Daniel Lemire's blog

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Science and Technology links (August 9th 2020)

3 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (August 9th 2020)”

  1. Yes, speaking racism, you can find out what works and what doesn’t by looking at what companies that have been found at variance with community standards are willing to do about it.

    Companies are most likely to do what will cause the least change to what they are already doing. Anti-bias training is probably the single most popular thing and I would argue that that is because it doesn’t work. What companies (and right wing pundits) argue most strenuously against is the idea of “quotas” – and my bet is that is because they would work if adopted.

    1. I agree with your comment. I think it is convenient and, in the greater scheme of things, inexpensive.

      1. Michael says:

        This is such a hard discussion to have on the internet without being interpreted poorly or causing heat. I have no intention of either of these. I write this sincerely. I think this blog might have a rather logical and professional audience, so I hope someone can help me understand his or her reasoning.

        What is the problem that is meant to be solved? As far as I can tell, to assume that the training could “work” in the same way that quotas would “work” is to presume that employees involved in the hiring processes are bigoted based on certain shallow, protected characteristics. Is this not the presumption of guilt?

        If quotas are what the definition implies, would they not be responding to the possibility of bigotry or discrimination with 100% definite discrimination of the same kind? Why isn’t this the case? If the goal isn’t to remove discrimination, but is instead something like “representation,” shallow “diversity,” or “illogical and bigoted (in my opinion) customer acquisition,” I still have the same question.

        I just really don’t understand why people seem willing to discriminate against innocent members of protected classes or why they seem to think they are doing the opposite. It doesn’t seem right to me.

        Thanks for your patience, and thanks if anyone can help me understand the logic behind these proposed solutions.