Closing the skill gap

U.S. Women’s soccer team sues for equal pay

There are a couple of ways to look at this. The logical way is that we can agree on “equal pay for work of equal value.” If women’s soccer provides paying customers with value equal to men’s soccer, arguments for higher pay could be put to the customers.

Oh, wait. Those arguments have already been put.  Case closed.

The other way is a lot more fun: Men who identify as women should be encouraged to play women’s soccer. Maybe they could get that group of 15 year old boys who trounced the US Women’s National soccer squad to defect, gender-wise.  (There was a similar result in Australia.) This would raise the quality of “women’s” soccer, though it wouldn’t do much to increase actual women‘s pay.

Alternately, women soccer players could decide to identify as men and compete in the men’s league. We would see how many get hired.

Both of those solutions should easily be approved, since sports organizers are already letting males wrestle, run track, and lift weights in competition with females.

Where’s Bobby Riggs when you need him?

Bait and switch

Google Finds It’s Underpaying Many Men as It Addresses Wage Equity

Here is the core point from that NYT article:

When Google conducted a study recently to determine whether the company was underpaying women and members of minority groups, it found, to the surprise of just about everyone, that men were paid less money than women for doing similar work.

Now, that’s a blockbuster, right? Feminists should be rejoicing. They aren’t. They are still whining, and the goalposts are being adjusted as you read this.

From Google’s point of view these results are a happy thing. If you wanted to spike some private suits, fire a shot across the bow of crazed employees, and stick a finger in the eye of the Labor Department all at once… you might want a study just like this.

For example:

The Labor Department is investigating whether the company systematically underpays women. It has been sued by former employees who claim they were paid less than men with the same qualifications.

However, according to critics, it isn’t enough that Google has been paying women more for equivalent work – they were started at lower salaries.

Google’s critics say it doesn’t come close to matching what a woman would make if she had been assigned to the appropriate pay grade in the first place…

This is a strange objection, because the data imply the opposite: Either men are started at lower salaries than they should be, or women get more substantial raises more quickly. Otherwise, how is it that men at Google are more likely to be underpaid?

Men disproportionately received raises and bonuses. Google apparently found that it’s men who are hired at lower than “equitable” salaries. Italics mine:

The company has done the study every year since 2012. At the end of 2017, it adjusted 228 employees’ salaries by a combined total of about $270,000. This year, new hires were included in the analysis for the first time, which Google said probably explained the big change in numbers.

Those who don’t get that relationship are probably not good candidates for high level software engineering jobs. They do better at diversity consulting.

Joelle Emerson, CEO of a company which profits by convincing its clients ‘increasing diversity’ is so hard it can’t be done without ‘woke’ consultants, explains:

Google seems to be advancing a “flawed and incomplete sense of equality” by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work, said Joelle Emerson, chief executive of Paradigm, a consulting company that advises companies on strategies for increasing diversity. That is not the same as addressing “equity,” she said, which would involve examining the structural hurdles that women face as engineers.

Google, “by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work” is doing it wrong.  It needs to hire Ms. Emerson’s consultants.

You have to admit this is a nice twist on planned obsolescence. The “structural hurdles” will never be exhausted in the search for equality of outcome and the righteous battle to prevent diversity of thought.

A good example of Ms. Emerson’s definition of diversity would appear to be equal pay outcomes for those who can’t code, but only if they are female, or members of some other identity group not white or male.

“Equity” is a code word for equal outcome. In the ’60s, it was equal opportunity that drew sensible people to support changes in how women were treated. That’s all gone.

See also: Asymmetries in the workplace do not necessarily reflect gender discrimination for more examples of denialism from the Feminists:

  1. In countries with little to no institutional barriers to employment on the basis of identity, men and women often make choices (involving their own family and vocational priorities) that result in asymmetries in workplace representation and earnings (whether among Uber drivers or graduatesof prestigious MBA programs).

  2. Men overwhelmingly outnumber women in the most dangerous jobs. This also doesn’t indicate that discrimination has taken place.

  3. While unequal treatment before the law and corruption should not be tolerated, different career and family choices (as well as preferences and aptitudes) that result in asymmetries in workplace representation and earnings neither result from conspiracies nor from oppression.

RTWT.

Academiot roundup

Feminist prof says ‘traditional science’ is rooted in racism
Sara Giordano, Women’s Studies professor at UC-Davis, is quoted in that link as follows:

“At the root of the justification for social inequality then is Western science,” she says, claiming that science’s distinction between “humans and non-humans” has allowed “capitalism [to become] justified as a natural economic system…”

That quote is a bit confusing out of context. If you read the whole paper, you’ll see that the key idea is not that animals in their natural state reject capitalism. Or, that there’s no distinction between humans and, say, banana slugs. It’s that “the colonial and capitalist roots and development of the sciences have produced “man,” thoroughly embedded in a racial hierarchy, through … the “Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom.”

That is, racism (and sexism) is reinforced by science because the practices and definitions of science were established by colonialism and white male ‘privilege,’ not objective reality. Capitalism is really just along for the guilt by association ride.

Professor Giordano came to Women’s Studies via a PhD in neuroscience, a sort of science apostasy, so she may be motivated by feminist resentment. She hopes her essay “opens up questions about what kinds of scientific illiteracy we might embrace to destabilize science and remake knowledge production… In part, science maintains a special status because its products are not accessible to a wide range of people.

Given the specialized jargon and SJW in-group assumptions, this paper is an example of something not accessible (nor of interest) to a wide range of people. It seeks special status. Its title, Those who can’t, teach: critical science literacy as a queer science of failure, should have been – How to (further) politicize science

Giordano goes on: “We need to disrupt the epistemic authority of Science…[and] the assumption that science = truth,” [by implementing a] “feminist science practice that explicitly unsticks Science from Truth.

Science and truth are, indeed, different things, but promoting scientific illiteracy is not going to improve anything. In fact, it will make the differences between voodoo and particle physics much harder to discern. But, maybe that’s intentional.

I use the word queer to suggest not only a challenge to capitalism but also a challenge to the categories of human/nonhuman and normal/abnormal that science has enforced and drawn on for success. Halberstam argues that we can read a history of successes and failures under capitalism in multiple ways and suggests reading the history of failures as “a tale of anticapitalist, queer struggle” (2011, p. 88).”…

“Independent artist, filmmaker, and activist Lucía Egaña Rojas writes in “Notes on a Transfeminist Technology” (2013) that “A transfeminist technology will value illiteracy for its improductiveness for industry, as a way of finding paths unimagined by speed and productivity.” Rojas advocates creating new worlds by being gender illiterate and acknowledging how the positive relationship between epistemic power/authority and literacy devalues the knowledge of many of the world’s poorest inhabitants.”

She wrote – sitting in a major American University, publishing with trivial ease a document written on a computer powered by electricity conducted on copper wires made in complex factories from ore mined by machines designed by engineers proficient in bending reality to their will – and all of which scientific miracles cost her a pittance from the salary she’s paid by skimming from the labor of other humans. Maybe the world would be more evenly just in the transfeminist Medieval world she happily contemplates, but it seems as if that world would be able to afford far less actual justice.

And, by the way, I have no idea why the word ‘queer’ is a challenge to capitalism. In-joke, I guess.

Yale ‘decolonizes’ English dept. after complaints studying white authors ‘actively harms’ students
[A] student could graduate from the program without ever reading either [Chaucer or Shakespeare}.

If Yale will grant a degree to an English major who has never studied Chaucer or Shakespeare, how long will it be before they grant degrees in Mechanical Engineering to students who never took a course in the Behavior of Engineering Materials because Henry Bessemer was white (not to mention English)? Would you want such a graduate designing bridges? Well, that’s like an English teacher who doesn’t know Shakespeare.

Get On the Bus or Get Under It: Shouting Down Free Speech at Rutgers

“[M]any intersectional activists… view speech as a form of literal violence. For that reason, it is justifiable to shut down opposing voices before they even speak, a tactic called “no-platforming”…[T]he Rutgers protesters settled for a shouting campaign with the dual goals of rattling the panelists and, more importantly, keeping the rest of us from hearing what they had to say. Tellingly, it was usually when a speaker was in the middle of making a compelling – and potentially damning – point that the protesters suddenly became most determined to drown him or her out…”

The protesters were particularly antagonized by Foster’s contention that police violence against African-Americans has been statistically exaggerated. When he started explaining the methodological research behind his claim, the audience exploded. “Facts?! Facts?! Don’t tell me about facts!” one person screamed. Foster tried to finish as five or six people shouted at him. “Do facts matter?” Foster asked, and repeated it several times in mounting frustration. “Do facts matter? Do facts—

The resounding, devastating answer was no, facts do not matter…

Intersectionality is a strange kind of essentialism that professes to hate essentialism. It assumes people are determined by inherited characteristics, which is exactly what racists also think.”

Postmodern Creationism in Academia: Why Evergreen Matters

“[A] comprehensive search reveals widespread acceptance of notions that oppose the conclusions of research on human evolution, particularly regarding the migration and dispersal of early cultures that came to populate the New World. This opposition has now become the dominant view in many departments of American Indian Studies, Indigenous Studies, Multicultural Education, Ethnic Studies, and allied fields (a broad umbrella, henceforth referred to as Cultural Studies).The most important recent impetus for the surge in creationist ideology–within the institutions of higher learning–can be traced to the brazen attack on the theory of evolution in Red Earth White Lies by Vine Deloria Jr.2 The backdrop to the evolution-denial arguments is the politicized dismissal of the advances of modern science that are cast as “Western,” leading to, for example, creation myths being held up as contradicting the findings of evolutionary anthropology, population genetics, and archaeology…

If the findings of empirical research are not confirmed or disconfirmed by objective criteria of evidence, but instead are socially constructed by the dominant classes, which, as claimed, scientists serve, then our knowledge of the natural world cannot advance. From this point of view, knowledge is forever relative, dependent on the confrontation of ideological and political interests. Belief systems and political programs of social groups compete, each with their own knowledge system, each “epistemology” with its own equally valid interpretation of facts.”

This occultist repudiation of science is the politics of 2+2 equals 5. American colleges and Universities are awash in it, especially in the social ‘sciences,’ but hard science is increasingly in danger.

How does it come to pass that such claims can unabashedly be put forward as “truth?” Pauline Marie Rosenau can help us understand: Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences

I have not yet read started reading (11/06) this book, but I’ve ordered a copy because the reviews and excerpts I’ve found are positive. I think this bit from the Amazon description is accurate: “Serving as neither an opponent nor an apologist for the [Postmodernist] movement, she cuts through post-modernism’s often incomprehensible jargon in order to offer all readers a lucid exposition of its propositions.

I’ve excerpted some of Rosenau’s observations from a University of Alabama overview of Postmodernism.
Postmodernism and Its Critics

Rosenau’s Guidelines for Deconstruction Analysis:

  • Find an exception to a generalization in a text and push it to the limit so that this generalization appears absurd. Use the exception to undermine the principle.
  • Interpret the arguments in a text being deconstructed in their most extreme form.
  • Avoid absolute statements and cultivate intellectual excitement by making statements that are both startling and sensational.
  • Deny the legitimacy of dichotomies because there are always a few exceptions.
  • Nothing is to be accepted, nothing is to be rejected. It is extremely difficult to criticize a deconstructive argument if no clear viewpoint is expressed.
  • Write so as to permit the greatest number of interpretations possible…..Obscurity may “protect from serious scrutiny” (Ellis 1989: 148). The idea is “to create a text without finality or completion, one with which the reader can never be finished” (Wellberg, 1985: 234).
  • Employ new and unusual terminology in order that “familiar positions may not seem too familiar and otherwise obvious scholarship may not seem so obviously relevant”(Ellis 1989: 142).
  • “Never consent to a change of terminology and always insist that the wording of the deconstructive argument is sacrosanct.” More familiar formulations undermine any sense that the deconstructive position is unique (Ellis 1989: 145). (Rosenau 1993, p.121)…”

“Pauline Rosenau (1993) Rosenau identifies seven contradictions in Postmodernism:

  • Its anti-theoretical position is essentially a theoretical stand.
  • While Postmodernism stresses the irrational, instruments of reason are freely employed to advance its perspective.
  • The Postmodern prescription to focus on the marginal is itself an evaluative emphasis of precisely the sort that it otherwise attacks.
  • Postmodernism stress intertextuality but often treats text in isolation.
  • By adamantly rejecting modern criteria for assessing theory, Postmodernists cannot argue that there are no valid criteria for judgment.
  • Postmodernism criticizes the inconsistency of modernism, but refuses to be held to norms of consistency itself.
  • Postmodernists contradict themselves by relinquishing truth claims in their own writings.

Also useful:
How to speak Postmodern