July 1, 2010

Ideology doesn't matter

The French have always had an ideological aversion to affirmative action, but, in the long run, ideology doesn't much matter, so the French government is imposing quotas on its elite virtually free tuition public colleges. The funny thing is that it's all playing out along the same exact lines as it has in America. Principles turn out to be less important than demography.
France is embarking on a grand experiment — how to diversify the overwhelmingly white “grandes écoles,” the elite universities that have produced French leaders in every walk of life... 

The background is that the winners of WWII, America and Britain, kept their old-fashioned elitist colleges like Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge old-fashioned and elitist. The losers, like Germany, France, and Italy, after the war trashed their great universities on the altar of egalitarianism by going to open admissions. (In the U.S., CCNY was the only famous college to take the Spirit of '68 seriously enough to dump selective admissions.) Today, that's why ambitious Korean and Chinese students want to go to American or British universities, not to Continental ones: We won The War.

The French, not being fools, however, kept a number of small elite colleges, the grandes écoles, to publicly educate the small number of people who keep the place running. Not surprisingly, blacks and North Africans have a hard time passing the entrance exams to the French equivalent of Caltech at rates equal to whites.
Because entrance to the best grandes écoles effectively guarantees top jobs for life, the government is prodding the schools to set a goal of increasing the percentage of scholarship students to 30 percent — more than three times the current ratio at the most selective schools. But the effort is being met with concerns from the grandes écoles, who fear it could dilute standards, and is stirring anger among the French at large, who fear it runs counter to a French ideal of a meritocracy blind to race, religion and ethnicity.

France imagines itself a country of “republican virtue,” a meritocracy run by a well-trained elite that emerges from a fiercely competitive educational system. At its apex are the grandes écoles, about 220 schools of varying specialties. And at the very top of this pyramid are a handful of famous institutions that accept a few thousand students a year among them, all of whom pass extremely competitive examinations to enter.

... The problem is not simply the narrow base of the elite, but its self-satisfaction. “France has so many problems with innovation,” Mr. Descoings said. Those who pass the tests “are extremely smart and clever, but the question is: Are you creative? Are you willing to put yourself at risk? Lead a battle?” These are qualities rarely tested in exams. 

Whereas imposing a quota will suddenly produce creative risk-takers. Right. That's why Google was founded by Michelle Obama.

To an American, it's amusing to hear the French come up with the exact same cliches and fallacies as Americans have been telling each other for 40 years. Indeed, there are problems caused by reliance on entrance exams in terms of selecting for creativity and the like. But quotas do zip to fix those real problems. It's not like the American quota kids all flock to Silicon Valley and start-up their own firms. A quota won't give France its own Silicon Valley.
Gen. Xavier Michel, 56, runs École Polytechnique, one of the world’s finest engineering schools and still overseen by the Ministry of Defense. Known as X, the school is extraordinarily competitive, and its students do basic training and parade wearing the bicorne, a cocked hat dating from Napoleon, who put the school under the military in 1804. 
“The fundamental principle for us is that students have the capability to do the work here, which is very difficult,” with a lot of math, physics and science, very little of it based on cultural knowledge, General Michel said. Even now, he said, the school takes only 500 students a year, barely 10 percent of its specially educated applicants. “We don’t want to bring students into school who risk failing,” he said. “You can get lost very quickly.”
Despite the misgivings, in February the Conférence des Grandes Écoles, under considerable pressure, signed on to a “Charter of Equal Opportunity” with the government committing the schools to try to reach the 30 percent goal before 2012 or risk losing some financing.

But how to get there remains a point of contention. There is a serious question about how to measure diversity in a country where every citizen is presumed equal and there are no official statistics based on race, religion or ethnicity. A goal cannot be called a “quota,” which has an odor of the United States and affirmative action.

Maybe the distinction between "goal" and "quota" makes more sense in French than it does in English, but in my experience with corporate American sales force management, "goal" and "quota" were absolutely interchangeable. We'd hire some hotshot to be head of sales management, and he would issue the salesmen either "goals" or "quotas" depending upon which term was used where and when he first worked. When the salesmen missed their goals/quotas, they wouldn't get their bonuses. If they kept missing their goals/quotas, they'd get fired. Eventually, the sales force manager would get fired by the CEO for missing his goal/quota, and then we'd hire a new sales manager who'd use whatever the other term was until he got fired for his missing his.

Instead, there is the presumption here that poorer citizens will be more diverse, containing a much larger percentage of Muslims, blacks and second-generation immigrants. 

Or maybe not. I don't know anything about France, but my guess is that in the U.S., the biggest under-utilized repository of talent are white boys from broken homes.
But the government is examining whether the current test depends too much on familiarity with French history and culture. 

Like analytic geometry (Descartes) and probability (Fermat and Pascal).
“We’re thinking about the socially discriminatory character, or not, of these tests,” Ms. Pécresse said. “I want the same concours for everyone, but I don’t exclude that the tests of the concours evolve, with the objective of a great social opening and a better measure of young people’s intelligence.” 

"With the objective of a great social opening," the U.S. has been trying to invent "a better measure of young people’s intelligence" for 45 years, but we keep finding out that the old tests we had before the Great Society worked fine. It's the test-takers who turned out to be the problem, not the test. But why should the French government learn from the U.S. experience? The U.S. government never learns from the U.S. experience.

51 comments:

Joseph said...

C'est dommage que les grenouilles deviennent comme nous. Tout est perdu!

Anonymous said...

One of the more fascinating things about AA are the differing euphemisms used to describe it. In Canada, a country not known for frankness, it's called "positive discrimination," which is half right. "affirmative action" is a ridiculous example of Newspeak. Anti-white and Asian discrimation is closer to the truth. What will it be called in France? Banleuism? Why is it that in the abortion debate, each side is allowed to use its own term, while even the opponents of affirmative action call it "affirmative action"? this begs the question of Who? Whom?

Anonymous said...

How come "France lost the War ?"
France gets a veto at the Security Council together with the other Winners. If anything, UK "lost" more than France because it had to give up all its colonies

Anonymous said...

Dude, what's a greater loss than surrender and occupation?

Vilko said...

It's not like the American quota kids all flock to Silicon Valley and start-up their own firms
I'm afraid that they do what Michelle and Barack did: they continue living in the world of de facto quotas and preferential treatment based on skin color. Look at the kind of jobs they got and how they got them. Once in AA, always in AA.

There is a serious question about how to measure diversity in a country where every citizen is presumed equal and there are no official statistics based on race, religion or ethnicity.
Sarkozy appointed a North-African man, Yazed something iirc, as a kind of diversity czar. Since there are no statistics and surnames are not always a clue, he looks at the pictures of city councillors and company staff to assess diversity - checking if a satisfactory proportion of faces are dark enough.

A goal cannot be called a “quota,” which has an odor of the United States and affirmative action.
When you expect your funding to be slashed if you don't reach the goal, it isn't far from being a quota. If reaching a goal is part of your job description, if you don't reach that goal you can expect serious trouble and being replaced by someone else in your job.

Jonathan said...

Go watch this music video of a "French" rap song to have a visual of what's going on in France. The Music video starts at 00:49


Mr. R - Fransse


Translation of the first lyrics: "France is a skank. Never forget to f**k her t'ill she drops

Anonymous said...

Jonathan that is hilarious and sad. Time for europe to wake up.

eh said...

Do they have a Lake Wobegon in France? That would be a good place to put one of these “grandes écoles”.

The French, not being fools,...

When you see les banlieues around Paris, it's a bit hard to believe there aren't at least a few fools amongst them.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about France, but my guess is that in the U.S., the biggest under-utilized repository of talent are white boys from broken homes.

That's an intriguing hint of a bigger theory. I'd like to hear more.

Anonymous said...

> It's not like the American quota kids all flock to Silicon Valley and start-up their own firms. A quota won't give France its own Silicon Valley.

What they need to do that is Indian and Chinese immigrants, who are the backbone of the Silicon Valley indutsry. Both together are responsibile for an astonishingly high percentage of the startups there.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know anything about France, but my guess is that in the U.S., the biggest under-utilized repository of talent are white boys from broken homes."

The US Military mine this demographic relentlessly. Robert C Mason, who just happened to write the greatest book on flying helicopters during the Vietnam War, belonged to this demographic. A failed chicken farmer's son, he dropped out of college to follow his childhood dream of becoming an aviator. The dream turned into a nightmare, as you might expect, but he ended up writing this brilliant but only slightly cynical memoir, "Chicken Hawk," about his pilot training and combat service, while waiting to be convicted for drug smuggling in the early 80's. I discovered this book in 1998 and have reread it about four times and given away several copies to friends and family.

Mr. Anon said...

"Jonathan said...

Go watch this music video of a "French" rap song to have a visual of what's going on in France. The Music video starts at 00:49

Mr. R - Fransse

Translation of the first lyrics: "France is a skank. Never forget to f**k her t'ill she drops"

I had heard about this particular "piece d'art". Thanks for posting. It speaks volumes about the modern world. One other thing is immediately apparent from this - that rap and rap "artists" look, act, and sound just as stupid in one language as in another. Grinning, capering minstrels in blackface seem far more dignified in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with a couple of École Polytechnique graduates. Very, very, very smart; and, in addition to that, educated. It will be a great pity and a blow to Western Civilization if they destroy that scool.

Mark said...

Sarkozy continues to remind us of why he's not really a conservative, and never was. He seems more like the French George Bush.

I don't know anything about France, but my guess is that in the U.S., the biggest under-utilized repository of talent are white boys from broken homes.

Indeed. One of the crazy aspects of trying to improve college graduation rates is that, due to race, we often look in the wrong place. If you have, say, 35% of Americans graduating from college and want to raise it to 45% then the proper place to look would be to the rest of the people in the top 50%
of IQ who didn't graduate. But since most blacks and Hispanics are in the bottom half of IQ, that's where we tend to look because it's really more about race than about improving America's competitive position. Good luck getting someone in the 75th percentile of IQ to graduate from college.

In America the new "invisible man" is a white man or woman in the middle of the bell curve, especially one who had a less than ideal upbringing.

Matra said...

In Canada, a country not known for frankness, it's called "positive discrimination,"

Not true. It is in Britain where they say 'positive discrimination'. In Canada they just call it 'employment equity'. The term 'affirmative action' is better known in Canada than 'positive discrimination'. Either way it is yet another American invention that the rest of the world has copied, just like multiculturalism itself.

Anonymous said...

Well hell, I work for an Asian who got his BS at Ecole Polytechnique 40 years ago before going on to MIT. He came up with an algorithm to solve a certain problem, and founded two companies to exploit it - employs around 200 people in a small town that was in dire need of such entrepreneurs.

Seems plenty creative to me.

Anonymous said...

It makes me laugh that so many people still think affirmative action is about fairness or any kind of higher order principle. And France is a skank - those rappers actually do know what they are talking about. What else can it be for them?

Anonymous said...

The remarkable thing about affirmative action (or quotas) is that it enjoys the full-throated support of the business class. That's why we have to put up with this nonsense. If they ever turned against it, AA would vanish within a few years.

So an interesting topic for a future post would be examining the reasons for pervasive cultural Marxism in the allegedly capitalist class.

Anonymous said...

Steve, ths is a great thread. If you jump over to Professor Mark Perry's blog, you will see the medical school acceptance rates by race.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/06/medical-school-acceptance-rates-2007.html

As we all know, med schools show preference for NAMs over whites and med schools show preference for whites over asians.

Under a true meriticracy, a lot more slots would go to asians and a lot fewer to NAMS

what is interesting is that if you run the numbers, the number of slots awarded to whites would be the same under a true meritocracy vs what we have now.

Putting it another way, all of the affirmative action programs have a net effect of taking spots from asians and giving them to NAMs, with whites not at all impacted.

So my question is, does this med school pattern repeat itself in law school and in other prestige graduate programs? Or is it just Med school

And in France, are slots taken away from high IQ northeast asians and given to nams, or are the slots effectively taken away from whites and given to NAMs?

Anonymous said...

This thing will not work in France, because it's impossible to impose that by the law: the first White French that call a Court's decision and the "goal" is dead.
If you're equal, you are alwais. Goal is a sinonym of "hope" not a quota.

J. Flowers said...

I've always wondered how France is able to keep going as a 1st world country considering its rapidly changing demographics. Ensuring the practice of american-style AA in its political system should push it further towards the drain.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the more intelligent Chinese and Vietnamese do in those elite French schools.

Anonymous said...

Why did France let all those Africans and Arabs into the country in the first place? It was much better off before.

Anonymous said...

Steve's theory of which people the US is failing to develop (white boys from broken homes) should be called the Emimen Hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

"The French have always had an ideological aversion to affirmative action, but, in the long run, ideology doesn't much matter..."

Steve, you're not making much sense on this one. Isn't what you're describing the inevitable outcome of "liberté, égalité, fraternité"?

Felix said...

I wonder how the more intelligent Chinese and Vietnamese do in those elite French schools.

Don't wonder. There is nothing extraordinary about the Asians other than their work habit. The section of the French population that produces the candidates for the Grandes Ecoles has study habits just as strong, and just like the Asians, they are focused on math and science. The entrance examination for the Ecole Polythechnique is basically advanced differential equations.

Here is an old entrance exam:
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/eric.chopin/pbX_en.htm

Whiskey said...

France is of course, finished. It is already Muslim. Half the kids under 14 are Muslim, because that's who has kids.

Muslim women, in France, don't find it hard to have 4-5 kids each. French women, by contrast, find it pressing to have one. If that. Speaks to how each regards its men as dominant or not. I.E. worthy of having kids.

Somewhat OT, the Gates Foundation, explicitly rejects any White applicants. Only non-Whites can apply. Cal Tech sponsors a middle school outreach program, that also keeps Whites from participating. Only non-Whites are eligible.

There's a lot of fuss over the Civil Rights Division attorney who resigned charging that the New Black Panther decision and others like it are symptoms of the widespread belief that Whites cannot posses civil rights, and only Black victims (or other non-Whites) deserve enforcement actions as "payback."

It would seem that things are coming to a head. Either America will become Mexico Norte plus Blacks, with a White minority (Obama spoke again on "Immigration reform" and that "Citizenship is not a matter of blood or birth" in his direct words), or it will not.

Betting is that America will go the way of France. Why did France let in so many outsiders, from North Africa and Africa? Because its women wanted them let in, basically.

The very idea of using public resources on poor White boys from broken homes to gain economic efficiency will create huge objections -- from White women. Who would argue, that if the men had any value at all, they would have been born either non-White or Elite.

It's a post-Calvinism, Calvinism married to sexual marketplace dynamics and such. Even the boys mothers would agree, in wanting men sorted out into a few Alphas, many betas/omegas, and so on.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, thanks for your post.

Can you provide a source for the following statement? I have been trying to find it and can't find any source that shows muslims as that great a % of the under 14 population thanks

Truth said...

"the biggest under-utilized repository of talent are white boys from broken homes."

Come on Steven, you have forgotten you own goose step chant here; allow me to jog your memory:

Heredity = IQ = Destiny

In other words, white boys who come from broken homes, come from broken (read: stupid) parents, they have, for the most part stupid (read: broken) white neighbors, who also come from broken (read: stupid) homes.

They cannot be of "under utilized talent" because they have achieved exactly what they are capable of, having earned genes from stupid (read: broken) parents.

This is your own manifesto, Bro.

Truth said...

"Don't wonder. There is nothing extraordinary about the Asians other than their work habit"

Following the logic I have been reading here, it would be logical to suggest that Asians have "extraordinary work habits" because they are INTELLIGENT enough to realize that hard work leads to excellent results. White people work less hard because less of them are SMART enough to figure this out.

Would this be wrong?

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated by the racial/ ethnic specific scholarships. How, exactly, is this different from banned racial covenants in real estate sales? Are there any white-only scholarships? [wiping tear of laughter from eye]

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

I believe the birthrate amongst white French women is over two children per family.

And France has a long history with Algeria, in any case. So I think you're stretching it to say that France has had it.

I'm not suggesting that France isn't struggling with what to do about the high birth rate with Muslim immigrants, but it is not all doom and gloom, contrary to what you are portraying.

pd in sf

Anonymous said...

"Obama spoke again on "Immigration reform" and that "Citizenship is not a matter of blood or birth" in his direct words"

Then what the hell is it?

-Heinlein Fan

BamaGirl said...

"Betting is that America will go the way of France. Why did France let in so many outsiders, from North Africa and Africa? Because its women wanted them let in, basically."

Suuree, Whiskey....

ATBOTL said...

"To an American, it's amusing to hear the French come up with the exact same cliches and fallacies as Americans have been telling each other for 40 years. "

The perception on the "far right" in France and Europe more generally is that America is the origin of all this kind of stuff.

Felix said...

Following the logic I have been reading here, it would be logical to suggest that Asians have "extraordinary work habits" because they are INTELLIGENT enough to realize that hard work leads to excellent results. White people work less hard because less of them are SMART enough to figure this out.

I agree with Steve/HBD community on quite a number of things, but their logic is not EXACTLY my logic. Clearly education systems have a lot to do with outcomes. The reason Asians are such math whizzes here in the US is because that's what they focus on. That's what their parents drill them to focus on.

White parents in their vast majority take a much more laissez-faire approach when it comes to their childrens' education. The math education provided in this country is so ridiculously easy that taking time to study extra material on your own gives you a huge edge. Asians tend to do this kind of studying much more than whites, so it's no surprise to see them dominate the engineering departments of Caltech and MIT, as well as the US math team. Likewise, the emphasis on math placed in Eastern Europe is the reason why WHITE students from no-name Polish and Russian universities wipe the floor with Asian MIT students in international math and science competitions. lol. Just look at the results. Asian "math geniuses" from MIT will be way down the list on these math and physics olympiads behind students from "Warsaw University" and weird regional Russian and Ukrainian schools nobody has ever heard of.

Truth said...

"The reason Asians are such math whizzes here in the US is because that's what they focus on. That's what their parents drill them to focus on"

So, in other words, Asians are smarter than white people because "they work harder" black people are dumber than white people because "they're stupid"?

Anonymous said...

"Following the logic I have been reading here, it would be logical to suggest that Asians have "extraordinary work habits" because they are INTELLIGENT enough to realize that hard work leads to excellent results."

Possibly this is relevant to some degree, but Asians are probably also under some kind of genetic selection for conformism, authority submission and parental (and proxy parental) obedience to a greater extent than other popularions. This seems fairly well supported. Asians just seem more liable to take the yoke of peasantry. c.f. low degree of 7R DRD4 among Chinese, at least. And this seems to promote acedemic success. Would Asians (or at least Chinese) do so well if they were removed from a society which prized education and their parents or would they just conform to other things? The possibility exists, but of course, we prize education and the success that derives from it.

If this wasn't the case, and we are using IQs as our measure of intelligence (as we must), then Asians would not show success above their IQ, which of course they do.

David said...

As a West Point cadet I stayed a week in the École Polytechnique. What struck me at the time was that the coursework wasn't all that time consuming or demanding for the students. While the coursework might have been difficult for the average student, for the Polytechnique students it was mostly a distraction. The military component, on the other hand, seemed to be mostly just an excuse to wear cool uniforms.

The student whose room I stayed in explained to me that the real hard part was the admissions process. The tests were so rigorous and difficult that the students were fairly well educated by the time they were admitted, at which point they had then "joined the club" and could relax a bit. So in effect, it seemed like the school's main function was to identify the country's extraordinarily gifted and then to acculterate them into the governing class. Sort of like elite schools in the U.S. but in a more extreme and transparent way.

Anonymous said...

Truth, people like those white boys who came from stupid White neighbourhoods built nations like Australia.

headache said...

Steve, your take on Germany is outdated. Recently there have been reforms in the education establishment and 14 universities were chosen as elite institutions, with more money for research and the right to admit their own students. Previously this was centrally administered in Dortmund. Of those 14, 4 were chosen as über-elite institutions with large benefits. Two are in Munich and the others are Heidelberg and Karlsruhe. They are also joined to well-known and prestigious research organizations, so this was a factor. Basically the tertiary system now consists of 4 levels:


1. Poor quality universities mostly established by socialists during the roaring 70's, the kind that you allude to. They will either degrade to Fachhochschulen (colleges) or be shut down altogether.
Steve, your take on Germany is outdated. Recently there have been reforms in the education establishment and 14 universities were chosen as elite institutions, with more money for research and the right to admit their own students. Previously this was centrally administered in Dortmund. Of those 14, 4 were chosen as über-elite institutions with large benefits. Two are in Munich and the others are Heidelberg and Karlsruhe. They are also joined to well-known and prestigious research organizations, so this was a factor. Basically the tertiary system now consists of 4 levels:


1. Poor quality universities mostly established by socialists during the roaring 70's, the kind that you allude to. They will either degrade to Fachhochschulen (colleges) or be shut down altogether.


2. Traditional universities which still perform well in their main task of educating mid-level professionals for industry and government. Many smaller cities host small but old institutions with good traditions and high standards. Most survived the onslaught of the socialists.


3. The top 14 excepting the 4 elite. From here the upper management and specialists for industry are drawn. Typically, TU Dresden which has a long history and was a international centre of technical development up to WWII. Also Göttingen, which was famous for mathematics, or TU Aachen which is the top engineering school in Germany.


4. The 4 elite universities which populate the top governance of the public institutions and major corporations. Also elite technical specialists and top research personnel in basic sciences (math, physics, chemistry) and medicine.


This stratification is causing a lot of contention in the country with the socialists trying to exploit the malcontents. But so far people have accepted that this as necessary to help the country survive the dominance of France in the EU-political structure and the competition which comes with globalization.


2. Traditional universities which still perform well in their main task of educating mid-level professionals for industry and government. Many smaller cities host small but old institutions with good traditions and high standards. Most survived the onslaught of the socialists.


3. The top 14 excepting the 4 elite. From here the upper management and specialists for industry are drawn. Typically, TU Dresden which has a long history and was a international centre of technical development up to WWII. Also Göttingen, which was famous for mathematics, or TU Aachen which is the top engineering school in Germany.


4. The 4 elite universities which populate the top governance of the public institutions and major corporations. Also elite technical specialists and top research personnel in basic sciences (math, physics, chemistry) and medicine.


This stratification is causing a lot of contention in the country with the socialists trying to exploit the malcontents. But so far people have accepted that this as necessary to help the country survive the dominance of France in the EU-political structure and the competition which comes with globalization.

headache said...

Dude, what's a greater loss than surrender and occupation?If only it ended there. Germany is still occupied and still not sovereign. The EU was mostly a US construction to enable the lesser powers of Europe (Britain and France) to effectively control Germany. German politicians are all screened by the US. Nobody who wants to put the old "Reich" back together is going to make it to the top.
Even though German industry could probably put together nuclear weapons in a few weeks they are not allowed to build them or own aircraft carriers, ICBM's etc. The allied inspectors in Berlin still control the country and Germany does not have a peace treaty with the allies to this day, i.e. they are technically still at war with Germany. I don’t know what the score is with Japan.

Truth said...

"Truth, people like those white boys who came from stupid White neighbourhoods built nations like Australia."

I didn't invent "HBD", I only properly interpret it.

Anonymous said...

"That's why Google was founded by Michelle Obama."

Ugggh. So sloppy in an interesting post. Especially since Michelle Obama the individual (not the invoked phenotype) is probably a strong positive deviant creative risk taker.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

james said...

My fave educational anecdote concerning France involves the country's 19th-century president, Marshal MacMahon, giving out prizes at an extremely posh boys-only military school (possibly the Ecole Polytechnique).

One of the prizewinners, to MacMahon's alarm, was from Haiti (or, according to some accounts, an extremely dark Algerian). So his discourse while doling out the awards went as follows: "Continuez, jeunne homme! Premier prix de mathématiques, très bien. Continuez, jeune homme ... Ah, c'est vous le nègre. Continuez, jeune homme, continuez!"

V. Walter said...

Jean Monnet, who was not only one of the two or three most influential Frenchmen of the 20th century but among the most influential Frenchmen of all time, not only didn't go to the Ecole Polytechnique but abandoned his formal education at 16 (very sensibly, he decided to work for his father's cognac-selling firm). And yet eventually he was powerful enough to dictate to French Prime Ministers. I wonder if such a career path in France would be even imaginable, let alone possible, now.

Vertumne said...

The famous "Institut d'Etudes Politiques" ("Sciences Po'") has been using quotas for non-whites since a couple of years. Unsurprisingly, its reputation is rapidly decreasing. Many graduates from Sciences Po' have now a hard time finding a job. This phenomenon was nonexistent ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

"Jean Monnet, who was not only one of the two or three most influential Frenchmen of the 20th century but among the most influential Frenchmen of all time, not only didn't go to the Ecole Polytechnique but abandoned his formal education at 16 (very sensibly, he decided to work for his father's cognac-selling firm). And yet eventually he was powerful enough to dictate to French Prime Ministers."

Sorry, V. Walter, it's an unfortunate cultural meme that "boy wonder" drops out of Harvard and becomes a g'zillionaire.

That's actually one of the things that has come to ail us since the dotcom.

Hard work and true expertise are frowned upon.

Sure, Jean Monnet got lucky, or Bill Gates for that matter, but probably nobody ever mentions or thinks about the generations of his fore fathers (and mothers) that went before him to built the wealth and know how of his family's business. (Or all the well trained experts he hired to help him.)

It's no wonder that the Chinese are eating our lunch.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

"So, in other words, Asians are smarter than white people because "they work harder" black people are dumber than white people because "they're stupid"?"

Quoted for troof.

Seriously - is this just the usual catch-all "das' racis'" retort? Or does he really think he's discovered some huge inconsistency here? For his sake I hope it's the former.

TGGP said...

I argued that ideas don't matter here.

I'd like for Hopefully Anonymous to elaborate on Michelle Obama.

Truth said...

"Seriously - is this just the usual catch-all "das' racis'" retort? Or does he really think he's discovered some huge inconsistency here? For his sake I hope it's the former."

You didn't answer the question there, Naught of Zirconiums.