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After all, four decades of evidence has now shown that corporations in Europe as well as the US are evading the meritocratic hiring and promotion of women to top position — no matter how much "soft pressure" is put upon them.

But, when one considers the obstacles to achieving the meritocratic ideal, it does look as if a fairer world must be temporarily ordered.

If appropriate pubic policies were in place to help all women — whether CEOs or their children's caregivers — and all families, Sandberg would be no more newsworthy than any other highly capable person living in a more just society.

Psychologists at the University of Toronto found that viewing a fast-food logo for just a few milliseconds primes us to read 20 percent faster, even though reading has little to do with eating.

When women do break through to the summit of corporate power — as, for example, Sheryl Sandberg recently did at Facebook — they attract massive attention precisely because they remain the exception to the rule.

To accurately tell whether someone is sociable, studies show, we need at least a minute, preferably five.

When Dr. Gottman really wants to assess whether a couple will stay together, he invites them to his island retreat for a much longer evaluation; two days, not two seconds.

John Gottman, the marriage expert, explains that we quickly "thin slice" information reliably only after we ground such snap reactions in "thick sliced" long-term study.

Our ability to mute our hard-wired reactions by pausing is what differentiates us from animals: dogs can think about the future only intermittently or for a few minutes.

Quotas get action: they "open the way to equality and they break through the glass ceiling," according to Reding, a result seen in France and other countries with legally binding provisions on placing women in top business positions.

The Europe Union is now considering legislation to compel corporate boards to maintain a certain proportion of women — up to 60 percent.

But the one thing we know for sure is that with each advance in globalization and the I.T. revolution, the best jobs will require workers to have more and better education to make themselves above average.

In a world where average is officially over, there are many things we need to do to support employment, but nothing would be more important than passing some kind of G.I. Bill for the 21st century that ensures that every American has access to post-high school education.

As Davidson notes, "In the 10 years ending in 2009, U.S. factories shed workers so fast that they erased almost all the gains of the previous 70 years; roughly one out of every three manufacturing jobs — about 6 million in total — disappeared."

Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment.

In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle.

In an essay entitled "Making It in America", the author Adam Davidson relates a joke from cotton country about just how much a modern textile mill has been automated.

Davidson's article is one of a number of pieces that have recently appeared making the point that the reason we have such stubbornly high unemployment and declining middle-class incomes today is largely because of the big drop in demand because of the Great Recession, but it is also because of the advances in both globalization and the information technology revolution, which are more rapidly than ever replacing labor with machines or foreign worker.

The administration was in essence asserting that because it didn't want to carry out Congress's immigration wishes, no state should be allowed to do so either.

But if Congress wanted to prevent states from using their own resources to check immigration status, it could.

On the overturned provisions the majority held that the congress had deliberately "occupied the field" and Arizona had thus intruded on the federal's privileged powers.

That's because Congress has always envisioned joint federal-state immigration enforcement and explicitly encourages state officers to share information and cooperate with federal colleagues.

But on the more important matter of the Constitution, the decision was an 8-0 defeat for the Administration's effort to upset the balance of power between the federal government and the states.

The Constitutional principles that Washington alone has the power to "establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization" and that federal laws precede state laws are noncontroversial.

As so often, the past holds the key to the future: we have now identified enough of the long-term patterns shaping the history of the planet, and our species, to make evidence-based forecasts about the situations in which our descendants will find themselves.

Science and technology would cure all the ills of humanity, leading to lives of fulfillment and opportunity for all.

The potential evolution of today's technology, and its social consequences, is dazzlingly complicated, and it's perhaps best left to science fiction writers and futurologists to explore the many possibilities we can envisage.

In the past couple of weeks a quarrel has illustrated the value to advertisers of such fine-grained information: Should advertisers assume that people are happy to be tracked and sent behavioral ads? Or should they have explicit permission?

Take a broader look at our species' place in the universe, and it becomes clear that we have an excellent chance of surviving for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years.

Bob Liodice, the chief executive of the Association of National Advertisers, says consumers will be worse off if the industry cannot collect information about their preferences.