I was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that the Santa Fe Institute became Woke.
— Santa Fe Institute (@sfiscience) February 1, 2019
The tweet reads:
You are more likely to help someone with a surname you recognize…just one way that “implicit #bias” shapes the landscape of #privilege & #access without us even knowing it.
A rude awakening from SFI External Prof Mahzarin Banaji of @Harvard, via @UCLA
“Thanks for helping me, Mr Same-Surname. But I just realized you might not have helped except you were my brother.”
“By gum, you’re right! I see the beginnings of a new scientific theory!”
“All bias must be eliminated. We will never have full Entropy — I mean Equality — else.”
Perhaps this tweet is the result of a rogue fat blue-haired intern and does not represent whatever passes for a human “resources” department at SFI, but let’s not count on that.
Anyway, the tweet did lead to an article in the Daily Bruin: “Harvard professor lectures at UCLA on implications of subconscious biases.” The picture accompanying the article says “Mahzarin Banaji, a professor and administrative chair at Harvard University, spoke at the California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA regarding how implicit biases affect the way society thinks and their implications.” Banaji, except for the hair color, resembles the Santa Fe tweeter I had in mind.
Her great discovery is that “People often want to help others when they have things in common with them.” Don’t giggle. This is science. A hushed awe is therefore appropriate.
She showed the audience an image of the brain with two areas highlighted. Banaji said that when people talk to those with similar political positions, the part of the brain that lights up when the person thinks of themselves becomes activated. However, when they interact with people with different political positions, a different part of the brain is activated. Banaji said this difference in brain activity is subconscious.
My sister got a Lite-Brite for Christmas one year, and she did about as much useful science with it as Banaji did with her (I’m presuming) fMRI.
John Lassetter, a fourth-year physics student, took an IAT and said he had not thought of implicit bias prior to taking the test.
“One thing I thought was helpful was the advice she gave on how to reduce one’s bias,” he said. “One way is to consume media that shows people in counter stereotypical roles.”
Well, Johnny, that’s pretty much any media these days, so you’re in luck.
What’s behind all this is the so-called Implicit Bias test. Which is not a test, but a crammed full Diversity-office load of them.
What concerns us are two things: why bother with “implicit” or “sub-conscious” bias, and the ever-expanding number of areas of “bias” Woke Science is discovering.
There can be masked bias, as when a Traditionalist is called in the HR office and asked “Do you want to be an ally to people who express enthusiasm for this new kind of sexual perversion?”
The Traditionalist, wanting to feed is family, feigns an appointment. But this is not the kind of bias that is supposedly being measure. This is occult bias, a bias that infects the host without the host knowing about it.
The idea there is occult bias is gnostic. I’ll have more to say about this later, when we come to the belief that there are “racists”, “anti-Semites”, “homophobes”, etc. It’s not that people make a “racist” remark, but somehow they are a “racist”. It is part of their ineradicable essence. I defer to next week, when I’ll offer many examples.
Meanwhile, take a look at how bad you are! If you’re a white man, you positively reek with bias.
Your biased against the disabled, religion (Islamophobia), gender-science, weight, age, Asians, “Native Americans”, gender-career, weapons, Muslims, race, sexuality, Presidents (yes, really), and skin tone.
“Did you say weapons, Briggs?”
I did, too. “This IAT requires the ability to recognize White and Black faces, and images of weapons or harmless objects.”
“Aha, so if I see a picture of a black guy wielding a ripe citrullus lanatus, since I’m white, I’m more likely to imagine he’s holding a deadly weapon than a summertime treat?”
You’re white, so you’re racist. You really have no choice.
“So true. I’ll bite on the Presidents. What gives?”
This gives: “This IAT requires the ability to recognize photos of Donald Trump and one or more previous presidents.”
I’m sure all Harvard graduates would be able to recognize Franklin Pierce on site.
“I don’t think they’d recognize anybody but Trump or Obama.”