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Comment: Re:This whole issue needs to be buried (Score 1) 358

I'm not going to reply to most of you post because I think it's getting unproductive and one part has more interesting to discuss than the rest combined.

However, I do wish you'd drop all the accusations of "moral crusader" and whatnot because you're basically inventing motivations for me and trying to divert the topic into mud-slinging.

However, it is important to remember that equality of opportunity is not the same thing as equality of outcome

I never claimed it was. However, I still dispute your point that the ONLY reason for the salary gap is because of years on the job. The reason I dispute it is there appear to be examples of unequal opportunity.

Some jobs require a given personality type or philosophy to be successful or even competent. And for various reasons the sexes have different distributions of these personality types which in itself is going to lead to statistical differences.

Quite possibly.

However, people are terrible at statistics: if there is a genuine statistical bias across genders (I'll accept that in this section for the sake of argument), then in the absence of any information, picking based on gender is the best you can do. Of course no one makes blind hires. If you have additional information on the quality of the person then the gender provides no further information.

I suspect you already know that.

The problem arises in that people are not good at statistics and make the assumption of independence and so after assessing quality using other measures then multiply in the effect of gender. Not everyone does this: I've had one conversation with someone who was making this mistake. Of course the person didn't know about statistical independence and marginals and conditionals.

You can see evidence of such errors in other things, such as the CIA's "Casio terrorist watch", which was frankly embarrassing. It's the bloody CIA: they ought to have one person on staff with a basic understanding of statistics!

Naturally people think they're being rational---actually they are when they make these decisions. It's rational to make decisions based on evidence. However their lack of understanding of statistics leads them down the wrong path.

Anyway, backing up from that, a genuine statistical difference also exacerbates other problems. Assuming men and women are equally sexist in a male dominated field, women will experience more sexism than men and vice-versa:

The interesting thing about that is that it requires only (a) a base level of sexism [it applies equally well to any -ism] and (b) an imbalance.

What things like that lead to is that for people in the minority, they will likely experience more bias against them than people in the majority. The interesting thing is I don't think that depends on any gender issues at all. It in one case depends on people misunderstanding proability and statistics (you'd have to provide a MOUND of evidence to convince me people do understand them) and in the other case, not even that.

So even without people being ethically or morally bad about something, you can still get biases cropping up pretty much as emergent behaviour.

Comment: MS is still hostile to open formats (Score 4, Interesting) 55

by Burz (#49389959) Attached to: UK Forces Microsoft To Adopt Open Document Standards

And that makes them hostile to open software in my book. They insist on treating Linux-formatted disks as essentially blank and have Windows tell the user the volume must be formatted to be used; fixing this would be simple in the extreme and would not even require an ability to read an Ext* volume. They stonewall AV formats like Vorbis when they could be added easily to existing apps. Really, the list goes on. The place where they have capitulated is formats that are intrinsic to the web (while parading their proprietary stuff as "open" hoping enough people will take the bait).

MS still promotes lock-in. And from what I gather even their new .NET licensing terms are designed to leave you on the hook.

+ - You spoke, we listened!

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First, we know how everyone felt about Beta. Beta is now simply redirected to the all new look and feel of our current Slashdot site. We took the old code out back and shot it, so set your mind at ease.

Second, we have posted way too many April first articles. Starting next year, we are hoping to limit this to one article. Competition begins at midnight, so submit your articles early. In the event of ties we may have to post two or more articles, we'll play this by ear for now. We hope that ties do not exceed thirty or more articles, but it's your votes so we can make no promises.

Third, we are adding an "edit" button to posts. Finally, you will be able to catch those unwanted errors in grammar and tags and be able to make corrections as you see fit. Edits will be restricted to one per article, and first come first serve. Yes, that's right! You can fix your friends article for them if they make a typo too! We are all about the user here at Slashdot.

Lastly, we are offering "premium" members the option of opting out of auto-play video. Anonymous posters and users with bad Karma will still receive the video with auto-play enabled, and at a volume of 10. Advertisers are demanding the audio level, and this is out of our control.

Enjoy your April 1st!"

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 52

by tnk1 (#49387969) Attached to: Madman: Proximity To Black Hole "Not a Big Deal"

I remember seeing it. Not in the theater, but maybe on TV or someone rented it or something. It was not too bad for the time, although actually a little more odd and scary than the other Disney fare you'd have gotten back in the day.

And yes, don't bother seeing it if you know anything about how real black holes work. This is very much something you only really enjoy if you are a kid, or your understanding of black holes is almost completely uninformed.

Comment: Re:It is open source, it isn't free (Score 1) 197

Because it's one thing for a project to have a MIT license where no patent promises are given. It's another to spell out a patent promise that specifically forbids certain behaviors that are common in open source. Not being able to use the code in non .NET projects makes it very unappealing as much open source is reused and ported to other platforms.

Comment: Re:Almost agree (Score 1) 369

by s.petry (#49387543) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

Education 100 years ago was not controlled by a Government body. Surely there were exceptions, but schools worked off of a certain philosophy which has been replaced. We could also argue that not everyone could go to school 100 years ago, or some such tangent which ignores the problem I brought up.

I also doubt your claim that education went from classical to Prussian 40 years ago.

Read what I wrote again. I did not state that it was done 40 years ago, I stated that it took about 40 years to remove the classical system completely from our schools. The introduction of the Prussian system was in the 1930s when the US Department of Education was formed. The founders explicitly stated that they wanted workers in industry, not people that could think. History is a marvelous thing, and all of this is well documented.

Comment: Re:Don't worry actors (Score 2) 307

by jedidiah (#49387377) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

In general Ewan seemed much more appropriate for the role of teenage Anakin than Hayden. Hayden was just cardboard. And no I have not been impressed by him in any other roles either. Whereas some of Ewan's earlier work are spot on for the kind of character Anakin needed to be in the prequels.

Bad acting due to bad direction and horrible writing aggravated by casting that was also bad.

The prequel had too much George in it.

Comment: Re:Lottery (Score 1) 234

by s.petry (#49386845) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

Are you trying to suggest that Politicians are above the treatment everyone else in society receives? Do you somehow believe that even though every cable and communication you send to grandma gets archived and sifted through, people like Hillary Clinton should be exempt? Evidence provided to law enforcement agencies by the NSA can not include those "special" class of people?

No, you must have something else in mind and simply failed so state your case properly.

Comment: Re:This whole issue needs to be buried (Score 1) 358

You don't know the reason for the behavior. And absent a "why" you can't cite bigotry or prejudice.

Nope. Case in point: I don't need to know why someone says "all men are smelly violent thugs who will rape women given the opportunity" to know that they're a bigoted fool.

The "why" is critical. And without that you can't speak to the motivations of anyone making any of those choices

I wasn't speaking about the motivations. You are the only one doing that.

The allegation is sexual discrimination. You don't know that. You know that decisions are being made on a single variable but you don't know WHY.

No, I don't know why, but the actual reason is of cold comfort if you're being discriminated against. For example, when women were denied the vote by virtue of being female, the ultimate motives for the denial are immaterial.

The fact that both sexes are making the same choice suggests that it is not discrimination.

Nope. Plenty of women disagreed with universal sufferage. Most people like to stick with the status quo.

But this is typical of you: first you try to deny the existence of discrimination. Once it's been shown to exist beyone any reasonable argument you insist that it's all invalid unless you know the motivation of the people involved.

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.