Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Who's in and who's out

Here are several weighty and interesting essays worth your attention. I intended to blog each separately, but the day has gotten away from me and now I'm way too groggy to do each full credit.
  • A fascinating recent study looks at disparities in life expectancy and finds sharp divisions along lines of race, region, and income.
    Our analysis indicates that 10 million Americans with the best health have achieved one of the highest levels of life expectancy on record, three years better than Japan for women, and four years better than Iceland for men. At the same time, tens of millions of Americans are experiencing levels of health that are more typical of people in developing countries.
    They describe eight different "Americas" in which its residents live, each of which predicts a quite different life course.
    (via kottke)

  • A National Academy of Sciences panel has concluded that the lack of women at the higher levels of scientific fields results not from differences in ability but from systemic inequalities. Imagine!!
    The report also dismisses other commonly held beliefs — that women are uncompetitive or less productive, that they take too much time off for their families. Instead, it says, extensive previous research showed a pattern of unconscious but pervasive bias, “arbitrary and subjective” evaluation processes and a work environment in which “anyone lacking the work and family support traditionally provided by a ‘wife’ is at a serious disadvantage.”
    Happily, the report included recommended steps to address these factors, including more objective hiring and evaluation procedures, better support for working families, and other (rational and obvious) measures.
    (via Birch, PhD)

  • Finally, having little to do with my post title, a suggestion that you might want to renew your passport now, whether or not you need it, to put off your need to deal with privacy-risking new radio chip technology that will be going into passports by next year.
    With your new passport you can wait another 10 years for an RFID passport, when the technology will be more mature, when we will have a better understanding of the security risks and when there will be other technologies we can use to cut the risks. You don't want to be a guinea pig on this one.
    I'm usually lazy about such things, but this seems like sound advice.
    (via Rebecca's Pocket)

No comments: