teaching women to code does not create a new problem!

Story: We can teach women to code, but that just creates another problemTotal Replies: 39
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mbaehrlxer

Mar 30, 2017
2:50 PM EDT
according to the article, more women become programmers in some areas like frontend development, and this somehow causes salaries drop and make the area less desirable for men.

and the problem is where exactly?

do salaries drop because there is now more competition? i highly doubt it, getting women into IT has not been that successful.

do salaries drop because there is now cheaper competition? how about we start paying women the same as men for their work?

and please don't tell me again that if women get paid less it's because they have less experience or whatever. if that were the case then they would not be competing with experienced people for the same positions, and experienced people would not have to see their salaries drop.

they get paid less because they are women. that means that the same job can be filled with a person with the same qualification at less cost. that makes salaries drop. fix that problem and likely the problem of salaries dropping will go away.

was there anything else to complain about?

the areas where more women work are now considered less desirable by men. but it's not women who devalue those tech-roles by occupying them. it's men who are afraid of female competition. ugh, girl-kooties, don't touch my job please!

i don't think that more women in computing pushes developers to make distinctions that didn't exist before. the distinction always was and is that men believe they are better than women, no matter in which field they work.

this is not a new distinction being created but an old distinction being exposed:

prejudice and inequality between men and women.

the article (in my opinion correctly) concludes that the real problem is lack of a true (gender-blind) meritocracy.

it also states that teaching women to code won't solve the gender problem.

that part i disagree with.

in order to fix a problem, it needs to become visible. gender inequality or gender discrimination does not become visible until we have people from any gender with the same qualifications pushing for the same jobs. it's the old argument that there are no women in IT because they don't want to. only when more women push for IT jobs we can expose that argument as false.

so, yes, teaching women to code won't solve the gender problem all by itself. but, it is a necessary step in getting there.

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Mar 30, 2017
3:32 PM EDT
>the real problem is lack of a true (gender-blind) meritocracy.

If this is the real problem... then let's fix it and remove government programs like this one:

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/bus...

*********

No. That's not the solution... right? Because in a meritocracy the people who perform well will get the just rewards of that work. However, doesn't that leave out those persons who have started out at a disadvantage and so do not have the skills to compete evenly in the meritocracy??

So... isn't the solution, education...

If not, then we aren't talking about a meritocracy... are we?
AwesomeTux

Mar 30, 2017
4:20 PM EDT
It's already illegal to pay women less for doing factually the same job as men.

So no one is paying women less.

Do some research, and get a better argument.

"getting women into IT has not been that successful"

- mbaehrlxer

I suggest looking at the research done on behavior differences between male and female infants, the brain structure differences of most male and female animals including humans, and the difference in IQ spectrums between men and women.

Despite all of the money being put into getting women into IT, despite all of the guidance, all the free assistance, all the subsidies, all the special rules and perks for people who are supposed to be the equals to their male counterparts, women still aren't getting into IT at the rate most people would like.

I wonder what could be the issue?

Hmm... it's almost like they're *gasp* choosing not to get into IT.

I'm not going to address your regressive drivel any further.
dotmatrix

Mar 30, 2017
6:02 PM EDT
>looking at the research done on behavior differences between male and female infants, the brain structure differences of most male and female animals including humans

Or even better read:

The Red Queen: 'Cliff' Notes Version

Chapter 8: Sexing the Mind... is a decent chapter on the tendencies of males vs. females found in mammals and apes... human apes specifically.

Males and females are different. They have different tendencies... and this leads to differences in choice of careers.

All of that 'tendency' gives a general pull against or toward certain professions. However, none of that general pull means that a specific given female or a given specific male will be found in those certain professions... it's simply a statistically common choice... based on the choices of prior generations which have been written into both the genetic form and memetic form of the general male or female.

So... what that may mean is that there are no 'missing' women in certain professions... just like they are no 'missing' men in certain other professions.

The name of the game is R.e.s.p.e.c.t. .... Respect the individual and the rest will follow.
skelband

Mar 30, 2017
6:43 PM EDT
Interesting interview from many years ago on a somewhat similar issue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxygmc_SMAU
mbaehrlxer

Apr 01, 2017
4:28 AM EDT
@dotmatrix:

first of all, of course, education is the answer, but education for every one. not just teaching skills to those who don't have them, but also teaching everyone what equality between men end women means and why it is important and how to identify prejudice and remove it.

as for the program you linked, it depends on what the program does. "counseling, training workshops, and management and technical guidance" sounds like education to me.

if "access to government contracting opportunities" is fair or not depends on whether others have this kind of access or not. it could simply mean "we show you where to go to get these contracts" which is also a form of education. it doesn't seem to say that you are guaranteed any such contracts. that would be unfair.

so i don't see what's the problem with such programs. it offers minorities help in acquiring skills and knowledge that they need in order to compete. the same skills and knowledge that we all have access to (through other ways)

in fact it appears the program is available to everyone, and the only difference is that members of recognized minorities don't need to proof that they should be able to join. how fair that is depends on the people making the decisions in individual cases.

about that meritocracy, the point was that it doesn't exist. at least not in a way that it would cover every gender or ethnicity. the problem here is that even if women and minorities acquire the skills needed to compete, they are still being disadvantaged.

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Apr 01, 2017
11:14 AM EDT
>if "access to government contracting opportunities" is fair or not depends on whether others have this kind of access or not.

The 'Women and Minority Business' designation gives preferred status during contract bidding. The entire idea is to unbalance the contract awards in favor of 'Women and Minority Businesses'... By definition, then, government contracts are awarded are a basis which is not a meritocracy. You might call it a "Scaled Meritocracy" ... but it's not a gender-blind meritocracy... is it?

The other problem with this stuff, is that it doesn't work.

For example, the government 'Women and Minority Owned Business' designation generally indicates that someone's wife is named as the owner of the business. This is not a sexist comment. I worked for the government and personally witnessed a very large percentage of contracts being awarded to 'Women and Minority Owned Businesses' which were really 'Men owned business, with a token Woman'

And that's the problem... right?

Life is not fair, and cheaters are everywhere. There's no possible way to make it fair either. The only thing any of these programs accomplish is to reward cheaters.

So... if instead of trying to "Raise All Boats" of a certain type... it would be far more beneficial if there could simply be a way to Respect one another.

However, that's not how the game is played. Cheaters do prosper and Crime does pay.
mbaehrlxer

Apr 01, 2017
12:07 PM EDT
i agree with your points.

these programs should focus on education and mentoring the target group. (a mentor will surely notice if a business is led by a person in genuine need of help, or that person is just a token to get a special status and adjust the amount of help they give accordingly.)

the existence of bad programs does not negate the need for genuine change however.

"just because we are doing it wrong, doesn't mean that it's the wrong goal"

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Apr 01, 2017
5:04 PM EDT
>"just because we are doing it wrong, doesn't mean that it's the wrong goal"

I'll need to agree to disagree on this one...

There are some things in society which are not fixable. And this is one of them... it is not possible to even the field such that the unsupported side isn't left to feel like they are left out as well as actually being statistically left out.

If there is a program to help a certain minority advance... then that program is, by definition, leaving out others. Since not all non-minorities are equal among themselves in the majority, the non-minorities will be unsupported and lose ground against their peers in the same way as the minorities groups are said to be left out.

So:

There is no solution. And so, no... society should not be spending huge efforts in support of the Sisyphusian task.
jdixon

Apr 01, 2017
9:01 PM EDT
> If there is a program to help a certain minority advance... then that program is, by definition, leaving out others.

You'll see exactly how dedicated those programs are to actually helping minorities advance the day whites become a minority.
mbaehrlxer

Apr 01, 2017
9:49 PM EDT
programs that focus on the disadvantaged is not the only way to address the problem.

please disconnect the inadequacy of the tools you see available from the goal.

do you disagree that gender equality and removal of prejudice against any group of people are worthwhile goals?

do you disagree that with gender equality and without prejudice against anyone we would not have the problems these programs are trying to solve?

if you agree to these goals, then don't you think it is worthwhile to search for ways to actually solve them?

i do agree with you that these programs are not the solution. they are a stopgap measure like putting band-aids on a wound that doesn't stop bleeding. what we really need to do is to find the cause for the bleeding, and stop that.

i believe the cause is prejudice, and if we really want to solve the problem, that is what we need to work on.

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Apr 02, 2017
10:02 AM EDT
>do you disagree that gender equality and removal of prejudice against any group of people are worthwhile goals?

Of course I agree that gender equality and removal of prejudice against any group of people are worthwhile goals.

>do you disagree that with gender equality and without prejudice against anyone we would not have the problems these programs are trying to solve?

Neither government nor 'rule making' is the solution to these stated problems. The family court system is a great place to learn about the inadequacy of broad brush rule making and government solutions to what is really a local problem. Good judges in the family court system remind the parents fighting over their children that the court system is not there to ensure that the other party is nice. The court is a place where adversaries battle...

And in the same way, these 'equality' rule making ideas and broad brush government programs create adversarial battles where there need not be and should not be an adversarial relationship.

>if you agree to these goals, then don't you think it is worthwhile to search for ways to actually solve them?

There is no solution to make people be nice to one another. The only way to do that is to enact a totalitarian system with micromanaged rules governing any and all aspects of human interaction. And that is exactly where these well-meaning but entirely ineffective ideas and programs are headed...

The solution of the stated problems of 'inequality' is not to 'make it equal'... that's never going to work. The solution is to teach humans how to get along... this solution entails hard work and does not include the easy route of 'rule making to make it so'...

There's an old saying: If you give someone a fish that person eats for a day. If you teach someone to fish, that person eats for a lifetime.

That saying can be modified to: If you break someone's arm to be nice, that person will be nice for a day. If you teach someone to respect other people, that person will be nice for a lifetime.

>they are a stopgap measure like putting band-aids on a wound

No, these ideas cause more blood to be spilled. It's just changing whose blood it is...

>i believe the cause is prejudice,

Humans are tribal. Those outside the tribe are suspect. To change this behavior is to dehumanize humans. Everyone is has a 'first impression' of the people we meet. It is not possible to make sure that all people's first impressions of other people are 'nice'... Life and humans don't work that way.

In short, none of these 'rule making' ideas or programs are going to work... not a single one of them is going to change society in the manner intended by those making the rules. And the 'rule making' is short sighted at best and quite possibly severely damaging to society.

*************

However, there are appropriate broad brush rule making and government programs that will work as intended. The programs that do work are those programs that do not try to make people be nice to one another... Things like: equal voting laws, family leave and flex hours to accommodate child rearing, and other such ideas which do not require micromanaging humans or herding them into large categories of 'Type J,K, or L'

Besides, isn't herding humans into large categories a systemically biased method of awarding benefits?

How is society stratified? Is it gender? Race? Creed?

Not so much... For the most part society is stratified via wealth. Is it possible to have an inner city dirt poor white male? If the answer is yes... as it surely is... which programs and rule making are going to ensure that poor white male is able to live, learn, and earn? Which programs and rule making are going to ensure that poor white male contributes to society by developing and using his talents rather than giving up while watching a few of his minority female peers getting extra help at school and extra services at the government office and extra attention given to her resumes?
jdixon

Apr 02, 2017
10:26 AM EDT
> do you disagree that gender equality and removal of prejudice against any group of people are worthwhile goals?

Actually, no, I don't, but this isn't the place to discuss it.

> ....do you disagree that with gender equality and without prejudice against anyone we would not have the problems these programs are trying to solve?

No, but could you throw in a pet unicorn while you're at it? My wife has always wanted one.

> Humans are tribal.

Yep. Except in hiring in the US. In the US one and only one race is explicitly banned from being tribal, or even the appearance of being tribal.

> Is it possible to have an inner city dirt poor white male?

Given the tribal nature of people, it's far more likely the dirt poor white male is rural. But your point is correct.
mbaehrlxer

Apr 02, 2017
11:35 AM EDT
@AwesomeTux

Quoting:It's already illegal to pay women less for doing factually the same job as men.
and in the USA it has been since 1963. but that doesn't mean that it actually worked.

Quoting:So no one is paying women less.


the articles below say otherwise.

btw the first paragraph in the wikipedia article on the subject puts the gender gap at 94% after eliminating for choices made by individuals. everywhere else the number uses is more around 80% which does not account for differences based on choices made.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_pay_gap_in_the_United_S...

http://www.aauw.org/article/50-years-after-the-equal-pay-act...

http://nwlc.org/issue/equal-pay-and-the-wage-gap/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/08/emily-...

http://www.aauw.org/2017/03/13/do-governors-know-how-to-pron...

an overview of where new equal pay laws are being proposed or have been passed:

http://www.aauw.org/2016/10/27/where-equal-pay-flourished-an...

if the original law worked, these would not be needed now, would they?

Quoting:I suggest looking at the research done on behavior differences between male and female infants, the brain structure differences of most male and female animals including humans, and the difference in IQ spectrums between men and women.


right, and that proves what?

just because you can find differences that does not imply that one is superior to the other. it's not difference that is the issue here. the differences are obvious (some more, some less). after all, if it weren't for those differences, there would be no reason to include women when building diversity into a team. but that's a different topic.

the issue is the belief that men are superior to women, and so women should be paid less.

Quoting:the difference in IQ spectrums between men and women.


my search on this issue suggests that there is no such difference and any claims to the existence of a difference is considered highly controversial. (people resign or lose jobs over making such claims)

so even if such a difference existed and is suppressed, it would be unlikely that anyone would be using IQ differences to justify different treatment.

Quoting:they're *gasp* choosing not to get into IT.


of course the are choosing not to get into IT because they are tired of fighting an uphill battle.

you can't just skip some factors that affect those choices and claim that the choices prove that women are not interested in technology.

it's exactly those factors that lead to these choices that we are discussing here.

the problem is not that women do not choose to go into IT, the problem is why they are making that choice.

women are not rejected from trying to get into IT. that would show up in statistics. and would be easily fixed. they are being discouraged. and that is very hard to see or make visible.

if it were a mere preference then any programs that help women to get into IT would not have any participants.

unequal pay is a factor that influences a career choice. discrimination is a factor that influences a career choice. lack of role-models is a factor that influences a career choice. active discouragement is a factor that influences a career choice. sexist behavior is a factor that influences a career choice. even diversity (or lack of it) is a factor that influences a career choice. (this one is self-fulfilling, and can't be removed proactively in a large scale)

in other words, the fact that women choose not to go into IT proves nothing. until we have removed all these negative factors that influence their choice.

changing choices is not the goal. removing barriers that negatively influence those choice is.

Quoting:The name of the game is R.e.s.p.e.c.t. .... Respect the individual and the rest will follow.


indeed. again, the problem is that the necessary respect is missing.

we need to fix that.

greetings, eMBee.
mbaehrlxer

Apr 02, 2017
12:10 PM EDT
@skelband: Thomas Sowell makes some interesting and well placed arguments.

interestingly, he claims that when you really remove all differentiating factors, the gender pay discrimination all but disappears. now, i can only take the statistics and research at face value, and so it is his words against others. his arguments are well reasoned enough that i can only say, well, he may just be right, and the gender pay discrimination is not really a problem anymore. great. one problem less to worry about.

greetings, eMBee.
jdixon

Apr 02, 2017
2:36 PM EDT
> interestingly, he claims that when you really remove all differentiating factors, the gender pay discrimination all but disappears.

As far as I've ever been able to tell, his arguments are correct.

> we need to fix that.

Respect cannot be forced at the power of a gun (government), or at the tip of a pen (education). Nor, if it exists, does it always take the form you might desire. Attempts to force the matter are ultimately futile and often result in a counter reaction that causes the exact opposite of the goal: http://archive.is/r8XaK
jdixon

Apr 02, 2017
2:39 PM EDT
> if the original law worked, these would not be needed now, would they?

Since when does a legislature passing a law have anything to do with the existing law working or the new law being necessary? Those are justifications, not underlying causes.
skelband

Apr 03, 2017
1:05 PM EDT
@mbaehrlxer

Interestingly, he does not make the case that the pay gap doesn't exist. He claims that there are bound to be differences for a variety of reasons and across all societies involving humans.

What he does insist is that if a particular causal assertion is made, it should be backed properly by relevant data and analysis. "Everyone knows" just doesn't cut it, because it is often wrong.

The conclusions that he comes to are very familiar us. Men and women (in general) make different life choices. And that's OK as long as both men and women are as free as possible to make those choices.

(usual caveats about translating that generality back to particular individuals of course which is always dodgy)
dotmatrix

Apr 03, 2017
1:18 PM EDT
>The conclusions that he comes to are very familiar us. Men and women (in general) make different life choices. And that's OK as long as both men and women are as free as possible to make those choices.

I agree precisely with this statement... as well as most things said by Thomas Sowell...

The freedom to make a choice needs to support the freedom to choose not to participate.
mbaehrlxer

Apr 03, 2017
1:46 PM EDT
i'll respond to other comments later, but i'd like to throw in this interesting response to the article:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUDCbWL3b54

it's a 12 minute monologue which points out some flaws in the original article.

he makes some good points though i think he misinterprets the argument about meritocracy. the quote in the article doesn't claim that meritocracy is bad, but that meritocracy is the problem because it doesn't exist.

greetings, eMBee.
skelband

Apr 03, 2017
2:19 PM EDT
@mbaehrlxer: Interesting talk. Again I agree with most of what he says.

I think in general, we need to see less opinion and more fact in this sphere (and in all spheres of discussion actually).

The fact that so many people seem to assume that their opinion should be believed because it is received wisdom or that they shout it loudly enough is a great concern to me. It is intellectual fraud and it is infecting our education systems left, right and centre.

I blame politicians in part for this because they set a bad example in the political arena. That we have terms like "alternative facts" that people use in earnest makes me want to weep.
dotmatrix

Apr 03, 2017
2:28 PM EDT
eMBee: The speaker in the video you linked to seems to be agreeing with Sowell....

However, the picture of the woman in lingerie in the background probably doesn't help certain people to actual hear the presentation...
mbaehrlxer

Apr 06, 2017
10:19 AM EDT
@dotmatrix: i only now have some time to respond. rereading your message from april 2nd. i agree with almost everything you say there, so let me just focus on the few things that differ:

Quoting:Humans are tribal. Those outside the tribe are suspect. To change this behavior is to dehumanize humans.


there are a few points here: prejudice is not the same as scepticism. scepticism is: i don't know you, therefore i don't trust you. show me you are trustworthy, and we'll get along.

prejudice is: you are different, and therefore you can never be trusted. nothing you do or say will change that.

nothing good comes from prejudice. and eradicating it, is not at all dehumanizing humans.

what also needs to change here is the concept of a tribe:

Quoting:The Earth is one country, and mankind its citizens


that is to say, we are all one big human tribe. and just like learning to be nice and to show respect, this again, is something to be learned.

but, as i believe we agree, none of this can be achieved simply by making and enforcing rules. it needs to be learned.

thank you for this enlightening discussion.

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Apr 06, 2017
8:28 PM EDT
>prejudice is: you are different, and therefore you can never be trusted. nothing you do or say will change that.

I agree...

>thank you for this enlightening discussion.

Always happy to plod through a dark and stormy topic... In an armchair, of course.
jdixon

Apr 06, 2017
9:18 PM EDT
> The Earth is one country, and mankind its citizens

Well, it's a nice sounding feelgood ideal, but there is absolutely no indication that it's ever going to be the case.

Let's put it this way to give just one of a multitude of examples: The Hutus and the Tutsis were a lot closer to being the same tribe than to the rest of humanity. How did that work out?
mbaehrlxer

Apr 12, 2017
1:34 PM EDT
it doesn't matter who is fighting whom. every one of these conflicts is motivated by prejudice. and only education can remove that prejudice.

you are assuming that this education is bound to fail. sure, i can accept that. i won't agree, but i grant you that the situation may look hopeless to you. i don't know what it would take to make you more hopeful, i can only tell you what i believe and hope.

as we use up our resources, the battles for the remaining resources will be more fierce. also our tools of destruction are becoming more powerful. and with every war, devastating selfdestruction of humanity is getting more and more likely.

given that perspective, i see two choices: do nothing and let humanity destroy itself, or work towards world peace. nothing less will do. without the hope to achieve this, life itself becomes meaningless.

you don't see any indication of achieving this ideal because you don't see enough people working on it, but some people are, and as with every movement, it starts small. we can chose to be part of the group that believes that change for the better is possible, or we can ignore it.

i don't believe we have anything to loose from trying. not trying it the only way to fail for sure.

Quoting:all men have been created to carry forward an ever advancing civilization


greetings, eMBee.
jdixon

Apr 12, 2017
2:19 PM EDT
> i don't know what it would take to make you more hopeful,

An even moderate historical record of such education working.

> ...you don't see any indication of achieving this ideal because you don't see enough people working on it,...

I don't see any indication of achieving it because it runs counter to observed human nature over millennia. That doesn't mean I'm right, of course.

> as we use up our resources, the battles for the remaining resources will be more fierce.

The resources people actually need are food, water, and shelter. We have more than enough of those. The difficulty is getting them to the people that need them. Discussions as to how those difficulties can best be resolved would soon lead us afoul of the TOS.

> we can chose to be part of the group that believes that change for the better is possible, or we can ignore it.

Or we can note that 50% or more of everything we try to do to make the world better either fails miserably or actually makes things worse than it was when we started, and acknowledge that we actually have very little idea as to how to fix things. Small things that help individuals seem to have the least chance of backfiring.

> all men have been created to carry forward an ever advancing civilization

Tell it to the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans. All civilizations rise and fall.
TxtEdMacs

Apr 12, 2017
3:31 PM EDT
eMBee & JD

May I suggest your both reading a book that may not support either of you and the beginning of the second by the same author that has looked deeply into human endeavors? The first is "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" and the second "Homo Deus", which will argue cogently you are both off the mark. Below is a brief section in the conclusion of the first portion of the second named book:

[...] History has witnessed the rise and fall of many religions, empires and cultures. Such upheavals are not necessarily bad. Humanism has dominated the world for 300 years, which is not such a long time. The pharaohs ruled Egypt for 3,000 years, and the popes dominated Europe for a millennium. If you told an Egyptian in the time of Ramses II that one day the pharaohs will be gone, he would probably have been aghast. ‘How can we live without a pharaoh? Who will ensure order, peace and justice?’ If you told people in the Middle Ages that within a few centuries God will be dead, they would have been horrified. ‘How can we live without God? Who will give life meaning and protect us from chaos?’

Looking back, many think that the downfall of the pharaohs and the death of God were both positive developments. Maybe the collapse of humanism will also be beneficial. People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.

_______________________________________________

Be prepared to be offended along with seeing some strongly held personal beliefs discounted.

As always,

TxtEdMacs
skelband

Apr 12, 2017
4:46 PM EDT
What is certainly true is that communication has condensed the timescales of human activity by orders of magnitude.

I don't know if that is good or bad but I do predict a monumental clash of culture in the coming years and we are seeing a sample of that now between east and west.

The two main problems are:

1) Culture. The secular world against the non-secular. Well we're starting to see that play out now. It's going to get rather bloody.

2) Economic. As many are starting to realise, automation and technology is overtaking our ability to reinvent employment. Within 15 years, that situation is going to get rather critical, the kind of critical that can melt down countries.

jdixon

Apr 12, 2017
5:00 PM EDT
> The secular world against the non-secular. Well we're starting to see that play out now. It's going to get rather bloody.

We're actually seeing three conflicts. Secular versus non-secular, non-secular versus other non-secular, and globalism versus nationalism (or, perhaps more accurately, localism).

> As many are starting to realise, automation and technology is overtaking our ability to reinvent employment. Within 15 years, that situation is going to get rather critical, the kind of critical that can melt down countries.

Didn't we just have a thread discussing that. :)
skelband

Apr 12, 2017
5:10 PM EDT
> globalism versus nationalism

I think this is just part of the economic problem. "Globalism" as practised at the moment is just another form of colonialism. They are economic expediences. Automation is rapidly making the distinction moot.

A lot of people are confused about this I think, including Mr Trump who would like to bring jobs back to the US. Those jobs of which he speaks just don't exist any more.
jdixon

Apr 12, 2017
9:46 PM EDT
> ...many think that the downfall of the pharaohs and the death of God were both positive developments.

You do realize that Christians and Muslims make up well over half the world's population, don't you?
jdixon

Apr 12, 2017
9:47 PM EDT
> "Globalism" as practised at the moment is just another form of colonialism.

I can't really argue with that. :)
skelband

Apr 12, 2017
10:20 PM EDT
> You do realize that Christians and Muslims make up well over half the world's population, don't you?

That's quite a significant improvement compared to even 100 years ago when choice of belief was not even an option for pretty much everyone on the planet. That almost half of the world's population has turned away from major religion is barely short of miraculous.

Personally, I think that in the western world, that turning away is going to accelerate. Unfortunately (for my perspective), many will turn to something other than sceptical atheist and probably some wishy-washy "spirituality" that doesn't even have a refutable dogma.
mbaehrlxer

Apr 13, 2017
1:36 AM EDT
Quoting:many will turn to something other than sceptical atheist


agreed, because i believe it's not the concept of a supernatural being that created the universe that they reject, but (mal-)practice of religion as can be seen in major religions today. that's no surprise given that all the religions are more than 1000 years old and their teachings just can't adapt to the world as it is today.

those religions were suitable for the time period they were created, but lost their relevance some time in the 1800s.

interestingly around that time a lot of new age religions appeared seemingly in the search for the return of christ, and turning to other explanations when they failed to find him.

(wow, quite a turn this discussion has taken. we started with gender equality and now we are discussing the role of religion)

Quoting:If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it


greetings, eMBee.
jdixon

Apr 13, 2017
8:57 AM EDT
> That almost half of the world's population has turned away from major religion is barely short of miraculous.

Not even close. Less than 1.1.billion people consider themselves secular, nonreligious, agnostic, or atheist. That's 15% or so. See https://infogalactic.com/info/Religious_populations

If I had to guess, I'd guess that most of those are actually agnostic, who simply consider the matter undecided.

> If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it

Religion as cause for dislike, hatred, or division is often simply an excuse for a dislike, hatred, or division that already exits. And why exactly should division be considered in the same category as dislike or hatred? Shouldn't different groups be allowed to separate as they see fit? Isn't that what freedom is all about? Do you really want to force vi and emacs users or KDE and Gnome users into the same groups? :)

In any case, the ultimate state of dislike or hatred is war, and there religion plays a very small part: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-alan-lurie/is-religion-t...
skelband

Apr 13, 2017
12:51 PM EDT
Organised religion is just a different kind of tribalism, and tribalism is the problem. After all though, it is probably an innate part of our psyche, a practical offshoot of our natural desire to categorise our friends (from who we would get help/support) and enemies (who would cause us harm, compete for resources/mates).

Given that, it is hardly a surprise that so many religious differences are felt so fiercely and so violently. Just consider the violent divides caused by insignificant differences in dogma. Is Jesus your messiah or Mohammed? Outside that environment, it seems rather difficult to understand why such a question is important and certainly not worth killing people over. Could you imagine people killing each other over the question of who was the most influential scientist: Einstein or Maxwell? Can't we agree that they were both important in their own way, and move on? :)

And to bring it back to vi and emacs, the "religious" divide on such things that are not even black or white (vi and emacs are not the only two options of course).
jdixon

Apr 13, 2017
3:11 PM EDT
> Organised religion is just a different kind of tribalism, and tribalism is the problem.

Agreed. But tribalism appears to be innate to the human species. Which is why I'm so pessimistic about education overcoming it.
skelband

Apr 13, 2017
3:34 PM EDT
Education allows us to rise above our native instincts, encouraging self-reflection and permitting us to understand that which seems unintuitive.

The very essence of "science" and the scientific method is designed specifically with our fallibility in mind.

It is such a shame that the word science has become so associated with technology for so many people, that they don't realise that it is purely a method for discovering truth. I blame that partly on schools for partitioning science in our curricula in a way that fences it off from other pursuits.

Perhaps we should, instead, teach a separate subject of logic, reason and philosophy to all students as a tool for all of life's endeavours.
jdixon

Apr 13, 2017
4:29 PM EDT
> Education allows us to rise above our native instincts, encouraging self-reflection and permitting us to understand that which seems unintuitive.

To an extent. But human nature doesn't change. Nature or nurture is also one of the eternal questions we grapple with.

> The very essence of "science" and the scientific method is designed specifically with our fallibility in mind.

Yes.

> Perhaps we should, instead, teach a separate subject of logic, reason and philosophy to all students as a tool for all of life's endeavours.

But that would mean the students might question authority, and then where would we be? :) I really don't expect the government run schools to adopt such a standard, do you?

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