Bigotry (you win, I give up)

Nathan Ernst nathan.ernst at
Wed Apr 19 23:15:08 EDT 2017

I've likewise mostly been ignoring this thread as it has gotten out of

At a few jobs ago, I was nearly daily involved with interviewing
candidates. Initially, I was point on "culture fit". i.e. how would the
potential employee react to having a phone thrown at them (it happened - I
worked at a trading shop). Best response to that was "I'd firstly duck,
then pick it up and throw it back" - I gave that candidate a go.

But, back to the point, when I was doing technical interviews, regardless
of the technology/language, I had a single goal: to get the candidate to
admit they did not know the answer. The reasoning is simple. I don't want
the candidate that thinks they know everything. I want the candidate that
knows what they don't know. In the interview, there were tons of bonus
points for speculation & what the candidate would do to resolve the
question (this is what I was looking for) - a flat I don't know didn't

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 7:52 PM, Deborah Swanson <python at>

> > Rupee via Python-list <python-list at> writes:
> >
> > > I don't think stupid black people or senile old people should be
> > > allowable because those are not choosable *behaviors*. But is
> > > unable-to-learn old people a choosable behavior? You said that's ok.
> I've mostly been ignoring this thread and its predecessors, and I
> probably won't read all the recent posts to it.
> But this bit caught my eye because I hold the opposite opinion about old
> people's ability to learn.
> It is a choice. Your noggin doesn't just conk out at a certain age, or
> stage in the aging process. There are plenty of examples of scholars and
> authors (and many others) who've kept their wits sharp and their minds
> fully functional. Some till the day they died, others didn't quite last
> the whole way.
> There's two paths to keeping the mind forever alive ("forever" meaning
> at least till death, we don't know what comes after that). Both are
> almost purely physical.
> One is to use the mind all one's life, and the principle is identical to
> "use it or lose it", more commonly heard in athletic circles. But the
> mind is like muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. And vice
> versa. And I'm living proof that if you use your mind hard all your life
> (since I was about 3, in my case), you can let it coast for at least a
> decade and it will still be there, and it can still learn. Of course
> there's a lengthy stage of bringing it out of mothballs, but it can be
> done.
> The other path I'm living proof of is the food you eat. The brain
> responds badly to chemicals that enter the body, and particularly ones
> you ingest in food. And the brain is blood thirsty. It particularly
> craves grassfed and pastured red meat, the rarer the better, and organ
> meats. I eat all forms of it, but the prize goes to wild red meats -
> antelope, venison & wild boar. I'll spare you all the reasons why and
> the evidence, but they are very good reasons.
> I've also had university math and science professors who swore by heavy
> daily exercise regimes, but I haven't done it and neither have aged
> scholars who still had their good minds very late in life, so rigorous
> exercise is not a requirement. I have no idea whether it's sufficient to
> sustain and grow the mind either, but no doubt it helps.
> So, it is a choice of how you live your life, and how important it is to
> you to have a mind worth keeping. I see no reason to accord those people
> who didn't care all their lives any special status.
> Oh, and I think it's also a choice whether you are stupid or not,
> barring physical abnormalities of the brain. Regardless of age, gender
> or race.
> --

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