A New Meaning Of “Stereotype”

I once read that something called the Women’s Funding Network had pulled financial support for researchers who had arrived at the, quote, wrong result, unquote. I do not now remember what the results were, or even what the question was; I would merely note that, in the view of the Network, the purpose of scientific research did not after all appear to be the making of new discoveries about the nature of objective reality. For its complaint was not that the methodology was flawed or the data invalid; the indictment was that the conclusion of the research was guilty of, quote, trading in stereotypes, unquote. (The price of a stereotype at close of trading was not stated; I do not know whether there is a derivatives market; nor was it made clear whether giving stereotypes away for free would be as reprehensible as trading in them.)

This would seem perfectly suited to illustrating the modern meaning of the word “stereotype”: where once it meant prejudicial ideas that were often wrong, now it means aspects of discovered reality that are unwelcome.

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  1. Written by urban
    on March 3, 2011 at 14:34

    Sadly one can find this lack of concern in science for anything besides the furthering of an agenda wherever one looks. Scientific research has become advocacy for whatever the entity paying for the research wants it to discover, an elaborate con game using the modern’s naive and irrational faith in the religion of “Scientism” to work the crowd. If Francis Bacon could have seen where this was going he never would have published the “New Organon”.

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