Ken Arromdee (
31 Jan 1995 16:07:56 -0500

In article <3gllpk$>,
Michael Andrew Turton <> wrote:
>>> But we're not talking about "members of a set" Ken, we're talking
>>>about *people*. And now, I'd like your classification system, please.
>>Are you telling me that people cannot be members of a set? That's about
>>equivalent to saying that people cannot be counted, and that therefore
>>when a bus has 10 people on it and one more enters, there can be 20 people,
>>since mathematics is such a cold, impersonal, thing that cannot be applied to
>>real live human beings. How can I _do_ this, applying tools of _mathematics_
>>and _logic_ to _people_?
> Not what I meant at all, Ken. What irks me is the way you use the
>warm, fascinating science of mathematics as a shield behind which to hide
>your refusal to think about "others" as "people."

Boy, you're great at amateur psychoanalysis.

Considering people in sets is no more "refusing to think of them as people"
than applying mathematics to them.

>>(I'm surprised you ask me for a classification system since one was already
>>given earlier: ask someone what 'race' they are. It'll be ambiguous
> sometimes but not often enough to make it impossible to talk about 'races'.)
> Self-selection is a perfectly acceptable definition of race for
>certain purposes, but not for claiming that "intelligence" is inherited.
>As an article in _Utne Reader_ a couple of issues ago pointed out,
>on standardized tests and other documents people shift race quite actively.
>My wife and I make a point of it -- though our favorite answer is "human."
>If I can shift race at will -- merely by getting on a plane,
>what have I inherited?

You can't shift race equally to every "race" on the planet, and not everyone
is capable of shifting races as much as you are. As I pointed out, the
existence of some fuzzy cases does not mean that general statements are not
possible. Because the fuzzy case is yourself does not change this.

>Besides which, most of the people of subSaharan
> africa, according to classic European racist
>science, would have got the answer wrong 100 years ago.

Since I am not being racist here, the fact that this method gives answers
which differ from those given by "classic European racist science" does not
bother me. (It should bother you, however, because you've just managed to
prove that I am not being racist, contradicting your implied thesis.)

> And now Ken, no more evasions. What is YOUR description of those
>traits which can sort people into races -- I'm not interested in the way
>other people see themselves. I am interested in the views of that man
>of science, Ken Arromdee, bravely surging forward to label millions of
>people with his fuzzy definition of race. What is your fuzzy definition
>of race, Ken?

I just told you, and now you're telling me you don't believe it and you
want my supposed real, hidden, definition. I don't have any secret
definition other than the one you arbitrarily said doesn't count as a
definition, so obviously I can't give you another one.

Ken Arromdee (email:

"Communism is just one step on the long road from capitalism to capitalism."
-- Russian saying