Saturday, March 30, 2013
My old blog-buddy Rick Moran checks in with a post about Dr Benjamin Carson's rather odd talk
on Sean Hannity's TV show:
Dr. Ben Carson is an urbane, sophisticated, very intelligent man, as
he has demonstrated in his public appearances over the last few months.
So what possessed him to say this to Sean Hannity on Fox the other night?
Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they
gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it
doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.
I don't know why he brought NAMBLA or dog-fetishists into the conversation; it would be much easier (and less cringe-worthy) to bring up polygamists. Of course, his antiquated notion that marriage is between a man and a woman was mainstream Democrat only a few years ago
But Rick himself makes an oddball aside:
It should be noted that if he believes that gays should have “all the
rights anyone else has,” then he should be supporting gay marriage.
Obviously, it was an inartful way to say he doesn’t think gays should be
discriminated against — a position at odds with most of the Republican
base who don’t think gays should be protected under affirmative action
I don't think gays should be discriminated against, but I am not sure that the government should create laws banning such discrimination (other than, say, discrimination by the government). And I for damn sure don't think gays should be "protected" under affirmative action. Affirmative action is supposedly intended to right past wrongs, but, and this is the key, it's supposed to right past wrongs against one's ancestors. But gays (mostly) don't have gay ancestors; by definition almost all have been born to heterosexual couples.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I'm Completely Baffled, Too!
The New York Times finds a conundrum
in the city's elite public schools:
At all eight of the schools that admit students based on an eighth-grade
test, boys outnumber girls, sometimes emphatically.
And thus, the whole focus of the article becomes why that particular result occurred. But note that no question is raised about some other results:
In the United States, girls have outshined boys in high school for
years, amassing more A’s, earning more diplomas and gliding more readily
into college, where they rack up more degrees — whether at the
bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels.
That result is just accepted as normal and natural. The idea that boys might do better on standardized tests, or more specifically, the very top rung of boys might do better than the very top rung of girls on those tests, hey, we gotta find an explanation.
“It is very suspect that you don’t have as many girls as boys in New York City’s specialized schools,” said Janet S. Hyde,
a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin who has published
research on girls’ performance in math and science from elementary
school through college. Individual girls might be losing opportunities,
she said, “but it is also bad for society as a whole because in a global
economy we need to identify the best scientists and mathematicians.”
Some might say that's the whole point of standardized tests. The article notes:
This year, of those who took the Specialized High School Admissions
Test, 51 percent were girls. But only 45 percent of those offered seats
in the schools were girls.
Ah, but then where do you get imbalances like those noted here:
Boys make up nearly 60 percent of the largest and most renowned schools, Stuyvesant, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Tech, and as much as 67 percent at the High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College, according to city statistics.
I suspect strongly that a higher percentage of boys accept the seats, a fact that is hinted at here:
“I feel like, all the other schools, they mainly specialize in math and
science, and, I don’t know, that doesn’t sound appealing to me,” said
Ritika Modi, 16, a junior. She said she did not even apply to any
specialized schools. Also, as a resident of Queens Village, she said,
her parents “weren’t O.K.” with her commuting as far as Brooklyn or the
Bronx, an issue several other girls noted.
As for the differences in passing rates on the specialized exam, it is really not all that hard to figure out. Boys have a larger standard deviation in their mental abilities; more men are geniuses and more men are retarded than women. Hence there will be more boys in the gifted class and more in the special ed class.