We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Geography of Hate

Although it is making the rounds online, the major news outlets don't seem to have picked up yet on a map designed by a group of students from Humboldt State University, which displays (here) the intensity of hate in America measured by the use of hate language on Twitter.  The students read a 150,000 tweets containing racial and homophobic slurs and located them geographically on what is actually a set of maps, one for each slur.  One of the things they found was that these slurs tend to originate in places where there is a less diverse population, particularly more often from rural areas than urban.  The result is graphic evidence that we still have a long way to go in overcoming bigotry in America.