Name-blind hiring could easily reduce hiring discrimination, and for some reason we aren’t using it

Here’s a study that I don’t think gets enough press.  To simplify a bit, in the early 2000’s a group of researchers at the University of Chicago and MIT sent out a bunch of identical resumes, some with the names “Greg” or “Emily” and some with the names “Lakisha” or “Jamal”.  The “black-sounding” names (which I know is itself a problematic concept, but work with me here) got roughly 2/3 the calls of the “white-sounding” ones.  And yes, for the few of you wondering, the study did pass statistical rigor.

I’ll give everyone a few minutes until they feel they’ve gone through their daily quota of guilt/outrage/depression/whatever.

Everyone done?  Okay.

So there’s a lot of questions this raises — unconscious bias vs. intentional discrimination, sources of prejudice, etc.  But here’s my question; given this, why aren’t we using name-blind hiring practices?

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Suddenly, worldbuilding

Occasionally I get the idea that I can write fiction.  Here’s some worldbuilding from a setting I have bouncing around in my head, called Solonia.  It’s currently just the setting for a Pathfinder campaign.  I develop it as a hobby.  I may do more with it at some point, not sure.

This particular excerpt is me playing with classic Tolkien-style Elves.  It’s largely inspired by Pathfinder’s Merisiel.

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Failure Post #2: Area 11’s “Euphemia.”

Yep, don’t have a post today, due to being way behind on my candidacy exam work.  So here, have some Nerd-rock.

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“God damn it woman, grow some bal– um…ah, crap.”

I have come to the conclusion that there should be a good slang term for “ovaries.”

My reasoning is this:  Periodically, I get the urge to say of someone courageous, outlandish, or who simply gives zero fucks, “they have some serious balls” (or some variant).  However, when the person in question is female, this is, strictly speaking, incorrect.  “Guts” is a frequently-used non-vulgar substitute, but frequently I am using the phrase “serious balls” precisely because I want to be vulgar (usually for emotional effect or as an attention-getter). Continue reading

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Hsere’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic drinking game

Since my last post (which was viewed roughly 20 times more than any other post I’ve made so far) counted as the post for this past Sunday, this isn’t actually a Failure Post.  However, I figured I’d throw something up here on Sunday-ish anyway. So following up on a post about problematic language in social justice movements and how it relates to George Orwell’s views on the English language, here is a drinking game based upon an awesome cartoon.

Yeah, if you came to this blog looking for thematic consistency, I am very sorry.
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The Trouble with “Privilege”

Q: “How many social justice advocates does it take to change a light bulb?”
A: “The advancement of Illuminism is a long-term and complex project involving challenging societal notions of shade privilege and dismantling instruments of the Darkarchy.  However, the first step toward any attempt to correct the problem is to be aware that the bulb is burnt out.”

I’m a scientist at heart, but I’m the child of an English professor, and it sometimes shows. I tend to think a lot about language, the way it’s used, and the effect that usage has — occasionally to the point of thoroughly over-analyzing things. My favorite piece of non-fiction ever is George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” — which you should definitely read, by the way. It’s really interesting and entertaining — at certain points, it’s goddamn hilarious. The basic point of the essay is this: If your thoughts are poorly-formed or poorly-organized, your language will be too — but the reverse is also true. Unclear language can make bad ideas seem palatable (think “collateral damage” vs. “civilian deaths”), or otherwise just impede clear thought.

There’s a particular term that’s become extremely common among social justice advocates in recent decades, and that term is “privilege.” And I’m convinced that the way this term is used is both misguided and counter-productive when it comes to solving social problems. Continue reading

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Failure Post #1: Internet Access as a Human Right

Welp, didn’t have something done by Sunday.  I was telling myself that I just needed “another day”, but the post I’m working on still isn’t ready.  So instead, here’s something I think is interesting:
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