Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Am I the only one...

...who finds this Intel ad (from the inside back cover of this week's The New Yorker magazine) vaguely insulting?

Because apparently the geniuses at Intel are far above such plebian activities as physical exercise. After all, really smart people are all skinny nerd-boys who subsist on junk food and chess. If you're low-brow enough to actually exercise, you wouldn't stand a chance against those "big brains" at Intel.

I know it's just an ad. But to me it propagates a false dichotomy: either you're smart and don't care about your physical wellbeing, or you're a gym rat with a brain the size of a ferret. Never mind the large number of studies that have found correlations between physical exercise and concentration, focus, and stress relief (something I'd imagine the Intel folks would know a lot about).

The ridiculous imbalance in X and Y chromosomes also bothers me. Yes, I realize that there is a big gender imbalance in Yoga classes (mostly XX) and technology R&D (mostly XY). But come on. If you're going to go to big lengths to show racial diversity (you can't tell me the two non-white d00ds are there by accident), at least show a chick in one of the games!

I'm not sure if the person in the white coat in the game on the far left is supposed to be a girl. But even if it is, come on, you couldn't pick someone with identifiable female features? Way to support even MORE smart-people stereotypes! (I.e., smart women don't look like women. We all have short hair, dress like men, and never wear makeup. Okay, that might be true for me. But I think Dr. Isis, among others, might have something to say about it.)

I think the folks who do the advertising for Intel deserve a big "congratulations" for taking great strides in making non-scientists even more likely to think that scientists find them stupid. Way to go, Intel!


Isis the Scientist said...

You're right, little muffin. I probably will have something to say about it.

Kelly Feller said...

Hi Kate,
I wanted to thank you for your post & let you know I left a comment on Dr. Isis' blog. We at Intel are very sorry the ad offended you or anyone else. That was certainly not our intent.

~Kelly Feller, Intel Corporation

Kate Porter said...

Thank you, Kelly. I appreciate it!