The idea that this sort of hatespeech is at all normal needs to end now. The internet is public space, real space; it’s increasingly where we interact socially, do our work, organise our lives and engage with politics, and violence online is real violence. The hatred […] in public spaces online is reaching epidemic levels and it’s time to end the pretence that it’s either acceptable or inevitable.
Jason Richwine’s dissertation is an example of scientific racism - the use of science or social science to explain the inferiority of a racialized group. Scientific racism has no place in twenty-first century academia.
In 2009, Jason Richwine successfully defended a dissertation at Harvard University where he wrote that Hispanic immigrants have a substantially lower I.Q. than the white native-born population and that, because of the hereditary nature of I.Q., this fact should be taken into consideration when designing immigration policy. In May 2013, Richwine’s views became public as part of his role in writing an immigration policy report for the Heritage Foundation. …
As academics, we find it appalling that, in 2009, three professors at Harvard University were willing to guide and approve a dissertation in this academic tradition. There are two central problems with Richwine’s work that should not pass muster in any dissertation committee: 1) the argument that I.Q. scores are an indication of intelligence; and 2) the idea that I.Q. is a genetic trait. Both ideas have been discredited and both are linked to an unfortunate history of scientific racism. …
Dean Ellwood at Harvard Kennedy School takes the position that this dissertation is part of an academic debate. However, there is no academic debate on whether or not Hispanics as a group are less intelligent than native-born whites. There are debates on whether or not Hispanic is a pan-ethnic, ethnic, or racialized category. There are debates on how and whether or why we should measure intelligence. There are debates on the extent to which intelligence is a heritable trait. But, there are no debates on whether or not Latino immigrants have the intellectual caliber to be part of the United States. Those kinds of debates happen in nativist and white supremacist circles, which have no place in academia, which prizes arguments and debates based on valid constructs and scientific evidence.
academia has come so far, but still has so far to go(via feministsociology)
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions.
- Peggy McIntosh
“Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end, these problems.” (via passionmarionette)
Google executive Eric Schimdt discusses Google concerns which include ongoing improvements to search algorithms to use artificial intelligence to deliver ‘truth’ rather than distorted results caused by ‘Google-Bombing’ and misleading marketing. In response other talkers suggest that perhaps the algorithms are worryingly given power to establish truths. That conversation happens around minute 30.
I remember pitching this basic idea four years ago to Someone Prominent Who Decides What People Hear, and I remember him saying: the thing is, there is not really anyone besides you who will be interested in that.
Which is a reminder that when decisions were made entirely by humans, that wasn’t so great, either.
I don’t blame the search engines for not knowing what I meant — after all, my request is ambiguous and the search engines can’t read my mind. Where I do fault them is in not recognizing their own limitations. Rather than returning hundreds of millions of allegedly relevant results, the search engines should have the humility to admit that they aren’t sure what I want and to ask me to clarify my intent.
La seule différence que l’on peut relever concerne le contrôle des fonctions physiologiques de la reproduction. Les ovaires et les testicules, qui sont formés dès la huitième semaine de grossesse, produisent en effet une hormone différente chez le fœtus féminin et chez le fœtus masculin : respectivement la FSH (hormone folliculo-stimulante) et la testostérone. Il a été démontré que la testostérone produite pendant la vie fœtale influence une partie du cerveau, l’hypothalamus, qui va fonctionner différemment chez les filles et les garçons. A la puberté, des neurones vont ainsi s’activer chaque mois dans l’hypothalamus des jeunes filles pour déclencher l’ovulation. Une activité absente du cerveau masculin. En revanche, on ne trouve aucune différence entre les cerveaux des bébés filles et des bébés garçons concernant toutes les autres fonctions du cerveau, qu’elles soient cognitives – telles que l’intelligence, la mémoire, l’attention, le raisonnement – ou sensorielles, comme la vision ou l’audition. C’est ce qui se passe après la naissance qui compte le plus. Les interactions de l’enfant avec son environnement social, affectif, culturel vont en effet jouer un rôle majeur dans la construction du cerveau.
Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they have in the past, but they are also taking a variety of technical and non-technical steps to manage the privacy of that information.
Post-divorce, the Internet has become a personal minefield. There was the time shortly after the split when LinkedIn suggested I connect with my ex’s new boyfriend. There was a time when Facebook kept surfacing “remember this moment?” photos of me and my ex […].
Worst of all is Gmail, which has one of the most maddening “features” to confront anyone going through a breakup. Nearly every time I wrote an e-mail to friends this past year, Gmail oh-so-helpfully suggested I include my ex-wife in the e-mail. And you can’t turn this off. It still happens, despite my pleas to Google to make it optional. (Google obviously doesn’t employ enough divorcees.)
- Why connections on social networks are not neutral: Divorce in the Internet Era by Nathan Bransford (via F.Chee)
[S]ociological theories which are not borne out by empirical work are useless. They hardly deserve the status of theories.
Norbert Elias - The Court Society
Another quote from Elias that is going straight into the thesis.(via thepovertyoftheory)