Bias In Tech & Media: Lists That Perpetuate The Stereotypes

from the list-of-lists dept

As some folks noticed, a few days ago, I was named to Newsweek's new Digital Power Index. Like all such lists, I take this with a major grain of salt. These kinds of things tend to be somewhat random, and while it's nice to be recognized, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't mean much of anything. However, as Rachel Sklar pointed out soon after it was announced, the list is dominated by men, with just 9 out of 100 people being women. That, of course, is ridiculous, given just how many women are doing amazing things in the digital world. Even if there may be more men in the field right now, there's no way that a 10 to 1 ratio is reasonable or accurate. There is, of course, reasonable concerns about typical gender bias in how these kinds of things are chosen.

One of the members of the list, Andrew Rasiej -- someone I look up to and respect a great deal for the many things he's done -- has written a really good post, in which he has asked to be removed from the list, and nominated Deanna Zandt to take his place. He's also asked the other men on the list to do the same.

I think this is an important discussion -- and it goes beyond just gender. The list is clearly dominated by white American males. We could just as easily point to the lack of Asian members (by my quick count: 4) or black members (by my quick count: 0) or Latino members (by my quick count: 0) on the list -- or any other particular group. As such, I think it's unfortunate in perpetuating the stereotype and as such, I too, have no problem asking to be removed from the list if there is a mechanism to do so. That said, I do have an issue with "nominating a woman in my place." To me, that feels equally paternalistic (for what it's worth, I explained this to Andrew, and he disagrees, strongly, with this position). I would rather that this discussion lead Newsweek to reconsider how it puts such lists together (going beyond just gender, but also ethnic and racial bounds). Simply nominating a woman or someone else in my place doesn't change things -- and certainly can be seen as the equivalent of benevolently "granting" the position to someone, rather than someone earning their place on the list (no matter how much the person might deserve it).

So, rather than specifically nominating a person in place of me, I think that there needs to be a real discussion on why there often seems to be such a lack of diversity in voices around these things: not in meaningless "lists," but in general. The voices of non-American, non-white, non-males are important, but are often being drowned out, and that's something that needs to stop. We don't necessarily do that by "replacing" the white American males, but by understanding how they come to dominate such lists in the first place -- and then tackling that issue.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:35pm

    so such list should ultimately be based on gender or race rather than accomplishment or merit?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:39pm

    Re:

    Woohoo, ignorance and incomprehension got first comment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    I hate any opinion based lists no matter what the topic. They always end up being a WTF moment.

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re:

    how so? If i want an intellectual property blog my choices are tech-dirt, torrentfreak and zeropaid (to my knowedge). I really dont care if the person writing them is purple 8foot tall and transgender. hell i don't even care if their human i want enlightened insightful commentary. the same goes for anything else. I am not compromising what I want in terms of quality. I don't care about race or gender or really anything else I care about what/who is the best option.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:55pm

    I think it's worth considering whether the uneven representation in the list is due to survey bias or an accurate representation of an achievement gap at the top levels of our field.

    If the former is true, then asking to be removed from the list is both a valid response and a good way to call attention to the problem.

    However, if the later is true, then artificially adjusting the list is merely papering over the real problem. In this case, we would be better off spending our energy finding and addressing the real cause of the disparity.

    Does anyone have some recent data on this?

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Re:

    I agree but they usually lead me to find out a few things about the topic of the list that i didn't know before. if I were to read through this list I would find a few people I have never heard of with interesting opinions.

     

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    Andrew F (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Social Networks

    Two hypotheses off the top of my head, both for the list selection and for why there may be a difference in representation in "achievement", if such a difference exists:

    (1) Social networks -- white males hang out with other white males

    (2) Imaging -- certain businesses or practices benefit from putting forth a white male as a founder, leader, etc.

     

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    Keii (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

    I'm for equality. If a non-male non-Caucasian person better qualified they should definitely get the position.
    But I'm completely against putting a non-male non-Caucasian person in a position just because they're non-male and/or non-Caucasian.

    Denying someone something because they're a minority or accepting someone because they're a minority are both equally discriminatory.

     

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    Keii (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

    Re:

    There are a few grammatical errors in that last post but I think the point is clear.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

    Odd... I just saw that Youtube is dominated by minorities. The people that make these lists seem to have blinders on in regards to actual progress.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "how so?"
    Incomprehension = Failure to understand - You didn't understand the article.
    Ignorance = Lack of knowledge or information - you didn't get the information contained in the article.


    "I don't care about race or gender or really anything else I care about what/who is the best option."

    That's what the article is about and why so many people who should be included in it aren't and urging those who compile the lists to address the reasons why they've ended up with a list so overwhelmingly biased to white males.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    I think it is bias that make people make comments like "there are not that many women in there, there must be something wrong"
    Just put a list together showing all people that deserve to be in your list in your opinion, if many people did that we could pool thousands of lists and see what a large percent of the population think really are the best.

    Why question why there is not enough women in there, or enough asians, african americans, hindus, russions, mexicans, brazilians, congolese, ethiopians, gay, straight, right handed, left handed, blind, deaf, mute, vegan, jew, christian, muslim, disabled, mentally impaired or anything else others could think about it.

    Why can't people just put their own lists together and say this person here I would change for this one because of this or because of that.

    ps: I am aware of the meme "Fuck You that is why", if you please be so kind and not use it or at least find one with a dog in it that would be nice.

    My power index would look very different from the Daily Beast, but who cares?

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re:

    No, Aerilus is commenting on what Andrew Rasiej said. Andrew wanted his name removed and intentionally picked a women to replace him. He also encourages all the other men on the list to also replace their names with women and strongly disagrees with someone who suggested it should be based on merit not gender.

    Andrew seems to be suggesting that reverse prejudice is better then both regular prejudice and equality.

    I'm with Mike, it should be based on merit not race or gender. I'd say that if there is a serious question of prejudice (and there seems to be), the methodology of the Digital Power Index should be checked.

     

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    AB, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Which is a much more reasonable statement then your first one.

    These lists appear to contain a disproportionate number of one group which implies that more deserving people are being ignored simply because of their status. If so then the lists are not providing what they are claiming to. This creates a potential loss of valuable information for all of us since some of these lists are extremely influential and can virtually make or break a newcomer.

    That is the problem with any primarily opinion based information (list or otherwise): it invariably becomes biased even when initiated with the best of intentions. (imo ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

    Re:

    Actually positive discrimination is not a terrible thing and is necessary for society as a whole is to be fairer to those of different backgrounds but similar potential.

    Having said that, this article wasn't about that so why would you bring it up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No, Aerilus is commenting on what Andrew Rasiej said"

    How do you know this, Aerilus certainly gave no indication of such a meaning?

    He simply said in comment to appear immediately after the article and the bulk of Mike's description of his own view on the matter... "so such list should ultimately be based on gender or race rather than accomplishment or merit?"

    Nothing to suggest he was picking up on a specific part of a position Andrew took, that Mike commented on giving a detailed description of why he disagreed with that view of Andrew's, which which very strongly suggests that Aerilus understood none of it, not even enough to make a distinction between the different views discussed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Positive discrimination still is discrimination, you discriminate against all the other groups to elevate one, that can't be good.

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

    the link to the list opens up to a summary page

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/digital-power-index.html

    notice that on the summary page there are 2 women and at least two obvious minorities suggesting that they are trying to give acclaim to minorities and women.

    from that first page

    Ben Silberman, asian mother
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Silbermann

    salman khan, indian
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salman_Khan

    marissa mayer, woman

    arianna Huffington, woman

    ben huh, korean
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Huh

    of the white males two are german born (peter thiel and daniel tosh) one is Australian (julian assange)

    and some interesting information about the american white males

    alec ross
    Alec started his career as a sixth grade teacher in inner-city Baltimore through Teach for America. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/130142.htm

    Bram Cohen has asperger syndrome
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bram_Cohen

    I am not going to go through 100 people but I guess my point is that this conspiracy theory that there is this great bias toward the generic perfect white male is at least slightly ill founded

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes of course, when the parents of a child whose sibling has had to have a lot of attention due to being ill or whatever decide to give some special time to the other child for a change it is wrong and should never happen because it is positive discrimination.

    Equally when people of various races or genders have been kept out of areas of work for generations they should appreciate the fairness of now being allowed to start at the bottom and in only 3 or 4 generations they might almost reach the same level of representation in their chosen fields as those who kept them out of it for so long, completely fair.

    On an individual level it is unfair, but as the saying goes, life is unfair.
    It's just when a group has made it deliberately unfair to certain other groups that they don't get to whine about positive action taken to restore the intentionally created imbalance.

     

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    Zimzat (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

    Re:

    This comment is hilarious in an ironic way. It repeats the theme of almost every article on TechDirt regarding copyrights and patents, which makes the lack of that theme in this article so much starker.

    "Where's the data that there is a real problem here?"

    Here's anecdotal evidence for you: Every technology workplace I've been in was weighted numerically in favor of men. There was no bias against women in them; I was in charge of interviewing for a programming position and almost no women applied. Those that did were not up to par. The women who were part of the company weren't ignored or otherwise disfavored; there just weren't that many.

    So here's my two cents to this topic: Make however many number of lists that are nothing but biased toward showing off the top thinkers/developers/designers/CEOs/etc that are not white and/or male. There's your source material to inspire the next generation of those people to be great in those areas.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and again, the article had nothing to do with positive discrimination and everything to do with negative discrimination so why have you brought it up.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I worked in tech support for seven years and I've been paying attention to how people talk for a lot longer. I'm vary good at translating what people say into what they mean.

    So, reading what Aerilus said leads to two possible conclusions. Ether Aerilus had such poor reading comprehension that typing would be difficult, or he understood the basics of what the article was about.

    The best fit is the easiest answer, he understood just wasn't as articulate as needed.

    Understandable mix up considering who else posts here.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:43pm

    Re:

    "notice that on the summary page there are 2 women and at least two obvious minorities suggesting that they are trying to give acclaim to minorities and women. "

    You know if you actually made the effort to read and understand the article you wouldn't have had to write out that there were at least 2 women, because you'd already have known there were 9.


    "However, as Rachel Sklar pointed out soon after it was announced, the list is dominated by men, with just 9 out of 100 people being women. That, of course, is ridiculous, given just how many women are doing amazing things in the digital world. Even if there may be more men in the field right now, there's no way that a 10 to 1 ratio is reasonable or accurate. "

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    The fact that there are 2 women and some obvious minorities on the summary page could equally be seen (I doubt it is) as an attempt to pretend the list was more balanced than it actually is, given that female representation there is twice what it is in the actual list.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't under stand why there can't just be more of one race or gender in a field why do we feel the incessant need to fix that? if an individual is interested in technology encourage them. things need to be treated on an individual level all this consideration of race and gender just furthers the divide, and generates all ind of stupid strategy to try to "fix" the problem. the problem is poverty, the problem is underage pregnancy, the problem is a child that needs encouragement the problem is not gender or race. I am not trying to protest the fact that there aren't enough white males on hip hop blog list or that there arent enough black males in shows on wgn. I just don't think there is a bias in so many cases where people see one there is just more of an interest in topics just like some people like history more than math.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't under stand why there can't just be more of one race or gender in a field why do we feel the incessant need to fix that? if an individual is interested in technology encourage them. things need to be treated on an individual level all this consideration of race and gender just furthers the divide, and generates all ind of stupid strategy to try to "fix" the problem. the problem is poverty, the problem is underage pregnancy, the problem is a child that needs encouragement the problem is not gender or race. I am not trying to protest the fact that there aren't enough white males on hip hop blog list or that there arent enough black males in shows on wgn. I just don't think there is a bias in so many cases where people see one there is just more of an interest in topics just like some people like history more than math.

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    or hes just a dirty commie

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I want to see the algorithm you are using to derive such detailed and nuanced meaning to the sentence as written.

    It seems every bit as good as those they use in movies to enlarge and enhance the 20 year old picture with the reflection of the murderer appearing in the wing mirror of the car a mile away from the security camera and then digitally aging them to get a fully and 100% accurate picture of him as he now appears, up to, and including the clothes he is now wearing and the ear he lost in a trampoline accident last summer when he brought his kids to their cousins house in another state.

     

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  29.  
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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re:

    I also work in I.T. under a woman boss who graduated from M.I.T. every-time we have a position open she decides who fills it there haven't ever been any women applicants that I have known about.

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    one reason i can think of is that the people who "kept them out" and the people being kept out are all either retired or dead affirmative action started in 1960 in the united states that's 50 years ago. that's like the family in your analogy dieing then then another family years later paying additional attention their children because a couple that they didn't know that lived in there house 50 years ago had a sick child.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I gave you the algorithm, it's in my last comment. Not that complex, but to derive meaning from one sentence, it's enough.

    That same algorithm is suggesting that you may be one of those trolls that post nonsense in an attempt to discredit Techdirt. That output is a little more complex and requires a bit more input.

     

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    Woog, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    +1

    I agree with other comments that "there must be a problem if not enough women" are on this list. I left off minorities as really a more geographical thing some of these lists miss.

    But, women in the tech sector IS greatly diminished. There are plenty of studies that show there is less population and less incentive to be in them for women. I don't really know why.

    But, you go to any tech show or technical conference, overwhelmingly they are male attendance (of all race) dominated. A recent one in San Diego with an attendance of nearly 17000, I'd be surprised if there was more than 1000 women in the attendance. The majority of the women there were non-attendees that worked the information/helper areas, or worked the show booths.

    It is what it is. I don't think anybody is excluding women, they are just not showing up in the tech field.

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Re:

    What? now because someone makes a youtube video they deserve to be on a list of the most influential people in the digial sphere now if a minority made youtube they should definitely be on the list.

     

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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    alright now think it through. if they are going through the actual struggle to highlight the disproportionate amount of minorities it would imply that rather than there being bias against minorities there is simply a disproportionate amount of minorities.

     

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    Beta (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:17pm

    Re:

    I understand your point. If the problem with the list is that it consists almost entirely of white males, then the goal must be to create a list that is racially and sexually balanced. If, on the other hand, the list should be based on accomplishment or merit, then the problem with the list is not that it all white men, the problem is that it is silly and arbitrary.

    In other words, to try to "fix" the list by balancing its demographics is to make it worthless.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Putting aside the question on discrimination for a moment... How about a great big "CONGRATULATIONS" to Mike for his achievements? You deserve it, Mike! Keep up the good work!

     

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    Beta (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:33pm

    Re: Re:

    I used to work in a technology workplace with a heavy-handed "diversity in hiring" policy that worked out to quotas (although we weren't supposed to use that word). Upper management wanted a diverse-looking workforce. The result was that our technical staff was mostly male and mostly competent (no correlation), and lower-level management was mostly tech-incompetent women who were good at self-promotion, politics and not much else. It was the kind of place that could make a man sexist, if he were a sloppy thinker.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:36pm

    Affirmative action isn't really a solution to an underlying problem, if there is an underlying problem then that problem needs to be addressed. People shouldn't be selected based on race regardless if it's because of some affirmative action initiative or because of some raciest agenda. People should be selected on merit.

     

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    AB, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I agree, that's why I was careful to note that it seems biased rather then stating that it is biased. It may simply be an honest reflection of the reality. I would love that to be the case. But I doubt it, and history supports my sense of paranoia.

    If it is realistic/unbiased then there is nothing to fix. In that case this discussion will have no bearing on this particular list. However there are many other lists/awards/honours out there that are known to be biased, as well as many other areas of society which remain unequal because of prejudice. And perhaps this discussion will help remove those issues. At the worst it will have provided a healthy intellectual exercise.

    My apologies, btw, if I misunderstood the target of your initial comment. Chronno S. Trigger makes a good point about that and your own following comments also support your good faith.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I just cannot understand why you are constructing and then bashing on that strawman here. Don't you have a home to go to where you can do that kind of thing in private?

    This article is about a list drawn from a candidate field which is not skewed to the same extent as the list.

    What is being premised in this opinion piece is that given the demographic of both those active in the field, and those achieving in the field, the list is skewed in favour of people who are characterized by all three of a triad of traits (American, male, white).

    Are you seriously suggesting that not only are women, Asians, and Latinos crap at the internet, but so also are non-Americans, so much so, that few people who are not simultaneously American, white, and male can make the top 100 of the Digital Power Index?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re:

    I did not that Julian Assange worked in IT. Who knew you had to work in IT to become an editor and commentator for the Huffington post.

    What's Daniel Tosh's favourite programing language? I imagine his jokes about iterating through lists and mistaking a float for a integer are just hilarious.

    Now I don't know where you are holding these interviews, but do you also expect that if you held an interview for a programer outside of America, that none of the candidates would be American? In your view, no one but white, male Americans are in IT or on the internet?

    There are plenty of non-Americans on the internet, in IT, and good at good at what they are working on. Whole countries exist where the overwhelming majority of people working in IT are not American. This is actually the case in most countries. One would not guess it looking at that list though.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not a reason but a failure to get the point.

    The children who are not doing well in the analogy are groups who are currently locked out of fields or roles due to characterstics that do not effect their ability to be proficient in the field or role but which effect how they are others see them relative to the role or field of work.

    Those people are here right now.

    We know as a matter of fact that a large number of entirely superficial things greatly effect how people are judged and that this extends to the competition for jobs.

    Good looking people are hired more readily. Someone who "looks the part" is hired more readily too. If white males are associated with particular roles because that's all anyone has ever seen in those roles, then white males much more readily "look the part" and have a huge advantage.

    In an interview, the decision about whether or not a candidate has potential is commonly made within the first minute.

    It's a very superficial vetting process that certainly relies strongly on "sizing up" people based on whether or not they "look the part". The implications of this for someone whose sex or ethnicity has been excluded from a role or field is that they will not "look the part" and they will be strongly disadvantaged no matter how well intentioned the interviewer.

    That cliche about "first impressions" is true, and someone's ethnicity and sex are very much a part of the first impression that others take of them. Coupled with the human propensity to stereotype associatively, it's unrealistic to expect that people do not routinely discriminate without meaning to, so long as the job or role they are considering someone for has a long term and stable dissasociation with candidate's sex or ethnicity.

    Additionally, people are not likely to conceive of themselves in roles that they would be very well suited to and would enjoy, unless they can identify with that role, which usually requires identifying with people who hold or have held that role. The mere existence of a quota sends a message that people like them can be in that role.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yep, the mistreated poor thing probably will need even more attention after he learns that playing victim gets hims what he wants and once the pattern is set, it becomes the rule.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    Re:

    What conspiracy theory?

    Where do you get these fanciful ideas? I don't see any suggestion of conspiracy prior to your comments.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Positive discrimination is only positive in the name, it is still discrimination and still have the same consequences to others, displacing the discrimination to another place doesn't make it go away, calling it positive doesn't make it positive either.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Having said that, this article wasn't about that so why would you bring it up.


    Well honestly because you seem confused.

    If there is "positive discrimination" there is "positive theft", "positive lying", "positive murder", "positive rape", "positive abuse", of course there is no such thing as "positive abuse" is there?

    Shifting the discrimination to the other side doesn't change the fact that it is still discrimination and it will create all the same problems but to others instead of that one group.

    It doesn't stimulate people to try and overcome the discrimination, and by my experience some just fall back to it and hide behind it every time they find themselves in a hard place. I could understand using discrimination to make others walk on the shoe of another person as a teaching thing, but not as a mean to balance negatives.

    Try that with your children and you probably end up with horrible kids. With the ones that will resent you for that "positive discrimination" and ones that will apply that to gain favors, exploiting that like brats do all the time.
    If they all don't learn very quickly that the best way to evade responsibility is to paint themselves as victims all the time.

    The better and only way, know to man to this day is to deal with the discrimination, not hiding behind others expecting them to do your battles for ya.

     

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  47.  
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    trollificus (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This.

    The way you become "not biased" is BY NOT BEING BIASED, not by carefully balancing biases.

     

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  48.  
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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 11:01pm

    Re:

    the secret answer is they just don't want to be around abunch of geeky guys

     

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  49.  
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    Aerilus, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    i am seeing a lot of leaps and bounds and "it is known" but I am not seeing any sources. i think you are also missing one of the great things about the tech sector its very technocratic people are evaluated based on there skill sets and its very easy to evaluate based on that criteria where as in other areas it is not.

     

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  50.  
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    trollificus (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Okay, you say "what is being premised" and then proceed to march on as if it is proven.

    It MAY BE that the list is skewed by bias, or it may reflect a real-world circumstance, the origins of which we could examine for exclusivity or the operation of an "ole boys club".

    But you don't address the truth value of anything, instead you put a politically correct shibboleth like "if achievement does not reflect demographics then bias, because white males derpdedurr" ahead of any examination of evidence. "Reality must match theory, and if it doesn't then reality MUST match theory, dammit!!"

    Prove your case or don't but snarking around about how there must be some(unstated)thing wrong if reality doesn't sync up with your first principles isn't argument. You can't prove something's wrong by stamping your feet and insisting it's wrong.

    I could also make the observation that the only time anyone is ever oncerned about this kind of demographic maldistribution is when it involves "white males", but that always leads to a rant..

     

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  51.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re:

    What I mean is that you have a number if minorities that are finding succeeds though youtube. Cenk Uyger with The Young Turks, Destorm, a black gaming rapper, Freddie Wong the Asian movie maker, and countless minorities who are making news channels, creating networks outside of MSM

     

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  52.  
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    gab4moi (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 12:23am

    two words:

    FELICIA DAY

    nuff said, winna...

     

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  53.  
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    Claire Ryan (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 12:25am

    Merit

    I love how the argument is always the same; gender/race doesn't matter! It should only be about merit and achievement!

    And it's so easy for you, the white guys, to say that, when your race or gender is not systematically taken as a mark against you nor a reason for your merits and achievements to be devalued. It's so easy for you to demand that everyone be judged equally when anyone who isn't a white man starts with a handicap just by being born in a world run by and for white men.

    Don't stick your head in the sand and pretend that bias doesn't happen any more. It absolutely does. The discussion of whether it's happening in any one particular case is important, and it'd be good for white guys to approach this discussion with at least some awareness of the advantages they get just for being white and male.

    I have a lot of respect for Mike for wanting to talk about this. (Also, congrats on making the list.)

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 1:46am

    Re: Merit

    How do you know we are all white guys?

     

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  55.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 2:45am

    This is very insightful

    The voices of non-American, non-white, non-males are important, but are often being drowned out, and that's something that needs to stop. We don't necessarily do that by "replacing" the white American males, but by understanding how they come to dominate such lists in the first place -- and then tackling that issue.

    The absence of women and minorities is a marker for the weakness of the process.

    If the process is wrong it cannot be fixed by simply replacing some men with some women.

    If the process is wrong it means that even the white males on the list are likely to be the wrong white males and you cannot correct it by replacing them with some women. If you do that you will probably find that they are the wrong women anyway.

     

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  56.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're assuming that a lot of the best options are ignored and dismissed simply because they are not white males. You don't even have to be consciously dismissive, it's a pervasive cultural thing. There's no way in hell white men are so well represented because they are just that much better than everyone else.

     

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  57.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    try again:

    You're assuming that a lot of the best options are not ignored and dismissed simply because they are not white males.

    (They are.)

     

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  58.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Yes, lists (and unscientific polls, and person of the year, and similar) are pretty stupid. Yes, the methodology (hell, our entire culture) should be checked.

    Or is the very concept meant to list those with current social and market power, not necessarily those who create powerful work?

    But some representative of power and excellence (and if one can't trust his judgement, he was listed why?) finding he needs to point out women or any other under-represented group by "transferring" his nomination, because he finds those who nominated him incapable of including a whopping great chunk of the population, is not be paternalistic. (Unless he also demonstrates that he's being some sort of paternalistic douchebong, in which case, kudos to him for attempting to break free of a little bit of his privilege anyway, but let's hope he grows to do better in the future.)

    Maybe Rasiej could have operated differently, and, say, asked everyone to use some of the attention they may get to promote five or ten or however many women of digital power that they know. But maybe the digital media impact of proposing another to take his place, as it were, is more powerful.

    He didn't choose Zandt just because she is a woman, but women are routinely ignored just because they are women. I think you might investigate and think a bit more on this, Mike. I don't think the gesture is as patronizing as you perceive. Otherwise, I think you are completely right.

     

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    Beta (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 6:57am

    Re: Merit

    Your message is dated 2012, so you'll have to do better than making assertions like "it absolutely does". A white male could assert that these days he is the one who is being systematically (and legally) discriminated against by race- and gender-biased hiring and university admission practices. His claim would have more weight than yours, unless you can put up some evidence (from this century).

    Approach this discussion with at least some awareness of the advantages you get just for being female (and non-white?), and your argument will seem a lot more compelling.

     

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  60.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re:

    "In other words, to try to "fix" the list by balancing its demographics is to make it worthless."

    Agreed. Trying to "balance" it out among the races and sexes would remove any semblance of legitimacy. The only issue I see is, the list is orientated towards English speaking individuals.

     

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  61.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is simply fallaciously nutty. You think it through and show how the facts imply what you say rather than implying something else. I see a conclusion, not any reasoning there.

    No, there isn't a conspiracy. Sometimes, it is only a subtle cultural bias. But to deny it is there is to be willfully ignorant of the facts.

     

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  62.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    Re:

    The truth is men just like tinkering and building things more than women. When was the last time you heard the phrase "Woman Cave", or saw a women shopping for power tools?

     

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  63.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Uh, no, pretending it isn't there or not talking about it maintains the divide. It won't go away by ignoring it.

    By all means, encourage people individually. Be aware that some groups get more individual encouragement and support than others. (Oh, wait, recognizing that would further the divide, sending white men committed to their privilege further to the right. Right?)

     

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  64.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 7:33am

    Mike congratulations on being on the list.

     

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  65.  
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    AB, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re:

    Yesterday. :)

    But I do understand what you are saying, and to an extent I agree. Women aren't as active in 'big' projects, which is a pity as I find them to be more innovative when it comes to the creative aspects of construction. But that is an aspect of society as a whole and existing role models within it, not the direct fault of 'lists'.

     

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  66.  
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    PRMan, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A wise man once said:

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

    So if the list is all white men then so be it. I wouldn't have noticed, to be honest with you, because I don't really care.

     

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  67.  
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    PRMan, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re:

    "There was no bias against women in them; I was in charge of interviewing for a programming position and almost no women applied. Those that did were not up to par. The women who were part of the company weren't ignored or otherwise disfavored; there just weren't that many."

    This. I've worked in programming my entire life and I can count 3 women who were AVERAGE programmers. In the 10 best programmers I've worked with, there are zero women.

    Now, if you start talking about teachers, in the top 10 teachers I had, 9 of the 10 were women.

     

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  68.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If the list accurately reflects the realities of "Silicon Valley" then there isn't a problem. If it's become skewed in favour of WASP males regardless of industry makeup then there's a problem. At least a problem in perception, somewhere.

    That off the plate I think that in the long term the list is accurate. Though at first I wondered how they missed out on Admiral Grace Hopper who, sadly, died before the Web really got going so I guess she doesn't qualify. I'd say that her influence is still felt and will be felt for a long time yet, though not specifically on the web itself but on the design and structure of programming and scripting languages.

    To their credit The Daily Beast and Newsweek address this here:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/06/24/invisible-woman.html

     

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  69.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I shouldn't answer myself but I left something out. The early PC industry was dominated by middle class WASP types for any number of reasons.

    It will take time for the influence of women and people of colour (or however) you want to put that to be recognized and felt. This list cries out for something like a lifetime achievement reward so that people like Admiral Hopper can be recognized for what they did and their enduring influence on just about any level of computing you feel like touching.

     

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  70.  
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    Vic, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Congrats on being on that list!

    Otherwise, it's not a place for a PC... As I understood from this blog it called NewsWeeks "Digital Power Index" and not the "Who Can Represent Humanity Best". There were reasons for those chosen, and I do not believe those reasons were skin color or gender.

     

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  71.  
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    Claire Ryan (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Merit

    Oh noes! Laws designed to combat sexism and racism mean white guys DON'T automatically get jobs or university places over non-white non-males of equal or better skill and experience? Say it ain't so!

    Guess the white guys will just have to settle for majority control over the world's money, governments, mass media, etc etc etc.

    Seriously. White guys are not systematically denied jobs because the employer is worried they'll want to start a family or take time off to take care of their kids. White guys are not systematically paid less or passed over for promotion just because they're male and white. White guys are not systematically targeted by police just because they're white.

    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, mate.

     

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  72.  
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    Beta (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Merit

    Could you please not contribute to the stereotype that women are no good at math and logic? Your first paragraph is a straw man argument, your second is an irrelevant (and unsupported) assertion, your third is argument by stereotype that conspicuously fails to address my point, and your fourth is a stale cliche. You give the painful impression of someone equipped with a collection of old talking points and no ability (or willingness) to endanger them by considering the facts or entertaining a new idea.

    Address my point and I'll discuss this topic (and your points) with you. Show me I'm wrong, and I'll concede. Otherwise I'm not going to bother with you any further.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I stated what was premised and queried why someone would start up an argument with something that was not premised.

    I then added a follow up question that gives good cause to consider that what was premised is not unreasonable. I make no statement as to the truth of what was premised and nothing in my post relies on the truth of the premise.

    Whether or not is neither here nor there for determining whether or not bashing on a strawman is an appropriate response (pro tip: it's not appropriate).

    Your ranting and accusations that others are caught up in their theories is self-denigrating. The obvious chip on your shoulder is obvious, not a good look and does worse than nothing for your crediblity.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, asking to be removed is one thing, but nominating someone else, no matter their characteristics is just kind of out there and pointless. He can always nominate and vote on his own list.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why on earth would I have sources for the results of every study that I have ever encountered? Why would I feel the need to cite them in such a casual and informal environment? Why would I assume that someone who thinks they have a viable enough opinion to post would be wholly ignorant of the relevant research in the field so that I'd expect you not to already have a clue?

    Maybe try googling. There's research that shows the very names of applicants changes their likelihood of getting an interview, that the gender of names vs no use of an ID number changes the marks given for university level assignments, that people who look younger are more likely to get jobs, and that interviewers make up their minds about whether a candidate has a chance remarkably quickly. Look it up.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 8:22pm

    your just as guilty, pointing out others who are not on the list is the same difference

    let merit decide, not color, sex or ethnicity, but even that to people who find racism and bias in everything, can't stand that either

    reminds me of a group of men who made a multi billion dollar company, then were harassed and debased since they had no "women" in charge, they obviously hate women, and no woman should work for them

    but no one ever said, the MEN made the company what it was, now "why" do I have to put a women/minority/whatever in charge of anything???

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Merit

    and any group/organization/whatever designed to help and assist whites get ahead would automatically be a racist hate filled group, funny how "ONLY" whites can be guilty of "racism"

    look in the mirror buddy, your a racist

     

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  78.  
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    IrishDaze (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    It's good, Claire, I've got this one.
     
    (1) CLAIRE:I I love how the argument is always the same; gender/race doesn't matter! It should only be about merit and achievement! 

    (2) And it's so easy for you, the white guys, to say that, when your race or gender is not systematically taken as a mark against you nor a reason for your merits and achievements to be devalued. It's so easy for you to demand that everyone be judged equally when anyone who isn't a white man starts with a handicap just by being born in a world run by and for white men. 

    (3) Don't stick your head in the sand and pretend that bias doesn't happen any more. It absolutely does. The discussion of whether it's happening in any one particular case is important, and it'd be good for white guys to approach this discussion with at least some awareness of the advantages they get just for being white and male. 

    (4) I have a lot of respect for Mike for wanting to talk about this. (Also, congrats on making the list.) 

    (5) BETA:Your message is dated 2012, so you'll have to do better than making assertions like "it absolutely does". A white male could assert that these days he is the one who is being systematically (and legally) discriminated against by race- and gender-biased hiring and university admission practices. His claim would have more weight than yours, unless you can put up some evidence (from this century). 

    (6) Approach this discussion with at least some awareness of the advantages you get just for being female (and non-white?), and your argument will seem a lot more compelling. 

    (7) CLAIRE:Oh noes! Laws designed to combat sexism and racism mean white guys DON'T automatically get jobs or university places over non-white non-males of equal or better skill and experience? Say it ain't so! 

    (8) Guess the white guys will just have to settle for majority control over the world's money, governments, mass media, etc etc etc. 

    (9) Seriously. White guys are not systematically denied jobs because the employer is worried they'll want to start a family or take time off to take care of their kids. White guys are not systematically paid less or passed over for promotion just because they're male and white. White guys are not systematically targeted by police just because they're white. 

    (10) Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, mate. 

    (11) BETA:Could you please not contribute to the stereotype that women are no good at math and logic? Your first paragraph is a straw man argument, your second is an irrelevant (and unsupported) assertion, your third is argument by stereotype that conspicuously fails to address my point, and your fourth is a stale cliche. You give the painful impression of someone equipped with a collection of old talking points and no ability (or willingness) to endanger them by considering the facts or entertaining a new idea.

    (12) Address my point and I'll discuss this topic (and your points) with you. Show me I'm wrong, and I'll concede. Otherwise I'm not going to bother with you any further.
     

    Starting from the top, by paragraph, which I have numbered for quick cross-reference.......

    1. N/A

    2. Researcher finds "stereotypes of men as decisive and aggressive and of women as indecisive and gentle are alive and well and influencing personnel decisions [and that] the power of stereotypes shapes hiring to a statistically significant degree." These results "are believed to represent the first time that this conclusion — that employers discriminate according to gender stereotypes — has been substantiated by real-world data, rather than by laboratory experiments." 2005. http://www.virginia.edu/insideuva/2005/17/gorman.html

    3. Researchers find significant while male advantage related to job opportunities. 2009.
    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1525/sp.2009.56.3.385?uid=3739920&uid=2460338175&uid =2460337935&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=83&uid=63&uid=3739256&si d=21100885189661 

    4. N/A

    5. Research finds that "black and Latino applicants with clean backgrounds [and equivalent resumes to the white applicants] fared no better than white applicants just released from prison" when trying to get a job. 2005. 
    http://asr.sagepub.com/content/74/5/777.abstract

    (You bad mouthed Claire for not providing ev when she was obviously speaking from personal experience, but you do the same. Poor form. Even though you gave no ev for your point, your overall attitude compels me to supply counter-ev for your opinion.)

    6. The research I can find on "female advantage" is completly comprised of two things: that we survive skin cancer more often and perform better on timed tests and tasks. 2012 and 2006, respectively.
    http://harvardpartnersinternational.staywellsolutionsonline.com/HealthNewsLetters/69, N0712i and http://phys.org/news72457969.html

    7. Research indicates affirmative action bans don't affect the typical college student at the typical school but dramatically reduce minority enrollment at prestigious schools. Research indicates female applicants are knocked for being a parent while men are rewarded for it. 2010 and 2005/2006, respectively. 
    http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/plh24/hinrichs_aff_action.pdf
    http://www.upenn.e du/provost/images/uploads/Gender.Racial_.Bias_.pdf

    --system truncation--

     

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    IrishDaze (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    8. Women executives in banking: less than 18% at the top 50 American banks. World average of women in Parliament: less than 20%. Women comprise 4% ofbehind-the-scenes entertainment TV positions, less than 22% of Sunday talk show talking heads on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox News, direct 5% of films, and have a third of speaking film roles.  2012, 2010, and 2012 respectively.
    http://www.ipu.org/pdf/publications/wmnmap12_en.pdf
    http://www.redladder.com/ftpgetf ile.php?id=209&module=files
    http://business.time.com/2012/02/17/medias-gender-gap-where-my-girl s-at/

    9. Research indicates female applicants are knocked for being a parent while men are rewarded for it.  Research indicates that women and visible minorities are promoted less often. Research indicates that women are paid less than men, and that minority women are paid even less than white women. Research indicates black male drivers are 35% more likely to be pulled over by the police. 2005/2006, 2010, 2011, and 2003 respectively.
    http://www.upenn.edu/provost/images/uploads/Gender.Racial_.Bias_.pdf
    http://phys.org /news203347116.html
    http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com/notitas-de-noticias/details/women-still -paid-less-than-men-with-minority-women-paid-even-less/7559/
    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/dw bstudy.htm .

    10. N/A

    11. Go ahead, Beta, troll ME for the following, I dare you:

    A lack of logic/math ability (straw man and stereotype) when speaking from my own experience  in unsupported (your opinion) assertion (not done). 

    Arguing from stereotype (not done), which of course is cool when you do it but not when she did it (and I disagree that she even did). Conspicuously disregarding your point (refuted) of wanting ev (supplied in spades), or speaking in stale cliche (cliche is MADE of truth, cliche is OVERWHELMINGLY COMMON truth). 

    While crying for the ev *I* quickly gathered via Google, you're engaging in the same tactics you're accusing her of: straw men, stereotyping, unsubstantiated assertions, laziness, and speaking in stale cliche. What she DIDN'T do was revert to ad homonim attack, while you did. 

    To my eyes, it is "You [who] give[s] the painful impression of someone equipped with a collection of old talking points and no ability (or willingness) to endanger them by considering the facts or entertaining a new idea."

    12. I dare you now to stand by your words. I've addressed your points, substantiated hers, and now it's time to discuss the topic with ALL of us if you can leave the arrogance, privilege-blindness, childishness, and willful ignorance at the door. Those qualities don't make for productive debate.

    I believe I have shown you you're wrong. If I have not, discuss as you've requested, with the ground rules YOU laid. Otherwise, WE'RE "not going to bother with you any further."

     (Many thanks, Mike, for this topic and for your concern about it!)

     

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    Claire Ryan (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    And your response is a snide implication that my having an opinion means I'm no good at math and logic?

    No. Let us be civil. I apologise for my flippant tone; let's move this back to a proper discussion. Here are some studies on the existence of bias of various types:

    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/09/study-black-man-and-white-felon-same-chances-for-hir e/ - a study that shows white men were twice as likely as black men to receive a callback for a job, given equal skill and experience. Only in 2008, not that long ago.

    http://scholar.harvard.edu/mullainathan/files/emilygreg.pdf - another study from 2004 showing a similar trend based on names that are identified as African American.

    http://www.ncrw.org/news-center/in-the-news/study-spoiled-milk-experimental-examination -bias-against-mothers-who - bias against breastfeeding mothers in the workplace

    http://hbr.org/2010/03/women-in-management-delusions-of-progress/ar/1 - women still discriminated against in higher level positions even after controlling for other factors like motherhood

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2009.pdf - the old faithful, the income wage gap between men and women

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1985377 - racial disparity in criminal charges; prosecutors are twice as likely to charge blacks with crimes that have a minimum sentence

    The disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics in prison is, of course, so well known that I don't think I need to cite any papers there.

    Now, on affirmative action - those laws were put in place to combat decades of discrimination. They're not a perfect solution, and they wouldn't be needed in a perfect world, but we've only got this world to work with and it is a flawed place.

    That white guys may experience discrimination as a result of affirmative action simply does not compare to decades of discrimination that has happened and continues to happen to non-white non-males, and it also does not have the same kind of negative effect in light of the fact that white males hold the vast majority of the world's power and economic wealth. So although your point may have merit, you have not presented anything to suggest that affirmative action results in discrimination against white men (all else being equal) nor that it produces a major negative overall on white males' lives in the same way as actual discrimination has on non-white non-males.

    There are so many intersecting variables here that separating how much of an effect each one contributes to various different statistics is a nightmare, but I think it's clear that bias does still exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and what do you propose we do? tell people they have to work in the tech sector if they are a minority? all the solutions I have seen that target that divide are violations of people's rights i.e. telling people how to raise there children. you cant make people do things! well you can but it is generally considered coercion or blackmail or the like. targeting the divide directly just makes people angry and continues to keep race and gender in every ones mind where I would like it to disappear form the equation completely. there are other more oblique ways to help that do not address race specifically like programs that help under-priviliedged youth would you have those programs instead just target minority under-priviliedged youth and tell the under-privilidged caucasian kids they cant participate because they are white?

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 9:53pm

    ""That white guys may experience discrimination as a result of affirmative action simply does not compare to decades of discrimination that has happened and continues to happen to non-white non-males, and it also does not have the same kind of negative effect in light of the fact that white males hold the vast majority of the world's power and economic wealth.""


    That then should negate the whole law, it cannot allow others to be discriminated to protect another class


    ""So although your point may have merit, you have not presented anything to suggest that affirmative action results in discrimination against white men (all else being equal) nor that it produces a major negative overall on white males' lives in the same way as actual discrimination has on non-white non-males.""


    your a tool, you may want to read about this

    http://orderinthecourt.org/Cases/Ricci-v-DeStefano

    so now, if your stupid, the wont promote anyone above you, they will just throw out the test, or make it even simpler for the ignorant uneducated minorities to pass??
    But, wait, a Latino guy was denied too,,,how can it be racial.....

    your a freaking idiot

     

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  83.  
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    Claire Ryan (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    "any group/organization/whatever designed to help and assist whites"

    You mean... all of them that ain't specifically working for non-whites, seeing as 'white' is seen as the default?

    "would automatically be a racist hate filled group"

    You said it, not me. I don't share that opinion.

    "funny how "ONLY" whites can be guilty of "racism""

    Again, you said it, not me. Not sure what point you're making here.

    "look in the mirror buddy, your a racist"

    It's spelled "you're". Just FYI.

     

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    Lozine, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

    Interesting list.. was it compiled by only person or what?

     

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    IrishDaze (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    "Your a freaking idiot"

    Says the poster who didn't reply to what he quoted, is calling other people names, and doesn't appear to know the difference between "your" and the contracted form of "you are."

    Brilliance personified.

     

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    aerilus, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    I am going to point to veterinary medicine as a counter argument. the field has swung drastically in the last decade form being male dominated to female dominated

    http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-cover-stories/women-in-veterinary-medicine.aspx

    wou lden't the fact that females were able to shift the balance in a highly skilled highly competitive field be evidence that there is no wide spread bias to keep them out of things most vet schools are 80-90% women

    http://cvm.ncsu.edu/studentservices/documents/FAQ_DVM2011ApplicantReviewSession.pdf

    maybe there should be some consideration of other factors rather than just pure unadulterated bias

    women make up 55% of undergraduate institutions
    http://chronicle.com/article/Female-Undergraduates-Continue/63726/

    yet they opny make up 47% of the work force
    http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-10.htm

    also somethign else i think needs to ge thrown in there that is not being considered in some of statitics introducing statistical bias is

    "Women are nearly twice as likely as men to work part time. In 2010, 26.6 percent of women worked part time compared to just 13.4 percent of men. More women are currently working part-time than were doing so prior to the recession, reflecting the increase in women working part-time because they can't find full-time work. One in five women working part-time are doing so because they can't find full-time work. Prior to the recession, less than one in ten women working part-time were doing so because they couldn't find full-time work. "

    http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/femalelaborforce/

    i quess you could say is discrimination that women cant find full time work but men have it just as bad i would imagine here is some support but not a direct statisitcal comparision as i couldnet find the data

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2144597/Part-time-work-trap-revealed-Number-men-look ing-time-positions-doubled-years.html

    this was also interesting

    "The wage gap statistic, however, doesn’t compare two similarly situated co-workers of different sexes, working in the same industry, performing the same work, for the same number of hours a day. It merely reflects the median earnings of all men and women classified as full-time workers."

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth /

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    "You said it, not me. I don't share that opinion."

    I don't think he needs to say it out loud, you made it perfectly clear where your bias is and that shows to everyone how you would probably react in that scenario.

     

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    Claire Ryan (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    There are other factors at play here, yes. And these are interesting statistics to consider in the greater social context of why there is a gap in what women earn vs what men earn.

    The problem is that trying to separate and quantify the effects of each factor is very difficult. I think there's enough to suggest that bias has a significant influence, but this does not mean that bias is the ONLY factor at play here. It's also not enough to say that men have it just as bad - we do need more data in that respect, and I'm sure I read something on the effects of the recession on male employment a while back, but damned if I can remember what it was called.

    One thing I would note is that whatever factors we can examine (apart from bias) to explain the gap between men vs women don't hold up as well when comparing white men vs black men. For example, if we are to explain the gender pay gap by positing that women are more likely to take part time work because of social or familial obligations, that same reason may not be a satisfactory explanation as to why black men are paid less overall than white men.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    That white guys may experience discrimination as a result of affirmative action simply does not compare to decades of discrimination that has happened and continues to happen to non-white non-males


    And that makes discrimination ok then?
    I thought you was against discrimination or is only against certain groups?

    I know for a fact that if you don't care about those things and you work hard nobody cares, white people tend to hire white people, Latinos tend to hire Latinos, Asians tend to hire Asians and the list goes on, you don't need affirmative action forcing companies to do anything, you need fair market rules that allow everyone to been it, so everyone can build their own environments and not depend on the environment of others.

    Are you going to take affirmative action against Chinese imports, since everybody is discriminating against American products and not buying those.

    Even you have bias, apparently a strong one against "white people", is that to show "how bad it is", because trolling against racism and discrimination being racist and discriminating is only useful if at the end of your rant you say so, otherwise, you are just racist and biased as the other side of the coin you are trying fight against.

     

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    Claire Ryan (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    I honestly don't know where you're going with this. I have an opinion you don't agree with, ergo I am racist against white people?

    I didn't say anything about organizations or groups. All I said, that he was responded to, was that white guys have it easier than others in a world that's largely run by and for white guys. I didn't bring up anything to do with groups automatically being racist because they work for white people, because:

    That. Is not. My opinion.

    -and-

    It's tangential, at best, to this discussion.

    So, again, where are you going with this? Where's he going with this?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2012 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    The use of the term "white guys" define your point of view.
    Apparently you don't like the "white guys", the "white guys" are a problem, you dehumanized an entire group that is mostly made up of other human beings that may or may not suffer equal, equivalent or worse treatment.

    So you in effect said everything about a group of people that you selectively organized and labeled and take pot shots at, just like the "white guys" do, did you not?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2012 @ 12:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    Want to see it in large scale?
    The stereotype for Asians up until well into the 70's was to call them long in the tooth which is graphically depicted in the cartoons of the time, today those cartoons reflect another reality, somehow Asians turned the table also.

    The point?

    When you have the knowledge and freedom to achieve anything and choose not to, that is your problem.

    Why do you want to be employed or force others that don't want you or respect you?

    Screw that, build a business and be as egalitarian as you like in that environment, create your own rules and suffer at the hands of others because of your own bias.

    We live in a world today, where the only thing stopping others from being something are themselves not laws, screw the bias and discrimination of others, if you are independent they can't do nothing about it, is not like you live in Iran or Saudia Arabia where you do have laws excluding classes of people from something.

    Build your own environment, be independent, there are not laws forbidding women from building business, there are no laws forbidding women from being independent, there are no laws that discriminate against others, that is enough, now like all other "minorities" that succeeded, it is time to show some work, the barriers where taken down, the last mile is up not to laws or others but to the very people complaining about to do something.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re:

    You know a demographic is probably buying a particular genre of items when manufacturers target them.

    http://www.squidoo.com/pink-ladies-tool-sets

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Soft quotas can work well and their efficiency is easily measured.

    The best indicator that a soft quota is probably necessary and is working is that the rate at which target applicants who would get a place without the quota apply, increases once the quota is introduced.

    So if in a class of 100 before the quota, on average 10 have characteristic X, and under the quota, although there are 18 students with character X, 15 of them would have gotten a position in open competition for placement, the quota is working because the benefit is five students who should have a place and do have one, vs 3 students who should have a place but don't.

    Even this harm can be eliminated entirely, for instance, in the hypothetical example above, by raising the total accepted student number by 3. 3 more students is probably within the margin of error on any calculation regarding the "proper" number of accepted students to cap entry at in the first place.

    Another good indicator is higher average performance of the group awarded placements under the quota than for the general class, (since ideally the quota is supposed to increase the number of students with the targeted characteristic that would always have got in, but who are "under-applying" for whatever reason).

    Another indicator that the quota is "working" is persistent under utility of the full quota allotment despite increased participation (if there is enough interest to fully subscribe the quota persistently, this is an indicator that the quota might not be needed anymore).

    Granted quota systems are very easy to get wrong, but they can be gotten right with low to no costs for non-targeted individuals.

     

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    IrishDaze (profile), Jul 1st, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    I am guessing that where they [not only these but all the others in this thread saying the same types of thing] are going with this is explained thusly:

    My life hasn't been perfect, and neither has that of any white male I've ever known. I/we don't have the individual ability to exercise our whiteness or maleness to our advantage. Therefore, there is no such thing as white- or male-privilege, and I am personally insulted and outraged to be considered a bogeyman. Because of my personal indignation prompted by the internalization of this concept and the resulting guilt said internalization causes, I will violently cling to our legal code, insisting it is an accurate reflection of the daily reality of our society rather than a goal towards which we are still working. Because I am a literal, action-oriented person who must justify my own situation based SOLELY upon my own merits and actions, I will never bring myself to consider that something intangible, invisible, silent, amorphous, and psychological could be at play, providing me with intangible, invisible, and silent advantages. If I did consider such a thing, I would have to question my own merits and actions, and that would be altogether too uncomfortable a thing to do willingly, because there is no benefit to me for doing so.

    Imagine each of them writing something like this, right now, after all of the, unprovoked vitriol, personal attacks, resentment, and anger they've displayed. Makes more sense, doesn't it?

    I personally think the issue is micro vs. macro -- Discussing "society" is extremely difficult to do without subconsciously noting our individual place within it and therefore internalizing anything said about those segments of which we are a part.

    When, by personality, you're a literal person who gives more credence to hands-on, in-your-face prima facie ev than anything else, separating yourself from such a discussion can be difficult if not impossible. Hell, I've fallen victim to it myself. The key is to recognize what you're doing and TRY TO STOP, because, if you can't, you can't be anything close to objective. The conversation quickly devolves, and the time and effort involved are wasted because the parties now are more set in their position due to anger, indignation, and frustration -- The investment now cannot be wasted.

    What's the answer? Besides patiently and without the micro-involvement continuing to try to illuminate others, in the methods they demand before they will consider, I don't know. Anecdota is powerful to the human psyche, because it becomes a part of you (i.e. personal) in addition to being literal, hands-on, in-your-face ev. Helping someone move past that is tooth-pulling difficult, especially with sympathy for it being there at all (for me, anyway).

    I'm open to suggestion while continuing to try to discuss these issues and brainstorm solutions to them with anyone willing to do so. I hope you continue to do so, too, Claire.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2012 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    "The stereotype for Asians up until well into the 70's was to call them long in the tooth which is graphically depicted in the cartoons of the time, today those cartoons reflect another reality, somehow Asians turned the table also."
    I don't think the length of their teeth changed.

    I know in WWII there was a lot of propaganda that caricatured Asians as having long teeth as part of a wider dehumanization message. I also know that amongst the catalogue of "for school" public education message movies imported from the US, was a film produced in the early 70s or late 60s whose basic premise was "Asians are people".

    This narrator of this propaganda piece used such information as a Chinese child (a girl) having a mother who cooked dinner for her and a grandmother as evidence that Asians are not so different after all. Also revealed was the fact that most Asians will give you a fork if you ask, so you don't have to be scared about going to their house for a meal.

    Somehow you say. Yes somehow they came to be portrayed that way and somehow that lessoned. Maybe they shaped this enviornment by shaping their teeth, or maybe it had more to do with other peoples' behaviours and attitudes, like the atttiudes raised by the propaganda behaviour and then countered by yet more propaganda behaviour but with a contrary message.

     

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    sevenof9fl (profile), Jul 1st, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Insightful, Yes; Easy Fix, No

    "The voices of non-American, non-white, non-males are important, but are often being drowned out, and that's something that needs to stop. We don't necessarily do that by "replacing" the white American males, but by understanding how they come to dominate such lists in the first place -- and then tackling that issue.


    I use myself as an example, and even with many strides made in gender equality, there were many instances in professional IT in which I felt absolutely invisible, even among younger co-workers seemingly wholly accepting of females in IT, at least up to a point.

    I found mostly it was a credibility issue: an idea or solution voiced by a female (and not necessarily mine), literally fell on deaf ears until the idea was acknowledged as viable by a male; usually days, if not weeks, later.

    We may allow women and minorities and non-Americans into the workplace but white males still rule the day.

    The sad fact is that the tendency to overlook good ideas from all sources does effect the bottom line in any company; and stifles creativity of the type that encourages more jobs in an industry that sorely needs exactly that sort of creativty

     

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    IrishDaze (profile), Jul 1st, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re: Insightful, Yes; Easy Fix, No

    I have seen the exact same phenomenon in the exact same situation more times than I can count, and not just among the lower ranks. It's pervasive all the way up the chain.

    It's even more nauseating to watch it happen in middle/upper management than it is to watch it in the trenches. It's not ALWAYS present, but it IS present often enough to never be able to forget it's alive and well. The most egregious part is that the required acknowledgement must be from a visible (i.e. alpha) male, not just A male, and not just a higher-ranking male.

    The damned if you do or don't on drawing attention to these incidents (and therefore increasing personal and group investment by transmuting the invisible to the anecdotal, read: personal) is that, if the woman or A woman draws attention to specific incidents, she is accused of one, some, or all of the following:

    Whining, attention-seeking, credit-stealing, politics-playing, diversity-trumping, drama-creating, playing the victim, crying about outdated stereotypes, man-hating, shameless self-promotion, imagining grievances, making excuses for why she/women aren't moving up, relying on gender for advancement, divisiveness, not being a team player .... I could go on.

    This is because, I believe, pointing out specific instances (of disregard requiring male approval prior to consideration) occasioned by unconscious gender bias threatens the egalitarian mindset of most of the individual's in the IT industry. They honestly can't see or acknowledge it happening in front of their eyes because it directly contradicts their view that the ideal is reality. The cognitive dissonance is so complete, and so immediate, that their minds edit it out, simply ignoring the occurrence, leading to ad hominem attack as a defense mechanism when specific occurrences are pointed out and named for what they are.

    What is to be done, other than continuing to point out and question specific instances, knowing what the inevitable backlash will be? I don't know. But I do understand why, after the first few attempts, many women stop trying. They perform a cost-benefit analysis and determine that on a personal level, silence is better for them than the repercussions of speaking out.

    It's a terrible choice to have to make, cutting your own throat for the greater good, and women in IT make that choice daily. Not all women every day, but some woman every day.

    Yes, this is anecdotal and personal reasoning, but it IS supported by the writings and conversations of women in IT, freely available if they are asked or if sought online.

     

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    alternatives(), Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 4:32am

    We don't necessarily do that by "replacing" the white American males, but by understanding how they come to dominate such lists in the first place -- and then tackling that issue.

    What "we" see is based on our filters. The list makers have their own filters and in this case the filter is towards white males.

    In their defense - on the internet no one knows you are a dog - how do the list-makers know of 'gender' and 'race' from ASCII text? What the filterers know is words they agree with and 'white' 'educated' 'male' have diction/phrases they agree with. And, again, in their defense, the Internet is a big wide place. How does one become aware of the wise observations posted at i'mamulatto.blogspot.com with a readership of 3 IP addresses? Like it or not, English readership of English websites on tech topics will tend toward white males.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, I think you learn the exact opposite. Women were NOT buying tools and so a manufacturer decided to target that market in an effort to increase sales through the acquisition of new customers rather than cannibalizing existing sales.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We actually have four open programming positions in my department right now and out of ~400 applications only 6 or 7 have been women.

    When deciding who to interview we narrowed the list to about 25 and actually brought in 4 of the women. None of them was qualified (and so far almost none of the men have been qualified either). I don't know about other countries but in the United States white males DOMINATE the technology sector and I'm not entirely certain why.

     

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    zippy, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Oh yes, let's go bash white men just because we've been treated unfairly. Nevermind that reciprocating that unfairness does nothing to either address the issue or support your own credibility. Nevermind that not all white men agree with how things are, let's just bash them anyway. Yes? That seems to be the trend in this thread, at least. I've yet to see anything positive said about them here. Forced diversity is false and useless, as is the feel-good morality that propels it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    Grow up.

    Any minor discomfort you feel over discrimination being discussed is significantly less than the discomfort of living on the receiving end of it, so no we will not shut up for your comfort and yes you ought to buck up and grow up.

    Put your big person panties on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    Yep that is why we see Asians making propaganda against discrimination all the time right?

    I can't remember any time, anywhere were I saw one of those, I would have to do research to find it, which means it is not the path they took, instead of bitching and moaning about "oh we are being discriminated" they took a different approach, they worked hard and build something, and it is ingrained in their culture, heck even the Latinos that come to the US work hard and create something from themselves they buy houses, cars and get educated the same Latinos that are portrayed in the news and streets are foul mouthed, thieves dirty desert coyotes.

    The only people I see complaining are white women and black people all the time, have those people not realized that they already won?

    Where are the laws that put those class of people down?
    There are none, there are even laws making it mandatory to like and respect them more than other classes of people and this is not enough?

    Are you stupid?
    Are you from the RIAA or the MPAA which tried the same damn thing and it didn't work.

    You can't legislate, you can't force others to like you, you have to work for it, that last mile is if you are a woman, black person, latino, asian, marcian, venusian, klingon, your responsability.

    The people who hate you, will never come to like you, do not be dependent on them for anything or you will suffer, they will find a way to skirt the law and rules to harm you in any way they can, so don't be dependent on them show them your strength through hard work and determination, the playing field is equal to everyone that is all you need, the people who don't like you don't have better laws or better countries they have better networks(communities) and the people who hate others are mostly outnumbered by the people who don't care one way or another.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re:

    After you grow up and understand that discriminating the other side is not desirable either.

    The goal should be the end of all discrimination, not just against one class of people.

    If you can't do that get out of my lawn you are not the people I want near me.

     

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    Beta (profile), Jul 4th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Merit

    I'll address your replies to my points:

    "6. The research I can find on "female advantage" is completly comprised of two things: that we survive skin cancer more often and perform better on timed tests and tasks."

    Your investigation didn't turn up Affirmative Action?

    "7. Research indicates affirmative action bans don't affect the typical college student at the typical school but dramatically reduce minority enrollment at prestigious schools. Research indicates female applicants are knocked for being a parent while men are rewarded for it."

    Ah, so you did hear about Affirmative Action, and your evidence is that it works against "non-minority" applicants (which I take to mean white males). Your evidence supports my point. Did you not bother to follow the links yourself? Or did you just lose track of who was saying what? As for males being knocked for being childless while females are rewarded for it, I suppose that's interesting but pretty narrow-- I wouldn't want to be accused of cherry-picking.

    "11. Go ahead, Beta, troll ME for the following, I dare you:..."

    What followed was a little hard to parse (apart from all of the childish name-calling). But one phrase in a grammatically incomplete sentence caught my eye:

    "...speaking in stale cliche (cliche is MADE of truth, cliche is OVERWHELMINGLY COMMON truth)."

    I'm not certain, but I think this is a reference to my statement to Claire Ryan: "your fourth [paragraph] is a stale cliche." The paragraph in question was:

    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, mate.

    You seem to be defending this (or maybe defending cliches in general, I can't tell). Consider this: "UFOs are real and the government is engaged in a massive cover-up. Denial ain't just a river." See? It doesn't really add anything, except to show that the author couldn't think of anything less vapid (or worse, that the author imagines getting the applause of a studio audience of uncritical dimwits).

    Did it occur to you that I could do the same as you? Don't you think I could do a Google search and paste dozens of links into the discussion without thinking, without even considering whether my "evidence" had any bearing on my opponents point? I didn't do that because [drum roll] it would have been a stupid waste of everyone's time. I have higher respect for my own opinions, and I maintain a higher signal-to-noise ratio (among other standards).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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