The Ultimate Candid Camera – Core77

03/13/2009

A digital camera for a prothetic eye. Is it phophetic as well?

Okay, so I really don’t want to go through the whole shooting incident ordeal that this gentleman did to get to this epiphany-point, but I’d love to have a digital camera for an eye. I think this is a game changer in the same way that the double amputee runners with the gazelle leg addons are. Just because I wasn’t born with it, or just because I don’t have it anymore, doesn’t mean that it can’t be better living without. Cheers to Spence.

With the camera tucked inside a prosthetic eye, he hopes to be able to record the same things he sees with his working eye, his muscles moving the camera eye just like his real one.

Spence said he plans to become a “human surveillance machine” to explore privacy issues and whether people are “sleepwalking into an Orwellian society”.

via The Ultimate Candid Camera – Core77.

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Case Study: Can You Get Fired Because You Are Fat?

03/05/2009
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Picture this scenario: You’re just returning from your lunch break when your boss walks up to you and tells you to pack your belongings. You’re fired. You stammer for an explanation. Did you mishandle an important project? Were you accused of embezzling company funds?

No. It’s because you’re fat. (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/2958.cfm?sd=247)

Because weight and obesity is not a protected characteristic under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, a person who was fired as a result of being overweight would not likely have a defendable discrimination case.

Only in cases where you were extremely or morbidly obese would you have the opportunity to defend yourself under the protection regarding discrimination against disability, by filing a claim under the Americans with disabilities act.  Even then it would be a very difficult case to win.

There is the idea that obesity, dress, and other physical characteristics are a remaining opportunity for discrimination and prejudice, and this is exemplified by the notion that workers can share fat jokes without a raised eyebrow, but certainly not jokes about blacks or women or older people, because it would quickly bring cases of discrimination. Because people are generally believed to make choices about their physical appearance, but are born with other characteristics (age, race, etc), physical appearance seems to elude the common rules of prejudice.

Employers who look at the data may discriminate against the obese because according to some studies, obese people are more likely to submit worker’s compensation claims, and so to protect the bottom line, employers may take this currently legal action of firing or refusing to hire the obese.

Most of my ideas and support came from the source of the case: http://www.diversityinc.com/public/2958.cfm?sd=247

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Why Deloitte & Touche made Diversity Inc’s Top 50 list.

03/04/2009
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Deloitte and Touche has a CEO in Barry Salzberg that values and models diversity internally and externally (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He chairs and manages an internal diversity council (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He is connected with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and other diversity oriented nonprofits (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He supports diversity in his executives by tying compensation to the promotion of diversity (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He is quoted here:

“Building and sustaining an inclusive culture has been critical to Deloitte’s growth and will play an important role in our continued success. Clients expect it, new recruits want it and our people demand it. Most importantly, our culture of inclusion has a direct impact on the organization’s ability to set the standard of excellence in the marketplace.” (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm)

They hire a diverse worker body, and support diverse employee resource groups, such as LGBT groups and employees with disabilities (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). “Thirty-two percent of its work force and 41 percent of its new hires were Black, Asian, Latino or Native American” (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm)

This company respects its employees. They promote a work/life balance, have strong metrics to support productivity and goals, and provides support (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm).

They have a mentoring program in which 75% of managers participate (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm).

They also have a Chief Diversity Officer, Allen Thomas, who is quoted here:

Diversity and inclusion is tightly woven into Deloitte’s fabric. We’ve accomplished this by setting a clear and decisive tone at the top and demonstrating leadership’s unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive culture that provides opportunities for all of our professionals to succeed. In addition, our active support of Deloitte’s Business Resource Groups and their members across the country is a daily display of our commitment to the diversity of our people. (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm)

DiversityInc devises it’s top 50 most diverse companies “by metrics obtained in a detailed survey of more than 200 questions” (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3273.cfm).

Any company with over 1,000 U.S. employees can request and recieve the free survey (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3273.cfm).

Some more details on the methodology of choosing the top 50:

four areas the survey measures: CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications, and Supplier Diversity. Companies are assessed within the context of their industries, geography and employee skill sets. Any company that does not offer domestic-partner health benefits is automatically excluded from the Top 50 and the 11 specialty lists (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3273.cfm).

I think that Deloitte and Touche is regarded as a top company in terms of diversity because the structure of the leadership (e.g. a Chief Diversity Officer) as well as a CEO who supports and models diversity encourage that behavior. If the leadership provides the path, the carrot, and the stick, intrinsic valence of the idea in employees is probably not far behind, especially if it helps people, helps the company, and helps the world.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

02/13/2009
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Dr. Ebo asked us to give two specific examples of discriminatory practice related to the following types, using the EEOC web site as a guide.

Age: An employer who chooses one employee over another equally qualified employee for a job based on their age would be in violation of discrimination laws. If an employee decided to reduce benefits to an employee based on the idea that advanced age was causing more frequent insurance claims, they would be in violation of discrimination laws. http://www.eeoc.gov/types/age.html

Disability: An employer who decided to fire a secretary who was recently diagnosed with legal blindness, but who was still able to perform basic job duties would be in violation. An employer who refused to install a ramp for an employee who became wheelchair ridden in a car accident would likely be in violation, if the install of the ramp was an affordable expense to the business and would not bring undue hardship. Disability Discrimination

Equal Compensation: Two persons doing the same job who are of equal skills, effort, and responsibility, etc. but who were given different pay or benefits would put the employer in violation. If an older construction worker and a younger construction worker both do a similar job, but the employer sees the older employee as an insurance risk for that reason alone, they can not simply reduce benefits based upon that belief. Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination

National Origin: If an employer hires one person over another because both they and the new employee were both of German descent, the employer would be in violation. If an employer set an employee of a particular national origin to a task that they felt matched some national association with that task (a Chinese American to do an accountancy task, for example, playing on the stereotype) they would be in violation. National Origin Discrimination

Pregnancy: An employer who discovers that a suitable candidate for employment is pregnant can not dismiss her from consideration based on the fact that she’s pregnant. If an employer typically allows an employee to enjoy a benefit whle on leave, they must provide the same benefit to an employee who is away because of a pregnancy.   Pregnancy Discrimination

Race: An employer must not give preferential treatment or a difference of responsibility, etc., based on racial differences. If a boss were to choose a caucasian worker over a hispanic worker to manage a project because they believe that caucasians are more responsible than other races, they would be in violation.  Race-Based Discrimination

Religion: If a employer were to choose a Christian over an atheist for a job because they felt the job required a moral compass and the atheist would be less likely to be morally complete, they would be in violation. If a Christian employer were to only ever promote people who noticeably prayed they would be in violation. Religious Discrimination

Retaliation: An employer who demotes an employee as retaliation for reporting a discrimination violation is in violation for this alone. Threatening an employee who reports a violation of discrimination laws is also prohibited. Retaliation

Sex: An employer who insists upon sexual favors from an employee is in violation. An employer who maintains a hostile work environment due to sexual overtones in the workplace is in violation.  Sex-Based Discrimination

Sexual Harassment: A worker who is subjected to overtly sexual conversations of co-workers because of the allowances of the employer puts the employer in violation of sexual harassment rules. A co worker who commits sexual advances, asks for sexual favors, or promotes a sexually based hostile work environment for others is in violation.  Sexual Harassment

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Comm 564 Ebo: Definition of Terms

02/12/2009

Provide a brief definition of the following terms. Type it up and bring to class with you:

Race:

Data on race will be shown using several different options. For example, in the Public Law 94-171 (redistricting) file, data will be shown for 63 racial

Original locations of the six 2000 US Census r...
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categories. These include White alone, Black or African American alone, American Indian and Alaska Native alone, Asian alone, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, Some other race alone and 57 possible combinations of the above six categories.
originally posted at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/raceqandas.html

Color:

Meighan and Siraj – Blatchford (2003) also remind us that there is no scientific foundation for defining the human races, that the variation within the human population is bigger than between; humans are in fact therefore more homogenous that any other species. This view is shared by Jones (1991) who believes that what is meant by ‘race’, is in effect colour. He argues that classifying people leads to judging people which in turn leads to prejudice (cited in Haralambus and Holburn 2000).

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originally posted at: http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:V3qR_xZfxK8J:www.multiverse.ac.uk/attachments/18fb5447-4169-4249-889a-4f0a59f54344.doc+define+race&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Sex:

What determines its gender—in most cases—are its sex chromosomes: two X chromosomes in the nucleus of its original egg cell and it will become a female; a Y and an X chromosome and it will become a male.
originally posted at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/gender/determined.html

National origin:

The definition for national origin includes a person’s, or his ancestor’s, place of origin, or the fact that the individual has the characteristics of a particular

Geronimo was a prominent Native American leade...
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national origin group.
originally posted at: http://www.withylaw.com/distopic.htm

Ancestry:

Condition as to ancestors; ancestral lineage; hence, birth or honorable descent.
originally posted at: http://www.babylon.com/definition/ancestry/English

Age:

The length of time that one has existed; duration of life: 23 years of age; The time of life when a person becomes qualified to assume certain civil and personal rights and responsibilities, usually at 18 or 21 years; legal age: under age; of age; One of the stages of life: the age of adolescence; at an awkward age; The state of being old; old age: hair white with age.
originally posted at: http://www.answers.com/Age

Disability:

What the Act means by disability: The Acts defines a disabled person as “someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
originally posted at: http://www.nao.org.uk/careers_and_jobs/diversity/nao_disability_equality_scheme/definition_of_disability_-_the.aspx

Marital status:

A demographic parameter indicating a person’s status with respect to marriage, divorce, widowhood, singleness, etc.

Lesbian couple R...
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originally posted at: http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/marital%20status

Gender:

Gender has far reaching effects within some social settings for the individual. While ‘sex’ is the biological difference between male and female, gender is the social construction and the cultural role that society imposes upon the individual. (Abbot and Wallace 1997). The role of the individual, depending on their ‘race’ and gender and within their cultural and ethnic setting helps to establish their personal and social identity and so each have inherent common characteristics.
originally posted at: http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:V3qR_xZfxK8J:www.multiverse.ac.uk/attachments/18fb5447-4169-4249-889a-4f0a59f54344.doc+define+race&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Ethnicity:

In general, the Census Bureau defines ethnicity or origin as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person ‘s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.
originally posted at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/raceqandas.html

Religious:

Taylor et al (2002) define religion as a collective of individuals with a shared system of beliefs who adhere to a set of approved practices and activities while Hammer (1995) defines religion as a system of beliefs and practices that help the participants cope with life.This can often be at the heart of a people (cited in Taylor et al 2000). Dimensions often regarded as fundamental to a religion can shape the individual. Smart (1968) identifies seven common dimensions that religions share: Doctrinal, Mythological, Ethical, Ritual, Experiential, Social and Material. (cited in Bastide, 1987).
originally posted at: http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:V3qR_xZfxK8J:www.multiverse.ac.uk/attachments/18fb5447-4169-4249-889a-4f0a59f54344.doc+define+race&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Simply Religious
Image by Brian Auer via Flickr

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Who is Lilly Ledbetter, and what’s this law all about?

02/09/2009

(Just) Before we departed from Wednesday night’s Diversity class, Dr. Ebo asked us to do some research to answer the questions below on Lilly Ledbetter,

U.S. President Barac...

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and to define the key ideas in the case. He suggested that this would begin to help us find good resources with which to research current events, and so I have.

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Who is Lilly Ledbetter? Lilly Ledbetter was a GoodYear worker who sued the company for sexual discrimination when she discovered that she was not being paid equally compared to her male counterparts in the same positions. She won the case initially, and then it was overturned because she brought the case after she was no longer with the company and outside of the statute of limitations of 180 days.

What is the case about? It’s about equal pay for equal work and concerns this society’s differential vision of gender and worth.

What does the law signed by President Obama provide? It provides a heap of changes to existing laws, most notably the civil rights act, but very specifically, it says that while discriminatory paychecks continue at the company as a practice, the statute of limitations is extended for people like Ledbetter.

Sources:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:HR00011:@@@D&summ2=m&

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-1074.ZS.html

http://themiddleclass.org/bill/lilly-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-2007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilly_Ledbetter_Fair_Pay_Act

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