Different P

I just ran across an article [Link] entitled “Editors Are Trying To Fix Wikipedia’s Gender And Racial Bias Problem” and immediately thought “is it really a problem?” 

First of all, let me deny that I am being willfully themist. I do not deny that being them averse is without difficulty and loss. (I am using the more general term ‘themist’ as in us-versus-them because I dislike the misuse of the word sex for gender, as in sexist, and the continued perversion that is the basic idea of race. Been there, said that, move on.)

Rather, what I am concerned about is that we seem to suffer from a delusion these days that anything that can be thought of can be built and anything that is difficult is a problem. Both of these are unrealities fostered by the increasing ignorance of the boggerate and the false perception that looking up stuff on the internet is either knowing or understanding. 

One of the important things in nerdery is being able to recognize the difference between a problem and a parameter. Problem implies that a solution exists and the difficulty can be alleviated or, at least, replaced with a different difficulty. Parameter implies that the difficulty cannot be alleviated but is a condition that you have to learn to live with or walk away from.

There are different kinds of parameters. Conditional (or passing) parameters are difficulties that could be alleviated if some technology existed; permanent parameters are difficulties that cannot be alleviated with any technology. 

Do I need to say that us-versus-them is permanent? At least until we eliminate humans. So the choice here may be, at least shoudl be recognized as a possibility, that this Wikipedia “problem” isn’t and they gotta learn to live with the situation!

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