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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re: Honest question. (479 comments)

Exactly that.

The extra information is irrelevant. It doesn't matter that his idiot identified as a feminist, and it didn't matter that the creep I described identified as a men's right's activist. They are an idiot and a creep, respectively, and it says absolutely nothing about other people who may have some label in common.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re:Qualifications (479 comments)

Given that I didn't say whatever it is you think I said, I'm not entirely sure why you seem so miffed.

I said that by changing the way they presented the company they were able to appeal to a segment of the workforce that previously had not been applying. I said nothing about what men value or that men stopped applying, just that more women began applying after they emphasized certain existing benefits.

In fact, given that I described the company's engineering group as mostly married men with children, and those benefits were already existing, one could infer that men can (and do) value child care and work/life balance.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re: Honest question. (479 comments)

You need to socialize with real human beings more if you think a minor disagreement with you on an internet forum is enough to ruin someone's day, princess.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re: Honest question. (479 comments)

Thank you for demonstrating my point perfectly.

You have zero problem saying feminists as a group (a group you don't belong to) are stupid/crazy fucks, yet you get your panties in a twist because someone does a similar thing about men's rights activists (a group you pretty clearly belong to).

The thing is - when I see your stupid/crazy stuff, I just dismiss YOU as being a stupid/crazy person. I don't dismiss all men or all men who are in the men's rights activist movement.

My entire point with my anecdote was that by putting in the (completely irrelevant, in my opinion) fact that the perv in question was in the men's rights movement is a painfully obvious attempt to paint an entire group of people as being fucked up by association, and that's pretty fucked up. Thank you for being a lovely demonstration of how easy it is to manipulate people.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re: Honest question. (479 comments)

So, no intellectual honesty then. I'll help you out:

Had you simply described her as a "person" rather than a "feminist" would it have changed anything meaningful about the anecdote? If so, what would have changed?

Do you feel that her identifying as a "feminist" somehow contributes to the absurdity of her actions in this case or provides insight? If so, why?

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re:Qualifications (479 comments)

I posted a response to the GP, but the fact is that many times applicants won't even apply to a position if the position is presented in a way that makes it look like there will not be a fit.

In many cases, jobs for tech positions are posted in such a way that they appeal very much to a certain type of candidate (young, male, unmarried, no kids, wants to have fun!) which absolutely turns off candidates not in that group. It isn't (usually) intentional - it's just that the people doing the outreach go "hey, that's where I'd want to work" and don't try and see things from another perspective.

It's actually kind of stunning just how unintentionally myopic many people trying to hire in the tech industry are. Often when it's pointed out to them that the whole approach they've been taking is making people not even try for the positions, they are quite surprised.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re: Honest question. (479 comments)

Did you intentionally use the term "feminist" in your anecdote to describe the subject of it?

If yes, what was your intent in using that term?

I'm doubtful that you'll be able to give intellectually honest answers to those questions that don't speak directly to the point that I very clearly made after my anecdote and that don't make you look like a giant asshole.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re:Qualifications (479 comments)

Or to just to get more creative where and how they look for qualified candidates or how they advertise positions.

For example:
A company I work with has had exactly one other woman apply for an engineering position in the last 2 years I've been affiliated with the company. A few people have brought this up and said "there just aren't any women out there!"

I had been directly recruited by a friend, so I never saw the materials we use to recruit. I decided to take a look. A lot of things were mentioned in the ads and in the site's listing: there's a video game room! Team members often go out for drinks after work! We've done bowling nights! We work hard and we play hard!"

Zero mention of available day care. Zero mention of a culture that promotes "family first" (aka "getting home at a reasonable hour"). Zero mention of a soft policy of avoiding crunch time (release when it's ready, not based on an arbitrary date). Zero mention of the fact that most of the engineers were married with kids, and often brought their kids to work.

We changed the materials to more accurately portray us as a family-friendly workplace rather than a binge drinker's paradise. Lo and behold, we began getting resumes from qualified women, several of whom said that they'd seen our ads before but didn't even apply because they didn't think the place would be a fit.

Further: our recruiters would only go to meet-ups that were centered around our specific technologies/platforms, and those meet-ups were either overwhelmingly or exclusively attended by men. I suggested our recruiters seek out meet-ups for working women, women in science and engineering, etc. Shockingly, several very well qualified women were coming in to interview as a result.

Point I'm making here is that there are ways to get different kinds of people to be interested in your workplace that don't sacrifice quality. If you don't think there's a way to get more diverse candidates in the door without sacrificing quality, the problem is that you're not creative enough.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

thesandtiger Re:Honest question. (479 comments)

Guy I used to work with was active in a number of men's rights activist groups and was always bitching about how his ex-wife was given full custody of their kids during the divorce, how the system is rigged against men, and how women are crushing "good men" like him and all that. One day at work he LOST HIS FUCKING MIND because he was informed his wages would be garnished for not paying child support. "Why should I have to pay when she has the kids?"

Well, it turns out that his wife filed for divorce and full custody after:
- She found "erotic literature" on their shared computer that featured a father training his pre-teen daughters to have sex
- When she confronted him about it, he didn't deny that the stories were his, but in fact said that this was a "healthy outlet" for thoughts and urges he had
- He refused to go to therapy to talk about the fact that he needed a "healthy outlet" that featured him vicariously raping his kids

When he was going off he said the only thing he did wrong was admitting that he wrote the stories and that he should have lied instead so that "bitches" didn't twist his words around to make him look like he wanted to fuck his kids.

You posted an anecdote with - let's not be intellectually dishonest here - the goal of encouraging people to draw broader conclusions about an entire class of people (that the readers do not belong to) based on the actions of one irrational individual. And, judging by the fact that you got modded up as "insightful" it seems to have worked.

I posted my anecdote, but I'm quite willing to bet that those same readers are going to be unwilling to apply that same broad brush to a class of people that they do belong to.

What one should take away from these two anecdotes is that there exist some people who are, for lack of a more precise term, fucking morons. Sometimes they use flowery rhetoric about causes or their rights to dress up their stupidity or awfulness, but that shouldn't be taken as an excuse to dismiss the causes those people purport to advocate, especially just because the cause happens to be one that the reader doesn't particularly endorse.

It's really easy for people to lump together entire classes of people they don't belong to - and it's perfectly natural to do so! But the best people recognize that the world is more complex than that, and they fight their nature.

about two weeks ago
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IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

thesandtiger To be quite honest... (482 comments)

If you are afraid that due to outsourcing and H1B you won't be able to find a job or you won't be able to find a job paying a fair wage, you either aren't very good at your job or you work in a commodity position where the value of "barely adequate" performance is not substantially different than the value of "really good" performance. Consider a career change, or consider trying to skill up.

This isn't to shit on people or anything - just a reality check. If you can be easily replaced AND don't have anything that would make you in-demand, the burden is on you to become more competitive (or find your own path), not economic protectionism.

Frankly, I'd be pretty disappointed in myself if I were in a position where despite all the advantages I've had in my live and all the opportunities that have been afforded me simply based on where I was born, didn't manage to perform well enough to be considered of more overall value to various employers than someone from a far less privileged background. It would mean I, personally, failed somewhere.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

thesandtiger Re:Free? (703 comments)

Actually, depending on the advanced degree she goes for, she should be able to get the school to pay her - acting as a teaching assistant or research assistant is usually nets free tuition and a stipend. Not much of one, but still.

With regard to what people did wrong - they usually listened to their elders who insisted that they HAD to go to college ever since they set foot into 1st grade and filled their heads with visions of gloom and doom, catfood sandwiches and living in cardboard boxes if they didn't go to school. It's no surprise that many young people find it extremely difficult to make sound financial decisions and solid plans for what seems to be a very distant time when they've spent their entire lives being told horror stories about what will happen if they don't do this. I have a very hard time blaming the young people who internalized the endless advice they were given when they act on that advice.

Part of the solution is to quit overemphasizing college where it isn't necessary. Another part of it is for parents to actually be better parents - sounds like you did fine, but a lot of parents take their kids as an opportunity to compensate for their own failings and push them to the point where the kids behave even more irrationally than the norm.

Oh, and another part is to put a cap on what an institution that accepts ANY federal money in the form of grants, tax breaks or backed student loans and grants can actually charge for tuition. Tie the cap to the minimum wage, perhaps - something like 50% of the pre-tax earnings from a 20hr/week job at minimum wage per year. If a university can't figure out how to keep the lights on when charging ~4k/student/year JUST for tuition (let 'em charge whatever they want for housing, so long as it isn't required that students live in campus housing), something has gone off the rails.

about three weeks ago
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Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

thesandtiger Re:discrimination in reverse (341 comments)

Oh, and furthermore:

If conditions 1 and 2 above are actually true (I personally think it's racist/sexist bullshit, but those are arguments people trot out on the regular): 2 candidates being equal means to me that the white male candidate must be exceptionally lazy. After else, if whites and males are both socially and biologically more suited to working in the field in general, how then could a white male manage to not do a better job given equal education and experience?

The answer has to be either that white men aren't actually better or more suited to doing this stuff than other races or women OR that if they are, in this particular case, the white male candidate must either be defective or lazy.

about three weeks ago
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Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

thesandtiger Re:discrimination in reverse (341 comments)

I'll say it:

All other things (education, experience, interview, etc.) being equal or close enough between two candidates, one of them being a white male and the other being someone in a racial or gender minority class, yeah, I'm going to hire the person in the racial or gender minority class.

It isn't for a metric - it's because, all other things being equal as you stipulated, a person from a class not normally found in the field is likely going to have had to overcome obstacles and challenges on the way there that the other candidate has not.
Let's look at some reasons why the minority candidate who is otherwise equal to the non-minority candidate is the better pick:

1) In every single discussion of diversity in tech on Slashdot, people will trot out REASONS why minorities don't do well in tech: Black people don't do well because they get called out by their friends and families for acting white if they go to school. Women don't because they get called out by other women for being in such a nerdy profession. Etc. etc. etc. If that is true, then yes, I want the candidate who has demonstrated persistence and determination in the face of hostility. They will be use to adversity and overcoming it, and as a hiring manager I will want that in a candidate.

2) In every single discussion of diversity in tech on Slashdot, people will trot out BIOTRUTHS about women and minorities and why they are not well represented in tech. If that's true, then yes, I absolutely want the candidate who is exceptional and defies their biology to have somehow managed to be equal to the non-minority candidate. There's more potential for them to be exceptional in other ways, and as a hiring manager, I want exceptional people.

3) If everything else is equal, why NOT hire the candidate who will also improve an arbitrary metric? As a hiring manager, I want to not have to have people crawling up my ass telling me to do things just so the team looks better, and this would reduce one more thing people could crawl up my ass about.

So yeah, unless you're a fucking idiot, hire the atypical candidate when they are literally close enough to equal that flipping a coin would be the only "fair" way to determine who to hire. Duh?

about three weeks ago
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Happy Public Domain Day: Works That Copyright Extension Stole From Us In 2015

thesandtiger This is why I'm OK with "piracy" (328 comments)

We had a deal - those creating works get a period of time to capitalize on those works, after which they go into the public domain, and in exchange for those works being given over to the public, the public agrees to not violate that copyright without facing penalties.

Most works are no longer being given over to the public domain, therefore it's absurd to punish people for pirating them - a contract has to offer something to both sides.

WRT to software piracy (specifically games) - DRM put the nail in that coffin for me. When it became easier to install torrented, cracked games on release day than it did to install legally purchased software, I gave up giving a shit.

That said, contribute to open source (either funds or assistance), and definitely support projects where there isn't an obvious profit motive just the creation of neat tricks.

about three weeks ago
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US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

thesandtiger What would be the incentive? (223 comments)

I won't even dignify "patriotism" with more than a laugh.

Can't pay a competitive wage. Can't offer benefits remotely close to what private employers will offer. Lose a ton of personal autonomy from matters trivial (no 420) to absolutely vital (Wanna move to a different state? Nope. Wanna quit? Nope. Wanna change jobs? Nope.) Be beholden to whatever high-functioning sociopaths make it through our joke of an electoral season.

Oh, you might get to play with some cool toys that you might not have access to as a civilian, I guess. And those who don't have any skills to start with might get some training out of it, though, to be honest, if you're old enough to join a service like this and you aren't at least somewhat self-taught already, you're probably not actually going to ever be good enough to be more effective than "the enemy" at what they will want you to do. You'd get a few competent journeymen out of it, I guess.

about a month ago
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Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

thesandtiger Re:But...but...but...she has a VAGINA!! (222 comments)

Given that the criteria I listed for "men who can't" have nothing to do with the criteria you used, your comment doesn't really make sense. But, what the heck, I feel charitable - please go ahead and feel like you told me off most righteously.

And, by the way - the "cartoon-quality villains" I "made up"? Read any story on slashdot that talks about women in tech or minorities in tech and tell me people exactly like the ones I used as examples of "men who can't" don't exist.

about a month ago
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Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

thesandtiger Re:But...but...but...she has a VAGINA!! (222 comments)

Men who can, do. Men who can't, blame women, feminists, people of color, H1Bs, and pretty much anyone but themselves.

about a month ago
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How To End Online Harassment

thesandtiger Re:Has to worry (834 comments)

So, I suppose if someone said they were going to rape and kill your family and then posted the address of your family and pictures of them you would just laugh that off as being completely absurd because, hey, it's online and there's no way online can ever affect the "real world"?

Because that's the context of this discussion. That's the kind of thing that has happened to many of the people who are receiving these threats, and I think it's perfectly reasonable to treat those threats the same as if they were delivered by any other medium, and I'd hope law enforcement would, too.

Online impacts offline all the time in a great number of ways, and only an idiot would imagine otherwise. There's a reason you and I and a great many people here are using pseudonyms and go out our ways to avoid giving out potentially identifying information and that's because we are damn well aware of the fact that people can and do reach out from online to fuck with people in very real ways.

about 2 months ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

thesandtiger Re:Don't over generalize (728 comments)

You spent a non-trivial amount of time and effort fighting with trolls. Unless you're Thor Odinson and these are literal trolls, you lost just by engaging.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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OSS & Academia - how to forge a relationship?

thesandtiger thesandtiger writes  |  more than 4 years ago

thesandtiger (819476) writes "I work for a university doing research in a field that, to date, has not really made strong use of technology. My research program has developed some tools that have greatly increased our efficiency and ability to maintain methodological rigor for our projects, but the tools are ones that are basically thrown together with spit and bailing wire; we'd like to take these basic versions and turn them into something that is more robust and generally useful, so that other researchers can benefit.

What we would like to do is partner with a commercial OSS entity to apply for grants which could then be used to subsidize development and refinement of the tools, and their subsequent release, with the seemingly standard "free software and source if you want to DIY, but you pay for support and services" model being the eventual goal. Ideally this commercial OSS group would be local (in state at least) because that would open us up for many, many more grants.

We're doing our research into different projects and I have spoken to many people locally about their ideas, but I wanted to throw the question about how to find a partner and things to keep in mind out to Slashdotters to get some more.

How can we find an OSS group with a proven track record, that's local? What kind of things would that OSS group want from us? Has anyone engaged in these kinds of joint efforts before, and if so, what were your experiences?"

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