Friday assorted links


#4: a compilation of stupidity and effrontery. Won't do anyone any good to behave as if attention should be paid.

Reviewing those demands, it seems like a huge part of this is the students' belief that because student and/or faculty blacks/hispanics are below the national proportion, the hiring/admissions process must be racist. Couldn't this be addressed trivially by showing the proportion of blacks/hispanics who qualify for admission/hiring and then showing that the proportion actually admitted/hired is greater than that proportion, and therefore there actually is systemic racism in FAVOR of blacks/hispanics?

No, then the testing is racist. And the structural racism inherent in the secondary education system. And the intersectional racism of socio economic status which is a lingering effect of the racism of colonists and conquistadors. Etc etc

Yeah, I get that there could be racism OTHER places, but not at the university. It seems like it would take a lot of wind out of their sails if they had to explicitly make the argument that their university should be counter-racist by letting in/hiring unqualified applicants to make up for the racism of others.

You mean an explicit argument like, "I support affirmative action"?

First of all, yes. They are not at all couching this in terms of affirmative action but in combating "systemic racism in the admissions/hiring process"

Second of all, don't they already have affirmative action? I think it would be much tougher to sell "increasing affirmative action" than to sell "combating systemic racism"

Hear hear. I fully support a transparent rundown of the grades, test scores, and bona fides of admits and hires. Then we might do away with the speculation and get to the bottom of this brutal systemic racism.


And if none of those specific sources of discrimination can be demonstrated, then just the disparate impact alone must indicate racist discrimination.

'Racism' is inconsequential in academic life (unless you mean the portfolio of dippy privileges extended to minority applicants and minority demonstrators).

His statement is ridiculous on its face.

Only to someone not remotely familiar with any aspect of higher education.

I’m just trying to make you guys think.

No, you're not. In any case, we're perfectly capable of thinking. And no you cannot, because you're not doing that yourself.

If "addressing societal problems" means violating peoples rights to freedom of speech and association in order to force society into conformity with a particular view of what it ought to look like, maybe they ought to be left unaddressed.

How is my statement ridiculous on its face, and how is your comment in any way related to my comment? I am not denying there could be some racism SOMEWHERE, it's just NOT at these universities. Is there any serious disagreement with that? Where would the discrimination come into play?

Don't most or all these schools have favorable admissions practices for admitting black/hispanic students? And active efforts to recruit and retain black/hispanic faculty? So if the universities themselves are racist is it not IN FAVOR OF black and hispanics?

Racism is pretty much everywhere to some degree or another. People are racist. Not usually intentionally, but it's there. Because people are racist the institutions they work within are racist. It's only a matter of to what degree you think it is a problem and to what degree you think policies should work to mitigate it.

Implicit association tests show university staff to have a much stronger anti conservative bias than anti black bias. Does this mean you will be campaigning for increased ideological diversity on Campus.

It is not the business of schools to 'address societal problems' other than skill and knowledge deficits. That's what schools are for. (And, no, income 'disparities' are not a 'societal' problem).

How is my statement ridiculous on its face, and how is your comment in any way related to my comment?

You've contradicted one of his ex cathedra pronouncements. Bad man.


I really really don't like it when people do the politician thing of answering a question that was not asked.

Right now we have a system where blacks and hispanics are openly held to lower standards than other applicants, and are admitted/hired disproportionately to the number of qualified applicants, so it seems we have a pretty clear case of racism against other races/ethnicities. But what the protesters are asking for is MORE racism in the guise of combating racism. Right?

What happens when they look at the racial composition of the sports teams - relative to either the student body or general population?

Kind of a show stopper, isn't it? Esp when you get into the follow up questions...

@Jan - so you're saying there are.....differences between the races?

Or is this a matter of simple discrimination?

Well clearly it shows that either 1) racial disparities alone do not indicate racism or 2) sports teams are racist but leftists don't care because it is in favor of people of their preferred skin color

Logically that must be true, right?

In my experience people care more about the football and basketball teams than about education. A good year in football or basketball (strangely) attracts more applications which allows the University to raise entrance standards rising the U in the rankings. Few track how well they educate students.

No. It has been settled law for decades. Racial discrimination is proven by disparate outcomes. For instance, if a disproportionate number of a minority group is denied loans the lending process is illegal, discriminatory, with no need for any other evidence for or against.

I thought they compared minorities with similarly qualified whites (for loans)? Otherwise it just seems unworkable.

you are correct

IIRC, the studies done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that were supposed to be so damning neglected to control for assets and credit history. Thomas Sowell pointed out at the time that further controls could be added but a look at one descriptive metric (the default rate of the two subpopulations) strongly suggested the lenders studied were not being systematically unfair.

How angry does it make you to know that some of these demands are actually being implemented?

This is sort of like when a terrorist's suicide vest blows up at the bomb making apartment. I always laugh at those stories.

"Doing something" leaves the spoiled brats with the impression that they're correct. I'm afraid academic types won't have the backbone to do otherwise, though.

They’re basically giving the administrators a menu of options.

The only people who should be giving administrators options are trustees and state legislators. (And the non-negotiable option should be "keep order on this campus or get lost").

Their best bet is to make small changes or at least try to keep dialogue open with the kids.

That's the 'best option' only in the space between your ears, and your conception of common practice ca. 1968 is a fantasy unless you're talking about San Francisco State. The best option is to show up with campus security, local police, and a mess of Pinkertons and tell 'em that if you're still here in five minutes you won't be here tomorrow. This is, of course, never done.

Yeah and that's why the civil rights movement didn't make any progress in the south either. Haha.

I am telling you the administrators will be gone if you they do what you are saying.

That would be the fault of the Governor, Jay 'Tool' Nixon. There is nothing structural which would compel that.

No, Art, you don't know what you're talking about. Just because you give all cops a pass for anything doesn't mean the Detroit cops weren't violent and racist. Read up, friend.

Missouri didn't do nothing, they agreed to do a bunch of stuff.

I agree that the best way is to speak out about why the demands are wrong. Of course if they are right, you should take steps to address the racism. But if you already give preferential treatment to blacks and hispanics the right thing to do is to speak out forcefully against the conduct of the protesters and explain why you will not make the changes they want, and then leave it at that.

No, Art, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

No, the evolution of law enforcement in Detroit after 1957 is a story I'm familiar with and you're not. You can see the results by consulting City Data. You can look at comparable statistics for New York over the last 25 years if you want to see what it looks like when the people who supervise the police force know and care what they're doing.

Art, I'm from the Detroit area and so is my family, and they lived through this. You cannot tell me the Detroit police weren't heavy handed, violent and racist in the 60s.

You don't "know" anything and are looking to confirm what you want to promote -- "cracking down" at all costs. You probably can't even bring yourself to admit that any of these cops shooting unarmed black people have been wrong.

Why does it matter to you how 'angry' I am? I'm not your father.

Idiot controversies like this first saw the light of day ca. 1970 and then again ca. 1988 (though about seven years earlier at latrines like Brown). They've erupted since every few years, though not quite with this degree of prevalence. It's not too difficult to divine the source of them, but no one repairs the problem because repairing it - reducing student dissatisfaction by ending the mulligans and admitting students according to a vector equation - would be injurious to the self-concept of the administration and inner-ringer faculty. The state legislatures can repair the state colleges and universities (depending on state constitutional provisions, and Missouri's are permissive in this regard), but they do nothing.

Of course, any implementation of these demands will exacerbate the problems at the institutions in question. The stated purpose of an institution is often very misaligned with the portfolio of ends actually pursued.

A vector equation? What vector equation?

I was wondering about that. Maybe he means a weighted sum of entrance scores? That could be considered the dot product of two vectors.

Is the commenter above me Suri Ratnapala's son?

He sounds pretty logical and you sound like a religious wacko.

No one should be angry. It is not important.

It's remarkable that forty years after we blew up Vietnam, the only thing the refugees have managed to do in retaliation is get us hooked on pho.

As many who have visited Vietnam will tell you, there are quite a few Vietnamese who still think that the worst thing the U.S. did was get out of Vietnam. And yes, as your note implies, Vietnam gives lie to the claim that U.S. intervention is naturally responsible for the terrorists and threats we face today.

It doesn't take an invasion of Iraq to be attacked as the French have learned to their sorrow.

But it took an invasion of Iraq to hand it to Iran and create Sunni terrorist groups where there had been none before. Friendship with terror-funding, terror-preaching Wahhabist Saudi Arabia also helps.

The pullout from Iraq created ISIS. Vacuums of power and all.

And cold spring rolls...

Down here on the Gulf Coast, Vietnamese have made inroads into the seafood biz, too.


The Sandbu link in #6 is for FT premium (paid) subscribers only.

I think one next ways CRISPR will show benefits quickly is antibiotics. This technology came from bacteria, and using it against bacteria, I think it should be relatively straight forward. Insert a stop codon in a critical enzyme in the glucose metabolism pathway, the bacteria dies. I often wonder if any companies that are pursuing CRISPR applications are looking into this, it seems very logical.

"I think it should be relatively straight forward"

Since nothing in biology is 'straightforward', we can conclude you know v little about the subject.

An obvious Big Win and also low-handing fruit for CRISP would be the elimination of genetic load and deleterious but survivable mutations from various species, but most especially from humans. The future is coming fast.

And the future in places unhindered by religious hand-wringing will come sooner.

Typically the non religious, earther-huggers who slow down this type of progress.

Enjoyed the Albom profile. He sounds like the David Brooks of sports writing.

Not a one-track mind with little room for non-sport thought? Not a sports fan.

I can't decide if this is a silly position or an excellent one.

Not a mention of his radio show. His interview of Anna Nicole Smith's attorney (what there was of it) was disgusting and I've been unable to take him seriously since.

What about the time he wrote a sports article about being in the stands with someone who was a thousand miles away? He just made up the article about the sports even ahead of time and submitted it afterwards, not thinking that anyone would check.

The universities from which I graduated will not receive any more money.

Let everyone know you have multiple Ivy degrees AND pretend you used to give money, all in one short sentence. Strong stuff.

It is, by any measure, better than your comment.

I only respect those from the Wharton School of Finance

I'm actually pretty surprised you haven't been banned already. I think CBBB got banned for way less

Worst day on MR ever. #OptOutside

Naturally there's much debate on #4. I would suggest most of the suggestions amount to tactical error. The alleged problem is white people (especially men, though that is disagreed on) don't treat minorities appropriately. The solutions here offered seem to be targeted more at explicitly making minorities feel better and affirming their status as different (and no doubt inviting backlash) rather than facilitating racial unity. It looks to me like a short term fix that invites future conflict.

#4 what a hoot:
❖ Increase enrollment of Black, [email protected], and Native students to at least 10 percent each.

Does that mean that they want Brown University to have 10% of its students to be native Americans?

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