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9:57 AM
@Keith Yes there is some risk that diverting efforts to reduce bias may make a search less likely to find the best candidate, but I think this is unlikely.
Hopefully searches are interviewing enough people that they are confident they have the best candidate.
The way I look at it is with unlimited resources you interview candidates until you are confident you have found the best candidate. If it is a male, you then want to make sure you were not biased.
To do this you do extra work and review and interview only the female candidates until you find the best female candidate. You then compare them head to head and take the best one two. In this case, the outcome is only different for the best male and best female candidates. It is hard to see the best male as being disadvantaged since he is not the best candidate.
To reduce extra work, you generally only interview the female candidate who is best on paper. If you want no extra work, you need to interview one less male candidate, but ideally you do a little extra work to make sure you are not biased.
If you chose to interview one less male candidate, the harm is related to the percentage of time that the Nth candidate on paper ends up being the best candidate. If N is large enough, and I think it generally is in academic searches, then that probability is tiny and hence there is little risk.
5 hours later…
2:55 PM
@EnthusiasticStudent I have dismissed a couple of your recent flags because I didn't think they required moderator action. Please take a look at:
Q: Flagging etiquette

StrongBadThis is a follow on to What's the difference between down-vote, vote to close and flag ? and a recent issue about moderator action: Answer that *is* an answer deleted by mod because "it does not provide an answer"?. I think flags should almost always be accompanied by down votes, comments, and wh...

In most cases mods are going to be reluctant to outright close a question unless it is really low quality and/or spam since the community can easily take care of it.
3:12 PM
@StrongBad I was thinking why my flags where dismissed that a notification from you appeared.
How can I see a review report of the flags?, like this one: academia.stackexchange.com/review/close/14500
3:39 PM
@EnthusiasticStudent Flags are different in that they are generally only reviewed by diamond moderators so there is no review report like with close votes.
You should only really flag things that require a diamond moderator to step in.
For example, comments that are too chatty require a diamond moderator to delete the comments because regular users cannot vote to delete comments.
Low quality questions generally do not need a mod to step in, unless the question is spam. In which case a mod can sometimes act quicker than the community, but in those cases down votes and votes to close will help in case the mods are slow.
Low quality answers can often be handled by down votes and votes to delete, but in some cases a flag is needed since we can convert it to a comment.
1 hour later…
4:47 PM
"The way I look at it is with unlimited resources you interview candidates until you are confident you have found the best candidate. If it is a male, you then want to make sure you were not biased."

That's ridiculous and sexist. Notice how you said nothing about "if it's a female..."
So if 100 men applied and only 10 women, and only 4 get interviews, you'd ensure that at least 1-2 women got interviewed...

At this point, I'm not sure you're interested in a reasonable discourse. You're actively saying you're sexist against males, but "that's okay because... uh, females".

There is no way for any reasonable logic to reach you nor anyone else with that sort of hypocritical, distorted belief system.
@StrongBad So the Nth degree of males that get harmed by your sexist suggestion is okay because they're not really important compared to the extreme minority that applied of females.
5:04 PM
@Keith I am saying if you are not the best candidate, then not getting an interview means you haven't been harmed.
5:39 PM
@StrongBad You don't know who the best candidate is, hence the interviewing process. But if you forcefully pick two candidates that aren't the best candidates solely because they have vaginas, then you just eliminated two candidates who should've been picked instead, who had an equal chance at the position.
@Keith but in the end only one person can be hurt.
I cannot recall a situation in which the lowest ranked individual going into the interviews ended up getting the offer and while we have limited resources to interview, I cannot ever recall leaving anyone off that had a chance of getting the job.
In other words we chose how many people to interview based on the assumption that if the highest rated person prior to the interviews totally bombs would the other person still have a chance with a stellar interview to get the job.
4 hours later…
10:08 PM
@StrongBad Thank you so much for your message.

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