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Author Topic: racial bias vs foreign sounding and difficult to pronounce bias
LetterRip
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Looking at a classic paper that claimed racial bias when responding to resumes.

http://www.nber.org/papers/w9873

http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ321/orazem/bertrand_emily.pdf


They concluded that there was a bias against african americans that was based on race.

However, their methodology stinks, and if you look at their actual results. Some of the 'obviously black' names out perform the majority of the 'obviously white' names.

For instance Leroy and Ebony, I've only ever heard as names for an African American male and female respectively, yet Leroy outperformed almost all of the 'white' names, and Ebony performed roughly the same as the 'white' names.

If we look at other research, we see that the are two major factors related to names the 'foreignness' sounding of the name and the 'ease of pronunciation' (both length and obviousness of pronunciation).

Another factor is that none of the 'white' names are particularly white - most are extremely generic as to race; and the black names are simply foreign sounding - most are not those that would be specifically known to be black.

Thus this appears again where racism is being attributed where it either doesn't exist or plays a far smaller role than the researchers claim.

It would be nice to see this research redone, using common black names that are easily pronounced, and uncommon white names (French, Irish) that are difficult to pronounce - I bet the results would be the opposite.

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TomDavidson
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LR, your analysis of their methodology is faulty. Leroy and Ebony are both outliers, among the highest-valued of all "black" names, and still score below the highest "white" names; there is statistical significance in the results, which they've done you the favor of calculating. Moreover, the way they selected the names for "blackness" or "whiteness" is itself described in the study, and I must say that the names chosen align closely with my own anecdotal experience; I have never met a single black Neil, Geoffrey, Brett, Brendan, Greg, Matthew, or Brad (although I do know a couple black Todds and Jays), and the only selected "black" name that I've ever seen a white man carry is "Darnell."

Out of interest, why are you lately so invested in railing against perceptions of institutional racism? It's become your windmill of choice, and you've hurled yourself at it without your usual attention to detail.

Edited to add: it seems to me that your impression of names like "Brad" and "Jill" as "generic" and non-indicative of race, and names like "Tyrone" or "Latoya" as foreign-sounding, is actually an example of the cultural gulf the authors suggest exists.

[ September 09, 2015, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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LetterRip
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TomD,

Of the black female names - Aisha, Keisha, Tamika, Lakisha, Tanisha, Latoya, Kenya, Latonya, Ebony - I've heard of Ebony, although I've heard a variant of Latoya.

Of the black male names - Rasheed, Tremayne, Kareem, Darell, Tyrone, Hakim, Jamal, Leroy, Jermaine - I've probably heard all of them but Jermaine - I don't think any but Leroy, Tyrone, and Darell could be called common.

Note that none of them are in the top 100 most popular Black baby names. Also Jay is a common shortening of Jayden and Jaylen, both of which are commonly shortened to Jay are 2 of top 100 black baby boy names. So there is a good chance that the readers of resumes assumed Jay was black and not white.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_popular-african-american-names_10329236.bc

Also interestingly

quote:
“Freakonomics” authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner noted that “nearly 30 percent of the black girls are given a name that is unique among the names of every baby, white and black, born that year in California.”
http://www.salon.com/2008/08/25/creative_black_names/

TomD,

I said the 'white' names were generic, not 'black'.

Of the 'white female' names - Emily, Anne, Jill, Allison, Laurie, Sarah, Meredith, Carrie, Kristen - Only Emily, Anne, Jill, and Meredith strike me as 'not black'. Kristen, Carrie, Sarah, Laurie, Allison are all names that have no substantial ethnic bias and are common enough among African Americans that you wouldn't assume they were a 'white' person.

For the 'white male' names - Todd, Neil, Geoffrey, Brett, Brendan, Greg,
Matthew, Jay, Brad - the least popular ones Todd, Neil, Geoffrey are 'white'. Matthew is generic (any bible name is completely generic), Jay is very popular black name. Bradley (Brad) is a common black name.

As noted above the reason the names are foreign sounding is that there was a deliberate adoption of foreign names during the 60s.

quote:
Out of interest, why are you lately so invested in railing against perceptions of institutional racism?
Because if there isn't much in the way of institutional racism, and the cause is actually other factors - then you will fail miserably when you attempt to address the problem as if the cause were racism.

quote:
It's become your windmill of choice, and you've hurled yourself at it without your usual attention to detail.
I paid plenty of attention to detail. The 'outlier' black names were common black names that were readily identifiable as black, and we have very good evidence that foreign sounding and difficult to pronounce names are discriminated against regardless of race. Therefore, the study actually contradicts the hypothesis of racism and supports the preexisting data regarding foreign sounding/difficult to pronounce.
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cherrypoptart
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https://gma.yahoo.com/white-indiana-poet-passes-asian-american-published-165852590--abc-news-topstories.html?bcmt=comments-postbox

"There is a very short answer for my use of a nom de plume: after a poem of mine has been rejected a multitude of times under my real name, I put Yi-Fen's name on it and send it out again. As a strategy for 'placing' poems this has been quite successful for me," Hudson wrote in the contributors' notes section of "The Best American Poetry 2015."

--------------------------------------------

He certainly proved his point. I wonder what Donna Chang thinks about all this.

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LetterRip
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cherry,

literary pursuits have long had identity politics play a significant role in nomination and publication.

It has become rather embarrassing for some fields such as Science Fiction and Fantasy as relates to the Hugo Awards.

That said, your post is a bit off topic for this thread, which is more about bad methodology in research on racism.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I said the 'white' names were generic,
Associating "generic" with "stemming from the majorian faction" is a systemic bias. Even more so, when you can show, as you do here, that minority groups adopt them as generic faster than the majorian group adopts names from the respective minorities.

It's not that white names are actually generic- it's that whites have such a lock on culture that other races need to try to emulate them to minimize the effects of racial biases.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The 'outlier' black names were common black names that were readily identifiable as black, and we have very good evidence that foreign sounding and difficult to pronounce names are discriminated against regardless of race.
You think "Latoya" is difficult to pronounce? Or sounds foreign? How many non-American Latoyas do you know?

I think you're exposing exactly the sort of bias the authors were attempting to demonstrate, and arguing that this means your bias doesn't exist. The idea that "Leroy" is blacker than "Tyrone" and thus shouldn't demonstrate any better results than "Tyrone" is a little surprising to me on its face, personally -- your list of names that sound black or white to you is pretty far removed from my own experience, as I would be far more surprised to meet a white Tyrone than a white Leroy -- but the fact remains that Leroy is an outlier. Sometimes outliers happen. You can struggle to come up with reasons -- perhaps a larger than normal sample of people who got Leroy's resume were not themselves biased; perhaps "Leroy" sounds like a different sort of black name; perhaps pronunciation difficulties do indeed also have a moderate effect, even on a written resume, and we see that variation in the results here -- but that's why you then do mathematical analysis of the results themselves.

There is no way to look at the data and conclude that black names and white names are perceived equally. The authors actually bent over backwards to demonstrate how pervasively negative the perceptions of "black names" are, and do a pretty good job of it.

Now, you can argue that this negative perception stems from the perceived weirdness and foreignness of the names -- although I wonder whether people named Mordecai and Cayden have the same issues -- but that sort of makes their point.

[ September 10, 2015, 08:48 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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LetterRip
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Pyr,

generic as in wide use by all races, and thus not having a connotation of 'white'.

quote:
Even more so, when you can show, as you do here, that minority groups adopt them as generic faster than the majorian group adopts names from the respective minorities.
Names are usually based on being named after someone. A common name will have a large pool of individuals with that name and have a good chance of being adopted because there is a good chance of their being someone you respect with that name. A unique name has only one person that can earn respect for that name, and thus has almost zero chance of future adoption. Most of the 'black names' that are foreign sounding were given to the child as political/cultural statements and designed to be completely unique, and thus have little or no chance of being adopted by anyone other than the first person they were given to.

You completely misunderstand the dynamics and assert it must be racism. It is frustrating that you are a reasonably intelligent person, yet completely shut off your critical thinking ability when it comes to 'social justice' topics.

[ September 10, 2015, 09:01 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Most of the 'black names' that are foreign sounding were given to the child as political/cultural statements and designed to be completely unique, and thus have little or no chance of being adopted by anyone other than the first person they were given to.
You understand why this is not a criticism or observation that applies to this study, though, right?
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NobleHunter
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quote:
It has become rather embarrassing for some fields such as Science Fiction and Fantasy as relates to the Hugo Awards.

Um. No.

Such a thing has been alledged but the allegations have proven more embarrassing for the accusers than the Hugos.

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TomDavidson
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*nod* The Sad/Rabid Puppies managed to thoroughly embarrass themselves, I'm afraid.
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D.W.
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Maybe they should study if "special little snowflake" names for your child impair their opportunities later in life compared to more mainstream names?

While it seems unfair to judge someone based on their parents being non-conformists I am sure it happens. Once you get past any adolescent teasing periods, I wonder if having a common name in your professional career helps you. Is it easier for others to associate you with someone else positive they know with the shared name? Or does the opportunity for negative baggage surrounding a shared name out balance that?

Does having an "odd" name make you more memorable or just "odd"?

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scifibum
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Maybe it's a cultural bubble, but my kids are growing up with kids where weird names are so common they are no longer weird. If this is happening elsewhere in the US at the same time, it may be a generation that doesn't understand what we mean by odd names.

e.g. around here "Stryker" is not that weird a name. (White dad, black mom, in case you are wondering.)

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Maybe they should study if "special little snowflake" names for your child impair their opportunities later in life compared to more mainstream names?

While it seems unfair to judge someone based on their parents being non-conformists I am sure it happens. Once you get past any adolescent teasing periods, I wonder if having a common name in your professional career helps you. Is it easier for others to associate you with someone else positive they know with the shared name? Or does the opportunity for negative baggage surrounding a shared name out balance that?

Does having an "odd" name make you more memorable or just "odd"?

I'll see your "impair their opportunities" and raise you a "change the course of their entire lives."

I was joking with a friend the other day about baby names, and specifically about how naming your child certain things will affect them greatly. For instance there's the old joke that someone who names their child Jeeves is signing him up for a butling career. It's my belief that identity of self is such a sensitive area that any name at all will shape the person's psyche starting from the age they can learn their own name. Anything from the actual sounds of the letters to the cultural sense of the name will inform identity, and people will tend to adopt that which is identified with their name. It is often possible, for instance, to guess a person's name given a few choices, as one can observe a person and say "you're definitely not a Scott" or something like that. The results of these guesses can be surprisingly accurate.

Assigning a baby a name that is in use but has a certain sub-culture connotation will (I would wager) veer the child towards that. For instance a name like Love, Harmony, Summer, Dawn, and so forth seems to me guaranteed to edge a kid towards being in the hippy territory; whereas Alaric, Indigo, Lilith, Ursula, or Raven may be more in the Gothic territory. It's also important to consider that a parent who chooses such a name has likely got one foot (or both) in the door of that subculture, and this fact will obviously affect the child's development as well.

If a name really does affect development as a deep level then it will tend to follow that one's character will come to 'fit' the name. Others will not only respond to the cultural reference of the name itself but also to the implied character of the person with that name (under the expectation that the name can serve as a descriptor of the person to a narrow extent). Even if assuming something about something based on their name is on the spurious side, it seems ridiculous to assume one will have the same preconception of someone named Mary as compared to someone named Khaleesi.

So yes, I agree with D.W. that an unusual name will have a strong effect on the child, and when it comes to employment in a 'square' environment this will probably hurt. Then again it could be a benefit in other milieus, such as in the arts or in a company looking to do non-standard hiring. But I think that since most kids can be made to feel the odd man out when they have a strange name it certainly stands to reason that any child having a non-standard name will be more likely to have a childhood where they don't fit in as well as others. This can be a good thing, mind you, but in terms of vanilla employment it may in fact be a disadvantage.

[ September 10, 2015, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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NobleHunter
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quote:
Matthew is generic (any bible name is completely generic)
Not generic, just operating on a different axis. Matthew doesn't even get points for being trans-Abrahamic since it's after a gospel writer.
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D.W.
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Makes me want to listen to "A Boy Named Sue". [Smile]
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LetterRip
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DW,

interestingly a study on 'boys with girl names' has been done - it showed a significant increase in conduct problems around the 6th grade.

NobleHunter,

quote:
Such a thing has been alledged but the allegations have proven more embarrassing for the accusers than the Hugos.
As a science fiction fan I'd suggest that the SJWs have indeed ruined the Hugos.

Read the list of the hugos from 2014 and then the following blog post.

http://www.thehugoawards.org/2014/08/2014-hugo-award-winners/

http://geekfeminism.org/2014/08/17/the-hugo-awards/

It is very clear that nominations were not based on which were the best quality science fiction - which is what the Hugos have historically been about, but that gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation of the author and the non science fiction related content played a dominant and often exclusive role.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
As a science fiction fan I'd suggest that the SJWs have indeed ruined the Hugos.
God, are you a Puppy?
My Lord, man, please tell me that you're not a GamerGater, too.

For what it's worth, by the way, I think the 2014 winners were extremely good. Ancillary Justice is wonderful, Kowal's writing at the top of her game, etc. Which piece do you think on that list did not deserve to win?

[ September 10, 2015, 08:09 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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NobleHunter
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I wasn't aware the Hugo noms were selected by geekfeminism.org. Perhaps casting a wider net will give you better insight into why people nominated certain works.

I'd recommend consulting what Eric Flint and George RR Martin have written on the topic.

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D.W.
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What's a "Puppy" in this context?
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TomDavidson
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Google "Rabid Puppies Hugo." In general, they're butthurt and overwhelmingly male whiners.
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D.W.
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And another group is "butthurt" that a large enough group "gamed" a popularity contest? The internet sure is an interesting place...
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DJQuag
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http://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters/

That's a decent article on the matter. It allows the Puppies leaders to give their side of the story, even if it's obvious that the author of the piece doesn't care for them much.

I will say that I think they, or at least their message (vote based upon quality of writing rather then the race, gender, or orientation of the author) wouldn't have been greeted as harshly if the overall leader, Beale, wasn't such an obvious reactionary douchebag.

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D.W.
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While I enjoy a mindless sci-fi story, I always considered dressing up serious social issues (as the authors see them) in market friendly and interesting clothing to be the whole point of sci-fi and literary fiction in general.

I will say that I find "mindless" sci-fi more FUN than ham handed, cram it down your throat as if you were a driveling idiot, social message sci-fi. The only difference between a SJW using futurism or magic to bait and switch propaganda, and an insightful piece of sci-fi is talent.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And another group is "butthurt" that a large enough group "gamed" a popularity contest?
Well, here's the thing. The Hugos have for years been a relatively small award with a big reach. It's always been theoretically possible for charismatic authors to sway enough votes to get them a nom or a win, and certainly that's happened over the years.

What the Puppies did that was new was propose a slate, essentially a political party of author/candidates, that everyone wanting to "send a message" could pick. In this manner, they explicitly politicized the awards, since voters were not evaluating the quality of individual submissions in each category but rather, well, behaving like political voters. Most of us who've been voters for years found this disgusting and potentially very, very damaging to the Hugos -- both to their legitimacy but also to the spirit of the awards, which are generally quite collegial -- and as a result explicitly voted against the nominated slate of Puppies candidates in final voting, to let them know that we would not tolerate slate voting.

I am under no illusion that this is the message the Puppies will take from this, and am sure they'll continue putting forward slates in the future. Because they're tone-deaf, clueless, and stuffed full of slimy suck. But we can hope that at least some of the sensible, Sad ones realize that affiliating with Beale -- who many of the Sad Puppies aren't equipped to realize is really leading the movement -- and his Rabids is only going to hurt their souls.

Their ostensible message -- vote based upon the quality of the writing (which, I note, is what the Sad Puppies claim their message is, but a simple perusal of their discussions on this topic suggests several other messages that are rather more toxic) -- is not a message that needed a slate. The majority of Hugo voters, myself included, do exactly this. Not every book I vote for wins, but blaming "social justice warriors" for some of the works I don't like is no more sensible than blaming, say, right-wing lovers of military fiction -- by which I mean that in any particular category, there might be a lot of people who're happy to see a female protagonist or a particularly well-described tank and will consequently vote for a book with those traits. But, by and large, the better books tend to float to the top. The Hugo is no better a reliable predictor of "will I like this" than the Academy Awards; the difference is that it's a lot harder to make a lot of new Academy members and thus "game" the voting in any given year.

[ September 10, 2015, 10:05 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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DJQuag
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I'm not certain, but I think that the point of the Puppys was that substandard stories were getting votes only because the author was in some respect a minority, and they thought that was wrong.

I don't think that happens to nearly the extent that the rabids proclaim, but I also have little doubt that there are some that will vote for a nominee for reasons other then how good the story is. And to the extent that that does happen, I think it's wrong.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think that the point of the Puppys was that substandard stories were getting votes only because the author was in some respect a minority
Rather, they found it impossible to believe that someone might prefer the stories getting votes. Having read Torgersen and Correia and Beale and Wright, though, I can tell you that they were not slighted because they're writing from a white man's perspective. They're terrible. That's not to say that people can't like them -- I like Robert Asprin, who's also a pretty terrible writer, because I found him at a certain point in my life and find his stuff breezy and occasionally enjoyable, and that's sometimes all I want -- but there's never a point that someone might possibly have read something by John C. Wright and honestly thought, "Man, that deserves science fiction's highest literary award." Heck, back when Correia first thought up the Puppies, even he realized how incredibly improbable -- and inappropriate -- it would be for him to win an award for his schlock.
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NobleHunter
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Jim Butcher's Skin Game was nominated by the puppies and it certainly isn't terrible. It just isn't worthy of a Hugo. It's the Hugo Award for Best Novel, not for Novel that was Worth the Cover Price. Not to mention with that low a threshold for consideration, there'd be thirty books on the shortlist.
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D.W.
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Tom, I have the same issue with Ben Bova. I love the (to me at least) believable science behind his science fiction. His character writing I consider to be beyond terrible. His settings however I thoroughly enjoy. Kinda like watching a new movie in 3D with amazing special effects and awful acting. [Smile]
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LetterRip
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First I'm a fairly non active science fiction fan. I've never voted in the Hugos and have no intention of doing so.

That said, it is clear that a simple reading of what writings won and were nominated for the 2014 hugos that the primary criteria was gender/ethnicity/sexual orientation (either of the writer or of the content) and the writing played at best a secondary role.

Unfortunately the Sad Puppies and the Rapid Puppies were a very poor approach to try and deal with that problem.

The Sad Puppies - the 'leader' tried to use it to push his own book for nomination. Also they were rather tone deaf, they should have found a spokesperson who wouldn't seem like it was just sour grapes (which appears they are doing since a female author will be taking over for next year).

The Rabid Puppies - the leader was just a Libertarian ass, whos primary goal appeared to be trolling.

Just because the leadership of the groups who highlighted the problem were poor choices of spokesperson doesn't mean that their complaint was wrong.

DJQuang,

quote:
I'm not certain, but I think that the point of the Puppys was that substandard stories were getting votes only because the author was in some respect a minority, and they thought that was wrong.
Yep.

quote:
I don't think that happens to nearly the extent that the rabids proclaim, but I also have little doubt that there are some that will vote for a nominee for reasons other then how good the story is. And to the extent that that does happen, I think it's wrong.
Agreed.

TomD,

quote:
Rather, they found it impossible to believe that someone might prefer the stories getting votes.
The stuff that got votes was definitely not deserving by any reasonable metric.

quote:
Having read Torgersen and Correia and Beale and Wright, though, I can tell you that they were not slighted because they're writing from a white man's perspective. They're terrible.
I haven't read their material, so don't know if they were slighted or not, but it wouldn't surprise me if you were correct - the fact that they are terrible, doesn't mean that the material that received the votes were deserving - they clearly were not.

TomD,

quote:
What the Puppies did that was new was propose a slate, essentially a political party of author/candidates, that everyone wanting to "send a message" could pick. In this manner, they explicitly politicized the awards
It is misleading to claim they politicized the awards when they were already politicized by the social justice activists.

quote:
Most of us who've been voters for years found this disgusting and potentially very, very damaging to the Hugos -- both to their legitimacy but also to the spirit of the awards, which are generally quite collegial -- and as a result explicitly voted against the nominated slate of Puppies candidates in final voting, to let them know that we would not tolerate slate voting.
I didn't care for their approach, but the 'burn the house' down approach of the social activists should not be tolerated either; nor should the gaming that has occurred by the social activists.

quote:
vote based upon the quality of the writing [...] The majority of Hugo voters, myself included, do exactly this. Not every book I vote for wins, but blaming "social justice warriors" for some of the works I don't like is no more sensible than blaming, say, right-wing lovers of military fiction -- by which I mean that in any particular category, there might be a lot of people who're happy to see a female protagonist or a particularly well-described tank and will consequently vote for a book with those traits.
It doesn't matter how the 'majority' of hugo voters act, if the large enough block coordinates. The larger the ballot of options the fewer individuals that need to coordinate to rig the results.

quote:
But, by and large, the better books tend to float to the top. The Hugo is no better a reliable predictor of "will I like this" than the Academy Awards
For fans of science fiction it was historically a quite good predictor.

quote:
; the difference is that it's a lot harder to make a lot of new Academy members and thus "game" the voting in any given year.
In this case, the Hugo is trivial to game, and it was gamed, for a number of years. The 'puppies' movement was the wrong way to deal with it, but it doesn't make their observation wrong.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
For fans of science fiction it was historically a quite good predictor.
Do you think it is no longer a good predictor? Or do you think that, for example, people who like Ancillary Justice cannot be fans of science fiction?

quote:
That said, it is clear that a simple reading of what writings won and were nominated for the 2014 hugos that the primary criteria was gender/ethnicity/sexual orientation (either of the writer or of the content) and the writing played at best a secondary role.
Bull. When you say it is "clear," please explain why. What "reasonable metric" are you using to reach this conclusion? What stories should have won?

quote:
the 'burn the house' down approach of the social activists should not be tolerated either
By "social activists," you mean "people who give a damn about the integrity of the Hugos?" Because I know quite a few conservatives who voted against the Puppies' noms in final voting, precisely to take a stand against slate voting. The Puppies, as people who simply haven't given a damn about science fiction or the Hugos until some bastards politicized them, don't seem to understand just how opposed most Hugo voters are to exactly the kind of vote manipulation the Puppies insist was going on, and which they did themselves. Because the Puppies don't find it odious -- as evidence, consider the fact that they did it themselves -- they think it must have been endemic. But speaking as someone who is an active member, it wasn't a thing until they did it.

quote:
it was gamed, for a number of years
Again, bull. Which books do you think were the result of "gaming" the system?

[ September 11, 2015, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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scifibum
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You know, just because you don't think the inclusion of a social message makes the book better doesn't mean that the same thing is true for others. You may disagree, but if people are honestly voting for what they like best, that's fair. That a chunk of people like fiction that you don't like for reasons you don't agree with and happen to vote the same? Not gaming the system.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
You completely misunderstand the dynamics and assert it must be racism. It is frustrating that you are a reasonably intelligent person, yet completely shut off your critical thinking ability when it comes to 'social justice' topics.

You refusal to look at more than the surface veneer or ask why our how something came to be is now a fault in my critical thinking skills.

How many of these "generic" names originated in Europe or from Judeo-Christian roots? How many from outside those bastions effectively white influence? You even note that contemporary black culture normalizes inventing names, but then assert the dominance of an assumption that it is "normal" to expect that people will pick names to echo those familiar to white, Christian people.

You seem to be completely unwilling to question the normalcy of current cultural artifact associated with the majority, even as you note cultural alternatives which could as easily define that normal of they had happened to stem from the majority.

The more you trey to deny racism the more you showcase exactly how our state of white supremacy perpetuates it.

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LetterRip
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Pyr,

quote:
You refusal to look at more than the surface veneer or ask why our how something came to be is now a fault in my critical thinking skills.
That is hilarious - you almost exclusively rely on surface interpretations, and then when I dig into the research and show that the surface appearance is wrong you ignore the research.

quote:
How many of these "generic" names originated in Europe or from Judeo-Christian roots? How many from outside those bastions effectively white influence? You even note that contemporary black culture normalizes inventing names, but then assert the dominance of an assumption that it is "normal" to expect that people will pick names to echo those familiar to white, Christian people.
The human brain normalizes the familiar and is biased against the unfamiliar. African Americans, Native Indians, Hispanics, and Europeans will be biased against unfamiliar and foreign sounding names. There is no bias against widely used exclusively african american associated names -therefore there isn't a 'racial' bias and thus no racism.

You have a very confused understanding of what the word racism means. If some members of a minority adopts a practice, and it has negative repercussions to those members - it is not racism. It is only racism if the negative repercussions are due to them being a racial minority or due to the practice being associated with the racial minority.

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TomDavidson
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Would you be more confortable blaming it on xenophobia than on racism, based on your terminology?
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kmbboots
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How are they, practically, any different?
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TomDavidson
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I don't think they are, necessarily, but I see small distinctions. Clearly LR thinks it's a big deal, though.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I don't think they are, necessarily, but I see small distinctions. Clearly LR thinks it's a big deal, though.

It is a big deal. If all humans tend towards xenophobia by nature then this can be accounted for in education and outlook. If, however, one paints a picture of racism specifically originating from white people (or their culture) and specifically targeting black people then what you're potentially looking at is directed racism; there is something about that specific group that white people are picking on or sidelining; it becomes personal in a greater cultural sense. If all people are xenophobes then all people need to be educated away from this, including those who happen to lack political power. After all, the goal is to make people a brotherhood, not to merely remove the tools the dominant class has over the weaker class. If xenophobia isn't the issue but one particular culture is (e.g. white culture) then minorities can be left out of the educational discussion and the majority of the education can be aimed at the 'oppressors.'

I'm not saying there is no racism, but I think LR has a point that confusing racism for something else that may have a similar result is a mistake with negative repercussions. An example of a negative repercussion for this confusion could be creating a specific race-relations problem where previously there was a general xenophobia problem. Now you'll have both and will have solved nothing.

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LetterRip
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TomD,

it isn't xenophobia - it is familiarity bias - not foreign as in 'foreign country' but foreign as in 'unfamiliar'. Of course many names from foreign countries will also be unfamiliar.

Fenring,

quote:
I'm not saying there is no racism, but I think LR has a point that confusing racism for something else that may have a similar result is a mistake with negative repercussions. An example of a negative repercussion for this confusion could be creating a specific race-relations problem where previously there was a general xenophobia problem. Now you'll have both and will have solved nothing.
yes that is exactly my point.
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kmbboots
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What is the difference between familiarity bias and xenophobia?
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