austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

It's National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-hood Week

``Well, here's some advances in the making of stereotypes.''

- ``Oh, good, we've been waiting for them.''

``Says in the news that a team at the University of Aberdeen's Person Perception Lab worked up an experiment studying how stereotypes form and evolve.''

- ``Fancy them having a Person Perception Lab. I would think even in Aberdeen noticing people isn't all that hard. Just have the person say, `Hey' or `Look out' or `Strawberry wombat' and they'll get noticed.''

``Strawberry wombat?''

- ``Are you going to overlook a person saying something like that to you?''

``Might avoid her.''

- ``Which you can't do until after successfully perceiving her.''

``I think the focus is more how people get perceived, not whether they're perceived at all. Like, here, this article is about making new stereotypes.''

- ``Finally freeing the stereotype industry from the old guild system, eh? No more having to hand-carve stereotypes out of big sheets of wood and iron, spending thousands of man-hours under the grueling heat of cruel taskmasters? No more sending half-hewn stereotypes out to immigrant laborers working piecemeal on finishing insults and dehumanizations for pennies on the hour?''

``Fancy not. This one's worked out with aliens.''

- ``That's kind of projecting future stereotype needs, isn't it? I mean, we don't need to have ethnic slurs ready to hurl against the Epsilon Eridanians for ... let's see, it's September so ... fourteen and three-quarter years yet, do we? And Delta Pavonians we can let slide for nineteen years four days from now.''

``These are about fictional aliens.''

- ``Oh! ... Well, mine too. Ha ha.''

``They started out making some imaginary aliens with different colors and shapes and personality traits.

- ``You're sure these are aliens and not Pokemons?''

``Easily 24 percent sure. Then they got volunteers to learn about the aliens and describe them to someone else, who described it to someone else, and on, and these complicated things came out simple stereotypes in the end.''

- ``How did the people on the end know the thing being referenced? `Oh, the Luyten 726-8ians are a bunch of Vulcan wannabes' maybe?''

``That's something. Did the Person Perception Lab not know about Doctor McCoy's long work being prejudiced against imaginary people?''

- ``I'm not so sure about McCoy's `Vulcan' bias. Sure, he kept accusing Spock of Vulcan-ness but so often it was pointing out stuff like how how he this this Vulcan heart in the middle of his Vulcan abdomen. It's like he was trying to remember Spock's Vulcan.''

``Either way McCoy comes out looking the worse. He's either bigoted or really, really forgetful.''

- ``You know who really comes out looking bad for anti-Vulcan prejudice? The people who made Star Trek: Enterprise.''

``They looked bad for more than anti-Vulcan prejudice.''

- ``Seriously. They set up Vulcans as not understanding why humans hated them so, and then there was this one episode where T'Pol finally sees the Boris Karloff Frankenstein, and says it's a major breakthrough in understanding anti-Vulcan prejudice.''

``They learned humans can take accept so much forehead makeup before sending you off to meet Abbot and Costello?''

- ``She said the way the villagers attacked the Creature explained why humans attacked Vulcans.''

``They were afraid of the new?''

- ``They were afraid of the Creature because he'd drowned a helpless little girl and had chased one of the town's leading citizens up a windmill apparently to kill him. If the Vulcans were drowning helpless girls and chasing leading citizens up windmills and didn't understand why folks didn't like them, they're a lot dumber than the rest of the show said they were.''

``If only the Vulcans could resist the sweet, sweet lure of humanity's humble windmill technology.''

- ``You know, this evidence people will stereotype stuff that doesn't even exist is going to make every online discussion about race a lot worse.''

``What do you mean?''

- ``If people will form new stereotypes altogether then what's the point of overcoming prejudices? People will just go all bigot-y again.''

``That's a terrible attitude.''

- ``It's what folks who feel comfortable being prejudiced are going to say in every argument about stereotypes once they hear about this.''

``How can you say that?''

- ``I know how Internet commenters think.''

Trivia: Among the optics on the Apollo Command Module was a wide field-of-view telescope of magnifying power 1. Source: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation, Frank O'Brien. (It was used for locating navigation stars as part of determining the spacecraft's orientation, and was slaved to the sextant for navigation fixes.)

Currently Reading: Five Days In Philadelphia: 1940, Wendell Wilkie, and the Political Convention That Freed FDR To Win World War II, Charles Peters.

Tags: humor

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