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"Two applicant profiles were created for a police chief position. One profile was streetwise and one..."

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“Two applicant profiles were created for a police chief position. One profile was streetwise and one was formally educated. When the streetwise candidate was named Michael and the formally educated candidate was named Michelle, participants tended to choose Michael-and when questioned why, would believe that streetwise characteristics were more important for the job of police chief. But when the streetwise candidate was named Michelle and the formally educated candidate was named Michael, participants would still tend to choose Michael, and would now believe that formal education was more important. This is how we are as humans. Many people who discriminate “feel especially convinced that their selected candidate is the obvious and objective choice.””

- From The Best Candidate is a Lie by Brie Code for gamesindustry.biz, referencing this 2005 study. (via cassolotl)
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diannemharris
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Science: CEOs Are Such Bullshit

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Fuck this guy: Getty

“CEO” is a term for someone who is paid more money than you because they are able to project a large degree of confidence about their wrong ideas. Don’t take my word for it—it’s science!

The duties of CEOs vary somewhat from company to company, but they all have a few things in common:

  • They are paid an astounding sum of money, relative to the people who do the actual “work.”
  • They justify their salary by taking credit for everything that goes right and blaming everything that goes wrong on rogue employees or uncontrollable “market forces.” And,
  • They are okay to look at.

The third point is very important. CEOs need not have model looks, but they do need to have a reassuring look, like airline pilots. When you watch a CEO speak, you must think to yourself, “This middle-aged white male has everything under control.” Whether or not that is in fact the case is a minor, secondary point. There are underlings for that.

Want some science? Here is the science: via the WSJ, a new study published in Management Science, your favorite magazine, shows that blind testing reveals that real life CEOs just have that look—the look that matters. Bolding ours:

Our experiments, studying the facial traits of CEOs using nearly 2,000 subjects, link facial characteristics to both CEO compensation and performance. In one experiment, we use pairs of photographs and find that subjects rate CEO faces as appearing more “competent” than non-CEO faces. Another experiment matches CEOs from large firms against CEOs from smaller firms and finds large-firm CEOs look more competent. In a third experiment, subjects numerically score the facial traits of CEOs. We find competent looks are priced into CEO compensation, more so than attractiveness. Our evidence suggests this premium has a behavioral origin. First, we find no evidence that the premium is associated with superior performance. Second, we separately analyze inside and outside CEO hires and find that the competence compensation premium is driven by outside hires—the situation where first impressions are likely to be more important.

So if you look goofy, uninspiring, otherwise different from someone who might be afforded a starring role in a “Just For Men” commercial, you may not have what it takes to be a CEO. Sorry.

A CEO job is welfare for dudes with salt-and-pepper hair.

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diannemharris
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Congressman Calls Women “Hosts,” Which Makes Fetuses Parasites

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Support more videos like this at patreon.com/rebecca!

Sorta transcript:

Oklahoma State Republican Justin Humphrey has proposed a bill that would force women seeking abortions to get written consent from the father of the embryo or fetus in question beforehand, unless she’s been raped, which is nice.

This has gotten headlines not just because it’s a fucking nightmare situation where a politician determines that a woman can’t make her own decisions about her body without a man’s permission, but also because Humphrey has stated that he likes to think of a woman not as a person really but more of a “host.” That’s his word, exactly: host. He means this in the biological sense, of an organism that harbors another organism.

A lot of women have taken great offense at this terminology, though Humphrey stands by his wording regardless of the outcry. There’s a chance this might catch on amongst Republicans, who long ago learned that dehumanizing your enemy makes it easier to visit atrocities upon them. With that in mind, I’d like to briefly discuss the bright side of thinking of women as “hosts.”

In biology, where there is a host, there is a “guest.” Guest is the term used for the other organism. There are three types of guest: commensal, mutual, and parasitic. Commensal guests benefit from their hosts without affecting the host positively or negatively. A mutual guest benefits from their host while also giving the host benefits. A parasitic guest benefits from the host while negatively affecting them.

Of those three categories, can you guess which one a fetus would best fit? A fetus leaches nutrients from a woman, forcing her to consume more food. The negative effects of pregnancy include, at worst, death. There’s also depression, blood clots, prolapsed uterus, hemorrhage, cramping, inflamed hemorrhoids, incontinence, mood swings, hair loss, high blood pressure, acne, constipation, indigestion, nausea, exhaustion, joint swelling, backaches, and osteoporosis. Among others.

In fact, the only possible benefit of pregnancy is that at the end you might get a baby out of it, which means that the only way that a “host” woman wouldn’t be able to consider a fetus a parasite is if the pregnancy was wanted.

So, if Humphrey’s “host” terminology does catch on, we can always switch tactics to campaigning for everyone’s right to safe and affordable parasite removal. After all, no one is standing in front of hospitals holding protest signs with pictures of baby tapeworms on them. It might work.

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diannemharris
3 days ago
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this is how i always talk about the abortion debate. We don't push people who eat raw meat for getting parasites.
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Worse than ISIS?

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A real company that is probably getting a lot of grief about its name nowadays.  Via.
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diannemharris
3 days ago
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hannahdraper
4 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Michael Flynn Is Out

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General Michael Flynn, under pressure for having made calls to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition, has resigned as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor. He resigned last night, after the day started with members of the administration assuring that Trump had full faith in Flynn. Whoooooops.


There are several potential reasons why Trump didn't fire Flynn. In the Washington Post, Greg Miller and Philip Rucker report that an anonymous senior White House official says "Trump does not relish firing people." So it could be as simple as weak character: A president who is unable to do the right thing even when it needs to be done.

Another possibility, of course, is that Trump wants to be able to retain the right to say that the media forced Flynn out with a witchhunt, so his supporters, who are standing by and vociferously defending Flynn, don't turn on him.

I also suspect that part of Trump's unwillingness to fire Flynn is because Trump doesn't actually believe Flynn did anything wrong. Trump gets very belligerent when he is accused of doing something unethical, or even illegal, that he doesn't think should be off-limits, and, given his own affinity for Russia, and his off-script national security approaches, it's easy to imagine he thinks Flynn's conversations with the Russians were fine and dandy, and thus Flynn doesn't deserve to be fired.

Particularly if Flynn were acting on orders from Trump.

During an interview with Matt Lauer on Today this morning, White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway essentially confirmed that theory, reiterating over and over again that the issue was not the content of the call itself, but misleading Vice President Mike Pence about it, despite the fact that the White House has known about that since last month. And she had no good answer when Lauer noted raised the specter that Flynn wasn't "freelancing" on that call, but making it on the president's orders.

[Starting at 0:46] CONWAY: I think misleading the vice-president really was the key here. And I spoke with the president this morning; he asked me to speak on his behalf and to reiterate that Mike Flynn had resigned—he decided that he, that the situation had become unsustainable for him here, and of course the president accepted that resignation.

LAUER: But wait a second— You're saying that's the straw that broke the camel's back, but the White House knew about that last month, when the Justice Department warned the White House that Mr. Flynn, or General Flynn, had not been completely honest in characterizing that conversation with the Russian ambassador—and they even went further to say that, as a result of that dishonesty, he was at risk for blackmailing by the Russians.

CONWAY: Well, that's one characterization. But the fact is that General Flynn continued in that position, and was in the presidential daily briefings, was part of the leader calls as recently as yesterday, was there for the Prime Minister's visit from Canada yesterday, and, as time wore on, obviously the situation had become unsustainable—

LAUER: Kelly—

CONWAY: —and General Flynn—

LAUER: Kelly, that makes no sense. Last month the Justice Department warned the White House that General Flynn had misled them, and, as a result, he was vulnerable to blackmail, and, at that moment, he still had the complete trust of the president?!

CONWAY: Matt, I'm telling you what the president has said, which is that he's accepted General Flynn's resignation, and he wishes him well, and that we're moving on— There are at least three candidates, very strong candidates, that will be considered for a permanent position here; obviously General Keith Kellogg is the acting National Security Advisor starting today, and the president is moving forward.

LAUER: I want to go back to that phone call with the Russian ambassador back in December. You're starting to make me think that perhaps General Kelly was not freelancing during that call when he talked about or hinted—I'm sorry, General Flynn, that he wasn't freelancing during that call, that in fact he may have been making that call on behalf of the administration, or the incoming administration. Would that be accurate?

CONWAY: No, that's—it would be a mistake to conclude that. Remember, in the end, it was misleading the vice-president that made the situation unsustainable.

LAUER: Which the White House knew about last month. And yet yesterday, you went on the air and said that General Flynn had the complete and full confidence of the president.
And round and round they went.

The takeaway here is that Trump simply doesn't believe it was a fireable offense. Probably the only person in the administration who does is Pence, and only then because Flynn made him look bad for misleading him, causing him to lie on national television (or so the story goes).

All of which is to underline that Flynn's resignation should not be treated as the end of this story, but the beginning of further probing into the Trump administration—especially since Trump has clearly long known about Russian interference and not cared about it, except insofar as he has exploited it for his own gain.

The next question that must be answered is this: Did Donald Trump authorize Michael Flynn to make the call over which he's now resigning?

* * *

Here is some further recommended reading:

Andrew Roth at the Washington Post: Russian Lawmakers Rush to the Defense of Trump's Ex-National Security Adviser. "The heads of the foreign affairs committees in both Russia's upper and lower houses of parliament chalked up Michael Flynn's resignation to a dark campaign of Russophobia in Washington, and said it would undermine relations between the White House and the Kremlin."

Amanda Terkel at The Huffington Post: House Oversight Committee Chair Won't Investigate Michael Flynn. "House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday he will not pursue an investigation into what contacts Michael Flynn had with the Russian government before Donald Trump took office, and whether Flynn then lied about his communications." Instead, Chaffetz says: "It's taking care of itself."

James Hohmann and Breanne Deppisch at the Washington Post: 10 Unanswered Questions After Michael Flynn's Resignation. "1. What, if anything, did Trump authorize Flynn to tell the Russians before his inauguration?"

Paul Waldman at The Week: The Most Dysfunctional White House in Memory. "And since it was a core part not just of Trump's campaign but his genuine feeling that the people who have been running the government in recent decades are incompetent and stupid, it's no surprise that he has stocked his administration with people who have never worked in government before—and therefore don't really know how it works. This is particularly true of his inner circle. Their bungles infuriate him, which leads to distrust, which makes them ready to undermine him. The White House at the moment, reports Mike Allen, is characterized by 'insecurity, ass-covering, and endless leaking.'"
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diannemharris
5 days ago
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Butcher: which part of the leg do you want? Me: All of it, in five pieces please

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This ABC News chart seemed to have taken over the top of my Twitter feed so I better comment on it.

abcnews_trumptransition

Someone at ABC News tried really hard to dress up the numbers. The viz is obviously rigged - Obama at 79% should be double the length of Trump's 40% but not even close!

In the Numbersense book (Chapter 1), I played the role of the Devious Admissions Officer who wants to game the college rankings. Let me play the role of the young-gun dataviz analyst, who has submitted the following chart to the highers-up:

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_accurate1

I just found out the boss blew the fuse after seeing my chart. The co-workers wore dirty looks, saying without saying "you broke it, you fix it!"

How do I clean up this mess?

Let me try the eye-shift trick.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_hollowfave1

The solid colors draw attention to themselves, and longer bars usually indicate higher or better so the quick reader may think that Obama is the worst and Trump is the best at ... well, "Favorability on taking office," as the added title suggests.

Next, let's apply the foot-chop technique. This fits nicely on a stacked bar chart

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_onecut1

I wantonly drop 20% of dissenters from every President's data. Such grade inflation actually makes everyone look better, a win-win-win-win-win-win-win proposition. While the unfavorables for Trump no longer look so menacing, I am still far from happy as, with so much red concentrated at the bottom of the chart, eyes are  focused on the unsightly "yuge" red bar, and it is showing Trump with 50% disapproval.

I desperately need the white section of the last bar to trump its red section. It requires the foot-ankle-knee-thigh treatment - the whole leg.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_onebigcut1

Now, a design issue rears its head. With such an aggressive cut, there would be no red left in any of the other bars.

I could apply two cuts, a less aggressive cut at the top and a more aggressive cut at the bottom.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_twocuts1

The Presidents neatly break up into two groups, the top three Democrats, and the bottom four Republicans. It's always convenient to have an excuse for treating some data differently from others.

Then, I notice that the difference between Clinton and GW Bush is immaterial (68% versus 65%), making it awkward to apply different cuts to the two neighbors. No problem, I make three cuts.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_threecuts1

The chart is getting better and better! Two, three, why not make it five cuts? I am intent on making the last red section as tiny as possible but I can't chop more off the right side of GHW Bush or Reagan without giving away my secret sauce.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_fivecuts1

The final step is to stretch each bar to the right length. Mission accomplished.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_fivecuts_rescaled1

This chart will surely win me some admiration. Just one lingering issue: Trump's red section is still the longest of the group. It's time for the logo trick. You see, the right ends of the last two bars can be naturally shortened.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_fivecuts_logo1

The logo did it.

***

Faking charts can take as much effort as making accurate ones.

The ABC News chart encompasses five different scales. For every President, some percentage of dissenters were removed from the chart. The amount of distortion ranges from 15% to 47% of respondents.

Redo_abcnews_trumpfav_distortion1

 

 

 

 

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superiphi
4 days ago
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Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
popular
5 days ago
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hannahdraper
5 days ago
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Washington, DC
diannemharris
5 days ago
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jepler
5 days ago
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Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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2 public comments
christophersw
4 days ago
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"Faking charts can take as much effort as making accurate ones."
Baltimore, MD
fxer
5 days ago
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where is the Broadcast Television Graphic Artist Intern Code of Ethics we so desperately need
Bend, Oregon
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