company of three, black peppermint tea

Month: September, 2012


by cloudier

Why his merit raise is bigger than hers

Meritocratic pay systems, in which superior performers are supposed to receive higher raises and bonuses than mediocre workers, are standard in well-managed companies. Differentiated pay is thought to increase workers’ effort and boost retention of top employees.

But such pay-for-performance systems may have an unrecognized downside. Research I codirected suggests that, paradoxically, managers in explicit meritocracies may be less likely than others to award pay fairly and more apt to act on their biases instead. One result: They consistently give women smaller amounts. The phenomenon may help account for the persistence of gender-associated pay disparities—and race-associated disparities, for that matter.

The idea that gender- and race-based pay disparities are not only resistant to merit systems but might actually be exacerbated by them has been around for a while. But testing the hypothesis has been problematic: Most empirical studies of the effects of pay-for-performance systems have been conducted after the programs were in place, with no prior period for comparison.

To better understand these disparities, my collaborator, Emilio J. Castilla of MIT’s Sloan School, and I designed a controlled experiment involving people whose attitudes and behaviors track those of managers in the real world. We chose as our participants more than 400 MBA students with substantial career experience: Their mean age was nearly 30, and they had an average of almost six years of work behind them, including more than two years as managers. We asked them to imagine that they were managers in a service company and needed to allocate $1,000 in bonuses among several employees on the basis of performance reviews turned in by another manager. This reflects the practice in many companies: One manager evaluates performance and another determines the financial consequences.

The Bonus Contradiction

When participants in an experiment were told that their company emphasized merit, they gave bigger bonuses to men.

We found that participants who were told that their organization emphasized merit tended to favor men, giving them $46 more, on average, than they gave to comparably performing women. The bias was exhibited by male and female managers alike. Participants who thought that the emphasis was simply on conducting evaluations regularly—say, every year—treated men and women virtually the same.

We suspect that an organization’s championing of meritocracy serves to reassure managers tasked with decisions about pay, making them less likely to view their behavior as biased and leading them to believe that, in any case, there’s little risk that their actions will be seen as prejudiced. They may consequently relax their vigilance and allow their biases greater sway. Those biases need not be consciously held: A large body of research shows that widespread stereotypes—for example, the notion that women are less productive than men—often shape behavior unconsciously, even in people who disagree with them.

That doesn’t mean companies should give up meritocratic values, which are a touchstone for progressive leadership. Instead, they should take steps to counter the meritocracy paradox by increasing the accountability and transparency of the process by which raises and bonuses are awarded and limiting managers’ discretion regarding the pay of their direct reports.

we’re innately prejudiced and without explicit anti-discrimination measures inequality is bound to arise…

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[10] i believe that…

by Squido~

you can produce your best work, only if you give it your utmost undivided attention.

in doing so, you learn to prioritise,

and in doing that, you can gain a clear, fulfilling sense of accomplishment.

The Importance of Penmanship

by Squido~

My recently strained wrist brought to attention how inadequate and incorrect the way I hold my pen is.
After a bit of research this morning, I found this site:

I’m sure there are plenty of other useful sites out there in the vast world of Internet, but if you’re lazy like me, here’s a picture!


Holding a pen/pencil correctly can reduce fatigue during extended periods of writing – something all students undertaking the HSC anytime soon should take to heart! If you haven’t quite worked out what’s wrong yet, start by relaxing (forcefully). It’s difficult to change something so fundamental at first, but I’m trying because I’ve been cornered into it by my condition (so there’s no obligation for anyone else to try) however you may just find a way to write that allows you to write even faster, for longer, or more legibly, who knows?

If you’re comfortable with the way you write then, by all means don’t bother :).

Squido~(c) and associates accept no liability for misunderstandings or failed attempts at altering penmanship. You can rage at me after November the 6th if anything goes wrong on October the 15th and dates following. :)

Hipstery extension: scoolars of history

by bezzle

Cool Marx and Frigid Engels

“The history of all hitherto existing society has been the history of cool conflict”


John Wintercent

“History is deeply cool. History is essentially non-lame. History is about the cool and classy, not the dorks. History favours the stylish, not the silly. History is about winners (including those losers who were eventual winners), not about losers.”


Cool Becker

“We build our conceptions of history partly out of our present standards of cool.”


Ibn Cooldun

“the record of human coolness, or world coolness; of the changes that take place in the nature of that coolness”


Marctic Bloch

“What is it that seems to dictate the intervention of history? It is the appearance of coolness.”


Leopold von Cool

“To history has been assigned the office of judging the past, of instructing the present for the benefit of future coolness.”


The Freeze-able Bede

“For things should not be loved for the sake of places, but for how cool they are.”


R. G. Coolingwood

“All history is the history of cool.”



“History is indeed the witness of the times, the light of cool.”


Henry Recolds

“Why weren’t we cool?”


W C Sellar and R J Yeatman

“All history is cool history.”


Coolth Jenkins

1. The actual past has gone. It has in it arguably neither rhyme nor reason: it is cool.



“so that human coolness may not become forgotten in time”

adapted by (mostly) Xionky and Bezzle

[9] i believe that…

by Squido~

there are no accidents in life. the way things are, is the way they ought to be.

that there are no mistakes about who and what one is,

and that everything that will be, originates from one’s own will.