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Skepchick Quickies 10.7

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13 Comments

  1. Yes! Ada Lovelace Day!

    “Forget this world and all its troubles and if
    possible its multitudinous Charlatans – every thing
    in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.”- Charles Babbage, in letter to Lovelace 1843

  2. I thought it was interesting that several points in the TED talk seemed to directly contradict the busted myths in the article(particularly the down turning economy affecting men more). It makes me a bit suspicious about the statistics both parties were throwing around.

    It also made me a bit uneasy that the TED talk seemed to be using newspaper headlines to back up many of its claims. That said, it’s a TED talk, it’s kind of hard to reference a list of academic papers in a visually interesting way in a 10 minute presentation:)

    • The myth article is based on a longitudinal study of MBA graduates–it’s far more solid evidence.
      I can definitely see some ways that study could be improved, but that’s true of all research.

  3. I can see why that Tee is on sale… no one is buying it.

    I remember Ada fondly. In a previous incarnation her image graced my cubicle where I worked with the first fully compliant Ada compiler.

    I am of many minds on the breast cancer article. I actually understand statistics and know how numbers are misused. On the other hand, my ex wife was pretty clear on how her procrastination was going to kill her – and she was right. She put off some tests that delayed detection and treatment until it was too late. When statistics reduce to a real person, any narrative loses interest.

  4. Hello All,

    In regard to the gender gap thing and women taking over, I read an article in Slate that discussed this issue and pointed out that over 95% of the world’s wealth is still owned by men. Please note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that men own >95% of everything but rather that the ruling elite across the world are overwhelmingly male.

    Most of the news articles I have read point to statistics indicating that women are well represented at the lower levels of all professions (grad students, junior lawyers, management) but are very under represented at higher levels (senior professor, law firm partner, CEO etc) and suggest that this is due to gender discrimination. My personal view is that this is not discrimination against women but against primary carers (overwhelmingly women) who are less flexible and less able to provide time in extremely demanding professions.

    The gender gap is also a well known aspect in education with girls doing, on average, significantly better than boys in academics. Some critics have sought to blame this on the higher percentage of female teachers than male: “Education is for women, by women!” I recall one critic saying. Others blame the lack of male role models in schools for the relatively poorer performance at schools. My own personal view is that a far higher percentage of boys dream about becoming professional athletes than girls and this may be enough to cause a difference in academic performance.

    Oh well, that’s my $0.02.

    Meepo!

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