“They dispute each other not on priorities but on objective reality.”
In short, Democrats and Republicans don’t so much disagree about where to take the country, they disagree about which country they would be taking.
To any political scientist, this is not news. Survey data has long shown that factual claims often reflect partisan sympathies more than they do reality.
I think news organizations are missing opportunities. Everyone seems to publish a dozen polls a month highlighting American disagreements over subjective opinions. Why not publish more stories doing the same about factual opinions—and then take pains to describe the actual truth? If the idea is to shock and amaze people, I think factual surveys will likely do the trick.
Source: Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on the facts — Quartz
Women thrive when classrooms make them feel like they belong.
And as one undergraduate research participant in our lab put it, the current stereotypes of computer scientists is that they are “nerdy guys” who “stay up late coding and drinking energy drinks” and have “no social life.”
This geeky image is at odds with the way that many girls see themselves.
When high school girls see Star Trek posters and video games in a computer science classroom, they opt out of taking the course.
When the classroom is devoid of décor, girls still opt out. It is only when an alternate image of computer science is presented by replacing geeky objects with art and nature posters that girls become as interested as boys.
Source: A new study shows how Star Trek jokes and geek culture make women feel unwelcome in computer science — Quartz
Farmers have quadrupled how much milk a typical cow can make, but there are hidden downsides.
It started with a bull named Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief, who had a whopping 16,000 daughters. And 500,000 granddaughters and more than 2 million great-granddaughters. Today, in fact, his genes account for 14 percent of all DNA in Holstein cows, the most popular breed in the dairy industry.
The mutation caused some unborn calves to die in the womb. According to a recent estimate, this single mutation ended up causing more than 500,000 spontaneous abortions and costing the dairy industry $420 million in losses.
That’s a crazy number, but here’s an even crazier one: Despite the lethal mutation, using Chief’s sperm instead of an average bull’s still led to $30 billion dollars in increased milk production over the past 35 years. That’s how much a single bull could affect the industry.
Chief embodies the power and the perils of selective breeding
Source: The Milk Industry Lost $420 Million From a Defective Cow Gene – The Atlantic
A society that glorifies metrics leaves little room for human imperfections.
it is important to recognize that the word “meritocracy,” coined by the British sociologist Michael Young in his 1958 book The Rise of the Meritocracy, originally described not some idealized state of perfect fairness, but a cruel dystopia. The idea was that a society evaluated perfectly and continuously by talent and effort would see democracy and equality unravel, and a new aristocracy emerge, as the talented hoarded resources and the untalented came to see themselves as solely to blame for their low status. Eventually, the masses would cede their political power and rights to the talented tenth—a new boss just as unforgiving as the old one, Young suggested.
The new technology of meritocracy goes hand in hand with the escalating standards for what merit is. To hold down a decent job in today’s economy, it is no longer enough to work hard. Workers need brains, creativity, and initiative. They need salesmanship and the ability to self-promote, and, of course, a college degree. And they need to prove themselves on an ever-expanding list of employer-administered metrics.
Americans also believe—or at least they like to teach their children—that life is not merely a competition. From the days of the Puritans, they have found ways to temper their zeal for meritocracy, self-reliance, and success with values of equality, civic-mindedness, and grace, a surprising harmony of principles that the country’s earliest observers lauded as distinctly American.
To a troubling but oft-ignored extent, one person’s inefficiency is another person’s good job.
Source: Living in an Extreme Meritocracy Is Exhausting – The Atlantic