Archive for April 8th, 2016

Merle Haggard told me the truth; the homos and fatties are not my problem.

Friday, April 8th, 2016

 

I’ve paid homage to him before on these pages. I probably thought he was passed, even then!

 

Haggard captured the spirit of Americana that today’s hipsterensia arrogantly eschews.

 

They are so gloriously and smugly sophisticated and urbane and foodie.

 

You’re all a bunch of tools, you fools. Merle led the way to the Path.

 

Embrace your past and stop worrying about homos and fatties.  Worry about yourself, take care of yourself; this is your task and it belongs to no one else.

 

 

 

Haruka vs. Meechaiel, another White bites the dust @ Austin.

Friday, April 8th, 2016

 

I certainly do not derive any twisted sense of justified “pleasure” when the perp of a notorious crime turns out to be Black.

 

But that’s the sense I get from many online conversations I witness. Granted, I have not been above pointing out that the media overlooks race in cases where a suspect’s race is egregiously absent so as to warrant an accusation of journalistic negligence. But this is not the same as that sense of “rah-rah’ing” I detect in the blogosphere when high-profile suspects turn out to be Black.

 

When news of the murder of Haruka Weiser, the University of Texas student whose body was discovered on Tuesday, began flooding the news, and hints of a possible suspect surfaced, I didn’t consider for a second that the official suspect would be this dude:

 

criner

 

But alas, today it was announced that Meechaiel Khalil Criner, 17, was arrested yesterday for the murder of Haruka Weiser.  He succumbed to the police radar after he was discovered burning objects which later tied him to Weiser, including a shoe, on April 4, in an abandoned warehouse.  Responding police entered him in a youth shelter as it appeared he was homeless.

 

After Weiser’s body was discovered the following day, elementary detective work made Criner a prime suspect, but it was the Austin Fire Department who first noticed the possible connection and reported it to the police.

 

 

Thursday, April 7
4:08 p.m.: After the Austin Police Department released surveillance video of the suspect to the public, Austin Fire Department Capt. David Leonard called investigators to inform them of the incident of the 17-year-old found burning items in an abandoned building.
5:20 p.m.: Officers arrested Criner at LifeWorks for the suspected tampering with evidence. Earlier, detectives had returned to the abandoned building and found a burned notebook with college-level coursework inside and a small-sized Doc Martin shoe. They also found “an article of evidence that matched the same texture, age and appearance of an article seized on or near the victim’s body,” the affidavit said.
Friday, April 8
11:30 a.m.: The Austin Police Department held a press conference announcing that Criner had been taken into custody and charged with first-degree felony murder. He is currently being held on $1 million bond.
One of Criner’s family members told ABC News they do not believe he committed a crime and plan to travel to Austin to find out what happened.

 

 

Sigh.  This is why “dindu” has become the new derogatory racial term for criminal Blacks.

 

This is like a bad script that keeps replaying itself, autonomously, a culturally-powered perpetual motion machine.

 

I do wonder if public outcry is magnified when the victim is a pretty young White (or in this case, maybe Hapa, judging by the victim’s first name) girl.

 

Do we place more value and malice on the crime if we lose an attractive member of productive future society when she looks like this…

 

 

haruka

 

…and the suspected murderer is a Black man with no home?

 

Of course we do!  To recognize such is not pleasant.

 

Who would dispute such a thing.   Evolutionary in response, we safeguard those who innately promote survival of mankind.  And I’m sorry to say, in the battle of Haruka vs. Meechaiel, I don’t feel remiss in stating that there probably wasn’t, isn’t, much of a contest.

 

 

The next intellectual level down: algorithms are racist.

Friday, April 8th, 2016

 

The Guardian published a piece concerning a recent kerfuffle involving Google image search results in response to the query “unprofessional hairstyles for work” as contrasted with its antonym string, “professional hairstyles for work.”

 

 

Not much surprising going on  here, but of course, the predictable uproar and allegations that Google’s search results are racist.

 

 

Rosalia’s tweet has since been retweeted thousands of times – more than 6,200 in the first 24 hours, she says – as her discovery sparked discussion on implicit racial biases against black people in the workplace. Can an algorithm itself be racist? Or is it only reflecting the wider social landscape?
We’ve always conceived of search engines as arcane but neutral creatures, obedient only to our will and to the precious logic of information.
On a basic level, Google Images primarily figures out who or what is shown in a picture by judging the text and captions that surround it. It’s possible though that some rudimentary image analysis – the kind that can tell a face from a landscape – is also involved. In the case of the great hair debate, Google Images seems to have taken many of the pictures of black women wearing the “unprofessional” hairstyles were from blogs, articles and Pinterest boards. Many of these are by people of colour explicitly discussing and protesting against racist attitudes to hair. One image led me to a post criticising Hampton University’s ban on dreadlocks and cornrows; another was linked with a post celebrating natural hair and the “ridiculous” pressure to straighten it for the office; here’s a rejection of the idea that big, natural curls are “distracting” in a newsroom.
Ultimately, the algorithm is mirroring conversations about “unprofessional hair” biases, not making a ruling. In fact, just a day after Rosalia’s tweet went viral, memes about the discrepancy, screencaps of the tweet itself, and other recent related images topped the results of the Google Images search for “unprofessional hairstyles for work”. But it still raises questions about the role of algorithms in how we use the web, and pokes a few holes in the utopian fantasy of what the internet is for.

 

 

Apparently the knee-jerk racially aggrieved don’t have the most spectacular comprehension of search engines and the dynamics and logic by which results are derived. How do we explain to them that Google is not a sentient being who decides, arbitrarily, or if you’re a sensitive type, maliciously, which search results to spill in response to neutral queries? How do we explain to these folks that Google’s results rather represent a compendium of data linkages as they exist across the vast cyber stage of humanity that represents what we, the internet denizens type and label and discuss online?

 

Google search results merely reflect society. Google’s algorithm is a mirror (as the Guardian pointed out) of our own cultural character. It would be like calling a computer keyboard racist for allowing someone to type “spic” undeterred.

 

Like all racially aggrieved people, this is a case where they create an uproar for the sake of drama and emotive discussion, not for any truly piercing insight. In matters of race, Drama Conversation is the preferred mode of expression by those who partake in said subject.

 

“Algorithm” is such an un-sexy, clinical foundation behind many racial truths.  So the concept is dressed up as human and accused of conscious motivation.