29 April 2012

Functional Labels are Constructs

I write a lot on Autistic Hoya. Here's a cartoon instead.



Image description:

AUTISTIC HOYA ILLUSTRATED

LYDIA BROWN - 27 APRIL 2012

HOW TO MAKE ARBITRARY AND SCIENTIFICALLY RIDICULOUS CLASSIFICATIONS OR LABELS

1) OBSERVE LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE.
Six figures standing in a line facing the viewer: (from left to right) a woman with light-colored, wavy hair wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans; a man with dark hair and thick goatee wearing a polo shirt and pants; a woman wearing an Islamic hijab (no hair showing) and shalwar kameez; a man with long, curly light-colored hair wearing a hoodie and pants; a woman with dark, Afro-textured hair in a loose hairdo wearing a t-shirt and pants; and a man with dark, curly hair wearing square glasses, a suit, collared shirt, and tie.

2) CALL SOME "LOW FUNCTIONING" AND SOME "HIGH FUNCTIONING."
The same six figures appear in the same left to right order facing the viewer, with the first three on the left-hand side labeled LOW-FUNCTIONING and the last three on the right-hand side labeled HIGH-FUNCTIONING.

3) MAKE UP AN EXCUSE FOR SOMETHING THE FIRST GROUP SEEMS TO SHARE THAT THE SECOND DOESN'T.
Two figures facing each other: a balding man with some hair in a tonsured-like cut, wearing round glasses and a collared shirt and tie, pointing or gesturing with his index finger; a woman with short-cropped dark hair wearing a long-sleeve polo and gesturing with a pen in her hand.

Dialogue between the two figures is as follows:

Man: No one on the left has a jacket!
Woman: The woman on the right doesn't have one though.
Man: Good point. Uh, none of the people on the right have straight hair?
Woman: You don't know what the Muslim's hair looks like, and you never will.


4 comments:

  1. Love the alternative-media approach, and love your drawing skills. What *can't* you do? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Labels are constructs...quite right. No reduction or model exactly captures the underlying phenomena. However, I fear it's an overreaction to reject the notion of all labels because some people have not done it properly. "All models are wrong but some are useful" - George Cox.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/185/4157/1124.short
    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/rev/84/4/327/
    http://www.classification-society.org/clsoc/clsoc.php

    ReplyDelete
  3. If an attribute isn't immediately visible, it must not exist. Thus, the covered woman must be bald. If her scarf should blow off one windy day, revealing hair, observers will have to congratulate themselves on their successful hair-growth treatments which miraculously cured her baldness.

    ReplyDelete

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