friday five 4.7.17

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1. equal pay day: a wage gap fact check

In honor of Equal Pay Day earlier this week, here's a great article about the realities of the gender pay gap. A lot of people like to argue that it's a myth, and it's true that the "77 cents to the dollar" statistic can be misleading or reductive, but the truth is that it varies with age, ethnicity, and profession (also if you note the part about women doing mostly unpaid work after-hours).

2. we need more 'body farms' to figure out how corpses rot

Grotesquely fascinating and a worthwhile read. I had no idea that this was how we learned about decomposition; it seems like a very non-technical approach. And it's kind of wild that we still know so little about it.

3. 7 psychological concepts that explain the trump era of politics

This is insane. It's like that sports team mentality my uncle mentioned to me. It's crucial that we pay attention to these psychological triggers, because they affect us more than we know. Most of the people I know who are vocal about politics are pretty well-informed, so I think they should pay special attention to #2 (+ the importance of cognitive strain, etc.). Understanding these, and understanding how our opponents think, is a good exercise in empathy.

4. who owns hoop earrings?

Cultural appropriation is such a tricky subject. It's messy; it's often a grey area. I wrote a piece on this a while ago, on cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes (just...don't do it). But it's more difficult to pinpoint in fashion, because fashion is a form of art, which is, above all things, a form of appreciation. Is a jacket with a Chinese pattern hip, or an ugly reminder of our "Oriental" exoticism? And it's easy to dismiss it as "just fashion" but the point of the hoop earrings is that white women wear them as a trend statement, whereas black women are called "ghetto" or worse for wearing the same thing. While it's fun to put on a costume or a piece of clothing, it's nice to know that you can take it off at the end of the day and enjoy the privilege of not being a member of a marginalized group.

5. how uber uses dark patterns to game its drivers

Another reason to #DeleteUber. I think this last quote pretty much nails it:

But this approach matters particularly for Uber, because it is the figurehead of the entire gig economy, in which employees are part-time, on-demand labor and the “boss” is just an app. And in this space, the subtle sounds, graphics, and messages of that software aren’t just virtual filigree. They’re real labor practices that need to be scrutinized, as they would be with any other employer.

bonus because i love chopped23 posts about food network that'll crack you up

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