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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday February 26 2014, @11:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the studies-show-poverty-causes-cancer dept.

Angry Jesus writes:

"The Chicago Police Department is mis-applying epidemiological science (the study of entire populations) to target individuals in a real-life version of Minority Report. They have decided that it is a good idea to put people on a secret list based on a Big Data analysis of their social networks. But don't worry, it isn't racist or abusive because, Science!"

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  • (Score: 1) by Angry Jesus on Friday February 28 2014, @11:24PM

    by Angry Jesus (182) on Friday February 28 2014, @11:24PM (#8880)

    I didn't say that. I was very careful to include that racism is likely to be a factor in some situations.

    True, you did add that small disclaimer and I did see it, but what's the point of putting all that effort into the main point when it is so easily proven false in the first place?

    It comes across as that rhetorical technique that is so common in opinion pieces, ", but I don't know for sure, I'm just saying." Maybe your intent was not to be disingenuous, but given that basically all of your points followed a similar pattern it was hard to take it any other way.

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  • (Score: 1) by ancientt on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:09AM

    by ancientt (40) <> on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:09AM (#9310) Homepage Journal

    You have a point. I hate it when somebody says "Maybe he's a murder" when they mean "I want to say he's a murderer but don't want to get called out on it."

    I probably should have started off with a summary myself. I tend to avoid those because it makes my posts even longer.

    You seem determined to defend the idea that TMB's examples are racist are against TMBs assertion that they are not. I think TMB erred by not acknowledging that they are often symptoms, but your adamant rebuttals make it sound like you see racism where it isn't necessarily present. It makes it easy to write off your opinions as zealotry. I hate to see valid points written off, and both of you had some. It is obvious that you're passionate that ignoring real racism is offensive, and I agree with you on that point.

    I find that acknowledging the truth in an argument I disagree with is an effective starting point in changing minds. Simply telling you that TMB was right would have been pointless, you have no reason to consider my arguments if that's all I have to contribute. However, if I can point out that what TMB raised as examples of circumstances mislabeled as racism are accurately defined not as racism but rather as potential (some of them probable) symptoms, then I can hope that both of you will see that the other has a point worthy of discussion. Maybe nobody changes their mind, but then at least there is a chance for rational discourse.

    The point I was trying to make is that each of those things:

    • Is not racism in itself (accurate analysis by TMB)
    • Is often a symptom of racism (accurate analysis by you)
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    • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:34AM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:34AM (#9327)

      Is not racism in itself (accurate analysis by TMB)

      That's only true by TMB's narrow definition of racism. His definition is one convenient to racists because it requires an effectively impossible amount of specificity to prove. My definition of racism, structural racism, institutional racism, whatever you want to call it, is that the "symptoms" prove its existence. What he calls a statistical anomaly, I call racism because in the end, all that matters, is the end result.

      I was particularly frustrated by the guy because his denial of racism is off-topic. Clearly he's not the only one who thinks that structural racism is an impossibility, but to lose his shit (he's the one who picked the title for this sub-thread and he started in by directly insulting me in his first post) over a discussion that Big Data can and likely does enable structural racism because he thinks structural racism can not exist is not a useful contribution to the discussion.