zelticgar

The Diversity Pipeline

352 posts in this topic

On 05/09/2017 at 8:47 PM, Sheep the Evicted said:

So I had a really busy week and was happy to let this thread lie but Heterodox just published Part 3 of their Google Memo analysis.

Ah, thanks. It does a good job at summarising the higher variability findings. 

Another very important point to be made is the consistently higher verbal intelligence of over-achieving women. This fits my own anecdotal experience very well.

I look back on decades of trying to recruit over-achievers (of both sexes) into CS, for instance to Ph.D. student positions. Super-mart women (of which I have the privilege of meeting a ton) consistently have better things to do. They are actually qualified for much more exciting and fulfilling jobs. The people that we do consistently manage to recruit are awkward nerds somewhere on the autism spectrum. Principled thinkers, conscientious, off-kilter humour, low on empathy and agreeableness – you all know the type. Think Damore or anybody in the effective altruism community. Or your random SF con. (To be sure: I love those kinds of people. They are not broken. They get my jokes.) There aren’t many other medium-to-high status jobs (with a modicum of intellectual satisfaction) in the world available for these types.

So they become my top students. Or get a job at Google. (Typically after having been my students.) I do know women who did that (some of them my best students).

But I don’t know many. Most super smart women have way better options. Most super-smart men don’t.

(Instead, the men with better options are tall alpha males with good charisma. They never applied to STEM in the first place. They would have failed catastrophically.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I forgot. Since this is a Fantasy board:

Here’s Julia Galef’s example for explaining comparative advantage using the Harry Potter universe. Ron (or whoever that is) goes into spellcasting (or whatever that it) even though Hermione is better at it. Because Hermione is better are more things.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This explains easily the choices of Harry and Ron. But it does not really explain Hermiones choices (it only explains that she has more choices). She is close to best everywhere, so she can pick whatever she likes. But what influences what she does like? She certainly does not have to pick the field (red column) where H and R are rather bad as suggested in the picture, or why should she? Unless she picks the field where she is more clearly superior to the other two but she may not do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jo498 said:

This explains easily the choices of Harry and Ron. But it does not really explain Hermiones choices (it only explains that she has more choices). She is close to best everywhere, so she can pick whatever she likes. But what influences what she does like? She certainly does not have to pick the field (red column) where H and R are rather bad as suggested in the picture, or why should she? Unless she picks the field where she is more clearly superior to the other two but she may not do so.

It also doesn't explain why NO ONE EVER FUCKING LISTENS TO HER EVER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.....

 

22 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Actually he is making those claims. Just because he uses the phrase "in part" does not mean he sees it as a minor element. The fact that his thesis seems to suggest we should simply accept that there is a big difference and there always will be a big difference and we should not be putting policies in place to reduce the big difference, pretty much means he believes the cause of the difference is immutable, which means the cause it principally biology.

 

I don't think he said that at all but even assuming he did, I have to ask, why should we ? What exactly is so bad about this situation that we need to mess with "nature"? Because you know who has great CS gender ratios ? Iran! I've heard a few plausible explanations but most of them basically go that in Iran a woman has to choose between having a family or supporting herself entirely and CS is one of the best ways to cash out.

 

22 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

But I have not seen any objective evidence to suggest that immutable biological difference should account for an 80:20 split.

 

Again with immutable. Damore never said it and neither am I. Because for one thing nothing is immutable, especially in biology. Something's are just very hard and some things are A LOT (fuck you kalbear!) easier to change. Like Jo said (you were referencing this classic post right ?) taking a pill for something is much easier than overhauling society.

Anyway here is an exhaustive list of jobs by gender, in handy graph form. You can see that most jobs don't have gender parity and that the ratios are often a lot worst than 80:20. And as the Scandinavian governments will tell you from their CS and Male Nurse promotional programs; they are pretty damn resistant to change. Maybe they just didn't nudge hard enough ?  Maybe its time to get out the Commissars and the Ayatoallah's ?

 

On 05/09/2017 at 7:58 PM, Kalbear said:

 It's also interesting that he focuses on neuroticism while ignoring the other (positive) psychological traits mentioned - agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness. I would think in particular having conscientiousness would be a positive thing, but apparently not.

 

True. Actually I've heard that 2008 crash hit men disproportionality hard because of this and this is one of the reasons that women actually out-earn men until about age 30 (when they check out and decide to have babies). But again, women doing well doesn't seem to monopolize headlines like THE PATRIARCHY does.

Anyway I don't think anyone can get into Google if they weren't at least the top 5% for intelligence and conscientiousness. Infact I suspect you need more than just conscientiousness, you need obsession, which seems to me a wholly masculine trait. Reminds me of this article which I think was one of the best things I read during the Damore fiasco.

And I speak as someone that thought they were pretty obsessive in their interests but has since been on the sharp end. There is just no way to compete against someone who is willing to sacrifice absolutely everything to put another 20 hours a week in and that's with out putting natural talent in the mix. So you give up and get a life.

 

13 hours ago, Seli said:

And that those ideal characteristics are somehow completely natural and not shaped by the societies we live in.

 

Look, at the end of the day all societies prize success above all else. If the optimal way to run a start up was with pair-codding and heart to hearts over pumpkin spice lattes then I'm sure everyone would be doing that; sounds like a lot of fun. But I think you've taken Monday Night Quarterbacking to another level when you think you can get SV to compete more efficiently. 

 

5 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

Ah, thanks. It does a good job at summarising the higher variability findings. 

Another very important point to be made is the consistently higher verbal intelligence of over-achieving women. This fits my own anecdotal experience very well.

 

Yeah that's what this psychology Proffessor found also.  The most relevant quote is:

 

Quote

“Results revealed that mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males…

 

Not sure I agree actually, but I don't have the time or inclination to dispute it. I'd also be out of my depth. So i'll just leave it there.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Sheep the Evicted said:

...

Look, at the end of the day all societies prize success above all else. If the optimal way to run a start up was with pair-codding and heart to hearts over pumpkin spice lattes then I'm sure everyone would be doing that; sounds like a lot of fun. But I think you've taken Monday Night Quarterbacking to another level when you think you can get SV to compete more efficiently. 

 

...

 

I didn't realize google is a start up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

It also doesn't explain why NO ONE EVER FUCKING LISTENS TO HER EVER

This is explained by the same hidden variable that explains why Harry and Ron never read and never will read "Hogwarts. A History", Author's Fiat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/7/2017 at 0:46 PM, Jo498 said:

This is explained by the same hidden variable that explains why Harry and Ron never read and never will read "Hogwarts. A History", Author's Fiat.

Yep, same reason as why when Draco started to act really suspicious Hermione went from "smartest magical person period" to "fucking idiot".

Edited by TrueMetis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a conversation today around introverts versus extraverts and the propensity for programmers to be more introverted as an overall group. It then moved into a conversation about whether that view could be defined as an example of a biological explanation for why some people track to CS. I backed off the discussion pretty quickly for fear of treading into this topic. Really walking on eggshells nowadays when it comes to any form of discussion that comes anywhere close to the Google memo :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing to fear is fear itself.

I can’t remember ever having a long, one-on-one conversation with anybody about this topic that was anything else than honest, informative, and thoughtful. Each of them made me better informed, and increased my respect for the other.

On the other hand, public conversations, as well as written long-form, citation-free, documents I’ve found toxic. They made me dumber, and less appreciative of the other.

This is a topic that benefits from conversation. Have those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question:

What is the best document of the form “What is wrong with Damore’s document”? 

The Heterodox Academy summaries make a step in this direction (by outlining some parts in red that they find at variance with Damore’s general tenor), but they aren’t quite there.

What I’m looking for is the strongest case against Damore, maximally critical, but which includes a representation of his viewpoints that he’d agree with. Ideally, a text that quotes passages from Damore (in particular those that are representative of his argument) and then refutes them. 

In particular, I’m looking for strong refutations of his suggestions for improving gender balance. It seems that he is very wrong on those suggestions, and I’d love to be able to give a cogent argument of why his suggestions are wrong, or even harmful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More on the topic of diversity and tech. Uber secured a partnership with Girls who Code but continues to get backlash. Looks like they are trying to get some partnerships started to turn towards a more inclusive work environment but they have really been tainted by past actions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fewer women are into nerdy, boring stuff like writing code or playing chess. Good for them. No need for public policy to bother with such trifles as there are far more important issues to deal with. E.g how to offer decent jobs for people of either gender on the left side of the intellectual ability distribution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding chess, this is my opinion regarding male/female disparity right now. It's not a question of intelligence or capacity for intelligence and intellect.  I firmly believe women are every bit as intelligent as men and have the capacity for equal brilliance. 

Chess is a game though, and a game where tactics, strategy, aggression, and defense all play a massive part, as well as obviously memorization skills, experience, and everything else.  The first 4 are where women are at a disadvantage IMO through thousands of years of genetic history.  It's nearly always been the male who has engaged in fighting wars and the hunting duties - the things that have shaped our genetic experience and abilities throughout our history, and only recently have women started to filter into combat roles in a larger part. 

Chess, a game, yet the game requires these instincts which men have had the advantage of acquiring through most of our common past.  Is it not also a recent invention, opening up competitive chess to both sexes in the same divisions?  Certainly less than 30 years I think.  I'd bet in another 50 once women become more interested in chess and are competing and advancing with other men and women, it'll become a more equal split in terms of numbers, and rankings.

I feel the instinct/genetic bit is only about 10% of it, and that it's mainly due just to a lack of inclusion until recent times, and that a a culture chess just wasn't something that women were "supposed" to be interested in.  That's changing, and IMO it'll change quickly comparatively speaking.

39 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

Fewer women are into nerdy, boring stuff like writing code or playing chess. Good for them. No need for public policy to bother with such trifles as there are far more important issues to deal with. E.g how to offer decent jobs for people of either gender on the left side of the intellectual ability distribution.

I don't necessarily believe some of this, there are incredible amounts of great women into all things nerd/geek, look at all the great YT channels run by women into nerdish things such as code, gaming - eventually chess will catch up.  "Important issues".  I think that entertaining oneself, gaming, and nerdism are all very important issues.  I agree with where you're coming from in the first bit though, that it's primarily due to just fewer women into chess, but that'll change IMO, as chess is pretty far down the "geek" flowchart these days, but more women will filter down and find it.  Again, 50 years, I believe and hope there can be a female world champion chess player, or at least several ranked among the top players.  Just a generation or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

Fewer women are into nerdy, boring stuff like writing code or playing chess. Good for them. No need for public policy to bother with such trifles as there are far more important issues to deal with. E.g how to offer decent jobs for people of either gender on the left side of the intellectual ability distribution.

I'm sure that the development of the Women's Chess Tournament has to do with the low number of women in the "open" tourney.

Regardless, extrapolating interest, capability, and worldwide engagement based on a single tournament is pretty stupid. Not to mention irrelevant to real issues of diversity that we previously discussed (as you point out Jo).

Edited by Week

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son is getting into chess now. He's 8. They offered chess clubs at the school, and he's getting into it.

There are zero girls in that club. At 8. 

Somehow I don't think the instinctive abilities of waging war and doing violence really comes into play when parents are choosing chess club. I could be wrong though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SerHaHa said:

Chess is a game though, and a game where tactics, strategy, aggression, and defense all play a massive part, as well as obviously memorization skills, experience, and everything else.  The first 4 are where women are at a disadvantage IMO through thousands of years of genetic history.  It's nearly always been the male who has engaged in fighting wars and the hunting duties - the things that have shaped our genetic experience and abilities throughout our history, and only recently have women started to filter into combat roles in a larger part.

I am not sure that this is true. I played chess competitively in high school and its relationship to war and hunting as experienced by the vast majority of the population is extremely vague. Strategy and tactics are the domain of commanders and there aren't many of them. They're also useful in politics, but again, there are not enough politicians to make much of a difference. Also, keep in mind that most chess players don't come from such families of such backgrounds. There might be a study on this somewhere, but just looking at the Wiki pages for undisputed world champions, Carlsen was the son of two engineers, Anand of a railway manager and a housewife, for Kramnik and Kasparov it doesn't say, but I'm pretty sure their parents weren't military or civilian leaders. Likewise, if your theory was correct, it's would be difficult to explain why Armenia would be the source of so many elite chess players given their recent history (i.e. the past thousand years or so).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2017 at 2:32 PM, Lew Theobald said:

I hope this isn't deemed too off topic, but currently we have the 2017 Chess World Cup underway, in which the top 128 active players competed.  

Of these 128 players, only 2 were women: Hou Yifan (23) of China, who is (by far) the top-ranked active female player in the world; and Nana Dzagnidze (30) of Georgia.  The youngest male player was Anton Smirnov (16) of Australia.

The Chess World cup is a series of elimination matches.  Each match consists of 2 games at standard speed, followed (if tie breakers are necessary) by other pairs of games at faster and faster speeds.

In round 1 Nana Dzagnidze lost her match (as did Anton Smirnov).  Hou Yifan won her match, and returned to fight in round 2.  So round 2 was 1 woman and 63 men.

Hou Yifan lost her match in round 2 (putting up a good fight - the match went to blitz tiebreakers).

In round 3, 32 players all men, returned to compete.   After 4 rounds, the competition is still underway.

This is not an unusual situation.  The dominance of males in Chess has often been remarked upon.  

Obviously, this is not a huge issue affecting the economic status of women.  Just wondering what you think the reasons for it are, and if you think it has any relevance for any of the diversity issues being discussed in this thread.

 

On 9/14/2017 at 3:35 PM, Jo498 said:

Fewer women are into nerdy, boring stuff like writing code or playing chess. Good for them. No need for public policy to bother with such trifles as there are far more important issues to deal with. E.g how to offer decent jobs for people of either gender on the left side of the intellectual ability distribution.

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.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Lew Theobald said:

Both are possible factors explaining the generally inferior performance of women in chess (which is a readily observed fact).  I am of course open to consider other factors.

That's great.   But a single example does not contradict the general pattern.

There seems to be little evidence that women were discouraged, historically, from playing chess, or that there was a bias against women playing competitive sedentary games, or that playing sedentary board games was considered a particularly manly thing to do.  Such evidence as we have is consistent with people, historically, observing many of the same patterns we observe to day ... that women, on average, tend not to be very good at chess relative to men (whether because of lack of interest or whatever), and rarely reach elite levels of play.

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.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mlle. Zabzie  Interesting mention of crochet and knitting.  If she had not departed this past summer, my son's 5th grade math teacher had planned to use a knitting & quilting capstone project over a 2-3 month period.  I hated the idea (1st grade would be fine, not for 5th).  I know "everyday math" is supposed to increase perceived accessibility and reduce fear of "hard math", but the last thing the American education system needs is to lower the bar even further on math to make it less forbidding.  I'd really rather see them pursue a culture of "everyone can understand math if they work hard enough" rather than lowering the bar to where everyone can still retain maximal self-esteem with minimal effort.  

 

On chess, I noticed that my son's biggest hang-up in his early exposure to chess (around ages 8-9) was his anxiety about losing pieces.  He became almost paralyzed by risk aversion, fearing that any move would put a piece at risk.  He's far more empathetic than I was.  It took lots of reps for me to persuade him that any individual game or piece doesn't matter and that it's more important to play a lot and learn from patterns -- don't get attached to any single piece or any single game. 

Without wanting to fall into gender stereotypes, I wonder if some young girls might also be averse to a game that may initially feel like a personal attack.  I know my wife hates playing chess with me because she feels under attack as I mow down her pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.