" /> Stylized Facts: May 2016 Archives

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May 30, 2016

Wearing personal expression on your sleave

"We are moving into an era where personal expression is going to trump the desire to create a corporate identity, It's a huge power shift."

-- Professor Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University and founder of the Fashion Law Institute.

May 28, 2016

Pigeonholing hurts

According to Laszlo Bock, who runs human resources at Google, pigeonholing workers into categories is nothing new, and it's rarely helpful in running a workplace.

May 22, 2016

An aesthetic, antifashion as fashion

As an aesthetic, antifashion as fashion is annoying and alienating, bleats GINIA BELLAFANTE, the self appointed spokesperson for people who are over 40, not particularly slender or less prestigiously schooled.

Everybody else can attest when visiting a Warby Parker outlet that there is both a democracy in a relatively low price, and also a sense of exclusion is woven into the gestalt.

Are you really smart enough to be shopping at Warby Parker? Have you read even a fraction of the books displayed?

May 15, 2016

Facebook, from aggregator to news editor

Facebook doesn't seem to recognize its own power, and doesn't think of itself as a news organization with a well-developed sense of institutional ethics and responsibility, or even a potential for bias. Neither does its audience, which might believe that Facebook is immune to bias because it is run by computers.

That myth should die. It's true that beyond the Trending box, most of the stories Facebook presents to you are selected by its algorithms, but those algorithms are as infused with bias as any other human editorial decision.

"Algorithms equal editors," said Robyn Caplan, a research analyst at Data & Society, a research group that studies digital communications systems. "With Facebook, humans are never not involved. Humans are in every step of the process -- in terms of what we're clicking on, who's shifting the algorithms behind the scenes, what kind of user testing is being done, and the initial training data provided by humans."

Everything you see on Facebook is therefore the product of these people's expertise and considered judgment, as well as their conscious and unconscious biases apart from possible malfeasance or potential corruption. It's often hard to know which, because Facebook's editorial sensibilities are secret. So are its personalities: Most of the engineers, designers and others who decide what people see on Facebook will remain forever unknown to its audience.

May 10, 2016

Cordray's Peeple

"It doesn't matter how far apart we are in likes or dislikes," she tells some bro at a bar in episode 10. "All that matters is what people say about us."

-- Julia Cordray.

May 7, 2016

College lecture format discriminates ? Biased against undergraduates who are not white, male and affluent?

Slatepitch ?

DOES the college lecture discriminate? Is it biased against undergraduates who are not white, male and affluent?

The notion may seem absurd on its face. The lecture is an old and well-established tradition in education. To most of us, it simply is the way college courses are taught. Even online courses are largely conventional lectures uploaded to the web.

Yet a growing body of evidence suggests that the lecture is not generic or neutral, but a specific cultural form that favors some people while discriminating against others, including women, minorities and low-income and first-generation college students. This is not a matter of instructor bias; it is the lecture format itself -- when used on its own without other instructional supports -- that offers unfair advantages to an already privileged population.

Annie Murphy Paul, author of the forthcoming book "Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter."