Social psychologist Michelle Hebl of Rice University once conducted an interesting experiment that helps explain the phenomenon. Hebl had volunteers evaluate a mock job applicant. Some volunteers saw the applicant sitting in a waiting room next to an overweight person, while others saw the applicant in the waiting room sitting next to a person of average weight. A variety of experiments have shown that overweight people suffer from discrimination; what Hebl wanted to find out was whether strangers in the vicinity of overweight people would share in such approbation.
Remarkably, Hebl found that volunteers rated job applicants more negatively when they had been seen seated next to an overweight person than when they were seen seated next to an average weight person. The volunteers had no idea that they were showing not only a prejudice against fat people but also a bias against people who were merely in proximity to overweight people.
I don’t think the Obama/Wright comparison is a necessarily valid extension of the study. However, I do think the study is an invitation to examine our own perceptions of others in order to make them conscious. Earlier today I linked a picture of billboard defacement in vancouver. These are the sorts of advertisements that lead us to internalize hate. Once I’m aware of this phenomena is much easier to accept and practice the idea that a persons weight has ABSOLUTELY ZERO effect on a persons worth as a human being.
I find the study highly interesting because it’s an example of how good business practice is overshadowed by prejudice. If you’re hiring a new employee you want the best person and you really shouldn’t pay attention to the subconscious perceptions about their weight.
Khadr’s case has been on track to be one of the first to trial at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba. Khadr, the son of an alleged al Qaeda financier, is accused of throwing a grenade that fatally wounded a U.S. Special Forces soldier.
Military prosecutors had been pressing Brownback to set a trial date, but he has repeatedly directed them first to satisfy defense requests for access to potential evidence. At a hearing earlier this month, he threatened to suspend the proceedings altogether unless the detention center provided records of Khadr’s confinement.
“They say in the stock market … buy stock in a business that’s so good that an idiot can run it because sooner or later one will. Well, the United States is a little like that. We can take a little mis-management from time to time.”
A lot of people are coming out of the woodwork to support Obama right now but only because it’s so painfully obvious that he’s going to win the democratic primary. For the record, that’s not really support. When John Edwards says Obama “is a candidate he can believe in”, it’s because he would have trumpeted the same empty bullshit about Clinton if she was winning.
A customs officer hid a package of the banned substance in a side pocket of a randomly chosen suitcase in order to test airport security. Sniffer dogs failed to detect the cannabis and the officer could not remember which bag he had put it in. Anyone finding the package has been asked to contact customs officials.
44-year-old man presented to his local emergency department wearing a baseball cap and complaining of headaches that had progressively worsened over the preceding 11 weeks. After we provided generous analgesia and performed simple investigations that failed to identify a diagnosis, the patient removed his cap to reveal an assortment of metallic objects embedded in his scalp. Plain radiographs showed 11 nails penetrating into his brain. A detailed history revealed a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, and the patient confirmed that he had hammered a nail into his head each week for the past 11 weeks to rid him of evil. The nails were removed with the patient under general anesthesia, and he made an uncomplicated recovery with no neurological deficits.
the defenses of Craigslist have been overrun. Some categories on Craigslist have become over 90% spam. The personals sections were the first to go, then the services categories, and more recently, the job postings.
Craigslist is fighting back. Its latest gimmick is phone verification. Posting in some categories now requires a callback phone call, with a password sent to the user either by voice or as an SMS message. Only one account is allowed per phone number. Spammers reacted by using VoIP numbers. Craigslist blocked those. Spammers tried using number-portability services like Grand Central and Tossable Digits. Craigslist blocked those. Spammers tried using their own free ringtone sites to get many users to accept the Craigslist verification call, then type in the password from the voice message. Craigslist hasn’t countered that trick yet.
The optimistic technotopia that emerged from the craigslist free posting model may have just slammed it’s face against reality. Hmmm actually maybe it’s not that simple. I think “new times, new problems” is the best way to look at things.
For the record, i got a very awesome bike and had a great interaction with someone off of craigslist the other day, so it’s not all dead. I still know women who post personal ads on craigslist and get hundreds of responses within a couple hours.
The following badge is now displayed on the bottom sidebar:
Thanks to Alxndr of TransportedSF for the heads up on this Lots of people are haters on carbon offsets but this little nugget from the website makes a grand point
Carbon offsets play a crucial role in building a sustainable society. Many renewable energy projects are well suited to produce energy and meet stringent standards, but lack sufficient financing. Carbon offsets fill that void by investing in these projects.
Dear Emo-Abraham Lincoln,
Where have all the strawberry muffins gone?
MuffPEC (the cartel of muffin producing countries) has used their power and influence to drive up the cost of muffins on the freemarket. They claim that speculator activity will drive the price of muffins to 150 dollars a barrel. Although prices may stabilize as new baking technologies come online and the gumdrop kingdom subdues rebel groups that bombed major chocolate chip pipelines.
Emo Abe Lincoln
On the road to LA right now for MindShare which is a collaborative geek fest dinner thing which promises to be quite fun. After that I’m heading to lightning in a bottle for fri, sat, sun. Hizzatron and I are discussing a jape to mexico after that. Not sure how much I’ll be blogging emailing. as usual I’m behind, if I don’t email you back, it doesn’t mean i don’t love you. It means I have two jobs and lots of obligations for now here’s a video of hitler planning for burning man (probably only funny if you’re a burner)
For those that have been emailing me I fixed the site loading problem. There used to be a thingy in the sidebar that showed my twitter feed but twitter is notorious for having shitty scalability and being horribly unreliable. Since twitter is down right now the gentle sensibilities of the word press load sequence was constipated. If you’re reading this, it’s fixed. w00t!
Twitter is awesome but tends to be horribly confusing to some people. It took me a couple months to figure out that it’s just micropoetry from friends and interesting people. Granted it can to be misused, I don’t really care if you’re flight has been delayed, but that’s true of any broadcast technology. The thing to note here is that possible misuse and dumbassery is not a reason to avoid Twitter (or facebook or pownce or myspace or whatever) it is a reason to use correctly, wisely and for the benefit of all
anyway, here’s my twitter feed http://twitter.com/nub. add me as a contact and give it a try, it’s a lot of fun…even when their servers are foobar’d and it fucks up my blog.