Carpe Diem

Monday afternoon linkage

1. Video of the Day. Do girls fall behind in science and engineering because society tells them they should be pretty, rather than, “pretty brilliant?” That’s the message of a new Verizon ad campaign. But in the video above, Christina Sommers, the Factual Feminist, shows that many inconvenient facts in the Verizon ad were held back to construct the misleading and false narrative about girls and women in STEM. For example, the ad failed to acknowledge that women earn 59% of bachelor’s degrees in biology, 48% of chemistry degrees and 44% of degrees in mathematics.

satratio2. Chart of the Day above illustrates graphically one of the reasons that women are under-represented in the more mathematically intensive STEM fields like engineering and computer science. In 2013, boys out-performed girls for perfect scores of 800 on the math SAT test by a male-female ratio of 1.88 to 1 (188 boys for every 100 girls), and for a near-perfect score of 790 by a ratio of exactly 2 to 1.

3. “Smart Apps vs. Obamacare” by Greg Beato in Reason:

Health care is on the verge of becoming far more individualized, far more contextualized and collaborative, and most of all, far more ubiquitous. And as this happens, the Affordable Care Act will start to look more and more anachronistic, a 20th century solution imposing itself onto a rapidly shifting set of 21st century conditions.

Indeed, imagine if, in the late 1990s, the federal government decided to ensure our right to affordable music by making every American purchase a monthly subscription to the Columbia House Music Club or Tower Records. That would have been great for the Columbia House Music Club, Tower Records, and, say, Sisqo, but would it have been great, in the long run, for the American people?

4. Markets in Everything. uberFamily just expanded to D.C. and Philadelphia, and offers customers the option of ordering a vehicle that comes with a car seat for children. (Source: Washington Post)

5. Meanwhile, as Uber does its best to please and serve consumers, the Denver police department is doing its best to please and serve the local taxi cartel by harassing Uber drivers near the airport. See the article “My Uber got pulled over by the Denver police — and then things got really weird.”

billboard6. Billboard of the Day above.

7. Exhibit A: In San Diego, a local Domino’s becomes the first store in the U.S. to go all-digital with online ordering only. The San Diego City Council just voted to raise the city’s minimum wage from $9 currently to $11.50 an hour by 2017 in several steps. (HT: Mike Robertson)

gummit8. Poster of the Day above. (HT: Pete Boetke via Don Boudreaux)

9. Who-d a-Thunk It? Politicians are hypocrites?

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren—a leading progressive populist, possible Democratic presidential candidate, self-proclaimed champion of the poor, and enemy of greedy corporations — supports the Export-Import Bank. That’s right: The woman best known for demonizing big businesses nevertheless wants to maintain an outlandishly generous subsidy package for them.

technology10. Bonus Chart of the Day above (click to enlarge) from Derek Thompson’s article in The Atlantic from a few years ago titled “The 100-Year March of Technology in 1 Graph.” It shows the “adoption rate” of new technologies and is pretty fascinating. For example, it took almost 100 years from the introduction of the automobile until 90% of US households owned a car. In contrast, more recently introduced new consumer products like the color TV, microwave, cell phones, computers, and air conditioning were more quickly adopted by a majority of US households, usually within a decade, and by 90% of households within several decades in most cases. (HT: Hitssquad)

18 thoughts on “Monday afternoon linkage

  1. Why does the diffusion chart end in 2005?

    If it extended to 2013, the point Prof. Perry would like to make would be MUCH more strongly made (Internet, smartphones, etc.).

    Also, if it were a worldwide chart (also extending to 2013), the point would be even more strongly made. Diffusion of 1950s technologies into India and China today is much faster than it was in the US in the 19050s.

    • Obviously you’re missing the part where corporations and the 1% are gouging the middle class by providing affordable products and services…

      Oh wait…

  2. Regarding the video, I’ve often wondered if girls were herded, nudged, pushed into non-science curricula…

    I graduated high school in ’69 and I can’t recall anything like that happening…

    Science fairs and 4H meets had many girls in the competitions and I can remember many of them winning also…

    Did something happen in the seventies, eighties, and ninties that started this trend of girls not heading into the sciences?

  3. For all this talk of women in STEM, I see very little mention of actually writing code, designing circuits, visiting the planetarium, etc.

    All we see is the ‘women have to be tech CEOs’, and the likes of Sheryl Sandberg (a government insider who is no tech executive by any stretch).

    The most vocal proponents of this ‘women in STEM’ meme seem to truly have no idea that compensation is tied to output produced. They (as government bureaucrats and academics in lefty departments) think that showing up = tech salaries = women should just be paid money for nothing.

    It appears that all ‘feminists’ want is money, without actually doing the work that STEM involves.

  4. I don’t know that women are underrepresented. The women who test high enough in math to pursue STEM degrees are well represented in those programs. Those who can’t do the work aren’t. Looks like all is as it should be to me.

  5. The way women came to completely dominate auto repair shows what they can accomplish when not held back by sexist pigs. The F-35 fighter jet is absolutely essential to national security…food stamps are necessary in a nation of fatties.

      • obesity is a disease of over eating, pure and simple. the laws of thermodynamics apply just like everywhere else. eat more calories than you burn, gain fat. eat fewer, lose fat. absolutely nothing can change that. avoiding the kinds of foods that spike insulin and make you hungry (like processed sugar) may help one eat less and maybe feel better, but in terms of obesity, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

        issues like what affect heart disease etc are complex (and not all aligned with obesity) and genetics play a significant role, so studying differing populations can get difficult.

        this “we looked at the people of X who eat Y and have low heart disease” methodology is fundamentally unsound if there is wide genetic variance.

        a northern european who can still digest cheese as an adult may have a completely different response to it that a han chinese, who almost certainly cannot.

    • I’m still wondering how we go from “women are in auto shops,” to “food stamps are causing obesity,” in the very next sentence. With no rhyme or reason to it, no connecting thought, it just looks schizophrenic.

  6. 4. this is a VERY clever play on uber’s part.

    not only does having a child seat provide a service many consumers want and might switch to uber to get, but it also goes right at the “uber is unsafe” claims of the cab industry.

    suddenly, it’s the safe way to take your toddler.

    cabs simply cannot compete with the innovation and speed of uber. they are fat, lazy monopolists. they better get in the game and start actually taking care of customers or they are going to be history.

  7. It is interesting to mix the Dominos outlet in San Diego with the nationwide promotion they had last week where they gave 1/2 off online orders. (Thru July 20). Of course if you think about it the error rate should be lower on online orders than phoned in orders, since you are given a final review before you push the order button.

    • Of course if you think about it the error rate should be lower on online orders than phoned in orders, since you are given a final review before you push the order button.

      Good point. Anything that reduces errors in fast food service would be a blessing.

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