Continuing the discussion from Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda:
That works if we are selecting people at random from the population but we aren’t.
We are selecting people who are fit to be judges, and we are determining that using a metric that is prejudiced against #s.
Sorry, I didn’t make it clear, I was assuming a metric that was not prejudiced for the #'s and @'s
So larger sets chosen at random will expect to have a “best” that is better than the best of a smaller group.
But what happens if we have a biased metric applies to a repeated filtration ?
That might be taken as a first approximation to careers where there are successive levels of promotion, such as judges.
That quickly leads to the outcome of fewer women in senior roles, but who are on average better than the men. This accords with some observed groups.
However this assumes that women don’t know what is going on and have no alternatives in which situations the model sort of works.
But if women are informed and have alternatives, what does a rational woman do ?
They choose lines of work where they believe the bias is less and we observe that (for instance) there are a lot more women in senior sales where the evaluation is usually a lot more objective and where if you bias against women they will sell for someone else.
By losing smart women, this serves to reduce the average quality of women in systems where there is bias. This is part of a general principle that bias costs you money since most organisations success is driven by the quality of people in it.
But does that explain defective women like Butler Sloss in senior positions ?
To me it doesn’t.
Of course it could just be an effect of the randomness you get in any system where over time a number of people make decisions with imperfect information and many biases, not just sex. For instance why does she style herself “Butler-Sloss” ? Sadly the inbred bottom tier aristos that still pervade parts of the legal system like hyphenated names. Also she is he beneficiary of diffuse nepotism because of her family connections. She also was quite pretty when young, which is important to factor in. Some people will think a pretty woman to be less intelligent, some men would like to have a pretty woman to work with, so what we have here is random bias, there are a lot of factors like that.
So what happens if an organisation tries to achieve “diversity” after literally centuries of bias.
Given a smaller pool of women who are on average better than the men, we reverse the polarity.
Ironically, the more biased we have been in the past, the better the women we will be able to promote, since they will have been filtered harder.
However bias in the UK legal profession has been sloppy and occasionally half hearted, so the amount that women are better than men is not as much as the decision makers might like.
Let us posit a “good enough” boundary for promotion…
The effect of bias will have been to increase the % of women above that boundary and decrease the % of men.
If (as is the case with judges and many other types of outfit) we take the best woman and promote her, the remainder are a little bit less good on average. However since the pool is smaller, the rate of decrease is higher since taking 1 out of 10 women has a bigger effect than taking 1 out of 50 men.
So we more quickly hit the the boundary of “good enough” and have to make a decision.
Given that “good enough” is an objective metric and we actively want women, what do we do when we have a woman who is below this line and must choose her for promotion or a man who is above it ?
Be clear this is not a general case, you may have many women good enough, but when dealing with senior roles, the number of possible people is necessarily small and in the case of senior judiciary smaller than most.
Does our desire for competence outweigh our desire for diversity ?