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Comment Re:Yeah, right. (Score 1) 892

The wage-gap argument doesn't even make sense. Just imagine if a company could get the same productivity out of women and pay them 30% less. It would have an enormous competitive advantage over every other company in its industry and all the companies would quickly be forced to either hire all women themselves or go out of business, not because of any misguided government interference, but purely because of overwhelming free-market forces. The same argument applies for women in the boardroom. If they gave a company a distinct competitive advantage, every company would already be forced by the market to have lots of them.

You are being very stupid. Your basic mistake is in assuming that the free market is 100% efficient and free of prejudice. What on earth gives you that impression? Hiring and firing responds to the trends of the day. Why do you think the participation of women in the economy has been changing over time? Why do you think the wage-gap has been changing? Why is the level of the pay gap perfect and just today, of all days, when it wasn't back in the 90s, the 80s, the 70s or the 1840s?

The fact is, prejudice exists despite the fact that it creates inefficiencies and makes more prejudiced people and companies perform worse. Because prejudice takes time to work itself out of the system! The Nazis refused to allow women into their munitions factories all the way until the end, even though this terrible decision contributed to their defeat to the Soviets who did so, and even put women into the front lines. If your argument was correct, the Nazis would never have done so, they would have seen the effects of their prejudices coming a long way off. But they didn't because they were idiots and in the real world there are a lot of idiots.

Ellen Pao's experiment, whether it works or not, is part of the process whereby inefficiencies are removed from the system. To do so, after all, people need to try different things. People like you, who think the status quo is perfect already, have always existed, and have successively been proven wrong again and again throughout history.

Comment Re:Everything's a negotiation (Score 1) 892

I think there are a lot of definitions of 'good' negotiators in play here. Like, a 'good' negotiator in a pay negotiation might be someone who opts for a lower salary because they understand the pressures the business is under and do not want to earn more than their colleagues doing equivalent quality work. Such a person, willing to sacrifice for the greater good, would be a good asset to the company. However in the context, a 'good' negotiator is a person that is simply better at extracting more money from the company for their personal enrichment, at the detriment of everyone else, by refusing to compromise.

Why should that be rewarded with higher pay? Why is that good in a team member?

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 892

If they make the "best offer" and the pay gap disappears, then what? Will *you* go nuts?

I also don't believe that ending negotiations would result in decreased salaries on average - it could well result in increased salaries, since the default salaries can be set to be higher because there is less need of an allowance for unexpected changes due to negotiations. From a management perspective, that increased certainty would be worth paying a little bit more. Ending haggling in retail, for example, has enabled shops to offer on average better deals than previously.

It seems like a worthy experiment, in general.

Comment Re:1984 (Score 1) 160

1984 was not a warning *or* a how to manual. It was a novel.

It was one guy, George Orwell's imagination, mainly commenting on Stalinist Russia, as part of the wider movement of the western Left's dissatisfaction and sense of betrayal over developments in the USSR. The Cold War drove the popularity of 1984 and its sister work, Animal Farm, because they could be used in the wider struggle against Communism.

Things that are slightly like what is depicted in 1984 are not automatically bad, nor are things not in 1984 automatically okay.

Comment Re:Useless (Score 1) 75

Is sharing targetting info useful enough to justify having to recharge your gun every X hours, and risk suffering a software crash every now and then? And what if your adversary intercepts all that valuable targetting info you are broadcasting, and now know exactly where all your guys are and where they are aiming?

Comment Re:Highly unlikely this will ever show up. (Score 1) 75

Of course I do realize that the entire reason for this new weapons system is to at least get better rifles into the hands of the soldiers up there. I just don't think it'll ever get through the politicized purchasing process.

The entire reason for this new weapons system is to secure lucrative contracts for its manufacturers. If they wanted better rifles into the hands of the soldiers they would be looking into affordable tried and tested weaponry instead of new high tech ones that will almost inevitably lead to decades of expensive 'teething problems'.

Comment Re:The End of War == First Post (Score 1) 439

It would deter *them* from doing anything in the first place, but what's to deter *us*? With our countermeasures set up, there's no downside to attacking.

And if they think we are likely to attack the moment we have these countermeasures set up, that's a pretty strong incentive to attack pre-emptively. Perfect defenses are a powerful offensive tool.

Comment Re:Misleading Title (Score 1) 213

Yes. Exactly!

On the grand scale of things, I would suggest that evolution *vastly* favours cooperation. No, really. Think about all the cells in your body working together to form a multi-cellular organism. Think about the organelles in symbiosis within those same cells. Think about bacteria sharing plasmids amongst each other, and forming aggregates. Think about ecosystems where different organisms form finely balanced cycles, where no single element ever predominates. Think about the majority of encounters you have with other people in human society, and the large numbers of colony/herd/flock arrangements in wildlife.

Comment There is no power. (Score 4, Informative) 350

I am actually a statistician. And this 'study' looks pretty worthless.

The problem is the issue of a 'huge gap'. What gap is huge? Well, we can try and do a power calculation. How big does the gap between the black and white targets *need* to be, to have a good chance of showing up in this test?

This is simple enough to calculate. Plug in some numbers:
1. Sample size in each group - 50
2. Level of Significance - 0.05
3. Power - i.e. the desired probability of finding there to be a significant difference, *if a difference exists*. I've chosen a standard number of 0.8 - i.e. allow for a 20% chance of missing a true effect by accident.

Fixing the proportion of inappropriates for the white woman at 70%, we find.... 91.8%.

In other words, with this sample size, we actually only rule out a difference of 70% vs 91.8%, or in other words, an over 2/3rds drop in the proportion of people finding the picture appropriate.

To rephrase: if the truth was that 2/3rds of the people who think a white woman is breastfeeding would *not* think a black person breastfeeding is appropriate - a situation that I think you'd agree is very racist - then we'd miss such an effect in an experiment like this over 1/5th the time. Even assuming the experiment was conducted ideally, and no one was just randomly clicking to earn money.

This article is meaningless.

Comment Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 1) 184

Who said anything about practicing lawyers? The text of the rules regarding lawyers refer to all lawyers.

The reason why there is no abundance of dangerous terrorists who are simultaneously lawyers, is because there is no expectation of special legal protection for lawyers, outside of one specific thing, attorney-client communications. Thus there is no value for a terrorist or serial killer to declare themselves a lawyer. If the GCHQ rules have said something different, that *in principle, lawyers are automatically exempt from security services investigations*, without any regard to necessity or proportionality, you can bet a lot more people would declare themselves a 'lawyer' for the convenience of it.

There are no required qualifications to practice law in the UK. A blanket ban on investigating lawyers is essentially unworkable.

Comment Re:Full passage (Score 2) 184

In other words, despite the summary saying "British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications", the actually released documents say almost exactly the opposite.

British spies explictly do not have, by default, the authority to target the communications of lawyers, and even if they were granted authority, legally privileged attorney-client communications are explicitly barred from their access, being excised from transcripts by audio analysts before being passed to investigators.

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