Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Creepy Wikipedia Entry on Race

Holy crap...
The central goal of this Wikipedia entry on race seems to be to promote the social constructionist theory of race.
The first sentence of the first non-introductory section is:
There is a wide consensus that the racial categories that are common in everyday usage are socially constructed, and that racial groups cannot be biologically defined.
This is absolutely stunning to my mind. I know--Wikipedia is a dicey game. But there's so much that it's good for as a starting-point that it's easy to become complaisant... And it has acquired a kind of authority...
And, of course, I disagree with the view, so I'm not neutral on this. But grabbing a loony quasi-philosophical theory on a significant topic and building a whole encyclopedia (quasi-encyclopedia?) article on it is just creepy as hell...  It's as if the entry on punishment started off with a declaration that compatibilism about freedom is true, and then the whole thing were built around pushing that view.
I've noticed this about other topics that the academic and quasi-academic left is obsessed with...  Wikipedia strikes me as being similar to academia--it's a salient that a small, dedicated political movement can occupy, and from which it can exercise disproportionate influence...
Today's bout of paranoia brought to you by insufficient sleep...and the letter 'R'...


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