Did you actually read the report?

Cognitive dissonance occurs when irrefutable facts meet a firmly-held world view.

At this point the subject has two stark choices; change their mind in light of new information or create a mental cul de sac in which to park the inconvenient truth with the hope that it will stay there quietly.

Read the summary of this study (the full paper is linked at the bottom of the article) and then select which choice our blue ticked Tweeter decided upon;

The study found that there was a 7% difference in hourly pay in favour of men and the difference was explained as follows;

20% due to selection of times and locations of rides accepted.

30% due to experience gained by longevity in the service and more hours worked when the longevity was equal.

50% due to men driving 2% faster than women so able to accept more fares in a given period. Other USA studies indicate females have more accidents but men have more fatal accidents.

Nancy still feels that the pay gap is due to duh patriarchy.

Bill’s Opinion

Uber’s algorithm is gender blind. The dataset of 1m drivers, 750m rides over 2 years clearly shows driver choices are responsible for the 7% pay difference.

The pay difference is similar to other industries. This isn’t to claim there is no sexism occurring resulting in pay gaps between men and women in other industries but it does raise a very serious doubt.

And Nancy has just learned the difficult lesson that facts don’t care about her feelings.

H/t View From Northcote

Probably the most subtle humblebrag of the month

And we’re only a week into February.

Translation for those who don’t speak Creepbook for Business English;

Look at me! Look at me!

I’ve made it so far up the corporate ladder that I have to travel for work. In fact, I’m working so hard that I’m at work about 3 hours before the rest of you proles even wake up.

However, I’m the victim here because, well, the patriarchy or something.

If you can search for the original post (I’m not going to put a link here as I prefer anonymity), the comments are great too with even more humblebragging stories of “creeps” in business class lounges.

Bill’s Opinion

Oh do just shut the fuck up, please.

Team Australia – World Policepersons

Two former Australian Defence Force Academy cadets are claiming they were discriminated over their transgender status.

Reading the article in the link may be difficult for some readers, this is due to the fact that the Sydney Morning Herald is quite imprecise in the language used throughout. Depending on one’s point of view, this confusion may be thought to be due to either a genuine desire to be sympathetic to the two subjects OR to deliberately cloud the truth.

After some re-reading, it becomes clear that a female (now called Joel) and male (now called Sarah) both joined the Australian armed forces as a woman and a man. Quite soon afterwards, they announced that they were “transitioning” to the opposite gender.

It should come to no surprise to anyone who has ever met a human that this this caused significant issues for all concerned.

For example, the woman now known as Joel found the physical training regime of her male colleagues somewhat inconvenient, as she was the only one running around with a large pair of functioning mammary glands tightly strapped to her chest. It takes some re-reading to realise that the issue was due to the fact that she was training alongside men, not women. It’s not clear from the article whose choice that was.

The selected quotes throughout the article reek of cognitive dissonance or at least an unhealthy lack of self-awareness.

Some favourites;

“I don’t know what person in their right mind would think, ‘oh great, I’ll join the Defence Force for a free transition’.”

“It would be much easier to work in a civilian capacity and save money and transition than it ever would socially to try and transition in Defence.”

Or, in English, “I joined an organisation which demands the highest physical strength, fitness and discipline standards along with a strong esprit de corps resulting in a lethal and highly-effective defence service to the nation. Apparently, being confused about one’s gender dilutes this somewhat“.

The man now know as Sarah seems similarly confused about the purpose of the military;

Miss Bowley said when she joined the ADF in 2011 she was overcompensating with extreme masculinity.

“I was so masculine I was described as the epitome of aggression,” Miss Bowley said.

“I went so far to prove to everyone and myself that I was masculine.”

But that changed after she attempted suicide twice.

Again, this might be translated in to vernacular English along the following lines, “Imagine my surprise to discover my employer was less than impressed, after hiring me in part due to my aggression, to discover I wanted to wear dresses and be known as Miss Sarah. Unreasonably, they felt this might be an unhelpful diversion in the field of combat“.

This is quite an interesting point and one which our diligent journalist, Kimberley Le Lievre, has either accidentally missed or deliberately missed;

Both Miss Bowley and Mr Wilson were medically downgraded against their wishes and despite their physical ability. A spokeswoman for Defence said members who were transitioning gender were not automatically downgraded.

Sounds terribly unfair, doesn’t it? Except, at the time, transgenderism had its own DSM-5 category as it was considered primarily a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. This was amended in May 2013 to merge the categories of transgender and depression to infer that people who are transgender and depressed are depressed regardless of their transgenderness not necessarily because of it. Regardless of where one stands on this assertion, it’s clear the Australia Defence Force were acting on current medical advice by diagnosing both subjects as medically-unfit.

Another hilarious quote;

“You might identify as male but you might say ‘hang on a minute, I don’t fit all of those’. That’s going to lead you to question things.”

Again, the last thing a fighting unit requires in battle is someone who is living in an existential flux status. You want to trust the person fighting next to you implicitly, if you know they don’t feel comfortable in their skin, one assumes that trust is going to be reduced.

And;

“Any organisation that has more diversity does better.”

That’s a claim with highly-dubious scientific sources but, even if proven correct in the world of commerce or pubic sector administration, I’d be willing to bet the defence budget on the fact that there isn’t a single corroborating study for fighting forces, especially ones that have fired live rounds any time recently.

Lastly, this gem;

“It was the scariest thing I’ve done, to be honest,” he said, of coming out while in the defence force.

Let’s have a moment’s silence for those who gave their lives on the Normandy Beaches while we consider the relative scariness of experience.

Bill’s Opinion

Being transgender is a personal tragedy for those concerned. The suicide rates within that demographic are the highest in society and do not drop for those who have the reassignment surgery.

These people should be supported and helped but with the realisation that, but for a recent capitulation by the APA, the professional opinion was agreed that they were suffering from a mental disorder, not some magical third gender yet to be explained by science.

Let’s support these people but for fuck’s sake keep them away from live weapons and in no way give them responsibility for the defence of anything so important as national security.

Meat is murder, cheese is rape

An Australian vegan was offended by a British ham and cheese sandwich this week.

I know, it sounds like the setup to a mediocre joke but, no, the offence was actually taken by the protein-deficient antipodean.

That vegans don’t eat, wear or use animal products is an incontrovertible fact. That they go around in a constant state of high offence that others do may be news to many of us.

Firstly, let’s remind ourself of the basic flow of offence when it occurs;

1. An external stimulus (words, pictures, sound, etc.).

2. The recipient mentally processes this.

3. The recipient then chooses to take offence (or in most cases, doesn’t).

4. The recipient loudly proclaims their new state of offence to the world.

5. The world continues to spin on its axis, the laws of physics are maintained, water still flows downhill, nothing of any consequence changes.

Imagine for a second, though, what it must be like to live in this state of constant offence; Joey Armstrong claims to be highly-offended by the sight of a “murdered” pig combined with “raped” cow milk processed into cheese.

This claim was made inside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, London. To have arrived there from Australia, Joey will have travelled to his nearest international airport, hopefully in a taxi that did not have leather seats, through the departure lounge replete with retail outlets selling leather products and multiple food outlets offering many meat items.

On the plane, he would have been unlikely to have avoided smelling and seeing the food choices of his fellow passengers; the clichéd “chicken or fish” option leaves little chance of an offence-free flight.

At Heathrow, he will have doubtless caught a whiff of the delicious toasted ham and cheese croissants sold by Pret á Manger just after the security checks. Then, into London, he’d be challenged to find a carriage on the Piccadilly Line or Heathrow Express trains without passengers wearing leather shoes, belts and jackets. There might have even been a bacon sandwich consumed in front of his crying eyes.

After such a traumatic journey, exiting at Oxford Circus station isn’t going to be much of a relief; he’ll have to pass yet more dead animal-wearing pedestrians, dead-animal flesh outlets (cafés) and, even when safely in the bowels of the BBC, he may have to witness a cold meat selection in the Green Room before the interview.

The poor chap will then have to experience it all in reverse on the way home to his vegan utopia homestead.

With so much offence and trauma being incurred, it’s a wonder Joey can still function enough to have a coherent conversation. Oh, hang on…..

Bill’s Opinion

One of two things are happening here, either;

  1. Joey is deeply offended and traumatised throughout most of his waking moments but somehow manages to function in a state of excruciating mental suffering, or
  2. He’s making it up and is a lying shit.

Lastly, who else is enjoying the irony of an Australian vegan called Joey Armstrong; a “Joey” being the name for a baby kangaroo and strong arms being the last thing one ever associates with pasty weak vegans.

We may need a new scale

In the UK, there’s an unwritten rule that Prime Ministers are compared on a scale of Chamberlain to Churchill.

Neville Chamberlain being the Prime Minister who championed the cowardly “appeasement” approach to German (illegal) re-armament and expansionism and Winston Churchill being, well, the Prime Minister who reversed that failed policy and guided the country to victory.

How might David Cameron compare on that scale?

He entered the position as leader of a coalition government. Many commentators suggest that he might have won a majority but for the conscious leap to the left of his party from a free market position to a more social-democratic one. This was his strategy to counter the successful move to a more centrist position by the Labour Party. It was argued at the time that the fact Labour could be successful by being more like the Conservatives was a great data point to suggest sticking with traditional Conservative policies.

Nonetheless, he had to run a compromise government for his first term, which resulted in the concession to his party’s core to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

His next term was with a small majority so without much of the horse-trading of the previous four years but the “damage” was done by then; the referendum was locked and loaded.

Although the Conservatives were originally the party who took Britain into the Common Market (the precursor to the EU) in 1973, the party had since grown to regret the move. Perhaps a clue being in the name “Common Market”; the original referendum sold the idea of a trading block, not the United States of Europe project that later emerged.

During the build up to the Brexit referendum, Cameron made much of his efforts to renegotiate the terms of membership with the EU. Brave talk was uttered about “red lines” and “no deal being better than a bad deal”. As any negotiator worth his coin knows, a BATNA is only any good if you’re prepared to actually accept it. The deals he brought back from Brussels were lip service and meaningless and he, like all of us, must have known this.

Yet, rather than follow the wishes of the core of his party and campaign to leave the EU, Cameron chose to campaign for the status quo. The problem being, of course, is there is never such a thing as the status quo, the day following a “Remain” vote there would have seen a massive increase in the “ever closer union” rhetoric from the EU. The voters knew this too.

Nevertheless, “Project Fear” was implemented in attempt to scare the voters away from the Brexit option. The stock market would crash, the pound would be toast, the crops would die in the fields, a swarm of radioactive locusts would eat newborn babies, etc.

None of which happened, as Cameron candidly admits in this “hot mic” recording.

Bill’s Opinion

Either David Cameron is a coward, refusing to make the hard decisions at every opportunity or he is a traitor, willing to sell his country to foreign interests contrary to the benefit of the British.

Over time, we may see the method of comparison for British Prime Ministers is reset to use the Cameron-Churchill scale.

Modern slavery, same old stupidity

Slavery still exists along the supply chain of some of the most reputable businesses.

FTSE 100 companies have a major influence in eradicating modern slavery,” said Hyland. “Therefore, I have written to 25 companies identified in the BHRCC research as non-compliant, and which had still not corrected their omissions by December 2017, to encourage improved efforts in the coming year.”

A quarter of the FTSE100 are not taking seriously the risk of slavery in their supply chain? That’s pretty dire.

Taking action on modern slavery and human trafficking is not just a moral obligation – it is in fact good business sense: forced labour in company operations or supply chains has potential to disrupt business, weaken investor confidence, incur litigation costs and cause significant brand damage.”

Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? The Romans built an entire empire off the back of slaves and it’s doubtful the Southern plantation owners would have sold as much cotton if the price had included market rate wages as input costs.

Slavery has been the primary route to wealth for most of human history. It’s only recently made bad business logic since the Judeo-Christian culture decided it was immoral and put severe sanctions in place to prevent it. It continued elsewhere in the world, however, a fact which ought to kill any conversation about cultural equality dead.

So which are the companies who so callously flaunt the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and what are those requirements?

The BHRCC research, from October 2017, commended Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Unilever, British American Tobacco, Tesco and Vodafone for their work against modern slavery. Hargreaves Lansdown, Paddy Power Betfair, Pearson and Worldpay rated poorly.

Under the MSA firms with a turnover of £36m or more must produce slavery statements approved by the board, signed by a director and published on a website with a link from the homepage.

It feels like another outing for our old friend Pareto.

Let’s work back from the outcome we wish to achieve; something like eliminate slavery from the supply chain of goods and services entering the country.

With that goal in mind, it would make sense to address the supply chains of those companies with the largest risk of discovering slavery in their supply chain, so the largest by revenue might be one crude measure but it may be more effective to target those most reliant on imported goods and service, surely?

The bookmakers Paddy Power Betfair, for example, may have very large revenue but is unlikely to be reliant on any significant value or volume of imported goods and services, maybe a bunch of IT equipment but little else.

The same could be said for the others named in the article. Let’s also remind ourselves what it is they haven’t done; written a statement and posted it on a website. Not exactly commensurate with the efforts of William Wilberforce, is it?

Bill’s Opinion

Naming and shaming organisations for failing to comply with legislation is fine but let’s not delude ourselves into believing it actually achieves the outcome we require.

The revenue trigger for the MSA legislation is a crude measure and risks leaving smaller firms with more potential of finding slavery in their supply chain unexamined.

In fact, this is simply yet another example of this lesson on setting KPIs.

The left discovers the pension Ponzi for the first time

Quoting from this CNN article.

In unrelated news, the USA currently has a Gross Federal Debt balance of 106% of GDP, or $20.24 trillion in change.

Bill’s Opinion

Either we’re worried about the national debt because we believe it needs to be paid back eventually or we’re sanguine because we don’t think it will need to be repaid.

If the former, then we must also be concerned about the creeping pension Ponzi.

If the latter, who gives a damn about pensions as we can simply roll the debt over and carry on borrowing?

Using pensions as a justification for increased immigration is illogical and disingenuous if you’re unconcerned about debt.

Lastly, “whites”? Sigh; yet more identity politics bollocks.

Two incompatible approaches

Many have shared this interview on social media and various blogs already, commenting from their particular position.

We would like to offer an alternative to the Red vs Blue Team arguments and discuss this interview as a proxy to explain why we are currently seeing so much polarisation in, well, every area of public debate.

The two participants, while nominally discussing the same subject are using two incompatible approaches to the discussion.

On the one hand, Peterson talks in terms of statistics showing trends, while Newman uses his description of a trend as a specific for an individual.

A great example of this disconnect is when Peterson tries to explain why hierarchies and the human response to them are ancient and even predate hominids. His nuanced point was that the serotonin reaction to status is shared with lobsters, so (a) status cannot be a social construct to be quickly dismantled and, (b) probably has some deep evolutionary cause, reminding us of Chesterton’s fence.

The discussion around the causes of the pay gap is even more poignant; one person is approaching the data point that, on average, women are paid 9% less than men, with a reasonable question about how we might isolate the multiple variables which may be responsible and cautioning against drawing the conclusion that it must be entirely or, in a large part, due to bias.

On the other hand, the other person is either unable or unwilling to consider the possibility that other factors may be at play.

Peterson remains remarkably patient during this exchange while Newman reverts to hyperbole, invites Peterson to argue against her strawman summaries of his points and begins to raise her voice.

Bill’s Opinion

One doesn’t need to take a position on the content of the discussion to see that the two approaches to this debate are incompatible. The form of the discussion is a wonderful embodiment of the current standard of debate between those with a cultural Marxism tendency and everyone else in the world.

Even the best girls are boys

A 9 year old female relative received this inspiring book for Christmas;

100 stories of inspiring women role models to underline the message that girls can achieve whatever it is in life they desire.

Most of the examples are uncontentious with wonderful tales of intelligence, tenacity and bravery to achieve outstanding outcomes in various disciplines; Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Ada Lovelace, Hypatia, etc.

The authors could be accused of a little padding however, especially as 8% of the heroines they include were queens from history, women who epitomise one of the Left’s favourite insults; unearned privilege by birth.

There seem to be an over-representation of women with “activist” (or synonym) as their title (12%) versus those notable for academic achievements (23%).

However, to ensure balance, it was nice of them to include this surprise addition to the collection;

Although mentioning the abolition of “free” milk presumably softened the blow.

There were two additions which made me chuckle. Firstly, a woman most famous because of her husband’s surname and a remarkable inability to tell the truth or win elections. Not the greatest role model one can think of, certainly not in the top 100;

To every little girl who dreams big, I say YES, you can be anything you want – even president…. especially if you tell the truth and connect with middle America“.

Even worse is the second example, another person famous only through marriage (creepy picture too);

But lastly, how about this for a confusing message for a young girl;

Bill’s Opinion

It’s admirable that the authors of this book inspire girls to not be limited by their imagination. How commendable it is also that they have given the same message to boys; if you want to be a girl, just say you’re a girl. Simple!

After all, in 2015 the most inspiring woman of the year was a man. See, men are better than women at everything…. including being women.