June 18, 2012

"Why Elites Fail"

From The Nation
Why Elites Fail 
Christopher Hayes | June 6, 2012

This article is adapted from Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy [1], © 2012 by Christopher Hayes and published by Crown Publishers, a division of Random House Inc.

In 1990, at the age of 11, I stood in a line of sixth graders outside an imposing converted armory on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, nervously anticipating a test that would change my life. I was hoping to gain entrance to Hunter College High School, a public magnet school that runs from grades seven through twelve and admits students from all five boroughs. Each year, between 3,000 and 4,000 students citywide score high enough on their fifth-grade standardized tests to qualify to take Hunter’s entrance exam in the sixth grade; ultimately, only 185 will be offered admission.  ... 
But the problem with my alma mater is that over time, the mechanisms of meritocracy have broken down. In 1995, when I was a student at Hunter, the student body was 12 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic. Not coincidentally, there was no test-prep industry for the Hunter entrance exam. That’s no longer the case. Now, so-called cram schools like Elite Academy in Queens can charge thousands of dollars for after-school and weekend courses where sixth graders memorize vocabulary words and learn advanced math. Meanwhile, in the wealthier precincts of Manhattan, parents can hire $90-an-hour private tutors for one-on-one sessions with their children. 
By 2009, Hunter’s demographics were radically different—just 3 percent black and 1 percent Hispanic, according to the New York Times. With the rise of a sophisticated and expensive test-preparation industry, the means of selecting entrants to Hunter has grown less independent of the social and economic hierarchies in New York at large. The pyramid of merit has come to mirror the pyramid of wealth and cultural capital. 
... But this ideal, appealing as it may be, runs up against the reality of what I’ll call the Iron Law of Meritocracy. The Iron Law of Meritocracy states that eventually the inequality produced by a meritocratic system will grow large enough to subvert the mechanisms of mobility. Unequal outcomes make equal opportunity impossible. The Principle of Difference will come to overwhelm the Principle of Mobility. Those who are able to climb up the ladder will find ways to pull it up after them, or to selectively lower it down to allow their friends, allies and kin to scramble up. In other words: “Who says meritocracy says oligarchy.” 
Consider, for example, the next “meritocracy” that graduates of Hunter encounter. American universities are the central institution of the modern meritocracy, and yet, as Daniel Golden documents in his devastating book The Price of Admission, atop the ostensibly meritocratic architecture of SATs and high school grades is built an entire tower of preference and subsidy for the privileged: 
At least one third of the students at elite universities, and at least half at liberal arts colleges, are flagged for preferential treatment in the admissions process. While minorities make up 10 to 15 percent of a typical student body, affluent whites dominate other preferred groups: recruited athletes (10 to 25 percent of students); alumni children, also known as “legacies” (10 to 25 percent); development cases (2 to 5 percent); children of celebrities and politicians (1 to 2 percent); and children of faculty members (1 to 3 percent). 
This doesn’t even count the advantages that wealthy children have in terms of private tutors, test prep, and access to expensive private high schools and college counselors. All together, this layered system of preferences for the children of the privileged amounts to, in Golden’s words, “affirmative action for rich white people.” 

Okay, but shouldn't Hayes' article mention the single most important word in the demographic transition of Hunter College High School over the last 20 years: "Asians"? Here's a school on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the largest concentration of rich white people in America, and there are now more Asians than whites attending it. The New York Times article Hayes cites, but doesn't quote, makes this clear:
As has happened at other prestigious city high schools that use only a test for admission, the black and Hispanic population at Hunter has fallen in recent years. In 1995, the entering seventh-grade class was 12 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic, according to state data. This past year, it was 3 percent black and 1 percent Hispanic; the balance was 47 percent Asian and 41 percent white, with the other 8 percent of students identifying themselves as multiracial. The public school system as a whole is 70 percent black and Hispanic.

It's fun to talk about test prep as "affirmative action for rich white people," but the test prep freight train is being driven by Asians (who have been test prepping for over a thousand years, by the way), which is a fact that the media ought to get around to acknowledging.

123 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hayes probably doesn't run into many Asians in the media world he moves in. But that's not really an excuse since he's apparently familiar with the demographic stats of these schools.

Anonymous said...

He can get more in terms of tangible results from blaming white guilt, than on calling out asians on being asian.

Anonymous said...

What does "meritocracy" really mean? Whatever it's based on (and what it's based on varies widely by time and place) it always has a large degree of cronyism and nepotism to it.

The ruling class always and everywhere is a meritocracy - the word "merit" is immensely plastic. The Soviet Union was a meritocracy in which it was meritorious to proclaim your belief in the principles of Marxism-Leninism.

Anonymous said...

“affirmative action for rich white people.”


Or "Jews" for short.

Anonymous said...

Any discussion of elites without mentioning Jews and gays is BS.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could counteract cramming effects (if any) by including some heavily g-loaded tests?

- A Solid Citizen

John said...

Any true meritocracy, if run long enough, will produce unequal outcomes, since people are separated into the mentally endowed and the not mentally endowed. And they pass these traits on through genes and culture.

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable what the thinking and chattering class are able to spin up: apparently, studying hard and test-prepping is somehow a bad thing akin to cheating somehow. Exactly how?

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable what the thinking and chattering class are able to spin up: apparently, studying hard and test-prepping is somehow a bad thing akin to cheating somehow. Exactly how?

It's professional class Whites' rationalisation for how their children are losing the academic race to poor Asians. You know how it is:

And all the world over each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice beforehand which spoils all the fun!


WASPs went through the same thing with respect to Jewish "grinds" in the mid-20th century.

department11 said...

affluent whites dominate other preferred groups: recruited athletes ...

Yeah, right.

RKU said...

Okay, but shouldn't Hayes' article mention the single most important word in the demographic transition of Hunter College High School over the last 20 years: "Asians"?

Any discussion of elites without mentioning Jews and gays is BS.

Ha, ha. Given all the different words and facts which surviving journalists must remember to avoid mentioning in their articles, it's a wonder they ever end up writing anything at all.

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable what the thinking and chattering class are able to spin up: apparently, studying hard and test-prepping is somehow a bad thing akin to cheating somehow. Exactly how?

For the moderately smart, it might make for a good exercise to attend these cram schools [if only to instill a little more discipline in them].

But for the geniuses - and I mean the really super-bright, ultra-creative, self-motivated kids - cram school would be like garlic to a vampire.

And a total waste of a childhood.

DYork said...

Okay, but shouldn't Hayes' article mention the single most important word in the demographic transition of Hunter College High School over the last 20 years: "Asians"?

It's fun to talk about test prep as "affirmative action for rich white people,"


As has been pointed out, in this context "White people" = Jewish liberal Democrats.

...but the test prep freight train is being driven by Asians (who have been test prepping for over a thousand years, by the way), which is a fact that the media ought to get around to acknowledging.

In a related issue when is the White liberal media going to acknowledge the subtext of racism against Asians in the Rodney King/LA riots issue.

Rodney King wasn't simply a "black motorist" he was a paroled felon whose felony conviction was for armed robbery of an Asian American store owner. The subsequent riots were to a certain degree a racist frenzy against Asian American store owners by black criminals.

It really was about black racism against Asians on the streets and White racism against Asians in the media.

They turned Rodney King into a civil rights pioneer/victim and ignored the racial profiling and abuse suffered by Asians at the hands of black criminals.

And why does the media give us endless fictional portrayals of the "black doctor" while systematically ignoring Asian American male doctors?

When was the last time an Asian American male was portrayed as a serious doctor on US TV? Back in the 70s with the second fiddle to Jack Klugman's ridiculous "Quincy"?

I don't count Ken Jeoung, an actual doctor, who plays pant-less deranged kooks.

This subject is worthy of a post on it's own.

dearieme said...

"a fact that the media ought to get around to acknowledging": two things that the sympathetic foreigner learns by visiting American blogs -

(i) The US is fixated about black-white, not about any other racial disparity.

(ii) The US media are corrupt, unintelligent, parochial, and very long-winded.

Anonymous said...

Steve Landsburg is saying silly things about immigration over at his blog.

Peter said...

Drive down any commercial street in the heavily Asian neighborhoods of Northeast Queens and you will see more test-prep schools than you ever thought could exist.

Anonymous said...

That the writer omitted that itty bitty little fact about Asians says enough about him, but for good measure, what says even more about him is that he's more interested in writing about his alma mater and "elite" high schools in an elite city.

What he should be writing about is why it was so important for him and his parents to get him into that elite school. Why not write about, be honest about why the public school wasn't good enough for him, hmmmmmm?

Anonymous said...

"But for the geniuses - and I mean the really super-bright, ultra-creative, self-motivated kids - cram school would be like garlic to a vampire."

The tragedy isn't that an intelligent guy is a janitor in a nation of geniuses, but that the geniuses are janitors(who edit wikipedia in their spare time) while he and the likes of him are top-level thingamajigs.

Anonymous said...

Any true meritocracy, if run long enough, will produce unequal outcomes, since people are separated into the mentally endowed and the not mentally endowed.


What makes you think that a "true meritocracy" is one which favors the "mentally endowed"?

theo the kraut said...

@Steve, OT, might be of interest:

http://www.cringely.com/2012/06/14/an-it-labor-economics-lesson-from-memphis-for-ibm

...
Only now a truly teachable lesson has emerged from a couple of these horror tales and it has to do with U.S. IT labor economics and immigration policy. In short the IT service sector has been shoveling a lot of horse shit about H1B visas.

...

Which brings us back to the H1B visa issue. Is there an IT labor shortage in the USA that can only be solved with more H1B visas? Not in Memphis and probably not anywhere else, either.

There’s certainly a shortage of imagination, absolutely a shortage of integrity, and neither shortage is saving anyone money.

SFG said...

Bloody good point about the Asian doctors--some of these guys are pretty damn good.

I will say that there is an alternative to oligarchy--redistribution of the meritocrats' wealth downward, as in Sweden and Germany. Of course, America has one problem the Germanics don't.

Harry Baldwin said...

Given all the different words and facts which surviving journalists must remember to avoid mentioning in their articles, it's a wonder they ever end up writing anything at all.

Exactly. The journalism in this country has descended to the level of that in the Soviet Union--yet it requires no governmental edicts, it's just enforced by peer pressure. People talk about not seeing the elephant in the room. With liberal journalists, it's like they're living in the elephant cage, surrounded by six elephants and knee-deep in elephant waste, and they still claim they don't see the elephants.

Kevin said...

I liked his joke about it being more meritocratic when an elite HS was 12% black and 6% hispanic than when it was 3% black and 1% hispanic.

Boy, that Chris Rock can come up with some good ones....

Mr Lomez said...

This sounds like a pretty reasonable gripe. Social mobility is an important part of the contract, and we should be wary of trends that deny otherwise capable NAMs from climbing the ladder. Even if test prep only amounts to a percentage or two advantage, in an environment as cut-throat as NYC high-school admissions, that small advantage can have radical consequences for groups that aren't swinging a corked bat. Just because the author misidentifies white privilege with Asian/white privilege, doesn't change the fact that certain groups -- American blacks and Hispanics primarily -- who are already saddled with cultural and biological disadvantages, are being further pushed out.

Question: Given IQ differences and NYC's demographics, what should the student body at Hunter look like? 12% black, 6% Hispanic seems high. But 3% black and 1% Hispanic seems low. (Especially the Hispanic numbers.)

Brian said...

"Ha, ha. Given all the different words and facts which surviving journalists must remember to avoid mentioning in their articles, it's a wonder they ever end up writing anything at all."

- Not really. Its true about the degree of censoring, but its an auto-filter by being constantly immersed in the PC lies. Everyone can automatically avoid discussing non-PC things at work without breaking a sweat.

Anonymous said...

it's just enforced by peer pressure.
ask pat buchanan, derbyshire, sullivan, sobran... it's a little more than 'peer pressure'

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable what the thinking and chattering class are able to spin up: apparently, studying hard and test-prepping is somehow a bad thing akin to cheating somehow. Exactly how?

For reasons like this, among others:

East Asians short-sighted for snubbing outdoors: study

PARIS — Snubbing the outdoors for books, video games and TV is the reason up to nine in ten school-leavers in big East Asian cities are near-sighted, according to a study published on Friday.

Neither genes nor the mere increase in activities like reading and writing is to blame, the researchers suggest, but a simple lack of sunlight.

Exposure to the sun's rays is believed to stimulate production of the chemical dopamine, which in turn stops the eyeball from growing elongated and distorting the focus of light entering the eye.


WASPs went through the same thing with respect to Jewish "grinds" in the mid-20th century.

The lesson being, look how well a Jewish elite is working out for America and founding-stock Americans?

Anonymous said...

@Mr Lomez: Just because the author misidentifies white privilege with Asian/white privilege, doesn't change the fact that certain groups -- American blacks and Hispanics primarily -- who are already saddled with cultural and biological disadvantages, are being further pushed out.

From what I understand it is whites, especially non-Jewish whites, who engage in the least test prep. I know that blacks have higher rates of test prep than whites in the studies I've seen.

Harry Baldwin said...

ask pat buchanan, derbyshire, sullivan, sobran... it's a little more than 'peer pressure'

They aren't liberal journalists. They weren't trying to please their liberal peers like most journalists.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

There is a Zazooba guy over at Steve Landsburg's blog that is raising some of your immigration points in the comments. You might want to drop by. You could be the voice of moderation over there.

Other people seem to be reluctant to respond - especially Landsburg. Maybe they don't want to make eye contact with the naked crazy guy.

Matthew said...

"I will say that there is an alternative to oligarchy--redistribution of the meritocrats' wealth downward, as in Sweden and Germany. Of course, America has one problem the Germanics don't."

I have long thought it interesting that as wealth has grown more unequally concentrated, especially into powerful ethnic groups (i.e., Jews and Asians), that support for cutting taxes on the rich has only increased.

Sailer once estimated that when the first Forbes 400 was published (ca. 1985-ish) about 23% of the members were Jewish. At that time the cap gains rate was ~25% and the inheritance tax was ~55%.

Today 35-40% of the Forbes 400 are Jewish (plus a lot more Asians), the top cap gains rate is 15%, and the inheritance tax tops out at 35%.

The rich get richer, the minorities get richer, and yet Americans more than ever want to cut their taxes.

Anonymous said...

To what extent are the "Asians" referred to in the article Indians or East Asians?

Anonymous said...

" Now, so-called cram schools like Elite Academy in Queens can charge thousands of dollars for after-school and weekend courses where sixth graders memorize vocabulary words and learn advanced math. Meanwhile, in the wealthier precincts of Manhattan, parents can hire $90-an-hour private tutors for one-on-one sessions with their children."


Oh, you didn't pick up on his euphemisms for "Asian"? We all know white people don't live in Queens or attend "cram" schools.

But what I wanted to point out is the false equivalency. Asians attend cram schools and rich white kids get private tutors! Umm, no. Asians are doing math an extra six hours a night while rich white kids might get tutors to help them do their homework. Rich white kids no longer care* about getting into these superstudy public schools like Stuy; they go to private schools with other white people. Seriously, there's not one rich white parent making his kids do algebra for 10 hours a day on the weekend so the kid can get into Bronx Science. Literally--not one. Yet the author of this article can pretend like it's theoretically possible private tutors for dumb rich kids are equivalent to Asian cram schools.



*one of the ironies of Asians chasing white prestige is that the more they show up the less prestigious white people want to be there.

Anonymous said...

(ii) The US media are corrupt, unintelligent, parochial, and very long-winded.

Chisel this one in granite.

Anonymous said...

If Hunter were 47% black, would Hayes complain? I guess Asians are not 'diverse'.

Anonymous said...

"Any true meritocracy, if run long enough, will produce unequal outcomes, since people are separated into the mentally endowed and the not mentally endowed."

Meritocracy tends to turn into oligarchy over time through the initial meritocrats pulling the ladder up after them to help their relatives.

The first rank might be meritocratic but then they fill the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ranks up with relatives so the average merit at the top is actually lower.

.
"And why does the media give us endless fictional portrayals of the "black doctor" while systematically ignoring Asian American male doctors?"

The main purpose of ethnic portrayals in the US media is to anaesthetize White Americans to their dispossession. White people don't feel guilty towards Asians or Mexicans so they're no use for this purpose.

.
"PARIS — Snubbing the outdoors for books, video games and TV is the reason up to nine in ten school-leavers in big East Asian cities are near-sighted, according to a study published on Friday."

In tribal cultures with constant clan warfare good eyesight would be selected for very strongly imo.

If so the populations furthest away (in time) from that would have the worst eyesight and the most recent would have the best eyesight.

Peter said...

To what extent are the "Asians" referred to in the article Indians or East Asians?

Mostly East Asians. Indians and other South Asians in the New York area tend to live in the suburbs, especially New Jersey, and therefore wouldn't be eligible to send their children to elite public high schools like Hunter College High or Stuyvesant. There's no South Asian equivalent to Northeast Queens, which has a large number of reasonably well-off East Asians.

The largest South Asian community within city limits is the Indian community in Richmond Hill and nearby parts of south-central Queens. For the most part, however, they are Indo-Guyanese, and are much less affluent than other Indians.

Eric said...

But for the geniuses - and I mean the really super-bright, ultra-creative, self-motivated kids - cram school would be like garlic to a vampire.

Genius is useless without facts. There are lots of things you need to know you can't glean through deduction, and "super-bright" doesn't always go along with "self-motivated".

Anonymous said...


I have long thought it interesting that as wealth has grown more unequally concentrated, especially into powerful ethnic groups (i.e., Jews and Asians), that support for cutting taxes on the rich has only increased.


Ugh, there are no proposals for cutting taxes on the rich. There are no proposals for increasing taxes on the rich.

All of the proposals deal with taxes on upper middle class people.

Eric said...

You know, the use of the word "elites" when discussing the people in charge of the media/government axis in this country just rubs me the wrong way. Most of these people aren't "elite" the way the word is defined. They've simply been able to accumulate credentials.

Anonymous said...

http://www.fivefeetoffury.com/2012/06/18/derbs-tireless-search-for-amity-shlaes-forgotten-racist-column/

Anonymous said...

when immigrants go from poor/working-class to middle-class, they turn republican. but when their kids go from middle class to professional class, they turn democratic.

Justthisguy said...

@anonymous anonymous @6:45:You're right. I'm a non-Jewish white, and took the SAT cold, after a late night at District Band Contest. I got 795 verbal and IIRC 674 math, which will just barely get me into Mensa. (This was in 1967).

To be fair, the Jews in the band were also confident enough to take it cold, with no test prep. They did pretty well, of course.

Back then, we all thought of it as an actual _aptitude_ test, and nobody ever heard of studying for it.

Skeptical Economist said...

Does anyone pay any attention to facts? Does anyone care? Note the line.

"Thanks to test prep, the rich get lots of time to practice on it, while even smart poor kids don't."

Sadly, this is BS. From http://online.wsj.com/article/...

"SAT Coaching Found to Boost Scores -- Barely

The college counselors' report concludes that, on average, prep courses
yield only a modest benefit, "contrary to the claims made by many
test-preparation providers." It found that SAT coaching resulted in
about 30 points in score improvement on the SAT, out of a possible 1600,
and less than one point out of a possible 36 on the ACT, the other main
college-entrance exam, says Derek Briggs, chairman of the research and
methodology department at the University of Colorado in Boulder and
author of the admissions counselors' report."

From http://collegeapps.about.com/o...

"Two studies suggest that SAT prep courses and SAT coaching raise the
verbal score by about 10 points and the math score by about 20 points:

A College Board study
conducted in the mid 1990s showed that SAT coaching resulted in an
average verbal increase of 8 points and an average math score increase
of 18 points.A 2009 study by NACAC,
the National Association of College Admission Counseling, showed that
SAT prep courses raised critical reading scores by about 10 points and
math scores by about 20 points

The two studies, although conducted over a decade apart, show consistent
data. On average, SAT prep courses and SAT coaching raised total scores
by roughly 30 points. Given that SAT prep classes can cost hundreds if
not thousands of dollars, the average result is not many points for the
money."

And no, income doesn't drive SAT scores, at least no directly.

See "The Widening Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT College Admissions Test"

From "The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education" (http://www.jbhe.com/features/4...

"Blacks from families with incomes of more than $100,000 had a mean SAT
score that was 85 points below the mean score for whites from all income
levels, 139 points below the mean score of whites from families at the
same income level, and 10 points below the average score of white
students from families whose income was less than $10,000."

Like it or not, test prep is, at best, a minor advantage for the families that can afford it. Nor does income in general account for SAT performance.

Anonymous said...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-response-times-20120619,0,3191767.story

Anonymous said...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/what_mitt_should_do_about_education.html

Anonymous said...

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/06/woody-allens-son-drops-fathers-day-bomb/

Fu**. Woody Allen's kid is good looking.

Anonymous said...

"In tribal cultures with constant clan warfare good eyesight would be selected for very strongly imo."

Your opinion is not worth much. An explosion in nearsightedness over a period of decades can't be explained by genetics.

Anonymous said...

Where's the data on the source of the parental income for blacks and whites? I.E., how many double-incomes are there vs. single-earner families?

As well, I find it hilarious that test prep is always found to not work in some study or other, and yet Asians aren't rushing to close their cram schools.

Kai Carver said...

The last lines of the article go to the heart of the problem:

We can’t be sure, in short, just who our elites are working for.
But we suspect it is not us.


The problem isn't just globalization, jobs moving overseas. It's the perception that "we" are being dispossessed, that "we" does not exist.

The title "Twilight of the Elites" is amusing, but Nietzsche's title was a pun: instead of "Götterdämmerung", "Götzen-Dämmerung", twilight of the false gods. A better title would be something like "twilight of the false elites"... Of the unchosen? Of the bleeding hearts? Of the bleeps?

Anonymous said...

"Your opinion is not worth much. An explosion in nearsightedness over a period of decades can't be explained by genetics."

True but if they were already slightly more near-sighted before this explosion it might be an explanation. I just mentioned it on the offchance someone had looked at a correlation between a population's level of near-sightedness and their rate of violent crime.

jody said...

"Yeah, right."

i'm pretty sure most DI and DII athletes are euro americans. DIII guys do not get any money but they can still be recruited and get into a college with lower grades than non-athletes, if they are very good at their sport for the DIII level. walk on level players are normal in DIII sports, none of those guys get any extra consideration when applying.

steve JUST made a post about this last week, with the usual suspects grumbling about not getting enough free money, free stuff, free everything.

"Today 35-40% of the Forbes 400 are Jewish (plus a lot more Asians)"

there were very few asians of any kind when i checked the 2011 list. represented below their population percentage. i specifically posted about this last year.

"You know, the use of the word "elites" when discussing the people in charge of the media/government axis in this country just rubs me the wrong way. Most of these people aren't "elite" the way the word is defined. They've simply been able to accumulate credentials."

indeed. as i've noted before, a lot of them appear to simply be weak lawyers, or weak academics from non-technical fields. people who are actually accomplished in those fields are too busy in private practice or academic research to have time for the career level participation in politics which america's "elites" now pursue.

bizarrely, the US has evolved a system which weeds out the less capable academics, then sends them into politics, where they rule the nation. the smarter people avoid elected office almost completely. a lot of the democrat leaders at the national level appear to simply be dummies. listen to them talk. they're flat out dumb, and don't understand what they're talking about half the time. joe biden, debbie wasserman, harry reid, nancy pelosi, barack obama, these people frequently sound clueless.

jody said...

one of the confounding variables, absolutely certainly, in the "income of parents versus SATs of teenagers", is that africans get affirmative action jobs. so those africans doing $100,000 jobs, most of the time aren't doing $100,000 worth of work. they were put into some job far above their ability, where it's almost impossible to fire them. on their own with no affirmative action they would probably have trouble working their way up to a $50,000 position. michelle obama was in a $300,000 a year job and probably doing less than $50,000 worth of work.

so the the income correlations are, today, very misleading. if there was no affirmative action, the income to SAT relationships would not be so off.

Anonymous said...

As well, I find it hilarious that test prep is always found to not work in some study or other, and yet Asians aren't rushing to close their cram schools.

Yan Shen tells me you're a bitter and jealous white person who envies the Celestial race. Studies finding modest effects from 20 hour Princeton Review courses a month before the SAT prove extended daily grinding over years can play no role in boosting Asian standardized test scores.

Anonymous said...

"bizarrely, the US has evolved a system which weeds out the less capable academics, then sends them into politics, where they rule the nation. the smarter people avoid elected office almost completely. a lot of the democrat leaders at the national level appear to simply be dummies. listen to them talk. they're flat out dumb, and don't understand what they're talking about half the time. joe biden, debbie wasserman, harry reid, nancy pelosi, barack obama, these people frequently sound clueless"

Bingo!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, extensive, pathological test prep IS a form of cheating. I grew up in NYC, tested into Stuy, Bronx Sci and Brooklyn Tech (who cared about Hunter) without doing an extra six hours of math per night and ten hours of crazy algebra prep on weekends; I earned a place because I obviously naturally deserved one, not because I ran in circles til I turned into butter. Thankfully I also tested into a private school too so that's where I went instead of Little Big Asia.

(btw this stuff is offered as data points, isteve readers have a tendency to view such info as boasting but it's really not, I mean it's a blog, who cares). I got a near-perfect SAT verbal too, and it was not due to a lot of test prep, it was because I spent my spare time reading George Bernard Shaw, Joseph Conrad, Lanford Wilson and Robert Lowell... and that was because, at the time, I actually CARED about GB Shaw, Conrad, Lanford Wilson and Robert Lowell.

If you meet a 14-year-old who really knows and cares who Elizabeth Bishop was, and then you meet a kid who's just memorized a lot of data about Elizabeth Bishop because they think they'll be given a cookie... who would you rather talk to?

Anonymous said...

Damn! Late to the party again.

Because other elites have different ideas.

Take for example:


Speaker Boehner and Sen. Lieberman not only managed to save the D.C. voucher program, but expanded it, in response to President Obama's attempt to kill it completely. The continued vitality of the program was important to students and parents. It was also important because it is one of the longest-running school choice programs, which means it has the most robust data showing that school choice has better outcomes than just giving lump sums to the teachers unions. There was some indication that Obama was trying to kill it for that reason alone.


from Leiberman and Boehner save vouchers in DC.

The thing is, it is not in the interests to white elites to allow sub-standard students to get into the good school districts, so why are some/many Republicans supporting vouchers?

Anonymous said...


And why does the media give us endless fictional portrayals of the "black doctor" while systematically ignoring Asian American male doctors?


Heh, we all now know about black doctors ...

Prof. Woland said...

When we think of legacy students, what usually comes to mind is that biff is attending the same private school his mommy and daddy attended. In a private grade school a legacy usually means the siblings of a student. For logistical and practical reasons, it is far easier for a family to put all their kids into the same school. The problem for the schools is that just because the first or eldest sibling tested well enough to get in does not mean that the rest of the brood is prep school material. In my daughter’s private school it is very hard because the schools are small and the kids are all close. So having to chop a kid is difficult on a personal not to mention that the rest of his family sometimes will vacate as well taking their money with them.

Anonymous said...


And why does the media give us endless fictional portrayals of the "black doctor" while systematically ignoring Asian American male doctors?


Because the MSM is really an IQ test for Whites!

The really smart know that it is all shyte, and don't get fooled into believing it ... only the dumber ones fail and face the consequences.

Skeptical Economist said...

Anonymous,

"As well, I find it hilarious that test prep is always found to not work in some study or other, and yet Asians aren't rushing to close their cram schools."

Not really that funny or surprising. Test prep courses amount to a few hours "teaching" kids how to (better) take a test.

Asian cram schools (Kumon, Mathnaysium) are essentially a multi-hour extension of the school day where kids learn fundamental skill, not how to take a test.

Do they work? Does studying 2 more hours a day over a period of years pay off?

Check out http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/soc/5-4-11tiger_mother.asp for some statistics on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Ronan Farrow is a child prodigy too, accepted to yale law at age 15. What a great put down of his dad!

Anonymous said...

It has become a new superstition for Asians. But soon some of them will outspokenly emulate cool hipster whites and eschew test prep.

Anonymous said...

Lomez:"Question: Given IQ differences and NYC's demographics, what should the student body at Hunter look like? 12% black, 6% Hispanic seems high. But 3% black and 1% Hispanic seems low. (Especially the Hispanic numbers.)"

Leaving the Blacks aside, Steve has commented from time to time on the fact that Hispanics are underperforming relative to their mean IQ. This underperformance seems to stem from Hispanic culture, which has always underperformed relative to other Western cultures (the Anglosphere, Francophonie, Germanosphere, etc).So, yeah, there is potential for improvement, provided that Anglo culture can be inculcated in American Hispanics.

Syon

Luke Lea said...

In China top scorers in the examination system have traditionally run the country, but somehow I don't see that happening here in the United States. Whether and how this will effect the reputation of schools like Harvard I don't know.

In any case by big gripe about our meritocracy is the way it ignores the quality of life issues of ordinary people. In traditional societies that was a given of course. Ordinary people were domestic animals essentially. But we live in a democracy. Machines do the workd slaves and serfs used to do.

Surely our democratic institutions liberal ideals (Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address) will eventually bring our current meritocratic crop up short. Unless we are a nation of sheep.

Eventually I'd like to see affirmative action for all at our elite gateway colleges and universities. We need elites that reflect the full ethnic, racial, and geographic diversity of America. The best and the brightest of each ethnicity and part of the country (including rural and small town residents). No group would be discriminated against or in favor of. Congress could mandate it -- or else no federal money or tax exempt status.

Meanwhile, let's go after the hedge fund guys. End overseas tax havens, attack the free mobility of capital and labor, move to a cashless economy and implement a graduated expenditure tax to finance wage subsidies and re-balance the distribution of income (or rather consumption) to what it was in the 1950's.

International Jew said...

Blacks dropping from 12% of Hunter College High School to 3% almost surely reflects a change in how vigorously affirmative action was practiced. Whites and Asians suddenly doing better on the test is the least plausible explanation.

Charlesz Martel said...

I wouldn't hold my breath. I lived through the Miami riots of 1980- the most expensive race riot in America until LA's -and maybe still, inflation adjusted-and it was an anti-Cuban riot. The marielitos were beginning to take more jobs from the blacks, the Mcduffy police killing acquittal was the spark. Per the Miami Herald, the criteria used for pulling people out of their cars and cutting their tongues out was : "Is he White or Cuban?". All down the memory hole. Immigration is a strength! Diversity is vibrant! Multiculturism strengthens us all!

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/19/black-evangelical-shocks-upper-west-side/



Whites have come a long way… in giving up all their power to globalists, Aipac, blacks, gays, illegals..

yeah, keep celebrating.

meanwhile…

http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofcrime2005.html

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/ID/128178

Anonymous said...

@Skeptical Economist

It may be that Asians, for whatever reason, benefit more from test prep than other races.

Anonymous said...

Haven't the three main science academies in the city gone from predominately Jewish to predominately Asian? I'm guessing because this school is more of the artsy variety he feels that there shouldn't be so many Asians attending it with their heavy math-science orientation. He can't apparently be bothered to mention this inconvenient fact because it would undermine the classic white is bad, black is good dichotomy that all English majoring innumerate members of the MSM are required to follow. How can it be less meritocratic when the Asians are largest group numerically? Oh, never mind, see above comment.

SFG said...

"The rich get richer, the minorities get richer, and yet Americans more than ever want to cut their taxes."

They can fund think-tanks and commentators who say things about raising taxes on the elites hurting the economy until people believe it.

Media manipulation isn't just pro-gay, pro-black, pro-Jewish, etc. It's also pro-plutocrat, and then they divide up the attack between left and right so people who are anti-gay, etc. fight people who are anti-plutocrat. Quite clever.

Perspective said...

This article in the Toronto Star seems somewhat salient to this discussion:

The Bamboo Ceiling

"University of Toronto researchers may have discovered why the “bamboo ceiling” is so hard to crack for people sometimes dubbed “model minorities” — hardworking and competent East Asians.

Researchers at the Rotman School of Management say certain “prescriptive stereotypes” push workers of Chinese, Korean and Japanese heritage “to stay in their place,” as they have been expected to do through North American history."

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1204283--the-bamboo-ceiling-university-of-toronto-researchers-look-at-why-it-s-so-hard-to-crack

pat said...

When I was a teenager I was small and stupid. I was only 5'8" in eighth grade. But the next year I was 6'1" and kept growing for several years thereafter.

My self image changed that year.

My high school had tracks for the smart kids, but I wasn't in them. I was resigned to being dull witted. But then as a senior I started to take standardized tests and I always scored in the 99th percentile.

That changed my self image too.

I was a classic late bloomer. I was pushed ahead with more mature kids and I went through puberty later than average. For us standardized tests could be liberating.

Polonius advised to "Know yourself". Good advice. Take a standarized test.

In another regard Asians classically have over valued testing and learning. I should look it up but as I remember the Chinese started civil service exams in the Sung Dynasty.

Or more recently in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the plot turns on a bad woman having read some of the sacred kung fu texts can therfore beat the snot out of everyone except Chow Yung Fat who had read them all.

Only Asians think that fighting prowess can be gained through academic study alone. Westerners prefer weight training and practice matches. I'm not surprised that Asian parents spend money on test prep classes even after they have been shown to be ineffective. They revere knowledge.

Albertosaurus

Black Sea said...

Does Mr. Hayes think that his graduation from Hunter College High School and his career as a journalist qualify him for membership in "the Elite?" If so, then he doesn't know anything more than the average Joe about said elites, and is in no position to comment upon their supposed failure.

Anonymous said...

As well, I find it hilarious that test prep is always found to not work in some study or other, and yet Asians aren't rushing to close their cram schools.

I think you need to distinguish between cram school as such and test prep. A cram school usually covers more topics in more depth than a Kaplan SAT prep course, which really is just focused on getting the minimal knowledge you need for a test and then practicing test-taking strategies. Accordingly, you might only take a test prep course for a few months before you take the test. But you'd attend a cram school for years.

I don't know about China/Chinese-Americans, but my impression of Korean-style cram schools (Hagwon/학원) is that they provide students with drilling and supplementary instruction that isn't provided in school. In the US, that's especially important given the low quality of American public education and the pedagogical drift away from drilling in foundational material (e.g. times tables) where you really need to be rock solid on the basic building blocks of a subject in order to progress. In a cram school, you are usually signed up for particular courses, not a comprehensive program of study.

In Korea and Japan (juku/塾), cram schools may also have courses to practice for college entrance examinations (or even high school entrance exams, for the best high schools). But the entrance examinations for Korean and Japanese universities are (a) university-specific (even department-specific), and (b) substantive. They're not decontented "aptitude" tests like the SAT, but content-heavy, intended to test educational attainment.

S. Connery in "The Rock" said...

People who want to make excuses are no longer discouraged from indulging in it. POTUS even complained that his given name was "awkward"--well what about this guy? His name is far goofier and he's already inventing "healthy cigarettes" and insta-bodywash

Losers always whine about "their best"

Norville Rogers said...

Cool, it is like Aaron Sorkin dialogue around here. "You're the black female exec producer who got 'double 800s'"

Anonymous said...

Jody, you're close, but it's almost certainly more like two black parents each working a 40-60k lower skilled job courtesy of affirmative action. Transit bus driving, for example, can pay 60-80k a year with overtime, but is not exactly intellectually demanding. Combine a job like that with some secretarial job at the county or whatever paying 35k-45k/yr and you have 100k of income, but not parents who are likely to have kids testing all that well.

Contrast with the white 100k family, which is far more likely to have a single earner making 80k+, probably in IT or something, and a wife staying home or working part-time for a bit of extra money. Much better demographics for decent test scores.

Anonymous said...

Does studying for exams improve academic performance and test-taking or not?

If Asians study like crazy and do much better, then might it not work for other races as well?

Anonymous said...

"jealous white person who envies"

HMMM, somebody needs to bone up on those verbal practice exams, haha

Anonymous said...

"Yan Shen tells me you're a bitter and jealous white person who envies the Celestial race."

I don't think that's the reason. But it is easier to beat on Asians and Muslims than on Jews and gays.

We just don't like the whole concept of education reduced to test-taking and going to good schools. Suppose there's a very smart white guy who is well-rounded and a pretty smart Asian guy who's not as smart but studied like crazy for tests. What if the test-crazy Asian guy is accepted to some academy simply because he did better on the test when, in fact, he isn't much good at thinking or problem solving. He's only good at cramming stuff inside his head.

Take the story of hare and tortoise. Now, in the classic story, it was the hare's fault for being lazy.
But suppose in the new story, the hare isn't lazy. But instead of just concentrating on the race, he does a lot of interesting things along the way: meeting people, getting to know all sorts of stuff, finding things out along the way, etc... whereas the tortoise thinks of nothing but the race.
So, let's say the tortoise wins and gets into the top college.
Now, would the college and the nation have done better with the well-rounded hare that was involved in all sorts of stuff or the tortoise that only specialized in the academic race to get to a good school.

Of course, talent and skills that can't be measured by standardized tests are difficult to gauge and can be abused to allow in truly unsmart students, especially among blacks.

But Asian-Americans are giving education a bad name by turning it into a game of test-taking and going to top schools. To be sure, not all of them are doing it for status and privilege. There is a long tradition in Asia where one's honor and self-respect are defined by diligence, intelligence, and success. But it seems the Asian concept of intelligence is rather narrow and tunnel-visioned.

Anonymous said...

I think the term 'elites' has been way too democratized. In the past, it used to mean the Power Elite. Now it means any successful yuppie or whatever in the city. While all those liberal urbanites do have power collectively, they don't have power as individuals.
I would say a real elite is someone like Soros or Penny Pritzker or Hollywood moguls or Wall Streeters who play a big role. Haim Saban, he's part of the elite. But some accountant making 100,000 a year? No way.

They are, at best, elittles.

Anonymous said...

Yan Shen the Emperor of all things true is the guy who used to insult all of us as dumb white folks. Screw him.

Anonymous said...

Leftists: Women have a right to abortion since what a woman does with her own body is her own business. (Does that mean a woman has the right to sell her organs to, or chop off her hand and eat it?) I support abortion rights, but I have a problem with leftist argument for abortion because while it says women should have total control over their bodies, it says the government should control what we put into our bodies, aka what we can eat and drink. So, according to the left, a woman should have the CHOICE to suck out and kill a life growing inside her(like it's a cancer tumor or something) but we shouldn't have the right to CHOOSE what size soda pop to put into our bodies. Hmm.

TH said...

Education Realist has a very good reply to Hayes here. Whites use test prep services less than blacks and Hispanics, and poor white kids outscore blacks from well-to-do families.

Svigor said...

I'll countenance talk of "rich White people" "White privilege" as far as society will countenance talk of "rich Jews" and "Jewish privilege."

Svigor said...

In tribal cultures with constant clan warfare good eyesight would be selected for very strongly imo.

I dunno. As I've said before, my peripheral vision and "motion tracking" seem to work better when I'm my natural, un-assisted myopic self. It's not like I need to count the pores on Thag's nose before I bash him. Obviously sharp eyesight has its advantages, but maybe myopia does, too.

Svigor said...

Ugh, there are no proposals for cutting taxes on the rich. There are no proposals for increasing taxes on the rich.

All of the proposals deal with taxes on upper middle class people.


Agreed. Elbow me when they start talking about the .1%. The .01%.

Anonymous said...

If American Society didn't call men who excel at logic and spatial skills such pejorative terms like "nerd" and "geek", more Americano white boys would pick engineering and the hard sciences to study and America wouldn't need to import Russian, Indians and Chinese engineers to kep it's high tech industry running. Americans as they are in 2012 are MUCH too dumb to keep their high tech industry running, which was built by "nerdy" white men from the end of WWII up to the early 1970s. As is, America needs Asian and Indian "nerds". Hey, maybe you guys can import Dolph Lundgren. He is an engineer, 6'8, an Olympic medalist and extremely handsome. Maybe if Lundgren went to American high schools talk to kids, he could make them study engineering. If a cool guy tells them that it's cool, they will believe it. Kids are all about impressions and covers.

FredR said...

"Eventually I'd like to see affirmative action for all at our elite gateway colleges and universities. We need elites that reflect the full ethnic, racial, and geographic diversity of America. The best and the brightest of each ethnicity and part of the country (including rural and small town residents)."

Interesting. It looks to me like what you want to accomplish with your methods of elite selection is some combination of competence and loyalty. Compared to the 1950s, do we have a more competent and less loyal elite? Possibly. It would be really interesting to see a chart that compares how representative the elite was of the nation (maybe by using incoming Harvard classes or something) in 1950 vs. today. Anybody know where I can find that information?

Anonymous said...

If white people don't like Asian domination of schools, they invoke 'diversity' in the name of blacks. But in the name of helping blacks, whites use the new system to help themselves against Asians.
It's like Jews often invoke 'diversity' in the name of helping blacks and Hispanics, the net effect is to reduce white gentile power while consolidating Jewish power. By reducing white power and forging anti-white alliances with blacks and Hispanics, it's win-win for Jews since smarter Jews aren't the ones who are weeded out by affirmative action. Affirmative action targets whites who are less intelligent than Jews but more intelligent than blacks.

Bostonian said...

Many Chinese parents send their children to Chinese school on the weekend, where they learn not only Chinese but can take math classes taught by one of many Chinese mathematicians and scientists. See for example the curriculum of the Newton, MA Chinese school:

"NCLS Math program provides different levels of math courses for students from 4th
grade at public elementary schools up to 11th grade at public high schools. These courses cover
arithmetic, pre-algebra, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, PSAT and SAT. Instead of pursuing a placement of public school education or gifted students training, NCLS math
program primarily focuses on the fundamentals and skills in math learning and problem solving. Studies in this program will help students to understand the basic concepts, theorems, and formulas, help students to gain the knowledge of applications of the math
fundamentals, and most importantly, help students to acquire the manipulative skills of
analyzing and solving problems."

You don't "cram" for 8 years. It's math education that's likely better than Everyday Math and other stuff taught in the public schools.

These schools exist throughout the country, wherever there is a critical mass of Chinese. Good for them.

sunbeam said...

Anonymous wrote:

"We just don't like the whole concept of education reduced to test-taking and going to good schools. Suppose there's a very smart white guy who is well-rounded and a pretty smart Asian guy who's not as smart but studied like crazy for tests. What if the test-crazy Asian guy is accepted to some academy simply because he did better on the test when, in fact, he isn't much good at thinking or problem solving. He's only good at cramming stuff inside his head.

Take the story of hare and tortoise. Now, in the classic story, it was the hare's fault for being lazy.
But suppose in the new story, the hare isn't lazy. But instead of just concentrating on the race, he does a lot of interesting things along the way: meeting people, getting to know all sorts of stuff, finding things out along the way, etc... whereas the tortoise thinks of nothing but the race.
So, let's say the tortoise wins and gets into the top college.
Now, would the college and the nation have done better with the well-rounded hare that was involved in all sorts of stuff or the tortoise that only specialized in the academic race to get to a good school.

Of course, talent and skills that can't be measured by standardized tests are difficult to gauge and can be abused to allow in truly unsmart students, especially among blacks.

But Asian-Americans are giving education a bad name by turning it into a game of test-taking and going to top schools. To be sure, not all of them are doing it for status and privilege. There is a long tradition in Asia where one's honor and self-respect are defined by diligence, intelligence, and success. But it seems the Asian concept of intelligence is rather narrow and tunnel-visioned."

I have some random thoughts on this.

1) Being well rounded might not be very much good for making technological and scientific advances. You probably are going to experience higher earnings, and reproductive success (the long game?), but I'd be interested in knowing if a well rounded person is as productive at producing things that actually change the world as someone with laser like focus.

Is there any evidence that Math teams are composed of well rounded individuals? That the well rounded individual will eventually have deeper insight into Computational Geometry or something?

2) You are in a kind of race with the calendar as far as science and innovation go. If you haven't done the work in your 20's you can kind of discount the idea you will ever make a major advance.

There simply isn't time to dick around with being well rounded.

3) The well rounded guy might be more fun to have at school. He might be more photogenic when the alumni and prospective students come around.

There is a decent chance he will make more money than the focused individual, but this isn't a certainty.

When it comes to what matters to a University, the success of it's graduates and the possibility they might fork over some dough for the hell of it later, it's not as clear cut as you might think.

Well rounded guy might wind up as a tennis instructor somewhere, screwing bored trophy wives. Focus man might never have much of a career.

I just keep thinking of the Tiger Mom. In this new environment, it's kind of like you have to tell your schoolkids:

"Come home with your shield, or on it."

"There are going to be a few people who are highly successful, and a lot of people who don't matter at all. You know who you want to be."

Tim said...

"Obviously sharp eyesight has its advantages, but maybe myopia does, too."

- Yes, and even if it doesn't it may be intertwined with something that does have benefits. For example an allele that causes increased furriness may cause the animals with the allele to feel more uncomfortable in the summer but survive the winter. Even if the thing in question has negative selective value, if overall it is positive, it will be favored evolutionarily. Its possible that the correlation btwn myopia and 'book smarts' may be an example, but I don't think all the evidence is in on that just yet.

Anonymous said...

Me: For the moderately smart, it might make for a good exercise to attend these cram schools [if only to instill a little more discipline in them].

But for the geniuses - and I mean the really super-bright, ultra-creative, self-motivated kids - cram school would be like garlic to a vampire.


Eric: Genius is useless without facts. There are lots of things you need to know you can't glean through deduction, and "super-bright" doesn't always go along with "self-motivated".

Bostonian: NCLS Math program provides different levels of math courses for students from 4th grade at public elementary schools up to 11th grade at public high schools. These courses cover rithmetic, pre-algebra, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, PSAT and SAT.

Anyone who needs special help [of any kind] with "algebra I, algebra II, geometry" doesn't have an IQ much above 115.

Although, as I indicated above, this sort of special help might prove to be a good exercise [in self-discipline] for the moderately intelligent.

But the really smart kids would be so insulted if you told them to attend a special school to brush up on Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra that they'd just smirk, roll their eyes, and probably not even waste the breath that it would take to tell you to go f*ck yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra"

= Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II

JSM said...

"Anyone who needs special help [of any kind] with "algebra I, algebra II, geometry" doesn't have an IQ much above 115."

I disagree. Edufads currently holding sway in the schools, like Everyday Math and Connected Math in elementary school and Integrated Math at the high school level, are so utterly inadequate at teaching basic concepts that even very bright (120+) students their math abilities.


Now, Superbright (140+) kids who do math as entertainment may overcome this concerted effort by the new-new-math teachers (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) to ruin American kids' math achievement, but only because somehow, somewhere, as part of their "rabbit" intellectual meanderings, on their own they picked up the necessary skills.

sunbeam said...

I've found some figurative language that embodies much of my personal concern with the way I think everything will shake out.

This was a post on a tabletop gaming site I read, concerning a setting for a superhero rpg. It takes a little imagination to get my point, but keep the following in mind (There are some typos I'm not fixing either):

Powers - Superman types (I think "Elites")
Talents - Batman types

"You've basically got a world that is, in D&D terms, stratified between the 1st level commoners, the 5th level fighters, and the level 20+ wizards.

The only reason that the status quo exists is that the Superman-level Powers don't want to end the world and so they created a system to perpetuate it and prevent disagreements between Powers from degenerating into the apocalypse.

The first generation Powers generally understand what it's like to by a normal mortal human, because they were once (well, they were Talents who didn't know it, but that's practically the same thing), but most Powers aren't first generation. The vast majority of them are the children of established Powers, who grew up in the League system. They went to League schools. All of their friends growing up were Powers. They apprenticed under a registered Power.

So Captain Insano knocked down Big Ben because it was blocking his view of the Thames and some Plebes died when he did that. But Captain Insano also coaches your daughters softball team, and he loaned you some money to start up your your ice cream shop, and he's a pretty nice guy when he's not blowing up national monuments full of tourists who you don't personally know and have no reason to care about other than abstract ideals. You're probably going to take it easy on him, because he know him and you sort of like him, and the rules encourage you to take it easy on him.

In fact, you're entire social structure is designed so that you can empathize with the villains more than you do with the plebes. The villains are real people, like you, with the same experiences and the same problems. You worked with them every day, even if you disagree with them. The plebes are real people too, of course, but only in abstract. You don't interact with them the same way you do with iother Powers, and you're pretty much incapable of understanding their trials and tribulations, fears and concerns because you've never experienced them yourself. You were born a level 35 wizard. You have more in common with the evil necromancer king than you ever could have with a commoner.


It's an absolutely horrible universe to be a normal person, because they live and breath at the whim and pleasure of the Powers. The heroes at least try to make a stand for plebe rights, though, even if they are just as racist as the villains.

Being a talent is also pretty horrible, due to the power difference between them and Powers, but at least they have a chance for upward mobility and explicitly have equal rights according to the League rules."

To drive it home with a hammer:

"You were born a level 35 Lawyer/Politician. You have more in common with the evil necroman... Investment Banker than you ever could have with a commoner."

Ewing said...

"You are in a kind of race with the calendar as far as science and innovation go. If you haven't done the work in your 20's you can kind of discount the idea you will ever make a major advance.

There simply isn't time to dick around with being well rounded."

- This idea is overblown. There are plenty of guys who didn't do squat until 30+.

Anonymous said...

"But Asian-Americans are giving education a bad name by turning it into a game of test-taking and going to top schools"

It's always been that way but because white culture values the "naturally gifted amateur" thing as a legacy of aristocratic culture the "game of test-taking" took place at a lower median level of effort. In a homogenous white country the colleges will be a mixture of the swotty kids and the brightest but lazy. The bright and lazy end up doing something else.

That's separate from any average IQ differences.

Also, by chaining their kids to school desks Asian parents keep them away from gangs and drugs so it's not just about education.

.
"Blacks dropping from 12% of Hunter College High School to 3% almost surely reflects a change in how vigorously affirmative action was practiced."

Isn't the black population of Manhattan heading to zero since zero tolerance? If so this article might be a bit of a red herring.

.
"As I've said before, my peripheral vision and "motion tracking" seem to work better when I'm my natural, un-assisted myopic self."

Hmm, intersting.

Anonymous said...

Affirmative action targets whites who are less intelligent than Jews but more intelligent than blacks.


The evidence suggests that it targets whites who are equally or more intelligent than Jews.

I know that's a mind-boggling concept to the typical iSteve reader who is convinced that the average Jewish IQ is 150 gadzillion.

Anonymous said...

Compared to the 1950s, do we have a more competent and less loyal elite?


I'd have to say they are less competent and less loyal.

Douglas Knight said...

If you think, as you said at MR, that Hayes is secretly talking about Russian Jews, why don't you write something about German vs Russian Jews?

Anonymous said...

In American hagwons, the kids get that instruction considerably sooner than they would in public schools where the ponderous pace is set by the NAMs.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for all those legendary high-scoring Asians to do something like... oh, say, build a place like, y'know, Hunter College High School. And then fund it, and then open it up to lots and lots of non-Asians.

Heh heh heh, yeah I'm waitin' all right.

(spits)

Steve Sailer said...

The 1967 bestseller "Our Crowd" by Stephen Birmingham is pretty good on German Jews v. Russian Jews. I'm not an expert on the subject.

Douglas Knight said...

Thanks!

I, for one, don't mind if you write about topics you're not an expert on, especially if you say so and list your sources.

Steve Sailer said...

The basic idea is that the Jewish Enlightenment started in Germany, so most of the famous Jewish names in history up through the early 20th Century (e.g., Rothschild, Marx, Freud, Einstein) were Germanic in culture (except for some Sephardics). Most of the famous Wall Street Jewish names were German (Goldman, Sachs).

But it gets real complicated real fast trying to categorize people because there were all these pockets of advanced German culture all over Eastern Europe. Plus, Germany used to be 200 miles more into Eastern Europe than it has been since 1945.

So, within Europe before WWII you can basically come up with 3 categories for Jews: assimilated toward German culture (sometimes then assimilating into super-Anglo or WASPiness, like Lord Rothschild and Leslie Howard), assimilated toward Slavic culture (e.g., Boris Pasternak), and Yiddish-speaking homeboys from backward Slavic places.The first group got to America first (excluding Sephardics) and set up most of the Jewish institutions. When large numbers of the homeboys started arriving late in the 19th Century, the German Jews wanted the Yiddish-speakers to polish their act up fast so they wouldn't get tarred too.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I went to a public, magnet school (similar to Hunter, though probably not as selective) in a large Eastern city a few years prior to Hayes. The demographics have changed dramatically. I don't know the exact numbers, but I'd guess they're comparable to what happened at Hunter.

I see three things as having changed:
1) The Asian demographic is obviously the key driver. Living in New York City, I see Asian parents putting an enormous amount of effort (both time and money) into getting into these schools.
2) With the improvement in crime rates, more parents are comfortable sending kids to public schools, so there are more white kids in the applicant pool.
3) Admission at my school was also "based" on test scores, but it was obvious that wasn't the sole factor. I'll never forget a black boy saying, in reference to one of the more challenged girls in our class, that the only reason she got in was because she was black.

Anonymous said...

I wonder just how elite the selected elite are.

In smaller nations Oxbridge or the top French schools can completely dominate their respective societies. But that's not really the case in the US, at least in the business world. A look at where F500 CEOs got their undergraduate degrees reveals quite a bit of distribution:

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2012/05/14/where-the-fortune-500-ceos-went-to-school

Thirteen undergraduate schools contributed 84 CEOs. While they're all good schools, they aren't all stereotypically elite, and it still leaves some 400 other CEOs unaccounted for. I suspect the top business levels of the UK or France are more heavily weighted towards fewer and more elite undergraduate schools.

There's more concentration at the MBA graduate level-40, or approaching 10%, from HBS--but I'm not so sure wots-his-name is advocating randomized admission to HBS. Maybe so. At that level most MBA admits have a track record that consists of more than just taking standardized tests.

Some possible problems with my theory: while the top business leadership comes from many schools, not all of them Ivy, the culture they live in at the many undergrad schools is substantially similar. Could be.

I suspect that while the current admissions practices of standardized testing and extracurricular activities does a more or less OK process of matching capable students to elite schools, the process is very, very far from completely efficient, and the system does an OK job of recruiting talent from outside the stereotypically elite pipeline.

I doubt that the mere fact of multiple economic or racial groups attending the same school for a few years will engender much in the way of cross-group loyalty. The old WASPs were probably more interested in looking out for their employees than the current, more diverse crop of MBAs.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who needs special help [of any kind] with "algebra I, algebra II, geometry" doesn't have an IQ much above 115."

I see you are a typical product of American education: ignorant and overconfident. Each of these subjects can be made as challenging as you please; and I don't mean challenging for kids, I mean challenging for adult MENSA members. Chinese parents understand that the dumbed down version taught in American schools (which you had apparently mastered - congratulations!) is inadequate.

ben tillman said...

(btw this stuff is offered as data points, isteve readers have a tendency to view such info as boasting but it's really not, I mean it's a blog, who cares). I got a near-perfect SAT verbal too....

"Data", not "data points".

ben tillman said...

The 1967 bestseller "Our Crowd" by Stephen Birmingham is pretty good on German Jews v. Russian Jews. I'm not an expert on the subject.

It's not in my library, but I do have "The Grandees" by the same author.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a working-class Catholic household, half Polish, half Italian. Three Purple Hearts in my family history, my grandfather and two uncles.

I got good test scores at an early age, and so quite naturally attended Cheng Chao Prep and later Silverstein Academy; both schools were of course founded as full-scholarship prep schools for deserving American kids, out of the tremendous gratitude of the legendary high-scoring Asian and Jewish patriots who burned with such desire to "give back" something to the country that had given them so much, and asked so little.

Then I attended prestigious Loewenstein-Hang Hop University, again on a scholarship funded by numerous wealthy Jewish recipients of draft deferments. Again, out of such gratitude to the etc etc etc etc.

Then I woke up, and my mouth was full of cotton balls, and my pillow was gone.

Anonymous said...

ben tillman said: "'data,' not 'data points'"

Heh.

And also "petty," I guess, not "petty points."

Etymology of petty, Herr Doktor?

Simon in London said...

Anon:
"Anonymous said...
I think the term 'elites' has been way too democratized. In the past, it used to mean the Power Elite. Now it means any successful yuppie or whatever in the city. While all those liberal urbanites do have power collectively, they don't have power as individuals.
I would say a real elite is someone like Soros or Penny Pritzker or Hollywood moguls or Wall Streeters who play a big role. Haim Saban, he's part of the elite. But some accountant making 100,000 a year? No way.

They are, at best, elittles."

I don't restrict my use of Elites to George Soros, but I wouldn't extend it to a typical accountant or lawyer, either. The Elites are the people who have direct influence. Some examples in the UK:

National-paper journalists, especially opinion-page journalists. They tell people what to think.

Producers of BBC radio & television news. They tell people what to think.

Government ministers and their aids/advisers.

Star lawyers and some senior judges.

Captains of industry/CEOS, especially finance and banking.

I was at a debate/seminar with a bunch of lawyers, judges, businessmen etc last night. It's always pretty easy to tell at these things who is part of the Power Elite, who not. Of course there is also a periphery around the Power Elite, it's not a hard cut-off.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17891211

Singapore wants creativity not cramming

Anonymous said...

But the really smart kids would be so insulted if you told them to attend a special school to brush up on Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra that they'd just smirk, roll their eyes, and probably not even waste the breath that it would take to tell you to go f*ck yourself.

Already pointed out above, but the part of the advantage of these courses is that you can get your Algebra I, Geometry, etc. while your White classmates are struggling with long division and fractions.

Of course, cram schools aren't limited to the smart children -- average and sub-average students attend too. Almost everyone is educable to some degree; our public schools are just totally incompetent at it, for a variety of reasons. Personnel, pedagogy, ideology, etc.

pat said...

Anyone who needs special help [of any kind] with "algebra I, algebra II, geometry" doesn't have an IQ much above 115.

I was sent to a math tutor when I was young. I had had trouble with the multiplication tables. I had noticed an algorithm for multiplication that allowed me to avoid having to memorize certain pairs. (e.g. 9 times 7 is 63, 9 times 5 is 45 - subtract one from the number and then subtract that from 10). I had a couple other such tricks that also helped me avoid memorization. Of course this technique made me slow since I had to calculate the answer while others just knew it from rote.

I explained what I did to the tutor who chewed me out and then drilled me in how to do it properly. For years I thought of myself as slow in math. There's a famous anecdote about Gauss who did something similar in school (although on a much more exalted plane of course).

It always seemed to me that women had no trouble with geometry but were lost in algebra. I should look that up. I've never read it but I've certainly observed it.

Also some advanced math is quite easy. Differential calculus is only about as hard as long division to calculate. Integral calculus on the other hand is challenging.

The hard part is not the calculation of course but recognizing a situation as a calculus problem.

I became a math whiz by simply going into government. In my experience the average government manager is flummoxed by calculating a percentage properly. A great deal of public policy can only be understood when you realize this.

Albertosaurus

jody said...

"And why does the media give us endless fictional portrayals of the "black doctor" while systematically ignoring Asian American male doctors?"

television shows and especially television commercials like to put on a fantasy portrayal of african doctors, but the reality is conrad murray, jan adams, and guys like this (from ABC):

http://tinyurl.com/c8o796c

timothy jorden, who killed a nurse that didn't want to be his girlfriend, then ran from police.

"Jody, you're close, but it's almost certainly more like two black parents each working a 40-60k lower skilled job courtesy of affirmative action"

yes, but for that to be generally true, the parents would have to be married. only 25% of african parents are married now in the US. obviously this does not preclude the 25% of those who are married from being dual income earners, as you point out.

"In tribal cultures with constant clan warfare good eyesight would be selected for very strongly imo."

good eyesight was selected for, as a matter of survival. if you can't see, you can't hunt. it's only within the last 300 years that we see an increase in teenagers who can't see and wear glasses, and within the last 100 years, an explosion in teenagers who can't see. modern technology allows bad eyesight genes to proliferate and the rate is accelerating. now it seems like half of teenagers are wearing contacts by college. this year, australian optometrists published a study where they found up to 90% of chinese teenagers had already developed myopia requiring correction. from bloomberg:

http://tinyurl.com/bnzh6y2

constant clan warfare is, however, a hypothesis among anthropologists for why pacific islander people are built the way they are. thousands of years of brutal hand to hand war while isolated on islands with nowhere to escape or run.

Bostonian said...

Educationrealist, who has experience teaching and tutoring kids of all races, has a great post "Why Chris Hayes Fails".

Svigor said...

I was sent to a math tutor when I was young. I had had trouble with the multiplication tables. I had noticed an algorithm for multiplication that allowed me to avoid having to memorize certain pairs. (e.g. 9 times 7 is 63, 9 times 5 is 45 - subtract one from the number and then subtract that from 10). I had a couple other such tricks that also helped me avoid memorization. Of course this technique made me slow since I had to calculate the answer while others just knew it from rote.

It's been a long time, but IIRC, our teacher taught us this one (though the second part is subtract it from 9, not 10).

I've tutored my nephew a bit. The biggest problem seems to be that his teachers don't spend any time with him. I get way, WAY too many "ooooohhhhs" from him while going over how math works. Not that teachers can just magically conjure up extra time to spend with students. Compounding the problem is the fact that his mother doesn't understand math, and won't put in the time to remedy the problem.

And my impression of my (mostly private) K-12 is that teachers don't understand math. At least, not how to explain it. I remember one teacher that whole time who really understood math, or at least, how to explain it. He ****ed it up for all the other teachers, because at that point I realized that it actually was possible to teach math well.

Svigor said...

On the other hand, they don't know how to teach history, either. I tutored my nephew once for a history test, because he was failing history tests. I turned it into a story, the way history should be taught. I grilled him for about an hour, hour and a half. He got a 98.