Author Topic: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled  (Read 4306 times)

yossarian22c

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #150 on: June 04, 2018, 11:58:43 PM »
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While I think comparing it to the Borg is a bit alarmist. I don’t disagree


I didn’t’ intend the observation be to alarmist though it does beg the question of what is the tipping point on when we ought to be concerned and raise an alarm.
I’m struck at how people are becoming more and more dependent on their smart phones as their memory, and of course memory is a trickster.   I wonder what the impact on becoming dependent on such technology will have on intelligence. Not saying it will be bad or good, probably both... it will be different in though

I view it less like the Borg and more like an auto-immune disease. Racists and discrimination are a major disease for society but facebook and the media giving so much attention tricks our brains into believing these incidents are much much more frequent than they actually are. Serious people feeling like they are making honest statements talk about how black men are gunned down in the streets by police everyday1.  I've heard commentators on shows lamenting the fact that they had to talk with their sons about the dangers of police interactions. The risk of being shot by the police while not committing any crime is probably 100's or 1,000s (10,000s?) of times less likely than a drug OD or car fatality.

Being exposed to every suspect police shooting, large numbers of examples of racism (and perceived racism) through the media and social media gives people on both sides (racists and activists) the impression that racism is more prevalent and virulent than it actually is. This in my opinion leads to activists reacting too strongly to many statements (for example when political disagreement/opposition of Obama implies racist) and actual racists feeling more emboldened b/c they feel like they are part of a much larger group.


1. I would support legislation that would require all police shootings to be reported to the FBI and either investigated by the FBI or the states BI. Better statistics here would help identify real issues and provide better context to the actual risk. Outside agencies investigation removes any smell of cronyism.

Greg Davidson

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #151 on: June 07, 2018, 10:30:25 AM »
Consider the Dixie Chicks in regard to these two comments below, lead singer Natalie Maines said a week or two before the invasion of Iraq in 2003  "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas".  And for that they were blacklisted by broadcasting networks for the rest of the Bush term in office. For the imaginary crime of criticizing the President on foreign soil, a crime that went down the memory hole as soon as a Democrat became President.


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I wish there was a list of people who got fired for thought crimes or unacceptable speech, but I don't have one.  Not sure if it began with Spacey or Damore or goes further back, and when things started heating up.  The first one I remember on the forum is the firing of Brendan Eich.  Paula Deen lost her job in 2013 I think.  That's just celebrity/CEO firings.

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The "issue" here, as the more socially conservative side of the nation can fully attest to, is this scenario is NOT reciprocal. If you hold a socially conservative/more traditionalist point of view, and express it publicly, the current social milieu is such that if you're not careful, you could lose your job, and see your career be seriously damaged by it. "And deserve what you get" when it happens to you.

But if you hold a more socially "liberal" or progressive positions, without regard to how "socially acceptable" those positions/attitudes may be where you are,  and an employer attempts "to cut ties" with you because of your public positions. THAT's protected, and suddenly some sacred cow is under attack and the employer is now under threat of boycotts, multi-million dollar crowd-funded lawsuits, and so forth.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #152 on: June 07, 2018, 11:08:18 AM »
Greg, that's a good way to look at the reciprocal case. It's not quite equivalent, mind you, owing to what I believe to be the relationship between the MSM and the government. If the White House had it in for someone, for example, I could see this trickling down to major networks blacklisting the person even if they personally hadn't been offended. The media is rarely at arm's length from government. Contrast with someone working in a company which I doubt the government had any contact with, and the move to oust them coming from portions of the general public.

Which raises an important issue, which is that there are many rights guaranteed in the constitution that are about the government being forbidden to infringe on those rights. But the protection of the people from the government doesn't necessarily protect them at all from having those same rights threatened by their fellow man. The government isn't allowed to punish you for exercising speech, but others can, which brings us to part of the issue here. What if the worst tyrant ends up being other people rather than the evil government?

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #153 on: June 07, 2018, 11:22:38 AM »
We do see conservatives right now threatening to boycott Netflix just because Obama made a deal with them, and they haven't even said anything yet. We've seen the NFL walk their tightrope while conservatives wildly crow about how they are boycotting and delighting in declining ratings. Conservatives smashed their own coffee machines over pulling advertising. They boycotted starbucks and attacked them because of the absence of Christmas on the cups.

If that's not attempted punishment for political views, I'm not sure what else to call it.

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The risk of being shot by the police while not committing any crime is probably 100's or 1,000s (10,000s?) of times less likely than a drug OD or car fatality.

And the risk of being tased by the police? Roughed up by the police? Threatened by the police? Hassled by the police?

This issue is much more broad than that, like throwing people on the ground for talking back at a pool party that got too loud. And I don't have a hard time believing that those incidents are representative of pervasive issues - some racial and some general excessive force.

TheDeamon

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #154 on: June 12, 2018, 01:04:36 PM »
Consider the Dixie Chicks in regard to these two comments below, lead singer Natalie Maines said a week or two before the invasion of Iraq in 2003  "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas".  And for that they were blacklisted by broadcasting networks for the rest of the Bush term in office. For the imaginary crime of criticizing the President on foreign soil, a crime that went down the memory hole as soon as a Democrat became President.

The Dixie Chicks were a special case. They weren't the only A-list or even B-list celebrities who came out strongly opposed to the Invasion of Iraq in 2003. Johnny Depp also comes to mind as well, and he clearly didn't suffer for it.

What "screwed" the Dixie Chicks was that they were a Country-music group, and the primary demographic of Country Music listeners are people in rural "Red"(Conservative) America. So their coming out against the Iraq War, something which was widely supported by Conservatives and Rural America, was putting them in direct opposition to their own fan base.

Their fans took exception to it, and the rest is, as you say, is history. They pissed on their own customer base, and they reaped the whirlwind for it.

Johnny Depp, as a counter point, was not and is not a Country music performer, his primary market demographic isn't Rural America, and as such he largely dodged that same pitfall.

Greg Davidson

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #155 on: June 13, 2018, 12:36:56 AM »
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Their fans took exception to it, and the rest is, as you say, is history. They pissed on their own customer base, and they reaped the whirlwind for it.

That might be a plausible explanation if the impact had been just based on diminished sales. Instead, they were blacklisted - the large companies controlling airtime on country radio refused to play their music. And they did not piss on their fan base, Natalie Maines simply pointed out what most of the country later realized, President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq was embarrassingly wrong.

Gaoics79

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #156 on: June 13, 2018, 07:00:29 AM »
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That might be a plausible explanation if the impact had been just based on diminished sales. Instead, they were blacklisted - the large companies controlling airtime on country radio refused to play their music. And they did not piss on their fan base, Natalie Maines simply pointed out what most of the country later realized, President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq was embarrassingly wrong.

Did the stations use anticipated fan backlash as a pretext to punish a group for their political beliefs, or was there a legitimate commercial concern? I suspect probably a bit of both. I would suspect the people calling the shots were both politically invested in a certain viewpoint AND offended as fans themselves.

I think they probably would have faced a backlash that translated into weaker sales in some quarters, but whether or not that would have been enough to really put a dent in their bottom line, who knows?

Consumer boycotts are almost mythical, in the sense that everybody talks about them, and many fear them, but it isn't clear that they actually happen. True consumer boycotts are rarer than unicorns.

Thanks to social media, never before in history have we witnessed so many threatened boycotts.

Personally, I'm not worried about celebrities like the Dixie Chicks or Roseanne. It's this idea that some social media outrage, however fleeting, should be automatic justification for firing and blackballing people. This may largely impact celebrities at present, but it's increasingly clear that the phenomenon will spread to rank and file workers in due course. That's the thing that scares me.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 07:04:01 AM by jasonr »

D.W.

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #157 on: June 13, 2018, 08:43:41 AM »
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but it's increasingly clear that the phenomenon will spread to rank and file workers in due course.
Why do you think this is the case / will be the case?

The only outlier in this vein that comes to mind for me was the google employee who got fired for his views on women in the tech field.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #158 on: June 13, 2018, 09:39:43 AM »
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but it's increasingly clear that the phenomenon will spread to rank and file workers in due course.
Why do you think this is the case / will be the case?

The only outlier in this vein that comes to mind for me was the google employee who got fired for his views on women in the tech field.

The issue isn't only about being fired, but about feeling like you have to refrain from discussing personal views in an office setting for fear that you'll be fired for them. Roseanne's comment is probably inapplicable in what I'm saying because she was fired not for a viewpoint per se but for apparently racist language. But the guy at Google was completely an issue of having Wrong Opinions.

D.W.

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #159 on: June 13, 2018, 09:54:37 AM »
Sorry if that was unclear, but my question is rather why do you believe this will spread to rank and file workers?

Are you suggesting a rogue tweet, even one more widely agreed to be offensive, would get a bank teller fired?  Maybe an assistant manager at Walmart?  A waitress at a local restaurant? 

So far (in my opinion anyhow) this phenomena is specific to high profile people.  Those with some combination or balance of influence and money.  And, more often than not, those who derive that influence and money through raw popularity/public interest.  People who, to use language from earlier in this discussion, are hard to separate from the "brand" of their job.

So why do you feel that this "trend" is likely to spread to rank and file workers?  Gut feeling?  Anecdotal evidence you've experienced first hand?  I'm curious as I think we need another social media shift (not saying it can't happen) before I would ever find myself in a position to even know (let alone care) about what my waitress or cashier or auto mechanic tweeted or posted about.

I can see some "SJW" employer looking up perspective employees and maybe (bit more of a stretch) continuing to monitor their employee's online behavior; then using "at will employment" laws to bounce people who didn't meet their standards...  But that strikes me as the "nut-job one off" type situation than any looming trend.

TheDeamon

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #160 on: June 13, 2018, 11:27:38 AM »
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Their fans took exception to it, and the rest is, as you say, is history. They pissed on their own customer base, and they reaped the whirlwind for it.

That might be a plausible explanation if the impact had been just based on diminished sales. Instead, they were blacklisted - the large companies controlling airtime on country radio refused to play their music. And they did not piss on their fan base, Natalie Maines simply pointed out what most of the country later realized, President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq was embarrassingly wrong.

IIRC, her full comment was (taken as being) along the lines of her also "being ashamed of anyone who voted for Bush" --Which would be a direct shot at much of her fan base.

Did the stations use anticipated fan backlash as a pretext to punish a group for their political beliefs, or was there a legitimate commercial concern? I suspect probably a bit of both. I would suspect the people calling the shots were both politically invested in a certain viewpoint AND offended as fans themselves.

I think they probably would have faced a backlash that translated into weaker sales in some quarters, but whether or not that would have been enough to really put a dent in their bottom line, who knows?

Consumer boycotts are almost mythical, in the sense that everybody talks about them, and many fear them, but it isn't clear that they actually happen. True consumer boycotts are rarer than unicorns.

Their being blacklisted by the radio stations(loss of residuals) was more likely to be a response to a feared, or actual, advertiser boycott. (Rural) Country music stations are going to be looking at making advertising sales from customers within their broadcast market, which presumably means a "local" business owner of some flavor. Their ears are a bit closer to the ground than most, so any of them hearing a lot of outrage regarding the Dixie Chicks specifically may start placing stipulations/requests for their ads to not be aired anywhere close(time wise) to a Dixie Chicks song for example.

On a more meta-level, you also have the matter of Clear Channel Communications and company, who have been held to hold "a clear conservative bias" who also happen to own a LOT of country music radio stations, who also probably "put a hand in" from a much higher level in the corporate ladder.

Pair that with an angry fan base who declare their intention to buy no more Dixie Chick media, and it makes for a rather disruptive combination for that music group.

TheDeamon

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #161 on: June 13, 2018, 11:35:07 AM »
Sorry if that was unclear, but my question is rather why do you believe this will spread to rank and file workers?

Are you suggesting a rogue tweet, even one more widely agreed to be offensive, would get a bank teller fired?  Maybe an assistant manager at Walmart?  A waitress at a local restaurant?

Yes. Bank teller and local restaurant waitress getting fired because of potential "issues" like the recent Starbucks incident in Philly.

The Walmart Assistant Manager because letting that manager remain isn't just leaving the door open to boycotts, as laughable as those may be, but actual discrimination lawsuits because he or she is serving in a Management capacity.

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So why do you feel that this "trend" is likely to spread to rank and file workers?  Gut feeling?  Anecdotal evidence you've experienced first hand?  I'm curious as I think we need another social media shift (not saying it can't happen) before I would ever find myself in a position to even know (let alone care) about what my waitress or cashier or auto mechanic tweeted or posted about.

Odds of finding out are a different matter from what your range of options are once you know they did so.

In many cases, it probably isn't even the boycott threats that results in people getting terminated. It is the legal advice from the company's lawyers which says to dump them before they become more of a legal liability than they've already made themselves. (For example, that Wal-Mart assistant manager, if they've previously given negative performance reviews, or been party to the termination of employment, of a minority group member)

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I can see some "SJW" employer looking up perspective employees and maybe (bit more of a stretch) continuing to monitor their employee's online behavior; then using "at will employment" laws to bounce people who didn't meet their standards...  But that strikes me as the "nut-job one off" type situation than any looming trend.

See above, I can see non-"SJW" types dumping people who make really poorly phrased "written" statements which could in turn be used against them in a court of law should they continue their associations after having been made aware of them.

TheDeamon

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #162 on: June 13, 2018, 11:42:41 AM »
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but it's increasingly clear that the phenomenon will spread to rank and file workers in due course.
Why do you think this is the case / will be the case?

The only outlier in this vein that comes to mind for me was the google employee who got fired for his views on women in the tech field.

He's the most recent one. There are older reports out there, mostly in regards to feminists taking exceptions to off-handed comments (at conferences no less; by people they have no employment-type relationship with) or other such things made in other venues, bringing them to attention on social media, having the offending party identified, and subsequently run out of their jobs. This was stuff that was starting to happen even before Bush left office, or the creation of the "Social Justice Warrior" meme.

D.W.

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #163 on: June 13, 2018, 11:49:57 AM »
Thanks for the answers.  I'll admit that a lot of these things don't hit my radar the same way.  To be fair, it's probably because most of them strike me as, "Hah, dumbass got what they deserved." and I dismiss them from my mind.  But I had heard of the examples you gave, and can't argue the logic. 

I still don't know as I see it a problem on the rise.  I suppose it's possible as the, umm, political climate has led some to be less... reserved in voicing their opinions than they may have been previously.  That could result in a spike of these incidents.

Or, maybe, this is less about political/social opinions changing, and more about society getting a handle on what it means to live in this new era of techno erosion of our privacy.  (That many willingly contribute to.)  I don't know.

Gaoics79

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #164 on: June 13, 2018, 12:47:40 PM »
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Sorry if that was unclear, but my question is rather why do you believe this will spread to rank and file workers?

Well first because it has. There are examples of it happening already, such as the infamous case of the executive who tweeted a quasi racist joke about AIDS before getting on a plane, to the men who were fired based on a private conversation at a conference that was recorded by a felliw attendee who eavesdropped and broadcast it (she was in turn fired as well if memory serves correctly.)

But as others noted, there is no business known to man, no job lowly enough, where this can't happen. A janitor at a public school, a dishwasher at a prominent restaurant, or even a checkout at Starbucks.- nobody is immune.

This isn't widespread right now, but only because social media, surveillance are still in their infancy. I think as these things become more ubiquitous, the problem will inevitably work its way down the food chain. Today it's the racist tweet of an NBA player, tomorrow it will be the racist tweet of a food vendor at a sports venue, or perhaps a recorded comment on a smartphone posted on a Facebook page with a doxxing and demand that the individual be let go by his employer.

Once this data enters a person's digital history, it becomes impossible to erase and impossible to  ignore. It will stick to you. You apply as to be a busboy at McDonalds - well why would McDonalds ever hire a "racist" or anyone who was ever even accused of it? Does McDonalds condone racism? Well of course not. We are not quite there yet, but it is coming.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 12:51:31 PM by jasonr »

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #165 on: June 13, 2018, 12:49:55 PM »
I watched a televised debate the other day which I believe aired on May 18th, featuring Jordan Peterson and Stephen Fry (an unlikely alliance) on one side with a feminist and black activist on the opposite side (I forget their names). The debate topic was "political correctness" although to Fry's dismay the debate kept veering away from that into racial and identity politics. One of the traps inherent in this setup was that Peterson's opponents kept wanting to debate things they knew he had said in the past rather than sticking strictly to the debate topic and the points Peterson was raising in that forum. However it was nonetheless an enjoyable watch at around 2 hours long and I recommend it (easy to find on Youtube).

I mention it in part to answer D.W., because Fry took it upon himself to articulate why he even agreed to be present, and on the side cautioning about political correctness, since he is otherwise self-described as a bleeding heart liberal in most other matters. At one point, during his repeated efforts to keep the debate on-topic, he stated that as a gay liberal man he is now experiencing for the first time in the last 60 years an atmosphere where he and his friends don't feel comfortable speaking their mind in public and must recuse themselves to say to each other what they really think about things in privacy. He describes it as an atmosphere of fear and that this is something completely new and very palpable.

Assuming he isn't insane and is describing a real thing the question is then how this vague atmosphere translates into real concern about one's job. Granted, he's a celebrity so he stands on a particularly shaky patch of ground, but generally one might suppose that if you're a hard and fast lefty that you've got nothing to worry about. Obviously that isn't the case.

cherrypoptart

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #166 on: June 16, 2018, 01:04:27 PM »
"Well first because it has. There are examples of it happening already, such as the infamous case of the executive who tweeted a quasi racist joke about AIDS before getting on a plane, to the men who were fired based on a private conversation at a conference that was recorded by a felllow attendee who eavesdropped and broadcast it (she was in turn fired as well if memory serves correctly.)"

For memory refreshment, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" and the other thing was a dongle joke and as you say not even said to the woman but she just overheard it.

"... or even a checkout at Starbucks."

Even if you do nothing wrong you can get fired. The manager at Starbucks was fired for following company policy about loiterers when she asked two black men to either buy something or leave to make space for paying customers.

And then you can even get fired for reporting offensive comments as happened, like Jason mentioned, to the lady who reported the dongle joke even though the guy who made it admitted she was right to report him.

https://www.cnet.com/news/two-people-fired-over-pycon-dongle-joke/

Which is all to say is it maybe all going just a little too far?

velcro

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #167 on: June 16, 2018, 05:02:30 PM »
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the guy at Google was completely an issue of having Wrong Opinions.
Well, not quite the whole story.  His wrong opinions violated company policy (rightly or wrongly), and he published them very widely, and as an employee of Google.

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Well first because it has. There are examples of it happening already, such as the infamous case of

The plural of anecdote is not data.  "Because it has" is not evidence.

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IIRC, her full comment was (taken as being) along the lines of her also "being ashamed of anyone who voted for Bush" --Which would be a direct shot at much of her fan base.

Didn't see that anywhere.  Do you have a source?

Here's the bottom line:  If you do something that violates company policy* and/or makes it likely your company will lose money, you can expect to be fired.  Maybe they will go easy on you, but that is up to them.

*If the policy violates your rights, or is illegal, then you can sue.  But other than that, they can have any policies they want.


Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #168 on: June 16, 2018, 05:46:47 PM »
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the guy at Google was completely an issue of having Wrong Opinions.
Well, not quite the whole story.  His wrong opinions violated company policy (rightly or wrongly), and he published them very widely, and as an employee of Google.

No. You make a circular argument claiming he violated company policy, since the intent of his document was to find ways to fulfill company policy. The entire point of the document was to demonstrate that if diversity is the objective then it's not going to be achieved with current policy, and he made suggests on the various potential causes there might be for why they were going about it the wrong way. He also suggested possible fixes to help with it. So his intent was to find solutions to increase company diversity. That by definition cannot be against company policy since diversity was the company policy.

You also make an inaccurate statement saying he published them widely, which isn't the case. I forget the exact specifics but as I remember he posted them to a very specific location that was only going to be read by a small group of people. It was eventually widely circulated, but not by him. And actually that's the same issue as discussed just about about the "dongle joke" incident, where the entire public debacle begins when someone decides to publicize something not intended for the general public (such as a 'suggestion box' document, or in the case of a joke, a private joke told in a public space to one other person).

velcro

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #169 on: June 16, 2018, 08:26:51 PM »
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the guy at Google was completely an issue of having Wrong Opinions.
Well, not quite the whole story.  His wrong opinions violated company policy (rightly or wrongly), and he published them very widely, and as an employee of Google.

No. You make a circular argument claiming he violated company policy, since the intent of his document was to find ways to fulfill company policy. ...So his intent was to find solutions to increase company diversity. That by definition cannot be against company policy since diversity was the company policy.

So let's say my intent is to increase diversity, and in my twisted mind, the best way to do that is to paint a big rainbow on everyone's car. With spray paint.  That doesn't come off.  By your logic, that by definition cannot be against company policy since diversity was the company policy, and I was trying to increase diversity.

Obviously, if in your intent to meet company policy you violate company policy, you do not get a get out of jail card for having the proper intent.

I don't know how his opinion was published.  I am willing to stipulate he did not intend to publish it widely.  But that really does not affect the argument.  He violated company policy.

I do know that he made gross generalizations about women that are not true in a huge number of specific cases.  For example, he said women were biologically less able to deal with stress.  Having read that, I would think twice about choosing a woman over a man for a stressful position.  There are two very dangerous aspects.  One, the science is not at all settled for most of his claims, so making policy on it is a bad idea.  There may be trends of differences, but there is no real quantification, and he is asking for quantitative policies.  Two, he is dealing with statistical averages.  On average, Asians are not as tall as Caucasians (I'm not sure that's true, but for purposes of argument).  Would you then make individual decisions about how many Asians you had on your basketball team based on that?  He is ignoring the fact that the women at Google are tremendously self-selected, so the statistics are useless.

So after the memo gets out, women would go to meeting and look around, and know that most men were wondering if she was prone to stress, or bad at math, or whatever females are statistically prone to.  Doesn't matter if she is a PhD fighter pilot, she has two X chromosomes, so the men are going to wonder.  It is human nature, once someone makes that argument.  And James Damore made that argument.  It made a lot of people uncomfortable, and it wasn't even good science.  He didn't back down, so since he created a "hostile environment", they fired him.  He sued, and lost.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #170 on: June 17, 2018, 12:17:32 AM »
So let's say my intent is to increase diversity, and in my twisted mind, the best way to do that is to paint a big rainbow on everyone's car. With spray paint.  That doesn't come off.  By your logic, that by definition cannot be against company policy since diversity was the company policy, and I was trying to increase diversity.

Yes, method matters as well as intent. But while it may be against company policy to commit vandalism in the name of diversity, it surely cannot be against company policy to present a well-reasoned and polite argument - right or wrong - that has the intent to try to help the diversity program. What you're saying is that wrong opinions about facts are equivalent to spray painting private property.

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Obviously, if in your intent to meet company policy you violate company policy, you do not get a get out of jail card for having the proper intent.

That is true.

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I don't know how his opinion was published.  I am willing to stipulate he did not intend to publish it widely.  But that really does not affect the argument.  He violated company policy.

It would help to back up your point before re-asserting your conclusion as a premise.

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I do know that he made gross generalizations about women that are not true in a huge number of specific cases.  For example, he said women were biologically less able to deal with stress.

This is not quite right, but helping your point along it's true that he asserted that women are more prone than men to neuroticism, for instance. This sounds highly prejudicial until you realize that he's using a clinical term within a context that has backing in the field. However even if you don't like potentially accurate statistical statements the next point you make doesn't follow:

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Having read that, I would think twice about choosing a woman over a man for a stressful position.  There are two very dangerous aspects.  One, the science is not at all settled for most of his claims, so making policy on it is a bad idea.  There may be trends of differences, but there is no real quantification, and he is asking for quantitative policies.  Two, he is dealing with statistical averages.  On average, Asians are not as tall as Caucasians (I'm not sure that's true, but for purposes of argument).  Would you then make individual decisions about how many Asians you had on your basketball team based on that?  He is ignoring the fact that the women at Google are tremendously self-selected, so the statistics are useless.

You've somewhat misunderstood the data, and totally misunderstood the actual argument. He said nothing about how many women should be in the company based on the facts as he sees them. In fact, it's the company itself suggesting a *should* in terms of numbers of people in terms of diversity. Considering their agenda to meet diversity standards his observation is that they were failing to meet their goal for various reasons involving shortage of supply of women to hire. It has nothing to do with their hiring policy, which no doubt was already skewed heavily in favor of hiring women, all things being equal. He point was that for some reason women don't want to work in that field, and his list of possible reasons was meant to explain that. It has literally nothing to do with the company assessing women based on some statistical inferiority or other such nonsense. What you've done is the same as what some of his colleagues did, which is to take an explanation of why women aren't available for hiring, and choosing to interpret it as an argument about why women shouldn't be hired. It's very easy to find offense when what's actually said it ignored in favor of looking for reasons to be offended.

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So after the memo gets out, women would go to meeting and look around, and know that most men were wondering if she was prone to stress, or bad at math, or whatever females are statistically prone to.  Doesn't matter if she is a PhD fighter pilot, she has two X chromosomes, so the men are going to wonder.  It is human nature, once someone makes that argument.  And James Damore made that argument.  It made a lot of people uncomfortable, and it wasn't even good science.  He didn't back down, so since he created a "hostile environment", they fired him.  He sued, and lost.

Except he didn't make that argument. As I mentioned above, what you're saying is a fallacious reading of his argument. I will certainly grant that it was predictable that people would interpret what he was saying in just the way you suppose, since it's easier to take offense than to carefully study a point that you find disagreeable to make sure it means what you think it means.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #171 on: June 17, 2018, 10:20:58 AM »
His argument was deeply flawed in a number of ways, it was not well reasoned. Even so, the blowback was after a prolonged period where he kept arguing that there shouldn't even have been a diversity program, because there weren't enough suitable women to fill the appropriate positions.

Seriati

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #172 on: June 18, 2018, 12:26:01 PM »
Not sure why you think it wasn't well reasoned.  In a nut shell his argument was as follows:

Our diversity program is not failing because it hasn't encouraged or incentivized women enough, it's failing because the jobs themselves are not one that women choose to take.  His point, which is oft ignored, is that only by changing the way the jobs work can you reasonably expect women to choose them.  He then went into the weeds on current psychological points about how gender impacts preference to try to show what kind of changes need to be made.

This is the logical descendant of the very same management courses that are still taught today by diversity trainers (and that I just heard last week), that tell you things, like "women are better at building consensus" or that women prefer collaborative working arrangements more than competitive.  It's literally what is meant by criticizing the workplace as a "man's world."  It's widely acknowledged that workplaces need to change, and the job isn't just done by having more women.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #173 on: June 18, 2018, 12:56:00 PM »
His argument was deeply flawed in a number of ways, it was not well reasoned.

It doesn't matter if it was well-reasoned (i.e. correct) or not. Even an honest attempt at creating a well-reasoned argument, within the bounds of civility and respect should be accepted as a respectable document. You don't have to agree with the argument to agree that he was intending to get at the real problem.

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Even so, the blowback was after a prolonged period where he kept arguing that there shouldn't even have been a diversity program, because there weren't enough suitable women to fill the appropriate positions.

Was he arguing that there shouldn't be a diversity program, or that there shouldn't be one in the form it existed at that time? It's quite different to say "this program shouldn't exist" rather than "no program should exist." You seem to be implying he meant the latter. Are you sure about that?

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #174 on: June 18, 2018, 02:41:22 PM »
There may have been portions of what he presented that were well reasoned. Perhaps he even meant to make the arguments from a good place.

I won't break it all down, we've been down that road before. Let's say I find it deeply flawed, both in premise, reason, and unsupported opinions.

As for code of conduct violation,

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In a memo to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the employee who penned a controversial memo that claimed that women had biological issues that prevented them from being as successful as men in tech had violated its Code of Conduct, and that the post had crossed “the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

He added: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”

Pichai’s wording appears to indicate that the employee is likely be fired, which some inside and outside the company have been calling for. A Google spokesperson said the company would not confirm any firing of an individual employee, but in the past others have been let go for violating its Code of Conduct.

He should have left out the biology and he might have skated through. There is no known study that examines biological differences, or supports many of his claims about it.

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“First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it.

Seriati

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #175 on: June 18, 2018, 03:16:56 PM »
Except TheDrake he NEVER SAID they were unsuited to the work.  He said they would be uninterested in the work.  There's a big difference there, and continuing to present it in that manner - even by a quote - is a bad faith argument.

If you are trying, for diversity sake to get more jewish staff to work at your store, which is more likely to work?  Offering more money, or guaranteeing observant people won't have to work on Saturdays?  The point of his paper, was that women have different preferences - which is an objective truth - and the only error was attributing this to gender as a function of genetics - which is possibly true, though it's not clear if environmental factors are the bigger influence.

If you accept something like the idea that testosterone makes men aggressive (not universally applicable to every man), then how could you not accept an idea that this has a knock on impact in what they like?  What jobs they favor and how they work?

He literally said the program to increase diversity was the wrong way to go, where the jobs themselves are undesirable on a range of factors that women look for in employment.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #176 on: June 18, 2018, 03:35:28 PM »
I'm not going to rehash it all. The company defines policy, he seems to violate it, and then continued to aggressively argue that the policy shouldn't be their policy. Substitute any non-politically charged topic for this, and you can easily see why he got fired. The real surprise is that they let it go as long as they did.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #177 on: June 18, 2018, 04:11:48 PM »
TheDrake, you're saying you've never heard of a biological argument that there's a difference in capability, but I doubt it's true that there are none. In fact, I'd be flabbergasted that each gender didn't have advantages and disadvantages in subtle ways. We literally do not have the same biology. But that being said the preponderance of his focus on differences between males and females were in their psychological attributes, so if you wanted to find backing (or lack thereof) in the field for what he said you'd want to look at psychology studies, not biology studies. We assume, by the way, that psychological results will probably imply there's a biological factor behind it, although that is not necessarily true, and it's mostly beside for the point for the purposes of this discussion.

In any case, how much you like or dislike his reasoning is really beside the point. His argument was much more similar to a meme I've heard quite a lot of so far, and is a leftist one. It goes something like "If you judge a bear and a fish "equally" on their ability to climb a tree the fish will appear to be stupid." The idea is that you need to create the right conditions so that the fish can actually do its thing. There is probably some combination of ability and desire that needs to be separated when looking at a broad meme like this, but the reason I'm mentioning it in relation to the Google memo is that his argument was something like that if you don't have the proper conditions where a woman will thrive then they won't want to come. That can include (but not have to mean!) biological capability, but also psychological fitness, desire, level of interest, etc etc. There can be many axes on which to look at this. His point was that instead of looking at *why women largely don't enter the field* they were focusing on local hiring practices and internal training. It may or may not be useful to look to the internal environment and so I won't vouch for his assessment of those, but it's clear that increasing sensitivity won't do squat if the job itself as it's structured isn't enjoyable for women.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #178 on: June 20, 2018, 02:42:47 PM »
Of course there are differences. To make his point, you'd have to separate biological from environment. You'd have to prove that the sum of each of these biologically isolated differences makes a material difference in how well you can do a very complex job, or how willing you are to do it. Etc.

Maybe the women don't want to come because of people like him, execs at Uber, etc etc. The job certainly won't be enjoyable for women when men look down on them as inferior or sexually harass them. And the first part of that seems an awful lot like what he was implying. While he takes pains to separate statistics from individuals, it isn't really possible to do that.

That's a much more likely reason to not enter the field, than some bizarre esoteric accusation that they probably just don't like it or aren't suited for it.

He could have carefully examined the reasons behind the dearth of women in engineering. If you google this, you'll find dozens of studies and goals like this one:

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Armed with a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation awarded in 2015, Sax's team is conducting an unprecedented, large-scale longitudinal study with the ultimate goal of identifying best practices for keeping women and students of color in the field.

“We want to find out how CS departments can instill not only a sense of confidence in computing skills, but a sense of belonging within women and students of color,” Sax says.

While women have made significant gains in many fields, including medicine, business and law, the percentage of women who receive CS degrees is the smallest across all STEM fields, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Most dishearteningly, the percentage of CS-degree holders who were women peaked in the 1980s at 34% and has been on a downward trend ever since, even though women currently earn 57% of all undergraduate degrees.

“Women are socialized to feel that they can’t fail and that they have to achieve perfection, so when their code doesn’t run, women often feel discouraged about their own abilities,” the project manager says. “Men, on the other hand, are often more aware of the fact that learning programming is a trial-and-error process and don’t see code not running as a reflection of their own skills.”

I'm assuming biology hasn't changed since the 1980s. I'm assuming CS as a profession still requires the same core attributes.

What he did was:

1. Start from a raft of basic stereotypes.
2. Use those to explain away gender disparities in the field.
3. Refuse to acknowledge how such stereotypes might impact his place of work.
4. Refuse to back down when corrected.
5. Act like a martyr on the alter of political correctness and liberal intolerance.

There are lots of things that can be done to improve the profession, but he'll never be part of it.

LetterRip

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #179 on: June 21, 2018, 12:55:42 PM »
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What he did was:

1. Start from a raft of basic stereotypes.
2. Use those to explain away gender disparities in the field.
3. Refuse to acknowledge how such stereotypes might impact his place of work.
4. Refuse to back down when corrected.
5. Act like a martyr on the alter of political correctness and liberal intolerance.

I read his paper and am familiar with the research.  He didn't use any stereotypes - he was referencing the state of the current literature on gender differences (in most ways women and men have fairly minor differences - in the areas he highlighted there are substantial cohen effect size differences - mostly in the 'medium' to 'large' effect sizes).  Here are the effect sizes.

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DAT mechanical reasoning Adolescents - 0.76
Science Adolescents - 0.32
DAT spelling Adolescents - 0.45
DAT language Adolescents - 0.40
Spatial perception All - 0.44
Mental rotation All - 0.73
Spatial visualization All - 0.13
Spatial perception All - 0.44
Mental rotation All - 0.56
Speech production All - 0.33
Progressive matrices Adults - 0.30
Aggression (all types) All - 0.50
Physical aggression All - 0.60
Verbal aggression All - 0.43
Aggression in real-world settings All - 0.30 to 0.63
Physical aggression All - 0.33 to 0.84
Verbal aggression All - 0.09 to 0.55
Helping: Surveillance context Adults - 0.74
Leadership: Democratic vs. autocratic Adults - 0.22 to 0.34
Agreeableness: Tendermindedness Adolescents and adults - 0.91
Computer use: Current All - 0.33
Computer self-efficacy All - 0.41

https://www.quora.com/What-do-scientists-think-about-the-biological-claims-made-in-the-document-about-diversity-written-by-a-Google-employee-in-August-2017/answer/Tom-Musgrove

  Note however that most of his references in his paper weren't to the literature, but popular discussions of the research - which is appropriate given his target audience.

He wasn't "corrected" he was pilloried and wrongfully attacked, and willfully mischaracterized.

Also his proposed actions were quite rational.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #180 on: June 21, 2018, 01:36:39 PM »
Also his proposed actions were quite rational.

Even if we were to accept by hypothesis that his proposed actions were off-base, that shouldn't matter in the slightest. An argument made in good faith that's trying to propose solutions should at worst be met with a polite disagreement. "Thank you for your concern but we don't believe your assessment and/or proposals are accurate." The issue (for me) has never been that I insist he's right about everything. The issue is that having a 'wrong opinion' has now become a punishable  offence. And even people here (who are more reasonable than your average bear) seem to be supportive of the firing - over an attempt to discuss reality! It can't be good for anyone to discourage people to honestly give their thoughts in good faith. Why are we teaching lying in the public sphere?

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #181 on: June 21, 2018, 01:50:35 PM »
Okay, LR, I can back off on that end and admit that I overstated it at best, although there's plenty of indication of bias that has nothing to do with preference and competence.

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One study, conducted by professors at Columbia, Northwestern and the University of Chicago, found that two-thirds of managers selected male job candidates, even when the men did not perform as well as the women on math problems that were part of the application process.

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Many of Damore’s controversial conclusions rest heavily on one recent study and much older, now-discredited research, ignoring reams of data that tell a very different story. The argument that men, especially affluent men, are more focused on their “male” breadwinner role than on their more “female” family roles, does not reflect either research data or observational data.

article

And yes, this is also a popular recap and not original studies - I don't have the time to put in the proper legwork.

He still doesn't establish that those traits are positive or negative traits for those jobs.
He doesn't establish that those traits persist in the subpopulation of people qualified for such positions.
I could go on, but I doubt that we'll get anywhere useful on this.

Of course, Google's hiring is also a factor in this. They put a premium on solving puzzles and being clever in isolation, and spend relatively little time evaluating social and communication skills - or they might not have hired Damore in the first place. He might well have gotten traction on some of his ideas if he approached it less belligerently and built support before condemning the people he worked for.

Even people in leadership positions have a hard time effecting cultural change. To expect to do this as a third year engineer at a Fortune 500 with a fiery memo is astonishingly naive and arrogant. It was perfectly appropriate to excise him and replace him with some other Harvard Grad that does well with thought experiments and algorithmic regurgitation.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #182 on: June 21, 2018, 01:53:03 PM »
I would highly recommend that anyone who doesn't get why Damore was fired should read this book.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #183 on: June 21, 2018, 02:04:41 PM »
He still doesn't establish that those traits are positive or negative traits for those jobs.
He doesn't establish that those traits persist in the subpopulation of people qualified for such positions.
I could go on, but I doubt that we'll get anywhere useful on this.

Who cares? The issue is that he based his opinion on real data. If the company thought the data was outdated then they could have replied saying just that. Your arguments against his points are a non sequitur to the discussion we're having. Your claimed he brought in his own bias and didn't base anything he said on facts, and that was inaccurate. Anything else said on the subject is superfluous unless we wanted to have a discussion about women in the workplace rather than a discussion about people being punished for others taking offence.

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Of course, Google's hiring is also a factor in this. They put a premium on solving puzzles and being clever in isolation, and spend relatively little time evaluating social and communication skills - or they might not have hired Damore in the first place.

Have you personally worked with him? How do you know what his social and communication skills are like?

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He might well have gotten traction on some of his ideas if he approached it less belligerently and built support before condemning the people he worked for.
(my bold)

I can't help but feel like you've reduced your position to an ad hominem. He was "belligerent" which is why he's wrong and should be fired. If you can provide even one quote from his memo which strikes you as "belligerent" I'd be interested to see it. I will recant fully if you can provide such an instance. I'll also point out that using a word like "condemning" to describe disagreement with is also quite prejudicial in its connotation. Unless you can point to an instance in the memo that spoke harshly of the administration, or called them a name, or implies a moral lapse on their part? If not, what is "condemning" supposed to mean?

This is the sort of thing that worries me, where "discussion" has been veering towards flaming people who say the wrong things in our culture. Where disagreement is being catagorized as being "belligerent".

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Even people in leadership positions have a hard time effecting cultural change. To expect to do this as a third year engineer at a Fortune 500 with a fiery memo is astonishingly naive and arrogant. It was perfectly appropriate to excise him and replace him with some other Harvard Grad that does well with thought experiments and algorithmic regurgitation.

So firing someone potentially good at their job but not good as effecting cultural change makes sense? Is your issue that he had the gaul to make suggestions at all and not mind his place, or is your issue that his suggestions happened to be wrong in your view? I hope you're not advocating that employees must either agree with their higher-ups or else keep their heads down.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #184 on: June 21, 2018, 02:09:34 PM »
I would highly recommend that anyone who doesn't get why Damore was fired should read this book.

Incidentally, I don't know that I'll read the book but I did read the outline, and it seems that the book is meant to be descriptive, as in, this is apparently what works. But that's entirely different from being prescriptive, as in, this is how companies should work. I hope you can see the difference between observing that kissing butt and schmoozing gets you ahead and between suggesting what would be a good workplace environment. Toxic and BS things often get you ahead, it's true. So what? If it's merely descriptive there's nothing to discuss, since merely stating the reality doesn't mean it's good. That's sort of the entire basis of activism - to point out the ways in which the system as it currently functions is toxic. And if the idea is that the book's content is prescriptive then I'll point out that it's highly discriminatory to people who aren't as naturally skilled at politics - which can include people on the autism spectrum or with social disorders. So let's hope we're not reading it as prescriptive. The fact that you take the book's premise to be justification for why Damore should be fired...is troubling. It might explain why it happened, but you make it sound like it explains why it should have happened.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #185 on: June 21, 2018, 02:38:48 PM »
The question is HOW did he attempt change, with an isolated uncollaborative manifesto. His communication skills are poor based on his responses more than the original attempt - as well as seeing his public appearances after the fact. Maybe I can dig up references, but most likely what I see as argumentative and belligerent you might take as passionate advocacy.

The book describes both defense and offense. It has little to do with schmoozing but more about how to recognize when someone is using dirty tricks and how to defend against them - as well as building support for an idea before splashing it out there.

Prior to Damore, they shut down a different discussion with the following, emphasis mine.

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“As both the tech diversity lead at Google and someone who cares deeply about our workplace culture, I respectfully ask that everyone stop engaging on this thread,” Ramaswamy wrote (emphasis his). “Google is not a debate club or a philosophy class. We are a workplace and we have an obligation to make sure our discussions remain respectful. Debates around topics like product excellence can support a wide variety of viewpoints and are great to have. I don’t think the same can be said for debates around sensitive issues such as gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation.”

gizmodo

Quote
“I guess he saw what I was doing as rabble rousing but I was trying to build the sort of culture,” Altheide told Gizmodo.

The conversation and the email led to Altheide deciding to leave the company, he said. He departed in January 2016. The experience of being reprimanded by an early employee and senior vice president was intimidating, he said. Because of his skillset, he didn’t think it would be feasible to transfer to another role at the company that wouldn’t fall under Holzle’s supervision.

“I’m leaving because I don’t trust Urs. I’m afraid of Urs. He inserted himself into what should have been a conversation with my direct manager, and ‘requested’ I stop doing talking about things he doesn’t want me to talk about,” Altheide wrote.

Doesn't exactly sound like a cult of pro-diversity would come down on an employee advocating for it, does it?

LetterRip

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #186 on: June 21, 2018, 02:49:35 PM »
TheDrake,

I've read many of the critiques of Damore - they usually ignore evidence or mistate the literature.

Okay, LR, I can back off on that end and admit that I overstated it at best, although there's plenty of indication of bias that has nothing to do with preference and competence.

Most companies that are 'socially conscious' don't really have that issue.  They tend to have the issue that in pursuit of their socially conscious goals - they will hire under-qualified individuals to try and achieving hiring balance.  Then they have the issue that they must either must abandon merit based promotions; or see their under-qualified hires have slower career advancement.

If you have say, 100 female applicants, and 1000 male applicants, and both are normally distributed as far as talent, then you can only hire 10 women for every 100 men.  If you try and 'balance' the hires by hiring more women, then you will bring down the average competence of the woman hires; and increase the average competence of the male hires.  So if you hire top 11% that is 100 men, and 10 women.  Lets say that you instead of 10/110 = 9% women, you want 27% women 30/110.  Then you will be hiring 80 men, and 30 women.  Of those 30 women 22 will be less competent than ALL of your male hires.  Where as previously half of your female hires were more competent than half of your male hires.  So in the first case, we could have expected 10 men promoted for each women promoted.  We can now expect all of the men to be promoted before 22 of the women are promoted in a merit based promotion system.

A big part of the imbalance is because google and other companies hire internationally.  Women generally aren't willing to move away so that they are isolated from their family, but men are - which means that the vast majority of international hires will be male.  Similarly the countries with excellent programming education and large populations (China, India, Russian and former soviet bloc countries) have essentially no Hispanic or African population.  So this skews the number of Hispanic and African (American) employee numbers.

Your article sets up a major strawman,

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We can say flatly that there is no evidence that women’s biology makes them incapable of performing at the highest levels in any STEM fields.

Damore never suggested that was the case.

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Many reputable scientific authorities have weighed in on this question, including a major paper in the journal Science debunking the idea that the brains of males and females are so different that they should be educated in single-sex classrooms.

Something which Damore never suggested.

They set up straw man after straw man.  Damore's writing only dealt with very specific and well established gender differences.  As I said above - in general men and women have very similar brains.  But there are known and significant differences which happen to be those that are consistent with his hypothesis.

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Much of the data that Damore provides in his memo is suspect, outdated or has other problems.

He didn't really provide much data, he generally mentioned findings in passing.  None of which are 'suspect, outdated or has other problems'.

They make wild assertions with no apparent basis,

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He implies that stress and anxiety are personality traits inherent in females, but more likely they are due to the pressures and discrimination women face on the job that men do not.  [...] But what if you don’t make the catch? “Women have a hard time taking on those assignments because you can dive and fail to catch. If a man fails, his buddies dust him off and say, ‘It's not your fault; try again next time.’ A woman fails and is never seen again.”

As support they quote the "Athena Factor" report authors - but mysteriously leave out the finding of the report that supports Damore - "The “diving catch” culture of SET companies disadvantages women, who tend to be risk averse (35% have difficulty with risk). ".    So the reason the 'woman fails and is never seen again' - is because women are risk adverse as a personality trait relative to men.

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Many of Damore’s controversial conclusions rest heavily on one recent study and much older, now-discredited research, ignoring reams of data that tell a very different story.

What BS, see the cohen effect sizes above, and see my link that explores the rest of article.  Everything he said science wise was well founded.  THis is an utter hatch job.

Quote
And yes, this is also a popular recap and not original studies - I don't have the time to put in the proper legwork.

It wasn't a recap, it was a complete hatchet job.  They mischaracterized his paper, did massive amounts of strawmen, and cherry picked research, and even cherry picked form their own sources.

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He still doesn't establish that those traits are positive or negative traits for those jobs.

He was pointing out not as positive/negative traits for the job - but why there would be skew in applicants due to carreer attractiveness vs other opportunities (such as medicine).

Quote
Of course, Google's hiring is also a factor in this. They put a premium on solving puzzles and being clever in isolation

It depends entirely on the position they are hiring for.  When hiring for programmers - they seek people who have adequate mastery of core data structures and algorithms.  It is an essential component of the job.

Quote
and spend relatively little time evaluating social and communication skills - or they might not have hired Damore in the first place.

There aren't really any complex social and communication skills needed for the job they are doing - and the screening they do is adequate.  There was nothing wrong with Damore's communication skills.  He was asked for feedback, and he gave well reasoned and supported arguments - exactly what you want from an engineer.  You don't want engineers who give you what you want to hear regardless of where the evidence points.

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He might well have gotten traction on some of his ideas if he approached it less belligerently and built support before condemning the people he worked for.

He wasn't belligerent, and he absolutely didn't condemn any of the people he worked for or with.

Quote
Even people in leadership positions have a hard time effecting cultural change. To expect to do this as a third year engineer at a Fortune 500 with a fiery memo is astonishingly naive and arrogant. It was perfectly appropriate to excise him and replace him with some other Harvard Grad that does well with thought experiments and algorithmic regurgitation.

That isn't what he did.  His memo wasn't "firey".  It was sent to address that directed to as a request for feedback.

Seriati

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #187 on: June 21, 2018, 03:52:22 PM »
Of course there are differences. To make his point, you'd have to separate biological from environment.

Did you read what he wrote?  You may be mis-remembering it.  There's literally no need to separate biology from environment.  It doesn't matter,why someone has a preference, if you are interested in a results based analysis you have to account for it. 

Or to put it another way, even if it's sexist to think women inherently like pink, you'd be a fool not to have a pink product if the majority of women in fact like pink.

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You'd have to prove that the sum of each of these biologically isolated differences makes a material difference in how well you can do a very complex job, or how willing you are to do it. Etc.

Those are two very different concepts.  He never said there was any difference in ability to do the job.  He barely implied their was difference in willingness, he said the JOB ITSELF was unappealing, and therefore there was a difference in the desire to do the job.

No matter what your personal believe about whether it "should" be unappealing, if it is unappealing, your choices are to "fix" women to make the job appealing, or to acknowledge that making it more appealing is a necessity.

Quote
Maybe the women don't want to come because of people like him, execs at Uber, etc etc. The job certainly won't be enjoyable for women when men look down on them as inferior or sexually harass them. And the first part of that seems an awful lot like what he was implying. While he takes pains to separate statistics from individuals, it isn't really possible to do that.

Again, false statement of what he said.  Never implied inferiority or acceptance of harassment.  He took pains to explain which statistics are useful, not to separate them from individuals.  You are reading in a whole lot of nonsense into a rational point.

Honestly, do you disbelieve in market research?  His entire argument rested on market research, not some kind of analysis of superiority or inferiority.

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He could have carefully examined the reasons behind the dearth of women in engineering.

He did.  Seriously, maybe re-read what was written?  He pointed out that the existing programs have not suceeded in increasing women in engineering and suggested the obvious, they were built around what would motivate men to take the job, not around what motivates women and they ignored fundamental unappealing characteristics of the job, on again the "male" assumption, that increasing compensation for instance "cures" such problems.

It is literally impossible to understand how people can believe in current theories on diversity in the work place that are literally based on the uniqueness of perspective of certain groups and the need to account for that, and find a failing in the rather scientific application of the exact same principle here.

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I'm assuming biology hasn't changed since the 1980s. I'm assuming CS as a profession still requires the same core attributes.

But what you are also assuming (and that isn't true) is that CS careers still have unknown characteristics.  Greater familiarity with what you do with a degree increases a student's ability to decide if the want to have that career.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 03:55:17 PM by Seriati »

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #188 on: June 21, 2018, 06:38:21 PM »
CS careers have debatable characteristics. Vis a vis "working with things" vs "working with people".

Getting requirements clear requires working with people
Understanding users (whether other engineers or end users or OEM customers) requires working with people
Advocating for a particular approach requires working with people
Teaching others requires working with people
Collaborating in a shared database requires working with people
Performing a constructive code or design review requires working with people
Responding to defect reports from QA or the field requires working with people
-- the days of the hermit hacker are over, unless you are in independent research, which is usually reserved for fellows and veterans on sabbatical

A good communicator would understand that if you're going to make a criticism that lies counter to prevailing company culture, you have to spend a lot more time identifying what is right about current programs before moving into radical proposed change. They also would have avoided using the highly charged "neurotic" term. They would have understood its colloquial connotations and understood it gets in the way of making their point.

I'm not going to go blow for blow on every aspect of his work, you guys obviously have a high degree of certainty on your points of view, as do I.

Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #189 on: June 21, 2018, 07:50:33 PM »
Getting requirements clear requires working with people
Understanding users (whether other engineers or end users or OEM customers) requires working with people
Advocating for a particular approach requires working with people
Teaching others requires working with people
Collaborating in a shared database requires working with people
Performing a constructive code or design review requires working with people
Responding to defect reports from QA or the field requires working with people

It's funny you should frame the job in this manner, because one of the central theses of the memo was that to attract women the workplace should be a more people-oriented place. Ironic that you're using this tack as a means of explaining how off-base he was.

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A good communicator would understand that if you're going to make a criticism that lies counter to prevailing company culture, you have to spend a lot more time identifying what is right about current programs before moving into radical proposed change.

Could you give one single example of a "radical" change he proposed?

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I'm not going to go blow for blow on every aspect of his work, you guys obviously have a high degree of certainty on your points of view, as do I.

I have a high degree of certainty that you've been mischaracterizing the memo; far FAR higher than any option I have of the memo itself. My opinion about the accuracy of his statement can probably be called reserved. My purpose here is to avoid strawmen being used to explain why the marketplace should be an environment of fear.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #190 on: June 22, 2018, 09:01:14 AM »
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It's funny you should frame the job in this manner, because one of the central theses of the memo was that to attract women the workplace should be a more people-oriented place. Ironic that you're using this tack as a means of explaining how off-base he was.

I didn't catch that all as a central theme, and I've reread quite a bit of it in the course of this discussion. It never appears in his summary of concrete steps to take. He mentioned it in passing, along with a statement that change in society at large might siphon men off to other professions. He doesn't say that they should have training to emphasize such qualities - he barely acknowledges that they have value outside of UI.

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Could you give one single example of a "radical" change he proposed?

Most of his suggestions are a radical departure from standard practice in current Fortune 500 human resources, and especially Google. He suggests to dismantle many existing programs. He has a basis in making these statements, that such programs are discriminatory by using race or gender as a factor in programs. That's not an incremental change, it is a systemic one, and he readily admits that he is advocating for systemic cultural change.

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My purpose here is to avoid strawmen being used to explain why the marketplace should be an environment of fear.

The workplace should be an environment of caution. I wouldn't dream of discussing politics in my place of business, with my coworkers outside of work, or with suppliers and customers. It is unnecessary and potentially detrimental to a positive working relationship. That's not fear, it is prudence.

JoshCrow

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #191 on: June 22, 2018, 09:59:17 AM »
Happy to see a discussion of Damore continuing (although amused to find it in a Roseanne thread).

I was so incensed by the media and public's lack of basic reading comprehension (at best, or downright dishonesty at worst) that I have twice now worked this memo into my professional teaching duties and will continue to do so. I put the contents of the memo directly in front of two classrooms of engineering students (with no small amount of females), along with some other op-ed type perspectives on it. I led a class discussion on the memo (in a course on Professionalism) and found many students aghast that he was fired.

In terms of written responses from the students that I solicited, several of the students described having gone into the reading "angry at it" but having encountered an argument other than what their expectations were. Students appeared to mellow on him after reading his actual words. Many students did not agree with Damore's conclusions, but I encountered virtually zero students who indicated they were still angry or that he was writing in "bad faith". Some of the strongest objections to his firing came from my African-American students, one of whom pulled me aside in the hallway to tell me how unjust it was that the man had been fired for writing this.

I'm going to continue to teach the memo as an example of how the media mischaracterizes arguments that upset mainstream narratives and is poor at parsing out what is actually being argued ("biologically-influenced career choices exist and account for disparities") from what people EXPECT is being argued (i.e. women "biologically unfit" for engineering work and are being hounded out).
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 10:04:00 AM by JoshCrow »

velcro

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #192 on: June 23, 2018, 08:18:26 AM »
So let's say my intent is to increase diversity, and in my twisted mind, the best way to do that is to paint a big rainbow on everyone's car. With spray paint.  That doesn't come off.  By your logic, that by definition cannot be against company policy since diversity was the company policy, and I was trying to increase diversity.

Yes, method matters as well as intent. But while it may be against company policy to commit vandalism in the name of diversity, it surely cannot be against company policy to present a well-reasoned and polite argument - right or wrong - that has the intent to try to help the diversity program. What you're saying is that wrong opinions about facts are equivalent to spray painting private property.

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Obviously, if in your intent to meet company policy you violate company policy, you do not get a get out of jail card for having the proper intent.

That is true.

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I don't know how his opinion was published.  I am willing to stipulate he did not intend to publish it widely.  But that really does not affect the argument.  He violated company policy.

It would help to back up your point before re-asserting your conclusion as a premise.

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What you're saying is that wrong opinions about facts are equivalent to spray painting private property.
 

First, I will clarify. I said "His wrong opinions violated company policy (rightly or wrongly)"  What I should have said was that his statement "advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace” violated company policy (rightly or wrongly).  And so wrong opinions are not equivalent to spray painting. Advancing harmful gender stereotypes is.

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it surely cannot be against company policy to present a well-reasoned and polite argument - right or wrong - that has the intent to try to help the diversity program.

If that well-reasoned (but scientifically and statistically flimsy at best) and polite argument advances harmful gender stereotypes, which his employer said it did, then it surely is against company policy. Or equivalently, a well-reasoned, polite, argument that says certain races just have lower IQs would be against company policy.

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It would help to back up your point before re-asserting your conclusion as a premise.

The sentence you reference did not have a conclusion or a premise.  It was a statement of several facts with no real logical dependence involved.   The fact that he violated company policy, which you relegated to a premise, is very firmly established.

The point is he advanced harmful gender stereotypes.

If I sent an email out to everyone at your place of work claiming to have statistical proof that people with the name Fenring just aren't suited for this line of work, that would create a hostile workplace.  It really doesn't matter if your company were wasting money on outreach to people named Fenring or not. It really doesn't matter if in the same email I repeat over and over again that we shouldn't use this to evaluate individuals.  The email creates a hostile environment for people named Fenring.  Period.  And if there were historical precedent for this type of accusation, then it would be advancing harmful stereotypes.





Fenring

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #193 on: June 23, 2018, 10:54:56 AM »
statistical proof that people with the name Fenring just aren't suited for this line of work

If you think this statement is an example of the type of argument made in the memo then you have missed the point, both in our conversation and in the memo. THAT is why you keep insisting he violated company policy. Your argument makes sense; it's just that it's wrong.

JoshCrow

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #194 on: June 23, 2018, 09:04:18 PM »

The point is he advanced harmful gender stereotypes.

If I sent an email out to everyone at your place of work claiming to have statistical proof that people with the name Fenring just aren't suited for this line of work, that would create a hostile workplace.  It really doesn't matter if your company were wasting money on outreach to people named Fenring or not. It really doesn't matter if in the same email I repeat over and over again that we shouldn't use this to evaluate individuals.  The email creates a hostile environment for people named Fenring.  Period.  And if there were historical precedent for this type of accusation, then it would be advancing harmful stereotypes.

As Fenring notes, you can't slip in "aren't suited for this line of work" as a proper analogy for "aren't choosing this line of work" - the former has implications for women/Fenrings already working in that environment, and the latter does not since it is self-evident that any presently employed women/Fenrings have already chosen that line of work and so that comment isn't about them in any meaningful way.

The other argument I would make is that having a policy that expressly forbids someone from putting forth an argument to his coworkers (as he originally did) relevant to the condition of their workplace is, as I understand it, potentially illegal in Damore's case.
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California is an "at-will" state, meaning Google can dismiss an employee for almost any reason. However, Damore says that before he was fired, he filed a complaint, formally known as a charge, with the National Labor Relations Board, which administers some aspects of federal labor law. Under the National Labor Relations Act, it's against federal law to fire someone in retaliation for filing a complaint to the board, lawyers say.

The labor-relations law usually applies to union organizing, says Wagner. But over the years the act has been more broadly interpreted to protect employees who discuss their working conditions with each other.

One last thing about stereotypes: I just learned recently that "the accuracy of stereotypes" is a particularly strong finding from psych research, meaning "they tend to be accurate fairly often". It's a dirty little secret! Most people fail to make the distinction between a stereotype being a tru-ish assessment of things and being a license to discirminate against anyone in the group at hand.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 09:07:46 PM by JoshCrow »

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #195 on: June 24, 2018, 11:30:30 AM »
stereotype - a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

Whether stereotypes are accurate or not, and generally they run the gamut from unsupported to supported by correlation, they don't really have a place in human resources.

Blacks are lazy.
Women are emotional.
Irish are violent.

All have been used to limit employment, from outright bans to more subtle disadvantage. That's why anything with a whiff of resemblance to such is treated with scorn and disdain and apprehension.

Even positive stereotypes have no place.

Asians are better at math.
Jews are great with money.

Damore does indeed talk about how individual women can be good at their jobs. This is an obvious mechanism that people use. It's like Trump saying "some of them, I assume, are good people". Damore's statements can be wrapped in good statistics all he wants. If such statements are accepted, it can easily lead to interviewers or promotion committees giving extra scrutiny to look for these flaws in candidates applying for those positions, scrutiny not applied to candidates not belonging to that group.

JoshCrow

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #196 on: June 24, 2018, 07:35:21 PM »


Damore does indeed talk about how individual women can be good at their jobs. This is an obvious mechanism that people use. It's like Trump saying "some of them, I assume, are good people". Damore's statements can be wrapped in good statistics all he wants. If such statements are accepted, it can easily lead to interviewers or promotion committees giving extra scrutiny to look for these flaws in candidates applying for those positions, scrutiny not applied to candidates not belonging to that group.

Drake, since you're obviously so concerned about fair hiring practices, what do you say to me calling your bluff on which groups are currently unfairly sought after during hiring, ok? Right now in STEM hiring there is a 2:1 preference for female faculty hires (as shown with gender-swapping resumes) and I'm sure similar stuff going on in the tech world (for evidence, look at the discovery stuff in Damore's current lawsuit against Google). Don't pretend you really care about scrutinizing candidates unfairly - right now there is TREMENDOUS social pressure and incentive to hire underrepresented groups that didn't exist even ten years ago.

I'm guessing your response to this sort of bias will be crickets chirping. Whatever effect you think an undercurrent sexism has on hiring, it is utterly swamped by the (massive, public) drive for diversity goals. If fair hiring was really your game you wouldn't tolerate that, either.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 07:37:46 PM by JoshCrow »

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #197 on: June 25, 2018, 12:20:33 PM »
Has the pendulum swung. Possibly, I'll grant that. An overcorrection may be necessary to achieve a lasting equilibrium.

I'm not aware of any studies showing a female preference, most of the blind resume tests show the opposite.

Ideally, it would be possible to complete a screening process without ever knowing the race or gender of the person being hired. This has been done in orchestra hiring with a surge in female representation as a result.

blind auditions

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You could try to do your evaluation without knowing the sex of the person you're evaluating. If you didn't know whether the applicant was a man or a woman, then your biases shouldn't be triggered. Needless to say, it's quite difficult to set up a process that truly is gender blind.

An interview makes it impossible. But even written descriptions of applicants contain hints about the sex of the person. The most obvious, of course, is the name, but there are other subtle indicators there, too.

Letters of recommendation that don't use first names may nonetheless reveal the sex of the person being written about. Women get described as caring about their students or clients, while men are said to have strong relationships with those groups. It's unplanned, it's not intended, but we do it. And when we do, we give different impressions about the qualifications of applicants.

If we could avoid interviews and steer clear of using written profiles to review candidates, maybe we could stay gender neutral. Except, what would then be the basis for our decisions? Here's where the orchestras come into play.

So I accept and embrace a preference in hiring that hopefully offsets bias that is hard to get rid of.

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In the 1970s and 1980s, orchestras began using blind auditions. Candidates are situated on a stage behind a screen to play for a jury that cannot see them. In some orchestras, blind auditions are used just for the preliminary selection while others use it all the way to the end, until a hiring decision is made.

Even when the screen is only used for the preliminary round, it has a powerful impact; researchers have determined that this step alone makes it 50% more likely that a woman will advance to the finals. And the screen has also been demonstrated to be the source of a surge in the number of women being offered positions.

By the way, even a screen doesn't always yield a gender blind event. Screens keep juries from seeing the candidates move into position, but the telltale sounds of a woman's shoes allegedly influenced some jury members such that aspiring musicians were instructed to remove their footwear before coming onto the stage.

So when a woman's shoes can diminish her chance of being hired, forgive me if I don't shed a tear for the incel crowd not being able to land a position because of diversity programs.

JoshCrow

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #198 on: June 25, 2018, 08:38:16 PM »
Has the pendulum swung. Possibly, I'll grant that. An overcorrection may be necessary to achieve a lasting equilibrium.

If the only acceptable endpoint is representation in each job of about 50/50, I think it would be a recipe for misery to get there - not just for men, for everyone. The important thing is, as it ever should be, to ensure that people have equal opportunities to go and work in fields they please (and I'll grant that this can include creating 'welcoming environments', but I think that could simply mean having proper handling of harassment and enough of a critical mass that you're not the only one there "of your group").

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I'm not aware of any studies showing a female preference, most of the blind resume tests show the opposite.

Ideally, it would be possible to complete a screening process without ever knowing the race or gender of the person being hired. This has been done in orchestra hiring with a surge in female representation as a result.

Yes I'm familiar with the success story of orchestras (and it's worth remembering that this was adopted more than 40 years ago, when sexism was far more rampant). Are you familiar with the modern-day failures of this sort of strategy? Remember, the modern context is one in which companies are now invested in playing the diversity game.

For example, in Canada, blind resumes had no effect on hiring of minority applicants for federal jobs.
https://ipolitics.ca/2018/01/24/blind-recruitment-test-showed-no-impact-hiring-process-commission-says/

And in Australia, a rather famous recent study just showed that perversely it had the opposite of its intended effect in a genderless resume trial (stunning the researchers who did the study).

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-30/bilnd-recruitment-trial-to-improve-gender-equality-failing-study/8664888

My point is, currently the discrimination has overcorrected and attempts to "blind" the application process are actually either ineffective or (worse, from your POV) removing the overcorrection.

TheDrake

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Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« Reply #199 on: June 26, 2018, 10:57:02 AM »
The Canadian study only hid names on resumes, but it is important to note that you are dealing here with a government organization in Canada - I would suggest that is one of the least likely places for discrimination. In the article you linked, it even cites the following:

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A 2012 study by University of Toronto researchers found job applicants with English-sounding names were 35 per cent more likely to receive a call back than those with Indian or Chinese names, which they said suggested an unconscious bias.

Not a gender bias, but bias nonetheless. The Australian study was also about public service. Of course, no competent company is likely to run such an experiment and get the results published.

Interventions That Affect Gender Bias in Hiring: A Systematic Review

This meta paper looks at 27 different studies.

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]All but one study confirmed that male applicants are evaluated more positively than female applicants for employment in male sex-typed jobs. It was easier for men than for women with identical qualifications to be recommended for advancement in the job-acquisition process, such as being granted an interview or being hired.

This wasn't about how many women preferred those jobs, they were applying so they preferred them.

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This systematic review reaffirmed the ubiquity of unconscious stereotypes regarding the behaviors and traits associated with being male or female, the ease with which these stereotypes are activated, and the consequent negative bias against women applicants for jobs historically occupied by men. More important, however, this review documents the capability for mitigating the automatic activation and subsequent application of these biases.

As far as things being better now that back in the 70s and 80s?

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This review covered more than 30 years of publications. More recent studies often built on previous work and tended to employ more sophisticated interventions and analyses, but there was no clear diminution of gender bias in the findings between earlier and more recent studies.