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Author Topic: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist  (Read 16909 times)

FossilJ

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2005, 07:52:09 PM »
You're kidding, right?

No, you've just done a great job of exaggerating my viewpoint.

Quote
You're drawing a direct comparison between objective analyses that are statistically predictable and a subjective construct with no possible current empirical basis.  The two aren't even remotely analogous.  Nobody even knows what "intelligence" is, nevermind how to measure it. 

So you are telling me, just because something can't be measured completely objectively, it shouldn't be evaluated at all?  What about things such as music and movies?  No one is going to tell me the latest carrot top movie was better than the godfather.

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And even then, these relative differences are spread across all races.  If we disregard all cultural factors and focus strictly on the genetics of "intelligence" (which, by the way, is still a very hazy area of study), then it is likely we would find that people of all races start from a similar slate.  There is nothing to suggest that race plays a significant factor in some sort of "innate intelligence".

In short, your argument is weak, as are any alternatives you're likely to present. 

I never said race was a significant factor in intelligence, I was asking why people refuse to consider that it MIGHT be a factor in intelligence.  The fact is, some people are smarter than others, and it's not because of sheer luck.  Whether it's the way they're raised, genetics, their race, the kind of food they eat, I don't care.  I'm sure someone is going to say, 'they're just better at some things, like taking tests, articulating themselves, memorizing material quickly, and understanding complex material, but that doesn't mean they're smarter!'  Well thats fine, but the aforementioned is what schools/law firms care about, and no one is going to argue that those skills are not useful to performing well in law school/as a lawyer, or pretty much being thought of as "smart."

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and admit I probably misread you.

However, what I took issue with is the premise behind this line (and I remain perturbed):

"Someone please explain to my why a correlation made between intelligence and [cranium size, race, socioeconomic status, any characteristic in general] is such a taboo subject."

You lump those things into one category, when they are very disparate factors. 

What makes correlating intelligence and cranial size taboo is a) that it has been thoroughly scientifically discredited, and b) that it relates directly to a blatantly racist agenda of imperial self-justification during the late modern period, suggesting that there were innate divides between the races, that some were less evolved than others, and that cranial size and the assumed intelligence it showed was proof of this hierarchy.

Thus, correlating race and intelligence remains taboo for a very similar reason.  This, of course, doesn't even take into account that "race" is, as Vinny so ironically pointed out, merely a construct that retains less and less meaning as we move further into an age of globalization and diaspora.  That's a debate for another thread, however.

How you can correlate intelligence and socioeconomic status beats me.  In fact, the only way you can show that this status affects (and effects) intelligence is by coming to the exact opposite conclusion from the one you arrived at, which was to "suggest intelligence is some kind of innate attribute, that education and perseverence can only take one so far."  If intelligence is an innate attribute, then socioeconomic status should not matter one bit.

Basically, my problem is that your assumption would be that there is some sort of way to measure intelligence; that, if some kid does really well and goes to law school, he is inherently smarter than another kid who did not.  This ignores all sorts of confounding variables, including mental problems like dyslexia, ADHD, Tourette's or even migraines; problems with access to better education, tutors, books, and other materials and resources required for academia; possible distractions at home, such as abuse, alcoholism, raising your siblings... you see where I'm going with this.

Perhaps there is an innate intelligence, but to measure it by someone's academic success is highly problematic.  The competitive field just is not equal for everyone.  In short, success is not a good measure of intelligence.

I'm not arguing that everyone is equally smart.  I do agree that, if we all started at the same point, differences would be all too apparent.  But when "race" is such a hazy category to begin with, how are we even going to begin to consider that it (whatever "it" is) plays a role in intelligence?  I know your premise is not that it does play such a role, that we should only consider it, but I don't even know how that would be done.   
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

FossilJ

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2005, 08:05:55 PM »
Quote
So you are telling me, just because something can't be measured completely objectively, it shouldn't be evaluated at all?  What about things such as music and movies?  No one is going to tell me the latest carrot top movie was better than the godfather.

Another ridiculous analogy.  I never said something shouldn't be evaluated if it can't be measured objectively.  I just reminded you to compare apples with apples and pears with pears.  Projection based on empirical data does not and cannot compare with loose, subjective distinctions.  They're two different fields.

You'll grant me the point that we don't quite know what intelligence is, since your whole argument would make no sense if we did know (I mean, why, then, would we even consider some things to play a role in intelligence if we already knew what did and what didn't?). 

If we don't know what intelligence is, then how can we objectively measure it?  We can't.  And if we can't measure it objectively, then we can't compare it to other objective measures. 

I guess your Carrot Top analogy comes closer to fixing this problem, then, but it's still faulty.  Sure, his new movie does suck in comparison with the Godfather, but there is no claim being made that there is no difference in intelligence between individuals, either.  A better analogy to the claim that intelligence and [cranial size, race, socioeconomic status] are correlated would be to compare movie genres, whole groups of superficially similar products.  Would horror movies be inherently better than comedies?  How would you prove it?  Would you take the best of each and compare them?  Or would you use the worst of each?  What would be the basis of comparison?     
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

misery

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #52 on: November 07, 2005, 05:31:40 PM »

If we don't know what intelligence is, then how can we objectively measure it?  We can't.  And if we can't measure it objectively, then we can't compare it to other objective measures. 

I guess your Carrot Top analogy comes closer to fixing this problem, then, but it's still faulty.  Sure, his new movie does suck in comparison with the Godfather, but there is no claim being made that there is no difference in intelligence between individuals, either.  A better analogy to the claim that intelligence and [cranial size, race, socioeconomic status] are correlated would be to compare movie genres, whole groups of superficially similar products.  Would horror movies be inherently better than comedies?  How would you prove it?  Would you take the best of each and compare them?  Or would you use the worst of each?  What would be the basis of comparison?     

I like this analogy so we'll run with it.  So in general, we can argue that certain genres are 'better' in terms of critical acclaim (dramas win more oscars than horror movies etc.)  Off the top of my head, the two obvious ways to judge a movie would be by its reviews and sales.  Sales is more correlated towards marketing/popularity of the actor/director, but most top selling movies are at least mediocre (to me, granted.)  Peoples feelings towards a movie do not always coincide with reviews/sales, but there is still a correlation...

As far as correlating intelligence with respect to socioeconomic status, if one believes that a childs upbringing affects intelligence, than it would be logical that a child raised in say a middle class suburb with a library nearby, would on average be more intelligent than a child who was raised in the slums.  So you may say, this is not an innate attribute.  I suppose, but stimuli at a younger age has more of a permanent effect on the developing brain of a child than a competely developed adult's brain.  As the effects are somewhat harder, if not impossible to change in the later years, one's upbringing can be considered an innate attribute.  In retrospect, I should have said upbringing instead of socioeconomic status, as I'm sure some rich people sit their kids in front of the tv all day.

ImVinny!

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #53 on: November 07, 2005, 06:23:55 PM »
Amen!

pop_tort

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2005, 01:03:57 AM »
Thank you, Winterlily. I thought dbgirl's statement was dubious, too.

I've worked in journalism for 8 years now, and AA programs are rampant. Some of them are good, but most are misguided, underhanded attempts at quotas (see Parity Project and the Freedom Forum, both of which look at diversity more as a numbers game than an attempt to bring qualified minorities into the field). Knight Ridder is notorious for its "aggressive" (their word) diversity attempts, which allowed an incompetent plagiarist to work at two of its papers.

In journalism, as long as a minority can put a sentence together, a job is almost guaranteed.

That sounds like a broad over-generalization...

And fyi, The Freedom Forums website states upfront: "Diversity Institute fellows are people seeking a mid-career change or recent college graduates who did not major in journalism."

The site also notes:
"Wayne Ma, who earned a bachelor's degree in political science and African studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will work as a reporter at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa.

Elizabeth Roman, who this week became a reporter at the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Mass. Previously, Roman used her master's degree in education from Harvard University and graduate certificate in public health management from Suffolk University to support her family as a city planner in Cambridge, Mass., and director of planning and operations for a health center in Boston.

Hanna Tamrat, an associate insurance underwriter in San Francisco and a licensed childcare provider who earned a degree in economics and international relations from San Francisco University. Tamrat will now work as a reporter at The Oakland (Calif.) Tribune."


Yep, sounds like unqualified people who can barely put a sentence together....

Furthermore, the program has a whopping SIXTEEN fellows!! That barely makes a dent in the total population of US journalists/ interns... A miniscule amount of minorities get involved with a program like this and you act like it's taking your chance away from any type of opportunity. Yea so WinterLily couldn't use her connections to get a position...the reality is that she could still walk in for a job interview and more likely than not get hired over a person of color, even if both parties had similar qualifications. (I'm safely assuming that she is white). Sure you can say things are "equal" now, but people still have preconceived notions about people (esp. based on race) and these types of barriers still exist in today’s world. The same way people on this board can meet one “dumb minority” and write off the whole group as incompetent, there are people in the working world who think the same way, and are much less inclined to give minorities a fair chance in the job market. Programs like the Freedom Forums don't even make a dent in taking away opportunities from you. In fact, if you do a simple Google search for paid journalism internships, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Sure, it would be just delightful to have a internship program or other opportunity angled for whites – oh but wait, that’s the way it’s been in America for generations, and despite changes like the Civil Rights Movement, that circumstance is still the reality for whites today. Yea, it’s an extreme statement you may want to disagree with~ feel free to share with the board how tough the white population has it on a national scale (not woe is me, I live in South Beach and the Cubans don’t want to work with me…. we’re talking about a national level here…)when it comes to employment, career opportunities and non-gender glass ceilings….

I think one of the key reasons for brining minorities into the field is PERSPECTIVE. Journalism is all about the expression of thought, and being able to communicate such thought to others. If everyone came from the same walk of life, it certainly wouldn't give as much depth to the field as compared to having a journalist who grew up in the barrios and can give excellent inter-cultural coverage on a local community issue, or perhaps a journalist who grew up in India and is able to thoroughly cover the social implications of outsourcing. I'm not saying a non-minority person couldn't do the same job, but realistically, the probability is much less. Sure, you could argue that no one cares about those issues, or what were journalists doing before this, or anyone should be able to do the job, but the points I raise are that a) journalism is competitive and every paper wants to get an edge so the past practices are irrelevant, and b) yes people do care about these issues. And finally c), yes it’s true anyone should be able to do the job, and any sensible employer would realize this, so hey if you're white and you speak fluent Hindi and have a decent background in Indian culture, slap it on your resume and discuss at the interview.

Until people like kruddler and others of similar mind frames can change their way of thinking when it comes to minorities,:

In journalism, as long as a minority can put a sentence together, a job is almost guaranteed.
...the cycle will continue: discrimination/racism/AA... As annoyingly optimistic as it sounds, I really don't think this cycle will come to an end until we can just see each other as people, sans the color labels.


shae

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2005, 02:32:17 PM »
in response to "we need more black lawyers"

you can be a black lawyer without going to HYS when you have a 3.4/162

Plently of law schools will admit you with that.

Hell, you can have a 2.3/145 and still get into an ABA accredited law school.

ImVinny!

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2005, 05:48:52 PM »
Hey, if you're black you can. ;)

FossilJ

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2005, 05:53:37 PM »
Hey, if you're black you can. ;)

And you wonder why people call you an idiot.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

pop_tort

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2005, 09:45:24 PM »
Hey, if you're black you can. ;)

And you wonder why people call you an idiot.


Vinny keeps preaching about much we need color-blindness, but then continues to make obnoxious comments like this... *sigh*

pop_tort

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Re: Kinda wish these law school numbers sites didn't exist
« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2005, 09:48:40 PM »

The reason why the race part bugged me is because they emphasized the need for perspective.  Don't immigrants provide just as unique a perspective, even if they happen to be white?  Besides, those of us who come from backgrounds with Slavic languages tend to speak in passive voice, which makes editing news paper articles a lot easier ;)
Yeah, but really, how many white immigrants (and not I'm talking kids who grew up here in the States) are pursuing jobs in journalism, when compared to WASPy whites and other whites who have been here for one or more generations?

In terms of perspective on a racial level, there seems to be a great need in the field because minor cultural differences are often overlooked when writing on issues. Just the same way reporters and officials used to refer to minorities as "these people" even in the 1970s - an offensive slight of words that was certainly condescending, even though it didn't seem that way at the time. There have been a lot of negative portrayals of minorities when you look over the history of 20th century journalism, and a lot of these actions have changed thanks to minority journalists finally having a chance to move ahead in the industry. Sure, you can argue that "things are different now," and I supposed that's true when you compare today to the days when blacks were never seen on television or Asian or Latino writers were changing their surnames to sound more Anglo so they could get published.... but how far have we really come? The limitations faced by minorities moved from being overly blatant, to much more subtle, and continue to be this way today. The gung-ho diversity bandwagon that you see everywhere is because no paper/company/establishment wants to "look" racist or have their racist past attached to their reputation today. These programs work to diffuse any such type of reputation and also work to help minorities get opportunities in the field, since there once was time in the recent past when minorities were banned or faced great limitations from pursuing work.

You make several counter-arguments on the issues of there being only paid internships for minorities. My only guess as to why this is the case is because these companies/periodicals are already fighting over such a small pool of qualified minority interns, and are probably trying to make the most attractive offers available to get interns of color to participate in their particular programs. Most companies/periodicals have to maintain their PR, and to answer to advertisers and consumers, so having programs like this is one step towards showing that they attempting to diversify their organization.

Sure you can say things are "equal" now, but people still have preconceived notions about people (esp. based on race) and these types of barriers still exist in today’s world.

I'm not doubting that.  I just think there's a difference between intelligent AA programs and dumb AA programs.  Some, like Michigan's law admissions, fall into the former category; others, like their undergrad admissions, fall into the latter.
An agreeable point/response.


I think one of the key reasons for brining minorities into the field is PERSPECTIVE.
I'm not doubting this.  What's troubling me is that by having so few paid internships, and only keeping those for racial minorities, you're blocking out white, lower -- and heck, even middle -- SES perspectives.

On a SES level, I see your point. Yet the reality is that a poor white kid could still get much farther in journalism than a middle class black kid. Yes, I know you're going to argue the other side of this point to make your own point... but it's still the reality today. When it comes to jobs, opportunities, and networking, the good ol' boys club is still out there. And they'd rather have poor white dude than take any black dude, unless programs like this are in place that really push for a change. Additionally, when it comes to perspectives, even if a white kid is poor are they going to be able to emphatetically or even sympathetically write on issues that represent and affect people of color? Sure, anything is possible, but the answer is much  more likely to be no.



Journalism is all about the expression of thought, and being able to communicate such thought to others.
I thought that was writing more generally, and that journalism in specific is about communicating events.
"Tomato, tomatoe"... yes, it's all of these things.



If everyone came from the same walk of life, it certainly wouldn't give as much depth to the field as compared to having a journalist who grew up in the barrios and can give excellent inter-cultural coverage on a local community issue, or perhaps a journalist who grew up in India and is able to thoroughly cover the social implications of outsourcing.

Funny you should mention this. :)  White Ukrainians who grew up in poor neighborhoods would not only be able to give excellent inter-cultural coverage on the local community issues, but would also be able to thoroughly cover the social implications of proposed trading laws with Russia.

The problem with your example is that we're still locked out of the program for being white.

Lovely editing.... you cut out the part where I said: yes it’s true anyone should be able to do the job, and any sensible employer would realize this, so hey if you're white and you speak fluent Hindi and have a decent background in Indian culture, slap it on your resume and discuss at the interview.

You know what, if you want to make that argument, I think you should apply for internship. Make your point on your application and send it in...hell what do you have to lose? You just might be very surprised with the outcome.... (However, on the other hand, one could also say that it might be reasonable to expect that there may not be a high demand for coverage of local Ukrainian community issues, and there may be enough staff to sufficiently cover Ukrainian/ Russian issues on a global level. Conversely, it may be likely that there is less staff available to give coverage of say, Latino-American community.) 

I'm not sure his comment demonstrates that the core of the problem is racism so much as it is about the education inequities stemming from using property taxes as the basis for education funding.  If our educational system was more like Japan's, and inner-city kids could get an education as good as their suburban counterparts, then they would be just as qualified and AA wouldn't ruffle as many feathers as it does -- if it's necessary at all.
Right, but our system isn't that way for a reason honey..But if you want to be a stand up gal against institutionalized racism in America's educational system, I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who will have your back.