Link love and a challenge update

For those following me at home.  This week’s goal was 2,500 steps/day.  How did I do?:
Feb 1: 7,194 (DH had a dentist appointment so I had to get DC1 which I did on foot)
Feb 2: 2,951 (Pacing while waiting for DH put me over the edge on this one)
Feb 3: 6,946 (I had the car so I had to walk from the parking lot, went for coffee at work, walked to the village store during DC1’s piano lesson to pick up a loaf of bread)
Feb 4: 9,769 (DH had the car so I walked to pick up both kids.  We got smoothies on the way home from DC2.)
Feb 5: 4,420 (Decided to pick up DC1 by foot for funsies because I was home because my laptop broke at work and I’ve been seriously procrastinating)

Go me.  One thing I notice is that I would rather exercise than work which means my work has been suffering a bit.  :/  DC1 chatters a lot more while walking home than zie does in the car (where zie generally reads a book).

And now for some links!

UN experts horrified by how American schools treat black children.

Marlon Brando on Hollywood’s diversity problem.

America Ferrera answers a stupid question.

What happened when Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, the answer may not surprise you.

The comments on every article about sexism illustrate the exact problem

For a laugh.

Read the comments and ponder how privilege is a many splendored thing

Michael Moore on the Flint tragedy

Dr. Cleveland was wrong about Hillary Clinton.

The only reason to attack Clinton on lack of progressivity is political.

Wandering scientist has a one hour productivity seminar

Budgetpalooza

Hypnotic

newborn horse sneezes

Link Love

#realacademicbios   Also :(

I thought the comments on this one were especially clever (disclaimer:  half of them are mine…)

Birth of a Nation

Disney princesses and talking (I also wonder what it would look like if they took out the villains!)

glad to see I’m not the only one who thought Love Actually was really creepy

Also creepy

What has Obama ever done for us (with apologies to John Cleese)

This comment from quixote

Also this comment from Delia Harrington

Moosesplainer

Sheldon gets into the konmari thing

A good explanation of how the lead in pipes thing works with ph and stuff.  Water filters (note:  we do not get $ from this– I’m not exactly sure why #2 sent it?) (Because we should think about water sometimes, is why.)

A windy city gal needs your help for a reading thing

Stacking pennies discusses her minimum spend to be comfortable and breaks it out.

dear debt: what you don’t understand is that my husband and I are a TEAM. We tackle things together, both of us against you. You’re outnumbered. You can’t win. Scram.

When keeping chickens was patriotic

self driving cars and the future

Reading the people’s stories here is heartbreaking.

#defeathepantsiarchy

EPIC

Selfish reasons white men should be interested in equal pay

So I was reading an economic history book by Claudia Goldin (again), and in her chapter on Political Economy of Gender, she talks about why unions have traditionally endorsed equal pay for women (and minorities).

Essentially, the idea is that if employers are allowed to offer women and minorities lower wages, then that is what they will do.  The wages will drop and white men will be unable to find employment or will have to accept the lower wage.  The underlying assumption is that women and minorities are doing the same work as the white men, but are willing to accept lower wages for it.

If men’s rights activists really believe that the world is a meritocracy, and white men are actually the best, then insisting that women be paid the same as men makes perfect sense.  If wages are the same for all workers doing the same work, then, under those assumptions, employers will only hire white men and their wages will stay high.  Women will work at less productive jobs at lower wages.  (Of course, there’s a bunch of new experimental research out that shows that low wages decrease productivity in spot markets– folks are rediscovering the efficiency wage argument!)

These arguments are a bit simplistic and mostly ignore general equilibrium effects, but it is very interesting how the rhetoric around equal pay for equal work has changed.  And how blue-collar white men supported equal pay for their own selfish interests, but now they no longer seem to.

Who benefits from paying women less?  Not the men married to them who would benefit from higher incomes (except, maybe, in terms of balance of power in the household).  Not the men working along-side them.  Employers benefit.

Link Love

As I write this, I have massive hiccups.  I keep trying to muffle them, but occasionally one will sneak out.  mhic mhic mhic HICCUP! mhic

Oh my God, I just can’t even with the Flint water crisis.  This is a 19th century problem that WE SOLVED.  And the effects are so terrible.  Werner Troesken wrote an excellent but horrifying book about it.  I can’t believe this could be happening in the 21st century.  We need a revolution.  Public safety, infrastructure… a new war on poverty a war for public health, public safety.

Also awful from true stories  backward.

This article illustrates exactly the problem with Macklemore.  Eminem doesn’t have this problem because he’s actually GOOD.  (Though Thrift Shop is truly catchy.  But it’s good like All about that base is good, as a one-hit pop wonder.)  So his heart is in the right place, but man, can the Grammies be awarded on merit for a change, instead of to the not as good white guy?

DeRay McKesson is awesome.  I wish this interview could have gone on longer!

The horrible consequences of reporting sexual harassment.  Burn, patriarchy, burn.

So even though isidewith has me 95% with Bernie and 92% with Hillary, I’m going with Hillary (#2 is going with Bernie), assuming I can get my damned voter registration thing figured out for the absentee ballot (my registration is “in suspense” because the post office here sucks and only occasionally delivers mail to us instead of returning it).  This is basically how I feel.  And extra especially this comment from megpie71.

This is a really interesting interview with Sia about crafting pop music.

Go climb that cupboard!

If someone gives you a whole lot of persimmons, this is a good recipe.

How to slice a pizza.  (The answer may surprise you)

This is pretty cool, also exsanguinate is a pretty cool word.

h/t historian for this post whose comments you should definitely read

With the stock market down, now is a good time to do Traditional IRA rollovers/conversions, in case you’re ever thinking of doing a backdoor roth. Why? Because you pay taxes on the earnings and when the stock market is down, you have smaller earnings (possibly even losses)

Policy wonks might be interested in this economics lecture on household finances, wealth, and mistakes.  Related:  why bond prices go down when interest rates go up.

November lessons? from table for one

Very cool money post from a Natural Scientist.

Ask the grumpies: What do you think about that horrible Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci article?

Taia asks:

I read your blog occasionally and am interested in your comments on this article studying hiring preferences for male/female academics in science fields.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/08/1418878112.abstract

Anything for an occasional blog reader?

There’s already some great commentary on this terrible article (shame on PNAS for publishing it!) <– scroll down in the link for a bunch of linked studies.

In addition to all of the problems already illuminated in the linked criticism, but there are some elements of the survey design right off the bat that have been shown to decrease predicted discrimination.  For example, comparing two functionally identical resumes next to each other results in decreased implicit bias (according to a much better written PLOS One article).  That’s why good lab studies will compare across participants rather than within participants.  Field studies do often compare within participants (job openings), but they aren’t the only two resumes being considered, and even so, a new working paper by a researcher (David Phillips) from Hope college shows that by sending functionally identical resumes in these field studies, matched pair audit studies do change how the resumes are perceived.

Also the quality of the candidates matters– there seems to be a winner take all thing going in many stem fields so when women are at the top of the distribution they’re preferred, but when they’re not at the top, they are discriminated against compared to similar males.

Finally, even if the research designs were externally and internally valid (which they are not, see linked commentary), there have been at least 19 studies showing the opposite of this study, so it’s unlikely, but these results could just be random.

(That’s not even including the history that the authors have of doing bad science to support their demonstrated agenda.)

Bridesmaid shoes, conferences, and patriarchy

#2 has decided on bridesmaid dresses that have a bit of an Ancient Greek thing going.  There’s probably a lot of that going on in weddings across the country this year given their popularity at David’s Bridal.

While listening to a somewhat dull talk at a recent conference, I noticed these sandals (in black, not tan) on the conference-goer beside me.  They look much better in person than they do on the website.  And they have just that hint of an Ancient Greek thing going on.

“Where did you get those?  They are perfect!” I whispered.

“Teva,” she whispered back.

“NO WAY!” I said quietly, causing the gentleman on my other side to give me a raised eyebrow.  (He then teased me for shoe-shopping during a talk as I looked up the name of the shoe and emailed #2 to make sure the sandal was approved before purchasing.  A few minutes later I suggested that perhaps that email he was writing was not about how exciting the talk was.  It wasn’t.)

The next day as I told my former seat-mate that I’d purchased her shoes for the wedding, the woman she’d been talking to looked down and said they were awesome shoes and she wanted them too.  Where did she get them?

“Teva”

“NO WAY!”

After we had a brief discussion of their comfort and elegance, she wrote down the exact name of the shoe for later purchase.

As I related this conversation to DH, my oldest asked why these shoes being Tevas had produced such surprise.

Well, I explained, the patriarchy makes it difficult for women to wear the same kinds of shoes as men without facing social disapprobation.  With women’s shoes, usually shoes are either comfortable or they’re fashionable but not both.  Teva is a brand that is known for being extremely comfortable, but not something you can wear to work or a wedding.  They mostly make hiking sandals.

With women’s shoes, the holy grail is elegant shoes that don’t hurt a person’s feet.  When such an impossibility occurs, it naturally elicits surprise and happiness.

It shouldn’t be that way.  Men and women should both have shoes that are comfortable and attractive.  They should be able to wear the same kinds of shoes.  But society says no.  And society suggests that when it comes to formal or professional wear, only women’s shoes should come in styles that damage a person’s feet.  Stupid patriarchy.

Leave Cara alone!

On the way to work while trying to avoid election coverage, I flipped to a top 40 station, as one does.  On this station, there was a stupid radio program with the talking heads bashing Cara Delevingne (a model/actress whose face you have seen because it’s everywhere right now both because she’s in a new John Green movie and making news but also because she’s the face of several products).  The talking heads excerpted an interview where the interviewers were trying to get Ms. Delevingne to say something terrible about her new movie or to admit that she’s exhausted/tired.  At first she denies denies, the movie is great, I’m not tired, then finally they’re like, is it just us?  And she says yes.

Then the radio hosts cut away and said Cara Delevingne continued to watch the tv as those reporters talked smack to her.  Then they started talking their own smack about her about how she is an actress and makes lots of money and shouldn’t be rude to reporters.  No mention of the reporters being rude to her.

They treated her as if she’s not a person, she’s just a figure that they want to take down.  She’s a successful woman and they want to exploit every perceived weakness because women are not allowed to be strong and rich and successful.  If they are, they’re certainly not allowed to be happy.  And the fact that she still pays attention to what the media says about her means they have a chance for drama which will drive audience towards them.  They’re probably hoping for a Britney Spears style melt-down (or, failing that, a Lindsay Lohan style collapse).

Would they do this to a man, even an outspoken man?  Of course not.

Stay strong, Ms. Delevingne.  You are a human being, not just a media idol.  I can’t imagine having to deal with all that nastiness.  You certainly don’t deserve it.

related:  A little googling finds that John Green is on the same wavelength here

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