May 2, 2010

Neo Neo-con flunks Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow.

It's that statement of the facts.

How bad is it to say "one of our students suggested that black people are genetically inferior to white people" when what the student wrote was "I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent"? There is a difference between "suggesting" something is true and conceding that you don't have a basis for excluding the possibility that something is true.

The language in the email places itself in the context of a continuing conversation, and any attempt to interpret it should acknowledge that we have it out of context — and that it seems to have been leaked by someone who was privy to the whole conversation. The phrase "I absolutely do not rule out the possibility...," implies that that during the conversation, the student was criticized by someone else for ruling out the possibility. What does that... suggest... about the full context of the email and the motives for leaking it?

AND: In the comments, Jon said: "[T]he student didn't say 'genetically inferior,' she said 'less intelligent.' Does Dean Minnow think that everyone less intelligent than her, is genetically inferior?"

It's possible — possible! — that Minow thinks that everyone less intelligent than her is inferior, but for reasons having only to do with nurture. This must be an interesting subject for her, because she's the daughter of a highly successful man, Newton Minow (the FCC chairman who called TV a "vast wasteland"). Does she trace her high intelligence only to environmental factors? Most likely, it's a subject about which she chooses not to speak. Not in public anyway. Perhaps she once emailed someone about that.

But consider Minow's other interpretive leap — that to be less intelligent is to be inferior. Why isn't that an even more outrageous statement than what the student (Stephanie Grace) said?

Are less intelligent individuals inferior? It's time for our lesson in Elementary Class Consciousness. From Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" (PDF, page 20-21):
“Elementary Class Consciousness, did you say? Let’s have it repeated a little louder by the trumpet.”

At the end of the room a loud speaker projected from the wall. The Director walked up to it and pressed a switch.

“. all wear green,” said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, “and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”

There was a pause; then the voice began again.

“Alpha children wear grey They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able .”
Are the Alphas superior? They have to work so hard and wear grey... I’m so glad I’m a Beta. Betas don't think they're inferior! They are less intelligent though.

Do you think the most intelligent people are the best? Let's hear from P.J. O'Rourke:
I’m sure up at Harvard, over at the New York Times, and inside the White House they think we just envy their smarts. Maybe we are resentful clods gawking with bitter incomprehension at the intellectual magnificence of our betters. If so, why are our betters spending so much time nervously insisting that they’re smarter than Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement?...

The C student starts a restaurant. The A student writes restaurant reviews. The input-worshipping universe of the New York Times is like New York itself—thousands of restaurant reviews and no place we can afford to eat.

Let us allow that some intelligence is involved in screwing up Wall Street, Washington, and the world. A students and Type-A politicians do discover an occasional new element—Obscurantium—or pass an occasional piece of landmark legislation (of which the health care reform bill is not one). Smart people have their uses, but our country doesn’t belong to them. As the not-too-smart Woody Guthrie said, “This land was made for you and me.” The smart set stayed in fashionable Europe, where everything was nice and neat and people were clever about looking after their own interests and didn’t need to come to America. The Mayflower was full of C students. Their idea was that, given freedom, responsibility, rule of law and some elbow room, the average, the middling, and the mediocre could create the richest, most powerful country ever.

75 comments:

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Whistling past the graveyard.

This student must be - and will be - completely destroyed.

The orthodoxy cannot be challenged. It simply is not acceptable to entertain the wrong "thoughts" at Harvard University.

Larry Summers' stint there proved that when he pointed to studies which show women may be genetically predisposed to not be good mathematicians.

He was "re-educated" and ended up having to pay a $50 million bribe to the Women's Studies department as I recall.

This law student made the mistake of attending law school at a place that is less devoted to teaching legal concepts than in crushing any academic attempt to undermine the ideas of political correctness.

Harvard is where rich people go to have their free-thinking skills demolished by the orthodoxy.

The Crack Emcee said...

It suggests you're all stoopid. (You can't rule out the possibility, y'know,...)

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Here at Harvard Law School, we are committed to preventing degradation of any individual - except for Stephanie Grace.

That bitch must be crushed.

damikesc said...

If I was hiring, id want to know who leaked it.

Can't risk hiring somebody who seems likely to perform espionage on your business.

I laugh when I hear people describe college as a place to debate ideas. That ceased being the case decades ago.

Peter V. Bella said...

Nothing but a kerfuffle here. Let's just move on. There are important social justice (whatever the hell that is) issues to discuss and learn. That's right, just move on. Be good little indoctrinated robots. Keep moving.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Neo-Neo Con: "... all Grace did was to speculate about a possible genetic cause for a phenomenon that is statistically demonstrable ..."

That was her mistake: She posited a fact that black people are demonstrably, statistically, not as intelligent as other races such as Asians. (Neither are white people, by the way.)

That thought cannot be thunk at Harvard University, and if you think that thought, they will absolutely fucking crush you.

Harvard University is the place where Barack Obama was president of the Law Review - without his name appearing on any legal scholarship.

It exists to eliminate this kind of bad-thought.

El Pollo Real said...

What does that... suggest... about the full context of the email and the motives for leaking it?

At a minimum it suggests that Harvard Law has fallen and can't get up as evidenced by the unSummerized fact that none of its better known alumni and faculty have spoken up yet, just to set things right.

Of course, there are quite a few distractions at the moment.

Pogo said...

1) Race trumps gender.

2) Feelings trump facts.

3) Do not question the Party.

Being female, Stephanie Grace innocently believed she could have an entirely open discussion about race. But she violated the rules above.

For her sin, she is now undergoing the humiliating ritual of "self-criticism" for being a class enemy and counter-revolutionary, and must wear the dunce cap, and beg for forgiveness. This process was perfected in communist China during the Cultural Revolution, and is repeated here in muted tones.

She is only experiencing what many man white males have seen when those bourgeois reactionaries said the Things That Must Not Be Said.

Jon said...

Althouse said: How bad is it to say "one of our students suggested that black people are genetically inferior to white people" when what the student wrote was "I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent"? There is a difference between "suggesting" something is true and conceding that you don't have a basis for excluding the possibility that something is true.

Also, the student didn't say "genetically inferior", she said "less intelligent".

Does Dean Minnow think that everyone less intelligent than her, is genetically inferior?

PatCA said...

The really interesting story here is the person who disseminated the email. Grace sounds like she is talking about hypotheticals that someone else raised. It was a private dinner discussion. And some Machiavelli releases it to the BLSA?

Amazing. Sociopathic.

Pogo said...

"Amazing. Sociopathic."

And condoned by Harvard Law School.

Lem said...

What does that... suggest... about the full context of the email and the motives for leaking it?

Excellent question.

vet66 said...

The scam at Harvard, indeed, the entire concept of the slavery of entitlement is construed by the elitists as an attack on their hollow superiority. A superiority that is maintained by a terror of being exposed as the frauds they are.

To maintain their paternal and maternal control over the "children" in their charge they deny elitists in training the natural curiosity that should be the hallmark of education. They substitute in it's place the hammer of outrage and vilification over any blasphemy uttered by those who should presumably know better.

Look into the void that is the flyover states and Harvard will be shocked to see minorities thriving as true Americans striving to improve their lives without the foot of big government on their throat.

They fail to understand that, as we were taught in the military, it doesn't matter who is in the foxhole with you as long as they shoot straignt and stay awake on their watch. The current Administration would be wise to understand that they are a living example of the childhood story involving a King with no clothes.

Time to turn their favority bumper sticker motivation back on them. Question authority even at Harvard. Especially at Harvard and no more beer summits.

ricpic said...

Over at Steve Sailer the question asked is: why do they (in this case, Stephanie Grace) always cave? And the answer is: they always cave because they are threatened with expulsion and eternal exile from the garden if they don't cave.

Lem said...

This incident reminds me of what passes for wisdom in the supremes confirmation battlefield... from the age of four onward.. don't write anything down.

Nothing!

Lem said...

.. she wasn't even nominated to anything.

nelda said...

WV: compli
(no kidding)

You must compli. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

Moira Breen said...

For her sin, she is now undergoing the humiliating ritual of "self-criticism" for being a class enemy and counter-revolutionary, and must wear the dunce cap, and beg for forgiveness. This process was perfected in communist China during the Cultural Revolution, and is repeated here in muted tones.

Yeah, I know, I posted a link to this picture at the fag-end of the last Grace thread, but it just goes so well with Pogo's comment here.

Pogo said...

Actually, Moira, your prior comment, which was more concise and elegant, prompted mine.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

What's laughable is how Harvard is so dedicated to the principle of equality, and is committed to preventing the degradation of any individual, except that Harvard only accepts the very elite among the "equal", and doesn't have a problem degrading many people with a rejection letter.

Isn't the very existence of a Harvard an a-priori rejection of their own claim that we're a equal?

Apparently they're all too intelligent up there to see the obvious contradiction.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Just don't talk about race, ever.

If someone -- especially someone in authority -- pushes "dialogue", assume that he or she is being like Chairman Mao in 1957.

1957: "Oh sure, let a thousand flowers bloom!"
1958: "Purge the rightists!"

Luke Lea said...

Also, the word "inferior": My dictionary defines it as "lower in value, rank, quality, worth." Historically it has been used, when applied to persons rather than things, to class. (Thus aristocracy is defined as"rule by the best.") Inferiority, unless qualified by context, buys into the world view that some people are intrinsically "better" than others, a world view that is not uncommon at Harvard and other elite educational institutions. This is clearly the sense in which the Harvard dean used the word. Consequently her statement fundamentally mis-characterized the student's personal opinion expressed in the course of a private conversation.

When she stated in an open letter that the student suggested blacks are "genetically inferior" the Dean caused (and should have known she was causing) irreparable harm to the student's reputation and future employment prospects, to say nothing of great pain and suffering.

My question: Does this student have grounds to sue the Dean for libel? And even if she should lose her case, wouldn't such a law suit have a positive educational value for our society?

edutcher said...

As the bio in the post notes, Miss Minow is the daughter of Newton Minow; I'm not sure how successful he really was in his crusade. He wanted a world full of PBS - which would give us government-monitored, politically correct propaganda, she wants to rub out free speech. Family trait?

Ann Althouse said...

There is a difference between "suggesting" something is true and conceding that you don't have a basis for excluding the possibility that something is true.

I believe it's called racism, and it shows why the Left is always screaming it at the Right. They are what they hate.

damikesc said...

If I was hiring, id want to know who leaked it.

That occurred to me, too. And I'll bet whomever it was probably tells somebody at least once a day how they hate the Right for being so like the Nazis.

Pogo said...

1) Race trumps gender.

2) Feelings trump facts.

3) Do not question the Party.

Being female, Stephanie Grace innocently believed she could have an entirely open discussion about race. But she violated the rules above.

For her sin, she is now undergoing the humiliating ritual of "self-criticism" for being a class enemy and counter-revolutionary, and must wear the dunce cap, and beg for forgiveness. This process was perfected in communist China during the Cultural Revolution, and is repeated here in muted tones.


The VC were big into it, as well, IIRC.

virgil xenophon said...

ricpic@9:46 NAILS IT!

Paco Wové said...

Isn't this a great national discussion we are all having about race?

virgil xenophon said...

"...the fag-end..."


Moira--you wouldn't be British perchance? :)

amba said...

Sometimes your best posts get the fewest comments. Maybe because there's not much left to say?

These are great posts this morning, though -- this one and the one about street vendors -- because of the connections made and the perfect but not obvious supporting material dredged up to contribute. Blogging at its best draws by free association on everything stored in the blogger's mind.

Anyway, just writing to say that the number of comments should never be taken as a vote on the quality of the post.

The Drill SGT said...

The humane genome is full of group associated variations. individauls may be part of several groups. Those variations came about as adjustments that were advantagous for a particular environment. But in selecting toward a characteristic, you must be selecting against others.

Thus will people are geneticly different, it's not to say that the people who score less on a particular dimension (e.g. the IQ test) don't score better on some other scales or dimensions. The outcome being that they fit some other niche in nature.

At this point, one thing is sadly clear. Neither Minnow or Grace will ever be on the SCOTUS.

The Drill SGT said...

The human genome is full of group associated variations. individauls may be part of several groups. Those variations came about as adjustments that were advantagous for a particular environment. But in selecting toward a characteristic, you must be selecting against others.

Thus will people are geneticly different, it's not to say that the people who score less on a particular dimension (e.g. the IQ test) don't score better on some other scales or dimensions. The outcome being that they fit some other niche in nature.

At this point, one thing is sadly clear. Neither Minnow or Grace will ever be on the SCOTUS.

Hagar said...

"Intelligence" is one of the words we all think we know what it means, but we do not.

There is no commonly accepted definition of intelligence, which is why whenever you read a book or article on the subject, you must be careful to read the introduction, all the appendices, and the footnotes so as to be aware of where that author is coming from and what his/her biases are.

What used to be referred to as "intelligence tests" are now called "scholastic aptitude tests," since much of what they measure is your skills in filling out little ovals with a No. 2 pencil, which is a very important feature of United States public school systems, but really is not of that much value in your later career.

If there is a difference in the level of intelligence between different population groups, and you had a good definition of what constitutes "intelligence" and a good method of measuring it, you would still be faced with detecting differences within a percentage point between groups whose "normal" range of intelligence spans from 70 to 140.

(Obsolete terminology, but the easiest way to express it.)

Jim said...

Would anyone be upset if the conversation was this:
"I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that caucasian Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less athletic."
There's your answer.

Moira Breen said...

Jon: Does Dean Minnow think that everyone less intelligent than her, is genetically inferior?

That's a plausible hypothesis for explaining the roots of the demented "struggle session" atmosphere infesting our civic life. Lots of people (including commenters here - e.g., Quayle, supra) have pointed out the irony of an elite class that justifies its own election by reference to markers of high intellect (IQ, standardized tests, etc.), while insisting that those markers are meaningless when applied for any purpose but the justification of their elite status.

Since I don't think they do this cynically ("haha, the yahoos are too stupid to notice the contradiction in our positions"), and they really are too intelligent to be mentally at ease with the "contradictions inherent in the system", they go in for the thinking man's (er, person's) version of God, guns, and xenophobia: shoring up their more and more untenable dogmas with ever more elaborate and subtle constructs like "institutional x-ism" or "white privilege", and redirecting their anxieties toward persecuting heretical peers.

Bitter clingers, that's what they are.


Pogo: Glad you liked it.

virgil xenophon said...

EXACTLY, amba, I, like you, am of an age where I feel much of all of this has been said/written/rehashed multiple times before and endlessly re-cycled to the point I weary just contemplating the semi-encyclopedic reply needed to do justice--however academically defined--to the topic at hand. Good point...

Moira Breen said...

virgil xenophon: Moira--you wouldn't be British perchance?

I knew when I chose that phrase that someone was going to accuse me of being British. (OK, that and the name - that does lead to a lot of guilt by association.) But OT, have you noticed established but heretofore non-exported British slang creeping into American speech since the rise of the internet, more so than from television? (For example, I now hear Americans running around calling each other "wankers", something I never heard in this country (apart form tourists) a decade or so ago.)

wv: raligh. Raligh 'round the flag, boys.

virgil xenophon said...

moira,I see you use "while" viz "whilst" so perhaps you aren't British after all... :)

amba said...

Hagar, you hit the nail on the head.

wv: resterm -- Justice Stevens's remaining time on the court

danielle said...

that whole bit in Minow and inferiority is a red herring. you and everyone else know that she is talking about intellectual inferiority -- not inferiority in every sense.

virgil xenophon said...

moria, you're SO right! I've noticed increased use of "gobsmacked" also..

Although I would also note by way of explanatory power the increased presence in/on American TV news at all levels--national and local--of obviously British and/or Commonwealth types as reporters and commentators/analysts.

danielle said...

people are free to believe and say whatever they want.

but i think its pretty disingenuous to claim that the statement "I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent"? does not implicitly suggest a intellectual inferiority of black people.

Pogo said...

No, it merely leaves open the possibility that that might be true, i.e. arguendo.

Lawyers and law school deans know this means 'for the sake of argument'. But this concept has been superseded by the diktat of our state religion.

Such ideas are modern sins, and failing to reject that thought immediately was unacceptable in the Church of The Anointed Vision.

Hagar said...

And if you could find a way to define and measure "intelligence," you might be somewhat dismayed at what the results would show for your own population group.

Be careful what you ask for!

danielle said...

if it is technically the case that it cant be rulled out that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent; then it also cant be rulled out that any race/ethnicity is genetically predisposed to be less intelligent than any other race/ethnicity --- and so the original statement is meaningless.

edutcher said...

danielle said...

that whole bit in Minow and inferiority is a red herring. you and everyone else know that she is talking about intellectual inferiority -- not inferiority in every sense.

We do? Every once in a while The Zero slips and lets out his real beliefs, too.

Pogo said...

"then it also cant be rulled out that any race/ethnicity is genetically predisposed to be less intelligent than any other race/ethnicity"
Exactly.


" --- and so the original statement is meaningless."
This may or may not be true. But that was the point of a discussion in the first place, a discussion Stephanie Grace discovered was not permissible at Harvard, between friends having lunch, or even in private e-mails.

danielle said...

'may or may not be true' ? i suppose you mean it depends on what arguments you're basing the statement a > b and b > a. my point was there is no unbiased data to motivate either argument.

if you'd like to argue that there is data to motivate either argument, then that i find to be problematic in its implications and ramifications for the judgment of the capacities of individuals.

luz said...

When I read the original e-mail a few days back, my first thought was that Stephanie Grace was saying "Despite what I said in our conversation, I do understand that I can't rule out the possibility."

She was defending her statement to the leaker of the e-mail. Therefore, in the supreme irony, it was the student who leaked the e-mail who argued that African-Americans are genetically disposed to be less intelligent."

Ah, sweet revenge. You make the controversial statement, and because Stephanie decides to clarify that, technically, you are right that the possibility can't be ruled out at the moment, she gets to take the fall for what is YOUR opinion.

Ralph L said...

It sounds like Grace was responding to her "friend" with the nurture argument for lower average IQ test scores for blacks ("I would just like some scientific data to disprove the genetic position, and it is often hard given difficult to quantify cultural aspects"), so her "friend" may have been taking the nature argument, perhaps to goad her into writing something incriminating.

So which is more racist, nature or nurture, or as Charles Murray found out, is it unlawful even to mention the racial differences in average IQ test scores?

Meade said...

The Crack Emcee said...
It suggests you're all stoopid. (You can't rule out the possibility, y'know,...)

Ha ha! Okay. But if I were you, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that I'm genetically predisposed to be offended by such a suggestion.

On the other hand, study after social scientific study has shown that, 5 times out of ten, I clearly get up on what is purported to be the "wrong side of the bed."

Ralph L said...

dang it, luz beat me to the punch, but Neo neocon said the email went to several people, so the leaker may not have participated in the argument.

Ralph L said...

Meade, half the time, just stay in bed.

I usually surf recumbent, and in the summer, nekkid.

Moira Breen said...

daneille: may or may not be true' ? i suppose you mean it depends on what arguments you're basing the statement a > b and b > a.

No, "true" or "not true" doesn't depend on what arguments you're basing your statements on. True or not true depends on whether something is...true or not true, proved or disproved by the soundness of the data and the soundness of the inferences drawn from the data. People can defend true statements with bad arguments and shoddy data.

...my point was there is no unbiased data to motivate either argument.

Which has nothing whatever to do with whether a statement is "meaningless". Your statement here, for example - "there is no unbiased data to motivate either argument" - is false (and uses certain verbs rather idiosyncratically), but it is not meaningless.

if you'd like to argue that there is data to motivate either argument, then that i find to be problematic in its implications and ramifications for the judgment of the capacities of individuals.

In which case you could have lucidly and concisely asserted your views on the subject with a simple statement of "let's not go there", rather than quibbling obscurely about "motivating arguments" and "meaninglessness".

Paco Wové said...

danielle said...

 meaningless

That word -- I do not think it means what you think it means. (Then again, I can't tell what you think it means.)

danielle said...

moira,

on your first paragraph, i did mean proved or not proved as opposed to true or false.

on "there is no unbiased data to motivate either argument" - is false :

where is the data that you claim exists.

Fen said...

Danielle: there is no unbiased data to motivate either argument

ie. Dani cant rule out out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent

[facepalm]

danielle said...

And, Fen, I cant rule out the possibility that whites are genetically inferior. And I cant rule out the possibility that Asians are genetically inferior. And I cant rule out the possibility that Indians are genetically inferior.

Oh, and a definitely cant rule out the possibility that blog posters with the alias Fen are genetically inferior.

Paco Wové said...

Danielle - have you noticed that the only one saying "genetically inferior" here is you?

Franco said...

Ann you are a gem. Thanks for making distinctions in a culture that tries to wish them away.

Russell said...

Why is there no outrage at the leaker? Somebody who took words from a private conversation and deliberately sent them someplace where they would cause hurt feelings? Why isn't she being re-educated about violation of privacy? Seems to me the "right to privacy" is supposed to be cherished by liberals. Or maybe we should just toss out Roe v. Wade...

PatCA said...

Russel, informing...er, leaking is okay when it informs on undesirables such as Grace.

Love,
Uncle Joe

Iapetus said...

The stupidity of the Dean's response, coming from the daughter of the intelligent man who raised her, is proof enough for me of the correctness of the hypothesis raised by the law student that there could be a genetic component to intelligence. Given this very example, how could it be otherwise? QED.

Penny said...

Excellent post, Althouse.

You now have me wondering about future research on this topic. We apparently live in a nation where we can no longer ask questions that might turn out to have uncomfortable answers, or inconvenient answers, or answers we just don't want to deal with.

Research requires funding. Wouldn't we all want to miraculously see any and all proposals dealing with this topic, and what their final resolution was? Would we be surprised at what the statistics might be?

As politics continues to influence, if not control, our science, we are heading into even murkier water with no one wanting to look too deeply. That, my friends, is both dangerous AND stupid.

Ben017 said...

As Above the Law editor David Lat notes, Judge Richard Posner has written similar things and is often welcomed to Harvard to speak:

“In Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline,” Posner defended Charles Murray and Harvard’s Richard Herrstein, authors of “The Bell Curve,” writing that their discussion of race and IQ was, at worst, a “rhetorical mistake.” There ought to be nothing controversial, Posner continued, about the propositions that 1) a black-white IQ gap exists and 2) it has genetic as well as sociological roots.”

Similarly, Peter Singer in ‘A Darwinian Left’ notes that not all inequality is necessarily due to unfairness.

David Friedman in his post ‘Who is Against Evolution?’ notes the irony of those who believe in evolution but refuse to consider its implications.

Also, Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker in his Edge Essay notes that “Groups of people may differ genetically in their average talents and temperaments”.

http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_3.html

Gabriel Hanna said...

@danielle:

if you'd like to argue that there is data to motivate either argument, then that i find to be problematic in its implications and ramifications for the judgment of the capacities of individuals.

Fantastic! You declare first that there is no evidence, and then declare that if evidence existed it would be racist!

You don't have to worry about its implications for individuals--it has none. If you understood the concept of "statistical distribution" you would know that.

Suppose the average IQ for a white male were 95. This would not tell you anything about the IQ of any individual white male you met.

Do you think that "women, on the average, are shorter than men" is a sexist statement? Or that it's false because Diana Taurasi is taller than most men?

The evidence for different IQs among different ethnic and racial groups comes from generations of tests like ASVAB, SAT, GRE, as well as purposely designed IQ tests, and the difference in IQ between groups has been generally unchanged in that time.

Of course the variation within groups is larger, which is thought by the statistically illiterate to make the between-group differences meaningless. The example of average height between men and women should make this obvious, but some people prefer to turn their brains off.

Joe said...

Luke brings up a key point. To my reading, Dean Minow defamed Grace. Minow's statement was false and malicious for the apparent purpose of painting Grace in the worse light possible.

Are there any lawyers who know defamation law who can proffer an opinion on this?

SH said...

As someone generally considered white, I accept that on average some 'Asian' (that's more PC right there as that is a place, not a race) are on average more intelligent than whites. It’s what the data says... bfd Harvard.. Don’t call the waambulence… Stupid PC stalinists...

Synova said...

It's not that I don't value intelligence or think highly of my own, but that I agree with something I heard said once, that intelligence doesn't make it so a person avoids problems or mistakes, it's just that the problems and mistakes they make, by the time they make them, are that much more disastrous.

Sort of like a sedan and a 4WD... they both get stuck in the mud. The 4WD just gets so far in before getting stuck that it can't back out again.

Don said...

A majority of individuals on the Harvard Law School payroll presumably subscribe to the doctrine of "diversity" which preaches that certain specified groups are genetically superior to other groups (for example "wise Latinas.") Minnow appears to be projecting our societal elites' as well as her own personal bigotry by choosing to use the phrase "genetically inferior."

kcom said...

I came across this quote in the book The Fellowship of the Ring tonight and it immediately made me think of this post.

The speaker is Saruman (attempting to recruit Gandalf) after it's revealed that Saruman has gone rogue and is after the One Ring for his own use.

"Our time is at hand: the world of Men which we must rule. But we must have power, power to order all things as we will, for that good which only the Wise can see."

It's the same sentiment. "I'm so smart, I should really be in charge of your life. I know better what you need than you do. Step back, cede power to me, and let me do my thing. It's for your own good."

The Greeks called it hubris.

former law student said...

Being female, Stephanie Grace innocently believed she could have an entirely open discussion about race.

"Being female"?

Maybe one female in a thousand grows up without concern for the feelings of others drilled into her. Men are far more likely to be allowed to come across as an arrogant twit -- look at Tucker Max, for example, or Craig Kilborn.

former law student said...

The default assumption has been that IQ is a good proxy for intelligence, and that more intelligence is better. But if these were both true, then Mensa members would be ruling the world.

A book was written about the later careers of radio's high IQ "Quiz Kids." They all had comfortable, intellectually satisfying later lives, but few set the world on fire (James Watson, a professor at Harvard from age 28 on, won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.)

Jim ASA64 said...

In light of history going back to the days of Leland Stanford, Sr., more recently Larry Summers, and now this, I ask, "Was Harvard really ever a great institution? Or has it all been in their minds?"
How can it be "great" when its deans and faculty cannot comprehend the English language?

[Stanford was turned away when he went to Harvard to make a large donation in memory of his son. He was not given an audience with the President of Harvard because he was one of those boorish Westerners! He returned home to the West and founded LeLand Stanford, Jr. University.]

mcnorman said...

The third year student has a chip on his/her shoulder along the lines of “I’m gonna expose you and teach you a lesson.” How cocky, arrogant, and supremely self-confident. Instead of using it as a teaching lesson in countering the mentality, the third year student took it as a ticket to notoriety, exposing his/her willful malice to hurt someone (probably for the rest of their career, sadly), instead of using it as an opportunity to help someone overcome their bigoted mentality and make their social and work interactions and possibly even their caseload, more meaningful and beneficial for society.

Bigots can learn lessons and mend their ways. Malice is ingrained and used as an ugly power ploy over others.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm very anti-credentialist. This makes me feel just a teensy bit more justified in that.

David said...

Does the dean's mis-statement of what the student says rise to the level of defamation?

If it does, I'd think the potential damages would be very great.