Results tagged “melgibson”

The Race-O-Meter

December 5, 2006

Apropos of our little discussion a few weeks ago, Malcolm Gladwell's thoughts on defining a racist. To some degree, he's talking about measuring racism on a semi-defined scale.

[T]he context in which something is said, and the identity of the speaker obviously make a great deal of difference in how we react to the speech. But if there is in fact a hierarchy to hate speech, on what basis should comments be judged? I'm curious to hear the thoughts of others on this.

Gladwell proposes a scale based on content, intention, and conviction. This neatly forgives people who simply mis-speak, or those who unintentionally offend without malice, while properly condemning those silver-tongued few who are able to say vile things about groups of people without using any actual slurs or epithets.

Race is always a difficult topic -- every time I write about it on my blog, I get a few defensive comments that I mostly don't publish, a few IMs from white friends saying "I'm not sure that's fair...", a few IMs from black friends saying "You're being a bit presumptuous again..." and then a whole lot of people, including most of my readers saying, essentially, "BOOOO-RING!"

Mel Gibson Trading Card

Maybe we should make this more fun? With a clear scale for measuring racism, we could make a website for it! ( is still available.) Enter in your potentially racist speech, get back a racism score, and put the badge on your site. The fact that we've got three dimensions to measure on means that you could have a Race Cube, whose size would increase based on how offensive you truly were. If you came up with something horrendous, but you didn't really mean it, you'd get a zero in "conviction" and end up with a flat square.

Or if you're Mel Gibson, and meet all the requirements, maybe you'd prefer a trading card game, where you could boast about your score. And then hopefully the truly racist cards would become increasingly rare over time and this kind of offensiveness would exist only as a thriving market on eBay. I've included an artist's rendering here for collectors.

Open Your Eyes And Read The Links

August 1, 2006

  • Why are half the pizza joints in New York City named Ray's? I think A Full Belly had the definitive answer to this question as part of a series of pizza posts a few years ago. Much more illuminating than the New York Times' brief telling of the story.
  • PC World has been doing interesting A-B testing of potential cover designs, and I'm struck by how close the results are, almost 50-50 right from the beginning.
  • Q: What if Jakob Nielsen had a blog? A: The colors would be based on his outfit.
  • Christopher Hitchens on Mel Gibson's anti-semitism:
    This is not just proved by his twistedly homoerotic spank-movie The Passion of the Christ, even though that ghastly production did focus obsessively on the one passage in the one of the four Gospels that tries to convict the Jewish people en masse of the hysterical charge of Christ-killing or "deicide."
  • Prince's soon-to-be-ex-wife Manuela is saving the children by selling candles. Though there are some minor details incorrect in the story, it gives me hope because I remember when she was just another fan hanging out in the newsgroup with the rest of us nerds.
  • Some kind words from Mindy McAdams. Her thoughts about local journalism online remind me to direct everyone to this great interview with Adrian Holovaty about combining geekery and journalism. Which he does better than anybody.
  • And if you're still not sick of Wikipedia analysis, the good folks at the Atlantic have sent this link to The Hive, an exhaustive look at Wikipedia and its culture. Set aside half an hour of quiet time to really dive into the piece.