Is he fucking serio-you know what, yes he is. Jesus wept. >.< Can I kill this colorblind bullshit with fire?

You could send it an email with a list of authors or go post a critical message on his blog?

I agree that he should not add writers to a database because of their race or gender. They should be added because they are good writers. This person does not seem to see this.

He doesn't distinguish between quality of writing because he sees all writers as equal.

wow... wow. I have no words. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just screwing around with a widget till now. Mind if i link to your post?

Dear Dmitry,

If all people really were equal to you, you wouldn't mind looking for other authors anywhere you could find them. A refusal to do so tips your hand.


Or, y'know, the part where he didn't bother to include any of the authors of color who were ON the lists he used as sources in the first place. At least he got some of the women.

Oh, right. Noticing that his list is all white people means we are not enlightened enough to ignore race like him. I'm so glad he explained that.

You don't understand, they are just better writers. Like Dan Brown.

What a jerk.

*giggles* I made a title!

I thought it was apropos!

And like I said to you yesterday, pretty much. :-P You are getting recycled comments!

Yup. Thanks for making the list, though. It was kind of awesome.

Thanks, this was well-timed; I was talking about the lack of diversity in this meme with a couple people yesterday. I linked your post in my journal.

No problem, thank you for the link.

Oh boy, the "I'm ~colorblind! Everyone's equal to me! YOU'RE the racist for bringing up race!" trope. Because, you know, that one never gets old. Ugh.

Also, boooo to hate speech comments.

Yeah, I was a little flabbergasted that someone needed to go out of their way to assert their white hetero masculinity on my blog in that manner.

So if he wants to add all writers equally shouldn't he have spent longer prepping before going live and done more than 40 writers? Did he ever actually give you the criteria he used on picking them? I agree with everyone else who is like "this is totally not the best writers ever" so I'm not quite sure where he got his list from other than "the first 40 authors he could think of that he thought most English-language people would have heard of".

Good luck with your move!

Yes, he says he used the top downloads on Project Gutenberg and the list of "bestsellers" on Wikipedia, but there are white female authors and authors of color of both genders on those lists who are not represented here. So he was obviously exercising some selectivity.

And thanks! Pics up soon.

I tried to comment to Dmitry's blog about the sexism and racism, including saying that it's absurd to claim that it's the software's fault that the results are skewed toward men and not his own for programming in such a biased selection...

Apparently my comment was too critical, because over 24 hours later it's still screened even though other new comments are viewable.

In other news, I made a post encouraging people to check this out, because it's good stuff.

I'm a little confused. Am I to understand that having, say, Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou included in the list of authors against whom one's prose could be matched would be some kind of "improvement" to a meme that is, putting it mildly, a pile of steaming horse puckey at its very core?

Are we to require stupidity to embrace diversity for its own sake?


I really do need to comment to say just how much I love this comment...


Wow. Do you mind if I link to this entry elsewhere? There's an article on Jezebel about it and a lot of commenters are trying to figure out just how many women/POC are in it, and how those included were selected.

Go for it. The other one has some information in the comments-- he told me how they were selected.

Another weird thing that struck me on seeing this list was that Leo Tolstoy is the only author who writes/wrote in a language other than English. It'd be one thing if there were *only* writers who wrote in English, because then that's just what we'd assume the meme would be comparing among (although, maybe that'd be a problem in and of itself); but, once Tolstoy is included (really, translations of Tolstoy, I'm guessing?), what that reveals to me is that non-English-language writers have in fact been candidates all along, and that there are therefore just even more people / groups of people that are being excluded here.

When I looked over the Project Gutenberg Top Downloads list, Vatsyayana and Sunzi were both high up on the list. He would have had to actively choose not to include them, especially since the Kama Sutra is the number one download, or was the day I checked it.

And seriously, who the hell wouldn't want to get a badge saying they write like the Kama Sutra?

People still use the colorblind line? Cripes.

Also, you rock for this. :)

Edited at 2010-07-15 04:04 am (UTC)

I can't really add much else to what anyone else said, except that at least you got noticed by Margaret Atwood.

wow what a douchecanoe..but kudos on the new-partment!

. . . You'd think if all people were equal to him, they'd be more equally represented on his list.

Or that he'd be approving all their comments on his blog.

Aw, what a sweet meme writer, mansplaining his colorblindness to people who question him.

Ugh, what a jerkoff. Dan Brown and Harry Harrison = totally good enough for the source list of "good, famous authors"; Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Chinua Achebe? No dice.

I don't even have a problem so much with BAD authors being included if they're popular and have a strong following and distinctive writing style. I think it would be hilarious to have Stephenie Meyer in there.

I don't even know who the hell Harry Harrison is :-(

But, y'know, I would say all three of the writers you listed have more distinctive writing styles that would be more fun to analyze, on top of being better writers, and I would be WAY more pleased to get them in a meme result than to get Dan Brown.

I was linked here by intrepia - I think you're making great points on that meme. And its creator... ugh. "types of people", really?

We come in flavors, like rum raisin and butter brickle, doncha know?

Thank you for speaking up about this. You rock.

Thank you for this. RAWR. What an ass; I'm so sorry I ever played that stupid meme.

Seconded, to all of it. I went back and locked my posts on LJ and DW.

Thank you for this. Disappointing, but not surprising. And that might be the most disappointing part.

I've posted and tweeted links to this and your earlier post on this topic.

Thanks for the signal boost.

Great post. I linked it and used it as a bit of a soapbox springboard.



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