mfioretti: discrimination*

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  1. You don’t see male heroes wearing these costumes or posing like this. Outside of statistical outliers like Namor, their costumes tend to have full coverage, and when they pose, it’s to inspire fear, not boners.
    http://rosalarian.tumblr.com/post/2325861377/dressed-to-kill
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2012-01-17)
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  2. If you're on the wrong side of the class divide, recent advances in retail tech will make for depressing reading. For example, some years ago Britain's class system was automated. Now, as you shop, machines can discriminate against you far more efficiently.

    When you phone a big retailer, a machine decides what level of service you get, depending on your status. The software that makes this social judgement switches all incoming phone calls. The system identifies your phone number and cross-references that with its customer database. It then discovers, having looked up your address, what class of person you are and will route your call according to the class of service it thinks you merit.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...to-be-used-for-marketing-8413809.html
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  3. I'm pretty sure the people who create advertisements are robots, because I'd rather not think about the type of person you'd have to be to decide that any of these were good ideas.

    Don't go thinking sexist advertising only affects women: At 1:37, you'll find out how it's changed the way men see themselves, and at 2:49, there's an eye-opening experiment that you don't want to miss.
    http://www.upworthy.com/the-people-wh...ave-a-lot-of-explaining-to-do-6?c=bm1
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  4. There's now an intense scrutiny of the actions and habits of employees and potential employees, in the hope that statistical analysis will reveal those who have desired workplace traits. Factors such as choice of web browser, or when and where they eat lunch, could affect their chances.

    This process runs up against anti-discrimination laws in countries like Australia, where employers can't base their decisions on attributes such as race, sex, disability, age, and marital status.

    " Burdon and Harpur » argue that it's almost impossible for these laws to be applied when the decisions are made on the basis of talent analytics, because it's usually almost impossible for either data users (employers), or data subjects, to know even what data is being used to make decisions," Greenleaf said.

    "This is very important if we're to preserve the hard-won social policies represented by anti-discrimination laws, and prevent the hidden heuristics and emerging employment practices starting to mean that 'data is destiny'."

    Big data's approach of collecting as much data as you can, even if it seems irrelevant, because it may reveal a previously unknown correlation, also collides with the "data minimisation" principles of data privacy laws, which say that you only collect the data you need to do the job.
    http://www.zdnet.com/why-big-data-eva...sent-to-re-education-camps-7000033862
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  5. They have created lists of victims of sexual assault, and lists of people with sexually transmitted diseases. Lists of people who have Alzheimer’s, dementia and AIDS. Lists of the impotent and the depressed.

    There are lists of “impulse buyers.” Lists of suckers: gullible consumers who have shown that they are susceptible to “vulnerability-based marketing.” And lists of those deemed commercially undesirable because they live in or near trailer parks or nursing homes. Not to mention lists of people who have been accused of wrongdoing, even if they were not charged or convicted.

    Typically sold at a few cents per name, the lists don’t have to be particularly reliable to attract eager buyers — mostly marketers, but also, increasingly, financial institutions vetting customers to guard against fraud, and employers screening potential hires.

    There are three problems with these lists.

    + First, they are often inaccurate.
    + Second, even when the information is accurate, many of the lists have no business being in the hands of retailers, bosses or banks. Having a medical condition, or having been a victim of a crime, is simply not relevant to most employment or credit decisions.

    Third, people aren’t told they are on these lists, so they have no opportunity to correct bad information.


    It’s unrealistic to expect individuals to inquire, broker by broker, about their files. Instead, we need to require brokers to make targeted disclosures to consumers. Uncovering problems in Big Data (or decision models based on that data) should not be a burden we expect individuals to solve on their own.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/opi...rk-market-for-personal-data.html?_r=0
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  6. People have a mental model of shopping that is based on experiences from brick-and-mortar stores. We intuitively understand how this process works: all available products are displayed around the store and the prices are clearly marked. Many stores offer deals via coupons, membership cards, or to special classes of people such as students or AARP members. Typically, everyone is aware of these discounts and has an equal opportunity to use them.

    Many people assume this same mental model of shopping applies just as well to e-commerce websites. However, as we are discovering, this is not the case.

    In 2010, shoppers realized that Amazon was charging different users different prices for the same DVD, a practice known as price discrimination or price differentiation. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Staples was charging users different prices based on their geographic location. The paper also reported that travel retailer Orbitz was showing more expensive hotels to users browsing from Mac computers, a practice known as price steering.

    By comparing the search results shown to these automated controls and to the real users, we identified several cases of personalization. We saw price steering from Sears, with the order of search results varying from user to user. We saw price discrimination from Home Depot, Sears, Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity, with product prices varying from user to user.
    https://theconversation.com/buyer-bew...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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  7. We should not deny the horror of January 6. But, in its aftermath, rather than uncritically reaffirm French national identity and wring our hands about Muslims’ refusal to integrate, we should use this moment of reflection to understand the various ways in which Muslims are consistently excluded from the nation, and to reassess the narrow bases what it means to be French.
    https://theconversation.com/the-frenc...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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  8. Led by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Silicon Valley is loudly complaining about homophobic laws passed in Indiana and Arkansas in recent days that allow businesses to refuse service to customers based on religious beliefs.

    A who’s who of leaders from companies such as Yelp, Square, Twitter, Lyft, Airbnb, eBay, PayPal and others signed their names to a petition today urging legislatures to forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone, saying, “Discrimination is bad for business.” Petition leader Max Levchin, a PayPal co-founder and currently CEO of finance startup Affirm, told Re/code: “I am asking all CEOs to evaluate their relationships and investments in states that do not specifically protect LGBT people from discrimination.”

    That’s great and even admirable, except that here on the home front, Silicon Valley has its own very obvious discrimination problems. Gender is a big one. Race is another. The numbers are so incredibly skewed for the majority — the published diversity numbers in technology are something like 70 percent men, 90 percent white and Asian — that the situation is very often unhealthy for people who don’t or can’t fit in.

    While these are not twin causes, there are obvious parallels, and the inconsistencies between them became all the more evident this week.
    http://recode.net/2015/04/01/the-discrimination-double-standard
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  9. Once big data becomes fully consumerized, it will be possible for anyone to identify anyone based on anything from religious affiliation, sexual preference, political association, even something as trivial as rival sport team fanhood, which can then be used by individuals to discriminate against entire groups of people.

    And here we thought price discrimination and redlining by companies was all that society had to worry about in terms of rampant discriminatory behavior.

    Of course as Mitt Romney and others including the Supreme Court claim, "corporations are people" so, yes, discrimination of this type could conceivably happen on a very large scale and practically everywhere. Not because corporations and businesses are really people, for in fact they are merely legal and tax designations, but because people do indeed run businesses and therefore some of them may act as the flawed beings they are on occasion.
    http://www.fiercebigdata.com/story/in...e-big-data-consumerization/2015-04-06
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  10. The other aspect is the outrageous shark-jumping on the part of gay marriage advocates. They’ve strained credulity repeatedly by equating their wedding cakes and flowers with the massive and singular violation of human rights that we call segregation. This is a bogus argument. (A statement that I’m sure will engender endless rounds of circular debate.)

    It is also stupid because almost all gay people are down here the pits with the rest of us. Empowering corporations to attack the one voice capable of challenging their hegemony over our government and our way of life, which is the Church, is a little bit like arming the mob that wants to burn down your neighbor’s house because you don’t like your neighbor. How long before that same mob, armed with the weapons you gave them, will turn on you? When they do, your neighbor, who would have come to your aid, will be too weak to fight.

    The political exigency is that gay marriage advocates are endangering their still unsolidified victories in the sphere of gay marriage by seeking to conflate themselves with people who were slaves in this country for several hundred years, and who then were subjected to massive violations of their basic human rights by legal structures that clearly violated both the Constitution and the Gospels.

    Gay people have their just claims about mistreatment as well, but the public mistreatment of homosexuals has pretty much fallen by the wayside. As it should have.

    If they’re smart, they’ll take yes for an answer and let time resolve this debate about wedding cakes. If they’re stupid, they’ll keep on harassing and attacking hapless individuals and ruining their lives. They’ll pit themselves against basic freedoms that belong to everyone, including themselves.

    This is stupid politically, because it raises up an opposition they have not dealt with before. That is those people who actually treasure freedom of religion in this country, irregardless of gay marriage.

    It wasn’t a post attacking homosexual people. It was a post warning of the utter cold-bloodedness of politics. But the ire it wrought was entirely along the “how can you saaaayyyyy that about me?” line. The reason, I think, is that I accidentally hit a nerve. Neediness is at the bottom of a lot of this political sturm und drang. My advice to gay marriage advocates is to get your head out.

    Politics is an uncaring bosom on which to lay your emotional head. Gay people are the same as straight people. Nothing will fill the holes inside their hearts except the love of God in Christ Jesus. Take those sorrows, rejections and self-questions to the cross.

    Politics is a tool. Use it freely as any other American citizen should. But do not confuse it with your worth or your value as a child of God. There is only one affirmation any of us needs. Without it, no other affirmation will suffice. Go to the cross. And trust Him. Just, trust Him.

    Jesus loves gay people as much as He loves any one else. He wants to enfold you in His mercy. He wants to lift your pain off you and set you free from the chains that bind you. Go to Him and trust Him.

    As for politics, We the People need to get together against these overbearing corporatists while we still can. By that I mean all the people, both gay and straight.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publicca...e-activists-are-kinda-making-my-point
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