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The "Blackboard/Chalkboard" thing

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crissdee
1342073.  Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:48 am Reply with quote

Just playing Satan's solicitor here, but accident blackspots can be cause by tricky bends, blind junctions, tendency to ice/fog etc as well as poor light.

 
barbados
1342076.  Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:31 am Reply with quote

That is my understanding, they occur in places where you canít see the danger. As black is something you canít see, it would suggest there is no connection to any form of racism.

 
dr.bob
1342085.  Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:27 am Reply with quote

I completely agree, though it has nothing to do with the point I was making.

 
barbados
1342088.  Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:46 am Reply with quote

What was the point you were trying to make then?
Because when PDR questioned your use of bias over the term black / white board, you specifically said
dr.bob wrote:
No, that's a fair point. I was considering terms more like "Black Tuesday" and "accident black spot".

 
PDR
1342099.  Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:45 pm Reply with quote

DrBob was making the point that these are cases where "black" has negative connotations (where in Blackboard it doesn't). These are examples where the way we use it to mean "negative" even though they are not literally black could be taken to show that when we call brown-skinned people "black" (even though they are brown) we might also meaning it in a negative sense. Thus while racism is not intended it could still be racially offensive.

That aspect hadn't occurred to me until this discussion and I now absolutely get that it can be offensive to use black as an indication of both negative value AND ethnicity. That the words which started the discussion (blackboard/whiteboard) are NOT examples is ironic, but it doesn't detract from the point.

I *think* we have agreed that blackboard and whiteboard are not offensive, but any example where black is used to imply bad/negative/scary etc rather than a reference to the colour itself very much could be. I'm not trying to misrepresent anyone's views here, so if that isn't what we've agreed just shout!

PDR

 
barbados
1342101.  Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:05 pm Reply with quote

There are more variations though aren't there?
The original "black box" is neither negative or descriptive, other than "black" is something you can't see. In the same way "accident black spot" is not scary (other than its a place where you should exercise caution because your there are a lot of accidents). You dont find accident black spots in locations like

They look like this

Not scary, not negative, just not visible

 
dr.bob
1342251.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:14 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
I'm not trying to misrepresent anyone's views here, so if that isn't what we've agreed just shout!


I think what you've said sums it up pretty much perfectly.

barbados wrote:
Not scary, not negative, just not visible


You really don't think that associating a word with a place where lots of people become involved in accidents is not a negative thing?

Even if you want to play that game, surely you would agree there are plenty of other examples where the adjective "black" is used to simply mean something bad or negative.

 
barbados
1342255.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:15 am Reply with quote

You aren't really helping with this explanation of what you do mean.
You specifically suggested that "accident clack spot" was an example of where it could be determined as one that displayed "an undercurrent of systemic racism" (you did that in post 1342031) Although when an explaination of the term "accident blackspot" is one that describes the limited visibility that is associated with these places. I asked you to clarify what you meant when you said that the explanation given was nothing to do with what you were describing, and you then went on to point out why an accident black spot, n your opinion (which is completely valid btw) did have racial undertones.

So what is it - does it have racial undertones or not? because if you think it does, then we need to have a conversation again about the use of black to describe something that you can or cant see.

 
PDR
1342256.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:33 am Reply with quote

It's an example of this:

Quote:
These are examples where the way we use it to mean "negative" even though they are not literally black could be taken to show that when we call brown-skinned people "black" (even though they are brown) we might also meaning it in a negative sense. Thus while racism is not intended it could still be racially offensive.


The term "accident black spot" clearly means "accident bad place" and is nothing to do with the colour black. So when we describe an accident bad place as "black" even though it isn't, and then go on to describe some person as "black" even though they aren't, it is not unreasonable for the brown-skinned person to form the impression that what was actually meant was "bad person".

It was when Jenny introduced this aspect in post 1341271 of the original thread that the penny dropped for me (other currency units are available).

PDR

 
barbados
1342257.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:39 am Reply with quote

Should we call it an accident "blind spot" then?
There is a reason why accidents occur in large numbers, and that is because the areas are exactly as black is described (similar to the usage for "black box")

 
dr.bob
1342258.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:51 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Should we call it an accident "blind spot" then?


That sounds like an excellent idea. It would fit in with your definition of a place where the risk comes from not being able to see things properly.

The use of language is very important. Witness the change in terminology by the police. In the old days, an occurrence where two or more vehicles smashed into each other was referred to as an "RTA" or "Road Traffic Accident". These days, this term is no longer used. Instead police refer to an "RTC" (or "Road Traffic Collision") or an "RTI" ("Road Traffic Incident").

The word "Accident" implies that the occurrence was just some unavoidable incident that happened by chance. The removal of that word makes it clear that someone should be held to blame for the occurrence. It may seem a very minor change, but it alters the way people think about things.

 
PDR
1342259.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:01 am Reply with quote

Lack of visibility is only one reason for a "black spot" designation - others include deceptive bends, tendency to flooding, exposure to high winds, tendency to distractions (that's the reason for the Black Spot designation onthe A303 next to Stonehenge), risk of slippery mud on the roads and risk of UFO attacks (that one seems to be limited to Warminster).

So the black clearly doesn't mean "black" or "unseeable" but it does mean "bad". In the case of "Black Box modelling" the black does mean "unseeable" but it doesn't mean it in a negative way - it just indicates that for convenience the internals will be replaced with a set of defined behaviours at the boix boundary. In the case of the "Black Box (flight data recorder)" it doesn't mean black or negative, but it did once mean "mysterious". This is something I only recently dug out - the FDRs were first called "black boxes" at a time when most items of aviation electronic (aka "avionic") equipment were called black boxes for the simple reason that they were (then) painted black for better cooling. Most avionic items still are painted black - we just started painting the FDRs and CVRs in bright colours to make them easier to find at a crash site.

PDR

 
PDR
1342260.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:34 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

The word "Accident" implies that the occurrence was just some unavoidable incident that happened by chance. The removal of that word makes it clear that someone should be held to blame for the occurrence.


That's not my understanding. AIUI the word "collision" was chosen precisely because it just described the fact - that two or more cars had collided - without looking to prejudge any blame on anyone. "Accident" was discouraged because some of the events clearly were not accidental, but they didn't want officers on the scene trying to judge "accidents" for other types of event they had to attend. "Incident" was chosn for being blame-neutral (again AIUI).

There are plenty of potential scenarios in which cars collide without anyone being to blame, and it is not the police's job to try to establish blame. The police collect infdormation to pass to the CPS to determine whether it would be appropriate to charge someone with a crime. In principle the CPS make no judgement of blame either - their job is to prosecute, and the job of the Prosecution is simply to present the facts. The Prosecution are not specificly looking to seek a conviction (that would be a dangerous motivation that leads to things like hiding of evidence and incomplete disclosure). This role3 is widely misunderstood, even by thge Justice Ministry itself (read "Secret Barrister" to get a feel for how alarmingly misunderstood it is), but that doesn't change the facts. the prosecution does not seek a conviction - it simply presents fthe facts of the case that the accused must answer. Judgements are made by the courts.

PDR

 
barbados
1342303.  Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:36 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Lack of visibility is only one reason for a "black spot" designation - others include deceptive bends, tendency to flooding, exposure to high winds, tendency to distractions (that's the reason for the Black Spot designation onthe A303 next to Stonehenge), risk of slippery mud on the roads and risk of UFO attacks (that one seems to be limited to Warminster).

So the black clearly doesn't mean "black" or "unseeable" but it does mean "bad". In the case of "Black Box modelling" the black does mean "unseeable" but it doesn't mean it in a negative way - it just indicates that for convenience the internals will be replaced with a set of defined behaviours at the boix boundary. In the case of the "Black Box (flight data recorder)" it doesn't mean black or negative, but it did once mean "mysterious". This is something I only recently dug out - the FDRs were first called "black boxes" at a time when most items of aviation electronic (aka "avionic") equipment were called black boxes for the simple reason that they were (then) painted black for better cooling. Most avionic items still are painted black - we just started painting the FDRs and CVRs in bright colours to make them easier to find at a crash site.

PDR

Not 100% sure I fully agree with your analogy there Pete.
I donít think that a risk of flooding or mud on the road will constitute an [i]accident [/i black spot, the warnings are there to alert you to an event that you may not be aware of - in the event of heavy rain only. If the flood is always visible there is no need to warn of it. There is a road near me that has a permanent warning of ice, that is a danger, but only when it is cold there are very few accidents along the road during the summer months.
But what you describe in each of the reasons for accident black spots are either things you cant see, or things you donít (in the case of stonehenge, its the car in front because you are looking elsewhere.
But is an ďaccidentĒ a bad negative thing? Sure it sucks to have one, but hit happens. Youíll notice that crime (where there are real negative connotations, is refered to as a hot spot, rather than a black one.

 
dr.bob
1342313.  Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:15 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
There are plenty of potential scenarios in which cars collide without anyone being to blame


Are there? I imagine there are a non-zero number, but the general attitude seems to be that usually someone can be blamed.

That's certainly the impression I got from sitting the driving theory test about 20 years ago. There were plenty of questions like "Someone is driving down an icy road, skids on the ice, and hits another car. What caused this incident?" You were then given 4 options to choose from, which always included the answer "It was just an accident". This was always the wrong answer and you were instructed to pick an answer along the lines of "The accident was caused by the driver not taking sufficient care and attention under the conditions" if you wanted to pass the test.

PDR wrote:
and it is not the police's job to try to establish blame.


This is certainly true.

PDR wrote:
The police collect infdormation to pass to the CPS to determine whether it would be appropriate to charge someone with a crime.


Even if the CPS determine that a crime has not been committed (which I would imagine is the case in a large number (if not the majority) of incidents), someone can still be to blame. Assigning blame for the incident would be of much more interest to the insurance companies who will, no doubt, be called upon to decide who should foot the bill for the repairs involved.

 

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