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The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a suit brought by Asian American organizations, Harvard Accused of Bias Against Asian-Americans:

The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale.

Ron Unz, among others, has written about this, before. So not a big surprise as to the underlying empirical trends. Liberal commentator and Harvard grad Matt Yglesias has talked about the patterns for years. It’s an open secret. The question is whether anyone cares, and whether the legal system will do anything about.

But let me note something, a lawyer defending Harvard notes:

Robert Iuliano, Harvard’s general counsel, said the school’s admissions policies are “fully compliant with the law.” The school says its admissions process takes into account a variety of factors besides academics, including applicants’ extracurricular activities and leadership qualities.

This is what a leader looks like

This is what a leader looks like

It strikes me as unlikely that Asian American applicants lack extracurricular activities. Though first generation immigrants may come from societies where academic achievement is the summum bonum, they know that in American admissions criteria that non-academic strengths matter. But, you can’t manufacture leadership and charisma. Harvard’s role is to educate and inculcate the leaders of the next generation of Americans. It is the training ground for our natural aristocracy. Can American society actually conceive of a situation where 40% of those leaders are Asian? I doubt it. Asian Americans are not seen as plausible leaders. Especially by the established oligarchs, who would prefer their own offspring to inherit the mantles of power. Asian males in particular exhibit a “penalty” in the dating game. White females perceive them to be sexually impotent (on average), and for better or worse the opinions of white females as to who is a plausible leader in our society is very telling. If American women won’t want have to have sex with them, then why would the broader society see them as creditable leaders?

This is related to something Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones pointed out recently: Asians are far underrepresented in top management in relation to their representation among rank and file workers, especially in technical positions, in Silicon Valley. This is well known. People make all sorts of excuses for this. For example, a large number of the Asians are immigrants to the children of immigrants, who may not have the “social capital” to be successful in management at an American firm.

For me, here’s the upshot: we just need to be honest. Perhaps the cultural skills and dispositions that Asian Americans bring to the labor force are naturally more amenable to technical positions and professions like medicine than they are to management. It may not be as much discrimination, even of the implicit sort, as opposed to the natural sorting of personality types. This is an option we may need to entertain, rather than assuming that it is all invidious discrimination. It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it. The fact is that Asian Americans are doing relatively well, even if their proportion at Harvard is 20% instead of 40%. Do we as a society need to abolish all discrimination by any means necessary? I’d say no.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Asian Americans 
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  1. s/American Americans/Asian Americans/

  2. I wonder how the half-Asian half-white children will do in reaching the upper echelons.

    • Replies: @asian
    It would be interesting to see. I wonder if there is a difference based on last name.
  3. Credit where credit is due: not Kevin Drum, but one of his pinch-hitters while he is under the weather from chemo.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’m sure every seasoned employer secretly loves to have East Asian applicants. My job is conducting security clearance background investigations for the U.S. Gov’t. When I talk with some of my close colleagues, retired cops or agents, they will admit they love getting cases with Asian Subjects. This is because they know they will not have to deal with messy additional work involving: financial, criminal, drug, employment, and alcohol problems. Asians behave themselves, work hard, and conscientiously meet obligations. What’s not to love about this? It only seems boring if you’ve never been exposed to real degeneracy.

    I also meet lots and lots of people in high-level leadership positions in companies and government (CEOs, CFOs, EVP, et al.). They come across as intelligent enough though a very large percentage do not have elite school credentials (maybe a mid-ranked college). They all are very dynamic and confident with excellent social skills. You never see awkwardness, like I do with many professors, chief scientists, and engineers. And they are usually white males with sports-related interests (judging from what I see in their posh offices).

    • Replies: @Jean Cocteausten
    On the contrary, what employers are more concerned about is getting the really talented people through the clearance check. People with extraordinary technical talent are very curious and prone to getting themselves in trouble because of it, due to drugs, sex and unfashionable political activity. Steve Jobs would have had a very hard time getting a clearance, with his LSD and pot use, out-of-wedlock kid demonstrating poor judgment, etc. Look at Oppenheimer's experience.
  5. As some on the Unz/Sailer/Douthat nexus have pointed out, the Ivy League discrimination game is particularly skewed by class and geography. The Harvards of the world traditionally had a diversity goal that meant to ensure that heartland/rural areas could be represented. That has all but disappeared. As Ivies become more socially and intellectually homogenous, filtering out students of flyover backgrounds tends to also weed out more conservative and/or Christian students. Other trends include “African Americans” who aren’t “black folks”, but rather of recent Caribbean and African origin.

    I have one friend who went to Yale whose rural Kentucky background made her essentially a diversity pick. She said that at the time Yale still had something of the older view of diversity, so she filled a slot.

  6. The flip side of the Asian quota limit is the extreme over-representation of Jews, by a factor of about six.

  7. Mr. Unz’ cited article is precisely where I entered this new forum, last May 27th, as the first commenter on that controversial article– after which, his archnemesis quickly took me to task for my accepting, for the sake of argument, that Jews were overrepresented at Harvard, and other Ivy League universities, not only far beyond their own meager share of the resident population of the United States– now at under 2%, for the so-called “core population of Jewish Americans”– but far beyond their discernible merits, performance-wise, as well. The reason that I commented, that day, was simply to point out that Mr. Unz’ own results clearly showed that you so-called “Asians” were not the primary victims of Ivy League racial and ethnic biases: that honor, according to Mr. Unz’ findings, instead goes to us non-Hispanic White gentiles!

    • Replies: @D. K.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/eliteenrollment-large.jpg
  8. Winston Churchill was a leader. George Washington was a leader. Abraham Lincoln was a leader.

    Christ, Hitler was a leader.

    There is a scene in The Longest Day where Robert Mitchum is on Omaha Beach, they’ve landed a ton of men and they cannot advance due to German fortifications and defensive fire.

    He has some epic line about being the “Fighting 29th” and in true Hollywood fashion the guys (including that kid from Brooklyn or whatever), use their magic “Bangalore Torpedos” to blow up a big section of wall. Under fire, and with some of our heroes falling.

    At this point the “Fighting 29th” gives a big yell and swarm through the breach. Saving the day and avoiding a debacle which might have changed the whole war (you know how the US likes to think they were the ones that won WWII, as opposed to the Russians).

    Anyway I guess it depends on what you want to call a leader. Just can’t see Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg in that role. Prince Charles maybe, but not those two.

    Or to quote the Civilization game “Boudicaa, fierce and terrible warrior queen of the Celts. Can you build an empire to stand the Test of Time?”

    Bill Gates? Zuckerberg? Seem like two dimensional cardboard cutouts to me. Of course I have my own standards, which differ from Harvard.

  9. Many Asian Americans are really good at leadership, but they tend to be outliers – perhaps not so much in terms of intelligence or ability, as in personality.

    The ironic thing is, I think that social skills are much more “trainable” than intelligence. And I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see that leadership ability correlates with parenting style much more than intelligence does.

  10. I’ll just link in the comments from the last time we had this conversation, in which I think Razib, Pincher Martin, and I pretty thoroughly hashed out what I think is behind the prejudice. Namely, the perception that Asians cheated or in some way gamed the academic system to present as much smarter than they are. No reason to revisit, just adding it in for anyone who didn’t see it the first time.

    Adding in a couple:

    The SAT is Corrupt. No one Wants to know, referring to the blatant cheating on the international SAT and the blocked results from both China and Korea.

    Advanced Placement Test Preferences: Asians and Whites–many of your Asian applicants took AP courses in the maths and sciences, which are the easiest to get 5s in, and avoid the language tests (harder to get 5s in), it might signal something. Example of the mindset that Asian parents engage in: A talk with an Asian Dad

    What you probably don’t know about the gaokao–suggestion that the Chinese international student probably has little experience in actual learning, given what they have to do to get into college. Unless they’re rich, of course.

    I’ll also say, again, that while there’s no hard proof that this is the reason, pretty much every university who has examined their academic probation rate finds Asians overrepresented, or at least tied with whites despite their much higher test scores on average. And the problems with Asians utterly ruining the older college instruction method (honor system, presentations) is (as you have also noted) very high.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Please distinguish between international students & Asian Americans.
    , @Bill M

    I’ll just link in the comments from the last time we had this conversation, in which I think Razib, Pincher Martin, and I pretty thoroughly hashed out what I think is behind the prejudice.
     
    Your explanation doesn't seem to be mutually exclusive with Razib's explanation in the OP. It doesn't seem implausible to me that both explanations might be involved here to varying degrees. Other factors might be involved as well.
  11. Jim says:

    The qualities that make for effective leaders probably vary by the racial/ethnic composition of a society. East Asians are the product of a different evolutionary history. They obviously tend to high intelligence, high conformity, low violence and other traits that are conducive to success in our society. However they may also tend to be lower in other traits that are important in a Western society.

    East Asians and Europeans have evolved largely separately for a long time. It is not surprising that they do not always mix well together. Altitude toward nepotism for example. It’s not really anybody’s fault. I probably wouldn’t do well as a member of a wolf-pack. That wouldn’t be my fault or the fault of the wolves. It’s just reality.

    At any rate East Asians and whites get along a lot better than whites and blacks.

    • Replies: @Jim W
    I agree that typical personality traits differ in East Asians in the way you describe, although these differences are not as well studied as IQ differences. It is ironic, then, that schools can probably select for non-IQ factors (like leadership, nonconformity, etc) somewhat effectively by admitting students based on race.

    However, they would never publicly admit to these racial stereotypes. Rhazib's goal ("For me, here’s the upshot: we just need to be honest.") is probably the least likely outcome of the lawsuit and people's discussion of it. In the last couple months I've ventured out of my cocoon and become much more pessimistic about the possibility of people being honest about racial differences in IQ or personality traits.
  12. @education realist
    I'll just link in the comments from the last time we had this conversation, in which I think Razib, Pincher Martin, and I pretty thoroughly hashed out what I think is behind the prejudice. Namely, the perception that Asians cheated or in some way gamed the academic system to present as much smarter than they are. No reason to revisit, just adding it in for anyone who didn't see it the first time.

    Adding in a couple:

    The SAT is Corrupt. No one Wants to know, referring to the blatant cheating on the international SAT and the blocked results from both China and Korea.


    Advanced Placement Test Preferences: Asians and Whites--many of your Asian applicants took AP courses in the maths and sciences, which are the easiest to get 5s in, and avoid the language tests (harder to get 5s in), it might signal something. Example of the mindset that Asian parents engage in: A talk with an Asian Dad

    What you probably don't know about the gaokao--suggestion that the Chinese international student probably has little experience in actual learning, given what they have to do to get into college. Unless they're rich, of course.


    I'll also say, again, that while there's no hard proof that this is the reason, pretty much every university who has examined their academic probation rate finds Asians overrepresented, or at least tied with whites despite their much higher test scores on average. And the problems with Asians utterly ruining the older college instruction method (honor system, presentations) is (as you have also noted) very high.

    Please distinguish between international students & Asian Americans.

  13. SFG says:

    I have a question for Razib, who probably has a peer-reviewed study in his pocket for this particular question:

    How much of this is a generational effect? We’ve only had one or two generations of high-IQ Asian Americans. A lot of this sounds like the sorts of things they used to say about Jews, and they eventually worked their way onto Ivy League corporate boards. Maybe true assimilation, or learning to play the game the way the winners play it, takes a few generations?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    How much of this is a generational effect? We’ve only had one or two generations of high-IQ Asian Americans. A lot of this sounds like the sorts of things they used to say about Jews, and they eventually worked their way onto Ivy League corporate boards. Maybe true assimilation, or learning to play the game the way the winners play it, takes a few generations?

    don't know off the top of my head of a study. but the key is to look at japanese americans. they're mostly third generation or later now for the youth.
  14. @Anonymous
    I'm sure every seasoned employer secretly loves to have East Asian applicants. My job is conducting security clearance background investigations for the U.S. Gov't. When I talk with some of my close colleagues, retired cops or agents, they will admit they love getting cases with Asian Subjects. This is because they know they will not have to deal with messy additional work involving: financial, criminal, drug, employment, and alcohol problems. Asians behave themselves, work hard, and conscientiously meet obligations. What's not to love about this? It only seems boring if you've never been exposed to real degeneracy.

    I also meet lots and lots of people in high-level leadership positions in companies and government (CEOs, CFOs, EVP, et al.). They come across as intelligent enough though a very large percentage do not have elite school credentials (maybe a mid-ranked college). They all are very dynamic and confident with excellent social skills. You never see awkwardness, like I do with many professors, chief scientists, and engineers. And they are usually white males with sports-related interests (judging from what I see in their posh offices).

    On the contrary, what employers are more concerned about is getting the really talented people through the clearance check. People with extraordinary technical talent are very curious and prone to getting themselves in trouble because of it, due to drugs, sex and unfashionable political activity. Steve Jobs would have had a very hard time getting a clearance, with his LSD and pot use, out-of-wedlock kid demonstrating poor judgment, etc. Look at Oppenheimer’s experience.

    • Replies: @Numinous

    People with extraordinary technical talent are very curious and prone to getting themselves in trouble because of it, due to drugs, sex and unfashionable political activity. Steve Jobs would have had a very hard time getting a clearance, with his LSD and pot use, out-of-wedlock kid demonstrating poor judgment, etc. Look at Oppenheimer’s experience.
     
    Steve Jobs does seem to have possessed extraordinary talent, but it was not technical talent. Wozniak did all the early design and engineering, and a bunch of others did so during Jobs' second tenure at Apple. Rule-breaking narcissistic behavior does seem to correlate with entrepreneurial acumen and corporate success, but I don't see how that makes one a better engineer or scientist, for which one needs to be methodical and detail-oriented.
    , @Bill
    Oppenheimer had a security clearance. Giving Oppenheimer a security clearance looks most likely to have been a serious and easily avoided mistake, seeing as how he was a Communist and all. We don't know, for certain, that he was a Soviet spy yet. We do know, from the Venona intercepts, that there are nuclear spies of unknown identity. That is, we have codenames, but we don't know for sure what actual names go with them.

    Based on what is known, if you had to make an even money bet one way or the other, the smart bet is that Oppenheimer was a Soviet spy.

    It's remarkable how durable these crazy ideas that we were too strict about security clearances and that we were too paranoid generally during the Cold War are. As the actual evidence that we were too paranoid has crumbled under the weight of the scholarship of the last few decades, leftoids have ceased making arguments to this conclusion, preferring instead to just roll their eyes and act like you're stupid or uncool if you don't share their delusions.
  15. Legacy and athletic admits are more likely to be white than Asian, which probably explains the 140 SAT gap between white and Asian admits.

    In other words, whites and Asians admitted for purely academic reasons probably have the same SAT scores.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Legacy and athletic admits are more likely to be white than Asian, which probably explains the 140 SAT gap between white and Asian admits.

    if you leave another comment like this stating something without backing it up in a more analytic way you will be banned. don't do this again. your impressions are worthless to me.

  16. Seems like they may as well just lie and say they’re Hispanic.
    Is anyone actually name-checking?

  17. Maybe the sort of leadership qualities Harvard is selecting for are what led to the ongoing banking crisis.

  18. The thing is, I’m not sure colleges do, either (distinguish between Asian Americans and international students). International students are overwhelmingly Asian, mostly from China and Korea. Asian admits seem to be a zero sum game, particularly in competitive public universities, who want the money from the international students, but then cut down on their Asian American admits to balance out.

    So say three different groups:

    1) Asian Americans of the third generation or more, or Asian Americans whose parents came her as children.

    2) First or second generation Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and Vietnam.

    3) International students at the college level.

    The first group has largely assimilated American values. They’re also a pretty tiny group these days compared to the huge influx of group 2.

    Group 2 is the population I have the most experience with. I am now describing the behavior I see with a sample population in the hundreds and have documented in other regions with high Asian populations.

    This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call “gaming”) to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it. They live in largely Asian communities going to schools that are often 40-80% Asian so they develop a very different academic culture. These are the kids that are both responsible for and suffering the most from the discrimination we’re discussing. Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club–and then they show up and they’re, at best, bright. But nothing of the caliber that would be expected of a white, black, Hispanic, or group 1 Asian kid with that same profile–to say nothing of the group 2 kids who actually are that smart, and they do exist–I’ve met many.

    So my theory goes that colleges start collecting enough of these kids to make their average SAT and GPA look fabulous. I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren’t terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean–during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren’t cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior. I have some experience with kids straight out of China and Korea, but not enough to generalize. However, this area has been covered extensively by journalists and it’s probably the behavior you’re hearing about from colleagues?

    In any case, public universities and elite colleges are both accepting the lies, for different reasons, and since they all seem to count Asians in the same category, their willingness to accept these students puts additional pressure on Group 2.

    As you know, this is just my explanation for the phenomenon using available evidence. I agree with all your objections to the theory; it’s not proved out.

    So when you say “distinguish between the groups” as far as my links go:

    The Gaokao essay is about international students, but it’s also revealing of what many Chinese immigrant parents are familiar with, and may be perpetuating here.

    The SAT is Corrupt is about international students certainly; however, given the extensive communication between the “test prep” companies, I wonder if the SAT is less than pure here, too.

    The other two essays (AP Preferences and the dad) are about group 2 students.

    It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it.

    I agree with this, but would add something else. If it came to a choice between an Asian kid who worked 80 hours a week to eke out a 4.5 GPA, 10 APs with 5, and a 2400 SAT, and a non-Asian kid who read a lot of science fiction or history, did some creative writing, hated homework and got a 3.8 GPA with several 5 AP scores, with a 2250 SAT with limited prep, many Americans would take the second kid, or at least consider them roughly equal.

    Until about 20 years ago, the second kid would have had a shot at most elite schools. My theory: the end to affirmative action required schools to insist on high GPAs, so they could justify accepting blacks and Hispanics with low test scores but high GPAs. Unfortunately, that had unintended consequences in terms of giving Asians an advantage over whites.

    Incidentally, in reading that last discussion I see you asked me about the use of Americans by Asians. Asian kids (group 2) consistently use American to mean white and use blacks, Hispanics, and either Asian or country of ancestry for Asians.

    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    "This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call “gaming”) to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it.
    .
    .
    .
    Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club–and then they show up and they’re, at best, bright
    .
    .
    .
    I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren’t terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.
    .
    .
    .
    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean–during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren’t cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior."

    Wouldn't copying it be the smarter thing to do? To rip off Tom Wolfe's novel title, what if everyone goes "Back to Blood?"

    i.e., no longer thinking of themselves as "Americans" but as members of a specific group, with specific interests, that just happens to inhabit a geographic area with other groups they are in a low grade conflict with for the slots to claim they've jumped the right hoops, so are eligible for the good jobs that matter?

    Is it such a stretch to imagine Des Moines, Iowa getting organized about the whole thing? That is if the mindset and viewpoint you see on this site ever becomes widespread?

    Cheat till it hurts. Then cheat some more.

    It's the only way. A genius from another group getting his "just rewards"... that's a meaningless concept. Because in the end, if all he is doing is getting a job on Wall Street to get access to the money stream, or at a law firm in DC to get access to the reigns of power...

    As opposed to becoming a scientist and benefiting everyone...

    What vested interest does anyone have in fair play? That's for chumps, mind you. Because I sure think it is in my personal vested interest to have someone from my culture in the catbird seat as opposed to another.

    The only reality is the war of each against all.

    You know, natural selection at work.
    , @Numinous

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores
     
    When you say "cheat like crazy" or "commit rampant fraud on their resumes", you imply that a substantial majority of international students indulge in dishonest behavior. Are there numbers to back up that claim? And can you break it up by nationality and level (undergrad/grad)?
    , @Anonymous
    It doesn't seem the system can continue the way it's going. I know a Korean-American high school student who has spent the past half-dozen years doing very little besides studying, playing violin, and SAT prep. He got into an elite university and knows exactly what he wants to do for the rest of his life. He's a great kid and I don't think he needs to cheat. But there's a problem with the system.

    These elite universities cover a huge chunk of the tuition (all of it and more at the military academies, which have larger and larger numbers of Asian-Americans/Indian-Americans). But higher education across the board has become insanely expensive for the rest. Even at state colleges a year of tuition is about the price of a new car. And this is where the problem comes in.

    One of the most successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Jim Clark, who started three billion-dollar companies, was a screw up in high school. He had a rough childhood. He didn't get sent to Mathnasiums and SAT preps in Bethesda. He got kicked out of high school and joined the Navy. Later he was able to take extension classes at Tulane at night and get into U. of New Orleans and worked hard and eventually got a Ph.D. from Utah in computer science. Today could a Jim Clark even afford extension night courses at a local college at $1200-2000 a pop?! I have heard or read many similar stories of guys who have been academic screw ups, dropped out of school to figure what they wanted to do, and finally go their act together and turned things around. Today I wonder if such a guy wouldn't be relegated to a low-level, dead end job and never have the chance to emerge.

    It seems that the kid growing up today, and just being a kid, will be left in the starting blocks as the Indian-American and Asian-American kids are already vying for the finite number of slots at first-rate schools and internships.

    , @Tyler
    What do you suppose the representation would look like if we controlled for adjustable variables like cheating and gaming and the representation were solely due to an innate factor?

    This would give us a better idea of the threshold where red flags start going up and where cheating and gaming come into play. It would give more force to your claims.
    , @Ivy
    Anecdotes
    1: Europeans aren't immune to the cheating on tests, either. In one grad school case, cheater A, now a CEO in a Benelux country, ahem, conversed with B from a Germanic country in a mutually-understood language about answers. Sample sizes of two are somewhat limiting, but fun to contemplate when reading alumni publications.

    2. One of my Asian-American employees said often that while "using" a source once may be plagiarism, using it twice or more was research.
  19. Why do I get the feeling this post is gonna generate your most commented section?

    Just a few points.

    1. Have you polled white women about who they prefer to have sex with? If you haven’t
    what are some reliable indicators?

    2. Re: Point 1. Steve Jobs used to say consumers don’t know what they want. It’s time for Asian men to find out what white women want.

    3. Caltech undergrad is at 40%. And rightly regarded as the sharpest sticks in the land. What does Harvard have that Caltech doesn’t? Outside of Eastern social oiliness.

    4. Lawsuits are a knowledge edge. Asians need to press this point. Get it in court, on the record.
    It will be better for everybody.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    1. Have you polled white women about who they prefer to have sex with? If you haven’t
    what are some reliable indicators?


    an old and robust finding

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2008/07/why-does-race-matter-for-women/

    use google scholar from now on.
  20. If Asians are innately or culturally disposed to be poor leaders then why have Asian nations outperformed economically and come to dominate manufacturing and export? Might it be that charisma and sound leadership capability are negatively correlated?

    If more American leaders were boring, but competent engineers and scientists rather than smooth-talking lawyers we might not be burdened with ballooning trade deficits and deindustrialization.

  21. YS says:

    RE: educational realist

    Do you consider second-generation Asian Americans, i.e., people who were born in this country, to be immigrants? You lump them together with first-generation Asian immigrants. Do you also apply that same standard to second-generation Europeans?

    I’m Asian American and I was born and raised in the United States to immigrant parents from Korea. The clannishness, and especially the cheating, of which you speak is highly insulting to me. You have only anecdotes to go on, so here’s an anecdote about my basic education. I went to public schools my entire life. My parents worked all day and night. I did not attend any SAT or college prep schools. I studied on my own for the SAT. I went to a public university. I’m interested in creative/artistic things and I have almost no background in the maths or sciences. I grew up skateboarding and doing typical American teenager things like drinking and partying. This personal background of which I speak is true of most of the other second-generation Asian Americans I know. We’re not all involved in some educational conspiracy.

    Where do you encounter the types of Asians of which you speak? In big cities like New York? In a place like NYC most kids are in a highly competitive school admissions environment and they and their parents probably do various things to “game” the system. I don’t think it’s unique to Asians. Honestly, reading your posts is extremely insulting to say the least and just sounds like a rehash of all the typical stereotypes of Asians that we have to deal with all the time in this country: we’re clannish, selfless, boring, math and science nerds, cheaters, etc. Thanks for not only subscribing to that view but perpetuating it online by publishing things based on dubious anecdotes and almost no hard evidence. You’re doing the world a great service.

  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    At top U.S. colleges and universities we see the following:

    – African Americans are overrepresented in terms of their ability

    – Hispanics are overrepresented in terms of their ability

    – Jewish people are overrepresented in terms of their percentage of the U.S. population

    – Asians are overrepresented in terms of their percentage of the U.S. population

    – Non-Jewish white people are underrepresented, in terms of their percentage of the U.S. population and possibly in terms of their ability

    Non-Jewish white people are the ones most disadvantaged by admissions policies at top U.S. colleges and universities. They are the ones who should be complaining, not Asians.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    And if non-Jewish white kids just aren't as smart as Jewish and Asian kids, then I'd suggest that they need affirmative action and should be admitted in numbers that reflect the percentage the of the U.S. population that they make up.
  23. @Anonymous
    At top U.S. colleges and universities we see the following:

    - African Americans are overrepresented in terms of their ability

    - Hispanics are overrepresented in terms of their ability

    - Jewish people are overrepresented in terms of their percentage of the U.S. population

    - Asians are overrepresented in terms of their percentage of the U.S. population

    - Non-Jewish white people are underrepresented, in terms of their percentage of the U.S. population and possibly in terms of their ability

    Non-Jewish white people are the ones most disadvantaged by admissions policies at top U.S. colleges and universities. They are the ones who should be complaining, not Asians.

    And if non-Jewish white kids just aren’t as smart as Jewish and Asian kids, then I’d suggest that they need affirmative action and should be admitted in numbers that reflect the percentage the of the U.S. population that they make up.

  24. @education realist
    The thing is, I'm not sure colleges do, either (distinguish between Asian Americans and international students). International students are overwhelmingly Asian, mostly from China and Korea. Asian admits seem to be a zero sum game, particularly in competitive public universities, who want the money from the international students, but then cut down on their Asian American admits to balance out.

    So say three different groups:

    1) Asian Americans of the third generation or more, or Asian Americans whose parents came her as children.

    2) First or second generation Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and Vietnam.

    3) International students at the college level.

    The first group has largely assimilated American values. They're also a pretty tiny group these days compared to the huge influx of group 2.

    Group 2 is the population I have the most experience with. I am now describing the behavior I see with a sample population in the hundreds and have documented in other regions with high Asian populations.

    This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call "gaming") to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it. They live in largely Asian communities going to schools that are often 40-80% Asian so they develop a very different academic culture. These are the kids that are both responsible for and suffering the most from the discrimination we're discussing. Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club--and then they show up and they're, at best, bright. But nothing of the caliber that would be expected of a white, black, Hispanic, or group 1 Asian kid with that same profile--to say nothing of the group 2 kids who actually are that smart, and they do exist--I've met many.

    So my theory goes that colleges start collecting enough of these kids to make their average SAT and GPA look fabulous. I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren't terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean--during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren't cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior. I have some experience with kids straight out of China and Korea, but not enough to generalize. However, this area has been covered extensively by journalists and it's probably the behavior you're hearing about from colleagues?

    In any case, public universities and elite colleges are both accepting the lies, for different reasons, and since they all seem to count Asians in the same category, their willingness to accept these students puts additional pressure on Group 2.

    As you know, this is just my explanation for the phenomenon using available evidence. I agree with all your objections to the theory; it's not proved out.

    So when you say "distinguish between the groups" as far as my links go:

    The Gaokao essay is about international students, but it's also revealing of what many Chinese immigrant parents are familiar with, and may be perpetuating here.

    The SAT is Corrupt is about international students certainly; however, given the extensive communication between the "test prep" companies, I wonder if the SAT is less than pure here, too.

    The other two essays (AP Preferences and the dad) are about group 2 students.

    It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it.

    I agree with this, but would add something else. If it came to a choice between an Asian kid who worked 80 hours a week to eke out a 4.5 GPA, 10 APs with 5, and a 2400 SAT, and a non-Asian kid who read a lot of science fiction or history, did some creative writing, hated homework and got a 3.8 GPA with several 5 AP scores, with a 2250 SAT with limited prep, many Americans would take the second kid, or at least consider them roughly equal.

    Until about 20 years ago, the second kid would have had a shot at most elite schools. My theory: the end to affirmative action required schools to insist on high GPAs, so they could justify accepting blacks and Hispanics with low test scores but high GPAs. Unfortunately, that had unintended consequences in terms of giving Asians an advantage over whites.

    Incidentally, in reading that last discussion I see you asked me about the use of Americans by Asians. Asian kids (group 2) consistently use American to mean white and use blacks, Hispanics, and either Asian or country of ancestry for Asians.

    “This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call “gaming”) to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it.
    .
    .
    .
    Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club–and then they show up and they’re, at best, bright
    .
    .
    .
    I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren’t terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.
    .
    .
    .
    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean–during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren’t cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior.”

    Wouldn’t copying it be the smarter thing to do? To rip off Tom Wolfe’s novel title, what if everyone goes “Back to Blood?”

    i.e., no longer thinking of themselves as “Americans” but as members of a specific group, with specific interests, that just happens to inhabit a geographic area with other groups they are in a low grade conflict with for the slots to claim they’ve jumped the right hoops, so are eligible for the good jobs that matter?

    Is it such a stretch to imagine Des Moines, Iowa getting organized about the whole thing? That is if the mindset and viewpoint you see on this site ever becomes widespread?

    Cheat till it hurts. Then cheat some more.

    It’s the only way. A genius from another group getting his “just rewards”… that’s a meaningless concept. Because in the end, if all he is doing is getting a job on Wall Street to get access to the money stream, or at a law firm in DC to get access to the reigns of power…

    As opposed to becoming a scientist and benefiting everyone…

    What vested interest does anyone have in fair play? That’s for chumps, mind you. Because I sure think it is in my personal vested interest to have someone from my culture in the catbird seat as opposed to another.

    The only reality is the war of each against all.

    You know, natural selection at work.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    don't be so stream of consciousness in future comments. i have no idea what you're trying to say, in which case, you shouldn't say anything.
  25. @Jean Cocteausten
    On the contrary, what employers are more concerned about is getting the really talented people through the clearance check. People with extraordinary technical talent are very curious and prone to getting themselves in trouble because of it, due to drugs, sex and unfashionable political activity. Steve Jobs would have had a very hard time getting a clearance, with his LSD and pot use, out-of-wedlock kid demonstrating poor judgment, etc. Look at Oppenheimer's experience.

    People with extraordinary technical talent are very curious and prone to getting themselves in trouble because of it, due to drugs, sex and unfashionable political activity. Steve Jobs would have had a very hard time getting a clearance, with his LSD and pot use, out-of-wedlock kid demonstrating poor judgment, etc. Look at Oppenheimer’s experience.

    Steve Jobs does seem to have possessed extraordinary talent, but it was not technical talent. Wozniak did all the early design and engineering, and a bunch of others did so during Jobs’ second tenure at Apple. Rule-breaking narcissistic behavior does seem to correlate with entrepreneurial acumen and corporate success, but I don’t see how that makes one a better engineer or scientist, for which one needs to be methodical and detail-oriented.

  26. @education realist
    The thing is, I'm not sure colleges do, either (distinguish between Asian Americans and international students). International students are overwhelmingly Asian, mostly from China and Korea. Asian admits seem to be a zero sum game, particularly in competitive public universities, who want the money from the international students, but then cut down on their Asian American admits to balance out.

    So say three different groups:

    1) Asian Americans of the third generation or more, or Asian Americans whose parents came her as children.

    2) First or second generation Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and Vietnam.

    3) International students at the college level.

    The first group has largely assimilated American values. They're also a pretty tiny group these days compared to the huge influx of group 2.

    Group 2 is the population I have the most experience with. I am now describing the behavior I see with a sample population in the hundreds and have documented in other regions with high Asian populations.

    This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call "gaming") to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it. They live in largely Asian communities going to schools that are often 40-80% Asian so they develop a very different academic culture. These are the kids that are both responsible for and suffering the most from the discrimination we're discussing. Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club--and then they show up and they're, at best, bright. But nothing of the caliber that would be expected of a white, black, Hispanic, or group 1 Asian kid with that same profile--to say nothing of the group 2 kids who actually are that smart, and they do exist--I've met many.

    So my theory goes that colleges start collecting enough of these kids to make their average SAT and GPA look fabulous. I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren't terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean--during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren't cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior. I have some experience with kids straight out of China and Korea, but not enough to generalize. However, this area has been covered extensively by journalists and it's probably the behavior you're hearing about from colleagues?

    In any case, public universities and elite colleges are both accepting the lies, for different reasons, and since they all seem to count Asians in the same category, their willingness to accept these students puts additional pressure on Group 2.

    As you know, this is just my explanation for the phenomenon using available evidence. I agree with all your objections to the theory; it's not proved out.

    So when you say "distinguish between the groups" as far as my links go:

    The Gaokao essay is about international students, but it's also revealing of what many Chinese immigrant parents are familiar with, and may be perpetuating here.

    The SAT is Corrupt is about international students certainly; however, given the extensive communication between the "test prep" companies, I wonder if the SAT is less than pure here, too.

    The other two essays (AP Preferences and the dad) are about group 2 students.

    It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it.

    I agree with this, but would add something else. If it came to a choice between an Asian kid who worked 80 hours a week to eke out a 4.5 GPA, 10 APs with 5, and a 2400 SAT, and a non-Asian kid who read a lot of science fiction or history, did some creative writing, hated homework and got a 3.8 GPA with several 5 AP scores, with a 2250 SAT with limited prep, many Americans would take the second kid, or at least consider them roughly equal.

    Until about 20 years ago, the second kid would have had a shot at most elite schools. My theory: the end to affirmative action required schools to insist on high GPAs, so they could justify accepting blacks and Hispanics with low test scores but high GPAs. Unfortunately, that had unintended consequences in terms of giving Asians an advantage over whites.

    Incidentally, in reading that last discussion I see you asked me about the use of Americans by Asians. Asian kids (group 2) consistently use American to mean white and use blacks, Hispanics, and either Asian or country of ancestry for Asians.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores

    When you say “cheat like crazy” or “commit rampant fraud on their resumes”, you imply that a substantial majority of international students indulge in dishonest behavior. Are there numbers to back up that claim? And can you break it up by nationality and level (undergrad/grad)?

  27. I apologize for the hyperlink all across my previous comment. I have no idea how that got in.

  28. @Jim
    The qualities that make for effective leaders probably vary by the racial/ethnic composition of a society. East Asians are the product of a different evolutionary history. They obviously tend to high intelligence, high conformity, low violence and other traits that are conducive to success in our society. However they may also tend to be lower in other traits that are important in a Western society.

    East Asians and Europeans have evolved largely separately for a long time. It is not surprising that they do not always mix well together. Altitude toward nepotism for example. It's not really anybody's fault. I probably wouldn't do well as a member of a wolf-pack. That wouldn't be my fault or the fault of the wolves. It's just reality.

    At any rate East Asians and whites get along a lot better than whites and blacks.

    I agree that typical personality traits differ in East Asians in the way you describe, although these differences are not as well studied as IQ differences. It is ironic, then, that schools can probably select for non-IQ factors (like leadership, nonconformity, etc) somewhat effectively by admitting students based on race.

    However, they would never publicly admit to these racial stereotypes. Rhazib’s goal (“For me, here’s the upshot: we just need to be honest.”) is probably the least likely outcome of the lawsuit and people’s discussion of it. In the last couple months I’ve ventured out of my cocoon and become much more pessimistic about the possibility of people being honest about racial differences in IQ or personality traits.

  29. This depends on what you mean by “leadership”. I would argue that East Asian cognitive elites tend to be worse at groundbreaking private enterprise and research, but better at technocratic government and other “boring” but critical infrastructural roles, than whites. Deng Xiaoping and Lee Kuan Yew compare well against western peacetime national leaders from any era.

    Granted, this may just be because East Asians are easier to lead. The mediocre performance of e.g. Japanese companies under white CEOs suggests that that isn’t the entire story, though.

    As for Education Realist’s observations, the cultural problem is that there is currently only one notion of “success”; an East Asian child who does not naturally fit that mold is not in a good position (unless they had the fortune to be adopted by whites or born to the few highly westernized Asian-Americans). This problem may solve itself in half a century as mainland China’s economy matures and sprouts niches best suited to more deviant cognitive profiles, but until then there’ll be serious growing pains on both sides of the Pacific. (ER is doing the Lord’s work in painstakingly teaching immigrant children to think for themselves one at a time.) And all bets are off if something really bad happens in mainland China.

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @education realist
    The thing is, I'm not sure colleges do, either (distinguish between Asian Americans and international students). International students are overwhelmingly Asian, mostly from China and Korea. Asian admits seem to be a zero sum game, particularly in competitive public universities, who want the money from the international students, but then cut down on their Asian American admits to balance out.

    So say three different groups:

    1) Asian Americans of the third generation or more, or Asian Americans whose parents came her as children.

    2) First or second generation Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and Vietnam.

    3) International students at the college level.

    The first group has largely assimilated American values. They're also a pretty tiny group these days compared to the huge influx of group 2.

    Group 2 is the population I have the most experience with. I am now describing the behavior I see with a sample population in the hundreds and have documented in other regions with high Asian populations.

    This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call "gaming") to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it. They live in largely Asian communities going to schools that are often 40-80% Asian so they develop a very different academic culture. These are the kids that are both responsible for and suffering the most from the discrimination we're discussing. Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club--and then they show up and they're, at best, bright. But nothing of the caliber that would be expected of a white, black, Hispanic, or group 1 Asian kid with that same profile--to say nothing of the group 2 kids who actually are that smart, and they do exist--I've met many.

    So my theory goes that colleges start collecting enough of these kids to make their average SAT and GPA look fabulous. I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren't terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean--during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren't cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior. I have some experience with kids straight out of China and Korea, but not enough to generalize. However, this area has been covered extensively by journalists and it's probably the behavior you're hearing about from colleagues?

    In any case, public universities and elite colleges are both accepting the lies, for different reasons, and since they all seem to count Asians in the same category, their willingness to accept these students puts additional pressure on Group 2.

    As you know, this is just my explanation for the phenomenon using available evidence. I agree with all your objections to the theory; it's not proved out.

    So when you say "distinguish between the groups" as far as my links go:

    The Gaokao essay is about international students, but it's also revealing of what many Chinese immigrant parents are familiar with, and may be perpetuating here.

    The SAT is Corrupt is about international students certainly; however, given the extensive communication between the "test prep" companies, I wonder if the SAT is less than pure here, too.

    The other two essays (AP Preferences and the dad) are about group 2 students.

    It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it.

    I agree with this, but would add something else. If it came to a choice between an Asian kid who worked 80 hours a week to eke out a 4.5 GPA, 10 APs with 5, and a 2400 SAT, and a non-Asian kid who read a lot of science fiction or history, did some creative writing, hated homework and got a 3.8 GPA with several 5 AP scores, with a 2250 SAT with limited prep, many Americans would take the second kid, or at least consider them roughly equal.

    Until about 20 years ago, the second kid would have had a shot at most elite schools. My theory: the end to affirmative action required schools to insist on high GPAs, so they could justify accepting blacks and Hispanics with low test scores but high GPAs. Unfortunately, that had unintended consequences in terms of giving Asians an advantage over whites.

    Incidentally, in reading that last discussion I see you asked me about the use of Americans by Asians. Asian kids (group 2) consistently use American to mean white and use blacks, Hispanics, and either Asian or country of ancestry for Asians.

    It doesn’t seem the system can continue the way it’s going. I know a Korean-American high school student who has spent the past half-dozen years doing very little besides studying, playing violin, and SAT prep. He got into an elite university and knows exactly what he wants to do for the rest of his life. He’s a great kid and I don’t think he needs to cheat. But there’s a problem with the system.

    These elite universities cover a huge chunk of the tuition (all of it and more at the military academies, which have larger and larger numbers of Asian-Americans/Indian-Americans). But higher education across the board has become insanely expensive for the rest. Even at state colleges a year of tuition is about the price of a new car. And this is where the problem comes in.

    One of the most successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Jim Clark, who started three billion-dollar companies, was a screw up in high school. He had a rough childhood. He didn’t get sent to Mathnasiums and SAT preps in Bethesda. He got kicked out of high school and joined the Navy. Later he was able to take extension classes at Tulane at night and get into U. of New Orleans and worked hard and eventually got a Ph.D. from Utah in computer science. Today could a Jim Clark even afford extension night courses at a local college at $1200-2000 a pop?! I have heard or read many similar stories of guys who have been academic screw ups, dropped out of school to figure what they wanted to do, and finally go their act together and turned things around. Today I wonder if such a guy wouldn’t be relegated to a low-level, dead end job and never have the chance to emerge.

    It seems that the kid growing up today, and just being a kid, will be left in the starting blocks as the Indian-American and Asian-American kids are already vying for the finite number of slots at first-rate schools and internships.

  31. I’ve made this argument before in other settings, to no apparent effect.

    Suppose “leadership qualities” are only moderately correlated with SAT scores. Suppose that Harvard wants, very importantly, to select for students particularly outstanding their leadership qualities. Suppose (quite safely) that Asian Americans are indeed well overrepresented at the upper levels of SAT scores. Suppose, finally, that Asian American students are no more or less blessed with “leadership qualities” than the population at large — or even with those in the population who match their SAT scores.

    Then it is a simple matter of statistics to infer that there are, relative to the larger population, fewer Asian Americans who have both very high SAT scores and outstanding leadership qualities than Asian Americans who have very high SAT scores. That is, if one sees that there are fewer Asian Americans in elite colleges than there are Asian Americans who score at comparable SAT levels to those of all students in those colleges, that is exactly what one would predict if those colleges set great store on leadership qualities in addition to SAT scores. That is, in still other words, if there is a gap in the relative acceptance rates at elite colleges in terms of SAT for Asian Americans versus the larger white population, that is exactly what one would expect, if leadership qualities are considered. And all that is assumed is that Asians are no better and no worse in their distribution of leadership qualities than are others of comparable SAT scores. If, say, 40% of the very top 0.1% SAT scorers are Asian, then distinctly less than 40% will be in the top 0.1% of those who score in the top of a metric combining both SAT scores and leadership qualities. The vast majority of those with the outstanding leadership qualities will not be Asian (there just aren’t many Asians in the larger population).

    Now the question of admission rates of Jews is another story. But I’m not going to get into it, nor do I particularly have a firm view on it.

  32. @Jean Cocteausten
    On the contrary, what employers are more concerned about is getting the really talented people through the clearance check. People with extraordinary technical talent are very curious and prone to getting themselves in trouble because of it, due to drugs, sex and unfashionable political activity. Steve Jobs would have had a very hard time getting a clearance, with his LSD and pot use, out-of-wedlock kid demonstrating poor judgment, etc. Look at Oppenheimer's experience.

    Oppenheimer had a security clearance. Giving Oppenheimer a security clearance looks most likely to have been a serious and easily avoided mistake, seeing as how he was a Communist and all. We don’t know, for certain, that he was a Soviet spy yet. We do know, from the Venona intercepts, that there are nuclear spies of unknown identity. That is, we have codenames, but we don’t know for sure what actual names go with them.

    Based on what is known, if you had to make an even money bet one way or the other, the smart bet is that Oppenheimer was a Soviet spy.

    It’s remarkable how durable these crazy ideas that we were too strict about security clearances and that we were too paranoid generally during the Cold War are. As the actual evidence that we were too paranoid has crumbled under the weight of the scholarship of the last few decades, leftoids have ceased making arguments to this conclusion, preferring instead to just roll their eyes and act like you’re stupid or uncool if you don’t share their delusions.

  33. For me, here’s the upshot: we just need to be honest…..Do we as a society need to abolish all discrimination by any means necessary? I’d say no.

    Right, but this is probably exactly why we can’t be honest about this. There are many people and subgroups within society that would love to have the freedom to practice discrimination according to their preferences. But society officially professes to uphold an ideal of non-discrimination. And elite institutions like Harvard derive some of their status and prestige and moral power by the fact that they’re perceived to profess society’s official ideals. Elite institutions being honest about discrimination would result in the official ideal of non-discrimination losing its moral force.

  34. Razib,

    I seem to recall just 2-3 years ago when discussing black/hispanic affirmative action you revealed your ultimate preferences for college admissions to be as coldly objective and meritocratic (i.e. g-loaded test scores and GPAs) as possible. From reading your last paragraph have you perhaps changed that preference of yours to be more understanding and accepting of the “holistic” perspective of those Ivies?

    P.S. what exactly do the sexual preferences of white women have to do with how unfavorable Asians are perceived to top dog material? Last time I checked in the managerial and board room sectors white women are still the minority. If anything it is the perceptions of straight white males that would matter (though I don’t know any studies that would echo the OKCupid ones)

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    I seem to recall just 2-3 years ago when discussing black/hispanic affirmative action you revealed your ultimate preferences for college admissions to be as coldly objective and meritocratic (i.e. g-loaded test scores and GPAs) as possible. From reading your last paragraph have you perhaps changed that preference of yours to be more understanding and accepting of the “holistic” perspective of those Ivies?

    for technical majors my preference is pretty straightforwardly academic. no, i don't care about holistic admissions really...though i can see why they would want to diversify and discriminate. but i have a weird fetish for honesty and i wish they would just be clear about what they're doing and why, instead of talk about 'leadership.'

    what exactly do the sexual preferences of white women have to do with how unfavorable Asians are perceived to top dog material?

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aristotleo103674.html

    i believe men work to maintain and elaborate civilization to impress women.

  35. @education realist
    The thing is, I'm not sure colleges do, either (distinguish between Asian Americans and international students). International students are overwhelmingly Asian, mostly from China and Korea. Asian admits seem to be a zero sum game, particularly in competitive public universities, who want the money from the international students, but then cut down on their Asian American admits to balance out.

    So say three different groups:

    1) Asian Americans of the third generation or more, or Asian Americans whose parents came her as children.

    2) First or second generation Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and Vietnam.

    3) International students at the college level.

    The first group has largely assimilated American values. They're also a pretty tiny group these days compared to the huge influx of group 2.

    Group 2 is the population I have the most experience with. I am now describing the behavior I see with a sample population in the hundreds and have documented in other regions with high Asian populations.

    This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call "gaming") to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it. They live in largely Asian communities going to schools that are often 40-80% Asian so they develop a very different academic culture. These are the kids that are both responsible for and suffering the most from the discrimination we're discussing. Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club--and then they show up and they're, at best, bright. But nothing of the caliber that would be expected of a white, black, Hispanic, or group 1 Asian kid with that same profile--to say nothing of the group 2 kids who actually are that smart, and they do exist--I've met many.

    So my theory goes that colleges start collecting enough of these kids to make their average SAT and GPA look fabulous. I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren't terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean--during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren't cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior. I have some experience with kids straight out of China and Korea, but not enough to generalize. However, this area has been covered extensively by journalists and it's probably the behavior you're hearing about from colleagues?

    In any case, public universities and elite colleges are both accepting the lies, for different reasons, and since they all seem to count Asians in the same category, their willingness to accept these students puts additional pressure on Group 2.

    As you know, this is just my explanation for the phenomenon using available evidence. I agree with all your objections to the theory; it's not proved out.

    So when you say "distinguish between the groups" as far as my links go:

    The Gaokao essay is about international students, but it's also revealing of what many Chinese immigrant parents are familiar with, and may be perpetuating here.

    The SAT is Corrupt is about international students certainly; however, given the extensive communication between the "test prep" companies, I wonder if the SAT is less than pure here, too.

    The other two essays (AP Preferences and the dad) are about group 2 students.

    It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it.

    I agree with this, but would add something else. If it came to a choice between an Asian kid who worked 80 hours a week to eke out a 4.5 GPA, 10 APs with 5, and a 2400 SAT, and a non-Asian kid who read a lot of science fiction or history, did some creative writing, hated homework and got a 3.8 GPA with several 5 AP scores, with a 2250 SAT with limited prep, many Americans would take the second kid, or at least consider them roughly equal.

    Until about 20 years ago, the second kid would have had a shot at most elite schools. My theory: the end to affirmative action required schools to insist on high GPAs, so they could justify accepting blacks and Hispanics with low test scores but high GPAs. Unfortunately, that had unintended consequences in terms of giving Asians an advantage over whites.

    Incidentally, in reading that last discussion I see you asked me about the use of Americans by Asians. Asian kids (group 2) consistently use American to mean white and use blacks, Hispanics, and either Asian or country of ancestry for Asians.

    What do you suppose the representation would look like if we controlled for adjustable variables like cheating and gaming and the representation were solely due to an innate factor?

    This would give us a better idea of the threshold where red flags start going up and where cheating and gaming come into play. It would give more force to your claims.

  36. Repeat of earlier comment but maybe better expressed is…

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve had over the last 30 years.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve had over the last 30 years.
     
    This is the absolutely crucial point which seems to have been completely ignored by most of the commenters, perhaps because our dishonest MSM so effectively pretends otherwise. By any reasonable standard, America's top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these "leaders," one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds.

    A few months before I published my long Meritocracy article, I'd published another one, comparing China and America. Here's the link:

    http://www.unz.com/article/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

    At the beginning of this post, Razib provided my eye-catching graph from the Meritocracy piece. Here's a similarly eye-catching graph from my China/America article:

    , @Priss Factor
    "China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?"

    They say the Chinese economy is about to 'collapse'.

    Chinese seem to be very corrupt. Why else do they send their kids to study here?

    And their Mushu test system doesn't make for innovation.
  37. @D. K.
    Mr. Unz' cited article is precisely where I entered this new forum, last May 27th, as the first commenter on that controversial article-- after which, his archnemesis quickly took me to task for my accepting, for the sake of argument, that Jews were overrepresented at Harvard, and other Ivy League universities, not only far beyond their own meager share of the resident population of the United States-- now at under 2%, for the so-called "core population of Jewish Americans"-- but far beyond their discernible merits, performance-wise, as well. The reason that I commented, that day, was simply to point out that Mr. Unz' own results clearly showed that you so-called "Asians" were not the primary victims of Ivy League racial and ethnic biases: that honor, according to Mr. Unz' findings, instead goes to us non-Hispanic White gentiles!

  38. Ivy says:
    @education realist
    The thing is, I'm not sure colleges do, either (distinguish between Asian Americans and international students). International students are overwhelmingly Asian, mostly from China and Korea. Asian admits seem to be a zero sum game, particularly in competitive public universities, who want the money from the international students, but then cut down on their Asian American admits to balance out.

    So say three different groups:

    1) Asian Americans of the third generation or more, or Asian Americans whose parents came her as children.

    2) First or second generation Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and Vietnam.

    3) International students at the college level.

    The first group has largely assimilated American values. They're also a pretty tiny group these days compared to the huge influx of group 2.

    Group 2 is the population I have the most experience with. I am now describing the behavior I see with a sample population in the hundreds and have documented in other regions with high Asian populations.

    This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call "gaming") to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it. They live in largely Asian communities going to schools that are often 40-80% Asian so they develop a very different academic culture. These are the kids that are both responsible for and suffering the most from the discrimination we're discussing. Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club--and then they show up and they're, at best, bright. But nothing of the caliber that would be expected of a white, black, Hispanic, or group 1 Asian kid with that same profile--to say nothing of the group 2 kids who actually are that smart, and they do exist--I've met many.

    So my theory goes that colleges start collecting enough of these kids to make their average SAT and GPA look fabulous. I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren't terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.

    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean--during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren't cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior. I have some experience with kids straight out of China and Korea, but not enough to generalize. However, this area has been covered extensively by journalists and it's probably the behavior you're hearing about from colleagues?

    In any case, public universities and elite colleges are both accepting the lies, for different reasons, and since they all seem to count Asians in the same category, their willingness to accept these students puts additional pressure on Group 2.

    As you know, this is just my explanation for the phenomenon using available evidence. I agree with all your objections to the theory; it's not proved out.

    So when you say "distinguish between the groups" as far as my links go:

    The Gaokao essay is about international students, but it's also revealing of what many Chinese immigrant parents are familiar with, and may be perpetuating here.

    The SAT is Corrupt is about international students certainly; however, given the extensive communication between the "test prep" companies, I wonder if the SAT is less than pure here, too.

    The other two essays (AP Preferences and the dad) are about group 2 students.

    It does strike me as obvious that Harvard and other Ivy League schools are attempting to racially balance by putting their fingers on the admission knobs in just the perfect manner. Though I’m not particularly happy about this, being transparent and honest would at least allow us to address what’s going on, and wonder whether we should do something about it.

    I agree with this, but would add something else. If it came to a choice between an Asian kid who worked 80 hours a week to eke out a 4.5 GPA, 10 APs with 5, and a 2400 SAT, and a non-Asian kid who read a lot of science fiction or history, did some creative writing, hated homework and got a 3.8 GPA with several 5 AP scores, with a 2250 SAT with limited prep, many Americans would take the second kid, or at least consider them roughly equal.

    Until about 20 years ago, the second kid would have had a shot at most elite schools. My theory: the end to affirmative action required schools to insist on high GPAs, so they could justify accepting blacks and Hispanics with low test scores but high GPAs. Unfortunately, that had unintended consequences in terms of giving Asians an advantage over whites.

    Incidentally, in reading that last discussion I see you asked me about the use of Americans by Asians. Asian kids (group 2) consistently use American to mean white and use blacks, Hispanics, and either Asian or country of ancestry for Asians.

    Anecdotes
    1: Europeans aren’t immune to the cheating on tests, either. In one grad school case, cheater A, now a CEO in a Benelux country, ahem, conversed with B from a Germanic country in a mutually-understood language about answers. Sample sizes of two are somewhat limiting, but fun to contemplate when reading alumni publications.

    2. One of my Asian-American employees said often that while “using” a source once may be plagiarism, using it twice or more was research.

  39. Did you read Anatoly Karlin’s recent post on economic underperformance compared to what national IQ would predict? US is an overperformer, east Asian countries underperform. This made we wonder about verbal intelligence, leadership charisma, etc. It seems worth thinking about in connection with the topic of this post (as long as you don’t go exterminating races, people! Seriously: don’t do that!)

  40. I think Steve Sailer made a point recently that might also be relevant here:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/nyt-the-great-democratic-crack-up-of-2016/

    My guess would be that the Democrats benefit from still having as a public face of the party some number of this kind of old-fashioned hereditary princeling with direct family ties to the Truman Administration’s waging of the Cold War. Just as the Republicans celebrate any GOP politician they can find who is from somewhat outside the Core (e.g., Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Mr. Columba Bush, etc.), logic suggests the Democrats should conversely find it tactically prudent to look favorably upon a good-looking representative like Van Hollen of the East Coast’s ancient Dutch/WASP elite that produced the Roosevelts.

    Harvard is an elite institution that is more liberal than the American majority, and it produces graduates that tend to be leaders in society and help push the country in a liberal direction. The ability of these graduates to help promote liberal mores as social leaders probably depends to a certain degree on the affinity or identification that the Core as Sailer calls it can have with these leaders. If this leadership is perceived as being too visibly foreign in the Core’s eyes, it might hinder its ability to advance the values Harvard stands for as an elite institution.

  41. @education realist
    I'll just link in the comments from the last time we had this conversation, in which I think Razib, Pincher Martin, and I pretty thoroughly hashed out what I think is behind the prejudice. Namely, the perception that Asians cheated or in some way gamed the academic system to present as much smarter than they are. No reason to revisit, just adding it in for anyone who didn't see it the first time.

    Adding in a couple:

    The SAT is Corrupt. No one Wants to know, referring to the blatant cheating on the international SAT and the blocked results from both China and Korea.


    Advanced Placement Test Preferences: Asians and Whites--many of your Asian applicants took AP courses in the maths and sciences, which are the easiest to get 5s in, and avoid the language tests (harder to get 5s in), it might signal something. Example of the mindset that Asian parents engage in: A talk with an Asian Dad

    What you probably don't know about the gaokao--suggestion that the Chinese international student probably has little experience in actual learning, given what they have to do to get into college. Unless they're rich, of course.


    I'll also say, again, that while there's no hard proof that this is the reason, pretty much every university who has examined their academic probation rate finds Asians overrepresented, or at least tied with whites despite their much higher test scores on average. And the problems with Asians utterly ruining the older college instruction method (honor system, presentations) is (as you have also noted) very high.

    I’ll just link in the comments from the last time we had this conversation, in which I think Razib, Pincher Martin, and I pretty thoroughly hashed out what I think is behind the prejudice.

    Your explanation doesn’t seem to be mutually exclusive with Razib’s explanation in the OP. It doesn’t seem implausible to me that both explanations might be involved here to varying degrees. Other factors might be involved as well.

  42. Notwithstanding the lawsuit, WSJ article and Razib’s comments, I predict there will be an Asian American U.S. President elected before there will be a Jewish American President elected.

    • Replies: @Bill M
    Why do you say that? Barry Goldwater and John Kerry almost came close. Joe Lieberman almost became VP.
  43. It would be healthier for our democracy in my opinion if our governing elites were more representative of the ethnic and geograpic diversity of the American people as a whole,with special attention given to high school graduates in the South and Midwest and in rural and small town areas in all parts of the country. Affirmative action for all in other words There are more than enough intellectually qualifed candidates from all these groups, among whom those showing the highest character and leadership abilities should be favored.

  44. @notanon
    Repeat of earlier comment but maybe better expressed is...

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn't that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn't be any worse than what we've had over the last 30 years.

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve had over the last 30 years.

    This is the absolutely crucial point which seems to have been completely ignored by most of the commenters, perhaps because our dishonest MSM so effectively pretends otherwise. By any reasonable standard, America’s top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these “leaders,” one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds.

    A few months before I published my long Meritocracy article, I’d published another one, comparing China and America. Here’s the link:

    http://www.unz.com/article/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

    At the beginning of this post, Razib provided my eye-catching graph from the Meritocracy piece. Here’s a similarly eye-catching graph from my China/America article:

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "By any reasonable standard, America’s top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these “leaders,” one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds."

    So our elites have been among the worst-performing in our modern history, yet today in our country they are personally wealthier than they've been in a long time (ever?) and inequality is greater. Our rewards system seems off.
    , @syonredux

    By any reasonable standard, America’s top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history.
     
    Well, they are the people who thought that adding 100 million+ Hispanic Amerinds/Mestizos to the US population will make us more globally competitive:

    The Census Bureau reports today that the nation's population will grow from 321 million next year to an estimated 416 million by year 2060. That means the country would have to somehow squeeze in 95 million more people into our cities and suburbs, our stretches of open land from Midland to Montana. It would be the equivalent of adding more than the entire current populations of Vietnam or Egypt or Germany.

    If you know anything about our demographic trends it will not surprise you to learn that Hispanics are expected to be the biggest driver of our population growth. The numbers, nonetheless, are startling. That ethnic group is estimated to account for two-thirds of the population growth - some 62 million - between 2015 and 2060. The total Hispanic population by 2060 is estimated to be 119 million.
     
    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/By-2060-a-stunning-number-of-Hispanics-will-call-5948190.php
  45. hello everybody! i’ve been away from the computer most of today. i’ll be monitoring comments to see who to ban from now on 😉 replies to follow….

  46. @SFG
    I have a question for Razib, who probably has a peer-reviewed study in his pocket for this particular question:

    How much of this is a generational effect? We've only had one or two generations of high-IQ Asian Americans. A lot of this sounds like the sorts of things they used to say about Jews, and they eventually worked their way onto Ivy League corporate boards. Maybe true assimilation, or learning to play the game the way the winners play it, takes a few generations?

    How much of this is a generational effect? We’ve only had one or two generations of high-IQ Asian Americans. A lot of this sounds like the sorts of things they used to say about Jews, and they eventually worked their way onto Ivy League corporate boards. Maybe true assimilation, or learning to play the game the way the winners play it, takes a few generations?

    don’t know off the top of my head of a study. but the key is to look at japanese americans. they’re mostly third generation or later now for the youth.

  47. @George123
    Legacy and athletic admits are more likely to be white than Asian, which probably explains the 140 SAT gap between white and Asian admits.

    In other words, whites and Asians admitted for purely academic reasons probably have the same SAT scores.

    Legacy and athletic admits are more likely to be white than Asian, which probably explains the 140 SAT gap between white and Asian admits.

    if you leave another comment like this stating something without backing it up in a more analytic way you will be banned. don’t do this again. your impressions are worthless to me.

  48. @Hacienda
    Why do I get the feeling this post is gonna generate your most commented section?

    Just a few points.

    1. Have you polled white women about who they prefer to have sex with? If you haven't
    what are some reliable indicators?

    2. Re: Point 1. Steve Jobs used to say consumers don't know what they want. It's time for Asian men to find out what white women want.

    3. Caltech undergrad is at 40%. And rightly regarded as the sharpest sticks in the land. What does Harvard have that Caltech doesn't? Outside of Eastern social oiliness.

    4. Lawsuits are a knowledge edge. Asians need to press this point. Get it in court, on the record.
    It will be better for everybody.

    1. Have you polled white women about who they prefer to have sex with? If you haven’t
    what are some reliable indicators?

    an old and robust finding

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2008/07/why-does-race-matter-for-women/

    use google scholar from now on.

  49. @Sunbeam
    "This group has an extremely high tendency to cheat (on AP tests when they can get away with it, in class tests, homework, and anything else graded) and test prep (what I call “gaming”) to an extent that their test scores misrepresent their abilities, either slightly or extensively. They do so largely because their parents demand it.
    .
    .
    .
    Colleges are being flooded with 2400 SAT scores, 10 APs of 5s, officers of clubs that were created for no other reason than to let some kids be officers in a club–and then they show up and they’re, at best, bright
    .
    .
    .
    I agree with DK and others that these kids are in many cases leading to fewer opportunities for white kids with no connections but impressive achievements that actually match their profile. Elite colleges aren’t terribly interested in that group, and they know they have to take *some* of this flood of Asians with impressive numbers.
    .
    .
    .
    Group 3 are the ones who are cheating like crazy, committing rampant fraud on their resumes and test scores, the ones you probably hear of from your colleagues when you hear tales of students openly discussing a test in Chinese or Korean–during the test. Then when you call them out on it, they protest that they weren’t cheating, deny it even with evidence, and if all else fails, explain that their culture allows such behavior."

    Wouldn't copying it be the smarter thing to do? To rip off Tom Wolfe's novel title, what if everyone goes "Back to Blood?"

    i.e., no longer thinking of themselves as "Americans" but as members of a specific group, with specific interests, that just happens to inhabit a geographic area with other groups they are in a low grade conflict with for the slots to claim they've jumped the right hoops, so are eligible for the good jobs that matter?

    Is it such a stretch to imagine Des Moines, Iowa getting organized about the whole thing? That is if the mindset and viewpoint you see on this site ever becomes widespread?

    Cheat till it hurts. Then cheat some more.

    It's the only way. A genius from another group getting his "just rewards"... that's a meaningless concept. Because in the end, if all he is doing is getting a job on Wall Street to get access to the money stream, or at a law firm in DC to get access to the reigns of power...

    As opposed to becoming a scientist and benefiting everyone...

    What vested interest does anyone have in fair play? That's for chumps, mind you. Because I sure think it is in my personal vested interest to have someone from my culture in the catbird seat as opposed to another.

    The only reality is the war of each against all.

    You know, natural selection at work.

    don’t be so stream of consciousness in future comments. i have no idea what you’re trying to say, in which case, you shouldn’t say anything.

    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Wasn't stream of consciousness at at all.

    What happens if everyone cynically games the system?

    What happens if whites, or a significant minority of them, do the exact same thing Asians do?

    The further implications are pretty obvious as well. Let's say people identify with being members of an ethnic group, as opposed to an abstract notion like being "American."

    You know much like other mixed ethnic nations in the world. Some of our groups are already there.

    So what happens if whites start doing the same thing?
  50. @Darwin
    Notwithstanding the lawsuit, WSJ article and Razib's comments, I predict there will be an Asian American U.S. President elected before there will be a Jewish American President elected.

    Why do you say that? Barry Goldwater and John Kerry almost came close. Joe Lieberman almost became VP.

    • Replies: @Darwin
    None of them was elected, they all lost badly. Helps support my view.

    (Not that John Kerry by any reasonable definition, including his own and how his family was regarded for generations in America, can be considered Jewish.)

  51. @Riordan
    Razib,

    I seem to recall just 2-3 years ago when discussing black/hispanic affirmative action you revealed your ultimate preferences for college admissions to be as coldly objective and meritocratic (i.e. g-loaded test scores and GPAs) as possible. From reading your last paragraph have you perhaps changed that preference of yours to be more understanding and accepting of the "holistic" perspective of those Ivies?

    P.S. what exactly do the sexual preferences of white women have to do with how unfavorable Asians are perceived to top dog material? Last time I checked in the managerial and board room sectors white women are still the minority. If anything it is the perceptions of straight white males that would matter (though I don't know any studies that would echo the OKCupid ones)

    I seem to recall just 2-3 years ago when discussing black/hispanic affirmative action you revealed your ultimate preferences for college admissions to be as coldly objective and meritocratic (i.e. g-loaded test scores and GPAs) as possible. From reading your last paragraph have you perhaps changed that preference of yours to be more understanding and accepting of the “holistic” perspective of those Ivies?

    for technical majors my preference is pretty straightforwardly academic. no, i don’t care about holistic admissions really…though i can see why they would want to diversify and discriminate. but i have a weird fetish for honesty and i wish they would just be clear about what they’re doing and why, instead of talk about ‘leadership.’

    what exactly do the sexual preferences of white women have to do with how unfavorable Asians are perceived to top dog material?

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aristotleo103674.html

    i believe men work to maintain and elaborate civilization to impress women.

  52. finally, please work on the sarcasm and self-satisfaction people. most of you are far less impressive to me than you are to yourselves 😉

  53. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve had over the last 30 years.
     
    This is the absolutely crucial point which seems to have been completely ignored by most of the commenters, perhaps because our dishonest MSM so effectively pretends otherwise. By any reasonable standard, America's top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these "leaders," one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds.

    A few months before I published my long Meritocracy article, I'd published another one, comparing China and America. Here's the link:

    http://www.unz.com/article/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

    At the beginning of this post, Razib provided my eye-catching graph from the Meritocracy piece. Here's a similarly eye-catching graph from my China/America article:

    “By any reasonable standard, America’s top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these “leaders,” one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds.”

    So our elites have been among the worst-performing in our modern history, yet today in our country they are personally wealthier than they’ve been in a long time (ever?) and inequality is greater. Our rewards system seems off.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    So our elites have been among the worst-performing in our modern history, yet today in our country they are personally wealthier than they’ve been in a long time (ever?) and inequality is greater. Our rewards system seems off.
     
    Exactly. I should have clarified that I meant their recent performance has been absolutely dreadful for the vast majority of the population and also the future of the country. However, they themselves---the 0.1% or 0.01%---have certainly done *extremely* well for themselves during that same period. If that per capita GDP graph had excluded the 1%, the results for Americans would be unbelievably dismal. (Obviously, the wealthiest Chinese are also capturing a disproportionate share of Chinese growth, but the real incomes of ordinary Chinese urban workers have been doubling every five or six years, which sounds pretty good to most people.)

    So perhaps our elites have been actually been just as successful as their allegedly meritocratic pedigrees would indicate. But then again, if things finally collapse and they all get guillotined, maybe not...
  54. @Anonymous
    "By any reasonable standard, America’s top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these “leaders,” one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds."

    So our elites have been among the worst-performing in our modern history, yet today in our country they are personally wealthier than they've been in a long time (ever?) and inequality is greater. Our rewards system seems off.

    So our elites have been among the worst-performing in our modern history, yet today in our country they are personally wealthier than they’ve been in a long time (ever?) and inequality is greater. Our rewards system seems off.

    Exactly. I should have clarified that I meant their recent performance has been absolutely dreadful for the vast majority of the population and also the future of the country. However, they themselves—the 0.1% or 0.01%—have certainly done *extremely* well for themselves during that same period. If that per capita GDP graph had excluded the 1%, the results for Americans would be unbelievably dismal. (Obviously, the wealthiest Chinese are also capturing a disproportionate share of Chinese growth, but the real incomes of ordinary Chinese urban workers have been doubling every five or six years, which sounds pretty good to most people.)

    So perhaps our elites have been actually been just as successful as their allegedly meritocratic pedigrees would indicate. But then again, if things finally collapse and they all get guillotined, maybe not…

  55. i’m going to stop posting the comments between ‘educational realist’ and her detractors. i don’t want to rehash the same argument we’ve had over and over, especially when much of it degrades into personal insults.

  56. It’s depressing as a white gentile to watch Jews and Asians fight it out for dominance over the institutions our forefathers founded.

    Must be how the native Chinese felt during the Yuan dynasty.

  57. I wonder whether not only personality but also physical characteristics contribute to “leadership qualities” which Harvard is supposedly selecting for. For example in Germany the CEO´s of the big industrial enterprises tend to be tall, 1,90 m or above, with hands like shovels. This would well align with the notion that the perception of (white) females plays a role in this selection process.

  58. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    In which departments are Asians most over-represented and in which departments are they most under-represented?

    Most college departments have nothing to do with leadership qualities.
    I’d think only business and political studies departments require leadership qualities. Maybe law.

    But science and technology stuff?

    Also, if sexual prowess = leadership qualities, how come geeks win over jocks in college admission?

    And I’m not sure American ideal of leadership has much to do with sexuality.
    Just look at the political leaders. Harry Reid. Lindsey Graham. John McCain. George W. Bush. Dan Quayle. Michael Bloomberg. Rand Sweat Pea Paul. John Kerry. Bob Dole.

    And look at most CEOs. Dorks. What really matters is verbal skills, and Jews outshine East Asians in this.

    And if what women like = leadership, why are there so many homo guys in leadership positions?

  59. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:
    @notanon
    Repeat of earlier comment but maybe better expressed is...

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn't that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn't be any worse than what we've had over the last 30 years.

    “China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?”

    They say the Chinese economy is about to ‘collapse’.

    Chinese seem to be very corrupt. Why else do they send their kids to study here?

    And their Mushu test system doesn’t make for innovation.

  60. Amusingly the Espenshade study also showed favoritism towards women at the highly selective institutions, and more amusingly it was mentioned by an anti-affirmative action(for men) crusader(as an example of asians getting the short stick a la women) without looking at the results.

    There’s someone by the name of siserune who has written extensively on asians and the Espenshade study, basically (east)asians do better at the first hurdles than what their subsequent performance would predict. iirc the same effect wasn’t there for Indians.

    The other problem with a straight comparison would be their dominance on spatial intelligence while about equality on verbal. Steve Farron has written on it in a reply to the notorious forum dweller Yan Shen. Perhaps Jonathan Wai could improve how spatial intelligence is treated in US educational system, though that would help men too. Though having more folks like Jensen of nvidia wouldn’t hurt either.

    And of course, if jews dominate the verbal profession with one of them being law, what are the chances that these quotas, which mostly help the scots-irish, would be dismantled by going to the court? 🙂

  61. @Razib Khan
    don't be so stream of consciousness in future comments. i have no idea what you're trying to say, in which case, you shouldn't say anything.

    Wasn’t stream of consciousness at at all.

    What happens if everyone cynically games the system?

    What happens if whites, or a significant minority of them, do the exact same thing Asians do?

    The further implications are pretty obvious as well. Let’s say people identify with being members of an ethnic group, as opposed to an abstract notion like being “American.”

    You know much like other mixed ethnic nations in the world. Some of our groups are already there.

    So what happens if whites start doing the same thing?

  62. @Bill M
    Why do you say that? Barry Goldwater and John Kerry almost came close. Joe Lieberman almost became VP.

    None of them was elected, they all lost badly. Helps support my view.

    (Not that John Kerry by any reasonable definition, including his own and how his family was regarded for generations in America, can be considered Jewish.)

  63. Affirmative action for all!

    (except in med school and technical schools like Cal Tech and MIT)

    What would be the downside? I can’t think of any.

    What would be the upside? Governing elites that reflect the ethnic and geographical diversity of our democratic society..

  64. @Ron Unz

    China is doing a lot better than the West at the moment so doesn’t that imply their leadership qualities might be net better?

    Pretty sure it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve had over the last 30 years.
     
    This is the absolutely crucial point which seems to have been completely ignored by most of the commenters, perhaps because our dishonest MSM so effectively pretends otherwise. By any reasonable standard, America's top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history. Given that Harvard and the Ivies have largely been selecting these "leaders," one might question the effectiveness of their selection methodology on purely empirical grounds.

    A few months before I published my long Meritocracy article, I'd published another one, comparing China and America. Here's the link:

    http://www.unz.com/article/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

    At the beginning of this post, Razib provided my eye-catching graph from the Meritocracy piece. Here's a similarly eye-catching graph from my China/America article:

    By any reasonable standard, America’s top political and financial elites during the last generation or so have been among the worst-performing in modern world history.

    Well, they are the people who thought that adding 100 million+ Hispanic Amerinds/Mestizos to the US population will make us more globally competitive:

    The Census Bureau reports today that the nation’s population will grow from 321 million next year to an estimated 416 million by year 2060. That means the country would have to somehow squeeze in 95 million more people into our cities and suburbs, our stretches of open land from Midland to Montana. It would be the equivalent of adding more than the entire current populations of Vietnam or Egypt or Germany.

    If you know anything about our demographic trends it will not surprise you to learn that Hispanics are expected to be the biggest driver of our population growth. The numbers, nonetheless, are startling. That ethnic group is estimated to account for two-thirds of the population growth – some 62 million – between 2015 and 2060. The total Hispanic population by 2060 is estimated to be 119 million.

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/By-2060-a-stunning-number-of-Hispanics-will-call-5948190.php

  65. “Asian students receive the lowest number of athletic scholarships, 0.1% in 2007-2008.”

    http://www.fastweb.com/student-news/articles/athletic-scholarships-who-gets-them-and-how-many-are-there

  66. @Hipster
    I wonder how the half-Asian half-white children will do in reaching the upper echelons.

    It would be interesting to see. I wonder if there is a difference based on last name.

  67. As someone who went to an elite college (Caltech) back in 1974, the amount of extra-curricular crap that applicants are expected to go through is mind-boggling. Well-balanced kids simply do not do these sorts of things voluntarily in the quantity that seems to be expected. They are obviously driven by the ambition of their parents, and what you end up with is people who obediently follow the wishes of authority figures.

  68. I’m a first / 1.5 generation Chinese immigrant in favor of affirmative action for URMs and feel that this was a good post, Razib. When I was younger, of course we were against AA and felt it was unfair. Especially since, where I grew up, Asians were on average poorer than African Americans and we got our butts kicked regularly by URMs.

    This isn’t because I think it would be a good idea for the schools. I believe in expanding the pie, not shrinking it. Moreover, I think that sending our kids to state schools as opposed to the ‘Harvard or bust’ mentality can help boost the average of those state schools.

    This is also for social stability, because developing a middleman minority group is an awful idea (c.f. Amy Chua’s book World on Fire). I was always told to remember the anti-Chinese pogroms throughout Southeast Asia.

    I don’t know if Asian underrepresentation in the Ivy Leagues and upper echelons of society is really due to ‘character’ and leadership skills, but whether or not the general public sees itself reflected in the Asian leaders.

    Anthropologically, tribes look for leaders that are culturally similar to them. Note the uproar over Obama’s election not just among whites, but also among blacks who did not view him as authentically African American because he is of recent immigrant descent.

    Although the yellow / brown peril stereotype is there, there is no ‘firm’ color bar as long as the underlying culture is strong enough. Mixed race celebrities Chrissy Teigen, Nicki Minaj (who is Indo-Trinidadian) and Keanu Reeves are accepted as ‘local’ and neither of them look pure African or European.

  69. M says:

    Politically, from an average perspective, it seems really difficult to care about the issue of elite colleges. Either way.

    On the one hand, the college is could be providing training and skills beyond what the applicant’s own merit gives them at a “normal” college, in which case it’s kind of hard to justify amplifying yet again the power and prestige of people who already overperform due to their basic ability or their willingness to strive.

    Or the college doesn’t actually provide much value added over merit. In which case again why care about the admissions?

    If it were possible to demonstrate that there were really useful businesses which didn’t happen because of the admissions policies as they are, or benefits to the common welfare which didn’t happen either one way or the other, it might motivate a popular concern about this. But as is, without this context, it’s just an issue like the boutique-y issues of there not being enough female Hollywood execs or whatever – just some already overperforming people out for their own advancement looking for more wealth and power.

    Regarding leadership specifically, I don’t know about the sex partner preference stuff, but the noted cultural characteristics which some think lead to Asian over representation in high level education, in addition to intelligence include motivation from family and community, a cultural superiority complex and high levels of impulse control, rule compliance and future orientation. It would be ironic if these were actually qualities which made people less likely to look to someone for leadership.

    It could be that people seek leaders who are not focused on obligations to other authority figures, who culturally see themselves on the same level as the people they work with (even if they have a superiority complex as individuals) and who are “in the moment” looking for opportunity, with short “quick results” time horizons on their need for achievement, able to spontaneously respond to changes in a dynamic environment rather than be given to a lot of long term planning (Anglo countries like the US tend to have low degrees of long term orientation, compared on a global scale). For better or worse.

  70. comments are getting stupid. closed.

  71. […] “A coalition of more than 60 Asian-American groups filed a federal discrimination complaint against Harvard University, claiming racial bias in undergraduate admissions.” A chance to find out how serious the university establishment, federal agencies, and the courts are about norms of non-discrimination [Bloomberg, Eugene Volokh on Bill Clinton 1995 comment, Razib Khan/Unz] […]

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