December 7, 2012

Who is interested in elite college admissions? Right: nobody.

As you may have noticed, articles about elite college admissions are a staple of the national press. For example, a parody in The Awl began:
The Most Emailed 'New York Times' Article Ever 
David Parker | January 20th, 2011 
It’s a week before the biggest day of her life, and Anna Williams is multitasking. While waiting to hear back from the Ivy League colleges she’s hoping to attend, the seventeen-year-old senior at one of Manhattan’s most exclusive private schools is doing research for a paper about organic farming in the West Bank, whipping up a batch of vegan brownies, and, like an increasing number of American teenagers, teaching her dog, José Saramago, to use an iPad.

And goes on to touch on other favorite topics of New York Times readers such as Obama's dog, black-Jewish relationships, Mandarin-immersion programs, and neuroscience, but revolves back to conclude with Topic One:
Six months ago, Anna started her own bocce club. It’s already one of the most popular extracurricular activities at her school. 
Will bringing bocce to the Upper East Side be enough to get Anna Williams into Harvard, Yale or Princeton? She’ll find out next week. Until then, she’s got her hands full: José Saramago just learned how to use Twitter.

So, you might think that Ron Unz's "The Myth of American Meritocracy," which is crammed with more info about elite college admissions than anything published in years, would have made quite a splash. And, indeed, when mentioned, it tends to elicit voluminous comments (e.g., 363 on Marginal Revolution). So, since the news media lives for traffic, they must be all over this, right?


At Google News, if I type in 

Unz college

I get:
  1. Elite College Admissions Are Unfair, Sure... We Still Shouldn't Care

    Huffington Post (blog)-Nov 29, 2012
    In fact it might be utterly the wrong thing to worry about. Many argue that the inequity of elite collegeadmissions is really important. As Ron Unz ...
  1. For Third-raters Who Want to Get Into Harvard, It Helps To Have ...

    Forbes-Dec 1, 2012
    Although virtually every paragraph in Unz's long essay is brimming with controversy, if I were 18 again and trying to get into a good college...

And that's it of late December 7: two stories on Google News.


Anonymous said...

No matter how true, a whisper is heard by no one. No matter how false, a shout is heard by all.

Nanonymous said...

Elites are interested in elite college admissions. And they are not about to let the proles share the obsession. Some cards are better kept close to one's chest.

Reg Cæsar said...

...doing research for a paper about organic farming in the West Bank...

What's the point of organic farming on the West Bank, where everything has been exposed to chemical residue from various explosives?

Or do they refer to the West Bank in
Minneapolis, a.k.a. "Mogadishu-on-the-Mississippi"?

Anonymous said...

Discrimination against Asians at elite colleges is generally acknowledged and there's some research on it, but the really interesting part of Unz's article is of course his claims about favoritism for Jews and a bias against gentiles. I don't trust Unz's numbers because he always uses numbers like a lawyer rather than a scientist, but I'd love to see some researcher look into it. Unfortunately, it would probably be a career suicide to study this.

Jason Sylvester said...

Reading this entry reminds me my daughter's ACT exam is tomorrow. It's changed a lot since 1987: the day before the test they are issued ACT "admission tickets" complete with a photo of the student, a "Match Number" that's gotta line up with something at some point, and what looks like a souper-secret code of some sort.

They take it so far that they randomly assign testing rooms when you arrive to take your ACT: "ROOMS WILL BE ASSIGNED" the sheet screams out in ALL-CAPS, right above the legend "You will NOT be admitted without both this ticket AND one of the following forms of I.D." Serious business, the whole thing has become I reckon.

Oh well: at least she can vote by simply showing up at a random polling station and saying "Boo!" :-)

Anonymous said...

No matter how true, a whisper is heard by no one.

Not true. It's heard by the person being whispered to!

irishman said...

In fairness steve, it was one hell of a l-l-long essay.

I copied and pasted it to Word and I think it was about 22,000 words.

Who the hell has the time for that.

Kaz said...

Jesus christ, this article isn't going to do any good for this girl's inflated ego..

She might actually think she deserves to go to those schools.

DirtyTricks said...

After reading about Walter Francis White, perhaps caucasions should claim we are black and benefit from affirmative action.

Why? Walter White had blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin, yet he lead the NAACP for decades.
According to Wiki, "five of his great-great-great-grandparents were black and the other 27 were white. All of his family were light-skinned, and his mother Madeline was also blue-eyed and blonde."

Reg Cæsar said...

Reading this entry reminds me my daughter's ACT exam is tomorrow. --Jason S.

Oh, no, all those Jasons running wild in the supermarket aisles not so long ago are the parents of college students? Boy, does that make a fellow feel old...

Odds are good she's an Ashley, Brittany or Jessica.

Jason Sylvester said...

"Odds are good she's an Ashley, Brittany or Jessica"

Good call! She came within an eyelash of #3, actually, and has a cousin on one side of the family who is an "Ashley" and a cousin on the other side who is a "Brittany": the domestic consensus in the Sylvester household finally settled on a Megan.

And her father is very proud of her - as is her mother, my wife - even though I cringe at the country she is inheriting. It's not the country her great-grandfather imagined he was going off to fight for and preserve for his posterity when he enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942 out of Carthage, Missouri. It would be nice to have a piece of that America back, actually. But I digress.

Again, good call.

JR said...

That's only Google news
There is heaps on a google general search

Anonymous said...

That's only Google news
There is heaps on a google general search

That's sort of Steve's point. Google news search covers mainstream news articles. General search covers private blogs and pages.

Victor said...

Only the losers who can't get into Harvard care about its admissions process.

Vilko said...

Daniel Luzer wrote in the Huffington Post: "Elite College Admissions Are Unfair, Sure... We Still Shouldn't Care"

Luzer is an Ashkenazi surname. Present admission procedures favor Jews, and Luzer is shamelessly happy with that.

He wrote:
"Entrance into a tiny group that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth and political power can never be just."

Yet it can. That's what color-blind exams are for. But that's counting without that ugliest of American peculiarities: "disparate impact" litigation...

Skeptical Economist said...

My prediction (to Unz) was that his very significant essay would be received with a deafening silence. The victims in his model are the two least politically active groups in the United States (non-Jewish whites and Asians). The winners were the loudest and most active (blacks, Hispanics, and Jews).

The people who should care, don't. The people do care are winning.

chucho said...

I've been watching Harvard's "Justice" lecture series on youtube. Based on the numerous shots of the class, the 16% Asian population quoted in Unz's article seems to be a real low-ball figure.

Anonymous said...

He should have written a much shorter version, I'm not going to read 22,000 words about boo hoo asians get discriminated against. They could avoid anti-asian bias by staying in asia.

Anonymous said...

This just continues to show that whites are not allowed to complain about anything from their own point of view. Everything -must- be expressed in terms of how it is bad for a diversity.

"A diversity" is my attempt at a neologism. Use it instead of "NAM".

Anonymous said...

These are not the droids you are looking for.

candid_observer said...

While it may seem that Unz's article is being universally ignored, I'd be willing to bet that in certain precincts, such as Jewish organizations, a response is even at this moment being prepared, in the event that it should get wider attention.

I also suspect that within the elite college admissions bureaucracy, there are those who will try to figure out what's going on here, even if they know perfectly well it can never be spoken of publicly, or even openly within their own ranks.

NOTA said...


Perhaps it xhould be a collective noun?

After the welfare checks were delayed due to foul-ups by a diversity of affirmative action hires, liquor stores and pawn shops in the community were looted by a diversity of rioters. After order was restored, a divesrity of protesters showed up and marched with missspelled signs, chanting grammatically incorrect slogans.

Anonymous said...

well considering it's only gotten 22 comments here...

but as Isteve readers should know Unz wasted his time with 20+ page plus article backed by resarch - there is an easy refute
"Shut, up, loser'

Anonymous said...

... palestinians being driven off their land by the thousands,tortured beat up, murdered, denied water but the.. but NYT readers can re-assure themselves that organic tomatoes are growing on the west bank

Alcalde Jaime Miguel Curleo said...

Anyone know how that Washington Monthly/Huffington guy who wrote the "We Still Shouldn't Care" post prefers his last name pronounced? This ought to be good

Anonymous said...

Unz's article is too long and too complex for most journalists or NY Times readers.

That's my take.

Hugh said...

Yesterday, Sunday, it rained all day, so I did get time to read Unz's article which is well-written and not heavy going at all.

I would encourage others to do the same.

His second finding, of massive discrimination in favour of Jews, certainly surprised me.

Bravostaya said...

They could avoid anti-asian bias by staying in asia.

What a concise yet epic UP YOURS to the new world order.

This comment is hall of fame material! Unthinkable blasphemy!

If you erupted with this comment at a Manhattan cocktail party they would call the cops on you! Bravo.

Florida resident said...

I read the article in full;
spent about 3 hours to do it.
I did it in one day
after I learned the link from Mr. Sailer’s blog.
I think it is an important article.
I re-posted the link at least in 3 sites.

(Shame on me, I did it without hat tip to Sailer’s blog.
My feeble excuse is that I am a subscriber
of hard-copy of “The American Conservative”.)

I printed out the hard-copy
of the main-body article by Unz and Appendices to it,
and gave it to a friend
(of Jewish ethnicity, by the way;
graduate of Stuyvesant High.)

I sent the link to my 3 kids.

What else could I do ?

Florida resident said...

Blog by Steve Hsu contains a small discussion of Unz: