


Pentagathus

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Re: In the News
« Reply #587 on: August 27, 2016, 06:39:49 PM »
Yep, unfortunately his only contender for the leadership seems like a llama as well. Oh well, at least this could be good for the lib dems.

Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #588 on: May 24, 2017, 01:51:12 PM »
Horrific terror attack in Manchester, very grim :( A friend of mine lost one of their friends in the blast. Apparently the usual pattern though - attacker was British and local, and known to police; I can't help feeling we need to be talking community police/service resourcing a lot more when these things happen.
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Pentagathus

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Re: In the News
« Reply #589 on: June 04, 2018, 08:01:28 PM »

This is old news, but not to me and probably not to most of you.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-30/bilnd-recruitment-trial-to-improve-gender-equality-failing-study/8664888
https://www.smh.com.au/public-service/public-servants-more-likely-to-hire-women-shock-study-results-20170630-gx1pqg.html
Those are two sources on the same story.
Basically the Aussie government (and some private companies apparently) have trialled a policy to reduce discrimination in the hiring process by removing the names on cvs (and presumably any other reference to gender or ethnicity). This practice seems perfectly reasonable to me, if descrimination was there then this should cut down on it and if it's not then it shouldn't have any effect. So it should emphasise the effects of individual merits.
After already trialling this they decided to actually put it to the test, only to find that instead of having the expected effect (increasing the success of women and ethnic minorities) it actually had the opposite. So it seems to be showing discrimination against men and whites in this case. In itself I didn't find that highly remarkable (it was a small effect anyway), but the attitude of the researchers was rather telling. Instead of admitting that there is actually evidence for reverse discrimination here, they advocate to stop using this method and focus on different ways to increase diversity. Interesting.
Also, these researchers (and both these articles) claim that there is a discrimination against women when it comes to promotion to top positions, on the basis that around 60% of this workforce is female whilst only about 50% of those in executive and management positions are female. However this completely ignores that fact that the majority of the full time workforce is male, and strangely enough it is full time employees who are usually more likely to be promoted in pretty much every industry that I can think of.

Tl;dr
Get woke bitches. Or red pilled. I'm not very familiar with these phrases so I don't know which is more suitable.

comrade_general

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Re: In the News
« Reply #590 on: June 04, 2018, 08:27:31 PM »
I'm offended.
I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #591 on: June 04, 2018, 08:50:41 PM »
My personal experience of the term "red pilled" around the web is, in genuine honesty, that it is primarily used by bigots who are upset nobody will have sex with them to signal this fact to other bigots, so I'd rather not 'get' that...

Regarding the actual study: I think the two things go together - what the evidence tends to show is that bias for job hiring tends to go with perceptions in a particular workforce. In other words, if you're hiring a large number of people in jobs traditionally treated as "feminine" - social work, secretarial work, nursing, e.g. a lot of classic lower pay grade public sector roles - a minimal bias or a small bias towards female applicants isn't necessarily at all surprising or inconsistent with a general picture where the majority of classically male-presented jobs (which tend to have higher pay) see some bias towards male recruitment. Of course it's true that you'll also occasionally get recruiters biased in other directions; I'd generally argue that blind CVs are a good idea for precisely that reason, though I think there is a counter-argument that people from some social groups tend to have CVs that undersell their ability (for example, some parts of the US still have pretty heavy and well recorded ethnic segregation in housing and school quality). The evidence is I think pretty strong that blind CVs have been good for ethnic minorities elsewhere especially (with perhaps a less clear picture as to their effect on hiring women), which makes this case an interesting datapoint but I think one that needs to be in that context.

I think the APS is quite an unusual case to take in this place, anyway, and one from which you can't generalise - 49% women in management roles is very high compared to most private companies. In the US as a whole, for example, women make up just 23% of senior positions, despite accounting for 46% of the labour force - that's a much larger gap than you can account for by the full time/part time gap. The figures are basically the same for the UK. You might be interested in a meta-analysis of over 130 similar studies that was published in 2014, from the University of Minnesota - abstract notes as follows:
Quote
Our findings revealed that men were preferred for male-dominated jobs (i.e., gender-role congruity bias), whereas no strong preference for either gender was found for female-dominated or integrated jobs. Second, male raters exhibited greater gender-role congruity bias than did female raters for male-dominated jobs. Third, gender-role congruity bias did not consistently decrease when decision makers were provided with additional information about those they were rating, but gender-role congruity bias was reduced when information clearly indicated high competence of those being evaluated. Fourth, gender-role congruity bias did not differ between decisions that required comparisons among ratees and decisions made about individual ratees. Fifth, decision makers who were motivated to make careful decisions tended to exhibit less gender-role congruity bias for male-dominated jobs. Finally, for male-dominated jobs, experienced professionals showed smaller gender-role congruity bias than did undergraduates or working adults.
Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262682077_A_Meta-Analysis_of_Gender_Stereotypes_and_Bias_in_Experimental_Simulations_of_Employment_Decision_Making

I think the evidence is clear, on the basis of studies like that, that for a significant number of jobs there is still some discrimination level against women within the hiring process - some sectors are much more integrated or already women-dominated and those will tend to have a rather different picture, which I guess highlights the need for studies of this and attempts to deal with it to be more specific to role types or based on measures like blind CVs that reduce human interactions with our own biases.
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Pentagathus

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Re: In the News
« Reply #592 on: June 05, 2018, 07:56:35 PM »
I've never seen red pilled used in that context, I believe it's meant to be a matrix reference. And it was of course ironic in this case.
Anywho, as I said I don't find the actual findings of this trial particularly noteworthy (although actually the affect on certain ethnicities was actually significant but I don't know how much to read into that) but rather the reaction to it. Ignoring this as evidence of a lack of bias or even minor "reverse" bias is pretty lame, and the idea of not using this because gender or ethnic diversity is somehow more important than competency is pure retarded. I'm pretty surprised that the Aus government is apparently so invested in diversity/equity considering Turnbulls migration policies. Thought his government would be fairly right wing (and I thought the same of Aussies in general tbh).

I don't know when I'll get time to read that study but I shall try to do so soonish.

comrade_general

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Re: In the News
« Reply #593 on: June 05, 2018, 08:13:15 PM »
Yes, red pill = matrix.

and the idea of not using this because gender or ethnic diversity is somehow more important than competency is pure retarded.
This.
I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #594 on: June 05, 2018, 10:55:54 PM »
Yeah, I obviously know the red pill is a matrix reference - but yeah, you might want to be aware that it's also used by some quite extreme fringe groups nowadays, who use the term "redpill" to mean "waking up" from the matrix of normal society into a world which fits their ideology better, often a very extreme version of a "we should go back to a world where men are dominant and decide everything" ideal, though also I believe the term's been picked up by some nazi-fringe types now. I'm glad it's not something you've come across in that context; I have quite a bit and some of the people I've ended up arguing with as a result were... not fun, let's say. Sorry if it sounded like I was being terse about it, it's just there's some rather grim stuff out there and there are some bad associations that term is getting nowadays because of the asshole fringe types :/

I think that in general it's true that gender and ethnicity blind recruitment makes most sense (for jobs where that makes sense - obviously some jobs are more headhunting-style, and there I guess counter-bias training for recruiters might be more useful). In terms of the diversity and competency thing, obviously competency is key in hiring - however, I think there are occasionally some valid arguments (if not ones I always agree with myself) that can be made on those grounds for positive discrimination in certain types of work. I believe there's reasonable evidence that working groups with more demographic diversity tend to have improved average problem-solving skills, for example, so it may be the case, especially in a field where different perspectives are useful, that it's not irrational to put together a more diverse team. I think there's also an argument that there are jobs where it makes sense for the people doing certain types of work to reflect the communities they work in. Policing and social work, for example, rely on people being able to make on-the-ground links in local communities, and having teams that are very unreflective of their area can make it harder for some of those agencies to have an impact.

Finally, there's the glass ceiling argument; that it's worth having positive discrimination in work areas that are traditionally monocultural, because this weakens the perception of those groups as being for that gender/ethnicity/etc (and it's the perception that seems to be behind hiring bias) - in terms of competence, I think it's clearly true that in cases where a certain ethnic or gender category is put off going for certain jobs or has an inbuilt hiring bias for them, those roles/companies/etc may then be missing out on competent people as a result of their gender, so I can see the logic behind trying to redress that balance. Of course when and where these arguments make sense to apply is pretty specific, and it's true that often too blunt an approach is taken to these sorts of things, especially by companies or departments that want to look like they're doing the right thing more than they want to focus on where they have recruitment strategy issues and how to resolve them. It's not as simplistic as "people putting diversity ahead of competence", though, there are some actually complex/nuanced issues to look at with this.

Finally re Turnbull's government - I think you might find that the government of the day has comparatively little influence in overall public sector hiring practices? I dunno exactly what the scope of that was, but if that's the whole Aus public services, then it might well include a lot of areas devolved to local administration, and departments where the ministers are focussing on policy and don't have a departmental running strategy, etc. Aus is probably more like the UK in that sense, these would be areas dealt with by senior civil servants (whereas in the US the decisions tend to be more appointees of Governors/Presidents).
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comrade_general

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Re: In the News
« Reply #595 on: June 05, 2018, 11:11:31 PM »
I just don't think it's right either way, to hire or not hire based on anything other than a person's professional qualifications.
I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #596 on: June 05, 2018, 11:55:19 PM »
That's a fair enough position, and I think demographic-blind recruitment is usually a good strategy for ensuring that happens. :)

I think all I was trying to frame with the above post is that often the arguments for positive discrimination in job hiring are just presented as being some sort of strange ideological obsession - whereas there are a number of practical and evidence-based reasons behind the idea as well, and I think it's worth bearing that in mind if only so you know what it is you're disagreeing with and why people think that. I guess my own view is that explicitly quota-ing for jobs or whatever can really easily have bad effects or backfire or feel tokenistic and so that's usually not something I'm comfortable with, but it's an area where I'm willing to hear out those arguments in any specific case. And it is more complex in some jobs (certainly it is in my field) than simply a mechanistic qualifications/experience game, because e.g. team dynamics in some jobs are really important, so good training for recruiters on how to deal with demographic issues and teamwork stuff with recruits (because the evidence suggests that most people start off with some perception-skews) is helpful I suspect.



Meanwhile, this bullarmadillo really annoys me: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-44377072

Labour claiming they want "full access" to the EU single market without actually obeying the rules of the market, because the EU would totally agree to that (they wouldn't), and then claiming this makes their Brexit idea better than the Conservatives, because what the Conservatives want is... maximum access to the EU single market without actually obeying the rules of the market. Labour's position is literally the same as that of their opponents, but with a different spin put on it. Meanwhile they're going to abstain on a vote on EEA membership, which would actually make a difference. Like, if Labour want to back the government's position on this, that's their call, I just wish they'd be honest about it and put forward actual rational proposals for how to build a trading network for Britain outside the EU, rather than claiming that their magic rocket ship to fairyland is better than Theresa May's magic rocket ship to fairyland.
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comrade_general

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Re: In the News
« Reply #597 on: June 06, 2018, 12:07:10 AM »
In turn I also think it should be legal. :o
I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #598 on: July 15, 2018, 08:38:39 PM »
One small bit of good news - Ethiopia & Eritrea are normalising and warming relations after many years, which is probably pretty good news for east Africa.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44824676
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Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #599 on: August 23, 2018, 09:37:39 AM »
Volkswagen may have accidentally caused a drought in Mexico by installing giant shockwave cannons around one of its manufacturing plants. Although it's also unclear whether the said cannons work or not...

https://www.ft.com/content/3b377aa8-a64d-11e8-8ecf-a7ae1beff35b
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