March 20, 2008

Obama Paper Trail Sighting!

Slate digs up a 1990 interview with Barack Obama:

"It's a great time to be a young black law school graduate -- if you're from Harvard and in the top quarter of your class," said Obama. "But the point is that there are a lot of talented young minorities who may not have been able to go to the top schools.

"For example, a lot of minorities go to state schools due to financial constraints. Until the minorities who are going to the good but not the most prestigious schools, those who are doing a good job, who are highly competent and have the intelligence and the energy to do terrific work -- until those people are looked at and hired in significant numbers -- I think you are going to continue to have serious recruitment and retention problems."

"Certainly, a lot of large firms are interested in hiring more minorities," he said. "The issue you confront is: What kind of minorities are the firms looking for? I certainly wouldn't have a hard time finding a job in Chicago. I have all the right credentials."

Even firms that are making an effort to recruit -- and there are still not many of them, Obama said -- are reluctant to take a chance on students who do not have the top credentials. It has been said, Obama noted, that it may be time to ask if minorities are getting the same right to be "mediocre" as white males.

For some reason, I'm reminded of the classic Jon Lovitz commentary on Saturday Night Live, where he cites a study about how hard it is for women to find men with all the qualifications they demand, and, then, with a huge smile on his face, points out the statistical moral: "Ladies, LOWER YOUR STANDARDS!"

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

43 comments:

migraine said...

I can count off 5 people in my immediate vicinity who completed PhD's in mostly science or engineering disciplines, but who are NOT making significant money or having great careers. I imagine that blacks with those qualifications would instantaneously be hired as execs. So I perceive the opposite of what Obama says, I think that white males have to bring much more competence to the plate than blacks to get the same perks.

Anonymous said...

@Migraine

Some (white) friends of mine also have PhD's and they're not doing so exceptionally well financially either -- note: these PhD's are in the fields of physics and math! Well, they're still young, so.. Maybe later, huh?

The good ones always bubble up in the end. But I do have to say that it kind of surprised me as well, I mean, a PhD! Nobody gets a diploma like that without some talent and hard work. I can't blame blacks for taking their chances. If they have a PhD, they clearly earned their break, right? At that level, positive discrimination is a bit of a non-issue, IMHO.

PS Obama should really shut up or show some shame for this whole Wright debacle -- what clowns they are! And all this mouth foaming horny dog pundits who are watching their savior every move. My, my.. It's pathetic.

Nobody would have ever given Obama any second attention, if he had been a white guy. Really. Ask yourself, would anyone bet their arm on the premise of Obama not being black and still succesful?

And what makes him so special on the issues, anyway? Nothing, besides Paul & Kucinich, all candidates were pretty much all Bush/Clinton-Xeroxed disasters.

O The Man is as empty as they come, frankly. His endless moaning about "change" makes me cringe. It's all a Big Lie. He can't change shit, ever. No Lefty ever could, no matter what their ancestry is. It's the ideology of collectivism, that's why. Collectivism never worked -- never will.

Anonymous said...

Right Steve - who better to advise law firms on recruiting new talent - a Harvard grad or a guy who could not keep his gig writing movie reviews for UPI?

RobertHume said...

Speaking of techies. Many high-IQ folks are attracted to the sciences (for example, Obama's half-brother) and disdain law and politics. This leaves the political field to those of lower IQ. With much of the top of the white distribution set aside, there is room for the highest IQ blacks to rise to political power.

Copy Cat Anonymous said...

Top Student: What Kind of Minorities Do Firms Want?
By: David Rubenstein
Barack Obama, a Harvard Law School student
Photograph: Robert Lieberman
The Chicago Reporter
Issue 221
July, 1990

The last thing that Barack Obama will have to worry about next year when he graduates is job offers. Obama finished his second year at Harvard Law School this spring and has been elected to lead the Harvard Law Review, a prestigious position traditionally reserved for a top student.

"It's a great time to be a young black law school graduate - if you're from Harvard and in the top quarter of your class," said Obama. "But the point is that there are a lot of talented young minorities who may not have been able to go to the top schools. For example, a lot of minorities go to state schools due to financial constraints.

"Until the minorities who are going to the good but not the most prestigious schools, those who are doing a good job, who are highly competent and have the intelligence and the energy to do terrific work - until those people are looked at and hired in significant numbers - I think you are going to continue to have serious recruitment and retention problems."

Before going to law school, Obama spent four years in Chicago, working at the Developing Communities Project on the South Side. Currently, he is a summer associate at the firm of Hopkins & Sutter in Chicago. Last summer he worked at Sidley & Austin.

"Certainly, a lot of large frims are interested in hiring more minorities," he said. "The issue you confront is: What kind of minorities are the firms looking for? I certainly wouldn't have a hard time finding a job in Chicago. I have all the right credentials."

Even firms that are making an effort to recruit minorities - and there still are not many of them, Obama said - are reluctant to take a chance on students who do not have the top credentials. It has been said, Obama noted, that it may be time to ask if minorities are getting the same right to be "mediocre" as white males.

- D. R.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Just a few quick notes:

1) The arrogance.

Compare -

Barack Obama, 1990: I certainly wouldn't have a hard time finding a job in Chicago. I have all the right credentials.

Michelle Obama, 2008: Barack, as Oprah said, is one of the most brilliant men you will meet in our lifetime.

2) The logical inconsistencies.

For instance -

the minorities who are... highly competent and have the intelligence and the energy to do terrific work

-vs-

it may be time to ask if minorities are getting the same right to be "mediocre" as white males.

So are these minorities supposed to be "terrific", or are they merely "mediocre"?

Or this: until those people are looked at and hired in significant numbers - I think you are going to continue to have serious recruitment and retention problems.

Problems from whose point of view? Presumably the employers are recruiting and hiring precisely the employees they want to recruit & hire [and how are they supposed to retain some hypothetical subgroup of employees if they never recruited & hired them in the first place?], so the inference must be that these "problems" are from the point of view of the "terrific/mediocre" [take your pick] subgroup of hypothetical employees who aren't being recruited, employed and retained in the first place.

3) The obsession with race.

In fairness to Obama, I imagine that the author of this piece was on a fishing expedition looking for race-baiting, race-hustling, race-extortionist commentary, but good grief, wouldn't it have been refreshing if a young Barack Obama had gone on the record with a statement along the lines of, "I hope that my future employer will offer me employment based on my knowledge of the law rather than the amount of melanin in my skin"?

It really makes you appreciate the fellas who have the strength of character to turn their backs on the racial spoils bidness and head off on their own to contemplate Beethoven and Shakesper.

Anyway, so much for having been the post-racial candidate [the era of post-racialism having ended two days ago, with The Speech].

Veracitor said...

Really, Obama's story depends on the same old refusal to face the consequences of the fact that the median IQ of American blacks is about a standard deviation below the median IQ of American whites.

Top intellectual jobs go to people with top intellects. Many blacks possess strong intellects (about 1/6 of blacks are smarter than half of all whites). Still, the fraction of blacks with top-level IQ's is much smaller than the corresponding fraction of whites. Of 1000 whites, about 23 will have 130+ IQ's-- the "Harvard Law" minimum-- whereas only 1 out of 1000 blacks will have a 130+ IQ.

It is no surprise that a greater fraction of whites than blacks become top engineers, doctors, and lawyers. It is foolish to expect blacks to fill one out of eight of those jobs when blacks constitute only one out of twenty-three students preparing for them.

According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, in 2005 of 153,132 American blacks who took the SAT test only 1,205 scored at least 700 on the verbal portion-- which JBHE says is the level generally required for admission to one of the 50 top undergraduate schools in the US.

Racial recruiting programs at a few schools like Harvard vacuum up all of the high-IQ black students in the country. To fill their own racial quotas, less prestigious schools-- say, state universities-- must recruit blacks with IQ's too low to really justify their admission.

Surrounded by much smarter whites (who correctly judge them to be ill-qualified), black state-school affirmative-action students end up frustrated and frequently resentful. To avoid failing out completely, many enroll in bogus ethnic-studies or sociology majors with zero intellectual rigor. They become even more resentful when they learn that employers are not impressed by ethnic-studies diplomas.

In 1990 Obama said that many "talented minorities" go to state schools "due to financial constraints." He had to have known that was basically untrue. Since the 1970's objectively talented minorities have largely gotten free rides at prestige schools eager to burnish their moral reputations by peppering their campuses with minority students.

There are more whites (by percentage as well as absolute number) going to state schools due to financial constraints, because whites are not eligible for race-based financial assistance (can you say "Bill Gates scholarship?").

American blacks have the same right to be mediocre as whites, but "mediocre" for a black is "bottom 20%" for a white.

William said...

"It's a great time to be a young black law school graduate -- if you're from Harvard and in the top quarter of your class," said Obama. "But the point is that there are a lot of talented young minorities who may not have been able to go to the top schools.

Does he mean Harvard grad AND the top quarter, or does he mean OR the top quarter? Because if he means the former, as he's quoted, then it sort of raises the question of how letting more blacks into Harvard Law would do any good, since most wouldn't finish in the top quarter anyway.

But what this interview mostly reveals is the same obsession with race and with being black that we know he has from his choice of pastors. And it's why so many white Americans don't want black politicians to begin with - their obsession with doing things to benefit their own, to the detriment of the rest of us.

brad said...

These firms do take chances on minorities. They have to because its the law that they have a "diverse" work place. Didn't Orwell ever tell you, "Diversity is our strength."
www.goodoleboybumperstickers.com

David said...

Smart top employers - such as law firms, or even accounting firms - that are thinking of hiring a NAM factor in the FULL probable cost of their engagement with diversity. That is to say, they anticipate the cost of defending themselves from the discrimination suit that rather often comes within five years of termination. The cost of doing business.

Anonymous said...

What an insufferable bigot.

As for the crack about Steve and the UPI, "Anonymous" should know that I've attended four universities, three public and one private. I earned a Master's at a young, state university. Not once at any of these institutions did I meet a black or brown who was working towards a degree in engineering, math, computer science or the life sciences on the graduate level. Undergrad, yes, but not graduate. And I was an undergraduate advisor in the school of management when I earned my graduate degree.

Anonymous said...

"Some (white) friends of mine also have PhD's and they're not doing so exceptionally well financially either -- note: these PhD's are in the fields of physics and math! Well, they're still young, so.. Maybe later, huh?"

Why would you expect folks with Ph.D.s in physics and math to automatically make a lot of money? As a reward for studying something most folks find to be hard? In the world of commerce, no one cares about that. There are some physics and math Ph.D.s making gobs of money as quants on Wall Street (though the industry may be losing its enthusiasm for them, since the old ways of losing money worked just fine), but most folks with those degrees work in academia where, if they get tenure, they'll make a comfortable living rather than being extremely highly-paid.

- Fred

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

It has been said, Obama noted, that it may be time to ask if minorities are getting the same right to be "mediocre" as white males.

What freakin' planet was he living on when he said this? It's commonly known that in academia, aw, journalism, or Fortune-500 companies, if you're a qualified minority, you can pretty much write your own ticket. That's why minorities want so much to keep affirmative action in place. And if you're not qualified, if you can get your foot in the door you're pretty much insulated from ever being fired.

Someone should ask Mr. Unity if he still believes this.

Svigor said...

It's the ideology of collectivism, that's why. Collectivism never worked -- never will.

I think their whole "total war against human nature" thing is more salient, really.

Svigor said...

Right Steve - who better to advise law firms on recruiting new talent - a Harvard grad or a guy who could not keep his gig writing movie reviews for UPI?

I have a dream; that one day, a man's arguments may be judged on their merits, not on the words on his degree...

Anonymous said...

Do you have any sort of response to
nisbett-on-rushton-and-jensen.pdf
?

I'd much rather not believe in genetic racial IQ differences, so I'm ready to be convinced. Want any last words before I quit reading your blog?

Will check back to see if you enter the fray over the Rushton paper.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Veracitor: Many blacks possess strong intellects (about 1/6 of blacks are smarter than half of all whites).

Not according to Charles Murray - his data indicate that only 7% of American blacks are born to mothers with an IQ at or above 100 [which is more or less the definition of mean IQ of American whites].

Steve Sailer said...

Lucius, no that's not what Murray's statistic means.

That 1/6th of blacks (around 7 million) are smarter than 1/2 of whites is about right.

Veracitor said...

Uh, Lucius, my estimate was extremely rough (I assumed 15-point black SD even though it's probably 14, and assumed 1 SD B-W difference even though it may be more, and rounded off, etc.) so I will cheerfully bow to any better estimate, but the figure you cite has no bearing on the figure I was trying to estimate, because greater fertility of low-IQ black mothers could produce your result without telling us anything concrete about the distribution of IQ among adult blacks.

Or to put that in concrete terms, if 1 high-IQ black mom gives us one child and 5 low-IQ black moms give us 2 children each then only 9% of the children will have been born to a high-IQ black mom, but 17% of the moms will be high-IQ, and very likely (reversion toward the mean) 17% of the kids, too.

Ben Franklin said...

As a “typical white person”, I’d better not comment on this, or Obama might accuse me of making him cringe by engaging in “stereotyping.”



For those of you who haven’t heard, today during a radio interview on Philadelphia radio, Obama stated that his grandmother is and I quote: “a typical white person.”

Thank G_d Obama never engages in “stereotyping.”

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

Re Nisbett's comments on Rushton and Jensen's paper in APA's journal, Psychology, Public Policy and the Law, a good entre into the subject inspired by the controversy that arose over Nobel Laureate James Watson's remarks on African intelligence was posted by Jason Malloy on Gene Expression in October:

http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/10/james-watson-tells-inconvenient-truth_296.php

I urge you to check it out if you are interested in the topic. Since the nature-nurture debate is not directly on point re the current discussion, I'll say no more.
-PhillyGuy

Johnson said...


Since the nature-nurture debate is not directly on point re the current discussion, I'll say no more.


But one can very much argue that the entire Obama controversy and his being an apologist for black nationalism is simply due to an unwillingness by him and most of society to accept genetic explanations for black under performance.

Anonymous said...

Regarding sending that fellow over to Jason's famous post--a response to the Nisbett paper will still be appreciated from Steve Sailer. Malloy's post pointed out that the media was reluctant to engage the debate--it's not a response to, or a critique, of a paper like Nisbett's.

And it's pretty clear that Mr. Vorenus has a moderate IQ.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous 3/20/2008:

I have a degree from Harvard. Multiple ones, in fact. And I'm telling you that you're a moron.

Now tell me -- am I, as a Harvard grad, a good judge of YOUR talent?

(that's called checkmate mofo)

Oh yeah -- Obama's undergrad is Columbia, and Sailer went to Rice; even today they have almost identical SAT profiles:

http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/CollegeDetail.jsp?collegeId=2569&profileId=6
http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/CollegeDetail.jsp?collegeId=3853&profileId=6

And you know what? I'd rather have Steve Sailer recruiting for my company -- someone who knows that IQ isn't a bad word -- than a flat-earther like Obama who thinks IQ testing is an invention of the man.

(manimal)

spoon said...

Steve,

Off topic.

Someone with the right kind of satirical chops should start an advice blog for "whitepeople". They could call it "Dear Whitey" rather than "Dear Abby".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Regarding sending that fellow over to Jason's famous post--a response to the Nisbett paper will still be appreciated from Steve Sailer. Malloy's post pointed out that the media was reluctant to engage the debate--it's not a response to, or a critique, of a paper like Nisbett's."

If you want responses, you can go to very same issue of the journal where Nisbett's article was published and read Jensen's and Rushton's response, as well as Linda Gottfredson's comments. For more discussion of the topic, you may want to look through past postings on gnxp.com and check out Linda Gottfredson's further writings:

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/index.html

There's a lot of discussion on the topics you seem to be interested in. (If you really are interested and not just seeking to reaffirm preconceived ideas.)

Surely technical discussions by specialists in the the relavent fields would be better than asking Steve, a journalist (albiet a very good one) to give you a summary of the research. Besides, he has given his opinion on intelligence and race fairly clearly in previous articles. For example, check this out:

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/071203_iq.htm

This posting by Half Sigma also has some relevance to nature-nurture issues:

http://www.halfsigma.com/2007/11/dtnbp1-gene-and.html

Enjoy!

ben tillman said...

a response to the Nisbett paper will still be appreciated from Steve Sailer.

No, it won't. You're too dense to appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere on the web there was a discussion by a guy who'd worked a number of a jobs, including on Vietnamese fishing boats in LA. He asked a black acquaintance of his why the disparity in income and attitudes between Louisiana Blacks and Vietnamese. The answer, "we are owed, and they're not. It's destroying us." The guy thought it illustrated the negative cultural aspects of the Black Community.

He went on with a summary of what the writing program for minorities at Colorado University under Ward Churchill was like. Same "owed" and destructive attitude.

Per IQ, I suspect over time it's a LOT more malleable than people think. Example: Scotland. Now, no one from Caesar onward to the brink of the Scottish Enlightenment EVER called the Scots "smart." Drunken, violent, clan-ridden, divided, ill-tempered, uncouth, etc. would be a better description. There was almost nothing of note to come out of Scotland. Then suddenly, a cultural shift in the early 1700's accompanying urbanization and an explosion of major accomplishment.

I suspect there wasn't so much a massive amount of IQ raising (and say the people of William Wallace's day would have likely been fairly low-IQ, probably lower than the inner city person today of either Black/Hispanic race). Too little time and not enough selection process. Instead what genetic advantages there were got expressed by a culture that rewarded that and was STABLE, i.e. much lower violence. [Imagine what could come out of South Central from the talent that DOES exist there if it was stable, rewarded talent other than thuggery, and lower in violence?]

simon newman said...

anon:
"and say the people of William Wallace's day would have likely been fairly low-IQ, probably lower than the inner city person today of either Black/Hispanic race"

The Scots' expressed IQ would have been lower, judging by the Flynn effect, but it's not clear whether their genetic potential IQ would have been lower or not. Examination of medieval English skeletons indicated significantly smaller brains and more pronounced brow ridges than in modern English; it may be that selection effects in northern Europe have significantly raised genetic potential over the past 800 years or so. And it's even less clear whether and to what extent selection effects may have raised genetic IQ potential in other populations. One thing that is fairly clear is that black ethnic-Bantu Africans, from whom African-Americans are descended, show significantly higher expressed IQ than most of the populations they conquered/displaced in the Bantu expansion, eg in Africa Bantu median IQ is around 70; pygmy, Khoi and San populations' median IQs are around 54 according to Lynn.

benn franklyn said...

Northern European diets improved significantly after the introduction of fruits and vegetables that had been cultivated in the New World by people racially resembling Mexicans.

Potato in particular helped all of Northern Europe, starting with the far west (Scotland and Ireland). Undoubtedly accounts for some of the improvement in IQ due to culture/living conditions and by simple nutrition.

So you can thank Jose the little brown illegal orange picker for his race's contribution the Scottish Enlightenment. Not that you would do it.

Anonymous said...

"There was almost nothing of note to come out of Scotland. Then suddenly, a cultural shift in the early 1700's accompanying urbanization and an explosion of major accomplishment."
The Scots had one of the earliest rates of high literacy, starting in the late 1400s. http://www.scotland.com/education/
You remind me of some character who shows up on genetics related threads ever so often claiming that early Europeans (bronze age at least) were no more advanced than sub-Saharan Africans (stone age). While such a comparison makes for high-drama/comedy, it is not accurate when sign of what makes civilization are examined blow by blow.
High accomplishment is dependent upon many things, IQ being a major, but not the only one. The Scots and other Europeans never lost the thread of literacy that spread during the early Christian era and the last days of the Roman empire. Ireland was known as the Isle of Saints and scholars and the Irish went as teachers to the rest of Europe during the "dark ages." And I believe St. Patrick was Scottish though that's debatable.
Nobody outside Scotland was helping the Scots much. They looked around, saw opportunities and acted accordingly.
There's a lot of European history that is not well known and I am not an expert on Scotland, but during the 16th-17th centuries, a lot of Swedes for example got rich in the mines. Not foreign mines--their own. Swedenborg's father was one such entrepreneur.
I think before you assume that any European country rose suddenly out of nothing you need to examine their history more closely. You can usually find a clue or a predictor.
Now as for the "low-IQ" countries. Everybody is trying to help them. Schools have been in place, often by foreigners, for decades. They are air-lifted to prosperous countries, put on welfare and given free freakin' education. Blacks in the US are given free education, see the same tv and other media, and go to schools at least as good as those the Chinese grew up going to. Metaphorically speaking, the heavy lifting of transforming from a agrarian to technological society has been done already.
If you're not smart enough to get on board on your own merit with all this help, you never will be.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase John Derbyshire, affirmative action is here to stay. Why? Think about it. Despite its general unpopularity, there is no stable constituency to campaign against it.

Blacks, Hispanics, and women like it because they benefit from it.

The whites who get into elite schools, or get prestigious jobs, want affirmative action because a) they view the unqualified 20 percent as less competition for them; and b) they don't want to rock the boat with their minority classmates. Also, why would they care about the marginal 20% of whites who are victims of affirmative action? There's an old English saying: "Pull up the ladder Jack, I'm all right!"

The only natural constituency for opposition to affirmative action, particularly with regard to admissions to universities, are the 10, 15, 20 percent (I'm not sure what the number is) of marginal whites who don't get in because their spots are taken by less qualified minorities. Who wants to identify themselves as "marginal?" It also comes across as whining.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: Lucius, no that's not what Murray's statistic means. That 1/6th of blacks (around 7 million) are smarter than 1/2 of whites is about right.

Make the following assumptions:

1) The probability density curve for white American IQ is nice and symmetric about its mean [with no asymmetric bulging to either the right or the left of its mean], and in fact it looks very much like a Gaussian.

2) The mean of white American IQ is by definition "100".

Then for any person to be "smarter than half" of all white Americans, that person has to have an IQ greater than 100.

Now Murray's data indicates that only 7% of all blacks are born to mothers with IQs greater than or equal to 100.

[Parenthetically, if you insist on "smarter than", as opposed to "as smart or smarter than", then, in gradations of "1 IQ point", you have to throw out all (or at least half) of the black women whose IQs are exactly 100, which probably gets you down to 6% or 5% (or fewer) of all black births.]

Anyway, "1/6th" = 16.667%, and if you want to get more than 7% of all black children to have IQs greater than or equal to 100, then you will need either

A) Some random act of God [gamma rays, maybe?] which results in black children magically appearing with vastly higher IQs than their mothers, or

B) Some super-secret pool of extremely high-IQ black men out there doing all the inseminating of these low-IQ black women, with the contributions from their extremely high-IQ sperm cells overcoming the penalty extracted by the extremely low-IQ ova of the mothers.

PS: And [as far as I know*] none of this even touches on the question of whether we are also seeing idiocratic dysgenic fertility within just the confines of the black community itself.

As you yourself pointed out, "58 percent of black children were born to women with IQs below the black mean", which would tend to indicate that, over time, the black IQ density curve is bulging to its left, whereas [again, as you pointed out], "50 percent of white children were born to women with IQs below the white mean", which, as I indicated above, would tend to indicate that the white density curve is much nicer, and more symmetric about its mean.

*PPS: Now it could be that Murray's "7%" figure is in fact an early indicator of precisely the phenomenon of idiocratic dysgenic fertility within just the confines of the black community itself - i.e. it could be that the black IQ density curve is badly asymetric with respect to age, and there could be a disproportionately large number of older, smarter blacks who are contributing to your assertion of "1/6th" [= 16.667%].

But if that's the case, then our future is going to be even more disastrous than we yet realize.

Lucius Vorenus said...

I should add one point - because I can't draw any pictures, it seems that e.g. in "1)" above I may have lapsed into using the word "mean" to indicate something geometric [i.e. "that nice point at the apex of the hump in the middle of the curve"], which, in the case of asymmetry, is not necessarily the same thing as the technical definition of "mean" in probability theory [namely, the expected value of the random variable].

Sorry about that.

It's not easy to talk about math in ASCII text.

Anonymous said...

Hey lucius:

I think the issue is that you're referring to the future cohort of blacks, rather than the present one.

The current SD gap between blacks and whites is about 1 SD. Let W be the IQ of a random white, distributed as N(100,15^2) and B be the IQ of a random black, distributed as N(85,15^2).

Applying the 68/95/99 rule, 84% of blacks are below IQ 100 while 50% of whites are. That's where the 16% figure or 1/6 comes up.

Another useful calculation is to look at the distribution of B-W, which is distributed as N(-15, 2 * 15^2). That's a normal with mean -15 and standard deviation sqrt(2) * 15 = 21.21.

P(B-W > 0) is about .239, which is the probability that a randomly selected black is smarter than a randomly selected white.

In R:

> pnorm(-15/sqrt(2 * 15^2))
[1] 0.2397501

or by simulation:

> N = 10000; w = rnorm(N,mean=100,sd=15); b = rnorm(N,mean=85,sd=15); sum(b - w > 0)/N
[1] 0.2391

--dj mafematikz

Anonymous said...

"The only natural constituency for opposition to affirmative action, particularly with regard to admissions to universities, are the 10, 15, 20 percent (I'm not sure what the number is) of marginal whites who don't get in because their spots are taken by less qualified minorities. Who wants to identify themselves as "marginal?" It also comes across as whining."

Valid points but the lack of a coherent and vocal anti-affirmative action bloc has a lot to do with ignorance. The diversity crowd says the URM's are just as qualified and are only given a leg up, and those who are in the know are usually to nice to call them on this BS. Strong majorities support non-discrimination (as the Mich civil rights initiative demonstrates), but they aren't particularly animated or informed about the issue.

The public case* for AA is that it's something of a tie-breaker or that it's of marginal benefit but no great mismatch or injustice occurs. As Chris Rock put it more or less, "I don't want to get a white guy's job but if it's a tie, fuck him." Of course, as anybody who has studied the issue knows, AA, especially in university admissions, isn't a tie-breaker or a minor boost, it's a huge and overwhelming advanatage, which often results in counterproductive mismatch effects (see Sander's study of AA in law school).

*that's the public case. Sophisticated liberals often remark on how few URMs would be present at the top schools in a race blind system, and support affirmative action because a "diverse" student body is unimaginable.

DAJ said...

You guys need to stop expecting Lucius Vorenus to attribute any positives to the black race, especially concerning intelligence. He readily accepts the bell curve theory (or law?) to acknowledge the many social deficiencies of the black race, but refuses to admit the few positives (such as the consensus and mathematical reality that there are about six or seven million black Americans who are of higher mental ability than about 100 million white Americans, given the evidence of most IQ studies).

The guy will not even acknowledge that there are black Americans with IQs ranging from 110 to 125 or SAT scores from 1200 to 1350! To him, such blacks are incorporeal figments of our liberal imaginations, even if we have actually met, conversed with, befriended, and even roomed with them.

Nor will he concede that a famous black woman who passed a surgical licensing medical examination is intellectually bright. She must have blindly guessed at the answers and luckily got most of them right.

To be fair, in his defense, I shall point out that Lucius has given credit to the intelligence of Barack Obama's mulatto half-brother Mark.

DAJ said...

I should have said, "...six or seven million black Americans who are of equal or higher mental ability than about 100 million white Americans...."

Truth said...

"I can count off 5 people in my immediate vicinity who completed PhD's in mostly science or engineering disciplines, but who are NOT making significant money or having great careers."

Tell those dummies to go to law school or get a real estate licence.

David said...

Tell those dummies to go to law school or get a real estate licence.

The smart money is in check cashing empires and whorehouse chains.

Get your hands dirty now and the crash won't be so hard on you, fellows. God bless America.

migraine said...

truth sed:

"Tell those dummies to go to law school or get a real estate licence."

That's the problem with black society isn't it? No engineers, no physicists, no technicians, no priority to technology and order. That's why whites have to plan, develop and construct everything for the black governments, and even then it breaks down again. You just cannot run a working, civilised society on lawyers and real estate agents. In case it's hard to understand, take a peek at Germany, Sweden, Switzerland or even France.

Truth said...

"That's why whites have to plan, develop and construct everything for the black governments, and even then it breaks down again."

Really, then why do whites pay so much more money to a guy who can hit a 22 foot jumper?

I doubt the basketball player gets paid more than the engineer in Ghana.

Anonymous said...

"I doubt the basketball player gets paid more than the engineer in Ghana."

you're serious? The garbage men get paid more here, at least for now. That's the why of immigration, legal and illegal.