Friday, January 19, 2007

I was just reading some of the posts on Malcolm Gladwell's blog. I read his book The Tipping Point for a marketing class last year and I have been reading his blog, periodically, since then. He seems to uncover the best studies and debates. I also like his crazy hair. His post Defining a Racist is interesting to me, not particularly because I agree or disagree with his definition, but because of the huge range of comments it provoked. (Some of them apparently quite ill-advised. Like the person who stood up for racist generalizations by pointing to a Wikipedia article about race-associated IQ discrepancies.) Seriously! Who are these crazy commenting people? Could some of them come and comment on my blog? Not the wikipedia-linking guy, but some of the others? Or would I have to post about serious issues first? Or would I have to write some bestselling books first? Sigh. It seems everyone wants Malcolm Gladwell to know whether they agree/disagree with him.

I then took the Harvard Implicit Association Test for race, which kind of stressed me out. Normally I like taking tests, but not when I am being timed. I was then going to take the Gender-Science/Liberal Arts one, but I have a strong anti-science bias and I was afraid the test might cause me to form a strong mental association, thus making me hate men as well.


Christopher said...

No good can come of that test! It just confirms all of your sneaking suspicions, which is a dangerous tool indeed. Oh Harvard, what were you thinking?

prolix said...

Actually, the test told me that I have no strong race bias either way. I was pleased about this (after all, we all like to congratulate ourselves on how non-racist we are), but then just now it occurred to me that MAYBE I just have a really easily programmable brain. Like, I have no attachment whatsoever to my beliefs, so it's easy for me to complete these types of tasks. I am an information mercenary.

prolix said...

You're right, though. Tests like this one give us information we probably do not want to know.