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Wolfram¦Alpha, a bit racist?

 8:05 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I came across a blog which mentioned this, checkout the Synonym network on the site for the word dumb




 9:10 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I assume Wolfram Alpha is completely neutral and just reports the racist data it picks up.


 12:01 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Didn't take it serious either, assumed the post being in Foo might show that. Interesting find, I thought though.


 4:14 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you click on 'more' you get the words 'abate' and 'angle of dip'. Are they racist too?

I think most racism is caused by people looking for it. Maybe you should stop seeing a racist link when you see words like black and white.


 8:54 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think most racism is caused by people looking for it.

At one time London taxis were required by law to be painted black. They are still referred to as "black cabs".

A newspaper reference to a "black cab driver" once caused accusations of racism because of the supposedly gratuitous reference to ethnicity. Of course the reference was to the driver of a black cab not to a black driver of a cab which is how any Londoner not deliberately seeking to be offended read it.


 1:48 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)


The word "dumb" is a word that I believe in most cases is referring to some sort of living being, frequently a human. If the next step in a discussion or article or that path moves to "black' you can bet your sweet bippy a whole lot of folks will have racism pop in their minds. Folks that were not "looking for racism". Going from "dumb" which ain't about no shoe or magic marker or taxi to "black" is racist, plain and simple!

What really surprises me is the word "blond" wasn't on that funny chart down there at the bottom -- what was that called? Synonym network?

Nope, ain't nobody needin' to be looking for racism to make that connection. No siree! Just as plain as black and white!



 3:09 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

The word "dumb" is a word that I believe in most cases is referring to some sort of living being, frequently a human.

When I think of "dumb" I think of Don Diego de la Vega's valet Bernardo.


 8:59 pm on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

The word "dumb" is a word that I believe in most cases is referring to some sort of living being

Since inanimate objects can rarely be defined by any mental state, I believe you may have just proved yourself right. Well done.

Just as plain as black and white!

I'm choosing to be offended by this statement. You're clearly saying that everyone of black or white skin colour is plain, thus unremarkable.


 1:43 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)


Interesting point about folks being either remarkable or unremarkable. Food for thought, there.

Because it seems to me that either everyone is equally remarkable, or equally unremarkable. Now it is true that some folks have more talent in a given field, but that shouldn't make them any more remarkable than the next fella or gal whose talent is in another field. And everyone has some kind of special talent, even if it's not readily evident, even to themselves.

Still, interesting line of thought. Could take a lifetime to wrap one's head around that.

The "black and white" usage was just being clever with words. Or so I thought.

Never thought that expression I used referred to skin color. I always thought the full expression with "clear as" meant exactly that. I didn't know there was any relation to skin color. I'll have to run that through a few search engines or go to one of them college sites and see what I can see about the expression.

Some good study stuff there. Thank you.



 10:06 pm on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Never thought that expression I used referred to skin color

It doesn't. Never has, never will.

I just wanted to demonstrate that if someone is looking for racism, or other forms of political incorrectness, they will find it anywhere.

I really hope Habtom is still reading this thread....

I don't know exactly how that site generates it's data, but also on that map is the word 'mum'. I'm not going to choose to be offended at the fact that they are insulting my mother.

Dumb is synonymous to Dim. Dim is synonymous to black, but not as in the race, as in meaning there is no hope. e.g. A dim outlook on life. A black day.

People have shouted racism just because they see the word black, without even considering other meanings of the word. For them the word black is always about skin colour.

The sort of people who ban schoolkids from singing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. And insisting that a blackboard now be called a chalkboard incase anyone is offended.

I find the whole thing ridiculous.


 2:02 am on Sep 12, 2009 (gmt 0)


Too bad about "Baa Baa Black Sheep" because that was a good show. Or was the title of that just Black Sheep? That was a few years ago, wasn't it?

About whether this sort of thing is ridiculous, I tend to feel that such things like this thread help me to better understand how folks think and feel, so I suppose I pay attention to and study these types of threads so I can better understand folks.

I need to do that because I'm a bit dense and need help sometimes trying to understand my fellow human beings. I have an easier time understanding the animals in my area, except those bothersome raccoons I've been dealing with the past few weeks. I'm getting tired of their system of testing by chewing.



 3:06 pm on Sep 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing you're not from the UK. Here it's a childrens nursery rhyme:

Baa baa black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full!

etc etc...

Clearly nothing to do with race. But the political correctness regime in this country tried to have it changed to 'Baa baa rainbow sheep', in case it offended anybody.

We were also discouraged from flying the St. George cross (red cross on white background) during the football World Cup to show our support for England, incase we offended anybody.

UK businesses and educational institutions were banned from celebrating St. George's day, incase we offended anybody.

Since then, our politicians have asked for a day in which we can celebrate England, whilst carefully avoiding the fact we already have one.

So yes, when someone points a finger and cries 'racist', I usually find it a ridiculous cry for attention.


 4:10 pm on Sep 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

A number of years ago, I took a phone call from the PPS (personal private secretary) of a British government minister responsible for education.

The company I worked for then published materials for schools. I was editor across all of these products.

At that time we'd just published an information poster that provided advice relative to career options. Behind the text we used a stock photo depicting a school boy striking a pose. The pose showed that person in a moment of joy at having received their exam results. All well and good - or so you would think.

The reason for the call is that the minister's office had received a written complaint from a head teacher at a school. The letter accused us of fostering racism. How? On the grounds that the boy in the stock image was white.

As the complaint had been made in writing the minister was duly obligated to respond. The PPS was very apologetic and stressed that the department had to be seen to have investigated properly. Further, they had to respond to the complaint within a specified period of time.

Of course, the entire exercise was a complete waste of time for all involved, except, one imagines, for the person making the complaint - an interfering busybody who made an issue out of racism where none existed.



 3:53 pm on Sep 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Result - we now get stock images showing a disproportionate number of non-white people in any group which ends up as ammunition for the racists claiming that we are being "swamped".

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