Saturday Night Live, facing criticism for lacking diversity, has held 'secret' auditions for black female cast members. [more inside]
Welcome to Night Vale, the most popular podcast in the US, has an openly queer narrator (Cecil) with a (requited?) crush on a person of color (Carlos, a scientist). There's no physical description of Cecil, so fans have filled in the blanks. There is a lot of debate over whether he's white or should be portrayed as such. Fuck Yeah Brown Cecil explores various options; this blogger explains why a Native Cecil matters. Night Vale of Color celebrates the characters of color and this fan-made trailer envisions a diverse cast. But what is Welcome to Night Vale about? If you have a few minutes, the PBS Idea Channel will try to explain the unknown; if not, try this Buzzfeed primer. Or just listen to the podcast already! [more inside]
Last summer, researchers at Yale published a study proving that physicists, chemists and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications. Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts. A wonderful long article by Eileen Pollack where she talks to her former mentors, the study authors, and the other female science professors at her alma mater. NYTMagazine, worth reading especially for the absence of glib simple answers. (Previously, of course.)
Paris Fashion: Rick Owens’s Powerful Rejection of Conventional Beauty Big, athletic African-American dancers storm the runaway [more inside]
The LA Times Hero Complex looks at diversity in SF and Fantasy fiction.
A variety of Bay Area data sources are combined to highlight a problem common to many of the performing arts in the US. The good news? There is a healthy and vigorous discussion in the community around this issue.
Lack of resources, benign discouragement from well meaning adults, active exclusion by powerful gatekeepers: a classroom scientist discusses things that kill opportunity for inner city youth. [more inside]
Every few minutes of the day, all over the capital, people gather into small groups to share the same space and fleeting moment in time... simply to wait for something routine and forgettable as a London bus. In transient, with time to kill, and often among strangers, each collection of these individuals proves completely unique from the next. Each collection provides a little insight into London's incredible diversity, how they relate to their surroundings, and each other. The very deliberate intention with By the Bus Stop, was to capture those little moments which happen spontaneously, when the meeting of individuals is completely left to chance. [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Nature constantly engineers new and creative solutions to all sorts of problems—turning our stereotypes about sex upside-down along the way.
Molly Paxton, Carrie Figdor, and Valerie Tiberius have a new paper in Hypatia quantifying the gender gap in philosophy (pdf). [more inside]
"It’s Amazing the Things We Know, That Are Actually Wrong” by Kate Elliott [A Dribble of Ink] Fantasy write Kate Elliott on the subject of diversity.
"Here’s a paper we’re working on, which argues that we should (for some purposes at least), think of markets, hierarchy and democracy in terms of their capacity to solve complex collective problems [and] makes the case that democracy will on average do the job a lot better than the other two ways..." Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi on a cognitive approach to democracy (pdf). [via]
"I can tell you that the days of of white, wealthy, upper-class [Smith] students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry Amherst men are over. This is unfortunate because it is this demographic that puts their name on buildings, donates great art and subsidizes scholarships." Anne Spurzem, Smith College '84, reacts to news about the increase in diversity at her alma mater during President Carol Christ's tenure while Christ prepares to step down in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Spurzem's comments have caused an uproar among students and alumnae, leading to the creation of the Pearls and Cashmere Tumblr, which celebrates the diversity feared by Spurzem. Meanwhile, President Christ has responded to Spurzem's allegations in an open letter to to the Smith community.
The results of the Women Working in Comics survey are in. Meanwhile Comics Alliance has asked creators how comics can do better at female characters. (previously, previously)
"Ultimate Marvel is an imprint of comic books published by Marvel Comics, featuring reimagined and updated versions of the company's superhero characters" Today the imprint has introduced a new version of Spider-Man, Miles Morales, a half black-half latino male teenager. Fans are already talking about why this matters.
Today, the first Somali-American to hold public office in Minnesota, and likely the nation, will be sworn in. But he prefers to be known as African-American. [more inside]
Say you're a Chinese company wishing to appear more global and well-to-do without all the messy hubbub of hiring a foreigner. What do you do? Drop $44 and rent a white guy.
Attenborough's Pitcher, an "Udderly Weird Yam," a two-inch phallic mushroom already immortalized on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, and the "Bombardier Worm" ("Chaff worm" would seem a more accurate name) are just four of the newly described species making the International Institute for Species Exploration's totally arbitrary Top 10 New Species list. [more inside]
New York Magazine has crunched the numbers, Park Slope has taken the title of most livable neighborhood of New York. [more inside]
Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France, Switzerland, and Britain) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
Vogue Italia relaunched their website last week (in Italian and English / pictures on the site may be NSFW,) with three new subsites catering to specific fashion industry demographics: Vogue Curvy (focusing on plus-sized models, actresses and celebrities,) Vogue Black (men and women of color,) and Vogue Talents (veteran and up-and-coming designers. "Talents" also encourages hopeful designers to submit their work for review.) "Curvy" and "Black" in particular have received some positive and negative attention and some wonder whether separating those two fashion categories is truly inclusive. Vogue responds.
"Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find," is the headline of a February 6 ABA Journal article. The article refers to two studies reported in law reviews, linked here in pdf format, on the effect of gender and race on decisionmaking in harassment and discrimination cases.
Standing out in the crowd. Kirrily Robert's keynote from OSCON. She discusses diversity in opensource communities and projects. [more inside]
As Oregon struggles with diversity, one young man from Corvallis takes a cue from Improv Everywhere and invites you to meet a black guy. [via swpl]
Auroville Funded by Governments all over the world, the city of Auroville is an ongoing experiment 'whose stated purpose is to realize human unity in diversity' through yoga. Unfortunately, it seems the 'rule free' society has attracted some of the least welcome of humanity's outliers, namely child sex tourists. [more inside]
Diversity counterproductive to "social capital?" James Wilson's article in Commentary magazine talks about Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam's essay recently published in Scandinavian Political Studies. In the essay, Putnam publicizes the findings of his research, conducted in rural districts, towns, and cities, whose conclusion establishes that diverse neighborhoods show less "social capital" because ethnically diverse residents seem to distrust each other. [more inside]
Official transgender blessings -- Kulanu -- the newly-revised manual for LGBT issues and ceremonies put out by the Union for Reform Judaism (1.5 million US Jews are Reform) now includes 2 blessings (written by a Rabbi now male) for those transitioning and who have completed the change, alongside the already existing same sex marriage liturgy and other documents and procedures. A first? (blessings text inside)
The downside of diversity. A Harvard political scientist finds that diversity hurts civic life. What happens when a liberal scholar unearths an inconvenient truth?
rsspect and AfroSpear -- both bringing more Black voices of the blogosphere to our attention. Rsspect is a growing collection of feeds, and AfroSpear a group blog. The loss of Steve Gilliard of the NewsBlog this week has caused many to rightly question why more minority voices aren't as visible or prominent online.
"I like to think that there'll always be a place in our universe where a kid can look and see reflected in the mirror an idealized form of themselves." Hero Deficit: Comics Books In Decline is an article, by freelance journalist Brad Mackay, exploring the challenges of superhero relevancy in a diverse society. Previous comic book and superhero-related posts on Metafilter. Wikipedia also has a very informative superhero page.
Jewcy asks The Big Question-- Why Are Atheists So Angry? with Sam Harris and Dennis Prager. Email exchanges on the topic--and if you can get past the incredibly loaded and one-sided question, really interesting.
More languages are in danger than ever, but some argue that this is no big deal. Is language extinction only worrisome because it means a loss of diversity?
A Blinding Flash of the Obvious "The city is too beautiful of a city to be known around the world as the capital of exclusion and intolerance." He was right. Now, a 22-minute film documents the successful fight to repeal an anti-gay ordinance in Cincinnati last year. The campaign was successful because it was honest, and because it included people of faith.
28 U.S.C 1367 was a controversial and confusing attempt by Congress to codify and address the issue of Supplemental Jurisdiction established in cases such as United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715 (1966), Zahn v. International Paper, Co., 414 U.S. 291 (1973), and Finley v. United States, 490 U.S. 545 (1989). The Supreme Court tried to clarify some of the confusing issues regarding 1367 in a 2005 opinion. Exxon Mobil Corp v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., (2005) (Kennedy, J., writing for the Court) (Stevens, J., dissenting) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting). The question of whether the Court clarified the issue or made it more complicated remains arguably unanswered.
The Family Research Council is claiming victory in their fight to have the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remove a web site "Celebrating the Pride and Diversity Among and Within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations." [Google Cache Links: 1, 2, 3, 4] But the FRC are not very happy about the "derogatory and even threatening responses to the messages they sent to their own government."
The Logic of Diversity "A new book, The Wisdom of Crowds [..:] by The New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki, has recently popularized the idea that groups can, in some ways, be smarter than their members, which is superficially similar to Page's results. While Surowiecki gives many examples of what one might call collective cognition, where groups out-perform isolated individuals, he really has only one explanation for this phenomenon, based on one of his examples: jelly beans [...] averaging together many independent, unbiased guesses gives a result that is probably closer to the truth than any one guess. While true — it's the central limit theorem of statistics — it's far from being the only way in which diversity can be beneficial in problem solving." (Three-Toed Sloth)
Harvard has finally released a transcript of Lawrence Summers' remarks at a conference about women in science and engineering. These remarks, which were made without members of the press present about a month ago, caused a lot of controversy. Now we can finally see what he actually said.
Score one for tolerance and diversity. Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Do the smirking people in this photo really feel proud for terrorizing a three-year-old girl?
Human Development Report 2004 Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World
Wages of hate - anti-gay attitudes damage the economy - conversely, Gay-tolerant societies prosper. Will GOP anti-elitism and the US religious right make the U.S. a 3rd world country? Paul Craig Roberts argues that we're on the fast track, and a Carnegie Mellon study (title link) shows that culturally repressive attitudes in America are driving away the "Creative" class. Virginia Postrel defines this class differently (manicurists and stone cutters) but in Richard Florida's "Creative Class War" (recently on Metafilter), "America is no long attracting creative workers from abroad because it is seen as an intolerant society". More than artists and programmers are shunning the US - scientists are staying away too. In the US, meanwhile, a bifurcation - Americans are geographically self-segregating, choosing to live with those who hold similar beliefs and values.