Thursday, 5 June 2008

Ingrained attitudes are alive and well

While reading this article from Ramon Thomas which was written in response to this article from Mandy de Waal, I could not help noticing a something these articles have in common... the unquestioned, ingrained attitudes of the authors.

Am I the only one that finds it glaringly obvious that Mr Thomas included no women in his dream team? Congratulations! Instead of a "white boys' club" (to quote Mr Thomas' misnomer; Ms. De Waal's list contains women), you now have a non-white boys' club.

This seems to be a trade-off between an intrinsic assumption that only whites feature in the Web 2.0 world, and the fundamental assumption that only men of whichever colour can feature in the Web 2.0 world.

Honestly, though, the biggest problem I see with this "naming thy Dream Team" concept, is the platform upon which it was presented. Honestly, a more-or-less static blog entry for a list which is inherently dynamic?

Personally, I would have set up a wiki for this. Then everyone that wants to name their dream team can do so, and we can add a field for the poster's race and sex too... This way we can get nice graphs and statistics of how many white women list coloured men as good bloggers, and vice versa.

I would do it, too, if I thought it would actually make everyone happy about this subject. But then, I know that the point of all of this is not about being right or wrong... it's all about the debate.


  1. I like your idea of the wiki but really I don't want to even encourage racial or sexual classification of any kind. At the end of the day, it was just a media article, and people should get over it. It's typical South African to accuse others of racial and sexual segregation. All hype imho...

  2. Well said, Charl. My point was this: if this was actually a serious need (for whichever obscure reason), then there are better ways to do this.

    Your "all hype" comment reinforces my point... this is all just hype and hype-generation. Not for the sake of the Cause, either... all of this feels like hype for hype's sake.

    Ne'er a truer word was spoken by he who said "There's no such thing as bad publicity, as long as they spell your name right."

  3. Exactly - racism makes me really really tired. I can't believe how people can waste their time discussing BS issues instead of focusing on something productive, such as writing code for example. I guess it's that most people are just bored, or as you say, trying to promote themselves. Good thing you blogged and got the right message out there though.