May 2, 2010

"Now I hasten to say that the controversy at Harvard is only a pale echo of Soviet Communism."

Writes Eugene Volokh (who knows how it felt to live in the Soviet Union):
With luck, this student won’t have her career ruined, or even much affected. I’ve seen a public call for her to be expelled.... but I doubt that this will happen. And even if some of the best future jobs are closed off to her, at least for a while, a Harvard Law diploma will get you to plenty of places. She doesn’t have to worry, I suspect, about not being able to feed herself or her future family.

Yet the public revelation of a private conversation; the public condemnation by management; the obvious danger of serious career ramifications; the apology, which I take it came out of a fear of those ramifications — all for daring to say to friends something that simply represents a basic scientific principle (the need to be open to the possibility that there are racial differences in intelligence, as one is open to other possibilities on other scientific questions) — that just sounded a little too familiar to me.

It’s a pale echo, but of something so bad that we should be wary even of pale echoes.
Isn't this a teaching moment for Harvard Law School? Dean Minow's memo dated April 29th said:
A troubling event and its reverberations can offer an opportunity to increase awareness, and to foster dialogue and understanding. The BLSA leadership brought this view to our meeting yesterday, and I share their wish to turn this moment into one that helps us make progress in a community dedicated to fairness and justice.
So the original "troubling event" was something Minow chose to use as a teaching moment to increase awareness, and to foster dialogue and understanding. She embraced the practice of turning the difficult material into an occasion to make progress in a community dedicated to fairness and justice.

Keep teaching, professor! A lot of us are prepped and eager for Lesson 2!

218 comments:

1 – 200 of 218   Newer›   Newest»
cubanbob said...

And to think the parents are paying fifty plus thousand a year for the favor.

Alex said...

Here's a thought experiment:

if the student had been black, and suggested that it's not beyond the possibility of doubt that Jews are bankers what would the reaction be from conservatives? Yeah crucify him.

shoutingthomas said...

What's this really all about?

Democrats can't win national elections without a block black vote.

So, Democrats hand out welfare perks, corporate shakedowns and quota gifts to buy black votes.

It's naked vote buying masquerading as high minded sanctimony.

Harvard Law is a adjunct of the Democratic Party. Party discipline must be enforced.

That's all there is to it.

Pogo said...

A fascinating and feminist account of what Volokh describes was in Slavenka Drakulic's book How We Survived Communism & Even Laughed.

She is a Croatian journalist and novelist, and daughter of a high-ranking Communist army officer. She spoke of telephone calls being monitored, and even slightly dyslauditory comments could mean being arrested.

Not surprisingly, falsely reporting others for thought crimes was rampant and a useful way to advance one's own interests.

I suspect that such subterfuge played no small part in the publication of private e-mails in this case.

Martha said...

Dean Minnow is the Dean of all the students at Harvard Law School. The student who disseminated the email mailed to her as a follow up tco a private dinner conversation acted in an unethical manner by betraying her classmate's presumption of privacy.

The leaker is the law student whose career should suffer.
She is clearly unethical and if internet rumors are to be believed, a spiteful, jealous piece of work.

Why has the Dean abrogated her responsibility to the truly aggrieved Harvard Law Student?

mesquito said...

"Apologize for what you said in a private email, and promise never ever EVER to say such things again."

"Why?"

"To foster dialogue."

mesquito said...

Why did the Central Commmitte applaud Stalin for a full 90 minutes?

They were too terrified to stop.

Mark O said...

Soon, the only protected speech will be pornography.

David said...

The lady could get married--take her husband's name.

Alex? Jews are bankers! There. I said it. Wow--that was controversial.

Martha--One account I read was that the email was six months old when forwarded to BLS. By someone who seems to have had a grudge. Nasty. Maybe not unethical in some strict sense, but very nasty.

Dean Minnow was of course covering her own ass. Had she not responded like she did, the focus would have been on her.

Anyway, there goes that Supreme Court nomination for Dean Minnow.

YoungHegelian said...

I suspect that there is also a bullying aspect to this story. The e-mail leakers knew that this young woman was going to cave and pays obeisance to the gods-that-be at Hah-vahrd.

Does anyone really think that this would have happened to some hard-boiled Young Americans for Freedom prick who would have come out swinging? "Hey my career is now shit anyway, I'm taking you clowns down with me." Called FIRE, lawyered up, all that.

I think the perps knew they were targeting a sweet, squish-liberal, mark.

Old Dad said...

Alex,

You never disappoint. You're always an idiot. You've deliberately confused categories in a lame attempt to make a stupid political point, and you've been offensive and bigoted to boot.

Lyle said...

BLSA is part of the problem too. A few of its members throughout the U.S. are working on starting a political career or at least a career as a local leader in the black community, and they're encouraged on the national level to cause a scene over anything perceived as racist or non-progressive. It helps them gain cred in their community.

rhhardin said...

I doubt there's a controversy at Harvard.

There's a controversy about Harvard.

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irene said...

Another good read is The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia. The accounts in it parallel much of what my family reported about that era.

The "pale echos" of muffling free speech begin in the schools. Here's one example. In the early 1940s, the schools in a Soviet-occupied nation required high school students to attend a May Day rally. Students had to show up at the rally with red flags and posters of Uncle Joe. If a student failed to appear, then the school expelled the student. If a parent objected to a child's participation in the rally, then a truck would appear at the family home during the night, and the family quietly slipped off to the Gulag.

Teachers who did not tow the official line endured a similar fate. My mother's best friend spent seventeen years in Siberia, where her husband froze to death.

Over time, "pale echoes" swell into ear splitting reverberations.

lucid said...

The truth is that increassingly I would rather deal with corporations lke Amazon, Land's End, or Hewlett-Packard than try to deal with--or be at the mercy of--public institutions like government agencies or Harvard University.

Amazon has more respect for my rights--and does a better job of protecting them--than Harvard does for the rights of its students.

Prasad said...

Harvard is a broken brand. Most of the people responsible for the housing mess, the Iraq war, Enron, the S&L crisis and all sorts of other poor policy have been created by the highly "regarded" Harvard Education.

Our country would be better off and I think most companies would be better off if the word Harvard meant dishonesty and incompetence.

AllenS said...

The lesson learned is don't talk about black people. Don't talk to black people. Don't hire black people. Don't trust black people. Don't buy from black people. Stay away from black people.

Get rid of racial quotas. Get rid of affirmative action.

John said...

Is anyone asking Harvard why it permits a racist organization like the BLACK Law Student's Association?

Does it permit whites to be members?

Would Harvard permit a White Law student's Association?

I call BS.

John Henry

Big Mike said...

@Professor Althouse, you are seriously questioning the open-mindedness of the Dean of Harvard Law? Harrumph. Don't expect Harvard to come knocking on your door with an offer to take over an endowed seat anytime soon!

Maguro said...

The message of her teaching moment is that some knowledge is forbidden. Take heed, potential thought criminals!

Alex said...

Is anyone asking Harvard why it permits a racist organization like the BLACK Law Student's Association?

Considering the history of white racism, I don't have a problem with black organizations. Why should black students have to see a white face?

SMGalbraith said...

I'm open to the possibility - likelihood really - that posters on Althouse named "Alex" are less intelligent than other posters.

Well, there goes my law career.

Yeah, that was easy (why tackle hard ones?) but, c'mon Alex, raise your game a bit.

edutcher said...

"With luck, this student won’t have her career ruined, or even much affected".

Good luck on that. The only way she rehabilitates herself is to become someone even more demonic about PC than Miss Minow, not unlike all the SS types who had to drop a hammer on an SA man to prove their loyalty to the Fuhrer.

Ann said...

She doesn’t have to worry, I suspect, about not being able to feed herself or her future family.

But she won't be one of the glitterati, or, at the very least, she will be regarded similar to Philby and all his little friends when they finally defected. Each was given a little dacha well away in the countryside from anything sensitive or important.

cubanbob said...

And to think the parents are paying fifty plus thousand a year for the favor.

Excellent point.

Kirby Olson said...

There is a neat book about the framing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was signed by 48 member countries of the UN in December 1948. A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By a Harvard woman professor who teaches in history.

The Soviet Union wanted to ban all fascist speech.

Most of the other countries wanted total freedom of speech.

They wanted total freedom of thought.

The libertarian notion of speech won out. But increasingly the other viewpoint -- the soviet viewpoint -- is making a spectacular comeback -- esp. at American colleges and universities.

The notion of a planned economy is also making a comeback. Especially in places like Harvard, and among its graduates.

mesquito said...

The Harvard "community" has been lecturing the rest of us about race relations for generations. Give us a fecking break.

mesquito said...

A troubling event and its reverberations can offer an opportunity to increase awareness, and to foster dialogue and understanding. The BLSA leadership brought this view to our meeting yesterday, and I share their wish to turn this moment into one that helps us make progress in a community dedicated to fairness and justice.


Study this. Commit it to memory. Learn it's cadences, internalize it's jargon.

Because in the future, this is how everybody will speak and write.

Jeremy said...

All she has to do is make sure she applies for positions at companies controlled by Republicans.

Jeremy said...

"Harvard Law is a adjunct of the Democratic Party. Party discipline must be enforced."

Well, I'll take that over Pat Regent University any day of the week.

Mick said...

This is what Harvard is all about.

http://www.swarmusa.com/vb4/entry.php/12-Hello!-A-new-article-taking-the-fight-directly-to-the-Harvard-Debt-Lords-gutting-the-country


Volokh? he left the USSR when he was 6-7 yrs. old. Now he is a supposedly "brilliant" CON Law expert who doesn't know what a Natural Born Citizen is, i.e Born in the US of 2 US Citizen parents, and Obama is not one (father was Kenyan citizen). What a joke.

Hagar said...

But I never could talk like that; even when I try to imitate and parody it, I fail miserably. I think there might be something genetically inherited about the ability to speak like that?

William said...

The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are replete with instances of grand crimes being committed by Europeans who were convinced of their intellectual and moral superiority. That's just a matter of history. Nonetheless, in a good part of the twentieth century on through to our own times, the grand crimes have been committed by Marxists and third world nationalists whose magnified sense of grievance has caused them to ignore the restraints of common decency. That's also a matter of history. The smugness of the bourgeoise vs the resentments of the underclass. Fire and ice and the world perishes twice.....I'm not at all sure that intelligence, like courage, can be measured or predicted in any accurate way among groups and especially between individuals. What can be measured and predicted is the rage that this presumption of superiority triggers. The young lady in question acknowledges how her question could cause that anger. However, neither the dean nor the black students seem willing to admit that there are any ethical problems in their own position.....There is a slippery slope in both positions, but the dean and the black students are further down it and travelling at a greater velocity.

Jeremy said...

Only the tea bagging dolts here, commenting on a law professor's blog site no less, could spend their time bad mouthing one of the top universities in the entire world.

Get-a-fucking-life.

mesquito said...

Also, in the future, your grandsons and great-grandsons will be insufferable snots with names like "Jeremy"

Mick said...

Jeremy said...
"Only the tea bagging dolts here, commenting on a law professor's blog site no less, could spend their time bad mouthing one of the top universities in the entire world.

Get-a-fucking-life."


I wouldn't send my kid to have is mind poisoned by elitist Leftist Profs at Harvard if it was FREE.

Jeremy said...

Mick - "I wouldn't send my kid to have is mind poisoned by elitist Leftist Profs at Harvard if it was FREE.

Maybe you can get him to buy you a dictionary...

Duh.

Old Dad said...

Jeremy is an anatomical marvel. He's proven repeatedly that he has his head up his ass which opens up the extraordinary possibility that he can teabag himself.

Jeremy said...

mesquito said..."Also, in the future, your grandsons and great-grandsons will be insufferable snots with names like 'Jeremy'."

You actually think my name is Jeremy?

Is your name "mesquito?"

You fuckers are really...dense.

Alex said...

haha any parent would love to send their kid to Harvard. A first class education and all the job prospects you can imagine. Only baggers can't see that.

Jeremy said...

Old Dad - Anybody who spends their time denigrating one of the best universities in their own country, and one of the greatest in the entire world, is a fool.

It just goes to show you how stupid and petty you and the rest of the tea baggers who spend their lives here, sucking up to each other on a daily basis, really are.

mesquito said...

Of course my real name is mesquito.

It's Norwegian, you know.

I never assumed your name is Jeremy. The possibilities were always: a) it's your real name, which is sad. b) you chose it, which is sad.

Jeremy said...

mesquito said..."I never assumed your name is Jeremy."

Oh, I see. Then why would you post this comment, numbnut?

"Also, in the future, your grandsons and great-grandsons will be insufferable snots with names like 'Jeremy'."

Dense...

Jeremy said...

AllenS said..."The lesson learned is don't talk about black people. Don't talk to black people. Don't hire black people. Don't trust black people. Don't buy from black people. Stay away from black people."

And the resident tea bagging racist rears his ugly head once again.

What a dunce.

Old Dad said...

Jeremy,

Anyone who spends his time denigrating the greatest country in the world is a fool--progressive, same thing.

Fool meet petard. How do those shrivelled little raisins taste by the way?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."

mesquito said...

Oh, I see. Then why would you post this comment, numbnut?

Because, "Jeremy," I've come to associate the name "Jeremy" with insufferable snots. Funny how that is. Whether "Jeremy" is the name given at birth, or if it was adopted at age, oh, fifteen as a sort of nom d'snot, make no difference at all.

lemondog said...

Dean Martha Minow: Biography

In August 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Dean Minow to the board of the Legal Services Corporation..

Did she get marching orders to turn this into a teaching moment, or was her inspiration that Obama-cop-Gates beer fest?

Chip Ahoy said...

Is this a teaching moment for Harvard Law School?

I'd say, no. I've discovered, through trial and tribulation, that some things, some people, are unteachable.

SMGalbraith said...

Harvard is indeed a great university and it provides a first class education along with opportunities that many people only dream of.

But as shown by this incident (and others), there's a narrow-minded worldview there that should be unsettling to those who believe in pluralism and real tolerance. Great universities simply should not be responding like this.

This young student wrote something (in a private conservation) that we can find to be stupid if not worse. But to use this small mistake to ruin her entire career is both cheap, petty and unfair.

And troubling.

Hagar said...

A first class [scholarly] education is available at most universities, but it is not mandatory that you take advantage of the opportunity.

Moira Breen said...

mesquito: "Apologize for what you said in a private email, and promise never ever EVER to say such things again."

"Why?"

"To foster dialogue."


Touché

Fen said...

She doesn’t have to worry, I suspect, about not being able to feed herself or her future family.

Weasel words that avoid the truth her prospects have been diminished. By PCBS.

Hey Harvard, blacks are the most racist demographic in the US, as evidenced by FBI hate crime stats.
Stick that in up your ass, racemongering tools.

Bruce Hayden said...

Volokh? he left the USSR when he was 6-7 yrs. old. Now he is a supposedly "brilliant" CON Law expert who doesn't know what a Natural Born Citizen is, i.e Born in the US of 2 US Citizen parents, and Obama is not one (father was Kenyan citizen).

You have obviously never met the man. I have, on several occasions, in particular on some memorable nights bar hopping on East 6th Street in Austin after some of Mark Lemley's Computer Law conferences. Volokh was one of Lemley's regular speakers, and the whole crew of them were scary bright.

I can thank EV for my introduction to blogging. Maybe a decade or so ago, he called me out for being intemperate on an email list we both participated in (I think it was Cyberia-L). He did so in his usual mild way, and I have tried to keep it in mind over the years since then. I followed his link in his email .sig back to volokh.com, and from there to the rest of the blogosphere.

As for Obama being natural born citizen - you are presuming either that having one U.S. parent is sufficient to be a natural born citizen regardless of where you are born or that he was born in Hawaii. The later is plausible, the former is somewhat debatable. Outside the cess pool of the liberal blogosphere, there are a lot of good legal arguments on both sides of the matter. The reality, of course, is that it doesn't matter. The Supreme Court wasn't about to overturn such an obvious political statement by the American public as his election on such a close legal question.

The Crack Emcee said...

Imagine if the receiver of the original e-mail would've handled it as I would've, and just wrote back, "O.K., Einstien", or, maybe, just shrugged at such stupidity and let it go - none of this PC Stalinist bullshit you guys are fretting over would've happened.

But Noooooo, there's a ready-and-willing audience, waiting to debate - and punish - whatever the next salacious tidbit happens to be, whether it's worthy of mention or not. It will be when you guys get done with it.

Hell, I'll be surprised if somebody doesn't end up dead.

Moira Breen said...

mesquito: [re Minow's duckspeak]: Study this. Commit it to memory. Learn it's cadences, internalize it's jargon.

Because in the future, this is how everybody will speak and write.


Hagar: But I never could talk like that; even when I try to imitate and parody it, I fail miserably. I think there might be something genetically inherited about the ability to speak like that?

Heh, could be. Though it's perhaps more fruitful to think about it an older, theological vocabulary of falsehood, sin, degradation. Decline and fall.

Peter V. Bella said...

Are there any White students in the BLSA? Are they allowed to join? Is the BLSA a discriminatory and bias organization?

If so, why is it allowed?

AllenS said...

Crack--

The problem is that men like you are in short supply. Too bad for all of us.

edutcher said...

Haavahd WAS one of the great universities of the world. Like many of the others like it in this country, it stopped being so around 1970 and coasts largely on reputation - which is also coming unraveled thanks to revelations like this.

Palladian said...

"Haavahd WAS one of the great universities of the world. Like many of the others like it in this country, it stopped being so around 1970 and coasts largely on reputation - which is also coming unraveled thanks to revelations like this"

Isn't 1970 around when they started letting women in? Funny coincidence, that!

maninthemiddle said...

Although small compared to state universities, the Harvard community has, nonetheless, a large number of folks within. Like any large group, there will be good, and bad, and all shades in between. Thought I should state my qualifier.

I will dispense with "some of my best friends wear crimson" - though some actually do so...
...and relate my experience as a senior project director for a large retail entity.

The company decided they wanted to permeate the various departments with those graduated from Harvard and Yale - where possible. In my case, they felt the rigors of the academics - regardless of the field of study - would bring new concepts and efficiencies to the "people" side of the implementation, and promote better understanding and cooperation among the various divisions affected by new software and procedures.

In my decidedly small sample - 4 - I found that they were very proficient at analyzing, considering, and debating.
Unfortunately, projects with several thousand tasks also need a lot of troubleshooting, prioritizing, taking heat as well as unpleasant responses from those upon whom the new programs are foisted.

Producing real live results takes...well... it just takes a lot of DOING.

The Harvard folks were not good at doing. All were shunted off to financial analysis or other departments.

While I am sure there are many from those hallowed halls that could dance a circle around me, it is also true, I guess, that if one is kept from conflict and hard choices during their young lives, it becomes difficult to adjust when the real world makes its appearance.

maninthemiddle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mick said...

Bruce Hayden wrote,
"As for Obama being natural born citizen - you are presuming either that having one U.S. parent is sufficient to be a natural born citizen regardless of where you are born or that he was born in Hawaii. The later is plausible, the former is somewhat debatable. Outside the cess pool of the liberal blogosphere, there are a lot of good legal arguments on both sides of the matter. The reality, of course, is that it doesn't matter. The Supreme Court wasn't about to overturn such an obvious political statement by the American public as his election on such a close legal question."


No, you don't get it either. I'm not presuming anything. Vattel's Law of Nations (1757 Treatise on Natural Law) is from where the term comes, i.e Born in the US to 2 US Citizen parents. That definition is repeated in a handful of SCOTUS cases verbatum(although they are not cases about POTUS eligibility), The Venus (1814), Dred Scott (1854), Minor v. Happersett (1873), Wong Kim Ark (1898), and Perkins v. Elg (1939). NO CASES define Natural Born Citizen as anything less than Born in the US to 2 Citizen parents, that's ZERO, ZILCH. It is certainly not a close or contested definition, and Volokh should know what it means (as should Althouse)if he's so flippin smart.
The outcome of the election has no validity on the eligibility of the candidate, as the 20th Amendment will tell you, and there is a mechanism described in A1, and the DC Statutes (Quo Warranto) for his removal if found to be ineligible.

http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2010/05/thomas-jefferson-founder-of-our-nation.html

From Inwood said...

Prof A once made the following comment, which I've used against others who want to argue a point I never made rather than deal with the one I actually made:

“people who tend to make the statements of others sound absolute so that they can disagree with them”

mesquito said...

OMG! I've just learned, after 44 years, that I am not a natural born citizen!

From Inwood said...

嘉容嘉容

Stop sending us to porno sites. You think we work for the SEC?

From Inwood said...

On the other hand, I never thought I'd see the day where a wild & crazy Birther made more sense than the Dean Of Harvard Law School ☺

Mick said...

mesquito said...
"OMG! I've just learned, after 44 years, that I am not a natural born citizen!"

I get a lot of push-back because of that same reaction. There are 3 subsets of citizens described in the Constitution Native born and Naturalized (14th Amendment citizens by statute) and Natural Born Citizens (by the Law of Nature, A2S1C4,5). All have the same civil rights, but only the Natural Born Citizens are eligible to be POTUS. It is a National Security Requirement designed to ensure the highest possibility of allegiance and attachment to country to devolve upon the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces.
Just so you know, Mccain, despite what is said in Resolution 511 (sponsored by Obama, and w/ no force in law), is not a Natural Born Citizen since he was born in Colon, Panama.

D. B. Light said...

Not everyone at Harvard is an idiot. Steve Thernstrom taught there.

Kirby Olson said...

The woman at Harvard who wrote the book on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is Ann Marie Glendon, or something. She actually teaches in law.

I wonder if someone should interview her about this situation.

This notion that thought must be policed definitely comes out of Soviet thought.


Harvard will continue to run on its deep reputation for another forty years. It has a lot of free thinkers too -- or had them. Nozick taught at Harvard.

Died suspiciously young, though.

Maybe he was force-fed radioactive material?

Who knows what's happening there?

mesquito said...

Just so you know, Mccain, despite what is said in Resolution 511 (sponsored by Obama, and w/ no force in law), is not a Natural Born Citizen since he was born in Colon, Panama.

Baloney, Mick.

McCain was born in Coco Solo hospital, which is not in Colon. (Trust me on this. I spent my childhood within a few miles of both Colon, Coco Solo, and Coco Solo Hospital which was nearby neither of the first two.)

But it doesn't really matter. John McCain could have been born on May Day on a tank in Red Square and he'd be perfectly eligible to be President of the United States.

Mick said...

From Inwood said...
"On the other hand, I never thought I'd see the day where a wild & crazy Birther made more sense than the Dean Of Harvard Law School ☺"

The FACT that Obama is not a Natural Born Citizen is already admitted by him here:

http://www.fightthesmears.com.php5-9.websitetestlink.com/articles/5/birthcertificate

Notice that he only admits to being a "Native Citizen" (don't you think a Constitutional Scholar knows the correct term is Natural Bor Citizen?). Then there's this statement:
"“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”

He was born a dual citizen
with allegiance to Britain and then Kenya. The purpose (which prof. Althouse posted about a few months back, as described by the Federalist Papers)of the NBC requirement was to insulate foreign allegiances and influence from the office of POTUS and VP. How then could a Natural Born Citizen, eligible to be POTUS, be born a dual citizen w/ Britain?
It matters not WHERE he was born, his foreign father already exclues him.

John said...

Mick is quite right that no cases define "natural born
citizen"

However, anyone, with the exception of accredited diplomats, born on US soil is a native born US citizen and, probably a natural born citizen.

Parentage has nothing whatsoever to do with it. A woman who gives birth in the transient lounge at JFK as she passes from Mexico to Canada has given birth to a native born citizen. By common acceptance to a natural born citizen as well.

You could, you know, look it up. The Supreme court has ruled several times on this.

Being born on US soil makes one a citizen.

John Henry

John said...

If I went to Harvard I would see if they would let me start a "Harvard White Law Students association"

This would be the statement of purpose:


Welcome to HBLSA

The Harvard Black Law Students Association (HBLSA) was founded in 1967. Today HBLSA is the largest chapter in the National Black Law Students Association. With well over 100 members, HBLSA is truly reflective of the diversity that exists within the black community of Harvard Law School.

We, the White Law Students Association of Harvard Law School, exist for the support, guidance and direction of White students in academic, professional and social endeavors. Our main function is to assist members in the development of their legal careers and to provide opportunities for exposure to various areas and aspects of the legal profession. We recognize the need to act positively in the development of the White community, to encourage cooperation and closer ties between members of the Law School’s White community and to establish a vehicle through which our concerns are brought to bear on Harvard Law School policy and the community at large.

Shameless cribbed from www.harvardblsa.com

I would also use the association to foster diversity but only among the White community of Harvard Law School.

I stole that from them too:

With well over 100 members, HBLSA is truly reflective of the diversity that exists within the black community of Harvard Law School.

John Henry
I just substituted White for Black.

I find it particularly amusing that they are for promoting diversity (that all purpose fuzzy feelgood word) but only

Mick said...

Mesquito said,

"McCain was born in Coco Solo hospital, which is not in Colon. (Trust me on this. I spent my childhood within a few miles of both Colon, Coco Solo, and Coco Solo Hospital which was nearby neither of the first two.)

But it doesn't really matter. John McCain could have been born on May Day on a tank in Red Square and he'd be perfectly eligible to be President of the United States."

Nope, Sorry. Here is his BC (born in Colon Hospital, Colon Panama).

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9934044/John-McCain-Birth-Certificate

Even if he was born on the base he would still not be Natural Born. Certainly he would not be if born in RS! (Remember: BORN IN THE US OF 2 US CITIZEN PARENTS. Look at the difference between the Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795 (hint: in the 1795 Act they dropped the words Natural Born, leaving just "citizen"). The first Naturalization Act is the only Naturalization Act that contains "Natural Born", and they probably realized it's unconstitutionality (they changed the meaning of a clause in the body of the USC w/o Amendment), so they took out the words "natural born" in 1795. Naturalization Acts of Section 1801 NOWHERE contain the words "Natural Born" because Congress cannot constitutionally legislate that term.

Mick said...

John said,

"Parentage has nothing whatsoever to do with it. A woman who gives birth in the transient lounge at JFK as she passes from Mexico to Canada has given birth to a native born citizen. By common acceptance to a natural born citizen as well."

And you would be wrong. A lot of people confuse the term Native born and citizen at birth w/ Natural Born Citizen. There is cretainly doubt that anyone born of 2 NON Citizen parents is a citizen at all (at least until their parents naturalized, or they naturalized by election at majority).
Here is a relevant quote from Minor v, Happersett (1874) that like the other cases quote Vattel almost exactly:

"The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners."

There have been no cases specifically abou POTUS eligibility, but Natural Born was certainly defined in other citizenship cases.

Mick said...

John said,

"Being born on US soil makes one a citizen."

Maybe, but not a Natural Born Citizen, eligible to be POTUS.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Gypo Nolan: And now the British think I'm with the Irish, and the Irish think I'm with the British. The long and short of it is I'm walkin' around without a dog to lick my trousers!
(The Informer, 1935)

Trooper York said...

Nobody likes a tattletale.

Well except for teachers.

They love tatteltales.

Trooper York said...

Nello would've busted cap in their ass.

rhhardin said...

Belmont Club has the essence of the political correctness

The need to judge every act within the new hierarchy means only one real crime is left in the world: not knowing your place.

paul a'barge said...

Somewhere, someone is trying to teach something to Dean Minow; and she's not getting it.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

They had the annual Court St Festival today which is the second worse day of the year. I lose a ton of business as my real customers can't park and get to me because the streets are blocked by douche bags selling tube sox and meat on a stick.

Anyway this hipster dofous guy comes along with a table and starts to set up on the sidewalk right in front of my store. I come out and go "Hey pay what the fuck do you think you are doing." He goes "You don't even know what I am selling." "I don't give a shit you can't sell it on my sidewalk."
He goes "Well if you are going to be a dick about it...the sweetness of the neighborhood." "Listen you got three minutes to pack your ship up before you find out how sweet it would feel to have it shoved up you ass you fucking moron."

You see he is of the current generation who were never told no. Never told to cut that shit out. Who got a prize for just participating. Who think their are no consequences for their actions. Who never sat on a barstool and knew that if you said the wrong thing the guy next to you was going to punch you in the mouth.

He was wearing a Harvard T-shirt.

There you go.

Trooper York said...

The older I get the more I get like Mr. Wilson.

GMay said...

Harvard sets a real high bar to get that 97% grad rate I tell ya.

Revenant said...

This is why I roll my eyes when college professors start talking about the importance of intellectual freedom. For most college students, the years spent in college represent the nadir of their intellectual freedom.

If you want intellectual freedom, graduate as fast as you can. :)

Palladian said...

Thanks, Theo, for turning out yet another monster to further destroy any promise of freedom or success for those of us not teetering on the edge of the nursing home. The reason we're currently sinking in the quicksand is because generations of parents valued complacency and material success over higher principles.

David said...

Here is lesson 2:

Althouse will never get hired at Harvard.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Trooper York said...

I think Theo is a great father and will guide his son in the right way. We were all young once.

Sometimes the kids are just too sheltered. Once they get our in the real world they will be "mugged " by reality.

The older they get the smarter Dad gets. It's the way of the world.

mesquito said...

This is why I roll my eyes when college professors start talking about the importance of intellectual freedom.

Amen, Brother. Who started the notion that colleges are safe harbors for free inquiry? And where do we get the idea that college students, as a class, are partucularly open-minded? My experience is the opposite. And that politicalized portion of the young has always seemed to me intolerant and dogmatic.

Adam said...

In the absence of empirical evidence to the contrary, I'm not entirely unwilling to rule out the possibility that the Irish are, on average, somewhat fonder of alcoholic beverages than are other ethnic groups.

I shall apologize presently for any hurt I caused to the members of my extended family for this remark.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"Saying impolitic things is not the way to get ahead in any society, whether 17th century New England, the former Soviet Union, or even in our own decrepit age. And if you say or write things shocking to the prevailing orthodoxy, you cannot, in any era, expect them to not be used against you."

I don't care about politics. I care about truth. And any university that dares call itself great and free should behave as if they believe the same. One of the core missions of a great university is to defend the possibly impolitic search for truth. Grace wrote nothing but an admission that she was open to a scientific possibility. That you chose not to correct your young son when he made the error of confusing that statement with racism suggests a profound lack of concern for truth and morality and seems to me a disservice to his intellectual development. And it astounds me that you think this disservice is required for his future success.

Maybe I don't have any room to talk, as I didn't go to elite private schools in a rich, liberal town, nor am I a partner in a high-powered law firm. Perhaps if I had learned to be "politic" and polite in the face of untruth and slander, I'd have gotten further in life.

mszoop said...

How can someone not know enough to realize an email is a public event. There are no more private emails. Forget it. She should have considered her earlier remarks enough and done nothing further. Not the brightest bulb in the box. Rather impulsive. Love it or hate it, that's our society today.

Methadras said...

I don't understand the controversy at all? If this was a discussion in private, then what business does it have on a larger public scale to our this person as a racist?

Penny said...

Palladian, you know Theo's quote is accurate and very well stated. Some of us have a harder time falling in line though. That's a good thing.

Never whip yourself for standing up against prevailing views, or searching for greater truth. Never wonder where you might have gotten in your career. Who cares now when it obviously wasn't your primary motivator before.

Badges of courage are in short supply. Take yours out once in a while. Polish it up. And keep on being YOU.

From Inwood said...

John 5/2/10 4:30 PM

How about an organization for Natural Born Harvard Law Black Students (NBHLBSA)?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

I'm not going to rule out the possibility that Stephanie Grace's inability to perceive her words from another's point of view was genetically caused. Wikipedia is as usual enlightening:

Asperger syndrome is named for the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy.

The exact cause is unknown, although research supports the likelihood of a genetic basis; brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology... The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills... Most individuals improve over time, but difficulties with communication, social adjustment and independent living continue into adulthood.


So, with proper treatment Stephanie's social deficits can be alleviated.

PatCA said...

I wonder if there really ever was a time when the university had open and free discourse...it might have tilted in one direction or the other, but maybe now we just notice it more and are t/4 more wary.

former law student said...

if there really ever was a time when the university had open and free discourse

Sure. One of my professors wrote a famous book "proving" that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were designed merely for delousing clothing, and not for exterminating Jews. Thanks to academic freedom, he continues to teach there today. His book put an end to his career advancement, however.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Africans, because of long residence on their continent, have become the most genetically diverse people in the world... This alone, of which my son is well aware, puts a lie to Ms. Grace's naive musings

Except she's not talking about Africans.

She's talking about African-Americans who's ancestors were selected into slavery by Africans because they were sick lame or lazy (ie genetic weeding)

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Fen, you do have a knack for finding new ways to beclown yourself.

Fen said...

What do you dispute Palladian?

Fen said...

In response to Theo's post about African genetic variety, I'm claiming that African-Americans are genetically inferior to Africans.

Oh, my bad. I see. You're still pissed off about yesterday.

From Inwood said...

fen

selected into slavery by Africans because they were sick lame or lazy

C'mon where would there have been a market in the US for such people?

(Don't say "Harvard Law School"!)

ricpic said...

Maybe the meaning of life isn't being free to say things that are perceived as racist or even are racist, things that offend others, things that are ugly to certain ears. Maybe the meaning of life is shutting the fuck up in order to get ahead. Yup, I think that's it: getting ahead trumps freedom. Now I'm all grown up.

Fen said...

The U.S. Black/White Test-Score Gap Undoubtedly Exists.

"The gap exists. It is real, measurable, and its measurement is easily replicated. It does not merely appear in one specific test nor in just a few particular tests. On the contrary, the gap appears in every test of those mental abilities that are important to success in Western culture.

The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation immigrant grade-school children from sub-Saharan Africa."

http://backintyme.com/essays/?p=39

Fen said...

C'mon where would there have been a market in the US for such people?

The market was dependent on supply. Assume you're a tribal elder and some slaver comes to you with gold for 3 bodies.

Which 3 bodies do you sell? The ones your tribe needs or the ones that it doesn't?

Traders on the silk road routinely passed on African slaves because they were known to be damaged goods.

But lets pause for Palladian to have another meltdown...

Fen said...

"The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation immigrant grade-school children from sub-Saharan Africa"

Fen said...

"The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation British West Indian immigrant grade-school children of predominantly sub-Saharan ancestry."

Fen said...

"The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation Latin American immigrant grade-school children of predominantly sub-Saharan ancestry"

Seven Machos said...

Fen -- Your argument about Africans who became slaves is ridiculous and unsophisticated.

William said...

They say that the last people in Europe to become civilized were the highland Scots. At any rate people who were not far removed from wearing skins in stone huts came up with some of the most life enhancing inventions and insights during the Edinburgh Renaissance.... I think intelligence is a kind of dormant quality that can be awakened in some environments and suppressed in others. I have personally survived an awful lot of beastly experiences by adopting a facade of brutish stupidity. Stupidity is an excellent coping mechanism for enduring burdens of endless misery and stress.

Vicioussss said...

"The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation immigrant grade-school children from sub-Saharan Africa"

Three points:

1) Sub-Saharan African immigrants are by no means are a random sample of their population.

2) IQ stabilizes in high school, not grade school (and the white/black gap WIDENS, perhaps because blacks mature earlier.)

3) Every statistical analysis I've seen shows that US blacks have a higher mean IQ than Sub-Saharan Africans.

Synova said...

The idea of intelligence as being dormant in populations is interesting. It's not the first time anyone thought of that. I can think of a couple of science fiction stories that have that as a premise. One at least had humans suddenly devolving back to animals. Every baby born was a cave-man. In another an alien race didn't seem intelligent and then suddenly was.

The benefits of science fiction are that whatever question an author wants to explore can be removed from the here and now.

It saves a person from getting in trouble for asking the wrong question.

Synova said...

"The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation immigrant grade-school children from sub-Saharan Africa"

If people aren't allowed to ask the wrong questions a statement like this stands. Without talking about it whatever is true or the reasons for it are never explored.

Off the top of my head... it could be that their children are more intelligent because their parents are more intelligent because the set "immigrant" is self-selected, if by nothing else than by those who can figure out how to get from there to here.

Which I suppose brings us back to Dean Minnow's daddy.

Seven Machos said...

The notion that you can measure intelligence or that it's genetic is absolutely absurd.

There are many other things to be said, but Occam's Razor allows me to stop here.

Vicioussss said...

"The notion that you can measure intelligence or that it's genetic is absolutely absurd."

As worded your statement is correct. You can't measure what you can't define (and there's no agreed upon definition of "intelligence").

However IQ isn't MEANINGLESS (if you think it is, show me a US law professor with an IQ of 70.) It correlates rather well to socioeconomic factors. It is statistically meaningful.

And no IQ isn't 100% "genetic". But neither is it 0% "genetic". The real debate is what percent it is genetic: 30, 40, 50, 80?

What this woman said isn't even REMOTELY controversial to anyone who has reviewed the science and doesn't have a PC agenda.

Seven Machos said...

IQ is not how smart you are. IQ is how well you can play a very, very limited set of analytical games and success at those games -- like any other games -- can be easily improved and very easily coached.

Let's take the SAT, which I know more than pretty much everyone about. If you listen to me, I can make your score from very average to very, very good. Has your IQ gone up when that happens?

Palladian said...

I graduated near the bottom of my high school class and consistently achieved average-to-poor grades throughout school.

I got a perfect score when I took the SAT. My IQ, when tested, was thought to be a mistake because it was so high. How could a poor, weird, underachieving kid from a broken home have scored so well?

Testing, normalcy and expectations can be rendered meaningless by the right minds.

Seven Machos said...

All that proves, Palladian, is that you are from some superior race.

Palladian said...

"All that proves, Palladian, is that you are from some superior race."

It's what happens when you mix Mormons and Scottish highlanders.

Fen said...

Fen: "The gap does not appear in unassimilated first-generation immigrant grade-school children from sub-Saharan Africa."

Synova: If people aren't allowed to ask the wrong questions a statement like this stands

Exactly. Thanks Synova.

I asked this as a question here a few days ago. No response. Likely because people are conditioned to avoid any conversation about blacks and race. Too many minefields, too many cowards.

Much easier to don the righteous armor of Ignorant Tolerance and start calling people racists, eh Palladian?

Fen said...

And P, the quotes I used are from studies SUPPORTING the idea that there is NO genetic component responsible for the U.S. Black/White Test-Score Gap.

We still cant have a national dialogue on race. Because of people like Dean Minow and because of people like you.

Seven Machos said...

Fen -- The problem is that there is fundamentally inherently intelligent about groups of people. Any group of people that is denied equal access to education and forced into the lowest class of society for at least two centuries isn't going to score too highly as a group on that society's bogus intelligence scale.

Further, people are calling you racist because you are making racist comments. You are comparing people based on race. That's racist because comparing races is racist. There's simply no two ways about it.

Skookum John said...

"Harvard is a broken brand. Most of the people responsible for the housing mess, the Iraq war, Enron, the S&L crisis and all sorts of other poor policy have been created by the highly "regarded" Harvard Education."

Harvard Medical School adopted a cooperative, "problem-based" learning model some years ago that has made it a joke among residency directors.

Their grads spend the first six months of their internships catching up to the clinical competence level of the graduates of Bugtussle Junction Medical College. It's only because they're so damn smart in the first place that they survive at all.

Their medical education is a waste and I would certainly suggest to any kid smart enough to get admitted there that they strongly consider going to a real med school like Johns Hopkins, Penn, or Duke.

Skookum John said...

"I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."

Yeah, me too. Too bad his worthless son got a chance to put Pup's most famous aphorism to the test in 2008, and cravenly flinched.

Moira Breen said...

Theo Bohm: Africans, because of long residence on their continent, have become the most genetically diverse people in the world.

Red herring.

Their skins may be uniformly black, but their genetics are often more diverse than those among, or even between, other races. Genetic factors among "Blacks" impacting cognitive abilities would be so hard to identify and segregate, that it is pointless even to consider the exercise, unless, of course, it were sharpened considerably, both from the genetic and cognitive sides.

Squid ink.

This alone, of which my son is well aware, puts a lie to Ms. Grace's naive musings, and makes sending them in an e-mail all the more "messed up," as my son says, because it reveals at once the depth of both her ignorance and naivete.

There may be all kinds of reasons why Ms. Grace's musings are unevidenced or invalid, but "the greater genetic diversity of Africans" isn't one of them.

If one pays even small attention to any particular controversial issue over an extended period of time, one learns to spot the "talking points of the right-minded". For this issue, in any given exchange, there's a high probability that somebody is eventually going to start nattering on about "greater genetic diversity" and, even more likely, make reference or appeals to levels of within-group vs. between-group genetic variation. Throwing in a straw-man feint about "skin color" (implying that the naïf/racist can't think beyond this) is also pretty common. The introduction of these points is a pretty good indicator that the critic doesn't know what he's talking about, but does know what sophisticated people are supposed to think about the subject.

See, glib sneering dismissal is a game everybody can play! Though I will concede that being able to prattle on in defense of Right Thinking, using smart-sounding talking points that don't really demonstrate what you claim they're demonstrating, is arguably a form of "sophistication". Other people might use some other descriptor.


P.S. Anybody have a clue what Fen is nattering on about?

Maguro said...

Let's take the SAT, which I now more than pretty much everyone about. If you listen to me, I can make your score from very average to very, very good. Has your IQ gone up when that happens?

Bullshit, that's nothing more than test prep company marketing hype. Studies have shown that the average effect of SAT coaching programs is a whopping 8 ponts on the verbal and 22 points on the math sections. Hardly enough to raise your score from average to very good.

The SAT is basically an IQ test in drag and while you may dismiss it as "a very, very limited set of analytical games", the fact is that schools like Harvard select for it ruthlessly it during the admissions process.

So the next time some academic type tells you that standardized tests aren't all that and there are many diverse and wonderful forms of intelligence that all matter equally, you may want to ask them why their insitution places so much weight on the SAT when they decide who they want to admit.

Kirby Olson said...

Palladian said he cares more about truth than politics. You can care about politics or about truth, and you have to choose. Most of the media outlets have chosen the former, as have most of our educational institutions. The race and gender people have chosen, and they now own most of our major institutions.

Truth is a casualty of identity politics.

Moira Breen said...

Maguro: The SAT is basically an IQ test in drag and while you may dismiss it as "a very, very limited set of analytical games", the fact is that schools like Harvard select for it ruthlessly it during the admissions process.

Yes, though there is the claim that the SAT has been changed so much that it's no longer the good proxy for IQ that it once was. Recent scores are not comparable to "old school" scores (pre-1995, if I'm not mistaken) for this purpose. (Mensa, for example, no longer accepts SAT scores for membership, as they once did.)

According to this critique, what was once a test designed to find and provide opportunity for highly intelligent kids who lived out in Podunk, or whose parents couldn't afford swish prep schools, is now more "game-able" by them-that-has, and is therefore indeed more class-biased than it once was.

If this is true, I don't know to what degree this has lessened the test's predictive usefulness for kids who don't come from the class of people who obsess about scores, and prepare for the test, from kindergarten. But for all that, I doubt SAT-bashers are in favor of going back to the older, arguably more "playing field-leveling", tests.

wv: grimph. An especially sour and gloomy "humph".

From Inwood said...

fen

You're still avoiding my question.

Supply & demand.

In general, of course the seller wants to get rid of his, shall we say, junk, but the buyer doesn't want junk if he’s looking for quality.

Pickin' cotton was hard & if the slave master was sent to market to find some laborers, he sure wasn't gonna buy the sick, sore, lame, & disabled. Also they weren't gonna survive the long ocean voyage & so the slave ship buyer would've rejected the sick, sore, lame, & disabled in the first place.

Paraphrase of an old Jewish joke:

Slave master goes to buy slave at an auction.

Auctioneer produces a battered, bruised Black with a sore eye & a bandaged hand, & when he sees the buyer looking dubious says: "He was in a fight"

Buyer says "Can I see the winner?"

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orbicularioculi said...

Everyone is ignoring the "elephant in the room". Is there a difference in the median IQ of blacks and whites? Do Jewish students have a median IQ a mean deviation above the median?

Of course the "idea" of the possibility that there are differences in IQ between blacks and whites is Taboo, Anathema, Verboten.

Duncan said...

Fear of criticism. I never felt it myself. I could always continue to run off at the mouth until the opposition was driven from the field by boredom.

I don't get these apologies. Are Harvard students (or presidents) so pathetically weak that they can't defend statements that they have made. Provide examples. Quote research.

So what if Asians are smarter than whites. Does it bother me. They still can't build an aircraft carrier battle group or invent the Internet or the concept of personal Liberty.

I never had any of these problems in college, law school, or on the job. Everyone knew I was a libertarian anarchist right wing nut so nobody cared.

Duncan said...

Do any of you realize that U-Us have higher SAT scores than Jews? What does this mjean. Can I be kicked out of Harvard for reporting it?

That's Unitarian-Universalists btw.

Theo Boehm said...

Causa latet
Res est notissima.


Yes, there may be measurable differences between IQ scores of various groups. Ms. Grace was meditating on the cause.

I say, in my Right Minded way, that we have no way of knowing, and that it is only ethical and useful to work on social cures.

If we are to operate in this country under the foundational assumption that all men are created equal, then considerations of innate or heritable characteristics are almost certain to become yet another excuse for mischief, such as the indefinite extension of affirmative action and the corrosive effects of the perpetual excuse of low expectations.

The goal of finally leveling the playing field is much preferable to that of establishing any group as permanently entitled to special consideration, because people are led to think they were somehow not created equal.

Trooper York said...

I failed my Rorschach test when I was in high school.

But that was only because I thought every ink blot looked like a vagina.

Kirby Olson said...

What is the best IQ test? Is there a good free one that's online?

former law student said...

People who believe all this genetic predisposition caca may be interested to learn that the first intelligence tests applied to US soldiers, during WWI, demonstrated the clear intellectual inferiority of the Jew.

From Stephen Gould's essay on an analysis of the first intelligence tests applied to US soldiers during WWI:

Carl Brigham, then an assistant professor of psychology at Princeton University, published in
1923 a book, short enough and stated with sufficient baldness (some would say clarity) to
be read and used by all propagandists,
A Study of American Intelligence. Once he proved that the tests measure innate intelligence, Brigham devoted most of his book to dispelling common impressions that might threaten this basic assumption.

The army tests had, for example, assessed Jews (primarily recent immigrants) as quite low in intelligence. Does this discovery not conflict with the notable accomplishments of so many Jewish scholars, statesman, and performing artists? Brigham conjectured that Jews might be more variable than other groups; a low mean would not preclude a few geniuses in the upper range. In any case, Brigham added, we probably focus unduly on
the Jewish heritage of some great men because it surprises us: “The able Jew is popularly recognized not only because of his ability, but because he is able and a Jew.” “Our figures, then, would rather tend to disprove the popular belief that the Jew is highly intelligent.”


Isn't science fun, and fascinating?

William said...

My research leads me to believe that a reluctance to play hopskotch in a mine field demonstrates a useful level of intelligence.

Revenant said...

People who believe all this genetic predisposition caca may be interested to learn that the first intelligence tests applied to US soldiers, during WWI, demonstrated the clear intellectual inferiority of the Jew.

Guilt by association fallacy. That invalid intelligence studies have been done does not imply that all intelligence studies are invalid.

Theo Boehm said...

fls's point is not that intelligence tests are necessarily invalid. It's that their results change over time, implying that groups once demonstrated to be of low average intelligence now are the opposite.

One test may be valid and the other one not. WHICH test is, then, invalid?

Or, more likely, they BOTH may be valid as a measure of average intelligence. But, if that's the case, it demonstrates that what was measured is not necessarily inborn or heritable.

I say it is ALL profoundly beside the point, or ought to be, as far as society is concerned.

To those who think otherwise, whether closeted racists or cosseted grievance mongers, my question is, With what part of "All men are created equal" do you disagree?

Gabriel Hanna said...

To those who think otherwise, whether closeted racists or cosseted grievance mongers, my question is, With what part of "All men are created equal" do you disagree?

Well, I disagree that all men are created equally tall, equally athletic, equally good at basket weaving.

Presumably you take the opposite stance.

Or, maybe we both concede that the Declaration of Independence is talking about MORAL equality, in that all men have by virtue of being men the same natural rights.

Which of course you knew when you said it--you were just grandstanding.

Seven Machos said...

The SAT is much LESS coachable now that it has fewer games that are similar to IQ test games. Now, it's largely reading and writing in one section and there is some fairly advanced math in the other. You have to know something to pass it.

I suggest that this does make the test more problematic in terms of social class.

IQ is pure bullshit. It's like trying to measure beauty. There are stunningly beautiful black people in this country and really ugly ones. Same with every other ethnic background.

Seven Machos said...

the "idea" of the possibility that there are differences in IQ between blacks and whites is Taboo, Anathema, Verboten

The "idea" of the existence of IQ is Bullshit, Flimflam, Twaddle.

Gabriel Hanna said...

We seem to have no trouble with the fact that people are not equally tall, equally good-looking, equally athletic.

Yet we do (some of us) seem to have a problem with the unequal distribution of intelligence.

Intelligence is not what defines your worth as a human being, any more than being good as basketball does.

Theo, do you honestly believe that anyone who trained exactly the way Michael Jordan did would be just as good as basketball as he was?

I assume your answer is no. Why do you think careers requiring intelligence work differently? Do you think if you'd done everything the same way Einstein did it you'd be another Einstein?

Gabriel Hanna said...

Seven Machos, IQ is a number you measure on an exam.

It just so happens to correlate with doing well on ANY kind of exam, like SAT or GRE or the driver's license test.

It also just so happens to correspond with socioeconomic success, EVEN AFTER CONTROLLING for it.

So when you say it's "bullshit" and "doesn't measure anything" then you don't know what you are talking about.

A plumber with a higher IQ will be a BETTER PLUMBER, on the average, than one with a lower IQ. A physicist with a higher IQ will be, on the average, A BETTER PHYSICIST.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- I am not arguing and I don't really think anyone is arguing that there is an equal distribution of intelligence. Of course some people are smarter than other people. But it's complex. I am very good at sentence completions, for example. I cannot change an oil filter.

Also, more importantly, there is no valid way to measure intelligence. It's like beauty, but much more malleable based on your circumstances, particularly early in life.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- No. IQ is purely, completely bullshit. It measures nothing but how well you do on a very, very limited set of analytical games.

A plumber who does well on a very, very limited set of analytical games will not be a better plumber than a plumber who does worse on that a very, very limited set of analytical games. Unless, that is, he is better at plumbing.

IQ is bullshit, people. It's a relic of the very racist progressive thought of the early 20th century.

Gabriel Hanna said...

More about g for those who have not closed their minds entirely:

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

Studies of so-called elementary cognitive tasks (ECTs), conducted by Jensen and others, are bridging the gap between the psychological and the physiological aspects of g. These mental tasks have no obvious intellectual content and are so simple that adults and most children can do them accurately in less than a second. In the most basic reaction-time tests, for example, the subject must react when a light goes on by lifting her index finger off a home button and immediately depressing a response button. Two measurements are taken: the number of milliseconds between the illumination of the light and the subject's release of the home button, which is called decision time, and the number of milliseconds between the subject's release of the home button and pressing of the response button, which is called movement time.

In this task, movement time seems independent of intelligence, but the decision times of higher-IQ subjects are slightly faster than those of people with lower IQs. As the tasks are made more complex, correlations between average decision times and IQ increase. These results further support the notion that intelligence equips individuals to deal with complexity and that its influence is greater in complex tasks than in simple ones.

The ECT-IQ correlations are comparable for all IQ levels, ages, genders and racial-ethnic groups tested. Moreover, studies by Philip A. Vernon of the University of Western Ontario and others have shown that the ECT-IQ overlap results almost entirely from the common g factor in both measures. Reaction times do not reflect differences in motivation or strategy or the tendency of some individuals to rush through tests and daily tasks--that penchant is a personality trait. They actually seem to measure the speed with which the brain apprehends, integrates and evaluates information. Research on ECTs and brain physiology has not yet identified the biological determinants of this processing speed. These studies do suggest, however, that g is as reliable and global a phenomenon at the neural level as it is at the level of the complex information processing required by IQ tests and everyday life.

The existence of biological correlates of intelligence does not necessarily mean that intelligence is dictated by genes. Decades of genetics research have shown, however, that people are born with different hereditary potentials for intelligence and that these genetic endowments are responsible for much of the variation in mental ability among individuals. Last spring an international team of scientists headed by Robert Plomin of the Institute of Psychiatry in London announced the discovery of the first gene linked to intelligence. Of course, genes have their effects only in interaction with environments, partly by enhancing an individual's exposure or sensitivity to formative experiences. Differences in general intelligence, whether measured as IQ or, more accurately, as g are both genetic and environmental in origin--just as are all other psychological traits and attitudes studied so far, including personality, vocational interests and societal attitudes. This is old news among the experts. The experts have, however, been startled by more recent discoveries....

Seven Machos said...

So you are smarter because you can do better on a very, very limited set of analytical games and you can also play a game with a little light faster?

Really? Do you have any idea how ridiculous and, yes, stupid your argument is?

Gabriel Hanna said...

Seven Machos, you're just dogmatically repeating yourself.

Fifty years of studies refute you. Simple tests like repeating numbers backward somehow magically coreelate with how your brain works and how well you did in school, yet none of it means anything.

What nonsense.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Seven Machos, I will break it down for you.

"Intelligence" means some people's brains work better than others.

Some people do well on exams. Some people are faster on blinking lights. Some people show greater activity in brain scans. Some people get good grades in school.

THEY ARE THE SAME PEOPLE, by and large.

It's ridiculous that you think it's all a coincidence.

Gabriel Hanna said...

More from SciAm:

But general mental ability also predicts job performance, and in more complex jobs it does so better than any other single personal trait, including education and experience. The army's Project A, a seven-year study conducted in the 1980s to improve the recruitment and training process, found that general mental ability correlated strongly with both technical proficiency and soldiering in the nine specialties studied, among them infantry, military police and medical specialist. Research in the civilian sector has revealed the same pattern. Furthermore, although the addition of personality traits such as conscientiousness can help hone the prediction of job performance, the inclusion of specific mental aptitudes such as verbal fluency or mathematical skill rarely does. The predictive value of mental tests in the work arena stems almost entirely from their measurement of g, and that value rises with the complexity and prestige level of the job.

Half a century of military and civilian research has converged to draw a portrait of occupational opportunity along the IQ continuum. Individuals in the top 5 percent of the adult IQ distribution (above IQ 125) can essentially train themselves, and few occupations are beyond their reach mentally. Persons of average IQ (between 90 and 110) are not competitive for most professional and executive-level work but are easily trained for the bulk of jobs in the American economy. In contrast, adults in the bottom 5 percent of the IQ distribution (below 75) are very difficult to train and are not competitive for any occupation on the basis of ability. Serious problems in training low-IQ military recruits during World War II led Congress to ban enlistment from the lowest 10 percent (below 80) of the population, and no civilian occupation in modern economies routinely recruits its workers from that range. Current military enlistment standards exclude any individual whose IQ is below about 85.

The importance of g in job performance, as in schooling, is related to complexity. Occupations differ considerably in the complexity of their demands, and as that complexity rises, higher g levels become a bigger asset and lower g levels a bigger handicap. Similarly, everyday tasks and environments also differ significantly in their cognitive complexity. The degree to which a person's g level will come to bear on daily life depends on how much novelty and ambiguity that person's everyday tasks and surroundings present and how much continual learning, judgment and decision making they require. As gamblers, employers and bankers know, even marginal differences in rates of return will yield big gains--or losses--over time. Hence, even small differences in g among people can exert large, cumulative influences across social and economic life.

But keep telling yourself there's no evidence and it's all "bullshit" and imaginary.

Seven Machos said...

Simple tests like repeating numbers backward somehow magically coreelate with how your brain works and how well you did in school, yet none of it means anything.

Yeah, dude. Exactly. I can say numbers backwards like a champ yet I did terrible in school. Moreover, I can teach you how to play the analytical games and your IQ score will go up. Did I make you smarter? Or are the tests just meaningless in the first place?

Also, to respond to something up thread, the studies showing that standardized test scores do not go up after test prep are flawed and often come from testing companies. This is exactly like the Wizard of Oz's study proclaiming that you can't get courage all by yourself.

Revenant said...

fls's point is not that intelligence tests are necessarily invalid. It's that their results change over time, implying that groups once demonstrated to be of low average intelligence now are the opposite.

If that's what he is trying to say then he picked a bad example. The tests he's citing were invalid because they tested people who weren't very fluent in the language the test was administered in.

In any case, that test results change over time doesn't prove there is no genetic component to intelligence. It simply suggests that intelligence isn't entirely genetic. No surprise there. Height isn't entirely genetic, either -- it is a function of your heredity, your environment, and your diet.

Intelligence is the same way. There is indisputably a strong genetic component to it, but that's not the only factor.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Yeah, dude. Exactly. I can say numbers backwards like a champ yet I did terrible in school. Moreover, I can teach you how to play the analytical games and your IQ score will go up. Did I make you smarter? Or are the tests just meaningless in the first place?

Right, women can't be shorter than men, on the average, because Hank is shorter than Sally.

That's all you got?

I'll stick with the fifty years' of studies, thanks...

You might be able to coach me for one kind of test, but you can't coach me for all the different exams that correlate, and you can't make me a physicist.

Seven Machos said...

You might be able to coach me for one kind of test, but you can't coach me for all the different exams that correlate, and you can't make me a physicist.

This is so, so stupid. An IQ test, by definition, is a defined set of games. They can be easily coached.

I cannot coach you how to be a physicist. Someone can, though, or how do people become physicists? More importantly, an IQ test doesn't have anything to do with physics, you moron.

Gabriel Hanna said...

This is so, so stupid. An IQ test, by definition, is a defined set of games. They can be easily coached.

So you say, but you offer no evidence. You don't explain how to coach brain scans or reaction time.

I cannot coach you how to be a physicist. Someone can, though, or how do people become physicists?

Are you saying that you could take any two people, give them exactly the same education, and produce two equally good physicists?

That's absurd on its face. Should be easy to produce Isaac Newton's then, just teach kids everything HE was taught.

More importantly, an IQ test doesn't have anything to do with physics, you moron.

An IQ test gives a prediction of how smart you are. You have to be smart to learn physics well enough to make a career out of it. Of course someone who scores 180 is not guaranteed to be a good physicist, but the chances are millions of times greater than for someone who score 85.

Very simple. But the concepts of "statistical distribution" and "correlation" seem to confuse you.

Revenant said...

I say it is ALL profoundly beside the point, or ought to be, as far as society is concerned. To those who think otherwise, whether closeted racists or cosseted grievance mongers, my question is, With what part of "All men are created equal" do you disagree?

Obviously all people are entitled to the same basic human rights. That's got no bearing on this conversation.

But as for why we should care whether or not there is a genetic component to intelligence, the answer is easy: because if group X consistently does worse than group Y in academics and on standardized intelligence tests, we treat that as a problem in need of a fix. Knowing whether or not a fix is even possible is pretty important, don't you think?

Gabriel Hanna said...

Knowing whether or not a fix is even possible is pretty important, don't you think?

If you don't understand the nature of the problem, how can you fix it?

The solution to dangerous knowledge is not ignorance, but wisdom. Putting you fingers in your ears and going "la la la la" doesn't do any good for anyone.

Seven Machos said...

An IQ test gives a prediction of how smart you are.

No. It doesn't. An IQ test gives a result about how good you are at a very, very limited range of analytical games at a moment in time.

Seven Machos said...

And wisdom is not intelligence.

Revenant said...

This is so, so stupid. An IQ test, by definition, is a defined set of games. They can be easily coached.

Does it follow that there is no real difference in natural ability among basketball players? They are, after all, just playing a simple game after extensive coaching. Could Pat Riley take any randomly-selected handful of people and create a championship team out of them?

Or could it be that even after coaching, there remains a natual limit on any given players' ability to perform? That coaching can help you reach that cap, but can't move you past it?

Gabriel Hanna said...

An IQ test gives a result about how good you are at a very, very limited range of analytical games at a moment in time.

Okay, Seven Machos, where are your studies that back that contention?

None? Okay. But you don't need any, right? Truth can't be found in studies, it's in your gut.

In 2005, Wendy Johnson and Thomas Bouchard investigated the structure of mental ability by administering 42 diverse tests of mental ability to 436 adults. The tests included "different uses" (generation of novel uses for specified objects), "object assembly" (reassembly of cut-up figures), "verbal—proverbs" (interpretation of proverbs) and "mechanical ability" (identification of mechanical principles and tools); factor analysis found a clear single higher order factor, g. In their report, published in the journal Intelligence, the study authors conclude: "In combination with our earlier findings regarding the consistency of general intelligence factors across test batteries, our results point unequivocally to the existence of a general intelligence factor contributing substantively to all aspects of intelligence."

That study never happened. If it happened, it's just a coincidence that smart people, on the average, had higher scores and also had higher IQs. It's just a coincidence that the Army discovered that people with low IQs are hard to train, on the average, and people with high IQs can train themselves.

Because your gut tells you.

And wisdom is not intelligence.

I never said it was.

M. Simon said...

Alex said...

Here's a thought experiment:

if the student had been black, and suggested that it's not beyond the possibility of doubt that Jews are bankers what would the reaction be from conservatives?


Interesting set of obsessions you have there buddy.

Theo Boehm said...

We have learned the profound truth that simpletons do not do well.

Are African-Americans, then, by their birth, apt to be simpletons? Does this explain their troubles? We have returned to Ms. Grace's question.

If that is the case, why do they deserve moral equality? For if moral equality is not based on the right to succeed or fail on one's own qualities, what, then, is is based on? The fact of consciousness? The Buddhists teach ALL sentient beings are worthy of respect, even the lowliest insect. The fact that African-Americans are undoubtedly human? But if an inferior sort of human, how can they be deserving of equality?

You see, once you begin imputing heritable qualities of mind to any given race of men, you have undermined the very foundational basis of this country, not to mention several others, such as present-day France, and have gone down a very evil road.

There have been and continue to be tremendous problems of poverty and bad behavior among African-Americans. Does the Government continue to try to "fix" these by the same methods of the past 40 years, which have only resulted in greater poverty and worse behavior among the majority and comfortable lives for a few? Or does it do it by recognizing the same rights and dignity among African-Americans, including the positive right to the same education as everyone else, and the same right to succeed or fail on one's own merits?

That is the meaning of "Every man is created equal" as I understand it, and not that some are more equal than others, simply because ill-understood science says it could be so.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Theo Bohm:

If that is the case, why do they deserve moral equality?

Do women fail to deserve moral equality because on average they are shorter and can't lift as much? If strength and height don't determine your worth as a person, why would intelligence? What's so special about that?

The contradiction is entirely in your own mind. Stupid people, weak people, short people and fat people all have the same human rights, by virtue of being human, and no human is inferior in a moral sense to any other.

So your argument fails because it assumes that I hold premises which I don't have. The moral equality of all humans is absolute by virtue of their humanity.

You see, once you begin imputing heritable qualities of mind to any given race of men, you have undermined the very foundational basis of this country, not to mention several others, such as present-day France, and have gone down a very evil road.

Except that the Founders firmly believed that black people, Indians, and women were not the intellectual equals of white men--so the country was doomed from the beginning, was it not?

At any rate, THEY never said that only smart people had full civil rights. Neither do I.

Instead of making up arguments and attributing them to others, why don't you ADDRESS the science instead of pretending it isn't their?

Why did the Army discover that people who scored under 85 were, in general, nearly impossible to teach and why people who scored over 125, on the average, hardly needed training? Why has it held true in civilian life? Why does it hold true for such disparate tasks as studying for exams, working with tools, and pressing buttons when lights blink?

You have offered no alternative explanation for these correlations, just tried to pretend that there is some kind of logical connection between slavery and heritable IQ.

I have little patience with this sort of propaganda. Don't like the science, then do your own and see if you can get a different result.

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel Hanna said...

To take a less controversial example, suppose that there is some glamorous, high-paying job that can only be done by people taller than 6 feet.

The average height of men in the US is 5' 9" with a standard deviation of 2.6". The average height of women in the US is 5" 3.75" with a standard deviation of 2.6".

If we select 1000 people at random for this job who are over 6 feet, men will vastly outnumber women in this glamorous, high paying-job, assuming that the population is 50/50 male/female.

What should society do in this case? Abolish the 6' 0" height requirement? Require that 50% of the people in this job be women? Or just accept that there are limits to what we can do about our height?

It's the same problem with heredity and intelligence. A really smart person of whatever race or gender has excellent chances being successful in society--but because of this pre-existing statistical distribution, races and genders are unequally represented at the ends of the distribution, through nobody's fault.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I should add, "through nobody's fault IN THE BEST CASE SCENARIO of a perfect meritocracy". I'm not saying there's no such thing as racism. I'm saying, even if there weren't, the unequal distributions of intelligence will mean that races are unequally represented at the tails of the distribution.

The only long term solution that doesn't require lowering standards or imposing quotas is, to mix the races as quickly as possible.

Which I have no problem with (I'm half of an interracial marriage).

Theo Boehm said...

That isn't "science," Gabriel Hanna. It's common sense.

It is not hard to say that simpletons do not do well.

And, yes, our Founding Fathers thought many people were their inferiors. But they also provided us with a map out of that slough of despond, one path on which was the notion of moral equality.

But what conceivable function does it serve a free society to assign inferiority on the basis of race? And from everything you say, lack of intelligence does, indeed, denote inferiority.

It's obviously useful for an army to understand its soldiers or an employer his employees.

But such knowledge, dressed up in the garb of science, is worse than useless to inform the government of a free people.

My position is that of liberty. I am not sure where yours leads, except to the end of more bad social planning and the array of evils visited upon groups seen as inferior, either to help or hinder, since the foundation of the Republic.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Theo Bohm:

But what conceivable function does it serve a free society to assign inferiority on the basis of race?

You're the only one who seems to think they are connected.

And from everything you say, lack of intelligence does, indeed, denote inferiority.

So does lack of strength, height, and attractiveness. Everybody is inferior to other people along some axis of measurement. But you have a bee in your bonnet that intelligence is THE measure of superiority, and I don't agree with you.

My position is that of liberty. I am not sure where yours leads, except to the end of more bad social planning and the array of evils visited upon groups seen as inferior, either to help or hinder, since the foundation of the Republic.

Only because you attribute beliefs to me which I do not hold. My attitude is the same as yours--let everyone succeed according to their desires and talents.

But I am more realistic than you, because I can see FROM THE SCIENCE that not all races and genders are going to be equally represented among the successful of all fields.

And when leftists scream "racism", "sexism" and demand quotas because only 40% of left-handed basketweavers are black lesbians, I am going to be able to point to the underlying statistical distribution, but you are not, because you've decided it's "not science".

Gabriel Hanna said...

Let me clarify further, Theo--if my IQ is 100, there are 5 million black people in this country smarter than me. I cannot know the intelligence of any person by knowing what race they are.

To treat individuals differently because of their race is not only stupid but evil.

To treat INDIVIDUALS differently because of their intelligence, or height, or attractiveness, MAY make perfect sense.

But if I have a job that requires a person to be 6' 0", I am not going to hire a 5' 3" man to do it, or refuse the job to a 6" 10" woman, because "men are taller than women". That would make no sense. But what WILL happen is that I have 1000 men doing that job and 3 women. Even though I chose them based on their qualifications.

Do you see the difference between what I am actually saying and what you accuse me of saying?

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- I am not saying nor have I said that some people are not clearly and demonstrably smarter than other people. Certainly, they are, just like some people are prettier, and some people are better artists, and some people are better basketball players. I'm saying that IQ is a bullshit concept that in no way measures how smart you are. IQ is a false measurement.

Gabriel -- I don't need studies to show anything because all studies related to IQ are total bullshit. IQ isn't real. IQ is a racist, classist concept. To speak of the IQ of whole races of people is disgusting, shameful racist tripe. You can say it, and I encourage you to say it, but you are utterly and completely wrong and you are embarrassing yourself.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- No one is arguing that there are differences in intelligence. I am arguing that IQ does not measure differences in intelligence. There is no test that can measure smartness, or beauty, or ability to produce poetry.

You can't measure intelligence. You can't measure beauty. You can't measure complex, multifaceted things and certainly not with such an embarrassingly rudimentary instrument such as an IQ test. People who believe in IQ are stupid.

Seven Machos said...

Imagine if there was a test of basically arbitrary face games to discern if someone is beautiful. You contort your mouth this way and that, and squint your eyes.

Or imagine if there was a test for being good at basketball that involved dribbling around chairs and playing H-O-R-S-E.

Why don't we have those tests? Why don't we choose our supermodels and our NBA players in that way?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Seven Machos:

I don't need studies to show anything because all studies related to IQ are total bullshit.

Because you know it in your gut. Just like creationists know all evidence that points to evolution is total bullshit. You know it in your gut, where REAL knowledge resides...

You're not arguing to convince me--you're arguing to convince other people who haven't made up their mind. By refusing to even look at the evidence and shrilly repeating "bullshit" you are failing to convince anyone reading you.

Seven Machos said...

Gabriel -- IQ tests do not measure intelligence. You are pointing to studies using IQ tests to measure intelligence to try to demonstrate that IQ tests measure intelligence. Your argument is utterly circular.

Furthermore, since you bring up creationists, your argument is like someone who reads the Bible trying to say that the account in Genesis is literal by telling me to read the story of Genesis.

Still further, you are arguing that races of people are smarter than other races of people. This is abhorrent and disgusting and shameful. I honestly did not think people like you really existed.

One thing I think this comment thread has demonstrated is that you are definitely an idiot.

former law student said...

The tests he's citing were invalid because they tested people who weren't very fluent in the language the test was administered in.

So when test results don't agree with your preconceived notions you feel free to make up excuses? How can you rule out a genetic predisposition? You can't. Those test takers are long dead.

I've been noticing 7M's arguments and would like to add one: Even if IQ measured intellectual ability, it rewards a certain kind of inspired guesswork. I worked with an older guy who had not scored very well on his SAT, back when it was a group intelligence test.

He was a very careful thinker, and analyzed everything before drawing a conclusion. Every link in the logic chain had to be present before he would commit himself. The "high IQ" guys would have picked six answers while he was still working through one problem. He was invaluable in any kind of problem solving situation because he would always spot the flaw in any argument, and the shakiness of any assumptions.

M. Report said...

Gabriel Hanna,
you have the patience of a Saint. :)

Seven Machos, Theo Boehm,
How can such superficially different
commenters have the same psychic flaw;
Could it be genetic; Are you related ?

Gentle readers, please do not believe
a word I write here; If you think the
assertions, if true, might be useful
to you in coping with real life,
research them, and decide for your-
selves.

Beauty can be measured, now that
it has been defined by experiment as
the correlation factor between an
instance of, say, a female face, and
the average/ideal produced by the
human visual processing system and
memory of all female human faces
the individual has seen. It is no
coincidence that this 'beautiful'
female face is made up of optimum,
genetically determined components,
each sitting in the center of a bell
curve, at the average value for, say,
nose length, or eye separation. It is
also no accident that _on_average_
the beautiful face is matched to a
beautiful body, and mind, which also
are optimized by evolution, and
adaptation, for survival in different
environments, some of which select for
intelligence, and others..not so much.

David R. Graham said...

"Badges of courage are in short supply. Take yours out once in a while. Polish it up. And keep on being YOU."

Penny, LOL, through the hail of bullets and smoke here, and the fog of war, this round of yours stands out to my 1960s personality as gorgeously ... what? ... words fail.

Maybe an exchange from *Revenge of the Pink Panther* expresses my feelings:

Cato: "It's so obvious it's bound to be a trap."

Chief Inspector Clouseau: "No, Cato. That is why you will never be a great detective. It's so obvious it could not possibly be a trap."

Revenant said...

if the student had been black, and suggested that it's not beyond the possibility of doubt that Jews are bankers what would the reaction be from conservatives?

I would ask what "Jews are bankers" means. Does it mean "all Jews are bankers"? That's demonstrably false. Does it mean "Jews are more likely to be bankers than non-Jews are"? That's demonstrably true. Does it mean "Judaism causes people to be more likely to enter the banking profession"? THAT, finally, is a statement about which we could accurately say "we can't rule out that possibility". Certainly it used to be true; banking was one of the only paths to financial success available to Jews in Christian Europe.

Revenant said...

Are African-Americans, then, by their birth, apt to be simpletons?

[...]

If that is the case, why do they deserve moral equality?

Because our moral system is based in shared humanity, not individual intelligence. E.g., a human being has a right to free speech not because we expect any given person to have anything intelligent to say, but because a right to free speech is innate to humanity. That's the whole "endowed by their creator with inalienable rights" bit.

David R. Graham said...

"And another thing ...!" (*A Shot In The Dark*)

The word *evil* is popping up on at least both if not more sides of arguments/points of view.

Also words such as "shameful."

*Shameful* is a technical term inside moral philosophy as well as theology. It has no legitimate use in a mere bandying of words, as above.

The word *evil* is a technical theological term. It is used in a colloquial manner with the same justification with which a technical legal or medical term is used colloquially, namely, none, and if one wanted to push the point, actionably none.

Like it or not, theology is a technical competency having some of the same legal rights and responsibilities as other capitalize-able professions bearing legal standing, such as Soldier, Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer.

Using the word *evil*, specifically, in a colloquial manner is of a piece with claiming one is a lawyer without being one, or claiming one is a medical doctor without being one.

At least preface use of the word *evil* with something like IANAT[heologian] (comparable to IANAL[awyer]).

Now, after your gales of laughter, reflect that this is the truth, or try to. You would be improved thereby, and so would civilization.

Revenant said...

I'm saying that IQ is a bullshit concept that in no way measures how smart you are. IQ is a false measurement.

I know you're saying that. You keep claiming it over and over again. I was just poking a hole in one of your defenses of that claim -- that IQ tests can't measure real ability because they are "easily coachable games".

Revenant said...

So when test results don't agree with your preconceived notions

The only preconceived notion I had about intelligence is that there was no genetic component to it. It turned out that I was wrong; the human mind is not a blank slate.

you feel free to make up excuses?

The results of the test you were citing are abnormal; Jews of European descent do quite well on standardized intelligence tests. I was simply explaining what caused the test to yield the abnormal results in question.

How can you rule out a genetic predisposition? You can't. Those test takers are long dead.

Genetic predisposition can easily be ruled out, even though the people are long-dead. The reason for ruling it out is that both the European Jewish stock from which the immigrants came, and the descendants of the immigrants themselves, do better than average on standardized intelligence tests. If the poor scores were caused by genetics, where did those genes come from and where did they disappear to?

I've been noticing 7M's arguments and would like to add one: Even if IQ measured intellectual ability, it rewards a certain kind of inspired guesswork.

Maybe IQ doesn't measure intellectual ability. Maybe it just measures the ability to earn money, learn quickly, get an education, and stay out of jail for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with human intelligence. And if there was only one kind of IQ test and it was the only one on which a racial disparity existed, that might make for a good proof that there was no racial disparity in intelligence.

But what about the rest of the tests and measures for which the racial disparity exists? The SATs, the ACTs, the AP tests, the hundreds of different state standardized tests administered each year, the GEDs, the LSATs, high school and college graduation rates, the MCAT, the LSAT, and so on? Is there no correlation between intelligence and any of the above?

It is possible that there are cultural conditions which cause African-Americans to have worse average scores than whites and Asians on basically all standardized tests, even after controlling for socio-economic status. But it is also possible that the explanation lies in heredity.

Theo Boehm said...

But it is also possible that the explanation lies in heredity.

And then what?

Theo Boehm said...

M. Report: Your own psychic flaw consists in writing unreadable drivel.

Say what you mean to dispute me.

Theo Boehm said...

I do not dispute Gabriel Hanna in any way, except to ask what should be DONE with the knowledge that foolish people are likely to be unsuccessful, or that short people remain, in fact, short?

Is this in any way news? It may be reassuring that we have the ability to tabulate insufficiency in more exquisite ways than ever before, but what has any of this to do with public policy?

What do you propose to DO with such information?

Theo Boehm said...

Mr. Grahm: "Evil" is not a cant word reserved for Theology. You may say it is, but then you would be wrong.

Revenant said...

"But it is also possible that the explanation lies in heredity."

And then what?

Our understanding of human nature is improved?

Theo Boehm said...

That begs the question. What should we DO with such understanding?

Revenant said...

That begs the question. What should we DO with such understanding?

What do we "DO" with an improved understanding of human nature?

Er... understand humans better?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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