Friday, December 04, 2015

What I am reading 12/4/2015

Ars Technica - Authors side with Apple in e-book price-fixing Supreme Court appeal -
Apple picked up a major ally in its battle against the Justice Department's e-book price-fixing case against the gadget maker. The Authors Guild and several other writers groups told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Apple didn't illegally conspire with major publishers to fix and raise the prices of e-books, as an appeals court ruled. Instead, Apple enhanced competition, the guild claimed in a friend-of-the-court brief.
What can I say, between the Google Book Scanning Case and this, the authors guild has proven itself to be filled with scumbags.  On the plus side now I don't have to read any Ursula Le Guinn novels since she is on the wrong side of both cases.  (Don't think I am pro-Amazon just because I used to contract there.  I saw enough shady / stupid shit on their part to, they are just right in this case.)

Vox - "No exceptions": Women can now serve in all military combat roles -
...there will be "no exceptions" — all combat roles will be open to women 30 days from now, "as long as they qualify" and meet the same rigorous physical and training standards as men. Military services have until April 1 to accommodate women in all roles. Women will be able to drive tanks, fire mortars, lead infantry soldiers into combat, and serve as Green Berets.
Carter noted that assignments will still be made based on ability, not gender, and that equal opportunity still probably won't mean equal participation. He also said that average physical differences between men and women, while they don't apply to every man and woman, are a reality and may affect recruitment and retention.
And that is where this plan will fall down.  In general I am not opposed to the idea of women in combat units with two caveats, Good order and discipline has to be maintained.  I haven't seen any evidence of how they intend to accomplish that.  My personal experience is that one or two women in an overwhelmingly male unit ALWAYS has a corrosive effect.  The second is that standards be maintained, at this point the process has become so politically tainted that there is no way this will happen.  Mark my words within a few months someone will be suing to lower standards because they are keeping women out of combat jobs, and it will work because the service secretaries have now proven (Malbus by throwing out the Marine Corps study on mixed unit performance, without further study, Carter and others by telegraphing their intention to make this decision no matter what the trial programs showed.) so now they can't possibly defend maintaining current standards. 

I believe that women can probably perform well in artillery and armor units (belief only I have no data to support my contention.) so if it was me I would gender integrate some of those types of units.  Then I would establish gender segregated infantry platoons and gather 5 or 6 more years of data on how they perform and how they can be brought up to norms if they are underperforming.  At the end of this time I would make the decision on how to proceed.  This 30 day all or nothing approach will fail.

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