Random links from the laptop

  • Christianity and China – history is going to be interesting for a long time to come.
  • Confessions of a BBC Liberal – The politics of it aren’t terribly interesting, but the illustration of groupthink is. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of party affiliation by profession.
  • Nerds One and Two: The Hyperwhite – It seems that someone did research on nerdiness. Some choice excerpts –

    Nerdiness, she has concluded, is largely a matter of racially tinged behavior. People who are considered nerds tend to act in ways that are, as she puts it, “hyperwhite.”

    In a 2001 paper, “The Whiteness of Nerds: Superstandard English and Racial Markedness,” and other works, including a book in progress, Bucholtz notes that the “hegemonic” “cool white” kids use a limited amount of African-American vernacular English; they may say “blood” in lieu of “friend,” or drop the “g” in “playing.” But the nerds she has interviewed, mostly white kids, punctiliously adhere to Standard English.

    The author seems not to realize that the appeal of hyper-proper English is that the rules are memorable and never change, which reduces the aren’t tied to a peer group to stay current. That’s my theory anyway.

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