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Two days ago, I published a diary asking how Jason Richwine could 'earn' a PhD from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government based on a dissertation arguing that the low IQ of Hispanics is reason to deny them immigration to the US.  

My question was not why this douche wrote such obviously bigoted trash, but rather why his committee signed off on it...why they legitimized it? Bigots will be bigots, but there is something different when it is legitimized by a leading University.

Richwine's dissertation committee consisted of...

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

Today, two of those committee members have spoken.  You can find their weaselly bullshit below the fold...plus the even more weaselly bullshit of the Dean of the Kennedy School, David Ellwood.

Richard Zeckhauser
Per Slate, Zeckhauser has defended Richwine's dissertation by saying that he thinks the empirical work was solid, with only the policy suggestions problematic.

“Jason’s empirical work was careful,” Zeckhauser told me over email. “Moreover, my view is that none of his advisors would have accepted his thesis had he thought that his empirical work was tilted or in error. However, Richwine was too eager to extrapolate his empirical results to inferences for policy.”
So let me get this straight...Zeckhauser believes that Richwine's empirical evidence that hispanics are dumber than 'native whites' is good, its just Richwine's recommendation that these dumb hispanics be prevented from immigrating that's the problem?  Is there any other way to read that?

George Borjas (Chair)
In an email to The Citizen, the student newspaper of the Kennedy School, Borjas wrote

“Jason’s research was sound. None of the members of the committee would have signed off on it if they thought that it was shoddy empirical work.

As to what it all means, I am not sure. I know people like to take empirical evidence like the one that Jason provides and run with it to “fix the world.” What they forget is that there is an objective function on the road. So, for example, take Jason’s work at Heritage that is the root cause of this whole episode. He finds that illegal immigration imposes a sizable fiscal burden on U.S. taxpayers. I have not read the report. I have not looked at the numbers. I have no idea if it stands up to scrutiny. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that it’s correct. How do we then fix the world? What are the policy implications?

Well, it depends on who you are rooting for. If you are rooting for the average U.S. taxpayer, the implication is clear and we should try to alleviate the problem raised by illegal immigration. If you are instead rooting for the many poor immigrants who are now living in the U.S. in much better circumstances than they left behind, then we can view current immigration policy as the largest anti-poverty program the universe has ever known, and the fact that there is a fiscal burden is just the price we need to pay to afford millions of people the opportunity to live the American dream.
So the real important question is: What is the objective of immigration policy? And I think that reasonable people can certainly disagree (and should be free to disagree) on the parameters of what it is we are trying to maximize.”

So Basically, Borjas says Richwines work was "sound," and then says look over there...brown people are trying to enter the country!  But there is one interesting thing about his claim to the soundness of Richwine's dissertation.  Per Slate, Borjas claims that he doesn't really know fuck-all about IQ.
“I have never worked on anything even remotely related to IQ, so don't really know what to think about the relation between IQ, immigration, etc,” Borjas told me in an email. “In fact, as I know I told Jason early on since I've long believed this, I don't find the IQ academic work all that interesting. Economic outcomes and IQ are only weakly related, and IQ only measures one kind of ability. I've been lucky to have met many high-IQ people in academia who are total losers, and many smart, but not super-smart people, who are incredibly successful because of persistence, motivation, etc. So I just think that, on the whole, the focus on IQ is a bit misguided.”
So, too sum up...Borjas says that he is sure Richwine's work was sound, but doesn't know anything about the subject, and thinks it all comes down to who you are 'rooting for.'  

Christopher Jencks
The sole 'liberal' member of the committee hasn't said a fucking word.

David T. Ellwood, Dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

“I most certainly understand that this issue, as reported, troubles many people.  In response I offer three thoughts.  First, the views and conclusions of any graduate of this school are theirs alone, and do not represent the views of Harvard or the Kennedy School.  Second, all Ph.D. dissertations are reviewed by a committee of scholars.  In this case, the committee consisted of three highly respected and discerning faculty members who come from diverse intellectual traditions.   Finally and most importantly, it is vital that an active and open debate of ideas occur in Universities and beyond them.  Scholars and others who disagree with particular ideas or methods or who are unhappy with conclusions can and must openly engage in reasoned discussion and criticism, after looking fully and carefully at the work.  It is through ongoing vigorous give and take that good ideas will ultimately emerge and weaker ones can be displaced.”

–David T. Ellwood
Dean, Harvard Kennedy School

And so, the Dean rides to the defense of his "highly respected and discerning faculty members," the same faculty members who so discerningly signed-off on low-rent eugenics that violates the basic tenets research--and in the case of Borjas, did so despite "never work(ing) on anything even remotely related to IQ."  

Ellwood also claims that the work of their students does not reflect the views of the Kennedy School.  Odd, then why does the Kennedy School have dissertation committees, dissertation defenses and award degrees with Harvard's name on them?  By awarding the degree, the Kennedy School is explicitly stating that the work of Richwine meets their 'standards.'  

Finally, Ellwood calls on academic freedom.  Ellwood apparently believes that claims that hispanics have lower IQs than whites is part of "reasoned discussion and criticism" rather than a long debunked racist theory argued only by the bigoted fringe.

Summary
I would like to end with a few quotes from The Citizen, the student newspaper of the Kennedy School.  They say what needs to be said far better than I can, and their words damn Borjas, Zeckhauser, Jencks and Ellwood far better than my own.  

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.”
23 student organizations at the Kennedy School have written a letter to the larger community condemning the dissertation, asking for a response from the administration for the paper’s “disturbing claims”

(snip)

The letter continued, “Let us be clear that we believe in academic freedom as it is crucial to the functioning of a university. However, we also believe that putting forth claims of racial superiority based on inherent genetic advantage to be on par with those who have used pseudo-science throughout history to justify state-based hate.”

Let's hope these forward thining students at the Kennedy School rapidly take the places of their retrograde faculty.

4:19 PM PT: Update: For those who are saying things about the students at the Kennedy School being privileged, conservative members of the 1%, I strongly suggest reading the article from the Citizen (linked above).  This is the STUDENT newspaper of the Kennedy School.

I think it does a very good job of showing that the kids are alright.

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    "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 03:45:36 PM PDT

    •  I care less about Richwine (170+ / 0-)
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      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.

  •  I wonder how they measure 'IQ' for the 'sound' (35+ / 0-)

    empirical evidence.  Pretty much every test I've ever taken over the years would certainly have had cultural and class aspects play a role in how easily you could answer the questions.  I would certainly expect people from another culture to score lower on a test designed by and for members of another culture, but I wouldn't assume that actually meant they had 'lower IQs'.

      •  Scientists have known this for decades (17+ / 0-)

        Yet, the intellectually lazy among us keep searching for the 'magic number' that quantifies everything.

        I use the term "intellectually lazy" with malice. I don't have a problem with people who try, but don't get it. I have a big problem with smart people who can't even bother to try to understand.

        Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

        by grapes on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:55:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  General or full-scale IQ is a good measure of "g," (17+ / 0-)

        but "g" is a hypothetical construct that has few real-world implications; and standard IQ tests actually measure at least three only loosely interrelated general abilities (verbal comprehension, visual-spatial construction, freedom from distractability).  As Sternberg has pointed out, there are also at least two other major types of intelligence--social skills and creativity.  And, as Howard Gardner pointed out, there are many other, very specific types of intelligence -- e.g., artistic, musical -- that aren't very highly correlated with "g.".  In other words, as the head of Capitol Records said of musicians at my son's graduation from Berkelee School of music:  "When God puts the music chips in, a lot of other chips fall out."

        "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 05:34:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I say it this way (9+ / 0-)

          Given all the complexity of the mind, intelligence, stupidity and the rest...what could it ever mean that someone's intelligence is...112?

          or 95?

          What does that even mean?

          "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 05:38:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To quote myself giving feedback after any (7+ / 0-)

            evaluation involving an IQ test:  "Now, the overall IQ number is usually meaningless."

            To use a particular example: In early adolescence, one of my sons had a "verbal" IQ 40 points (i.e , 2.67 standard deviations) higher than his "performance (visual-spatial) IQ.  At about the same age my other son had exactly the opposite pattern.  Their overall or "Full-Scale" IQ was exactly the same, even though their profile of major abilities was about as different as could be, suggesting that their brains were organized very differently.  Of course, this contrast doesn't even take into account the many  other abilities not even measured by IQ tests.  

            More importantly, research has shown that many alternate methods of asministration (e.g., telling kids whether their answers are correct or not, which is not done in the standard Adminstration) raises the scores of poor kids but not those of middle-class kids or not as much.  

            As I said elsewhere here, a major mistake the IQ racialists make is that they reify a hypothetical construct that persons who actually utilize IQ tests clinically think is basically meaningless.  

            "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 06:43:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks twice (10+ / 0-)

          For my "learning disabled" son who is graduating from law school tomorrow,

          and

          for my "many missing chips" brother who graduated from Berklee School of Music.

          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 05:40:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Congratulations about your son. If my (7+ / 0-)

            experience both as a professional and as a parent myself of an LD/ADHD child, you must feel a great sense of satisfaction and be extremely proud.  

            As for Berkelee grads, the Berklee friends of my sons (both went to Berkelee) when together are about as entertaining a group of people I've ever been around -- and that's before they begin to play.  For several years a group of about 10 of them, not counting girl-friends and an ever-changing cast of crashers, all lived together in a three-decker in Somerville--an amazing place to visit, but I wouldn't have wanted to live there.

            "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 06:58:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Nor, obviously, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fresno, happymisanthropy, kyril

        is a university degree.

      •  Well, then, ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        how WOULD you explain the obvious difference in cognitive abilities of, say, Walter Cronkite and Anna Nicole Smith?

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:26:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Their chips were stacked differently? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:03:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  HA! Excellent. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            We are focused on quantity of... "g" in the several categories of known "g" and we have NO CLUE about how they are arranged in relationship with each other.

            How the chips are stacked IS the Holy Grail of competent measures of intelligence, and we are nowhere near being able to define it or measure it today.

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

            by OregonOak on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But should these two individuals ... (0+ / 0-)

              be considered mentally "equal"? That seems to be the position of those who argue that IQ has no significance.

              "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

              by Neuroptimalian on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:23:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Equality should not be used in discussions of (0+ / 0-)

                intelligence. Equality is firmly a psychological, humanistic, and dare I say it, spiritual quality. We should  not be arguing for equality of intelligence. Those differences are arguably "there," if unmeasureable at this time. BUT.. we are arguing for equality of the human access to the quality of life, as the Enlightenment intellectuals did. For people who have discarded any notion of life force, or spiritual significance, or unmeasurable human-ness, they often turn to intelligence as the only valid measure of mankind. Big mistake, I think.

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

                by OregonOak on Sat May 11, 2013 at 08:40:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Define intelligence without saying that (0+ / 0-)

                intelligence is what IQ tests measure or that, like pornography, you know it when you see it.   If you really try it, you'll quickly see that you get very bogged down in trying to apply any unitary theory of intelligence to the world of real people.  

                Are the following all equally intelligent?

                VIQ=120 PIQ=120 FSIQ=120

                VIQ=100 PIQ=140 FSIQ=120

                VIQ=140 PIQ=100 FSIQ=120

                And it's a lot more complicatd than that -- IQ tests measure two additional factors:  "freedom from distractability" and "processing speed."  And then there are the various relationships between these four factors and several different types of intermediate and long-term memory.  (IQ tests basically measure only working memory and semantic memory.)

                Here's an example more germane to your Cronkite question.

                Which person is "more intelligent"?

                VIQ=100 PIQ=100 FSIQ=100

                VIQ=100 PIQ=140 FSIQ=120

                Obviously the 2nd is more intelligent, right?  Well, except that kids with the second pattern often have great difficulty with spelling, reading decoding (although not necessarily comprehension -- don't ask), speed of written and spoken verbal composition, and arithmetic above addition and subtraction.  Thus, the kid with the straight 100's will often have an easier time all the way through college (and, believe me, there are a lot of kids with IQs of 100 or even lower getting degrees from pretty good "enormous state universities").  Also, the 100-140 kid (or adult) will ofgen not appear more intelligent on superficial acquaintance.

                P.S.  What makes you think ANS might not have been very intelligent in some ways?  See, e.g., Marilyn Monroe.  l

                "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 10:37:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There is no "equal" when it comes to intelligence. (0+ / 0-)

                Intelligence has too many aspects to sustain any notion of equality.

                Think about it - most of us have known folks who couldn't do much math to save their lives, but could build ANYTHING from raw lumber.  Most of us have known folks who can handle spatial mathematics over breakfast, but can't replace a bathroom faucet.

                Don't even get me started on social intelligence, or we'll have to talk about this diagram!

                The root of the "IQ problem" seems (to me, anyway) to be that we simply have no real means of measuring these different intelligences and their various intersections.  Sure, IQ tests take a stab at it, but that's all they do.  The challenge is to make sure that those "take a stab at it"  IQ measurements don't become any more of a gatekeeping tool than is absolutely necessary.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Personally, I suspect... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that it's an equation in three variables.  Forgive me for speaking unscientifically, but I'm far afield from my normal thinking grounds.

              1) We all start with some number of chips - but not the same number.  The fact that we've tied so many aspects of intellectual, emotional, and behavioral development to genetic factors suggests that some are simply born with more (or fewer) chips in their pile.

              2) Our stacks don't hold the same number of chips.  Some folks can put 10 chips in their "music" stacks, while others can only place 1 or 2 in that category.  That person who can only put 1-2 chips in their "music" stack, however, may be able to put 8 in their "spatial thinking and math" stack where I can only put 5-6.  Some stacks have multiple uses; for instance, there's a strong corrollary between musical ability and mathematical, which suggest that those two stacks may have a few of their upper layers in common.

              3) Finally, we place most of our own chips.  This is where experiential factors and the 'nurture' side of 'nature vs. nurture' come into play.   We know, for instance, that early exposure to adult language (complex sentence structure, polysyllabic words, etc.) fires off different sections of the developing brain than does "baby talk."  By the same token, we often see "prodigies" result from early exposure to mathematics or music.

              So, yeah - some folks wind up drawing a Ace high, some get a full house or four of a kind, and every once in a while someone lays down a royal flush...me?  Two pair at best, maybe three of a kind if we're talking about music.  *laugh*

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:03:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Academic advisors often (13+ / 0-)

    disagree with the conclusions of the PhD candidates they supervise. One does not have to agree with one's advisor on everything in order to earn the PhD degree, and I hope we all can understand why that is a good thing. If the candidate's actual research was sound, there is little the advisors could have done here, other than to tell him that they disagree with some of his conclusions (which it sounds like they did). In any event, I don't think one can judge an advisor, and certainly not a 300-year old school, based on one turkey dissertation.

  •  This really discredits the Kennedy School (10+ / 0-)

    of Government. Perhaps this is where the scions of wealth who couldn't get into Harvard Law School go to salve their wounds.

  •  Politics trumps science & evidence (8+ / 0-)

    This is pretty shocking, coming from such an august institute.  

    It appears the Harvard emperor really has no clothes.

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

    by Betty Pinson on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:16:23 PM PDT

  •  So, if I'm reading this correctly... (30+ / 0-)

    I could earn a Harvard PhD by writing a dissertation arguing that Jews are the root of all evil, just so long as I don't suggest putting them in ovens.

  •  love how asshole Borjas (12+ / 0-)

    refuses to deal with the issue and instead issues a massive insult to anyone who doesn't agree with his extremist right wing views

    Harvard?

    really?

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:20:14 PM PDT

  •  "Low-rent eugenics" (24+ / 0-)

    I am so stealing that.

    I read Stephen Jay Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man" years ago, which dealt with many of these same issues when they were first bruited about in a scientifical environment in the first quarter of the 20th Century. The new-fangled metric of the intelligence quotient was supposed to provide an objective standard that could tell folks all they needed to know about a person's intellectual capacity.

    What early IQ tests really showed was the biases of researchers. Asking a poor immigrant which was the proper fork to use during the salad course was hardly a measure of intelligence, but sadly was used as a cudgel to beat down the lower classes.

    Gould did a pretty good job of explicating the high hopes the first researchers had for their new area of study. He also showed how societal and institutional biases quickly crept in (or stormed through the front door) to justify and maintain the status quo.

    It took decades to unravel the mess, but the appeal of easily-defined measures of intelligence and academic progress is a siren song that continues to seduce. One need look no further than the mania over "standardized" tests, from today's education reformers. Charlatans gulling legislatures to hand over their education budgets is one thing; one would hope that doctoral boards at Harvard or any other institution of higher learning would be a smidgen wiser than that.

  •  This is the result of academics passing judgments (17+ / 0-)

    on things about which they know exactly shit.   So you have Shockley, a physicist, and Herrnstein, an experimental cognitive psychologist who was the first author of "The Bell Curve," pompously pontificating about race & IQ.  And you had Summers getting himself canned from the presidency of Harvard for casually exposing his sexism by opining about how women just don't excel in math, showing that he hadn't bothered to find out what had happened in the relevant fields of research in the previous 10 years.  

            Herrnstein is also at Harvard, whose reputation for liberalism should perhaps be reconsidered in light of the obvious elitism of some of its most prominent profs.  It's especially disappointing to see that Jencks signed off on such crap -- I had thought better of him on the basis of the work of his that I knew.  

    (Full disclosure: As a retired clinical neuropsychologist who taught a graduate course on intellectual testing and did research on gender differences in adolescent development, these guys occupy prominent niches in my gallery of intellectual buffoons.)

    "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 04:30:32 PM PDT

    •  Oops: errata. 1. Herrnstein was actually primarily (9+ / 0-)

      an animal behaviorist, not a "cognitive" experimental psychologist, which, of course, would have not been nearly as far afield from the topic of IQ & race as was his actual field of real expertise.  

      2.  Herrnstein is no longer at Harvard.  Dr. Herrnstein, he (long) dead.  

      Somehow I momentarily conflated Herrnstein with Pinker, thereby drastically intensifying my chronic intern syndrome regarding my rapidly aging brain.  It must have been the commonality of their both having written foolish books about topics far from the field of their own in-depth knowledge. Of course, with Herrnstein it was a habit, since he was also co-author with James Q. Wilson of that other egregiously regressive piece of pseudo-scientific shit, "Crime & Human Nature."

      "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 05:04:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lol Pinker (0+ / 0-)

        Is the new Herrnstein, in a way.  Funny!

        “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 Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:35:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm curious about the financial (5+ / 0-)

    relationship of this 'scholar' and the University.

    Was Richwine's family 'generous' to the University?
    Buy a Chair or two at the table, or a library wing?

    Republicans totally abandoned conservatism in the 1980s ..

    by shpilk on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:33:07 PM PDT

  •  classic heads I win, tails you lose (5+ / 0-)

    apparently if you root for the taxpayer, immigration is too costly and if you root for the immigrants then immigration is the most costly give-away ever...in the universe!

    •  Or, translation (0+ / 0-)

      You can be smart with your money, or you can be stupid with your money.

      Your choice.

      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 05:21:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How can the dissertation (4+ / 0-)

    be based on  empirical evidence when there are no large samplings of hispanic IQ's vs. Europeans?  This was all subjective.  

    One of the stated reasons for the Revolution was "taxation without representation." Now we have "legislation without representation" or "representation without legislation."

    by regis on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:43:54 PM PDT

  •  One learns how to translate (3+ / 0-)
    I've been lucky to have met many high-IQ people in academia who are total losers, and many smart, but not super-smart people, who are incredibly successful because of persistence, motivation, etc.
    When I was in graduate school I learned how to translate the following quote, (usually said in a nasal tone)--

    "High IQ people in academia who are total losers"

    = people from good families and a long tradition of erudition who can't communicate or negotiate in the "real world."

    and

    "not super-smart people, who are incredibly successful because of persistence, motivation, etc."

    =pushy immigrant upstarts.

    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 04:47:43 PM PDT

  •  Money, money, money. (7+ / 0-)

    Always my first suspicion today when the inexplicable surfaces, as it does today almost daily.

    Someone has been sponsoring and protecting him for some time is my own supposition.

    The rabid right has made no secret of their intention to replace "liberal" academics, beginning back with Reagan.

    There's no defense of his "work"; therefore, the institutional and individual reponses of the professionals are simply an endorsement of the fair and balanced charade used throughout the society today.

    The only substantive difference between the promotion of bigotry here and with Limbaugh or Fox News is the more elevated language and an implication of prestige that the public would associate with the university.

    Perhaps we are finally realizing that no place or person in our society is exempt from plutocratic control.  Now if we can just figure out how to reverse the epidemic.

    "It's May! It's May! The lusty month of May! Those dreary vows that ev'ryone makes, Ev'ryone breaks. Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes! The lusty month of May!" - Lerner and Lowe

    by blueoasis on Fri May 10, 2013 at 04:54:06 PM PDT

    •  But it was never really "liberal" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alice Olson

      in the first place.  At least the Ivy's schools of government and national security as well as places like Stanford, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins SAIS

      I mean, sure, Harvard banned ROTC but they were educating future right-wing dictators and war criminals at the same time

      Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat May 11, 2013 at 04:23:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And, if ever we thought Harvard was (0+ / 0-)

      "exempt from plutocratic control"  well, just shoot me now.

      The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

      by Alice Olson on Sat May 11, 2013 at 04:52:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Borjas is woefully ignorant (10+ / 0-)

    on IQ assessment validity which inhibits his ability to evaluate anything related to IQ and it's correlates, yet he approved this dissertation topic.
    What a pompous ass.

  •  This is 1st rate take down of those idiots. n/t (8+ / 0-)

    The GOP: Fearing things that have never existed while ignoring things that have always existed, i.e. gun registration/starvation.

    by StevenJoseph on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:07:18 PM PDT

  •  Borjas knows many high IQ people in (3+ / 0-)

    academia who are "losers." Unlike the highly successful lower IQ people.

    Parsing that is pretty difficult. Unless you are a conservative who hates academia and only admires the rich.

    Bizarre.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:19:10 PM PDT

    •  If he accepted Richwine's thesis (2+ / 0-)

      I think that the quote could mean that, in accordance with Richwine's correlation between class and IQ, Borjas believes that people who have old money and the right bloodline are indeed the smartest, but perhaps not "street smart," whereas pushy, upstart immigrants may lack the finer qualities, yet they don't know when to give up until they get what they want.

      His language is almost admirably slippery, that Borjas.

      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 05:51:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eugenics was very popular around the turn of (11+ / 0-)

    the century....the 20th century. Maybe he was writing his dissertation for that era???? It would make sense if it were based on the racist attitudes of the people of 100 years ago.

    Duh..we are just using the wrong scale to judge him; we need to turn the clock back 100 years!!!!! Which also happens to be before IQ tests were initiated and standardized!!!!!

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:20:58 PM PDT

  •  I don't even understand how he got (13+ / 0-)

    an approval from committee to conduct his "research".
    If anyone on his committee was awake at the start of the process - he wouldn't have been able to move towards conducting the research, writing it up and defending it.

    I'd love to see his bibliography.
    Probably drawn from this treasure trove of bigotry

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:24:41 PM PDT

  •  I STRONGLY recommend your work on this (11+ / 0-)

    Empty Vessel.

    The worst statement is from committee chairman Borjas.

    It's delightful to see these puffed-up academics squirm under a little pressure.

    Assholes!

    I say raise the pressure.  What they did is evil, un-American, and STUPID (which is the worst insult for these Harvard assholes).

  •  Just downloaded the dissertation... (15+ / 0-)

    Here's the link: http://d.pr/...

    I've only had a chance to look at the first few pages, but I am seriously underwhelmed.  It also appears that a fair amount of what this joker has to say about IQ is based on Murray's The Bell Curve.  Too bad for both of them that science marches on.  In this case it marched right over them and left big giant boot marks across their bodies.

    After conducting the largest ever study of intelligence, researchers have found that far from indicating how clever you are, IQ testing is actually rather "meaningless."

    "We expected a few hundred responses, but thousands and thousands of people took part, including people of all ages, cultures and creeds and from every corner of the world," he said. "When you take 100,000 people and tested their brain function, we couldn’t find any evidence for a single uniform concept of intelligence."

    "...IQ tests are pretty meaningless - if you are not good at them, all it proves is that you are not good at IQ tests."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

    Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

    by rbird on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:33:54 PM PDT

  •  Yes those who supported this bigot are seriously (5+ / 0-)

    in need of review.  such backward thinking can't gain the light of day without other to support it.  These are the one that need to reprimanded or other review given.

  •  can I just say, as a college professor grading my (21+ / 0-)

    ten-millionth research paper, that this is some pretty fucked-up shit?  That's a technical term in academic research.  

    Borjas in particular sounds like a choice piece of work.  I am so sorry for the Harvard students (and colleagues) who have to deal with him.

  •  Here is a link to a refutation of Winerich's (10+ / 0-)

    dissertation by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    Also renowned Harvard Business School professor, Craig Christensen, is the founder of Disruptive Foundation, which gave Glenn Beck a 2013 Disruptive Innovation Award for his business sense and down-home ability to communicate with his audience.  No mention was made of his racism, homophobia and conspiracy theories.

    Thank Harvard again!

  •  To pass a student doesn't need unanimous passes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Alice Olson, louisprandtl

    From the committee. I've served on grad committees where one member failed a student and the student passed

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:48:40 PM PDT

  •  movie The Good Shepard (2+ / 0-)

    exactly captured these attitudes.

    it never went away, they only became "more discreet".

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:54:45 PM PDT

    •  might be useful to remember (4+ / 0-)

      all the Americans who thought we should support the Germans in world war II, including the Bush family.

      fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

      by mollyd on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:56:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  An underappreciated masterpiece (3+ / 0-)

      it moves a little slow,as one critic said, for 90 mins it is the Godfather of spy movies, then bogs down a bit. But it picks up again towards the end. When Damon is asked by Joe Pesci, a mobster, just what it is " you people" ( WASPS ) got ( as opposed to ethnic groups that have their food or music ) Damon replies, we have the United States, the rest of you are just visiting.....it is a haunting film, the last line of the movie, about gov't oversight of the CIA..." as if we will let them " have any oversight. Brilliant film, excellent job by director DeNiro.

      •  William Hurt character (3+ / 0-)

        a privileged wasp who was enriching himself in the process,  man, they just nailed the whole thing

        fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

        by mollyd on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:03:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  take your pick. all the performances were great (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeffersonian Democrat

          Alec Baldwin as the FBI guy who keeps a file on Hurt, Angelie Jolie as the neglected wife, the actor who played the Soviet counterpart, John Turturro, the enitre movie is just one great work. the only actor missing would be Bryan Cranston, but he hadn't done Breaking Bad yet.....

          •  note John T is not the referenced Soviet character (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeffersonian Democrat

            my sentence structure was poor there

          •  VERY frightening movie, just in general but also (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jeffersonian Democrat, mollyd

            because of the overwhelming déjà vu experience it created for someone who grew up in the '50's & '60's and whose parents had several friends who were former FBI agents and whose brother was sitting in a destroyer just offshore doing air-traffic control as the Bay of Pigs fiasco went on.

            Absolutely gave me the creeps.  

            "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 10:31:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  One specific that just came back to me-- (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jeffersonian Democrat, mollyd

              the husband of one of the two couples with whom my parents were extremely close (shared vacations, etc.) had been an FBI investigator for McCarthy's committee and was still a fan of "Tail-Gunner Joe" years later.  The weird thing was that he was a genuinely nice and politically moderate guy -- he had become a lobbyist who was a fan and friend of Tip O'Neal.  In other words,  he was definitely a character right out of "The Good Shepard."  Strange days, indeed, Momma.  

              "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 10:44:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Have you read the dissertation? N/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl, soros
    •  Yes. (9+ / 0-)

      "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 06:13:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  was the methodology sound? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros
        •  No. (6+ / 0-)

          "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 08:05:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In what way (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alice Olson, soros

            I'm curious becuase you have lambsted one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world and yet you did not provide any direct criticism of the work itself. I'm not defending his noxious ideas, but if his research was sound there is no reason to knock Harvard.

            What is your experience or training in judging social science research?

            •  His "theory" about IQ averages in arbitrarily (14+ / 0-)

              defined populations came from "The Bell Curve," which was written by an animal behaviorist & a political scientist with a completely superficial understanding of the theory and research regarding IQ testing and is pretty universally regarded by experts to be a piece of amateurish trash.

                      Think of Niall Ferguson writing on economics.  What would your reaction be to a dissertation that relied on economic theory and methods developed by Ferguson (still another Harvard numbskull pontificating about matters out of his ken, come to think about it).

                      I guess Ferguson may be a competent historian (although what I've read of his stuff suggests that he's such a Kiplingesque imperialist douchebag that I have no interest in reading anything major that he wrote);  but there really is no reason for anyone to pay any attention to his maunderings about economics.  Similarly with Herrnstein & Murray regarding IQ differences across populations--their stuff was coloring-book science that doesn't belong in a dissertation at a quality university.  

                      I taught the graduate  introduction to intellectual testing in our clinical psych doctoral program and was a specialist in the neuropsychological theory and evaluation of learning disorders.  Consequently, I served on a lot of dissertation committees related to those areas.  If a student had given me a proposal relying heavily on "The Bell Curve," I would have told him or her to come back after becoming familiar with the professional literature having to do with the topic.  

              "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 11:13:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I alos teach research methods. (0+ / 0-)

                While there is controversy about policy and social implications and somewhat consent about the specific claims in Murray and Hernstien their premise is not invalid (nor rejected by the academy).  IQ (ability) is partly genetic. It is a predictor of several outcomes. What was arbitrary about the dissertation's population sample?

                I'll review the dissertation when i get a chance after grading :-)

                •  So I read it (0+ / 0-)

                  or at least gave it a good skimming. From I can tell he seems to have accurately analyzed test-score data, which showed what he said : mean IQ-score differences between Latinos and non-Latino whites, are found consistently across many datasets and across time after taking factors such as language proficiency and cultural bias into account. I have major disagreements  about his ridiculous policy recommendations, but not about the empirical accuracy of his research.

              •  I "also" am typing on an iPad :-) n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  You have hit what I see as the main issue. (3+ / 0-)

    What expertise has this committee or Richwine in genetics?

    That needs at least a Masters in biology/genetics to even begin to understand how DNA impacts generational characteristics in a manner that is removed from social factors.

    And even if Richwine had referenced up to date science to substantiate his argument, the members of the committee were not qualified to judge the reliability of the citations.

    Does anyone who counts the "cost" of illegal and/or unskilled immigrants subtract the money saved to employers who employee them a well below what they would have to pay and American white person.
    Not to mention that their income tends to get plowed back into our economy pretty quickly.

    If if that is not part of the math then the math is certainly not up to scholarly standards, and neither is the committee that doesn't see that.

  •  Congress, CEOs, MSM broadcasters, tenured pro- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice Olson

    fessors, rich people -- hell they all GOT theirs, they could give a fk about what we think, do, or live by. All that matters is their bloated egos and their office/tenure/board presidency/profit line. They must keep those at any cost (which is usually borne by us).
    Too many people at the top in America have this same attitude. The system corrupts absolutely. Too bad few of them have the spirit of giving and sense of humility of Pope Francis I. Lots of people ensconced in the power trappings of the Catholic Church really don't like this guy because he threatens their corrupt existences.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:28:25 PM PDT

  •  W/O reading the whole comments section (4+ / 0-)

    it seems to me the committee either didn't read the dissertation or were so disinterested they glazed over and figured oh well the kid is smart, give him the degree. Don't know fuck all about IQ? Go down to your local elementary school and ask the psychologist, guidance counselor or simply a trained special ed teacher, and they will explainall you need to know about it in 30 minutes. we do it all the time at IEP meetings with parents. i can't believe anyone at Harvard doesn't understand concepts of IQ, right or wrong.

  •  Is the dissertation publicly available? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cap76, pgm 01

    I'd want to read it before passing judgement.

    It could well be that the empirical work is solid.  We just don't know where the empirical work ends and where the conclusions begin.  

  •  Unreal (24+ / 0-)

    I'm a social scientist with a PhD from a top program in my field. I've taught for almost 20 years at two R1 universities and am tenured at one now. I have advised over 15 dissertations (almost all by people who now have tenured or tenure track jobs). I've been on dozens of dissertation committees in half a dozen different disciplines at 8  different universities. I am funded by major national funding organizations. I've peer reviewed two dozen books (most based on PhD dissertations) and countless articles (along with publishing my own).

    All of which is not to brag, but simply to say I know my shit on this particular matter, viz., what makes a legitimate PhD-worthy dissertation, and how you evaluate same.

    And I would not have put my name on the signature page of a piece of bigoted opinion journalism masquerading as "research" like Richwine's pathetic "dissertation."

    What the fuck kind of degree mill for right wing morons is Harvard running there?

    I can tell you what really happened.  Richwine was Borjas' special little student and the other two, out of laxness and deference to Borjas (one reinforces the other) DID NOT READ THE DISSERTATION MANUSCRIPT. They just rubber stamped it with a few vague comments.  I see it happen too often to pretend it doesn't, especially in a field that is not producing research scientists or scholars but policy hacks for whom the PhD is primarily a credential fr the business card.

    But you're supposed to have outside examiners at a dissertation defense to keep everyone honest.  Whete were those examiners?  Could it be the K School does not invite oversight of its dissertation defenses? If so, how are they taken seriously?

    For shame Harvard. For shame.

    “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 Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:00:41 PM PDT

    •  Thank you! (11+ / 0-)

      Tenured linguistics professor here at non-flagship state research university with degrees from excellent but non-elite state schools, chiming in to say that a dissertation committee must by definition have expertise in the areas of inquiry pursued by doctoral candidates. That is the point. That is how it works. Experts in the field evaluate the contributions of those intending to join the professional community. As a professor of linguistics I would be acting unethically if I pretended expertise outside the areas in which I actually have some or signed off on a diss whose academic rigor I have no legitimate way to discern. But PhDs at my institution don't come with a pedigree. All we've got is academic rigor. But I would hope that the institutions that enjoy so much more prestige than mine does would earn it by insisting on the highest academic standards. I feel for the other students at the KSG because this astonishing case of academic fraud and institutional arrogance may hurt the value of their degrees, even if they hold up their end of the bargain by doing legitimate and appropriately rigorous work.

      •  When you've got pedigree, you don't need (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        louisprandtl

        academic rigor, much less integrity.

        The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

        by Alice Olson on Sat May 11, 2013 at 05:09:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most Harvard Departments (5+ / 0-)

          in the Arts and Sciences DO produce quite rigorous dissertations, to be sure.  That makes K School lack of standards more shocking.  It isn't just about Harvard as elitist.  It is about very specific academic corruption among conservative intellectuals, some of whom are using Harvard to produce credentialed scholars who do not have to meet typical standards of excellence or rigor.

          Wanna bet BORJAS is in on it?  Wonder if he has gotten paid by the Heritage Foundation before? There are conflict of interest standards for university faculty, you know?

          I hope the solid scholars (students and faculty) at the K School will demand accountability. Their reputations and the value of their degrees just took big hits from this episode.

          “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 07:28:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you are right on (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RocketJSquirrel, Empty Vessel

            about the corruption, and it is appalling that any accredited institution or credentialed scholar would participate in such a cynical, ideologically driven devaluation of doctoral work and academic credentials. This is the kind of BS that, sadly, we have all come to expect from the anti-intellectual yahoos currently overrunning many of our state legislatures. But it is a ridiculous outrage that highly respected institutions and members of their faculty would sell out the most fundamental values of academic inquiry and the professional ethics they are entrusted to uphold. For shame is right.

      •  Ditto -- PhD from Univ. of Kentucky (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alevei, pdxteacher

        Dr. George Herring, my Dissertation Committee Chair, demanded the highest standards.  He would never accept the shoddy ideological "study" that resulted in Richwine's "Harvard PhD."

      •  Academic Fraud (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdxteacher, alevei, Empty Vessel

        You have called it exactly what it sure looks like to me.

        And you make a great point about the excuses offered by these assclowns, which boil down to not knowing the difference between good and bad work for lack of expertise.  Plus some gibberish about "empirical work" vs. something they seem to think is mere window dressing but others would call an argument, a hypothesis, a set of claims, interpretation of your data or, you know, a "thesis."

        “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 07:21:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Very sad if true about Jenks. It's hard to (5+ / 0-)

      believe that he doesn't know that "The Bell Curve" is trash and that he would be risking his reputation by associating himself with this trashy offspring of the original.  I really was shocked to see his name here.

      "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 11:24:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harvard has a special function (9+ / 0-)

    Its main job is only peripherally connected with higher education. Its primary function these days - along with a handful of other schools - is to crank out future members of the oligarchy, the elites who go back and forth between those institutions of learning, government, and finance. It's all about making connections and getting the right credentials.

    And seriously, a name like Jason Richwine? That ought to be a tip-off that the people pulling the strings these days are getting their ideas from bad novelists. No wonder reality sucks - script quality has gone way downhill. It's no coincidence it dates back to the country deciding to make a Grade B movie actor President.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:27:13 PM PDT

  •  I'm really late to this, and I'll hope to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cap76, louisprandtl, soros

    catch a later diary--but:

    Race and IQ is an infrequent topic in the academy but not THAT infrequent, and it is certainly considered respectable.

    Also, a lot of people think that university researchers use IQ in a way that would not correct for cultural biases, but that is not a (universally) accepted position: a lot of researchers believe there is a culturally neutral IQ, so much so that they are working to isolate evolutionary changes that make some groups smarter than others.

    I'm just writing this quickly to let anyone interested know that this is a very current, respected area of research.

    See:

    Razib Khan--who I think is NOT racist at all:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/...

    For an intro to the world or race realism (definitely racist):
    http://rationalwiki.org/...

    Sorry for the quick post. Four years ago I got into some arguments, even arguing with some of the most prominent scientific racists, but they rightly mocked my lack of empirical experience, etc. I say "rightly" because it's not sufficient to disapprove of conclusions on non-scientific grounds: it requires better relevant science, which I am incapable of doing.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:34:03 PM PDT

    •  "Some groups smarter than others":SMARTER AT WHAT? (8+ / 0-)

      There is no such thing as "smarter" in the abstract -- to put it in theoretical terms, "g" (general intelligence) does not exist; it is a hypothetical construct that has very little predictive validity for most individuals--after all, the brain is a very complex system composed of a great number of interconnected but partially independent components.  Why in the world would anyone expect to be able to represent its functioning with a single number.  Hell, even the NFL doesn't try to do that with the rest of the body, a much less complex system.   And since intelligence is always about adaptation to environmental demands, it is almost totally meaningless to use the same test to measure the intelligence of two large populations when they live in very different environments. In other words, there is no such thing as a culture-free intelligence test.

      Concrete example of the meaninglessness of "g.". Take 2 adolescents:  

      1.  Verbal IQ = 100;  Performance (Visual-Spatial) IQ = 140;  Full Scale IQ ("g" measure) = 120.

      2.  VIQ = 140;  PIQ = 100;  FSIQ = 120.

             So these two kids are equally "smart"?   Smart at what?

      (These aren't purely hypothetical examples -- they're not unusual clinical examples taken from a long-term practice;  they're also, quite literally and specifically, my two sons.)

      Kid No. 1 is likely to be good at things like drawing, architecture, geometry, etc. but none too verbally facile.  A lot of kids like this have trouble in our standard schools because the schools are so verbally oriented, even though these kids might, and often do, do very well in schools that emphasize visual arts, mechanics, etc.  Or they'll do very well in math & science but barely get by otherwise.

      Kid No. 2 is likely to be very articulate, a good or even great writer, but I wouldn't give him an engine to fix.  Kids like this usually do well in standard schools until they get to algebra and higher math and chemistry and physics.  You won't find too many majoring in engineering in college.

      So these two kids are equally intelligent?  Not in any meaningful way--at least regarding the types of intelligence that IQ measures.  

      The more general point is that intelligence is always about successful adaptation to the demands of particular environments and thus mastering of particular skills.  IQ tests measure primarily the skills that predict success in modern academic training. (That was Binet's original goal.)  And obviously they don't measure just ONE general academics-related ability.  But the skills they measure are only very loosely related to the ability to adapt in non-academic environments -- they don't measure social skills, creativity, "street smarts," many different types of memory,  mechanical ability, artistic or musical ability, kinesthetic ability, etc., etc., etc.

              One major problem with comparing IQ tests across populations is that the adaptive requirements of the environment of one population may not overlap very much with the adaptive requirements of the environment of the other population, so that what constitutes "intelligence" for one population may have very little to do with what constitutes intelligence for the other.  Obviously many immigrants come from environments very different from that of the average "white native American." Saying that they're less intelligent than white native Americans because they don't score as well on tests designed to measure the academic  abilities demanded by the white native environment is just silly.   And it will stay silly until the environmental demands and rewards for a minority become the same as for white native Americans or, to put it in terms of the famous book title, until, like the Irish, they themselves also "become white."

           Of course, when you're black or brown, that's obviously going to be a tad more difficult and lengthy process than it was for the Irish,  for reasons that have nothing to do with "general" or "biologically determined"'population differences in intelligence.  

      P.S.  Another way of saying the above is that not only is the idea of a single general intelligence a unicorn, but the idea of a culture-free measure of that mythical general intelligence is doubly so.

       

      "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 01:22:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros, jeff in nyc

        Against the empirics in "the bell curve" amounts to:

        1) Race isn't real.

        2) Intelligence isn't real.

        Which is fine for geneticists who are representing an extreme, but for social scientists you have to deal with what you've got -- IQ tests and our social construct of races (which does have a genetic component -- after all, variations in physical appearance are a result of genetic variation!).

        But you can't ignore the studies of, say, adoption of kids of multiple "races" (i can't stress enough that there is no such thing as the "white gene" or "black gene" i'm using this term to refer to the social construct) into the same kind of upper-middle class white families, where the differences in IQ (lots of fair criticism of test bias and such) are present across racial groupings.

        The APA writes clearly that there are differences observed in IQ across races, but what is the balance between genetic and behavioral causes?

        Just as it's not "racist" to acknowledge that blacks are taller on average than ethnic chinese or oriental asians--it shouldn't be "racist" to acknowledge that in the measure of IQ, oriental asians outperform whites!

        Empirically you have to do whatever you can with the data, but disregarding that kind of data is verging on extreme.

        Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

        by aguadito on Sat May 11, 2013 at 03:11:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is not in the data per se but in (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susanala, BradyB, soros, aguadito, jeff in nyc

          interpretations of the data that ignore the limitations of the constructs and measures involved, which was the major problem with the actual "Bell Curve" book.  Yes, IQ scores (at least the individually administered ones) are a moderately  good measure of academic achievement and predictor of future academic success.  But they're a much less successful predictor of success after completion of academic training and a piss poor measure of any half-way sophisticated concept of intelligence(s).  

          "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 08:55:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like the kids at the Kennedy School are all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, Ditch Mitch KY

    right. The professors? Not so much! What a stain. Bleach isn't going to take that away. Ít's Harvard! I could understand if this dipshit got his Phd from Oral Roberts. Unreal that somebody could write something so awfully racist and get awarded a Phd from Harvard no less for it.

    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 08:04:29 PM PDT

  •  Just looking at the abstract... (4+ / 0-)

    there's plenty to be debated simply in the first and second sentences. I cannot copy and paste unfortunately so I'll have to retype it.

    The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the US is substantially lower than that of the white native population and the difference is likely to persist over several generations.
    I am probably going out on a limb here but I don't know if I have the patience to slog through the whole thing. At the outset, the first statement is accepted as a given without any attempt to explain how IQ is being measured across different populations. Was the same test administered to all subjects? WERE their subjects or did Richwine simply cite data from other studies that confirmed his hypothesis? Did any tests which were administered include any sort of in-built bias due to cultural differences? If that was controlled for, how was that done? Was it done on a methodologically sound basis? Were the IQ tests administered to immigrants given in their native language, or at least in the language they were most proficient?

    Is anything other than "intrinsic intelligence" offered as the explanation for any measured differences in test scores? How are the populations "immigrants in the US" and "white native population" quantified in such a way that they can be meaningfully compared to each other?

    One has to also keep in mind that, without exception, all of the members of the class "native white population" are descended from immigrants. How many generations did it take for them to graduate from "immigrant in the US" to "white native population?" Was some methodology used to control for portions of the sample "native" population who are not "white?" How, precisely is "white" defined?

    And to the extent that there is a measurable difference in intelligence between the two presumably adequately-defined populations, WHY does that difference exist? Is it intrinsic? Is it circumstantial? Where does the difference come from and can it be ameliorated or eliminated?

    I think these are reasonable questions which ought to have been asked and answered before Richwine's claims can even begin to be assessed for their validity?

  •  So (5+ / 0-)

    there was nobody on the committee qualified to review the "empirical" work, and they didn't agree with the policy recommendations, so... what exactly did his panel base its approval on?

    What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

    by happymisanthropy on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:28:25 PM PDT

  •  We have a long history of low IQ immigrants. (9+ / 0-)

    From 1917, more than 3 quarters of Southern and Eastern European immigrants were categorized as "feeble minded" according to the newly minted Binet-Simon tests.

    See here.

    These of course are the ancestors - a generation or two removed - of the "native whites" Richwine is nattering on about.

    Economic Left/Right: -7.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
    Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

    by jvance on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:32:31 PM PDT

  •  hey PhD committee whores! (4+ / 0-)

    How's the whoring?

    Jesus, Mary & Joseph, I have not read the thesis or comments made by the committee. But if it does anything close to:

    arguing that the low IQ of Hispanics is reason to deny them immigration to the US
    then there's no school there, as much as a fascist department of propaganda.

    The whole thing makes me curious enough to almost have a look at this so -called "empirical" research.

    Are they certain the so-called empirical facts are not perhaps more correlational than causal, leading to specious conclusions?

     

  •  I'd say they give a degree to just anyone (2+ / 0-)

    but if that was the case I would have one instead of those with wealth and power.

  •  Is this typical of Harvard and other Ivy League (5+ / 0-)

    schools, to have just 3 members on a PhD committee? When I got my degree many years ago from a public university, the committee included 5 members from my department, plus a reader from an outside school. And they grilled the shit out of me, both the dissertation writing and the orals. I expect more from Harvard. This sounds like 3 pals who passed him on, who didn't really read or understand his paper, now trying to cover their backsides with this "the data were accurate" bullshit.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:29:20 PM PDT

  •  Everybody who is interested needs to read this (6+ / 0-)

    It completely demolishes any empirical "evidence" for the notion that IQ is immutable and can therefore be used to justify biased treatment of whole groups. Amazingly enough, it was published in the American Conservative.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/...

  •  As a post-graduate from Arts and Sciences at H (7+ / 0-)

    I can say thank you for highlighting this.

    Thankfully, politics and public policy creep into Arts and Science theses much less frequently. The continued good reputation of the University depends on vigilance regarding the quality of the scholarship and institutions therein and I think you may have identified a weakness at the school.

    I would love to watch anyone of these committee members publicly defend their decision.

    Shameless!

    Listen to Netroots Radio or to our pods on Stitcher. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:47:16 PM PDT

  •  There is a high correlation between... (0+ / 0-)

    a name like Richwine and snobbish beliefs.

    Chechnya: Russia's North Carolina.

    by NE2 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 11:27:38 PM PDT

  •  I have only one question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY, soros

    How many other dissertations from the Kennedy School (Oh Irony) are similarly unworthy of degree?

  •  deep thinkers over there (5+ / 0-)
    If you are rooting for the average U.S. taxpayer, the implication is clear and we should try to alleviate the problem raised by illegal immigration. If you are instead rooting for the many poor immigrants who are now living in the U.S. in much better circumstances than they left behind, then we can view current immigration policy as the largest anti-poverty program the universe has ever known, and the fact that there is a fiscal burden is just the price we need to pay to afford millions of people the opportunity to live the American dream.

    Or one could, you know, take an ever so slightly longer view and consider that well-educated children of immigrants could be looking after your medical care, educating your grand children, drawing up your will, etc., and paying into social security while they do it.  

    But no.  Thinking is hard.

  •  There is no biological basis for the concept of (8+ / 0-)

    race. There never has been and based on what we know likely never will be. This is why people are so upset. Reading through these comments distresses me because otherwise educated people are arguing about "methodology" and "data" and I.Q. and the bottom line is that we know, scientifically, the idea of race as biology/ genetics is rooted in culture and not science.

  •  Another reason to have slipped under the radar (5+ / 0-)

    I just did a quick check of Richwine's academic publishing record—as a graduate student at Harvard, he should have had no trouble publishing, right?

    Wrong.

    He has no publications of relevance in either ISI's Web of Knowledge of Google Scholar relating to his dissertation work. If that isn't a sign of lack of confidence in one's work, I don't know what is!

  •  All three respondents (and probably Jencks as (3+ / 0-)

    well) need to brush up on the "science" of IQ.

    I can think of no better starting point than the late (and lamented) Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man.

    Either that or they are familiar with it and are just a bunch of racist f*cks.

    Is it courageous to propose tax cuts but not identify a single tax expenditure to rein in? Is it courageous to target your deepest cuts on the poorest Americans, who vote in lower numbers and provide little in campaign contributions?

    by caul on Sat May 11, 2013 at 01:51:36 AM PDT

  •  So let me understand this... (5+ / 0-)

    a eugenic premiss was pre approved before the data was collected.  Hey Harvard, I have a hypothesis that suggests that these three distinguished professors are incompetent.  

  •  Burn it all down (5+ / 0-)

    It is extremely troubling that so-called distinguished academics would defend this tripe by suggesting the "empirical" research was somehow sound. As far as I am aware it is far from accepted that IQ has any value as a metric at all. One reason IQ is not regarded seriously has to do with social and cultural bias inherent within a test designed for english-speaking white folks.

    This is a truly disgusting episode, worse than the infamous comments about the science aptitude of girls from a few years ago.

  •  Wow. I am late to this party, (4+ / 0-)

    but this POS does not do a thing for Harvard's reputation as a bastion of academic excellence.

    I wish I could have sat on his dissertation defense. He would have been shitting bricks by the time I finished with him. Had I been his advisor, he would never have gotten past the proposal stage.

    I remember one of my classmates took his proposal over to the department head for review. A day or two later, he stopped to ask the chief about it. Dept. head pointed toward the wastebasket and said that was where his dissertation proposal went. That is what should have happened to Richwine's.

    Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength. - Eric Hoffer

    by Otteray Scribe on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:08:47 AM PDT

    •  I had the same fantasy (0+ / 0-)

      I've sat at the table for like 40 dissertation defenses in my career.  I so wish I could have gone Full Asshole at this one.  Richwine would be revising for the next decade just to get the manuscript back out of his colon.

      “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 Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:47:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So how does Harvard explain Rienhart and Rogoff? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl

    The high quality of their work?

  •  Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck must be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bozmo2

    laughing away in their graves. Jason Richwine, Phd Harvard U. snuck away quietly in the middle of the night from Heritage. He will be back, I promise, at the helm of another conservative foundation or enterprise at DC.  Meanwhile his superlative advisers at Harvard U. from their tenured ivory towers will be signing off more of the same junk so that we can see some more conservative clones of Jason R. strutting around the walls of Capitol Hill in their immaculate dresses and the famed "ring".  
    As a low info, low IQ, non Hispanic, I'm glad Dr. Jason R.
    didn't include me and my ilk in his now famed much revered study. However then his meta analysis would reaching all of  the "wrong conclusions" that may not justify the American Enterprise scholarship.
    Lastly I feel puny reading all of the comments in this diary from the scholastic Kossack giants. Thanks for exposing the joke from Kennedy school of "governance"...

    •  I suspect we will see Redwine again (sigh). (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      louisprandtl

      I read the dissertation ... kinda thought mentioning your chair's work more than a couple of times got Redwine points, kinda thought mentioning the success of the Cubans in Miami got Redwine some points ...
      Learned something new though ... hereditarians ...as "indirect evidence". Who knew?

      Glad Redwine didn't measure my head.

      “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

      by Bozmo2 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm allergic to "red wine" because of sulfites.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bozmo2

        Need to stay from this Redwine lest he, as you deftly pointed out, ran after me to measure my cranium dimensions with his vernier calipers..however don't mention to him that he needs a micrometer gage for that purpose...

        •  Me? I like a glass or two of Shiraz (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          louisprandtl

          LOL ... somehow I doubt the micrometer gauge .. but I agree with the running.

          “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

          by Bozmo2 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:54:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think i will survive few days of rash trading (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bozmo2

            for a glass of shiraz!  Where does Kossacks meet for a glass of wine and discussing the latest flab from Heritage and its conservative ilk?

            •  This, I do not know ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              louisprandtl

              Had a discussion this afternoon about committees and defenses .. and I do not know about Harvard, but is it possible Rich(red)wine HAD five members and only three signed off on the dissertation?

              “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

              by Bozmo2 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:59:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No HKS requires three persons dissertation (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bozmo2

                committee with at least two faculties.
                The dissertation requires one completed paper and plans for two more. From the above comments it seems Redwine didnt have a completed paper. If so how did he defend without fulfilling HKS doctoral degree requirements.

                http://www.hks.harvard.edu/...

                •  Thanks for the link ... interesting (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  louisprandtl

                  two years from prospectus to dissertation ... quick work!
                  I'm thinking, I agree with Duck152 further down the thread. Too bad really, seems like Rich(red)wine had many advantageous educational opportunities. He got his undergraduate degrees in math and econ at American University and a graduate degree at Harvard.
                  I read some comment from the conservatives this evening and was quite amused they take offense with constructive criticism. I have a feeling more of us on the left took more time reading his dissertation than his committee. Sad for his committee, sad for Richwine.

                  “I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” ― Dorothy Parker

                  by Bozmo2 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:50:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  FYI (0+ / 0-)

          White wines generally have higher sulfite levels than red.  I think you mean tannins.

          But I'm more for Poorbeer.

          “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 Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:48:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Conflating intelligence with education attainment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bozmo2, louisprandtl, pdxteacher

    was an inherent problem with the study. I find it absolutely incredible that his committee didn't challenge the findings on this basis alone.

    I think sometimes, when a PhD is challenged on their findings their pride takes over. If these guys just said, in hindsight we should have.... It would be better. Not acceptable, but better.

    That won't happen because it would expose other shortcomings.

    The same response  happened with Herndon (a grad student) challenging cherry picking the data and the math errors done in the Reinhart/Rogoff study. Reinhart/Rogoff should have said "My bad. We'll reassess our findings and submit an update." They didn't do that because it would then expose the problems in the peer review process. Why didn't their peers see the cherry picking or the math errors beore the study was published?

    In this case, the question should have been asked about Richwine's confirmation bias and his thoughts on racism. It further exposes his committee's confirmation bias and racial insensitivity or racism as the case suggests.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:10:10 AM PDT

    •  Underwent peer review once. (0+ / 0-)

      One of the reviewers was apparently reading an article that was not the article submitted for review.  

      "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 03:17:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The math works is the lamest excuse (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bozmo2, ericlewis0, louisprandtl, susanala

    You can make the math "work" on all sorts of things that are not even physically possible.  This is garbage in garbage out enabling conservative bigotry.

  •  Couple this with the Rogaine/Stroganoff austerity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl, blueoregon

    study that turned out to be catastrophically biased, and Harvard starts to look like a really creepy institution.
    Thanks for the excellent post, Empty Vessel! :)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:46:29 AM PDT

  •  Ridiculous. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl, blueoregon, Bozmo2

    I work in the undocumented community. Many of the parents are monolingual Spanish and are not high school graduates.  Was the test given in their native language? Was it culturally biased?
    As for the children of undocumented people educated in our public schools, when they become language proficient, I see no difference in their abilities, than than those of native English speakers.

    What an embarrassment for Harvard. I'm glad this came to light.

    If one standardized test is good, a gazillion must be even better. -Pearson Sales Rep.

    by Desert Rose on Sat May 11, 2013 at 07:56:51 AM PDT

  •  Harvard's broken PhD process (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl, Bozmo2, RocketJSquirrel

    I see many comments here about the content of the dissertation, but almost nothing about the process.  And it's the process I find the most frightening.  Let's take a look.

    1. Only three committee members.

    2. No external (i.e. non-departmental) member.

    3. Weak review standards, circumstational evidence of committee members signing off on stuff they hadn't thoroughly examined rather than sending it back for revisions.

    Red flags all around.

    I have a PhD in political science, from a midwestern state university.  So let's talk about how Harvard's process stacks up against the process I went through.  

    First of all, committee size.  I had five members on my committee, not three.  That in itself makes for a more diverse pool of advice, and a lower risk that shoddy work or even more minor screw-ups will get through.  Three is a master's thesis committee to me, not a PhD dissertation committee.

    Then there's the question of externals.  Three of my committee members were departmental (though one left during my time in school, but remained on the committee).  One was from another college in the university.  One was from another university.  I can gaurantee you that the externals added an enormous amount to the quality of the work.  And I was, frankly, shocked to find out that Harvard doesn't require this.  I simply wasn't aware that there were PhD programs that don't require at least one non-departmental external, though there are a good many that don't go the extra step of the program I went through in requiring someone from outside of the university.

    And standards.  All five of my committee members were actively engaged in the process, had expertise in the field in which I was working, in one way or another (three from a topic standpoint, two from a methods and organization standpoint), and treated me as an equal; in return they expected very high standards.  No social promotion.  No cutting corners.  And a review process that solved serious problems and seriously boosted the quality of the work.

    •  Five members (0+ / 0-)

      two outsiders

      Pretty much standard in most places.

      This is a very strange "PhD" granting process. I think the k school's accrediting body needs to have a look.

      “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 Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:51:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My biggest problem (0+ / 0-)

    Is the questionable ethics of the dissertation committee members and the university president making public statements about the process and the product. Violation of privacy act I think.

  •  Double edged sword: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl

     A "liberal elite" university gives a racist propagandist an advanced degree for an inherently bigoted policy piece masquerading as research...
      Does that ennable neocons more through endorsing racism, or by undermining their own credibility?
      Guess that board was either pressured to paper some neocons, or else had more important work to do than their jobs.

  •  I'd be curious to know what other, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl

    "problematic" dissertations  they have signed off on. Thanks for the diary.

    SOS - Save Our Sigs!

    by blueoregon on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:55:46 AM PDT

  •  "Sound" but "Never worked with IQ?" (0+ / 0-)

    That's the whole point! The director of the dissertation said that he didn't think IQ had social meaning.

    For public policy, the measure has to affect earning or health or criminality, and he says that IQ doesn't. He also says that he has never researched the debate on IQ. This is after saying that the dissertation, which adduces economic burden from IQ, is sound.

    Then they go back to being proud of a dissertation without an Excel error.

    I think in the Humanities, we'd generally spot such an intellectual conflict.

    "...ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be." - Juliana of Norwich

    by The Geogre on Sat May 11, 2013 at 10:57:24 AM PDT

  •  Available on Proquest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, Bozmo2

    I just downloaded Dr. Richwine's thesis from ProQuest.  For those with access, it is:

    ProQuest document ID 304890816

    I eat 150 page (!) phd dissertations as midnight snacks.  I will be dissecting it this evening.

    One page in and it's already bullshit.

    “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 11:45:35 AM PDT

    •  hope you diary it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RocketJSquirrel, louisprandtl

      i downloaded and skimmed to make sure it was crap...it is.  But I basically took the crapiness of dissertation claiming Hispanics are dumber than native whites as self evidently crappy.  My focus has instead been on the committee.  It never really crossed my mind that folks on a progressive website would defend this sort of study.  Apparently I was wrong.

      I mean seriously, when the fucking heritage foundation distances themselves from this sort of thing....THE FUCKING HERITAGE FOUNDATION...it should be pretty obvious that the dissertation was crap. Not to mention the obvious parallels with all the racist science of the first half od the twentieth century.

      So...please read and diary.  It seems we need to stamp this out again, cause too many people think that the Bell Curve crap has some academic validity.

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

      by Empty Vessel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 12:22:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have not started writing diaries here yet (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Empty Vessel, louisprandtl

        Pretty new member but longtime reader.  Be a hell of a topic but maybe a hot way to get my feet wet!  

        It's such utter crap I am having trouble pushing on past the part where he thanks the American Enterprise Institute for financial support and Charles Murray for being his inspiration and mentor.

        Really all you needed to know, right? Pseudo-Scientific racism lives.  At HARVARD UNIVERSITY no less.

        I repeat, from an alum, for fucking shame fair Harvard.

        “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 12:53:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

          AfteR looking at the signatures page, the acknowledgements were the first place I went.  Charles Murray...fucking Charles Murray.  

          But seriously, do the diary.  You've got knowledge to do this...basically just write a two page review as you would for any general audience.  It would be valuable.

          I find it hard to explain to those who are not PhDs why this is so troubling.  Harvard is over-rated, but it is still a world class university.  Harvard PhDs still have an outsize ability to impress people.  By legitimizing this work, they really are doing something staggeringly damaging.

          There is something really sad about the comments saying that Harvard is simply the home of conservative 1%ers.  I mean seriously, Stephan j. Gould was and numerous other progressive luminaries are there.  Most of the students are fucking scary smart.  But these three assholes have managed to help confirm the elitist, racist stereotype that many want to have about Harvard.  They need to get slammed, shamed and otherwise ridiculed...if for no other reason than making sure they hesitate before signing the next bigoted dissertation.

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

          by Empty Vessel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 01:07:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  pS Luis Henry Gates is at Harvard (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            louisprandtl

            Can you imagine what he must be thinking right now?

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

            by Empty Vessel on Sat May 11, 2013 at 01:09:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Prof Gould (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            louisprandtl

            I took 2 classes with him.  An inspiring teacher.

            Smarter people than me who are really up on the latest intelligence work will be ripping this crap dissertation to shreds.  I'm 15 pages in and am now sure it's crap.  

            “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 02:00:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps the explanation for the apparent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl

    contradictions in committee members' statements is exactly that no one on the committee has a background in theories of intelligence.

    You know, that kind of thing happens with PhD dissertations sometimes. It happened with my own: although the dissertation was in linguistics, and I found excellent people be on my committee to evaluate its linguistic content, it was also highly computational, and there was no one in the department or in another department who I could get on my committee to “cover” that part of it. The actual members basically just had to take my word that the computer stuff worked as I claimed it did.

    My dissertation would obviously had been much better if I had had a computational linguist on board, but my concern at the time was to finish the dang thing and move on. In this case, Richwine's dissertation would also probably have been much better, or at least very different, had he had a committee member who did study intelligence per se, but he didn't.

    It's at least possible that he was deliberately trying to pull the wool over the eyes of his committee, but it's more likely that neither he nor anyone in the room understood more than “common knowledge” about human intelligence, in spite of their extensive knowledge of economic theory. Not only didn't they know enough, they evidently didn't know enough even to know they needed to know more in order to adequately evaluate the dissertation.

  •  Borjas may be a bigger dunderhead than Richwine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY, RocketJSquirrel

    I'm as troubled by Borjas' response as I am by anything Richwine has done.

    As to what it all means, I am not sure. I know people like to take empirical evidence like the one that Jason provides and run with it to “fix the world.” What they forget is that there is an objective function on the road. So, for example, take Jason’s work at Heritage that is the root cause of this whole episode. He finds that illegal immigration imposes a sizable fiscal burden on U.S. taxpayers. I have not read the report. I have not looked at the numbers. I have no idea if it stands up to scrutiny. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that it’s correct. How do we then fix the world? What are the policy implications?
    Huh? Oh let's just assume any old thing as long it get's the  discussion going?

    Ok - let's just assume that birds are spherical and work out what this must imply about how birds fly.

    Ok - let's just assume that all those not paying federal income taxes (aside from SS and other payroll taxes - which obviously are federal taxes on income - so sorry Mr Orwell) are moochers who would never vote for Mitt Romney and focus on the electoral implications.

    Ok - let's just assume that Borjas is a dunderhead and discuss what this implies about hiring and promotions at Harvard.

  •  Those pompous gasbags (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY, louisprandtl

    Those pompous gasbags would probably have given Heinrich Himler a Phd if his "empirical work" was sound.  

  •  I don't care this is at the bottom... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisprandtl

    What is this? Germany 1935?

    Eugenics is alive and well at Harvard and the research is sound...well conceived and PhD worthy research.

    We need a new Leni Riefenstahl to make it into a movie.

    Lanza's mom had..an ar-15...Glock 20...Sig 9mm...nine full 30 round ammo clips...my mom has..cookies

    by Arrow on Sat May 11, 2013 at 02:24:58 PM PDT

  •  In some ways, this episode is a good thing. (3+ / 0-)

    It shines an unaccustomed light on PhD kabuki. Hopefully, the departing generation will be the last one to overvalue a PhD degree.

    Had Richwine chosen a different subject for dissertation, he would still be a PhD, and he would still be a fool. And the illustrious members of his dissertation committee would still be collecting adulation and accolade, their palsied writing skills and frail intellects ritually overlooked.

    This way, we get to look behind the fraying curtain, point our fingers, and laugh.

    Still, K school is lovely in the spring.

  •  One of the better threads I've read on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY, fou

    DKos and asks questions that badly need to be asked and debated.

    I'm sorry to see John F. Kennedy's name associated with this tripe.

  •  Richwine's dissertation (5+ / 0-)

    For those who are interested it does pay to read the dissertation (not for enlightenment, but to see how weak the effort really is).  First, all Richwine did was take the national IQs asserted by Richard Lynn (and old time IQ racist) and Tatu Vanhanen in IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002 Westport) and IQ and Global Inequality (2006 Augusta Ga, Washington Summit Publishers) and go to the census for immigration data on the source of immigrants and assert that the IQ of people from certain nations was that asserted by Lynn and Vanhannen.  That’s it.  That is the serious empirical contribution of Richwine.  As I said it is weak.  The University I received my PhD from would not have passed it.  Further, his literature survey addresses only the issue of IQ with the usual supporters, Murray, Herrenstein (also from Harvard I think) Jensen, Entine, Bouchard, references to Rushton, etc… the usual suspects and only references two opponents of IQ Gould and Leon Kamin.  Again, weak.  And he does not address the issue of race and the findings from the Human Genome Project (and others) that it is not a viable biological concept.  
    As for the passing of it, I suspect some intimidation.  Richwine had funding and a job at AEI and no doubt a forum, if needed, to claim he did not receive his PhD because of academic liberal bias.  Now that Heritage has let him go he will play the martyr for all he can get even if he lands back at AEI.  Most likely he will take his Harvard PhD apply to university immigration programs for jobs, get rejected, cry liberal bias, receive a lot of right wing publicity,  in essence play the useful tool, and then land at AEI or Hoover, or etc…. and be paid and praised as the courageous lone voice in the wilderness of rational, read liberal, thinking.  

  •  I wonder if those PhD chairs were centrists? (0+ / 0-)

    "Well, the numbers (I don't fully understand) seemed to add up, and it really all boils down to view point.  If you have someone with a strong enough opinion, and shiny numbers, then I guess it just gives us food for thought."

    PhDs are about politicking.  Hence, why I never bothered for one.

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Sat May 11, 2013 at 09:15:48 PM PDT

  •  for almost a century, asian immigration was (0+ / 0-)

    prohibited, yet Asians are considered a model minority.

    it would be interesting to take their model and grind in the economic losses from having barred so many top class immigrants.

    Now that would be an interesting thesis.

    Of no real use academically, but, it would be useful from
    a POV of poltiical discussion.

  •  Who was the committee chair? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't read this whole thread, mb the info is there somewhere, but the chair of the committee has more authority and responsibility than the other two members.  

    Also, the community must press to get a response from Jencks, who has written extensively on poverty and anti-poverty programs.  This dissertation seems to be in his ballpark, and he may have been the chair.  He cannot get off without making a statement.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Sun May 12, 2013 at 07:31:27 AM PDT

    •  Borjas (0+ / 0-)
      Richwine's dissertation committee consisted of...

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

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

      by Empty Vessel on Sun May 12, 2013 at 04:47:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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