Friday, March 24, 2006

Implicit Association Tests.

Harvard University helps us figure out whether we are bigots or fair minded.

A small group of psychology professors offer a fascinating vanity excercise called the Implicit Association Tests, whereby the participant is tested for preferences of certain demographic groups over others by testing how they associate each with descriptive words and terms.

The Implicit Association Tests.

My results:

Slight preference for blacks over whites.
Slight automatic preference for dark skin over light skin.
Moderate automatic preference for thin people over fat people.
Strong automatic preference for other people over Arab-Muslims.
Your data suggest little or no association between European American and African American with Harmless Objects and Weapons.

Interesting considering about 85-90% of my friends are non-black, but when it comes to love interests I tend to stay black (although I am pretty much down for whatever :) and have been all over the map.)

The last one isn't so suprising because I am PRO GUN PRO GUN PRO GUN so I do not associate weapons with negative concepts, and therefore cannot choose one group to connect negatively with weapons.

Part of the evaluation algorythms, I am sure, has to do with the timing of the choices you make. Someone who is nervous about what he will pick will move slower when asked to take part of the test that mixes the words and the images or names than someone who has no hang-ups about the subject at hand. Very interesting stuff, to say the least.

There are some people I know - a lot of people - that I think should take these tests because they would be embarrassed at their results. THAT MEANS YOU!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I was right about Terry Schiavo

From the National Review, in an article discussing euthanasia:

The threat of euthanasia is already a reality for some American children. Haleigh Poutre, the 12-year-old Massachusetts girl severely beaten by her stepfather last fall, had spent only eight days in the hospital when her state custodians began fighting for the right to remove her ventilator and feeding tube. Doctors had diagnosed her condition as a persistent vegetative state, but Haleigh recovered before they could euthanize her.

Haleigh’s case reminds us that child euthanasia can happen in any nation that has lost respect for the intrinsic value of life and the inviolable dignity of the person. The chilling reality is that although our depraved indifference to the sanctity of human life may not be as advanced as Holland’s, we are moving in that direction. "

Not too long ago in an independent libertarian rag called the Bruin Standard (UCLA), I argued that the Terry Schiavo incident was about life first, and not law or liberty.

In actuality, I argued that Schiavo should have been left in the hands of her mother who cared for her in hopes that she would miraculously ressurect. It was best, I said, that we err on the side of life and not death.

What does little Haleigh think of her parents who tried to kill her by starvation while she was a vegetable, who wouldn't wait for her and would not hold out hope?

Pathetic. They should be starved for having no common sense or patience with their own damned daughter.

Friday, February 24, 2006

School Segregation in Full Effect

California schools are the most segragated public schools in America. What happened to the liberal "left coast"?

How lame.

Do I really care? No. I do not subscribe to the idea that non-white students need to be exposed to white students in order to get a good or decent education, although I do think that white kids that are raised up around nothing but white kids run a danger of being allowed to believe that the larger community is or should be homogenous - when, especially in California, it obviously is nowhere near homogenous.

I suspect that the definition of segregated means white versus non-white majority student populations, although the populations of non-white majority schools are not homogenous, when in Los Angeles there are many Latino and black students sharing facilities, as well as sizeable populations of Asians and Middle Easterners (Persians, Armenians, etc.).

If and when I have kids - private school, definitely, if I can afford it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Too beaucoup...

The mo-fro is just too beaucoup...

Also: I wrote a column for the Daily Bruin. I guess they agreed with me this time around.

Say a prayer for me during midterms.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jerky for you to chew upon.

From Reason Magazine:

"Anyone who has ever taken an undergraduate course in moral philosophy will remember the moral dilemma posed in the "trolley problem": You are standing next to a switch in a trolley track and you notice that a runaway trolley is about to hit a group of five people who are unaware of their danger. However, if you switch the track, the trolley will hit only one person. What do you do? Most undergraduates say that they would switch the track; after all, five lives are worth more than one.

In the second version of the problem, you are standing on a bridge over a trolley track beside a fat person. Again you notice that the runaway trolley is headed toward five unaware people. Do you push the fat person onto the track to stop the trolley? Notice the moral calculus is the same, one life to save five. But in this second version most undergraduates say that they would not push the fat stranger onto the track. (We will simply ignore the issue of whether or not you should jump onto the track to save the five people—that's for a graduate level moral philosophy seminar.) "

Very appealing, this Reason Magazine. I might have to subscribe. Actually on second thought I won't. Free online is probably just as good. Until they get a swimsuit issue like Sports Illustrated, I just might have to pass (yes, I do get SI in the mail).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Love is in the Air

"Will you be my Valentine Shanaynay?"

Well have a great Valentines Day. I caved in and got a few flowers for a lady friend, under duress of course.

Surely anyone who knows me can guess that I am not thrilled at the thought of a corporate sponsored celebration of love. But you can only swim upriver for so long. Even my parents ate the bait; their anniversary is February 14th.

So at least I can be thankful for three things today: no kids, no wife, and I am not a Mormon. They are really partying on Valentines Day, no doubt, in their own special little way...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Black History Month Makes Me Want to Jump off the Santa Monica Pier

So everyone is acting like they like black people again.

It must be February.

Black History Month makes me want to just jump off the Santa Monica pier and call it a day. Well, not really, suicide is for losers, but it is depressing nonetheless.

Blacks have no family coherence, no respect for each other and not nearly enough businesses, money or good sense to make up for the missing intangibles.

How is it that, as a group, we were more wealthy in the 1920's than now owning an estimated 45 times more land in 1900 than now(**edit: it's more like 15 or 20 times more**), or had stronger families in the 40's during Jim Crow than in the modern age?

I have my ideas why, but I won't fo too deep into them because it's such a downer (there are three converging influences 1)massive unmitigated, un-dealt-with collective anger and alienation/self-loathing 2)Marxist/jealousy-based attitude towards government and 3)liberal attitude about morals; the last two infect the entire country all too often amongst the poor, but the first is particularly bad for blacks). All I can say is that I will spend the rest of my life fighting socialists and collectivists and their subversive and seductive philosophy of decadance and entitlement.

At least we can be reminded of HOW NOT TO DO THINGS this time of year. Thanks, liberals! Oh, and for the record, I love being black and wouldn't change it for the world!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Watch out for "the Jazz Ambassadors" - your back, that is.

According to Variety, a new movie about Duke Ellington's Jazz band in Iraq in the 1960's is in the pipeline, and it looks good.

Morgan Freeman can usually get me into a movie theater, but this film looks like particularly saucy fare.

In the 1960's, the United States effectively precipitated revolution in Iraq, a geopolitical shift that was a direct cause of the rise of Saddam Hussein.

Duke Ellington's world-famous jazz band was branded a goodwill ambassador and sent to Iraq for a short tour, to help win over the hearts of the clammy-palmed aristocracy in Baghdad, and later, to provide court entertainment for our beloved Emperor Saddam Hussein.

According to this article, the CIA had planted spies in the band, and they participated in the coup of 1963. The film apparently will revolve around how privvy Ellington was - or rather, was not - to the subterfuge unfolding right under his nose, from within his beloved band.

If only I could get to the point where I am influential and important enough that the CIA is embedding spies in my posse and entangling me in world-shaking espionage without my consent. Would make things so much more interesting, so much more sexy.

Definitely putting it on the to-do list.

Other films to watch out for:
  • The Last King of Scotland - based on popular novel by Giles Foden.

  • Idlewild - musical starring rap duo Outkast, certainly not to be missed.

  • That should be enough free advertising for the movie industry for a while...

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Found this to be interesting.

    It occured to me a while ago that people are far more racist than they either realize or would admit in polite company.

    Blacks are racist in that they are hateful in an angry, vindictive way.

    Whites are racist in a condescending, intellectual way. Many white people also believe in myths of racial purity, but do not realize it.

    The other groups tend to either side with one of these two.

    Some are truly functional non-racists, though, although it is rarer than it should be I think.

    Very old, tired, irritating, the race thing.

    My top result for the selector,
    Racism Selector,
    is Colorblind

    Thursday, January 26, 2006

    Update on the Bruin Alumni Brouhaha

    UCLA's own conservative pugilist laureate Andrew Jone's organization, the Bruin Alumni Association, has attracted far more national attention than expected.

    Mr. Jones told me over the phone that one day not too long ago, he had to attend to over 20 interviews in a single day about the controversy.

    The Los Angeles Times has printed a response to the BAA's campaign on it's website. It is not clear whether or not this article was in print as well.

    Saree Makdisi, UCLA professor of literature, resoponds.

    At this point, I want to say that as someone who knows this man personally, the media might attempt to portray him as otherwise, but he is a man of integrity and conviction and not simply a caustic trouble-maker as some would have him seem.

    I do agree that many professors have a leftward tilt, but the real problem is, as I am now learning, is that many young people in school are not being exposed to the non-liberal side of things. Whether or not the BAA's methods are particularly effective or correct remains to be seen, I think.