September 19, 2011

Asians, aptitude, and achievement: a positive sum reform proposal

The traditional concept of college admissions was that the goal was to predict applicants' future achievement (which could be measured in terms of first year in college grades or money donated 50 years later or whatever). The most obvious way to predict future achievement was past achievement: e.g., high school grades. Presumably, past achievement had two main components: hard work and aptitude.

But there were some obvious problems with relying solely on high school grades, such as different levels  of grade inflation at high schools. If you were getting most of your applicants from St. Paul's and Dalton, well, you could keep in mind the differences, augmented with letters of recommendation from headmasters you had known for years. 

But once the Ivy Leagues started trying to find the most promising non-upper class kids from the rest of the country, they needed something more objective about individuals than just grades. Another issue is that high school grades have certain inherent shortcomings. The future Nobelist in physics might not care about his social studies class and thus wind up with a lower overall GPA than the well-adjusted grind. Plus, grades have a ceiling. Even an A+ in physics doesn't really tell you that much. Moreover, lots of future successes are alienated in high school. Some people who get all As in high school might not have the upside to continue to do so in college. Incentives toward grade inflation at the high school are built in. And so forth ... Top colleges kept asking for recommendation letters, but their value (and, thus, importance) dropped as they increasingly came in from random teachers in random places like Burbank, CA.

So, for various reasons like this, the Scholastic Aptitude Test was created and spread. The idea was to have an objective, national test of academic intelligence. Overall, the SAT would appear to have been a huge success. American colleges are the most fashionable and richest in the world today. 

However, there have long been complaints about the SAT. The most fashionable involved The Gap. Whites averaged higher scores than blacks. This posed a major PR problem for the academic establishment. The SAT (and ACT) is essential for their continued thriving, but saying that blacks are less intelligent than whites on average is The Worst Thing in the Whole World. But that's what the SAT says. And the SAT is the cornerstone of academic elitism, which has made American academia globally the envy of the academic world.

Thus, over the last half century or so, there have been anguished discussions between the front men for the academic world and the psychometricians at ETS about how to Close the Gap, without throwing the baby of predictive power out with the bathwater.

One change was purely PR: the SAT doesn't stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test anymore. It just stands for SAT these days. Under the hood, there have been a host of tweaks intended to narrow the gap without trashing the predictive powers of the SAT too much.

For example, the upper range of the Verbal (now Critical Reading) test has been capped. Before 1995, it was very, very hard to get an 800 on the Verbal test. I came fairly close the first time I took the test in 1975, so I gave it another try, got a little closer, but gave up and didn't take it a third time because the two scores seemed quite accurate: I'm very good at verbal logic, and have a certain gift for insights that other people wouldn't come up with, but I'm not a meticulous thinker. I make lots of mistakes. I'm more of a let's run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes thinker. In contrast, say, Charles Murray's brain works like a BMW V-12: powerful and precise. Mine's a jalopy that might surprise you and win the race or might break down on the starting line and go nowhere. So, there didn't seem like much point in me doing a lot of test prep to try to score 800 on the verbal -- I'd still make a mistake or two or they throw a really hard question at me.

But now, an 800 is well within reach of a lot of well-drilled students.

So, before scores were inflated in 1995, the SAT-V was an excellent test of high end verbal brainpower. In contrast, the SAT-M was widely recognized to need more headroom. It wasn't uncommon at Rice in the 1970s to hear good but not great Sci-Eng majors say, "Well, sure, I got an 800, but I'm not a real 800 like Joe is."

An obvious reform would have been to make scoring of SAT-M more like scoring of SAT-V. Instead, College Board - ETS did the opposite in 1995. One reason was that all that headroom on the Verbal modestly increased The Gap. The V test was made much easier to score 800 upon in 1995. A 730 old style became an 800 new style.

Lots of other tweaks were made, but as far as we can tell, anything that raises black average scores just encourages harder scraping of the bottom of the barrel by society, so the white-black The Gap remains remarkably stable over the generations. For example, The Gap on SAT-Critical Reading dropped about a half decade ago, perhaps because of the changes on the test, such as deep-sixing analogies. But that apparently just encouraged the College Board to troll for more black test-takers with free tests, so The Gap is now even bigger. (I may be overinterpreting a few squiggles on the trend graph.)

But white parents still tend to assume that SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. It's not an achievement test in their heads. The College Board says there is no point in studying extra hard for the SAT, and why would a prestigious not-for-profit institution spin the truth? If you can't trust the College Board, who can you trust? And signing your child up for intensive test prepping would be unfair to poor blacks who can't afford all that tutoring and drilling. Plus, prepping for years would be a lot of work for little Taylor, so just let him have his fun.

Meanwhile, lots of people from Fujian are showing up in America whose merchant ancestors ascended to mandarin status by spending their mercantile profits at Confucian literature cram schools for their sons. The assumptions about the SAT flitting around in white people's heads would never occur to them. "Test prep is unfair to poor blacks? Huh? You crack me up! I like you! You are very funny!"

Not surprisingly, we see vast amounts of white upper middle class rage directed at Amy Chua. 

Now, is devoting hundreds of hours to prepping for the SAT a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? Well, let me try to reframe that question more productively and think about SAT test prep's opportunity cost.

It could be that SAT test prep has long term benefits other than getting into a fancier college. Could be ... I dunno. I haven't seen any evidence one way or another. But, it seems more like a zero sum game. SAT test prep seems kind of a sterile form of studying compared to studying an actual subject like Physics or French or Music Theory or World History or Microeconomics.

The return on investment for the colossal number of hours devoted in recent decades to SAT cram schooling is modest. The test is designed to be hard to prep for, so it's taken gigantic efforts for gains measured in fractions of a standard deviation. 

It seems to me that it would be better for everybody if more test prepping energy was invested instead into positive sum games, such as studying for achievement tests rather than for aptitude tests. Fortunately, we currently have a quite good set of national achievement tests: the College Board's Advanced Placement tests. They are not subject to the incentives for high schools to inflate their grades: the AP tests provide objective national grades that do a good job of predicting what the high school student would score on a 101-102 level course as a freshman in college.

In contrast, AP tests are intended to be ones you can study for, so the ROI on test prep effort tends to be quite a bit higher than on the SAT. Far more students are passing AP tests than a decade ago, and that's a good thing. Why have young people waste their time studying for something that's built to be hard to study for when they can instead study subjects that are intrinsically worth studying?

Unfortunately, the current college admissions system gives little weight to AP test scores. Instead, perversely, it gives too much weight to taking AP classes in high school, even if you then do bad on the AP test. The University of California, for example, in calculating high school GPA adds a full point to classes designated Advanced Placement. Thus the average high school GPA of UC Berkeley freshmen is a wacky 4.39. An internal study by UC showed that cutting the bonus for an AP course down to 0.5 would better predict freshmen grades. I don't believe the UC system counts AP test scores  in the admission's process, or doesn't count them much.

As Mitch has pointed out, this system is doubly rigged in favor of the more goody-two-shoes high school students. Typically, you need high grades in earlier classes to get into high school AP classes, where you are then given a full extra point for your GPA -- even if your AP score shows you didn't actually learn much.

So, the ideal system would be for college admissions to be retooled from mostly a two legged stool of grades and SAT scores to a three legged stool of grades, AP Test scores, and SAT scores. The SAT could then be redesigned to be more purely an aptitude test that would be less easy to game. Moreover, test takers would have less incentive to devote hundreds of hours to gaming the SAT because they were being encouraged to spend hundreds of hours mastering AP Chemistry or AP European History. 

The AP tests should be reformed to make them better for college admissions. They are currently scored on a 1 to 5 scale with a 5 equating to an A in the average college's freshman year introductory course in that subject, a 4 equal to a B, and so forth. A weird aspect of this is that all 5s are not created equal. For example, to get a 5 on the AP Chemistry test, you have to get a little over 60% right. So, people getting 98% right don't get a higher score than people getting 68% right. Test scoring should be kept the same at the lower levels -- a 3 would still be a C -- but the maximum score extended from 5 out to 7, which would be like an A at Caltech. Meanwhile, the GPA boost from taking an AP course would be eliminated, at least before senior year.

The initial winners from this changeover would, of course, tend to be Asians, who currently take a lot of AP tests. But good for them. Whites in heavily Asian areas, who have already started to adapt to the Asian challenge, would do okay. Whites in flyover regions would be challenged to get on the ball with AP. My guess is that it would be good for them and that they would eventually respond well to the challenge.

Overall, my plan looks like it would be better overall for society. There's a huge amount of energy out there looking to get an advantage in the college admissions process, so why not direct it in some positive sum direction?

Yes, sure, obviously it's a win-win, but, does it solve America's most overwhelming problem: Closing The Gap? Will blacks come closer to whites in scores under my system?

I dunno. I haven't thought about it. In fact, not worrying about Closing The Gap has allowed me to put forward a novel reform suggestion that might be better overall, which is not something you see too often these days.

In America today, 98% of the thinking devoted to college admissions goes to figuring out how your own kid can claw his way to the top, and the other 2% goes to airy handwaving theorizing about Closing The Gap. That leaves 0% devoted to thinking about improving the system overall.

Now, if I were truly, fanatically public-spirited, I would devote a lot of energy to dreaming up some bogus but persuasive-sounding theory about how my reform would Close The Gap, which would make it a lot more likely to be adapted. But, I'm not saintly enough to make up an elaborate lie.

147 comments:

josh said...

I got the impression,from this blog,never took one m'self,that AP courses are horse-hockey:Just drilling in facts and figgers.

Sheila said...

I guess my 1975 SAT verbal score would be over 800 today, since it was above 730 (can't remember if it was 740 or 760). I took two AP tests back then, as well - U.S. History, on which I got a 5, and English, on which I got a 4. Got college credit for both. Contrary to Josh's impression, neither class consisted of drilling; both were taught at a high level by excellent teachers (history teacher was a former marine with a buzz cut, quite a rarity in my liberal, east coast high school), and many previously straight-A students had outraged parents because of the sudden appearance of Bs and Cs.

Steve's proposition makes sense if you're talking about learning. Of course, the whole U.S. college system today, from admissions through course offerings through graduation, has little to do with education and everything to do with indoctrination and credentialism, thus Asians and Jews predominate.

Anonymous said...

"but saying that blacks are less intelligent than whites on average is The Worst Thing in the Whole World"

Among your readers the Worst Thing is that Asians outscore Whites ;-)

Anonymous said...

"Whites in heavily Asian areas, who have already started to adapt to the Asian challenge, would do okay."

I think the white adaptation in heavily Asian areas in California has been to move way. See here.

http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/teen/teencenter/05nov_whiteflight.htm

But locally, they're also known for something else: white flight. Over the past 10 years, the proportion of white students at Lynbrook has fallen by nearly half, to 25% of the student body. At Monta Vista, white students make up less than one-third of the population, down from 45% -- this in a town that's half white. Some white Cupertino parents are instead sending their children to private schools or moving them to other, whiter public schools. More commonly, young white families in Silicon Valley say they are avoiding Cupertino altogether.

White students are far outnumbered by Asians at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif.

Whites aren't quitting the schools because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

Bostonian said...

Why does Steve ignore the existence of the SAT II (formerly called achievement tests). Until recently, many selective colleges required 3 subject tests, but according to http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/09/subject , most colleges no longer do, because the SAT I now includes a writing component which is predictive of college grades.

Anonymous said...

So Steve Sailer seems to be suggesting that we make the SAT verbal harder. I suppose that could very well benefit whites relative to Asians. But I've also heard Asian Americans complain about the SAT math for being too easy. If we tweaked both the SAT math and verbal sections appropriately, we might end up with a situation where the gains that Asian Americans accrued on the math section would exceed the gains that whites accrued on the verbal section, leaving whites worse off actually than before in terms of aggregate SAT scores.

One thing to consider is that the GRE verbal today is somewhat similar to the older SAT verbal in terms of difficulty. Both tests have a pretty high ceiling. Off of the top of my head, I seem to recall that Asian American GRE verbal scores were more or less in line with SAT verbal scores relative to whites. So this casts some doubt as to whether or not Sailer can accomplish what he wants by having a "harder" SAT reading section.

Anonymous said...

The English universities, all the way up to Cambridge and Oxford, rely on A-levels as the principal determinant of admission. The A-levels are very, very much like AP exams.

The results are quite different from the USA where high school sports, racial background, and personal connections are the prime factors in elite school admissions. In fact, I think the USA system is unique to the USA; everybody else has a high-stakes test that matters.

Maybe that's why the USA has to rely on mass-immigration of academics to keep a top university system.

Kaz said...

Grrr.. I wish they placed more emphasis on AP exams. I ended up with a mediocre above average SAT score. I never cared much for it, went to sleep at 4am the night before, and ended up dozing off a few times during the exam.

The AP exams though, I never really studied for them but I still ended up with 5s on everything, US History, Chem, Bio, Calc, and Micro Econ. Now the thing that annoyed me especially about these classes was that I ended up with a C-B maybe an A a few times in these classes. Which was fine with me I barely put any effort other than going to class everyday and doing the assignments, never studied for exams. While a significant amount of my peers ending up with 2s 3s 4s had As-Bs. I guess it didn't matter much in the end, I never had any intention of going to some Ivy/private school. Much to my parents' chagrin..

@josh

Depends on which class, in general AP classes are have more content and more emphasis on analysis rather than drill/memorization. US history for example, in regular classes you would just learn the facts and pretty much stop there, but in AP US you would learn the facts and then analyze the surrounding situation. Why did things happen this way, etc...

Anonymous said...

Josh, I'm not sure where you're getting your assumptions from. There were a lot of discussions and creativity within the AP European history and English literature courses I took (well, as far as you can expect from highschool students), and learning facts and figures in a chemistry or a physics course--along with the basic fundamentals of how they came about and operate, is not such a bad idea.

beowulf said...

As I suggested the other day, any market that can't clear with auction pricing (like military conscription but unlike H1-B visas) should simply use a lottery system.

All institutions would set a threshold based on high school grades and SAT scores, and then open the lottery to anyone meeting those levels. Public universities might run one lottery for state residents, after determining how many slots they should receive, and fill remaining spots with another lottery for out-of-state students. Elite private institutions could either run their own individual lotteries—they're practically doing so already—or participate in consortia that would require only one application from students. Everyone would have an equal chance of gaining admission, and the process wouldn't be subject to influences from money, alumni or human error.
http://www.educationsector.org/publications/switch-admissions-single-lottery

Anonymous said...

I think there definitely is value to drilling the SAT-V. Ever tried teaching a high school kid reading comprehension? The most efficient method boils down to something like the reading passages in the SAT. Reading books takes a long time, and there's a lot of filler that doesn't directly test his comprehension skills. And then the teacher has to come up with good questions that really test his understanding. Or, you could just get an SAT test prep book--and voila!

Having a large vocabulary is largely a product of having been a good student throughout. However, deliberately increasing your vocabulary, even by rote, will help you participate in the higher intellectual life. Though having to make 3000 flash cards is dreadful and something I'd never force anyone to do myself, I wouldn't classify it as a zero-sum endeavor.

The analogy section is gone now. Sure, there are still a bunch of "tricks" you learn to help your score, but that amounts to one lesson's worth of material. For the most part, you need to to be able to understand what you read and know a lot of words. I say those are good outcomes for any student.

Anonymous said...

i scored pretty dismal on the SAT 550,500, but then i scored 27 on the ACT which, at the time was the top 5% of the nation... guess which one i used?? (PS i was never able to figure out why i scored so low on the SATs even though SAT was only math and verbal, and that was my lowest ACT scores, my ACT was still way better than that..

Shawn said...

If libs really wanted to raise Black intelligence they would focus on eugenics. Of course, this may not solve The Gap but still.

Anonymous said...

"I think the white adaptation in heavily Asian areas in California has been to move way. See here."

Of course, that's the typical White Gentile behavior. Sooner or later they'll be no place to hide.

Steve Sailer said...

Charles Murray has recommended something kind of similar: dump the SAT and make SAT Subject Tests mandatory. The advantage there is that you have only a two-legged stool: GPA and SAT Subject Test scores. My view, however, is that there is so much test gaming energy out there that we ought to direct it somewhere positive sum, and the big AP tests are more likely a good place to absorb it than the miniature SAT Subject tests. But I might be wrong.

Jack said...

Flyover whites probably don't care about AP courses because they'd rather enjoy high school and go on to State U, where they'll continue to enjoy themselves before they settle down and get an average job.

Anonymous said...

Eh. I went to a cruddy rural high school, spent my time in the woods fishing or shooting guns or making 8mm war movies with my buddies instead of studying, and got good enough SAT scores without prep to get into a middling University of California school.

Now I'm a screenwriter/producer and spend all day talking about fighter planes and robots and hanging out with actresses. So to all the diligent Asian grinds with your 4.5 GPAs and endless test prep and mid-level jobs at a biotech or dot com company...suckers!

Anonymous said...

Flyover whites probably don't care about AP courses because they'd rather enjoy high school and go on to State U, where they'll continue to enjoy themselves before they settle down and get an average job.


Not anymore. These days, a combination of massive immigration (legal, illegal, and guestworker) and outsourcing is putting a lot of downward pressure on wages. Flyover country is in the same bad shape as the rest of the country. At this point, you can't escape from this anywhere you go. Except maybe Israel or Japan.

The only benefit from living in flyover is that land and housing is cheap. Unfortunately, any area with good schools and cheap land will attract NAMs and immigrants in big numbers. The suburbs of Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta are becoming unrecognizable. Even in the most unlikely places, the demographic transformation is unbelievable - Omaha, Kansas City, and Des Moines all have public school systems which are majority NAM.

You can run, but you can't hide.

Hacienda said...

"So to all the diligent Asian grinds with your 4.5 GPAs and endless test prep and mid-level jobs at a biotech or dot com company...suckers!"

No Asian men are jealous of White men in any capacity. Sorry, but that's truth in 2011.

Anonymous said...

One thing that I'm confused about is why Sailer wants to place more emphasis on the AP tests. It seems to me that his thesis is that Asians are gaming an easier and less g-loaded SAT through test preparation. If that's what he believes, then he should advocate for a return to a more g-loaded SAT and more of an emphasis on SAT scores, not less.

It's obvious that AP tests and high school grades are both far less g-loaded measures than the current SAT, so it makes little sense why Sailer would want to make the SAT more g-loaded, but then dilute the weighting of the test by advocating for a greater emphasis on AP scores.

Perhaps Sailer is hedging his bet here, that if altering the SAT doesn't help whites then at least whites can fall back on a less g-loaded buffer in terms of the AP exams. Also, since AP scores are on a scale of 1-5, it's a far less fine grained measurement than the SAT and so would tend to help whites out relative to Asians somewhat.

Mitch said...

I'm all for any change from the current system, but I would modify your suggestion in the following ways:

1) Remove grades entirely from the system. Teachers are simply too inclined to reward hard work over ability.

2) You suggest adding a few higher scores to the AP, but there's a better way: use the SAT subject tests, which have more built-in granularity.

The AP doesn't reflect the top or the bottom of the distribution well. The Subject tests do a good job on the top part of the distribution, but the bottom half of their scores are terrible, simply because not enough of the overall population takes the test. The only test that is close to reliable at all points of the distribution is the US History test--historically, anyway--because enough California students take the test to apply to UCs. And even there, the lower half of the score distribution is thin. On the Physics test, you can get every single question wrong and still get a 320 (which was very useful if you were a complete know-nothing who was just using the test for your UC application).

But if all kids across the country were taking those tests to apply to college, that should be enough to fill in the lower half.

The other big problem with the AP tests is that a 1 could mean "student tried, showed some knowledge, but ultimately just couldn't cut it" or "student turned in a randomly bubbled test with the essay section reading THEY MADE ME TAKE THIS TEST". On the Subject test, the first student would get a 400, the second a 200.

Another advantage of the subject tests is their scalability. The AP tests already have a three month lag time between test and score. Most students would just make it worse. Also, students who miss that test day are hosed, whereas they can take the Subject test on different dates.


3) Another advantage of the Subject tests: the Math 2c doesn't require Calculus. The Math 2c test is, I would argue, considerably more difficult than the AP Calc test. But regardless, I think we need several levels of math tests.

4) Under NO circumstances should any non-native English speakers or bilingual speakers be allowed to take the language test. I'd cut language tests entirely, but I'm deeply tired of people yammering about the fabulosity of studying language, so I could be prejudiced.

I started with points of minor disagreement, but the overall problem definition and solution is exactly right. The SAT does need to be more difficult and reward abstract thinkers more than swotters.

Of course, all we're suggesting is putting more and more googobs of cash in the College Board's coffers. We really need more competition in tests.

That could be one way out of the "achievement gap" problem--because, yes, your solution makes the achievement gap worse. Colleges could define the criteria they need for a test, and then let everyone develop tests that meet that standard. URMs who think tests are biased against them could develop a rigorous, achievement oriented, time generous test that eliminates all abstract thinking in favor of straightforward questions. (In my experience, low ability kids of all races do better on the ACT than the SAT, and would do better still if the time requirements weren't there)

We definitely need more of a market in tests.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the AP exams should be done on a scale of 1 to 7, even though I'm not sure if a 3 is even that impressive in some subject areas. I'm really not that familiar with the IB program, but that seems like a more comprehensive program that helps separate out the scores more.

nooffensebut said...

Well, I finished vector calculus before I finished high school, and I remember so very little of it. Knowledge is fleeting and defies standardization, but IQ is nearly immutable. If we used IQ tests or whatever genetic/fMRI test replaces them, we could promote intellectual diversity and independent curiosity. Plus, the status quo with anti-Asian Affirmative Action is a human-rights violation against those heavily drilled Asian kids.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, lots of people from Fujian are showing up in America whose merchant ancestors ascended to mandarin status by spending their mercantile profits at Confucian literature cram schools for their sons.

Good observation, Steve.

In China, the land on the southeastern coast (Fujian, southern Canton, Zhejiang, southern Jiangsu) has historically been very fertile. Rice farmers became so wealthy from the agricultural surplus that they were able to finance the building of test preparation academies. They also branched into commerce and trade, with some establishing mercantile networks that stretched across the country and even went into foreign nations.

Not surprisingly, the large majority of China's successful imperial exam takers historically came from the southeast, despite its relatively small population. Interestingly, the the areas with the large proportions of merchants, often located near waterways, tended to produce especially large numbers of imperial test takers. The government tried to balance this out by putting a quota on the southeasterners (sound familiar?), but many responded by relocating their families up north.

If you look at Guandong province, the southern coast historically had very fertile land and, as you might guess, did pretty well in the imperial exams and at commerce. (This includes both the Cantonese-speakers and the Hakka). Further in the interior, the land wasn't so fertile and there's no history of achievement in commerce or academics.

19th and early 20th century Chinese immigrants in the U.S. and Latin America included not just Som Yop, Zhung Shan, and Hakka speakers from the affluent coast of Guandong, but also Seeyeh speakers from the less propserous areas. Those from the coast ended up doing pretty well in commerce and establishing a reputation as a model minority. Some even rubbed shoulders with affluent natives. The Seeyeh, however, never climbed too far in the economic ladder. Very few even left descendants, because immigration laws blocked Chinese without large scale commercial enterprises from bringing over wives (under the Chinese exclusion act). In contrast, many from the other groups owned large enough scale businesses that they could bring over wives, thereby enabling offspring. The upward mobility of the Chinese over generations in this country, from poor laborer to middle class merchant, is partly attributable to the dying off of Seeyeh bachelors and the numerical dominance of the offspring from the other groups.

I'm not neccessarily saying that the differences between the Seeyeh, who accounted for the large majority of the early migrants, and the others is purely attributable to genetic differences. I'd bet that lacking access to mercantile networks mattered. However, one can't escape the notion that there were major differences in innate human capital at work here.

In Hawaii, where few Seeyeh every migrated, the Chinese surpassed whites in family income in the early 1950s. It would be sometime later before this happened in the mainland U.S., where the Seeyeh proportion was much higher. (Post 1960s migration immensely change our Chinese-American communities). Really the patterns I'm describing were replicated inmany different places (U.S., Australia, Cuba).

You may also be interested to know that in Guandong, literacy spread much more quickly (under PRC leadership) in the coast than the interior.

Anonymous said...

All this emphasis on test-taking for what? To get into a great university so that you'll be rich when you get out. Money-making. Buying a whole bunch of stuff that we don't need anyway, and that adds no value to life. My father is a Harvard graduate and I never cared about entering a great university - I am not saying that I necessarily would have the capacity to, but that even if I had I wouldn't want to. Remember that the poor of today live longer than the aristocrats of the Middle Ages and that we are ALL better off than the mightiest tribal leader from the Paleolithic Era from 30,000 B.C. But are we necessarily happier than people were when Voltaire wrote "Candid"? What about when compared to people from the times of Pericles? Are our sicide rates lower? In fact, Americans have a higher suicide rate than Cubans, who have 100 times less material wealth than Americans per capita. In fact, studies have shown that lottery winners are no happier than they were before winning 6 months after winning. Happiness seems to be a lot more dependent on the density and sensitivity of dopamine D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens region of the brain than anything else. No material accomplishments in this World seems to matter when it comes to making you love life or not. In fact, all that time working for the worthless promotion could be better spent with your loved ones creating memories that will add REAL value to your life. I don't understand this obsessivness with material accomplishments, since we are mortal and won't be taking any of it with us. In fact, even if we were immortal material wealth would add nothing but hedonistic passtime to a nihilistic existence. What you leave to this World is the life you've lived. Pursuing a higher education just to make more money is pointless and an insult to the true reason for the existence of higher education: the pursuit of truth and personal enlightment. What happened to the old Aristotelean belief of pursing knowledge just for it's own sake? Personal enlightment is the only reason why I would want to go a great university. Getting rich is mundane and ignoble to me.

Mitch said...

Ack, I knew I'd forgotten something:

I think the white adaptation in heavily Asian areas in California has been to move way.

Yes. This has been well documented for five years or more. Locally, the interesting case is Saratoga/Los Gatos High School District. Saratoga is being "cocooned" by Asians, but Saratoga proper isn't just upper income professional rich like Cupertino, but "made millions in the IPO" rich. The Asians aren't in downtown Saratoga, for the most part (at least so far as I know), but on the outskirts (overcrowding from Cupertino). So Saratoga itself is still the uber-rich white town it's always been. The parents just kvetch and send their kids to Los Gatos, the other high school in the district.

But Los Gatos is getting crowded, and refusing to take any transfers (except, I'm sure, football players). Saratoga administrators are doing their best to discourage Asians in little ways, hoping that will help. I'm not sure how it will play out. (Check out this link from the student paper and "racial imbalances" in the AP classes: http://www.saratogafalcon.org/content/racial-imbalances-classes-damage-student-potential . They aren't talking black and white.)

Fremont, the other major cocoon in the area, has gone from being a sleepy white blue collar town to the fourth largest city in the Bay Area (after the Big Three) and is something like 60% Asian. Mission San Jose is a brutally tough high school, ranked as high as MV and Lynbrook. But there are fewer and fewer whites.

Asians chase out whites, Hispanics chase out blacks.

agnostic said...

Making sure that smart kids get into good schools seems to be working pretty well already.

What we need is to find the kids who actually give a damn about their society's well-being. Re-brand the SAT as the Stewardship Aptitude Test so we have a way of keeping out the Lloyd Blankfein and Barney Frank wannabes.

Obviously none of the in-fighting courtier regions will run with that idea. Let them fall in on them themselves.

Some bunch of enterprising schools in the plains and mountain states should found a new Ivy League -- the Pasture League? -- based on smarts but also on solidarity and stewardship.

There's already plenty of good raw material in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and maybe Kansas.

That could be the first step toward them overtaking the more degenerate coastal and midwestern areas, even seceding.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there should be multiple strategies for selecting students. One of the current problems is elite schools are using criteria that are very similar, which encourages gaming behavior. Using one set of rules rewards gamers because they can achieve economies of scale in their gaming. It's like monoculture agriculture being attacked by a new pest.

The SAT was more or less designed as an IQ test to identify students with raw ability but perhaps from a not-so-well-regarded school out in the sticks. The various AP tests are achievement tests that measure the ability to master subjects, via either grinding or sheer ability, in the way that pre-SAT colleges used to select students. You can view the AP tests as a sort of Deerfield Academy, minus the polish and social cachet. It's a known, rigorous yardstick to measure students' ability to handle a subject.

I don't think student selection has to be an either-or, even within one school. A moneyball school admissions office from a 1.5 tier school might want to select based on IQ-equivalent tests and take the chance that they'll also get bright, lazy goofballs. They could make that part of their branding. A conservative school might opt for selecting based on lots of AP classes in a minimize-the-maximum-failure strategy.

This would depend on school admissions not being herd animals, which is not a very good bet. It would also require a more g-loaded SAT. It leaves open the gate for admissions offices to use lightly disguised racial quotas.

Anonymous said...

"No Asian men are jealous of White men in any capacity. Sorry, but that's truth in 2011."

So true! What is one supposed to be jealous of?

From the site that some other commenter pasted a link for:

http://www.saratogafalcon.org/content/38-seniors-named-national-merit-scholars

For a school that is 12% Indian, with the rest evenly split between Asians and Whites we have:

21 Asians
5 Whites
12 Indians

Umm ... yeah, reason enough to be jealous. Not that one more data point will stop the White supremacist nonsense, but I thought I'd throw this in.

Anonymous said...

Nice article except the distinction you make between aptitude and achievement doesn't ring true to me. I think psychologist would balk at the suggestion.

Anonymous said...

"...upper-class rage at Amy Chua."

Where exactly do you see this "rage" at Amy Chua. I have no evidence of it.

She wrote a provocative book, and per usual, she has supporters and detractors. I don't see any rage.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you Steve but when I prep'd, home, alone, for the SAT, the exercise taught how to think...

So I would say it has some lasting benefits.

Anonymous said...

Something funny about East Asians. They've embraced science and modernity, but there seems to be some kind of Tao-Shinto-yin-yang-chop-suey-kim-chee funny stuff still prevalent in their culture.

Consider the following:

Stupid Japanese culinary science.

The korean killer fan. If this theory is true, I would have died many times over.

Tiger dick 'medicine' in China.

What a bunch of dummies or madmen. They'll never dominate the world.

Anonymous said...

You seem to suggest that there is nobility in taking an SAT test without preparation.

I would call that stupid, frankly.

Preparing for the test by studying is gaming it then is it?

You should really reconsider the asinine assertions you are making.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of stupid science, what about Obamistry? How did so many 'rational' 'well-educated' people fall for that snake oil?

Anonymous said...

An outraged Steve Sailer to Asian Americans: "How dare you people work so hard at academics!"

NOTA said...

I wonder if there is anything else we could have kids do to get into top schools, which would be more productive (either for themselves or for society) than grinding away for a test, but that would also do a good job of selecting the top students. I suspect something like AP tests (which require mastery of some actual infomation) is the best available alternative, but that still seems kind of wasteful.

The bigger problem with college is the disasterous student loan scheme, by which almost all ambitious kids come out of school with tens of thousands of dollars of debt that can't be discharged in bankruptcy. Theres no end to the ways this screws things up--people end up with much less flexibility in changing careers early when it's much easier, if they're responsible they delay buying a house and having kids to get their debts under control, and folks who ended up with a not very saleable liberal arts degree get screwed to the wall--good luck paying off that $50K of student loan debt on your salary as a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble employee. (The dumb people version of this trap involves child support; instead of working at Starbucks with your English degree, you're working at McDonalds with the GED you got while you were in prison, but the unpayable debt part stays the same.)

Anonymous said...

I see that Mitch is still stubbornly clinging to his belief that the SAT math should be made harder. Let me repeat what I've been saying here. While I can see whites benefiting from a harder reading section, making the SAT math harder will work in the opposite direction, increasing the Asian-white gap. And given the fact that Asians generally exceed whites on math tests by far more than whites exceed Asians on verbal tests, it's not unreasonable to assume that tweaking both sections of the SAT will result in a situation where Asians gain more on the math section than whites gain on the reading section, thereby leading to a situation where whites are actually worse off than before in terms of overall aggregate SAT scores. This is the big flaw in Steve Sailer's plan.

So if you're someone like Mitch or Steve Sailer, under no circumstances should you make the SAT math harder. If you want to know how whites fare relative to Asians on a much harder math test than the SAT math, just look at the results for the AMC and AIME exams, which together determine USAMO qualification.

Anonymous said...

"In contrast, say, Charles Murray's brain works like a BMW V-12"

But maybe that was the problem with HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT. It was the just about the most ludicrous, sterile, and mechanical way of measuring artistic talent and genius. Painful to read after the first few chapters.

Anonymous said...

Maybe chia-pet should come up with a chua-pet.

Anonymous said...

I was at the local Chinese carryout getting my chopsuey, and I told some guys there about the Sailer article. The owners of the joint are from mainland China. A delivery guy is a Korean guy few yrs out of college.

The Korean guy said his uncle who works for Hyundai in Korea asked him to find out about education in America cuz he wants his grandson(who is now 4 yrs old) to learn real English in America. His wish is either the kid becomes an American citizen OR returns to Korea with credentials of having attended American schools, which seems to be a big thing there, a kind of bragging rights.
He told me that many Koreans believe there is NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER for social elevation unless one goes to right schools and etc.

And contrary to what we think--ALL Korean students studying like crazy to go to top college--, the Korean delivery guy said much of the future is pretty much determined by what kind of highschool(or even middle school)one attends. So, even though many young kids do go through cram school, many know they don't have much of a chance and hang around gangs, play videogames, or just mope. This reminded me of the Japanese film FAMILY GAME where all the anxiety is not about college but going to the elite highschool.
There's another Japanese film, KIDS RETURN, which is about a Japanese highschool for dumb kids. No one seems to study cuz they know people who go to crap highschools don't go to good colleges. Korea and Japan seem similar in this regard.

The Chinese guy was more abrasive and went into a sing song long rant about how rich corrupt assholes in China send their kids to fancy colleges in America and return to China to put on airs, and etc. I got less out of him, but then his English is less good.

Anonymous said...

some Angry Asians in this thread... gee, we let you guys come here from your starving-poor Third World hellholes and this is the thanks we get?

Dan Kurt said...

re: "You seem to suggest that there is nobility in taking an SAT test without preparation.

I would call that stupid, frankly."

Anonymous said...9/19/11 10:36 PM

I took the SAT in the Spring of 1959. Never studied for it nor did any of my close friends. I am sure some did. I don't recall being told about SAT coaching. I did take the PSAT also a year before when I was told to report to the library and was part of twenty or thirty students who took the test there. I had not been told before then that I was to take the test. ( The entire bunch of PSAT tests were lost somehow. )

How did I do in the SAT? I don't remember except that my lowest score was in Physics and it was 650. I had not had Physics in school yet but I listened to many if not most of NBC's Harvy White's Continental Classroom's TV physics show at 6:30 A.M.that school year. I did well enough to get a merit based Scholarship to college which my dad turned down. ( He did not want to be in debt to anyone and thought that taking a scholarship was a form of debt. ) After college eventually I went to an IVY for a science Doctorate and two Post Docs. But what got me into the IVY was the GRE exam where I was in the 99th percentile. And no again I never studied for that exam either.

The point of the story is this. Those who game the system will likely get into College situations above their ability and encounter men like me who didn't cheat and will become the B and C students or worse. Thomas Sowell has written much on this phenomenon in regard to Affirmative Action. I urge students to take the tests "naked" and actually find one's true level as one will be more successful there than one would be if it a school where one is truly in over one's head.

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

"The point of the story is this. Those who game the system will likely get into College situations above their ability and encounter men like me who didn't cheat and will become the B and C students or worse. Thomas Sowell has written much on this phenomenon in regard to Affirmative Action. I urge students to take the tests "naked" and actually find one's true level as one will be more successful there than one would be if it a school where one is truly in over one's head."

Except it's fairly obvious that Asian Americans also do extremely well at elite colleges in rigorous majors, so your point is moot.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, sure, obviously it's a win-win, but, does it solve America's most overwhelming problem: Closing The Gap? Will blacks come closer to whites in scores under my system?"

How much more barrel is there to scrape? If attempts to close The Gap are making it worse in the long run, then doing the opposite and kicking more marginal students out would perversely enough "close" The Gap by comparison.

Anonymous said...

@Anon

I dunno. I wouldn't exactly consider Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore to be third-world, although China is still relatively poor overall. Third world is probably more along the lines of an Eastern European country like the Ukraine.

TH said...

But maybe that was the problem with HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT. It was the just about the most ludicrous, sterile, and mechanical way of measuring artistic talent and genius. Painful to read after the first few chapters.

So how would you have measured them?

Regarding test prep...

Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are more likely than whites to utilize all types of test preparation; Blacks score significantly lower and Asians score significantly higher than Whites on the SAT. Blacks, Asians and Hispanics are significantly more likely to enroll in highly-selective colleges than Whites, net of SAT scores, SES and other controls. (source)

Anonymous said...

People are complaining about Asians working too hard because they're taking university slots away from kids whose ancestors built this country up. As someone whose family has been in America for generations, it's natural for Steve to want to root for Americans. It's also natural for him to want to see Asians assimilate to the culture he grew up in, rather than see a foreignization of the university admissions process.

Steve grew up in a country he liked a lot, and has seen how decades of out of control immigration and other liberal policies have wrecked Southern California. If your homeland was being flooded by immigrants who had a negative impact on the average person's life, I guarantee your people wouldn't stand for it.

For example, China, Korea, and Japan have low fertility rates. Would you be okay with a bunch of fecund Muslims and Africans showing up tomorrow to boost your TFR?

If I showed up to your house and took over your chores, how would you like that?

Also, you can talk about Asian high IQ all you like, but only the Japanese and Singaporeans are content to stay at home. The rest want to immigrate here and to the EU, especially the mainland Chinese.

All that being said, I do think hardwork is a good thing. Asians are more worthy of emulation than criticism. The problem comes when we open the immigration floodgates.

catperson said...

It's my understanding that the SAT (both before and after 1995) was a good measure of g up to about 1400, but scores above 1400 had virtually no correlation with g. So while a 1400 SAT scorer is much smarter than a 1300 scorer, a 1600 scorer is no smarter than a 1400 scorer.

catperson said...

Nice article except the distinction you make between aptitude and achievement doesn't ring true to me.

The distinction between aptitude and achievement is a clear one. Aptitude is measured by tests of fluid reasoning like the Raven Progressive Matrices. Achievement is measured by tests of acquired knowledge like Vocabulary or Jeopardy. Achievement is an indirect measure of aptitude because it takes fluid reasoning to acquire knowledge in the first place, but you also have to have opportunity like education or exposure to American culture, and folks with brain damage may lose their aptitude to learn while retaining the knowledge they already acquired.

Anonymous said...

"Preparing for the test by studying is gaming it then is it? "

Heh. Someone must remind the WN types that it wasn't Chairman Mao who said that chance favors the prepared mind.

Message on the forum: If you work less hard than white people, you're lazy. If you work harder than white people, you're gaming the system. Good to know!

Anonymous said...

@Anon

Yes, I still have a hard time understanding how studying really hard violates accepted principles of fairness. But then again, what would I know?

Anonymous said...

"Message on the forum: If [Asians] work less hard than white people, you're lazy. If [Asians] work harder than white people, you're gaming the system. Good to know!"

This is White people wielding the argument that has been used against them for years by non-Asian minorities and the NAMs' Jewish supporters.

Any disparity that favors White people, especially White males, is automatically attributed to "racism." If White students do better on a test than African-Americans, the difference is attributed to "racist" White students taking advantage of "institutional racism." If they do worse, the results reflect White deficiencies and/or White "entitlement" and an expectation that they will benefit from "institutional racism."

Asians, in other words, are now being treated the way Whites have been treated for years.

rec1man said...

http://www.saratogafalcon.org/content/38-seniors-named-national-merit-scholars

For a school that is 12% Indian, with the rest evenly split between Asians and Whites we have:

21 Asians
5 Whites
12 Indians

--

9 out of the 12 Indians are brahmins
--

http://www.saratogafalcon.org/content/racial-imbalances-classes-damage-student-potential

Drama 4 Honors: 2 Asians, 11 Caucasians. AP Chemistry: 78 Asians, 13 Caucasians. Newspaper staff: 57 Asians, 12 Caucasians, as determined by a Falcon headcount.

Saratoga High School, sporting a 41.0 percent Caucasian, 40.9 percent Asian, and 11.9 percent Indian student population, according to the SHS Student Distribution Report, is relatively diverse.

Anonymous said...

"It's also natural for him to want to see Asians assimilate to the culture he grew up in, rather than see a foreignization of the university admissions process."

Isn't this kinda too late? First, the original university system was Germanized in the early 20th century. And then it's been Judaicized and cultural Marxized ever since.
Asians may enter college in larger numbers, but they don't really change the system... for better and for worse. Asians seek to excel in a pre-existing system than question and 'improve' it.

Anonymous said...

What American kids really look up to is athletes, singers, actors, etc, and Asians are underrepresented in those areas. So, maybe some Asians work hard at school out of resentment. Since they can't win in sports or music or etc--the stuff associated with being popular with the ladies--, they hit the books in anger since that's the only way they can rise up socially.
This debate with Asians is also somewhat similar to the debate in the early part of 20th century when Ivy League schools were alarmed by sudden rise in Jewish students and therefore set up a quota. Jews too felt that education was the only way since they believed that they didn't have the advantage of bluebloods who were entitled to power and privilege via connections.
One difference is that many Jews went the other route to success: music, arts, performance, Hollywood, etc.
I suppose there is some of that among Asians too, but the arts Asians are most famously associated with is the most academic: classical music.

Kaz said...

@Anon 6:56

Lol I don't know about hitting the books in anger, but yeah they're quick to realize their limits. Aim for the humble engineering job rather than some pie in the sky.

@Rec1man

Giving the rest of us a bad name as usual..

Anonymous said...

Why have young people waste their time studying for something that's built to be hard to study for when they can instead study subjects that are intrinsically worth studying?

Silly Sailer, this idea applies much more to folks who actually value learning for the sake of knowledge rather than for the sake of money and status. Sure, lots of intelligent Europeans think like that, but intelligent Asians? I can't say because I don't know. Status and money are important to everyone and intelligent people can actually get them if they are diligent. However, not everyone is just plain curious. We know Europeans are because we see it from history. Is curiosity as prevalent among Asians?

(For all the Asians, this is a question, not an insult. So, don't get all offended, just think about it.)

Hacienda said...

(For all the Asians, this is a question, not an insult. So, don't get all offended, just think about it.)

Asians are doubled up on Asia and Europe. IOW they are two way. Whites are only one way. So let me ask you, who the really curious ones are. Also, not an insult, just asking. Well, maybe a little burr there.

Anonymous said...

The return on investment for the colossal number of hours devoted in recent decades to SAT cram schooling is modest.



Not for the people who did well on the SAT as a result of cramming, obviously. For "society", maybe.

Anonymous said...

All of you people who say that Sailer's proposal doesn't fix the Asian-white gap, duh.

It isnt' intended to. Sailer isn't trying to fix the gaps, he's an HDBer, he thinks they're probably innate.

He's trying to direct the Asian grind impulse into actual learning, with the hopeful side effect that if whites see Asians competing on actual learning instead of on test-taking, the whites may not just shrug off the competition.

So, Asians learn more.
Whites hopefully learn more.
The asian-white gap remains.

Reading comprehension isn't just for the SATs.

-Osvaldo M.

Anonymous said...

I think the white adaptation in heavily Asian areas in California has been to move way. See here.


By definition a "heavily Asian area" in the US is one which whites have moved away from, so why waste time hunting down links to "prove" it.

In other startling news, white adaptation in heavily black areas has been to move away. Ditto for black adaptation in heavily Hispanic areas, etc.

Thanks for the reminder that Asians may score well on the SAT, but they can't think their way out of a paper bag.

Anonymous said...

Asians are doubled up on Asia and Europe. IOW they are two way. Whites are only one way. So let me ask you, who the really curious ones are.


What does being "curious" have to do with it? If I'm "curious", will China or Japan allow me to live and work there? Asians are in Europe and America because European and American immigration policy is specifically designed to encourage them.

Anonymous said...

some Angry Asians in this thread...

No, just Yan Shen. And he's more anti-white than pro-Asian.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how black immigrants -- Caribbean and African -- are doing on standardized tests these days? In particular, I've occasionally read that black African immigrants are highly educated with respect to other immigrants, or have higher educational achievements, or something along those lines. But I expect that if their children were actually doing as well as whites we would be hearing a lot about it, and we aren't.

So does anybody know the story? I suspect what's probably happening is that their children do better than American blacks, but still not as well as whites or Asians. But it would be good to know for sure, and to know what the numbers are. (Actually, I'd really like to know the numbers for Britain or France, but somehow I suspect those haven't been made available).

Anonymous said...

"Preparing for the test by studying is gaming it then is it?"

I also think calling it 'gaming' is wrong. After all, white firemen in NY seem to be more examcentric and well-prepared than Hispanic and black firemen, but Sailer doesn't call that gaming.

What both Asians and white firemen are doing is 'playing the game' than gaming the system. Asian-Americans didn't devise SAT or other exams. If anything, SAT people have been trying to design tests to favor NAMS over whites and Asians. Asians accepted the challenge, adapted to new demands, and looked for bugs in the system and managed to come out on top. (There was a joke on SNL where Oakland school took up Ebonics but the top student was some Asian-American kid.) Similarly, firemen exams were redesigned to be 'more fair' to blacks and browns, but whites still prepared for it harder... and came out on top. So, when Sailer calls it 'gaming' when Asians do it, he's just cruising in white nationalist mode. (In Asia, majority populations probably do 'game' the system in their favor. Tibetans don't seem to be doing too well in China. Korea and Vietnam kicked out most Chinese. And Japanese have been known to discriminate against Chinese and Korean minorities, and Burakumin caste. They still do what whites did in the past.)

So, we can't blame Asians for winning against a system that has been gamed against them. (After all, Sailer points out that most impetus for 'reform' in testing has been to favor NAMS than Asians or whites. Though gamed against them, Asians still manage to come out on top.)
Though Asian stress on stoicism, effort, Sisyphusianism, and 'sacrifice' can stifle creativity and individuality, it also makes them complain/bitch/whine less and try harder. And there seems to a long history of this. Traditional Asian system was gamed in favor of the elites, but Confucian values and status-consciousness made the lower-classes try only harder to rise up. Also, since traditional Asian society was anti-individualistic and anti-change, there was little chance of a major social revolution or reform. So, the only thing left to do was try extra hard agaisnt the odds to make it. It could also be due to ASian temperament, making them less likely to make noise and more likely to strive silently.

So, what we are seeing is more overcaming than gaming among Asians(unless some are blatantly cheating through some way or another).

Though we complain that too many uncreative Asian grinds are entering top colleges, would it be better if they were creative as well? It's because they're relatively uncreative or unspecial that they don't really rise all that high after college. If they were really special or creative like the Jews, white people would lose even more power.

So... Asian creativity is a sleeping giant. Let it sleep in the straitjacket of Asian grindness. Asians might be far more formidable if they unlock their true potential.

Anonymous said...

Dan Kurt

"The point of the story is this. Those who game the system will likely get into College situations above their ability and encounter men like me who didn't cheat and will become the B and C students or worse."

Why?

http://www.fathersmanifesto.net/satwainer.png

"I urge students to take the tests "naked" and actually find one's true level as one will be more successful there than one would be if it a school where one is truly in over one's head."

Big fish at small pond, or a middling fish at a big lake...I think you'll find few takers.

Secondly, I would rather have a few middlings go in along with the brilliant, by cramming, than to see the brilliant fritter away their potential by being content with beating mediocres.
Good Will Hunting is a good movie.

---------------


A way to remove the 'effect' of "cramming" is to look at fields where this isn't an issue. For example, video games. I think it would be at least closer if not equal in the "cramming" context.

A common popular PC game, player levels by region and the results of international tourneys. Creativeness? Game strategies, successful mods, etc.

Truth said...

"I was smart enough to get a 1350 on the SAT, but I was too dumb to study for the other 250 points"...Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

i just came from an engineering class. im currently enrolled in a top 15 uni in the US. the entire class is pretty much indians and east asians, theres 2 or 3 whites. the rest of the whites on campus are psychology majors. i see them partying and drinking downtown almost every nite. i cant wait till graduation when then have blown 50k+ on a worthless piece of paper. how funny it will be to see them move back home and hopelessly apply for jobs that they are under qualified for. Finally they will make the decision to go to grad school and take the GRE's or LSATS. hahaha more debt and wasted years to come. finally they will accept reality that they were lied to by everyone. that they are nothing special and just average like everyone else. they will apply to some retail job at a and live out the rest of their lives in mediocrity.

Luke Lea said...

Where is my comment? Down the rabbit hole?

Rohan Swee said...

Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

I wonder how many of the "white parents" who choke up about "liberal arts" really value any kind of high Western culture, are genuinely literate and cultured themselves, or have children who really are more "well-rounded" than the alleged Asian grinds. Or is "liberal arts and extracurriculars" just a code phrase for "want to watch six hours of tee-vee every day"?

John said...

How is Steve's proposal different from the topic based SAT tests. It would force the participants to study more subjects (chemistry etc.). It seems directing the students to learn more broader knowledge in preparation of taking the test has the same effect as taking AP tests, No?

Anonymous said...

White people are caught in a trap. If they call for affirmative action for whites, they'll have to accept affirmative action for blacks and browns, which means whites lose out to blacks and browns.

If whites insist on pure meritocracy, they'll lose out to Asians and Jews(who are mostly liberal).

It's like damned if you do, damned if you don't.

There are really only three solutions to this.

1. End massive immigration. We are mostly agreed on this.

2. Create a separate category for Jews. (Why not since white Hispanics count as a separate category?) Since Jews are vastly overrepresented in privileged positions, if whites must lose to blacks and browns, it's only fair that Jews must also make room for whites, especially since Jews are the main raggers about 'white privilege.' Ths is a good idea but very difficult to do since anything critical of Jews is the third rail in American politics. It might be more possible if 100% of Jews were Democrats, but there are some Jews in the GOP, and conservatives seem unable to let go of the dream that Jews will one day come to their side.

3. Try harder in whatever college one attends. Focus on the bone in one's mouth than bone reflected in the stream. Even if a white guy doesn't go to the best college, most colleges offer all the basics for research and experimentation(more so now than ever due to easy exchange of information via the internet). If one does great work, he will be noticed regardless of what college he attends. Yes, there are added benefits to going to top colleges, but look at Jews in the 40s and 50s who went to city colleges cuz they were discriminated by Ivy League which had a quota--blatant or subtle--on Jewish students. Some city college Jews did great work and got noticed and became famous,indeed a lot more than one who actually attended top colleges.

So, if some truly creative white guy with an IQ of 150 goes to University of Florida while some Asian grind with an IQ of 130 goes to Harvard AND if the white guy does great work at Florida, he will be noticed and on the path to true greatness.
Grinds may win early on with standardized exams and college admissions to fancy colleges, but they do not come out on top in the end. Grind is a terrible thing to last.

Anonymous said...

On p. 401 of The Bell Curve, I find a graph that basically shows that it is possible to raise one's SAT Verbal scores, on average, by about 30 points with about 250 hours of coaching, and to raise one's SAT Math scores by 50 points, on average, by the same amount of coaching.

And what is the gap between Whites and Asians on these scores? My reference says that Whites outscore Asians on Critical Reading by 11 points, and Asians outscore Whites by 60 points on SAT Math.

Sure seems to me that test preparation could well account for such differences as there are -- though the Asian score on Critical Reading seems surprisingly low, considering.

A Ball Peen Hammer said...

Why no talk about the ballpeen hammer approach to shrink the Asian-White gap?

Anonymous said...

"Giving the rest of us a bad name as usual.."

Kinda rich coming from the person who characterized American women as sluts in the previous thread. Such despicable behavior is usually most prevalent among Muslim males that think non-Muslim women are ripe for the taking, whereas their women ought to be sheltered from such "decadent" behavior. *No* American-born Indian non-Muslim I know holds such views (you're the first, yay!), and few India-born Indian non-Muslims do either, so I wonder who is giving whom a bad name ....

About Rec1man: His caste data is accurate almost all the time, and I have no issue with him stating reality as it is. If Brahmins are vastly, vastly overrepresented in intellectual endeavors, so be it.

What is annoying about Rec1man is when he starts to create absurd hypotheses based on incomplete information (eg. South Indian Brahmins have a mean IQ of 120).

beowulf said...

The future of education, as even the Obama WH recognizes, is the digital tutors that DARPA and the Navy have been working on (one study showed Navy IT trainees mastering coursework in one-third the normal time). There's still a socialization/ adult supervision value to public schools but every student could go at their own pace via a digital tutor. Once they've passed the GED (whether in the 8th grade or the 12th), they should move onto college level courses. There are already a couple of accredited colleges (NJ's Thomas Edison State, CT's Charter Oak State) that grant Bachelors solely on standardized exam credits.

A state college degree alone only signals so much. There are other tests of ability that can used (if affirmative action were limited to Native Americans and descendants of slaves and those scores race-normed, employers could hire based on test scores without fear of the EEOC).

For testing g, just use DoD's ASVAB. To measure STEM knowledge, use Fundamentals of Engineering general exam (Switch out business ethics for biology) and for Liberal Arts knowledge, Foreign Service Exam.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentals_of_Engineering_exam
http://www.testprepreview.com/fsot_test_breakdown.htm

Dan Kurt said...

re: "Except it's fairly obvious that Asian Americans also do extremely well at elite colleges in rigorous majors, so your point is moot."
Anonymous said...9/19/11 11:48 PM

My comment was not directed at ONLY Asiatic Americans but at all American students.

Case in point: my son recently got his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at a top tier research University. In his cohort group of seven Ph.D. candidates he was the ONLY American student and he was white. There were NO Asiatic Americans in the group. The other six were all from Red China.

I don't think that the Asiatic American students are doing themselves any favor by gaming the system as their competition really is with the students world wide who are really receiving an education rather than the FRILLS only fare served in the USA.

Dan Kurt

not a hacker said...

Sorry a bit OT, but can anyone give me stats on the percentage of non-football/basketball admits who are black at Berkeley or UCLA?

alonzo portfolio said...

Hey Mitch, I remember an article in the WSJ when the Mini Cooper came out. The reporter was driving one around Los Gatos, trying to get people's impressions. He quoted one guy as saying, "you don't wanna be seen in one of those around here." Snobbery or fear? Representative?

beowulf said...

That reminds me of Tom Wolfe writing 15 years ago about an "IQ cap" (which monitored EEG waves):
"In sixteen seconds the Cap's computer box gave you an accurate prediction (within one–half of a standard deviation) of what the subject would score on all eleven subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or, in the case of children, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—all from sixteen seconds' worth of brain waves."
http://orthodoxytoday.org/articles/Wolfe-Sorry-But-Your-Soul-Just-Died.php

The technology is cheap enough (you can buy an EEG sensor that plugs into a computer for $100) that this actually would be an effective way to measure g without standardized testing (again, on the principle that Paris is worth a Mass, race-norm it for American Indians and African Americans to make it politically acceptable). One wonders if the possible ways to "study for it"--I dunno, daily meditation or taking fish oil pills-- wouldn't actually make the person smarter in the bargain.
http://store.neurosky.com/products/mindwave-1

Steve Sailer said...

Ding, ding, ding!

Osvaldo M nails the reading comprehension question:

"He's trying to direct the Asian grind impulse into actual learning, with the hopeful side effect that if whites see Asians competing on actual learning instead of on test-taking, the whites may not just shrug off the competition.

"So, Asians learn more.
"Whites hopefully learn more.
"The asian-white gap remains.

"Reading comprehension isn't just for the SATs."

Anonymous said...

"I went to a cruddy rural high school, spent my time in the woods fishing or shooting guns or making 8mm war movies with my buddies instead of studying"

Ken Kesey!!! Never give a inch!

Anonymous said...

Kids nowadays love to text and use blackberry, so how about we make them take SAT using silly gadgets?

Better yet, I say let each college choose its own method of choosing students.

Anonymous said...

"He's trying to direct the Asian grind impulse into actual learning"

Except Asian Americans already dominate everything academically, whether its the SATs, GPAs or the AP tests. I would say that Asian Americans exhibit much more of a preference for actual learning than their white American counterparts.

So perhaps what Sailer should really be doing is trying to cultivate more of a passion for learning and studying amongst whites, rather than bizarrely trying to paint Asians as grinds for being smart and working hard.

Anonymous said...

One thing that Sailer has failed to address is that whites are far more likely to be involved in athletics relative to Asian Americans. He blogged before about the phenomenon of middle class whites paying for their kids to be tutored athletically as football kickers. So in a sense, whites are also doing the same things that Asians are doing, although they direct a lot more of their "grinding" efforts towards athletics rather than academics. This ties in to what I wrote previously. Whites simply don't exhibit the same preference for actual learning that Asians do on average. So it seems rather bizarre that Sailer would lash out against Asian Americans over this fact. The white equivalent of the Asian American who spends hours practicing the violin or piano or studying is the white kid who spends hours practicing sports, whether its soccer or football or baseball. The white soccer mom is in some sense the equivalent of the Asian tiger mom.

@Osvaldo

Actually your interpretation and Sailer's denial are both off the mark. It's fairly obvious that at a minimum, given what Sailer wrote in his post, he believes Asian Americans have benefited from an easier SAT verbal section. So clearly his suggestion to make the SAT verbal as hard as it used to be before the post 1995 change is designed to reduce the Asian-white gap somewhat. Of course, I'm not sure I understand why he then wants to dilute the weighting of this supposedly more g-loaded SAT by placing a large focus on AP tests.

Sam said...

Off topic a bit. You never see any Chinese on Jeopardy. 90 percent of contestants are white guys in average jobs.

Anonymous said...

Of course, we also need to take into account of the fact that Asian American performance on the SAT is nothing out of the ordinary, given what we know from the psychometric literature. They excel on the math portion and are weaker on the verbal. We see this reflected in actual life in their concentration in mathematics/science at the expense of the humanities/liberal arts. So while East Asian Americans are somewhat absent from the Spelling Bee, they excel at the International Mathematics Olympiad, the International Physics Olympiad, and the Intel Science Talent Search.

So to be honest, I'm not sure what Sailer is particularly worked up over here. If Asians started crushing the verbal section, contrary to what HBD tells us, then I would suspicious of the SAT. But, their performance on the SAT seems to mirror the psychometric literature fairly well, so there's nothing really out of place in the HBD universe as far as I'm concerned.

Now of course, you have someone like Mitch who adamantly insists what whites would benefit relative to Asians on a harder SAT-math section. I find that incredibly hard to believe and think that he's only shooting himself in the foot here.

And to reiterate, the big flaw with Sailer's idea to make the SAT harder in order to diminish the efficacy of test prep is that it's likely that the gains Asians would accrue on the math would be larger than the gains that whites would accrue on the verbal, leading to whites being worse off than before in terms of overall SAT scores.

So let's put everything into context here. Asians and whites do about what you would expect them to on the SAT given what HBD tells us. However, given the fact that the Asian-white gap on math IQ tests in favor of Asians has consistently been much larger than the white-Asian gap on verbal IQ tests favoring whites, you end up with a situation where Asians will always have higher aggregate IQ scores or SAT scores than whites. As far as I can tell, this situation won't change.

Anonymous said...

big inherent difference between AP and SAT/SAT2 is that AP is that there are lots of possible SAT scores but only 3 possible (for an even borderline credible student) AP scores (3, 4, 5). Having few possible grades makes it very easy for TPTB to make tests or grading procedures easier or more corrupt to help blacks.

Meanwhile, no amount of corruption can mask score differences on SATs. That is, unless they make SAT more like AP exams, as witness the newfangled SAT essay section that is graded 1-6 by a corruptible human who can be coached to inflate scores of people who fight for social justice and battle racist adversities.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, the best argument for white-majority-politics(or white nationalist position)is white liberals. After all, if white liberals are indeed decent, compassionate, fair-minded, generous, caring, conscientious, and etc, we need more such wonderful people(who are liberal and WHITE). If we have more blacks and browns--who are socially and culturally less liberal--, society in general is gonna be less caring and compassionate.

If white liberals tip the most and blacks tip the least, we need more white liberals to be good tippers. So... we need more white people.

Anonymous said...

Though Jewish intermarriage rates are high, could it be said Jews aren't so much assimilating into the gentile community as assimilating the best of gentiles into the Jewish community--which means fewer top brains for goy interests?

Anonymous said...

"One thing that Sailer has failed to address is that whites are far more likely to be involved in athletics relative to Asian Americans."

Fewer Asians make the tryouts, I would think. But Asians are well-aware that extracurricular activity counts, and so they join the key club or chess club(or computer club).

Anonymous said...

"If Asians started crushing the verbal section, contrary to what HBD tells us..."

I don't think the evidence is good at all that E. Asians lag in verbal ability relative to whites. This effect in the US is mainly due to the fact that most of the Asians are learning English as a second language.

If you look at PISA and TIMMS tests, which are carefully translated into each country's language, E. Asians tend to have higher scores than whites on the equivalent reading or verbal subsection.

I suspect if you look at E. Asians who grew up in households where the first language is English, their SAT reading/verbal scores would be higher than the white average.

Anonymous said...

"i just came from an engineering class. im currently enrolled in a top 15 uni in the US. the entire class is pretty much indians and east asians, theres 2 or 3 whites. the rest of the whites on campus are psychology majors. i see them partying and drinking downtown almost every nite. i cant wait till graduation when then have blown 50k+ on a worthless piece of paper. how funny it will be to see them move back home and hopelessly apply for jobs that they are under qualified for."

But those Asian engineers will be working for white or Jewish business majors.

Anonymous said...

"Where is my comment? Down the rabbit hole?"

Join the Komment Control bipolar club. Lol.

Anonymous said...

How about we create a million buxom blonde clones and unleash them on Asian males in colleges. They'll never study and drop out.

Anonymous said...

"Flyover whites probably don't care about AP courses because they'd rather enjoy high school and go on to State U, where they'll continue to enjoy themselves before they settle down and get an average job.'

Which is what will happen to almost everybody on the coasts.There are a lot of smart people in flyover country too. I knew some growing up and they are extremely successful on the coasts by the standards of readers of this blog.

Anonymous said...

"No material accomplishments in this World seems to matter when it comes to making you love life or not. In fact, all that time working for the worthless promotion could be better spent with your loved ones creating memories that will add REAL value to your life."

good point, the rich aren't any happier, but in the back of my head I would still want 5 million in the bank.

Most people who go to the top schools never become rich.

Anonymous said...

"He blogged before about the phenomenon of middle class whites paying for their kids to be tutored athletically as football kickers. "

Many of the kickers are walk-ons. Either you have athletic ability or you don't. It would be more difficult to get a sports scholarship than it would be to study your way in to a college, any college.

Anonymous said...

THE AUTOBIO OF YUKICHI FUKUZAWA was one of the books we had to read in Modern Japan History class in college. This was in the early 90s when Japan was still a big deal and China still had a long ways to go. Fascinating account. Funny too. Especially epic are stories of Fuku and his mates copying entire foreign books by hand. That's dedication.

Anonymous said...

What about Japanese-Americans? Why aren't they overrepresented as PSAT finalists if Asians have super high IQs?

Anonymous said...

It looks like just a case of Asians being better at math.

Well, duh, we already knew that.

Asian reading score is same as white writing.

White reading is the same as Asian writing.

So the verbal part is a wash.

That leaves the math.

Asians who are really low academically may not even bother with the test. I can imagine their self esteem is pretty low.

However every American princess imagines she is all that and plans to go to college. So, she takes the test and brings down the white average.

mm45 said...

41 y.o. White guy here. Obviously I was foolish, but I had the definite impression when I took the SAT in the 80s that prepping for it outside of one's regular studies and habits was considered kind of weak, and not in keeping with the spirit of the general anglo-american intellectual tradition, such as it is, let alone the upper end of it, Shakespeare and Newton and Jefferson and Franklin and even people like Steve's man Evelyn Waugh. Undoubtedly these people had exemplary work ethics in addition to their brilliance but they gave the impression at least of having come by and later on applied them in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion than the (to our eyes) joyless tiger mother. I know we have little idea of how to consistently produce people even remotely like this anymore, and maybe even Jefferson himself wouldn't be able to crack the top 10% of GPA in a modern Asian-dominated high school, but I do think something like his ultimate development remains, however poorly understood, the ideal among those whites who affect to love the liberal arts and the achievements of western civilization...

Anonymous said...

“It seems to me that it would be better for everybody if more test prepping energy was invested instead into positive sum games, such as studying for achievement tests rather than for aptitude tests. Fortunately, we currently have a quite good set of national achievement tests: the College Board's Advanced Placement tests.“

(1) Charles Murray has argued that the SAT Reasoning Tests should be replaced with the SAT Subject Tests. The Subject Tests are conceptually similar to AP tests, which are supposed to test content-specific knowledge rather than general reasoning ability. But this begs a question: Are AP Tests less g-loaded than the SAT Reasoning Test, and do AP Tests really tap content-specific knowledge *beyond g* (general intelligence)? I’m not sure.

(2) Also: I’m not sure that AP Tests would provide any incremental benefit (in predicting college GPA) beyond the SAT Reasoning Test. And, w.r.t. the White-Black Gap, it could be argued that AP Tests would exacerbate the Gap, if it’s assumed that Whites go to better schools than Blacks (and therefore acquire more AP knowledge).

(3) w.r.t Test Prep Effects: You argue that AP Tests should be used (in lieu of the Reasoning Tests) because cram schools for AP Tests teach something useful (Calculus, Statistics, Literature) compared to cram schools for the Reasoning Test. My bias is to argue against this claim, for two reasons. One is that the SAT Reasoning Test can, in principle, identify people of high aptitude who haven’t acquired content-specific knowledge (because they attended shitty schools), but are nonetheless very bright (the “diamonds in the rough”). Eliminating the SAT Reasoning Test would disadvantage such kids, and that would be shame (IMO). The second reason is that, contrary to your argument, AP tests are probably strongly g-loaded (requiring, e.g., the ability to reason, abstract principles, and apply concepts), AND THEREFORE PROBABLY CAN’T BE GAMED THROUGH CRAM TESTING. The upshot is that people who try to game AP Tests (and score beyond their ability level) are probably wasting their time, just like people who try to game the SAT Reasoning Test: Both groups of people are trying to understand material that, conceptually, they’re not going to understand. And therefore they’re not going to be able to use that material to solve novel problems on AP Tests.

Anonymous said...

None of this is anything new. In the early 1990s, Flynn wrote a book about how the children of pre-WWII Asians, despite scoring similarly to whites on IQ tests, significantly outperformed them academically. He also included data that showed them achieving higher SATs, despite scoring no higher on tests of general intelligence (g).

You can call Asians grind or focused workers. The relevant point is that they study much more per week than everyone else (13 hours for Asians v.s. 5 hours for whites v.s. less for NAMs) and also tend to stay out of trouble. That leads to good grades and university admissions, which leads to professional and economic success.

mm45 said...

Same 41-yr old white man as above.

Scored 1340 & 1380 on old SAT, below the level of most of the commenters here, but formerly at least high enough to be capable of getting something out of a decent college program and contributing positively to society on some level if I had developed any kind of work ethic. When I was age 18-30I really liked drinking and fantasizing about the usual things young men fantasize about at that age, to the unfortunate detriment of my studies and later any hope of organization towards a career. At the time the desire to indulge in these frivolities seemed almost biologically overwhelming, and obviously whatever intelligence or love of learning and scholarship as I imagined I did was not strong enough to be able to successfully reconcile the pursuit of these higher ends with my desire for pleasures not only fleeting but usually never attained.

There is no inconsiderable tradition in the Northern European countries and their descendants of intelligent (by the standard of those nations) students in the high spirits of youth especially combining scholarship with drinking bouts and skirt-chasing/whoring and gambling and fighting and other time-honored pursuits, but I guess in the era of the tiger mother, we can't be having this anymore.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Asians and whites.... will whites become more wussy as yrs go on?
Generally, aggressive, passionate, daring, and outgoing women like to take chances and like a 'real man'. This means more white women with such traits are gonna go with black men. Generally, it's not mousy or shy white women but wilder and more adventurous/spirited white women who go with black men. So, white genes for assertiveness will go to blacks, and white men will be left to mate with mousier white women who won't go with Negroes. Also, white men will go with Asian women, and those kids will be considered white. So, whites will lose assertive genes to blacks and gain mousy genes from Asians.

Suppose there are three breeds of dogs. One breed is shy and small. Second breed is middle sized and its personality ranges from moderate shy to moderate assertive. Third breed is big and aggressive.
Suppose the more assertive females of the second breed go with the males of the big third breed. The second breed will lose some of its daring genes. Meanwhile, the less assertive males of second breed, having lost their pride and some females to the third breed, mate with females of the first breed. So, the shy genes of the first breed enters the second breed and make the second breed more wussy.

So, whites seem to be losing their daring girls to black men, gaining mousy girls from Asians(and also from Mexicans), and losing their brainy and very good-looking members to super successful Jews. Not good.

mm45 said...

The depth and consistency of the Asian talent pool, at least as far as dominating testing goes, combined with the seemingly indomitable will of their parents to make them work obviously has a lot of white middle class parents spooked, especially when they remember that if you had told their grandfathers in 1965 that in 50 years legions of Chinese and Indians would be wiping the floor with their descendants, the grandfathers would have been able to split their sides in hysterics at the preposterousness of such an idea as they reached for another martini. I am susceptible at times to such feelings myself. I have 5 small children, and while at early ages they appear to still be in the game intellectually with their peers from the higher achieving groups frequently noted here, when you don't really understand what the game consists of, you are never really playing. I thought I was keeping pace in the game myself until I was well into college...Anyway, this is America and one is not supposed to become overly discouraged by academic results. These competitions, while worthy, are still but a small part of the national life. A person with a 120 or 130 IQ ought to be able to find something to do which they do not find demeaning to themselves, if they have absorbed what they were intellectually capable of absorbing in a culturally healthy environment. Which, however, I am not certain we have at the present time.

Anonymous said...

Asians are probably doing the smart thing in both sense of the word. After all, education is the ONLY card they have. They don't have the numbers for politics, which is something whites, blacks, and Hispanics have. There are lots of Asians in Ca but they're still outnumbered by whites and Hispanics. In most other states, they don't have much of political clout. (Hawaii may be the only exception, but it's generally off the radar except as a vacation spot and Obama connection.) Not only are Asians small in number in most states but their populations are dispersed. Tough chinatowns do exist, many Asians seem to be scattered all over and don't constitute anything like a unifed voting block that whites, blacks, and Hispanics do in many places. Politically, Asians must seek alliances with other groups. Since Asians don't control government, police departments, city halls, fire departments, and etc, they are far less likely to be beneficiaries of such things as, say, the Irish or Italian-Americans. Asians are simply not part of the patronage system that has long been dominated by white ethnics and more lately by blacks and Hispanics. Also, Asian political candidates aren't very appealing in America. While 98% of Americans polled around 2006 said they would vote for a Jew or black for president, only 2% said they would vote for an Asian or a Muslim. With Muslims, it must be fear of terrorism, but why such low number for Asians? Whatever the reason, it seems conservatives and liberals of all races are agreed on one thing: Asians are lame and not political material. Athletically, Asians have no chance in most sports except maybe baseball, but even there, most Asian players in American baseball are from Japan. Most Asian-Americans don't even try to succeed in sports cuz they figure they aint got the goods. Asians don't see much chance in popular music either, especially since what sells most today is the ability to sing like a black person, and Asians just don't have the vocality. Jews are not big in number but they have extensive social networking, so even dumb Jews may be aided by smart Jews. Though Asians may aid fellow Asians, the scope of Asian network comes nowhere near the Jewish network or the networks of white ethnic groups, especially the Irish and Italian-Americans. Also, Asians seem to be less keen on social work and mutual aid. It's more every family for itself. Though meritocracy is a reality in America, many people do get by as a result of who they know, what tribe they belong to, what community one comes from, etc. And Asians are not favored by whites, blacks, or Hispanics. So, that leaves what? Education. No political power, no cultural power, no government power, no sports power, no sexual power(at least for Asian males). So, education is the ONLY WAY they can ensure any kind of success for themselves. A black guy who messes up in school may still hope to be a rapper or athlete. Or, he might know someone in city hall who might get him a job. A rich white guy who doesn't do so good in school might still be hired by the firm of his father's friend. Hispanics may use their electoral numbers in certain areas to get a slice of the pie. Jews may use their power in finance, media, academia, and etc to do favors for one another. Asians prolly don't have advantages in those areas(though maybe in hawaii and parts of Ca). Also, I see the Asian community as pretty divided. Hindus and Chinese don't see eye to eye on much. I don't think Filipinos, Koreans, and Japanese are all that close either. And then there are Viets and Laotians. So, while for most other groups, education is one method of making it--surely an important one but not the ONLY one--, Asians might feel that it's either education or bust. There's nothing else.
Also, since most Asians may instinctively feel that they are grinds and not really good as leaders or men of charisma, their best bet is become professionally adept at something or another and seek employment.

Anonymous said...

Question. Isn't the real point of AP exams to gain credit so one won't have to take certain college classes? I remember hearing in highschool that if you got a 5 in American history or European history, you didn't have to take similar courses in college. I took just one AP class--US history--and didn't even bother to take the exam cuz I never did much reading. But most kids in that AP class did take other AP classes, and I thought they were preparing to get a headstart in college... like if you get a 5 in AP chemistry, you don't have to take introduction to chemistry in college and start right away at the next level. I dunno. I generally took normal classes and only a few honors ones, and I never got along with the geek crowd.

Anonymous said...


@Rec1man

Giving the rest of us a bad name as usual..


A bad name in the eyes of whom?

If it's white liberals you're worried about, forget it, they're incurably braindead. They'll never see Indians as racists. "Hmm, hindoos, well, they're pretty brown, so obviously there's no way in hell they can be racists." And that's it, the white liberal brain shuts down.

Silver

Svigor said...

Among your readers the Worst Thing is that Asians outscore Whites ;-)

Among Yellows the Worst Thing is pointing out that Yellows reciprocate none of what they expect from Whites.

Svigor said...

Message on the forum: If you work less hard than white people, you're lazy. If you work harder than white people, you're gaming the system. Good to know!

Message from the Yellows: All Ur Base Belongs To Us; we lock you out of our Base - if you lock us out of yours (or mention how we lock you out of yours), you raciss!

JSM said...

Yeah,

I'd be a little more convinced of East Asian superiority over Euros if that whole "the sun is rising in the East" thing with Japan in the '80s hadn't turned out to be a big bust.

Anonymous said...

I just read an article:

a) which explained that the difference in test results between different races were due to upbringing and the environment;

b) And the race which had lower test scores did so because they preferred to excel instead in other fields such as sports, inter-personal skills and so on, rather than being all "uptight" and "narrowly focused".

Here's the twist. Usually such articles are written about the "nerdy" whites in comparison to the socially dominant "sporty" blacks.

Now they are written about the whites and asians, with the roles reversed.

In other words HBD only applies when dealing with Blacks and whites. When dealing with whites and Asians, the standard liberal theories found in the New York Times and elsewhere apply.

In other words theories can be freely changed depending on who gets to be on top.

I think that's what Steve calls the "Who? and "Whom?" questions.

Zylonet said...

"My view, however, is that there is so much test gaming energy out there that we ought to direct it somewhere positive sum, and the big AP tests are more likely a good place to absorb it than the miniature SAT Subject tests. But I might be wrong."

A person can certainly game an IQ test or a very difficult SAT test. The key is drill, drill and drill. There are only so many iterations of problems involved and once the logic to each iteration has been determined, a high score will follow. When I was studying for the GMAT, a decade ago, I realized that the methods used by the Princeton Review and Kaplan were suboptimal. I designed a method that used a spatial representation of each problem type and iteration thereof. Following this method, a student could easily connect fundamental logics across a variety of strains and iterations.

Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed by great sex at the time and did nothing with the idea. Maybe someday. But that brings back an idea I introduced shortly thereafter, when I fell ill and my creativity fell off the cliff. Noticing things that are novel is a not just a function of intelligence but is heavily related to interstitial testical pressure. When a man has an ultra-strong desire to mate and is not receiving relief concomitant to his desire, then the intelligent man, is going to produce a flourish of ideas. I am 99% certain that this is going to be proven. For I went from being both creative and horny and to libido-less and dull in a matter of a few months. Such a dramatic drop provides fantastic insight into the biological basis of creativity. However, I can show the converse as well since a shot of HCG would ignite testicle activity and my creativity. Contrast that with Testosterone injections which shrink the testicles further, and while my energy would go up, my creativity would not. So to all those who want epic intellectual creativity, shoot HCG (the real stuff, not the drops).

Anonymous said...

Eh. I went to a cruddy rural high school, spent my time in the woods fishing or shooting guns or making 8mm war movies with my buddies instead of studying, and got good enough SAT scores without prep to get into a middling University of California school.

Now I'm a screenwriter/producer and spend all day talking about fighter planes and robots and hanging out with actresses. So to all the diligent Asian grinds with your 4.5 GPAs and endless test prep and mid-level jobs at a biotech or dot com company...suckers!

------------------------------
I did not bother with education at all. Now I am either a "rap singer/sportsman/actor/dancer/musican/gangster/pimp", who gets to bang the hottest white blonde chicks all day long.
So to all those WHITE grinds with your high school and college education and mid-level job in entertainment - suckers!

Anonymous said...

Isn't this debate about Asian effort vs white creativity a variation of conservatism vs. liberalism? Asians stick to and try to excel in a given system, which makes them more conservative. Whites try to reform, improve, or even radically alter a system, which makes them more liberal. Why? It could be due to culture or temperament, or both.

This brings us to the question, 'aren't liberals then more creative than conservatives?' Stultifying PC notwithstanding, this seems to be the case. Though PC holds down liberal exprssion, liberals have culturally far outshone conservatives even before there was any PC--even in communities where conservatives held most of the power. Even in the 40s and 50s, gay liberals(in the closet) were disproportionately contributing more to culture than cultural conservatives. Given the importance of pop culture, naturally young people gravitate toward liberalism since it offers stuff like this fun original music video(linked)whereas the likes of Pat Buchanan still think all movies should be like SANDS OF IWO JIMA. So, the irony is white conservatives who take pride in white creativity and disdain Asian conformity may actually have more in common with Asians than with white liberals who produce most of the creative stuff in science and culture.

Anonymous said...

mm45,

where I've lived, there's definitely been a vibe that test prep is for parvenus. Real smart people don't need to study for tests.
I expect this kind of status competitiion will eventually collapse as the Great Stagnation continues. We'll just compete on test scores after that.

-osvaldo M.

Anonymous said...

"remember that if you had told their grandfathers in 1965 that in 50 years legions of Chinese and Indians would be wiping the floor with their descendants, the grandfathers would have been able to split their sides in hysterics at the preposterousness of such an idea "

Um, the Yellow Peril? White fear of being outcompeted by Asians goes back to the late 19th.

Anonymous said...

Generally, aggressive, passionate, daring, and outgoing women like to take chances and like a 'real man'. This means more white women with such traits are gonna go with black men.



Ah, the old "black men are real men" idiocy. I have not seen this particular bit of nonsense posted here since .. what? yesterday?

The problem is that the typical iSteve commenter is a geek. A nerd. A bookworm. Somebody whose idea of physical exertion involves picking up his iPad.

Contrary to what you think, not all white men are as effete and feminized as you are.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the evidence is good at all that E. Asians lag in verbal ability relative to whites. This effect in the US is mainly due to the fact that most of the Asians are learning English as a second language



I don't think that's true at all. All of the young Asians I know either were born in the US or at least grew up here from a very young age. I'm not sure why everyone is pretending that the typical teenage Asian kid in a US high-school came over on a refugee boat at the age of twelve with their totally non-English-speaking parents.

The usual case around here (the NYC area) is that their parents came over first to take professional jobs and then had children here, who grew up speaking English and attending English-speaking schools from kindergarten onwards.

Anonymous said...

According to this market analysis:

1. 64% of Asian-Americans are immigrants (born abroad)

2. Over 2/3 of AAs in the 5-17 age group report that English is not their only language -- making it likely that they grew up with parents whose first language was not English. This would depress their chances of learning fancy SAT vocabulary.

3. 26% of AAs in the 5-17 age group reported speaking English less than "very well"; 8% of AAs in this age group reported speaking English "not well" or "not at all".

Obviously the subgroup described in 3 will lower the average AA writing and reading scores on the SAT.

The correct way to compare verbal ability between whites and Asians is to consider only n-th generation immigrants (n > 2, say), or to use carefully translated tests like PISA. The PISA data shows no verbal gap between Asians and whites. In fact the Asian scores are a bit higher.

Anonymous said...

64% of Asian-Americans are immigrants (born abroad)

Doesn't matter. What percentage of high school students were born and educateded abroad? That's the real question.


Over 2/3 of AAs in the 5-17 age group report that English is not their only language -- making it likely that they grew up with parents whose first language was not English.

Again, irrelevant.



26% of AAs in the 5-17 age group reported speaking English less than "very well"; 8% of AAs in this age group reported speaking English "not well" or "not at all".

Obviously the subgroup described in 3 will lower the average AA writing and reading scores on the SAT.

That's true. But it's true for everyone - Asians, blacks, whites, Jews, Catholics...the lowest scoring members will always drag others down. I imagine that there are 8% of European-Americans who speak English "not well" or "not at all".


The correct way to compare verbal ability between whites and Asians is to consider only n-th generation immigrants

However, we don't that that data.


or to use carefully translated tests like PISA.

Obviously no "carefully translated tests" can tell us anything about peoples verbal ability in English.

Anonymous said...

>I imagine that there are 8% of European-Americans who speak English "not well" or "not at all".<

8% of white K-12 kids speak English "not well" or "not at all"? You are grasping at straws.

>Obviously no "carefully translated tests" can tell us anything about peoples verbal ability in English.<

We're talking about the psychometric construct called "verbal ability", not English speaking ability. The whole point is that these are two different things, but have been conflated in the past wrt Asians.

Anonymous said...

The PISA data shows no verbal gap between Asians and whites. In fact the Asian scores are a bit higher.

We have very little good PISA data on Asians.

Anonymous said...

8% of white K-12 kids speak English "not well" or "not at all"? You are grasping at straws.


No, that's what you are doing. Do you really imagine that all the Eastern European immigrants speak excellent English?

Many Hispanics count as "white" for the purposes of demographics. Do they all speak excellent English?

Even children who come here from England don't speak American English like a native.


We're talking about the psychometric construct called "verbal ability", not English speaking ability

No, we are not. We are talking about verbal scores on the SAT, which is a measure of English speaking ability. Go back and read the original post.

Anonymous said...

8% of white K-12 kids speak English "not well" or "not at all"? You are grasping at straws.



I'm curious as to how your comments bypass the moderating process.

Anonymous said...

We're talking about the psychometric construct called "verbal ability", not English speaking ability.



Setting aside the fact that we are actually talking about English ability, the PISA data does not support your claim for Asian superiority in general "verbal ability". Maybe you can say that an atypical sample of Chinese in an exam-cram school in Shanghai have excellent verbal ability, or score well on a test designed to measure that ability.

Anonymous said...

Read the comment thread -- you are missing the context.

>> "If Asians started crushing the verbal section, contrary to what HBD tells us..."

I don't think the evidence is good at all that E. Asians lag in verbal ability relative to whites. This effect in the US is mainly due to the fact that most of the Asians are learning English as a second language. <<

Re: PISA and E. Asians, look at the reading results for S. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, etc. They are slightly higher than for Euro countries like France, Germany, UK.

Anonymous said...

When do you think bioengineering for higher IQ will be available? Around 2030? 2040? That will be a real gamechanger.

Anonymous said...

RE: Asian Verbal IQ

http://lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft2.htm

there is other evidence of their verbal deficiency. Take the bar exam for example. In 1989, the Law School Admission Council commissioned a study of bar passage rates. Its report, The LSAC National Longitudinal Bar Passage Study was published in 1998, with results disaggregated by race and ethnicity. Linda F. Wightman, the project head, collected data from more than 27,000 students who entered ABA approved law schools in fall 1991. The study found that only 80.75% of Asians passed the bar on the first try compared with 91.93% of non-Hispanic whites. This corresponds to a white-Asian mean-score difference of 0.53 standard deviation or in IQ terms a verbal gap of 8 points!

catperson said...

Asians are probably doing the smart thing in both sense of the word.

Yes smart does have two connotations. This reminds of an episode of the Cosby show where a girl discovers that her best friend goes home to study alone after the two of them have finished studying together.

The girl exclaims "I didn't know you were doing extra studying. I thought you got all those high marks because you were smart."

Her best fiend replies: "I am smart! Smart enough to know that after I've been studying with you, I need to go home and study some more."

Bill Cosby's character, overhearing the good comeback from the hallway, does a little happy dance.

So yes, one can be smart in more than one sense of the word. I wonder which sense of the word is more g loaded.

Mitch said...

My view, however, is that there is so much test gaming energy out there that we ought to direct it somewhere positive sum, and the big AP tests are more likely a good place to absorb it than the miniature SAT Subject tests.

The subject tests aren't "mini". The AP tests are long because of the essays. The multiple choice section of most of the AP tests is shorter than than the corresponding subject tests.

The essays will never scale, which is why the AP tests for everyone isn't workable. Any test like this really needs to be multiple choice--grading AP essays isn't like grading the SAT essays, which can be done in a couple minutes. (In fact, I suspect the difficulty of grading essays on even a statewide scale is why the Regents tests are graded by the students' own teachers, and that's a terrible idea).

The subject tests are really good tests, for the most part. They could perhaps be made 30 minutes longer.

But essays are overrated anyway. The AP weights them heavily because back in the day, girls were getting lower scores than boys.

Hacienda said...

Steve,

I really think you need to consider shutting down this blog. It's disgrace.

Anonymous said...

"I really think you need to consider shutting down this blog. It's disgrace."

Better to be ruthless than truthless is what we say .

Hacienda said...

"Better to be ruthless than truthless is what we say."

Yeah, but the truth of racist 8th graders? Is it really worthwhile?

Anonymous said...

Hacienda,

I don't see that you have a leg to stand on. You come to these blogs with the attitude that you hate whites, and are appalled by the thought of whites discussing their best interests, and are determined to prevent them discussing them. And yet somehow, out all that, you make out you're the victim.

Silver

NOTA said...

Hacienda:

So point out where the ideas here are wrong, with evidence, links, etc. The solution to people saying dumb things isn't to shut down the discussion, it's to correct the dumb stuff and add smarter stuff.

One difficulty is that a lot of ideas seen here are outside the range of acceptable discussion in the US. That doesn't make them wrong--all kinds of nonsense is within that range. (Like the nutty idea that Al Qaeda is a threat to the existence of the US.). But it makes those ideas a little hard to engage with at first, because things outside the range of stuff you're used to hearing tends to be hard to think clearly about--it seems crazy or stupid before you've even thought about it.

Anonymous said...

Someone is having problems with reading comprehension.

> http://lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft2.htm

there is other evidence of their verbal deficiency. Take the bar exam for example. In 1989, the Law School Admission Council commissioned a study of bar passage rates <

> We're talking about the psychometric construct called "verbal ability", not English speaking ability. The whole point is that these are two different things, but have been conflated in the past wrt Asians. <

> 64% of Asian-Americans are immigrants (born abroad) ...

The correct way to compare verbal ability between whites and Asians is to consider only n-th generation immigrants (n > 2, say), or to use carefully translated tests like PISA. The PISA data shows no verbal gap between Asians and whites. In fact the Asian scores are a bit higher. <

NOTA said...

As a thought experiment, let's imagine two worlds:

In world one, the exams to get onto the track to become part of the power and money elite of the country test reading and speaking comprehension and fluency in French and German. In world two, the exams to get onto that track test reading and speaking comprehension and fluency in Klingon and Elvish.

In both worlds, smarter kids will do better at studying for these tests. In both worlds, studying will improve your scores, especially if you spend a lot of time studying. Which world will be a better one?

In world one, the US gets a pool of ambitious students, both those who won and lost the Ivy League admissions lottery, who have a good solid command of two widely used foreign languages. They have a whole additional world of literature and technical papers and movies and culture available to them.

In world two, the same kids learn two made-up languages not spoken by anyone, without a deep literature and culture available in them. (Though one might arise, as with the culture of Hebrew speakers in Israel.). The test probably works better, since there won't be a built in advantage for kids whose mom was French or something--it's more of a test of how hard you study and how well you learn. But the hard work of learning those two fictional languages will almost certainly be less rewarding for winners and losers of the lottery--you don't get access to centuries of great literature and scientific papers and such.

Steve's proposal is, I think, trying to move us from someplace like world two (where much of the studying for these high stakes tests is useless for anything else) to someplace more like world one (where studying for the tests has benefits outside of whether or not you get into Harvard.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think the evidence is good at all that E. Asians lag in verbal ability relative to whites. This effect in the US is mainly due to the fact that most of the Asians are learning English as a second language.


No, they are not. Most Asians in American high schools are not learning English as a second language. Their parents speak English as a second language.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, but the truth of racist 8th graders? Is it really worthwhile?"

Better than 8th graders singing 'barack hussein obama, mmm mmm mmm'.

Hacienda said...

NOTA,

I agree. Things should be discussed.
But the background noise is too loud and too distracting. Just get above the screaming here. That's my point. And why explain to people who hate you anyway?

ms gormless said...

A possibility as to why Asians might be gaining in SAT just occurred to me as I looked back on my highschool and college days. One thing that struck me as weird about a lot of Asian students was they didn't have part-time work. Like a whole bunch of kids, I got a part-time job since my junior yr in highschool and worked at odd jobs all through college. Though some Asian kids had part-time jobs too(though many happen to be working at their family small business), fewer seemed to have than white kids or Hispanic kids.

I asked one of my Asian friends about it in highschool, and she said she was NOT ALLOWED to have a part-time job by her parents. This struck me as odd since her parents were immigrant parents who were strictly lower middle class. You'd think they would push their kid to go out and make some dough. In my house, the idea was I should start making my dough as early as possible.

Anyway, she told me that her parents didn't want her sacrifice studying time for some part-time work. She was Chinese Filipino, and both her parents worked at two jobs. The idea, I think, was the parents should totally invest in the kid, and the kid should work toward longterm success than lose precious time to flipping burgers.
Watching youtube videos about Asian education, I get the feeling that much is the same in East Asia. Kids who have to go to school, then cram school, and then study all night are not gonna have part-time jobs.

Another advantage for students without part-time jobs is lack of economic independence; they have no choice but to stay home and study. I can vouch for this personally.
Though I made below minimun wage from my job during highschool, all of a sudden I felt so rich and free, and I began to go out with friends more and ignore my studies. Because I could afford some (what I then thought)fancy clothing and buy burgers and fries with my own money, I felt like a movie star. With more choices, I preferred to go to clubs than stay home and study.

Of course, many kids get part-time jobs to save for college or whatever--and I worked to pay tuition in college--, but I think a job in highschool didn't do me much good. I prematurely began to enjoy my 'financial independence'--or the semblance of it--and 'live for today' than prepare for tomorrow.

In college, one of my roomates was a Czech-American girl, and she had to pay her own way through college. Though both her parents were upper-middle class, they told her that their own money is for their own pleasure. The idea was she had to borrow money for tuition, and of course, she had to work part-time like me. But the Asian roommate, though of a more modest social background, didn't work because her tuition was entirely paid for by her parents. For all I knew, her parents worked 7 days a week and didn't go on vacation, but maybe they found fulfilment in helping their kid out.

But, I'm not sure this is all that good in the longterm for Asians either. If your parents pay for everything, you take stuff for granted and don't really understand the value of money. Maybe this is why Asians generally don't achieve great things though many do go to good colleges.

Ivy League Bastard said...

>If you want to know how whites fare relative to Asians on a
>much harder math test than the SAT math, just look at the
>results for the AMC and AIME exams, which together determine USAMO qualification.

I think you misinterpret the numbers. The US math competitions are another example of asymmetric test prep driving up the Asian-American numbers. Cramming, years of it, is essential in order to perform well on those tests.

Math competitions are elective, with Asian participation increasing and white participation decreasing over the past twenty years.

Required tests like the math SAT are different in that they do not permit the option of large-scale "white flight". If anything the incentive would be for whites to adopt more Asian levels of preparation if the exam became more difficult and college admissions more competitive (provided that other escape avenues such as the ACT and AP were closed by also making those harder).

On a harder math SAT, Asians as a group would outperform whites for some of the same reasons they do better on the math SAT today. But their over-representation would be much lower than what is now the case in math competitions, because more whites would spend more years learning more math. An indirect result would also to be to raise the white numbers in the math contests.

Anonymous said...

Steve Jobs and American education