Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Error in headline (Score 2, Insightful) 301

> And, although their suggestion about male superiority is pretty unpleasant at multiple levels, it *is* a possible explanation for observational survey results. None of us might like that, but it's possible.

while possible it's also almost completely baseless. It's also possible that these researchers are blonde and the review was actually a subconsious response to blonde hair and odd but true, dark-haired people make the best researchers. No one really wants to admit that blondes are actually stupider but it's something we should be prepared to face when the mountain of evidence in the article reveals this to be a central truth.

It's actually a quite plausible statistical consequence of programs aimed at increasing the number of women in STEM fields.

what?? no not at all. The whole purpose in increasing women in stem was to combat this statistic. It's not a result of trying to get women in. if anything it's a symptom that we still don't have enough women in. that's like saying that increasing the number of minority coders will decrease the overall quality of code produced. It's true in a way that completely ignores causality because all the black and latino kids who are coding now didn't learn to code from their engineering parents on some of the very first personal computing machines. Hey it's 50 years since civil rights and black people still make up the large population of criminals just like [those] organizations told us. Obviously it's a consequence of giving them all those rights and not say a lingering statistic that is a complex result of old cultural norms still be ingrained in the social practices of contemporary society.

The highest performing researchers will be given positions and grants regardless of their gender. If there are then slots or scholarships or grants for women without respect to their performance, it will increase the amount of research done by women but lower its average quality.

Again that's taking some pretty hefty jumps. Why not expect the opposite? With a history of sexual bias that would mean that qualified women have missed out because of their gender, meaning that men have gotten the job who were less qualified which means the overrepresentation of men is what reduces the overall quality of the field. Increasing the amount of women would serve to balance this and actually increase the average.

Let's transpose this to a different time: "Oh well no black person has ever gone to [Insert upper level educational facility named after a vine here] so while we're increasing the number of black students it's actually decreasing our schools overall intelligence. All of our non-black students have 5 generations of attendance and a legacy of expectation and support systems in place and years of grooming and a culture where this is normal, our black students have none of that, and all except the three who earned presidential scholarships are looked upon as tokens anyway (they just have state minority scholarships) but hey maybe the opposition is right that we should ignore when they complain about racial bias. It's their fault."

speaking of idiotic statements

The paper was not rejected because of one reviewer. It's standard to have THREE reviewers, this is one guy out of three. Additionally, it's the editor's call whether to accept or reject it. Typically that's based on the reviewers recommendation. However, the editor could and should have ignored that one reviewer and accepted it anyway. Actually, the AE should have deleted the review and said to the authors "Sorry, the third reviewer never turned in his review, sending it out for a different reviewer." The AE could have accepted it even if all three reviewers had insightful criticisms of the paper and said it was horrible.

In other words, the rejection for publication could have nothing to do with that one review, it was not rejected due to that review, it was rejected by the editor who showed poor judgement in accepting the sexist review.

While i recognize the fact that typically it's a standard of three reviewers, FTFA

A paper on gender bias in academia was recently rejected by an academic journal, whose reviewer told the two female authors to "find one or two male biologists to work with" if they wanted to get their work published.
That work, by the way, was a scientific survey of how and why men in academia tend to publish more papers, and in more prestigious academic journals, than women.

and then later

The PLOS journal rejected their paper with a single, anonymous review.

Perhaps this paper has a nonstandard single reviewer system but neither the source article or the cited twitter account details this, imo, minute and academic point beyond the above quotes

Comment: Re:Error in headline (Score 1) 301

I'm an academic journal editor.

I'm torn about whether I would have rejected the review. I would have ignored it probably, but would have I rejected it?

As many have pointed out, if the genders were reversed, this would be playing out in a very different way. Imagine, for example, that males submitted the paper, and the reviewer suggested they have a female co-author. Many would see it as rational, if extreme suggestion, that almost certainly would not have resulted in this outcome.

The difference is that the paper is on the experience of women. It's a paper on women suffering not a paper on men being advantaged [if that's not confusing]. If two guys write this paper they're not writing about how much better the male experience is by looking at it from the male perspective. That would be weird. Maleness is defaultness. The paper in on how the female experience is not the same as the male experience. It's less. Thus it makes sense to suggest an actual female researcher contribute to the effort. I too was wondering how I would respond but after typing this out I don't see how I would have rejected it. And that third reviewer.. good lord what a tool. I'm not even sure i /want/ to read his review because you can't context any non offensive meaning out of that snippet.

Comment: Re:It failed because of UI. (Score 1) 359

by thewolfkin (#49561059) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Seriously, it was, and is, far more confusing and disorienting than Facebook ever was. It looked like a steep learning curve, to guess exactly what the privacy settings are, what "adding to circle" REALLY means, who sees WHAT, etc.

actually I completely disagree. Google+ had privacy settings you could understand. Easy to tell if what you're sending was going to be public or private. Heck you could even (to a limited extent) prevent your friends from resharing your posts if you wanted to all with relative ease. I never had that Facebook fear where the security settings would change and suddenly everything I had posted would become public.

Comment: Re:So cheaters are rewarded, customers get nothing (Score 1) 322

by thewolfkin (#49284265) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

...and Microsoft gets to pay support people to answer questions from people that never paid for their software. So dumb. Microsoft would be better off to cut these people loose and have them run Macs or Chrome or desktop Android. If someone is willing to run hacked XP or 7 for all this time, they're never going to be paying customers. So why support them? Why have market share if you never get revenue?

because they are not in isolation. They're a part of the internet. When their idiocy gets them infected with someone it spreads to the rest of us. It may not be the best solution but there's reasoning behind it.

Comment: Re:Maybe its time to admit racism is real (Score 1) 251

by thewolfkin (#49183407) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

It's real because people like rev whats his face keeps it alive.

oh Sharpton? Rev Al Sharpton is keeping racism alive? Good lord if you guys put half the amount of effort into redefining things like "White Knight" from feminist insult to antifeminist insult and "Social Justice" to "Social Justice Warrior" and "racism" to "race baiting" into actually addressing the matters at hand half these problems could be a fraction of what they were instead of being multiplied.

Comment: of course.. we are our avatars after all (Score 1) 251

by thewolfkin (#49183371) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

We've seen many studies that most of the time we choose avatars that look like us when given the choice. Most people see avatars as extensions of their choices. When you see someone playing a black character you presume that 90% of the time the person is dark skinned in real life. Thus we carry our prejudices into our virtual worlds with us. I'd be more surprised if that wasn't happening. If we've learned nothing since the 90s and Second Life in the early 00s, it's that contrary to popular belief the internet isn't some equalizing playing field making everyone the same footing. It just seemed that way to white tech heads at the time because being white tech heads they're default and thus invisible. When you're not the default the internet can make some interesting assessments about you so you sometimes are put in the box of having to stick out or pretend to be white. The "level playing field" of the internet is basically just that anyone can pretend to be white.

didn't real the full article but I was admittedly surprised that they corrected for bystander effect

The virtual human (either black or white) is the victim and the participant is the potential helper; nobody else appears in the environment until the participant has decided to help or not, because “the belief that others will take action can relieve a bystander from assuming personal responsibility for intervention”

that makes the results a little more chilling. I has assumed they just either helped or walked off assuming someone else helped. Still an interesting read on their methodology

The participant was asked to go to the closet of the virtual building and then exit the floor. Under the time pressure condition, the participant was instructed to reach the exit door “as quickly as possible”. After reaching the closet (location “e” in Fig. 1A), the participant heard the cry for help (“Help me, I’m [Mario/Nkhangweleni]. I’m stuck; I’m in the cafeteria—come here and help me!”). In the fire condition, a fire broke out at the same time (Fig. 1C). The task ended when the participant reached the exit doors, with or without helping the virtual human. Participants who reached the virtual human in the cafeteria found a second virtual human near the victim. The second virtual human was dressed in a typical emergency medical service suit and said, “I’m taking care of him; you go to the exit”. This second virtual human was introduced to avoid that participants started any attempt to actually “help” the victim, since no interaction was actually possible with the victim; and to direct participants to the exit doors so that they could eventually complete the session.

and of course the abstract give an interesting context to this paper

Virtual environments are increasingly used for emergency training, but tend to focus mainly on teaching prescribed emergency procedures. However, social psychology literature highlights several factors that can bias individual response to an emergency in the real world, and would be worth considering in virtual training systems. In this paper, we focus on withdrawal of help due to racial discrimination and explore the potential of virtual environments to trigger this bias in emergency situations. We also test if a virtual emergency is actually reacted to as an emergency.

Comment: Re:Thousands? Really? (Score 1) 255

by thewolfkin (#49029425) Attached to: Jeb Bush Publishes Thousands of Citizens' Email Addresses

I didn't expect there would be thousands of Floridians who were smart enough to know how to use email yet interested in contacting Jeb. Are we sure they aren't thousands of throwaway email addresses used by just a few people?

well sure i'm responsible for like 170 of the addresses but i didn't write ALL of them.

Comment: Re:Tired of this shit (Score 1) 448

by thewolfkin (#48612729) Attached to: Virtual Reality Experiment Wants To Put White People In Black Bodies
what' Kernal is saying is that because of first amendment people can spew racist things and form racist communities all under the guise of "Freedom of speech". Kernal is suggesting that other countries with less free speech might regulate racists to minimize their voice.

Comment: Re:I, Robot from a programmers perspective (Score 1) 165

by thewolfkin (#47925939) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

Yes, which is great. Except that it was not just some edge cases, it was not just hard to think of plausible edge cases. It was every single edge case, so much so that, like I said, none of his robots would last 5 minutes in the real world.

they SEEMED perfect until we put them in the real world and suddenly they would appear to "malfunction"

Yeah I thought I said/agreed with that. As for "every single edge case" well it's hard to judge every edge case because the book only shows the ones where it goes "wrong". We're left to presume that the robots have passed most of the other edge cases. Which I don't think is an unfair presumption. I always assumed that the point of the book again was to prove that trusting in machines isn't like trusting in people. People think, machines obey and obedience is tricky because blind obedience often doesn't take into account edge cases where human will would make decisions obvious.

Comment: Re:I, Robot from a programmers perspective (Score 5, Insightful) 165

by thewolfkin (#47919607) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics
to be fair I thought the whole point of the book was a series of edge cases which would be hard to think of that cause all the "malfunction". The whole point of the book wasn't that the three laws were perfect but that they SEEMED perfect until we put them in the real world and suddenly they would appear to "malfunction"

Hackers are just a migratory lifeform with a tropism for computers.