It's astonishing how many of the people conducting interviews and passing judgement on the careers of candidates have had no training at all on how to do it well. Aside from their own interviews, they may not have ever seen one. I'm all for learning on your own but at least when you write a program wrong it breaks. Without a natural feedback loop, interviewing mostly runs on myth and survivor bias. "Empirically", people who wear suits don't do well; therefore anyone in a suit is judged before they open their mouths. On my interview I remember we did thus & so, therefore I will always do thus & so. I'm awesome and I know X; therefore anyone who doesn't know X is an idiot. Exceptions, also known as opportunities for learning, are not allowed to occur. This completes the circle.
According to Carlos Bueno, Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy, it's a mirrortocracy
where startups hire the people that resemble them the most. [more inside]
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for changing the admissions criteria of NYC's elite high schools
, arguing that relying solely on a single exam (the SHSAT
) "creates a “rich-get-richer” dynamic that benefits the wealthy, who can afford expensive test prep. However, the reality is just the opposite. It’s not affluent whites, but rather the city’s burgeoning population of Asian-American immigrants — a group that, despite its successes, remains disproportionately poor and working-class — whose children have aced the exam in overwhelming numbers." [more inside]
Why Elites Fail.
Christopher Hayes writes in The Nation
about how meritocracy and democracy become compromised by Robert Michels' Iron Law of Oligarchy
On Tiger Moms
: "What the controversy surrounding Chua demonstrates, however inadvertently, is that parenting techniques are always grounded in basic assumptions about the way things are and what matters to us. And they are always guided by some answer to the most fundamental of ethical questions—how to live?" [more inside]
Dorothy Gambrell of Cat And Girl
fame spends an awful lot of time talking about education, class, debt, money, and the hollow promise of aspirational media to discuss how much she hates Good Will Hunting
Reed has cast aside its hopes of soon accepting students based purely on merit, without regard to wealth.
"Money was the problem. Too many of the students needed financial aid, and the school did not have enough. So the director of financial aid gave the team another task: drop more than 100 needy students before sending out acceptances, and substitute those who could pay full freight."
NASCAR as an example of a meritocracy with equal opportunity for all.
While frequently maligned for it's relatively primitive technology
), the total lack of mechanical resemblance (other than appearance) of the "stock" cars to the brand they represent, soap-opera-slash-professional wrestling story lines, and being ripe political target for both the right
and the left
as well as marketers
, it is a strong cultural force. The entrance of Toyota (likely to surpass GM as #2 US automaker
in the near-future) into NASCAR
(with the hopes
of "winning on Sunday and selling
on Monday" in the heartland) and the cheating scandal
currently unravelling highlight an important concept woven into NASCAR's culture. [more]
The Bitchun Society
is now open for all of your Whuffie
-market needs. Or cynical mocking, take your pick.
Via (of course) BoingBoing
. Can a brother get a ping? Confused?
"A growing body of evidence suggests that the meritocratic ideal is in trouble
in America. Income inequality is growing to levels not seen since the Gilded Age, around the 1880s. But social mobility is not increasing at anything like the same pace: would-be Horatio Algers are finding it no easier to climb from rags to riches, while the children of the privileged have a greater chance of staying at the top of the social heap. The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society."
Michael Young's critique of the meritocracy
is brilliant, subversive and quite possibly based on faulty assumptions. "It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others."
Racial discrimination at ford?
White male managers accuse the Ford Motor Co. of reverse discrimination, claiming they are victims of racial, age and gender bias.
After reading this article, I'm really at a loss as to where the racism is. They are reviewing all management and ditching those in the worst 5%...
"... older white managers who received "Cs" after long highly productive careers say they feel they are victims of discrimination."
Golly Pal. You know, the past counts for something but you have to keep producing or you're gonna get canned. What's the problem here? This isn't racism, it's meritocracy and I'm all for it. If they were giving bonuses to the evaluations based on ethnic background or sex then I could see the gripe. But the article doesn't say they are so what exactly is wrong with cutting the fat?