segregation sim is based off the work of Nobel Prize-winning game theorist, Thomas Schelling. Specifically, his 1971 paper, Dynamic Models of Segregation. We built on top of this, and showed how a small demand for diversity can desegregate a neighborhood. In other words, we gave his model a happy ending.
Schelling's model gets the general gist of it, but of course, real life is more nuanced. You might enjoy looking at real-world data, such as W.A.V. Clark's 1991 paper, A Test of the Schelling Segregation Model.
There are other mathematical models of institutionalized bias out there! Male-Female Differences: A Computer Simulation shows how a small gender bias compounds as you move up the corporate ladder. The Petrie Multiplier shows why an attack on sexism in tech is not an attack on men.
Today's Big Moral Message™ is that demanding a bit of diversity in your spaces makes a huge difference overall.
1. Small individual bias → Large collective bias.
When someone says a culture is shapist, they're not saying the individuals in it are shapist. They're not attacking you personally.
2. The past haunts the present.
Your bedroom floor doesn't stop being dirty just coz you stopped dropping food all over the carpet. Creating equality is like staying clean: it takes work. And it's always a work in progress.
3. Demand diversity near you.
If small biases created the mess we're in, small anti-biases might fix it. Look around you. Your friends, your colleagues, that conference you're attending. If you're all triangles, you're missing out on some amazing squares in your life - that's unfair to everyone. Reach out, beyond your immediate neighbors.
Digital technologies, such as ever-higher-quality communications and remote management with virtual reality or telepresence, will make countries less reliant on simple products for exports: higher quality interactions will become easier over vast distances. They open up scope for growth strategies that involve more complicated goods and especially services: not just call centres, but integrated design, or accountancy services, and even remote health or personal care. In the report, we identify five emerging tech-based pathways for prosperity, including some with more domestically driven growth engines, that go beyond past successful strategies.
Our report on digital technologies articulates a concern that current business models and the nature of government action in most countries will not lead to a route to including these three billion. We will need new business models as well as better government action, including sensible regulation of tax and data. The market alone will not deliver inclusion.
Tech shouldn’t be scared of governance rules; it should definitely not behave as if the only alternative to a libertarian world of totally free markets, including for data, is a model identified with China in which the state controls all, including the on-off switch. India is interesting here. Despite its enormous potential, there has been a backlash on its digital identity system Aadhar.
2018/10/02: one reason college-educated white women are more likely to perceive discrimination is because they are more exposed than blue-collar women to occupations and workplaces where they are competing with men. Women without college degrees, she notes, often "tend to get tracked into gender-segregated labor markets" such as home health care, where they are performing jobs held primarily by women and thus competing mostly against other women for advancement. By contrast, she says, college-educated women are often competing directly against men.
"When women and men are tracked into similar careers ... that's when it becomes a little more evident the role that discrimination plays in the economy and in people's career opportunities," she says.
2018/07/26: almost 4.5 million people die each year from health problems caused by inhaling indoor smoke generated by burning solid fuel. Worldwide, 38 percent of the population – 2.7 billion people – cook with wood collected unsustainably from forest and farm landscapes.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the backbreaking process of gathering firewood by hand – often by women and girls – and carrying it home provides the main source of fuel for cooking and heating.
Although liquid fuels, solar energy and hydropower could offer possible alternatives, high costs, infrastructure shortcomings and local habits make sustainable use of wood fuel, including firewood and charcoal, a more viable option in the region.
As a result, researchers at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) in Nairobi, Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Center for International Forestry Research are trying to find healthier, more efficient energy conversion technologies that emit less pollution and simultaneously produce biochar (biomass charcoal) for soil amendment to improve plant growth and health.
Not only is it strenuous work to gather wood, it detracts women from other pursuits such as agriculture or operating small businesses to generate income,” said Njenga. “Women spend about one working day per week in collecting firewood from forests. This implies that women are essentially living on a 20 percent pay cut as their productive days in a week are normally five as they spend Saturdays attending to domestic chores.”
12018/09/19: one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.
Privacy and consumer advocates have raised questions about whether insurers may eventually use data to select the most profitable customers, while hiking rates for those who do not participate. The insurance industry has said that it is heavily regulated and must justify, in actuarial terms, its reasons for any rate increases or policy changes.
2018/09/10: The lack of diversity in Wikipedia biographies of notable individuals extends to women in STEM. Ongoing lack of representation in the largest, most frequently accessed body of knowledge in the world contributes to the silencing of our voices.
“According to Wikipedia, being a notable person is less about to life expectancy, somewhat more about education and economic status, and even more about positions of power.” - Klein and Konieczny, 2018
To help change cultural perceptions of who can contribute to STEM and to inspire the next generation of young scientists and engineers, it is essential that open access platforms, especially Wikipedia, offer a realistic perspective on the diversity of people already working to tackle big global challenges and historical contributions by underrepresented groups. Let’s speed up the process… sixteen more years to achieve gender parity on notable biographies is too long!
What can women and allies in STEM do to accelerate the improvement of Wikipedia as an inclusive, fact-based resource for the global community?
2018/09/12: In the book, the narrator, a sociologist, describes how a system in which status accorded by birth had been replaced by a society in which the classes are reconstituted in the basic formula, IQ plus Effort = Merit. The belief in a common good and a flourishing civic life is corroded. “If the meritocrats believe…that their advantage comes from their own merits,” Young wrote. “They can feel they deserve whatever they can get.
As Young’s book predicted, opportunities to accrue social capital, the springboard that allows the middle classes to leap ahead, have been drastically reduced for those at the bottom of society even as, contrary to one of Young’s predictions, the rich have grown wealthier with 10% owning 40% of this country’s wealth.
Democracy does not require perfect equality but it does require that citizens share a common life.
Do we want a society in which everything is up for sale? Meritocrats might say, “Yes”. As Young pointed out all those years ago, the ability to buy what it wants when it wants is one way in which the meritocracy proves its “worth” – at least to itself.
2018/09/13: The new Higher School Certificate (HSC) physics syllabus for NSW will contain no mention of the contributions of female physicists to the field. Not teaching students about their contributions to the field denies young women role models, and denies all students important knowledge about physics.
An education system which simultaneously claims to praise women in STEM, yet erases them from a physics syllabus cannot be seen as thorough. This needs to be fixed before long lasting damage is done to Australia’s next generation of scientists.
2017/03/17: No one stated their intention to create a social welfare program for white people, specifically white men, but they didn’t need to. By handing control to employers at a time when virtually every good paying job was reserved for white men the program silently accomplished that goal.
When Democrats respond to job losses with an offer to expand the public safety net, blue collar voters cringe and rebel. They are not remotely interested in sharing the public social safety net experienced by minority groups and the poorest white families. Meanwhile well-employed and affluent voters, ensconced in their system of white socialism, leverage all the power at their disposal to block any dilution of their expensive public welfare benefits. Something has to break.
We may one day recognize that we are all “in it together” and find ways to build a more stable, sensible welfare system. That will not happen unless we acknowledge the painful and sometimes embarrassing legacy that brought us to this place. Absent that reckoning, unspoken realities will continue to warp our political calculations, frustrating our best hopes and stunting our potential.
It can cost between $10,000 to $25,000 to install a solar panel system on a home. And then there are the barriers beyond cost, like being a renter or having a roof that’s too small or shady for panels. These factors mean solar isn’t available to about half of all Americans, according to the Department of Energy. New York is among the top dozen solar-producing states in the U.S., but in 2014, less than 4 percent of solar installations benefited New York households with incomes below $40,000.
That could change if the community solar model catches on. Not only does community solar make renewable energy accessible to more people; proponents say that it has the potential to alleviate energy insecurity. Each month, one in three Americans struggles with choosing between paying their utility bill or for other basic necessities. With the right incentives, community solar can lower utility bills and give communities control over how they produce and consume energy.
Nuova tegola per Facebook che ha ricevuto una denuncia dal ministero della Casa statunitense per pratiche discriminatorie sulla sua piattaforma legata agli annunci immobiliari.rnrnQuestione (un'altra volta) di privacyrnrn"Facebook permette ai suoi utenti un controllo sugli annunci in base al sesso, alla razza alla religione, alla nazionalità a eventuali handicap e al codice postale" denuncia in un comunicato il ministero secondo cui il social metterebbe a disposizione degli strumenti di identificazione degli acquirenti e dei locatari.rnrnLa tesirnrnL'accusa è quella di non mettere addirittura a disposizione dei richiedenti alcune proposte di acquisto o di affitto a chi proviene dall'America latina, Canada, Sudest asiatico, Cina, Honduras o Somalia. Gli scandali Cambridge Analytica e il capitolo fake news legato al Russiagate stanno da tempo danneggiando l'immagine del social network che, ormai sotto i riflettori, ha iniziato a rivedere molte regole sulla privacy e sulla condivisione dei dati.
From afar it almost seems as if two discrete tragedies are unfolding in Nepal, bound by nature's fury.