Current Reading

This blog is primarily for me to blog my responses to books that I'm reading. Sometimes I blog about other stuff too, though.

I'm currently reading Edward Teller's Memoirs.

Word cloud

Word cloud

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bias, Madison, and Human Perfectability

Today's blog post by Dean Dad is a good one:  He responds to a recent article in the Chronicle, by a hiring consultant talking about the importance of raising awareness of our implicit biases.  Dean Dad makes the point that this smacks of trying to re-educate people and cleanse their thoughts.  There's plenty of bad history behind such efforts, and it is ironically at odds with the idea of diversity:  The goal is less to get everyone on the same page and more to bring together a bunch of different perspectives and let people check and balance each other.  (Hence James Madison.)  I like the way of looking at it.  If our implicit biases are deep-seated, persistent, and always acting then the very utility of awareness is questionable.  OTOH, bringing together different people with different viewpoints and giving them equal voting power in a consensus-oriented process might actually mitigate some of the effects of our biases.

It's also worth noting that the author of that piece in the Chronicle would be delighted if you wished to hire her firm to help you run a search process that will minimize the effects of bias...

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