Science Pozzed — Data Equality Edition: #waSTEMsummit Update

Science Pozzed — Data Equality Edition: #waSTEMsummit Update

What science once was, it is no longer, as this on-going series demonstrates. Today, something which seems small, but which, alas, is not: the insinuation of the evil idea of Equality.

Here’s the opening paragraph from Wired’s article “How Do We Bring Equality to Data Ownership and Usage?” Wired, incidentally, has gone the path of Scientific American, where the writers have changed focus from facts to social justice.

“Science at its core is systematically racist and sexist,” said computational biologist Laura Boykin at the WIRED 25 conference in San Francisco on Friday.

If somebody says to you “Science at its core is systematically racist and sexist” the only possible reply is: only when it’s done right.

This is so because racist and sexist now mean, regardless of any past definitions, (persons whose) beliefs are aligned with Reality. Science is supposed to, and once did, match what is happening in the world, not in people’s desires. Thus to do science correctly requires, because Reality itself is racist and sexist, oneself to be racist and sexist. And every kind of phobic, too, for that matter.

But in a conversation on the promise and perils of data, she said that most scientists are “asleep at the wheel” when it comes to empowering the underserved with data. Referencing a study published in Nature last week suggesting that modern human life may have originated in Botswana, Boykin said, “Nature should never have published the study. Local communities had no access to the data. How is that OK?”

I know the answer to this non-rhetorical question: it is okay because the paper might even be correct that modern human life originated in Botswana. It also might not have. I do not know, nor here care. The implication that “local communities” have to have access to data the local communities did not generate before a study can be published would, if taken to its logical conclusion, stop all activity.

Who gets to decide what is “local”? Everybody could lay claim, through whatever wild story, to everything.

It is is true the Garden of Eden was in Botswana, and all modern humans migrated out from there, then we all own that data. Botswanans would in no way be special because its ancestors chose to remain at home, while their hardier cousins decided to go on a long walk.

Anyway, don’t get lost. The point is not Botswana. The point is that these ladies want to make science political. And are making science political.

Malkia Devich-Cyril, her fellow panelist, had an equally grim assessment of how US technology companies handle the data of communities of color. “They know everything about us, and we know nothing about them,” said Devich-Cyril, cofounder of the media and technology rights and representation organization MediaJustice. Bringing equality to data ownership, usage, and storage…

Speaking as a member of the community of no-color, and to use a scientific term, equality is entropy; therefore, bringing equality to anything, data ownership included, is death. As all historical evidence shows.

This does not mean being against rampant corporatism of data, which is where the oligarchs take everybody’s data and use it against everybody, people of color and of no color alike. This should be fought. But these ladies want to make it a World Ends People Of Color Hardest Hit kind of thing.

What are the resolutions? Regulation, for starters, says Devich-Cyril. But policymakers should be mindful of downstream effects. Police body cameras, for example, were initially thought to be “this incredible saving grace to police brutality, but I said, ‘Wait a minute, you’re not considering all that data that’s being stored…”

SJWs insisted on body cams because they thought they would catch policemen of no color being brutal. Instead, as well as storing everybody’s face, the cams revealed too many hate facts about people of color. Now the cams have to go.

“The movement is there,” Devich-Cyril added. “The question is whether it is going to be enough. We are dealing with an incredibly corrupt administration, but in addition to that incredibly corrupt administration, we are dealing with an incredibly corrupt economic system that advantages tech companies over poor people.”

Tech companies are “advantaged” because of superior tech and rent seeking. Plus, every social tech company, with very minor exceptions, is fully in the SJW camp, as everybody knows.


  1. Mocheirge

    I have nothing to add other than: Malkia Devich-Cyril is an anagram of “archaic milky devil”.

  2. Sheri

    ” Local communities had no access to the data. ” We could have had a group of persons on donkeys, camels, whatever, distribute the data on recycled paper to the citizens of Botswana. Or if the residents have cell phones like most of Africa, including in the back country (so they can call the Elephant Whisperers to rid their fields of elephants), it’s on the internet. Better yet, we could have sent the SJW’s out there to explain the significance. Could take 10 years or more. No problem. I’m sure they’ll enjoy spreading their message all over the country, not just in air-conditioned offices with running water and windows. Equality, of course, would involve these SJW’s enjoying ALL these things.

  3. Faith

    Mocheirge, you cut straight to the heart of it. But guess what? I looked up the milky devil and it’s a man. Or looks like one anyway. I always assume these brainiacs are women. Especially when they have a made up woman’s name.
    Thank you, Briggs, for showing us once again what we are up against.
    And please thank Ianto for the brilliant post yesterday.
    All praise to Christ the King!

  4. Yonason

    No doubt y’all remember the recent headline that climate social justice warrior Michael Mann lost his 9 year long SLAAP defamation lawsuit against Tim Ball, because the spoilt Mann-child refused to produce his data.

    lesson 1 – Social justice requires us to not horde/hide data, except when it does.

    lesson 2 – Do not expect social justice from courts that apply equal and fair application of the law.

  5. Ye Olde Statistician

    Besides, many of the current residents of Botswana were not there when Out of Africa commenced. The !kung and other Bushmen and Hottentots may have been, but not the Bantu folk, who colonized Southern Africa after the 1sf cent.

  6. Don

    I, for one, simply refuse to read any more astronomical research since it might be possible that denizens of those star systems will not have access to the data

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