Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More

Investing attitudes: Buffett and bankers

Here's Warren Buffett;  to me he comes across as entirely genuine, and I like his 'minimum threshold' approach. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2013/06/17/n-warren-buffett-women-in-business-full.cnnmoney If he can get it, why not others?  The Tyrie report on banking behaviour includes (para 140) a conclusion that the absence of women on trading floors may have contributed to the grotesque excesses.  It makes good sense, but I'd like to see more evidence .   know there's been some research on testosterone levels, but I'd be more interested in empirical studies of decision-making - in banking or elsewhere.
Read More

Critical paths

The recent IPPR report, A Critical Path, is a level-headed and coolly-argued analysis of the options for the future of higher education in England.  It combines a coherent set of criteria for deciding where we should be going, a realistic acceptance of financial constraints and a set of rigorously worked through scenarios.  As a result, it's an excellent basis for constructive debate. I'm going to focus on one particular aspect (part-timers), but before  that I'd like simply to highlight a selection of the report's telling points.  It restates (albeit briefly) the case for universities to have civic and local responsibilities.  It brings into the argument the large amounts of tax relief (upwards…
Read More

Swedish skirt solution

My visit to Sweden earlier this week coincided with a great story from there, which made it into several newspapers.  12 male traindrivers were banned from wearing shorts, even in hot weather when their cabs are particularly badly ventilated.  So they turned up in skirts instead - and the company went along with this (it's not said how reluctantly) since to do otherwise would have been discrimination.  The original ban sounds nonsensical, but it's a nice solution.  ( I tried googling for an illustration for this post, but 'man and skirt' led me to adult only sites.) In discussion with a Swedish colleague I raised the question of why jobs are…
Read More

Noncogs

Noncogs is short for non-cognitive skills, and I've just been at an OECD meeting where my former colleague Koji Miyamoto is preparing for some longitudinal studies to  measure these in several different countries.  Noncogs are, obviously, distinguished from cognitive skills, both general ones such as reasoning and analytical skills and specific ones such as subject-related skills (mathematical, linguistic etc).  Noncogs include the capacity to concentrate on medium- or long-term goals, perseverance, the ability to deal with setbacks and the capacity to interact well with others. There is increasing evidence that in many contexts noncogs are as important as cogs, if not more so.  (We should always remember that the two categories are not watertight, and interact…
Read More

Bell Jars

My book group (all men) discussed Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last week.   I can't remember how we chose this - we alternate fiction and non-fiction, with a strict system for proposing options for our next session, and I think I must have missed the relevant session when BJ was chosen  - but it turned out to be one of our best discussions, partly because of our very varying attitudes to the book.  Some of us appreciated its style but didn't like the content (notably, as they saw it, her dislike of almost very character), some found it extraordinary in itself and doubly so given the author's own suicide, and others couldn't respond  to it at…
Read More

Counting them out….

COUNTING THEM IN AND OUT Elizabeth Blackwell was the world’s first trained and registered woman doctor.  This would in itself be a remarkable achievement, but when you add in the fact that she lost the sight of one eye in the early stages of her training (treating a baby infected with an infectious form of ophthalmia), and that she had to move between the US, England and France to attain her goal, it puts her into an altogether different league. I’ve been reading her story in Margaret Foster’s enthralling account of eight early pioneers of feminism, Significant Sisters.  One 0f the clever things about the book is the way Forster tells the individual…
Read More

Othello, qualifications and stereotypes

I went last week to the National Theatre's imaginative production of Othello.   It is set in modern times,  kicking off with Roderigo and Iago holding a cigarette conversation outside a pub.  The second half takes place  in Iraq or Afghanistan, with everyone in contemporary military garb, boots, camouflage gear and so on, and the scenes taking place in messrooms, sterile military offices and even washrooms and toilets.    It works very well, for the most part. That initial conversation takes us very swiftly into the plot.  It is immediately clear that Iago's resentment stems not just from being passed over for promotion to Othello's lieutenant, but from the fact that the position has been given…
Read More

An unusual glass ceiling

Here's a rather unusual story of someone hitting the glass ceiling, recounted to me recently by John himself.  No further comment needed.  But if anyone can point me to a good pictorial representation of the glass ceiling, I'd be really grateful. John was a miner in the Llynfi valley in South Wales.   After ten years of working with machinery he became a fitter, “a spanner being lighter than a shovel”.  Then he hit what he called a glass ceiling - an unusual application of the image, given firstly that he’s a man and secondly that he was working underground... Anyway, he applied for a job teaching first aid, at a…
Read More

The XX Factor

Alison Wolf’s new book, The XX  Factor, is jam-packed with juicy items, enough to keep book groups and academic seminars in discussion mode for many hours. The sub-title, ‘how working women are creating a new society’, is a little misleading.  Wolf focuses above all on women with top-end education.   They are an elite, though when they are all put together there are a lot of them.   She estimates these to be 15-20% of the population in most developed countries, amounting to some 70 million worldwide. They are educated at  universities with high reputations, and they have high career aspirations.  At the heart of the book is the argument that these…
Read More