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Feb 12 '06 53461 Last Comment
tint
May 22, 13 9:31 am

Sarah, we are programmed to pattern-make. Not just you, but it is not PC to talk about that because it can come close to stereotyping and bigotry, pattern-making's evil cousins.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
May 22, 13 9:45 am

I just finished John Irving's latest book, called In One Person.  The entire book is about gender, identification, sexuality, labels, "right" and "wrong" attractions, etc.  It's really incredible, a great book but *very* much about one person's issues with all of this.  Still, it raises the question of why we feel the need to  categorize everyone when the categories would really need to be as numerous as there are people.

But as there is no there said, it's human nature to seek patterns, we can't help it.

toast, love that outfit.  Do you suppose it comes in white? I want to look like a cloud floating above my day's work.  And maybe a grey one for bad days.

tint
May 22, 13 10:03 am

 I just finished two books touching on gender as well, but about the usefulness in recognizing the differences in gender. One was written by a brain surgeon. As a brain surgeon needs to know left versus right in a brain operation, he also needs to know gender of the patient to understand the architecture of their brain. The other was written by a psychologist-educator who is pushing single gender education systems.

toasteroven
May 22, 13 10:04 am

it's not "not-PC" to talk about this stuff.  that's ridiculous.  If you understand your own prejudices and talk openly about them, you can work to challenge and change these beliefs.  It's one of the fundamentals of cognitive development and learning.  The great danger is becoming unmovable once you come to a certain conclusion.

 

When someone whines about how we're supposed to be "PC" it's probably because they're often being called out on their bigotry and they don't want to change (either out of laziness or lack of mental capacity).  Those kinds of statements are helpful in guiding discourse because now you know who to marginalize.  you can't move them, but you can move everyone else.

tint
May 22, 13 10:09 am

Toaster, I know that. I thought I was expressing frustration that people like to jump from patternmaking to stereotyping as if they are the same and they are not. I know that one is useful and natural. Most people don't.

tint
May 22, 13 10:19 am

... like the author of Donna's book saying that categorization is NOT so useful.

observant
May 22, 13 11:40 am

When someone whines about how we're supposed to be "PC" it's probably because they're often being called out on their bigotry and they don't want to change (either out of laziness or lack of mental capacity).  Those kinds of statements are helpful in guiding discourse because now you know who to marginalize.  you can't move them, but you can move everyone else.

There's PC that's designed not to offend certain people.  There's also PC that extends to stereotyping.  Stereotyping wouldn't exist if so many people didn't observe it.  Also, some sociologists and social psychologists back it up.  My rule is about 90:10; that is, your read on someone is accurate 90% of the time, and 10% of the time it isn't.  You're obtuse when you can't admit you were wrong that 10% of the time. 

Tell me that an ethnically attuned person who grew up in middle class suburbia of NYC has the same interpersonal vibe as some Nordic who grew up in middle class suburbia of the Twin Cities.  They are 180 from each other.  The person from the Twin Cities would consider the Easterner caustic and obnoxious, if they let their guard down.  Another Easterner would consider them normal.

Two things:

a) when we were kids, we all used to make fun of each other's parents' ethnicities, their accents, and quirks ... and we all remained friends.  We still laugh about these things as adults.  They were sitcom material. 

b) the person who makes these observations and takes them stridently is also much more apt to have a much more diverse constellation of friends, unlike someone who grew up with the passive-aggressive standard of "Minnesota Nice" (both a popular and a sociological term) for outwardly politically showing you are progressive and want to treat people in a homogenous fashion yet, deep down, you are someone else under that constipated mask.

I always though San Francisco would be PC.  Well, it is.  One day, I'm at one of the Market Street exits of BART with some friends and ask which bus will take us to Fisherman's Wharf.  The guy, a local dude, rattled out some numbers (they were all multiples of 15) and then added "around here, we call it the 'Orient Express'," probably owing to the fact that Chinatown sits between the Financial District and North Beach.  Harmless.  Clever.  Funny.  Let it go!

tint
May 22, 13 1:02 pm

My "better half" is a psychologist that used to do research in stereotyping. This was a few years ago but it was fairly taboo to research it as a useful tool in say, learning and cognitive development,, as many people think that it is all bad all the time and there is nothing useful here folks because the word stereotype has become associated with bigotry instead of the more useful tool of pattern-making by the overly PC crowd. I'll agree with observant, stereotypes are useful until they are not.

curtkram
May 22, 13 1:31 pm

i can go along with 'stereotypes are useful until they are not.'  i'm not sure observant included the part about where they become no longer useful.

this is, of course, an internet forum.  speaking hypothetically and in that context, if person 'A'  were to suddenly realize their assumption of person 'B's gender was wrong, i would expect that to have a fairly minor effect on person 'A's opinion of person 'B's comments.  If person 'A' all of sudden realizes person 'B' has better insight to shoe color but does not really have anything important to say about say architecture, then I would suggest person 'A's use of stereotyping is not useful.

if person 'A' had a history of suggesting women should be judged by their looks while men should be judged by their ability, i might stereotype that person as the sort who uses stereotypes to unfairly discriminate against people.

if we were putting together a football team or a bikini contest, i might lean towards thinking gender could influence the outcome.  we are not putting together a football team or a bikini contest.

observant
May 22, 13 1:40 pm

^

When the "dumb blonde" in a sorority sitting next to you repeatedly gets higher grades on her tests, and you toss out that stereotype, then, in that discrete situation, you are not a prejudiced individual.  However, one must apply this convention across the board.

When the "dumb blonde" in a sorority sitting next to you repeatedly gets marginal grades on her tests, whines a lot, and parties too much, then the stereotype is reinforced.

The usefulness issue is moot.  It's about whether you are willing to toss out the stereotype when it doesn't apply to the case at hand.  This is why I have often heard the term a "smart jock" or a "smart surfer" in conversation, with the word smart as a preface, because so many people are conditioned to think jocks are meatheads and surfers are waste cases.  And, in many cases, they're correct.

tint
May 22, 13 1:48 pm

observant, so what changed about your opinion of me when you found out that I am female?

observant
May 22, 13 2:08 pm

^

Nothing.  I never got a read into what you're all about, and still don't have a read.  I just assumed you were a guy.

curtkram
May 22, 13 2:41 pm

so to try to paraphrase what i think the intent of your dumb blonde and smart jock analogy is:

it's good to stereotype people in such a way that you discriminate against blondes and jocks for being dumb.  anecdotal evidence in your real life has suggested this is prudent.  when those people prove you wrong, you should have the character to stop being prejudice and treat them as, what, equals?  maybe 'equals' isn't the right word there?

so, a more real-life example, if a woman who is blonde was asking you for a job, you would assume they are dumb and it would be right for you to act on that assumption.  there are probably other characteristics to be aware of, such as if her hairstyle or eye shadow supports the 'dumb' stereotype.  it is up to the woman to prove that she is not the stereotype you've created.

is that right?

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 22, 13 2:47 pm

Please excuse the Shit Kickers...and well the long way around the story....it was just the way I was brought up....Listening to my Irish Grand Pappy tell stories for hours on end.

I guess no one has a problem figuring out if I'm a guy. 

observant
May 22, 13 2:52 pm

^

There's no sense in trying to shoehorn me.  Most of us can, and do, size up someone in about 15 seconds.

Since you want to put a sexist spin on this, we can.  If you walk into an elevator, and the blonde looks, gestures, and utters a few words that are REALLY "dumb," then she probably is.  On the other hand, if a blonde, or a woman with any hair color, carries herself in a different manner, then she probably isn't dumb.  In essence, we do perceive people based on how they carry themselves, even before specific traits.

Let's move on to the guys.  If they carry themselves like dolts, then they probably are.  Again, it's about carriage.

Remember, even in the architectural world, they know 15 seconds into the interview as to whether they'll hire you ... and maybe a little longer if they find something that excites them ... or torques them, to decide otherwise.

I'm not into this PC thing where you have to give everyone a chance and get to know them.  That's impossible.  I know that, if I walk into a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods, I have little to nothing in common with someone who works there.

I see that our coastal vs. Midwestern sensibilities are scraping.  My friends, all urban and educated, will say something like "well, I went into this Trader Joe's and this granola was helping me and ... " What's wrong with that?  A picture is worth a thousand words. 

tint
May 22, 13 3:06 pm

So, you're a dick?

jw468
May 22, 13 3:16 pm

All this talk about stereotypes reminds me of a memory I have from the second grade.

There was a boy who was transferred into my class because he had been a terror in every school and class he attended.  When a teacher couldn’t deal with him anymore he got transferred.  In my class, things culminated when he went after the teacher with a chair.

Well, some investigation on the part of the school discovered that he was deaf and abused.  When the teacher approached him, he thought she was moving in to beat him.  Shortly afterwards he was transferred to a school that could meet his needs.

He was a terror because he didn’t understand what was happening, not because he was a problem child.

Stereotyping seems to be one of humanity’s worst instincts.  Architects, as some of the most highly educated individuals in their respective communities, must be more understanding to differences.  We are often role models because of our position.  Other professionals also share this responsibility.

Observant, I’m from a very rural community in the Deep South that’s very old-fashioned.  I don’t think I could disagree with you more.  Also, given my first post about acting as a caregiver for family, I expect you have me pegged as a female.  I’m a male.  Perhaps I don’t put any stock in stereotypes because I generally don’t fit them.

observant
May 22, 13 3:22 pm

So, you're a dick?

If you say so, then I'm ok with that.  I have friends who like me as I am.  I'll bet some of this ties back to the #STJ (sense, think, judge) personality profile.  I'd bet that anyone who is bristling at this topic has a personality profile that ends otherwise.  No apologies for being a quick study.

observant
May 22, 13 3:23 pm

Perhaps I don’t put any stock in stereotypes because I generally don’t fit them.

I'm not a conformist, and while I wouldn't say I fit a stereotype, I fit a schema.

observant
May 22, 13 3:58 pm

Architects, as some of the most highly educated individuals in their respective communities, must be more understanding to differences.  We are often role models because of our position.  Other professionals also share this responsibility.

Yes, professional in how they carry out their duties.  However, does professionalism extend into how they SHOULD think and perceive things?  I think not.  An architect can be competent and think a developer client is money hungry scum or think that the housewife who wants to play architect is an entitled, high maintenance (blank) who you would prefer she STFU.  Similarly, a doctor probably has patients who are a pain in the ass ... and thinks just that,  verbatim.  What standard are you holding an architect to?  Especially one who might do  bread and butter work in Main Street USA.  Only because of it becoming newsworthy did I find out ex-model Christie Brinkley was married to a successful architect on Long Island, who may have been competent, but reportedly conducted his personal life in quite a different manner.  And the things that come out of our top elected officials' mouths behind closed doors ...

As for schemas, read the SECOND sentence.  Perfect:

http://psychology.about.com/od/sindex/g/def_schema.htm

Then, the following sentences indicate the potential pitfalls.  But, you get the idea.

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 22, 13 5:54 pm

I have a friend who I think of as a mentor in many ways.  He is usually the guy who sits in a meeting  ,takes in everything people are saying  and invites people to share there thoughts.  He is sort of a frumpy guy even when wearing and expensive suit.  Most people would write him off partially because he also stutters.  Then one day I discover  he is the comptroller for one of the largest construction companies in the United States, he has a degree in Civil Engineering, an MBA,and is also a Lawyer.  It is my policy to not write off people for any reason.  I have been surprised time and time again.

observant
May 22, 13 6:04 pm

s-d-d:

Well, yes.  However, at first glance, you would notice the "frump factor."  Then, when you learn how intelligent he is, you listen and take note.  But the fact that he's in an expensive suit and coming to all these meetings is indicative that he is of some consequence.

I did my internship in two different places, so I simultaneously had IDP advisers, even though I was on the good old 3 year system before they scrapped it.  I thought my second IDP adviser was a nice guy, but kind of weird.  He was licensed, had gone to a solid school, was into all these triathlons and shit, and he spoke very slowly and pensively, like he had just woken up.  I asked him his opinions of firms to approach upon licensing.  I told him the demographics and general style I wanted.  Obviously, over the course of our mentor-intern relationship, he should have been able to read me to some extent.  He gives me the name of this firm, and they turn out to be these bohemian dolts who did really dated design work.  They were unfriendly to boot.  I never solicited his advice again.

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 22, 13 7:02 pm

observant,

go to Face Book:  Humans in New York....I have nothing more to say.  I hope it brings you around.

jw468
May 22, 13 7:08 pm

Yes, professional in how they carry out their duties.  However, does professionalism extend into how they SHOULD think and perceive things?  I think not. 

No, it doesn’t, but it does impact how they behave publicly, and this forum is essentially a public place.

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 22, 13 7:10 pm
observant
May 22, 13 7:31 pm

No, it doesn’t, but it does impact how they behave publicly, and this forum is essentially a public place.

And you think the professionalism on here is high?  The TC part of this is like a happy hour on steroids.  Are you an architect or architecture student?  I thought you were in health care.  How does this affect you?

s-d-d:  I don't know what bringing you around means.  I looked at the FB page.  It was funny.  Original.  Caustically urban and cosmopolitan.  That could just as easily be LA, SF or Chicago.  I'm not shocked; that's baseline for me.  Would I hang out with most of the featured people to make a statement of  how cool I'd like to be?  Probably not.  As for Marino, I didn't know who he was.  So he looks like a biker, per how his website opens up.  Now that he's made his mark, he can do that.  But when he was at Cornell, SOM, and Pei, per his chronology, I doubt he could have ... or should have.

toasteroven
May 23, 13 10:23 am

And you think the professionalism on here is high?

 

since "professionalism" is all relative - TC tends to be the standard-bearer of the minimum expected behavior on the forums.

 

I think the reason we're debating you is because you appear to want to lower this standard.

observant
May 23, 13 11:36 am

since "professionalism" is all relative - TC tends to be the standard-bearer of the minimum expected behavior on the forums.

 I think the reason we're debating you is because you appear to want to lower this standard.

Interesting:

a)  I think it's because I'm willing to take a position on things most (liberal) architects and architecture grads, especially if under 30, would not take.

b)  Observing the human condition does not always make for a "politically correct" report, and I like observing the human condition.  I guess my friends, and some coworkers, have been of the type to sit there in a restaurant and sidewalk cafe and say "Hey, f**k, did you see THAT?"  All in good fun, of course.

curtkram
May 23, 13 2:00 pm

you're missing the point observant.  it is not because you're different.  also it has nothing to do with 'politically correctedness.'  you are not a unique and beautiful snowflake.  we're all different.  it's just that we find a certain minimum acceptable standard for judging others, especially based on appearance or gender or race, etc.  i also think most all of us genuinely hope you come to understand that and can be a better person for it.  community building is related to architecture and all that.  keep an open mind.

observant
May 23, 13 2:19 pm

it's just that we find a certain minimum acceptable standard for judging others, especially based on appearance or gender or race, etc.  i also think most all of us genuinely hope you come to understand that and can be a better person for it.

Interesting that in developed countries such as France, Italy and Argentina, this kind of stuff flies without batting an eye.  And they're as liberal than the U.S., if not more so.  There are no Westboros in those countries.  Those are in Kansas.  Also, your observation is in fact about regional norms for "political correctness," even within the U.S.   Do you have friends who live in Manhattan, for example?  When they describe a friend, it goes like this "My friend, who is (insert nationality or religion), and I went to see this exhibit."  It is ABSOLUTELY normal.  Also, of my friends, no more than 5% have been WASPs, owing to the neighborhoods I grew up in and schools/places of work.  This attitude, which you feel I should snap out of, only meets with your brand of concern in the more homogenous parts of America.  In multicultural urban areas, it is "standard equipment."  But thanks for the concern.  Watch Lisa Lampanelli sometime.  In one of her routines, she says 'When you've gone through more, you can laugh at things more easily,' or something to that effect.  She's right on the money.

curtkram
May 23, 13 3:20 pm

do you mean manhattan kansas or manhattan new york?  you're big into schools, surely you're familiar with manhattan kansas and coach snyder?

saying so-and-so is from such-and-such is different than making a whole bunch of assumptions about that person and judging them based on those assumption before you even meet them or talk to them.

i do not think the people from westboro baptist should be your role models.  they fall far below what i would consider acceptable minimum standards.  i do not see any scenario where i be friends or associate with anyone involved in that organization.  you're at least worth responding to, they are not.

observant
May 23, 13 3:38 pm

Thanks for the sarcasm.  Yes, the one in NY.  And I'm aware of KSU and that it's another solid Midwestern a-school.  I'm big into schools because I had to be.  For undergrad, I sort of tossed an application at one school, as in "eh."  For grad, I couldn't get any straight answers, because even architects can't read the subtleties in different curricula, the different vibes of programs, and whether they would be a good fit, that I had to do a lot of leg work on my own, including traveling.  And since I ended up at a competent, but not chased after school, I am not into schools for the snob value.  I had neither the talent, interest, pedigree, funds, nor personality for an Ivy League.  Therefore, I like to help people here weigh variables, if I'm asked.  I've also taught as an adjunct about a dozen times, which might scare you a bit.

Please don't tell me you don't judge people by their appearance.  On the street or in a shopping center, you will judge them as to whether it's even reasonable or prudent to approach them, either because of a lack of safety or anything in common.  In a conference room, prejudging is employed via one's natural chameleon-like ability to comprehend different personal styles and grease the wheels of a situation accordingly.

Here's a situation where I will prejudge, and have no qualms.  I had a bucolic, artsy, tourist town near where I once lived.  I liked the physical atmosphere of the town, but the hippy-dippy factor in some of the shops was offputting, including a coffeehouse that had some good cookies.  I would go in there and granolas (more so than hipsters) worked behind the counter.  A line usually formed and there were diverse people in the line.  When kindred souls hit the counter, they'd warm up.  When I got up there, they'd cool their jets to indifference - translation: clean cut, short hair, polo type shirt, must be a Republican.  Not even close.  I've learned the 90:10 rule with granolas.  If you look minimally conservative, expect sub par treatment 90% of the time and decent treatment 10% of the time.  It's called using psychological schemas.  And if it works, don't fix it.

Also, I think it's sad America is going toward polarized mindsets.  It's all or nothing.  Everyone now is either super conservative, because it aligns with their wealth, or is super liberal, because they're sort of supposed to be.  I like mix and match better.

everydayintern
May 23, 13 5:22 pm


What's the deal TC? I have my head down, buried in CAD and Sketchup for a couple of days, come back and the place has been "observified"


observant
May 23, 13 5:49 pm

Sorry .. and not really sorry.

Kind of like the degree for licensure thread where I was the dissenting opinion.

Ditto here.  I've had political correctness defined, and my lack of adherence chastised, so it became a volley.

Carry on ...

Donna SinkDonna Sink
May 23, 13 6:25 pm

everydayintern, I almost hate to say it but I wish I had been head-down in CAD for the last week! Instead I've been out on-site painting hundreds of arrows. Cool ptoject, but I kinda miss sitting at my desk listening to The Skeptic's Guide podcasts.

I'll try to post a pic, hang on.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
May 23, 13 6:28 pm

Here it is: Kim Beck's NOTICE: A Flock of Signs on the IMA 100 Acres Art and Nature Park grounds.  This is one of four flocks on the campus.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 23, 13 7:01 pm

^ Nice.

Of crap. I just realized it's NOT Friday.

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 24, 13 7:46 am

TONGUE IN CHEEK....miles how unprofessional of you to forget what day of the week it is.

observant
May 24, 13 12:36 pm

^

Ok, we've discussed politics, gender, sexuality, and political correctness.  A thought has been swirling in my head.

Organized religion:

a mechanism and/or guilt trip to regulate people's behavior such that every word uttered and every breath taken is analyzed in relation to the type of existence we will have upon expiration, irrespective of the fact that everyone is clueless of what that is and what it will really be like.

Professionally yours, Happy Friday.

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 24, 13 4:32 pm

Observant....Go Talk to Dan Brown...

observant
May 24, 13 4:46 pm

s-d-d:  I need to become more worldly ... and read one of his books first.

b3tadine[sutures]
May 24, 13 8:20 pm

^sugar free applesauce

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 24, 13 9:28 pm

diner workday tomorrow...yahoo!  we be doing de-construction...hopefully it will stay cool.

tint
May 25, 13 7:47 am

observant, I have a topic for you: free will is an illusion. What does that mean for architecture?

For reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g

curtkram
May 25, 13 9:01 am

i see your sam harris and raise a neal peart

All preordained-
A prisoner in chains-
A victim of venomous fate.
Kicked in the face,
You can't pray for a place
In heaven's unearthly estate.

or

Each of us-
A cell of awareness-
Imperfect and incomplete.
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.

 

after all, blame is better to give than to receive

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDUXE9-SS4s

observant
May 25, 13 11:55 am

observant, I have a topic for you: free will is an illusion.

I believe in free will.  However, I simultaneously believe we are predestined.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 25, 13 12:19 pm


We are free to select our predestiny? LOL


observant
May 25, 13 12:33 pm

Man, what's with all the YouTube's this morning?  Curt, that was deep.  It would make the nuns mad.

For those of you who like politically incorrect humor, and sort of an R-rating, go on to YouTube and type in "Lisa Lampanelli Take It Like a Man" and choose the 10:00 vid that says highlights.  I'm not going to link it.  Go there at YOUR free will.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, amigos.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 25, 13 3:33 pm

As endorsed by today's NYT editorial:

The End of the Perpetual War

"The targeting of citizens of other countries will now be subjected to the same conditions the administration uses to kill American citizens abroad."

snooker-doodle-dandy
May 25, 13 5:51 pm

It was the perfect day for our project.  Raining like heck outside, nice and dry inside.  We worked from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm.  Had a great time, took Mrs s-d-d...for lunch, We ran into someone who we have not seen in a while and it was good because she is a great person who happens to have beautiful eyes....that I have to keep myself from looking at for to long cause I know there will be a kick under the table. 

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