Skip to main content

View Diary: My E-mail to Harvard (33 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Please expound on your point a bit more... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakedog42, yella dawg, Creosote


    What's your academic background and the principle point you are trying to make?

    I'd like to understand more where you are coming from.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Wed May 08, 2013 at 08:44:57 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bonsai66, yella dawg

      like a Harvard grad trying to defend his degree.

    •  Are you familiar with the controversy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical, kalmoth

      over Lamar Smith's draft "High Quality Research Act" and his attack on NSF, or do I need to explain that first?  

      •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm familiar with it.  

        What I'm asking you is this:  Please be clear and direct with your points, as well as your verbiage. Your conversational style implies prior knowledge, (for everyone who reads this at least), and does not convey your premise clearly.

        You may understand your understated premise, but we do not.

        Be clear and concise VR.

        Communication is the point here.  Not incoherently spewing words at one another.

        Nothing worth noting at the moment.

        by Bonsai66 on Wed May 08, 2013 at 09:26:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, good. I was off looking for the links (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, sgoldinger

          just in case, so here's the background for my comment:
          House GOP Seeks Power to Block Edit Release of Scientific Findings and
          Lamar Smith adores Stalin, along with your own diary and this one: How did Jason Richwine Get a PhD from Harvard?

          Here's what I find contradictory, and of course, there may be an entirely different set of kossacks involved, so I'm not accusing any individual of hypocrisy, just noting what I see as an inconsistency of approach.

          (1) The pushback to Smith's benighted attack on certain kinds of federally funded research is, essentially, that experts in a discipline are better suited than untrained congressional committees to judge the quality, novelty, value, etc. of a research proposal or product.

          (2) The pushback to the acceptance of the Richwine dissertation (again, not, not, not to its policy use) is that readers of Daily Kos are better suited than the tenured faculty on the committee -- who, one presumes, actually read the dissertation and orally examined the author -- to judge its quality, novelty, value, etc. (No doubt some of them, maybe including you, would be equally capable in the setting, but not most of them opining on the topic today, in my view.)

          (3) In the Smith case, kossacks are urged to oppose the draft bill as an attack on the virtues of peer review and academic freedom that underlie the advancement of science. In the Richwine case, kossacks are urged to contact the dean to ... again, I'm not sure exactly what, but certainly to express displeasure over the professional judgment of tenured faculty. If one just wanted to express disagreement with the dissertation, the appropriate targets would be the faculty members themselves and, of course, Richwine. Some desired action by the dean must be implied, and that action obviously isn't meant to be positive for the faculty members.

          •  In fairness, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical, Villanova Rhodes

            I do see your point, and I can appreciate the apparent contradiction.  But in my opinion, both these positions (wanting to defend NSF from political oversight; wanting universities to be self-policing) are actually quite consistent with each other.  I also think you have identified the essential point quite well -- the best arbiters of good scholarship are those experts in the field.  Not congress, not a reader on dKos.

            But asking the University to make sure, that strikes me as a very reasonable position.

            "There's a lot you can do with a hypnotized chicken." -7.50; -6.21

            by sgoldinger on Wed May 08, 2013 at 11:03:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The university already did (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ltsply2, Be Skeptical

              I have yet to encounter a single person here with expertise in the field who has read the actual dissertation.  I know from my own dissertation that is never trust a journalists summary.

              Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

              by Mindful Nature on Thu May 09, 2013 at 12:02:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Read him and wept (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mindful Nature

                IQ and Immigration Policy

                Those with university library privileges can get a copy on interlibrary loan from Harvard or the Kennedy School of Government.

                Start with this summary, from Richwine himself.

                The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native [sic] population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.
                This is the same dreck used to try to keep my grandparents out of the US, back when it was claimed that Jews were of lower IQ than WASPs, on no better evidence. (My father and brother have Ph. D.s in pure mathematics. I joined the Peace Corps and learned Korean instead. Now I write textbooks.)

                Also Chinese and other Asians. Also every country of Europe outside England, especially Catholics from Italy, Spain, Ireland, and southern Germany. (Note: not the UK. The same racism applied to Scottish, Irish, and Welsh immigrants at various times.)

                See also Richwine, Jason, author, at OCLC WorldCat. Especially

                National Review: A POPULATION PORTRAIT - Who illegal immigrants are, and what they bring with them

                I haven't found an electronic version of this article from 2010.

                American Enterprise Institute: THE CONGEALING POT - Today's immigrants are different from waves past.

                They're not just like the Irish—or the Italians or the Poles, for that matter. The large influx of Hispanic immigrants after 1965 represents a unique assimilation challenge for the United States. Many optimistic observers have assumed—incorrectly, it turns out—that Hispanic immigrants will follow the same economic trajectory European immigrants did in the early part of the last century.

                Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                by Mokurai on Thu May 09, 2013 at 02:05:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That and your comment below at least (0+ / 0-)

              provide the basis for a realistic request for action to the Kennedy School, unlike the suggestions for "how dare you" emails and demands that the dean make sure this "never happens again." If I were to pursue this, I would have the paper critiqued by someone who knows the pros and cons of the measures he used -- which strike me as a little bizarre on a quick skim -- and present a reasoned case rather than an "off with their heads" campaign that any self-respecting university would be proud to spurn. (That characterization applies more to the other diary calling for emails than the current one, which is at least thoughtful, if IMO unfocused.)

              In general, I still believe the answer to bad speech is more speech, and the answer to crappy science is better science. In this case, it's such a political embarrassment to his employer that it may be a net positive in the grand scheme of things.

              Sorry I didn't get back to this earlier -- don't mean to flog a dead thread, but I appreciate your responses and didn't want to ignore.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (132)
  • Community (62)
  • Elections (39)
  • 2016 (37)
  • Environment (36)
  • Bernie Sanders (35)
  • Hillary Clinton (30)
  • Culture (30)
  • Republicans (29)
  • Media (29)
  • Climate Change (27)
  • Spam (24)
  • Congress (23)
  • Education (23)
  • Civil Rights (22)
  • Barack Obama (21)
  • Labor (21)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (21)
  • Texas (20)
  • Law (20)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site