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Charles Murray - American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History (Values and Capitalism) - Kindle eBook $0.60 at Amazon

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Created 10-09-2017 at 12:06 AM by wnat35
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Joined Dec 2004
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Great information about how our country/system was formed.
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Joined Sep 2015
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I know literally nothing about this author but when the only thing you can say about them is "don't start with the white nationalist lie" that's a pretty bad look, OP
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Awesome...thank you!
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This is the man who co-wrote The Bell Curve, one of the most intellectually dishonest books written in recent decades. Note I ran the statistics for my wife's thesis, and proof-read the paper (thank you Catholic schools for teaching grammar and Latin).

He "analyzes" racial factors for the IQ test, but being an intellectual and libertarian versus somebody who knows crap about what he's talking about, he misses obvious factors. To be charitable you would describe what he does as incompetent, and you could just as reasonably conclude he's a racist intellectual trying to justify his bigotry. Let's start with how a test designer "corrects" for income and race, and yet could come up with a bogus claim African Americans score lower (i.e. are dumber).

Being poor has a linkage to poor results on IQ tests, as does coming from a single parent family. How many single parent African American families are there in the same poor demographic, as opposed to poor Caucasian families? Was that corrected for? Was differing amounts of incarceration corrected for? Was there a different amount of access to extended family, and financial help from family members, between white and black families (and again, remember "poor" equals "worse" results on the IQ test)?

Was any attempt made to sort out how prisons now profit off of the family of inmates, and decreased contact with the parent in prison results in statistically significantly worse outcomes (death, drugs, victim of violence, ad naseum). The latter will have increasingly significant effects on IQ tests. So a poor family has to make a decision of less money (again, worse outcomes) versus less contact between the imprisoned parent and their children. It's a traditional lose-lose situation, and before you argue that they should have thought about that before they committed the crime - so first, you are saying it's an acceptable outcome for the state to penalize the children in the cases (you can't get any other result, that's been proven) by letting private contractors charge exorbitant phone call fees, and in fact now ending all face-to-face contact and only making video conferencing available - for a fee, of course... vomit

So we have that "poor" linked to stupid bit again. So let's ignore the much higher arrest rate of poor minorities versus poor members of the majority, and the effect that is going to have on the children (single parent and money, again). If you are claiming this is a sign of their criminality and/or inferior status, you need to understand the perverse incentives that if you focus your law enforcement presence in poor neighborhoods, and reward your police for the number of arrests, then poor people will be much more likely to be arrested and be incarcerated. Ironically, in Fergusson, MO it turned out statistically whites were carrying drugs slightly more often the blacks in their cars.

You could draw the conclusion whites are more likely to involved with drugs, or you could simply realize word gets out among drug users where and under what conditions you will likely get stopped and searched. A black pot user in Fergusson knew to not keep his stash in his car. A white pot user knew his chances of getting nailed there were minimal, and was less careful. That is why correcting for variables in statistics, and tests, is so very difficult.

But it gets worse. Now onto more test design (remember, The Bell Curve by the author draws conclusions from IQ testing). My little boy was declared not ready for Kindergarten 3 years ago. One thing the test stressed was "best friends" and my son was one of these uber-friendly kids who has no desire to be exclusive with his acquaintances. The test considered having an exclusive best friend a strong positive indicator for "readiness."

I mentioned this to the teacher, as the questions were pretty obvious. If I didn't fill it out, she would have to and she admitted that in the second week of school for a 5 year old she really couldn't do a good job, but it was mandated (by law in Kentucky, and since we've had a split legislature for over 20 years until our house went Republican in 2016, both party's get a piece of this idiocy).

We play a lot outside. I mentioned that he could identify poison ivy, the tasty looking berries (European honeysuckle and Pokeweed) that are toxic, knew what not to do around a wild animal (as in raccoons and squirrels), how to be safe around our large pond, safety around a firearm, etc. Yet none of that counted.

Now to translate that to the inner-city experience, many of the standardized tests assume a baseline of knowledge that different populations may not share. This bias has been well documented in the standard IQ test. When I work as an assistant Cub Scout leader with video kids, I do not assume they are stupid because they cannot identify poison ivy when we are outdoors.

Fortunately, because I also read a lot to my son, and we played educational board games as a family, he also has the math and reading skills that identify him as gifted. He started second grade reading at halfway through third grade, and read the first two Harry Potter stories last summer (between 1st-2nd grade). So he's gotten all this recognition, etc. - but nobody has looked at the stupid-a$% test that labeled him not ready. This author is too stupid to draw these conclusions from a wealth of data spelling out these issue for the IQ tests for anyone with the desire to understand it. I would no more trust his historical conclusions that I would trust a Russian Facebook ad.
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Last edited by Mr. Harley October 9, 2017 at 08:05 PM. Reason: typo
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