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April 27, 2006


Phil at work

"Has there been a single controversial issue in any of the social sciences which has been settled by the statistical evidence alone? I’m not sure there has."

Either that's a statement of the blindingly obvious or it's an insight of such brilliance that only you and I are privileged to understand it. I mean, it seems pretty obvious to me, given the nature of statistical tests & social science data. But that doesn't rule out the second possibility.

laika the space dog

I never understand the feminist argument here.

The evil, top hatted, cane twirling capitalists are all men. They hate women and care only about profit so they pay women less than men - right? So why do they ever employ any men at all? Why aren't women their first choice to do every job?

If an employer can get away with paying a woman less than a man for exactly the same job, why would a rational, spit, employer ever employ any men at all? Do they forgo extra profit and employ men in jobs women would do for less out of male solidarity?

The feminist argument is that women are just naturally better at many things (nurturing children, empathy, listening, not fighting wars etc) but where men are 'better' at something it's all down to sexism and the patriarchy and discrimination.

The fact that women are paid less in a host of different countries might equally be evidence that other, non 'sexist' factors are at play - career breaks for motherhood, different priorities etc.

One thing which is noticable is that jobs which become dominated by women lose status. Secretaries were once men, the keepers of secrets, but that job lost all importance when women took it over. Working in a bank or teaching used to have much higher status in the past when they were dominated by men than they do now. Doctors were once all men, now perhaps their status is slipping as more women become doctors. Success in exams at school used to be worthy of admiration but now everyone leaves with an A in golf studies and psychology and girls outstrip boys at every level it isn't given much status. This aspect of 'sexism' is seldom remarked opon.

Paul Scargill

As a computer programmer I'd like to point out that your initial assumtion that a digital device can produce a random output was erronious.

Also, on a point of taste - you can't seriously like Country Music? =)

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