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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Study That Says Listening To Beyoncé Makes You Dumb Is Offensive, Dumb

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM

click to enlarge Oh, hell no.
  • Oh, hell no.

We're sure software developer Virgil Griffith had nothing but the best intentions when he set out to determine if there were correlations between people's SAT scores and what kind of music they liked, but it's time to put this ongoing study — which is making the rounds again, as it has on and off for the past five years whenever Griffith releases a new chart and the Internet freaks out — to bed.

And no, that's not just our knee-jerk reaction to someone talking shit about our love of Beyoncé.

Griffith creates said charts, the latest of which is below, by mining Facebook for the most "liked" bands at 1,352 American colleges, then factoring in the average SAT scores at those institutions. This means, of course, that the results are not only based on many layers of highly questionable science (Griffith's homepage now includes a plea to stop emailing him about the distinction between causation and correlation, though when you title your work "Music that makes you dumb," we say you're askin' for it), they're also pretty damn offensive.

Let's see, T.I., Lil Wayne, and the entire history of gospel, hip-hop, and reggae are all the province of morons? Whereas people who listen to Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead, and Guster are the folks you should want in the operating room should you ever need brain surgery? Nope, definitely not a giant, racially loaded can of classist assumptions and privilege-worms to open here. Absolutely no correlation between the dominant ethnic makeup of America's most exclusive private schools and the fact that apparent hordes of the country's most promising minds — actual young people, presumably — have listed Counting Crows as one of their favorite bands on Facebook.

All things considered: Mark it, ladies and gents. This is the first and last time we hope to ever be in the position of defending steadfast fans of Nickelback.

click to enlarge Science. - VIA MUSICTHATMAKESYOUDUMB
  • via Musicthatmakesyoudumb
  • Science.


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About The Author

Emma Silvers

Bio:
Emma Silvers is SF Weekly's former Music Editor.

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