NewsFlash: Bad Scientist Figures Out How To End Racism in Four


As a child, I absorbed everything about Astronauts and Dinosaurs.

This curious range convinced me that being a scientist was the ultimate career.

My newly focused adolescence sat at the feet of past giants, dreaming of standing on their shoulders. One tenet rang clearly; great science begins with simple questions.

As a middle-aged teen I dreamt of a fantastic future. I wouldn’t live long enough to see them come true. Death was inevitable. So the next best thing was to compromise.

My scientifically simple question emerged: Can we predict the future of humanity?

I didn’t know the answer, but I would find out. As an old teenager, I devoted myself to learning as much as I could about anything having to do with people. It wasn’t my strong point, as much of the literature was confusing and convoluted.

To keep learning fun and my grades high, I dabbled in easy subjects like physics and topology.

Now, to make this life story short, I discovered that no discipline could answer my simple question.

As a young adult I entered graduate school to try and become a real scientist. The school didn’t do a good enough job, so I became a scientist on my own. Along the way a truly wonderful event emerged.

I figured out the answer.*

That was four decades ago. Since then I’ve built upon that answer to understand all sorts of things.

One of those things is racism.

I know where it comes from. I know what causes it. I know what sustains it.

And I know how to stop it.

The problem is that now I’m an old man. That’s one of the lowest life forms among humanity. I wish I could be at least a gadfly or a pain-in-the-ass. But I’m not even that lucky. I’m the worst kind of old man there is.

I’m irrelevant. I know lots of old men like myself. The rest of the world thinks we’re just crazy guys spouting nonsense whenever we get a chance to corner someone at a party.

Except I don’t think I’m one of them. I don’t talk about this with anyone. Hardly even myself.

But I don’t cant hold it any longer. Time’s running out for all of us. For me, for you, for the world.

Yes, I can put an end to racism. But I can’t do it alone. And it’s not going to happen overnight. After all, it’s been with us for over twenty generations.

But I’d like to try. And if you’d like to help, I’d love to hear from you.

That’s it.

Thanks for reading.

Steve (Tusok) Socrates

*If you’re curious, feel free to ask and we can talk about it. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t what I was expecting. But I’ve kept testing it over the decades, and it still works. I may not be happy with the answers it gives me, but I trust the process and the information. Oh, by the way, the “Four” in the title refers to four generations of humans. Yes, it’s going to take at least 4 generations to get rid of racism. Surprised? It’s been with us for about 20 generations, so it’s a bit entrenched, what some people call institutionalized. It’s also being passed down from grandparent to child, and that sort of tribal knowledge is hard to moderate. So, yes, at least 4 generations to get rid of most of it. And let’s face it, there’s always going to be a holdout somewhere… just like there is someone somewhere holding out against getting a vaccine for smallpox or polio.

Erasing Racism


Growing up in the 1960s, it seemed obvious that by the time I was a mature adult, several things would be commonplace.

  1. Women would be considered equal to men in all ways, and treated with greater respect, and the honor they deserve for being the bearers of life itself.
  2. Immigrants, people of different lifestyles and ways of thinking, even those with great physical and mental challenges would be treated with greater patience and consideration.
  3. All people heavily skinned with melanin would be not only treated with greater respect, but also with a high degree of accommodation because of the hundreds of years that a lighter skinned society imposed upon their ancestors.
  4. We would all have access to flying cars, live to be 200, and look forward to a vacation on one of our moon’s many colonies.

Strangely enough, none of these things have come true.

Now I’m old, training to be a cantankerous pale-skinned boomer, and it’s only a matter of time before this body turns cold.

This series of articles is going to be my last gasp attempt at doing something, anything, to make one of those “obvious” expectations become real.

Stay tuned.

Steve Socrates

Stump the Prof

Hey! How’s school going?

Stuck up professors who pretend to know everything are seriously sick.

A self-anointed expert is the last thing that I need when I’m feeling down, the world is crumbling around me, and nothing but madness is raining on my life. And that stuffed shirt stands up there as if they know all the answers.

They don’t.

To prove it I’m going to post a series of questions that your prof can’t answer. These are sort of the benchmark questions that have anything to do with behavior.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a biology class, or psychology, sociology, economics, anthro, or a whole lot of other classes that have to do with how people (animals) behave. These questions apply to all of them.

So let me know if you already have some that you’d like to include. But as far as I know, no one has ever put together a list like this.

So, next time you get in front of your know-it-all prof, and you’re feeling fiesty. Hit them with a question that they can’t answer. Maybe they’ll leave you alone, especially when you want to be left alone.

Karate Chop Call to Action to End Racism

The martial arts teach us to use our opponent’s energy for our own purposes.

If an opponent is coming towards you with great force, don’t try to stop them with your impression of a brick wall. Instead, become a graceful river, stepping aside at the last moment and using your foot to trip them.

The same can be true for our fight against racism. Many are trying to stop the banks, the police, the government, acting as a brick wall. And failing.

Let’s use our combined forces to not only disarm our opponents, but to turn them to our side. Let’s use the force our opponents already have, and by applying the smallest amount of force in a strategic area, find that they are no longer fighting us face to face, but side by side.

Our opponents are scientific organizations. There are many, but the few that sit at the top of the global pyramid of science are the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (both in the US), and the Royal Institution in the UK. There are more, and if my words have any influence I’ll add them as we go along.

It was in the cause of science that the concept of “race” was created. Scientists since Darwin have known that mankind is composed of only one race, yet these organizations continue to subsidize and validate studies that contain information relying on race.

To put this into perspective, it would be the same thing if these scientific organizations continued to allow research into “bodily humours” to be published. The ideas of bodily humours were debunked centuries ago, yet imagine if someone claimed to learn something about them today. They would be laughed at.

And so should all research using race as a factor. The concept is invalid, therefore all the research done in its name is also invalid. It is up to us to petition these organizations and force them to admit the truth, admit the science, and admit what they’ve known all these years.

Race is a social construct with no scientific validity. All information including race as a variable must be reexamined, and thrown out if necessary.

What’s the benefit to being a river instead of a brick wall?

For one thing, fewer people will get hurt. For another, we should see the greatest amount of change in the shortest amount of time.

What kind of change?

It’s true that at first glance, changing the minds of mostly old pale men in the sciences doesn’t amount to much, but there is a powerful ripple effect.

For one, academic lawyers can no longer claim race as a factor in their legal theories. In turn, this means that politicians (mostly lawyers) can no longer truly justify laws that institutionalize racism. It means that reporters and bureaucrats will no longer ask people for their race for their stories or statistics. It also means that doctors will no longer be trained thinking that different races have distinct diseases.

Yes, everything here will take time. A long time.

But the good news is that once we have turned the very head of society, its scientific organizations, we will then have a society that will take a new direction. It has taken over 500 years for us to institutionalize racism to the modern extent. I know it won’t take than long for us to correct the mistake. But it won’t be tomorrow.

Please help. Please join.

Feel free to tweet me @JustSLD
or comment here.
At any rate, we have to do this together or not at all.

Where Institutional Racism Comes From

I wrote an earlier essay discussing “What’s Wrong with Racism.”

Fundamentally, there wouldn’t be any racism if there wasn’t any benefit to being a racist. But there are racists, which means there must be some benefit to being a racist.

This is the same essay, but relying on more science and logic than easy emotional observations.

First, and most fundamentally, it’s smart to choose your friends based on reliable characteristics like their bank account or how much they smile. Choosing your friends based on something that has nothing to do with their values as a person is foolish.

And that is what racists are doing who choose to evaluate other people based on whether they are melanin rich, melanin poor, and neutral.

There is absolutely no relationship between how much melanin someone has in their skin, and pretty much every other human characteristic you can suggest except one: the ability to avoid melanoma.

The second most important thing is to realize that no matter what group you belong to, the people in your group are going to vary more from each other than your group as a whole compared to any other group. Let me put this another way.

In your group, no matter what human characteristic you select, there will be extreme examples within your group (light and dark, tall and short, thin and wide) than if you compare your whole group to another. Let me know if you want more examples with greater detail.

Finally, the third thing that actually drives racism is something so fundamental to human nature that we can see it appear in even the smallest of groups. This is the need to divide up humanity into us versus others. You are always part of your own “in” group – and everyone else is “out.”

So we look for any easy characteristic to separate ourselves from others. Language, skin tone, eating habits, facial features, you name it. And we convince ourselves that these outsiders are truly different from ourselves.

We are so convinced that we put our fears into customs, traditions, even our laws and institutions. Thus our fundamental fears create institutional racism.

There you have it. Racism truly is bad. It’s bad because it is a product of fear and laziness. It’s bad because it gets baked into our institutions. And it’s bad because we exclude so many smart and talented people from sharing our lives and our burdens.

So please join me, and help me in my cause to stop racism at its source.

Where’s that? Read the next post (in case you haven’t already guessed) and help in any way you can.

Right of Left and Left of Right

Over the decades I’ve learnt that challenging someone’s assumptions automatically makes me a member of the “other side.” As a result, I’m seen as being right of left and left of right. Or, in other words, I’m always wrong.

My daughter is the best example of this phenomenon. I love her dearly, and I’m sure she is fond of me. But when I gently ask her for definitions within an argument for social justice, or ask her to consider her opponent’s point of view, she almost immediately thinks of me as trying to argue for the other side.

The daughter is afraid of the police, and extremely jaded as to the benefits of government, especially for social programs. In many ways I agree with her, but I also know that true progress can’t be made unless we fully understand the problems involved. And a complete understanding can’t be realized unless we can get inside the mind of all the actors. All of them.

As a society, we can’t alleviate hate and violence unless we understand the hater and the violent. We can’t prevent the next Hitler, Putin or Trump unless we can effectively sit inside their head and see what they see.

We don’t have to agree with any of this, but we do have to understand.

So, be aware, that if you join me on this journey to justice for all, it’s going to be a balancing act between warring factions. We’ll be walking along a knife’s edge, and everyone will be telling us we’re wrong.

And that’s all right.