Update 6 July.
As predicted below, a female has won the Field’s Medal.
And not only a female.
A Ukrainian female.
“vibrancy” said a judge. “Viazovska, who is based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), is the second woman ever to earn the award.”
You don’t say.
Sorry, can’t write clearer than that. Laughing too hard.
Original Post Below 6 June 2022
Since there are not as many black actors of quality as desired—the quotas are disproportional to the percent of blacks in the population—the consequence is that substandard movies meeting the quotas are over-praised, while better movies failing the quota test are ignored, or aren’t made (they can’t find funding, for instance).
The quotas are not only for blacks, but for other Victims, too. The effects are the same. The quotas, then, added to general wokeness and the cowardice that accompanies it, explains in part why movies grow worse and worse.
As I have said some thousand or so times, mandatory quotas always, absolutely always, lead to a reduction in standards. We see it in the Oscars, we see it in the military, we see it everywhere they are tried.
Here is a Nature headline: “Mathematics prizes have a gender problem — can it be fixed?”
The subheadline: “Female representation among mathematicians is improving. But the field’s most prestigious awards are still going almost exclusively to men.”
Why, exactly why, is it a problem to fix that the most prestigious awards “still” go almost exclusively to men? Notice very carefully it’s not mathematics—theorems are still theorems—that have a problem that needs fixing.
The historical evidence is that at the top levels of mathematical performance—the greatest discoveries, the best calculators and memorizers—there have always been more, and many more, men than women. This suggests either that men are better on average at advanced math than women, or that men have organized a spectacularly successful super secret campaign across centuries cultures and continents to…quash female mathematicians, and even eliminate the best ones so that they remain forever unknown or unrealized.
Well, the latter could have happened. I suppose. It is not logically impossible. Yet if I, a certified mathematician of a sort, were in this cabal, I certainly wouldn’t tell you about it. So if this secret society exists, you must admit these men have done their job beautifully.
Anyway, award quotas for female mathematicians are coming. And if you are guessing they will not be so gauche as to mandate hard quotas by name, as the Oscars did, then you are betting the wrong way.
[Men evincing superior award-eligible analytical performance is] a problem shared by many prestigious science awards. Some prize-giving organizations are making tentative attempts to increase diversity among nominees and in the prize committees that make the decisions — mirroring steps taken by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel prizes. But in a community that tends to work by consensus and is not accustomed to rapid change, researchers expect progress in mathematics to be frustratingly slow.
The “steps taken” to “fix” the “problem” aren’t enough, Equalitarians insist.
Although many scientific organizations have been vocal about the steps they are taking to encourage diversity, some mathematicians have been more reluctant. The mathematical community is especially keen on meritocracy and on avoiding the stigma associated with measures such as quotas.
There it is: the Q-word. But also the cheerful stubborn insistence by many mathematicians that performance, and not sexual desire or sex or race, should matter more.
Quota hounds will get around this in two ways. The first is to continue the shrieking. This almost always works, those in charge of us being inveterate fearful shivering intellectual yellow bellies (yellow brains?). The second workaround is announced in the sentences following the quote above:
But assessing merit is itself not an exact science, says Jess Wade, a materials scientist at Imperial College London who is known for running science-outreach projects aimed at improving diversity. “I truly believe that it’s a really lazy excuse to say ‘we’re just awarding excellence’.”
First the Q-word, then the necessary call, however muted, for a reduction in standards.
The Fields medal is “awarded every four years, has honoured only one woman since it was inaugurated in 1936.” The medal is conferred by the International Mathematical Union which, says Nature, “is pushing for better representation of women.” They are also taking “into account various geographic and gender-balance issues.”
I believe this year another Fields is due to be awarded. The odds of it being a woman have just gone up considerably. I don’t know if there’s a betting market on winners, but if you can find one, consider today’s article a hot tip.
If trends continue, it won’t be too many years before awards in science are like those in the arts and architecture; that is, excellent indicators of lack of quality.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.