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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Links - 22nd May 2019 (2)

University of Alberta academic staff consider pay bump for only women profs - "A proposed memorandum of agreement between the university and the Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta (AASUA) would give more senior female professors a 5.8 per cent base salary increase, effective the month after members ratify the agreement, and a one-time lump sum for past salary loss, according to documents obtained by Postmedia.All female professors, regardless of rank, would receive $1,500, tax free, for “damages to dignity and self-worth,” the proposal said."

Tolkien's guide to contemporary politics - "In the back story to the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien tells us that, in addition to the One Ring, 19 subsidiary ‘Rings of Power’ were created and distributed among the movers-and-shakers of Middle Earth. The recipients thought they were getting a free gift; in reality they were plugging themselves into a network under the ultimate control of the One Ring, which Sauron retained for himself.Now can you think of anything like that in our own world? A networked service whose benefits are given away for nothing and yet which amply repays the ‘generosity’ of those who control it? Doesn’t that sound like certain big tech companies one could mention? I’m not saying that Mark Zuckerberg is Sauron, just that the business model of Mordor isn’t entirely unknown in Silicon Valley... constitutions can be amended and treaties abrogated. But when they’re allowed to proliferate and entangle themselves around the life of a nation, breaking free of their binding power can only come at great cost. It is what the Greeks found out in the Eurozone crisis and what the British are finding out as we struggle through Brexit."

The Lost Civilization of Dial-Up Bulletin Board Systems - "The BBS concept was a digital version of a push-pin bulletin board that might flank a grocery store entrance or a college student union hallway... Even today, a small community of people still run and call BBSes. Many seek the digital intimacy they lost years ago; 373 BBSes still operate, according to the Telnet BBS Guide, mostly in the United States. Many are set up to be accessible via internet-connected tools like Telnet, a text-based remote-login protocol originally designed for mainframes."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Rob Young - "‘You don't think that companies should have to publish this [gender pay gap] data. Why not?’
‘Why don't think the data tells us very much, it's meaningless, in most respects. Deloitte is a good example of the majority of companies that aren't having their full story told. By these crude pay gap reporting measures. There are an infinite number of gender pay gaps that you can calculate, you can come up with a statistic for almost anything you want. The question is which ones are meaningful and which ones aren't. And these pay gap reporting measures don't break down job, age, background, experience, you are comparing the CEO of a company to the junior researcher… I'm not sure they should be publishing the data at all, because you're producing thousands upon thousands of statistics that get put into the public domain without a lot of context. But if you are going to do this, you must break down simple things like job and age and experience. And without context, we can't say whether an increase or decrease in the gender pay gap is a good thing, as we just heard from Deloitte, and with many other companies. The gender pay gap could be increasing, because you're not promoting women into senior roles. It could also be increasing because you're hiring junior level women into your company. Surely that would be a good thing but your gender pay gap wouldn't reflect it... I've heard a lot of people say well, at least it has started a conversation. I don't buy into this. We don't condone teaching children that one plus one equals three because it might spark their interest in maths. Bad data is going to lead to bad public policy. And if you want to have a good conversation about women's issues and women in the workplace, you have to start with legitimate facts and stats. I don't think these pay gap reporting measures are giving us that... I think you'd have a better shot of women getting what they actually wanted in the workplace [if you scrapped gender pay gap reporting]. Employers, you know, whole list, M power, Thomas Cook, they have said in their writeups around this, that they try to give a lot of benefits to employees and women are more likely to take them up. But that has an impact on their gender pay gap because their salary sacrificing benefits. Now that's what women and employers are saying they want. But if you only care about your pay gap stats, you're going to roll back those benefits. So I care about getting women in the workplace what they're asking for. I think that's easier to do when you don't have crude measures that tell us very very little being put into the public domain'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "‘The GDP of Brunei has shrunk for each of the last three years.’...
‘If you look at Brunei 90% of its GDP is actually based on those oil reserves. It's the fourth largest producer in Southeast Asia. Increasingly, it is depending on investment from China to improve its economic fortunes. And there is some analysis that this decision to move towards a harsher, stricter form of Islam won't be seen, particularly in a harsh light by the Chinese who have typically not bothered that much about human rights as other countries have when it comes to making investment decisions.’"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Brexit: Can a compromise be made? - "[On changing his mind despite voting Remain] I was, I still regard myself as a proud European, europhile. And I had always wanted for remain because I thought that EU was bound to reform. It had to eventually listen to these millions of voices saying no, you stuck in the late 90s mindset. We need, for example, border control. You need to compromise with the people. And it hasn't done and since the referendum, I've actually found myself strangely, more happy with the decision that they took to vote to leave, because the EU’s behavior has underlined the fact that it was never really going to change. And I was naive to think otherwise... the reason that Brexit support is still so high, still strikingly high, is that people expected politicians to behave in this way. They expected to capsize the boat and say no, you guys are in the wrong direction. Like a sort of tugging the leash of politicians saying come back here, because here we are. And just because we're from Sunderland, it doesn't mean to say we've got the hump with the polls. You're trying to correct all of these rather incorrect assumptions"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Israeli elections - "There is one thing about Israeli politics, you have to know. That ever since the founding of the State of Israel, no one party has ever got the magic 61 seats in order to govern on their own. And that was right from the beginning. They wanted the main political party to work with some of those smaller religious ones in the State of Israel"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Tuesday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "A detention is arbitrary when there are strong violations of the right to a fair trials. And they are so serious that they amount to the detention being arbitrary, basically. And we found that with respect to Mr. Ghosn case, those violations were numerous. First of all, the Japanese legal system allows very long police custody periods. 23 days and he had to face that three times because he was rearrested three times, on charges that were split up in time so that the prosecution could actually rearrest him and during this 23 days he doesn't see a judge, he cannot contest his detention. He cannot be heard by the prosecution with the presence of his lawyers. He cannot have access to the case file, he cannot meet with his family, and he's basically treated in a way that he's pressurized in order to basically weaken him so that he can make false confessions... [his wife] has been the second victim of the very brutal rearrest on Thursday morning. She has not fled, she was not under search or arrest warrant, she was not suspected on anything. So she didn't flee, she just decided to leave. It has to be recorded the conditions under which Mr. Ghosn was rearrested. 20 people came, 20 people from the prosecution's office at 5:50am on Thursday morning. He was sleeping, you know, in his little flat with his wife. They came with a lot of photographers outside, to show, to take photos, make a scene in a way that he would appear as guilty as they did the first time. She was there. She was very shocked. And she asked to take a shower and she was not allowed to take a shower without the presence of a female policeman in the bathroom, who had to hand over her towel. She was subjected to a few body searches. They took her passport, they took her computer, they took her cell phones although they have no warrant against her. They tried to interview her when her husband had left without the presence of any lawyer, to make her sign documents. Basically was extremely brutal. To be honest, she felt like she was in danger to the point that the French ambassador personally escorted her until she got on the plane to Paris to make sure she could leave"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Katie Prescott - "[On Boeing] It is unprecedented to lose two brand new aircraft within a matter of months as they they really need that reassurance. And failing that, it was the first time I have witnessed the breakdown in relationship between the manufacturer and its airline customers. The manufacturer insisted it has full confidence in the aircraft, the airline customers, were not 100% satisfied with that."

Father raped 15-year-old daughter after drunkenly mistaking her for his wife, Hong Kong court hears - "the girl directed “anger and displeasure” against the social worker who reported the case without her consent. She accused the social worker of putting her through the guilt of splitting her family of four, which also included her older brother, according to an impact report read in court."

Young men score highest on “bullshit calculator” - "Young men are more likely to be “bullshitters” compared to their female counterparts, particularly if they are American or Canadian and hail from an advantaged socio-economic background... We found that male participants were much more likely to bullshit about their knowledge of the fake constructs than their female counterparts,” says Professor Jerrim. “This holds true for respondents from all nine countries, although the gender gap is significantly weaker in North America than Europe.”... “Our study shows that bullshitters express much higher levels of self-confidence in their skills than non-bullshitters, even when they are of equal academic ability,” says Nikki Shure (UCL Institute of Education), co-author of the study. “They are also much less likely to say that they give up easily when faced with a difficult problem and claim to have particularly high levels of perseverance when faced with challenging tasks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are also more likely to believe they are popular at school.”"

Religion, Violence, And ‘Apocalpyto’ - "When you hear people condemning the Spanish conquest for what it did to the native inhabitants, think of the fact that within a decade of the Spanish conquest, human sacrifice ended. That is something to be grateful for, and indeed proud of. We do not need to believe that the conquistadores were saints — they certainly were not — to recognize this."

Free speech policies now in effect at Ontario’s colleges and universities - "Last August, after incidents on campuses across North America where speakers faced protests, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton told colleges and universities they needed to implement free-speech policies and have them in place for the New Year.In Ontario, protests — and even arrests — have followed controversial speakers such as University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson and Lindsay Shepherd, a Wilfrid Laurier graduate student and teaching assistant. "

Paul Embery on Twitter - "My timeline seems to be full of woke political activists saying, 'Why is the media giving so-and-so airtime to spout his views?' I shudder to think what these people would do if they ever won power. Pluralism, open debate and a free press would be in peril."

Half of Millennials and Generation Z want employers to prioritize diversity over ability when hiring - "Roughly half (51 percent) of Millennials (age 22-39) and Generation Z (age 18-21) said that 'fair representation of race, ethnicity and religion is paramount to creating the ideal workplace,' according to the poll of 2,002 Americans conducted by John Zogby Strategies. By comparison, 48 percent of Generation X (age 40-54) and 42 percent of Baby Boomers (age 55-74) agreed with that statement. Just 15 percent of Generation Z and 32 percent of Millennials agreed with the statement that 'merit and competition supersede all, even if that results in a workplace that creates minimal diversity.'... Among all Americans, 47 percent prioritized diversity in workplace hiring, while 37 percent said merit should matter most."
The Rise of China is inevitable

Benefits Of Open Office Not Extended To CEO - "Deeply saddened that one of their own was confined to such punishing solitude, employees of DigiMax Solutions expressed concern Friday that the benefits of the company’s open-office floor plan had not been extended to the media firm’s CEO, Carter Foss. “I feel so bad that he doesn’t get to enjoy the intense collaborative synergy of this work environment the way the rest of us do”"

Logic, Empathy, Honesty - Posts - "this article from says I'm right"
"yeah but this article from says you're wrong"
"lol that's a biased source you idiot"
Liberal logic - Poisoning the well isn't a logical fallacy when deployed for progressive causes
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