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From Unsilenced Science, how scoring high on the SAT college admissions test has gotten much easier over time.

Update: He or she has remade the SAT Verbal graph to keep the axes constant over time. The percentage of test takers who scored 700 or higher on the Verbal / Critical Reading test has gone up from about 1% in the Old Days to 7% lately.

The easier scoring of admissions tests makes it easier for elite universities to let in lots of legacies, jocks, and Jared Kushner-type donor’s rich kids without losing too much in the USNWR rankings.

My suggestion: Because it’s too much to expect people to put up with lowering these inflated scores, the best solution is to raise the maximum scores by a standard deviation, from 1600 to 1800 on the SAT and from 36 to 40 on the ACT. This would not be hard to do once the tests are switched from paper to on-screen and thus responsive to previous performance, like the GRE and AFQT/ASVAB are. On more modern tests, if you get a lot of questions right, the test starts asking you tougher questions.

From the UK:

 
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  1. Looking at your “Why Are Asian Test Scores Soaring?” post, the SAT is only getting easier for Asians.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    Yes, all other races are either stagnant or declining. Steve thinks its "inflated scores" and some here cling to "cheating".

    But this rise is almost entirely driven by Asians.

    , @gregor
    The recent SAT revision seems to have added perhaps 100 points to all the scores. I believe the scores in the other post were rescaled in some way to make them comparable with current scores. (That is, the Asian increase is over and above the general score inflation.). But I think the graphic here is showing raw scores.

    In terms of raw scores, the SAT was designed to be centered at 1000. By the early 90s, the average had slipped somewhat below this, prompting the infamous recentering in 1994. Now on the most recent version the average white score is well over 1100 and even the average black score is in the 900s.
    , @nier
    Maybe SAT proctors are making tests easier to appease the low IQ browns and blacks.

    Even if they are not doing this now, I believe they will be doing it in the future.

    , @LoutishAngloQuebecker
    Asians cheat. They take pictures of exams and also leak exams from positions of power.

    They have to go back...

    However it's also embarrassing to see white scores going down, even if it's slight. Whites are becoming more and more pathetic.
  2. Tests don’t matter anymore. The Ivies & Co. must accept at least 75% of their students from the top 1 percent to keep the alumni money flowing in. They will never go full need-blind…they made platitudes about that 5-20 years ago.

    The reality is, they will lose their research and breakthru status (kinda’ already did with Google founders) as more students from the top 2% go to State U (wherever) which is paying them to come to their campus.

    All of my sons’ friends were hired with decent 6 figure incomes before they graduated from state U; and, these universities are paying for their graduate schools and schooling overseas…many having living cost stipends. Ivies are aware of this bc they are losing the race in STEM. I know that Yale’s Engineering dept is still slo-mo compared to Purdue, Virginia & Georgia Tech, Texas A & M, Utah, and many others.

    • Troll: dvorak
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!
    , @Redneck farmer
    Yeah, I was giving away a scholarship a few years ago when I noticed several students had gotten full tuition scholarships from the state just across the river.
    , @Jack D
    Engineering has never been an Ivy strength. Harvard made a play for MIT in the early 20th century but the deal fell thru.

    Low six figure incomes are nice but that's not who donates meaningful amounts. Yale doesn't want future 6 figure earners, it wants future EIGHT figure earners (or better) who can be 7 figure donors (or better).

    The problem with engineering as a career is that it's a very flat pyramid. You start out with a good starting salary but it never really goes up much unless you can make the transition to management. A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger. The situation is (at least in certain specialties) better now given the modern startup economy - in the past, engineers would get hired by the tens of thousands by aerospace companies (Lockheed, Boeing, etc.) or the car companies and then when there was a recession they would get laid off by the tens of thousands. I have a lawyer friend who got sick of being laid off and gave up on engineering in the '70s and went back to law school (and did not regret the choice).

    Given the hordes of engineers being turned out in China and India and all of the Asian competition here in the US (engineering is in Asian's natural wheelhouse - a job where their verbal weaknesses don't hurt them), white people who have more balanced math/verbal strengths are better off in some other career where there is less Asian competition.
  3. @Lagertha
    Tests don't matter anymore. The Ivies & Co. must accept at least 75% of their students from the top 1 percent to keep the alumni money flowing in. They will never go full need-blind...they made platitudes about that 5-20 years ago.

    The reality is, they will lose their research and breakthru status (kinda' already did with Google founders) as more students from the top 2% go to State U (wherever) which is paying them to come to their campus.

    All of my sons' friends were hired with decent 6 figure incomes before they graduated from state U; and, these universities are paying for their graduate schools and schooling overseas...many having living cost stipends. Ivies are aware of this bc they are losing the race in STEM. I know that Yale's Engineering dept is still slo-mo compared to Purdue, Virginia & Georgia Tech, Texas A & M, Utah, and many others.

    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    They got a Chemistry Nobel this year, albeit a 90+ year old called Johnny B Good, who graduated in the 50s.

    He was even in the Skull & Bones.

    , @Lagertha
    Yale is very conflicted and confused.
    , @Lagertha
    Yale is soft with brains.....the Middle Class and poorer Immigrant kids are goin' to the honors colleges.....like, fracking, all over. My kids chose snow skiing and riding waves.
    , @Lagertha
    No. Crazily, Yale got scared in 2012 that they were losing "the brainiacs" to state schools, but, they were under tremendous pressure to forego white boys - I know this..and this is a sore spot for Yale, Harvard, well, all the Ivies. USA's loss! hahahhaaaaa

    when I say 'forego', I mean physics, chemistry and astro-physics. The shit that lets us live.

    , @PiltdownMan
    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT's 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard's reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That's true, as far as it's influence in America's governing classes goes.

    But since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that's gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    https://i.imgur.com/RtcZCkd.jpg
    , @PiltdownMan
    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT's 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard's reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That's true, as far as it's influence in America's governing classes goes.

    But since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that's gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    https://i.imgur.com/RtcZCkd.jpg
    , @PiltdownMan
    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT's 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard's reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That's true, as far as Harvard's influence in America's governing classes goes.

    Since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that's gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    https://i.imgur.com/RtcZCkd.jpg
  4. Besides Caltech, for which schools does distinguishing the 99.9th percentile from the 99th percentile matter?

    • Replies: @Reginald Maplethorp
    That's not really doable with the SAT anyway. My impression is that Caltech admissions begins at many 800 scores (there are a lot of SAT-II science tests, or used to be). More placement testing happens after admission during the first month of school. Students that have weak calculus preparation attend an early session for remedial math, unless it has been changed.
  5. On more modern tests, if you get a lot of questions right, the test starts asking you tougher questions.

    The one and only way I know of where it can be said that today’s tests can be tougher than yesterday’s.

  6. Steve, you’ve posted too much over the last few days! I’m way behind.

    I saw Joker last night, and thought it was close to great. I didn’t get your point about Phoenix bagging it the last half (sorry, if i’m mis-remembering your review). The only thing that kept it from being a great (like top 10 all time) movie was the scene with him and “Murray” at the end. There was something off about that scene; in particular, it was a bit ridiculous for them to not really do anything after his admission. They had done an incredible job building up to it and I was on the edge of my seat, but then… ! Everyone i watched it with agreed that the scene was weirdly bad.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I just saw At Close Range. Stunning movie, if a box office failure, and now a relic we can point to if anybody asks, "no seriously, why did anyone ever put up with that big-mouthed wife-beater?" Is that the future of Joker once the media accepts that it will cause no more real-life violence than did Passion?
  7. Yes indeed. In this respect, the interests of NAMs and elites coalesce. Hmmm.

  8. There are some extreme outliers like Google and Facebook, but mostly STEM is for nerds and technicians. Harvard is focused on power and money. Law, finance and politics is what counts.

    • Replies: @Sam Lowry
    Absolutely agree. State Us are not feeding finance like Ivy+ schools. STEM is fine for a decent living, but all those houses in the Hamptons (south of the highway thank you) aren't owned by IBM engineers. Finance is where one can make very serious money. Finance/consulting firms focus recruitment on the Ivies for a reason. Smart kids from flyover country who can get into Ivies but forego them for a free ride at State U need to know what they are missing with not going to Ivies. Of course, if one's ambition is to do fine in Des Moines State U makes sense, but if one has grander ambition...
  9. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    They got a Chemistry Nobel this year, albeit a 90+ year old called Johnny B Good, who graduated in the 50s.

    He was even in the Skull & Bones.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    And chemistry (unlike engineering) is actually a hard science.

    Meanwhile, speaking of applied science...

    Why Getting Back to the Moon Is So Damn Hard

    "The $20 million Lunar X Prize was supposed to send startups into space. The cost turned out to be far higher than the reward—but the competitors were never really in it for the trophy."

    https://cdn.technologyreview.com/i/images/nasagetty.jpg
    MIT Technology Review | Erin Winick

    “The reality was it’s a lot of money to go to the moon,” says Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.

     

    If we can put a white man on the moon, we can put a negro on the moon!
    And if we can put one negro on the moon.....
  10. It’s shoddy analysis to have the x-axis units change as the graphics evolv. Not sure if this an attempt to obfuscate something. Lost interest as soon as I saw the axis shift.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I don't think it was any kind of intentional trick. Whatever program was used to create the graphs (Excel I suspect) was set to some kind of auto-ranging and they forgot to change the setting. I think it was an innocent mistake and if you had kept the axes constant it would not have changed things much.
  11. @jimmyriddle
    They got a Chemistry Nobel this year, albeit a 90+ year old called Johnny B Good, who graduated in the 50s.

    He was even in the Skull & Bones.

    And chemistry (unlike engineering) is actually a hard science.

    Meanwhile, speaking of applied science…

    Why Getting Back to the Moon Is So Damn Hard

    “The $20 million Lunar X Prize was supposed to send startups into space. The cost turned out to be far higher than the reward—but the competitors were never really in it for the trophy.”

    MIT Technology Review | Erin Winick

    “The reality was it’s a lot of money to go to the moon,” says Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.

    If we can put a white man on the moon, we can put a negro on the moon!
    And if we can put one negro on the moon…..

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.
     
    Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer sounds like the kind of name that the writer of a science fiction novel or TV series would make up.
    , @Kronos
    That’s part of the backstory in the film “Iron Sky.” (With a Sarah Palin like figure as US President.)

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2JR5-FKXa60/UOot-wLY7II/AAAAAAAAARI/izjB9zKJfek/s1600/black-to-the-moon.jpg
    , @Joe Stalin
    Bah. Negros on the moon?

    Try Negros on Mars, suckers!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXHmOxa0wX4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plhWisabXq4
  12. All applicants to the elite schools
    take their tests in Vegas.

    One hour time limit.

    Win $1600 (some appropriate amount)
    at the poker machines, you’re in.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    All applicants to the elite schools
    take their tests in Vegas.

    One hour time limit.

    Win $1600 (some appropriate amount)
    at the poker machines, you’re in.
     
    Testing Asians in a casino is like testing American Indians in a saloon. Is this your intention?
  13. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    Yale is very conflicted and confused.

  14. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    Yale is soft with brains…..the Middle Class and poorer Immigrant kids are goin’ to the honors colleges…..like, fracking, all over. My kids chose snow skiing and riding waves.

  15. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    No. Crazily, Yale got scared in 2012 that they were losing “the brainiacs” to state schools, but, they were under tremendous pressure to forego white boys – I know this..and this is a sore spot for Yale, Harvard, well, all the Ivies. USA’s loss! hahahhaaaaa

    when I say ‘forego’, I mean physics, chemistry and astro-physics. The shit that lets us live.

    • Replies: @Ed
    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt, a Yale grad, has made it his personal crusade to diversify elite colleges with blacks and browns.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/make-colleges-diverse.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/university-of-chicago-pell-grants-diversity.html
    , @Kronos

    when I say ‘forego’, I mean physics, chemistry and astro-physics. The shit that lets us live.
     
    But it doesn’t have soul. Physics isn’t vibrant (at least not much in the racial sense.)

    https://youtu.be/hjg5dU4jmYY
  16. Typo in title, should be “makes it.”

  17. >Lost interest as soon as I saw the axis shift.<

    I think you get 150 points for filling out your name etc. You're too much the purist.

  18. @JeremiahJohnbalaya
    Steve, you've posted too much over the last few days! I'm way behind.

    I saw Joker last night, and thought it was close to great. I didn't get your point about Phoenix bagging it the last half (sorry, if i'm mis-remembering your review). The only thing that kept it from being a great (like top 10 all time) movie was the scene with him and "Murray" at the end. There was something off about that scene; in particular, it was a bit ridiculous for them to not really do anything after his admission. They had done an incredible job building up to it and I was on the edge of my seat, but then... ! Everyone i watched it with agreed that the scene was weirdly bad.

    I just saw At Close Range. Stunning movie, if a box office failure, and now a relic we can point to if anybody asks, “no seriously, why did anyone ever put up with that big-mouthed wife-beater?” Is that the future of Joker once the media accepts that it will cause no more real-life violence than did Passion?

  19. Mensa decided it wasn’t a worthy test long ago. They dumbed it way down. And that isn’t counting those getting extended time. And very few people did a lot of prep in my high school but everyone does it today.

    Universities stopped caring about educating students anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    Of course, universities used to be more like finishing schools for elites, anyway. A high school graduate from 1910 likely knew more than a college graduate tariff today. We would be better off without the credentialism, but few learn much in high school today, anyway, so we need college, I guess.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Well the reconstituted Mental Hospitals had to go somewhere. College campuses seemed like a good place.
    , @Kronos

    Mensa decided it wasn’t a worthy test long ago.
     
    Your talking about the 1994 change?
  20. What would be an interesting experiment: is to take all the 800 math test folks of 2019 and give them the math test from 1975 to see if they can get an 800.

  21. A piercing documentary from across the pond on this topic.

    • Agree: jim jones
    • LOL: Cato
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.
  22. @nickyhaflinger
    A piercing documentary from across the pond on this topic.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnJyLWtYU8c

    Thanks.

  23. @Gaius Gracchus
    Mensa decided it wasn't a worthy test long ago. They dumbed it way down. And that isn't counting those getting extended time. And very few people did a lot of prep in my high school but everyone does it today.

    Universities stopped caring about educating students anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.

    Of course, universities used to be more like finishing schools for elites, anyway. A high school graduate from 1910 likely knew more than a college graduate tariff today. We would be better off without the credentialism, but few learn much in high school today, anyway, so we need college, I guess.

    Well the reconstituted Mental Hospitals had to go somewhere. College campuses seemed like a good place.

  24. The graph now looks more like a normal distribution. The tails are still too fat, but moving towards a normal distribution does make the SAT a more “standardized” test.

  25. From the Demented Dominion:

    https://globalnews.ca/news/6048099/st-georges-school-students-expelled/

    I wonder if a perfect SAT score will help these young men down the line?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    From the Timbit Dominion to Mad City:


    Black Madison school staffer appeals firing for repeating student's racial slur

    Black Contexts Matter!

    We're told the "student" is black, too, but the sex of this brat is being concealed.

    But don't cry for Mr Anderson. He was quickly snapped up by another employer:

    Boys & Girls Club of Dane County hires Marlon Anderson, security guard fired from West High

    (Oh, and a shout-out to millions of Tremblay cousins in Canada and the States-- Mrs Anderson's name is Ozanne. Cousine or coincidence, I haven't seen that name used anywhere else since 1658.)
    , @Counterinsurgency

    I wonder if a perfect SAT score will help these young men down the line?
     
    The article [1] suggests that students aren't taking well to being clumsily indoctrinated. This, in turn, suggests a future in which the indoctrination's ideology has been rejected. In such a future, the "young men" will do fairly well.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://globalnews.ca/news/6048099/st-georges-school-students-expelled/
  26. We already have an ethnic group that underperforms in college relative to their standardized test scores (Asians) and a group that overperforms (white males). What exactly is the point of measuring up to 5 sigma differences with the SAT? You will just get Asians starting test prep in 2nd grade instead of 5th grade. And colleges will be left with the same problem — figuring out how to tell Asian best-testers how to take a hike.

  27. @bjondo
    All applicants to the elite schools
    take their tests in Vegas.

    One hour time limit.

    Win $1600 (some appropriate amount)
    at the poker machines, you're in.

    All applicants to the elite schools
    take their tests in Vegas.

    One hour time limit.

    Win $1600 (some appropriate amount)
    at the poker machines, you’re in.

    Testing Asians in a casino is like testing American Indians in a saloon. Is this your intention?

    • LOL: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Somebody has to figure out something, Reg!
  28. @Mr McKenna
    And chemistry (unlike engineering) is actually a hard science.

    Meanwhile, speaking of applied science...

    Why Getting Back to the Moon Is So Damn Hard

    "The $20 million Lunar X Prize was supposed to send startups into space. The cost turned out to be far higher than the reward—but the competitors were never really in it for the trophy."

    https://cdn.technologyreview.com/i/images/nasagetty.jpg
    MIT Technology Review | Erin Winick

    “The reality was it’s a lot of money to go to the moon,” says Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.

     

    If we can put a white man on the moon, we can put a negro on the moon!
    And if we can put one negro on the moon.....

    Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.

    Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer sounds like the kind of name that the writer of a science fiction novel or TV series would make up.

  29. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT’s 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard’s reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That’s true, as far as it’s influence in America’s governing classes goes.

    But since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that’s gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @HammerJack
    Control for size and Caltech may be #1
    , @Anonymous
    Had dealings with this guy at Harvard …

    Malcolm Whitman received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale College and his PhD from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Harvard University. His thesis work in the lab of Lew Cantley investigated the association of phosphatidylinositol kinases with oncogene and growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases, and culminated in the discovery of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signal transduction pathway. In his postdoctoral work with Doug Melton, he developed the frog embryo as a tool for studying mechanisms of growth factor signaling during early development.

    As an independent investigator, Dr. Whitman has focused on transduction of TGFß superfamily signals. The laboratory identified the first Smad-interacting transcription factor, FAST-1, and established that FAST-1 has a central role in the regulation of early developmental patterning by TGFß ligands. His current research interests continue to address the problem of how TGFß superfamily ligands signal in different contexts, and how TGFß signaling might be manipulated in vivo for therapeutic purposes.

    The Whitman laboratory is also interested in how metabolic sensors regulate chronic inflammatory disease. The lab has recently established that a natural product derived small molecule, halofuginone, exerts anti-inflammatory effects by mimicking a lack of amino acid availability, thereby activating a metabolic sensor pathway known as the amino acid response.

    Dr. Whitman is a Professor of Developmental Biology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and an affiliate member of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the BBS graduate program (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/bbs/), an affiliate of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/) the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Cancer Cell Biology Program (http://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/research-programs/discipline-based-programs/cancer-cell-biology/ ) and a member of the executive committee for the Harvard Developmental and Regenerative Biology program (https://drb.hms.harvard.edu/).
     
    … and I’m thinking, he’s pretty smart. Then I find out he’s Johnnie von Neumann’s grandson. Which proves IQ is not hereditary or something.
  30. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT’s 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard’s reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That’s true, as far as it’s influence in America’s governing classes goes.

    But since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that’s gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

  31. @Dan Hayes
    Lagertha:

    I was long under the impression that a long time ago Yale had ditched the hard sciences for the softies.Yale calculated that it was more attainable to pack the Supreme Court with its progeny than to churn out Nobel Prize Laureates!

    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT’s 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard’s reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That’s true, as far as Harvard’s influence in America’s governing classes goes.

    Since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that’s gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    David Reich's lab at the Broad Institute couldn't have been cheap.

    The Broad Institute is a joint project of Harvard and MIT in genomics.

    https://www.broadinstitute.org/about-us

    Harvard and MIT are just about the only world top dozen universities right next to each other, which allowed them to do this joint venture on a vast scale. Or at least that's my impression, I don't really know anything about this.

  32. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    without losing too much in the USNWR rankings.

    Why do the elite universities even share their students’ scores with USNWR et al in the first place if they want to deemphasize scores?

    I’m surprised the elite universities haven’t in concert decided to stop sharing their scores. Or that one of the top schools like Harvard haven’t taken the lead to begin refusing to share scores, with other schools following suit.

    One of the top schools, Harvard or maybe Princeton, was the first to replace any financial aid loans with grants. The other elite universities quickly followed suit. I imagine something similar would happen if Harvard began refusing to share scores. The other top schools would probably follow.

  33. @BenKenobi
    From the Demented Dominion:

    https://globalnews.ca/news/6048099/st-georges-school-students-expelled/

    I wonder if a perfect SAT score will help these young men down the line?

    From the Timbit Dominion to Mad City:

    Black Madison school staffer appeals firing for repeating student’s racial slur

    Black Contexts Matter!

    We’re told the “student” is black, too, but the sex of this brat is being concealed.

    But don’t cry for Mr Anderson. He was quickly snapped up by another employer:

    Boys & Girls Club of Dane County hires Marlon Anderson, security guard fired from West High

    (Oh, and a shout-out to millions of Tremblay cousins in Canada and the States– Mrs Anderson’s name is Ozanne. Cousine or coincidence, I haven’t seen that name used anywhere else since 1658.)

  34. @PiltdownMan
    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT's 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard's reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That's true, as far as it's influence in America's governing classes goes.

    But since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that's gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    https://i.imgur.com/RtcZCkd.jpg

    Control for size and Caltech may be #1

  35. I also wonder about the Advanced Placement tests, now and back in the day. When I took AP chemistry in 1970, we used the identical textbook used by university students, with the same number of class hours and laboratory hours. Also, the teacher had a PhD in chemistry. Same for AP physics, but the teacher only had a Master’s degree in physics. A 3, 4 or 5 would get you 8 full hours of university credits.

    My impression for AP Calculus and AP Physics is that almost no one, even in my university town high school, got 5’s on those tests. The only guy I knew who got 5’s on both those tests was the son of two university engineering professors and was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in person.

    In the present day, my math whiz son took the AP Physics test as a lark – he never took physics in high school, and he regarded physics as a special case of the math he knew and loved. He got a “3”. He thought the AP Calculus AB and BC tests were jokes. Easy “5’s”.

    • Replies: @AnonAnon
    Which AP Physics test did he take? There are two types, one is the algebra-based Physics 1 & 2, which are for non-engineering/non-science majors, and then there is the calculus-based Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electromagnetics, which are what engineering students typically start second semester freshman year. Only the better high schools offer Physics C, particularly the second course, Electromagnetics. My son’s high school uses the same Halliday and Resnick text I used at college and his mechanics teacher also teaches Physics at the nearby Cal Poly so we had confidence it was equivalent to what he’d see in college and had him take the test/get credit. As for Emag, it was the first year his Physics-major high school teacher taught it so we weren’t nearly as confident in the content so he did not take the test for it.

    One thing with AP courses these days compared to when I took them is that they only cover one semester of content and it’s stretched out over the entire school year (the exception at our high school is AP Macroeconomics and AP Government, which are one semester courses), with the last month or so spent in prep for the test. I got two semesters credit each for AP History and AP Bio at my university and I did all my own prep right before the test. Though, these days most private colleges don’t give you any credit for APs. Can’t have you graduating early and depriving them of those sweet tuition dollars.

    , @artichoke
    You're definitely right about Calculus BC. Back when I took it in the early 1970's, the test had quite a few integrals that required multiple steps, you had to know how to differentiate integrals with respect to a variable that appeared in the bounds of the integral, and there was a proof (of about 3 lines, but still, a proof) that you probably had to get to get a 5.

    None of those are true today. They don't require fluency in integration techniques, and 65% or so gets you a 5.
  36. @Beliavsky
    Looking at your "Why Are Asian Test Scores Soaring?" post, the SAT is only getting easier for Asians.

    Yes, all other races are either stagnant or declining. Steve thinks its “inflated scores” and some here cling to “cheating”.

    But this rise is almost entirely driven by Asians.

  37. @PiltdownMan
    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT's 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard's reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That's true, as far as Harvard's influence in America's governing classes goes.

    Since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that's gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    https://i.imgur.com/RtcZCkd.jpg

    David Reich’s lab at the Broad Institute couldn’t have been cheap.

    The Broad Institute is a joint project of Harvard and MIT in genomics.

    https://www.broadinstitute.org/about-us

    Harvard and MIT are just about the only world top dozen universities right next to each other, which allowed them to do this joint venture on a vast scale. Or at least that’s my impression, I don’t really know anything about this.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    something fishy?https://youtu.be/34ag4nkSh7Q
  38. Is he combining reading and writing? The old SAT was critical reading only, while the new one is combination reading and writing. That would make it much easier to get high scores.

  39. @Lagertha
    Tests don't matter anymore. The Ivies & Co. must accept at least 75% of their students from the top 1 percent to keep the alumni money flowing in. They will never go full need-blind...they made platitudes about that 5-20 years ago.

    The reality is, they will lose their research and breakthru status (kinda' already did with Google founders) as more students from the top 2% go to State U (wherever) which is paying them to come to their campus.

    All of my sons' friends were hired with decent 6 figure incomes before they graduated from state U; and, these universities are paying for their graduate schools and schooling overseas...many having living cost stipends. Ivies are aware of this bc they are losing the race in STEM. I know that Yale's Engineering dept is still slo-mo compared to Purdue, Virginia & Georgia Tech, Texas A & M, Utah, and many others.

    Yeah, I was giving away a scholarship a few years ago when I noticed several students had gotten full tuition scholarships from the state just across the river.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    don't look back, Never rewind the decisions you made. You will find your path. Life is bountiful for someone like you who is restless and steadfast. https://youtu.be/fzoGtRxo_JE
  40. @Reg Cæsar

    All applicants to the elite schools
    take their tests in Vegas.

    One hour time limit.

    Win $1600 (some appropriate amount)
    at the poker machines, you’re in.
     
    Testing Asians in a casino is like testing American Indians in a saloon. Is this your intention?

    Somebody has to figure out something, Reg!

  41. Won’t even matter, the movement to get rid of tests altogether is picking up steam. The reason? More diversity!

    https://www.newsweek.com/colleges-are-dropping-act-sat-requirements-look-schools-that-dont-use-test-scores-1465062?amp=1

    A record number of colleges and universities are eliminating the SAT and ACT as a requirement in their admissions process.

    In fact, as many as one in four have stopped using the standardized tests for admissions, Michael Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University, told PBS News Hour.

    By doing that, they are looking to bring in more students of color, low-income students and other underrepresented populations that might not otherwise be admitted to a school they could succeed in. For example, a June analysis of the 200 most selective schools that follow this practice, conducted by the Center on Education and the Workforce, showed that if the schools selected students based on the SAT alone, more than half of the new admittees would not have been accepted. In addition, the student body would be more affluent and less racially or ethnically diverse.

  42. @Lagertha
    No. Crazily, Yale got scared in 2012 that they were losing "the brainiacs" to state schools, but, they were under tremendous pressure to forego white boys - I know this..and this is a sore spot for Yale, Harvard, well, all the Ivies. USA's loss! hahahhaaaaa

    when I say 'forego', I mean physics, chemistry and astro-physics. The shit that lets us live.

    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt, a Yale grad, has made it his personal crusade to diversify elite colleges with blacks and browns.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/make-colleges-diverse.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/university-of-chicago-pell-grants-diversity.html

    • Replies: @Jack D
    There is no irony here. There is virtue signalling and an effort to less the competition for the elites and their children, but there is nothing ironic about the high-low coalition.
    , @nier
    he's a Yid what do you expect
    , @James Forrestal

    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt
     
    No.

    As @nier points out, Mr Leonhardt is a member of the Tribe. His reflexive, virulent, unreasoning hatred for the indigenous peoples of Europe and their diaspora does not represent -- as you imply -- some sort of "white self hatred," much less "virtue signaling."

    It derives from hyperethnocentrism -- hatred for the Other -- related to an entirely different group identity. It is clearly a manifestation of toxic semitism.
    , @Lagertha
    go ahead, live in the desert, but don't expect anyone to help you in 2030. I really loathe assholery people,who think they are so smart, but their personal agendas drive their own hubris to death.
  43. @Anon
    There are some extreme outliers like Google and Facebook, but mostly STEM is for nerds and technicians. Harvard is focused on power and money. Law, finance and politics is what counts.

    Absolutely agree. State Us are not feeding finance like Ivy+ schools. STEM is fine for a decent living, but all those houses in the Hamptons (south of the highway thank you) aren’t owned by IBM engineers. Finance is where one can make very serious money. Finance/consulting firms focus recruitment on the Ivies for a reason. Smart kids from flyover country who can get into Ivies but forego them for a free ride at State U need to know what they are missing with not going to Ivies. Of course, if one’s ambition is to do fine in Des Moines State U makes sense, but if one has grander ambition…

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    The interesting thing is that you'll find plenty of guys with doctorates in physics or math from unknown state schools working in finance making pretty decent money while getting to still do cool math. Very few Ivy Harvard or Stanford or the like doctorates in physics or math, though: because they typically get to go into academia. (MIT is an intriguing outlier here-you can find a lot of them in the private sector despite having the choice to go into academia.)

    It's deeply difficult-and flat-out insane-to BS your way through a physics PhD, in stark contrast to undergrad business degrees where picking someone from a prestige school means you are ensuring that the person won't be completely incompetent. You know that you are getting someone who can do math and programming and loves it. There's also a lot less of them, and even small schools tend to simply excel in a few research areas rather than all of them like the big schools. Between all those factors, the choice of school matters a lot less.

  44. According to my recollection of ” The Bell Curve”, the raw number of scores above 650 on verbal SAT fell 40% between 1970 and 1980, without modification of the test, so after that they re-norm the test.

  45. @Lagertha
    Tests don't matter anymore. The Ivies & Co. must accept at least 75% of their students from the top 1 percent to keep the alumni money flowing in. They will never go full need-blind...they made platitudes about that 5-20 years ago.

    The reality is, they will lose their research and breakthru status (kinda' already did with Google founders) as more students from the top 2% go to State U (wherever) which is paying them to come to their campus.

    All of my sons' friends were hired with decent 6 figure incomes before they graduated from state U; and, these universities are paying for their graduate schools and schooling overseas...many having living cost stipends. Ivies are aware of this bc they are losing the race in STEM. I know that Yale's Engineering dept is still slo-mo compared to Purdue, Virginia & Georgia Tech, Texas A & M, Utah, and many others.

    Engineering has never been an Ivy strength. Harvard made a play for MIT in the early 20th century but the deal fell thru.

    Low six figure incomes are nice but that’s not who donates meaningful amounts. Yale doesn’t want future 6 figure earners, it wants future EIGHT figure earners (or better) who can be 7 figure donors (or better).

    The problem with engineering as a career is that it’s a very flat pyramid. You start out with a good starting salary but it never really goes up much unless you can make the transition to management. A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger. The situation is (at least in certain specialties) better now given the modern startup economy – in the past, engineers would get hired by the tens of thousands by aerospace companies (Lockheed, Boeing, etc.) or the car companies and then when there was a recession they would get laid off by the tens of thousands. I have a lawyer friend who got sick of being laid off and gave up on engineering in the ’70s and went back to law school (and did not regret the choice).

    Given the hordes of engineers being turned out in China and India and all of the Asian competition here in the US (engineering is in Asian’s natural wheelhouse – a job where their verbal weaknesses don’t hurt them), white people who have more balanced math/verbal strengths are better off in some other career where there is less Asian competition.

    • Replies: @El Dato

    A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger.
     
    That's an incentive from the beancounters though.

    The result of this "rejuvenation" is dropping planes, inability to build a nuclear plant, low loyalty, crumbling infrastructure, bullshit software (how many people are working on the n-th meaningless iteration of useless webshite and "user interface beautification" nowadays?).

    Company Alzheimer: It's a thing.

    China needs to decapitate the West, it's our only hope.

    , @Lagertha
    Ivies are failing. It's a skipping of generations that I am fixated on. Without science and engineering there is nothing to improve the human condition, and now. largely, animal life and habitat.

    Who cares about bankers, lawyers (primarily) when they do not know how to grow food or find water? I absolutely hate, hate, hate lawyers.

    Jack D, you are still so fixated about money....I feel sorry for you if you are old and have no children who give a shit about you. If you don't know how to survive and grow food, money means nothing.
    https://youtu.be/tAGnKpE4NCI

  46. @Ed
    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt, a Yale grad, has made it his personal crusade to diversify elite colleges with blacks and browns.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/make-colleges-diverse.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/university-of-chicago-pell-grants-diversity.html

    There is no irony here. There is virtue signalling and an effort to less the competition for the elites and their children, but there is nothing ironic about the high-low coalition.

  47. Anonymous[944] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan
    Yale has won 15 science Nobel prizes since 2000, as compared to MIT's 18. The Ivies seem to be doing fine.

    Aside from Yale, people seem to lately have this vague impression that Harvard's reputation, lately, comes from its very prestigious and influential professional schools and its humanities graduates. That's true, as far as it's influence in America's governing classes goes.

    But since 1900, Harvard has been an extraordinarily good university in science, alongside Cambridge University in the UK.

    But it has been way ahead of the pack, including Cambridge, in the last two decades and stands alone. Outside of hard science circles, that's gone unnoticed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_university_affiliation

    https://i.imgur.com/RtcZCkd.jpg

    Had dealings with this guy at Harvard …

    Malcolm Whitman received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale College and his PhD from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Harvard University. His thesis work in the lab of Lew Cantley investigated the association of phosphatidylinositol kinases with oncogene and growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases, and culminated in the discovery of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signal transduction pathway. In his postdoctoral work with Doug Melton, he developed the frog embryo as a tool for studying mechanisms of growth factor signaling during early development.

    As an independent investigator, Dr. Whitman has focused on transduction of TGFß superfamily signals. The laboratory identified the first Smad-interacting transcription factor, FAST-1, and established that FAST-1 has a central role in the regulation of early developmental patterning by TGFß ligands. His current research interests continue to address the problem of how TGFß superfamily ligands signal in different contexts, and how TGFß signaling might be manipulated in vivo for therapeutic purposes.

    The Whitman laboratory is also interested in how metabolic sensors regulate chronic inflammatory disease. The lab has recently established that a natural product derived small molecule, halofuginone, exerts anti-inflammatory effects by mimicking a lack of amino acid availability, thereby activating a metabolic sensor pathway known as the amino acid response.

    Dr. Whitman is a Professor of Developmental Biology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and an affiliate member of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the BBS graduate program (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/bbs/), an affiliate of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/) the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Cancer Cell Biology Program (http://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/research-programs/discipline-based-programs/cancer-cell-biology/ ) and a member of the executive committee for the Harvard Developmental and Regenerative Biology program (https://drb.hms.harvard.edu/).

    … and I’m thinking, he’s pretty smart. Then I find out he’s Johnnie von Neumann’s grandson. Which proves IQ is not hereditary or something.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Anonymous[944]:

    And his mom (Marina the economist) was no slouch either!
  48. @Interested Bystander
    It’s shoddy analysis to have the x-axis units change as the graphics evolv. Not sure if this an attempt to obfuscate something. Lost interest as soon as I saw the axis shift.

    I don’t think it was any kind of intentional trick. Whatever program was used to create the graphs (Excel I suspect) was set to some kind of auto-ranging and they forgot to change the setting. I think it was an innocent mistake and if you had kept the axes constant it would not have changed things much.

    • Replies: @Interested Bystander
    Shoddy doesn’t mean intentional. It just means shoddy.
  49. @Beliavsky
    Looking at your "Why Are Asian Test Scores Soaring?" post, the SAT is only getting easier for Asians.

    The recent SAT revision seems to have added perhaps 100 points to all the scores. I believe the scores in the other post were rescaled in some way to make them comparable with current scores. (That is, the Asian increase is over and above the general score inflation.). But I think the graphic here is showing raw scores.

    In terms of raw scores, the SAT was designed to be centered at 1000. By the early 90s, the average had slipped somewhat below this, prompting the infamous recentering in 1994. Now on the most recent version the average white score is well over 1100 and even the average black score is in the 900s.

  50. @Beliavsky
    Looking at your "Why Are Asian Test Scores Soaring?" post, the SAT is only getting easier for Asians.

    Maybe SAT proctors are making tests easier to appease the low IQ browns and blacks.

    Even if they are not doing this now, I believe they will be doing it in the future.

  51. @Ed
    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt, a Yale grad, has made it his personal crusade to diversify elite colleges with blacks and browns.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/make-colleges-diverse.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/university-of-chicago-pell-grants-diversity.html

    he’s a Yid what do you expect

  52. @Jack D
    Engineering has never been an Ivy strength. Harvard made a play for MIT in the early 20th century but the deal fell thru.

    Low six figure incomes are nice but that's not who donates meaningful amounts. Yale doesn't want future 6 figure earners, it wants future EIGHT figure earners (or better) who can be 7 figure donors (or better).

    The problem with engineering as a career is that it's a very flat pyramid. You start out with a good starting salary but it never really goes up much unless you can make the transition to management. A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger. The situation is (at least in certain specialties) better now given the modern startup economy - in the past, engineers would get hired by the tens of thousands by aerospace companies (Lockheed, Boeing, etc.) or the car companies and then when there was a recession they would get laid off by the tens of thousands. I have a lawyer friend who got sick of being laid off and gave up on engineering in the '70s and went back to law school (and did not regret the choice).

    Given the hordes of engineers being turned out in China and India and all of the Asian competition here in the US (engineering is in Asian's natural wheelhouse - a job where their verbal weaknesses don't hurt them), white people who have more balanced math/verbal strengths are better off in some other career where there is less Asian competition.

    A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger.

    That’s an incentive from the beancounters though.

    The result of this “rejuvenation” is dropping planes, inability to build a nuclear plant, low loyalty, crumbling infrastructure, bullshit software (how many people are working on the n-th meaningless iteration of useless webshite and “user interface beautification” nowadays?).

    Company Alzheimer: It’s a thing.

    China needs to decapitate the West, it’s our only hope.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I didn't say this was a GOOD idea, just what is happening.

    Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it. Good and hard.
  53. The GRE added more range a few years ago and changed its scoring. When I took the test, 8 years ago, the old test was scored like the SAT with a 1600. Math and reading were each worth 800 points. The problem with the test was “good” math scores all clustered around 800. I got a 780 on math and that only put me in the top 10% of test takers. Apparently someone going into a STEM graduate program was expected to get a perfect score.

    The GRE’s solution was redoing the scoring to put it down to something like 170 and make the math section more difficult. It’s impossible to compare the old score well because of the new gradient, but I think the top tenth in math now starts around 155 or 160.

    • Replies: @Monsieur le Baron
    166 in Math and 162 in Verbal. You still need a 170 in GRE Math for it to be "good". Verbal has more headroom.
    , @education realist
    They also made the Verbal section a lot easier, as it had the reverse problem. Anything over 700 was top 2%.
  54. OT — Halloween Hate Crime! Mail carrier triggered by noose

    https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/10/18/long-island-mailman-halloween-decorations-noose/

    • Replies: @Jack Armstrong

    “Maybe it’s just for decoration, but at the same time, you know, in the age that we live in, you never know,” another neighbor said.
     
    Isn’t the age we live in 2019?

    p.s. Nooses in the Nooze is NEVER off topic in the iSteve-o-sphere!
    , @Lockean Proviso
    Maybe if it were pointed out that the noose is hanging a white figure then the controversy could be resolved.
  55. There is no down side to many low tier college admitting more students, it’s more money for them, and they dont have a reputation to protect.

  56. @Aristippus
    The GRE added more range a few years ago and changed its scoring. When I took the test, 8 years ago, the old test was scored like the SAT with a 1600. Math and reading were each worth 800 points. The problem with the test was “good” math scores all clustered around 800. I got a 780 on math and that only put me in the top 10% of test takers. Apparently someone going into a STEM graduate program was expected to get a perfect score.

    The GRE’s solution was redoing the scoring to put it down to something like 170 and make the math section more difficult. It’s impossible to compare the old score well because of the new gradient, but I think the top tenth in math now starts around 155 or 160.

    166 in Math and 162 in Verbal. You still need a 170 in GRE Math for it to be “good”. Verbal has more headroom.

  57. @Aristippus
    The GRE added more range a few years ago and changed its scoring. When I took the test, 8 years ago, the old test was scored like the SAT with a 1600. Math and reading were each worth 800 points. The problem with the test was “good” math scores all clustered around 800. I got a 780 on math and that only put me in the top 10% of test takers. Apparently someone going into a STEM graduate program was expected to get a perfect score.

    The GRE’s solution was redoing the scoring to put it down to something like 170 and make the math section more difficult. It’s impossible to compare the old score well because of the new gradient, but I think the top tenth in math now starts around 155 or 160.

    They also made the Verbal section a lot easier, as it had the reverse problem. Anything over 700 was top 2%.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  58. @El Dato

    A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger.
     
    That's an incentive from the beancounters though.

    The result of this "rejuvenation" is dropping planes, inability to build a nuclear plant, low loyalty, crumbling infrastructure, bullshit software (how many people are working on the n-th meaningless iteration of useless webshite and "user interface beautification" nowadays?).

    Company Alzheimer: It's a thing.

    China needs to decapitate the West, it's our only hope.

    I didn’t say this was a GOOD idea, just what is happening.

    Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it. Good and hard.

  59. @Known Fact
    OT -- Halloween Hate Crime! Mail carrier triggered by noose

    https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/10/18/long-island-mailman-halloween-decorations-noose/

    “Maybe it’s just for decoration, but at the same time, you know, in the age that we live in, you never know,” another neighbor said.

    Isn’t the age we live in 2019?

    p.s. Nooses in the Nooze is NEVER off topic in the iSteve-o-sphere!

  60. @Anonymous
    Had dealings with this guy at Harvard …

    Malcolm Whitman received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale College and his PhD from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Harvard University. His thesis work in the lab of Lew Cantley investigated the association of phosphatidylinositol kinases with oncogene and growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases, and culminated in the discovery of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signal transduction pathway. In his postdoctoral work with Doug Melton, he developed the frog embryo as a tool for studying mechanisms of growth factor signaling during early development.

    As an independent investigator, Dr. Whitman has focused on transduction of TGFß superfamily signals. The laboratory identified the first Smad-interacting transcription factor, FAST-1, and established that FAST-1 has a central role in the regulation of early developmental patterning by TGFß ligands. His current research interests continue to address the problem of how TGFß superfamily ligands signal in different contexts, and how TGFß signaling might be manipulated in vivo for therapeutic purposes.

    The Whitman laboratory is also interested in how metabolic sensors regulate chronic inflammatory disease. The lab has recently established that a natural product derived small molecule, halofuginone, exerts anti-inflammatory effects by mimicking a lack of amino acid availability, thereby activating a metabolic sensor pathway known as the amino acid response.

    Dr. Whitman is a Professor of Developmental Biology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and an affiliate member of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the BBS graduate program (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/bbs/), an affiliate of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/) the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Cancer Cell Biology Program (http://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/research-programs/discipline-based-programs/cancer-cell-biology/ ) and a member of the executive committee for the Harvard Developmental and Regenerative Biology program (https://drb.hms.harvard.edu/).
     
    … and I’m thinking, he’s pretty smart. Then I find out he’s Johnnie von Neumann’s grandson. Which proves IQ is not hereditary or something.

    Anonymous[944]:

    And his mom (Marina the economist) was no slouch either!

  61. @Mr McKenna
    And chemistry (unlike engineering) is actually a hard science.

    Meanwhile, speaking of applied science...

    Why Getting Back to the Moon Is So Damn Hard

    "The $20 million Lunar X Prize was supposed to send startups into space. The cost turned out to be far higher than the reward—but the competitors were never really in it for the trophy."

    https://cdn.technologyreview.com/i/images/nasagetty.jpg
    MIT Technology Review | Erin Winick

    “The reality was it’s a lot of money to go to the moon,” says Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.

     

    If we can put a white man on the moon, we can put a negro on the moon!
    And if we can put one negro on the moon.....

    That’s part of the backstory in the film “Iron Sky.” (With a Sarah Palin like figure as US President.)

  62. @Sam Lowry
    Absolutely agree. State Us are not feeding finance like Ivy+ schools. STEM is fine for a decent living, but all those houses in the Hamptons (south of the highway thank you) aren't owned by IBM engineers. Finance is where one can make very serious money. Finance/consulting firms focus recruitment on the Ivies for a reason. Smart kids from flyover country who can get into Ivies but forego them for a free ride at State U need to know what they are missing with not going to Ivies. Of course, if one's ambition is to do fine in Des Moines State U makes sense, but if one has grander ambition...

    The interesting thing is that you’ll find plenty of guys with doctorates in physics or math from unknown state schools working in finance making pretty decent money while getting to still do cool math. Very few Ivy Harvard or Stanford or the like doctorates in physics or math, though: because they typically get to go into academia. (MIT is an intriguing outlier here-you can find a lot of them in the private sector despite having the choice to go into academia.)

    It’s deeply difficult-and flat-out insane-to BS your way through a physics PhD, in stark contrast to undergrad business degrees where picking someone from a prestige school means you are ensuring that the person won’t be completely incompetent. You know that you are getting someone who can do math and programming and loves it. There’s also a lot less of them, and even small schools tend to simply excel in a few research areas rather than all of them like the big schools. Between all those factors, the choice of school matters a lot less.

  63. @Mr McKenna
    And chemistry (unlike engineering) is actually a hard science.

    Meanwhile, speaking of applied science...

    Why Getting Back to the Moon Is So Damn Hard

    "The $20 million Lunar X Prize was supposed to send startups into space. The cost turned out to be far higher than the reward—but the competitors were never really in it for the trophy."

    https://cdn.technologyreview.com/i/images/nasagetty.jpg
    MIT Technology Review | Erin Winick

    “The reality was it’s a lot of money to go to the moon,” says Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of the Google Lunar X Prize.

     

    If we can put a white man on the moon, we can put a negro on the moon!
    And if we can put one negro on the moon.....

    Bah. Negros on the moon?

    Try Negros on Mars, suckers!

  64. @Beliavsky
    Looking at your "Why Are Asian Test Scores Soaring?" post, the SAT is only getting easier for Asians.

    Asians cheat. They take pictures of exams and also leak exams from positions of power.

    They have to go back…

    However it’s also embarrassing to see white scores going down, even if it’s slight. Whites are becoming more and more pathetic.

  65. One highlight of watching a college football game is the “image ad” each university gets to run — quick cuts to one student after another doing lofty, inspiring deeds — but just try to find a white male

  66. My brother made a 33 on the ACT in 1972. It was the highest score in the state of Mississippi. In 2015 225 graduating seniors had a 33 or higher.

    Mississippi schools are substantially better now than they were in 1972. Back then a lot of schools had Algebra II as their highest math course. But there is a lot of score inflation in there.

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
    Score inflation....I graduated high school 10-12 years ago (I keep info deliberately vague here) and scored a 30. Only a dozen or so kids in my graduating class at my “good” public high made that or higher. There were about 320 students in my class. Last year, out of a class of around 320, 35 of them made a 30 or higher. It was in the local paper. 30 gets you free in-state tuition at most good state U’s in the South and Midwest, with the exception of more populated states like Georgia, Texas, Florida, Ohio etc where it will probably only get you a partial scholarship or free tuition at a directional state U.
  67. @Lagertha
    No. Crazily, Yale got scared in 2012 that they were losing "the brainiacs" to state schools, but, they were under tremendous pressure to forego white boys - I know this..and this is a sore spot for Yale, Harvard, well, all the Ivies. USA's loss! hahahhaaaaa

    when I say 'forego', I mean physics, chemistry and astro-physics. The shit that lets us live.

    when I say ‘forego’, I mean physics, chemistry and astro-physics. The shit that lets us live.

    But it doesn’t have soul. Physics isn’t vibrant (at least not much in the racial sense.)

  68. @Gaius Gracchus
    Mensa decided it wasn't a worthy test long ago. They dumbed it way down. And that isn't counting those getting extended time. And very few people did a lot of prep in my high school but everyone does it today.

    Universities stopped caring about educating students anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.

    Of course, universities used to be more like finishing schools for elites, anyway. A high school graduate from 1910 likely knew more than a college graduate tariff today. We would be better off without the credentialism, but few learn much in high school today, anyway, so we need college, I guess.

    Mensa decided it wasn’t a worthy test long ago.

    Your talking about the 1994 change?

    • Replies: @AnonAnon

    Your talking about the 1994 change?
     
    Yes. Mensa will use your pre-Jan 31, 1994 score to admit you. After that, the SAT is not useable. It’s interesting they require a 1300 for the SAT taken before September 30, 1974 but only 1250 for the 1974 to the 1994 period.
  69. @ColRebSez
    My brother made a 33 on the ACT in 1972. It was the highest score in the state of Mississippi. In 2015 225 graduating seniors had a 33 or higher.

    Mississippi schools are substantially better now than they were in 1972. Back then a lot of schools had Algebra II as their highest math course. But there is a lot of score inflation in there.

    Score inflation….I graduated high school 10-12 years ago (I keep info deliberately vague here) and scored a 30. Only a dozen or so kids in my graduating class at my “good” public high made that or higher. There were about 320 students in my class. Last year, out of a class of around 320, 35 of them made a 30 or higher. It was in the local paper. 30 gets you free in-state tuition at most good state U’s in the South and Midwest, with the exception of more populated states like Georgia, Texas, Florida, Ohio etc where it will probably only get you a partial scholarship or free tuition at a directional state U.

  70. @Anon7
    I also wonder about the Advanced Placement tests, now and back in the day. When I took AP chemistry in 1970, we used the identical textbook used by university students, with the same number of class hours and laboratory hours. Also, the teacher had a PhD in chemistry. Same for AP physics, but the teacher only had a Master's degree in physics. A 3, 4 or 5 would get you 8 full hours of university credits.

    My impression for AP Calculus and AP Physics is that almost no one, even in my university town high school, got 5's on those tests. The only guy I knew who got 5's on both those tests was the son of two university engineering professors and was one of the smartest people I've ever met in person.

    In the present day, my math whiz son took the AP Physics test as a lark - he never took physics in high school, and he regarded physics as a special case of the math he knew and loved. He got a "3". He thought the AP Calculus AB and BC tests were jokes. Easy "5's".

    Which AP Physics test did he take? There are two types, one is the algebra-based Physics 1 & 2, which are for non-engineering/non-science majors, and then there is the calculus-based Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electromagnetics, which are what engineering students typically start second semester freshman year. Only the better high schools offer Physics C, particularly the second course, Electromagnetics. My son’s high school uses the same Halliday and Resnick text I used at college and his mechanics teacher also teaches Physics at the nearby Cal Poly so we had confidence it was equivalent to what he’d see in college and had him take the test/get credit. As for Emag, it was the first year his Physics-major high school teacher taught it so we weren’t nearly as confident in the content so he did not take the test for it.

    One thing with AP courses these days compared to when I took them is that they only cover one semester of content and it’s stretched out over the entire school year (the exception at our high school is AP Macroeconomics and AP Government, which are one semester courses), with the last month or so spent in prep for the test. I got two semesters credit each for AP History and AP Bio at my university and I did all my own prep right before the test. Though, these days most private colleges don’t give you any credit for APs. Can’t have you graduating early and depriving them of those sweet tuition dollars.

  71. @Kronos

    Mensa decided it wasn’t a worthy test long ago.
     
    Your talking about the 1994 change?

    Your talking about the 1994 change?

    Yes. Mensa will use your pre-Jan 31, 1994 score to admit you. After that, the SAT is not useable. It’s interesting they require a 1300 for the SAT taken before September 30, 1974 but only 1250 for the 1974 to the 1994 period.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    If I remember correctly, there’s been many complaints that the SAT doesn’t have a visual-spatial component like the “Raven's Progressive Matrices.” Something to help the William Shockley’s and such. But that would give an advantage to Asian males, so no dice.

    https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iqmindware.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F10%2FRAPM2.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

  72. @Jack D
    I don't think it was any kind of intentional trick. Whatever program was used to create the graphs (Excel I suspect) was set to some kind of auto-ranging and they forgot to change the setting. I think it was an innocent mistake and if you had kept the axes constant it would not have changed things much.

    Shoddy doesn’t mean intentional. It just means shoddy.

  73. @John Mansfield
    Besides Caltech, for which schools does distinguishing the 99.9th percentile from the 99th percentile matter?

    That’s not really doable with the SAT anyway. My impression is that Caltech admissions begins at many 800 scores (there are a lot of SAT-II science tests, or used to be). More placement testing happens after admission during the first month of school. Students that have weak calculus preparation attend an early session for remedial math, unless it has been changed.

    • Replies: @lavoisier
    How many students weak in calculus get admitted to Cal Tech???
  74. @AnonAnon

    Your talking about the 1994 change?
     
    Yes. Mensa will use your pre-Jan 31, 1994 score to admit you. After that, the SAT is not useable. It’s interesting they require a 1300 for the SAT taken before September 30, 1974 but only 1250 for the 1974 to the 1994 period.

    If I remember correctly, there’s been many complaints that the SAT doesn’t have a visual-spatial component like the “Raven’s Progressive Matrices.” Something to help the William Shockley’s and such. But that would give an advantage to Asian males, so no dice.

    https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iqmindware.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F10%2FRAPM2.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

  75. @Ed
    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt, a Yale grad, has made it his personal crusade to diversify elite colleges with blacks and browns.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/make-colleges-diverse.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/university-of-chicago-pell-grants-diversity.html

    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt

    No.

    As points out, Mr Leonhardt is a member of the Tribe. His reflexive, virulent, unreasoning hatred for the indigenous peoples of Europe and their diaspora does not represent — as you imply — some sort of “white self hatred,” much less “virtue signaling.”

    It derives from hyperethnocentrism — hatred for the Other — related to an entirely different group identity. It is clearly a manifestation of toxic semitism.

  76. @BenKenobi
    From the Demented Dominion:

    https://globalnews.ca/news/6048099/st-georges-school-students-expelled/

    I wonder if a perfect SAT score will help these young men down the line?

    I wonder if a perfect SAT score will help these young men down the line?

    The article [1] suggests that students aren’t taking well to being clumsily indoctrinated. This, in turn, suggests a future in which the indoctrination’s ideology has been rejected. In such a future, the “young men” will do fairly well.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://globalnews.ca/news/6048099/st-georges-school-students-expelled/

  77. @Jack D
    Engineering has never been an Ivy strength. Harvard made a play for MIT in the early 20th century but the deal fell thru.

    Low six figure incomes are nice but that's not who donates meaningful amounts. Yale doesn't want future 6 figure earners, it wants future EIGHT figure earners (or better) who can be 7 figure donors (or better).

    The problem with engineering as a career is that it's a very flat pyramid. You start out with a good starting salary but it never really goes up much unless you can make the transition to management. A 20th year engineer does largely the same thing as a 5th year engineer so there is no point in paying him more. In fact you have an incentive to get rid of him and his high salary and hire someone younger. The situation is (at least in certain specialties) better now given the modern startup economy - in the past, engineers would get hired by the tens of thousands by aerospace companies (Lockheed, Boeing, etc.) or the car companies and then when there was a recession they would get laid off by the tens of thousands. I have a lawyer friend who got sick of being laid off and gave up on engineering in the '70s and went back to law school (and did not regret the choice).

    Given the hordes of engineers being turned out in China and India and all of the Asian competition here in the US (engineering is in Asian's natural wheelhouse - a job where their verbal weaknesses don't hurt them), white people who have more balanced math/verbal strengths are better off in some other career where there is less Asian competition.

    Ivies are failing. It’s a skipping of generations that I am fixated on. Without science and engineering there is nothing to improve the human condition, and now. largely, animal life and habitat.

    Who cares about bankers, lawyers (primarily) when they do not know how to grow food or find water? I absolutely hate, hate, hate lawyers.

    Jack D, you are still so fixated about money….I feel sorry for you if you are old and have no children who give a shit about you. If you don’t know how to survive and grow food, money means nothing.

  78. @Known Fact
    OT -- Halloween Hate Crime! Mail carrier triggered by noose

    https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/10/18/long-island-mailman-halloween-decorations-noose/

    Maybe if it were pointed out that the noose is hanging a white figure then the controversy could be resolved.

  79. @Ed
    The irony is that the pressure to diversify often comes from white Ivy alums in the mainstream press. For example David Leonhardt, a Yale grad, has made it his personal crusade to diversify elite colleges with blacks and browns.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/make-colleges-diverse.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/university-of-chicago-pell-grants-diversity.html

    go ahead, live in the desert, but don’t expect anyone to help you in 2030. I really loathe assholery people,who think they are so smart, but their personal agendas drive their own hubris to death.

  80. @Steve Sailer
    David Reich's lab at the Broad Institute couldn't have been cheap.

    The Broad Institute is a joint project of Harvard and MIT in genomics.

    https://www.broadinstitute.org/about-us

    Harvard and MIT are just about the only world top dozen universities right next to each other, which allowed them to do this joint venture on a vast scale. Or at least that's my impression, I don't really know anything about this.

  81. @Redneck farmer
    Yeah, I was giving away a scholarship a few years ago when I noticed several students had gotten full tuition scholarships from the state just across the river.

    don’t look back, Never rewind the decisions you made. You will find your path. Life is bountiful for someone like you who is restless and steadfast.

  82. @Anon7
    I also wonder about the Advanced Placement tests, now and back in the day. When I took AP chemistry in 1970, we used the identical textbook used by university students, with the same number of class hours and laboratory hours. Also, the teacher had a PhD in chemistry. Same for AP physics, but the teacher only had a Master's degree in physics. A 3, 4 or 5 would get you 8 full hours of university credits.

    My impression for AP Calculus and AP Physics is that almost no one, even in my university town high school, got 5's on those tests. The only guy I knew who got 5's on both those tests was the son of two university engineering professors and was one of the smartest people I've ever met in person.

    In the present day, my math whiz son took the AP Physics test as a lark - he never took physics in high school, and he regarded physics as a special case of the math he knew and loved. He got a "3". He thought the AP Calculus AB and BC tests were jokes. Easy "5's".

    You’re definitely right about Calculus BC. Back when I took it in the early 1970’s, the test had quite a few integrals that required multiple steps, you had to know how to differentiate integrals with respect to a variable that appeared in the bounds of the integral, and there was a proof (of about 3 lines, but still, a proof) that you probably had to get to get a 5.

    None of those are true today. They don’t require fluency in integration techniques, and 65% or so gets you a 5.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    They should raise the top score on AP tests to, say, 7. There's nothing wrong with 65% getting a 5 if kids who do better get even higher scores.
  83. @artichoke
    You're definitely right about Calculus BC. Back when I took it in the early 1970's, the test had quite a few integrals that required multiple steps, you had to know how to differentiate integrals with respect to a variable that appeared in the bounds of the integral, and there was a proof (of about 3 lines, but still, a proof) that you probably had to get to get a 5.

    None of those are true today. They don't require fluency in integration techniques, and 65% or so gets you a 5.

    They should raise the top score on AP tests to, say, 7. There’s nothing wrong with 65% getting a 5 if kids who do better get even higher scores.

  84. @Reginald Maplethorp
    That's not really doable with the SAT anyway. My impression is that Caltech admissions begins at many 800 scores (there are a lot of SAT-II science tests, or used to be). More placement testing happens after admission during the first month of school. Students that have weak calculus preparation attend an early session for remedial math, unless it has been changed.

    How many students weak in calculus get admitted to Cal Tech???

  85. How many students weak in calculus get admitted to Cal Tech???

    It’s relative. Here is one anecdote:
    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3196927

    carpdiem on Nov 4, 2011 [-]

    I don’t know about MIT and Stanford, but I went to Caltech, and while there are first-year courses with names like ‘Calculus’, they are categorically nothing like the first-year courses at UCs or CSUs.
    To put things into perspective, there is zero AP credit offered at Caltech. The only way to skip classes is to pass Caltech’s own placement exams. I took the first placement exam (after finishing the entire AP math curriculum, as well as the entire math curriculum at the local community college—through linear algebra, diff eqns, and multivariable calc), got a 96% on Caltech’s placement exam, and was recommended to take an extra, remedial mathematics course in addition to the regular freshman load to help bring me up to speed.

  86. Late to the game here, but have just come across some relevant information. For the class of 2018, 3,741 of MORE THAN 1.9 million students scored a 36 on the ACT, whereas the class of 2019 results showed that 4,879 out of NEARLY 1.8 million students nailed that top score. With the given data, that’s at least a 38% jump (.196% to .271%). Remember, they don’t have the numbers for last year’s test-takers yet (Class of 2020), and I’ve heard that this year’s exam (Class of 2021) was fairly easy (as I also heard about the PSAT), so it’s clear what’s happening – everyone’s getting smarter!

    Onward to our glorious future.

  87. Credentialism’s hardly a new thing, but the decline of standards across the board has accelerated.

    And to put it mildly, the result is always bigger budgets for government education departments, and other shit that is guaranteed to be counterproductive. Government is the only industry where systematic failure is rewarded with higher budgets: senior bureaucratic mandarins expand their empires by “failing”[1].

    Here in Straya there’s talk of making mathematics compulsory in the final two years of high school. I an think of no better way to make school life more unpleasant for STEM-kiddies and mathematics teachers.

    It guarantees that competent mathematics teachers – already very rare – will become rarer: at the moment they can get some respite from the bureaucratic role (oversight of a day-prison for kids), because they get to teach elective subjects that only the smart kids elect.

    Force a bunch of kids who have neither the wit or the inclination to be in a mathematics class, and you guarantee that a decent chunk of the Smart Fraction of high school teachers will leave.

    It is already the case that mathematically-talented graduates do not enter the teaching profession – and why would they? Oversight of compulsorily-detained 15-17 year olds requires either sociopathic indifference, or brutally-imposed discipline – neither of which is part of the mental armoury of most people (and the ‘discipline’ option is largely off the table for bureaucratic reasons).
    .
    .
    And let’s stipulate: mandatory final-year mathematics will not magically discover talented STEM-oriented kiddies who somehow neglected to enrol in Maths A and B… those people already self-discover by their early teens.

    It will, however, result in a further erosion of standards.

    Competency in maths is an exceptional filter for general cognitive talent. If I had to choose a single metric to separate wheat from chaff, that’s what I would plump for (I’m massively biased). And all policies like will do, is add chaff.
    .
    ,
    So as usual, the policy is not so much ‘band-aids on bullet wounds‘, as it is ‘giving the patient Ebola to treat a cold‘.

    [1] the usual caveat to the use of the word ‘fail’ in discussion of government policy applies: they only ‘fail’ to fulfil the objectives that they disclose to the proles. The actual objectives must be being satisfied, or the policy would change.

    Considering the publicly-stated objective to be the definitive criterion for actual failure (i.e., an outcome that the bureaucracy would change their behaviour in order to avoid) is like considering a sanitary pad to be a failure if it doesn’t absorb the watery blue liquid we see on commercials (which has characteristics that are completely different to the characteristics of menstrual output).

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