Mlle. Zabzie

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About Mlle. Zabzie

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    Well-Informed Doorstop
  • Birthday 08/25/1977

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  1. Yeah - I understand why "pipeline" is important - you can't retain people you don't have. But it's so stupidly reductive to look at graduation rates, look at retention rates and when they don't match up, simply shrug and from a comfy armchair pronounce that it must be the fault of the underepresented group in question, because mumble mumble pseudoscience, mumble mumble cave people, mumble mumble they prefer it anyhow.
  2. How a thread about increasing the participation of women and minorities in certain male-dominated fields ended up on a frolic and detour about chess, I can't quite figure out, but whatever. But back to the topic at hand. Hypothesis: There are probably women and minorities who have native talent and develop-able skill-sets that would be useful to, and improve the performance of, companies in various historical male dominated industries, but are not entering and remaining in (just as important) these industries for social, rather than performance reasons. Hypothesis 2: It is in companies' best interest to devote resources to identifying and retaining that talent, because currently it is being underutilized in the economy. Hypothesis 3: Merely increasing the number of women/minorities at the school and entry levels (e.g., the pipeline) does not and will not by itself cultivate and retain that talent (going back to an industry I know well and that people in this thread have used as a poster child for pipeline success, law school numbers have been close to 50/50 for 15-20 years or more; unsurprisingly to me at least, there has not been a correlative improvement in the number of law firm partners (track is 8-10 years). Hypothesis 4: There is some data that suggest that when a critical mass of women is reached in an industry, men flee it and pay goes down. Hypothesis 5: As a corollary to something that Isk said above, thinking of this issue as a binary "men v. women" issue (e.g., some kind of zero sum game) leads to unhelpful discussions about native IQs and interests as a gender in particularly type of work; this is not a helpful way to approach widening a talent pool, particularly when you are lumping over 50% of the population into a single category. DISCUSS.
  3. I think the sweet spot for knitting/crocheting/etc. is probably second or third grade because of the fine motor skills needed. And, I think understanding how the knots fit together, how different stitches combine to make different shapes, etc. is really useful, if the teaching is done correctly. There are some rudimentary algebra skills there, definitely a lot of geometry, and understanding how single inputs, if combined and slightly modified, change the overall picture. Really useful. Same with piecing a quilt, assuming again, it is done thoughtfully.
  4. Actually, my point was that women were encouraged to play and that there is evidence of them being described as equally good players as men, and/or not being described as bad players as well (e.g., Ben Franklin, author of the Morals of Chess, is described as playing with Caroline Howe, Mme Brillon de Jouy, and the Duchess of Bourbon, who was described as at least a good player as he was by no less than Thomas Jefferson). But chess was a diversion of the upper class. And women of that class did not/could not/would not have competed publicly (a lady should have her name in the papers 3 times - birth, marriage and death, don't you know). So actually, we have no data, other than anecdotal data, and since chess became competitive, I would argue that the social construct around that changed tremendously, discouraging women to play. And enrollment in law school is a complete, utter, and ridiculous non sequitur, as is, frankly, chess, to the overall discussion. For the record, women equity partners at big law firms hovers between 11-15%, which, admittedly is better than 1 and 20, but in certain practice areas (heavily transactional) your numbers are going to look more like 1 in 20, or worse. I can count my own field as an example. And I don't have a solution for the problem, or even a real appreciation as to why it happens. If I (or we, frankly) did, we'd fix it, because we know there is a lot of talent being left on the table.
  5. To be clear mentioned my other daughter's interest in chess as an aside. That's why it was in a parenthetical. And, actually, I believe historically women and men were equally encouraged to play chess, and there were not observed differences (chess playing was a class rather than gender marker). I believe that when chess became "competitive" in the 19th Century women were not competitive. However there are so many, many reasons that could be the case, and so many many reasons why that could continue to be the case, including strong social reasons. But my point was actually much broader and way beyond chess. The point is that there are lots of arenas where women successfully do intricate, "tedious," work that has broad applicability to design, engineering, coding, etc., but that it isn't talked about much in these conversations.
  6. So a lot of the chatter I hear about this has to do with the stupidly mistaken idea that girls aren't as good at spatial relations, and also this idea that women aren't into nerdy boring stuff. I am currently teaching myself to crochet (my daughter wants to learn, so I'm teaching myself to teach her - incidentally, my other daughter is a very good chess player and loves playing). I already embroider. I have done some sewing (but don't have space for a machine etc.). I don't knit, but a lot of people in my family do. Guess what, I now understand why STEAM programs at fancy private schools in Manhattan now do knitting and sewing for boys and for girls. Forget about fine motor (that's what I thought it was about, silly me). It's way more than fine motor. It's geometry; it's engineering; it's puzzle solving; it's pattern recognition; there are even applications to coding. So, thinking about it, a lot of this is just bias against "women's work" and not recognizing the broader applicability of skill sets.
  7. Actually, think it is coming back. One of my girls' best friends has your first name, and I've heard of a couple of infants having it bestowed.....
  8. Well, and I also think that it is very unlikely that England would have intervened, at the end of the day, given the politics and policies of the time, particularly the dependence on grain imported from the US. Maybe if Lee had won at Antietam. Maybe. But McLellan fought that battle about as poorly as one could imagine, without his whole strength and Lee still had to withdraw. Also, Werthead's point is the right one. The Union and Lincoln didn't necessarily want to burn it all to the ground at the beginning. Everything was much more fluid at the beginning. Finally, I don't think that the guerilla war, wear out the antagonist strategy that worked in the Revolutionary war would have worked. There weren't the same distance issues. There weren't the same geopolitical forces, unless there is an invasion from Canada. Also, that kind of warfare really wasn't Lee's strength. Yeah - I think if he had somehow pulled off Antietam, but that would have been really hard for him.
  9. I think this is the thing that bugs me the most about this premise (sight unseen of course). Honestly, the South had a lot fewer people (particularly because a large part of the population was....forceably non-combatant (at least until the end). It also had the disadvantage of (i)a substantial portion of the conflict playing out in its territory (Antietam and Gettysburg aside), (ii) a substantially underdeveloped rail network, (iii) limited industry, particularly foundries, and limited ability to produce war materiel as a result, (iv) and a monoculture (whether tobacco, cotton, sugar or indigo) agriculture that was not focused on foodstuffs. While they did have a couple of truly excellent deepwater ports in the form of Charleston and New Orleans, those were quickly blockaded. know, nothing is inevitable, and Lee was a good general, but actually, his tactical genius in set battles was almost his downfall.... Anyhow, whether it was 2 years or 10 years, I think you end up where you ended up.
  10. *hugs*. Def don't think you were overreacting.
  11. I mean, of course slavery could have survived into industrialization. That's more or less how Russia began its industrialization (though they abolished serfdom in 1861). Separately, betcha the premise is that Lee wins at Gettysburg and that's the moment. It's silly, but bet it is.
  12. Scene 1, Charleston South Carolina. Brothel. Lots of boobs. Old white men having a conversation complaining about falling profits for SLAVERINC with some light fondling on the side. You know they are bad guys because of their facial hair Scene 2, New York. Rally. No boobs yet. People are protesting the fact that the US hasn't defeated its Southern neighbor yet (seriously, like why not, given the economics of the whole thing, but I digress). We meet one of our heroines, leading the chants. We find out later that she has great boobs. Scene 3, Birmingham Alabama. We see slaves working in factories. Sucks to be them. We meet some more bad guys. They are looking at the slaves wondering if they would make good cannon fodder. Scene 4, San Francisco. We meet a confederate who has been admitted to Stanford. We know he is a confederate because he has facial hair. We know that he will be morally complex because he has great abs. Scene 5, Mississippi. Gratuitous plantation scene with some light torture and blood. Scene 6, New York (now the capital of the US): government people talking government things. Scene 7, Richmond: Ditto. Scene 8: Cliffhanger. There you go, first ep. Boobs, butts, abs, violence, and zero nuance. I'm going with pretty awful. But who knows.
  13. Have a magnificent birthday!
  14. I daresay part of the problem is that many peoples' first-hand experience with government in their lives is profoundly negative (whether DMV, cops, taxing authority, whatever). Even though there are plenty of indirect positive experiences (including use of roads, maybe schools, etc.), they don't overcome the impact of the bad experience.
  15. The answer to both of these is related. We have a federal system where the President is elected not by popular vote, but rather the electoral college. The electoral college gives disproportionate voting power in Presidential elections to rural, small state voters. It is what it is. Relatedly, while political gerrymandering has been going on since forever, and both parties have indulged, during the latest round of redistricting in 2010, the Republicans, who at that time controlled state houses in a lot of places, were able to redraw electoral district maps in ways that will make it quite difficult for Democrats to win in their states for some period of time (true story). The way that the districts were drawn was much more sophisticated than gerrymandering efforts in the past, using computer modeling and voter behavior data. There is actually a case on this going to the Supreme Court (re Wisconsin) and it will be interesting to see what will happen. I am not as sanguine that things will turn around quickly for Democrats. By ignoring state and local government in several places, they have allowed themselves to be put in a position where, even if they have a majority on an aggregate basis of voters in a particular state, the districts have been drawn in such a way that such voters' votes have been diluted/concentrated in a way that may keep them out of power for a generation.