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White Ressentiment, the Poster Child - Page 8

post #106 of 440
Whether or not the g factor actually exists is a matter of much speculation. I've never been able to isolate it.
post #107 of 440
Haven't read the book, but this review of it makes it sound interesting:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/168051395

(but not $310 interesting, which is the price on Amazon.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post

This has been very well analyzed for quite a while, you might enjoy this book:
post #108 of 440
I got into this thread because of the OP's assertion that the girl wasn't discriminated against when she obviously was. The argument to the contrary is really facile and dishonest. Colleges can't use explicit racial quotas anymore, so they design elaborate systems like the one in Texas to favor minorities indirectly -- systems that have been carefully calculated to operate as de facto quotas. Indirectness doesn't make these admissions policies nondiscriminatory.

I guess we're past that now, but I really didn't want to go into whether affirmative action is a good idea or not. You can talk about intent all day long, but for what it's worth, I think results are what matter. And for affirmative action, they speak for themselves--the more "help" they try to give a given minority population, the worse its members perform. That hasn't changed much at all in the forty plus years they've been doing it.

The biggest problem in my mind is that affirmative action seeks to impart the prestige of selective admissions policies on students who wouldn't be selected. But people aren't stupid and despite what they might say, affirmative action clouds the achievements of minorities, especially those who actually deserved to be where they were. It also has the effect of concentrating black and hispanic students at the bottom of every school they attend. The reason there are so few black kids at UT-Austin with good test scores isn't that they don't exist, it's that they've been poached by more prestigious schools. I think people really underestimate the harm this does.

As to legacy admissions, private schools can do whatever they want in my mind--and that includes affirmative action. I don't think either are a good idea, but they're private schools and they can be as arbitrary as they want if the taxpayers aren't paying for it. And personally I don't think colleges should even have athletic programs, but they're a hundred times more entrenched than affirmative action. You've got to pick your battles.
post #109 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnest Hemingway View Post

Thanks for the responses guys, especially Iammatt. If that 30 point increase statistic is true, test prep is a lot less effective than I thought it was. To be honest I'm surprised SAT score is so highly correlated with general intelligence. Mind posting a source?

When I was working in test prep, we considered it a failure when a student's score didn't increase by at least 50. In fact, if a student attended a minimum number of classes and didn't increase their score by at least that much, we would allow them to take the class again for free. But I suppose that stat would include students that don't attend classes or do the work
post #110 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post

When I was working in test prep, we considered it a failure when a student's score didn't increase by at least 50. In fact, if a student attended a minimum number of classes and didn't increase their score by at least that much, we would allow them to take the class again for free. But I suppose that stat would include students that don't attend classes or do the work

Munch, you need to read Matt's links. The second and third links address the score gain from coaching and the first one shows what I already knew, namely the g factor and SAT scores a extremely highly correlated.
post #111 of 440
It's odd to see so many blank slaters. Just proves that we all ignore the science that we don't like.
post #112 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnest Hemingway View Post


I agree with erictheobscure's point about socially engineered, institutionalized disadvantages that society is trying to make up. That, to me, is the primary justification for affirmative action.

Was this ever in doubt in your mind? I mean, this is not a revelation.

No, I've always believed this. I just thought he presented it well.
Quote:
Matt and Eric: would either of you feel up to the task of commenting on the g factor?

Please do. As much as I want to believe there is a quantitative measure of intelligence my inner bleeding-heart liberal is screaming that there can be no such thing (as long as the capitalist patriarchy is the source of such metrics, of course).
post #113 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post

It's odd to see so many blank slaters. Just proves that we all ignore the science that we don't like.

I don't know if you're lumping me in there, but I pretty explicitly said back when I first posted on this that I thought the correlation was some mix of biological and social factors. And I also said I think that SAT coaching is one of several social factors.
post #114 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnest Hemingway View Post

Please do. As much as I want to believe there is a quantitative measure of intelligence my inner bleeding-heart liberal is screaming that there can be no such thing (as long as the capitalist patriarchy is the source of such metrics, of course).

Honestly, this is the thinking that leads inexorably to a lack of any self criticism. It's always the man, especially when the results are what we don't like. Especially if we think we tried good and hard. Just like the dummy bringing the suit in the first place.
post #115 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnest Hemingway View Post

Please do. As much as I want to believe there is a quantitative measure of intelligence my inner bleeding-heart liberal is screaming that there can be no such thing (as long as the capitalist patriarchy is the source of such metrics, of course).

What would an intelligence test have to do to be valid? Aside from being race-neutral and therefore heredity-neutral (for lack of a better term), would it need to be SES-neutral as well? You've had scientists working on intelligence test for 100+ years and have yet to achieve either. And that's fine - as I've said, we all ignore science when it's convenient for society - but I'm curious as to what your criteria are for a valid "quantitative" measure of intelligence are and why you feel that it has yet to be achieved.
post #116 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt View Post

Honestly, this is the thinking that leads inexorably to a lack of any self criticism. It's always the man, especially when the results are what we don't like. Especially if we think we tried good and hard. Just like the dummy bringing the suit in the first place.

Why do you feel it necessary to repeatedly insult the girl in the OP? First of all, it's obvious she really was discriminated against, and second, there's no way she could have brought this lawsuit herself. Either her parents or (much more likely) some special interest group is behind it.
post #117 of 440
Sorry if it escaped you, but my comment was a little facetious. Currently, my sole criterion for a "valid" test of general intelligence is one that stands up to scrutiny and has more than a modicum of scientific consensus behind it. Hence my request for those more knowledgeable in that specific field to weigh in. I could do the research myself, but I'm supposed to be working...

And while I'm not saying that "the man" is entirely to blame, it's kind of a bad idea to divorce science completely from its historical and social context*. Particularly when the science in question is dealing with social factors.

*This obviously applies a lot less to theoretic and experimental physics and pure mathematics than it does to social sciences, for example
post #118 of 440
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Not a snarky question and mainly to Eric (as he mentioned this): how do you define and/or measure "strong potential for success?" I think this is important as drop out rates among certain demographics are atrocious, so if AA is tailored for under prepared minority people with a strong potential for success, I would submit that metric/set or metrics is/are either not well defined, not well assessed and measured, or both. I would also submit AA programs would probably meet with greater societal acceptance, i.e. by more than liberal academics and the populations (allegedly) benefiting from the programs. If there's one thing Western culture likes it is success. I think demonstrating high levels of success in this social engineering (and I'm not using that term in a pejorative sense as I think the concept is neutral) would bring it greater acceptance by demonstrating actual worth.

Two thoughts. First, I think one obvious goal is for students to graduate--maybe not with the highest GPAs during the first years, but hopefully with a record of improvement. How to identify this kind of potential? Honestly, this is where I have to say I don't know what goes on at my own admissions office. I do know that at a small institution like mine, the admissions office can scrutinize personal essays and conduct interviews in addition to looking at the numbers. Would it be bullshit to call this as much an art as a science? I hope not. Things are certainly much different at huge institutions like U-T, which have to rely a lot more on quantitative aspects of applications.

If you think Western culture obsesses over success....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

I got into this thread because of the OP's assertion that the girl wasn't discriminated against when she obviously was. The argument to the contrary is really facile and dishonest. Colleges can't use explicit racial quotas anymore, so they design elaborate systems like the one in Texas to favor minorities indirectly -- systems that have been carefully calculated to operate as de facto quotas. Indirectness doesn't make these admissions policies nondiscriminatory.

As to legacy admissions, private schools can do whatever they want in my mind--and that includes affirmative action. I don't think either are a good idea, but they're private schools and they can be as arbitrary as they want if the taxpayers aren't paying for it. And personally I don't think colleges should even have athletic programs, but they're a hundred times more entrenched than affirmative action. You've got to pick your battles.

I know you're thoroughly convinced by your own arguments, but there's a lot more room for disagreement than your rhetoric of "these are the facts" would suggest. As far as I can tell, you never did respond to key aspects of the story originally linked:
Quote:
In the hundreds of pages of legal filings, Fisher's lawyers spend almost no time arguing that Fisher would have gotten into the university but for her race.
Quote:
It's true that the university, for whatever reason, offered provisional admission to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino. Forty-two were white. Neither Fisher nor Blum mentioned those 42 applicants in interviews. Nor did they acknowledge the 168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher's who were also denied entry into the university that year.

Instead, you argued that the policy of admitting the 10 percent of each graduating class was a racially motivated policy (and you did this with a "c'mon, we all know this is true" appeal). I think this is actually the trickiest point of contention. What if this policy were described as what it really is at face value: a state university's attempt to promote some sort of equality among public high schools against the obvious fact of glaring disparities among neighborhoods and school districts. This is not to deny that these disparities fall largely (although obviously not completely) along racial lines. But I do think there's a distinction between seeing the problem of disparity as a racial one and seeing the attempt to do something about it by rewarding all high schools as a racially motivated policy. You just assumed the latter and then moved forward with your argument (which, by the way, included citing a bunch of stats, then hastily pointing out that the stats were for the wrong year, but hey, whatever). Obviously, the article in question doesn't question the 10 percent policy but compares Abigail Fisher to the other candidates who didn't make it in that way.

At least we agree with legacy admissions and athletic programs. But I've never see a huge fuss about the former policy (which I'd love to see abolished) or the latter (which will never be abolished since the population as a whole seems to love loves sports a lot more than it loves education).
post #119 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnest Hemingway View Post

Sorry if it escaped you, but my comment was a little facetious. Currently, my sole criterion for a "valid" test of general intelligence is one that stands up to scrutiny and has more than a modicum of scientific consensus behind it. Hence my request for those more knowledgeable in that specific field to weigh in. I could do the research myself, but I'm supposed to be working...

And while I'm not saying that "the man" is entirely to blame, it's kind of a bad idea to divorce science completely from its historical and social context*. Particularly when the science in question is dealing with social factors.

*This obviously applies a lot less to theoretic and experimental physics and pure mathematics than it does to social sciences, for example

It is a bad idea to divorce science from context, and a bad idea to divorce critiques of knowledge from their context. What does that get you, exactly?
post #120 of 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

Instead, you argued that the policy of admitting the 10 percent of each graduating class was a racially motivated policy (and you did this with a "c'mon, we all know this is true" appeal). I think this is actually the trickiest point of contention. What if this policy were described as what it really is at face value: a state university's attempt to promote some sort of equality among public high schools against the obvious fact of glaring disparities among neighborhoods and school districts. This is not to deny that these disparities fall largely (although obviously not completely) along racial lines. But I do think there's a distinction between seeing the problem of disparity as a racial one and seeing the attempt to do something about it by rewarding all high schools as a racially motivated policy. You just assumed the latter and then moved forward with your argument (which, by the way, included citing a bunch of stats, then hastily pointing out that the stats were for the wrong year, but hey, whatever). Obviously, the article in question doesn't question the 10 percent policy but compares Abigail Fisher to the other candidates who didn't make it in that way.

At least we agree with legacy admissions and athletic programs. But I've never see a huge fuss about the former policy (which I'd love to see abolished) or the latter (which will never be abolished since the population as a whole seems to love loves sports a lot more than it loves education).
It is really not helpful to obscure the issue, eric, by ignoring the context and pretending "what ifs" are relevant. This policy has a specific origin and context and it is not your "what if". The Texas policy is a racially motivated policy and was instituted when the courts said they couldn't have specific race quotas. It was an attempt to come up with a facially race neutral method of accomplishing what was previously done by racially non-neutral methods. If you want to say motives don't matter, and all that matters is the fact that the policy is facially-neutral, you can. In fact, that is the point of the policy. But why cloud the issue with hypothetical motives when the real ones are known?
Edited by dopey - 3/21/13 at 9:13am
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