What I have learned in this ordeal [i.e. his Two Minutes Hate] is that, in the Year 2011, there are certain questions that scientists may not ask, or, more accurately, for some questions, there are certain answers that scientists must a priori preclude from consideration. There are certain conclusions that scientists may not reach about some groups of people.

If you stop and think about this for a second, it means that “science” isn’t really science anymore. I’m pretty sure that means we’re fscked. More bad news here.

– AnomalyUK on Michael Lewis’s Obama propaganda:

If Lewis’s account is to be believed, the decision to take out the Libyan army on the road to Benghazi, thereby destroying the Libyan state and producing a revolutionary government, was made entirely on the basis of the humanitarian issue caused by the steps Gadaffi would be likely to take to regain control of Benghazi. The arguments made against decisively taking the rebel side in the civil war were purely based on the cost and the risk of tying up further US military resources. The question of who would take over Libya and what they would do afterwards doesn’t seem to have arisen; rather, “The ghosts of 800,000 Tutsis were in that room.” The mind boggles.

– Is the Chicago teachers’ strike really about HBD:

So what’s the sticking point? In exchange for the salary increase, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others are insisting that standardized test scores play some role in evaluating teachers and that school principals be given more power to run their schools the way they want to. Teachers say they don’t have enough control over their students’ socioeconomic situations to be judged on what they teach kids.

– Note to self: do not go to the Czech Republic.

– “And we white Americans? Are we the most pussified of all—the pussies of the world?”



11 Responses to Randoms

  1. asdf says:

    “The ghosts of 800,000 Tutsis were in that room.”

    Obama does feel some kind of affinity with them. Wonder what it is.

  2. samsonsjawbone says:

    Note to self: do not go to the Czech Republic.

    Or, um, don’t drink. I don’t get why people older than college-age drink, anyway.

  3. Retired guy says:

    Seems Gov. Clinton put in a teacher evaluation system in Arkansas. Much wailing followed. Some conferences were called. The evaluation system went in to effect, it was in effect a non-evaluation system,so nothing changed. The Gov took credit for bringing teacher evaluations to the fore, the teaches went along with no real changes made. Everyone but the kids won. Look to Chicago in the near future.

  4. Handle says:

    As far as education goes, there’s some relevant discussion of the double “I’ll see your strategy and raise you!” political history of the “reform” movement over at educationrealist (HT academywatch). Ordinary teachers are caught holding the bag for this reciprocal strategic insanity, but then again, they were overwhelmingly in favor of the Progressives in step-1, so you can’t feel too bad for them when they face the consequences of the obvious reaction.

    If you ask teachers in private about their opposition to testing, you’ll get a lot of hemming and hawing about “potential” and “talent” and “home-life challenges” that, sometimes with a little cognitive dissonance, basically implies HBD, though attributing it to different “root causes” (which are never the fault of the teacher). Even hard leftist Freddie de Boer is now able to say,

    I find the empirical evidence far, far more indicative of student-side demographic effects causing poor educational performance.

    Though, by “demographic effects”, he’s talking about Socioeconomic status, which couldn’t possibly correlate nor, heaven forbid, have a causal relationship with any other upstream human variables.

    Actually, teachers, especially good ones, aren’t afraid of testing at all – they just want to be evaluated fairly by a metric that actually corresponds to their efforts and effectiveness given the challenges they face in their student populations – that’s reasonable.

    What they actually want is a way to get each of their students at the beginning of the year given a kind of personalized, objective “expected improvement” number based on tests of cognitive ability socio-economic indicators. Then you test the student at the beginning and end of the school year to get the “actual value added”, and you compare it to what was expected for that student – low expectations for dull poor students and higher expectation for smart richer students. Teachers who consistently perform better than expected get kudos, and vice-versa for the under-performers – but nowhere are we doing magical thinking and “looking for superman”.

    Of course, creating these sorts of tests, with their “personalized expected value added scores”, is politically impossible because of the, er, um, patterns that would arise. And since everybody knows this and no one can say it teachers have to pretend to base their (again, reasonable) objections to unfair, clumsy tests on some other imaginary basis. It’s all very tragic and predictable.

    It’s all almost boring these days, and if being so over-exposed to the frequent repetition and sheer foreseeability of decadent farce that one can only laugh at the folly isn’t the defining attitude of the modern reactionary, I don’t know what is.

    Finally, the only (limited) success I’ve ever had in making people come to their senses is by making basic athletic analogies – which Americans especially seem to grasp intuitively, though, alas, erroneously compartmentalized away from the politically thorny topic of academics.

    If you were evaluating, say, a lot of track coaches, how would you pick out the great teachers from the awful ones? Well, of course you would start by looking at the potential of their runners. No one would just ask “how fast, in absolute terms, were your guys at the end of the year?” Everyone knows that would be absurd – because people clearly have, ahem, very diverse running ability.

    Not only that, but everybody will concede that it’s best to separate the runners into groups of similar speed and ability (classic “tracking”), because it’s more efficient to train a homogenous ability group (people don’t have to wait for the slow-pokes, who will just fall behind and get demoralized, while quick ones are bored and insufficiently challenged).

    Not only that, but some coaches have personality and teaching styles that are naturally geared to particular ability groups – some are best at making slow kids better, while others are great at turning talented kids into star-athletes.

    Every society has what WF Buckley called “the structure of taboos”. We expect the ruling class to pay lip-service to it for public-relations reasons and ignoring it in actual decision-making.

    The danger is when the taboos come from above, and the elites let their almost theological delusions actually spill over into policy that affects the real world. If these taboos were manifested in policy in the same way for coaching as we have done for teaching, the coaches would strike too. And they would be right to do so.

    • Handle says:

      You know, the above was supposed to contain a lot of snarky strike-throughs but I guess they didn’t show up. Smart readers will figure it out.

  5. PA says:

    On Americans being pussies. Just a few decades ago we killed punks who whistled at married white women. But certain top-down changes occurred since then, cf. your recent Electric Kool Aid post.

    When an animal is cornered, it does one of three things: fight, flight, and east germanization. The story of white America since 1954 is mostly flight — the easier and more available route for most. Fighting is off the table as an option for the most part; at least open resistance.

    (Aside: passive or indirect resistance has become an American artform, from saying “bad schools” to filtering out certain potential renters by requiring an onerous battery of paperwork. Indeed, there is a thriving black market in whiteness here.)

    And then there is the third option.

    East germanization means you smile and act nice and ignore the everyday little humiliations — like a pussy. You worship your NFL blacks. In the most tragic instances, you or someone you love becomes a whigger or a mudshark.

    East germanization means that your collective identity is broken and best you can do is keep your head down, mind your own business and seek protection in passivety, apathy, and intoxication — chemical or electronic. Until the wall comes down.

  6. GIlbert P says:

    Derb is a treasure. I have a feling he is writing to an ineffable deadline. Kudos to the poor little Greek boy, Taki T, for giving him a decent platform.

  7. I happen to like both kinds of pussy, and I’ll take a stand against that word being used a put-down.

    Americans are wimps, and I’m not afraid to say it. Now I’m going to sit down, be quiet but available, and hope one of my cats hops onto my lap.

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