Friday, September 18, 2015

I Stand with Ahmed - the Economic Importance of STEM Education

I saw another article that included quotes from Dr. Lee (@dnlee5). I can't find the link to share, but I *think* I'm seeing a trend in more "ask the people most affected" reporting. If so, I think that's a good thing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Legal, Ethical, Moral

Recent news events have reminded me of the final lesson in my Negotiations class, as we discussed negotiation ethics.

Keeping in mind that the professor was a lawyer, he pointed out that:
1) What is legal is not always ethical.
2) Less commonly, what is ethical is not always legal.

Since this was a business class, we were reminded that companies are obligated to follow the law. There are personal and corporate consequences for not doing so.

I've added "moral" to this discussion, in part because I was raised in Catholic schools where we regularly discussed the moral issues of the day.

In reviewing my memory, it seems as though many of the ethical "grey areas", the things that might be ethical in one circumstance and unethical in another, were often given a solid moral line by the Catholic church. For example, the hot topic of abortion. (Be forewarned, more on that subject will likely be coming this year.)

The thing to know about moral issues, is that where ethics are rooted in proper relationships between humans, morals are based in particular theological or religious perspectives.

Remember that there are approximately 5 major world religions, another 7+ "minor" (my term) world religions, and perhaps hundreds of other native, aboriginal, traditional, or non-traditional modern practices.

Also, I've been given to understand that not every religion provides a clear-cut authority on moral questions. A Jewish friend once explained that when they have a question, the Rabbi will gather the relevant passages of the Tanakh and writings about the question, and give at least two or three positions supported by the scholarship to date. The decision, then, is not the Rabbi's to dictate, but rather the individuals to study, weigh, and then make.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Inclusion, Diversity

Hat tip to Geek Feminism for the links:

  1. Ellen Pao Speaks: ‘I Am Now Moving On’ Ellen Pao writes about the bad in Diversity & Inclusion today, including:
    1. issues with legal assumptions about discrimination, that do not reflect today's implicit biases
    2. the financial costs of being a plaintiff, and the severe inequality of resources for a case like hers
    3. Quote: "I have a request for all companies: Please don’t try to silence employees who raise discrimination and harassment concerns. Instead allow balanced and complete perspectives to come out publicly so we can all learn and improve."
  2. Insurance and Feelings a Slack employee writes about a company that is successfully including everybody.
    1. "even in the rough bits, I still feel like I’m ok to be myself. I still feel like I’m part of the team. I still don’t feel like I’m different. I still feel like I belong."
    2. "One [catchphrase]though, is pretty demonstrative of what I think makes Slack feel good to me: “We’re all in this together.”"

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

About Gulf Coast Living and storms

As I mentioned, I'm going to write a bit, here, about the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I'm not promoting these posts, because what needs to be front and center are the direct victims.

So I will start off with links to some of those posts:

I moved to Houston perhaps a few months before Tropical Storm Allison hit. Actually, it hit twice: once on Tuesday, and then it came back on Saturday.