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[Computational Complexity] Why are the French Fair Game for ...

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  • GASARCH
    In my last post one of the comments asserted without justification that The French will never be as good at Engineering as the Germans. Rather than ponder if
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2009
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      In my last post one of the comments asserted without justification that The French will never be as good at Engineering as the Germans. Rather than ponder if this is racist or bigoted, I would challenge the poster to either give HARD EVIDENCE that this has been true in the past, and a REASON to think it will continue. I still stand by the notion that globalization will make all of these local factors go away. Mainly because locality is not longer as important as it once was.

      However, that is not the topic of my post. My topic is the French and bigotry against them.
      1. Upon coming back from CCC 2009 several people said It was in France. Were they rude to you as the French are apt to be? Several of the people who said this never met a French person.
      2. There was a line on the ST-VOY along the lines of No wonder he is arrogant- he is half-French and half-Romulan (note- this is from memory so it may be off but something close to it is true)
      Can you imagine someone saying to me When you go to the Jewish Deli do they try to rip you off? or when you teach in that summer program for students from HBCU's (historically black colleges and Universities) are many of the students lazy? on crack? or When you go to Dagstuhl Complexity (Workshop in Germany, I"ll be there in October) make sure they don't know you have Jewish ancestry. We would all find such statements distasteful and bigoted. Yet a remark about the French being rude or arrogant seems commonplace. Not even the forces of Political Correctness (be they real or imagined) seem to object to bigotry against the French.

      Star Trek already stereotypes entire races, though they are fictional and of their own creation, so I suppose that's okay. However, the show seemed to be against bigotry, most glaring in Let this be your last battlefield from ST-TOS (more commonly known as The one with the half-black, half-white guys). The other shows had much less on this topic. (Side Note--- the later Star Trek series were undercut by the fact that you no longer needed to be a Science Fiction show to talk about controversial issues. For example, there was an episode of ST-VOY that was a metaphor for AIDS. It seemed silly since other TV shows talk about it explicitly.)

      I may be wrong about all of this, so let me rephrase it as several questions: (1) Is stereotyping the French acceptable in modern American society? (2) If so why is that given that stereotyping other groups is largely unacceptable (at least in the circles most of us travel in). (3) Am I a Trekker or a Trekkie?

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      Posted By GASARCH to Computational Complexity at 8/26/2009 11:50:00 AM
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