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Author Topic: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions  (Read 2709 times)

BrerAnansi

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 02:15:10 PM »
Kisssuicide, a few things:

But...if adcomms were really looking at who would make the most capable student and future leader according to their soft factors more so than just numbers, then why is it that predominantly seems to always come back to skin color? I may be really far off, but it just seems like the majority of the lowest admits numerically always tend to be URM's.

This is what keeps most AA discussions from being meaningful.  If for some reason you have a meaningful doubt about a statement why would you share it?  This is analogous to posting "it seems to me most criminals are black", which for the record has been done before though in less straightforward language. Opinions like this given with no relevant supporting evidence are inflammatory and serve little more than to continue the "omg f#*@king AA sucks- you f@#%kers are all racist" back and forth that have been the defining theme of a substantial number of AA threads.  My point is that people's opinions can't be helped but if you wish to do more than just air your opinion you'll have to do better. 

Again...I disagree with all of this philosophically, not personally. I really don't care how many "qualified" or "unqualified" URM's are admitted, or really who is admitted to what school. But I like to see philosophical consistency when it comes to social programmes, idealistic as it may be.

The theme of the article is that the only consistency is inconsistency.  The top schools will continue to do what is in their best interests to protect their brands and their prestige, as they always have.  As for giving leeway to certain groups, I think the article describes quite adequately how there is a precedent set for doing just that at the expense of other groups - the marginalization of Jews and Asians for the benefit of Whites for example- not to mention the breaks given to athletes, legacies and people with connections. A quick anecdote: there is a group that has been historically discriminated against, their intelligence and capacity for autonomy mocked, treated as second-class citizens if you will.  The civil rights movement of the 60s accelerated their integration into the greater society.  Universities gave them special consideration as their enrolled numbers were low.  Today women have made such strides academically, proving to every bit as capable as their male counterparts, that special consideration is no longer needed.
Grrr...

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philibusters

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2006, 09:58:23 AM »
Why the word "inherent" to modify irony?

I haven't read this thread yet, but plan on tonite and then commenting. Despite the extra word in the title it sounds like it might be interesting.
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JamesD

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2006, 11:21:55 PM »
That's a very interesting article.  I agree that it represents a history of inconsistancy in the elite college / law school admissions process.  There have always been individuals who were given some type of preference... especially athletes; manly men; etc.  So admission has never been purely a numbers-based game.

Modern-day AA, however, is a bit of a different ballgame altogether...   

Alamo

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2006, 11:56:17 PM »
I wish I'd read this article before I applied - I would've focused my personal statement more on my bulging biceps and endless stamina than all of that touchy-feely "social justice" mumbo jumbo . . .
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

philibusters

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2006, 04:02:30 PM »
I wish I'd read this article before I applied - I would've focused my personal statement more on my bulging biceps and endless stamina than all of that touchy-feely "social justice" mumbo jumbo . . .

Hilarious, that pisses me off too because I am relatively short 5'9.  I was athletic in hs though, I could run a mile in about four and a half minutes, so maybe by those standards I would ahve had a shot.

Overall, this piece is very interesting, but it challenges so many assumptions that I need time to let it sink in.

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philibusters

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2006, 10:55:11 PM »
This thread made me wonder what the purpose of higher education is.  Is it to prepare to economic, social, and political leaders of tomorrow for their future or is to develop ideas and technologies that define our society?

To this pt. I had never questioned it was the latter, for example today I read a letter to the nytimes that read "Rats or Academics?

To the Editor:

Re "Why Industrious Rats Put Up With Lazy Ones” (April 11): Researchers have found "a caste of lazy-bones" or "infrequent workers," in a population of Damaraland mole rats. "These slothful mole rats can make up as much as 40 percent of a colony yet do only about 5 percent of the work."

I've wondered for 40 years why a normally aggressive capitalist society would put up with the work ethic of the American academic culture. This study sheds light on a heretofore baffling question.

"Most of the time the lazy animals did little besides eat," the article adds. I'll bet that further study will show that the moles have devised a system of federally financed grants to pay for the food.

Kirk S. Nevin
Corvallis, Ore. "

and was like this person doesn't understand the role professors play putting out ideas that shape our law, social institutions, popular culture, and on the science side make the theoritically breakthroughs that allow industry to develop those breakthroughs for profit.  But that sounds very vague.  I still believe all that, but after reading this post, maybe a large role of academia is to train students for their future, you'd never know by professor's attitude, they obviously want to focus on the ideas and such, but its clear from this history that schools started out to train students to be future leaders, and that was why the emphasis on manliness and WASP'ness.  I think things have changed from the 1960's and before and now the emphasis actually is on ideas, but all universities still have to deal with both goals, and AA seems to be an effort at the latter, training tomorrows future leaders-while strict by the numbers only admission would  focus the former (or do I mean the latter, I confused myself when referring to the former's and the latter's) getting together the smartest people to develop ideas.
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philibusters

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2006, 12:53:55 AM »
bump cause its a thread worth reading
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SouthSide

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2006, 08:18:12 AM »
Why do people paste articles into LSD? Just link to them: it makes it so much easier to read:

Here's this one (Very good article, by the way):

http://www.gladwell.com/2005/2005_10_10_a_admissions.html
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TinaTina

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2006, 01:54:34 PM »
That's the same article (I'll assume it was intentional) but I'd guess the reasoning behind pasting text is that once you've already got the attention of a potential reader, you may not want to redirect them.  I know I've skipped over links because I didn't feel like reading further.

philibusters

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Re: The inherent irony of the history of meritocratic admissions
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2006, 07:09:34 PM »
Why do people paste articles into LSD? Just link to them: it makes it so much easier to read:

Here's this one (Very good article, by the way):

http://www.gladwell.com/2005/2005_10_10_a_admissions.html

I generally prefer links, reading it off when its copy and pasted hurts my eyes.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School