Friday, August 18, 2006

Black science kids in New York shrink

Special welcome for the readers of Cosma Shalizi's blog. Yes, I am also flabbergasted how fanatically irrational the professors in Michigan can be. Some particular comments about this story appear at the end of this article.

The weather in Boston is nice, among many other things, but certain details are always responsible for a culture shock.

Let me tell you an example. In Czechia, media often do an interview with Czech blacks. They are usually very temperament and happy people and they tell you many stories - for example that the Czech children first thought that they were devils. The blacks enjoy that they are different. Some of them live just like the Czechs and they face no problems if they choose this path - but they don't have to.

Now take the Friday edition of The New York Times and find the article

The article tells you that six years ago, rigorous admission policies were adopted at New York City's five best colleges. The article, however, focuses on elite high schools in New York - Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School. A specialized exam tests applicants' math and verbal skills. Also, ten years ago, the City has created an institute that is supposed to prepare blacks and Hispanics for these difficult tests.

Which of these two events do you think will have a higher impact on the racial composition of the student bodies and what the impact will be? Everyone who knows something about race and intelligence - and even Wikipedia can tell you these things - knows that the percentage of East Asians will increase while the percentage of Hispanics and especially blacks will decrease below their percentage in the general society - which is not too far from their representation at times before the tests became rigorous. The sharper and the more selective the cutoffs will be, the more pronounced differences will occur.

What a surprise that the data confirms the known Bell curves. The article mixes the high schools and colleges but argues that the trends are similar. Here are the trends for the high schools. Since 1994-95, the percentage of Asians at Bronx science have increased from 40% to 60%. The percentage of blacks has dropped two-fold or three-fold at these three schools since 1994-95:

  • at Bronx Science, from 12% to 5%
  • at Brooklyn Technical High School, from 37% to 15%
  • at Stuyvesant, from 4% to 2%

The numbers show whatever they show. It is certainly not a negligible effect that can be handwaved away and similar numbers in the past have been indicating similar patterns. Yet, the city officials such as Andres Alonso will tell you that the figures are "extraordinarily surprising". And others will immediately suggest institutional racism even though the very point of the new tests is that they test merit and nothing else.

If someone is unable to make elementary logical deductions from the data, she or he will almost always be extraordinarily surprised by any hard data from reality except for the doctored data. Her or his contributions to the society can never be positive because her or his approach to reality is neither a scientific one nor a rational one. If they want a higher ratio of blacks or any other group, it is clear that they cannot accept students just according to rigorous tests simply because different skills are not uniformly distributed among all groups.

These offices whose responsibility is nothing else than a healthy composition of schools simply don't do their job right. It seems that not a single bureaucrat over there has done a calculation what the new system of tests is expected to do with the racial composition. Most of them are apparently nothing else than politically correct bureaucratic parasites. The article in The New York Times makes it clear that they even misunderstand that the relation between the average scores and the percentage of blacks is non-linear.

Instead, they should try to learn from La Griffe du Lion. For example, a very relevant calculation is described in

Some people simply have such an incredible high ratio of bigotry divided by intellectual skills and integrity that they just can't - or don't want - to understand any of these things. For example, Prof. Cosma Shalizi is convinced that constants are variables. His or her goal is not, of course, to evaluate some subtle time-dependence of some quantities describing the IQ that is irrelevant at any foreseeable future. The goal is to deny the existing zeroth-order knowledge of the basic facts. The goal is to find pseudoarguments that will lower the dumb readers' confidence in solid science and fill their skulls with fog.

The difference between the average black IQ and the average white non-Hispanic IQ is about -1.1 standard deviations. This number is so entirely reproducible and constant that some people call it the fundamental law of sociology. However, in Michigan, you may become a professor of sociology despite your complete ignorance of some very basic and rather essential sociological facts. More precisely, you become a professor because of this ignorance. How does it work? Shalizi gives us a clue. Whoever is able to think or evaluate the hard data is failed already as a freshman: those of us who know something about the Stalinist regimes know quite a lot of details of such policies. What a surprise that most sociologists turn out to be ungifted dumb bigots.

While the difference between the IQ of sociology students and physics students is -15, experience seems to indicate that at the level of scholars, this difference must be doubled. Sociology: what a brand of breathtaking morons.

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