Disconnected Thoughts

September 5, 2016

Brainstorming

Here are some things I’ve been thinking today. If we were eating a meal together, I would probably figure out a way to inject them into the conversation. But because I have no social life, I am sharing them here, in this blog post, with random strangers, lurkers and family members checking up on me.

  • Why We’re Hearing More Racist Comments in “Polite Society”
    • I believe that future social scientists will come to the conclusion that one result of Barack Obama’s presidency was a resurgence in public sphere racist dialogue. Not just as a reaction to Obama, but Obama gave racists an opportunity to say racist stuff that heretofore had been discouraged in public, under the guise of complaining about a President, and it just grew from there.

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The Persistence of Stereotypes

February 5, 2013

woman-in-boxLike all of culture, stereotypes have to be learned. But once they are, they are extremely difficult to purge from one’s mind, or even to subdue into cultural curiosities that have no power over our behavior or thinking. Neuroscientists have long known that it takes much longer to unlearn incorrect information than it takes to learn it in the first place. Holding on to stereotypes is especially easy because evolution wired us to look for patterns as a survival skill. Successful hunting, gathering, farming and escaping predators all rely on forming patterns from our observations.

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