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Irony: Palo Alto to Remove Name of the Father of Silicon Valley from a School Due to His Father's Belief in Heredity
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From a new editorial in the Palo Alto Weekly:

Over the past year a highly motivated group of Palo Alto parents has waged a campaign to rename Jordan and Terman middle schools because their namesakes, David Starr Jordan (the first president of Stanford) and Lewis Terman (a Stanford psychologist and creator of the IQ test), were proponents of eugenics.

To be precise, since 2001 Terman Middle School has been officially named after two Termans: father Lewis Terman, whose scientific research at Stanford led him to believe IQ was significantly hereditary, and his extremely intelligent and accomplished son Fred Terman, Stanford Dean of Engineering and the single most important figure in the rise of Silicon Valley.

The group put enough pressure on Palo Alto school district Superintendent Max McGee and the school board that McGee formed a 13-member committee that was dominated by advocates for changing the school names and whose recommendations, presented in a 61-page report and 15 appendices, surprised no one.

All signs point to the school board voting to approve the renaming at its meeting on Tuesday.

Activists have largely rejected compromise suggestions of dropping Lewis’s name but keeping the school as “Terman” with only the great son now being honored. Apparently, in the view of today’s social justice jihadis, the ideological sins of the father should be inherited for up to seven generations.

The most important family in Silicon Valley history is the Termans. Father Lewis Terman invented the first American IQ test, the Stanford-Binet, in 1916 and used it to conduct one of the most important social science studies of the 20th Century: the Terman’s Termites tracking study of children with IQs of 135 and above. This played a crucial role in shattering negative stereotypes of highly intelligent children. From Wikipedia:

Genetic Studies of Genius revealed that gifted and genius children were in at least as good as average health and had normal personalities. Few of them demonstrated the previously-held negative stereotypes of gifted children. He found that gifted children did not fit the existing stereotypes often associated with them: they were not weak and sickly social misfits, but in fact were generally taller, in better health, better developed physically, and better adapted socially than other children. The children included in his studies were colloquially referred to as “Termites”.[15] The gifted children thrived both socially and academically. In relationships, they were less likely to divorce.[6] Additionally, those in the gifted group were generally successful in their careers: Many received awards recognizing their achievements. Though many of the children reached exceptional heights in adulthood, not all did. Terman explored the causes of obvious talent not being realized, exploring personal obstacles, education, and lack of opportunity as causes.[9]

Terman helped make the culture of the Palo Alto area extremely welcoming to the very bright. Likewise, Stanford University ruthlessly uses standardized cognitive tests to help it reject 19 out of every 20 applicants for undergraduate admission.

Lewis’s son Fred Terman, long time Dean of Engineering at Stanford, pretty much invented Silicon Valley.

From Steve Blank’s Secret History of Silicon Valley:

I read all the popular books about the valley and they all told a variant of the same story; entrepreneurs as heroes building the Semiconductor and Personal Computer companies: Bill Hewlett and David Packard at HP, Bob Taylor and the team at Xerox PARC, Steve Jobs and Wozniak at Apple, Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce at Intel, etc. These were inspiring stories, but I realized that, no surprise, the popular press were writing books that had mass appeal. They were all fun reads about plucky entrepreneurs who start from nothing and against all odds, build a successful company.

But no one was writing about where the entrepreneurial culture had come from. Where were the books explaining why were all these chip and computer companies started here? Why not elsewhere in the country or the world? With the exception of one great book, no one was writing about our regional advantage. Was it because entrepreneurs keep moving forward and rarely look back? I needed to dig deeper.

The Facts: Vacuum Tube Valley – Our 100th Anniversary

To my surprise, I discovered that yes, Silicon Valley did start in a garage in Palo Alto, but it didn’t start in the Hewlett Packard garage. The first electronics company in Silicon Valley was Federal Telegraph, a tube company started in 1909 in Palo Alto as Poulsen Wireless. (This October is the 100th anniversary of Silicon Valley, unnoticed and unmentioned by anyone.) By 1912, Lee Deforest working at Federal Telegraph would invent the Triode, (a tube amplifier) and would go on to become the Steve Jobs of his day – visionary, charismatic and controversial.

* Federal Telegraph and Lee Deforest in Palo Alto are the first major events in what would become Silicon Valley. We need to reset our Silicon Valley birthday calendars to here.

By 1937, when Bill Hewlett and David Packard left Stanford to start HP, the agricultural fields outside of Stanford had already become “Vacuum Tube Valley.” HP was a supplier of electronic test equipment and joined a small but thriving valley electronics industry with companies like Litton and Eitel and McCollough.

* By the late 1930’s when HP started, a small group (measured in hundreds) of engineers who made radio tubes were building the valleys’ ecosystem for electronics manufacturing, product engineering and technology management. …

Microwave Valley – the 1950’s and ’60’s

There isn’t much written about Silicon Valley during and after World War II. The story of the valley post war, through the 1950’s, is mostly about the growth of the tube companies and the rise of Hewlett Packard. The popular literature has the valley springing to life in the 1960’s with the semiconductor revolution started by Shockley, Fairchild, Signetics, National and Intel, followed by the emergence of the personal computer in the mid 1970’s.

But the more I read, the more I realized that the public history’s of the valley in the 1950’s and ’60’s were incomplete and just plain wrong. The truth was that huge dollars were spent on a large number of companies that never made the press or into the history books. Companies specializing in components and systems that operated in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum sprouted faster than fruit trees in the valley orchards. In ten years, from the early 1950’s to the early 1960’s, the valley went through a hiring frenzy as jobs in microwave companies went from 700 to 7,000.

This wave of 1950’s/’60’s startups (Watkins-Johnson, Varian, Huggins Labs, MEC, Stewart Engineering, etc.) were making dizzying array of new microwave components; power grid tubes, klystrons, magnetrons, backward wave oscillators, traveling wave tubes (TWT’s), cross-field amplifiers, gyrotrons, and on, on… And literally across the valley, these microwave devices were being built into complete systems for the U.S. military by other new startups; Sylvania Electronics Defense Laboratory, Granger Associates, Philco, Dalmo Victor, ESL and Argosystems. In the 1950’s and ’60’s more money was pouring into these companies than on the fledgling chip and computer companies.

* The 10x expansion in the number of engineers in the valley in the 1950’s came from the military and microwaves – before the semiconductor boom. And these microwave engineers were working at startups – not large companies. You never heard of them because their work was secret.

When I read the funny names of these microwaves devices… Backward wave oscillators, TWT’s, Magnetrons…long silent memories came back. These components were the heart of the electronic warfare equipment I have worked on; including fighters in Thailand and on B-52 bombers. After 20 years, the story started coming home for me.

The Revolution Wasn’t Televised

What the heck happened here to create this burst of innovation? What created this microwave startup culture in the 1950’s? And since there was no Venture Capital in the 1950’s/’60’s where was the money coming from? This startup boom seemed to come out of nowhere. Why was it occurring here? And why on earth the sudden military interest in microwaves?

Part of the answer was that these companies and the military had forged some type of relationship. And it appeared that Stanford University’s engineering department was in middle of all this. The formation of the military/industrial/university relationships during the Cold War and the relationship between Stanford and the intelligence community in particular, went on untold and out of sight.

While nothing I read described the specific products being worked on, or what specifically was Stanford’s contribution, there were some really tantalizing pointers to who the real customers were (hint, it wasn’t just the “military,”) or why was this work was being done at Stanford.

No one knew that it all pointed to just one guy at the center of it all – Fred Terman of Stanford University.

 
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  1. Palo Alto used to be a “safe space” for the high IQ community:

    He hired Charles Litton and Karl Spangenberg, a student of William Littell Everitt. Together they established a vacuum tube laboratory.[6]

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/monsieur-hulot-and-the-flynn-effect/#comment-1616469

    I have not been back to Palo Alto since then, but it was quite incredible to live there at that time in history. […] Magical times.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/todays-sacrosanct-monopolies/#comment-1626145

    Very sad…

    Meet Silicon Valley’s Secretive Alt-Right Followers

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/03/silicon-valley-tech-alt-right-racism-misogyny

    The Unz Review is mentioned in the article:

    Before Gamergate, Larry, the Google software engineer, was “a standard Democrat straight-voting person,” as he puts it. But reading about the movement in the tech press and on pro-Gamergate websites “did highlight some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies with positions on the left,” he says. A comment in a Gamergate thread led Larry to the Unz Review, a website run by Palo Alto tech entrepreneur and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz. There, Larry says he was exposed to treatises on “human biological diversity” expounding on the supposed cognitive differences between intellectually superior and inferior races.

    Human biological diversity has also gained currency in the Valley through computer scientist Curtis Yarvin, who writes under the pseudonym Mencius Moldbug.

  2. [Superintendent Max McGee] formed a 13-member committee that was dominated by advocates for changing the school names and whose recommendations, presented in a 61-page report and 15 appendices, surprised no one.

    Verily the Goodwhites, Chinese, and Hindoos of Palo Alto must have achieved perpetual motion, mastered interstellar travel, eliminated strife and crime, and eradicated disease and injury to have these kinds of priorities.

  3. “[R]etaining the surname will not effectively disconnect the school from Lewis and does not effectively disavow his eugenics legacy,” committee member and parent Sara Armstrong said Tuesday.

    [M]ost board members said that in a public school district in 2017, however, schools cannot carry the names of men who actively advocated for policies grounded in a belief that people of certain races and disabilities were inferior to others.

    It’s the current year, people! I can only imagine the mental anguish of these foreigners and their children coming to a country with its own culture and way of life, and with a history that doesn’t sufficiently focus on the worldviews of foreign interlopers. For shame!

    Did you know that Washington (District of Columbia) is named after TWO white men!? That will have to be done away in the New Order. How about Martin-Luther-King-City? Or was he too heteronormative and Christian for 2017? Harriet-Tub-person-opolis?

  4. What possible purpose could it serve to attribute good, if misguided, faith to these people?

    • Replies: @Clyde
    @Desiderius


    What possible purpose could it serve to attribute good, if misguided, faith to these people?
     
    As in anti-racism is code for anti-white. I could care less if the Palo Alto virtue signalling cadre deny this, they know it subliminally.
  5. There is such a thing as being over-enlightened — clearly ‘The Enlightenment’ went too far in some respects and must be rolled back — this ‘motivated mob group of Palo Alto parents’ took up that burden.

    Censorship of images in the Soviet UnionCensorship of images in the Soviet Union was widespread in the USSR. Visual censorship was exploited in a political context, particularly during the political purges of Joseph Stalin, where the Soviet government attempted to erase some purged figures from Soviet history, and took measures which included altering images and destroying film.

  6. Some parts of the Bay Area still are semi affordable if 1 is inclined to commute.

    My uncle & aunt live in a comfortable condo in San Jose, only worth $300k or so. 2br, 2 bath…..HUGE LIVING ROOM on trhe bottom floor

    • Replies: @Boomstick
    @Neoconned

    I doubt that that is a recent price. Most houses in San Jose below $350K are mobile homes, and then you'll also be paying for a lot on which it is installed.

  7. Another secret, on why it happened near Stanford and Berkley and not MIT.

    California Law makes Non-Compete Agreements very difficult to enforce.

    .

  8. The irony goes further. Jordan and Terman may have talked a good eugenics game, but you can be sure that these concerned parents consciously practice the eugenics game with a special emphasis on assortative mating in regards to cognitive fitness, and all that correlates with such fitness.

  9. So this is the way a great civilization ends. It simply devours itself.

  10. @Neoconned
    Some parts of the Bay Area still are semi affordable if 1 is inclined to commute.

    My uncle & aunt live in a comfortable condo in San Jose, only worth $300k or so. 2br, 2 bath.....HUGE LIVING ROOM on trhe bottom floor

    Replies: @Boomstick

    I doubt that that is a recent price. Most houses in San Jose below $350K are mobile homes, and then you’ll also be paying for a lot on which it is installed.

  11. @Desiderius
    What possible purpose could it serve to attribute good, if misguided, faith to these people?

    Replies: @Clyde

    What possible purpose could it serve to attribute good, if misguided, faith to these people?

    As in anti-racism is code for anti-white. I could care less if the Palo Alto virtue signalling cadre deny this, they know it subliminally.

  12. Generational karma.

  13. Just out of curiosity, how much of a caste system prevails in Palo Alto and surrounding tech industries?

    Is there a definite Stanford/Berkeley CSEE pecking order? Is someone with a similar degree from Cornell or Princeton at a disadvantage in these circles? I know the question is somewhat naive, since the “community” numbers in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands. But I’m wondering about the elite within the technological elite.

    • Replies: @benjaminl
    @PiltdownMan

    The Q&A site Quora seems to be entirely populated by such people, and thus this topic is endlessly discussed there...

    https://www.quora.com/What-reputation-do-Berkeley-CS-grads-have-among-Stanford-and-MIT-grads
    https://www.quora.com/CS-at-MIT-vs-Stanford-vs-Berkeley-Which-school-do-you-feel-provides-a-better-overall-experience

  14. Pat Casey says:

    Do we still say that IQ is the single best predictor of human outcomes that social science has? I’ve always found the IQ angle of HBD fascinating and better to be honest about. But this idea of being The Single Best Predictor always rankled me. I’ts only vaguely true, and in truth it’s usually trivially true when it is true, especially when you consider that human outcomes only exist in the “specious moment.”

    Why some people are competitive and some aren’t, why certain people compete in the way they do and others don’t–that stuff seems to get to the heart of the matter much better than cognitive ability. And if you will hear it, that way will you ascend Wisdom, when you know yourself by your nature, and not your likeness to a computer.

    Off the top of my head I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll never contribute more to what’s right with Western Civilization than by correctly stating the Oedipus Complex: A man becomes his father more the less he knows him. When Oedipus married his mother he became his father, and we should say no one has ever embarrassed their father more than Freud.

    And if you leave your son to die on a mountainside, be sure to never encounter him as a stranger. If Freud actually made that apparently apocryphal remark about the Irish, I suppose it would have come as his reaction to The Playboy of the Western World; how can you begin to psychoanalyze a race whose dark unconscious is their conscience?

    I wonder how much those negative stereotypes of gifted children were shaped by what syphilis was known to do to the productive and especially creative faculties.

    Their syphilisation, you mean,” says the citizen. “To hell with them! The curse of a goodfornothing God light sideways on the bloody thicklugged sons of whores’ gets! No music and no art and no literature worthy of name. Any civilization they have they stole from us. Tonguetied sons of bastards’ ghosts.”

  15. The US Navy dumped a bunch of money into radio research at Stanford shortly after the invention of the wireless in 1906. Most of the tube devices that went into production were derived from experimental apparati developed at Stanford in the course of their Navy-sponsored research. And of course once they were out in the wild, inventors found new things to do with them.

    Eugenics was a mainstream belief during that time and only became a dirty word after Hitler bastardized the concept. If the Ministry of Truth wants to banish the name of Lewis Terman over eugenic beliefs they should also banish the names of Margaret Sanger and Jack London. London had a novel fusion of socialist and eugenic ideas, based on the notion that the effete, technically vacuous, morally inferior ruling class would be eliminated by the virile, morally superior working class that truly possessed the skills that made society run. He also had genocidal ideas regarding the Yellow Peril.

  16. Plus, Terman rhymes with German.

  17. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “What created this microwave startup culture in the 1950’s? And since there was no Venture Capital in the 1950’s/’60’s where was the money coming from? This startup boom seemed to come out of nowhere. Why was it occurring here? And why on earth the sudden military interest in microwaves?”

    Early in WWII blimps were the only aircraft that could carry early heavy long range radar and accompany convoys for lengthy periods. Moffett field (now surrounded by Google and Yahoo, among others) was the original west coast dirigible base used in the 1930s. Prior to radar, the idea was the dirigible (Zeppelin) aircraft carriers, carrying small scout planes, would serve as the scouting eyes of the fleet. During WWII Moffett trained blimp pilots and crews, and developed early anti-submarine techniques, etc.. After WWII the airborne radars and anti-submarine electronics continued to evolve.

    Moffett Field Museum:

    “…Moffett Field was suddenly transformed …to the Naval Airship Training Command responsible for teaching personnel how to operate blimps…

    …Within months as many as 20 blimps were on duty at the base…

    “The Santa Clara Valley is ideal for our lighter-than-air ships,” said Rear Admiral John Greenslade, commandant of the Naval district in charge of the program. “Atmospheric conditions, terrain, proximity to other naval bases and nearness to desired areas for patrol as well a many other conditions make it the only place in the San Francisco Bay Area where a base should be placed.”

    …At the “lighter-than-air school”, sailors learned everything from how to rig and pilot blimps to how to maintain them. Part of the sailors’ training also was the care and feeding of the carrier pigeons

    During this time, Moffett Field had become the nation’s only air base devoted exclusively to lighter-than-air aircraft.”

    Moffett Federal Airfield:

    “…By far the most famous and visible sites are Hangars #1, #2, and #3, which dwarf the surrounding buildings…

    …Hangar One is one of the world’s largest freestanding structures, covering 8 acres (32,000 m2). The hangar was constructed in 1931…

    …Hangars #2 and #3 are some of the world’s largest freestanding wood structures. The hangars were constructed when the US Navy established ten “lighter-than-air” (LTA) bases across the United States during World War II…

    …Moffett Field saw the development and use of several generations of land-based anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft, including the development and use of several generations of land-based anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft, including the Lockheed P2V Neptune and Lockheed P-3 Orion.…”

    N-class blimp:

    “…the Nan ship, was a line of non-rigid airships…

    …versions included airships configured for both anti-submarine warfare and airborne early warning (AEW) missions…

    …Operationally the ZPG-2W was used to fill radar gaps in the North American early-warning network …during the Cold War…

    …The specially designed and built AN/APS-70 Radar with its massive 42 ft (12.8 m) internal antenna was the best airborne radar system built for detecting other aircraft because its low frequency penetrated weather and showed only the more electronically visible returns…

    …The airship carried a crew of 21 to 25 and had an endurance capability of over 200 hours…”

    The earlier WWII blimp:

    “…134 K-class blimps were built …extensively used in the Navy’s anti-submarine efforts in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean areas …as well as the Mediterranean…

    …equipped with the ASG-type radar, that had a detection range of 90 mi (140 km), sonobuoys, and magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment …instrumentation equipment allowed night flying…

    …On 1 June 1944, two K-class blimps …completed the first transatlantic crossing by non-rigid airships…

    …The ability of the K-ships to hover and operate at low altitudes and slow speeds resulted in detection of numerous enemy submarines…”

  18. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “The US Navy dumped a bunch of money into radio research at Stanford shortly after the invention of the wireless in 1906.”

    It’s easy to forget how important the US Navy was in the San Francisco Bay for so long. Seems strange by today’s standards. I guess there are those who sow, and those who reap.

  19. There still is a company in Silicon Valley making vacuum tubes, namely Eimac, a company founded in the heyday of Frederick Emmons Terman.

    They’re the only company in the Western world that still makes radio tubes of the sort that are found in communications satellites, high powered radio transmitters, interplanetary probes and ICBMs.

    Eimac is owned by the same private equity firm that owns Meow Mix, a manufacturer of catfood.

  20. Terman and Jordan feed into Henry M Gunn High School, known for its suicides.

    No one wants to be known as a suicide school, especially one that sounds like some kind of firearm academy or something.

    I noticed that now Asians make up the largest group of students, at about 45%.

    I would guess that they would rather go to a school synonymous with the father of Silicon Valley than one named after some local school bureaucrat from the 60’s (Gunn).

    It is about a five minute bike ride from the headquarters of HP and lots of other tech companies, after all.

    I propose they rename Gunn to Terman and embrace their heritage.

  21. If one school should be renamed, it really should be Jordan.

    It was well known in Hawaii that Jordan had Jane Stanford murdered in Waikiki as she attempted to get away from attempted poisonings in the bay area.

    I heard this story on a historical tour of Honolulu about 30 years ago.

    This has generally been accepted in the Stanford community more recently, I believe.

    https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=36459

  22. Alan Kay, of Xerox PARC fame, once said “the easiest way to predict the future is to invent it’. Now he says it would be more accurate to say “the easiest way to predict the future is to prevent it”.

    Boy, isn’t that the story of the last two decades at the least? Peter Thiel and President Trump might get things unstuck though. It feels like they could.

  23. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Radio. Morse code. Sparks. Spark-gaps. Vacuum tubes.

    Can you image what it was like to have the ability, for the first time in history, for a Navy to send messages world-wide to ships anywhere at sea? Amongst other things, solving the problem of accurately keeping time at sea so as to be able to tell one’s longitude?

    And to have this Navy in both the Pacific, the largest ocean in the world, as well as the Atlantic?

    Game changer. Had to be much bigger relative change than the Internet.

    The Three Sisters, Arlington Public Library:

    “…In their day, “The Three Sisters” as they were known, were the second largest manmade structure in the world behind only the Eiffel Tower, with the tallest of the three standing a full 45 feet higher than the Washington Monument.

    …the towers were built to launch the Navy’s effort to establish a worldwide communications network …the towers functioned to provide the first long distance radio conversation, the first transoceanic radio telephone circuit (fittingly, to a French station broadcasting from the Eiffel Tower), and served to introduce the regular broadcasts of time signals, which was important to ships at sea who relied on accurate time checks for navigational purposes.”

    Spark-gap transmitter:

    “…Guglielmo Marconi used a spark-gap transmitter in his experiments to develop the radio phenomenon into a wireless telegraphy system in the early 1890s

    …biggest problem was that the maximum power that could be transmitted was directly determined by how much electrical charge the antenna could hold …very high voltages… made transmission impossible in rainy or even damp conditions…

    …radiated an extremely “dirty” wide band signal…

    …Despite these flaws, Marconi was able to generate sufficient interest from the British Admiralty in these originally crude systems to eventually finance the development of a commercial wireless telegraph service between United States and Europe…

    …first attempts to transmit voice employed a spark transmitter operating at approximately 10,000 sparks/second …at least one high-powered audio transmitter used water cooling for the microphone

    …in 1916 …Shipboard installations usually used a DC motor …to drive an alternator whose AC output was then stepped up to 10,000–14,000 volts by a transformer …band crowding and interference worsened, spark-gap transmitters and damped waves were legislated off the new shorter wavelengths by international treaty…

    After WWI, greatly improved transmitters based on vacuum tubes became available, which overcame these problems, and by the late 1920s the only spark transmitters still in regular operation were “legacy” installations on naval vessels. Even when vacuum tube based transmitters had been installed, many vessels retained their crude but reliable spark transmitters as an emergency backup.”

    In the 1920s radio began to be used for location finding (navigation), not just communication. Very important as well and another game changer. Today we finally have it pretty nearly nailed, with GPS.

    Radio navigation:

    “…The first such system was the German Telefunken Kompass Sender, which began operations in 1907 and was used operationally by the Zeppelin fleet until 1918.”

  24. @PiltdownMan
    Just out of curiosity, how much of a caste system prevails in Palo Alto and surrounding tech industries?

    Is there a definite Stanford/Berkeley CSEE pecking order? Is someone with a similar degree from Cornell or Princeton at a disadvantage in these circles? I know the question is somewhat naive, since the "community" numbers in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands. But I'm wondering about the elite within the technological elite.

    Replies: @benjaminl

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