Your name is so ghetto…

This is a great story about a lady who stood up to her colleagues when one of them over stepped the mark by calling up a person because she sounded ghetto

things were cool until I heard laughter followed by “Let me call Tanneisha and see how ghetto she is.”

This area of discrimination bugs the hell out of me. I was very lucky to have parents who used common English names but most of my cousins didn’t. Now I remember reading a chapter in freakonomics about how your name effects your chances in life.

there is some evidence that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities. There’s also the fact that different groups of parents — blacks and whites, for instance — have different naming preferences…

I wonder if/how this applies to eastern names too? Lots of eastern Asia’s and those born in Pan-Asia have names very difficult to say in the English language. Do they have the same chances or is it something else at play? My feelings is there is something else at play. I’ll call it ignorance

Anyone who says puff-what a load of crap… Should read the story of Keisha.

Remember that scene in the Oscar-winning “Crash,” when the disgruntled client asks the hard-as-nails supervisor of health insurance claims what her name is? She says “Shaniqua,” and he says, “Big surprise, that is.”

That’s the kind of stuff Keisha deals with. She didn’t grow up in a diverse community. She wasn’t surrounded by a lot of black people. And as she got older, her name started to become a source of jokes. Kids would ask her if there was a “La” or a “Sha” in front of her name. There was a hint of racism and ignorance embedded in their comments.

“It’s like they assumed that I must be a certain kind of girl,” she says. “Like, my name is Keisha so they think they know something about me, and it always felt negative.”

Even a teacher once asked if there was a dollar sign in her name, like the singer Ke$ha. If she couldn’t even get through a class without a teacher taking a cheap shot at her name, what would happen in a job interview?

Racism, ignorance whatever it is… Its going to lower her opportunities in life. How much different would my life be if my parents choose Tyrone, Willie or Jamal?

Memetic Ripples


I recently did a 1min talk (well it turned into 90secs, but I wasn’t counting) on Memetics and a quick snap shot of what it is in theory. I didn’t do the best of jobs in the short while I had but its something I’m really interested in…

In the short… from wikipedia

Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins‘ 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer.

The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a “unit of culture” (an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour, etc.) which is “hosted” in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen—when adopting the intentional stance—as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme’s success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host.

Its a general theory and honestly a really interesting one to think about when thinking about influence, the attention economy, globalisation and our global network. Also really fun to think and understand the  perfect conditions. Who makes for a good host, who holds back the meme spread and why? Is there a link between openess and sharing of memes/ideas/thoughts?

I have Dave, Miles and a few others for putting a name to the thing I was always fascinated with. Sarah studied disease outbreaks for the health protection agency (HPA) and remember the errly similar process of counting numbers as they grow massive very quickly. Network effects slightly excites and marvel me… Maybe a job in advertising awaits?

Anyway, I like systems and things which foster sharing. This is why I like Schemier and as I only recently discovered Google ripples. This I must have missed somewhere on my travels.

Fascinating how certain ideas spread eh?

Maybe you too, might be interested in Memetic theory?