Chamblee54

Clickbaitery

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on September 8, 2016

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Today’s adventure in clickbaitery began with a headline, Math is racist: How data is driving inequality. It seems to be a rule that you get the r-word into every title, whether it is justified or not. The story promotes a book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. “A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life — and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.”

The thesis of the book is that big data is running amok. “Denied a job because of a personality test? Too bad — the algorithm said you wouldn’t be a good fit. Charged a higher rate for a loan? Well, people in your zip code tend to be riskier borrowers. Received a harsher prison sentence? Here’s the thing: Your friends and family have criminal records too, so you’re likely to be a repeat offender.”

Is this racist? Maybe, and maybe not. Are records secretly coded with with an indication of the persons race? (With the Health Insurance Marketplace, this information is explicitly on the application.) Or, is race just a divide and conquer tactic? While America has a hissy fit about a second string quarterback sitting down, big data is making life tougher for the ninety nine percent.

“O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.” This sounds good on talk shows, but ultimately big data is going to continue doing what they do. With the Donald and Hillary show going full bore, there will be plenty of distraction.

The one star reviews at Amazon make their points. Aaron C. Brown skewers the book. His review is well written, but too long to quote here. “This book tackles an important subject on which the author had a lot of knowledge and expertise, and interesting incisive opinions. Unfortunately it is marred by appalling journalistic lapses, bad enough to taint not just author, but publisher as well. Crown Publishing Group should have done a little fact and reference checking.”

The other one star folks have the zesty quotes. “She claims to be a mathematician; she’s certainly not a logician.” ~ “Author clearly wasn’t payng attention is math class. The logic used in the book is contradictory at best, nonsensical at worst and racist all throughout.” ~ “Expected a nice educational read, got a book written by a SJW with an ax to grind.”

PG saw another race based article yesterday, It’s time to stop talking about racism with white people. It was written by Atlanta resident Zack Linly. Out of 1869 words, they appears 28 times, or 33 if you include they’re. (There is used 4 times, and their is used 12 times.)

The fifth sentence of this paragraph has two, of the three, homophones. “I understand that white people are mad. They’ve gone their whole lives being the default for social and cultural normalcy and never really had to think critically about race at all. Now a black first lady addresses the nation, and she talks about slavery. Now social media identifies and challenges their micro-aggressions. They’re getting the tint snatched off of their rose-colored glasses; that “Shining City on the Hill” they know as America is starting to lose some of its gloss. And they ain’t here for that — but we are.

The full article is available at the link. Here are a few more quotes.

“When Rachel Dolezal got her counterfeit black card snatched, we struck comedy gold for black meme-makers all over the web. The “Ask Rachel” hashtag was born, and scrolling through your Black Twitter feed became something like running a marathon, only the people on the sidelines were handing out little paper cups filled with white tears instead of regular drinking water.”

“When Beyoncé released the video for “Formation,” featuring a black kid in a hoodie, a “hands up, don’t shoot” banner and a sinking police car — then performed the song while paying homage to the Black Panther Party smack in the face of white America during the Super Bowl halftime show — she provided us with a bottomless open bar of white tears.”

“The fact is, we can fight systemic racism without white validation. We can continue shutting down bridges and highways every time there’s a new Alton Sterling, Philando Castile or Korryn Gaines in the news and let white folks complain about the intrusion on their lives.” (The names of citizens killed by other citizens are not said.)

As this feature is written, there are 3280 comments. scotpowell 6:29 AM EST “I bet this guy is fun at parties…..” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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