Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

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Brentai
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Brentai » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:24 pm

The problem with a dataset as large as Amazon's is that if you gag a specific data point like gender you're only going to leave a meaningful hole shaped like that data. I'm sure that same algorithm above can tell with over 90% accuracy whether an applicant is male or female without being told; I'm sure that was tested, and it was found to reach the same conclusions.

It's a classic case of asking the wrong question. If you ask "who should we hire" you might get a valid result. If you ask "who WOULD we hire" you're probably going to get an answer you don't really like. And if you ask, thinking you're clever, "who is most likely to succeed at their job", you're going to get an accurately skewed response because the environment itself is skewed.

This IS pretty easily fixable - make the thing calculate what weights are required to satisfy equal opportunity requirements - but things that can go wrong with it that I can see:

1. The environment is so skewed that the weighting required starts to overpower other considerations, making every woman and/or minority start to appear equally qualified.
2. Attaching weight to non-performance related qualifications seems to miss the entire point of the algorithm (see the overfitting, "Jared" example above).
3. Even if it did manage to balance correctly, the mere fact that it exists and has to do that leaves the employer open to claims of equal opportunity violations. It's very hard to argue the trustworthiness of 10,000 lines of SciPy.
4. You've been working on this fucking thing for three years and I hired you to redesign the login page and I'm not paying you any more god damn wasted work hours to rewrite your goddam pet project because it doesn't actually work in the real world.

In short: I don't think this is Can't Fix, but I can very much see why it would be Won't Fix.
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WingSounds
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby WingSounds » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:45 pm

Oooooh, thank you for the summation. One thing I kind of wish more papers did was include afterreport analysis by experts, panels, and the like. Naturally, you'd still have biased panels and opinion, but I think it'd help readers get a better understanding of things... I always know I'm interested when somebody comes up with a better reason for my logic being either flawed, or right for the wrong reasons...
For what it's worth -

Brentai wrote:4. You've been working on this fucking thing for three years and I hired you to redesign the login page and I'm not paying you any more god damn wasted work hours to rewrite your goddam pet project because it doesn't actually work in the real world.


... This is where I was coming from. I'm - flashing back to certain matters, it'll be a moment. Going to go make some tea and mumble sulphurously...

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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Thad » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:17 pm

mharr wrote:The thing I can't quite fathom is the "we cannot fix this" angle. Surely you can patch this by not giving it the data and just having it process every applicant as male. Or use Toni's old bosses approach of discarding CVs entirely at random on the basis that it'll ensure only hiring lucky people.

It's not as simple as removing overt references to gender. There are other factors, in things like education, job history, word choice, and writing style that correlate to gender.

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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby mharr » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:00 pm

Monetised online gaming, international copyright law and the conflict between publishers, pirates and hacking culture have reached a point where breaking an EULA by making cheat tools can lead to your life being completely shut down by a legal system that treats all entities as global corporations. Also your neighbours get dragged into it because they took in an Amazon delivery for you one time.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/07/worl ... ourne.html

The general gaming community is in full support mode of course, because haxx are annoying, but I don't see why this legal machinery, once established, can't be used to ruin anyone that makes any unapproved game mod. Rockstar's position is that editing the copy of their code running on your own computer is a copyright violation. I preferred it when we used to own things.

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Brentai
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Brentai » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:38 pm

Given the timing and the hamfisted attempt at shock and awe they're sending a pretty clear signal that their new upcoming online experience is going to be trivial to ruin. Probably using the same software, even. Good job, guys.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:17 am


Isn't one of the comorbidities of fascism having the paramilitary goon arm of government busting up labour or small owners who happen to be annoying corporate overlords?
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:11 pm

Parents deliver ashes of diabetic children to insulin manufacturer



More detail here but I didn't want to use such an obscure site as the primary source.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby hngkong » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:49 pm

Mongrel wrote:Parents deliver ashes of diabetic children to insulin manufacturer



More detail here but I didn't want to use an obscure site as the primary source.


The more I see about the insulin industry, the more I hate that I will be tied to dealing with them for the rest of my life, but who knows: http://openinsulin.org/

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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:22 pm

Pharmaceutical companies should just be straight-up nationalized. If we can do it with health care as a whole, we can do it something which is merely a sub-component of health care.

Yes, there's potential issues with that, especially around innovation, but at this point there's no way that any such issues are worse than what we've got right now.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby TA » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:48 pm

Mongrel wrote:Pharmaceutical companies should just be straight-up nationalized. If we can do it with health care as a whole, we can do it something which is merely a sub-component of health care.

Yes, there's potential issues with that, especially around innovation, but at this point there's no way that any such issues are worse than what we've got right now.


Yeah there are no issues with innovation. That's a myth the companies push specifically to get people to think they have a purpose. "Come up with a new version of your existing drug, with enough atoms changed to get a fresh patent, because it's been 20 years since the last one and it's about to go generic" is not innovation.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:59 pm

TA wrote:
Mongrel wrote:Pharmaceutical companies should just be straight-up nationalized. If we can do it with health care as a whole, we can do it something which is merely a sub-component of health care.

Yes, there's potential issues with that, especially around innovation, but at this point there's no way that any such issues are worse than what we've got right now.


Yeah there are no issues with innovation. That's a myth the companies push specifically to get people to think they have a purpose. "Come up with a new version of your existing drug, with enough atoms changed to get a fresh patent, because it's been 20 years since the last one and it's about to go generic" is not innovation.

Nah, not that. There were some legit corner cases involving private vs public incentives. I can't recall exactly what since it's a long time since I read that in depth into the issues.

BUT, any small, very-solvable issues are massively exaggerated to "DEATH PANELS!!" levels of absurdity, to scare people into thinking governments will leave you to die for lack of research resources or similar issues. So I'd let it slide regardless.

As you rightly point out, most "innovation" involves simply changing things enough to re-patent them, which is a far greater waste than anything a government might do. Never mind that publicly-funded research already constitutes a huge amount of useful pharmaceutical research in the first place and that doesn't seem to have broken anything.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:21 pm

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TA
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby TA » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:38 am

It has been pointed out that the Bezos family owns three homes, and that with the selection of Queens as the site of Amazon HQ2, Amazon has an HQ within five miles of all three of them.

There was never a selection process. It was always going to be there. They just pretended they were still making up their minds in order to extort money from the city.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:44 am

TA wrote:It has been pointed out that the Bezos family owns three homes, and that with the selection of Queens as the site of Amazon HQ2, Amazon has an HQ within five miles of all three of them.

There was never a selection process. It was always going to be there. They just pretended they were still making up their minds in order to extort money from the city.

Yeah, that was mentioned in an earlier story someone linked, though I forget who (wasn't one I tossed up).

The whole thing was a gigantic sham from beginning to end, and I'm sure an obscene amount of profiteering and bribery has already taken place behind the scenes.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Grath » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:08 am

Mongrel wrote:
TA wrote:It has been pointed out that the Bezos family owns three homes, and that with the selection of Queens as the site of Amazon HQ2, Amazon has an HQ within five miles of all three of them.

There was never a selection process. It was always going to be there. They just pretended they were still making up their minds in order to extort money from the city.

Yeah, that was mentioned in an earlier story someone linked, though I forget who (wasn't one I tossed up).

The whole thing was a gigantic sham from beginning to end, and I'm sure an obscene amount of profiteering and bribery has already taken place behind the scenes.

Goldman Sachs "coincidentally" invests in real estate near HQ2 the same day it's announced.

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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby Mongrel » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:21 pm

The Dollar General rules with an iron fist:





The whole things bad enough, but that point #4 is fucking NUTS.
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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby François » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:27 am

There was a dollar store two blocks away from my apartment; it opened two years ago and went out of business last spring. It was convenient for the occasional odd and/or end (wouldn't buy food there though, dang), but after reading this, I'm glad that it's gone and that even my very-low-income neighborhood wasn't the type to sustain it.

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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:43 am

Oh yeah, I've talked to dieticians whose reaction to the very mention of dollar stores is cold fury.

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Re: Inspirational tales of Glorious Unfettered Capitalism

Postby beatbandito » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:25 pm

Dollar Tree is where I got all my food when I was barely making rent. Good times.

But like, this kind of makes it sound like it's putting my local mom and pop grocer out of business. I already can't afford real, fresh food. I was getting the same type of shit that I currently get at the stop and shop, just with less selection and regularity.

Hell, Dollar Tree's stock method of "dump as much as you can in the back and keep selling it until it starts to smell" seems like a great way to do something with the billions of dollars of fresh food waste from farms and big groceries.
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