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Comment: Re: no... just no..er, yes? (Score 1) 203

by ShanghaiBill (#49504403) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

BM was parked in a lot whose business had closed two hours earlier.

If the business was closed, then what was the harm in her parking there?
Did the business complain, or did the towing company take her car on their own initiative?
Is there any regulatory limit on how much a towing company can demand from car owners?
Does the business get a kickback, for their participation in this extortion racket?

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 4, Insightful) 171

by ShanghaiBill (#49496189) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

Is it really common practice now to have laid off workers escorted out by security?

It is fairly common. Sometime the terminatees will delete files, copy confidential information, or even sabotage equipment. I have seen all of these things happen, and was sometimes surprised by who did it. The polite quiet submissive people often have the most bottled up rage.

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 4, Insightful) 171

by ShanghaiBill (#49496165) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

There's a difference between being fired and laid off

Not really. Historically, "fired" meant you permanently lost your job, while "laid off" means you were furloughed but would be called back when more work was available. Today, "fired" is generally used to mean "terminated for cause", while "laid off" is generally used to mean terminated as part of a head count reduction or, in C-speak, "right-sizing". But mostly the two terms are used interchangeably. People use "fired" when they are being blunt, and "laid off" when they prefer a more euphemistic phrase.

Comment: Re: What's the problem? (Score 5, Informative) 180

by ShanghaiBill (#49495157) Attached to: Social Science Journal 'Bans' Use of p-values

There was a very well-controlled study where two sets of anonymous letters of application ...

This study was conducted by Stephen Levitt, and is described in his book Freakonomics, which is a fantastic book for anyone interested in the application of statistics to social science. Here is the original paper.

Comment: Re:I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 2) 588

Of course, China, Iran and Russia execute way more people than the US too.

China and Iran, yes. But Russia has executed no one since 1996, and has de-facto abolished the death penalty.

Perhaps part of the reason their incarceration rates are lower is that execution eliminates the need for incarceration.

No. Even in China and Iran, the number executed is a miniscule proportion of the total prison population.

Comment: Re:Because girls just can not hack it with boys. (Score 1) 588

this sort of STEM school is actually a great way to try to remedy the issue. There are a number of studies that have shown girls do better at STEM in single-sex classrooms.

Separate classes are okay. Separate schools are not. Especially when the schools are not equal. Dumping the boys into a "language arts" school is not an acceptable alternative. Being an effective communicator, and being able to write well, have very little to do with "language arts" classes.

Whether this is because they stop trying to impress boys ...

My experience, is for mixed gender groups, the boys will dominate, and the girls will become passive observers. Since they self-segregate into single gender teams (I use 2 to 4 kids per team), this is not a problem in practice. But even then the group dynamics are very different. Teams of boys will quickly establish a hierarchy, and the "leader" will resolve disputes. Teams of girls try to do things by consensus, and will occasionally get stuck when they don't all agree on the best path. So sometimes I have to get involved, and make them vote, or I just make the decision for them, so they can move on.

Comment: Re:I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 2) 588

Reduced sentences for men ... I should note that I don't actually support this

You should support it. America has the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world. We imprison more than four times as many people as China, Russia, and Iran. There is little evidence that these long prison terms are effective, and plenty of evidence that the prisons are factories for making hardened criminals. It is also an appalling waste of resources. We spend more on prisons than we spend on higher education. Imagine if most of the money spent on prisons was invested in prenatal nutrition, decent education, better mental health care, and treatment for drug addiction. Do you seriously doubt that crime would be lower?

Comment: Re:I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 2) 588

Typically females are discouraged from entering science and engineering and it starts at an early age.

This is the opposite of what I have seen. Both the schools and many parents try hard to push girls into STEM. It is the girls themselves that are disinterested. The discouragement comes from their peers, not from "the system".

Comment: Re:Because girls just can not hack it with boys. (Score 5, Interesting) 588

I just do not know that this is really needed. I know lots of very smart women in STEM that are very bit as talented as any male.

There is no lack of talent, just lack of interest. I run an after school robotics and programming class at the local elementary school. The boys love it, and beg their parents to sign them up. Most of the girls are there because their tiger-parents* forced them to join. Many of the girls dropped out, especially when the tryouts for the school play started. I was very frustrated when this happened last year, so this year I recruited a nerdy mom to help out, and provide a role model. That made no difference in the dropout rate.

I think a separate program for girls is a bad idea. It just gives them the message that they can't compete. When we form teams the kids always self-segregate by gender, but that is their choice, not something being pushed on them by the authorities. Since they are on separate gender teams, the girls are not dominated by pushy boys trying to show off. Completely separate classes are not needed.

*ALL of the girls that participate are Asian (Chinese, Indian, or Vietnamese). I have never had a single white/black/Hispanic girl join. I live in San Jose, which has lots of Asians. If I lived in a "normal" place, the gender balance would likely be even worse.

Comment: Re:get rid of the H-1B job lock and set a higher m (Score 1) 292

by ShanghaiBill (#49490159) Attached to: IT Worker's Lawsuit Accuses Tata of Discrimination

And thus the large increase in help wanted signs is a unicorn.

Even if this "large increase" existed, it would not be evidence of causality. But the city leaders say there has been little impact on jobs: City manager Todd Cutts says there has been no impact on sales tax or property tax, and no change in the number of business licenses issued. ... “We’re not seeing the big benefits that proponents said we would because so few people are affected,” said Guppy. “And at the same time, it’s not having a ripple effect through the economy. It just affects so few jobs, it’s not having much impact.”

Comment: Re:get rid of the H-1B job lock and set a higher m (Score 1) 292

by ShanghaiBill (#49489247) Attached to: IT Worker's Lawsuit Accuses Tata of Discrimination

Every time the minimum goes up the economy gets a boost which leads to more jobs.

You say this, and then you provide citations with say the opposite. From your own citation: A review of 64 studies on minimum wage increases found no discernable effect on employment.

"No discrenable effect" is not "a boost which leads to more jobs".

I've got all the money I'll ever need if I die by 4 o'clock. -- Henny Youngman

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