Tuesday, May 04, 2004

This is evil: Harvard have a set of tests to exam your inner prejudices. My results don't seem to mesh well with my assumed liberal tolerance [1]. So far I am:
  • Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for Young relative to Old. 28% [32%]

  • Your data suggest a slight association between science and Male relative to Female. 18% [47%]

  • Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for White People relative to Black People. 25% [29%]

  • Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for United States relative to United Kingdom. 23% [33%]

  • The results are based on this pattern. Statement. Percentage of population exhibiting similar level of bias [Percentage more biased]. Other than getting annoyed by the grammar [Your data suggests... surely?], I'm not really sure what the stats mean, as who makes up the population is not immediately apparent.

    [1] Ok, I know I'm not really all that tolerant, and can be pretty damn judgmental on occasion, but I try not to be. Anyway I'm not as bad as other people I know (handy get out clause that, except it is pretty meaningless).

    So what do I make of the results?
    Moderate young over old bias: well, I am young.

    Slight science = male bias: Whether this is a reflection of my experience or what I think it ought to be, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing the former. I would have said I always thought the perception of male science versus female arts was junk. Why do science and the arts have to be polar opposites?

    Moderate white over black bias: Um, I didn't mean to be. But the last time I got involved in debating racial prejudice [with one of the most judgmental people I have ever met, who happened to be an ardent Christian], I ended up counting out the non-white families I knew on the fingers (and thumb) of one hand. And that was including the newsagents. I grew up in Surrey, what do you expect? It's not intentional, it's just that there simply hasn't been the exposure required [University in Devon, hmm, that'll be multicultural, 2] to negate the bias.

    [2] Actually it was [ish], but you tend not to think of it like that. Hence me trying to describe a friend and after several minutes of describing his hair, piercings, the clothes he normally wears, what clubs he's in, his social life generally, that fact he's about yeigh-high, and various other details, finally saying, in a surprised tone, "oh yeah, he's from the Philippines". Which you can either take to demonstrate my ability to look beyond race, or more likely, me being bloody dappy.

    Which now sounds like me protesting too much. Oh well, any the tests aren't very good, and it's probably very easy to produce a spurious result (bear in mind, dyslexic with not the greatest left-right perception, and uncoordinated enough to use the wrong hand [3], with it. And you want me to read words rapidly, work out the meaning and sort them, whilst switching to looking at pictures in an unpredictable pattern? Oh good-oh!).

    [3] Putting my shoes on when I've got crossed legs. Now that's fun.

    Speaking of dubious results...
    Moderate US over UK preference. Holy Crap! This can't be right. Just because it's raining here, and I'm cold and worried about things, does not mean I'd prefer the USA. Do they think I'm mad - they have Texas there [4]. I blame the test, as one the icons of the UK was Blair. How on earth can you press "Pleasure - Blair - Joy" when there's words like "agony" floating round? They also had Bush, but when you select "Happy - Bush - Peace" it goes together because it's so blatantly ridiculous.

    [4] Hi BTW, to all the people from Texas who read this blog, especially that little cluster from Plano.

    Anyway, I'd better stop now before I start trying to speak American, which will only be as disastrous as yesterday's attempt at German.


    PS. Anyone got any idea what planet is quite bright in the sky, and has 3 or possibly 4 moons visible with binoculars? It's quite high in the sky, fairly bright (but not the big bright thing lower off to the northeast) and probably about due south at 9pm GMT. Seen with north as up, two of the moons where off to the right, one to the left [I think], and something round catching the sun over the penumbra [line of shadow].

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