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View Diary: Richwine's Harvard PhD: The Committee and Dean Respond (470 comments)

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    •  I care less about Richwine (170+ / 0-)
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      sceptical observer, beltane, Lost and Found, commonmass, peregrine kate, peachcreek, dougymi, Constantly Amazed, jedennis, psnyder, JLFinch, juliesie, Empower Ink, Bonsai66, trumpeter, 4CasandChlo, Gordon20024, JayBat, blueoasis, jlms qkw, Gowrie Gal, LilithGardener, viral, TXdem, Mogolori, mrkvica, nota bene, rbird, Kevskos, The Gryffin, Naniboujou, Ckntfld, AoT, StevenJoseph, Pandora, goodpractice, SD Goat, 3goldens, Sixty Something, Timaeus, Susan from 29, Massconfusion, nosleep4u, chigh, Involuntary Exile, RoCali, Liberal Mole, SadieSue, eve, oceanview, KayCeSF, Boston to Salem, JClarkPDX, mslat27, mystique mist, CTDemoFarmer, Val, RJDixon74135, virginislandsguy, Catesby, begone, chuco35, Herodotus Prime, Karl Rover, temptxan, lady blair, whenwego, lostinamerica, Ditch Mitch KY, cwsmoke, pickandshovel, Aunt Martha, Zinman, flowerfarmer, sfbob, gffish, TarheelDem, FarWestGirl, SaintC, freeport beach PA, mrsgoo, doingbusinessas, la urracca, sandblaster, grollen, science nerd, Wreck Smurfy, bastrop, murrayewv, Lujane, Shotput8, sawgrass727, nirbama, greengemini, mookins, raboof, BYw, verdeo, AverageJoe42, myboo, camlbacker, earicicle, pgm 01, basquebob, stevenaxelrod, 1BQ, ichibon, walkshills, pimutant, Jeff Y, ebrann, Creosote, wu ming, kaliope, fumie, HappyinNM, louisprandtl, northsylvania, caul, Jeffersonian Democrat, rlb, LaFeminista, Johnny Nucleo, Alice Olson, radarlady, Smoh, tuesdayschilde, bookwoman, Marihilda, Sandy on Signal, Heart of the Rockies, allergywoman, nzanne, HCKAD, freerad, S F Hippie, Helpless, Matt Z, Desert Rose, SeaTurtle, ExStr8, zett, kimoconnor, decisivemoment, AllanTBG, cassandraX, Haf2Read, PeterHug, quill, helpImdrowning, janetsal, GrannyOPhilly, Catkin, radical simplicity, timewarp, rapala, RocketJSquirrel, blueoregon, RubDMC, boadicea, RF, sidnora, Capt Crunch, elwior, bepanda, eztempo, dewtx, seefleur, tgrshark13, johnxbrown

      And I care more about those who awarded him a PhD and hired him.  He's just a basic bigot, but those in places or power who rewarded him for his bigotry are the larger problem.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Fri May 10, 2013 at 03:58:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And I am shocked at the "meh" response! (76+ / 0-)

        I was truly willing to give them a bit of a pass if they had come out and said that the data highlighted was a tiny portion of it and there was greater focus on other areas. .  or something.

        But, there response, if anything, validates or legitimizes "the data".

        I am actually more offended by their "eh, what's the big deal?" response more than letter a nutty winger have a degree. Truly, I am.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:31:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  To be fair, Summers was forced out as President (34+ / 0-)

            because of that remark, even if he wasn't formally "fired."

            "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

            by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:20:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Eventually, a year later. (23+ / 0-)

              And they gave him millions because of it. Golden parachutes, yay!!!

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:22:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hate to wade into this mess (56+ / 0-)

                1) But I will tell you that whatever Larry Summers did or didn't do or say, in the end Harvard got one of the country's absolutely best university presidents in Drew Faust, so we should thank him for that.  

                2) It has been clear for years that there are "multiple intelligences." The key work on this has come from a Harvard professor. Richwine's data, which I have not seen and could care less about, looked at what's know in psychology as one of these --- it's called g. It has very pronounced cultural bias.

                3) Richwine's analysis is racist eugenics. The exact same claims surely have been made, historically, about Irish, Italian, Jewish, Asian, Scottish, etc. immigrants. They turned out to be wrong.

                4) Anyone who expected anything other than the weasel-worded responses that came is dreaming and unfamiliar with how academics work. I was surprised there was a response at all.

                5) Without a really thorough look at the actual research, it is almost impossible to say that his findings are anything. This is the same as a comment below. The methodology and the data may or not be error, but we don't know.

                6) The snootiness and bigotry about Harvard in this thread is unworthy of this cite and this discussion. If the degree had been awarded by Stanford, UConn, Liberty, or the University of Texas, nothing would be any different. Calling Harvard racist and sexist, without any data at all, in a thread challenging a dissertation about its data and the standards for data-driven discussion, is, well, remarkable and just weird.

                7) Larry Summers didn't start a war in Iraq or bankrupt the economy (although, to be fair, he might have helped with the latter). The fact that it took Harvard a year to replace him might compare with the 8 years it took to replace GWB.

                8) The vigilance and outrage from this community and others got Richwine removed pretty quickly. That's something.

                9) It's pretty clear, from lots of data, that diversity makes for progress, in small groups, larger ones, and societies as a whole. This is surely one of the reasons this country has gotten to where we have. Immigration is a big part of this equation.

                There are lots of unsound and useless dissertations, each and every year. No one should be surprised is some slip through. I hear the Governor of Virginia had one.  

                I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

                by voicemail on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:59:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And that works for me!!! (27+ / 0-)
                  8) The vigilance and outrage from this community and others got Richwine removed pretty quickly. That's something.
                  The really nice thing is how fast it happened. That racist POS is down the road kicking a can. He can huddle up with Limbaugh, Savage and Hannity and lick his azz.

                  if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

                  by mrsgoo on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:09:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't think we had much to do with that. (3+ / 0-)

                    Since when has anything said on Daily Kos influenced the Heritage Foundation, other than to make them double down on the right-wing crazitude? They consider criticism from us a sign that they're doing the right thing.

                    No, I think the reason Richwine got the hook is that the word is out the right that they simply must figure out a way to get Latinos to vote Republican, no matter what. They've finally woken up to the reality of US demographics.

                    But it's too late. They'll never weed out all the Richwines, and the older generation that doesn't need their bigotry tarted up in pseudo-academic jargon will take another 15-20 years to die off. By then the Republican Party will either have regained their grip on reality, doubtful as that may look today, or else they'll be history.

                    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                    by sidnora on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:23:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The bigotry that disparages older people (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dallasdunlap, wenchacha

                      wishing that they would "die off" is another form of gross insensitivity and over-generalization.  Many people on this site belong to "the older generation" and should hardly need to remind you that some members of the younger generation also have sufficient bigotry that they needn't have it burnished by jargon of any kind whatever to talk, and vote, their prejudices.  Over-generalization, like eugenicist presumptions, is really out of place in a serious discussion.

                      •  I'm 65. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        James Kresnik

                        I'm not "wishing they die off", because I'll be doing the same soon enough.

                        I'm just being realistic. These people are my cohort, and they are not going to change. And while there are certainly some younger people who share their attitudes (just as I and many other older people share the liberal attitudes that prevail here), there are many more who don't.

                         The change in social attitudes between generations is so dramatic I wouldn't have believed it could happen, even 10 years ago. An African American president? 11 states (and counting) making marriage equality the law of the land? These are amazing, wonderful things that I never expected to see in my lifetime.

                        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                        by sidnora on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:23:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Richwine just dug the access channel to (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      James Kresnik, AoT

                      the quicksand and swamps  for aspiring Republicans that much deeper. Spanish speakers (600 million worldwide,largest demographic now outside whites ? ) are according to his logic, his academic "research" like the old slaves prior to 1865, lesser creatures than human (by IQ) This is  basic bigotry, eugenics etc, in Action.

                      Make sure every Democrat, and every person interested in "Is there a difference between  Republicans and the rest of America?" gets a full briefing on this garbage purveyor.

                      I  say let us single  out every Repub Congressman and aspiring one for 2014. Wonder how this will play in Texas? Arizona? elsewhere?   Time to make the ba$t@rd$
                      pay dearly for this.

                •  Thank you for this post n/t (10+ / 0-)

                  The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

                  by bastrop on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:30:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  #7 is false (13+ / 0-)
                  7) Larry Summers didn't start a war in Iraq or bankrupt the economy (although, to be fair, he might have helped with the latter). The fact that it took Harvard a year to replace him might compare with the 8 years it took to replace GWB.
                  summers played a larger role in bankrupting the economy than bush the lesser did.
                •  I STRONGLY disagree Voicemail. The diss is racist (18+ / 0-)

                  It's the same arguments used to invent the "science" of race in the 18th/19th century. Science that has been proven to be wrong (there is no biological nor scientific basis for the concept of race). This is why people are outraged (because that is the basis of the assertion he made: that Hispanics or racial groups can be classified scientifically and that some have more intelligence than others--for which there is not now, never has been, nor likely ever will be any fucking evidence). This is not a minor error in a diss. This is a major mistake for which someone should not have been passed. Not at this level and not at such a prestigious institution.

                  •  I won't disagree with you (5+ / 0-)

                    As I said, all I know about this is from what I've read exactly here, on this cite, in the diaries and comments. I doubt that he impugned Hispanics generally; I thought the claim was about one exact wave of immigration from Mexico. My point 3 is that the same claim has been made with almost every wave of immigration in our history.  

                    Meanwhile, yes, I agree this is unworthy of a Harvard Ph.D. But, also, of a Ph.D from anywhere.  

                    I can't agree that Larry Summers did more damage to my country than George Bush, but he might have done more damage to Russia, as Jeff Dem proposes.  

                    Now, it's time for DKos Sat morn garden blogging.

                    Taking down a recent Harvard Ph.D who's a Charles Murray intern is good, but we'll never stamp out bigots one by one.  I'd like to figure out a way to get them out of the Senate and off the Supreme Court.  

                    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

                    by voicemail on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:31:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  But is it correct? (0+ / 0-)

                    There is ample evidence (really pretty incontrovertible) that there are significant racial differences in IQ test results in the American population.  

                    There are huge arguments about the causes of these differences but they definitely exist.

                    Some quick summaries:
                    1. There is very strong evidence that IQ is related to "g" - the hypothetical intelligence factor that IQ is supposed to measure.  For example, IQ tests are very good predictors of success in virtually every job and very few people with IQs under 90 graduate from college.
                    2. IQ also has a strong correlation with reaction time, giving strong support to the theory that it measures something related to brain processing speed or efficiency.  This is obviously something that is not a cultural measurement.
                    3. IQ has strong heritability
                    4. However, changes in IQ over time (the Flynn effect) are happening too quickly to be possible based on the measured heritability

                    Items 3 and 4 are a bit of a puzzle and people with axes to grind on the racial IQ gap tend to cherry pick results in those two areas to support their theories.

                    Fernando Berdion del Valle, also a Masters in Public Policy candidate, added, “I am a student at the Harvard Kennedy School. I am a son of two immigrants. I am Hispanic. And I am angry. I am angry that someone, despite many years of undergraduate and post-graduate education, would devote his dissertation to the idea that: ‘Immigrants living in the U.S. today do not have the same level of cognitive ability as natives.’ I am angry that my former economics professor would chair this dissertation and approve it. But mostly, I’m angered that the Harvard Kennedy School would allow such obviously shoddy scholarship to qualify for a degree.”
                    Is he angered because the result is incorrect or because he does not like it?

                    If the result of Richwine's dissertation was the opposite - that immigrants do have the same level of cognitive ability as natives or that the gap disappears over one or two generations - would that make the research OK?  OR is the whole subject off limits no matter what the result?

                    Are we now supposed to have ideological litmus tests on what dissertations are allowed at top universities based on either their content matter or their results?

                    •  Its' impossible to claim racial differences exist (0+ / 0-)

                      when racial (prototypical) differences have proven impossible to collate into a cohesive and well-defined praxis.

                      Second, there are so many components and contributing factors to intelligence that isolating a causal relationship between Q and race overly, if not ridiculously reductive.

                      If one is looking for a biologically determinate causation, it makes far more sense to to isolate a particular expression of Q using groups of genes, not phenotypes.

                      Even then, expressions of Q vary wildly even within the same gene lines, and are therefore very environmentally dependent, if not downright philosophical libertarian at times.

                      The core problem in terms of credibility is that many "scientific" racists stubbornly maintain that race is a cohesive and well-defined praxis and hand-wave any challenge to their outdated notions as politically motivated.

                      •  Impressive gobbledygook (0+ / 0-)
                        Its' impossible to claim racial differences exist (0+ / 0-)
                        when racial (prototypical) differences have proven impossible to collate into a cohesive and well-defined praxis.
                        Let's look at the definition of "praxis".  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/...
                        1. Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning.
                        2. Habitual or established practice; custom.
                        Doesn't seem to match the way you are using the word.
                        Second, there are so many components and contributing factors to intelligence that isolating a causal relationship between Q and race overly, if not ridiculously reductive.
                        Well, first off, who said that there was a "causal" relationship?

                        Second, why does it matter how many components and contributing factors there are if averages for different populations are significantly different?

                        If one is looking for a biologically determinate causation, it makes far more sense to to isolate a particular expression of Q using groups of genes, not phenotypes.
                        Depends on what you are applying the analysis to.  Our social policies are based on "races", not genetic clusters.
                        Even then, expressions of Q vary wildly even within the same gene lines, and are therefore very environmentally dependent, if not downright philosophical libertarian at times.
                        1. What do you mean by "expressions of Q"?
                        2. What about "gene lines"?
                        3. How does any such variation within "gene lines" mean that "expressions of Q" are very environmentally dependent?
                        4.  What would that have to do with being "philosophical libertarian"?
                        •  gene lines do not in any way correzpond (0+ / 0-)

                          To race. Race is a social category. There are no scientific definitions of race that are biological or genetic. The idea that race is a defined biological category was created by racists to justify their racism and racism perpetrated by the government. Your list of questions shows your ignorance of both the literature on the subject and of the history of race.

                          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                          by AoT on Sun May 12, 2013 at 12:35:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Religion fail... (0+ / 0-)

                            In actual fact, cluster analysis on genotypes of large groups of people gives clusters that closely correspond to self identified race.

                            For example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                            Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group.
                            Please remember that we are the reality based science oriented party.  Comforting fairy tales that support one's political preference are for the other side.
                          •  Understanding a study fail (0+ / 0-)

                            Or perhaps the study itself mistates the extent of it's conclusion.  But it tracks racial identification through families. And the fact that it use self identified race proves that race is social. If it weren't them they could have used a scientific metric instead.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Sun May 12, 2013 at 05:33:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you not read the article or what? (0+ / 0-)

                            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                            Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group.
                            And the fact that it use self identified race proves that race is social. If it weren't them they could have used a scientific metric instead.
                            The study is comparing the genetic cluster analysis - a scientific metric - with self identified race - the social metric.

                            The study concludes that the social metric coincides extremely closely with the scientific one.  That's the entire point - that the social metric has an almost 1 to 1 mapping to the scientific metric.

                            Or perhaps the study itself mistates the extent of it's conclusion.  But it tracks racial identification through families.
                            So?  If race has a scientific meaning it is presumably genetic.  And I hate to break it to you, but our DNA is passed down from our ancestors - genetic traits run in families.
                          •  "If race has a scientific meaning" (0+ / 0-)

                            But it doesn't. But you clearly have no problem with standing on the shoulders of the racists who tried for nearly a century to create a scientific definition of race. But keep on with your apologia for racists.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Wed May 15, 2013 at 01:36:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In a battle between religion and science I will (0+ / 0-)

                            stand with science.

                            "If race has a scientific meaning"

                            But it doesn't.

                            The science:

                            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                            Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group.
                            Your position:
                            But you clearly have no problem with standing on the shoulders of the racists who tried for nearly a century to create a scientific definition of race. But keep on with your apologia for racists.
                            To paraphrase:
                            RACIST RACIST RACIST!  If I keep screaming "racist" loudly enough while keeping my fingers in my ears so I can't hear your evil science then I win the argument and your evil science cannot touch me!!  I WIN!!!!!
                          •  "Subjects identified themselves" (0+ / 0-)

                            That's not a scientific meaning. That's self identification. The project to create a scientific definition of race has been a long time dream of racists. That's a historical fact. You can pretend otherwise all you want but it's bullshit. You are standing on the shoulder of racists and pretending like you have science on your side.

                            Race is a religion and it has religious roots as much as economic and social roots. You can shroud your bigotry and idiocy in science as much as you want but it doesn't change the fact that race is and always has been a social construct.

                            I'm glad at least that you've outed yourself as a fool.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:35:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You seem short on logic (0+ / 0-)
                            "Subjects identified themselves" (0+ / 0-)
                            That's not a scientific meaning. That's self identification.
                            Any investigation of whether or not race has a scientific meaning must be based on the comparison of a scientific measure with self identification of subjects' race (or presumably third party identification of subjects' race).

                            If there is a close correspondence then race has a scientific meaning.  If not, then you have ruled out a particular scientific measure.  (Remember - proving a negative, such as that no scientific measure maps closely to race is extremely difficult or impossible.)

                            This study demonstrates a close correspondence between self identified race and statistical clustering of people's DNA.

                            You are standing on the shoulder of racists and pretending like you have science on your side.
                            Let's look at that study again...

                            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

                            What web site is that?  The NIH?  That some kind of KKK site?  With a .GOV?  Oh shit!  That's the National Institute of Health!!!  OMG!  The National Institute of Health has been taken over by racists!!  ARRGH!!!  Someone tell Obama!!!!

                            What a maroon.

                          •  That's making things up (0+ / 0-)

                            If you require a social definition then it's a social definition no matter how much you try to dress it up.

                            If there is a close correspondence then race has a scientific meaning.
                            No, that's simply not true. Absolutely not true. You can't simply make a statement like that and not back it up with anything. Race is a social construct and has always been. Unless you present some proof that this is not true then race cannot be genetic. What these studies do is place an arbitrary set of genes as being within a certain race. If race was genetic then you would not require self identification. Being White is not defined by have a specific set of DNA markers, it's defined by a social means. Because of that you can't have a scientific definition of race based on genetics.

                            I realize that you desperately want race to be scientific, but it isn't. And the studies that you cite don't change that.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Thu May 16, 2013 at 02:41:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You do not understand cluster analysis (0+ / 0-)
                            If you require a social definition then it's a social definition no matter how much you try to dress it up.
                            Let's consider gender.

                            Would you agree that gender is, to a certain extent, a social construct?  After all, there are intersex people, people who are apparently genetically of one gender but physically another, people who are physically one gender but who seem to be mentally the other, and people who are physically one genders but who live as a member of the other gender.

                            However, given the very strong correlation between physical sex characteristics, genetic sex markers (XX vs. XY) and the social construct of gender would you also agree that calling gender a purely social construct with no scientific reality would be absurd?

                            But how do you confirm this correlation?

                            Well, obviously you take a whole bunch of people who self identify as male or female and check their anatomy and sex chromosomes.

                            Now, if someone said "But wait... you started with the social construct of genders so that proves that gender is a social construct despite the correlation with XY chromosomes and physiological markers" they would be an idiot.

                            As another check, please tell us how you would construct an experiment to determine whether or not the social construct of race is actually based on observations of real genetic differences as opposed to people seeing patterns that don't really exist?

                            What these studies do is place an arbitrary set of genes as being within a certain race.
                            Incorrect.  That's not how cluster analysis works.

                            Cluster analysis takes the raw data - in this case, a large set of genetic markers in a population - and tries to find ways to group the individuals into clusters in which each individual is closer to other individuals in their cluster than to individuals in other clusters using a distance metric (in this case presumably the number of markers which are different between any pair of individual).  

                            Note that the clusters are constructed without any input based on the groups your are looking at - in this case self identified race.

                            What the study showed was that the clusters that were spit out by the analysis almost exactly matched self identified race.  In fact, the mapping was so good it is hard to believe.  For example, a person who is 1/16 black and 15/16 white might well be able to pass as either black or white and to identify either way.  It is hard to believe that a genetic test would be able to distinguish two such people.  Maybe there are very few such people... or maybe how people self identify is very much determined by their appearance which, in turn, is determined to a large extent by how much of that 1/16 black ancestral genetics made it to the fourth generation.

                            Anyway, unless the study is somehow debunked, it shows very clearly that people who self identify as a particular race are genetically more close to each other than to people who self identify as members of other races.  In short, race is a social observation of real genetic differences.

                            If you think otherwise then read the study and explain what you think it proves.

                          •  I undetstand cluster analysis perfectly fine (0+ / 0-)

                            You don't understand what it means for something to be socially constructed. You don't even know the difference between gender and sex. And race is in no way an observation of real genetic differences. Race is a social construct that chooses arbitrary phenotypes, the choice of which varies over time. Look at the history of race and who fits in what race and you'll see that it changes over time due to social factors. That's because it's socially constructed. The fact that those phenotypes are an expression of some gene or another is completely besides the point.

                            I'd only add that the study you are so fond of to support your little race theory has no scientific definition of race, nor do you have a scientific definition of race. You have a statistical analysis that correlates self identification with arbitrary biological features, in this case it isn't gross physical features like every other attempt at scientific racism has used, instead it's a second order physical feature. Either way, neither you or this study define race, nor can you define race in biological terms. Any biologist worth their salt will explain that to you. But keep up with your desperate crusade to prove race is biological. You are following in the footsteps of some truly horrible people. Not that you care.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:40:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Yes, it is a praxis. (0+ / 0-)

                          The practice of "scientific" racism depends heavily on the praxis that race, a murky and overly-broad social construct, directly maps to genetic expressions of complex behaviors such as general intelligence, usually labeled as Q (Or is it q? I forget.)

                          On the other hand, mainstream research into the genetic nature of intelligence uses a praxis that maps specific gene sets to expressions of intelligence. This is based on the acknowledgement that variations in intelligence within similar prototypical groups varies wildly, and often expressions. To a mainstream researcher, murky social categories such as race are distractions.

                          Often, the "scientific" racist counters with the fact that patterns of genetic expression run in family lines and those family lines are often geographically isolated legitimized their race-focused praxis. Usually they will point out some gene expression that isn't in any way related to intelligence, and equivocate that to expressions of intelligence.

                          What "scientific" racists conveniently ignore is that expressions of intelligence (and we're speaking of intelligence, not some obscure disease) within family lines will vary wildly between individual family members.

                          "Scientific" racists also ignore research that suggests anything other than a genetic cause for even specific expressions of low IQ, such as lead and other toxins lack of stimulation in the childhood environment, stereotype threat, or the effect of various types of stress on cognitive development.

                          In short, the "scientific" racist is, essentially a intellectual reductivist who frequently indulges in peseduscientific thinking.

                •  voicemail Posts (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  houyhnhnm, YucatanMan, James Kresnik

                  6) The snootiness and bigotry about Harvard in this thread is unworthy of this cite and this discussion. If the degree had been awarded by Stanford, UConn, Liberty, or the University of Texas, nothing would be any different. Calling Harvard racist and sexist, without any data at all, in a thread challenging a dissertation about its data and the standards for data-driven discussion, is, well, remarkable and just weird.

                  You are actually going to try and pretend the faculty covered in the diary

                  dissertation committee consisted of...

                  George J. Borjas (chair)
                  Richard J. Zeckhauser
                  Christopher Jenks
                  and Richwine

                  Are not a bunch of snoots looking down on everyone that appears to be below them ? So to call snoots and racists what they are  " Is below us" ?

                  I do not need any DATA to know that Ivy League schools look down on the working class , and teach their students in business school that when workers make too much money , it is bad for big business , that is beyond SNOOTY , IMO

                  And I believe if any of those schools mentioned rewarded the bigotry on display in the works sighted , they would be flamed as bad as the bigots at HARVARD are being flamed

                  •  snootiness and bigotry towards Harvard? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Patango, James Kresnik

                    Cripey, gee wlilikers....isn't this like, umm holding up a mirror to the face this Harvard minted Phd puts out to the world?

                    I actually know some excellent Harvard grads who were my classmates in high school. This character must have been a legacy admit  of the very worst kind. I say worst, because the Haaarvaard  endowwwmeent  is ha-a-rdly affected by if this excuse for two legs walking was there prepaid or not.

                    I wonder what his credentials and superior standing compared to other candidates seeking admission really amounted to.

                    Maybe a promise to deliver up exactly this tripe in the future? To get a full blown racialist justification for future national horrific and inhumane policy decisions?  Could be, after all Harvard supplied Kissinger, Samuel P. Huntington and tons of others in the Vietnam debacle. They sent Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore Jr. as GI's and the rest sort of skipped it. Meaning on the other side of the inquiry, they employed future war criminals there.

                    With that record why should this crap about  Spanish speakers shock anybody?  Much of their science from Frederick Stare, and many others  has been and is and will be in the future for sale to private commercial interests or "small government" hacks.

                    Ganging up (the new minted Phd and his apologists on his thesis committee )and denigrating millions of Americans is not an aberration   at John Harvard, Inc,  it is BUSINESS AS USUAL.

                  •  Laughable.... (0+ / 0-)

                    I am finishing off an EMBA at a top business school.  We take some courses with each other, some with MBA students as well, so I also see what the MBAs are learning.

                    I do not need any DATA to know that Ivy League schools look down on the working class , and teach their students in business school that when workers make too much money , it is bad for big business , that is beyond SNOOTY , IMO
                    Nonsense.

                    Our courses teach finance - so we see the first order impact of increased costs in any area.

                    We also review cases and analyze corporate strategies including both low cost strategies which also include low salaries and high cost strategies with high salaries.  We look at both success and failure cases for both and try to understand what determines when these strategies succeed and fail.

                    Frankly, any school that taught that a high salary strategy at McDonald's would work well would be incompetent, but the same would apply to a school that taught that a low salary strategy at McKinsey would work well.

                •  Strongly disagree (7+ / 0-)

                  Harvard AB 1986 here, and with you on some of it.

                  But not most of it.  Harvard is not supposed to produce shoddy and unsound dissertations.  It's Harvard.  For the reasons you defend it, crap like Richwine's work (what I've seen of it so far) is evidence of a problem, not business as usual.  It lowers Harvard's standing in a way that would not affect, say, Liberty University.

                  I'm in the business and went to Harvard.  I cannot agree with the pass you give the institution here. If I were an ethical Kschool PhD student with Borjas in particular on my committee I'd be petitioning for a new adviser even if my defense was next week.

                  Richwine's free pass lowers the schools standing for all of its affiliates.  No way that bullshit counts as reputable or rigorous scholarship.  And I'm perfectly happy to debate the intelligence literature with anyone.  After all, I had two classes with Stephen J. Gould.

                  “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

                  by RocketJSquirrel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:08:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Harvard deserves the shaming. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Kresnik
                  6) The snootiness and bigotry about Harvard in this thread is unworthy of this cite and this discussion. If the degree had been awarded by Stanford, UConn, Liberty, or the University of Texas, nothing would be any different. Calling Harvard racist and sexist, without any data at all, in a thread challenging a dissertation about its data and the standards for data-driven discussion, is, well, remarkable and just weird.
                  Harvard deserves some of the critical examination it is getting.  It trades on its status as an elite university, which means that it gets many of the very best new freshmen on the planet and mixes them with the legacies, who have tremendouse connections.  Students, being social beings isolated from their families, immediately set up friendship networks which turn into career networks and entry into elite society.  It is less certain that education takes place in those hallowed halls.  
                  7) Larry Summers didn't start a war in Iraq or bankrupt the economy (although, to be fair, he might have helped with the latter). The fact that it took Harvard a year to replace him might compare with the 8 years it took to replace GWB.
                  Harvard is an elite university, and we should expect it to rise above the very low standards of the US Congress.  There's also the fact that universities are frequently a law unto themselves while the removal of a President must be carried out by Constitutional methods.

                  "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

                  by Yamaneko2 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 02:35:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The Governor of Virginia (0+ / 0-)

                  got his MA/JD at Pat Robertson's Regent University. Trying to defend Harvard by citing Regent is Epic Fail material.

                  Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                  by Mokurai on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:02:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Actually. . . (19+ / 0-)

              I think he was more "forced out" b/c he was adamant about instituting minimum numbers of hours each faculty member had to spend teaching undergraduate courses. The faculty hated him for trying to "de-emphasize" research and scholarly writing over teaching and was actively looking for anything to use against him to get him gone.

              He actually did not say that "women weren't as good at math" - what he said was that men had higher variability in testing in math, high and low but the "mean" was the same. Whether he was correct or not about the testing and such, who cares - it was a stupid thing to say and I am no Summers fan, not at all, but there was far far more going on than him simply saying "women aren't as good at math" and then being given millions to retire a year later.

              And I am as pro-woman a person as can be, ask my daughters - - I just have a tiny bit of sympathy for anyone who dares the Harvard faculty to actually step in a classroom. . . Summers taught an undergraduate class as President.

              Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

              by 4CasandChlo on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:01:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, Summers made himself unpopular by several (16+ / 0-)

                different methods.  In fact, his gaffe about women & math was a two-fer:

                1.  He was pontificating about a field WAY out of his own field of expertise & didn't bother to get up-to-date information about it -- namely, that the gender gap in high-end math scores had been steadily decreasing for a while; and,

                2. that gaffe was interpreted, not unreasonably, as being sexist and justifying discrimination in hiring and promotion in math & the sciences.  

                      As a former undergrad prof and critic of undergrad education in major research universities,  I sympathize with his goal of getting tenured & tenure-track profs into undergrad classrooms.  But his way of going about achieving that goal was bad politics to say the least:  university faculties -- and hardly just at Harvard -- are not famous for their amenability to top-down, command-and-control management.  

                "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

                by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:22:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They may not be amenable to it (5+ / 0-)

                  but a lot of us outside of academia are used to it and can't really sympathize.  I applauded Summers' efforts to actually get profs to teach undergrads.  And from what I remember reading, a fair number of Harvard students appreciated that, too.

                  Barack Obama for President '12

                  by v2aggie2 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:55:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I do, too (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Smoh

                    Yale has a long tradition of tenured professors teaching introductory courses, oftentimes large lectures that attract hundreds of undergraduates.  One of my favorite professors was Richard Brodhead, now president at Duke. His lectures were spectacular!

                    A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

                    by deminva on Sat May 11, 2013 at 02:36:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Same at UPenn... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      deminva

                      I had undergraduate professors who were internationally known in their fields, whose texts were used at dozens of universities and their lectures were outstanding and frequently audited by students not in the course.
                      Yes, TAs did the grading on exams, but that did not take away from the experience.

                      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

                      by Outraged Mom on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:20:28 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think that's a great model (0+ / 0-)

                        The professor lecturing and teaching assistants leading sections.  I TA'd many English courses at UVA in that model, with hands-on professors who guided the TAs.

                        A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

                        by deminva on Sat May 11, 2013 at 02:45:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  The model for academia (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    susanala, sngmama, jennylind

                    is not, nor should it be, top down management.  It has always been collegiality, however imperfectly that works out in practice.  Top down is the hallmark of the military, many corporations, and some organized religions, notably the Roman Catholic Church.

                    •  Having been in academia (0+ / 0-)

                      it is as political an environment as I ever seen, if not more so.  So I'm not going to go around saying it is a wonderful model.  

                      Barack Obama for President '12

                      by v2aggie2 on Sun May 12, 2013 at 12:06:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was there as well, and (0+ / 0-)

                        as I suggest in my post, it's not a perfect system.  But for the most part there was a thriving sense of collegiality in the university where I spent my career, except for the few who were as ambitious and ruthless as many I've seen in the business world. People are people and certain personality types show up everywhere.

                  •  Whether anyone sympathizes or not is beside (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    4CasandChlo, sngmama, kyril

                    the point, which is how to get profs into undergrad classrooms.   Fighting directly an 800-year-old tradition of faculty autonomy is a pretty stupid way to go about it, IMO, especially since that tradition underpins some absolutely essential components of higher education--I.e., academic freedom & creativity.

                            Frankly, I think the problem is a real incompatibility of quality undergraduate education with the mission of a contemporary major research university.  Obviously you can require high-powered researchers to teach one or more undergraduate courses, but how many such faculty members are going to be both qualified and motivated enough to provide the same quality of instruction that a prof at a good smallish college would provide?

                            Or maybe I'm over generalizing from having taught  both  at a small, quality undergrad college and at two different large state research universities and also from my own administrative experience and that of my brother, who, as Chair of the Board of Trustees of a mid-sized state technical university, ran into major problems when he assumed that the same top-down management style he had succeeded with in business would work well in academia.

                    "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

                    by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:13:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think it was a reasonable interpretation. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4CasandChlo, chiefofdees
                  2. that gaffe was interpreted, not unreasonably, as being sexist and justifying discrimination in hiring and promotion in math & the sciences.

                  No, not at all.

                  What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                  by expatjourno on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:44:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The interpretation was based on the fact that he (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    4CasandChlo, kyril

                    was making a statement on gender differences, a field outside of his own area of expertise, that was based on an outdated view of the research in that field.   If you can't see that it's reasonable to interpret such carelessness as sexist, how about just incredibly stupid and/or arrogant for a man in his position?  

                    "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

                    by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:20:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Far worse than not having up to date info (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  susanala

                  He gave the offending speech at a conference about the subject, to experts in the field, and refuted those experts' claims when they told him he was wrong. He was literally  surrounded by and immersed in the latest research, admitted that he'd read it, and still dismissed it outright:

                  LHS: No, no, no. Let me say. I have actually read that and I'm not saying there aren't rooms to debate this in, but if somebody, but with the greatest respect-I think there's an enormous amount one can learn from the papers in this conference and from those two books-but if somebody thinks that there is proof in these two books, that these phenomenon are caused by something else, I guess I would very respectfully have to disagree very very strongly with that. I don't presume to have proved any view that I expressed here, but if you think there is proof for an alternative theory, I'd want you to be hesitant about that.
          •  Harvard is a joke because Summers? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeff Y, deminva, Smoh

            I was there during his tenure. He was a mixed bag and I was disappointed by him for sure, but even as president, he doesn't represent all of what Harvard is any more than Romney would have represented all of what the US is simply be election as President.

            The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

            by bastrop on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:52:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That isn't what he said. (0+ / 0-)

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by expatjourno on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:33:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril

              He didn't say that women weren't as good at math. He just said that it would be irresponsible not to speculate that they might be. Wow, big difference.

              Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

              by homunq on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:17:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This is what he said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              susanala
              It does appear that on many, many different human attributes-height, weight, propensity for criminality, overall IQ, mathematical ability, scientific ability-there is relatively clear evidence that whatever the difference in means-which can be debated-there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population. And that is true with respect to attributes that are and are not plausibly, culturally determined. If one supposes, as I think is reasonable, that if one is talking about physicists at a top twenty-five research university, one is not talking about people who are two standard deviations above the mean. And perhaps it's not even talking about somebody who is three standard deviations above the mean. But it's talking about people who are three and a half, four standard deviations above the mean in the one in 5,000, one in 10,000 class. Even small differences in the standard deviation will translate into very large differences in the available pool substantially out. I did a very crude calculation, which I'm sure was wrong and certainly was unsubtle, twenty different ways. I looked at the Xie and Shauman paper-looked at the book, rather-looked at the evidence on the sex ratios in the top 5% of twelfth graders. If you look at those-they're all over the map, depends on which test, whether it's math, or science, and so forth-but 50% women, one woman for every two men, would be a high-end estimate from their estimates. From that, you can back out a difference in the implied standard deviations that works out to be about 20%. And from that, you can work out the difference out several standard deviations. If you do that calculation-and I have no reason to think that it couldn't be refined in a hundred ways-you get five to one, at the high end. Now, it's pointed out by one of the papers at this conference that these tests are not a very good measure and are not highly predictive with respect to people's ability to do that. And that's absolutely right. But I don't think that resolves the issue at all. Because if my reading of the data is right-it's something people can argue about-that there are some systematic differences in variability in different populations, then whatever the set of attributes are that are precisely defined to correlate with being an aeronautical engineer at MIT or being a chemist at Berkeley, those are probably different in their standard deviations as well. So my sense is that the unfortunate truth-I would far prefer to believe something else, because it would be easier to address what is surely a serious social problem if something else were true-is that the combination of the high-powered job hypothesis and the differing variances probably explains a fair amount of this problem.
              He calculated that there is a 5 - 1 ratio of men to women who have the highest aptitude levels for the skills required for the math-heavy fields, such as physics, chemistry, and economics.

              He outright dismisses cultural effects and biased testing, despite the research presented at the same conference showing that both were significant.

              He presented lack of aptitude as one of the 3 reasons women don't excel: Lack of willingness to work hard enough, lack of high end aptitude, and cultural influences pushing girls away from the sciences.

              - He admitted that requiring insane hours for advancement (80 hrs/wk) could be considered a bad thing.

              - He dismissed cultural effects and testing bias by claiming that they were really reflections of genetic abilities - outright dismissing boatloads of studies to the contrary, some of which had been presented earlier at the same conference.

              - He focused his lecture on the concept that when you get further and further out from the norm (heading higher up the scale) on aptitude test results, the pool of women shrinks due to an innate genetic lack of aptitude. Once again, this is despite study after study showing that the tests were poorly designed and inaccurate.

          •  AoT - he couldn't be fired because of tenure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            He was removed as President, but his appointment as a tenured professor could not be terminated because of academic freedom. What Summers actually said was that men have have a higher percentage of people at both ends of the IQ bell curve and that might be one of the reasons that men dominate the faculty in math and sciences. That is a statement of fact and there is no possible way someone can be removed from a tenured faculty position for stating facts.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:12:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You nailed it. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pvasileff, 4CasandChlo, Jeff Y

          That surprised me too.  I expected them to do a better job distancing themselves from it.

        •  the key to any kind of study is the measures used (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          were the IQ tests ANGLO and/or AMERICAN in orientation?

          An example:  If an analogy on the IQ test was based on something we would find commonplace (e.g. knowing what a 'fullback' was,) but to someone who didn't follow football that would sound like a version of a 'hunchback'.  They wouldn't have a clue and so would fail that question.  

          There is so much cultural tilt in language in testing.

          So, if I were to go after this story, I would want to see the test administered and have it examined for bias.

          Has anyone discussed this?

          We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

          by SeaTurtle on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:43:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree except that, in my experience of (0+ / 0-)

          writing a dissertation and having it reviewed (and reviewed and re-reviewed) by my committee members, I couldn't have gotten away with the kind of biased statements that were in his dissertation. It's not a matter of whether the Kennedy School agrees or disagrees with Richwine, and the criticisms I have about Richwine's statements are not to limit this:

          Finally and most importantly, it is vital that an active and open debate of ideas occur in Universities and beyond them.
          But it's about what is required of any social science researcher: liberal, libertarian, conservative, radical, or whatever. I have criticized research whose conclusions I like because the research is crappy.
          No real researcher who actually read the dissertation and had the responsibility to judge it would accept a dissertation that included the kind of statements Richwine made in his.
          Further evidence on Richwine's foolishness is what I heard him say in a video clip on the Maddow show last night. He was on a panel at the AEI and he said that racial differences in IQ are real. He then proceeded to list the "races" in order of IQ, with Jews at the top and Blacks at the bottom. Right off the bat -- Jews are not a racial group. They're a religious group or they might be considered a religion encompassing a number of different ethnic groups. Jews can be of any race.
          Hispanic is not a race (just look at the Census technical notes that say "Hispanics can be of any race.").
          Is "east Asian" a race? Whom does it include?
          He doesn't define race (which is a pretty messed up word to begin with), and then proceeds to break the American population into groups that he has decided are separate races.

          While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

          by Tamar on Sat May 11, 2013 at 02:38:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Academic freedom" is a red herring here, (44+ / 0-)

        for what we have in this case is unacademic freedom, the right to earn through unsound research a doctoral degree from Harvard and all it confers.  Free speech and academic freedom are not the same.  You can say any damn fool bigoted thing you want, but you shouldn't get a Ph.D. for it because the science doesn't line up.

        Can you get a Ph.D from Harvard's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences for a dissertation saying sunspots are melting the ice caps?  Not yet, I hope.

        "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

        by Mogolori on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:50:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Harvard is full of racism and sexism (10+ / 0-)

          and it isn't shy about expressing it. I can't believe that anyone is surprised by this.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:02:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  so, like the GOP (10+ / 0-)

          you only want academics to put forward work that agrees with your political and social views?

          LIke it or not, "empirically sound" means that he used supported techniques to analyze actual data.  The way to refute that is not to accuse him of being a racist (though he certainly is that), but rather to collect other data or show the methodological errors.

          Not one diary here has done this. Show me where the errors are in the methods or the data, and we'll talk

          I'm sorry, but as a former academic its pretty clear that academics are everybody's favorite punching bag.

          Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

          by Mindful Nature on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:17:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm an academic (33+ / 0-)

            This is the APA statement on IQ

            In response to the controversy surrounding The Bell Curve, the American Psychological Association's Board of Scientific Affairs established a task force to write a consensus statement on the state of intelligence research which could be used by all sides as a basis for discussion. The full text of the report is available at a third-party website.

            The findings of the task force state that IQ scores do have high predictive validity for individual (but not necessarily population) differences in school achievement. They confirm the predictive validity of IQ for adult occupational status, even when variables such as education and family background have been statistically controlled. They agree that individual (again, not necessarily population) differences in intelligence are substantially influenced by genetics.

            They state there is little evidence to show that childhood diet influences intelligence except in cases of severe malnutrition. They agree that there are no significant differences between the average IQ scores of males and females. The task force agrees that large differences do exist between the average IQ scores of blacks and whites, and that these differences cannot be attributed to biases in test construction. While they admit there is no empirical evidence supporting it, the APA task force suggests that explanations based on social status and cultural differences may be possible. Regarding genetic causes, they noted that there is not much direct evidence on this point, but what little there is fails to support the genetic hypothesis.

            Richwine characterized immigrants' (a population) IQ.  He fails leaving the gate.  

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:19:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that doesn't speak to the point (6+ / 0-)

              First,  here this statement only says it doesn't necessarily have high predictive validity for population differences for school and occupational achievement.  That can well be true and that doesn't mean that it necessarily does not have that.  Of course, the relationship is vastly more complicated.  For example, here, I've seen no indication that Richwine's dissertation used IQ as an independent variable in his analyses, though I could well be wrong here.

              Secondly,  whether there's genetic causation or not is even less germane.  He's apparently talking about an identifiable population, not about genetic causation at all.  Here, there are quite likely to be IQ differences, as has been pointed out, since IQ is so very strongly influenced by educational training and social pressures, not to mention cultural biases in the measure.  Thus, I'd be pretty shocked if there weren't differences.  There are certainly strong attacks to be made here, but this particular methodological one doesn't seem to show up among the stronger ones.

              (P.S., my PhD is in plant evolutionary ecology, so admittedly only ever so tangentially related)

              Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

              by Mindful Nature on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:39:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So he's "proved" that some population (5+ / 0-)

                has a lower score on an arbitrarily chosen metric that doesn't measure anything in the real world. And that's important or meaningful how?

                It seems like you should read the paper if you're going to defend it.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:43:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you read Vessel's quote (8+ / 0-)

                  The measure isn't arbitrary.  The difficulty comes in interpreting it

                  What I am defending is academia against attacks from political partisans who don't like the questions people are investigating.  That has a long and ignoble history

                  Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                  by Mindful Nature on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:23:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think I understand where you are coming from. (6+ / 0-)

                    And I'm surprised to say it, but Borjas' quote above actually made a lot of sense to me. Michelle Malkin was all up in arms the other day about how Richwine is being crucified, when instead, we should all be having some exalted national discussion of his thesis. Borjas explains very concisely why, regardless of whether Richwine's IQ results are valid/reliable in a narrow sense, it may be that he wasn't even asking an interesting or relevant question in the first place.

                    •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

                      Correct in the narrow sense, wrong headed in the broader sense.  I suspect that captures it.  

                      Now I have to look at the damn thing!

                      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                      by Mindful Nature on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:48:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Sp then let me throw out an idea (8+ / 0-)

                      This could be a useful paper to cite if you wanted to show the uselessness of IQ as a policy device? Or is this just pointless? As someone who considered pursuing a PhD in political science I feel fairly insulted by the fact that this guy did nothing but collect a bunch of surveys and run them through some software and then became a doctor because of it. If I knew that it was that easy I would have kept going. I mean, I should go back to school and do this same study but on people who voted republican in 2008. Easiest PhD ever.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:10:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I haven't had time to look at this guy's (6+ / 0-)

                        dissertation, or really even read much of the media coverage. But from what I gather, he appears to claim, roughly, that (1) Hispanics have lower IQ than whites, and (2) this difference appears to persist over generations, so it's not just new immigrants.

                        I immediately wondered, was the IQ testing part of his work? Did he do everything that one needs to do in setting up an experimental protocol, such as choosing subjects and a control group; determining the sample size needed for statistical significance; determining validity and reliability of the instruments that would be used to do the measurement, etc.? That's a lot of work, and you'll see it in theses written by people studying education, psychology, speech-language pathology, epidemiology... all kinds of fields.

                        If not, if instead it was more like a meta-review of data already out there, I wondered whether that data could even be representative. After all, very few adults ever get a real IQ test (not talking about silly online ones here, but real ones like the Wechsler). If he's just using available data, how did he make sure that it was representative of the group (i.e. all Hispanic immigrants) he was trying to extrapolate to? And of course I would hope that those tested were either given a Spanish version of the test, if that was their stronger language, or a non-verbal measure of IQ (and if this were the case, it would provide a much more limited picture of intelligence).

                        And how did he conclude that the difference persists across generations? Was there really a huge enough batch of Hispanic adults tested 40 years ago to use their scores?

                        But anyway, I totally see your point, AoT. I would think a meta-analysis like this (if in fact that's what it is) might be OK for a Masters thesis, or even a senior paper at a fancy school, but I'd expect a little more from a PhD dissertation.

                •  How is the inverse of that not true as well? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TLS66, penguins4peace, vickijean, kyril

                  Should not all of the people questioning the integrity of the Harvard faculty also read the dissertation in question?

                  Questioning the integrity of three respected academics who have presumably reached the pinnacle of their profession based on the positions they hold, for no other reason than someone on some blog said  "the conclussions drawn are obviously wrong" is unfair and quite frankly is the kinda thing that the anti-intellectuals that pervade the right frequently engage in.  

              •  You should download the diss and read the abstract (9+ / 0-)

                I really have no doubt you would immediately agree this one was crap.

                "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                by Empty Vessel on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:44:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Will do (6+ / 0-)

                  Seems that that's the thing to do here

                  Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                  by Mindful Nature on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:24:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I read the abstract and the chapter on IQ (15+ / 0-)

                  And it was fucking awful. Like I'd have not let it pass in undergrad awful.  

                  He ignores most criticism of IQ and his assertions were weak--but remember who was evaluating the work--economists and policy people who are likely to have little if any training in psychology, psychometrics, or learning.

                •  At one point... (14+ / 0-)

                  He asserts that IQ has 'some' biological basis and then builds his entire argument that 'some' is meaningful and therefore IQ is biological enough to make the sweeping conclusions he makes.

                  I willing to concede that IQ has 'some' biological basis, but that could mean .05 percent to 100 percent and to try and build on argument on 'some' like that is just awful logic leading to awful social science.

                  The shout out to Charles Murray in the beginning was helpful in setting my expectations properly.  

                  •  What does "biological" mean here? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    caul, louisprandtl, mconvente

                    And how much does it have to do with ethnicity?

                    Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

                    by NCJan on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:35:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Are we to assume biological means "Inheritability? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      radical simplicity, kyril

                      and if we assume that, do we assume that IQ is deterministic, unchangeable and unalterable throughout one's lifetime no matter what education, experience and personal drive do to IQ scores? Those are assumptions which have been proven false, and you only get to make Richwine's assertions if you IGNORE tons of other data. IGNORING data seems to be a stock in trade now at Harvard.

                      I am puzzled about the whole episode. How in the world an "academic" at the flagship ivy league university in the US of A can get away with asserting such bogus bullcrap, rising to prominence and having a great career is beyond my understanding.

                      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                      by OregonOak on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:08:39 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Biological means heritable (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NCJan, Empty Vessel, OregonOak

                        and a characteristic can be both heritable and mutable. For instance, height is absolutely heritable, but it's also mutable by environmental influences during particular windows of opportunity; we know that childhood nutrition and medical care for certain conditions have significant impacts on height.

                        IQ is quite similar, actually, and has a similar level of heritability in developed countries. While Wiki isn't an authoritative source, the one on this subject is actually a quite good read, especially the "Caveats" section.

                        Heritability of IQ Wiki

                        A particularly relevant part is this discussion:

                        Heritability measures the proportion of variation in a trait that can be attributed to genes, and not the proportion of a trait caused by genes. Thus, if the environment relevant to a given trait changes in a way that affects all members of the population equally, the mean value of the trait will change without any change in its heritability (because the variation or differences among individuals in the population will stay the same). This has evidently happened for height: the heritability of stature is high, but average heights continue to increase.[7] Thus, even in developed nations, a high heritability of a trait does not necessarily mean that average group differences are due to genes.[7][13] Some have gone further, and used height as an example in order to argue that "even highly heritable traits can be strongly manipulated by the environment, so heritability has little if anything to do with controllability."[14] However, others argue that IQ is highly stable during life and has been largely resistant to interventions aimed to change it long-term and substantially.[15][16][17]
                        Basically, it's a really terrible idea to compare population differences across different environments and assume that the variation is caused by genetic differences. That is what's fundamentally wrong with Richwine's paper.

                        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                        by kyril on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:48:44 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Richwine carefully does not state that lower (23+ / 0-)

                average IQ test scores in a population group indicate an inherent, genetic difference in cognitive POTENTIAL in that population group as compared to native whites.  I think he knows that would get him a lot of flack, since no one has yet been able to establish that kind of population group difference via objective data.  Nonetheless, he concludes that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQ test scores and their children and grandchildren will too.  He draws a conclusion AS IF he had proven an inherent genetic difference in cognitive potential in a particular population group.

                In other words, he ignores what even The Bell Curve admits, namely that the average IQ test scores of immigrant groups in the US tend to rise over time.  The children and grandchildren test higher than their parents.

                Also, of course, the children and grandchildren of many immigrant groups, on average, achieve more in educational and career success than the first generation immigrants.

                Richwine is inconsistent.  He admits that it's possible that eventually Hispanics might "catch up" with native whites, but he then concludes (without support as far as I can see) that he sees no basis to expect that they will.  He states instead that he expects the children and grandchildren of Hispanics to continue to show lower IQ scores and low educational and career achievement.

                And that unsupported judgment or opinion is what he bases his policy arguments on.  

                It's a wierdly amaturish line of argument to pass muster at Harvard.

                The professors quoted say that the data is sound but the policy recommendations may be debatable.  However, only the first level of argument, the most basic data, is sound.  Yes, Hispanic immigrants show lower test scores than native whites.  That's true.  The second level, analysis of the primary data, is crappy.  There's nothing included about the performance of earlier immigrant groups.  And RIchwine doesn't support or even clearly admit his apparent assumption that in fact the average IQ scores of this population group will not change.

                So when you get to the third level, policy recommendations, it's all built on mush.

                One professor admits that he’s done little or no work with IQ.  But it’s kind of pitiful that three Harvard professors are so unconcerned with the recurring and fiery controversy  about IQ that they didn’t even recognize Richwine was on shaky ground.  Further, I would think that with a dissertation based so much on interpreting the significance of IQ scores in a population group, they would have made a point to have at least one person on the committee who knew what is and is not accepted fact about IQ scores and their implications.

                They really acted as if the explosive material here -- these assumptions about groups and IQ and comparative ranking -- was not worth any particular concern.  This is irresponsible negligence, at best.  

                --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                by Fiona West on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:33:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're right. I read some of it. (11+ / 0-)

                  He admits that the studies show further generations closing the gap, but then pulls out of his butt the claim that they won't ever catch up completely.

                  And his data was not longitudinal in the sense that it did not contain IQ measures of first-generation immigrants, and then their specific children. And he doesn't really bother to tease out variables like the economic climate, immigration policies in place etc. at the time the immigrants arrived, which would, one suspects, have a big influence on the types of immigrants arriving. Not to even mention the economic or political climates in the home countries, which would have a lot to do with the types of people who are leaving.

                  One part puzzled me greatly: he is supposedly showing that Hispanics are dumb and won't get smarter, and from that he is supposed to be arguing that this is bad for racist natives our economy. But then he decides to use socioeconomic achievement of Hispanics AS A PROXY for IQ! As in, he includes this in his assessment of Hispanic intelligence.

                  I do wonder about the data sets overall that he uses. One is a military entrance exam, which he acknowledges is not an IQ test, but uses it anyway. He also uses just specific subtests, like backward digit span. Even the most freshly-minted school diagnostician will tell you that this is NOT an adequate measure of intelligence.

                  He also glosses over potential language influence, basically saying that since not many of them requested a Spanish test, then they had English proficiency close enough to the sample the test was normed on for it to be a valid measure. Again, our school psychologist can tell you that's a crock, and we would actually administer language proficiency tests in order to determine what language the IQ test should be in.

                  I'm sure there are more problems, and I really hope an experienced psychometrician takes the time to analyze this dissertation more closely. And I wonder if he had anyone advising him who does know this area. And finally, how do we know he didn't cherry-pick his data? There may be other studies out there of IQ in Hispanics showing better scores which he didn't include.

                  •  Oh, and look what just came out (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fou

                    on ThinkProgress: For the first time, a greater percentage of Hispanic high school grads has enrolled in college than white high school grads (69% vs. 67%). But I'm sure Richwine will just ignore this tidbit, since he ignored so much data in his dissertation that did not fit in with his racist fantasy world.

      •  Here is the scandal (56+ / 0-)

        I do not believe for one minute that the people who signed off on his dissertation read that dissertation with anything close to the level of scrutiny that I would expect having been through the process myself.

        What this says about the dissertation process at Harvard is disturbing.

        •  I think that's the real point. (13+ / 0-)

          They're probably not overtly racist, but the clear racist tone of the dissertation didn't set off any warning bells that more attention was needed. They seem to have bent over backward to avoid looking at the methodology and assumptions that let to the conclusion. They were simply indifferent to the implications.

          Their "explanations" sound like they routinely pass on dissertations by checking boxes on some kind of standard form. Their sloppiness and indifference is almost more blameworthy than overt racism would be. It's easy to decide whether bias was at work here: What would have happened to the thesis if Richwine's "sound work" had concluded that Hispanics are smarter than "native whites"? To me, there's not the slightest doubt that we'd be seeing a whole other story, sound work or not.

        •  Once you reach a certain level you're a sacred cow (2+ / 0-)

          and some (by no means all) just coast along. Your equally privileged circle of peers protect you and underlings handle most of the grunt work.
          For the same reason, you dont really expect Harvard will do anything about Niall Ferguson, do you?

        •  Ding ding ding (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CharlesInCharge, Bozmo2

          Precisely right, good sir, and that is the real scandal.

          "Hispanic" is also . . . Wait for it! . . . Not a "racial" category!  It isn't a genetic or naturalistic basis for describing a "population."  People who are "Hispanic" might have more white European ancestry than many "Native born white" Americans (to use Richwine's truly unfortunate term, because where I'm concerned "Native" means something else entirely, and it ain't "white," but varying shades of red and brown.  All of this "race" and iq bullshit uses "phenotype" as a shorthand marker for "race," and that's what's wrong with all of it too.  The problems with "IQ" are intertwined with the problematic history of inventing the idea of "racial" population groups.  

          Since all humans can mate with each other, there is no basis for supposing genetics is destiny for traits such as intelligence at a population level.  In fact, for the good of humanity you'd want (probably, and in any case we ate getting)  a nice light brown planet where we distribute the full range of intelligences and other adaptations developed by ancestral populations for particular ecological niches evenly through the species over time.

          The entire "race and IQ" argument as commonly argued on the Internet (and apparently in Harvard's school of policy and government, because I can assure you Richwine would have been laughed out of the psychology or biology or anthropology departments as a first-year MA student even if he could have gotten into one of those real PhD programs) is, simply, based in the most pseudoscientific remnants of 19th century social Darwinist racist thought. The very idea that there are "races" with distinct "intelligences" is utter complete tripe.  It's bullshit.  Full stop.  IQ may measure something, but it has nothing to do with phenotypic variation between ancestral human populations.  Sheesh. How many more times does this need to be said for, you know, Harvard faculty members to know the facts!?

          Just wow. Stephen Gould and Franz Boas are groaning from the grave.

          “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

          by RocketJSquirrel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Reading his dissertation now (4+ / 0-)

            Already clear that he models the social dynamics so narrowly and artificially that he gets the results he wants by exclusion of correlate factors.

            Generational equalization of IQ scores between immigrant and native-born populations (leaving aside spurious factors like "race" considered as phenotypic average, 19th century nonsense) is clearly affected  by segregation, lower community health and literacy rates that result from poverty and segregation, and linguistic obstacles to assimilation. This crap was said about the Irish and Italians and Jews and Chinese before.  And of course native-born African Americans are affected by these same segregationist social dynamics.

            Eliminate segregation, poverty, and racism in education and employment and you will see IQ equalization. Healthy communities assimilate to the national norm and always have.  IQ does not measure a neurobiological condition, but a developmental process in which brain and environment are co-equal dimensions of intelligence.

            Much simpler and more robust explanation of "the data."

            Where's my Harvard PhD?

            “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

            by RocketJSquirrel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:57:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I have a lot of questions for Harvard (7+ / 0-)

        You gave a law degree to Ted Cruz? - intellectual dishonesty personified and apparently given the stamp of approval by Harvard.

        Back in the '80's, and 90's when the regulatory structure for banks was starting to come apart, the big banks were filled with Harvard Business School graduates who were executing the dismemberment of the rules that protected average working people.
        Pas bon, Harvard.

        Larry Sommers????????
        need I say more.

        Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

        by eve on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:08:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  eve - they don't give ideological tests at Harvard (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          evanaj, chiefofdees, ancblu

          Ted Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton where he was also a world class debate champion. He graduated from Harvard Law, magna cum laude, and was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review. Harvard, and all its departments and professional schools, does not have ideological tests. Each year the University graduates students of all political and ideological beliefs.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:24:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sometimes you let undergrads and law students (0+ / 0-)

            graduate in spite of being morons just to be rid of their nasty personalities.  Truth!

            But PhD students!? They can be ignored after they are done with coursework, into oblivion if need be!  Social promotion like Ted Cruz got is not needed to dispose of the creepy ones by firing them upstairs to the next level of their careers as assholes.

            “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

            by RocketJSquirrel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:34:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  RS - there were no social promotion for Ted Cruz (0+ / 0-)

              Social promotions do not graduate magne cum laude from Harvard Law. There are surely some legacy students at Harvard Law who slide by at the bottom of the class. Ted Cruz was not one of them. He was a star at Harvard Law.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat May 11, 2013 at 04:13:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  of course you are correct (0+ / 0-)

            nor should there be ideological tests.

            I guess what I was trying to express was that a school that has such a hige impact on policy making in this country because of the creds a degree from Harvard gives to its graduates and then they get the jobs and the recognition - a school with this much impact and that includes not only Harvard but all the Ivy Leagues and Cruz's alma mater Princeton!!!!!!
            should somehow - I don't know how _ require some rudimentary standards of understanding bad social practice in policy.
            There are rules against bad medical practice.
            Why should someone graduate summa cum laude from Harvard if they don't understand civil society???

            I know it's tough to distinguish that from ideology but the damage a guy like Cruz seems willing to do should somehow reflect back on his schooling and creds and the institutions that made Cruz possible as a U.S. Senator....hmmmmm.....

            Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

            by eve on Sun May 12, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Cruz has been an outspoken conservative since (0+ / 0-)

              college and was conservative leader at Harvard Law. I don't think you can make "understanding civil society" from the perspective of a progressive a requirement. My guess is that Cruz would argue that he understands civil society, viewed through his very different prism.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sun May 12, 2013 at 05:16:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes he probably would argue that he looks at (0+ / 0-)

                civil society through a different prism.

                But I just see him throwing rocks to get attention and power.

                I don't see any evidence of good will from this man.

                And of course one could say that I'm mistaken, that I misread CRuz; that his proposals are honest efforts to serve the public interest.

                But for example when he says that the Second Amendment is endangered by any efforts to control the permitting of guns, that seems to be a contortion of the second amendment.

                He seems to throw irresponsible verbal bombs to wreak political havoc.

                He seems to have no judgment.
                Should't a certificate of graduation involve the proof that one is capable of intellectual honesty?

                Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

                by eve on Sun May 12, 2013 at 05:46:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I've been on graduate committees (34+ / 0-)

        not at Harvard, mind you, but I can cite some common factors:
              (a) Committee members are busy, and often don't deeply read their students' work.  You would think this is a no-brainer, but in fact to "read" something well, you have to go through it word by word and rewrite almost every sentence to get it "really" right.  It is not a trivial matter, and every committee member will draw the line somewhere on his or her level of engagement.  
             (b) Artificially imposed deadlines often make the above feedback loop all the more difficult.  
             (c) Dissertations and theses are often cobbled together from different fields, so that part of the work ends up being outside the area of specialty of the faculty member.  If a psychologist tells a social scientist that IQ is meaningful (even when the social scientist rightfully suspects that it isn't), then the SS either has to hold her nose and sign off, or pick a fight.
             (d) Often enough, faculty dislike each other for entirely personal reasons (and personal dislike can easily be disguised as intellectual disagreement), so the dissertation approval process becomes a matter of political game-playing at levels that have little to do with the content of the dissertation.  If every faculty member stood intransigent upon every idiotic battle line, nothing would ever get done.  Particularly, if the dissertation resembles a giant paper bag filled with someone else's shit, as this one seems to have, few faculty will want to waste time stepping on it.  
             (e) Sometimes professors can be pressured to stay on a committee when otherwise the obvious strategy would be to simply bow out.  We probably will never get to the bottom of Richwine's case.  Institutional triviality knows no bottom.      
             I'm sure with more time I could think of more things that go wrong, but I agree with the diary that the Harvard profs are probably just trying to cover their sorry asses for a shitty system that they are still trying to cozy to.  Richwine's mistakes regarding ethnicity and also IQ are so farcical that if they made it through a freshman writing seminar it would be grounds for seriously questioning the competence of the teacher.  

      •  its simple... (0+ / 0-)

        the school is riddled with idiots and bigots. as usual if you can afford to buy it, i.e., a harvard degree, then you can own it. this proves that ignorance isn't the domain of the "underclass" but walks tall and proud thoughout the population.
        tung sol

        There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.--Oscar Levant

        by tung sol on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:06:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  EV, you did a very nice job with this diary (0+ / 0-)

        well written, documented, etc.  tx.

        We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

        by SeaTurtle on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:38:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah that pointed hat club needs some lite- n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

        by RF on Sat May 11, 2013 at 11:46:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wingut welfare, where ever he goes... (13+ / 0-)

      One sugar-daddy funded "think tank" or another, it doesn't matter much to them. Sure beats working for a living, I bet.

      -Jay-
      
    •  Harvard might have an opening (5+ / 0-)
    •  Limbaugh? Hannity? (0+ / 0-)

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:05:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where he'll end up? (0+ / 0-)

      Are you kidding? Some other RWNJ dogma tank funded by the Kock Bros with a hefty salary increase and excellent health care.

    •  Where he will end up? (0+ / 0-)

      Likely landing spots are rather obvious:

      1.  Fox
      2.  Congress
      3.  Stealth policy advisor to any 2016 GOP presidential candidate.
      4.  Professor at a "leading" university---in Dixie, Texas, or Arizona.
      5.  Co-author of "major" book with (unfortunately from my own state) Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach (also a Harvard grad##) regarding "sane immigration policy."

      ##And an Oxford and Yale grad.

      Add in Ted Cruz---Harvard has some explaining to do.

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