Sunday, February 21, 2016

Who should be hired ? Emotion vs. Logic

When conclusions and decisions are made based on emotion or rhetoric, they can contradict our basic definition of fairness, of right and wrong.

There have been an ongoing debate about fair representation of minorities in tech industry. The main argument or demand, especially from community leaders like Jesse Jackson, is that the workforce should be representative of the overall population.

Google's tech force is 60% White, 34% Asian, 3% Black or Hispanic. Facebook's employee racial profile is 57% white, 34% Asian, 4% Hispanic and 2% Black. Comparatively, according to the latest US Census data, non-Hispanic whites account for 63 percent of the total population, Hispanic or Latino people make up 17 percent, Black or African-American people account for 13 percent, and Asians make up 5 percent.

If we look at racial composition of NBA in 2015: it was composed of 74.4 percent black players, 23.3 percent white players, 1.8 percent Latinos, and 0.2 percent Asian. A similar picture is in NFL - African-American players currently comprise 67.3% of the league’s players. The remaining racial breakdown of NFL players is: 31% Caucasian, 0.7% Asian/Pacific Islander, 0.6% Latinos and 2% International and Other. Nobody says that racial representation of these professional leagues are not reflective of the society!!

Asian Americans's percentage in the two major tech companies is nearly 7 times its percentage in general population, African American' athletes are super majority in professional basketball and football with percentage over 5 ~ 6  times their percentage in general population.

Are there anything wrong for either scenarios? No.

These numbers in fact showed that the system of equal opportunity employment works. Equal opportunity means a leveled playing field, no discrimination based on race, gender, country of origin....., most qualified candidates win. Certain races got "over represented" while other races got "under represented" because of the talent pools, not because of their races.

The demand for proportional representation is against the principle of equal opportunity, it is against the foundation of our economy - free enterprise. The right questions should be  - are the right criteria established for a job? Does the most qualified person get the job?

The same logic applies to criminal justice - the outcry that certain minority is unproportionally  incarcerated has no merit. The question should be - are the laws applied correctly and fairly?

Recently in the Democratic Primary debate sponsored by PBS - Bernie Sander was asked if he’s worried about thwarting Clinton who could become the first female president. On national stage, the moderators, supposedly the elite in the field of the politics, raised a question that is anti-democracy, anti equal opportunity!! Earlier another "political elite" and Clinton supporter, former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, proclaimed that women who don't vote for Clinton will go to hell.  When emotions are high - these elites forgot about the very fundamentals of democracy, the very fundamental of equal opportunity, they just want their candidate win. 

Emotion is paramount for devotion and participation, but the conclusions should be reached based on principles and logic.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hidden Canyon at Zion

Zion has 4 dangerous and thrilling trails marked as "steep cliff" with long drop offs. The most famous of these 4 is the Angels Landing. We did not attempt Angels Landing due to very icy condition. We did hike two of the 4 trails  - observation point and hidden canyon trails. 

We hiked on the hidden canyon trail on the last day of our stay at Zion. We started on hidden canyon trail close to 10am. There were no body on the hidden canyon trail, we moved forward carefully.Blue sky, white snow, red rock, high mountains, and crispy cold air, it was perfect for hiking and enjoying the scenery. On the last portion of the trail, a U shaped trail, that hugs  the face of a nearly vertical cliff,  led to the mouth of the hidden canyon. We had to hold on to the chains on the wall of the cliff to prevent falling into abyss! This danger added excitement and adrenaline to all of us. I was a bit scared and Lily had no problem - in fact she took most pictures during the hike to record our adventure! 

When we got to the mouth of hidden canyon, a young man came out  - we were not the first to hike on hidden canyon trail that day as I thought earlier. We chatted with him briefly. He left, we had the place to ourselves again. Justin and Nicolas played with icicles which Justin from cliff edge, a bit, and we explored the hidden canyon for about half an hour before hiking back.

To truly immerse in the quiet, beautiful nature,  without disturbance, we need to have the place to ourselves only (hint - go out early!). We had many such immersions, they were always tremendously satisfying.

The hidden canyon trail and observation point trail share the trail head and initial quarter mile

It looks dangerous but it is not the most dangerous part of the trail

She had no fear of height

The portion with trial with chain - right hand side is vertical several hundred feet down
played with icicles and posed for a picture 

mouth of Hidden Canyon

Formation on the Cliff wall of hidden canyon

View of the Sky from Hidden Canyon