When does the search for gender "equality" become gender discriminiation.

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
The SAT gives you an idea on whether the taker has the potential to succeed in college. The ASVAB gives you an idea if the person can succeed in the basic training courses for some MOS or ratings. You can look at what makes up each area that they use to gauge your chance of success.

Neither are 100 percent accurate, but they damn sure are more accurate than what we have today.
They are closer to 50% accurate (coin flip) than to 100%. I don't get what you mean by "more accurate than what we have today" -- we have SAT and ASVAB today. Colleges use a multitude of admissions criteria specifically because there is no single test that can predict collegiate success. Some schools have actually dropped the SAT requirement because it is not a reliable indicator.

The monkey in the room, IQ, is the best measurement of success potential, according to psychometricians.
Do you mean financial success? While there is some correlation, it's well-known that IQ has a very low R-squared; that is, IQ score accounts for only a small fraction of the enormous variability of personal incomes. If I told you that person A has an IQ of 135 and person B an IQ of 95, and nothing else, you won't be able to predict who is more financially successful. To emphasize the lack of predictive power of IQ, consider how your predictions would change if I said that person A is a black female and person B a white male. Would they change again if the high-IQ black female lived in San Francisco, while the low-IQ white male lived in North Dakota?

Success -- financial or otherwise -- is a product of many hundreds of factors. Trying to predict it with a single factor is like trying to predict the weather a year from now solely by looking at the current temperature.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
”Concrete math” aka math for mathematicians is important but having the ability to learn ”conceptual mathematics” as a way to mentally visualize what's on paper into a physical realization is vital.
I heartily agree that teaching "conceptual mathematics" is far more valuable than teaching arithmetic algorithms, and I'm a fan of the Core Curriculum's focus on conceptual understanding. But I would characterize the situation opposite to you: what you call "concrete math" I call algorithmic procedures, which is certainly not "math for mathematicians". Actual mathematicians have no use for memorizing algorithms; math for them is entirely conceptual. Math "facts" without understanding is useless.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
If an instructor gave almost full credit for a flipped sign issue, that would be wrong. It would be just as wrong as those NASA engineers whose math error lost a $125 million probe to mars. In that case they understood the subject matter, but for a tiny failure in due diligence.
If the test were specifically on arithmetic with negative/positive integers, sure, I'd give zero credit for an answer with the wrong sign. But if I were testing their understanding of solving an application problem with differential equations, and their solution showed complete understanding that would have arrived at the expected answer but for a missed sign in a page-long calculation, I'd make note of the missed sign and give them full credit. It all depends on context. In contrast, missing a sign on a nodal analysis problem, where keeping track of signs is an explicit part of demonstrating understanding, would result in partial credit.
 
I have thought a good deal about this general issue and I think that it is helpful to remain willing to understand the fundamental problem and, indeed, make some kind of evidenced-based determination of whether / where / when the problem exists.

In my view, there are very definitely gender differences and I can’t really discuss that issue with someone who does not agree because we are too far apart for communication (as I grow older, I am distinctly less interested in coercing myself to find common ground to communicate – I feel like I don’t always have to that and it is often easier to not have anything to do with the person who feels that way).

Why there are differences is another matter. The legal and moral significance of the differences is also another matter.

As I see it, for some professions there exists an imbalance with respect to gender. Whether or not this is a problem, depends, in large part, on why there is an imbalance. If the imbalance is due, in large part, to discrimination, then there is a problem. At this point in my thinking, it is notable that I could replace the word gender and I would still consider it a problem. That is, if the imbalance was due, in large part, on some other characteristic like age, race, religion it would also be a problem.

If one takes a position that there are gender differences (regardless of cause - genetic, hormonal, rearing, social, cultural, whatever) that logically account for the imbalance, I would challenge you to prove those differences…and, in most cases, I believe that you would lose. Remember that, realistically, it is not enough to simply state, for example, that most males can do more pull-ups than most females. You have to actually produce the data that show that the difference in demonstrated pull-up accomplishment (not ability) is solely what accounts for the imbalance. We all know that there are some females that can do more pull-ups than some males. You must also explain, in the same way, unbalances in professions that are female-dominated, e.g., nursing in the US, and not just those professions that are male-dominated. When I say that “you must” and “you have to”, I mean that it is required, in my opinion, to do so if you want to make a cogent and convincing argument – you need to identify and explain the processes.

Put another way, we know that the distributions overlap, you have to show that the imbalance is fully accounted for by the overlap.

In my view, gender equality does not, and should not, necessarily, mean equal numbers in every instance and aspect of employment. If it does, it is not rational. I am unaware of any law in any country that demands that there be equal numbers in all instances and aspects of employment. Many people, however, are inclined to jump to that conclusion without commensurate data.

To me, gender equality with regard to employment means that there is no discrimination based on gender. That is a key point. I am aware of, and, in general, fully support, laws against discrimination in employment based on gender.

Simplistically, I think that we (pretty much everybody) are predisposed (biased, if you will), to view the cause for the observed imbalances differently depending upon which side of the imbalance is negatively impactful for you.

So, if you are male, holding the perception of a threatened position in a male-dominated profession, you are likely to be predisposed toward having a heavily weighted belief that the imbalance is due, in large part to reasons like personal preference, knowledge, skills and abilities. If you are female, trying to enter a male-dominated field, you are predisposed to having a very different perception. That is, you might perceive that you are being excluded from consideration because the males do not want any females there. You might perceive the situation as an example of preservation of a good old boy network. If you are female and work in a male-dominated profession, you may emphasize a perception of poor treatment by your male colleagues. Your male colleagues, on the other hand, might emphasize a perception of poor performance and even liken the poor performance to poor ability.

The difficulty is when we have large gender imbalances and laws stating that discrimination on the basis of gender is illegal. We, as a society, are tasked with deciding how the imbalance is to be interpreted. On the one hand, we can decide that an imbalance is assumed to be the result of illegal discrimination and the burden to prove otherwise is the responsibility of the hiring authorities and the employees. On the other hand, we can decide that an imbalance is assumed to be due to factors other than illegal discrimination, such as preference, ability, and performance and so on. Since the US believes in innocence until proven guilty, we must lean toward the latter.

Realistically, we do not objectively believe that the choice is cleanly binary. Instead, we react (over-react and under-react as well) to what we believe is evidence of gender discrimination and what is reported as accusations of gender discriminations. When there are enough court cases decided one way or the other, there are consequences and those can be manifested in changes in law, policy and appearance.

All in all, it is not a bad process albeit somewhat idealistic. Not an optimal process to be sure, but not a bad process if you truly believe that gender discrimination should be illegal. Accepting this process, and particularly the missteps that occur along the way, however, can be problematic if you are being adversely affected.

Nevertheless, I think we are, in general, on the right track and I vote that way.
 

justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
435
It is a question of what is valued most. No one is asking: where are all the men in humanities? (As opposed to where are all the women in tech) How do we teach new generations to appreciate poetry? (As opposed to code)

Since our economy is tech based, those questions and pursuits are worthless... We would have true equality for everyone if we saw all pursuits as being of equal value. But that is a utopia.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,510
We would have true equality for everyone if we saw all pursuits as being of equal value. But that is a utopia.
And therein I think we disagree ... I don't see the pursuit of poetry on par with the pursuit for a cure for cancer ... although once cancer is cured (and world peace achieved), then poetry will become as good a pursuit as any other ... and while I'm at it, I'd also like a unicorn for Christmas, thank you very much... :p
 

justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
435
And therein I think we disagree ... I don't see the pursuit of poetry on par with the pursuit for a cure for cancer ... although once cancer is cured (and world peace achieved), then poetry will become as good a pursuit as any other ... and while I'm at it, I'd also like a unicorn for Christmas, thank you very much... :p
Thanks for making me smile :D Will you settle for a Narwal? The unicorn of the sea?
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,510

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
She addressed, very nicely, the very concern that the first part of her presentation brought immediately to mind -- that their picture was going to look like what they expected it to look like specifically because they trained their system to see what they expect to see. I thought she addressed it in a very nice, very understandable, and very compelling way.

Now it would be interesting to see what they can use the same techniques for closer to home -- perhaps taking a picture of the moon at that orange-scale or what kind of synthetic aperatures can be achieved imaging the surface of the Earth from space-based imagers. Both very exciting and very disturbing possibilities come to mind. I wonder what the computational cost of doing so would actually be.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
Thank you for pointing out my shortcomings. I am afraid you dont know the underlying issues I faced going through school and what shortcomings I had to overcome. It is comments like this that would drive people away from STEM fields unfortunately.
If someone pointed them out to you IN SCHOOL, they should have recommenced what you needed to do to overcome them.

Due diligence is not being careful enough. Since I haven't seen any of your tests, I can not offer an opine other that the general fault of due diligence. NASA's "simple math error" was as much an embarrassment as one failing to use the proper signs or failure to track units. You see examples of that just about everyday on forums with homework sections.

Identifying one's shortcomings, and identifying solutions would not drive anyone away from STEM fields. Saying someone was too damn dumb certainly would. Personally, I'd want to see people be successful in their endeavors. That success typically involves overcoming shortcomings.

Take for instance, a whole class fails. We know from some standardize test, ASVAB in this instance, every student had the requisite aptitude for successful completion. The two instructors worked through what they perceived was the prime fault. Believe it or not, the problem was students with their heads down, writing too much, and not paying attention as to what was going on. There were a few solutions, but the one the instructors settled on was giving the student an outline, and they could add less notes and pay attention. Then again, this was 40 years ago, as the technological tools today can do much more.

My wife use to tape all the lectures when she went back to school. I converted them to mp3 so she could manipulate them a little easier. She took less notes, paid attention more, revisited the lecture to clarify her notes as she reviewed them. Yes, she got 4.0 in her classes.

Solutions can be found once a problem is identified. We had a foreign national student, who the instructor thought could not read english. My instructor wrote that down and when I was talking to the student I asked him to read what the instructor thought the problem was. His eyes moved over the page but he could not articulate what was written down. He then admitted he couldn't read english. Well, I gave him the tests to take home nightly to so he would not be under the time pressure.
 
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nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,895

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,510
I found this interview with Jordan Peterson rather fascinating. It's admirable the way he keeps his composure after being asked agressive questions in an accusatory form again and again:

 

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
805
I was with my granddaughters yesterday when one of them told me, Moms mad at me because I didn't agree with her. Apparently as she explained several Gender Identities she felt were not the same and mom say's they are, they actually got into a verbal debate about it! I had no idea how many there are , I am amazed, when did we turn this corner?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-each-of-facebooks-51-new-gender-options-means?ref=scroll

Agender - Someone who does not identify with any sort of gender identity. This term may also be used by someone who intentionally has no recognizable gender presentation. Some people use similar terms such as “genderless” and “gender neutral”.
Geez I'm an old fart with no clue, worse yet don't care. Not enough time or energy to pursue this nonsense, let alone debate it.

kv
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
I found this interview with Jordan Peterson rather fascinating. It's admirable the way he keeps his composure after being asked agressive questions in an accusatory form again and again:

Is it even possible for someone to go further out of their way to twist someone else's words any harder in order to fit the narrative they want to push?

Notice how she demonstrates her own inconsistencies. She claims that there's a 9% pay gap for "women doing the same job" and then claims that a big part of the reason for this is that men dominate the top paying jobs (such as CEOs of corporations). Well, you can't have it both ways -- if you're talking about pay for the same job, then the gender distribution among different jobs is irrelevant and if the disparity is because women aren't being placed in the top paying jobs then you aren't talking about pay for the same job.
 
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