October 6, 2012

In the long run ...

For a long time, I've been pointing out that nobody really knows terribly much about effective policies to improve the the educational and economic performance of people already in America, so we shouldn't ignore the impact of policies influencing who is in America (e.g., immigration, affordable family formation for the middle class, encourage the poor to use contraception, and so forth).

One obvious argument with that is that the payoffs are years away. There would seem to be a long lag time. So, the conventional wisdom is, let's just ignore all that long run stuff and concentrate on fixing the people we've currently got.

But, you'll notice, over the years the conventional wisdom has slowly come to admit defeat at fixing The Gap between the races at later ages. So, the emphasis on interventions keeps getting pushed earlier and earlier in life. Currently, all the excitement is focused on pre-K. If only we can fix things up for poor children before they start kindergarten, then we will find out decades later that we have closed The Gap! (And when that proves not to work, then all the attention will be focused upon the first 12 months of life. And then when that fizzles out, the Big Thing will be pre-natal care. And then it will be the first hour after conception. And then the first second after conception.)

Of course, we don't yet know how to fix things up pre-K, so we need to first to do many years of research to find replicable programs. To quote again from Princeton social scientist Thomas J. Espenshade in the New York Times:
We need more research into the impact of factors like diet and nutrition, the amount of time parents talk and read with their kids, exposure to electronic screen time, sleep routines and the way stress outside the home affects family life. But we already know that an expansion of early-childhood education is urgently needed, along with programs, like peer-to-peer mentoring, that help low-income families support their children’s learning. The first few years of life are the most critical ones, when parental investments and early-childhood interventions have a higher payoff than at later ages, particularly for disadvantaged children. 

So, when is the interventionist solution going to actually pay off? 

Espenshade briefly alludes to the problem with the conventional wisdom at the end of his piece:
In 2003, in the Grutter decision, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that she expected such preferences to disappear within 25 years — by 2028. The children who would go off to college that year are already 2 years old.

So, apparently, O'Connor's obiter dicta, along with the cohorts she was talking about are already doomed. They are already two years old, and they haven't been read Goodnight, Moon enough times or eaten enough organic baby food or whatever, and so we already know The Gap will still be around in 2028. Heck, we need decades of research to figure out what to do before we can start doing it. 

Okay, so if the mainstream approaches to solving the problems caused by The Gap are both unproven and even if they worked would work glacially slow, why not get started now on selectionist solutions?

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I respect where Steve is coming from, I think he underrates the level of neuroplasticity in preschool kids and the potential for intensive early intervention to pay big dividends.

A big problem is that in discussing the achievement gap, to be a member of polite society you're only allowed to acknowledge one cause-- overwhelming white racism. HBDers tend to choose genetic deficiencies as the cause while I tend to come down in the Thomas Sowell camp, which also brands one as a right-winger: a large number of black ans Hispanic parent fail abysmally at intellectually stimulating their pre-school kids (the Goodnight Moon hypothesis that Steve derides.)

I admit I'm biased here. I have an autistic child who was diagnosed as mentally retarded at age 2 who moved into the highly gifted category (99th percentile plus) after several years of intensive, 20 hour a week plus behavioral intervention. I think we can get a lot more out of our black and Hispanic kids if we teach their parents better ways to stimulate them intellectually.

Kylie said...

"Okay, so if the mainstream approaches to solving the problems caused by The Gap are both unproven and even if they worked would work glacially slow, why not get started now on selectionist solutions?"

Because they aren't as harmful, financially and culturally, to the non-elite whites as the solutions currently being employed or considered.

The left is never concerned solely with lifting up NAMs, it's also concerned with tamping down non-leftist whites.

Carol said...

Gee, didn't we already fix this problem with Head Start?

Okay, I kid.

JustAClown said...

professionals in the white collar professions (e.g., academia, journalism, etc) are not allowed to put forth the ideas you suggest, steve. If they do they would lose their jobs or funding or be demonized. If you are writing about these issues, you have to fall in line with the dominant themes and ideas already out there and then elaborate or further define the already-dominant ideas in these fields. To do otherwise is professional suicide.


now, how these ideas came be dominant is a fascinating question, but one that you and other paleocons prefer to ignore. Because, well, the dominant ideas and themes in the rightwing/paleocon ideosphere have already been defined, and you will not get any free pub by branching away and asking inconvenient questions about how and why these things came to pass.

Nobody notices nothing, right, Steve?

Mr X said...

That is good. Maybe one day they will finally realize that The Gap starts basically with conception, and they will apply Genetic Engineering to close it.

Anonymous said...

"And when that proves not to work, then all the attention will be focused upon the first 12 months of life. And then when that fizzles out, the Big Thing will be pre-natal care. And then it will be the first hour after conception. And then the first second after conception."

And then Liberals with Solutions will gasp to find themselves inching eerily close to lines of thinking held by icky Republicans on the issue of abortion.

Mr X said...

I've read that even according to Lynn the ratio genetics/environment in IQ is 50/50, so there might be ways to improve The Gap©. The welfare state and current black culture are not helping, though.

Anonymous said...

"...why not get started now on selectionist solutions?"

Because those policies are largely racist.

I don't get why HBDers have such a problem understanding that.

It's like you guys don't live in modern America...or maybe you guys just spend too much time on-line and in your "HBD bubble."

Anonymous said...

In the long run, we're all dead.

Anonymous said...

To the first commenter that mentioned Thomas Sowell...

One problem with that sentiment is that the racial gap is smaller in the early grades. IMO the racial IQ gap genetically exists and is enhanced because of social pathologies that emerge around 3rd grade.

The best way to close the racial IQ(or at least the best way to help non-asian minorities) is to manage social pathologies with smaller schools(forget the focus on classroom size... heck go to a large 1 room classrooms in every neighborhood), selective not blind integration(moral and intellectual background), and tough discipline(it should be easy to kick kids out).

Engineer Dad said...

Borrowed from 'Why evolution is true."

Human intelligence has no doubt been under extremely heavy selective pressures in the last 100k years or so, almost certainly as much so as morphological features like skin color, nose shape or hair texture. To believe that evolution can affect the latter traits but not the former is a matter of ideology or religion, not science. There is no good reason to believe, a priori, that the different geographical and social environments, into which human populations had been relatively isolated for the past 50k years, would all have exerted the same exact pressures on the development of cognitive ability, or that the geographically separated sub-species would all have simultaneously developed the same intelligence-enhancing genetic adaptations regardless of differences in the sizes of their populations or in the cognitive demands of their environment. It is a reasonable hypothesis, for example, that the need of some human populations, once they had migrated out of Africa’s warm climate, to survive long winters of scarcity in northern Ice Age climes, would have brought about psychological changes–for example, a greater capacity to defer immediate gratification, a greater tendency toward long-term monogyny, a disposition toward dispassionate abstract thought, etc. Likewise, it is reasonable to investigate whether the rise of agriculture and state-based civilization would have placed very different selective pressures on the affected human populations, resulting in their differentiation, psychologically, from small hunter/gatherer band-based societies that did not undergo these monumental social changes. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to hypothesize that such pressures have resulted not only in the observed differences in mean IQ among different populations, but in other non-cognitive psychological differences as well (self-restraint, tendency to aggression and criminality, etc). But these reasonable hypotheses can’t even be explored in American academies. To do so is to invite opprobrium and ostracism.

Matthew said...

Reading about Barack Obama's huge fundraising month in the news today (10 million individual contributions to date, though not necessarily from 10 million individuals), I made up my mind to contribute a small sum to the Romney campaign - not much, just my widower's mite. So I ventured over to his home page, and before donating decided to check out what his page currently says on immigration.

More immigrants - more, more, MORE!I changed my mind. I'll be voting for the guy, but I won't be giving him a goll-damned dime. Establishment Republicans: more wars for Israel, more tax cuts for the rich, more cheap labor.

Matthew said...

"The left is never concerned solely with lifting up NAMs, it's also concerned with tamping down non-leftist whites."

The point is...the Left hates rednecks, and that's basically who large-scale immigration hurts the most.

Anonymous said...

"inanimate white fetuses 3 trimesters ahead of inanimate black fetuses".

Kaz said...

@Anonymous @ 5:35 PM

Does pre-school really matter that much?

My sister and I never went to preschool. We never really had much intellectual stimulation at that age either, the idea strikes me as silly. All I remember is us goofing off.

My sister went on to become an accomplished student, a busybody in the community, 90% SAT scores, and now a doctor.

I slacked off a lot more in school, but still 90% SAT scores, graduating college, etc etc..

My parents did nothing but simply keep us safe and steer us in the right direction.

How much different would things be if we were being 'intellectually stimulated' at that age rather than just being kids? When I look at my peers similar to me who did go to glitzy pre-schools, I don't see much of a difference.

Anonymous said...

So they basically want everybody to be like upper middle class white people. Obviously that won't happen with their conflicting promotion of multiculturalism. Helping the underclass is not really what these people about.

Loved your Goodnight Moon reference. Most amusing.

Auntie Analogue said...

"{W]hy not get started now on selectionist solutions?"

Each time Science has developed a novel selectionist method, the uber-rich are the first to take advantage of it to guarantee that their progeny will be pre-assured of having every advantage. Well-to-do lesbian couples desirous of "their own" child devote considerable time and resources to identifying and conceiving by means of prime donor sperm. But you propose providing that same sort of genetic selection advantage for "the poor" and the Left will move mountains to demonize you for being a "Racist" and a "Nazi." The Left has, of course, never been ashamed of applying its double standard: the intentions of the Left being born of their pure-hearted humanitarian goodness while your "selectionist" intentions are spawn of Satan and may bring down on your the wrath of the Left for your novel political sin of "selectionism," which will join ageism, sexism, lookism, heterosexism, homophobia, nativism, and Islamophobia in the Southern Poverty Law Center's index of all the world's evils.

Anonymous said...

"while I tend to come down in the Thomas Sowell camp, which also brands one as a right-winger: a large number of black ans Hispanic parent fail abysmally at intellectually stimulating their pre-school kids'

Then can you go back to the 1940s and '50s, when working class dads went off to work in the factories while moms cleaned house and cooked and ironed. There were few if any books in a working class household. One was likely to have found the local newspaper of small town America, and in the late 1950s, maybe a TV Guide. There were no pre-schools, no helicoptering moms, no SAT prepping classes.

However, these sons and daughters of blue collars moms and dads became the college educated or trademen Boomers.

Maxwell said...

I think we the people should do a better job of demanding that, before a single dollar more is spent, that the liberal education administrators show positive proof at this point that this interventionist crap makes a major difference, given all the programs based on this theory and billions (trillions?) wasted at this point with nothing of significance to show for it.

There is plenty of evidence to show it doesn't work, and plenty of evidence for alternative theories- genetic underpinnings, etc. to explain the gap.

Anonymous said...

"if we teach their parents better ways to stimulate them intellectually."

Your first mistake, and I take no delight in pointing this out, is assuming you can "teach their parents."

Don't you realize that most of these parents will not stick with anything, even IF you manage to "teach" them. It's a whole set of character traits that seem to go along with low intelligence.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Steve. They say it can take centuries for discredited scientific concepts, once they get widespread in the general culture, to die. But eventually truths that prove false die, with great resistance. Or maybe it's just that those who believed them all die off. (And the young say "who could have possibly believed that?", sure it can't ever happen to them.)

Related to your point, see "America 2050: population change threatens the dream", New Scientist, 19-Sept-2012.

"...predicted population change could undermine the US's future prosperity. But the nation may yet avoid a cycle of decline – if it improves educational opportunities for young Hispanics." ...

"If US Hispanics enjoyed similar success to their counterparts of European extraction, there would be little to fear from this shift. But they don't."


Interesting quote from a professor at Cornell who is apparently head of an academic demographer's professional association:

"There's a lot of built-in demographic momentum for future poverty and inequality,"

Which could result in "new cultural and economic fragmentation."

One way to put it. But what could a demographer possibly know?

The article ends on that old-time drum-roll about the ever-looming hispanic-voter tsunami: "The big question: will those voters get to share the American dream?"

Nice of a UK popular science mag to be so concerned. The "American Dream", when considered as some sort of sappy magic pixie dust that automatically ennobles whoever it touches, thus becoming morally necessary to bestow on the whole world, is part of the problem. It should be buried alongside "Civilize em with a Kragg!", which seems cut from the same cloth but a bit more honest.

Yvette said...

"
A big problem is that in discussing the achievement gap, to be a member of polite society you're only allowed to acknowledge one cause-- overwhelming white racism. HBDers tend to choose genetic deficiencies as the cause while I tend to come down in the Thomas Sowell camp, which also brands one as a right-winger: a large number of black ans Hispanic parent fail abysmally at intellectually stimulating their pre-school kids (the Goodnight Moon hypothesis that Steve derides.)

I admit I'm biased here. I have an autistic child who was diagnosed as mentally retarded at age 2 who moved into the highly gifted category (99th percentile plus) after several years of intensive, 20 hour a week plus behavioral intervention. I think we can get a lot more out of our black and Hispanic kids if we teach their parents better ways to stimulate them intellectually."

- Sowell also writes about a phenomenon that occurs among some gifted kids where they take a bit longer to develop in early childhood. Given all of the Head Start type programs already provided for countless NAM children over the last several decades, its pretty clear that extra mental stimulation and effort simply isn't the remedy for the poor performance of NAM kids.

Anonymous said...

"""""

I think we the people should do a better job of demanding that, before a single dollar more is spent, that the liberal education administrators show positive proof at this point that this interventionist crap makes a major difference, given all the programs based on this theory and billions (trillions?) wasted at this point with nothing of significance to show for it.

There is plenty of evidence to show it doesn't work, and plenty of evidence for alternative theories- genetic underpinnings, etc. to explain the gap.
"""""

Results don't matter...

HHS Study Says $150 Billion Head Start Program for Low-Income Pre-Schoolers is Largely a Failure

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/hhs-study-says-150-billion-head-start-program-low-income-pre-schoolers-largely-failure

Glaivester said...

Each time Science has developed a novel selectionist method, the uber-rich are the first to take advantage of it to guarantee that their progeny will be pre-assured of having every advantage.

We don't need novel selectionist methods. We need to use the ones we have.

Kylie said...

" I tend to come down in the Thomas Sowell camp, which also brands one as a right-winger: a large number of black ans Hispanic parent fail abysmally at intellectually stimulating their pre-school kids (the Goodnight Moon hypothesis that Steve derides.)"

Fail? I wasn't aware that they even tried. In fact, what I've read suggests the opposite--that they can't be motivated to provide intellectual stimulation to their pre-schoolers.

Head Start was created to fill the breach. But even
with a comprehensive program of medical, nutritional, and educational services, Head Start didn't do much better at stimulating NAM pre-schoolers. Any gains the kids did make proved to be small and transitory.

"I admit I'm biased here. I have an autistic child who was diagnosed as mentally retarded at age 2 who moved into the highly gifted category (99th percentile plus) after several years of intensive, 20 hour a week plus behavioral intervention."

Doesn't that mean your child was most likely misdiagnosed re mental retardation? It was my understanding that autistic people are more subject to being misdiagnosed as mentally retarded than others.

"I think we can get a lot more out of our black and Hispanic kids if we teach their parents better ways to stimulate them intellectually."

Good luck with that one. Recently, our resident teacher of urban youth, Maya, complained that she couldn't get the parents of her students to go pick up their kids' eyeglasses (I gather they were already paid for). These parents literally don't even care if their kids can see. And her experience as a teacher tracks with my own while living in a low-income area and observing just how negligent minority parents were.

Your story is a heartening one and I'm glad for you and your child. But it's anecdotal evidence of a parental concern that is almost entirely absent in minority communities. It's not just that NAM parents don't know how to stimulate their pre-schoolers intellectually and lack the resources to do so, they don't have the motivation. Generally, they don't value intellectual curiosity and stimulation and are not invested in their children's intellectual development the way white and Asian parents are.

Mr Lomez said...

This is what happens when selection pressure on intelligence all but disappears. Our society not only provides for people what even below average cognitive ability would otherwise allow them to provide for themselves, but in certain cultures, for whatever complicated reasons, this dependency seems not to detrimentally affect people's mating value. If anything, not having to spend all that cognitive energy accumulating enough resources to be self-sufficient (an ability which therefore has marginal utility and marginal attractiveness), allows one (in fact, pressures one) to improve his fitness in other ways. So we see exaggerated pressure on characteristics like height, strength, and really important things like the ability to dance.

Note that none of this poor pre-natal and neo-natal care seems to have prevented "urban" populations from producing ever stronger, ever bigger, ever faster, ever more agile athletes.

For the GAP to close at the rate Sowell hopes for, there has to be a radical overhaul in the mating practices of these IQ afflicted groups. Education is irrelevant until that happens, as is ANY kind of post-conception nurturing. There has to be renewed selective pressure on IQ.

How? I have no idea. Promoting white middle-class values would help, but how do you sell hard-work and intellectual betterment to people who are having no trouble getting laid as it is?

Of course, these ideas are nothing new here, just another articulation of why this discussion and expense toward "education" so laughably misses the point.

Simon in London said...

>>Okay, so if the mainstream approaches to solving the problems caused by The Gap are both unproven and even if they worked would work glacially slow, why not get started now on selectionist solutions?<<

It's a religious/sacral activity that demonstrates the adherents' commitment to Equality and Diversity, the Great Gods. Any practical results are immaterial. Since your solutions would demonstrate the opposite, they are Bad and Must Never Be Spoken Of.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with being a manual worker per se except the lousy pay?

It's time politicians grew up and realized that individuals differ markedly in intellectual prowess in exactly the same way they differ in athletic prowess.
It's a fact of life and cannot be changed.
The only real solution is to ensure that manual workers (who will be neede in large numbers no matter how technological a society is), are paid decently so there's no massive differential between them and white collar bods. Not only would this be equitable for society, it would ease resentment which is the source of much ill feeling and criminality in the USA.
The best way to boost blue collar wages is to curtail immigration.

josh said...

You are being a fool regarding poor people and contraception. It's the equivalent of saying we need to "fix the schools". People have been at this for a century and have not figured out how to get the poor to breed responsibly. The result of the contraception/eugenics movement has been to completely legitimize premarital sex and lead to a lot more irresponsible breeding.

Anonymous said...

"I tend to come down in the Thomas Sowell camp, which also brands one as a right-winger"

america doesn't have a right-wing, notwithstanding the free use of the "nazi" epithet.

Bostonian said...

The Times seems to realize that a demographic shift towards low-IQ groups is a problem, but it cannot say so explicitly. See the current story No Child Left Behind. Just a Demographic. The article is about the growing Hispanic population in Texas.

Anonymous said...

"And when that proves not to work, then all the attention will be focused upon the first 12 months of life. And then when that fizzles out, the Big Thing will be pre-natal care. And then it will be the first hour after conception. And then the first second after conception."

Hey, you stole my joke! I made that joke in a comment to a previous post, and the comment mysteriously didn't make it past the moderation of whim. And now here it appears in your next post!

ben tillman said...

I think we can get a lot more out of our black and Hispanic kids if we teach their parents better ways to stimulate them intellectually.

You're begging the question. The point of this exercise is to figure out how to get Blacks and Mestizos to learn what "we" want them to learn. You're presuming that we already know how to do this.

ben tillman said...

I think we can get a lot more out of our black and Hispanic kids if we teach their parents better ways to stimulate them intellectually.

They're not "our" Black and Mestizo kids; we do not own them. They are not our toys or slaves or fashion accessories or mascots or any other type of property of ours.

We have no responsibility and no right to change them or experiment on them.

Silver said...

(And when that proves not to work, then all the attention will be focused upon the first 12 months of life. And then when that fizzles out, the Big Thing will be pre-natal care. And then it will be the first hour after conception. And then the first second after conception.)

Well, they'd be taking the long route, but continuing this line of reasoning through to its logical end you expect the light will come on.

Because those policies are largely racist.

I don't get why HBDers have such a problem understanding that.


HDBers do understand it. They understand very well that the culture will have to change. Unlike you, they also understand that the culture can change and that it would be beneficial for the culture to change, and therefore work to change the culture.

Anonymous said...


"While I respect where Steve is coming from, I think he underrates the level of neuroplasticity in preschool kids and the potential for intensive early intervention to pay big dividend."

I have seen kids in practically identical environments achieve radically differently. You can put two four year olds in front of the TV to watch PBS. At the end, the smart one will be suggesting that the characters should have done x or y instead of where the plot went. The dumb one won't even be able to tell you the names of the characters.

You can't fix stupid. Focus on prevention.

Smart kids are sometimes not noticed or score uncharacteristically low occasionally, which is why we keep teaching and testing. No smart kid is going to make it through 12th grade without being identified. That ain't happening.

Anonymous said...

The real problem is discipline, respect, order, and hierarchy.

Without discipline, teachers can't do much.
Without respect for knowledge, schoolwork just looks boring.
Without order in classroom and behavior, kids are not gonna sit still for hours and concentrate.
Without hierarchy, there won't be student respect for teachers and society.

Libs spread the values of rap music, youth culture, trashiness, and vulgarity. Why should kids most affected by pop culture--blacks and Hispans--look up to anything higher than than 'whatever I's feel like feeling and doing'?

Anonymous said...

Building knowledge is like building a building.

When a building is built, it first needs a sound structure. Firm foundation and steel beams. And then you fill in the concrete and other such stuff.
And only then can you put in the floors, wooden stuff, glass stuff, and etc. And only then the tiles and office furniture. And only then all the other stuff that make a modern office building what it is.

The basic structures of education are discipline, respect, order, and hierarchy. Those are the core building blocks without which all else aren't gonna be possible. It would be like trying to stack up a modern office building without first firm grounding, steel beams, and concrete. You can't pile stuff high unless there's a structure to hold and support it.

This is why the main focus has to be on respect, discipline, order, and hierarchy.
Our society believes in freedom but what we all should strive for is adult freedom. Graduate to a higher freedom. To reach that level of higher freedom, one needs to respect people who can teach you how. Unless we believe in higher freedom, kids who don't know shit will just stick with stupid childish freedom. I mean why should they read books and learn difficult stuff when society tells them listening to rap music all day and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer are of culturally equal value to anything else?

But unfortunately, too many modern teachers are less like real teachers and more like 'your buddies' who wanna 'understand' you and be 'liked'.

Anyway, without first forming the character, values, and respect in the students, nothing else can be done.

Anonymous said...

Education is essentially hierarchical. It's egalitarian only in the sense that we believe as many people as possible should be educated.
But the process of education is impossible without hierarchy. Student needs to come with the attitude that teachers know more; teachers have superior knowledge. Also, the process of education is to move higher and higher, from simple things to more complex things; from basic things to more specialized things.
And teachers need this attitude too. They need to be teachers, not buddies or social workers.

When young students look up to older students, they should think, 'older students know a lot more cuz they studied harder stuff, and I wanna be like them too.' So, there is an inherently hierarchical nature to education.
But too often in the black and brown community, young people look to older people, and the older people don't seem to know shit. They don't how to read, how to write, how to add or subtract. Even the older kids are locked in the attitude of childishness, stupidity, ignorance, and animalist attitude that life is all about humping hos and acting like thugs.

Worse, the parents are childish, stupid, lazy, and hooked to junk on TV and the kind of junk you smoke.
And this is becoming a feature of white trash communities too. Meanwhile elite liberals keep cashing in by feeding the masses vulgar trash culture that rots their souls. Pop culture industry in a nutshell is what Jerry Springer does. Springer is no dummy; he's a smart Jew but he will sell ANYTHING to the unwashed masses as long as he keeps raking it in.
While it's true that conservatives not very creative and cultural, it's also true that many elite liberals are creating soul-destroying and culture-polluting garbage for the masses. Not only does this culture vulgarize, it helps destroy values and bonds that glue society together.

beowulf said...

"Ayres argues that large experimental studies have shown that the teaching method which works best is Direct Instruction... In Direct Instruction the teacher follows a script, a carefully designed and evaluated script
Contrary to what you might think, the data also show that DI does not impede creativity or self-esteem. The education establishment, however, hates DI because it is a threat to the power and prestige of teaching, they prefer the model of teacher as hero."
http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/09/heroes-are-not.html

Silver said...

The basic structures of education are discipline, respect, order, and hierarchy. Those are the core building blocks without which all else aren't gonna be possible. It would be like trying to stack up a modern office building without first firm grounding, steel beams, and concrete. You can't pile stuff high unless there's a structure to hold and support it.

All of what you said matters, and personally I'd love to live in a society that embraced those values (as opposed to the vulgar degeneracy that liberals seem to love promoting), but even those values can't work miracles when it comes to academic achievement. The most important factor here is academic ability, which varies greatly between students. So no matter how strict, hierarchical or disciplinarian society is (or schools are) massive disparities in educational outcomes will continue to be a fact of life. Thing is... THAT'S OKAY. It's really no big deal that people's abilities vary. What matters is people getting the most out of their abilities (including getting the most enjoyment and satisfaction out of their abilities), not whether someone has more or less ability than him or her.

Cail Corishev said...

"Thing is... THAT'S OKAY. It's really no big deal that people's abilities vary."

And even if it is a big deal, and downright unfair, there's not much we can do about it, so we should all relax and get on with doing the best we can with what we've been given.

The funny thing is that the same people are aware that being tall is an advantage in life, but they don't protest on behalf of short people and insist that the government subsidize elevator shoes. Yet on IQ -- which they insist doesn't exist and isn't important and what really counts is hard work or Emotional Q or street smarts or blah blah blah -- they're damn sure going to try to make sure someone's isn't higher than someone else's.

The other funny thing is that it's like there's a gap in their IQ chart. Everyone admits there are mentally handicapped (or whatever we're calling it now) people in the <70 range, and that they need special treatment, and that some will simply need to be cared for. And they admit that there are gifted people in the >115 range, so we have gifted programs and spelling bees and so on. But everyone else is supposed to be at 100; there's no one whatsoever (well, except maybe some rural whites) in that 75-95 range.

Anonymous said...

In the long run... demographics is destiny.

Anonymous said...

In 2003, in the Grutter decision, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that she expected such preferences to disappear within 25 years — by 2028.


SDO rarely bothered to pretend that her positions were founded in the Constitution, and this is a fine example of her "thinking". What penumbra of the Constitution says that racial preferences are allowed, for these people, under these circumstances, for this duration? She write some legislation and called it "the constitution".

Silver said...

Cail,

We're both counseling an attitude of acceptance of undesirable or unwanted facts of reality. But whereas I would join with liberals in stressing that these things really aren't that big of a deal (it's too easy to make far too much of them, a mistake hbders and, especially, WNs, I think, routinely make) FROM AN INDIVIDUAL PERSPECTIVE (but definitely a big deal with respect to societies and groups, where large numbers are involved), you seem to want to stress that it's a really big deal at the individual level too -- "Accept it, pal, cos there's nothing you can do about it, but you just make sure you acknowledge (a dozen times a day if you have to) what a big deal it is, you hear?"

Liberals acknowledge that height matters but the main reason they don't call for subsidizing short asses is that they don't believe it matters all that much. You can bet if height influenced socioeconomic outcomes to the same extent as IQ (and other heritable character traits) they would be making a similar sort of fuss about it.

As for the gap in their IQ chart, they can admit there are people in the 75-95 range; they just can't admit that people are there permanently, for highly heritable reasons. Laughing at liberals for this propensity isn't likely to help them see things in a new light, though, is it?