Participants rated their sexual orientation on a 10-point scale, ranging from gay to straight. Then they took a computer-administered test designed to measure their implicit sexual orientation. In the test, the participants were shown images and words indicative of hetero- and homosexuality (pictures of same-sex and straight couples, words like “homosexual” and “gay”) and were asked to sort them into the appropriate category, gay or straight, as quickly as possible. The computer measured their reaction times.

The twist was that before each word and image appeared, the word “me” or “other” was flashed on the screen for 35 milliseconds — long enough for participants to subliminally process the word but short enough that they could not consciously see it. The theory here, known as semantic association, is that when “me” precedes words or images that reflect your sexual orientation (for example, heterosexual images for a straight person), you will sort these images into the correct category faster than when “me” precedes words or images that are incongruent with your sexual orientation (for example, homosexual images for a straight person). This technique, adapted from similar tests used to assess attitudes like subconscious racial bias, reliably distinguishes between self-identified straight individuals and those who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Using this methodology we identified a subgroup of participants who, despite self-identifying as highly straight, indicated some level of same-sex attraction (that is, they associated “me” with gay-related words and pictures faster than they associated “me” with straight-related words and pictures). Over 20 percent of self-described highly straight individuals showed this discrepancy.

Notably, these “discrepant” individuals were also significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects (also measured with the help of subliminal priming). Thus our research suggests that some who oppose homosexuality do tacitly harbor same-sex attraction.

from jtotheizzoe:

New study indicates homophobia is often a result of repressed homosexual feelings, validating what Freud posited in his concept of “reaction formation,” in which we lash out against others’ expressions of what we loathe in ourselves.

The above is via explore-blog, and it’s a long and fancy way of saying that (at least according to this study) homophobia is often associated with repressed homosexual feelings. This work will be appearing in the next issue of Journal of Stuff Everyone Knows But Couldn’t Quite Prove Until Now.

Fascinating. And yes, exactly what I suspected on two counts: more people are gay than self-identify as such, and our prevailing social homophobia attempts to perpetuate itself.

…and because it’s something I’ve long suspected, I require more proof before I’ll base any decisions on it. Let’s see where this research goes over the next decade or two.

(via jtotheizzoe)

mattkirkland:

Citizen Science!  You can volunteer to transcribe labels in a natural history museum, all from the comfort of your own chair.  There’s a great set of insects, as well as birds and pressed plant specimens.
Of course I’m disproportionately fond of coleoptera, but I think this is worth spending free time on just to see the photos of the beetle specimens.
Hat tip to @chris_radcliff for the link.

mattkirkland:

Citizen Science!  You can volunteer to transcribe labels in a natural history museum, all from the comfort of your own chair.  There’s a great set of insects, as well as birds and pressed plant specimens.

Of course I’m disproportionately fond of coleoptera, but I think this is worth spending free time on just to see the photos of the beetle specimens.

Hat tip to @chris_radcliff for the link.

effyeahnerdfighters:

Flags and Helpers

In which John talks about the bombing at the Boston Marathon while he drives to the dentist.

(via fishingboatproceeds)

from Ben Hatke’s Robot Comic #27:


Hey, Little Robot found his transformation! Don’t grow up too fast Little Robot!


I just discovered Ben Hatke’s excellent Zita the Spacegirl books, and then found this. My heart! It’s all melted!

from Ben Hatke’s Robot Comic #27:

Hey, Little Robot found his transformation! Don’t grow up too fast Little Robot!

I just discovered Ben Hatke’s excellent Zita the Spacegirl books, and then found this. My heart! It’s all melted!

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.

Fred Rogers

From the PBS page “Helping Children With Scary News”.

“Wool Mattresses Are the Best!”
(also from Deb. I’m glad she’s seeing the good side of sheep. :)

Wool Mattresses Are the Best!”

(also from Deb. I’m glad she’s seeing the good side of sheep. :)

It’s lamb season! (from Deb, a farmer in Napa, who can’t help but get tired of delivering and hand-feeding all these little guys)

It’s lamb season! (from Deb, a farmer in Napa, who can’t help but get tired of delivering and hand-feeding all these little guys)

mattkirkland:

This is what happens when a counterfeit jean factory has a bug in their label software.

Is it bad that I kinda want these?

mattkirkland:

This is what happens when a counterfeit jean factory has a bug in their label software.

Is it bad that I kinda want these?

Stop using skills and experience-based job descriptions that list so-called measurable criteria likes years of experience and some arbitrary list of skills and competencies. Instead require the hiring manager to define the job in terms of 6-8 measurable performance objectives. For example, rather than “Must have 5-7 years of international accounting experience, a CPA, and an MBA,” say “Implement the SAP international consolidations module in six months.”

Advice from Lou Adler, from Bill Gates and is HR/Recruiting Stuck in a Time Warp? (via Brad)

This is an intriguing idea; rather than guessing at the experiences an applicant would need to do the job, you list the functional goals of the job itself. Each goal can be turned into a question (“Would you be able to do this part of the job in the time required?”), and the answer to that question is what you evaluate when hiring.

This actually sounds like evaluating a contractor. Experience and skills come up, of course, but not as a list of buzzwords and numbers to match. They’re the answer to the question, “Can you do this thing we need?”

A potential side effect – beneficial, in my opinion – is that a performance review can take the same form as the interview, with the same list of questions. “Did you do this thing we needed?”