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Cultural errata in HFSJ

Larry Chung
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In Chapter 1, page 28 of the online version of HFSJ there is this statement:

"Listen in as our two black belts discuss the pros and cons of CGI and Servlets."

That is an incongruity because the traditional martial artists depicted throughout the book are Chinese and should not be referred to as "black belts". Black belts are awarded as ranks in the Japanese and Korean martial arts starting in the 19th century but not at all in traditional Chinese martial arts.

This and other cultural gaffes in HFSJ have offended my students in the J2EE course that I teach and therefore I no longer use it as a resource.


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Ankit Garg
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  17

But a Chinese person can learn Japanese martial arts?


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Larry Chung
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Ankit Garg wrote:But a Chinese person can learn Japanese martial arts?

I agree, although that sounds like a non sequitur and a tiny bit of a naive statement, especially because I have been trained in Japanese martial arts.

1. A Chinese person can also learn to play cricket too, so does that mean a book like HFSJ can have a caption for those kung fu movie pictures that says, ""Listen in as our two cricketers discuss the pros and cons of CGI and Servlets." It sounds just as ridiculous.

2. Those pictures are from Chinese kung fu movies. The characters are seen wearing kung fu outfits in some places but never at all in Japanese karate gi's.

3. Traditional kung fu masters are not called "black belts" nor are they awarded black belts to wear.

4. Until recently in the late 20th century, because of the lingering resentment and rivalry against all things Japanese, very few people in China would willingly learn Japanese martial arts and risk being marked as a traitor to his/her heritage. Even to this day, I was stunned by the irrational hatred my immigrant Chinese co-workers have against Japan about the atrocities committed almost 70 years ago in Shanghai and Nanking.

So, anybody with even a little knowledge of Eastern Asian culture and history knows how wrong it is to use the term "black belts" in the caption. On a broader level, the kung fu pictures in HFSJ does propagate a stereotype of Chinese (and probably Japanese) people similarly to how typical Indians are always depicted to be wearing a dastar.

added: Just as a footnote, those kung fu movies were depicting a time period in China roughly between the last emperor and the Japanese invasion (1912 to 1937). It was a time of heightened paranoia and distrust of Japan by China.
Paul Anilprem
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Thanks for your post, Larry. Definitely interesting background on Kung Fu and Karate. Never knew that black belt applies only to Karate.

Though I think the term "black belt" has now become a generic term to signify great command on something and that's what the authors probably intended. But I see your point that in this particular case, attaching the term black belt to Kung Fu might not be a good idea. But then the authors are probably not black belts in marshal art studies


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Paul Anilprem
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    7
Larry Chung wrote:
Ankit Garg wrote:But a Chinese person can learn Japanese martial arts?

So, anybody with even a little knowledge of Eastern Asian culture and history knows how wrong it is to use the term "black belts" in the caption.

I am not sure about that. I don't think a little knowledge of eastern asian culture would have helped. The whys and hows of black belt applicability to kung fu seem to go quite beyond a little knowledge of eastern asian culture. A little knowledge of Kung Fu, yes, but not a little knowledge of eastern asian culture.


On a broader level, the kung fu pictures in HFSJ does propagate a stereotype of Chinese (and probably Japanese) people similarly to how typical Indians are always depicted to be wearing a dastar.


That, I agree with. I hate it when they play Sitar everytime there is anything to do with India. Ah, even the wiki has it wrong when it writes, "The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music.
Larry Chung
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Thank you Paul, you brought up a good point. Due to a general misconception, black belt ranking has been misappropriated for unrelated things like Sigma Six to signify being a master practitioner. However, in Japanese martial arts, a black belt signifies only the beginning of seriously studying the martial arts, not being an expert of martial arts. A real black belt in karate will always humbly admit to being a lifelong student and not some kind of super master.

So given that, it would be closer to the truth if the authors called them "Computer Science PhDs" or "Professors" or "Boxing Champions" if the intention was to convey some great command and expertise. Calling them "black belts" is not just a mixed metaphor but propagates several misconceptions about the martial arts disciplines.
Larry Chung
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Paul Anil wrote:
That, I agree with. I hate it when they play Sitar everytime there is anything to do with India. Ah, even the wiki has it wrong when it writes, "The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music.


That's another convenient stereotype that should offend anybody's intelligence. Although I love the work of Ravi Shankar, as a result of his popularity, too many people think that Indians only have the sitar as a musical instrument. Arrrrggghhhhh!!!

added: Oh, I just read the wiki reference and I see what you mean and that they credited Ravi Shankar for popularizing the sitar in the Western world.
David Newton
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Larry Chung wrote:A real black belt in karate will always humbly admit to being a lifelong student and not some kind of super master.

As would any reasonable Six Sigma Black Belt, expert developer, etc. As ephemeral as a black belt is, or any other ranking system, it *does* serve to indicate as a progress indicator. It does *not* indicate an *end* to progress, as you point out--but most reasonable people don't believe that it does.

Some gongfu systems *do* award black sashes--while this is a relatively recent phenomenon, it exists, and isn't likely to go away. I'm not too concerned about the pedantic difference(s) between a "belt" and a "sash".
[...] propagates several misconceptions about the martial arts disciplines.

Only if it's taken as seriously as you seem to be--I suspect most people don't.

If you think HFJS is insulting, you would have loved the amount of abuse I endured from some of my fellow less-friendly Chinese students as I "appropriated" their culture, fighting styles, and in one case, woman. Was I offended? No--why should I be? People can laugh at me because I'm an American, assume I swill bad beer, drive a monster truck, and delight in watching loud, fast cars turn left for hours at a time. Taking offense at mockery, intentional or not, serves nobody. I am a better ambassador by simply being me, admitting when their perceptions are correct, correcting them when they're not.

I believe you've thrown the baby out with the bathwater and are depriving your students of an excellent resource, both technical and cultural: wouldn't you rather your students "got" American cultural references?

Life's too short.
Larry Chung
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David Newton wrote:
As would any reasonable Six Sigma Black Belt, expert developer, etc. As ephemeral as a black belt is, or any other ranking system, it *does* serve to indicate as a progress indicator. It does *not* indicate an *end* to progress, as you point out--but most reasonable people don't believe that it does.

Right, I consider Paul Anil to be a very reasonable person but yet he was not aware of what a black belt meant when he connected it with being " generic term to signify great command on something ". I was simply correcting his perception, as you would say.

Some gongfu systems *do* award black sashes-...

Right but in a previous post I was referring to traditional gongfu.

If you think HFJS is insulting, you would have loved the amount of abuse I endured from some of my fellow less-friendly Chinese students as I "appropriated" their culture, fighting styles, and in one case, woman. Was I offended? No--why should I be? People can laugh at me because I'm an American, assume I swill bad beer, drive a monster truck, ...


I said it was my students who were offended by HFSJ's cultural faux pas. Reading between the lines: the course evaluation sheets had complaints about it. Why be obstinate and continue using a resource that offends people's sensibilities? Can I expect students to be receptive to learning J2EE when they are periodically affronted? My teaching post is in a for-profit enterprise and my management would not appreciate that as part of their business model.

I am also an American and no one assumes I swill bad beer and all the rest so I am not sure what you are referring to. However, I have heard that Caucasian students in Asian martial arts training are derisively called "monkey kings", which is not very nice.
Bert Bates
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    5
Wow!

I have to say that I'm really shocked. I am a student of a game called Go (in Japan), this game is called Wei Chi (in China), or Baduk, in Korea. I am a third degree black belt. I have had Japanese teachers, I have had Chinese teachers, I have had Korean teachers. They ALL referred to themselves as some degree of black belt.

I also know that the Korean martial art of Taekwondo uses the system of colored and black belts.

I'm not saying that your students are technically *wrong*, but I have to say that from what you're telling me they seem a bit too touchy. I will tell you, and you can share this with your students, that we meant absolutely no harm when we used those characters (that we got out of a kung fu *B* movie). To me the corollary would be if we'd used Abbott and Costello and people took offense because they thought we were slamming U.S. culture... really?

So, no offense meant, and please, can everyone lighten up? I mean really, am I missing something here? Is there some page where we said something offensive?

I also have to say that this book is now six years old, and it's sold tens of thousands of copies, and this is the first time we've heard anyone take offense... did your students get that the tone of the entire book is very lighthearted?

Still shocked,

Bert


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Ankur Jain Kothari
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Head First series is the best book series ever. I love their style and the way they explain things. Am looking forward to read Head First Iphone development.
Anything harsh written against Head First series will offend a lot of readers too.


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Keith Flo
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I've tried to resist my initial response ...

which was to proclaim undying fealty to Bert and Kathy's books and to proclaim that they already rule the world of standards based Java development and will soon rule all of development ... but on reflection that's not really true ... (I mean personal reflection not java.lang.reflect ... )

... rather I applaud Larry's view. Its serious, principled and well reasoned. Also, it made me think a bit differently and thats a good thing. In my careful reading of the K&B book I've not sensed any bias or condescension ... but thats my view.

Also ... I applaud his courage. Its no small thing to take an unpopular position and tell (somewhat) famous subject matter experts like David Newton and Bert Bates and tell them they're wrong.


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David Newton
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That's a lot of underlines.

Nobody said Larry (or his students) are wrong. I think they're being over-sensitive, which is (obviously) their right, as is Larry's decision not to use the book.

Reasonable people can disagree.
Larry Chung
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Thanks, Bert, for joining in on the discussion. It's Easter Sunday, I have very full day ahead and so I am forced to be brief.

Congratulations for being a third degree black belt in Go, Wei Chi, or Baduk, but that doesn't justify calling traditional Chinese martial artists black belts. It is making a mashup of two very different traditions. It would be like captioning Bollywood characters discussing the virtues of their lederhosens. That too would be a cultural errata.

Bert Bates wrote:this is the first time we've heard ...

... as are most reported errata. There's a first time for everything.

I am sure you meant no offense, of course. But your corollary is not complete. It should be as if a serious British newspaper or an Iranian propaganda movie depicted American culture with only takes from Abbot and Costello movies. It may not offend you but it could outrage some Americans. Americans caricaturing Americans, not so offensive. Other nationalities caricaturing Americans, different story.

The larger concern was the propagation of stereotypes, which is not to be confused with being offensive. So far, only Paul Anil expressed an understanding of what that means. Otherwise, I am shocked by the general lack of sensitivity.

Larry Chung
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Keith Flo wrote:
Also ... I applaud his courage. Its no small thing to take an unpopular position and tell (somewhat) famous subject matter experts like David Newton and Bert Bates and tell them they're wrong.


Keith, thank you. I am pressed for time so I haven't fully taken in your post but I must thank you, considering that you and I were on opposites of a previous discussion.
Ankit Garg
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  17

Black Belt term is used in many places nowadays. Like the Six Sigma Black Belt that David mentioned or javablackbelt.com. This is not that big a deal IMHO...
Paul Anilprem
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Larry Chung wrote:
I am sure you meant no offense, of course. But your corollary is not complete. It should be as if a serious British newspaper or an Iranian propaganda movie depicted American culture with only takes from Abbot and Costello movies. It may not offend you but it could outrage some Americans. Americans caricaturing Americans, not so offensive. Other nationalities caricaturing Americans, different story.

The larger concern was the propagation of stereotypes, which is not to be confused with being offensive. So far, only Paul Anil expressed an understanding of what that means. Otherwise, I am shocked by the general lack of sensitivity.



I am not a person who is too sensitive to touch but I saw your post only a couple of days after I watched an episode of "Office" on TV and that really made me aware of how bad stereotyping can really be and that's why I commented on it. I was watching this episode with a friend who happens to be Mexican. In this particular episode, they were talking about the most important Indian festival of Diwali. After the show, he asked me if I was offended by it. Now, in the show they were mostly making fun of it, which I did not have a problem with but I was appalled by the misinformation provided by the show. Making fun of a true fact is one thing...but making a fictional story, attributing it to some one, and then making fun of it is just plain wrong. I could see the effect right away because my mexican friend, who had no idea about Diwali, now had a completely wrong idea about it. After separating out the mockery stuff from the show, he thought that Diwali was similar to halloween

So anyway, I do believe that any kind of mass communication should be responsible enough not to spread misinformation. That said, I also think that the term "black belt" has been hijacked (not by HF authors). May be it does mean something else in the context of Karate but now it pretty much means that you are a "guru" in some thing.

I am not sure how serious of a misinformation the juxtaposition of black belt with kung fu pictures is though. Since I found Diwali-Halloween misinformation to be quite serious, I can understand why one might feel this juxtaposition to be quite serious.


Ankit Garg
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  17

I also played the game Hitman 2 and in that they had 2 stages in India. In one of the stage they had a mental asylum which looked like the Taj Mahal

But I'm not angry on them. This was just a mistake (or may be there is indeed a mental asylum looking like that in India) but I'm okay with it...
Bert Bates
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Hey Larry,

Happy Easter!

First off, when I described my background in Go I wasn't trying to justify anything, what I was doing was trying to point out that I've spent a couple of decades immersed in a martial art. It's history is of course also somewhat checkered. It's believed that Go originated in China about 3500 years ago where it flourished until about 200 years ago. During one of the many wars between Japan and China, the Japanese became aware of Go. Up until about 50 years ago Japan was the country that elevated Go to a much higher standard than it had ever been practiced in the past. Roughly 50 years ago (and when I say roughly, I mean roughly), China and Korea sort of 're-adopted' the game and now China and Korea both have players as strong or stronger than the Japanese pros. I discuss all of this because I'd like to convey that the last thing we were trying to do was propagate stereotypes. Further, our co-author Bryan has been a serious, serious student of Zen for over a decade - so serious that his family is moving across country so that he can be close to his Zen teacher.

Of course, none of that makes me or Bryan an expert in any Asian cultures. On the other hand, we both have a huge respect for Asian cultures.

The point of Head First books is to help motivate our readers' brains. We assume that our readers' minds are motivated, and we believe that, for the most part, human brains tend not to be motivated by abstract topics like Java. We feel that when the brain experiences positive emotions, like humor, or a bit of absurdity, or a feeling of 'getting it', that brain will be more motivated.

All of this is to say that our only goal was to teach. We came into the project with no known cultural biases. Again, if you can point to a particular page where we offended your students, we can take a look at fixing that page. You mention page 28 - if changing that one sentence to something like: "our two kung fu masters..." would help, we'll be happy to add that to our fixes.

On the other hand, if your students find the whole kung fu theme to be offensive, then I'd really like to hear more about that. The world is getting smaller, cultures are mixing more and more. Well intended people will try to get to know about each other. We all have limited bandwidth. Our brain's have limited capacity. So, of course no one here is advocating negative cultural stereotypes. On the other hand, the martial arts do represent one of the many human accomplishments that various Asian cultures have shared with the world. That's a good thing, and recognizing it isn't a negative stereotype - it's giving credit where credit is due.

I say all of this because I'm truly baffled. I honestly want to understand how we caused offense, because of course that was never our intention.
Paul Anilprem
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Ankit Garg wrote:I also played the game Hitman 2 and in that they had 2 stages in India. In one of the stage they had a mental asylum which looked like the Taj Mahal

But I'm not angry on them. This was just a mistake (or may be there is indeed a mental asylum looking like that in India) but I'm okay with it...


What if the mental assylum looked like Akshardham, or a Church, Jama Masjid, or the Golden Temple? Would you be ok then? I, for one, would be offended for sure.

BTW, I haven't seen this game but I have worked for a game company before and believe me, nothing that you see in a game is there because of a mistake Pure desire to create hype and increase sales is the usual driver but ignorance coupled with insensitivity also play a role. If the game shows a picture of Taj, that means the developers know what that picture is of.
Apoorv Srivastava
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Hello fellow ranchers,
Happy Easter to all...
In my opinion,we should not pin-point such small issues.The book is meant for learning, not for offending any culture.Just look at it people,how much the same book has given all of us,the Java lovers.I don't think the authors would have done it knowingly..Ahhh what have they done after all??They are just trying to spread knowledge.
I completely support Bert on the point that in this era of globalization we all should forget those bitter experiences of the past & get to know various cultures of the world.After all,its not all but a few people who are bad & we should never generalize a race,religion or an area by judging a few people who committed atrocities in the past..
Let's not blow this issue out of proportion.The book is meant to be read and gained from, so let's concentrate on that only.We should be thankful to its authors for giving us this gem..
If I have in any way offended or hurt anyone's sentiments, I apologize..Peace.


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Ankit Garg
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  17

Paul Anil wrote:What if the mental asylum looked like Akshardham, or a Church, Jama Masjid, or the Golden Temple? Would you be ok then? I, for one, would be offended for sure.

That would be another case (it is insult of a religion), but if we come to the original topic, Japanese martial arts is not a religion. I would not be offended if any person teaches Yoga wearing a stylish jeans, sunglasses and funky hair with gel. I actually enjoyed the whole martial arts theme of the HFSJ book...
Paul Anilprem
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Ankit Garg wrote:
Paul Anil wrote:What if the mental asylum looked like Akshardham, or a Church, Jama Masjid, or the Golden Temple? Would you be ok then? I, for one, would be offended for sure.

That would be another case (it is insult of a religion), but if we come to the original topic, Japanese martial arts is not a religion. I would not be offended if any person teaches Yoga wearing a stylish jeans, sunglasses and funky hair with gel. I actually enjoyed the whole martial arts theme of the HFSJ book...


That's fair and that's my point as well. You know better about X and so you feel offended if X is mistreated. Now, I am not saying whether Kung Fu and black belt is a big deal or not, I am just saying that I think I understand where Larry is coming from, why he might feel offended.

In any case, I would do the same thing that Bert is doing...try to understand the cause of issue, get some feedback, and if he thinks it is reasonable, fix it and move on...
Larry Chung
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Ankit, you are an awesome Java and J2EE mentor but please try to follow along with the discussion of this thread, whose topic is "Cultural errata in HFSJ", which was precipitated by misrepresentation of Chinese martial arts, not Japanese martial arts.

Both martial arts and religion are part of culture. They may not be part of your culture but they are part of culture in parts of the world. Not only that, for some practitioners, martial arts is their religion. There is not enough time and cyberspace to explain that to anyone who is not a martial artist. Therefore, I thank Paul Anil for his ability to immerse himself in a different point of view and forming his brilliant analogy in his post.
Rohan kanade
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hey larry, I run a RESTful service that serves Hitmen for special jobs.


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Larry Chung
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Bert, et al,

Thank you for being receptive to hearing recommendations and errata to enhance the joy of using HFSJ. I never like to be the one to churn out posts that are longer than 100,000 character in length so I'll just start with getting back to the very first post of this thread and provide a more complete write-up of the original errata:

Page 28 "Listen in as out two black belts..."
Page 202 "Once again we must consult our black belts..."

Replacing references to "black belts" with "martial arts masters" will answer the original issue.
Larry Chung
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Rohan kanade wrote:hey larry, I run a RESTful service that serves Hitmen for special jobs.

Thanks, Rohan. I want it done and I want it done discretely and stateless. No witness latency.
Larry Chung
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Paul Anil wrote:...I am not a person who is too sensitive to touch but I saw your post only a couple of days after I watched an episode of "Office" on TV and that really made me aware of how bad stereotyping can really be and that's why I commented on it. I was watching this episode with a friend who happens to be Mexican. In this particular episode, they were talking about the most important Indian festival of Diwali. After the show, he asked me if I was offended by it. Now, in the show they were mostly making fun of it, which I did not have a problem with but I was appalled by the misinformation provided by the show. Making fun of a true fact is one thing...but making a fictional story, attributing it to some one, and then making fun of it is just plain wrong. I could see the effect right away because my mexican friend, who had no idea about Diwali, now had a completely wrong idea about it. After separating out the mockery stuff from the show, he thought that Diwali was similar to halloween

...I am not sure how serious of a misinformation the juxtaposition of black belt with kung fu pictures is though. Since I found Diwali-Halloween misinformation to be quite serious, I can understand why one might feel this juxtaposition to be quite serious.

Because "Office" (I assume we are talking about the American version) and Michael Scott in particular have so many such odd situations, I watch it to inoculate myself to face the world the next day. I noticed the weird interpretation of Diwali on "Office" but since I read that it is celebrated differently in different parts of South Asia, it just left a big question mark in my head. Thank you for resolving one of many mysterious pieces in the show's story lines.
David Newton
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Larry Chung wrote:Replacing references to "black belts" with "martial arts masters" will answer the original issue.

While I'm glad that such a simple change will address the issues, I'm still confused.

Do we know that the Chinese people in the pictures *aren't* black belts? To bring this back to the kung fu flicks that (more or less) initiated the misconceptions now found offensive (and most of these came out of China), maybe it's another Japanese/Chinese issue. It seems like it's just as bad to assume they're not black belts as to assume they are (or possibly worse).

Enough said--hopefully this issue will be resolved by replacing "black belts" with "martial arts masters". I would have liked to have heard from the students that were actually offended, though, to get their take on things; my experiences with Chinese reactions to typical stereotypes has been more of "Wow, I can't believe you thought that, that's hilarious" rather than actual offense--perhaps I've just been lucky in that regard over the past few decades.
Bert Bates
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Hi Larry,

We will be happy to make those two changes next time we handle errata.

Thanks!

Bert
Mike Simmons
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Paul Anil wrote:I am not a person who is too sensitive to touch but I saw your post only a couple of days after I watched an episode of "Office" on TV and that really made me aware of how bad stereotyping can really be and that's why I commented on it. I was watching this episode with a friend who happens to be Mexican. In this particular episode, they were talking about the most important Indian festival of Diwali. After the show, he asked me if I was offended by it. Now, in the show they were mostly making fun of it, which I did not have a problem with but I was appalled by the misinformation provided by the show. Making fun of a true fact is one thing...but making a fictional story, attributing it to some one, and then making fun of it is just plain wrong. I could see the effect right away because my mexican friend, who had no idea about Diwali, now had a completely wrong idea about it. After separating out the mockery stuff from the show, he thought that Diwali was similar to halloween


It doesn't sound to me like the "mockery" was effectively separated out. Perhaps because of a misunderstanding as to who or what was being targeted. As I saw it, the only people being mocked were the regular characters, especially Michael Scott. He's the only one who conflated Diwali with Halloween. He is, as usual, quite clueless about such things. It's a well-established part of his character. No one should rely on him for accurate information about... anything, really. Certainly not other cultures. But we also see parts of the Diwali celebration, seen with plenty of Indian characters participating. Now I don't know how accurate that depiction was, but it didn't look anything like Halloween, in my opinion. Except for Michael and his date, who showed up in costumes, and were pretty obviously out of place. So I'm not sure how your friend could get that impression, unless he only watched the first five minutes of the show. Or unless he was pulling your leg.
Larry Chung
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David Newton wrote:While I'm glad that such a simple change will address the issues, I'm still confused.

No, I said it will "... answer the original issue". That was just the start. More to come.
Larry Chung
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Bert Bates wrote:We will be happy to make those two changes next time we handle errata.

Thank you. Great, with my original issue out of the way, I will try to put together a cogent story about how people I met were offended by the martial arts movies takes used in HFSJ. It will require some work to compile their various negative responses into something that reads cohesively.
Larry Chung
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David Newton wrote:... with Chinese reactions to typical stereotypes has been more of "Wow, I can't believe you thought that, that's hilarious" rather than actual offense--perhaps I've just been lucky in that regard over the past few decades.

I am never good at picking up irony and sarcasm, so can anyone else also weigh in on this?

I remember working for a U.S. Air Force major who was never direct with his criticisms and used indirect subtleties instead. For example, if someone made a really outlandish conclusion during a briefing, he would remark, "Interesting." and the entire room immediately knew the person's career is taking a dive.
David Newton
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What part confused you? I'm describing the typical reactions I've seen to cultural stereotypes over the past few decades, none of which included actual offense. At least in non-China/Taiwan and non-China/Japan issues.

I'm not just surprised this caused offense in a vacuum--I have reasons I'm surprised that go beyond "I'm just a culturally ignorant American bereft of cultural sensitivity."
Larry Chung
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Posts: 247
David Newton wrote:What part confused you? I'm describing the typical reactions I've seen to cultural stereotypes over the past few decades, none of which included actual offense. At least in non-China/Taiwan and non-China/Japan issues.

I'm not just surprised this caused offense in a vacuum--I have reasons I'm surprised that go beyond "I'm just a culturally ignorant American bereft of cultural sensitivity."


I am not confused. I suggested perhaps "Wow, I can't believe you thought that, that's hilarious" can be interpreted as irony or sarcasm.
David Newton
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Larry Chung wrote:I suggested perhaps "Wow, I can't believe you thought that, that's hilarious" can be interpreted as irony or sarcasm.

Hmm, okay. I'll rephrase: "I'm incredulous you believed that about our culture--it's so wrong it's funny."
Bert Bates
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Well, we're happy to make 'errata level' fixes, and I'm open to hearing what else concerns you, but I doubt we're going to make wholesale changes to the book. Let me explain why...

To us, Head First is an application of learning theory. Admittedly we were experimenting with several different academic theories when we wrote these books, but they weren't based on 'ad-hoc reckons'. There is a reason why we have characters in our books. There is a reason that some seem calm and well reasoned, some seem cranky, some seem skeptical, and so on. The characters in our books come from all different races and we have a pretty even mix of male and female characters.

Remember, the kung fu characters in the book are talking about J2EE topics!

I'll make another stab at a similar situation: Here we are in 2010 - would you ask a movie producer to not use a black man as the antagonist in his movie because of the horrible history of blacks in America?

A fella could die from being too politically correct. There's a point at which political correctness backfires.

Larry Chung
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Joined: Feb 02, 2010
Posts: 247
Bert Bates wrote: I'll make another stab at a similar situation: Here we are in 2010 - would you ask a movie producer to not use a black man as the antagonist in his movie because of the horrible history of blacks in America?

A fella could die from being too politically correct. There's a point at which political correctness backfires.

Thank you, you touched upon a thought that crossed my mind in a recent visit to a chain bookstore. In the 2 dozen Head First titles I browsed through, I did not see any movie takes from something like "Porgy and Bess" portraying African-Americans in a "lighthearted" way. Did I miss a title with movie characters of that kind?

Well, we're happy to make 'errata level' fixes, and I'm open to hearing what else concerns you, but I doubt we're going to make wholesale changes to the book. Let me explain why...

That's OK because that takes me off the hook from sorting out and compiling my students' negative course evaluations of HFSJ.
Walid Abd Elsalam
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Joined: Feb 26, 2010
Posts: 20
I thought the pics were funny ...

SCJP 6 85% - SCWCD 86%
 
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subject: Cultural errata in HFSJ