Monday, November 20, 2006

As "The Twig" Is Bent

When the University of California Southern Branch was established in the 1920's, it wasn't immediately apparent that it was going to have problems dealing with the socially-constructed political notion of "race." In fact, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta sorority chapters appeared on the campus the very same year "the twig," as it was nicknamed, conferred its first undergraduate degrees. Four years later, in 1927, Ralph Bunche (the renowned African-American who eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize) was valedictorian of his graduating class there. So what happened at this school--now known as U.C.L.A.--to result in an incoming freshman class of 4800 students in 2006 with only ninety-nine African-Americans? That amounts to just a hair above two per cent. Out of all the potential students in the United States. Two per cent of the incoming class. Every time I say it or write it or even think it, my head shakes automatically, as if I'm trying to jar the math cells in my brain, which have never been overly proficient and must surely have finally dimmed out unexpectedly and entirely now. Hmmmph.

I might have missed this information in that I don't get around the blogosphere much any more and that used to be where I got my news, by and large. But Friday, one of my colleagues mentioned it casually in passing and I've been gasping ever since. What?! I keep saying like the poor befuddled student in "Pulp Fiction" just before he gets shot by the hit man because he keeps saying "What?"

What?! Ninety-nine out of 4800? What?! Does not compute. Does not compute...

Not surprisingly, the chancellor of the university, along with the faculty, the administration, the students, and the alumni are all calling the situation a "crisis." Well, no kidding. Garbage stinks, even fresh garbage, and this blatant manifestation of institutionalized oppression in the name of racism is far from fresh. I remember one time in my childhood how shocked we all were, standing around the kitchen in the giant old house we had just moved into, when several sizable rats leapt out from under the sink all at once as the cupboard door was opened. Looking back, there's no way a house that big and that old wouldn't have rats, but we were all still shocked.

The situation is being blamed on Proposition 209, the constitutional amendment passed nine years ago in California to prohibit public institutions from discriminating on the basis of race, sex, or ethnicity. It's so obviously racist as to be embarrassing even to generally oblivious White folks. But it passed with 54% of the vote. Ain't power grand? And here we are with exactly the kind of result that was intended: shutting African-Americans off from the benefits privileged people have always been able to take for granted.

Well, gosh, say those who support Proposition 209 (which has been doggedly ignored by many private institutions and employers and the subject of a number of lawsuits), what could be more fair than letting quantifiable merit decide everything--right? Yeeeeaahh...on the surface...but there are several glaring problems with this practice.

First of all, quantifiable merit is not in and of itself all it's cracked up to be as a performance predictor, which is well recognized by college decision-makers. I mean, I've got a fairly good brain (for example) and handily dispatched most of my Ph.D. level courses, but I only scored 500-something on the math section of the GRE (the graduate-level standardized exam typically used to determine admittance to grad school). Was that good enough to get me into FSU? Apparently. Because my verbal score was pretty high. But let's face it now, there are people who manage to hit 1400 with their combined scores. So if FSU hadn't taken into consideration my straight A's at the Master's level, my maturity (simply for being born earlier than others), and what they called my "creativity" (a very non-quantitative commodity), I would have never made the cut.

So, what's wrong with that? If we're only going to be educating the creme de la creme (oui?), then other folks--of whatever skin tone--will simply not be educated...or employed...or whatever.

But wait. How did the creme de la creme get to be that? Are they all just born geniuses? Actually, even a genius who doesn't get a good solid preparatory education is not going to fare well when the die is cast.

When I transferred from one middle school to another, for example, I told my school advisor that I didn't like math (even though I had been taking advanced math at my old school). The advisor, probably in view of the fact that I was a girl and therefore, of course, not a "math mind," said, "Okay. Just take chorus instead." I never took another math course until I faced statistics in graduate school. And while I passed it--somehow--I couldn't understand it because I had no context into which to put the information. I was taking third year Spanish, as it were, after skipping the first two years. Memorizing the syllables might get me through the course, but I wasn't learning the language and wouldn't use it after the fact.

How does this story relate to Proposition 209? Well, if I'd been a boy back there in middle school, the advisor would more than likely have said, "Look, you don't have to like math. Just learn it. You're going to want to go to college one day and you won't be able to pass the SAT if you don't know math." And I would have taken it and been prepared when the time came years later for me to ante up in grad school. But I wasn't, all because I was born with one set of genitalia instead of another. And sex, if you'll recall, is one of the factors they can't discriminate against any longer in California.

Still, I didn't start out talking about gender, did I? No, but it's the same dynamic. Public elementary, middle, and high schools in poor neighborhoods tend pretty graphically to be so underfunded and loaded with social problems of all kinds due to poverty and its attendant miseries that even a genius might be hard put to wind up well enough educated to compete with those who don't live in poor neighborhoods. And this would be only a class issue, rather than a race issue, except that African-Americans and Latinos are far and away more likely to live in abjectly poverty-stricken locations and be "educated" in settings that would drive White folks into the suburbs, which is exactly where they have gone.

So little Jamal and little Maria reach college age, but not necessarily college capability. And, because they haven't been prepared to compete, they are summarily excluded, no matter how bright they may actually be, given half a chance and a modicum of assistance. How handy for the White kids who have not only had the necessary educational preparation, but have a clearer path since they're virtually the only ones on it.

Of course, Proposition 209 doesn't seem to keep the star African-American athletes out of U.C.L.A., even though only 27% of them manage to graduate (a rate even lower than Louisiana State). And one can only be glad that young White men like George Bush will still get into Harvard and Yale, just as he did (even with his C+ grade point average), because they sure as hell wouldn't get into a school where quantified merit made the decision. And then where would we get our future leaders?

22 comments:

Professor Zero said...

Even before Prop. 209, which did have a huge impact, the UC system was pretty white, or at least not very Black. I went to UCB which had hardly any Black students. Many classes were majority POC, but not Black. Almost everyone, including the POC, was a mega-scorer, 1400+.

In those days it was easier than it is now to become a mega-scorer by attending a public school. The ones I went to were not the very best, but they were not bad, and they trained you specifically in how to become a mega-scorer. And they made sure you didn't stop taking math. By the time I took the GRE I had forgotten the math formulas, but I could still remember how to derive them, so I still mega-scored.

The population of my public schools, however, was not very Black. Even in those days of better public schools, access was much tougher if you were Black.

Prop. 87, in the 1970s, drastically reduced property taxes, which fund schools. It became much more difficult to learn, in public school, how to mega-score. Supplemental courses and so on became necessary. The gap widened.

The UC system takes the very top scorers, and the CSU system takes the top third; everyone else is supposed to go to a community college and then transfer. This of course presupposes that the CCs and CSU systems will have decent advising and so on. Back in the day, working and studying conditions in those places were better than they are now.

The bad old days were bad, and then they got worse, and Prop. 209 was bad, but things had deteriorated before then due to the old Prop. 87. That is my PARTIAL narrative of all of this.

Did you see about the taser incident at the UCLA library? What I cannot figure out about it is, it was about that student's not having his UCLA ID on him. He did have a driver's license, and we are not yet required by law to carry these. The UCLA library is a public place, and the community can and does go there to read and such. I have done this many times, with no UCLA ID.
Taser aside, with what right did they even look at this kid?

Changeseeker said...

See? This is exactly what I mean about how news has become related to blogging for me. Since I don't have television and have been listening to White Teeth by Zadie Smith instead of news in my car, I'm clueless about what's going on in the world if I'm not sufficiently on-line. But thanks to your mentioning it, PZ, I found and read this.

Well.

That certainly adds a new dimension to the dialogue...

Do you know what the victim's ethnicity is? I can't help but wonder if that had something to do with his being approached in the first place and then the subsequent aggression on the part of the "officers." The passivity of by-standers in situations such as this always gives me the creeps.

P.S. Thanks for the backstory on education in California, too.

Jeez. What a way to start my day...

Anonymous said...

The 2% sounds about right.

La Griffe du Lion writes,

"The distribution of IQ among African Americans peaks at about 85 with a standard deviation (SD) variously reported between 11 and 14. Using the average, 12.5, puts the college-ready IQ threshold 2 SD out from the African American mean. About 2.3 percent of blacks with the cognitive capital to earn a good degree reach this threshold. In any given year, about 13,500 African American 18-year-olds qualify. Thousands of colleges compete for them. If we divide the 13,500 African American youngsters equally among American colleges, each campus would get at most a handful.

[...]

Selective colleges have the hapless task of recruiting minorities with credentials matching their white and Asian students. In fact, it is an impossible task. There are, for example, only about 1500 blacks in the age cohort with IQs of 120 or more. Though a reasonable minimum for a professional, 120 is low for an Ivy Leaguer. About 237,000 non-Hispanic whites in the age cohort meet this minimal requirement for an elite school. For each 18-year-old black with an IQ of at least 120, there are more than 150 non-Hispanic whites who reach this score. In an open competition, the minority population of the Ivy League would be less than 1 percent."

Professor Zero said...

I think that student is of some Middle Eastern-type ethnicity. That's one reason why this is shades of Abu Graib ... the other is that tasers are famous as torture instruments. The earlier version was an electric cattle prod.

Low IQ among African-Americans, so I guess that test is culturally biased too? Do any social scientists know what the deal is with this test? My mother says it has been considered bad science since the 1930's. Is this true?

Should they start offering IQ prep courses, as they do for the SAT/GRE? ;-)

Anonymous said...

If the test[s]are culturally biased, how do we explain the success of Jews and Asians at Harvard [Jews and Asians together account for only 5 percent of the United States population, they make up nearly 40 percent of Harvard's enrollment] or other Ivy League schools?

Jewish and Asian representation in Dartmouth's student body is about 18 percent; at Princeton, about 25 percent; at Duke, Cornell and Brown, somewhere in the 30 percent range; at Yale, about 45 percent; and at Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, about half. In each case, non-Jewish whites are equally under-represented at the other end of the spectrum.

Anonymous said...

One more time. If tests have been debunked how do you explain the disproportionate representation of Jews and Asians at Ivy League schools?

So much for white superiority.

Professor Zero said...

Anon. re Jews and Asians: my hypothesis guess is, lots and lots of Jews and Asians study really hard.

Those tests aren't about native or "natural" intelligence, they are about skills and academic background.

Note on Asians: not all score that well. It depends on economic resources and academic opportunities.

Note on white people: not all have privileged class/academic backgrounds, and I'd hazard that not as many of those who do, take them as seriously as do members of some other groups.

Anon., do you also believe that Black people are naturally better at sports and music? These are old, tired stereotypes!!!

A much more interesting question than "who is better?" is, "what is going on?" That is what CS' post addresses.

Changeseeker said...

Anonymous, part of what constitutes internalized oppression is that African-Americans, in particular, are rather rigorously inundated from the earliest possible age with the perspective that they are lacking, incapable, etc., ultimately brainwashing them into believing it and performing accordingly. Accompanying this inundation is the abject poverty in which a disproportionately high percentage of them live due to social factors that are under no individual African-American's control, such as WELL documented discrimination in the job market. In fact, it is a matter of statistical record that one in two African-American children is still living under conditions that do not guarantee them even enough to eat, while one in three African-American males born in 2001 is, they tell us, headed for prison thanks to a criminal justice system that has been shown to unfairly track them for the purpose as early as seven or eight-years-old. The so-called IQ scores, then, as PZ suggests, are not operating in a vacuum. But I'm not writing this to you. I'm writing it to someone who really wants to better understand. You're not asking for information. You're trying to shore up your need to believe in the validity of your status.

And incidentally, according to Rachel's new study over at Rachel's Tavern, many people see Jews as "White."

"White," as I've said many times on this blog, is a socially-constructed political notion, anyway. How could it produce genetic differences in intelligence? And if "race" was biological, what would explain W.E.B. DuBois or George Bush? W.E.B. DuBois, with his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1902, said in China, at over ninety years old, "I have been, in my country, for nearly a century, nothing but a nigger." While George Bush, with his M.B.A. from Yale, is the President of the United States, despite his being a laughingstock all over the world for his lack of intellectual acumen. What are we really talking about here?

Anonymous said...

Jews and Asians: my hypothesis guess is, lots and lots of Jews and Asians study really hard.

How does lots and lots of hard work overcome your previous assertion of cultural bias?

Do blacks dominate sports and music? Men of West Africans descent hold the top 200 times ever recorded in the 100 metres. Is it simply because they work harder than their white or yellow competitors? And if they are capable of such effort then how does it make sense that they are 'lazy' vis-a-vis their studies?

...part of what constitutes internalized oppression is that African-Americans, in particular, are rather rigorously inundated from the earliest possible age with the perspective that they are lacking, incapable, etc., ultimately brainwashing them into believing it and performing accordingly.

Why then does it only impact some? There are high IQ blacks who perform on an intellectual level equivalent to whites despite there socio-economic origin.

Many people see Jews as 'white

That does not explain the overachievement academically.

How could it produce genetic differences in intelligence?

A good question, however, not really relevant. The question is why do IQ tests correlate directly with academic achievement even in groups where a cultural bias is allegedly present. And why do tests correlate well with academic achievement despite socio-economic backgrounds. Why does that two percent high IQ black population perform as well or better than whites on the same tests despite the discrimination.

Either there is no discrimination or IQ trumps it.

Anonymous said...

As Richard Donkin has wisely noted,

"People denied a voice will always find ways to express themselves."

This seems highly relevant here and elsewhere, in several senses.

Anonymous said...

"White," as I've said many times on this blog, is a socially-constructed political notion, anyway. How could it produce genetic differences in intelligence?

This is very relevant, not only because "white" is a socially constructed political notion (and yes, Jews and Arabs and other Middle Easterners are widely considered white, but then you have Black and Hispanic Jews, so the lines of demarcation keep moving), but because ALL 'races' are. There isn't just one thing which is 'Asian', 'African', 'Native American', etc. ... and there certainly isn't a unitary category which is 'Hispanic'.

On the whole thing about testing and performance (and this is a comment to the post, not to Anon., who is being a bit fatigant), I really think that what it is, is that these tests test what you've learned more than they do your native 'intelligence'. Yes, I do believe some people are smarter than others, or at least smarter in SOME WAYS than others. However, science at this time has not resolved the question of nature vs. nurture, and tests, test what you can do, which tends to be what you have practiced, often from a very early age.

One of the kids I grew up with became a renowned professional sports person. I am sure part of this is due to talent, but he practiced a LOT, and do I mean a LOT, from early elementary school on. People say I am 'talented' at languages, but I get irritated when they use this as a justification for their not trying: I've been practicing THAT quite seriously for as long as I can remember, and I have also had, and taken, very good OPPORTUNITIES to do so.

This is not original to me but consider: middle class families tend to offer their children a smorgasbord of activities, and raise them to be 'well rounded'. Less advantaged families, many of whom are African-American, will often let their children put a lot more time into practicing a sport than more privileged families will. After all: it's safe, healthy, legal, and it might afford them a chance at a scholarship, so in the absence of access to other opportunities, why not encourage it?

Final point, namely, the thought that brought me back to this thread: I had an illumination on my own case. In school, we took all sorts of intelligence tests, which tested all sorts of things. I always came out high on all types of intelligence but one: the one then called 'manual dexterity',
which was supposed to indicate talent for mechanics, engineering, and such things. This never worried me, since that was not where my interests lay, and it did not surprise the family, since many of us cannot program a VCR or easily screw in a light bulb, for that matter.

My illumination is: I always thought that test was accurate. However: to what degree was my score related to having grown up around people who themselves were not in a position to impart the skills and orientation one would need to do really well on this test?

I say this not because I care about that result, but because, look at the converse: I was supposed to be a verbal genius due to my large vocabulary, but I had acquired that vocabulary by spending time around people who knew, and used, as many different words each day as they possibly could. To this day, we do not sit down to dinner without an unabridged dictionary, because we know we may want to refer to it. I would have had to be a true dolt not to learn words in that environment.

Anonymous said...

OK, now I'm up late and remembering things, so here are some thoughts on megascoring, from a megascorer. I'll give one to Anon.: the 2% exists. However, this does not really make a difference for most practical purposes, and more importantly, people move in and out of that 2%, and even that top 10%, depending on their circumstances. As one of my megascoring friends once pointed out, being ultra sharp has a great deal to do with what is called state of mind.

STILL more importantly, megascoring has to do with thinking very systematically, and that has to do, to a significant degree, with training. My father is a megascorer and you can get that training just by listening to his jokes. I have been noticing this since I began to understand speech.

There is a cab driver here in town who talks the same way. He's not the academic type, but he bets on horses, things like that, keeps a lot of information in mind and makes fast calculations. His son is now in college with us. He's a megascorer. Part of this has to do with just being smart. Another part, I am convinced, has to do with driving around in that cab with his father. It is like being in a GRE prep course. You have to keep up.

In middle school, we were very closely tracked, into NINE groups (imagine that). I was in group 1, which was the top 2%. The next 8% was group 2. They had all the same books as we did, and they ended up in most of the same universities and professions. There was a difference, though: they were 'well rounded' individuals, class presidents and such, whereas we were the wacked out supergeeks, with no interest in an 'age appropriate' life. They wanted good grades and nice lives, we wanted to hone our minds to a super zing. In college, the entire school had fast synapses like that. We were high on it 24/7. It was fun, but not entirely necessary for success.

In graduate school, with a lot more disparate things to do, and a lot of confused freshman papers to grade, I had many semesters in which I was NOT in that 2%. My mind went mushier. I was doing fine, but it didn't feel the same. And it didn't matter. I was still plenty smart, and capable. Moving down to that next 8% did me fine.

When it came time for my Ph.D. exam, though, I decided this was a serious matter and I had better dust it off. I remember gearing up, sharpening the focus, and going into training: it was time to megascore.

I could give many more examples, but I suspect my point is already clear: so much depends on nurture and resources. And so much can be done without megascoring.

I'll end by mentioning the Bakke case.
Alan Bakke challenged affirmative action in CA, and won a place in the UCD medical school. He had a very slight advantage in terms of scores over the African-American who had "taken" "Bakke's" original place. [The principle of affirmative action is that when two candidates are comparable (not when there is a clear difference), the underrepresented minority gets the place.] Both got M.D.'s, which is fine.
I have heard that Bakke works part time, whereas the other man has a huge practice serving low income patients in south L.A. I'm fine with Bakke doing whatever he wants to do, but if the other man hadn't also gotten into school, who would be serving his patients?

Anyway. That's my two cents for now. And speaking of megascoring: I feel a phase of it coming on. Once again, though, it is really just for fun. The idea of restricting access to a top flight education to that supertop group is ridiculous - especially if you recognize that, depending upon circumstances, people move in and out of it. Where I teach now, we pull from way down, and our teaching problems STILL aren't about intelligence - they're about access to literacy, which is an entirely different thing.

Changeseeker said...

Wow! Thanks for these very adept and well presented comments, PZ--which, of course, remind me of a few things, as well, when I need to be preparing for an out-of-town guest. :^)

Random thoughts:

My "IQ" in high school was said to be 136. By the time I took two monitored "IQ" tests twenty years later, I scored at 148 and 151. What would explain this other than "life," "exposure," or "the x factor?" It's not even supposed to be possible to shift that much, but I did. And this was just before I decided to go to college finally--at 38. After being on welfare for five years...

Also, I've met a number of individuals who went to prison, at least partly for being SO bright and not having any channels to utilize it in socially-acceptable ways. They sometimes develop intellectually while doing time to a degree that could intimidate the best "scholarly" minds, only to come out (if they ever do) to a world where their intellect is still deemed irrelevant.

One study found that Stanford freshmen (can we say "creme de la creme"?) given an exam "just to practice" scored the same, regardless of skintone. But Stanford freshmen given an exam "to be used to place you in classes according to level" broke out with the African-American students doing more poorly. (Can we say "internalized oppression"?

I remember the "brightest" woman in our incoming Ph.D.-level cohort winding up in the hospital with anxiety attacks prior to the first semester final exams. She just vaporized, leaving the rest of us feeling like survivors who might be lucky not to be SO smart.

I think of what you call the megascore zone, PZ, as sort of a turbo-jet button. I recognize the need for it in a specific case, prepare myself in various ways (food, coffee, ridding myself of distractions, whatever), and then push the button. I can feel the take-off and can barely "come down" until I'm finished. When I needed to write my Master's thesis (my first really major single project), I even broke up with my boyfriend--who would happily have faded into sleep mode and brought me surreptious food offerings for the duration, if I had allowed it, but I "had to" disengage completely. Turbo-jet button. ("Let go of the door handle--I'm outa here.") It has since happened on other occasions and I consider it the conscious flipping of a switch. What if I didn't know it exists? It's only in retrospect that I realize when I first happened across it.

Gotta go. :^)

Anonymous said...

IQ: they refused to tell us our scores, but one of the kids in 6th grade broke into the files and found out for us. By then I knew I had taken the test three times that year (the only year I took it, that I know of).

I tested at 20, supposedly, the first time, because I thought the test was weird and made fun of it in the answers. The teacher said look, don't do that for this test, you want a real score.

They redid it twice to make sure, and my redo scores, according to the kid who broke into the files, were 139 and 145. Is it supposed to vary even as much as 6 points? I haven't taken it since, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had gone DOWN!

Also, my father's regular 6th grade class, in a public school, is *supposed* to have had a basic minimum IQ of 155, just by luck, with just a few kids falling below that line, many more above it. Lots of people in that class went on to do amazing things, it is true, but STILL, I doubt it was just random, 'native' intelligence at work.

Anonymous said...

My "IQ" in high school was said to be 136. By the time I took two monitored "IQ" tests twenty years later, I scored at 148 and 151. What would explain this other than "life," "exposure," or "the x factor?"

No one said that nurture did not play a part in IQ. Hernnstein and Murray suggested 60/40 nature/nurture. Your experience shows 90/10 [136/150].

Also, my father's regular 6th grade class, in a public school, is *supposed* to have had a basic minimum IQ of 155, just by luck, with just a few kids falling below that line, many more above it. Lots of people in that class went on to do amazing things, it is true, but STILL, I doubt it was just random, 'native' intelligence at work.

What are the races of the children in your father's class?

Now that we've established that IQ impacts academic achievement then is it so far fetched to believe it also correlates disproportionately with criminality, poverty and illegitimacy?

Anonymous said...

My father's class: mostly WASP, with many children of faculty at a top ranked university, and of other highly literate people.

However: one does not know that those scores were "right."

60/40, that's interesting.

Check math/methodology: 136 in high school, that is say age 15 or 16, so nurture had to have played a role by then.

Correlate, I for one do not have an opinion on that, have not done the research. Are you suggesting that it is a cause? I am still not convinced that it's an accurate measure. I'd be willing to say it may serve as one indicator (among others), but that's about as far as I'd go at this point.

Anonymous said...

Check math/methodology: 136 in high school, that is say age 15 or 16, so nurture had to have played a role by then.

Agreed. It was intended more for perspective than mathematical accuracy. The problem with nurture, though, is that it truly is the 'x' factor. No one one knows what it is or how to manipulate it advantageously.

Are you suggesting that it is a cause?

Correlation is not causation, necessarily, however, low IQ scores correlate disproportionately with criminality, poverty and illegitimacy.

Charles Murray studied white siblings in a middle class environment [i.e. not poor]. He writes,

"Each pair consists of one sibling with an IQ in the normal range of 90-110, a range that includes 50% of the population. I will call this group the normals. The second sibling in each pair had an IQ either higher than 110, putting him in the top quartile of intelligence (the brights) or lower than 90, putting him in the bottom quartile (the dulls). These constraints produced a sample of 710 pairs. How much difference did IQ make? Earned income is a good place to begin. In 1993, when we took our most recent look at them, members of the sample were aged 28-36. That year, the bright siblings earned almost double the average of the dull: £22,400 compared to £11,800. The normals were in the middle, averaging £16,800. “[IQ Will Put You In Your Place, Charles Murray, Sunday Times, UK, Day 25, 1997]

The differences among the siblings go far beyond income. Marriage and children offer the most vivid example. Similar proportions of siblings married, whether normal, bright or dull - but the divorce rate was markedly higher among the dull than among the normal or bright, even after taking length of marriage into account. Demographers will find it gloomily interesting that the average age at which women had their first birth was almost four years younger for the dull siblings than for the bright ones, while the number of children born to dull women averaged 1.9, half a child more than for either the normal or the bright. Most striking of all were the different illegitimacy rates. Of all the first-born children of the normals, 21% were born out of wedlock , about a third lower than the figure for the United States as a whole, presumably reflecting the advantaged backgrounds from which the sibling sample was drawn. Their bright siblings were much lower still, with less than 10% of their babies born illegitimate. Meanwhile, 45% of the first-born of the dull siblings were born outside of marriage.

Anonymous said...

Being bright and being mad are also correlated. There are excellent studies on why IQ tests are not only bogus, but racist to boot (Check out the history of the Binet in Stanford-Binet).

So, what is the point of these posts here? This looks like a silly 'how big is my dick' contest to me, even if the participants do not appear to be male. Having looked at the blogs of the participants who identify themselves, they do not seem too consistent, rational, or especially sane. [Does one vocal participant live in the Big Easy, or not? They claim so sometimes, and then say things which makes this very doubtful at others]. Isn't this blog supposed to be about real issues?

Writer on Board said...

Dear Changeseeker,

I just stumbled across your blog for the first time. Again, you're a trouble maker and I like it.

-Alex

Changeseeker said...

Hey, I've been to your blog, Alex, and right back atcha, buddy. ;^)

Professor Zero said...

Here is a fan saying: new post new post!
:-) Of course, I have no veracity, and cannot talk about real issues, because I do not give a specific location ;-).

Changeseeker said...

Duly heard. Response posted.

Though I most certainly wouldn't want you to think that I posted today just because you called for it. Noooooo. I was going to post anyway...I think. :^)

(Thanks for the nudge, PZ. It might not always work, but your timing was impeccable.)