Showing posts from 2019

The Genes of Left and Right

Our political attitudes may be written in our DNA

Scientists and laypeople alike have historically attributed political beliefs to upbringing and surroundings, yet recent research shows that our political inclinations have a large genetic component. The largest recent study of political beliefs, published in 2014 in Behavior Genetics, looked at a sample of more than 12,000 twin pairs from five countries, including the U.S. Some were identical and some fraternal; all were raised together. The study reveals that the development of political attitudes depends, on average, about 60 percent on the environment in which we grow up and live and 40 percent on our genes. “We inherit some part of how we process information, how we see the world and how we perceive threats—and these are expressed in a modern society as political attitudes,” explains Peter Hatemi, who is a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study. The genes involved in such complex traits are …

The Meritocrat Who Wants to Unwind the Meritocracy

In 2015, Mr. Markovits delivered a commencement speech at Yale Law School laying out the themes of his book. “To promote your eliteness — to secure your caste — you must ruthlessly manage your training and labor,” he said.CreditWilliam K. Sacco/Yale University

Daniel Markovits, got onstage and told the students, more or less, that their lives were ruined.
“For your entire lives, you have studied, worked, practiced, trained and drilled,” he declared.
And that rat race was far from over, at least if graduates wanted to maintain their, and their children’s, place in the “new aristocracy” of merit.
“To promote your eliteness — to secure your caste — you must ruthlessly manage your training and labor,” he said.
“To live this way,” he continued, “is, quite literally, to use oneself up.”
The speech turned the audience at the most elite of elite law schools on its ear (even if it likely knocked few off their post-graduation paths). And now Mr. Markovits is taking his message to the masses, wi…

On Challenging Conversations


Quillette's Jonathan Kay talks to Peter Boghossian, thePortland State philosophy professor, about his forthcoming  book: How to Have Seemingly Impossible Conversations

Published on August 14, 2019 PODCAST 49: Quillette’s Jonathan Kay talks to Peter Boghossian written by Quillette Magazine
Jonathan Kay talks to Portland State philosophy professor Peter Boghossian about his forthcoming book—How to Have Impossible Conversations.

Black American Culture and the Racial Wealth Gap

Black American Culture and the Racial Wealth Gap | Glenn Loury & Coleman Hughes [The Glenn Show] One of the more scintillating hours you'll spend on the Internet

20 August 2019 comments  |  archives
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Immigration as Punishment


Pity the Poor Teacher

Teachers loom large in most children’s lives, and are long remembered. Class reunions often talk of the most charismatic teacher, the one whose words and helpfulness made a difference. Who could doubt that they can have an influence on children’s learning and future achievements? Doug Detterman is one such doubter: Education and Intelligence: Pity the Poor Teacher because Student Characteristics are more Significant than Teachers or Schools. Douglas K. Detterman, Case Western Reserve University (USA)
The Spanish Journal of Psychology (2016), 19, e93, 1–11.
doi:10.1017/sjp.2016.88 Abstract. Education has not changed from the beginning of recorded history. The problem is that focus has been on schools and teachers and not students. Here is a simple thought experiment with two conditions: 1) 50 teachers are assigned by their teaching quality to randomly composed classes of 20 students, 2) 50 classes of 20 each are com…

White and Bright~Steve Sailer

A new study from Georgetown University reveals that if the student bodies of the 200 most selective American colleges were enrolled solely on objective SAT or ACT aptitude test scores, their student bodies would increase from 66 percent white under the current subjective system to 75 percent white. Ironically, this study was supposed to prove, in the wake of the entertaining and immensely popular Varsity Blues scandal in which TV actressesbribed their lowbrow kids into USC instead of Arizona State, that affluent white people have unfair advantages in college admissions. The authors at the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce state: The recent college admissions scandal has reinforced a sense that social status, affluence, and contacts allow special access to selective colleges. Our data confirms that the affluent have extraordinary advantages in college admissions. But instead, their numbers turned out backwards from their desired results. The black/Latino percentage under …

Why the college bribery scandal took six years to uncover and why it is no doubt the tip of the iceberg

They Had It Coming
The parents indicted in the college-admissions scandal were responding to a changing America, with rage at being robbed of what they believed was rightfully theirs.

Felicity Huffman leaves a federal courthouse on April 3.GRETCHEN ERTL / REUTERS

Updated at 5:23 p.m. ET on April 9, 2018. Sweet Christ, vindication! How long has it been? Years? No, decades. If hope is the thing with feathers, I was a plucked bird. Long ago, I surrendered myself to the fact that the horrible, horrible private-school parents of Los Angeles would get away with their nastiness forever. But even before the molting, never in my wildest imaginings had I dared to dream that the arc of the moral universe could describe a 90-degree angle and smite down mine enemies with such a hammer fist of fire and fury that even I have had a moment of thinking, Could this be a bit too much? Let’s back up.

Thirty years ago, having tapped out of a Ph.D. program, I moved to Los Angeles (long story) and got hired at the…