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Thread: Diversity flaps are often manufactured

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    Cool Diversity flaps are often manufactured

    Diversity flaps are often manufactured
    Jonah Goldberg |Posted: Aug 11, 2017 12:01 AM

    In 2005, the Los Angeles Times hired me as a columnist. That was great news (for me). But the best part was when Barbra Streisand canceled her subscription in protest.

    Her real complaint wasn't so much that the Times had hired me, but that it had dropped Robert Scheer, an old-style, left-wing writer, in the same editorial shakeup. "The greater Southern California community is one that not only proudly embraces its diversity, but demands it," Streisand wrote in an "open letter" to the newspaper. "Your decision to fire Robert Scheer is a great disservice to the spirit of our community."

    "It seems that your new leadership ... is entirely out of touch with your readers and their desire to be exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms. So although the number of contributors to your Op-Ed pages may have increased, in firing Scheer and hiring columnists such as Jonah Goldberg, the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted."

    Some might stub their frontal lobes on the idea of a "diluted gamut" (whatever that is). But to paraphrase Boon from "Animal House," when Bluto reminisced about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor: "Forget it, she's rolling."

    Other than boastfulness, I bring this up for a specific reason. Without intending to, Streisand actually managed to synthesize the problem with diversity mania. You see, by bringing me and some other writers aboard, the Times did diversify its editorial fare. In theory, Streisand touted the importance of presenting readers with diverse views (stretched paradigms and all that). But in reality, she wanted to read only views she agreed with. Not only was Scheer a friend of hers, she was his biggest fan. Scheer did not "stretch" her paradigms; he confirmed them.

    Moreover, ethnically Scheer and I are almost indistinguishable. We're also both white males. The only meaningful difference between us, besides age, is that I'm a conservative. When Streisand talked about diversity, she meant a diversity of attributes -- sex, ethnicity, skin color, etc. -- but not viewpoints. It's like when Bill Clinton insisted he wanted a Cabinet that "looks like America" but whose members all thought the same way.

    The Streisand episode came to mind while I was watching the ridiculous media feeding frenzy over a memo written by a since-fired Google employee, James Damore, titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber." In it, he extolled diversity and praised many of the company's efforts to hire more women. But he argued that many of these efforts were counterproductive and at odds with other forms of diversity.

    His real "crime," however, was his suggestion that the obsession with hiring more female engineers ran into some structural problems that could not be solved with ever more aggressive outreach. Whether for reasons of culture or biology (or both), women are more reluctant than men to pursue degrees in engineering and computer science.

    The data are on his side. More than 80 percent of computer science and engineering majors are male, while women receive about 60 percent of biology degrees and 75 percent of psychology degrees.

    To listen to the hysterics, this can be explained entirely by the sexist bias of the computer science and engineering fields -- and the big corporations that depend on them.

    This is nuts. It's absolutely true that women were once blocked from many careers. But since those barriers were lifted, women have flooded into, or even have come to dominate, all manner of fields. Is it really plausible that sexism is the primary, never mind sole, explanation for female under-representation in computer science and engineering?

    Sure, sexist bigots in medicine, law, journalism, the clergy (!) and almost every other field saw the light. But the He-Man Woman Haters Club that is engineering raised the drawbridge to prevent women from designing drawbridges?

    No doubt there are real injustices out there. The demands of motherhood and the culture of Silicon Valley surely pose challenges. But these disparities are nonetheless a sign of great social progress. Women are choosing the careers they want. I don't hear many people bleating about the lack of sexual diversity among trash collectors.

    The issue here isn't diversity, but conformity. Everyone must agree with a very narrow dogma about not just sexual equality but the approved ways of enforcing it. At a shareholders meeting in June, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, said, "The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking." He also added: "You'll also find that all of the other companies in our industry agree with us."

    Exactly: Our gamut is undiluted and our paradigms are made of oak.
    My bold. By and large, chemistry is bizarrely great for women. Not only do we get preferential treatment in hiring but it's the kind of work that can easily (and profitably) be done by people who drop out for a few years and come back. It's also very accommodating to part-timers. Unless you want a management position or want to do research (most chemists do not), you can almost literally write your ticket in this field. Plus, your undergrad is more important than your grad degree in most places.

    So why aren't women flocking into Chem?

    1. Most human beings are terrible at theoretical math. Budgeting, taxes, and tips are one thing. Organic chemistry is something else.

    2. It's solitary. Even on a team, you will spend 90% of your time alone. Your peers will largely be introverts or socially awkward or simply uninterested in chit-chat.

    3. It's stinky, dangerous, and boring. You cannot have a strong "ick" reflex and work in chemistry because that happens all day long. You cannot wear nice clothing since it get eaten by the various acids and bases you use. Things smell awful and the smell gets in your hair. You cannot have 'contamination' issues since if you work in a clinical lab, you will be surrounded by awful fluids. You will get burned or exposed at some point. Shit not only happens but you will probably analyze actual shit at some point. Ditto for insect parts, explosive residue, contaminated blood, dangerous minerals, and other unsavory items.

    Much bench chemistry today is also very tedious. After you prep the samples and bring up the analytic software, you have a lot of hurry up and wait. It takes some years now to get to a point where you are doing interesting stuff.

    4. Most of the really interesting stuff involves some time doing field work setting up equipment in East Jesus and dealing with bad weather driving, wildlife (human and animal), using power tools, drawing blood, and interacting with people not in your peer group (oil rig workers, drunks, SJWs, irate land owners, bears, etc.). Even in the lab, some processes are very hot, very cold, or whatever.

    Just as most women don't see trash collection as a career (although it will usually pay much better than most admin jobs), most women don't aspire to chemistry. It's not that they aren't smart enough or that the atmosphere is sexist, it's just a job with a surprising amount of "ick".

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    Sorry to look askance at the article but I don't see a robust diversity of opinion at National Review Online.

    So Mr Goldberg, thanks for your input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    Sorry to look askance at the article but I don't see a robust diversity of opinion at National Review Online.

    So Mr Goldberg, thanks for your input.
    Goldberg is a fried-in-the-wool NeverTrumper; I'm a little surprised you give him no quarter.

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    I'm a little surprised Bok is unwilling to discuss this issue with an actual genetic female who has spent her life in a wide variety of labs. I have had many female peers who elected to drop out of the field or go part time and I know why they did since they told me at the time.

    Ask me anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post

    Ask me anything.
    What is the meaning of life?
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________
    May fordings never be too deep, And alders not too thick; May rock slides never be too steep And ridges not too slick.
    And may your bullets shoot as swell As Fred Bear's arrow's flew; And may your nose work just as well As Jack O'Connor's too.
    May winds be never at your tail When stalking down the steep; May bears be never on your trail When packing out your sheep.
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    -Seth Peterson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    My bold. By and large, chemistry is bizarrely great for women. Not only do we get preferential treatment in hiring but it's the kind of work that can easily (and profitably) be done by people who drop out for a few years and come back. It's also very accommodating to part-timers. Unless you want a management position or want to do research (most chemists do not), you can almost literally write your ticket in this field. Plus, your undergrad is more important than your grad degree in most places.

    So why aren't women flocking into Chem?

    1. Most human beings are terrible at theoretical math. Budgeting, taxes, and tips are one thing. Organic chemistry is something else.

    2. It's solitary. Even on a team, you will spend 90% of your time alone. Your peers will largely be introverts or socially awkward or simply uninterested in chit-chat.

    3. It's stinky, dangerous, and boring. You cannot have a strong "ick" reflex and work in chemistry because that happens all day long. You cannot wear nice clothing since it get eaten by the various acids and bases you use. Things smell awful and the smell gets in your hair. You cannot have 'contamination' issues since if you work in a clinical lab, you will be surrounded by awful fluids. You will get burned or exposed at some point. Shit not only happens but you will probably analyze actual shit at some point. Ditto for insect parts, explosive residue, contaminated blood, dangerous minerals, and other unsavory items.

    Much bench chemistry today is also very tedious. After you prep the samples and bring up the analytic software, you have a lot of hurry up and wait. It takes some years now to get to a point where you are doing interesting stuff.

    4. Most of the really interesting stuff involves some time doing field work setting up equipment in East Jesus and dealing with bad weather driving, wildlife (human and animal), using power tools, drawing blood, and interacting with people not in your peer group (oil rig workers, drunks, SJWs, irate land owners, bears, etc.). Even in the lab, some processes are very hot, very cold, or whatever.

    Just as most women don't see trash collection as a career (although it will usually pay much better than most admin jobs), most women don't aspire to chemistry. It's not that they aren't smart enough or that the atmosphere is sexist, it's just a job with a surprising amount of "ick".
    Well, a certain huge HMO that shall remain nameless must have figured out how to attract all those unusual women who dig bench work, because there are lots of them working there. In fact, most of the "Clinical Laboratory Scientists" I've encountered in representing that large employer have been women. I have one case where a nasty little man with a bad case of arrogance is claiming harassment by one of them, but his real problem is that he thinks he's overqualified for the menial lab assistant job he holds (he's not - he has a questionable degree from some no-name college in East Krapistan), and he doesn't like having a female boss. Meanwhile, these female scientists are hauling down excellent coin (some of the more senior ones make more than I do), especially since the job only requires a BS. The only man I've encountered in the position recently is a whiny twerp who claims the bleach used to clean the workstation after doing stool PCRs gives him asthma.

    However, unless the general run of male engineering students have changed a lot in the last 30 - 40 years, I can see why women would avoid the field. Seriously, what male in his right mind votes AGAINST becoming a co-ed dorm???????
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbit View Post
    What is the meaning of life?
    42. I thought everybody knew THAT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste Chalfonte View Post
    Well, a certain huge HMO that shall remain nameless must have figured out how to attract all those unusual women who dig bench work, because there are lots of them working there. In fact, most of the "Clinical Laboratory Scientists" I've encountered in representing that large employer have been women.
    Those are med techs, using a kit and punching buttons on a machine.
    Not who gingersnaps is talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    My bold. By and large, chemistry is bizarrely great for women. Not only do we get preferential treatment in hiring but it's the kind of work that can easily (and profitably) be done by people who drop out for a few years and come back. It's also very accommodating to part-timers. Unless you want a management position or want to do research (most chemists do not), you can almost literally write your ticket in this field. Plus, your undergrad is more important than your grad degree in most places.

    So why aren't women flocking into Chem?

    1. Most human beings are terrible at theoretical math. Budgeting, taxes, and tips are one thing. Organic chemistry is something else.

    2. It's solitary. Even on a team, you will spend 90% of your time alone. Your peers will largely be introverts or socially awkward or simply uninterested in chit-chat.

    3. It's stinky, dangerous, and boring. You cannot have a strong "ick" reflex and work in chemistry because that happens all day long. You cannot wear nice clothing since it get eaten by the various acids and bases you use. Things smell awful and the smell gets in your hair. You cannot have 'contamination' issues since if you work in a clinical lab, you will be surrounded by awful fluids. You will get burned or exposed at some point. Shit not only happens but you will probably analyze actual shit at some point. Ditto for insect parts, explosive residue, contaminated blood, dangerous minerals, and other unsavory items.

    Much bench chemistry today is also very tedious. After you prep the samples and bring up the analytic software, you have a lot of hurry up and wait. It takes some years now to get to a point where you are doing interesting stuff.

    4. Most of the really interesting stuff involves some time doing field work setting up equipment in East Jesus and dealing with bad weather driving, wildlife (human and animal), using power tools, drawing blood, and interacting with people not in your peer group (oil rig workers, drunks, SJWs, irate land owners, bears, etc.). Even in the lab, some processes are very hot, very cold, or whatever.

    Just as most women don't see trash collection as a career (although it will usually pay much better than most admin jobs), most women don't aspire to chemistry. It's not that they aren't smart enough or that the atmosphere is sexist, it's just a job with a surprising amount of "ick".
    Yes, but................. students in college don't know much of that and they won't know until they get a real job.
    In a "clinical pathology" lab - those are almost all women. Med tech being a woman's occupation, like being a nurse is.
    Unless you're talking about a clinical research lab. Then you're back to the male post docs and the female technicians that have to train them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Those are med techs, using a kit and punching buttons on a machine.
    Not who gingersnaps is talking about.
    No, ignoramus, they're not. Part of my work is establishing exactly what the claimants' jobs entail. The one who has an issue about working for a woman is a tech. These people have degrees in chemistry and/or biology, as well as specialized training in cytology, histology, virology, pathology and other clinical specialties.
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    The new 13 original states to stand up for freedom: CA, CT, IA, MA, DE, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, ME, MD, NJ (plus DC).

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