Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 107560 times)

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Offline grizewald

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1925 on: January 30, 2020, 08:26:09 pm »
Ageism is absolutely a thing, there are lots of examples of older people being swept out by rounds of layoffs, and it is a statistical fact that people over 40 have a much harder time getting hired. There are valid reasons, it costs companies more to provide health insurance to older people, they are more likely to need time off for medical issues or have expensive illnesses like heart attacks or cancer. They can be perceived as set in their ways or out of touch, there is concern that they will have high salary expectations being that far through their career, or for the 50+ crowd the concern that they will only stick around a short time before retiring. It's completely unfair since we will all (hopefully) be old at some point but it happens frequently, I've seen it myself.

Your post highlights perfectly why this happens and the underlying reasons for it. The thinking behind many of the reasons that older employees are discriminated against is, to be frank, quite disgusting. Let's look at your points:

> it costs companies more to provide health insurance to older people, they are more likely to need time off for medical issues or have expensive illnesses like heart attacks or cancer

In societies where health care is considered a basic right rather than a nice perk for the rich, treatment when you get sick isn't a "business cost" for the employer. That's also why it should be a basic right and not a privilege. If I hadn't had good health care and sick pay from both the government and my pension fund when I nearly died of cancer five years ago, my life would have been destroyed, even if I managed to survive the cancer.

> can be perceived as set in their ways or out of touch

Hmm... older employees have the benefit of decades of experience and practical understanding. When people who actually know their jobs inside out are ignored because someone who has no idea wants to follow the latest fad, serious damage is often done to the company's reputation and business and the "set in their ways" old hands get proved right.

> concern that they will have high salary expectations being that far through their career

A higher salary for those with lots of experience is appropriate and just. Also, your final salary often sets the level of your pension. Who wants to work a lifetime just to get kicked out and made unemployed just before they are about to retire and see their pension cut by 60%?

> or for the 50+ crowd the concern that they will only stick around a short time before retiring.

Your average wage slave isn't going to retire at 55 are they? The vast majority will have to work well into their late 60s to get any decent pension.

> It's completely unfair since we will all (hopefully) be old at some point but it happens frequently, I've seen it myself.

Indeed it is unfair! The preceding arguments that you make are some of the reasons why people who are 50+ are actively discriminated against by unscrupulous employers. It doesn't make it right though, just because it "happens frequently".

« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 08:27:59 pm by grizewald »
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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1926 on: January 30, 2020, 09:08:20 pm »
Ageism is absolutely a thing, there are lots of examples of older people being swept out by rounds of layoffs, and it is a statistical fact that people over 40 have a much harder time getting hired. There are valid reasons, it costs companies more to provide health insurance to older people, they are more likely to need time off for medical issues or have expensive illnesses like heart attacks or cancer. They can be perceived as set in their ways or out of touch, there is concern that they will have high salary expectations being that far through their career, or for the 50+ crowd the concern that they will only stick around a short time before retiring. It's completely unfair since we will all (hopefully) be old at some point but it happens frequently, I've seen it myself.

Your post highlights perfectly why this happens and the underlying reasons for it. The thinking behind many of the reasons that older employees are discriminated against is, to be frank, quite disgusting. Let's look at your points:

> it costs companies more to provide health insurance to older people, they are more likely to need time off for medical issues or have expensive illnesses like heart attacks or cancer

In societies where health care is considered a basic right rather than a nice perk for the rich, treatment when you get sick isn't a "business cost" for the employer. That's also why it should be a basic right and not a privilege. If I hadn't had good health care and sick pay from both the government and my pension fund when I nearly died of cancer five years ago, my life would have been destroyed, even if I managed to survive the cancer.

> can be perceived as set in their ways or out of touch

Hmm... older employees have the benefit of decades of experience and practical understanding. When people who actually know their jobs inside out are ignored because someone who has no idea wants to follow the latest fad, serious damage is often done to the company's reputation and business and the "set in their ways" old hands get proved right.

> concern that they will have high salary expectations being that far through their career

A higher salary for those with lots of experience is appropriate and just. Also, your final salary often sets the level of your pension. Who wants to work a lifetime just to get kicked out and made unemployed just before they are about to retire and see their pension cut by 60%?

> or for the 50+ crowd the concern that they will only stick around a short time before retiring.

Your average wage slave isn't going to retire at 55 are they? The vast majority will have to work well into their late 60s to get any decent pension.

> It's completely unfair since we will all (hopefully) be old at some point but it happens frequently, I've seen it myself.

Indeed it is unfair! The preceding arguments that you make are some of the reasons why people who are 50+ are actively discriminated against by unscrupulous employers. It doesn't make it right though, just because it "happens frequently".

It's funny how when startups need a CEO, who do the board of investors insist on getting? An old seasoned CEO, every time.
Name one time the board of a startup has elected to hire a young 20 something CEO because they aren't "set in their ways".
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1927 on: January 31, 2020, 03:42:11 am »
Your post highlights perfectly why this happens and the underlying reasons for it. The thinking behind many of the reasons that older employees are discriminated against is, to be frank, quite disgusting. Let's look at your points:


All perfectly valid of course. I was not trying to justify age discrimination, only laying out some of the reasons it occurs. I completely agree that the USA ought to get with the program and adopt universal healthcare like every other developed nation in the world, none of which seem to be trying to get rid of it which implies that it works pretty well. Employer provided health insurance is effectively a massive job killing tax, it's the primary reason so many companies abuse the temporary worker and outside contractor system rather than hiring FTEs. Our healthcare is very good, *if* you can afford it, but the system is such a byzantine nightmare even having decent health insurance I still dread having to navigate it and figure out what is covered and at what levels under what circumstances. On top of all that, I believe we spend far more per capita than any other nation, we just have so many layers of middle men and red tape.

That's a whole separate topic though that isn't really related to this thread.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1928 on: January 31, 2020, 02:10:28 pm »
It's funny how when startups need a CEO, who do the board of investors insist on getting? An old seasoned CEO, every time.
Name one time the board of a startup has elected to hire a young 20 something CEO because they aren't "set in their ways".
Its not just at those highest levels in a company. Who puts the youngest people in charge of their teams, because they are the most innovative and effective people to drive things?
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1929 on: January 31, 2020, 03:50:16 pm »
It's funny how when startups need a CEO, who do the board of investors insist on getting? An old seasoned CEO, every time.

Yup. Very common if the startup wants to raise a significant amount. Also true for the typical CTO position again when investors are in the loop. They are usually not going to shell out several millions to a bunch of inexperienced kids (even if the startup is essentially made of them!)
 
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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1930 on: January 31, 2020, 09:49:57 pm »
It's funny how when startups need a CEO, who do the board of investors insist on getting? An old seasoned CEO, every time.
Yup. Very common if the startup wants to raise a significant amount. Also true for the typical CTO position again when investors are in the loop. They are usually not going to shell out several millions to a bunch of inexperienced kids (even if the startup is essentially made of them!)

That's the whole point of investment like this, jump on the idea from the young kiddies and then bring in seasoned adult supervision.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1931 on: February 01, 2020, 02:58:26 am »
It's funny how when startups need a CEO, who do the board of investors insist on getting? An old seasoned CEO, every time.
Yup. Very common if the startup wants to raise a significant amount. Also true for the typical CTO position again when investors are in the loop. They are usually not going to shell out several millions to a bunch of inexperienced kids (even if the startup is essentially made of them!)

That's the whole point of investment like this, jump on the idea from the young kiddies and then bring in seasoned adult supervision.

Yeah. Problem with this approach is that it's actually a lot tougher than it seems to manage a whole team of very young engineers, even if you are very seasoned. It's a skill in itself that many startup-appointed CEOs/CTOs don't possess. The success rate is pretty low.

 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1932 on: February 01, 2020, 03:50:46 pm »
(I am a bit under the weather and hopefully I read and understood your posts correctly)
Which still doesn't explain why lowering standards would be a reasonable way to achieve this. If they are "equally competent as men", why would they need lowered standards? It again just conveys the idea that to attract them in those jobs, we just need to make things easier. As though making it easier to become engineers was going to magically get them interested. Whatever we may think of the whole feminist agenda, this reasoning is completely borked.

I would argue that the ones that are interested in engineering *are* equally competent. The thing is, there are not nearly so many of those out there so if you want to have an even gender ratio  you are forced to pick some of the less competent ones to fill the gap.

I see the idea, but I'm still absolutely not convinced it can work in the end, and I don't get/don't even agree with the reasoning. It again assumes that the less competent women will get interested in engineering suddenly because it's made easier, as though lack of competence was the main reason (or at least a significant reason) they are not interested or shy away from engineering. I'm absolutely not convinced of that one bit. The "you are forced to pick some of the less competent ones to fill the gap" implies that there would be a significant number of young women just waiting to be picked as long as it's not too difficult. That may represent a tiny fraction of them at best. The reasoning is fallacious IMO.
What I feel from the posts above is that you are forgetting the intersectionality aspect: although masked as a gender division, what these folks want is to bring is the less favoured society strata to the top tier positions in the workplace. That is why nobody claims the same issues in the trade job marketplace.

My reason to be optimistic regarding the future is the use of the tactic of moving the goalposts to perpetuate the narrative, which evidences some sort of disarray as previous arguments falter. Given the belief that women are less intelligent than men was fully debunked a long time ago, the school of thought of "gender gap" or "glass ceiling" was somewhat recently defined to highlight a reason why the gender spread is so different. The problem is the definition itself came very late after the "western and wealthy"* societies already had laws and regulations in place that forbid that, thus the idea started to falter - at least when greatly popular videos that made the news.

Then the speech started to move to "inherent bias", a concept so vague and ill defined in nature that can be applied anywhere and blamed to any group without an easy way to be disproven - after all, the inherent "pre- concepts" one has since a very early age are blamed to be enough to invalidate any argument about the opposite side. That has started to falter through the same channels that spread it, although at abslower pace due to its inherent ill defined concept.

Another concept that started to be used is the "toxic <issue du jour>" - another ill defined concept that can be applied in similar scenarios as above. That I see as starting to falter as well, although it is already shaping the workplace and has the potential to cause much more damage through "ideollogical policing" and censorship. One fine example of this moving of goalposts is the "toxic masculinity" article shared by MrMobodies below.

I am not into Football but I found this outragous:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7933703/Employers-crack-sports-chat-excludes-women.html
Quote
Employers must crack down on sports chat in the workplace because it 'excludes women and encourages laddish behaviour', management expert claims

* I call "western and wealthy" as there are many other western societies that have discrimination, poor enforcement and terrible prejudice - I know several examples in South America, for example.
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Offline magic

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1933 on: February 01, 2020, 07:10:33 pm »
Given the belief that women are less intelligent than men was fully debunked a long time ago, the school of thought of "gender gap" or "glass ceiling" was somewhat recently defined to highlight a reason why the gender spread is so different.
I wouldn't be so sure of "debunked". Commies tried that feminism thing, a whole bunch of women ended up in STEM but the top of the foodchain was still men. Soviet women ruled women's chess competitions during the Cold War, but there is reason why women's competitions even exist in the first place. I must say that in my own life women reliably fail to impress me when it comes to problem solving and creativity, with rather rare exceptions.

You say it's because of individual choice. Meh, whatever, I don't care because the outcome is the same either way. But you have a real problem with women who choose to go into STEM and fail and then blame it on sexism. You either agree with them, or you tell them that they are, ahem, not fit. Not many have the balls for the latter, so the former prevails.
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1934 on: February 01, 2020, 07:26:44 pm »
Given the belief that women are less intelligent than men was fully debunked a long time ago, the school of thought of "gender gap" or "glass ceiling" was somewhat recently defined to highlight a reason why the gender spread is so different.
When was it debunked? Most studies show the average intelligence of men and women is very similar, but men show a wider spread. Thus there are more really dumb men, and more really smart men. An activity that highlights extremes of intelligence will have a lot more men, whichever of the extremes you look at.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1935 on: February 01, 2020, 07:40:49 pm »
Given the belief that women are less intelligent than men was fully debunked a long time ago, the school of thought of "gender gap" or "glass ceiling" was somewhat recently defined to highlight a reason why the gender spread is so different.
I wouldn't be so sure of "debunked".
So you are saying women are less intelligent than men?

I must say that in my own life women reliably fail to impress me when it comes to problem solving and creativity, with rather rare exceptions.
Ah, so there are exceptions. :confused: Anecdotal evidence, then I have another for you: the top student of my class at university was, by a very large margin, a woman - and a blonde one, just to crap on another stereotype. And she was not simply good with quizzes, but really great at problem solving. At my current work some of the top technical achievers are women.

Sure, you can always mention the bell curve about intelligence spread across the population (see Damore's paper), but the vast majority of people that comprise the job market are dead in the middle of the curve.

You say it's because of individual choice. Meh, whatever, I don't care because the outcome is the same either way.
The marketplace is a very wide world. Not every work on engineering and such require brilliance and expertise of an Einstein.
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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1936 on: February 02, 2020, 05:32:22 am »
That's the whole point of investment like this, jump on the idea from the young kiddies and then bring in seasoned adult supervision.
Yeah. Problem with this approach is that it's actually a lot tougher than it seems to manage a whole team of very young engineers, even if you are very seasoned. It's a skill in itself that many startup-appointed CEOs/CTOs don't possess. The success rate is pretty low.

If the CEO is the least bit smart they don't "manage" the young engineers, they just make sure the company doesn't run out of money, and enable the engineers to do their thing. i.e. remove hurdles to them doing their thing.
 

Offline magic

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1937 on: February 02, 2020, 09:36:48 am »
The marketplace is a very wide world. Not every work on engineering and such require brilliance and expertise of an Einstein.
Good point. I entirely expect the number of female electronics/computer/software engineers to increase in the future, for the simple reason that this stuff no longer is a branch of literal rocket science as it used to be. But there you go; stereotypes, stereotypes ::)

So you are saying women are less intelligent than men?
I choose to remain skeptically unconvinced :)
There is no question that no woman I know seems to match my overall mentality and character, even though there exist some rare men like that. I entirely don't buy into the "women are just men with lower muscle mass and no pee pee" theory, everything is only a question of the exact kind and magnitude of differences.
Even wikipedia doesn't dare to put it as bluntly as you did, although they are quite fast to hype new developments of "social progress" most of the time.

Tangentially related: pictured below, the most typical specimen of "a woman" that wikipedia was able to come up with for their article on the topic. Compare with the "man" article yourself.
:-DD
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 09:38:44 am by magic »
 

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1938 on: February 02, 2020, 02:17:32 pm »
The marketplace is a very wide world. Not every work on engineering and such require brilliance and expertise of an Einstein.
Good point. I entirely expect the number of female electronics/computer/software engineers to increase in the future, for the simple reason that this stuff no longer is a branch of literal rocket science as it used to be. But there you go; stereotypes, stereotypes ::)
You have a very strange view of how things work. At any point in the history of engineering most engineering activities were reduced to rote (i.e. not rocket science), but the things that allowed someone to really prosper were the cutting edge things (i.e. the rocket science). Nothing has changed, or is likely to change for a long time, even if silicon development truly hits a road block beyond 5nm. Without the cutting edge stuff you in the commodity business, and rewards are low. The real money is always in what differentiates you from the bulk of the market.

Even if the whole of engineering became dumbed down, its not ability that separates men from women in engineering today. Its their interests. That seems unlikely to change.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1939 on: February 02, 2020, 02:50:53 pm »
That's the whole point of investment like this, jump on the idea from the young kiddies and then bring in seasoned adult supervision.
Yeah. Problem with this approach is that it's actually a lot tougher than it seems to manage a whole team of very young engineers, even if you are very seasoned. It's a skill in itself that many startup-appointed CEOs/CTOs don't possess. The success rate is pretty low.

If the CEO is the least bit smart they don't "manage" the young engineers, they just make sure the company doesn't run out of money, and enable the engineers to do their thing. i.e. remove hurdles to them doing their thing.

Which, in the end, rarely works. If you think a team beyond a few (I'd say 5 people from experience, YMMV) can manage itself safely for an extended period of time, think again. It often ends up very badly.

But most startups end up in the trash bin anyway. So it's not like this model has really proven that it worked.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1940 on: February 02, 2020, 08:16:12 pm »
Every great company is the child of a bright idea and a dictator. Democracy and committees don't work well for that.
http://brave.com <- THE BEST BROWSER
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1941 on: February 02, 2020, 08:21:43 pm »
Every great company is the child of a bright idea and a dictator. Democracy and committees don't work well for that.

Indeed. ;D
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1942 on: February 02, 2020, 08:52:18 pm »
Is there anything gender politics abhors more than a meritocratic dictatorship?
According to the tenets of intersectionalism, that's like the two most evil things wrapped together.  (Okay, nationalism and individualism might be categorized as even worse.)

Yet, it is how the best projects and companies come to be.  Makes one think, eh?  >:D
 

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Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1944 on: February 03, 2020, 10:53:01 am »
You're gonna get crazy, stop reading that rubbish.
http://brave.com <- THE BEST BROWSER
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1945 on: February 03, 2020, 10:57:00 am »
What the fuck. That paper author needs to go and read Jan Gullberg's book and shut the fuck up.

Really...



 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1946 on: February 03, 2020, 11:12:26 am »
They appear blind to the many key contributions to mathematics from, for example, the medieval Arabic world. Have these "educationalists" not heard of algebra, for example? It's almost as if they're deliberately trying to hide those contributions to promote an agenda of some sort...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 11:14:57 am by Howardlong »
 
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Online coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1947 on: February 03, 2020, 11:15:08 am »
Just one of the gems from this paper:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325828792_Political_conocimiento_for_teaching_mathematics_Why_teachers_need_it_and_how_to_develop_it


Interestingly that has been written at just the time when people are tracing maths back to its earliest sources, and the Pythagorean theorem is increasingly being renamed the Gougu theorem (勾股定理) in western texts. This is the name it has always had in China. Interestingly Google translate hasn't caught up, and if you translate 勾股定理 to English it says Pythagorean theorem. Pretty much all maths up to calculus originated in China or India (an Indian wrote about the Gougu theorem first, but didn't provide a proof, so they don't really count), and much of it filtered to the west through the Middle East, so we use Arabic names for many mathematical terms. You could reasonably say that maths is the area of human development with the most racially diverse contributors, but personally I think the white man is being oppressed by these Asians. :)
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1948 on: February 03, 2020, 11:50:20 am »
Just one of the gems from this paper:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325828792_Political_conocimiento_for_teaching_mathematics_Why_teachers_need_it_and_how_to_develop_it
The abstract is a perfect example of how crazy gets traction: the first part is very reasonable, and gets anyone interested in enhancing maths teaching pumped.  Then, for the solution/explanation part, they do a jump into crazy.  For many people who aren't paranoid enough or experienced enough with crazy to expect such a jump, it is too easy to make the jump without noticing, and land in the crazy land; believing they got there along a perfectly understandable, trustworthy solid road.

A decade or two ago, I first noticed/encountered this with a web site called thunderbolts.info.  Yes, it's the electric universe folks.  At that time, the web site blurb started with completely sane description of how electrical phenomena has been largely ignored in astronomy.  We know about the flux tube between Io and Jupiter -- at 400 kV and 3 MA (1200 GW) it is pretty significant --, so the premise is interesting and completely believable.  But then, the blurb made the jump: ".. and therefore the Sun is a purely electrical phenomena."

This is the exact same method "magic"/sleight of hand works: you distract them with something believable, so they won't notice when the trick/jump occurs.

How many people you know who can see right through close-up magic tricks?  I know none; even Penn and Teller, well-respected experts in this sort of stuff, get fooled by it.  In written text, the jump is much more easily detected, because you can re-read passages -- like filming a trick with a fast camera, then reviewing it frame-by-frame --, but still, too many people, including people much more intelligent than I, completely miss the jump, and are easily fooled.

The worst thing about this is that a lot of people who originate this sort of crap, do not realize they made that jump into crazy-land, and will actively fight you if you point it out to them.  Because it undermines the internal stability of their beliefs, I guess.

(I'm pointing this out in the hopes that some who have not noticed such jumps before, could.  It makes it easier to understand how crazy propagates even among otherwise reasonable people: they just didn't notice making the jump from a reasonable premise to a crazy-land-solution.)
 
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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1949 on: February 03, 2020, 12:17:58 pm »
(I'm pointing this out in the hopes that some who have not noticed such jumps before, could.  It makes it easier to understand how crazy propagates even among otherwise reasonable people: they just didn't notice making the jump from a reasonable premise to a crazy-land-solution.)

That happens in many fields, from religion to audiophoolery.
 
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