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September 27, 2011

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I think it's a rather clever thing to do, that bake sale. At least they're doing something. But shouldn't they charge Asians more?

The sad thing is that Asian Americans are held to a higher academic standard than whites, yet for some strange reason the Berkeley bake sale has whites paying the most. There is in fact white privilege when it comes to college admissions and it mostly has to do with white legacy and athletic admits getting in ahead of Asian Americans despite inferior academic credentials.

"Lame back sale"

Baby got back?

shouldnt they be charging more for asians at the bake sale than whites? since asians score better than whites on tests, but are discriminated against in favor of whites at universities.


It is Berkeley.

They are moar beta than a NY Jew.

[The Smartest President Evah!]

'Why should a billionaire pay the same tax as a Jew?': Obama gaffes by confusing Jews with janitors in economy speech

By Meghan Keneally

Days after the UN general assembly where the hot topic was a potentially free Palestinian state, President Obama is touring the country giving speeches about the 'Buffett tax' intended to increase tax rates for millionaires.

In a speech on Saturday, the President embarrassingly got the two issues mixed-up.

Instead of referring to the low tax rate of janitors, Mr Obama said that it was a mistake to have billionaires pay the same tax rate as Jews.

'If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, as a janitor, makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honour. I have no problem with that. It's about time,' he said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042164/Obama-makes-gaffe-confusing-Jews-janitors-speech-Congressional-Black-Caucus.html#ixzz1ZA4U1sq1

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/09/obama-gaffe-jobs-act-speech-brent-spence-bridge-ohio.html

"We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad," Barack Obama.
That's what the president of the United States flat-out said Thursday during what was supposed to be a photo op to sell his jobs plan next to an allegedly deteriorating highway bridge.
A railroad between continents? A railroad from, say, New York City all the way across the Atlantic to France? Now, THAT would be a bridge!
It's yet another humorous gaffe by the Harvard graduate, overlooked by most media for whatever reason. Like Obama saying Abraham-Come-Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party. Or Navy corpseman. Or the Austrian language. Fifty-seven states. The president of Canada. Etc.
If you talk as much as this guy likes to talk instead of governing, if you believe you are a Real Good Talker as much as this guy does, you're gonna blow a few lines. But this many?

In fact, the entire subtext of this supposed affirmative action bake sale is a joke. You have too many "angry white male" types who apparently don't realize that they too are the beneficiaries of affirmative action in the form of legacy and athletic admissions. Read Espenshade and you'll realize how affirmative action allows whites to squeeze out academically superior Asian Americans at elite colleges in the United States.

Since the objective is to protest affirmative action, why would they charge blacks more money? Affirmative action is lowering the bar, not raising the bar.

didn't you get the point of the bake sale?

When I lived in L.A. and was out at the clubs, if I saw an asian bachelorette party, I knew I was getting laid that night.

Asian chicks love white alpha meat more than bluefin.

Half Sigma, I can't even begin to tell you how outraged I am over this entire farce of an affirmative action bake sale, predicated upon the clueless and flawed assumption that whites are the ones hurt the most by affirmative action.

Yan Shen,

Whites and athletes gain advantages in admission because they usually outperform their SAT/GPA post graduation, while Asians usually underperform. They are also more likely to produce high status graduates that can enhance the brand and network of a school, as opposed to a legion of IBM middle managers, lower level investment bankers, or generic doctors. Most schools would prefer a few high name recognition graduates over a large mass of above average mediocrity.

Also, it would not surprise me if white athletes were more involved in alumni affairs and donations.

Has this blog ever been covered by CNN? Not doing anything to advance HBD indeed

And, Yan Shen, we don't give a shit if asians are hurt "more" than whites by affirmative action. You have entire asian-only nations for yourselves, go back to them.

@davver

What you say is incorrect. At a minimum, Asian Americans are already over-represented amongst Silicon Valley/technology CEOs/founders relative to their population percentages, i.e. think of people like Jerry Yang of Yahoo, Jen Hsun Huang of Nvidia, Steven Chen of YouTube, etc.

Yan Shen,

They are underepresented relative to their presence in elite higher education instituions. Its no surprise that Asians do well relative to their small population, they are already a high IQ ethnicity and most of the people that move here from Asia have higher IQ and drive then the general population. In this way they are like Jews, a minority that is simply better genetically then the host population.

If Asians make up say 60% of elite engineering grads you would think they would be 60% of elite tech founders, but they don't. They underperform relative to how you think they would do given their academic success. How they do relative to the general population is irrelevent from the educational institutions perspective, proles are invisible and unimportant to them.

Elite educational institutions are interested in how you will do in the real world. What they find, on average, is that Asians need to have even better academic records in order to get the same success post grad as those with lower academic records.

[HS: In other words, you are saying that because businesses discriminate against Asian employees, this justifies colleges also discriminating against them.]

HS,

They don't discriminate, unless by discriminate you mean notice differences in ethnic behaivor that have a direct effect on the bottom line. Talk to an HR person at an elite firm. They will tell you that Asians are generally bad at management roles, independent projects, creative thinking, and networking/schmoozing.

They are fine for lower level roles and middle management types, but they don't bring in the business. Their good grades and test scores are mostly the result of being memorization grinds. That's fine for school, but being a grind doesn't help you socialize with a CEO and make rain (also, you usually have a lower IQ then your SAT would indicate). The kind of talents needed to move to upper level management roles are usually lacking.

To reply with some anecdotle exceptions is meaningless. Everything is a bell curve, we would expect many Asian successes. The question is if they are successes relative to what their GPA/SAT would indicate, and the answer is no.

HS,

You are making the simple mistake of assuming SAT/GPA is the best indicator of post graduation success. Schools know this isn't true, they use these things because they are indicators of traits that lead to success. When you "cheat" the indicators by grinding it out you make them meaningless.

Take the SAT. Schools can already use grades and other factors to determine conscitousness. SAT is supposed to be their method of testing for raw IQ. But the SAT can be gamed with enough study and made unreliable as an IQ test. If you goal is to have high IQ students you need to adjust peoples grades for how much they study in order to get a good idea of raw IQ. A person who gets a 1600 without studying is smarter then a person that gets a 1600 from grinding it out.

Moreover, grinding it out, at the extreme that many Asians take it, is counterproductive to developing the kind of skills that lead to elite success. White kids that spent their saturdays socializing were learning the people skills necessary to lead large organizations. Asians locked in test prep centers all saturday long were not.

Elite firms don't really like grinders for any kind of management track or soft skill work. Having a perfect 4.0 is actually a detriment when trying to get hired by an IB for instance, they are worried that you are a boring nerd. Boring nerds don't bring in business when they are on the golf course with a CFO.

Elite schools recognize that Asian methods are not good at turning out the next geneation of alpha leaders in the top 0.1%. They already assume anyone graduating from their school can be a top 10% mediocrity, they aren't looking for those kinds of people.

@davver

Well your argument is most strange and absurd. I'm pretty sure that Asian Americans contribute more to the bottom line of companies, since as Half Sigma has observed, they gravitate towards technical roles that create real and tangible value. On the other hand, white investment banking/finance types did plenty to blow up the American economy in the most recent subprime mortgage crisis.(Although to be fair, Asian Americans were probably over-represented amongst the quants at the various banks who developed these various financial models. I remember reading about David X. Li's Gaussian copula for modeling mortgage default correlations amongst different tranches in CDOs playing a relatively big role in the subprime mortgage crisis. Also, in the book the Big Short, Michael Lewis humorously refers to Greg Lippman of Deustche Bank's Chinese quant Eugene Xu. See here and here.)

http://www.businessinsider.com/greg-lippmanns-chinese-quant-eugene-xu-leaves-deutsche-bank-2010-5

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-03/wp_quant?currentPage=all

LOL@davver. Who knew that the Asian glass ceiling proves, once and for all, (somehow) that colleges don't discriminate against Asians?

Regarding this bake sale, I think it's a caricature of AA. Over-qualified/well-qualified candidates for Universities are easy admissions. It's the marginal candidates that have them struggling to find 'tie-breaker' factors. AA decisions occur among these marginal candidates. It's not like a black who scores 1200 on the SAT is just taken over a white who scores 1500 SAT at an elite school.

It's more like a black who scores 1200 on the SAT is in the same pool as a white who scores 1300 on the SAT. The University probably assumes the differential is overcome because of the disadvantage suffered by the minority.

I'd like to see AA expanded for socioeconomic status.

[I know the SAT isn't out of 1600 any more, but I'm not sure what the new 'good' scores are]

As a half-Japanese (who looks white) I've never felt compelled to check "Asian" on anything. It doesn't give any advantages.

If I had been half black you can bet your sweet bippy that I would've been able to get a lot of mileage out of listing myself as "black".

Yan Shen,
If you're saying you'd like Asians to get a bigger cut of the admissions pie at the expense of Hispanics and Blacks----i.e. you'd like to junk the AA system as it exists presently and force elite institutions to take a more Euro-style entrance exam admissions policy---just say so.
Lots of white people, I daresay, most, would cheerfully accept a limited alliance based on that self-interest. Most white people are not legacies or athletic admits.

"Yan Shen,
If you're saying you'd like Asians to get a bigger cut of the admissions pie at the expense of Hispanics and Blacks----i.e. you'd like to junk the AA system as it exists presently and force elite institutions to take a more Euro-style entrance exam admissions policy---just say so."

Jehu, according to Espenshade, what you're saying is correct. His numbers argue that getting rid of AA would massively hurt blacks and Hispanics, massively benefit Asians, and make little difference with respect to whites, although as Half Sigma alluded to in his post the composition of whites would change, you'd get fewer legacy whites and more academically qualified whites from lower socioeconomic classes. So as far as AA is concerned, it seems like Asians and whites would both benefit. I think most of the white nationalist hostility to people pointing out that Asian Americans are hurt the most by AA is because they don't realize that the spots Asians lose are basically all to blacks and Hispanics. They also don't realizing that lower class whites with good academics also lose out to these legacy white admits.

Unfortunately, the elite whites, i.e. the legacy admits and those with money and connections perpetuate the current system of college admissions, as Half Sigma has stated.

"It's more like a black who scores 1200 on the SAT is in the same pool as a white who scores 1300 on the SAT. The University probably assumes the differential is overcome because of the disadvantage suffered by the minority."

If you're black you can have much lower SAT scores, as well as a less "fluffed" college application. Blacks can dispense with all of the community involvement/social uplift/Habitat for Humanity crap that whites/Jews/Asians better damn well have on their app in order to compete in a crowded field.

Someone black with a 1300+ SAT score will have (literally) every college in the US beating down his/her door to get them to apply... and the school will bend over backwards to make it happen financially.

Insider,

Actually, the documented SAT gap is larger. And at top institutions a 1500 could easily be marginal if you don't have the right background.

Yan Shen,

Let's leave aside the question of how much value a Dilbert in a cube creates.

To the heart of the matter, Harvard doesn't give a shit about the US economy, value creation, or the general welfare. Harvard cares about Harvard. And what's in the best interest of Harvard is to have rich, successful, high status graduates that maintain strong ties to the university. In this regard, wall street masters of the universe perform wonderfully. The people running the scam all got off scot free with billions. Many of them are going to donate buildings and employ the next generation of masters of the universe. Your TARP money is going to build a new dormitory or lecture hall.

Harvard wants leaders. Harvard wants guys that are going to have lunch with the president and make $100 million dollars. It doesn't care how. Do you think Harvard gives a damn Lehmen went under. Lehmen was a public firm. Its shareholders were prole pension funds. Do you think they give a damn about prole pension funds. The employees of Lehmen got rich off it and landed on their feet. Those are the stakeholders that matter to Harvard.

[HS: While there are surely some people at Harvard who feel that Harvard's primary mission should be education, evidence suggests that those who feel the way you describe have significant influence over Harvard admissions.]

"Yan Shen is correct that college admissions discriminate against Asians. This is because Asians have higher IQs than gentile whites, and they also study harder than any whites, even Jews. If colleges based their admissions strictly on academic merit, top colleges would become too Asian."

Having a slightly higher average doesn't change the fact that there are simply more high IQ whites in America than there are asians, or jews period. Colleges have been changing their standards of entry to get away from their "hideous" overabundance of those whos forefathers built these institutions, and asians have clearly benefited from that discrimination against whites from flyover country.

As for Yan Shen, why be outraged by this? Surely the practical effect of this would be a net positive for asians provided you are correct?

Chinese do have a small advantage over whites in IQ, but their proportion in admissions, and most importantly, applications, far exceeds what would be expected.

This is partly ambition and partly "cocooning". By all agreeing to apply to elite institutions they can expect to be among a high proportion of Asians, thus being more comfortable socially.

By the same token, the high IQ whites missing in the elite school application pool are happy to go to the state university.

Robert Hume

These Republicans probably think that blacks will perform just as well as whites if only we got rid of the affirmative action which is holding them back.

A seriously ignorant speculation. All conservatives (these "college republicans" are simply young people who have conservative instincts), really want is the freedom to be empiricists. They want to tell the truth about things free of enforced cant. The AA regime, in all its aspects, is about rigid suppression of objective truth in favor of political cant. I think that at this late stage (AA was controversial on campuses as early as 1971, when a Berkeley professor named Paul Seabury published an article in Commentary about it), people on the right would be perfectly happy to admit unqualified blacks to prestige universities, IF ONLY WE COULD TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT IT. That is, we would just openly say it's a payback, and stop pretending that low SAT scores were the result of "bias," or "bad schools" or "bad teachers," and also recognized that such admits will invariably gravitate to phony majors such as "ethnic studies" that have no recognizable academic content. In short, we would simultaneously admit unqualified black kids, and laugh at them. If you had a national referendum in which it was proposed that every black person gets a $200,000 cash reparation, and in return the rest of us get to ridicule blacks unreservedly, including "Daily"-type shows where black dysfunction is highlighted every night, it would pass resoundingly.

'Actually, the documented SAT gap is larger.'

Yes, on average. However, the context I was referring to is who actually is competing with the NAM's for these extra slots. The gaps in those cases could be smaller, and in some, maybe, they could be larger. The main point is that they are probably in competition with marginal white candidates, rather than the cream of the crop.

'Blacks can dispense with all of the community involvement/social uplift/Habitat for Humanity crap that whites/Jews/Asians better damn well have on their app in order to compete in a crowded field.'

I know HS talks up the importance of leadership credentials and the like, but I honestly think it only comes into real effect when you're applying with a sub-50th percentile record (on either grades/standardized test score index).

And to be honest, I think it's -more- likely that the blacks pad their applications with those kinds of activities than not. Certainly they, more than anyone else, know they are not good at taking standardized tests. Or at least that they are, on average, not as good as their competition.

I just think people enjoy talking up the disparities wrought by AA. Not that they aren't there or anything, but certainly not on the order discussed.

'They don't realize that the spots Asians lose are basically all to blacks and Hispanics.'

This isn't true. Asians lose spots to Whites who are less qualified around the 50th percentile. That is the pool they are put into, and that is the pool they lose out to.

A University will take an Asian in the 75th percentile over a White below the 25th percentile. But it probably not take that Asian over a White between the 50th-55th percentile.

That's the real process.

Universities do not tend to think in terms of X number of Y. They think in terms of, 'we'd rather have Candidate X over Candidate Y.' Thus, whites with lower than average credentials are at high risk to losing out to NAM's, and Asians with higher than average credentials are at high risk to losing out to whites with average credentials.

It's a pretty complicated picture. Racism still exists, even in a world with HBD.

Let us be precise. Affirmative Action in Ivy League undergraduate admissions comes at the expense of Asian-Americans 80% of the time and only 20% at the expense of white applicants, per Espenshade and Chung. Rasmussen found in July that 63% of Americans oppose Affirmative Action, breaking down as 69% of whites and 66% of minorities who are not black. 74% of black people support it. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. said that he personally benefitted from it, and, therefore, he would be hypocritical to now oppose it. Imagine if this logic were applied to slavery. Politicians do not follow the majority because they assume that minorities are much more likely to base their vote on Affirmative Action stances. When John Kerry ran for president, I made the mistake of communicating this logic to him. I sent his campaign an email saying that I based my vote on Affirmative Action and that he should affirm his previous position of opposing “reverse racism.” Someone must have read it and thought I was so weird that I must have proved the point that most whites do not vote on that issue, as he announced his full support for Affirmative Action shortly afterwards.

Affirmative Action supporters realize that anti-Asian discrimination is a major vulnerability of the Affirmative-Action logic, which is why they avoid the subject. I recommend Bunzel and Au “Diversity or discrimination? Asian Americans in college” from Public Interest, 1987. Asians are not pure academic “grinds” because they participate more than whites in “’intellectual activities,’ such as honorary clubs, school newspapers, and subject-matter clubs,” as well as “social, ethnic, or community organizations.” Bunzel and Au also found that liberal beliefs inform anti-Asian racism. “We also detect suggestions of racial stereotyping in the attitudes of some university officials with whom we spoke. One admissions director, for example, expressed the view that Asian Americans are ‘taught to be humble and obedient’ at home. An official from another institution stated that the university was concerned about admitting students who had greater interests in ‘public service.’ He speculated that this might be inconsistent with Asian cultural values, implying that Asian Americans tend to be more selfishly career-oriented and less socially concerned than Caucasians.”

"Event organizers received numerous threats on Facebook, and some of the group’s members changed their names and profile pictures. “This event was not organized by a bunch of white guys,” Mr. Lewis said. “We’re not racists.” The group’s 10-member board of directors includes several Asians and a Latino, he said, and more than half the board members are women."

From the New York Times.

The implication here is that if the event was somehow organized by a “bunch of white guys” (fraternities) then it would consequently be very racist and wrong. Mr. Lewis points to the diversity of his board as if its diverse nature makes his defense more credible (it doesn’t, it just makes liberals laugh), a stellar example of buying into the progressive framing of diversity=strength=doubleplusgood. A proposition is either valid or invalid; the diversity of the messenger(s) is irrelevant, though Mr. Lewis, having been conditioned to a certain diverse state of mind, believes otherwise, or in any case is too much of a coward to suggest otherwise.

And also notice which way the threats are going. When is the last time you heard of a gay pride coming out party or a diversity parade at a University being subject to death threats?

@Yan Shen

WNs don't understand HBD can be used against them. They should admit to themselves that they have a double standard, and have to, being squeezed in the middle.

Insider,

In general I find that legacies and well connected whites are usually the more "marginal" applicants academically, though they may have more leadership style activities and athletics since those are emphasized in the higher classes. Generally speaking the university knows comming from a wealth family is more important then getting good grades in terms of life success and donations, so its rational to take high status legacies (see Bush).

For the most part I think the whites losing out to AA are flyover whites, where flyover could still apply to white proles living in NYC. The fact that they usually know little about what these colleges are looking for (leadership credentials) hurts too.

It is no surprise then that AA is so unpopular. The main losers are hard working Asian immigrants and middle class whites, who generally sacrifice their opportunities on the alter of what seems to be white guilt of rich legacy whites, who are not themselves giving up their spots.

Of course, I take a different view of diversity. While I'm sure there is some white guilt involved, always look for self interest reasons first. The simplest explanation for AA is that universities wants representatives/emisarries for all the various ethnicities in order to increase their power base and influence.

Ask anyone who knows anything about sales and they will tell you that its way easier to sell to people with the same skin color, they just plain trust you more. Do you think elites could have raped the black community this bad over the last 3 years if they didn't have Obama? Do you really think John Kerry could have sold TARP and 10% unemployment? You needed a charismatic minority with gravitas to sell the public down the river so well. AA insures that elite institutions will have a generation of ignorant and willing pawns to push their agendas around the world.

***A proposition is either valid or invalid; the diversity of the messenger(s) is irrelevant***

True although a lot of people unfortunately just look at the motives of the messenger. Is this person a r8cist? I've encountered this quite a bit when raising HBD on a legal discussion board. A lot of people immediately ask what my "agenda" is, or whether I'm a r8cist. The facts are secondary, they're upset that someone is going against their sacred values.

btw. nice pic on your blog!

First, why is Yan Shen allowed to post here? Isn’t his pro-Asian, anti-white drivel getting tiresome?

Second, many Asian businesses are started by taking advantage of Minority Disadvantaged Business loans and then using that status to sell back to the government. I would not be surprised if the majority of Silicon Valley firms founded by Asians are exactly this type of business…sellers of heavily commodified, off-the-shelf technology, employed in a video game-like, no-risk, business model courtesy of the US taxpayer. In other words, I would not be surprised if most Asian businesses are value-transference tech firms. And that includes Yahoo and YouTube.

Third, I seriously doubt that there are any real returns to engineering anymore. The Asian Dilbert is really not producing anything sitting in his cubicle. This is probably because he cannot build anything that isn’t structured in the form of some exam, or something he did not memorize in a text. There is, for example, no engineering equivalent to an open-source computing, where engineers sit around and design products for fun in their garages (and when there are, few are Asian.) The computing field has far more creativity with the sheer amount of hacking going on, yet engineers don’t seem to have anything similar. Where is the electrical engineer sitting in his home studio designing his own chips on a computer?

Fourth, Yan Shen’s example of an Asian “quant” is exactly the problem. Look at what he wrote: “David X. Li's Gaussian copula for modeling mortgage default correlations amongst different tranches in CDOs playing a relatively big role in the subprime mortgage crisis.” What is the problem here? Well, isn’t it the case that CDO’s are not exchange-traded products? There are no CDO ticker symbols to track, no bid/ask prices generated by millions of investors and firms, and no way to generate a systemic and robust price data set. Plus, there is no way to efficiently catalog mortgage defaults within any of those tranches. Someone has to go to courthouses around the country and gather together that default data from court documents. The sheer time and expense of such a task makes trading based on this information difficult, if not impossible. Yet, this “quant” went ahead and copied some formula out of probability theory and used it to make trading decisions even when he had no data (or little data) to back-test the results.

The same thing goes with another Asian who used some actuarial model to demonstrate correlations between two distinct economies, like Russia or Mexico.

Combining all of these facts, readily available to the elite that run elite institutions, the conclusion is that Asians are simply try-hards with very little to offer compared to the legacy/athlete/intellectual white elites that the top schools admit. The schools actually know what they are doing.

Quote: "Asians have higher IQs than gentile whites"

Wrong. Some Asian populations such as the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese have higher average IQs than white gentiles. Your statement makes it appear that all Asians are more intelligent than all white gentiles which is not true.

Quote: "Prole whites, of course, are powerless and too stupid to understand their own interests anyway."

Do you ever read what you write before posting it? The idea that all working class whites are stupid is ridiculous.

about harvard wanting guys who will make 100 million dollars and have lunch with the president... isn't that kind of self-reinforcing?

i, half sigma, and probably a great many others would like to think we would easily have made hundreds of millions of dollars.

zuckerberg would have been nobody if he had created facebook at some "prole college"

Would have made hundreds of millions of dollars if we had gone to harvard, that is.

***Half Sigma, I can't even begin to tell you how outraged I am over this entire farce of an affirmative action bake sale, predicated upon the clueless and flawed assumption that whites are the ones hurt the most by affirmative action.***

@ Yan Shen,

Well, they should have put the asian price at $2.50, but other than that the overall idea of a bake sale seems an excellent light hearted way to make their point.

Of course if they were leftists they could achieve their aims by threatening violence and disrupting the campus with protests.

I'm amazed that so many people, apparently including Half Sigma, aren't getting the point of the bake sale. It mocks affirmative action: blacks spend less money for the same baked goods, just like they get admitted with lower SAT scores.

You all should have read the article.

"Someone black with a 1300+ SAT score will have (literally) every college in the US beating down his/her door to get them to apply... and the school will bend over backwards to make it happen financially."

Obama only went to Occidental college after presumably taking his SATs despite not only being black, but attending an elite high school, having a willingness to leave his home state for college, having an upper class family who could afford tuition, and being the legacy of a father who attended Harvard. Hard to imagine why he would do this if he had "(literally) every college in the US beating down his/her door to get them to apply... and the school will bend over backwards to make it happen financially." Are you saying Obama's SATs were below 1300? Half Sigma estimated Obama's IQ to be 150, which would be equivalent to a 1490 on the SAT in Obama's day and close to a perfect score on the newer dumbed down versions.

So is Half Sigma wildly wrong or are you wildly exaggerating how much of an edge being black gives in college admission?

davver is this blog's best commentator.

Anyhow where do Indians fit into all this talk? Are the same critiques againt east Asians applicable to them?

"The Asian Dilbert is really not producing anything sitting in his cubicle. This is probably because he cannot build anything that isn’t structured in the form of some exam, or something he did not memorize in a text." - map


This had me laughing hard.

"Obama only went to Occidental college after presumably taking his SATs despite not only being black, but attending an elite high school, having a willingness to leave his home state for college, having an upper class family who could afford tuition, and being the legacy of a father who attended Harvard. Hard to imagine why he would do this if he had "(literally) every college in the US beating down his/her door to get them to apply... "

No, I don't think that Obama got a 1300+ on the SAT. I think that HS has vastly overestimated his IQ. I think he's closer to 115-120, but he has that surprising strength of verbal facility that blacks often have, far outstripping their actual cognitive abilities.

Obama could always release his scores and put a stop to the controversy.

Did you actually attend high school with any blacks? A 1300 SAT score is EXCEEDINGLY rare amongst blacks, this is why the Ivies are now having to recruit their blacks from the African elite.

In my senior calculus class down South we had a few black students with SAT's in the 1100-1250 range, they were heavily recruited by Dartmouth, Brown and some of the lower Ivies. We had one black female with roughly 1300 and she went to Princeton - they even had recruiters come down and visit her home, literally rolling out the red carpet to make sure she got there. In fact, she didn't even test high enough to be in our High School's "gifted" class for either math or language arts/English. (roughly 130+ IQ)

Meanwhile, my SAT score was significantly higher but neither Princeton nor any of the Ivies bothered to even send me one of those cheap self-addressed post cards that help you request an application.

[HS: My black friend at Stuyvesant scored 1360, so if I personally knew a black guy who scored 1360, so could have Obama. An unlike Obama, he was fully black and not half white (although like Obama not descended from US slaves).]

"My black friend at Stuyvesant scored 1360, so if I personally knew a black guy who scored 1360, so could have Obama. An unlike Obama, he was fully black and not half white (although like Obama not descended from US slaves)."

And I know a black guy that got a perfect 800 on the math portion, lol. I only got a 760, but I did no test prep. ;-)

But that wasn't necessarily my point anyway, lol. My point is that blacks 1300+ and up are in VERY high demand and they get actively pursued by colleges.

I bet your friend from Stuyvesant got about 50 times as much attention from colleges (plus extensive assistance from recruiters/admissions/financial aid) as someone white with the same scores.

Counter to what I said, someone made the faulty point that "well, Obama only went to Occidental instead of Harvard for undergrad, and we all know that Obama obviously has a genius IQ, so therefore your theory can't be right and high-scoring black students must not be that rare".

[HS: My friend went to Harvard. However, he went to a school where going to Ivies was part of the culture. Maybe in Hawaii, people think that going to Occidental is good enough, and maybe Occidental gave Obama a free ride or something (is that in his autobiography?)]

Wasn't Obama also smoking up and doing blow on occasion back then. Yeah I know GWB went to Yale while doing blow, but he was from a whole different class of elite then Obama.

"Maybe in Hawaii, people think that going to Occidental is good enough, and maybe Occidental gave Obama a free ride or something (is that in his autobiography?)"

But if his SATs were 1490 (equivalent to a 150 IQ), wouldn't a far better school have given a free ride (assuming Occidental did which I doubt). Why didn't he go straight to Harvard? Being African American, combined with a fancy high school, stratospheric SAT scores, and a father who attended Harvard should have made him an incredibly attractive applicant.

And his biography does not support your speculation that Obama came from a Hawaiian culture where Occidental was good enough. On page 98 of Obama's biography "The Bridge" David Remnick says this about Obama's high school:

"Like the best New England prep schools, Punahou routinely sent its top-tier students to the best colleges and universities in the country-and the second tier students, Obama included, did almost as well."

[HS: Obama was probably really lazy when he was younger, and he didn't develop a more serious work ethic until HLS (or between college and HLS).]

Linda,

The likely explanation is that Obama doesn't have 1490 SATs or 150 IQ. He is probably lower then that. Also, he was a lazy stoner in high school. And no matter how good a prep school Punahou may have been I guarantee the cultural pressure to succeed at all cost was nowhere near the pressure cooker scene in the northeast USA.

Truth be told there isn't much indication that Obama has a particarly strong work ethic. He doesn't have a lot of strong accomplishments. As president he has left all the heavy lifting to congress and his advisors while keeping very little control over them.

"[HS: Obama was probably really lazy when he was younger, and he didn't develop a more serious work ethic until HLS (or between college and HLS).]"

He might have been lazy, but he put in enough work to get a B average at Punahou according to his homeroom teacher quoted on page 76 of "The Bridge" by David Remnick. Wouldn't a B average at an elite high school combined with being black and having a father who attended Harvard be enough to get a great scholarship at Harvard if his SAT scores were 1490 (which would probably have been about the highest "black" SAT score of the year)? The fact that he went straight to Occidental (with no evidence of a scholarship) seems like strong evidence that his SAT scores were well below 1300.

[HS: A B average is REALLY low for someone who later proved himself capable of graduating magna from HLS. Obama was clearly lazy when he was in high school. And he admits in his memoir about indulging in drugs and alcohol. He probably went to Occidental not because he couldn't get into a better school but because he was too LAZY.]

"Truth be told there isn't much indication that Obama has a particarly strong work ethic. He doesn't have a lot of strong accomplishments. As president he has left all the heavy lifting to congress and his advisors while keeping very little control over them"

He might not have had a strong work ethic as a teenager, but as middle aged man he certainly does. Running for president is probably the most grueling labor intensive exhausting white-collar jobs you can imagine.

"A B average is REALLY low for someone who later proved himself capable of graduating magna from HLS."

A B average is not that bad for a high school with an average IQ of 125.

"Obama was clearly lazy when he was in high school. And he admits in his memoir about indulging in drugs and alcohol. He probably went to Occidental not because he couldn't get into a better school but because he was too LAZY."

I agree he w was probably lazy, but my point is that Harvard would move heaven and earth to recruit even a lazy black kid even had 1490 SATs, managed to get a B average at an elite prep school and was the son of a Harvard student. So are you saying Harvard would have accepted Obama but Obama didn't apply because he was afraid attending Harvard would be too much work? If so he was probably misinformed, because while Ivy League schools are notoriously difficult to get admission to, they also tend to be very hard to flunk out of.

'The likely explanation is that Obama doesn't have 1490 SATs or 150 IQ'

It's quite possible for someone with a high IQ to underperform on a standardized test. So, he probably did not have a 1490 SAT score. My guess is that raw brainpower, without any real focus or work done during HS, got him 1180-1300.

Since its on topic, I spent a lot of today having to walk an Asian Dilbert through some shit he should have gotten the last three times. These people are not productive. All the good work gets done by the white guys who can actually communicate with eachother, work on their own, and are actually enjoyable to be around. This is the second Asian Dilbert we've had stroll through this posistion and not perform, underpaid H1-Bs are a complete resource sink.

"It's quite possible for someone with a high IQ to underperform on a standardized test."

If Half Sigma assumes Obama must have a 150ish IQ because of his grades at Harvard law, and then any lower scores are dismissed as "under-performance", then the argument becomes circular and unfalsifiable.

'If Half Sigma assumes Obama must have a 150ish IQ because of his grades at Harvard law, and then any lower scores are dismissed as "under-performance'

Indeed, this is all speculative. However, getting into Harvard Law and performing that well suggest a high LSAT score and the ability to beat competition with average IQ's ~140. That said, the fact that he didn't go to a great college out of HS suggests low SAT scores. He discusses his own laziness in his book.

This tends toward the scenario I described: underperformance early on, followed by later achievement and realization of potential.

If we assume his IQ is not high, and that this is the reason for low performance early on, then it becomes unlikely that he would have made it into Harvard Law and excelled there.

"then the argument becomes circular and unfalsifiable."

Welcome to the Half Sigma blog.

As I've stated in the past, any IQ between 120-150 doesn't really matter as it won't effect ones effectiveness as president no matter where you fall in that spectrum. The relevant traits for Obama are:

1) He is intellectually uncurious.

2) He doesn't think outside the box or take controversial stands.

3) He has a history of outsourcing his thinking and decision making to others combined with a history of choosing bad friends/advisors.

4) He has no record of meaningful accomplishement before becomming president. He basically toked up his whole youth, did well at HLS but wasn't distinguished (he got law review as a compromise candidate and didn't really put much work into it), and then was pretty much a failure in the real world in terms of getting anything done.

All of those factors are more relevent then our debating where he falls between 120-150 in IQ.

Insider,

You could also assume he was a minority legacy candidate with a lot of charisma, all of which is clearly going to improve your chances at HLS. He got good grades at HLS, but its also been stated he took a lot of fluff courses. He made law review as a compromise candidate and didn't really distinguish himself running it. He doesn't have a lot of academic distinctions or published papers.

But really, who cares. We could probably come up with heresay and factoids to justify anything between 120-150. We could put Bush in the bracket too. As I state in the comment above, it doesn't really matter. He's a second rate intellect regardless of his raw IQ, and he hasn't demonstrated any of the talents necessary to be a good president at any point in his life. Hence his poor performance in office.

Obama probably has a high verbal ability but average math ability. His mediocre math aptitude probably dragged down his SAT scores forcing him to go to occidental but once he got to law school only verbal IQ was required and he did quite well.

And it makes a huge difference whether Obama has an IQ of 120 or 150, indeed if the math ability were higher the economy would probably be in better shape. His high verbal IQ allows him to make brilliant speeches,but high math IQ is needed to make wise economic and military policy.

Comment,

"indeed if the math ability were higher the economy would probably be in better shape."

lol

Most of the quants that created the housing bubble were math geniuses. Summers and Bernanke are great at math. There is little correlation to good economic policy. Economics and high level math only go together in the ivory tower of academic journals.

If you could pass a few basic statistics in college you had all the mathematical ability you needed to see the housing crisis coming.

Asians at Ivy Leagues...Ivy League colleges are businesses. They were created by the white upper class and they want to keep an element of that, therefore the preferences for legacies and athletes (most of whom are upper class whites). Asians probably do not get discriminated against when these preferences are factored in. From the college's perspective, these are AMERICAN institutions. If Harvard was 50% Asian, it wouldn't be Harvard anymore, and the alumni wouldn't be so eager to donate. Besides Asians, lower-class whites are also discriminated against at top colleges. It has been shown that people from conservative organizations are actively discriminated against in the process as well. Upper class liberals who run colleges want people who can pay full frieght and want people who will continue in the liberal elite after college. Fairness does not enter into it.

I don't see white people arguing that they should comprise 30% of Asian universities. so asians need to stop whining.

I wrote an extremely long post on my blog about the Espenshade book at the beginning of the year. The post was so freaking long I got burned out and never actually wrote the conclusion. Basically, when one considers athletics and alumni admissions the disparity between asians and whites goes away.

I think athletics and alumni admissions is valid because those things actually benefit Harvard. A lot of students WANT a football team. That's a selling point for the school and it keeps alumni interested after they graduate. And having an involved alumni pays a lot of dividends for the school in donations, connections, etc. That's not a racial thing but a business thing.

The only real discrimination is in favor of blacks and hispanics. And the biggest losers there are poor whites. The reason is that there are so few qualified blacks & hispanics that all the financial aid goes to them in a bidding war. So there is none left over for poor whites. Why is this a big deal? Because any student who gets accepted but can't afford to attend makes the school look bad. So they just don't accept poor whites.

To be honest, that's actually a thing where I grew up. All the smart kids said, "Let's apply to Harvard, MIT, etc to see if we can get accepted". But it was just bragging rights because none of us could have afforded it.

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map writes, "First, why is Yan Shen allowed to post here? Isn’t his pro-Asian, anti-white drivel getting tiresome?"

Nothing personal but I'm going to defend Yan Shen. A year ago a radical feminist asian blogger from Toronto (with a name suspiciously similar to mine) was railing about whites discriminating against asians at the universities in canada. And Yan Shen argued against her. So he has demonstrated moral consistency on this issue.

I wrote an extremely long post on my blog about the Espenshade book at the beginning of the year. The post was so freaking long I got burned out and never actually wrote the conclusion. Basically, when one considers athletics and alumni admissions the disparity between asians and whites goes away.

I think athletics and alumni admissions is valid because those things actually benefit Harvard. A lot of students WANT a football team. That's a selling point for the school and it keeps alumni interested after they graduate. And having an involved alumni pays a lot of dividends for the school in donations, connections, etc. That's not a racial thing but a business thing.

The only real discrimination is in favor of blacks and hispanics. And the biggest losers there are poor whites. The reason is that there are so few qualified blacks & hispanics that all the financial aid goes to them in a bidding war. So there is none left over for poor whites. Why is this a big deal? Because any student who gets accepted but can't afford to attend makes the school look bad. So they just don't accept poor whites.

To be honest, that's actually a thing where I grew up. All the smart kids said, "Let's apply to Harvard, MIT, etc to see if we can get accepted". But it was just bragging rights because none of us could have afforded it.

============================

map writes, "First, why is Yan Shen allowed to post here? Isn’t his pro-Asian, anti-white drivel getting tiresome?"

Nothing personal but I'm going to defend Yan Shen. A year ago a radical feminist asian blogger from Toronto (with a name suspiciously similar to mine) was railing about whites discriminating against asians at the universities in canada. And Yan Shen argued against her. So he has demonstrated moral consistency on this issue.

'You could also assume he was a minority legacy candidate with a lot of charisma, all of which is clearly going to improve your chances at HLS'

I'm not sure how HLS would evaluate his charisma on an application. And his father was disgracefully asked to leave Harvard, so I'm not sure how much his 'legacy' status helped.

'He got good grades at HLS, but its also been stated he took a lot of fluff courses.'

He had to have at least done pretty well in his non-fluff 1L courses to graduate Magna.

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I don't really agree that 120-150 doesn't matter. You're talking two standard deviations of difference.

However, I have always been interested in the commensurate gains in 'brain power' the further one goes up the IQ tree. The types of questions a 120 IQ finds easy are different than the types that a 150 IQ finds easy. But, is the actual difference between a 120 IQ and a 100 IQ 'more' than the difference between a 140 IQ and a 120 IQ?

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