Monday, November 23, 2009

Your cheque's in the mail



I saw the imbecilic press release from the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition last week, in which it's claimed that women are effectively working for free until the end of the year because women on average earn 12% less than men, but didn't plan to write anything about it (other than leaving a comment at the Hand Mirror suggesting the coalition get some members who understand statistics).

However, "not writing about it" was before I realised that a group of women at my workplace, some of whom will earn more than I do for a similar job (through longer service), featured in the local newspaper in a protest claiming they're being made to work for free until the end of the year because I, along with the other testicle-equipped, am supposedly ripping them off for 12% of their "deserved" salary.

I could forgive this. Many people fail to understand what the term "average" means and there is a general ignorance in society of how to interpret statistics, so it's not that surprising people should make the mistake. What's unforgivable: it's definitely unsurprising they should make that mistake when the women's group rep organising the protest is a fucking social sciences lecturer.

A qualified social scientist knows how to interpret statistics. A qualified social scientist ought to be someone whose views on how to interpret statistics can be trusted. And a qualified social scientist who says an average figure equals individual results is like a doctor who says antibiotics will cure a viral infection: either too stupid to live, or has some ulterior motive. In the case of this social scientist, I'm picking the ulterior motive "self-interest" rather than stupidity:

Dr Cat Pause said "...it's about wanting more for women."

In recognition of the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition's efforts, I've posted their propaganda photo (slightly edited) above.

11 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

"a qualified Social scientist' does not exist. There IS no science with these people. She's actually a qualified socialist who dresses up all her disreputable touchy feely political delusions and hides them behind the reputable title of 'scientist.'

She'd do well at England's CRU just now.

Inventory2 said...

Indeed Adolf - and well said PM

JC said...

Given that no woman would ever become pregnant because its always against her economic and social interests.. one is left to marvel at the persistence of viable sperm that men sneak on to womens chairs when they aren't looking.

JC

Anonymous said...

""a qualified Social scientist' does not exist. There IS no science with these people. She's actually a qualified socialist who dresses up all her disreputable touchy feely political delusions and hides them behind the reputable title of 'scientist.'"

So says the snake oil salesman who dresses up his booky scams with the reputable title of "insurance salesman", though actually being a insurance salesman isn't reputable, as car salesmen, politicians and journalists always rate higher in trust surveys.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Well good morning illiterate, fuckwitted, misinformed, anonymous commenter.

For your information, you should have said "...an insurance salesman..."

If you looked before you wrote your drivel (not dribble) you would see that every survey which has ever been carried out indicates people regard their own insurance advisors very highly.

No doubt you do not have your house car, income or life insured? Oh you mean you do?

I remind you again, on any given day you will find incarcerated more lawyers and accountants than insurance salesmen.

Anonymous said...

Heh. If they (or you) could do basic maths you'd know it was rather worse than that.

Income is a Pareto distribution - in other words 80% of the population are below the average wage.

(just as it's true that 80% of drives are above average:
bad drivers are really really bad)

And productive members of society are REALLY REALLY RICH - but there are far far more poor socialist wingers who should just fuck off

Income less than $250K
Assets less than $5M

then you shouldn't get to vote

Psycho Milt said...

"a qualified Social scientist' does not exist.

Well, they do exist because there are various social science qualifications available from reputable institutions, all of which include learning how to conduct surveys and how to properly interpret the results. Agreed, it's not science as in "scientific method," but that doesn't mean conducting surveys and interpreting the results lacks value, just that the interpretations don't carry the same weight as repeatable scientific observations.

In this case, we have a trained social scientist promoting an egregious and blatantly obvious failure to interpret survey results correctly. Either the social scientist concerned is a moron, or she values propaganda in her own financial interest above integrity; my money's on her not being a moron.

Psycho Milt said...

Heh. If they (or you) could do basic maths you'd know it was rather worse than that.

I am aware of the difference between an average and a median thanks, but it's not particularly relevant to this.

Andrei said...

A qualified social scientist knows how to interpret statistics. A qualified social scientist ought to be someone whose views on how to interpret statistics can be trusted.

I have always been of the opinion that "a qualified social scientist" was one who was trained in the art of mining data using statistical techniques that they have no real comprehension of mechanisms nor validity of in the circumstances to which they are employing them.

The purpose of the exercise being of course the promotion of political agendas rather than the advance of knowledge

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

I thought Lindsay Mitchell gave a good response last week.

http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2009/11/absurd-protest.html

PM of NZ said...

'values propaganda in her own financial interest above integrity'

Must be a common trait with scientists. A similar scenario exists in East Anglia climatology at present.