Math

Stink at math? Active racial bias ‘sees’ a new solution

Roses are red, violets are blue and now apparently arithmetic is white – white and privileged.

Solving complex math problems – geometry, algebra, and trigonometry (not an exclusive list) – is apparently now the domain of white privilege. White people learning, solving, and – horror of horrors – teaching this is the new shame-stick.

Rochelle Gutierrez

Rochelle Gutierrez

Who is wielding this newfangled cowing device, intended to put a highly select light under a bushel? A Latina mathematician, one Professor Rochelle Gutierrez, who sees no shame in her demonstration of all matters mathematical at the University of Illinois where she teaches, despite the reality that math difficulties are not the exclusive domain of people of color. (A quick trip to the university art department would disabuse Gutierrez of the fallacy that those of European descent actually have skin that is “white,” but when crossing the line of objective reality which delineates mathematics from the subjective pastime of slurring for sales – book sales – who cares?)

We’re talking painful marginalization here. Facts aren’t important. Feelings are supreme, especially the inflated variety that would have a college educated math professor take a fetal position – or try to get others to adopt it – because words like “Pythagorean Theorem” and “pi” reveal that much of what the modern world knows of math today is due to Greek thinkers and other Europeans who failed to grasp that their attempt to solve life’s problems and build great cities would make others feel left out.

But who is left out?

Gutierrez is Latina and female, yet she is the college professor. How, if people of color were left out of learning and teaching, marginalized for their apparent lack of arithmetic prowess, did this woman rise to such a position? In a vacuum? By way of race shaming and no opportunity? How are those of Asian descent – stereotypically known for number genius – figured into this curious equation?

Readers may never know, thanks to the push for revisionist reality.

Shaming is out for anyone except those who shamefully grasp at whatever is popular to foster their own ideas and create the illusion of divisions that aren’t there. According to Fox News, “Rochelle Gutierrez laid out her views on the subject in an article for a newly published anthology for math educators titled, ‘Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods.’ … There are so many people who ‘have experienced microaggressions from participating in math classrooms… [where people are] judged by whether they can reason abstractly.)'”

How about judging the abstract reach of pretending math is white?

By Gutierrez’s logic, is washing clothes a nagging microagression against colors of all shades? A rejection of natural diversity? An expression of racism in the unrelenting pursuit of bleached perfection?

There’s a passage of rant poetry in there somewhere. Call up Ashley Judd for a channeling of “Nasty Woman.” And don’t get started on the health “benefit” of whites-only scrambled eggs. Meringue is a racist mountain of stiff-necked privilege!

“Mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” Gutierrez is quoted at Fox.

Check out the fuzzy math in the video below:

So, what to do if you’re white and stink at math? Take delight in your non-conformist shortcoming? Or just hide in the corner, knowing your shortfalls are your own and you have nobody and nothing to blame because “you” have had “every” opportunity … including the math gene that evaded you to such a degree that you flunked out of Math for Liberal Arts in college.

Fox News notes, “In the book Gutierrez points out that mathematics operates as a proxy for intelligence, but asks, ‘Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics? As researchers, are we more deserving of large grants because we focus on mathematics education and not social studies or English?'”

No, Professor Gutierrez, you’re not that smart. (Thank you for the demonstration.) You’re also not more deserving of grants, but you’re also no more deserving of attention because you are attempting to divert the reality that different people have different talents no matter what their skin color. And all people should be encouraged to develop those talents without being shamed or given a lame excuse to leave off acknowledging the reality that different means different.



peering through bushes spying

I can see you! Night and day – that’s a problem

Quick, turn out the lights! They’ll think we’re not home! Or will they?

HuffPo reports, “Experts worry that the growing market for high-tech – military grade – night vision gear is a national security concern.”

Song Il Kim

Song Il Kim

Just two short years ago, Homeland Security conducted a sting. The objectives – catch a guy named Song Il Kim. The Korean national who made his home in China hoped to ship three pairs of military-grade night-vision goggles from Hawaii to Hong Kong. Traveling on a Cambodian passport, Kim drew attention and the box marked toys – with a replacement price of $16,000 – never made its way to Hong Kong.

“Federal prosecutors charged him with violating the Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the sale of military equipment, and a judge sentenced him to 40 months in prison after he pled guilty in 2016. A separate smuggling charge was dropped as part of a plea deal.”

But what about the less-obvious trader? The innocent sports enthusiast?

“In parts of Texas, shooting feral hogs is considered pest control, which means almost any type of equipment is allowed,” HuffPo continues. “For a rate of $695 per person, HeliBacon’s customers get the opportunity to use assault-style rifles and night-vision gear similar to what U.S. special operations forces use – equipment that’s worth about $25,000 per set, according to HeliBacon co-owner Chris Britt.”

Feral hogs seen through night-vision goggles

Feral hogs seen through night-vision goggles

And now, “Under Department of Commerce rules, companies can obtain licenses to export military equipment without oversight by federal authorities,” says Colby Goodman, arms export regulations guru for the nonprofit Center for International Policy. That means companies like HeliBacon, despite the potential of abuse, could venture into exporting the top-grade equipment they make available to their customers, as shown in the following video ad:

What say you? Our troops abroad rely upon cutting-edge military weaponry to give them the necessary edge. And with folks at home increasingly tagged by tragedy that sadly seems increasingly commonplace, the protection of the shadows may no longer be an option.



Because a head on a cat is just too bothersome

Because a head on a cat is just too bothersome

End cat privilege!

Are you allergic to cats? Do you long to cuddle and stroke a furry friend? Or, as Verge reports, “Do you enjoy the sensation of petting a cat or dog, but hate the unconditional love and the fact that they have heads and limbs? Japanese company Yukai Engineering has unveiled the solution to this classic conundrum with Qoobo: a soft, round cushion with a robotic tail that reacts to strokes, just as a loving pet would.”

While that may not sound better – it is honest! And so is this report of a headless, mechanical furred cat complete with wagging tail. Check out the video below and try to keep from wincing:

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