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Comment Re:Now he should be shot by a native American (Score 1) 1149

Native Americans living in the Rocky Mountain area was primarily nomadic prior to the arrival of Columbus, but most other areas of the US were primarily populated by agrarian tribes (though hunter-gatherer cultures were interspersed). Many previously agrarian tribes moved to a more nomadic lifestyle after the arrival of Columbus; the nomadic lifestyle was made more attractive by the combination of civilization collapse due to depopulation by western diseases (which killed upwards of 50-80% of the peoples of North America even prior to Jamestown and Plymouth), the boom of many animal species such as buffalo and passenger pigeons after the depopulation, and the introduction of domestic horses.

Comment Re:State sponsored corporate spies (Score 1) 469

Speaking of statistics, there were 21 people hired, and 17 were "non-asian" and 4 were "asian"

Now here's the problem when we go down the rabbit hole of stats, percentages, and hiring by race.

The lawsuit makes no claims about percentages by race in relation to the larger population (as you seem to imply), but only to percentage in reference to the qualified applications. 95 of the qualified applicants for those 21 QA engineering intern positions were asian, and only 35 were non-Asian. But half of the non-Asian applicants were hired while only 5% of the Asian applicants were hired, indicating differential hiring from the applicant pool.

From the article: "The likelihood that this result occurred according to chance is approximately one in a billion," said the lawsuit,

Yeah - I'm going to have to call bullshit on that - I'd love to see that math.

I'm not sure exactly which method they've used, but here's one simple option: Assuming equivalent merit of applicants, "random chance" means choosing 21 applicants randomly from the applicant pool of 95 Asian and 35 non-Asian applicants. We want to compute the probability that only 4 or less of those 21 selected applicants are Asian. The number of Asian applicants selected follow a hypergeometric distribution. This distribution doesn't have a simple formula computing tail probabilities (your welcome to look it up), but many statistics packages will do it. This methods gives us a roughly 1 in 60 million probability of 4 or less Asian hires due to random chance. Not 1 in a billion, but I suspect that the Department of Labor's analysis incorporated additional information. And 1 in 60 million is still low enough to suggest that something is going on.

But then, according to the article The majority of Palantir's hires as engineering interns, as well as two other engineering positions, "came from an employee referral system that disproportionately excluded Asians,"

And both the comments are from the lawsuit, so I give them veracity as an integral part of the lawsuit

Well, right there is your answer. These interns and two engineering positions came from employee referrals.

In my professional life, I'm exposed to a lot of different ethnicities, but if I referred every "asian" for placement in an open position, and no non "asians" at all, and they all were hired, it might hit 20 percent, of which this lawsuit is considered racially discriminating.

And this is likely (at least part) of what's going on. Employee referral programs are definitely not "by random chance".

So what this is actually an attack against is the process of referral. Should a referral of a known non-"asian" who might have a great track record, be disregarded for an unknown "asian" person, or even more importantly, if referrals are to become verboten, should a non-"asian" be not hired and an "asian" of known flaws be hired?

So perhaps the process of employees giving assessments of people they know is what is considered racist. That's actually a little scary, because it means an employee who knows a person as a bad actor will then not be allowed to make commentary on that.

Employee referral programs can exacerbate existing demographic imbalances, and cause members of certain demographics to have a much more difficult time getting hired at your company. Just because the discrimination is structurally propagated does not get the company off the hook. Large companies that want to avoid exactly this situation closely monitor their key demographics and balance their use of employee referrals to ensure diversity.

Comment Re:Not hacking (Score 1) 85

It's worse than that (or better, depending on perspective). So far as I can tell, Alibaba decided to sell a limited number of leftover boxes at cost through their internal sales system. Apparently the system was immediately overloaded, so employees weren't able actually purchase the boxes by clicking the "buy" button. A few employees whipped up a script to click the button faster to try to get orders through, and ended up buying 124 boxes between them. Alibaba called this a "hack" and fired them 2 hours later. If that's actually how it went down, it sounds pretty damn stupid on Alibaba's part. Maybe there's some cultural differences, but a) selling something through a computer system where demand far outstrips supply is stupid to begin with - just do a lottery for purchase rights; b) restrict the number of boxes an individual can buy; c) maybe just retroactively restrict their purchases to certain # of boxes rather than firing them? Sounds like power-tripping managers who don't know what a hack is and think that throwing a limited number of (apparently highly desirable) items out to a large mass of employees first-come-first-serve is a hilarious fucking game.

Comment Re:This will be fun (Score 1) 584

Yeah, no. "Making the world more fair" is ideally the whole point of government, no matter where you sit. Protecting individual freedoms is one of the mandates of government. Take away as much government as you seem to want to, and you'll find yourself with less freedoms, not more. And those marginalized individuals that you are so quick to throw under the bus? Their individual freedoms are infringed all the time!

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 152

If you scroll down three sentences, you'll see a chart where, by golly! state police workers have the second highest rate of workplace injury, surpassed only by (state government) nursing! If you look at days away from work rate, job transfer or restriction (DART), it moves to fourth behind state and local nursing and local fire departments. Construction makes the list - it's close to policing for injury rate and DART, but the RATE is smaller for both measures. There's just a heck of a lot more construction workers that police officers, so total injuries are very high.

Comment Re:Quantum Mechanics and Determinism (Score 1) 335

A coin flip is very different from what we usually mean by a judgment. Would you trust a human soldier that makes random choices about what to do in life-or-death situations? Ideally, they should be able to explain their reasoning / training in each situation, and if the decision does not hold up to retrospective scrutiny, should be held accountable for their actions and/or should adjust their reasoning used in future situations. "Judgement" with a large component of randomness involves no reasoning, and so I'm skeptical of it's usefulness in life-or-death situations (and whether it should be called "judgement" at all).

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