For John, BLUF: Well, there is DNA to prove it one way or the other. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The BBC did some kind of educational cartoon on Roman Britain and represented “diversity” in terms of someone looking African in the show as representative of “diversity” at the time. The BBC was effectively applying quotas retroactively (I mean, really retroactively). Any dissent from the statistical errors made by the politically correct police is treated as apostasy. Effectively, scholarship is dead in the U.K.Mr Taleb sees the intellectual rot. It is like the folks who want to ensure texts are drawn from a diversity of authors and not just from the best scholars.
What was meant to be a “typical” of Roman Brittain by the BBC: flowing quotas of political correctness backward in time.
Representativeness heuristic. The picture was portrayed as representative (playing on the representativeness/ availability heuristic in the minds of children). Some people backtracked later by saying it is was not common but not impossible, which is where I shout “BS!”
Anecdotal vs Statistical. The backup is mostly anecdotal from cherry picked stories. We find nothing beyond traces of sub-Saharan genes in areas where Roman legions were located (France, Gaul, and even Spain, where most of it came much later from the Arab trade). Show the picture to a French or Italian person and tell him “this is the typical…” and wait for the insults.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff