The insidious racism of Mary Beard and the “diversity” operators
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

When I read Nassim’s first piece I though it was an appropriate calling out of a piece of political correctness on behalf of the BBC. I then read Mary Beard’s response, which seemed well argued and claimed that the population of the Roman Empire were both diverse and mobile, and that it was credible that someone who was not white skinned, could have made it as far as Roman Britain.

Dr. Talibs response here is vitriolic, incendiary and concerning. The mode of argument first of all is contentious. He makes sweeping statements and attributes them to his opposition as a class. He then uses them to dismiss the comments of an individual. This is called a straw man argument, and has little validity.

As an explanatory example of this, presented just to show how invalid the tactic is, I might argue that Dr. Talib is from the Lebanon, and that all Lebanese have a cultural hatred of being corrected be a woman, and that that is the source of this dispute.

Clearly the above argument should be dismissed out of hand, and similarly we should dismiss Dr. Talib’s arguments about the “Northern Euro’s” in the same manner.

The graph is interesting, and I went to the bother of trying to chase down the associated references.

I found a nature paper by Ioseph Lazarides, which looked good, but was based on a small sample size, about 8 bodies, from a period about 4000 years before the Roman empire. Zalloua led me to a national Geographic article, however I find that less academically convincing, given the number of times and places that researchers from that esteemed publication have found Noah’s arc so far.

I did not find an original source for the graph.

Finally we come to the Historia Augusta translation. I think close reading of this translation might reveal Somebody was not amused at being made fun of.

Mastery of a given field of learning does not convey expertise in all things, and the Dunning Kruger effect can make fools of us all.