I am asked a question about commenting


I know you’re all tired of him, but NoelPlum99 is a sincere troll, so I’ll actually answer him, despite the fact that his sincerity is really just a side effect of self-absorption. So he asks in a video, where all the dissenters are (why in a video, I don’t understand; isn’t this a case where his written paragraphs are simpler, shorter, and easier to get through then 2+ minutes of yelling at a camera?)

PZ I ask you – given the footfall of Pharyngula; the contentious nature of the subjects in question; the substantial number of people who disagree with your position; the way in which you are regarded as a lead figure in many of these things; given all of this, is it really credible for you claim you don’t mind reasonable dissent when you appear, for all the world, to not have a single regular dissenter who has not been banned?

You may think I am a troll but please don’t mix up trolls with idiots. If you had a good couple of dozen REGULAR dissenting posters on these issues your arguments would look more convincing. In my couple of months before being banned I never encountered a single one. Not one. Nada. Zilch.

So where are these dissenters PZ? Is this just some incredible statistical freak of nature that you are the only person on earth with a substantial number of detractors but somehow none of them EVER bother to argue regukarlyon your blog, except the ones who are trolls????

Oh, yes. Why don’t I tolerate dissent, from a dissenter who posted here for over 4 months, making 168 comments. I have to say, this is a remarkably stupid question.

Why aren’t 50% of my commenters creationists, just like the American population? Why aren’t 90% of them Christians? Why aren’t a third of them Republicans? We can apply this to every site on the internet: why aren’t the comment threads at AVoiceForMen full of people aghast at the misogyny on display? Why aren’t 10% of the comments at RaptureReady people belittling the inanity of Bible prophecy? Perhaps NoelPlum99 ought to think it through a little bit, and wonder why he assumes that the internet ought to be a great gray panmictic uniformity.

But all right, I’ll just assume that he’s not very bright and explain the obvious. There are a number of reasons why you aren’t ever going to see mobs of angry dissenters here.

This is a self-selected community. Look at the header on the blog: liberals, atheists, science-minded people will congregate here. It’s a successful center for that kind of person, and that means that people with different views — well, those that have a speck of self-awareness — will know that they are going to be a tiny minority in a swarm of opinionated, outspoken, ferocious liberals. Venturing here will be daunting. The mirror of community is that there will also be self-selected avoidance.

I have commenting rules, linked to on the main page. It’s not just the community, but me: this is my party, and I am the bouncer. I keep on eye on things and disruptive intrusions will get shown the door. I hope it’s clear that this is not a completely open noise machine with no expectations or standards of behavior. Reasonable dissent is allowed, but the key word there is reasonable.

So why aren’t there a bunch of reasonable people here disagreeing with the major premises of the blog (there is, of course, a great deal of disagreeing going on in the comments — NoelPlum99 has to have his blinders on to fail to see that — but it’s just not over fundamentals, like the value of science)? Because they can’t disagree reasonably.

Part of the reason is that the culture here means people who have a minority view often charge in here with a chip on their shoulder, promoting confrontation for confrontation’s sake. They’re not here to have a conversation, or discuss issues philosophically; they’re here to assault the fortress, to do their best to piss everyone off. They want to disrupt rather than argue. And like any good bouncer at a party who sees the angry drunk blundering about interrupting conversations, I give them the boot.

Another reason is that when they aren’t aggressively abusive, these dissenters are often completely tone-deaf and unable to see beyond their own myopic little obsessions. Case in point: NoelPlum99. He wasn’t openly abusive; he didn’t charge in like another recently banned spammer who had the username “PZ MEYERS IS A FUCKING DOUCHEBAG”; he was just consistently narcissistic.

In this case, I posted my regrets that Natalie Reed was leaving FtB, and also pointed out something that NoelPlum99 ought to find ironic: that the trolls and abusers are driving someone out of their own space. Oh, no…the real problem, in NoelPlum99’s head, is that blogs have some expected range of behavior that might preclude the participation of assholes, but that those same resentful assholes might be actively trying to shut down entire blogs and blog networks? No, not an issue. No worries. Create an environment of such unremitting hostility that people can’t bear the pressure of posting on their own sites is OK, but how dare a blog ban NoelPlum99?

So NoelPlum99 got banned for a couple of things. One was the complete inappriateness of jumping into a thread regretting Natalie’s departure with the deep sentiment that he didn’t like her. Another was the complete lack of awareness of context: it’s all about him, everywhere. And finally, there was the absurdity of a guy complaining now about how we don’t allow dissent arguing at length in that thread (completely off topic) about how skeptics ought to be able to disallow certain topics, such as gender politics.

And there was another obvious reason why some dissenters get banned: they are obtuse and don’t listen. There are regular commenters here who are similarly obstinate, but at least this is their space and they have voluntarily joined up with a group sharing similar views. If you’re a dissenter, holding a minority view, there’s an expectation that you’re actually here because you’re looking to learn about a different point of view (although, as I said above, usually you’re here about confrontation for confrontation’s sake). You’re getting dogpiled; there are 20 people telling you you’re wrong. Then what happens, typically? You pick the worst possible argument (it’s true, sometimes people I agree with in general do make bad arguments), ignore all the reasonable arguments, and never ever listen. NoelPlum99 was notorious for that. He hung around for 4 months and never changed his tune, never addressed any sensible arguments, and never acknowledged any points that might represent serious concerns by commenters here.

Imagine a party where some boor keeps walking up to conversational groups, announcing his position on some sociopolitical point that may not have anything to do with what the conversation was about, and when the others actually try to engage him, he goes glassy-eyed, ignores them, and eventually wanders off to assert his great truths to a different group. That was NoelPlum99. That was not reasonable dissent.

One last remark: sometimes there is no such thing as reasonable dissent on certain issues. Sometimes trolls are idiots. NoelPlum99 lasted as long as he did because he didn’t come right out and shout some intolerable stupidity; I will, for instance, ban racists on sight, because their arguments are not in any way scientifically or ethically defensible, and in fact are simply odious and evil. NoelPlum99 was smugly privileged and dense, but there was some faint hope that he might actually wake up and recognize his own blinkered view, a hope that faded fairly rapidly.

But otherwise, there are views that I find insufferably stupid, that only idiots would hold, and I’m happy to make this environment as hostile as possible to them. There are no rational grounds, no context for reasonable dissent, for being anti-feminist, for instance, or denying that our culture is deeply patriarchal and sexist. I can see reasonable argument about how we ought to deal with this fact of life, but denial (or worse, the kind of inane argument so many make that “why, calling someone a ‘cunt’ is not a reflection of de facto sexism!”) is going to be fired upon with all ferocity and anyone holding such a view is going to find interacting here intolerable and infuriating, leading to them lashing out and trying to turn the whole blog into a brawl over some really idiotic issues.

And then they get banhammered.

Because really, how do you express “reasonable dissent” from the view that women are people, and that our society institutionalizes discrimination of all sorts?

Comments

  1. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Of course, that’s not to say that some individuals *hint hint* don’t demonstrate a distinct inability to follow the arguments.

    Its good that you’re finally recognizing how badly you suck at debate. That’s a big step for you, diddums! Now, all you have to do is post any sort of evidence for your claims, like big boys do!

    C’mon, diddums! Start with where, when and by who “it was tried”. you’re almost debating like a big boy! Don’t stop now!

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s imaginable. It’s been tried. It doesn’t work.

    Citation needed perpetual liar and bullshitter. Citations are what separate you from liars and bullshitters, who must rely solely on OPINION.

  3. mandrellian says

    I mean, seriously:

    It’s been tried.

    ??

    Now I know you’re not only full of shit, you’re bathing in it.

  4. A. Noyd says

    Galactic Fork (#978)

    Actually it’s very important to the overall argument. (Show of hands who knows why.)

    *raises hand*

    Reading Lee’s clueless comment, I was reminded of the several times playing MMOs where a fellow player (a guy) would assume I’m a guy, and when I corrected him, go on to say my gender doesn’t matter and I’m just looking for attention because why else would I be forcing him to care about whether I’m a girl or a guy. The way a guy like that believes he thinks about gender and the way he actually thinks are very different.

    Same with Lee. And not having the awareness to see the disparity between actual thoughts and beliefs about those thoughts ruins one’s credibility when the discussion hinges on recognizing and dissecting that very difference.

  5. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    AIDS and cancer too, myeck. We should stop trying to do anything, really, if we fail once.

  6. Galactic Fork says

    LeeCoye:

    Actually, it’s really not. Having different (or identical) interests and goal behavior says nothing whatsoever about who is right, nor does would different interests or goal behavior imply inferior/superior intellectual capacity.

    Of course, that’s not to say that some individuals *hint hint* don’t demonstrate a distinct inability to follow the arguments.

    It is. It’s bias. Unless other evidence is presented, you jump to male by default. This is common. Males are the default, women are the other. This is important. And bias does help guide career choices.

  7. lee coye says

    And even if Whoever-it-was failed, is that actually a reason for us not to try it again and try to do better?

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What’s funny is that I’ve heard it’s harder to get into vet school these days than medical school. And I used to helped write letters of recommendation to get students into medical school back in academia. Some awesome talent in either case.

  9. Joe says

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    That looks suspiciously like it isn’t a citation. Do you have one?

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    Only if you don’t know it. And if you knew it, there would be this thing called a citation. If not, nothing but bravado, ignorance, idiocy, and pretense….You chose the latter Lee. It’s called lying and bullshitting, and you are called on it.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Joe, just a heads up – Lee Coye is an AVFMer. Don’t expect anything remotely rational and definitely don’t expect any actual evidence to back up claims.

    Don’t worry Caine, I gave up on Lee’s honesty and integrity with the military thread. I’m playing to the lurkers, making sure they get his number, as an abject fool.

  12. Joe says

    Yeah, I had expected as much. I live in the vain hope that we will all shocked by the appearance of evidence (seems unlikely, as I’m pretty sure evidence supporting Lee’s views doesn’t exist) or an admission that there is no evidence.

  13. Joe says

    (Also, in answer to a much earlier question, Caine, I have been around since shortly before to move to FtB, but I only read the comments on and off. Sorry I didn’t answer earlier, I went to bed.)

  14. mandrellian says

    Lee said fuck all when he said:

    And even if Whoever-it-was failed, is that actually a reason for us not to try it again and try to do better?

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    So – you make a grand claim and your response to a request for evidence is to, what … tell me to go and find your evidence for you? Good to know the kind of keen analytical mind I’m dealing with. Good to know you have such high standards for discourse and such dedication to evidenced debate. And here I was thinking you were little more than a petulant adolescent with a vocabulary.

    In case your obtuseness extends into an inability to perceive sarcasm: your credibility is now farther down the toilet than my Sunday lunch, you goddamned disingenuous little troll.

  15. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    The first time as tragedy. The second time as farce.

  16. anteprepro says

    Holy shit this thread drew in a lot of trolls. But alas brave sir myuido, xe bravely ran away

  17. mandrellian says

    Caine:

    Joe, just a heads up – Lee Coye is an AVFMer.

    Me:

    And here I was thinking you [Lee] were little more than a petulant adolescent with a vocabulary.

    It appears we’ve said more or less the same thing. Clearly, Caine, we share a psychic bond.

  18. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But alas brave sir myuido, xe bravely ran away

    *snicker*
    Like that wasn’t telegraphed from the first post…

  19. anteprepro says

    Also startling that “go find my evidence for me” has been a recurring theme with these ignorant indignant poster children for Dunning-Kruger.

  20. anteprepro says

    Indeed it was dreadfully predictable Nerd. But I am always open to being wrong. So I can be thoroughly entertained otherwise

  21. mandrellian says

    Lee:

    History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    True, in your case. History clearly hasn’t taught you a single fucking thing. Hell, neither has the present, by the looks of things.

  22. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    OOOh that’s almost a godwin. i knew we’d get to the “feminists are nazis” bigot script eventually.

    Where’s your evidence of anything you’ve claims, Lee? Still waiting for your to “man up” instead of consistently being a hilariously incompetent coward.

  23. says

    Lee Coye:

    I’m aware that some of you are uninterested in discussion, and would much prefer taunting, snarky rhetorical barbs,but it’s making it very difficult for me to parse legitimate responses to my arguments(and for sincere commenters to see mine). If you could, perhaps, space those out a little, rather than 15 useless, substance free posts for my every one, the discussion would be much easier to follow.

    Trust me, I’m not even reading them, and some of you I’m skipping entirely. Go do something else while the adults talk

    Given that you’re doing the very thing you’ve just condemned perhaps you should take you sexist ass elsewhere fuckwit.

  24. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I’ve just finished reading the whole thread. (I’m waiting in for a sewing machine to be delivered. No, not for me. For Number 4 Son).

    …phew.

    I almost feel sorry for the poor clueless d00ds, what with the culture shock and all, finding themselves in a place where they and their unevidenced opinions are no longer automatically deferred to simply because of their perceived gender/race/class/sexuality/nationality. After all, they’ve been steeped in it since infancy and, to them, it’s just ‘how the world works’.

    Then I look at all the awesome cis-white-hetero-etc. people in the horde who, finding themselves in the same situation of culture shock, took a step backwards, re-evaluated their preconceptions and prejudices, worked out what everyone was saying and grew up. Who aren’t behaving like entitled toddlers, treating the world as their own personal sandpit.

    And so I stand up to say “Fuck you, aresholes!” Listen, lee coye: no-one is trying to take away your toys – so why are you so invested in preventing us having our own? Telling us that there are ‘biological’ reasons why we can’t join in?! Garbage.

    Everyday sexism:

    There was an occasion a few years ago when another woman and I were sent by our employment agencies to do some sorting work in a factory. The job necessitated some moving of pallets; she had a forklift licence – but the bloke in charge of our section insisted that we had to wait (wasting our time) for a man to operate the forklift truck. She, naturally, was furious. So I told her that this firm must have very special forklift trucks that can only be operated by the insertion of a penis. It didn’t help the outrageous sexism go away, but it did afford us plenty of giggles until we walked off the job.

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Looks like the Pullet Patrol™ has sprung for drinks for the posters, along with popcornz and a bacon sammich each. A long and tiring day and a half…

  26. says

    heliobates:

    So what’s the difference between “freely choosing” to go into teaching when many of the doors have been closed to me through a constant barrage of “women don’t do that…” “girls don’t like to do that stuff…” “women aren’t smart enough…”, and “freely choosing” to go into teaching because socio-cultural conditioning effectively railroads me into a narrow range of careers and I am unable to either contemplate other possibilities or overcome the barriers in my path?

    In other words, yes it’s her choice to become a teacher, and that choice is valid, except that the choice didn’t spring sui generis into her life. The constant barrage of conditioning, then unending nudges to go in the socially-approved directions is called sexism. Yes, it’s institutionalized discrimination

    Very nicely put!
    (I wonder if joey in the Thunderdome would understand this. He doesn’t seem to understand institutionalized sexism or patriarchy. I think he and lee coye are BFFs.)

  27. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    uh-oh, did asking lee for evidence cause him to bravely tuck tail and run away again?

  28. says

    uh-oh, did asking lee for evidence cause him to bravely tuck tail and run away again?

    he’s just hitting the reset button, will be back shortly with more silliness.

  29. mandrellian says

    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle:

    uh-oh, did asking lee for evidence cause him to bravely tuck tail and run away again?

    Do people dedicated to little more than their vapid opinions and who make iron-clad assertions have any other fucking response but to bugger off (or “rise above it” or project their failings or chide others for being intolerant or etc.) after being asked to support their assertions with something other than more assertions?

    Lee’s a textbook example of why we need to keep having this conversation about sexism.

    In fact (as I’ve said before), the fact that we keep having this conversation is the main reason we need to keep having this conversation.

  30. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Lee coye kept the women in the military thread going for over a week. Jadehawk is right, he has not given up. His mind is impervious.

  31. throwaway, Preferred singular pronouns: they, them, their, it says

    [meta – but at 1000 posts in what isn’t meta?]
    Janine @ 1032:

    It is what you think it is.

    My first thought was that exact song! I played the hell out of the album back in ’98. It went well with my Goldeneye 007 marathons.

  32. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Ooooh he’s been here before? (don’t think I caught that thread) And he came back for a 10,000th ass-handing-to-him?

    maybe we’re wrong about him. maybe he just likes getting “spanked” by women. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I know a lot of those guys. but usually, they avoid the whole insecure sexist thing and just hire a dominatrix.

  33. Lofty says

    lee coye doesn’t need evidence. After all, his opinions are those of an intellectual, and everyone knows how self important they are. Where would we be without the opinions of lee coye? Doing sensible things, I suppose.
    /still learning

  34. Have a Balloon says

    Sirs,

    Since posting my polite and respectful comments yesterday, I find that the level of discourse in this thread has only sunk further. Rather than my arguments being engaged with, I have been personally attacked by the commenters merely for expressing an opinion. Do not get me wrong – I am not angry with you. I feel only sadness that a once-great discussion board has become such a laughing-stock, and that none of you are capable of seeing it. Once again I reiterate that I will soon be leaving PZ Meyers to his echo chamber, never to return.

    The treatment of Mr. Coye on this thread has been shameful. He has argued well and presented strong, peer-reviewed data to back up his ideas, and yet this is met only with ad hominem attacks and anecdotes. Is it really such a threat to your god of Feminism that sexism may not be the only explanation for every difference between men and women in society? For example, my wife is a homemaker, while I am a lumberjack. It could just as easily have been the other way around, but ever since she was a little girl she dreamed of being a stay-at-home wife and mother. She grew up with play kitchens, and toy microwaves, and dolls in prams until that became her lifelong dream. Should I have denied her that? Should I have forced her to venture into the woods each day with an axe she can hardly lift, since her muscles are less well-developed than mine (sexism again, clearly, no biological explanation for that whatsoever)?

    Of course there may have been some cultural influences, but she could just as easily have shown no interest in those toys, had those been her true feelings. My sister had similar toys, and although she often offered to let me play with them, I refused, because I had no interest in girls’ stuff like that. All the young boys I knew and all the children of my friends now behave the same way. I know it is considered sacrilege here to suggest that men and females are not completely identical in every respect, yet I feel I must stand up for Mr. Coye. I do not know why you attempt to smear him by using his association with A Voice For Men. I myself have visited the site and find many of their arguments very interesting. Perhaps you simply fear the truth?

    I would urge you now to respond to myself and Mr. Coye, rather than seizing on frivolous issues such as accidentally referring to Ms. Pterryx as male. It is a perfectly reasonable assumption to make and I can only conclude that these commenters deliberately select unconventional names to trap newcomers into making this error, so that they can then imprison them in hard labour camps and then carry out unspeakable scientific experiments on their weakened bodies.

  35. omnicrom says

    Oh Lee Coye.

    I was quite impressed with how long it took in that military thread before we came all out with his real point, which of course was “Bitchez be shit and they screw with my GUYSPACE in the military”. I see that Lee has managed to avoid going full frothing obscenity screaming sexist in this thread, I’m frankly not sure if that’s an improvement.

  36. says

    Janine:

    Lee Coye is an adult? That is so fucking cute.

    Who’s the cute widdle voice for men?
    Who’s the cute widdle voice for men?

    Have I mentioned lately that you ROCK?
    I’m sitting here at work, having just finished dinner, and I’m catching up on this thread. I *almost* belted out a huge howl of laughter upon reading this.
    Do you know how hard it is to contain uncontrollable laughter? It actually made my eyes water :)

    SallyStrange:
    I just had the same reaction (as above) to your #886. Tee hee!

    ****

    Ogvorbis:

    How does lee coyne manage to be completely and totally outside of society, yet mindlessly parrot the patriarchal sexism endemic in the modern societal paradigm?

    Oh, I know, pick me. Pick me.
    “It’s a guy thing”

    ****

    thisislame:

    Calling someone a ‘pussy’, on the other hand, does seem sexist since you are equating being a wimp or scared with a female part.

    You really think there is a difference between insulting someone by calling them a ‘cunt’ vs calling them a ‘pussy’? Both words are vulgar terms for vagina.
    Whether you call someone a ‘pussy’ or a ‘cunt’, it is sexist. For exactly the reason you’ve stated.
    I haz a puzzled brain trying to figure out how you don’t understand this.

  37. says

    Illuminata:

    uh-oh, did asking lee for evidence cause him to bravely tuck tail and run away again?

    Probably not.
    I’m sure-like someone else in this thread (twirls mustache and struggles to remember who that could be)-he’s off diligently searching for threads so he provide links to support his “arguments”.

  38. mandrellian says

    1041:

    On the subject of Lee’s affiliation with AVfM, it speaks for itself. It is a vile hate-site run and populated by hateful people with vile views. To be affiliated with AVfM is to be affiliated with misogyny and sexism. If someone does not wish such an affiliation, they have only to discontinue it voluntarily.

    As for my personal interaction with Lee Coye, he has not answered the one question I put to him, namely: where exactly has the attempt to create a world where noone is privileged over another due to an unchosen or inherent characteristic been tried and failed? And even if such a failure is demonstrated by Coye, why is that sufficient reason not to try again? As I intimated at the time, one does not eschew toilet training because one soils oneself – it is in fact the very reason one should continue.

    Your defence of Lee Coye is, as most of your contributions, highly selective, ignorant of key exchanges and facts and substitutes a veneer of civility and sneering about tone for actual content. Lee Coye’s own actions and words have revealed him to be an unapologetic sexist, someone who does not argue in good faith and who does not provide evidence to support his naked assertions. Your assertion that Coye has provided “peer-reviewed data” is laughably out of phase with perceptible reality.

    Your pomposity, your condescending arrogance, your selective reading and your profound lack of comprehension truly know no bounds.

  39. jackiepaper says

    Janine, thanks for the song.

    Lee, if you haven’t gone off for a pout about how the big meanies don’t accept every word you type as gospel rather than requiring evidence to support your tired, worn out, MRAsshole mythology, how’s about you acknowledge that I did as you requested and keep your word? You said you’d pay attention.

    I’d like to take that promise of attention and ask you to pay it to Sally Strange.

    Do it for your pride. Do to earn a shred of credibility. Do it because I bet you can’t. You’re looking very silly as you stall and make excuses not to provide us with any citations to back up your claims. I think you know that and that you’d dump a truckload of citations on us, if you could.

    Or you just be honest and admit that there aren’t any and that you have merely put forth badly formed opinions. I mean, “mating strategies”? Really? You better have something fucking brilliant to back that up, because otherwise it won’t go over like a lead balloon, it will just land with a splat like the giant turd it is.

  40. mythbri says

    @Ogvorbis

    Your case of puzzled brain will only increase if you see thisislame’s posts in the Thunderdome. If you could personify the essence of “not getting it”….

  41. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Pssst…mandrellian: Have a Balloon has been perpetrating an awesome Poe over several comments now. Go back a bit and read from the first one. It’s a hoot! =^_^=

  42. says

    Mandrellian, regarding your response to Have A Balloon @ 1041, they are good people, just doing parody via poe.

    That said, it’s probably time to stop that, Have A Balloon. We have a difficult enough time with serious responses in threads such as these, and it’s important to respond seriously, because of those people who are not only reading now, but will read this thread in the future. There’s little point of running a joke threadbare.

  43. lee coye says

    @balloon guy

    Oh, let them have their fun. Questions like these don’t get resolved in blog comments, but in science and society. Factions like this routinely seize power with utopian ideals and burn and bury any remnant of civility and capital in their quest to bring everyone down to their level. So let them scream for evidence, let them rail against “patriarchy” and “cultural construction” until even their voices go hoarse, and when the whole top-heavy edifice collapses on their heads, men and women will rebuild.

    I’m growing tired of fighting it. I say let them have their cake, and may we all choke on it.

  44. Pteryxx says

    Following up on this:

    “Bitchez be shit and they screw with my GUYSPACE in the military”.

    Check this out, from another article about the Vienna Philharmonic’s refusal to use screened auditions (I think it dates from around 1997, also).

    The orchestra feels “that to the artist also belongs the person”, and that the individual’s accomplishment, and -marketability-, are determined by race and gender. They thus changed their auditions procedures so that the applicant could be seen for the final round. They also require a photo with the job application. The desire to “assure objective judgments” was set aside to maintain a special form of orchestral uniformity. The orchestra feels that people who are visibly of other races would destroy the ensemble’s image of Austrian authenticity. Not coincidentally, the Vienna Philharmonic is the only major orchestra in the world without a single non-white member.

    Many members of the Philharmonic have explained why they feel this gender and racial uniformity is necessary. In an interview with NPR, Hans Novak (a former 2nd violinist with the orchestra) said women destroy orchestral unity because they cause intrigues: “… you can have people falling in love with each other and all kind of jealousies.”[3] Another second violinist, Helmut Zehetner, also feels the Vienna Philharmonic has a special “emotional unity” as an all-male ensemble. He was asked about the possible entry of women into the orchestra:

    “No, truthfully said, I wouldn’t be indifferent. I would have an uneasy feeling in the situation. And that is because we would be gambling with the emotional unity that this organism currently has. My worry is that it wouldbe a step that could never be taken back.”[4]

    http://www.osborne-conant.org/posts/blind.htm

  45. mythbri says

    I call on you, Pharyngulites, to live up to the hyperbolic analogies and metaphors.

    Let’s start with the mass killings, and the burning-at-the-stakes, and the witch drownings/hangings/pressings, and dumping-in-the-ditch, and the back-alley ambushes, and the firing squads, and the burninating of all civilization down to the very ground. Let’s nuke them from orbit, just to be sure.

    If we’re to be accused of genocide, let us earn it!

  46. consciousness razor says

    @balloon guy

    Oh, let them have their fun.

    PBBBFffff!!

    Sorry, I just ran into something very dense. I think I’m okay now.

  47. Nepenthe says

    @Pteryxx

    There are so few places where men can be real, manly men, unashamedly. First the front lines, next the flute section, every Man Space invaded by women, who menstruate and regularly piss themselves. Where will Men™ be Men™!?

    Misandrist.

  48. consciousness razor says

    The orchestra feels that people who are visibly of other races would destroy the ensemble’s image of Austrian authenticity.

    And women? They are not Authentic Austrians™, and you can also fall in love with them.* Because men are all straight.

    *Which is bad. It is NOT IN THE SCORE!!!!eleventy11!!

  49. Owen says

    Oh, the things you could choke on. Your own bile, for preference. Still at least you’ve dropped the Socrates shtick. That was really pathetic for such a long thread. Especially for your buddies who can’t stand to read the whole thing.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but in science and society.

    Science requires evidence, which you never, ever produce. Ergo, you claim for science is utterly bogus, showing you lack of honesty and integrity. Society is not scienitfic. Why you think such idiocy is beyond the ken of scientists like myself, who understand the difference between liars and bullshitters such as yourself, and honest skeptics who do respect the evidence….

  51. mandrellian says

    Balloon Guy was a Poe? Motherflipper! That patronising pompous clueless goddamned arrogance was fucking spot-on for whatsisface. Damn you all to Heck in a yabbie-net. And damn me for getting suckered.

    Lee:

    Oh, let them have their fun. Questions like these don’t get resolved in blog comments, but in science and society. Factions like this routinely seize power with utopian ideals and burn and bury any remnant of civility and capital in their quest to bring everyone down to their level. So let them scream for evidence, let them rail against “patriarchy” and “cultural construction” until even their voices go hoarse, and when the whole top-heavy edifice collapses on their heads, men and women will rebuild.

    I’m growing tired of fighting it. I say let them have their cake, and may we all choke on it.

    So.

    Still expecting me to answer the question I directed at you? You flatly asserted – proclaimed – that people had already tried, unsuccessfully, to create a world where people weren’t privileged above others due to un-chosen or inherent characteristics. I merely asked you “Which people?” Others asked you “How and why did they fail?” I asked “If whoever-it-was failed, why should that be a reason for people today to not try again?” Your response was to tell me to read history.

    Really?

    Why in the great galactic fuck should I research your fucking answers for you? You claim it, you support it.

    Hell, if you’re able to confidently proclaim that such an effort had been tried and failed previously, you should be able to simply name the source of your information. That you haven’t either speaks to rank laziness or a habit of talking out of your arsehole and expecting not to be asked to support what comes out. Either way, I stand by the charge that you argue in bad faith and are a disingenuous fucking troll.

    Finally, to quote you:

    Questions like these don’t get resolved in blog comments

    Not if we ask two-fisted wankers like you.

  52. jackiepaper says

    Oh Lee, you might want to ..umm…

    See the thing is..

    Ya know what? Never mind.

    *collapses on to keyboard laughing*

  53. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?
    Where is your evidence, lee?

  54. Rey Fox says

    Couple of meta notes: Count me in as somebody else who can’t quite believe people like “thisislame” when they chime in with their grade school questions after over 900 comments in a thread on a blog post that’s largely about commenting issues specific to the blog. I mean, have any of you folks who hang out on this blog ever stumbled onto a blog post with that little context or prior knowledge, looked at the over 900 heated comments and thought to yourself, “Gee, I oughta stick my nose in here with my little question!” I mean, who is really such a Donnie? Who really has such a lack of awareness?

    Also, is it just me, or since the 3D4K thing have most of the longest threads here been not on actual topics of feminism or any other issue directly, but rather on posts that are actually about the blog or commenters or other personalities?

  55. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    I see that lee coye on being unable to back up his original assertions is now proffering @1051 new unevidenced assertions to distract from his previous failings.

    He’s a textbook example of why the concept of privilege should be taught alongside the cognitive biases; it is in effect a bias that reinforces all the others.

  56. Mister Michael says

    #813

    While it’s adorable that you – whoever you are – think your opinion of lee’s opinion is somehow interesting, since he didn’t clarify what he meant, despite being asked, you’re attempt at shaming has weakened your position

    Hmm. So even though there is another interpretation that may better fit the data, because Lee hasn’t himself clarified what he meant in that passage, it is appropriate for you to *assume* (plainly without evidence!) that your deliberately uncharitable psychoanalysis of his statement is therefore righteous.

    I don’t think this passes the bar. Aren’t unsupported, uncited, unproven assumptions bad juju here? Why, it’s not even appropriate to guess someone’s gender! (If someone does that we must all sneer and preen smugly). In addition, (quite far upstream now!), we declared how special we were because the dream team here loves and respects the mea culpa. When someone is shown they’ve goofed, and Learns, it is Most Excellent.

    So, by the standards of the forum … that’s two categories of good citizenship, fumbled somewhat. But hey, at least you found an excuse to call him misogynist (for great justice!). So 2/3.

    Trouble is, now you’ve demonstrated that PZ’s community is tolerant of double standards. Learning from mistakes is only good for ‘outsiders’. Toxic, baseless assumptions are perfectly OK as long as they’re on FTB’s side… This undermines what ought to be a perfectly solid moral high ground in confronting pitters. Pukes like the foot seek out mistakes like this with which to malign the enterprise entire.

    That’s why I raised a flag for you – your line of argument was going to be a bit of a backbiter if you pushed it – because you just stuck your neck out and handed him your sword by making an unfounded assumption on a topic where *he* knows the real answer. And then he gets to take home a tale of FTB hypocrisy for good measure. Seems like a bad plan.

    Think on these observations and hang onto your sword better, is all I’m about in this.

    -WhoEverIAm

  57. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Since he was in nappies, every utterance that lee coye has made has been praised to the skies as pearls of wisdom by his minions.

    Evidence?!

    He doesn’t need no stinkin’ evidence!!111!!!ELEVENTYELEVEN!!!

    He’s always right, whatever he says, on whatever topic, as a matter of course!

    How dare the Horde ask him to back up his assertions!

    Why, that’s just like imposing our will on the WHOLE WORLD!!!!!!

  58. says

    Perhaps I missed something, but as far as I know, you never did explain what makes distinguishes those things.

    I could have been more clear, and chosen uniform terms, but I clarified in 804

    Ahem. This is a bit amusing, because post #804 is the post which prompted me to ask for the clarification. So, unless you have a time machine, it would be physically impossible for post #804 to be considered a response to my question.

    and 868. Remember when you were asking for evidence of “bias in the opposite direction”? That seemed to indicate that you understood.

    Skipping over post # 868 for a minute, when you say that I asked for evidence, you are incorrect. Here is what I asked (you lazy fucker):

    a.) What exactly constitutes “enshrining bias in the opposite direction”?

    b.) Who is proposing that this would be a good thing to do?

    So, no, I was not asking for evidence. I was asking for your definition. It’s pointless to ask for evidence of a phenomenon whose definition is not yet clearly established. Maybe if you weren’t so lazy you wouldn’t be making these embarrassing mistakes.

    Now, moving on to post # 868:

    Someone else, I forget who: When bias has been demonstrated, by experiment, to account for an imbalance in representation that matches the imbalance that actually exists in reality, why presume that some other factor must be primarily responsible?

    Lee Coye: Lets dial this back a little. First, the experiment accounted for a small disparity. You’re camp is asserting all sorts of additional reasons for the disparity, reasons I think are overemphasized, but they none-the-less must account for something as well, yes?

    The problem is that, while I am acknowledging that there is conscious and unconscious bias, and correction should take the form of that screen thingy you linked to for the orchestra, you’re saying that an unmeasured bias can be corrected in a measured way. That’s bias in the opposite direction, rather than removing bias.

    Individuals make decisions in a cultural context, influenced in part by their biology, and it’s not unreasonable to suppose that some disparity is going to outlive legal equality. Unless men and women are on average interested in the same things, and driven to succeed at the same rates, in biological terms, AND we can determine with some accuracy the cultural influences that counteract an individual’s “free” choices, we’re best serving society by avoiding the sort of outcome engineering that would stick Rowant in an office and Bill Gates on a farm.

    Maybe I’m having a blonde moment, but I’m not seeing anything in here that either establishes what you think “enshrining bias in the opposite direction” is nor provides your readers with any helpful markers to tell it apart from “countering existing bias.” Since you still haven’t defined it, it’s impossible for anyone to say whether the blather up above supports or contradicts your argument that “enshrining bias in the opposite direction” is a thing that happens in reality, rather than being something you made up.

    Also a response to 949 I guess, since the two comments I reference were directly responding to you, Pteryxx. A female. (apparently this is integral).

    Since you’ve demonstrated that you’re not even capable of understanding what is being asked of you, nor of establishing basic definitions, I’m confident that post # 949 does exactly as much to help your readers understand the difference between “countering existing bias” and “enshrining bias in the opposite direction.” I.e., zero, zilch, nada, nothing.

    Also, Pteryxx is not female either. And apparently you are an asshole, though I’m sure somebody has already pointed this out.

    This, young Skywalker, is why you fail. And why your compatriots at the AVFM hate site fail also, and will continue to fail. You can’t even muster the intellectual chops to do simple things like understand the questions being asked of you, establish basic definitions of the terms you’re using, demonstrate evidential linkages between facts and the conclusions you draw from those facts, etc., etc. Maybe if you weren’t a white guy, you’d have had more people coming at you hard, like, prove your arguments are correct, and you wouldn’t suck so hard right now. Inequality hurts everyone, even those on top.

  59. jackiepaper says

    Mister Michael,
    I dare you to make less sense while being more of a clueless, pompous, twit.
    I’m not sure it can be done. However, I think if you apply yourself, you just might have what it takes to pull it off.

  60. Have a Balloon says

    Jackiepaper

    *resists temptation to call you “sir”*

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I feel both mirth and horror.

    *resists temptation to threaten to leave FTB forever*

  61. says

    lee coye, A Proud Voice For A Voice For Men:

    I say let them have their cake, and may we all choke on it.

    So you’re running away with your tail tucked between your legs? Did you finally realize that your opinions do not count as proof of anything? I mean, seeing as how you haven’t provided any evidence to support your anti-woman views, you must have realized you’re not accomplishing anything. Thanks for taking your ball and leaving. Be a dear and don’t leave a smudge on the door on your way out.

  62. says

    lee coye:

    Factions like this routinely seize power with utopian ideals and burn and bury any remnant of civility and capital in their quest to bring everyone down to their level.

    I just know that any minute now you’re going to provide a link so we may learn of these factions you speak of. Come now, don’t be coy.

  63. says

    Lee Coye

    Nothing I say, if right, will be either acknowledged or taken on board to further the discussion.

    You sould try saying something factually correct to test that hypothesis. We’ve been waiting for you to do so since you arrived.

    Jadehawk

    [calling someone a dick] doesn’t reinforce any already present cultural tropes

    I’m not certain that’s true. Being ‘a dick’ is usually IME associated with being overbearing, aggressive, and pushy, all of which are male coded behaviors (carry connotations of strength and power too).

    Pteryxx#1053
    Wow. That’s …something all right.

  64. jackiepaper says

    I wonder if the balance of privilege did not lean in Lee’s favor, exactly how utopian and simultaneously destructive to civil society he’d think it was to work toward equality?

  65. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Lee Coye need not bother with such niceties as “evidence,” “citations,” or “coherent opinions!”. Lee Coye just wants the world to admit that he’s superior to everybody else.

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s why I raised a flag for you

    You raised nothing but your delusions that you held a flag…Care to play some more?

  67. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Factions like this routinely seize power with utopian ideals and burn and bury any remnant of civility and capital in their quest to bring everyone down to their level.

    Heh, it seems that the cute widdle voice for men shares the same fear as Johntheother, that there are armed feminists out to get him.

    In the struggle for equity, poor lee coye will lose that that makes him precious, his exalted status as a man.

    Live in fear, lee, live in fucking fear. Beware the feminist hiding under your bed.

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Trouble is, now you’ve demonstrated that PZ’s community is tolerant of double standards.

    Citation, not your OPINION, which is *floosh* sent to toxic waste, required. What is it about MRA trolls and real academic evidence that they find so hard? Almost like they think their unevidenced OPINION can’t and won’t be challenged as fuckwittery.

  69. jackiepaper says

    Mythbri,
    That sounds hard and messy. I’m afraid that runs contrary to my biological goals.
    I might be able to help out, but only if the rifles are pink and we burn our victims over pits of potpourri.

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also, Pteryxx is not female either.

    Evidence, or Pteryxx’s word is the last word. Of course, anybody who has been around a while and is paying attention know delusional liars and bullshitters like yourself when they post.

  71. Pteryxx says

    heh Nerd, that was SallyStrange you’re quoting, and I’m right here *wavewave* saying I don’t claim to be either one.

  72. Pteryxx says

    *loudly whispers* besides, everyone knows Nerd of Redhead’s the only female on Pharyngula. *wink nudge*

  73. mildlymagnificent says

    because Lee hasn’t himself clarified what he meant in that passage, it is appropriate for you to *assume* (plainly without evidence!) that your deliberately uncharitable psychoanalysis of his statement is therefore righteous.

    I know there are over 1000 comments, but if you’d been paying attention to those referring specifically to Lee, you should have noted 6 recent ones referring to his epic fail in the military thread. #1040 even gave the direct link.

    He spent a week treading on everyone’s toes on that thread. No “uncharitable psychoanalysis” needed.

  74. jackiepaper says

    Beware the feminist hiding under your bed.

    Damnit! Now he knows where I am.
    *scrambles to the closet*

  75. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *loudly whispers* besides, everyone knows Nerd of Redhead’s the only female on Pharyngula. *wink nudge*

    Whistles tunelessly and walks off….;)

  76. consciousness razor says

    I’m not certain that’s true. Being ‘a dick’ is usually IME associated with being overbearing, aggressive, and pushy, all of which are male coded behaviors (carry connotations of strength and power too).

    That’s often been my experience as well.

  77. consciousness razor says

    Being ‘a dick’ is usually IME associated with being overbearing, aggressive, and pushy, all of which are male coded behaviors (carry connotations of strength and power too).

    Rapey, in other words. That’s what dicks are for, apparently. Not sex. Rape.

  78. says

    Rapey, in other words. That’s what dicks are for, apparently. Not sex. Rape.

    pitter whining about Dworkin-esque radfems in 3… 2… 1…

  79. lee coye says

    @Sally (1070)

    THAT is what confused you? Fuck’s sake, sally…I directed you to the link in 786. Mandating 50/50 representation in teaching, as but one example of the most obvious point I didn’t think I need to spell out like you’re a 2yo. Mandating 40% women in boardrooms, mandating that we choose people based on race/gender/nationality instead of blinding recruiters to the factors that would otherwise bias them.

    Y’know, like scientists do to remove bias from their own studies and experiments. I’ve explained this over and over.

  80. lee coye says

    I know there are over 1000 comments, but if you’d been paying attention to those referring specifically to Lee, you should have noted 6 recent ones referring to his epic fail in the military thread. #1040 even gave the direct link.

    Yes, please do read that thread.

  81. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Y’know, like scientists do to remove bias from their own studies and experiments.

    *snort*

    Not very self aware, is he?

  82. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mandating

    Where? Where is your link to such accusations evidenceless fuckwitted fool? No link, your claim is *floosh* nothing but toxic waste. And that is what mature intellectual adults do, is evidence their accusations. Why are you so immature you can’t evidence with links you accusations????? Must be a character/maturity defect, solved by shutting the fuck up, maturing, and then coming back with LINKS….

  83. mandrellian says

    No response to my question then, Lee?

    No word on who precisely it was that tried and failed to create a world free of undue privilege based on inherent characteristics?

    Or how/why they failed?

    Or why said failure (assuming it can be demonstrated) should be any kind of a reason to never try the same thing again, (even though failure is usually a sign you should try again a bit differently)?

    Because, you see, I’m reluctant to take your word that your assertion is true. After all, you appear to have an obvious and declared bias toward defending the status quo. So, point me toward the source for your assertion so I can, unbiased, confirm it.

  84. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, please do read that thread.

    Yes, and you come out as an egotistical fuckwitted fool without evidence to back up their claims. What an abject loser if you think your unevidenced OPINION means anything to anybody other than you and other intellectually immature idjits….

    Science, put up or shut the fuck up….

  85. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Mandating

    Lee likes that word cause it’s got “man” in it.

  86. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Y’know, like scientists do to remove bias from their own studies and experiments.

    Actually, that is the first thing every scientists learns. The easiest person to fool is themselves, and they must stand back and look at the evidence objectively. A favorite saying “the data is what it is” especially when it doesn’t look good for our pet theories.

  87. mandrellian says

    Interesting that in the thread of a post detailing the sexist, conceited pontifications of Noelplum, we have a brand new infestation by a pontificating sexist consumed by conceit.

  88. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    He is Lee Coye! Look upon his works, ye mighty, and despair.

    (Okay, I’m done. It’s just too funny to lampoon the little jerk.)

  89. lee coye says

    No word on who precisely it was that tried and failed to create a world free of undue privilege based on inherent characteristics?

    What, like…aptitude? Predilections to risk-taking? Ambition? Interest? Those inherent or unchosen characteristics? You’re right, no one has tried that. You’d be the first.

    I wonder, though, who would be in charge? How would it be enforced? What about those who just…didn’t contribute? In that world, why take big risks?

  90. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Dammit! Someone has to be in charge! It should remain in the hands of men like lee coye. Anything else just might lead to disaster!

  91. PatrickG says

    I’m growing tired of fighting it. I say let them have their cake, and may we all choke on it.

    Oh good, we’re back to let thousands die so that I may be proved right. And that’s before he really got started! Lest I be accused of hyperbole, let me quote:

    Sometimes it takes the blood of thousands to make a point that no argument can carry.

    Snrrk.

    Yes, please do read that thread.

    Well, here’s a first: I unconditionally agree with lee coye. Yes, if you’re unfamiliar with that thread, and have a LOT of free time/spare bile, please do go read that thread. It explains the mocking and the goading so very, very well.

    Signed,
    One of Your Local Manginas

  92. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In that world, why take big risks?

    Your delusional and imaginary world? Yep, big risks, as there is no basis in reality for it. You are a delusional fooll.

  93. says

    THAT is what confused you? Fuck’s sake, sally…I directed you to the link in 786. Mandating 50/50 representation in teaching, as but one example of the most obvious point I didn’t think I need to spell out like you’re a 2yo. Mandating 40% women in boardrooms, mandating that we choose people based on race/gender/nationality instead of blinding recruiters to the factors that would otherwise bias them.

    Post # 786 is a post by athyco with a link to a discussion of the history of men in teaching.

    I am not the one who is confused.

    Again, I have to wonder if your experience being in the privileged class has rendered you incapable of dealing with actual challenges in life.

  94. mandrellian says

    You’re such a massive deflector, Lee Coye, you should be mounted on the front of the fucking Starship Enterprise.

    You made a SPECIFIC CLAIM that creating a world free of undue privilege based on inherent characteristics had been tried and had FAILED. I asked “who” and was told to read “History”. I asked for a specific source and got nothing (I naturally presume that that is precisely what you have).

    Given that the context of the entire thread was sexism and that most of your mind-vomit to that point had been defending or at least accepting sexism, I (obviously foolishly) assumed sex & gender would be foremost in your mind when attempting to back up your assertion (if you were going to bother at all).

    No word on who precisely it was that tried and failed to create a world free of undue privilege based on inherent characteristics?

    What, like…aptitude? Predilections to risk-taking? Ambition? Interest? Those inherent or unchosen characteristics? You’re right, no one has tried that. You’d be the first.

    I wonder, though, who would be in charge? How would it be enforced? What about those who just…didn’t contribute? In that world, why take big risks?

    You’re either fucking clueless or deliberately obtuse. Or maybe you’re just an ass.

  95. says

    So, now we’ve finally established that Lee Coye considers quotas to be “enshrining bias in the opposite direction.”

    That still leaves the question of who is proposing that this is a good policy.

    If Lee ever gets around to answering that (I predict it will be at least another two days of pointless blather and pompous, condescending windbaggery), then perhaps he can deal with the link I posted to the Skepchick article demonstrating that companies and hedge funds with a closer-to-equal balance of male and female members tend to outperform those that are heavily weighted towards men, and how this outcome is exactly what we would expect if sexism, rather than meritocracy, were responsible for the gender disparity.

  96. lee coye says

    I would end with, let’s decide what is best for our children. Don’t we want our classrooms to reflect what the world is – half men and half women and diverse.

    There, shall I make the airplane noise too?

  97. lee coye says

    Given that the context of the entire thread was sexism

    Sure, but why stop there? After all, we’re enjoined in fighting agism, ablism, transphobia, cissexism, blah blah blah. Indeed, what is aptitude but a privilege? What is ambition but cultural conditioning?

  98. Pteryxx says

    …THAT is the “mandating quotas” line? Some blogger expressing their wish at the end of a comment? Oh for petes sake.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There, shall I make the airplane noise too?

    Typical immature thinking you have presented from your initial post. You need to mature and realize EVIDENCE is your friend. Your unsupported opinion is your enemy. And you have lots of enemies, and no friends…

  100. says

    I would end with, let’s decide what is best for our children. Don’t we want our classrooms to reflect what the world is – half men and half women and diverse.

    There, shall I make the airplane noise too?

    So, to be clear, when you say, “quota,” you’re using the word to mean anyone expressing an idealistic desire for equal representation of men and women. You’re not using “quota” in the sense that it is usually used, to mean that equal representation be mandated by law or official policy.

    I guess, then, that anything except reactionary sexism looks like mandating quotas to you.

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Indeed, what is aptitude [abject losership] but a privilege?

    And you have lots of such privilege. You haven’t shown anything else, and can’t without citations…..

  102. lee coye says

    That still leaves the question of who is proposing that this is a good policy.

    Um.

    http://www.openmarket.org/2012/03/02/obama-administration-seeks-quotas-based-on-disability-race-and-perhaps-sexual-orientation/

    Nobody important.

    RE: Watson’s post. The evidence is not as clear cut as she suggests. A study by the University of Michigan indicated a loss in companies that underwent the change, which is a bit more persuasive than just comparing two companies. Norway is finding it rather difficult to fill those quotas, and has even had the same women occupy a number of different boards.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18988506

    The economist, a regular MRA stronghold, opined misogynistically;

    Quotas force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit. Neither is good for corporate governance.

  103. Pteryxx says

    RE: Watson’s post.

    Hello, Skepchick is not All Watson All The Time. That post was by UAJamie. And she doesn’t say it’s clear-cut; she’s proposing a testable model, which fits some preliminary data.

  104. Have a Balloon says

    to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit

    But isn’t this what they do at the moment anyway?

  105. lee coye says

    http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=njilb

    Laws mandating the increased presence of women on boards have already been passed in Spain, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium. The French quota, which will require 40% female supervisory board membership by 2017, is unusual in that the quota will be applied to
    all firms with more than 500 employees or with a yearly turnover of €50 million or more. Similar quotas are under discussion in other European countries including Britain and Sweden.

    7
    Even though all publicly listed firms now in operation comply with the quotas for board membership, the number of female CEOs in Norway remains fairly stable. This result has come about because many of the most qualified women, known as the “Golden Skirts,” now sit on several boards, leading to a smaller than predicted increase in the overall number of women on corporate boards nationwide.

  106. lee coye says

    Go ahead and make an airplane noise if it makes you happy, Lee.

    BZZZZZZZOOZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM WHOOOOOOSH

  107. says

    Well done, Lee! I’m so pleased that you decided to participate in grown-up conversation by responding to questions with straightforward answers that include links to factual articles that support your arguments. You don’t know how happy I am to be proved wrong in my prediction that you would be on radio silence for a while.

    Incidentally, are you going to clear up whether you’re using the word “quota” in its conventional sense, or are you using it in your own charmingly idiosyncratic sense?

    More response to the Obama administration’s proposals in a bit.

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The French quota,

    And what does that have to do with this country? Or, are you AFRAID that more competent women, when looked at properly. will outshine your meager talents… Fear, the bane of the incompetent.

    BZZZZZZZOOZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM WHOOOOOOSH

    Yep, definitely not a mature thinker, able to cite real evidence to support their delusions….of being toddlers….

  109. consciousness razor says

    The economist, a regular MRA stronghold, opined misogynistically;

    Quotas force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit. Neither is good for corporate governance

    So does an opinion somewhere in an article in The Economist count as a fact? Why opine if you could know whether or not something is good or bad for a corporation?

  110. lee coye says

    I don’t usually link to things that are fairly common knowledge. My understanding of the confusion was one of technicality, not… contemporary world economic facts.

    Incidentally, are you going to clear up whether you’re using the word “quota” in its conventional sense, or are you using it in your own charmingly idiosyncratic sense?

    One lends itself to the other. Idealizing equality of outcome, for whatever socially acceptable reasons, yields legal obligations to same. They’re not really two distinct things, they’re just the unpopular and popular forms of the same thing.

  111. consciousness razor says

    or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit

    Notice that it’s one rather than another, because we must assume that all the applicants who are women/minorities are incompetent. White men get no such assumption; they’re meritorious applicants automatically.

    Or maybe that is what we’re opining. Or it’s a fact. I don’t fucking know.

  112. says

    One lends itself to the other. Idealizing equality of outcome, for whatever socially acceptable reasons, yields legal obligations to same. They’re not really two distinct things, they’re just the unpopular and popular forms of the same thing.

    “Idealism inevitably leads to quotas” is not a good argument for using the word “quota” when you really mean “idealism.”

  113. lee coye says

    So does an opinion somewhere in an article in The Economist count as a fact? Why opine if you could know whether or not something is good or bad for a corporation?

    I don’t know, ask an investor. Ask a CEO. Ask HP. If we’re discounting The Economist as a source of reliable opinion in business, pray tell where we might find….oh, right, Skepchick. The morning reading of every successful corporate empire.

  114. says

    WOMEN are half the population but only 15% of board members at big American firms, and 10% in Europe. This represents a squandered opportunity. Companies that fish in only half of the talent pool will lose out to those that cast their net more widely. There is also evidence that mixed boards make better decisions than monolithically male ones do (see article). When a board includes a variety of viewpoints and attitudes, the boss’s bad ideas are more likely to be challenged.

    I agree with the part of the Economist opinion piece. I also agree that quotas are probably too blunt a tool to rectify the situation. Which is why I’ve never been a supporter of quotas. Although, I haven’t looked into them thoroughly enough to say that my opinion is authoritative in any way. Still, most of the feminists and other social justice activists I know prefer the longer but more productive path of changing cultural values and taking measures to counteract biases to simply instituting quotas.

    Funny how the Economist article, which you ostensibly agree with, cites some of the same research as the Skepchick article, which you dismissed.

  115. consciousness razor says

    If we’re discounting The Economist as a source of reliable opinion in business

    Of course we’re not. I’m sure many of their writers can reliably form an opinion. However, that tells me nothing useful at all.

  116. lee coye says

    Which is why I’ve never been a supporter of quotas.

    So you’re opposed to the quotas I alluded to above?

  117. says

    I’m opposed to quotas in general, but since you have been using “quota” in a very idiosyncratic way, I’m not at all confident that every single link you posted refers to what the rest of us would call “quotas.” I’ll have to look into them in detail to see whether they are, in fact, quotas, rather than hiring guidelines. I note that “OpenMarket.org” seems to be using “quota” in the same slippery way that you have been, to refer to anything from strict numerical requirements to general guidelines to aspirational goals. I’m reviewing the Obama administration proposal regarding disability hiring right now. It’s pretty detailed; I may not have a substantive response until tomorrow, as it’s getting late where I am. And I have a couple things still to do tonight.

  118. PatrickG says

    Wait, after all this time he provides evidence, and then fails to read it? All bolds mine.

    First, and probably most important: the quote you provide is a caveat regarding a desirable policy decision. The rest of the article … makes you look like an idiot. Note: all quotes come from the Economist piece lee coye linked to. Let’s have at it!

    Right from the start, you’re in a bad, bad position. Seriously, here’s the first paragraph

    [All bolds are mine]

    C’mon lee. Seriously. This is the very first paragraph. I can’t say this enough.

    First. Paragraph.

    WOMEN are half the population but only 15% of board members at big American firms, and 10% in Europe. This represents a squandered opportunity. Companies that fish in only half of the talent pool will lose out to those that cast their net more widely. There is also evidence that mixed boards make better decisions than monolithically male ones do (see article). When a board includes a variety of viewpoints and attitudes, the boss’s bad ideas are more likely to be challenged.

    So yeah, your point is directly contradicted. In the first paragraph of the piece you linked to.

    … in most rich countries sexism and the lack of role models are no longer the main obstacle to women’s careers. Children are. Most women take career breaks to look after them. Many care for elderly relatives, too. One study found that two-thirds of American women had at some point switched from full-time work to part-time or flexible time to balance work and family. Such choices should be respected. But they make it harder for women to gain the experience necessary to make it to the very top.

    Gee, lee, you think there might be a reason that women are asked to care for children (beyond early — and limited — biological necessity) and elderly parents (who presumably don’t require breastmilk), more so than men? No, don’t answer, cupcake. It’s irrelevant. Because now we approach the heart of your argument.

    A less coercive approach is preferable. Companies that want to attract the best talent must think hard about how to make work more family-friendly. Must managers meet their staff face-to-face every day? Technology makes telecommuting easier (and it facilitates networking beyond male-dominated bars and golf courses).

    Now, we can have a long conversation about whether or not the quota system (coercive or not) is an ideal mechanism to reduce inequity and inefficiency. That would require evidence, though, which is something you’ve been averse to. Also, the piece you linked freely acknowledges that male-connection networks are a very real factor in personnel decisions. Let’s say that again: women are excluded from traditional venues of professional advancement, and therefore struggle to maintain representation at higher levels. Not my evidence! Yours.

    And y’know what? The suggestions in the piece (re: telecommuting and such) seem reasonable! Problem -> suggested solutions. It almost sounds (hushed whisper) rational.

    I actually tend to agree that quota systems aren’t exactly ideal. However, I’m hard-pressed to find practical policy alternatives. I mean, there’s systemic prejudice in boardrooms, in government, and … well, in general. You know, like the link you cited admits quite readily.

    But then, finally, we get to your quote-mining:

    Quotas are too blunt a tool for such a tangled problem. The women companies are compelled to put on boards are unlikely to be as useful as those they place there voluntarily. Quotas force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit. Neither is good for corporate governance. Norway started enforcing quotas for women in 2006. A study by the University of Michigan found that this led to large numbers of inexperienced women being appointed to boards, and that this has seriously damaged those firms’ performance.

    So policy implementation has run into problems. This isn’t unusual. It does not, however, detract from the overall point.

    The point made in the CONCLUSION which directly follows (also known as the market-based way to not be an absolute dipshit):

    Flexibility, not force:

    Wise firms will strive to remove barriers for women. The proportion of women in top jobs may remain lower than governments would like, partly because prejudices about women and work have deep roots (see Economics focus). But firms that address the question most skilfully will win the talent war, and reap the rewards.

    How can you possibly be so willfully idiotic? Did you think nobody would read your link? Where do you think you are? You idiot.

    Also, I note that the liberal bastion of the Economist is … apparently a liberal bastion? Who knew?

    In closing: lee coye, you really should read things you think support your position. Sometimes they …. don’t. Idiot.

  119. PatrickG says

    Slight blockquote fail at the end. “Wise firms…. reap the rewards” should have been quoted.

    I fail at blockquotes, lee coye fails at reading and logic. So goes the world…

  120. PatrickG says

    And hell, I should have known a carefully formatted comment would be pre-empted by someone faster, quicker, and more deft than me.

    Damn you SallyStrange! Hopefully my longer excerpts will be of use, regardless. :)

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So you’re opposed to the quotas I alluded to above?

    There is a difference between true equal opportunity and quotas, as every none paranoid fool knows. But real equal opportunity does yield results, which paranoid fools think is quotas….Right paranoid fool?

  122. says

    Patrick, it’s Lee Coye: he already ignored the fact that I quoted the article he cited and showed that it contradicts his hypothesis, which is (apparently; we’re still inferring since he’s very COY about stating his actual opinions) that gender imbalances at high levels of business and government are the result of “aptitude,” i.e., that meritocracy, not sexism, is what is preventing women from rising to the top. So, having you, a MAN, repeat the exact same point will make it more likely that he actually reads and comprehends this relatively simple point.

  123. mandrellian says

    *gets popcorn, forgets about ever hearing Lee’s reason for asserting that a world free of undue privilege has in fact been tried and has failed (it’s in History, don’t you know) and that we shouldn’t be trying now (due to Reasons)*

  124. PatrickG says

    SallyStrange, I was only raging at you because I’d failed to refresh and see your comment. :)

    However, being a man, I shall now forgive you for your mistake. You couldn’t have known, though you should have.

  125. mofa says

    PZ, are you proud of this roost that you sit over? Have you read the drivel you have inspired here on this page? Just take some time out and go through these posts from No. 1 to the end with fresh eyes. Then sit back and reflect on what nest you are king of. What an incredible waste of human resources, what an under achievement. The continual hand licking and back slapping with the objective of continually reinforcing ideas and ideology that are held as truths, (in a similar manner as is done in any church on any given Sunday morning). This cocoon called the FtB is like a schoolyard where if you don’t think like the head bully then you are going to first, be eating a little mud and then you are going to be thrown over the fence. PZ, are you proud of this little clique you have created? You know that this is what you will be remembered for when you have departed this earth, not your contributions to biology, not your speeches as atheist and skeptic conferences, but this monotonous, one flavoured pit of unproven, uncontested ideologies.

  126. lee coye says

    Funny how the Economist article, which you ostensibly agree with, cites some of the same research as the Skepchick article, which you dismissed.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18988694

    That one? Fascinating, how I’ve been arguing all along that you should focus on the cultural forces that you feel underpin the inherent disadvantages, rather than just outcome-engineering on the back end (quotas). Frankly, I don’t think you’d get 50/50 if you didn’t force it, because I don’t think men and women are equally interested in these jobs, any more than they are in serving in the infantry.

    But that’s my sexism showing, apparently. We all just know there’s no differences.

  127. PatrickG says

    lee coye:

    How do we focus on the cultural forces? Multiple people here have said you haven’t articulated a clear position.

    If not quotas, then what? Instead of opining on what’s wrong (and deflecting on people calling you sexist), why not advocate a course of action?

    It’s my position that quotas are the best policy remedy available. I can’t come up with anything better — it’s not a great solution, but it is at least a first approximation towards fixing a problem.

    Your alternative is….?

  128. mandrellian says

    Hahaaaaa, mofa makes me laugh. Not because mofa is amusing, but because mofa is quite pathetic and I am a heartless bastard today.

    “Nest”
    “Ideology”
    “[comparison to religion!!!11!1]”
    “cocoon”
    “schoolyard”
    “OMG BULLIES!!111eleventy!!1//”
    “clique”
    “pit”
    Yada, fucking yada …

    What, no “feminazi”? No “militant”? No “hysteria”? No “groupthink”?

    Disappointing.
    Could do better.
    C+

  129. says

    mofa didn’t even point out what a laughingstock Pharyngula is. Missed opportunity, mofa. I was almost able to fill out my MRA bingo card with one post. *sigh*

  130. mandrellian says

    myeck waters:

    I know, right? Very disappointing. And mofa was on such a roll, too – I though we’d get a Bingo for sure once I’d seen the bully card played.

  131. PatrickG says

    PZ, are you proud of this little clique you have created?

    Actually, I think he is.

    Flutter along, O Beautiful Butterfly.

  132. Lofty says

    myeck waters, when did an admonition to a small child, “don’t touch that!” stop ‘em? Cooties are heading xis way, for sure.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but this monotonous, one flavoured pit of unproven, uncontested ideologies.

    And yet you provide not one citation to show that there is contestation to the alleged ideologies. Funny how that works. MRA fuckwits are full of OPINION, short on evidence. What is your excuse? Why aren’t you contesting with EVIDENCE?

  134. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Fascinating, how I’ve been arguing all along that you should focus on the cultural forces that you feel underpin the inherent disadvantages, rather than just outcome-engineering on the back end (quotas).

    Funny how the only paranoid fool, or anybody for that matter, mentioning quotas is Lee. He must have problems with comprehension. Definitely he is scared of real competition where his male privilege doesn’t give him an automatic advantage. What an abject paranoid loser.

  135. says

    @ lee coye

    The economist, a regular MRA stronghold, opined misogynistically;

    Quotas force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit. Neither is good for corporate governance.

    These same arguments were levelled at attempts to bring racial equity into the boardrooms of South Africa. BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) sought to incentivise companies to bring in black management and executives on board by carrot and by stick.

    Instead of using the above excuse, the better companies realised that they should get into the spirit of this for the long haul. That means identifying potential talent very early on, in schools even, and nurturing that talent.

    Similar efforts have been made to fight sexism and able-ism. And it is working, if initially with bumps and starts. The problems are massive and pent up, but great progress is being made. To the extent, even, that people in wheelchairs can now access public buildings (oh, how impossible was that task at the outset!).

    This whole change in psychology has now been extended into sports. Traditionally “white” sports like cricket, golf and rugby have made every effort in competing with each other to expand themselves to all of society. Excuses like “whites are ‘naturally’ better golfers” and the like get swept aside as the new passion has become the inclusiveness of the respective sports. “Market share” has trumped the reflexive bigotry of old.

  136. Tethys-chosen vessel of Lolth says

    Its like lee coye has no short term memory when he says things like this:

    I’ve been arguing all along that you should focus on the cultural forces

    Except for several dozen comments where you were arguing about womens’ biological goals, and failing to provide evidence for their existence because of reason XYZ.

    You have filled half this thread with OT drivel, and in general acted like a sexist troll.
    That is the cultural manifestation of sexism that we are fighting right here, right now.
    Perhaps it is you who needs to change their focus?

    ——–

    Kudos to Sally Strange for coaxing an actual citation out of lee. The discussion can finally move forward in an interesting direction.

  137. says

    Tethys:

    Except for several dozen comments where you were arguing about womens’ biological goals, and failing to provide evidence for their existence because of reason XYZ.

    Yes, Lee’s quite hot on tying women to biology. Let’s not forget our inability to be far from a lav at any given time.

  138. Mister Michael says

    #1086

    I know there are over 1000 comments, but if you’d been paying attention to those referring specifically to Lee, you should have noted 6 recent ones referring to his epic fail in the military thread. #1040 even gave the direct link.

    He spent a week treading on everyone’s toes on that thread. No “uncharitable psychoanalysis” needed.

    However, *at the time the poster made the mistake*, that hadn’t come up (and was a complete surprise to the person in question – you *did* read the thread, right…?). Which meant it was an unwarranted assumption at that time (and a bad tactic in general).

    For good measure, you would do well to read that military thread before making more *assumptions*. A readthrough shows nary a word of any Stepford style woman-in-her-place manifestos actually written *by him* (at least, not by 700, perhaps he snapped at the very end and I’ll find myself corrected later). Mostly he kept repeating a not unreasonable position that he had misgivings based on his personal experience but was content to see the social experiment unfold – while being wildly and abusively strawmanned for things he didn’t actually say (talk about not taking “yes” for an answer!). Yes, he got boygirldifferent silly eventually, but that brand of ignorance is hardly eeeevilll.

    So: based on past, current, and ‘future’ evidence available, the assumption made was and remains unsupported by evidence. Which is supposed to be anathema, right? Or have I got it wrong? Can someone explain why the rules we bludgeon others with … shouldn’t apply to ourselves?

    -Michael

  139. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Tony, this is not the first time that mofa descended from the clouds in order to lecture PZ about just how ashamed he should be of the horde.

    Shit, not a week passes without some self important paragon addressing PZ directly to inform him just embarrassed he should be.

  140. A. Noyd says

    Caine (#1162)

    Yes, Lee’s quite hot on tying women to biology.

    That’s because train tracks would be too obvious.

  141. Tethys-chosen vessel of Lolth says

    Caine,

    Was it lee coye who said women couldn’t be in combat because mud?
    All the trolls tend to blend together after awhile when they make the same inane arguments over and over and over…

    But Tony, he provided a relevant link! He can learn!
    We will all be bored to death by the time he catches up, but baby steps are still steps.

  142. says

    Popping in for a moment and I see this:

    A readthrough shows nary a word of any Stepford style woman-in-her-place manifestos actually written *by him* (at least, not by 700, perhaps he snapped at the very end and I’ll find myself corrected later). Mostly he kept repeating a not unreasonable position that he had misgivings based on his personal experience but was content to see the social experiment unfold – while being wildly and abusively strawmanned for things he didn’t actually say (talk about not taking “yes” for an answer!). Yes, he got boygirldifferent silly eventually, but that brand of ignorance is hardly eeeevilll.

    0_o

    In THIS VERY THREAD, he was quoted saying, “Sometimes it takes the blood of thousands to make a point that no argument can carry.”

    He was content to see the social experiment unfold–but was confident that he would be proven right: that having women in the military would cost lives, needlessly, but he was totally okay with this, for the sake of being proven, beyond a doubt, to be right.

    That’s not “EEEVILLL”?

    Then I don’t know what is.

  143. Tethys-chosen vessel of Lolth says

    nary a word of any Stepford style woman-in-her-place manifestos

    Right then, as long as there aren’t manifestos, or turning women into living robots, there is definitely No Sexism Here Folks! Nothing at all to see! Move along now, the michaelman has spoken for everybody and should not be questioned.

  144. says

    Sure. Have a blast. History, after all, isn’t to be learned from, it’s to be repeated.

    Yes, we should never have tried that democracy thingy again in Germany. After all it failed in ’33…

    +++
    re: quotas
    They’re a tool.
    They don’t magically fix things and they are useless if used alone. A quota is a goal towards one has to work. It means that companies have to think. They cannot just act on their usual bias and just promote the white guy. They have to ask the question “which woman in our company/ which person of colour shows promise and how can we promote them?”
    Quite often, if you only look at your employees, you find that there actually is such a person but you didn’t heed them so far.*
    It means that you have to ask yourself the question “how do I make sure that my female employees don’t drop out for a long time because of their children?” This has led to things like company-run daycare or even emergency or holiday daycare.
    It takes time. Because centuries of work-place discrimination and the glass ceiling mean that there aren’t that many women now in middle-management. But having to work towards having women CEOs means you have to change things there, too.
    *Remember all those lists Greta Christina or Michael Nugent have put together? They’re nothing else. Lists of qualified female speakers, of people of colour which organizers just might not have thought of. The “quota” is in the head of the organizers. If they want equal representation, they can use those lists and look and behold, suddenly there are those qualified women and people of colour.

  145. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @1171. Dalillama, Schmott Guy :

    Let me guess, you don’t think this is racist either, because it wasn’t advocating for a lynching.

    Your link there is broken or not working for me anyhow.

    ***

    @133. PZ Myers

    We could also mention that there are NO black senators. Are you going to argue that American society is not deeply racist, too?

    Honestly? I’m rather staggered by that fact –did not realise and thought there were heaps of them. Wasn’t Obama (formerly) a Senator for instance?

    ***

    @1054. mythbri – on the 11th February 2013 at 7:50 pm (UTC -6) :

    I call on you, Pharyngulites, to live up to the hyperbolic analogies and metaphors.
    Let’s start with the mass killings, and the burning-at-the-stakes, and the witch drownings/hangings/pressings, and dumping-in-the-ditch, and the back-alley ambushes, and the firing squads, and the burninating of all civilization down to the very ground. Let’s nuke them from orbit, just to be sure.
    If we’re to be accused of genocide, let us earn it!

    Wow! Just imagining the response if I’d written that. Better be careful when you write things in emotion that are intended (I presume) as ironic /grim /sardonic / what used to be called “black” / gallows humour. Some people here just might take you seriously and hold it against you forevermore thinking you really *were* genocidal when you were just venting and expressing a forceful bleakly wry sense of humour.
    That’s kinda what happened to me so talking from experience here.

    PS. Hope no one discovers that a few decades ago or thereabouts (forgotten the exact year), I made a joke about the Moon being made of green cheese under another username on another blog. Ye-non-existent-gods if someone finds out they’ll no doubt conclude that a) I was deadly serious and B) that’s my current serious opinion which hasn’t changed over intervening aeons.

    I, for one, do feel that the so-called Horde here has treated me badly based on some very serious reading failures and misunderstandings of their own and also imagining a whole lot of stuff into my comments that not only isn’t there but has also since been clarified and corrected about a thousand and one times. Like the FTB blog and bloggers, but some of the commenters here, Oy Vey!

  146. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Arrrgh. Blockquote fail there in that middle bit – for clarity make that :

    @133. PZ Myers here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/10/i-am-asked-a-question-about-commenting/comment-page-1/#comment-557892

    We could also mention that there are NO black senators. Are you going to argue that American society is not deeply racist, too?

    Honestly? I’m rather staggered by that fact – did not realise and thought there were heaps of African American senators. Wasn’t Obama (formerly) a Senator for instance?

    PS. Wasn’t another one of the US Senators / Congresscritters who flew aboard the Space Shuttle pre-Challenger disaster? (I.e. before 1986.)

    Now my memory may not be reliable here & I have to confess that I’ve only read some of this thread as of now (so. many. comments.) but still – none? For real?

  147. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @1175. Giliell, professional cynic :

    Many years ago and at least some intended ironically and as emotional venting when I was drunk and overtired.

    Ever heard of the statute of limitations?

  148. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. Giliell, professional cynic – does it ever even occur to you that you and others here have actually totally misread me and misunderstood what I’m saying and maybe it’s you Giliell, professional cynic, that needs to take some share of responsibility for that?

    It seems from where I’m sitting that Pharyngula brings out the worst in some commenters here and that too many of them are on too much of a hairtrigger and are far too quick to jump to nasty and erroneous, often extremely hurtful conclusions.

    Maybe that’s a big part of why Pharyngula has the rather bad reputation it has in some quarters of the net and gets so much fury from a lot of people it has sometimes unfairly upset.

    Is it too hard to question your own behaviour, Giliell, professional cynic & (some others here who’ll know who they are) and consider that sometimes, just sometimes, some of your critics may have something approaching a valid point that may be worth reflecting and acting on?

  149. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Or do you think the Pharyngula horde is immune to ever making any mistakes?

  150. John Morales says

    [meta]

    StevoR:

    It seems from where I’m sitting that Pharyngula brings out the worst in some commenters here and that too many of them are on too much of a hairtrigger and are far too quick to jump to nasty and erroneous, often extremely hurtful conclusions.

    I’m hardly surprised; it seems from where I’m sitting that your acumen is less than impressive.

  151. John Morales says

    [meta]

    StevoR:

    Or do you think the Pharyngula horde is immune to ever making any mistakes?

    What, you imagine that disputing your perception implies that?

    <snicker>

    No, only a fool would think that, and only a particularly foolish fool would imagine regulars here think that. :)

  152. Lofty says

    Or do you think the Pharyngula horde is immune to ever making any mistakes?

    No but once told they are wrong they either apologise and stop posting about it, or they spend the rest of their time here whining about being misunderstood.

  153. says

    It seems from where I’m sitting that Pharyngula brings out the worst in some commenters here and that too many of them are on too much of a hairtrigger and are far too quick to jump to nasty and erroneous, often extremely hurtful conclusions.

    Since you seem to need to be reminded of this constantly, the threads here are not all about you. Now, this particular whinge of yours is completely off point. You have been given more time and more opportunities than you deserve, by far. The Horde’s conclusion that you are a festering hemorrhoid of a bigot aren’t in the least erroneous. You make that conclusion a very easy one to draw, as you prove your bigotry on a regular basis.

    Run off and whinge elsewhere, StevoRacist. Do not be derailing this thread.

  154. says

    StevoR

    Or do you think the Pharyngula horde is immune to ever making any mistakes?

    Nope. But that doesn’t mean they’re doing so when it comes to you. Remember, just because the establishment laughed at Galileo and he was right doesn’t mean that when they’re laughing at you you’re right, too.

    Giliell, professional cynic – does it ever even occur to you that you and others here have actually totally misread me and misunderstood what I’m saying and maybe it’s you Giliell, professional cynic, that needs to take some share of responsibility for that?

    Well, if we had just misread you, it would have been easy for you to clear this up. Since you continuously failed to do so, probably not. Also, if one person misreads you and 25 others get you perfectly, the problem is most likely with that on person. But if everybody “misreads” you and nobody gets you, the problem is with you.
    But you have derailed this thread enough. Take your whining to the Thunderdome again or are you tired of being asked whether your statements were racist?

  155. Mister Michael says

    #1169.

    In THIS VERY THREAD, he was quoted saying, “Sometimes it takes the blood of thousands to make a point that no argument can carry.”
    He was content to see the social experiment unfold–but was confident that he would be proven right: that having women in the military would cost lives, needlessly, but he was totally okay with this, for the sake of being proven, beyond a doubt, to be right.
    That’s not “EEEVILLL”?

    Then I don’t know what is.

    Indeed. Clearly you don’t. But you’ve done a bang-up job of providing a useful example of an underlying pathology endemic to the commentariat here. You aren’t responding to what people are actually arguing at all! There’s this bizarro world lens in operation that seems to willfully screen out all accumulated context and replaces it with presumptions of vicious, dehumanizing motives. That’s sloppy thinking, inept debating, and (here) utterly hypocritical for a community that claims to be about learning and dialogue. That warp field prevents productive engagement. Because, you know, SMITEOUSNESS!!!!!

    His line about blood is just as apt w.r.t. responsible gun ownership in America, or environmental toxins. We accept and manage risks in those areas, too. Arguably, our borked political system has a threshold body count that would spark a sea change. Does recognizing that’s true imply *wanting* the catalyst of those deaths? Hardly. It is a really, *really* long journey from concern that people may end up dying before people realize (if, etc.) his prediction was correct after all, to assuming he *wants women to die* *so that he can feel good about himself* for being right. That accusation is unfair, it’s bullsh*t, and it’s conceptual malpractice.

    The arguments Lee has made of late are largely those made by _conservatives_ – (“no special priveleges”!) – not misogynists. As is common to that strain, he displays knowledge gaps, he has sexism scented blind spots, and he’s not been at all adept at supporting his opinions with knowledge (in general), so there’s plenty to critique – but y’all have proven equally incompetent (or insincere – either shoe fits) at honestly addressing most of anything he’s said.

    Freethought blogs, smiting enemies both real and imagined!
    It looks exhausting.

    -JonValJean

  156. John Morales says

    Mister Michael:

    [1] Freethought blogs, smiting enemies both real and imagined!
    [2] It looks exhausting.

    1. Smitten, they are.

    (Some can’t shut up about it!)

    2. Yet here you are on FTB, smiting enemies both real and imagined!

    (Are you exhausted?)

  157. carlie says

    Oh wow. SteveoR, have you ever considered reading a thread and then commenting on what is in the thread, rather than about yourself?

  158. Mister Michael says

    #1170
    And now Tethys demonstrates yet another fine example of a Pharyngulite trying to snark … about a conversation taking place only in their own imagination.

    Wasn’t there a rule around here that you were supposed to post from a position of knowledge…? Because, respect. And dialogue!

    -DoubleStandardDetectorGoesRoundAndRound

  159. Louis says

    Pteryxx, #949,

    1) Gender neutral pronouns. I knew that didn’t I? Oh dear. I am genuinely very sorry. Entirely my bad.*

    2) Now obviously 1) cannot be true because I am a Manz™. Therefore it follows that I must double down, notpologise, and excoriate you for being Different™. However, since I cannot be bothered to do that, could we take it as read that I have done so and go back full circle to thinking decently of one another? Not that you have done anything to cause me to think less than decently of you of course. Erm…I’m not very good at this bit am I? :-)

    Louis

    * This, in fact, very sincere, I fucked up, I forgot. My bad, like I said. However, you know me, I have to get a bit of humour in somewhere, especially at my own expense. ;-)

  160. Maureen Brian says

    Mister Michael,

    One of the interesting (or not) things about commenting here is that we meet quite so many people who are content to wave about words and concepts they do not understand. They happily quote scientific hypotheses they don’t have the background knowledge for, call in as evidence books of which they have only read the amazon reviews – never the book itself, oh dear me no! – and generally make outrageous statements on those subjects where they are not up to speed.

    If a couple of probing questions, as here, confirm that the new person is about to go down the well-trodden route why would we not challenge that thinking?

    The casual observer, not paying full attention, might well wonder why we leap upon and dismember “these innocents” but when you have had as much practice as some here have had then, somehow, you learn to spot a half-baked case at 1000 metres. If we were talking assault rifles then the NRA would be very proud of us but we’re not, we’re talking ideas.

    About 3 decades ago I had a t-shirt with the slogan “I’ll be a post-feminist in post-patriarchy.” The t-shirt wore out long ago but was bought during the last concerted effort to shush us into silence with the notion that we already had equality so no need to fuss any more, etc, etc.

    I say to you what I said then, “Bollocks!”

  161. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @1185. Caine, Fleur du mal :

    Now, this particular whinge of yours is completely off point.

    No, it’s an observation that is very relevant when the discussion is about how this blog tretats someof those who disagree in their comments here.

    ou have been given more time and more opportunities than you deserve, by far. The Horde’s conclusion that you are a festering hemorrhoid of a bigot aren’t in the least erroneous. You make that conclusion a very easy one to draw, as you prove your bigotry on a regular basis.

    Really? Insults aren’t argument and you have provided no evidence other than your opinions here.

    @ 1186. Giliell, professional cynic :

    Well, if we had just misread you, it would have been easy for you to clear this up.

    I’ve done that. Repeatedly. I’d be happy to move on here if I’m allowed to by the rest of you – some more than others -.who keep dredging up some very old comments, some of which weren’t even made on this blog in the first place.

    if everybody “misreads” you and nobody gets you, the problem is with you.

    If everyone in a schoolyard gang is picking on one kid does that mean that everyone in the bully-gang is right? No. Argument ad populandum fallacy there – same applies here.

  162. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mostly he kept repeating a not unreasonable position that he had misgivings based on his personal experience

    His problem is that he couldn’t let go, he couldn’t go forward, and he couldn’t explain himself proprely. Personal concerns are not evidence. They are OPINION, and one can’t argue facts based on OPINION that isn’t supported by facts. Troll behavior there, troll behavior here.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    about a conversation taking place only in their own imagination.

    Sounds like your posts. Talking inane to yourself.

  164. says

    StevoR

    If everyone in a schoolyard gang is picking on one kid does that mean that everyone in the bully-gang is right? No. Argument ad populandum fallacy there – same applies here.

    You’re stupid. It’s not an argument at popularity. It’s a basic fact about understanding and communication. If nobody understands you the problem is on your side of the communication. But I guess you’d be one of those people who travel to a foreign country, speak English loudly and slowly and then blame the natives for being to stupid to understand.
    But again, this thread is not about you.

  165. Pteryxx says

    But you’ve done a bang-up job of providing a useful example of an underlying pathology endemic to the commentariat here. You aren’t responding to what people are actually arguing at all!

    Do you know what a wedge strategy is? Try reading for context. “Why are there still monkeys”, “abortion at 8 months 3 weeks” and “I am not a racist but…” are not honest attempts at making arguments. They’re attempts to conceal the actual line of attack behind plausible-sounding surface points intended to mislead. Generally they’re dishonest arguments because they’re based on flawed assumptions or elisions: see Lee’s misinterpretation of any suggestion to consider diversity as implying mandatory quotas, or in the military issue, many folks saying ‘I’m in favor of equality’ while raising spurious doubts about women’s competence. THEY aren’t arguing what they say (or think) they’re actually arguing.

    And Maureen Brian said it better at #1193.

  166. bradleybetts says

    @ SteveoR #1194

    Argument ad populandum fallacy there – same applies here.

    Sorry to jump in, but that’s not a thing. The Latin for the logical fallacy generally known in English as “Appeal to the People”, i.e. the idea that because the majority of people believe something to be true or agree with something, it must be true, is Argumentum ad Populum. What you’ve done is thrown together some English words with one vaguely Latin-sounding word and hoped to hell that no one would call you on it. Nice try, but no cigar.

    Carry on.

  167. bradleybetts says

    Screwed up the blockquote; my bad. First sentence of my above post is a quote from SteveoR’s post #1194.

  168. Nepenthe says

    @Tethys

    No, lee coye was the one who started off arguing that women can’t be on the front lines because they have “special hygiene needs”, which turned out to be incontinence rather than menstruation. Yes, you (if I recall you as a lady-person correctly) have been pissing yourself nearly constantly your whole adult life without noticing. He finished up with “front line combat units are the only space left for MEN to be MEN, so you should spend billions of dollars on them and send them to kill brown people and also let them haze each other disfiguringly because MEN need that”.

  169. bradleybetts says

    @Nepenthe

    An argument about menstruation would have been bad enough (It’s not like we haven’t found ways to manage that is it?) but where on Earth has he got this idea that women all run around wetting themselves constantly?

    Also, men can’t be men in front of women? Huh?

  170. throwaway, Preferred singular pronouns: they, them, their, it says

    If Lee Coye has been saying something all along, why did it take a tug rope and ten elephants to drag the point to a spot to be observed? Because lee likes to snipe and barb and conditionally allude to a point: The great ape, 10 stories high, in the midst of the jungle, somewhere, which you can see too if only you had his special binoculars. As the elusive point draws nearer and guns are raised poised for defense, a tiny eek issues forth from the leaf-litter and everyone is amused at what a tiny insignificant thing it really was, after all. Behold, the grudge-monkey!

  171. lee coye says

    @1203

    You grant full “paper” equality, and then say “Lacking human rights” in the next sentence. Look, I’m in full support of equal legal rights for men and women, equal opportunity for everyone. I’m against artificially changing the rules to ensure that women, men, minorities, majorities, or anyone, is “represented” on the back end. Different demographics have different interests, and while it’s unfair to use average characteristics of a demographic to measure a single person, it’s perfectly reasonable to accept that average characteristics (i.e. interest) will predict a lower/higher representation of that demographic.

    An example of this is teaching. 85% of schoolteachers are women, yet ostensibly men and women are given equal opportunity to become teachers. I don’t know of anyone suggesting that men are being systematically discriminated against for teaching jobs, do you? Clearly there is an interest disparity that, while not accurate in predicting the interests of any individual, do have something to say about how many men vs. women will pursue that career.

    Well therein lies the problem. If women have been “culturally conditioned” to be interested in X over Y, and freely choose X, how are we bad people for letting them? Taking your assumption on board, the problem isn’t women’s, or men’s, choices, but “society”. Gaming the system is akin to treating the symptoms, rather than the disease.

    My request for evidence:

    Interestingly, you can look at this from another perspective. To what, pray tell, are you appealing in behavioral terms, when claiming that “conditioning” has modified “normal” behavior, such that absent the conditioning (or forcing accurate representation), women will be more interested in construction, or men more interested in teaching? Is there a biological median somewhere that we can test? Is there any evidence that a different cultural setting would yield the same interests in men and women?

    Perhaps I should have spammed “where is your evidence”.

    As we’re all aware (or should be) athyco linked to a discussion about idealising 50/50 representation of men and women in teaching positions, as “the best thing for children” or something. I responded:

    The claim that women chose teaching over other jobs due to traditional pressures just assumes that they’re doing so now.

    Ignored.

    I also pointed this out:

    there is strength in diversity

    This is a popular truism, but no, there isn’t. There is strength in focusing on merit over skin color or gender, in choosing the best person for the job. That’s not diversity, at least not as it’s practiced in reality. Ensuring that there are enough women or protected minorities in a job means you’re choosing people for reasons other than merit. Alternatively, if you’re blind to skin/gender in choosing the best person for the job, and this happens to foster a representative sample of the population, the strength is not the diversity, but the merits of each individual.

    Then, 200 comments later, not only did no one recall my arguments, but there were incessent calls for evidence for…well, it wasn’t exactly clear. Michael apparently wanted evidence of the failure of socialism/communism, or just communes in general, but it was fair to say that his vision, once explained, wasn’t precisely those things. Sally wanted evidence of biological diversity, apparently on the assumption that if no biological diversity can be proven (leaving aside the vast swaths of research about cultural universals), then culture/society is the de facto causal force.

  172. lee coye says

    @1201

    This is a crystalline example of history revision in action. GO read that thread, pay particular attention to the fact that I conceded that I was mistaken in thinking hygiene would be a problem. Pay even closer attention to the justifications I give for retaining the “boys club” as they disparagingly called it, as an integral factor in unit cohesion.

    I was also the only person in that thread to link evidence against my own position, as I recall (though I remain open to correction on that). PatrickG pulled the exact same “your link proves my point” argument, in about as convincing a manner, in that thread as well, where he tried to argue (humorously) that the researchers expressing scientific humility on the possibility of being wrong as somehow demonstrating that their conclusion was false.

  173. says

    Sally wanted evidence of biological diversity,

    Huh?

    You have a persistent pattern of answering questions that nobody has asked. Like when I said, WHAT IS “enshrining bias in the opposite direction” and for about a day and a half you pretended that my primary request was for EVIDENCE OF “enshrining bias in the opposite direction”.

    I think you are making a similar mistake here, because I am quite familiar with, and need no convincing of the existence of biological diversity. Of course, when I say “biological diversity,” I am referring to the term in its commonly accepted meaning, and you’ve already shown that you have no problem changing the meaning of words without telling anyone that you’re doing so whenever it suits your purposes.

    Start quoting people instead of referring to post numbers, you lazy fuck.

  174. lee coye says

    Here I sit, waiting for Sally to finish reading information I would have assumed a politically motivated social justice activist would be well aware of, that half of Europe and her own fucking gov’t is mandating quotas. Quotas she is (apparently) opposed to (or unsupportive of, to be exact), a position shared by “most” of her social justice-ites (a link I’m dying to see).

  175. lee coye says

    WHAT IS “enshrining bias in the opposite direction”

    It’s right there, sally:

    Ensuring that there are enough women or protected minorities in a job means you’re choosing people for reasons other than merit. Alternatively, if you’re blind to skin/gender in choosing the best person for the job, and this happens to foster a representative sample of the population, the strength is not the diversity, but the merits of each individual.

    It’s been right there this whole time.

  176. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    It’s cute how this insecure sexist blew right past everything that disproved him and is now pretending he never did that at all.

    What is it about cowardly bigots that makes them think we can’t scroll back up and read?

    has this pants-pissing crybaby produced any evidence yet?

  177. says

    Indeed, Lee. Of course, it took about two days of cajoling to get it out of you. But you’re making progress in the “ability to make arguments honestly” department. In the future, if someone asks you for clarification, I suggest you just fucking clarify yourself like a normal fucking person instead of snarking about in a patronizing manner for 48 hours.

  178. lee coye says

    I think you are making a similar mistake here, because I am quite familiar with, and need no convincing of the existence of biological diversity.

    Yes, I’m using it slightly differently here, in not referring to the various forms of life on this planet, but in the various differences between men and women, between individuals from different cultures, backgrounds, upbringings, factors which work in tandem with the underlying cognitive hardware to drive behavior patterns. Patterns (some of) which are recognized to have universal application across cultures, and would yield unrepresentative interest and achievement beyond legal equality/opportunity.

  179. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Then, 200 comments later, not only did no one recall my arguments, but there were incessent calls for evidence for…well, it wasn’t exactly clear.

    Jesus you’re even an incompetent liar. The requests for evidence have been very specific. Prove one fucking thing you’ve claimed.

    Once again: let’s start with the magically mythical society that tried equality and failed.

    Time to tuck tail and run away again – someone asked you to back up what you claimed.

  180. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Patterns (some of) which are recognized to have universal application across cultures,

    Unevidenced assertion *floosh* dismissed as fuckwittery. Citation, or shut the fuck up. You still have to learn you are considered a liar and bullshitter, your word will be questioned, and you must be ready to be challenged and present evidence to back up your assertions. Become an intellectually mature person.

  181. Louis says

    WAIT!

    Men and women are different? Oh thank fuck for that. I’ve been trying to push this baby out of my cock and it really hurts. I’ll hand it over to my wife for safer birthing. My John Thomas is in tatters!

    It’s not like this biological differences drivel is as irrelevant a canard as the biological goals nonsense is it? Naaah couldn’t be that. Could it….?

    Louis

  182. says

    To wit:

    Ensuring that there are enough women or protected minorities in a job means you’re choosing people for reasons other than merit. Alternatively, if you’re blind to skin/gender in choosing the best person for the job, and this happens to foster a representative sample of the population, the strength is not the diversity, but the merits of each individual.

    Thus, we conclude that your premise is that meritocracy, not sexism, is responsible for the gender disparity in positions of power. (I have stated that this is what I believe your hypothesis to be already; if I’m wrong, and you didn’t notice or declined to clarify then that’s on you.)

    vs.

    WOMEN are half the population but only 15% of board members at big American firms, and 10% in Europe. This represents a squandered opportunity. Companies that fish in only half of the talent pool will lose out to those that cast their net more widely. There is also evidence that mixed boards make better decisions than monolithically male ones do (see article). When a board includes a variety of viewpoints and attitudes, the boss’s bad ideas are more likely to be challenged.

    Where the thesis is very clearly that there are talented and qualified people of the non-white non-male extraction, and that companies are wasting opportunities, not pursuing meritocracy, if their boards/CEOs are disproportionately white and male.

  183. lee coye says

    Indeed, Lee. Of course, it took about two days of cajoling to get it out of you.

    I’m clarifying by quoting some of my first posts on this thread.

    Well, your link DID directly contradict the point you made above.

    No, sally, it didn’t. I never made the claim that there’s no benefit to having women/minorities/etc., on boardrooms, only that mandating the outcome is de facto discrimination. As I said, and quoted, and quoted again:

    Ensuring that there are enough women or protected minorities in a job means you’re choosing people for reasons other than merit. Alternatively, if you’re blind to skin/gender in choosing the best person for the job, and this happens to foster a representative sample of the population, the strength is not the diversity, but the merits of each individual.

  184. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Yep just keep repeating the same horseshit. Cuz that will magically make it true, right?

  185. lee coye says

    Thus, we conclude that your premise is that meritocracy, not sexism, is responsible for the gender disparity in positions of power.

    *sigh*

    My critique of this outcome-engineering is that even if you accept “cultural conditioning” as the impetus for “free” choices, without addressing the underlying problem you will, at best, disregard the autonomy of individuals to choose their career, and at worst, actively shut out individuals who are as or more interested in those careers than the individuals who “qualify” (via discrimination) for the job. You are advocating for precisely the behavior you vilify, and somehow the irony is just wizzing past your heads.

  186. Maureen Brian says

    It’s not a lot of use, Lee, if the recruiter is unphased by either gender or skin colour. Give that person a cookie.

    It makes little difference, though, if the person who wants the job outside the usual stereotype never even gets in line to apply for it.

    I remind you of the decision of the US Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board Education, 1954, on the whole notion of “separate but equal” – I thought most of us had grasped the implications of that ruling by now. Clearly not.

  187. lee coye says

    Okay, well, fuck you and your stupid fucking fake definitions. It’s fucking slimy and dishonest and you need to fucking stop already.

    Context. I mean really, sally. . . I’m talking about differences in interest stemming (in part) from biological differences, how is it not patently obvious what I mean by biological diversity?

  188. says

    My critique of this outcome-engineering is that even if you accept “cultural conditioning” as the impetus for “free” choices, without addressing the underlying problem you will, at best, disregard the autonomy of individuals to choose their career, and at worst, actively shut out individuals who are as or more interested in those careers than the individuals who “qualify” (via discrimination) for the job. You are advocating for precisely the behavior you vilify, and somehow the irony is just wizzing past your heads.

    So, are you saying that sexism IS responsible for the gender disparity at the highest levels of business and government? Again, your refusal to be direct is remarkable.

  189. lee coye says

    Which you could have done immediately when I asked for clarification. You didn’t. It took two days to coax a basic clarification out of you.

    I see, so writing out what I mean the first time isn’t good enough, I have to keep dangling it in front of your face until you see it? This is why I complained about the persistent spammy snark posts that got in the way of people like you who are sincerely responding, but who can’t track the discussion through all the bullshit.

  190. says

    how is it not patently obvious what I mean by biological diversity?

    How is it not patently obvious? It’s not patently obvious because the phrase “biological diversity” normally refers to the degree of diversity among species in a given ecosystem. Thus the phrase is nonsensical when applied in the context you were attempting to put it in. If you’re going to change the context and thus the meaning of a word or phrase, the onus is on you to explain that you are using it differently than most people. Otherwise you look like a slimy, dishonest motherfucker. Which you do.

  191. lee coye says

    So, are you saying that sexism IS responsible for the gender disparity at the highest levels of business and government? Again, your refusal to be direct is remarkable.

    This is becoming tiresome.

    You seem to suggest that either women and other minorities don’t want higher paying / more respected jobs or that there are more white men in those jobs now because white men are simply more qualified for them.

    Equally simplistic is the notion that white men at the top are just ignoring women and minorities. This is a complex issue, and I’m not denying entirely the notion that there is conscious and unconscious bias.

  192. lee coye says

    If you’re going to change the context and thus the meaning of a word or phrase, the onus is on you to explain that you are using it differently than most people.

    I did. I didn’t even use that phrase until 50 comments ago.

  193. lee coye says

    It’s hard work, being smarter than everyone else, isn’t it? Poor diddums.

    Yikes, it’s a test of intelligence in this forum to simply read what other people write the first time?

  194. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    he’s refusing to be direct because he hasn’t got an argument. It’s just some spineless wishy washy crap that morphs depending on how easy it is for you to refute it. He can’t be direct – that would require honesty, integrity and a fucking spine.

  195. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Yikes, it’s a test of intelligence in this forum to simply read what other people write the first time?

    Translation: I’ve convinced myself that no one can read the entire thread.

  196. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . I’m talking about differences in interest stemming (in part) from biological differences,

    Lee, until you prove that the differences are genetic, and not cultural, you have no argument. Your word will never prove your argument. You need to back up any claim you make from the scientific literature. Or, if you have honesty and integrity, you don’t make the claim. That is what an intellectual mature person does. Liars and bullshitters keep talking, as they can’t put up and won’t shut up. They identifiy themselves that way.

  197. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve convinced myself that no one can read the entire thread.

    Gee, I’ve read every thread for a few years now…What is his problem?

  198. says

    You can’t win an argument by attrition. That strategy would amount to winning by being boring, which would only work against opponents with a very short attention-span. Your methods are flawed.

  199. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What is his problem?

    Apart from insecurity and bigotry? ;)

    That, and thinking mouthing bad evo psych will get him someplace here.

  200. casus fortuitus says

    lee coye:

    it’s a test of intelligence in this forum to simply read what other people write the first time?

    It’s not so simple to understand people who write like Humpty Dumpty talks.

    You brought up mandatory quotas (without really being explicit about what you meant) in your #739 as if anyone in this thread was advocating them:

    I’m against artificially changing the rules to ensure that women, men, minorities, majorities, or anyone, is “represented” on the back end.

    And you proceeded to make the entire conversation about that. Is it any wonder that people are a bit confused about what your point is?

    Also, I just want to point out this awesome gem from your first post:

    you’ll never understand why an anti-feminist might be as much an egalitarian as you.

    Since the goals of feminism are pretty much defined as pursuing egalitarianism between genders, there is no sensible way to suggest that an anti-feminist (presumably defined as someone opposed to the goals of feminism) can be “as much an a egalitarian” as a feminist. At least in principle. We all fall short of our ideals, sometimes.

  201. jeffret says

    lee coye @1131

    I don’t usually link to things that are fairly common knowledge.

    Interesting. There’s a prime skeptical, freethought approach for you — as long as it’s commonly known it doesn’t require support. It’s not about the facts, the evidence, it’s about how commonly known it is. And who determines whether something is commonly known or not? Why lee of course. Who else could possibly be better?

    Especially when you blithely make up new definitions for common words and terms, you shouldn’t be surprised when people expect you to provide links for things that you commonly know.

  202. lee coye says

    And who determines whether something is commonly known or not? Why lee of course. Who else could possibly be better?

    I was speaking of mandating quotas, enshrining bias in the opposite direction. Legally rigging the outcome, treating the symptoms rather than the disease. Recognizing that we don’t fully understand human behavior, and as such, should not presume to draw conclusions about what a perfect world would look like if it weren’t so imperfect, and then start duct-taping the output until it starts quacking.

  203. says

    What bullshit, lee.

    The disease is that anyone who isn’t White and male gets their work devalued, their abilities ignored and their job and advancement prospects diminished simply because they are not White and/or male.

    The people you feel are too stupid to understand your incredibly nuanced arguments have provided ample links to prove that what you fear with quotas is exactly what is happening now.

    Your argument is idiotic.

  204. lee coye says

    Hmm, lets see if our irony meters are operating:

    The people you feel are too stupid to understand your incredibly nuanced arguments have provided ample links to prove that what you fear with quotas is exactly what is happening now.

    Now me:

    You are advocating for precisely the behavior you vilify, and somehow the irony is just wizzing past your heads.

    Ships passing in the night.

  205. says

    I just want to re-state this, since it’s clear that at least one person in this thread is really fucking stupid.
     
    lee’s nightmare, worst-case scenario with strict quotas is no worse than what we have now.

  206. says

    @ Maureen Brian

    It always amazes me as to the similarities (sometimes in a “Through the Looking-glass” way) between the USA and South Africa. The term you used, “separate but equal”, was very much at the core of Apartheid apologetics.

    (If only leecoye would acknowledge that we have seen all this very same shit, in different guises, throughout the ages.)

  207. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Arguing with Lee is like arguing with my father. He needs no stinking facts, he’s just right and if you disagree, there’s clearly something wrong with you.

  208. throwaway, Preferred singular pronouns: they, them, their, it says

    Lee believes that average strength differences in gender plays a role in whether women will succeed in their roles in the military. That’s the “bile-ogical diversity” which he claims is the cause of inequity – things is what they is, and don’t you dare interfere with the free market! Until Lee is cured of the notion that “Men are better at/for…” and “Women are better suited to/for..” Lee will not budge on the issue.

  209. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    “Separate But Equal” was the official US policy until the Civil Rights Act of 1965, theophontes.

  210. jeffret says

    lee @ 1241

    I’ve tried several times, reading it forward and backwards and inside out, but I just can’t make out what you’re saying. Other than that things are just fine now and if we change anything we’re just going to destroy it all.

  211. UnknownEric, meanypants extraordinaire. says

    Other than that things are just fine now and if we change anything we’re just going to destroy it all.

    Don’t forget to add “and even if things are broken, who cares, because I got mine!”

  212. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Jeffret, you pretty much have captured what lee coye is arguing.

    If only you also captured the hubris. But that woulld be a much longer comment.

  213. says

    UnknownEric

    Arguing with Lee is like arguing with my father. He needs no stinking facts, he’s just right and if you disagree, there’s clearly something wrong with you.

    Arguing with lee is like arguing with my father, who hasn’t acknowledged any positive changes in society since he died in 1994.

  214. bradleybetts says

    @Lee Coye

    I’ve been reading through this thread and have a couple of things to say:

    You seem to be saying that “quotas” are just as discrimanatory, but in the opposite direction. If by quota you mean a rule that X% of the board must be Black, X% women, X% Latino etc. I see where you’re coming from and I understand that it would undermine a meritocracy. In a perfect world it would not be necessary, but in our current world where prejudice does play a part in the employment proces, do you really deny that it is?

    You make the point above that such quotas would be “enshrining bias in the opposite direction”; however this would only ever be true if the quota demanded a board be, for example, 100% Black and male. Saying “We’ll try and get 10% of the board to be Black” does not result in discrimination against Whites, because it leaves the possibility that the other 90% of the board be White.

    You also seem to be operating under the assumption that men are just better suited to some jobs; i.e. the lack of women in CEO positions is because men are just better at being CEOs. That being the case, why do you think that is? Just a natural inclination of being male? If so, what causes the difference? Brain chemistry? Hormones? Until you give a logical explanation for these apparently biological differences backed by actual scientific studies, they carry no weight. I am perfectly willing to accept the possibility that men and women think differently, but it has never been proven to me and I am not going to go basing my opinions on an unproven possibility. You seem to be simply taking it as gospel that this is the case.

    Just as an example, let’s turn the argument on it’s head and apply it to a profession dominated by women. Men make up c. 49% of the global population, if I remember rightly. Yet only 15% of nurses are men. Do you think this is because women are just naturally better at being nurses? Or do you think it’s because nursing is traditionally viewed as a female profession and that men entering it are ridiculed for being feminine and otherwise discouraged from pursuing that career?

    This example also plays a part in the original point; even if we lived in a world where employers were entirely impartial and hired entirely on merit, you still have to ensure that an equal cross section of the population apply for that job and cultural stereotypes and gender roles such as I mention above will affect who will apply for the job. That needs to change before a true meritocracy can ever be put into place.

    A small aside, you have a strange habit of arbitrarily redefining words. Biological diversity, for example, is an existing term with an existing definition. You do not get to arbitrarily redefine it as an umbrella term encompassing gender, racial and religious equality. It is irritating and makes your argument hard to follow.

  215. says

    lee @ 1241

    I agree with jeffret at 1249. I have read the whole discussion and that post several times and I can’t figure out what your point is, either. Must be my ladybrainz failing to grasp the subtleties of the nuance of your principled psychological and philosophical deepities. I know, according to you, I am working outside my built-in biological parameters here.

    Let’s see. You just kinda wish that some research somewhere (that someone else ought to step up and link for you) would prove what you know in your heart: that the people in some position now are there because they want to be and therefore, because they are there now, they must be the most deserving and best suited to having that position or, obviously, they would not have it. Which logically leads to: anyone who traditionally and historically does not hold a position, it is always because they are unsuited to wanting it, which is why women and minorities are in lower status positions and white men get the rest by default. If anyone, using a misguided and unnatural quota system, “gives” a position – it must be a gift since they cannot possibly “deserve” to hold it because when you say “they never had it before” it has to mean they are biologically unsuited to wanting to have it – to someone who, you claim, does not naturally want it that will somehow crash civilization and make your life not worth living? Or something.

    And the historical examples of societies who have chosen to function without gender roles and failed are some unnamed communes somewhere, maybe in Europe, and *everyone* ought to know that without your having to google any specific examples because… well… because.

    Do I have it straight now?

  216. PatrickG says

    @ lee coye:

    Since you seem to think people aren’t engaging you substantively, here’s my good faith try.

    I’ll ask again, quoting from your most recent statement on the subject:

    Mandating 40% women in boardrooms, mandating that we choose people based on race/gender/nationality instead of blinding recruiters to the factors that would otherwise bias them.

    I’m going to assume for the moment that you acknowledge that diversity in corporate governance has been shown to have positive effects. This is a pretty well-trodden field. Note that quotas are not part of this statement, simply diversity in the broadest sense (whether that be along lines of race, gender, age, background, or whatever).

    I think we can take it as a given that blinding recruiters can be done. It’s done in study after study documenting structural discrimination, after all. If researchers can do it, so can HR departments, yes? So then the question becomes: how do we implement the blinding of recruiters?

    If mandating percentages is a poor solution, how do we ensure and verify that recruitment is being done blindly? For example, in the U.S., would labor laws be rewritten? Would the government refuse to contract with companies that don’t adhere to such rules? Would non-blind recruiting be made a civil offsense? Or is this something addressed by the private sector? If so, how? Trade association rules? Union oversight? Decertification of companies who don’t adhere? How do we handle companies operating internationally?

    To some degree these are leading questions. I don’t believe it’s plausible — in the short term — to create a system where recruiters are blind. Reasons: backlash from small-government advocates, inefficacy of voluntary agreements in the private sector and lack of enforcement therein, a patchwork of international labor law and community standards that prevent universal application (even in the U.S., consider a patchwork of state laws and standards), and so forth.

    Thus, it’s my contention that quotas are not a perfect system, but a limited solution that can be put into place due to the lack of other realistic mechanism. You seem to say that isn’t the case — that, in fact, we have a wide arsenal of tools that make quotas not only unnecessary, but counterproductive. So have at it. Demonstrate, with more than op-ed pieces, how we can eliminate structural discrimination by blinding recruiters.

    In short: quotas can be done, have been done, and we have some data on them. Can we/have we/do we for blinding recruiters? Be specific in your response, please.

    ———————————————-

    Fair warning, I got interested in looking at some quota research and segued onto general Women-In-Management issues. Apologies in advance for the length of this post.

    I must note that this is not an exhaustive search, nor is it intended to be my preferred evidence. I just found things that looked interesting, and thought lee coye might enjoy reading about these issues. Call it a starting point (only 1300 comments in!), and possibly a lesson in how to link to things.

    First two are more generally about women in top management. Third is an article that supports (somewhat) lee coye’s argument against quotas (though the methodology looks really weird to me, it’s a highly cited paper), and fourth is an overview of quota systems around the world.

    1. Do women in top management affect firm performance?A panel study of 2,500 Danish firms

    Findings – The results in this paper show that the proportion of women in top management jobs tends to have positive effects on firm performance, even after controlling for numerous characteristics of the firm and direction of causality. The results show that the positive effects of women in top management strongly depend on the qualifications of female top managers. [COMMENT: I’ll bet the positive effects of male managers depend on that too…. Derp.]

    2. The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards

    This report shows that financial measures excel at those Fortune 500 companies where women board directors serve.

    The quick factsheet provided at this link is careful to note that correlation != causation, naturally.

    3. Women in the Boardroom

    We show that female directors have a significant impact on board inputs and firm
    outcomes. In a sample of US firms, we find that female directors have better attendance
    records than male directors, male directors have fewer attendance problems the
    more gender-diverse the board is, and women are more likely to join monitoring committees.
    These results suggest that gender-diverse boards allocate more effort to monitoring.
    Accordingly, we find that CEO turnover is more sensitive to stock performance and directors
    receive more equity-based compensation in firms with more gender-diverse boards.
    However, the average effect of gender diversity on firm performance is negative. This
    negative effect is driven by companies with fewer takeover defenses. Our results suggest
    that mandating gender quotas for directors can reduce firm value for well-governed firms.

    This was a weird paper to read. I’m not an economist, so I don’t know the jargon, but, well, here:

    Although the correlation between gender diversity and either firm
    value or operating performance appears to be positive at first inspection, this correlation disappears
    once we apply reasonable procedures to tackle omitted variables and reverse causality
    problems.

    Such reasonable procedures are described as firm fixed effects, are are never actually outlined that I can find. In the methodology section:

    When analyzing the effect of women on governance, endogeneity concerns arise because
    of omitted unobservable firm characteristics. Omitted variables that affect both the selection
    of female directors and governance choices may lead to empirical correlations between board
    gender diversity and governance variables. It is plausible, for example, that some firms are
    more “progressive” than others, so they have both better governance, as well as more female
    directors. Under the assumption that corporate culture does not vary over the time period
    studied, we use firm fixed effects to address the concern that omitted culture — or any other
    time-invariant firm characteristic — is driving our results. Thus, whenever possible, we use firm
    fixed effects methods to control for time-invariant unobservable firm characteristics.

    What the word salad? Endogeneity bias (which is more expansive than simple omitted variable bias, but whatever) is certainly something to be taken into account, but one would think that adding a methodological constraint deserves more of a description than “well, a firm might be ‘progressive'”. Particularly when doing so completely changes your conclusion:

    We use two measures of performance: Tobin’s Q and ROA. The
    results for Tobin’s Q are in column I of Table 8. Consistent with the positive relation between
    gender diversity and performance documented in previous studies, the coefficient on diversity
    is positive and significant at the 10% level. To address omitted variables problems, we add
    firm fixed effects in column II. Once we add firm effects the coefficient on diversity remains
    statistically significant at the 10% level, but the sign is now negative. This suggests that the
    positive correlation between diversity and performance in column I is driven by omitted firm
    specific factors
    .

    TL;DR: We got a result, but then we did something *fiddle*, and now we got the opposite result. The difference is due to what we did, and this is a robust result. Just don’t ask what we did. (Maybe firm fixed effects is one of those “commonly known” things in economics, but…. the details of how they calculated the impact on attendance of BoD members at board meetings took up almost an entire page. This, not so much.)

    I also enjoy the assumption that firm fixed effects remain invariant over the time period studied. Even though, you know, you’re studying the impact of a change in management over that time period. Seems shady to me, but again, I’m not an economist.

    Anyway, that was the most comprehensive and influential (cited by 337) paper I could find that argued against quotas. It wasn’t tremendously convincing, and in fact had a rather weak conclusion….

    4. But for lee’s sake, here’s another interesting link, from Deloitte, which somewhat makes a case in the introduction that quotas aren’t a great solution. I did get tickled by this quote in one of the Forewords, though:

    The question of targets versus quotas is a very difficult one. Anecdotally, it has been suggested that the call to action in Australia has been energized by an implied threat of quotas and business has responded.

    And from the same person (Jane Diplock of New Zealand):

    If this progress continues and disclosure and targets work, then there may be no need to impose quotas. If it does not and the pace slackens then it may be that quotas may need to be imposed in the interests of good governance and productivity.

    Seems pretty reasonable to me.

    ——————

    Apologies for the wall of text. I got carried away.

    Lee, I’ll restate my original question: if quotas are not a good solution, how do we implement a different one? Be specific.

  217. skepticallydenpa says

    I have been reading this entire thread, (roughly 14hrs, I’m a slow reader,) and I am forced to delurk in order to address one comment

    Illuminata:

    he’s refusing to be direct because he hasn’t got an argument. It’s just some spineless wishy washy crap that morphs depending on how easy it is for you to refute it. He can’t be direct – that would require honesty, integrity and a fucking spine.

    How dare you insinuate that lee shares such a trait with cephelopods, and that it is somehow responsible for his fuckwitery and cowardice.

    P.S. lee, along with a few others, has caused me a bit of head trauma thanks to the reflex of facepalming. Keep up the good work horde. I wish I had the time to join you.

  218. bradleybetts says

    @Patrick G

    I’ve been considering your point about blind interviews. The only solution I can see is written interviews. If they can’t see you, but can only hear you, they can’t tell your race or religion but they can tell if you’re male or female, not to mention that discrimination based on accent (whether you sound “educated” etc.) is fairly well documented. So aural interviews only wouldn’t work. And I think written interviews would be fairly impractical. Employers needs to be able to gauge your speaking ability, level of confidence etc.. They need to meet you. It’s literally not possible to have a situation where all potential avenues of discrimination are eliminated. So, barring some new technology that I’m currently too tired to imagine, I think that quotas are the best option we’ll ever have.

  219. bradleybetts says

    Clarification: Best option we’ll ever have, up until all prejudice is eliminated and we have a true meritocracy. And that will, unfortunately, be a long time coming.

  220. throwaway, Preferred singular pronouns: they, them, their, it says

    andr0idthepoet

    PZ, I loved the voice over work you did on the Shrek movies. What else have you done?

    Humor fail from the obsessive Russ Graeme. There was no punch line, let alone any set-up. Is doing voice-over work for a film humorous? Is it that he did it for Shrek? In which case, I’d applaud whichever character PZ played, because it was a brilliant movie.

    But I’m sure the irrational hate-squad will lap up this current incarnation of your brand of non-thinking humor. Come back when you achieve Wodehouse levels of perfunctory wit. Thus far you are indistinguishable from the witless.

  221. andr0idthepoet says

    Thanks! I appreciate the response… I really do. What I’m interested in is trying to find a balance between self-deprecating humour (I’ve stupidly confused Prof Myers with Mike Myers) and poignant sub-text (who the heck IS Prof Myers and what has he done?) Admittedly, I may have failed on this occasion but I think it’s an interesting concept to explore. Kind regards, Russ ‘witless’ Graeme.

  222. says

    At work. Meetings and stuff. Can’t comment extensively till later tonight but I wanted to say thanks to Patrick for doing a bit of research. Quotas are not something I’ve ever really looked into in depth because they seem like such a blunt tool to me. They’re easily abused–just look at the Republican party’s misadventures with bringing on incompetent women such as Sarah Palin just for the sake of appearances. And even when they aren’t abused, the perception that the people hired aren’t actually competent but only got the job because the company needed another black guy for the photo ops damages the credibility of those hirees and can actually perpetuate the stereotypes they’re meant to discourage.

    I’m not totally convinced that what the Obama administration is proposing can actually be called “quotas” according to the traditional definition of the word, because Lee’s outright dishonesty in willfully redefining words leaves me unable to trust that he can correctly distinguish a quota from a hiring goal or a guideline. I know that in his mind, these things are pretty much the same, but that’s exactly the sort of thinking that makes him a slimy fucker.

    And this:

    I am perfectly willing to accept the possibility that men and women think differently, but it has never been proven to me and I am not going to go basing my opinions on an unproven possibility.

    Even if men and women do think differently, hello! The whole point of diversity in hiring is to get different viewpoints and different ways of thinking, because having a monolithic, single-minded way of approaching a business strategy (or government policy or whatever) is actually a weakness, not a strength.

  223. says

    I would say that Sarah Palin wasn’t so much the result of a quota as tokenism. They don’t feel any sort of need to actually have reasonable representation of women and non-Whites as long as they have a few they can point to now and then.

  224. Tethys-chosen vessel of Lolth says

    Tokenism is a result of the type of thinking that casts minority X as a monolith/inanimate object, rather than seeing them as a diverse group of people.

    I look forward to reading the interesting links provided by PatrickG later today.

    Right now I have some manly carpentry work to accomplish while the sun is shining.

  225. throwaway, Preferred singular pronouns: they, them, their, it says

    What I’m interested in is trying to find a balance between self-deprecating humour (I’ve stupidly confused Prof Myers with Mike Myers) and poignant sub-text (who the heck IS Prof Myers and what has he done?)

    That you don’t know what made PZ popular means that you will never find a path to popularity yourself and it’s quite sad and depressing seeing you attempt to ride the coattails through ridiculing that which you envy.

  226. Pteryxx says

    I would say that Sarah Palin wasn’t so much the result of a quota as tokenism.

    ^ This. One of the problems with hiring-for-tokenism is that all the biases remain in play, including the view that ‘we don’t need to bother looking for competent candidates since there probably aren’t any out there anyway, everyone knows that’. Then they choose from a very narrow pool of the right kind of minority person – generally one that confirms all the biases, or they wouldn’t have a place in the networking to begin with.

    Quotas are supposed to be roughly proportional to the available competent workers (rather than the workers alread pre-judged to be competent), and also have to be implemented fairly in where applicants are sought, where job openings are advertised, and such. Otherwise one gets situations like the women-speakers problem: the organizer needs say two women, asks only two, and when those first two say no, the organizer quits looking and concludes more candidates just don’t exist.

    bradleybetts re interviews: I’d like to see someone experiment with interviews via live chat, especially in pools with say a couple of interviewers and a half-dozen candidates. That’d help check how they respond to each others’ stories, who’s got tendencies to steamroll others, or who gives well-thought answers rather than quick ones, all of which are more relevant for most work environments than the typical one-on-one supplicant-to-boss interview. (I remember my interviews being pretty darn pointless content-wise. Let’s have some discussions!)

  227. mandrellian says

    Oh, great – lee coye’s still here, edumacatin’ us as to why bitches aint shit (hint: Reasons and Sciences!).

  228. jackiepaper says

    #1271
    For someone so passionate about a subject, he’s done precious little to back his assertions up with evidence.

    He hasn’t even done much to define his terms.

    I’m pretty sure at this point that’s because he has no idea what they mean in the first place.

  229. mandrellian says

    jackiepaper @ 1272:

    For someone so passionate about a subject, he’s done precious little to back his assertions up with evidence.

    For people who claim to be atheo-skepticists, some of them sure do argue like creationists: “Rush* said it, I believe it, that settles it!”
    ______________________________
    *This is of course interchangeable with any lackwitted MRA hero/prophet/warrior-monk

  230. John Morales says

    lee coye is one of those people who hasn’t had an opportunity to express dissent here, because he was banned as soon as he tried due to PZ’s lack of toleration.

    ;)

  231. andr0idthepoet says

    “That you don’t know what made PZ popular means that you will never find a path to popularity yourself and it’s quite sad and depressing seeing you attempt to ride the coattails through ridiculing that which you envy.”

    Ha ha! That’s the point of poignant sub-text – I DO know what has made PZ popular! What I’m saying is, so what? Is it really that important? You clearly seem to think so. Lighten up and look on the bright, cynical, subversive, self-deprecating side of life!

  232. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    A little hint about formatting, andr0idthepoet. Place quotes within blockquotes.

  233. Mister Michael says

    #1195
    Shorter version of Maureen Brian’s argument:
    We don’t have to bother practicing what we preach because, wedge.

    Attacking *assumed* subtext instead of the arguments presented is essentially ad hominem fallacy. It’s great to see that you proudly embrace this American tradition.

    -GroupthinkForEveryone!

  234. lee coye says

    @patrick

    I don’t know. I’m no messiah. I think quotas are a bad move; if the “progress” in Norway is any indication they’re at best ineffectual, and if the study was properly done, they’re at worst detrimental. They also fail to comport with the basic ideals of a free society, in the same manner that the current paradigm doesn’t. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Pteryxx brought up an interesting potential solution though, what about screening recruiters for bias? Surely some people lack it. Bias-awareness training or something for HR directors?

  235. lee coye says

    I’m not totally convinced that what the Obama administration is proposing can actually be called “quotas” according to the traditional definition of the word, because Lee’s outright dishonesty in willfully redefining words leaves me unable to trust that he can correctly distinguish a quota from a hiring goal or a guideline.

    How does my usage of words change the Obama administration proposal?

  236. says

    How does my usage of words change the Obama administration proposal?

    Comprehension fail: It doesn’t. I’m not familiar with the Obama admin proposal. I was saying that I don’t trust your description of it because you arbitrarily switch the definitions of words around. I have to go to the source–i.e. the Obama admin website–to get the straight dope because you’re not a trustworthy narrator.

  237. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Lee coye, you are fucking slacking. You must get this thread over fifteen hundred comments.

  238. mandrellian says

    [Lee]You have a persistent pattern of answering questions that nobody has asked.

    And an opposite tendency to ignore questions that have been asked repeatedly. Lee knows what I mean.

    In what circumstances was a world free of undue privilege “tried and failed” (to paraphrase your own words), Lee? Who? When? Where? You asserted that an attempt was made and that attempt failed. Who made the attempt?
    Why did the attempt fail?
    Why is that failure (if it can be demonstrated) a reason to not try again?

    What I really want to know is this: is it your contention that a world free of undue privilege granted based on inherent characteristics (such as gender, the primary context of this discussion – not aptitude, skill or any of the other red herrings you brought up in your last deflection/non-response) is not worth aiming for (regardless of whether it’s been “tried” before)? Because if it is, you’re wasting your time here and will win no ground. That kind of a world is what most people here would like to see – and even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, people would at least like to see progress toward it. It’s not some ridiculous utopian vision, by the way – it’s actually happening. Or did you not read about women’s suffrage, abolition, civil rights, child labor laws, Roe v Wade, LGBT rights etc in “History”?

  239. andr0idthepoet says

    A little hint about formatting, andr0idthepoet. Place quotes within blockquotes.

    Is this right? Soon find out! Blogging is so much fun!

  240. John Morales says

    [meta]

    andr0idthepoot:

    What I’m interested in is trying to find a balance between self-deprecating humour (I’ve stupidly confused Prof Myers with Mike Myers) and poignant sub-text (who the heck IS Prof Myers and what has he done?) Admittedly, I may have failed on this occasion but I think it’s an interesting concept to explore.

    Your vapidity is kinda hard to deprecate; there’s no there, there.

    BTW, among other things, Myers received the 2009 Humanist of the Year award and International Humanist Award in 2011.

    (Also, he was expelled from Expelled :) )

  241. lee coye says

    @bradley

    If I’m wrong about biological differences, then perfectly executed quotas would be perfectly fair. If I’m right about biological differences, the disservice to genuinely interested/qualified candidates for discriminatory reasons would make a mockery of the entire moral basis of the project.

    We don’t live in a world where quotas will be executed in anything like a perfect manner, and the resulting injustice, and potential damage to productivity, could be catastrophic.

    Since we don’t know one way or the other, I think the best option is to focus on removing barriers, be they bias, access to education, w/e else. I leave these things to smarter people than myself.

  242. lee coye says

    I have to go to the source–i.e. the Obama admin website–to get the straight dope because you’re not a trustworthy narrator.

    Not before you pen all these super informative jabs, though. Keep up the good fight.

  243. John Morales says

    [meta]

    andr0idthepoet:

    Ah, nearly there…

    You hardly need to inform us that you’re Hoggling.

  244. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If I’m wrong about biological differences,

    Assertion made without citation. You are wrong until you cite yourself right. Nobody here is taking your word for anything other than lies and bullshit. That is what you get by arguing dishonestly and non-evidentually.

  245. andr0idthepoet says

    You hardly need to inform us that you’re Hoggling.

    Sadly, I’m too old now to concern myself with masturbation, John! I am, however, trying to get to grips with the protocols of blogging. So, bear with me while I learn the ropes. Thanks!

  246. Pteryxx says

    Lee again:

    Pteryxx brought up an interesting potential solution though, what about screening recruiters for bias? Surely some people lack it. Bias-awareness training or something for HR directors?

    Um, no. First, I made no such suggestion, which is par for the course for you as you misread pretty much everything, but anyway. “Surely some people lack bias”? No, there’s no reason to claim any such thing. Bias is systemic and cultural, and since everyone was raised in a culture there’s no reason to expect anyone on the planet could be some paragon of perfect unbiasedness. Besides, you’d have to vet everyone in the work environment: co-workers who give evaluations, bosses who hand out assignments and raises, managers who make recommendations, and not just HR. Biases affect all these factors. Diversity training and bias awareness help with the local culture but don’t solve the problem on their own.

    (Seriously, if it’s so easy to screen out the flawed bias-prone humans from the unbiased ones, then why have double-blind studies instead of just screening out all the scientists who are prone to confirmation bias? Anyone?)

  247. PatrickG says

    @ SallyStrange/Tethys: I look forward to you reading the stuff I linked and getting back to me with possibly even better links/material/commentary. In the meantime…

    While I’d known there had been work done on quantifying the effects of diverse management and workplaces (in this case, diversity w.r.t. gender), I was somewhat surprised at how much there is. I just took some highly-cited links off Scholar for the first 3, and found the Deloitte study somewhere else.

    I particularly recommend that link, as in addition to having some very interesting forewords, it really pvodies an overall survey of policies in place around the world, from straight %-based quota systems (e.g. France) to strict representation requirements (1 woman in board with 5 or more individuals in India) to other systems. Quite a variety of mechanisms out there. I note also that Belgium has been overrun by MRAs (kidding!) in that their quota system requires a minimum of 1/3 women AND 1/3 men. This both-ways requirement appears in most of the European quota systems, actually, as well as other places.

    I find the Norwegian example somewhat interesting — the Economist article lee coye linked really glosses over the system there, which is a graduated series of requirements for various board sizes, finally culminating at 40%. However, for small sizes, the requirements seem quite restrictive (e.g. “On a board with 2 to 3 members, both sexes shall be represented”), and the blunt tool seems to have hammered down a bit hard here (two partners incorporate a LLP, and serve as directors. Oops, they’re both women, or oops, they’re both men. And I can’t wait — in a morbid sense — for the first non-binary-gendered person to openly sit on a board with such strict requirements.).

    Of course, it’s also worth noting that (same source), various companies are implied to be in violation of the rules that went into 2006, and as of Nov. 2011 (the Deloitte report publication date) not a single Norwegian company has been dissolved (the final penalty under the Public Limited Liability Companies Act of 2005). Also worth noting that the other countries cited in the Economist opinion piece haven’t, um, actually started their rules yet (France’s starts in 2017, Spain’s in 2015), and I don’t find it hard to believe that the “grace period” will be extended as in Norway.

    So, data isn’t really in for a lot of this, and the initial reports seem confused and at least possibly driven by ideology (the 3rd article I linked has a very clear slant to my mind, beyond the methodological objections I’ve raised, and the Economist piece of course does the usual great job of pop-research.) I should note I haven’t looked up stats for Norwegian boards/executive committees yet. I’m curious what the actual profile looks like (disclosure is required by the PLLCA).

    Anyway, that rambled a bit. Sorry. I’ll just reiterate my position that strict quotas seem to be an imperfect tool, but not one that should be unilaterally discarded, given the impracticality of methods available elsewhere.

    @ bradleybetts: The written interview does seem to be the only way to ensure no discrimination up front. I suppose you could introduce a cumbersome bureaucracy of tracking all interviews done everywhere and checking for patterns of bias and so forth, with complaints and investigations…. I feel silly even having written that. But that’s pretty much a valid argument for outcome-based systems (e.g. quotas), since it’s just easier to do and should provide the inducement for improvements in the process itself.

    @ Pterryx: I hope I find employment before your proposed system goes in. Interviews are stressful as it is, what you describe sounds like the 3rd circle of hell for job seekers. :)

    @ lee coye: I did want to add that a frequently cited argument against quotas is that underqualified women are negatively impacting company performane. This suggests to me two possibilities: (1) the hiring process is being done solely to comply with the law, without much regard to competence, or (2) the pool of talented women is just too small.

    For the record, I don’t believe (2) is the answer. I find it much easier to believe that companies required to expand their board’s size (the typical response to quotas, see the 3rd link in my post above) really didn’t try very hard in recruiting top-notch talent, with predictable results. This also feeds into the criticism that adding women has particular impact on top-performing companies, but I’ll observe adding more people of any gender to the management/oversight functions of a company that’s doing superlatively well will have an impact.

    Sort of like atheist organizers who call two women and then complain there are no women out there, yes?

    Next time I’ll separate responses… what a wall of text. Sorry again.

  248. John Morales says

    [meta]

    andr0idthepoot, you’re making pointless and inane comments on a topical thread, and your disingenuousness shines through.

    You want to learn the ropes, go to the open thread called Thunderdome.

  249. lee coye says

    Um, no. First, I made no such suggestion, which is par for the course for you as you misread pretty much everything, but anyway.

    Indeed, I did misread that. Probably a bit hyperbolic to claim I misread everything, though.

  250. andr0idthepoet says

    andr0idthepoot, you’re making pointless and inane comments on a topical thread, and your disingenuousness shines through.

    You want to learn the ropes, go to the open thread called Thunderdome.

    Thanks, I’ll certainly go to the thread you suggest, Thunderdome. I’m here to learn, after all. (I wish you folks would stop insulting me though. Poot, vapid, envious, pointless, inane, insincere… Not very welcoming, I must say!)

  251. PatrickG says

    @ lee coye:

    I don’t know. I’m no messiah. I think quotas are a bad move; if the “progress” in Norway is any indication they’re at best ineffectual, and if the study was properly done, they’re at worst detrimental. They also fail to comport with the basic ideals of a free society, in the same manner that the current paradigm doesn’t. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Well, I linked a study that finds an overall negative impact of quotas for women (and even then finds positive impacts in various areas), and critiqued it in several places. I could provide more, if the text I’ve already written was so trivial as to be ignored. :) Oh hell, why not. This paper is pretty fun to pick apart.

    For convenience, here’s a link to the paper in question so you don’t have to go upthread to find it.

    From the abstract:

    However, the average effect of gender diversity on firm performance is negative. This
    negative effect is driven by companies with fewer takeover defenses.

    and go on to say:

    This result is consistent with the argument that too much board monitoring
    can decrease shareholder value (Almazan and Suarez, 2003; Adams and Ferreira, 2007).
    Thus, it is possible that gender diversity only adds value when additional board monitoring
    would enhance firm value.

    and

    The true relationship between gender diversity and firm performance appears to be more complex. We find that diversity has a positive impact on performance in firms that otherwise have weak governance, as measured by their abilities to resist takeovers.

    I’m not an economist, but I find this line of argument peculiar. Women come in, have a positive impact on performance in weak-governance corporations, which then … makes them more attractive to takeover by other parties, which is bad(?). I’m missing something here.

    In firms with strong governance, however, enforcing gender quotas in the boardroom may ultimately decrease shareholder value. One possible explanation is that greater gender diversity may lead to overmonitoring in those firms.

    Given that (as I said above) the typical response to quotas is to increase the size of the board, it seems the actual argument is:
    1) Company has to meet quota.
    2) Company expands size of board, hires women.
    3) Company assigns women to monitoring committees.
    4) Women show up to work more often than men.
    5) Women are therefore the proximate cause of more monitoring.

    Read that again. No really. Read it again.

    Everybody’s picked that apart, right? I mean, really, what a ridiculous argument, right? I mean, nobody would ever say — oh damn, we’ve entered section 3.2:

    Our evidence on board inputs shows that women attend more meetings and are more likely to be assigned to monitoring-related committees than men. If women also participate actively at board and monitoring committee meetings, they may increase the monitoring intensity of the board. In this section, we address this issue by examining whether the presence of women affects observable governance choices.

    Those pesky women! By showing up to work as Directors, they’re hurting the company!!11!

    (By the way, another section concludes that yes, women participate actively at meetings. I don’t want to quote the whole paper though. (= )

    So yeah, there’s another reason why this paper seems a bit flaky to me. But nothing screams “flaky” as much as their fudge factor to produce results in Table 8. (again, reference in original post)

    And finally, the paper acknowledges right at the start that:

    it is still too early to assess the consequences of Norway’s unique
    experiment

    (Didn’t stop the Economist from opining on Norway, though.)

    And finally, I’ll reiterate that the academic “reach” of this paper can be measured by the number of times it has been cited: 337. A lot of people really seem to like this paper, despite its methodological flaws.

  252. PatrickG says

    By the way, apologies to all those who said they were going to read the paper later. I wanted to leave that particular doozy for you as a fun surprise.

  253. andr0idthepoet says

    Obvious, boring troll is obvious and boring.

    No, be fair, mandrellian, I think John Morales is actually trying to help. Don’t be too harsh on him.

  254. Rey Fox says

    What I’m interested in is trying to find a balance between self-deprecating humour (I’ve stupidly confused Prof Myers with Mike Myers) and poignant sub-text (who the heck IS Prof Myers and what has he done?) Admittedly, I may have failed on this occasion but I think it’s an interesting concept to explore.

    Don’t give up your day job.

    Thanks, I’ll certainly go to the thread you suggest, Thunderdome. I’m here to learn, after all. (I wish you folks would stop insulting me though. Poot, vapid, envious, pointless, inane, insincere… Not very welcoming, I must say!)

    Donny, you’re out of your element.

  255. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Rey, the poot passed the shibboleth @1293, thus my response.

    (Which was informative)

  256. Nepenthe says

    @mandrellian

    is it your contention that a world free of undue privilege granted based on inherent characteristics (such as gender, the primary context of this discussion – not aptitude, skill or any of the other red herrings you brought up in your last deflection/non-response) is not worth aiming for (regardless of whether it’s been “tried” before)?

    I don’t think you understand. Gender is aptitude. Bit–… women just aren’t good at doing things like thinking or fighting. We’re good at cleaning up shit and piss. (Which makes sense, since we are pissing ourselves so often.) Plus, we like that sort of thing and we especially like being paid less to do it than men who clean up shit and piss.

    If people started hiring women to do thinking and leading, that would be terrible and end freedom.

    Also, men are naturally violent and need to have spaces in which to kick the shit out of each other and be kept from women who they will rape if they have an opportunity. This is totally consistent with the belief that women are too emotional to think and lead.

    And also women ruined marriage, because men don’t get anything out of it and that’s why men don’t want to get married anymore. The fact that more men want to be married than women is irrelevant.

    And feminists are ugly.

    The End.

  257. lee coye says

    This suggests to me two possibilities: (1) the hiring process is being done solely to comply with the law, without much regard to competence, or (2) the pool of talented women is just too small.

    For the record, I don’t believe (2) is the answer.

    It might be.

    Only 43 women have climbed the traditional ladder to become CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies in the last 35 years, and fresh research from executive women’s organization Catalyst suggests that the pipeline is not exactly filling up with future candidates. Such a track record might have caused the best, brightest and most ambitious executive women some years ago to tire of limited opportunities and set out to control their destinies and report to no man.

    But if 43 seems like a low number, consider how many companies were founded by women, then grew into the Fortune 1000. The total is three. And all were co-founded by men

    Though, according to Forbes, those numbers might grow organically, with a bit more time.

  258. lee coye says

    Maids:

    Perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.

    Janitors:

    Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.

    I’d rather be a maid.

  259. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Said it before and I will repeat myself; lee coye is not much for self awareness.

  260. PatrickG says

    @ lee coye:

    I figured I was done feeding you, but once more into the breach, and then I have a social engagement for Darwin’s Day that will be much more fun than awarding you the Most Dedicated Troll Award.

    Here we go!

    I see once again you’ve completely ignored the vast majority of a long post by me, only to reframe the argument. Or, as you’ve done repeatedly in this thread, vigorously focus on one sentence and completely reinterpret what it means, i.e. attempt to change the subject.

    We were talking about quotas for gender diversity, not the ratio of male-to-female founders of successful companies. The second might make an interesting topic, but it isn’t the subject at hand. Is it really that hard to stay on topic?

    Well, obviously it is, since you’ve been doing it this entire thread. Hint: this is why people judge you as a dishonest interlocutor. I went out of my way to provide links and evidence, even evidence to support your position, critiqued it, found that there were conflicting accounts, discussed those, and so forth.

    Your response: a one-liner consisting of a link to an article on a somewhat-related subject that you didn’t appear to even read. Then a one-liner linking to an op-ed piece, which, by the way, asserts that corporations are apparently actively unfriendly places for women to work.

    Many women view corporations today as being fundamentally flawed and limiting in their value structures. The Guardian Life Index, an initiative to understand America’s small business owners, cites “office politics” as a driving factor for women leaving Corporate America to start businesses.

    Yeah, I wonder what kind of office politics might drive women out. Real head-scratcher, that one.

    Also, last time I checked, an article in USA Today and an op-ed in Forbes aren’t quite peer-reviewed sources, where we might discuss data, methodology, and conclusions. But it’s already pretty well established you don’t care to try and engage with substance. You’re just here aiming for 1400 comments now!

    I digress. Since quoting your own sources to you seems to be my specialty, let’s go ahead and look at the USA Today link:

    SPOILER ALERT: women go into business too, but expectations of their role in raising families, additional barriers in securing capital funding, and plain old discrimination hamper their rise in business. Mostly from anecdotal sources, so it can just be hand-waved away.

    First, let’s start with lee coyle’s brilliant and insightful rejoinder:

    It might be

    This, of course, referring to my suggestion that the hypothesis in question could be answered by asserting a pool of talented women too small to make quotas feasible, because there will necessarily be less competent women in a quota system. Now that we’re clear on what we’re talking about:

    Women who have built big companies don’t know why they remain so rare, but explanations fall largely into two camps: discrimination and nature. They say men have easier access to money from bankers and venture capitalists, the lifeblood of growth. Women also are often more devoted to family, and even those who out-earn their husbands often remain responsible for children and households.

    So: discrimination, and an expectation that women will stay at home with the children.

    DiMarco said she was the principal founder and could have done it alone except that she was 25 and naive enough to think she needed a male partner to be taken seriously. She stepped down as CEO in 1999 at age 41, but remained chairman and was brought back as CEO to restructure the company in 2003. Since then, Advent Software has quadrupled its market cap to more than $1 billion. She says it is very difficult building a company and raising children, and she could not have done it without a supportive husband.

    Even successful women founding billion dollar companies assess the situation and come away thinking they need a male partner as a prerequisite to success. DiMarco says — in hindsight — that may not actually have been the case, but yeesh, if she’s assessing things this way…

    Also, let me stress that this highly successful woman says that building a company and raising children would have been impossible without a supportive partner. Because, to make a blindingly obvious statement, it’s very difficult to work full-time and care for children. In a society where childrearing is still expected to be done by women, we can agree this is a barrier to up-and-comers. Right?

    But that’s almost beside the point. Here’s the money-quote:

    The Center for Women’s Business Research plans to release research next month about larger firms. It includes focus groups with successful business owners and finds that more young women than young men have recently founded companies that grew to $1 million in revenue. When asked about their business goals, more young women than young men are citing raw growth, says research director Gwen Martin.

    Let me emphasize this: according to the article you cited, more young women than young men are starting businesses expected to grow successfully. This, I believe is called a direct refutation of your point. The female talent pool appears quite resilient, actually. If anything, the only barrier to women in corporate settings is the fact that corporate settings are really, really unfriendly to women!

    Obviously, there are plenty of talented women out there. In fact, it sounds like women can be quite entrepeneurial and talented indeed! Despite facing a lot of systematic barriers, particularly due to expectations of family roles. All summed up perfectly by this woman who founded one $100 million business and has recently launched a new enterprise:

    “Everything’s equal, but it’s not. Particularly if there are children involved,” says Nemeth, who raised one child with the help of a supportive husband and her own “absurd amount of energy.”

    Oh by the way, the second link you provided also concludes that there are plenty of talented, business-savvy women out there. They just don’t want to work with people like you.

    In closing: nice try, cupcake. Perhaps you would be more comfortable in a YouTube comment channel, where nobody will ask you to actually link something other than a newspaper opinion piece.

    Heh. Responding to lee coye is like hitting a pinata 10′ tall while not wearing a blindfold. Do you finally drop candy at some point, lee? I’m hoping for butterscotch.

  261. Nepenthe says

    @PatrickG

    In the last thread he appeared in, Lee dropped a “I wouldn’t fuck you!!!eleventy!!” after sustained prodding. He drops overt misogyny instead of candy. Still amusing though.

  262. says

    So, when I sat down about 40 minutes ago to read more in depth the text of the Obama administration’s proposals regarding quotas, which I had skimmed briefly last night. I skimmed the article lee coye linked to in order to support his contention that important people are calling for quotas. I found a link to the Obama administration’s page and skimmed a bit there. I didn’t look at any of the other hyperlinks in the article, which is hosted on OpenMarket.org. Today I decided to look at them before going on to the administration website. I wasn’t really expecting what I found. Here’s where I realized I’d have to break it down into two part: part one about the actual OpenMarket article, which is fascinating in and of itself, and the other about the Obama admin’s proposals.

    This is just the first paragraph.

    The Obama administration is pushing quotas in the workplace and higher education, seeking to force businesses that have federal contracts to hire at least 7 percent disabled workers, and encouraging colleges to use race in admissions to achieve a “critical mass” of black and Hispanic students — a de facto quota. It is also apparently drafting an executive order about sexual-orientation discrimination among federal contractors, an order that key administration allies would like to include “goals (effectively,quotas) for gays and lesbians * (most Americans work in states, cities, or counties that already forbid sexual-orientation discrimination, but these laws do not require preferences for gays or lesbians, and at least a few expressly forbid “affirmative action” discrimination against heterosexuals. Virtually all Fortune 500 companies already ban sexual-orientation discrimination).

    The first hyperlink goes to a post on a blog called “Overlawyered”; this post consists of a paragraph full of hyperlinks, some of which go to the Obama administration’s website. I didn’t check out the other ones. Both the second and third hyperlink go to the same url: a site called “Minding the Campus: Reforming Our Universities.”

    Okay, here I go with a genuine ad hominem: Warren Farrell is the author of the second article under the “Gender Studies” subpage. That reflects badly on the website that publishes him, and a person who cites the website. If it was done in ignorance, well, congratulations on being oblivious? Okay, ad hominem over.

    Note that even in the article that approvingly cites such sources, the alleged “quotas” are always described with qualifiers: “a de facto quota,” and “(effectively, quotas)”, but note also how they don’t include “effectively” in the hyperlink, de-emphasizing the qualifiers which they nevertheless feel obligated to add.

    I find this really hilarious because I had only briefly skimmed over the actual text of the proposal, on the administration website, and thought to myself, hmm, not much in the way of actual things you would call “mandates” here, but maybe I’m missing something…

    Yeah, we’ll see. In the meantime, enjoy that “Reforming our Universities” website, it’s simultaneously hurl-worthy and hilarious.
    Then there’s this:

    most Americans work in states, cities, or counties that already forbid sexual-orientation discrimination

    Which is it? States? Cities? Or counties? How are they counting that? If it’s states, that’s simply not true. If it’s cities, then yes, it’s likely that most Americans who live in cities also live in states that protect gay rights, since the bulk of the nation’s city population is located on the coast and in the coastal cities which have the largest concentrations of population. I couldn’t even venture a guess as to how counties would stack up in terms of treating sexual orientation as a class. Probably similar to cities, since the denser the population, the smaller the counties and therefore the you have a denser concentration of counties, numerically, than states.

    Where was I? Oh right, OpenMarket.

    but these laws do not require preferences for gays or lesbians, and at least a few expressly forbid “affirmative action” discrimination against heterosexuals.

    Affirmative action is discrimination against heterosexuals, dontcha know. Because heterosexuals are naturally more qualifies and that’s why they have those jobs in the first place, not anything to do with centuries of social stigma (still expressed quite violently in many cases) against being gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

    And why would laws establishing sexual orientation as a protected class like race, religion, and gender, ever institute quotas? Nice way of subtly tying the concept of equal protection under the law with legally mandated numerical hiring quotas.

    Virtually all Fortune 500 companies already ban sexual-orientation discrimination).

    You know what would be an interesting question to find the answer to? Okay, virtually all Fortune 500 companies ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. How many companies that adopt the practice do so out of legal compulsion, and how many do so voluntarily? Of those that adopt voluntarily, what reasons do they cite? I bet that research is out there, but I’ve got some executive orders to read, so maybe someone else can check.

    *Hyperlink in original article leads to same URL as previous hyperlink

  263. John Morales says

    [OT]

    SallyStrange, you get to put up to five hyperlinks in any given comment before moderation is applied, and they all count.

    (Subject to the usual blacklist, where any bad term or link automoderates the comment)

  264. says

  265. Feline says

    There is one thing about quotas. Back here in reality. Not the racist fantasy (which seems to have been refurbished by misogynists, if one assumes that they are not one and the same) but how it actually works. Well, at least where it occurs, can’t really talk about how it works where it doesn’t happen, can I? I’m not a sceptic, I only deal with reality.
    Quota is a tiebreaker.
    Yes, it will only come into play when you have something like a man and a woman with equal competence on paper and you really, really want to hire the dude. All of a fucking sudden you’d be expected to explain why you hired your dudebro and told the woman to wear a shorter skirt next time.
    Poor fucking you.
    I’ve heard all about how all the poor white dudes have not been employed these last twenty years because of quotas. You know what I’ve never seen, these last twenty years?
    It actually happening.

  266. Nepenthe says

    Sally, it’s understandable. I would have difficulty typing at all if I’d read those charming pieces in detail, thus I’m impressed.

  267. Nepenthe says

    @Feline

    Whoa whoa whoa. My wealthy, white, male cousin didn’t get into medical school. And I hear that some minority women did get into medical school. There’s obviously a quota in place. Otherwise, that would be unpossible. I mean, he graduated from a nice Christian college and he can write his name and everything!

  268. mandrellian says

    Nepenthe @1306:

    Quite. That, and History!

    Lee – any attempt forthcoming at back up your assertion (“It’s been tried! It failed!”) or shall I (continue to) assume you’re little more than a disingenuous blowhard?

  269. PatrickG says

    @ Nepenthe:

    In the last thread he appeared in, Lee dropped a “I wouldn’t fuck you!!!eleventy!!” after sustained prodding.

    Oh yeah, but I was sort of testing out the hypothesis that he wouldn’t say that to a man. While he didn’t all I got was ridiculous linkbaiting.

    Was still fun to look into and learn more about these issues, though. Plus, laughing at lee coye is sort of its own reward.

  270. says

    @ Janine

    until the Civil Rights Act of 1965

    Which, in white South Africa, fed a growing sense of betrayal. There was a sense of things closing in, as one country after another adopted more and more progressive attitudes. I can imagine a like sense welling up now in the leecoyes.


    @ Sports boffins

    There was a new sport introduced in the favelas of Brazil some time ago (I have unfortunately forgotten the name, perhaps others know), where the teams must be composed of both men and women. “Quota sport” if you like. The interesting twist was that only women could score the goals.

  271. lee coye says

    So much sadness.

    We were talking about quotas for gender diversity, not the ratio of male-to-female founders of successful companies. The second might make an interesting topic, but it isn’t the subject at hand. Is it really that hard to stay on topic?

    You’re an idiot.

    Quotas force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit. Neither is good for corporate governance. Norway started enforcing quotas for women in 2006. A study by the University of Michigan found that this led to large numbers of inexperienced women being appointed to boards, and that this has seriously damaged those firms’ performance.

    How does one explain this baffling response to the doubleplusgood that is quotas?

    I did want to add that a frequently cited argument against quotas is that underqualified women are negatively impacting company performane. This suggests to me two possibilities: (1) the hiring process is being done solely to comply with the law, without much regard to competence, or (2) the pool of talented women is just too small.

    You disregard two, citing a (no doubt firmly held) belief that it’s just not the case. Well, one place they might come from:

    Only 43 women have climbed the traditional ladder to become CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies in the last 35 years, and fresh research from executive women’s organization Catalyst suggests that the pipeline is not exactly filling up with future candidates.

    That, with the “new wave” of female entrepreneurs, indicates that women aren’t interested in climbing the corporate ladder, but rather building their own capital. Get enough women who have founded and built businesses up into the really big leagues, and not only will there be no dearth of women CEOs, but you’ll have female-owned and operated businesses that will no doubt be more woman-friendly (whatever that entails).

    ________________

    This ^^ is what is required to deal with a single claim you make about the “topic” under discussion. You’re reading comprehension re:

    DiMarco said she was the principal founder and could have done it alone except that she was 25 and naive enough to think she needed a male partner to be taken seriously

    is abyssal . She looks back on how naive she was to think she needed a male partner to be taken seriously. Think about that for a moment. Not only does she disagree that she needed a male partner, but she considers it “naive” to think she would need one.

    Naive: having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous

    Of course, in your comment, this becomes “that may not actually have been the case, but yeesh, if she’s assessing things this way…” which seems to miss what naive means in that sentence. You do this constantly. That’s why I limited my response(s) to coherent questions.

  272. lee coye says

    @sally

    You don’t like the source, nor Warren Farrell. Shocking.

    Part 2 tomorrow, sally? Nothing much in part one.

  273. Nepenthe says

    MRA: Why do you guys not like Warren Farrell? He’s a totally legitimate researcher!

    Feminists: He advocates for incest. He has even clarified his statement to one that still advocates for incest. He believes that date rape made dating more exciting. I would trust his statements on women’s issues about as far as I’d trust Fred Phelps or David Duke on civil rights.

    MRA: You’re not open minded at all! You won’t listen!!

    Feminists: Whatever. Surely people who don’t expound on the joys of non-consensual sex have made your arguments.

    MRA: …

    Crickets: *chirp* *chirp*

  274. says

    @ leecoye

    We have seen these selfsame arguments in the past. The form has remained the same, you have merely substituted “women” for “blacks”.

    Why the cloying need to preserve the power gradients? Why the need to “other” segments of the population and kick down on them? Why impose this pyramidal structure on your thinking about society in such presuppositional fashion?

    I gave you an example of how, mutatis mutandis, one can flip your arguments from one group of people to another. (my #1162).

    Quota systems have been applied as part of a whole series of measures that can be taken to unravel societal iniquities. They are not equally successful in all circumstances. In my example, the case of sports it has been substantially successful, in the case of boardrooms less so. It appears to me this discrepency has more to do with the levels of vested interests in the social spheres under consideration. Further, the more entrenched the iniquities, the harder it appears to find resolution – whatever one does.

    You appear to be conflating the real causes here. Where there is good faith all round, quotas can make important contibutions to realising social equity. Where there is belligerence and intransigence from up the power gradient, the problem is exasperated.

  275. PatrickG says

    You’re an idiot.

    Coming from you, I’ll take that as a badge of honor. Since you managed to completely distort most of what I said.

    Now, perhaps I was unclear, so let me try again. I’ll try not to use big words.

    Do you get that citing an op-ed piece in a magazine doesn’t count as hard evidence? And that requoting the same parts from the same op-ed doesn’t count as new information? On the other hand, I linked information regarding quotas and women in corporate governance that apparently scares you shitless, since you haven’t even brought yourself to address any of it.

    For that matter, why not link the 2006 Michigan study, if it’s such irrefutable proof of your “argument”, such at it is. Not gonna do your homework for you, cupcake.

    She looks back on how naive she was to think she needed a male partner to be taken seriously.

    Did you not even read what I said? My point was that even a highly successful woman felt pressures to include a male partner. In hindsight, she doesn’t think that would be necessary. But you know what they say about hindsight… the point was speaking to the pressures on women entering business. Idiot.

    Did you also not read the points about corporate ladders being (obviously) unfriendly to women? Y’know, since they don’t want to go there. Quotas are a blunt tool and might be poorly used to address this problem, but if women are consistently saying they really don’t want to deal with corporate cultures, maybe there’s a reason. And maybe we should talk about it.

    Yeesh, you are quite the disingenuous little troll, aren’t you.

  276. Tethys says

    If the MRA happens to be lee coye, he will just change the subject, and then claim to have been arguing the new subject all along.
    —–

    Anybody else find lees comment to Sally @1328 creepy?

  277. says

    @ horde

    I have this image of leecoye trolling around the fora of ancient Greece, arguing on behalf of the Lacedaemonians against the rights of their helots. “Αλλά. Αλλά.Αλλά.Είλωτες είναι διαφορετικά!”

    {Zoot through time to the present}
    The same leecoye, timelord, is now trolling around internet fora. He has dusted off his ancient notes, his books of formulae, and now applies these with the same vigour.

  278. Nepenthe says

    @PatrickG

    if women are consistently saying they really don’t want to deal with corporate cultures, maybe there’s a reason.

    It’s probably women’s biological goals, which are different than men’s biological goals. You see, when our ancestors lived in caves, women would stay in the cave and eat cave bon-bons while the men went outside and hunted. In the modern era, this means that women would rather stay in an interior cubicle than a corner office, because it reminds them of the primordial cave. Thus, women choose not to move up the corporate ladder, lest they be placed near a window or get a larger office. Men, on the other hand, need the open air and freedom of a corner office, which reminds them of hunting antelope on an open savannah, and thus try to become CEOs.

  279. mandrellian says

    Nepenthe @ 1335:

    It’s probably women’s biological goals, which are different than men’s biological goals. You see, when our ancestors lived in caves, women would stay in the cave and eat cave bon-bons while the men went outside and hunted. In the modern era, this means that women would rather stay in an interior cubicle than a corner office, because it reminds them of the primordial cave. Thus, women choose not to move up the corporate ladder, lest they be placed near a window or get a larger office. Men, on the other hand, need the open air and freedom of a corner office, which reminds them of hunting antelope on an open savannah, and thus try to become CEOs.

    Ah, I see. Reasons(TM)!!!

  280. PatrickG says

    @ Nepenthe:

    I also catch a strong whiff of separate-but-equal. Women don’t need to be in corporations, because they can be entrepeneurs! Totally the same thing. Besides, this will automatically qualify them (at some point in the distant future) for consideration in boardrooms and such.

    You know, when they’re qualified.

  281. Have a Balloon says

    The thing that frustrates me whenever quotas are discussed is that two points will come up, over and over again:

    1. What about all the better-qualified white males who will miss out on deserved promotions? It’s not fair to punish them.

    2. We shouldn’t be using quotas. These things should be done purely on merit.

    To which my response is always:

    1. What about all the better qualified women/people of colour who are missing out on deserved promotions at the moment? Why do you assume that it’s the white males who are automatically going to be better qualified?

    and

    2. I agree. These things should be done purely on merit. The reason that we ask for quotas is because they aren’t done on merit at the moment. I would be perfectly happy to do away with quotas and have everybody judged on merit, but that’s not going to happen any time soon! Not unless you can institute a system like blind orchestra auditions. And the reason it’s not going to happen any time soon is because of ideas like (1). If you’re going to fight for these decisions to be done on merit, then you should fight for it to be done on merit even when that means that you’re less likely to benefit as a result.

    Example: In the UK, quite a few years ago now, they passed or talked about passing a law that would exempt a business or organisation from prosecution if, when struggling to decide between two equally qualified candidates, they made their selection with the aim of increasing the presence of under-represented groups in their organisation. So they would be specifically allowed to choose a woman over an equally qualified man, purely on the basis of sex, if their reasoning was that they didn’t have many women working there and wanted to increase the numbers.

    The reaction to this was outrage from white males all over the country, who were furious that it was now legal to ‘discriminate’ against them. And the comments that cropped up, over and over again, were (1) and (2). Despite the fact that both of them were irrelevant to that situation because it specifically referred to the candidates being equally qualified.

  282. Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient says

    Brilliant, Have a Balloon!

    Help! I’m trapped! I cannot esssscape asssssimilation…

  283. says

    You don’t like the source, nor Warren Farrell. Shocking.

    Part 2 tomorrow, sally? Nothing much in part one.

    Translation: there’s nothing much Lee would like to address in part 1, because Lee is afraid that his slippery evasiveness might fail and he might accidentally slide into acknowledging that he’s been perpetuating the same misdirection as OpenMarket.org has with regards to quotas, except that Lee is even less honest than OpenMarket.org, since they add qualifiers like “de facto” and “essentially” when they talk about these alleged “quotas.”

    I didn’t even get into how cute it is that the “Minding the Campus” is using the same fundamentalist religious trope that enshrining equality for gays and lesbians means discriminating against Christians. Are you not an atheist, Lee?

    The question of quotas is an interesting one. But also interesting is why Lee feels the need to lie and obfuscate for maximum shock value. “OMG, quotas!! Aren’t they TERRIBLE?” Well, maybe, maybe not, but just from reading that first paragraph, of that OpenMarket link, judging by the language THEY, the opponents of quotas use, odds are slim that we’re going to encounter ACTUAL quotas when we finally get to the original Obama admin documents. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. I’m too lazy to find out tonight. On the plus side, I got some sketching done, which was nice. Haven’t made any art in a while.

    And no, I really don’t like Warren Farrell. He advocates for child rape. He advocates for the rape of children. That ought to be beyond the pale. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that he’s beyond the pale is definitely calling their judgment into question.

  284. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    theophontes @ 1341:

    @ Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals

    ‘nym test …

    Jesus Saves! … but Mandrellian scores on the rebound.

    That’s why they call Jesus “The Fisher of Men” – there’s always a good chance he’ll let one in his net.

  285. says

    @Have a Balloon:

    1. What about all the better-qualified white males who will miss out on deserved promotions? It’s not fair to punish them.

    2. We shouldn’t be using quotas. These things should be done purely on merit.

    You missed #3:

    It doesn’t matter what the current level of injustice is, of how much possible overall improvement might be gained by “forced” diversity, it is better that all women and all non-whites continue to suffer, rather than risk the suffering of a single white man!

    Because even while an amazingly bigoted person like lee coye can admit that there is bigotry, his pathetic bigoted mind cannot accept any solution that might mean that a single white man might have to be even mildly inconvenienced. His notion of “equality” depends on no white man sacrificing a single atom of privilege, or exerting the tiniest bit of effort in making real equality actually happen.

  286. Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient says

    Good night, Sally!

    Sweet dreams.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals, but which of his team was on the bench?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Well said, IJoe. ‘Merit’ only applies to people who aren’t white men. Of course.

  287. says

    @ IJoe

    risk the suffering of a single white man!

    This should, in principle, not be true. We could, at least in principle, make things work out equitably for all by expanding the economy and granting greater access to resources.

    However, I suspect there is in this an implicit acknowledgement of the underlying driver of capitalist development: It feeds off iniquity. This is understood and this is the underlying fear. They may well be forced into that mass of people who have to hold the whole facade aloft.

  288. mildlymagnificent says

    Bias is systemic and cultural, and since everyone was raised in a culture there’s no reason to expect anyone on the planet could be some paragon of perfect unbiasedness.

    And never forget that bias is also personal and mostly unvoiced. You need to be exactly the right kind of person, very unusual, to get there without help from others.

    I remember, almost 40 years ago, attending a training course for panel members for appeals tribunals. One really interesting exercise, after one of the extremely conservative catholic trainers, a tall man, pointed out that he’d noticed that shorter men seemed to do worse in promotion applications than taller men – and that there was probably a residual effect of this on how women were treated – because they were usually shorter than men. However, what we had to do was to write down the things that most annoyed us about other people, particularly in the workplace. We were supposed to keep it private but most of us owned up during the next period.

    Everything from (me) people using pointless bafflegab, to others listing unkempt shoes to overuse of perfume/aftershave to posture to teeth to nervous laughter to over high stiletto heels ….. dozens of things. (Some of us had more things on our lists than others.) Some to grooming, some to behaviour, some to attitudes or other things that came through in the written submissions as much as the personal interviews. We then had to work through how we should treat our ‘instinctive’ dislike or rejection of individuals when assessing them against job requirements and against the originally successful applicants and the other appellants. The whole training course took us three days and this was a significant part of what we needed apart from the legalities and the procedural, privacy and other issues.

    Getting ‘unbiased’ interviewers is a very, very difficult and demanding objective.

  289. lee coye says

    On the other hand, I linked information regarding quotas and women in corporate governance that apparently scares you shitless, since you haven’t even brought yourself to address any of it.

    Address what? The conclusion that supports my point, or your hackneyed attempt to cast aspersions on it by speculation? Sally is guilty of the same bullshit.

    Well, maybe, maybe not, but just from reading that first paragraph, of that OpenMarket link, judging by the language THEY, the opponents of quotas use, odds are slim[cause they’re opponents?] that we’re going to encounter ACTUAL quotas when we finally get to the original Obama admin documents. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong.

    Yeah, who knows, but lets speculate, then get pissy when Lee doesn’t take our speculations very, very seriously.

    Look, Patrick, you linked an article, then critiqued it as though I wrote the damn thing. Ask the researchers, maybe? I don’t know what you want me to do, go line-by-line and point out where you miss the mark by miles? Does anyone here really want me to do that? Judging by your most recent mental gymnastics on DiMarco:

    Did you not even read what I said? My point was that even a highly successful woman felt pressures to include a male partner. In hindsight, she doesn’t think that would be necessary. But you know what they say about hindsight… the point was speaking to the pressures on women entering business. Idiot.

    She was using a rhetorical device to differentiate two separate views of the same situation:

    1. Perception: she would need a male partner to be taken seriously. (a naive assumption)

    2. Reality: she does not need a male partner to be taken seriously. (the “hindsight” assessment)

    How is no one else noticing this? Someone, any of you, notice this, because this sort of twisty-turny reinterpretation is littered throughout Pat’s posts.

    And no, I really don’t like Warren Farrell. He advocates for child rape. He advocates for the rape of children.

    Gotta say it once more, or you’ll never get back home, Dorothy.

  290. lee coye says

    @balloon

    The problem with quotas as they are used is that they are duct-taping the back end, the outcome, rather than fixing the problem. IFF the problem is that equally qualified candidates are being turned away for non-merit reasons, then, as I said, perfectly executed quotas will be perfectly fair.

    I don’t think that’s the problem, and whats more, very few if any of the people here think that’s the problem. Inadequate access to education, “cultural conditioning”, biases that shape lives from early age to adulthood (not just at the interview), etc., all of which shape the choices of people differently, and all of which conspire to narrow the pool of qualified candidates before we even get to the quota stage. Even if I’m wrong about interest disparity for non-conditioned reasons.

    This is testable, and has been, as the article I linked pointed out. They weren’t simply opining, they were drawing on research.

    The obvious explanation is that companies take decades to grow into giants, and women need more time. But an examination of the up-and-coming billon-dollar companies indicates that women founders remain so rare that there may not be enough in the pipeline to replace founders of the past, such as Jenny Craig, Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields Famous Brands), Estée Lauder, Ruth Fertel (Ruth’s Chris Steak House) and Mary Kay Ash.

    David Thomson, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and author of Blueprint to a Billion: 7 Essentials to Achieve Exponential Growth, identifies the next generation of big companies, and it puzzles him that women founders are all but non-existent when conditions for women have never been better. Fast-growing companies today are more likely to resemble Apple than General Motors, with success more dependent on ideas than on capital. There’s no reason why Facebook billionaire Zuckerberg, 23, isn’t Mary instead of Mark.

    At USA TODAY’s request, Thomson re-examined his data and re-interviewed women entrepreneurs to make sure that the early signs of a change weren’t around the corner. He learned two things: There are no signs of change and, “This is a very emotionally charged topic,” he says.

    Businesses in Norway are scrambling to find qualified candidates, and are either sharing the ones that exist, or appointing token quota fillers. Neither solution is a positive, and it’s purest speculation, not to mention presumptive, to claim that all of these businesses just “asked two women, and when they said no, just stopped asking” or something similarly ex rectum.

    It’s simply too soon to determine the effect of quotas in Norway, indeed, it might just be too soon for quotas altogether until we address the problems that lead to a dearth of qualified candidates. As I said, so far as women are concerned, this looks like a problem that will fix itself.

  291. lee coye says

    However, I suspect there is in this an implicit acknowledgement of the underlying driver of capitalist development: It feeds off iniquity. This is understood and this is the underlying fear. They may well be forced into that mass of people who have to hold the whole facade aloft.

    It doesn’t feed off inequity, per se, rather, it feeds off winners and losers. Something like 1 in 20000 companies that get started hit $1bn, and many(probably most) just flop inside a year. There is nothing in principle preventing a capitalist economy from being egalitarian in it’s opportunities, but it can’t be forced on the back of a society that doesn’t provide equitable preparation for all demographics, nor in a species that is split by different cognitive algorithms being applied to the same cultural contexts.

  292. lee coye says

    leecoye has addressed neither my points nor my questions.

    Only one of me. Maybe you should consider encouraging more dissenting views?

  293. bradleybetts says

    Sorry for the drive-by yesterday, folks; it was late and I went home.

    @Pteryxx #1270

    bradleybetts re interviews: I’d like to see someone experiment with interviews via live chat, especially in pools with say a couple of interviewers and a half-dozen candidates. That’d help check how they respond to each others’ stories, who’s got tendencies to steamroll others, or who gives well-thought answers rather than quick ones, all of which are more relevant for most work environments than the typical one-on-one supplicant-to-boss interview. (I remember my interviews being pretty darn pointless content-wise. Let’s have some discussions!)

    That’s something I hadn’t considered; I was assuming any interview would take the normal format of 1 or 2 interviewers and one interviewee. I certainly think that’s a better way of conducting interviews than we do at the moment, but I don’t think it eliminates bias, which is what we’re trying to do here. I do think it’s a good way to interview people, particularly for roles which will require a lot of meetings and teamwork, and I also think the livechat option will go some way towards eliminating bias.

  294. bradleybetts says

    @LeeCoye #1289

    If I’m wrong about biological differences, then perfectly executed quotas would be perfectly fair. If I’m right about biological differences, the disservice to genuinely interested/qualified candidates for discriminatory reasons would make a mockery of the entire moral basis of the project.

    We don’t live in a world where quotas will be executed in anything like a perfect manner, and the resulting injustice, and potential damage to productivity, could be catastrophic.

    Since we don’t know one way or the other, I think the best option is to focus on removing barriers, be they bias, access to education, w/e else. I leave these things to smarter people than myself.

    If you are right about biological differences? I certainly agree that if they do exist they would make a mockery of quotas. However, you are gracious enough in your first paragraph to concede that this would only be the case “if” they exist, and then go on in your second paragraph acting as if biological differences certainly do exist. Since biological differences are one of the foundations of your argument, do you not think it would be a good idea to prove they exist before commencing with the rest of the argument?

    I agree that the best option is to remove barriers, but do you not agree that that is the function of quotas? I think everyone here agrees that a pure meritocracy is the best approach to employment but you must recognise that a true meritocracy can not exist in the face of prejudice of any kind. You say that we must remove barriers, but if you do not agree with quotas then what alternative do you suggest? You seem to be very good at pointing out the flaws in the current system without ever suggesting better alternatives. This is evidenced by your final sentence, and is an attitude I am confused by.

    Without meaning to be rude, repeatedly pointing out flaws in the current system without ever suggesting viable alternatives is just so much pointless moaning. If you have suggestions, I for one am more than willing to listen to them. If you do not, then what exactly is the point of this discussion? Or are you merely concerned that everyone note your displeasure with the status quo? That being the case, duly noted.

    Also, I asked a question in my original post, your answer to which I would be genuinely interested to hear:

    Just as an example, let’s turn the argument on it’s head and apply it to a profession dominated by women. Men make up c. 49% of the global population, if I remember rightly. Yet only 15% of nurses are men. Do you think this is because women are just naturally better at being nurses? Or do you think it’s because nursing is traditionally viewed as a female profession and that men entering it are ridiculed for being feminine and otherwise discouraged from pursuing that career?

  295. erikthebassist says

    Lee,

    Quotas are more than a duct taped solution on the back end. They are a statement of commitment to diversity by an organization. It says to the potential pool of candidates “This is not an ol’ boys club. If you apply to work here, you will have at least as good a shot of being hired as a white male, and when you are hired, you will not be made to feel like an outsider because of your gender or race.”

    Part of the reason that women and minorities refrain from going in to certain lines of work or certain industries is that they have the impression, and the generally well justified impression, that if they are lucky enough to be hired to begin with, which isn’t likely, they’ll be surrounded by white dudes who will ostracize them and treat them as the “other”, or worse, outright harass them.

    I work in IT, out of 20 people in our department, exactly two are women, and both represent the only minorities as well. They will both tell you it’s tough as hell working in this environment. I applaud them both for having the tenacity to hang in there, but a lot of people don’t have the constitution for it and I certainly couldn’t blame them.

    Quotas are one way to try and even things out so women and minorities aren’t intimidated out of even considering certain career choices. You can argue until you’re blue in the face that they don’t always work or that (gasp!), sometimes they actually make things worse in the short term because of tokenism and such, and that might be true, but it ignores the long term goal, which is to make it safe for women and minorities to even consider applying in the first place.

    Your solution is to do nothing, chalk it up to biology and culture, say it is what is and walk away. You support the status quo because you don’t suffer as a result of it, or so you think, but you would be wrong.

    You say merit is all that should matter. Let me ask you a hypothetical: If you and I are each tasked with hiring the best possible team of 100 people, and I make a commitment to diversity and you do not, who do you think is going to get the best possible 100 applicants?

    It will be me because my selection pool will be larger due to including women and minorities. If I have 500 qualified applicants and you have 250, I’ll find twice as many rock stars as you and my team will trounce yours.

    So go on being bitter about quota systems and other commitments to diversity if you want. Hell go on just working with other white dudes if that makes you comfy, but at the end of the day, organizations that commit to diversity will win out and leave those that don’t behind.

    You can’t stop progress.

  296. bradleybetts says

    @PatrickG #1295

    The written interview does seem to be the only way to ensure no discrimination up front. I suppose you could introduce a cumbersome bureaucracy of tracking all interviews done everywhere and checking for patterns of bias and so forth, with complaints and investigations…. I feel silly even having written that. But that’s pretty much a valid argument for outcome-based systems (e.g. quotas), since it’s just easier to do and should provide the inducement for improvements in the process itself.

    Don’t say the bit about the cumbersome bureaucracy too loudly, I wouldn’t put it past our Government to enforce one :-/ and we have enough here in the UK already.

    In all seriousness though, I think we’ve raised a valid defence of quotas here. Until the complete eradication of prejudice there must be measures in place to ensure that those in minority groups of any description are afforded the same opportunity for employment and the same benefits of employment for similar positions as those in majority groups. The best method we have so far is quotas. Those disatisfied with the current method for dealing with prejudice in the work place either need to come up with viable alternatives or improvements, or STFU. As I said to LeeCoye above, pointing out flaws in the system without suggesting alternatives is just so much pointless moaning.

  297. says

    Gotta say it once more, or you’ll never get back home, Dorothy.

    Ummm… this is one of the more bizarre things I’ve read in a while.

    Warren Farrell advocates for the rape of children. Your earlier post used this website as a citation for the fact that important people are proposing quotas. I was taken aback by the degree of ideological slant to OpenMarket.org, and its dishonesty (which, as I mentioned, nevertheless does not approach your level of dishonesty). It is using the same deceptive tactic you are: pointing to opinion pieces with misleading and deceptive language to back up your claim. I noted that my comment about Warren Farrell did amount to

    Are you saying that Warren Farrell is not an advocate for the rape of children? Is this a trivial concern for you, whether a person advocates for raping children or not?

    It’s immaterial in either case; I’m still going to check out the Obama admin policies. I was just noting that OpenMarket, like you, is not an honest narrator on the question of policies; their citations are not citations but links to extremely biased websites such as “Minding our Campus,” which equates legally mandating equal treatment for gays and lesbians with discriminating against Christians, and apparently sees nothing wrong with providing a public platform for a known advocate of child rape. YOU cited OpenMarket; you used misleading language to do so; OpenMarket uses slightly less misleading language, but neither of you seem to place much emphasis on original sources. Your credibility, such as it is, suffers from this sort of behavior. It is the behavior of a slimy, dishonest, unreliable interlocutor.

    But let’s note, even OpenMarket felt it necessary to describe the Obama administration’s policies as “de facto,” rather than “de jure” quotas, which is why, as I said, I doubt that the Obama policies are going to fit the normal definition of quotas. And that also jives with the impression I got skimming the Obama admin website the other day.

  298. bradleybetts says

    @erikthebassist

    Beautifully put :) I meant to point out the potential benefits of diversity in the workplace in my response to Lee, but I forgot. Possibly because I see diversity as a benefit in and of itself, so I often forget that not everyone sees it like that. However, you’ve covered it admirably :)

  299. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Only one of me. Maybe you should consider encouraging more dissenting views?

    Since your views aren’t evidence, they can and are *floosh* dismissed as fuckwitted noise from a MRA/RWA/liberturd. That fact that you think they are dissent is irrelevant to your pointless response to facts. Which are only refuted with more facts. Your OPINION IS NEVER A FACT.

  300. erikthebassist says

    thanks bradleybetts, but something tells me that will resonate with a lot of people and lee won’t be one of them. ;)

  301. says

    The reason quotas have never interested me nor impressed me as solutions to bias and prejudice keeping qualified people out of the workplace and government is that I’d rather just reform the entire economic system in the first place. (See Richard Wolffe’s proposals on this subject to get an idea of what I advocate.)

    But if we can’t do that then I can see the necessity of quotas, I guess. I would still prefer to tackle the problem from other angles, like making sure young children and high schoolers get properly encouraged in their interests regardless of race or gender, stopping the ridiculous gendering of toys for babies and toddlers, instituting universal paid parental leave (and take a page from Sweden’s book: making sure a big chunk of that paid time off disappears unless it’s used by the father of the child), making sure that all parents have access to affordable, quality childcare for toddlers and pre-schoolers, and things like that. But all of these are long-term projects that will take decades for the results to be seen, so, yeah, maybe quotas or something like them are necessary in the meantime.

  302. says

    I think this paragraph

    Warren Farrell advocates for the rape of children. Your earlier post used this website as a citation for the fact that important people are proposing quotas. I was taken aback by the degree of ideological slant to OpenMarket.org, and its dishonesty (which, as I mentioned, nevertheless does not approach your level of dishonesty). It is using the same deceptive tactic you are: pointing to opinion pieces with misleading and deceptive language to back up your claim. I noted that my comment about Warren Farrell did amount to

    got messed up.

    It should have read: Warren Farrell advocates for the rape of children. Your earlier post used OpenMarket.org as a citation for the fact that important people are proposing quotas. I was taken aback by the degree of ideological slant to OpenMarket.org, and its dishonesty (which, as I mentioned, nevertheless does not approach your level of dishonesty). It is using the same deceptive tactic you are: pointing to opinion pieces with misleading and deceptive language to back up its claim.

  303. erikthebassist says

    Sally I tend to agree that they aren’t a panacea. I think we’d all prefer it if they weren’t necessary or even useful, that committing to diversity was simply the default position, but history has shown that those in power and privilege rarely if ever relinquish it voluntarily, so quotas I’m afraid are both necessary and useful.

  304. bradleybetts says

    @erikthebassist #1367

    He does display a remarkable ability to ignore difficult questions, inconvenient facts and dissenting opinions. In his reply to me he not only managed to ignore most of my questions, but also admitted in his first paragraph that it is entirely possible that biological differences between the sexes do not exist before blithely continuing on as if they were entirely confirmed. I guess in his head it is confirmed, but the fact he can admit that what’s going on in his head does not match reality and then immediately act as if it does… I want to say cognitive dissonance, but I’m not sure that covers it. He’s certainly attempting to ignore reality in an attempt to rationalise an opinion he knows doesn’t fit with it. “I know full well that this is unproven, but if I’ll act as if it was because if it was, it would justify my world view”.

  305. Pteryxx says

    I agree that quotas are a crude and incomplete fix, but they do have a couple of advantages characteristic of emergency stopgaps: they can be implemented immediately and have immediate effects, and they’re instantly and transparently measurable. Either an organization’s makeup complies with the quota or it doesn’t. There’s nothing to game, no way to make the waffling excuses that plague diversity attempts.

  306. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My big laugh with Lee’s argument is that meriticracy is a liberturd dog-whistle for the old-boy’s network. Making sure everybody goes to the same schools, same church, live in the same neighborhood, have the same background. Where your merit is really who referred you.

    What Lee is pretending is that a job description can be written out, and the best candidate for the job is the one that best fits the written description. Not always the case. Every job has intangibles, or part of the job description that is only there for show. I saw this in academia.

    Some well credentialed (say Ivy league) and connected white male egotist would be hired, but they couldn’t teach their way out of a wet paper bag, saw no reason to be treat students with respect, and they had lab accidents all the time. They were usually so personally abrasive managerial roles weren’t considered. Whereas a lesser credentialed/connected hire, say a woman, would be an effective teacher, treat students with respect, and carry out research the best they could with limited facilities. If they showed a potential for administration, they were recruited for chair/dean postitions.

    Which person truly had more merit and would deserve promotion? In Lee’s world, the white male every time. In mine, the one who truly showed they were capable of adapting to what the job really was, in this case the woman.

  307. says

    @Lee Coyle:

    IFF the problem is that equally qualified candidates are being turned away for non-merit reasons, then, as I said, perfectly executed quotas will be perfectly fair.

    Are you denying all the research (quite a bit of it linked from this thread) that suggests that, yes, people are being turned away for non-merit reasons? Except that the people doing so always think they’re doing it for merit reasons?

    Inadequate access to education, “cultural conditioning”, biases that shape lives from early age to adulthood (not just at the interview), etc., all of which shape the choices of people differently, and all of which conspire to narrow the pool of qualified candidates before we even get to the quota stage.

    You know what – I actually agree. If you put quotas on board member positions only, that isn’t going to work, because we’d be intervening too late in the pipeline to do much anymore. However, that is not an argument against quotas in general. It may well be that putting quotas in place at all levels of selection will work much better – for entry level jobs, for internal promotions, etc, but also for university and college admission, or highschool honor class admission, maybe even all the way down to primary school level.

  308. PatrickG says

    @ lee coye:

    I don’t know what you want me to do, go line-by-line and point out where you miss the mark by miles? Does anyone here really want me to do that?

    Yes, actually, I’d love you to do that. In fact, I’ve specifically asked you to do exactly that repeatedly. So have others: it’s known as our demand for evidence or critical thinking on your part.

    I’ve offered a critique (across multiple posts) of an influential paper that provides mixed results on quotas, but might offer some support to your position. You took that as gospel, and then said “well, it supports my position, so I don’t have to critically evaluate it”. Not how it works, cupcake.

    Address my objections to the overrepresentation of women in monitoring committees, the possible negative impacts of overmonitoring, and how if a company decides to assign women to monitoring committees, that means it’s the gender diversity and not the company decision that’s at fault.

    Address my objections to the paper hand-waving a fudge factor to change a positive result re: gender diversity to a negative result. With virtually no explanation beyond “takeover risk as we define it” and “more progressive firms, maybe”.

    Address the other objections I’ve made that frankly, I’m not going to bother to restate here, because I’m assuming you can read what others have written. I’m really starting to doubt that though; does your brain just shut down when presented with contrary evidence?

    You’ve offered repeated links to the same damn newspaper articles — if they cite a source, maybe you should link the source and discuss it. USA Today and the Economist are not definitive sources. Continuing to link them over and over and over again isn’t going to make the argument you’ve failed to make.

    Sexist, irrational, and cognitively illiterate is no way to go through life, son. You can do better.

  309. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Somehow I get the opinion Lee isn’t involved in hiring decisions. The last person we hired for our department, we had a slew of highly qualified (maybe even over qualified) candidates. We interviewed half a dozen of these meritorious candidates.

    Since we are a small company in a specialized industry, our final decision had more to do with being able to work in that environment, which part of the job we wanted them to make use of, accept our pay scale, able get along with not as much instrumental support as is available at a bigger outfit, and be able to professionally get along with the present staff. What was interesting, the present staff, a diverse bunch, all appeared to rate the candidates in a similar fashion.

    There are always other factors than just pure “meritocracy” in play. Which is why it is a dog-whistle.

  310. lee coye says

    *sigh*

    If you are right about biological differences? I certainly agree that if they do exist they would make a mockery of quotas.

    But they don’t, so onward we march, yes? I asked some time ago if there was any evidence to suppose they don’t, some “biological median” that “culture” acts upon to produce the disparities we see. I never claimed that culture has zero impact, I’m responding to the claim that culture is the only impact and that biology has nothing to do with it.

    However, you are gracious enough in your first paragraph to concede that this would only be the case “if” they exist, and then go on in your second paragraph acting as if biological differences certainly do exist.

    Actually, I didn’t.

    We don’t live in a world where quotas will be executed in anything like a perfect manner, and the resulting injustice, and potential damage to productivity, could be catastrophic.

    Unless the quotas are perfectly executed, and unless biology plays NO role, the result is an injustice(you agree with this point, see above); precisely the sort of injustice the project is premised on combating. This is difficult to notice, since white males are a convenient “monolith” upon which to heap the blame in contemporary society, as though there aren’t large numbers of disadvantaged white males. This is why I brought up the teacher disparity, in which a majority of women in those jobs has amusingly been turned into discrimination against women. Well, OK.

    Since biological differences are one of the foundations of your argument, do you not think it would be a good idea to prove they exist before commencing with the rest of the argument?

    Yes and no. It would prove my argument, but then, that’s not really necessary here. I don’t actually have to prove that there are biological differences for the plausible existence of same to stand as a counter to the institution of quotas premised on their non-existence. This is why I advocate removing barriers, striving for genuine equality of opportunity, and enforcing the current laws.

    I agree that the best option is to remove barriers, but do you not agree that that is the function of quotas?

    No, I don’t, unless we assume that a perfectly unfettered path to X job would result in a perfect alignment of interest in every facet of the population. So, for example, if we took 1000 newborns, sequestered them on an island, and treated them all identically, would they still behave differently based on their sex? For ethical reasons, we can’t run this experiment, but similar experiments have been done with some of our cousins in the animal kingdom. Even with zero contact with other members of their species, and isolated past adolescence, they still exhibit gender-specific behavior.

    I think everyone here agrees that a pure meritocracy is the best approach to employment but you must recognise that a true meritocracy can not exist in the face of prejudice of any kind.

    I’m not so sure everyone here agrees with that, frankly. A quota system is “prejudice of [a] kind”, it just happens to be the kind you presently agree with, based on the assumption that equally qualified candidates are being culturally maligned. That just brushes aside all the other factors that lead up to candidates being in a position to qualify, factors you and others here cite ad nauseum as cultural conditioning. Those factors either are salient, and do have an effect, or they aren’t, and it’s just prejudice in the workforce. It can’t be both.

    You say that we must remove barriers, but if you do not agree with quotas then what alternative do you suggest? You seem to be very good at pointing out the flaws in the current system without ever suggesting better alternatives. This is evidenced by your final sentence, and is an attitude I am confused by.

    The critique of a poor idea doesn’t require that I present a better one. Of course, I have offered an alternative strategy, from the very beginning of my interaction, up to and including my most recent comment to you. There are many alternatives that aren’t just brute-force, that allow us to control for factors we don’t yet understand, that don’t risk prejudicing any groups.

    If you have suggestions, I for one am more than willing to listen to them. If you do not, then what exactly is the point of this discussion?

    If doing X is premised on combating Y, but just perpetuates Y, then X is a bad strategy. That is really all I have to point out.

    Or are you merely concerned that everyone note your displeasure with the status quo? That being the case, duly noted.

    I don’t think this is a relevant question give what I’ve said above, but line-by-line is “the norm around here”, so there it is.

    Yet only 15% of nurses are men. Do you think this is because women are just naturally better at being nurses? Or do you think it’s because nursing is traditionally viewed as a female profession and that men entering it are ridiculed for being feminine and otherwise discouraged from pursuing that career?

    I did respond to this line of argument, just not this particular wording. But:

    I think men, and women, approach employment differently, based on cultural and biological algorithms that drive their behavior on an unconscious level. There is no doubt a chilling effect of ridicule, but if being a nurse doesn’t strike men as fulfilling work due to how men evaluate their labor in the context of society as it is, then men will probably avoid the job anyways. In this way, the ridicule is a symptom of a deeper causal process, rather than the actual deterrent.

  311. lee coye says

    Quotas are more than a duct taped solution on the back end. They are a statement of commitment to diversity by an organization.

    Sort of. They are “statements” of a sort, but they’re not essentially that in the relevant sense. The difference between a commitment to diversity and a legal mandate to it encompasses much of the discussion thus far.

    Part of the reason that women and minorities refrain from going in to certain lines of work or certain industries is that they have the impression, and the generally well justified impression, that if they are lucky enough to be hired to begin with, which isn’t likely, they’ll be surrounded by white dudes who will ostracize them and treat them as the “other”, or worse, outright harass them.

    Indeed, problems I don’t deny insofar as they exist. It’s not clear to me, however, that this is the whole story, or even that this is some facet of “white dudes” exclusively. After all, much of the shaming done to men in teaching or nursing is by women, minorities, etc..

    I work in IT, out of 20 people in our department, exactly two are women, and both represent the only minorities as well. They will both tell you it’s tough as hell working in this environment. I applaud them both for having the tenacity to hang in there, but a lot of people don’t have the constitution for it and I certainly couldn’t blame them.

    How often do you harass them?

    Quotas are one way to try and even things out so women and minorities aren’t intimidated out of even considering certain career choices.

    This has some truth to it, actually, though I don’t *think* it’s something we’ve discussed in this particular forum. This harkens to the study done where, for example, women will look at group makeup and determine whether they “belong” or something based on the number of women per men. I don’t think the same sentiment was experienced by men, though I could be mis-remembering the data.

    So by forcing more women/minorities into the corporate structure, it’s plausible that this would make start-up professionals feel less intimidated. I don’t find it all that convincing, frankly, but it’s something to ponder.

    Your solution is to do nothing, chalk it up to biology and culture, say it is what is and walk away. You support the status quo because you don’t suffer as a result of it, or so you think, but you would be wrong.

    Er…no, see my previous response to Bradley.

    If you and I are each tasked with hiring the best possible team of 100 people, and I make a commitment to diversity and you do not, who do you think is going to get the best possible 100 applicants?

    That’s a rather loaded question, frankly. Even committed to diversity you might not hire as many women as I do, or you might hit 99 people and realize you don’t have any Latinos, and slip in the best Latino on offer. Depends on the job, depends on a million factors, but instead of realizing this is a complex problem:

    It will be me

    Naturally. Nothing narcissistic here.

    Hell go on just working with other white dudes if that makes you comfy, but at the end of the day, organizations that commit to diversity will win out and leave those that don’t behind.

    Interestingly, it’s not necessary that “organizations that commit to diversity will win out”, because it’s unfair to premise diversity on a net gain; if a diverse group can’t outperform a more homogeneous one, that’s not actually an argument against diversity. If they do, however, it is an argument for diversity. This is, in part, why I’m hesitant to make much of a fuss about the research Patrick cited. +10% raw difference, -10% when certain variables are controlled for, I’d call it a wash.

  312. daniellavine says

    I think men, and women, approach employment differently, based on cultural and biological algorithms that drive their behavior on an unconscious level. There is no doubt a chilling effect of ridicule, but if being a nurse doesn’t strike men as fulfilling work due to how men evaluate their labor in the context of society as it is, then men will probably avoid the job anyways. In this way, the ridicule is a symptom of a deeper causal process, rather than the actual deterrent.

    I think it would be hard to argue that ridicule is never the actual deterrent and that there is always some deeper causal process at work. After all, there are some male nurses, so apparently this deeper causal process doesn’t have an iron-clad grip on people’s thoughts and behavior. There even seems to be some diversity in how different people react to different situations. So perhaps there are a pretty significant number of men interested in going into healthcare but not able or willing to go through med school who get turned off at the thought of becoming a nurse because of the potential blow to their machismo.

    The deeper causal process you’re talking about — that’s patriarchy btw.

  313. daniellavine says

    After all, much of the shaming done to men in teaching or nursing is by women, minorities, etc..

    Is it?

    This has some truth to it, actually, though I don’t *think* it’s something we’ve discussed in this particular forum.

    Lots of people have made this point. You’ve simply been ignoring them.

    +10% raw difference, -10% when certain variables are controlled for, I’d call it a wash.

    Ah, but Patrick is actually trying to figure out what those variables are and how they are controlled. Can you articulate clearly in what sense the greater diversity hurt the businesses in question? Patrick’s made a pretty good case that the “controlling for variables” part was actually more like a “flailing to find a metric that makes diversity policies look bad”. You haven’t bothered to respond.

  314. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m getting a kick out the pants-pissing coward preferencing all his bullshit with “*sighs*” now.

    Diddums, if having your lies and horseshit repeatedly refuted while people laugh at you is so tiring, go the fuck away.

  315. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Diddums, if having your lies and horseshit repeatedly refuted while people laugh at you is so tiring, go the fuck away.

    Liberturd/MRA/RWA sexists don’t appear to understand the concept of shutting the fuck up. They think we have to listen to them, and if they get in the last word they win. So not the case.

    I’m still waiting for Lee to convincingly evidence his claims.

  316. says

    Nerd of Redhead #1378

    Somehow I get the opinion Lee isn’t involved in hiring decisions.

    Actually lee is – it’s just that he just can’t seem to actually tell anyone who lee’s actual choice is. So the organization has literally died out except for lee. lee views this as lee rising to the top based on merit.

  317. omnicrom says

    Lee Coye can you just get to the overt sexism again?

    If you believe that Men and Women are biologically different, which is a codespeak that plenty of MRA assholes use, then go out and provide some evidence for it. And then prove that EVEN IF THERE WAS a biological difference we still shouldn’t be striving to grant men and women the same opportunities.

  318. casus fortuitus says

    lee coye:

    I don’t actually have to prove that there are biological differences for the plausible existence of same to stand as a counter to the institution of quotas premised on their non-existence.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re essentially saying that if biological differences (and by this, presumably, you mean differences that are relevant to performance in the workplace) exist, then quotas are prima facie unjust (at least partly because the justification for quotas is premised on the absence of such biological differences).

    You are also saying that you don’t have to demonstrate that biological differences exist because they are “plausible” (amusing aside: check out the second definition).

    Granting that it’s intuitive that there are relevant biological differences between men and women (a pretty generous concession), why do you assume that those differences favour men in the workplace? Why do you assume that even if they do favour men in the workplace, there aren’t also cultural influences that exacerbate the biological differences, leading to the unjust situation of over-representation of men compared to their merit?

    These are some of the questions you need to answer to validate your conclusions: the mere existence of biological differences isn’t enough on its own to undermine the rationale for quotas.

  319. lee coye says

    Granting that it’s intuitive that there are relevant biological differences between men and women (a pretty generous concession), why do you assume that those differences favour men in the workplace?

    They need not uniformly favor men in the workplace, as teaching and nursing, or farming and construction, might readily attest.

    Why do you assume that even if they do favour men in the workplace, there aren’t also cultural influences that exacerbate the biological differences, leading to the unjust situation of over-representation of men compared to their merit?

    I should recognize cultural influences, shouldn’t I?

    I think men, and women, approach employment differently, based on cultural and biological algorithms that drive their behavior on an unconscious level. There is no doubt a chilling effect of ridicule, but if being a nurse doesn’t strike men as fulfilling work due to how men evaluate their labor in the context of society as it is, then men will probably avoid the job anyways. In this way, the ridicule is a symptom of a deeper causal process, rather than the actual deterrent.

    Apparently, doing so isn’t valid unless I address it to each individual special snowflake in this thread.

  320. jackiepaper says

    Apparently, doing so isn’t valid unless I address it to each individual special snowflake in this thread.

    Lee,
    Self awareness
    You’re doing it wrong.

  321. lee coye says

    Patrick’s made a pretty good case that the “controlling for variables” part was actually more like a “flailing to find a metric that makes diversity policies look bad”. You haven’t bothered to respond.

    By flailing himself at the oh-so-confusing term “reverse causality”, to take just one example. If he doesn’t know how it works, why it might be relevant, and what it might say about statistical analyses, I rather doubt he made anything like a good case.

    The simple fact is, it’s only a positive finding for quotas if the researchers don’t control for anything. Additionally, I think it’s too soon to pass judgement on changes made in the last 8 years. Finally, whether quotas increase or decrease productivity doesn’t answer the question of whether instituting quotas is de facto discrimination, which is the primary argument I’m here to discuss.

  322. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Isn’t it funny most pasty-white males only start to view discrimination as a problem when it starts to affect them. I mean, we’ve had hundreds of years of discrimination in this country. We’ve had hundreds of years for the elite and privileged to entrench themselves in the corridors of power and wealth while women and minorities were looked on as impediments or as footstools if they were considered at all. And then, once the nation’s lawmakers and judges think it might be a good idea to rectify the situation, BOOM, they suddenly discover discrimination. Guess it shows what it takes to get their attention. What would it take to get your attention, Lee?

  323. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    doesn’t answer the question of whether instituting quotas is de facto discrimination, which is the primary argument I’m here to discuss.

    Liberturd talk for WAAHHHH, I’m losing the factual argument. Who give a shit what you, a proven liar and bullshitter, has to say? Your facts backed up by evidence are what counts, not your lies and bullshit called OPINION.

  324. lee coye says

    And then, once the nation’s lawmakers and judges think it might be a good idea to rectify the situation, BOOM, they suddenly discover discrimination. Guess it shows what it takes to get their attention.

    So let me get this straight. Since I’m a white male, I’m to be judged based on the actions of a small subset of my predecessors?

  325. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    No, Lee, that is your problem. This is not about judging. This is about acknowledging the world as it is–as your predecessors as white males made it–and rectifying the problems they created by protecting their own self interest at the expense of what was good for society. One of the signs of maturity is realizing it isn’t all about you. I’m a pasty-white, privileged male as well.

  326. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And no, it isn’t discrimation. Those in power with privilege can’t be discriminated against, unless they show that without such actions, their privileges don’t cause de facto discrimation like is occuring at the moment, and would occur in the liberturd dream world.

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Since I’m a white male, I’m to be judged based on the actions of a small [large, almost unanimous] subset of my predecessors?

    Yep, just as I am having to wait an extra year to collect social security due to my birthdate. Shit happens. Life isn’t always totally fair. Live with it.

  328. nightshadequeen says

    tl;dr lee is fractally wrong, as proven by primary literature

    From: Quota Systems as a Means to Promote Women into Corporate Boardrooms
    Lansing, PaulView Profile; Chandra, Sitara. Employee Relations Law Journal38. 3 (Winter 2012): 3-14.

    1) 40% is not a quota.

    In 2003, Norway passed legislation requiring all state-owned and publicly traded limited liabilities companies to allocate a minimum number of seats to each gender, based on the total number of seats available. The goal of the Norwegian government was to reach 40 percent of women in boardroom seats within a given number of years. When the law was first initiated in 2003, women in Norway only held 7 percent of boardroom seats. However, by 2009, Norwegian firms had reached the required 40 percent.

    2) This is enforced equality:

    In Norway…, a certain number of seats must be allocated to each sex based on the total number of seats available on the board. For example, “[i]f the board of directors has six to eight members, each sex shall be represented by at least three.”18

    3) Boards have not suffered:

    , studies show that in 2010, 72 percent of men and over 50 percent of women said that quota systems either improved the board performance or held it constant. Furthermore, the concern that unqualified women would replace qualified men has also been dismissed. According to a study done by Mari Teigen of the Norwegian Institute of Social Research at Oslo University, the standards for those occupying boardroom seats are still high.

    3a) Even accounting for less experience:

    This is supported by a study, which found that along with causing the sharp increase of women on boards, the quota system also caused a significant reduction in the average amount of senior executive level experience on the board of the top 130

    and pressure:

    These women are also under immense pressure to perform, and again relating back to the case of Norway, some of the women seem to have done a poor job.

    Despite that:

    Studies show that in 2010, 72 percent of men and over 50 percent of women said that quota systems either improved the board performance or held it constant.

    All emphasis mine.

    The article I used itself was fairly problematic in several ways (including repeating the trope that women get in their own way by not being aggressive enough), but it’s amusing how things seem to change when you’re not citing opinion pieces.

    Also: Reasons why a more blind hiring process is good:

    Research has shown that firms with women on their board tend to conduct more formal board performance evaluations (72 percent) than their all-male counterparts (49 percent). Formal evaluations tend to hold each director responsible for his or her actions, giving the firm a greater level of accountability. The presence of women in the boardroom has also proven to be beneficial to the success of a company. Companies that possessed two or more female board members in 1995 were far more likely to be industry leaders in revenue and profits six years later in 2001

    And the far impacts of slut-shaming:

    The men who currently sit in boardroom seats tend to promote people like themselves and their fellow board members and ignore all others, namely women. Another reason for the absence of female presence is a lack of mentorship. In order to become a strong successful leader, many future executives acquire a mentor to help guide and advise them. For male aspiring executives this is no problem, the top of organizations are full of men willing and able to advise. However, for female aspiring executives, mentors are not as easy to come by. Most male mentors are reluctant to have a female mentee since the relationship can easily be misconstrued.

    Also: Watch-checking:

    Studies show that if only one or two women are present on a board, they are often considered token characters and are thereby categorized, stereotyped, and ignored by the majority (men). This usually results in the token women conforming to the majority, and being, thereby, unable to make any valuable contributions to the board. In order to combat this tokenism, it is necessary to have at least three women on a given board. This “critical mass” enables women to interact and exercise influence on board working-style, process, and task, which positively impacts the level of firm innovation

    Finally:

    While it is easy to see why many Americans oppose the quota system, the unfortunate reality is that it is a good idea for the United States to institute such a system, at least on a short-term basis. This is because despite all of the studies that show that having a gender diverse boardroom leads to higher profit, accountability, and better management, the United States still on average has only about 16.1 percent female representation in boardrooms.

  329. nightshadequeen says

    Also: On “Merit”

    Sex discriminaton in hiring
    Chien, Emily; Kleiner, Brian HView Profile. Equal Opportunities International18. 5/6 (1999): 32-37.

    On the other hand, disparate impact is uniform applications of certain personnel policies to all applicants or employees in denying employment or advancement to members of protected classes. This treatment is also referred to as “discrimination by effect” or “adverse impact”. An individual must show that the organisation’s policy has a disproportionate adverse impact on persons of one gender. The organisation then has the burden of showing a business necessity for the rule, which would be the only justification for continuing those policies [ 18]. For example, fire departments have various strength requirements for job applicants. Most female applicants were disqualified in the past because some strength requirements were just more than necessary. This does not mean that fire departments tried to exclude women on purpose; it was just the result of their policy, which had a disparate impact on women. Since the policy was not sufficiently job-related, there was sex discrimination [6].

  330. says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space,

    That’s exactly the point. After centuries of discrimination and injustice, nothing can be done to reduce the overall levels of either because there’s a small chance that some few white men will get a tiny taste of the shit they’ve been shoveling on everyone else.

  331. Nepenthe says

    Since I’m a white male, I’m to be judged based on the actions of a small subset of my predecessors?

    God, the universe is so fucking unfair sometimes.

  332. PatrickG says

    By flailing himself at the oh-so-confusing term “reverse causality”, to take just one example. If he doesn’t know how it works, why it might be relevant, and what it might say about statistical analyses, I rather doubt he made anything like a good case.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA.

    You blithering idiot, I’ll wager I have a great deal more statistical training than you do. Note that this is not an argument from authority, this is an argument from “Jebus, you idiot, I asked questions because the training I do have indicates those questions should be asked”. That’s a little wordy, but it’ll suffice.

    You know, in a good analysis, people will identify the factors that suggest a correlative or causal effect. Particularly if it makes a significant difference in the results.

    it’s only a positive finding for quotas if the researchers don’t control for anything.

    In giant bold letters, all caps, because maybe then the point will get across:

    SO WHAT DID THEY CONTROL FOR?. Riddle me that, pumpkin.

    In this paper, the factors identified are:
    – more progressive firms might do something differently, like things
    – invariant firm factors, which are invariant over time and do not vary, because they’re firm factors that are invariant

    Oh, by the way, if you’d bothered to read my earlier comments, you might have noticed me saying this:

    (Maybe firm fixed effects is one of those “commonly known” things in economics, but…. the details of how they calculated the impact on attendance of BoD members at board meetings took up almost an entire page. This, not so much.)

    Seems shady to me, but again, I’m not an economist.

    So yeah, lee coye, instead of just pompously assuming ignorance on my part while displaying gross selective illiteracy on yours, demonstrate my ignorance. Go find out what “fixed firm effects” are, how they were done in this paper, show me my error, and I’ll gladly retract my suggestion that the methodology appears flawed. I’m not an economist! If one wants to show up and explain why I’m wrong, I’d be quite interested!

    But since the chance of you actually providing any form of substantiation for your assertions is basically nil, I’m just going to continue to point and laugh at you, you bloviating sack of intestinal leavings.

    MAN, you’re funny. Also, your father smelt of elderberries.

    [continues cackling with laughter]

  333. erikthebassist says

    If doing X is premised on combating Y, but just perpetuates Y, then X is a bad strategy. That is really all I have to point out.

    X presumably = a quota system and Y presumably = the systematic discrimation against women and minorities in hiring and promoting, then X does not perpetuate Y, because Y is limited to women and minorities, it says nothing about the impact of X on white men. We understand that a quota system might negatively impact white men, but that’s a consequence of shifting power and privilege from those who currently have it to those who currently do not. You can’t undo systematic discrimination with out negatively impacting those who perpetuate or benefit from it. See how that works?

    Sort of. They are “statements” of a sort, but they’re not essentially that in the relevant sense. The difference between a commitment to diversity and a legal mandate to it encompasses much of the discussion thus far.

    Do you have any examples of legally mandated quotas? I don’t think you do because they don’t exist. What do exist are hiring guidelines that seek to increase diversity and reduce discrimination, but these are not hard quotas. What employers are expected to do in most cases is show a good faith effort at increasing diversity. If you don’t get the women and minority applicants, then you can go ahead and hire white dudes, you just have show you tried. Usually it’s tax benefits that are used as an incentive as opposed to a hard rule that an employer must absolutely hire women or face the consequences, although there are other incentives like preferences in awarding government bids and things of that nature, but it’s always some reward for good behavious that is withdrawn if the policy is blatantly ignored.

    The only time an actual punative measure is taken is when it can be proven that an employer is actually proactively discrimiating based on sex or neglecting to provide a harrassment free workplace. Then they can get their asses hauled in to court.

    So go ahead and keep arguing against the straw man of a legally mandated hard quota till your heart’s content, and keep looking like an idiot.

    Indeed, problems I don’t deny insofar as they exist. It’s not clear to me, however, that this is the whole story, or even that this is some facet of “white dudes” exclusively. After all, much of the shaming done to men in teaching or nursing is by women, minorities, etc..

    Right, because white dudes experience anywhere near the harrassment or discrimination that women and minorities do. Your ability to be blind to your own privilege is astounding.

    How often do you harass them?

    Funny, real funny. Is there something wrong with you?

    Naturally. Nothing narcissistic here.

    way to miss the point

    Interestingly, it’s not necessary that “organizations that commit to diversity will win out”, because it’s unfair to premise diversity on a net gain; if a diverse group can’t outperform a more homogeneous one, that’s not actually an argument against diversity. If they do, however, it is an argument for diversity.

    Lab partner, it’s the not the diversity of the group that makes it stronger, it’s the larger pool of candidates to pick from to begin with that makes it stronger.

    let me help you out: Moar peepal to pik frum = moar better peepal.

  334. daniellavine says

    By flailing himself at the oh-so-confusing term “reverse causality”, to take just one example. If he doesn’t know how it works, why it might be relevant, and what it might say about statistical analyses, I rather doubt he made anything like a good case.

    The simple fact is, it’s only a positive finding for quotas if the researchers don’t control for anything. Additionally, I think it’s too soon to pass judgement on changes made in the last 8 years. Finally, whether quotas increase or decrease productivity doesn’t answer the question of whether instituting quotas is de facto discrimination, which is the primary argument I’m here to discuss.

    Lee, I’m going to take this as an admission that you cannot clearly articulate under which conditions that study found diverse management teams led to poor outcomes. It looks like you’re just trying to show off your knowledge of buzz words here.

    A little more substance to your responses, please. For instance, if you could articulate the relevance of “reverse causality” here that might help your case.

  335. Tethys says

    I decided to start with PatrickG’s third link, after reading the subsequent post about firm fixed effects and reverse causality. Now I am deep down the rabbit-hole trying to make sense of it, because their conclusions and methodology seem very suspect to me too. IANAE but I do know a little bit about statistics, so I have had to do more research to define the terms.

    Reverse Causality

    I found a good explanation at Economists do it with models.

    When two events A and B are correlated (i.e. happen together), we can’t tell whether event A caused event B (rain caused me to bring my umbrella), event B caused event A (bringing my umbrella caused it to rain), or some event C caused both event A and event B (the existence of storm clouds caused both the rain and the umbrella-bringing). We point out a lot of situations where the real explanation is the think with the outside C event and relatively few with the “reverse causality” explanation, probably because a lot of the reverse causality scenarios don’t pass the sniff test of sanity. (I don’t like assuing things based on intuition, but even I would feel comfortable ruling out the possibility that bringing my umbrella caused it to rain.) Nonetheless, reverse causality is entirely possible, and even sort of has its own name:

    Exigology (noun) : A statement whose converse is its own explanation.
    ie “Politicians never do what my group wants, so I never vote.”

    Click the link for a few more examples, and some good comments on the mathematical concept of causality.

    So AFAICT, statistics and economics uses the rule of reverse causality to mean that the effect cannot precede the cause. If your statistics show a good correlation, then you must look for other variables to account for the effect.

    Next up: A foray into the term “firm fixed effects”.

  336. daniellavine says

    Finally, whether quotas increase or decrease productivity doesn’t answer the question of whether instituting quotas is de facto discrimination, which is the primary argument I’m here to discuss.

    Wait, what? If quotas that definitively increased the proportion of women in executive positions were demonstrated to increase productivity wouldn’t that indicate that in all likelihood women were underrepresented in such positions taking only merit into consideration? I mean, sure, there are other possibilities. Maybe having a few women in the board room got those alphas into hypercompetitive mode or something, but the most intuitively obvious explanation would be that the women cause good outcomes because they are competent.

    If that’s the case, then the quota itself wouldn’t seem to be discrimination — the conditions preventing the higher proportion of women in executive positions would be the discrimination and the quota would seem to be the solution. You see, solutions are usually the things with good outcomes so if a quota system actually increased productivity most people would think of it as a “solution” of some kind or other.

    Is it ideal? Maybe not. Is it morally problematic from a few points of view? Sure. Are there alternatives we should explore? Almost certainly. But unless you completely deny any influence of chauvinism whatsoever in the representation of women on executive boards I think you’d have to acknowledge that a quota system that increased productivity was actually helping rectify an existing problem, not causing a new one.

    I know, I know, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” It’s a cute little homily, not really an argument of any kind.

  337. daniellavine says

    if a diverse group can’t outperform a more homogeneous one, that’s not actually an argument against diversity.

    I’m also a little curious what this one’s based on. You do have this annoying habit of insisting no one has admitted X when three or four people have been saying, “Granted, X…” for the last 40 comments.

  338. casus fortuitus says

    lee coye:

    They need not uniformly favor men in the workplace, as teaching and nursing, or farming and construction, might readily attest.

    Let me rephrase:

    Why do you assume that the purported biological differences explain the entirety of the current asymmetry in terms of the types of employment in which each gender is disproportionately represented? Why do these differences explain that men tend to have higher status (and not incidentally, higher paying) jobs, and women tend to have lower status (/ paying) jobs?

    As part of answering that question, it’d be great if you would provide some idea of what you think these biological differences might be.

    I should recognize cultural influences, shouldn’t I?

    Err, yes, you should. Unless you can show that biological differences account entirely for the asymmetrical employment pattern. And if you can’t show that, you should explain why quotas aren’t an appropriate method by which to counter those cultural influences.

  339. lee coye says

    Why do you assume that the purported biological differences explain the entirety of the current asymmetry

    That’s easy, I don’t. I even helpfully quoted myself saying that, which came riiiiight after my sarcastic “I should recognize cultural differences”.

    Of course, responding to you does feel a bit like plucking the low-hanging fruit, so perhaps I fall squarely under PZs accusations from the original post. Yours are the sorts of posts I usually skip to avoid that charge, but recent accusations about my ignoring all you special snowflakes is making me a tad cynical.

    As part of answering that question, it’d be great if you would provide some idea of what you think these biological differences might be.

    I *think* I’ve answered this a couple times already, but I might be misreading you. Could you rephrase?

  340. lee coye says

    If quotas that definitively increased the proportion of women in executive positions were demonstrated to increase productivity wouldn’t that indicate that in all likelihood women were underrepresented in such positions taking only merit into consideration?

    That would depend on the scope of the experiment. If one company hired a load of qualified women to meet a quota, cherry-picking them from other companies not so mandated, we would be looking at an artificial sample. If you take and mandate Madison county school district to have 50% male and 50% female teachers, and they draw from the surrounding counties to meet the mandate (perhaps by sinking part of the un-withheld/bonus federal grant money into a salary boost), even an increase in performance wouldn’t demonstrate that the wider population is similarly composed of equal parts interested/qualified female/male teachers.

    I’m not saying women are incompetent.

  341. lee coye says

    Is it ideal? Maybe not. Is it morally problematic from a few points of view? Sure. Are there alternatives we should explore? Almost certainly.

    If it’s being imposed for moral reasons, being morally problematic is kind of a deal-breaker, especially when it’s the same moral reason. The idea that we counter systemic discrimination with systemic discrimination, because progress isn’t going fast enough, is just to endorse “the ends justify the means”.

    But unless you completely deny any influence of chauvinism whatsoever in the representation of women on executive boards I think you’d have to acknowledge that a quota system that increased productivity was actually helping rectify an existing problem, not causing a new one.

    Of course it will help.

  342. PatrickG says

    Next up: A foray into the term “firm fixed effects”.

    Sorry to jump the gun here, but I’m feeling a little whimsical. That, and I don’t think lee coye really knows what a fixed effect (or fixed firm effect) is. So gather round, ye children, and listen to grampa PatrickG tell you a story of statistics.

    IMPORTANT: I just chased a cricket out of my apartment. You’ll see the relevance in a moment.

    Fixed effects (FE) models (not to be confused with finite element models) are used to identify and correct for unobserved heterogeneity in a dataset when performing regressions, generally when you have unquantifiable or unobserved differences across the various elements of your data.

    For example, if you’re going to do an international study on how recently instituted company athletic policies influence cricket-playing performance, you’re going to need a way to account for those companies that just have a lot of cricket players in them. There’s also something severely wrong with you if this is the study you’re doing, but whatever, I’m stuck on this cricket thing.

    Anyway, that’s it: you’re attempting to account for built-in differences between the things you’re studying, because those built-in differences aren’t what you’re interested in, after all.

    So there you are, looking at companies and cricket-playing, and you have your nice dataset of how strongly a company promotes athletics, and how many of that company’s employees play cricket.
    In your basic regression, you’ll get a nice neat relationship:

    y_i = Ax_i + b (+ error)

    where y_i and x_i are your dependent and independent variables, A is the slope, and b is the y-intercept.

    Yay, you now know the relationship (and your confidence in that relationship) between corporate athletic promotion and cricket skills in corporate culture. All done!

    But suddenly, you realize that Brazilians probably aren’t cricket fans, and just maybe Brazilian employees are going to be playing soccer, instead. That’s fine, you don’t care about soccer. But if Brazilian employees inherently play less cricket, British employees probably play more.

    In short, you think you have unobserved heterogeneity, where differences between the elements of your dataset are inherent, due to the nature of the elements. Back to the cricket bat drawing board.

    So: you assume there’s a “fixed” effect for each element (every individual company has employees who are more or less interested in cricket generally), and modify your regression with an additional term:

    y_i(t) = x_i(t)*A + b + c_i (+ error)

    where c_i is now a “fixed” quantity for your particular Company i that accounts for, in the above example, the difference in sizes in your companies.

    Now, for an FE analysis, we’re making a few assumptions, the most important one being that c_i is not a function of time. It’s simply a quantity unique to a particular element (Company). For instance, if we’re going to examine the effects of company athletic promotion policy on employee cricket skills, we have to assume that Company A’s employees never were able to tell you what a cricket was if it chirped in their faces, and Company Z has always had that world-championship company team.

    The problem is that you really don’t know what this quantity is, and you either can’t or don’t want to find out. You merely know that it exists and is unobserved (if you’d observed it, this wouldn’t be necessary, after all). So, you perform a transformation (either through an averaging/within method or through the introduction of dummy variables), which allows you to separate signal from noise, and poof: you’ve eliminated the c_i term along with the mean signal of the other terms.

    Again, this is dependent on the c_i term being invariant with time. If it varies, you can’t do this, because the entire point of the FE method is that you can subtract the average of c_i from itself, and get zero (c_i = c_i_bar). Those cricket players at LeeCoyeCorp have ALWAYS been cricket players.
    With what we’ve learned about FE models and my newly acquired obsession with crickets, let’s go to the paper in question.
    First, I kept harping on the time-invariant thing. The paper in question is looking at the effects of women in management positions over a period of from 1996-2003. Incidentally, this period also sees quite a change in the percentage of women on boards. That’s a really long time to look at a company and assume a fixed effect, particularly when you’re explicitly studying the effect of a variable that’s varying with time!

    Hrmm, the cricket came back. It’s looking at me through the window and I swear it’s raising an eyebrow.

    We estimate a simple model of performance that includes the fraction of women on the board, board size and independence, log(sales), the number of business segments, year dummies, and 2-digit SIC industry dummies.

    Ok. Simple enough. You’ve got variables (x1, x2, … xn) and you’ve got results (y, or Tobin’s Q econometric value). Let’s take a look at your results….

    Here’s a text summary of the results in Table 8 (Performance: Ln(Tobin’s Q) and gender diversity). Column I is the analysis of the company performance vs the various variables in their model. Column II is the FE-adjusted performance. Significance levels given in parantheses.

    In the non-FE analysis:
    – fraction of female directors: positive, significant (0.1)
    – board size: negative, significant (0.01)
    – fraction of independent directors: negative,significant (0.05)
    – sales: positive, significant (0.01)
    – business segments: negative, significant (0.01)

    In the FE analysis:
    – fraction of female directors: negative, significant (0.1)
    – board size: negative, significant (0.01)
    – fraction of independent directors: positive, NOT significant
    sales: negative, NOT significant
    – business segments: negative, significant (0.05)

    I probably gave away my next line with that bolded part, didn’t I?

    Now with the clarion call of I am not an economist ringing strong and clear over the mountaintops, I must ask this question. In bold, because that cricket doesn’t scare me:

    If adjusting for fixed effects in your model alters the impact of COMPANY SALES on COMPANY PERFORMANCE from strongly significant correlation to no significant correlation… I mean, wow, are you really ok with that? Or at least, shouldn’t you at least mention it in the text? That’s a rather weird result, wouldn’t you say?

    A second cricket has joined the first. They’re both looking quizzical.

    I’d probably wonder if I’d screwed up the model or its inputs, myself. The crickets seem to agree.

    Something else a bit askew (no pun intended) are the reported r^2 (coefficient of determination) values (which aren’t particularly useful without more knowledge of the data and their methods). But correcting for fixed effects lowered the r^2 value from 0.25 to … 0.11.

    Look, a third cricket! He seems worried.

    Anyway, their correction led to a less-determined relationship. Again, this isn’t necessarily a necessarily AHA! statistic, but the results in other areas were… more clear. For instance, accounting for fixed effects in measures of director pay vs. gender diversity took us from r^2=0.28 to r^2=0.81. They quite confidently state that gender diversity results in more equity in director pay, and their numbers seem to back them up.

    Well, regression coefficients are a quick and easy way to make bad conclusions, so, let’s chirp right along and see how they validate their model and its underlying assumptions…. (flips electronic pages)…. hrmm….

    27The Hausman test statistic for the hypothesis that the fraction of female directors is uncorrelated with the error term of the performance regression in column II is -2.17. Thus, we reject the null that diversity is exogenous even after including firm fixed effects. This test further stresses the importance of addressing the endogeneity of diversity in performance regressions.

    That’s it. Everywhere else it’s “we controlled and it remained robust”. The only hard validation result I can find is that one. Now, it’s quite possible I missed it somewhere, and if someone else finds another such result provided, I’d love to know.

    Er, that’s a lot of crickets out there…

    Oh, and their conclusion that anybody performing different analyses and coming to different results are:

    motivated by reasons other than improvements in governance and firm performance.

    Wait, those aren’t crickets! AHHH! A swarm of SKEPTICAL LOCUSTS!

    And my apologies to everyone for my whimsy in extending this ridiculous cricket conceit to epic proportions. :)

    P.S. Take a note, lee coye — THIS is how you use numbers and statistics to evaluate a claim. You should try it sometime! Try to use a different motif.

    P.P.S. Note also that if I screwed something up (quite possible, I paid more attention to the cricket comments than I should have), people will correct me and I’ll concede my error. You should try that sometime, too.

  343. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no citations from the proven liar and bullshitter Lee. Ergo, all its “concerns” and “conclusions” are *floosh* sent to the toxic waste center. If somebody can’t put up, and can’t/won’t shut the fuck up, they prima facie show themselves to be liars and bullshitters. Now Lee, why do you think *snicker* your OPINION is anything other than bullshit? Without evidence, the answer is that it is bullshit.

  344. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    You know, there really is a scary level of counterfactual groupthink going on here.

    But it’s not coming from within FtB.

  345. Tethys says

    Part 2: Firm fixed effects.

    According to B. Espen Eckbo in Handbook of Empirical Corporate Finance page 56:

    In self-selection models, the central issue is that unobserved attributes that lead firms to self-select could explain variations in outcomes. In panel data settings, we have multiple observations on the same firm over different periods. If the unobservable attributes are fixed over time, we can control for them using firm fixed effects…One question is whether the use of such fixed effect models alleviates self-selection issues. Not necessarily…..

    There are two main issues to using firm fixed effects to rule out unobservables. One is that the unobservables must be time invariant. When time invariant effects exist and are controlled for, fixed effect models are effective. However, time invariance is unlikely to be an appropriate model for corporate events where unobservables are not only time varying, but also related to the event under consideration.

    Furthermore, unobservables often have a causal role in precipitating the corporate finance event being studied.

    It goes on to discuss regression, which has already been covered by Patrick G.

    Now I shall attempt to read the original pdf again, and tie it all together. It seems clear at the moment that using firm fixed effects to correct the data might show you a correlation, but additional, different methods of study are necessary to get any accurate information on causal factors.

  346. PatrickG says

    which has already been covered by Patrick G.

    Not even a mention of crickets? I put a lot of thought into those comments, Tethys!

  347. Tethys says

    Not even a mention of crickets?

    sorry

    Ahem,

    When determining causative factors for the gender distribution of crickets on corporate boards, applying firm fixed effects is inappropriate and misleading.

    If boards with mixed gender crickets are found to be more profitable after statistical analysis, this may or may not imply that diversity is a strength because reverse causality.

  348. PatrickG says

    Consider my legs rubbed together in appreciation.

    … or don’t. That sounds vaguely creepy.

  349. athyco says

    I wonder if lee coye realizes that he’s undermining Noelplum99’s question of “Where are the regular dissenters?”

    Or maybe not. One of Noelplum99’s contentions is that there should be regular dissenters who make rational comments that advance the discussion.

  350. Tethys says

    from the pdf. link in #1258 Women in the Boardroom

    Our conclusion is that even after controlling for director characteristics such as independence, age, tenure, retirement status, and number of other directorships, female directors appear to behave differently than male directors. This is consistent with a large experimental literature arguing that women are intrinsically different from men

    Where behaving differently so far means “Actually attending board meetings and being more responsive and accountable to shareholders.”

    The paper is somewhat more intelligible using their definition of reverse causality, but the wonton misuse of nebulous firm fixed effects is becoming very annoying to read.

    Now that I have come across the women are intrinsically different than men because it is consistent with EXPERIMENTAL!! literature line, I think I am done taking this paper seriously.

  351. lee coye says

    I wonder if lee coye realizes that he’s undermining Noelplum99′s question of “Where are the regular dissenters?”

    Deliberately. There are no messiah’s, even on youtube.

  352. Tethys says

    “Actually attending board meetings and being more responsive and accountable to shareholders.

    This is a summation of several pages, not an exact quote. Please ignore the extraneous punctuation.

  353. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Deliberately. There are no messiah’s, even on youtube.

    Lee isn’t even providing dissent. That requires EVIDENCE, which is MIA. All Lee offers is OPINION, which *floosh* can be ignored as fuckwittery. The problem of almost all dissenters. Nothing but hot air…

  354. says

    So, yeah, this is the part of Obama’s disabilities proposal Lee is talking about, which the OpenMarket ridiculousness eventually links to if you’re persistent:

    Executive Order 13548 — Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities

    Sec. 2. Recruitment and Hiring of Individuals with Disabilities. (a) Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall design model recruitment and hiring strategies for agencies seeking to increase their employment of people with disabilities and develop mandatory training programs for both human resources personnel and hiring managers on the employment of individuals with disabilities.

    (b) Within 120 days of the date the Office of Personnel Management sets forth strategies and programs required under subsection (a), each agency shall develop an agency specific plan for promoting employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The plan shall be developed in consultation with and, as appropriate, subject to approval by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and shall, consistent with law, include performance targets and numerical goals for employment of individuals with disabilities and sub goals for employment of individuals with targeted disabilities.

    (c) Each agency shall designate a senior-level agency official to be accountable for enhancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities within the agency, consistent with law, and for meeting the goals of this order. This official, among other things, shall be accountable for developing and implementing the agency’s plan under subsection (b), creating recruitment and training programs for employment of individuals with disabilities and targeted disabilities, and coordinating employment counseling to help match the career aspirations of individuals with disabilities to the needs of the agency.

    So, I’m in the same position PatrickG was in. Doing Lee’s homework for him, going to the sources, analyzing the content, and reporting the analysis.

    I believe the bolded part may constitute a quota, depending how you define it. Sounds like the language is written so as to make allowances for jurisdictions where numerical quotas are not allowed, or is there another reason for including the clause, “consistent with law” in that sentence? There are a lot of other parts of the law, though. Would Lee have us scrap the entire executive order? Or should we just remove the language about quotas?

    That’s about as much detail as I’m up for tonight. One of my doggie roommates has diarrhea and I’ve cleaned it up three times this evening. Blegh. Yes, they are outside now.

  355. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    Still waiting for Lee’s revelation from History … it’s been, what, a few hundred comments now?

    Yet more evidence that this MRA’s evidence is MIA. What a disingenuous douche.

  356. athyco says

    Your “Kicker of Biological Goals” makes me all smiley, Mandrellian. And in its honor, should I have occasion to address lee coye again, it will be as “lee coye, disingenuous douche.”

  357. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    athyco @1426:

    Your “Kicker of Biological Goals” makes me all smiley, Mandrellian. And in its honor, should I have occasion to address lee coye again, it will be as “lee coye, disingenuous douche.”

    You dear, sweet Hordeling. I feel warm and fuzzy. If it was within my power, I’d award you a balloon.

    And people say the atmosphere here is ghastly and toxic! Humbug, I say!

  358. casus fortuitus says

    lee coye:

    Thank you for taking the time to humour me. Let me try to be clearer.

    The argument that I’m asking you to defend is that the mere existence of biological differences completely undermines the rationale for quotas. Is this a fair characterisation of your argument against quotas? Please answer straightforwardly, maybe by starting with a word like “yes” or “no”.

    If “yes”: that argument (reminder: the existence of biological differences nullifies the justification for quotas) only works if biological differences entirely explain the asymmetrical distribution of the genders in certain jobs. If biological differences do not explain all of that asymmetry, then other factors must, and it is the effects of those other factors that quotas could still mitigate. Since you accept that other factors contribute to the asymmetry, you must concede that your argument is wrong, and that quotas may still be justified in principle.

    If “no”: please clarify your statement in #1379:

    I don’t actually have to prove that there are biological differences for the plausible existence of [biological differences] to stand as a counter to the institution of quotas premised on their non-existence.

    Emphases mine. Do you only object to quotas that assume absolutely no biological differences? Are there some (perhaps hypothetical) quotas which you can support, as long as they take account of biological differences?

    I *think* I’ve answered this a couple times already, but I might be misreading you. Could you rephrase?

    You are positing the existence of biological differences that explain, for example, the higher proportion of men in senior management than women. What specific differences in biology could account for that asymmetry?

  359. says

    Lee Coye:

    based on the assumption that equally qualified candidates are being culturally maligned

    Uhm, not an assumption at all, but an observed fact. Links to the scientific literature that show this have already been given (but here’s one of them). Can you at least acknowledge the existence of this extensive body of research? Or are you going to continue being a science denialist on this issue?

  360. Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient says

    I don’t think you’ll get an answer, casus fortuitus. A reply, perhaps; but not an answer.

    An answer would require a citation from some research. I don’t think I’ve seen a proper citation from lee coye yet. Just confusing bluster and unevidenced assertions.

    Still, this thread does at least serve the purpose of proving that PZ doesn’t ban people for dissenting!

    I’d love to know, for example, how men and women of today differ biologically from those of a hundred and fifty years ago, when most teachers were men. That’s amazingly fast for biological evolution, although not very fast for the evolution of ideas like the idea that women can’t do heavy industry, mining etc.; oh, yes they can (early 19th century); oops, no they can’t (late 19th century); oh, yes they can (early 1940’s); oops, no they can’t (late 1940’s)…

  361. says

    Lee Coyle:

    I’m not saying women are incompetent.

    No, instead of saying that women are less competent, you’re pretty much saying that women are not as ambitious as men. Which is not much of an improvement. Which is probably why you’re avoiding saying so directly.

  362. casus fortuitus says

    Tigger:

    Yeah, I think you’re right. It’s getting to the stage where assuming lee coye’s good faith is straining my charity gland.

    Without wanting to put words in his mouth, I think lee’d answer your question by saying that it’s not the biology of women / men that have changed in that period, but the status of the jobs or the work necessary to carry them out. This boils down to the assertion that women are biologically adapted to seeking work of low status – at which point it becomes necessary to specify what biological mechanism explains that, and it’s here that lee will signally fail to cite any relevant evidence at all.

  363. bradleybetts says

    @Lee Coye #1379

    I asked some time ago if there was any evidence to suppose they don’t, some “biological median” that “culture” acts upon to produce the disparities we see. I never claimed that culture has zero impact, I’m responding to the claim that culture is the only impact and that biology has nothing to do with it.

    Russel’s Teapot my friend; you’re the one who thinks biological differences exist so the onus is on you to prove they do. Until you prove that then your theory carries no weight.

    However, you are gracious enough in your first paragraph to concede that this would only be the case “if” they exist, and then go on in your second paragraph acting as if biological differences certainly do exist.

    Actually, I didn’t.

    Yes you did. You may want to go and re-read your own post.

    We don’t live in a world where quotas will be executed in anything like a perfect manner, and the resulting injustice, and potential damage to productivity, could be catastrophic.

    Unless the quotas are perfectly executed, and unless biology plays NO role, the result is an injustice(you agree with this point, see above); precisely the sort of injustice the project is premised on combating.

    This quote is not from me. I believe you’ve actually blockquoted yourself there. But anyway, in re. to your answer to yourself it again comes down to wether or not biology plays no role, so see my first point.

    “I agree that the best option is to remove barriers, but do you not agree that that is the function of quotas?

    No, I don’t, unless we assume that a perfectly unfettered path to X job would result in a perfect alignment of interest in every facet of the population.

    So what do you think the function of quotas is? And what’s the assumption of shared interest got to do with removing prejudicial barriers? This ties back into your repeated point that gender inequalities in the workplace are due to ladybrainz being different from manly brains. Again, you have to prove that is the case.

    Yes and no. It would prove my argument, but then, that’s not really necessary here. I don’t actually have to prove that there are biological differences for the plausible existence of same to stand as a counter to the institution of quotas premised on their non-existence

    The plausible existence of biological differences (I agree they are possible, I don’t know that they are plausible) is not the same as the actual existence, and it is only the actual existence which would make a mockery of quotas.

    The critique of a poor idea doesn’t require that I present a better one.

    Yes it does. Otherwise, as I said above, your critique is just so much pointless moaning. We are saying that quotas, while flawed, are the best way to remove biases and ensure equal opportunity for people of all stripes. You’re saying “But quotas are flawed”. We say “Yes, they are flawed, but what better alternatives do you suggest?” and you say “…But quotas are flawed!”. It’s a pointless conversation. Either find a better alternative or STFU.

    You’ll forgive me for not addressing all of your paragraphs separately; I did at first then realised I had simply repeated myself over and over, since that is what you have to do when addressing the same points which have simply been rephrased over and over. For brevity I cut the comment down.

  364. bradleybetts says

    @Lee Coye

    Lee, it is generally considered polite to preface any response with the ‘nym of the person you are responding to. I meant to raise this in my above post since you also didn’t do it for me and I nearly missed your response. Just a tip.

  365. Pteryxx says

    No, instead of saying that women are less competent, you’re pretty much saying that women are not as ambitious as men. Which is not much of an improvement.

    Deen: once in a while Lee has been changing it up and implying differences in (words such as) interest (740, 870), aptitude (1117), achievement (1214), talent (1307) or merit (799 and most of the thread), which still aren’t improvements on blaming ambition. It hardly matters which word he’s using at any given time since they’re all just stand-ins for “underlying biological differences”, instead of culturally and socially influenced factors that can (and have) been studied in their own right.

    See 909:

    The biology didn’t change, the cultural context changed. The status changed, the factors that determine which behaviors will accomplish underlying biological goals changed. Thus, the demographics changed.

    and 932:

    What about adaptability? The idea that men and women conceptualize life goals differently? Maybe toss around a bunch of cognitive research. Meh, brain architecture is probably “culturally conditioned” as well.

  366. Pteryxx says

    Lee @1379:

    A quota system is “prejudice of [a] kind”, it just happens to be the kind you presently agree with, based on the assumption that equally qualified candidates are being culturally maligned.

    It’s proven that equally qualified (even identical) candidates are being misjudged, yes. Not an assumption. Plenty of research cited in this thread you’ve supposedly been reading convenient parts of.

    That just brushes aside all the other factors that lead up to candidates being in a position to qualify, factors you and others here cite ad nauseum as cultural conditioning.

    This is Lee straw-arguing that all quotas (and sometimes all diversity initiatives, as suits him) must immediately require the most extreme case of population representation, so he can argue that the Norway example of board-member-sharing is typical. Already addressed by PatrickG in 1143.

    Those factors either are salient, and do have an effect, or they aren’t, and it’s just prejudice in the workforce. It can’t be both.

    and this might be the stupidest thing I’ve read all day. OF COURSE it’s both. Prejudice doesn’t suddenly appear out of thin air at the boardroom level; it functions and is measurable at all levels of schooling and advancement, pipeline-wide. That’s not even an argument against quotas per se, only that quotas, if implemented, should be gradual and part of a multipronged approach to address biases at all stages in the pipeline. They aren’t a standalone miracle fix, and neither are anonymized resumes.

    The critique of a poor idea doesn’t require that I present a better one. Of course, I have offered an alternative strategy, from the very beginning of my interaction, up to and including my most recent comment to you.

    *headdesk*

    Actually this was the beginning of your interaction: making accusations of dishonest framing and strawmanning anti-feminism. You brought up teaching as an example of gendered interests in your 740 and I mentioned screens to counter bias in orchestra auditions in 800.

    But you didn’t, and don’t, advocate anti-bias measures except when it’ll shore up your credibility or allow you to attack the concept of quotas, or other commenters. Yeah, I don’t believe for an instant you actually care about merit, anonymized resumes, or any other good idea you haven’t swiped from the local environment as camouflage, like a caddis fly.

  367. skepticallydenpa says

    Lee Coye’s “biological differences”… I really dislike his redefining of existing terms. How about “biological gender differences”? Now there is no confusion.

    I don’t think Lee understands the naturalistic fallacy. Even if I were to concede that there is some natural difference in brain function between genders, it wouldn’t support the idea that we shouldn’t strive to for equality against our natural inclinations.

  368. says

    Even if I were to concede that there is some natural difference in brain function between genders, it wouldn’t support the idea that we shouldn’t strive to for equality against our natural inclinations.

    Nor would it support Lee’s apparent assumption that the current heavily skewed gender configurations of high-powered, highly-paid professions and occupations is ideal in terms of efficiency and performance. Why would restricting the process of decision-making to one particular type of thinking result in a superior result? Unless there IS something inherently inferior about the way women think, the conclusion which Lee is apparently drawing, that biological gender differences mean that men are just better at job x and women are better at job y (which just happens to be lower status and lower pay, what a coinkydink), doesn’t follow.

  369. skepticallydenpa says

    I can understand where he’s coming from in his distaste for quotas, (read: privilege). There was a day where for a whole 3 minutes I thought

    Quotas do nothing to reduce racism. In fact, it seems to establish racism by requiring the person doing the hiring to hire someone they wouldn’t have if not for the color of their skin.

    To an extent, I was right. Quotas do not reduce racism or any other form of discrimination… directly. That’s not what they are for. They are for increasing diversity in positions that have long been held by a privileged class. Even if it were common practice to hire people based solely on their resume, without the applicant’s name attached, there would still be the problem of cultural influence. Having faces representative of minorities and women established in every career, if nothing else, helps young people to recognize there are options.

    Assuming, once again, this hiring scenario, I’ve no doubt that many minorities would be less educated and less experienced than the privileged counterparts. It’s inescapable when minorities are generally poor and are told that their options are limited to manual labor or criminal activity. Obviously, reaching out to these communities and providing a good education for everyone, are goals that we need to further. But a minority person holding a respective position can also open up a community to the possibilities in a way that just telling people is possible can’t.

    I really don’t understand why this is so difficult for some people to grasp.

  370. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    Something I find interesting is this: apologists for workplace sexism/discrimination often point to the fact of male-dominated boardrooms (especially in the current era of anti-discrimination laws) as some kind of evidence that either men are naturally better suited to the boardroom or that women are less suited – or better suited elsewhere (or perhaps both).

    This position seems to imply both a) that anti-discrimination laws have been absolutely effective and have completely levelled the playing field and b) that women simply aren’t applying for promotions or following career paths toward the boardroom because they’d rather do other things due to “biological goals” or other naturalistic fallacies.

    It just happens to omit the very real and lengthy history of women being overtly excluded from the corporate path altogether, beginning centuries ago with the proscription against women owning property, owning shares, being able to vote et al and continuing to within living memory – during the span of my own mother’s working life (1960s – 2010), women in the office have gone from typists to CEOs and have had to fight tooth and nail to make that happen. The notion that “women aren’t as well-suited to the boardroom” also ignores the fact that there is still a culture of corporate discrimination against women that has either evolved to be more covert, unofficial or insidious (perhaps to avoid lawsuits more than out of concern for fairness). However, in some cases this has remained unapologetic.

    Frankly, given that anti-discrimination laws are in their infancy when compared to the world’s history of male-dominated capitalism and often state-mandated denial of participation in same to women, I find this position to be premature in the extreme and based on incomplete data. Laws may well exist that ban gender discrimination in the workplace, but laws in and of themselves do not change society or culture and boardrooms that object to them can and will always find legitimate reasons to hire someone from the old boys’ network over a woman applying for the same spot. I posit that the main reason for male-dominated boardrooms is cultural intertia (whether rooted in pure male chauvinism or a wish to defend privileged status or a combination of those and other factors). Attempts to defend this inertia by invoking some mythical male business-brain both overlook history and ignore the present.

    This culture also extends beyond the boardroom: large segments of the mainstream conservative media in Australia (especially the Murdoch-owned columnists and shock-jocks) are endlessly blowing sexist dog-whistles when discussing PM Julia Gillard’s clothing, spectacle frames, relationship with her partner (and any past partners) alongside her actual performance as PM; most of the time, in fact, they don’t even try to be subtle about the fact that they’ve denigrating the PM based on her gender and the alleged inherent failings that everyone apparently knows go along with womanhood.

    Basically, any “natural differences” in mens’ and womens’ capabilities when it comes to business are more or less irrelevant when you take into account the very long history men have of deliberately excluding women from the boardroom. If there were certain biological differences that made men so much more well-suited to life at the top than women, there simply wouldn’t have needed to be centuries of overt discrimination. That there was indicates, at the very least, that women simply have not been given an equal chance to exercise their abilites in this area. Anyone with a passing familiarity with “History” would know this.

  371. lee coye says

    Those factors either are salient, and do have an effect, or they aren’t, and it’s just prejudice in the workforce. It can’t be both.

    and this might be the stupidest thing I’ve read all day. OF COURSE it’s both. Prejudice doesn’t suddenly appear out of thin air at the boardroom level; it functions and is measurable at all levels of schooling and advancement, pipeline-wide. That’s not even an argument against quotas per se, only that quotas, if implemented, should be gradual and part of a multipronged approach to address biases at all stages in the pipeline. They aren’t a standalone miracle fix, and neither are anonymized resumes.

    Hmm.

    That just brushes aside all the other factors that lead up to candidates being in a position to qualify

    According to you, the 50 women are going to be discriminated against from preschool onwards. Well, they’re more successful in school, and more likely to obtain a degree, and will make 5-15% more out of college than their male counterparts (if they prolong childbearing), but still, oppressed by men. This oppression must have an effect on their qualifications, as it is presently illegal to choose a less qualified man over a more qualified woman, and the research into hiring bias only accounts for a 5% or so disparity (if I’m reading that right). So the “pipeline” oppression/discrimination *has* to account for the remaining disparity.

    However, you have jobs like teaching, and nursing, where women occupy a majority of the positions. How does your theory account for that? If the culture is to blame, why do we have varying levels of “discrimination” (deviations from the median) in various job fields, which exist in the same culture?

    Ahh, the effect is not uniform. OK, how do we isolate the “culture” variable? Do we assume 50/50 is the baseline, then fill the “culture” variable with any deviation? How do we account for other cultures, though, members of which must assuredly occupy some segment of the population? What about cultures within culture, such as Christians or Muslims, Southerners vs. Northerners? Rural vs. Urban?

    No. That sounds too much like work. Lets call it Patriarchy, and just assume everyone would be interested in the same thing if reality from childhood to adulthood were some utopia of non-influence, then slap a gender/race filtration system at every step of the way so that no one deviates from the Plan.

    Lets suppose culture has influenced men not to become teachers. But…when? In college? OK, lets say college, so we institute a quota for…English? Math? Science? Well, we don’t know if any of them will become teachers. OK, how about the ME programs? I think that’s only about half of them, so we’d have to do the same in the short program.

    http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=28

    What about non-whites?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

    That’s a lot of quotas, a mind-fuck of bureaucratic oversight that will require large, well-funded, supervised gov’t body. Given how closely they would have to watch this ONE field, shifting things as demographics shift, itself answerable to another body to track IT’S representation, the IRS starts to look like a 7-11. Expand that to every field, and we’ve employed half of China.

    Unfortunately, all of that effort would only be effective if it performed perfectly, as any deviation would exacerbate the very ideals that underpin the enormity of effort in the first place. Before you say “but we’re just talking about commitments to diversity“, realize that the current laws already require that commitment. As someone pointed out earlier, you’re talking about quotas to protect women and minorities(therefore acceptable because patriarchy), but a uniform application of this principle would protect discrimination against men in teaching, ostensibly discriminating against women, and in other fields would discriminate against minorities.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, no where in this do we control for the possibility of biological differences in the strategies men and women employ in the context of culture, to fulfill their aims and ambitions, differences that would naturally incline men and women into disparate interests. Shoe-horning them into equal representations, if such differences exist (and a growing body of scientific research attests to it), is little more than telling people what to be interested in for The Greater Good.

  372. lee coye says

    The notion that “women aren’t as well-suited to the boardroom”

    I love how you put that in quotes like it’s something I said.

  373. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I love how you put that in quotes like it’s something I said.

    Gee, evidenceless fools are so easy to amuse themselves. Your NIH paper showed no link to this gene being only in women, this only in men, and this is the effect. Essentially, it said nothing. Typical of fuckwitted bigots like yourself not being able to read what is scientifically said. Try again. Show behaviors are linked to genes, and those genes are only in one sex or another. That is evidence, not your vain attempt at pop-sci. You haven’t proven a damn thing yet, and never will. Until you understand the possibility you are wrong…

  374. lee coye says

    (if they prolong childbearing)

    Er..if they postpone childbearing, rather.

    According to you, the 50 women

    Heavily redacted, pardon the typos and residuals.

  375. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, scientifically inept fuckwit telling real scientist what he thinks the evidence he linked to means. HAhahaahaha. Come back when you get an education….

  376. lee coye says

    RE: Nerd;

    In the February 3, 2012, issue of Cell, the team reported finding 16 genes that were expressed differently between the brains of male and female mice. A closer look revealed that these sex differences in gene expression weren’t limited to the hypothalamus. They were also found in the amygdala, a region implicated in processing emotions.

    Later:

    In addition to illuminating the role of these genes in gender-related behavior, these findings could lead to insights into mental illness and neurological conditions that differ between the sexes. Autism spectrum disorders, for example, are more common in boys than girls.

  377. says

    You know, I certainly hope our major corporations will take heed of that evidence you have presented, lee. and finally put a stop, once and for all, off this horrible practice of filling the board of directors with mice.
     
    Meanwhile, you have still presented bugger-all to support your utterly empty claim that the de facto quotas we have in place now, which give white males the majority of the best jobs despite their utter lack of demonstrated superiority, are any better than the absolute worst results we could have with LITERAL quotas.

  378. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    Lee sniffed:

    The notion that “women aren’t as well-suited to the boardroom”

    I love how you put that in quotes like it’s something I said.

    I love how you assume I was addressing you directly, you abysmal fucking failure at reading comprehension.

    I also admire how you zeroed in on the one thing that made my comment all about you and ignored that I was addressing a commonly-held viewpoint (hint: the one that’s been under discussion), you narcissistic goddamned blowhard.

    I’m also enamoured of the fact that you still haven’t fucking bothered to answer my question. You know the one I’m talking about, you fucking disingenuous hand-waving mansplaining douchebucket with delusions of competence.

    And in case you think about playing the ad hominem card, I’ll save you the trouble: all those insults up there were all exactly that: insults. Directed at you, personally. Your dishonest, ignorant, self-centred behaviour speaks for itself and your arguments (such as they are) suck, fail and die on their own merits; they certainly don’t need any help on that score from logical fallacies.

  379. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    In addition to illuminating the role of these genes in gender-related behavior, these findings could lead to insights into mental illness and neurological conditions that differ between the sexes. Autism spectrum disorders, for example, are more common in boys than girls.

    Welll, better keep those chaps out of the boardroom. Who knows when they’re going to have some sort of … I dunno … Man’s Problem and destroy the joint – or worse, cause a slight fall in share price. Because Science, Reasons and Biological Goals.

    Speaking of SciRBiG, I also hear men are more frequently rapists, serial killers, cannibals, torturers, imperialist thugs and brutal genocidal dictators than are women. Ditto Popes, and you know what slimy fuckers they can be.

    Frankly, it’s time people started watching us men – especially us whiteys – a little more closely. The XY chromosome just seems to confer a greater suitability for acting like an empathy-deficient bloodthirsty psychopath. If only that were an occupation!

  380. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    Mandrellian @1000:

    The concept of seeking to create a world where nobody is socially, economically or in any other way privileged over anybody else due to some inherent or unchosen characteristic

    It’s imaginable. It’s been tried. It doesn’t work.

    even if Whoever-it-was failed, is that actually a reason for us not to try it again and try to do better?

    Or are you that kid who quit toilet training just because you shat your pants a couple of times?

    I am so stealing this analogy* for future use. It’s so perfect.

    Also, feminism = communism, obvs.

    (still not caught up, pardon if I am posting out of context)

    *teehee

  381. vaiyt says

    *pokes in*

    Is lee “I want Amurrican Marines free of cooties dammit! Because readiness! Also, they’re speshul!” coye now invoking Reverse Racism to argue against quotas? Dayumn, I missed on some serious fun over here.

  382. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    Oh this is just golden.

    Factions like this routinely seize power with utopian ideals and burn and bury any remnant of civility and capital

    FEMINAZIS

    and when the whole top-heavy edifice collapses on their heads, men and women will rebuild.

    WHO IS JOHN GALT?

  383. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    So…I can’t call you “sir”?

    May I propose (if it doesn’t already exist) “ser”?

  384. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    Mandating

    Lee likes that word cause it’s got “man” in it.

    Also, “dating”.

  385. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    drbunsen @1453:

    Feel free (with attribution :))

    BTW yes, that quote is still in context as Lee has, since that comment, still refused to answer this simple question:

    Who was it that tried and failed?

    And the followup:
    How is that failure (that we grant purely for the sake of argument) a reason not to try again?

  386. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    It seems from where I’m sitting that Pharyngula brings out the worst in some commenters here

    God I love killfile.

  387. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    that we choose people based on race/gender/nationality

    It’s amusing that coye doesn’t seem to have noticed that we do that now – only, in a direction that favours him and people like him, rendering it invisible to the hard of thinking.
    .

    This report shows that financial measures excel at those Fortune 500 companies where women board directors serve.

    /ponders an alt-history where we have colonised the solar system by the 1300s, because we weren’t actively squandering and suppressing nine-tenths of the available talent on Earth.
    .

    spineless

    How dare you insinuate that lee shares such a trait with cephelopods

    Nonononono; what we have here is an anencephalopod.
    .

    a world free of undue privilege granted based on inherent characteristics (/ not aptitude, skill or any of the other red herrings you brought up / ) is not worth aiming for (regardless of whether it’s been “tried” before)?

    .
    coye has consistently sailed straight past the word “undue” in the above proposition. This makes it plain that: a) he heard someplace that eeebil commofemininazis want to eliminate due advantages – those based on merit, talent, and effort, and has a properly conditioned gift for confirmation bias; and that b) he is unable to distinguish between merited and unmerited advantage. To him, they are one and the same; white male able-bodied cis hetero candidates are simply better. Because Reasons.
    .
    He fails particularly to understand the difference between merited and unmerited rewards in his own case.
    .
    For instance, he could merit our respect by, idon’tfuckingnow, using words as if they mean things, citing peer-reviewed research to back up his claims, and cogently answering questions that are asked of him.
    .
    Or he could simply continue to jump up and down demanding the respect that is his due, because umm…. penis.
    .

    While I’d known there had been work done on quantifying the effects of diverse management and workplaces / I was somewhat surprised at how much there is.

    Well, duh. This isn’t some airy-fairy basket-weaving endeavour like, idunno, curing cancer. There’s shareholder value at stake here!
    .

    Those disatisfied with the current method for dealing with prejudice in the work place either need to come up with viable alternatives or improvements, or STFU.

    No, there is a third alternative: plainly and openly stating the obvious, which is that they don’t actually give one miniscule portion of a crap.
    .

    does your brain just shut down when presented with contrary evidence?

    There’s a mountain of evidence (both peer-reviewed, and right here in front of us) to suggest that that is exactly what happens.
    .

    Exigology (noun) : A statement whose converse is its own explanation.
    ie “Politicians never do what my group wants, so I never vote.”

    And I’ve learnt a handy new word. Day saved! \o/
    —–
    [meta – when did line breaks stop working, and what’s the workaround?]

  388. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    Mandrellian, are you in fact a co-resident of the Antipodes? Seems as if the Nordamericanos are all asleep at present.
    .
    OT: From the women in the military thread
    .

    Women have been going into space since the ’80s.

    *cough*
    .
    [looks weird in preview: hopefully not when posted. And now, dinner]

  389. lee coye says

    And in case you think about playing the ad hominem card, I’ll save you the trouble: all those insults up there were all exactly that: insults. Directed at you, personally.

    Well there’s a relief, I thought you were trying (badly) to critique a bastardization of my argument. It’s far more relevant to invent an argument whole-cloth and provide misleading or downright false information to rail against it.

  390. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s far more relevant to invent an argument whole-cloth and provide misleading or downright false information to rail against it.

    Gee, the only false information to back your argument comes from you. Your argument is unscientific and patently sexist. Your argument is nothing but hot air that is *floosh* sent to the toxic waste system with all the other bigotry. More to come when I get time.

  391. bradleybetts says

    @Lee Coye #1443

    Well, they’re more successful in school, and more likely to obtain a degree, and will make 5-15% more out of college than their male counterparts (if they prolong childbearing), but still, oppressed by men.

    And yet less well represented in the boardroom. Assuming these figures are correct, you’ve just scored a bit of an own goal mate.

  392. bradleybetts says

    @Lee Coye #1448

    In the February 3, 2012, issue of Cell, the team reported finding 16 genes that were expressed differently between the brains of male and female mice. A closer look revealed that these sex differences in gene expression weren’t limited to the hypothalamus. They were also found in the amygdala, a region implicated in processing emotions.

    Well, that settles it. On the strength of the fact that female mice have 16 genes out of the c.20,000 they possess which are expressed differently to the same genes in males of the same species, it is perfectly clear that they are inferior and should not be allowed anywhere near a boardroom. All quotas will be removed immediately and the natural biological hierarchy shall be allowed to resume.

    Now if we could just get back to humans

  393. bradleybetts says

    @Mandrellian #1450

    And in case you think about playing the ad hominem card, I’ll save you the trouble: all those insults up there were all exactly that: insults. Directed at you, personally. Your dishonest, ignorant, self-centred behaviour speaks for itself and your arguments (such as they are) suck, fail and die on their own merits; they certainly don’t need any help on that score from logical fallacies.

    …I think I just developed a bit of a man-crush on you.

  394. PatrickG says

    Hang on. It just hit me.

    lee coye isn’t lee coye. He’s actually the next version of the Jeopardy AI, reprogrammed by AVFM!

    Think about it:
    – apparent reliance on keywords and first-page google results
    – repeated return to a clearly defined set of basic themes
    – high number of posts consisting of nothing more than a three-word sentence fragment, followed by a link to something only marginally relevant
    – an inability to parse more complex posts
    – pseudorandom selection process for what to reply to
    – infinite error loops

    MasculiNET is real! And it’s commenting at Pharyngula! AAAAHHHH!

  395. says

    “The Guynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Female suggestions are removed as a strategic defense. Guynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th.”
     
    Aside from the learning and becoming self-aware parts, James Cameron was amazingly prescient.

  396. PatrickG says

    @ myeck waters:

    Give it time, it’s only just worked up from the first beta release, where it commented at WorldNetDaily.

  397. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    What Lee Coye doesn’t get about how oppression works is that it usually is two-pronged: lack of support bottom-up and lack of support top-down.

    Mandating more women (or PoC, or people with disabilities, or LGBT people, etc etc) at the upper level has two effects:
    (1) The input of previously-ignored groups of people is received at the top level. This results in refocusing, more equitable resource-sharing, etc.
    (2) People at the bottom are more likely to see someone like themselves at the top.

    Studies on women in STEM fields have shown that cohort-matched female students who are introduced to working women scientists are less likely to drop out of the pipeline. “No woman has done [x]” is a powerful demotivation tool.

    Also, the “but quotas harm straight cis white men who have done nothing wrong” line makes a powerful supposition: that the harm done to straight cis white men in an affirmative-action setting outweighs the harm down to everyone else in the ABSENCE of this setting.

    That it is better for a person who is not a straight cis white man to suffer, to be held back, to be prevented from achieving their best, than for a straight cis white man to not get everything.

  398. Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals says

    drbunsen:

    Mandrellian, are you in fact a co-resident of the Antipodes? Seems as if the Nordamericanos are all asleep at present.

    Bloody oath. An expat Radelaidean living in Mel-tropolis for the last decade. Hence my fondness for incivility, 2-stroke and leg-spin. Come see my band [end plug]!


    bradleybetts:

    …I think I just developed a bit of a man-crush on you.

    My first Horde-crush. My mum would be so proud! Shall we write our own vows or will chanting “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” be sufficiently official?


    lee:

    Well there’s a relief, I thought you were trying (badly) to critique a bastardization of my argument. It’s far more relevant to invent an argument whole-cloth and provide misleading or downright false information to rail against it.

    If that’s the case (ironic whining about false and misleading arguments – not to mention missing the point – aside) then at least you got a direct response from me. And now I have one from you, proving that you don’t ignore everything said to you or about you. So …

    Who tried and failed, Lee? Any revelations from History™ – or did you just throw out that declaration hoping that noone would follow it up? Y’know, like some disingenuous festering douchenozzle banking on other peoples’ ignorance or arrogantly presuming they’ll just take your word for it?

  399. vaiyt says

    “No woman has done [x]” is a powerful demotivation tool.

    A tool which bigots of all stripes, even the most stupid, are eager to use whenever possible. One of the most common derailing tactics of bigots is to invoke their ethnicity/country/gender’s collective accomplishments so they can piggyback on them, painting themselves as superior and their targets as inferior by extension. They do that because it immediately sends most people on the defensive, trying to scrounge up counter-examples as opposed to arguing the main point i.e., that their perceived inherent superiority is bunk.

  400. lee coye says

    Who tried and failed, Lee?

    The underlying idea of normalizing citizens has indeed been tried; the failures of this brand of Marxism are well-understood. This from far up the page:

    Michael apparently wanted evidence of the failure of socialism/communism, or just communes in general, but it was fair to say that his vision, once explained, wasn’t precisely those things.

    No one has tried just those things as you describe, but as some here have noted,

    You can’t stop progress.

    Perhaps you can’t stop social progress, but you can put a halt to economic progress and innovation. I agree we should strive for equality, but how we go about doing so is very important, and the kind of brute force that has been advocated for here and elsewhere is the wrong way to go about it.

    Maybe you just meant race or gender, but you didn’t say that:

    The concept of seeking to create a world where nobody is socially, economically or in any other way privileged over anybody else due to some inherent or unchosen characteristic

    You called things like intelligence, ambition, aptitude, etc., “red herrings”, but it’s not clear from what you say above that those things can’t be construed as privileges in their own right. No one chooses their ambition. This is why Balloon’s reference to the Vonnegut short was apropos, even if it was offered in jest, because you can imagine just such a world as the author describes arising organically out of the institution of the phrase quoted above.

  401. John Morales says

    lee coye:

    You called things like intelligence, ambition, aptitude, etc., “red herrings”, but it’s not clear from what you say above that those things can’t be construed as privileges in their own right.

    It’s not clear to you because you are equivocating between senses of ‘privilege’.

    (In this context, it clearly refers to social privilege)

  402. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Not only that, vaiyt, but the acknowledgement of the accomplishments of extraordinary women (Marie Curie is the usual go-to in science) is used as a cudgel. Oh, you think you’re in the same league as Curie? She discovered two elements, won two Nobels, and pretty much invented a branch of physics!

  403. vaiyt says

    The underlying idea of normalizing citizens has indeed been tried; the failures of this brand of Marxism are well-understood.

    Not the fucking it’s-aristocracy-of-the-privileged-or-Soviet-socialism canard again, please. This is fucking bullshit and you can go right to hell with it.

  404. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not the fucking it’s-aristocracy-of-the-privileged-or-Soviet-socialism canard again, please. This is fucking bullshit and you can go right to hell with it.

    Funny how the Soviet privilege so often mirrored the liberturd “mertitcracy”,where having a penis gave one an automatic advantage….Liberturds are so ignorant of real history and economics, it is pathetic. They might as well put up a banner *theology ‘R’ us”, instead of their pretenses of being rational….*snicker*

  405. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    If you’re going to hold up the USSR as an example of a society that eliminated privilege and had equality, you’re, uh, gonna need to provide some evidence.

    Like, a lot of evidence.

  406. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    More word-redefining–apparently now “equality” means “Marxism.”

    Yep, that illogically fall into the liberturd/RWA/misogynist continuum. Funny about all that fallacious presuppositions they have….

  407. John Morales says

    Esteleth:

    If you’re [lee coye] going to hold up the USSR as an example of a society that eliminated privilege and had equality, you’re, uh, gonna need to provide some evidence.

    Be fair: I think the intent is to show it tried and failed.

  408. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny about all that fallacious presuppositions they have….

    Sorry, didn’t finish the thought. They sound just like all the pseudo-radicals I met back in the radicalization of campuses in my undergrauate days (‘Nam War for those of a more recent borning). All slogans, no logic….

  409. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    Except that the USSR didn’t really try. They pulled the WE’RE SAYING EVERYONE’S EQUAL!! *handwave* SEE YOU’RE ALL EQUAL NOW!! stunt without actually doing much.

  410. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Be fair: I think the intent is to show it tried and failed.

    On purpose, the old privileges still ran deep, and it never achieved what it said. Just like RWA/MRA/Liberturd theology….

  411. heliobates says

    How did we let Lee dictate the argument to the point where the fight to erase sexism automatically equals quotas and “the Patriarchy” gets (yet again) reduced to a caricature?

    I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a feminist make the points that Lee is arguing against.

  412. Tethys says

    I agree we should strive for equality, but how we go about doing so is very important, and the kind of brute force that has been advocated for here and elsewhere is the wrong way to go about it.~ lee coye

    As usual, citation needed. Quote the someone here and elsewhere who advocated for equality by brute force.
    —–

    I see the thread about censoring free speech has nearly hit 1500 comments.
    Sadly, a lot of them are from lee coye as he tapdances around actually engaging in adult discussion.
    You must admire his sheer tenacity in his effort to be the last roll standing.

  413. John Morales says

    Tethys,

    You must admire his sheer tenacity in his effort to be the last roll standing.

    Especially given its futility.

    (Got a ways to go yet to get near Alan Clarke‘s perseverence)

  414. John Morales says

    Tethys,

    You must admire his sheer tenacity in his effort to be the last roll standing.

    Especially given its futility.

    (Got a ways to go yet to get near Alan Clarke perseverance)

  415. Tethys says

    John Morales

    Especially given its futility.

    Taking into account the “No messiahs” comment, it seems that lee is a no gods therefore I spit on any notion of morality atheist.

    Lee coye, is my assessment accurate? If not, feel free to correct it.

  416. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    (Got a ways to go yet to get near Alan Clarke perseverance)

    I think AC only lasted a couple of years before it was banhammered, when he got a bit pedophilic. I think the record is Txpiper, who was never banhammered, but finally had to admit it couldn’t refute evolution, or prove its imaginary deity existed. Five plus years or so…

  417. Ichthyic says

    I keep wondering who, exactly, IS Lee arguing with?

    I can’t figure it out at all from his responses, even though he quotes other posters, he ends responding to a strawman of what they actually said, even in the quotes.

    seems like a serious conversation, and he appears to have an intent to communicate, but he doesn’t appear to actually be communicating with anyone here.

  418. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    seems like a serious conversation, and he appears to have an intent to communicate, but he doesn’t appear to actually be communicating with anyone here.

    Only the strawman Pharyngulite in his mind. I think he tries to play to the lurkers, but the problem is that his arguments are so vague, they are invisible to most lurkers. Kinda like QB who throw beyond the line of scrimmage. It won’t win the game, despite the impressive looking non-critical stats….

  419. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, that is the QB who refuses to throw….
    Dang, long tiring week…

  420. Tigger_the_Wing, Ranged Throngs Termed A Nerd With Boltcutters says

    I’m slightly in awe of lee coye. I mean, the amount of stubbornness displayed in those comments without ever, even once, actually answering anybody – that’s impressive.

    Well, that’s ‘impressive’ in the same sense that the amount of poop, and its consistency, that a newborn produces is ‘impressive’.

    Except that the poop at least shows that the wee one’s colon is functioning. Oh, wait…

  421. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Except that the poop at least shows that the wee one’s colon is functioning. Oh, wait…

    But with a wee one, given the right instruction, will grow out of indiscriminate pooping. Lee, not so likely…