Fake Bias 

God, I hate these inane “studies”, irrespective of what direction the “bias” they “find” lies:

2,100 Australian public servants participate in a gigantic resume experiment to assess unconscious bias against women and minorities; finds that there is in fact bias in favor of women and minorities, and that gender-blind or race-blind assessments cause more whites and men to be hired.

It makes zero sense to extrapolate the biases of a tiny and highly eccentric group in a very eccentric country onto anything else. 

One can find a bunch of people somewhere to confirm absolutely anything at all. And then you word the questions differently and get the opposite result with the same group. The only value of this fake research is to confirm the dumb as dirt beliefs of some group or another. 


25 thoughts on “Fake Bias ”

    1. All of these bias studies are dumb. My sister was just telling me how tech companies are begging her to send them female programmers and developers because diversity looks good. But she can’t find any. They simply don’t exist in large enough numbers. But the story we keep hearing is that tech companies refuse to hire women because of sexism. And it’s the same thing with “lack of diversity” in academia.


      1. “And it’s the same thing with “lack of diversity” in academia.”

        One problem with that used to be that highly qualified minorities were so heavily recruited that they sometimes ended up moving too often too early (being lured with better pay and conditions) and not building up a body of work in time.

        ” begging her to send them female programmers”

        I’m old enough to remember when programming was female dominated…. what happened?


        1. There can also be lots of pressure to chose careers that have more of a social purpose than academia. I knew an African American woman in grad school who was pursuing a PhD in a humanities discipline. She got quite a bit of negative feedback on that from people in her family and home community and felt somewhat guilty about what she was working on. One woman at her church had told her flat out that she was wasting her intelligence pursuing a humanities PhD and that it was her duty as a smart black woman to pursue a career in something like medicine, law, or social work so that she could work directly to improve life for people in her home community.


        2. There are also differences between countries in percentage of women in programming. Some countries in the western world have experienced declines. Other countries have seen increases. Cultural perception of the work, the possibility of moving up in social status, the kinds of workplace conditions/environments, the pay relative to other jobs, the possibility of advancing in the field, the types of teaching/mentoring you benefit from (from a young age and along the way) are among the factors.


  1. I should add that the reverse direction of the bias actually is kind of noteworthy, even though I agree with you that in general the field of bias research has taken on the status of pop psychology used to explain anything and everything. A certain message about bias research has seeped into the zeitgeist of right-thinking educated liberals, so OF COURSE they decided it was time to change hiring practices accordingly. And then it didn’t give them the magic results they just assumed they’d get.

    That’s gotta sting.


  2. I feel like the purpose of these fake bias studies is to be used by organizations such as Women in Science and Engineering and women with a certain “mentality” to justify their feelings of being perpetually aggrieved.

    As an example, our local chapter of this esteemed organization organizes a reading group of graduate and undergraduate students for these fake bias studies. Women faculty in the discipline are also sometimes invited and asked questions such as: “What is an occasion when you experienced implicit bias and how did you deal with it?”

    (Of course I keep as far away from these groups as I possibly can.)


      1. To be sure, I think the BDS movement is misguided and wrong, but this law is beyond insane and deranged and will not stand the first legal challenge should it be passed (through some great catastrophe).


    1. Regarding the bill SB mentioned, if those people were smart enough, I would be sure they were doing this with the purpose to discredit anti-BDS movement.


    2. My current explanation of the Senators’ intentions is that it has something to do with inner-American politics, not sure what for now.


      1. From the article:

        “The proposed measure, called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), was introduced by Cardin on March 23. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC].” Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 Lobbying Agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year:”


  3. Much ado about nothing, as usual from the ACLU and Israel-haters!

    This bill would prevent American businesses from actively participating in the BDS boycotts, and from doing business with foreign organizations that do participate. It has NOTHING to do with limiting Americans’ free speech, or penalizing people for having opinions.

    Why don’t you try reading the bill (“the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S. 720”) before you start getting upset about what it doesn’t actually do?


    1. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720

      “The bill prohibits U.S. persons engaged in interstate or foreign commerce from:

      requesting the imposition of any boycott by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States; or
      supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.”

      U.S. persons.

      Also, I thought conservatives liked to extend rights to corporations. So, Hobby Hobby can discriminate against its employees because its religious feelings are hurt from providing health insurance that includes contraception. What happened to your cherished idea of corporate personhood?


      1. Nice try at misleading selective quoting. The full phrase is “U.S. persons engaged in interstate or foreign commerce.”

        This has nothing to do with Hobby Lobby — also a nice try at derailing.

        “Also I thought…” Yes, you keep pretending that you can read other peoples’ minds and know exactly what their “cherished ideas” are — I thought you were an engineer, not a clairvoyant!


        1. Selective quoting? I quoted the whole sentence, stupid.

          It’s still people. A U.S. person going to jail for not wanting to do business with a company based in an illegal settlement.

          Fucking fascist.


          1. “Fucking fascist.”

            If you support the BDS movement in any form, you are an anti-Semitic, Jew-hating, terrorist-loving, grandmother-in-the-back-stabbing and child-slaughtering psychopath who longs for the total elimination of the State of Israel.

            How can you be so hypocritical as to call another human being vicious?


          2. “A U.S. person going to jail for not wanting to do business with a company based in an illegal settlement.”

            Has the bill been passed? Survived a court challenge? Wake me up when both happen.

            “Fucking fascist”

            Coming from you that’s a compliment! Can I get some?


  4. Since we are talking politics here, see what Trump did after meeting with Putin:

    \ President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

    The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.
    Some current and former officials who support the program cast the move as a major concession.

    “This is a momentous decision,” said a current official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a covert program. “Putin won in Syria.”

    Some analysts said the decision to end the program was likely to empower more radical groups inside Syria and damage the credibility of the United States.

    U.S. intelligence officials say battlefield gains by rebels in 2015 prompted Russia’s direct military intervention on the side of the Assad regime. Some U.S. officials and their allies in the region urged President Barack Obama to respond by providing the rebels with advanced anti­aircraft weapons so they could better defend themselves. But Obama balked, citing concerns about the United States getting pulled into a conflict with Russia.

    One big potential risk of shutting down the CIA program is that the United States may lose its ability to block other countries, such as Turkey and Persian Gulf allies, from funneling more sophisticated weapons — including man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS — to anti-Assad rebels, including more radical groups.

    Even those who were skeptical about the program’s long-term value, viewed it as a key bargaining chip that could be used to wring concessions from Moscow in negotiations over Syria’s future.

    “People began thinking about ending the program, but it was not something you’d do for free,” said a former White House official. “To give [the program] away without getting anything in return would be foolish.”



  5. \ Sorry for the unrelated post, but I can’t wait for the next Sunday encyclopedia.

    Now you know how I sometimes feel. 🙂

    Of course, I don’t expect you to mention (or even know about) humanitarian aid Israel provides to Syrians:

    On another topic, Israeli LGBT community is protesting being excluded from the newest law change regarding adoptions:

    \ the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Welfare have formulated a professional position that they will allow common-law couples to adopt children for the first time, provided they maintain a stable household for at least three years.

    However, while heterosexual couples joined in civil union will be allowed to adopt, there will be no change in the ban on same-sex couples joined in civil union who wish to adopt.

    “The position of professionals in the Service for the Child now supports the preservation of the existing situation, with regard to favoring a couple that is a man and a woman, taking into account the reality in Israeli society and the difficulty it may entail in relation to the child being adopted,” the state said in a statement.

    Currently, Israeli law allows only married couples who are men and women to adopt children. As Israel does not have same-sex marriage, Sunday’s decision blocks same-sex couples from all options that are recognized when seeking to adopt.



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