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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Links - 21st January 2014

Pro-Trayvon Martin protester: You need to 'check your white privilege’ daiily' - ""I want to say something to you white people. It is not enough to feel bad, it’s not enough to not be a bigot. Because if you are not actively dismantling white supremacy and checking your privilege every single day and thinking about racism the way that our young black men in our community have to think about it, you are not doing it right"... On Nov. 6, 2012, following word of the re-election of Barack Obama as president, a number of people of color took to Twitter to celebrate their candidate’s victory by tweeting “F**k white people.”"

The Dead End of "Disparate Impact" - ""The purpose of the rule, according to the Court, is not to enact affirmative-action or group quotas for employment, but simply to eliminate arbitrary disadvantages suffered by minority job-seekers. Despite this assertion, the development of the Griggs doctrine has proved anything but friendly to meritocratic objectives. Although the Supreme Court has never held that all workplaces must be racially balanced, lower courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is charged with administering Title VII, have firmly embraced the presumption that the racial profiles of particular workplaces should reflect the racial composition of the broader population... The unfortunate reality is that there today exist pronounced differences in worker qualifications by race. That pattern is rooted in historical and social circumstances that may well call for policy reforms and other remedies. But the Court's disparate-impact doctrine does nothing to change those circumstances or to bring about such reforms; indeed, it stands only to further disadvantage minority groups by setting their members up to underperform and by draining attention and resources away from the true causes of minority under-representation. Moreover, by burdening employers with an arcane tangle of perverse requirements — and by making it virtually impossible for companies to match the most qualified candidates to available jobs — the disparate-impact rule clearly does more harm than good... A strong consensus has emerged, based on hundreds of studies performed over decades, that general cognitive ability — known alternatively as IQ or g — is the best predictor of work performance for all types of positions, from least to most skilled... The process of demonstrating a link between hiring criteria and subsequent work outcomes is known in IOP as "validation." And the measured validity of g is in the range of approximately 0.5 to 0.6 (on a scale that runs from -1 for a total negative correlation to 1 for a complete positive correlation), which represents a relatively powerful social-scientific prediction... These observations spell trouble for employers' ability to maximize work-force productivity while meeting legal expectations for diversity... The screening devices with the strongest or most "valid" links to job success will tend to generate the least diverse work forces. This reality is well understood by industrial psychologists, who even have a name for it: the diversity-validity tradeoff... it is safe to say that cognitive ability better predicts on-the-job performance than does any personality trait or talent that IOP experts have yet identified. Conscientiousness — the personality trait with the strongest documented link to job success — shows a correlation with job performance in the range of about 0.2 to 0.4, in contrast with the significantly higher correlation of 0.5 or more for IQ. Contrary to the Supreme Court's assumption in Griggs, the comparative power of IQ extends even to relatively uncomplicated positions requiring modest skills, such as clerical or retail work. What this means is that hiring on the basis of intelligence — as opposed to other, non-cognitive personal attributes or talents — will almost always produce better-performing workers... An entire cottage industry is now devoted to refining personnel selection with the goal of increasing work-force diversity without compromising an employer's search for the most able employees... without significant changes in the distribution of human capital — which is where our attention should really be focused — the law will accomplish very little... The law was never intended to correct underlying disparities in human skill and capital, which employers are not in a position to address. It was instead premised on the implicit assumption that such race-based disparities do not exist. But that assumption was mistaken; these disparities are a fact of life. To make them disappear through hiring practices is to require affirmative action. And if affirmative action is the objective, it should be enacted explicitly and directly — not accomplished through subterfuge using a legal device that was never intended for that purpose... Ironically, the dissenting Supreme Court justices who voted to invalidate the firefighters' exam in Ricci v. DeStefano routinely hire law clerks with perfect grades, top class ranks, and law-review board positions. The racially disparate effects of those formidable hurdles are accepted without question"

'Tan tax' discussions include allegations of reverse racism - "The case can seem deceptively simple: Since patrons of tanning salons are almost exclusively white, the tax will be almost entirely paid by white people and, therefore, violates their constitutional right to equal protection under the law... courts have upheld a raft of other laws that also happen to have a disproportionate impact on particular gro/i>ups. For example, laws that impose higher penalties for possession or trafficking of crack cocaine as opposed to powder cocaine resulted in far harsher sentences for African Americans compared to whites. And laws that offer preferential treatment for veterans are much more likely to benefit men than women. But in both cases judges ruled that, because lawmakers did not intend to disadvantage black people or women when drafting those laws, they are legal"
Disparate impact!

capricornicis: mothernatureisamisogynist: ... - "The blurred lines thing everybody is arguing about isn’t about consent cause clearly she is initiating stuff with him and he’s giving her the go ahead. Any logical person could see that the blurred lines being spoken of is between her wanting him and wanting to stay faithful and not give in to her desires. Which she shouldn’t since she’s in a relationship and the singer is a scumbag for this... Even the rhyming is horrible hug me and implied fuck me don’t rhyme. You guys made this popular. I hope you’re happy... Nothing in this song is about rape. It’s a song about a guy trying to get a woman to cheat on her boyfriend with him, bragging about how big his dick is and how good at sex he is. You’re ability to misinterpret basic lyrics have caused a shitty song with stupid repetitive lyrics and idiotic rhymes to become far more popular than it ever would have been. And now you are attempting to interrupt a man’s career under false pretense...
Fuck look at this lyric from Rick Ross in the song “U.O.E.N.O.”
“You dont even know it
put molly all in her champagne, She dont even know it
I took her home and I enjoy that, She aint even know it”
This is literally a verse about about putting Molly (a drug) in a girls drink and raping her without her knowledge or consent. It’s there clear as day, but no it’s Blurred Lines that is getting all these reblogs and Robin Thicke who gets all the hate. It pisses me off cause there is a lot of shit out there that needs to be called out but because of tumblr’s herd mentality, all it takes is one asshole to misinterpret something and a snowball turns into an avalanche of righteous energy that ends up being aimed at the wrong target."

PLOS ONE: Group Membership Affects Spontaneous Mental Representation: Failure to Represent the Out-Group in a Joint Action Task - "Group membership has well-documented and striking effects on human social behaviour. From the quotidian to the more rare, the range of effects of group membership on behaviour is vast... In experimental settings, even membership in artificially formed groups of strangers based on arbitrary categories can have a profound impact on behaviour. In a classic study, Tajfel and colleagues experimentally formed such ‘minimal’ groups based on an arbitrary and randomly assigned criterion (supposed ability to estimate the numbers of dots presented on a screen) and showed that participants preferentially rewarded members of their own group and punished members of the ‘out-group’. Although these minimal groups were in fact formed randomly, participants’ rewarding and punishing behaviour was nevertheless significantly affected by the perceived group membership of others. In a more socially relevant setting, people were more likely to help an injured in-group member in need of physical assistance while ignoring out-group members in the same state
People naturally discriminate against members of other groups - racism, sexism, homophobia etc are just specific cases of in-group/out-group bias

THE CONTENT OF OUR CATEGORIES: A COGNITIVE BIAS APPROACH TO DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY - "She suggests that a large number of biased employment decisions result not from discriminatory motivation, as current legal models presume, but from a variety of unintentional categorization- related judgment errors characterizing normal human cognitive functioning. Because of the lack of fit between the present disparate treatment model and the phenomenon it purports to represent, courts and litigants are presented with a confusing array of increasingly ill-defined and questionably premised analytical paradigms. Worse, as currently constructed, it may be exacerbating intergroup tensions and inflating both social and financial adjudication costs"

Social categorization and intergroup behaviour - Tajfel - 2006 - European Journal of Social Psychology - Wiley Online Library - "In the first series of experiments, it was found that the subjects favoured their own group in the distribution of real rewards and penalities in a situation in which nothing but the variable of fairly irrelevant classification distinguished between the ingroup and the outgroup. In the second series of experiments it was found that: 1) maximum joint profit independent of group membership did not affect significantly the manner in which the subjects divided real pecuniary rewards; 2) maximum profit for own group did affect the distribution of rewards; 3) the clearest effect on the distribution of rewards was due to the subjects' attempt to achieve a maximum difference between the ingroup and the outgroup even at the price of sacrificing other ‘objective’ advantages."

Timofei Gerber's answer to Philosophy: What does the quote "we have art in order not to die of the truth" by Friedrich Nietzsche mean? - Quora - "The ugly truth is that we come from nothing and we return to nothing after death. Nobody chooses to be born (that's out of reach), but once you are, you cannot choose not to die (that's out of reach, too). Never having been born would release us of the tragedy of dying - and hence it's the best alternative. The second best alternative is to die soon, so one does not have to endure the painful realisation of having to return to nothingness. "But what about life? Isn't life beautiful?" You will say. And that's the point. Nietzsche ascribes that realisation to the Greeks, who, he said, invented the Gods of the Olympus to aestheticise the world. To cover the ugly truth with a blanket of beauty. The existence of the Gods, their intrigues, fights, this whole 'theater of divinity' makes human existence more meaningful. Making life beautiful to compensate for the ugliness of death. A fascinating wager."

Summers Vindicated (again) - "For the past week or so the newspapers have been trumpeting a new study showing no difference in average math ability between males and females. Few people who have looked at the data thought that there were big differences in average ability but many media reports also said that the study showed no differences in high ability... All of these reports and many more like them are false. In fact, consistent with many earlier studies (JSTOR), what this study found was that the ratio of male to female variance in ability was positive and significant, in other words we can expect that there will be more math geniuses and more dullards, among males than among females... even by the authors' calculations you would expect twice as many men as women in engineering PhD programs due to math-ability differences alone (compare with the media reports above). But what the author's don't tell you is that the gender ratio will get larger the higher the percentile. Larry Summers in his infamous talk, was explicit about this point... As Summers also pointed out it takes more than ability to become a professor at Harvard and if there are variance differences in characteristics other than ability (and there are) we can easily get a even larger expected gender ratio... perhaps alone among the media, Keith Winstein at the WSJ reported the story correctly."
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