K. Tempest Bradford

K. Tempest Bradford

Between Boundaries

K. Tempest Bradford RSS Feed

More Proof That I Am Actually A White Person

More Proof That I Am Actually A White Person

That headline will be massively funny to those who were up ’til all hours Sunday night at World Fantasy. For the rest of you:

Have you seen the video where the store employees show that the Face Tracking software on HP’s computers don’t track black faces? If you haven’t, go look now, it is really funny. When I saw that I wanted to test if it was true for other HP webcams, so I pulled a system from our testing lab and tried it out. The Face Tracker easily tracked me, but it also tracked a darker-skinned co-worker. I then turned the backlight correction off (which made the picture darker and more like the video linked above). The Face Tracker could no longer track my co-worker, but could still track me.

So forget the pencil test, the brown bag test, and the one-drop rule. Technology has given us a far better way to determine who is black in these times, and it is the Face Tracking algorithm in HP MediaCenters!

Aren’t you glad we live in the future? I am.


Click here to see the video evidence of my shame.


  1. Sparky Sparky on 22.12.2009 at 10:38 [link] (Reply)

    Oh the shame of being beige.

    *sighs deeply*

  2. Saladin Saladin on 22.12.2009 at 11:07 [link] (Reply)

    On the plus side, you now get to go to the bus parties — welcome to the white (lookin’) world!


  3. Nick Mamatas Nick Mamatas on 22.12.2009 at 11:34 [link] (Reply)

    Does this make all your Angry Black Woman posts examples of “What These People Need Is a Honkie”?

  4. Matthew Daly Matthew Daly on 22.12.2009 at 13:32 [link] (Reply)

    Crap. Jay Smooth had better not be white too, or else I’m going to have to go back to square one in diversifying my bookmarks.

    One grammar quibble: “… though it still worked on Dana and myself” should be “me” at the end. You only use the reflexive pronoun when the subject and object are the same.

    1. Tablesaw Tablesaw on 22.12.2009 at 14:38 [link] (Reply)

      That’s not really a grammar quibble; it’s a style quibble. And it’s not a particularly well-founded one. See Language Log‘s treatement, which includes this quote from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage:

      Two general statements can be made about what these crtics say concerning myself: first, they do not like it, and second, they do not know why.

      MWDEU goes further, ending it’s lengthy entry on “myself” with:

      You will observe that almost all the instances of first and second person reflexive pronouns here occur in contexts where the speaker or writer is referring to himself or herself as a subject of the discourse, rather than a participant in it. According to discourse analysis this is the way that English ordinarily works.

      Which is how it’s being used in the article.

      1. Matthew Daly Matthew Daly on 22.12.2009 at 16:02 [link] (Reply)

        I don’t see the relevance of the Language Log article. Its written style is dealing with the use of “such as myself”, which is not the context in which Tempest is writing. Towards the end, it includes two examples of people using the language more casually in spoken English. I have no great quarrel with that, because I’m quite capable of forgetting the precise subject of a sentence by the time I get around to the end of it and may find myself guessing wrong. When I’m reviewing a blog post before submitting it, not so much. And, indeed, I took a moment to check that my use of “myself” in the previous sentence is parallel to the capacity “I” have to forget.

        I’d prefer to see the entire MWDEU article before figuring out what to take from it. I’m vaguely disturbed by the accusation that I don’t know why I do not “like” the sentence “The algorithm worked on myself”, and therefore I am not worthy to express the opinion that its use sounds jarring. But if it is what Tempest intended to write, then I apologize for suggesting that it was incorrect.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Social Studies

TumblrTumblr – Come see the inside of my fandom brain

TwitterTwitter – Intermittent rambling, links, and what I just ate

FacebookFacebook – A nexus of me, yet strangely impersonal

Google+Google+ – Another nexus of me for Google Geeks

DeliciousDelicious – A wild collection of links, mostly of fiction

goodreadsGoodReads – The books I’m reading and the ones I’m in

FlickrFlickr - Photographic evidence of a few of my exploits

LiveJournalLiveJournal – A mirror of this blog, nothing more

Recent Posts

Blog Archive


Random Shoes

An ever-changing list of the authors, bloggers and awesome people I know and admire


I'm a writer, most often committing acts of genre (fantasy, science fiction, and other stretches of the imagination). You can find my short stories in many and various magazines and anthologies and podcasts. In addition to being a writer I also engage in activism and fandom -- often both at once.