Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My N Word

This post is not about that word that African Americans might say to each other but would get really upset is someone else called them by that word. You know the one that Dr. Laura Schlessinger said 11 times on her radio show and that she is now ending her show over (Sarah Palin has since told her to "reload" on Twitter) or Rick Santorum may or may not have said on the campaign trail. I totally understand the love-hate relationship that they have with that word.

This post is about the N word that Bill Gates, Woody Allen and Stephen Hawking can afford to wear as a badge of honor. By trying to turn a word that was used to define a group of kids who did not fit in with normal ones they are just creating a new club that is exclusive to others. As I argued in my post Bullying and Society what goes on in our schools is just a microcosm of our society where groups need to define other groups
to make themselves feel important.

In my post
Senate, House, Governor Races, Making Sense of Just One Race I presented the inner workings of exit poll data from the PA Senate race to deconstruct the inner workings of polls that are often presented on the news to the masses from on high as Bible truth. In this modern world of ever specialized knowledge, understanding of how and why things are the way that they are is in fewer and fewer hands. Would Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and their enlightened ilk have wanted to call themselves anything other than ordinary men?


In the article

Why geeks make better adults than the in-crowd

a study by Alexandra Robbins argues that the personality traits that are shunned in high school tend to serve them better when they're done with school.  She relies mostly on case studies so I would be cautious about generalizing from the high school experiences of Steven Spielberg, Stefanie Germanotta (a.k.a. Lady Gaga), and Angelina Jolie to everyone who has been shunned in school.  She does make some interesting proposals for treating kids equally.  Robbins book may be an interesting read.