You may disagree with the logical coherency of his goals - I for one think the "temple for God" thing is pure kookery - but he is a master craftsman, and in this context it's all that really matters. There are people who devote their entire lives to pointless things. There are people who work on supposedly pointless things, which later turn out to not be so pointless. There are people who are supposedly working on world-changing things, which really are completely pointless. In the end, you can't predict the future. Just do honest work that you feel is worthwhile, and see what happens.
(if you want to play the hypothetical game, who's to say that Terry Davis won't develop some extremely efficient low level algorithms/techniques never done before that will dramatically impact computing?)
Every time his story comes up, there are people who respond with answers along the lines of "what can we do for him? can we find him assisted employment? can we raise money for him?" etc. While these comments are surely well intentioned, they end up being mostly condescending and out of place, as if talking about a completely helpless being. But Terry strikes me as anything but helpless - based on the various interviews he's given and comments he's posted, he seems to be quite content with his situation, and that "assisted employment" is the last thing he'd want or need. If anything, this is just a further argument for reforms like basic income and better treatment of mental conditions (e.g. with better early detection).
There are also always comments expressing surprise at how one can suffer from such a mental condition and yet do complex intellectual work like low level programming. These questions are based on the premise that schizophrenia (or a similar condition) impacts your brain in such a way that would make logical reasoning impossible. But that's not how it operates - logical reasoning is largely unaffected. Like `daveloyall says in another comment in this thread , what's affected are a few key "first principles". For instance, if you're persuaded that you're being constantly tracked by the CIA, removing all your clothes or dismantling your car to make sure you aren't bugged are very logical, reasonable things to do. The problem is that when you're operating under premises that are shared with no one else, the resulting dissonance makes integration with the rest of society problematic. But with this in mind, it's easy to see why one could be schizophrenic and yet still be able to program or do math or weave baskets, especially if the skills were mastered before the condition developed.
Terry is a maker of miniatures , and I'm happy we have such people walking among us.
He is openly racist. He can't find a job on his own, unless it's among other extreme racists. I'm extrapolating based on his online behavior. If his real-life behavior is completely different, then that's one thing, but that seems unlikely. And his online behavior is so racist that there's just no chance of him fitting into any average social situation.
His racism probably isn't his fault. It's probably a factor of his condition. But isn't that the definition of "needs help"? So shouldn't we try to ask whether he wants our help, and if so, find an open-minded employer who might listen to the situation and be willing to give Terry a shot?
You gotta treat God as entertainment, mostly. He's not prophetic in this. I caution against latching onto any particular thing He says. If I am not doing offerings, He says nonsense.
At some point, the artificial pin of the idea as "really clever" and "world-changing" goes away—but you might not even notice, if you're way down in the subgoal stack trying to solve a small part of (what you see as) the problem.
You have to actually pop back up and re-evaluate whether you still have confidence that the thing you think is a good idea, still is, before you notice that the idea was never that good in the first place and what were you even thinking.
Well, no they can't. If you're in the grip of compulsion you can dislike what you're doing, know it's a terrible idea, be fully aware of the negative consequences, but nonetheless be unable to help yourself, in the same way that it's hard for a passenger in a car to exert much control over a dangerous driver. If volition were such a reliable mechanistic thing then we'd have little need for psychiatric hospitals - psychiatrists could just tell mentally ill people what they were doing wrong and call them cured.
I think in this case, the analogy breaks down. Its more that he doesn't see the problem his racist behavior causes, or doesn't have the mental wherewithal to see that it matters.
It's not really fair because neither dynamic has provably defined a correct way of handling social situations/definitions/behavior, because both behaviors often can be traced back to some kind of "reasonable" adaptation or "successful" adaptation which, when not confronted by an equally successful/reasonable force, can become exaggerated,distorted (not necessarily in a bad way).
The problem is some people can explain themselves in a socially acceptable manner, and others can't. People with schizophrenia are some of the least likely to be able to verbalize themselves without the fear perception that it will be taken seriously, equally, diligently - if only from traces of memories of prior experience. People with paranoia have difficulty trusting anything, whether it's the meaning of a word or the person they are talking to. Their minds operate on a different level that is disconnected (not necessarily in a bad way) from people who regularly socially engage with a reasonable level of social connection. If you can't think like a schizophrenic, how can you possibly expect them to be able to communicate themselves in a way that you can empathize with, without them accidentally forcing their own distorted fears onto you?
If you had to question every post you made assuming two worlds exist: one in which the post affects you positively and one in which the post affects you negatively, and you can't tell the difference between either because the possibilities of how reality can manifest are too numerous (or too obvious) to think about, you would constantly be stuck between deleting half your posts and posting things you aren't sure you believe. That's enough to make anyone a little crazy, simply because of the resulting ways that influences your thinking.
When you strip away the notion, or often the facade, that jobs are not a form of enslavement then you might be asking yourself the question I'm asking: Why would you want to do that to him? It's not like he hasn't been able to find a purpose in life to keep himself happy. Or do you really know anything about him or what his needs are to suggest a 'job' would be of any help?
The sad part that most people do not understand is that if he's on 'assisted living' and gets a job he may no longer be eligible for it ever again, even if it doesn't work out.
So the idea to push a job on him could actually be the death of him and what's worse: chances are good that he might even do it to his own detriment.
Edit: reduced unintended tone. ;)
We live in a society where we're supposed to cherish and celebrate the fact that we're all unique (and broken) to a great degree. Not increasingly intervene to make us all the same.
So bring on the eccentric, racist, barely-functioning people. Bring on the people with poor and lavish backgrounds. Bring on the mean-spirited, the generous, the completely strange. The more true diversity -- diversity in outlook, worldview, and experience -- the better we all are. Rough edges and outliers are fine. We need 'em.
As far as finding a job, that's another discussion. As long as he is able to feed and house himself, through whatever means? Why do I care whether he has a job or not?
I don't know if his racism is the result of or related to his condition. However, even if it is, so what? Why exactly does that behavior get to be overlooked as though it doesn't have a real effect on people who suffer from it? Why does he get assistance to find a job while non-white people struggle to find work in tech?
Many places employers are technically - though it's nearly impossible to police - in theory required to attempt to offer reasonable accommodation for physical or mental disabilities.
His behaviour does not "get to be overlooked", and certainly would pose substantial problems, but it is a reasonable question to ask if it is possible for someone to accommodate him in a way that does not put undue strain on other employees or clients.
As for your "while non-white people struggle to find work in tech", it is irrelevant to the question at hand: One injustice does not justify another.
In this case, furthermore, nobody is starting a campaign to get racist bigots jobs in tech, nor do I see any serious attempts at providing him assistance to find a job. People are exchanging a few messages expressing sympathy for a specific person with a known mental illness who has been a visible and at times admired part of the tech community for the last two decades.
/ Not a psychologist. unless internet armchair psychology counts
Luckily, other people have done this for us:
'Cause I know some racists, and I can tell you that the opposite is true.
Hence the word "progress" and the reason why relying on decade old social studies is not the best idea.
It is basically bias of ethnicity that transcends skin color.
Is this from personal experience? If not, can you link me somewhere?
Do you mean sounds Irish / looks Irish / is Irish / is Catholic / something else or a mix of these?
I don't disagree with you (not sure either way tbh) but do have a personal interest.
> Irish, Jewish, Italian, and Eastern Europeans with light/white skin have at various historical periods not been considered white. The changing rules and requirements regarding who gets to be in the white club are related to systems of power and privilege. This is why whiteness is defined by exclusion rather than inclusion.
> While US history quite clearly excluded Asians, Indigenous Peoples, and African Americans from the white category, Europeans have been excluded, included, or partially included in the white club depending on religious belief, economic climate, labor skills, etc.
> The racial divisions between white and Asian, once so stark and to many almost unbridgeable, are quickly fading away. Marriages between Asians and whites are increasingly common; while anti-Asian bigotry exists, it is (at least among whites) much rarer than it was only one or two generations ago. As with the experience of the American Irish, Italians, Jews, and many other groups, the Asian experience shows that racial divisions and hostilities can subside over time.
Askhistorians has a bunch of good discussions on the issue:
> I attended a lecture on this. Essentially, whiteness is a malleable concept that includes or excludes different races over time. While we perhaps naively think that "white" is based on the color of skin or continent of origin, Mexicans, for example, of entirely Spanish (i.e. European) descent are considered non-white. But they didn't use to - other than the Census of 1930, they were considered white in the early 20th Century. On the most recent census, 49% of Latinos checked "White" as their race. (Most of the rest checked "other".)
> Jews, Italians, Irish, etc., are all races that were considered non-white (which meant English in the most restrictive use of the word) to begin with, but "became white" over time. In the case of the Irish, this happened when Irish people started appearing in prominent places - sports athletes, police commissioners (the Philadelphia police department had a lot of Irish in it), politicians, and so forth. With the Jews, it happened when they too moved up the social ladder, becoming one of the most educated subgroups in America (Jews have about 5 times the average number of academic professors). I'm not familiar with the Italian story.
It only took a moment of explanation and de-escalation to clue them in to what was going on, and the situation was defused, no matter how many more "nice tits" the administrator busted out in public.
Who knows better than the mob?
What's really funny is that, from their perspective, "helping" him involves better integrating him into the world we all accept.
But, there's nothing particularly "sane" or even healthy about that world.
As Philip K. Dick said: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”
Should the mentally ill not be offered ways to participate in reality, simply because we find fault with the world?
Are there other ways for them to "participate in reality" other than by getting a job and contributing to the economy?
Look at the insanity in how we allocate resources and which activities we incent. People literally die as a result of our priorities.
So, should we assume that he is better off by "joining us" and contributing to that reality? I don't know. But, I don't think it's a foregone conclusion and it seems at least as important to examine that reality first.
I agree that the most important factor here is not whether the person in question is able to work a traditional job and contribute to the economy. The way I see it, treatment and quality of life is what's important here.
Rather, I meant that he would likely be better off the closer to reality he got (i.e. the less his delusions impacted him), and that the delusional should not be patronized by allowing them their "eccentricities" and to remain in their own bubble (which now seems a moot point).
Like a lot people, I do ponder the quality of reality, and I also find it interesting that I will never know reality as you or any other person actually perceives or experiences it. I can only know that there are "overlapping points of agreement", based on our senses, mental processing, communication, etc.
But, there is certainly an agreed-upon reality on which our society is built.
Observational evidence suggests otherwise.
What exactly is the "help" he so desperately needs?
People to write programs for the OS, thereby doing QA and submitting bug reports, I would think. :)
He's done alright with his life by his own measure and doesn't need the condescension of "hello you poor soul, do you need help?" (which, I'm sure, he's already heard a million times by now)
That goes for assumptions that intervention by people with a much better understanding of a person's current situation can't improve it as much as the assumption that they could or should.
Do you hold the door for a guy in a wheelchair, or let it close behind you because you fear he's gonna resent any effort to help him?
So, ya never know. Probably generally better to offer than not.
I think we should respect their wishes, when appropriate, but leaving them alone isn't a good decision.
The ONLY time you're allowed to intervene is when someone's life and self image is visibly deteriorating. If it's stable, leave it the fuck alone.
I've gotten into the habit of hiding what I've got because of people like you, and judging by the downvotes I'm getting, you're not alone in perpetuating the stigma and condescension. Every single "oh but you've done so WELL for yourself!" and "if you ever need anything..." is well intentioned, I know, but also incredibly hurtful. We all have our shit in life and each of us deals with it AS WE SEE FIT. Yeah, I do things that may seem weird to you, and sometimes it gets me into trouble, but that's my prerogative.
LEAVE. IT. ALONE.
We live in a world where we help each other. Offering help isn't a bad thing. Some people aren't as strong as you.
Perhaps it's sincere, but this sentiment reminded me of the recently-infamous catcalling video. If one random dude a week compliments a woman on her appearance, she can probably deal with it. At some higher frequency, however, the "compliments" become harassment. That may be how 'kstenerud feels about this.
On a side note, I don't know anything about you, but judging solely from the comments in this thread, you are causing yourself so much unnecessary pain. You are the only one who controls what can hurt you, emotionally. If you are "HURT" because people offer to help, that is a tragedy. Apathy hurts. Rejection hurts. Being unable to do simple things others take for granted hurts. A well-intentioned stranger offering to help in a way that underestimates you, that shouldn't HURT.
While this may be true of sociopaths, it's not true of anyone else. I hope that someday you'll have a real meaningful relationship with someone else. Until then, hang in there!!
edit: snarky? yes, but if you can't sympathize with grandparent, maybe this will help.
If that's the case, the only alternative seems to be not to offer help to anyone. Is that preferable, especially if the entire world starts behaving like that?
It just seems like "Hey, do you need any help?" can't possibly be a negative. But I'm willing to accept I could be wrong about that.
> It just seems like "Hey, do you need any help?" can't possibly be a negative.
The first time, it's not a negative. After the 10th, it gets old. After the 20th, you start to wonder if something's wrong with you. Once you're through that and realize there's nothing wrong with your life, every single offer hurts because it's telling you that you're NOT ok. That actually you CAN'T handle yourself without help. It's an insult hidden behind good intentions.
A new programmer is hired in your office, who happens to be a woman.
She seems to doing ok in her new job, getting things done. She seems fine with it. Her boss seems fine with it. Neither her nor her boss show any signs of dissatisfaction with her work situation.
Do you go by every now and then while she's working and ask "Hey, do you need any help?" You don't habitually ask anyone else that question.
Do you see how that could be a negative? Do you understand why she might take it as condescending?
But then I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I see now this was a mistake.
You said you couldn't see how "Do you need any help?" could possibly be negative. I tried to offer a scenario that could help you understand. I did so in good faith.
I don't really appreciate you turning that into an attack.
No, I wouldn't ask if she needed help. Women aren't helpless. But mentally ill people might be.
Based on what you've just said, can you see how assuming a mentally ill person is helpless can be a negative to them? As you say, asking if they need help carries the implication they are helpless.
If you observe them and they seem to be getting along fine, why assume they're helpless? Why imply that by asking if they need help?
I understand how people might be slighted by an offer of assistance. I just thought that by definition, mentally ill people need help. It's in the name.
But this whole experience has been pretty eye-opening, so I don't know what to think anymore.
To be clear, my intent was to take a situation where the condescension of the question was clear so that you could then see how it could apply elsewhere. So I picked a situation where you'd (hopefully!) have that immediate understanding.
I feel "mentally ill" is a problematic term for just the reasons you imply. Illness implies a desire to be well, and it's natural to want to help people who are ill.
Assuming someone is unhappy with their situation implies they should be unhappy with it, that something's wrong with it. And if they aren't unhappy, and they're constantly being told they should be (indirectly, through the question), you can see how it could be very frustrating and perhaps even harmful to them.
Some people do need help. Those who are obviously incapable of taking care of their basic needs.
A million years ago I dated a woman who worked as in home care for a seriously mentally ill woman. The woman being cared for had someone with her, 24 hours a day, basically making sure she didn't hurt herself and was fed and so on. The woman got to live in her own home, and the state paid for the in-home care. Which to be honest, was barely-trained college age women making like $10 an hour.
I had mixed feelings about the situation. She probably could have gotten "better" help in some sort of facility. But on the other hand, she was given the dignity of the minimal help necessary for her to get by. Does that make sense? From that perspective, I thought it was a humane thing for society to do.
I won't comment on the rest of the scenario because it's intentionally very different and not an analogy.
More seriously, though, how about reaching to everyone who is visibly having trouble.
For example, someone who is hell banned yet posts constantly for months, is likely not getting along fine.
Now if you really thought they were all alone and had nobody, then you might reach out. See if they need a friend. A lot of people, that's the very best thing you can do for them. This is a rich country. There's plenty of material resources and avenues for getting material resources to take advantage of.
But that's what everybody wants to push him, like here, have this job, this will fix you. Tact, friendship, companionship, these things are in shorter supply. You offering him the former without even trying to accommodate his needs regarding the latter, is not being helpful.
Sure, there's a lot of nuance, a lot of ambiguous situations where you might think you see a need and try to address it, only to make things worse as kstenerud pointed out, or you could mis-perceive a situation and not address someone's need, only to perpetuate someone's suffering like in abusive situations or something. I don't know. It's a tough call. Still, better to try to make those calls while at the same time acknowledging that you might be doing something (or not doing something) not (just) to make someone else feel better, but to make yourself feel better about yourself. Self-deception's an easy trap to fall into. When it doubt, not only do you have to do the Right Thing, but you have to do it for the Right Reasons.
Oh! I thought of another example. The other day when I got off work, I saw some other neighbors raking the leaves in my yard. Now, I know they were doing it to be nice and that they don't have a mean bone in their body, but let me tell you, I felt totally embarrassed, like here were these two completely nice people, raking the leaves in my yard because I clearly can't take care of it myself. I mean, I'm a grown assed man. I'm completely capable. And I felt totally emasculated.
And here's another example. I try to help my wife with computer stuff whenever she runs into problems. She's a former software engineer, and it totally pisses her off. She feels like I'm being condescending to her. But I'm not! I'm just trying to help! But I think I end up making her feel less for not being able to do something, and that's not right. If I do something in her life, it should be empowering, in dis-empowering.
I guess my point (and perhaps kstenerud's) is that you can "other" someone - alienate, disrespect, and disenfranchise them - in the guise of being helpful. Without really knowing someone or their situation, without having that relationship or trust or whatever, making the right call is super difficult.
(I know it's eroge, but you should check out Katawa Shoujo some time. Play it on PG mode if that's what it takes. You might find the game's different story lines insightful in the context of this discussion.)
I agree with the points you're making, but most people suffering from psychotic conditions tend to prefer being in a lucid, non-psychotic state. It can be like waking someone up from a dream, or more often, a nightmare. Unfortunately, this can often only be done with the use of anti-psychotics, which can sometimes cause horrible side effects; in some cases so horrible they affect someone's life more than the psychosis itself.
Regardless, I don't think concern about this man's condition is condescending.
> And then you're left alone.
If you think he poses a risk to himself or others you're free to contact the police. I'm not sure what action you want to be taken when someone is showing symptoms of a mental illness?
 or whatever the relevant agency is for the person locally.
I think that life is more enjoyable when you adhere to some simulacrum of Postel's Law:
TCP implementations should follow a general principle of robustness: be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.
That is, when I am conservative in how I interact with others, and assume others are trying to be the same with me, it is rare to experience any sort of personal friction with them.
I guess this also relates to my belief that I am primarily responsible for if I am happy or not.
Until the next guy does the same thing. And the next guy. And the guy after that.
This is the Internet. Don't do something like this unless you're sure there's not a problem with 1,000-10,000 other people with the same idea do the exact same thing.
I wish I knew how to disabuse these people from their collectivist hypnosis but as you can see from your interaction, they don't use reason - "leaving them alone isn't a good decision" is just a feel-good sentence with no substance. Collectivists are touchy-feely and just as hard to disabuse as the religious.
You're exactly right in saying that it is through condescension that they perpetuate the stigmas that their well meaning (but myopic) intentions purport to fight against. For instance, they ban the poor from competing by raising the minimum wage, then cut the burgeoning poor a check because they're oppressed. They never see they are doing the oppressing by cutting them the checks. Why? Because intention is king in the kingdom of the collective.
> Unable to work, he collects Social Security disability
He's doing ok because the 'collective' takes care of him.
I'd love to have all that and not need to work. I also do fulfilling work for myself and so I meet all the requirements. How can I sign up to that gravy train?
So if we really care for him, it should be eye-opening how those good intentions turned into "Everyone! Give one cent to this politician (or you'll be jailed) so he can eventually make some of this money arrive to the person that needs help". How about those around him help him? Churches want to help but current policies curb them (cue the recent 90-year old that was arrested for feeding the homeless).
Why is it unreasonable to offer help to the mentally ill?
Yeah because mental illness allows one to think rationally about value sets.
So it's not at all clear to me whether or not the apparent racism is ideological in any meaningful way vs. being largely a product of his illness.
Does not make him a racist.
Wanna play have a philosophical debate? Or can we agree that someone who espouses racist ideology is, in fact, a racist.
The difference between "being X-ist" and "saying X-ist thing" is basically predicated on having a "persistent belief that X" or having a "momentary belief that X". (I'm using "belief" in the philosophical sense.)
Which is just silly. Facts remain facts even if we don't like them. And we can't honestly discuss certain facts without sounding racist.
Here is a real example. "On average, blacks have lower IQs than whites." How careful do you have to be when saying this? Very, you could get into a lot of trouble. However this statement actually happens to be true, and repeatedly demonstrated in various places in various ways. With some bizarre consequences. For example the Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal to make an IQ test be part of a job hiring practice because allowing it will discriminate against blacks. Don't believe me? Go read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co.!
But we can't even say facts like this in public. And if we can't say it, we can't start asking honest questions why it happens. And without asking them, we can't begin having honest conversations about what we can reasonably do to address the issue. Instead we're stuck at name calling and denial of reality. (And telling people who actually are racist that they can't talk about their racism doesn't actually reduce their racism - it just increases their resentment of the larger society, which ironically they are somewhat likely to take out on the group they are racist against!)
It depends not only on your definition of "facts", but on the interpretation of the same, and how that affects policy and decision making. For instance, these too are all "facts".
"Poor people have lower IQ's than rich people"
"Americans have lower IQ's than the Japanese, Italians, Mongolians, British, Austrians and many many others"
"More men have high IQ's than women" (more men in the top 10%)
"More men have low IQ's than women" (more men in the bottom 10%)
"As pirates decrease, global warming increases"
The real point, and something that Paul completely missed in his essay, is that we now analyse these things with a greater degree of historically-informed sophistication. Your statement could just as well read "On average, when given a written test invented by white men over 100 years ago, a sample group consisting of historically enslaved, disenfranchised and under-educated people of African heritage in the United States performed less well than a sample of their European-descended counterparts". Indeed, I'm sure that's true. The leap though to racism, which is making blanket assumptions about people based on skin colour, is completely fallacious.
I think you'd agree that IQ does not discriminate based on race at all, it discriminates based on class.
It seems common in American discourse to dress class divides up in some kind of "-ism", to subvert the individualistic views that many on the right hold. Everybody wants to fix racism, but many Americans seem to treat systemic poverty with an "every man for himself" attitude.
Unfortunately this has the result of burying the issue, because even if all racism in America were eliminated, the class divide would still remain.
No one banned giving any kind of test. What the case at issue found illegal was using a test that had a discriminatory effect when the employer could not demonstrate that the test at issue was "a reasonable measure of job performance", based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wherein Congress banned job discrimination on race and placed the burden of proof on employers to demonstrate that practices with disparate impact were reasonably job related.
> I think you'd agree that IQ does not discriminate based on race at all, it discriminates based on class.
Tests don't discriminate, people do. An employer who has an overt policy of racial discrimination, who replaces that policy on the day the Civil Rights Act of 1964 goes into effect with an IQ test requirement covering the same jobs that were previously covered by the overt discrimination policy, where results on the test in question both has disparate racial results and have no demonstrable tie to performance in the jobs covered, well, its not hard at all to see that as the employer (not the test) discriminating on race, using the best tool for that purpose that they think they can get away with.
Therefore an intellectually honest person should be suspicious of any statement that can be read as, "We were always wrong about X but now we're right." Outside of hard science, it is more likely than not that the new statement is more determined by fashion than actual evidence. Which means that after another generation or two the pendulum will swing back again and we'll arrive at a more nuanced place which keeps some actual improvements we found, and throws out most of it.
That is a really good way to describe the test results. I'm gonna use this from now on.
- or colloquially know as 'blacks'?
Its a shame we are forced to talk about situations like this with kid gloves and extreme specifics so as not to appear racist. Our society isn't going to change if we have to speak like academics to get our point across.
Blacks on average have lower IQs because they are on average poorer, have less access to education, etc. If you test 5 yr old children and control for income, parental involvement, etc then there are no differences. So the more nuanced detailed version of that statement is that the intellectual potential of blacks (on average, in the USA) is not developed as highly as it could be, due to socioeconomic factors that are very complex, but so far as we can tell are not due to any underlying differences in potential.
Your method of making the same statement is most often used as an explanation; the equivalent of "that's how we've always done it". Mine is a more full and correct revelation that it is economic and social factors wasting the potential of bright young black kids and is something that can be and should be corrected.
It's called context kids, and no amount of complaining or smug sperglording can paper over the actual underlying motivation, despite any technical correctness. It's like complaining that black people can say the "N" word or pointing out the 1 out of 10,000 times that some black people were racist toward a white guy. I can only say "no shit sherlock". The vast, vast, vast majority of the time, if things are unequal, it is white men who benefit.
This is true. However it is a statement that has to be addressed by anyone who wants to create actual change.
And hand-waving away the effects of inequality goes both ways. For a thought-provoking book, read http://www.amazon.com/Mismatch-Affirmative-Students-Intended... which demonstrates that simply giving disadvantaged people direct access to the same educational opportunities that advantaged people could have actually does them a disservice.
If you test 5 yr old children and control for income, parental involvement, etc then there are no differences.
Can you please cite me a study that found that?
I've seen many that finds the differences reduced. But none that finds the differences eliminated. I understand your expectation that there must be some such study, but actually looking for one may be informative for you.
And if you fail, perhaps you should think harder about the topic. If we try to raise two children, black and white, and give them the same environment, can we? Inevitably both are exposed to the same media. Inevitably both are exposed to strangers and teachers who will judge on appearance and treat them differently. So we can't create equivalent environments!
Given that fact, it would be shocking if you could make the environments actually equivalent.
How do you know that your revelation is correct when actual critical discussion has been rejected out of hand? It is my belief that the current approach has failed, and failed badly. It is my personal belief that success is possible. But I direct you back to the book I suggested above to make the point that thinking naively about it guarantees that we continue pushing solutions that are bound to fail at great cost to everyone.
Maybe and you should state that as such.
(For the record I don't believe blacks to be inferior or whites to be superior. Nor do I care. I just don't think non-facts and postulates should be stated as facts.)
Perhaps you should read Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971), particularly at 436: "Nothing in the Act precludes the use of testing or measuring procedures; obviously they are useful. What Congress has forbidden is giving these devices and mechanisms controlling force unless they are demonstrably a reasonable measure of job performance."
The Supreme Court has not, contrary to your description, "ruled that it is illegal to make an IQ test be part of a job hiring practice because allowing it will discriminate against blacks", it has ruled that it is illegal to make an IQ test be part of job hiring where the IQ test is not demonstrably a reasonable measure of job performance, given that blacks scored lower on the tests, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited deliberate discrimination based on race, and placed the burden on employers to demonstrated that selective measures with discriminatory effect were reasonably directed at job requirements.
IOW, it is not that blacks do worse on the test, on average, that makes it illegal, but that fact combined with a situation where the employer cannot demonstrated that it is reasonably related to the job function.
(Its perhaps worth noting that the specific requirement at issue in the case went into effect on the day the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went into effect, the same day that the overt policy of racial discrimination that it replaced was discontinued.)
However the measure that they hit on is actually a reasonable way of improving your interview process. There is general research to that end, and it was presented in that case. But the sample set of previous employees hired by Duke Power Co was not large enough to statistically demonstrate that fact. Therefore the court decided as it did. As a result the fact that IQ tests are more effective at figuring out who to hire than human interviews is no longer actionable by any normal employer.
There are some notable exceptions. For example the US military has enough history and experience with the ASVAB that they are able to safely use it. But very few companies are in a position to do such research for themselves.
If it can be established as a fact, its actionable. It can't be assumed to be a fact for the specific jobs it is applied to, however -- and while Griggs may be a leading case, that's pretty clearly the intent of the burden established by the Civil Rights Act for the employer in disparate impact situations.
> But very few companies are in a position to do such research for themselves.
Any company is in the position to do it (or pay to have it done), for very few companies is the expected benefit justify the cost, because the expected utility of general intelligence testing, even where any such benefit is rationally expected to be born out, is pretty low compared to more specific job-focused alternatives that are also easier to demonstrate are job related if they have a disparate impact.
In order to be in a position to do it, you need to start with a sample of many thousands of people being hired into a specific kind of job, all of whom have been given the test in question, and all of whom are then judged by standardized metrics. ONLY THEN can you collect enough data to make strong statistical inferences on this issue.
The military can meet this threshold. Very, very few private employers can. And claiming otherwise is wrong.
...the expected utility of general intelligence testing, even where any such benefit is rationally expected to be born out, is pretty low compared to more specific job-focused alternatives that are also easier to demonstrate are job related if they have a disparate impact.
I do not believe this to be the case for most entry-level jobs. Can you cite specific research indicating otherwise?
The issue is that in saying that, you tend to be saying that black people intrinsically have lower intelligence than white people unless you're careful to be explicit about what you mean. As it is, that's not necessarily the case - there's a lot of disagreement over whether or not IQ tests are a correct measure of intelligence over more than one culture, for a start.
The fact that IQ tests were decided to be illegal, follows the idea that you can't discriminate on factors that would affect certian subgroups without sufficient reason. For example, if you required that all employees wear no headgear, you'd be discriminating against Sikhs and Muslims. However, possibly you could require that if there were serious safety concerns. You couldn't require that all employees are OK with alcohol... unless, of course, their job actually involves alcohol. Nobody's job involves filling out IQ tests, or is directly relevant to anything on an IQ test, to IQ tests are not allowed.
That's an issue, I don't think it's the issue, not be a long shot. Try being very careful and explicit about what you mean, it's not gonna help one whit, you're already on the third rail as soon as the words black, white and intelligence come out of your mouth.
Racist stereotypes have traditionally in large part been about difference in intelligence between "races", how some were more evolved than the animalistic others, etc. (i.e. dehumanization of "others")
Is it, actually? Or is it a stance acquired after centuries of marginalization? Consider PG's examination of social issues:
Changes between the past and the present sometimes do represent progress. ... But this becomes rapidly less true as you move away from the certainty of the hard sciences. By the time you get to social questions, many changes are just fashion. The age of consent fluctuates like hemlines.
I don't expect that marginalization of entire groups of people will be in vogue again any time soon. Note that the negation of one of PG's many (LOL) weasel-worded statements ("many changes are just fashion") covers policies that were ridiculous (like women's suffrage) or barbaric (child labor and slavery).
No rational person -- PG included -- would support regressing on these issues. It's highly unlikely that his article supports your claim (or any other claim re: sensitivity on national/global socioeconomic tragedies).
Here's a counterargument: maybe the ban on racism by civilized, well-adjusted people isn't hypersensitive silliness, but the imposition of a new standard for discourse based on respect for fellow people?
While we've definitely made progress towards racial, gender and sexual equality, this still happens every day, and may not be a fixable problem. Democrats routinely marginalize Republicans, and vice versa. Even those who benefit from the recent shifts in favor of gay marriage equality routinely marginalize bigamists, or polygamists. There's always a group of people not in vogue, and the way in which we deal with these things is somewhat absurdist.
The current de rigueur is for society to realize that our unjust treatment of a special group is unfair. In the 60s, it was our unfair treatment of blacks. In the 90s, it was our unfair treatment of gays. Then we work to get them declared as a protected class, and then we fight for their rights using that protected status as leverage.
Instead, we should do a better job of understanding what rights entitle us to, and then simply afford those rights to all people, whether or not they belong to a majority class, a protected class, or an unpopular minority.
Tribe mentality will always cause us to identify more with people we can more easily identify, and it will always cause us to mentally place others as being outside our tribes. Creating special rules for the disenfranchised du jour just reinforces that there will always be groups of people fighting for some form of equality.
> Instead, we should do a better job of understanding what rights entitle us to, and then simply afford those rights to all people
Yeah, I don't think you understand the process you refer to in the preceding paragraph represents -- it represents an evolving understanding of what rights people should have (note that this is an evolving social consensus, not an evolving understanding of something which exists as an external material fact), followed by corrective efforts to address manners in which the status quo situation differs from the evolving social consensus of the desired situation. The entire idea of a "protected class" is that it is one which has in recent history been actively discrimated against in a manner which violates the current social norm, such that there is a heightened presumption that acts which have a disparate impact on that class are invalid as discrimination on that basis rather than simply incidental impacts of some permissible distinction. It is part of a process aimed at realizing and securing the new understanding of "what rights entitle us to" by eradicating residual practices that were accepted under a previous, more limited understanding.
Particularly, its important to understand that one issue is that our general understanding of what our rights entitle us to include that they generally do entitle us to discriminate according to our own personal biases, where that doesn't cause unwarranted social harm -- but the understanding of what causes unwarranted social harm is evolving.
This is just a first step. We also need to understand what the actual barriers are to progress, and address them.
Let me give a good example. A few years ago there was a fascinating longitudinal study that started with an equivalent group of blacks and whites. All educated, young, middle class professionals in similar jobs. Following them forward 15 years, the whites by and large were still middle class professionals, but a large portion of the blacks were living in poverty. Proof of racism, right?
Not at all! Their data had more detail in it. One of the factors that they were able to control for was fiscal planning. One was whether people understood the value of creating savings for themselves so that they could handle short-term challenges like a layoff. When they controlled for this factor, blacks and whites were identical. But more whites knew to do this, so they did better.
The solution to this particular problem is NOT to give blacks more opportunities and preferences. It is to make an effort to educate the black community the importance of always living within your means.
FWIW, I was thinking of this with my original comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbdxeFcQtaU
(... but I see that it doesn't necessarily apply in this context.)
This is from a Kurd/Iranian with a muslim background living in Sweden.
This thinking is also conventionally and conveniently used by white relativist liberals living in predominately white neighbourhoods.
Not saying you are. It's just it's what I've experienced.
Of course, there's real racism on all sides, which are mostly negative assumptions about how you think one will act.
> [Alice and Bob debate about whether Bob is racist. Bob suspects that he is slightly racist and is looking for confirm or deny this.]
> Alice: Well, what do your black friends think about [that thing you are talking about]?
> Bob: My what?
> Alice: Happy to help.
> Terry ... works hard, has a clear vision for what he wants to do, and makes it happen.
Mania is a double-edged sword. To not let anything stop you from your goals is to be unable to doubt that your goals, or the assumptions upon which they are based, are crazy. (This is an odd thing to ponder upon, as an entrepreneur.)
There's a rising cultural understanding of what it's like to live with depression—to doubt everything, especially yourself. There's very little cultural understanding of mania, mainly because it's a much more "obvious" problem that quickly marginalizes the people affected, rather than leaving them exposed to society.
I'd been chatting about a mutual acquaintance who was behaving a bit oddly by normal standards, continually working very long and strange hours and focusing very hard on their startup. The conversation ended something like this:
"Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that $friend has hypomania or something like that."
"Oh, really? Have they been diagnosed?"
"Diagnosed? Hah! In startupland, we don't say 'diagnosed'--we say 'funded'."
It can be pretty hard to draw the line between a "go-getter, ambitious, type A" personality type and someone experiencing hypomania. I think a lot of people out there lead successful and fulfilling lives while commonly in a state of hypomania.
I've read pretty much every interview, story, and page regarding TempleOS and Terry's work and haven't seen anything
reinforcing the rigid belief you are espousing that Terry has no interest in working. It could be true, or not - but we have no idea of staring into another human being's brain and finding out without asking them. If there's some kind of statement he's made either way, then I think we should defer to it.
And in fact a lot of the foundational work in science and math was done by people looking for god who discovered world altering ideas along the way. It's doubtful if there would even be a computers/Internet for us to read this without their work.
There is something being said with TempleOS. We don't necessarily know what it is, because the premises employed are, as parent says, so divergent from society. If all we can get out of it is some mocking laughter and some anger and frustration with the author, so be it - that's far better than to dismiss the work and then push the agenda of "help this poor hopeless person live _normally_." He should be helped where it's reasonable to do so, of course, but that is primarily a problem to be dealt with by immediate friends, family, and institutions, not a bunch of strangers poking in at random.
For a different cultural view of schizophrenia, here's an article written by a Western-educated medicine man of the Dagara tradition:
I too would be content with getting free money extracted from the labor of others into my bank account every month, after qualifying by acting as a spy in a series of chase scenes in a CIA thriller. Sounds like the movie had a happy ending.